Science Fiction Double Feature

Just went to watch the movie Chronicle with my Mister on a whim. It was unexpectedly good (and the previews had me truly scared: The Three Stooges, Battleship, and the sacrilegious 21 Jump Street remake). It’s a found-footage style film following the lives of three high-school guys who develop telekinesis after some late-night spelunking at a rave (no part of this is a euphemism).

The guys explore their growing powers with a series of pranks and stunts ranging from the sophomoric to exhilerating, and the effects are very well done. Never too much, everything looks downright plausible.

The final third of the film turns philosophical (but definitely not dry), taking a look at what a sudden increase in personal power would lead to in the lives of its three main characters.

As I said, surprisingly good. I would recommend it to fans of Unbreakable or the more philosophical aspects of X-Men. Forewarned is forearmed: it has its violent and shocking moments.

 

But wait, there’s more!

Yesterday, the cover for the third novel in Allie Condie’s Matched trilogy, Reached, was revealed. The first novel of the series, Matched, is dystopian YA sci-fi set in a strictly-controlled future. One hundred songs, one hundred poems, and one hundred works of art are all that remain of our once-rich culture. Only a handful of activities are approved for leisure time, preferences are statistically tracked and predicted, and life partners are assigned by the government.

Cassia is a girl on the eve of being Matched, and everyone is fairly certain they know whom she will be paired with. While they are not wrong, at the Matching ceremony another face flashes across the screen before showing the expected male. Suddenly Cassia is questioning the perfection of her perfectly plotted society, and whether the powers that be really know what’s best for her, while getting to know the mystery man whose face flashed before the one she expected.

 I read Matched a few months ago, and it was okay. The world-building was pretty good, it was reasonably well-paced, and the characters weren’t totally two-dimensional, but I didn’t feel compelled to seek out the second novel when it was released (much like Beth Revis’s Across the Universe). Actually, I remember thinking Cassia was kind of a dope.

Anyway, now that I’ve damned the first with faint praise, I will admit that I’m considering reading the second. The first novel very much read as a set-up for the second and showed enough promise that I’m willing to believe reviewers who claim it gets much better.

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