Jon Lyus - at HeyUGuys
Authors Posts by Jon Lyus

Jon Lyus

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Father and writer. In gutter, looking at stars. Movie quotes I live my life by: 'Life moves pretty fast, if you don't stop and look around once in a while - you might miss it.' 'Carpe Diem!' 'When somebody asks you if you're a God - you say YES!'

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Chris Chung was one of the finalists of the Virgin Media Shorts competition which ran last year, and now he’s back with another short film, Lux.

Handuken was the short which got him to the finals, and you can see that film at the end of this post but be sure to check out the trailer for his latest work. The art of capturing a mood or the essence of a film in a brief time is not an easy one to master. Having seen the completed short this teaser really does convey the whistful and slightly odd flavour to the finished film. The music, by Shawn Lyon, is divine.

Here’s the teaser, watch out for Lux to appear on the festival circuit before long.

Lux – Teaser from Christopher Chung on Vimeo.

Lux-Short-Film

And here’s his short film Handuken.

Handuken from Christopher Chung on Vimeo.

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The BFI revealed today that the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley will open the 58th London Film Festival in October. Studio Canal have also released a first look trailer which you can see below.

Cumberbatch and Knightley are joined by a fearsomely talented cast including Matthew Goode, Mark Strong, Rory Kinnear and Charles Dance. The film details the work done by the Bletchley Park code breakers during the War focusing, naturally, on Turing whose pioneering work saved lives and most certainly changed the world.  Headhunters director Morten Tyldum is behind the camera for this one.

THE IMITATION GAME is a nail-biting race against time following Alan Turing (pioneer of modern-day computing and credited with cracking the German Enigma code) and his brilliant team at Britain’s top-secret code-breaking centre, Bletchley Park, during the darkest days of World War II. Turing, whose contributions and genius significantly shortened the war, saving thousands of lives, was the eventual victim of an unenlightened British establishment, but his work and legacy live on.

The film is out on the 14th of November once its festival run is through.

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The Boxtrolls is the latest film from Laika Studios and tells the sad tale of Eggs (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), an orphan brought up in the caves beneath the streets by the kindly rubbish-hoarding Boxtrolls. Like The Wombles colliding with Annie.

There’s a fine cast with Elle Fanning and Ben Kingsley joined by Toni Collette, Jared Harris, Richard Ayoade and the dynamic duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in supporting roles. The look of the film is absolutely beautiful as you can see from the trailer and this new one sheet. It wisely boasts the studio’s legacy with Coraline and Paranorman and with each new film the world of 3D stop-motion animation is ever more theirs.

The 12th of September is when we here in the UK get our chance to dive beneath, looks like it’ll be a fun journey.

Here’s the poster, make sure you open it up to catch all of the detail.

The Boxtrolls poster

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    In the latest of our Close Up series we look at one of HeyUGuys’ most treasured directors. Currently killing the Python (for the last time) on stage Terry Gilliam’s vibrant imagination and brutal humour has gathered him up a legion of fans who follow his every cinematic move with delight.

    Though with a director such as Gilliam choosing a ‘best of’ list could easily be solved by pointing a link to his IMDb page I have chosen the elements of his work which I like the most. There are many, many more excellent moments and themes from his films, but as we near the release of The Zero Theorem on Blu-ray and DVD (out on Monday the 21st of July folks) we look back at those moments which made us fans.

    TG Tideland

    The Kids are not what they seem.

    A young boy holds his mother’s hand and watches silently as a man is gunned down running through an airport, his attention caught suddenly a blonde woman run after him, (his wife?) clawing at the distance, screaming as the man falls to the ground. A girl, dragged halfway across the country to a seemingly abandoned house opens up her toy suitcase open her new, broken, bed and pulls out a series of dolls heads on her bedstead carefully. Jack Lint’s children play with their toys on the floor of his office while he works away, rifling through the tedium of torture administration before the actual administration. Kevin, all of ten years old, helps a group of errant dwarves push the wall of his bedroom into oblivion while chased by the face of ultimate evil.

