13 items from 2015
It's been a game-changing month for Amazon Studios. The online superstore announced plans last week to start producing original movies—not just a few, either, but 12 titles a year, each with a respectable indie budget ranging from $5 million to $25 million. The move came on the heels of Amazon solidifying its reputation as a major force in the TV industry by convincing Woody Allen to make a TV series and picking up two Golden Globes for its transgender dramedy Transparent—including the first-ever win by a streaming company in the best series category. And at least one of Amazon’s new »
- James Hibberd
Amazon released its latest batch of pilots a couple of weeks ago, in the midst of press tour, so it took me a while to get to them, and I still haven’t had time to watch “Point of Honor.” But I saw all the other adult scripted series, and two clearly stood out as the ones I hope go to series: “The Man in the High Castle,” about a reality where the Axis powers won WWII, and “Mad Dogs,” about four middle-aged friends (played by Steve Zahn, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin) whose vacation to visit a fifth old pal (Billy Zane) goes terribly awry. Both are adaptations with top-notch U.S. producers involved: “Man in the High Castle” with Frank Spotnitz working from the Philip K. Dick novel, “Mad Dogs” with Shawn Ryan teaming up with “Mad Dogs” UK creator Cris Cole. Amazon moves at its »
- Alan Sepinwall
The Man in the High Castle, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Directed by David Semel
Released January 15th, 2015 by Amazon
For fans of Philip K. Dick, The Man in the High Castle will have undoubtedly already been on their radar for quite some time. Dick’s fiction has been adapted into several acclaimed films, including Blade Runner, Minority Report and A Scanner Darkly. In this recent batch of Amazon pilots, Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files) adapts The Man in the High Castle with the vision of turning the source material into a full television series. Those unfamiliar with Dick’s written work need only know that his interest is in science-fiction and that the worlds he creates are generally immersive, vast, and intricately planned-out.
In that regard, The Man in the High Castle is a success. I’ve always thought »
- Sean Colletti
If picked up, Amazon Pilot The Man In The High Castle could become as compulsive to watch as The Americans meets Lost...
This review contains spoilers.
1.1 The Man In The High Castle (Pilot)
Adapting the worlds of Philip K. Dick to visual media is always a tricky proposition. For whatever reason, the person who has done Dick's work the most justice is Ridley Scott in his production of Blade Runner. Even that was different from the source material, but it works brilliantly as a film thanks to Scott's pruning and shaping, and that's one of the reasons why Amazon Studios' adaptation of The Man In The High Castle has been greeted with such interest from fans of all things weird. After all, when you have Ridley Scott and The X-Files guru Frank Spotnitz attached to the same project, it seems like only good things can result.
Out of This World: Little Lost Robot
DVD release from British Film Institute
Review by Adrian Smith
(This review pertains to the UK Region 2 DVD release)
Alongside the recent BFI release of the BBC television series Out of the Unknown comes this oddity; the only completely surviving episode of Out of This World, a science fiction series produced in the early 1960s by independent television channel ABC. The series was created by Irene Shubick and produced by Leonard White, who would achieve lasting fame through his co-creating The Avengers. Like other anthology shows before it such as Armchair Theatre, this was conceived as an opportunity to present a variety of quality writing to mainstream audiences. It was Shubick's belief that science fiction contained some of the 'most original and philosophical ideas' in modern fiction.
Boris Karloff was employed as the presenter for the show. By this time he was »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
There are plenty of awful movies based on video games out there, but today I thought I’d switch it up a bit and put together a list of great, classic films that got crappy video game adaptations. As I looked back at many of the games, I realized how bad some of them really were. I owned and played several of these games growing up, but as bad as they were, I still had fun playing many of them. I was a little kid growing up in the 80s - I didn't know any better!
These are games I got because of how much I loved the movies they were based on. A lot of the time I spent playing these games was full of frustration because many of them were practically impossible to beat. I don’t recall beating any of these games! These were all made in the infancy of video games, »
- Joey Paur
Get ready to watch, rate and review Amazon’s just-released pilots — a slate of 13 original comedy, drama, docuseries and kids offerings now available on Amazon Instant Video.
