Closing argument on Netflix’s “The Trial of the Chicago 7” (2020)…

I’m taking a rare break from this column’s usual offerings of sci-fi/fantasy/horror content to cross examine writer/director Aaron (“The West Wing”) Sorkin’s latest courtroom drama based on the surreal “Trial of the “Chicago 7” (nearly eight, until unrepresented defendant Bobby Seale’s charge was nullified). This famed court case is a collision of establishment and counterculture,…

“Space Sweepers” (2021) scavenges familiar sci-fi elements into a colorful mix…

Sweeping Victory. Netflix is currently streaming the pandemic-delayed Korean space fantasy “Space Sweepers” (2021), originally known as “Seungriho” (“Starship Victory”). The film is a space-western action adventure with many familiar elements whose characters and heart keep it together when some of its other parts don’t quite add up. Directed and cowritten by Sung-hee Jo (“A…

New trailers & teasers beam down for Star Trek’s “First Contact Day”…

*****POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!***** April 5th marks Star Trek’s “First Contact Day”—the fictional future holiday marking the creation of warp drive and ‘first contact’ with the Vulcans in 2063 (42 years away). Not unlike that tumultuous time in Star Trek’s imaginary future, the past year has seen some tremendous challenges as well (a deadly global pandemic, an…

Personal Log, Supplemental: Getting the second COVID-19 vaccination shot…

Supplemental Log: Stardate April 1st, 2021. For those readers who follow this site, I chronicled getting my first COVID-19 vaccination shot so that my fellow Star Trek/sci-fi fans (and valued readers) facing vaccination might have an idea of what to expect. Well, the first vaccination went just fine; a little ache in the injection arm,…

“JAWS 3-D” (1983): The B-movie offspring of a 1975 classic…

****GREAT WHITE SPOILERS AHEAD!!**** The Classic. 1975’s “JAWS” (1975), directed by then-wunderkind filmmaker Steven Spielberg, is simply one of the greatest movies ever made— a perfect synthesis of drama, horror, action and adventure which ushered in the era of the ‘summer blockbuster.’ The movie was smartly adapted from Peter Benchley’s bestseller novel by Benchley himself,…

George Lucas’ original sci-fi epic, “THX-1138” (1971)…

******SPOILERS AHEAD!****** Past Prologue. In 1967, a 23 year-old USC graduate named George Lucas wrote and directed an ambitious futuristic short film called “Electronic Labyrinth THX-1138 4EB,” which chronicled the escape of a dissident (Dan Nachtsheim) from a futuristic dystopia. The film runs just 15 minutes, but it acquired a lot of notice for its…

From Mechanic to Messiah: Yaphet Kotto (1939-2021)…

Yaphet Kotto (1939-2021). With his wife at his side, longtime actor Yaphet Kotto passed away on March 15th in the Philippines at the age of 81. He was one of those character actors I’d always hoped to meet someday, but this hope is sadly gone. At an imposing 6 ft. 3 inches tall, Kotto brought…

“Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut” (2006) turns back time…

Superman Reborn. “Superman: The Movie” redefined the superhero genre. Released in December of 1978, the film made possible the big-budget release of Tim Burton’s “Batman” 11 years later, not to mention the current DC and Marvel cinematic/TV waves being ridden to this day. Before Richard Donner’s film, my generation had the campy, tongue-in-cheek “Batman” and…