13 items from 2015
When director James Cameron was concocting 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, he knew that he needed its villain to evolve beyond Terminator’s formidable T-800, played — in both the original and the sequel — by Arnold Schwarzenegger. Enter the crew at George Lucas’s visual-effects studio Industrial Light & Magic (Ilm), who were ready to deploy sophisticated computer-generated imagery and create the “liquid-metal” assassin T-1000. Nearly a quarter-century later, in Terminator Genisys, which hits theaters July 1, the T-1000, played in T2 by Robert Patrick and now by Byung-hun Lee, will make its triumphant morphing return, but there’s nothing quite like the first time. Here, some of T2’s key visual-effects gurus, producers, and actors tell us how the most indelible aspect of this most memorable killer robot came to life.For 1989’s The Abyss, Cameron and Ilm made their initial breakthrough with a malleable CGI character that could take on human »
- Kenny Herzog
An alien craft shaped like an artichoke? A vessel with breasts? Here's our pick of 15 of sci-fi cinema's most eccentric spaceships...
For decades, heroes have crossed the universe in rocket ships and modified light freighters. Aliens have conquered galaxies in disc-shaped craft of varying sizes.
Yes, as long as there's been science fiction on the silver screen, spaceships have captured our imagination, from the matinee serials of the 30s to the sci-fi blockbusters of the present.
We all have our own idea of what a great spaceship should look like. For some, it's Han Solo's fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon. For others, it's the more graceful USS Enterprise, or maybe the utilitarian craft of 2001: A Space Odyssey. But what about cinema's more unusual, outlandish spaceships? The ramshackle ones, the anachronistic ones, the ones that look a bit rude, or just plain scary? Those are »
Industrial Light & Magic, the San Francisco-based visual effects house that has changed the course of cinema history countless times over the years, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2015. Wired Magazine has rounded up a who's who to discuss its impact and how the advances made there — first in a sweaty Van Nuys warehouse, and now in a swank Presidio complex — have morphed the film industry into what it is today. It's well worth your time. If, however, you're the "tl;dr" type, I couldn't help but jot down a few takeaways as I read. Here are seven. But seriously, take some time to read through it if you can. It's a tight but detailed look back, full of the kind of stories — from "Star Wars" to "Transformers" — that make "movie magic" a thing. George Lucas wants Marvel to make another "Howard the Duck" movie I've actually always loved Willard Huyck »
- Kristopher Tapley
From anime to pitch-black thrillers, here's our pick of the underappreciated movies of 1987...
Sometimes, the challenge with these lists isn't just what to put in, but what to leave out. We loved Princess Bride, but with a decent showing at the box office and a huge cult following, isn't it a bit too popular to be described as underappreciated? Likewise Joe Dante's Innerspace, a fabulously geeky, comic reworking of the 60s sci-fi flick, Fantastic Voyage.
What we've gone for instead is a mix of genre fare, dramas and animated films that may have garnered a cult following since, but didn't do well either critically or financially at the time of release. Some of the movies on our list just about made their money back, but none made anything close to the sort of returns enjoyed by the likes of 1987's biggest films - Three Men And A Baby, Fatal Attraction »
HitFix's recent spate of "Best Year in Film History" pieces inevitably spurred some furious debate among our readers, with some making compelling arguments for years not included in our pieces (2007 and 1968 were particularly popular choices) and others openly expressing their bewilderment at the inclusion of others (let's just say 2012 took a beating). In the interest of giving voice to your comments, below we've rounded up a few of the most thoughtful, passionate, surprising and occasionally incendiary responses to our pieces, including my own (I advocated for The Year of Our Lynch 2001, which is obviously the best). Here we go... Superstar commenter "A History of Matt," making an argument for 1968: The Graduate. Bullit. The Odd Couple. The Lion in Winter. Planet of the Apes. The Thomas Crown Affair. Funny Girl. Rosemary's Baby. And of course, 2001, A Space Odyssey. And that's only a taste of the greatness of that year. "Lothar the Flatulant, »
- Chris Eggertsen
Ah, 1989. The year the Berlin Wall came down and Yugoslavia won the Eurovision Song Contest. It was also a big year for film, with Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade topping the box office and Batman dominating the summer with its inescapable marketing blitz.
Outside the top 10 highest-grossing list, which included Back To The Future II, Dead Poets Society and Honey I Shrunk The Kids, 1989 also included a plethora of less commonly-appreciated films. Some were big in their native countries but only received a limited release in the Us and UK. Others were poorly received but have since been reassessed as cult items.
From comedies to thrillers, here's our pick of 25 underappreciated films from the end of the 80s...
25. An Innocent Man
Disney, through its Touchstone banner, had high hopes for this thriller, »
Jason Voorhees, the living dead of George A. Romero's Dawn of the Dead, the librarian phantom from Ghostbusters, the reanimated dead of Cemetery Man—these memorable horror movie characters and many more came to life onscreen due in large part to the talented hands and crafty eyes of FX legends Tom Savini, Steve Johnson, and Sergio Stivaletti.
