2013 looks to be a pretty packed year for sci-fi, but one of the more innovative/exciting films of the genre from the past decade is certainly director Duncan Jones’ 2009 film Moon. Jones made excellent use of miniature effects to create the lunar landscape on a shockingly small budget ($5 million), and star Sam Rockwell turned in a powerhouse performance as he commands nearly the entirety of the film’s screentime alone/opposite himself.
Moon recently aired on BBC2 and Jones, being the generous and Twitter-friendly person that he is, took it upon himself to offer a live commentary on Twitter while the film aired. The filmmaker offered some fascinating insights into the film, including how they finally convinced Kevin Spacey to voice Gerty and the fact that Paddy Considine (Hot Fuzz, The Bourne Ultimatum) was poised to tackle the lead role should Rockwell back out at the last minute. Jones was also joined by some of the film’s technical collaborators on the Tweet commentary as well. Hit the jump for some of the highlights. Obviously, major spoilers for Moon follow.
Universal’s Hop has just earned 2011’s highest debut weekend – if today’s estimate of $38.1 million from 3,579 locations proves accurate. For now the three-day estimate for the live-action/CGI-animated comedy stands less than one million ahead of Rango’s record from five weeks back.
||Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2
||The Lincoln Lawyer
||Battle: Los Angeles
Director Duncan Jones recently did a press tour for his new film Source Code and I was lucky that one of the stops on his tour was Atlanta. With Source Code and his previous film Moon, Jones is quickly emerging as one of Hollywood’s strongest directors for intelligent sci-fi. I, along with several other outlets, sat down with Jones to talk about Source Code, his pet project Mute, another sci-fi project he’s working on that he calls “Like Mute but makable”, and a host of other topics. We also discussed the ending of Source Code and since there are obviously spoilers, I’ve highlighted those portions in red.
Hit the jump to check out the interview and click here to see Steve’s video interview with Jones. Also, thanks to Ben Garman for providing the transcription. Source Code is in theaters now and you can click here to read my review.
The fine folks over at Mondo commissioned some sweet posters for films playing at this year’s SXSW Film Festival. If you attended SXSW, you had a chance to buy these great posters. If, however, you were like me, you were at home cursing the heavens and crying into a pint of Häagen-Dazs. But now for poor folks like you and me, Mondo is putting these posters up for sale online.
Starting at a random time tomorrow, Mondo will be selling their SXSW posters for Hobo with a Shotgun, The FP, Source Code, Moon, Hesher, and Paul. Hit the jump for pricing and details on the posters. Be sure you’re following @MondoNews for the official announcement of when the posters go on sale.
Artist Olly Moss has created two gorgeous posters for Duncan Jones’ Moon and the director’s upcoming film Source Code. The two posters are part of Mondo’s new “Director’s Series”. The Source Code poster is so much better than the official one, which makes the movie look like it’s about a man who’s being attacked by iPads.
Both posters measure 18″x24″ and cost $35 each. The Moon poster is limited to an edition of 250 while the Source Code poster is limited to an edition of 200. Hit the jump to check out both of these beauties along with a statement on Duncan Jones about having his work added to Mondo’s Director Series. Be sure you’re following @MondoNews for the sale date announcement. Source Code will make its world premiere on March 11th at the SXSW Film Festival. It opens nationwide on April 1st.
Last month, we reported that Moon director Duncan Jones was possibly moving forward with his sci-fi future noir Mute as his follow-up to his new film Source Code (which opens April 1st). Unfortunately, that appears to no longer be the case. Speaking to We Got This Covered, Jones says Mute “is in a bit of limbo.” He says that Mute is more of a “futurist” film than a sci-fi film since it doesn’t revolve around a sci-fi hook. For those unfamiliar with the project, the film is reportedly inspired by Blade Runner and centers on a mute bartender in 2046 Berlin who must go against the city’s gangsters in order to find his girlfriend. Jones says the film is a tough sell because it’s quite dark, but the budget is in between Moon and Source Code.
Hit the jump for more of what Jones had to say about Mute and another sci-fi project that might have his attention.
I love Twitter. There are countless interesting people to follow for any movie geek and one of my absolute favorites is Duncan Jones (follow him here), director of the instant sci-fi classic Moon, one of my favorite movies from the last couple years and the upcoming (and great looking) Source Code. Jones is one of the most down to earth, genuine people on Twitter and he regularly responds to tweets directed at him, so today I took a chance and asked him when we will hear about his next picture and if would be the previously announced Escape From The Deep or his intriguing original script Mute, a future noir in the style of Blade Runner. Jones was kind enough to reply:
“not on the sub movie anymore, but trying hard to get one of two things made next. Mute is one of those 2”.
Continue reading for a refresher on Mute. Make sure to follow myself and Mr. Jones, he’s truly a fun guy to follow.
In a recent, in-depth interview, Moon writer/director Duncan Jones spoke about his upcoming movie The Source Code starring Jake Gyllenhaal. In the interview, he speaks about the size of the production and the marketing plan for the movie. He also spoke about how he almost directed the upcoming re-adaptation of Judge Dredd (which will be directed by Pete Travis and star Karl Urban as Dredd) and what his take on the material would have been. If you’re a fan of Jones (and you should be if you’ve seen Moon), you’ll want to hit the jump and check out what he had to say.
