Robot Overlords DVD and book giveaway on Instagram…

To celebrate the premiere of ROBOT OVERLORDS on Sky Movies UK today (Good Friday), the lovely people over at Gollancz are having a book ‘n’ DVD giveaway.

To enter, just pop over to the post on Instagram (via the link below), ‘like’ and leave a comment. The giveaway closes at 23.59 on 29th March. Good luck!

 

Advertisements

Try the Geek Apocalypse podcast drinking game…

I had good fun chatting with Steven Hesse over at the Geek Apocalypse podcast. We discuss the kinds of people you meet at MCM Comic Cons, 2000 AD, Pat Mills, indie movies vs Hollywood movies, film tie-ins, world building, plot holes, Robot Overlords and all sorts of stuff.

You can stream it here, or if you get your podcasts from iTunes click here.

There will be a video version at some point and I’ll plonk it here when it arrives, in the meantime enjoy and, if you like drinking games, take a shot every time Steven says “super duper fun”, you’ll be plastered before you know it!

The Prologue of the Robot Overlords audiobook is now on Youtube…

I’ve been meaning to do this for ages! The whole of the book’s prologue, featuring an excellent reading by Rupert Degas, is now on Youtube for your delight and delectation. Enjoy…

The full audiobook is available on Audible and iTunes, and if you’re a first time visitor to Audible then you can choose a FREE audiobook, so why not start with an epic story of Robot world domination overthrown by a bunch of kids from the UK? Go on. You know you want to…

Audible UK: http://goo.gl/fzwGCc
Audible.com (USA & elsewhere): http://goo.gl/yPrp67
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/robot-overlords-unabridged/id1006874299

And there’s more about the book here: http://unusuallytallstories.com/robot-overlords-get-the-book/

“You’ve got bread on your nose…” Favourite comments from comic-cons 2015

It’s been a hell of a fun year, and one of the highlights has been attending a record number (for me) of festivals and cons to plug and pimp the ROBOT OVERLORDS film and book. If I was lucky enough to meet you, then thanks for taking the time to chat, if you bought a copy of the book, then you have my undying love, and if you torrented the film, then I hope your tiny genitals shrivel and die 😉 winky face!

The year ended with the biggest one of all, the MCM Comic Con at the Excel Centre in London. I was invited by fellow author and all round gentleman Kit Cox to join him selling and signing books for the whole weekend. Make no mistake, this is a huge event; the footfall on the Saturday alone is over a hundred thousand people, and they’re all eager genre fans, many in wonderful cosplay, and the feeling of belonging and bonhomie is infectious. I started keeping a tally of how many books I sold, but then started jotting down some of the comments made by those who visited my stall. It’s a brilliant snapshot of the kinds of people who come to cons, and I’ve broken them down into three sections: THE WONDERFUL, THE BIZARRE and THE HUMBLING…

THE WONDERFUL

Comments to make an author’s heart swell…

“Such a cool film, there’s nothing like it.”

“You had me at Robots and explosions!”

“I sell your book in Israel!” A passing Israeli bookseller.

“He’s buying this because he torrented the film after I recommended it!” A punter making his friend buy a copy of the book.

“I’d better get some cash!” A punter, after I pitched the book to them… and they actually came back and bought it!

“I’m Chris Lunt’s agent!” Chris is the show runner on the TV version of Robot Overlords!

“This is our first comic-con…” A slightly overwhelmed father and son (who bought a copy of the book).

“Can’t remember the last time I bought a book…” And he bought a copy!

“Where does the food come from? Where’s the booze? Can you imagine a completely dry country? It’ll never work!” A punter trying to pick holes in the premise. He bought a copy after I reassured him that we’d thought all this stuff through and that there was plenty of illegal hooch in a Robot-occupied UK.

“Dystopia is, like, my favourite, evah…” A wonderfully stereotypical emo teen.

“If it’s rubbish, I’m coming back.” A punter after buying a copy. He didn’t.

“I auditioned for this!” Young actor John Otteson!

“That little guy freaked me out.” Job done, Craig Garner!

“I’m downloading it right now.” Someone who bought the audiobook from Audible right in front of me!

“I love your film!” Several people. I love you, too.

THE BIZARRE

From the adorable to the baffling…

“Do you mind holding my bow while I go for a wee?” A Katniss cosplayer.

