This week, movie-goers will get to have a pretty unusual experience in the theaters in the form of writer/director Ilya Naishuller‘s new first-person action flick, Hardcore Henry. The film was shot “as humanly as possible” according to Naishuller, with the entire story viewed from the perspective of the main character, who is back from the dead without his memory and must rediscover his identity to save his wife from a psychotic telekinetic warlord who is after the technology that brought Henry back to life. Starring in the film are actors Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elyisum), Tim Roth (Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction), Haley Bennett (Marly & Me, The Equalizer), and Darya Charusha (Vdrebezgi, Kholodnyy Front). Although this is Naishuller’s first time out on a major project, the concept itself is pretty sweet, and the trailer looks even better! What’s more is it doesn’t look like there’s an over dependence on CGI. The trailer is available here on MADE. Check it out in theaters this Friday.
The new futuristic A.I. film from director Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium) titled Chappie is opening in theaters this March 6th, but next month, movie-goers will get to see a different kind of A.I. story that doesn’t necessarily involve revolution or all-out-war between man and machine. The new film is titled Ex Machina and comes from a script by film writer/director Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later), who also directed. Ex Machina follows the story of a young programmer, Caleb, who wins a week vacation to the company-CEO’s private mountain retreat only to find his reason for being there is to take part in an experiment involving A.I. encased in a robot resembling a beautiful human-woman. Sounds a bit reminiscent of Her with Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson back in 2013, but this time we’re dealing with an actual robot that not only brings an erie human quality to the film, but also allows for the great special-effect sequences you can see in the trailer. Starring in the film are actors Alicia Vikander (A Royal Affair, The Fifth Estate), Domhnall Gleeson (About Time, Unbroken), and Golden Globe-nominee Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, A Most Violent Year). This one really looks like it will be worth the watch, so definitely consider adding it to your must-see list; in the meantime you can check out the new trailer here on MADE. The film is scheduled for release April 10, 2015.
Oscar-nominated writer/director Neill Blomkamp‘s upcoming sci-fi thriller Chappie will be opening in theaters this March 6th, and if you are at all familiar with his work on District 9 and Elysium, I would definitely put this one in your calendar. Starring Hugh Jackman (The Wolverine, Les Miserables) and Sigourney Weaver (Alien, Avatar), the film takes place in a future where the police-force is run by robotic-officers who use brute force against the citizens. Things take a turn, however, when Chappie is captured and reprogrammed to have independent thought, posing a threat to the established order, who begin attempts to ensure Chappie is the last of his kind. Blomkamp co-wrote the project with screenwriter Terri Tatchell (Adicolor Yellow, District 9). Check out the trailer now available on MADE.
Although Jeremy Renner did a pretty good job expanding our insight into the Jason Bourne universe as fellow Treadstone agent Aaron Cross, The Bourne Legacy was still lacking in the excitement and suspense that Paul Greengrass brought to The Bourne Supremacy and Ultimatum films with veteran actor Matt Damon. But now news from Deadline reports that Greengrass and Damon will be reuniting for a fourth installment in the original Jason Bourne storyline from Universal Pictures, and the release date for the film will now take the place of the planned sequel to Renner’s Bourne Legacy (July 2016). There is no official news release on the new plotline, but the rumors about what it could be are already starting to hit the web, with a lot of speculation as to whether Renner’s Aaron Cross and Damon’s Bourne will cross paths or if the film will only focus on Bourne. In The Bourne Legacy we saw how Renner’s story was running parallel to Jason Bourne’s expeditions in The Bourne Ultimatum, but whether or not Greengrass will want to cross the two plots is, again, still uncertain. Since Ultimatum was released (and Damon refused to make another Bourne unless Greengrass was signed on to direct), the two filmmakers have worked on a number of projects, with Greengrass releasing Captain Phillips with Tom Hanks last year, and Damon appearing in films like Contagion, Elysium, and The Monuments Men, the two did work together on Green Zone in 2010, so it only seems appropriate that they should be reunited under the Bourne banner once again. Damon is scheduled to begin filming The Martian with director Ridley Scott by the end of this year for a November 2015 release, and will also make an uncredited cameo in Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar at the end of this year. We’ll keep an eye out for more updates.
Having just appeared in Elysium with Jodie Foster in 2012, Matt Damon will be getting behind the camera for another space adventure with director Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) for The Martian. Coming from a script that was adapted by Drew Goddard from Andy Weir’s book, the story follows an astronaut who ends up stranded on Mars and must play the survival game until he can find a means to get back to Earth. Goddard was originally set to write and direct the project, but his earlier commitment to direct The Sinister Six for Sony Pictures has Scott now in talks to direct, even though Scott is currently finishing up Exodus for release later this year and also has Prometheus 2 scheduled for a March 2016 release. Warner Bros. pictures has also recently announced that a sequel to Scott’s 1982 blockbuster Blade Runner is going to be in the works with Harrison Ford reprising his role as Rick Deckard. According to Alcon Entertainment, who co-produced/financed the first Blade Runner, the screenplay will be written by original writers Hampton Fancher and Michael Green and will, if all goes according to plan, follow Ford’s character several decades after the conclusion of the first film, with Scott once again directing. Considering all of the projects Scott is also involved with as producer, it seems his plate is filling up pretty quickly, but we’ll see how all of this pans out. The Martian will most likely be the first step after Prometheus 2 is finished (assuming Scott does decide to direct), and then Blade Runner will follow that (also assuming it doesn’t conflict with his new Star Wars commitments!).