The pilots come from a talented creative roster that includes both newcomers discovered through Amazon Studios as well as highly-acclaimed veterans such as Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), Frank Spotnitz (The X-Files), Carlton Cuse (Lost), Randall Wallace (Braveheart), Shawn Ryan (The Shield), Brad Silberling (Jane the Virgin, Lemony Snickets…), Mark Waters (Mean Girls), Academy and Emmy Award winning director Alex Gibney (The Armstrong Lie), Angela Santomero (Blue’s Clues), and Carol Greenwald (Arthur).
Over the course of the next four weeks, viewer feedback will ultimately help to decide which of them get picked up to full series. So your opinions matter! You could help choose the next Golden Globe-winning series, after all.
Check out the synopsis of each of them below, and start watching them here today. »
One of life’s great pleasures is introducing someone to a new piece of popular culture that you know – just know, in your bones – that they’re going to love. Something that, as you consume it for the first time, stimulates all your awesomeness receptors and sets off those little winking neurolights that say hey, I know someone else who will literally turn inside-out with pure brainjoy when they see this. For me, last year’s prime example of this phenomenon was Adult Swim’s Rick And Morty. I can’t claim to have discovered it myself – a friend introduced it to me, telling me pretty much nothing about it beyond the title and the fact that I should give it a try – but once I’d plugged in, »
We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting the recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes release details on Amnesiac, The Atticus Institute, and Alien Outpost, multiple trailers, premiere details for Head, and a Q&A with the founder of The Philip K. Dick Film Festival:
Amnesiac Distribution and Release Details: “Amnesiac tells the story of a man (Wes Bentley) who wakes up in bed suffering from memory loss after being in an accident, only to begin to suspect that his wife (Kate Bosworth) may not be his real wife. The web of lies and deceit deepen inside the house where he soon finds himself a prisoner.
XLrator Media has acquired North American distribution rights to the psychological thriller Amnesiac starring Kate Bosworth (Still Alice, Superman Returns) and Wes Bentley (The Hunger Games series, Interstellar). XLrator Media will release the film in Summer 2015 on its acclaimed “Macabre” genre label. »
- Tamika Jones
Amazon has revealed its first slate of 13 pilots for 2015, including an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's cult classic novel The Man in the High Castle executive produced by Ridley Scott, a Civil War-era drama co-written by Lost's Carlton Cuse and a dark comedy about floundering 40-somethings executive produced by The Shield creator Shawn Ryan.
This batch of new pilots — six comedies and dramas, six children's shows and one docuseries — will be available for free on Amazon Instant Video in the U.S., U.K. and Germany starting on January 15th. »
Amazon Studios’ first pilot season of 2015 will debut Thursday, Jan. 15, unveiling seven drama and comedy projects as well as a half-dozen kid-centric pilots.
Already due to debut via Amazon Studios this year are the first full seasons of Bosch, Hand of God and Red Oaks, plus Season 2 of Transparent. (Chris Carter’s The After meanwhile just had its series order scrapped.)
The dramas and comedies are as follows (click photos to zoom):
Amazon Studios has announced a January 15th premiere date for its first batch of 2015 pilots. As usual, the company will make series greenlight decisions based on viewer feedback.
Four dramas and two comedies are on offer, most notably the remake of British black comedy series "Mad Dogs" which Shawn Ryan ("The Shield," "Last Resort") is producing. Steve Zahn, Billy Zane, Romany Malco, Michael Imperioli and Ben Chaplin star in this version of the show about a group of underachieving forty-something friends who visit a friend's Belize villa - a holiday that turns into a nightmare of lies, deception and murder.
Another high-profile title is a pilot for a series based on Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 alternative history story "The Man in the High Castle". Set twenty years after the Nazis won World War II, the U.S. is now divided between Japan and Germany and tensions between the »
- Garth Franklin
Get ready for our first pilot season of 2015, launching January 15th, when seven new primetime and six new kids pilots will debut on Amazon Instant Video. As with previous pilot seasons, viewers in the Us, UK and Germany will be invited to watch, rate and review them all over the course of four weeks, ultimately helping to decide which of them get picked up to full series.
The new pilots come from both highly-acclaimed and newly-discovered creators, and a legion of talented actors, directors and producers signed on to bring the pilots to life. Here’s a brief summary of each:
The Man in the High Castle – Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner), The Man in the High Castle explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. »
13 items from 2015
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