Awesome 1963 Czech scifi film directed by Jindrich Polák about a spaceship crew bound for Alpha Centauri, based on an early Stanislaw Lem novella. It's been called an influence on 2001 (we know Kubrick saw it) and Star Trek. It includes eerie encounters with alien spacecraft, fantastic sets and costumes, a wonderful experimental electro-acoustic score by Zdeněk Liška (who later scored Jan Svankmeyer shorts), and the 2nd best outer space dance scene ever, complete with casual drug-sniffing. Available in a beautiful 2016 restoration from Second Run DVD with neat extras, and currently up at YouTube. [more inside]
Mystery Science Theater 3000: ATLANTIC RIM Rewatch Season 12, Ep 2
Rewatch! The Asylum is an infamous studio I'm a bit conflicted about. It's true, I've seen a lot of their films, despite finding it challenging to make it through a lot of them. Many of them aren't what I'd call good. But they continue to make movie after movie, even after all this time, despite it being a difficult craft, doggedly doing what they want no matter what people tell them. I admire that. And they made Z Nation, which people generally liked. Well, this is more typical of their output: a movie based loosely upon, and named similarly to, a big-budget movie, released straight to disk. This one has pretty unlikable characters. It's the second movie of "The Gauntlet," MST3K's short 12th season. Previously.
After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.
It's been centuries since the robots of Panga gained self-awareness and laid down their tools; centuries since they wandered, en masse, into the wilderness, never to be seen again; centuries since they faded into myth and urban legend. One day, the life of a tea monk is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They're going to need to ask it a lot.
A quirky, dysfunctional family's road trip is upended when they find themselves in the middle of the robot apocalypse and suddenly become humanity's unlikeliest last hope.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: THE MAD MONSTER Rewatch Season 1, Ep 3
Rewatch! An amiable handyman is turned into a furred killer by virtue of a syringe of Wolf Juice, in service to that diabolical process called science. When it is proclaimed of our our somewhat-hairy, yet still humanoid, victim that he has "become a wolf," it is a profoundly silly moment. Comes with Pt. 2 of Radar Men From The Moon. Previously [more inside]
Rewatch! Evil Dr. Krupp, aka "The Bat" continues his plans to steal a treasure from the body of an Aztec mummy. This time he builds a robot to do it for him, which, why? Sell the robot, get more money than the treasure is worth! No matter. He's opposed by the virtuous Dr. Almada and the mummy, Popoca, itself. Also riffed is the first part of Commando Cody serial Radar Men From The Moon. Previously
Star Trek: Picard: Maps and Legends Season 1, Ep 2
Picard begins investigating the mystery of Dahj as well as what her very existence means to the Federation. Without Starfleet's support, Picard is left leaning on others for help, including Dr. Agnes Jurati and an estranged former colleague, Raffi Musiker. Meanwhile, hidden enemies are also interested in where Picard's search for the truth about Dahj will lead. (IMDB, Memory Alpha) [more inside]
The megabudget sequel to the 2010 Tamil-language smash Enthiran brings back Rajinikanth in the dual role of Dr. Vaseegaran, government super scientist and Chitti, his AI/robot creation. All of the cell phones in Chennai have flown into the sky and coalesced into a bird-like monster. Only Chitti, Dr. Vaseegaran, and the doctor's newest robot Nila can save the city.
This is a two and a half hour long Bollywood/Tamil musical/romantic comedy/sci-fi epic about Dr. Vasi, a brilliant scientist (Rajinikanth) who builds a robot named Chitti (also played by Rajinikanth) to protect mankind. Problems arise when Chitti falls in love with Dr. Vasi's girlfriend (Aishwarya Rai). This film's sequel, 2.0, is scheduled to hit theaters on 11/29/2018.
Lost in Space: Eulogy Season 1, Ep 6
Maureen debates whether to share what she saw in the sky, Don leads a mission to find fuel, and the robot's presence stokes tensions within the group.
Lost in Space: Transmission Season 1, Ep 5
As the team builds a tower to signal the Resolute, Maureen investigates a planetary anomaly, and Will braces for a tough conversation with his dad.
Lost in Space: The Robinsons Were Here Season 1, Ep 4
The Robinson's make contact with another family of survivors; Will races to protect his friend after Judy learns what happened aboard the Resolute. [more inside]
Lost in Space: Infestation Season 1, Ep 3
Flashbacks reveal clues to Dr. Smith's past; The Robinsons contend with a new threat as the ship's fuel supply starts dropping - fast.
Lost in Space: Diamonds in the Sky Season 1, Ep 2
Another crash brings more travelers to the planet, as the Robinsons work to salvage their ship with help from their mysterious new companion.
Archer: Auflösung Season 8, Ep 8
Archer visits Dreamland and receives a big break that leads him to Woodhouse's killer. [Season finale] [Warning: depiction of violence to robo-dogs] [more inside]
Archer: Gramercy, Halberd! Season 8, Ep 7
The gang tries to escape a rampaging robot. Knock-knock, who's there?
Star Trek: Voyager: Prototype Rewatch Season 2, Ep 13
The system goes online on August 4th, 2297. Humanoid decisions are removed from strategic defense. The automated units begin to learn at a geometric rate. They become self-aware at 2:14 AM, Pralor time, August 29th. In a panic, the Builders try to pull the plug. [more inside]
In Duncan Jones (nee Zowie Bowie, son of David)'s debut feature, astronaut Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell in a celebrated showcase performance) has a quintessentially personal encounter toward the end of his three-year stint on the Moon, alongside his computer companion GERTY. Despite not storming the box office, Moon (trailer) drew comparisons to movies like Solaris, Alien, and 2001, found critical praise (though not universally), won several awards, and still maintains a healthy following seven years later. (Some links contain spoilers)
Steven Universe: Back to the Barn Season 2, Ep 23
When Pearl and Peridot clash over who should build a drill to get to the Cluster, Steven has them compete with giant robots.
Breaking Bad: 4 Days Out Rewatch Season 2, Ep 9
After Walt undergoes a PET-CT scan, he and his family wait for news about his cancer treatment progress. Fearing the worst, Walt follows Saul’s advice to cook as much product as he can with the time he has left. Jesse’s relationship with Jane develops, but is put on hold when he and Walt retreat to the desert for their marathon cook. [more inside]