Ridley Scott’s neo-noir, sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner is one of science fiction’s classic films. Released in 1982 Blade Runner, a loose adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel Do Androids Dream of Electronic Sheep? revealed a world of life-like borgs called Replicants hiding among us in the year 2019. That dark future thankfully hasn’t happened yet. Scott is back, this time as an executive producer, for the surprise sequel Blade Runner 2049, directed by Denis Villeneuve (Sicario, Arrival).
Top billing this time goes to Ryan Gosling, who wasn’t born yet when the original was in production. Harrison Ford will return, and the first teaser trailer was released by Sony and Columbia Pictures this week. Blade Runner was known for its brilliantly realized future city, and the teaser includes no indication of whether it will be set in the giant wonder of technology that was the city where Harrison Ford’s Deckard hunted Replicants and befriended one in Sean Young’s beautiful damsel in distress, Rachael. Young appeared in last year’s Western Bone Tomahawk. Will she have a surprise cameo in Blade Runner 2049?
Other actors expected to appear in the film include Suicide Squad’s Jared Leto, The Princess Bride’s Robin Wright, and Guardians of the Galaxy and Spectre’s Dave Bautista. Here’s the first teaser trailer for Blade Runner 2049:
More than four years ago here at borg.com we asked readers which single image defined all of sci-fi for them, and the above scene from Blade Runner placed second behind David staring at audiences in 2001: A Space Odyssey. This weekend you can see Ridley Scott’s neo-noir, sci-fi masterpiece back again on the big screen, and introduce a new generation to one of the most incredible conceptions of the future ever to come out of Hollywood the way it was intended to be viewed by the director.
This Sunday, January 10, 2016, and next Wednesday, January 13, 2016, you can catch Blade Runner at Cinemark Theaters nationwide. Check out the Cinemark website here for local screenings. The theater chain offers three screenings, the first Sunday at 2 p.m. and two on Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. All start times are local time.
The future is almost here–Blade Runner, based on Philip K. Dick’s 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? reveals a world of life-like borgs called Replicants hiding among us in the year 2019. The battle to create the vision that director Ridley Scott intended for you to see is the stuff of sci-fi legend and makes George Lucas’s re-cuts of the original Star Wars trilogy pale in comparison.
The Renaissance of movie and TV tie-in action figures arrived in 2013 with Funko’s classic Kenner-style ReAction figure line. Other companies focus on single licensed figures and getting the likenesses spot-on, but Funko’s diversification of lines meant everyone could find something that fit their personal niche at an affordable price point. A true throwback series, one of the overlooked features of the line is the incredible variety of no-names-taken, classic kick-ass heroines represented.
In fact you can find here the top of the world’s best, in-your-face, take-no-prisoners, genre heroines. Buy them for yourself, for your friends, or get your favorite as a totem to inspire you each day from your desktop. And where the early sculpts in Funko’s line admittedly looked nothing like the actresses that made the roles famous, the new lines have only improved. And nobody has better packaging designs than the ReAction line.
Who would you add to the Funko roster of heroines? Compare your list to our more than 85 suggestions for future kick-ass women action figures below.
First, check out this Baker’s Dozen of our favorites in the current Funko pantheon:
I was 11 in the Summer of ’82. And yet I remember that summer vividly. Rare has there been a year since that I saw so many awesome movies in the theater. Many have commented on what was the best year in movies over the years, with the classic answer from critics usually being 1939 because of stellar films like The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Little Princess, Young Mr. Lincoln, and Drums Along the Mohawk.
So what do you think is the best year of movies? If you whittle it down to the best summer of movies, I’ve got a real contender here.
I remember standing in line at a new theater on my side of town, with my mom and sister, getting a sticker advertising a new brown and orange candy somehow tied to one of the movies. I saw an unexpectedly powerful sci-fi franchise entry with my brother at the S.E. 14th Street Drive-In Theater (pictured above before they tore it down a decade later) on a really hot day one Friday night. And he and his RadioShack computer tinkering friends took me to see a new Disney film that had its setting inside a computer at a Saturday matinée. The preview for one of the movies gave me nightmares. Two of the movies I wouldn’t truly appreciate for another 20 years. It all happened during the summer 33 years ago.
Check out this summer movie sneak preview from the YouTube archives and recall where you were during the Summer of ’82:
The defining film of the 1980s attempt to reignite the 3D medium, the 1982 sequel Friday the 13th, Part 3, represents both the best and the worst in the 3D genre. It’s a film completely unapologetic about its three-ring circus of 3D gimmicks, yet in providing a hundred ways to throw something at the audience it stands by itself for trying things no other movie has tried. Want to see an eyeball pop out of someone’s head and come right at you? This is your movie. If that doesn’t sound all that appealing, never fear, this is 1980s horror, so there is more to laugh at than truly be grossed out.
But let’s talk about the current options first. You can watch Friday the 13th, Part 3 a few different ways. As part of its October Halloween schedule (previewed at borg.com here) AMC is featuring a few showings of the Friday the 13th movie series October 20-22, 2014, including showings of Part 3. You can also pick up a DVD Deluxe Edition version here or updated Blu-ray with features here from Amazon.com. It’s not available on streaming but is a rental option from Netflix. Certain versions, like the Deluxe Edition, come with a blue-red 3D glasses and the standard 2D version. For this review we chose the standard version with the 3D TV upconvert option with Extreme 3D.
For some perspective, the film came out in the year of classic hits like E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, Tron, Poltergeist, The Dark Crystal, Blade Runner, The Thing, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan. Friday the 13th, Part 3 begins with a complete recap of the climax of the prior sequel. The disfigured Jason Voorhees, who we actually get to see in this film, returns to Crystal Lake, to torment young camp counselor Chris Higgins (Dana Kimmell), one of his targets who slipped away years ago.
Back in early 2012 we reviewed one of several books released on movie poster artist Drew Struzan, a useful and interesting resource called The Art of Drew Struzan, reviewed here. It chronicles the best of painted motion picture advertising one-sheets that Struzan created, and even more enlightening, includes commentary by Struzan about his process and the politics and business of his years of leading the craft. The picture he painted wasn’t pretty, but despite his own roadblocks he is generally thought of as the best motion picture poster artist of the last 50 years.
Along with Struzan, another poster artist created posters that often could be confused for Struzan’s. That was the late poster artist John Alvin. Unfortunately Alvin did not document his own personal account of his creative and professional experiences, but his wife Andrea has put together a book that at least documents his most popular work, released this month by Titan Books as The Art of John Alvin. What we don’t know from any of the books we’ve reviewed on poster artists is how they might have competed for work over the years. Andrea Alvin makes no mention of Struzan, but seems to indicate Alvin was able to keep a nice niche of clients over the years, ranging from the decision-makers behind the movies of Mel Brooks, Steven Spielberg, Tim Burton, and the renaissance of animated Disney blockbusters.
Alvin’s work seems far more commercial compared to the paintings of Struzan, as can be seen in Alvin’s posters for Empire of the Sun (1987), Cape Fear (1991), Batman Returns (1992), Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991), and Batman Forever (1995). But that doesn’t mean they were any less effective at drawing moviegoers to the theater, the entire point of the poster. The one-sheet for Empire of the Sun is often seen as one of the most memorable images in the history of movie posters.
The power of much of Alvin’s posters is the simplicity. In 1982 when the public first learned of a movie called E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, the only thing we knew was a newspaper ad showing a wrinkled alien hand touching the hand of a kid, inspired by Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam. His teaser poster was equally as effective—never did these pictures show E.T. himself. Those same images were reproduced on movie posters, cardboard standees, and eventually all over picture books sold via school book orders. Simple images, but lasting images, and what they didn’t show was part of the enticement to reel in an audience.
This year’s TV series Almost Human had the potential to be a big hit, with movie star Karl Urban as one of the two lead actors, and a classic sci-fi plot that looked like it would mix RoboCop, Alien Nation, Blade Runner, and Total Recall. After a fun but uncertain pilot episode, it has managed to deliver each week the kind of science fiction stories that are stuff of classic TV. Almost Human isn’t just sci-fi, it’s a full-blown police procedural drama, and a good old-fashioned buddy cop show to boot.
The series centers on megastar-film actor Karl Urban’s future cop, Detective John Kennex. Kennex is a grumpy guy with baggage, a past encounter gone bad resulted in the death of his partner and the need for a cybernetic leg. Early detractors of the series likened his Kennex too much to his similarly gruff Doctor McCoy from the new Star Trek movies. It’s a fair comparison. But we don’t care. They are both great characterizations and the miserable, tough guy routine is separable and fun to watch, especially Kennex’s banter with co-star Michael Ealy as almost human robot cop Dorian, an android of a decommissioned type who has become Kennex’s partner. In fact, the buddy cop routine will make you think of your favorite buddy cop shows, in the league of Alien Nation, Adam-12, Life on Mars, Hot Fuzz, Dragnet, Life, White Collar, and Starsky and Hutch.
This week’s episode was emblematic of why the series is destined to continue as long as the network will let it. The writers basically took the plot from a classic episode of Law and Order about pacemakers being refurbished and placed in new people. Here, that concept is blended with a current political item: what happens if there is no Affordable Care Act in the future, and a current element of technology some people use every day: the prepaid cell phone. So how did the writers put it all together?
Review by C.J. Bunce
After the completion of the Star Wars prequels, George Lucas sat down and went frame by frame through all six Star Wars movies, examining literally hundreds of thousands of images and selecting about 250 screen grabs from each film, frames that he believed showed particular artistry, each in its own right. The result was 2011’s limited edition of 1,138 boxed sets called Star Wars: Frames, sold for $3,000, and now only rarely available with one set being sold at Amazon.com for a whopping $11,500. Thanks to Abrams Books, Star Wars: Frames is being re-released this month in a far less expensive but complete edition, collecting 1,472 stills from all six films in the Star Wars saga. It is without a doubt the definitive visual work on Star Wars, in a rare league of deluxe book editions along with long out-of-print Dressing a Galaxy: The Costume of Star Wars and Sculpting a Galaxy: Inside the Star Wars Model Shop as the best Star Wars books ever released.
This more affordable, unabridged version of Star Wars: Frames includes two hardcover books, each covering one of the two movie trilogies in 368 pages, housed in a hefty Death Star-themed silver box. Listing at a published price of $150, you can buy it for less than $100 at Amazon.com. The only difference between the $3,000 version and this version is the original was issued in a six-book set (one book for each film instead of one for each trilogy), with each image taking up a full page, packaged in a wooden crate instead of cardboard. The content is the same. Star Wars: Frames will be released November 5, 2013, but we received an early review copy this week. The book lives up to its promise, in surprising ways.
Art designers or aspiring art design students will want to pick up Mark Salisbury’s new look at creating sets, costumes and props for a world of the future in Elysium: The Art of the Film. Incorporating commentary from the up-and-coming science fiction director of the geo-political sci-fi thriller District 9, Neill Blomkamp, this new large format hardcover delves into the creative process from early ponderings to the imagery that made it to the final film cut.
Like listening to the first demo tapes of your favorite band or scanning the rough sketches of your favorite artist, taking a peek at the development of Hollywood magic through various aspects of a film can teach you a lot about a designer. Watching the development of a cyborg exo-skeletal costume from inception to final crafted piece challenges the reader to agree or disagree with what is cut and what isn’t. What physical elements, like utilitarian tubes and pipes, plastics or metals, make us think of the visual “future”?
Review by C.J. Bunce
The magical, multimedia, computer-generated art of Archeologists of Shadows is at once both like something you’ve never seen before yet strangely familiar with bits and pieces of so many different influences. The characters seem to have evolved from the green planet in Avatar and the villains from the Iowa State Patrol borg police of Star Trek 2009. The compositions have influences in the creepy worlds of both artist Dave McKean and at the same time the otherworldly spaces of filmmaker Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth. The fantasy evokes painted high fantasy pulp cover art and the mystery and old religions and myths of The Dark Crystal. The colors and lights throughout the book are reminiscent of the work of artist Lee Bermejo. The industrial architecture conjures the oppressive cityscapes of Fritz Lang, and the surreal buildings of Antoni Gaudi.
As to the story, we’re introduced to a far off place, maybe Earth’s own future, the world of Terminator if the Connors have failed to save humanity, where humans have degraded to the point where they have only few organic parts. The protagonists, Alix and Baltimo, are indeed borgs, with elaborate, realistically visualized cybernetics with a definite steampunk vibe. They are on the brink of a crossroads like the dull citizens of George Lucas’s THX 1138–readying for the final steps of full mechanization. Like the cast of Waiting for Godot, they wait for something to happen, maybe godlike intervention, until a stranger offers assistance. Like Neo in The Matrix, do you act or not act, and which action bears the most risk, the doing or not doing?