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    • I mean, with a Superbowl commercial and J.J. Abrams as producer, did you think Cloverfield Paradox would be great? Was it for you? What about Black Panther?

    • I haven't seen Black Panther yet, but I can confirm that The Cloverfield Paradox was very, very bad.

      I've seen a lot of reviews comparing The Cloverfield Paradox (unfavorably) to Life, which I also thought was awful. But if you're looking for a dark, creepy sci-fi thriller with similar themes that's actually good, I recommend 1997's criminally underappreciated Event Horizon.

      Event Horizon was panned when it came out and tanked at the box office, but I think it got an unfair reception. It's a legitimately great sci-fi action/horror movie in the vein of Aliens, with a tight (and surprisingly witty) script and fantastic visuals (if you're willing to overlook a few bad-even-for-the-90s CGI shots).

      It had the misfortune of being released just a month after the brighter, more optimistic sci-fi classics Men in Black and Contact during a summer full of feel-good comedies, and I think audiences at the time weren't as interested in dark (and I mean very dark), scary sci-fi.

    • I took you up on your recommendation for Event Horizon and oh my God. After the first 15 minutes I was tense every second for the rest of the film. I might categorize it as sci-fi horror. It scared the crap out of me many times over.


      I find it interesting, per yaypie, that people actually are comparing Cloverfield Paradox unfavorably with Life!? I think the two movies make such clear 2- and 1-star marks, respectively, on the science fiction-survival horror ruler. But then, these things are so subjective, and maybe it gives one a good idea of what viewers respond to: Cloverfield Paradox and Life are both pretty, senseless and dumb, but Life was much better at thriller pacing and creating tension. People love tension, even if it's idiotic!

      Black Panther was very good, and I'll be interested to see it again when it comes to home viewing and see how it looks on a small screen. I think it's interesting how fundamental the gaze-recentering is, even to the premise of the movie. (I don't think this basic premise is a spoiler as it's fairly clear from Civil War and the marketing, but if you're extremely careful, STOP READING!) Hidden cities and countries are such a staple of adventure stories in the West, but they're basically always from the perspective of people trying to find the Hidden Country, trying to unlock its secrets. (What does Ian Malcolm say in Jurassic Park, "What is so great about discovery? It is a violent, penetrative act that scars what it explores.") Centering the story in the hidden country's point of view is a huge postcolonial judo flip before the story even starts. Black Panther is beautifully thorough.

    • I liked them both.

      In Cloverfield I at least was super surprised at what was happening. Even though it was cheesy, it was still interesting to me to see how the writers took on this paradox idea.

      In Black Panther I knew I was going to get a grand super hero movie. I loved every second of it and it didn't disappoint me, but I wasn't very shocked or awed by anything in the movie.

    You've been invited!