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The ending of any given motion picture is arguably the most important part of the experience – the point at which a story chooses to end, plotlines are wrapped up, characters are left to deal with the circumstances in which they have either gotten themselves into or have subsequently evaded, and you’re left to make up your lasting impression of whatever it is you’ve just spent two or three hours watching.
Endings come in all shapes and sizes, of course: happy, sad, ambiguous, and… well, controversial. And it’s the controversial endings that we’re focusing in on for the length of this article.
Controversial endings, by definition, are those that leave people shaking their heads, wondering what happened, feeling sick to their stomachs, wronged by the choice of the writers of filmmakers, or downright confused. In other terms, a controversial ending is one that people were totally not expecting, »
- Sam Hill
Seven years ago, an ambitious science fiction film from a visionary filmmaker starring Chris Evans was released in a competitive summer. That film was Danny Boyle's Sunshine, a flawed masterpiece of the genre that continues to gain fans today, long after the abbreviated American theatrical run. The picture wore its ambition on its sleeve, which scared Fox Searchlight into only giving it a mild indie platform release. This weekend, it's happening again. June 27th sees the release of Snowpiercer, another bravura science fiction picture from a master filmmaker, also starring Chris Evans. Sunshine debuted at ten measly locations at first: The Weinstein Company is only giving this film eight. With the weekend's big attraction being Transformers: Age Of Extinction, that doesn't give many options to several territories that would conceivably be fascinated by one of the most purely cinematic experiences of the year. In our review, Kristy Puchko calls »
Looking for a handy list of the science fiction films still to look forward to this year? Then here's the post for you...
The year's nearly half over, and we've already experienced a range of genre movies, some great, some less so.
But with the summer season finally here and about six months left before the terrifying prospect of 2015 hoves into view, there are still plenty more science fiction offerings to be found in a cinema near you.
Here's a pick of 11 of our favourites, plus a selection of honourable mentions at the end, which includes films that don't yet have a firm release date in the Us or UK.
In terms of sheer entertainment value, Edge Of Tomorrow could be this summer's dark horse. That it's based on a relatively obscure Japanese novel (All You Need Is Kill - the film's original, far less »
In the recent months actor Karl Urban has made no secret of the fact that he wants a DREDDsequel. The film didn’t perform as well as hoped at the box-office, with its highcertificaterating cutting into a chunk of the target market, it did however pick up a substantial following after the home entertainment release.
The film was written by Alex Garland, the writer famous for The Beach and Sunshine who before Dredd’s release stated that he had mapped out a three film story arc. The disappointing ticket sales meant that this got shelved but main actor Karl Urban has been championing a sequel quite heavily.
During a panel at Motor City Comic Con the Lord Of The Rings star discussed how much fun he had making Dredd, and how he had been into the comics since he was young. His desire to continue the character was evident as »
- Kat Smith
"It opened doors immediately," Oscar Isaac muses on working with the Coen brothers. "I got The Two Faces of January a couple of days after I had been cast in Inside Llewyn Davis. The trajectory completely changed once that happened."
It's no surprise that the actor's soulful performance as down-at-heel folk singer Llewyn has proved to be such a turning point. In the two years that have passed since shooting, he's gone from respected supporting player to compelling leading man, and was recently cast in a major role for Jj Abrams's Star Wars: Episode VII.
Digital Spy sat down with Isaac this week to talk about his Star Wars fandom, the meaning of Inside Llewyn Davis's much-discussed cat, and his role opposite Viggo Mortensen in this week's Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January.
Today’s film is the 2002 short Heaven. The film is written and directed by Samuel Bennetts, and stars Scott Kelly, Toby Schmitz, and Rose Byrne. Byrne’s work on tv includes the role of Ellen Parsons on Damages, and her movie roles include Sunshine, Wicker Park, Bridesmaids, Insidious, and The Place Beyond The Pines. Her newest feature, titled Neighbors, opens in wide release in American theatres this weekend.
- Deepayan Sengupta
Director: Carl Rinsch
Running Time: 118 Minutes
47 Ronin is a Hollywood adaptation of a true story from Japan. It is helmed by a first time director, has faced much studio interference, and has its theatrical release delayed for over a year. The film should be a write-off. Yet, it is far from such. 47 Ronin is at times a magnificent big scale adventure film that is a lot more serious and thoughtful than many of its multiplex counterparts. It’s still very messy, mostly in terms of pacing and the cohesion between scenes, but it is very easy to see some specks of greatness as well. Even in its chopped form, it is still highly enjoyable, especially when it comes alive in its action sequences.
