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Androids, magic, parallel worlds, ghostly crime, and the apocalypse. Here’s a raft of new forthcoming UK sci-fi and fantasy TV…
The superhero genre may be taking up residence in cinemas for the foreseeable, and Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead are leading Us TV's genre output, but what can fans of UK sci-fi and fantasy look forward to seeing on television over the next year?
There’s Doctor Who of course, which appears to be in rude health and going nowhere, a Christmas Special from Black Mirror, and a hint of new Red Dwarf on its way. (And of course, if there’s anything like justice in the world, the terrific In The Flesh will be recommissioned for a third series.)
If though, you’re thirsting for something new, 2015 is promising to deliver a handful of geek TV gems. We’ve scoured the new UK commission announcements for anything spooky, »
Despite the lottery-esque sounding odds, the U.S Dramatic Competition section which produces the finest American indie specimens such as Frozen River, Winter’s Bone, Blue Valentine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Fruitvale Station and Whiplash is fairly consistent in terms of quality. Last year’s crop of sixteen have almost all had their theatrical releases with Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter being the last one out of the gates (pegged with an early 2015 release). Last week we individually looked at our top 80 Sundance Film Fest Predictions (you’ll find 30 other titles worth considering in our intro) and below, we’ve split the list into narrative and non-fiction film items and have both identified and color-coded our picks in an AtoZ cheat sheet. You’ll find 2015′s answer to Whiplash located somewhere in the stack below. Click on the individual titles below, for the film’s profile. »
- Eric Lavallee
What I like about a fest such as Sundance, is that it’s not only a place where we’ll find semi-star vehicle material with players in the indie biz, but they also launch the careers of new directors and is loaded with fresh faces. King Jack is the type of film that falls into the later category. Two time SXSW short filmmaker Felix Thompson began filming in this past summer and while we think there is a great deal of polishing involved, the pic, which was selected for the Sundance Institute Creative Producing Lab fellow program has a legit shot.
Gist: Starring Christian Madsen, Charlie Plummer, Danny Flaherty, Cory Nichols and Erin Davie, when shouldered with the responsibility of watching his younger cousin for the weekend, a delinquent 15 year-old (Plummer) finds himself stumbling towards maturity while struggling against the neighborhood bully.
Production Co./Producers: Buffalo Picture House’s Gabrielle Nadig, »
- Eric Lavallee
Park City became a special lieu for actor Craig Roberts back in 2011 with the world premiere launch of Richard Ayoade’s Submarine (see pic above). Over the course of this past summer, the just over the legal drinking aged thesp tag-teamed with indie vet Emile Hirsch on the shot in Wales. Titled Just Jim, it’s being described as a dark comedy, and this just happens to be Roberts directorial debut. Cast is comprised of Aneirin Hughes, Nia Roberts, Richard Harrington, Matthew Aubrey, Ryan Owen and Charlotte Randall star.
Gist: A Welsh teenager will become the cool kid of the town if a deal is made with his new American neighbour (Emile Hirsch).
Prediction: World Dramatic Competition or Premieres.
U.S. Distributor: Rights Available. Tbd (domestic). Tbd (international)
More 2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions 2015 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Josh Mond’s James »
- Eric Lavallee
In their decade long journey of indie film craftsmanship, the creative producing-directing trio of Josh Mond (see picture above) Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin (otherwise known as the Borderline Films crew) have shared a special bond with two essential film fest stops: one is located on the Croisette, and the other in Park City. So on practical terms, it would almost be fitting that a film about family bonds, made by a family of three filmmaker friends finds a launchpad with the larger Sundance family as we’ve seen now seen a mix of their features (Simon Killer, Martha Marcy May Marlene) and shorts premiere in the snow. Mond’s James White began production sometime late last year with Christopher Abbott leading a cast comprised of Cynthia Nixon, Ron Livingston, Scott Mescudi, David Call and Mackenzie Leigh, and they brought in some key post-production ingredients with a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign. »
- Eric Lavallee
Amazon has announced that they've picked up their recent pilots "Hand of God" and "Red Oaks" to series. Both shows will return to Prime Instant Video next year as full series following customer reaction to the pilot episodes.
'God' stars Ron Perlman as a law-bending married judge who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. He begins to rely on visions he believes are being sent by God through his ventilator-bound son.
"Red Oaks" is set in 1985 and centers on a college student (Craig Roberts) reeling from his father’s heart attack and conflicted about what major to declare in the fall. He gets a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at the Red Oaks Country Club in suburban New Jersey.
