"Who drives like a bat out of hell?" "Torreto." Whoa! This is badass, I will admit. As dumb as these movies are, it is still cool that they do so many practical stunts, and shoot car scenes for real - including crashes and explosions and more. Universal has debuted a "Total Car-Nage" behind-the-scenes featurette for Fast & Furious 9, aka F9, the latest installment in the never-ending "Fast Saga". "The action hurtles around the globe—from London to Tokyo, from Central America to Edinburgh, and from a secret bunker in Azerbaijan to the teeming streets of Tbilisi. Along the way, old friends will be resurrected, old foes will return, history will be rewritten, and the true meaning of family will be tested like never before." Featuring Vin Diesel, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Jordana Brewster, Nathalie Emmanuel, Helen Mirren, and Charlize Theron. We've posted two official trailers for this, including a new one last month, and they're moving ahead with the final June 25 opening. Get ready for "car-nage" in theaters this summer.
"One of the main story and design decisions is that it's a spaceship that works with gravity." Now playing on Netflix is the sci-fi thriller Stowaway, about a crew on a mission to Mars that discovers a surprise extra passenger on their voyage. I really enjoyed the film - the physics are real, the designs are real, it's a story not so much about space as it is about how to deal with humanity. Directed by Joe Penna, most of the film takes place in the cramped quarters of their spaceship, along with a few perilous space walks. Netflix has debuted two behind-the-scenes videos about how they made the film - one with commentary / interviews, the other with only B-roll footage from the sound stages. They explain that this was filmed inside of the "tallest sound stage in the world" - at the Bavaria Studios near Munich, and also at MMC Studios in Cologne. And science communicator Scott Manley was a consultant to make sure the science was accurate. I'm a big fan of this film and these are fascinating videos showing how it was all made. The magic of movies! Always cool to see.
"I hope it's both a reward for the fans, and a new experience." Let the fight begin! Warner Bros has debuted a making of featurette for the new Mortal Kombat movie - watch the first trailer here. The video takes us through all of the main characters and actors who play them. This reboot based on the classic fighting video game has been in the works for years, ever since that short film Mortal Kombat: Rebirth shook up WB and got them to start working on it. The main cast: Lewis Tan as Cole Young, Jessica McNamee as Sonya Blade, Josh Lawson as Kano, Tadanobu Asano as Raiden, Ludi Lin as Liu Kang, Mehcad Brooks as Jax Briggs, Chin Han as Shang Tsung, Joe Taslim as Sub-Zero, Hiroyuki Sanada as Scorpion, Sisi Stringer as Mileena, and Max Huang as Kung Lao. This is looking SO good! Big action, big performances, big sets, epic fights. Can't wait! The film's opening is now set for April 23rd, despite what the posters say.
"Every film you're trying to challenge yourself." Dive into an intense, mind-expanding 10-minute featurette for Christopher Nolan's Tenet, now playing in movie theaters around the world (but not yet in the US). This behind-the-scenes video originally played in front of the Inception re-release in theaters this month, before the world premiere of Tenet. Now it's available to watch online! The extensive (but mostly spoiler-free) behind-the-scenes look covers everything from production locations like Tallinn and Mumbai, to working with the actors, to working with cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema - one of the coolest. John David Washington stars in Tenet as "The Protagonist", with a big cast including Robert Pattinson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh, Clémence Poésy, and Dimple Kapadia. This featurette may not change your mind if you're unsure about seeing this movie, but it'll definitely make you fascinated by the hard work that goes into making massive blockbusters with intricate action set pieces.
"We wanted audiences to feel like they could reach through the screen and touch this world." One of the best stop-motion animation studios is celebrating 15 years this year! Laika Animation originally opened in 2005 and worked on their first feature film Corpse Bride. The first film made entirely by the studio was Coraline, which opened in theaters in 2009. They followed up with four more outstanding stop-motion animated films: ParaNorman in 2012, The Boxtrolls in 2014, Kubo and the Two Strings in 2016, and Missing Link in 2019 - just last year. To celebrate the anniversary, Fandango released a 5-minute long behind-the-scenes celebratory featurette, looking back at their history and their work. I'm a big fan of Laika and almost always enjoy their movies (my personal favorite is still Kubo, also ParaNorman). This wonderful video shows how much work goes into each project and all the people crafting every piece of the production.
"What is that mission that will be he most challenging & most difficult?" Eon has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for No Time to Die, the 25th Bond movie and the fifth movie starring Daniel Craig as 007. The focus in this video is on director Cary Joji Fukunaga, one of the most inspired filmmakers they've chosen in this era to deliver Craig's final Bond movie. When No Time to Die begins, Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology. The cast includes Jeffrey Wright as Felix, Ralph Fiennes as M, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, Ben Whishaw as Q; plus Rami Malek, Ana de Armas, Léa Seydoux, Lashana Lynch, Billy Magnussen, Rory Kinnear, and David Dencik. This is a beautifully-edited, exciting featurette that should get you in the mood for this Bond finale.
