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Interview James Hunt 18 Jun 2013 - 07:00
As a radio writer and director, Dirk Maggs' body of work is about as impressive as it gets. As well as being hand-selected by Douglas Adams to continue the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio series, he's also responsible for this year's smash-hit adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere and the Hitchiker's Live touring stage show. James managed to catch up with him for a chat about life, the universe, and everything geeky.
So last year you did the Hitchhiker's Live tour, which reunited the radio cast on stage and had people like Stephen Fry and Neil Gaiman guesting as the voice of the book. And clearly, it was a great success, because as well as releasing the live recording, you're doing another run this year, »
Spoiler Alert: This discussion reveals key plot details from “Man of Steel.”
Justin Chang: Several weeks ago, writing about “Iron Man 3″ in the New York Times, Manohla Dargis noted that the film, with its bombastic explosions and references to terrorism, underscored “just how thoroughly Sept. 11 and its aftermath have been colonized by the movies.” A similar thought occurred to me repeatedly during the last hour or so of Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” which, as our colleague Scott Foundas pointed out in his review, strongly resembles the likes of “The Avengers” and “Transformers” in its cinematic shock-and-awe. I’d say Snyder goes even further than those movies in the way he channels the specific terror and chaos of 9/11; you see it in those brief scenes of small planes hitting skyscrapers, and in the lingering shots of ash-covered Metropolitans being pulled, traumatized but hopeful, from the rubble.
As I noted about two years ago, »
- Justin Chang and Peter Debruge
Well, this sounds great: Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, speaking at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, said that, more or less, the Hollywood system as we know it is about to come crumbling down. Thankfully they gave us a heads-up so we have time to go buy hardhats and heavy duty tarps. (And those kids still have time to change majors, gulp.)
"They're going for the gold," Lucas, the man who created "Star Wars," said. Unencumbered by irony, he continued: "But that isn't going to work forever. People are going to get tired of it. They're not going to know how to do anything else." Spielberg, known for his own small art house movies like "Jaws" and "War of the Worlds," sounded even bleaker: "There's eventually going to be a meltdown." Say it isn't so, Uncle Stevie! "There's going to be an implosion where three or four of these »
- Drew Taylor
Today BBC America announced its co-production of a documentary about the impact of sci-fi on “cinema” (because they’re British), TV and literature. The announcement promises four episodes, each with a different theme: time travel, space exploration, robots and AI, and aliens. Through those episodes “this series will guide viewers through a rich, thought-provoking and endlessly exciting genre.”
Aren’t the norms adorable? I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do; BBC America productions rarely disappoint.
By the way, you’ll see that the title includes a “(W/T)” at the end; it stands for “working title”. Although the quote they incorporate (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) is terrific, it does make for a very long title, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes.
BBC America Announces New Co-production My God, It’S Full Of Stars: A Journey To The Edge Of Science Fiction (W/T »
- Erin Willard
The latest Superman “reboot,” generically titled Man of Steel, is rich in inessentials. Sensibly concluding that the last thing we need is another hour of young Clark Kent gradually discovering his superhuman powers in Smallville while Ma and Pa Kent trade worried looks, director Zack Snyder has relegated most of the Midwest corn to flashbacks and focused (less sensibly) on what matters to him most: Superman as an alien coping with his alienness in the course of a massive outer-space invasion from Krypton avengers.So you get spidery machines drilling into the Earth and blasting planes out of the sky and flattening Manhattan as thoroughly as Godzilla, Rodan, and the rest of the Toho gang demolished Tokyo. You get much ado about Krypton genes and a McGuffin called a Codex — or Kotex, I didn't get the spelling. You get War of the Worlds and Independence Day and lots of noise »
- David Edelstein
Digital Release Date: July 23, 2013, Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 6, 2013
Price: DVD $29.98, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $34.98
This science-fiction movie also is based on Kosinski’s own graphic novel, telling the story of a future Earth that’s nearly ruined. The year is 2077, and Cruise plays Jack Harper, a drone repairman on the evacuated planet, which is being salvaged for vital resources. When he rescues a beautiful stranger (Olga Kurylenko, Centurion), Harper triggers a chain of events that leads him question everything he knows.
Next weekend sees Brad Pitt's zombie thriller World War Z finally arriving in theaters and with it comes the question all book-to-screen adaptations face: How true to the source material is it? Our sister site Movies.com compared the differences between the book and the movie and found that ultimately, the changes were okay. You can read the full article here, but these are just a few of the highlights. It's More War of the Worlds Than World War Z Much like Tom Cruise's character in Steven Spielberg's War of the Worlds, World War Z finds Brad Pitt one step ahead of everyone around him. His foresight allows him and his family to escape tragedy while chaos breaks out around them. Brad Pitt Is Part Researcher, Part Badass The movie is rather vague...
