In the meantime, I've watched a couple of science fiction movies this weekend since I have been sidelined from skiing with an ugly cough. Neither of them were anything particularly special but I thought I'd share a few thoughts with you here.
Extraterrestrial - After recently watching and enjoying Colossal, and mostly watching and kind of enjoying Timecrimes, I thought I should check out director Nacho Vigalondo's middle feature, Extraterrestrial (2011). In Spanish with English subtitles, this is a slight science fiction/romantic comedy (?) hybrid in which the science fiction is almost incidental to the rest of what goes on. Julio wakes up in Julia's bed, not remembering hooking up with her the night before. As they try to sort out what happened, they are distracted by the sight of a huge flying saucer hovering over Madrid. They are further distracted by Julia's creepy neighbor Angel, who threatens to rat them out when Julia's live-in boyfriend Carlos returns home. The film's focus remains on these people, with the aliens never making an appearance and only affecting things by making people paranoid. I think what I have liked best about Vigalondo's movies is that while they are all about people dealing with extranormal things (time loops, aliens, kaiju), the people themselves are very real and relatable.
The Cloverfield Paradox - The third of the three loosely-connected Cloverfield movies is pretty much straight sci-fi, a muddle of all sorts of well-trodden movie cliches, none of which really pan out. The Earth is experiencing an energy crisis and as tension mount, a group of scientists on the Cloverfield Station are trying to get a particle accelerator to come up with free, unlimited energy. Things go wrong, as experimental particle accelerators are wont to do, and the team finds itself dealing with all sorts of things that don't follow the rules of logic or science. The movie is entertaining enough but it is not at all original and the short clips back on earth, which try to connect this movie with the other Cloverfields, are distracting and largely pointless. The cast is solid, though: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Daniel Bruhl, David Oyelowo, Chris O'Dowd and a cameo by Donal Logue.