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1-20 of 136 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »


‘Warcraft’ Review

28 September 2016 2:01 AM, PDT | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Stars: Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, Callum Rennie | Written by Duncan Jones, Charles Leavitt | Directed by Duncan Jones

The failure of video game films has been well documented. Although video games have been a major part of pop culture for decades we have yet to see a fully successful crossover hit the big screen. On paper Warcraft seems like the movie that could do it mainly due to the man behind the camera Duncan Jones. With Jones Warcraft has both a talented filmmaker and someone who is well familiar with the source property. This will not be another Super Mario Bros that barely resembles the video game it is depicting. Unfortunately, Warcraft is vapid, dull, and empty – but not completely void of merit. The search for a great video game movie continues. »

- Dan Clark

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Watch the Honest Trailer for Warcraft

27 September 2016 2:40 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Coinciding with its home entertainment release, Screen Junkies has put together an Honest Trailer for Duncan Jones’ fantasy video game adaptation Warcraft, which you can watch below…

See Also: Check out the blooper reel for Warcraft here

See Also: Watch previous Honest Trailers here

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Warcraft sees Duncan Jones (Moon) directing a cast that includes Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim) as Orgrim Doomhammer, »

- Gary Collinson

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Levi Meaden Joins Pacific Rim Sequel

23 September 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

Variety reports that actor Levi Meaden has joined the cast of Legendary Pictures' Pacific Rim 2. Meaden joins a cast that includes John BoyegaScott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny and Jing Tian. Meaden's credits includes Syfy's Aftermath and The CW's The 100.

Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight will make his directorial debut with the Pacific Rim sequel with Guillermo del Toro producing the film alongside Jon Jashni, Femi Oguns, Mary Parent, and Legendary Pictures' CEO Thomas Tull.

The first Pacific Rim was released in 2013, which was directed by del Toro, and starred Idris Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Robert Kazinsky. It was set in a post-apocalyptic future where the human race was near extinction using giant robots to fight monsters called Kaiju that emerged from an another dimension located at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

The film begins production this November in Australia and will also film a portion in China. »

- Kellvin Chavez

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‘Aftermath’ Star Levi Meaden Joins ‘Pacific Rim’ Sequel (Exclusive)

22 September 2016 5:49 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Aftermath” star Levi Meaden has joined the cast of “Pacific Rim 2” opposite John Boyega, Scott Eastwood, Cailee Spaeny and Jing Tian, Variety has learned.

The sequel is directed by Steven S. DeKnight with Guillermo del Toro, Jon Jashni, Femi Oguns, Mary Parent, and Thomas Tull producing.

Plot details are vague with Boyega playing the son of the character played by Idris Elba, whose character sacrificed his life in the original film. Meaden is joining the franchise as Ilya, an irreverent and offbeat cadet.

The first “Pacific Rim,” directed by del Toro, starred Elba, Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and Robert Kazinsky. It was set in the near future with Earth at war with the Kaiju, monsters that emerged from an inter-dimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, and grossed $411 million at the worldwide box office.

The film begins production this November in Australia and will also film a portion in China. »

- Dave McNary

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‘Pacific Rim 2’ Adds Chinese Actress Jing Tian

21 September 2016 4:52 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Jing Tian has joined the cast of Legendary’s “Pacific Rim 2” starring John Boyega.

Scott Eastwood also toplines with Steven S. DeKnight is directing.

Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni, and Guillermo del Toro will produce the action-adventure along with Boyega and Femi Oguns under their Upper Room Productions shingle. Cale Boyter will serve as the film’s executive producer.

The first “Pacific Rim,” directed by del Toro, also starred Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Charlie Day, and Robert Kazinsky.

Pacific Rim” was set in the near future with Earth at war with the Kaiju, monsters that emerged from an interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The movie went on to gross more than $411 million at the worldwide box office.

Boyega will play the son of Elba’s character, who sacrificed his life in the original film. It’s still unclear who Tian will play.

The »

- Justin Kroll

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Watch the blooper reel for Warcraft

20 September 2016 7:06 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

With Warcraft set to hit DVD and Blu-ray next month, we’ve got a look at the blooper reel for Duncan Jones’ fantasy video game adaptation, which you can watch right here…

See Also: Duncan Jones shares his frustrations with Warcraft, rules out a director’s cut

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Warcraft sees Duncan Jones (Moon) directing a cast that includes Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim) as Orgrim Doomhammer, »

- Gary Collinson

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Newcomer Cailee Spaeny Lands Female Lead in ‘Pacific Rim: Maelstrom’ (Exclusive)

15 September 2016 12:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Actress and pop singer Cailee Spaeny has landed the female lead in Legendary’s “Pacific Rim: Maelstrom,” the sequel to the 2013 sci-fi hit.

