20 items from 2014
It's the 1969 Academy Awards, and Walter Matthau and a tuxedo-clad chimp present John Chambers with an honorary Oscar for his work on Planet of the Apes. Viewed in retrospect it's one of the more surreal presentations in the ceremony's history, but this was something of a landmark event for the industry. It was only the second time the Academy had dished out a prize to make-up artists (William J Tuttle won four years earlier for 7 Faces of Dr Lao), and it highlighted the growing importance of Hollywood's backstage creative artists.
Fast-forward 45 years and prosthetics are giving way to digital pixels - for characters that require a complexity of movement and expression, performance capture technology gives a director the scope to execute their vision by marrying an actor's performance with visual effects. In its basic form, the actor will strap on a bodysuit that's wired up to a computer. All their »
From Gollum, to King Kong, to Caesar, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes star Andy Serkis has mastered the art of performance-capture characters and taught the world that it is performance, not just visual effects. Here’s how he does it!
Serkis always does thorough research. For example, when playing King Kong he “went all out to play the psychology and the DNA of a pure gorilla,” studying the behaviour of real gorillas. For Caesar on Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, he closely looked at Oliver, the ‘humanzee’, a real-life chimpanzee with a rare genetic mutation that appeared to be a chimp-human hybrid
Finding The Physicality
Working closely with celebrated movement choreographer Terry Notary (who also plays chimp Rocket), Serkis made sure on both Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and Dawn that every gesture and movement would ring true as that of a real chimpanzee. »
- Dan Jolin
While Mark Ruffalo did some performance capture for his role as the Hulk in The Avengers, we knew that his work would be taken to the next level in Avengers: Age Of Ultron, as he's enlisted the help of veteran mo-cap performer Andy Serkis (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers). Presumably just there in a mentoring capacity, Mr. Serkis recently suggested that he might have a little more to do than just teach Mark Ruffalo the ropes. Regarding his talents »
- Sean Wist
The sound editing team of Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn had their work cut out for them on Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction with new characters including Dinobots, Protos and the bounty hunter Lockdown. The pair have been with the Transformers franchise since the first film. Van der Ryn, an Oscar winner for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and 2005's King Kong, was nominated for the first Transformers film and Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The later nomination was shared with Aadahl. Photos: 'Transformers,' 'Battleship' and Barbie: The Highs and Lows of Toy-
- Carolyn Giardina
Yes, Rock & Shock, the legendary Worcester, Mass., horror and metal festival, is still four months away, but organizers have released a tiny taste of what festival-goers can expect this October 17-19. Read on to learn what celebrity guests and musical acts are already lined up for the show.
Rock and Shock is not only Doctor Gash's favorite weekend of the year, but it's one of the coolest and most intimate festivals one can attend. And the first wave of celebrities should have everyone marking their calendars and making plans to head to Worcester this October.
Brad Dourif, who's done everything from voicing Chucky in the Child's Play series to Lord of the Rings, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and "Deadwood" just to name a few, will be making a rare festival appearance. Additionally , Dourif's daughter, Fiona Dourif (Curse of Chucky, "True Blood") will be appearing as well.
Also on »
- Scott Hallam
From 1914 to Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes in the present, Ryan charts the evolution of animated characters in live-action film...
Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes and this year's Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes chart the ascendance of a new, genetically-modified species of intelligent ape. Yet behind the scenes, these films also show us the technical evolution of digital effects, and how seamlessly live-action and computer-generated characters can be blended.
Where 20th Century Fox's earlier Planet Of The Apes films, beginning in 1968, used actors and prosthetic effects to bring their talking simians to life, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes used the latest developments in performance capture to create some extraordinarily realistic characters. With its story told largely from the perspective of a genetically-modified chimpanzee named Caesar, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes' success hinged on the quality of its effects »
Six years after their last attempt, Empire Magazine has conducted a poll of over 250,000 film fans to come up with a list of the 301 greatest movies ever made. It's the 1980 classic "The Empire Strikes Back" which took the top spot, beating out the 2008 winner "The Godfather" which slipped down to second place. The Top 50 of the list are:
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
2001: A Space Odyssey
Terminator 2: Judgement Day
- Garth Franklin
When did the creation process for Godzilla's menacing roar begin? Supervising sound editors and designers Erik Aadahl and Ethan Van der Ryn say they were brought on to Godzilla by director Gareth Edwards and Legendary Pictures CEO Thomas Tull to start thinking about the title creature’s iconic roar at an unusually early time, even before the film had gotten the green light. Van der Ryn won Oscars for The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and King Kong and has three additional nominations, including for Argo and Transfromers: Dark of the Moon, both of which he shared with Aadahl. But
- Carolyn Giardina
Thirteen years since the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, star Viggo Mortensen isn’t holding back in expressing his true feelings for the Peter Jackson trilogy. In a candid interview with The Telegraph, the 55-year-old actor calls the process of making the epic films an epic disaster.
