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Alien Sequel photo
Alien Sequel

Alien: Covenant sequel to film within 14 months

Game over, man. Game over.
May 10
// Matthew Razak
If the reviews are to be believed, and they should be because we wrote it, Alien: Covenant is not a good movie, and is definitely not the space horror film you thought you were getting. However, that probably won't stop ...
Blade Runner photo
Blade Runner

First full trailer for Blade Runner 2049 brings us back to the future

I've done questionable things.
May 08
// Matthew Razak
The first full trailer for Blade Runner 2049 has finally landed giving us the best look yet at what the Ridley Scott produce, Denis Villeneuve directed film has on store... and I can't say I'm all the enticed. To be fair...

Review: Alien: Covenant

May 06 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]221515:43550:0[/embed] Alien: CovenantDirector: Ridley ScottRelease Date: May 18, 2017Rating: R  Coming from Covenant’s marketing campaign, you might be surprised by the first name in its opening credits: Michael Fassbender. And right off the bat we know that something is wrong, because in the trailer that was pretty cool for two minutes (before being very, very stupid right at the end), you see Fassbender… twice? We’ve been led to believe that Katherine Waterson is our protagonist, and yet we don’t begin the film with her (rather with Fassbender’s David character, from Prometheus). And then we go to Fassbender’s other character, an android named Walter. We aren’t introduced to the cast until after the first exciting thing happens: A solar event damages the ship and forces the crew members from their cryosleep. In the chaos that ensues, we finally meet our Ripley. And it just goes downhill from there. The first thing you see Daniels – the Strong Independent Woman who is going to take down the xenomorph at the end (one would assume) – do is fail to get out of her sleeping pod. You see some guys get out, then they help her. And then her husband, played perplexingly for less than two minutes by James Franco, can’t get out… but no one can get him out either and he burns up in his pod. And then we’re treated to our Strong Independent Woman being sad about her dead husband while watching a video he left her on a tablet. Ugh. But Daniels doesn’t take over; she’s second in command to Billy Krudup’s character, who is sad that no one respects him and thinks it is because he is a man of faith (there is no evidence to support this). Their ship is transporting a couple thousand colonists to their new home, but after the solar incident and the death of their captain, everyone is a little iffy about getting back into their cryogenic pods – especially since Walter tells them there is a not-insignificant chance that this kind of thing could happen again. Conveniently (or not), they receive a distress beacon from a nearby planet that falls perfectly within the habitable zone. It’s weeks away rather than years, so Krudup decides they should go check it out. When hell breaks loose however many minutes later, I found myself thinking not about what I was seeing but about my complete lack of reaction to it. Technically, there’s some good stuff here. There are some genuinely great shots, and the production design in general is very cool. But functionally there’s nothing. You know what emotion you’re supposed to feel because you have an understanding of cinematic language. The music swells, the camera gets shaky, and the editing gets jumping; oh, something tense is going on. But I don’t feel any tension. And then I’m watching Amy Seimetz fire on a baby xenomorph and thinking about why this doesn’t work for me. Even the body horror stuff that sort of worked didn’t really work. [embed]221515:43549:0[/embed] The Chestburster in the original Alien was a genuinely shocking moment. It’s probably one of cinema’s most iconic images, and works on pretty much every level. Alien: Covenant knows that a xenomorph bursting from a chest isn’t good enough anymore, so it has a few much more disturbing ways to birth aliens from a human body. And they’re definitely disgusting, getting the grossed-out reaction from the crowd that they were going for, but the intensity of the violence doesn’t actually serve the plot in any meaningful way. It’s just horrific imagery for the sake of it, there to shock the audience more than the characters in the film. You may appreciate the inventiveness for a moment, but then you have to deal with the CGI xenomorphs that come out and all the gorgeous practical effects that lead up to it can’t stop you from groaning. Or laughing. The audience laughed a lot. They actually clapped a couple of times, usually after the Xenomorph had killed someone in a particularly vicious way. I wondered about that: Why? Was it because the characters were so boring that everyone was just glad they were dead? I mean, I had already forgotten several of the characters by the time the credits rolled, only remembering once I rewatched the trailer just to make sure that it was, in fact, selling the same product that I had just witnessed. The crew on the Covenant probably had names, but I only remember two of them: Daniels and Tennessee. (There is also Walter, but we’ll get to that later.) Tennessee is played by Danny McBride, and he’s got a fairly unpleasant personality, but he’s the only one who actually has personality at all. The characters are largely expendable, and the script seems well aware of that, because it makes no attempt to develop anyone who dies early and only a marginal effort to develop the ones who make it to the third act. The four-plus-minute scene that I mentioned earlier, a slice of which is featured in that trailer, is important because it’s not actually in the movie. Like, at all. And it’s interesting because watching that clip after seeing the film, I saw more character development for some of those people than in the entire two hours of nonsense I sat through. I would assume that it was originally supposed to be part of the film; it seems odd that it wouldn’t be, and it’s the only time James Franco says things while alive. It actually feels like it’s from a completely different movie. They talk about the crew members, but make no reference to all of the other (sleeping) colonists on the ship. Watching that, I would never have known that they weren’t the sole bodies aboard the Covenant. And sure, it makes only marginally less sense than the stuff the characters actually do say, but it leads me to wonder what place it was supposed to serve… and what the movie was supposed to look like. Because I don’t believe for a second that Alien: Covenant is the movie that it was supposed to be. Clearly it’s not the movie that Fox’s marketing department wanted it to be, but I have trouble believing it’s the movie Ridley Scott was trying to make. Then again, I don’t have any idea what movie he was trying to make, because there’s no consistency of any sort. Really, it feels like the movie is fucking with you sometimes. Nowhere is this clearer than the truly bizarre sequences like the one where Michael Fassbender as David (who just-so-happens to be on this planet) is showing Michael Fassbender as Walter how to play the recorder. The camera swings back and forth in a long take as one Fassbender tells the other about “fingering holes,” something that happens for several straight minutes. That sequence is probably as long as the character-building clip I mentioned that didn’t make it into the film… yet somehow the innuendo-filled recorder scene is important? At first, I was convinced that David was going to kill Walter and take over his place at this point, maybe force the recorder through Walter’s throat, but no: He literally just shows him how to play the recorder. It’s just two Michael Fassbenders, like Ridley Scott finally figured out the facial technology that David Fincher has been using for years and wanted to show it off. Look, Fassbender is one of my favorite actors, and if they want to have scenes of just him talking to himself, that’s fine… but this is just stupid. As with most scenes David is in, there seems to be an attempt at philosophy. As I mentioned, Fassbender is the protagonist, both as David and Walter. They’re two very different models of the same Android, and the underlying logic behind their creation could lead to some interesting discussions. There are hints of that, and other things. David talks (constantly) about creation and perfection and humanity and love, but these proclamations aren’t part of a dialogue. It’s like listening to a college freshman who read “Ozymandias” for the first time and has now figured out the meaning of life and really, really wants to tell you about how cool he is. He says vapid things in vain attempts at profundity, and it’s just sad. It’s theoretically an extension of the ideas raised in Prometheus (particularly with regards to creation), but it’s ultimately nothing at all. And that’s Alien: Covenant as a whole. It’s nothing. By the time this review is published, I will likely have forgotten everything about it, except for the feelings it left me with. I wanted it to be good; I wanted that oh-so badly. I wanted Ridley Scott to prove he still had it. But Covenant proves that he does not. This is Scott giving up on his most famous franchise. This is me giving up on him.
Alien: Covenant Review photo
Fool Me Twice
As reviled as it is (justifiably or not), Prometheus deserves a little pass for being unlike its Alien siblings in large part because of its branding. It may be in the same canon, but it’s not pretending to be an Alien ...

