Tired of waiting for either MGM’s bankruptcy or the decision to change the Chinese villains to North Koreans in the beleaguered Red Dawn remake? Australia has your solution in the form of Tomorrow, When The War Began. A group of teenagers take a weekend camping trip into the bush, and when they come out, Australia has been seized by an unidentified Asian country. You know it is serious when the family dog is the first on-screen corpse. With their town of Wirrawee, all set for the summer fair with beauty queen contest and ferris wheel, is converted to POW camp, with the parents and townsfolk rounded up and put in cages. Thus the group makes the trial-by-fire transition from care-free children to hardened guerilla soldiers.
Based on a very popular set of Aussie books and adapted for the screen and directed by Stuart Beattie, a screenwriter who has a list of high profile Hollywood screenplays Collateral, The Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise, Australia, and G.I. Joe making his directorial debut. Beattie should look back at the talented directors, such as Gore Verbinski and Michael Mann that manage to extract much of the exposition out of the story and focus on the visuals, because here, there is not a scene that isn’t overwritten or over-baked enough to elicit guffaws, pushing Tomorrow, When the War began almost into Twilight territory of undiscriminating teens only. Some examples of Beattie’s over doing it: When our heroine, Ellie, a can-do farm girl, has a heart-to-heart with her bff, she not only does it in their childhood tree house (they are planning to go back to their isolated camping spot called Hell to hole up) but she looks at not one, but two different toys during the conversation. The young religious girl working herself up to shed some blood in the name of the resistance does so with a looming, forlorn looking swing-set in the foreground, or the group sits around at camp like The Breakfast Club, they are all ‘types’ at this point, anyway, discussing their motivation to run away or defend their country smacks of unadvised overkill rather than revealing drama. I suppose that two of the three key couples happen to be interracial pairings (Vietnamese/Caucasian and Greek/Caucasian) reflects the large number of cultures integrating into Australia these days, but the film never feels as believable or grounded as the opening pre-war chapter. A high energy cameo from Judy Davis’ hubby, Colin Friels threatens to jump-start the picture, but he quickly moves on, leaving things in the hands of our young and pretty collection. They pick up a stoner character at one point, but that just makes things worse.
I imagine we’ll be seeing a lot of ads coming out of Super Bowl Sunday over the next few days. A more interesting one might be the promo spot for Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford. While I remain skeptical, it’s optimistic skepticism as the trailers so far have looked fairly exciting and interesting. Everything here looks pretty great. And I’m always hoping my childhood hero will someday make a triumphant comeback. Will this be it? Probably not, but I can always hope. Universal is bringing Cowboys & Aliens in only 2D(!) to theaters on July 29th, 2011 this summer.
1873. Arizona Territory. A stranger (Craig) with no memory of his past stumbles into the hard desert town of Absolution. The only hint to his history is a mysterious shackle that encircles one wrist. What he discovers is that the people of Absolution dont welcome strangers, and nobody makes a move on its streets unless ordered to do so by the iron-fisted Colonel Dolarhyde (Ford). Its a town that lives in fear. But Absolution is about to experience a fear it can scarcely comprehend as the desolate city is attacked by marauders from the sky. Screaming down with breathtaking velocity and blinding lights to abduct the helpless one by one, these monsters challenge everything the residents have ever known. Now, the stranger they rejected is their only hope for salvation.
We’ve seen the Monsters on the Skyline. Now it seems Los Angeles must face the onslaught for a third time in six months – though in the trailer it clearly shows that this is a world wide phenomenon.
How the film (Battle: Los Angeles; directed by Jonathan Liebesman) will turn out remains to be seen, but this is a pretty awesome looking trailer. No sound effects or dialogue, just a haunting, robotic-sounding musical queue and imagery of world wide devastation and interplanetary war. It gives off a really great vibe and gets my excitement brewing. I’m not holding my breath for cinematic mastery here, but as of now, this looks pretty killer. It’s also got a cast full of recognizable faces, including Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, Aaron Eckhart, Noel Fisher and Michael Peña.
Around these parts we were so excited about the Alien Trespass trailer that we postedit twice. Indeed, seems like sometimes it takes schlocky sci-fi to make us happy. Sadly, as is often the case, the film didn’t open anywhere near me (or anyone else from the sounds of it) but fear not schlocky sci-fi fans the goodness is coming to you sooner than you think.
Starring Eric McCormack, Robert Patrick, Jenni Baird, Tom Braidwood, Dan Lauria and directed by R.W. Goodwin of “X-Files” fame, the film takes place in a small town in the 1950’s. A flying saucer has crash landed and an alien invasion begun…what to do? Yes, it looks as cheesy as it sounds but it oozes goodness and soon we too will share in that goodness because you see, the DVD will be here before the invasion is complete.
Horror-movies.ca has details that Alien Trespass will be coming to DVD on August 11th and the release has a few nice extras including:
“Watch the Skies” Alien Trespass Featurette
“Meet the Person” with Edwin R. Burroughs
Breaking News Report
Live News Update
R.W. Goodwin Interview
Eric McCormack Interview
Seriously though, they could release this bare bones and I’d be excited for the release. Just let me at it already!
Now here is the first ‘motion poster’ I can get behind. Yes it is still a glorified banner ad (or perhaps a teaser with a strange aspect ratio), but this time with sound, majesty and promise on a fun and retro concept: Invasion of the moon Nazis. This is from the same fellows who did the Star Trek parody Marina posted last week, Star Wreck.
Of the films that folks have been whispering about for weeks is Neil Blomkamp’s District 9. Some may recall Blomkamp’s name from rumours that arose last year that he was attached to direct the “Halo” film adaptation that never materialized and though the videogame adaptation died a slow death, Peter Jackson (who was apparently on board to provide some sort of support) must have really hit it off with Blomkamp. The resulting friendship is this: a film which is “presented by” Peter Jackson. Not sure exactly what that means (probably nothing) but after seeing the trailer, I don’t much care.
Blomkamp’s film brings aliens to earth and forces them to live in slum-like conditions but the aliens make a friend when a government agent is exposed to their biotechnology. I have a lot of questions about this plot: if they have biotechnology, why aren’t they destroying the humans? Why are they here to begin with? But seriously, this trailer has taken this movie from the fringes and smack dab into the middle of the map as one of the film’s on my “must watch” list for the summer. Blomkamp’s style mixes the aliens with what appears to be documentary footage and the result is pretty spectacular. Not only does it look great but the trailer also gives off a scary vibe the likes of which I haven’t felt in an alien movie since the first time I saw “V” on television.
District 9 is scheduled for release on August 14.
Check out the trailer below but I highly encourage you to check it out in HD over at Apple; it’s deserving of the load time. I can’t wait to see this trailer on the super big screen. Look for it attached to X-Men Origins: Wolverine
The trailers for Monsters vs. Aliens suggested that the film would be a light hearted fun homage to the cheesy 50 sci-fi films which often involved the invasion of a town/city by an alien monster that then threatened the entire universe. Sadly, the animated film fails more than it succeeds and though it does have some fun moments, it falls flat.
I didn’t expect to see another film of this type any time soon but sometimes, the universe has a way of surprising you. This will come up again in a few days’ time when I post the April preview but this is simply too good to sit on for a few more days. Directed by “X-Files” alumni R.W. Goodwin, Alien Trespass takes on, the trailer suggests in full force, the 50s sci-fi invasion film.
Set in the late 50’s, it’s the story of a town dealing with the crash landing of a flying saucer and an invasion by alien beings. It stars Eric McCormack, Robert Patrick, Jenni Baird, Tom Braidwood, Dan Lauria and it feels as though Nathan Fillion (or Gillian Anderson in 1997) should make an appearance; it’s a little reminiscent of Slither but the trailer suggests an even better pastiche of 50’s sci-fi.
I’m sold so it saddens me to say that Alien Trespass is only opening in limited release on April 3rd. Sad because I have a bad feeling I won’t have the opportunity to see it.
Sad news. One of the films I was most excited to see is, apparently, going to bypass theatrical distribution and head straight for DVD.
We’ve talked about Outlanderinthepast. The viking vs. aliens story staring James Caviezel, Sophia Myles, Jack Huston, Ron Perlman and John Hurt was shaping up nicely but for one reason or another, likely because they don’t feel it has box office appeal, it looks as though the The Weinstein Company, who have the US distribution rights, will not be putting any money into a release.
It has come to my attention, via Dread Central, that Movies Unlimited has the film on pre-order with a release date of November 18th. I’ve never heard of Movies Unlimited so I’m not quite sure how accurate that release date is but I’m assuming that since they’re taking people’s money, they know what their talking about. Also worth noting that Amazon also has the film listed for the November 18th release date.
Though this means we may not get to see it in North America, other markets may still have a chance to see the film on the big screen. We’ll be keeping you posted if any new developments arise.