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Hollywood loves repeating itself. This week alone we're getting new trailers for brand new Star Wars and Jurassic Park movies, like it's the 90s all over again. But there is a new trend that is becoming increasingly frustrating - the two-part split finale of film-to-book series like Twilight, Harry Potter and now Hunger Games. With the first half of Mockingjay, the finale of The Hunger Games, now playing in theaters (my full review) the unsettling feeling of "why?!" has grown in me. This film once again proves that the quality of the work diminishes in exchange for a desire to make more money on a franchise that's temporarily popular. When will this fad end? Because it needs to stop. Don't Hollywood executives already own enough yachts?
Up until this week, many of the most secretive projects in development at Hollywood have been kept very private, with few details and even less imagery. A few Star Wars tidbits have leaked out, but in regards to Jurassic World, a number of major details were finally revealed in the footage in the first official trailer. It's hardly a teaser trailer, even though it is labeled as that, but it does show quite a few shots of dinosaurs, the full theme park, Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and raptors. So what do we know? It's not a story about dinos on the loose, it's actually about genetically-modified hybrid dinosaurs that end up on the loose.
We're excited to premiere a brand new sci-fi short film originating from Sweden called Double Trouble, a time travel comedy from directing duo (and friends of the site) Andreas Climent (@andreascliment) & André Hedetoft (@ahedetoft). This charming, goofy short film is about a shy young man who misses the opportunity to talk to the girl of his dreams. But when he finds a mysterious pocket watch that can turn back time, well, that's when things get interesting. It's an impressive film that doesn't rely on any dialogue, only actions and reactions, and it's cool to see just how far they go playing with the time travel concept/paradox. These two made that Logan short we ran previously, and are already working on a feature, they definitely have a bright filmmaking future ahead of them. Take a break from Star Wars and watch this amusing short.
"Are you paying attention?" Time to put your mind to use. One of my favorite films of the year is hitting theaters later this week – The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing who helps break the Enigma code during WWII. The Weinstein Company recently released yet another one-minute trailer/spot for the film (seen below), and hidden in it is an IP URL which links to a viral cryptography/code breaking website. It's actually a Google-made cryptography website with, likely, something cool at the end if you can get all the way in. Anyone want to give this a try? "You are in control of what is about to happen."
"You are very different than anyone I have ever met." IFC Films has debuted a brand new trailer for a film called Match, starring Patrick Stewart as an aging ballet instructor in New York City who takes up a job at Julliard. He's interviewed by a woman and her husband about dance in the 1960's, but he soon learns there's much more to her connection to him. Carla Gugino also stars, along with Matthew Lillard and Maduka Steady. This is based on a play, which makes sense considering Stewart's involvement, but more than anything it just looks like a heartwarming, life-affirming look at how to live in this wild world. Enjoy.
"I'm not going to tell stories just to please you." Wow, this looks stunning. Fox Searchlight UK has debuted a trailer for Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's classic romantic story Far From the Madding Crowd, and it looks magnificent. Carey Mulligan stars as Bathsheba Everdene (no relation to Katniss), who captures the eyes and hearts of three men in this love story: Tom Sturridge as Frank Troy, Michael Sheen as William Boldwood, and Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak. Aside from compelling performances, the cinematography by DP Charlotte Bruus Christensen is gorgeous. Back in 1967, Julie Christie starred as Bathsheba and now it's Carey Mulligan's turn to woo us. This looks fantastic.
"Our new home." Now that Christopher Nolan's sci-fi spectacular Interstellar (Sound Off here) has been in theaters for over two weeks (which means we hope you've all seen it by now!), some great artwork and explanations are hitting the web. Last week we featured an excellent infographic timeline that nicely laid out the timeline as it intertwined with the plot of the film, following the crew of the Endurance as the embark on a mission to explore another galaxy. This new one, made by digital artist Sivakumar found on deviantArt, includes charming little sketches of the characters and the events that take place, really giving this a fresh, fun feel why making some sense of the plot. I really like this one, take a look. Oh and of course - spoilers!
