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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

1-20 of 39 items from 2015   « Prev | Next »

DVD Review: 'Chappie'

6 July 2015 2:57 AM, PDT | CineVue | See recent CineVue news »

★★★☆☆ With a hip-hop, cyberpunk aesthetic paying homage to 1980s classics Short Circuit (1986) and RoboCop (1987), by way of the critically derided Tank Girl (1995), Neill Blomkamp's unorthodox sci-fi Chappie (2015) is an energetic, experimental genre piece that just falls short on delivering the heady concepts it raises. The film opens with newsreels blaring out announcing the existence of an A.I. called "Chappie" before flashing back 18 months to find a crime-ridden Johannesburg on the brink of collapse. In a bid to stem the crime wave, the police have turned to an arms company to supply then with gun-totting droids. So far, the comparisons to Paul Verhoeven's cyborg cop are obvious.


- CineVue UK

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Drive-In Dust Offs: The Burning

20 June 2015 12:07 PM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

The Slasher boom that caught fire in the late 70’s in North America pulled a lot of ‘inspiration’ in their kills from the Italian Gialli that had gone before ( I’m looking at you, Friday The 13th Part 2), but oddly none adopted the feel or the look from their stylish brethren. That is, until The Burning (1981), a summer camp slaughterhouse produced by a fledgling little company called Miramax. A uniquely nasty little number, The Burning stands apart from many of its campkill cousins with elevated performances, strong direction, and a mood that evokes the best of Argento.

Bob and Harvey Weinstein started Miramax as a way to get into the movie business, coming from a background in music promotion. All signs pointed towards horror as the entry point – you didn’t need stars, and limited locations keep costs down. The Burning was budgeted at 1.5 million, and only brought in half »

- Scott Drebit

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Two Female Writers Enter 'Transformers' Writing Room

3 June 2015 10:52 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Akiva Goldsman just removed the "No Girls Allowed" sign in front of his Transformers writing room's tree house. Christina Hodson and Lindsay Beer now join the group, where they'll help come up with some ideas for how Paramount can continue milking this cash cow and also write whatever features come from these discussions. Hodson and Beer aid Goldsman efforts alongside Art Marcum & Matt Holloway (Iron Man 2), Zak Penn (The Incredible Hulk), Jeff Pinkner (The Amazing Spider-Man 2), Andrew Barrer & Gabriel Ferrari (Ant-Man) and "Walking Dead" creator Robert Kirkman. But if Beer and Hodson's names don't sound familiar, it's because the projects they penned are still in the works. Hodson was recently hired by Warner Bros. to pen the new Fugitive movie after writing the spec The Eden Project for Sony and screenplay for Shut In which stars Naomi Watts and just wrapped production. She also wrote Unforgettable and has »

- Will Ashton

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Watch: The Electricity of 'Twin Peaks'

14 May 2015 11:36 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

David Lynch may not be returning to "Twin Peaks," but if, as was the case at last report, the show is revived without his directorial input, he left a rich visual legacy for others to draw upon. As Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin point out in this new video essay, an electrical failure on the set of the series' pilot episode set up a potent symbol that, along with shots of lonely traffic lights and trees bending in the wind, recurred throughout the run of the show. There's no narration in "Short Circuit: A 'Twin Peaks' System," just a pure exploration of how the motif recurs, and, as a by-product, a reveal of just how much you can do with a strobe light. Let’s dissolve the lure of "Twin Peaks'" narrative intrigue, with its regime of mysteries and clues, questions and answers, at least for a while. »

- Sam Adams

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'The Pyramid' Movie Review

9 May 2015 10:18 PM, PDT | MoreHorror | See recent MoreHorror news »

Reviewed by Shannon Hilson

I’ve been a sucker for a good tomb raiding adventure film ever since I first fell in love with the Indiana Jones movies as a kid. The same goes for absolutely anything to do with ancient Egypt or the pyramids, so naturally I was excited about a chance to check out The Pyramid.

