To Live and Write in LA

Archive for Science Fiction

‘Unbelievable!!!!!’ Sneak Peek for ‘Star Trek’ 50th and Uhura Was There

A sneak peek for cast and crew of the sci-fi parody “Unbelievable!!!!!”–part of the celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the debut of Star Trek.

Interview: ‘Virtual Revolution’ Writer/Director Guy-Roger Duvert Spills Real and VR Blood in His First Feature

‘Before the shooting, people were asking me all the time in which studio I would be filming, assuming that most of the film would be shot in front of green screens. The reality is very different. Out of the 30 days of shooting, we shot only one day in a green screen studio.

‘High-Rise’ Takes You to the Roof and Throws You Off with Tom Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons

When you become aware of a car crash on the side of the road, you don’t want to look, but you do and then you can’t turn away from the horror you are seeing. That’s how I began to feel as I became immersed in the world of High-Rise. Not a perfect film, but seductive, beautiful, and an intriguing social allegory.

SXSW: Rami Malek and Christian Slater Get Authentic on ‘Mr. Robot’

Mr. Robot stars Rami Malek and Christian Slater joined series creator Sam Esmail at SXSW film panel “Coding on Camera: MR. ROBOT and Authenticity on TV.” SXSW was the site of the show’s premiere last year. This year, participants in the Golden Globe Award-winning series came back to celebrate and discuss the show’s success.

SXSW: ‘Preacher’ – Comic Book Hero Heads for AMC with Dominic Cooper and Surprises

The bad boy son of a West Texas preacher, returns to his hometown to become its preacher and to keep a promise to his father. His past and a variety of bad things, including a mysterious cosmic force, an ex-girlfriend, and a psychopathic vampire complicate this for him.

SXSW: Christian Slater and Lucy Lawless Get Creepy in ‘Mr Robot’ and ‘Salem’

Christian Slater and Lucy Lawless were on hand at SXSW 2015 to explain just why they are so creepy. Not, personally, of course, but in their new roles. Slater in the new sci-fi series Mr. Robot (SXSW Audience Award Winner – Episodic) premiering on USA Network. Lucy Lawless (Xena, Spartacus) joins the cast of WGN America’s Salem for its second season.

SXSW: Fire, Rodriguez, and Frazetta

t’s a rare moment when two artistic talents you have admired for decades intersect in your presence. Robert Rodriguez has been one of my favorite directors since I saw ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’. Frank Frazetta has been my favorite artist since his paintings began appearing on the covers of Tarzan and Conan books in the 1960s. At SXSW, I participated in a tour of the Robert Rodriguez Museum, conducted by Rodriguez. He explained how, like many others, he found the paintings of Frank Frazetta amazing and inspirational for his own art. He recalled how when he first met Frazetta, and saw his original paintings up close, he was amazed at the depth and detail that never appeared in any of the prints or book covers.

SXSW: Movie Review – ‘Ex Machina’ – A Needful Robot

Flexing the mental muscles of this year’s SXSW attendees are debates about robots and Artificial Intelligence (AI). Both Interactive sessions and films shed light on this topic.


Forty years into the future, an Earth scared by massive solar flares sets the stage for a film-noir sci-fi adventure, which is at once both new and familiar. Automata, written and directed by Gabe Ibáñez, evokes both Isaac Asimov’s I, Robot and Philip K. Dick’s Blade Runner, but goes much deeper in its exploration of what it means to be human. In this future world, a much diminished human race is served by a multitude of robots provided by the ROC Corporation.

The Last Days on Mars

(First published on The Last Days on Mars grabs you right at the beginning and doesn’t let go. It is a text book example of how to make a sci-fi thriller. Based on Sydney J Bounds’ 1975 short story,The Animators, the film focuses not on landing on Mars, but on the crew’s last day of a six-month […]

Anthem Film Fest – Trust the Government, NOT!

(First published on Two sci-fi films with different twists on dystopian futures made the Anthem Film Festival a scary place. The Pilgrim, winner of the festival’s Audience Choice Award, by filmmaker Sean Buttimer, creates a global-warming-freaks-gone-wild world dominated by EPA bureaucrats. Silver Circle, by Pasha Roberts, takes us into a world where individual rights are crushed by an out-of-control […]

Anthem Film Fest: Two for the Culture

(First published on There no shortage of either documentaries or polemics at the Anthem Film Festival, and they serve their role to advance the cause of Libertarian thought. But, and I heard this message last year and even more this year, before you can have an impact on the political system, you must change […]

LA Film Fest – ‘Europa Report’

(First published on Europa Report is “hard” sci-fi. That means that its plot cannot be separated from the science involved. This distinguishes it from, for instance, the original Star Wars, which I love, because the plot of Star Wars could be easily moved to a pirate ship, the old west or WWII.  Does that mean Europa Report is nerdy or […]

John Dies at the End – Maybe

(First published on This is not your grandfather’s soy sauce. The Soy Sauce in John Dies at the End is a street drug that promises an out-of-body experience with each hit. These experiences are so out of body, that some users who come back are no longer human. Their bodies become the vehicles for an alien invasion […]

Robot and Frank

(First published on   Robot & Frank shows us that a small film can be great, as can a small robot. Director Jake Schreier’s feature debut is anything but small when it comes to acting, story, and directing. The film, which takes place in the near future, is a tour de force for Frank Langella, winner […]

PopConLA: New Nerd Nirvana Debuts in LA

(First published on A new convention for fans of popular culture, PopConLA, debuted in Los Angeles, July 5-8. The new event describes itself as the “Popular Culture Convention, about ‘All Things Pop Culture’, including Art, Design, Fashion, Music, Xtreme Sports, and of course, Movies & TV.” The new fandom conclave ran concurrently with the International Television Festival, […]

Q&A with ‘Cowboys and Aliens’ Scribes Mark Fergus and Roberto Orci

(Originally published on Cowboys & Aliens screenwriters Mark Fergus (First Snow, Children of Men, Iron Man) and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Transformers, Fringe) beamed down to The Los Angeles Film School the night before Cowboys & Aliens opened to share observations about life in the warp-speed lane with students and fans. The film begins in the old west when a stranger […]

Over the Top: A Conversation with John Lithgow at the LA Film Festival

(Originally published on “I’m always glad to publicly discuss a great subject – me!” was John Lithgow’s tongue-in-cheek opener at the Los Angeles Film Festival for an evening of humorous and insightful stories about movies and acting. “Over the Top: A Conversation with John Lithgow” was moderated by David Anson, Artistic Director for the […]

James Cameron’s Avatar: Philosophical Roots

(Originally published on The function of the critic is twofold: Identify what the author/artist/filmmaker is trying to say, then evaluate how well they say it. Many critiques have identified the anti-technology, anti-Western feel of Avatar, but to understand it, and why it influences so many people, you need to understand its philosophical roots. The theme […]

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