The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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 Entire ArchiveScience Fiction & Fantasy

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John W. Campbell, Jr. & the Supermen of Science Fiction
Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction Alec Nevala-Lee, New York: Dey Street Books, 2018 Alec Nevala-Lee, an Asian-American science fiction writer,[2] has here written something remarkable: an intentionally PC multi-biography that nevertheless manages to be well-informed and informative, well-written and compulsively readable.... Read More
Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men(2006) is loosely based on P. D. James’ 1992 novel of the same name. Cuarón is solidly Leftist, but Children of Men seems more and more like a Right-wing vision of dystopia with each passing year. (Cuarón’s 2001 film Y Tu Mamá También, is basically Marxist propaganda and soft-core... Read More
John Derbyshire spoke at the Mencken Club recently (November 3, just before the midterms) and spoke on the subject of anarcho-tyranny. See earlier Brimelow At Mencken: “Democrats—Party Of Perjury, Party Of Treason, Party Of Hysterical Screeching.” Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for being here, and thanks to Paul [Gottfried] for what already looks... Read More
Jodorowsky’s Dune, Frank Pavich’s 2013 documentary, tells the story of the “greatest movie never made,” Alejandro Jodorowsky’s abortive adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Jodorowsky is a Chilean-born Jewish filmmaker and author of graphic novels and books on spirituality, psychology, magic, and divination. I have reviewed his The Dance of Reality at Counter-Currents. In 1974, after... Read More
David Lynch’s Dune (1984) is a flawed masterpiece. When I first saw it, I was deeply disappointed. Frank Herbert’s original novel made a powerful impression on me. I could see Herbert’s world, and Lynch’s vision was not my vision. But when my initial impression faded and I returned to Lynch’s film with an open mind,... Read More
I loved 2015’s Jurassic World, the reboot of the Jurassic Park “franchise” starring Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard, directed by Colin Trevorrow, and co-authored by Trevorrow and Derek Connolly. Jurassic World blew away the Jurassic Park films. It is highly entertaining and also surprisingly wholesome. Along with the main attractions, the dinosaurs, Jurassic Worldis... Read More
I had a bad feeling about this. It wasn’t just Solo‘s cursed production history: the original directors were sacked near the end of shooting, and Ron Howard was brought in to finish the movie, reshooting 70 percent of it. It wasn’t just the rumors that Alden Ehrenreich was not up to the role of Han... Read More
Unbreakable (2000) is many people’s least favorite M. Night Shyamalan film, but I think it is his best: brilliantly conceived and scripted, beautifully acted and filmed, and quite moving. Since the film is almost two decades old, I trust nobody will complain about spoilers. Unbreakable is a superhero film, but it does not contain any... Read More
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is an animated movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. Released in two 76-minute parts in 2012 and 2013, then combined into a 148-minute edition DVD and Blu-ray, this is lame, sclerotic, constipated, Z-grade animation drawn out to paralyzing lengths, completely lacking the visual style and... Read More
“Only White Nationalism Will Make Wakanda Real”
I saw Black Panther with a friend in Seattle last week. Judging from the reverent silence in the theater — broken only occasionally by our laughter at unintentional bits of humor — it was an all-white audience. The serious tone of Black Panther is a departure from recent Marvel movies, which constantly undercut heroism with... Read More
The Last Jedi isn’t an awful film. Not Force Awakensawful. But it is pretty bad. Down there at the bottom of the scrap heap, with The Force Awakens and The Phantom Menace. The question on my mind was whether The Force Awakens was just a Phantom Menace moment, a rocky start to a trilogy that... Read More
Watchmen is the greatest superhero movie of all time, and when it was released, its director Zack Snyder was poised to follow Christopher Nolan into the first rank of directors working today. But instead, he has directed an ever worsening series of turkeys: Sucker Punch, Man of Steel, Batman v Superman, and now Justice League,... Read More
It is dangerous work, making a sequel to a classic like Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 magnum opus. French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is a very good film, but it inevitably falls short of the original. I first discovered Villeneuve’s work with his 2016 science fiction film Arrival (discussed with John Morgan... Read More
Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie Blade Runner is a science fiction classic and surely the director’s finest work. Blade Runner excels on all levels. It is a highly imaginative vision of the future realized with a stunning visual style. The script is intelligent, even poetic. The cast is uniformly strong, with a number of powerful performances,... Read More
I saw Alien: Covenant on the big screen this summer in Budapest. I didn’t write a review then, because another reviewer had it covered. But having seen it for a second time, now on Blu-ray, I feel moved to comment. Covenant is an excellent film, indeed the best in the series since Scott started it... Read More
I feel like the skinhead who went to see Cats because he’d heard that T. S. Eliot was a fascist. Japanese cartoons are very popular in our circles. They have even been reviewed at Counter-Currents. The closest thing I had seen to a Japanese cartoon is Twilight of the Cockroaches. But that mixed animation and... Read More
