Tomorrow brings the home video release of Birdman just as the film marches to The 87th Academy Awards coming this weekend. The film from Alejandro González Iñárritu has been cleaning up on the awards circuit, landing the Producers Guild Award, the Directors Guild Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award, making it the clear frontrunner at the Oscars. And since it's prime time to talk about Birdman, we figured we'd call your attention to some featurettes on the making of the film that we missed. Some are from when the film debuted in October last year, others are from this year, but they're all worth seeing. Watch!
"Above all we have to deliver an amazing sequence." I love James Bond. Eon Productions, the company behind the 007 films, does some of the smartest and most effective marketing in all of Hollywood. During the lead up to Skyfall, they released production diaries during filming to give us a hint at what was coming. With the next film, Spectre, currently filming with director Sam Mendes at the helm they're launching the production diaries again and the first one has arrived. This first video takes us to the snowy mountain top set they're filming at now in Austria, and it looks amazing. I can't believe they're showing this much this early. I've got a feeling this is Sam Mendes doing his own On Her Majesty's Secret Service and I can't wait.
Though the Green Bay Packers may not have made it to the Super Bowl, that doesn't mean they were part of the big game. A new TV spot for Pitch Perfect 2 debuted during the game, and in case you didn't notice them in the first trailer for the a capella sequel, the new TV spot makes sure to point it out again. Yes, the Green Bay Packers are the muscular a capella team singing Destiny Child's "Bootylicious" in this TV spot for the anticipated musical sequel. I'm betting that there's a big chunk of fans who probably weren't aware that the Packers were even part of Pitch Perfect 2, but a short featurette shines a light on them below too. Watch!
If the theatrical trailer for the mouthful of a sequel that is The Divergent Series: Insurgent didn't lay things out clearly enough for you, or just didn't offer enough footage from the film if you're already a fan, then we've got two treats for you. Two new featurettes surfaced online this week with footage from behind the scenes of the film, featuring interviews with Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet and more. They talk about the story, the larger scale production, and what we can expect from the sequel (including more, bigger simulations in the mind). It looks a little too packed, but may be an improvement.
Before Christmas, we called your attention to a fascinating look behind the scenes at the post-production process of Transformers: Age of Extinction, which director Michael Bay is heavily involved in. Even though the may have been disappointing (at least for me), even as an action-fest that we've come to expect from Bay, watching the filmmaker work is always a treat. And now another featuette has emerged online that has Bay talking about how he directs an action scene. And this isn't just a short promo featurette, but a longer 11-minute glimpse into the mind of Bay and how he builds an action scene for the big screen. As you can imagine, Bay is intense, but hearing him talk about action in this excited manner is inspiring in a way.
"Once upon a time, in a far off kingdom, there lay a small kingdom at the edge of the woods." Since awards season is in full swing, so is all the campaigning by studios to get their film's noticed by the voters of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (voting closes today before the nominations are announced next week). And Disney has been making a big push to get Into the Woods noticed, especially on the technical side of things. The studio has released some great, extended featurettes about how the film was brought from Broadway to the big screen, the difficulty of Stephen Sondheim's music (with Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick and more chiming in), and even the meticulously designed costumes. Watch below now!
For anyone who just doesn't get what Michael Mann's latest cyber thriller Blackhat is all about, an extensive seven minute featurette has arrived to lay out the plot, all the characters, go behind the scenes of the film, chat with the cast, and even give you some insight into cyber-hacking itself. Chris Hemsworth stars in the film as a cyber criminal teamed up with American and Chinese partners as they hunt a high-level cybercrime network from Chicago to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Jakarta. The featurette doesn't do much to make this look any less formulaic, but maybe with Mann at the helm this could be something good still.
There's no doubt that The LEGO Movie is awesome. It made Jeremy's Top 10 Films of 2014, my own list of favorite films, and countless other year-end lists of the best films of the year. Last night the film won the New York Film Critics award for Best Animated Feature, it's up for a Golden Globe, the PGA Award for animated films, tons of other animation awards, and it will likely get an Oscar nomination too. And so, Warner Bros. has just put out an awesome new featurette showing off just how this magical flick came together, with plenty of insight from directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller, the latter of whom brought in his own LEGO spaceman figure as the model for Benny in the movie. Watch below!
Everyone knows how important the stroke of midnight is in the classic fairytale Cinderella, and that's why Disney took full advantage of that on New Year's Eve by revealing a new preview of their latest live-action take on the story focusing on the all-important time. There's plenty of new footage we haven't seen in the trailers, showing off more of the gorgeous sets and costumes. In addition, a new featurette has surfaced as well, featuring lead actress Lily James, her prince Richard Madden ("Game of Thrones") and director Kenneth Branagh. We all know the classic story, but maybe this will be worth checking out in March?
If the "12 Skills of Christmas" wasn't enough to whet your appetite of the forthcoming ass-kicking coming from Liam Neeson in Taken 3 in a few weeks, then here's a new featurette to lay out what will hopefully be the final film in the franchise. If the first trailer for the action thriller didn't explain things to you simply enough, this one lays it out for grade-school brains to understand. Bryan Mills is on the run this time, after he's found with the body of his wife (Famke Janssen). The CIA, FBI, police and all are on his trail. But remember those skills he has? Those are helpful, especially when it comes to cutting down those in pursuit.
While the work of director Michael Bay is the butt of many jokes, many of them involving explosions, there's no doubt that he's good at what he does. His movies are huge hits, even if they're not critical darlings, and he's one of the most efficient and intense directors in the entertainment industry. And even though Transformers: Age of Extinction is pretty terrible, that doesn't make a look behind the scenes of post-production on the visual effects heavy blockbuster any less interesting. An extensive, 22-minute featurette called Transformers 4: The Final Touches has surfaced online and shows Bay and ILM visual effects producer Wayne Billheimer finishing up this past summer's action extravaganza. Watch!
Unfortunately, Boyhood won't be available on Blu-Ray and DVD until January 6th, but if the film gets some love from the Golden Globes or Oscars, that will give you plenty of time to check out out before those ceremonies. In the meantime, for those who have seen Richard Linklater's film (or even if you haven't, this won't spoil anything), check out this 10-minute featurette looking at the making of this one-of-a-kind, coming-of-age tale. The featurette has footage that spans the 12 years it took to make this film a reality. Again, seeing Ellar Coltrane grow up is mind-blowing, and seeing the time pass so quickly is wild. Watch!
There's no doubt that Oscar Isaac is on the verge of a huge career breakthrough. In just over a year, we'll see him as one of the heroes in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (he's flying an X-Wing in the teaser trailer), and he just booked the title villain role in X-Men: Apocalypse. If you haven't seen him in Inside Llewyn Davis, seek that movie out, and then make sure you check him out in the lead again with A Most Violent Year, one of the awards contenders that is said to be full of some great performances, including Isaac ad his co-star Jessica Chastain. See for yourself in the full trailer from the United Kingdom and two featurettes.
You wouldn't know it since there hasn't been much pomp and circumstance, but this year is the 25th anniversary of Tim Burton's influential adaptation of Batman from 1989. The film inspired a wave of popularity in comic books and bringing them to the big screen (though the big boom wouldn't come for another decade), and while the film is a little dated, it's still really fun to watch. And if you want to go back 25 years, you should check out this awesome 25-minute documentary special from behind the scenes of the film starring Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, which was never available on home video. Watch it!