Sci-Fi Films

The Forever War Cover

After making a real stinker with Robin Hood, veteran director Ridley Scott seemed to get some of his mojo back by revisiting his Alien roots with his most recent film, Prometheus. Script problems aside, that movie had quite a bit going for it, not the least of which were a couple strong performances and a load of jaw-dropping visuals. So why not try to keep a good thing going by sticking to the sci-fi genre? To that end, Fox 2000 has optioned a classic sci-fi novel for the director to bring to the big screen. According to Deadline, the studio has hired Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters scribe Dante Harper to adapt Joe Haldeman’s Nebula- and Hugo-winning 1974 novel “The Forever War.” Scott himself describes the book as being, “a science-fiction epic, a bit of ‘The Odyssey’ by way of Blade Runner, built on a brilliant, disorienting premise.”

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One of the biggest complaints people had coming out of Ridley Scott’s epic in scope sci-fi spectacle Prometheus was that it raised more questions than it answered. Well, today brings good news for those of you looking for closure. It turns out Scott knew what he was doing all along: he raised a bunch of questions about the origins of humanity, got us on the hook for wanting answers, and now he’s going to sell us all tickets to a sequel. Pretty clever, movie industry. Confirmation of a Prometheus 2 comes from THR, who have published a comprehensive look at which of the big movies from this summer are likely to spawn sequels. In addition to the Prometheus confirmation, they reveal that movies like Ted, Magic Mike, American Reunion, and Snow White and the Huntsman are all likely to be given follow-ups as well.

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When director Joseph Kosinski revived Disney’s sci-fi classic TRON with the belated but visually dazzling 2010 sequel TRON: Legacy, the results were a mixed bag to say the least. One thing that pretty much everyone could agree upon when it came to that film, however, is that the score by French electronic group Daft Punk was the best thing it had going for it. Eschewing a traditional film score in favor of the pulsing, electronic sounds of Daft Punk worked wonders when it came to bringing the world of TRON to life and really making it hum, and it’s not hard to imagine that the film could have been far less effective without such a perfect marriage of image and sound. TRON: Legacy isn’t the only film that’s gone the nontraditional route when it comes to finding its music in recent years, either. From Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood scoring Paul Thomas Anderson movies, to Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor scoring David Fincher films, to The Chemical Brothers providing the music for Joe Wright’s Hanna, bringing a mainstream musician in to score your film instead of hiring one of the well-established film score composers seems to have become a full-scale trend, and a trend that has so far provided us with some amazing music. Since it worked for him once, Kosinski is looking to go back to that well for his next sci-fi adventure, Oblivion. The Playlist reports that in order to find the musical accompaniment for this Tom Cruise-starring tale of […]

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In Your Eyes

If you just go by the plot synopsis and cast list, In Your Eyes sounds like an indie sci-fi romance that might be good, might be bad, but will probably come and go without getting much fanfare. But when you look at the writing credits, suddenly it looks like a film that’s probably going to get a lot of attention. This one is coming from a script by Joss Whedon, a man who’s not only already a genre deity, but who is also poised to direct a film that’s likely to break a bunch of records and dominate the cultural milieu come this summer, The Avengers. Yeah, it’s only a matter of time before Whedon becomes a big damn deal, so chances are this movie will be getting a lot more attention than it would have otherwise. This info all comes from an article posted by Deadline Canton, who also have the scoop that Michael Stahl-David and Zoe Kazan have been cast as the romantic leads. Stahl-David will be playing Dylan, a guy who just finished serving time in jail in New Mexico because he took the fall for a robbery when he wouldn’t rat out the rest of his partners. Kazan will play Rebecca, the now-standard Whedon character of the attractive girl who’s also a little skinny and awkward. She’s married to an older doctor and living in Connecticut.

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The first glimpse we got of Peter Berg’s upcoming board game adaptation (it hurts me somewhere deep to have to type those words) played a little coy with us, and at first made it look like the film would be sticking to the Battleship board game’s naval battle roots. Once a spaceship popped up and the whole thing turned into an alien invasion movie, it was kind of a surprise. This second look at Battleship, however, doesn’t bother to take any time tying this movie to the board game at all. It’s all alien invasion from beginning to end. And with a color palette very reminiscent of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, a bunch of elaborately techno ships and weapons that look like they’re right out of Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, sound effects that seem to be ripped from Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, and a big ol’ headline that says this movie is from the company that brought you Michael Bay’s Transformers movies, I think it’s safe to say that Universal is aiming this thing less at fans of grid based strategy games and more at fans of Michael Bay’s big, dumb Transformers movies. It leaves me with a question: if this movie isn’t going to have anything to do with naval battles at all, why even attach it to the Battleship name? Why not just admit what you’re doing and call it Gobots? Check out the new trailer below.

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I’ve seen reports calling M. Night Shyamalan’s upcoming post-apocalyptic, sci-fi adventure by conflicting names. There are those referring to it as 1000 A.E. like the Heat Vision article I’ve sourced for this news, and there are those who have been referring to it simply as After Earth, which seems to come from a tweet the director made referring to the movie as such. Whatever it’s going to end up being officially called, the new Shyamalan joint will star Will and Jaden Smith as a futuristic father/son duo who live in a time when man is no longer inhabiting the Earth, probably because it’s been completely overtaken by massive electric car junkyards. Will’s character is seen as a great hero, but Jaden’s is viewed as a disappointment because he’s not a great warrior. This is an unfortunate set-up, because when the duo crash lands on Earth it suddenly becomes the job of the son to save the father. And then, you know, joke about what the twist is going to be…yadda yadda.

