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Glances at fundamental questions of identity and humanity and decides that they are best resolved via fistfights, gun battles, and car chases. I’m “biast” (pro): mostly love Tarsem Singh’s films; big Sf geek
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
A ruthless old real-estate tycoon billionaire, Damian Hale (Ben Kingsley: Exodus: Gods and Kings), is dying of cancer, so he has his mind transferred to a younger body (Ryan Reynolds: Woman in Gold), as you do when you’re a ruthless old man wealthy beyond belief and terrified of your mortality. Of course he doesn’t ask the tough questions about the hush-hush project of clearly dubious morality, not even when the suave mad scientist in charge, Albright (Matthew Goode: The Imitation Game), smoothly notes with a slick grin that he’s not asking the right questions. This is »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Single director seasons has been a rising trend in television, with last season providing the two most notable examples in HBO’s True Detective and Cinemax’s The Knick, with David Fincher and David Lynch poised to do the same with Utopia and Twin Peaks respectively in subsequent seasons. To date, however, the trend has been limited to cable channels. NBC, however, is jumping into the ring as well, as reports have now emerged that the network channel has tapped director Tarsem Singh to direct all ten episodes of its upcoming series Emerald City.
Tarsem, whose latest feature Self/Less is currently in theatres, is known to most film fans for his work on the 2006 feature The Fall. He currently has five features under his belt, along with an assortment of music videos, including that of Rem’s Losing My Religion, but has yet to work in television.
- Deepayan Sengupta
I remember when I was young, my father, a sort of rogue ecologist who learned everything he knew about rivers and their ecosystems secondhand, told me about these species of bottom feeders that lived in streams all over the Missouri and Mississippi river basins. I don’t remember what species they were but the thing about them was that they only flourished in polluted bodies of water. They didn’t flourish because of the pollution necessarily so much as their natural predators, killed off by the pollution, ceased to keep them in check and so their population would explode. Despite their usefulness as a gauge for the health of a stream, they were generally unwelcome.
- Chris Melkus
Unless you were paying close attention beforehand you would never know that the new sci-fi thriller "Self/less" was directed by the one and only Tarsem Singh. At worst, the often frustrating filmmaker has always had a keen eye, whether it was used helming a landmark music video such as Rem's "Loosing My Religion" or creating visual feats such as "The Fall" or "Immortals." Why Singh took such a conservative approach to this particular film, a project that could have used his stylistic flourishes, is head scratching. The concept is pretty simple. A dying billionaire, Damian Hale (Ben Kinsgley), is given the opportunity to "shed" his current body and inhabit a younger, healthier shell. In theory, it's painless; it just uses a machine to transfer the memories from one person into the brain of another. Actually that means it's just a new body that thinks it's the previous person, but »
- Gregory Ellwood
Body/mind transference, the central idea behind the thriller Self/Less, is so flush with opportunity that it’s frustrating to see this new movie fly off the rails so early and so completely. Self/Less has the premise for thought-provoking science-fiction, but it doesn’t have the gumption. It would rather be a blockbuster than a mind-bender but it turns out to be neither. Ben Kingsley stars as Damian Hale, a miserly real-estate magnate at death’s door who pays a quarter million dollars for the services of the shadowy corporation known as ‘Phoenix Biogenics’ (we know he’s rich because he’s shown in his Trump-style penthouse complete with solid gold doors and bannister). Albright (Matthew Goode), Phoenix’s spiffy young chief, offers his clients ‘Shedding’, a process of transferring the mind from the old and sick body into a healthy younger human grown organically in their lab. »
- Tom Stockman
If the twin successes of Mad Max: Fury Road and Ex Machina have something to say about genre fiction in 2015, it’s that a simple premise envisioned with thoughtful craft can pump as much blood to the cognitive parts of your brain as it does the pleasure centers. Meeting nicely in the middle between head-trip and Neanderthal action vehicle is Self/less, the latest film from acclaimed visualist and debatable storyteller Tarsem Singh (Aka Tarsem). Though his last two efforts – the Snow White and 300 also-rans, respectively, Mirror Mirror and Immortals - failed to produce Hollywood fare as bankable as his career-defining The Fall was beautiful, Self/less is unmistakably, uniquely Tarsem, despite the derivative appearance.
