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Posts Tagged ‘Ken Watanabe’

Inception – Finally a full plot synopsis

Posted by LiveFor on May 5, 2010

Christopher Nolan’s new one has been shrouded in secrecy. We knew it had something to do with people going into dreams and stealing ideas (kind of like that old Dennis Quaid film with the snake monster), but now there is an offical synopsis for the film.

INCEPTION

In theatres and IMAX on July 16

(Warner Bros. Pictures/Legendary Pictures)

Director: Christopher Nolan

Writer: Christopher Nolan

Producers: Emma Thomas, Christopher Nolan

Executive Producer: Chris Brigham, Thomas Tull

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Michael Caine

Sci-Fi Action. Acclaimed filmmaker Christopher Nolan directs an international cast in an original sci-fi actioner that travels around the globe and into the intimate and infinite world of dreams. Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a skilled thief, the absolute best in the dangerous art of extraction, stealing valuable secrets from deep within the subconscious during the dream state, when the mind is at its most vulnerable. Cobb’s rare ability has made him a coveted player in this treacherous new world of corporate espionage, but it has also made him an international fugitive and cost him everything he has ever loved. Now Cobb is being offered a chance at redemption. One last job could give him his life back but only if he can accomplish the impossible–inception. Instead of the perfect heist, Cobb and his team of specialists have to pull off the reverse: their task is not to steal an idea but to plant one. If they succeed, it could be the perfect crime. But no amount of careful planning or expertise can prepare the team for the dangerous enemy that seems to predict their every move. An enemy that only Cobb could have seen coming. This summer, your mind is the scene of the crime.

This movie has been rated PG-13 for sequences of violence and action throughout.

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Inception – First photo from Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film

Posted by LiveFor on January 18, 2010

Inception is a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind. Nolan wrote the original screenplay for Warner Bros.

“I think we’ve put a lot of different things into the pot with this one,” Nolan said last week during a break from editing. “I grew up watching James Bond films and loving those and watching spy movies with their globe-trotting sensibility. We get to do that here not just geographically but also in time and dimensions of reality as well. We get to make a movie that’s expansive, I suppose you’d say, in four dimensions.”

The key part of the premise is corporate espionage by way of dream invasion, but motives and even reality are slippery in a film that toys with perception as its travels through time and space. The crew covered a lot of territory too, filming in six countries. “This is the biggest challenge I’ve taken on to this point,” Nolan says. “We’re trying to tell a story on a massive scale, a true blockbuster scale — the biggest I’ve ever been involved with. We tried to make a very large scale film with ‘The Dark Knight,’ and with this one we wanted to push that even further.”

It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy and Michael Caine.

Due out on 16th July

Source: LA Times

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Inception – French trailer for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film

Posted by LiveFor on December 23, 2009

Bonjour, here is a trailer for Nolan’s new sci-fi film, Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Cillian Murphy, Ellen Page, Michael Caine, Joseph Gordon Levitt and many more.

A contemporary science fiction tale set within the architecture of the human mind.

The trailer is in French, but you can still tell this is a mad, trippy kind of cool looking film.

It is due out on 16th July 2010.

Any French speaking people want to translate what is said in the trailer and put it in the comments?

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2009: The Year of Smart Sci-Fi

Posted by LiveFor on December 16, 2009


By Richard Bodsworth

As 2009 comes to a close the inevitable “reviews of the year “come out to play like The Warriors. I always like to look back, build a list and maybe sadly watch my Top 10 in order. While I was compiling, I noticed that the vast majority of them were Science Fiction films and it dawned on me it has been one Hell of a year for Sci-Fi. Something we were sorely starved of last year with the likes of the wooden wonder boy Keanu Reeves in The Day The Earth Stood Still. So I thought it may be appropriate to have a look at the Sci-Fi films of the year, in what I guess you could call, “2009: The Year of Smart Sci-Fi”

It seems to be universally accepted within the film industry that you can’t make a low budget Science Fiction movie, it’s all got to be about effects, explosions and all that nonsense. Shit, if science was at all like it is in films I might have received a higher grade on my exam at school. However, with his debut feature film, MOON, director Duncan Jones managed to turn that notion on it’s head. Shot on a budget of £2.5m, Moon is a dark, thought provoking modern classic. Making use of retro effect techniques like miniatures, the lunar landscape and the vehicles look as entirely, if not more, authentic than in most films using excessive CGI. But with Moon, the visuals only serve as the backdrop for the psychological core as Sam Bell (Sam Rockwell) battles with the idea he may not be alone on the Lunar base. Jones’ direction coupled with the haunting score of Clint Mansell help create a claustrophobic environment not unlike that of Alien. Sam Rockwell’s tour de force performance is one of the best I have seen all year (bearing in mind I have yet to see Clooney’s Up in the Air) and hopefully there is a chance he will be acknowledged by The Academy come February‘s nominations.