“If he finishes it, he gets fifty quid!” A father determined to get his son reading books. Who am I to argue with this carrot-on-a-stick version of parenthood?

“Everybody’s sucking Chinese dick.” A fellow writer/illustrator on the current state of Hollywood film production.

“I hate to be the person who asks where another table is…” Several people who mistook me for an information desk. I was happy to help…

“Oh my God! Monkey Magic!” A punter who was distracted mid-pitch by some fantastic Monkey Magic cosplay.

THE HUMBLING

Comments to bring the ego down to Earth with a bump.

Now, bear in mind that these comments came from folks standing right in front of a table with two showcards featuring the book, big piles of the book, and a bloody great quad poster of the film shouting ROBOT OVERLORDS in big shiny, silver letters with the release date stated plainly below…

“Is the film out yet?”

“Are they going to make this into a movie?” You never know!

“Are you the writer?”

“I think I’ve heard of this…”

“And that would make you… Mark?” A punter squinting at the showcard, then the book, then me…

“That’s a bit of a cliché, isn’t it?’ A kid on the title. I somehow resisted clipping the precocious little nerk around the ear’ole… Too many witnesses.

“I can’t finish long books.” A young boy. Try writing them, mate.

“When is this in cinemas?” Sorry mate, you blinked and missed it.

“Doesn’t look anything like her…” A punter looking askance at Gillian Anderson on the poster (who clearly hasn’t seen her in anything since The X-Files).

“Free book?” No. Buy one or fuck off.

“I haven’t got any cash!” from a punter after I spent a good five minutes pitching the story.

“I only brought thirty pounds!”

“I don’t read and I’m broke.”

“I’ve run out of money!” Everyone after 5.30.

“You’ve got bread on your nose…” My son, who pointed out that I still had some of my lunchtime sandwich attached to me after I spent a long and futile five minutes pitching the book to a couple who, perhaps understandably, spent the whole time looking at me funny.

 

I had huge fun at these cons, and sold a ton of books. I’m surprised the major publishers don’t have a presence at these. Certainly plenty of indie authors do pretty well, and I hope to do more in the future. If we should meet, don’t hesitate to ask about the film’s release date, plot holes, the state of Hollywood’s sexual peccadilloes, or where the manga books are sold, just don’t boast about torrenting the film, because I will have to kill you with the bow and arrow that nice lady asked me to look after while she was taking a whizz.

Getting a poster signed is harder than you think.

Please note: this competition is now closed!

As part of Gollancz’s wonderful advent calendar giveaway for Christmas 2015, I am delighted to be able to offer a very special prize of a Robot Overlords quad poster signed by myself, director Jon Wright, and some of our lovely cast including Craig Garner (Mediator 452), James Tarpey (Nathan), Ella Hunt (Alex) and Gillian bleedin’ blinkin’ flippin’ Anderson!

Getting these signatures was no easy task. Jon, Ella and I attended the MCM Comic Con in Birmingham in March, and we signed a few for punters then, but they were all gone before I  could grab a spare.

And this was the first I had seen of the posters, which meant that when I was in the company of living legend Sir Ben Kingsley the previous week for his publicity stint, I didn’t have one for him to sign!

I did get manage to get some for EasterCon in April, and clung on to the three I had left over with a cunning plan to get as many of the Robot Overlords stars to sign them over the coming year of cons and festivals.

Next up was the London MCM in May, and this was when I hit Robo-star paydirt. We were interviewing some of the actors for DVD extras, and I was lucky enough to nab Craig and James in between shooting and they were gracious enough to sign my posters. Next up was Gillian Anderson, but her schedule was so incredibly tight that there was no guarantee she would have the time to sign. Indeed, the very second after she arrived, she was swept away for a series of interviews, such is the nature of these high-pressure press days: everything is timed to the minute, and I would have to choose my moment carefully if I was to crash in. Next she had a panel with Jon, where she received fan-love, chocolates, and a proposal from James…

And then after that she was swept away for an interview with James for the DVD. By now, her car had its engine running (she was about to fly off to make something called The X-Files… you may have heard of it), and my window of opportunity was rapidly closing.

