Archive | November, 2016

Grunting at the Screen (217)

21 Nov

 

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

 

 

Takashi Miike has been busy, not only does he have Terra Formars, but there is a big manga adaptation in the works: Blade of the Immortal from Samurai Hiraoki. A masterless samurai is cursed with immortality, until he kills 1000 evil men.

It stars Kimura Takuya. We’ve seen the trailer but there is no word yet on release date.

 

 

 

 

Seems like just the other day we were reporting on the live action Fullmetal Alchemist. Well, unlike Hollywood they don’t make deals, the make movies. And we have a trailer already.

http://kotaku.com/the-live-action-fullmetal-alchemists-debut-trailer-1789034935

We will stay on top of this for release date and reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

Last year we had a whole bunch of robot movies. Here is something new; Turned On, written by Charlie Kesslering and directed by Paul Feig.

This one is a comedy: a female engineer, exasperated with social interaction creates a robot copy of herself to deal with the messy stuff. Inevitably the robot becomes self-aware (don’t they always) and chaos ensues.

 

No schedule or casting yet.

 

 

 

 

The first trailer for Valerian has appeared and I must admit, it is impressive. Director Luc Besson promised to blow his earlier effort, The Fifth Element, out of the water and visual he has succeeded.

In density of imagery and spectacularity the only thing I can compare it to is Jupiter Ascending. Oh dear, I didn’t jinx it , did I?

Valerian will be released on July 21, 2017

 

 

 

Zhang Yimou’s The Great Wall has a release date: it is February 17, 2017

 

 

We are hearing about China’s new feature Asura. It has a record breaking $100 million budget. Peng Zhang directs and it stars Lei Wu , Tony Leung and Carina Lau.

A dimension of pure desire is endangered by a low kingdom of heaven.

It is now in production.

 

 

 

 

Netflix has acquired Spectral, the Special Ops verses ghosts feature directed by Nic Mathieu for a December 9 release, we are not sure if this will be VOD or VOD and Theatrical.

 

 

 

 

Robert Heinlein’s era-defining novel, Stranger in a Strange Land will become a series from the Syfy channel.

 

A man is born on Mars, he comes to earth and changes everything.

 

Stranger in a Strange Land was a key text , it influenced the counter-culture and changed Science Fiction publishing.

 

Paramount are producing it for Syfy: Producers are Brad Fischer, William Sherak, Julia Gunn and Scott Rudin

 

But it is mysterious. Why this? Why now? We are living in the fiercest culture wars since the 1980s. And the material is provocative; sexually, socially, religiously.

 

Unless Syfy intends to seriously tone down the material, they are heading into the teeth of a controversy.

 

 

 

Dean Devlin (Stargate, Geostorm, Independence Day), has announced a science-fiction feature film “Countdown” ; a space-obsessed but attempts to save is dying father with the help of a NASA engineer.

 

 

 

 

British director Paul Hyett is about to start Peripheral. Ah not “The Peripheral” by a certain famous SF writer, something entirely different.

Young writer Bobbi has problems; she has a stalker, a crap ex-boyfriend, she needs to finish her crucial second novel, and oh yes, her editing software is trying to writer her novel for her. Really, aggressively trying.

 

Hannah Arterton and Rosie Day are to star. No word on the schedule, but I hope this one gets made, it sounds like smart fun.

 

 

 

Tank 432 from director Nick Gillespie already had a British release; it will get a VOD release in the US on November 25th.

A platoon of soldiers in retreat take cover in an abandoned Tank, being a horror movie the tank is naturally evil.

Starburst has already reviewed it.

http://www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/dvd-and-blu-ray-home-entertainment-reviews/15749-tank-432

 

 

 

Ah, they are making a movie out of Accident Man. Largely unknown outside of the UK this strip ran in the Magazine Toxic! in the ’90s.

It was a violent and cynical series by Pat Mills and Tony Skinner about a hitman who arranged “accidents” for his victims.

Now I hear it will be a feature film from Jesse V. Johnson.

Oh dear they have cast Scott Adkins . He’s often been feted as the great unknown martial arts star, but to be honest, I have seen him and he’s not a great actor.

The remaining cast however is interesting: Ray Park, Michael Jai White, Ray Stevenson, and Amy Johnston. No word of schedule, but I suspect this will be one of the lower budget martial arts features.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m Jack Eris and if you know me, you know Jack.

 

 

 

And if you want some real movie news you know what to do.

Index Page

 

And if you want to walk the wild side of genre video try Starburst’s review section

http://www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/DVD-and-blu-ray-home-entertainment-reviews

Grunting at the Screen (216)

12 Nov

 

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

 

From time to time we hear of someone trying the old superhero shtick without going via an actual comic.

