Monthly Archives: March 2016

Robin Wright to join Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner sequel

The follow-up to Ridley Scott’s 1982 classic is close to locking in the House of Cards actor as one of the film’s three major female leads, according to Variety

Robin Wright is close to a deal to star in the upcoming Blade Runner sequel, which will also bring back Harrison Ford and add Ryan Gosling, Variety reported.

The sequel, to be directed by Oscar-nominated Denis Villeneuve, will pick up several decades after the conclusion of the 1982 original, a cult favorite. The original Blade Runner, based on the 1968 Philip K Dick story Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, starred Ford as Rick Deckard, a detective in 2019 Los Angeles, tracking down Replicants (genetically engineered clones) who have returned to Earth illegally in order to extend their four-year life spans.

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Awesome Animation Imagines the Nightmare That’s Happening Around You When You Sleep

Awesome Animation Imagines the Nightmare That's Happening Around You When You Sleep

The scariest place to be when you’re a kid? Alone, at night, in your bed, right before you sleep. You just know right when you close your eyes, all the stuff of nightmares is going to come alive and scare any chance of sleep out of you. And it’s probably all true! Who knows what’s going on around you when you sleep. Andy Kennedy played on that fear by showing sleep disturbances from outside and within in his animated short Slow Wave.

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6 Electric Car-Sharing Programs Better Than a Billion Teslas on the Road

Tesla is finally taking the wraps off the Model 3, its first mass-market electric vehicle priced at an affordable $35,000. The car is expected to push EVs into the mainstream and reduce carbon emissions around the world. The only downside? Many cities don’t have enough charging stations to support widespread adoption of such vehicles.

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The FCC Just Approved Broadband Subsidies for Low-Income Americans and That’s Awesome

Millions of people are about to get online, thanks to a new FCC initiative that provides subsidies for low-income households. The agency just passed a plan to provide $9.25 a month to qualified families. For many, that’s the difference between internet access and living off the grid.

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A Strange Blip in This Star Photo Could Be a New Earth-Like Planet Being Formed

Stare deep into the eye of this planetary disk because something is forming in there—something incredible.

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Eddie the Eagle review – bizarre but affectionate biopic of an underdog

Taron Egerton stars as the bespectacled Olympian in this weirdly mythologised, heavily fictionalised story of Team GB’s only ski-jumper at the 1988 Winter Olympics

At the height of his wacky Olympics fame, the tabloids took an ambiguous, laugh-with/laugh-at line on Michael “Eddie the Eagle” Edwards, the lovable underdog Brit who stole the limelight from serious contenders at the 1988 Winter Olympics, having exploited a technical loophole that allowed him to compete as Team GB’s only ski-jumper – despite being hilariously mediocre at best. The papers finally settled on the celebratory tone that this movie takes up from the outset.

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The Witch Re-Ups Its Satanic Cred By Re-Expanding to 666 Theaters

If you missed The Witch on its first rollout, Robert Eggers’ horror sensation will be re-upping its theater bookings this weekend to a carefully-chosen number: 666. But really, this new push is aimed at luring repeat business. Just look at the new trailer below, which dances dangerously close to the fiery realm of spoilers.

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Why Does Lord of the Rings Clear Up Space on Your iPhone?

A Reddit thread is claiming that for those of us—and there are many—who are running out of space on our iPhones, all we have to do is try renting The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Viola! Free space!