The film follows the true story of a group »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
We're nearing the year's halfway point and we have had precious little when it comes to funny movies. In fact, we're sort of forgetting what it is like to laugh...
Thankfully, the summer movie season is almost always full of glossy, high concept studio fare designed to tickle your funny bone with maximum efficiency. And the first movie to enter the summer box office laugh-off is Universal's "Neighbors," starring Seth Rogen as a peaceable new father whose tranquility is interrupted by the frat house that moves in next door, led by a typically handsome and charming Zac Efron.
You know what this means: hijinks galore. As the two neighbors escalate their tactics, things get really wild. And this pretty much sums up the entirety of the plot of "Neighbors." It's one of those high concept comedies where the central conceit, as simple as it might be, is pretty much all it has to go on. »
- Drew Taylor
In Mr. Jones, Scott (Jon Foster) is desperate to make a great documentary. That’s why he moved himself and his other half, Penny (Sarah Jones), to a cabin in the secluded wild. They thought they were alone, but they discover a legendary reclusive artist known only as “Mr. Jones” living nearby. It looks like Scott’s found the subject of his documentary. Too bad it could cost his and Penny’s lives…and more.
Karl, thank you for taking the time to talk about your directorial debut, Mr. Jones, which you also wrote. To start things off, can you tell our readers what inspired you to write this story and why you chose to direct it as well? »
- Derek Anderson
Last week David Fincher dropped out of negotiations for Sony Pictures' Steve Jobs biopic. He and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin would have made an amazing team, but the studio is moving forward and looking to hire a new director. According to THR, that director might be Slumdog Millionaire and Sunshine director Danny Boyle, and apparently he's already reached out to Leonardo DiCaprio to possibly star in the film. The two talents previously worked together on The Beach.
There are no official deals set in place, but this would make a very interesting team. I like the idea of Fincher and Christian Bale making the movie more, though. It's not that I don't like Boyle's work because I do! I absolutely love it, but it's hard to imagine his kind of directing style for a movie like this. I also think DiCaprio is talented as hell, but I can't see him playing Jobs at all. »
- Joey Paur
Writer Alex Garland (28 Days Later, Sunshine) is getting ready to make his directorial debut with Ex Machina, a sci-fi film set in the not-too-distant future. Starring Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander, today we have our first photo (seen above) from the promising project, along with an official plot synopsis, which you can check out below:
Ex Machina is an intense psychological thriller, played out in a love triangle between two men and a beautiful robot girl. It explores big ideas about the nature of consciousness, emotion, sexuality, truth and lies.
Not only does that sound like an incredibly intriguing premise, but Isaac has also said in the past that the film will be “a great three-hander with people torturing each other with their brains, in rooms.” I don’t know about you, but I’m sold.
No release date has been announced as of yet but you can »
- Matt Joseph
The first image has arrived from 28 Days Later and Sunshine screenwriter Alex Garland’s directorial debut Ex Machina. The psychological thriller revolves around a billionaire programmer who invites a young employee to spend a week at his remote estate and to participate in a test involving an artificially intelligent female robot that he invented. Oscar Isaac and Domhnall Gleeson star, and based on this first image it appears that Isaac is playing the inventor. The actor previously told us that the pic is a “provocative, sci-fi sexual thriller” and described it as “a great three-hander with people torturing each other with their brains, in rooms.” It’s certainly a fascinating premise, and Garland’s track record as a screenwriter (which also includes Never Let Me Go and Dredd) is great so I’m eager to see how he fares in the director’s chair. Hit the jump to check out the first Ex Machina image. »
- Adam Chitwood
Though Dredd may not have fared as well as some hoped, writer Alex Garland is set to redeem himself by taking a turn directing with the sci-fi flick Ex Machina. Garland behind the scripts for Never Let Me Go, Sunshine and 28 Days Later, all unique films with great stories. As for Ex Machina, this one follows a love triangle between two men and a beautiful robot girl. That's definitely unlike anything we've seen before, and now we have a first look at the film with stars Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) and Domhnall Gleeson (About Time). No sign of the robot girl (Alicia Vikander) just yet, but we're certainly intrigued. Here's the first look at Alex Garland's Ex Machina (via The Playlist): Ex Machina is written and directed by Alex Garland (writer of Dredd, Sunshine, 28 Days Later). Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), a 24 year old coder at the world’s largest internet company, »
- Ethan Anderton
"Oh man, I'm so excited to see that movie," Oscar Isaac told us last fall about his role in the upcoming "Ex Machina." And we're pretty excited too. It's the directorial debut of "28 Days Later," "The Beach" and "Sunshine" writer Alex Garland, with Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander co-starring. Here's more from Isaac on what to expect from the film, with the first look emerging today. "It's [set] in the not-too-distant future—it actually could very well be the present, it's a little bit undefined—and it all takes place in a house, or at least in a facility. I play a billionaire programmer who's developing algorithms for the most popular search engine in the world and no one's seen him or heard from him in quite a long time and one of his employees wins a raffle to come to his place in Alaska and test his newest invention, which »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Universal Studios Home Entertainment released the samurai action-thriller 47 Ronin on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and, DVD today, April 1st. Keanu Reeves brings his martial arts skills back to the silver screen as Kai, an outcast who bands together with a group of samurai warriors to take on a horde of mythical creatures and evil witches as they fight to reclaim their homeland. In honor of the Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and, DVD release, we have an exclusive featurette that takes fans behind-the-scenes with Keanu Reeves, as he explains where his character is coming from on the set, along with director Carl Rinsch, who gives us more insight into the mythical style of this story.
