My Thoughts On: “Prospect”

Prospect is an independent American science fiction film which had a limited release on the big screen in 2018 and which was then released online the year after. It is directed by Zeek Earl and Chris Caldwell and is based on a 2014 short film of the same name. A young girl accompanies her father, an experienced prospector, to the Green Moon, where they plan to dig for treasures that will bring them immeasurable wealth. However, things do not start off well; their landing pod crash lands in an area well way from their intended landing zone and it is severely damaged. Things only get worse from there as, on their way to the dig site, they are waylaid by a pair of desperate marauders. As you can see, although it is science fiction, the plot of Prospect is very much that of a traditional western.

The first thing that drew me to Prospect was a visual of the heroine, which I came across on Pinterest whilst I was looking at pictures of women in spacesuits. The heroine’s spacesuit had a wonderful retro look to it, rather like the spacesuits from the science fiction TV shows of the 70s, which I adore. Once I had determined that the visual was from a film and that this film was available to watch online, I couldn’t resist checking it out.

There were quite a number of things I liked about Prospect, but I will just discuss the main ones. First of all, the retro aesthetic in Prospect was delightful: it has a lot of chunky, well-worn technology and a lot of paper, in the form of such things as notebooks and maps. And for such a low-budget project, the visual effects were top notch, in particular the shots in outer space. Perhaps more could have been done to make the Green Moon look more alien, but you do get to see some glorious alien skyscapes a couple of times. Then we have the cast. They were few in number (as you would expect), but they were all great: Sophie Thatcher, who played the young girl, is excellent as a rather sullen, but very relatable young heroine who does her best to overcome the numerous difficulties she faces on an alien world (see the image above). Pedro Pascal (who I guess today is best known for his starring role in The Mandalorian) is also excellent as one of the marauders; he manages to come across as both threatening and charming at the same time. Another thing I liked about Prospect is its plot, which preferences character interactions and character development over action, and even when there is action, it is gritty and scrappy and not at all over-the-top. And finally, I think the music by Daniel L.K. Caldwell deserves a mention as well. Like the plot, it is subdued (and perhaps a little generic), but it certainly does a great job of adding to the moodiness of the story.

Needless to say, I loved Prospect. I think it is a well-crafted and thoroughly engaging lo-fi science fiction film. It is not faultless (for example, the main characters’ story arcs do feel a little rushed), but I highly recommend it to those who, like me, love the science fiction and fantasy novels from the latter half of the 20th century.😊

Featured (Anti-)Heroine: Rynn Jacobs

Today is October 31 and that means one very important thing. No, not Halloween; today is the birthday of one of my favourite (anti-)heroines of all time, Rynn Jacobs. And that, you may be surprised to know, is despite the fact that up until about half a year ago, I hadn’t even heard of her.

Rynn Jacobs was created by the American author Laird Koenig as the protagonist of Mr Koenig’s 1974 novel, The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane. A movie based very closely on this book (thanks, no doubt, to the fact that Mr Koenig himself wrote the screenplay), was produced in 1976 and it stars the extremely talented Jodie Foster as the titular little girl. A version of the story for the stage also exists. The image which you can see at the beginning of this post is from a German lobby card for the film. It is not the whole lobby card; unfortunately the lobby card is slightly larger than my scanner.😥

I only decided to watch The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane after I stumbled upon it on Amazon Prime earlier this year. Although I was familiar with the title of the film, I only had a very vague notion of what it was about. However, within the first minute, I was hooked and by the end of it, it was one of my favourite films of all time. Not long after this, I managed to get a copy of the original novel (see the image below) and I ended up loving it as well. To give a brief summary of the plot, Rynn Jacobs is a young, but highly intelligent and fiercely independent girl, who lives a rather secluded life with her father, a successful poet. Although still a child, Rynn dearly wants to live her life as she pleases, well away from the expectations and pressures of society. However, some unfortunate events conspire to put this desire at risk…

