Posts with «movie reviews» label

Prepare for more red pill memes: a fifth Matrix movie is happening

There’s another Matrix movie in the works. Warner Bros. just greenlit a fifth installment of the saga, as reported by Deadline. However, neither Lana Wachowski or Lilly Wachowski will be handling directing duties. That honor falls to Drew Goddard, who adapted The Martian into a screenplay and directed the criminally underrated Cabin in the Woods. He's also writing the script. 

Goddard cut his teeth writing episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel and Lost, among others — you could say he knows his way around genre content. Lana Wachowski will be on board as an executive producer, so there will be some input from one of the franchise’s original creators.

There’s no word as to what the film will be about, but Warner Bros. says that Goddard came to the company with a “new idea that we all believe would be an incredible way to continue the Matrix world.” Goddard added that the original films inspire him on a daily basis and that he is “beyond grateful for the chance to tell stories” in that world.

Warner Bros. is also being cagey as to which, if any, cast members would be returning. The original trilogy featured Keanu Reeves, Carrie Anne-Moss, Laurence Fishburne, Hugo Weaving and Jada Pinkett Smith. Most of these actors returned for 2021’s The Matrix Resurrections, with one story-based exception.

Speaking of The Matrix Resurrections, it received mixed reviews from both critics and audiences. We loved the film, going as far as to call it brilliant, but admitted that it wasn’t for everyone. That’s par for the course with this franchise. Every single Matrix movie beyond the first one is divisive. We’ll have to wait and see what Goddard brings to the table.

He’s also writing a film adaptation based on another novel by The Martian scribe Andy Weir. Project Hail Mary will be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and will star Ryan Gosling as an astronaut trying to save the planet from a star-eating microbe.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

The Borderlands movie trailer has all the nuance of a Borderlands game

There’s a Borderlands movie coming out, and now we have our very first teaser trailer. This footage gives us a glimpse of all of the major characters, most of which are sourced from the game, and the tone that director Eli Roth is going for.

There’s a definite Guardians of the Galaxy vibe running throughout. Maybe it’s the heavy use of an iconic Electric Light Orchestra song, or maybe it’s the ragtag group of adventurers or the mix of action and humor. In any event, director Eli Roth seems to be channeling his best James Gunn. All things considered, that seems to be the right tone for a Borderlands movie. Color us cautiously optimistic.

Now onto the cast and the characters that franchise fans know and love. Cate Blanchett plays the famously short-tempered Lilith and the actress certainly looks the part. Just look at that hair and outfit. The film follows Blanchett as she looks for a mysterious vault rumored to be stuffed to the brim with sweet, sweet loot. It’s just like the game!

Jamie Lee Curtis plays the scientist Dr. Tannis, an NPC in all three of the mainline Borderlands games. Comedian Kevin Hart portrays the mercenary Roland, a playable soldier in many of the games. Jack Black, following his turn as Bowser in the Super Mario Bros. Movie, plays the robot Claptrap. The well-meaning robot is considered a mascot for the franchise and often acts as comic relief. Black seems well-suited to the role. The cast is rounded out by Ariana Greenblatt as the demolitionist Tiny Tina, star of the spinoff game Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, and Florian Munteanu as her enforcer Krieg.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Roth can pull off this kind of big-budget adventure spectacle. The director’s mostly known for horror films. One thing’s for certain, however, the trailer actually looks and feels like Borderlands. The big and bright color palette recalls the cel-shaded aesthetic from the games. The movie hits theaters on August 9.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Netflix's The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep animated film will feature Geralt's original voice actor

Netflix has given The Witcher fans their first look at a new animated film that's set to hit the streaming service in late 2024. The Witcher: Sirens of the Deep is based on A Little Sacrifice, a short story written by the universe's creator Andrzej Sapkowski. It will have Geralt of Rivia investigating a series of attacks in a seaside village in the midst of rising conflict between its human inhabitants and merpeople from the ocean. Netflix says the film is set between episodes 5 and 6 of the live-action series' first season, and it does show: The Geralt in the film resembles original Witcher actor Henry Cavill more than the Geralt in the games. 