Aliens photo

Neill Blomkamp's Alien 5 isn't happening says Ridley Scott

Scott: Get away from her, you bitch
May 01
// Matthew Razak
After Prometheus landed and everyone was kind of confused about everything and just wanted another Alien movie it looked like Neill Blomkamp might sail in to the rescue. The director had some ideas that he threw out...


New Alien Covenant Trailer Indistinguishable from Old Alien Trailers

Mar 01
// Rick Lash
The latest trailer for the latest Alien feature, the third to be directed by Ridley Scott, shows us more of what is to come in the second Alien prequel (this will be the sixth film in the series, and the eight to feature the ...
Alien: Covenant photo
Alien: Covenant

Alien: Covenant gets a prologue with food and drinking

These people will die
Feb 23
// Matthew Razak
Yesterday we got our first good look at the crew of Alien: Covenant and today we have a bit of a prologue to the film that's been released. "Prologue: Last Supper" doesn't really tell us much, but it has fun playing with...
Alien: Covenant photo
Alien: Covenant

New image for Alien: Covenant teases new trailer

Most of these people will die
Feb 21
// Matthew Razak
When the first trailer for Alien: Covenant landed I was pretty excited as it looked like a true return to from for the series after the oddness of Prometheus. I mean just check out this new picture; it's basically a smal...
Alien: Covenant photo
Uh...Merry Christmas?
If you can spare a few minutes away from your family today, you should check out the first Red Band trailer for Alien: Covenant. Ridley Scott's Prometheus wasn't received too well, so it looks like Scott wants to rectify that...

