I got seriously burned out on watching speculative fiction movies for a while. I’ve still managed to watch plenty in the recent past. With somewhat mixed results. Today’s offering brings one (good) serious movie and three pulpy offerings, two of which are great fun.
Arrival is honest-to-God science fiction with neither superheroes nor excessive CGI. I appreciate that, and Arrival is very good, but if I’m looking for something to rewatch, I’m going to look to Interstellar or The Martian first.
4 of 5 Stars.
A fantasy movie! It’s only about 10 years too late. I would say the intervening years made the necessary CGI possible…but the CGI still doesn’t look good. The plot is meh, and the ending inconclusive and unsatisfying.
2.5 of 5 Stars.
Cowboys and Aliens
I never expected it, but Cowboys and Aliens is a heap of fun. Except for Harrison Ford, whose acting is atrocious. And the standard Hollywood CGI-fest for the climax. But other than that, enormous fun.
3.5 of 5 Stars.
The Great Wall
The Great Wall is basically The Rule of Cool, the Movie. It suffers from generic CGI mook syndrome, but otherwise it is gorgeous and inventive and has a surprisingly good love story. It is also interesting for coming from a perspective foreign to American audiences, even if that perspective is ra-ra Chinese nationalism (although apparently the Chinese didn’t much care for it either).
4 of 5 Stars.