science fiction

March 25, 2014 | 1:35 p.m.

‘Edge of Tomorrow’ trailer: Tom Cruise lives, dies in alien invasion

Tom Cruise finds himself in a life-and-death situation — over and over again — in “Edge of Tomorrow,” the latest film from director Doug Liman (“Mr. & Mrs. Smith,” “The Bourne Identity”). Set for release June 6, the sci-fi action adventure is based on Hiroshi Sakurazaka’s award-winning novel “All You Need Is Kill” and sees Cruise as Lt. Col. Bill Cage, an officer dropped onto a futuristic battlefield only to die. He then finds himself reborn again and again at a moment before the siege. The cast includes Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton, Laura Pulver and Jeremy Piven, among others. The latest trailer for the summer blockbuster title spotlights the relationship between Cruise and Blunt’s characters, and begins to explore the time-bending premise in more detail, while also offering a detailed glimpse at the movie’s large-scale spectacle, with scenes of futuristic battlefields […]
March 17, 2014 | 10:14 p.m.

‘The Maze Runner’ trailer: Dylan O’Brien arrives in the Glade

Dylan O'Brien stars in "The Maze Runner." (Fox)
The first trailer for September’s “The Maze Runner” has arrived online, bringing imagery from James Dashner’s novel to vivid life. Directed by newcomer Wes Ball, “The Maze Runner” is the latest dystopian adventure to be adapted from a bestselling young adult novel. But this time, instead of a resourceful heroine, the story centers on Thomas, played by Dylan O’Brien, a teen who finds himself deposited into a community of boys trapped near a massive, and lethal, maze. “No one has ever survived a night in the maze,” Thomas is told in the new trailer. Although Thomas has no memory of who he was before he came to the Glade, he soon begins to form alliances and make friends. But his arrival heralds unanticipated changes — before long, a girl, Teresa (Kaya Scodelario), unexpectedly turns up, and the rules that have […]
Jan. 16, 2014 | 11:02 a.m.

Sundance Film Festival: 10 Park City picks for sci-fi and horror fans

Nazi zombies return in "Dead Snow: Red vs Dead." (Tappeluft Pictures)
Thursday evening sees the kickoff to the 2014 edition of the Sundance Film Festival, the annual indie confab that is the site of plenty of industry dealmaking and celeb-spotting as half of Hollywood seems to descend on Park City, Utah, for 10 days of hard-core movie-watching and celebrating. The 2014 lineup features 117 feature-length films culled from more than 4,000 submissions, and a handful of those have a decidedly Hero Complex bent. With that in mind, here are 10 films to look out for. Some might be hard to find — Sundance movies don’t always land national theatrical distribution — but with VOD and online viewing options multiplying at a rapid clip, chances are good you’ll have the opportunity to see these titles in some fashion in the months ahead. The Babadook: In Australian writer-director Jennifer Kent’s supernatural thriller, Essie […]
Jan. 16, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

Rick Remender on optimism against all odds in sci-fi ‘Low’ at Image

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In the depths of “Low,” Rick Remender is finding reason to be optimistic. His new sci-fi series with artist Greg Tocchini, announced last week at Image Expo in San Francisco, takes readers into a far future where the expanding sun’s radiation has sent humans to the bottom of the ocean, where they’ve long been waiting for the return of probes sent to search for other habitable worlds. But the series’ “beating heart,” he says, is the hopeful Stel, who sets out after a probe that has returned. “Low” is one of three new series the writer of the cult favorite sci-fi series “Fear Agent” has running or ready to blast off at Image Comics: “Black Science,” with artists Matteo Scalera and Dean White, is two issues in and follows Grant McKay and his Anarchist League of Scientists (and his children) […]
Nov. 07, 2013 | 1:15 p.m.

‘RoboCop’ trailer: Joel Kinnaman dispenses justice in explosive clip

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.

‘FBP’ 4 preview: Simon Oliver on not going the ‘Men in Black’ route

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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.

‘Elysium’: Sharlto Copley on ‘creative chemistry’ with Neill Blomkamp

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.

‘Ender’s Game’ trailer delivers explosive imagery, Harrison Ford

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.

‘Elysium’ director Neill Blomkamp on political sci-fi: Society gets to me

Neill Blomkamp is photographed in Santa Monica on July 15, 2013. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
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’: 33 photos from Neill Blomkamp’s Matt Damon, Jodie Foster film

Matt Damon, left, Alice Braga and Emma Tremblay in a scene from "Elysium." (Columbia TriStar Pictures)
“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 […]
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