ENJOY THE MOVIES

Universal Launches Dinotracker.com Viral Website for 'Jurassic World'

Dinotracker Viral Website

"Imagine if you lived in a world where dinosaurs were roaming wild? What would you do? And what would want to know to keep yourself safe?" Oh this is cool! Universal has launched a fun viral marketing website for Jurassic World: Dominion (in theaters June) called Dinotracker. By now everyone knows that the plot of Dominion involves dinosaurs fully on the loose worldwide (after the end of Fallen Kingdom) and living with humanity. But they need to be tracked! The site is run by the Department of Prehistoric Wildlife (or DPW) - "a global organization that publishes up-to-date reports on dinosaur encounters, user-submitted sightings, and vital information, to facilitate the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs on our planet." So far the website just features an interactive globe with sightings listed and videos included to show us where all these dinos are being found. The videos are all legit - everything looks believable and real, these feel authentic. And, considering it's been 29 years since Jurassic Park, the dino VFX look damn good.

Watch: Video Essay Examines Use of Color in David Fincher's Movies

Fincher's Colors Video Essay

How does Fincher make his movies look so good? Find out more in this video! StudioBinder has posted an entrancing video essay about David Fincher and the way he utilizes colors in his movies. It's titled simply Fincher's Colors and they break down his color choices into three main chapters: desaturation (removing bold colors), characters (attaching color to a character), and settings (lighting each set / location using one particular color). "One could point to any number of impressive techniques used in David Fincher movies, but perhaps one of the most important is his movie color palette. As he himself once said, 'In film, we sculpt time, we sculpt behavior and we sculpt light.'" I appreciate how well put together this video is, not only with clean clips in high definition, but the explanations & references are insightful. I also always enjoy hearing filmmakers & craftspeople themselves talking about their work. I could watch video essays like this all day.

Watch: Oscar Winner Troy Kotsur Reinterprets Iconic Movie Scenes

Troy Kotsur Oscar Winner

"You want answers?" "I want the truth!" Troy! Kotsur! I loveeee him. Perhaps my favorite Oscar winner from this year is Troy Kotsur, the Deaf actor from the wonderful (Best Picture winner) CODA. In addition to winning Best Supporting Actor at the 2022 Academy Awards, he also won a BAFTA Award & Screen Actors Guild Award this year for his role as the lovable scoundrel, fisherman father. As part of his promotional tour, Kotsur stopped by the Variety offices for an interview. While there they got him to record a fun video "re-interpreting" iconic movie scenes. He takes on Vito Corleone from The Godfather, Benjamin from The Graduate, Brody from Jaws (this is the best one), and Darth Vader from Star Wars. It's fun to watch, though seems a bit awkward because he's just thrown into these scenes and had no time to prepare. Variety also published a very short interview with Kotsur after his big win - both of these videos can be seen below.

 Posted April 4 in Comedy, Feat, To Watch | Comments

Everyone's Favorite New Daily Social Media Movie Game - Framed

Framed Social Media Game

Move over Wordle, there's a fun new movie game in town! Inspired by Wordle (which was bought by the NY Times after becoming extraordinarily successful), Heardle and all the other spinoffs - there is a new social media movie game to play called Framed. I've been addicted to playing it over the last few weeks and it seems everyone else I know is enjoying it, too. "A game for cinephiles and casual movie watchers alike!" So how do you play? Visit the website located at framed.wtf and you'll see one frame from a film. You have to guess the film from this ONE frame. If you make the wrong guess (or have no idea) you can unveil up to 5 more frames before it's game over. Just type the title of the film in the box for your guess (correct titles will appear there) and have fun. That's it! The frames have been getting more & more obscure the past few days.

 Posted April 1 in Feat, Movie News | 2 Comments

Sundance 2022: Alex's 10 Favorite Films - The Best of the 2022 Festival

Sundance 2022 Best of the Fest

The 2022 Sundance Film Festival wrapped up last week after a series of virtual premieres. Now it's time to present our annual Best of the Fest list. I was able to catch a total of 60 films this year (my full list on Letterboxd), watching online from home (to stay safe and save some money). This is my 16th year in a row covering Sundance, and this fest still has a special place in my heart. I am always excited about the films and filmmakers they bring. I am presenting one big list of my 10 favorite films - a mix of docs and features. All of these below are worth watching, and I highly recommend seeking them out whenever they show up at your local cinema. I am glad Sundance has continued to do their best with a film festival even in this crazy times during an ongoing pandemic, because we all need good cinema like this. Below are my favorites, the films that connected with me and have remained on my mind all the way through the 10 days of the festival.

Sundance 2022: 10 Most Anticipated Films at This Year's Online Fest

Sundance 2022 Most Anticipated

It's January again, which means it's time for another Sundance Film Festival. The original plan for 2022 was to host a hybrid event - with the usual in-person screenings in Park City, Utah as well as online screenings. But they had to cancel the in-person event again thanks to the pandemic, returning to an entirely virtual / online event like last year. (Along with a few satellite screenings in select cities around the country.) This is our 16th year in a row covering this film festival; I'm always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Out of the 83 films showing at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, I've picked 10 films that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There's a few gems in the line-up already. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what'll good or bad before the fest kicks off, but here's my picks anyway.

