It seems after an extremely successful TV reboot, and a number of less successful attempts at spin-offs, the folk at Universal are going back to their original plan, and rebooting the 70’s show again, but this time for the big screen.
Universal today announce that Michael De Luca, producer of The Social Network, Captain Phillips, and Fifty Shades of Grey (amongst many many other films!) has signed on to produce another reboot of Battlestar Galactica. This time it will be a feature film, not connected with the 2004 tv reboot, but based of the original 70’s TV show. This was actually Universal’s original plan back in the late 90’s, but the feature idea got shelved when Syfy (or Sci-Fi as it was then) picked up the tv rights.
As i’m sure you’re aware if you’re reading this, Battlestar Galactica told the story of a group of survivors from 12 planets who escape their homes after an attack from the robotic Cylons. Now based on a flotilla of spacecraft lead by the Galactica, they search the universe to find a mythic thirteenth planet named Earth.
Bryan Singer is onboard as exec producer, and has been rumoured as a possible director for a while, and there is currently a script circling from Transcendence and Alien: Covenant writer Jack Paglen.
I’m not entirely convinced this is a good idea, as the rebooted TV show was so well done, it feels a bit soon to be rebooting it entirely again. Then again, the 2004 reboot didn’t have Muffit the robotic dog sidekick in it, so if they rectify that travesty, I could be convinced. 😉
The year of 2015 was a good one for cinema fans, with the rejuvenation of a classic franchise among its highlights, and several billion dollar movies which broke numerous record, as described in this IG analysis of share prices. Here are the five top-grossing movies of the year – and what may happen next.
1. Star Wars Ep VII: The Force Awakens ($2bn… so far)
For once, a big blockbuster lived up to the hype. A decade long gap from Revenge of the Sith meant that Star Wars fans had spent ten years salivating over the return of the franchise, this time with added Skywalker and Solo, and the critics loved it. For example, Robbie Collin in the Telegraph said that JJ Abrams had made “the sequel of your dreams”.
The main ‘Episode’ stories continue with Episode VIII arriving in 2017 and Episode IX in 2019. After that, who knows, but it wouldn’t surprise us if the story just keeps going!
Before that there’s the ‘Star Wars Stories’ movies, starting with Rogue One in Dec 2016, and then two more following in 2018 and 2020. You can also expect video games and many many more merchandise tie-ins to keep the momentum rolling.
2. Jurassic World ($1.6bn)
Kids love dinosaurs, and yet another iteration of the series in Isla Nubar proves that seeing them on the big screen is an unmatched experience. This time, however, the genetic malpractice has created a new hybrid dinosaur named Indominus Rex, capable of camouflage and of course mass murder. One would have thought the island should be left alone now, but fans of spectacular CGI and terrifying lizards are pleased it didn’t happen.
Jurassic World 2, in June 2018. According to an interview with the Guardian, series writer Colin Trevorrow says the technology behind the beasts will be open-source – meaning anyone, anywhere can breed them. Oh yes… I’m sure nothing can go wrong with that idea!
3. Furious 7 ($1.5bn)
A film tinged with tragedy, completed amidst the death of one of its main stars Paul Walker. Still, the speed scenes in sports car, drone, helicopter and other vehicles at the hands of vin Diesel et al was well-received by petrolheads.
Furious 8 in 2017. What else?
4. The Avengers: Age of Ultron ($1.4bn)
The outstanding cast including Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Samuel L Jackson returned for another battle against the forces of evil – in this case an artificial intelligence determined to destroy mankind: Ultron, voiced by James Spader of blacklist fame. Finishing with more total destruction and countless deaths of unimportant civilians, the film didn’t quite live up to the earlier efforts but was still well-received.
At least two more full Avengers movies: Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1 and Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, due to be released in 2018 and 2019. A clue to one of the protagonists appears at the conclusion of Age of Ultron in the form of the Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin). There is also Captain America: Civil War coming on 29th April 2016 which will feature many of the Avengers, thought not all of them may make it out of there alive… Followed by Doctor Strange in Oct 2016, then Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-man, Thor: Ragnarok, Black Panther… You won’t be short on Marvelly goodness!
5. Minions ($1.1bn)
More CGI, but a lot cuter this time. Who knew that servitude would be such fun, and laced with humour? Well, the youngsters who enjoyed this spin-off from the Despicable Me series starring Sandra Bullock, Michael Keaton and Steve Coogan among others. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but it still became the 11th highest grossing film of all time.
There’s speculation the the hero from Jurassic World Chris Pratt could play the villain in Minions 2 – we’ll have to wait and see.