    An age in single figures is no respite from the wicked whirl of Gilliam’s imagination. We are all innocents at the beginning of Terry Gilliam’s films, and by and by we emerge at the end very much older, and very much wiser.

     

    TG Zero Theorem Party

    Partying alone in The Zero Theorem

    The party scene is an oddity-infused kaleidoscope, a whirlwind of those suffering from the modern condition. The torrent of bodies knocking together, oblivious to one another, the colour clash and undulating din is a sharp contrast to the pristine white computer simulation in Qohen Leth’s work finding the meaning (or not) of life. He is doomed to fail because, as in all of Gillian’s films, there is no order to be found. It is the chaos which is beautiful. Narcissism, self absorption and  the bureaucratic chains are present in Gillian’s films to be faced, fought and broken although the escape is not always the happy ending one looks for.

    As we saw above in Gilliam’s films the happy ending is blown up when it touches a piece of pure evil. The rug is always pulled from beneath you. The sunset is always fake.

    Here’s a scene from Brazil which, despite the paltry video quality, is perfect evidence of Gilliam’s ability to unnerve and immerse us in his world. In Brazil the office of Jack Lint is a misshapen and seemingly evolving space – the editing and keen choice of lens evokes a discombobulation we share with Sam. Brazil, as we all know, has quite an ending itself.

     

     

    TG Time Bandits Glass

    When the Time Bandits reached the edge of the story, only to break through.

    The safety of a child’s bedroom is fertile ground for Gilliam to induce all manner of nightmares. A beautifully shot scene involving a knight on his horse bursting from a wardrobe is just the beginning of a journey through time and space, good and ultimate evil.

    They’ve met Robin Hood, sailed on the Titanic’s last night, and seen Agamemnon at the height of his powers yet on a grisly grey beach the bandits catch up with themselves and have nowhere left to go. Watching this scene as a kid I remember the strange sensation I had seeing the actors press their faces up against the glass wall; it was a strange opening up of horizons. That they had just stopped. The story could go no further until it suddenly could.

    It may have been a cheap trick to solve a screenwriting problem and race to the end but it made for a visually enthralling moment.
    TG Time Bandits Glass 2

    Bonus clip – A delightfully decent and very Evil David Warner describing his evil plan evilly.

    TG The Crimson Permanent Assurance

    The whole of The Crimson Permanent Assurance.

    Playing as its own self-contained short before the team divulged The Meaning of Life this wonderfully anarchic twenty minutes is arguably Gilliam’s last great hurrah with Python. That the City of London is a cruel mistress is well known; new blood, hungry wolves are often metaphors grabbed at when the soul-destroying turnaround of life through its streets are told. Here though Gilliam reverses things, infuses the scenario with an invasion of imagination. There are many reasons to love this short. It has themes Gilliam would go on to explore in later films (notably that the appearance of someone rarely determines their fate) but there is something perfect and pure about this.

    Years later when I worked in the city’s oldest buildings and walked the balustrades of the most solid and ancient financial institutions I cannot deny that my eye did seek a moving building in the horizon, and I listened in vain for the cheers and hurrahs of this curious gaggle of rogue city gentlemen to fill the city sky.

     

    The Evolution of the Story

    This is a special bonus for you. A rarely seen twenty minute interview with Gilliam, ostensibly on the importance of storyboarding, which evolves into a masterclass on the creative process.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    And another bonus is his twenty minute short film The Wholly Family, produced with Garofalo Pasta, who gave him free rein – as long as no-one dies. Fair enough…

    The Zero Theorem is out on Monday, the 21st of July. It’s really worth your time – so buy it here.

    The Zero Theorem Blu

     

     

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    While the average Hollywood actress struggles to find a worthy role post 30 there is a growing cadre of action hero roles for the Grecian 2000 brigade. I’m not just talking the sadly-not-meta-enough Expendable generation, it is the lone wolves, the revengernators, the one-man army taking the streets (and their wives and daughters obviously) back by force.

    Denzel Washington is now firmly inching into that territory with his leading role in The Equalizer, Antoine Fuqua’s big screen adaptation of the 80s TV series. Chloe Moretz is the girl he has to save – take a look at a few trailers to get the idea – then feast eyes on the new UK poster for the film.

