Tag Archive: Ray Bradbury


The most pervasive actress of the past two years, along with the stars of two of today’s biggest box office and critically acclaimed hits are all coming your way in May when HBO’s adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi classic, Fahrenheit 451, arrives.  Sofia Boutella, star of every other box office champ in the past few years–the lead actress in Star Trek Beyond, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and The Mummy, and #2 actress in Atomic Blonde–will play nature-loving Clarisse McClellan.  But don’t look for her except for a passing frame in the first teaser released this week.

You will see the actor behind the villainy of Man of Steel and The Shape of Water, Michael Shannon, again pouring on the evil, this time as Captain Beatty, the steely smart but twisted Fire Captain.  And the actor behind the villain of the current #1 box office hit Black Panther, Michael B. Jordan, will portray the initially complacent protagonist of the story, the fireman Guy Montag.

Ray Bradbury‘s most famous work and a pinnacle of 20th century literature and social criticism, Fahrenheit 451 is filled with symbolism and messages no generation should forget.  Ramin Bahrani serves as both writer and director for the series.  Another familiar face to science fiction aficionados, Keir Dullea, plays the Historian in the series.

Check out this first look at HBO’s series Fahrenheit 451:

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Station to Station cover

Readers of the anthology series Dark Horse Presents will have already read it in serial form, but those who haven’t will be in for a sci-fi TV inspired treat with this week’s release of the one-shot Station to Station.  Co-written by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Sara Bechko with art by Hardman, this Outer Limits-inspired tale chronicles the aftermath of a laboratory experiment into parallel universes when the experiment goes incredibly wrong.  Set in San Francisco Bay’s Treasure Island, Station to Station reads like a short story from a sci-fi compilation like Philip K. Dick’s Short Stories or Ray Bradbury’s Short Stories, only in graphic novel form.  It begs the question:  Why not take a bunch of sci-fi stories like these and make an ongoing monthly comic book series out of them?

Station to Station from GabrielHardman website

As to genre, Station to Station fits in the mix of sci-fi that crosses over into horror, like many of the best tales from The Twilight Zone–the cool thrilling and chilling kind of horror as opposed to the goopy gory kind.  Unlike a lot that comes out of Dark Horse Presents that have grown into ongoing series, Station to Station doesn’t need a series because it does what it needs in a single issue.

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Ray Bradbury passed away Tuesday at the age of 91.  Bradbury was inspired to write at the age of 12 when a carnival magician tapped him with a sword and said “live forever!”  Director and Bradbury fan Steven Spielberg said yesterday “In the world of science fiction and fantasy and imagination, he is immortal.”

To most people Bradbury conjures up the classic American anti-censorship novel Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles as his most popular works, along with The Illustrated Man, Dandelion Wine, and Something Wicked This Way Comes But if you really want to see the broad scope of Bradbury’s work, you could hardly find any creative works more engaging than his TV series The Ray Bradbury Theater and his thick compilation book The Stories of Ray Bradbury or the revised version Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales.  It is telling that he has a book that highlights one hundred of his best stories.  Stories like “The Casket,” a tale of feuding brothers gone very, very wrong that was adapted for screen on Bradbury Theater, or “A Sound of Thunder,” where a misstep on a time traveling hunting trip has terrible ramifications for the future.

Six seasons, from 1985 to 1992, of the popular Canadian series The Ray Bradbury Theater provide a “story of the week” much like Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone, The Alfred Hitchcock Hour and the Canadian Friday the 13th TV series.  Always creative, each episode of The Ray Bradbury Theater focused on the fantastical, the magical, often a mysterious item inspired by Bradbury’s own possessions, many written by or derived from classic Bradbury tales.  In one standout episode, “Great Wide World Over There,” Tyne Daly stars as a woman on an isolated farm with a much older husband.  Creepiness, and sometimes outright horror permeates Bradbury’s stories.

Bradbury passed away as Earthlings saw a rare glimpse of Venus passing across the Sun.

