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Grunting at the Screen (259)

1 Jun

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

 

 

Interesting, I was reading Hollywood Reporter the other day and they started talking about something called “high-end horror” as the next big thing. You know how A Quite Place made 250m this year and Get Out made 250m last year. Well more people are interested in making these kinds or films.

Now I am not sure what they mean. Maybe the horror equivalent of “Smart Sci Fi” from those examples it means, well films that make 250m.

Anyway, leading the pack of new films to be labelled “high-end horror” will be:

Guillermo del Toro-produced Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,

“Border” based on a novel by John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Let the Right One In,

And British feature The Changeling.

Whether any of them will earn $250m is yet to be determined.

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t think we’ve mentioned Sequence Break, from director Graham Skippe, Videodrome is plastered all over the trailer, it is amazing just how much they want this to be 80s homage. This is so cronenburgian.

It has some tropes of that genre; body transformation and dangerous technology. It seems to substitute a video arcade game for the Television of Videodrome. And make a fair effort to recreate the visual style of 1980s horror films.

Now Videodrome has a line “it is dangerous because it has a philosophy. We are eager to see if “sequence break’ is just a homage, or if it also has a philosophy.

Here’s a trailer

 

 

 

 

In the wake of last month’s collapse of Neill Blomkamp’s crowd funding attempt for Oats Studios, I wondered which way he would go next.

Surprisingly he has not attempted alternative funding.

As I blogged last week, Blomkamp is throwing himself into another project.

And I am taking the most positive view of it.

It is called thriller Greenland, and there are very few details. We have no screenwriter, no schedules.

Even the synopsis is threadbare; a family fights for survival in the face of a cataclysmic natural disaster.

We do know it will star Chris Evans.

It is suggested it might go into production later this year.

I’m glad Blomkamp is back in the director’s saddle. Interested to note that this will be his first disaster movie, in fact his first feature outside of the Science Fiction genre.

Getting out of his usual rut may be good for him; it might even prompt a change in his visual style which has stayed consistent over three features: decayed, urban documentary camera-work.

So we will see how this goes. Hopefully we will get back to you with more details.

 

 

 

 

 

The Aliens are sneaking about and behaving badly again.

The Devil’s Gate seems so familiar, I feel I am only blogging it out of obligation.

Aliens have come to small town America to kidnap people.

Director is Clay Staub. Script is by Peter Aperlo,

It comes out this month on AMC’s streaming service: Shudder.

 

 

 

 

 

Now this is interesting. Back in (Grunting 245) we mentioned that the forthcoming download service SingularDTV would be financed by blockchain, well the trend is spreading.

A Lamborghini biopic will also have blockchain financing. TaTaTu is a blockchain-based entertainment platform and it will back Lamborghini – The Legend. We are not sure exactly how it will all work?

 

 

 

 

 

Marvel has claimed it wants to make an Eternals movie. Marvel says a lot of things, some of which pan out. I suspect they say some things just to stop reporters asking.

However it seems there is substance behind the Eternals talk because they have now hired a writing team.

Matthew and Ryan Firpo will write the script. They have been most famous for writing a spec script called Ruin that made it onto The Black List.

The Eternals were created by Marvel Comics legend Jack Kirby; a race of superbeings called the celestials came to earth and created a race of monsters called the Deviants, and race of godlike beings called The Eternals. Then they left the two races were natural enemies. The Eternals would show up in human history from time to time and be mistaken for gods. For millennia they have been in hibernation but they have awoken in the present age.

As ever scheduling plans remain a mystery.

 

 

 

 

 

The wonderful thing is that sometimes movies arrive fully formed. Like Athena from the head of Zeus… (not that that is relevant…) In A.X.L. (Attack Exploration Logistics) a teenage boy stumbles upon an experimental robot called A.X.L. and soon finds him and the robot hunted by its owners. Looks like it has a Short Circuit vibe going.

We’ve seen posters, looks like a boy and his robot dog.

Director/ Writer is Oliver Daly.

A.X.L. will premiere in cinemas on August 24, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Cronenberg of Antiviral fame has sold another project to Arclight Films, a science-fiction feature called, Possessor.

This one is interesting, a female assassin has the power to enter people’s bodies and control them, she finds herself in the body of a serial killer even more bloodthirsty than she is.

No schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

Just got word that rights have been sold for Erin Hunter’s Young Adult book Warriors, Chinese company Alibaba have bought it.

Script is by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger

No schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

I told you we were not through with Chinese Science Fiction.

We just got word of 2036 Perfect Lover.com (No that seriously is its name).

Directed by Lien Yi-chi

In the future people are ranked by social credit points (er… that would be the present) artificial intelligence is future fracturing society by making people question what it is to be human.

It premiered in China in January, but there is no word of a western release.

 

 

 

Good lord, Bleeding Steel is getting a US release.

It can be seen from July 6.

Reviews have not been positive. But what the hey.

Here is the Trailer again.

 

 

 

Animal World is getting a release. We are very excited; the directing style of Han Yan is the most original thing since the last most original thing. It is coming out July 6.

Here’s the Trailer again

 

 

 

 

 

This interesting; a streaming giant just opened a cinema chain. But it is not Netflix, and not the other one either.

Chinese streaming giant iQIYI opened a cinema in Zhongshan, OK there is just one theatre at the moment but they are planning to open a string of venues.

It will even have a special feature where the users can choose the content.

Why am I telling you this? Well a lot of people expected Netflix to circumvent the resistance of the cinema distribution system to work closely with release dates and streaming by buying their own cinemas. It has been rumoured that they have tried this already.

I see two paths; in one Netflix buys its way to theatrical prestige by snapping up a cinema chain and releasing when it wants to. In the other they do nothing, well noting except continuing to expand viewership and original programming. The first way makes it an uncomfortable partner on the cinematic landscape that other players get used to. The second ; well that turns cinema into Radio: the media that used to be king, but is now relegated to also-ran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just heard about Blank; a near future feature film project.

Director is Natalie Kennedy making her first feature. It is written by Stephen Herman.

A writer gets trapped with an unstable android in an fully automatic retreat.

Principle photography begins at the end of May.

 

 

 

 

 

OK we have movement on Solis from director Carl Strathie (Grunting 256.)

Solis is another capsule movie; man in a capsule is hurting towards the sun, with only another distant space captain trying to talk him though a rescue.

It is debuting at Edinburgh film festival.

Here is a trailer.

Hme, FX looks a little rough…

 

 

 

 

How did I miss this? It is not upcoming, it has come and gone in Russia.

The Last Warrior is a fantasy movie that screened in October of 2017. What is more it was financed by Disney! How did this one slip between my fingers?

And oh yes, it became the highest grossing film in Russia.

Where was I when that happened?

A modern man is plunged into a fairy-tale world filled with Slavic characters (Wait was that Baba Yaga? ) the only way he can get home is by using the magic Sword Kladenets.

