SCI-FI FILMS

Venice 2021: Villeneuve's 'Dune' is THE Blockbuster Event of the Year

Dune

DUNE! Shout it from the rooftops!! The time has finally arrived. After years of waiting, years of attempted adaptations, years of anticipation, Denis Villeneuve's contemporary version of Frank Hebert's seminal sci-fi classic Dune has finally landed. And it is glorious. It is everything I was hoping for and more. The Matrix sequels premiered at film festivals (Cannes 2003), Star Wars movies premiered at film festivals (Cannes 2002 / Cannes 2018), Lord of the Rings premiered at a film festivals (Cannes 2001), now it's Dune's turn. Dune unquestionably deserves to be at the Venice Film Festival, where the movie is world premiering before launching in theaters (and on HBO Max) this October. Film festivals are a part of cinema history, and Dune is about to make history once again. Denis Villeneuve's Dune is jaw-dropping incredible, a blow-you-away experience that truly captures the inter-planetary scale & splendor of the epic story of Atreides and Arrakis.

Prisoners Being Sent to Off-World Colonies in 'Solitary' Sci-Fi Trailer

Solitary Trailer

"I have no idea who you are or how I got here." Vertical Ent has released an official trailer for an indie sci-fi film titled Solitary, marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Luke Armstrong, who finished this film last year during lockdown. This is another low budget sci-fi film with a cool concept that could turn out bad, or could be pretty good. Solitary is a contained sci-fi film about a man who wakes up inside a room to discover he's a prisoner sent into space to form Earth's first colony, and worse - his cell mate Alana is hell bent on destroying everything. Starring Johnny Sachon and Lottie Tolhurst as the two prisoners, with Michael Condron, Brian Bovell, and Ben Valentine. This kind of even feels like a lockdown film - two people contained in a studio apartment, in space, arguing about what to do when they get out. Safe travels.

New US Trailer for 'I'm Your Man' Robo Romance Starring Dan Stevens

I'm Your Man Trailer

"Your dream partner. Built for you." Bleecker Street Films has debuted another new official US trailer for the beloved sci-fi romance indie film I'm Your Man, directed by German filmmaker Maria Schrader. This originally premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year under the German title Ich bin dein Mensch, and lead actress Maren Eggert won the Silver Bear for Best Performance at the fest. In order to obtain research funds for her studies at a museum in Berlin, a scientist accepts an offer to participate in an extraordinary experiment: for three weeks, she has to live with a humanoid lover robot, created to make her happy. It's a flip on the idealistic robot lover concept, with Dan Stevens (speaking perfect German) as the perfect man for her, as determined by the programmers. But she doesn't like him, and really doesn't want a relationship, and this challenges her. The cast also includes Sandra Hüller, Hans Löw, Annika Meier, and Jürgen Tarrach. One of my favorite films at Berlinale this year, I've been recommending it ever since.

Watch: Wacky Comedy Short 'Brian & Charles' About a Robot Friend

Brian and Charles Short Film

"I built his body, and we've been friends ever since." This is what friends are for. Brian and Charles is a wacky comedy sci-fi short film from filmmaker Jim Archer, and after first premiering in 2017, our friends at Short of the Week have reposted it on YouTube for everyone to enjoy. We're only catching up with it now all these years later and it's unquestionably worth a watch. The short is already being adapted into a feature film, and the synopsis for that has a better intro: "After a particularly harsh winter Brian goes into a deep depression; completely isolated and with no one to talk to, Brian does what any sane person would do when faced with such a melancholic situation. He builds a robot." It was shot and it takes place in the Snowdonia National Park area (see Google Maps) in the UK, and is written by & stars David Earl & Chris Hayward, with plenty of improvisation. This is so much fun and a clever idea for a robot short. Say "hi" to them below.