Valerian? Isn’t that a root one chews to fall asleep? I saw Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element near the end of its run in the theaters, and it was love at first frame. I loved its Manichean/ancient astronauts plot, unique and dazzling visual style (imagine the Coen brothers remaking Barbarella), the madcap action, blond Bruce... Read More
Watchmen is one of the most thoroughly Right-wing, even fascistic works of recent popular culture, despite the right-thinking Leftism of the creators of the original graphic novel, Alan Moore, who wrote the story, and Dave Gibbons, who illustrated it—and of Zack Snyder, who directed the movie adaptation, which to my mind is the greatest superhero... Read More
Now Expanded & in Audio Version
Warning: a few minor spoilers Rogue One is quite simply one of the best Star Warsmovies ever. It has an interesting plot, a tight script, good pacing, uniformly good acting, excellent special effects, amazing sets, spectacular new worlds, and dazzling battle scenes. I really loved this movie. When I first saw the teaser trailer I... Read More
I have seen a lot of Star Trek on the big and small screens, and from the perspective of middle age, it seems like an appalling waste of time. Recently, I watched a number of episodes from the original series, which I had not seen since childhood, and found them quite creaky and often laughable.... Read More
In any matchup between Batman and Superman, I side with Batman. I’ve never liked the character of Superman, because he is not a man at all. He’s basically a god. He’s not a human being who has raised himself to the pinnacles of human excellence. He’s an alien who is simply endowed with superior abilities.... Read More
Ridley Scott’s The Martian is a superb movie: suspenseful, inspiring, and deeply moving, with an excellent plot, fine performances, compelling pacing, and completely believable special effects. The Martian in set in the near future when space exploration is once again a national priority and manned Mars missions are regular undertakings. On one such mission a... Read More
Now a Video!
The new Star Wars movie is exactly what I deduced it would be from the trailers and the fact that it was directed by J. J. Abrams, a filmmaker so vulgar and artless that he makes Jerry Bruckheimer seem like Ingmar Bergman. The Force Awakens is not an homage but a ripoff. It is not... Read More
I was a dinosaur kid, and it does not take much to reawaken the wonder. Thus I enjoyed 1993’s Jurassic Park a good deal, although I thought it much inferior to Michael Crichton’s book. The best thing about it, frankly, is John Williams’ wonderful music. That, and a droll little detail: “Objects in mirror are... Read More
Mad Max: Fury Road is the fourth — and the best — Mad Max movie directed by George Miller. Miller was born George Miliotis — the son of Greek refugees from Turkish ethnic cleansing in Anatolia — and is also the creator of two other, and very different, film franchises, the Babe the talking pig... Read More
In his remake of King Kong, Peter Jackson dragged out the big ape’s death so long it felt like a lifetime. At the time, it merely seemed like a lapse of taste. In hindsight, it seems like the beginning of a whole new career characterized by megalomania, greed, one-upmanship, self-indulgence, and bad taste. It was... Read More
“I aim to misbehave”
Joss Whedon’s 2005 film Serenity is the sequel to his short-lived 2002 science fiction series Firefly. Even though only 14 episodes of Firefly were shot, and their quality is somewhat uneven, it is one of the best science-fiction series ever and showed enormous promise. Whedon, who also created Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Dollhouse,... Read More
Joss Whedon’s Firefly is a science fiction series that lived and died on the Fox Network in the Fall of 2002. Fourteen episosdes were shot, but only eleven were aired before the series was canceled, to the consternation of the surprisingly large number of loyal fans that the show conjured up in the split second... Read More
I am sorry to report that I was disappointed by The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first installment of Peter Jackson’s film trilogy based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit. Jackson’s first mistake was trying to make a trilogy at all. The Hobbit is shorter than any of the three volumes of The Lord... Read More
Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is the fifth and final movie of Mormon novelist Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenally popular Twilight Saga. I think that the Twilight Saga is highly significant, because it offers a systematic argument for traditional — and biological — sexual roles and morality in the form of a Gothic teen romance story involving vampires... Read More
I finally got to a town with a movie theater and saw The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final film of Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy. The Dark Knight Rises does not equal The Dark Knight — which was scarcely possible anyway — but it is a superb piece of film-making. It is a... Read More
With its stunning H. R. Giger designs and first-rate cast, Ridley Scott’s classic Alien (1979) is imaginative, visually striking, immensely atmospheric, and sometimes just plain terrifying. Together with its worthy but very different sequel, James Cameron’s Aliens (1986), it spawned a vast pop-culture “franchise” (which is Hollywood-speak for a mythos) including two unworthy sequels, Alien... Read More
Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Part 1, is the fourth and penultimate movie of The Twilight Saga, based on Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenally popular series of novels. Worldwide, the Twilight novels have now sold more than 100 million copies; they have been translated into 37 languages; The Twilight Saga movies have grossed more than $2 billion. Meyer, I... Read More