The live action's stars Anya Chalotra and Joey Batey will also be reprising their roles as Yennefer of Vengerberg and Jaskier in the animated film. But Geralt will be voiced by Doug Cockle, who's known for voicing the White Wolf in the Witcher games. The movie is directed by Kang Hei Chul, who served as a storyboard artist for The Witcher: Nightmare of the Wolf, which featured the story of Vesemir before he became Geralt's mentor. It was also animated by Studio MIR, the same South Korean studio that worked on Nightmare of the Wolf

The film may be the last time those who were particularly fond of Cavill as Geralt can see, well, a version of him play the role. He left the live-action show after its third season and is set to be replaced by Liam Hemsworth

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is coming to Netflix on December 3

That Netflix subscription you're suddenly paying another couple of bucks for every month will soon give you a bit more value for money. The Super Mario Bros. Movie — the second highest-grossing film of the year so far after Barbie — is coming to Netflix on December 3. 

It's been a Peacock streaming exclusive since early August. Peacock has 28 million paid subscribers, while Netflix has around 74 million paying members in the US, so many more folks will be able to be able to legally watch the movie at home without renting or buying it. 

For the families that go a little too hard on Mario Kart over the holidays, The Super Mario Bros. Movie will be on Netflix to help the healing. December 3!

— Netflix (@netflix) November 9, 2023

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a fun, but predictably safe trip to the Mushroom Kingdom with a memorable turn from Jack Black as Bowser. A word of warning for anyone checking out the film on Netflix for the first time: good luck getting that "Peaches" song out of your head any time soon. Oh, and Chris Pratt is completely fine as Mario!

Although the Mario movie is the highest-grossing film adaptation of a video game franchise ever, Nintendo and its partners (Universal Pictures and Illumination) have yet to announce the inevitable sequel. However, it emerged this week that Nintendo is teaming up with Sony Pictures for a live-action take on The Legend of Zelda, which seems like a far riskier bet.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

Cyberpunk adventure game Stray will be adapted as an animated movie

The critically-acclaimed cat-based adventure gameStray is getting an actual animated movie. Even cooler? The title's original publisher Annapurna is making the flick, after it scored a surprise hit on Netflix with its first animated feature Nimona. The creative team is still under wraps, but Annapurna Animation head Robert Baird told Entertainment Weekly that the film is in active development and that it’ll be the “greatest hopepunk movie that's ever been made.”

Baird defines “hopepunk” as a narrative concept that deems optimism as a form of resistance against tyranny. That just about describes the emotional tenor of the game, so Annapurna’s on the right track. Additionally, it’s been confirmed that the game’s companion drone B-12 will be a large part of the film, with Baird stating it’s a “buddy comedy about a cat and a robot” going on to cite the pair’s “hilarious dynamic.”

The original game was released last year and put players in control of a curious cat in a cyberpunk landscape. There’s plenty of platforming, stealth-based traversal and, uh, meows. The title was praised for giving players a cat-level perspective on the world and has been a huge hit on just about every platform.

As for Annapurna, the Stray movie is only a single step in its plans for Hollywood domination. The animation arm of the company announced a few more films and teased plenty more. Chris Wedge, the creator of Ice Age, is directing a movie called FOO, short for fish out of water, and Nimona’s co-director Nick Bruno has signed on to helm an unnamed project that’s only been described as “high concept” and “Spielbergian.”

The company also teased that other games under its umbrella could receive the movie treatment, stating that Stray was chosen as the first adaptation due to it being “wildly popular.” Other titles in the publisher’s roster include the time-loop thriller Twelve Minutes, starring Daisy Ridley and James McAvoy, the Starfield-before-Starfield sci-fi romp Outer Wilds, the narrative mystery Kentucky Route Zero and many more. Each of these would make for a decent movie.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

The 'Gran Turismo' movie can't help but be cringe

Not since The Wizard hyped up an entire generation for Super Mario Bros. 3 has a film about video games felt as naked a marketing ploy as Gran Turismo. Based on an improbable true story, the movie follows Jann Mardenborough (Archie Madekwe), a 20-something Gran Turismo fanatic who wins a Nissan-sponsored contest to race professionally. Even more improbable (and this is technically a spoiler, but hell, it's also real life), he manages to hold his own in the racing world. The original story was already a dream marketing win for Nissan and Sony, but now the two companies can milk it once again to bolster the mythology of Gran Turismo. Don't call it a game – it's a driving simulator.

Cynicism aside, the Gran Turismo film, directed by Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Chappie), successfully hits every mile marker you'd expect. Mardenborough doesn't have much support from his parents early on, but he ultimately proves them wrong. There's an entitled rival racer from the Cobra Kai school of villainy who you can't help but hate. And the movie sports genuinely thrilling race sequences, thanks to Blomkamp's inventive camera work and use of visual effects. Gran Turismo even manages to get some genuinely moving performances from David Harbour and Djimon Hounsou. It's the very definition of a crowd pleaser.

But the film also constantly reminds you that it's meant to sell you Sony products in an alien reality where Apple doesn't exist. No joke: One character is inexplicably attached to his Walkman cassette player, and he only moves on when he's gifted a modern Walkman digital music player in an overwrought emotional moment. (Outside of Hideo Kojima's Twitter feed, I've never seen a normal human use one of those things.) (Ed note: It’s debatable whether or not the guy who created Death Stranding is a “normal human”.)

Had Sony just relaxed a bit, the film would have seemed less like a desperate marketing ploy. But as it stands, I couldn't help but cringe every time we encountered another moment of corporate promotional synergy. Even before we're introduced to Mardenborough, the movie begins with a short promo reel hyping up Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi, who spent five years developing the first game in the series. It's the sort of over-produced clip you'd expect during one of Sony's PlayStation Showcase events or the Game Awards – not a theatrically released film.

Sony also doesn’t trust the audience to view actual footage from the Gran Turismo games. We see Mardenborough playing early on, but it looks far too sharp to be Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3 – the title he actually competed with in real life. Instead, we're shown footage that looks closer to the incredibly realistic PlayStation 5 version of the game (though I wouldn't be surprised if it's all CG generated, instead of showing us actual gameplay). Rather than lean into the incredible lengths Sony pushed the PlayStation 3 at the time, the film sells a beautiful lie.

Of course, you can argue that every adaptation is ultimately a marketing ploy. But even the incredibly safe Super Mario Bros. Movie didn't feel as desperate as Gran Turismo. Sure, Mario was filled with oodles of references for fans, but there was a level of confidence in that movie that Gran Turismo lacks. Nintendo didn't need to push new hardware or games through that movie, its mere existence promoted the company's overall brand.

Sony Pictures Entertainment

It’s almost a miracle that Gran Turismo still manages to be enjoyable. It’s more fun than the forgettable Uncharted movie, and you can’t help but root for Mardenborough. He achieves the ultimate gamer dream: What if you could actually bring your virtual skills to the real world? It’s just a shame that the true story is fundamentally a PlayStation ad, and Sony couldn’t help but use the film to sell itself even more.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

‘Borderlands’ movie is set to be released next August

The Borderlands movie is finally getting a release date. According to a tweet from the game’s official Twitter account it will premiere in theaters on August 9th, 2024.

The film, directed by Eli Roth (best known for Hostel) is based on the popular video game of the same name. Borderlands follows Lilith (Cate Blanchett), a treasure hunter who returns to her home planet of Pandora (unrelated to the Avatar movie). She teams up with Roland (Kevin Hart), Tiny Tina (Arian Greenblatt), Krieg (Florian Munteanu), Tannis (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Claptrap (Jack Black) to find the missing daughter of Atlas.

A first look was released last year, though there’s no official trailer yet. It’s peculiar that they’ve decided to announce the release date for the movie more than a year out. What makes it even more odd is that the movie had reportedly wrapped up filming over two years ago in June 2021.

Delays for video game-based movies seem to be increasingly common. The Uncharted movie was delayed several months from its original release date. And when it did release, the film saw mixed reviews, including from Engadget's Devindra Hardawar, who said the Uncharted movie "boldly goes nowhere."The Super Mario Bros. Movie also saw delays in the film’s release. However, that movie set box office records for a video game movie. Barring any further delays, fans should expect to see Borderlands in theaters next year.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

‘The Super Mario Bros. Movie’ is coming to Peacock on August 3rd

The Super Mario Bros. Movie has been available for digital purchase and download from various sources for a little while now. The film will be available to rent starting July 11th on services such as Apple TV and Amazon Video. It was even available to watch through Twitter for a short period of time. But for those who prefer (or already subscribed to a ton of) streaming services, the movie will be hitting Peacock on August 3rd, according to Deadline

Despite some earlier mixed reviews, most fans seemed to like it overall. The Super Mario Bros. Movie even broke box office records. When we checked the movie out, our reviewer Devindra Hardwar thought that it was great for all ages with endless references that didn’t take you out of the movie if you’re not a diehard Nintendo fan. Its A-List cast includes Jack Black as Bowser, Seth Rogen as Donkey Kong, Keegan-Michael Key as Toad and Chris Pratt as the lovable Mario. The movie follows the Mario Bros struggling to get their Brooklyn-based plumbing business off the ground. Somehow, someway (you’ll have to watch the movie to find out) the duo falls into the Mushroom Kingdom and ultimately have to battle it out with the one and only Bowser.

The success of The Super Mario Bros. Movie hopefully sets a precedent for more films from Nintendo. It’s long been rumored that Nintendo is working on a Legend of Zelda movie or TV series, and the success of Mario might give them reason to finally do it.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

'Oppenheimer' trailer shows Chris Nolan's take on the birth of the atomic bomb

You'll soon see Hollywood's treatment of one of the most important (and dangerous) moments in scientific history. Universal has released a trailer for Oppenheimer, Christopher Nolan's biopic of the physicist who played a key role in developing and testing the first atomic bomb. The clip underscores the ethical issues surrounding the Manhattan Project and its work. While the team is hopeful that nuclear weapons will end World War II and usher in a new era of peace, they're also worried abut sparking an apocalyptic arms race — the movie doesn't end with the detonation.

The adaptation of Kai Bird and Martin Sherwin's American Prometheus book stars Cillian Murphy (Peaky Blinders) as its namesake scientist, with Emily Blunt as Oppenheimer's wife Katherine. Matt Damon plays Manhattan Project directo Gen. Leslie Groves Jr., while Robert Downey Jr. plays US Atomic Energy Commission co-founder Lewis Strauss. Rami Malek, Matthew Modine and Alden Ehrenreich also star.

Nolan's reputation and the top-tier cast will be the draws for many. However, this is also a rare movie that explores the role science played in WWII, not to mention in setting the stage for the Cold War and nuclear energy. The production of the movie is also notable. This is the first movie to feature sections of IMAX black-and-white film footage, so it may be worth heading to a supporting theater to get the full experience.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

'Babylon 5' will return as an animated movie from its original creator

We’ve known there was a reboot coming of 1990s sci-fi cult hit Babylon 5 for a while now, but we didn’t have any concrete details until today. Original series creator J. Michael Straczynski just announced that it’s an animated feature length film developed by Warner Bros. Animation.

Straczynski is quiet regarding plot details but did say that the movie is “classic B5” with a “raucous, heartfelt” story, going on to suggest that the cartoon feature is “the most B5-ish” project since the original series bowed out in 1998. He also said that the movie is completely finished and just awaiting release. In other words, it’ll likely be a matter of months, not years, before mega-fans get their eyeballs on this one.

BABYLON 5 ANIMATED MOVIE coming from Warner Bros. Animation & WB Home Entertainment! Classic B5: raucous, heartfelt, nonstop, a ton of fun through time and space & a love letter to the fans. Movie title, release date and other details coming one week from today.

— J. Michael Straczynski (@straczynski) May 3, 2023

To that end, the writer said that the official movie title, release date and other details will drop next week. If the film is “in the can”, as Straczynski says, here’s hoping we also get a trailer or at least some animation stills with that release date announcement. It’s still unknown which original series actors, if any, will reprise their roles for the film.

Babylon 5 was originally on the air for five seasons, which was followed up by five made-for-TV movies (the last one aired in 2002). The show has long-been praised for its commitment to hard sci-fi and revolving crew of motley characters, netting two Hugo Awards and a Saturn Award during its run. It’s primarily set on the titular space station, calling to mind rival sci-fi epic Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. There’s some discussion as to which series came first, as DS9 aired a full year before Babylon 5, but B5 was first to production. In recent years, series creator Straczynski has been heavily involved with shows like Sense8 and plenty of high-profile comic books.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at