"What are you going to do?" "Make contact." Apple has revealed a second official trailer for their thrilling new sci-fi series titled Invasion, that is clearly "inspired" by H.G. Wells' classic novel "War of the Worlds" (huge extraterrestrial tripods emerging from underground, come on). Following multiple storylines across different continents, Apple TV+'s Invasion takes a global look at how one alien invasion would affect us all. It seems to show different perspectives as they try to make sense of what's happening - a solider, a sheriff, a mother, an astronaut. The series features 10 episodes and launches later in October. Shamier Anderson, Golshifteh Farahani, Sam Neill, Firas Nassar, and Shioli Kutsuna star in this sci-fi drama that will make you question what you would do under extraterrestrial threat. There's so many crazy intense things happening in this trailer, yet they still don't show any of the actual aliens, for better or worse. I'm intrigued, definitely want to watch, always up for sci-fi stories involving the entire planet. "Hold on to your humanity."
"We're trying to reach an identical universe." Saban Films has revealed the official US trailer for an indie sci-fi thriller from Canada titled Multiverse, which is a new title for this film also known as Entangled. Directed by Indian filmmaker Gaurav Seth, it does indeed mess with the multiverse theory. Four brilliant university students are forced to confront themselves in terrifying new ways when their Quantum Physics experiment leads to an entangled parallel existence that leaves them questioning who they are and what is real. Is only one of the universes real? Or are they both real? How do they gain control of everything once again? The film stars Paloma Kwiatkowski, Munro Chambers, Robert Naylor, Sandra Mae Frank, with Marlee Matlin (last seen in CODA). This originally premiered at a few small festivals back in 2019, but is only now getting an official release - which isn't a good sign. I like the concept, which reminds me of one of the stories in Alastair Reynolds' "Zima Blue" collection, I just hope this film is actually worth a watch.
"How quickly can I become a black belt?" "You'll earn your belts with time…" "I don't have time." Who does?! Only enough time to learn how to kick ass! Who's ready for a short film involving these three things: aliens, karate, and women. Yellow Belt Fury marks the directorial debut of actress Katherine Hughes (seen in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and Ambition) and it's available to watch online thanks to Short of the Week premiering it. "What would you do if your loving boyfriend was gruesomely killed during an alien attack? The answer is pretty obvious, right? Learn karate as fast as possible and kick some extraterrestrial butt!" Yes! Get some! The short stars Melanie Rains as Sofia, joined by Charlotte Taschen as Sensei, and Matt Chute as Mark. Poor Mark… This is all just low key short film fun, with some clever editing and entertaining fights. Pretty much just "hey we love karate, let's make a short film about it?" Why not! Enjoy.
"Robots must protect dog." Apple has finally unveiled an official trailer for the sci-fi movie known as Finch, formerly titled BIOS before Apple picked it up. After numerous delays since last year, it's now opening in November this fall on Apple TV+. This project was once known as Goodyear (the dog's name in the movie) and was also titled BIOS before Apple picked up the film from Universal, skipping theaters for a streaming debut. It's produced by Amblin, Walden Media, and ImageMovers, which is quite a combination of powerful moviemakers. Tom Hanks is Finch, a man who embarks on a moving and powerful journey to find a new home for his unlikely family—his beloved dog and a newly created robot—in a dangerous and ravaged world. "An epic adventure like no other." Also featuring Caleb Landry Jones as the voice of his robot named Jeff. And an adorable doggo. This is an out-there concept: set in a post-apocalyptic future, a man creates a robot to help protect… his dog? I mean, I totally love this concept, but I understand why it might've been hard for Universal to market this to audiences disinterested in original ideas. I'm all about it! Can't wait to watch it.
Denis Villeneuve specializes in delivering on the seemingly impossible. Over the last 10 years, he's made his English-language debut with one of the best thrillers of the last decade (Prisoners), given us one of the most satisfying-yet-confounding final shots in recent memory (Enemy), redefined how stressful traffic jams are (Sicario), expertly baked our noodles by cutting his sci-fi teeth on adapting Ted Chiang's cerebral short story "Story of Your Life" (Arrival), and given us a delayed sequel to one of the most beloved sci-fi epics and, against all odds, made it the original's equal if not superior (Blade Runner 2049). And yet, adapting Frank Herbert's famously sprawling (some might say tortuously impenetrable) epic sci-fi novel "Dune" may be his most ambitious undertaking to date – especially when considering the space saga previously defeated Jodorowsky and made David Lynch a very unhappy camper back in 1984, denouncing it as "a total failure."
"Don't regret the past… it's what brings us to where we need to be." Lionsgate has finally unveiled a teaser trailer for the sci-fi romantic thriller Needle in a Timestack, from director / producer John Ridley (of Jimi: All Is by My Side). Set in the near future, the film involves some kind of tech that lets people revisit the past somehow. Nick and Janine live in marital bliss until Janine's ex-husband warps time to try to tear them apart. As Nick's memories begin to disappear, he must decide what he's willing to sacrifice in order to hold onto - or let go of - everything he loves. "Can love endure in a future where time is fluid, and all of life may be just an illusion?" Needle in a Timestack stars Leslie Odom, Jr. & Cynthia Erivo, with Orlando Bloom, Freida Pinto, Jadyn Wong, Laysla De Oliveira, Hiro Kanagawa, and James Kirk. This seems like it might be good, but hard to tell from this footage, as it's not the first time love has been mixed with time travel (see: The Time Traveler's Wife). The shot of the city disappearing is the coolest shot in this.