Bradbury saw himself as a fantasy writer, and believe audiences miscategorized his works like this as science fiction.

Luckily, The Ray Bradbury Theater is easy to find to catch up on episodes.  It’s on the list of series available from Netflix and available for sale at online stores like Amazon.com.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

Review by C.J. Bunce

My best reaction to movies comes from those films that are not over-hyped, and that have trailers that do not show too much of a film’s content.  Examples are Inception and Avatar, two movies that were so hyped that by the time I saw them I was disappointed.  Not so for Source CodeSource Code is so innovative and interesting that you may keep talking about it, keep thinking about the different elements, the different choices made and possibilities the story reveals.  If they only made sequels to movies like this.

For one, my favorite sci-fi movie subject involves alternate realities, whether they are parallel timelines, time loops, time travel, or alternate histories.  On a basic level you will encounter time loops, a discussion topic from earlier this week, and you may encounter other alternate reality topics in Source Code.  Despite its title, it is not a computer techno-romp like The Net.  That’s a good thing.

Source Code stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a man on a train who appears out of nowhere and believes he is an American soldier whose last memory was fighting a battle in Afghanistan.  He is pulled out and replaced into a confined space, and from the trailer we know this place is a train that has a destiny with some type of horrible explosion.  Like Unstoppable, reviewed earlier here, only a handful of characters and tight locations are necessary to tell this tale.  The grandiosity of the typical blockbuster is not necessary here to deliver fast-paced action and harrowing circumstances for Gyllenhaal and co-star Michelle Monaghan, and uniquely difficult decisions for a project leader played by Vera Farmiga.  The is a small film, but high concept.

Gyllenhall fails to disappoint.  Joining Tom Cruise and Bruce Willis, his films always deliver.  His acting project choices, like this film, will hopefully continue to propel his career forward.  Like his character in Zodiac, the suspense mystery about the search for the real-life Zodiac serial killer, his character in this film struggles with confidence, angst, and a desire to break out of his confinement, his lot.  His performance here is as equally exciting as his acclaimed role as a troubled youth in Donnie Darko.

Source Code contains traditional sci-fi elements, to the point you would swear this was based on a Philip K. Dick, Arthur C. Clarke or Ray Bradbury story.  It has the feel of a classic sci-fi story.  Like with Bruce Willis’s Twelve Monkeys, Gyllenhaal’s Colter Stevens is a traveller, not by choice, not in the way we all dream about what you could do if time travel were possible.  Like characters in Connie Willis books (To Say Nothing of the Dog, Lincoln’s Dreams, Doomsday Book, All Clear) Stevens has a mission to complete, but not all is as it appears.  Rounding out the key characters of the story is Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale), a lead actor type who is always equally solid in a supporting role as “the man behind the curtain.”  Look for the voice of Scott Bakula as Stevens’ father, not entirely coincidental considering this Quantum Leap-inspired quest.  And see how this could be considered another borg story, not unlike The Six Million Dollar Man.

Source Code could be compared with the Matrix, but Source Code is much better, much smarter, and more compelling.  As with movies like War of the Worlds, you are forced to ask yourself “what would I do if I suddenly awoke in Stevens’ shoes?”  Directed by Duncan Jones, this film does not follow any typical pattern and the story begins in the middle of the action, like a lot of TV shows, such as Heroes, have been filmed in recent years.  The pace works really well here.  You may be able to stay ahead of the action and decisions a few times throughout the movie, but I’d wager no one could predict the branches the story ultimately follows.  What contributes to the gravity of the characters’ situations is the believability of the circumstances in our current era of varying colored alerts.

While you’re buckling down for Irene to arrive this weekend, you could do a lot worse than renting Source Code on DVD or Blu-Ray.  Source Code’s creative story, action, and good acting earn 4.5 of 5 stars.  This may have fared even better in theaters, because so many details contribute to the story understanding that even on a decent size small screen you may miss some of these bits and pieces.

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