Aliens (1986)

Aliens is a 1986 science fiction action film written and directed by James Cameron. It is the sequel to the 1979 science fiction horror film Alien, and the second film in the Alien franchise. Set in the far future, the film stars Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley, the sole survivor of an alien attack on her ship. When communications are lost with a human colony on the moon on which her crew first encountered the alien creatures, Ripley agrees to return to the site with a unit of Colonial Marines to investigate. Aliens features Michael Biehn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, and Carrie Henn in supporting roles.

Aliens is now considered to be among the greatest films of the 1980s, and among the best science fiction, action, and sequel films ever made, arguably equal to (or better than) Alien. The film is credited with expanding the franchise’s scope with additions to the series’ lore and factions such as the Colonial Marines. With its effect on popular culture and fan following, Aliens has inspired a variety of merchandise which includes video games, comic books, and toys. The film was followed by two sequels ‚Äď Alien 3 (1992) and Alien Resurrection (1997), neither of which were as successful, as well as the prequels,  Prometheus  (2012) and Alien: Covenant (2017). A standalone film in the Alien series is in development as of 2022.

Old (2021)

Old is a 2021 American thriller film written, directed, and produced by M. Night Shyamalan. It is based on the French-language Swiss graphic novel Sandcastle by Pierre Oscar Levy and Frederik Peeters. The film features an ensemble cast consisting of Gael García Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff,  Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung, Eliza Scanlen, Aaron Pierre, Embeth Davidtz, and Emun Elliott. The plot follows a group of people who find themselves aging rapidly on a secluded beach.

Shyamalan decided to adapt¬†Sandcastle¬†into a film after receiving it as a¬†Father’s Day¬†gift in 2017. The then-untitled project was announced in September 2019, with the filmmaker revealing a partnership with¬†Universal Pictures. The following year, filming took place in the Dominican Republic for three months, during the¬†COVID-19 pandemic, with cinematographer¬†Michael Gioulakis.¬†Old¬†premiered at¬†Jazz at Lincoln Center¬†in New York City on July 19, 2021, and was theatrically released in the United States on July 23. The film was a box office success, grossing $90 million worldwide against an $18 million budget while receiving polarized reviews from critics.

Alien (1979)

Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott and written by Dan O’Bannon. Based on a story by O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett, it follows the crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo, who, after coming across a mysterious derelict spaceship on an undiscovered moon, find themselves up against an aggressive and deadly extraterrestrial set loose on the Nostromo. The film stars Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto. It was produced by Gordon Carroll, David Giler, and Walter Hill through their company Brandywine Productions, and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. Giler and Hill revised and made additions to the script; Shusett was executive producer. The Alien and its accompanying artifacts were designed by the Swiss artist H. R. Giger, while concept artists Ron Cobb and Chris Foss designed the more human settings.

It was met with mixed reviews on release but was a box-office success, winning the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, three Saturn Awards (Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and Best Supporting Actress for Cartwright), and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation. Critical reassessment since then has made Alien widely considered to be one of the greatest science fiction and horror films of all time. In 2002, Alien was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry. In 2008, it was ranked by the American Film Institute as the seventh-best film in the science fiction genre, and as the 33rd-greatest film of all time by Empire.

Black Widow (2021)

Black Widow is a 2021 American superhero film based on Marvel Comics featuring the character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 24th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and the first movie in The Muliverse Saga. The film was directed by Cate Shortland from a screenplay by Eric Pearson, and stars Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff / Black Widow alongside Florence Pugh, David Harbour, O-T Fagbenle, Olga Kurylenko, William Hurt, Ray Winstone, and Rachel Weisz. Set after the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), the film sees Romanoff on the run and forced to confront her past.

Black Widow premiered at events around the world on June 29, 2021, and was released in the United States on July 9, simultaneously in theaters and through Disney+ with Premier Access. It is the first film in Phase Four of the MCU, and was delayed three times from an original May 2020 release date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Black Widow broke several pandemic box office records and grossed over $379 million worldwide. The film received positive reviews from critics, with praise for the performances, particularly those of Johansson and Pugh, and the action sequences. In July 2021, Johansson filed a lawsuit against Disney over the simultaneous release, which was settled two months later.

Seven Facts About Nichelle Nichols

1. She was the first African‚ÄďAmerican actress to play a mainstay role on US television and paved the way for other African-American actors in the industry.

2. Nichelle influenced many intergalactic movies with her unique 60s fashion style of skirts and thigh-high boots.

3. Uhura and Captain Kirk shared a kiss on screen that was one of the first interracial kisses to be shown on US television.

