Category: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Summary: A cosmonaut returns to Earth with an alien creature attached to him that leaves the experts baffled.

Year: 2020

Cinema Release Dates: N/A

VOD Release Dates: 3rd November 2020 (Australia)

Country: Russia

Director: Egor Abramenko

Screenwriter: Oleg Malovichko, Andrey Zolotarev

Cast: Oksana Akinshina (Tatyana Klimova), Fedor Bondarchuk (Colonel Semiradov), Aleksy Demidov (Kirill Averchenko), Pyotr Fyodorov (Konstantin Veshnyakov),Alexander Marushev (Convict Ruben), Anton Vasilev (Yan Rigel), Albrecht Zander (Convict Seryj)

Running Time: 113 mins

Classification: MA15+ (Australia), 15 (UK)

OUR SPUTNIK REVIEWS

David Griffiths Sputnik Review:

There is a hidden gem inside the cinematic world that most film lovers have no idea even exists. It is the world of Russian cinema – or to be more accurate the world of Russian blockbuster films. I have had the privilege of exploring this world full of amazing films due to the Russian Film Festival that is held annually in Melbourne… and to be honest it is something that I look forward to ever year. Thanks to that festival I have had the joy of discovering Russian blockbusters like Metro and August. Eighth – blockbusters that I have to say could teach Hollywood a thing a two about how to make well-written, brilliant looking epics.

Now comes Sputnik – a Russian sci-fi horror with real bite. A film that I enjoyed from start to finish o much so that I am already looking forward to a second viewing. Directed by Egor Abramenko (The Passenger) Sputnik takes us back to the 80s with the space race still in full swing. Cosmonaut Konstantin Veshnyakov (Pyotr Fyodorov – The Blackout) is a national hero, but all that changes when he is the only survivor after an accident in space and he disappears from the public eye.

Now Konstantin finds himself being kept prisoner while a team led by Colonel Semiradov (Fedor Bondarchuk – Stalingrad) investigate the ‘alien being’ that has latched itself to him. With the team lost for answers they call unconventional psychiatrist Dr. Tatyana Klimova (Oksana Akinshina – The Bourne Supremacy) to work on Konstantin and see if she can ascertain exactly what has happened.

To me Sputnik is not only set in the 1980s it also takes me back to a time when directors like Ridley Scott were giving us decent sci-fi horrors rather than the films that are served up today that are light on horror and light on comprehensible or entertaining storylines. Plot-wise Sputnik is as basic as it comes, despite added storylines in there revolving around Konstantin abandoning his son etc, yet somehow it is still better than films like Prometheus that were so complicated it felt like they were trying to change human history. There is nothing convoluted about Sputnik and the result is an enjoyable sci-fi that also doesn’t hold back on the horror element. It has you on the edge of your seat and has a plot that you can really sink into it – at the end of the day you really can’t ask for much more from a genre film.

My biggest hope after watching Sputnik is that someone gives Abramenko a ticket to Hollywood and his pick of what film he would like to direct. His style of directing here shows that he has all the skills that made directors like James Cameron and Steven Spielberg so exciting when they were young and creating edgy sci-fi that didn’t hold back on gore and originality. Abramenko is an untapped talent in mainstream cinema and it is about time we got to see what he could do with an international cast and a budget with a few extra zeroes on the end of it.

What I also enjoyed about the film was the fact that the screenplay allows for some interesting interactions between the characters without everything being an intense horror scene. Some of the moments where Tatyana is interviewing and treating Konstantin are just as intense as the ones where the creature is on the loose. This type of filmmaking should really be a staple in every film but sadly it is becoming a lost art so it is nice to see it resurface in films like this. Dark, foreboding and intense Sputnik is a welcome throwback to the films of the 80s and 90s that made me fall in love with genre films in the first place. This is a brilliant piece of cinema that hopefully a wide audience can discover.

Rating Out Of 5:

Average Subculture Rating:

IMDB Rating:

Sputnik (2020) on IMDb

Other Subculture Sputnik Reviews: Nil

Trailer:

 

Disney+ is bringing together some of the brightest stars in the Star Wars galaxy for the ultimate holiday family reunion, the “LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special.” Today the streaming service also gave fans a first look at key art for the special, set to premiere on Tuesday, November 17, also known as the fan-favourite holiday Life Day first introduced in the 1978 “Star Wars Holiday Special.”

