Passengers

ffcef39a2933a18a304a5b7519d3969390befd76

Take two of the hottest stars in Hollywood, put them together in a big Sci-Fi/Romcom/Action/Adventure December movie with a talented director and you’ve got box office gold. That’s what Sony is banking on this Christmas movie season when Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence pop onto the big screen in director Morton Tyldum‘s (The Imitation Game) Passengers. Now we’ve finally got the first trailer and it looks incredible. Pratt and Lawrence already set the expectation bar high, but throw in the scifi setting and a robotic bartender and you can call it a day. (more…)

download

The script for Passengers has been awaiting production for nearly a decade now, having been included on the 2007 Black List, which is Hollywood’s annual ranking of their most admired scripts that haven’t been greenlit. The film then had a amplitude of hurtles to overcome just to get to where it is now. Having been bounced around before finally being picked up by Sony Entertainment in 2014, the film began production in Atlanta in 2015. And now finally, Entertainment Weekly has released a couple of teaser pictures of Passengers staring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt(more…)

Screen Shot 2016-01-15 at 7.08.11 PM

There has literally never been a better time to be a genre fan. Sci-fi and fantasy has been a staple of the silver screen since it began but the quality and box office success had always varied tremendously. Now, however, we are swamped with the stuff, in a true golden age, and most if not all is seen as both a critical and commercial success. It can be argued that this is a very specific, 21st Century phenomenon, starting with the huge success of the Harry Potter films that began in 2001, continuing with Spider-Man (2002) and it’s sequels – which brought a certain acceptability to big screen superheroes – and then the start of the Marvel dominance with Iron Man (2008). Sure, there have been occasional misses – any Fantastic Four film for example – but genre has come to dominate a great deal of Hollywood spend and blockbuster output. Would Disney have forked out the $4bn it did for the Star Wars universe if their similar spend on Marvel in 2009 hadn’t proved a worthwhile gamble? Would DC still be building their own Cinematic Universe had the Avengers not shown the way? It’s doubtful.

A quick glance at Coming Attractions for 2016 would see your attention drawn to Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Deadpool, Star Trek Beyond, Doctor Strange, reboots-of-a-sort Ghostbusters and Independence Day: Resurgence and……well, you’re a fan, you know exactly what’s coming. This is good. This is what we always wanted, for not only are most of what has come and what is to follow big-budget flicks of the sort that couldn’t be imagined only a relatively short time ago, but a lot of it is quality stuff that even the most jaded and cynical will buy a ticket for.

However, you should also cast your eye to the margins, to the smaller budgeted and promotionally-ignored films that are due your way. (more…)