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Director: Steven Spielberg
Running Time: 144 minutes
Extras: The Journey Of Lincoln, Crafting The Past
In the last 10 years Spielberg’s output has varied from the sublime – Minority Report, Munich – to the ridiculous – Indiana Jones 4, the second half of War Of The Worlds. With Lincoln Spielberg hits top form and delivers his best ‘serious’ film since Schindler’S List.
Framed around the end of the Civil War and the abolition of slavery, Lincoln is surprisingly funny in places thanks to a motley crew of Tim Blake Nelson, John Hawkes, and a hopefully prosthetically enhanced James Spader, but is otherwise every bit as serious as you’d expect. Daniel Day-Lewis as the titular Lincoln »
- Sam Carey
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
The chequered and very public production history of World War Z means that, for many, it will be an outing more of morbid curiosity than fervent excitement. Despite a world class cast and crew at the helm and a whopping seven weeks of re-shoots – reportedly in order to fix the troublesome third act – this over-budget blockbuster fails to find its footing and settles for being a clunky, malformed mess unworthy of the source material.
Choosing to adapt Max Brooks’ much-loved epistolary novel of the same name is no easy task, given the interview-based nature of the text not lending itself particularly well to the cinematic medium. Instead, director Marc Forster and screenwriters Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard and Damon Lindelof (the latter two of whom jumped in for those last-minute rewrites) have attempted to capture the spirit of the material within a different framework, an admirable »
- Shaun Munro
"Yakety Sax," better known as "The Benny Hill Song," has the incredible, almost supernatural ability to turn almost any movie clip into an exercise in hilarity. Our good friends around the Internet have caught on and given lots of otherwise not-so-funny movie moments the Benny Hill treatment.
So, without further ado, here's a roundup of the nine best (so far) on YouTube.
1. 'Final Destination 4'
Choice YouTube Comment: "Fun fact: Cars are made of dynamite."
Best Five Seconds: 0.10 - 0.14
2. 'War of the Worlds'
Choice YouTube Comment: "Omg a laser that turns people into pants"
Best Five Seconds: 1:08 - 1:13
3. 'Friday the 13th'
Choice YouTube Comment: "This is the most beautiful thing to ever exist in the universe."
Best Five Seconds: 0.37 - 0.42
4. 'Army of Darkness'
Choice YouTube Comment: No comments
Best Five Seconds: 1.08 - 1.13
Choice YouTube Comment: No comments
Best Five »
- Adam D'Arpino
The third season of Falling Skies could turn into either War of the Worlds or E.T. — which just happen to be two movies directed by Steven Spielberg, an executive producer of the TNT alien-invasion series. A new ally from outer space has given the human resistance the upper hand in their battle for survival against the Espheni, but not everyone is so trusting, especially given recent evidence of a traitor in their midst.
Read More > »
- Ileane Rudolph
Vine is to YouTube what flash fiction is to the short story, and the increasingly popular little video app is gaining a lotta traction in the movie biz right about now because, well, there's a ton of hilarity potential.
Sure, one could make a series of hoity-toity Tribeca Film Festival-worthy six-second shorts with the program, too (yawn), but who wouldn't rather see things like rap song/ Disney movie mashups and random celebrity impersonation samples and brief homemade movie reboots?
What makes Vine a legit thing right now is that it's giving people the giggles with the zen-iest bare bones of visuals, and like McD's we're totally lovin' it.
So we won't even pretend that the process of ferreting out the nine most Lol-able flick-centric Vines so far was in any way painstaking. 'Cause it wasn't. We pretty much just giggled maniacally for hours. Enjoy!
9. 'Aladdin' is straight flexin'
The "G »
- Amanda Bell
The hysteria centered around H.G. Wells' story The War of the Worlds and its epic radio drama reading has been documented time and time again and to this very day remains one of the single greatest viral hoaxes of all time. That being said...
On DVD right now is the acclaimed mockumentary War of the Worlds: The True Story from director Timothy Hines. Floyd Reichman, Jim Cissell, Jack Clay, Anthony Piana, Susan Goforth, James Lathrop, John Kaufmann, Jamie Lynn Sease, Darlene Sellers, and Donovan Le star.
The DVD special features include:
The Special Effects of War of the Worlds: The True Story The Moviemakers Talk War of the Worlds: The True Story Screening at Chapman University after conversation with Prof. Allen Levy, best selling sci-fi fantasy author and father of Steampunk, James P. Blaylock, director Timothy Hines and the audience Hi-definition trailer and TV spot
- Uncle Creepy
It is perhaps fair to say that nothing has divided movie-goers more than the very notion of remakes. It seems to have become one of the most profitable methods for movie making in Hollywood today. From all out reboots like “The Amazing Spider-Man” to modernised remakes like “Total Recall”, everyone has an opinion on this. While some folks think it’s a travesty bereft of any semblance of originality, others simply think “Sure, why not?”.
