Category Archives: Movies

Star Wars Original Trailer

Istar-wars-poster saw this the other day on IO9 and thought I would share in case you missed it. This is the original Star Wars trailer that people back in the 70s would have seen in the cinema. It is massively different from what I suspect would be made today. I have never seen this before, although I did see all the Star Wars films in a cinema. Even the first one. Because I am old and full of the Force.

Surprisingly they didn’t even use John William’s brilliant score. Instead they chose to go a bit creepy and ominous. It is almost strange too think that the first people to see this would have no idea what the hell they viewing. Star Wars must have seemed damned odd. Here is the original Star Wars: A New Hope trailer:

 

Keloid Short Film

KELOID-Short-FilmThe trailer for Keloid came out a couple of years ago and it has taken what feels like near-forever to finally see this short completed. I was concerned that the robots might have actually risen by the time it came out.

If you like mechanoids shooting the crap out of each other in a cool non-transformers way then you will love Keloid. It’s goddam mecha-awesome quite frankly and should be made into a full length film NOW. As it is, it still feels like a trailer to a film I want to see (apparently that now looks to be on the cards). In my opinion, which is a weighty one, the director should just make the film of the brilliant Robopocalypse book. There is a scene of an interrogation in Keloid that reminded me of Robopocalypse (apologies if you haven’t read it – there may or may not be an interrogation scene).

I should warn you that it isn’t a short film in that it has a satisfying narrative arc. Keloid just shows a glimpse of what could be. It is also slightly confusing as to who is shooting at whom but that doesn’t matter when things look this nice. (Humans dress like Isaac Clarke, robots have gun shaped heads, and the are mannequins that erm… do stuff like talk and look creepy.)

Anyway, without further waffle, I give you Keloid. (By the way, be careful if you want to investigate Keloid more – it is also a skin disease as I found out to my own horror.)

Sizes of Scifi Spaceships

I’m not sure why I put “Scifi” in the title there. A comparison of our human space vehicles would be frankly pretty sad.

But I found this fantastic. If you are a science fiction fan you will know 70% or more of these ships. I’ve never been into Warhammer but their vessels look awesome. This has all given me a strange hankering to go and watch some early Lexx and the whole of Farscape all over again. I have provided a link as the image is colossal! Enjoy.

size_comparison___science_fiction_spaceships_by_dirkloechel-d6lfgdf.jpg

Thanks to http://dirkloechel.deviantart.com/art/Size-Comparison-Science-Fiction-spaceships-398790051 for this!

Ender’s Game – boycott or not?

Ender’s Game

The new trailer for Ender’s Game is here and it looks bloody epic and brilliant (see bottom of page if you can’t be bothered to read all that follows). Literally three people have asked me about whether I am going to boycott the film because the author of the original books is anti-gay. The answer is no, because that’s dumb. Neither the book nor the film (apparently) have any homophobic messages. The argument is that you will be putting money into Card’s pocket also holds true for all the other poor bastards who worked on the film who aren’t anti-anything. Statistically quite a lot of the people involved in Ender’s Game movie (and the publishing house) will be gay too. Generally, we media types are a liberal mixed bunch who are tolerant and thoroughly nice people. Except for Fox News obviously. Who cares about sexuality when looking at a film that doesn’t even raise the issue?

Also, do people vet everyone involved in every film? Do they boycott films based on books where the author turned out to be a bit racist decades ago? What if they were alive 100 years ago, were anti-semitic, wrote a book that had nothing to do with anti-semitism, then had a change of heart and were no longer anti-semitic. Do you boycott that? Huh? Did you ever read Tintin in the Congo and then boycott the new Tintin films for being a bit stereotypical and racist? Ian Fleming  was quite sexist. Heinlein could be a bit fascist. Arthur C. Clarke could (allegedly) be a bit pedo. Have you thrown out your copy of 2001? I think you would be hard pressed to find a movie that didn’t have a crew member with a slightly or even highly questionable opinions. But you would also be hard pressed to find a film crew that didn’t contain several members of the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) community who were simply trying to make a living in the movie business.

As long as the film/book doesn’t contain hateful messages then it’s ok. As long as a book/film isn’t funding a neo-nazi group or the KKK or the Catholic Church or something then I’m alright with it. A ridiculous amount of people are involved in making any film and they will be a mix of all sorts. I will still watch Mad Max 2 with glee even though Mad Mel will be getting some of the cash.

Quite a few high profile members of the gay community agree and are against the boycott of Ender’s Game. This is from the Independent:

‘Although the online campaign has gathered thousands of signatures, some high-profile LGBT figures have called the boycott “misguided”. Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for writing the biopic Milk based on gay rights activist Harvey Milk, said: “Boycotting a movie made by 99 per cent LGBT equality folks in an LGBT equality industry is a waste of our collective energy.”’ (http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/enders-game-faces-backlash-over-author-orson-scott-cardsantigay-views-8708373.html)

That’s my view anyway and I’m as tolerant as they come. This is about Science Fiction and storytelling and spaceships exploding. Plus, the trailer for Ender’s Game looks fucking awesome.

Dredd sequel

There isn’t really much to say about this except SIGN THE PETITION! Dredd was a great violent helmet-wearing genius of a movie and one that finally caught the mood of the comics. Although I saw Megacity 1 as being a bit more dense than in the film, everything else was brilliant. Now there may be a sequel. All you have to do is sign. Not quite sure how that all works exactly but I AM THE LAW! NOW SIGN! Also – SHARE!!

