"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Wait, wrong movie. I wish we could wait until next year to write about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, because it's a two-part finale and this first one really is just half of a movie. And while I have so much to say, I'm just as anxious to see it conclude properly before I really get into The Hunger Games series in-depth. However, we can't wait a year because Mockingjay - Part 1 is in theaters, and if you want that big screen experience now's the time to make the trip. Unfortunately, Mockingjay seems to be experiencing the same problems as Harry Potter, with the split forcing the story to be drawn out a bit too much taking away from the visceral experience that made the first two films so good.
Today is better the second time around. If only everyone could time travel… Paramount has debuted the latest trailer for Project Almanac, the kick ass found footage time travel film that feels like an as-good-as follow-up to Chronicle. This time, a group of high school kids invent a time travel device and start to use it for their own desires. This film was once called Welcome to Yesterday and we ran the trailer a year ago when it was set for release in 2014, but it has since been rescheduled for early 2015. I saw the movie at Comic-Con 2014 and really enjoyed it (my full review). I recommend it especially if you're a sci-fi geek who loves anything with time travel (they even joke about Looper in the movie). So fire up the new trailer below.
First of all, if you haven't seen Interstellar yet, then don't read any further, as this post will contain several spoilers for Christopher Nolan's sci-fi film. One of the more surprising moments during this grand sci-fi journey is the revelation that Dr. Mann is still alive on the planet he was tasked with exploring as a potential new home. Equally surprising is that the character is played by Matt Damon and he appears to be the saving grace of the mission, at least until he's not. Now a prequel comic book tells the story of how Dr. Mann (and his robot KIPP) arrived on the icy, desolate planet in the film, and how he began to forge data to make it seem like his planet was hospitable, just so someone would come rescue him. Check it out!
Here's to all the crazy ones. AMC Theatres and Paramount have announced a special ticket for Interstellar called the "unlimited ticket". Yes, it's exactly as it sounds, giving viewers the chance to get an unlimited viewing ticket for Christopher Nolan's epic sci-fi spectacular Interstellar (Sound Off here) at participating AMC theatres. That's the other catch - you have to be an AMC Stubs member, but there is good news if you already are one. "All AMC Stubs members who have already purchased a ticket to the movie can upgrade for $14.99." As odd as it sounds, the full price varies per location and theater if you need an entire unlimited ticket, ranging from $19.99 to $34.99. It might be worth it if you really, truly do love Interstellar that much.
If the science of Interstellar left you scratching your head and wanting to learn more about black holes, wormholes, relativity and more that was on display, then The Discovery Channel has just the remedy for you. They debuted an hour-long special (that's about 45 minutes without commercials) called "The Science of Interstellar," and it's easy for anyone to follow, even if you don't know anything about physics or space. It doesn't explain any of the plot holes people seem to have problems with, even though there are some out there that should just be forgiven based on the time travel material, but it's still a cool special, and it's all narrated by the film's leading man Matthew McConaughey. All right, all right, all right? Watch below!
"Your prototype time machine, Professor." Yet another unique sci-fi short, this one inspired by American and French classical cinema of the 50's. It's a sci-fi short film involving time travel, but with a French film noir feel, titled 300,000 km/s from director Stéphane Réthoré. It's considerably enjoyable even though it runs 17 minutes, but there's a polished feel to it that makes the scenes move fluidly while still keeping our attention focused on the mystery. It's a good film noir short and I like the sci-fi touch, the watch is beautiful and the practical work on that piece is fantastic. The end is where it really gets good, though I feel as if there should've been a bit more (another scene maybe?) before it cuts to black. Enjoy good short films? Jump in.
"Do not go gentle into that good night; Old age should burn and rave at close of day." So what does it all mean? Cooper, Amelia, TARS, Murph – what was Christopher Nolan trying to tell us? With Nolan's new sci-fi Interstellar now playing in theaters (here's our Sound Off) I decided to hop on a podcast with my friend Mike Eisenberg of Tall Tale Productions (known as @Eisentower30 on Twitter), a fellow Nolan nerd (his dog is even named Nolan!), to discuss the movie in-depth. We wanted to talk about all the spoilers, theories, Nolan's big ideas, the science fiction of it and compared notes on what we experienced. So here's a podcast-length recording of our Skype discussion on Interstellar, and don't forget this has spoilers! Enjoy.
