H.R. Giger’s Unearthed Alien Concept Art Is As Haunting As It Was 35 Years Ago

AlienOne of our all time favorite movies is celebrating a powerful milestone this year, as Ridley Scott’s classic sci-fi/horror hybrid Alien turns 35-years-old. Watching the film today it is every bit as powerful as the first time you saw it, and it has aged better than perhaps any genre movie ever made. It’s still terrifying, still wildly original, and even though it’s been ripped off countless times, it’s still as fresh as it was three-and-a-half decades ago. A big part of that is the creature and set design from noted Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger, and a new collection of concept art from the film has found its way out of the shadows and onto the internet for you to check out.

These images will be featured on cards that come along with the new 35th anniversary Blu-ray box set from 20th Century Fox, but you can get a sneak peek at them thanks to Yahoo. These paintings are replicas of the original designs that Giger gave to Scott. You not only see the intricate designs that the artist came up with for the sets, and the horrifying creations that would go on to haunt so many of our nightmares over the years, but the twisted eroticism and sexuality that Giger’s work is notorious for is also prominently displayed in these works.


Mars One Simulation Offers Grim Predictions For The Mission

mars-oneThe Dutch nonprofit Mars One aim to send four humans to Mars in 2024 (two years later than in their original timeline) for a 2025 landing on the Red Planet. These four intrepid colonists will be joined by 4 more two years later, and then 4 more two years after that, until the colony reaches 24. Or at least, that’s the plan. But according to strategic engineering graduate students at MIT, the strategy, as it currently exists, may prove problematic. Unless the program makes some fundamental changes to its approach, the researchers predict that the new colony will be unsustainable and deadly for the colonists.

The team developed a simulation of the settlement, per Mars One’s stated mission design. That simulation provided them with a tool to measure and predict how using the resources on the planet, growing crops, and future resupply efforts, will play out. Of course, this is just a model—no one can say with certainty how the mission will unfold, but creating and studying such models is one of strategy any Mars colonization mission organizers should rely on for insight about how to make their mission safer and, hopefully, more successful.


5 Things The Walking Dead Season 5 Needs To Do To Maintain Momentum

the walking deadSeason 4 of AMC’s hit zombie drama The Walking Dead is easily the best in the show’s history, especially the eight episodes that comprise the second half (okay, the first seven of those, I wasn’t super impressed by season finale, at least not until the very end). I give a lot of this credit, rightly or wrongly, to new showrunner Scott Gimple—these episodes in particular, and their narrative approach, bear the trademarks of those he wrote before landing this gig—and I’m more excited and interested in seeing what happens to these characters than I’ve ever been.

Moving into season 5, which debuts this Sunday, October 12, the producers are saying all of the right things, so it doesn’t appear that these strides forward are a fluke, or that the show will fall back into the mundane and tedious digressions and needlessly elongated story arcs that have plagued it since the beginning. That said, we have some idea of what the show needs to do moving forward in order to continue to be successful in the future. It’s been said they have loose plans out to a 12th season, but we’re not looking that far ahead. We’re just thinking about what the The Walking Dead needs to do in season 5 to continue to make this a show we want to watch, not just begrudgingly tune into because we love the comics and have a swarm of zombies tattooed up our arms.

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Young Ones Clip Bids On Robots And Tension

Various post-apocalyptic, dystopian, and otherwise bleak views of our collective future are a constant presence in the current cinema landscape. Just this year we’ve seen the likes of The Rover, Snowpiercer, Divergent, and The Maze Runner, among others, and that’s not even counting what’s still to come, with The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1 and Christopher Nolan depicting a world in so devastated that humanity has to leave in order to survive in Interstellar. Writer/director Jake Paltrow’s upcoming Young Ones fits right into this mold, and there are robots, as you can see in this new clip.

The world of Young Ones bears a certain similarity to fellow post-apocalyptic joints like Mad Max, painting a picture of a sun bleached, near waterless frontier where survival is so difficult as to be damn near impossible. Still, Ernest Holm (Michael Shannon) does his best to thrive and raise a family, including his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) and daughter Mary (Elle Fanning). Though it’s not easy as the likes of Flem Lever (Nicholas Hoult), Mary’s boyfriend, aiming to take over what little Ernest has.


Automata Is Too Familiar To Be Anything More Than Wildly Okay

AutomataGabe Ibanez’ new sci-fi feature Automata is not a terrible movie by any means, but it is very, very familiar, to the point where little, if anything, comes across as original. If you were to break it down, you could damn near name the movie where each individual scene originates. You can’t help but notice direct lifts from Blade Runner, I, Robot, Dredd, Mad Max, District 9/Elysium, and countless others. Not to mention a variety literary allusions—Asimov and Philip K. Dick especially. This is like a hodgepodge of genre influences all thrown together, and all of this combined adds up to a movie that is wildly okay.

Automata desperately wants to be a movie about big themes and ideas, like what it means to truly be alive, to truly be human, and what happens when the technology we create eclipses our ability to control and even understand it. And then the film touches on environmental catastrophe, corporate control, home, family, dreams, and even conspiracy. Just as it is an aesthetic grab bag, so is it a thematic one, with everything you can think of tossed and jumbled together in for the hell of it. As a result, it never truly digs into any single thread; this is an idea movie without much of an idea.


London Embraces The Future With New Phone Booths And Subway Cars

New TubeThe future looks way cooler across the pond (as if their adorable accents aren’t enough). The iconic London subway is about to get a facelift—at least, a bunch of their subway cars are. In addition to a sleek new look, London’s subway of the future, or New Tube, will be autonomous.

London’s population continues to grow, and the subway system needs to grow to match that increase. The new, fully automated trains will still have an operator on board, but I’m not sure why. I guess to text and nap and not get in trouble for it? Anyway, the service will be faster, more frequent, and more reliable than the current system, in no small part because the doors will all be double sized for easier entry and exit, and because people can move between the cars without a terrifying face-to-face with the track below. The automated signals and controls will make it easier for trains to arrive and depart stations without delay, and the changes in service are projected to boost service on the Piccadilly line alone by 60%. 250 new trains will be deployed over the next decade on that route, as well as the Bakerloo, Central and Waterloo, and City Lines.