John Boyega will play the male lead in “Maelstrom” and Scott Eastwood also stars. Steven S. DeKnight is directing.

Thomas Tull, Mary Parent, Jon Jashni, and Guillermo del Toro will produce the action adventure film along with Boyega and Femi Oguns under their Upper Room Productions shingle. Cale Boyter will serve as the film’s executive producer.

The first “Pacific Rim,” directed by del Toro, also starred Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Idris Elba, Charlie Day and Robert Kazinsky.

Pacific Rim” was set in the near future with Earth at war with the Kaiju, monsters that emerged from an interdimensional portal at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. The movie went on to gross more than $410 million at the worldwide box office.

Plot details are vague on this »

- Justin Kroll

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Duncan Jones shares his frustrations with Warcraft, rules out a director’s cut

30 August 2016 3:34 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Despite proving a hit in China, Warcraft didn’t quite manage to click with the majority of Western audiences, and failed to replicate the success of its video game counterpart, grossing just $213 million outside of the Middle Kingdom and seemingly failing to provide the lucrative franchise launchpad that its hopeful “The Beginning” subtitle suggested. During an interview with Thrillist, director Duncan Jones has reflected on the fantasy epic, discussing his frustrations with the final film:

“Trying to make a movie like Warcraft, and trying to do it in a unique way… you get killed by a death of 1,000 cuts. Not just editing cuts. It’s little changes that seem really innocuous. As a filmmaker the only way that I understand how to make a film is holistically. Every choice that I make, whether it is story or character or costume, all works together. When you make a little change it »

- Gary Collinson

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Watch a deleted scene from the Warcraft movie

21 August 2016 12:37 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

As it gears up for its home entertainment release next month, Universal has released a deleted scene from Duncan Jones’ video game adaptation Warcraft, which sees the Orcs discussing their leader Gul’dan’s magic; check it out here…

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home. So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Warcraft sees Duncan Jones (Moon) directing a cast that includes Robert Kazinsky (Pacific Rim) as Orgrim Doomhammer, Dominic Cooper (Captain America: The First Avenger »

- Gary Collinson

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Guillermo Del Toro Talks The Return Of The Original Cast For Pacific Rim 2

25 July 2016 5:45 AM, PDT | LatinoReview | See recent LatinoReview news »

The Hollywood Reporter recently caught up with director Guillermo Del Toro promoting his "At Home With Monsters" exhibit which will open on July 30th at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. During the interview, Del Toro was asked about the casting for the highly-anticipated Pacific Rim sequel.

Del Toro will serve as a producer on the sequel after it was announced that Daredevil showrunner Steven S. DeKnight will make his directorial debut with "Pacific Rim 2. The original Pacific Rim started Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Robert Kazinsky, Max Martini, and Ron Perlman.

On why none of the original cast members such as Charlie Hunnam and Rinko Kikuchi have not been announced for the sequel Del Toro said:

"That’s not entirely true. As a producer I learned not to declare anything about a movie I’m not directing. I can tell you this — a lot of »

- J.B. Casas

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Chinese Twitter account teases Warcraft sequel

11 July 2016 4:39 PM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Although Warcraft failed miserably at the U.S. box office, grossing just $24 million, the Duncan Jones-directed fantasy epic has performed rather well in China, helping to propel the film to a solid $430 million worldwide and making it the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time.

Universal and Legendary had franchise hopes for the movie (hence the Warcraft: The Beginning title in some markets), and it seems that the international box office may just help that to become a reality.

On the official Chinese Twitter account, a message has been posted which reads: “Warcraft’s theatrical run is coming to an end. But the chapter of a new decade has just begun. It’s a starting point, not an end point. We don’t say goodbye now because we’ll meet you again.”

See Also: Read our reviews of Warcraft here and here

Are you hoping to see a Warcraft sequel? »

- Gary Collinson

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‘Pacific Rim 2’ Starring John Boyega Gets Release Date

30 June 2016 2:20 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Legendary and Universal Pictures have set Feb. 23, 2018, release date for “Pacific Rim 2,” which stars John Boyega of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

The movie is the follow-up to 2013’s sci-fi actioner, which grossed more than $410 million at the worldwide box office on a $190 million budget. Steven S. DeKnight (“Daredevil”) directs with returning producers Thomas Tull, Guillermo del Toro and Mary Parent.

