A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART FOURTEEN!

The Grand Budapest Hotel

I just recently started updating this blog again. And when looking through my latest posts I noticed that I wrote about Wes Andersons previous movie Moonrise Kingdom in one of the later ones. It turns out Wes Anderson had time to make an entirely new movie during the time it took for me to update this damn blog again.

Anyway, not many filmmakers are so consistently good as Wes Anderson seems to be. Every movie he makes is gorgeous, funny and packed with interesting characters. All this while also being very original. It seems I’ll just keep on writing about every movie he makes on this blog. This latest one is set in some european hotel in the beginning of the last century. It looks pretty great.

Trailer.

I Am A Ghost

Ghost movies are pretty overdone, even when they try to shake it up by telling the story from the perspective of the ghosts. And usually those types of stories the characters ”ghostiness” is only revealed in a climactic twist at the end. This movie avoids all that by right off the bat naming the movie ”i am a ghost”. It seems to be set entirely in a house where the ghost of a girl resides. The ghost is eventually terrified by the sudden appearence of a disembodied voice which turns out to be the voice of a medium trying to get her to move on.

The budget might look a bit low at times but it still manages to look very stylish and atmospheric.

Trailer.

Snowpiercer

For the last couple of years I’ve had a thing for Korean films. I don’t know if it’s unfounded or not but there seems to be a lot of very strange and interesting movies being made over there. Maybe it’s just that we only get the few truly good korean movies here and their market is actually just filled with crap. But nonetheless the 2006 monster movie ‘The Host’ was fantastic and now the same director Joon-ho Bong has made a movie based on a french post-apocalyptic comic book called Snowpiercer. And it’s just packed with famous actors and beautifal visuals.

It’s all set on a gigantic train traveling on a frozen wasteland. On the train the passangers are divided in two classes, the people in the front and the people in the back. The people in the front has it slightly better and the people in the back are not happy about that.

Trailer.

The Zero Theorem

Wow this movie just came out of nowhere. The last I heard of director Terry Gilliam was that he was trying to get his long-cursed Don Quijote movie off the ground. And now all of a sudden he has finished an entirely different movie. A visually amazing sci-fi dystopia á la Brazil no less! There’s nothing more to say. All is good in the world now.

Trailer.

Byzantium

When I was younger, maybe around 10-14 years old I used to love vampires. And one of my favourite movies back then was ‘Interview with the Vampire’ by director Neil Jordan. While I’m pretty sick of vampires now (along with zombies and post-apocalyptic fiction) I still really like the combination of vampires and their lives through human history. ‘Interview’ had all that along with a super thick atmosphere and some really morally ambiguous characters. And now director Neil Jordan is back with yet another vampire movie which he apparently considers a companion movie to ‘Interview’. Lovely.

Trailer.

Animals

Wow, the trailer for this is probably the most ominous trailer for a story about a boy and his living teddybear. There’s basically no dialogue in the trailer which works fantastic as you can only guess on what the hell is going on. I’m guessing the living teddybear is making the boy do some terrible terrible things. I don’t know what else to add, just watch the trailer.

Trailer.

Robo-G
Oh Japan, how come you’re so good att absurdist humour? This movie about three failed robot scientists whom decide to hire an old man to wear a robotsuit during a robotics convention looks just as fun as it sounds. Comedy gold like; a scene of robot farting in an elevator and another scene said robot peeing in a urinal is promised.

Trailer.

The Congress

This movie is based on a book by sci-fi legend Stanislaw Lem (who wrote Solaris). Apparently it’s just loosely based on the book, but I haven’t read it so I don’t know. But I like giving the illusion of knowing my sci-fi even though my exposure to soviet writing is nearly nil.

Anyway, this movie is about a famous actress that is offered the opportunity of having her body fully scanned and immortalised inside a computer. Unfortunately she didn’t realise this also meant that she would have to live life in some sort of bizarro handdrawn virtual world. One half of the movie seems to be live action and the other animated, and it looks gorgeous.

Trailer.

The History of Future Folk

So here’s a strange little movie. It sounds kind of like a mix between Flight of the Conchords and a low-budget scifi film. It’s about two aliens whom come to earth to enslave it but then find themselves falling in love with our music. So much so that they start their own folk duo. This all leads to all kinds of quirky musical sci-fi adventures. I love stuff like this.

Trailer.

Die Wand (The Wall)

Die Wand or The Wall in english is a german surrealist drama about a woman finding herself stuck behind an invisible while out in the middle of a forest. The only company she has is her dog and the movie apparently goes very deep into what isolation like this would do to a person. It sounds like a wonderfully bittersweet story about a woman going insane from loneliness but then eventually settles into her new life and maybe even finds some joy in it. This movie looks very interesting but will probably break your soul.

Trailer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Xenobiology list! (Part 4) [Super Game Edition]

It’s been a pretty long time since I updated this place. I wrote up a bunch of lists last summer, for movies and comics and stuff, but I never got around to posting them for various reasons. But now I’m planning on going through all my backed up lists again so I’ll probably be posting a bit more these coming months.