Written by Daniel Meersand and Nick Simon, The Pyramid is directed by Gregory Levasseur (The Hills Have Eyes, Piranha 3D). It makes use of the found footage storytelling device to depict the adventures of father and daughter archaeologists Miles Holden (Denis O’Hare) and Nora Holden (Ashley Hinshaw) as they explore a mysterious three-sided Giza pyramid (most of the pyramids of Giza have four sides) with their team during the Egyptian protests of 2013. At first, they rely on camera-equipped, remote-controlled robot “Shorty” to show them what’s what inside the pyramid. »

- admin

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‘Crash Ryan’ Comic Book Movie in Development

19 March 2015 6:42 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Producer Ryan Heppe has acquired movie rights to the 1984 Marvel Comics series “Crash Ryan” created by Ron Harris, Variety has learned exclusively.

The story takes place in an alternate 1935 in a world of super airplanes and giant flying airports. Crash Ryan is a pilot caught up in the battle between the heroic United Airmen and the forces of evil, led by a masked world conqueror who calls himself “the Doom.”

David Cowper, who recently co-wrote an adaptation of “Road Dawgs” with S.E. Hinton for Tim Zinnemann, has been tapped to co-write “Crash Ryan” with Heppe.

The series was one of the first group of creator-owned titles published by Marvel Comics under the Epic Comics banner. Harris — who wrote, drew and colored the book — brought the character back in a four-part story that ran in Dark Horse Presents.

Harris said, “‘Crash Ryan’ is the product of a mishmash of influences: my »

- Dave McNary

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Best of the Week: Film

14 March 2015 3:54 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »


Sordid Cinema Podcast #93: ‘Chappie’

Neil Blomkamp’s Chappie has been a punchline for months. Even before its first trailer dropped, the notion of Blomkamp taking a detour into Short Circuit-style robotic comedy antics seemed ill-advised to many. Even when it became clear that the film was going to fall fairly neatly in line with Blmokamp’s other satirical dystopian action movies, the derision was consistent, all the way up to its release, when it received a near-unanimous critical drubbing. Does it really deserve the mockery? Ricky D, Simon and special guest Jr Kinnard are here to try and sort truth from Twitter, while also pondering watching R-rated films at a young age, the latent superpowers of PS4s, and the perils of making an auteuristic blockbuster.

John Osborne on Film: The Entertainer

“There they are,” George Devine told John Osborne, surveying The Entertainer‘s opening night audience. “All waiting for you… »

- Ricky

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Sordid Cinema #93: ‘Chappie’

11 March 2015 7:37 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Neil Blomkamp’s Chappie has been a punchline for months. Even before its first trailer dropped, the notion of Blomkamp taking a detour into Short Circuit-style robotic comedy antics seemed ill-advised to many. Even when it became clear that the film was going to fall fairly neatly in line with Blmokamp’s other satirical dystopian action movies, the derision was consistent, all the way up to its release, when it received a near-unanimous critical drubbing. Does it really deserve the mockery? Ricky D, Simon and special guest Jr Kinnard are here to try and sort truth from Twitter, while also pondering watching R-rated films at a young age, the latent superpowers of PS4s, and the perils of making an auteuristic blockbuster.


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- Sordid Cinema Podcast

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Hollywood’s 9 Best Robot Heroes and Villains

8 March 2015 9:05 PM, PDT | Entertainment Tonight | See recent Entertainment Tonight news »

Director Niell Blomkamp’s new sci-fi epic Chappie opened this weekend. The film tells the story of a robot who is given artificial intelligence by his inventor, but he must learn the ways of the world just like a child. However, his innocent mind is being molded by gangsters and violent criminals.

Photos: 'Pacific Rim' and 7 Giant Robot/Monster Mashes

It’s still to be seen if Chappie will go down as a classic in the robot sci-fi genre, but if it whetted your appetite for artificial intelligence movies and android action scenes, here are nine of the best robotic heroes and nine of the craziest robotic villains in cinematic history.


9. Gigolo Joe from A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Played by: Jude Law

This is one of Law’s greatest roles. Gigolo Joe is a mechanical male prostitute on the run from authorities after being framed for murder. Joe is a highlight »

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Weekend Box Office: Chappie Crappy In Debut

8 March 2015 6:39 PM, PDT | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

It sure wasn’t the best of times at the North American box office this weekend. In fact, it was the worst of times. The new sci-fi flick Chappie was not only the worst number one debut since Halloween weekend last year, it led the lowest the box office top ten since the first weekend of December. In addition to Chappie’s dismal debut, Vince Vaughn bombed out with his new comedy Unfinished Business. Only The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel managed to show any signs of life in third place.