Amazon has also announced that the third season of its period procedural drama "Ripper Street" will premiere on its U. »
- Garth Franklin
As Netflix works to break into feature-length programming, Amazon is still taking steps to catch up with its competitor in the realm of original series. Following pilot season, the Internet superstore announced today that it has picked up the Steven Soderbergh exec-produced period story Red Oaks and the Ron Perlman-led Hand of God to series. Additionally, Amazon has ordered more scripts for Whit Stillman’s The Cosmopolitans in order to further evaluate whether it will be a good fit for the company.
Red Oaks is a coming-of-age comedy set in the “go-go” ’80s. Craig Roberts (Neighbors) stars as a college student who is determined to make the most of the last days of his summer while working as an assistant tennis pro at a Jersey country club. Jennifer Grey, Oliver Cooper, Paul Reiser, Richard Kind and more co-star in the series, which had its pilot directed by David Gordon Green. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Not to be forgotten in the wake of this week's big Netflix news, Amazon has announced its own series pickups today. The internet superstore has ordered full seasons of "Hand of God" and "Red Oaks." "Hand of God" is created by Ben Watkins ("Burn Notice") with Marc Forster ("World War Z") directing. The series features Ron Perlman in the lead as a man who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a quest for revenge. Perlman's character, Pernell Harris, believes he is getting messages from God, directing him. Dana Delany and Andre Royo are also featured in the cast. "Red Oaks" is directed by David Gordon Green ("Pineapple Express") and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh ("Traffic"). It is a period story, taking place in 1985, and follows an assistant tennis pro (Craig Roberts) at a Jersey country club and the people who work and frequent it. The series also stars Richard Kind, »
- Josh Lasser
A dramatic psychological thriller set in a corrupt modern city and a sunny, coming-of-age comedy set in the 80s. Introducing the two new Amazon Original Series headed into production: Red Oaks, from producer Steven Soderbergh (Traffic), and Hand of God, written by Ben Watkins (Burn Notice) and directed by Marc Forster (World War Z).
Hand of God stars Golden Globe winner Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) as Judge Pernell Harris, a hard-living, law-bending married man with a high-end call girl on the side, who suffers a mental breakdown and goes on a vigilante quest to find the rapist who tore his family apart. With no real evidence to go on, Pernell begins to rely on “visions” and “messages” he believes are being sent by God through his ventilator-bound son.
What Hand of God viewers have been saying:
“From the opening credits to the final scene, I was completely hooked and entertained. »
Greg Jacobs is a very busy man. He has spent much of the last two decades working closely with Steven Soderbergh as the Oscar-winner's first assistant director, but he's done plenty of writing and first string directing of his own. In fact, he will soon go into production as the top guy on the sequel to a little movie called “Magic Mike,” but more on that later. Jacobs, who won an Emmy Award for producing “Behind the Candelabra,” is also the writer of the Amazon comedy pilot “Red Oaks,” which stars “Submarine” and “Neighbors” actor Craig Roberts as David, a teenager who works. »
- Jordan Zakarin
Red Oaks, Season 1, Episode 1: “Pilot”
Directed by David Gordon Green
Released August 28, 2014 by Amazon
Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh recently made a new foray into television following his announced retirement from filmmaking to helm all episodes of the first season of Showtime’s The Knick. That’s not the only tv project Soderbergh is involved in, however, as he has also teamed up with filmmaker David Gordon Green, among others, as a producer for the potential series Red Oaks. Following a university student in 1985 New Jersey as he tries to figure out the next stage of his life while working at a tennis club, Amazon and the creators have released the pilot online in hopes of getting a series order. The pilot, while not touching on the full potential of the show, is nonetheless an entertaining episode with a lot of promise for the series. »
- Deepayan Sengupta
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Running Time: 96 minutes
Blu-ray Only Extras: Alternative Opening, Deleted Scenes, Gag Reel, An Unlikely Pair, Partying With My Neighbours, The Frat, On Set With, Feature Commentary.
New parents Mac (Seth Rogen) and Kelly (Rose Byrne) are a couple trying to come to terms with the reality of adulthood – a baby and a house – whilst trying to maintain the impression they are still the fun-loving young couple they once were in this new gross-out comedy from Nicholas Stoller.
When a fraternity led by Zac Efron and Dave Franco move in next door, the couple soon realise that living next to a fraternity will seriously disrupt the peace, quiet and early nights that have become routine. Rowdy parties, loud music and dirty front lawns are just the beginning, and this neighbourly »
- Victoria Bull
Believe it or not, films and television programmes added to Netflix and Amazon do have a tendency to expire and no longer be there after a while; this isn’t as publicised as when the titles in question are added though. So by the time you read this there are around 50 titles disappearing from Netflix.
If you have ever wanted to watch the 2002 version of The Count of Monte Cristo then you have probably missed your chance by now. What this does mean however is that probably next week Netflix will have added a whole raft of new stuff, I say new but it will probably be a mixture of catalogue and stuff from the last year. I know that the underrated Enders Game and the superior Hunger Games: Catching Fire is due there in September, I just don’t know when.