Ridley Scott/The Prisoner photo
Ridley Scott/The Prisoner

Ridley Scott wants to adapt The Prisoner for the big screen

Plus Hubert's preferred episode order
Jan 11
// Hubert Vigilla
Originally aired in 1967 and 1968, The Prisoner is one of the best TV shows of all time. Many directors have tried to bring it to the big screen, including Simon West and Christopher Nolan, and the show had a poorly received ...

Review: The Martian

Oct 02 // Matthew Razak
[embed]219989:42650:0[/embed] The MartianDirector: Ridley ScottRated: PG-13Release Date: October 2, 2015  Despite what you might think from the title The Martian does not have any actual aliens in it. This isn't John Carter. This is science fiction at its most sciencey and its least fictiony. On what is now a relatively routine trip to study mars Mark Watney is left behind by the rest of his crew during an evacuation. The Martian is about his survival. It's also about his rescue. The crew, consisting of Captain Lewis (Jessica Chastain), Rick Martinez (Michael Peña), Beth Johanssen (Kate Mara), Chris Beck (Sebastian Stan) and Alex Vogel (Aksel Hennie), are on a months long trip back to earth thinking he's dead. Meanwhile NASA, led by director Teddy Sanders (Jeff Daniels) and Mars lead Vincent Kapoor (Chiwetel Ejiofor) struggle to find a way to save Watney. If you've read the book you probably already recognize that Damon is the perfect casting for the wisecracking Mark Watney. The character might be one of the most likableprotagonists ever. Damon brings a layered performance to the stranded astronaut that not only captures the charm of the character from the book, but adds an extra layer of fear and anger that is sometimes missing from the prose. He turns the Watney of the page into an actual person and it is a powerful performance. The rest of the cast keeps pace, though they obviously don't take up as much screen time. Especially surprising is Daniels' performance, which takes an all out heel from the book and makes him far more relatable. There are other changes from the book. For the sake of time and the elimination of hours worth of exposition dialog the science has definitely been dumbed down a bit. More importantly, though, our time with Watney is far less. Since it's a film with less time the NASA parts are brought in earlier and we get less Watney on Mars action. It's a elimination that had to be made, especially to fit in the movie's stunning ending, but it means less Watney. That's actually a testament to just how well the movie plays. If you're sitting in your seat wishing it could have been an hour longer just so you could watch Matt Damon drive around what is basically a big red desert then a film has done something right.  In all honesty the subtraction of more Watney time makes the film work better. Drew Goddard shaped this film into a finely honed screenplay that retains the humor and passion of the book. It jumps back and forth perfectly between Mars and Earth. Tension is derived not from big action sequences (except the aforementioned thrilling conclusion), but instead human interaction and tiny drams. There's a great fluidity to the film that somehow helps contrast the wonder of Mars with the doldrums of Earth. Looking at this movie you can't help but want to strap on a suit and launch into space to explore whatever is out there because it's going to be amazing. Mars is vibrant red, stunningly beautiful and engrossingly alive despite not hosting any actual life. Earth by contrast is dull, full of cramped office space and dreary colors. The film is a visual explanation of humanity's love for exploring even if there was no sound. This may be Ridley Scotts best film since Gladiator and it's definitely his best science fiction since Blade Runner. Prometheus was Scott trying to be philosophical, but The Martian is him getting back to his grounded roots and that's what he's good at. At the intersection of science fiction and thrillers is where Scott hits his sweet spot and it's very evident with this film. He's a master of building tension, especially when isolation is involved. And yet, The Martian is drastically different from his previous science fiction movies. It is both humorous and hopeful. Space is still out to get us, but it's not something to run away from, but a challenge to be conquered. Maybe this is why it is just so awe inspiring. Years of Scott's pent up love for all things outer space seem to flow out onto the screen in this film. There has never been and may never be a better advertisement for NASA or a better explanation of why it's so important for us to explore. Sometimes we need a little great science fiction to know just what reality can be. 
Martian Review photo
Un-sciencing the sh*t out of this
If you haven't read The Martian you should because it's better than whatever you're reading now (most likely). It's one of the most enthralling pieces of science fiction to come along in ages and it's an incredibly quick...

Prometheus 2 photo
Prometheus 2

Prometheus sequel gets new, Alien friendly title

Sep 25
// Nick Valdez
Despite the two hour confusing slog it was, Prometheus was divisive here at Flixist. We even pulled in Jim Sterling at one point to talk about it because it was so crazy. I'm sure Ridley Scott was interested in pursuing a seq...

