When we first saw the trailer for the new movie A-X-L, we weren’t sure what to make of it. It doesn’t feel like a huge picture, yet it has effects of such quality that it brings its own gravitas. When a light adventure film takes its production values very seriously, it makes you sit up and pay attention.
Pause the SCIFI.radio music stream while you watch the trailer.
It feels a bit like a Michael Bay Transformers movie, and seems to follow the familiar trope of a young man, estranged from society, who finds redemption when he discovers a powerful new weapon / ally / artifact, and can’t manage without a faithful sidekick which he also manages to accumulate in the process. How he achieves that redemption is the core of the plotline, and the character arcs here are really the star of the show.
A.X.L. is a top-secret, robotic dog created by the military to help protect tomorrow’s soldiers. Code named by the scientists who created him, A.X.L. stands for Attack, Exploration, Logistics, and embodies the most advanced, next-generation artificial intelligence.
Naturally, something goes wrong during some field experiments, and A.X.L. is discovered hiding alone in the desert by a kind-hearted outsider named Miles (Alex Neustaedter), who finds a way to connect with him after activating his owner-pairing technology.
Together, the two develop a special friendship based on trust, loyalty and compassion. Helping Miles gain the confidence he’s been lacking, A.X.L. will go to any length to protect his new companion, including facing off against the scientists who created him and who will do anything to get him back. Knowing what is at stake if A.X.L. is captured, Miles teams up with a smart, resourceful ally named Sara (Becky G) to protect his new best friend on a timeless, epic adventure for the whole family.
A-X-L Soundtrack Album Releases August 24!
The score is by Ian Hultquist, an American composer & producer based in Los Angeles, CA. Over the past few years he has made a name for himself composing the scores for numerous films, documentaries and tv shows. It’s a pretty great musical score, and perhaps even transcends the material it was written for.
The album is being digitally released Friday, August 24 via Lakeshore Records. And of course, you’ll be able to hear all the tracks from this album on SCIFI.radio starting the morning of August 24, as part of Shawn Crosby’s show Good Morning Tatooine!, starting at 9 am Pacific / 12 am Eastern.
Hultquist, the composer, is definitely a rising star. In 2018 alone, Hultquist Ian has four feature films being released theatrically including Love & Bananas: An Elephant Story (dir. Ashley Bell, Abrorama), The Gospel According to André (dir. Kate Novack, Magnolia Pictures), A-X-L (dir. Oliver Daly, Lakeshore/Global Road) & Assassination Nation (dir. Sam Levinson, NEON/AGBO).
A Little Film that Looks Big
This isn’t a release by one of the majors. It’s by Global Road Entertainment, the same studio that just released the sci-fi thriller Hotel Artemis. This same studio decided to hold the release of the Johnny Depp thriller City of Lies, originally due out September 7, in part because of the allegations against Depp involving domestic abuse.
They’re working hard to get themselves clear of their latest financial troubles. It’s not that Global Road Entertainment isn’t turning out good films, because they clearly are. The release of A*X*L has already been paid for months in advance, so they’re going to go ahead and put the film in theaters on time.
It looks like a rather charming sci-fi buddy picture, and we think it will actually do quite well. It has all the earmarks of turning into one of those cult films that genre movie buffs will return to year after year.
A-X-L stars Thomas Jane, Becky G and Alex Neustaedter and releases August 24, 2018, the same day as its digital soundtrack album.
SCIFI.radio is listener supported sci-fi geek culture radio, and operates almost exclusively via the generous contributions of our fans via our Patreon campaign. If you like, you can also use our tip jar and send us a little something to help support the many fine creatives that make this station possible.