Despite having a slightly bigger budget than Moon another debut feature director, Neil Blomkamp, showed you don’t need the net worth of a small country to make great Sci-Fi with the fantastic DISTRICT 9. After an alien spacecraft stops above Johannesburg, South Africa, the malnourished species onboard are given asylum on Earth. After a while some of the extraterrestrials become engaged in criminal activities with some becoming violent. As a result the human public want more control over the new arrivals. The government therefore sets up a secure camp called District 9, and the aliens – derogatorily referred to as “prawns” are sent there. However, crime again begins to spiral out of control and the camp becomes a shanty town. We follow one of the men in charge, Wikus (Sharlto Copley) of relocating the “prawns” to the new District 10. Filmed partially documentary style, the initial set up of showing how the aliens come to land on Earth is simply brilliant. Sharlto Copley’s improvised dialogue, especially during the relocation process, adds to the realism and builds a great character. Not unlike Moon, the film does feature some impressive visual effects but they are put on the back burner (for the first part of the film at least) as Blomkamp weaves the completely believable scenario with the underlying themes of xenophobia and the use of a privatised military. The final act does fall into action packed blockbuster territory but not without the thought provoking build up, all the more poignant by the country in which it is set. Under the watchful eye of Peter Jackson, you really wonder what the producer/director duo’s Halo could have been.

Sadly it seems lately, the best thing to do when times are tough is for big studios not to bother investing large sums of cash into original films and so we are spoon-fed the endless list of, sequels, prequels and reboots. While some are pointless, unoriginal and frankly crap (as I shall mention later), J.J. Abrams take on STAR TREK showed how it should be done. The film benefits immensely from the talented screenwriting combo of Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. By using the time travel and alternate universe plot, the film is able not to disrupt the continuity set by the previous films and television series. I believe J.J. Abrams best attribute is his ability to pace a film perfectly, he showed this with MI:3 which is personally my favourite of the trilogy. This pacing makes sure we aren’t stuck in the almost boring plot points of an origins story, something Wolverine could have benefited from. Casting of the younger crew was also spot on, no actor overdoing their part and turning it into a parody. Critics may argue that the new film failed to portray the usual themes of the earlier incarnations, but I’m convinced the filmmakers did an excellent job with the amount of stuff they had to fit in as it was a prequel. It is intriguing to see what is next for the Enterprise.

While these were some of the highlights, there were also some spectacular failures this year including the laser blasting bukkake that was Michael Bay’s TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN. After praising Orci and Kurtzman for Star Trek, their talents were nowhere to be seen in this loud, overlong, plot less monstrosity. It’s easy to Bay bash so I will stop, even though there is no chance he will because yet again suckers (myself included) queued up, paid the entrance fee, and there will continue to more films like it for years to come.

The daggers were already out before the film was released when McG was announced as director for the 4th Terminator outing in TERMINATOR SALVATION. Minds were momentarily put at ease after some footage was shown and I myself was genuinely excited… then I watched it. Just another plot less action film with too much shooting and not enough character, a high profile and talented cast ultimately wasted. I know some people enjoyed the film, even reading some 4 star reviews but isn’t this always the case? When a film with big expectations is released people think it is instantly great then after consideration and a few years down the line, opinion changes. See the Star Wars prequels, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull etc. It would be nice to see these big budget films concentrate a bit more on story instead of thinking about what can be blown up next.

So what can we expect in 2010’s Sci-Fi bundle? No doubt there will be a few surprises along with a few disappointments, but three films that should be marked on your film calendar include, Nimrod Antal’s PREDATORS. The film written and produced by Robert Rodriguez is apparently a direct sequel to the original 1987 Arnie classic, but that is yet to be confirmed, it is also rumoured the big man himself may even cameo as his original character, Dutch. Starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace and Danny Trejo there is every chance it could be an ultimate flop, but here’s hoping Rodriguez knows what he’s doing. Cant be any worse than Alien vs. Predator: Requiem anyway.

