We're not going to laboriously list all the pop-culture references in this trailer - Ernest Cline's book ( which we know you've read ), did that already. Instead, let's start to enjoy the music that will no doubt contribute to a hugely successful soundtrack album. Scroll down for vids from Depeche Mode, Van Halen and Rush, and also two of the more intriguing paperback cover designs from the book's foreign publishers.
Above: The Israeli paperback edition of READY PLAYER ONE.
...and from the first trailer...Rush!
Above: The French paperback edition of READY PLAYER ONE.
Check out this fantastic trailer for the new Miles Morales-fronted ( as opposed to Peter Parker ) Spiderman animated movie. Directed by Bob Persichetti and written by Phil Lord ( one half of the Lord and Miller directorial team, who were controversially fired from the Han Solo movie because their vision did not fit with the studio's ), this potential parallel series to the Spiderman film franchise looks like it could introduce and explore lesser-known aspects of Spidey lore to the mainstream cinema-going audience. We're still trying to figure out what song is featured on the soundtrack ( starts like classic synth-wave, then goes a bit Run The Jewels ), but either way, with bleeping synths and colourful CGI, this is a treat for the ( Spidey ) senses!
Blue Stahli ( real name: Bret Autrey ) is more well known for his catchy blasts of crushing industrial overkill than any sweepingly evocative atmospheric pieces. However, the latter is exactly what we get here, as he and label FIXT release this spooky teaser, which we hope is ahead of a full-on rockin' version of the Billy Idol classic. Deep-cut fans will be interested to note that this down-tempo interpretation and that familiar chord sequence makes us think of Joy Division's New Dawn Fades, as covered by Moby on the soundtrack to Heat ( which we will also include below ).
It goes without saying that beloved science fiction films have a history of cross-pollinating each other across the decades. Elements from Metropolis ( 1926 ) may be visible in Bladerunner ( 1982 ) and Akira ( 1989 ), for instance.
Here, we have the final of the three short films commissioned to coincide with Denis Villeneuve's imminentBladerunner sequel. The director, Shinichiro Watanabe ( most famous for Cowboy Bebop ), purportedly commented that Bladerunner was the film that had the most influence on him, and that it was important to pay respect but not be an imitation. It was inevitable perhaps, that the stunningly-realised futuristic milieu of the original film, imprinted itself on dozens of live-action cinematic releases over the years, as well as on the colourful, animated world of manga.
Advance word on Villeneuve's film is already resoundingly positive, and may even be a new classic. He will have pulled off an astonishing feat if that indeed is the case. We only have a few more days to find out for ourselves, but until then, here Villeneuve presents a new short to as the final hors d'oeuvres to the main course:
OOPS! IT APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN TAKEN DOWN BY WARNERS. OKAY, HERE'S THE TEASER CLIP, COURTESY OF TOKYO POP TV!
With Klayton's other personas grabbing all the limelight lately, ( namely quasi-80s synthrocker Scandroid, and post-90s industrial metaller Circle of Dust ) and both having multiple releases in the last 18 months, it's about time his most famous alter-ego made a comeback. Here, we see Celldweller in an introspective mood, in a cut taken from the forthcoming album OFFWORLD. Released on July 28th, its melancholy textures herald somewhat of a detour from the usual crushing Electro-Metal sound.
We here at Future-Rocker think South African film director, Neill Blomkamp, can do no wrong. District 9, Elysium, Chappie, are all masterpieces of speculative cinema. ( Yes, even Chappie, which we consider to be way better than Ex_Machina, another A.I.-themed film that came out the same year, and which Chappie was unfavourably compared to ). We feel that nobody but Blomkamp has been able to consistently capture a science fiction landscape of a future Third World that is dirty, lived-in, and disturbingly contemporaneous. And let's face it, if you go purely by Hollywood blockbusters, it would be easy to assume that only America owns the future. Refreshingly, Blomkamp is adept at visualizing a worst case scenario for the entire Planet Earth.
20-minute Alien invasion thriller Rakka ( starring Sigourney Weaver, above ) is the first 'volume' from his new Vancouver-based Oats Studios. A year or two back, we were pretty bummed that Neill's proposed sequel to Aliens ( in which Hicks and Newt survive ), got put on the back-burner after Ridley Scott's success with The Martian. But with Scott following his polarising Prometheus with the anti-climactic performance of Alien: Covenant, we wouldn't be surprised if he will soon be moving on, and that studio heads are reconsidering Blomkamp taking the reigns. However, after seeing Rakka, where again Blomkamp uncannily blends CGI with the real world, as he did with the low-budget breakout hit District 9, do we actually want him back on the big studio treadmill? Judge for yourself...