So let’s start with another list on neat xenobiology stuff, but this time a videogame special as I’ve stumbled upon a whole bunch of cool games with awesome aliens. :)

You can find my previous three lists on the subject here:

Xenobiology list 01
Xenobiology list 02
Xenobiology list 03

To the next list!

Star Control 2

This. Game. Is. Aaaamazing. I love this game so much and I praise Crom and Mithra for randomly finding it on the internet somewhere. It’s sort of a space based exploration game with serious RPG-undertones. The story and setting is eerily similar to Mass Effect but Star Control 2 came out on DOS in 1992 . The setting pretty much follows all kinds of previous sci-fi tropes, although it’s all very well written and seriously funny.

One of my favourite things are the aliens though. Some are throwbacks to older less realistic aliens which work in the overall humour of the game. But the game really shines with the interesting and strange non-humanoid aliens. Like the Zoq, Fot and Piq (which you can see below) whom all evolved on the same planet and worked together to exterminate a fourth intelligent predatory species called the Zebranky.

And then there’s the Orz where the individuals of the species seems to be closely connected into some sort of virtual reality which makes their frame of reference very obtuse. It makes them nearly impossible to understand.

You can try out the game entirely for free as the source code was released for public use. This led to a fan-port of the entire game to modern platforms under the title ‘The Ur-Quan Masters’ which I urge you all to check out. Another group of fans also recently released a gorgeous HD update of the game which is also available for free.

In other news the rights to Star Control was recently auctioned off to another publisher that plans to make more games in the series. And there’s even rumours saying some of the original developers will be involved. Fantastic news all around.

Gameplay.

Waking Mars

Here’s a game which was released a bit more recently. It was first released as an iPhone app and it got great reviews. This prompted the devs to do an updated release for Mac and Windows computers which is how I played it. It works and looks beautiful played on a computer with a gamepad.

It’s set on Mars where we’ve discovered a sort of dormant life in the caves under the surface of the planet. Our intrusion wakes up the life and what follows is a really original puzzle game where you need to figure out which alien plant to grow and where to make the biosystem self-sufficent. Unlike most games where you have to kill and destroy, this game instead lets you create and spread life. It’s a work of art.

Gameplay.

Ascendancy

Here’s another old school computer game that I for the longest of times never played but still admired for it’s sheer quantity of truly non-humanoid aliens. In fact there’s not even any humans in the game. The closest thing to a humanoid is a six-legged lizard race or a bipedal race of giant eyeballs on legs.

The game is a 4X game where you build bases on planets to gather resources and then build ships to conquer the universe. It was originally released on DOS but the devs have since updated the entire game to work on iOS devices like iPads and iPhones.

I’ve played it a bit on my iPhone but I absolutely suck at these long-term strategy games. It’s got great reviews so if you like these kinds of games makes sure to check it out. All the different weird aliens made it worth it for me.

Gameplay.

Starflight

So I’ve mentioned ‘Star Control 2′ in the beginning and while that game is amazing it basically owes it’s existence to two much earlier games called Starflight and Starflight 2. I’m pretty sure a couple of the people who made Star Control also worked on the Starflight games which might explain some similarities. While Star Control 2 might be a bit more polished the Starflight games (in my opinion) succeeds to create a better sense of the wonder of exploration. But the most important thing is that they both include an amazing range of fascinating and strange aliens and civilisations.

The two Starflight games were first released on the Amiga but was then ported to all kinds of platforms. With the first game even getting a really great make-over for the Sega Genesis which is the version I’ve played the most.

There’s also a fully fan-made third game which was released for free online.

Gameplay.

Half-Life

There’s very few games that I have so many fond memories of as the first Half-life game. I re-played it so many times and back in the days I even joined forums just for the game. I even have really old drawings of the main character that I drew when I was about 10-12 years old. If I had to choose one game to be my all-time favourite Half-Life would be it.

The game takes place in a secret military research base where they manage to open up portals to other dimensions (or something). And one of my favourite parts of the game was when you actually got to travel to these very alien places. I loved the contrast of the drab concrete military base with the truly colorful alien worlds of floating rocks and strange alien creatures.

While there were a lot of creatures that was bipedal and obviously built on the same skeletal design as the human characters (for obvious game mechanic reasons). They all still looked very non-human and bizarre. But fortunatley there was also a crapload of really neat non-bipedal creatures as well.

Alien Dimension Gameplay.

Xenophage: Alien Bloodsport

So leaving an all-time classic like half-life behind let’s talk about a not-so classic game. Xenopahge, which was a fighting game released for DOS in 1996. I had never heard of it until last year when I stumbled unto the title somewhere and decided to do a search on it. And what I discovered was a pretty standard fighting game but one filled with really strange and interesting aliens.

The plot is something about aliens traveling to earth to find the best fighters on the planet and to pit them against the best fighters of other planets. Which sounds amazing, the plot and design almost makes up for the unoriginal gameplay.