It was directed by Dmitriy Dyachenko and written by Vitaliy Shlyappo, Dimitriy Yan,

Pavel Danilov and Igor Tudvasev.

No word on whether it will get a western release.

Here is a trailer

 

 

 

 

 

Regal Theatres has secured the rights for Fedor Bondarchuk’s “Attraction,” (Grunting 203) it will get a limited U.S. theatrical release.

 

 

 

 

 

At any point one or two people become the hot individuals in the film industry. At the moment those people are Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. David Leitch has just come off Deadpool 2 and he is white hot. Together and as a pair they have attracted a lot of projects; Hobbs and Shaw/The Fast & Furious Spin-Off, John Wick 3, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Cowboy Ninja Vikings, Rain and others.

The latest project is one for Stahelski. Analog; in the near future The Great Doxing has exposed everyone’s secrets and made the internet unsafe to use. OK. The only way to get secrets around is the old fashioned way, the Ledger men; agents carrying a handcuffed case in one hand and a gun in the other. Hme. It actually sounds a bit like Johnny Mnemonic. I’m just saying!

It is also a comic book movie having been created by writer Gerry Duggan and artist David O’Sullivan.

Script is by Ryan Condal.

No schedule.

 

 

 

 

Debuting at the Venice Festival is First Man (Grunting 221), the Neil Armstrong movie from director Damien Chazelle.

Cool, there should be reviews soon.

Also at Venice will be High Life (Grunting 191) the long, so very long (since 2015)gestating science fiction feature from director Claire Denis.

Venice Festival commences 29 August.

 

 

 

 

We have some word on 2036 Origin Unknown, it will get a UK DVD and digital release on 13th August 2018.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

Get down to Film Combat Syndicate, you’ll be surprised.

http://filmcombatsyndicate.blogspot.co.uk/

 

And if you want some movie news about other than sequels and reboots try

http://screenanarchy.com/

 

And if you want to check out releases beyond the usual try First Showing.

http://www.firstshowing.net/category/sci-fi/

 

 

Most Indie Film blogs are pretty boring but Indie Activity reports on as well.

https://indieactivity.com/

 

 

 

 

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Grunting at the Screen (247)

13 Jan

The information age isn’t finished with us.

We now have release information for the time-travel feature Curvature,
(Grunting at the Screen 241)
It is out in US theatres and VOD, February 23 2018.

OK, OK we finally have movement on Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studio.
Blomkamp is the director of District 9, lately he has embarked on a project to bypass the studio system and go right to the fans for funding.
Oats Studios have released a number of short features as tasters for prospective features.
At last they have announced which project they intend to move forward with.
It is Firebase.

Personally I think it is an excellent choice, largely because of the originality, Rakka and Zygote are visually arresting but they have the feel of films we have already seen.
Firebase however is just a little different. Yes we have seen horror features based in warzones, but this one is based in the Vietnam War, and the horror element comes from local beliefs. It has oodles of potential.
Oats Studios will attempt to crowdfund it.
It will be an interesting process.
Movies have been crowdfunded before; most famously Veronica Mars which ran three seasons on television, in its time it garnered a loyal following however the series was cancelled but was revived as a feature film using a $5.7m boost from Kickstarter.
I took a look and it appears that this was the biggest crowdfunded movie to date.
Oh dear.
This puts it very much in the low budget category.
Now, I don’t know how Oats studio is set up and how it spends its money, so far it has made remarkable progress on very little money… But those were short films,
a feature film is a different proposition, it is possible to make a feature film with a tiny budget, it not a film as FX laden as any of the Oats Studios projects.
For comparison let’s look at Neill Blomkamp’s first movie District 9. This was made for $30 million, this is considered mid budget, but it is still six times the largest amount ever raised in film crowdfunding. I’m not saying that a Firebase feature will have to cost 30m, but as FX heavy as it will be the price will be way above 5m and getting there will be a job.
Neill Blomkamp is well regarded, but Firebase has nothing like the following of Veronica Mars, and it does not have a star.
Firebase has seen 2.1 million viewings, how many of those translate to donations has yet to be seen.

I was looking though my files (because I keep deep archive, as you know) when I noticed something. Neill Blomkamp’s feature film project, The Gone World is actually set up at Fox. Which is being sold to Disney. This could be significant. (Oh I expect Disney to shelve a lot of Fox projects). Well we shall see.

Late Breaking News.
On Friday 16th January Blomkamp threw this all in the air by putting a poll on his Twitter account: Fund Firebase or Zygote.
(Well Firebase of course!)

Interesting; Netflix just greenlit the sequel to their original feature, Bright.
You probably already heard this, what is interesting is that Bright was widely panned by critics, Now haven’t seen Bright, I don’t know what it is like. But here is a thought; what is interesting is that Bright was viewed 11 million times in its first week and Netflix made its decision based on viewership rather than industry reaction. What is interesting here is that once again it has been proved that Netflix is a place where a film can find an audience, a film that might otherwise struggle. Bright didn’t have thirty years of nostalgia behind it, it didn’t have a comic or a toy to its name it was an original genre film. Now that is interesting

News is good for a possible Dune movie.
The film press gets obsessed with certain questions, one of which is; who will direct the next James Bond Movie.
In the process of pursuing this tired questions director Denis Villeneuve was ask if he was in the running. With surprising candidness, he revealed that he had been approached but he was unavailable because he had committed to Dune, and when he commits to a project he will see it through.
Nice to know.
It also answers the question when the quite likely question arises to whatever hot project the press are pursuing. (For instance the Cleopatra project which has been mooted).
So, unless we hear the Dune movie has been cancelled, it is most likely Denis Villeneuve will stay linked to it.

So what kind of Dune can we expect from Denis Villeneuve? Assuming it happens at all, it will not be anything like David Lynch’s. Denis Villeneuve has said that he wants to make the movie that ran in his head when he first read the novel.

Given Denis Villeneuve’s style, it is likely we will see a very long movie, somewhere in the same range of Blade Runner 2049. We also do not expect an action adventure pace. Although, where necessary it will be spectacular: Battle scenes and Sandworm attacks are likely to be stupendous.

Denis Villeneuve favours practical FX above digital, although he is willing to use computers where necessary.

We are hearing about a feature called Last Earth Girl from director Jim Weter; Miriam re-evaluates her life once she learns the world is ending.
To be honest this sounds like a bunch of art films set at the end of the world we’ve been having in the last few years. But we’re encouraged by the fact that the film starts in the Space Shuttle.
They are now seeking crowdfunding.
The feature is 99 percent finished so the next step is festivals and from there distribution.

