Tuesday, 26 February 2013

UFO movie news round-up

By Robbie Graham
‘Escape from Planet Earth' reviews and box-office
Released in cinemas last week, Escape from Planet Earth has received generally negative reviews from critics, scoring a measly 27% on RottenTomatoes.com at the time of writing. The children’s film -- which sees aliens escape from Area 51 -- has so far grossed approximately $23 million against its $40 million budget.

In one of its more positive write-ups, The Hollywood Reporter’s Stephen Farber describes Escape from Planet Earth as “Passable animated entertainment” that is “stronger on humor than adventure.”

The Wrap’s Alonso Duralde was less kind, noting that “The kids in the theater with me never mustered a single laugh or gasp of excitement” and calling the film “a black hole of entertainment.”

Laramey Legel of Film.com is even more to the point with his observation that the film “Has it all for people looking for nothing.” Ouch.

Megan Fox to star in ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

Michael Bay has announced via his website that he will reunite with Megan Fox for his upcoming alien-flavored Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. There's no word yet on who Fox will play, but it seems almost certain she’ll take the role of reporter April O'Neil.

The good news is that Bay will not be directing TMNT, only producing it. The bad news is that the director is to be Jonathan Liebesman, who delivered the filmic abortions Battle Los Angeles and Wrath of the Titans. In case readers still care, the film will begin shooting in April and is currently scheduled for release on May 16, 2014.

‘Ben 10’ movie gets a writer

It was announced in 2011 that producer Joel Silver was working to bring Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 to the big screen. The project has been developing ever since, and now The Hollywood Reporter has it that Ryan Engle has been hired to rewrite the screenplay (which was previously drafted by Albert Torres).

The kids’ TV series is about a boy, Ben Tennyson, who discovers a strange wrist watch that allows him to transforms into 10 different aliens with super powers.

Engle is best known for his work on the forthcoming video game adaptation Rampage.

Expect a 2014 release.

‘The Host’: new trailer

The latest trailer for the up-coming body-snatching alien teen flick The Host...
J.J. Abrams to make ‘Half-Life’ and ‘Portal’ movies?
Big screen versions of the Half-Life and Portal video games may be on the horizon. Polygon reports that Gabe Newell – managing director of game company Valve – joined director J.J. Abrams on stage at the recent DICE Summit where the pair dropped hints that they are to team up creatively.

"There's an idea we have for a game that we'd like to work with Valve on," said Abrams, who recently signed-up to helm the new Star Wars movie for Disney and LucasFilm.

"We're super excited about that," Newell added, "and we also want to talk about making movies, either a 'Portal' movie
or a 'Half-Life' movie... What we are actually doing here, we are recapitulating a series of conversations going on. We reached the point that we decided to do more than talk."

The first Half-Life game was released in 1998 and follows a theoretical physicist, Gordon Freeman, who opens a dimensional rift between a New Mexico research facility and a world of alien monsters called Xen.

Portal, meanwhile, is a spinoff of Half-Life released in 2007. In it, a test subject named Chell is forced to navigate a rival research company's laboratories armed with a device that can open portals through space.
For more discussion of the Half-Life franchise and other UFO-themed video games, check out this excellent article by Silver Screen Saucers’ pal Red Pill Junkie.