I’m hip-deep in revisions of my latest novel in the Interstellar Rescue series, so I don’t have the time to do full reviews of what I’ve been watching in my spare time. But how about a couple of quickshot recommendations?
--GHOST IN THE SHELL. Set in a hologram-wild and bionic-crazy future Tokyo, this science fiction thriller starring Scarlett Johansson is visually gorgeous, but somewhat short on new ideas. A remake of a classic Japanese manga, the film is slow going at first, but picks up in the second half. It’s supposed to have us leaving the theater thinking deep thoughts about the human soul, but any SF fan has had those thoughts before. Still, well worth seeing, if only for the eye candy.
--COLONY. If you aren’t watching this USA Network SF series starring Josh Holloway (LOST) and Sarah Wayne Callies (THE WALKING DEAD, PRISON BREAK), you’re missing the second -best SF series on television (after THE EXPANSE). Forget zombies and bleak desert-like post-apocalyptic landscapes, this is what life would really be like if aliens invaded. Think Nazi-like concentration camps, gigantic walls cutting off family members from each other, mysterious “factories,” human collaborators, and an unseen enemy with a plan to eliminate the population of Los Angeles. Science fiction is at its best when it operates as metaphor. This one is a doozy!
--FEUD: BETTY AND JOAN. Okay, this is not science fiction, but it does tell the behind-the-scenes story of one of the greatest psychological horror films ever made: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? (1962). That film, a creepily memorable black-and-white classic of the Sixties, starred two aging megastars—Joan Crawford and Bette Davis—as sisters caught in a psychotic, co-dependent downward spiral. Turns out the director, Robert Aldritch, had only managed to capture the hateful true nature of the actors’ years-long Hollywood rivalry, a cat fight encouraged by film industry good-ole-boys like studio head Jack Warner. In FEUD, all this spiteful history is recreated in trainwreck-like detail by producer Ryan Murphy (AMERICAN HORROR STORY) and fascinating stars Jessica Lange (Crawford) and Susan Sarandon (Davis). Must watch!
What are you watching these nights?