[ NSFW! ]
Oats is a loose collective of film-making experts that features all the necessary talent to create a movie, under one roof. And - uniquely - it's crowdfunded, where only the most popular ideas will be the ones to make it into full-blown production.
So, this week is the moment of truth for DC/Warners. Not simply because Wonder Woman is seventy-five this year ( yes, that's how long it takes to get a female pop-culture icon in front of movie-going audiences ). No, for good or ill, this movie now comes loaded-down not only with expectation, but the kind of industry baggage that no-one at Warner Brothers would have remotely predicted even a year ago. The first DC Extended Universe movie, Man of Steel, was considered downbeat and dreary ( although it did have its supporters ). Batman V Superman was more of the same, with added incoherence ( both were directed by flashy action auteur, Zack Snyder ). Suicide Squad ( directed by David Ayer ) was simply appalling - a heist movie with no heist. It is therefore appropriate that in these times of gender politics, internet misogyny and glass ceilings, that an industry dominated by men, adapting a fictional medium traditionally associated with adolescent males, is about to get schooled by a female-fronted action movie directed by a woman. ( Cont'd below ).
Below: One of the many examples of the movie's inspired - and inspirational - promo posters.
There is no doubt that in the future, books will be written on the lamentable attempt by Warners to catch up with their arch rivals, Marvel Studios, in adapting their roster of celebrated comic-book properties. I will state upfront that I have not seen any preview screenings of the film, and stopped following any online reviews of Wonder Woman several weeks before its release. However, in this article I contend that the signs were there all along, that Wonder Woman would buck the trend, and not only get DC's troubled cinematic universe stabilised, but be the first female-led action movie to succeed in a meaningful way at the box office. If I'm wrong, I'll publish a review and say so!
Will Wonder Woman unite critics and fans alike? Here are five reasons why they just might pull it off.
1 ) THE AD CAMPAIGN. All the Wonder Woman trailers have been great, because, unlike the example of Batman V Superman, this is a case of Warners heroically holding their nerve, and not giving us the entire movie in soundbite form, a year in advance. Each ad has so far embellished very slightly what we have already seen in the preceding ad, which definitely leaves us wanting to go and see the actual movie. Whereas in the case of Batman V Superman, pretty much every single scene was shown in trailer form, leaving the viewers with no surprises whatsoever, because they had used what they saw online to extrapolate the bits that weren't shown. When a movie costs two hundred million bucks, for there to be no sense of surprise for people who've paid good money to see it in the cinema, is unforgivable. For one thing, it'll simply encourage people to say, 'I'll get the Blu-Ray or wait til it's on Amazon'. About a month ago ( April 2017 ), fans were grumbling that Wonder Woman's lack of saturation-advertising indicated that DC were trying to bury the film ( in other words, that it, too, was deemed a dud ). In actuality, the campaign has been paced so that it is crescendo-ing now, a week before the film is released. Plus, as you can see here, even the posters exude the right amount of confidence, positivity, and forward-momentum.
