zaterdag 14 maart 2015

Today's News: catching up required

It's been a busy week, which left me no choice but to neglect my blog unfortunately. In the meantime, the news kept flowing on MovieScene, which has caused me falling behind in commenting on it. Let's try and catch up a bit.

Nieuwe trailer Game of Thrones Seizoen 5

Coolest trailer first. Obviously Game of Thrones. I doubt everyone who was already superstoked for the new season will experience that anticipation much more strongly after watching this trailer, since the tension has already mounted to nigh unbearable levels. But as expected, the new trailer looks splendid. Remaining fan favorites present: check. Quotable one-liners: check. Expensive FX shots of new locations and assorted vistas: check. New plot developments as opposed to the books: check. There's definitely going to be many a surprise for those who have already read the books, now that the series is rapidly catching up with them. There's a few shots of such scenes found in this trailer. I better spoil things for people who didn't read the novels while I still can. Personally, I just hope the series won't spoil the fun of the remaining books too much, as it's obvious by now this show will be finished much sooner than the original source material will. Nevertheless, HBO, bring it on!

Singer regisseert Sci-Fi film Uprising

Despite being involved in a sex scandal and busy directing another X-film, Bryan Singer is already planning his next project. It's gonna be adapting a Robert Heinlein novel. Let's hope this is going to honour the source material a bit more than most Heinlein based films, as there's only one of them that apparently really does so, and by now it's 65 years old (FYI, it's the classic Destination Moon). Many Sci-Fi buffs will still look back on Paul Verhoeven's attempt, Starship Troopers, with dismay, even though in many respects it turned out a pretty good film regardless (as long as you like satirical social commentary in your science fiction, and who doesn't?). So far, things don't seem too encouraging on staying faithful: the name has already been changed from the poetic The Moon is a Harsh Mistress to the rather generic (but likely sexier and easier to sell to general audiences) Uprising. I can live with that change. Not having read the book, I can probably live with more of them, as long as the final result still proves to be a good movie. I like the notion of a penal colony on the Moon rebelling against overlords from the Mother Planet, which is basically what the general premise is. So as long as they keep that bit in, things can't be too bad, eh?

Renner en Adams in Sci-Fi film Story of Your Life

Here's another Sci-Fi project for you. This one does less to me. I like Amy Adams fine, but my tolerance for Jeremy Renner has its limits. The plot also doesn't sound all that appealing to my ears: it has elements of V and Contact, and going on the available plot synopsis, not enough to really set it strongly apart. That leaves the director to get me interested, and Denis Villeneuve at least does that, even though I still have to see any of his work (I know, shame on me). The French-Canadian director's oeuvre isn't particularly long, but so far all his feature length films have won critical acclaim. Prisoners for one looked like a generic thirteen-a-dozen thriller judging from the trailer, but from what I've heard from critics and audiences alike, it turned out an unexpected gem against all odds. Plus, they wouldn't just hire anyone to do Blade Runner 2, but they hired him. (Personally, I have no desire to see a Blade Runner 2 get made at all, but that's beside the point.) So apparently, at least there will be some talent sitting in the director's chair. And then you learn the writer of the piece was responsible for Final Destination 5 and the failed reboot/prequel to The Thing, and a wholly skeptical attitude towards this project returns full force.

Fox plant Expendables TV-serie

Another major motion picture franchise being re-developed to fit the small screen? That happens a lot lately. What's up with that?! Apparently the franchise has run its course on the silver screen and now the studio is looking for other venues for its appearance to make it cough up more dough. Aside from developing a spin-off of sorts at the same time (the all-female one, remember?). And stating 'they're still looking at the notion of more sequels', which is more or less saying there's not gonna be any for the next 20 years. Nevertheless, the concept of action stars coming together to make for an explosive team-up might work on telly. Are there enough TV action veterans available though. Sure there are! Plenty of shows to pick your oldies but goldies from. The A-Team, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, Quantum Leap or Battlestar Galactica, to name but a few. No doubt many an old and overly muscled actor from any of these shows is yearning for a chance to relive past glory and cash in on it at the same time. Of course, the appeal of such television (ex-)stars is probably not as great to audiences as it is for movie (ex-)stars, but hey, who cares, it's only television, right? Someone better inform the execs behind this project that these days, television is where all the high-class action is found, so if you want to make a worn-out concept like this work on the small screen, you better come up with some damn intriguing elements to ensure your viewers will stick with you. A gripping and compelling story, solid acting, captivating stunts, etc. Too bad not so much of these were present in the Expendables movies...

Nieuwe trailer Tomorrowland

Ah crap, this looks like any contemporary generic PG-13 Hollywood blockbuster. I liked it better when we didn't really have much of a clue as to what it would be about, but now much of the initial mystery is lifted. I had hoped for something a little more ingenious from Brad Bird. But apparently, he too can't think of anything more than a teen prodigy saving a/the world because he/she is oh so fucking special. Paired with all the crazy and outlandish visual FX a outrageously giant budget can buy. And a superstar to draw in additional audiences (in this case, it's George Clooney). Oh well, expectations weren't high. It's a Disney flick based on a theme park ride, how often do those work? Only on Pirates of the Caribbean, if I recall, and even then only once for realsies (the sequels were okay, but not nearly as catchy). I doubt this will prove as succesful a film, nor spawn four sequels. There doesn't as yet seem room for the quirky humour and truly wondrously exotic locales found on PotC that really pulled audiences in. Please let me be proven wrong in my obnoxious pre-release scepticism, but from the looks of it and full well knowing cynical old me and bland old Hollywood blockbusters, that's not likely to happen, today or tomorrow.

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