16 items from 2016
Andrew Stanton returns to animation (following John Carter) to direct the new movie, which focuses on Ellen DeGeneres' Dory as she tries to find out about her own past and family. Naturally, Nemo and his dad, Marlin (Albert Brooks) are on hand to help.
Also in the voice cast this time are Diane Keaton, Eugene Levy, Idris Elba, Dominic West, Ed O'Neill, Willem Dafoe, Kaitlin Olsen and Ty Burrell. And the studio released a quartet of new posters for the movie overnight.
Note that this have the American release date on them - we get the film in the UK on July 29th, so we've got »
If you have been living and routinely interacting with other human beings over the last month, you’ve probably heard one or two words involving this year’s Academy Awards and the heated controversy over the startling lack of both films and people of color among the nominees. Personally, I think that the real focus of concern ought to be less on the back end-- awards handed out for films which were financed and/or studio-approved, scheduled for production and filmed perhaps as much as two or three years ago-- and more on addressing the lack of cultural and intellectual and experiential diversity among those who have the power to make the decisions as to what films get made in the first place. This is no sure-fire way to ensure that there will be a richer and more consistent representation of diverse creative voices when it comes time for Hollywood »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Ray guns! Space armadas! Storm troopers! Toei's manga became a pricey 3-D animated motion capture epic just three years ago, but was denied a release stateside. This collector's disc set gives us rude 'n' raucous space battles, along with a pirate's bounty of original Japanese extras. Don't worry, the 3-D visuals are excellent. Harlock: Space Pirate 3-D 3-D + 2-D Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 2013 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 115 (Japanese) 111 (International) min. / Kyaputen Harokku / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 34.95 Original Music Tetsuya Takahashi Written by Harutoshi Fukui, Kiyoto Tareuchi from the manga by Leiji Matsuimoto Produced by Joseph Chou, Yoshi Ikezawa, Rei Kudo (Toei Animation) Directed by Shinji Aramaki
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Suppose they had a space war and nobody came? Toei Animation's 3-D extravaganza Harlock: Space Pirate 3-D was prepped and primed to take the world by storm, but like too many foreign super-productions it didn't even get a U. »
- Glenn Erickson
Getting a movie character’s name right is more important than you realise. You can have an amazingly nuanced plot with endless twists and turns and dialogue that leaps all the way across the room, but no Hollywood executive will green-light, no actor will sign onto, and no audience will go see a film if the protagonist goes by Stinks McGee (no offence to any Stinks out there).
But what makes a cool name then? After all, so many famous character monikers gained weight over time, becoming highly regarded despite being rather bland, meaning that when stripped of context they don’t quite hold up; the respective self-titled movies for John Carter, Jack Reacher and Jack Ryan all felt incredibly insipid precisely because they sounded like they were named after some disinteresting bloke from down the pub.
Writers love to dip into Latin or other foreign languages for inspiration, »
- Alex Leadbeater
There are many mysteries in the world, but there are two that we find particularly vexing. One is how the endlessly entertaining and Mike Hodges-directed Flash Gordon film never got a sequel in the 1980s. The other is how we have gone well over 30 years without a proper live-action Flash Gordon movie (the Syfy series from a few years ago doesn't count).
Protosevich comes on board after a previous draft had been written by J D Payne and Patrick McKay. Things had been quiet on the Flash Gordon front since word came around last year that Matthew Vaughn was in talks to direct. »
We’re seeing big cinema releases almost every weekend now. But is this a good thing?
Do you remember during 2014, where lots of fans stubbornly declared Captain America: The Winter Soldier the best film of that summer despite its opening in March/April? It was joined by The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in trying to steal a march on the competition, but clearly when you think big blockbusters, they’re associated with a certain time of year. And given how for the studios, summer season occupies a full third of the year from May to August, and Christmas the sweet period from November all the way through to New Year, that should be plenty of room for the Avengers, Star Wars and Jurassic Parks of the world, right?
Except that there are plenty more 'tentpoles' (big releases to prop up the studio’s bottom line) being made and »
Rumblings of a Flash Gordon reboot first stirred two years ago – when Star Trek Beyond‘s scribes were linked to the project – and last year made headlines when Kingsman: The Secret Service helmer Matthew Vaughn entered talks to direct. Since then things have been remarkably quiet on the blonde-haired hero front – until now. I Am Legend and Thor screenwriter Mark Protosevich has signed on to rewrite the screenplay, earlier versions of which were completed by J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay.
The scribe hit up Facebook (via Hitfix) to announce the gig, dropping just enough hints to prompt much excitement – and of course, oodles of speculation:
“I can’t wait to get started and if you’re curious about the take? I’m not saying a word. All I’ll say is this – it will be nothing like any version of Flash Gordon you’ve seen.”
With Protosevich now tapping away at the keys, »
- Gem Seddon
"Oldboy," "Poseidon" and "I Am Legend" scribe Mark Protosevich has been hired to pen a new draft of the upcoming reboot of the "Flash Gordon" property at 20th Century Fox. Matthew Vaughn signed on to direct the project last year.
Protosevich revealed the news on Facebook (via Hitfix and says: "I can't wait to get started and if you're curious about the take? I'm not saying a word. All I'll say is this - it will be nothing like any version of Flash Gordon you've seen."
