Welcome back to the SciFi Squad Movie Club. You're probably well acquainted with our favorite weekly feature by now (or at least you should be, since we've been doing it for five frakkin' weeks, already!), but just in case you missed our last few movie club meet-ups, I'll tell ya everything you need to know one more time ... Every week, one of we schlubby, poorly paid nerd bloggers will pick a great sci-fi movie, everyone watches the movie over the weekend, and we all meet back here on Monday to discuss it. Sounds easy enough, huh? And maybe even a little fun and crazy too, eh? Of course it does, and it's only gonna get crazier, because this week's movie is ...

12 monkeys poster

12 Monkeys (1995)


Who's involved?
Only one of the greatest sci-fi heroes to ever grace the silver screen, Mr. Bruce Willis himself. Brad Pitt and Madeline Stowe (Mmmm ... '90s Madeline Stowe) are also along for the insane ride, directed by visionary madman Terry Gilliam.

What's it about?
It's the year 2035 and a mysterious lethal virus has wiped out five billion people and seemingly forced the remainder of the population underground. Man's survival rests in the hands of the mentally unstable James Cole (Willis), a prisoner who volunteers to travel back in time to 1996 to stop the epidemic. Something goes wonky with the time traveling and Cole ends up in 1990, six years off his mark. He's quickly arrested and shoved into a mental institution where he meets Jeffrey Goines (Pitt), a cracked and babbling activist who may or may not know something about the origins of the virus. Cole also meets Dr. Kathryn Railly (Stowe), who he later kidnaps, falls in love with, and enlists in his convoluted mission to save the world.

Why should I watch it?
Lots of reasons. First, it's one of the most visually dazzling, poignant and compelling movies Terry Gilliam has ever directed, second only to Brazil which, you know, is a visionary masterpiece. Second, Bruce Willis is fantastic. He grounds the often-erratic picture with a raw and heartbreaking performance that lends the film a hefty dose of emotion and wit. It's some of his best work to date. And the story -- with its complex twists and turns, unreliable narrative, and emotional punch -- will blow your mind. 12 Monkeys is a crazy, dirty, chaotic, and ultimately satisfying sci-fi experience.

Anything else?
It's inspired by the short avant-garde French film La Jetée, which is composed almost entirely of black-and-white sill photos. (Rumor has it you can find La Jetée on the Youtubes.)

12 Monkeys shouldn't be a hard flick to track down, just look for Bruno's glowing red eye at the video store. Also, Itunes has it, and you can stream it on Netflix Watch Instantly.

Se ya Monday for the discussion.