Such a project is Villain; written by and starring Casey Affleck. he is to play a man who is gunned down, after his recovery he is able to see the past, present and future of people around him (So, nothing like Stephen King’s The Dead Zone…) He uses his ability to hint down the villains who murdered his parents (And nothing like Batman).

What makes this interesting is that rather than a cape swirling hero, he angles more towards the brutally violent vigilante (what do you mean “What’s the difference?”)

No word as to director or Schedule.

 

 

I’m so glad, after the debacle of the Fantastic Four movie (not as bad as many claimed) it looked like the director Josh Trank would be set for a period in the wilderness, However he is back and attached to Fonzo, an Al Capone feature, with Tom Hardy Cast in the lead. We are so happy. Trank’s debut was Chronicle; one of the best low-budget genre films of the past ten years.

 

It is in pre-production but there is no schedule as of yet.

 

DMG Entertainment has optioned Brandon Sanderson’s “Cosmere” Series.

They plan to spend $270 on three films in the Science Fiction/Fantasy sequence.

 

Patrick Melton and Marcus Dunstan are writing the script.

 

 

 

Everyone’s is going to China.

Latest one is Arnold Schwarzenegger who is to star in “The Guest of Sanxingdui,” it’s a big budget Chinese language film.

Despite there being no director yet principle photography is due to being in March ahead and the release in 2019.

 

 

 

I honestly expected there would be more biblical epics by now: the formula goes like this: after too many comic book movies we would have an audience exhausted with caped adventurers and a film industry stocked with professionals experienced in making large scale FX driven features.

What better to do than make biblical epics?

It didn’t work out like that: Noah did well, but Exodus: Gods and Kings just broke even. America professed “God and Country” but spent its cash on Batman and Captain America.

So it comes as a surprise that Tom Cruise is making a film based on the oldest man in the bible, Methuselah: will feature a major hero, a warrior who outlived all of his contemporaries and wielded a sword that killed ghosts… wait that makes no sense…

Anyway.

Joachim Rønning, is to be the director, more detail as it emerges.

 

 

OK.

One day a Straight to Disk movie will amaze me.

In the meantime there is Apocalypse Earth, which has just appeared on the supermarket shelves.

Strangely enough this one actually dates back to 2013: hme something feels familiar here. What was it about 2013? Great year, that; the year of Cloud Atlas, Oblivion, Pacific Rim, Elysium, Gravity, aaand….After Earth*. Oh yes the original title for Apocalypse Earth was “AE: Apocalypse Earth” and it was originally an Asylum rip of After Earth.

I have no idea what it is doing turning up three years later on British shelves.

Now we know The Asylum is capable of producing good material; Z Nation is proof of this. And thankfully the reviews suggest this holds here.

Earth has been invaded by aliens, the survivors of the invasion take flight in starships for a new home, when they reach the new planet the colony finds itself under attack by an alien predator species called “the Chameleons”.

FX are said to be cheesy, and the scenario lacks originality, but it is said to be entertaining.

Stars Adrian Paul.

 

 

One surprise on the supermarket shelves is Arcadia, we had not heard of this one.

Let’s see: It’s British, the Writer/Director is Tom Large.

It is the overpopulated future disease stalks the land and Charlie only wants to get himself and his daughter into the haven of the rich: Arcadia…. Wait a gosh-darned minute! This is Elysium!

OK so you got the very derivative gist. Actually the reviews for this one have been reasonable. The budget is rock bottom so don’t expect anything too spectacular.

The emphasis is on the drama rather than the action.

And the pace is not exactly quick.

 

Guy Ritchie is working on a Science Fiction Movie called Cascade. James Coyne is the Writer, otherwise there are no details.

 

 

I’ve been wondering what the Raid’s Gareth Evans has been doing, and now we have an answer; he’s making the “Apostle”; a man travels to a remote island to rescue his sister from a cult.

Principle photography begins in March.

 

 

We are hearing about The Rift starring Ken Foree, Monte Markham and Katerina Kas; three CIA agents go to Siberia to investigate a crashed space capsule, but the pilot has been infected by an extraterrestrial virus.

 

 

Screenwriter Jon Spaihts is riding high having just had a hit with Dr. Strange and with Passengers coming up; he has been talking about the probably abandoned remake of The Black Hole. He doubts it will get made because Disney has “multiple space epics going”. Really? Of course Marvel has a lot on their plate and they are owned by Disney, but I don’t think that is what he means.

After John Carter I was sure Disney had caught cold feet over big science fiction features.

Which projects could he be talking of?

Lightspeed, the interstellar racing story.

Ground Control to Major Tom, they are keeping the story under wraps, who knows it could be Disney’s Gravity.

Of course there is the inevitable Untitled Space Adventure, this one was written by Chronicle’s Max Landis.

And even Jon Spaihts himself turned in an Untitled Space Feature

Paladin, also under wraps but they admit it’s planned as a big space adventure. You know I think that might be it.

Problem is all of these projects are years old. It is likely every one is in turnaround. Not only do I not see The Black Hole coming out this decade, I don’t see any of the above making it to the screen either. If there is a Disney space epic in the works, it is something we have not heard of.

We might have missed an obvious one: Space Mountain. Disney has a habit of recycling its rides as movies and this one has been in development for years.

There have been no specific announcements or denials but rumours suggested that the Space Mountain was cancelled because Disney had acquired Lucusfilm.

Like all rumours this is likely to be partially or totally bullsh*t.

Problem here is, if Space Mountain had to step aside for one Star Wars movie then it will have to step aside every year because that is how often Disney plans Star Wars sequels and spin-offs.

We might have missed an obvious one: Space Mountain. Disney has a habit of recycling its rides as movies and this one has been in development for years.

There have been no specific announcements or denials but rumours suggested that the Space Mountain was cancelled because Disney had acquired Lucusfilm.

Like all rumours this is likely to be partially or totally bullsh*t.

Problem here is, if Space Mountain had to step aside for one Star Wars movie then it will have to step aside every year because that is how often Disney plans Star Wars sequels and spin-offs. Maybe these are the “multiple space epics”, Spaihts referred to.

 

 

 

Phantasm: Ravager is out in the US on DVD and Blu-ray on December 6th.

 

 

 

The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzales is getting a movie adaptation.

The original novel is a Ghostbusters style affair, with a bureaucratic twist; an office of specialists who fight supernatural menaces on day a regional office comes under attack (well yeah!) by one of the offices own specialists, a woman named Rose.

MadRiver Pictures has optioned it, Ruben Fleischer (Zombieland) is to direct and Jennifer Ames and Steve Turner will write the script

It is a very pop-culture heavy novel.

No schedule yet.

 

 

 

 

It looks like disaster move Inversion, (Grunting -152), is actually making progress: Earth suddenly loses its gravity, scientists try to solve the problem.

It has a cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Travis Fimmel, and Liu Yifei.

A director: Peter Segal. And a schedule: principle photography begins February 27th 2017 at Babelsberg Studios in Berlin.

 

 

 

OK, new project, Astro, a billionaire-sponsored space project brings extraterrestrials back to earth. Director is Asif Akbar, Gary Daniels is to star.

And this is a live project: principle photography begins in December

 

 

 

Jessica Chastain will star in and produce the graphic novel adaptation Painkiller Jane.

The original comic was by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada; a street cop is recruited by the FBI, after a near death experience she develops a regenerative ability that makes her near impossible to kill, with her new power she goes after these who tried to kill her.

No word on director or schedule.

 

 

 

Arrival: Review

 

About halfway through this movie, I started wondering, what were they thinking, this thing is boring!

Then it gets interesting.

Yes, the pace is slow, and at the beginning it is glacial.

But the whole thing is built around ideas and character revelation.

 

It requires time and space get there. But when it does. Boy does it.

 

You know the basic set up: 12 alien shells have appeared above different places on earth.

Amy Adams plays Louise, a linguist tasked by the American military to find out what the aliens want.

 

Simultaneously we learn that Louise is coping with her own personal tragedy.

 

Arrival spends 90% of its length doing what is usually covered in the first fifteen minutes of a First Contact movie: the simple matter of communication. There are no universal translators here.

 

Parallel to the American effort are other International efforts, first co-operation and then in rivalry.

 

It is no surprise to reveal initial caution and curiosity quickly turns to fear, over-reaction and aggressive action.

 

But it is Louise and her constant need to understand and communicate that powers through the plot.

 

When we finally learn what the aliens actually want it is a revelation.

 

Arrival is not just an intelligent film, it is an emotional one where the intimate details of our own lives are inseparable for the ideas being explored.

 

This is very different from your tentpole Science Fiction feature, and may well sit badly by both potential audiences, there is not much in the way of action for the Science Fiction movie crowd, and the real scientific ideas may be lost on the Cineastes (if they turn up at all).

 

It is not perfect, there are a couple of moments that lift you out of the film.

But If see it, there are rich bounties to satisfy both mind and soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Oh we’ll be getting back to you about what a remarkable year 2013 was.

I’m Jack Eris and if you know me, you know Jack.

 

 

 

And if you want some real movie news you know what to do.

Index Page

 

And if you want to walk the wild side of genre video try Starburst’s review section

http://www.starburstmagazine.com/reviews/DVD-and-blu-ray-home-entertainment-reviews