"Now matter what happens we're going to make it! Okay?" Netflix has launched one final trailer for an intense end of the world movie titled How It Ends, the latest from filmmaker David M. Rosenthal (Janie Jones, A Single Shot, The Perfect Guy). How It Ends is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller, where they're not sure what exactly is happening and/or what exactly the apocalypse is. The plot involves a desperate father trying to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious event turns everything to chaos. Theo James stars, along with Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham, Kerry Bishé, Mark O'Brien, Nicole Ari Parker, and Grace Dove. This is available on Netflix today, so they're giving it one big push in hopes some of you want to watch this. Or maybe no one wants to escape to an apocalyptic story when it's already so bad. Enjoy.
"I think these dreams are the future." Netflix has debuted the first official trailer for a sci-fi action thriller titled Extinction, the latest film from Australian filmmaker Ben Young (Hounds of Love). This feature story involves an alien invasion that arrives after a father starts having nightmares predicting their attack. He learns more about himself as he takes his family and tries to survive. Michael Peña stars in this, along with Lizzy Caplan, Mike Colter, Israel Broussard, Emma Booth, Tom Riley, Lilly Aspell, Erica Tremblay, and Amelia Crouch. This looks crazy cool, holy hell, where did it come from? Netflix loves to surprise us with something big out of nowhere. I'm digging the visuals in this, but I'm not sure if the story is trying too much at once. We'll find out very soon - the film is available at the end of the month. Check it out.
"You don't automatically jump to the most extreme explanation." Sony has released an official trailer for a movie titled UFO, which is going straight to VOD and skipping theaters entirely. Once you see this trailer, you'll know why - it looks pretty awful. So cheesy, so bad. UFO is about UFO sightings at airports, and one specific incident which sets off a big chain of events. Alex Sharp stars as Derek Echevaro, a smart kid who becomes obsessed with figuring out a math equation that may or may not be directly connected to the UFO sightings. The full cast includes Gillian Anderson, Ella Purnell, David Strathairn, and Benjamin Beatty. There's not much to this and I'd rather recommend other UFO sighting movies, if you really want to watch one. I'm also a bit sad that Alex Sharp is taking on throwaway roles like this, he deserves much better.
"I need you to get up. Keep moving." Give this short film a look if you're in the mood for some gritty sci-fi action. Ballistic is the latest short film made by Ryan Connolly, and it's set in a post-apocalyptic time in the future. There's not much more of an introduction beyond that, so jump right in and start watching now. Ballistic stars Hannah Ward, Rachel Hendrix, Mark Ashworth, Graham Powell, and Omid Zader. I really like how this short just starts and gets into things fast, without spending too much time trying to explain anything. Just put us right in the middle of it and we can figure it out as it goes along. Watch below.
"It's about something bigger than just her revenge." Have an intriguing look inside a "world we have never seen." Universal has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the sci-fi adaptation Mortal Engines, based on a popular book series. This adaptation has been in the works for years, in development by Peter Jackson and the LOTR/Hobbit team including Weta. This featurette video includes interviews with Peter Jackson and director Christian Rivers, as well as some of the main cast, including the young woman who plays Hester. The fantastically eccentric ensemble cast includes Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. I very much enjoy featurettes that include plenty of actual behind-the-scenes footage, and this one has tons packed in it. I'm honestly looking forward to this movie, but I know it's a hard sell for most people. Maybe this will help?
"Predators don't just sit around making hats out of rib cages. They conquered space… But that's not what's on the horizon." 20th Century Fox has revealed the full-length trailer for The Predator, a new take on the Predator sci-fi action franchise, this time directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) - who appeared in the original Predator as the character Hawkins. This is a gnarly new trailer with some seriously bloody, crazy, super nifty action and violence. Along with some nice foul language. The ensemble cast is lead by Jacob Tremblay, who "accidentally triggers" their return to Earth again, along with Sterling K. Brown, Yvonne Strahovski, Olivia Munn, Lochlyn Munro, Thomas Jane, Boyd Holbrook, Jake Busey, Keegan-Michael Key, Niall Matter, Trevante Rhodes (from Moonlight), plus Edward James Olmos. This is much, much better than the first trailer. Bring on the new Predator!!