The top ten was down 18% from last weekend and a whopping 43% from last year at this time. The multiplex misfortune should turn around soon enough with the Friday arrival of Disney’s Cinderella.

Short Circuit meets Robocop in a futuristic Johannesburg. If this sounds like something you would rather not buy a ticket to, you’re not alone. Despite »

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Movie Review – Chappie (2015)

7 March 2015 7:31 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Chappie, 2015.

Directed by Neill Blomkamp.

Starring Hugh Jackman, Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver and Jose Pablo Cantillo.


In the near future, crime is patrolled by an oppressive mechanized police force. When one police droid, Chappie, is stolen and given new programming, he becomes the first robot with the ability to think and feel for himself.

To say Neill Blomkamp’s third film is at least an improvement over his last, Elysium, is the faintest of praise and possibly the only consolation I can think of. That’s like saying a small tumour is at least better than a large one. That may be but both are clearly unwanted, and Blomkamp’s rise in stature as a ‘high profile’ film maker is part of the epidemic in underwhelming big-budget movies we’re getting force fed year after year.

Chappie is an idea with all the range of thought and »

- Gary Collinson

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‘Chappie’ Review: Pete Hammond Says This Robot Is A Heavy Metal Mess

6 March 2015 3:02 PM, PST | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

After a promising start with District 9, it has been straight downhill for writer-director Neill Blomkamp. That 2009 film won four Oscar nominations including one for Best Picture. But his follow-up, Elysium, failed to excite, and now a ridiculous robot movie Chappie takes Blomkamp even further away from the early potential he showed. Bottom line is this so-called “futuristic” tale is a bit of a mess, a hybrid of Robocop and Short Circuit with none of the know-how that… »

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Recycled Chappie Belongs in 'Scrap Heap'

6 March 2015 9:44 AM, PST | | See recent newser news »

Dev Patel, Sigourney Weaver, and Hugh Jackman star in Chappie , a film about a former police robot that develops the ability to think and feel and becomes the face of a revolution. According to critics, it's all a little too familiar. Here's what they're saying: "Chappie, the robot, gets smart. Chappie , the movie, stays very, very dumb," writes Chris Klimek at NPR . He argues the movie steals its plot from last year's RoboCop remake and 1986's Short Circuit , and it's "a disappointing copy." Jackman gets stuck in "a one-note role" while "sporting the worst haircut of his career." But at »

- Arden Dier

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Watch: Short Circuit / Chappie Mashup is Dead On

6 March 2015 9:27 AM, PST | | See recent QuietEarth news »

Many early reviews are pointing to Robocop as the progenitor of Neill Blomkamp's Chappie, but I think we all know it's Short Circuit. I honestly don't know how he got away with writing the film without it being considered a reboot of the popular 80s film series.

The creator of the mash-up, a YouTuber called Lance Ford writes, "There are some striking similarities between the 80's classic Short Circuit and the new movie Chappie - most notably the idea that a robot can become "alive". So, of course I mashed them up using footage from Short Circuit and the audio from the Chappie trailer."

And so, just for the lulz, here is is:

[Continued ...] »

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The 15 Best Robot Movies of All Time

6 March 2015 9:17 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

So, Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie opens this week, and by the look of it, it appears to be a mix and match of Short Circuit, Robocop, E.T., A.I., District 9, and a Die Antwoord music video. (Full disclosure: I haven’t seen it yet.) But one thing seems sure: It will be yet another demonstration of the movies’ fascination with robots. Ever since the early years of cinema — even before the term “robot” was coined, in fact — the movies have been obsessed with them. They symbolize so many of our neuroses — our queasiness about technology and the unknown, our wonder at what it means to be human, our fear that, ultimately, we might be replaceable. So, we thought it might be fun, in honor of Chappie (or as a corrective to it . . . you decide), to rank the best robot movies in film history. However, a note: We »

- Bilge Ebiri

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Chappie Is Like RoboCop Starring Jar Jar Binks

