Oscar Shortlist for Best Visual Effects Announced

- 12-05-13Film Posted by Adam A. Donaldson

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It’s the end of the year, and you know what that means: lots and lots of Best and Worst lists! True, but it also means that awards season is just around the corner. Today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, AKA: the people who give out the Oscars, announced their short list of 10 potential nominees for the Best Visual Effects category, and you’ll notice a definite nerdy trend amongst the ten films that will be vying for that golden trophy early next year. (more…)

Hugh Jackman Cast in Neill Blomkamp’s Latest Project ‘Chappie’

- 09-30-13Film Posted by Mark Poynter

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Word is making the Internet rounds that Hugh Jackman has taken a role in Neill Blomkamp‘s (District 9, Elysium) latest Sci Fi production Chappie. While doing press for his latest movie in theaters, Prisoners, Jackman confirmed his new role.

Yes, that’s true. I am doing a role in Neill’s new film, called Chappie, which we shoot in Johannesburg. I’m there for a couple of weeks at the beginning of next year.

Jackman discusses the Chappie news and some of his other upcoming roles in the press conference video below. It starts with the Chappie news so you won’t have to search for it.

So now we know that Jackman is joining Sharlto Copley, Ninja Visser and Yolandi Visser, but what role will he play?

Chappie is about a robot that is stolen by two criminals who want to use him to do their dirty work. We know that Coplay will be voicing the robot and Ninja and Yolandi Visser will be taking the two criminal roles. Over at Bleeding Cool Brendon Connelly thinks he knows what Jackman’s role will be:

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Matt Damon’s Take on Casting Ben Affleck as Batman and What About Robin the Boy Wonder

- 08-28-13Comics, Film Posted by Mark Poynter

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Matt Damon was recently in India, promoting his latest movie Elysium when The Times of India caught up with him and asked him those burning questions that has Internet forums a buzz and generating clever pictures like the one above. What did he think about his long time buddy Ben Affleck being cast as the new Batman, and would Damon, could Damon, should Damon, join the cast of Batman Versus Superman as Robin the Boy Wonder.

I think it will be great, It will be terrific. I know there are a lot of people grousing on the internet. I just think it’s kind of funny. You know, he’s not playing King Lear. It’s Batman! Certainly within his skill set. If anybody saw ‘Argo’ or ‘The Town,’ and all the work he’s been doing lately, it’s way more nuanced and interesting and way more difficult than Batman! Batman just sits there with his cowl over his head and whispers in a kinda gruff voice at people. Bruce Wayne is the more challenging part of the role, and Ben will be great at that…

But it’s safe to say I won’t be Robin.

Yeah, I think deep down we all knew that wasn’t going to happen. I bet we’ll see some funny video on the Jimmy Kimmel Show about it though. Maybe Ben Affleck, dressed as Batman pulling up to the house from Goodwill Hunting in the Batmobile with Matt Damon coming to the door in street clothes and they back and forth with Damon saying something about never wearing that costume and it ain’t gonna happen no matter how many times Affleck comes to the door.

The other Matt Damon news making its way around the internet is that Damon might be returning to the Bourne franchise. Damon had this to say:

They were just trying to revitalize that franchise and I didn’t mind at all, It didn’t have anything to do with the movie that I made. It makes sense for a studio to keep those franchises as alive as they can, it makes business sense for them. I don’t begrudge anybody for that. I am a huge fan of Jeremy. I don’t equate my Bourne movie with his. He didn’t play the part of Jason Bourne. It’s a totally different thing.

Could that movie have both Damon and Jeremy Renner in it? That would be great to see. I’ve loved all the Jason Bourne films and have read more than a few of the books.

Via: Comingsoon

MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Elysium’ is Smart and Visually Stunning

- 08-09-13Featured, Film, reviews Posted by Jason Tabrys

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When you build up a wall to keep people out and blast the symphony to block out the screams of the huddled and hunched masses, they climb on top of each other to make it over. Starved, hungry, desperate — they will sell their souls for a glimpse of something that isn’t stained with blood and wrecked by hopelessness. This is human nature, this is animal instinct, this is the message at the center of Neill Blomkamp’s fantastic Elysium.

