The Matrix. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Independence Day. Star Wars. Wall-E. If you know and like those movies (and at least one more we won’t mention to avoid spoiling anything) you’re going to find Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion incredibly familiar. The filmmaker’s second film directly references and was indirectly influenced by a plethora of classic films, giving his “original” story a not-so-original feel. It’s almost as if Kosinski’s love of sci-fi was so big, he simply had to stuff it all into one big movie.
Yet even with those influences bursting from its seams, Oblivion is a delight. It is a gorgeous, exciting and satisfying film filled with beautiful visuals, eye-popping action and confident storytelling.
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In the twenty years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, Terrence Malick was elevated from director who salvaged Days of Heaven only after years of editing, to cinematic messiah. His aesthetic approach was canonized, and actors flocked to work with him, no matter how small the part. Now, with two movies in less than two years (and at least two more on the way) Malick is being brought down to Earth once more. This is a good thing. Once again, he’s just a guy who makes movies. Fortunately, he makes movies in a way that is unlike most others, and thanks to his improvisational process he still carries the trust of talented actors.
I’d very much like to love his latest film, To the Wonder. I do appreciate it quite a lot, which is something different. As if designed to be a miniature of his career, this movie describes a tension between the glorious and prosaic. It is not a conventional narrative, but rather a look over Malick’s shoulder as he feels his way towards an idea.
That idea is a portrait of our relationship to the divine, as expressed through four interconnected lives that sketch a difficult romantic relationship. Whether that “divine” is God or nature, or some ineffable truth, doesn’t really matter. Malick seeks to balance the first brush with wonder and the difficult process of sustaining it though the grind of everyday life. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, March 13th, 2013 by Angie Han
Now that a director’s been locked in for Episode VII, the big question is who’ll get to star in it. And that’s what today’s Star Wars Bits is all about. After the jump:
- Disney CEO confirms the original trio is in talks to return
- Billy Dee Williams has also been asked to come back
- Warwick Davis is “definitely” looking to do more Star Wars
- New details revealed for Star Wars: First Assault game
- Eli Roth, JGL, Mila Kunis, Stanley Tucci and more weigh in
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Posted on Friday, March 8th, 2013 by Angie Han
“Prolific” isn’t a word you would’ve associated with Terrence Malick for the first forty years of his career, which yielded just five films. But it’s coming to define the next stage of it. Since 2011’s Tree of Life he’s been on a roll, with some four films due out in the next few years.
The first of those will be To the Wonder, which hits next month. The dreamy romantic drama stars Ben Affleck as Neil, a man caught between two loves: the French Marina (Olga Kurylenko), who moves with him to Oklahoma, and the all-American Jane (Rachel McAdams), who was his childhood sweetheart. Javier Bardem also stars, a priest suffering a crisis of faith. Hit the jump to check out the latest trailer.
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Posted on Thursday, February 28th, 2013 by Angie Han
Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them in the form of a beautiful mysterious woman in a downed spacecraft. In Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion, Tom Cruise and Andrea Riseborough play two members of a lonely crew mopping up what’s left of Earth decades after a devastating alien attack.
They’re nearing the end of their assignment when Julia (Olga Kurylenko) falls out of the sky, leading Jack (Cruise) to realize that not all is as it seems. And, naturally, that the fate of humanity rests in his hands. Watch the trailer after the jump.
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Terrence Malick has traditionally been one of the most reclusive American filmmakers. He does few interviews, and makes his films shrouded in as much secrecy as possible. But it’s very difficult to make a movie in a vacuum of late, and so we see occasional behind the scenes glimpses.
For To the Wonder, his most recent film, we’ve now got behind the scenes footage released through official channels ahead of the film’s opening. Here the actors, (Ben Affleck, Olga Kurylenko, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem) discuss how there was really no script, and that their characters were shaped by Malick describing them, and that there was essentially a syllabus that included novels and philosophy.
There’s a lot here about shooting on location and the way the director likes to use light. One thing is noticeably absent in this footage, however: Terrence Malick. If you’re hoping for interviews with the still-reclusive director, forget about it. Still, this long featurette is worth a look. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 by Angie Han
If the first trailer for Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion made Tom Cruise look like a human Wall-E, the second turns him into a more typical sci-fi action hero. Not that that’s a bad thing. The new video offers a better idea of just why Jack is so intrigued by the mysterious woman (Olga Kurylenko) in the spacecraft, and what’s at stake when he decides to go against orders. Hit the jump to watch.
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Posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012 by Angie Han
It took Terrence Malick three decades to release his first four features, but since 2011’s Tree of Life he’s been on a roll. He has four more films due out in the next few years, the first of which will be April’s To the Wonder.
We’ve already seen a couple of images from the film, but our best look yet comes in the form of this new trailer. It’s pretty much what you’d expect: a voiceover ruminating on love, meaningful shots of nature and lots of graceful frolicking. Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, and Javier Bardem star. Watch the video after the jump.
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Here’s the first official poster for Oblivion, the new film from Tron Legacy director Joseph Kosinski. The movie casts Tom Cruise as a drone repairman who is stationed on an Earth that has seen better days, to put things mildly. The first image sells a grand vision of an almost fossilized Manhattan, with Cruise in the now-standard poster stance. After Tron I’m not certain about Kosinski’s storytelling chops, but I know he can deliver visual spectacle, and this poster certainly promises big imagery.
Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Melissa Leo also star, with the script by William Monahan, Karl Gajdusek, and Michael Arndt based on a graphic novel that Kosinski created.
The trailer will hit on Sunday, but for now you can see the poster below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012 by Angie Han
Remember way back before Avatar came out, when news of its behind-the-scenes woes, budget headaches, and unoriginal plotline had some commentators predicting one of the most expensive flops in cinema history? And then how when it actually came out, audiences were so dazzled by the gorgeous world of Pandora that it actually went on to become the highest-grossing movie of all time?
Yeah, that probably won’t happen with Empires of the Deep, a troubled and terrible-looking 3D epic that was $130 million and three years in the making. The Chinese-American co-production stars Olga Kurylenko as the the queen of the mermaids, or something, who gets embroiled in an underwater war between various sea creatures and sea monsters, or something. The trailer emphasizes fancy visuals over storytelling and character, but the visuals aren’t even that good to begin with. Watch the video after the jump.
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