Resident Evil Reboot

Update: Deadline reports that Insidious, The Conjuring, Furious 7, and Aquaman director James Wan is on board to produce the Resident Evil reboot. Considering his history with the horror genre, this choice certainly does suggest that the new films will hew closer to the tone of the original games. Greg Russo will write the script. The original story follows below.

The Resident Evil film franchise that starred Milla Jovovich and was directed entirely by filmmaker Paul W.S. Anderson came to an end earlier this year with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. The video game movie series finale may have only grossed nearly $27 million at the domestic box office, but it raked in over $285 million internationally on a budget of just $40 million. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a Resident Evil reboot is already being developed overseas.

The German production company Constantin Film is currently developing a Resident Evil reboot, and currently the plan is to have the story span six total movies, just like the film franchise that just concluded. This isn’t just putting the horse before the cart, this is throwing the cart halfway across the world before the horse has even learned to walk. Read More »

black mirror season 4

Black Mirror season 3 was one of my favorite things I watched in 2016 and Netflix is the perfect home for a show so unsettling that you can’t look away (or take breaks between episodes). While the big-hearted and romantic “San Junipero” was the best episode of the entire series so far, it sounds like season 4 will once again deliver the show’s trademark pessimistic outlook on the near future. After all, it was just revealed that one of the episodes is based on a short story written by magician, comedian, and author Penn Jillette that was dark enough to remain unpublished for decades. In other words, it sounds about perfect for Black Mirror.

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dark universe

Universal Studios is going all-in on their new cinematic universe connecting all of their classic monsters. While The Mummy is set to kick things off next month, the studio has revealed that this franchise will be collected under a single banner called Dark Universe, which will have its own logo that will appear before each movie, complete with a musical theme composed by Danny Elfman. As you can see from the image above, the logo is a shadowy version of the traditional Universal logo. You can see the whole thing in action, and hear Elfman’s bombastic fanfare, below.

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Alien Covenant

(In our Spoiler Reviews, we take a deep dive into a new release and get to the heart of what makes it tick…and every story point is up for discussion. In this entry: Ridley Scott’s Alien: Covenant.)

In 1979, Ridley Scott unleashed Alien on unsuspecting moviegoers, creating something that would end up becoming iconic in the process. Scott, a filmmaker with a background in graphic design, took what was essentially the type of B-movie that cluttered up drive-in theaters and turned it into something greater – a haunted-house picture set in space, dripping with atmosphere and dread, heightened by grotesque creature designs from nightmare-expert artist H.R. Giger.

Alien would turn into a franchise, although Scott stayed away for most of it. He returned for the sort-of prequel Prometheus, one of the most polarizing films of his career. Fans expecting another Alien were sorely disappointed, as Scott no longer seemed interested in the simple, dread-inducing terror of his 1979 film. Instead, the filmmaker wanted to use the Alien mythology as a framework on which to build a more complex, existential examination of the origins of humanity.

Scott could’ve walked away from the Alien franchise after Prometheus, but instead he seems committed to riding this out to see how far it will go. He has returned with Alien: Covenant, which loaded its trailers and promotional material with the familiar xenomorph alien that fans are familiar with. This film, Scott seemed to be saying, would be the Alien-type film Prometheus was not. It was a trick, though. The filmmaker had more complicated, complex ideas in mind. They don’t always work, but you have to at least appreciate his willingness to experiment with them at this stage in his career.

Spoilers follow.

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Halloween Reboot

Starring in an Alien movie, co-writing a Halloween film, and a second season of Vice Principals on the way, it’s a good time to be a Danny McBride fan. McBride and David Gordon Green, who directed most of season 2 of Vice Principals, are working on getting Michael Meyers back in theaters next October.

According to McBride, the man in the iconic mask will no longer be some unkillable entity. Below, McBride discusses the new Halloween reboot and going back to the simplicity of John Carpenter‘s classic.

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Alien Covenant

After questioning where human life came from in Prometheus, director Ridley Scott continues the narrative in the prequel sequel Alien: Covenant. But the trailers have indicated that this is an Alien movie that also goes back to the monstrous roots of the original 1979 movie that introduced audiences to xenomorphs. The truth is that it’s both. The question is whether that results in a cohesive, thoughtful, suspenseful sci-fi flick that’s worth your time.

After the jump, those of us on the /Film crew who saw the movie already offer their own thoughts. Read More »

event horizon director's cut

Event Horizon is so good that it makes you want to reconsider the rest of Paul W.S. Anderson‘s filmography. For those who haven’t seen the movie, it’s essentially Hellraiser in outer space – a spaceship goes to hell and back (literally), bringing all kinds of evil nastiness with it. It shines like a dark, bloody star through the occasionally wooden dialogue, delivering a genre cocktail with flavors of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Alien, and The Exorcist. It’s never as good as those movies, but its B-movie charm provides an equally compelling reason to dig in and enjoy.

For years, we’ve heard rumblings that footage that was removed from the theatrical cut would make its way on to home video, possibly in the form of a director’s cut. However, Anderson has now revealed that this is unlikely – the footage in question is lost.

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Alien Covenant

(Because of the mixed reactions to the film from critics across the internet, we are running two reviews of Alien: Covenant. Here’s a negative take on the movie. For a different take, you can read Karen Han’s positive review.)

Ridley Scott has made two great films: Alien and Blade Runner. In spite of the sequel to the latter coming this fall, Scott has chosen to cross-breed these two science-fiction classics in making Alien: Covenant. Based on that title, you might hope that this will right whatever wrongs were incurred by his 2012 film Prometheus, which professed to start the origin story of the feared xenomorphs while populating that story with some of the dumbest characters in recent memory. You would be wrong. Alien: Covenant is basically the answer to a question that shouldn’t have been asked: what if Roy Batty was the lead of an Alien movie?

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alien covenant

(Because of the mixed reactions to the film from critics across the internet, we are running two reviews of Alien: Covenant. Here’s a positive take on the movie. For a different perspective, you can read Josh Spiegel’s negative review.)

The planet upon which most of Alien: Covenant unfolds is not unlike the movie itself: it’s a vast and beautiful thing, though not without its share of dangers and unexplored territory. Covenant is an epic that sprawls across genres and ideas, some of which are better addressed than others, but in its final act, it shines just two beacons through the darkness. There’s its base DNA in the self-contained drama and horror of 1979’s Alien, and there’s the near-biblical story that director Ridley Scott now wants to tell about man and post-humanity, and the creation of life. The resulting mix is a thrill, in no small part because — for a franchise that seems so determinedly nihilistic — it’s surprisingly earnest.

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Twin Peaks refresher

I’m still shocked that David Lynch and Mark Frost’s Twin Peaks aired on a major television network – let alone in primetime. The series heavily influenced a lot of prestige TV that followed its cancellation after its second season back in 1991, but I can’t think of another show that’s ever run the gamut of styles and genres quite the way this one did. The original run of episodes was thrilling because we had absolutely no idea what kind of show it would be from one moment to the next. Twin Peaks was the absolute king of tonal shifts, often whipping from surreal to comedic, from melodramatic to genuinely heartbreaking, from profound to eye-rollingly dumb. This show contained multitudes. But through it all, it remained enigmatic, eccentric, exciting, and distinctly Lynchian – even when Lynch himself scaled back his involvement during the show’s questionable second season.

With the limited series revival heading to Showtime this weekend, now’s a good time for a refresher about what you need to know, some questions left unanswered, and a bit of good old-fashioned speculation about what we might see in the future. Grab a cup of damn fine coffee, a slice of cherry pie, and join me for a whirlwind trip to small town America in the Pacific Northwest.
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