Gameplay.

Infinite Space

Infinite Space might look like an old game but it’s all new(-ish) with a retro style. It’s a space exploration game designed to be played in around 15 minutes and it does that perfectly.

You fly your ship from planet to planet randomly meeting other species or getting into accidents or attacks while your mission is to gather as much valuable crap as you can under a certain amount of time. You then have to avoid destruction while returning to earth to see how much you’ve earned. You mostly just die or get robbed or something but it’s all worth it because the game is filled with some really fun and strange aliens.

The developers are currently making the third game in the series which will be in 3D. Unfortunately the original art designer Bill Sears passed away but hopefully they’ll keep a similar style to the beautiful art that he was behind.

Gameplay.

Mass Effect

And now here’s a game that I probably don’t need to make too much of an introduction for. It’s been pretty big on the gaming scene and deservidly so (even though a lot of people dislike the ending of the latest game, I loved it though). It’s a truly entertaining and beautiful action-RPG game set in a really interesting universe.

And while most of the aliens aren’t that special. Mostly because they are all built around the same humanoid skeleton-design (again, for obvious game mechanical reasons). But the game still manages to make most of the aliens interesting and strange even though they are humanoid in shape.

But the main reason I include Mass Effect on this list is because there’s actually a couple of really interesting non-humanoid aliens scattered around too. Aliens that aren’t humanoid in shape or in psychology.

There’s the Elcor which are big creatures that kind of resembles a mix between a gorilla and an elephant. They always have to state their emotional states plainly in their monotone voices before communicating with other species who won’t catch it otherwise. This leads to some hilarious background scenes with Elcor reciting Shakespeare or starring in a buddy-cop movie but still talking in their monotone voices.

Another really neat alien species is the Hanar which looks like a mix between an octopus and a jellyfish. They usualy conduct trading in the galaxy and for cultural reasons can’t ever refer to themselves as individuals.

Elcor clip.

Hanar Clip

Planet Explorers

And now we get to some really promising games currently in production. The first one is Planet Explorer which is a third-person exploration and building game. I guess it’s kind of like Minecraft but set in a sci-fi setting and with a much more detailed design.

You crashland on a planet and have to survive by gathering resources and making tools and buildings and then later on even vehicles. The planet you crashland on is filled with huge alien creatures that you can hunt and kill (or get killed by). You can see a good selection of the beautiful creatures they’ve created for the game below.

This is a game I will definately check out whenever I get a new computer.

Gameplay.

Unclaimed World

And lastly here’s a game that I’m really looking forward to called Unclaim World! It’s a light stratetic exploration and survival game on a truly alien planet.

You are in charge of a newly started colony on an alien planet and you need to guide your colonists to a bright future of being alive (on the planet). I have always wanted to play a game exactly like this and what makes me even more excited is the world the developers have created. Someone has finally decided to make a truly alien world with truly alien creatures in it. I find myself just looking at the early footage of the game over and over again admiring the design and details.

This is my single most anticipated game right now and everyone who is either interested in games like this or just xenobiology should check it out.

Gameplay.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART THIRTEEN!

Errors of the Human Body
Let’s start off with some genetic horror. Or is it genetic joy? I don’t know. But the trailer for this movie is really dark and broody. I can’t say I have much of a clue on what the actual story is but it looks fantastic! It’s set in the mysterious world of genetic engineering and I’m guessing the main character is trying to discover immortality or something.

Trailer.

Looper
Finally! I’ve been waiting for some photos or anything from this movie for ages now. And now there’s a full trailer that looks all kinds of amazing. It’s the latest movie by Brick and the Brothers Bloom director Rian Johnston. Those two movies are really different from each other and both really unique so when I heard the director was making a sci-fi movie I got really excited. It stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the younger version of a character played by Bruce Willis. They’re playing a hitman who is hired by future gangsters to kill and dispose of people they send back in time. One day they send back the characters older self for him to kill. With the directors previous movies in mind this should be at least interesting.

Trailer.

The Cabin in the Woods
Here’s a movie that has been in limbo ever since the production company collapsed with the financial crisis. But things seem to have been sorted out and it’s finally getting released. And it’s good timing as the producer/writer of the movie just got his big break with the success of The Avengers. The movie is by none other than living god Joss Whedon. I’m personally a huge fan of his because of Buffy and Firefly but the movie is also getting some good buzz with reviewers saying it’s a highly enjoyable little film. It seems to be some sort of celebration of the whole “college kids getting murdered in the woods”-genre. With some sort of sci-fi spin.

Trailer.

Cosmopolis
And now finally here’s Cronenbergs triumphant return to sci-fi! He started out doing some really bizarre and interesting body horror sci-fi films but has mostly done genuinely good and gritty violent dramas these last couple of years. He returns to sic-fi after movies such as A History of Violence and Eastern Promises with this one set in a near but unspecified future. The casting of Robert Pattinson as the lead got me a bit worried but I have faith in Cronenberg. This might just be the thing to redeem the actor after the Twilight movies.