In other Netflix news, they made industry headlines »
- Chris Holt
Red Oaks, one of the new Amazon Studios pilots now available to watch, is executive produced by Steven Soderbergh, but it’s certainly nothing like his current airing television project, the dark early-20th-century medical drama The Knick. Though Red Oaks could sound like a similarly bloody affair, Soderbergh’s never been one to stick to a genre, and the show is a small scale comedy named for a country club in New Jersey where the hero, David, gets a gig as a tennis pro one summer in the ’80s. There’s potential within Red Oaks if Amazon does decide »
- Esther Zuckerman
Amazon keeps accelerating the pace and output of its "pilot season" process. The original batch of Amazon pilots were presented to the public in April of last year; of those, only "Alpha House" (which got renewed for a second season) and "Betas" (which remains in limbo) got picked up. The second batch of pilots were unveiled less than a year later, and Amazon ordered almost all of them — other than "Rebels," the pro football comedy that no one seemed to like — to series. That was in February, and while none of those new shows has debuted — "Transparent," the best of the bunch, will premiere all of its episodes, Netflix-style, on September 26 — Amazon yesterday unveiled its third pilot season, even as there's already news about casting for the fourth wave of Amazon pilots. At this rate, they may be ordering some shows before a word's even been written, and traveling back »
- Alan Sepinwall
Amazon Studios have always done things a little differently. Firstly, their door is always open to creators wishing to submit material. Secondly, when they produce that material, it’s for the audience to decide if it is of sufficient quality to warrant further investment. They make a pilot available, people watch it, and its fate is determined by user comments and ratings. Among the latest of these offerings is Red Oaks – a comedy written by Joe Gangemi (Wind Chill) and Gregory Jacobs (Criminal), directed by David Gordon Green (Prince Avalanche) and executive produced by Steven Soderbergh. To say it is worth checking out is an understatement.
Starring Craig Roberts (22 Jump Street), Paul Reiser (Mad About You), Richard Kind (Obvious Child) and Jennifer Grey (The Bling Ring), the show is set in the 1980s, and sees a college student take a summer job as an assistant tennis pro at a country club. »
- Sarah Myles
Someone needs to have a long talk with Amazon about trying to compete with Netflix and the like with their original programming. Very first step (once you have content) is to make it accessible and advertise it. Advertise it At Least on your own website where you have millions of shoppers. I'm a good case study. Ever since speaking with Dana Delany, a guest star here last month, I've been eager to see her new pilot that she and I talked about offline "Hand of God". I go to Amazon a lot and I've been wondering when advertisements would pop up for it and they never did. I had to search for it specificially and then once I was searching I had to instinctively know to click on a very small ad that said "Amazon Pilots" above the actual search results that showed me old attempts at original programming. They »
- NATHANIEL R
Not so long ago, reality TV promised us that anyone could be a famous singer,
or chef, or alligator wrestler, or Amish craftsman. Now it’s not enough to be onscreen talent: We want to be development execs, too.
We have that chance with Amazon presenting its third round of pilots, which can be found on Amazon Instant Video. Viewers can watch, rate, and review the five new shows, and their feedback will help the streaming site decide which pilots to pick up as original series. (Last time around it ordered six series, including Chris Carter’s The After and Jill Soloway’s Transparent. »
- Melissa Maerz
Amazon on Thursday morning debuted its third pilot season, where you, the consumer, can screen and vote on a total of five new projects featuring familiar faces such as Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy), Sarah Chalke (Scrubs), Dana Delany (Body of Proof), Chloe Sevigny (Big Love) and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy).
This past April, Amazon customers had a role in greenlighting six series, including the Jeffrey Tambor-fronted dramedy Transparent (premiering Sept. 26; watch trailer), X-Files creator Chris Carter’s The After and the novels-to-screen adaptation Bosch, starring Titus Welliver.
The new crop of pilots can be sampled in the »
Wondering what to watch this Labor Day weekend? You might want to fire up your Amazon account and check out the five new pilots the online behemoth is rolling out. Unlike their competitors at other streaming services, the company is taking a unique approach to programming. Today they're launching the new shows, but the catch is that user comments and ratings will determine which ones get ordered to series...and which don't. Among the competing shows is "Red Oaks," from director David Gordon Green. Starring Craig Roberts ("Submarine"), Paul Reiser and Richard Kind, the show is an '80s set comedy that follows a college age kid working at a country club during the summer. The first clip and a behind-the-scenes look promises what looks like an enjoyably sharp show, and fyi, Steven Soderbergh executive produced the pilot. "Red Oaks" is now playing on Amazon. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
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