6 March 2015 6:43 AM, PST | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

It’s easy to imagine the writer’s pitch for Chappie went something along the lines of “Avatar meets RoboCop meets Short Circuit starring Jar Jar Binks.” I’m kidding: Jar Jar was probably left out of that meeting, but he’s in the movie in spirit, reincarnated as a sentient robot whose mind evolves quickly from childlike to sophisticated but who continues to babble in the same pidgin English. Directed by District 9’s Neill BlomkampChappie is a clunky mix: a sentimental comedy-thriller with hideous violence and a profound cynicism about the inexorability of the computer-enhanced surveillance state. It gets points for weirdness, but it’s still some fucked-up shit.The context — spelled out by Anderson Cooper, who should stop playing himself in fictional movies because it undermines his dignity even more than his silly laugh, and surely his country house is paid for by now — is that »

- David Edelstein

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Movie Review: Chappie

6 March 2015 5:39 AM, PST | Destroy the Brain | See recent Destroy the Brain news »

Look at this: From the writer/director of District 9. Wickus. Ripley. Slumdog. Die Antwoord. Wolverine with a mullet. Ed-209 meeRobocop 2. How Is This Movie Not Going To Be Amazing?

My mom saw a TV spot for Chappie and asked me what I knew about it. I told her to think of it as Short Circuit for adults. In reality that’s not too far off, but director Neill Blomkamp’s three feature films have all been a sum of their parts from genre films of the past. He’s claimed James Cameron’s Aliens as his favorite film, and is close with Peter Jackson who also knows a lot about splatter gore and epic scale. Chappie has major influence from the first two Robocop films, both Short Circuit films, and The Fifth Element among others. I remember right after seeing District 9 that Blomkamp was going to be the successor to Paul Verhoeven, »

- Mike Hassler

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Chappie | Review

5 March 2015 8:00 PM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

iRobot: Blomkamp’s Latest Sentimentally Inclined Sci-Fi is Pleasantly Familiar

Sentient technological constructs and expanding the definition of what constitutes the essence of consciousness as it applies to the essence of humanity is at the core of Neill Blomkamp’s latest feature, Chappie, so named for the eponymous, experimentally self-aware robot at the heart of his narrative. It is almost impossible to discuss the film without acknowledging many of its derivative elements, namely the film’s striking similarity to RoboCop (either version) and the family friendly sentiments of Short Circuit, and because of this, the film’s larger ideas feel too familiar, which undercuts Blomkamp’s ability to truly reach the poignant potential of the material.

There are a handful of emotionally rewarding sequences, but Blomkamp’s attentions are saturated by the film’s innovative protagonist to such a degree that most of the supporting players are reduced to archetypes, »

- Nicholas Bell

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‘Chappie’ is gloriously bonkers

5 March 2015 4:03 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »


Written by Neill Blomkamp & Terri Tatchell

Directed by Neill Blomkamp

Mexico | USA, 2015

Oh, Chappie… you magnificent bastard. We love you so!

Writer-director Neill Blomkamp pushes all his chips onto the table with this fascinating sci-fi gamble that dares you not to be entertained. Derivative, ultra-violent, and completely baffling, Chappie also manages to be insightful and sweet at times. This technically-accomplished and thematically-suspect robot melodrama has something for everyone to love (and hate). Mostly, it offers the giddy exhilaration of a movie that’s determined to tell its story, no matter how bat-shit crazy it is.

You didn’t know that you wanted to hear Sigourney Weaver scream, “Destroy that robot!” or that you needed a mash-up of District 9, Short Circuit, RoboCop, and Real Steel about a robot gangbanger who talks and acts like Jar Jar Binks. Luckily, Chappie exists so you can see what you’ve been missing. »

- J.R. Kinnard

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Here's the Trailer Mash-Up for 'Chappie' & 'Short Circuit' You Need

5 March 2015 2:54 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Ever since the first trailer for Neill Blomkamp's latest sci-fi flick Chappie debuted, there have been plenty of comparisons to RoboCop and Short Circuit. And now the trailer mash-up that we all expected has finally arrived. A clever editor has utilized footage from Short Circuit and edited it to the audio from one of the trailers for Chappie. The result shows that the films definitely share the same concept and basic story between Johnny Five and Chappie, and it's certainly amusing. Of course, I'm hoping Chappie is a little more thoughtful being a contemporary film about future robot technology and artificial intelligence. Watch now! Here's the trailer mash-up of Short Circuit and Chappie from Lance Ford (via Live for Films): Every child comes into the world full of promise, and none more so than Chappie: he is gifted, special, a prodigy. Like any child, Chappie will come »

- Ethan Anderton

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008

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