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Entertainment Weekly has debuted two new images from The Man in the High Castle, Amazon Studios’ adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s Hugo Award-winning 1962 novel The Man in the High Castle, which takes place in an alternate history 20th Century where the Allies lost World War II and the globe is now split between German and Japanese rule…
Speaking to EW, executive producer Ridley Scott (whose 1982 sci-fi classic Blade Runner was based on another Dick tale, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?) explained why he wanted to adapt the novel into a TV series:
“I thought it was kind of a really challenging thing to do. I’d seen a film done by a man called Kevin Brownlow. He’s quite an important early filmmaker in England before my time, and he had done a film called It Happened Here, and of course, it was precisely that notion of, “What if they had won, »
- Gary Collinson
This week in The Callow Way, Neil Calloway looks at the similarities and differences at the British and American box offices…
With Britain currently experiencing a heatwave, it’s probably not the best time to visit the cinema, but it is a great time to compare the UK and Us box office figures for 2015 so far.
The first thing to note is that the box office figures are for the UK, Ireland and Malta, for reasons unknown to me but are surely a bizarre mix of history and film distribution politics. The second thing worth noting is how similar it is to the Us box office (which is actually the box office for the Us and Canada). Of the top ten for both territories, eight films appear in both lists. The top three for both countries are exactly the same films, in the same order. Number one is Jurassic World, »
- Neil Calloway
Stylishly shot, surprising cyber-thriller series Mr Robot may not be subtle, but continues to impress and surprise…
This review contains spoilers.
Good news! The pilot wasn’t a fluke; Mr Robot is a genuinely good show. (I hesitate to say great because it’s still early days, but it’s moving in that direction.) It has ideas, style, wit, a strong lead, and unlike so much else on the summer TV schedules, doesn’t treat its viewers like primary school kids whose comprehension and attention spans require brick-heavy exposition and near-continuous reminders of who everyone is, what they’re doing, and why.
Most impressive at this point is the creeping paranoia it’s established. I don’t trust anyone in Mr Robot, from the radiator in Elliot’s apartment to that psychiatrist from ER to Flipper the incontinent dog. As far as I’m concerned, they’re all in on it. »
With the year half over, our three critics have each selected their five favorite U.S. releases of 2015 so far.
Novelist and screenwriter Alex Garland’s brainy, precisely calibrated chamber drama was that rare piece of contemporary sci-fi filmmaking worthy of mention in the same breath as “Blade Runner” and “The Terminator.” Whatever this modestly scaled film lacked in budgetary heft, it more than made up for in sleekly expressive production design, provocative ideas about the fine line between man and machine, and knockout performances from Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander (as the Pinocchio-like android yearning to be a real, live girl).
“Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter”
A young Japanese woman obsessed with the Coen brothers’ “Fargo” travels to the wilds of Minnesota in search of buried treasure in this comic gem from another sibling director team, David and Nathan Zellner. With deadpan elan, the »
- Variety Staff
Terminator Genisys opens up this weekend, and the reviews are quite mixed. "The movie's willingness to veer crazily off-course feels less objectionable than the monotony and sense of self-parody that kick in long before the whimper of a finish," Justin Chang wrote in Variety. It has an anemic 25 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but we'll probably see it anyway due to our undying love of the first two movies.
Now we have a question for you: Who is the greatest robot character in movie history? Feel free to vote for »
The 1981 film “Chariots of Fire” directed by Hugh Hudson and written by Colin Welland, won 4 Oscars at the 1982 Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Costume Design and Best Original Music Score for an impressively epic soundtrack from Vangelis, who would go on to score “Blade Runner” a year later. Revolving around the lives of Scottish Olympian Eric Liddell, played by Ian Charleston, and British athlete Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross), the movie tells the tale of their rivalry that culminates in a competition at the 1924 Summer Olympics. Now, “The Last Race” is being made, a film that concerns itself with the latter half of Liddell’s life post-’Chariots,’ as he travels back to China to become a teacher and missionary, in case you wanted to see that part of Liddell's story on the big screen. China was also Liddell’s birthplace as well as his place of death, where »
- Timothy Tau
He has been making movies for almost twenty years now, and up until his 2011 film “Incendies,” Denis Villeneuve only ever made films in his native country of Canada. So perhaps it’s understandable that it took his first Hollywood production, 2013’s “Prisoners,” for the filmmaker to receive international acclaim. Since then, Villeneuve has been on a roll with last year’s “Enemy” and the upcoming “Sicario,” the latter receiving a wealth of positive buzz when it premiered at Cannes this past May. Villeneuve has recently commenced filming his follow-up to “Sicario,” “Story of Your Life” which boasts a cast that includes Jeremy Renner, Amy Adams, and Forest Whitaker. And he's said to be attached to direct the sequel to “Blade Runner.” The man’s simply unstoppable at the moment. Read More: Interview: Denis Villenueve Talks Shooting Toronto For 'Enemy,' Dipping Into the Subconscious & His Next Projects Just in time, »
- Ken Guidry
Did Terminator Genisys leave you scratching your head? We were a bit confused too. We try to explain 22 of its pressing questions.