With the best use of Bohemian Rhapsody since that scene in Wayne’s World, we give you a brand new trailer of DC’s upcoming Suicide Squad movie, due in UK cinemas August 2016. This one seems to be pitched less dark and much more in the Guardians of the Galaxy vein, but looks completely awesome! There’s also a new poster (below). Aww… poor Joker. Left out on his own. To be fair, probably the best place for him… that dude is crazier than his girlfriend… and that’s saying something. 😉
An all-star roster of actors has joined new action adventure Suicide Squad, bringing DC Comics’ super villain team to the big screen under the direction of David Ayer (“Fury”).
The film will star two-time Oscar nominee Will Smith (“The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Ali,” “Focus”) as Deadshot; Joel Kinnaman (“Run All Night”, “Robocop”) as Rick Flagg; Margot Robbie (“The Wolf of Wall Street,” “Focus,” upcoming the “Tarzan” movie) as Harley Quinn; Oscar winner Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club,” “Alexander”) as the Joker; Jai Courtney (“Divergent,” “The Water Diviner”) as Boomerang; and Cara Delevingne (“Anna Karenina,” upcoming “Pan”) as Enchantress.
Ayer is also writing the script for Suicide Squad, which is being produced by Charles Roven (“The Dark Knight” trilogy, upcoming “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”) and Richard Suckle (“American Hustle”). Zack Snyder, Deborah Snyder, Colin Wilson and Geoff Johns are serving as executive producers.
I tend to try and not post stuff about people dying, as it’s kind of depressing, and there are places like BBC News that cover that sort of thing very well. However, when someone like Alan Rickman dies, and you start to realise how many of your favourite movies he’s popped up in, I felt it was necessary to mark his passing with something. To that end, I put together the Alan Rickman desktop graphic above, which you can download from here.
I took my 4 favourite Alan Rickman roles, and the most memorable quotes I could think of, and put them together.
The first is of course, Hans Gruber from Die Hard. Although Alan had appeared in numerous tv, film and stage roles, it was this 1998 casting which really put him on the movie map. Starring as the films main villain, Hans was an East German terrorist who gives cop John Mcclane (Bruce Willis) the first of many bad days when he threatens to blow up Nakatomi Plaza, whilst John, his wife and various other people are still inside.
Second image is from 1991’s Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, where Alan played the Sheriff of Nottingham in full scenery chewing form. Wonderfully over the over the top, and has the best lines in the movie. It was hard to pick one, but I eventually went with the classic “I’ll cut your heart out with a spoon”. There was also “Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas” and of course, “You. My room. 10:30 tonight… You. 10:45… And bring a friend.”
Third image comes from the brilliant Galaxy Quest, where Alan plays the cantankerous Alexander Dane, the actor who plays Dr. Lazarus of Tev’Meck on the fictional show Galaxy Quest. Cantankerous mainly due to the fact he’s forced to wear ridiculous prosthetics for public appearances, and spout his well know catchphrase…
And finally, Snape from Harry Potter. Really there’s not much else that needs to be said here…
Alan Rickman. A fabulous actor and a sad loss to the world. RIP.
As I’m sure many of you already know, Straight Outta Compton tells the story of the rise and fall of US rap group N.W.A., showing the in’s an out’s of life from Compton LA to the biggest rap band on the planet. Or at least a version of that story. Director F. Gary Gray has commented “You could make five different N.W.A movies. We made the one we wanted to make”, and given that the film is produced by the remaining members of the group, you have to expect that there maybe some glossing over of certain events to paint them in the best possible light. So whilst it’s not an entirely truthful account of the band’s life, it does still make for an interesting semi-biopic.
To portray the group, they took the sensible decision to use relatively unknown actors in the lead roles, all of which give great and convincing performances. Corey Hawkins takes on Dr. Dre, O’Shea Jackson Jr., the real life son of Ice Cube, plays his father, and Jason Mitchell takes on the central role of the late Eazy-E, with Neil Brown, Jr. playing DJ Yella and Aldis Hodge playing MC Ren. Seeing them perform together on stage, they are hugely convincing as the band, and gives you the feeling someone managed to dig up some original N.W.A. footage, which just happens to be in high def widescreen. Mitchell in particular as Eazy-E, not only looks eerily like the real Easy-E, but has the performance to go with it. Given that all the other had their real life counterparts on hand during the shoot to correct any little mistakes they might make, where as Easy is sadly no longer with us, it makes Mitchell’s role even more impressive. Golden Globe Award-winning actor Paul Giamatti (John Adams, San Andreas, Man on the Moon) is also great as the rather sleazy manager, Jerry Heller. It’s Giamatti doing what he does best… playing slightly sleazy characters.