Ridley Scott is still making Prometheus 2 for some reason

Director says it will be his next movie
Aug 28
// Matt Liparota, remember Prometheus? That modern classic sci-fi film that set the world on fire and had clamoring fans eager for a sequel the second they left the theater? No?'re getting a Prometheus sequel anyway. In a...

New trailer for The Martian is pretty spoilery

You didn't want to see the movie anyway
Aug 24
// Matt Liparota
Are you excited to check out Ridley Scott's The Martian? If so, it might not be a terrible idea to pass on the newest trailer for the adaptation of Andy Weir's hit novel, due out in October. In short, the new trailer isn't pl...
The Martian Trailer photo
There was supposed to be a kaboom.
Although Ridley Scott has had a few misses lately, his adaptation of Andy Weir's The Martian might shape up to be quite a film. It's got a great cast with Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mar...

Not Marvin photo
Not Marvin

Plenty of first looks at Ridley Scott's The Martian

A return to space-faring form?
May 26
// Matthew Razak
The novel The Martian is still in my must read pile, but it's supposed to be a fantastic and science-based tale of space survival, which is basically Ridley Scott's wheelhouse, so the adaptation is basically made for the...

6 things we want from Neill Blomkamp's Alien project

Feb 24 // Per Morten Mjolkeraaen
Remember the story... While some (okay, most) dislike Alien 3 and Resurrection, and would have them burned in a fiery lava pit if possible, I say, "Damn you! Let them be canon!".  We still don't know what Blomkamp has planned for his movie, but it's become a popular theory that he'll take some liberties with the story, say, "forgetting" the existence of the last two movies. I beg to differ; I hope to see him remember them. Not only because this is one of my all time favorite franchise (I like Alien 3 better than Aliens), but also because it's too easy to simply erase them from the timeline. It will, without a doubt, be difficult to make a decent story kicking off where Resurrection left it, but should Blomkamp rise to the challenge, I believe he can make a truly memorable movie. I have no idea how, or in which direction I want the story to go. All I know is I don't want to see Alien 3 and Resurrection be forgotten in the dust.  It's a vast universe, and they have tons upon tons of things to work with. To forgo two movies out of four, is to forgo a lot of this.  But don't necessarily cling to it It's a science-fiction universe, and I think most people can find it in themselves to forgive certain backpedals in the story. Should Michael Biehn return as Dwayne Hicks, a death has to be altered, but movies do this all the time, with variable results. Sure, it's an incredibly cheap way to force pathos into a movie, but it's been thirty years since we all cried over Hicks's death, I think we can find it in ourselves to accept his resurrection.  I'm conflicted when it comes to clone-Ripley, as she couldn't carry the torch in Resurrection at all. Also, do clones age? Sigourney Weaver is still talented and beautiful, but there's no way around the fact that she's not as young as she was thirty years ago. We'll be seeing something like that next year when Twin Peaks returns for a third season. I just hope Blomkamp wants, and is allowed, to take a few liberties, because there's so many crazy things to keep in mind with the timeline that it would probably be impossible to stay completely true to the fiction. Alien, not Aliens One of the reasons I love the Alien franchise is the fact that every movie feels different. Ridley Scott's Alien is pure horror. James Cameron's Aliens is pure action. David Fincher's Alien 3 is pure pseudo-philosophical mumbo-umbo, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet's Alien: Resurrection is pure, unadulterated hilarity. I hope Neill Blomkamp's Alien X will continue this pattern and be something unique. Still, I'd prefer it be more in line Scott's original horror masterpiece.  Yolandi Vi$$er is hot stuff  Chappie is out in theatres around the world in just a few weeks, and it's not the political commentary (an oppressive mechanical police force) nor the Hollywood faces (Huge Jackman and Dave Patel) that interest me the most; it's Die Antwoord's Yolandi and Ninja. Two of the most unique and zef people around today. As they play Chappie's surrogate parents in this movie, it's impossible to shy away from the possibilities of seeing Yolandi as the new bad-ass female character in the Alien franchise.  As much as I love Bill Paxton and Michael Biehn, it's Ellen Ripley, Vasquez, Newt and of course, the Xenomorph Queen I remember the best. The Alien movies, even Prometheus to some extent, are brilliant when it comes to female characters, and I can't even imagine how cool it could be to see Die Antwoord's frontwoman side by side with Sigourney Weaver. The possibilities are endless, as she could play a totally new character, or even... a grown up Newt (!!). Again, timelines and logic aside, it could be incredible.  Keep it simple  Blomkamp's movies are grandiose, both in terms of narrative and aesthetics. They tell countless tales within their narrative, and it seems he is unable to do it otherwise. The Alien movies are the opposite; they are incredibly simple, especially the first two. Sure, Aliens is bigger in scale, but the story is kept simple; A group of people go to another planet - this group of people try to survive.  It's safe to assume there'll be a lot of sociological and political commentary in the movie, but hopefully he'll dial it back. While I loved the geopolitical commentary in District 9, Elysium suffers from overemphasis, as it seemingly tries to make a comment on every injustice in the world. That will not work in a alien movie, because... ... It's all about the alien We can love Ellen Ripley and every other character from the franchise as much as we want, but in the end, it all comes down to the alien. The xenomorph. The monster-creature from hell. It's the star of the franchise, whether it's silently creeping down a desolated hallway to kill a oblivious victim, or running in a pack, headfirst through turret fire in an attempt to massacre our beloved space marines. It is THE movie monster we all know and remember.  It's also very different from movie to movie. The special effects in Alien 3 may be the worst in the series, but I still love the design of the alien. Less humanoid, the feline-like xenomorph differentiated from the ones we saw in the first two movies, but was equally bad-ass and efficient when it came to slaughter. The final scene in Prometheus is the best in the entire movie - and I like it as a whole - because a new, Xenomorph-like creature, a Deacon, bursts from the chest of an engineer.  Blomkamp's previous movies underlines the fact that he understands special effects and creature design perfectly. The prawns in District 9 were impossible to dislike. They inhabited the frame and their environments, and thus became real. Could Blomkamp translate this to a xenomorph? I'm sure - in fact, I'll do as Matt joked in our Kickstarter article, I'll actually eat a shoe if the xenomorph doesn't look incredible - everybody will lose their minds over it. 
Blomkamp's Alien Wishlist photo
I still can't believe how awesome this is!
We've all wanted to make a movie at some point. We've all thought it through in our minds, from story to characters to the final act that would shock audiences around the world. Our own personal dream movie. A movie we would ...

