While I do not like real-life disasters (I have had enough of those), I do love a good science fiction disaster film. IFC Midnight has recently announced that they have acquired the North American rights to Rubikon. The film is directed by Magdalena Lauritsch and has been shown in other countries, but now it can be distributed in North America.
Now, you know me and you know I love my scary movies and I know I say I’m excited to see a lot of films, but this is so true for The Long Walk, which is Lao-based director Mattie Do’s third feature film. Why? Let’s watch the trailer together and I’ll break it down for you:
“What if I told you the stories you grew up with were all true?”
When I received an email about a fantasy/sci-fi drama including a writer, the Navajo community, an ancient legend, and Josh Hartnett, I knew I had to see the film. I sent out my screener request immediately and am glad to report that I was not disappointed in Well Go USA Entertainment’s latest: Valley of the Gods.
When Earth is no longer inhabitable, humans will look to outer space for other planets. This may sound like a common trope in science fiction, but trust me, G-LOC is not just another sci-fi tale.
The inspiration came from multiple sources. I was incredibly inspired by the surreal and trips visuals that Gille Klabin was making for his low budget music videos and I really wanted to write a script that showcased those unique talents.
Goggles, top hats, airships, and, of course, gears. These are the things that most often come to mind when someone hears the word “steampunk” but what is steampunk actually?
I have to credit a large part of my nerdiness to my Dad. I remember my sister and I going over on weekends and he’d have comic books all around the house and a movie collection that could rival no other. Of course he gave us a proper education by having us watch the cult action favorites, new releases, and gems from his ever-growing collection of flicks.
I have to credit a large part of my nerdiness to my Dad. I remember my sister and I going over on weekends and he’d have comic books all around the house and a movie collection that could rival no other. Of course he gave us a proper education by having us watch the cult action favorites, new releases, and gems from his ever-growing collection of flicks. I was in elementary school during the time when word had started to circulate that the Star Wars movies were going to get a digital remastering. Mom (the other half of my nerd genes) wanted to make a big event out of it, we were going to go to the Uptown down in Northwest DC to go see it. Dad, upon hearing about this, sat my sister and I down, pulled out the VHS Box set of Episodes 4-6, and we marathoned the three the weekend before seeing it redone at the theater..
Flash forward to today. A brand new trilogy has begun (we don’t talk about the prequels), something I was hoping for as soon as I learned that at some point way back when, George Lucas had laid out a blueprint for 9 episodes in total. The EU in the books has been replaced by primarily the Disney XD Clone Wars and Rebels shows, and J.J. Abrams has rekindled my hope in a franchise that in the end isn’t ever going to fully let me down. Thus, director Gareth Edwards’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came along as the first example of this new EU moving forward onto the silver screen, early reviews were coming out, cosplay friends got into early screenings and I heard murmurs that the film was on par with The Empire Strikes Back as a favorite. I went and saw it, hell I was going to see it even if the early reviews crucified it.
At face value we don’t have much new as far as the pitch, the story isn’t anything too different from two other movies that came out in 2016. A ragtag group of rebels lead by uncooperative rogue Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and a special operative type Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) unwittingly find out that they have the ability to reveal a purposefully built flaw made into the Death Star in order to blow it up. Mads Mikkelsen plays Jyn’s father Galen who was forced to design the Death Star against his will. I really appreciate how this movie shuts up all the fan boys going “Why would the Death Star have such a critical weakness?? blah-blah-blah?…”. What it boils down to is that classic ‘People on a mission’ Seven Samurai-style plot with flavor in the casting provided by Alan Tudyk and Donnie Yen and a brief appearance by Forest Whitaker.
What primarily drew me to this film was the story of a person in the universe who isn’t a Jedi and has no inkling to be one. The movies have been a long episode of “Keeping up with the Skywalkers” until this moment. When you’ve got people that can shoot lightning from their hands, having a protagonist in Jyn Erso armed with only wit, a blaster and some useful Kali skills, otherwise creates a sense of vulnerability the audience can relate to. Her character naturally draws from what we loved about Han Solo and while that took her character far, either Jones’s portrayal or the script she had to work with didn’t do much create a character that felt believable beyond that. I found myself questioning her motivations when she was giving a big “rally the troops” type speech near the Act 2 to 3 transition.
When you look at it as a standalone film outside of the support of the Star Wars franchise, Rogue One was entertaining, but wasn’t much to rave about. I felt like the writing from the end of the first act until the middle of the second was a bit chunky, and character motivations across the board were murky. We have all these characters joining forces, but aside from getting stuck in a cell with each other for a sequence why are they motivated to go on a suicide mission? When compared to another ‘Men on a Mission’ movie that came out back in August of last year, Suicide Squad, we have Amanda Waller providing the group with clear motivations and stakes to cooperate against their better judgement. In the end the writing trudges along enough to keep our story flowing, and despite the darker nature of this story, moments of comedy pop up between the characters to help bring up the mood. Outside of the writing I had slight nitpicks. There wasn’t the iconic scrawling text opener at the beginning of the movie and they utilized CG to animate the figures of Grand Moff Tarkin (the late Peter Cushing) and a younger Princess Leia. I found that decision rather unsettling (especially now with Carrie Fisher’s recent death) and a bit surprising considering Abrams’s decision to stick to practical effects, film stock, and puppetry for The Force Awakens. We could have had a replacement for Tarkin and a double with creative angles for Leia and I think the audience would have been fine with it. We also have the lack of a John Williams-composed soundtrack which to my understanding has bothered fans across the board, but perhaps we could chalk that up to Mister Williams being busy composing Episode VIII. That’s really the best reason not to have him on Rogue One.
