Advertisements

The Predator Movies – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

predator movies

With the debut of Shane Black’s The Predator, we here at ATAIG decided to do what we normally do and take a look back at the entire Predator series leading up to this point. We revisit the original classic, the lesser-known sequel, the notorious crossover, the even MORE notorious crossover, the other lesser-known sequel, and the latest controversial installment in theaters now. There are plenty of agreements and disagreements along the way (some more surprising than others), and we hope you like hearing what we have to say. Enjoy!

Hosted by Sam Noland, Jason Read, and Anthony Battaglia!

Question For You: Which Predator movie is your favorite? Also, where could you see the franchise going from here? Finally, should we supplement this episode with an Alien-centered episode sometime in the near future?

Go on…The Predator Movies – Anyway, That’s All I Got!

Advertisements

Best Robots From Movies (Anyway, That’s All I Got)

robots

It’s much more laid-back on ATAIG this week, because we decided to talk about some of our favorite (and possibly least favorite) ROBOTS from movies, in celebration of last week’s low-budget sci-fi thriller Upgrade (not technically a robot, but we thought it was close enough). Listen as the ATAIG crew discuss some of the most well-written, interesting, bizarre, or ridiculous mechanical beings to grace motion pictures (which is a fancy way of saying that Sam totally nerds out while Anthony and Jason calmly discuss some sci-fi movies). Enjoy!

Hosted by Sam Noland, Jason Read, and Anthony Battaglia!

Question for you: Who are some of your favorite Robots (Robits?) from movies? The more obscure the better! Also, what Robot would you want as your personal sidekick?

Go on…Best Robots From Movies (Anyway, That’s All I Got)

Retro Reviews 3: Yojimbo, Sound of Music & More

podcast



This week on Part-Time Characters we delve into the old movie shelf and pick up some classic movies to talk about. Yup! It is time for our third Retro Reviews episode! Bridget talks about a sci-fi classic, The Day the Earth Stood Still, Jenny watched the strangest movie ever made, Fantastic Planet, Sam watched one of the most praised musicals, Sound of Music, and I (Maria) watched the great Mifune in Yojimbo.

Go on…Retro Reviews 3: Yojimbo, Sound of Music & More

Our Top Sci-Fi Movies from the Seventies / Part-Time Characters

best 70s scifi movies

This week the Part-Time Characters get together and discuss some of the best scifi films from the 1970s and how their creativiy paved the way for other amazing classics. Close Encounters of the Third Kind is celebrating its 40th anniversary which inspired Sam to select this week’s topic and show Bridget and Maria how many ’70s movies they need to watch.

Quote of the episode: The world needs more Atticus Finches -Sam Noland

Go on…Our Top Sci-Fi Movies from the Seventies / Part-Time Characters

Best and Worst Time Travel Movies (According to Science) — Part-Time Characters

best and worst time travel

For this week’s episode, Bridget and Sam tackle the paradoxical use of time travel in some of our favorite movies. They each pick their best and worst movies that use time travel correctly. For the record, they don’t mean to say these movies are necesarily bad or incredible, just that they weren’t as accurate about time travel as other movies have been.

Go on…Best and Worst Time Travel Movies (According to Science) — Part-Time Characters

Review: ‘Midnight Special’ Delivers Superb Sci-Fi For all Ages

midnight special review

The modern blockbuster is beholden to many rules that put a greater emphasis on writing, dialogue, and pure spectacle. While Midnight Special doesn’t eschew these typical cornerstones, it’s also not a slave to it. The movie feels intentionally transported from the late 70s and early 80s (specifically Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind and E.T.), when character moments were given more care than exposition, and spectacle was usually just a means to an end.

The film’s initial conceit is to prove how little it needs expository dialogue to win viewers over, handily laying out the motivations of almost every key player with subtle, digestible sequences. This includes a riveting midnight car chase down back roads without any headlights, carefully balancing the film’s sheer momentum with an air of mystery.

