ENJOY THE SHOW
Hahahahaha… Finally, after teasing photos of cutting the hair, David Ayer has revealed The Joker in full. Academy Award winning actor Jared Leto plays the DC villain in the upcoming movie Suicide Squad, that David Ayer is preparing to direct with one hell of a cast. Besides Leto, it has Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Jai Courtney, Scott Eastwood, Joel Kinnaman and Cara Delevingne. This first look is primarily just a promo shot, not an actual still from the film which just started shooting this month up in Toronto. He's got plenty of nice tattoos, that signature green hair, and a purple glove. You may also remember that other reference to The Killing Joke before this Joker reveal. This is a freaky way to introduce him, but damn does he look cool.
What looks good this year? This past week I attended the CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas, an annual convention for movie theater owners + distributors. Every year Hollywood flies in actors and hosts elaborate presentations inside of The Colosseum at Caesars Palace to show off their movies over the next year. I've decided to recap all of the panels from all of the studios (Paramount, WB, Fox, Universal, Sony) and discuss some of the best footage we saw. They pack in so much into these presentations, and I'm glad we get a first look at some of the big projects they've been working on. A few reveals blew us away, while other footage made me less worried about movies we've already seen teases for. So without further ado, let's jump right in.
"He so gets me!" A24 Films has debuted the official US trailer for Barely Lethal, the new film from Kyle Newman (Fanboys) starring Hailee Steinfeld as a teenage assassin who goes to high school. A month ago we posted a different (international) trailer for this film, and it looked awful, but even Kyle Newman went on the record saying it was a terrible trailer and you should wait for the official one (which is this one). So give this new trailer a chance! It actually looks solid, a fun throwback to wacky 90's comedy action flicks. There's some odd lines of dialogue but I think the film might be entertaining. The cast includes Samuel L. Jackson, Jessica Alba, Sophie Turner, Jaime King, Thomas Mann, Dan Fogler and yep, Steve-O.
Lasers. They're the future of cinema, so you better get used to it. I've been attending CinemaCon (formerly ShoWest), the movie theater owners' convention, for the last 9 years and have seen many fantastic technical demos. One year James Cameron came and showed us his first look at High Frame Rates; one year Dolby introduced their (now everywhere) Atmos sound system with a custom install in a big auditorium where we get to see screenings. This year, Dolby held a demo of their latest offering - a system called Dolby Vision (we've written about it recently). It runs on two 4K laser projectors and they claimed that the contrast ratio they were getting up to is 1,000,000:1. Most cinemas today are barely 2,000:1. It was mesmerizing to see.
We all thought we were done with High Frame Rate projection after The Hobbit, but it looks like that's not the case. During Sony Picture's annual presentation at CinemaCon this week, director Ang Lee appeared in a recorded video from the set of his new film based on the book Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. He talked about how making Life of Pi in 3D taught him how remarkable of a filmmaking tool 3D is. He has since explored new filmmaking technology even further, deciding to shoot this next film at 120 FPS (frames per second) and in 3D (again). No footage was shown, and they didn't mention anything else about it being released in HFR, but it sounds like Lee is now getting into HFR after James Cameron and Peter Jackson.
Over the last few years, Disney has been buying a few big studios or partnering with them, between Marvel Studios, Steven Spielberg's DreamWorks and most recently Lucasfilm. This one Hollywood studio now has an incredibly diverse slate, and at their annual presentation during the movie theater owners' convention CinemaCon this week, they included a slide of their upcoming releases through 2017. We already know all of these release dates, so there's nothing new coming from this, but it's cool to see everything presented in this visual way with all of the logos included. Hell of a line-up, from Marvel mania to Star Wars galore, Toy Story 4, two Spielberg films, and even Ghost in the Shell. Take a look + click for bigger. Cue Disney theme.
Can it be done? Can (and will) a movie studio successfully market a major movie without any trailers or clips or actual footage from the movie? (And I don't mean a tiny indie that becomes a big hit.) That's the question bouncing around my head this week, augmented by all the marketing madness occurring at the CinemaCon convention (where movie studios go all out showing movie theater owners their slate for the upcoming year). With the release of the latest Tomorrowland trailer this week, the discussion has restarted on Twitter about not watching any trailers at all any more, a growing movement among dedicated movie lovers. So, that makes me wonder: is marketing a movie successfully without spoiling any footage possible?