Trailer.

Spork
If you’ve been looking for another Napoleon Dynamite you need to look no further! This might be it. It might even be much more interesting. It’s about an hermaphrodite kid in high school named Spork. She/he wants to dance or something. I don’t know. It has this really nice 80’s/90’s style and all the trailers are wonderfully vague.

Trailer.

Safety Not Guaranteed
Safety Not Guaranteed is the unlikely movie adaptation of some random joke add in a paper. The add was seeking for people to come along on a trip through time but your safety can’t be guaranteed (which explains the title). Making a movie from something as random as that might not be the way to success but the movie actually looks kind of entertaining. I could go for this. The appearance of the beautiful Aubrey Plaza probably helps too.

Trailer.

Sound of My Voice
I’ve previously written about another movie by the same people as this one called Another Earth. I haven’t been able to see that yet but this movie seems to be yet another well made low budget sci-fi film. It’s getting amazing reviews and it’s refreshing to hear you can make quality sci-fi without needing a gigantic budget. It’s about two reporters going undercover into some sort of cult run by a woman claiming to be from the future. It looks really slick and good and not at all low budget.

Trailer.

Robot and Frank
Robot and Frank is the unlikely movie about the actor Frank Langella living with a robot. Or Frank Langella might just be playing a man named Frank, I don’t know. But anyway, it’s about this lonely elderly man that gets a robot to help out at home. He’s not too happy about it but I’m guessing he warms up to it. It seems wonderfully quirky and the stuff like this movie portrays will probably happen all over in a future closer than we think.

Trailer.

Made In China
This movie is about a novelty toy maker who decides to go on a trip to the land where all novelty toys are made, China. What follows seems to be a really goofy and funny tale of culture shock and traveling. But the most interesting thing seems to be the strange blend of drama and documentary footage. Almost like a much nicer and not at all mocking Borat or something. Just the goofy mood of this puts a smile on my face as I watch the trailer.

Trailer.

Krokodyle
I really have no idea what this italian movie is about but the trailer is just packed with wonderful visuals and effects. It’s gorgeous and moody with a lot of ghoulish stop motion effects. I’m guessing it’s about some sort of artist or filmmaker or something. Anyway, it looks beautiful. Hopefully there’s a great story in there too.

Trailer.

La Fée (The Fairy)
Many years ago I watched this extremely french comedy about a woman getting obsessed with icebergs after being locked into a freezer. It was filled with quirky and insane visual comedy. Really french in it’s mime-like quality. I forgot all about the movie until now when this movie shows up. It’s the latest movie by the same troupe of actors and after watching the trailer all the memories of the iceberg starts flooding back. This movie looks just as insane and quirky as that movie, if not more. It’s just filled with really well done physical and visual comedy. It’s about a man meeting a fairy who grants him three wishes. His first wish is for a scooter and his second for infinite gasoline. And I’m guessing the third wish is related to the fairy as they seem to fall in love.

Trailer.

A Fantastic Fear of Everything
I’ve been a huge fan of Simon Pegg for years. Ever since I saw Spaced for the first time. However, most of the films he’s done since (except those with Edgar Wright) has been kind of shit. I’ve been really confused about the stuff he’s decided to do. He hasn’t been terrible or anything but the movies has been annoyingly forgettable. But here finally comes something worth his talent. In this movie Pegg plays a haunted childrens author that goes further into madness with some beautiful and hilarious imagery as a result.

Trailer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART TWELVE!

L
L is the debut movie by Greek writer Babis Makridis who was the screenwriter for the really unique and quite awesome movie Dogtooth. And this movie seems to share the same bizarre awkward mood as that movie. I’m not sure what the plot is but it seems to be about people living in cars and weird biker gangs or something. Surreal absurdism to the max! I really like this short and vague teaser trailer that doesn’t tell you anything.

Trailer.

Kuky Se Vrací
Kuky Se Vraci is a wonderfully original puppet movie from the Czech Republic. The animation or whatever you should call it is so simple but creates an amazing and effective mood. There’s some truly beautiful imagery here and the atmosphere is just so thick and pleasant. I’ve never seen anything like it. Lovely stuff!

Trailer.

Beyond The Black Rainbow
This movie is getting some seriously mixed reviews which makes me a bit wary but still interested. The trailer is amazing with fantastic 80’s retro visuals and music. It’s sort of a mix of old record covers and the Dharma Initiative orientation videos from the tv-show Lost. As I said a lot of people seem to hate the movie but I have a feeling I will love it.

Trailer.

Alter Egos
A movie about the regular life of c-list superheroes might not seem that original (Mystery Men and The Tick did it ages ago) but Alter Egos wins me over on the pure indie feel of it all. It sort of feels like CLERKS or something only the main characters just happens to be wear tights and have superpowers.

Trailer.

