If you prefer your action/sci-fi blockbusters both slick and smart, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more fitting title made in the last several years than director Doug Liman‘s Edge of Tomorrow. Adapted from the Japanese novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka, the film only reinforces what I already believed: that Tom Cruise is the greatest living movie star in the world. He’s right in his wheelhouse as Major William Cage, a military officer who’s far more versed in the ways of spin and public relations than in actual combat. When a run-in with a rare alien leads Cage to be repeatedly thrust into the heart of a destined to fail military attack, the result is a thrilling and surprisingly funny ride that Cruise and Emily Blunt deftly carry. Watching Cruise replay the loop time after time, learning from his mistakes and inching closer to finality with each retry, may become tedious to some. For me, it was akin to learning the pattern of a video game only to finally reach the final boss on your last continue. All told, Edge is probably my favorite Cruise film since Minority Report and while it fails to reach the level of greatness, the fact that it’s even in the same conversation should tell you that it’s absolutely worth watching.
My Tom Cruise lovefest aside, this week’s Top 5 features an interview for and Matt’s review of Interstellar, Star Wars: Episode VII getting an official title, the first trailer for Furious 7, interviews for and Matt’s review of Disney’s Big Hero 6, and the first trailer for Neill Blomkamp‘s sci-fi actioner Chappie. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.
1. INTERSTELLAR Interview and Review
I’m not sure how anyone else takes it, but when I hear that a film may be “too ambitious” I get excited. Even though it implies that a work ultimately misses the mark or falls short of its goal, the fact that it aims that high to begin with only heightens my anticipation. I’ve read similar sentiments regarding Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar and I can’t wait to experience it for myself. For more on the film, check out Matt’s review, Steve’s video interview with David Gyasi, and feel free to discuss the film with others who’ve already watched it in our “What Did You Think?” post.
2. STAR WARS: EPISODE VII Officially Titled STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
Having completed principal photography earlier in the week, Disney and Lucasfilm wasted little time announcing the official title for what was previously referred to as Star Wars: Episode VII. J.J. Abrams’ film is called Star Wars: The Force Awakens. It’s concise enough, looks good in the above image, and isn’t a tenth as cheesy and painful to type as Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice which makes it three for three in my book.
3. First Trailer for FURIOUS 7
Universal rolled out the first trailer for director James Wan’s Furious 7 this week and, although I’ve never seen a single entry in the franchise, I have to say that it looks like a ton of fun. So fun that I may even consider starting from the beginning in order to be caught up in time for its April 2015 release. Those who’ve watched the first six, what do you think? Is this worth my time or should I roll into Furious 7 cold?
4. BIG HERO 6 Interviews and Review
While I’m not in a race to the theaters to check out Disney’s Big Hero 6, I’ll admit that Baymax looks about as cute and cuddly as they come and that alone is enough to get me to watch it at some point. Whether you’re like me and swayed by Baymax’s Stay Puft Marshmallow Man qualities or you’re excited about the film for other reasons, I encourage you to check out Matt’s review, our video interviews with Genesis Rodriguez & Jamie Chung, filmmakers Chris Williams & Don Hall, and T.J. Miller & Damon Wayans, Jr., and Christina’s roundtable text interview with Chris Williams & Don Hall.
5. First Trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s CHAPPIE
Sony introduced the first trailer for Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie to the Interwebs this week and while it’s a bit overly sentimental for more liking, it’s clear to me that few people in the world make better looking sci-fi than Blomkamp. He’s a true talent and I can only hope that the full film explores greater thematic depths than the “Chappie taught us more than we taught him” angle the trailer leans heavily on. Regardless, I’m giving this one the benefit of the doubt and look forward to watching it in March 2015.