Category Archives: Science Fiction

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)



The Rise of Skywalker takes place sometime after the events of The Last Jedi. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has been in training with General Leia (Carrie Fisher) on how to be an elite Jedi. She ends up abruptly leaving so that she and her merry gang of Resistance fighters can hop around the galaxy. They’re looking for a Wayfinder crystal that is the key to finding the planet called Exogol, where the Siths reside, led by the return of Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), who is somehow still alive. Obstacles abound, including First Order leader Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). Ren is ostensibly seeking to help Palpatine return to power, trying to get his hands on the Wayfinder for himself, possibly to join forces with Palpatine to enact the Final Order to bring the galaxy to its knees. J.J. Abrams directs. John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Anthony Daniels, Joonas Suotamo, Billy Dee Williams, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Lupita Nyong’o, Kelly Marie Tran also appear


Terminator: Dark Fate (2019) | Tim Miller



As with the other Terminator films, a protagonist and antagonist are sent back to the modern-day from a dark future using a time-travel device. The protagonist (Mackenzie Davis) is a technologically augmented human super-soldier named Grace, who lands in Mexico City in order to try to act as a savior for humanity in the future (Natalia Reyes). The antagonist (Gabriel Luna) is an ultra-powerful Terminator model called a Rev-9, whose mission it is to terminate a young female autoworker living in Mexico named Dani Ramos. Lending assistance to the resistance is the return of Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who sees kinship in Dani because she has been thrust into the same position as key to humans surviving the A.I. onslaught of the future. Arnold Schwarzenegger makes an appearance in the second half of the film as a T-800 model Terminator named “Carl” who has assimilated into human society after completing his mission of taking out John Connor. Tim Miller directs.


The Gemini Man (2019) | Ang Lee



Will Smith stars as Henry Brogan, a top-notch sniper and skilled combat fighter working for a black ops government agency named Gemini, performing one last kill before retiring from the assassin business at the ripe age of 50. He’s the best at what he does but hates the man he’s become, unable to even look at himself in the mirror without observing disappointment and pain. But just when he thinks he’s pulling out, they pull him back in, discovering that he’s been misled by his superior at Gemini, Clay (Clive Owen), in the nature of his latest assassination, making him feel betrayed. Along with fellow agent and his new ally, Danny (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), and his trusty pal Baron (Benedict Wong), Henry soon discovers they are trying to take him out as well, but with a younger, more agile, less angsty version of himself named Junior. Ang Lee directs this futuristic action-thriller.


Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)



Hattie (played by Vanessa Kirby) is an MI6 agent on a mission to keep a deadly virus named Snowflake, which can liquefy the internal organs of humans who contract it, from getting into the hands of a faction of mercenaries under the employ of an evil tech-based organization called Eteon, led by Brixton Lore (Idris Elba), a hi-tech assassin with technology-augmented senses that make him a swiss-army knife of deadly skills, something seen by the company as the future of a humanity soon to die off. In a desperation move, Hattie injects the virus into her own body, giving her only 3 days to get it back out before it actually does what it’s supposed to do, and instantly making her the most sought-after fugitive in the world by bad guys and good guys alike. Hired to find Hattie before Lore finds her first is the titular bickering team of Los Angeles-based single father and retired DSS agent Luke Hobbs and ex-special ops mercenary Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), the latter of whom is soon revealed to be the estranged older sibling of Hattie. But to save Hattie, they also need to secure the services of a genius scientist, who is perhaps the only one with the technology necessary to extract the virus back out of Hattie, making him a target of Eteon’s forces as well. David Leitch directs this comic spin-off from the Fast & Furious franchise.


Fast Color (2018) | Julia Hart



Set sometime in a future in which natural resources like water have become scarce. Gugu Mbatha-Raw plays Ruth, a recovering drug addict on the run due to the fact that she just might be someone who possesses some sort of seizure that reveals an earth-shattering (literally) superpower that causes a shift in tectonic plates that never move, making her the target for experimentation from government scientists. Broke and desperate, she ends up returning to the rural home he ran away from when she was much younger, where her mother Bo and mostly estranged daughter Lila reside, who also have their own form of powers. Julia Hart directs this superhero tale of a different sort.


Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) | Jon Watts



Jake Gyllenhaal gets to don the “fishbowl” as Quentin Beck, the interdimensional savior of Venice when a giant water monster surfaces to try to destroy the city.  Peter Parker (Tom Holland) happens to be there at the time, as he has traveled to Europe for a week-long class trip. Peter, of course, is gifted with superhero powers, but doesn’t have the “great responsibility of other incarnations of the character, and would rather just be a teenager and do teenage things, like trying to find a way to express his feelings to his major crush, MJ (Zendaya), doing it atop the Eiffel Tower..  With the Avengers in a sort of disarray, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles Beck, dubbed in the press as Mysterio, with Spider-Man who sees the new hero as a surrogate mentor to live up to in the wake of Tony Stark’s demise,  in order to stop future scary elementals from coming out of the woodworks again to destroy a major city. Jon Watts directs this MCU release.


The Dead Don’t Die (2019) | Jim Jarmusch



After the Earth’s rotation is disturbed due to environmental fallout resulting from “polar fracking”, strange natural phenomena begin occurring all over the globe, including, in one area at least, the dead coming back to life to feast on the living. Bill Murray stars in his second zombie comedy as Cliff Robertson, the chief of police for the small, Mayberry-esque town of Centerville. He, along with his partner in fighting very little crime, officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) find themselves having to deal with the gruesome deaths they uncover, coming to the realization that things may not end well for themselves or their community if they don’t take decisive action. Jim Jarmusch writes and directs. Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez, and RZA also appear in this zombie comedy.


I Am Mother (2019) | Grant Sputore



n this thoughtful sci-fi film, Clara Rugaard plays a young teenager we only hear referred to as ‘daughter’ by ‘mother’, who is has an android body with a soothing woman’s voice (Mother’s finished voice-over acting provided by Rose Byrne). We soon come to find that Mother is an artificial intelligence robot that works within a facility that is raising children in order to learn how to properly nurture them to adulthood, for the purpose of one day repopulating the contaminated Earth that lies outside of their safe enclosure in this post-apocalyptic tale. Daughter is the only living human in the facility, though Mother says that her family, which is a collection of human embryos currently being kept on tap, can be born and raised using a quick-gestation technology that we see Daughter produced from when the time comes. Hilary Swank also appears in a supporting role in this film directed by Grant Sputore.


Men In Black: International (2019) | F. Gary Gray



For this fourth entry in the series, out are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.  Instead, we get two new characters to follow working for the super-secret government organization to protect Earth from interdimensional threats and to keep knowledge of alien lifeforms away from human knowledge. The two are Tessa Thompson’s newly on-board Agent M and Chris Hemsworth’s roguish veteran named Agent H. The two “Men in Black” get their assignment from their boss, High T (Liam Neeson), to look after an alien of some renown and influence that is sought after by sinister forces for reasons come to learn more about through the course of the film. In the ensuing attempt at assassination, M is given a mysterious crystal object, one she knows must be important enough to make her a target, but something that serves no use to her until she can unlock its secret purpose. F. Gary Gray takes over the series from Barry Sonnefeld.


Dark Phoenix (2019) | Simon Kinberg



The plot, initially set in 1992 after a prologue with a tragic event in Jean Grey’s childhood back in 1975, continues with the First Class set of mutants and involves a presidentially sanctioned trip into space in order to rescue a space shuttle. Jean Grey (Sophie Turner) commits an act of heroism in trying to keep the space shuttle together as the crew is rounded up to safety, absorbing a massive wave of energy that should have easily taken her life. She ends up surviving the ordeal, much to everyone’s relief.  But something is a bit off with Jean, finding herself with enhanced senses, and growing even more powerful than she had ever been before.  Exhilarating at first, but now she’s becoming increasingly unstable, scared she’s beginning to lose control to her new nature, with an internal fight going on that is an even bigger match than the external one that involves her in a battle with fellow mutants who are trying to contain what is rapidly becoming the most powerful, perhaps even unstoppable, mutant of all. Simon Kinberg writes and directs.