Category Science Fiction

MIDNIGHT SPECIAL (2016)

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Writer/Director: Jeff Nichols

Starring: Sam Shepard, Michael Shannon, Kristen Dunst, Adam Driver, Joel Edgerton,  Jaeden Lieberher,  Scott Haze, Bill Camp

Transmitting back to VHS staples like Carpenter’s STARMAN and Spielberg’s CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, on the surface MIDNIGHT SPECIAL is an 80’s style family sci-fi by way of chase flick and on that level it’s wholly satisfying. That’s to say this film has loftier goals than can be achieved within genre confines.

As the film opens we are plummeted right into the anxiety and adrenalin of being prey. Fugitive Roy Tomlin (Michael Shannon), his son Alton Meyer (Jaeden Lieberher) and state trooper Lucas (Joel Edgerton) are hiding out in a hotel room...

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Frakking Favourite 25 Films of 2015

Sicario Poster

Frakking Favourite 25 Films of 2015

Sicario Poster

Sicario Poster

The frakker saw 91 films in 2015 and though there were some outright duds (TERMINATOR GENYSIS, SELF-LESS, THE VISIT) and failed to meet expectations disappointments (EVEREST, TALES OF HALLOWEEN, TRAINWRECK) for the most part it was a golden year in cinema. That I had to make a top 25 and then add an additional 20 plus titles to the honorable mentions is proof of the good time that was had in the darkened movie house this past 12 months. Now the preamble is done, there is just one more thing that I need to get out of the way before we can begin….

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Stand alone favourite: STAR WARS; THE FORCE AWAKENS

Let’s be honest here, as a lifelong STAR WARS obsessed nut trying to be “objective” about the film franchise that made me a cinephile is as futi...

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WHAT A TICKET TO STAR WARS REALLY BUYS YOU…FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW

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By Adam Lovett

July 31st 1977: It was a Saturday, one week after my fifth Birthday. I was your average, precocious five year-old off to see a Saturday night movie with Dad. It was the advertizing campaign for the film that had bought us out that night. I saw the trailer on TV. I screamed from the living room, “STAR WARS! Can we go see STAR WARS for my birthday?”

This wasn’t my first visit to the cinema. I had seen a few films before now but the only one that had really resonated at all was Disney’s THE JUNGLE BOOK. We grabbed our popcorn, found our seat in the sold out screening and innocently prepared to see “just” another film. The lights went down. There was no advertizing. Straight to a few trailers for upcoming releases, “Chomp”, “chomp”, “chomp” on the popcorn...

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From the Vault: A Scanner Darkly (2006)

Before I was the Fraker I was John Doe and like everything else in this universe all cinema itself is interconnected on a molecular level. Slowly over time I plan to import many of my older reviews over to this new site under the banner of FROM THE VAULT. The format is simple, anytime I review a film here and it can be thematically (actor, Director, narrative etc) linked to a previous critique from the old site I will be sharing. When a review or article can coincide with a real world event like a retro-screening, personal curiosity or current event can be reflected, transfers happen.

Scanner Darkly

Writer/Director: Richard Linklater

Novel: Phillip K Dick
Cinematography: Shane F Kelly
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Robert Downey Jnr, Winona Ryder, Keanu Reeves, Rory Cochrane

“Alright, I’m gonna give you...

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EX MACHINA (2015)

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EX MACHINA (2015)

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Writer/Director: Alex Garland

Starring: Oscar Issac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno

How we process and integrate art, how it burrows into our subconscious is part of what makes us intrinsically human. It’s also what can give cinema the conjuring power to blur the lines between fiction and truth. Last Monday night I experienced this phenomena while attending a special advanced screening of the latest A.I. orientated science fiction film EX MACHINA.

To be clear this reaction wasn’t solely triggered by the film itself, (which I will address in a moment), but it was the audience members in attendance which included writer/Director Alex Garland along with MIT scientists and Google engineers, some who are currently developing artificial intelligence...

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The 87th Academy Awards: 2015 Oscar Selections

2015 Academy Award Nominees

The 87th Academy Awards: The Official Fraker 2015 Oscar Selections

 

The 87th Academy Awards Predictions

The 87th Academy Awards Predictions

It’s that time again where the Academy Awards buffer up against my obsessive cinematic addiction. It’s a date where my own adoration and love for the medium sees negativity hit its apex. It’s also a night where my own masochistic tendencies are in full view as a misguided sense of obligation to arguably the most meaningless and superficial of all the political awards shows sees me tuning in for inevitable torture.

As hard as I have tried since 1997 (the year I finally realized how little quality had to do with prize winners) I can never make it to the Best Picture announcement as the gossip magazine style approach just reaches unbearable levels...

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HENRi (2012): FilmFrak SHORT FILM OF THE MOMENT

SHORT FILMS OF THE MOMENT: Often overlooked, short films seldom get the attention they deserve outside of the festival circuit. By design their economic storytelling means that focused exploration of ideas and a connection with the audience needs to be established in a limited running time. At their best they reward the viewer in a way that feature length films often struggle achieving a level of constant engagement through honed pacing. Sometimes used to showcase talent or experiment with conceptual or visual inspirations, hopefully FilmFrak can draw your attention to the artists and their works floating around virtual space with this section.

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Banner for the multi-award winning short film HENRi

HENRi (2012)

Proving that good things can eventuate from Kickstarter funded projects, HENRi is ...

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Top 30 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2015

Top 30 Most Fraking Anticipated Films of 2015

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2014 was a banner year in the Bender house in cinema and 2015 shows a James Leer level of promise. After some Lebowski like investigation (read into that what you will) I’ve managed to detect 54 attractions that put a twinkle in my eye of varied brightness. Of those discoveries, 24 could be labeled wild card’s which leaves the magic 30 that I now present to you the reader with the proviso that they stimulate my own sensibilities and I hope yours too.

As the calendar year has already begun note worthy omissions from this list include the magnificence that is Paul Thomas Anderson’s detective yarn INHERENT VICE which I’ve been fortunate enough to already experience. (Subtle subtext I know...

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Fraking Favourite 20 Films of 2014

Fraking Favourite 20 Films of 2014

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I’m just going to state it upfront, 2014 has been the best fraking year in cinema in over a decade as far as I’m concerned. Spoilt for choice, the quality enticements have spanned all genres, budgets and distribution methods. That means that in compiling this list I had to make some truly painful, SOPHIE’S CHOICE type sacrifices with many fine achievements omitted.

I managed to see a total of 73 new releases this year, a far cry from the over 100 titles I used to cross off when I was a professional film journalist with all the complimentary VIP perks that entailed. The rub is that a handful of potential highlights have not been screened at the time of publication. (BOYHOOD, WHIPLASH and INTERSTELLAR being the big 3 I have yet to see)...

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Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Guardians of the Galaxy Poster

Director: James Gunn

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldena, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin, Glenn Close, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista, Michael Rooker, Dijmon Hounsou, John C. Riley

 

An unconventional review for an unconventional blockbuster. 

Guardians-of-the-Galaxy-poster-3I had lost hope there was ever going to be another film that would ever make me the feel the way this made me feel. I was not prepared. GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (GOTG) provided an impenetrable sense of immersed escapism that was almost transcendent, I wasn’t a viewer, I was a participant. My inner child, the one who was taken to a galaxy far, far away many moons ago was being fed the primordial building blocks that birthed a life spanning, debilitating cinematic obsession...

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