Mysterious sci-fi pic ‘Ambition’ requires your attention [Update: 'Ambition' revealed, short film inside]
Coming completely out of left field is this extremely promising science fiction film Ambition. I happened to have stumbled upon it at Sploid and ever since I’ve been fascinated by its lofty design and minimal exposure. Here’s what we know: Ambition hails from Polish director Tomek Bagiński who is best known for his short films Bieg, The Kinematograph, Fallen Art, and Oscar-nominated The Cathedral. It stars Aidan Gillen (most famous for his role as Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish in HBO’s Game of Thrones) and Aisling Franciosi (Netflix’s The Fall). And here’s what we have in terms of plot:
Bagiński’s latest project – tells of a young apprentice (Franciosi) struggling to master nanotechnology on an alien world and prove herself to her enigmatic master (Gillen). Will her herculean goals remain tantalizingly out of reach, or will she fulfill them and in the process, change life as we know it?
The film was shot on location in Iceland, and as you can see in the trailer embedded above, the director took full advantage of the stellar landscape. What else does the trailer disclose? In the future, humans have the ability to build and control worlds. Oh, and Gillen poses the lovely existential question that so many movies before have attempted to tackle: “What is the key to life on Earth?” It certainly seems like Ambition will be, erm, ambitious in figuring out the meaning of life and how to truly sustain it.
“This is a project, ultimately, about great ambition: the power of the human spirit and our collective will to exceed all perceived boundaries,” said Bagiński of his shiny new film. “As our heroes seek out and close in on the very key to life, it goes beyond mere cinematic tropes to deal with the bolder universal themes of facing the future, battling uncertainty and showing the determination that makes us great. But it’s not all that it seems!”
Up to this point, this is all the information we have regarding the mysterious Ambition. Of course, there’s the movie’s official website which offers posters, production pictures, and behind-the-scenes stills. YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram accounts also follow the journey of its release. And yet Ambition is riding under the radar. Perhaps the tide will change when it premieres in front of an international audience tomorrow, Oct. 24 in London at the British Film Institute’s celebration of sci-fi film and television. A major announcement regarding the project (it better be a stateside release!) is expected.
Jump after the break and let Bagiński’s vision wash over you with its utterly beautiful landscapes, computer-generated visuals, and epic score. Check back here in the coming days to discover more about Ambition.
Update (10/24): What if I said Ambition is available for you to watch right now, in the comfort of your own home? Well, it is! Click after the break to view the short film and learn more about its origins and purpose.
Earlier this week, word got out that Marvel would be releasing a first look at the upcoming Avengers sequel Age of Ultron. The very next day a poor quality version of the sneak peek leaked but the comics and movie powerhouse took it in stride. Later that evening the studio uploaded and shared with the world the first official teaser trailer for the highly anticipated sequel, even though it was supposed to make its worldwide debut during this coming Tuesday’s airing of ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. They blamed Hydra for the leak–points!
And so, here it is. For your viewing pleasure. Our heroes including including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye take on villain Ultron, a terrifying technological villain hell-bent on human extinction, in this action-packed and oh-so-epic 2:16 tease.
Some notes: Yes, that is The Blacklist‘s James Spader spectacularly voicing the villainous Ultron and quoting “I’ve Got No Strings” as made famous in the classic Disney animated tale Pinocchio…Did you catch Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as mutant twins Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver?…And how awesome is Tony Stark’s latest creation the Hulkbuster? He’ll use it, as you can see, to take on Bruce Banner’s green Hulk. But why are the heroes in arms in such a kerfuffle? Time will tell.
Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theatres May 1, 2015. Jump after the break to view a new poster and the full official logline for the movie.
Update (10/28): Despite Hydra’s best efforts, Marvel still managed to surprise its fans by airing a new extended trailer during Tuesday night’s telecast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC. The first minute of the new clip features The Avengers–plus Maria Hill and James Rhodes–straight chilling at Tony Stark’s posh pad. They’re having their hand at trying to pick up mighty Mjölnir; but of course, it is only the mighty Thor who is “worthy” enough to wield the weapon. The party, though, comes to a screeching halt in no time when Ultron emerges and speaks of strings, none of which he has: we know. Watch it after the break.
GOTG fans, listen up! “Awesome Mix Vol. 1,” you know, the truly awesome mixtape carried around by hero Peter Quill in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy filled with the greatest hits of the 70s and 80s curated by the little Star-Lord’s mother… it’s being released on cassette tape so now you can pop it into a Walkman and dance around and fend off baddies like no one’s watching. The limited release lands on shelves Friday, Nov. 28 at participating record stores; it will remain an exclusive to that community of independent retailers associated with Record Store Day through Dec. 31, according to Billboard. The cassettes will also come with digital downloads of the album so you can easily transfer the tracks to your portable music player of choice.