Click here to sign: http://2000adonline.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=a6e40236aa24d482cfff600d2&id=62906ebdcc

Look here to see a picture:

Dredd sequel

Sharknado

Among the many random ways I make a living, one of the more fun things I do is work freelance for the Syfy channel. Which is much as you would expect – there is lots of Star Trek Next Gen in HD (which is good),  but there are also films like The Human Centipede (which are mind destroyingly, eye gougingly awful).

Titanic 2 – look out for the iceberg! And the tsunami!

There are also films by people like The Asylum. The Asylum are a low budget film production company that have apparently never lost money. They make a variety of films that are nearly all the kind of cheesy horror / schlock nonsense that I have always enjoyed. They have no artistic merit, are poorly acted and scripted, and are always fun. They have made films that mimic Hollywood blockbusters like: Titanic 2 (spoiler: an iceberg in a tidal wave!), Snakes on a Train (guess what happens), The Day The Earth Stopped, and the more recent Atlantic Rim (see what they did?).

Mega Piranha

They have also done some monster flicks, which just seem to be getting better and better. I thought they had peaked with Mega Piranha, or Mega Python vs Gatoroid – which has Tiffany ‘I think we’re alone now’ in it, wrestling with Debbie Gibson just before they’re all attacked by giant beasties! Genuis.

Recently, however, they have been excelling themselves with what I like to call their ‘Shark Period’. Mega Shark fought a few memorable battles: first against Crocosaurus, then against Giant Octopus. Then, some evil mastermind fused them together and gave us the epic Sharktopus.

Two Headed Shark Attack

A particular favourite of mine, until now, was the awesome Two Headed Shark Attack. Carmen Electra in a bikini takes a load of teenagers, also mostly in bikinis, to a remote island. Where they are picked off, two by two, by a mutant two headed shark. Sometimes while topless. Fuck it, here’s a trailer:

SHARKNADO

But now all things seem to have a spectacular shark-filled climax. Their films usually have people you have vaguely seen before and this time it’s thingy and whatsit from the original Beverly Hills 90210 facing massive peril. The premise is this: a massive tornado hits a town and IT’S FULL OF SHARKS!

I know, you are probably reeling from the sheer inventiveness of their ideas but take a deep breath and stay calm. Because there is a trailer and it’s fucking awesome. These Asylum films aren’t for everyone but if you liked old school B/cult movies you might find these fun. I do. Without further ado, I give you SHARKNADO!

Star Trek Into Darkness review

Star Trek Into Darkness

I saw Star Trek Into Darkness the other day (at bloody last) and loved it. If I get a day off, I might go and see it again.

First off, the plot. I won’t go into this too much in case you haven’t seen it. Basically, there is a terrorist afoot and he blows up a small chunk of London when he attacks a Starfleet installation. The terrorist is English (as our accent sounds the most evil and intelligent) and used to be a Starfleet agent. This pisses Kirk off and he asks to pursue the bad guy. That’s as much as I can say.

The movie opens on what feels like an incredibly exciting episode of Star Trek. Frankly, Star Trek Into Darkness could have just consisted of the crew going from one mini adventure to the next and I would have been happy. This sequence gives you a bit of characterisation and a bit of insight into how they now function as a crew. It mostly feels like a mini Trek intro movie like you get with a James Bond film. Exciting as hell but with a tenuous link to the main plot. Then the main movie kicks in and things get more epic.

The set action pieces are spectacular and the 3D is done well. Some people have complained that perhaps they go on a bit too long but I guess that is a matter of taste. And also a matter them being wrong. The action was awesome.

It is the characters and dialogue that really shine. Not only are the dynamics between the characters further established and believable, they are also intelligent and funny. The whole Kirk/Spock thing is the main focus but Sulu, Uhura, Bones and Scotty are great in their supporting roles. Especially the latter two, who get a bit more screen time in this one. Particular praise has to go to Cumberbatch though, who is just superb. He is menacing and intelligent and hard as nails. The acting is a real highpoint in this movie.

Cumberbatch looking menacing

The vast majority of Star Trek Into Darkness reviews, like this one, have been massively positive. Most of the criticism has to do with lens flare effects or minor plot holes (most of which are incorrect and deal with accents or skin colour or how spaceships in the future work or other pointless bollocks). Abrams has taken an established bad guy and let it play out completely differently (with some great mirroring to the original unmentioned film/episode). Some have complained that is misses out on the thoughtful exploratory scifi that played a bigger role in the TV series. They have a point I suppose, but all Trek movies are on a bigger scale with more effects. That’s the point of them. Otherwise it is just a long episode in the cinema, which some of the later Next Gen films felt like.

I think Star Trek Into Darkness is bloody superb. It is fun, exciting and should please Trekkies (like me) and non-Trekkies alike (my wife loved it – although she has a thing for intelligent, sophisticated Englishmen). I think this ‘enjoyment by most people’ was the point. And it succeeds. Highly recommended.

In case you are undecided, here’s a trailer:

 

 

 

Ender’s Game movie trailer

Ender’s Game

Well, it seems to be happening and, like many of my friends, I’m a bit anxious. On the one hand, the Ender’s Game book by Orson Scott Card was incredible and I am fed up with being disappointed by movie adaptations which don’t do justification to their source material. On the other hand, sometimes the movies are good and this trailer looks frackin’ awesome!
http://youtu.be/vP0cUBi4hwE