ENJOY THE SHOW
Bleep! Bloop! Bleep! Translation: come fly to Japan on my airplane! Holy crap this is… awesome? Yea, I'm going to say it is. One of the big reveals this week at Star Wars Celebration, along with the new trailer for The Force Awakens, is a brand new R2-D2-painted Boeing 787 commercial airplane. We've seen Smaug the Airplane, now it's R2's turn. The new aircraft will be part of All Nippon Airways fleet, based out of Japan, and it will be launching in fall 2015 (a bit closer to the release of The Force Awakens). The plane is being shown off in videos at their booth, but we found nice clean shots of it in flight. I'll take a ticket, please.
An early look at The Making of The Force Awakens. Disney kicked things off with a bang in Anaheim with the opening panel of Star Wars Celebration, taking place this weekend in Southern California. The panel included an hour long discussion and first look at Star Wars: The Force Awakens, guided by director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy. They told stories of growing up with Star Wars, making sure the fans are satisfied (in every way), the daunting task of continuing this legacy when George Lucas decided to hand it over. In the background were slides showing various behind-the-scenes production photos, including on the desert planet Jakku (or is it Jaku?). And, to be frank, we love behind-the-scenes photos. This recap comes directly from the live stream of the Star Wars Celebration opening presentation.
"Go into a shoot with a bad script, and you're in big trouble." Playing in theaters now is the new sci-fi film Ex Machina, directed by screenwriter turned filmmaker Alex Garland. Garland is making his directorial debut with this film after writing the scripts for The Beach, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, Never Let Me Go and Dredd. A few years back I met up with him for an interview about Dredd, and we talked a lot about science fiction, and how the genre pushes itself forward. I met up with Alex Garland again, this time while he was in New York City to promote Ex Machina, and we again chatted about sci-fi and how much he loves the genre. As always, it was fun to sit down and talk with Alex about filmmaking and much more. Fire it up!
Every year, as we head into spring, the Cannes Film Festival unveils it's lineup as cinephiles around the world wait anxiously to find out what films will be premiering at the prestigious festival. The 2015 line-up has been unveiled, with a rather interesting selection of films ranging from Mad Max: Fury Road to Pixar's Inside Out to Natalie Portman's first film A Tale of Love and Darkness to Justin Kurzel's Macbeth with Michael Fassbender, to filmmakers like Jacques Audiard (Rust & Bone, A Prophet), Garrone, Kore-Eda, Moretti, Sorrentino, Villeneuve, Gus Van Sant and Woody Allen. This is the day many diehard cinephiles have been waiting for, to find out what's showing up this year, so take a look at the selection in full below.
We'll likely hear more about this in the next few days, but it seems Zack Snyder and Warner Bros are on the verge of announcing a big IMAX event being planned for this coming Monday, April 20th. We've already posted about the rumor that the first tease of Zack Snyder's highly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice footage will hit tomorrow, just before the new Star Wars trailer, and that means the full trailer will follow - and will also show with Mad Max: Fury Road. But in the meantime, there's word that apparently Warner Bros is coordinating IMAX events to show footage from Batman v Superman in theaters on the big screen. It sounds like they might be pulling out all the stops, and showing fans some of the footage they've been waiting for - more than just the trailer. And now the details on theaters have surfaced.
"Promise me something - that we'll remain a secret, forever." GKids has released a new trailer for Studio Ghibli's When Marnie Was There, the studio's last feature film for the time being that opened in Japan last year. From Hiromasa Yonebayashi, director of Secret World of Arrietty, based on Joan G. Robinson's children's book, When Marnie Was There is a tender, beautiful ghost story of friendship and understanding. The English version of the film (which this is a trailer for) comes with voices from Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka, John C. Reilly, Vanessa Williams, Geena Davis, Kathy Bates, Ellen Burstyn, Catherine O’Hara, Grey Griffin, Ava Acres and Raini Roodriguez. I still recommend the Japanese version, but both will be available. I recently saw this film and it's quite charming, but not as fantastic as any of Ghibli's past work. Take a look.
"To survive a war, you gotta become war." Don't mess with Rambo. Our friends at Grey Matter Art have unveiled an officially licensed printed for Rambo: First Blood Part II starring Sylvester Stallone as they continue to reveal art in their Rambo series. This new print is by artist Anthony Petrie (known best for his fantastic movie map art) featuring Rambo with his bow & arrow from the second movie. The variant version of this print changes the background and colors a bit, making it almost look like it was printed on metal (though that doesn't seem to be the case). Prints are priced $45/$55 and go on sale next week. Take a look.
