Tag Archives: Karl Urban

The Fast and the Furyon

After months of drip-fed stills, we’ve finally got a first look at the new “Riddick” movie in motion.

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It’s a teaser trailer in the truest sense of the word, clocking in at a brief 22 seconds, but no doubt acts as the outrider for a longer glimpse at What Vin Did Next – perhaps due in front of an audience primed and ready for the vehicular smack-down of “Fast Six“?

Whilst many an online movie outlet has been downright sniffy about the low-key publicity campaign that Diesel and longtime collaborator David Twohy have been engaged in – most updates on the project have come directly via Diesel’s Facebook group – I can’t help but feel that this strategy is a smart one which might be copied by any new media-savvy star.  Why not convert that millions-strong Twitter following into engaged consumers storming the box office come Friday night and the release of your new flick?

Films increasingly cost an absurd amount of money to make, and any way of engaging and reaching out to people who will get the word out to their friends and family about a new release can only help a film’s opening weekend in a marketplace which is more competitive than ever.  This third outing for “Riddick” is, after all,  a more stripped-down effort than the second film’s budget-straining, Sci-Fantasy universe building, so surely any attempt to intelligently engage with an audience who want to see the film has to make more sense than blanketing television channels with adverts that Tivo owners just zip through?

We’ll see who has the last laugh when the film opens in the US on September 6th.

 

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Cumberbatched Into Darkness

It’s a Thursday, there’s precious little on TV – why not take in the latest trailer for “Star Trek Into Darkness”?

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This would be the “Empire Strikes Back” of the reborn “Star Trek” movie franchise, then?  I’m guessing so, what with the doomy tone, Benedict Cumberbatch‘s messianic sociopath running amok and blowing up half of the planet and the gloriously blatant shuttle craft/Millennium Falcon riff showing up in this two minutes and 15 seconds of face-melting, nerd glee.

Oh, and if you’re into that kind of thing, Alice Eve‘s character apparently can’t afford clothes.  Hollywood double standards, how do they work?

Have a new poster for the movie whilst you work that one out…

"Star Trek Into Darkness" - none more dark, squire...

“Star Trek Into Darkness” – none more dark, squire…

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“Star Trek Into Darkness” teaser is…awesome?

Oh hai there, “Into Darkness” bad person, Benedict Cumberbatch! Trailer images (C) Paramount Pictures/Bad Robot

If you haven’t spent your day constantly re-watching the “Into Darkness” teaser trailer on your PC at work, there’s a good chance that you A) Don’t have to use a PC for your work or B) Are Fluffrick and are sadly compelled to rock an office PC so antediluvian that it might as well be considered a Steampunk artefact.

If, like this blogger, you had to wait until home time to catch the new J.J. AbramsStar Trek movie’s teaser trailer, no doubt you’re trying to form words and phrases which can fully encompass the splendiferousness with which your gentle eyeballs have been subject to.

From the look on Chris Pine's face, Cumberbatch isn't playing "Twister".

From the look on Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana’s faces, Cumberbatch isn’t playing “Twister”.  Unless it’s Deadly 23rd Century Death-Trap Twister, of course.

The best that I can come up with is a onamatapeaic noise which sounds like a small child gargling jelly compulsively.  All teaser trailers are meant to pimp the biggest, boldest moments of any blockbuster, but this first look is impressive as much for lead bad guy Benedict Cumberbatch’s superbly gravelly, unrelenting grim voice-over which offers a tantalising suggestion that the shiny-happy territory of the rebooted 2009 film is being jettisoned in favour of Wrath of Khan-style, “I can’t believe they did that! character offing and high stakes scares.  In fact, if you’ve watched the slightly longer, Japanese teaser trailer for the film, the “Wrath of Khan” comparison seems more than justified…

Fringe versus Fringe - who will triumph?

Fringe versus Fringe – who will triumph?

 

Go and press your  face against the screen HERE if you haven’t seen the trailer.  And then watch it 25 times.  You know you want to…

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“Star Trek Into Darkness” gets a new poster

Ominous, much?

Ominous, much?  Image via Paramount Pictures

As we wait for either the nine-minute IMAX prologue playing before selected screenings of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey“, the astute folk at Paramount have elected to steal a march on the marketing for next summer’s “Star Trek” sequel by releasing every geek-centric blockbuster’s must-have item, the enigmatic teaser poster.

Putting on my modish great-coat and a fashionably directional long scarf in the manner of all the best consulting detectives, I note that the poster seems to feature putative “Star Trek Into Darkness” villain, Benedict Cumberbatch, who is of course playing classic “Trek” baddie Gary Mitchell/Khan/Keyser Soze (delete as likely) in the J.J. Abrams directed sequel.

And that scene of urban mass destruction, the hallmark of all contemporary bad guys who seek to threaten our very way of life via the medium of terrorist action – could it be London?  As Empire magazine‘s post on the teaser poster intimated, the background scenery seems to have the ‘Gherkin’ building prominently featured.

England’s capital?  Being destroyed in a summer blockbuster?  Such a thing has never happened before…

A trailer for this must-see geek fest is due before the end of 2012 – I don’t know about you, but I already have my popcorn ready for that one…

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New “Riddick” poster promises unexpected rom-com revamp

Psych.

The French distributor for Vin Diesel and writer/director David Twohy‘s return to the dark underverse of their anti-hero have kindly posted the teaser poster for next year’s movie, a random act of internet niceness which was brought to my attention by those nice Den of Geek folks in the first instance.

And you know what posters are the harbinger of, don’t you?

Trailers!

And as I truly, madly, deeply want some new Riddick action in my life, that happy trailer release day can’t come soon enough – if it’s not here with us by the end of next week, I’ll let Hagrid my Saluki/Poodle cross take me for a walk (Actually, that happens quite a lot, so it’s not really the role-reversal that you might imagine).

TL:DR version?  New “Riddick” poster. Pretty! Trailer, please!

 

 

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“Dredd” movie review

If it’s September, that must mean that we’re due a 3D action movie or two to lead us gently into the more reflective Autumn season and transition gently from the explosive mayhem of the summer – whilst I wait for the next instalment in the Capcom derived video game-to-movie franchise which dare not speak its name at the end of the month, these early weeks are taken care of by “Dredd“, director Pete Travis and writer Alex Garland‘s attempt to give this iconic comics anti-hero a film worthy of his stature.

He is the law.

And what a film it is – lean, hungry, mind-bogglingly violent, stylish and thrifty, “Dredd” is the kind of sci-fi western that you feel as much as watch, with brutal action sequences and melee combat having a positively visceral effect when viewed in the 3D format that this film is primarily releasing in (there’s controversy in the UK about how few cinemas are playing the 2D prints – only one of Britain’s Multiplex chains are showing it).  Any worries that we might have had about whether this film would be as disappointing as the 1995 Sylvester Stallone/Danny Cannon iteration are comprehensively erased by what is a confident, stylish action movie which makes a virtue of a lower budget and creates a uniquely convincing world.

Not having $200 million dollars to throw at expensive CG and gargantuan action sequences has made this version of “Judge Dredd” get creative and construct its post-apocalyptic world in modern-day Cape Town.  There are the huge city blocks of the comic, but they’re nestled in against a resolutely practical and contemporary backdrop  – highways and overpasses, contemporary vehicles and clothing all stop this film from distancing the casual viewer.

Don’t let her inside your head! Olivia Thirlby as rookie Judge Anderson in “Dredd”

The plot is as straight-ahead as it gets – a gang-related murder in the Peach Trees block is attended by taciturn law man legend Judge Dredd (Karl Urban) and ride-along rookie Judge Anderson (Olivia Thirlby), pitching them head-first into conflict with hooker-turned-syndicate crime maven Ma Ma (Lena Headey), whose drug empire is run from the building and whose army of heavily armed thugs are intent on stopping legal interference in whatever form it takes.

That simplicity, in essence, is one of the best things about this film – The plot single-mindedly concentrates on propelling the action forward and the script focusses on making the world convincing rather than in beating the viewer around the head with distracting gadgets and surface detail to hide the fact that there isn’t much of a story.  This film doesn’t reinvent sci-fi cinema as you know it, but it does a brilliant job of making this post-apocalypse world seem like a postcard from the future – the tech is all backdrop rather than foreground, showing up periodically to let Dredd do something cool and doesn’t draw undue attention to itself.

Urban is great as the titular bad-ass, finding a way to make the character funny without getting mired in cheap one-liner schtick and showing some holes in the metaphorical armour that his otherwise imperious icon of justice wears – a Dredd who bleeds and occasionally needs to think on his feet to get through the hellish multi-level fight through the under-siege building he finds himself occupying is infinitely preferable to the one-man killing-and-quipping machine that the Stallone version gave us.  Olivia Thirlby is great too as Anderson – there’s a fantastic scene which gives her psychic gifts ample room to roam and we get to see how she would interrogate and intimidate a perp into silence – it’s telling that a scene where a bad guy gets the upper hand on her doesn’t convince entirely as being anything other than a plot contrivance as up till that point in the movie, her neophyte Judge has shown that she has the right stuff and wouldn’t necessarily get suckered in the way that she was.

The 3D is a selling point, but I found it restrained for the most part – used sympathetically to inhabit the scenes where futuristic crankers are on the ‘Slo-Mo’ drug which slows down time for the user but not employed to constantly chuck sharp objects at the viewer or as a way to distract viewers from creaky storytelling.  There’s a climactic scene which employs the broken glass trope of action cinema in a curiously beautiful and aesthetically pleasing way – is it worth the price hike?  I’m not sure, but it is native 3D rather than post-converted shenanigans, so let that guide your ticket-buying choice.

This is a fine, stripped-down action movie with an intriguing take on the iconic character and the future-shock world he inhabits – I hope that it leads to more adventures for the 2000 AD law man and that all concerned behind the camera find a way to retain the tactile near-future dystopia they’ve delivered so credibly in this very entertaining film.

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New “Dredd 3D” clip busts perps, ripples flesh…

You’ve watched the trailer and can now see a brief clip from the new Dredd 3D” on the film’s official site.

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Any fears we may have had that the makers of the film were watering down the content to appeal to a mainstream, PG-13 audience has just been well and truly slammed int0 an ISO-Cube for seven years, I think we can conclusively say.  The Cannon/Stallone “Dredd” this most certainly isn’t – Empire’s review from the 2012 Comic-Con screening indicates that “Dredd 3D” is very much its own take on the source comics material, for good or ill (Karl Urban‘s great, the low-budget is noticeable, it’s all quite similar to “The Raid”) but the tone is generally complementary.

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So much gore!  It’s like director Pete Travis and writer Alex Garland have mainlined a bunch of Paul Verhoeven‘s eighties films, drawn from “2000AD” as though it were the sacred text that some would say it is and then gone to town to deliver the kind of old-school sci-fi actioner that many a fan will yearn for from this film.

I’m almost aggrieved that I have to wait until September to see this – it looks so good!

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