Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
Award-winning Ecuadorian filmmaker Sebastián Cordero is a master of contained, psychological thrillers and a lifelong science fiction fan. His first English-language film, Europa Report, is a unique documentary-style sci-fi thriller that follows an ill-fated mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life within our solar system. Opening August 2nd, the film features an impressive international cast that includes Daniel Wu, Sharlto Copley, Christian Camargo, Karolina Wydra, Michael Nyqvist, Anamaria Marinca, Embeth Davidtz, Isiah Whitlock, Jr., and Dan Fogler.
In our exclusive interview, Cordero talked about his early interest in sci-fi, how Crónicas led to directing this, how casting director Avy Kaufman opened up a lot of possibilities, how he consulted with the Jet Propulsion Lab and Space X on the ship’s design and ensured the film was grounded in realistic science, his collaboration with DP Enrique Chediak and production designer Eugenio Caballero on the film’s visual style and with Bear McCreary, Tom Efinger and Abigail Savage on the music and sound design, his thoughts on deep space exploration and life beyond our planet, the upcoming project he’s developing in Ecuador, and how he’d like to do more in the U.S. if the right opportunity came along. Hit the jump to read the full interview.
With a production budget in the neighborhood of $150 million and a worldwide pull of just under $50 million entering its second weekend, it’s probably fair to say that White House Down will ultimately be seen by the powers that be as a bust. Blame its proximity to the similarly themed Olympus Has Fallen (which, on the whole, received similar critical reaction but comparatively more box office success) if you will, but having watched and enjoyed the heck out of the film last night I believe at least some of the blame lies at the feet of Sony’s marketing. Whereas Fallen was packaged, and ultimately delivered, as a dead serious action/thriller, I don’t think White House Down marketing did enough to prep its potential audience members for the over-the-top, often times ridiculous, self-aware genre piece they would encounter. The best examples I can give to support this theory are the multiple scenes that left me laughing out loud while the majority of my fellow moviegoers sat quietly, unsure whether the movie was actually asking them to laugh with it or was just that silly and contrived. It’s possible that I’m going Roland Emmerich and co. too much credit, but I went with the former every single time and ended up having a great time with the film as a result.
All White House drama aside, this week’s Top 5 includes a slew of interviews from The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp and more, a list of 15 movies from the first half of 2013 that you may have missed but definitely deserve a look, Christian Bale insisting that he is not involved with the Justice League movie in any way, The Way, Way Back interviews with Steve Carell and more, and a look at our most anticipated movies from July to September.
Comic-Con has released their schedule for Wednesday’s preview night and for Thursday, July 18th. For those who haven’t attended Comic-Con before, “Preview Night” is when the Exhibitor’s Floor is opened, and collectors fight tooth and nail for exclusives. Studios also screen pilots for TV shows that are set to premiere in the fall. Then on Thursday, we have one of the strangest Hall H line-ups I’ve ever seen. It begins with a line-up of animated shorts followed by the sci-fi indie Europa Report, and I have no problem with that, but Hall H is usually reserved for stuff that will pack the house. Granted, that will come later in the day, especially with what’s sure to be an amazing panel: Entertainment Weekly’s The Visionaries, which will be an hour-long conversation between Edgar Wright, Marc Webb, and Alfonso Cuaron. As for Ballroom 20, the powerhouse of the day is Sherlock, although I would have switched that with Dexter, which is finishing out the day in Hall H.
Hit the jump to check out everything from Hall H, Ballroom 20, and other highlights from the Comic-Con 2013 schedule for Wednesday, July 17th and Thursday, July 18th.
We’re smack dab in the middle of the summer movie season, and while we’ve already seen our fair share of hits and misses, it’s time to take a look at what the second half of of the summer has in store. There are plenty of high-profile releases heading our way over the next three months, with big tentpoles like Pacific Rim and The Wolverine, more comedic genre fare like Kick-Ass 2 and The World’s End, and even character-driven indies like The Spectacular Now and Prince Avalanche.
In the latest installment of our Most Anticipated series, Matt, Adam, and Dave run down what films they’re most looking forward to from July to September. Hit the jump to read on.
Magnolia Pictures has released the first trailer for the new sci-fi film Europa Report. Directed by Sebastian Cordero, the film follows a contemporary mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa to investigate the possible existence of alien life. Naturally, when the crew lands on the surface and starts digging below the ice, they find themselves in dire circumstances. The film isn’t exactly found footage, but most of the pic is framed using cameras inside the spacecraft, on the external vehicles, and in documentary-style interviews with the crew members. The practical effects approach is definitely impressive, and there’s a strong horror undercurrent that looks to be quite effective.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film stars Sharlto Copley, Michael Nyqvist, Christian Camargo, Embeth Davidtz, Dan Fogler, Anamaria Marinca, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Karolina Wydra, and Daniel Wu. Europa Report will be available on iTunes on June 27th and hits theaters on August 2nd.
A few new posters have made their way online. Briefly:
- Fruitvale Station – The first official poster for the huge Sundance hit teases the heartbreak that lies ahead. There is a strong likelihood that this film will turn you into a blubbering mess. Starring Michael B. Jordan, Melonie Diaz, and Octavia Spencer and opens on July 12th. Read Matt’s review here.
- The Hangover Part III – A couple of new character posters for Ed Helms’ Stu, Justin Bartha’s Doug, and a rooster. The film opens on May 24th.
- Grown Ups 2 – Hard as you may try to ignore it, this unnecessary comedy sequel exists. The latest poster repeats the gag from the first film of using old photos of the castmembers. The film stars Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Chris Rock, and David Spade and opens on July 12th.
- Now You See Me – A motion poster for the magician thriller starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Mark Ruffalo. The film opens on May 31st.
- Europa Report – The first poster for director Sebastian Cordero’s found footage sci-fi film teases the pic’s impressive practical effects. The film stars Sharlto Copley and Michael Nyqvist and is available VOD on June 27th and hits theaters on August 2nd.
Hit the jump to check out the posters and synopses.
The lineup for the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival has been announced. Fox Searchlight’s The Way, Way Back—which marks the directorial debut of Oscar-winning The Descendants screenwriters Jim Rash and Nat Faxon—has been selected as the closing night film, while Nicolas Winding Refn’s Only God Forgives and the Sundance hits Fruitvale Station and The Spectacular Now will also fill out the festival. Additionally, the fest will host the US premiere of the sci-fi thriller Europa Report starring Sharlto Copley and there will be community screenings of Badlands, Dazed and Confused and John Waters’ Hairspray. Hit the jump for the full press release.