Boyega came on board on June 6 and is playing the son of Idris Elba’s character from the original film. The first “Pacific Rim,” directed by del Toro, also starred Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day and Robert Kazinsky.

Pacific Rim” was set in the near future with Earth is at war with the Kaiju, monsters which emerged from an interdimensional portal on the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.

Boyega is currently shooting “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” in which he reprises his role as stormtrooper Finn.

The Legendary Pictures »

- Dave McNary

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Warcraft crosses $400 million worldwide

27 June 2016 5:45 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Following last week’s news that Duncan Jones’ big screen adaptation of Warcraft has become the biggest video game movie of all-time, it has unlocked another achievement.

Warcraft never really found its feet domestically, and has dropped out of the Top 10 after just three weeks (earning around $2 million over the weekend), and its domestic total of $43 million is much lower than the likes of other adaptations like Silent Hill, Resident Evil: Afterlife, Mortal Kombat and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

However a fantastic campaign outside of the Us has pushed Warcraft over the $400 million mark to $412 million. If you go by the industry rule-of-thumb (that a movie needs to do 2.5x its budget in order to turn a profit), Warcraft is now making money. Expect to hear news of a sequel soon.

See Also: Read our reviews of Warcraft here and here

Warcraft sees Duncan Jones (Moon) directing a cast that »

- Luke Owen

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‘Warcraft’s Rob Kazinsky Signs With UTA

20 June 2016 10:35 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Exclusive: Rob Kazinsky, the EastEnders veteran who plays Orgrim Doomhammer in Legendary and Universal's video game to film adaptation Warcraft, has signed with UTA. The Duncan Jones-helmed pic has made $377.6 million since being released this month — $205 million alone in China after this weekend. Kazinsky’s film credits include another Legendary pic, Pacific Rim, for Warner Bros as well as Warners’ comedy Hot Pursuit. On the TV side, he toplined the Fox series Second Cha… »

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‘Warcraft’s Rob Kazinsky Signs With UTA

20 June 2016 10:35 AM, PDT | Deadline | See recent Deadline news »

Exclusive: Rob Kazinsky, the EastEnders veteran who plays Orgrim Doomhammer in Legendary and Universal's video game to film adaptation Warcraft, has signed with UTA. The Duncan Jones-helmed pic has made $377.6 million since being released this month — $205 million alone in China after this weekend. Kazinsky’s film credits include another Legendary pic, Pacific Rim, for Warner Bros as well as Warners’ comedy Hot Pursuit. On the TV side, he toplined the Fox series Second Cha… »

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Warcraft is now the biggest video game movie of all-time

20 June 2016 4:40 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Last week we reported how The Angry Birds Movie had become the second biggest video game movie of all-time and theorised it would overtake Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time in the coming weeks. Well it looks like we were a little off base as the worldwide screenings of Warcraft have propelled it to the number one position.

In its second week of domestic release Warcraft dropped an incredible 71% to only take just $6 million, failing to compete against horror sequel The Conjuring 2 and animated juggernaut Finding Dory. However the film is still playing amazingly overseas – in China especially – and it made another $41 million worldwide over the weekend. This brings its total to $377 million, finally knocking Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time from the number one position its held for so long.

The Angry Birds Movie is now the third biggest video game movie of all-time, sitting $10 million »

- Luke Owen

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Director Duncan Jones discusses what makes Ben Foster's magic work in 'Warcraft'

