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Entries in Prometheus (27)

Sunday
May212017

Review: "Alien: Covenant"

This review was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

If the famed director Ridley Scott were in art school, his professor would be yanking the paintbrush out of his hand — “it’s perfect, stop adding brush strokes!” His wife probably has to pull spices from his hands as he cooks. If you’ve been playing along with this Hollywood giant’s career you know that he can never leave well enough alone. I’ve lost count of how many “versions” there now are of his early sci-fi masterpiece Blade Runner (1982) and, after years of threats, that film will have a sequel this October, Blade Runner 2049, though Scott opted to pass the directorial reigns over to Denis Villeneuve (Arrival).

Having exhausted returning to that particular sci-fi well, Ridley has moved back even earlier in his career to the film that made him famous, Alien (1979). He’s now directed two prequels to it (Prometheus and now Alien: Covenant) and more films are promised. (Perhaps the controversial ending of 1991’s Thelma & Louise is the only thing that’s kept that film, the third member of his holy trinity of masterworks, free of his tinkering!).

So how’s the new film?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May182017

"Get Away from Her, You Bitch!": Revisiting the Alien Saga 

By Spencer Coile 

The tagline for the first Alien film, short and deeply frightening, reads "In space no one can hear you scream." Written in tiny font, it is placed on the poster for Ridley Scott's first venture into the Alien-universe beneath what we soon learn is the egg from which the menacing title creature is born. The image is simple but punchy, rather like the power and artistry emerging from Alien, in very much the same way the monsters pop out of humans' chests. On paper, the series is simple. But only on paper. Revisiting the world of Ellen Ripley and co. as a lead-up to the release of Alien: Covenant this weekend, one thought kept running through my mind: these films are disurbing, because they get at the root of what it means to be a human, to be a monster, and to make sacrifices that benefit oursevles, but also the greater good. What may have started out as a cut-and-paste psychological horror from 1979 soon became a story that is deeply compelling and worthy of examination.

So let's put on our space helmets, grab our flame-throwers, and start exploring the storytelling of the Alien saga...  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Mar012017

Yes No Maybe So: "Alien: Covenant"

Colony ship Film Experience crew member Robert here!

Since Prometheus blasted us back into the Alien universe to mixed reaction (hey, I really liked it!) there has been a flurry of talk about what the next entry in the franchise would be. For a while it was looking like Neill Blomkamp would get his shot at reviving the franchise with original star Sigourney Weaver, but Ridley Scott's sequel to Prometheus – originally not related to the Alien franchise, now called Alien: Covenant – put those plans on ice.

After a very tense teaser a few months ago we have a full trailer and it looks like it will be a bumpy ride for all. Trailer with the accompanying "Yes No Maybe So" after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Sep102016

Michael Fassbender is embarrassed by his Magneto

by Murtada

Michael Fassbender gives good quote. Following a career retrospective tribute at Toronto this week, he was interviewed on stage by TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey. Fassbender came on candid and ready to tell good stories. Here are excerpts from the conversation as reported by Vulture:

He reportedly cringed while watching a clip from X-Men:Days of Future Past (2014):

"I don’t actually like that performance there, to be honest. I just think it’s me shouting. It’s just like some dude shouting."

He based the android David in Ridley Scott's Prometheus (2012) on David Bowie and Greg Louganis:

"My mom was a fan of Greg Louganis and I just remember watching the Olympics thinking his walk was so funny and mesmerizing, the economy of movement."

He thought he was miscast as Steve Jobs (2015)

"He [Aaron Sorkin]wrote all that stuff! It was so dense! It was such a mountain, and I’m a slow learner, so when the script arrived for me and the opportunity came to play the part, I really thought, This is not me. This should be somebody else. It’s a miscast scenario.”

Co-star Liam Cunningham moved into his place to rehearse their long 23-minute interrogation scene in Hunger (2008)

We got up every morning, cooked porridge, and we started rehearsing. "We did it every day for 11 days. The goal was to do it ten to 15 times a day and then Steve [McQueen] would come in in the evening and watch us, give us some notes, next day same thing.

