ENJOY THE MOVIES
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.
"For me on set, it's been a joy just to play with these people." Indeed, Mr. Bond. This is one of the best video blog featurettes for the new Bond yet. 007.com has debuted a video blog, lacking any sufficient title, that focuses on the two sexy, but badass and talented, Bond girls in this: Naomie Harris as Eve and Bérénice Marlohe as Sévérine. This is about the eighth or ninth video blog for James Bond's Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes, and as I keep saying, the more we see the better this looks. But these two look absolutely the best, hands down. This video blog includes a lot of great on-set footage and plenty more, so fire it up below.
"But above all I am a man. Hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you." In a year where we have new films by Paul Thomas Anderson, Derek Cianfrance, Steven Spielberg, even Terrence Malick, it's tough to get into a discussion about the best of the best. In fact, it's honestly hard to sit down and process some of these films, especially considering how layered, complex and "heavy" they are. Especially these two in particular, PTA's The Master and Cianfrance's The Place Beyond the Pines, which premiered at TIFF 2012 this past weekend. I caught both films (and reviewed Pines in text) but wanted to actually chat about them in person.
Based on a declassified true story. Although it wasn't initially listed in the 2012 Telluride Film Festival official line-up, one of this year's surprise "sneak previews" is Ben Affleck's Argo, which he directed and stars in. We didn't expect to see it until later in the fest, but they opened with a screening of the film, and so this year kicked off with an outstanding, edge-of-your-seat thriller based on a true international story from the 1980s. Many people may already be very familiar with the CIA (and Canada's) clandestine plan to get American embassy hostages safely out of Iran, but if you're not, or just want a good inside look, it's worth it.
Of course the new James Bond movie would be shooting in London, in fact, most of it was shot in London, which makes sense, given he is on Her Majesty's Secret Service. With the entire world still buzzing after the London 2012 Olympics, Eon has released the latest video blog for James Bond's Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes starring Daniel Craig as Agent 007. This vlog focuses on filming in London, the various places they went, the areas they got to shut down and shoot in, and all of it looks amazing. Maybe it's just the brilliance of Mendes and his DP Roger Deakins, but London looks very photogenic in this footage. Fire it up!
There's something undeniably special about hand-drawn animation, and Disney's newest short Paperman takes that concept in an exciting new direction. Director John Kahrs makes his directorial debut with an innovative form of animation that begins with CG models and employs a hand-drawn style over the top of them, eventually combining the two into a look that's both fresh and somehow instantly familiar. It's about a New York man who has a chance encounter with the girl of his dreams, and the lengths he goes to see her again. We were shown this short film as part of an early Disney press event for Wreck-It Ralph (which we'll cover more of tomorrow) which this will be playing in front of in November. Our first thoughts below.