Science fiction is regarded as the medium of ideas, but so rarely does that intention cross the fraught border into film, where collaboration and the need for broad appeal too often forces the compromise of dumbing down and easy explanations and linear storytelling to dilute any ingenuity or originality of a filmmaker. Fortunately, for his third feature, writer/director Rhian Johnson has managed to survive the challenge and construct a thoughtful and coherent film that satisfies both the intellectual and more primal members of a multiplex audience.
Having worked on The X Files for eight years where he wrote or co-wrote forty episodes, Frank Spotnitz has amassed a colossal body of high profile work, also working on the associated shows Millennium and The Lone Gunmen alongside Harsh Realm and Night Stalker. His new show is Hunted, the explosive new drama from Kudos, the production company behind Spooks, Life on Mars, Hustle and Outcasts among many others. On Friday 24th August, as part of the Media Guardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, executive producer Alison Jackson, director SJ Clarkson and Frank attended a screening of the premiere episode at the Edinburgh Filmhouse where they spoke about the international flavour of their ambitious new show, the ambiguous morality of the characters, and the extensive casting search that led them to Melissa George. Afterwards in the bar, Frank was kind enough to spend a few minutes with Geek Chocolate to talk about Hunted and his work on the FBI's most unusual cases.
Carrying a title that jumps off the page and dares people to make assumptions about it, Punk Rock Jesus is a comic that both takes risk and confounds expectations. With issue one’s cover image of a Mohawk-sporting, tattooed signer snarling in a microphone and its premise of a television reality show centred around a modern day clone of Jesus Christ, writer and artist Sean Murphy’s series from Vertigo clearly holds the potential to be one of 2012’s most controversial books. But those unable to get past these initially confrontational elements would be missing out on an exciting, lushly drawn and ambitious book that, on the evidence of its first three issues, could very well be one of the defining pieces of work seen this year.
On September 3rd 2010, three walkers disappeared on Dartmoor, and now the footage from their abundance of cameras and recording devices has been edited together, though as any footage that would resemble an interesting plot is absent, perhaps it would have been preferable had the whole thing remained lost. As it stands, this “found footage” horror film written and directed by Richard Parry is utterly devoid of a single original idea.
Karl Urban is Judge Dredd. It’s a simple as that.
He and the filmmakers Pete Travis, Alex Garland and Andrew MacDonald have now given us the most definitive take on the 2000AD character and crafted a film that, while it has its flaws, lays to rest the horrible memory of the 1995 incarnation of the character.
As readers of the comic will know, the world lies in ashes. Humanity has fled to the Mega-Cities, walled in from the wasteland of the Cursed Earth, and corralled in huge numbers in gigantic City Blocks where outlaws and criminals have the opportunity to run wild and free. They would, that is, except for the Judges. Given the role of judge, jury and executioner, they carry out the law. They are the law.
In a series that has now become one of an elite few to repeatedly perform better with every sequel at the box office, despite the critic and fanboy detractors looking for continuity from the video game source it came from, it appears a forgone conclusion that the latest Resident Evil
movie will strike gold for Constantin Film, the celluloid equivalent of not letting the truth get in the way of a good story, you could suppose. But what of the latest instalment? Are we likely to see any changes from what we have become accustomed to in the world bio-engineered by Umbrella Corporation, or another stunt-driven “thrill ride” aimed at teenagers with short attention spans?
It was in 1960 that The Weirdstone of Brisingamen was first published, with its sequel The Moon of Gomrath following in 1963. The first told the tale of siblings Colin and Susan’s encountered with the wizard Cadellin Silverbrow as he sought the titular stone without which he would not be able to safeguard the sleeping warriors and their white horses who lay within the caves of Fundindelve until the time foretold when they would awaken and defend the realm against the coming evil. In Gomrath, older magic still came to prominence, the ancient evil of the Brollachan and the uncontrollable Wild Hunt, who in the final scenes rode off into the sky, taking Susan with them.
A true polymath, Neal Stephenson is a prolific writer who
spans genres, spinning together computer science, mathematics, language and history in his epic tales. Coming to prominence with his cyberpunk novel Snow Crash
in 1992, this was followed by The Diamond Age
before the release of The Baroque Cycle
. Set across centuries, nations and disciplines, Quicksilver
, The Confusion
and The System of the World
featured a cast including Isaac Newton, Christiaan Huygens, King Charles II, George Handel, Louis XIV and Samuel Pepys among others, each of the three volumes were nominated for the Locus Award, with two wins, and an Arthur C Clarke award. On Saturday 18th
August, while attending an event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, he was good enough to take time to talk with Geek Chocolate.
"Somewhere in the Valley there is a woman living in a basement who claims she's from the future and she's amassing followers." This sums up the situation of Peter and Lorna, having infiltrated the cult of the woman known only as Maggie, never seen in public, her precise location unknown as they are blindfolded prior to being chauffeured to every meeting.
It’s a privilege to be in the company of those smarter than you, especially when your host turns out to be so personable, and in this new collection of his shorter work, writer Neal Stephenson, better known for his epic novels, invites us to join him as he discusses his diverse interests and, in a reprinted online interview, what his readers have asked of him, a means of communication he finds more efficient than individual responses as he explains in the concluding Why I Am a Bad Correspondent.