Nov. 07, 2013 | 1:15 p.m.
The newest trailer for next year’s “RoboCop” remake has debuted, and the clip offers a much more detailed glimpse at the world — and the politics — of Brazilian director José Padilha’s reworking of Paul Verhoeven’s 1987 satiric sci-fi film. Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman (“The Killing”) stars as police officer Alex Murphy, who is reborn as a coolly effective law enforcement machine in the wake of a car bombing, leaving him in a sort of existential limbo — he’s neither wholly man nor machine. Padilha made a name for himself on the festival circuit for his documentary filmmaking before writing and directing “Elite Squad” and its sequel “Elite Squad: The Enemy Within” — crime thrillers that became critical darlings. And he’s been explicit about his intentions to use “RoboCop” as a lens through which to examine the morality of drone […]
Oct. 06, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.
Imagine gravity failing at an L.A. high school, or a sort of soap-bubble mini-universe where falling things smush instead of splat appearing over the city. Now imagine such events are no surprises, but everyday events – like traffic accidents – and there’s an agency a 911 call away whose job it is to fix things. Welcome to co-creators Simon Oliver and Robbi Rodriguez’s ongoing Vertigo series “FBP: Federal Bureau of Physics,” which follows young Agent Adam Hardy, who has found himself dealing with that gravity deficiency and then that “bubbleverse” in the first three issues. Adam joined the FBP after growing up without his father, who never returned from chasing quantum tornadoes. Lately, he’s seen his understanding of things thrown a few more curves, not only with the strange physics of the little city in the sky but with his […]
Aug. 07, 2013 | 12:21 p.m.
Tim Burton has Johnny Depp. Martin Scorsese has Leonardo DiCaprio. And Neill Blomkamp has Sharlto Copley. The “District 9” writer-director and his leading man might not be as well known as others in Hollywood, but Blomkamp and Copley are emerging as one of science fiction’s most loyal and potent actor-director partnerships. Copley played a mild-mannered bureaucrat charged with relocating some aliens in Blomkamp’s Oscar-nominated 2009 sleeper hit, and now the “District 9” duo is working together again on two more movies, a sci-fi comedy called “Chappie” and Friday’s future-set drama “Elysium.” “There’s an intangible creative chemistry when I work with Neill,” Copley said of the friend he met when he was 22 and Blomkamp was 16. “We have common tastes and styles of what we like in film and characters.” In Blomkamp’s latest, Earth is crime-ridden and overpopulated, and the […]
Aug. 06, 2013 | 10:36 a.m.
The final trailer for “Ender’s Game” has debuted, arriving with plenty of dramatic visuals, explosive space spectacle and a great deal of Harrison Ford. Set for release Nov. 1, the sci-fi film, directed by Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), adapts Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel and takes place in a future in which an alien race known as the Formics has attacked Earth. Asa Butterfield plays Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a bright boy recruited to help humanity face future threats — his abilities are honed through special tactical training he receives at Battle School. The new clip opens with Ford, who plays the film’s Colonel Hyrum Graff, explaining over scenes of striking landscapes, “When the aliens first invaded, they nearly destroyed us. They will be back.” Ford’s voice serves as the through-line for the trailer, and the actor also can be seen […]
Aug. 03, 2013 | 10:00 a.m.
In the future-set utopia that Neill Blomkamp dreamed up for “Elysium,” the lawns are manicured and lush, the women are slim and beautiful, and everyone is very, very rich. If that sounds a lot like certain neighborhoods in Los Angeles, it’s no accident — the South Africa-born writer-director found inspiration for his fictional enclave in Bel-Air and Beverly Hills as well as wealthy sections of his home city, Johannesburg. “A lot of parts of L.A. are interchangeable with suburbs in Joburg,” Blomkamp said. “Very big, ostentatious houses with palm trees and lawns. Lawns are very important. Never underestimate lawns.” Blomkamp’s action movie, which opens Aug. 9, is about haves and have-nots in 2154, with the haves living on Elysium, a luxury habitat that orbits a ruined, overpopulated planet. Down on Earth, factory worker Max (a shaven, tattooed Matt Damon) contracts […]
Aug. 03, 2013 | 6:00 a.m.