Franchise stars reprising their roles in the “LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” include Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Billy Dee Williams (“Lando Calrissian”), Anthony Daniels (“C-3PO”), as well as “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” vets Matt Lanter (Anakin Skywalker), Tom Kane (Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn), James Arnold Taylor (Obi-Wan Kenobi), and Dee Bradley Baker (clone troopers).

“The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” reunites Rey, Finn, Poe, Chewie, Rose and the droids for a joyous feast on Life Day. Rey sets off on a new adventure with BB-8 to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious Jedi Temple, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure through beloved moments in Star Wars cinematic history, coming into contact with Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Yoda, Obi-Wan and other iconic heroes and villains from all nine Skywalker saga films. But will she make it back in time for the Life Day feast and learn the true meaning of holiday spirit?

“The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special” is a production of Atomic Cartoons, the LEGO Group, and Lucasfilm. It is directed by Ken Cunningham and written by David Shayne, who is also co-executive producer. James Waugh, Josh Rimes, Jason Cosler, Jacqui Lopez, Jill Wilfert and Keith Malone are executive producers.

Today, Disney+ shared brand-new character artwork from the highly anticipated second season of Lucasfilm’s critically acclaimed series, “The Mandalorian.”

The Mandalorian and the Child continue their journey, facing enemies and rallying allies as they make their way through a dangerous galaxy in the tumultuous era after the collapse of the Galactic Empire.

“The Mandalorian” stars Pedro Pascal, with guest stars Gina Carano, Carl Weathers and Giancarlo Esposito. Directors for the new season include Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed and Robert Rodriguez.

Showrunner Jon Favreau serves as executive producer along with Dave Filoni, Kathleen Kennedy and Colin Wilson, with Karen Gilchrist serving as co-executive producer.

The new season premieres Friday, October 30, streaming only on Disney+. 

 

 

 

 

Marvel Studios’ captivating new series “WandaVision,” which premieres in late 2020 on Disney+, just unveiled its first trailer on ABC’s broadcast of the 72nd Primetime Emmy® Awards.

Starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, “WandaVision” marks the first series from Marvel Studios streaming exclusively on Disney+.

The series is a blend of classic television and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in which Wanda Maximoff and Vision—two super-powered beings living idealised suburban lives—begin to suspect that everything is not as it seems.

 

One of the biggest criticisms aimed at the super-hero genre over the past few years has been that nobody out there is doing anything different. As far as the box office goes super-hero movies remain supreme. Place a new Marvel movie on the big screen and you are guaranteed to get a healthy return at the box-office and to many it has felt that has given the studios behind them an excuse not to be creative. Why change a formula that works, right?

Well it seems that Disney is about to buck that trend with the brand new super-hero flick Secret Society Of New Born Royals. The first film in what Disney hope to become a long-lasting franchise sees not only the arrival of fresh super-heroes to the Disney family but also the inclusion of the some brand new Disney princesses and that is something that is not lost on the star of the film – Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Scandal).

“I was super excited when I found out that I was gonna be a Disney princess, like who gets to say that?” says Lee laughing loudly as she talks to the press about her role of the rebellious Sam in the film. “It’s such this iconic group of people, and so to sort of be a part of that was really exciting. And then when I found out that it was not going to be your typical Disney princess but that they’re second-borns and that they don’t fit that sort of princess and prince mold, that just made me much more excited because it’s so important that we sort of break out of what people, you know, think you should be.”

When Lee says her character doesn’t exactly fit the normal Disney princess mold she is not joking. Early on in the film she is a skate-boarding rebel who finds herself in trouble with the law while her sister, who is about to become Queen, goes about her Royal duties. While that makes her very different to the other Princesses that call Disney’s castle home it was also one of the things that attracted the young actress to the role.

“I think one of the reasons why I connected so closely with Sam and  was so excited to play her is because she has all these, you know, quirks and unique personality traits,” Lee explains. “You know, she’s a princess but she doesn’t fit that mold perfectly and she has these rebellious tendencies but she’s also not, like, a bad person. And so sort of navigating those- that balance of who she is and that she’s not- she doesn’t fit into any one mold  was a reason why I connected with her and I think everyone can connect with her is because, you know, no one’s any one thing, you know, they’re a combination of so many different things.”

Lee is also quick to admit that the fact that Sam is so different to what most people will expect her be also made it challenging for her as an actress to bring to the screen. “Just sort of stepping into her head, you know why she does the things she does, why she cares about the people she cares about, why she’s upset about the things she’s upset about. I think really just getting into her mindset was the biggest component to playing her. At first she’s not really wanting to be a part of the team because at the beginning of the story, Sam’s not a great team player. But by the end of it, we sort of see her pull the group together and sort of come out as- as a leader for them and as sort a motivator for them.”

