Bus drivers carry adaptation of Alien to London’s West Finish in Alien on Stage

Danielle Kummer and Lucy Harvey produced and directed the charming documentary Alien on Stage.

Think about in case your beginner highschool theatrical manufacturing was instantly requested to carry out on Broadway, with just some weeks to organize. That is the sort of factor that sometimes gives fodder for nervousness desires. However in Alien on Stage, a bunch of British bus drivers overcomes the chances to carry their beginner manufacturing of Ridley Scott’s basic 1979 science fiction horror movie Alien to London’s West Finish. This winsome documentary made its worldwide premiere on the digital SXSW competition final week.

Per the official premise:

This can be a story a few distinctive crew of Dorset bus drivers whose beginner dramatics group determine to ditch doing one other pantomime and take a look at one thing completely different. Having by no means completed something prefer it earlier than, they spent a yr making a critical adaptation of the sci-fi, horror movie, Alien; discovering ingenious options to pay home made, homage to the unique movie. The present is a crushing flop however destiny provides them a second probability to seek out their viewers.

While nonetheless adjusting to the concept that their critical present is definitely a comedy, the group discover out they’re instantly being whisked from their village corridor to a London West Finish theatre to carry out this unintentional masterpiece for one night time solely. With wobbly units, awkward appearing and particular results requiring “extra luck than judgement,” will their West Finish debut be alright on the night time? This bus driving crew are our area heroes. Their bus station is our area station. Dorset is outer-space and the place is the Alien? It’s behind you!

The beginner firm in query name themselves Paranoid Dramatics, and a lot of the members are employed by the Wilts and Dorset Bus Firm. Once we first meet them, they have been placing on annual vacation pantomimes regionally for a number of years as a inventive outlet, with proceeds going to charity. Their manufacturing of Robin Hood specifically proved to be a smashing success with the locals.

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Motion-packed meta-fantasy, house opera herald a shiny future for Asian movie

Celebrate the Year of the Metal Ox with two new films: <em>A Writer's Odyssey</em> and <em>Space Sweepers</em>

Enlarge / Have fun the Yr of the Steel Ox with two new movies: A Author’s Odyssey and House Sweepers (credit score: Aurich Lawson/Netflix/CMC Movies/)

February brings the annual celebration of the lunar new 12 months—welcome to the Yr of the (Steel) Ox—and with it two new action-packed movies from China and South Korea, respectively.

Directed by Lu Yang, A Author’s Odyssey—at present taking part in in choose theaters—facilities on a person looking for his misplaced daughter, employed to assassinate a novelist whose fantasy work-in-progress has begun to form occasions in the true world. Over on Netflix, House Sweepers is being touted as the primary Korean bona fide blockbuster, specializing in the adventures of the plucky crew aboard an area junk salvage vessel who should save the Earth from whole destruction. Collectively they make for an motion packed, fantasy/sci-fi weekend double characteristic.

(Some spoilers under for each movies, however no main reveals.)

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Assessment: Thought-provoking sci-fi drama Bliss works on a number of ranges

Screenshot from Bliss trailer

Enlarge / Greg (Owen Wilson) and Isabel (Salma Hayek) discover themselves shifting between a phenomenal and an “ugly” world—however which is actual, and which is the simulation? (credit score: YouTube/Amazon)

A depressed man finds himself questioning the truth of his existence when he meets a free-spirited lady who insists he is inhabiting a simulation in Bliss, a brand new movie from director Mike Cahill that stars Owen Wilson and Salma Hayek. Positive, it appears like an indie riff on The Matrix, and there are a number of shared parts, however Bliss is markedly completely different in theme and tone, and it is extremely a lot Cahill’s distinctive imaginative and prescient.

(Main spoilers beneath the gallery. We’ll provide you with a heads up after we get there.)

As we have reported beforehand, Cahill additionally directed the 2011 indie sci-fi movie One other Earth—his first function—which acquired a standing ovation at its premiere and gained the Alfred P. Sloan Prize on the 2011 Sundance Movie Pageant. Cahill’s 2014 followup function, I Origins, additionally snagged the Sloan Prize; the truth is, he is the one director to have twice gained the award, so he is acquired some critical indie sci-fi movie road cred.

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Marvel Girl 1984 is enjoyable, however doesn’t fairly seize magic of its predecessor

Rely me among the many many hundreds of thousands who seemingly logged onto HBO Max on Christmas Day to observe Marvel Girl 1984, Director Patty Jenkins’ hotly anticipated, oft-delayed stand-alone follow-up to her 2017 world blockbuster, Marvel Girl. I am a serious fan of the latter, which gave us our super-powered Amazonian’s origin story, and had excessive hopes for the follow-up.

