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 »

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS review

Note: With Nocturnal Animals out this weekend, we’re re-running our review from TIFF.

There’s a lot to admire about Nocturnal Animals, the second feature from Tom Ford. The narrative is actually two narratives, beautifully braided together by Ford and brought to life by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal. It’s pretentious pulp, in a good way — engaging to watch and pretty to behold. But Nocturnal Animals seems to be aiming for profundity, and there it falls short. It’s trying to say something, but what isn’t exactly clear.  Read More »

Arrival - Amy Adams

Arrival isn’t a political movie.

It is, in so many ways, an apolitical movie, a movie that wants to rise above the muck, cut through the nonsense, and cast a spotlight on concepts that should be universal to every member of the human race. Arrival is a film about patience and restraint, kindness and hope, communication and understanding. It sees our differences, the imagined barriers that divide us, as nothing short of apocalyptic. To survive, humanity must rise to the occasion and come together. To thrive, we must reconcile our passions and our intellects. We need to be smart. We need to be kind. We need to be brave.

But now, just a few days after the 2016 United States presidential election, Arrival has transformed into a beacon in the dark, a glimmer of light in a black room. The opening of a movie has never felt more fortuitous or more necessary. This was a great movie when I saw it over a month ago, but it is now a moral salve, an engine that can transform despair into hope.

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Nocturnal Animals featurette

Tom Ford‘s Nocturnal Animals is a beautiful and nasty piece of work. Ford’s adaptation of the late Austin Wright‘s Tony & Susan has elements of a thriller, but first and foremost, it’s a love story. An often unsettling and tragic love story. Ford’s latest actually shares a few similarities with A Single Man, but it’s a much bigger and darker movie.

Below, watch the Nocturnal Animals featurette.

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Amy Adams in Nocturnal Animals trailer

The new Nocturnal Animals trailer is so decadently gorgeous, you’d think it was a Tom Ford ad. And, well, technically it is — but it’s not for one of his fragrances or clothing lines. Nocturnal Animals is the new film by Ford, the fashion designer who made his feature directing debut on A Single Man.

This one stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal as a divorced couple who’ve been estranged for many years. But their shared past comes rushing back to the forefront when Edward sends Susan a manuscript of his latest novel, a dark thriller about a family assaulted one night on a deserted West Texas road. Cutting between Susan’s life and the story in Edward’s novel, Ford weaves together a riveting tale of love, betrayal, and revenge. Watch the Nocturnal Animals trailer below. Read More »

Arrival Trailer - Amy Adams

It’s a good time to be a sci-fi fan. Sure, there’s all the comic book and superhero movies out there right now, but more importantly there are shows like Westworld on HBO and movies like Arrival on the way. After premiering to rave reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival, the new sci-fi drama from Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve is on the way next month, and one quick final trailer gives us one more tease of what’s in store. Thankfully, it doesn’t give away any of the mystery. If anything it only makes the mystery even more enticing.

Watch the new Arrival trailer after the jump. Read More »

Enchanted 2 director

Before there were live-action remakes of Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast and every other fairy tale in the Disney stable, there was Enchanted. The 2007 film was an affectionate sendup of Disney’s animated catalogue, plucking a stereotypical Disney cartoon princess played by Amy Adams and dropping her in the real world. The film was a huge hit, so naturally it wasn’t long before speculation began swirling about a possible sequel.

But it’s been a while since we’ve had any real updates on that front, which is why we’re intrigued to see that today, the sequel has finally taken a big step forward. Adam Shankman, the director behind Hairspray and Rock of Ages, is now in talks to direct the Enchanted sequel, which is now going by the title Disenchanted. Adams is expected to return as Giselle.  Read More »

Amy Adams in NOCTURNAL ANIMALS teaser trailer

The fall festivals have yielded a bounty of excellent films, and one of the most talked-about right now is Nocturnal Animals. The second feature from fashion designer turned filmmaker Tom Ford stars Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal in an unusual, engaging, and drop-dead gorgeous tale of love and revenge.

Nocturnal Animals is actually two narratives braided together. In one, Susan (Adams) receives a manuscript for a novel by her ex-husband Edward. The two have long been estranged following an unforgivable betrayal on her part, but the book has her reflecting upon their history together. The other is the story laid out in Edward’s book, following a father, Tony (Gyllenhaal), whose family is brutally assaulted on a deserted road one night.

Watch the Nocturnal Animals teaser trailer below. Read More »

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS teaser

The first wave of reviews for Tom Ford‘s Nocturnal Animals are mostly positive. The critics who aren’t particularly taken with Ford’s romantic crime thriller describe it as a hollow piece of work. Ford’s moving debut A Single Man received similar criticisms from its few detractors, so it sounds like we should expect a similar response to his latest film, although it looks and sounds like a completely different movie.

Below, watch the Nocturnal Animals teaser for the trailer.

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Arrival Review

Denis Villeneuve‘s Arrival begins with a premise we’ve seen in a hundred summer blockbusters. One day, aliens arrive on Earth, in the form of twelve mysterious ships scattered around the globe. Their purpose is unclear, and humanity is naturally both intrigued and terrified. Where it goes next, though, is a welcome return to grown-up sci-fi, more Contact or Interstellar than Independence Day.

For starters, the aliens don’t open with an attack. And we Earthlings don’t, either. Instead, the U.S. military calls upon Louise (Amy Adams), a linguistics professor, to try and make contact with the alien spaceship in Montana. From there, Villeneuve carefully unspools a story that’s equal parts heart and intellect, encompassing memory, language, loss, love, grief, and the passage of time.

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