"You ain't seen nothin' yet!" Disney has unveiled the third trailer for Brad Bird's Tomorrowland, starring Britt Robertson and George Clooney. This original sci-fi adventure introduces us to the other world behind Disney, Tomorrowland. The plot involves Casey Newton (Robertson) finding a mysterious magical pin and getting sucked into this adventure. We've seen plenty of glimpses already, Disney is showing footage at Disneyland, and this new trailer doesn't have anything new (that we haven't seen elsewhere) other than a few more finished VFX shots. I'm still incredibly excited for this (the weapons looks so cool!), but I want to see a bit more than we already have. In time… For now, enjoy this new trailer and featurette to go with it.
And here we go… Zack Snyder has tweeted out the first two posters for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which will be handed out at the IMAX events this Monday, April 20th. And they are awesome. I love them both. The two posters, one for Batman and one for Superman (but none for Wonder Woman or Aquaman or Lex Luthor or anyone else… yet), which seem to have an Andy Warhol-esque design that also borrows from the Joker viral campaign for The Dark Knight. We all got to see the first teaser trailer a few days ago when it debuted online, so now we get a tease at more of their marketing and it's definitely going to rile a few people up. Take a look at both new BvS posters in full below - and tell us which one you prefer?
"For more than a thousand generations, the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic. Before the dark times, before the Empire…" Plenty of new details about the expanded Star Wars universe revealed, as the Star Wars Celebration event in Anaheim ended with a panel featuring director Gareth Edwards. After bring us Godzilla, Gareth is next set to direct the first "spin-off" solo Star Wars movie after Disney bought Lucasfilm and brought back Star Wars. It was revealed recently that the title of the December 2016 film would be Rogue One, but during the panel they played a very early, brief teaser trailer for Rogue One that featured a different title. Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is what the title card shows in that, but we also know more details about the plot - and it's not really about X-Wings.
"If you want to stop him, it's going to take everything you have." 20th Century Fox has unleashed the new full-length trailer for Josh Trank's Fantastic Four movie, not yet part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but getting closer. They finally dropped a teaser for this in January, as we've been waiting a while to see any footage, and this is the follow-up. It still focuses on their origin and the first half of the film, but we get a glimpse at where things are headed (towards Dr. Doom) and I like what I see. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell star as the new Four, plus that is Reg E. Cathey giving orders. I'm actually kinda into this, despite yet another origin story. When you change the world, prepare to defend it.
"Devils don't come from hell beneath us. No, they come from the sky." It's time! Feast your eyes on the very first footage from Zack Snyder's highly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, where we will finally see Batman fight Superman. After the teaser trailer leaked online early via bootlegs (which we don't condone watching!), Zack Snyder tweeted that the first full trailer is now here and fans will get a special IMAX trailer at the preview events on Monday. Henry Cavill returns as Superman, Ben Affleck plays Batman, and we don't see much elese, but it is a rather dark and epic first tease at what is to come. This is just a teaser but I like what we're seeing, even though it's a much different tone than Marvel. Enjoy!
"I've never loved anyone the way I loved you." Well isn't this just lovely. Spoke Art is now selling a print made by artist Max Dalton (website) featuring 24 different famous couples. The piece is officially called "A Love Story", and profiles everyone from Theodore and Samantha in Her, Rick and Ilsa from Casablanca, to Sam and Suzy from Moonrise Kingdom, Ennis and Jack from Brokeback Mountain, to Bob and Charlotte from Lost in Translation, and plenty others. If anything, these couples will make you smile as you think back to all the crazy big screen romance that we've gone through. He even has Kong and Ann, ha! Nice work.
Think you know everything about Steven Spielberg's style? Think again. We've already seen and posted a shot-by-shot analysis of Jaws before (view that one here), but this latest one breaks down and analyzes the filmmaking techniques Spielberg used in one particular scene in his shark thriller classic Jaws (released in 1975). Specifically, Julian Palmer takes a look at the early beach attack scene in Jaws, where the young boy gets eaten. It's a detailed analysis (perhaps over-analysis) but includes very intelligent references that will allow anyone to understand how beautifully this scene is crafted, and just how talented Spielberg really is. There's always more to learn about filmmaking techniques from films old and new, so always keep watching.