science fiction

June 06, 2014 | 2:52 p.m.

‘2001’ and beyond: Neil deGrasse Tyson names his top 10 sci-fi films

Astrophysicist Neil Degrasse Tyson will host the new documentary series, "Cosmos." (Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)
Neil deGrasse Tyson has taken television audiences on a tour through the universe with his series, “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which concludes its 13-episode run on Fox Sunday and on National Geographic Monday, before arriving on Blu-ray Tuesday. But when the acclaimed astrophysicist turns to the skies for entertainment, what does he like to watch? Hero Complex reached out to the man himself to find out. Find his picks for his 10 favorite sci-fi films — and one distinguished runner-up, in his own words below. I like big-budget science fiction films. My list, with two exceptions, bears this out. I want science fiction films to stretch the talent and imagination of visual effects experts. And the film above all else should create a vision of the future we either know that we don’t want, or know that we do. The […]
June 05, 2014 | 3:10 p.m.

‘Edge of Tomorrow': Tom Cruise on dying for Doug Liman in sci-fi thriller

Tom Cruise as Cage in the sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow." (Warner Bros. Pictures)
Less than 15 minutes into the sci-fi action thriller “Edge of Tomorrow,” Tom Cruise does something unusual. It’s an act he’s only committed on-screen a couple of times in his extensive filmography, specifically, in 2008’s Hitler-assassination drama “Valkyrie” and the hit-man pot boiler “Collateral.” He dies. Throughout the first third of “Edge of Tomorrow,” Cruise’s cowardly military officer character — facing off against an overwhelming force of alien invaders and stuck in a time loop a la the Bill Murray comedy “Groundhog Day” – dies again and again, only to reincarnate over and over,  until he can figure out how to topple an otherworldly armada bearing down on Earth with overwhelming fire power. And these are not peaceful deaths. You see Cruise die in gruesome, violent, painful fashion, in ways involving broken bones, concussive pratfalls, bullets to the head and […]
June 04, 2014 | 11:04 a.m.

‘Jupiter Ascending': Wachowski sci-fi film postponed to February 2015

Jupiter’s ascension has been delayed. Andy and Lana Wachowski’s latest sci-fi venture, “Jupiter Ascending,” starring Mila Kunis and an eyeliner-sporting Channing Tatum, is being pushed back from its original release date of July 18 and will now open Feb. 6, 2015, Warner Bros. announced Tuesday. The move was designed to give the filmmakers more time to complete the project’s extensive visual effects. “Jupiter Ascending” stars Kunis as Jupiter Jones, a young woman born on Earth whose “genetic signature” marks her as a target for elimination by the Queen of the Universe. Tatum plays Caine, who becomes Jupiter’s protector, while Sean Bean and Eddie Redmayne also have featured roles. The film is the first from the Wachowskis after their audacious literary adaptation with Tom Tykwer, “Cloud Atlas,” which was based on the 2004 novel by David Mitchell and starred Tom Hanks, […]
April 25, 2014 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Edge of Tomorrow’: Emily Blunt talks Tom Cruise, brutal sci-fi battle

Emily Blunt as Rita Vrataski and Tom Cruise as Bill Cage in the epic sci-fi thriller "Edge of Tomorrow." (David James/ Warner Bros.)
For the cast, crew and a platoon of weary extras shooting the 3-D sci-fi extravaganza “Edge of Tomorrow” at England’s Leavesden Studios in late 2012, the beach set became synonymous with suffering. Built to recall such World War II coastal conflicts as the Invasion of Normandy or the Battle of Dunkirk, the sandy set proved to be as loathsome as the brutal alien marauders known as “mimics” that star Tom Cruise battles while wearing an 85-pound metal exoskeleton in the film (which reportedly cost between $175 million and $200 million and is due in theaters June 6). “That beach became known by everyone working as ‘the Bitch,’” said “Edge of Tomorrow” costar Emily Blunt. “It was England. It was cold. The sand was so cumbersome. There were explosions. And everyone was running around in the metal suits. It became like […]
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 […]
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