Just another fun distraction as we await the inevitable “Awesome Mix Vol. 2.”
Here we go. Some great news for longtime fans of Saturday Night Live who might have lost faith in the late night variety show’s funny bone. SNL writer and featured guest Leslie Jones has officially joined the cast as a featured player four episodes into season 40. Audiences were first introduced to Jones’ off-kilter comedy last season when she invaded Weekend Update as an “Image Expert” and talked about black beauty; the controversial discussion projected her unique and brash delivery. SNL head honcho Lorne Michaels must have noticed the effect she had on viewers; she as brought back to the desk again this month to talk about relationships, once again proving her comedy chops. And now, she’s getting upgraded from writer/guest to full on featured player. Welcome to the cast, Leslie Jones!
She will make her official debut this coming Saturday, Oct. 25 with host Jim Carrey and musical guest Iggy Azalea. Let’s hope she’s the spark SNL has been craving ever since Wiig/Hader/Armisen/Samberg era ended.
On Tuesday, The CW expressed their confidence in two of their fall freshman series–The Flash and Jane the Virgin–by allotting them full season orders. Both were buzzy shows pre-launch, and then they fared well in the ratings. The DC Comics-based Flash pilot, in fact, was crowned the network’s most watched series premiere ever with 6.1 million viewers in Live+3 tracking.
“We have had a fantastic start to our season this year, with The Flash launching as our most-watched series premiere ever, and Jane The Virgin recognized as the best new show this season by critics across the country,” said CW president Mark Pedowitz. “Over the past three seasons, we have made it our mission to grow and to broaden out our audience, and to keep raising the bar with the quality and impact of our new shows, and The Flash and Jane have both exceeded our expectations on all counts.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 and Jane the Virgin airs Mondays at 9.
Fury star Brad Pitt sits down with Zach Galifianakis for an inevitably awkward interview in The Hangover actor’s Funny or Die sketch Between Two Ferns. There’s also a special guest star, but I won’t ruin the surprise. Enjoy!
Earlier this week, newly inducted Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon invited actor Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) over for a typical late night interview and what audiences got was something…different. Donning bizarro visors with Guy Fieri-like hair sprouting out, Fallon and Cooper simply could not keep it together. For ten minutes straight the two engaged in an uncontrollable laugh fest that is admittedly unprofessional but simultaneously unabashedly hysterical and infectious. Enjoy the uncut “interview” above!
On October 20, Apple reported its 2014 fourth quarter financial results. Apple posted a record quarterly revenue of $42.1 billion and net profit of $8.5 billion. Compare this to one year ago, that’s up from revenue of $37.5 billion and net profit of $7.5 billion. Says CEO Tim Cook: “Our fiscal 2014 was one for the record books, including the biggest iPhone launch ever with iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. With amazing innovations in our new iPhones, iPads and Macs, as well as iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite, we are heading into the holidays with Apple’s strongest product lineup ever. We are also incredibly excited about Apple Watch and other great products and services in the pipeline for 2015.”
Now let’s break it down by product category. Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones in the quarter (compared to 33.8 million in the year-ago quarter); 12.3 million iPads (compared to 14.1 million); and 5.5 million Macs (compared to 3.8 million). iPod sales continue to decline; Apple reports 2.6 million units sold, down 24 percent from the year-ago quarter.
Looking ahead to the first fiscal quarter of 2015, Apple CFO Luca Maestri expects revenue between $63.5 billion and $66.5 billion.
On Thursday Tim Cook and company took the stage in Cupertino to make some new Apple hardware and software announcements. In addition to announcing an updated iPad Air, iPad mini, iMac, and Mac mini, Apple also dated the next version of iOS and OS X both coming in just a few days time. For the full scoop, jump after the break. (Click here for more…)
On Wednesday Google finally revealed the name of the next version of its mobile operating system almost four months after teasing “Android L” at the tech company’s I/O developer conference. Android Lollipop and its consistent look called Material Design will make its debut this fall on two new Nexus devices: the tablet Nexus 9 and the phablet Nexus 6. And “in the coming weeks” it will land on Nexus 4, 5, 7, 10 and Google Play edition devices.
