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Future shock: unearthing the most cutting-edge sci-fi movies of 2018

Charmaine Blake

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With films from Steven Spielberg, Duncan Jones and Alex Garland in the pipeline, theres plenty to get excited about beyond the superhero franchises

If the 2017 box office was typified by any one movie, it was surely Rian Johnsons Star Wars: The Last Jedi, a smart, intelligently curated yet ever so slightly soulless example of machine-honed franchise film-making. It ticked every box for fans of the venerable space saga, without ever really pushing the envelope; a movie that eventually made the Kessel Run, but 40 years or so after Han Solo and Chewie had already achieved that legendary feat.

The Last Jedi, like Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 and Wonder Woman before it in 2017, proved that Hollywood probably has the tools and talent to keep churning out episodic blockbuster fantasy until at least 2050. To complain at this state of affairs would be churlish, especially when studios are delivering substandard and ill-considered material such as Justice League. But it does feel as if the Hollywood zeitgeist has crystallised in recent times, and we are in an era of fabulously made yet increasingly homogenous Marvel and Star Wars flicks that leave us only semi satisfied. Perhaps this is why the years greatest celluloid treasure, Blade Runner 2049, failed to gain traction with modern audiences who had perhaps never seen anything like it.

In that spirit, heres a guide to upcoming films that might just move things on this year. Sequels, remakes and mega-franchise fare are therefore largely banned as we go looking for the films with the best chance of leading us into a brave new world of sci-fi and fantasy in 2018.

First up is Alex Garlands Annihilation, due out in February, which would merit a place solely because the British film-makers last effort, Ex Machina, was a singular example of a cerebral, gripping futuristic think piece. Annihilations premise, on the face of it, is not all that exceptional, with Garland adapting Jeff VanderMeers novel about a biologist (Natalie Portman) who heads into an environmental disaster zone in search of answers after her soldier husband (Oscar Isaac) returns alone injured and close to death from a mission there. A quick dip into the book, however, suggests a discombobulating trip into the heart of darkness, where unknown, unearthly horrors lurk. Could Garlands movie be the Alien on Earth movie we were promised as far back as 1992, but have so far never got to see?

Garland has perhaps taken the mantle of Duncan Jones as the coming man of sci-fi. After the disaster that was Jones adaptation of World of Warcraft, the Moon director is returning to more intimate territory with the futuristic mystery thriller Mute. Described as a spiritual successor to Moon, it is also said to be inspired by the original Blade Runner, which can never be a bad thing and might sate the appetites of those of us longing for yet more mesmeric visions of the android-strewn dystopian future. Word is that Sam Rockwell will return as Moons Sam Bell (or perhaps one of his clones) but the main storyline centres on a mute bartender with a violent past (Alexander Skarsgrd) searching for his lost lover in mid 21st-century Berlin.

Next up is Captive State, in August, from Rise of the Planet of the Apes Rupert Wyatt, the British directors first science fiction movie since leaving the man-versus-simians saga. With a budget of just $25m, it will be fascinating to see how Wyatt delivers a story set 10 years after an alien invasion of Chicago. Neill Blomkamps District 9 was shot for $30m in 2009, while Gareth Edwards completed Monsters a year later for $500,000, so it can be done.

Steven Spielbergs Ready Player One, due out in March, has the unenviable task of trying to convince us to get excited all over again about virtual reality worlds, the best part of two decades after The Matrix gave us the definitive inner digital wonderland on the big screen. Based on Ernest Clines hugely popular novel, early trailers suggest this means swapping out Trinity, Morpheus et al for pop culture stalwarts such as Freddy Krueger, Lord of the Rings orcs, The Iron Giant and Deadpool, which all seems a little corporate. And yet if anyone is due a late-career renaissance it is Spielberg. If he proves he can still cut it in this realm, others will surely follow the three-time Oscar-winner back down the digital rabbit hole.