4. Nichelle had partnered with NASA to recruit women and those belonging to minorities for their space programme.

5. Nichelle initially had left the cult show for a Broadway play but Martin Luther Jr. was the driving force that made her return to the show. According to Martin, the show portrayed a non-stereotypical character that inspired many that had never been seen on US television before. Nichelle got inspired by his words and decided to keep portraying the character.

6. Her character Uhura became a role model for minority astronauts Sally Ride and Colonel Guion Bluford who were a part of Nichelle‚Äôs space programme.

7. The late actress had a soulful voice and a musical resume. In one of the Star Trek episodes, Uhura partners with Spock to treat her crew members to a melodious song.

Nichelle Nichols The First Lady Of Science Fiction Has Passed Away

Actress and singer Nichelle Nichols, best known for her groundbreaking portrayal of Lt. Nyota Uhura in “Star Trek: The Original Series,” has died at age 89, according to a statement from her son, Kyle Johnson. Nichols died from natural causes, he said. Nichols portrayed communications officer Lt. Nyota Uhura in the “Star Trek” TV series and many of its film offshoots. When “Star Trek” began in 1966, Nichols was a television rarity: a Black woman in a notable role on a prime-time television series. There had been African-American women on TV before, but they often played domestic workers and had small roles; Nichols’ Uhura was an integral part of the multicultural “Star Trek” crew.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. called it “the first non-stereotypical role portrayed by a Black woman in television history.” Nichols is widely known for participating in one of the first interracial kisses on US television when her character kissed James T. Kirk, portrayed by White Canadian actor William Shatner. In an interview with CNN in 2014, Nichols said the kiss scene “changed television forever, and it also changed the way people looked at one another.” After “Trek’s” three-season run, Nichols dedicated herself to the space program. She helped NASA in making the agency more diverse, helping to recruit astronauts Sally Ride, Judith Resnik and Guion Bluford, among others.

George Takei, who portrayed the USS Enterprise’s helmsman Hikaru Sulu, posted a touching tribute to his co-star. “I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89,” wrote Takei on Twitter. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.” NASA tweeted “We celebrate the life of Nichelle Nichols, Star Trek actor, trailblazer, and role model, who symbolized to so many what was possible. She partnered with us to recruit some of the first women and minority astronauts, and inspired generations to reach for the stars.”

Nichols was born Grace Dell Nichols near Chicago in 1932. (Unhappy with Grace, she took the name Nichelle when she was a teenager.) Her grandfather was a White Southerner who married a Black woman, causing a rift in his family. Blessed with a four-octave vocal range, Nichols was performing in local clubs by the time she was 14. Among the performers she met was Duke Ellington, who later took her on tour. She also worked extensively in Chicago clubs and in theater. She moved to Los Angeles in the early ’60s and landed a role in a Gene Roddenberry series, “The Lieutenant.” A number of “Star Trek” veterans, including Leonard Nimoy, Walter Koenig and Majel Barrett, also worked on the show. When Roddenberry was creating “Trek,” he remembered Nichols. She was in Europe when she got the call.

Nichols was once tempted to leave the series; however, a conversation with¬†Martin Luther King Jr.¬†changed her mind. Towards the end of the first season, Nichols was given the opportunity to take a role on¬†Broadway. She preferred the stage to the television studio, so she decided to take the role. Nichols went to Roddenberry’s office, told him that she planned to leave, and handed him her resignation letter. Roddenberry tried to convince Nichols to stay but to no avail, so he told her to take the weekend off and if she still felt that she should leave then he would give her his blessing. But it took Dr. Martin King Jr to convince her to stay on the show. King personally encouraged her to stay on the series, saying she “could not give up” because she was playing a vital role model for Black children and young women across the country, as well as for other children who would see Black people appearing as equals, going so far as to favorably compare her work on the series to the marches of the ongoing¬†civil rights movement.

Former¬†NASA¬†astronaut¬†Mae Jemison¬†has cited Nichols’ role of Lieutenant Uhura as her inspiration for wanting to become an astronaut and¬†Whoopi Goldberg has also spoken of Nichols’ influence. In her role as Lieutenant¬†Uhura, Nichols kissed¬†white¬†actor¬†William Shatner¬†as Captain¬†James T. Kirk¬†in the November 22, 1968,¬†Star Trek¬†episode “Plato’s Stepchildren”. The episode is cited as the first example of an interracial kiss on scripted U.S. television. The Shatner/Nichols kiss was seen as groundbreaking, even though it was portrayed as having been forced by¬†alien¬†telekinesis. There was some praise and almost no dissent. Despite the cancellation of the series in 1969,¬†Star Trek¬†lived on in other ways, and continued to play a part in Nichols’ life. She again provided the voice of Uhura in¬†Star Trek: The Animated Series.