Mortensen, who portrayed Aragorn in the trilogy, says Jackson and producers “were in a lot of trouble” before the first film proved to be a massive hit with both critics and moviegoers. “Officially, could say that he was finished in December 2000 — he’d shot all three »
- Amber Ray
If you thought the second and third installments in Peter Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" series -- "The Two Towers" and "Return of the King" -- were a little too CGI-ed, you're not alone: Star Viggo Mortensen thinks so, too.
Mortensen revealed his distaste for the latter two films in the blockbuster trilogy in an interview with The Telegraph, where he discussed the chaos surrounding the filming of the movies, and the uncertainty over whether or not the final two films would even get a theatrical release. According to the actor, Jackson had blown through his budget making the first film, "The Fellowship of the Ring," and it wasn't until that movie went on to score big at the box office that the other two were officially greenlit for the multiplex, and earmarked for extra cash to finish their effects.
"Fellowship" is Mortensen's favorite of the trio, he said, »
- Katie Roberts
If you asked 100 Star Wars fans what the best of the movies is, I suspect 90 would probably say The Empire Strikes Back. That.s a hell of a lot closer to a consensus than you would get for Lord Of The Rings, but to actor Viggo Mortensen, it.s not even really close. For him, The Fellowship Of The Ring is the clear choice. Why? Because he thinks the second and third movies were overwhelmed by special effects and lost all subtlety because of it. Speaking in a frank and honest interview with The Telegraph, Mortensen outlines exactly how he feels the second and third movies became overwhelmed by technology. All three movies were shot back-to-back with the assumption being that the second and third flicks would require some reshoots. According to Mortensen, however, Return Of The King and The Two Towers were way more of a mess than people »
Gandalf's faithful horse Shadowfax has died.
The movie animal - real name Blanco - had been suffering from an illness, and was put down by his owner Cynthia Royal.
In a statement, Royal explained that Blanco had suffered "serious issues with his intestinal tract and liver".
"Although my heart was breaking," she wrote on TheOneRing.net, "as my final gift to him, I stayed strong, balanced and focused, gently repeating 'Relax Blanco. Let go. Walk into the light. Relax and let go' as the Blanco I've known so well and loved so deeply slipped away.
"While this leg of Blanco's journey has passed and my heart still aches, I will live in peace knowing we gave our all to aid in his recovery.
"We spared no effort or expense, even though doing so in conjunction with the on-going expenses of my own health challenges has placed an additional financial burden on my family. »
Hollywood stuntman and choreographer Greg van Borssum is offering up a piece of 'what if' Hollywood history today, as he shares photos of the Justice League cast assembling for Mad Max: Fury Road director George Miller's canceled adaptation.
Way back in 2007, after Superman Returns proved to be a disappointment, Warner Bros. planned to move forward on a Justice League movie that recast the Man of Steel with D.J. Cotrona and gave us a new Batman in Armie Hammer, even though Christian Bale was in the midst of his The Dark Knight trilogy at the same time. Also seen in the first photo are (from bottom) director George Miller, Jay Baruchel as Maxwell Lord, Hugh Keays-Byrne as Martian Manhunter. Next row finds Santiago Cabrera as Aquaman, Adam Brody as The Flash, Teresa Palmer as Talia al Ghul, stuntman Greg van Borssum, and producer Barrie M. Osborne (The Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers »
Having been behind some of the most ingenious, avant-garde pictures of the past two decades, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky is now trying his hand at something a little more ambitious, with a considerably greater budget than he’s used to working with. Though eyebrows were suitably raised at his decision to tackle the immense story of Noah, there’s a definite sense of intrigue in seeing this innovative director make his first blockbuster, as expectations are elevated accordingly. That being said, it’s still not much better than Evan Almighty.
Russell Crowe takes on the titular role, as a devoted family man who is hand-picked by God, to somehow save mankind and all animal species on earth, ahead of the forthcoming flood that will destroy the planet. In order to obey the omnipotent and benevolent spirit, Noah starts building an ark, with the help of his loving wife Naameh (the severely »
- Stefan Pape
Darren Aronofsky’s controversial “Noah” exists somewhere between the sentimental, straight-faced versions of biblical tales that Hollywood has been producing for decades and more auteur-driven fare like Martin Scorsese’s “The Last Temptation of Christ”.
The result is often the best of both worlds, a film that feels remarkably ambitious and definably of a fabric with the themes this director has explored before but also stunningly emotional and adherent to the lessons of sacrifice intended by the original authors of this tale. Far more than just the two-by-two animal story that most of us learned in school, “Noah” not only has something to say about a search for meaning in the modern world but is vibrant, powerful filmmaking at the same time.
From the very beginning, a discerning viewer knows this is not your standard biblical epic. The tone, the scope, the very design of the massive, stone-covered fallen »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Lost footage from Ralph Bakshi‘s animated film, The Lord of the Rings, finally expands on a scene fans know all too well from Peter Jackson’s trilogy. Bakshi’s film, released in 1978, tells the story of two J.R.R. Tolkien books, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. In the live-action versions by Jackson, those […]
The post ‘Lord Of The Rings:’ Lost Footage Shows Gandalf Battling the Balrog in Ralph Bakshi’s Film appeared first on /Film. »
- Germain Lussier
Given that his past works include Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler, it’s understandable why most of us were skeptical and concerned when director Darren Aronofsky announced that he would be adapting the Biblical tale of Noah’s Ark for the big screen. For one, Aronofsky is known for his smaller and more intimate pictures, and even when he has tried to branch out a bit (The Fountain), he’s always kept that personal, more independent feeling in his films.
Right off the bat, we knew that Noah would not be just another straightforward retelling of a classic story. No, if you wanted that you’re better off checking out the recently released Son of God. Instead, Aronofsky’s Biblical epic is an ambitious, brave and visually stunning adaptation that offers a grandiose reinterpretation of Noah’s fabled salvation- not your typical scripture reading. Check any expectations at »
- Matt Joseph
The marketing campaign for Darren Aronofsky’s Noah is continuing today with four new TV spots, an IMAX poster and full details on Mr. Clint Mansell’s soundtrack. It’s a lot, but Paramount wants to make sure that they get people into theatres for this one. The film isn’t an easy sell, and given that it’s sure to cause quite a bit of controversy, the studio is doing everything in their power to get people on board with Aronofsky’s latest before it arrives.
Having seen Noah, I can tell you two things. And that’s pretty much all I can tell you since I’m under embargo. One, is that Mansell delivers another excellent score here. Intense, powerful and moving, it fits the film beautifully and is absolutely a highlight.
The other thing I can tell you is that the marketing for this movie is a bit, »
- Matt Joseph
Amazon has two great deals going on right now for a couple of impressive Blu-ray collections. The first is the Bond 50: The Complete 23 Film Collection, which also includes Skyfall along with over 120 hours of extras, including "World of Bond", "Being Bond", "Designing 007: Fifty Years of Bond Style" and "Skyfall Videoblogs" for only $119.99, which is 60% off the $300 list price. This week's deal also includes three HD digital copies of past Bond movies. If you're interested, click here to buy it. Next is the Best of Warner Bros 50 Film Collection, which includes the following 50 titles along with Ultraviolet digital copies of each with the * noting Best Picture winners. Grand Hotel* (1932) Mutiny on the Bounty* (1935) Wizard of Oz (1939) Gone with The Wind* (1939) Maltese Falcon, The (1941) Mrs. Miniver* (1942) Casablanca* (1942) Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948) Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951) American in Paris, An* (1951) Singin' in the Rain (1952) Gigi* (1958) North By Northwest (1959) Ben-Hur »
- Brad Brevet
There is so much written about awards every year, especially the Oscars. But the fact of the matter is… movies are meant to be seen. Movies are meant to make money. Movies are meant to entertain around the world.
All that press on who is going to win Best Picture… and yet not enough is written about what is the biggest movie of the year. The one movie that makes more money around the world than any other. The one movie that sells more tickets than any other.
In 2013, that movie was Iron Man 3.
No matter what happens at the Golden Globes or the Oscars, the most successful movie of the year – when it comes to cash – was Marvel and Disney’s third Iron Man movie. Period. If you look at ticket buying around the world, it was basically seen as a sequel to last years biggest global hit, »
- Dave Wylde
20 items from 2014
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