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"A journey should always be mysterious..." One of the best films of 2014 is Birdman, the fifth feature from Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu, following up Biutiful four years ago. Birdman premiered at the Venice Film Festival and Telluride Film Festivals, and will also play at the New York Film Festival before landing in theaters this October. After catching the premiere up in the mountains in Telluride (my review), I met up with Iñárritu for a 15 minute chat about all things: from life to filmmaking to laughter to turning 50 and the lessons he has learned. It happens to be one of the best chats I've had with a filmmaker, and it's rejuvenating to listen to him talk. "If you don't do something that does not terrify you, why do it?"
"It's the things we love most... that destroy us." Can we talk about how awesome the latest trailer is for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1? This sequel, only Part 1 of 2 (the second half is due November 2015) both directed by Francis Lawrence, hits theaters November 21st a few weeks after Interstellar. If I might say – this looks epic, I mean, seriously! The destruction, the stakes, the moments, Philip Seymour Hoffman!, freakin' Katniss, Jennifer Lawrence, the arrows, chills, Effie Trinket, President Snow, the White Rose, Peeta! It all looks so insanely awesome, yes yes yes. This is what we've been waiting for. I am so glad they went all out and are giving us the huge conclusion this deserves, even if it is two movies. Bring it on!
"The sequel you did Nazi coming!" Oh my, what a tagline. Well Go USA has debuted one last official trailer for Tommy Wirkola's sequel Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead, the follow-up to the insanely absurd horror comedy Dead Snow from 2009. This time they up the ante taking things out of the winter wilderness and onto the streets of a small town when the undead Nazi army returns to finish what they started. The film picks up where the first left off with Martin, played by Vegar Hoel, still alive after the first incident but stuck with a "super-powered Zombie arm" trying to kill him. We previously featured an early festival teaser for this a while ago, but this footage gives us a taste of the entire film and it looks wild 'n crazy, as expected.
What do we do? How do we get out? Sometimes I love going into a film without knowing anything about it, without knowing about or having read the book, without knowing the plot aside from whatever glimpses have appeared in trailers. Usually, if the film is compelling, and everything is laid out in a coherent way that builds properly, this can lead to an incredible experience involving suspense wrapped around mystery. The Maze Runner is an awesome, suspenseful movie that shows how easily a director can step up and compare to other "big" adaptations by focusing on telling a good story. I must admit that I haven't read the book and went into this fresh, but it was still a fully entertaining and engaging experience. Wes Ball is the real deal.
Our Destiny Lies Above Us. If you can believe it, we're only 53 days from the release of Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. Meaning it's almost time...! To keep the nearly unbearable hype going, while not revealing anything big before release, there's a fantastic set of artwork for the film released from Blurppy as part of their Poster Posse series. This month they're highlight Interstellar meaning we get a bunch of new posters and digital art for the movie, created by great artists from all over. The first batch has arrived and it's quite wonderful, showcasing Matthew McConaughey as Cooper, and the space exploration theme with a rocket ship. Doaly even made a few stamps and mission patches, different from the one given out at Comic-Con.
"I will find you." How about a bit of homemade sci-fi to start off the week. Today we're featuring the brand new teaser trailer for a project called Sync, the latest from VFX artist/filmmaker Hasraf 'HaZ' Dulull. You may recognize that name as we've featured his space exploration "documentary" Project Kronos, which gave him a big boost in the industry and now he's off working on more. Sync is one of those other projects and it looks... just okay. To be totally honest, I'm not that impressed by this trailer at all. The footage looks very cheesy, blatantly dull and the CGI looks like glossy embellishment that doesn't add much. Take a look.
At the end of another festival. Over the last weekend I traveled up to Toronto to attend my 8th year at TIFF, or the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the major festivals every fall. TIFF is now best known for scheduling over 300 films in their line-up, from tiny international discoveries to mainstream premieres, which means there's no way any hardcore critic/blogger/cinephile is missing this fest. There's just too many films to see, from various Sundance and Cannes holdovers that I've been waiting for, to major unveilings like the latest films from directors Jason Reitman and Mia Hansen-Løve. This year I was able to see 19 films as part of TIFF 2014, complimenting everything else from Cannes & Telluride. Which ones stand out?