Nichols co-starred in six¬†Star Trek¬†films, the last one being¬†Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. Between the end of the original series and the¬†Star Trek¬†animated series and feature films, Nichols appeared in small television and film roles. She briefly appeared as a secretary in¬†Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding!¬†(1967), and portrayed Dorienda, a foul-mouthed madam in¬†Truck Turner¬†(1974) opposite¬†Isaac Hayes. In the comedy film¬†Snow Dogs¬†(2002), Nichols appeared as the mother of the male lead, played by¬†Cuba Gooding Jr. n 2006, she appeared as the title character in the film¬†Lady Magdalene’s, the madam of a legal¬†Nevada¬†brothel in tax default. Nichols released two music albums.¬†Down to Earth¬†is a collection of standards released in 1967, during the original run of¬†Star Trek. Out of This World, released in 1991, is more rock oriented and is themed around¬†Star Trek and space exploration.

In her autobiography, Nichols wrote that she was romantically involved with¬†Star Trek¬†creator¬†Gene Roddenberry¬†for a few years in the 1960s. She said the affair ended well before¬†Star Trek¬†began, when she realized Roddenberry was also involved with her acquaintance Majel Hudec (known as¬†Majel Barrett). Nichols married twice, first to dancer Foster Johnson (1917‚Äď1981). They were married in 1951 and divorced that same year. Johnson and Nichols had one child together,¬†Kyle Johnson, who was born August 14, 1951. She married for the second time to Duke Mondy in 1968. They were divorced in 1972. In early 2018, Nichols was diagnosed with¬†dementia, and subsequently announced her retirement from convention appearances. Asteroid¬†68410 Nichols is named in her honor. Nichols died of heart failure in¬†Silver City, New Mexico, on July 30, 2022, at the age of 89.

Pandorum (2009)

Pandorum is a 2009 science fiction horror film, with elements of Lovecraftian horror and survival adventure. The film was directed by Christian Alvart and produced by Robert Kulzer, Jeremy Bolt and Paul W. S. Anderson, the latter two through their Impact Pictures banner. Travis Milloy wrote the screenplay from a story by Milloy and Alvart. It stars Dennis Quaid, Antje Traue and  Ben Foster.

Filming began in Berlin in August 2008. Pandorum was released on 25 September 2009 in the United States, and on 2 October 2009 in the UK. The film’s title is a fictional slang term for a form of psychosis called Orbital Dysfunctional Syndrome (ODS) caused by deep space and triggered by emotional stress. This leads to severe paranoia, delirium, and nosebleeding. The film was poorly received and a box office flop. Despite this, the film has garnered a cult following within the past years as an “underrated gem”.

Ranking The Star Trek Tv Shows

Star Trek is going though a second golden age on television. In that we currently have 5 Trek shows that are running and active on streaming services. Out of those 5, 3 are live action and 2 are animated and one, Picard, is gonna end next year with it’s 3rd and final season that was planned well in advance. Despite Strange New Worlds having just completed their first season and Prodigy having only had 10 of their 20 episodes of the first season aired as of this date, I thought it would be a good time to rate the shows. So here is my list:

  • Star Trek : The Next Generation
  • Star Trek : Deep Space Nine
  • Star Trek : The Original Series
  • Star Trek : Enterprise
  • Star Trek : Voyager
  • Star Trek : Strange New Worlds
  • Star Trek : Lower Decks
  • Star Trek : Picard
  • Star Trek : Prodigy
  • Star Trek : Discovery

2001 : A Space Odyssey (1968)

2001: A Space Odyssey is a 1968 epic science fiction film produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay was written by Kubrick and science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke, and was inspired by Clarke’s 1951 short story “The Sentinel” and other short stories by Clarke. Clarke also developed a novelisation of the film, which was released after the film’s release, and in part written concurrently with the screenplay. The film stars Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester and Douglas Rain, and follows a voyage to Jupiter with the sentient supercomputer HAL after the discovery of an alien monolith. The film is noted for its scientifically accurate depiction of space flight, pioneering special effects, and ambiguous imagery. Kubrick avoided conventional cinematic and narrative techniques; dialogue is used sparingly, and there are long sequences accompanied only by music.

The soundtrack incorporates numerous works of classical music, by composers including Richard Strauss, Johann Strauss II, Aram Khachaturian, and Gy√∂rgy Ligeti. The film received diverse critical responses, ranging from those who saw it as darkly apocalyptic to those who saw it as an optimistic reappraisal of the hopes of humanity. Critics noted its exploration of themes such as human evolution, technology, artificial intelligence, and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. It was nominated for four Academy Awards, winning Kubrick the award for his direction of the visual effects. The film is now widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. In 1991, it was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.