"There's a lot to be afraid of out there…" Netflix has debuted an official trailer for an indie film titled How It Ends, the latest from filmmaker David M. Rosenthal (Failing Up, Janie Jones, A Single Shot, The Perfect Guy). How It Ends is a post-apocalyptic survival thriller, one of those where they don't really explain the apocalypse or what happened. The plot involves a desperate father trying to return home to his pregnant wife after a mysterious apocalyptic event turns everything to chaos. Theo James stars, along with Forest Whitaker, Kat Graham, Kerry Bishé, Mark O'Brien, Nicole Ari Parker, and Grace Dove. This pretty much came out of nowhere, so I'm not sure what to make of it. It seems like there's some cool things going on here, but I really don't have a good feeling. It's worth a look just to check out another Netflix film.
"I wonder all the time if you think about me…" Amazon has debuted an official trailer for an intriguing sci-fi romance film titled Zoe, the latest film from filmmaker Drake Doremus (Like Crazy, Breathe In, Equals, Newness). This is about two people at a research lab who are designing technology to "improve and perfect romantic relationships", but things go even further than they thought possible with a synthetic romance bot. Ewan McGregor stars, with Léa Seydoux playing the titular Zoe, and a cast including Rashida Jones, Theo James, Matthew Gray Gubler, Miranda Otto, Christina Aguilera, and Helen Johns. I really enjoy seeing Doremus play with love and how it all works, exploring it in unique and philosophical ways. He's also great with visuals and intimate shots, but I'm curious if the rest of the film is as good as this looks.
Steven Spielberg's 1993 film, Jurassic Park, opened to critical and commercial success, earning over $914 million worldwide to become the top grossing movie ever at the time. More importantly, it impressed the hell out of an eight-year-old with an intense interest in prehistoric creatures. As a kid, I would spend hours pouring over books from the library, learning all I could about Ankylosaurus, Plesiosaurus, and Triceratops. I watched every dinosaur movie I could find: Caveman, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend, The Land Before Time. They were the closest I could get to seeing living, breathing dinosaurs. Until Jurassic Park, that is. Spielberg's exhilarating masterwork of sustained awe and adventure ignited my imagination and made the impossible possible by resurrecting these long-extinct wonders with honest-to-goodness movie magic.
"Not man. Not machine. More." One of the biggest surprises of the year is an action sci-fi titled Upgrade, the second feature film directed by Australian filmmaker/writer Leigh Whannell. Whannell has worked in Hollywood for over a decade. He broke in with a little indie called Saw, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and went on to become, well, a succesful franchise and a massive hit. Whannell wrote the script for it with James Wan, and starred in it, then continued his career mostly as a screenwriter & producer. The first film he directed was Insidious: Chapter 3 in 2015, jumping in the hot seat with another horror franchise he co-created with James Wan. Upgrade is Whannell's first time going all out, directing an original screenplay he wrote, working with Blumhouse and mega-producer Jason Blum to get the film made.
Ready player one? Insert coin to play. This two-minute short film Tank is an exciting, nerdy throwback to 80's arcade games and it's a must watch for geeks everywhere. Tank is made by Red Giant's Chief Creative Officer, Stu Maschwitz (@5tu), who wanted to make something to pay homage to vector arcade games of the 80's - specifically Battlezone and Star Wars, though this definitely has a Tron vibe. This also features a totally rad electro score created by Ben Worley. This isn't just all about the visuals - there's a cool story to follow as well. Tank is a fun, homemade short film that is super geeky and yet isn't worthless entertainment. This is why I love short films - they're always so creatively unique and have something to say. Watch below.
We are well into the 2018 summer movie season, and it's a good time to step away from the extraordinary heroes, superhuman villains, and dangerous technology that generally make up the blockbuster fare seeing release. Instead we'll be discussing Upgrade, a film about, well, an extraordinary hero, some superhuman villains, and dangerous technology but on a shoestring budget by comparison with the gigantic franchises inundating multiplexes. As if the cost of a film has no bearing on quality (spoiler: it never does), Upgrade is an absolute blast of an action/sci-fi picture, an uproariously entertaining experience that delivers break-neck excitement and morbid humor with a heaping dose of caution. In a nutshell, it's the perfect, and a welcome, experience for fans of blockbuster films who are looking for something outside the franchise box.