This column is specifically geared for people searching for great films outside the mainstream. If you enjoy discovering films of these nature, then join me every week as I try to increase word of mouth on these hidden treasures. That being said, let’s begin.
This week, Oblivion will hit movie theaters everywhere and will mind melt audiences everywhere with sci-fi greatness. So, our discussion this week will involve a string of science fiction films you may want to check out if you’re a fan of films such as Oblivion. These are films I have found to be unique entries in the sci-fi genre. None of these science fiction films have ever entered the mainstream, but as always, I will try to provide a way for you to locate them. Also, at the bottom of the article I list a few upcoming films you may want to keep on your radar. Feel free to share picks of your own in the comment section at the bottom.
WORD OF MOUTH
This may be one of the best time travel science fiction films I have ever seen. Usually, I’m not one to enjoy Anime, but this is a story dying to be told. The characters are rich in detail; The story is absolutely engrossing; Not to mention the artistry is incredibly crafted. The Girl Who Leapt Through Time doesn’t handle the time travel aspects the way most other films do. With this story, time travel is approached like a reset button. You know in a video game when you die, you can save your place and automatically jump back to any point you want? Maybe even just start all over? That’s how time is handled here. The result is very unique for the genre. Also, there is a story here that possesses a giant heart. I’m not going to discuss the plot, mainly because the less I say, the better. I will say if someone in the U.S. were to make a live-action adaptation of The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, it would be the most talked about film in a long while. Knowing Hollywood though, we would most likely screw up the remake.
Knowing this film deals with sci-fi elements is a bit of a spoiler, so I apologize for this. However, knowing this will not affect your viewing experience of The Secret. If anything, it probably leans more towards the fantasy science fiction films category. This film involves a talented piano player who just transferred to a new school. On his first day, he hears a mysterious music being played on the piano. He ends up meeting another girl, who is also a music major at the school. He asks her what she was playing, she responds by saying, “It’s a secret.” The two of them form a romantic relationship that leads to other great secrets about this musical number. The film is directed and stars Jay Chou– who most of you will remember as Kato from The Green Hornet. He did a tremendous job handling both duties because the execution is solid. You know a director succeeded when a film sticks with you long after the experience. I highly recommend this for couples because this is a romance that both guys and girls can appreciate. Available for Netflix Streaming.
If you thought Looper was a confusing time travel film, guess again. Shane Caruth directed one of the most complex indie science fiction films of all time. Seriously, you almost need cliffnotes just to figure out all the details. That being said, this amazingly well done for the $7,000 budget these guys had. It’s fascinating what Caruth was able to pull off with this cost. The film involves four entrepreneurs working on an innovative idea that makes objects have a reduction in weight. They create a device that is capable of such tasks, however, it has a side effect. One of the friends discovers that the object is moving forward and backwards through time while operating. The four entrepreneurs create a replica large enough to hold them. The result leads them down a road that questions their morality. Forewarning, do not judge this film based on one viewing. It’s completely unfair to the complex tale Shane Caruth crafted. Shane Caruth also has another film due out this month called Upstream Color. Be sure to keep it on your radar. Available for Netflix Streaming.
Netflix Pick of the Week
Every week I’ll recommend a film on Netflix Instant Streaming you may want to consider. This week’s selection is an intense true story about a prank call gone aggressively wrong. Compliance is the true story about the infamous news report about the individual, who called a fast food location pretending to be the police. What’s terrible about the story, is how the caller managed to make all the employees degrade one worker. This is one of them movies that reminds us how gullible some people are. I found myself screaming at the screen in frustration during some moments. It’s a frustrating film for sure but one I highly recommend.
UPCOMING RELEASES TO WATCH FOR
The Place Beyond the Pines
All the Boys Love Mandy Lane
Only God Forgives