April 09, 2013 | 4:11 p.m.
The new trailer is out for “Elysium,” Neill Blomkamp’s highly anticipated follow-up to his Oscar-nominated feature debut “District 9,” and it promises to return the filmmaker to the realm of cerebral sci-fi that won him such an ardent following. In the year 2154, the wealthy residents of Earth have relocated to the paradise of Elysium, a beautiful space station where there is no poverty, no war and no sickness — and where strict anti-immigration measures ensure that only those rich enough to pay for admittance are admitted to its pristine confines. It’s the job of Jodie Foster’s Secretary Rhodes to keep out the hoi polloi. After an unexpected turn of events leaves Matt Damon’s Earth-bound tough guy Max in a fight for his life, he agrees to attempt a risky scheme to save himself, but he finds himself targeted by […]
March 11, 2011 | 9:00 a.m.
Is it a conspiracy? “The X-Files” went off the air in 2002 and the spooky brand name won’t be seeing the light of day anytime soon after that forgettable feature-film revival in 2008. But here in early 2011 it feels like the truth is still out there — and we’re not just talking about the flashlights and lab coats inherited by Fox’s ”Fringe.” Hollywood has a half-dozen movies hitting theaters — all within a 42-day release window — that might be filed under X, in one way or another. Consider: “I Am Number Four” (Feb. 18): Sure, “Smallville” and “Twilight” inform the tone and character vibes of this movie, but the subplots of secret alien wars on earth, discredited conspiracy theorists and extraterrestrial abductionwere written with the basic alphabet of the old Fox series. Don’t trust us, just listen to supporting character Sam (played by […]
March 04, 2011 | 11:13 a.m.
Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan says “The Adjustment Bureau” has a date with destiny… Once neglected, now lionized, the legendary science-fiction writer Philip K. Dick speaks more to our time than he ever did to his own. Starting with 1982′s “Blade Runner” and including “Total Recall” and “Minority Report,” close to a dozen features based on Dick’s work have generated more than $1 billion in revenue. Now “The Adjustment Bureau” is poised to add to that total. What makes Dick so appealing to our wary, distrustful state of mind is, in novelist Jonathan Lethem’s words, his “remarkably personal vision of paranoia and dislocation.” Never a great prose stylist, Dick had a visionary’s gift for mind-bending ideas about the nature of reality, a gift “Adjustment Bureau” and its notion of unseen forces stage-managing our lives embraces. This film, however, […]
March 02, 2011 | 2:07 p.m.
‘Adjustment Bureau’ director George Nolfi on his Matt Damon-led sci-fi romance: ‘It’s an unusual movie’[updated]
Somebody somewhere is looking out for George Nolfi. That’s the only way to explain the friction-free path of “The Adjustment Bureau,” the first-time director’s genre-bending sci-fi romance, which arrives in theaters Friday. “It’s an unusual movie, to say the least,” said Nolfi, who also wrote the screenplay. “It’s not one of those things where the studio is saying, ‘Here’s a genre you know and you’ve seen it a thousand times and it’s a sequel or the start of a franchise.’ This one is a little different.” The $62 million film, which stars Matt Damon and Emily Blunt, starts as a political thriller, slides into a crackling grown-up romance and then pivots into full-on science fiction with the emergence of the title organization — a bureaucracy of aloof sentinels who tilt world events and personal fortunes to fit a set cosmic […]
Feb. 23, 2010 | 2:43 p.m.
In another universe, Jason Bourne or the Prince of Persia might have been running around the jungles of Pandora. “Avatar” director James Cameron spoke to both Matt Damon and Jake Gyllenhaal about playing the role of Jake Sully in the sci-fi epic that now stands as the biggest moneymaker in the history of Hollywood with $2.5 billion in worldwide box office. Both stars, perhaps leery of a blue-in-the-face gig, declined, and the filmmaker instead went with his first choice — unknown Aussie actor Sam Worthington, who was living in his car before he got the job. Cameron said he offered the role to the big-name stars only to placate the studio chiefs at Fox, who wanted a bankable star to offset some of the risks of the expensive project. ”I don’t think they ever had a problem with the CG, “ Cameron said. “Honestly, did I go out and […]