the lawnmower man

In 2014, Facebook acquired Oculus—a scrappy start-up dedicated to resurrecting virtual reality—for $2 billion. Since then, every major player in the tech space (from Google and Microsoft to Sony and Samsung) has begun to prepare for a very virtual future.

With this incredible technology now on its way, I’ve spent the past couple of years working on a new book about the unlikely heroes of this virtual reality revolution. During that time, I’ve had hundreds of conversations with those in the burgeoning VR industry and, at some point, almost inevitably, The Lawnmower Man—the 1992 sci-film film directed by Brett Leonard—eventually comes up.

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z: the beginning of everything trailer

There are currently two competing Zelda Fitzgerald biopics in the works. Jennifer Lawrence and Scarlett Johansson are attached to play the iconic and troubled author and wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Neither film has been shot yet, but ten episodes of Z: The Beginning of Everything, which stars Christina Ricci (Black Snake Moan), are already in the can and debuting next month on Amazon.

Below, watch the Z: The Beginning of Everything trailer.

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The Leftovers renewed

The third and final season of The Leftovers is only four months away. While season one of co-creator Damon Lindelof‘s drama polarized viewers, season two received much more acclaim, and rightfully so. The second chapter of the Tom Perrota adaptation took the series to trippier, funnier, and more dramatic places. Season two concluded on an incredibly cathartic note, but there’s more than likely plenty of struggles left ahead for the Garveys and the Murphys.

Below, learn more The Leftovers season three.

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westworld dolores and man in black

Westworld‘s 90-minute season finale delivered the goods, answering the most pressing questions, providing dramatic closure to the major characters, and still finding several opportunities to turn this entire weird world on its head and set up a very different second season. And while this is the rare Westworld episode to shut more doors than it opens, I still have ten questions to ask before we begin the long wait for more of 2016’s most intriguing and frustrating and entertaining new show.

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A Monster Calls featurette

A Monster Calls is a heartbreaking movie. When J.A. Bayona‘s (The Impossible) latest film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, in a nice bit of promotion, tissue boxes were handed out to those in attendance. That was a good call because the film certainly made our own Angie Han choke up once or twice. She praised the drama as a “five-hankie sobfest, a ruthlessly effective tearjerker even by cancer drama standards,” despite a few scenes she found too manipulative.

Below, watch A Monster Calls featurette, which shows how the story came about and evolved.

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Big Little Lies trailer

After spending so much of the past couple months digging into the intricate mysteries of Westworld, it might be a nice change of pace to dig into a more straightforward HBO drama. Though this one’s hiding away some shocking secrets as well. The premium cable channel has debuted the latest trailer for Big Little LiesDavid E. Kelley‘s adaptation of the bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty.

Reese WitherspoonNicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley star as a trio of moms in beautiful, well-to-do Monterey, California. But when their idyllic lives are shattered, things sprial down until someone winds up dead. Witherspoon’s Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée helmed all seven episodes. Watch the Big Little Lies trailer below.  Read More »

westworld dolores and man in black

In this edition of Westworld Bits:

  • Watch HBO’s featurette on “The Well-Tempered Clavier.”
  • Jeffrey Wright talks about the surprising developments surrounding his character.
  • Director Michelle MacLaren talks about making those big plot twists happen.
  • Jimmi Simpson pays coy about his involvement in season 2.
  • Ben Barnes promises a terrifying season finale.
  • What we know about the Westworld timeline, laid out in photos and charts.
  • The Westworld theme music recreated in 8-Bit.
  • How a name on a door fulfills an early fan theory.
  • It looks like a few fun easter eggs were slipped into the background of some shots…

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‘Westworld’ Season Finale Reveals Images and Synopsis

westworld season finale

There are a few larger points to be made about Westworld. We can discuss how thrilling genre entertainment for adults has become increasingly in short supply on the big screen but has found a home on television. We can talk about how truly weird it is that someone made a TV adaptation of a 1973 Michael Crichton movie and how it’s astonishing that it’s any good at all, let alone pretty great. We can debate whether or not those who watch the show for its mysteries and plot twists can ever get along with those who watch it for its thematic resonance and cultural commentary.

But we’ll talk about those later. Right now, we need to take a look at the official synopsis and first stills from the final episode of the first season.

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original power rangers alpha 5

A Power Rangers movie was always going to be a hard nut to crack on the creative side and a tough sell for a general audience. How do you even begin to update something as silly as this without spiraling into a realm of overly self-parody (which was the entire point of Joseph Kahn’s Power/Rangers short from last year)? How do you convince audiences that you’ve truly done something exciting with material that looked cartoonish and cheap in 1993? While nostalgia played a huge role in turning the Transformers movies into box office juggernauts, I wonder if that will be enough for director Dean Israelite‘s new take on five teenagers (with attitude!) gaining super-powers and defending the planet from an alien menace.

In any case, everything that is familiar about Power Rangers have received a radical redesign for the new movie, from the Ranger armor to the villainous Rita Repula to the hulking Megazord. And now, we have our first look at the redesigned robotic sidekick Alpha 5.

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arrival alien designs

The aliens in Denis Villeneuve‘s adaptation of Ted Chiang‘s Arrival are remarkably simple. Besides not sharing any glaringly obvious resemblances to any other aliens we’ve seen lately on film, there’s a gracefulness to how they move, communicate, and interact with their ship’s environment. Unsurprisingly, the final designs we saw don’t share a whole lot in common with some original designs concept artist Peter Konig made for the emotional sci-fi drama.

Below, see some of the alternative Arrival alien designs.  Read More »