There are of course films that we may not have realised were remakes. Either because we had never heard of the original (perhaps due to its age) or that it was so gut-wrenchingly awful that it has been effectively brushed under the carpet of time and erased from the memory of modern cinematic society. Whatever the case may be, if we’ve heard of the original, or seen it, chances are some of us are »
- Neil Cochrane
I don't recall if Max Brooks' World War Z was a smash hit when it hit bookstore shelves in the fall of 2006, but it's safe to say that it has quickly become one of the most beloved tomes in all of zombie fandom. There are of course tons of fantastic novels that deal with the zombie apocalypse, but none had taken the concept as seriously as World War Z. Bolstered by a fantastic realism that only comes with tons of research, the book claims to be "an oral history of the zombie war," which basically means this: the world has already ended, and this book is the document of humanity's undoing.
I'm of the firm opinion that "serious" horror is the most effective kind, and that's why World War Z still holds up after two or three readings: it's serious. It feels real. If you wanted to you could »
- Scott Weinberg
Next week Scott Stewart’s Dark Skies starring Keri Russell lands on DVD and Blu-ray, and since we missed chatting with him when the film was in theaters earlier this year, we caught up with him now that his latest is making its home release debut.
During our exclusive interview with Stewart, we discussed his approach to the alien-infused story of a singular family terrorized, why you can’t fight a force of nature, his upcoming projects (which include both film and television work) and much more.
Dread Central: Thanks so much for chatting today, Scott; I was curious if you’d start off by discussing why you decided to do a very different kind of alien movie with Dark Skies than we usually see and made it into more of an intimate family drama than a huge sci-fi spectacle, which is what most people would expect?
Pacific Rim Trailer: Jaegers fight Kaiju to save humankind from extinction — but should they bother? Michael Bay’s Transformers 5 (or 6 or 7, sorry, lost count) has a new trailer — er … scratch that. Let me start again: Guillermo del Toro’s Pacific Rim has a new trailer. Before you check it out, remember that every similarity between del Toro’s Pacific Rim and Bay’s Transformers movies (and Matt Reeves’ Cloverfield and Steven Spielberg’s War of the Worlds and Peter Berg’s Battleship and Gareth Edwards’ upcoming Godzilla remake and TV’s The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and …) is mere coincidence. After all, the Pacific Rim screenplay (credited to del Toro and Travis Beacham) is based on an "original story" — aka film treatment — penned by Beacham. Now, check out the Pacific Rim trailer below. (Photo: Pacific Rim movie star Kaiju.) Pacific Rim Trailer insights So, what does the new Pacific Rim »
- Andre Soares
Friedman recently was under an overall at 20th Century TV, and is a sought-after showrunner in the drama space. Under his deal with Universal TV, he will develop and supervise projects for the studio.
Friedman created and exec produced “Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles,” and has penned and produced pilots including “The Asset,” “Locke and Key,” “Prodigy” and “Elementary” for ABC. Friedman also has a long list of film credits, including serving as co-writer on Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds” and penning “Black Dahlia.”
“Josh Friedman puts a distinct, unique spin on everything he writes,” said Universal TV topper Bela Bajaria. “He taps into interesting worlds and is a very talented writer. We’ve followed his career for »
- AJ Marechal
Fox has one of its better slates coming your way with the new season, especially if you take the midseason shows into account. Some of these shows may not jump out at you now as must-see, but some of them are going to take over, if I’m any judge anyway.
Clear showcase offerings Dads, Almost Human, and Us & Them are guaranteed to take off early. Almost Human has J.J. Abrams recognition to pull people in, though it looks to be a show that could flounder after a few episodes, even if I hope it doesn’t. The other two are going to become hits. Unfortunately, we have to wait until mid-season for the Gavin & Stacey remake.
Rake also looks like a winner, as long as the translation can be made to work as an Americanized product, and the show actually delivers what made the Australian original so brilliant.
- Marc Eastman
Rhodey isn’t Tony Stark’s only sidekick in Iron Man 3. In the threequel, Tony, while stranded in a small, snow-covered Tennessee town, gets some help from a science-savvy kid named Harley, played by young actor Ty Simpkins. As seen in the EW exclusive photo above, Harley encounters Tony when his suit is rather worse for wear.
When EW met up with Simpkins on the Disney lot to talk about Iron Man 3, the 11-year-old donned a T-shirt covered with Stormtroopers on skateboards, and tucked back on his head was the pair of Stark Industries 3-D glasses he got at the movie’s premiere. »
- Emily Rome
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