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We chat to legendary producer Mario Kassar about the return of Carolco, its forthcoming sci-fi film Bot, Hollywood studios, and more...
First Blood. Total Recall. Terminator 2. For a generation versed in the major action films of the 80s and 90s, the Carolco brand holds a special place in the memory. Its distinctive logo became a byword for bold, often brash movies starring some of the biggest names of the day - not least Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Founded by producers Andrew Vajna and Mario Kassar in the 1970s, Carolco went from indie outsider to a company with the size and clout of a Hollywood major; the studio became famous - and infamous in some quarters - for its headline-grabbing deals. (Legend has it that, when Arnie signed up to make Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he was given a $17m private jet.)
At the height of its powers, Carolco was making smaller-scale, »
A miserable vision of tomorrow has taken hold of Hollywood: bad food, lousy transport and Alice Cooper styling. You’re better off dead
We are now living in a golden age of dystopian films; that is, incredibly depressing films set at some point in the future – often, the relatively near future – where life is a complete mess and no one is happy, not even the fascist scum who run things. In the few instances where people seem to be happy, it’s only because the fascist scum have tricked them into thinking they’re happy. Well, they won’t stay happy for long. This is not utopia. This is utopia turned on its head. This is dystopia.
Last year, there was a tsunami of dystopian films, including The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Divergent, The Maze Runner, Robocop, The Purge: Anarchy, Snowpiercer, The Rover, »
- Joe Queenan
The former astronaut posted a photo to Facebook which showed him proudly flashing the colourful "Get your ass to Mars" shirt, while standing by iconic British landmark Stonehenge.
Post by Buzz Aldrin.
"While at Stonehenge yesterday I decided to send a message to the cosmos. #Gyatm," Buzz wrote.
The line is originally said by one of Arnold Schwarzenegger's characters to another (this is sci-fi after all!) and it clearly made an impression on real-life space traveller Buzz.
He has also posted a photo of Stephen Hawking with one of the shirts, suggesting that the famous line is making a real comeback among scientists.
Post by Buzz Aldrin.
Only time will tell if Buzz really will take Arnie's words to heart and get himself to Mars!
If you've been crossing your fingers for Fox to return to New York's supernatural-charged town of Sleepy Hollow, you can relax your hands, exhale, and settle comfortably back into your couch, because Fox has announced their renewal of Sleepy Hollow for an 18-episode third season, with the network also revealing the series' new showrunner (following Mark Goffman's departure earlier this month). Also included in our latest horror round-up is a trailer for the second episode of The CW's iZombie and details on the 10th Annual Texas Frightmare Weekend that will feature special guest Alexandra Breckenridge from The Walking Dead (as well as many other great guests).
- Derek Anderson
Exclusive: Carolco producer Mario Kassar talks to us about his forthcoming sci-fi action film, Bot. Here are the first details.
Twenty years on, and the Carolco brand has been revived by Kassar and new CEO Alex Bafer, with one of its first projects being a new incarnation of the fearsome horror-drama, Audition. Beyond that, Bafer also hinted at something more akin to Carolco's sci-fi action films of old; it is, he said, "a Terminator-type sci-fi summer blockbuster."
That film now has a name: it's called Bot, and it's the first in a potential trilogy of movies penned by Tedi Sarafian - the story writer behind, among other things, 2003's Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines.
"Bot's the kind of movie I used »
Brad Pitt’s Plan B is building a reputation for shepherding bold, creative projects into life. Selma, 12 Years A Slave, Killing Me Softly and Moneyball have all been lovingly nursed through production with varying degrees of success, and it looks likely that Stephen King’s The Jaunt will join World War Z in representing the more fantastical end of the production house’s slate. Mama duo Andy Muschietti and Barbara Muschietti are now attached to the project.A short story originally published by King in Twilight Zone Magazine, The Jaunt found a home and a fanbase in 1985 short story anthology, Skeleton Crew (also the home of The Mist). The premise, set in the 24th century, sees a dad explaining the basis of ‘jaunting’, a teleportation device with which he’ll transport his family to Mars. So far, so About Time meets Total Recall. Of course, things can – and do – go horribly wrong in the process. »
Having debuted on History in January, the exciting miniseries Sons of Liberty is now available on Google Play (clickHere) and Amazon (clickHere). We recently caught up with actor Dean Norris, who stars as Ben Franklin in this 3-part look at our rich American History. Sons of Liberty is a dramatizing of the early American Revolution events in Boston, Massachusetts, the start of the Revolutionary War, and the negotiations of the Second Continental Congress which resulted in the drafting and signing of the 1776 United States Declaration of Independence.
Directed by Kari Skogland, the series theme music was composed by Hans Zimmer. Best known as DEA Agent Schrader on Breaking Bad, Dean Norris currently stars in Under the Dome, where he plays town councilman James "Big Jim". His other credits include TV's NYPD Blue, The X-Files, The West Wing, and Lost and films such as Lethal Weapon 2, Total Recall, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, »
The adaptation of Jk Rowling's novel lost around 200,000 viewers from last week for its final episode at 9pm, which attracted a 20.4% audience share. Earlier, Countryfile was watched by 7.04m (32.8%) at 7pm.
Call The Midwife remained top of the ratings with 8.64m (34%) at 8pm.
ITV's Off Their Rockers gathered 3.49m (15.7%) at 7.30pm (93k/0.4% on +1), while All Star Family Fortunes continued with 3.01m (11.9%) at 8pm (179k/0.8%). The latest episode of Mr Selfridge was watched by 3.52m (15.7%) at 9pm (252k/1.7%).
Channel 4's Indian Summers shed another 400,000 viewers, with 1.46m (6.5%) tuning in for its third instalment at 9pm (169k/1.6%).
Earlier in the evening, Four Rooms brought »
Verhoeven, a 73-year-old director with two feature film credits, is suing Cannes for “homophobia” because the festival did not select “Teenagers,” a gay drama dealing with terrorism, back in 2009.
The claim has been perceived by local journos as absurd since the Cannes festival has supported many movies dealing with gay issues, notably Abdellatif Kechiche’s romance “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” which won a Palme d’Or.
Verhoeven’s lawsuit is reportedly the first ever filed against the high-profile festival.
“Teenagers” earned poor reviews but managed to win one nod for best narrative feature at the California Film Awards.
- Elsa Keslassy
From early Bond to 21st century sci-fi, here's Ryan's pick of 11 unforgettable villain pairings from action cinema history...
You're generally lucky if a movie has one genuinely great villain in it, let alone two. This is probably because creating a villain takes great acting and writing - it's one thing to create a preening character who stomps around a story doing unpleasant things, but creating a villain who's three-dimensional, witty, scary and above all memorable requires considerable skill.
Every so often, a movie comes along which gives us not one, but two classic villains, with the personality of one complementing the other. A familiar dynamic was once laid out by Steven Spielberg: one is smart and eloquent , while the other is the tougher, more violent of the pair. It's a template that we've seen time and again in cinema, but it's only occasionally that both characters leap from the screen. »
Before I get started on this week’s musings, here are a couple of housekeeping items:
1) Have I mentioned lately how great the other writers here at ComicMix are? It’s probably been awhile, so let me take a quick minute to do so (again). If you somehow found ComicMix via me and primarily read my column here on the site, a) Cool, thanks! and b) I highly recommend you give the other folks here a try. Even in just reading through the last few days of columns, from Mindy Newell’s thoughts on Battlestar Galactica to Marc Alan Fishman’s discussion of guarding one’s creative integrity versus going for a payday and wider success, to Molly Jackson’s rejoicing over the awesomeness that is Agent Carter, I am reminded of how quality the folks who write for this site are, and how lucky I am to be amongst them. »
- Emily S. Whitten
Of all the tech categories, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing may be the toughest to predict, not least of all because many have trouble distinguishing between the two. For this, let's focus on Sound Editing, which is the selection and assembling of the various recorded tracks – dialogue, effects, and music – before the final mix occurs. The Motion Picture Sound Editors honored "Unbroken" (for Dialogue and Adr), "American Sniper" (Sound Effects and Foley) and "Birdman" (Music), and since 1987, when Mpse first started giving out their Golden Reel Awards, at least one of their winners has repeated at the Academy 16 times: -Break- 1988: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" (Dialogue and Adr) 1990: "The Hunt for Red October" (Dialogue and Adr; tied with "Total Recall") 1993: "Jurassic Park" (Sound Effects and Foley) 1994: "Speed" (Sound Effects and Foley) 1995: "Braveheart" ...' »
While the world of comic book movies is pretty strong, the straight-up action genre has been struggling for years now. From mediocre sci-fi remakes like Total Recall and RoboCop to lackluster sequels like Taken, there are very few pure action movies worthy of praise like The Raid franchise and last year's John Wick. The stories are lame, the action is bland, the characters are hollow and it all just feels like the same old garbage. Now Chris Stuckmann has put together a video essay examining the problems with action movies today, and he even has some suggestions for how to fix these problems and take the genre back. Here's Chris Stuckmann's The Problem with Action Movies Today (via The Playlist): Some of these problems you may not have realized were as rampant as they really are, but we're seeing far too many invincible heroes going through the same motions »
- Ethan Anderton
Space battles, alien showdowns and, of course, light saber duels. Sci-Fi films are packed full of some of cinema’s greatest, and most visually stunning, action scenes, and upcoming sci-fi adventure Jupiter Ascending is no different.
Epic gravity boot chases through Chicago, military ships travelling vast distances and laser guns shoot outs aplenty, the film – starring Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean – comes to cinemas from February 6th and to celebrate we take a look at the top five action scenes in sci-fi films:
1) Star Wars: A New Hope
With a Star Wars film, you’re pretty much guaranteed a great action scene. Nevertheless, it’s hard to beat the destruction of Death Star One in the very first film, Star Wars: A New Hope. Luke Skywalker takes an X-wing fighter for a run through the trenches of the enormous weapon, avoiding the assault from Darth Vader. »
Written by Takeharu Sakurai & Sachiko Ōguchi
Directed by Takashi Miike
I’ll come right out and say it: Takashi Miike’s Ace Attorney, based on the first entry of the popular Capcom video game series, is the single-best cinematic adaptation of a video game property of all time. Now some of the more snide readers out there will no doubt think that this a pretty low bar to clear. There’s at least a partial truth to that: the current all-time champion of video game (henceforth Vg) movie critical acclaim is 2001’s Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, coming in at a cool 44% on Rotten Tomatoes (not that the Rt metric is reflective of quality in any capacity, but that’s another discussion for another time). While the movie was a watershed moment from a technical standpoint (it had some of the most impressively detailed CGI in movie »
- Derek Godin
Chances are, if you’re reading anything on Icons of Fright, Shock Till You Drop, Dread Central or any other genre site (or hell, even if you don’t typically read such sites), then you already know who Michael Ironside is. An actor that has played so many not just memorable but truly iconic roles in films such as Scanners, Total Recall and a personal fave of mine, Prom Night II, Ironside has created a body of work that is legendary and worthy of every ounce of recognition he has gotten. Making its debut as part of this year’s Sundance Film Festival “Midnight Selection”, the Rkss-helmed Turbo Kid (Rkss is the trio team of directors Anouk Whissell, François Simard and Yoann-Karl Whissell) is set to give fans yet another Ironside role that is one for the books, with his villainous character Zeus. Icons of Fright talked Turbo Kid with Ironside recently, »
- Jerry Smith
A weekend getaway with friends turns into a deadly cat-and-mouse game in “Desecrated,” starring Haylie Duff (“Napoleon Dynamite,” “Material Girls”) and Michael Ironside (“X-Men : First Class,” “Total Recall”). The horror film is now available on DVD and VOD. “Desecrated” is directed by Rob Garcia and also stars Gonzalo Menendez (“The Event”), Heather Sossaman (“Hawaii Five-o”), Wilmer Calderon (“Fast and Furious”) and Paul James (“Greek”). Here’s more about the film: “After finding his family murdered by vagrant squatters, an ex-military operative and survivalist is hired by the man who bought his land to watch over the acreage and protect it from invaders. When the new landowner’s daughter arrives for a [ Read More ]
Almost 20 years after it closed, Carolco is back. CEO Alex Bafer tells us about its revival and a "very big" future sci-fi blockbuster.
At the height of its 80s and 90s powers, Carolco was one of the biggest independent film studios in Hollywood. Its distinctive logo appeared on some of the most successful movies of the era - the Rambo series, Terminator 2, Total Recall, Basic Instinct - but the studio also found a place for smaller-scale, unique films such as Angel Heart and Jacob's Ladder.
Then a combination of recession, a faltering TV and home video label and cinematic misfires - not least the infamous Cutthroat Island - saw Carolco file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December 1992. And with that, Carolco seemed to be finished.
On the 20th January, however, it was announced that the Carolco brand is back. A company once called Brick Top Productions has acquired the Carolco name, »
Michael Ironside is one of the most recognized faces among genre fans. He’s become known as the fearsome baddie who gives everyone’s hero a run for their money. Among his 229 film credits, many of those include appearances in sci-fi and horror productions like Scanners, Total Recall, Highlander II: The Quickening, Terminator Salvation, and many more.
The Canada-born actor has also racked up a number of roles in mainstream Hollywood fare. He starred in Top Gun, The Next Karate Kid, Free Willy, and others. His many appearances on television include, ER, The A-Team, V, SeaQuest 2032, Vegas, Community, and many more.
One of Ironside’s latest projects was an apocalyptic sci-fi gore fest entitled Turbo Kid. He plays the sadistic and self-proclaimed leader of the Wasteland named Zeus. The movie revolves around the Kid, a young solitary scavenger obsessed with comic books that must face his fears and become »
- email@example.com (Eric Shirey)
Marrakech’s jury prexy, Isabelle Huppert, has just completed a four-month stint in the United States, where she co-starred with Cate Blanchett in the Sydney Theater Company production of Jean Genet’s “The Maids,” at the Lincoln Center Festival, followed by her film roles in Joachim Trier’s “Louder than Bombs,” alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Gabriel Byrne, and in Guillaume Nicloux’s “The Valley of Love,” with Gerard Depardieu.
In an interview at the Marrakech film festival she explained that her recent intensive U.S. experience is a pure coincidence of back-to-back projects.
Huppert explained that she’s very happy with the roles that she has been offered recently and is not overly concerned about being typecast, for example »
- Martin Dale
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