2015 is set to be a big year for films. Sequel, prequels, remakes of classic Disney fairy tales – plenty of people will be going to the cinema this year, all varieties for all kinds of films. But it might end up being a great year for sci-fi in particular, if the first couple of months have been anything to go by.
The first film I went to see of the year was Ex Machina. Without spoiling anything, I can only describe it as fantastic. It’s received very little marketing and seems to have come in under the radar, but it was focused, emotional and gripping; compared to Interstellar, the last sci-fi film I watched (and wrote about) it is on the other end of the sci-fi scale. No huge action scenes, no crazy world-ending plot, but still absolutely amazing and definitely begging for a second or third viewing. I would highly recommend this film (it may not be showing near you any more, but keep a look out for home media/ VOD release in the near future).
The second film was Jupiter Ascending. The latest Wachowski project, it once again goes back to the opposite side of sci-fi: huge, sweeping CGI shots, a plot involving intergalactic bureaucracy and a nobody-to-somebody tale of Jupiter Jones (played by the fantastic and distractingly beautiful Mila Kunis). People may remember it was originally slated for release last October but was pushed back very last minute by Warner Brothers with little explanation as to why. My theory at the time was that the post-production/ CGI work was taking longer than anticipated (and if you’ve seen the film, it’s entirely understandable) but the film also feels…off some how. I feel like the Producers, or maybe even the Wachowskis themselves may have done a bit of extra trimming here or there with certain parts of the film – there are a few moments where the pacing or plot seems to jump a little, but I’d have to watch it again to figure out the exact moments that were more jarring that others. I’m hoping there may be some word on a director’s cut edition for the Home Media release later this year. Regardless, this was visually stunning if slightly predictable fare that was almost great but seemed to be missing that special something.
And it’s still a better choice than 50 Shades of Grey, which hits theaters everywhere this weekend. Like the dirty submissives they are.