Fans of director Ridley Scott‘s original sci-fi thriller Alien (1979) were less than disappointed by his 2012 prequel Prometheus. Not only did it lack suspense, but it seemed that most movie-goers failed to even realize that the film was related to the famous flick. But today Scott is making amends to appease fans of the series. Alien: Covenant not only brings back the series title, but reviews say movie-goers can expect a truly horrifying thriller that lives up to the original. Taking place 20 years before Alien, the film follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant as they embark on a mission to a supposedly uncharted planet. There they encounter David, the android survivor of the Prometheus expedition, who unleashes a terrifying threat upon the crew and forces them to attempt a daring escape from otherwise certain doom. Michael Fassbender (Inglorious Basterds, 12 Years A Slave) reprises his role as David (now called Walter), along with an all-new cast that includes Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice, Steve Jobs) and Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Big Fish). This is definitely one to see on the big screen, so if you’re planning on a movie this weekend, I’d keep this one in mind!
Two independent films are seeing a limited theatrical release this weekend. The first is a comedy from Oscar-winning director Taylor Hackford (An Officer and a Gentlemen, Ray) titled The Comedian. Robert De Niro stars as an aging insult comic who must learn to adapt his art for the modern world of technology, YouTube, and social media. De Niro is backed by an outstanding supporting cast including Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, The 40-Year-Old Virgin), Danny DeVito (Hoffa, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia), Billy Crystal (When Harry Met Sally, Analyze This), Harvey Keitel (Mean Streets, Reservoir Dogs), Edie Falco (The Sopranos, Nurse Jackie), and Patti Lupone (Witness, City by the Sea). Despite having an impressive cast and director, the film has received incredibly harsh reviews from critics, who complain the potential of the cast and director are overshadowed by asinine, old-school comedy. Judging from the trailer, however, it looks like an entirely crowd-pleasing, worthy-of-the-times comedy, so don’t leave it off of your list just because of a few critics with no sense of humor! The Comedian is expected to see an expanded release in early February, so look for it in theaters for a good Valentines date! Continue reading
This year, writer, director, and producer Ridley Scott (Gladiator, Hannibal) will see two of his most famous films back on big screens nationwide in the form of the new sequels Alien: Covenant and Blade Runner 2049. The original films Alien (1979) and Blade Runner (1982) are two of Scott’s most renowned films, and this year, movie-goers will get the chance to see modernized takes on both films, which have developed huge followings over the years.
Scott personally got back behind the camera to direct Alien: Covenant. Serving as both a sequel to Prometheus (2012) and a prequel to the original Alien, Alien: Covenant follows the crew of the colony ship Covenant as they discover a seemingly unknown paradise in deep space. As they begin to explore, however, they quickly uncover a dark and dangerous world, inhabited only by David, the synthetic survivor from the Prometheus expedition, who forces the crew to attempt a fast, and daring escape. Continue reading
With Daniel Craig (Layer Cake, Quantum of Solace) sadly stepping down from the role, speculation continues to circle the web as to who is going to replace him as the world’s most famous spy. Although MGM had reportedly offered Craig £68 million for a further two films, plus shares, inside reports have stated that Craig is simply done with the role, and is moving on. And so now must producers Barbara Broccoli (GoldenEye, The World is Not Enough) and Michael G. Wilson (For Your Eyes Only, License to Kill), along with the heads at MGM, decide on a new actor to further the franchise. The favored choice, at least according to all the rumors, is Avengers and High-Rise actor Tom Hiddleston, who has thus far denied all of the rumors, but who, I’m sure, is not completely against the idea. Another name that has come up is Aiden Turner (The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, Poldark), but according to a more recent report from the Daily Mail, Billy Eliot and Nymphomaniac star Jamie Bell is in actual talks with the producers to take over the role. Continue reading
A new wartime comedy starring Tina Fey (30 Rock, Sisters) and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street, Focus) titled Whiskey Tango Foxtrot is opening in theaters this Friday, March 4th. The film is an adaptation of author Kim Barker’s novel The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, about a journalist during her time reporting in the war-ridden Middle East. Screenwriter Robert Carlock (Friends, Saturday Night Live) adapted the book for directing partners Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (I Love You Phillip Morris, Crazy Stupid Love). Co-starring in the film are actors Martin Freeman (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Hot Fuzz), Alfred Molina (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Arc, Spider-Man 2), Christopher Abbott (Martha Marcy May Marlene, A Most Violent Year), and Billy Bob Thornton (Monster’s Ball, Armageddon). This one first seemed like a pretty strange comedy for Tina Fey to take on, but judging from the latest trailer, it does look like a pretty promising piece of screenwriting, so I guess we’ll just have to see this weekend. The trailer is available here on MADE. Enjoy!
It’s official: there’s a new Power Rangers big-screen adaptation coming to theaters in 2017, and pre-production is already well underway. So much so, in fact, that a director and some initial cast spots have already been filled. Leading the new movie is Project Almanac director Dean Israelite, who will work from a script by screenwriting partners Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz (Thor, X-Men: First Class). Actress Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games, Zack and Miri Make a Porno) has just been cast in the role of villain Rita Repulsa, who will face-off with the Power Rangers, comprising of actors Naomi Scott (The 33, The Martian) as the Pink Ranger, Kimberly, RJ Cyler (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Second Chances) as the Blue Ranger, Billy, Becky G. (House of Sin, Empire) as the Yellow Ranger, Trini, Darce Montgomery (A Few Less Men) as Red Ranger, Jason, and Ludi Lin (The Intruders, Monster Hunt) as the Black Ranger, Zack. No word yet on whether or not old Zed will appear alongside Rita, or who will star as Zordon or the robot Alpha, but seeing as it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the Power Rangers in theaters, we can expect this is one remake people might actually want to see happen. Stay tuned for more updates.