Blade Runner 2 photo
Blade Runner 2

Harrison Ford says Blade Runner 2 script is the best thing he's ever read

Or so Ridley Scott says.
Dec 15
// Alec Kubas-Meyer
I think we can all agree that Blade Runner is an incredible film. I think we can also agree that it probably doesn't need a sequel. But a sequel is probably going to be made anyway, so all we can hope is that it will do ...

Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings

Dec 12 // Nick Valdez
[embed]218699:42044:0[/embed] Exodus: Gods and KingsDirectors: Ridley ScottRelease Date: December 12th, 2014 Rating: PG-13 Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of Moses (Christian Bale), raised as the son of an Egyptian general and his close friend Ramses (Joel Edgerton), who's next in line to inherit the Egyptian throne. After Moses learns he's actually a Hebrew child saved from a disaster, Ramses sends him into exile. Through this exile and years of traveling, Moses discovers the Isreaelite God and learns he's been chosen to free the Isreaelites from slavery. Then we've got all the beats you remember: plagues, Passover, and an Isreaelite army training montage.  There was a big casting controversy surrounding this film before its release. When Ridley Scott revealed that the Egyptians (and Moses) were played by white actors while the non-white actors were stuck with the lesser roles (like slave and thief), it caused quite a stir. Arguments went back and forth as to what the cause was (ranging anywhere from "you can't sell a film with non-white actors" to "this is historically accurate"), but I'd like to confirm that at the end of the day, none of that actually matters. Exodus: Gods and Kings is a big, dumb, and goofy epic so the whitewashing is like vanilla icing on the cake. It's an oddly helpful anchor as you slowly realize the rest of the film lacks this kind of conviction. Exodus can't decide whether or not it wants to be religious as there are semblances of both anti and pro religious arguments. While there is an active presence of God in Exodus, it's portrayed as a young boy making rash and violent decisions, and it's wonderfully sacrilegious (He makes Moses raise an army of Hebrews, sends sharks and alligators as a plague, kills without hesitation) when there're hints that Moses might just be senile. But it totally backs out of this by falling back on the "faith over all" that's inherent in this story. It completely comes out of left field as "faith" isn't a major theme of this film before the final third.  Whether or not you agree with the faith, a story praising the work of God at least knows what it wants to do. And it's not like the other side of that coin wouldn't work either. A recent example, Darren Aronofsky's Noah, proves that you can tell an agnostic version of a religious story and still hold weight. Without the fervor brought on from commitment one way or the other, we're left wallowing in this grey matter. Add this to Exodus's overtly long run time, any period of indecisiveness is felt even more so. The pace is almost punishing (exacerbated by the amount of filler present in the narrative). And honestly the turgid pace and whitewashing would've been fine had anyone done anything of note. Other than Joel Edgerton as Ramses (who stands out with his prim, nervous take on the Pharoah), no other cast member (even Christian Bale) survives in this blob. It may be the fault of the source material, but there are far too many characters given far too little screen time to actually care what anyone is doing. And when someone does show up and says something, what little plot they're given is swept under the rug in favor of something else. It's like weaving a rug thread by thread, taking a break, and starting from a different end each time. Nothing's ever started, so nothing finishes.  Oh, and what was that accent Christian Bale? Seriously.  Exodus is evocative of classic Hollywood tropes in the best and worst ways. With biblical stories of this ilk, there's just some things you have to accept. You have to accept they're going to be a certain length, you have to accept it's going to retell the same story once again, and you've got to accept that it's going to have certain underlying messages. But you don't have to accept an un-entertaining film. While this bloated narrative does invoke the "epic" nature of classic Hollywood (and it looks pretty damn good in some areas), and is therefore coincidentally nostalgic (bad as it is, seeing white folks rescuing brown folks is something we've seen time and time again), it's so mismanaged that you're better off with one of the many other takes on this story.  If after reading this review you're still somehow compelled to go out and see Exodus: Gods and Kings, here's a funny tidbit. During my screening, a gentleman in the row in front of me fell asleep...twice. It wasn't the humble, slumped over sleep either. He had an abrasive, loud snore each time.  I don't think there's a criticism more fitting. 
Exodus Review photo
Like wandering the desert for forty years
Folks don't know this about me, but I have a soft spot for biblical stories. Having been raised half Roman Catholic, half who gives a hooey, I have an abundant knowledge of Christian bible quotes and intricacies. Regardless o...