A lot of fans have been Jonesing for a Black Widow movie, no doubt so they can Slut-shame her again while accusing Scarlett Johansson of whitewashing…again.
Well they got their wish.
Marvel Studios have finally committed to making a Black Widow Movie. Jac Schaeffer will write it.
“Bad” news is it will not be here any time soon. Marvel Studios’ schedule is packed tight until at least 2020.
Not that you can expect Black Widow then. It took eight years for the Ant Man movie to materialise, and by the time we see the Captain Marvel Movie it will have been four years. So our estimate is 2022 before the twitterverse can get its claws out for The Black Widow.

In the meantime they can still catch a Black Widow Movie.
Only it’s not called “Black Widow” and it doesn’t star Scarlett Johansson.
It’s called Red Sparrow
1) Russian secret agent? Check.
2) Former Ballet Dancer? Check.
3) The spy training is excessively cruel? Check.
4) The Spy has a change of heart once she gets to America? Check.

Hell If I was Marvel I’d sue…

Anyway Red Sparrow stars Jennifer Lawrence and is directed by Francis Lawrence.
The Trailer is out now; the feature is released Mar 2.

I don’t usually bother reporting on the Awards, they don’t like us and we don’t like them,
but something is different this season; The BAFTAs are really acknowledging Genre Pictures. There is no surprise that The Shape of Water got noticed. (It has already won awards) however it is leading the pack with 12 nominations. (As opposed to 8 for Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk) and Blade Runner 2049 got 8(!)
OK, I doubt 2049 will win much, but the nominations are indication of a sea-change.
Genre films have won Awards before most notably The Lord of the Rings, but they have stood out as exceptions. A more general acceptance that Science Fiction and Fantasy could be judged alongside the other films just because they are good, that is new.

Albert Pyun is making Nemesis 5. Yes this is a man who cannot be kept down. Nemesis was a pretty good low budget cyborg movie. The sequels increasingly were not.
Whether Pyun can reclaim the quality fifth time around, no-one can say.
Mel Novak will star, Pyun is only producing this time around, this one is to be directed by Dustin Ferguson.

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

And if you want some movie news about other than sequels and reboots try
http://screenanarchy.com/

And if you want to check out Science Fiction releases beyond the usual try First Showing.
http://www.firstshowing.net/category/sci-fi/

Most Indie Film blogs are pretty boring but Indie Activity reports on Science Fiction as well.
https://indieactivity.com/

Grunting at the Screen (243)

25 Nov

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

 

Way back in 2015 (yes that long ago) Neill Blomkamp started talking about adapting The Gone World by Tom Sweterlitsch.

 

The thing is, they were negotiating not a finished novel but a manuscript. It’s a common practice, quite a few novels have been optioned before publication. But don’t worry it would be finished and on the shelves soon. Wouldn’t it?

In between, the film-maker made Chappie and started up his self-financed venture Oats Studio. About that: Blomkamp had so much fun working with Sweterlitsch that they ended up creating a bunch of stories for said Oats.

 

OK come 2017 nearly ’18. Would you believe The Gone World has just been published? Seriously. And the first reviews are out.

Now I read the last Sweterlitsch’s last novel, Tomorrow and Tomorrow; it was full of ideas, and very dark.

The Gone World involves astronauts, black ops and time travel.

So far the reviewer is calling it “intricate”. They like it a lot. From the description it does not sound like a movie to me. In fact it sounds as novelistic as it gets.

Blomkamp claims he still wants to adapt it. Let’s see how that goes.

 

 

 

In the last grunt (which I almost called “the Mark Miller Special”, I suggested Netflix might want to adapt the comic writer’s series American Jesus. This week I am not so sure (actually I am pretty sure they will not) Netflix seems to have the modern messiah box fully ticked with an upcoming project called , well. Messiah, a ten part series about a man who turns up in the Middle East and claims to be the messiah (yeah, that would go down well over there..) It is written by Michael Petroni and will drop sometime next year.

 

And now for Vietnam’s greatest head transplant movie. (I never get tired of that joke.) Loi Bao, directed by Victor Vu. starring Cuong Seven (yes, his name is a number) you’re going to love this one, a man illegally gets his head transplanted onto another body, but he finds the body is loaded with all sorts of special skills, in fact it is the body of a master killer. I am guessing he soon has cause to use these skills (details are thin on the ground). There is a trailer, but no word on release date where it will join a thriving local movie line-up.

And taking of which, what of the Vietnamese film industry, it was all set to break out with the Rebel, what was it nine years ago. But it still seems to be the next big thing that hasn’t broken quite yet

 

 

 

Some things I hope Legendary will do when they make Dune.

And one thing I hope they will not

Let’s just assume Legendary are still determined to make Dune, and let’s assume they are still happy with Denis Villeneuve.

There are a few things that would make a better adaptation;

 

Acquire the rights to Eye by Jim Burns and Frank Herbert. In Eye Herbert told us that these were his preferred images from Dune, they showed characters, costumes and technology. Legendary would be smart to take note.

They have done this dance before with Peter Jackson and Lord of the rings and one of the key decisions of Jackson was not reinvent the wheel, there had been so much great art done for LOTR before any films had been made that it was the smart move to take on the art and artists to serve as the concept imagery for the film.

 

Legendary should acquire the rights to Spice Planet by Frank Herbert, Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson, this is the expansion of Herbert’s notes for an earlier, shorter version of Dune and it is fascinating. It had details lacking from the finished 1965 novel, details not necessary for a larger more expansive narrative, but so useful to a short quick one, and to a film: like, what exactly was the dispute between the Emperor, Baron Harkonnen and Duke Leto? And why would the Emperor risk giving Arrakis to Leto? It is all there in Spice Planet but not at all as specific in Dune. And there is so much more focus on Leto.

 

Which leads to: Split the book in two (In fact the novel when first published, had been split into two volumes by the publisher). One it would be easier on the audience (I hope this is a lesson learned by v with Blade Runner:2049) Two: it would allow the first half to concentrate on Leto making it all more effective when he meets his fate at the end of the first half. And three it would help the narrative go so much faster.

 

Which leads to; George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire owed so much to Dune (not in a plagiaristic way) so it is time the favour was repaid. The power of the fantasy series is the fascinating interplay between families in conflict, we have the same thing in Dune: three families; Atreides, Harkonnen and Corrino in conflict using assassination, war and plotting. It is all inherently in the narrative, just bring it to the surface, make it essential to the way we see the characters. Nothing needs to be added, just moved from the inferred to the displayed.

I think these things would make Dune more powerful, a better film.

We already know Denis Villeneuve does not want a remake of the David Lynch film, so there will be no weirding modules, no heartplugs and no raining at the end. This is good.

However there is one thing I hope does not happen. It would not be good if they tried to make an overly faithfully version. Books are not films and films are not books. If you ever read a poor novelisation of a move, you’ll notice just how thin a narrative it makes; in the same way a faithful adaptation of a book can be slow, stodgy, downright boring.

