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science fiction

World of Tomorrow sequel photo
World of Tomorrow sequel

Don Hertzfeldt teases a World of Tomorrow sequel, life is good


EVERYBODY DANCE!
Aug 21
// Hubert Vigilla
Gosh I love Don Hertzfeldt. The indie animator's handmade, in-camera works made a major impression in the 1990s and early 2000s thanks to shorts like Lily and Jim and Rejected. Hertzfeldt went on to received major critical ac...
Jabba the Hutt movie photo
Jabba the Hutt movie

Jabba the Hutt is getting a Star Wars spin-off movie for some reason


Huttastic Jabbas and Where to Find Them
Aug 20
// Hubert Vigilla
Han Solo and Obi-Wan Kenobi have their own forthcoming standalone/spin-off movies, so why not other characters from the Star Wars universe? Makes sense, right? This may explain Disney & Lucasfilm's nonsensical decision to...
Obi-Wan spin-off movie photo
Obi-Wan spin-off movie

That's no moon, it's an Obi-Wan Kenobi stand-alone Star Wars movie in the works


This is the IP you're looking for
Aug 17
// Hubert Vigilla
Even though the stand-alone Han Solo movie has gone through some major problems, Disney isn't giving up on Star Wars spin-offs. Heat Vision confirmed today that an Obi-Wan Kenobi movie is in the works. Academy Award-nominated...
Clint Howard in Han Solo photo
Clint Howard in Han Solo

Clint Howard will have a cameo in the Han Solo standalone movie


Ron Howard is Howarding this up
Aug 02
// Hubert Vigilla
If you haven't heard, the Han Solo standalone movie is sort of a mess. Short version: directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired over creative differences several months into production, star Alden Ehrenreich has had iss...

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The Dark Tower is the latest blockbuster to be filled with production problems


This is becoming a thing
Aug 02
// Matthew Razak
Based on reports from some inside sources Variety is reporting that The Dark Tower had a very rock production. This might not come as a surprise since the entire process of bringing Stephen King's book series to any size...
Avatar sequels underway photo
Avatar sequels underway

Weta Digital starts work on James Cameron's four Avatar sequels (additional delays to come)


What's Na'vi for "shrug"?
Jul 31
// Hubert Vigilla
Best known for their groundbreaking work on The Lord of the Rings and the Planet of the Apes trilogy, Weta Digital announced that they have begun work on James Cameron's four Avatar sequels. There is no word yet on what ...
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Darth Vader may appear in the Han Solo movie


*sigh*
Jul 26
// Drew Stuart
You know about the Han Solo movie, right? The one that seemed like a joke at first, until Disney announced the casting. The one that got Chris Miller and Phil Lord to direct, only to fire them at the end of production because...
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James Cameron is looking to launch a new Terminator trilogy


I'll be back... again and again and agia
Jul 26
// Matthew Razak
So the Terminator franchise reboot hasn't gone as planned... either time. Obviously the franchise is still considered a moneymaker for whatever reason, but no one seems to be able to get a successful film out of it anymo...
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Comic-Con 2017 trailer roundup


TRAILERS! TRAILERS! TRAILERS!
Jul 24
// Anthony Marzano
What a weekend its been, while nothing really overly exciting and brand new was announced at San Diego Comic-Con there was a ton of trailers from previously announced TV and movies. So to cure your Monday blues we at Flixist have compiled all of the trailers that we reported on as well as a few that slipped through the cracks...for you.
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Star Trek: Discovery's SDCC trailer is full of drama


And yet another ship getting destroyed
Jul 24
// Matthew Razak
I really wish that CBS would put out a trailer or something that made me feel confident in exactly what Star Trek: Discovery is. Am I supposed to be watching something from the original Trek universe or not? They say it'...

