On April 3, 1968, the enduring classic 2001: A Space Odyssey was released and now, fifty years later, film enthusiasts will have an extraordinary opportunity to see the picture in all of its brilliance.
Almost a year ago, filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception, Interstellar) released his war drama Dunkirk in 70mm around the country to critical acclaim and commercial success. It was around this time that he learned of a film reel of 2001 that had been made from the original camera negative but couldn’t be reprinted due to lack of funding. Nolan, empowered by the success of his 70mm screenings, went to Warner Bros. with his idea of making new prints of A Space Odyssey and releasing them, in the same way that Dunkirk was exhibited. This year at Cannes, Nolan debuted the new print of the film, which he makes clear is not a restoration — no digital work has been done — but rather a reprint created through an entirely photochemical process from reels that Warner Bros. developed in the late 90s.
The Star Wars universe is immense. Following Disney’s acquisition of the property some years ago, there was a hard reboot on the expanded universe which saw much of what was once considered canon being rebranded as “Legends”. Since then, there have been several Disney-sanctioned pieces of media which repaint the history and future of the main Skywalker storyline. Ron Howard’s Solo, which was plagued by reshoots and bad word-of-mouth, is the newest installment in the Disney-era of Star Wars, shedding some light on the backstory of a certain scruffy-looking nerfherder.
Bring on more of the gigantic monster-fighting robots! Pacific Rim: Uprising is the anticipated sequel to Guillermo del Toro’s 2013 Pacific Rim. Part of the reason the first film gained popularity when it was released was the vibrant inventiveness with which it hit audiences. Del Toro directed the first film and created with it a journey into the conflicted world which pits humanity against the monstrous Kaiju using the giant robots called Jaegers. It was a fun and action-packed adventure film which broke up the continuous flow of overdone narratives in action films at the time. Pacific Rim: Uprising unfortunately falls into the category of movie sequels which destroy the possibilities for a great franchise.
As the forty minute mark approached during my screening of Ava DuVernay’s A Wrinkle in Time (2018), I struggled with a simple question: Is it possible to review a film you walked out on? When I write about a film, I try to deliver more than a recommendation or a warning. A review should cast a spotlight on an aspect of filmmaking or storytelling that audiences and creators alike should treasure – unless the product is so bad, it should be obliterated for the cathartic entertainment of others. However, there’s a rare exception to my line of thought, where a product becomes a vehicle for a valuable lesson in the creative process. In the case of A Wrinkle in Time, while the fact that I walked out of the theater should be an indication of the film’s quality, it should mostly be a display of the importance of keeping your audience invested through compelling story elements.
For a disaster movie that shows very few disasters, Dean Devlin’s Geostorm (2017) might be bad, but not a total nightmare of a movie. Gerard Butler plays Jake, the leading man and creator of “Dutch Boy”, a set of satellites designed to control earth’s climate. After a series of technical malfunctions, his brother Max, who now has been given control over the satellite operation, quickly discovers that the errors in the system are not a complete accident. With Jake sent to the space station that runs “Dutch Boy”, the two brothers work together in attempt to prevent a massive Geostorm. Continue reading Geostorm, naturally a disaster→
Thirty-five years. That’s how long fans of Ridley Scott’s 1982 neo-noir classic Blade Runner have mulled over the question of whether or not Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is a replicant. Today, they might finally get their answer — or simply find themselves further entrenched in the long debate for another few decades, despite Ridley Scott having voiced his own authoritative opinions on the matter. Regardless, for fans of the ’82 film, Blade Runner 2049 is going to be something special. A trip down memory lane with some intriguing new twists and turns that delve deeper into the original’s themes of human consciousness and identity. For the uninitiated, however, things might get a little ugly.