Tag Archives: SciFiNow

The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour, 2016)

In 2014, writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour made a striking debut with A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night. That black-and-white vampire drama was a blend of many disparate influences, from spaghetti westerns to a Jim Jarmusch-ian brand of cinematic cool.

While Amirpour’s genre hybrid was a mixed bag in terms of lasting emotional resonance, A Girl Walks was a fully realised vision; the work of a filmmaker in complete control of their high concept. This is a trait sadly, and sorely, absent from her star-studded follow-up, The Bad Batch

Full review for SciFiNow

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Why you need to see ‘Your Name’ in IMAX and the potential for more IMAX animation

By now, most sci-fi fans with even a cursory interest in animation will be aware of Your Name, director Makoto Shinkai’s body swap/time travel dramedy – think Freaky Friday meets Back to the Future – that became a global hit last year. At the time of writing, its worldwide gross is at over 355 million in US dollars, over $235 million of which came from its native Japan alone.

Its UK run was also impressive, considering anime that doesn’t involve Pokémon or the input of Studio Ghibli has rarely had the greatest success at the British box office. Distributor Anime Limited put the film out in partnership with National Amusements last November, initially in a one-day engagement across the UK that gave way to longer runs in cities where audiences were lapping up the film. London’s Prince Charles Cinema, to name one location, seemed to have at least one screening of Your Name a week for much of the start of 2017.

As such, it’s not surprising that Your Name has been granted an official one day re-release in cinemas around Britain, ahead of its long-awaited home format release this autumn. To sweeten the deal, the distributors have also thrown in an IMAX version of the film for select participating cinemas – the first anime feature to receive an IMAX release in the UK…

Full feature for SciFiNow

Napping Princess (Kenji Kamiyama, 2017)

The filmography of writer-director Kenji Kamiyama is rife with updates of beloved anime or manga properties, most notably a TV expansion of Ghost in the Shell. What characterises most of his visions is a penchant for political commentary, which is a tad less prominent in his latest project, Napping Princess, a more straightforward fantasy adventure with some sci-fi dressing…

Full review for SciFiNow

David Lowery on ‘A Ghost Story’, life after death and loving ‘Under the Skin’

David Lowery’s A Ghost Story is quite unlike most spectre-based tales you’ll have seen onscreen. For one thing, while there’s definitely haunting going on, it’s no horror film. Told in a series of slow-going sustained takes, it starts off as a tender romance before taking on paranormal qualities, eventually veering into sci-fi territory best left unspoiled.

Casey Affleck plays a white-sheeted ghost (no, really), who declines entry to an apparent afterlife and returns to his Texas home to see his bereft wife (Rooney Mara), whom he cannot communicate with. As his love moves on, this spectral figure finds himself unstuck in time, trapped on the land of his former home, forced to witness years of changes in inhabitants and surroundings…

Full interview for SciFiNow

Transformers: The Last Knight (Michael Bay, 2017)

Transformers: The Last Knight makes no sense, but somehow still makes more sense than the previous film, Age Of Extinction. In almost only that sense, it is a success…

Full review for SciFiNow

Marjorie Prime (Michael Almereyda, 2017)

“I can help you if you let me. I’d like to help you. But first you have to tell me about myself.”

Memory is the central theme of Marjorie Prime, a claustrophobic chamber drama with a neat sci-fi hook. In its sleek near-future world, a service creating fully sentient holographic projections of late family members allows people to spend time with a version of a deceased loved one, even a younger incarnation of the departed if that’s what they want…

Full review for SciFiNow