The Nexus 9, manufactured in collaboration with HTC, sports a 8.9-inch 2048 x 1536 LCD display with a 4:3 aspect ratio and reinforced with Gorilla Glass 3. It’s powered by the 64-bit NVIDIA Tegra K1 Dual Denver processor at 2.3GHz and 192-core Kepler GPU. It’s got 2GB RAM and offers 16GB and 32GB storage options. 802.11ac WiFi and Bluetooth 4.1 are inside. An 8-megapixel camera sits on the back with auto-focus and LED flash, and around front there’s a 1.6-megapixel shooter. Dual front-facing speakers with HTC BoomSound technology are also included. Sold separately is a keyboard that attaches to the tablet magnetically that allows you to type at different angles. The 9 will be able available for preorder this Friday, October 17. When it releases November 9 it will start at $399 for the 16GB WiFi-only model. A $479 32GB WiFi-only and a $599 32GB WiFi plus LTE model will also be offered. Colors include Indigo Black, Lunar White, and Sand.
The Nexus 6, with hardware by Motorola, has a 5.96-inch 2560 x 1440 QHD AMOLED display with a 16:9 aspect ratio and Gorilla Glass 3. Humming inside is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 805 SOC at 2.7GHz and the Adreno 420 GPU. The rear cam is a 13MP shooter with optical image stabilization and dual LED ring flash, and it can capture 4K video at 30fps. The front-facing 2MP camera can do HD video conferencing. WiFi, Bluetooth, and NFC inside. 32GB and 64GB storage options are offered. Hardware shades include Midnight Blue and Cloud White. You can preorder the Nexus 6 starting October 29. It will go on sale in November starting at $649 with no contract. AT&T, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint, and US Cellular will sell the handset at an undisclosed discounted price.
In addition to announcing the Android Lollipop powered Nexus 9 and 6, Google also outed a new set-top box called Nexus Player. Made with Asus, the Player runs Android TV and is primed to rival Apple TV and Amazon’s Fire TV as it will provide a one-stop destination for entertainment and gaming needs. The Google Play store is fully integrated to stream movies and TV shows, and apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and YouTube are accessible, too. The box comes with a voice-activated remote to enhance navigation and search, and sold separately is a gamepad for those who wish to play their Android games on the big screen with a video game console-like controller. Also, the Player is Google Cast-ready, meaning it acts very much like Google’s Chromecast dongle allowing you to wirelessly stream media content from your phone or tablet to the big screen. Preordering begins October 17, and the Nexus Player releases on November 3 for $99. The Gamepad will go for $39.
Jump after the break to meet the sleek new Nexus family.
Warner Bros. announces sprawling DC Entertainment movie slate, makes official LEGO movie & Harry Potter spinoffs
DC Entertainment is following in Marvel’s shoes by announcing a large slate of upcoming superhero and supervillain movies that will hit theatres in 2016 through 2020. There are 10 in total and they are:
- “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” directed by Zack Snyder (2016)
- “Suicide Squad,” directed by David Ayer (2016)
- “Wonder Woman,” starring Gal Gadot (2017)
- “Justice League Part One,” directed by Zack Snyder, with Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Amy Adams reprising their roles (2017)
- “The Flash,” starring Ezra Miller (2018)
- “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa (2018)
- “Shazam” with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (2019)
- “Justice League Part Two,” directed by Zack Snyder (2019)
- “Cyborg,” starring Ray Fisher (2020)
- “Green Lantern” reboot (2020)
In addition to announcing DC’s movie slate, Warner Bros. Chairman and CEO Kevin Tsujihara also revealed that his studio will be outputting three more LEGO movies–Ninjago in 2016, directed by Charlie Bean and produced by Dan Lin, Roy Lee, and LEGO Movie directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller; The LEGO Batman Movie in 2017, directed by Chris McKay; and The LEGO Movie 2 in 2018 (no word yet if Lord and Miller will return to direct the sequel to their 2014 box office hit). Also, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them will be told across three films directed by David Yates (he helmed the final four Potter movies).
Of course as more details leak about these exciting future WB projects you’ll hear it about it here.
A new, exciting, buzzy series called Powers is coming soon and here’s your first look. It’s based on a graphic novel series of the same name from writer Brian Michael Bendis and illustrator Mike Van Oeming and it stars District 9‘s Sharlto Copley with an American accent. Powers follows detectives Christian Walker (Copley) and Deena Pilgrim (Susan Heyward) who are assigned to investigate cases involving people with superhuman abilities, referred to as Powers. The 10 episode series is written by Charlie Huston and David Slade (Hannibal) is directing the first two.