"What is light without dark?" Every once in a while I come across something so unique, so refreshing, so exciting to watch that as soon as the lights come up I immediately want to start raving and telling others about it. This is one of those films, and I hope I can bring some additional attention to it. Thanks to a tip on Twitter from filmmaker @DarrenAronofsky, I caught an Icelandic film called Life in a Fishbowl, from director Baldvin Zophoníasson, an ensemble feature premiering at the Toronto Film Festival. Amidst all the darkness, death, stress, and horribleness in this world, here is a story that finally has some optimism to it.
Franco and Palahniuk? Quite an interesting combination. We've been covering news about adaptations of Chuck Palahniuk novels for many years, not to mention anything related to Fight Club. Many projects come and go, some make it into production (like Choke with Sam Rockwell a few years ago), and others stay stuck in development forever. The latest adaptation coming together is of his 2008 novel Rant: The Oral Biography of Buster Casey, about a high school rebel who starts an "urban demolition derby". So who is adapting it? None other than actor/filmmaker James Franco, apparently set to direct following adapting Cormac McCarthy's Child of God. I'm not sure if he's a good fit, but if this actually happens, I say bring it on.
"What - you need an invitation?" As always, we're happy to feature short films that catch our attention so as to inspire, and to provide a quick look at the variety of great filmmakers (and stories to tell) out there. This latest one is titled Now We Are Not, written and directed by Amanda Mae Meyncke (aka @amae and writer for other film websites), and as much as I could start explaining the concept you'll figure out as soon as you start watching. It's almost sort of a reverse Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, without the sci-fi, but with all the emotions. I enjoyed it and hope to see more from Amanda soon. It's only a quick 6 minutes.
"Every once in a while, a revolutionary product comes along that changes everything." From MakerBot to Shapeways, we're in the midst of a 3D printing boom and it's exciting to watch whether you're a part of the industry or not. Netflix is so excited about it that they've made an entire documentary about it, titled Print the Legend, from co-directors Luiz Lopez & J. Clay Tweel. Premiering in the video service later this month, the first trailer for the documentary has arrived and we're happy to share it even though we're bending our own rules for something that's only available via the internet (we always prefer theatrical!). But the trailer looks great, and this looks like a really fascinating and fun doc about 3D printing, so why not. Give it a shot.
D'après le Best-Seller! We're getting closer and closer to the October release of David Fincher's latest film, adapted from Gillian Flynn's novel of the same name which it seems that everyone is reading nowadays. Gone Girl has already been marketed with trailers and TV spots and posters, but we have even more to add into the mix. An international poster from France has appeared putting Amy Dunne's character (played by Rosamund Pike) front and center, with Ben Affleck's Nick Dunne behind her. Meanwhile, a new Pinterest page for Amy's character has appeared, which is the best movie marketing use of that site so far. See below.
"You look very similar to someone." If you're interested in mysterious German suspense dramas, then you won't want to miss this one. Phoenix is the latest film from German filmmaker Christian Petzold, and it just premiered at the Toronto Film Festival this week. To compliment its festival unveiling, the production has released the first trailer. The film stars Nina Hoss (A Woman in Berlin, Barbara, A Most Wanted Man) as a concentration camp survivor who ends up searching through postwar Berlin to find the man she believes betrayed her to the Nazis. The cast includes Ronald Zehrfeld and Nina Kunzendorf. I can't say this looks like something everyone will enjoy, but there's certainly an intriguing element to it. Take a look.
Now that is a Batmobile! Oh yes! In response to the first sneaky fan-taken set photos leaked to the web this week, Zack Snyder has taken to Twitter to reveal an official and spectacular first look at the Batmobile from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Filming is now underway, and the photo was taken by Snyder's goto set photographer Clay Enos, who also tweeted some particulars. This shot they've revealed makes it look a lot more suped up than any of the set photos from around Detroit, or the one in the background of that first Batman shot, and I can't wait to see it in action. Is this everything you wanted? Or is it too much?