"I think, therefore I am Chappie." Third times the charm. South African sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp is back with his third feature, titled Chappie, following District 9 and Elysium over the past six years. While he is certainly adept at building one-of-a-kind science fiction worlds, and crazy characters to inhabit them, the stories in each of his three movies have been completely different and often times, unfortunately, the weakest link. Chappie, while on one hand a violent R-rated action film, sorta seems like RoboCop-for-kids designed for teens to go crazy over whenever they finally somehow see it. It's a lot more fun, totally wild at times, occasionally absurd, and much more charming than I was expecting. And I mean that in a good way.
Would you take a life to live forever? After sending out phones to movie bloggers yesterday, today Focus Features has sent out a link that goes straight to the trailer for Self/less. Indeed, this was what it was all for - a promotion for the upcoming Tarsem sci-fi movie Self/less, starring Ryan Reynolds and Ben Kingsley. Kingsley is an old man who wants his consciousness transferred into Ryan Reynolds. So he goes to Phoenix Biogenic and begins the process. All seems to go well, except things get a little hazy part of the way through. Matthew Goode, Michelle Dockery, Natalie Martinez, Victor Garber and Derek Luke also star. This looks pretty good, though the visual look of the dual minds isn't as trippy as I was expecting. Fire it up.
Several of Robert A. Heinlein's works have been turned into movies and TV shows and now one more is on the docket. THR reports X-Men franchise director Bryan Singer is set to be at the helm of an adaptation of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The film version will simply be called Uprising with "Arrow" executive producer Marc Guggenheim adapting the book for the screen. Heinlein's 1966 sci-fi novel follows a lunar colony as they begin to revolt against their rulers back on Earth, almost like a Revolutionary War tale in space. It sounds like this could be Singer's next project after X-Men: Apocalypse.
We have a delivery. Arriving at the offices of a number of prominent movie bloggers all over the country are LG cell phones with a personalized introduction and instructions to wait for more information tomorrow (Wednesday, March 4th). Mysterious… We also received a phone here. No other info was included, aside from a memo from "Phoenix Biogenic", the same name on the box the phone came in. The note talks about feeling immortal and the chance to get a new body, which connects with the plot in the new Tarsem psychological sci-fi film Self/less. From here, we have to wait until we all get an update tomorrow morning. But in the meantime, this is our first viral look at the new Self/less movie. They definitely have my attention.
"You are dead center of the greatest scientific event in the history of man." After writing sci-fi favorites such as Sunshine and 28 Days Later, Alex Garland is behind the camera this time as the director of Ex Machina. The sci-fi thriller stars Oscar Isaac as a reclusive technology CEO who invites Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson) to his massive estate and hidden research facility to test out a new artificially intelligent android named Eva (Alicia Vikander). But soon Caleb doesn't know whether he trusts the creator or the creation as he's manipulated by both. It seems a bit derivative, but pretty intense with solid performances. Watch?
"Well, then I guess we have no choice than to go on an adventure…" Now this is awesome! Comedian/actor DC Pierson wrote a book called The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To, which director Dan Eckman (of Derrick Comedy's Mystery Team) is trying to get turned into a movie, but it needs our support. So he made a quick 5-minute short film proof-of-concept to show how awesome this would be, and it's pretty cool. Tony Revolori of The Grand Budapest Hotel and Dope stars with Jack Quaid of The Hunger Games. They use a line about how this is like a 3D printer for anything from the comic book, which is a cool pitch, and it works well. I really do want to see more, though hopefully as a movie not a TV show.
"I know you're angry Tris, but you're letting it consume you." If you're one of those fans who just can't wait for the arrival of The Divergent Series: Insurgent next month, the movie is a little bit more within reach as tickets are now on sale for the sci-fi sequel starring Shailene Woodley. And with that news also comes the final trailer for the film, showing that Tris (Woodley) is becoming consumed with anger, and she better get it in check if she's going to stay in control. Meanwhile, it looks like Ansel Elgort won't be offering help this time, despite being her brother, and Miles Teller may or may not be trustworthy. Watch!
After teasing fans with some concept art this January for an unrealized Alien sequel, sci-fi director Neill Blomkamp addressed the existence and status of the project in an interview earlier this month and was very hopeful that the project would get made, even though he indicated that it was his own hesitancy that kept it from happening initially. But now Blomkamp seems to be making good on his teasing as he just confirmed that this new Alien project will be his next film. The director again took to Instagram to post another piece of art, but now with the caption, "Um… So I think it's officially my next film. #alien." Whoa!
Considering this year marks the 30th anniversary of the original Back to the Future, as well as being the year that Doc Brown and Marty McFly traveled to in the future for the sequel, we already know there's going to be plenty of celebration for the time travel franchise. Earlier this year we featured an incredible trio of prints honoring the trilogy, and now we have an awesome case for the iPhone that will turn the Apple mobile device into the DeLorean time machine. No, this isn't just a cheap flat case that puts an image of the DeLorean on the back of your phone, it's a small three-dimensional model of the time machine. Look!
Just after we learned that Interstellar would return to IMAX screens for one showing only this weekend on Saturday afternoon, you can dive back into the sci-fi epic in another way. Last month, Looper and future Star Wars director Rian Johnson hosted an interview with Christopher Nolan following a screening of Interstellar at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica, California. And all the cinephiles out there will be glad to hear that this is a 32-minute discussion between the two filmmakers talking about the inception of the script, technical details of production, and much more. It's definitely worth listening to in its entirety.
In a few weeks, we'll see if District 9 director Neill Blomkamp has another good sci-fi flick in him when Chappie hits theaters. So far, the trailers have me feeling mixed about the movie, because it has so many familiar elements from RoboCop, Short Circuit and more. But I'm hoping that maybe the trailer is just using those things to sell the movie to as general of an audience as possible. Of course, I hoped the same thing about Elysium and was a little disappointed. Anyway, to hype the sci-fi spring release, Poster Posse has created some new prints focused on the titular artificially intelligent robot, and there's great work seen here.
Two of the biggest stars of the past few years may be heading to space together. After just learning at the end of last month that The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum was boarding Sony's gestating romantic drama in space called Passengers, it sounds like the studio is zeroing in on their leads. Names like Keanu Reeves, Rachel McAdams and Reese Witherspoon have flirted with the project before, but now Variety reports The Hunger Games franchise star and Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence is in early talks to take the female lead, while The Wrap reports breakout Guardians of the Galaxy star Chris Pratt is also in talks.
Good or bad, the films of the writing/directing sibling duo, The Wachowskis, have always struck a chord of interest. Even their less respected works either present noteworthy, sci-fi questions or deliver cool, sci-fi extravaganzas for the senses. Jupiter Ascending is their film most deserving of deep deconstruction. It’s a messy film, one that seems to have been sadly cut to shreds by post-production meddling. Its frantic structure and goofy accents keep it on the fringe of landing as highly as many of their previous works, perhaps all of them. For all of its hokey details though, Jupiter Ascending is a true Wachowski sci-fi action adventure that fully delivers the heart-stopping excitement for which we’ve all grown to love them. Read on!
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "It can be difficult for people from underdeveloped worlds to hear that their planet is not the only inhabited planet." The new Wachowskis movie is here. In theaters everywhere is Jupiter Ascending, the spectacular new sci-fi space opera creation from Lana & Andy Wachowski (of The Matrix trilogy, Bound, Speed Racer, Cloud Atlas) starring Channing Tatum as wolf-hybrid Caine and Mila Kunis as Jupiter. Eddie Redmayne, Sean Bean, Douglas Booth & Gugu Mbatha-Raw are in here, too. Is it any good? Or is it a mess? Are the Wachowskis doing well or in trouble? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on The Wachowskis' Jupiter Ascending.