13 June 2016 2:55 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Duncan Jones is having a very strange year. There can’t be any easy way to lose your father, but when your father is an icon known the world over and his death is a cultural moment that creates worldwide shock waves, I can only imagine the way it magnifies your pain. Add to that a global press tour in which you have to sell the movie that you’ve just spent three years making, during which you’re going to be asked thousands of wildly insensitive if well-meaning questions about your father, and I can’t imagine the strength it took Duncan to make it through without collapsing. I’ve known him casually for several years now, but I made sure that when I sat down with him to discuss Warcraft, his new film based on the massively-popular Blizzard game, I kept the conversation firmly on the film and nothing else. “Do your kids play World of Warcraft?” Duncan asked as I settled into my chair. Universal transformed one full soundstage into a sort of catch-all set from the film, full of props and costuming. It’s always impressive to see just how much of this stuff they have to create for a movie. I am unfamiliar with the property, though, so I was interested in the conversation, not the set dressing. “No. I think it's a little advanced for them still. My oldest is 10, and he's starting to ask about games like this, like strategy games. He still prefers pure action. The little one’s got the mind for it, though.” He laughed, and I finished setting up my recorder. “Okay. First of all, having just seen it last night, I'm still not sure what I saw. There's so much work that Ilm does that is really next level for them and for digital performance in general. Walk me through an average day on Warcraft for you.” He considered the question for a moment. “Well, you know, we made a decision early on that with the anatomy of our Orc characters, we felt like the best way to pull that off was to do it with motion capture. One of our concept artists is this amazing guy called Wei Wang who was actually a fan of Warcraft. He had done such amazing artwork and he submitted it to Blizzard, and they hired him to come onboard for them. He was the one who realized the sort of true dimensions of an Orc and how to realize them in a sort of live action environment. They're almost like a Humunculous. They have a head the same size as a human being, but then their shoulders get bigger, their arms get bigger than that, and they have massive hands. We were never really going to be able to pull that off with prosthetics or costumes or anything like that, so we went the motion capture route. Knowing that we were going to do that, we wanted to surround them with as much live-action real stuff as possible. So Gavin Bouquet, our production designer, basically made just a vast number of huge beautiful live action sets where we would shoot all of our content with our Orcs and our humans. So when you say it looks spectacular, a lot of it comes down to Ilm, and also a lot of credit goes to the very practical, physical stuff that was made by Gavin Bouquet and his team, Mayes Rubeo who did the costuming and the wardrobe, and Weta, who gave us our weapons and built our armor.” I’ve had a growing problem with video game movies, and it boils down to the difference in the way we digest the two things: movies are, for all the involvement you feel with them, passive experiences. You watch them. You may feel personally invested, but you cannot control the outcome of the film. With video games, you are constantly in control, and depending on the scope of the game, you may have the ability to have a completely unique experience than anyone else who ever plays that same game. Those two things do not seem easily reconciled to me, and I asked how important it was to make the Orcs feel like they fit into the same world as the humans as a way of pulling the audience in and making them invest as deeply as you would hope people invest in a game. “My thinking was that it's going to be easier to get the audience to care and get engaged with the human characters. I want them to care about these Orc characters up front and not see it as a gimmick but really understand and root for these guys as much as they do for the humans.” I mentioned the film’s opening shot, a close-up of Durotan (Toby Kebbell’s Orc character), and the insane amount of detail that went into making it look alive. Duncan said, “Hanging on that shot as long as we did was really a start of that job of getting the audience to empathize with a father, a husband, his baby that's on the way, and his people who are really in this critical situation where they need to find a new home.” I asked him if it was important to hire a lead actor who had some experience with this sort of motion-capture performance work. Toby Kebbell did such a great job playing Koba in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that I’m not surprised to see him getting more of this kind of work. Andy Serkis seems positively evangelical about getting other people involved in this type of performance work, and Terry Notary has made a new career for himself training other people to do this work. “It was really important that if we were going to be hiring actors who had never done it before, we really had some sort of a trunk to help support the tree. Toby and Terry [Notary, who plays Peon, one of the Orcs] were really the guys who had the experience and were able to encourage the others. Toby in particular has this amazing acting ability beyond the motion capture. I don't know if you ever saw the Black Mirror episode that he did. He's a fantastic actor.” I agreed. “He seems to be good at figuring out places for the subtle stuff that punctuates performance, the things that read through what he does.” “That’s kind of a newer thing,” Duncan pointed out, “because the development of the facial capture in particular is a next step in the technology. Things have progressed thanks to what Jeff White [visual effects supervisor] at Ilm had developed for our movie. They’ve gotten so much better at getting the new assets and allowing Toby to just be as subtle as he wanted to and have the confidence that all of that would be picked up without animators having to physically manhandle his model to do it.” Yes, this conversation’s going to get nerdy, but how do you avoid that in talking about the technical breakthroughs made to bring a film about Orc armies to life? I’ve been in love with this stuff my whole life, and I still remember the first magazines I bought to read about how they made Star Wars in 1977. I am constantly thrilled to see how these amazing artists push the tech forward, and how the tech serves to help them make their art. It’s a great back and forth, and I love watching it and reporting on it. “You also had Hal Hickel on as your animation supervisor,” I said. “I love him because he’s also a director, and it seems like he approaches this work as a filmmaker.” “I absolutely love Hal,” Duncan said, lighting up at the mention of each of these collaborators. “I love Jeff and Hal and Jason [Smith, visual effects supervisor] and all of that team. We had a lot of fun working out how… you know going in that there were moments in the film where the physical movements that you want from an actor are never really gonna do justice to what an Orc is capable of. Or what an Orc on Orc mano a mano fight might be like, so Hal absolutely added a whole level of hyperreality to those movements. He’s amazing because he was also able to deliver on the subtleties as well, where maybe something wasn't quite what we needed it to be, but we knew what we wanted, and he managed to get us there.” One of the film’s boldest choices is how it starts on a close-up of Durotan, and then we spend 10 minutes with only CGI characters, finally introducing some of the live-action cast after that, and even then, never really offering the audience a movie star or something overly familiar to latch onto. It’s a pretty ballsy way to kick things off. "That’s a scary choice for a studio,” I said. “Was Blizzard considered the movie star here? Was that the star above the title that allowed you to cast the people that you wanted, regardless of their box-office power?” He nodded as he replied. “It certainly gave us confidence and maybe a little bit of a safety net that allowed us to go after the people we thought were the right actors for the parts. I was a fan of Travis Fimmel from Vikings. I was definitely a fan of Paula Patton, and I felt like if we were gonna do the character of Garona in live-action, there was a very, very short list of people who I felt comfortable could make it work. I'd seen Paula Patton in Mission Impossible, and I thought that quality in that role, that's the right person for this role.” I laughed, because I feel exactly the same way about Patton. “When she kicks her shoes off to go chase the other spy, you know right away that other spy is going to get her ass beat.” Duncan started laughing as well. “That’s what makes her great in something like this, that confident physicality. That’s a big choice because her character is the only Orc created as a live-action character.” “Beyond that,” he continued, “I would say in Mission: Impossible, she did a certain thing ... In this role, what she was being asked to do on an acting level was much wider. I think she really delivered, and I truly believe this is the best Paula Patton has ever been in a movie.” I love that a director is that big a cheerleader for one of his actors. “You gave her those teeth. Those things are an obstacle. Right away, they change her face and her jaw dramatically.”   “We did. Although we didn’t paint her green, which is one of the things you might be surprised by.” “Wait… really? Did you rotoscope her?” “We had to roto her for every shot in the movie, and we just color shifted her entirely. The reason we did that is because we had seen what Guardians of the Galaxy had done with their green lady character, and we felt like it looked like someone had just been painted green. Our feeling was, you know, skin doesn't look like that. Skin has different colors all over it. The way to do that is to keep the skin as it is and shift it.” “So, just piecing all of this together and making sure that you had everything that you needed as a filmmaker, was there ever a moment where it just felt like this crazy math problem that you're constantly writing?” He laughed again. “Yeah, 5D chess. Absolutely. Between the technical challenges and the scale of it and working with such a large cast who were all separated into separate camps between the Orcs and the humans, it was a constant game of 5D chess, all trying to make sure that no matter what technical challenges will be thrown at me or what improvisations I worked on with the actors, we always remained focused on ‘Okay, what is the story we're trying to tell? Who are the heroes? Who are the leads? How are we trying to drive the story forward ad bring these characters all together at the right moments?’” One of the film’s big choices is to tell a story that is definitely not over as the closing credits roll, an introduction to the characters and the stakes as things move into place. “In the last few minutes of the film, you snap everybody into a very different role than they've had before,” I pointed out. “So the next time out its gonna be radically different, they're gonna have radically different relationships, and you've definitely left us with a lot of questions at the end of this one. Was there ever a push to make it more closed?” “No,” said Duncan, “there was never a push to do that. I think the challenge was to make sure that even though we leave that opportunity to move on to a fuller trilogy of a story, that this felt like there was a story that had been told in this film. That's a challenge for any film. Normally, the biggest challenge is for the middle films. What we tried to do was set up how the Orcs find themselves in a place. They can't stay in their world anymore, so they've invaded this world. Durotan has led his people to a new world and is trying to find a home for his Orcs. At the end of this movie, they don't have their home yet, but we know that they're looking for it. And I think if we ever get the chance to make more of them, I would hope by the end of the trilogy, the Orcs would have their new home.” “So you seem to have cast Ben Foster with every intention of asking him to go full Ben Foster in the role…” “That's why you cast Ben Foster,” he said, laughing again. “If you cast the right actors for the right roles and they're into it and they're willing to go for it, you get magic.” Seeing my reaction to the pun, Duncan burst into long, loud laughter. “Wow, I didn't even attempt that.” It was impossible not to collapse into laughter as well, seeing how entertained he was. “Thank you for coming with me on that pun.” I mentioned how Foster reminds me of the work that Mark Hamill did in the Star Wars films. He always seemed to believe in the world and the details of the world with such ferocity that it made it real for me as a viewer. He felt comfortable, like he really lived in the world and didn’t just pick up these props for the first time in his life. “That’s the real trick in these films,” I said. “It’s beyond a trick,” Duncan replied. “Ben Foster was challenging me constantly when we were in pre-production to explain to him how magic worked. What is the vocabulary that he's speaking? What do these words mean? What are the movements that he should be doing in order to cast spells? He was grilling me, and we basically worked out how to cast the spells that he casts throughout the movie and how they relate to each other. When Ben Foster was casting magic and Ben Schnetzer was watching him in this kind of apprentice relationship, Ben Foster knew his stuff. He could actually teach Ben Schnetzer how to do things, and it wasn't just, ‘I’m gonna wave my arms and special effects will put something there.’” “This speaks to the faithfulness to the game that you’ve maintained,” I said, “and I’ll be honest… that’s not something I can speak to. I come to this fresh. I talked to one gamer afterwards who was really surprised by how much it felt like Warcraft. She felt like, ‘Yep, that's the world. It’s not the exact moment I play, but it’s the world, and it’s right.’ How did you strike the balance? Because I love that you don't have any sort of opening crawl. You don't bury us under exposition in the beginning. It’s only seeded as we go and you sort of feed it to us little bits at a time.” “If you're a little bit lost for the first 10 or 15 minutes, I’m okay with that. As long as by the end of the movie, you feel like you understood what's just happened.” “Do you have a favorite creature or creation for the film, something that when you saw it fully-executed felt like you nailed it?” “Durotan and his wife Draka. In particular, Draka, and it’s more than just the creature onscreen. We found this amazing performer and actress by the name of Anna Galvin who plays Draka. She's an Australian, she lives up in Vancouver, and she had really not done that much. She had done one or two bits in motion-capture for a computer game before, but she hadn't really done it for a full project. She was all-in to play this character Draka. A lot of us who saw her performance were like, ‘Wow, you went for it in a way where we all feel like we need to raise our game.’ She was phenomenal. And that led to a final character that was even wilder because of her.” I mentioned that there’s a moment near the end where Anduin’s big griffin goes to town on some Orcs that just made me belly-laugh. “Yeah,” he agreed, laughing as well, “there’s some good stuff in there.” I told him about my own experience as a motion-capture performer when we made a pilot for Comedy Central for a possible Ain’t It Cool News TV show. I was supposed to play Moriarty each week as an animated character to look just like the Cartuna drawings that were part of the site’s identity, and I’d interact in real time with Harry, who was shot on a live-action stage next-door to where my performance was being captured. It was a crazy complicated way of trying to share movie news and rumors, but fun to try to pull off. The guys who were in charge of the performance capture were the same team who had just finished the Agent Smith fight in The Matrix Reloaded, and they had a ton of stories about how they were pushing things forward, about what the cutting edge really was at that particular moment. Part of the thing that drove them crazy on our show was trying to map the seven-foot spindly thin body of Moriarty onto the six-foot pear-shaped fanboy physique of me. I asked Duncan how they approached trying to map a human physiology to that of a giant oddly-proportioned Orc and how far things have evolved in the 14 years between my pilot and this film. “The only thing that we added was at the actors' request if they wanted to wear tusks. It just gave them a slightly different way of talking when they're performing. Some of the actors wanted to do it, some of them chose not to, but that was really it. What we did have on set that was very useful was live playback of a very simplified version of the asset. That becomes really important for framing. Orcs range from seven and a half to nine feet tall and they are three to four feet wide. They're just incredibly wide and obviously that affects how you frame things. In order for us to be able to frame a shot, we needed to be able to get a sense of just how much space they’d occupy. I mean, Rob Kazinsky is a pretty big guy, but he ain't that big. We needed to know how much space he would be taking.” I told him that I’m fond of Kazinsky because, like Vin Diesel, he’s a total giddy nerd on the inside who just happens to look like a comic book superhero on the outside. I know Kazinsky’s a gamer, and I asked Duncan if there was a learning curve where Rob was able to slip into the skin of the Orc more and more as he worked with it and got to live out his fanboy fantasies. “Well, like you said, he was in there right from the start. He walked in knowing who Orgrim was, what the lore was, where that character was going to end up. I think he wanted to do justice to a character that he really knew well in the same way any Marvel fan, if they had the chance to be in a Marvel film, would. He was right there from the start, but I think the confidence of doing the motion-capture work came about thanks to working with Terry in what we called Orc camp with Toby, where they just spent time coming up with and learning a vocabulary of movement for the Orcs. How to move like an Orc, how not to turn your head like this but actually turn from the shoulders to make sense of these giant neck muscles that they have. There's all sorts of things that you don't naturally think of until you realize that the anatomy of your character is way different from your own and you're gonna have to move to make that work.” “Does making a film this big change the way you approach the next film you make? Is there anything you take with you from this into Mute?" “I’ve wanted to make Mute for such a long time, and I'm fortunate because it looks like now I'm gonna have the opportunity to do it with Paul Rudd and Alexander Skarsgard and a number of other people who haven't been announced yet. It’s gonna be a palate cleanser. It’s on a much much lower budget, and it’s back to science fiction, but a very different kind of science fiction. It’s gonna be great to take that break from this kind of filmmaking to go back to that one, and hopefully if this goes down well, I'll get the chance to come back and do another one of these. I hope you enjoyed it.” How about it? Now that Warcraft is open around the world, I’m curious to see how you guys are reacting to it. Even after writing and posting my review, I certainly haven’t stopped thinking about it, and the boys have been asking, so I’ll most likely end up taking them to see it. Are you guys open to another one? Did you find yourself drawn into this world or distanced from it? And if you’re a super-fan of the games, do you think this is something that was intended for you instead of a broader audience? Warcraft is in theaters now. »

- Drew McWeeny

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Sound Off: Duncan Jones' 'Warcraft' Movie - So What Did You Think?

10 June 2016 6:05 PM, PDT | firstshowing.net | See recent FirstShowing.net news »

Now that you've seen it, what did you think? "Our hope is destroyed; there is nothing to go back to. Is war the only answer? " Now playing in theaters worldwide is Duncan Jones' adaptation of the popular Blizzard video game Warcraft (or World of Warcraft), pitting Orcs against Humans in the kingdom of Azeroth. The full ensemble cast includes Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, and Ruth Negga. So how is it? Best video game adaptation yet or not? Better than most are saying, or much worse? Is it for the fans of the games only? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your own thoughts on Jones' Warcraft. Spoiler Warning: We strongly urge everyone to actually see the film before reading ahead, as there may be spoilers below. We also encourage all commenters to keep major spoilers from the film to a minimum, if possible. However, »

- Alex Billington

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Movie Review: Warcraft

10 June 2016 8:46 AM, PDT | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

First, it was a bestselling series of real-time strategy games. Then, it became one of the hottest online role-playing games in history. It was further immortalized in an episode of South Park. Now, the story of Warcraft hits the big screen, in a CG-fueled extravaganza of hammer-smashing, sword-swinging, and magic a-blazing. And how does it fare? Well, as someone who (shockingly, I’ll admit) knows nothing about the story from the games, Warcraft manages to be thoroughly entertaining film. But, unless the makers were trying deliberately to make the most expensive 1980s sandals-and-sorcery epic ever made, it may not be entertaining in quite the manner it was intended.

The story gets a little complicated, but here goes: The Orc home world is barren, having been wiped almost entirely of life. Gul’dan (Daniel Wu), the leader of the Orcs, uses a terrible magic known as The Fell to rip open a portal to another world. »

- Seth Paul

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Movie Review – Warcraft (2016)

10 June 2016 7:50 AM, PDT | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Warcraft, 2016.

Directed by Duncan Jones.

Starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Robert Kazinsky, Clancy Brown, Daniel Wu, Ruth Negga, Anna Galvin, and Glenn Close.

Synopsis:

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people, and their home.

Never once while watching Warcraft (the silver screen adaptation from the video game and novel lore of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft franchise) did I feel that director Duncan Jones had made a terrible movie, but rather one that was not meant for those unfamiliar with the series, »

- Robert Kojder

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