Fassbender is at TIFF with his latest Trespass Against Us, which is about a conflict within a clan of Irish outlaws. It’s the feature debut of music video director Adam Smith, co-stars Brendan Gleeson and has an original score by The Chemical Brothers.

What is your favorite Fassbender performance? And has he ever made you cringe?

Tuesday
Aug042015

Link Nation

Deadline gross. They're making Animal Kingdom (2010) into a tv series? Ellen Barkin is in the Jacki Weaver role so there's that but leave great things alone!
Out talks to Judy Greer about playing girlfriend to Lily Tomlin in Grandma
AV Club another underappreciated actress Carla Gugino has taken over lead role duties from Christina Hendricks in Cameron Crowe's Roadies
MNPP Director John Curran leaves the Lewis & Clarke miniseries so Casey Affleck and Matthias Schoenaerts are without a director. (Naturally there are cute shirtless set photos this being MNPP) 

Deadline Billy Crudup won the top male role in 20th Century Women, though it's not the lead. That belongs to The Bening (yay!) and the film is from the undervalued but excellent writer/director Mike Mills (Beginners)
Demanders looks back at My Beautiful Laundrette which recently got a Criterion release 
Variety happy news: Season 2 of Transparent arrives in time for Christmas
i09 Ridley Scott still planning on filming a Prometheus sequel next year. (And with Michael Fassbender. How exactly will Fassy be able to squeeze that into his ever busy schedule?)
NY Times Christopher McQuarrie on the anatomy of the Opera scene in Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation 
MNPP Jai Courtney is... um... enjoying himself 
AV Club The legendary Max Von Sydow joining the cast of Game of Thrones. That's quite a get for the series. Related but not at this link. /Film also covered this story and were shameless traffic whores enough to not even include von Sydow's name in the headline but merely referred to him as "Star Wars Rogue Nation" actor. That's so disrespectful... and just tacky. End of times.  

Woody 2016
Woody Allen has announced the cast of his next Untitled Film (2016). We rarely get anything but a cast list and location as the projects are secretive and/or Woody is not a chatterbox. This one shoots in LA & NYC and will reunite Woody with Parker Posey (Irrational Man), Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris) and Jesse Eisenberg (To Rome With Love) and first timer in Woody's world newbies: Jeannie Berlin (who does not work enough, she was last seen on the phone with Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice), Blake Lively, Kristen Stewart, Ken Stott, Bruce Willis, Anna Camp, Stephen Kunken, Sari Lennick, and Paul Schneider

About The New Banner
"Anonny" gave me two options for banner topic when he won the theme-choosing with Question of the Week. Though "sweaty" would have been truly new, I promise y'all that it wouldn't have read in black-and-white closeups up top. Unless it was comically drenched sweating and there's only, what, Airplane (1980) for that?

So the new banner is "GRUMPY". I'm not feeling grumpy so I really had to work on my own pose. I'm hesistantly elated. Toronto International Film Festival plans seem settled and I had such a great time last year. I can't truly expect it to be that good every year but it's my favorite festival so cross your fingers that a lot of masterpieces emerge. 

THR Emmy Drama Actress Roundtable (in full)
I'd embed it here but we have a policy against "autoplay" videos. Too noisy. Too disruptive to readers. But if you're interested watch it at THR: Viola Davis, Jessica Lange, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lizzy Caplan, Taraji P Henson, and Ruth Wilson. Kind of strange that they waited until after nominations to release the full versions of these (the others arrive throughout August) when some of the people in each roundtable weren't nominated. Naturally Taraji P Henson is the most entertaining.

Thursday
Apr102014

Where My Girls At? Brie Larson, Viola Davis, Kiki Dunst & More...

And now our semi-weekly check in with actresses we love. Where / What / Who are they up to?