Review: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Jul 24 // Drew Stuart
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is, once boiled down, a sci-fi adventure. The story is set in the 28th century, where humanity has created a gigantic metropolis in space known as Alpha. Over hundreds of years, aliens from all over the galaxy have come there to thrive and prosper, creating a cornucopia of cultures that mingle with each other every day. Alpha is home to everyone, and the heart of Valerian is exploring this strange world with our main characters, the titular Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and his partner Laureline (Cara Delevigne). The problem with Valerian is how they explore it. The plot has our two agents racing against time to stop an ever-expanding radiation zone at Alpha's core, but that sense of urgency is seldom felt in the actual plot. There are chases, sure, but they have no tension. There's a mystery, but if you're paying attention even slightly, you'll know exactly where the story is going after 20 minutes. The driving point of the plot is supposed to be mystery, but it completely deflates once the movie starts rolling. The best aspect of Valerian is the world, and I'm sure that sentiment will be shared amongst anyone who sees this movie, whether they thought it was good or bad. There's a scene early on that depicts the genesis and growth of Alpha, and is one of my favorite intros of 2017. It's humorous and magical, friendly and dazzling. The various creatures and aliens on Alpha are diverse and interesting, taking that nuanced world-building from Star Wars and executing it with style. Yet, that's about all that Valerian seems to get right. Nearly every other aspect is fundamentally flawed, and I wish that were an exaggeration. Take our leading actors for example. Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne have both given their worst performances in their careers in Valerian. No, I'm not exaggerating. DeHaan is in no way a believable federal agent, and his gruff mumbling throughout the film makes the whole thing feel like a fan-film. He's painted as a ladies man at the beginning of Valerian and I nearly burst out laughing when Delevigne referred to him as a 'lady killer'. It's like pointing to a turd and calling it Toblerone; good for a laugh, but I'll be damned if you try and get me to swallow it. I just couldn't stomach the blatant wish-fulfillment when the lead is far from being suave or charismatic in the slightest. Delevigne has never actually given a good performance on film before, but in Valerian her acting stands out as particularly cardboard-esque. Seriously, look at any of these images I have in this review and behold the only face she makes on camera. What makes these performances even worse is that Valerian and Laureline are supposed to be attracted to each other, and they seem anything but. Their interactions are stiff and stale, and even the dialogue they share is poorly written. Kids might be able to get behind these characters, but if you have a fully developed brain then you're in for a sore experience. As I mentioned earlier, the plot is also all over the place. It's flimsy and dull, failing to interest the viewer in the central mystery presented likely due to how obvious the outcome is. The film opens by almost completely explaining the events that are 'revealed' later on at the climax of Valerian, and yet pretends like the audience didn't see what happened. This, combined with some clumsy foreshadowing and telegraphing by the villain spell out the plot for the rest of the film, leaving little to enjoy besides the beautifully designed world. And, call me crazy, but Valerian seems to know this, considering that it takes significant breaks from the plot for trivial side-stories. There's a point midway through where the film drops the little momentum it had to rescue Laureline from some bumbling space creatures. This sequence is pretty to look at, and has moments of fun sprinkled here and there, but serves no purpose whatsoever. In the end, this section of the movie only makes it more painful once our heroes return to the story at hand. Look, I don't hate Valerian. It's a beautiful film, with amazing CG and a set-piece or two that are fun on the surface level. The world it's set in is captivating and unique, something that is so rare today in Hollywood. But no movie has ever become great just by looking good; the plot, the dialogue, the characters need to be written well so the films stunning display can create synergy between the narrative and the visuals. This is how a great sci-fi adventure film is made, and it's something that Besson has completely forgotten how to do with Valerian. Visuals are in service to the writing, and Besson put the cart in front of the horse on this one. The image of Alpha floating in space, filled with interesting creatures and civilizations is incredible, but with a couple of boring humans taking up most of the runtime, you'd be better off watching the trailer and moving on.
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Such a well polished turd.
Luc Besson may not be a household name, but ask any fan of film who he is and you’ll be swept into a drawn-out lauding of his movies. Besson directed both The Fifth Element and Leon: The Professional, both of which foun...