Nb: This article contains spoilers for Terminator Genisys. Big huge ones. Strong advice: don't read until you've seen the film.
"New mission, new fate," reads the tagline for Terminator Genisys, a sequel that returns to the series' 1984 past in order to mine a new future for its story.
But like Kyle Reese, who emerges blinking in the smog of an 80s Los Angeles, we're bewildered to learn that the past is no longer as director James Cameron wrote it: Sarah Connor is no longer a vulnerable waitress, but a leather-clad survival expert raised by a house-broken T-800.
Kyle and Sarah's objective is no longer to merely survive the attention of an unwanted assassin, but take the fight to Cyberdyne. If the first two films' message was that the future is not set, »
With the recent trend of dystopian films based on Young Adult novels doing so well at the box office – like The Hunger Games and Divergent, for example – it was only a matter of time before we headed back to the beginning.
Overriding the system isn’t just a game for the under-25 set. The genre has produced heroes from every walk of life who brought down corrupt systems – or at least tried to. Dystopian films have embraced the idea of rebellion for decades, churning out futuristic flicks like The Matrix, Blade Runner, Children of Men, and Snowpiercer.
Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the titular Terminator this weekend in Terminator Genisys alongside "Game of Thrones"' Emilia Clarke, Divergent’s Jai Courtney, Jason Clarke, J.K. Simmons, and “Doctor Who”’s Matt Smith in an undisclosed role.
- Sasha James
Every now and again a movie trailer comes along that is all kinds of wrong for the movie it is trying to promote. This is a list of some of the worst head scratchers.
Just because a movie is good doesn’t necessarily mean that its trailer is as well. Many times the filmmakers responsible for the film itself don’t have much input (if any) into the trailer. When that happens, the trailer can end up misinterpreting the intent of the film. At other times, the trailer may try too hard to get audiences interested in the film, going so far as to show all the best parts from the film. This includes giving away the twists or the ending, such that people who may have watched the trailer before seeing the film already know how it ends. This is a look at some of the worst offenders, those »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (G.S. Perno)
“Humans” is certainly timely, and there’s nothing subtle about the show’s central apprehensions regarding what’s being sacrificed by potentially handing over more of our lives to gadgets. Yet that actually works against this British co-production airing on AMC and the U.K.’s Channel 4, which mashes together renegade-robot themes in a manner that feels both derivative and a trifle boring. Sure, there’s something inherently creepy about artificially intelligent beings that look like us, but instead of this take, go see “Ex Machina,” rent “Blade Runner” or wait for HBO’s “Westworld” reboot.
Part of the challenge facing this series, written by Jonathan Brackley and Sam Vincent and adapted from a Swedish drama, is that the first two episodes prove so scattered. The main point of entry for the audience is the Hawkins family, living in the midst of suburban London. The upper-middle-class parents are grappling with marital woes, »
- Brian Lowry
Warnings: contains mild spoilers for Humans episodes one and two.
A delicious air of tension hangs like cobwebs over Humans, the Channel 4 and AMC co-production which began airing earlier this month. It presents a near-future where a new breed of robots - called Synths - are both cheap and commonplace. They clean our schools, look after our elderly and do our cooking and cleaning.
The Synths carry out their menial tasks with serene eyes and an eerie half-smile, yet not everyone is comforted by their presence. Take Laura Hawkins (Katherine Parkinson), for example: a busy mother of two, she returns home from work one day to discover that her husband Joe (Tom Goodman-Hill) has purchased a Synth called Anita (Gemma Chan) to help with the household chores. »
In the 80s, the Hollywood star was best known as a mermaid in Splash and a replicant in Blade Runner. More recently, she has concentrated on green issues, and her protests have landed her in jail. So does Sense8, her new Netflix series with the Wachowskis, herald a comeback?
On the hottest day of the year so far, Daryl Hannah appears like a mirage outside her Paris hotel. She has been window-shopping and people-watching, but the heat is intense and her foundation is flaking. She explains that she likes taking walks in the city because this was where it all started; it is where her parents met. Without Paris, she says, she would not even exist.
Hannah is in town to plug her role in Sense8, an audacious, globe-hopping Netflix series about fluid identities and the shadowy links between the present and the past. As luck would have it, the »
- Xan Brooks
The stark and uncompromising sci-fi/thriller/romance Brand New-u receives its international film premiere at the Edinburgh International Film Festival today.
