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In the wake of his recent sci-fi epic (and flop), Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, we turn to French director Luc Besson’s previous big budget sci-fi epic (and flop), The Fifth Element. Yes, when it was first released in 1997, the Fifth Element polarized critics and did meager box office numbers in the US. But, it has since gone on to be revered amongst the sci-fi community, and, with the help of international receipts, eventually became a financial success. But, where do Dave, Ivan, and Mike stand on Besson’s goofy, colorful version of the future? Worthy of cult status? Or, a loud, annoying, tonal misfire?

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Resistance is futile! Dave, Ivan, and Mike journey boldly to where no podcasters have gone before—a re-view of the Star Trek film, First Contact. Hitting theaters in 1996, First Contact is by far the most successful of the Next Generation Star Trek Films. It was critically acclaimed and did well at the box office. But, now that the Star Trek franchise has been rebooted under the creative supervision of JJ Abrams, does First Contact‘s star still shine as bright?

Gattaca
A critical darling, but a box office bomb, Andrew Niccol’s Gattaca is perhaps a movie that was just released at the wrong time. With its heady “thinking-man’s” sci-fi concept of a dystopian future where one’s value in society is dependent on his genetic information, its an intriguing film with a distinct sense of visual craft. It has since amassed a cult following. But, in a cultural landscape where Black Mirror reigns supreme, does Gattaca’s sci-fi vision still feel as powerful and effective? Find out in our re-view.

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Game over man! To celebrate its 30th anniversary, we give a re-watch to James Cameron’s Aliens. Often heralded as one of the best sequels of all time, it’s a departure from the original film both in style and tone. But, is that a good thing? We talk about the nature of sequels and how new directors can alter the course of a franchise.

Also, at the start of the episode, we take a short break from all this “re-viewing” to discuss the BBC’s list of the top 100 movies of the 2st Century (don’t worry, Mike gets it eventually…)

 

GhostintheShell

It took us 65 episodes, but we FINALLY managed re-view an anime film! Or, in the case of all of us—apart from subject matter expert and special guest Jon West—a “new view” of Mamoru Oshii’s Ghost in the Shell. Based on the manga by Masamune Shirow, Shell takes place in a futuristic 2029 where a cybernetic human police officer attempts to track down a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master. Often considered a seminal anime film that defines the medium, we talk about how we think Shell holds up as a piece of entertainment as well as its influence on modern American cinema, including a live-action remake that will hit theaters in 2017.  Get ready to get “ghost-hacked”—it’s time for a re-view of Ghost in the Shell!

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Note: the audio for this episode was distorted with an accidental reverb filter. We are very sorry and promise never to do this ever again.

Before James Cameron went on to make some of the highest grossing movies of all time, he was just a scrappy, young action director with big dreams. 1984’s The Terminator changed all that, proving to be a breakout hit for both Cameron and body-builder turned actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger. But, does this low budget success from 1984—a film that has since spawned multiple sequels, toys, and even an amusement park ride—still hold up when watching in 2015? As Schwarzenegger’s cyborg antagonist declares: “He’ll be back.” But, as viewers, is it worth the return trip? This episode features special guest host and Terminator expert, filmmaker Shahir Daud.

Mike, Dave, and Ivan make a return to the world of Kubrick with 2001: A Space Odyssey, the groundbreaking 1968 science-fiction epic. There’s no doubt that this film in an incredibly important one. But, is it still entertaining given that we now live in a world riddled with distractions and where CGI visual effect wonders are the norm? We open up the pod bay doors and dive deep into this cinematic classic.

It’s the inaugural episode of the Re-viewed podcast, so we thought we’d start big—as in iconic, career defining sci-fi big. Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is heralded as a classic film, spawning a new age of intellectual science fiction for intelligent audiences. But, does it still hold up? In our first episode, Dave, Mike, and I do our best to tackle the big questions while also having a thoughtful discussion of this sci-fi classic.  All is lost in tears in the rain, folks!