Beginning in Texas, two adult men (played by Joel Edgerton and Michael Shannon) secretly transport a missing child by night in a beat up Chevelle. The child, Alton (played Jaeden Lieberher), brandishes goggles and peruses comic books the whole way, and it’s quickly revealed that one of these men (Shannon) is his biological father.

midnight special review

To describe the reasons for why these characters are on the run would spoil many of the engrossing twists that keep the audience guessing, but it’s obvious to say that the boy himself is someone special. A messiah to cult leaders, he wields strange, otherworldly powers that manifest in unexpected ways throughout the film, and his relationship with Shannon and another character played by Kristen Dunst later on, is probably even more intriguing than his mysterious origins.

Midnight Special raises a lot of questions that don’t get answered, somewhat to the film’s detriment. Though the NSA agent, played by Adam Driver, is one of the film’s stronger key players, most of his deductions and motivations are bewildering, to say the least. If only because director Jeff Nichols cares so much about preserving the film’s theme of in media res, in that it doesn’t take much time to explain what happened before the opening scenes unless it’s truly warranted.

This is a unique stamp of the filmmaker, as we’ve also seen in his last movie with Shannon (Take Shelter), and it’s entertaining to see a side character starting to explain his own backstory, only to be interrupted by more interesting matters. For some curious viewers, this will probably be utterly frustrating, but Nichols is begging for the audience to ignore their own questions and dwell on these character performances.

midnight special review

And that’s easy to do considering the more obvious heart underneath the film’s glossy exterior. Shannon consistently moves on this journey sacrificing everything for his son, despite the inevitability that their time together will be brief. It’s not a subtle allegory for parenting, but that’s why it will be more effective for mothers and fathers over everyone else.

Though Midnight Special sports a modest budget, most of its special effects are serviceable at best. Its best visual moments truly come with the sophisticated art direction of one particular scene taking place in a government bunker, where Adam Driver’s character comes face to face with one of the film’s central mysteries. It’s not a scene that relies on CGI or surreal or imagery to make its case, unlike another great sci-fi movie of recent years, Ex Machina. Which is why it’s unfortunate that some of the final scenes in the film fall somewhat short of the promise the film sets up.

But for most viewers, they’ll be too enthralled to take notice.

Grade: A-

Extra Credits:

  • Like the headline implies, I’m fascinated by how kid-friendly this movie is. It’s serious subject matter, for sure, but it’s absolutely a movie I would let my own children (if I had any) watch.
  • Seriously, it seems like Jeff Nichols and Michael Shannon can do no wrong when working together.
  • You may recognize young Jaeden Lieberher from the underrated comedy, St. Vincent back in 2014, as well as Masters of Sex.
  • My companion for this movie, Kayla Savage, was sobbing at the very end. In a good way.
  • I forgot to mention how reminiscent Midnight Special is of John Carpenter’s work as well, at least in the Americana imagery. It’s not a horror film, but it can be just as tense as satisfying.
  • There’s no post-credits scene, but pay very close attention to the last frame. It might redeem the movie for any of the naysayers if you catch it.

I’m Jon and thanks for reading this. You can subscribe to my posts by clicking “Follow” in the right sidebar. Or just say hey on Twitter! @JonNegroni

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Wraps Filming

star wars episode vii

Alex Ritman | THR: 

The Star Wars: Episode VII team descended upon London’s Science Museum en masse Saturday night for a huge celebration many have speculated could be the film’s wrap party.

J.J. AbramsMark HamillHarrison FordCarrie FisherDaisy RidleyAndy Serkis and John Boyega were all in attendance, with Boyega posting several images and videos onto Instagram of him with his co-stars. One showed him dancing to Stevie Wonder‘s Superstition with Ridley, while another saw him next to R2-D2, captioned “home time buddy.” Regular Abrams collaborator Simon Pegg was also at the event, leading to further rumors that the actor-director could have landed himself a part in the film.

This movie is going to be huge. Like Titanic huge.

Not sure how I feel about Simon Pegg’s possible involvement, though. If that’s the case, it’s certainly a sign of J.J. Abrams’ growing talent harem.

%d bloggers like this: