Electronic Arts was at the cutting edge of video games back in the 1980s. Today’s EA provides games with stunning 3D level immersive experiences. In 2008 EA released a very different and modern third-person shooter, science fiction horror survival game called Dead Space. Dead Space was big, selling more than 2 million copies. In the game, players followed along literally over the shoulder of Isaac Clarke–named for science fiction writers Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Clarke was as an engineer on an interstellar mining starship called the USG Ishimura, where he found himself stuck with some undead creatures called Necromorphs in a setting straight out of Ridley Scott’s Alien. The February 2013 release Dead Space 3 brings along with it a new graphic novel series tie-in: Dead Space: Liberation.
Tag Archive: Prometheus
In a year where we saw Hollywood market the worst titled movies to us–Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, and yes, Silver Linings Playbook, it’s probably no surprise the Oscar nominations were going to be strange this year. Like always there are really glaring oddities, and after a lot of speculation that we’d see more of the same with the new round of selections, Oscar again fell into its normal traps.
The key problems with the Academy Awards include the marketing barrage that occurs, productions pushing advertising to encourage votes, and even the desire to position the Oscars toward a new, younger audience that becomes evident in more popular than critical nominees. Over the course of several years of Oscars you see unmistakable patterns that develop and the Academy Awards nominations, if not by design then at least as a result, is its own club that favors past nominees over new entrants. Same old news this year and more yawns than excitement. So let’s see what they got right.
Argo for Seven Nominations. Argo was nominated for seven categories, including Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Alan Arkin), Adapted Screenplay, Film Editing, Original Score, Sound Editing, and Sound Mixing. So this is all fitting for such a brilliant film. But no nomination for director Ben Affleck? You look at his work on Argo compared to the ultimate films up for best director and you really have to shake your head.
Review by C.J. Bunce
Ridley Scott suggests a “sequel to the prequel” is a possibility in the feature material to the October 9, 2012 release of his is-it-or-isn’t-it-a-prequel to Alien blockbuster Prometheus on Blu-Ray, 3D, and DVD. The trailer to the video release gets it just right–there are so many unanswered questions left in this summer’s big-budget blockbuster, sci-fi release that you may think you’re watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. What was this Dr. Manhattan-looking being in the distant past and in our distant future eating that dissolved him into the ocean? How does that being relate to the rather squiggly creature that emerged in one of the movie’s key scenes? Why didn’t Scott just come out and call this a prequel? Surprise, people! It’s a prequel! It’s actually really good at being a prequel, because unlike other prequel movies, it doesn’t re-hash every bit of the original film or films.
With the eve of the opening of The Avengers finally upon us, the movie studios are gearing up for even more summer blockbusters, releasing updated and expanded versions of trailers that have already been playing for months, previewed earlier this year at borg.com in earlier versions. And each new blockbuster will open on in its own weekend in June, only a month away.
The best must be the new trailer for Brave. The downside is that it tends to show so many apparently good scenes that one worries if there will be anything left to be surprised by with the actual movie. The positive is that Brave looks to be among the best animated films so far, up there with Beauty and the Beast and Up. The visuals of the characters and setting are simply stunning. You might watch this trailer if you haven’t yet convinced yourself to see this film when it is released on June 22, 2012.
Next up is the new trailer for Prometheus, a film whose marketing (with the recent David 8 preview) seems to be just getting better and better. The ships, the future technology, the strange new worlds, all look intriguing. And if there were any doubt this film will pull a lot from the kind of plot seen in past Alien films, including space horror shockers and blood spatters, it’s all pretty much settled in this preview. The downside is that the opening scene conversations play a tad like bad SyFy Channel made-for-TV movies. Will special effects and scenery make up for iffy dialogue? We’ll find out June 8, 2012.
G.I. Joe: Retaliation
The new trailer for G.I. Joe: Retaliation has several bits from past trailers but reveals more about the plot of the organization called COBRA to take over the world. The filming and story looks a bit like the X-Men series, which may be a good thing. Then there is the ninja battle on the side of the mountain–no doubt this new G.I. Joe film will be as much fan as the last. We like Dwayne Johnson movies. We hope Bruce Willis is here for more than just a cameo. This movie will be released June 29, 2012.
The Dark Knight Rises
Finally, there is a new trailer (that makes trailer #3) for The Dark Knight Rises. Emphasis on the word “dark.” We have a bad guy, Bane, whose face we mostly cannot see, and so his dialogue seems muffled in the trailer. We have Anne Hathaway, who we want to love as Catwoman, yet she seems a bit weepy and not very seductive or cat-like. Her role must be bigger (fingers crossed) than what we’re seeing so far. And Christian Bale’s Bruce Wayne looks…just like we’ve seen him in the past films, depressed and bedraggled like he looked before he went off to find himself in Batman Begins. Compared to The Avengers (and there will be plenty of comparisons and contrasts this summer with dueling Marvel and DC movies)–which looks all-out exciting–The Dark Knight Rises looks plain dreary. Goodbye Gotham. Goodbye Batman. Dreary. This summer blockbuster hits theaters June 15, 2012.
A new movie trailer may explain why Ridley Scott has not been saying anything about what to expect in his new movie Prometheus, the new science fiction film from the universe of the Alien franchise. Because, like a good magician, he is not going to reveal the big surprises until just the right time. This is something cool and by itself gets a cybernetic thumb up from borg.com–in its realism, it is oddly prescient, and in its calmness and innocence, something outright creepy. Check it out:
This new trailer is more an “ad from the world of Prometheus” than a typical trailer with snippets from the movie to entice us to see it. Like Total Recall with all its advertisements for transplanted memories from the company called Rekall, this advertises something different, something at the core of a lot of science fiction–the ethics of science–just because we can do it, doesn’t mean we should do it.
The ad seems like it may be good for people who like the chilling parts of Philip K. Dick’s science fiction, people who liked the brilliant science fiction film Gattaca, but who also hope that world never arrives. The character is familiar–we’ve seen androids and similar cybernetic organisms before and have discussed several here at borg.com. This guy looks like Lieutenant Commander Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the eerie quiet and childlike movements also conjure something dark like something you’d get from Stephen King–or maybe like Data just before he malfunctions and takes out the crew of the USS Enterprise.
When and how is this seemingly sentient thing going to break?
Science fiction is often at its best when it shows us tomorrow… failing. Like the Millenium Falcon with a broken hyperdrive.
This trailer feels like 2001: A Space Odyssey, maybe just because of the choice of the name “Dave”. Now I am pretty much not a fan of most of Stanley Kubrick’s work. Despite some neat outer space scenes in 2001, the single scene with HAL and Dave, and some neat set decoration, I’ve never been able to get through the entire film in one sitting. I just find it stunningly boring every few years when I try it again to see if I will like it this time. But if Prometheus is like this ad, with this kind of quiet future scary science… this trailer might have elevated Prometheus for me from a future rental to an actual theater ticket. And that’s saying something because its traditional trailers haven’t convinced me this is something I’ll care about. But then again, their print ads state this David 8 robot is powered by… wait for it… Verizon. Umm… right. And all the restaurants of the future will be Taco Bell.
We probably shouldn’t be surprised that Sir Ridley Scott, creator of the films Blade Runner, Alien, and the recent Prophets of Science Fiction series, has some visionary tricks up his sleeves. But the release of this very, very different movie promotion struck me as surprising, in a good way. And if they do the movie right, “Happy Birthday, David” may be the next sci-fi catch phrase.
Whether you’re into sci-fi, fantasy, super-heroes, or spies, 2012 is gearing up to be a good year for genre movie releases. What’s our top 10 most eagerly awaited genre films? Here’s a countdown to the one film we can hardly wait to see:
9. The Dark Knight Rises. Rounding out the latest trilogy of Batman movies, this one hints at the death of Batman in the trailer and advance posters. It’s Batman, so we’re going to see this one, but the franchise is getting a bit stale. If not for Gary Oldman’s perfect performances in Batman Begins and The Dark Knight as Commissioner Gordon, this one might not make the top 10 list. Then again, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman is reason enough to see this one. What we really want for Batman? A film version of Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns.
8. Men in Black III. Although we liked him most recently as a codger of an officer in Captain America: The First Avenger, Tommy Lee Jones’s roles seem to be pretty similar. We were surprised at how good the trailer for the new Men in Black movie looks, even with Jones reprising the role he has played twice. For Jones and Will Smith to reprise their roles yet again, but with a trip to the past for Smith’s Agent J, this may be the first time we like a genre prequel.
7. Total Recall. When there are so many Philip K. Dick stories to adapt for the big screen, it’s a little strange that someone would opt to redo the short story “We Can Remember it for You Wholesale,” when it seems like the original came out only yesterday. Still, if it’s anything like Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report, and early production photos seem to indicate that to be the case, we may have a really stylistic view of the future coming soon.
6. G.I. Joe: Retaliation. It was easy for viewers to laugh off the first G.I. Joe live action movie, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, but we think the movie was a blast, handling both the comic book and animated series universe, the classic story of the original 12-inch Joe action figures, and the small-sized action figures. With the new trailer just released for G.I. Joe: Retaliation, we’re just as excited to see our two favorite tough guys, Dwayne (formerly The Rock) Johnson, and Bruce Willis taking on the G.I. Joe mantle, with Willis as the original Joe Colton.
5. The Avengers. After years of DC Comics movies outdoing their Marvel Comics counterparts, last year the pendulum finally swung in favor of Marvel, with the super Captain America: The First Avenger film matching the first Iron Man in quality. Finally bringing them together with Thor and The Hulk is way overdue. But the character we really can’t wait to see more of is Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury.
4. Brave. Animated movies tend to showcase female characters as cutesy, dressed in pink, damsels being rescued, usually, by some dim-witted guy. It’s about time we have an animated film about a gal with a mind of her own, wielding her own sword. And the fact that she is performed by Kelly McDonald and her cool Scottish accent makes us want to see this film that much more.
3. Skyfall. We haven’t seen a trailer for this one yet. Daniel Craig’s Casino Royale was a contender for best-ever James Bond film, but the follow-up Quantum of Solace didn’t really deliver the punch we all wanted. Whatever this new film will be about, we don’t care, as we love Bond and at the end of each movie when we see “James Bond will return” it just starts the waiting again.
2. The Woman in Black. In part because we just want to see what both Harry Potter and Daniel Radcliffe do following the end of the Potter series, in part because we love a good ghost story, and in part because this trailer may be the best one released this year, we can hardly wait to see The Woman in Black. Eerie, cool with Radcliffe playing an adult role, we hope this will be as good as it looks.
1. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Not since the original Star Wars trilogy had we seen a more significant fantasy series than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings series. The original story from Middle Earth has been read and loved more than any of Tolkien’s works, and for it finally to hit the screen is not only a miracle because of production issues, we’re lucky all the original cast members from the Lord of the Rings series are still around and interested in reprising their roles from the Oscar winning series for Best Picture and a roster of other awards. Although the first trailer released wasn’t all that exciting, since Peter Jackson is in charge again, we’re certain this film will deliver as promised.
Based on trailers and early release photos, we’ll also keep an eye out for the following genre films, although, as noted here previously, we think some of the trailers make us want to avoid a few of these instead of get excited to see them: Prometheus, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, The Amazing Spider-man, The Hunger Games, and Man of Steel.
*Update: Don’t miss our January 8, 2012, opening weekend review.
Ridley Scott’s new film Prometheus is be set in the same universe as his classic sci-fi/horror movie Alien. Beyond that, the film seems to be a bit of an enigma.
