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Tag Archive: John Hurt


weyland-yutani-report-cover

One of the best in-universe, sci-fi, tie-in books that we have come across is part of this year’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of James Cameron’s Aliens.  Insight Editions’ Alien: The Weyland-Yutani Report is not only a great idea–a book that could have been a movie prop used by the likes of Paul Reiser’s junior executive Carter Burke–its execution is superb.  Remove the title wrap and you have a mock leather-bound, heavy duty field guide that you might see passed around by the corporate types in the next Alien movie.

Written by Aliens, Star Trek, and Resident Evil tie-in novelist S.D. Perry with lavish artwork and designs by Markus Pansegrau and John R. Mullaney, The Weyland-Yutani Report pulls out all the stops to deliver a comprehensive Board of Directors summary guide to the findings and technology uncovered with the Alien movies beginning with Ridley Scott’s prequel Prometheus in 2012 to 1979’s Alien, to Aliens (1986), Alien 3 (1986), and through to Alien: Resurrection (1997).  (The Predator crossovers are not covered in The Report). 

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The most eye-opening data ties together–in a manner more clearly than portrayed in the films–Weyland-Yutani corporation and its founder Sir Peter Weyland, from details available in the films and information that was only character background that didn’t make it into the films.  The goals of the corporation that were the fabric that connected all the films is investigated with some top secret findings (and some redacted), including the hierarchy and gross (as in chestburster) anatomy of the Xenomorphs, groundbreaking (future) scientific achievements of “The Company,” as well as weapons, ships, tools, and theories of alien beings and their connections to early Earthlings.  (Learn even more about “The Company” at the corporate website here).

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Legend of Tarzan poster

Dozens of adaptations of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Tarzan have made it to the big screen and TV, and the newest version is out this summer, director David Yates’ The Legend of Tarzan.  It’s not another Disney adaptation although the 1999 Disney version was a good film.  This new version offers some nice CGI with its Planet of the Apes-style apes and other animals.  It also includes some updates to the original story.

The biggest draw for comic book movie fans will be the lead actress, Margot Robbie, as Jane.  Robbie will be portraying Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad later this year.  Stellan Skarsgård’s (The Avengers, The Hunt for Red October) son Alexander is Tarzan.  A major league cast supports this film, including two-time Academy Award winner Christoph Waltz, Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent, and Academy Award nominees Samuel L. Jackson, Djimon Hounsou, and John Hurt.

Check out this first full-length trailer for The Legend of Tarzan:

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Rogue One clip

Our annual “All the Movies You’ll Want to See…” series has been one of the most viewed of all of our entries at borg.com each year.  So this year we again scoured Hollywood and its publicity machine for as many genre films coming out in 2016 as have been disclosed.  Usually we select the 24 that look like the biggest hits, but we’re going all out for 2016.  The result is a whopping 48 movies, many you’ll probably want to see in the theater or catch on video.  We bet you’ll find a bunch below you’ve never heard of.  Bookmark this now for your 2016 calendar!

Most coming out in the second half of 2016 don’t even have posters released yet, but many do.  We’ve included descriptions and key cast so you can start planning accordingly.

Star Trek Beyond clip

What do we think will be the biggest hits of the year?  How about Star Wars: Rogue One?  Or Star Trek Beyond?  You’ve heard endlessly about Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but 2016 will also see Doctor Strange, Captain America: Civil War, and X-Men: Apocalypse.  There’s even a handful of Westerns, with The Hateful 8, Jane Got a Gun, and another remake of The Magnificent Seven heading our way.

01 Hateful Eight poster

The Hateful Eight – January 1

Tarentino’s Western!  Ennio Morricone score!  Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and Channing Tatum!

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The 5th Wave – January 8

Chloe Grace Moretz and Liev Schreiber in an alien invasion.

03 400 days poster

400 Days – January 12

The CW’s Brandon Routh, Caity Lotz, and Tom Cavanaugh in a movie about astronauts that seems to be a play on Ender’s Game.

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Snowpiercer clip B

Review by C.J. Bunce

After a long and clunky path to theaters that we first discussed in our review of the graphic novel source material here at borg.com, Snowpiercer, the highly, almost ludicrously improbable story of a train carrying the last humans on Earth akin to Noah’s Ark is finally in wide release.  With below freezing temperatures and the wind howling across the country this week, it’s a good time to hunker down and take a look at this new home release.

The film sees a lower class of humans living at the back of a giant train that is strangely bigger on the inside as they send a small band to try to get to the front of the train controlled by the wealthy.  Numerous reviews call Snowpiercer an allegory, and that’s completely wrong.  Snowpiercer is literal.  It’s a post-apocalyptic science fiction survival story, not the deep symbolic stuff of Plato or even Orwell.  Snowpiercer–the film–is pretty much devoid of any subtle hidden meanings. It’s overt B-movie sci-fi.  In fact it’s closer to Escape from New York or Logan’s Run than a high-brow philosophical look at life, as it was categorized by many critics on its theatrical release.

Snowpiercer strange cargo

Likewise, don’t try to compare it to the much heralded source material, the black and white graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette reviewed here.  Other than the story being about someone trying to get from the back of a train to the front, it’s pretty much unrecognizable.

Yet if you can watch Snowpiercer for what it is, an action vehicle (no pun intended) for star Chris Evans between big picture roles, then you might agree it’s a winner.

Bouncing back and forth between taunts of a gotcha a la Soylent Green, The Road, or War Games, the movie answers every (simple) question it poses, which is surprisingly satisfying.  Korean director Bong Joon-ho peppers each new train car he breaks through in Panama Joe Atari video game style with enough new questions that you’ll find yourself paying attention for the entire ride, just to get to what ultimate wisdom may be found at story’s end.

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Snowpiercer poster art

It must be one of the strangest ideas for a science fiction film yet.  Bad planning reduces the planet to a freezing state where no one can survive outside.  This who remained after the world became devastated live on a single, giant train called the Snowpiercer, which stays in operation for years.  It’s so huge that a society is formed, with rich and the poor, including members of all walks of life, and a generation comes and goes living entirely on this train.  Strange is right.

But stretching the bounds of sci-fi is what it’s all about, isn’t it?

Evans in Snowpiercer

We’ve previously reviewed here at borg.com the source work for the film, the graphic novel also called Snowpiercer.  It’s strange, yet entertaining as it find a new setting to ask age-old questions about culture and society’s struggles.  Finally it looks like the film has a June released date for limited showings in the U.S.

Chris Evans Snowpiercer

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snowpiercer

Review by C.J. Bunce

If you’re a glutton for punishment and the Polar Vortex is child’s play for you, then Snowpiercer may be in your future.

In the future a bomb destroys the climate.  A luxury train called the Snowpiercer, intended to take passengers on weeks-long travels becomes the only vehicle for survival, taking on lower class cars to become 1,001 total train cars.  It’s the last bastion of civilization.  Snowpocalypse, Snowmageddon–call it what you will, the planet is now ice and snow and being outside for even minutes means a certain end from the “White Death.”  Originally written in French as Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob with art by Jean-Marc Rochette, Snowpiercer, Volume 1: The Escape is now available in an English translation by Virginie Selavy from Titan Books.

Snowpiercer is also a new sci-fi film, starring Chris Evans (Captain America, the Fantastic Four), John Hurt (V for Vendetta, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Hellboy), Ed Harris (The Truman Show, Apollo 13, The Right Stuff) and Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia, Constantine), by Korean director Joon-Ho Bong.  A major hit in South Korea, it is yet to be released in the States yet, a result of directorial disputes with distributor The Weinstein Company, including a feud over cutting 20 minutes of footage for U.S. audiences that inexplicably “may not understand” the longer version.  Here is the South Korean trailer for the movie:

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An Unearthly Child

The day after President Kennedy was assassinated and The Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis died, at 17:15 GMT on 23 November 1963, 50 years ago today, a teleplay called “An Unearthly Child” aired in the United Kingdom for a new TV series called Doctor Who.  An older man called simply The Doctor and his companions walked into a blue British phone booth and transported through time to the Stone Age where they encountered a tribe that had lost the secret of fire.  With only a few years off the air in those 50 years, Doctor Who continues as a tradition in the UK that has in recent years expanded to become a fan phenomenon across the globe.