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Recently, we’ve been reporting on rumors that strange but awesome actor Benicio Del Toro was being pursued by J.J. Abrams to play the villain in the upcoming sequel to his Star Trek reboot. Those rumors were coming from multiple sources and seemed to be completely legit. Alongside that, we’ve also been completely irresponsibly speculating that the villain Del Toro was being asked to play was Khan, the genetically engineered tyrant who served as the crew’s nemesis in the previous film, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. This was based on nothing other than Del Toro’s general swarthiness and how great he would be at stepping into the scantily clad shoes of Ricardo Montalban, and wasn’t meant to be taken seriously. Today, however, there is news on both of these fronts. Vulture is reporting that the deal with Del Toro is dead. Reportedly, as of last Wednesday, both sides decided that they couldn’t agree on money and parted ways. So, given that shooting for the film is scheduled to start in January, that gives Abrams a window of only a few weeks to find someone else to step into the role. A role that there is new news about. In the same Vulture article, they are claiming that they have heard from “highly placed sources” that despite Abrams’s comments to the contrary, the villain for this new Trek is indeed going to be Khan Noonien Singh. Speculation is that when Abrams told Hitfix that it was “not true” that Del […]

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Back in the late 90s, expert director of schlock Paul Verhoeven took a stab at adapting one of legendary sci-fi novelist Robert Heinlein’s most popular stories, “Starship Troopers”, and the results were something that resembled Heinlein’s far-looking, satirical tale less than it did a B-level genre piece that was far more…well, schlocky. Starship Troopers was all about bad acting, big explosions, disgusting amounts of bug goop, and exploitative co-ed naked shower scenes. It may not have been an adaptation with a tone that was true to its source material, but it had its own kind of charm, you know? And since it was just made in the 90s, and it’s got special effects that actually hold up pretty well, you wouldn’t think there would be any need to revisit the material again. But you would be wrong. Or at least producer Neal Moritz thinks you’re wrong. You may have heard Moritz’s name before, he’s the Sony Pictures bigwig responsible for another recent remake; the upcoming and Colin Farrell-starring Total Recall. The similarities between these two projects are endless. The original Total Recall was also a Paul Verhoeven movie, it was also (very loosely) adapted from a story by a legendary science fiction writer (Philip K. Dick), and it was also something that nobody really thought needed to be remade. That film hasn’t hit theaters yet or anything, but Moritz must be really happy with what he’s seen of it, because with this new take on Starship Troopers he’s pretty clearly […]

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For those not in the know, “Ender’s Game” is a 1985 science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card that has, over the last few decades, grown pretty mightily in acclaim. Despite not being all that old, science fiction fans often rank it right up there with the classics of the genre. So it’s kind of weird that it’s taken so long to get a film version off the ground. Nevertheless, with X-Men Origins: Wolverine director Gavin Hood set to helm and Hugo’s Asa Butterfield set to star, it’s finally here. And now that the tough picks are out of the way, it’s time to start filling out the rest of the cast. The bulk of this novel concerns its gifted young protagonist Ender and his experiences attending a government school for elite soldiers. You see, we’re in an intergalactic war with a relentless species of aliens that we call Buggers, and it’s getting down to the wire when it comes to the existence of the human race. The fate of our species is resting pretty firmly on the shoulders of young Ender (Butterfield), but how is he supposed to grow up as the ultimate military commander when he can barely even make it through basic things like anti-gravity training, learning to shoot, and dealing with school bullies? One way is by becoming friends with Petra Arkanian, a tough young girl who takes Ender under her wing and drags him through those first through semesters of warrior school kicking and screaming. […]

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A story has been making the rounds today that Tom Cruise is more than likely set to star in director Doug Liman’s next venture, a sci-fi film called All You Need is Kill. Variety says that the star has been courted for the role for a while and seems to be poised to take it, while Inside Movies claims that the deed has already been done and the papers are all signed up, so no matter who you believe, it’s looking like this will be a project coming, at least eventually, to a theater near you. All You Need is Kill is set to be adapted from a graphic novel of the same name by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, and the story sees Cruise’s character caught in a Groundhog Day-type time loop where he lives the same day over and over again, but with a slight twist. Okay, maybe not so slight, the twist is that the day he’s living over and over again is one where he’s battling space aliens for the very survival of the planet. Every day he goes to battle, every day he dies, and every morning he wakes up anew. Until the 158th time he gives it a go, and he meets a character called (at least in the comic) The Bitch of War, who changes everything. Sounds crazy.

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There’s some action going on over at J.J. Abrams’ super secret lair where he makes all of his super secret movies, and Variety has the scoop. Apparently his upcoming Star Trek sequel calls for even more attractive young actors than his original go around with the franchise did, because he’s been testing actresses like Theresa Palmer, Hayley Atwell, and Alice Eve to play a character new to Star Trek canon. And after all the tests were tested and the deliberations were deliberated, it’s looking like Eve is the first choice of Abrams and crew to become the newest member of the Star Trek universe. She hasn’t officially signed yet, but sources expect it to happen soon. Eve is kind of a wild card casting in my eyes. Mostly she’s done a bunch of TV series and the Sex and the City sequel, so I don’t have much of a basis to form an opinion on her as an actress. I did see her starring turn in She’s Out of My League though, and I remember that not only was I presently surprised by how palatable that film was as a whole, but I kind of walked out of the theater having a crush on Eve as well. She’s pretty and charming, so high five Star Trek 2!

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-


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