Tate Steinsiek, an FX artist who also has an impressive résumé, teaches Ill Willed FX Workshops around the world, and on his international tour this summer, he's bringing in the aforementioned talented trio to offer their priceless advice in select sessions, with Savini joining the Amsterdam series, Johnson coming in for the Dublin series, and Stivaletti set for the Rome series. Also included in our latest round-up are details for Dark Horse's Plants vs. Zombies: Bully for You #1, the first issue in a new comic miniseries debuting in June, as well as »
- Derek Anderson
Variety reported in September that “Into the Storm” director Steven Quale was attached to the project, written by EuropaCorp topper Luc Besson and “The Equalizer” screenwriter Richard Wenk. The story focuses on a group of Navy SEALs attempting to solve a long-forgotten mystery while uncovering an immense treasure hidden in a lake in war-torn Serbia.
EuropaCorp’s slate includes “The Transporter Legacy” and recent Toronto Film Festival acquisition “Big Game.” It announced in February that it was forming the Red joint distribution venture for the U.S. with Ryan Kavanaugh’s Relativity.
Stapleton also stars in the Cinemax series “Strike Back.” He »
- Dave McNary
The World Soundtrack Awards will celebrate its 15th anniversary by feteing one of the most brilliant film composers of his generation, also known for his scores of Back To The Future and Forrest Gump.
The Brussels Philharmonic will perform the compelling scores by Alan Silvestri, conducted by Dirk Brossé and accompanied by film fragments on the big screen. The traditional film music concert will be held during the second part of the World Soundtrack Awards. The WSAwards will once again be the festive closing event of the 42nd Film Fest Gent.
With his percussion driven scores and arrangements one can only compare with roller coasters, Alan Silvestri has emerged as one of the major Hollywood composers that broke through in the eighties. Although Silvestri has succeeded in writing successful scores »
- Michelle McCue
The International Film Music Critics Association has revealed nominations for best in movie music from 2014, and prolific composers James Newton Howard ("The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1," "Maleficent") and Alexandre Desplat ("Godzilla," "The Grand Budapest Hotel," "The Imitation Game," "The Monuments Men") led the way with seven and six nominations respectively. Film score of the year contenders include just two Best Original Score Oscar nominees: "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and Hans Zimmer's "Interstellar." "The Imitation Game" and Jóhann Jóhannsson's "Theory of Everything," however, were both nominated in the drama category. "Maleficent" landed the most nominations for a film with four, while DreamWorks Animation's "How to Train Your Dragon 2" picked up three (each of them another if you count composer of the year honors for Howard and John Powell respectively). Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be revealed on Feb. 19. And be sure »
- Kristopher Tapley
In the summer of 1977, James Cameron, like lots of other people that year, went to the cinema and watched Star Wars. But unlike so many others, Cameron didn't feel elation as the room went dark and the first space ship soared overhead - he felt a shiver of mild panic.
"My reaction to it was not, 'Oh, wow, that's cool. I want to see more,'" he later recalled. "It was, 'Oh wow, I better get off my butt because somebody is doing this stuff, you know, and they're beating me to it.'"
Within one year, the 24-year-old Cameron had borrowed some money from a consortium of dentists looking for a tax break, and with it, made the short film Xenogenesis. That film and its title (which could »
After more than three decades working in film and television, producer Gale Anne Hurd says the basic tenet of her success has always been about preparing for every possible outcome on a project.
“Then you’re not stuck having to solve things when there’s truly no time to get it wrong,” says Hurd, who will receive the 2015 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures at the Jan. 24 Producers Guild of America Awards ceremony.
“Going back to (1984’s) ‘The Terminator,’ I would have dreams about possible production problems, so I would have a list of plan B, plan C, plan D. Because everything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
Hurd started in the business as Roger Corman’s executive assistant at New World Pictures, eventually working her way up to head of marketing.“The Terminator,” which she also co-wrote, was the turning point, launching Hurd’s career as a producer. »
- Christy Grosz
The Dive is a movie version of the life of couple Francisco “Pipin” Ferreras and Audrey Mestre. They submerged themselves for daredevil free-dives to see who could last the longest underwater on one puff of sweet, sweet oxygen. Appropriately enough the producer is James Cameron, who’s no stranger to deep sea antics. The Abyss famously depicted experiments in breathing below the surface, not to mention his fictional and actual exploration of the wreck of the Titanic.
Cameron co-produces with Rae Sanchini via Lightstorm Entertainment, alongside Barry Josephson. The script is by Dana Stevens. Lawrence certainly likes to mix it up a bit as the project likely follows her Magic Mop creator biopic Joy, co-starring Robert De Niro.
Source: Variety »
- Steve Palace
13 items from 2015
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