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    • Sci-Fi Thriller Settlers Offers a Harrowing Reminder of the Limits of Survival

      Posted on Friday July 23, 2021

      Ilsa (Sofia Boutella) holds a distraught Remmy (Brooklynn Prince).Image: IFC MidnightOn an isolated homestead surrounded by rocky terrain, a family lives in constant fear, nervously scanning the horizon, anticipating the arrival of something dreadful. It could be the “Wild West,” but this frontier is far more extreme: Mars, where the landscape is menacing and the people turn out to be even worse.From the beginning of Wyatt Rockefeller’s Settlers, we sense there’s great danger lurking, as much as parents Reza (Elementary’s Jonny Lee Miller) and Ilsa (Sofia Boutella of Hotel Artemis and Star Trek Beyond) try to shield their precocious daughter Remmy (The Turning’s Brooklynn Prince) from realizing the extent of it. We get a tiny bit of exposition in an early scene—the couple left a decaying Earth in search of a better life, with hopes that Mars will someday be “just like Earth” in its prime—and the movie doesn’t make us wait very long to reveal its central mysteries. For instance, just how everyone’s able to walk around breathing Martian air (turns out there’s a giant dome overhead), and what Reza and Ilsa are so deathly afraid of.The truth about Reza and Ilsa’s life on Mars becomes clearer once ... Continue Reading »

    • How Are Rise of the Beasts' Animal Transformers Going to Work?

      Posted on Friday July 23, 2021

      Optimus Primal looking down Megatron’s throat.Screenshot: Mainframe EntertainmentAfter years of luring audiences back into theaters with the promise of actual real-world vehicles transforming into gargantuan alien robots, the live-action Transformers franchise is finally getting into Beast Wars territory with director Steven Caple Jr.’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. The idea of Optimus Primal teaming up with Optimus Prime on the big screen is certainly a compelling one, but Rise of the Beasts’ promise of transforming animals raises an important question: visually, how is this going to work?Mainframe Entertainment’s Beast Wars series from the ‘90s flung the Transformers into the distant future where the—Maximals and Predacons, descendants of the Autobots and Decepticons—continue to wage war with one another. After their ships are sucked into a rift in time and space, both Optimus Primal and Megatron’s teams of Transformers find themselves stranded on a strange planet that’s ultimately revealed to be a prehistoric Earth. Because of the general time period (and a fair amount of ahistorical fudging for science-fiction’s sake), Beast Wars Transformers all took on the forms of animals rather than vehicles after scanning their surroundings for the dominant forms of life. Both because Beast Wars put far less emphasis ... Continue Reading »

    • Terminator 2's Ending Is Emotional, Even in Claymation

      Posted on Friday July 23, 2021

      RIP T-800Photo: Distrib Films USHopefully, we’ve all seen Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Because if so, we’ve all gotten emotional at the same unusual image. A black-gloved hand giving a thumbs-up as it slowly descends to its doom. The moment works because James Cameron has taken the unstoppable evil from the first Terminator film, and given him humanity thanks to John and Sarah Conner. When the T-800 Terminator dies, a piece of us dies too.Okay sure, I’m being a little melodramatic, but it fits for what’s about to come next. A few weeks ago, we posted a short, hilarious claymation clip to help the sci-fi site Dust celebrate its five year anniversary. Dust then told us they had more coming soon, to which we replied “Yes, please.” That brings us to today and a claymation version of that unforgettable moment from Terminator 2. This time though, we have some insight into the process from the person who actually created the clips for Dust, Joseph Brett. He told io9 via e-mail that this clip took about eight hours to animated plus “maybe a few more hours building the plasticine models.” He uses the standard Newplast Plasticine you can find in local ... Continue Reading »