2 ) WONDER WOMAN BEING SET DURING WORLD WAR ONE. This is a neat tweak of her actual origin ( her first appearance in comic-books was during World War Two, and Wonder Woman, like Captain America, has traditionally been seen as a WWII character ). It's neat in that the time-shift allows it to firstly avoid any cinematic comparison to Marvel's 'First Avenger', but secondly to retain that sense of playfulness and naivety that the story and the character ( as the archetypal woman-out-of-time ) requires. This is important, because as Future Rocker mentioned in our Wonder Woman movie article of October 2013, Marvel's main stable of heroes ( Spiderman, The Fantastic Four, The Silver Surfer, etc. ) were born during the Sixties counter-culture, and therefore had built-in snarky, anti-establishment sensibilities that today's audiences will more readily understand. Anything created before then starts to look and sound anachronistic - like a costume drama, in other words. So, while it may initially be thought of as a disadvantage to be set in the early 20th Century, good writing and period detail will force the production to bring an interesting and fun perspective. Wonder Woman / Diana is from ancient Greece, and will suddenly find herself in a time where men were forced to face technologically-advanced, mechanised war machines on the battlefield. Interesting parallels can be drawn. 3 ) PATTY JENKINS IS THE DIRECTOR. This in itself is heroic, and shows true balls on the part of the studio to take such a gamble. Jenkins is previously only known for one movie, that of the excellent Aileen Wuornos biopic, Monster ( 2003 ). To be handed a flagship, multi-million dollar movie, after making a small, arthouse piece fourteen years previously, is staggering. But, look at that movie. She coaxed an Oscar-winning and transformative performance out of Charlize Theron. Theron, at the time, had begun her ascent in Hollywood, and must have correctly calculated that playing against type would win her accolades that could take her to the next level, which it did ( the counter-intuitive notion being that a former model from South Africa, could play a mentally ill, prematurely-aged prostitute from Michigan did indeed help to get the film noticed ). So, getting a great performance from relative newcomer Gal Gadot ( also a former model ), seems like a good fit. Jenkins however, all but disappeared after her debut's success. Usually gaps in a female director's résumé means that time was taken to raise a family, or that the career-advancements traditionally afforded to successful male directors don't materialise for their female counterparts. Ultimately, it's Warners' gain because in interviews in 2016, Jenkins had remarked that Superman The Movie was a big influence on her Wonder Woman. This is another reason to feel confident that tonally this will be something audiences can finally warm to. 1977's Superman The Movie is still regarded as the great superhero movie, where the humour, pathos, and committed performances of its two leads ( Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder ) still make it a fan favourite today, despite the now-dated FX. If Wonder Woman is a female counterpart of Superman The Movie, then it would be in stark contrast to the rather chilly themes and visuals of Zack Snyder's two preceding movies.
4 ) CONFIDENCE. This is not a production that exudes nervousness or insecurity. Since the film's principal shooting wrapped as far back as a year ago, Gal Gadot has admirably taken to her off-screen duties as film promoter, progressive commentator and women's advocate with an ambassadorial zeal. That, plus frequent fan-pleasing appearances alongside her Wonder Woman TV predecessor, the much-loved Lynda Carter, have enhanced the idea that an iconic mantle has been successfully passed on. Whenever the star and director appear together, there is no feeling that they are covering up a box office disaster. It has always been completely the opposite: Upbeat and anticipatory. Likewise, there have been no negative leaks from unnamed studio insiders, which also adds to the feeling that all is well. With the star's and director's social media output consistently on-message and conveying a sense of excited optimism, the signs are good. 5 ) Finally, GAL GADOT IS WONDER WOMAN. Some commentators have remarked on Gadot's untested acting abilities and her lack of experience. However, there is ample proof already that Gadot can carry a movie. Look at the visual clues in her seven minutes of screen time in Batman V Superman: Gadot's performance is note-perfect, from the playful Bond-esque intrigue of Lex's parties, to her recognition of Lois's grief as she hands-over Kal-El's body. It is widely held that she was the sole reason to see the movie, and her appearance in full battle armour during the finale, prompted grown men and women to cry with joyful relief into their long-empty popcorn buckets. Additionally, the trailers for the solo movie reveal Gadot to have great comic timing. At the very least, if the movie is an uncomplicated action romp on a par with Captain America: First Avenger, it will have done its job, and given the studio a solid foundation to work with. It could also be the touchstone for a progressive new era of female-led action films, that can seriously generate box-office on a par with more traditional blockbusters. And, finally, director Patty Jenkins will be vindicated for what must have been the movie-pitch of a lifetime - getting Diana Prince to the big screen - on her own, once and for all.
Here at Future-Rocker, we love two kinds of movies: Lower-budget but higher-aiming science fiction films ( eg. Dredd, Battle Los Angeles, Skyline, Monsters ), and we especially love science fiction films set in places other than America ( eg. Chappie, Monsters: Dark Continent, Darkest Days ). Because, let's face it - America does not own the future. So we're intrigued by this trailer for a movie that originally surfaced as a proof-of-concept clip called Prisoners of War back in 2014, and has now been developed by Dutch Filmworks into a fully-fledged action movie starring Lee Pace ( Halt and Catch Fire ) and Berenice Marlohe ( Skyfall ). With shades of District 9 and Edge of Tomorrow ( albeit smaller in scope ), this will be released in July on TVOD and then on Blu-ray in December 2017.
Revolt ( Netherlands trailer ).
Original short, posted by cinematographer Chris Saul on Vimeo.