How to Build a Time Machine
Now here’s a really interesting documentary in the making. I’m not sure if the trailer I’ve linked to below is from what will be in the eventual movie or just some sort of promo but the footage is gorgeous and seriously captivating. The documentary is about a true mystery where people claim to have met a time traveler called John Titor who traveled back to the year 1975 to retrieve an old IBM computer. With this as the framework the movie explores different aspects of time travel. The movie looks beautiful with some amazing cinematography and I really hope it will managed to get the funds it needs.

Trailer.

Upside Down
Upside Down is a love story set in a world very similar to ours only that it consists of two worlds above and below each other. Apparently one of the worlds are considered below while the other is above and is of course seen as the upper class. Two people from each world falls in love and, well I guess a sort of Romeo and Juliet story unfolds. While a story like that is seriously overused in hollywod the actual world of the movie looks really interesting with some quite surreal imagery.

Trailer.

God Bless America
This movie is basically just a list of things and people the director hates. It’s about a guy who finds out he’s terminally ill but instead of giving up on life entirely he decides to go around killing people that irritates him. While the whole thing sort of makes me a tiny bit uncomfortable I’m really interested in where the movie will lead. There’s some pitch black humor here and if it’s done right it could be hilarious.

Trailer.

Gyo
Now here’s some serious japanese insanity. It’s an anime based on a manga comic about some sort of parasite or plague or something which gives all the sea animals legs and (apparently) the ability to survive on land. What follows is some insane carnage of sharks running around eating people, all drawn in amazingly detailed and well made animation. I really do love the japanese.

Trailer.

Moonrise Kingdom
And Wes Anderson is back! I’m a really big fan of his and has pretty much loved every movie he’s done. Life Aquatic is on my top 5 favourite comedies and this movie looks like it might be his best movie yet. His style seems to have reached perfection and every shot is just gorgeous to the tiniest detail.

Trailer.

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles
And here’s another sci-fi-ish documentary about a real life mystery. Apparently someone has been plastering weird and cryptic messages on the ground all over america and the world for the last twenty years and no one has been able to figure who or why. The documentary follows the directors’s obsession with researching the thing. I can’t really describe it better than that so just watch the trailer.

Trailer.

Bugs And Heroes
It’s movies like these that make me so happy I grew up in sweden where I got used to watching things with subtitles. I can’t really describe the plot but it seems to be about the lives about a wide arrange of strange characters. These characters includes some gorgeously animated insects who’s somehow connected to the story. The visuals are amazing and the whole thing kind of reminds me of the movies Jean-Pierre Jeunet used to make with Marc Caro.

Trailer.

Wrong
And now finally here’s the latest movie by musician and absurdist filmmaker Quentin Dupieux. The last time I mentioned him was on a list here where I was looking forward to his movie Rubber about a killer car tire. Rubber was so much more than some sort of b-horror film and I count it as one of my all-time favorite movies. In the movie Wrong he follows his desire to make movies where things happen for no reason. All made with some beautiful cinematography and music of course. It’s getting a great buzz and if it’s even better than Rubber we’ll have a masterpiece here.

Trailer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 2 Comments

A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART ELEVEN!

Prometheus
Let’s start of with the single most anticipated movie ever. Well to me anyway. Ridley “Alien & Blade Runner” Scott returns to sci-fi, and the Alien universe with this futuristic space movie about humanity’s search for our origins. I’m not much for the whole ancient astronaut theories about aliens visiting us in the past and genetically modifying us. But by god I need some more grown up serious space movies. Let’s hope this isn’t as stupid as Avatar. It looks gah-gorgeeouuss! I love how they’ve been so hesitant connecting this to the Alien franchise and then just, bam! They release a trailer that is pretty much built exactly like the original trailer for Alien.

Trailer.

Alois Nebel
With Prometheus out of the way let’s move on to more obscure movies. This Czech animated movie uses the same technique as A Scanner Darkly or Waltz With Bashir. I don’t now the details but I’m guessing it’s some kind of technique to animate over real filmed footage. Some might think it’s a bit off but I really like it. I have no idea what this movie is about but I’m getting kafka-vibes.

Trailer.

Baikonur
I’m pretty sure this movie won’t be that great. But it’s hopefully charming and entertaining enough. I just really like the concept. A young Kazak nomad dreams of becoming a Cosmonaut and spends his time collecting falling scrap from the nearby russian space launches at Baikonur. One day a beautiful french female space tourist falls down with amnesia and he convinces her she’s his wife. This could turn real creepy real fast but they’ll probably keep it pretty harmless.

Trailer.

The Ghastly Love of Johnny X
And here’s a movie which is pretty much guaranteed cult fame. It’s got it all. Black and white visuals, retro settings, aliens, cool clothes and haircuts, music, dancing and general geeky madness. I love stuff like this. It’s hopefully up there with Six String Samurai and American Astronaut in quality.

Trailer.

The Warped Forest
This japanese movie defies explanatation. It’s by a japanese advertisment director that decided to make a really strange effects filled fairytale on his spare time. I really have no idea what it’s about. But just the initial clip of the trailer put this movie on my must watch list. I won’t say more. Just watch the trailer.