    • Dune: The Sisterhood's TV Future Is Suddenly Looking Brighter

      Posted on Friday July 23, 2021

      Lady Jessica’s looks are on point in the new Dune film.Screenshot: Warner Bros.Jordan Peele’s newly revealed horror film is already lining up its cast. Here’s hoping the boat doesn’t sink because Disney is already ready for a Jungle Cruise sequel. Plus updates from Shining Girls and Shining Dale, and a new look at The Green Knight. Spoilers are so happy it’s Friday...NopeVariety reports The Crow’s Michael Wincott, The OA’s Brandon Perea and Euphoria’s Barbie Ferreira have joined the cast of Jordan Peele’s latest horror film, Nope. The PeripheralAmazon’s The Peripheral—from Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s Kilter Films— has gained Transparent star Alexandra Billings. She’ll join Chloë Grace Moretz and Jack Reynor in the sci-fi series based on the novel by William Gibson.[Deadline]Battle of the PlanetsFast 9 screenwriter Daniel Casey is reportedly writing a feature adaptation of the 1978 Japanese anime series, Battle of the Planets, for the Russo Brothers’ production company, AGBO.[Deadline]Jungle Cruise 2According to THR, “discussion of a Jungle Cruise sequel” is already underway at Disney. Blood Red SkyBloody-Disgusting has a new German poster for Blood Red Sky. You can check out our review from Cheryl Eddy right here.Photo: NetflixThe Green KnightWe also have a few new ... Continue Reading »

    • Dungeon & Dragon's New Drizzt Books Will Work to Combat the Drows' Racist Past

      Posted on Friday July 23, 2021

      Drizzt’s next adventure will open his eyes—and ours—to a wider, more nuanced view of the Drow.Screenshot: Wizards of the CoastFor years, Dungeons & Dragons has trafficked in the idea of specific racial traits assigned to its many species—a player picks a race, and they have specialized strengths, weaknesses, moralities, and ideologies. Some of those histories have, in turn, trafficked in racist stereotypes assigned to “othered” races, often with non-white skin. Changes have been underway in the game to address this, but now one of D&D’s most beloved writers is helping change it too.Although the Drow—a race of originally black-skinned dark elves, who have, over the years since their introduction, been portrayed in different dark hues in an attempt to move beyond their depiction as explicitly black beings—have been a part of Dungeons & Dragons in its original inception, author R.A. Salvatore arguably created the most iconic and beloved member of their kind when he created Drizzt Do’Urden. Drizzt has starred in myriad novels—many penned by Salvatore—and in video games, and he and his feline companion Guenhwyvar plaster the booster pack art for the D&D-themed Magic: The Gathering set Adventures in the Forgotten Realms, releasing this week. The Drow ... Continue Reading »

    • David S. Goyer Shares His Honest Opinions on DC’s Superhero Adaptations

      Posted on Thursday July 22, 2021

      David S. Goyer at the the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour in 2018.Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty ImagesThough Netflix’s upcoming adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman may come as a surprise to people unfamiliar with the comics, the story’s long journey to the screen has almost become part of its lore. Few people know just how many developmental twists and turns The Sandman saw before landing on Netflix than executive producer David S. Goyer, whose past writing credits include little-known films like Marvel’s Blade trilogy, Batman Begins, and Batman v. Superman to name a few. With so many bombastic cinematic spectacles under his belt, one might get the impression that sort of energy’s a part of Goyer’s approach to The Sandman, but judging from a recent interview with the Hollywood Reporter, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Because Goyer doesn’t quite consider The Sandman to be part of DC’s larger comics universe, he considers himself having moved away somewhat from working on comic book adaptations in being involved with it. The Sandman, Goyer explained, was always something he felt needed episodic storytelling, and a big part of Netflix’s series coming into form came from a Sandman movie script ... Continue Reading »

    • 14 Loki Facts Gloriously Revealed in Its Making-of Documentary

      Posted on Thursday July 22, 2021

      Loki (Tom Hiddleston) and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) in Disney+’s Loki.Photo: Marvel StudiosAfter watching Disney+’s new documentary on the making of Marvel’s Loki, you’re gonna have a list of movies to watch. The behind-the-scenes episode, which is the latest in the Assembled series that’s already covered WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, is filled with fascinating facts and revelations about the time-bending show starring Tom Hiddleston. There’s historical context, plus info on the show’s design, production, and scope—and, yes, plenty of classic movies the creators drew inspiration from. Loki timePhoto: Marvel StudiosSince Loki is a show about time and timelines, it’s fitting that the documentary reveals the series’ timeline. Production on Loki began on February 10, 2020 at 8 a.m. local time and ended 299 days later. That’s 7,176 hours or 430,560 minutes of time the team had to worry about physical production. After editing, the result is six episodes equalling a total of 280 minutes and 17 seconds. That’s a lot of Loki considering in the previous 10 years, he’d been actually on screen in the MCU for less than two hours.Thanks, Comic-ConScreenshot: Disney+After the success of Marvel’s The Avengers, producer Kevin Feige ... Continue Reading »

    • Breaking Down the Sandworm Riding and Space-Folding in Dune's New Trailer

      Posted on Thursday July 22, 2021

      Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) fights with the Fremen.Image: Warner Bros.Arrakis is a beautiful world being torn apart by ugliness, but the man destined to save the planet may also be its doom. Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Denis Villeneuve’s Dune, and we’re here to look at every key moment, including Baron Harkonnen’s (Stellan Skarsgård) big debut—plus that weird light thing that definitely isn’t a tree.Dune stars Timotée Chalamet as the aristocrat-turned-rebel-leader Paul Atreides. Together with his mother Lady Jessica (Rebecca Ferguson) and the Fremen warrior Chani (Zendaya), Paul strikes back against the forces that destroyed his home and threaten Arrakis and its people. Of course, there’s more to Paul Atreides than meets the eye. Let’s look at what that means—and, for newcomers to Dune, we won’t be diving too heavily into spoiler territory from the books, so come and join us!Gif: Warner Bros.We start with a shot of ornithopters, helicopter-like machines used for travel, flying over the dunes of Arrakis. As mentioned in the previous trailer breakdown, many devices and transports resemble organic life because the galaxy has shunned artificial intelligence technology. That’s why this one looks like a dragonfly. It’s a beautiful shot that ... Continue Reading »

    • The Last of Us Adds Fringe and Mindhunter Star Anna Torv

      Posted on Thursday July 22, 2021

      Anna Torv, seen here on Mindhunter, is joining HBO’s The Last of Us.Photo: NetflixThe popular zombie survival video game The Last of Us is all about tragedy, but here’s another tragedy: that Netflix’s David Fincher show, Mindhunter, is not returning for a third season. It’s a bummer for a bunch of reasons, but the main one is that we’ll no longer get to see Anna Torv steal every damn scene on the show as Dr. Wendy Carr. However, something good has come out of it, since Torv has now joined the upcoming HBO show based on The Last of Us game.Variety reports that she’ll play Tess on the show, which is currently filming in Canada. In the game, Tess is Joel’s (The Mandalorian’s Pedro Pascal) partner in crime before Joel heads out across the country with Ellie (Game of Thrones’ Bella Ramsey) to help stop a zombie apocalypse. Fans might also know Torv from her starring role as Olivia Dunham on Fringe, but since I’ve never seen that show (I know, I know), I’d just like to wax poetic a bit more about her performance on Mindhunter. In a series that started off being about two men who team ... Continue Reading »

    • Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins Misses Its Target

      Posted on Thursday July 22, 2021

      Henry Golding as Snake Eyes in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins.Photo: ParamountEarly on in Snake Eyes: G.I. Joe Origins, the film’s hero, Snake Eyes (Henry Golding) is forced to fight 15-20 adversaries at once—and, against all odds, he triumphs. Having that many people fight one man is the film’s way of telling us this dude is a force to be reckoned with. But a few scenes later, he fights another huge group of people. Then another. And another. Once is character-building and exciting, by the fourth or fifth battle, it loses almost all of its power—of course Snake Eyes will make it out of another lopsided fight. That mix of partially cool and partially repetitive is a great example of what you can expect from the latest reboot of Hasbro’s popular G.I. Joe franchise.Directed by Robert Schwentke (Red) from a script by Evan Spiliotopoulos, Anna Waterhouse, and Joe Shrapnel, the film aims to provide a unique backdoor introduction into a much larger world, one where the “Real American Heroes,” G.I. Joe, fight their enemies at Cobra. Along the way though, Snake Eyes feels aggressively disinterested in sustained excitement or narrative innovation. Instead, it relies too heavily on familiar, meaningless action ... Continue Reading »

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