We’re reaching the end of the summer movie season. We’ve already seen and judged flicks such as Star Trek Into Darkness, After Earth, World War Z, Pacific Rim, and Elysium. The fall still holds Riddick, Ender’s Game, Gravity, and The Zero Theorem. But for now, we’ve got time for one last bit of summer sci-fi. It’s last call, and The World’s End looks to be exactly the right flick to take in before you hop into a cab and leave the summer movie glut behind you.
The final installment of Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto/Blood & Ice Cream Trilogy, The World’s End follows up on the zombie comedy Shaun of the Dead and the action/buddy-cop satire Hot Fuzz. Once again, Wright and Pegg are skewering a popular genre, and this time it’s our very favorite one: science fiction.
You’ve got Pegg starring as Gary King, an alcoholic trapped in perpetual arrested development, gathers his friends in their hometown to complete The Golden Mile, an epic pub crawl they never finished in their youth. In spite of having grown up in ways Gary clearly hasn’t, Peter (Eddie Marsan), Oliver (Martin Freeman), Steven (Paddy Considine), and Andrew (Nick Frost) agree to come along, but they soon discover that The Golden Mile will pit them against more than nostalgia and potential alcohol poisoning. Their hometown has been overrun by a robot invasion, and it’s up to Gary and the boys to…well, saving the planet seems unlikely, but at least try and figure out what the hell is going on.
The World’s End hits theaters this Friday. Here’s what else is new This Week in Science Fiction!
Delete (Reelz, 8/7c)
Reelz continues to try and establish its brand with yet another disaster movie, this time taking a page from Skynet and having our computers become self aware and deciding to kill all humans. One reason that Delete might earn a spot on your DVR: it was penned by two Stargate writers, Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie. Hey, it’s bound to be better than Ghost Shark.
Under the Dome (CBS, 10/9c) — “The Fourth Hand”
“Big Jim and Barbie discover that their lives are intertwined when a mysterious woman (Natalie Zea) unexpectedly arrives in Chester’s Mill.” It sounds like this show is continuing to ramp up its Lost-itude. Let’s hope it doesn’t become an exercise in fruitless wheel-spinning.
“The Bone Season” by Samantha Shannon
Summary via Amazon:
It is the year 2059. Several major world cities are under the control of a security force called Scion. Paige Mahoney works in the criminal underworld of Scion London, part of a secret cell known as the Seven Seals. The work she does is unusual: scouting for information by breaking into others’ minds. Paige is a dreamwalker, a rare kind of clairvoyant, and in this world, the voyants commit treason simply by breathing.
But when Paige is captured and arrested, she encounters a power more sinister even than Scion. The voyant prison is a separate city—Oxford, erased from the map two centuries ago and now controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. These creatures, the Rephaim, value the voyants highly—as soldiers in their army.
Paige is assigned to a Rephaite keeper, Warden, who will be in charge of her care and training. He is her master. Her natural enemy. But if she wants to regain her freedom, Paige will have to learn something of his mind and his own mysterious motives.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine—a young woman learning to harness her powers in a world where everything has been taken from her. It also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
This shooter revamp of the classic sci-fi strategy series has been delayed and rejiggered since its initial reveal, but it looks to have found a better balance between the gunplay and the strategery. Players take the reins of a 1960s squad of G-men tasked with investigating and combating an invasion by an alien enemy. Hopefully this bit of retro alien-bashing won’t disappoint.
Face Off (Syfy, 9/8c) — “Future Frankenstein”
The contestants put their own spin on Mary Shelley’s classic creature. No points given for flat-tops or neck bolts.
Heroes of Cosplay (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Emerald City”
The cosplayers hit up Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon, the self-described “premier comic book and pop culture convention in the pacific northwest.”
Saints Row IV (Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC)
On the surface, a series that began as a poor man’s Grand Theft Auto clone should have no place in a column about science fiction. But along the way Saints Row decided to set itself apart from that other crime franchise by losing its goddam mind. The latest installment has the player’s gangster protagonist having ascended to the Presidency of the United States. And there are aliens. And you have super-powers. You have to give them credit for taking a concept and running with it.
Star Trek: Enterprise – The Complete Second Season (Blu-Ray)
One of the franchise’s underdogs brings its second season to Blu-ray. In addition to the full 26 episodes of Enterprise’s sophomore season, the set includes audio commentary on two episodes, text commentary from Trek tech masters Michael and Denise Okuda, featurettes, deleted scenes, and outtakes.
Futurama (Comedy Central, 10/9c) — “Murder on the Planet Express”
The show tackles a classic sci-fi trope: the Planet Express crew is trapped on their ship with a dangerous critter. Bonus points if it proves to be a beach ball with feet.
Joe Rogan Questions Everything (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Real Close Encounters”
It’s too bad the government just acknowledged the existence of Area 51, Joe could have worked that angle in this week’s look at notions of alien visitors and government cover-ups.
Judge Dredd #10 (IDW Publishing)
I’ll be honest, they had me at “multi-eyed precog mutie companion.”
Judge Dredd, along with his multi-eyed precog mutie companion Dannn, fight venture through the Cursed Earth in pursuit of the renegade droids who stole the only thing that can save Mega-City One. Horrific obstacles stand in their way… but none more horrific than the worst backwoods criminal posse ever to set foot on irradiated soil: the Angel Gang! When these longtime fan-favorite villains make their U.S. debut, you’d better make sure your dial is set to ‘brutal’…
Continuum (Syfy, 10/9c) — “Second Last”
Kiera and Carlos focus their efforts on stopping Travis after he gets hold of a second CPS suit; at the same time, Alec and Emily plan their escape from the Freelancers and deal with a game-changing revelation about Alec’s past.
Futurama Fanarama Marathon (Comedy Central, 6/5c)
Fans of the show voted for their 10 favorite Futurama episodes of all time, and this Sunday you can find out what made the cut!