Luckily, our publicist Marek came to the rescue and somehow found a gap of 76.5 seconds in the schedule. We threw the posters on the floor, threw a bunch of silver Sharpies at Gillian and while I held the posters flat she kneeled down and scribbled her autograph on them. There was even time for a fanboy pic…

I haven't washed since...
I haven’t washed since…
… and then she was gone!

I carefully rolled the posters into their tube… But I wanted more!!

My other targets were Ella, Callan McAuliffe (Sean) and Milo Parker (Connor). But they were all off making other movies: Callan’s made five films since Robots, Milo was away with Gandalf making Mr. Holmes, and Ella had a big costume drama lined-up… But then it got bumped to next year! Her delay was my good fortune, and she kindly popped into the Gollancz offices where we put the world to rights over tea and brownies, and she signed the posters.

IMG_3813

So there you have it, fair reader. If you are the lucky winner of this poster, please bear in mind all the times I had to lug a poster tube on the underground, all the miles and miles of Sharpie ink, and all the nerves and tension wondering if I would get those rare signatures. Frame it, prostate yourself before it every morning, give it a dust every now and then, and then flog it when you’re old and grey and I’ve won all those Oscars.

Click here to go to the Gollancz blog to enter (UK-only, I’m afraid, but I’m sure you overseas folk have friends in the UK who can enter on your behalf, and if they win they can pop it in the post after they’ve first gazed upon its awesomeness, yes?)

Good luck!

 

I’ll be at the MCM Comic Con, London 23-25 October – come and say hi!

MCM Comic Con 23-25 OctoberExcel – London – Royal Victoria Dock

MCM2015_London_webportal

I’ll be in the Comic Village at the mega MCM Comic Con at the Excel in London. Come along and say hi, ask me about the behind-the-scenes secrets of the Robot Overlords, and get yourself a signed copy of the book (or, if you’ve already got a copy, or a DVD, or Blu Ray, then bring them with you!) this will be your last opportunity before Christmas! (After this I’m having a lie down…)

I’ll be in the company of the splendid author and illustrator of the Union-verse books Mr. Kit Cox (who kindly invited me along with the promise of good times and tea and biscuits).

Now, here comes the complicated bit… I’ll be there all day Friday, Saturday afternoon, and all day Sunday. I won’t be there Saturday morning, because I’ll be here instead…

London Screenwriters’ Festival, Saturday 24th October, 9-10am (Yes! A.M.!).

64627_340264236024149_1477155366_n

Join me for a post-breakfast panel (bring your own croissants!) – should be good fun. Here’s the blurbery…

Robot Overlords is an unusual beast: a British indie family science fiction adventure movie starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, with a hefty (for the UK) VFX budget.

Join co-writer Mark Stay to see how this idea evolved from a two-page pitch to a finished film that premiered at the London Film Festival and topped the home entertainment charts.

Topics Mark will cover in-depth include:

Writing pitch documents

Working and writing with a director

Writing for VFX

The perils of British distribution!

Read the script (available in the booking & submissions page) then watch the movie on DVD/Blu-Ray or digital download ahead of the session to get the very most out of this in-depth dissection of one of the most ambitious UK genre films of the year.

For more info click here.

I’ll be at the London Screenwriters’ Festival on Saturday 24th October…

London Screenwriters’ Festival, Saturday 24th October, 9-10am (Yes! AM!).

64627_340264236024149_1477155366_n

Join me for a post-breakfast panel (bring your own croissants!) – should be good fun. Here’s the blurbery…

Robot Overlords is an unusual beast: a British indie family science fiction adventure movie starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, with a hefty (for the UK) VFX budget.

Join co-writer Mark Stay to see how this idea evolved from a two-page pitch to a finished film that premiered at the London Film Festival and topped the home entertainment charts.

Topics Mark will cover in-depth include:

Writing pitch documents

Working and writing with a director

Writing for VFX

The perils of British distribution!

Read the script (available in the booking & submissions page) then watch the movie on DVD/Blu-Ray or digital download ahead of the session to get the very most out of this in-depth dissection of one of the most ambitious UK genre films of the year.

For more info click here.

