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Another glorious Ridley Scott mess

June 25, 2012

So I’ve seen Prometheus, the new Ridley Scott movie. Summing up: What a glorious mess. The setup is intriguing. About 80 years from now, archaeologists Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) discover evidence that an alien race which they call the Engineers created humanity. More accurately, they have found what appear to […]

The movie version of ‘The Martian’ is surprisingly relevant to our historical moment

February 28, 2018

By Matthew E. Milliken Feb. 28, 2018 Mars isn’t a very hospitable environment for humans. It’s cold and it lacks breathable atmosphere, accessible water and arable soil. In short, you wouldn’t want to be left behind there by your five crewmates when your base is suddenly hit by a massive sandstorm and a piece […]

Confessions of a lifelong fraidy-cat; or, Why I (mostly) can’t abide horror films

May 15, 2017

By Matthew E. Milliken May 15, 2017 When I was a child, I would sometimes glimpse horror films on television. These brief exposures inevitably made my pulse race and usually left me terrified, regardless of whether the scene showed someone being harmed or even threatened. Once when I was 10 years old, my family and […]

Contemplating the silver-screen impact of various science fiction masters, part 1

September 16, 2016

By Matthew E. Milliken Sept. 16, 2016 In 1975, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America presented its first ever Grand Master Award to the prolific Robert Heinlein, who ultimately authored 32 novels and 16 anthologies. The writer, who died in 1988, is probably best known for his novels Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a […]

On the artistic and cinematic merits of ‘Aliens’

December 21, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken Dec. 21, 2015 Back in July, I referred to James Cameron’s 1986 movie Aliens as seminal. I actually called it that twice, first in my review of Edge of Tomorrow (a.k.a. Live Die Repeat) and then in my writeup of Nick Cole’s 2014 novel, Soda Pop Soldier, which happens to pay homage to the Cameron […]

Been there, done that: John Carpenter’s ‘Escape from L.A.’ is a lackluster sequel

December 15, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken Dec. 15, 2015 John Carpenter is one of the all-time great directors of horror movies. His 1978 feature, Halloween, practically invented the slasher flick out of whole cloth. A number of the director’s pictures involve the only type of horror that I like watching — the kind that comes with a science-fiction twist. John […]

Apocalypse now and again: 20 years later, Terry Gilliam’s ‘12 Monkeys’ is just as frightening and brilliant as ever

February 10, 2015

By Matthew E. Milliken Feb. 10, 2015 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam’s 1995 science fiction movie, is the story of a frequently injured and befuddled time traveler who is attempting to investigate a devastating plague. I saw it when it was first released; I did not much like it then, although I thought it was undeniably clever and […]


August 27, 2012

In the weeks since I’ve started this blog, a number of readers have been kind enough to like and follow it. By way of thanks, I’m going to highlight some recent posts by these fellow bloggers that I found interesting. • Lesley Carter takes a look at Wentworth Mansion of Charleston, S.C., for her Bucket […]

‘Capricorn One’ chronicles deadly conspiracy with verve

August 20, 2012

By Matthew E. Milliken Aug. 20, 2012 When I was but a wee lad, there were a number of science fiction films that I was too young to see. Alien, for one; Outland, for another. These were sophisticated movies full of darkness and violence, meant for adults, and not suited for anyone younger than, say, 12 […]