Archive for the ‘The Multiverse’ Category

Season 2 of Stranger Things looks even creepier and more intense

July 23rd, 2017

We saw the first trailer for season 2 of Stranger Things at Comic-con.

Excitement about Netflix retro-horror series Stranger Things was at a fever pitch during Comic-con this weekend, especially after we saw the first trailer for season 2. Set during the mid-1980s, the series picks up one year after the events of the first season. The trailer promises we’ll be diving deep into the Upside Down mythos, which represents an even greater threat than before.

The kid gang is back together, innocently playing videogames, when Will starts to see visions of the Upside Down taking over the entire world. And you know what? It’s scary and looks amazing. I wasn’t that excited about a second season for this show—I thought the ending of last season was basically perfect, and that the new season should focus on a new horror story. But this trailer guaranteed I’ll be tuning in.

It looks like we’ll focus a lot Will’s post-Upside Down transformation. The scene of him in some kind of experimental facility is reminiscent of what we saw happening to Eleven last year. David Harbour, who plays Sheriff Hopper, said on Wired’s Facebook Live that his character has changed a lot in the past year. We’ll see flashbacks of his journey, Harbour said, and it has “a lot to do with the Eggos he’s delivering to the woods.”

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First glimpse of Steven Spielberg’s new movie, Ready Player One

July 23rd, 2017

Comic-con teaser for Ready Player One.

The first trailer for Ready Player One, based on Ernest Cline’s legendary novel, just dropped at San Diego Comic-con.

Ever since Cline’s novel shot to the top of bestseller lists, fans have been waiting for the movie. It’s the story of a kid growing up in the near future, dreaming of escape from his life in a massive, dystopian Ohio trailer park. He’s only happy in the Oasis, a massive multiplayer VR world, where he indulges in his love for 1980s pop culture.

This trailer is a little uneven at first, but won me over when the 80s Rush song “Tom Sawyer” provided the perfect soundscape for an incredible VR-powered car chase.

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New Guillermo del Toro movie looks beautiful and terrifying

July 19th, 2017

The Shape of Water looks magical, disturbing, and weirdly romantic.

Though Guillermo del Toro took Hollywood by storm with movies like Hellboy and Pacific Rim, he truly made his mark with gothic indies like the Oscar-winning Pan’s Labyrinth and the sumptuous Crimson Peak. Now he’s back with The Shape of Water, another intimate look at the inner lives of monsters and the humans who love them.

Anyone who has been immersed in del Toro’s lush, magical films knows he’s a master of design, especially when it comes to creatures. Nearly all of his movies deal with the idea that monsters are better people than their human counterparts, and he always manages to get us to identify with giant hellbeasts and gore-soaked ghosts. Though del Toro’s monsters have always been mesmerizing and gorgeous, The Shape of Water is the first of his movies to deal overtly with a human falling in love with one of these otherworldly creatures.

Like Pan’s Labyrinth and Crimson Peak, The Shape of Water is also a period piece. Set in the early 1960s during the Cold War, it’s about Elisa (Sally Hawkins), a mute janitor working at what seems to be a top-secret government facility. She’s assigned to clean a lab where the government has imprisoned a beautiful, intelligent fish-like man (Doug Jones), sort of a glimmering cross between the Creature from the Black Lagoon and Aquaman.

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You must watch this Star Wars: The Last Jedi behind-the-scenes video

July 16th, 2017

It’s a behind-the-scenes look at the next Star Wars flick, and everything is proceeding according to my plan that this movie will be ridiculously awesome.

As soon as it was announced that Rian Johnson would be writing and directing The Last Jedi, I was sold on this flick. Johnson’s previous movies include Looper and Brick, which are both incredible, action-packed indies.

We’ve seen some glimpses of the movie in a teaser trailer, but we get a pretty concentrated dose in this behind-the-scenes vid that shows off some cool fight scenes (Rey with a light saber!) and a bunch of weird new creatures (WTF is that glassy-looking fox?). Also, it’s always fun to hear John Boyega, who plays ex-Stormtrooper Finn, using his real-life British accent. We also see some great footage of Carrie Fisher (hard not to get a little choked up there).

One of the themes of this video seems to be that Johnson’s script is going to be a little shocking. Given that there’s a chase scene in Looper that haunts my dreams to this day, I can absolutely believe that there will be a few unhinged moments in The Last Jedi.

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The first shiver-inducing trailer for A Wrinkle in Time is here

July 16th, 2017

It’s the first teaser trailer for A Wrinkle in Time, and it looks appropriately creepy and insane.

A lot of geeky, imaginative kids grew up with their faces jammed inside a copy of Madeleine L’Engle’s book A Wrinkle in Time. It’s the story of a family of science and math geniuses that gets tangled up in a physics experiment that has metaphysical implications. This new film adaptation has the perfect balance of creeping horror and gorgeous, Wizard of Oz-like wonderscapes.

A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in a trilogy that is basically the forerunner to the His Dark Materials books by Philip Pullman. It’s science fiction that takes seriously the idea that sufficiently advanced technology looks like magic. Our hero Meg’s father has discovered how to use a five-dimensional tesseract to “fold time” and travel instantaneously across vast distances in space. When he goes missing, Meg is visited by three mysterious women who are basically aliens, witches, and scientists rolled into one. They tell Meg that only she can rescue her father, so she “tessers” across dimensions to find him, accompanied by her little brother Charles Wallace and their friend Calvin (both geniuses, of course).

Along the way, they encounter terrifying and amazing alien worlds, and they eventually head toward a showdown on an authoritarian world run by a computer. We catch glimpses of this world in the trailer, where all the children are bouncing their balls in unison. It seems like some of the book’s adventures will be preserved for the movie.