Now here’s the catch: Sony Pictures Television is out to rival subscription-based companies like Netflix and HBO by making Powers a PlayStation-exclusive. In other words, you’ll have to be a PlayStation Plus subscriber to watch the show on your PS4, PS3, or PS Vita handheld. The pilot will premiere for free on PlayStation Network and across other outlets such as YouTube and Crackle so the public at large can get a taste. If you like what you see then you’ll have to sign up for PlayStation Plus to access more.
The trailer packs quite the punch in terms of action, humor, and vulgarity. Bendis, Oeming, and Sony seem to be pushing the envelope here with PlayStation’s first original series and it’ll be interesting to see what kind of crowd gets drawn to it. Of course PlayStation Nation will gobble it up, but will Powers have the ability to attract new members to Sony’s gaming-turned-entertainment destination? It premieres this winter.
All 10 seasons (236 episodes) of famed NBC sitcom Friends is coming to Netflix on January 1, 2015! To celebrate the 20-year anniversary of the series (it ran from 1994-2004) and its new streaming home, Netflix has put out a live recording of the show’s theme song. Click play above to hear The Rembrandts perform the forever catchy and hand-clappy “I’ll Be There For You” featuring Central Perk manager Gunther. The music video was recorded at the Central Perk pop up coffee shop in NYC.
Kevin Bacon’s Ryan Hardy seems to be in a really good place when the third season of The Following picks up. In this first look at the new season he’s seen getting lovey-dovey with new romance Zuleikha Robinson (Lost, Intelligence). But this being a serial killer thriller and all, the quiet moment doesn’t last. “Where there was hurt, there’s comfort. Where there was dark, there’s light,” narrates Hardy. And then BLAM, cut to black and screams and the shadowy title card.
The most depressing bit of this tease is that we see Hardy’s niece Max Hardy with another man as Mike Weston looks on with a tinge of remorse. WHAT HAPPENED THERE?!
The Following returns in January on FOX.
This week at New York Comic Con, Warner Bros. and a panel consisting of executive producer Greg Plageman and stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Emerson, Kevin Chapman, and Amy Acker debuted this Person of Interest series recapper that reminds fans just how freakin’ awesome this show truly is.In a way, this nearly 2-minute clip serves as an extended version of the show’s ever-changing opening title sequence. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride that spans three seasons and counting.
Person of Interest airs Tuesdays at 9pm on CBS.
FOX becomes the second network to step up and grant a full season order to one of its new fall shows. DC Comics-based Gotham will tell its season one origin story across 22 episodes. Previously ABC placed confidence in Shondaland drama How to Get Away with Murder and Anthony Anderson sitcom Black-ish.
“Gotham debuted as one of the most buzzed-about shows of the fall, and with good reason,” said Fox Television Group’s Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “Bruno Heller and Danny Cannon have created an incredibly rich world, with characters that draw you in and a cast that brings to life these heroes and villains in a way we’ve never seen before. We are so excited to see where Bruno, Danny and the entire Gotham team take this story over the course of this season, and so thankful to all the fans who have embraced it this fall.”
The Batman & villains origin story has gotten off to a pretty solid start. The pieces of the puzzle started to align in Gotham‘s most recent episode “Arkham” as the procedural nature of the show is finally starting to give way to a more serialized approach involving Ben McKenzie’s Det. Gordon, David Mazouz’s young Bruce Wayne, Jada Pinkett Smith’s seducing Fish Mooney, and of course scene-stealer Robin Lord Taylor as Penguin.
Gotham airs Mondays at 8pm on FOX.
FX has renewed Ryan Murphy’s fun fright fest American Horror Story for a 13-episode fifth season to debut in October 2015. This follows the news that the season premiere of the anthology series’ fourth iteration Freak Show debuted to record ratings not only for the franchise but also for the cable network. When factoring in Live+3 data (that is, viewers who tuned in on premiere day and those who watched on their DVRs the following three days after), a total of 10 million viewers got acquainted with the freaks (6.5 million of which fall into the coveted adults 18-49 demo). The episode handily surpassed the previous franchise record-holder, last year’s AHS: Coven premiere, which attracted 7.27 million viewers.
The American Horror Story anthology has had the highest growth trajectory of any show in FX history, not to mention an unprecedented track record of success in awards recognition,” said FX head John Landgraf. With Nip/Tuck, Glee, The Normal Heart, and American Horror Story, Ryan Murphy has established himself as one of the most successful and prolific producers of this generation. We expect AHS: Freak Show and the next incarnation of AHS to further his legacy.”
