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Sci-Fi

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While Star Wars fans may have to wait until 2017 for the official sequel to The Force Awakens, we still have a lot to look forward to in 2016. This December will bring us Star Wars: Rogue One, a prequel to both The Force Awakens and the original trilogy. Ever wondered how those brave rebels first stole the plans to the Death Star? Who wouldn’t? If it wasn’t for them, the legendary events of the original trilogy would have never happened. This December will finally give us some insight as to how this intergalactic heist took place. With ten more months to wait, December 16th seems like quite a long wait. Fortunately, the first teaser is coming much sooner than we thought. (more…)

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The best way to describe watching 10 Cloverfield Lane is like eating chocolate ice cream with lemon-infused olive oil: it’s unusual but tastes absolutely delicious. Audiences expecting a Cloverfield spin-off will be greatly disappointed. There’s no giant monster wrecking a city, no shaky-cam, and no T.J. Miller screaming “Oh my god!” It’s a smaller, more humble film that resembles an apocalyptic thriller more than a monster-disaster movie. J.J. Abrams made it clear on several occasions that this film would be a “blood relative” to the original Cloverfield and not feature the first film’s monster. The only thing these films have in common are their extraterrestrial and horror themes. It’s much like what John Carpenter tried to do with the Halloween films by having several films with different stories all set during the holiday (before audiences decried the third film’s lack of Michael Myers). Much like Halloween 3, 10 Cloverfield Lane focus on crafting a new story instead of rehashing an old one. As a result, the sheer quality and ambition of 10 Cloverfield Lane is absolutely enough to make it even better than the film that spiritually preceded it.

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‘Battlestar Galactica’ Movie May Finally Happen

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Battlestar Galactica, the short-lived, but much loved tv series, only lasted a year, but it left a large impact upon its fans.  An entire franchise grew out of the original show’s ashes, including books, comics, boardgames, video games, and a miniseries that led to a 2004 reboot.   Ever since the last episode of the new series aired in 2009, there has been talk of a film adaptation.  Clearly, nothing has come of Universal Studios‘ best laid plans.  However, the project finally has some producers tied to it, so the Galactica and her crew may actually make it to the big screen sometime in the near future.   (more…)

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When approaching the early works of David Cronenberg, many modern viewers are initially put off by the ruddy, low-rent stylings of films like Shivers, Rabid and The Brood, citing the director’s choice of low-budget genre trappings as rendering his cerebral central postualtions inaccessible. Much like the Canadian horror auteur (who has since moved on to greener pastures of prestige with pictures like Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch and A History of Violence), American independent filmmaker Billy Senese has crafted his sophomore feature, Closer to God, with one foot in the horror film grave. Borrowing liberally from the clinical director’s filmography (The Brood being the most obvious point of reference), Senese strains to balance the “dark thriller” portions of the narrative with the set of proverbial “big ideas” he presents. Once Closer to God descends into out-and-out monster movie territory, it becomes readily apparent that any kind of heady aspirations were simply the jumping off point for a somewhat pedestrian riff on modern Frankenstein mythos. (more…)

Steven Moffat

Steven Moffat says a lot of things. Just the other day, he said ‘Hobbit’ director Peter Jackson was in talks to direct a Doctor Who episode almost for free. As Head Writer and showrunner of a popular series, he’d know about that better than anyone. He also knows about sexism, and often feels free to brag about his many sexual conquests. When you’re Head Writer and showrunner for a popular series, you’re bound to get a few of those too. Yeah, Steven Moffat talks a lot. People who talk a lot give useful interviews. Just ask SFX Magazine who recently sat down with our verbal stud and got him to sound off on the numbering of all 13 Doctors. It seems Mr. Moffat believes there was only 1 Doctor all along. Or something. (more…)

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I take a lot of shots at Marvel for what I believe to be a neutering (or flat out execution) of their more creative directorial choices, but Guardians of the Galaxy may be the film that completely flies in the face of my criticisms. James Gunn seems to have delivered a product that bears his distinct fingerprint — a weird slice of sci-fi with an “off-beat” sense of humor all its own. Today, a new TV spot continues to showcase the lighthearted, eye-popping “fun” his MCU picture (hopefully) is going for, with a climactic shot of psychadelia featuring star Chris Pratt that truly has me intrigued on a sheer visual level. (more…)

JurassicWorld

The trend lately is to make your micro-budget indie and then get promoted right to franchise film stardom as a director. Gareth Edwards just pulled it off in spades with Godzilla, following his tiny, laptop-effects-infused mini-epic, Monsters. Now Colin Trevorrow is making the jump from cutesy Mark Duplass/Audrey Plaza time travel rom-com (Safety Not Guaranteed) to bringing back the paleolithic theme park Steven Spielberg himself made famous. But what is Trevorrow’s fourth Jurassic Park film even going to be about? Well it seems like we’ve gotten some details today that may (or may not) completely surprise you.

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Welcome back to our newly revamped “Retro Reviews” column, where we explore both the movies you know and love, as well as the oft overlooked gems you should be spending more time with. Our fifth entry acts as a brief refresher on one of the pivotal moments in Japanese cinema, Ishirō Honda’s Godzilla (1954)…

Picture Godzilla in your head. What do you see?

For most, the image is simple — men in rubbery monster suits battling one-another amidst a chintzily built model, stepping on toy cars willy-nilly in an effort to put forth the feeling of destruction on an apocalyptic scale. To the average cinema-goer Gojira — excuse me, Godzilla — is an icon of pugilistic campiness; a towering figure akin to a scaly Macho Man Randy Savage, wrestling other goofy kaiju for ninety minutes while tiny Asian people point and scream “the monster is attacking the city!” 

Like most successful franchise frontmen, the weight of Godzilla’s initial appearance has been watered down by subsequent sequels (twenty-seven, to be exact), to the point that many have forgotten the iconic monster’s original metaphorical meaning: a walking mushroom cloud, the fantastical representation of holocaust. Ishirō Honda’s monumental piece of Japanese filmmaking still stands as one of the greatest cinematic responses to the psychic trauma caused by war, ranking with Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove as a defining piece of pop art derived from the utter devastation of the nuclear bomb.

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FassbenderPrometheus

There are a few simple rules regarding conversation in my house:

1. No politics

2. No religion

3. No insulting the films of Brian De Palma or David Cronenberg

4. Those who mention Prometheus will be shot

It’s not that I despise Prometheus (the first half is actually quite good), it’s just that the very thought of the movie’s squandered potential irks me to no end. So count me as someone who is actually looking forward to the sequel, as I hope (maybe against hope) that Ridley Scott & Co. can actually stick the landing this time, instead of dropping a giant, somewhat phallic-looking spaceship on my dome. Unfortunately, one of its busiest stars cast a shadow of doubt upon when we’re actually going to see the continued adventures of Elizabeth Shaw and the severed head of David the Robot today, thus meaning I can’t set a defined date upon which I can revisit and possibly revise my “house rules”.

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There’s a Documentary About Time Machines

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I like the physicist (Ronald Mallett) more than I like the hobbyist (Rob Niosi), but I’m making judgments off of a 145 second snippet of what is probably a 90 minute movie that is a snippet of the story that these men are living in. That means I’m an asshole who never accepted the intrinsic wisdom of the adage, “Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover”. We all do it. Judge books, judge albums, judge lovers — all by their covers. I digress.

These guys are wannabe time travelers, not the kind from the movies with the puffy vests and the Calvin Klein underwear.

One is a real romantic who wants to cut in line and see how this whole thing shakes out. He wants to know what the end looks like, a common human obsession. Blame that for zombies and Roland Emmerich movies.

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