BRIE
Brie Larson has accepted an offer to star in the psychological horror drama as "Ma", about a woman who's trapped in her father's basement for years with her son. It's based on the novel by Emma Donoghue who also did the screenplay but the novel is narrated by the 5 year old child who's only ever known this one room so that one's going to be tricky to make breathe as a film. This seems a better fit for her dramatic gifts than that dumb Terminator reboot she lost out on. The actress is in demand now post Short Term 12 as well she should be. She's also got The Gambler remake and the comedy Trainwreck coming out. Room is not the only novel adaptation she's attached to. She'll probably co-star in The Good Luck of Right Now based on a forthcoming novel by Silver Linings Playbook author Matthew Quick. From descriptions of the novel I'm guessing she's playing the librarian girlfriend of the bipolar leading man, who believes she was once abducted by aliens. [src]

VIOLA
As we feared but predicted Hollywood wasted the golden years right after The Help (a white actress in that kind of huge hit / breakthrough would have gotten a ton of follow up offers) and kept on casting Viola Davis in thankless supporting bits that didn't really require her skill level. Just as they'd always done. But the actress stays busy. As previously discussed she has a small but potentially showy role in Get On Up, the James Brown biopic.  And she is politically active too. The actress, who often went hungry as a child living in poverty is speaking out as part of the "Hunger Is" initiative. [src

You wake up thinking about food, you go to sleep thinking about food. We live in a country where you can have anything in your reach, and it's emotionally shameful to live in a land of plenty with nothing to eat. 

That little girl who grew up in dysfunction and poverty is still with me. That's why I need to help those who don't have a voice."

She's already filmed her next five roles: as previously discussed she'll play the showy small role of James Brown's mom in Get On Up (August, 2014); she's excellent as a college professor in The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Pts 1 and 2 (release date still TBA but I saw it at TIFF); she's in Michael Mann's thriller Cyber (January, 2015) with Chris Hemsworth as the headliner and supposedly her role is large there as an FBI agent; She'll headline Shonda Rhimes TV series "How To Get Away With Murder" and if it gets picked up past the pilot, don't expect to see her on your movie screens for awhile; The other leading role is Lila & Eve (she plays Lila) but her co-star is... (wait for it)... Jennifer Lopez? Huh. They play moms out to avenge their children who were gunned down in a drive by. The film is directed by Charles Stone III (Mr 3000 and Drumline). There's been little movement on the most exciting Viola projects though -- still no word on a film version of Fences (her Tony winning role despite the obvious marketability (Denzel Washington  is proven to be one of the surest box office draws in the world) and her proposed biopic about politician Barbara Jordan with a screenplay by Tony Kushner is also quiet. Both are the kind of prestige projects that could challenge her and win her an Oscar but I fear neither are going to happen.

SIGOURNEY
[SPOILER ALERT] Lt. Ellen Ripley may return in Prometheus 2 from Ridley Scott. Rumor has it that Sigourney Weaver will return to her signature role. Or a clone version thereof. [/SPOILER]

MICHELLE
There is nothing happening. I continue to be so disappointed that she does not care. She's an empty-nester this year even so for god's sake get back to work.

KIKI
Kirsten Dunst, whose career is back on track with the 1-2-3 punch of great performances in All Good Things, Bachelorette, and Melancholia has upset people with not-exactly progressive gender comments she made to Harpers Bazaar UK (she's on the cover, pictured above). But we're here to talk about her career. 

She'll be back on screens very soon in the Patricia Highsmith adaptation The Two Faces of January (torn between Viggo & Oscar Isaac? Tough life) and not very soon but maybe later this year in Jeff Nichols' Midnight Special a father and son sci-fi-tinged drama (his follow up to Mud so one assumes he'll get bigger budgets now) so it surely won't be focused on her. Still... I feel more offers really ought to be headed her way, right? Her career is back on track but it isn't quite on fire. Some auteur needs to bring some gasoline. Because, as former co-star Ben Foster agreed in our interview in 2011, her talent is major. "She is a beast of an actor, always has been."