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Rise up with the new Pacific Rim Uprising teaser


May Cherno Alpha bless Ellen McLain
Jul 21
// Anthony Marzano
San Diego Comic Con is heating up in the lead up to the big weekend with some trailer tapas to hold us over until the main course that is the big panels. Yesterday saw the release of a new teaser trailer for Pacific Rim Upris...
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Mads Mikkelsen in talks to star in dystopian sci-fi Chaos Walking


Can you hear my internal cries of want?
Jul 21
// Anthony Marzano
Ordinarily when a movie is almost 2 years away I try to not give it too much thought but when Charlie Kaufman is involved I tend to keep it on my radar a bit. Now if you throw Mads Mikkelsen into the mix and shake it up with a little dystopian science fiction then you have my eyes, ears, and mouth to do with what you please.
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The next Doctor will be announced on Sunday


Please be a woman
Jul 14
// Matthew Razak
This coming Christmas Peter Capaldi will be leaving the role of the Doctor in Doctor Who and someone new will be taking over. Rumors have been flying left and right over who will be the next Doctor with rumors swirling a...
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Star Trek: Discovery hired fans and canon experts to stay accurate


Guess they heard people yelling
Jul 14
// Matthew Razak
In a story that kind of reeks of covering their asses after many on the web raised valid concerns about the show looking like it wouldn't fit into the established canon, Alex Kurtzman (the shows producer) "revealed" that the ...
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Our first look at Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time


Not that great a look
Jul 12
// Matthew Razak
A Wrinkle in Time is an awesome book... I think. I know I read it twice when I was younger, and I know I loved it, but if you asked me about it all I could tell you is that there's a scene where the three "three chimeric...
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The Dark Tower receives another trailer, still has a tower


Andy Serkis rumored to play the tower
Jul 10
// Drew Stuart
Okay, no, Andy Serkis is not actually playing the tower, much to my own disappointment. Though, I'm sure if he did, there'd be some article praising how he gave the tower some much-deserved characterization, and truly brought...
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I got your OATS Shorts right here


Get 'em while they're still weird
Jul 09
// Anthony Marzano
I have to admit when Neill Blomkamp said he was going to be releasing a bunch of new short films for free through both Steam and YouTube I was skeptical about the quality of them or how much I would enjoy them. This is not to...
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Blade Runner experience will transform San Diego into 2049 Los Angeles


Beware the Voight-Kampff VR
Jul 07
// Anthony Marzano
First Los Angeles takes the Chargers from San Diego, now through the help of the new movie Blade Runner 2049, Los Angeles will actually annex a portion of San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter and transport it into the future. Alright so it won't actually but through the magic of VR and free swag it will certainly feel that way.
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Neill Blomkamp's newest OATS short brings us to Vietnam


With the required Fortunate Son time
Jun 29
// Anthony Marzano
Following up on the heels of the release of yet another sci-fi story with Sigourney Weaver last week, Neill Blomkamp's OATS Studio has released a new sci-fi short film on both YouTube and the game distribution platform Steam....

