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life

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best science fiction horror movies you’ve never seen.)

This coming weekend’s going to be a busy one at the box-office, with three new wide releases aimed at completely different audiences (not to mention a strong hold at the top spot by this past weekend’s monstrous debut of Beauty and the Beast). Two TV shows that are totally still relevant in today’s popular culture are getting the big-screen treatment with the adult-oriented CHiPs and the kid-friendly Power Rangers, but it’s the third film I’m interested in here.

Life is an R-rated, space-set thriller about astronauts who cross paths with a previously undiscovered life form and find themselves in grave danger after one of the geniuses touches it. The science fiction and horror genres go together like chocolate and, I don’t know, something else you like to put in your mouth, and the onscreen pairing of the two has resulted in a seemingly endless supply of filmic entertainment. Some of the best are also among the best-known, including Alien, The Thing, and The Terminator (it’s a slasher movie!). Recent years have given us more niche but still popular fare like Pitch Black, Event Horizon, and Attack the Block.

Rather than talk about the films you already know and love though I’m hoping to introduce you to a few that are maybe a bit more obscure, but still well worth your attention. Below are some great (in their own way) sci-fi/horror titles that, like Life, take place off Earth and/or involve aliens. While some may be familiar, I’m hoping you’re inspired to seek out the others.

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Handmaid's Tale Trailer

The Handmaid’s Tale was published in 1985, but in a polarizing political climate, the new trailer for its upcoming Hulu adaptation makes the dystopian story feel more relevant than ever.

See the chilling trailer below.

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power rangers review

There’s a scene in the new Power Rangers movie in which Jason, the Red Ranger (Dacre Montgomery), tells one of his fellow Rangers that what matters isn’t the past, but what one works to make the future. It’s a perfectly admirable, earnest sort of sentiment — it’s just one that feels a little off, too, given that the past he’s referring to involves semi-revenge porn. The same goes for the movie as a whole: it comes close to being great but stumbles before getting to the finish line. That said, the beats it does manage to hit are truly wonderful.

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the fate of the furious clip

My favorite thing about the Fast and Furious series at this point is not how insane, outrageous and impossible the action sequences have become. My favorite thing about the Fast and Furious series at this point is how the characters tend to react to those insane, outrageous, and impossible action sequences – they are usually only a little perturbed and often barely react at all. This is just life, man. This is what you do between Coronas. This is what family is all about!

So as you watch this new The Fate of the Furious clip, feel free to concentrate on the nutty car chase. That’s fine. But also slow down to appreciate how Vin Diesel is treating this sequence as if it’s the most normal thing in the world. Movie magic.

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BODY PARTS.Still.8

When the gang over at How Did This Get Made? gave me the heads up that we were covering Body Parts — a 1991 movie whose premise is as silly as it is strange — I was expecting something schlocky. And while the movie itself isn’t my cup of tea (full disclosure: no horror film is), I was surprised to find a film that had such a unique voice. There’s a craft to Body Parts, and a compelling, noir-ish sensibility.

I mention all this because it made me really eager to speak with the film’s director, Eric Red; to find out what kind of a storyteller would make a movie like this.

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Playground

French filmmaker Luc Besson may be best known for directing visually dazzling sci-fi films like The Fifth Element and the upcoming Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, but he’s also built up quite a career as a writer. He’s written screenplays for a handful of movies he didn’t direct, including Taken, The Transporter, and Colombiana. His latest scripted foray is a web series called Playground, and it’s described as a mixture between Nikita and Kick-Ass. Watch the first Playground trailer below. Read More »

Saturday Night Live Make-Up Transformation

Saturday Night Live is one of the most unique shows on television because of the fact that every new episode is created in a single week and performed live with just minutes between commercial breaks for new sketches to be set up. It’s always impressive what SNL is able to pull off live on the air.

For those who have wondered just how SNL is able to pull off some of the more technically impressive aspects of the show, some video featurettes have given us a glimpse behind the scenes of Studio 8H when the live show is going on. We’ve seen how quickly a set can be torn down from the cold open to the monologue, and now you can see what a fast-paced make-up transformation is like when Kate McKinnon has to go from playing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to Shud the Mermaid.

Watch the Saturday Night Live make-up transformation after the jump. Read More »

Domino's Ferris Bueller's Day Off Commercial

Most commercials are awful. That’s just the reality of the advertising world. But every now and then, a solid commercial comes along that almost makes you forget that a company is trying to sell you something. Such is the case with a new Domino’s commercial that takes more than a cue from the John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Stranger Things supporting actor Joe Keery (aka the son of Parks and Recreation star Ben Schwartz) stars in the commercial that puts him in the shoes of a cool Ferris Bueller type teen who is trying to make it home before his Domino’s pizza arrives. It’s quite the loyal, albeit abridged recreation of Ferris Bueller’s race against the clock to get home before his parents get back from work.

Watch the Domino’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off commercial after the jump. Read More »

Justice League Banner

Have you ever wanted to see Deadpool sing in a bar just like Gaston in Beauty and the Beast? Which Supergirl guest star just got upgraded to a series regular? When is the next trailer for Justice League arriving? What would Michael Shannon look like as Cable? Is Chris Evans up for more Captain America after Avengers: Infinity War? Will Guardians of the Galaxy 2 get you pregnant? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

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Brie Larson Victoria Woodhull

Brie Larson has fought all manner of villain, from her kidnapper in Room, to depression in Short Term 12, to the biggest beast of them all in Kong: Skull Island, and soon, supervillains in Captain Marvel.

Now, the Oscar-winning actress will be battling the political system in Amazon Studios’ Victoria Woodhull, a film about the first female presidential candidate.

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