I've always been a bit of a sucker for the "sci-fi romance" film, even if they are pretty light on the sci-fi. It's actually astounding how many there are, until you consider that they are manufactured to appease the stereotypical audience that would maximize box office dollars: romance for your ladies, and a bit of sci-fi for the boyfriends they bring along. They are perhaps overly simplistic by design and equally as forgettable. Although every so often a film hits the mark and makes an impression, such as Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which featured Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet in a romance film with a sci-fi twist. The two lovers live in a world where it's possible to have one's memories erased. So when they hit bad times and break up, they both elect to erase one another from their minds. The perfect anullment, right? It's succussful because it marries the concept with true emotion, and leaves you with a few messages that everyone can relate to, even if you don't believe in the science.
Where can you even begin with a film like this? It was evident in the initial trailer from what felt like years ago: this is a Wachowski film of grand sci-fi epic-ness, which brings along a certain set of expectations and trepidation. The fact that the film's release date was pushed back nearly a year, smacked into the dead of winter, can't be a good sign either, and general audiences will assume the worst. And perhaps they should: Jupiter Ascending is being met with mostly negative reviews, but I was excited enough by the previews and a fan of the genre that there was no question on my attendance. Where do I stand on the film? I'm not a polarized person, evidenced by my ability to ride the fence for extended periods. I came out of Jupiter Ascending neither floored nor disappointed. It was good, not great.
What's worse than an eight foot tall robot with razor sharp pincer fingers and a penchant for beautiful women and murder? Nothing. Nothing is worse. Which is why Saturn 3 is so brilliant. There is a killer cast here: Kirk Douglas, Farrah Fawcett, Harvey Keitel and of course, the robot named Hector. The locale is incredible: somewhat claustrophobic halls and labs of a base carved into the surface of one of Saturn's moons. The atmosphere is creepy, silly and questionable, making this one of the most interesting films I've seen in the past few months.