Based on an epic story, this extraordinary tale of inspiring courage has its origins in the early 18th century. After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai vow to seek vengeance and reclaim their honor. »
On April 1, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will release 47 Ronin on Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and, DVD. Director Carl Rinsch's action-adventure stars Keanu Reeves as Kai, an outcast who joins a small group of samurai warriors to battle mythical beasts, shape-shifting witches and other creatures to avenge the death of their master and take back their homeland. We have a giveaway lined up where fans can take home this action-packed film, co-starring Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi. These prizes will be gone quicker than you can swing a samurai sword, so find out how you can win below.
47 Ronin Blu-ray
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Based on an epic story, »
In an exclusive with Variety magazine, the news comes suddenly that actor Chris Evans, most recently known for his role as Captain America in the Marvel universe, is ready to leave acting behind in pursuit of a career as a director. Worry not though, Marvel fans, he wants to give his six film contract everything he’s got before he hangs up the shield.
“If I’m acting at all, it’s going to be under Marvel contract, or I’m going to be directing,” he says. “I can’t see myself pursuing acting strictly outside of what I’m contractually obligated to do.”
Evans’ six-picture deal with Marvel is in the process of nearing completion, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier being his newest addition. With Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers under his belt already, with the additions of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age Of Ultron, »
- Matthew Ceo
There’s no escaping Captain America — especially for the actor behind the blue mask. That’s not just a career assessment. It’s a physical reality. To gear up as the iconic Marvel superhero, Chris Evans, the star of the upcoming “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” once again dons his trademark patriotic suit, which requires the actor to wear a snug latex undergarment that keeps the uniform from clinging to his sculpted muscles.
Given the confines of the zip-from-the-back costume, Evans jokes that there’s one thing audiences won’t see Captain America do — head to the bathroom. “Not to get too graphic,” he says, “but you’d better hope you’re on a nice schedule in that thing. There are all these zippers and buttons.” And he only sheds the suit with the help of a wardrobe entourage. “You could fight all day; you’re not getting out of it. »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Dissatisfaction: Burger Launches the Next Ya Dystopia to Unwieldy Lengths
Director Neil Burger joins genre courting/sci-fi alum Andrew Niccol’s dip into the abscessed pool of the Ya cash cow with Divergent, an adaptation of the first in a series of novels by Veronica Roth. A little of this, a little of that, and you’ve got a veritable mash up recent adolescent themed portraits of the future grim in the vein of (the already derivative) Hunger Games trilogy, and even Ender’s Game. Things don’t get better, only increasingly worse, an adage fitting for not only post apocalyptic Western dystopias but the rigidly formulaic and repetitive narratives that are now distended and stretched to epic proportion. Rising star Shailene Woodley gets outfitted with her own treatment of Chosen One Syndrome and delivers a serviceable performance that’s hampered by a ceaselessly workmanlike set-up that obviously thinks its »
- Nicholas Bell
Edited by Bob Joyce for the Society of Camera Operators 2014 Lifetime Achievement Awards where Peter Taylor (Gravity) won Camera Operator of the Year for Feature Film and Don Devine ("Mad Men") won Camera Operator of the Year for Television the following four minute video, featuring the past, present and future of the motion picture camera was shown. Set to the tune of John Murphy's "Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor)", the video is sure to feature some familiar faces and films from Louis Lumiere's Workers Leaving the Lumiere Factory to the likes of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin and on through the years. It includes the introduction of Cinerama and VistaVision, the Red camera and IMAX up to and including films such as Zodiac, Collateral, Avatar, Gravity and Her. Give it a watch, I bet you'll enjoy it. »
- Brad Brevet
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