It is also perhaps those differences that we see with Sam that will make her most relatable to the film’s key audience – teenagers. As she wraps up the press conference Lee is quick to remind those about to watch the film that this film is about more than just entertainment. “I don’t want to, like, tell people what they should take away from it, but I think, you know, these superpowers that we all have are very symbolic of what’s unique about each of us and what makes you different from me and you different from your neighbors, you know, and- and that what makes us unique is what makes us special, is what makes us  important.”

 

While unclassified at the moment Secret Society Of Second Born Royals is for families and will be released on Disney+ on September 25th.

 

Like a sleeping giant coming out of hibernation the cinematic world is finally starting to awake from its slumber. Some countries, including Thailand, have had their cinemas open for a few weeks now. Other countries including Australia and the United States have some cinemas open while others remain closed in lock down areas.

The cinemas that have already opened have been drip-fed smaller release films while Russell Crowe’s Unhinged being the first film with a notable star at the helm to make its way into cinemas. Of course that all changes next week with Christopher Nolan’s Tenet hitting cinemas, but while all the focus has been on the Nolan epic the film that has had many comic book fans is the eventual arrival of the latest film in The X-Men franchise, The New Mutants, which also opens in selected cinemas on August 28th.

The film has had a rocky past. It was originally slated for released in 2018 but then got held up by Disney’s take-over of Twentieth Century Fox and then had a Covid-19 date change as well. But finally the film lands next week and comic book fans right around the world can take a massive sigh of relief.

Of course one of those fans is the film’s director Josh Boone whose love of the X-Men inspired him to want to make the film. “I finished making The Fault In Our Stars for Fox and I knew that they had the X-Men franchise which I had loved since I was a kid,” Boone told the audience recently at the Comic-Con At Home fan event recently. “My best friend and I had loved this Demon Bear saga that they had done with the comics because it kind of mixed genres a little with dark fantasy, horror and super-hero comics which I had never really seen anything like that before and it looked so different to anything I had seen in the indie comics that I had been reading for years.”

Certainly the trailer for The New Mutants hints that Boone has captured that cross-over of genres very well with the film with many people commenting on the fact that the trailer shows the film’s true horror side and that is something that Boone had dreamed about bringing to the screen even before he was a film-maker. “I remember sitting in my apartment in LA before I was even making films and I had a stack of New Mutant comics there,” he continues. “And I was like ‘one day maybe’ but it really wasn’t working out. But I really thought it would eventually, and ultimately it was the mixing of all those genres that really made this something that I wanted to do.”

Of course one of the other reasons that fans are so excited about being able to finally see The New Mutants is because they are dying to see Game Of Thrones favourite Maisie Williams in one of the first big roles outside of the series that made her famous. “I was just so excited,” Williams says when asked about what it was like stepping into a while new franchise and getting to play a character as quiet and reserved as Rahne Sinclair. “I was really thrilled to be able to play someone like Rahne because I have always seen myself as that kind of character.”

“I think she is very uncomfortable in her own skin,” she says delving deeper into her character. “She wants to speak up and say how she feels but she is constantly treading lightly. You know when I played Arya Stark I always had to be so commanding and own the room. I had to be brave and strong and that is kind of exhausting and I don’t feel like doing that all the time so it was actually really lovely being able to play Rahne who is really just sitting, watching and listening and she only really comes to life when she is with Danni but in the group she is much quiet and keeps to herself and I mean the whole X-Men fan base have just been incredible or I guess the New Mutants family if they are the same thing. They have been really welcoming though and I guess this whole super-hero world is totally bonkers but I am glad to be back again.”

 

The New Mutants opens in Phuket cinemas on August 28th. The film is yet to be classified.

 

Summary: A twe;ve-year-old boy finds a way to communicate with his dog. While the Government hunts him down for his technology he decides to use his dog’s simple thoughts to help repair the relationship between his parents.

