Can There Be A Overwatch Feature In Our Future?

Blizzard Entertainment, creator of games like StarCraft and WarCraft has recently introduced Overwatch, a new game with an interesting storyline revolving around a time in the future when wars have been ended by superpower operatives, ofne of which happens to be a talking, armored gorilla.  It the cinematic-style trailer is to beloved, it’s going to be amazing.

Though what’s more interesting is that the cinematic looks very…cinematic, almost as if Blizzard may have plans beyond the video game; and before anyone consigns that to the wiles of an overactive imagination, keep in mind that WarCraft is already being made into a feature, directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code)

The (Un)necessary Remake Dept: DeepStar Six

No, DeepStar Six, isn’t the latest Ultramarionation feature from Jamie Anderson, but a undersea horror movie from Sean Cunningham (Friday the 13th) that was followed in quick succession by George P. Cosmatos’ Leviathan, and culminated five months later in James Cameron’s far superior The Abyss.

DeepStar Six revolves around a US Navy mission to place an undersea missile sled on the ocean floor; an action that only makes sense when you take into account that the United States was approaching the end of the Cold War with the Soviet Union.

Dr. Van Gelder (Marius Weyers) is there to ensure that the missile platform is built before they leave the base, the time for which is rapidly approaching.

Unfortunately, the project is behind schedule, so he’s doesn’t have time to putter about.

The area where he choose to place the sled is suspected of having caverns underneath it, which Scarpelli (Nia Peoples) wants to take time to explore, though Dr. Gelder isn’t interested.  Sure, properly surveying the area could have saved them quite a bit of trouble, but what specialist worth their salt let’s safety concerns trump completing a project on time.

Which shouldn’t be a surprise considering one of their own crew, Snyder (Miguel Ferrer, who if James Spader was unavailable to play Ultron in the upcoming The Avengers: Age of Ultron, should have been on speed dial) is fraying at the seams and should have been evacuated to the surface weeks ago.

And speaking of Ferrer, he’s easily the most convincing character in the entire movie which is why it’s such a pity that he so explosively loses it toward the end.

Another awesome addition to the movie is someone whom you never see, but who’s presence is felt throughout the entire movie, and that’s the awesome score by Harry Manfredini (who’s theme for War Of The Worlds: The Second Invasion has to be one of the best television themes EVER.

Seriously.  It’s that good.

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‘Kingdom Come’ Trailer

I am jonsin‘ for a entertaining horror movie.  Recently two new ones from Blumhouse Pictures (The Conjuring, Insidious, Insidious 2, etc), Mercy and Mockingbird (review coming soon) turned up on Netflix, and to say that both were underwhelming would be an understatement.

Though Blumhouse seems to be innovating in a genre all its own, which is hard to describe because it’s not Horror–they may be called that, but if something is going to be called “Horror” I’d like to think that it’s at least scary–though “Mildly Disquieting” is more fitting, though I can understand why it’s not something that they use on their posters.  The thing is, I am not even necessarily talking about gore (though I wouldn’t complain if there were more) because you can have a pretty horrific movie without a drop of blood if it has an engaging story and full-bodied characterization.

Then again, if the Paranormal Activity films have shown us anything, it’s that there’s a huge audience for thin, wispy plots and jump scares.

So I am posting this trailer for Kingdom Come, a movie that I would bet money won’t appear in wide-release, though it looks ambitious enough that maybe it should.

‘Minions’ Trailer

I have never been too into the Minions, those daffy pill-shaped things from Despicable Me and its sequel.  As you can tell from the picture, whatever the goal the animators were aiming for, any sort of realism wasn’t one of them.

These Are Minions.  What They're Supposed To Actually Be, I Have No Idea

These Are Minions. What They’re Supposed To Actually Be, I Have No Idea

That being said, what I find interesting is that, despite the fantastical nature of the Minions and their world, Egyptians look more accurate than they will probably be–considering that Joel Edgerton will be playing one (though Christian Bale playing Moses isn’t much better)–in Ridley Scott’s upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Minions in EgyptWhich is really, really sad.