    Call off the synopsis  hunt,

    In The Equalizer, Denzel Washington plays McCall, a man who believes he has put his mysterious past behind him and dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life. But when McCall meets Teri (Chloë Grace Moretz), a young girl under the control of ultra-violent Russian gangsters, he can’t stand idly by – he has to help her. Armed with hidden skills that allow him to serve vengeance against anyone who would brutalize the helpless, McCall comes out of his self-imposed retirement and finds his desire for justice reawakened. If someone has a problem, if the odds are stacked against them, if they have nowhere else to turn, McCall will help. He is The Equalizer. He is.

    It’s out on the 26th of September.

     

    The Equalizer UK Quad

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    Centering your story around a stage-weary magician who targets a celebrated medium intent on disproving her acclaimed skills as a psychic seems like a ripe idea. Notions of belief and denial, fraud and fragility can all come into play, and as this is a Woody Allen they most certainly will. Casting Colin Firth and Emma as respective magician and medium gives an idea of where Magic in the Moonlight is heading.

    Warner Bros. have released a new trailer for Allen’s latest film, which seems to set him back on the solid ground of mercurial whimsy so enjoyed by the Midnight in Paris set of a couple of years ago. His last, Blue Jasmine, conjured up the same ravings (return to form, later serious film etc) but did get an Oscar-shaped commendation for Cate Blanchett. This looks to be far lighter in tone, but that’s no bad thing at all.

    Here’s the trailer, the film is out on the 19th of September. Spellbinding ahoy!

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    All This Mayhem follows the strange tale of two skateboarding brothers, Tas and Ben Pappas, whose debauched lifestyle on the road, infamous feud with Tony Hawk and sense-defying feats in the skate part made them a legend in the sport.

    Eddie Martin’s film however tells the story through to the end – the falling out, the shunning by the sport which took them in, the self-destruction which flipped their legend into a cautionary tale. All This Mayhem is a fine documentary, playing lately at Sheffield Doc/Fest and soon to be soon in UK cinemas.

    Here’s an exclusive look at the trailer and poster – read our review here.

    All This Mayhem Poster

     

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    Two things I love. Muppets and Twin Peaks. Until now they have remained islands of interest unconnected; each perfect and wonderful in their own idiosyncrasies and delights, but that time has passed. Things are different, and I blame Justin Lawrence DeVine.

    This artist (whose work has already terrified me on more than one occasion*) has amalgamated the most famous mindsprings of Jim Henson and David Lynch in a series of paintings which throw our beloved Muppets headlong into the world of Twin Peaks, and the results suggest they were made for each other.

    You can see a selection below, but I urge you to visit his site here, (or go here for the Twin Peaks specific items) and enjoy the full range – better still go here to his InPrnt page to buy something.

    The Blu-ray edition of Twin Peaks and Fire Walk with Me is out in a couple of weeks. We are planning some fine Lynchian coverage, so stop back on your way won’t you?

    * see below for terror inducing illustration:

    Twin Peaks Yikes!

     

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    Almost exactly two years ago we featured the work of James Webber on HeyUGuys. Driftwood was a Neil Maskell-starring Short, released in the wake of the London Olympics, about a young swimmer whose athletic future is in danger from the anchor of his harsh domestic circumstance.

    Webber’s latest film, Soror, has similar themes with a fine cast and, from the evidence in this trailer, some beautiful cinematography. Kate Dickie was last seen by most of us falling foul of a Littlefinger in Game of Thrones and Soror has her facing another domestic upheaval here.

    Synopsis hounds will eat this one up,

    Soror explores the lives and relationships of two half-sisters; Grace, a talented dancer; and Lisa, who dreams of escaping the confines of their estate with, or without, her overbearing boyfriend, Andrew. Meanwhile Grace’s mother looks to repair her fractured relationship with her daughter.

    As Lisa prepares for a move to the other side of the country, the sisters spend their last day together at a special place that harbours many happy memories for both of them. They reflect on the past, and through this, learn to come to terms with life without each other.