These hopes weren’t fully dashed, however they weren’t actually fulfilled both. Whereas Marvel Girl 1984 nonetheless has a little bit of the outdated magic, and its leads all flip in terrific performances, the movie is hampered by a steadily nonsensical plot, extraneous showy motion sequences, and it is method too heavy-handed with the moralizing. But it surely nonetheless delivers various slick, 1980s-infused enjoyable in case you flip your mind off and simply go together with it—and you may undoubtedly need to stick round for a post-credits scene.

(Some spoilers beneath, with a couple of main spoilers beneath the second gallery. We’ll offer you a heads up after we get there.)

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Evaluate: Freaky is a familiar-but-fun riff on the basic physique swap idea

Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton star as a serial killer and a highschool pupil who swap our bodies within the new horror comedy Freaky, written and directed by Christopher Landon.

Walt Disney Studios struck the proverbial motherlode in 1976 with its now-classic body-swap comedy Freaky Friday, starring Jodie Foster and Barbara Harris as a daughter and mom who change our bodies. Each Foster and Harris acquired Golden Globe nominations for his or her performances, regardless that the movie acquired blended critiques.  The studio has returned to that vein a number of instances, with a 1995 TV film remake, a 2018 TV musical for the Disney Channel, and a critically acclaimed 2003 remake with Lindsey Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis within the lead roles.

The most recent twist on the body-swapping idea shouldn’t be even remotely family-friendly. Vince Vaughn stars as an getting old serial killer who switches our bodies with a hapless teenaged woman in Freaky, which additionally pays homage to basic teen slasher films like Friday the 13th (1980) and Scream (1996). Common Photos debuted the movie at Past Fest in October. The movie hit theaters (regardless of the pandemic) on Friday, November 13th, garnering stable critiques and eking out $7.2 million on the field workplace to date—not a foul exhibiting contemplating what number of film theaters stay closed. It is now accessible on VOD, and makes for an entertaining, if familiar-feeling, weekend watch.

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Assessment: Synchronic is a time-bending gradual burn of a sci-fi thriller

Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan star as New Orleans paramedics who encounter a sequence of weird, grotesque accidents within the sci-fi thriller Synchronic.

Likelihood is you missed Synchronic, the most recent sci-fi movie written and directed by indie filmmakers Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, when it was launched in restricted theaters and drive-ins final month. Not solely have been many theaters nonetheless shut down due to the pandemic, the filmmakers themselves made the bizarre transfer of warning potential viewers (by way of Instagram) of the well being dangers related to indoor film theaters. (“We personally wouldn’t go to an indoor theater, so we are able to’t encourage you to,” they wrote.)

It was admirably accountable of them, but it surely did severely restrict the viewers, particularly for the reason that movie’s distributor inexplicably opted to not launch it concurrently on VOD—now a typical apply in these pandemic occasions. And that is a disgrace, as a result of Synchronic is a great, ingenious, thought-provoking movie, that includes standout performances from co-stars Anthony Mackie and Jamie Dornan.

(Principally gentle spoilers beneath, with a few important plot twists beneath the gallery. We’ll provide you with a heads up after we get there.)

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Evaluate: Rosamund Pike is riveting as Marie Curie in uneven biopic Radioactive

Rosamund Pike stars as Marie Curie within the movie Radioactive, now streaming on Amazon Prime.

A resolute younger lady in Paris within the 1890s units the scientific world ablaze together with her revolutionary discoveries in Radioactive, a movie in regards to the lifetime of Marie Curie, primarily based on the 2010 graphic novel Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Story of Love and Fallout, by Lauren Redniss. Director Marjane Satrapi’s movie is half earnest biopic, half arthouse movie, elevated by a luminous, intense, and riveting efficiency by Rosamund Pike (Gone Woman) as Marie Curie.

(Some spoilers under for these unfamiliar with the lifetime of Marie Curie.)

Satrapi is probably finest identified for her highly effective autobiographical memoir, Persepolis, depicting her childhood in Iran throughout the Islamic Revolution in graphic novel kind, which she later tailored into an animated movie. So it isn’t stunning that she would admire Redniss’ graphic novel about Marie Curie. Nonetheless, Satrapi admitted in an interview that she was initially reluctant to tackle the undertaking. “I used to be like, why the hell would you make one other script about Marie Curie? There are already 4 of them,” she advised WWD. Ultimately, she grew to become “obsessed” with making the movie, which she views as being as a lot in regards to the aftermath of Marie Curie’s discoveries as her life and science.

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