The Martian is the Anti-Alien – an Optimistic Paean to Science and Nerddom

Three-and-a-half decades ago, Alien established Ridley Scott as a director to watch. Drawing on the conventions of the increasingly-popular slasher film and rejecting the Star-Trek-esque optimism of the sci-fi films of that era, he created a chilling classic. But his potential as a director has dribbled away somewhat in the years since; while I don’t…

Oscars - Gravity

The 86th Academy Awards – Predictions and Thoughts

I’m not really that interested in getting too caught up in the Oscars fol-de-rol that consumes the critical community around this time of year. I read a lot about the Academy Awards because, well, it’s people getting passionate about film! People arguing emphatically about which film is better and the industry, about who will win…

Gravity (2013)

It feels misleading to describe Gravity as a “simple” film. It’s a survival tale, a story built not on character drama and plot twists but on the fundamental, bloody-minded human need to fight for life. The minimalist storyline is at odds with the wide expanse of outer space that is the film’s setting. Gravity’s dizzyingly…