Director Alfonso Cuarón is finally back, and he’s showing us truly amazing things.
Gravity is a technical marvel, an optical treat of the highest order. However, it can also lay claim to being one hell of a narrative, combining genius-level visuals with a taut script; the end result coming together as something really special. On the face of it, it’s the story of two NASA astronauts on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope, and the obstacles they’ll have to overcome to survive in space. Really, Gravity is the age-old set-up in which humankind attempts to operate in an environment designed to kill. Indeed, though a far different film than Children of Men, both thematically and in terms of scope, Cuarón has created another film with weight, resonance, and a strong sense of style.
George Clooney and Sandra Bullock easily carry this briskly paced film, Bullock in particular (as Mission Specialist Ryan Stone). She turns in a remarkable performance, more textured and compelling than anything we’ve seen from her prior, including The Blind Side. Making the hostile setting of space the focal point of a film certainly comes with a huge element of risk, but I’m pleased to say everyone involved pulled it off. They’ve made a 90-minute cinematic gift for us.
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The Fifth Estate is an extremely strange movie. That’s fitting, perhaps, given the central focus of the film: Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. Star Benedict Cumberbatch is his normal awesome presence, but the story itself should have been redacted.
As a story attempting to encapsulate massive cultural questions regarding government secrecy, privacy rights, dictators, and the misuse of power, it would seem that The Fifth Estate had everything teed up to be a vitally important film. That it doesn’t end up getting there is likely the fault of a weak script or lesser directing, because Cumberbatch, as Julian Assange, comes off pretty great. Yes, the Cumberbatch was willing, but the muddled mess of The Fifth Estate isn’t able to stitch together anything nearing cohesion, even with these significant built-in advantages. Read More »
In today’s Hollywood, unless a poster is sold online, odds are it stinks. The marketing for most films has become so generic that any kind of artistic expression of what a film is in its advertising has all but gone away. Every once in a while, however, a poster pops up to challenge that belief. That’s the case with We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, directed Simon and Zeke Hawkins.
The film will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and follows three teens who leave their small town and turn to a life of crime. It’s written by Dutch Southern, who is also writing the female Expendables film, and the poster was designed by Eisner Award winning artist Sean Phillips.
You could know nothing about the film, see this poster, and want to see the movie. And isn’t that what a great poster is supposed to do? Check it out below. Read More »
Hayao Miyzaki‘s new film The Wind Rises has been a box-office monster in Japan, coming in at number one for a month straight. We’ve seen a trailer, but now thanks to the Toronto International Film Festival, which will soon host the film’s premiere outside of Japan, we can get a subtitled version of the footage.
Check it out below. Read More »
I like this trailer for Almost Human, a sci-fi horror story that will premiere at the Toronto Film Festival in September, but I’m going to have to watch it a few times before I can look at the story without seeing it as a reflection of the great, weird Xtro from 1983. (There’s also some of Carpenter’s The Thing in here.)
That said, this is a solid trailer that promises a no-frills horror exercise with a good otherworldly leaning. There’s clearly a current of ’80s sci-fi/horror running through this one — just check out the poster below. But there could be some unique twists and ideas in here, too. Check out the trailer below. It’s definitely not safe for work, thanks to some blood and gore. Read More »
One of the most prestigious film festivals in North America, the Toronto Film Festival, has begun to announce its line up for 2013. The event takes place September 5-15 and as usual, the line-up includes pretty much every highly-anticipated awards contender scheduled for release through the end of the year.
Just a few examples are the Jackie Brown prequel Life of Crime, Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, the star-studded August: Osage County, Idris Elba in Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom, Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave, the West Memphis Three film Devil’s Knot (above), Jason Reitman’s latest Labor Day, Jason Bateman’s debut Bad Words, Ron Howard’s Rush, the Wikileaks film The Fifth Estate, Mike Myers’ documentary Supermench, Matthew Weiner’s You Are Here, Hugh Jackman in Prisoners, Keanu Reeves’ Man of Tai Chi and Alfonso Cuaron’s space drama, Gravity.
And they haven’t even finished announcing everything. Below, read everything in this first wave. Read More »
Posted on Monday, September 10th, 2012 by Angie Han
Joss Whedon‘s already two for two this year, earning critical raves for The Cabin in the Woods (which he co-wrote with Drew Goddard) and then knocking it out of the park on every level with The Avengers. But he’s not finished: His third film of the year, the black-and-white William Shakespeare adaptation Much Ado About Nothing, just premiered at TIFF. And based on the reviews so far it sounds like the perfect capper to Whedon’s already stunning year.
Shot in just 12 days while Whedon was finishing up The Avengers, this version retains the Bard’s dialogue but moves the action to contemporary LA. (Specifically, Whedon’s own house.) Amy Acker and Alexis Denisof star as Beatrice and Benedick, acquaintances whose prickly banter signals an obvious compatibility. Other Whedon favorites fill out the rest of the cast: Fran Kranz, Nathan Fillion, Sean Maher, and Clark Gregg. Read more of the early buzz after the jump.
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The themes of Cloud Atlas are legion, and the 160 minutes the film spans are epic. Six or seven plots are considered, depending how you define your storylines, and the time period ranges from 1849 to somewhere 400 years into the distant future. What I’m getting at here is the grandness of the scope, the giantess of the spectacle, the massive overarching ambition of the work. Co-writers and directors Tom Tykwer and Andy and Lana Wachowski have delivered a weighty film tome for our analysis, and I have a feeling this one is going to be spurring conversations for years to come.
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A movie that debuted right here on /Film just make it big. Aftershock, directed by Nicolás López, starring and produced by Eli Roth, was just acquired by Bob Weinstein’s Dimension Films at the Toronto International Film Festival. Based on Lopez’s experiences during the Chilean earthquake of 2010, the film centers on a group of friends who strive to survive after a massive earthquake hits Chile, freeing prisoners and unleashing other kinds of insanity.
Aftershock won’t premiere at TIFF until Tuesday September 11. The Weinsteins were confident enough in it, Lopez and Roth to not only purchase the film, but also take the rights to another Roth-produced horror film called Clown, based on a fake movie trailer. Learn more about both after the jump. Read More »
The best sci-fi movies aren’t defined by their sci-fi elements. Hovercars, cool guns, time travel and other sci-fi tropes are merely used to put a unique spin and visual style on a story with themes universal to almost any genre. And if it does that by blowing your mind with some cool stuff? All the better.
Rian Johnson‘s Looper is very much in that vein. A time-travelling, sci-fi movie to be sure, ultimately the film features very unexpected, yet welcome, fundamental themes. It almost becomes something that feels out of place in a world of time-travelling assassins and hover bikes which, of course, is exactly the point. Johnson hooks you with big action and reels you in for bigger ideas and that’s why Looper is so damn good.
After the jump, continue reading my review of the film, which opens September 28 and just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, and watch a 100% spoiler-free video blog about Looper. Read More »