 

‘Chappie’ Trailer

Don’t get me wrong, I think Neill Blomkamp is probably one of the most visually innovative directors working today.  His films, despite taking place in an undefined future, always have a worn, grimy, lived-in look that’s almost the polar opposite found in other science fiction movies.

Almost the anti-Kubrick, if you will and I for one really appreciated the thoughtfulness he brings to each movie.

That being said, he also has a tendency to lay the moralizing on a bit thick.  I didn’t notice it in District 9, his first film, because his visuals were pretty stunning.

Though by his second movie, Elysium, they weren’t enough to distract from sometimes heavy-handed storytelling.  On top of that, a few too many things happened not because of any particular logic, but because the script needed them to.

Like, why didn’t Elysium have some sort of satellite-based defensive/offensive systems?  We’re actually working on such things now, so it would have been within the (relatively) realistic framework of the rest of the film.  Instead they used operatives planetside, such as Kruger (Sharlto Copley), to shoot down ships from Earth.

It was sort of odd, and was made worse by Blomkamp never explaining why that was the case.

His latest film is Chappie, which is the story of a Number 5–like robot that appears capable of learning, and how that changes the world around it.

It’s not a new story, and visually Blomkamp approaches it with the combination of what I like to call ‘high tech squalor’ found in his prior movies, though I hope the story is handled with a lighter touch.

Joe Carnahan’s ‘Stretch’ Is On Netflix

I don’t get it.  Joe Carnahan is a big-name director.  Hell, he’s not only directed movies like The Grey, The A-Team and Smokin’ Aces but the last I heard he was executive producing the hit NBC show, The Blacklist.

So how is it that his last movie, Stretch, seemed to bypass theatrical release entirely, and end up on Netflix–I’m watching it as I type–I have no idea (not to look a gifted horse in the mouth), but it’s pretty wild movie.

It stars Ed Helms, Jessica Alba, David Hasselhoff (who actually does scary really well, which for some reason surprised me.  And apropos of nothing, Hasselhoff is aging really well, though you can tell he’s had a bit of facial work done.  Which is okay though what I don’t get is why he seems to have neglected his neck, which looks older than the rest of him) Ray Liotta and Chris Pine.

Pine and Liotta appear to be favorites of Carnahan’s because they both in Smokin’ Aces as well.

Stretch is also a bit hard to categorize.  If I were to call it anything, I’d call it a ‘dark comedy,’ with a particularly pervy slant.  In fact, the movie tries so hard to be weird that things feel a bit forced at times

But everyone involved pretty game, so it’s all good.

And Rafi (Jason Mantzoukas), from The League, is in it!  Blink, and you’re miss him, but it’s fraggin’ Rafi!

What’s sort of odd is that Stretch is a Universal movie, yet when Stretch (Patrick Wilson)–who’s name is Kevin–drops off Ray Liotta, Liotta tells him that he was working for Sony.

‘Ouija’ Or (The Terror Of Diminished Expectations)

I caught Ouija last weekend, and it was okay; by which I mean that it wasn’t the worst movie I’ve seen (which barely qualifies as praise).  It had moments of interest, though thematically as well as visually it played out eerily similar to movies like The Conjuring, Annabelle and Insidious (which were also produced by Blumhouse Pictures, which I hope is just a coincidence).

What happened to the days when horror movies weren’t afraid to take a risk or two?

When a movie might actually do something that might offend someone’s sensibilities, but as a result end up at the very least an interesting exercise, if nothing else.  And the thing is, it’s not about money because movies like Ouija, The Conjuring and Insidious–which I use purely as examples–aren’t particularly expensive, which in the past often meant that filmmakers could do something a bit out of the ordinary because no one was going bankrupt if the movie tanked.

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