Spy versus Guy

I saw this clip on www.io9.com and thought it was kind of fun. If a bit silly. It’s all about a bit of technology which falls into the hands of a pizza delivery guy. A super (but for some reason inept) spy is sent to get him. Think Wile E. Coyote meets one of the spies from, well, Spy vs Spy.

Not sure if this counts as scifi but I saw it on a scifi site and it has a robot pigeon.

Spy vs Guy from Red Giant on Vimeo.

 

Oblivion Review

Oblivion

Oblivion looks good and the story it is trying to tell places it in a genre I love – intelligent Science Fiction. You know, shit that makes you think. Stuff like: 2001, Moon, The Matrix, Solaris, even Total Recall. Sadly, although I really enjoyed it, it doesn’t quite succeed.

Here’s Oblivion’s plot: Tom Cruise and a ginger English lady are the last people on Earth and live in an awesome flat high off the surface. Previously there had been a war with some aliens called ‘the scavengers’ and we won! Yay us! Unfortunately, in order to win we had set off a load of nuclear bombs and fucked up the planet. Boo us! Consequently, everyone has legged it to Titan for some reason. Also for some reason we need to hoover up the oceans with giant machines in order to get hydrogen or energy for fusion or something. Which is weird as Titan probably has water already and space has loads of ice. Maybe I missed some bit of the explanation. It doesn’t really matter though.

In addition to the big ocean sucking machines, there are also scary, slightly psychopathic robots flying around that attack the remaining ‘Scavengers’. Tom and the ginger lady are there to make sure all the robots are working ok. They are a bit like Wall-E but without the rubbish or charm. Tom also has a lot of flashbacks to a woman on pre-war Earth, which is pretty baffling for all involved. Especially when he finds a pod with the woman inside.

THEN IT TURNS OUT THINGS AREN”T WHAT THEY SEEM! Oooooh…

That is pretty much all I can tell you without ruining the film.

Oblivion looks great and is well made. It is also fairly slow but I didn’t mind that. In fact, there could have been slightly less action and I would still have enjoyed it. At times the action felt like it was there because the test audiences wanted it to be 10% more exciting so they just whacked a few more explosions in. I guess the problem with the film is that I felt like I had seen a lot of it before. To be fair, I have read and seen a LOT of science fiction, so maybe it was just me. Also, the way Tom behaves toward the ginger lady and the way she behaves generally, struck me as a bit odd.

I forgot to mention that Morgan Freeman is in the film, but he doesn’t really do much. Which is a shame as I like Morgan Freeman.

Oblivion is a good film but not a great one. It’s well acted, well directed, and looks superb. I like the fact that it is trying to be a smart, thought provoking science fiction film. It’s just a shame that it feels a bit derivative of lots of other smart, thought provoking science fiction movies. It’s worth a watch though and there are some good bits in it. Here’s the trailer. Enjoy.
http://youtu.be/V_PBWtV1kRI

Elysium trailer

I seem to be posting a lot of trailers recently and for that I apologise. In my meagre defence I am currently on holiday. Also in my meagre defence this trailer looks like it might be brilliant. It is by Neill BlomKamp who made District 9. Which was brilliant. So here you go. Enjoy:
http://youtu.be/oIBtePb-dGY

Purge trailer

Here’s the idea. In the near future, America has near full employment and hardly any crime and everything is generally pretty ace. This is all because once a year, for one night only, nothing is illegal. So you can smoke weed, jaywalk, sleep with prostitutes and generally behave badly. Except for all the murders, it basically turns into Amsterdam for an evening.

Interesting premise, even though almost everything about it sounds massively unlikely. The trailer looks good and it has a great cast, so I suspect I’ll be watching it. Enjoy.
http://youtu.be/_eFmi1E3s3w
 

Help Crowdfund NASA video to play before new Star Trek. MAKE IT SO, DAMMIT!

NASA have made a very cool video about why we should go into space. It is achievements made in endeavours like this that make me proud to be a human. A feeling that we can be a pretty awesome species when we want to be. This feeling is soon banished when I watch the news or catch a glimpse of ANY reality show but it is nice while it lasts.

I won’t bang on about petty small minded pricks who think that space exploration money should all be spent on hospitals so they can be looked after when they are old and don’t care that future generations will suffer from overcrowding and lack of resources and- oh wait hang on, I did complain a bit. Anyway screw those people.

