One of our favorite movies of 2016 is Arrival, the science fiction thriller from Denis Villeneuve. Aside from a brilliant script by Eric Heisserer, the film contains stunning visuals, in part thanks to cinematographer Bradford Young, but also thanks to some excellent VFX work. For anyone curious to see how they brought everything to life, including the giant spaceship and their activity inside of it, Oblique FX has released a demo reel highlighting their work. Another VFX company, called RodeoFX, has also launched a page with photos showing before-after shots. It's amazing to see how much of this was filmed with blue screen, yet it feels so real. Seriously impressive. Always so cool to see these kind of VFX breakdowns for big sci-fi movies.
"You feel like you're in a galaxy far, far away." Visiting other planets without leaving our planet. Lucasfilm + Disney have revealed one more making of featurette for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which is now playing in theaters nationwide. The video includes some discussions with director Gareth Edwards and star Felicity Jones talking about filming on location. They profile locations in the United Kingdom (where most of the sets are built) as well as Iceland, Maldives, and Jordan. If you've seen the movie, you should be able to recognize all of these places. It's fascinating to see them turn these locations on Earth into exotic planets around the Star Wars galaxy. The spectacular magic of making movies. Now I want to see this again.
I'm so excited to see this! Every time I'm reminded that, right now as I type this, Wes Anderson is in the middle of making a brand new, stop-motion animated film (in the same vein as Fantastic Mr. Fox) entirely about DOGS, I pretty much go nuts. I love dogs! I love Fantastic Mr. Fox! I love Wes Anderson's movies! A video has debuted on the service CrowdRise featuring Wes Anderson announcing the film, titled Isle of Dogs. Included in the video is one quick first look shot of the main dog Rex, voiced by Edward Norton, who also makes an appearance in this video. On the website, you can also see a bit of the concept art - mainly a Japanese man beneath some Japanese text, as well as, of course, a dog face. I hope we get to see more soon.
"Much has changed but just as much remains the same." Sony UK has debuted a featurette focused on the character of Renton, played by Ewan McGregor, in the sequel T2: Trainspotting. This seems to be the first of many featurettes, obviously with more coming for the other three main characters - Ewen Bremner as Spud, Jonny Lee Miller as Sick Boy, and Robert Carlyle as Begbie. I actually wish this featurette was longer - it's only 60 seconds and barely has any good footage, but it does do a good job of making me want to see this sequel really bad. It seems like they're ready to bring these characters back again, it might just be the perfect time. I'm excited to see what happens in this one, and I'm looking forward to finding out what everyone else has been up to in the meantime as well. Take a look below and stay tuned for more featurettes.
"We owe the audience a monster movie." In addition to the first teaser trailer premiering over the weekend, Universal has revealed a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Alex Kurtzman's updated monster movie The Mummy. The focus is on introducing us to their "new world of gods and monsters" - since this obviously has to be the beginning of a franchise. The footage in this is actually better than the footage in the trailer Tom Cruise also talks about the movie, covering the cast and the story and much more. Over at SlashFilm, they have some fun quotes about shooting the airplane sequence in zero g in the "vomit comet" airplane. "We've got to do it for real." Cruise loves doing almost all of his stunts for real, and this film is no exception.
With two weeks to go until release, Disney + Lucasfilm are releasing more and more from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to make sure audiences everywhere are crazy excited about seeing this movie. The latest featurette they've revealed is a behind-the-scenes peek into the "creature shop". Director Gareth Edwards and Creature Effects Supervisor Neal Scanlan (who has credits on The Force Awakens, Prometheus, The Golden Compass, Babe, Little Shop of Horrors) gives us a brief glimpse at some of the various creatures in Rogue One and FX magic behind them. There isn't anything major revealed in this footage, but if you want to stay fresh it's best to avoid anything else. But for those who want a peek behind the curtain, fire this up.
"If you're being honest, and vulnerable, and real, everyone can relate to that…" A24 has revealed a new featurette for Mike Mills' latest film, 20th Century Women, which recently premiered at the New York Film Festival last month. The featurette focuses on the various characters, or rather, the incredible women at the center of this fantastic film. The ensemble cast includes Annette Bening in the lead as the mother, with Elle Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Laura Wiggins, Billy Crudup, Greta Gerwig, John Billingsley and Waleed Zuaiter. It tells the story of a single mother raising her children in the late 1970s, and how different and unique and free they all are. Even though we've already featured two great trailers for this, I'm happy to bring more attention to this film in hopes that more people seek it out. Opening on Christmas Day.
"They seemed excited about the amount of work it would take to do this movie…" Lionsgate has released a 4-minute extended featurette for Damien Chazelle's stellar La La Land, going behind the making of this magnificent modern musical. It's one of the most refreshing and exciting movies this entire year, and it's incredibly impressive thanks to the vision of writer/director Damien Chazelle. Chazelle is featured in this video a lot, talking about various aspects of the movie, from choosing the actors to the choreography to the set design. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone play the star-crossed Los Angeles lovers. I'm glad Lionsgate is sharing so much of this movie before release, they seem to be totally supportive of it and that's great. Enjoy.
"It's a whole world I've been thinking about for quite a long time…" Disney + Lucasfilm have unveiled one more exciting new featurette for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This video goes behind-the-scenes of the production with director Gareth Edwards, who talks about how this is like "the world's greatest toy set" and how it's like being a kid again. Oh to visit this set would have been a dream come true. I wish there was more behind-the-scenes footage in this, but I do remember we had that other Celebration reel earlier this year that showed quite a bit. It's also interesting to see them showing the direct connections between A New Hope and Rogue One, but makes sense. Can't wait to see this, it's going to be exhilarating. Almost time.
"[She] has gone above and beyond my expectations for the role." Paramount has launched a new featurette for the live-action Ghost in the Shell movie, ahead of the full trailer launch this weekend. In what seems an obvious move to get ahead of the whitewashing claims, the video features Japanese filmmaker Mamoru Oshii, who directed the original two anime Ghost in the Shell movies, talking about how happy he is seeing Scarlett Johansson in the role as The Major. The featurette actually has lots of new footage, and plenty of behind-the-scenes shots, which is great to see because this does look really cool. There's a Matrix vibe to it, at least with the action, and I'm glad to see them embracing a digitized world. Stay tuned for the trailer next.
"The Assassins believe that above all else, mankind should have free will." 20th Century Fox has put out another new featurette for the Assassin's Creed movie, examining the "Creed Mythology" in an attempt to explain some of the context behind the story and what we're seeing. We know that Michael Fassbender plays Callum Lynch, an imprisoned man who is forced into an experimental sci-fi program that allows him to go back in time as his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. The story is actually about the Assassins vs the Templars, who have "been at war for centuries." Marion Cotillard seems to be on the other side, as one of the Templars, who want to control humanity. This actually looks damn good, I'm quite curious to see.
"The challenge is how you make cinema evolve, how you make cinema fresh." This is about to premiere at the New York Film Festival, and they're showing it in 3D at 120FPS, so get ready for some wild reactions. Sony has released a new featurette for Ang Lee's Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, examining the decision to film at a high framerate. This is exactly what I've been waiting to see, as it shows some of the cameras they used and spends time discussing the decision with Ang Lee - who defends his choice to use 3D and 120FPS (in a few scenes) by stating: "it's about intimacy… You lose your judgment, you really get sucked into that world." Joe Alwyn stars as Billy Lynn, a soldier who returns home from the Iraq war and struggles with PTSD. I'm very curious to hear reactions from NYFF and get a look at this (in 120FPS) myself.