SCI-FI BLOCKBUSTER FILM PREVIEW

Looking forward to a bumper
summer crop of Sci-Fi!

Selected from Starburst Special #48
PREVIEWED IN THIS STARBURST SPECIAL:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone • PLANET OF THE APES • Rollerball • A.I. • Atlantis: The Lost Empire • THE LORD OF THE RINGS: Fellowship of the Ring • EVOLUTION • DRACULA 2001 • SHREK • DR DOLITTLE 2 • JURASSIC PARK III • LARA CROFT: TOMB RAIDER •SCARY MOVIE 2 • A KNIGHT'S TALE • FINAL FANTASY • FROM HELL • THE MUMMY RETURNS • SERIES 7: THE CONTENDERS • THE FORSAKEN • JAY & SILENT BOB STRIKE BACK • JASON X • SOUL SURVIVORS • GHOSTS OF MARS • QUEEN OF THE DAMNED • RESIDENT EVIL • 13 GHOSTS • ELVIRA'S HAUNTED HILLS

BELOW: JUST THREE OF THE PREVIEWS FROM THIS ISSUE!

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Rollerball

Stars:
Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, Naveen Andrews

Writers:
Larry Fergusson, John Pogue

Director:
John McTiernan

US Release Date:
August 17 2001

UK Release Date:
5th October 2001

Chris Klein, rolling the ball Premise: The biggest thing in 2005 is an ultra-violent sport which ends in death.

Why you should see it: John McTiernan brings his Die Hard mettle to this remake of the well-known 1975 Norman Jewison film starring James Caan. McTiernan expressed concern that the dystopian violence inherent in the story, that seemed so shocking in the Seventies, seemed relatively mundane in 2001, and adapted the script accordingly. In the cast, Jean Reno is doubtless keen to regain his credibility after appearing in Godzilla (mind you, he was the best thing in that) and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos shows there’s more to her than the blue body-paint she wore as the X-Men’s shapeshifting villainess.

But then again: What goes around comes around... Is this perhaps not a remake too far? The original was very much a product of its time, full of post-Vietnam Angst, which is rather frowned upon in film-making now. Also, the original featured performances by Ralph Richardson and John Houseman, which will be difficult to match these days.

Rollerball effects designer John Sullivan interviewed in this issue!

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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Stars:
Daniel Radcliffe, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane

Writer:
Steven Kloves

Director:
Chris Columbus

US Release Date:
16th November

UK Release Date:
16th November

Harry Potter and friendsPremise: Young Henry Potter is taken away from life with his awful uncle and aunt to the magical Hogwarts School.

Why you should see it: The biggest thing to happen to children’s literature since the death of Roald Dahl, JK Rowling’s multi-million selling Harry Potter books have captivated children worldwide. This production looks lavish, with a starry cast including John Cleese and Julie Walters. Rowling insisted that practical FX were used, rather than CGI.

But then again: The producers know they’re onto a winner and are cynically marketing it for every last cent. Trailers were screened 10 months ahead to heighten anticipation, but it’s possible that by November we may all be fed up to the back teeth with Harry Potter.

Harry Potter and other Fantasy literature surveyed in this issue!

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Atlantis: the Lost Empire

Voice Stars:
Michael J Fox, Jim Varney, Claudia Christian, James Garner, Leonard Nimoy, John Mahoney

Writer:
Tab Murphy

Directors:
Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise

US Release Date:
June 15

UK Release Date:
19th October

Premise: An experimental submarine is dragged by a giant squid to the fabled underwater city of Atlantis

Why you should see it: Why you should see it... The film assembles a sterling cast of voice artists, including Star Trek’s Mr Spock, Leonard Nimoy, as the King of Atlantis and Babylon 5’s Claudia Christian as scientist Helga Sinclair. Trousdale and Wise are two of Disney’s most popular and successful directors.

But then again:Disney have never tried an animated film with an SF narrative and no songs and the whiff of Titan AE still hangs over projects like this. No matter how good the visuals, if the script is duff, the film will disappear like the the lost city of Atlantis itself.

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