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Two Weeks on the Croisette: The End - A Final Tribute to Roger Ebert

Cannes 2014

Two weeks have come and gone. The 67th Cannes Film Festival has wrapped up, the awards have been handed out, hundreds (of thousands) of reviews have been written, interviews conducted, parties held, deals closed, cinema experienced, films sold, arguments had. We lost one of the greatest voices in film last year, Roger Ebert, but his presence is still felt everywhere. Ebert, a Cannes regular, was honored with a tribute screening of the doc Life Itself this year. But I am thankful he also joined me at my side through his book, as I navigated the deluge of cinema. "Will you be back next year?" "Everybody will always be back next year."

 Posted May 28 in Cannes 14, Editorial, Feat | Comments

Cannes 2014: My Top Films of the Festival - 'Mommy' & 'Foxcatcher'

Cannes 2014 - Foxcatcher

What are the best films of the festival? Which ones should you be taking an interest in? What should you see? After 12 days at the 67th Cannes Film Festival, after 25 films, it's time to present my 2014 list of my Top 5 Favorite Films. Every year I go back to Cannes, it's genuinely exciting to find out what there is to discover, to wake up every day knowing you may see something breathtaking, or terrible, or hilarious, or moving, or something that will change us forever. This year I was introduced to a few new filmmakers, saw the latest film from many old ones, and caught a glimpse of the future of cinema. Now it's time to introduce everyone else to Xavier Dolan, Ruben Ostlund and the Dardenne Brothers. Let's get right into this list now.

 Posted May 26 in Cannes 14, Editorial, Feat, Indies | Comments

Two Weeks: Keep Smiling - Cannes is Where We Fall in Love Again

Cannes 2014

"I could watch you for a lifetime, you're my favorite movie, a thousand endings, you mean everything to me." Here we are at the end again, and while I'm starting to get sad that another Cannes Film Festival is over, I can't help but smile looking back on how wonderful it has been. While I tend to often complain about some of the other critics and their incessant scrutiny or odd moviegoing choices, it was a late night chat with Sasha Stone of Awards Daily and the subsequent blog post she wrote before leaving that made me realize - screw all that. We are truly the lucky ones, sitting here on the Mediterranean, watching the best that cinema has to offer for 12 days straight. Living the life. This is amazing, and I'm so grateful to be here, enjoying this.

 Posted May 24 in Cannes 14, Editorial, Feat | Comments

Interview: Hugh Jackman on Lessons He's Learned from Wolverine

Hugh Jackman - Wolverine

"Hey, bub, I'm not finished with you yet." Academy Award-nominated actor Hugh Jackman has played so many unique roles for many different directors, from my all-time favorites including Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky, to many others. This weekend he appears for his seventh time as Wolverine, aka Logan, in X-Men: Days of Future Past, directed again by Bryan Singer who first started it all with X-Men back in 2000. I was incredibly lucky to have a chance to sit down with Mr. Jackman for a 15-minute one-on-one chat about everything from The Fountain to Wolvie creator Len Wein to the lessons he's learned as Logan.

 Posted May 22 in Feat, Interview, Marvel | Comments

Watch: The Impressive Evolution of Visual Effects from 1878 to 2014

Evolution of Visual Effects

Last month, we featured a video that looked at the evolution of filmmaking from all the way back in 1878 to the films of 2014 Now another film reaches all the way back to the same year in the past, but this time with a focus on how visual effects have evolved over the years. It's a little hard to really get a significant vibe for the evolution of these special effects with such brief clips and using only one film to represent an entire year, but it's very interesting to see how far we've come in a very short period of time as technology becomes better and better exponentially every single year (and sometimes more frequent than that). Watch below!

 Posted May 15 in Feat, SciFi, To Watch | Comments

Interview: Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull on Monsters & Movies

Thomas Tull

Thomas Tull is a certified geek through-and-through, but is also the CEO of one of the best movie studios in all of Hollywood. Tull (seen above at Comic-Con previously) runs Legendary Pictures, the production company behind everything from Christopher Nolan's movies to Guillermo del Toro's Pacific Rim to Zack Snyder's movies to The Hangover series to The Town, Where the Wild Things Are, Watchmen, 300, Trick 'r Treat, and plenty other stellar genre movies. They just finished Gareth Edwards' Godzilla, which I sat down to talk with him about, and they're currently financing and working on Nolan's Interstellar, Jurassic World, Crimson Peak and Warcraft, too. Our interview covers everything from monsters to epic budgets.

 Posted May 15 in Feat, Interview, SciFi | Comments

Watch: Visual Essay Shows Spielberg's Unobtrusive Single Take Shots

Steven Spielberg

Just recently we featured a visual essay focusing the spirals and symmetry of director Darren Aronofsky, an auteur filmmaker with a trademark visual style. However, now we have an extensive visual essay focusing on a director who is even more well-known and iconic, but whose visual style isn't immediately noticeable. That's because Steven Spielberg is the kind of filmmaker that doesn't let his direction stand out more than the story, which is why his single takes have gone unnoticed without pomp and circumstace. That doesn't necessarily make him a superior filmmaker when compared to others, but just one who doesn't draw attention to the movement of his camera, letting his story and characters do the heavy lifting. Watch now!