Trailer.

Hell
And here’s something you don’t see every day. A german post-apocalyptic movie. And it looks pretty great. The filmmakers has used a pretty simple grading and over exposure effect to give the feel of the end of the world, and it works. It’s simple but it looks really good. Apparantly it’s produced by Roland Emmerich which makes sense I guess. There seems to be surfacing quite a lot of genre movies from Germany now. I like it.

Trailer.

The Woman In Black
I like ghost movies. I used to like those ghost investigation shows but the more I watched those the more sceptical I got. Now they just look ridiculous (and made me seriously hate mediums). But ghost movies are cool. Especially gothic victorian ghost stories. And this movie is all that while looking real moody and gorgeous. Throw in a grown-up Harry Potter actor with ambitions for serious stuff makes this movie look real interesting.

Trailer.

MS ONE Security Maximum
This movie used to be called Lock Out. And when I say “used to” I mean for a couple of days after they released the first trailer but then all of a sudden decided to rename it to the muddled title above. I prefer Lock Out. But I digress. This is the latest sci-fi movie by french filmmaker Luc Besson and ever since the Fifth Element I’ve been waiting and wishing for another sci-fi movie by him. Sadly this is only written by him but I feel there’s a clear Besson-feel over it. I’m hoping for quirky violent action awesomness. In space.

Trailer.

Doppelgänger Paul (or a film about how much I hate myself)
And here’s a surreal quirky toned down drama about a man being followed by another man claiming they look exactly the same. Which they don’t. But they’re both real lonely and some sort of bizarre relationship unfolds. I love small surreal low-budget movies like these and this seems hilarious.

Trailer.

Mars et Avril
Just like Lock Ou.. I mean.. *big breath* MS ONE Security Maximum.. *sigh* This non-american space sci-fi just popped up out of nowhere. It’s a Québécoise french language film about an old musician falling in love with a young woman and deciding to follow her to Mars. It’s nowhere near the budget of american movies but they’ve managed to create a pretty great setting using cgi and greenscreen. This looks quirky as hell and hopefully the story is as interesting as the visuals.

Trailer.

Extraterrestrial
This is the latest movie by spanish filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo. Before this he made the amazing time travel movie Los Cronocrimenes (or TimeCrimes in english). It’s one of few time travel movies that makes sense in a time travel logic way. And it’s riveting as hell. Luckily the success of that movie didn’t drag him over to Hollywood and instead he’s doing another sci-fi movie in his native Spain. From the trailer Extraterrestrial looks like it will be some sort of romantic drama set during Earths first visit by aliens. But I considering the director I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns way weirder than that.

Trailer.

Chicken With Plums
And now lastly the latest movie adaptation of one of Marjane Satrapis graphic novels. The previous movie Persepolis was pretty much perfect with gorgeous hand drawn animation. This latest movie is live action but there seems to be a lot of surreal handcrafted effects. It’s about a musician that cares more for his musical instrument than his wife and after said wife destroys his violin he decides to kill himself. This looks like one of those beautiful hilarious surreal comedy dramas only the french can do.

Trailer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

A list of movies I really really really really want to see.. PART TEN!

Contagion
Let’s start off with a movie that seems to be trying it’s hardest to make you paaaraaanoid about germs and frankly just being around other filthy people. It stars Matt Damon with a whole bunch of other big stars. I think he plays some sort of journalist who is trying to do, uh, something, while a deadly plague spreads around the world. He’s either trying to get the truth out or stopping the plague, I’m not sure. But the movie looks solid and serious enough. I’m a sucker for plague movies so this is high on the list.

Trailer.

In Time
And here’s the latest sci-fi movie by Gattaca writer/director Andrew Niccol. Besides Gattaca (which I love) he’s the writer of the Truman Show and the guy behind Lord of War so he’s steadily becoming one of my favourite filmmakers. In Time takes place in a future where humanity has reached immortality. Instead of money the currency of this world is more years on your life. If you run out years you die but if you’re rich you can in theory live forever. It looks a bit more like an action unlike his other movies but that could just be the trailer.

Trailer.

Carre Blanc
I’m not sure what this movie is about but it looks amazing! It’s from France and it seems to be some sort of surreal dystopia with touches of absurdism. The music and the visual are gorgeous and it’s getting great reviews. There’s so many memorable shots in the trailer making me all giddy for this movie.

Trailer.

Skull World
I’ve started to get more and more into documentaries recently and here’s one that looks pretty entertaining. It seems to be equally about this really creative and interesting person aswell as this sort of hilarious event he’s created called box wars. People dress up in homemade armour made out of carton and fight eachother with carton weapons until one of contestants suit is destroyed. The documentary seems to have some great humour and the main guy they follow seems hilariously eccentric.

Trailer.

Le Magasin Des Suicides
Another french movie here only this one is animated so it might be dubbed to english (the trailer is in english). It’s about this city where everyone is so depressed and suicidal that business is booming for the local suicide shop where you can buy weapons and whatnot to kill yourself with. Everything seems to be going well for the shop until an annoyingly happy and cute baby is born in the city.

Trailer.

Die Kommenden Tage (The Coming Days)
Here’s a really interesting german near future dystopia. Society seems to be disintegrating with violence spreading. As I don’t know german I’m not sure what the actual status is with the world but everything looks suitably futuristic and bleak. It all reminds me of Children of Men which is always good.

Trailer.

Portable Life
I’m not sure what the exact plot is of this movie but the practically dialogue-less trailer manages to catch your interest with great use of music and interesting visuals. It all just seems to have this great mood about it. Also it’s always nice to see Rutger Hauer in stuff.

Trailer.

John Carter
And now something a bit less deep but still great! It’s the movie adaptation of the classic sci-fi/fantasy books series John Carter of Mars. It’s Wall-E director Andrew Stantons first live action movie and while the Mars in the movie might not really look Mars-y enough it still looks solid and fun. There’s some talented people behind this so let’s hope they don’t dissapoint.

Trailer.

Restless
I’ve only seen a handfull of Gus Van Sants movies but they’ve all been interesting and worth watching. This latest one seems to be a kind of offbeat humorous romantic tragedy about death. It follows the growing relationship between a dying girl and a death-obsessed guy whose only friend is the ghost of a dead japanese kamikaze pilot. This movie will probably break your heart but it will hopefully break it gloriously.

Trailer.

The Ambassador
Another documentary here and this one looks insane. It’s from Denmark and follows the director who has managed to buy himself a diplomatic title in some African state and tries to see what he can get away with it. It looks hilarious but also kind of depressing showing how terrible deep the corruption runs in certain parts of Africa.

Trailer.

The Avengers
But here’s something entirely different! Grown men and women in colorful spandex beating the crap out of bad guys. It’s what all the most recent Marvel superhero movies has been building up to these past years. The ultimate team-up of the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America and a bunch of others. All directed with the steady hand by living god/Buffy creator Joss Whedon. If there’s one person able to make this work it’s him. I’m not much of a superhero fan but I really want to see this.

Trailer.

The Future
And now finally here’s another low-key comedy drama by quirky artist Miranda July. I absolutely loved her previous debut movie Me and You and Everyone We Know and this looks similar but still different enough to be interesting. It seems to be having quite a lot of fantastical and surreal stuff with it all being narrated by a cat for example. If it’s just half as good as her previous movie this will be fantastic!

Trailer.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! Xenobiology! (Part 3)

I felt I was a bit overdue with another list so here’s a third list of cool xenobiology stuff!

For those who have missed my other lists and doesn’t know what xenobiology is it’s pretty much just really weird and/or realistic aliens. It’s the art of speculating on how animals might evolve under different conditions from that of earth. Basically truly alien, aliens.

Enjoy!
______________________________________________________________________________

Discovery Channel – Cosmic Safari
Let’s start off with yet another made-for-tv “documentary” about possible aliens. I seriously thought I had covered every one of these kinds of programs. But then out of nowhere I find yet another one and this could very well be the earliest one. It’s from 1999 and it’s a whopping 1 hour 40 minutes long.

As I’ve seen numerous other shows like this there wasn’t much new for me here.They cover all the regular stuff like exoplanets and the goldilocks zone. What I was hoping for was glimpses of weird aliens. Sadly there weren’t a lot of those in this at all. I’m guessing the CGI was too expensive at the time as this “cosmic safari” didn’t really have that many aliens. But if you haven’t seen anything like this before and want a truly in-depth program about a wide variety of subjects regarding aliens this is quality stuff. (it probably helps if you find the seriously dated CGI charming too)

There’s not much about this online but the entire program can be found by a quick torrent search.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1427026

Franxurio
Let’s continuue with an interesting artist. Franxurio (as he is called on deviantart) might not have a large selection of aliens up on his gallery but the creatures there are all fantastic and best of all truly alien. This creature here is just a drawing he did while practicing with a tablet. I really like the whole strange placement of the feathers.

http://franxurio.deviantart.com

René Laloux
Now this guy is a legend. Hopefully most of you people have heard of him before and seen his animated films but if not you’re in for a treat. Apart from some short films he managed to make three animated science-fiction films in the 70’s and 80’s. All of which happen to have a wide selection of really weird alien creatures. People might know him best for Fantastic Planet which I’m sure some of you will atleast recognize in some vague hazy childhood memory. The image below is from his third and last movie Gandahar.

All of his three movies happen to be uploaded on youtube of which you can find links to below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rene_Laloux
Gandahar on Youtube Part 1
Time Masters on Youtube Part 1
Fantastic Planet on Youtube Part 1

Brynn Metheney
Brynn Metheney is the creator and artist of a group of fictional animals living by the fictional Morea river. Apart from drawing other random amazing creatures in general too. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be considered one of great artists of speculative biology in the future. The design and coloring and everything about her creatures is just amazing.