Review: Okja

Jun 28 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]221603:43630:0[/embed] OkjaDirector: Bong Joon-hoRating: N/ARelease Date: June 28, 2017 (Netflix, limited theatrical)Country: South Korea/United States Okja opens with a press conference as preface. CEO Lucy Mirando announces the creation of special mutant super pigs made to address the world's food shortages revamp its brand. She's played by Tilda Swinton, who looks and acts like a character in a Christopher Guest movie. Those bangs, those braces, and later, that twitchy, insecure overbite. The initial super pigs have been given to farmers around the globe, and in 10 years the best one will be picked to publicly launch a line of tasty, savory mutant food products. Okja, the only pig we follow, was raised in the mountains of Korea by Mija and her grandfather (Byun Hee-Bong). The film lingers with Mija and Okja a while as they spend afternoons in the forests eating persimmons in sun and swimming by a waterfall. Bong builds the kinship between his lead and his digital warm-cuddly; there's a shorthand for 10 loving years in 10 or so lackadaisical minutes. The lush mountaintop idyll also works as a counterpoint to the madness that follows--colors darken down below as our characters descend. Okja is taken away, and the movie becomes a series of pursuits. A daring chase through the streets of Seoul is one of the highlights of the film. In America, Okja goes through a series of upsetting and disturbing events that reveal the ugly side of Mirando's shiny new product. A little past the midway point of Okja, I can see some people souring on the movie because of what happens in the plot. Rather than make a family film for all ages, Bong's story gets much darker than the initial fun in the sun would suggest. (More Babe: Pig in the City than Babe.) This darkness follows logically and diegetically, however, and it's the point. This mutant movie, among other things, is an indictment of factory farming and corporate culture. It's why Mija just wants to bring Okja back up to the mountain, above all of those concerns. Like any CG creature, Okja looks better in some scenes and worse than others. When it works, she's got the expressiveness of an actual animal, with mannerisms less like a pig and more like a lumbering puppy/hippo. (She even poops like a hippo. Okja is the sort of movie in which the bowel movements of an animal figure into the plot. Glorious.) Something about Okja's eyes and snout, and maybe a certain floppiness or articulation of her ears, communicate a fair amount of emotion. When Mija is there to react, she complements and enhances the CG performance. Other times, Okja is clearly just a big digital thing dropped into a shot. I was generally able to stay with the world of the movie even when the CG was obvious. The world of Okja is messy and cartoony, and the CG is never too bad to be totally distracting from everything else that's going on. And there's a lot going on. Mija is an immutable moral center in the movie, and though she's a newcomer, Ahn is good as a determined lead. The supporting characters are varying levels of quirky, and many get to play off Ahn as the straightwoman. Paul Dano is very Paul Dano as Jay, the leader of an Animal Liberation Front group. His misfit band of eco-terrorists squabble over the carbon footprint of cherry tomatoes and suckle on asparagus spears. Bong and co-writer Jon Ronson mock the ideological minutiae of some ALF characters (extremism is inherently funny), but they're careful not to target the core humanity of their beliefs. Jay and his band are goofy, but they're also the good guys. The most overblown performance is surprisingly not Tilda Swinton but Jake Gyllenhaal. He plays Dr. Johnny Wilcox, a nasally TV wildlife personality. Off-camera, he's like an evil Ned Flanders by way of bizarro Ace Ventura and Rip Taylor; a sadistic narcissist who hides his ugly-streak under layers of gee willikers and aww shucks. When the camera is on Dr. Johnny, his persona changes. His voice lowers and slows and he speaks from the diaphragm rather than the nose. The highs and lows of Gyllenhaal's performance may best the representation of Okja's highs and lows. The man contains multitudes, some hilarious and some terrifying. (Jaeil Jung's score also contains multitudes: a little bit of folk, a little bit of traditional orchestral music, and there's also something for the oompah band fans out there.) If the tone shifts and genre-bending don't push away some viewers, I sense that Bong's preachiness might do the trick. Okja isn't particularly subtle about its stance on GMOs and the food business; the subtlest the film gets is a brief and passing implication that Okja is such a healthy and hearty mutant super pig because she is a free-range mutant super pig. Yet subtlety might be unnecessary here, and the same goes for genre and tone conventions. Netflix gave Bong final cut and full creative control over Okja. The result is free-range Bong Joon-Ho, which is, admittedly, an acquired taste, but it's linked to the love people have for their favorite childhood pet. That's a familiar, perennial flavor--narrative comfort food. As Lucy Mirando tells us at the start of Okja, the most important thing is that the mutant super pig tastes f**king good. And it does. Weird but good, sure, but good mainly because it is so weird.
Review: Okja photo
That'll do, mutant super pig, that'll do
Bong Joon-Ho's Okja is a chimera of genre and tone. It's a lovable mutant like its titular super pig--the best super pig, we're told, the superlative like something out of Charlotte's Web. Which makes sense. As a director, Bo...

