1899 – Review by Susan Granger

When a trusted friend recommended the supernatural Netflix sci-fi series 1899, he urged me to see it quick – because – despite audience enthusiasm and positive reviews – it’s been cancelled. So I did – joining legions of bewildered viewers, wondering why there won’t be a second season for this spooky, genre-juggling maritime mystery? Was it a tax-write off? Forbes concluded: “Netflix is becoming a graveyard stacked with dead series and unfinished conclusions.”

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ZERO CONTACT – Review by Susan Granger

As an avid Anthony Hopkins fan, I’ll see any of his movies BUT here’s an oddity: Zero Contact. Reportedly produced remotely in 17 different countries during the 2020 global pandemic, it’s intended to be a high-tech, sci-fi thriller. Anthony Hopkins always oozes charisma, inviting viewers into his Southern California home, where he delivers mind-melding monologues. He ruminates about art and science, in addition to playing one of his own musical compositions on the piano. But that’s not enough to save this cinematic waste of time.

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THE VAST OF NIGHT – Review by Diane Carson

Finding inspiration in early television science fiction, this satisfying little film zips through 89 minutes with confidence and style. What a delight it is to be swept up in 1950s small town New Mexico as switchboard operator Fay hears an indecipherable audio frequency and transmits it to friend Everett, hosting a radio call in.

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THE VAST OF NIGHT – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

The Vast of Night is a confident, subtle and deeply intelligent reflection of how history and myth take shape through technologies, and yet the film never slides into pompous soap-boxing or smug editorializing. It’s that rare gift of a film where all the elements combine in perfect harmony, a timely reminder that a great genre film doesn’t need to transcend genre as much as it needs to deeply love, respect and understand it.

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THE PLATFORM – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Outside a time of crisis, The Platform is a brilliant film that defines the wholly unique ability of science fiction to allegorize the human condition. But in the face of a devastating pandemic which already has caused incomprehensible levels of social, financial and political chaos around the world, The Platform is suddenly so much more than this. A powerful parable about community, responsibility and survival, The Platform is exactly the film we need right now.

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CAPTIVE STATE – Review by Susan Granger

Rupert Wyatt’s wannabe sci-fi feature is so jumbled and idiotic that I’m stunned it ever got released. His tale begins in the bleak, wasteland remains of Chicago in 2027, nine years after Earth was invaded by spiny, insectoid aliens who look like huge, angry porcupines, riding around in a spaceship that resembles a large, lumpy sweet potato or yam.

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