    Here’s the trailer, make sure the HD is on and enjoy. Hopefully we’ll have some news on when and where you can see the short in full soon.

    Soror Trailer from James Webber on Vimeo.

     

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    Peter Capaldi Eyes The Doctor

    Despite the script leaks and ocean of set-photos which are ploughing around the internet right now there still remains a great deal of mystery about the new series of Doctor Who. Tonight, during the World Cup, the BBC decided to grab the millions by the scruff of their collective neck and throw a brand new trailer at them. This after the news that Steven Moffat’s other big hitter, Sherlock, is getting a new Christmas special and series in 2015. The Moffster is going to be very busy.

    We’ve had a couple of teasers for the new series already, with Whovians jumping on any and every detail to determine what sort of Doctor Calapdi will be. Will we have the sterncosy Hartnell flourishes, the Baker (Tom) wayward straddling of the madness genius divide. This trailer will be no different. For many it won’t be the new glimpses of old friends and enemies as we’ve been accustomed to – of course we’ll see Cybermen and Daleks – but it will be the Doctor who is front and centre. Apart from that T-Rex in London – that was a good bit.

    The trailer is below, watch, watch and watch again and just think – it’s only five or so weeks until we get to see Capaldi in action.

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    You’ve seen the work of Gavin Rothery before. His design was a striking feature of Duncan Jones’ debut film Moon and as you’ll see from this teaser for his short film The Last Man there’s a host of beautifully realised images on show. It’s good to see a trailer whose stock is in its atmosphere rather than its staccato-edited money shots, and The Last Man looks like a nicely haunting post-apocalyptic way to spend your day.

    The soundtrack is being composed by Charlotte Hatherley, whose website mentions the work and adds the name of Philip K. Dick into the mix which can only be a good thing. You can catch the world premiere of The Last Man at FrightFest in London on the 23rd of August, and thereafter the short will be on the festival circuit.

    Check out the trailer and posters below, crank it up to 1080 won’t you? And follow the man at his blog here.

    The Last Man – Trailer from Gavin Rothery on Vimeo.

     

    The Last Man poster

    The Last Man alt poster

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    game of thrones first of his nameThe sharing of these VFX breakdown videos are becoming increasingly common, not least because of the heavy reliance of CG in modern TV but also, as these are showreels, it displays the intricacy of the work put into the most unimpressively normal shots which usually pass us by.

    A new video from Germany’s Mackevision shows off the creation of many iconic scenes from the fourth season of HBO’s Game of Thrones including the imposing Titan of Braavos. Also included is the terrifically impressive elevation of King’s Landing from the vantage point of the scene of the epic fight between The Mountain and the Viper.

    While the artistry is clearly evident is the more obvious effects shots it is the tiny details, the invented wisps of fog between a thousand strong army in the distance, the painting in of a new sky or the verdant foliage on a castle which isn’t there that seem astonishing.

    Here’s the Mackevision video, and a couple of others from previous seasons to enjoy.

    Game of Thrones, Season 4 – VFX making of reel from Mackevision on Vimeo.

    SpinVFX for Season Three.

    CGI VFX Breakdowns HD- Game of Thrones Season 3 by SpinVFX [H.264 1080p] from Fabian Wurster on Vimeo.

    Season Two Inside the Visual Effects Featurette.

    Season Three – Creating the World Featurette.

    Then all the way back to Season One for this BlueBolt breakdown.

     

     

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    MockingJay-address-2

    Following on from the first address from President Snow things aren’t going as planned in the bleached-white utopia which houses The Hunger Games.

    I’m rather enjoying these world building promos for the needlessly bisected final part of the Hunger Games trilogy, and I’d watch Donald Sutherland coughing into a bag if that was all he wanted to do acting wise. Keen observers will notice there’s a new body at President Snow’s side – that of Johanna Mason played by Jenna Malone – easily the most interesting new character introduced last time we all played Games.

    Here’s the real (fictional) press release.

    CITIZENS OF PANEM:
    Never have we been more unified as a nation. The Capitol and the districts are bound together in solidarity, striving to forge a stronger future.