Han Solo drama photo
Han Solo drama

More Han Solo drama: Lucasfilm hired acting coach for lead Alden Ehrenreich


Would that it were so simple
Jun 26
// Hubert Vigilla
The drama over the Han Solo stand-alone film continues. Last week, directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired and soon replaced by reliable journeyman Ron Howard. Unfortunately this was six months into production. T...
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New image of shows of Star Trek: Discovery's teleportation bay


This isn't the Abrams-verse?
Jun 23
// Matthew Razak
All this week we've been getting scattered new images from Star Trek: Discovery as we get closer and closer to the show's September 24 premier date (the first episode will be aired on CBS with the rest on CBS's streaming...
Lord and Miller fired photo
Lord and Miller fired

Details emerge on why Lord and Miller were fired from Han Solo


They basically made another movie
Jun 23
// Hubert Vigilla
The news of the week has been the chaos surrounding the stand-alone Han Solo movie. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired Monday after six months of production due to major creative differences. Yesterday Lucas...
Ron Howard Han Solo photo
Ron Howard Han Solo

Ron Howard is the new director of the stand-alone Han Solo Star Wars movie


The journeyman director's director
Jun 22
// Hubert Vigilla
Earlier this week, Lucasfilm fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller from the young Han Solo movie. They were six months into production, but major creative differences led to an unexpected and unprecedented split. Today L...
Tom Cruise The Mummy photo
Tom Cruise The Mummy

Tom Cruise's excessive creative control may have ruined The Mummy


More like The Crum-- I can't even finish
Jun 15
// Hubert Vigilla
The Mummy isn't doing so hot. Poor reviews and a lackluster box office have put the entire Dark Universe cinematic universe in jeopardy. That might not be a bad thing, though. I mean, do we really need an Invisible Man movie ...
The Gracefield Incident photo
The Gracefield Incident

Trailer: Found-footage movie The Gracefield Incident has aliens and a high-tech glass eye


Fake eye and aliens and things
Jun 14
// Hubert Vigilla
There will be no end to found-footage movies. (Barring some worldwide cataclysm that ends film and society as we know it, of course.) They're inexpensive and, in a handful of instances, innovative and inventive. Those rare fi...
Okja posters photo
Okja posters

New posters for Bong Joon-Ho's Okja describe the characters in terms of choice cuts


Pleased to meat you
Jun 05
// Hubert Vigilla
Bong Joon-Ho's Okja looks like a hoot--a Spielbergian eco-adventure about a brave girl and her mutant super pig. Reviews out of Cannes have been generally positive, and Bong himself seems pleased with Netflix allowing him to ...
Star Trek Discovery photo
This is before the original?
After delay and delay and delay we finally have our first look at Star Trek: Discovery. It is very confusing. Check out the trailer and you'll see the cast getting into plenty of scrapes and even some moral quandries (good), ...

Trailer: Bong Joon Ho's Okja looks like a gorgeous, Spielbergian eco-terror adventure

May 18 // Hubert Vigilla
As The Playlist notes, Bong decided to partner with Netflix for his newest film to avoid the distribution and release headaches he experienced working with the Weinsteins on Snowpiercer. (Ugh, ol' Harvey Scissorhands.) Okja's international cast includes An Seo Hyun, Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, and Jake Gyllenhaal.  Okja will be out on Netflix and in select theaters on June 28th. Let us know how you think and what that cuddly super-pig creature might taste like in the comments. (I mean, yeah, bacon, but with notes of what, exactly?) [via The Playlist]
Trailer: Okja photo
Tastes f**king good
Bong Joon Ho is one of Korea's most acclaimed and beloved filmmakers, and one of the most respected directors in the world. He made an international name for himself with 2003's Memories of a Murder, and went on to craft The ...


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