Category Archives: Movies

Summer movies

Today’s Gazette had a couple of articles that would interest MonSFFen. There was  a review of the Mummy that was a little more positive than most, and a look at the summer offerings. I’ve copied the movies that looked most appealing to our membership.  The review of the Mummy movie follows.  There are trailers on Youtube, I linked to the most recent ones.

SUMMER MOVIE SAMPLER

We give you the elevator pitches

SONY Young British actor Tom Holland stars in the latest superhero remake in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Beyond a rebooted (again) webslinger, this summer is lighter than usual on superhero fare. But as usual there are lively animated movies, some crime stories and a few R-rated ladies-night-out parties. Also in the mix are some sequels, remakes, comedies and an epic escape yarn. Release dates are subject to change:

CARS 3 (JUNE 16)

The pitch: Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) gears up for a new challenge with encouragement from slickster sponsor Mr. Sterling (Canadian Nathan Fillion).

Hit or miss: More animated fun for fans of the anthropomorphic speedy riders.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT (JUNE 23)

The pitch: More of the same — meaning another special effects clatter and clash of the robot titans once best known as toys.

Hit or miss: The fifth in the Michael Bay series confirms that nothing succeeds like another international success.

DESPICABLE ME 3 (JUNE 30)

The pitch: Gru (Steve Carell) discovers long-lost brother Dru (also voiced by Carell) as new villain Balthazar Bratt (South Park’s Trey Parker) tries to overshadow Minions everywhere.

Hit or miss: Surrender to the cute.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (JULY 7)

The pitch: Tom Holland impressed with his Spider-Man introduction in Captain America: Civil War. Now he’s a standalone with able assistance from Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.)

Hit or miss: Spidey’s slinging for the fences.

A GHOST STORY (JULY 7)

The pitch: Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara play a couple getting by in a secluded home when spooky things start going bump in the night.

Hit or miss: Most enjoy a good “Boo!”

WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES (JULY 14)

The pitch: As special effects get better, the story veers as Caesar (Andy Serkis) is on a path of revenge. Hit or miss: The appeal continues.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS (JULY 21)

The pitch: Based on the French sci-fi comic series Valérian and Laureline, the film version stars Dane DeHaan as Valerian and Cara Delevingne as Laureline. They are operatives trying save the City of a Thousand Planets, and the universe, from a dark force.

Hit or miss: Director Luc Besson happily returns to sci-fi fantasy after the success of 1997’s The Fifth Element.

 THE DARK TOWER (AUG. 4)

The pitch: Stephen King’s horror fantasy makes it to the big screen with Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey surrounded by fancy scare tactics.

Hit or miss: How can it miss?

THE MUMMY’S BAD RAP HAS BEEN UNDESERVED

 Dark Universe saga looks to be off to a solid start

THE MUMMY

★★★ 1/2 out of five Cast: Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Russell Crowe Director: Alex Kurtzman Duration: 1 h 50 m

UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Sofia Boutella, left, stars with Tom Cruise in The Mummy. As Princess Ahmanet, she has powers others can barely understand, including the ability to learn English and figure out 21st-century technology.

Already, The Mummy is getting a bad rap. As soon as the studio embargo dropped, the critics’ gloves came off: By Thursday morning the score at rottentomatoes.com was 23 per cent and falling.

But I’m here to tell you it’s not all bad. The Mummy is more coherent than Suicide Squad, less grim than Batman v Superman, and easily 16 times better than Fantastic Four.

That may sound like faint praise, but Universal’s first chapter in its so-called Dark Universe franchise of gods and monsters is off to a fair start. Whether it can better the DC or Marvel series remains to be seen.

The movie opens on a dour note, with an ancient prayer of resurrection, followed by a lengthy Egyptology lesson from Russell Crowe, who plays Henry, a doctor with some severe angermanagement issues. Among the information he doles out: Several thousand years ago Princess Ahmanet (Sofia Boutella) made a pact with the god of death and was mummified alive for her troubles. Pay attention: There may be a test later.

Cut (at last!) to the present day, where Nick Morton (Tom Cruise) and Chris Vail (Jake Johnson) are hoping to relieve Iraq of some of her valuable antiquities. There’s more than a little Raiders of the Lost Ark in their escapades — even Brian Tyler’s score nods to it — but if you recall that franchise you’ll realize that Cruise’s character is more Belloq than Indy.

