Archive for the ‘film’ Category

Aquaman, Khal Drogo actor may play Duncan Idaho in new Dune film

February 15th, 2019
Jason Momoa hit the big time with his portrayal of Khal Drogo in HBO's <em>Game of Thrones</em> and had a global box office smash hit with <em>Aquaman</em>. Now he's set to play Duncan Idaho in new film adaptation of <em>Dune</em>.

Enlarge / Jason Momoa hit the big time with his portrayal of Khal Drogo in HBO's Game of Thrones and had a global box office smash hit with Aquaman. Now he's set to play Duncan Idaho in new film adaptation of Dune. (credit: HBO)

Deadline Hollywood reports that Aquaman star Jason Momoa—who immortalized Dothraki warlord Khal Drogo in the first season of Game of Thrones—is in negotiations to portray another science-fiction warrior, Duncan Idaho from Dune, Frank Herbert's beloved 1965 science fiction novel. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this new film adaptation is expected to begin shooting this year.

(Mild spoilers for original novel below.)

Dune is set in the distant future (where else?), and follows the fortunes of various noble houses in what amounts to a feudal interstellar society. Much of the action takes place on the planet Arrakis, where the economy is driven largely by a rare life-extending drug called melange ("the spice") that also conveys a kind of prescience. There's faster-than-light space travel, a prophecy concerning a messianic figure, giant sandworms, and lots of battles, as protagonist Paul Atreides (a duke's son) strives to defeat the forces of Shaddam IV, Emperor of the known universe.

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Elsa and the gang are back and in a dark place in first teaser for Frozen 2

February 13th, 2019

Idina Menzel and Kristen Bell return to voice Anna and Elsa, respectively, in first teaser trailer for Disney’s Frozen 2.

We awoke this morning to the first teaser trailer for Frozen 2, the sequel to Frozen, Disney's inventive 2013 re-imagining of Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale, "The Snow Queen." The original was such a blockbuster, it will be hard for any sequel to recreate that magic, but the new teaser certainly looks promising.

(Spoilers for original Frozen below.)

The first film told the story of two princesses of Arendelle. The elder, Elsa (Idina Menzel), has the power to control and create ice and snow, but she struggles to control it. When she accidentally injures her young sister Anna (Kristen Bell), local trolls heal Anna but caution that Elsa must learn to control her magic. In response, their parents lock them both away. When Elsa turns 21, she's crowned queen but a spat with Anna after the coronation reveals her magic. She's exiled from the kingdom, flees to the mountains, and builds a gorgeous castle of ice and snow in which to live out her days in isolation. But she doesn't realize Arendelle has also frozen over, endangering the people.

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Not even the bathtub is safe in new trailer for The Curse of La Llorona

February 12th, 2019

A ghostly presence targets two young children in new trailer for New Line Cinema’s The Curse of La Llorona.

Fresh off the blockbuster success of Aquaman, director James Wan has produced a upcoming film that returns to his horror roots. And judging by the latest trailer, The Curse of La Llorona will offer chills aplenty in the same spirit as his Conjuring and Insidious franchises.

The titular ghost La Llorona (which translates as "The Weeping Woman") is based on Latin American folklore; there are many variants, but the film seems to be based on the Mexican version. A beautiful young woman named Maria marries into a wealthy family, and because her new in-laws disapprove of the match, the newlyweds build a home in her rural village. She bears her man two sons, but he eventually abandons her for a younger woman. A distraught Maria drowns the boys in a blind rage and then drowns herself.

For this crime, she is barred from the afterlife. She is condemned to spend eternity looking for her lost sons, trapped between the worlds of the living and the dead. Her constant weeping is why she is called La Llorona, and legend has it that, if you her wailing, you will have bad fortune and possibly die. La Llorona also kidnaps children wandering alone at night, mistaking them for her dead sons, and she is said to drown those children, too, all while begging for forgiveness.

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Trailer for latest adaptation of Pet Sematary has some surprising twists

February 7th, 2019

Take it from the Creed family cat, Church: sometimes dead is better.