Forgive me, but I’m one of those people that believes that the very best science fiction speaks as much to our present and our current fractured state of being as it does to our future. That doesn’t mean that I am incapable of enjoying the more explode-y sci-fi films that aim more for the gut and less for the brain, but give me Children of Men and give me Sunshine over the Star Trek Into Darkness’ of this world. 

Give me District 9, Neill Blomkamp‘s stunning feature debut and Elysium, this ambitious follow-up whose winning virtue is that it comes close to being all things to all people.

The Story

A human tale about struggle, hope, determination, and desperation — Matt Damon is Max, an ex-con stuck working a factory job in Los Angeles in the year 2154.

Believe it or not, Max is one of the lucky ones, but he’s got a smart mouth and that puts him at odds with the droid police force and his boss.

Ordered into a risky situation by said boss, Max sustains an injury that will kill him in five days, thus setting him off on a mad dash to find passage to Elysium, a star shaped space station that sustains and occupies the rich and coddled with swimming pools, cocktail parties, Kelly green landscapes, cloudless skies, and restorative med bays that heal all ailments in an instant.

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Max has always dreamed of going to Elysium, but as he is turned into a literal Frankenstein monster and painfully fitted with a mech suit to help carry his ailing body through a daring data heist (data that can bring down Elysium or alter its power structure, making matters worse) for an underworld gimp pimp known as Spider (overplayed by Wagner Moura), the dream becomes a nightmare.

For Damon, all of this is about survival, whispering “This ain’t goona kill me” through gritted teeth. He doesn’t want to save the day for his fellow man, he just wants to live.

Complicating matters, for him, is his childhood sweetheart (Frey, as played by Alice Braga), her Leukemia afflicted daughter, and Kruger — a doubley mad mercenary that has been dispatched by Delacourt, the prim acid bitch that keeps Elysium free of the filthy prisoners of Earth by any means necessary.

Jodie Foster plays Delacourt like a rusted claw hammer wrapped in velvet. Painting Eden’s gatekeeper as a power hungry politician, monster, and woman of refinement. She has evolved past human emotion and it is a transformation unlike anything we have seen from Foster in quite some time.

In anyone else’s hands, this role could have polluted the film with high camp, but Foster gives just enough to shock us, revealing a villain who is convinced, at a cellular level, that she is on the side of right and separate and apart from the inhabitants of Earth. To her, they are bugs. She’s Adolf Eichmann with an eye on becoming Hitler.

As Kruger, Sharlito Copley plays an extremely colorful henchman, occupying the screen with menace. He is the chaos, kidnapping Fey and her sick daughter, gunning for Max and the valuable data that he now holds in his head. Unfortunately, as the film goes on, Kruger becomes less an interesting side player, and more a two dimensional main villain, inexplicably starting a palace coup on top of the one that Foster’s character is trying to orchestrate.

It’s here that the film loses it’s way for a short time, complicating the run-up to the end in an effort to add more smash and bash fighting and big action moments to the film. Basically, Elysium embraces its summer blockbuster responsibilities in this bundle of minutes in the third act before it evens itself out.

The Conclusion

Matt Damon delivers a valuable but not stellar performance that improves as the reels roll (or the pixels whatever…) and Blomkamp falls into a few traps, but ultimately delivers what may be the best sci-fi film that I have seen since the previously mentioned Children of Men.

Elysium is visually arresting, covering its dual worlds with both a slick sheen of affluence and a dirt bath. Blomkamp ratchets up the CGI effects as well, melding his ambition with an economical and grounded approach to effects sequences and overall spectacle.

The result is a lived in and real universe that never pulls the audience out of the story, and as was the case with the $30 million dollar District 9, Elysium feels as if it cost twice as much as it did, even though it cost more than $100 million.