A new drama from writer/director Gabrielle Demeestere (The Last Cigarette, The Color of Time) will be seeing a limited release in theaters this Friday. Based on the book A California Childhood by James Franco, the film follows three 5th grade friends in 1985, whose life stories begin to unfold as the town as the threat of a loose mountain lion looms over the community of Palo Alto, California. Starring in the lead is original writer James Franco (127 Hours, The Interview), who shares the screen with actors Everett Meckler (Emily and Billy), Alec Mansky, and Steven Wiig (Into the Wild, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes). The film was an official selection winner at this years Nashville Film Festival, Sarasota Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival, Provincetown International Film Festival, and Slamdance Film Festival(s) this year. This is also Demeestere’s second outing with Franco; the two worked previously together on the 2012 biographical drama The Color of Time. Watch the trailer here on MADE, and if it’s playing in a theater near you this weekend, definitely keep this one on the list of possibilities. Enjoy!
Reactions by fans to the news that there would be a second Zoolander was pretty mixed, although it didn’t necessarily come with any real surprise considering Hollywood insists on banking on 20-year-old franchises these days. Nevertheless the rumors were true and production has been underway for sometime now, with the upcoming release for Zoolander 2 scheduled for February 12, 2016. Ben Stiller (Meet the Parents, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers, Midnight in Paris) are reprising their roles as fashion models Derek and Hansel, whose careers are now threatened by a new company attempting to put them out of business. Ben Stiller is once again behind the director’s chair, working from a script by himself and original Zoolander screenwriter John Hamburg (Along Came Polly, I Love You Man), along with Justin Theroux (Tropic Thunder, Iron Man 2) and Nicholas Stoller (Yes Man, Get Him To The Greek). Actors Christine Taylor (The Wedding Singer, License To Wed), Will Farrell (Old School, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy), and Billy Zane (Back to the Future, Titanic) are also returning to reprise their roles from the original film, along with newcomers Benedict Cumberbatch (12 Years A Slave, The Imitation Game), Olivia Munn (Magic Mike, The Newsroom), Kristen Wiig (The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The League), and Penelope Cruz (Blow, The Counselor). Personal politics aside, the trailer does look pretty promising, though perhaps a bit overdone, and seeing Benedict Cumberbatch as a cross-dresser is definitely a step outside of his usual realm of acting, so maybe it will make for a decent Valentine’s date. Only time will tell. The trailer is now available here on MADE. Enjoy the weekend!
Oscar winner Sandra Bullock (Speed, Crash), who has been lending her voice to animated comedies of late, is returning to the big screen this week in a new “dramedy” Our Brand Is Crisis. Directed by Pineapple Express and East Bound & Down director David Gordon Green, the film is a dramatization of Rachel Boynton’s 2005 documentary of the same name by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Peter Straughan (Tinkler Taylor Soldier Spy, The Men Who Stare At Goats). Bullock stars as Jane, an experienced political campaign strategist who is sent to war-torn South American to aid in the installation of a new leader, but whose efforts art threatened to be thwarted by an old political rival. Also starring in the film is Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton (Armageddon, Monster’s Ball), with Anthony Mackie (Million Dollar Baby, Avengers: Age of Ultron), Joaquim de Almeida (Clear and Present Danger, Behind Enemy Lines), and Scoot McNairy (Argo,12 Years A Slave) included in the supporting cast. Argo producers George Clooney (The Ides of March, The Monuments Men) and Grant Heslov (Good Night and Good Luck, August: Osage County) are behind the production of the project, which thus far has drawn much praise for Bullock’s acting, but also mixed feelings about the screenplay and directing. I suppose you’ll have to decide for yourself when you see it in theaters! The movie opens on Friday. Enjoy the trailer.
John Sturges‘s original Magnificent Seven, including Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn (1960).
Filmmaker Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer) is currently working on principle photography for his upcoming remake of the classic 1960 western The Magnificent Seven. The original film was directed by legendary director John Sturges (The Great Escape, Joe Kidd) and featured an all-star cast that included Yul Brynner (The Ten Commandments), Eli Wallach (The Good The Bad and the Ugly), Steve McQueen (Bullitt), Charles Bronson (Death Wish), Robert Vaughn (Julius Caesar), Brad Dexter (Run Silent Run Deep), and James Coburn (Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid). Composer Elmer Bernstein received an Oscar-nomination for Best Musical Score (Drama/Comedy) for his work on the picture, and the film was selected for the National Film Registry by the National Film Preservation Board in 2013. John Lee Hancock (The Alamo, The Blind Side) and Nic Pizzolatto (The Killing, True Detective) are behind the new screenplay, which (like Sturges’s film) is based on the original Japanese script Shichinin No Samurai by Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, and Hideo Oguni. Making up the new crew of gunslingers are actors Chris Pratt (Parks & Recreation, Jurassic World), Matt Bomer (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, In Time), Denzel Washington (The Bone Collector, Inside Man), Vincent D’Onofrio (Full Metal Jacket, Men in Black), Ethan Hawke (Brooklyn’s Finest, Boyhood), Cam Gigandet (Twilight, Easy A), and Peter Sarsgaard (FlightPlan, Jarhead). Considering the movie is not expected in theaters until next September, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it pop up at a few film festivals next year, but we’ll keep an eye out for further production information.