Quick Hit 2: 2014 Sci-Fi movies - Divergent and Snowpiercer

As I stated in my first Quick Hit post for Sci-Fi month,
I have decided to split my 2014 movie reviews into two parts;
Entertainment and Equal opportunity facts. Follow the link above
for more info - I am leaving out the feminist rant this time :)


In a future where society is divided into five factions,
all with different tasks, responsibilities - even personality traits -
every teenager has to choose a faction - and stick with it for life.
Those that don't succeed within their faction become outcasts.

Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) shocks her parents by choosing 'Dauntless',
a faction consistent of fearless soldiers. During her screenings
she finds out she has traits from all the factions, that she is 'Divergent';
a type not allowed in society. As she struggles to hide her true self
she realizes that there are other, bigger, dangers lurking.

I should state that I have not read the book this movie is based on,
and that the target audience is obviously teenage girls. As such,
I was surprised (but not disappointed) at the level of violence.
Several young women really kick ass! Except for some scenes
with the annoying 'Dauntless' crowd, I found it entertaining.

Equal opportunity facts:
Main protagonist: Female
Passing the Bechdel test: Yes

 Snowpiercer (English with some Chorean spoken)

Sometime in the near future a substance to hinder global warming
is sprayed into the atmosphere, instead causing the entire world to freeze.
The only survivors now travel the globe indefinitely, on a long self sustaining
super train - the upper classes in the front and the poor in the tail end.

The people in the tail live in filth and are treated appallingly,
leading to an uprising lead by Curtis (Chris Evans). The group's plan
is to make their way to the front and take over the engine, but to get there
they have to go through every wagon, each one with its own surprises.

Even to a movie buff like myself this was a new experience!
Snowpiercer is gritty and dark, but also bizarre and morbidly humorous.
Bioshock gamers will recognize some influences, both in sets and plot.
Tilda Swinton is brilliant and Chris Evans is the obvious anti-hero.

Equal opportunity facts:
Main protagonist: Male
Passing the Bechdel test: Undecided
(Two instances of women speaking to a room full of people,
but no actual conversation between women)

 Thank you Kelley, Asti, Leanne and Rinn 
for hosting this interesting and fun challenge!

I will leave you off with my top 5 2013 Sci-Fi movies:

Elysium (Matt Damon) - Man fighting futuristic injustices
Gravity (Sandra Bullock) - Woman alone on space ship
World War Z (Brad Pitt) - Man vs zombie apocalypse
World's End (Simon Pegg) - Men getting drunk in pubs
Dark Skies (Keri Russel) - Family suffers alien visitors

What is your favorite Sci-Fi movie from the last few years?



Quick hit 1: 2014 Sci-Fi movies - Edge of Tomorrow and Autómata

I have always loved movies, and when I was younger I would
watch anything. But with age I have become more selective,
mainly because through the decades some things still haven't changed.
Along with Horror, Sci-Fi is my favorite genre but, for all its forward thinking,
like any other movie genre, Sci-Fi movies generally has one or many
male protagonist, but only one or no female protagonists at all.

Even when Sci-Fi movies strive to promote a more equal mind-set (because
that is what we imagine the future will be like) basically no movie ever
reaches the 50-50% gender ratio, and men always get more screen time.
 So even when I really enjoy a Sci-Fi movie, it will always to some degree
also piss me off. That's why I have decided to split my Quick Hit
reviews into two parts; Entertainment and Equal opportunity facts

 Edge of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise is Lt. Col. Cage, a weak character desperately trying
to get out of a seemingly doomed battle against aliens attacking earth.
As punishment he is sent to fight at the front line, part of a team
of the toughest soldiers in Exo suits, lead by Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt).

In the chaotic war zone Cage dies almost immediately,
only to find himself brought back to life a few moments
before his demise, in just enough time to alter the situation.
I'm stopping here, to avoid any spoilers.

Though the plot isn't ground breaking I would recommend this movie.
I found it enjoyable to watch Tom Cruise for once in the role of
(initially) a coward and a failure. The CGI scenes were pretty
and Emily Blunt is always great, whatever she does.

Equal opportunity facts:
 Main protagonist: Male
Passing the Bechdel test: No
Age difference between actors playing partners/spouses:
21 years (man older).

The fact that women in media, but especially in Hollywood, are discarded
after the age of 35, while men go on to star as both action man lead
and main love interest well into their 50's and 60 is just plain pathetic.
 Both movies reviewed here cast men more then 20 years their female
partner's senior, and most movie goers barely react to that, because on average
in movies, the male lead is 15 years older than the female lead.

Autómata (Spanish production, English spoken.)

Antonio Banderas is Jacq Vaucan, an investigative insurance agent
in a dystopian future set sometime after radioactive warfare has laid waste
to most of the land. Humans live in a city regularly cleansed from radiation
by artificial rains, and where robot "slaves" are part of the society.

As in I, Robot (2004) the robots have two main protocols; To never hurt
a human being, or alter or hurt themselves. An incident involving a robot
setting itself on fire pulls Vaucan into an investigation to find out if someone
is making robots self aware.

There have been quite a few movies and TV shows with this setup
(including the critically acclaimed Swedish TV series Äkta Människor
(Real Humans) (2012-)) over the last decade, so although Autómata was
enjoyable, it is pretty much a dime a dozen kind of sci-fi movie.

Equal opportunity facts:
 Main protagonist: Male
Passing the Bechdel test: No
Age difference between actors playing partners/spouses:
22 years (man older).

Ever heard of the Bechdel test? It's a revealing test that tells us
that even if a movie has a female lead or shared lead, the supporting actors,
the side kicks or the team are still mostly made up of men.

Remember the last war movie, political movie, action movie or Movie of the Year
  you watched? Remember that there were several scenes with guys talking
(yelling) to each other about really important things? Whereas the only
real conversation a woman had was with one of those really important men.


Thank you Kelley, Asti, Leanne and Rinn for hosting this fun challenge
in the middle of the grayest, most depressing month
- and thereby giving us all something else to focus on!

I will be back in a few days with Quick Hits part 2, with two more 2014
Sci-Fi movie reviews, and a list of my top 2013 Sci-Fi movies.



Sci-Fi November

I just found out that Sci-Fi Month this year isn't all about books!
 One can review a game, discuss a TV series or make a top ten
list over one's favorite sci-fi movies - and I already have
a horror-sci-fi movie post in mind :)

I've only written one sci-fi related blog article previously,
a discussion on BBC America's hit show Orphan Black,
published on Btchflcks.com (you can find the article here),
but for this blog party I am keeping my posts shorter.
I hope to have my first post up and running by next week!


Will you be joining?



Rodarte fall/winter collection

Today I am going from writing about stuff on the more serious side
(in my last post) to something much more frivolous - fashion!

It's been a while since I did a fashion inspiration post,
but when I came across these beautiful dresses I just couldn't resist.
They are from Rodarte's current collection and right up my alley,
with lace, velvet and rich colors. I love the medieval style empire cuts.

It's even got something for the nerds
- check out the Yoda and the Death Star skirts!



Which one is your favorite?


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