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A Geek’s Month in Review: January 2013

by on 2013/01/31

Hacker Renders
So this is a happy new year in Canada?

(No, I’m not referring to the crazy weather.)

After a month-long focus on Canadian science fiction, I’m willing to concede that perhaps we’re as handy with this genre as we are with westerns. That is to say, ehhh, not so much.

Of course, as always, there are exceptions, mostly trading in potential, but little in the way of a Cronenberg-level affair . . . say an eXistenz, a Fly, or a Videodrome.

Instead it was one of those mixed-up months, where expected clunkers were okay-I-guess, and promising concepts misfired, padded out by packing-material adequacy.

With all those ringing endorsements, shall we move on to the month’s five picks?

Because, frankly, there’s more entertainment to be found in a game of Far Cry 3.


Favourite
Fetching Cody (2006)Fetching Cody (2005) on 2013/01/28

* * * *

Fetching Cody’s definitely not the usual sci-fi piece. It subverted all my expectations, then exceeded all new ones. By displacing cool technology with romantic impulses, it delivers lessons in tragedy, acceptance, and serendipity, as opposed to paradoxes, quantum mechanics, and wormholes.”


Surprise
Xchange (2000)Xchange (2000) on 2013/01/21

* * *

I recognize the critical flaws, but still had a lot of fun. Xchange’s sci-fi concepts intrigued me, the writing was good, and the acting as well, sex and other issues notwithstanding. Add in a solid production overall, and you’re left with a decent flick.”


Disappointment
Nothing (2003)Nothing (2003) on 2013/01/09

* * *

[Nothing is] a kind of indie sci-fi comedy with deeper philosophical underpinnings, an exercise I’d love to endorse whole-heartedly. The best I can manage is to say it has a lot of potential.”
.


Least-Liked
Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1991)Xtro II: The Second Encounter (1991) on 2013/01/12

* *

Take the best parts from any Alien movie, and whatever is left behind is still a better experience than this dud. It’s a perfect example of copying every detail, and still not getting the whole the least bit right. It could have been so bad it’s good, but it didn’t even manage that.”

Dishonourable Mention:
Def-Con 4 (1985) on 2013/01/03


Show Me
Heavy Metal (1981)Heavy Metal (1981) on 2013/01/14

* * *

“For the uninitiated among you, it is all rather like the sketches you’d find on the English binder of a sociopathic high school boy made into a moving picture. Zombie soldiers, super villains with long fingernails, nude mudflap lady-shaped women, giant bats, elephant-nosed aliens, warrior women in thongs holding great swords aloft.”


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