A month after its release, Naughty Dog
's sweeping interactive epic The Last of Us
is being hailed as one of the best games of all time
, with perfect scores even from notoriously demanding critics
Inspired by an eerily beautiful segment from the BBC's Planet Earth
, the game portrays an America twenty years after a pandemic of the zombiefying Cordyceps
), leaving behind lush wastelands
of elegant decay
teeming with monsters
and beset by vicious bandits, a brutal military, and the revolutionary Fireflies.
Into this bleak vision of desperate violence
journey Joel, a gruffly stoic Texan with a painful past, and his ward Ellie, a precocious teenager who may hold the key to mankind's future.
Boasting tense, immersive gameplay
, compelling performances
from a diverse cast, a movingly minimalist score
from Oscar-winning Gustavo Santaolalla
, and an array of influences from Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men
to Cormac McCarthy's The Road
, it's already being slotted alongside BioShock Infinite
and Half-Life 2
as one of modern gaming's crowning achievements
. And while it's hard to disentangle plot from action, you don't have to buy a PS3 to experience it -- YouTube offers many filmic edits of the game, including this three-hour version of all relevant passages
And don't miss the 84-minute documentary
exploring every facet of its production. [more inside]
“What I wanted was for kids to see a movie where they don’t need to aspire to be in an army to aspire for an adventure. And I used very deliberate language that is a reference to westerns. I don’t have captains, majors, generals. I have a marshal, rangers . . . it has the language of an adventure movie. I want kids to come out of the movie and say, I want to be a Jaeger pilot! I really think that would be my dream come true.”
- Guillermo del Toro on being a monster loving pacifist
. Designer Wayne Barlowe
talks about Pacific Rim's creatures. But has maneuvering at Legendary doomed the film
before it has even opened?
Starchaser: The Legend Of Orin (trailer
) is an animated SF film released in 1985. Presented here in 11 parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
. Or perhaps you prefer the original 3D, in 13 parts: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13
. [more inside]
- the original script for Prometheus
Homebuilding a 474mm tall model
from 1990's Robocop 2, complete with a working head
. Clips of Robocain
and the other Robocop prototypes
from the movie. All photos
from the project. Bonus music link: Front Line Assembly
performing the Robocop 2 sampling Mindphaser
スターウルフ, "Star Wolf
," was a half-hour sci-fi TV show produced and aired in Japan in 1978. (TV Tropes page
-- addiction warning) It had somewhat cheesy special effects, understandable being a TV series made just one year after Star Wars, but it made up for it with style, energy, and ACTION PACKED MUSIC
American viewers will know it best as the show ripped apart and reassembled into two Fugitive Alien movies by Sandy Frank Productions
, then shown on two memorable episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Episodes on YouTube: Fugitive Alien, its sequel.)
Although the Japanese show got at least two seasons (the second under the title Space Hero Star Wolf
), only the first four episodes appear to exist on the internet. Here they are: One
. (There are no subtitles, but you should be able to figure out what is going on if you've seen the MST episode.) [more inside]
Finnish YouTube user Ishexan
has uploaded seven English subtitled movies in parts: Broken Blossoms
), The Gipsy Charmer
), The Tragedy of Elina
), The Activists
), The Wooden Pauper's Bride
), and Sampo
), which is based on the epic poem The Kalevala
. The films are mostly Finnish, though Aelita
is a silent Russian sci-fi film, and Sampo
was a joint Finnish and Soviet production. More film clips inside (mostly Finnish documentaries and "dorky musical numbers"). [more inside]
"Let's do those drive-in totals. We have: Nineteen dead bodies (plus fragments)
. Ten breasts (shame on you, TNT censors)
. Two zombie breasts. One-hundred twenty-five zombies. Mummy dogs. One-half zombie dog. Ten gallons blood. Brain-eating. Gratuitous embalming. Zombie fu. Nekkid punk-rocker fondue. Gratuitous midget zombie. Torso S&M. One motor vehicle chase (totalled by zombies)
. Pool cue fu. No aardvarking. Heads roll. Brains roll. Arms roll. Hands roll. Joe Bob says, Check It Out."
Only on MonsterVision
. [more inside]
Just in time for the 30th anniversary of the movie's release, The Making of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
chronicles the complete tale—from pre-release to blockbuster success — of what’s become the fan favorite of the Star Wars series. Vanity Fair presents an excerpt from the book: rarely seen photographs from the Empire Strikes Back set, annotated with behind-the-scenes details
. They also have interviews with the book’s author, J. W. Rinzler
, and the man behind Boba Fett’s mask, actor Jeremy Bulloch
." On a lighter note, how about a Wampa Throw Rug
, new from the folks at ThinkGeek?
In an exclusive interview with MTV,
Ridley Scott releases further details on his latest project: two
3D Alien prequels
, which will have a non-Ripley female lead and focus on the story behind
the first movie's "Space Jockey." [more inside]
He invented or popularized
a startling array of the fundamental elements of film: the dissolve, the fade-in and fade-out, slow motion, fast motion, stop motion, double exposures and multiple exposures, miniatures, the in-camera matte, time-lapse photography, color film (albeit hand-painted), artificial film lighting, production sketches and storyboards, and the whole idea of narrative film.
By 1897, in a studio of his own design and construction – the first complete movie studio – his hand forged virtually everything on his screen. Norman McLaren writes, "He was not only his own producer, ideas man, script writer, but he was his own set-builder, scene painter, choreographer, deviser of mechanical contrivances, special effects man, costume designer, model maker, actor, multiple actor, editor and distributor." Also, his own cinematographer, and the inventor of cameras to suit his special conceptions. Not even auteur directors such as Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, John Cassavetes, and Stanley Kubrick would personally author so many aspects of their films."
Inside: 57 films by Georges Méliès, the Grandfather of Visual Effects
. [more inside]
Kerwin Mathews, 1926-2007.
The genre actor
may be best remembered as the title character in one of my favorite movies, the classic The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
"No matter how good CGI
looks at first, it dates quickly...So I set the ridiculous goal of making a film
that would reinvent space without using CGI." Director Aronofsky tapped into the microphotography
work of Parks and Parks to bring a new look to special effects
in science fiction cinema.
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