ENJOY THE SHOW
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.
The man, the myth, the legend. The first feature about the late Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple Computers and legendary innovator/leader. Premiering as the closing night film at Sundance 2013 is Jobs, directed by Joshua Michael Stern starring Steve Jobs look-alike Ashton Kutcher. But is it any good? Will it live up to his legacy? That was the question on everyone's mind, however I must unfortunately report that it's not The Social Network for Apple. It's an attempt to tell that kind of story, but it's nothing special, just a polished, inspirational look at the man and the years of struggle running one of the biggest companies in the world.
With parents who have been married for over 25 years now, a comedy titled A.C.O.D. (which stands for Adult Children of Divorce) doesn't seem like it would be immediately appealing to me. But the directorial debut from Stu Zicherman (who wrote Elektra and the J.J. Abrams melodrama TV series "Six Degrees") features a cast that includes Adam Scott, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Clark Duke, Jane Lynch and Jessica Alba, and that's a bingo. Thankfully, the film which I was eagerly anticipating before it premiere at Sundance this week delivered a phenomenal comedy with some sharp writing, stellar acting and a direct line to the heart of all adult children of divorce.
"Holy sh*t!" was the phrase that kept running through my mind while sitting through this, with my hands at the ready to cover my eyes. Yes, I'm scared of most horror (I'm admitting the truth) but this series, the VHS series, is now one of my favorite horror franchises. I'll watch a new one every year. Last year we attended the midnight premiere of VHS, recording a video blog after that, this year we went back in for round two, attending the midnight premiere of the sequel S-VHS, then recording another "holy sh*t!" video blog after. S-VHS is a leaner, but totally crazier, gorier, scarier, wilder, funnier follow-up to VHS, in every single way.
"There are only a few things I care about," it starts. His body, his car, his pad, and of course, sex. But more than that, porn. Don Jon's Addiction is the feature directorial debut of actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, who wrote the screenplay and stars on top of directing. In the film, he plays a New Jersey "Guido" (think Jersey Shore) obsessed with porn, but despite a simple concept like that, this film is not only hilarious but heartfelt, too. The characters aren't flat, the film isn't dull, it's vibrant and flashy and entertaining and a rather remarkable feature directing debut for Gordon-Levitt, better than I was expecting. I am impressed.
It's here. Today is the day. After years of waiting, it has arrived. Peter Jackson presents The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first part in his trilogy taking us back to Middle-Earth for an adventure with Bilbo Baggins. One of the most fascinating, exciting and enjoyable parts of leading up to this day has been following the making-of The Hobbit in Peter Jackson's wonderful video blogs, ending their An Unexpected Journey coverage at #10. "One last Video Blog for opening day… featuring the movie's Worldwide Premiere in Wellington, NZ." A look at the premiere, but as it says at the end they will continue with Smaug in 2013.
"You think you're safe." I can already tell 2013 is going to be an outstanding year for science fiction. Earlier tonight, Paramount invited a number of journalists to a screening in Los Angeles of the 9-minute IMAX 3D prologue for J.J. Abrams' new sequel Star Trek Into Darkness. It was announced a few weeks ago that the prologue, similar to The Dark Knight, will play in front of IMAX (digital only) screenings of The Hobbit on December 14th - this weekend. Unlike The Dark Knight (or TDKR), it's an intense intro and early tease, and leaves an impact but didn't blow me away. Still, this a hell of a tease that really kicks things up a notch.
It's almost time. Years in the making, a decade in the waiting, now it's just a few more weeks away. Peter Jackson is ready to take us back to Middle Earth for the story of Bilbo in The Hobbit, kicking off his trilogy this December with An Unexpected Journey. We've been following the numerous wonderful 10-min video blogs Jackson has been making along the way, with the "Last Days" (#8) vlog the most recent. But PJ has unveiled one more, a look at the very final days, the last few minutes and hours of post-production (editing, effects) to have the film ready two days before its premiere (on Nov. 28th in New Zealand). It's as exciting, impressive and awe-inspiring as every other video blog he's made. You don't want to miss this one!
"There's something about that tune is that is just classic and iconic." This may be one of the last video blogs we featured for James Bond's Skyfall, since it hits theaters around the world in just a few weeks. For those of you steering clear of any footage/spoilers, this has none. It focuses on composer Thomas Newman (Oscar nominated composer of American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Finding Nemo, Wall-E) and recording the new score for the film. Similar to Adele's excellent title track (listen here), Newman's score is refreshing and exciting, the perfect accompaniment to an otherwise fantastic new Bond film. Get a first listen below.
"Let the sky fall, when it crumbles, we will stand tall, and face it all together." Bond is back! And better than ever. I was lucky to catch the very "first showing" of James Bond's Skyfall, the 23rd Bond film, last night and it was awesome. I left the even more excited than when I went in. Everyone knows I'm a life-long, die-hard Bond fan and have been leading up to this (with a set visit to Istanbul) and more, but this was the moment I was waiting for. Its been four years since we last saw a new Bond film, and not exactly to the best outcome. But Skyfall will make you forget about that and fall in love with the character of 007 all over again.
"The location itself actually ends up in some ways dictating what the action of the scene is going to be." It's Bond Day! In celebration of all things James Bond, we've got plenty of new content, including another 007 video blog. This one focuses on the major shooting locations for Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes. This includes places like Shanghai, China and Istanbul, Turkey. Most of this is narrated by first assistant director Michael Lerman, talking about great locations and using them to enhance the action. We've already been well briefed in a London video blog and I watched them shoot in Istanbul first hand, but this is just as good.
"You need to raise the ante as the movie's going." Holy crap this is going to be awesome. The latest video blog for James Bond's Skyfall has arrived, this time focusing on the underwater action scene in the movie. Or, as the first assistant director explains, this is just one beat of the action, and yet it's an elaborate, complex underwater sequence. Oh and, Daniel Craig as Agent 007 is in there doing the swimming himself. Hell yes. Bond is back! The work on this sequence in the video actually made me say "wow" out loud. Just that Craig is doing this, and has an underwater monitor, everything. So excited to see this, it's almost time.