The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane has been described as a horror story, simply because the story involves a number of deaths, but I think horror is not the best way to describe it. For me, it is more of a suspense story, and that suspense is created by the serious struggles Rynn faces in trying to maintain her unusual lifestyle. Incidentally, the Rynn from the book and the one from the film differ slightly. The book version of Rynn is darker, as some of her actions could be seen as downright malicious (even though those actions are born solely out of a powerful survival instinct). The film version of Rynn, on the other hand, is a lot more sympathetic; only one of her actions (the very last, in fact) could be described as being somewhat malicious. But in either case, I find Rynn to be a fascinating character. I greatly admire the strong will she has to live her life as she chooses, even when taking into consideration the extreme lengths she goes to in order to protect her independence.

There is one last thing I would like to add to this post and that is about Rynn’s name (which, as far as I can tell, is of Gaelic origin). I think it’s absolutely magnificent! It is nice and short and very pleasant-sounding. Had I known of it prior to seeing The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, I most certainly would have used it as the name for one of my characters, but having seen the film, Rynn will always be the little girl who lives down the lane to me.😊

Official Trailer for “Resident Evil: Welcome to Racoon City” Released

I must say, this Resident Evil film reboot looks promising. Although, in my opinion, it looks more like a TV series than a blockbuster film, it does seem to follow the plot of the first few Resident Evil games quite closely, which makes it infinitely more interesting to me than any of the Resident Evil films starring Milla Jovovich. Claire Redfield is apparently the central character, which is cool. I just hope that Jill Valentine gets plenty of screen time too. But I did not see any sign that Sherry Birkin will make an appearance. I really hope she does, because after Jill, Sherry is my favourite Resident Evil character.😊

Also, you may have noticed at the end of the trailer that Talenthouse is having a fan art contest for this movie. The deadline is now less than two weeks away, and there are a raft of conditions to take into account, but since I’m such a big Resident Evil fan, I really would like to submit something to this competition.😄

New Fan Art: Princess Lili from “Legend”

A couple of days ago I saw Ridley Scott’s 1985 fantasy film, Legend, for the first time. This is a film I’ve been interested in seeing ever since it first came out, and now that I’ve watched it, what did I think about it? I didn’t think it was very good, actually.😅 It had a vague, almost aimless story that I never found particularly interesting. But it did have its highlights. One of those was Mia Sara’s performance as Princess Lili, the heroine of the film. Ms Sara is very pretty (she reminded me quite a lot of Natalie Dyer, from Stranger Things), and Princess Lili’s dark version certainly had an eye-catching outfit! And that is why I was inspired to draw this fan art of Dark Lili. As always seems to happen, I merely set out to do a rough sketch, but then I started reworking things until it turned into something closer to a finished illustration. In the end, I think it came out rather well, even if the resemblance isn’t really there.

Something to Look Forward to: “Ainbo” Animated Film

On Pinterest today I happened upon a poster (see above) for an upcoming 3D animated film called Ainbo. From what I can gather, this film was originally planned to be released in 2019, but it is now scheduled to be released in 2021 instead. You can check out an official teaser trailer for it below.

Put succinctly, Ainbo is the story of a young native girl from the jungles of South America, and her journey to save her home, which is being threatened by civilisation. From a purely personal point of view, I think it Ainbo has the potential to be a really fun film. And I say that for three reasons. Firstly, it’s about a jungle girl, and I’m a big fan of stories about jungle girls. Secondly, the animation looks top notch and very cute (in a Disney-like way). Thirdly, it is mainly being produced by a Peruvian studio (Tunche Films), which puts it somewhere close to my heart.

Unfortunately, Ainbo doesn’t seem to have an official website at the moment (the link provided by IMDB is dead) but if I come across more information about it in the future, I’ll write a follow-up post to this one. But for now, au revoir, arrivederci and may the force be with you!😊