FUTURE-ROCKER often likes to take a look at life in the 21st Century. This beautiful new clip does exactly that. With an amazing score by Ryan Taubert, it perfectly captures the other-worldliness of this unique place. Credits and additional links, below.
This was on our MIXTAPE tab last week, but Future-Rocker loves it so much we've moved this song to the front page. An absolutely fantastic slice of anti-fascist German hip hop, Sookee's flawless delivery in her dense native language totally blows us away. This is the kind of music the era of Trump and Brexit needs. Yep, right now we can't get enough of Sookee and her pals. We've included the lyrics below, with keywords highlighted. But we're sure you can work it out anyway. Sookee is represented by SPRINGSTOFF, a German pro-LGBT label that, according to their website, 'puts a special emphasis on education as in workshops and
lectures as well as the support and promotion of women in music.'
schwarz-rot-gold und schwarz-weiß-rot
Volk bringt stark viel Tod
selektiert und reinigt sich massenhaft rechtlich
Deutsche entscheiden über Identitäten
spülen Schland in bürgerliches Denken
Grenzen zermürben und beenden
macht uns scheiße sauer
Kapital machen dass die Schleife dauert
sich sozialverträglich, deckeln mit Etiketten
Ethnopluralismus um die Hetze zu verstecken
darf höchstens wer sich assimiliert
Hass auf Papier, Behörden gehören massig blockiert
und Asylverfahren, Beschlüsse aus Parlamenten
richtig viel Applaus von ideologisch braunen Händen
Mutterkreuze, schlechte Frauen schwarzer Winkel
ein gültiger Grund auf den Staat den zu pinkeln
denn niemand dieses Patriarchat zerbombt
sells, Männlichkeit darf nicht zu Schaden kommen
kriegen Kinder, Männer kriegen Geld und Anerkennung
durch das Netz wenn wir darüber anders denken
Ellenbogen, Kompetenz und Muskelkraft
gefickt werden, Sook hat damit Schluss gemacht
Es geht um
Macht und Härte andre abzuwerten
folgen und den Hass zu nähren
schafft Gehorsam bis in den Tod
sind wie Götter, sie singen ihr Lied, sie essen ihr Brot
Kunst, Konformität, kein Raum für zarte Empfindungen
Gleichschritt denken, sich weiter beschränken sind die Rahmenbedingungen
würde sie spüren lassen wie wenig frei sie sind
ungleiche Gleichheit mit der sie sich selber peinigen
prüf ich meinen Blick für die Zusammenhänge
schüren die Idiotie auch ohne Hakenkreuz und Fahnen schwenken
ihrem Dreck jetzt in der Mitte der Gesellschaft
die Fresse hält wird im indirket zum Helfer
mehr als Nazis jagen
Tag für Tag das Ganze hinterfragen
starten wir den Kampf mit Sprache, Punches, Parties, Straßenblockaden
sind korrekt und wir haben grad erst angefangen
müssen Männer sein, Männer dürfen Männer nicht lieben
Kameraden sind Männer, Männer müssen die Grenze ziehen
wunder Punkt geschichtlich
Wie kann man
nur hassen, dass Menschen sich lieben, realität ich blicks nicht
Frauen küssen, lieben, ficken, unterstützen
Ist das nur
okay wenn sie Männlichkeit damit beglücken
Rand quer durch die Gesellschaft toben sie
the fittest, kein Nutzen, kein Gewissen
krank, du bist dran, du bist Schmutz, der sich einnistet
A while back we noticed that Klayton ( Celldweller ) had another label - Subterra - dedicated to supplying trancey or menacing 'wub-wub' sci-fi backing tracks for adverts, movie trailers, and games...so we had a good delve to see if there was anything worth adding to our music collections. Most are indeed short, two-minute atmospheric stabs of cinematic flavour. Some however, are longer, and would make great tracks for your electronic rock / dystopian / sci-fi-themed playlists. Here are our favourites...let's do it mixtape-style and intersperse the big tracks with a cool intro track. ( Note: Each song may roll-over into another from the same album, so if that happens either continue listening or just press pause to move on down Future-Rocker's list )...
All images by Ash Thorp, and used with permission.
'I am in love with the big concepts that creator Masamune Shirow and his team built, that are just under the surface.'