"There are people out there… People worth saving." Ready for some football monsters! Paramount Pics has released the "Big Game" TV spot for A Quiet Place: Part II, the sequel to John Krasinski & Emily Blunt's sci-fi monster thriller A Quiet Place from 2018. They've also included a short behind-the-scenes featurette for the film, to give us a closer look at Krasinski's work putting together this sequel. Following the traumatic events at home (seen in the first movie), the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize that the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats that lurk beyond the sand path. Starring Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds, and Noah Jupe as the Abbott family. Newcomers featured in this sequel include Cillian Murphy, Djimon Hounsou, Wayne Duvall, and Lauren-Ashley Cristiano. This full trailer was compelling, I'm excited to see what they're cookin' up.
It's 11:11. Are you ready for a deep dive on Us? Our friend H. Nelson Tracey has unveiled another "Reading List" video for Jordan Peele's horror movie Us, which opened in theaters almost a year ago. Nelson goes through the movie and points out books, other visual patterns, and the repetition of 11:11 throughout it. "For this video essay, I point out some of the hidden books, as well as other clues and details hidden in plain sight you may have missed when you saw the movie." I always enjoy these hidden details video essays from Nelson. And this is a good compliment to other articles pointing out Peele's influences & Easter Eggs in Us.
"It is aggressive. You can't act that!" Paramount Pictures has revealed a new featurette about the making of Top Gun: Maverick, following the fantastic full trailer earlier this week. If you aren't sold on this sequel yet, you will be after this. The video shows us how they filmed this movie by mounting cameras inside actual fighter jet cockpits, so that the experience and the performances are completely real. They really feel all the G-Forces, they feel the intensity of the jet. What an awesome featurette, and boy does this looks incredible. Tom Cruise plays Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, and Val Kilmer is also back; with a full cast including Miles Teller, Jennifer Connelly, Jon Hamm, Glen Powell, Lewis Pullman, and Ed Harris. Watch the full trailer again. I'm really, really looking forward to this even though we still have over 6 months to wait. But it seems like they're making this return to the old Top Gun world completely worthwhile. Check out the video.
"It's like a piece of theater every take." Universal has released an extensive making of featurette for Sam Mendes' war movie 1917, arriving in theaters on Christmas Day this month. We previously posted a behind-the-scenes featurette and two trailers, but this one is pretty much a Special Features video that is now online anyway. Set during World War I in the year 1917, the movie takes place over the course of one day, following soldiers on a "seemingly impossible mission" to deliver a message across enemy lines to stop an attack. With cinematography by Roger Deakins. Starring Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay, joined by a stellar ensemble cast with Benedict Cumberbatch, Richard Madden, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, Colin Firth, Teresa Mahoney, Daniel Mays, Anson Boon, and Richard McCabe. As a movie nerd, I dig these videos because I love hearing Mendes & Deakins talk about their process and how they made this.
"You can't run from Star Wars frenzy." Disney has unveiled a nostalgic featurette to promote the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which as we all know is meant to be the epic, grand finale to the Skywalker saga, which began in 1977 with A New Hope. This featurette takes us back through four decades of fandom, showing how far everything has come, along with tons of clips of all the pop culture references and influences Star Wars has had on culture ever since debuting 42 years ago. We're less than a month away to the release of The Rise of Skywalker, and Disney will continue to build up hype reminding us how much this series means to so many of us. The finale stars Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Domhnall Gleeson, Warwick Davis, Lupita Nyong'o, along with Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Richard E. Grant, and also Dominic Monaghan. If you're a life-long Star Wars geek like me, this video will definitely get you emotional. Enjoy.
Sony released Ang Lee's new sci-fi action movie Gemini Man in theaters a few weeks ago. Aside from the HFR cinematography, the film is boasting "groundbreaking" technology with its de-aging VFX. Gemini Man is about the world's best assassin, played by Will Smith at his current age (51), attempting to retire until he's pursued by a younger version of himself. He soon learns that they actually cloned him, and this younger "Junior" is exactly like him in every way. To create this character, Ang Lee filmed Will Smith in a motion-capture rig (with face-capture cameras) and then let the VFX artists work on their computers to de-age him. A few videos have arrived online over the last few weeks explaining the process, and showing before/after shots as well as a glimpse as the techniques they're using. I highly doubt these videos will convince anyone to see the movie, but they're fascinating to watch nonetheless because it's an advance process. Most of the de-aging VFX work was done by Weta Digital in New Zealand, still the best at what they do. Watch below.