Taking in a wide variety of influences and themes, the Simon Pummell (Bodysong, Shock Head Soul) directed and written piece explores the sense of self and identity in an atmospheric, art-house inflected narrative.
The unconventional film follows the central story of young lovers Slater and Nadia (Lachlan Nieboer, Nora Jane-Noone) as they attempt to better their lot with a visit to the organisation Brand New-u. The somewhat nefarious group provides customers with the identification of ‘identicals’, people who are in effect doppelgängers, but ones with different, better lives. Relocations and life-upgrades can then be made, but the price of such soon becomes apparent and Slater must strive to find not only the real Nadia but also himself…
Brand New-u creates a tense and dramatic showing of dream logic. As with all nightmares, »
- Robert W Monk
There are some interesting ideas and no little visual ambition on display in this feature directing debut from Justin Trefgarne, a noirish techno-thriller set in the not too distant future that aims to marry Blade Runner-ish tropes with the scuzzy urban drug movie. Despite the surface sheen, and some enterprising plot twists, it doesn’t entirely convince.
Opening with a Matrix-y prologue set in 2044, during which a couple of tech-ninja types surreptitiously break into a vaguely threatening computer mainframe, Narcopolis shoots back 20 years, to 2024, to a not-quite-London where recreational drugs are no longer illegal, and hardbitten cops are employed putting unlicensed dealers out of business, and mopping up after nasty unauthorised overdoses. Our protagonist is called Frank (Elliot Cowan), a sort of Sweeney-ish answer to Blade Runner’s Deckard, »
- Andrew Pulver
The new movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's Murder On The Orient Express may have found its director.
Cinderella's Kenneth Branagh is the current frontrunner to take charge of the project, says The Wrap. Ridley Scott, Simon Kinberg and Mark Gordon are producing the detective film for 20th Century Fox.
There is no word yet on casting for the movie, which tells the story of famed detective Hercule Poirot investigating the murder of an American tycoon aboard the famous train.
Here's hoping for a similar calibre of actors for the reboot.
We assume Sicario is already on your radar because we also assume you remember it being on our list of 2015 Movies That Need to Be on Your Radar. If, however, it isn't, we're guessing it will be after watching the first trailer for it, which just hit online. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, and the upcoming Blade Runner sequel), Sicario stars the always impressive Emily Blunt as a rising FBI agent who is sent to Mexico to help the CIA take down a drug cartel. As is often the case with trying to topple drug-fueled empires, things don't go so well, and our bushy tailed agent finds herself caught up in a war that seems to have enemies on all sides. Sicario also stars Josh Brolin, Benecio Del Toro, Victor Garber, and Jon Bernthal. It hits...
- Peter Hall
Denis Villeneuve (Incendies, Prisoners, Enemy) is on the fast track to being one of the best directors working today, with even Blade Runner 2 on the horizon. His latest film however, Sicario, helped solidify that vaulted stature when it earned raves at Cannes (check out our review here).
Sicario, which means “hitman” in Mexico, stars Emily Blunt as an FBI agent enlisted by Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and a government task force to fight the war on drugs in across the American border. Here’s the full synopsis:
In Mexico, Sicario means hitman. In the lawless border area stretching between the U.S. and Mexico, an idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elite government task force official to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant with a questionable past, the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive. »
- Brian Welk
Ahead of its UK release this August, Signature Entertainment has dropped a new trailer for Admiral, a historical epic starring Charles Dance (Game of Thrones) and Rutger Hauer (Blade Runner). Check it out below after the official synopsis…
Admiral Michiel de Ruyter is the most famous, and one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history, most celebrated for his role in the Anglo-Dutch Wars of the 17th century. He was held in the highest esteem by his sailors and soldiers, who used the term Bestevaêr (Grandfather) for him, as a result of his disregard for hierarchy and his refusal to back away from risky and bold undertakings despite his usually reserved and calculated nature.
Get swept away with this visually stunning, swashbuckling story of legendary naval battles, civil war, and one of the most fearless admirals of all time!
Admiral sails onto DVD on August 3rd.
- Gary Collinson
From Zoolander 2 to 23 Jump Street, with 100s in-between. Here's our rundown of the assorted movie sequels in the works...
Think Hollywood is bereft of original ideas? You just might after this. Here's our look at the assorted movie sequels currently in the works. Since we last did a list like this, we've dropped films that seem to have died a death - Wanted 2, Spring Breakers 2 - but we'll keep this rundown up to date over the coming month.
Without further ado...
23 Jump Street
Sony is pressing ahead with a third Jump Street movie, as well as a possible Jump Street vs Men In Black film, and a female-headlined spin-off. For 23 Jump Street specifically, Rodney Rothman is back and working on the script (he wrote the second one). It's unclear yet if Chris Miller and Phil Lord can find breathing space in their schedule to direct. Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill are both expected back, »
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