Year: 2020

Australian Cinema Release Date: TBA

Thailand Cinema Release Date: TBA

Australian VOD Release Date: 9th July 2020

Country: UK, China, USA

Director: Gil Junger

Screenwriter: Gil Junger

Cast: Dillon Ahlf (Brayden), Gralen Bryant Banks (Principal Harris), Gabriel Bateman (Oliver), Sean Boyd (Hunter), Bryan Callen (Agent Callen), Lena Clark (Mrs. McClelland), Josh Duhamel (Lukas), Jason Edwards (Mr. McClelland), Megan Fox (Ellen), Lara Grice (Ms. Shackley), Mason Guccione (Rodney), Neo Hooo (Xiao), Madison Horcher (Sophie), Billy 4 Johnson (Nicholas), Julia Jones (Agent Munoz), Will Junger (Will), Zoe Lazar (Debbie), Youngjian Lin (Shen), Janet Montgomery (Bridget), Kunal Nayyar (Mr. Mills), Marnette Patterson (Cindy), David Rayden (Rockford), Jannette Sepwa (Jason), Todd Stashwick (Henry (voice)), Izaac Wang (Li)

Running Time: 91 mins

Classification: PG (Australia)

 

 

OUR THINK LIKE A DOG REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Dave Griffiths’ Think Like A Dog Review:

For a long time family films were a dull, boring affair that seemed at times to not even work for kids. Sure you had those that marked a generation like Frozen but few were entertaining or mature enough to provide any entertainment for the adults that were forced to watch them with their kids. The 2020 cinematic year seems to have bucked that trend though with films like Spies In Disguise, Sonic The Hedgehog and My Spy offering something for kids and adults alike. Now we can add another film to that list – Think Like A Dog.

To be honest we should have expected the film to have a certain winning formula. After all it is written and directed by Gil Junger, a man who may not be a house-hold name but has worked on some of television’s most popular comedies over the years including Dharma & Greg and Ellen. Then there is the fact that the film stars Hollywood A-Listers Josh Duhamel (Safe Haven) and Meagan Fox (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) star in the film – gone are the days when star’s managers let them make mistakes like The Pacifier. Through in child actor Gabriel Bateman who did amazing things in Child’s Play and Lights Out and you can certainly see why this film should work. The best thing is it does.

Bateman plays Oliver a twelve-year-old prodigy whose science experiments stun those around him. At school he is excelling, while of course trying to attract the attention of his class-mate Sophie (Madison Horcher – Adventures In Babysitting), but he is not so smooth when it comes to inter-acting with the opposite sex. He also faces stresses with his home life as it becomes more and more obvious that his Mum (Fox) and Dad (Duhamel) are heading for divorce.

But then his latest experiment doesn’t go the way he planned and he finds himself being able to communicate with his dog. Together the duo come up with a way to help try and keep Oliver’s parents together but they soon find themselves in trouble when a tech-billionaire known as Mr Mills (Kunal Nayyar – The Big Bang Theory) wants the technology for himself and they inevitably attract the attention of the US Government.

While the film does have star power the key to this film working is the A-Grade screenplay from Gil Junger. The film works because its script captures the magic that made films and television shows like The Wonder Years and Spy Kids work so well for families. Junger knows that when it comes to writing for families you can’t make things cheesy, no matter how ridiculous the storyline is, and it is okay to tackle topics that kids maybe facing in real life.

While it would be really easy to dismiss Think Like A Dog as ‘just’ a talking dog movie, the film goes a lot deeper than that. In modern society a parent’s imminent separation is something that a lot of children will face. Here Junger explores the situation through the eyes of a child yet doesn’t suger-coat it either.

Likewise with the humour of the film. There is humour in the film but it never becomes that cheesy type of humour that has made so many family films unwatchable over the years. Junger seems to find the right mix – he makes the Government Agents bubbling and comedic without ever making them a complete joke. The same when it comes to the film’s nemesis. It would have been really easy for Mr. Mills to have been written as a Jim Carrey bad guy especially considering he was being played by a television comedy star. Instead making Millls a believable character makes his actions even more sinister, especially when he is trying to lure the kids into his trap.

So much comes together and works well for Think Like A Dog to be such a good family film. Gabriel Bateman acts well beyond his years, Duhamel and Fox put in mature performances that just show they need to be taken seriously as actors while Kunal Nayyar takes a huge step up and shows that he has a future outside of Big Bang Theory. However, the very special ingredient here is an amazing screenplay that allows this film to work for family members of all ages.

 

 

 

 

Kyle McGrath’s Think Like A Dog Review:

 

 

 

 

Average Subculture Rating:

 

 

IMDB Rating:

Black Rainbow (1989) on IMDb

 

Other Subculture Entertainment Think Like A Dog Reviews:

Nil

 

Trailer: