10 items from 2015
Intelligence, artificial or otherwise, is one of the major casualties of “Chappie,” a robot-themed action movie that winds up feeling as clunky and confused as the childlike droid with which it shares its name. Mashing together various elements from director Neill Blomkamp’s earlier sci-fi pictures (including another prominent role for Sharlto Copley), this South African spin on “Short Circuit” displays the same handheld immediacy and scene-setting verve as its predecessors, but all in service of a chaotically plotted story and a central character so frankly unappealing he almost makes Jar-Jar Binks seem like tolerable company by comparison. Absent “District 9’s” subtle apartheid allegory or “Elysium’s” health-care brief, but offering a bizarre performance showcase for the rap-rave group Die Antwoord, Blomkamp’s third feature exhausts its meager ideas and the viewer well before the end of its two-hour running time. Curiosity will beckon for a few, but this »
- Justin Chang
Artificial intelligence – and its close link to the essence of humanity – is one of cinema’s favourite topics. There are tons of films about robots with varying degrees of sentience. 2001: A Space Odyssey, I, Robot, The Terminator, Blade Runner, Her, Wall-e, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence are just a few of them. The list could go on and on.
Blomkamp, Patel, and the Chappie crew go behind the science of artificial intelligence in the below two featurettes. Check them out below, and make sure to catch the film by the South African-Canadian director on Friday, March 6!
- Sasha James
Cinema loves robots. We mean, who wouldn’t want an automaton or metal pal as a sidekick? The movies have proved that robots come in all shapes and sizes- from Wall-e to Johnny-5 and beyond – and the upcomingChappie ushers in an entirely new form of sentient being.
In an oppressive future world where crime patrols are operated by a mechanized police force, Chappie, a police droid, is stolen by a group of individuals and re-programmed to become the first robot to think and feel for himself.
The movie comes to us from a man who has had his eye on the future for some time. Director Neill Blomkampcrafted a futuristic world out of slums in both his earth-bound breakout District 9, and in the idyllic space station-set Elyisum. (He’ll next tackle space in a just-announced Alien flick).
- Rachel West
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the second installment of the star-studded British comedy that follows a group of British retirees who decide to spice up their lives in magical India.
In theaters on March 6, 2015, the sequel was once again directed by John Madden, best known for his acclaimed movies Shakespeare In Love (Academy Award winner for Best Picture, 1998), Proof (based on the eponymous Pulitzer Prize winning play, 2005) and The Debt.
The beloved first film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie proved to be an international success, grossing over $136 million worldwide.
Read Variety’s early review here.
The renowned cast has reunited for the film including stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Tina Desai, Diana Hardcastle and Lillete Dubey. Additional cast making their debut include Tamsin Greig, with David Strathairn and Richard Gere.
The soundtrack for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel »
- Michelle McCue
I love movie and television soundtracks. I’ll often use a given soundtrack while I work, letting it fuel my writing. I can’t listen to music with lyrics in them; that interferes with my process. I’ll get themes, characters, even scenes or whole plots from the music. Soundtrack music is in service of the story that the film is trying to tell; it’s a part of the narrative, heightening the emotion that’s being invoked.
I have my own particular favorites. The composers usually have a large body of work but certain key works resonate within me – Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown and Patton, James Horner with Field of Dreams, Shaun Davey’s Waking Ned Devine, Elmer Bernstein’s To Kill A Mockingbird (has there ever been a more beautiful and evocative theme?) and, of course, The Magnificent Seven.
I’ve also been very fond of Alan Silvestri »
- John Ostrander
Now we know what the cubes were in The Power of Three – space Lego blocks.
Lego has announced that its newest approved project will be a Doctor Who and Companions Lego set, designed by Andrew Clark. Created as part of their Lego Ideas program, the site allows users to design and submit potential Lego sets to be manufactured by the company. Past sets from the program include japan’s Hayabusa satellite, a series of Minecraft-inspired sets, and an assortment of female scientist minifigures.
Doctor Who already has a building block license with the company Character Building – their blind-buy minifigures are currently available across the world.
Emma Owen, UK spokesperson for Lego Ideas commented:
No details have »
- Vinnie Bartilucci
It may seem cliche, but everything is truly awesome now with LEGOs. After a hit movie last year, it seems like the company is now digging into pop culture more with Back to the Future and Ghostbusters sets out, but now it will go into the Pixar label as well as one of the most popular television shows of all-time to create their newest sets for fans.
Lego announced on Wednesday that later this year, it would be debuting sets based on Doctor Who and Wall-e. The company had been taking ideas for some time now on possible TV shows and movies that people would like to see in Lego form and it seems like both the BBC sci-fi show and Pixar film will be making the transition.
- Zach Dennis
Doctor Who fans will finally be able to get their hands on an official Lego set later this year.
The concept for a Doctor Who set came from the Lego Ideas website, where fans submit entries for fantasy sets to be produced.
Artist and fan Andrew Clark's concept received the 10,000 votes required for The Lego Group to consider it for production.
BBC Worldwide and The Lego Group have signed a licensing agreement that will see the new set available by the end of 2015.
Clark's design features several Doctors, companions, monsters and the Tardis, but it has yet to be confirmed which elements will form the set.
A set based on the Pixar movie Wall-e will also be produced.
Emma Owen, »
Are you ready for Doctor Who Lego? We hope so, because it’s coming soon…
Exciting news for Whovians, this – the big-wigs of both the BBC and Lego have come to an agreement to begin producing Doctor Who Lego sets. The idea was approved after 10,000 votes came in for fan Andrew Clark’s proposal on the Lego Ideas website.
Now, it’s become a reality.
While Mr Clark’s initial idea featured a wide range of Doctors, the new Lego/BBC alliance are being coy about which eras, Doctors and companions they will be recreating in brick form. At least one whopping great Tardis set is surely fairly certain, though, as is a Peter Capaldi-themed set (judging by the image they sent us). To clarify - that is just rampant speculation on our part.
Several studios used Super Bowl Xlix as a platform to promote a number of highly-anticipated upcoming movies, but, just as Super Bowl Sunday is a beloved annual tradition for sports and advertising fans alike, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl has become a popular alternative to the big game. During Puppy Bowl Xl earlier today, Disney Pixar debuted a new trailer for their next animated film Inside Out, which gives us a better understanding at how the emotions of a young girl truly works. All of the emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) are put on display as 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) watches footage from the Puppy Bowl.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, »
10 items from 2015
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