    To commemorate this resolve, the Capitol mandates your viewing of President Snow’s Second Panem Address: “Unity.”

    Do keep watching to the end won’t you?

    The Hunger Games Poster

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    Batman Vs. Superman

    Despite a facepalm-worthy opening question (Who’s better, Superman or Batman?) USAToday have just published a revealing interview with Zack Snyder on the oncoming superhero juggernaut that is Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

    A choice revelation from Snyder, fanboy-baiting certainly, is his ambition at one time to tackle one of Batman’s iconic stories,

    …[Snyder] figured he’d one day tackle an adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal 1980s masterpiece The Dark Knight Returns, which pits a retired Batman against government agent Superman.

    This clearly seems to be a heavy influence on Snyder’s Batman as he talks of the 75 years of the caped crusader allows for him to jump straight into Batman as a fully-formed, perhaps world-weary, force. Also up for quick discussion is the title,

    [Snyder] explains that having the “v” instead of “vs.” is a way “to keep it from being a straight ‘versus’ movie, even in the most subtle way.”

    We can expect subtlety then, that’s good. Sadly the expanded DC universe isn’t up for much discussion, worryingly Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman barely merits a mention, expect for the troubling ‘she’s working out and getting buff and ripped’. Great.

    They also debuted a new picture which you can see here.

     

    man of steel suerman batman vs superman

    Photo by Clay Enos. It doesn’t say what camera he used.

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    sherlock bbc

    Sherlock

    The BBC have confirmed that Sherlock is to return to our small screens next year. Filming will start next January for a one-off special and then later in the year we should see a new series of three episodes.

    Rumours of a Christmas special have been accruing over the last few weeks and then the BBC One twitter feed tweeted this…

    …so something is definitely afoot. Changing their profile picture to that of Andrew Scott’s Moriarty isn’t exactly a subtle move. Then, at 2:21pm precisely came this:

    and this…

    The third series of the incredibly popular BBC show was very well received and once over the rabid fans (seriously – you need only to watch the #221back twitter feed to qualify that statement) were counting down until their next dose of the detecting duo. It seems their increasingly busy filming schedules have cleared at just the right time and now the game is on to undo the many tangled plotlines we were left with at the end of the last episode.

    How will they do it? With style, of course.

     

     

     

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    the-gun-by-thirtytwo

    20th Century Fox have done some fine work recently in world building for their forthcoming films. One need only look at the TED talk given by Guy Pearce’s Peter Weyland and the ‘unboxing’ video for Michael Fassbender’s David to see how dedicated they were, and how much expense they went to, in order to bring us back to the world of Alien for Prometheus.

    Now we are on a return course to the Planet of the Apes series with Dawn rising in just a few weeks time. Though we know about the beginning of war and the plague Matt Reeves’ film picks up the story ten years after the events of Rise, and much has changed in that time.

    20th Century Fox commissioned Motherboard to create a series of short films to bridge the gap between the films Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and you can see them all below. There is some fine work done here to tell of the slow death of the world.

    Spread of Simian Flu: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 1)

    (Dir. Isaiah Seret)

    Struggling to Survive: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 5)

    (Dir. Daniel Thron)

    Story of the Gun: Before the Dawn of the Apes (Year 10)

    (Dir. Dylan Southern & Will Lovelace, thirtytwo)

     

    You can read our Review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes right here. And you’re going to want to.

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    zero-theorem-poster-censoredThe bewildering US attitude towards censorship rears its head once again, and that pun is most definitely intended.

    Terry Gilliam has just posted this to his facebook page:

    Zero Theorem off to a good start in the US thanks to the Motion Picture Association of America’s censors. They have banned our teaser poster because of a bare butt. Your thoughts, please.

    I spoke to Gilliam earlier this year on all things future past, Python and beyond and his incredulity towards the powers that be in the movie business is well documented and understood. Of course, this decision by the MPAA will almost certainly have the opposite effect.

    The law is an ass, make sure you go and see Gilliam’s film as soon as you can.

    Gilliam, of course, is currently otherwise occupied with the last ever Monty Python stage shows here in London – you can see the wonderfully funny hour long press conference they held yesterday here.

