Flight of the Navigator (1986) – Randal Kleiser

Disney delivers a staple of 80s childhood with a revisit to Flight of the Navigator. Watching it now, I find myself more interested in the mysteries going on at the edges of the story than the main thrust of the narrative following young David Freeman (Joey Cramer), his abduction and subsequent return eight years later,…

The Puppet Masters (1994) – Stuart Orme

Somewhere in The Puppet Masters, despite its continuity errors, its plot holes and poor performance by its lead actor (who is surrounded by some fantastic character actors and recognizable faces) is probably a decent film, I mean it’s based on Heinlein’s novel, so it had a great starting point. When something comes down in the…

Mission to Mars (2000) – Brian De Palma

Director Brian De Palma delivers what feels like his spin on Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, unfortunately the shoddy and very obvious CGI in a number of the sequences of the film, and especially during the climax when a practical effects would have served better, and leant a stronger reality to the film, which needed…

Star Trek: Enterprise (2001) – Broken Bow

Captain’s log: 16 April, 2151 The Star Trek prequel series, Enterprise, debuted with the feature length episode, Broken Bow on 26 September, 2001. It was written by Rick Berman and Brannon Braga. The series is set a century before the adventures portrayed in The Original Series, and introduces us to the crew of the first…

Doctor Who (Peter Capaldi) – The Lie of the Land, and Empress of Mars

The conclusion to the Monk Trilogy is our first episode this week. Written by Toby Whithouse, the episode first aired on 3 June, 2017. The Monks have changed history, having assumed control of Earth when power of consent was given by Bill (Pearl Mackie) at the conclusion of last week’s episode, when she had them…

Star Trek: The Next Generation (1989) – Contagion, and The Royale

Captain’s log: stardate 42609.1 Airing on 27 March, 1989, Contagion is a fairly solid story written by Steve Gerber and Beth Woods. In response to a distress call from their sister ship, the U.S.S. Yamato, Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) orders the Enterprise to violate the Romulan Neutral Zone. Racing towards the ship, the Enterprise downloads…

Deep Impact (1998) – Mimi Leder

Releasing the same year as Michael Bay’s big budget, small story, extravaganza, Armageddon, Deep Impact got a little lost in the rubble. But with Steven Spielberg’s name attached to it as executive producer, it’s my next stop on the Sci-Fi Chronicles. Eschewing the flash-bang, style over substance, popcorn nature of Bay’s film, Deep Impact, ably…

Hot Docs 2016: Operation Avalanche – Matt Johnson

  It’s right there in the title, Operation Avalanche, it’s a snow job. This faux documentary is played straight, pretending to be a film edited together from film shot by a pair of agents (Matt Johnson and Owen Williams) posing as filmmakers, working on a documentary about the Apollo program at the height of the…