Sci Fi Experience on Screen: Superheroes and Extra-Terrestrials

The Sci Fi Experience seemed like the perfect time to watch a few sci fi movies I’ve been meaning to get to…old and new.  This Friday, here’s a survey on the sci fi movies I’ve watched in the last couple of months.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): I have to admit, I didn’t quite see why we needed another origin story movie for Spiderman (Toby Maguire just wasn’t that long ago…) and while I still kind of feel that way, this was a fun movie.  I’ve been a fan of Andrew Garfield ever since he was the adorable Antoine in The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and he’s the main reason I saw this.  He plays a wonderfully awkward Peter Parker, who also manages to have a lot of fun with his new powers.  My favorite thing about the movie, though, may be Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).  I mostly remember Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane screaming a lot when things got tense.  Gwen is far tougher, keeping her head and actually being useful in a crisis.  That’s an awesome quality in a superhero’s girlfriend.

E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982): I haven’t seen this one in years, so I was curious to rewatch some classic sci fi.  All the iconic moments are great, and it was so much fun seeing an incredibly young Drew Barrymore (talented even then).  One thing that struck me was how little explanation this movie has.  It’s not incomprehensible like 2001, but we never find out who E.T.’s people are, why they were on Earth, how the government knew to look for them, whether there was any communication after E. T. is picked up…  I was also struck by the moment when E. T. asks Elliot to go with him.  Yes, 10-year-old boys probably shouldn’t go off with aliens–but what a missed opportunity!

The Dark Knight Rises (2012): I kept having near-misses with this movie.  It never quite worked out to see it in local theaters…then I almost saw it while I was in Paris, at a theater a few blocks from the Paris Opera House.  But I couldn’t tell from the posters whether it was subtitled or dubbed, so I gave it up and went back to my hotel room to spend the evening writing fragments of stories involving the Phantom of the Opera, which was probably just as well.

So I finally saw this in January from Netflix.  While quite grim in spots, overall I enjoyed it–especially Catwoman.  Anne Hathaway impressed me this year as both Catwoman and Fantine…and impresses me all over again when I compare those characters side-by-side.  The villain here wasn’t nearly as much fun as the Joker in The Dark Knight, but this was still an exciting ride, and I enjoyed Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who’s been adorable ever since 10 Things I Hate About You) as the new cop trying to make good.

Batman Begins (2005): I knew I’d seen The Dark Knight, but I couldn’t remember if I’d seen this one.  After watching the final installment, I was pretty sure I hadn’t seen the first one, and felt like I ought to do something about that.  The origin story was interesting, some parts of the later movies make a good deal more sense now, and…mostly, I really liked Alfred.  And I have a nice completed feeling now.

I think that covers Sci Fi On Screen…although I may re-watch The Dark Knight soon!  Which will thoroughly complete the out-of-order-ness of it all.

About cherylmahoney

I'm a book review blogger and Fantasy writer. I have published three novels, The Wanderers; The Storyteller and Her Sisters; and The People the Fairies Forget. All can be found on Amazon as an ebook and paperback. In my day job, I'm the Marketing Specialist for Yolo Hospice. Find me on Twitter (@MarvelousTales) and GoodReads (MarvelousTales).
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6 Responses to Sci Fi Experience on Screen: Superheroes and Extra-Terrestrials

  1. I was impressed with the last Batman film, especially with Hathaway. I knew she had a good look for the part but didn’t know if they would give her any story at all and they did a nice job with it and she made what they gave her count.

    I too don’t understand the need for another Spiderman origin film and to this point have resisted seeing it despite how much I like Emma Stone. I won’t be in any hurry to track it down. It seems very wasteful and unnecessary.

  2. mervih says:

    I agree that the new Spider-Man movie was pretty good. I’m also pretty bored with all of the origin stories. Is there a single person on the planet who doesn’t know the origin of Spider-Man, Batman, or Superman? At least among those who are going to see the movies? I think at least part of reason I’ve so loved the X-Men movies and the Avengers is that they aren’t origin stories; they get on with the story.

    You’re very merciful to Dark Knight Rises. 🙂 I thought it was way too long and didn’t actually focus on Batman, but on the brave Gotham City police. (I’ll freely admit thought that my opinion is influenced by that fact I have a bad back which was combined with over three hours in an uncomfortable movie theater seat.) I really enjoyed Catwoman, though.

    • I didn’t have any particular expectations for Dark Knight Rises, so it didn’t need to rise (no pun intended) very high. 🙂 And I really enjoyed Catwoman. Now that you mention it, there wasn’t all that much *Batman* in it!

  3. I’ve seen all these films except The Amazing Spider-Man because like you I was a bit put off that the Tobey Maguire films weren’t that long ago! I’m glad you enjoyed it though, I might try and catch it on Sky.

  4. That might have been really cool though seeing Batman in French. Hahaha.

    I was in Germany with my family many years ago and we went to see The Prince of Egypt. We were assured it was in English. But then the title screen came up and it was in German and we all just sort of looked at each other. Turned out it was in English after all, and German subtitles. Ha. It was a nice moment of “uh oh” for a minute there, though.

    • See, I would have been good with subtitles, but superhero movies often have incomprehensible bits in *English*… Brave was also playing, dubbed into French, and having seen that once I was a bit tempted…but the masked man wanted stories written, so I went off to do that instead.

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