11 things I learned making a movie…

A version of this first appeared over at the Gollancz Blog. I’ve made a few tweaks since…

On our week of release, I was over the moon to be told that ROBOT OVERLORDS, the film I co-wrote with director Jon Wright, leapt to #3 in the UK Blu Ray chart, and #7 in the DVD chart. This news came just over 5 years after getting an email from Jon asking me if I’d be interested in working on the project. So now seems as good a time as any reflect to reflect on the things I’ve learned from writing my first movie…

COLLABORATION IS EVERYTHING

I expected a good level of collaboration with Jon and the actors, which was fantastic, but some of the most surprising and rewarding stuff was getting emails from the production design team asking for names for castles, banks, names of towns on maps, the date of birth for our hero for a sheet of paper, all of which are barely seen on screen. This was great fun as you’re made to delve a little deeper into the world you’ve helped create, prompted by a team of people whose sole purpose is to make it look as believable as possible, and who think of all those details that add texture and depth to the environment.

GET ON SET

To be honest, most days on set a writer feels like a fifth wheel: that paper script of yours no longer exists and the cast and crew are too busy trying to make it into a movie to accommodate you. But you’re on a movie set! For a film nerd like me this was heaven, especially on the day we shot at Pinewood, where I strolled around like I owned the place.

I was on set about eight days out of an eight week shoot (they didn’t have the budget to have the writer hanging around, plus I had a novelisation to write!). Jon and I had discussed protocol for dealing with any script changes on set/location, and agreed that he would take care of the day-to-day minor tweaks, but that we would collaborate on anything major. In the end, there was only one occasion where we had to make a major change and I happened to be on set that day. I was despatched to a trailer (I had my own trailer! For a bit…) where I worked on the revisions. I felt very important for at least forty-five minutes.

And the catering. Don’t forget to make the most of craft services. I put on quite a bit of weight.

PEOPLE THINK YOU’LL BE FAMOUS

“You’re going to be famous,” friends and relatives would say. I’d then ask them to name three screenwriters (that weren’t also directors) and most of them were stumped.

Screenwriters just don’t have the same profile as authors. Film is a director’s medium. And authors can’t be fired from their own book, whereas screenwriters get fired all the time, even from projects they originated! This time I managed to stay the course.

DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS ARE THE HARDEST WORKING PEOPLE IN SHOWBIZ

There’s an alternate universe where our producer Piers Tempest didn’t option the film and Jon and I are musing “That Robot Overlords idea could be a goer, y’know.” Without Piers’ tireless work this film would never have been made. And Jon spent pretty much every waking hour either writing, sketching, pitching, listening, re-writing, answering roughly twenty thousand questions a day before, during and after the shoot. Over a period of about four years. That’s hardcore stuff and I don’t think he put a foot wrong.

ACTORS ARE AWESOME

I had a week of rehearsal with Callan, Ella, James and Milo, working to tailor the dialogue to their strengths. It was an absolute joy to see them take ownership of their characters, and the backstory stuff we worked on formed the basis of the first part of the novelisation.

And then the likes of Gillian Anderson, Geraldine James, Roy Hudd, Tamer Hassan and Sir Ben Kingsley start saying words that you wrote. That’s a series of pinch-yourself moments right there.

I have so many favourite lines in the film, but the one that makes me giggle every time is just one word. “Fecund.” And Kingsley delivers it with exactly the kind of filthy relish we were hoping for.

VFX IS ALL ABOUT TIME

You can do it well, cheap or fast, but not all three. Visual effects is a much-misunderstood industry, not least by me at the beginning of this project. The team at Nvizible pulled off nothing short of miracle bringing our metallic invaders to life on a budget that would barely pay for the Incredible Hulk’s pants on certain other movies. And they did it with meticulous attention to detail in a craft that’s a curious mix of hard science, pure art, teamwork, and all done with a rigorous pride in finessing stuff that might only register subconsciously with the viewer, but makes all the difference. They also have a terrific understanding of story and character. So much so, that I’ve even written a script with one of them.

PREVIEW SCREENINGS ARE BOTH TERRIFYING AND EUPHORIC AND ABSOLUTELY NO INDICATION OF THE FILM’S SUCCESS

We ran the gamut from children running screaming from the room (from one scene in particular, which became known as “the torture scene” by the producers) to others declaring it to be the best film they had ever witnessed.

We had the most amazing preview screening at the BFI Southbank: over 300 kids whooping and cheering and bursting into applause at the end, but we still didn’t manage to get the kind of nationwide distribution we wanted. Why? Myriad reasons, but it largely comes down to money. Marketing to 8-14 year olds is very, very expensive business (probably in the region of two million quid) and there wasn’t a major distributor in the UK willing to take the risk on an original idea. A shame, but that’s the reality of the British Film Industry at the moment.