Mega Earthquake Weapon Sci-Fi B-Movie 'Final Frequency' Trailer

Final Frequency Trailer

"My professor is missing…" Integrity is opening this B-movie direct-to-VOD next week if you want to watch it - Final Frequency, directed by the filmmaker Tom Lowry. A PhD student ties unusual tremors to rogue scientists, who will weaponize Nikola Tesla's secrets and cause massive earthquakes, if they can only find his lost notebook. The sci-fi thriller indie film follows a band of misfits as they work to thwart rogue scientists who are using Tesla's most secret formulas to create the "Mother of all Earthquakes" and collapse downtown Los Angeles during the G-20 World Summit. Described as a "fast-paced and fun adventure inspired by the legend of Nikola Tesla's lost journals." This looks as terrible as it sounds, but that's exactly what makes it an entertaining B-movie. I guess…? The film stars Kirby Bliss Blanton, Lou Ferrigno Jr., Richard Burgi, Charles Shaughnessy, Kim Estes, and Nicolas Alexandre. Try to have some kind of fun with this one.

Intense New Trailers for Hulu's 'Y: The Last Man' with Diane Lane

Y: The Last Man Trailer

"Those people will jump at anything that has a whiff of conspiracy." FX on Hulu has revealed more trailers for the Y: The Last Man series of 10 eps, which will begin streaming in September. We're featuring this trailer despite our usual no-TV rules because we have covered updates on a Y: The Last Man for more than a decade - the very first trailer dropped only a few weeks ago. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, "Y" is the last surviving male human on the planet. Based on the comic series "Y: The Last Man." Ben Schnetzer stars as the only man left in the world, Yorick Brown, and he's joined by a big ensemble cast including Diane Lane, Ashley Romans, Olivia Thirlby, Quincy Kirkwood, Jess Salgueiro, Samantha Brown, Laura de Carteret, and Sydney Meyer. This second trailer is much more intense, focusing on a meeting Diane Lane (as Senator Jennifer Brown) is having with other heads of the all-female government, discussing the rumors of this only man left in the world. So far, this adaptation is looking pretty dang good - I'm into this footage.

Watch: Thrilling CG Animated Sci-Fi Short 'Irradiation' from Serbia

Irradiation Short Film

"Unfortunately I don't have time to explain. But we need you to try and approach the anomaly." What exactly is this anomaly? And what does it want with us? This thrilling sci-fi short film called Irradiation is worth a watch. Made entirely by a Serbian filmmaker named Sava Zivkovic, this was crafted using the Unreal engine and has a hyper-realistic look and feel. While being escorted to a mysteriously irradiated site, a scientist experiences strange visions and a unique anomaly. Based on motion capture performances for each of the characters along with voices by Oleg Fedorov and Andrey Matveev. The eerie vibe in this is reminiscent of the "Chernobyl" show, and takes us to a strange, unexplainable anomaly in the woods. At just under 10 minutes, this is one mesmerizing film and I dig how mysterious it is and all the rest of the visuals. I'd watch even more stories involving these peculiar rocks, there's something about them that intrigues me.

The Empire is Dying - Third Trailer for Asimov Series 'Foundation'

Foundation Trailer

"It's the future of mankind expressed in numbers. And the empire won't like the future I predict." Ohhhh YES this looks good! Another epic cosmic trailer to enjoy today. Apple has unveiled a full official trailer for their grand new sci-fi series Foundation, based on the seminal book series of the same name from Isaac Asimov. The fate of an entire galaxy rests on the beliefs of Dr. Hari Seldon. But will his conviction save humanity or doom it? Asimov's Foundation chronicles "the thousand year saga of The Foundation, a band of exiles who discover that the only way to save the Galactic Empire from destruction is to defy it." It's based around a mathematician who can predict the future, but the elites don't like the future he sees is coming. "Enraged by Hari's claims, the ruling Cleons – a long line of emperor clones – fear their grasp on the galaxy may be weakening as they're forced to reckon with the potential reality of losing their legacy forever." Foundation stars Jared Harris as the mathematician Hari Seldon; with Lee Pace as Brother Day; Lou Llobell as Gaal; Leah Harvey as Salvor; Laura Birn as Demerzel; Terrence Mann as Brother Dusk; Cassian Bilton as Brother Dawn. This looks better than I was expecting, and I still have high hopes for it.