“Elysium,” Neill’s Bloomkamp’s new politically minded sci-fi thriller, opens Friday, marking the second film from the talented South African writer-director who won an ardent following with his groundbreaking, Oscar-nominated debut, “District 9.” The story, set in the year 2154, sees Earth ravaged by drought and poverty; the wealthy have abandoned the planet for a blissful life on a beautiful space station called Elysium, a paradise where any illness can be cured and interlopers are kept out at extreme cost. After a workplace accident leaves him facing death, Matt Damon’s troubled, tattooed Max Da Costa finds himself in desperate need to reach Elysium and willing to embark on a wild scheme in order to save his own life. But his plans bring him into direct conflict with Jodie Foster’s officious Secretary Delacourt and a black-ops thug known as Kruger, played by […]
June 09, 2013 | 8:08 a.m.
Last August, Weird Tales magazine, long a fixture on the speculative fiction landscape, got hit with a heavy dose of online fury. The publication had made plans to publish an excerpt from an ecologically themed dystopian novel in which whites are the oppressed minority and their oppressors are referred to as “coals.” Those who attacked the work were upset by a number of elements seen as racially problematic, up to and including the title, “Saving the Pearls,’’ “pearls” being the book’s term for white people and a word read as charged with an altogether different tenor than the notion of “coals.” In response to the outcry, the magazine pulled the excerpt. Online protests and allegations of racial weirdness in science fiction and fantasy are hardly new, but they began to seriously come to a head with the still contentious Internet […]
May 07, 2013 | 2:33 p.m.
The new trailer for “Ender’s Game” received a prominent rollout online Tuesday afternoon, with director Gavin Hood (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”), producer Robert Orci and star Asa Butterfield participating in a Google+ hangout that coincided with the premiere of the promotional spot for the sci-fi adventure adapted from the novel by Orson Scott Card. Set in a near future in which an alien race known as the Formics have attacked Earth, the movie stars Butterfield as Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a bright boy who’s recruited to help humanity face future threats. Guided in his growth by Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford), Ender advances from Battle School to Command School and soon finds himself under the tutelage of the legendary Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley, the Oscar-winning actor who’s getting a lot of screen time in fantastic films these days). “They know our strategies. […]
April 20, 2013 | 4:59 p.m.
Tom Cruise is expected to win the weekend at the box office with his new sci-fi outing “Oblivion,” which has garnered some notably warm reviews. The Times’ Kenneth Turan, for example, described the movie as a “throwback to the days when on-screen science fiction was about speculative ideas rather than selling toys to tots.” After an early IMAX screening of the Universal film in New York this week, Cruise and “Oblivion” director Joseph Kosinski (“Tron: Legacy”) talked about their on-set collaboration as one of the secrets to the movie’s creative success. “I don’t know how you wouldn’t collaborate with your actors,” Kosinski told Hero Complex contributor Rebecca Keegan during an interactive Q&A in which people nationwide were invited to participate via Twitter. “They are telling your story for you. It’s so important that the director and the actors are all […]
April 18, 2013 | 5:00 a.m.
In the new film “Oblivion,” Tom Cruise stars as Jack Harper, a former astronaut tasked with remaining behind on a future Earth. He collects small items — a Yankee ball cap, Led Zeppelin albums, chewing gum — that offer some telling insights. “This is a guy who’s in love with a time that exists before he was born,” said director Joseph Kosinski. “He’s on the surface and finding these trinkets. There’s certain things he finds that have a special connection but he doesn’t know why he’s attached to them. That’s part of the fun of this story.” Hero Complex hosted an early screening of the Universal film Monday night in New York and afterward, in a special interactive Q&A simulcast to nine IMAX theaters across the country, the star and the director talked about the majesty of the “stunning” Icelandic […]