Probably my most anticipated is Christopher Nolan’s, INCEPTION. The trailer is short, and all we really know about the plot is it‘s “contemporary science fiction action thriller set within the architecture of the mind”. But with a cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Ken Watanabe, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger and the legendary Michael Caine how can you not be excited?

Finally at the end of the year TRON LEGACY. The footage already released has been simply breathtaking and word is it has come along way from that.

As you may have noticed, the biggest Sci-Fi film of the year and most probably the decade is not mentioned here. Sadly it has not yet been released. Look out for a separate Avatar review in the next few days.

A great article by Richard. Looking forward to the Avatar piece. Be sure to check out the LFF Review of the Year.

What have been your science fiction highlights and lowlights of the year?

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Letters from Iwo Jima, 2006 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on November 17, 2009

Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Ken Watanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara

This excellent review by The Picklebot of a great site called Like the Cast of a Fellini Movie

PLOT

The World War II battle for the strategically important island of Iwo Jima, told from the Japanese perspective. Focusing on the stories of General Kuribayashi (Ken Watanabe) and young conscript Saigo (Kazunari Ninomiya) as the assault rages about them.

REVIEW

The terms brave and important have been attached wantonly to this picture, and considering it is an American film made from the perspective of the Japanese during a World War II engagement, that seems justified. Clint Eastwood famously realised during the making of Flags of Our Fathers, that there was a vital story to be told about the opponents of this assault. The question is, was this that story?

Enormous attention to detail went into this film, as is always the case with Eastwood’s movies, and it was extremely refreshing to find the whole film in the Japanese language. The script was based on works of non fiction, and the story co-written by the Japanese screenwriter. It felt authentic, and its success in Japan proves the point.

In Eastwood’s hands, the drama is taught throughout, characters are given personal battles to fight before and during the assault, with satisfying conclusions. There is a sense of the classic war movie, without the action degenerating into the glamourisation of post war, propaganda pictures. But this also presents one of the films flaws.

As with The Changling, despite the factual basis of the film, it feels too cinematic. There are overt story arcs, which, while drawing us in, taint the piece by presenting history as a framing device to a personal tale. Like The Thin Red Line, there is a great sense of the foot soldier being passed from pillar to post with little understanding of what is actually happening. But there is too clear a journey for Saigo, as he attempts to get from A to B.

If his path through the war zone had been the main focus of the film, it may have worked, but we also see a great deal through the eyes of General Kuribayashi. The plot strands of the two characters intertwining a little too often.

There is also great effort to humanise the Japanese forces, necessary if we are to root for them in the way Eastwood wants us to. But then we are suddenly presented with scenes to remind us that, actually, the Japanese were baddies – only the characters we are meant to like are acceptable, and then, only because they disagree with the ethos of Imperial Japan.

Each of the main characters are clearly shown to be rebellious and disenfranchised, but nonetheless patriotic to a fault. This need not be the case, Downfall dealt with the very tricky subject of the core of the Nazi party, and succeeded in portraying Hitler and his associates without making us complicit in their beliefs.

Letters From Iwo Jima is a notable stride forward in the American perception of the world beyond its vast borders, and worth watching. However, while featuring engaging performances and excellent photography, it fails to tell us anything new about the conflict that a short documentary on The History Channel could not.

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UPDATED: Inception – Teaser trailer for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film

Posted by LiveFor on August 23, 2009

inceptioncast

UPDATE: The trailer has now been officially released in much better quality.

I posted the description of the trailer just the other day but here is a bootleg copy of the official trailer. Pam sent me this photo of the cast list with their characters names.

Watch this quick before it gets taken down. Inception is a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind. Wasn’t there an architect in The Matrix? Just saying.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

What did you make of that?

Source: Comic Book Movie

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Inception – Trailer description of Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film

Posted by LiveFor on August 20, 2009

leonardodicaprio_christophernolan
Inception – The mysterious science fiction film of Christopher Nolan. Not much is known about it and no-one is talking.

However, a brief synopsis says it is about entering peoples’ minds/dreams. A technology to do so has been developed and is done through an injection. Leonardo DiCaprio and his team work to enter the minds of other characters in order to retrieve/plant information.

The trailer is due out soon and the good folks over at /film have tracked down a description of it which may help or confuse the matter.