Stephen King published his bestselling novel, Pet Sematary, 35 years ago, and it has definitely stood the test of time. We think we know the story, but there will be some unexpected, horrifying twists in the new film adaptation, judging by the spooky latest trailer.

(Spoilers for original book and film below.)

Staunch King fans know the basic plot by now: a doctor named Louis Creed (Jason Clarke) moves his family from the big city (Chicago in the book, Boston in the 2019 film) to a charming small town in Maine. The new house is right by a busy highway on one side and bumps up against a forest in back. So many local pets meet their demise on the highway that the children have set up a "Pet Sematary" in the forest to bury their beloved animals. Louis' daughter Ellie (Jeté Laurence) discovers the site while walking in the woods.

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Check out the first footage from zombie black comedy Little Monsters

February 7th, 2019

Director Abe Forsythe talks about his new film Little Monsters, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival.

We've got our first look at footage from Little Monsters, Australian director Abe Forsythe's new black comedy that just debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. It's been described as Zombieland meets Kindergarten Cop, and based on this footage (courtesy of Sundance), we think it looks like a lot of good bloody fun.

This film should not be confused with the 1989 film of the same name (in which a young Fred Savage discovers a secret world of prankster monsters). Kindergarten teacher Miss Caroline (Lupita Nyong'o) takes her young charges on a school field trip to Pleasant Valley Farm. Tagging along as a chaperone is Dave (Alexander England), a failed musician whose nephew is in her class. Dave has a romantic interest in Miss Caroline and is chagrined to discover that he has a rival for her affections: a famous children's TV personality, Teddy McGiggle (Josh Gad), who also happens to be at the farm organizing all the planned activities.

But something has gone terribly wrong at a nearby military base, and a zombie outbreak turns the innocent excursion into a bloody fight for survival. Miss Caroline, Dave, and Teddy join forces to make sure the kids don't get eaten—and hopefully aren't traumatized for life by the sight of the ravenous undead.

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Replicas used game-development tools to bring its sci-fi world to life

February 6th, 2019
In <em>Replicas</em>, Keanu Reeves plays William Foster, a scientist attempting to transfer a human mind into an android.

Enlarge / In Replicas, Keanu Reeves plays William Foster, a scientist attempting to transfer a human mind into an android. (credit: Entertainment Studios)

The new science fiction film, Replicas, starring Keanu Reeves, achieved some pretty impressive visual effects, given its relatively modest $30 million budget. The secret: using a suite of game-development animation tools for modeling and motion capture. Replicas may have struggled at the box office, but it just might portend the future of filmmaking, creating a space where smaller projects have the ability to create cutting-edge special effects at a fraction of the cost typically paid by major studios.

The most popular industry tool for CGI rendering is Maya, a 3D computer graphics/computer modeling program that owes its popularity in part to the fact that it's designed to be open to third-party software. That means users can adapt the suite into their own customized versions. (Large movie studios in particular tend to write piles of custom code for their productions.) Maya offers a wide range of special tools to realistically emulate the dynamic properties of complicated things like steam, blowing leaves, tornadoes, hair, fur, smoke, clouds, explosions, and clothing and other fabrics—just about anything Hollywood can dream up.

But Maya is expensive and can quickly eat up a production budget just in the design and pre-visualization stages. A single four-minute pre-viz sequence can cost $350,000 or more. That's why Replicas executive producer James Dodson brought in a cheaper alternative for those early stages: iClone, a suite of animation software tools frequently used by game developers.

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New trailer for Avengers: End Game: The lights are on, but who’s home?

February 4th, 2019

Marvel dropped a second teaser trailer for Avengers: End Game just as Super Bowl LIII kicked off.

Just as Super Bowl LIII got underway, Marvel dropped a second teaser trailer for Avengers: End Game, the hotly anticipated follow-up to 2018's Infinity War. There's some new footage, but very few hints about what we can expect when the movie premiers this spring.

(Spoilers for Infinity War and Ant-Man and The Wasp below.)

In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos (an intergalactic supervillain from Titan) successfully collected all six Infinity Stones: the Power Stone, the Space Stone, the Time Stone, the Reality Stone, the Soul Stone, and the Mind Stone. Once collected and placed in the Infinity Gauntlet, they gave Thanos the power to wipe out half of all living beings in the universe. And despite the valiant collective efforts of pretty much every superhero in the Marvel cinematic universe, Thanos succeeds. With a single snap of his fingers, half of the universe dissolves into dust, including many of our beloved superheroes.

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Highbrow meets lowbrow in Netflix’s art world/horror mashup Velvet Buzzsaw

February 3rd, 2019
Reunited: former <em>Nightcrawler</em> co-stars Rene Russo and Jake Gyllenhaal play a manipulative art dealer and snobby art critic who become enthralled with a sinister stash of paintings by an obscure artist.

Enlarge / Reunited: former Nightcrawler co-stars Rene Russo and Jake Gyllenhaal play a manipulative art dealer and snobby art critic who become enthralled with a sinister stash of paintings by an obscure artist. (credit: Netflix)

An obscure artist dies and leaves behind a trove of strangely alluring paintings, becoming a posthumous success, in the Netflix original film Velvet Buzzsaw. It turns out to be literally art to die for.

(Some spoilers below.)

Rene Russo (Frigga in Thor) and Jake Gyllenhaal (Mysterio in the forthcoming Spiderman: Far From Home) co-starred in writer/director Dan Gilroy's 2014 thriller, Nightcrawler, a dark, disturbing tale that skewered the "if it bleeds, it leads" mentality of broadcast news. The triumvirate is back in top eccentric form with Velvet Buzzsaw, this time targeting the indulgent narcissism and greed of the Los Angeles contemporary art scene.

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Here’s the action-packed first trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum

January 17th, 2019

Keanu Reeves is on the run with his trusty canine companion in first trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum.

Everyone's favorite reluctant assassin is on the run with a $14 million bounty on his head, and few allies, in the action-packed first trailer for John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum.

(Spoilers for first two movies below.)

For those who missed the first two movies in the trilogy, John Wick (Keanu Reeves) is a legendary hitman (known as "Baba Yaga") who tried to retire when he fell in love and got married. Unfortunately, he's drawn back into the dark underground world by an act of senseless violence after her death. As Wick mourns Helen's passing, Iosef Tarasov, the son of a Russian crime syndicate, breaks in, kicks him unconscious, and steals his classic 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1. On top of all that, Tarasov kills the little dog, Daisy, that Helen gave to John to comfort him. From there, there's really no hope for Iosef. Nothing will stop John Wick from seeking retribution.

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The original Ghostbusters franchise is getting a new film in 2020

January 16th, 2019
Who ya gonna call? Three of the four original Ghostbusters: Bill Murray, the late Harold Ramis, and Dan Ackroyd.

Enlarge / Who ya gonna call? Three of the four original Ghostbusters: Bill Murray, the late Harold Ramis, and Dan Ackroyd. (credit: Columbia Pictures)

Fire up your proton packs, people, because there's going to be another Ghostbusters movie from Sony Pictures, according to Entertainment Weekly. Jason Reitman (Juno, Thank You For Smoking) will direct the new film, which will be set in the same fictional universe as the 1984 original and its sequel—unlike Paul Feige's 2016 all-female Ghostbusters.

Reitman is a fitting choice, seeing as how he's the son of Ivan Reitman, director of the 1980s films. You may have glimpsed Jason, his mother, and his sister in the original Ghostbusters, as residents fleeing their haunted skyscraper. Jason even had a line in the 1989 sequel: he was the birthday boy who told the 'Busters, "My dad says you guys are full of crap."

Reitman resisted following in his father's footsteps for years, but it seems he's finally succumbing to the call. “I’ve always thought of myself as the first Ghostbusters fan, when I was a 6-year-old visiting the set. I wanted to make a movie for all the other fans,” Reitman told EW. “This is the next chapter in the original franchise. It is not a reboot. What happened in the ‘80s happened in the ‘80s, and this is set in the present day.”

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