When the lads uncover a mummy, scientist Jenny Halsey (Annabelle Wallis) shows up to study it. But this is where things start to go bad. First, the plane transporting the sarcophagus — “the chick in the box,” according to the decidedly lowbrow Nick — crashes in England.

Nick goes down with the aircraft, mysteriously surviving but suddenly able to see and even converse with Chris’s chatty ghost. In another throwback moment, their interactions have a very American Werewolf in London vibe.

He’s now in a race against time to figure out why he’s still alive, whether Ahmanet has something to do with it, and what she might want from him. Henry, who looks like he might become the Nick Fury of this franchise, has managed to capture the mummy in his underground lair, but she has powers he can barely understand, including a remarkably quick ability to learn English and figure out 21st-century technology.

One of the complaints critics have with The Mummy is that it’s not nearly as terrifying as a monster movie could (or should) be. This is true — there are jump scares and a few scenes of mummies face-sucking the life out of others, but it’s all pretty bloodless. On the plus side, while Cruise continues to do his own falling-aircraft and underwater stunts, at no point does he jump on a motorcycle.

Boutella, meanwhile, is creepy and intense as Princess Ahmanet, with extra irises (don’t call her “four eyes”) and a plethora of facial markings, as if she’d walked into a New Kingdom tattoo parlour and told them to give her the Heliopolis phone book. Though I have to wonder which of The Mummy’s six writers thought it would be a good idea to have Cruise “dump” her with an it’snot-me-it’s-you speech? And wouldn’t a better line have been: “You had me at hello, but you lost me at hell”?

One of those writers is director Alex Kurtzman, whose only previous movie was 2012’s People Like Us, though he does have producing credits on everything from Star Trek to Spider-Man. He manages the pacing of this one nicely, keeping the whole thing down to a manageable hour and 50 minutes so you won’t feel you’ve been buried for millennia.

Mind you, things get a little wonky at the end, when the screenplay scrambles to set up its endless sequels. There’s a quick glimpse of a skull that would seem to suggest the Wolfman, or maybe Dracula, while another character lopes off into the sunset all but promising to return. There may even have been an Invisible Man reference, but I didn’t see it.

And to all those reviewers warning you away, I ask: How are you going to follow this franchise if you don’t sit through the compulsory Mummies 101?

Trailers: GoT, Valerian, Spiderman

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres 7.16.17 on HBO

Luc Besson’s new film arrives in theatres July 21.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS is the visually spectacular new adventure film from Luc Besson, the legendary director of The Professional, The Fifth Element and Lucy, based on the ground-breaking comic book series which inspired a generation of artists, writers and filmmakers.

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Trailer 3

Next mission: figuring out how all web shooter combinations work. Watch the new “Spider-Man: Homecoming” trailer now – in theatres July 7. ► Subscribe to Marvel: http://bit.ly/WeO3YJ

Trailer for Star Trek: Discovery

The first rule of Star Trek: Discovery is —  Don’t ask when it’s going to air….

Before Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise there was Discovery. Now, one of the most iconic and influential global franchises returns to television with Star Trek: Discovery.

And the second rule is Don’t try to figure out the time line–it will warp your brains.

Article below is snitched from: http://www.haibane.info/2017/05/18/star-trek-discovery-first-trailer/

OK, I understand the idea behind the visual redesign. It’s 2017, not 1967. And the showrunners opted for Prime universe rather than Kelvin to preserve creative independence from whatever the movie franchise is doing. They do, however, want to appeal to the audience that the new movies in the Kelvinverse have recruited. Therefore: lens flares and Apple Stores.

Klingonbar640

But really, hairless Klingons? With a H.R. Geiger armor aesthetic?

It’s not like we haven’t seen the 60’s aesthetic embraced by modern television. Deep Space Nine went there and did it brilliantly – they arguably made the TOS USS Enterprise look even more gorgeous than any of her successors, and they didn’t change anything about her at all – just lighting and texture. Enterprise itself managed to authentically portray a pre-Kirk technology chic that had a more industrial feel, which was utterly believable as the ancestor to the softened look of the Kirk era. I do not accept that the Kelvinization of the Prime timeline was necessary to modernize the production. After all, the aesthetic of The Expanse and Dark Matter is thoroughly modern but doesn’t have the same Kelvin fascination with chrome and glass. Not that I want any Trek to go the grunge-fi look, but I do at least want Trek to honor it’s own identity. This feels like a rejection – purely a Han shot first decision.

Unless directly contradicted on screen, I think that my own headcanon about First Contact creating Enterprise can be amended here to argue that Discovery is in a Beta timeline. The Prime timeline was TOS/TNH/VOY/DS9, but the events of First Contact created the Beta timeline, and the Kelvinverse is an alternate reality branching from the Beta timeline.

Some may dismiss all this timeline canon angst as pointless, but since time travel and timelines are literally a backbone plot of the Star Trek universe, this is a legitimate area of fan analysis.

Related – great discussion threads at /r/DaystromInstitute that disagree with my headcanon First Contact created the alternate (Beta) timeline and a discussion of whether Enterprise is in Prime or not.

 

War for the Planet of the Apes Final Trailer

War for the Planet of the Apes Final Trailer

Coming to theatres July 14

In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly conflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.

Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Winners Announced!

Congratulation to Steven, Yves, Isis, Keith who each won a double pass to the advance screening of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Watch for an email from MonSFFA with your code to download your passes.

©2017 Disney

 

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a rip-roaring adventure that finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.  Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

In theatres May 26, 2017

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790809/

 

Classic movie “Them!” being shown where it was filmed

Some time back, MonSFFen got to watch the classic Them! at one of Keith’s Classic SF movie matinees, so I thought this might be of interest to members.  –CPL

STATION INFESTATION. Here’s a rare opportunity to watch a monster movie within a stone’s throw of the locale they terrorized — “Off-Ramp Recommendation: Scientists needed! Giant ants invade Union Station Friday night!”

Let’s face it. Ants are nobody’s favorite. They ruin summer picnics, sneak under the door to steal your crumbs, and are… HUGE?! In 1954 sci-fi film “Them!” ants are gigantic, radioactive, flesh-eating, and coming directly for you!Friday night, as part of the Metro Art series, Union Station is screening the second film in its “Sci-Fi at Union Station” series. It’s the 1954 sci-fi classic “Them!” LA Times entertainment reporter and classic Hollywood expert Susan King will provide a background on the film and its historical significance to both the sci-fi genre and LA.Director Gordon Douglas helped created the nuclear monster genre with “Them!” and due to its campy horror, the movie has become a cult-classic. “Them!” follows the creation and subsequent terror of carnivorous insects and their pursuit of film stars James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, and Joan Weldon. The film culminates in a battle scene set in our very own city, featuring shots of beautiful Union Station, LA’s neighborhoods, and storm drains.

And if that’s not enough – young Leonard Nimoy appears in the film (in a very minor role)!

Trailers for Dark Tower, Blade Runner, Behind the Scenes Pirates of the Caribbean

In a world full of superheroes, there’s only one Gunslinger. From the epic best-selling novels by Stephen King comes #DarkTowerMovie.”

In theatres August 4.

In theatres October 6.

Thirty years after the events of the first film, a new blade runner, LAPD Officer K (Ryan Gosling), unearths a long-buried secret that has the potential to plunge what’s left of society into chaos. K’s discovery leads him on a quest to find Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a former LAPD blade runner who has been missing for 30 years.
 
From executive producer Ridley Scott and director Denis Villeneuve, #BladeRunner2049 stars Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, Ana De Armas, MacKenzie Davis, Sylvia Hoeks, Lennie James, Carla Juri, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Jared Leto.

In Theatres May 26
Captain Jack Sparrow finds the winds of ill-fortune blowing even more strongly when deadly ghost pirates led by his old nemesis, the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle, determined to kill every pirate at sea…including him. Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

MonSFFen: You could win free double passes to an advance screening of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Thanks to Walt Disney Films Quebec, we are offered 4 double passes to the advance screening of Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

©2017 Disney

Montreal Advance screening of  Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Wednesday May 24, 19h00, Cinema Scotia Bank

Interested members need only let Cathy know by May 13, 18:00 h. The drawing will take place May 14. Winners will be advised by e-mail.  

Johnny Depp returns to the big screen as the iconic, swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in the all-new Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, a rip-roaring adventure that finds down-on-his-luck Captain Jack feeling the winds of ill-fortune blowing strongly his way when deadly ghost sailors, led by the terrifying Captain Salazar, escape from the Devil’s Triangle bent on killing every pirate at sea—notably Jack.  Captain Jack’s only hope of survival lies in seeking out the legendary Trident of Poseidon, a powerful artifact that bestows upon its possessor total control over the seas.

In theatres May 26, 2017

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1790809/