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Debra Messing and Susan Sarandon end Twitter fight over Hillary Clinton

The actors ended their Twitter feud, started after Sarandon, a Bernie Sanders supporter, said she would not vote for Hillary Clinton if she won the nominationSusan Sarandon and Debra Messing have declared their Twitter feud over after the two actors go… Continue reading

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Black Mountain Poets review – bickering sisters pose as poets in lo-fi comedy

Alice Lowe, Dolly Wells and Tom Cullen excel in this flimsy, funny tale of siblings who impersonate beat poets at a retreat in the Black Mountains

This lo-fi comedy from writer-director Jamie Adams is daft and flimsy and funny. It’s a film that follows its nose about the place, improv-style – with no great hangups about plot believability. Everything depends on the performers, who fortunately are really good: there are some big laughs, particularly from Alice Lowe. She plays Lisa, who with her sister Claire (Dolly Wells) has somehow got involved in petty crime: in the opening scene they are shown failing to break into an industrial estate to steal a JCB. Why they want one is never clear. The bickering siblings go on the run and steal a car belonging to a couple of performance poets called the Wilding Sisters and then show up at a poetry retreat in the Black Mountains on the Welsh-English border, where they decide to pass themselves off as the poets, and both become romantically involved with another aspiring poet there, shy Richard, played by Tom Cullen. The three principals carry the film: the other minor characters are a bit broader. Adams underlines his commitment to avoiding narrative plausibility at all costs by having the poetry festival offering a prize of more than £11,000. (Is a sponsor involved?) Very silly and likable.

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FanDuel and DraftKings Are Getting Out of College Sports (For Now)

Today, the big names in online daily sports fantasy announced that they would be “suspending” action on college sports.

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Anguish review – a muddled tale of teenage obsession

Sonny Mallhi’s non-scary thriller offers neither supernatural chills nor real-world psychological insights

A puzzle, a frustration and a disappointment … Sonny Mallhi’s non-scary movie Anguish is all this, and not much more. (No relation to Bigas Luna’s 1987 cult classic Anguish, incidentally.) Yet in technical terms it is not badly made by any stretch. It’s just that there is a fatal generic uncertainty about what the film is trying to do. It offers neither honest supernatural chills nor real-world psychological insights: just a muddle.

The film begins with that traditionally dodgy claim of being inspired by true events, which should really be tested by a documentary. Ryan Simpkins plays Tess, a moody teenager living with Jessica (Annika Marks), who is effectively a single mom, as her partner, Tess’s dad, is away in the army, so they communicate via Skype. Tess is on medication for depression, a condition that worsens markedly as she appears to conceive a delusional obsession with another teenager, Lucy (Amberley Gridley), who was killed in the neighbourhood in a car accident. Or is she literally becoming possessed by Lucy’s spirit?

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Photoshop Contest: Who Should Be the New Owners of the Country’s Only Basket-Building?

Life’s a picnic, or at least that’s what Ohio basket manufacturer Longaberger believed when it custom-built this headquarters for the company in the shape of its “Medium Market Basket.” Now the picnic’s over: The business is moving out, and the building is in danger of foreclosure.

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Ran review – re-release of Kurasawa’s dark, epic version of King Lear

Staggering battle sequences, thrones of blood and the spirit of Macbeth are abroad in one of the greatest screen adaptations of Shakespeare

The re-release of Akira Kurosawa’s 1985 epic Ran (the word means “chaos”) is an opportunity to see this stunning free transformation of King Lear, one of the great screen adaptations of Shakespeare. Perhaps it was the defamiliarising effect of Kurosawa’s film which, for me, opened up the meaning of Lear: a kind of human arrogance and self-importance which, in the face of mortality, needs to believe the world will be a divided and diminished thing when we are gone.

As well as Lear, Ran draws on the dark spirit of Macbeth, with its images of a scheming wife, a throne of blood and massed soldiery: fatally misleading and ominous, as in Dunsinane. After a lifetime of brutal rule, ageing feudal lord Hidetora (Tatsuya Nakadai) tells his three sons Taro (Akira Terao), Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu) and Saburo (Daisuke Ryû) that he proposes to abdicate, leaving the kingdom divided between them. Baffled, Saburo derides this plan, earning banishment, and the remaining two brothers, greedy and duplicitous in ways they have clearly inherited from their now fatuously sentimental old dad, plunge the country into chaotic civil war, incited by Taro’s wife Lady Kaede (Maeko Harada). Hidetora loses his mind with anguish and horror, and roams the vast plain, with his jester Kyoami (Pîtâ) and his doggedly loyal vassal Tango (Masayuki Yui).

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Battle Mountain: Graeme Obree’s Story review – a legend made of old saucepans and roller skates

The Flying Scotsman is out for one last ride – and his idiosyncratic life is cinematic gold, even if this doc never quite picks up speed

A maverick underdog, a troubled depressive, a sporting hero and an autodidact engineer given to cannibalising bits of kitchen equipment for his self-built bicycles, Graeme Obree’s life is cinematic gold. This documentary follows a so-so biopic, The Flying Scotsman, covering his early life. Battle Mountain benefits from the fact it contains Obree’s own voice, rather than a fictionalised account of it. He’s compulsively honest – revealing his bipolar disorder, his long-closeted homosexuality and a nasty abscess that threatens his training – and remains endearingly enthusiastic, although we can occasionally glimpse a darkness through the cracks in his chipper persona. Twenty years after he broke his last world record, Obree is out of retirement and trying for one last title at the International Human Powered World championships taking place in Battle Mountain, Nevada. He is riding the Beastie, an arse-chafing torture machine crafted out of saucepans and old roller skates. Like the Beastie, this film never quite picks up speed, but it is certainly a more enjoyable ride.

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‘Big Bang Theory’ Star to Make Movie Called ‘Man-Witch’

Ugghhhhhh. Jim Parsons, a dominating force in the worst sitcom about nerd culture ever , has signed on to star and produce Man-Witch, a comedy about an adult male with magical powers who is not a warlock, a mage, a conjurer, or a sorcerer, but is inste… Continue reading

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Papusza review – striking portrait of a Polish-Roma poet

The narrative feels like an overstuffed quilt, but this selection of moments from the life of Bronislawa Wajs is gorgeous to behold

Strikingly beautiful, but curiously aloof from its earthy subject matter, this portrait of a little-known Polish-Roma poet feels like the kind of film that would be more at home at a festival than in the release schedule. A patchwork of moments from the life of Bronislawa Wajs (Jowita Budnik), known as Papusza (or Doll), the film is always striking – the black and white cinematography is gorgeous (self-consciously so, at times) – but you wonder whether this overstuffed quilt of a story might have worked better with a leaner, more direct approach. As it is, the film is a bit of a slog and bizarrely, given the subject matter, rather lacking in poetry. It comes to life as a portrait of the Roma community of which Papusza was both part and, latterly, estranged from. The use of music, in particular, is evocative.

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Colorless Fossil Reveals True Colors of Ancient Snake 

Nearly all fossils are stripped of their original color. But as a new study from Irish paleontologists shows, that doesn’t necessarily mean the colors aren’t still there. You just have to know where to look.

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Martyrs review – remake is a mildly bloody, meatless horror

Kevin and Michael Goetz serve up a less hardcore version of the horrific French original, which should come as a relief for the squeamish

Post-Easter, the chosen one is making multiple, tardy comebacks. A messianic kiddie keeps a religious cult in thrall in Midnight Special (out next week). This week, it’s Lucie (Troian Bellisario) who must suffer because another group of kooks think she holds the secret to something or other. Based on Pascal Laugier’s authentically horrific 2008 original (warning: contains graphic scenes of flaying), Kevin and Michael Goetz’s US remake is, predictably, less hardcore – a relief for the squeamish at least. What’s left after the gore is stripped away is a mildly bloody, meatless horror. There is just enough smart editing (cutting the violence of a home invasion with images of sliced tomatoes and frying bacon adds flavour) to keep it clinging on to life.

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Disney May Bring the Amazing Paper Magician Book Series to the Big Screen

In a familiar yet different world, a young student finds out they have a penchant for magic and go to school to learn more about it. No, this isn’t Harry Potter. While it may seem similar on the surface The Paper Magician series is actually quite different—and Disney just bought the movie rights to it.

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