"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.
"Why are you here?" "I had a run in with a space alien." 20th Century Fox has debuted a new TV trailer, a 60-second spot, for Shane Black's new The Predator movie. We only just got the very first teaser trailer for this a month ago, and it's scheduled for release in September, so it's good to see some more new footage here. The big reveal in this is that there's a second Predator that appears out of nowhere at the end. What in the hell…? 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. Looks good. You might want to check this out - it's a cool reveal.
"We fight, or we die." Saban Films has released a brand new official US trailer for the Australian sci-fi alien invasion thriller titled Occupation, from writer/director Luke Sparke. We posted the international trailer for this a few weeks ago and this looks even worse. The film is about a small group of town residents who have to band together after a devastating ground invasion from alien invaders. As they struggle to survive, they realize they must stay one step ahead of their attackers, and work together for a chance to strike back. The big Aussie cast includes Temuera Morrison, Stephany Jacobsen, Dan Ewing, Rhiannon Fish, Zachary Garred, Izzy Stevens, Charles Terrier, Charles Mesure, Felix Williamson, Jacqueline McKenzie, and Bruce Spence. This seems like another awful Red Dawn remake of sorts, and this trailer doesn't even show the aliens like the other trailer. Probably because they know they look bad? Watch below.
"I've been looking for you for a long time." Universal has debuted the full-length official trailer 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. Jackson is not directing, instead he's letting a VFX supervisor from Weta make his directorial debut. The fantastically eccentric ensemble cast includes Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan, Jihae, Ronan Raftery, Leila George, Patrick Malahide, and Stephen Lang. While they're still not done yet, this does have some amazing VFX from Weta. The plot in this, which reminds me a bit of Dune at first glance, is about huge cities that move around and battle against each other. I have to say - I'm very impressed, this looks awesome, with a huge scope and scale that seems like it might be exciting to get into this world. You might want to check this out.
"There are different versions of me in the world… I think someone's trying to kill me." Gravitas Ventures has released their official trailer for an indie sci-fi film titled 7 Splinters in Time, a new feature made by Gabriel Judet-Weinshel (The Broken Wings of Elijah Footfalls). This very odd, peculiar sci-fi film is a neo-noir about a detective who investigates a murder, only to find that the victim is… himself. Soon, he discovers multiple versions of himself, not all of them friendly. How's that for a pitch? Alas, the film doesn't look as good as it sounds in that pitch. The cast includes Edoardo Ballerini as "Darius Lefaux", Emmanuelle Chriqui, Al Sapienza, and Austin Pendleton. I'm curious about this just because I'm always interested in original sci-fi projects, but I don't have a good feeling about it from the footage here. Check it out below.