3001!? photo

Ridley Scott to produce '2001: A Space Odyssey' sequel, '3001: The Final Odyssey'

Keep calm and approach with trepidation
Nov 03
// Sean Walsh
Renowned curator of all-around quality content, SyFy, has ordered a mini-series adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s 3001: The Final Odyssey, to be adapted by Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, G.I. Jo...
Exodus Trailer photo
Exodus Trailer

Newest Exodus: Gods and Kings trailer lets the people go

Oct 02
// Nick Valdez
I can't watch help but watch these trailers for Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings without thinking about all of the other times I've seen this story played out on film. The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt, that one...
Exodus: Gods and Kings photo
Exodus: Gods and Kings

Ridley Scott addresses Exodus: Gods and Kings' White cast

"You can call them whitey whackers!"
Aug 29
// Nick Valdez
Casting in Hollywood has always been predominantly White. You can argue about certain stars or certain roles, but that's the cold, hard truth. Regardless of the film, the leads have always been a certain race, and in a perfec...

Blade Runner 2 script is finished, brings back Harrison Ford

Ridley Scott says it's good, rest of the world is dubious
Aug 26
// Matthew Razak
We've been hearing about the Blade Runner sequel for nigh on forever now, but it looks like one giant hurdle has been leaped: the screenplay is finished. Ridley Scott told EW as much while also telling them that it was "...
Ridley Scott's David  photo
Ridley Scott's David

Ridley Scott producing biblical film based on David

"But Goliath is dead, I smote him myself. I smoted him good!"
Jul 14
// Nick Valdez
With Noah, a Ben-Hur remake, that Bible miniseries, a film based on Pontius Pilate, and Ridley Scott's own Exodus: Gods and Kings in the pipeline, it seems like big Biblical adaptations are making a comeback. That's pretty co...

New images for Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings

In ancient Egypt everyone was white
Jul 01
// Matthew Razak
We've seen a scant few images from Ridley Scott's upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings (that's a new full title by the way), which stars Christian Bale as Moses and Joel Edgerton as Pharo Ramses. Nothing says Egypt like two w...

Rumor: Prometheus 2 coming in 2016?

This idea is Alien to me.
Mar 24
// Mike Cosimano
According to sources at Bleeding Cool and The Wrap, the next film in Ridley Scott's Prometheus saga is set to release on March 4th, 2016, just under two years from now. Last Thursday, 20th Century Fox set multiple d...