I saw Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch a few days ago, but I wanted to wait until my ears stopped ringing before I wrote a review. Frankly, I needed the time to come up with something to say. Sucker Punch is often a great music video. It is frequently a great video game. But it never... Read More
In any poll of Counter-Currents readers, H. P. Lovecraft (1890–1937) would surely rank high among fiction writers. Thus Lovecraft is a regular feature in these pages. For the uninitiated who want a quick introduction, I recommend you start with Frank H. Woodward’s Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown (2009), a 90-minute documentary on Lovecraft’s life and... Read More
In my review of Christoper Nolan’s Batman Begins, I argued that the movie generates a dramatic conflict around the highest of stakes: the destruction of the modern world (epitomized by Gotham City) by the Traditionalist “League of Shadows” versus its preservation and “progressive” improvement by Batman. I also argued that Batman’s transformation into a Nietzschean... Read More
Weaponizing Traditionalism, Transvaluing Values
Batman Begins In Batman Begins (2005) and its sequel The Dark Knight (2008), director Christopher Nolan breaks with the campy style of earlier Batman films, focusing instead on character development and motivations. This makes both films psychologically dark and intellectually and emotionally compelling. Nolan’s casts are superb. Although I was disappointed to learn that David... Read More
After being blown away by director Christopher Nolan’s Inception, I decided to give his Batman Begins (2005) another chance. The first time I saw this film, I did not like it. Not one bit. I must have been distracted, because this time I loved it. Nolan breaks with the campy style of earlier Batman films,... Read More
I finally went to see Inception. I wish I had gone on its opening night. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen. Inception is one of the most imaginative and brilliantly plotted movies ever, and it is also one of the most thrilling and emotionally powerful. Think Vertigomeets The Matrix—but that... Read More
Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) looks like director Guillermo del Toro’s audition for The Hobbit. (He got the job, but backed out because of scheduling problems with the studio.) The root mythology is Tolkienesque: In remotest antiquity, elves, trolls, and other beings shared the earth with mankind. The visual style is pure Peter Jackson:... Read More
Guillermo del Toro’s Hellboy (2004) is grounded in a highly entertaining fusion of occult history and lore—including elements of Traditionalism, Esoteric Hitlerism, and even H. P. Lovecraft’s Cthulhu mythos—although cut and pasted and juggled around without any regard for truth. Hellboy begins with the character’s origins. In 1944, the Nazis send a secret expedition, Project... Read More
Twilight: Eclipse is the third movie based on Stephenie Meyer’s phenomenally popular four volume Twilight Saga. I reviewed the first two movies, Twilight (here) and New Moon (here), and I was gratified to be contacted by several readers for my opinion of Eclipse. First, some background. In Twilight, Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart), the protagonist with... Read More
Recently, I went to see Predators, a sequel to the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Predator, about a group of American Special Forces commandos in the Central American jungle who find themselves being hunted by an extraterrestrial, the Predator. Predator was not that good a movie, but the premise was interesting. It was ripped off and... Read More
Spoiler: Neo and Trinity die and the machines win. Bummer. Most of the rest makes no sense. I hated this movie. I didn’t hate it for its racial politics, which are the absolute worst I have ever seen. There are wise, powerful, competent, heroic Negroes everywhere. (The fact that they are all in Zion, a... Read More
About twenty minutes into The Matrix Reloaded I was feeling sick to my stomach — literally. The scene was in “Zion,” the last bastion of the human [sic] race. Picture the ugliest industrial junkyard on the planet and then drop it down a hole to the ninth circle of hell. Morpheus, played by the ugly,... Read More
It was one minute past midnight, one last time. I knew The Return of The King would be a great movie, and it is. The only question in my mind was, “How great?” Return is not as good as The Two Towers, my favorite Rings movie, but it is a magnificent, moving film, that will... Read More
Catherine Hardwicke’s movie Twilight is based on the first novel of a series by Stephenie Meyer. The books mostly appeal to young women, and the advertisements for the movie screamed “chick flick,” so I gave it a pass when it was released in theaters. But I admire Joss Whedon’s series Angel, about a vampire with... Read More
The news is: the movie of New Moon, the second installment of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, doesn’t suck—in the vulgar, colloquial, non-vampire sense of the word—although all the signs were certainly there. First, the book of New Moon is terrible: nearly 600 pages of pedestrian prose, glacially paced, padded to excruciating lengths not with fluff,... Read More
I liked the first Spy Kids movie a lot. It was a simple, enjoyable adventure story, told with humor and style and livened up with imaginative sets and great gadgets. I liked the premise: Gregorio and Ingrid Cortez are spies, a job they have to keep secret from their kids. The kids are smart, though,... Read More
I loved M. Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. And I love his new movie Signs. Signsdoes not have the amazing twist ending of The Sixth Sense, but it has a twist of its own. Ostensibly a suspenseful, scary sci-fi thriller with many wonderful comic scenes, Signs turns into something far more serious and... Read More
PastClassics
What Was John McCain's True Wartime Record in Vietnam?
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?