Despite all the flack Vox‘s review got for saying it was “the first Star Wars movie to acknowledge the whole franchise is about war” I’d say they are right. This entire time we’ve followed the Generals, the special ops, droids and masked clones in armor who have blown up, or gotten limbs cut off that instantly cauterized, but we never see much suffering, all sparks and oil, no blood. Until now our heroes can easily block lasers with lightsabers. In Rogue One even the one force-sensitive individual is not able to stop blaster fire. Sure Disney made Gareth Edwards reshoot a large chunk of the film for being too dark to get a PG-13 rating, but I think the one message Rogue One nailed over any of the other movies is that war is an ugly kind of hell. Characters are vulnerable. The action seems more real and visceral than we’ve ever seen before. We see Rebel troops actually look like they’re clearing rooms and move as a unit because they know they have to rely on each other to get home. The stuntwork for Rogue One was phenomenal. The portrayal of the larger action sequence during Act 3 felt more like they were battling on the beaches of Normandy than on a fictional planet. Director of Photography Greig Fisher really inserts us into an alien world that feels all too familiar with his work. He makes us feel in danger when we should and settles the mood visually when the audience needs to take a breath.
Overall the movie is worth a watch. Do I put it up there with The Empire Strikes Back? No, most definitely not, but I believe it was a solid popcorn flick to check out. I knitpick primarily about the writing because I hope that my one tiny voice echoing across the internet can help let Abrams know that he’s taking this franchise in the right direction, but he’s still gotta crank up the craftsmanship a bit and jump away from formula before he can leave his mark on the universe.
I’m a bit far apart from the inner workings of the Star Trek fanbase, but I am familiar with the ceremonial nature of this year in the wake of the release of Star Trek: Beyond and the forthcoming CBS series, Star Trek: Discovery. Looking into the matter further with the hopes of attaining a bit of a sci-fi angle to our readership, I took to a friend of mine on social media named Ben Riddle, an avid Star Trek fan and cult follower to delve into his own thoughts about in an article at his own behest.
He obliged accordingly and you can check it out for yourself by clicking here in case you missed it, while you might be keen on his stronger suited work in providing video lectures on things he enjoys talking about via his YouTube channel. This ultimately includes sci-fi, film and television entertainment, and incidentally, all things Star Trek, which he now provides in his latest video update reciting his August piece, which should also serve as useful for those who are visually impaired and can’t read articles for that reason.
Apart from that, the video does accomodate specific images to place emphasis on the following essay you’re about to listen to. It features photos of the cast, clips from various iterations of the show and posters, as well as a few grim images applied to amplify Ben’s thoughts with respect to the real world results and outcomes that mankind has faced in up to five decades since the evolution of franchise creator and sci-fi patriarch, the late Gene Roddenberry’s futuristic vision began its evolution on the small screen. Enjoy!
Adrian Bouchett and Amed Hashimi lead the ensemble cast with actor Phillip Lane as the iconic alien hunter. Watch it right now!
Based on the international blockbuster film by executive producer Steven Spielberg and the first of his films to be adapted for television, MINORITY report follows the unlikely partnership between a man haunted by the future and a cop haunted by her past, as they race to stop the worst crimes of the year 2065 before they happen.
Watch the teaser below and check out the poster just beneath.
Wishing actor Harrison Ford a speedy recovery following the crash of his single-engine plane last week from which his injuries have been deemed non-life threatening, hopefully this won’t diminish his recently-announced involvement on, among other things a long-awaited sequel to the 1982 sci-fi noir cult classic, Blade Runner. In lieu of this and with the approval of director Ridley Scott, Warner Bros., the British Film Institute and the Blade Runner Partnership have commissioned a trailer for the 2007 ‘Final Cut’ version ahead of it’s theatrical release in the U.K. set for April 3, which you can now watch below, courtesy of Ignition Creative London.
Based on late author Phillip K. Dick’s original 1968 publication, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, Blade Runner is set in November in the year 2019, with Ford in the role of semi-retired LAPD detective Rick Deckhard, who, in the course of being pulled back to duty as a “blade runner” to hunt down and “retire” rogue humanoid “replicants” following a bloody mutiny that led to their illegality, finds himself protecting and falling in love with Rachael (Sean Young), a replicant who believes herself to be human. The film was a commercial deterrant in North America but gained success overseas and earned cult status among adoring sci-fi fans for becoming one of the most visually stunning and influential movies to date, in addition to, among other things, receiving preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library Of Congress.
Hampton Fancher and David Peoples, who wrote the first film are writing the sequel with Michael Green for Sicaro helmer Denis Villenueve to helm next summer with Scott executive producing.
Watch the trailer for Blade Runner below!