Posts with «movies» label

Sony will release a movie made using the PlayStation game-builder ‘Dreams’

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up the rights to an animated movie entitled A Winter’s Journey, which will be made in part using the PlayStation game-creation tool Dreams. According to Deadline, the film will blend live actors with CG and hand-painted animation and is an adaptation of Franz Schubert's set of 24 songs for voice and piano called Winterreise. It tells the story of a lovelorn poet who embarks on a dangerous journey that takes him across mountains and snow in 1812 Bavaria. 

Dreams was originally created by Media Molecule, the studio behind LittleBigPlanet, for the PS4. The studio pitched it as a way to create "art, movies and video games" from the start, and we once described it as "an engine, learning suite and distribution platform rolled into one." Since then, people have been using it to create their own games, realistic renders of nature, immersive experiences of their favorite movies, among other things. A Winter’s Journey, however, will reportedly be the first time Dreams will be used on a feature film.

The movie has yet to get a release date, but shooting is expected to start in June in Wrocław, Poland, with actors that include John Malkovich and Jason Isaacs. It'll likely take some time before it's ready to premiere. As for Dreams itself, it's currently on sale in the US PlayStation Store for $10, and it includes a rotating list of the most creative games made using the tool.

New 'Wallace & Gromit' and 'Chicken Run' movies are coming to Netflix

After a hiatus of more than a decade, the world’s favorite fictitious British inventor (or possibly second after Q from James Bond) and his lovable canine sidekick are making a comeback. Today as part of its ongoing partnership with Aardman Animations Netflix announced the arrival of a new Wallace & Gromit movie and the long-awaited sequel to Chicken Run.

Due out sometime in 2023, Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget picks up after Ginger and Rocky’s daring escape with the hatching of the couple’s new chick Molly at their new island sanctuary home. And while Julia Sawalha and Mel Gibson won’t be reprising their roles as the leading chickens, Dawn of the Nugget’s cast will still feature some big-name stars including Thandie Newton (Ginger), Zachary Levi (Rocky) and Bella Ramsey (Molly), the latter of whom is also set to play Ellie in HBO’s upcoming live-action TV adaptation of The Last of Us.

CHICKEN RUN: DAWN OF THE NUGGET, starring Thandiwe Newton, Zachary Levi & Bella Ramsey, revisits your favorite chickens Ginger and Rocky plus a whole coop of new friends. Hatching only on Netflix in 2023.

— NetflixFilm (@NetflixFilm) January 20, 2022

As for the still-untitled Wallace & Gromit movie, original series creator Nick Park will be returning as director featuring a story written by Park and Mark Burton (Madagascar, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Shaun of the Sheep Movie). Slated to arrive almost two decades after The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Wallace and Gromit’s second feature-length film revolves around Wallace’s latest invention: a “smart gnome” that has developed a mind of its own. Queue the hijinx.

Notably, unlike Dawn of the Nugget which will be a worldwide exclusive on Netflix when it starts streaming sometime next year, the new Wallace & Gromit movie will debut first on the BBC in the UK before becoming available on Netflix in all other regions sometime in 2024.

With Aardman and Netlix’s stop-motion musical Robin Robin having been recently shortlisted for the Oscar’s in the animated short film category, it’s nice to see even more claymation movies get the green light–especially after the bomb that was 2018’s Early Man. That said, with the original Chicken Run and The Curse of the Were-Rabbit having already claimed the number one and two spots as the highest-grossing stop-motion animated films of all time, Aardman Studios might have a hard time competing for attention in a time when traditional computer-animated films have dominated the box office.

The first movie studio in space could be attached to the ISS in 2024

A module that hosts a film studio and sports arena could be connected to the International Space Station by December 2024. Space Entertainment Enterprise (SEE), which is co-producing a Tom Cruise movie that will partly be shot in space, is behind the project. If and when SEE-1 is up and running, it plans to host TV and film productions, as well as music events and some kind of sports, which can be filmed or livestreamed, according to Variety.

Axiom Space, which two years ago won a NASA contract to construct the first commercial ISS module, will build the station. All going well, SEE-1 will be connected to Axiom's arm of the ISS. Axiom Station is scheduled to split from the ISS in 2028 with SEE-1 still attached.

Whether SEE and Axiom can make good on their plan remains to be seen. SEE hasn't said how much the facility will cost, for one thing. It's currently planning a fundraising round.

Last year, a Russian crew shot a feature-length fiction film in space for the first time, beating Cruise and his director Doug Liman to the punch. That film, The Challenge, is expected to be released this year. Cruise and Liman, meanwhile, are expected to shoot their movie on the ISS later in 2022.

Roku is making a Weird Al mockumentary starring Daniel Radcliffe

It took more than a decade, but Weird Al is finally about to get the documentary he has always deserved. You may recall back in 2010 Funny Or Die released a trailer for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story. The clip promised an unflinching look at Yankovic’s life with performances from actors like Aaron Paul, Olvia Wilde and Gary Cole. We’re not about to get that film (sadly), but Roku may just give us the next best thing.

The company announced today it’s backing production on WEIRD: The Weird Al Jankovic Story. Instead of Aaron Paul as Yankovic, we get Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe. Eric Appel, best known for his work on Silicon Valley and Brooklyn Nine-Nine, co-wrote the film’s script alongside Yankovic and is directing the project. If Appel’s name sounds familiar, it’s because he directed the 2010 trailer for Weird: The Al Yankovic Story.

“I am absolutely thrilled that Daniel Radcliffe will be portraying me in the film,” Yankovic said in a statement. “I have no doubt whatsoever that this is the role future generations will remember him for.” WEIRD: The Weird Al Yankovic Story doesn’t have a release date yet, but production on the film is slated to start next month. Once it’s ready, it will be available to watch for free on The Roku Channel.

The latest 'Belle' trailer introduces us to the film's dazzling technicolor virtual world

With Mamoru Hosoda’s latest movie opening in US theaters this Friday, Studio Chizu and the film’s distributor have shared a new trailer for Belle. The more than three-minute-long clip shows the movie’s opening scene in its entirety, introducing us to U, Belle’s metaverse-like virtual world. The trailer is mostly a showcase of Studio Chizu’s virtuoso animation work, but we also get to hear an equally great English cover of Millennium Parade’s “U” and learn more about the setting.

The metaverse has been a hot topic recently thanks in large part to the work Meta has done to promote the concept as the next big evolution of the internet, but Belle director Mamoru Hosoda has thinking about what virtual worlds might mean for our interpersonal relationships for a long time. Back in 2009, he directed Summer Wars. That film imagines a world where everything is connected through a separate digital realm. More than a decade ago, the idea seemed outlandish. Now it feels prescient.

A 'Scott Pilgrim' anime series is coming to Netflix

Scott Pilgrim appears ready for a comeback, and not just in video games. The Hollywood Reporter has learned Netflix and Universal's UCP (the unit behind The Umbrella Academy) are developing a Scott Pilgrim anime series. It's not clear how close this will hew to the original graphic novels, but creator Bryan Lee O'Malley and 2010 movie director Edgar Wright will be executive producers.

O'Malley will serve as a showrunner alongside Are You Afraid of the Dark? reviver BenDavid Grabinski. Science SARU is animating the project.

It won't be shocking if the series sticks to the core plot: Sex Bob-omb band leader Scott wants to win over Ramona Flowers, but can't date her until he defeats her seven evil exes. Both the graphic novels and the movie were nods to manga, indie rock, video games and turn-of-the-millennium Canadian culture.

This is a slightly unusual twist on a familiar formula. While Netflix hasn't been shy about its ambitious anime plans, it has typically focused on originals or adaptations of Japanese games and manga. Here, the streaming service is adapting a comic that was a Western tribute — and one that many might only know from the big screen. Netflix's strategy isn't clear, but it might see this as a way to expose its anime catalog to a larger audience.

Pixar's 'Turning Red' will forgo theaters for Disney+

Turning Red, Pixar’s latest feature film, will premiere exclusively on Disney+, the studio announced on Friday. It follows Soul and Luca as the third Pixar movie to skip a theatrical release. Disney had planned to debut Turning Red in theaters, but likely due to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases across the US and much of the world, that won’t happen. What hasn’t changed is the release date: the film will still debut on March 11th as originally planned.

Disney and Pixar’s #TurningRed will stream exclusively on #DisneyPlus beginning March 11.

— Pixar (@Pixar) January 7, 2022

“Given the delayed box office recovery, particularly for family films, flexibility remains at the core of our distribution decisions as we prioritize delivering the unparalleled content of The Walt Disney Company to audiences around the world,” said Kareem Daniel, chairman of media and entertainment distribution for Disney.

The fact Turning Red won’t premiere on the silver screen is a shame because it marks the full-length directorial debut of one of Pixar’s most promising young talents, Domee Shi. She won an Academy Award in 2019 for her work on the short film Bao, which was shown alongside Incredibles 2 in theaters. Like Bao, Turning Red is set in Shi’s hometown of Toronto, Canada. It tells the story of Mei Lee (voiced by Rosalie Chiang), a teen who finds out she turns into a red panda when she gets too excited. Naturally, all sorts of hijinks ensue as a result. Did we mention the fabulous Sandra Oh is also in the movie? Yeah, it will be great.  

The fact Turning Red won’t have a theatrical run is likely to significantly affect its earning potential. In turn, that could make Disney less willing to invest in diverse productions like Turning Red. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that families will at least have the opportunity to see the film from the safety of their homes.

The Sundance Film Festival is going completely virtual again

The Sundance Film Festival was gearing up for an ambitious hybrid event later this month, but those plans are now squashed thanks to the Omicron COVID-19 surge. Sundance is instead planning for a completely virtual event starting on January 20th, along with a handful of screenings in local markets. While disappointing, the festival's investment in a better digital platform last year puts it in a better position than other major events. (Looking at you, CES.) And of course, you'll still be able to check out the Sundance New Frontiers experiences in VR. Based on our experience last year, it'll be well worth it.

"While it is a deep loss to not have the in-person experience in Utah, we do not believe it is safe nor feasible to gather thousands of artists, audiences, employees, volunteers, and partners from around the world, for an eleven-day festival while overwhelmed communities are already struggling to provide essential services," Sundance Film Festival director Tabitha Jackson wrote in an e-mail to attendees.

Let's watch two minutes of the upcoming 'Uncharted' movie

After a give or take a decade in development hell, the film adaptation of the Uncharted series is slated to arrive in theaters next month. And during CES, Tom Holland introduced a small, action-heavy segment of the film in which he is flung from a plane, repeatedly shot at and then hit by a car. 

If it looks at all familiar, that's probably because this plane scene was heavily featured in the film's first trailer — an apparent nod to the third game in the series. For better or worse it certainly has all the trappings of a quicktime event. 

The release date for Uncharted has been pushed back a few times, but it's slated to hit theaters on February 18 now. 

'Don't Look Up' is a star-studded scream against the climate apocalypse

A comet is headed to Earth, and despite dire warnings from scientists, almost everyone fails to take it seriously. That's the basic premise of Don't Look Up, the latest film from Adam McKay which premieres on Netflix today. It balances the blunt social commentary from his most recent Oscar nominated films (The Big Short and Vice), with the comic absurdity from his early hits, like Anchorman and Talladega Nights. The result is somewhat uneven and a bit too long, but it's also a battlecry against the anti-science, fact-phobic reality we're living through today.

The comet is an obvious metaphor for climate change, an apocalyptic scenario we're hurtling towards while governments drag their heels, the fossil fuel industry feigns ignorance and most people go about their lives oblivious about what's to come. But Don't Look Up also describes humanity's bumbling response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a global disaster that's led to more than five million deaths. 

The film's title is a mantra used by a conservative president (Meryl Streep) to make her red-capped supporters look down at the ground, and not at the glowing comet in the sky they can easily see in the sky. It's hard not to be reminded of the politicization of COVID-19, which has led to people denying its existence and demonizing vaccines, all because of something they heard on Fox News or their family's Facebook group.

After two astronomers (played by a surprisingly nebbish Leonardo DiCaprio and a spunky Jennifer Lawrence) rush to the White House with news about Earth's impending destruction in six months, they're forced to wait. Streep's President Orlean is dealing with a potential scandal around a Supreme Court nominee, obviously that's more important. By the time they lay out Earth's impending doom, Orlean would rather wait and do nothing. "What's this going to cost me? What's the ask in place?" she says.

As the two scientists try to spread the word, first by leaking the doomsday scenario to the media, and then by becoming media personalities of their own, the film takes a scattershot aim at critiquing our modern society. The great Mark Rylance plays a Jobs-meets-Zuckerberg tech executive, the sort of mogul whose idea of innovation is a phone that'll constantly monitor you to fix negative emotions. (Feeling down? Bash Life will automatically book a nearby therapy session for you.) Cate Blanchett and Tyler Perry pop up as cable news hosts who can only speak to their audience with faux, upbeat banter—yes, even if that news is about humanity's imminent destruction.


Don't Look Up sometimes feels like it's punching down, especially when it's focusing on the sheer stupidity of President Orlean's conservative followers. But the film isn't afraid to criticize everyone, even its scientist leads. Both characters have trouble properly conveying the significance of their discovery. And when DiCaprio's astronomer finds his media legs, he's fully a part of the government propaganda machine.

By the time the American government finally decides to do something about the comet — only because it benefits the President, of course — it's dressed up in patriotic showmanship, as if Michael Bay were directing George W. Bush's tone deaf 2003 Mission Accomplished speech. I won't spoil where the movie goes from there, but it's clearly spoofing Bay's Armageddon. One war hero and a big rocket is all it takes to stop a planet destroying threat, right?


Don't Look Up isn't a complete success — the comedy is hit or miss, and it could seriously benefit from a shorter and more focused narrative. But the final act hits with a wallop, at times reenacting scenarios I've seen in far too many anxiety dreams. If the world were really ending in a few months, how would you react? What do we owe each other, as a civilization? And what will it take to protect this planet in the face of profit-seeking vampires, who would gladly risk humanity for a few more resources? Adam McKay doesn't have any answers. But his anger is something we can all understand.