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Saturday, July 8, 2017

Summer Film Club Series: July

Hey everybody!  Our first month of our Summer Film series went quite well, thank you to everyone who was able to attend!

Our films for the month of July are: Aliens and Moon

Thursday, July 20th at 6:15 pm

Aliens (click for trailer)

Aliens is a 1986 American science fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, William Hope, and Bill Pa
xton.  It is the sequel to the 1979 film Alien and the second installment in the Alien franchise.  The film follows Weaver's character Ellen Ripley as she returns to the planet where her crew encountered the hostile Alien creature, this time accompanied by a unit of space marines.

It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Actress for Sigourney Weaver, winning both Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects.  Aliens is considered one of the best films in its genre.  Aliens received near universal critical acclaim.  It currently holds a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and Roger Ebert awarded it 3 1/2/4 stars and said this in his review, "The ads for Aliens claim that this movie will frighten you as few movies have, and, for once, the ads don't lie.  Aliens is absolutely, painfully and unremittingly intense for at least its last hour.  I have never seen a movie that maintains such a pitch of intensity for so long; it's like being on some kind of hair-raising carnival ride that never stops.  Yet, I have to be accurate about this movie: It is a superb example of filmmaking craft.  The director, James Cameron, has been assigned to make an intense and horrifying thriller, and he has delivered.  Weaver, who is onscreen almost all the time, comes through with a very strong, sympathetic performance: She's the thread that holds everything together.  The supporting players are sharply drawn.  The special effects are professional.  I'm giving the movie a high rating for its skill and professionalism and because it does the job it says it will do.  I am also advising you not to eat before you see it."

Thursday, July 27th at 6:15 pm

Moon (click for trailer)

Moon is a 2009 British science fiction drama film co-written and directed by Duncan Jones.  The film follows Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell), a man who experiences a personal crisis as he nears the end of a three-years solitary stint mining helium-3 on the far side of the Moon.  It was the feature debut of director Duncan Jones.  Kevin Spacey voices Sam's robot companion, GERTY.  Moon premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.  It was well received by critics and Rockwell's performance found praise as did the film's scientific realism and plausibility.  This is the first feature film directed by commercial director Duncan Jones (son of the late David Bowie), who co-wrote the script with Nathan Parker.  The film was specifically written as a vehicle for actor Sam Rockwell.  The film pays homage to the films of Jones' youth, such as Silent Running, Alien and Outland.

Moon was generally well received by critics and holds an 89% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  Roger Ebert awarded the film 3 1/2/4 stars and said this in his review, "In an age when our space and distance boundaries are being pushed way beyond the human comfort zone, how do we deal with the challenges of space in real time?  In lower gravity, how do our bodies deal with loss of bone and muscle mass?  How do our minds deal with long periods of isolation?  Space is a cold and lonely place, pitiless and indifferent, as Bruce Dern's character grimly realized in Douglas Trumball's classic Silent Running.  At least he had the consolation that he was living with Earth's last vegetation.  Sam has no consolations at all.    What kind of man would volunteer for this duty?  What kind of a corporation would ask him to?  We, and he, find out.  Moon is a superior example of that threatened genre, hard science fiction, which is often about the interface between humans and alien intelligence of one kind or other, including digital.  The movie is really all about ideas.  It only seems to be about emotions.  How real are our emotions, anyway?  How real are we?  Someday I will die.  This laptop I'm using is patient and can wait."