The way that Blomkamp constructs and portrays an action scene has a lot to do with that, and here, we’re seeing hand-held camera work, artfully applied slow-motion, and a video-game aesthetic peppered throughout the big fight scenes.

Visual wow is useless without story, though, and that is the real star of this film: Blomkamp’s very smart and very original script.

Themes of nuclear class warfare, extreme immigration, and the rationing of healthcare strike a nerve because those themes echo fears about our present course.

Is Elysium prophetic? Probably not, because (as has been said before) we’re naturally inclined to burden our view of the future with the weight of the present, but it could happen or the future could be even worse.

Despite that, though, Elysium should make us think about the state of things, the walls that we already have up and the growing ease with which we display human viciousness and indifference; and for a film to entertain and inspire debate and introspection like that… well, that is a rare treat. 

Matt Damon’s ‘Elysium’ Gets The Extended Trailer Treatment

- 07-31-13Film Posted by Mark Poynter

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As the August 9th premiere date for Neill Blomkamp‘s Elysium, the follow-up project to his first fantastic film District 9, creeps closer and closer we’re getting the full treatment from those Hollywood Marketing Wizards. This time around it’s an extended four-minute trailer.

I was sold on the film as soon as Blomkamp announced it and you’ll find me in a theater seat opening weekend, but what about you, are you going to see this one?

In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission – one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces – but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.

Elysium hits theater screens on August 9th starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Alice Braga, Diego Luna, William Fichtner and Wagner Moura.

Via: Coming Soon

Nerd Art Dump: The Girl of Steel, Mondo’s ‘Elysium’ Poster, Wolverine & MOAR!

- 07-25-13Cool Stuff Posted by NickBungay

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Each and every week we scour the Internet for nothing but the best in nerdy art. We leave no digital stone unturned, we poke and prod every nook and cranny of the Interwebz. Why? Because we love you, and we love to bring you weekly feed of nerd art.

On with the dump!

Above: We’ve seen Man of Steel on the big screen… maybe Warner Bros should think about reintroducing his cousin to movie audiences. Artist Froitz updated Supergirl’s costume to fit the current Kryptonian look, and it looks pretty damn sweet. [XombieDIRGE]

Hit the jump for The World’s End, beavers and more. (more…)

Watch the First Clip From “Elysium”: “Would you like to talk to a human?”

- 07-23-13Film Posted by NickBungay

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We’ve seen a lot of action from the trailers of Neill Blomkamp‘s District 9 follow-up Elysium, but almost nothing on the characters of the film. In a future where Earth has been exhausted of resources, the poor live in what remains and the rich live on an extravagant space station social classes still have a job to do.

Now in the first clip from Elysium we get our first real interaction with Max, played by Matt Damon, as he does his best to explain his actions for an incident earlier in the film to a robotic parole officer. As a former car thief, Max has been doing his best to stay on the straight and narrow, but when the officer is less than receptive to Max’s “misunderstanding” it’s hard to not be a little sarcastic. You’d have the same trouble too if you were talking into something made for a drive through.

It’s not much, but the clip gives you a nice insight into the difficulties of living on planet with robotic enforcement and judgement. Not only that, but you get a nice way of seeing that our hero in Elysium isn’t someone who come out guns blazing into the streets, he’s just nother person trying to get by before fate intervenes.

Elysium starring Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, Sharlto Copley, Wagner Moura and Alice Braga, Elysium will arrive in theaters next month on August 9th.

Source: Blastr

Neill Blomkamp Turned Down ‘Star Wars Episode VII’; Wants to Work on Original Projects Like ‘District 9′ Sequel

- 07-17-13Film Posted by Sarah Moran

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After District 9 was almost universally beloved by critics and moviegoers alike, I figured director Neill Blomkamp would have been on the fast track for a sequel. But that wasn’t the case, seeing as it’s been four years since District 9 released and we’re only now weeks away from Blomkamp’s second feature film, Elysium.

While the director’s been making the press rounds to promote Elysium, he’s been dropping details left and right about the status of a District 9 sequel, tentatively known as District 10, as well as the smaller, more original projects he’s got on the docket, like Chappie and Mild Oats. Wired profiled the director, and here I’ve got a few highlights collected by The Playlist,

He and Tatchell have written an 18-page treatment for District 10—about which he’ll say little more than that the story is “really fucking cool”—but he’s not prepared to commit to it. He’s sure he’ll come up with any number of other really fucking cool ideas he might want to pursue first.

Chappie, Blomkamp says, is about sentience: “If something is as smart as you, do you treat it differently if it isn’t a human?” He’s cowriting Chappie with Tatchell, who describes the script as laugh-out-loud funny but also emotional. “It’s fairly touching,” Blomkamp confirms. “But, you know, fraught with gunfire.

Blomkamp wants to show off a prop from Mild Oats, a low-budget movie he’s developing that he describes as “somewhere between John Waters and Jackass.” He removes a panel from a nearby wooden crate, uncharacteristically giddy. “You should be scared,” he warns. He’s right: The crate houses a 3-foot-tall, photo-realistic silicone puppet rocking a mullet and jailhouse tattoos. The deranged redneck stands completely naked, revealing six nipples and a prodigious, uncircumcised penis. The character’s name, Marvin, is inked on said organ in gothic lettering.

I’m intrigued by Chappie as I’d find Blomkamp’s take on the whole A.I. thing fascinating. And, y’know, gunfire is cool. In movies that is. It’s definitely not cool off the silver screen. And Mild Oats, well, that sounds, umm… interesting? What do you think? Are you just itching for District 10?

In order to work on these passion projects other opportunities had to be refused, like Star Wars: Episode VII. And honestly, as wicked awesome as Blomkamp’s vision of the Star Wars universe would be, I can’t blame him. Blomkamp doesn’t come off like a director who’d want to play with someone else’s toys in someone else’s sand box. Wired reports Elysium producer Simon Kinberg approached Blomkamp about the possibilty of tackling Star Wars, but he turned it down, likely citing all these other movies he has in mind.

So there’s Elysium opening August 9th, then Blomkamp begins filming Chappie, followed by Mild Oats, maybe? Then, if ever, District 10. Busy, busy Blomkamp.

Source: /Film

New ‘Elysium’ Featurette Digs Offers a Bit of Background

- 07-12-13Film Posted by Jason McAnelly

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With less than a month until its big screen debut, Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium is shaping up to be a pretty interesting sci-fi flick, complete with the rich story atmosphere that Blomkamp has become known for.  Now, a new featurette takes a quick look at this world of the future and provides a bit of background for potential audiences, courtesy of Blomkamp and stars Matt Doman and Jodie Foster.  Check it out below:

Check out the entire film, front to back, once it hits theaters on August 9th.

 

Thanks to io9 for the heads-up.

Even More Matt Damon in Latest ‘Elysium’ Trailer

- 07-02-13Film Posted by Mark Poynter

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Neil Blomkamp‘s Elysium has a new trailer making the rounds on the Internet and Matt Damon‘s getting all sci-fi-ed “Bourne” on the bad guys. Damon’s got a mission and no one is gonna stop him.

In the year 2159 two classes of people exist: the very wealthy who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined Earth. Secretary Rhodes (Jodie Foster), a hard line government official, will stop at nothing to enforce anti-immigration laws and preserve the luxurious lifestyle of the citizens of Elysium. That doesn’t stop the people of Earth from trying to get in, by any means they can. When unlucky Max (Matt Damon) is backed into a corner, he agrees to take on a daunting mission that if successful will not only save his life, but could bring equality to these polarized worlds.

Elysium hits theater screens on March 1st, 2013.

What do you think of this new trailer? The last one told a little too much of the story in my opinion. This new one scales it back a bit while still getting the message across. Will you be buying a ticket?

Blomkamp’s District 9 was incredible and I’m hoping that Elysium will follow suit.

Via: /Film