Unlike a lot of trailers that give you a clue of what the movie will be about, the first trailer for Prometheus tells us very little, except: “They went looking for our beginning, what they found could be our end.” The advance press material describes the film as “A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.” This alone sounds like an old, B-movie, sci-fi pitch, so I, and I am sure countless fans of Alien and Aliens, are hoping this movie ends up to be a lot more. If the first trailer is any indication, this feels more like Alien 3, Ghosts of Mars, Event Horizon, or Predator 2, each of which had a few good points, but for a Ridley Scott follow-on to Alien, and from the director of Blade Runner, expectations are, and should be, high. Here is the first trailer released:
A trailer’s sole job is getting us to change our behavior–getting us to decide to pay money to go see it–and not just decide to wait until it shows up on video, or worse, wait until it makes it later to a cable network. One of the worst sci-fi films ever was Solar Crisis. It was billed to the effect of being from one of the creators of Star Wars, in hindsight it must have been someone like the caterer, but that Star Wars reference got folks to the opening weekend. Since then I have scrutinized every trailer I see.
The website www.prometheus-movie.com (possibly an official fan site?) shares a little more information about the plot of Prometheus:
“Little is known about Prometheus’ plotline. But what we can share with you is that the film is set in space for the most part. Similar to that of “ALIEN”; the jumping off point to this project. The film’s name “Prometheus” is that of the space vessel, used by a crew of select individuals who set off to explore and investigate fragments of “Alien DNA”. The film itself revolves around the Space Jockey creature; as seen in the original film ALIEN (1979). When the team of scientists embark on this journey, they get stranded on an Alien world which tests their limits; both mental and physical. Prometheus is also largely based on the creation of mankind, life and the Earth. From the recent synopsis publicly released by 20th Century Fox, we can determine roughly that Prometheus involves a team of scientists, “The Company” representatives and robot / synthetics which investigate and search for keys to unlock man’s ultimate mystery. But in the process, they threaten the future existence of mankind and are faced with unimaginable horrors. The Aliens themselves are said to be much larger than the original “Xenomorphs” we are used to. However, their overall construction will be easily noticable to that of the original Alien canon. Prometheus will be much more than just an Alien sci-fi horror. Ridley Scott is digging deeper for this project and Prometheus will unlock many questions and will touch on many aspects of life and existence. A true masterpiece.”
Huh? I think the production for Prometheus needs to work on its marketing a bit. So this is supposed to be kind of a “deep” movie, like 2001: A Space Odyssey was supposed to be? Are they really trying to sell this through claiming bigger aliens? And telling us it’s a “true masterpiece” in advance is kind of weak –I guess I just think they could do a lot better to try to sell us on this one. Not that we’re looking for spoilers here. Interviews Ridley Scott has given to the press so far have seemed cryptic, too, seemingly trying to tell us it is only somehow related to the Alien universe, but emphatic that it’s not a prequel. When you have a big-name star like Academy Award winner Charlize Theron (who was awesome in sci-fi previously as the star of Aeon Flux), and fan favorites and up-and-coming names like Patrick Wilson (Watchmen) and Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise), why not show us more of them? That said, if the actors are going to get drowned out behind the action and effects, then thanks for letting us know upfront.
I still count myself among several that believe the movie Aliens improved on Alien. I realize loyal Alien fans strongly disagree. I also loved the pairing of the “xenomorphs” from the Alien franchise with the Nausicaan-looking creatures of the Predator franchise, both in comic books and on film in the movie Aliens vs. Predator (not a great flick, but still a lot of fun).
You can’t judge a movie until you see it, and often good movies follow stale trailers (and vice versa!), so let’s just hope the next trailer, and more importantly the movie itself, delivers what fans are after: a solid and exciting story, innovative setting and solid acting, more of Alien and Blade Runner, and not another Predator 2, Aliens 3, or Alien: Resurrection. Prometheus is scheduled to premier June 8, 2012.