ENJOY THE SHOW
As always, there are a number of films that deserve to break out from film festivals. I am returning this week from the Berlin Film Festival, aka Berlinale, in Germany where I caught 10 films in total (full list/recap here). While I enjoyed pretty much every last one, my friend Steve Weintraub (aka Frosty) from Collider and I decided to meet up and record a quick video blog, which we haven't done in a while, discussing four films in particular: Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer, Jack O'Connell in Irish thriller '71, Eskil Vogt's Norwegian drama Blind and of course The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is a good one, so fire it up below and enjoy.
The second installment of The Hobbit trilogy is in theaters now, and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug certainly stepped up the game from the flawed beginning An Unexpected Journey. And to close out the year, Peter Jackson has revealed his final production video blog for 2013. This last look at the making of The Hobbit sequel takes a look at the powerful score from Howard Shore, composer of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. The Academy Award winning composer talks about the mystery and darkness of this score, and how it shares qualities with The Two Towers. As always, it's a cool look behind the scenes. Watch it!
"Anddd, roll!" He's back! With the release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug just around the corner, Peter Jackson has debuted the latest production video blog, #13, for the cinematic trilogy. This follows the 12th video blog which arrived back in November, showing the process behind shooting pick-up scenes. This time around we find out why Peter says shooting parts of The Hobbit is "just like I used to do in the old days, at home, on Super 8 camera," and explore more of the cast and crew putting finishing touches on The Desolation of Smaug. We also meet Stephen Fry as the Master of Laketown, plus plenty of others.
"Where are your Avengers now?" What a day! Yes, this video blog is being posted a whole week late (our apologies) but it's worth a quick watch if you want to remember the epicness at Comic-Con last Saturday evening. After watching the big Marvel Studios panel in Hall H at Comic-Con 2013 last week, Ethan and I recorded a video blog about our thoughts on all that happened: from the Loki intro and Thor 2 footage, to the Captain America: Winter Soldier footage, to the Guardians of the Galaxy cast reveal and footage and finally the Age of Ultron announcement. It was an exciting panel and we had a lot to say about all that went down, so even though this is old it's still fun/funny to hear us geek out in our Marvel SDCC 2013 video blog.
"What's the last thing you remember..." Time for us to return to the glory days of Bryan Singer's X-Men and X2. One of the major panels in Hall H today that will be remembered for years was our formal introduction to X-Men: Days of Future Past, the new Bryan Singer movie out next summer reuniting the new First Class and old X-Men casts for one big time travel comic book movie. We got a look at the first footage ever revealed and they also brought the entire cast, and I mean the entire cast, on stage at Comic-Con. It looks incredible, I haven't been this excited for an X-Men movie since X2. "Please - we need you to hope again."
"Dead or alive, you're coming with me." We just finished the big Sony Hall H panel at Comic-Con 2013, which included major presentations for a few of their big upcoming projects. First, they showed us footage from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, which looks as fun as the first one. But the biggest reveals included our first look at any footage from Jose Padilha's RoboCop remake with Joel Kinnaman, and Marc Webb's sequel The Amazing Spider-Man 2, starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spidey. While we still have another day of Hall H panels, the Spider-Man 2 footage is the best Hall H footage I've seen so far.
"If you succeed, you will be remembered as a hero." Is it looking better? The first major panel of Comic-Con 2013 where brand new footage was debuted was hosted by Summit Entertainment. The studio, now owned by Lionsgate, brought in two sci-fi adaptations - Divergent, directed by Neil Burger, and Ender's Game, directed by Gavin Hood. How was the footage? Let's get into the discussion. Comic-Con is all about bringing in the kind of footage that blows us away, even if it's raw without effects, though that wasn't the case with Ender's Game - which looks better and better every month. Divergent, on the other hand, didn't impress.
"Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise." They're back in action, and J.J. Abrams has taken sci-fi to a whole new level. Early this morning I was one of the first in the United States to attend a screening of Star Trek Into Darkness, J.J.'s highly anticipated sequel to Star Trek from 2009, the reboot of the legendary, seminal sci-fi franchise. For me, this was one of the big moments of the summer, building up excitement and anticipation to finally sitting down and watching over two hours of adventures through space with the crew of the USS Enterprise. Did it live up to my expectations? A big YES.
At CinemaCon last year, Fox teased 10 minutes of footage from Life of Pi, which we all flipped for (watch our video blog from last year). The buzz began then and we all know it went on to win a few Oscars. At their 2013 presentation, 20th Century Fox (not 21st!) decided to pull the same trick with the Ben Stiller film The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. And it had the same effect - the Oscar buzz for this movie officially begins today, it has that potential. Beyond that, they showed us footage from quite a few of their upcoming live-action and animated films, including Blue Sky's Epic, DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon 2, Ridley Scott's The Counselor and James Mangold's The Wolverine, too. Video recap below.
Welcome to Monsters University! Disney held their big 2013 presentation at CinemaCon on Wednesday morning, kicking things off with an impressive glance at their upcoming slate (which includes all Marvel Studios, Disney, Pixar and Lucasfilm movies coming up). But the biggest surprise of the day was a screening of Pixar's Monsters University in its entirety. It seemed mostly final (unlike when they screened a rough cut of Toy Story 3 here three years ago) and is an excellent follow-up that made me quite emotional by the end. We also got to watch almost 20 minutes of footage from Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger, which I was actually entertained by (it is another Jerry Bruckheimer movie) although it was overshadowed by MU.
In the immortal words of Neo: whoa. Warner Bros hosted "The Big Picture 2013" preview presentation at CinemaCon tonight in Las Vegas, unveiling the brand new Man of Steel trailer as well as some amazing Pacific Rim footage and fantastic glimpses at a few of their other 2013 movies. One that I've been waiting to see footage from for years is Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, his next feature following Children of Men. In the middle of their preview, they snuck in a quick 60 second teaser that was breathtaking and stunning to see, though I'm not sure when it will ever end up online. That said, this is still one of my most anticipated sci-fis.
Can Universal convert me into a fan of their summer blockbusters this year? At the industry convention CinemaCon this year, Universal Pictures brought five of their summer movies (eschewing mention of some of their later titles like 47 Ronin, which they showed us footage for last year) to preview. The studio teased roughly 10 minutes of their movies R.I.P.D. with Ryan Reynolds & Jeff Bridges, Despicable Me 2 from Illumination, and a 15 minute action sequence (the one with the tank seen above) from Fast & Furious 6, which kicked some serious ass. After five sequels, they may finally be turning me into a Fast & Furious fan.
"You can't just kidnap a guy and take his things! That is so illegal!" To kick off the first day of CinemaCon 2013, the movie industry convention held in Las Vegas every year, Paramount Pictures held the first panel previewing their upcoming 2013 movies. Not only did we see about 18 minutes of footage from J.J. Abrams' Star Trek Into Darkness (I just want to see the full movie already!!) and 10 minutes from Marc Forster's World War Z, but they screened all of Michael Bay's new low(er) profile movie Pain & Gain. And it was dark, hilarious, outrageous stranger-than-fiction glossy Bay fun. Full video blog with Peter Sciretta below.
Now that Sundance 2013 is over, we're looking back at our favorite films from the festival this year. We recently posted our own list of Top 5 Favorite Films, but there are plenty of other great movies that deserve to be mentioned. One thing I love about festivals is the variety of opinions and thoughts on every single film playing, which is why I love asking my friends and colleagues about what their favorites were - so that's what we did. I recorded 10 videos with friends during the end of the festival, similar to my Cannes 2012 favorites video last year. Almost everyone I spoke to chose a different film. It's a quick watch so check it out.