AHS: Freak Show airs Wednesdays at 9pm on FX. And speaking of the upcoming season five, Murphy spilled to EW in an interview that the first two episodes of Freak Show do in fact contain clues scattered throughout that pertain to the plot of his next horror story.
From Brad Bird (The Iron Giant, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) and Damon Lindelof (Lost, The Leftovers) comes a new live-action Disney movie that has been completely shrouded in mystery. Until now.
At New York Comic Con today, director Bird, who co-wrote the screenplay with producer Lindelof based on a story imagined by the Lost alum and Entertainment Weekly TV critic Jeff Jensen, a panel revealed Tomorrowland, “a riveting mystery adventure” starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson (Under the Dome). Though the star-studded panel of actors and movie-makers remained tight-lipped about the film’s plot, a brief teaser trailer (embedded above) helped set the tone. In it, Robertson’s character Casey stumbles upon a magical pin that fleetingly reveals another land to her right before her eyes. Clooney’s character Frank is makes a quick cameo hinting at the story’s central theme: “What if there is a secret place where nothing is impossible, a miraculous place where you could actually change the world. Wanna go?”
The official logline goes like this: Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as “Tomorrowland.” What they must do there changes the world—and them—forever. “Tomorrowland” promises to take audiences on a thrill ride of nonstop adventures through new dimensions that have only been dreamed of.
The first Tomorrowland tease came in January 2013 when Bird tweeted out an image of a box labeled “1952;” fun fact: that was the original working title of the film. That’s the year Walt Disney launched the Imagineering division, a collection of people whose sole purpose is to come up with the fantastical concepts and designs for the Disney theme parks worldwide. The box contained all sorts of intriguing pictures, a record, and literature. The archived materials provided inspiration for the film’s story. Tomorrowland, after all, is the name of one of the theme lands at Disney parks here and abroad.
For more on Tomorrowland, hop over to EW where you’ll find an informative interview with Bird and Lindelof. Here a couple choice quotes to mull over: “What Hogwarts is to magic, Tomorrowland is to science: They are both easy to find if you are a wizard and very difficult to find if you’re a Muggle,” shares Lindelof. “Walt Disney is not a character in our movie, but he is referenced as having some involvement in this mysterious place called Tomorrowland, as a huge futurist and aficionado of space travel, rocketry, cities of the future, and space travel.” He adds, “There is a piece of technology in this pin, it’s the kind of old-school pin you would wear on your lapel, and when you make physical contact with it, you have the illusion of being physically transported to another world, and that’s how Casey gets her first glimpse of Tomorrowland. She is a Muggle who accidentally wanders across Platform 9 ¾ and sees something she probably shouldn’t have.”
Mischief Managed! Intrigued indeed! Tomorrowland hits theatres May 22, 2015.
From horror to crime, Ryan Murphy has more stories to tell. Murphy, whose latest iteration of American Horror Story debuted last night to franchise record-high ratings (6.1 million viewers and a 3.1 demo rating), is breaking ground on an AHS “companion series”–also of the anthological sort–appropriately titled American Crime Story. The new show will tackle notorious crime stories spanning U.S. history, starting with the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. According to a press released outed by FX:
American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson is a look at the O.J. Simpson trial told from the perspective of the lawyers that explores the chaotic behind-the-scenes dealings and maneuvering on both sides of the court, and how a combination of prosecution confidence, defense wiliness, and the LAPD’s history with the city’s African-American community gave a jury what it needed: reasonable doubt.
ACS: TPvOJS will air across 10 episodes and will be based on Jeffrey Toobin’s book The Run of His Life: The People V. O.J. Simpson. Production is set to begin early next year. Murphy is producing with Brad Falchuk, Dante Di Loretto, Nina Jacobson, and Brad Simpson. Episodes will be written by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski (The People vs. Larry Flynt) and Murphy has signed on to direct the pilot.
“Time and time again, Ryan Murphy has transformed the medium of television by redefining genres and formats as he did with Nip/Tuck, Glee and the American Horror Story franchise, and we expect the same of American Crime Story,” said FX Networks CEO John Landgraf. “Scott and Larry have adapted Jeffrey Toobin’s book into a masterful 10-hour piece. I have no doubt that Ryan and his partners Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Brad Falchuk, and Dante Di Loreto are going to make something very memorable here – and that it will be a spectacular first entry in what is destined to become a series of great true crime-based miniseries.”
Added Murphy, “This is an exciting project for me, as I’ve been looking for the right property which could serve as an extension of the American Horror Story brand I love so much. The O.J. case was as tragic as it was fascinating — it seemed like everyone had a stake in the outcome. It was really the beginning of the modern tabloid age.”