And they should not do this.

But of course this is the film business, the likeliest outcome is that the film will not get made at all. The last time it was a feature was not exactly a box office bonanza.

As we pointed out before, Legendary bought both the film and television rights. This might be to stop anyone making a TV version while they were making a feature (the fights were previously split to make the Syfi channel’s version) but it could also allow them to make a big miniseries version for TV and a shorter feature film for the theatres. That would be a smart move.

Now Denis Villeneuve has given an interview about why Blade Runner 2049 under-performed at the box office.

His answer is illumination.

1) Not enough people were familiar with the material

2) It was too long.

I am hoping this will inform the way he approaches Dune.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warner Bros. have struck a deal with British writers Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan and Marlon Smith to make the science fiction feature ‘Red Star’, details are thin on the ground.

The team are described as “hot” so I took a look and found out what they were about.

They have already sold a pitch called “Shadow Warrior”, about an African slave who escapes from a boat to become a samurai in Japan.

But their fame extends back to 2014 when they made a Channel 4 miniseries names “Run” which won them a Bafta and had them named stars of Stars of Tomorrow.

 

 

 

Gareth Evans is very busy bee. He’s working on his feature, Apostle. He’s in consideration for the Deathstroke move and now he’s also preparing a TV series for Cinemax. Gangs of London

He created it with cinematographer Matt Flannery; they will shoot in 2018 and go to screen in 2019.

With a contemporary setting it will explore conflicts between various International gangs.

Apostle goes to Netflix next year.

 

 

 

We are just hearing about Envoy, based on a novel by Kat Wood: military intelligence specialist gets a chance to become the first person to contact alien life.

We got confused, it sounded so similar to the Colin Trevorrow film that’s been knocking around forever: United Nations outer space monitor contacts a beautiful alien.

(Well they sounded similar to me, it was that title “Envoy” that tilted it.) Amy Pascal is to direct, Pascal Pictures is the production company.

No schedule as yet.

 

 

 

 

Since the usual blogs became obsessed with franchises it has been harder to get action film news. So some of what I find comes from horror websites.

Bloody Disgusting site yielded some interesting things.

Lifechanger directed by Justin McConnell it is about (and I quote) “a murderous shape-shifter on a blood-soaked mission to make things right with the woman he loves.” and it is in production now. When it gets a release date I’ll let you know.

 

 

Next up we have Inoperable from Christopher Lawrence Chapman; a young woman wakes up in an empty hospital with a hurricane approaching and something is making her relive the same events over and over.

Is this a thing now? Time-Loop Horror as a sub-genre of a sub-genre of a sub-genre.

Opens in the US December 1.

 

 

 

We promised to update you on Riot Girls, Jovanka Vuckovic’s post holocaust movie, er, set in the 1990s. (Grunt 212)

Vuckovic has been very busy, she was negotiating to make a Clive Barker film, working with Guillermo Del Toro to make an animated feature, but this one will come to the screens first.

Well production has started. It stars Madison Iseman, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Alexandre Bourgeois and Jenny Raven.

No word on release date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

And if you want some movie news about other than sequels and reboots try

http://screenanarchy.com/

 

And if you want to check out Science Fiction releases beyond the usual try First Showing.

http://www.firstshowing.net/category/sci-fi/

 

 

Grunting at the Screen (235)

29 Jul

 

 

 

Back in Grunt (206) we mentioned the Canadian feature Radius; it now has a showing at this year’s Frightfest.

 

Well Valerian has been released and it has not done very well at all.

We would not call it inevitable, but it is not surprising; original Science Fiction has had trouble making money; in the past I have blamed a risk-averse industry, but now I lay the blame squarely on an audience who just will stick with what it knows.

To be fair, the reviews have not been encouraging, certainly not bad, but few have jumped with excitement.

On the other hand, is Valerian really worse than a Transformers movie?

 

 

 

The next original Science Fiction film to be ignored by the audience will be O2. Ah, and it is also one of those Blacklist movies.

As we’ve said before the Blacklist is a roll of screenplays highly rated by studio readers but not bought for production. O2 by Christie LeBlanc was on the 2016 Blacklist: A woman awakens in a hibernation chamber with no memory of getting there and her air running out.

Anne Hathaway has been cast, there is no director yet they plan to start filming in the autumn.

 

 

 

Netflix continues to be the patron of the Science Fiction arts: latest feature to get their nod is Bird Box, starring Sandra Bullock, based on the novel from Josh Malerman: earth has been devastated by creatures who induce visions in humans. Malorie and her children must endure a journey to safety, but they must brave a rage inducing creature that will make them turn on each other if the even glimpse it.

That sounds… different.

Script is by Eric “Arrival” Heisserer; it just got interesting.

 

No word on director or schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m surprised; it looks like the Mega Man movie is going ahead.

Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman directors of Paranormal Activity 3 and 4 have been tapped to helm it.

No word on screenwriter or schedule.

 

 

 

And this Blog deals just with Indie Science Fiction movie; cool.

https://indiescifi451.com/

 

 

 

 

Cyberpunk Special: Summer

 

Neuromancer is still dead

There is no news on the “True Skin” series

“Altered Carbon” has no broadcast date

Mute has no release date

 

In fact I suspect Neuromancer is unfilmable. Not because of the usual given reason: i.e. that so many of its ideas have been stolen by film and television that there is nothing left (heck if that were true we’d never have another sequel, reboot or rehash of anything and the zombie genre would be dead at birth) People love stuff they have seen before; so the Matrix did it? Let’s see it again! No the reason Neuromancer is unfilmable is because there is no visual equivalent of William Gibson’s prose. They just don’t have the style to convey his cutting-edge cool, Filmmakers don’t have the chops.

It would take the emergence of a fresh talent such as we have not seen.

 

 

 

This is a surprise Last Studio Standing, a Canadian animation company, announced they were adapting William Gibson’s 1981 Short story “Hinterlands”.

 

I did not expect that.

 

What is more they are adapting it as a TV series. The way they are angling it; a Russian space station disappears, when it reappears everyone aboard is dead. Anything that wanders into the place of disappearance also disappears with similar results, the ships are going somewhere there are technologies unknown to man, but to access them you need to survive the trip, it is a mystery that needs to be solved.

Last Studio Standing is pitching it as “Gravity meets Blade Runner.” Cut it sounds more like Event Horizon to me (the original Short story predates Even Horizon by several years…)

They have big plans for it, a Five year plan detailing where the story will go.

They intend to release a short pilot film in cinemas and then going to series.

Interesting; “Hinterlands” is a short story, I would not exactly call it epic in scope (short stories can be epic…) so the studio has to build up the plot considerably.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If I wanted something to be gloomy about I certainly have it. The Live Action version of Ghost in the Shell did not do very well at the box office.

How badly is yet to be determined. The worst case scenarios predict a massive loss. But going by the official budget at worse it is break-even.

It did way better on the international market that in the US.

Although this is old news now it is indicative of a bad year for cyberpunk, the other projects being released this year may well also be met with audience indifference.

We have been here before 1995 promised so much but was a let-down.

Unless Blade Runner 2049 and Mute are certifiable hits 2017 will go down the same way.

 

Well, with the less than stellar performance of Ghost in the Shell at the box office, you might think the Hollywood industry would be quite reluctant to do another anime adaptation.

I have another suggestion: double down.

Sure, do the same again, only harder. Why not? All they have to loose is money.

I even have suggestions: all the other similar products from Production IG.

Stuff with androids in: like Appleseed and how about Vexille? They are both action films with tons of visual attraction and everything that was learned doing Ghost in the Shell can be applied here.

If at first you don’t succeed….

 

One thing that has emerged from the whole Ghost in the Shell business is the resurgence of the idea of “cyberpunk” itself, it was being talked about in the national newspapers, in the supermarkets. It is very much above ground.

 

 

You probably have seen Adam Savage’s at Ghost in the Shell videos at WETA, he’s done one for the Shelling endoskeleton.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What would cheer me up would be a cyberpunk feature that came out of nowhere, already filmed, all post production done. Just popping up.

It would save the anticipation, the frustration, the anti-climax.

Movies have done that in the past. No publicity, just suddenly there.

At least that would spare me months of wondering if it was good or not.

 

 

Be careful what you wish for because I have stumbled on the trailer for Mindhack, which appears to be some kind of low-budget take on The Matrix.

 

Looks cheesy but sincere and there is little information on line. It is directed by Royce Gorsuch

 

 

 

 

 

 

A while back we speculated on whether Marvel will make a cyberpunk movie. It was, to say at the least, a reach.

Then we realised DC could make one very soon from now and without reaching at all.

After all, they intend to make a Cyborg movie.

And you might be interested to know, the Cyborg character was made to penetrate and control computer systems. He’s a hacker superhero.

Cyborg will appear first in the Justice League movie on 17 November.

Ray Fisher has been cast as Cyborg.

The character of cyborg was created in 1980 by Marv Wolfman and artist George Pérez; after an accident Vic Stone was rebuilt by his father with a new body that was stronger, and more durable than his original.

Along with this he was also able to turn his arm into weapons and interface with computers.

 

There are some elements here that lend themselves well to a cyberpunk narrative: his body was blown apart and rebuilt, of course they could run it as a standard bionic narrative “we can rebuild you” or they could take the dangerous route of portraying the uneasily union of man and machine, the violation of the flesh by the metal and the digitisation of the soul. Five years back I would have thought it unlikely, but in the light of the killing and brutality of Man of Steel and Batman V Superman, the door is open to a darker, more majestic superhero narrative. One where minds and bodies are torn apart and reassembled into terrifying combinations; blood and oil, flesh and metal.

I’m into it now: I am imagining a Cyborg movie as directed by Shinya Tsukamo; the city as an overwhelming character looming over transforming bodies, clashing and splintering while screaming malware at each other in cyberspace. Huh! Huh! Huh! Excuse my heavy breathing.

 

 

While doing publicity for Alien: Covenant, Ridley Scott had a few words about the Blade Runner sequel, he repeated that he had really wanted to direct it, but just didn’t have an opening in his schedule, he also mentioned the script, claiming that Harrison Ford called it the best script he’d ever read.

I’m not sure if it is a good idea to raise expectations so much. It already has so much to live up to.

Meanwhile we had a second Teaser trailer for Blade Runner 2049.

 

 

The Blade Runner 2049 full trailer came out in May;

 

 

(which kinda makes the teaser redundant…)

 

 

Publicity is ramping up.

They put a featurette on line in June.

 

Marketing for Blade Runner 2049 is coming hard and fast: a second Trailer which actually makes it look interesting.

 

They had a big presence at Comic-Con including a virtual reality experience. (I am still not convinced that these things have significant marketing effects).

 

And Atari have sponsored a tie-in hat with speakers…?

 

As ever, everyone is saying just the right things. And Ridley Scott is making an appearance, passing on the torch, so to speak.

There was a ton of new footage. And it looked fine. I’m not over the moon.

It’s not so much Blade Runner 2 I am afraid of, it is Blade Runner 3.

And it seems my fears are justified. In a June interview with IGN Ridley Scott about admitted that further Blade Runner sequels were possible.

 

Also in that interview was a statement that gives us heart, not about 2049 but the legacy of the original. When asked about the possible negative effects of a sequel Scott said “No, I think the original was so good, really, and so long ago, I don’t really care.” And that is the truth. The original will remain, no matter what and it will still be a timeless classic.

 

 

 

 

Back in Grunting (205) we speculated that Vincenzo (Splice) Natali was working on a William Gibson project: he tweeted a cover of Gibson’s Archangel comic, Gibson suggested that he might have a project for Natali.

Now we have some confirmation: Vincenzo Natali has now tweeted that he is “working on a new Gibson project”. And it was in the early stages.

We will keep you updated as it develops.

 

However, although I’m not one to speculate,* we might get a headstart on the publicity by examining Natali’s twitter stream.

Now, the director is neither visual nor an actor’s director. He is an ideas director (as witnessed by Cube and Splice). Lately however he has been tweeting a series of images.

If you discount the, er political ones and those attached to the passing of Bernie Writghtson (Natali was a fan). There are a number of trends: He has tweeted a ton of Tsutomu Nihei images. Tsutomu is a Manga artist/writer who originated Blame! Knights of Sidonia, and Biomega. Lately he created concept images for Natali’s abandoned Neuromancer project.

Natali has also tweeted a ton of images of skeletons in spacesuits. I swear I didn’t know there were so many of them.

Finally he has posted a whole bunch of images by contemporary sculptors. I was foxed at first when I realised the link was most of the images had skulls in them.

Hmme. So Natali is making a William Gibson movie, with concept art by Tsutomu involving one or more skeleton filled spacesuit. (So presumably set in space).

Or something.

 

 

 

 

While corresponding with one of our …ahem… many readers, I was made aware of one anomaly; in 2017, this year of Cyberpunk, there have been no rip-offs, er knock-offs, um let’s just say “homages”. After all, every great trend leads to “me-too” productions crawling out of the woodworks, usually lead by that august studio Asylum.

So I went looking for this year’s heartfelt tributes to say Ghost in the Shell or Blade Runner 2049.

I found nothing. Oh dear. And I wondered why.

I couldn’t have anything to do with the fact that Asylum has been sued for its creation of Age of the Hobbits and American Battleship?

Have they become a little reluctant?

 

Apparently not, they have thrown themselves into a Fast and Furious Rip-off called

Fierce and Furious…

 

Are they afraid there is no money in this brave new cyber age?

 

 

 

 

Duncan Jones is being cagey about Mute, he has mentioned screenings of his director’s cut, but nothing about special FX and both he and Netflix are being vague about release date.

I am getting doubtful about a theatrical release; cinematic distribution is generally arranged more than a year in advance and Netflix releases like Okja have already been announced.

If this is so, Mute may only have a streaming release, which would be a disappointment to Jones’ fans.

One thing he keeps repeating on his Twitter stream is a photoshopped picture of a Marmite bottle and the warning that he has seen his cut of the feature and “you will either love it or hate it.”

Hme. With a Netflix release he is partially relieved of the opening weekend pressure a regular theatrical film would endure: Mute does not have to earn most of its money back during an opening because it can rely on the streaming service to find its audience over weeks or months.

However, it will have to find that audience, sooner or later.

 

As we go to press Mute has no release date and things are looking ominous, especially for anyone planning on seeing it theatrically.

It may be impossible to catch it on the big screen if the pattern follows the earlier release of Bong Joon-ho’s Okja. That film found it impossible to secure a Korean cinema release due to dispute with distributors who are insisting on a gap between streaming and theatrical releases.

This looks like it will be a continuing problem for Netflix.

But what is with the release date?

Okja has already been released

Bright has a release date.

The other Netflix productions are lined up. Why not Mute?

 

 

 

 

 

Ready Player One isn’t Cyberpunk; no, no, noo. But here is the teaser trailer.

Looks a lot like the book. We’ll see.

 

 

And what has happened to True Skin from Amazon? Since the announcement of the streaming series last year there has been barely a peek. No director, or cast announced, certainly no release date.

I am beginning to ask; is this still an active project?

 

While True Skin seems as far away as ever its creator Stephan Zlotescu has been busy with his patron Scott Glassgold.

Glassgold has been known for buying up short films and making deals to adapt them into features.

It seems he now wants to get right to the source.

 

He has teamed up with Zlotescu to create Blackpills, a label through which they will produce and release short films. The idea is to make things more innovative and extreme than a studio would ever approve.

There are a number of Zlotescu’s projects already lined up:

Product Wars” corporate mascots have been brought to reality via genetic engineering, if you can afford it you can own one. That could never go wrong, could it?

Tokyo Red: Life after a nuclear meltdown in Tokyo, not exactly post-apocalyptic, but you’ll have to adapt.

 

In addition there will be films from other creators;

Future Sex, anthology series from Hank Woon.

Same Rights from Gary Hall; an AI is accused of murder.

 

There will be a chance to see all of these in 2018.

 

What Zlotescu and Glassgold are not saying is that these will be the basis of future feature film projects. Bu given the way Glassgold has operated previously, this does seems to be the likely trajectory (either that or sell them to streaming services as TV series as True Skin was).

 

Now, I cannot help but think, this has some similarity to Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios project. I’m just saying.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Hey, I’m not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/

 

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 (234)

27 Jun

 

 

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

 

Jel much? OK?

John Landis has joined a parade of directors laying into Marvel Studio’s product. Now just assuming the journalist hasn’t been putting words into the interviewee’s mouth, what are we to make of it?

Landis is claiming he’s bored and Marvel movies are interchangeable films about city destruction.

Hme.

You know I’m not going to address the criticism. You can decide that for yourself.

I’d like to look at the trend:

Mel Gibson ripped into them, Tim Burton claimed they had a formula, Oliver Stone attacked them for their fantasy violence. Peter Jackson crowed that he will never make a Marvel Movie. Steven Spielberg darkly predicted the death of the Comic Book Movie. They pretty much lined up to kick Marvel’s ass.

What unites this august group* is, not only are they directors of stature… but they haven’t directed a Marvel movie.

I’ve no evidence they have even been asked.

Hme. Jel Much?

After The Incredible Hulk, Marvel didn’t use Action oriented directors, and it didn’t use the name directors. Marvel films have been helmed by directors from television, the independent film world, directors who deal in character rather than explosions. And it has worked. While blockbuster Science Fiction has had a variable reception, even in the world of established franchises, Marvel has hit it out of the park with every film from Iron Man onward, it has taken unknown actors and made them superstars, and made hitmakers out of its directors.

How could we not expect a reaction from the old guard because this turns established order on its head; there is no slow march from obscurity to respectability, instead new stars are appearing in our night-skies like supernovae. And the Old Gods are afraid.

 

(Actually, and I’m showing my cynical side here, they likely have nothing to fear, Disney is making noises that it is bringing its lucrative, if unruly child to heel: future Marvel movies will have more star performers in them, and I don’t doubt this will be followed with star directors and the golden age of Marvel movies will have come to an end.)

 

 

We keep files on a lot of kickstarted projects and to be honest many of them fail to come to fruition.

One that I doing quite nicely is Code 8 which we covered back in… ah, let’s start this again.

Although we keep files on kickstarted projects I have doubts that any particular one will go the distance.

Code 8 was one of them.

4% of people have a supernatural ability. This does not make them superheroes, just an underclass subject to 60% of arrests. Robbie Amell one of these “specials” he has a sick mother and is forced into a life of (no doubt supernatural) crime to support her.

 

 

 

It kicked off back in 2016; actors and cousins Stephen Amell (Arrow) and Robbie Amell (Tomorrow People) got together to make a very professionally produced teaser video for a feature film project. It was directed by Jeff Chan.

We’ve seen the trailer and it looks like mutants vs. robots.

 

 

 

They ran an effective marketing campaign highlighting the mysterious nature of the trailer.

 

This culminated in a successful crowdfunding project that raised $1.7m using Indiegogo.com.

 

Now the film has been greenlit and it is in production in Toronto; Jeff Chan is directing from a script he co-wrote with Chris Pare.

 

It has a distribution deal and is looking at 2019 release.

 

 

 

This one snuck up on me: The Gracefield Incident.

Those pesky aliens have invaded again; they have forgone the usual pleasure of demolishing landmarks to invade a weekend getaway party in a mountain cabin.

The unique selling point of this particular fest is one of the partyers has embedded a videocamera in his eye and is filming the whole invasion.

Oh dear, another found footage movie.

This one is written, directed by and starring Mathieu Ratthe.

It gets a limited theatrical release and goes on demand on July 21, 2017

 

 

Gearbox Software is planning a Duke Nukem feature film. I never played the game myself, but a friend of mine used to have a big old smile when he did.

Gearbox is working with production houses to put together a deal before making an announcement.

So no word on: director, writer, schedule or cast yet.

Hme. Not as “groovy” as I anticipated.

 

 

 

We mentioned Kill Switch back in Grunt (230) and Grunt (231).

It should be released by now.

The basic story is that an energy project goes wrong and opens the door to a parallel world.

But more information has come to light.

First of all it is a one shot movie; i.e. it is one continuous shot. Second it is all shpt from the stars point of view (not new, we’ve had things like hardcore Henry) But what caught my attention was that the director, Tim Smit, shot the whole thing in four days. Huh? No wait it was 18 days. (He shot the principle actor for four days) but just over two weeks for a feature film is still pretty good. Then he did most of the FX on his home computer. (That took two years.)

It just got interesting.

The last time we were in this territory was with GE’s Monsters; which was interesting.

It was kind of an expansion of Smit’s short film “What’s in the Box?” and strangely no no-one is calling him “the next Neill Blomkamp”.

Tim Smit is working on his second feature.

 

 

I read a story that by 2020 Netflix’s earnings in the UK will exceed that of the local entire film industry.

Interesting.

I heard a story that on Oscar Wilde’s deathbed he was begged to repudiate the devil and all his works, his reply was; “Now is not the time to be making enemies”.

I’d give the same advice to the cinematic distribution industry. These are dark days, and the reaction of distributors to the streaming networks has been push back**. They are playing hardball with Netflix over simultaneous streaming and cinematic releases.

But now, when so much is in the balance is not the time to make enemies. Cinemas offer a unique experience, home theatre offers connivance they will work together or one will eat the other. Right now Streaming media has a big mouth and a big belly to feed. It is already pouring cash into making its own product, if cinemas won’t show it why shouldn’t they just buy their own distributors, but their own cinema chains? Studios have owned chains before and soon from now Netflix and Amazon may be the biggest players around.

 

 

This seems to have entirely slipped my attention, massively since it is now being reviewed on a major newspaper site.

OtherLife comes out of Australia: OtherLife takes the user to a Virtual Reality which can be experienced though all of the body’s senses, where minutes can expand into subjective years, creator Ren Amari originally pitched it as the ultimate recreation, the government steps in with a proposal to make it a virtual prison,

when Ren finds herself trapped in an experimental digital supermax, she must use all of her resources to mentally survive and get back to reality.

It comes from director Ben C. Lucas.

it is based the Young Adult novel Solitaire by Kelley Eskridge but it has numerous changes from the original, not limited to the central character and the setting.

It just got an Australian release, no word on a wider distribution.

 

 

 

It’s been a good week for me, just turned up is Jahmil XT Qubeka’s Stillborn.

it’s about a robot obsessed with her human ancestry.

None of that sentence makes sense. A gendered robot, with a lineage, which is human, and it is concerned with the whole shebang.

However what everyone is keyed up about is that it comes out of South Africa and has been filmed in the Xhosa language.

It is in the can, and just got selected for the BRICS Film Festival at Chengdu, China. More as we get developments.

 

 

 

OK, we have a release date for Overlord (WWII Paratroopers verses supernatural forces – Grunting 223), it’s October 26th 2018.

 

 

Well this is interesting.

Science Fiction Author William Gibson just re-tweeted the Japanese trailer for “2307: Winter’s Dream.

Hme. We blogged this back in Grunt (204) – and I recall we were not very kind.

Here is the trailer, sorry to say, not the Japanese version.

 

Given so august a patronage we went back and checked if the reviews were more generous than originally thought… nope, still sucks.

 

So, Mr. Gibson, I’ll “see”*** your straight-to-video cheapy and raise you one Filipino Near- Future social drama.

Just ran into Instalado, directed by Jason Paul Laxamana and starring Mccoy de Leon

Victor is a poor farmer who’d like to advance in life through education, problem is education is archived only by implants called “installation”, and that costs money.

It opens in the Philippines July 12.

 

 

 

 

André Hedetoft, Swedish director of Origin and the forthcoming Finns Här Några Snälla Barn (I’m not going to explain that) has another project going on, it’s Space Pirates; three young girls scattered across the galaxy discover they are the daughters of notorious space pirates and they each have part of a map to a legendary treasure.

He intends to make it a graphic novel first.

No word of schedule.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*this august group and Roland Emmerich.

** I love that term? Don’t you?

*** No, I don’t think I’ll actually watch it.

 

 

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

Grunting at the Screen (233)

17 Jun

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

Biopunk snuck past me, it has already got a trailer before I knew it was in production.

What we know: well it not cyberpunk obviously. We have a summary. The world has been devastated by a virus, leaving some people as Altered (capital letter),

this new underclass has been relegated to the ghettos, when an Altered named Resha discovers her brother kidnapped she must venture beyond the city to find him before he is turned into a weapon (oh, that kind of Altered).

Here is the trailer;

 

The reason this slipped beneath my radar was likely that it was Kickstarted and so many of those projects end up languishing. What we don’t know is if this just the Kickstarter concept trailer or if they have actually done some principle photography.

It is directed by Liam Garvo.

No release information.

 

WTF? Filming has wrapped on Terry Gilliam’s The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. Yes, Seventeen years in the making the film that would not die and yet struggled to live is in the can

I didn’t report on it because, well like many other people, I had totally lost faith. I never thought he’d finish it.

Adam Driver and Jonathan Pryce are starring, screenplay is by Gilliam and Tony Grisoni. And they got some of that sweet, sweet streaming cash from Amazon Studios.

No word on the release date.

 

What’s Neill Blomkamp doing? Update

Blomkamp has given an interview with the Verge and he is clarifying his future plans…

He is indeed proceeding with Oats Studio, his personal production facility, it is an all-service studio developing scripts, creating physical effects, digital effects, casting and filming.

Interesting thing is that it is not focussed on features, or even necessarily on traditional short films. He wants to produce sketches; visual ideas which may form the basis for future shorts or features. Yes there will be short films, in fact Oats studio will launch with at least one, but it will publish fragments of footage and even digital files for fans to recut, re-render and turn into their own versions. This explains why Blomkamp chose to release Oats through Steam.

The second Oats trailer is more interesting:

 

 

In the meantime he has not given up on making feature films, he is still working on adapting Thomas Sweterlitsch’s novel The Gone World. Sweterlitsch is writing the screenplay and Fox is apparently still interested in making it.

 

Of course the world is still interested in a sequel to his debut feature District 9, and yes, he is interest in making one; just not right now.

 

 

Breaking news.

Neill Blomkamp’s Oats Studios has released its first product.

Rakka, an alien invasion short.

I have had a little peek, it is set in Blomkamp’s usual “scuzzyverse”: you know the same location as District 9, Elysium and Chappie; decaying housing, dust, and detritus.

I have to apologise if I suggested that it might be a rip-off…er loving homage to Alien. No, it’s a Terminator rip off, with tarry lizard aliens instead of unstoppable killer robots. I have some strong evocations of the future war sequences of the first Terminator; humans living in squalor while learning to fight an implacable enemy who outguns them.

Oats Studios is supposed to be the place where Blomkamp explores the more experimental side. I have to say Rakka is on the less experimental end of “experimental”, it’s a new-ish take on the Alien Invasion trope.