- Ash Thorp
Much sought-after artist / designer Ash Thorp has long been a champion of the acclaimed anime, GHOST IN THE SHELL, even going so far as to collaborate with a global team of like-minded creatives, to make his own feature-quality video homage ( see Future-Rocker Jan 2015 ). Fast-forward to 2017, and to coincide with the release of a big-budget live-action adaptation starring Scarlett Johansson, Future-Rocker presents a portfolio of images by Ash Thorp, inspired by the original version's distinctive 'geisha assassin' character.
Ash Thorp on transitioning from 2D to 3D:
I am just exploring as I learn new tools and apply new ideas
to things that have been floating around in my head for some time now. I feel like I am unlocking various levels of
potential in my creative mind the further I grow. Since I love Ghost in the Shell so much, I figured I would
focus some of the tools that I am currently learning, around that of a property
I enjoy paying tribute to from time to time.
Hope you enjoy!
'I have always wanted to score a movie. But not just any movie – it will have to fit into the Code Elektro universe.'
Here we present an assortment of tracks from synthwave maestro CODE ELEKTRO's epic recent album, WOLF, as well as from his previous opus, SUPERSTRINGS. PLUS! Scroll down for the exclusive new interview, and merchandise links.
Future-Rocker: First of all, there seems a definite
transition in the themes as well as the music. Tell us about this 'WOLF'
concept. Are you hiker, or a conservationist? Or do you just like Scandinavia?!
‘Wolf’ is a concept album. The album is about how a wolf can
be dangerous - but also free. Furthermore, there’s a theme of travel throughout
the album. Starting in the wolf den and the initiation ritual - and then moving
though the landscape, the night and the city. And the album ends with a
transition to something new. I wanted the sounds to have a more human or
”organic” feel. Not as clean as my previous album, ”Superstrings”. And I play
around a little more with the dynamics.
I am sensing an actual storyline that plays in your head.
Would you like to write movies too, or just score them?
It would be great to work with some kind of story and
combining it with my music. I have always wanted to score a movie. But not just
any movie – it will have to fit into the Code Elektro universe.
On the new album, you have the customary atmospherics that
are underscored by your trademark pulsing synths, but I am detecting a bit of a
rock vibe developing, with some crunching riffs, and very tasteful 80s-style guitar
shredding to add to the dynamics, as well as loud drums. Would you be happy if
the 'Classic Rock', AOR, or Prog guys started following you?
I love rock music and I started out playing bass in rock
bands as a young kid. So yes!
Is the rock aspect something you'd like to develop? Maybe do
a more '80s Transformers'-style sonic assault? ( I emphasize 80s not current
Transformers, because the soundtrack album to the animated movie kicked ass! )
Maybe…it can be difficult to plan these things for me. Often
they just happen. But from my perspective ‘Wolf’ is a little closer to my
current vision of Code Elektro. A third album would probably be different too.
I can hear hints of human voices occasionally in the
mix...would you ever add a vocalist? Maybe for an album's finale?
Vocals would be great! Maybe later… [ cont'd... ]
[ Photo by Mads Dam ]
Tell us about being a sound designer. Are you the guy who
has to invent sounds for movies or adverts?
Yes. That’s pretty much what I have been doing for the last
10 years. It’s very different from creating music as an artist…but both are fun
Describe teaching at the Conservatory. Are you inspired by
your students? ( I say that because I get very fired-up when i mentor art
That’s the same for me. I love teaching. I learn at least as
much as the students…and I like to contribute to the audio community. Back when
I started out I almost had to invent everything myself.
If you were asked to join a band, would you? Name some bands
you'd love to work with.
Tough question. There’s a lot of great bands out there. But
at some point in the future I would like to co-write with other people. I’m
planning something – but I can’t talk so much about it yet.
What do you think of
the 'SynthWave' movement? It seems like every day there's a new outfit popping
up on Twitter, with a chrome logo, some pink neon, and some palm trees!
It’s great to see the rise of the Synthwave scene – and
there’s a lot of talented artists out there. A lot of them are great at
inventing something new and not just repeating the past…which I think is important.
Recommend some albums by other artists ( any genre ) that
you've been listening to, lately.
The Daft Punk TRON soundtrack has a revival with me at the
moment. And for some reason I’ve been listening a lot to Black Sabbath the last
week or so. You can't beat listening to Birmingham's finest - thanks for talking to Future-Rocker! And as we promised, here's a Code Elektro's sampler to try. Enjoy!
You want the CODE ELEKTRO LIMITED EDITION CASSETTE, or the super-cool vinyls? Click here!