Sadly she just recently shelved the entire Morea River project as she’s understandable getting a crapload of design work because of it. But there’s still a lot of really great drawings to last us for some time. Hopefully she’ll return to the project some time in the future or maybe even create something new and equally amazing.

http://www.brynnart.com
http://www.themoraeriver.com
http://lenorekitty.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/brynnmetheny

Frank R. Paul
I love it when I stumble upon stuff like this. Frank R. Paul is the name of a really prolific artist of pulp covers between the 1920’s and 1940’s. He drew an amazing amount of really fantastic sci-fi covers and interiors during his life. And one amazing thing in particular was a series of pages on the native life of all the planets in our solar system made for Fantastic Adventures in 1939. Ridiculous stuff now maybe but the imagination and weirdness of all these creatures is just amazing!

You can find bigger versions of all the pictures in this series in the links below as well as pictures of pretty much all the art he’s done.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_R._Paul
http://www.frankwu.com/Paul-listing.html
http://pya.cc/pyaimg/pimg.php?imgid=106063
http://current.com/1im984c

Tiffany Turrill
Tiffany Turrill might not be exclusively drawing alien creatures but she has drawn quite a lot of them to be worth mentioning. Especially considering her creatures are gorgeous! The picture below here is of a Feathertongue Prowhead. I really like the strange contrast of this almost elephant or dinosaur creature but with the addition of some sort of feather-like underside. It looks both familiar and really alien.

http://tiffanyturrill.daportfolio.com
http://lieserl.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/tiffany

Mike Corriero
And here’s yet another amazing creature designer. Seriously, there’ s so many really great ones popping up now. It’s like a renaissance of xenobiology art! But anyway, this guy is amazing. I just recently got his sketchbook in the mail now and it’s just filled with gorgeous and interesting drawings. I don’t know what more to write. The guy is just amazing and has done a crapload of drawings. Enjoy!

http://mikecorriero.deviantart.com
http://mikecorriero.blogspot.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/mikecorriero
http://parkablogs.com/content/book-review-planet-planet-creatures-and-strange-worlds
http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/planet-to-planet/14916342

Terra
And here’s even more amazing pulpy magazine sci-fi art! I love this stuff. There’s always so much really fun and gorgeous lost art to be found from these kinds of magazines. Terra was a science-fiction magazine that ran between the 1950’s and 1970’s in west-germany. In the first link below you can find tons and tons of scanned covers of the magazine. And it’s all fantastic stuff! Most of it doesn’t really have any alien creatures in them so I’ve included another link of a blogpost which has posted all the covers with “monsters” on them. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to find out who the artists are for most of these.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mickythepixel/tags/terra
http://monsterbrains.blogspot.com/2011/01/terra-german-science-fiction-magazine.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terra_%28German_science_fiction%29

David Melvin
Now this artist is a creature machine! He just keeps on drawing amazing creatures of all kinds over and over again. While he’s not really specialised in aliens he’s managed to drawn quite a lot of them just through the sheer amount of random creatures he’s created. I’m especially fond of the level of details on this creature here below.

http://davesrightmind.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/davidmelvin

Cory Trego-Erdner
And another deviantart artist but this time also a short story writer. He’s the creator of a world called Ring which is some sort of space habitat populated by aliens. With each drawing of an alien he also gets caught up in the backstory and ends up writing a short story about the alien. There’s not that many aliens but the ones he’s done are amazing! And it’s interesting reading all the backstory of it all. Hopefully he’ll keep producing more of these aliens. Like this alien right here that while it’s bipedal it’s not really humanoid at all. Great stuff!

http://m0ai.deviantart.com
http://www.creaturespot.com/main/author/moai

Frank Little
And now something completely different and really unique! Frank Little is a photographer/digital artist that makes truly incredible strangely realistic landscape pictures. It’s hard to describe as I haven’t really seen anything like it before. I’m guessing it’s some kind of combination of real photos with really skilled computer rendering where he’s creating these really alien landscapes. He also manages with the feat of doing something that looks really alien without resorting to using a really colorful and unnatural color scheme. It’s earthlike blue skies and green nature and yet it all looks really strange and alien. Such cool stuff!

http://fclittle.deviantart.com/

Skywhales
And now finally here’s a treat! Skywhales is an animated short film from the 80’s by animators Derek Hayes and Phil Austin. The entire short film is uploaded on youtube and I urge you all to watch it. While the main aliens are not really that alien, being pretty much cartoony humanoids, it’s the whole setting and animal life which makes it interesting from a xenobiology standpoint. That combined with the seriously messed up ending which in the end makes the film depict a truly alien world. This is seriously worth a watch and if you like it you can find the film included on the British Animation Classics Vol.1 DVD which I’ve also included a link for below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQ6qw1nh0tA
http://www.britishanimationawards.com/dvd_shop/dvd_bac01.htm

______________________________________________________________________________

And that’s it for now! I still have more cool xenobiology stuff to write about so I’m sure there will be yet another list of this in the future!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment