"We need to talk to them." Paramount has unveiled a final trailer for the outstanding sci-fi movie Arrival, directed by master filmmaker Denis Villeneuve, arriving in theaters this November. You've already heard the buzz on this, as it has played at a bunch of film festivals in the last few months, and it's one brilliant film about alien spacecraft that suddenly land on Earth. Amy Adams plays a linguistics expert who is recruited by the military to determine whether they come in peace or are a threat. The full cast includes Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma, Mark O'Brien and many others. I wrote in my glowing review from Telluride that Arrival is "a major milestone in sci-fi." Thankfully they don't reveal too much in this final trailer, which could ruin this, so take a look and catch this in theaters soon. Go see it.
"I am here as your servant. I can perform any simple task." With the new "Westworld" show on everyone's minds, it's a perfect time to feature this new short film titled Judy. This first premiered at Fantastic Fest this year, and I owe Tim League thanks for the tip on its online debut. Judy is set in the near future and is about a guy who randomly receives an android assistant at his door one day. It starts out amusing, gets a bit raunchy, then ends on a very twisted note. I won't spoil it - you just need to be aware this may not play out the way you want. It's also a cautionary tale about how emotionless we can/will get with more technology.
"I need the old Blade Runner." This isn't exactly new, but it is a fun trailer to watch if you've never seen it. Chet Desmond has cut a special "classic film noir" version of the trailer for Ridley Scott's seminal sci-fi Blade Runner from 1982 starring Harrison Ford. Of course, we all know the film is already very much a noir film, about a detective in the future trying to chase down "Replicant" androids on the run. This is an impressive trailer that brings this all the way back to the olden days of Hollywood, with sepia B&W to top it off. I like the way he made this feel like something completely different, even though it's still the same sci-fi film we all know (and most of us love). Plus it's good to look back before the sequel Blade Runner 2049 hits.
"Be careful, Izzy… People are fragile." Another intriguing sci-fi short to watch. This one is titled Memory Box, directed by filmmaking team Aaron Aites and Audrey Ewell. Sadly, Aaron Aites passed away from cancer and this is his last film as a director. Ewell is keeping his memory alive and has started an Indiegogo for extra funding to release this short (beyond the internet). It first premiered at Fantastic Fest last month and is now out online. Described as a "psycho-sexual sci-fi tinged short film", Mackenzie Davis (from The Martian, Breathe In, "Halt & Catch Fire") stars a young mother who works at a memory-recreation facility where actors recreate clients' memories. Fellow sci-fi filmmaker Shane Carruth also stars. Love the score.
"I'm not the same…" Lionsgate has revealed the first full-length teaser trailer for the new live-action Power Rangers movie, from the director of Project Almanac. They're bringing back the classic colored superkids for an epic sci-fi movie and it looks pretty cool at first glance. The cast is lead by: Naomi Scott as The Pink Ranger, Becky G. as The Yellow Ranger, Ludi Lin as The Black Ranger, RJ Cyler as The Blue Ranger, and Dacre Montgomery as The Red Ranger. This also features Bryan Cranston as Zordon, Bill Hader as the voice of Alpha 5, Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa, as well as David Denman, Sarah Grey, Emily Maddison, and Caroline Cave. This teaser ends right when it's getting good (revealing their outfits), but so far I'm admittedly intrigued. This trailer also features the song "I Walk The Line" by Halsey. Take a look.
"Are you ready for test day?" YouTube Red has unveiled the first trailer for a post-apocalyptic sci-fi thriller titled The Thinning, from writer/director Michael J. Gallagher. Set in the future, the story focuses on a high school aptitude test that is used to manage the population. Two students, played by Logan Paul and Peyton List, discover the test isn't what it seems and may actually be covering up a bigger conspiracy. This sounds kind of like Logan's Run, but revised to a high school level "aptitude test". The full cast includes Lia Marie Johnson, Calum Worthy, Matthew Glave, Michael Traynor and Ryan Newman. This looks like a mix of Hunger Games and a bunch of other much better sci-fi, but that may be why it's direct to VOD.
"Are you ready to crush some criminal cranium?" What in the world is this?! A trailer has arrived for a film called Officer Downe, adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. It's about a zombie police officer in the future who is resurrected every time he dies, cleaning up the streets of Los Angeles the only way he knows how - "with extreme prejudice and a total disdain for gun-running nuns and kung fu criminals." Kim Coates stars as Officer Downe, with a fun cast including Sam Witwer, Lauren Vélez, Alison Lohman, Lindsay Pulsipher, Reno Wilson, Tyler Ross and filmmaker Mark Neveldine (who also produced it). This looks totally whacko, but also kind of badass, like Judge Dredd if it were a low budget D-movie. Enjoy.
Whoa! This looks cool. A new teaser trailer has debuted for a Russian alien invasion/arrival movie called Attraction. We've also added the original teaser along with the new trailer, since this is the first time we've encountered this film. There's some awesome footage in this, mainly the original arrival and crash in a city. The ship design is incredibly unique, and I love the way it looks as it crashes down. The film stars Oleg Menshikov, Alexander Petrov, Rinal Mukhametov and Irina Starshenbaum. It's made by the same guy who made Stalingrad and will be presented in IMAX 3D (at least in Russia) when it opens. The newest teaser actually reveals the aliens, which are huge creatures without a discernible face, making me even more intrigued. Along with Guardians, there are some impressive action movies coming out of Russia these days.
"His heart can't handle our gravity… It's too risky!" STX has released a new trailer for the film The Space Between Us, arriving in theaters December, about the first boy ever born on Mars who returns to Earth and must experience the planet (and young love) for the first time. Perfect timing to launch this trailer, with Elon Musk discussing his plans for colonizing Mars. Asa Butterfield plays the boy, who at age 16 finally returns to Earth. The main aspect of this movie is the love story angle and he falls for a "street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa", played by Britt Robertson, but has his own physical struggles. The cast includes Carla Gugino, Gary Oldman, BD Wong, Janet Montgomery, and Jenny Gabrielle. As much as I want to be excited to see this, it just looks so schmaltzy and goofy. I hope to be proved wrong when it opens.
Aren't they just adorable? This sci-fi short film titled Planet Unknown features two cute explorer robots discovering a new planet for the first time, attempting to figure out if there are enough resources to sustain life. Chinese writer & director Shawn Wang admits he was inspired by Wall-E, which is obvious with these robots, but that wasn't his only key inspiration for this CG animated short. "The idea started back in 2014 when Interstellar was released. I was deeply impressed by the movie and was inspired by the two robots TARS and CASE. The idea of intellectual robots exploring space developed from there." This isn't totally groundbreaking, but it is fun and does make you dream about the possibility of life on other planets. Enjoy.
"What are you?" Paramount has debuted a series of mysterious 15-second teasers for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell live-action movie, starring Scarlett Johansson as The Major. Each teaser has a tiny snippet of footage and provides a very interesting introduction to this movie. Three of them feature Johansson, in iconic scenes that anime fans will likely recognize. One of them features Takeshi Kitano playing Daisuke Aramaki looking pissed as hell firing a revolver then dumping the shells. And one features a mysterious kimono woman with a mask, potentially the villain who wants to sabotage Hanka Robotic's AI technology. I have to admit - I really love these teasers, they're unique and the perfect way to introduce the world to this movie. The way they glitch in and out is awesome. I want more promos like this. "This is just the beginning."
"What do we do now?" Sony has finally released the first full trailer for the sci-fi movie Passengers, from a screenplay by Jon Spaihts, directed by Morten Tyldum (of The Imitation Game previously). The story is set far in the future entirely on a passenger ship carrying thousands of people to a colony on the other side of the galaxy. Chris Pratt stars as a mechanic whose sleep pod malfunctions, leaving him awake and alone and unable to last the 90 years left on the ship's journey. The cast includes Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne. This project has been in development for years and years, once with Keanu Reeves attached to star, and I'm glad we finally get to see it. From the footage in these first trailers below, the movie looks like it's going to be wonderful. So glad it looks this good. Really can't wait to see this.