Tag Archives: science fiction

Man of Steel Review: Or Why this Proper Superman is Getting Pummeled by Some Critics

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Be careful what you wish for.

Ever since the first Superman film directed by Richard Donner and iconically acted by Christopher Reeve came out in 1978, people–especially hardcore comic book fans–have yearned for a “proper” Superman movie. Not to say that all previous films about the guy in the blue and red suit were total failures;the two Donner films (one uncredited), in particular, are still loved by many. But Superman’s story is mighty ambitious and epic in scale even by comic book standards. And so while the live-action movies and TV series throughout the years got some of the story’s basics right, fans have still been left longing for more–more of the sci-fi that makes Krypton Krypton, more of the godly strength of Kryptonians, more of the thrill of flying when a man really denies the laws of physics, more of the mythos of Superman. Man of Steel, the latest reboot of the Superman hollywood franchise, aimed to do just that.

So why is it getting mixed reviews? Why does Superman Returns–a film sorely lacking in spectacle in comparison and so campy as to be mistaken from the ’90s–have a higher score on Rotten Tomatoes? Why the flak from more serious publications when most geeky sites, especially IGN, are praising the film as one of the finest superhero movies ever?

I set out to propose an argument. Continue reading

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Science Fiction

alien world

The year is 9014. I could go for an alien if not for you.

One of those alien spawns born from massive swaths of egg farms in AStD941 in Canis Major Dwarf. They’re raised to life-rearing age within a week using advanced cellular differentiation acceleration and culture implantation. My resource-value has long been ascertained by the Government. I can afford an alien bitch.

That or go traditional mech. Unlike others, I don’t have a misplaced sentimentality that puts organics over androids. Who would’ve thought we’d still have this hippie problem in this age of human devolution and social stagnation? Universes are collapsing, realities have ceased merging some years ago, and yet here we are—these activist fools, not me—proclaiming the sanctity of flesh over ferrous? I don’t carry that bullshit. I’d fuck a robot as savagely as I’d fuck a shape-shifting mass of alien tissue if it would make me hibernate longer than four solar revolutions.

But I can’t do that, can I? ‘Cause there you are, still mapped in my neural networks—an electric anomaly that can’t be removed or rebooted. You’re lodged somewhere in the deepest recesses of the unconscious levels of my brain, and no program or custom-ware could corrupt you. In my dreams, your skin still glistens when hit by the original sun, blinding me for a second, reminding me of Earth 1.0., its roaring seas and chestnut mountains. Extinct fauna like jellyfish.

How unusually human of you. Two big, round eyes; thin lips; wavy strands of hair; two pairs of appendages—so simple. Primitive. But maybe that’s why what’s left of my recalibrated instincts long for you over the black holes and eras that separate us—because you take me back to my humanity. You know I’ve always tried to adjust the past in simulation and in linear life, always waiting for the next time-alteration update, but nothing has worked. I don’t even know why I keep trying when the best minds have done the tests and run the formulas infinite number of times only to reaffirm that the philosophers have won—nothing can change the past.

Some days, I’d lie under the shadow of an intergalactic explorer and wonder about you and me as the scheduled breeze blows my hair on the dot. I’d pointlessly ponder the inescapable logic and categories that have defined our actions putting them squarely in one social system or another, then jumble them again in my head, repeatedly rearranging and fixing them like a Rubik’s Chiliagon. But I would always fare no better than if I tried to live my life as another soul. Time and again, I gravitate toward our impossibility.

Where do I find inspiration when the degenerative reification of this multiverse has solved practically all unanswerable questions? No magic now in the air when air has been tagged as a precious commodity. I can’t trust no ship to bring me good news from any new planet or asteroid discovered and mined unless the algorithms birth a messianic mutant that would allow us to break free from these logic prisons we’ve built ourselves.

Where do I find love if the dark curtain of space—its only hiding place, so they say—cannot be peeled off?

I tell myself it’s in the trying. I tell myself a logical fallacy. I tell myself I still can find you and that you can find me before aliens and robots devour my soul.

Before I completely scrap the thought of you as mere science fiction.

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