Looking Back: Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2021 - 'Dune' & 'Limbo'

Alex's Top 10 Favorite Films of 2021

"The mystery of life isn't a problem to solve, but a reality to experience." Another year, another Top 10. After watching over 460 films throughout 2021 (yes I was keeping track on Letterboxd!) it's time to share my final selection of My Top 10 Favorite Films of 2021. I try to watch as much as I can and give myself time to catch up with any extra films at the end of the year, but I also want to make sure I don't forget about some of my favorites from earlier in the year. 2021 was an invigorating and exciting year - with so many ups and downs. But as always, I'm lucky to have a chance to discover terrific films. this year in cinema took us on journeys to far away places, distant planets, as well as to mountaintops and valleys and deserts around this planet. I'm a sucker for visuals and style; the better a movie looks, the more I enjoy it. But I also need to feel the emotions, and when a good one really gets to me, that's the kind of film that sticks with me all year.

Watch: David Ehrlich's 'The 25 Best Films of 2021' Video Countdown

The 25 Best Films of 2021 Video

"So may we start?" Here we go again! One of the annual must-see best of the year lists is a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year in a video edited together with footage and music from the films. It's one of the best ways to look back at the year, including footage from films beyond the 25 that made his list. (If you haven't seen Annette yet, get on that stat!) David's Top 25 of 2021 is as diverse as always, and you will likely discover a number of great films from this video. A handful of my favorites are featured as well, including The Power of the Dog, In the Heights, Titane (yes!!), and The Worst Person in the World (this exceptional Norwegian film about a woman's relationships). Year after year, this is a must watch video for any and every movie lover out there.

Looking Back: Our 10 Favorite Movie Posters from 2021 - Dig This Art

Our 10 Favorite Movie Posters

With the year almost over, it's time to look back and highlight some favorites from the world of movies. Our writer Ethan Anderton used to publish his list of the Best Official Movie Posters, but I'm taking over and will return to highlighting some of my favorite designs. Below is my personal selection of 10 Favorite Movie Posters from 2021. These aren't necessarily the "best" rather they're my own favorites that stuck with me. I'm clearly attracted to color and striking designs, something that looks unique and is evocative. I also think it's important for a poster to capture the vibe of the film, and not just look cool though it's different from how the film feels. That's an important part of poster design. Just slapping any generic photo on a poster is dull and lazy, but creating art, making something vivid - that's what I love the most. Check them out below.

Looking Ahead: FirstShowing's 2023 Release Schedule is Ready Now

2023 Release Schedule

"I wasted time, and now doth time waste me." We have officially launched our 2023 Release Schedule page (being added to the button bar once we jam our way into the New Year), featuring listings throughout the year 2023 now that we're days away from sliding into 2022. This is our annual release update, to keep everyone informed about release dates in 2022 and 2023 looking ahead. We always launch the next calendar at the end of each year, and only update two years out as it gets seriously sketchy beyond that. Earlier this year, we announced that the schedule has some changes regarding additional listings of VOD/streaming releases, as well as a clear indicator of which films will be opening in theaters. It seems the industry has settled into a 45-day theatrical window, for now, and will continue pumping content into all the streaming services: led by Disney+, Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, with Paramount+ & Discovery+ also on the rise.

Watch This: LWL's Video Countdown of The 30 Best Films of 2021

The 30 Best Films of 2021

It's that time of the year again - time to discuss everyone's favorite films of the year, all the best of the best that cinema brought us in 2021. The UK-based film magazine Little White Lies has published their The 30 Best Films of 2021 list, made up of selections from all of the various critics that write for them. Included with this end of the year reveal is a video countdown, edited together by Luís Azevedo (we've featured many of his video essays). This countdown contains footage from all 30 of the great films featured on their list, including many of our faves - Titane, Summer of Soul, Annette, The Lost Daughter, Dune, C'mon C'mon. Even if the films on here aren't your jam, it's still quite lovely to see a visual recap of the last Year in Film. It's always a terrific way to process and admire all we've been graced with as cinephiles over these 12 months. Enjoy the "annual countdown of the year’s finest silver screen offerings. How many have you seen?"

 Posted December 22 in Feat, Lists, To Watch | Comments

Watch: A Lovely Tribute to 'The Lord of the Rings' 20th Anniversary

Lord of the Rings 20th Anniversary

"This task was appointed to you, and if you do not find a way, no one will." On December 19th, 2001, the world of movies changed forever - Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring opened in theaters. The rest is history. To celebrate this 20th anniversary, editor Joel Walden put together this lovely tribute video taking us back to the unforgettable glory of this epic trilogy. It's a must watch for any and every LOTR fan. I LOVE these movies more than I love just about anything else. Watching them in the sold out movie theaters during those three years was a powerful and formative experience for me, and I get seriously emotional just thinking about how beautiful these movies are. There's nothing like them. There never will be. I am sure there are many great tributes out there for this anniversary, but this is one of the best - using some of my favorite quotes and shots edited so nicely. Catch up with Sam & Frodo again below.

 Posted December 21 in Feat, To Watch | 4 Comments

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