An apposite clash between creative forces seen and unseen makes for one of the many engaging threads to pull at while watching Self/less, a twisty thriller all about exteriors and interiors wrestling for control. »
- Sam Woolf
No one in sound mind and body wants to die, and that includes Ben Kingsley in the new film by Tarsem Singh. The director made his feature debut with the visually-striking The Cell in 2000, which raised expectations for bizarre and ambitious The Fall (2006), which was also sumptuous in appearance, if narratively lacking. Since then, he has made Immortals (reviewed here) and Mirror Mirror (reviewed here), two films that continued to demonstrate his preference (and reliance) for imagery and motion over story and sense. As far as the visuals are concerned, Self/Less represents the director's most reality-bound effort yet, following along as the very wealthy New York real-estate developer Damian (Kingsley affecting a New Yawk accent) comes to a decision about his future. Damian...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Ben Kingsley plays a New York real estate mogul who pays big bucks to have his consciousness microwaved into Ryan Reynolds‘ body in “Self/less,” but the real reheating of leftovers has already occurred: this new science-fiction thriller borrows the foundation of a much better film — John Frankenheimer’s 1966 “Seconds” — and strips it of any larger meaning. Director Tarsem Singh, previously known for such art-direction extravaganzas as “The Fall” and “Immortals,” seems determined to prove that he can handle more mundane material that doesn’t call for as much visual flair. The film he has crafted from the script by. »
- Alonso Duralde
A brand new you that just might be the old someone else is the quandary at the center of “Self/less,” an initially intriguing parable about man’s lust for immortality that quickly devolves into a substandard shoot-’em-up designed to rebrand star Ryan Reynolds as a brawny action hero in the Jason Statham mold. But even the resourceful, likable Reynolds is at a loss to elevate this rather dreary piece of would-be escapism, which calls out for the wry, pulpy touch of a John Carpenter (or his acolyte David Twohy) and instead gets the strained self-seriousness of director Tarsem Singh. July 10 release from Universal/Focus’ relaunched genre label Gramercy Pictures will have its work cut out for it against the big guns of summer.
- Scott Foundas
Focus Features has released a new featurette and clip for Tarsem Singh‘s latest, Self/less, a psychological science fiction thriller about a man dying from cancer (Ben Kingsley) who decides to transfer his consciousness into the body of a healthy, younger man (Ryan Reynolds). The procedure works, but he soon comes to realize that “immortality has some side effects.” I'm intrigued by Self/less. The ramifications a man faces when he tries to beat god always makes for solid ground to build a riveting science fiction premise on, and Tarsem is a compelling director with an eccentric track record, so I'm always intrigued to see what he'll do next. Stylistically, Self/less looks quite restrained for the director, who can occasionally get so immersed in his visuals that narrative falls by the wayside. When he's at his best we get The Fall, at his worst, Immortals (which I actually »
- Haleigh Foutch
The May 1 release of Avengers: Age of Ultron marks the "official" start of the 2015 Summer Movie Season and with that in mind, it's only appropriate to offer up a look forward at what's ahead over the next four months. What is ahead over the next four monthsc Well, a lot of movies that cost a lot of money with a few smaller features mixed in for good measure, and as much as some of us may lament the fact studios have become so franchise focused, it's hard not to admit a desire to see some of these bigger features. As a means of whittling down the flock of films arriving over the next several months I've chosen to take a look at my 20 most anticipated, which does mean there are bound to be some titles I probably ought to mention, but didn't make the list for a variety of reasons. »
- Brad Brevet
Our weekly feature in which a writer answers the question: If you could force your friends at gunpoint to watch one movie or TV show, what would it be? Released in 2006, Tarsem’s “The Fall” is a gorgeous celebration of storytelling that reveals how stories touch and change the people they are told to and those who tell them. It’s an ode to the very specific mode of storytelling of film. A few minutes into 1915-set “The Fall,” a character played by a pre-stardom Lee Pace attempts to explain to a five-year-old girl, “Pictures, y’know, flickers: moving pictures.” The girl, Alexandria, responds, confused, that she’s never seen one. With a hint of a sly smile, Pace’s Roy replies, “Oh you’re not missing much” – a line that strikes with irony, considering Tarsem’s clear passion for filmmaking and the fact that were “The Fall” to go unwatched, »
- Emily Rome
Alex Garland, screenwriter of “28 Days Later,” “Sunshine” and “Never Let Me Go,” makes an impressive directorial debut with cerebral sci-fi thriller “Ex Machina” (in theaters today), but Garland waves off the achievement of leaping to directing as “just next in a continuum.” “The truth was that there was no epiphany moment about directing, because I just don’t dignify the directing role the way we’re supposed to,” the British filmmaker told The Dissolve. “There are a few people — like Woody Allen, he’s an auteur, and I’m cool with that. But for me, directing is about collaboration.” Whether directing is a logical next step or a hard-sought achievement for screenwriters, it’s often done by telling studios, “Hey, here’s my next screenplay. You can have it as long as I get to direct.” Preston Sturges — at the time the highest paid screenwriter in Hollywood — is noted for »
- Emily Rome
With the new film Woman in Gold out this past weekend, it’s a wonder to think what factors casting agents take into account, especially when pairing a revered British actress with a (some would say) mediocre snarky comedic actor. Obviously Reynolds has lately been taking roles that require more dramatic skills than comedic ones. However, this trend of pairing Reynolds with actors above (or below) his caliber has been a thing for a while. Sure it’s something that’s done all the time with other actors, but this specific casting choice of Mirren/Reynolds sticks out in particular. So why not look at some past odd Ryan Reynolds’ pairings to see if this trend is a good or bad thing.
- Sarah Pearce
Ok, so we all know that movie logic increases the median attractiveness of everybody on screen by at least 50%, and we accept it. But what happens when an actor is just too attractive for suspension of disbelief to work in a particular role?
Mae Whitman being cast as the eponymous "designated ugly fat friend" in this weekend's The Duff is a fine example. Thankfully the film (which is kind of great, by the way) does take pains to emphasise that even perfectly attractive people can be the Duff in their friendship group, because Duff is a state of mind. Or something.
Digital Spy takes a look back at seven more actors who were too attractive for the part, most of whom still got cast anyway.
Last year, mere months after Four Weddings celebrated its 20th birthday, Hugh Grant dropped the bombshell that nobody »
The repeated horn blasts in the above trailer certainly remind one of "Inception," but otherwise "Self/less" looks pretty original. Directed by Tarsem Singh ("The Fall"), "Self/less" is the story of a wealthy but ill older man (Ben Kingsley) whose consciousness is magically scientifically transferred into the body of a younger, fitter man of mysterious origins (Ryan Reynolds). Premiering July 31, "Self/less" also stars Victor Garber and Michelle Dockery. Read More: Exclusive: Awesome Retro Poster for SXSW Thriller 'The Frontier' »
- Elizabeth Logan
Focus Features has debuted the first trailer for Tarsem Singh’s latest effort, Self/Less. As usual, the esoteric filmmaker appears to have conjured up what the official synopsis describes as a ‘provocative psychological’ sci-fi thriller. Ben Kingsley stars as a man dying from cancer, who pays to have his soul placed into the body of a young, healthy chap played by Ryan Reynolds.
Taking a look at the trailer for his next effort, it seems that Singh is on track to deliver another similar caper. Self/Less appears to be providing us with another cautionary tale – as brainy sci-fi flicks often choose to do. This time the futuristic “what if?” comes to us through Singh’s visually adventurous eye, calling to mind two of his previous works, The Cell and The Fall, which developed some stunningly original ideas.
Thematically, it seems to veers close to what Black Mirror offers »
- Gem Seddon
Last time we saw director Tarsem Singh, he was tackling fairy tales with Mirror, Mirror (which followed such visually stunning projects like The Cell, The Fall, and Immortals). Now, he's handling body swapping in sci-fi thriller Self/Less, which sees an extremely wealthy man (Ben Kingsley), dying of cancer, undergo a radical procedure to transplant his consciousness into a younger body (Ryan Reylonds). But, of course, he finds out that a secret corporation peddling immortality isn't all it seems. Self/Less is as high concept as they come, but this first trailer does a great job of selling the story, and hints at deeper psychological aspect to the plot that should shake thing up nicely. Singh's trademark visual style seems to be missing, but no doubt it'll make it self known when the movie takes an inevitable turn for the crazy. Released: July 31st »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Tarsem Singh has always been one for visually dazzling films. His latest output, from Immortals and Mirror Mirror, have been messy disappointments compared to the whimsical charms of the underrated gem The Fall. His latest however places him firmly in thriller territory rather than fantasy spectacle. Self/less stars Ben Kingsley as a wealthy, powerful, successful man who wishes to transfer his mind into a younger body, played by Ryan Reynolds. But the doctor responsible for this procedure (Matthew Goode) is hiding a sinister secret as to the origins of Reynolds’s past life and to the procedure’s side effects.
Granted, the last time Ryan Reynolds starred in a body switch movie it was called The Change-Up. This thankfully looks nothing like that. Self/less is released July 31 and also stars Michelle Dockery, Natalie Martinez, Victor Garber, and Derek Luke. Watch the trailer below:
The post Tarsem’s ‘Self »
- Brian Welk
Following the viral video released yesterday, that shed some new light on "consciousness transfer" specialists Phoenix Biogenic, Focus Features has debuted the first trailer for Self/less. Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley lead an all-star cast in the latest from director Tarsem Singh (Immortals, The Fall). Arriving in theaters July 31 from Focus Features, this sci-fi thriller gives new meaning to the term "out-of-body experience."
In this provocative psychological science fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body's origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, Natalie Martinez, Derek Luke and Victor Garber round out the supporting cast.
In addition to the trailer, »
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