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War for the Planet of the Apes is a genuinely satisfying morality tale

July 14th, 2017

Enlarge / Caesar is on a revenge mission to destroy the Colonel. Will his animal instincts make him no better than those damn, dirty humans? (credit: 20th Century Fox)

War for the Planet of the Apes is definitely the most fable-like movie in the rebooted Apes trilogy, with its starkly defined war of good apes against evil humans. But it’s also the most character-driven story too. With War, it becomes clear that this trilogy has actually been the biography of one person, Caesar, who grew from humble origins as a lab animal to become one of Earth’s greatest heroes.

There is something cheesy yet stirringly genuine about the way War lionizes its main character, making him both noble and relatable. Partly this comes down to Andy Serkis, the world’s first truly brilliant mocap actor, who fills Caesar’s face with thoughtful, grim determination. But it’s also about a simple design choice, which was to make the uplifted apes’ eyes transform into human eyes. When the camera looks at Caesar, we can’t help but see the face of a person, despite the fur and thick brow ridges.

A fascinating character study

This is particularly important in War, where the humans and apes finally switch roles. One of the signature details in the original original series is that many humans in the far future have lost the ability to speak. Flung nearly 2,000 years into the future, astronaut Charlton Heston finds wild humans living like apes once did. In War, we see how this situation came about.

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Doctor Who review: Time tumbles out of control in The Doctor Falls

July 3rd, 2017

Enlarge (credit: Simon Ridgway/Ray Burmiston/BBC)

This is a post-UK broadcast review of Doctor Who: The Doctor Falls. River Song always warned the Doctor against spoilers, so be sure to watch the episode first. Doctor Who, season 10, airs on Saturdays at 6:30pm UK time on BBC One, and 9pm EDT on BBC America.

Bookends are a common theme in the final episode of season 10 of Doctor Who—the reading material in between places Missy and the Master in the same time stream, and the 12th Doctor and, tantalisingly, the first Doctor also collide in the final moments of The Doctor Falls.

And the seed was there from the very beginning of Steven Moffat’s swansong season at the helm of Doctor Who. “Never underestimate a crush,” the Doctor (Peter Capaldi) tells Bill (Pearl Mackie) in The Pilot, after he manages to see off the ever-advancing, drippy goth monster Heather (Stephanie Hyam). In The Doctor Falls, Heather returns to bring Bill back to life and mend her broken heart. All the while, Bill is oblivious to the fact the Time Lord is still alive, albeit fatally wounded.

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Read some seriously strange time travel stories from sci-fi’s modern masters

July 2nd, 2017

David Demaret

A flight from Tokyo to San Francisco jumps though time and lands 20 years in the future. That’s the short version of a writing prompt taken up by 22 of today’s most exciting science fiction writers, each of whom contributed stories about the flight’s temporally dislocated passengers to an anthology called Seat 14C. Now you can read the book for free online, and I guarantee you’ll be engrossed.

You’ll find original stories by Hugh Howey, Nancy Kress, Chen Qiufan, Bruce Sterling, Charles Yu, Charlie Jane Anders, Margaret Atwood, Madeline Ashby, Gregory Benford, Daniel Wilson, Eileen Gunn, and more. Each author interpreted the prompt in his or her own way, resulting in a fascinating selection of very different kinds of stories. Twenty-two incredible artists illustrated the stories, and we have a selection of their work in the gallery above. Some of these tales are about weird new technologies, some are about social changes, and others are about the tragedy of being marooned in an unknown future.

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New Star Trek series will abandon Gene Roddenberry’s cardinal rule

June 27th, 2017

Enlarge / Sonequa Martin-Green plays protagonist Michael Burnham, first officer of the U.S.S. Shenzhou, on new CBS All Access series Star Trek: Discovery. (credit: CBS)

Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry had a lot of strict rules for writers on his shows. Some, like the requirement that both female and male officers be called “sir,” were thrown out a while ago (Kate Mulgrew, who played Captain Kathryn Janeway, wanted to be called “ma’am”). Now, with forthcoming series Star Trek: Discovery, we’re about to see one of Roddenberry’s most cherished rules bite the dust.

When Roddenberry first framed his ideas for the Star Trek universe, he wanted to be sure that writers would emphasize the Utopian aspects of future life in the Federation. Some of that Utopianism was hardwired into the show’s basic premise, in which money, war, and racial discrimination are things of the distant past. But Roddenberry wasn’t satisfied with that—he wanted characters whose behavior was exemplary, too.

So he made a rule, which endured long after his death, that main characters were not allowed to mistreat each other or have conflicts that weren’t quickly resolved. Writers for the various series also weren’t allowed to show characters being malevolent or cruel. Of course, there were exceptions. Aliens or non-crew members could be as awful as the writers wanted, as could protagonists whose minds were being controlled by outside forces. (This helps explain why our heroes are always being possessed or hopping over to the Mirror Universe.)

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Coming out as a Slytherin

June 25th, 2017

Cecilia Tan is the award-winning fiction author of over 20 books and a co-writer of GEEK ACTUALLY, a fiction serial celebrating fandom, female friendship and sexuality, and the power of online spaces to connect communities. Her new series, The Vanished Chronicles, will launch in 2018 from Tor Books.

It’s Pride month, but I have a slightly different story of coming out to tell you. This is the story of how I became a Slytherin. More precisely, it’s about how I discovered I already was a Slytherin and how internalized Slytherphobia had me in denial until I found my people.

Going to my first Harry Potter convention was very much like going to my first Pride parade. I loved Harry Potter from the moment I read the very first book, but I didn’t fall headlong into the community of fandom until around 2005 when I started reading copious amounts of Harry Potter fanfic online.

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