    So, here then is the banned poster in all it’s glory. Steel yourselves friends.

    The Zero Theorem poster BANNEDCue moral panic, cats and dogs living together and so on…

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    communitylivesonIt’s fair to say that no-one saw this coming…

    Yahoo Screen (which up until this evening I don’t think I’ve ever heard a peep about) has picked up the favourite bastard child of NBC, Dan Harmon’s Community. It will get its six seasons after all, maybe the movie will be on the cards too.

    Watching the series stumble and fall over itself has been difficult to endure. The expectations of its dedicated fanbase have been constantly teased and deflated since creator Dan Harmon was ousted from his kingdom for the fourth series. Then the departure of Chevy Chase and Donald Glover put the show on the critical list and then came the news of the show’s cancellation broke earlier in the year; watching the fan communities online go through the grieving process has been very strange – now that their beloved show is back from the dead let’s hope it was all worth waiting for.

    An hour ago Harmon tweeted this:

    And thus it came to be. Six seasons? Check. A movie? Well, that depends on Yahoo and you.

     

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    Monty Python

    The news that Monty Python’s Flying Circus were to take to the skies again was as welcome as it was unexpected. Now we are hours away from seeing the Pythons together again, for quite a few nights only, in the stage show to literally end all Monty Python shows.

    This morning the remaining members of the Python clan took to the stage in London to meet the press. The hour long video can be seen below – and it’s Python so it’s well worth your time.

    There are more tickets for ‘Monty Python Live (Mostly) One Down Five to Go’ are going on sale tonight at 6pm, and tomorrow for the remaining shows. Previously reported as being sold out we can presume they’re going to be launching small royal box sized hot air balloons to open up more seating. If you’re not able to get to a show the very last show will be broadcast live on GOLD in the UK and streamed to 564 UK cinemas and to 1800 other screens around the globe in 39 countries.

    All of this and more was revealed in the morning’s press conference – and you can see the whole thing below. So put your feet up, grab a fistful of Crunchy Frogs and enjoy the historic hilarity one last time.

    But first, here’s Rolling Stone Mick Jagger to talk sense and to preview some of the show which we found out this morning would features scenes with Stephen Hawking and Professor Brian Cox.

     

    Monty Python

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    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (3)Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one our most anticipated films out this year. It’s direct forebear surprised almost everyone with its bold update of the franchise, one which remained true to the roots, avoided a Burtonesque retooling, and set a momentous new story in motion: the death of man.

    Dawn looks set to build on the foundations of Rise, with Matt Reeves taking over from Rupert Wyatt in the director’s chair and Andy Serkis returning as Caesar. It is unarguable that Serkis is the series’ star, with his WETA armour he brings an uncanny sense of emotion and depth to his character.

    The film picks up a decade following the initial outbreak of Simian flu (and Simian zoo break out) and we’ve got a series of exclusive concept art images which show off the state of earthly decay.

    These, and more, can be found in Titan Books’ Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films.

    Click on the images below to see them in Large-o-vision.

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    Twin Peaks LauraNot long now Bookhouse boys and girls – the Blu-raying of David Lynch’s seminal Twin Peaks is almost upon us, so why not take a look at the full trailer for the boxset.

    If it weren’t for the haunting lament of Angelo Badalamenti’s score I’d advise turning off the sound for this trailer as it features Irritating Voiceover Man telling us with passionless certainty why we’ll love this set. Don’t get me wrong – we will love it but IVM makes it hard.

    So, the mythical Fire Walk With Me deleted scenes are glimpsed here, and for many constitute the perfect reason to buy up the set on day one, but the HD transfer of both the series and film are talked up. For a clearer indication of the enhancements

    Here’s the trailer and several peeks at the other special features on offer,

    Lynch interviews Dead Leland Palmer

    Side by Side Comparison for Blu-ray conversion

    And just because it’s so beautiful here’s Jimmy Scott’s Sycamore Trees from Fire Walk with Me

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    James DeMonaco's The Purge (2013) failed to live up to the intriguing premise of its trailer by penning cast and audience inside an exec...