Protosevich certainly has sci-fi experience as he previously wrote early drafts of both "John Carter" and "Thor". J.D. Payne and Patrick McKay previously took a crack at the "Flash Gordon" script based on a treatment by George Nolfi. »
- Garth Franklin
When George Lucas first broached the subject of following up American Graffiti, he proposed a bigscreen version of Flash Gordon, which was owned by Universal at the time. Instead, he went on to make the first Star Wars film for 20th Century Fox. Of course, Fox no longer has anything to do with Star Wars, which was sold to Disney, and Fox could use a little space opera magic of their own right about now. And, in no small bit of circular irony, it appears that it is the very property that sent George Lucas running to Fox in the first place that they're turning to for relief. On his Facebook page today, screenwriter Mark Protosevich announced that he's writing Flash Gordon for 20th Century Fox, with Matthew Vaughn attached to direct. That is just plain great news. Protosevich has been first guy in on any number of intriguing geek properties over the years, »
- Drew McWeeny
Everyone can breath a sigh of relief, at least for a little bit. Jar Jar Binks will probably never appear in a future Star Wars movie, even a spinoff that takes place within the prequel timeline. At least not played by the actor that originated the Gungun in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Ahmed Best has confirmed that he is 100% done with the character. Here's what he had to say to Jamie Stangroom on the Youtube series These Are the Actors You are Looking For. Asked if he would ever return, the actor is quite adamant.
"No, I think I've done my damage. I'm good with where I stand in the Star Wars universe. I don't need to be back. [If I was asked], I would say no. I'm not interested in coming back. I did what I did and I thought it was great. I thought it was fun. And »
With praise continuing to rain in on Jj Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, a new YouTube series has gone back over the past of Star Wars, and tracked down some of the cast of the earlier movies. The latest episode of These Are The Actors You're Looking For secured interview time with Ahmed Best, who - of course - played Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. And Best had lots of interesting things to say.
"I mean, this character for me and one of the biggest reasons I took »
In the summer of 2015, writer Gail Simone, artist Sergio Davila, and a host of other creators, including luminaries like G. Willow Wilson (Ms. Marvel), Marguerite Bennett (Bombshells), and Leah Moore (Albion), crafted an incredibly fun crossover featuring Dynamite’s female characters called Swords of Sorrow. In Swords of Sorrow, heroes like Red Sonja, Kato, Jungle Girl, Vampirella, Dejah Thoris, and Jennifer Blood among others team up to save the multiverse from the evil Prince Charming, who happens to be huge misogynist, and his allies from the Chaos! Universe, like Purgatori and Bad Kitty. Spinning out of this success, Dynamite Entertainment has decided to redesign and relaunch the comics featuring their three most prominent female leads: Red Sonja, Dejah Thoris, and Vampirella for 2016.
- Logan Dalton
Warner Bros. Pictures
Ever wondered why movie trailers, even for films that are mere months away, often end saying “Coming Soon” or giving an arbitrary release month? The trailer editor’s just put an awful lot of effort into making you want to check out the film in question by revealing its big secrets and misselling what it really is, the least they could do is tell you when you’ll finally get to see it.
Well, that’s because, for all the tooting of the horn from Marvel and DC as they reveal slates stretching into the next decade, release dates are always subject to change, with movies shifting from one weekend to another even after the cameras have stopped rolling.
And sometimes it’s even more serious than that – thanks to production issues, fear of immense competition or a studio being unsure of what to do with a project, »
- Alex Leadbeater
There's a lot of anger and resentment towards the "Star Wars" prequels with a good portion of it directed at Jar Jar Binks, the CG character who came to represent everything wrong with that trilogy.
Underneath that CG though was actor Ahmed Best, a talented thesp who has since been stuck with over a decade of dealing with the fallout of Jar Jar. Speaking with the YouTube series These Are The Actors You're Looking For, Best did a ten-minute chat in which he paints a not so happy picture about the backlash and how it has impacted him:
"Star Wars was my first 'most hated' title in anything really. It was painful. One of the biggest reasons I took it was because of the challenge of it - there was no Andy Serkis and Gollum, Na'vi from Avatar, Martians, John Carter.
I was to be the template for this, so »
- Garth Franklin
A gripping thriller set in the labyrinth of Cape Town, South Africa, Momentum follows the fallout after a seemingly meticulously planned heist goes seriously wrong. Beautiful, ruthless criminal Alex Faraday (Kurylenko – The November Man, Quantum of Solace) is forced to go on the run after witnessing one of her comrades being brutally murdered discovers her problems are only just beginning.
Quickly realising she has become involved in the work of a highly specialised international syndicate who seem to be searching for a key, Alex attempts to evade capture but finds herself in the midst of a high-octane and brutal game of cat and mouse, with the chillingly efficient Mr. Washington (Purefoy – John Carter Solomon Kane). It soon becomes apparent that he will stop at nothing to retrieve »
- Dan Powell
In a perfect world, every action movie would be Die Hard. However, since you’re more likely to get Olympus Has Fallen, the genre’s hype machine always goes into overdrive in an attempt to sucker in unsuspecting viewers.
Even if you don’t buy the tenuous connections in the trailer (“From the producers of Die Hard 4.0”), or the nonsensical idea of having a famous name “present” a movie, there are still ways of reeling in the unwary.
Not that Hollywood would ever condone the practice of posting fake reviews, but check out all the glowing notices John Carter received on IMDb after its L.A. premiere. A week before Disney’s $250 million epic fail opened in American multiplexes, it was being hailed as a “must see” by would-be viewers who called it “lean and compact” and “complex and nuanced.”
Somewhat less impressed was USA Today’s critic, »
- Ian Watson
16 items from 2016
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