"Remember: a better future is waiting for you." Another short to fire up today, this one is more of a proof-of-concept but better than most of the work that comes across our desks. Titled Phoenix 9, this short film is the debut of German team Amir Reichart (director & editor) and Peer Gopfrich (writer & producer) and it's sort of a funky mix of Tron Legacy meets post-apocalyptic survival thriller. "While post-apocalyptic films are immensely popular, we didn't just want to re-tread familiar territory. That's why we introduced a high-tech twist that takes things in a completely unexpected direction and gives the story larger-than-life scope and drama," explains Gopfrich. It's long (over 20 minutes) but actually quite good, view in full below.
Wait - there's more! Over the weekend, real-life astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson fired out a barrage of tweets condoning/confirming much of the actual science seen in Christopher Nolan's sci-fi Interstellar. But he's back again with a selection of nine tweets he has dubbed the "Mysteries of #Interstellar", posing very interesting plot-related, world-building questions. With all of the plot hole articles floating around now that Interstellar is in theaters, I'm not sure if he's riffing on them by nitpicking with thought-provoking questions, or actually criticizing the movie and choices made in the script. Whether you agree with him or not, he does make some good points. And it's tough to argue against what he's saying. So what do you think?
"People of Earth, do not be alarmed. We wish you no harm. Robots never lie." How is it possible that Gillian Anderson and Ben Kingsley are starring in a sci-fi flick called Robot Overlords and this is the first we're hearing about it? Well, it's not exactly, since we mentioned it briefly in February of 2013, but simply haven't heard anything about it since then. The film is set in the future and takes place on an Earth conquered by robots from another galaxy, but one young teen (Callan McAuliffe of The Great Gatsby) may hold the key to giving humans the power to fight back and take back the planet. The special effects range from impressive to downright terrible, but the movie as a whole feels like a generic SyFy project.
Those fokkin' prawns! Feast your eyes on this fresh new art print from "prolific record label and pop culture provocateurs" SpaceLab9, which will be selling this print as part of a promotion for the pre-order launch of their District 9 Original Soundtrack Expanded Version vinyl LP. The print goes on sale starting tomorrow, November 11th, along with the vinyl for pre-orders. SpaceLab9 commissioned Francesco Francavilla, an Italian comic book artist known for his own series The Black Beetle and other comic art, to design this print for Neill Blomkamp's debut sci-fi film District 9 from 2009, with Sharlto Copley as Wikus. See below.
"Everyone could do extraordinary things… Everyone – except me." Now this is a good short film to watch. Titled Singular, this short film by brothers Juan F. Orozco and Esteban Orozco explores a world where instead of wondering what it would like if a few people had super powers, it asks what it would be like if everyone had super powers – except for one guy. I always love coming across shorts that play with unique concepts, and twist the normal idea of what we expect on its head. This short doesn't exactly play up special effects or any of the super powers so much as the romantic angle, which not everyone may like, but I don't mind. Plus: "who cares?!" I just like seeing an original idea made by passionate filmmakers. Give it a shot.
Over the summer we learned that Frank Grillo would have a role in the remake of The Raid, which is scheduled to begin shooting in January of 2015. But Grillo will also get a chance to team up with the cast of the original foreign action hit. Variety has word that the Captain America: The Winter Soldier star is set to lead Beyond Skyline, a sequel to the better-off-forgotten 2010 sci-fi thriller Skyline directed by Greg & Colin Strouse. However, now it's the original film's writer and producer Liam O'Donnell at the helm, and there's a chance it just may get interesting with The Raid stars Iko Uwais and Yayan Ruhian taking roles.
"Experience Einstein's Relativity of Time as no other feature film has shown." He speaks! Bring on the science. Famed astrophysicist and "Cosmos" host Neil deGrasse Tyson has finally started speaking up about Interstellar, firing off a barrage of tweets late on Sunday night after the sci-fi movie opened in theaters worldwide on Friday. He suddenly started tweeting "In #Interstellar" facts and figures, pointing out the science and noting at the end that this isn't his opinion on the film, so much as just some observations. But most of it is very positive, defending Christopher Nolan's space opera and it's very real science. Read on.