REVIEWS ARE HILARIOUS (AND NEVER READ THE COMMENTS)

I read all the reviews and you’re soon able to discern if it’s going to be a good or a bad one in the first paragraph. There’s nothing more wonderful than when a reviewer latches on to what you were aiming for and sings your praises, there’s nothing more sobering than a critical review that nails a problem that should have ironed out before production, or might not even be the production’s fault at all, simply a compromise made due to limitations of time and money. And there’s nothing more hilarious than the cretinous remarks by the Simpsons Comic Book Guys who troll the comments pages of Youtube and IMDb and have yet to learn that not all films are made for males aged between 20-35.

The hardest bit has been keeping my mum away from the bad reviews, because she will hunt down and kill the reviewers.

FILM PIRACY IS RAMPANT AND MOST PEOPLE THINK THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH DOING IT

Somewhere along the line, someone managed to pirate a rather poor quality publicity screener of the film, and it was suddenly all over the torrent sites. We should have been flattered that it topped the torrent charts for some time, but the crummy quality of the pirated copy simply does no justice to the film.

What was remarkable though, were the number of people who would talk online about downloading/streaming the film from torrent sites and then tag our Twitter and Facebook accounts in their conversation! When you politely pointed out that what they were doing was illegal they became very apologetic and promised never to do it again, but there’s clearly a vast swathe of the population who enjoy their movies highly compressed with tons of digital noise and diabolical sound quality. Each to their own.

PEOPLE THINK YOU’RE RICH

I’m not. I still have a day job to pay the bills. And based on what I was paid for this gig, I will need the day job for some time. Screenwriting is not a get rich quick scheme. It might not even be a get rich slow scheme. Ask me again in thirty years.

WRITE THE NOVELISATION IF YOU CAN!

When Piers first suggested a novelisation of the film I raised my hand like the swottiest kid in class, “I’ll do it, let me, let me! And I know just the people who can publish it!” It’s been a privilege working with the Gollancz team to write a book that I hope stands alongside the great movie tie-ins I read when I was a kid. And you never know, if enough people like it I might get to write another one.

 

Photo by www.mpsv.co.uk
Oh, and always wear headphones, and always, always lurk near the director… Photo by http://www.mpsv.co.uk

 

Film Nuts – Jon Wright and I chat to Mustapha Kseibati

Jon and I took a break from writing top-secret-new-thing the other day to chat with filmmaker and all-round good guy Mustapha Kseibati for his podcast FILM NUTS.

Mus is one of the most passionate filmmakers I know, and there’s nothing he loves more than a great, heartfelt, commercial movie. Just, whatever you do, don’t get him started on BACK TO THE FUTURE:  if you think I can go on about STAR WARS, you ain’t heard Mus bang on about BTTF!

Jon and I had really good laugh chatting to Mus about how we got started and how ROBOT OVERLORDS got off the ground. You can download the podcast from iTunes here, or stream it on Soundcloud:

Oh, and if you’ve not seen Mus’s latest short, MOHAMMED, you’re missing a real treat. Watch it here!

mohammed poster

Enjoy! Oh, and Jon – who’s not a podcast listener – isn’t convinced there’s anyone out there with the endurance to sit through an hour of us waffling on, so do please let me know if you do!

 

Robot Overlords is out in the UK today!

ROBOT_OVERLORDS_FB_IMAGE_V2[1]-2

ROBOT OVERLORDS is finally available to own in the UK on DVD & Blu-ray today…

It’s already out there on Digital HD across all platforms: Virgin Media, iTunes, Sky, Blinkbox, Amazon, Xbox and Google.

And now The DVD and Blu-Ray are available wherever DVDs are sold…

IMG_1021

The Blu-Ray is also available as a beautiful limited edition Steelbook .

Shiny...
Ooh, shiny…

All editions feature the same cool extras:

Cast and creator interviews at the MCM London Comic Con (featuring Gillian Anderson, James Tarpey and Craig Johnson)

A Making of…

A VFX special…

The cast reading an extract from the book at Pinewood Studios…

Matt Zo – Robots Never Lie Official Video…

The Comic Con extra is especially brilliant as poor lovestruck James pursues Gillian for an interview throughout the con.