"The future is not set. There is no fate but what we make for ourselves." Another impressive homemade sci-fi short film to check out. Terminator: Hunter Killer is a proof-of-concept short film, set in the future war of the Terminator-movie universe, as the humans struggle to survive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. It was made entirely by a UK-based concept artist and designer named Jamie Martin, who created this using 3D assets provided for free and with direct inspiration from the first two Terminator movies. He sent this short over to us in celebration of the 30th Anniversary of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, originally released in July of 1991. While this is obviously a 3D CG short, it has a realistic look and feel, taking us right into this futuristic war against the machines. More than anything it's a mood piece, an example of how you can craft an entire world on your own. Now I'd like to see more stories set in this Terminator-filled warzone.
"Mom, I'm off to find a Meteorite!" "Take a jacket!" How can you get the girl if she's into all things space and aliens? It's simple: just go out and find the aliens that crashed to Earth. Down To Earth is a kooky, fun, harmless little sci-fi short film made in Australia by filmmaker Nick Crowhurst. Three young misfits venture into the Australian outback to find what they believe is a meteorite that has crash landed near their country town, only to discover it's something far more mysterious. Armed with a map, some walkie talkies and, in Eddie’s case, ample snacks, the three venture off. As the sun sets and with Eddie slowing them down, their chances of finding the meteorite quickly fades, until they stumble across a smoking barn and inside discover something out of this world! This stars Sebastien Skubala, Liam Daughtry, & Kiki Nicholls. It doesn't have the best performances, or the best script either, but it's mostly enjoyable to watch. Have fun.
"Time to fly…" Warner Bros has finally unveiled the first teaser trailer for The Matrix 4, now officially known as Matrix Resurrections. And it is PACKED with tons of new footage. As Neo once said before, "whoa." From the looks of it, Thomas Anderson has returned to The Matrix and has been taking blue pills, until he meets another new Morpheus (maybe?) and is brought back to free Trinity once again. Or at least something like that. There's so much going on in here and there's no other official synopsis yet other than stating that it's a continuation of the iconic sci-fi series. The returning cast includes Keanu Reeves as Neo, Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity, Jada Pinkett Smith as Niobe, Lambert Wilson as The Merovingian, and Daniel Bernhardt as Agent Johnson. Along with newcomers Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Jessica Henwick, Jonathan Groff, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Christina Ricci, Toby Onwumere, Max Riemelt, and Eréndira Ibarra. I am ALL IN. Even more exciting than I was hoping.
"We can survive anything… ’cause we stuck together." Amazon has released the first official teaser trailer for a new sci-fi creation called Encounter, the second feature film directed by the award-winning British filmmaker Michael Pearce after he made Beast previously. This just premiered at the 2021 Telluride Film Festival last weekend, and it will also play at the Toronto and London Film Festivals next this fall. It opens in December later this year. All of the descriptions are rather vague: two brothers embark on a journey with their father, who is trying to protect them from an alien threat. The rest is something you'll have to discover while watching the film, as it's a mysterious story of an extraterrestrial encounter on Earth. Encounter stars Riz Ahmed, plus Octavia Spencer, Rory Cochrane, Lucian-River Chauhan, and Aditya Geddada. There's not a lot revealed in this first look, but it does seem like a thrilling sci-fi story with some big twists.
"This will affect the entire planet." "I know, but it's like sooo stressful." Netflix has finally unveiled the first look teaser trailer for Don't Look Up, the epic new ensemble comedy from filmmaker Adam McKay, following his two outstanding political comedies The Big Short and Vice previously. The film tells the story of two low-level astronomers who go on a giant media tour to warn mankind of an approaching comet that will destroy planet Earth. The satire plays on the idiocy of humanity and how people don't believe them and just mock them for trying to save the planet. I was wondering where the title comes from, now we know - it's a riff of the MAGA hats, stating "Don't Look Up" because, of course. Ohhhh McKay, it seems he nailed this. I am so excited to see more. The ensemble cast includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence, with Rob Morgan, Jonah Hill, Mark Rylance, Tyler Perry, Timothée Chalamet, Ron Perlman, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Himesh Patel, Melanie Lynskey, Michael Chiklis, Tomer Sisley, with Cate Blanchett and Meryl Streep. "The stars get struck." A-ha. Check out the very brief tease below.
"I wonder what he's thinking about… floating up there all by himself." Lionsgate has released a trailer for a cool indie sci-fi thriller titled Warning, the feature debut of music video director Agata Alexander. The basic synopsis is pretty vague: the meaning of life explored through multiple interconnected lives set in the near future. But there's more: "this intense sci-fi thriller explores the repercussions that mankind faces when their omniscient technology becomes a substitute for human contact" and a global storm that disrupts electronics. The massive ensemble cast features Alex Pettyfer, Alice Eve, Annabelle Wallis, Benedict Samuel, Charlotte Le Bon, Thomas Jane, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Rupert Everett, Tomasz Kot, Kylie Bunbury, and Garance Marillier. There is SO much going on in this trailer, I really have no idea what's going on. Scenes in space, tons of footage on the planet, asteroids, futuristic tech. No idea how all of this comes together and connects, I'm a bit worried. Hopefully there's something worthwhile in here.