Day of the Doctor poster

Today at 1:50 p.m. Central, the BBC is broadcasting its 50th anniversary special simulcast throughout the world, bringing together actors and actresses who have performed on the series over the decades, including the current Doctor, played by Matt Smith, the last Doctor played by David Tennant, and guest star John Hurt as the previously unknown War Doctor.  Set your DVRs now if you haven’t already, since the show will air far earlier than in its normal local primetime spot on BBC America in the States.

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Paul McGann returns as Eighth Doctor

If you wondered why we never got to see Paul McGann’s eighth Doctor regenerate into Christopher Eccleston’s Ninth Doctor, wait no further.  A new seven-minute episode on the Web written by Steven Moffat called The Night of the Doctor reveals the last minutes of the Eighth Doctor as the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who approaches next week.

If you haven’t seen the only appearance until now of the Eighth Doctor, you must get your copy of Doctor Who: The Movie, on DVD.  When everyone everywhere was speculating on the selection of what actor would be the Twelfth Doctor, which ultimately was given to Peter Capaldi, my instant pick for the perfect Doctor was Paul McGann, based on his role as Mr. Bush in the A&E Horatio Hornblower mini-series opposite Ioan Gruffudd, as well as roles in Kidnapped and Sea of Souls.  I was quickly advised by my brother-in-law, however, that McGann already played The Doctor.  Since I began my watching with Eccleston, I hadn’t known.

Doctor Who the Movie

After watching Doctor Who: The Movie this week, “my good idea” was confirmed as he is simply brilliant as the crazed Doctor with amnesia stuck in 1990s San Francisco, in his first adventure regenerating from Sylvester McCoy’s Seventh Doctor, with a new companion played by Daphne Ashbrook, who made an appearance at Planet Comicon this year.  And now McGann returns to the role for the first time on-screen since his first appearance in the role.

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Day of the Doctor poster

In 2013, something terrible is awakening in London’s National Gallery; in 1562, a murderous plot is afoot in Elizabethan England; and somewhere in space an ancient battle reaches its devastating conclusion.  Celebrating the series’ 50th anniversary, a new BBC episode of Doctor Who will be released for two one-night screenings as part of the Fathom Events series November 23 and 25, 2013.  Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor will bring together former Doctor and companion and fan favorites David Tennant and Billie Piper for the first time along with Matt Smith and Jenna Coleman in their penultimate episode as Doctor and companion.  Also featuring guest star John Hurt, the episode will be shown in REALD 3D, and includes a ten-minute behind the scenes featurette.  And who knows what other surprises may show up in this 50th anniversary event–other past Doctors?  A visit from the Cybermen and Daleks?

Daleks--Day of the Doctor

With a devoted audience of 80 million fans in over 200 countries, the series has twice been honored by Guinness World Records as the longest running and the most successful science-fiction series in the world.

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Hollow Crown banner

I’ve come to the conclusion after watching literally thousands of movies that I don’t like straight drama.  I rarely enjoy it unless there is some genre component to reel me in.  Sometimes even genre actors don’t help, such as Doctor Who’s David Tennant and Arthur Darvill in the BBC series Broadchurch.  I don’t go to movies for portrayals of real life, no matter how good the portrayal is supposed to be.  The list of exceptions to my distaste for straight drama is probably pretty large because I am pretty open minded.  The genre hook could be tenuous but it must be there.

Of course the most celebrated dramatist of all time is William Shakespeare.  I love his comedies adapted to screen, particularly Kenneth Branagh’s costume drama Much Ado About Nothing.  I also love the history plays–again, costume drama–and especially the 1990s Henry V–again, Branagh’s version.  The genre hook is easy with his histories–historical fiction.  But take that drama into the present day, such as with Joss Whedon’s 2013 Much Ado About Nothing, and I could hardly be less interested in it.  Even with a bunch of genre actors in the cast.

Whishaw as Richard II

Historical drama in the form of four of Shakespeare’s history plays adapted to screen on the BBC in 2012 begin tomorrow in the States with The Hollow Crown on PBS’s Great Performances.  And better yet, they are staged in the historical period–not contemporary updates–and as a bonus they feature a host of genre actors.

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