Another thought-provoking indie flick

Vanguard’s 2007 “Exodus” takes the story of Moses and imagines a future in which “undesirables” (criminals, refugees, homeless people, drug users and sellers, etc.) are detained in a concentration camp called Dreamland. Well worth watching, but no easy answers.



Looking for a good book redux: Listed by genre

This version of my Foreword Reviews book reviews should be more palatable for readers who have special interests.

Science Fiction & Fantasy

Short fiction




General fiction


There are more reviews available at the magazine’s website at — please do check out other reviewers’ work as well. A very wide range of subjects is covered in this magazine. I also have more reviews up since I first posted this list.

A different view: “Sleep Dealers”

This 2008 film, written and directed by Alex Rivera, is set in a future Mexico when water is even scarcer than it is now. Memo and his father have to buy water from a corporate water seller; the river which used to flow by their land has been dammed for many years, before Memo was born. Memo dreams of escaping his father’s pride in land ownership and farming, wanting to connect to the wider world. When he gets his chance, he takes it — losing much that he later realizes he holds dear. He arrives in Tijuana, gets robbed, meets a young woman who sells her memories to a company called Tru-Node, and finally lands a job as a node worker.

Nodes are how a human becomes a tele-presence employee, and guarantees a better-than-living wage for Memo, so he can send money to his family. This job, however, has drawbacks. It can leave a worker blind, drain one’s energy at a faster-than-healthier rate, or even be lethal.

Memo begins to question what he’s doing so far from home. He believes there’s something else he can do besides work too much. When he’s contacted by a man from the US who travels to Tijuana to meet him, and offers to help Memo, an idea germinates in his mind and is brought to fruition. This idea becomes action and offers reconciliation in many forms, to Memo as well as those he knows.

The fact that Memo’s story first entered the world as a film is startling all by itself. Science fiction has had a mixed treatment, at best, from US film producers and directors. Writer/director Rivera brings a fresh perspective to the SFnal ideas of social conscience, connecting with others in an increasingly tech-driven society, and becoming aware of more than what one can swing a snake at, and that’s just for starters.

Gently told, subtle and finely acted (with English subtitles for non-Spanish speaking viewers), “The Sleep Dealers” is another 5 star film that will likely not get much notice. What a shame.

Viva la revolucion.

Days of futures past: “Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth”

This 2007 film is certainly a science fiction film, but it has no special effects, no aliens, and no woo-woo tech. It doesn’t need any of that.

Hulu currently has it available on its free list, so no Hulu+ required, yay!

The central question that powers this fascinating drama: what if someone you thought you knew well told you and a group of mutual friends that he was 14,000 years old? What would that conversation be like?

I rate this film 5 stars. It’s well-acted (includes William Katt [who knew?] and Tony Todd), artfully directed and absorbing to the point of saturation without turning into a puddle. What a shame it was a direct-to video release only.

There are hidden gems out there, people. Some of them aren’t even older than the year 2000.

Detroit’s Exxodus Pictures releases first feature film, “Jinn”


Exxodus Pictures, based in Detroit, MI released its first feature film, “Jinn,” on April 4, 2015. It’s currently streaming on Netflix. The production company has recently received a large grant to continue its work, and a second “Jinn” film is planned.

OMG you guys!!!!!

If you haven’t seen it yet, GO WATCH IT. NOW. I’ll wait.

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Pretty good, huh?

I’m so ready to see the next one, even though I have no idea if the script is even written yet. 🙂 The whole film is great, and the inclusion of a non-European culture as the major source material is a huge breath of fresh air. The SFX are stunning, the acting is top-notch, the script the cinematography the editing I could go on forever …

But I won’t, because boring. So just go watch it already!