On to another long-lost subgenre: steampunk. Not since Chris Weitzs ill-fated The Golden Compass a decade ago have we seen a memorable big budget example of the mode in cinemas, unless one counts Martin Scorseses splendid Hugo. Is it time for a renaissance? If so, Christian Rivers Mortal Engines, about a world in which technology has regressed to Victorian levels and wheel-mounted carnivorous cities chase each other across the plains might be the answer. Based on an adaptation of Philip Reeves post-apocalyptic novel by the Lord of the Rings team of Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Peter Jackson, it stars Irish actor Robert Sheehan alongside Rings alumnus Hugo Weaving. Avatars Stephen Lang plays the films main baddie, a murderous cyborg known as Shrike, and there are three more books in Reeves series if audiences get a taste for this future-retro blend.

Finally,only only one superhero flick looks like it will break new ground: 20th Century Foxs The New Mutants. With a fine cast including The Witchs Anya Taylor-Joy and Game of Thrones Maisie Williams, Josh Boones comic book tale will dip its toe into the resurgent horror genre. Its set in a secret facility where several future X-Men types find themselves imprisoned and in imminent danger, and is being talked up as the first in a potential trilogy. With Deadpool and Logan emerged as two of the livelier comic book entries of the past few years, it seems that Fox is finally carving out a place for the X-Men at the more mature end of the superhero spectrum. If we have any hope that 2018 will mark the beginning of a new era in fantasy film-making, this could be a very welcome mutation indeed.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2018/jan/03/cutting-edge-sci-fi-movies-2018-steven-spielberg-alex-garland

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‘Breaking Bad’ two-hour movie reportedly in the works

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“The Walking Dead‘s Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) is officially done with the show, but he’s poised now to leap into a spin-off trilogy of movies. It looks like there may be similar plans in the works for another AMC series: Breaking Bad.

Creator Vince Gilligan is reportedly working on a two-hour movie set inside the Breaking Bad universe. Don’t get too excited yet, as the news comes from unnamed sources speaking to The Hollywood Reporter.

It’s not clear if the movie is intended for television or theatrical release, though Lincoln’s spin-off trilogy is notably bound for AMC. The network could have designs on turning more of its top series into made-for-TV movies.

It’s also not yet known if Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston or Aaron Paul will participate in any way. There are certain limitations on continuing their stories from the show, as anyone who watched Breaking Bad no doubt realizes. A prequel featuring the duo seems similarly unlikely, given how the series opens and introduces them……………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/breaking-bad-movie-rumor/

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Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers will brighten your day

Charmaine Blake

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Tom Hanks will be playing Mister Rogers in an upcoming biopic.

Image: STEFANIA D’ALESSANDRO/GETTY IMAGES AND FOTOS INTERNATIONAL/GETTY IMAGES

“The first image of Tom Hanks as Mister Rogers is here and it will brighten your day.

Tom Hanks will be playing Mister Rogers in an upcoming untitled biopic, and seeing him in that iconic red cardigan and blue sneakers is heartwarming. Take a look:

The Mister Rogers biopic, which is slated to come out in October 2019, is inspired by the life of Fred Rogers, the inspirational and inimitable host of the children’s TV show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. Specifically, the biopic will look at Rogers’ relationship with journalist Tom Junod, who wrote a profile of Rogers for Esquire in 1998.

Rogers created the show Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood which for years taught children and adults alike how to be more kind to each other and take care of themselves. The show impacted so many people in the decades that it aired, delivering innumerable tidbits of wisdom until its final episode in 2001.

Rogers passed away in 2003, leaving behind an unmarred legacy of promoting happiness, self-care, and empathy to the world.

The biopic is being directed by Diary of a Teenage Girl director Marielle Heller and was slated to start production this fall.

UPDATE: Sept. 27, 2018, 4:02 p.m. EDT This article originally reported that this film was titled You Are My Friend. The film was originally titled You Are My Friend when it was first announced, but now the project is currently untitled……………..”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/tom-hank-mister-rogers/

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A Star Is Born’s First Song is Transcendent

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If this song doesn’t give you chills, I feel bad for you.

“Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper give an unbelievable performance in the song “Shallow” for A Star Is Born, creating a heartfelt, moving track that deserves an award. No, all the awards. Cooper’s voice is great. Lady Gaga is transcendent.

And yes, this the song with the famous Lady Gaga vocal.

“Shallow” is the first song released from the upcoming A Star Is Born movie, which dives into theaters Oct. 5. Now please release the rest of the songs.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/video/star-is-born-shallow-song/

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