Last Days on Mars

Set in the closing hours of a 6 month-long manned international expedition to the Red Planet’s dusty surface, a Russian scientist discovers an odd bacteria that turns the astronauts to zombies, one by one. Yes, Last Days on Mars is about zombies in space. Zombies. In. Space. This is of course, all completely rocking!

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Now I’ll admit that there’s very, very little in Last Days on Mars that you haven’t seen before; spartan landscapes (thanks Jordan), lovely authentic science-y spaceman-y looking stuff, a grumbly mismatched crew (Liev Schreiber, Romola Garai, cute Tom Cullen, awesome Olivia William – stand out here as the shrewish Aldrich – plus a couple of D-list Brits who die badly and early), some flashy lights, some air vents, some kak-handed attempts at long distance radio transmissions. It’s a UK-Ireland co-production, and it feels like a European film; it’s less flashy and more understated somehow. Go on, I’ll say it: it’s bland. But it’s still thrilling enough in places to make it not a total write-off. Sadly, I had to put up with the Redhead yawning and fidgeting and playing with his iPad throughout. He said it was boring. Whatevs. I enjoyed it.

Repo Men

In the near future, a voracious, post-Obamacare corporation called The Union has developed synthetic prostheses for every conceivable body part. These expensive parts are sold to the sick (without a public option, apparently) by door-to-door insurance salesmen offering terms. But there is one horrible catch: should a recipient fail to keep up with his payments, the company’s Repo Men will (forcibly, bloodily) reclaim company property. Cue the scalpels. That’s the set up. And butched-up Jude Law plays the main dude, who’s forced to have a rethink (get a heart) the day his own is replaced. That’s the plot.

So Repo Men mostly feels like you need your brain replaced. Location wise, the movie’s set in a glimmering Tokyo-esque metropolis full of lit-up skyscrapers and a showroom-load of electronic billboards (actually Toronto), but it’s got all the connection of an establishing shot on the Action Channel. As Stephen Holden says in New York Times: “Otherwise, there are the abandoned warehouses, studio backlot suburbs, and dilapidated apartment complexes that action movies use because they’re light on the wallet and the imagination.”