That’s OK, even pioneers need to make money.

 

 

 

We’ve been covering Tommy Wirkola’s Seven Sisters for some time.

Some are calling it cyberpunk. Hme, not according to its summary.

Maybe the poster is giving people ideas,

Anyway it has a release date… in France!

In the rest of the world it is anyone’s guess.

Seven Sisters will open in France in August.

What the heck, here’s a trailer.

Looks like a generic near-future setting to me.

 

 

We are hearing about South Korean science-fiction film “A Day”; a man becomes stuck in a time-loop while trying to save his daughter.

Director is Cho Sun-ho.

It gets a Korean release on June 15.

No international release information as of yet.

 

 

 

Now here’s an interesting thing; Happy Death Day. It’s labelled horror but is actually something very familiar to us.

A college student relives the day of her death noticing every detail until she can identify her killer.

Yes, it is another time–loop thriller and these come in all flavours and budgets. The sub-genre has most recently been identified with Edge of Tomorrow and Source Code.

Director is Christopher Landon who co-wrote it with Scott Lobdell, Oh yes, it is a Blumhouse film.

Due for release October 13, 2017

 

We’ve been covering Wesley Snipes’ Final Recall ever since Grunting (204), of course back then it was called The Recall; it is the standard ‘cabin by the lake’ scenario: five young people go to a cabin by the lake (now why would they do that?) of course this does not go too well for them.

In this case it is not a blade-wielding maniac that does for them but an alien invasion.

Well we now have a release it will be available for digital download from August 14th, and then on disk from the 21st.

 

 

Something interesting is happening with Bong Joon-ho’s Okja. Korean cinema chains are banning it.

Because Netflix plans to release the film simultaneously on streaming and theatrical formats, distributors are afraid it will not make much in the way of box office.

This is a problem Netflix have come up against before with Beast of No nation. But this time it is with one of Korea’s biggest and most respected film makers.

It bodes ill for future Netflix theatrical ventures.

 

 

Do you watch web video? I don’t watch web video. You know anyone who does? Actually I don’t really want to know. But I was looking at my file with the web series documents in it and I couldn’t remember anything about them, I certainly hadn’t seen any of them. OK, there is web video I go after aggressively and it is Adam Savage’s Tested clips on YouTube. I’ve linked a couple of them on Grunt, but I actually watch many more, I like to watch him making things. Anyway my point is, if you are a film maker who wanted to transition into Television or a theatrical release the last place you would go is a Web series. Heck even those short film guess have better luck. Hell, even if you make video games you have a better chance of making a feature film…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/

 

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 (232)

5 Jun

 

 

 

The information age isn’t finished with us.

 

Although Wonder Woman is here the film they are banging the drum for is Valerian. They are dropping TV spots like it is hot.

 

Even now I think the trailers look spectacular. They just dropped the last trailer;

 

 

But something occurred to me, it looked familiar. You know what it looked it? It looked like the Phantom Menace from 1999.

 

Oh dear.

The release date remains July 21st.

Nevertheless reviews are coming out for Wonder Woman and the broad verdict is positive, in fact it may be the most welcomed DC movie in a while.

 

Everyone is going to war. Christopher Nolan is going to Dunkirk Ridley Scott is fighting the Battle of Britain and now Roland Emmerich is going to the battle of Midway.

Now this has already been made into a film, but I doubt Emmerich has seen it.

Script is by Wes Tooke, and there is a significant amount of Chinese money being invested.

Let’s just hope it is better than Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

They are calling ‘Dream Breaker’ cyberpunk. We doubt it, but let’s see what we know for sure.

It is Chinese, a feature film directed by Han Yan: “young woman who must fight her way through a mysterious, holographic game world designed by her late father to avenge his death”

I’m non-committal; when I find some reviews, I’ll get back to you.

They are shooting for a release in the autumn 2017.

 

 

 

Rupert Wyatt’s alien invasion feature, Captive State, now has a release date August 17, 2018.

 

 

 

So we now have a little idea of what Neill Blomkamp is doing.

http://www.quietearth.us/articles/2017/05/Neill-Blomkamp-Announces-Oats-Studio-with-Insane-Trailer

 

Hme. Not what we expected. You know what it looks like? This looks like the Aliens project he was forced to abandon. Except instead of insectoid aliens we have reptilian aliens, instead of space we have them on earth. Having seen Blomkamp’s earlier features I was hoping for something… not so easily categorised.

I can’t help thinking if Ridley Scott had delivered this the reaction would have been a collective yawn.

But hey, the internet is all excited.

Maybe the full short film will surprise us.

 

 

 

Check this one out. Revolt, a film by Joe Miale, the general Alien invasion scenario, and the aliens have bad CG robots. The Unique selling point is that this one is based in Africa.

They are trying to get a distributor for it, once it has a release date I’ll get back to you.

We have to stretch out this post so here is trailer;

 

 

 

Takeshi Miike The master of the Anime to Live Action form* has struck again: JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Diamond Is Unbreakable is to premiere at the Neuchatel International Fantastic Film Festival. (Actually Jojo’s comes straight from the manga without touching an anime adaptation on the way down.

The manga is based around the Joestar family, guardians of the Ripple martial art and fighters of supernatural menaces.

 

No release date yet.

 

 

 

Wonder Woman

Review.

 

So you know the story; Amazon princess on the island of Themyscira lives an idyllic life of warrior training among the other women when the outside world rudely intrudes in the form of American pilot, hotly pursued by German sailors.

Said American brings word of a terrible war in the outside world, the slaughter of millions.

To Diana this can only mean the return of the War God Ares, ancient enemy of the Amazonians.

She determines to leave the island of her birth, seek out Ares and put an end to his evil works.

 

As a film this is very watchable.

Gal Gadot is fair actor despite her single expression is the one women so seldom give to me.

Chris Pine does his best Chris Evans impression and that is not the only thing this movie shares with Captain America.

 

The story is simple and efficient, the action and effects well handled.

 

It is an entertaining if not especially fresh take on the superhero genre.

 

It looks like Warner/ DC have taken the most important lessons from Marvel Studios: hire directors who can direct and actors who can act.

It might seem obvious but so many other studios and production houses think that hiring, stars, athletes, celebrities and wrestlers is so much better.

 

Wonder Woman (a phrase appearing nowhere in the film’s dialogue) works. But it is not perfect, there are moments where the actors reach moments of crisis and talk rather than act, and there are some improbabilities (is it really only a single night sailing from Themyscira to London?)

On the whole I like it.

 

Where Batman V Superman was fussy and tangled, this is clean and efficient. `This down to director Patty Jenkins.

 

I’d say it portends good news for Justice League later this year… but that one is a Zack Snyder film so all bets are off.

 

 

 

*simply because he keeps making them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

http://www.darkhorizons.com/

 

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