Hugh Jackman has really proved himself a dynamic actor these last few years. His role as Jean Valjean in 2012’s Les Miserables was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, and his willingness to take on challenging and dramatic films like The Fountain (2006) and Prisoners (in theaters now) has made him one of Hollywood’s most popular actors. With another Wolverine sequel in the bag and another X-Men movie coming out next summer, Jackman never seems to stop. He has now said that he will be taking a role in Neill Blomkamp’s next movie, a comedy entitled Chappie. Taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa, Chappie is the story of a robot who is stolen by a couple of gangsters in order to do their dirty work for them.
Following the release of Elysium back in August, Blomkamp was considering a possible sequel to District 9 as his next project; while there are no reports of that being totally out of the question, Chappie will take the director’s futuristic themes in a different direction, focusing instead on humorous scenarios and situations rather than serious and dramatic events regarding politics and the class system. Jackman may only have a small part in the film which will be shooting into next year, but with Blomkamp behind the camera I don’t think we have to worry about disappointment. Both players are highly experienced in their work, so let’s just give Blomkamp the well-deserved chance to try his talents at comedy that he deserves. Hopefully it pays off!
The biographical pic Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher as the late computer innovator, opened in theaters across the country this week to some harsh reviews but decent box office scores. The movie has so far secured $2 million in nationwide ticket sales, coming in 6th this week behind The Butler (which has already made $8 million!), Kick-Ass 2, We’re The Millers, Elysium, and Planes. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, however, was not impressed with the movie and said that despite its entertaining quality, he wouldn’t personally recommend the film to anybody. According to Wozniak (who refused to collaborate on the film because a script had already been written), the film, and Ashton Kutcher, portrayed Jobs to be a naturally gifted genius, without the need for personal growth and development that lead up to his breakthrough technology that was the iPod.
Harsh words, but I guess Wozniak would be the most appropriate person to criticize considering Jobs played a crucial part in his life. He did maintain, however, that the movie held his attention and was entertaining to an extent, so if you’re an Ashton Kutcher or Steve Jobs fan it might still be worth your time to go see it anyway; just know you’re about to be told a story that may not be entirely accurate. There is supposedly another Jobs movie that will be coming out in which Wozniak is said to be providing some personal input, and then another film that rumors are flying around about, but for now this is the only publicity Steve Jobs will be getting for the immediate future. The Butler is projected to the top contender this week, having already made $8 million (excluding Saturday and Sunday sales) followed by Kick-Ass 2 which is already pushing $6 million.
Elysium opened this weekend to $30.5 million for the three day stretch. It beat out Jennifer Aniston’s We’re The Millers, as well as Disney’s Planes, and Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. Elysium is the first release for writer/director Neill Blokamp since 2009, when he received critical acclaim for the sci-fi drama District 9, which pulled in $37 million in it’s opening weekend debut. Like District 9, Elysium has already drawn heavy attention from critics for its reflections on social class structures and the so-called “left-wing agenda,” but that didn’t stop District 9 from scoring big with audiences and becoming an unexpected hit in Hollywood. Elysium also has the celebrity pull that District 9 was lacking, starring two Oscar winners, Matt Damon and Jodie Foster, in the leading roles. The only concern for Elysium now is that it came in somewhat short for a movie with a budget of $115 million, so Sony may be pretty anxious to see the worldwide release results. I have high hopes for this movie though; Blokamp is both a great writer and director, and if Elysium is anything close to District 9, audiences are sure to be in for a big surprise.
With Elysium coming closer to its August release date, it seems writer/director Neill Blomkamp has turned part of his focus to his next project, District 10. District 9 was a surprise hit in 2009 as well as Blomkamp’s first feature-length film as director. Blomkamp is also working on a film called Chappie which is set to come out sometime next year. That hasn’t, however, stopped him from writing a potential draft for District 10, which according to recent reports consists of 18 pages. Blomkamp will most likely be more fixed on his more pressing projects, but it would be really cool to see a sequel for District 9 get the green-light. If you haven’t seen it you should definitely check it out, then go see Elysium when it comes out next month! You can find the trailer on the MADE-Movies page.
Check out director Neill Blokamp’s latest film, Elysium, due out this fall and starring Matt Damon and Jodie Foster. This is Blomkamp’s first film since District 9 (2009), which he also wrote and directed. Be sure to keep an eye out for Elysium late August.