NRH's Final Analysis: Blade Runner

Jan 01 // Nathan Hardisty
Blade Runner is a film that seems impossible. A loose adaptation of a Philip K. Dick novel that takes a chisel to the early eighties New American Exceptionalism; blends noir with sci-fi neon edge; charts a society that has devolved, decayed and is only one twitch of a dystopia away; has an atmosphere of dread, rain whilst still having this improbable momentum and, whilst doing all of this, keeps focus on its main philosophical pincer move. What does it mean to be human? Blade Runner opens up with a view of a flickering eyeball seeing the hellish industrial landscape, with fumes and fire flaming up into the night sky. This eye has been called Orwellian by Ridley Scott, the sight of God by many critics and, by myself, a self-aware gesture that looks directly into the audience and asks for their own meanings and interpretation. Blade Runner is a film that doesn't exist in one concrete, confirmed 'canon' format; it is spread across versions and across entire generations. Much like its protagonist, it is trapped in ambiguity. Much as Deckard is neither Replicant nor Human, not truly, so too is the film not truly a 'film'. That probably reads like pretentious twaddle and you're right, it's a bit of a leap to say that Blade Runner isn't really a 'film'. I do mean it though. Blade Runner is a film that deals with the ambiguity of humanity, it's only too fitting that it itself exists across various platforms, versions and different narratives. In some, Deckard is a Replicant and in others he is not. In some, there is a happy ending and in others there is a nod of despair. It's been edited, re-cut and cut again and I doubt it'll even stop happening. Even fan-cuts of the film have become incredibly popular.  Blade Runner really is the transcendent film. Its provocative commentary, themes that all dovetail into the same literary soup and, quite especially, its visual flair all make it one of the finest efforts in storytelling full stop. It's a brave piece of work given the context of eighties political highs with a thaw in the Cold War. There's something of an air about the thing; it may be 2019 but it certainly feels like 1982 is clawing at the gates. Blade Runner is a smart thriller but its true juiciness lies in how it puts across the grandest ideas with fairly minimal effort. Roy's final speech of existentialism, which truly challenges the notions of memory and humanity, is pretty much a theatrical monologue. He speaks on the rooftops above the sheeple who mill about and seem more Replicant than the Replicants themselves; who are out in the stars living the highest of lives. Deckard himself is just a treat of a character. He doesn't state his feelings, not really, and most of his persona, emotions and even 'purpose' are all guesswork. That's what makes the film a constant joy for all of us fanatics; speculation. There's so much material to work with. Authorial intent, to me at least, is a silly avenue to take. Art is really defined by what we take away from it, and Blade Runner, to me at least, offers vast amounts of ways in which to approach its oil-painting of a rain-soaked moral wasteland. I've asked myself whether or not the film suffers any 'pure' faults in the classical sense. Performance, visual, script etc. that sort of criticism. It's hard to judge given my Vangelis-tinted glasses when approach the film but, quite frankly, I'm not sure there's any fault at all. The cinematography is mind-blowingly gorgeous, the visual effects are all blended together perfectly and, depending on your version (The Final Cut is, in my opinion, the definitive version) the narrative momentum is mostly preserved. Performance wise? Harrison Ford shows off his ability to give weight to the most mildest of scenes, Rutgur Hauer has the show of a lifetime and Sean Young, first timer, manages to show a robotic romantic quality about her character. All of them breathe depth into this beautiful beast of a film. If there is one thing to pick apart, it's how Blade Runner really 'looks' on your first viewing. Even my first viewing was full of some tepid confusion followed by a lot of extra reading. Coming back to it again and again and experiencing specific true 'peak film' moments, moments which are now completely familiar to me, is a joy that few mediums can express. Blade Runner's first viewing pales in comparison to its tenth. It's a film that deserves to be picked apart, it needs your dedication. This is not a popcorn sci-fi flick in any sense. That's what keeps me coming back. Everytime I feel my view of the film is enriched in some way. Changed. Deepened. I'm currently trying to carve out some of the pure racial and religious commentary within the film, whilst also digging up some specific writings on the special effects. Blade Runner, you might say, is one of my life projects. I 'research' it. I don't think I'll ever stop and I wanted to end Weekly Analysis showing off my enthusiasm, trying to state exactly why specific films keep me, and perhaps you, coming back again and again. Reviews often don't do the film world justice, analysis gets to meanings and the true joy that film allows us; to express ourselves within expressions. To talk about the messages behind food in Pulp Fiction, to argue about the politics at play within The Dark Knight and to bask in the truth that all of cinema has to offer us. And on that note: [embed]217078:41069:0[/embed]
Weekly Analysis photo
"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe..."
Is there anything left for me to say about the film? I'm trying not to get ahead of myself but I'm something of a Blade Runner fanatic and, some might say, even a Blade Runner academic. I've written a book on the film, I...


First image of Christian Bale in Exodus has a beard

Dec 30
// Matthew Razak
If there is one thing that Hollywood has taught us that is a historical fact it is that Moses had a beard. While Bale's beard in Ridley Scott's Exodus might not be as epic as Charleton Heston's was it is good to know that the...

Ridley Scott updates us on all the movies

Prometheus 2, Blade Runner 2 and Exodus
Oct 28
// Matthew Razak
Ridley Scott is a really busy person and while on press for the incredibly disappointing The Counselor he decided to update us all on those other little films he's got going on: Prometheus 2, Blade Runner 2, The Forever ...

Review: The Counselor

Oct 25 // Matthew Razak
The CounselorDirector: Ridley ScottRated: RRelease Date: October 25, 2013  [embed]216716:40854:0[/embed] The Counselor is definitely a Cormac McCarthy story. Dark and layered with characters as morally ambiguous as a politician. It's got a stellar cast as well, as McCarthy films usually do. Michael Fassbender plays the titular Counselor (we never learn his actual name), a man who has run into some money problems and so joins Reiner (Javier Bardem) and Westray (Brad Pitt) in a lucrative drug run. Things go wrong, embroiling not only those three in a run from the drug cartels, but also the Counselor's fiance, Laura (Penélope Cruz), and Reiner's not so trustworthy girlfriend, Malkina (Cameron Diaz). If the plot sounds a bit thin, it's because it is. The movie functions as more of a character study than a drug drama and dives head long into discussions on morality, life and the choices we make. Dives might be too soft a word. The film plunges like a runaway care into these themes and leaves little room for exposition or story set up, instead choosing to make the audience pick up the plot points as it rambles along. I'm all for movies that don't hold your hand, but ambiguity should not be mistaken for intelligence. The Counselor seems to be mysterious simply for the sake of being mysterious. Instead of piecing together a cohesive whole it functions more as a series of conversations that feel like they're trying to be smart. There's no restraint for McCarthy it seems, and so a conversation on preparedness in life, which admittedly would have played well on the page, comes off more like a philosophical lecture than a scene in a movie. While McCarthy's previous adaptations may have taken liberally from his text on the page they were all controlled by a screenwriter who knew how to make it work on the screen. It doesn't help that director Ridley Scott doesn't appear to want to make the movie work either. Scenes jump around so much that for the first half of the film it's hard to get a bearing, and by the time you do it's hard to maintain interest as the tenth overly long, "deep" phone conversation begins.  The worst part might be that there are moments in this movie that are sheer brilliance. Scenes that transcend the rest of the film's desperate attempts to seem smart and actually are. There's an overall narrative and structure that could have worked if the film hadn't been busy meandering into so many quagmires. Near the end of the movie Fassbinder gives an Academy Award worthy performance while a cartel boss unravels a beautiful philosophical debate on how our decisions create new lives for us. There a few moments and scenes in the film that really work and they almost make sitting through the rest of the movie worth your while. Unfortunately, they are just a few too far between to really make the movie pump. McCarthy's screenplay is littered with greatness, but there was no one there to turn all that litter into a piece of modern art. The cast tries its damndest, though. Given long monologues that are tough to swallow and some incredibly intense scenes almost everyone delivers as best as you could expect. Fassbender is especially striking as his shell of a character is slowly destroyed throughout the film. Bardem is as intense as ever and while many of the scenes between the two actors aren't actually that great seeing them play off of each other is. It's pretty clear that everyone involved in the film dug deep to pull out their performances, but the depth is unfortunately a facade.  Well, everyone except Cameron Diaz, who delivers an almost film wrecking turn as a confusingly malicious character. She can't seem to wrap her performance around the complex ideas that her character spouts and so the already bloated dialog sinks hard. She has the last monologue at the end of a film of monologues and it is easily the worst. It's not all her fault as the movie, for some reason, sees the need to actually hold the audiences hand at the exact moment it shouldn't. The one moment when things should truly be obscure -- when you've finally gotten into the characters thanks to the actor's stellar performances -- is the exact moment when everything gets spelled out. It's a bad film choice covered by a bad performance. It's such a strange conclusion to such a complex movie. The Counselor could have a lot going for it if it just got out of its own way. There's some incredible ideas, writing, directing and acting in this film that all get bogged down under the movie's almost desperate need to seem deep. But it's really that ending that nails the coffin closed because once you do get into The Counselor you can start to appreciate it. It's at that very moment when it stops appreciating you. 
The Counselor Review photo
McCarthy should have hired one himself
Cormac McCarthy books have been made into some of the best movies you will ever watch. The likes of No Country for Old Men and The Road are the epitome of how adaptations should work and McCarthy's blend of philosop...


Trailer: The Counselor starring Fassbender, Pitt, Bardem

Aug 20
// Liz Rugg
In The Counselor, Michael Fassbender stars as a lawyer who finds himself in way over his head when he gets involved with the dangerous world of drug trafficking. Judging from this trailer, things go awry pretty badly, and Fa...

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