Watch: Interactive Sci-Fi Space Series 'Orbital Redux' Arrives on Dust

Orbital Redux Series

"Space ain't what it used to be." Creators Steven Calcote and Lillian Diaz-Przybyl, along with Butcher Bird Studios, have released the final cut of their revolutionary sci-fi series Orbital Redux. All eight episodes are now available to watch on the Dust site. The first season was performed and broadcast live in 2018, with live music and live special effects - initially on Legendary Digital's Alpha platform. "It incorporated interactive audience elements that allowed the viewers to become part of the narrative," but also used old-school FX… "Plot choices have been locked in and viewers can experience this groundbreaking series in an entirely new way as the 'canonical narrative edition.'" In the series, Ex-NASA astronaut Max Levodolinsky readies his piece-of-junk space freighter for his latest transpo run to the Moon—while bickering with Space Traffic Control, his husband, his boss, and… his new pilot-in-training?!? Starring Yasmine Al-Bustami & Yuri Lowenthal as the two pilots. This looks mildly entertaining, and the live interactive concept is interesting, but this version available now is locked. No more tinkering - just join them for a ride to the Moon and back.

 Posted August 2 in Sci-Fi, To Watch | 1 Comment

Official UK Trailer for Robot Romance 'I'm Your Man' with Dan Stevens

I'm Your Man Trailer

"You may not realise, but you treat Tom like a machine." Curzon has revealed an official UK trailer for the acclaimed sci-fi romance indie film I'm Your Man, directed by German filmmaker Maria Schrader. This originally premiered at the 2021 Berlin Film Festival earlier this year under the German title Ich bin dein Mensch, and lead actress Maren Eggert won the Silver Bear for Best Performance at the festival. In order to obtain research funds for her studies at a museum in Berlin, a scientist accepts an offer to participate in an extraordinary experiment: for three weeks, she has to live with a humanoid lover robot, created to make her happy. It's a flip on the robot lover concept, with Dan Stevens (speaking perfect German) playing the perfect man for her, as determined by the programmers. But she doesn't like him, and really doesn't want a relationship, and this challenges her. The cast also includes Sandra Hüller, Hans Löw, Annika Meier, and Jürgen Tarrach. I saw this at Berlinale and loved it - one of the best of the fest. Highly recommended.

Guy Pearce & Matilda Lutz in Sci-Fi Thriller 'Zone 414' Official Trailer

Zone 414 Trailer

"Don't trust her… Find the girl. Get your money and leave." Saban Films has released an official trailer for a sci-fi action thriller called Zone 414, dropping out of nowhere. This hasn't premiered at any festivals or elsewhere, and will be available to watch at the beginning of September. Set in the near future in a colony of state-of-the-art humanoid robots. When its creator's daughter goes missing, he hires private investigator David Carmichael, to bring her home. David teams up with Jane, a highly advanced and self-aware A.I., to track down the missing daughter. Moving through the dangerous iron jungle, they rapidly piece together the mystery, uncovering a crime that leads them to question the origins of Zone 414 as well as the true purpose behind the "City of Robots." Guy Pearce co-stars with Matilda Lutz, Jonathan Aris, Travis Fimmel, Ned Dennehy, and Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson. This looks like a very ambitious, indie remix of Blade Runner, with the same gritty, neon style and so many other similar scenes. Not so sure about this one.

New 2021 Trailer for Jason Reitman's 'Ghostbusters: Afterlife' Movie

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Trailer

"Something's coming!" Sony Pictures has just revealed a brand new 2021 official trailer for Jason Reitman's Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the next continuation of the original Ghostbusters series. This one is actually a direct sequel to the first two movies (from 1984 & 1989) and brings back the classic Ecto-1 and some of the original actors. Ghostbusters: Afterlife is set in a small town, where a group of kids and a teacher discover various connections to the original Ghostbusters from 30 years ago. The main cast includes Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd; along with Bill Murray, Annie Potts, Sigourney Weaver, Dan Aykroyd, Bokeem Woodbine, and Ernie Hudson. The very first trailer dropped at the end of 2019, almost two years ago, and with all the delays it has been a long wait. We also posted a behind-the-scenes featurette a few months ago. Now that this Afterlife movie is reset for release in November, it's time to fire up the Ecto-1 again. Lots of callbacks and nostalgic references in this new trailer. Who's ready?

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