Just how big is an IMAX camera, really? Here's a fun photo that should give you a good idea. Director Zack Snyder (currently working on Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) tweeted out a photo showing him holding a huge IMAX camera inside an office, presumably in preparation for some IMAX filming. He didn't add any other description aside from the hashtag "#workout". In the background you can see posters for The Dark Knight, Skyfall and IMAX's Space Station 3D movie, which means Zack was visiting one of IMAX's offices when they snapped this. We already know that Snyder shot some footage for Batman v Superman in IMAX, and hopefully we'll know more about exactly how much footage there will be soon. Take a look below.
"We must defend ourselves." Another foreign film that definitely seems worth checking out, especially if you're a fan of actor Gael García Bernal. Participant Media has debuted a US trailer for the upcoming summer release of Ardor, originally El Ardor, a film starring Bernal as a mysterious man who emerges from the Argentinean rainforest to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a poor farmer after mercenaries murder her father and take over his land. The film earned mostly positive reviews at festivals last year, like this one from THR, and looks like a solid action thriller described by another critic as a "machete Western". This actually looks pretty damn good, with solid action and cinematography, I'm interested in seeing it soon.
Big news Star Wars fans everywhere! This is the week it all goes down. Kicking off Thursday, April 16th, is the Ultimate Fan Experience - Star Wars Celebration Anaheim. The hype has been building to this event because they're finally bringing it home to Disney (it's taking place at the Anaheim Convention Center literally behind Disneyland) and we all know that J.J. Abrams is about to bring us a new Star Wars movie later this year. So will there be teases? New footage? Lots of discussion? Yes, yes, and more yes. But best of all, if you're unable to attend, StarWars.com has announced that they've partnered with Verizon to stream all of the panels from SW Celebration, including all the exclusive footage. Whoa, what?! Yes way! Read on.
"Not a day goes by where I don't miss you deeply." This isn't anything like Pineapple Express or Your Highness, but it is another unique film from director David Gordon Green. His latest film, aside from Joe, is the drama Manglehorn starring Al Pacino as an aging locksmith in Texas who longs for the lost love of his life. Holly Hunter, Harmony Korine and Chris Messina also star. This trailer is a rather beautiful setup for a very tragic, low key film that doesn't amount to much. Most of what you see in here is what is in the film. I wish I could say it's even better than this trailer is - since I saw this at TIFF last year and it's okay, not that great. That said, if you have been waiting to see Al Pacino back at his best, start here.
"A picture that goes beyond what men think about - because no man ever thought about it in quite this way!" The beloved classic is back! At least in the UK for now. BFI is re-releasing Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (or 8½) later this summer utilizing a digital restoration put together by the Criterion Collection. Criterion also released a brand new Blu-ray of 8 1/2 a few years ago, and now BFI is bringing back the cinematic classic to show on the big screen again. "Cited (especially by filmmakers) as one of the greatest films ever made, Fellini's extravaganza – now restored – blends autobiography, fantasy, satire and self-critique." An abstract and mesmerizing look at the struggles of being a movie director, 8 1/2 is a must see for any & all cinephiles.
Another cool sci-fi proof-of-concept (to follow The Leviathan). Dylan J. Nathan, a VFX / CGI artist, is looking to make the leap into filmmaking and has debuted his 2-minute short to show us what kind of world he wants to create. His new short is titled Speedhack, part of the Extropy sci-fi series he is developing. As described: "Speedhack is a high-octane journey through a near future city sprawl created entirely by Dylan J Nathan, Speedhack is a proof of concept scene from EXTROPY, a sci-fi feature film for the 21st century." Everything looks cool, I just hope there's a good story in here. Another site calls this a "FPS mashed-up with Akira and Tron" but it's just a sleek proof-of-concept for an intriguing sci-fi world. Recommended viewing.
"You were right… music is all I understand." Another likely Cannes 2015 contender is Youth, also known as The Early Years, the new film from Italian filmmaker Paolo Sorrentino (The Great Beauty). The great Michael Caine stars along with Paul Dano, but this trailer gives the most time (and dialogue) to Caine as Fred, on vacation in an elegant hotel at the foot of the Alps. It's a very mesmerizing, alluring trailer with some weird stuff going on but I have to say I am definitely intrigued. We also get a few glimpses of Rachel Weisz in this, and some other peculiar moments, all worth a look. For those curious, the music in here is "Just (After the Song of Songs)" by David Lang. I really want to see this. Take a look + listen below.