NASA want this inspiring humanity affirming clip to play before the new Star Trek into Darkness movie. They are crowdsourcing it which I guess would be of more interest to those few cities in the US that actually get to see the clip. Or maybe you think it’s such a good thing to inspire people that you want to chip in. You nice person you. Here is the crowdsource page: http://igg.me/at/adspace

If you just want to see the clip in full, then here you go. It’s voiced by Optimus Prime! Cool huh? Go humans!
http://youtu.be/e7DEw70LVWs

The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke

The City and the Stars is a rewrite of Arthur C. Clarke’s first ever book – Against the Fall of Night. And it’s bloody good.

The story revolves a city called Diaspar that has been around for a billion years. Which is a bugger of a long time. Diaspar has hardly changed at all in that period and its populace, who all live for 1000 year chunks before going back into storage for a bit, all frolic and play games, create art, and shag each other. Sounds pretty awesome right?

Enter Alvin. Alvin’s a young lad just out of his teens and like all of his ilk throughout history, he feels a little out of place. Diaspar has no outward facing windows and everyone in the city seems to suffer from massive agoraphobia. It turns out Alvin really is a bit different from others and once he finds out a little about himself and Diaspora he realizes he wants more. He wants to explore the desert wastelands that seem to cover the Earth. Is Diaspar really all there is?

Spoiler: No. There’s a ton of exciting stuff.

Arthur C. Clarke wrote The City and the Stars in 1956. At the start of the book the young types are all playing a game that is uncannily like Virtual Reality Dungeons and Dragons. When they finish playing they are all just in their room and they start texting and chatting to each other all over the city. That’s pretty damn prescient.

The whole city is run and managed by a computer that has no moving parts. It’s walls are adorned with screens that show artwork that people vote on to decide if it is liked enough. This was written before Sputnik went up and computers were the size of Iceland. It’s like Clarke is just showing off. Quite frankly the book could have been written last week, it has aged that well.

Many have described it as Clarke’s greatest book. I would definitely have to disagree with that. It’s a great read and would feature in my top 10 of his work but not the best, or even top 3. (Check Childhood’s End, 2001, Rendezvous with Rama, and more.)

The story and ideas within are superb, but for some reason the pace seemed a bit off to me. The characters aren’t fully developed either, but this is a novel of exploration and ideas and so those aspects are a bit more peripheral. These are just minor niggles that I feel obliged to make in a review.

The City and the Stars is a great book, with great ideas, and is great fun. Arthur C. Clarke is brilliant. Recommended.

NEW STAR TREK TRAILER!

Ok, sorry to shout that but that was how it emerged from my fevered brain. This doesn’t actually show much, except that the film continues to look like it will be brilliant. So here you go:

 

Scifiward is still here!

I have some staggeringly good reasons as to why I haven’t had time to write recently. In fact, here they are. READ MY REASONS!

Essentially I am studying, travelling, looking for work and so on. But I have read some awesome scifi which I will report on very soon indeed. Specifically – The City and the Stars by Arthur C. Clarke (which was great); and Wool (which I am 90% through and is absolutely brilliant).

I now have a Macbook Air and the internet, so let the blogging recommence. From a beach. Be back soon.

In the meantime, here’s an alien:

This is what aliens probably look like.

PS4 goes Scifi shooter

I have been reading all the nerdy news and specs about the Playstation 4 and was surprised to see that there are already some game trailers for it. I was surprised as the news release was pretty vague about when the console comes out – before Christmas seems to be as specific as it gets. I guess that this is made possible by the fact that the PS4 appears to basically be a souped up PC. I will write more on this and why I’m not so keen on the next gen consoles on www.thewordofward.co.uk or click here for the article.

One thing that seemed common on the PS4 website and on youtube were clips of upcoming games that were essentially science fiction 1st person shooters. Call me dull but I don’t really care that they’re being massively unimaginative with this. I love FPS games and the fact that it is scifi is just a bonus.

The first clip is for a new Killzone game. I LOVE KILLZONE! Here we go:
http://youtu.be/S7CO4PUEWa4
The next is a game called Destiny. It’s by the guys who made Halo, so it should be pretty genius.
http://youtu.be/CNfj0Z2xTtw
The final trailer that caught my fancy was for the new inFamous game. Not a FPS but a 3rd person actioner, but it still kind of fits the theme. Plus it looks brilliant.
http://youtu.be/R4C1Xz8-0IA

So there you go. Lots of Scifi action for the shiny new console.