So grab your copy now! But don’t just take my word for it…

 “A British sci-fi blockbuster, a must-see for all the family.”
   — Henry Fitzherbert, Sunday Express

Robot Overlords includes lots of things it’s impossible not to love, especially in the context of British cinema: hovering robot menaces, standing stones, a dour seaside location, a Spitfire in flight… while Gillian Anderson gives Paddington’s Sally Hawkins stiff competition for the title of Britain’s Best Mum.”
   — Kim Newman, Sight & Sound Magazine

“These are the droids you’re looking for…Robot Overlords proves, like Monsters before it, what can be achieved when you’re short of cash but rich in imagination. It’s also brimming with charm, and has a game supporting cast.”
   — Neil Smith, Total Film

“As with Jon Wright’s excellent last film,Grabbers, the pace never really lets up…Robot Overlords displays knowing intelligence, a sense of fun and a deep-rooted love for post-‘70s genre film. Unlike its titular villains, it’s sleek and it never malfunctions.”
   — Owen Williams, Empire Magazine

“The SFX are nothing short of incredible… What’s really astounding about this movie – not that fact that the team had this vision, but they managed to deliver it on a tiny budget, and deliver it well.”
   — Richmond Clements, Forbidden Planet

“Wright’s pleasingly pacy direction is infused with a palpable sense of fun and the film makes strong use of its various picturesque locations… Frankly, Michael Bay should watch this for tips and save himself a few quid on the next Transformers movie.”
   — Matthew Turner, WOW 24-7

“Director Jon Wright makes the most of his resources, imbuing the action with an oddly endearing sense of string-and-glue DIY youthfulness.”
   — Mark Kermode, The Observer

“He may not have the Hollywood buzz of Christopher Nolan or the hyper-kinetic style of the similar-surnamed Edgar, but the director has a voice (and confidence of tone) that knows exactly who he is, whether he’s working with drunken aliens or giant robots.”
   — Ivan Radford, i-Flicks

“A surprisingly slick and stylish British sci-fi… An entertaining action adventure with impressive special effects.”
   — Maria Duarte, Morning Star

“Director Jon Wright – who co-wrote the script with Mark Stay – has come up with a brilliant concept that really works on a small budget… A rip-roaring adventure that harks back to the ‘80s. Perhaps they do make them like they used to.”
   — Kate Lloyd, MyM Magazine

   “Robot Overlords doesn’t outstay its welcome, it doesn’t rehash boring things seen in bigger blockbusters, it plays within a world with established rules and a history, it plays with characters who have clear goals and chemistry, and it has a lot of fun in the process… A really enjoyable slice of cinema.”
   — Andrew Jones, HeyUGuys

“Doing away with the massive spectacle set pieces and never-ending explosions, Jon Wright instead shifts the focus to the human side of the story. It’s all about the characters. This is where Robot Overlords really shines… An action-packed romp through ’80s sci-fi classics, taking the over-the-top spectacle of Transformers and flipping it on its head.”
  — Ryan Leston, Total Geeks

Robot Overlords is a fun entry in an increasingly neglected genre: the family-friendly sci-fi movie… A charming throwback to the adventure films of the 70s and 80s.”
   — Ryan Lambie, Den Of Geek

“A Children’s Film Foundation offering updated for the JJ Abrams era: we now get better VFX, lashings of lens flare and Roy Hudd as a kindly grandpa… More spirited and nonconformist than the Transformers movies: the strategic deployment of a second world war Spitfire suggests this one may hold symbolic value for our newly confident industry.”
   — Mike McCahill, The Guardian

“A joy to watch, fun as anything, genuinely funny, tense, brilliantly made and with such grand spectacle at times it is hard to believe it is a British film, a proper British film. Your next big family favourite film.”
   — Andrew Jones, Box Office Buz

“Prepare to kneel before the Robot Overlords because this is one hell of a good film. Five stars.”
   — Paul Metcalf, Pissed Off Geek

“Giant Robots and Gillian… What’s not to like?”
  — James Mottram, Metro

“Mark Stay’s script, co-written with Wright, nails that balance between sci-fi grit and adventurous glam, filtering the Amblin escapades of old through a modern Britain.”

— Ivan Radford, Vodzilla