Jar Jar Binks Must Die... and Other Observations about Science Fiction Movies
Hugo Award finalist. In this collection of essays, film critic and sf fan Kimmel covers movies from Metropolis (1927), answering the absurd claim that the restoration of this silent classic negated its status as a science fiction film, to how Star Trek, Avatar, Moon, and District 9 may have made 2009 a "miracle year" for the genre. More
As the title Jar Jar Binks Must Die indicates, Daniel M. Kimmel is not only a film critic with strong opinions, he's also a fan. In this collection of essays, he covers movies from Metropolis (1927), answering the absurd claim that the restoration of this silent classic negated its status as a science fiction film, to how Star Trek, Avatar, Moon, and District 9 may have made 2009 a "miracle year" for the genre. Along the way he looks at neglected works like Things to Come (1936), explains why remakes aren't always bad, and how seeing E.T. in an empty screening room changed his mind about Steven Spielberg. Whether to rediscover old favorites or add new titles to your Netflix queue, this is a must-have for lovers of SF movies.
Jar Jar Binks Must Die was a Hugo Award nominee in the category of Best Related Work. One of only five finalists on the ballot in 2012, it was both author Daniel M. Kimmel's first Hugo nomination, and the first for publisher Fantastic Books.
Daniel M. Kimmel is a past president of the Boston Society of Film Critics. When it was discovered he is also a science fiction fan he started getting invitations to participate at a number of SF conventions, which he continues to do. He reviewed for the Worcester Telegram and Gazette and now writes for Northshoremovies.net. He is a correspondent for Variety, the "Movie Maven" for the Jewish Advoacate and teaches film—including a course on SF and horror—at Suffolk University. His essays on classic science fiction films have appeared in several publications includuing Clarkesworld, Space and Time, and the Internet Review of Science Fiction. He is the author of a history of FOX TV, The Fourth Network (2004) which received the Cable Center Book Award. His other books include a history of DreamWorks, The Dream Team (2006) and I'll Have What She's Having: Behind the Scenes of the Great Romantic Comedies (2008).
"[Kimmel's] writing is intelligent and entertaining.… his knowledge of SF movies is encyclopedic.… This is the guy you want sitting next to you when Channel 45 has a weekend 'sci-fi' movie marathon.… For anyone who likes SF movies, this volume is worth the price of admission." —Don Sakers, "The Reference Library", in Analog Science Fiction and Fact.
"Kimmel's a terrific guide to classic though underappreciated works such as Things to Come, and is especially sharp on 1950s sf movies, David Cronenberg, and the art (or lack of same) of movie remakes.… his brief essays are addictively readable and yes, a lot more fun than watching Revenge of the Sith." —Elizabeth Hand, "Books", in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction.
"Kimmel displays expertise on the subject along with a lively sense of humor—scarcely a page is turned that doesn't yield a few good laughs.… Readers who already take science fiction seriously will enjoy the book's panoptic breadth and it's frank jubilation in its subject matter.… [Kimmel] makes it his business to guide his readers to science fiction films that are worthy of our attention as social commentary, whiz-bang spectacle, or works of entertainment that carry an extra edge.… the best advice to take with you on your foray into Jar Jar Binks Must Die is this: keep your Netflix wish list at the ready. You're going to revisit movies you hadn't thought about in years and be irresistibly tantalized by films you've never seen, and maybe never even heard of." —Kilian Melloy, in Edge Boston.