Now, I wont give much away because it was a pretty good teaser trailer. It got you wanting more. Their is actual footage of the movie, with Leo and others. Their is One fight scene in what looks to be in a hotel hallway, but not just any fight scene. They were fighting all over the hallway, on side walls, ceilings everywhere. I thought Matrix (Don’t panic it’s not the matrix but thats what I came up with) Its gonna be a trippy movie. The end music kind of reminded me of Terminator, not the theme music but u will know what I’m talking about. Its only like a minute long and you will want to watch again to see what you just saw. All in all, it was really good.

It starts with the Warner Bros Logo in grey. Then you see Chris Nolan name. This dradle like thing is spinning around. Director of The Dark Knight words. You see Leo’s face. Over shot of a city, shaking camera shot. Words come on screen “YOUR MIND”. Shot of Leo. More words “IS THE SCENE OF THE CRIME” Then you see a glass of water, with the water in the glass startes to tilt. People fighting in hallway. Gordon-Levitt is one of the guys that’s fighting in the Hallway, on the ceiling and walls. You see a quick shot of his face. The word “INCEPTION” comes up. Then SUMMER 2010.


It is all very intriguing isn’t it. Sounds like a mix of that old Dennis Quaid film (the one where they enter peoples dreams and there is a snake monster in it), The Matrix, Cypher and lashings of Philip K Dick.

The film also stars Marion Cotillard (Public Enemies), Ellen Page (Juno, Whip It!) as Ariadne, Joseph Gordon Levitt (Brick, 500 Days of Summer) as Arthur, Tom Hardy (Bronson) as Eames, Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, The Dark Knight) as Saito, Dileep Rao as Yusef, Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, The Dark Knight) as Fischer, Tom Berenger (Platoon, Sniper) as Browning. Oh and Michael Caine.

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The Vampire’s Assistant – Trailer

Posted by LiveFor on August 5, 2009

vamp
Director Paul Weitz is behind the adaption of Darren Shan’s Cirque du Freak, renamed as the much less impressive The Vampire’s Assistant. John C. Reilly plays Larten Crepsley, the film’s main vamp. The film also stars Ken Watanabe, Chris Massoglia, Josh Hutcherson, Patrick Fugit, Ray Stevenson, Michael Cerveris and Frankie Faison.

Due out in October. Here’s the trailer.

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Christopher Nolan’s Inception has started filming

Posted by LiveFor on June 20, 2009

NolanFans.com found the above picture of Leonardo DiCaprio, Christopher Nolan and Ken Watanabe in a Japanese magazine. I’m not sure if Leonardo and Ken are in costume or if it is just for the photo.

The photo containing the Inception director, and two of its stars, was taken on June 15th in Tokyo, Japan (one of the reported filming locations of Inception). According to reports, filming is already underway in that country, which is only one of six reported countries the film is scheduled to shoot in.

As well as Japan Inception will also film in Los Angeles, London, Paris, Morocco, Tangiers and Canada (as mentioned here). It has been described as “a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind” and as as well as Leo and Watanabe the cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Michael Caine, Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy.

Source: Filmonic

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Inception – Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi film has a $200 million budget

Posted by LiveFor on June 16, 2009

A Sun source confirmed that Leonardo DiCaprio will be heading to Alberta, Canada this November to shoot scenes for the new Christopher Nolan film, Inception.

While the psychological sci-fi thriller is filming in five different countries, a significant portion of the $200-million movie will be shot in Kananaskis.

“It’s not going to be just a two-day shoot,” said the source.

“It’s not just some CBC mini-series. It’s pretty substantial.

“These guys are going to spend more money before lunchtime than most (networks) will spend on a series. It’s as big a movie as has ever been shot here.”

DiCaprio headlines the film’s star-studded cast as a CEO. It also stars Oscar-winner Marion Cotillard, Canadian actress Ellen Page, Tom Hardy (Bronson), Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy and Michael Caine. Ken Watanabe (The Last Samurai, The Dark Knight) will play the film’s villain, a man who is blackmailing DiCaprio.

Director Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Memento) has already been to Calgary twice to look at possible locations.

Nolan scouted nearby foothills and mountainous areas by helicopter and is said to have chosen Fortress Mountain (that’s the one in the photo above) as the main Alberta location.

The Inception script, also written by Nolan, has been kept under tight wraps although it has been described by Warner Bros. studio as “a contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind.”

I do love the fact hardly anything is know about the actual plot of the film. From what little I do know it seems to be giving off a Philip K. Dick kind of vibe – businessmen from rival companies, set within the architecture of the mind.

The movie is slated for a July 2010 release.

Source: Calgary Sun

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