Wanted was way more fun than it had any right to be. So while I was looking forward to the sequel, there was always the lingering question of whether the madcap frenzy that made Wanted such a blast could be repeated–and if it could, would that be the makings of a good popcorn movie or just lukewarm leftovers? It so happens that we’ll never find out, because Angelina Jolie has dropped out of Wanted 2 according to Vulture, which in turn inspired Universal to bury the project.
But don’t fret too much: when the movie gods close a door, they open a window. Jolie has reportedly set her sights on Gravity, a space thriller from Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón. Details on the project after the break.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts added momentum to The Hurt Locker awards train tonight as they award the film Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Editing, and Best Sound. Hurt Locker‘s awards in the technical categories are particularly interesting because perhaps Academy-thinking that usually awards those categories to the big blockbuster movies, i.e. Avatar. But perhaps BAFTA and Oscar voters on the same wavelength and despite the massive box office of Cameron’s tech demo, the Academy could recognize the impressive editing, sound, and achievement in other technical categories (although Avatar won the BAFTA for best visual effects and it’s a lock to win the Oscar in that category as well).
Other nice victories included Colin Firth for Best Actor (A Serious Man), Carey Mulligan for Best Actress (An Education), and my personal favorite: Outstanding British Debut to Duncan Jones for Moon. He gave a very sweet acceptance speech and I’ve included video of it after the jump along with the full list of winners.
The Brits certainly like our flicks with Avatar and The Hurt Locker scoring eight nominations each from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). However, they didn’t overlook one of their own accomplished films with An Education also grabbing eight nominations. But what’s really impressive about the BAFTA nominations isn’t where they’ll most likely overlap with the Oscar nominations, but where they’re going to diverge. District 9 has seven nominations and matches Avatar in every category except Best Picture and Best Director (but it also has a Best Screenplay nomination, while Avatar does not). I am a little surprised that in their Best Supporting Actor category, they overlooked Peter Capaldi for In the Loop, but you have to love a country where Andy Serkis can get nominated for Best Actor (that’s not meant ironically; it truly is great–we should’ve nominated him in 2002 for Best Supporting Actor for The Two Towers).
Hit the jump for the full list of nominees. Winners will be announced on February 21st.
On February 2nd, at 5:30 a.m. PST the Academy will announce its final list of Oscar hopefuls. But how are the nominees selected? Raffle? Some kind of barbaric fire ritual? Screenwriter/blogger John August gives us the answer. The final list of ten nominees is actually pruned down from a few hundred potential films (274 this year) by preferential voting rather than by a plurality. That way, a movie needs more than 10% of the total votes to be nominated. Preferential voting essentially lessens the chance of a wasted vote by giving each voter a series of fall back choices instead of one all or nothing shot. Australia uses the same system for political elections.
Hit the jump to see a breakdown of the system.
[CORRECTION: Much like Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, I fucked up. Sony Pictures Classics had nothing to do with Moon's non-existent awards-campaign. It is the fault of SPWAG and this article has been updated where appropriate. My deepest apologies to Sony Pictures Classics] One of the best science fiction films in years, Duncan Jones’ Moon has been largely absent from this year’s awards race. A large reason for that is because Sony Pictures Classics, the studio behind the film, has failed to give the film any promotion, especially where screeners are concerned. According to Movieline, the reason they’re not sending screeners out to voters is fear of piracy. Already a poor excuse since other studios take the risk to get their films into Oscar contention, SPWAG’s reason is nonsense since the film is already on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK where it has been available since November 16th. I don’t mean to cast aspersions on the British people, but I’m pretty sure they have the technology to pirate movies.
Hit the jump for more outrage from me and from Jones.
The joy of list-making continues today as I’m running down who I thought gave the best performances of the year plus what I thought were the best quotes and kills of 2009. Please keep in mind that regarding the performances, I haven’t seen a few key films that could have very well changed the winners and runners-up: Crazy Heart (Best Actor), The Last Station and Bright Star (Best Actress), and a few others. If you think there was someone who clearly should’ve won or been nominated, shout out in the comments section and I’ll let you know whether I saw the film or not.
With this disclaimer out of the way, I present to you my picks for the best performers, directors, quotes, and kills of 2009. Hit the jump to check them all out.
One of the best sci-fi films of the past several years, Duncan Jones’ Moon took home both Best Picture and Best Debut Director at this year’s British Independent Film Awards. The was also received nominations for Sam Rockwell for Best Actor, Duncan for Best Director (a category which included both debut and veteran directors), Nathan Parker for Best Screenplay, and two nominations in the Best Technical Achievement category with Clint Mansell getting a nod for Original Score and Tony Noble for Production Design.
Any victory for Moon is an important victory because while it received large critical acclaim, its June release may have left it slightly adrift in the minds of critics and societies compiling their Top 10 of 2009 lists. I’ll admit that it is disappointing that Rockwell didn’t win, but he did lose to Tom Hardy’s universally loved performance in Bronson so it wasn’t like the BIFA made a grievous error. What’s important for Moon is to just make sure people don’t forget about it.
Other big films at BIFA were Fish Tank (7 nominations, 2 wins), Nowhere Boy (6 nominations, 1 win), An Education (6 nominations, 1 win), and In the Loop (5 nominations, 1 win) Hit the jump for the full list of nominees and winners.