What If WESTWORLD Had Been Made in the 1980s?

HBO’s WESTWORLD has one of my favorite opening credits of any show out there (which is not unusual for the cabler), and while the series sadly will not return until 2018, a creator on YouTube mocked up an opening credits sequence for the science-fiction show as it might have looked if the original 1973 movie had become a broadcast TV series in the early 1980s.

From the electronic score to the wireframe animation, this fan video is right on target!

Back in Action! Keanu Reeves in ‘John Wick: Chapter 2’

john-wick-chapter-2-movie-wideOne of the most pleasant surprises of 2014 was John Wick — a little-heralded action shoot ’em up that did nothing less than redefine the genre with flashy gunplay and stylish visuals. Even the rapid-fire editing helped propel the story along rather than confusing audiences.

Keanu Reeves was absolutely perfect as the polished killer of few words but many bullets. Wick was known as much for his flashy wardrobe as his prowess at killing — and, wow, could he kill!

The plot of the original movie was almost a cookie-cutter revenge scenario — almost! The clever conceit of the movie is precisely why Wick went on his rampage! It would be cruel of me to reveal the secret, so I’ll just beg you to watch the original and love it as much as I do.

He’s the ballistic first trailer for the sequel:

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What We Know About ‘Blade Runner 2049’

blade-runner-2049-trailer1After hearing virtually nothing about Blade Runner 2049 after the casting of Ryan Gosling was announced and Harrison Ford‘s participation confirmed, Warner Bros has suddenly dropped a bunch of teaser material about the sequel to director Ridley Scott‘s 1982 classic, Blade Runner.

First of all, we have several photographs courtesy of Entertainment Weekly depicting the principle characters, including Gosling as Officer K, Ford as Deckard and Ana de Armas as a mystery character. Scott is also seen conferring with Ford.

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‘Fury Road’ Looks Dangerous Even Without CGI

I just found this four-minute clip that shows snippets of the insane chase scenes from Mad Max: Fury Road without CGI enhancement of any kind — and the sequences don’t lose any of their heart-stopping thrills at all!

While it’s true that the final onscreen product was “sweetened” with some visual effects, it’s important to note that so much of the action was done with live-action, practical vehicles and stunt players. The climatic crash of the War Rig, seen in this clip, was obtained in just one take!

In my opinion, MM:FR should have won the Best Picture Oscar for 2015. While Spotlight certainly was the most important and most prestigious film of last year, it was also fairly forgettable. Come next February, just try to find someone who can tell you which movie won the previous year’s top award.

No one will have trouble recalling this R-rated, Charlize Theron/Tom Hardy instant classic. Fury Road drove away with six Oscars in tow, but I believe it was robbed of Best Picture and George Miller deserved Best Director.

But everyone who saw it will remember Fury Road as shiny and chrome for many years to come. It left flaming skid marks across my movie mind, and I was really (really) pulling for Max and Furiosa to pull an upset in L.A. I suppose this near-perfect film will have to be content in the company of so many other indelible movies that didn’t win the big prize.

To paraphrase the narrator of The Road Warrior, It lives now… only in my memory.

‘The Shallows’ Trailer Dives Deep

The-Shallows-blake-livelyEvery once in a while a trailer comes along that spells out the entire movie, plot beat by plot beat, thus saving you the trouble of going to see the actual film.

The second trailer for The Shallows is one of those clips. It not only spells out the premise (beauty v. beast), it shows us out the film plays out, from beginning to end. Watch:

There, now you know everything that happens, in order, in this movie.

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone should skip two hours of Blake Lively in a swimsuit, but in case you have something better to do on June 29, you won’t have to feel guilty about  missing it.

‘John Wick 2’ To Start Shooting

A sequel to John Wick is slated to begin production for Lionsgate this fall — which means any day now. This is terrific news.

John Wick was the sleeper hit — if an action movie can be considered a sleeper — of 2014, with Keanu Reeves in the title role of a hitman forced out of retirement to wreak destruction on an epic scale. Reeves will be back for John Wick 2, along with co-directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski, and writer Derek Kolstad. It instantly became a cult favorite.

As for capturing lightning in a bottle again, Stahelski said:

“We have ideas for days and without blinking twice we know we can outdo the action from the original. It’s the matter of story and how much you like the character. That’s always the most important. If there’s great action but you have a character that no one likes and doesn’t have charisma you’re not going to watch it. Look at any great action star, whether it’s Harrison Ford or Liam Neeson or Robert Downey Jr., pick a name, you love the guy first. Good action, bad action, you just love them in action. So we want to make sure we have a story and a character that everybody loves and then we’ll dress it with action that we promise will be awesome.”

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Trailer for ‘5th Wave’ Suggests Why It’s Being Dumped in January

The first international trailer for “The 5th Wave,” an alien-invasion thriller starring Chloë Grace Moretz, shows a lack of creativity — which strongly suggests why it’s being released in January, the traditional dumping ground for movies studios have absolutely no faith in. Let’s see why…

 

Yep, this one is just packed to the brim with dystopian YA novel and alien/zombie apocalypse cliches. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along, right to Netflix. Sorry, Chloë, you deserve better.

The film is based on Rick Yancey’s YA novel, and Moretz plays Cassie Sullivan, a teenager struggling to survive in a world devastated by multiple waves of an alien invasion that have knocked what’s left of humanity back to the Stone Age. On the run and desperate to save her younger brother, she teams up with a young man who may become her final hope. Can you guess which wave of the alien invasion is due up next?

The film opens Jan. 15.