Whilst the film may not shine a light into all the dark places you might get from a biopic made without the people you’re portraying on set every day, it does give an interesting incite into life in those disadvantaged suburbs of LA in the 80’s. There is no question that police brutality was out of control, as was shown in the ’91 beating of Rodney King which started the LA riots. Although some of the arrests shown in the film – such as Dre’s arrest for defending his brother, where as he was actually arrested over hundreds of unpaid parking tickets – might be a fabrication, it does help to give you a feel of the sort of harassment which was happening on the streets, every day in the neighbourhoods.
Straight Outta Compton might not be the most truthful of biopics, but it does make for a great rags-to-riches story, and a fun, well paced film with an incredible soundtrack with some superb central performances. They manage to capture the feel of the live concerts brilliantly, which is no easy task, and it’s a fitting way to honour the memory of the late Easy-E. The director’s cut has an additional 26 mins of footage over the theatrical release, putting it at over 3hrs long, but I never once found myself looking at my watch or thinking it was dragging. The blu-ray release comes with a number of short extras including a deleted concert performance, a behind the scenes look at the filming of the infamous Detroit gig where the band got arrested, and various background interviews with the cast, and the real life surviving N.W,A. members.
Whatever you may think of rap music, or N.W.A. as a band, it’s unquestionable that they made a massive impact on the music scene, the waves of which are still felt today. Many of the worlds most most famous rap artists wouldn’t exist had it not been for 5 guys from Compton finding each other and producing some of the most insightful and ground breaking music of a generation.
8/10 – A great (if not entirely truthful) biopic.
So finally we have the last 3 categories. The Most Anticipated New TV Series, Film & Game of 2016. Here’s what you voted for as being the things you are most looking forward to in the next 12 months.
Most Anticipated New TV Series
For only the second time this Awards, we have a tie for 3rd place with both Westworld and Quantico landing exactly the same number of votes. Westworld should come to Sky Atlantic at some point 2016 (there’s no US scheduled air date yet), and Quantico is due on Alibi at some point Early 2016. 2nd place goes to Legends of Tomorrow, the Flash/Arrow spin-off coming to Sky 1 in February, but 1st place goes to another comic book adaptation – Lucifer.
Based on a book from DC Comics’ Vertigo brand, Lucifer stars Tom Ellis as the titular Lord of Hell, who’s grown bored with his life in the underworld, so decides to come to earth and take a job as a consultant with the LAPD, whilst also running a nightclub on the side. Because what’s the point of being the devil if you don’t have a place to party! Those of you with an Amazon account will be glad to know it’ll be coming to Amazon Prime at some point in early 2016, so definitely one to watch out for.
Most Anticipated Movie of 2016
There was a pretty even spread across the board in this category, but naturally one film had to come out on top, and it’s no great surprise which one that was… Interesting to note though that none of the Marvel films made it into your top 3… 3rd place went to Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice, which does look brilliant (Batfleck ftw!) 2nd place was Independence Day: Resurgence, which is a bit of a surprise, as I wasn’t sure a Will Smith-less sequel to a 20 year old movie (yes you are that old!) would have that much appeal. But 1st place went to the only film it could go to. In a galaxy far far away – Star Wars: Rogue One
Designed to fill a gap between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Star Wars: Rogue One stars Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk and Riz Ahmed, and follow the story of the band of Rebels who attempt to steal the Death Star plans. According to Star Wars head honcho Kathleen Kennedy “It goes into new territory, exploring the galactic struggle from a ground-war perspective while maintaining that essential ‘Star Wars’ feel that fans have come to know.” The movie is directed by Godzilla’s Gareth Edwards, and I have to say, it’s also the film I’m most looking forward to next year.
Most Anticipated Game of 2016
And so to our final category. The most anticipated game of 2016. Again, there was quite a battle for 2nd and 3rd place, but the top spot took a decisive lead. 3rd place went to Mass Effect: Andromeda, the 4th Mass Effect game, but somewhat of a reboot to the franchise, as it’s the first not to have Shepard as the lead character. 2nd place went to Tom Clancy’s The Division, which is a departure from the norm for Clancy fans, as this is their first open world RPG, rather than the usually mission based system of previous games. 1st place however goes to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.
The Uncharted series has been a huge hit for and it’s really interesting to see it in the top spot as it’s a PlayStation 4 exclusive, and not a cross-platform game. What drives it so well though is an increadably strong story throughout, mixed with some superb voice acting and great game play. Definitely a worthy winner.