 Posted May 13 in Feat, To Watch | Comments

Must Watch: Impressive 'Akira Project' Live-Action Fan-Film Trailer

Akira Live-Action

"Tetsuooo!!" There's a very impressive live-action Akira fan-film going around the web we must share. While we wait for Hollywood to figure out what the heck to do with their own Akira movie, still stalled somewhere in development, we at least have this to keep us anxiously awaiting a feature adaptation that turns out awesome. Nguyen-Anh Nguyen directs this crowd-funded live-action take on the manga titled The Akira Project, which is finally ready to be shown off in trailer form. The cast includes Osric Chau as Kaneda and Xavier Yuvens as Tetsuo, with Simon Li as Yamagata and Judy Wong as Kei. There's some great work in here for a fan-film, showing Hollywood how it should be done before they even had a chance.

 Posted May 11 in Feat, SciFi, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

Interview: Seth Rogen Talks PG-13 Comedy, Aging in Movies & More

Seth Rogen

This weekend Seth Rogen does just a little bit of growing up in the fantastic comedy Neighbors (read my glowing review right here), directed by Nicholas Stoller (Forgetting Sarah Marshall). Thankfully, Rogen had some time to sit down and talk about being the guy that everyone wants to smoke weed with and how that effects his maturing on the big screen at 32 years old. Our chat mostly focuses on comedy on the big screen in general, but we also dive into working with Zac Efron on an improvisation heavy set, the staying power of Christopher Mintz-Plasse after being discovered for Superbad, James Franco staring in all of his movies, and how PG-13 comedy just doesn't work for him and collaborative partner Evan Goldberg.

 Posted May 8 in Feat, Interview | Comments

Watch: Surprising & Seamless 'The Grand Budapest Hotel' VFX Reel

The Grand Budapest Hotel

When you think of films that have enough visual effects to show off a reel, you think of directors like Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay, Guillermo del Toro, Peter Jackson, and any big budget blockbuster. But nowadays, some visual effects just make production easier, even on films that don't have to create dragons, monsters, or entire environments from scratch. One such surprising collection of visual effects comes in this reel showing off some of the post-production work on Wes Anderson's latest film, The Grand Budapest Hotel. They're not necessarily all visual effects in the way we're used to seeing since some of it is just selective color correction, but there's some great work here you otherwise might not be aware of yet. Watch!

 Posted April 25 in Feat, Indies, To Watch | Comments

See The Evolution of Film from 1878 to 2014 in Just Three Minutes

The Evolution of Film

In the short history of filmmaking, the advancement of technology has allowed the face of cinema to change quickly, sometimes with audiences not always prepared to keep up. Whether it's the jump from silent films to talkies, hand drawn animation to computer animation, or 2D to 3D, there's always something new being added to how we experience motion pictures. Now an impressive three-minute montage called The Evolution of Film from Humber College graduate Scott Ewing (via SlashFilm) takes a brief look at the history of cinema from the dawn of the moving picture all the way back in 1878 to the films of today. Watch!

 Posted April 10 in Feat, SciFi, To Watch | Comments

Watch: Exclusive 'Noah' Featurette Highlights Clint Mansell's Score

Noah Clint Mansell Featurette

"Remember Noah, he choose you for a reason." Now playing in theaters everywhere is Darren Aronofsky's Noah, his epic new take on the biblical story of Noah's Ark, starring Russell Crowe. The movie has been discussed and argued endlessly by critics and moviegoers the world over, as is evident by some of the heated discussions in our Sound Off. One of the best parts is the new score by Clint Mansell, which has a feeling similar to The Fountain, but with its own distinct sound for this movie. In honor of the release of the movie and Mansell's score, Paramount has provided us with an exclusive featurette showing more footage mixed with Mansell's wonderful music. It's another great reminder to buy the score and catch this in theaters now.

 Posted April 2 in Feat, Hype, To Watch, TV Spots | Comments

Watch: Beautiful Montage Pays Tribute to Modern Cinematographers

Ode to (21st Century) Cinematographers

We've featured plenty of tributes to some of the great directors working in film today, including the likes of Tim Burton and Christopher Nolan, but what about the cinematographers who make their films look absolutely gorgeous? Well, editor Erick Lee took it upon himself to pay tribute to some of the great directors of photography of the 21st century, including Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Children of Men), Roger Deakins (Skyfall, True Grit), Robert Richardson (Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds), Matthew Libatique (Black Swan) and much more. As you would expect, it's a beautiful video with spectacular shots.

 Posted April 1 in Feat, To Watch | Comments

Interview: 'The Raid 2' Director Gareth Evans on Ass Kicking Action

The Raid 2 Director Gareth Evans

Now in theaters is the incredibly brutal, extremely awesome Indonesian martial arts sequel The Raid 2, which picks up immediately where The Raid left off, with Rama (played by Iko Uwais) returning to take on more corrupt businessmen and mobsters. The man behind this successful genre series is Gareth Evans, a Welsh filmmaker who has found his home in Indonesia making martial arts movies (yes, we even talk about this). I've been looking forward to chatting with Evans ever since The Raid 1, but was lucky enough to catch up with him for a full-on 20 minute video interview about action movies and The Raid 2 a few weeks ago.

 Posted March 31 in Feat, Interview, To Watch | Comments

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