"As for me, I'm done making movies." Here's something to make you smile. GKids has released an official US trailer for The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, a documentary about legendary animation house Studio Ghibli in Japan. From director Mami Sunada, the doc provides an unprecedented inside look at the inner workings of Ghibli and the daily life of animator Hayao Miyazaki, who has officially retired from making features. I've seen this documentary and it's absolutely wonderful, I was refreshed and felt so happy by the end. There's a certain magic to Studio Ghibli and they capture some of that, then again I just could go on spending days watching footage of Miyazaki-san smile and laugh. This doc is a real gem - don't miss it.
"Rage, rage against the dying of the light." Wait, wrong movie. I wish we could wait until next year to write about The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, because it's a two-part finale and this first one really is just half of a movie. And while I have so much to say, I'm just as anxious to see it conclude properly before I really get into The Hunger Games series in-depth. However, we can't wait a year because Mockingjay - Part 1 is in theaters, and if you want that big screen experience now's the time to make the trip. Unfortunately, Mockingjay seems to be experiencing the same problems as Harry Potter, with the split forcing the story to be drawn out a bit too much taking away from the visceral experience that made the first two films so good.
He's headed back to Searchlight. After releasing his latest film Men, Women & Children this fall, filmmaker Jason Reitman is lining up projects to jump into next. THR has announced one of them that he's now attached to direct, an adaptation of the Texas Monthly true-life story I Would Only Rob Banks for My Family written by Skip Hollandsworth. The project was picked up by Fox Searchlight with Nick Hornby on the script. Reitman worked with Searchlight previously distributing his early films Juno and Thank You For Smoking. However, his most recent films – Up in the Air, Young Adult, Labor Day and Men, Women & Children – were all released by Paramount. Honestly I'm glad to see Reitman back at Searchlight yet again.
Oh my this is wonderful! To promote the release of Disney Animation's Big Hero 6 in Japan, the Mouse House is switching things up and has created a special promotional trailer using hand-drawn animation. It's absolutely beautiful and you'll probably shed a tear, whether you've seen this film already or not. Big Hero 6 is about an inflatable health robot named Baymax that ends up in the hands of young Hiro. It's not the best animated movie you'll ever see, but it's damn good, better than most others out this year. This trailer really captures the emotional spirit of the film and sells it in a unique way. I wish we still tried to do something different with marketing in the US, alas we just get the same ole trailers. But this is something else. Enjoy.
What is it, exactly, that influences us to choose the movies we choose to see? As moviegoers, do you go to the cinema with a specific movie in mind? Or do you go with the intention of finding something good? How do you know what's playing? How do you know what will be good? These are a few of the ambitious questions this research-based infographic tries to answer. Titled "Behind the Box Office", it was made by Google using mostly Google / Millward Brown Digital data through various studies designed to determine the path a moviegoer takes. It's not as surprising as I thought, because most of the data is makes sense - moviegoers go to YouTube to watch trailers, go to theaters to choose a movie, and care more about actors than anyone.
Today is better the second time around. If only everyone could time travel... Paramount has debuted the latest trailer for Project Almanac, the kick ass found footage time travel film that feels like an as-good-as follow-up to Chronicle. This time, a group of high school kids invent a time travel device and start to use it for their own desires. This film was once called Welcome to Yesterday and we ran the trailer a year ago when it was set for release in 2014, but it has since been rescheduled for early 2015. I saw the movie at Comic-Con 2014 and really enjoyed it (my full review). I recommend it especially if you're a sci-fi geek who loves anything with time travel (they even joke about Looper in the movie). So fire up the new trailer below.
As we head deeper into the 2014 awards season, more and more films start to hit cinemas all over, flooding the market with any and every possible contender. Which ones stand out? This one, to start with - Xavier Dolan's Mommy, the Quebecois filmmaker's fifth feature film that premiered at Cannes (my review) and played in Telluride and Toronto. It's Canada's officially entry into the Academy Awards and for good reason - it's one my favorite films of this year. Antoine-Olivier Pilon, seen below, stars as Steve in Mommy, a violent teenager who is sent to live with his mom, played by Anne Dorval, as they try to their feet back on the ground. Three gorgeous posters, square like the film's 1:1 aspect ratio, have debuted and we must share.