11 items from 2013
Trevor Hogg chats with visual effects supervisors Christopher Townsend, Erik Nash, Bryan Grill, Alessandro Cioffi, Guy Williams, Matt Dessero, Venti Hristova and Vincent Cirelli; animation supervisor Simone Kraus, previsualization supervisor Todd Constantine and postvisualization supervisor Gerardo Ramirez about their work on Iron Man 3. Beware there are spoilers....
“Marvel is a fun and passionate group to work with,” states Christopher Townsend who went from being the visual effects supervisor responsible for Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) to Iron Man 3 (2013). “Their type of films allow for visual effects to be played in a varied playground. It’s great.” The native of Britain jokes, “I keep on coming back for more punishment!” A change behind the camera took place in the third instalment of the franchise which launched the Marvel Universe into the realm of cinematic blockbusters. “Marvel is always keen of eyeing and working with not fans or run of »
The newly restored print of Joseph L. Mankiewicz's Cleopatra will have its world premiere as an official selection of Cannes Classics at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival on May 21. The next day it will open for a limited theatrical engagement in more than 200 theaters around the world, followed by a Blu-ray release on May 28. Today a trailer has been released showing off the new restoration. Back in 2011 I caught a screening of Cleopatra in its original 70mm format at Seattle's Cinerama and for all its flaws, it's a film I actually enjoy, perhaps just as much for what's on screen as for the story behind its making. As I wrote in October of 2011: The production, which cost a reported $44 million to produce (about $325.7 million today), is still considered the most expensive movie in history based on inflation (though, depending on what calculator you use, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End »
- Brad Brevet
We didn't think so.
Apparently the three are very fond of one another, as revealed at the HBO premiere of David Mamet's movie "Phil Spector" this week. According to the New York Post, Pacino (who plays the titular role in "Spector") met up with Richards for the first time and the two icons had a friendly exchange.
"We have a mutual friend," Richards was overheard telling Pacino. "Johnny Depp!" Pacino replied, "I love Johnny!"
And somewhere in the world, an angel got a high five.
Pacino and Depp were co-stars in the 1997 movie "Donnie Brasco" and Richards wrote and performed the song "Only Found Out Yesterday" on Depp's blockbuster hit "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" in 2007.
Also, Depp's next talked-about project, the thriller "Black Mass," will »
- Liat Kornowski
Films set in Shanghai, Chinese scientists saving the day, Beijing portrayed as the promised land … Us film-makers are flattering their way into the world's fastest-growing movie market
Last week North Korea threatened America with a nuclear strike. This week sees the UK release of Red Dawn, which features a North Korean invasion of the Us. An impressive instance of Hollywood's far-sightedness? Not quite.
Red Dawn is the reboot of a cold war thriller that's much cherished in some quarters. Back in 1984, when the original appeared, the aggressor could only have been the Soviet Union. With the new film comes a new commie bogeyman – but it was not supposed to be North Korea. These days, it's not so much Kim Jong-un's eccentric dictatorship that makes Americans tremble, it's their newfound rival for superpower status, China.
So, MGM's re-imaginers decided to reallocate Russia's role to the Chinese People's Republic. Fancifully enough, they »
- David Cox
Before he reboots the Mortal Kombat movie franchise next year for New Line Cinema, director Kevin Tancharoen (Fame, Glee: The 3D Concert Movie) is set to unleash the second season of his hit web series Mortal Kombat: Legacy. Check out the official synopsis for season two, followed by the first trailer below...
"The Mortal Kombat Legacy continues in Season 2 as Liu Kang, Kung Lao, Kenshi, and Ermac join the ranks. The rivalries and histories of these fierce warriors will unfold as Raiden and his recruits clash against the dark forces of Outworld. The epic battle for Earthrealm has finally begun."
The cast of Mortal Kombat: Legacy season 2 includes Casper Van Dien (Starship Troopers) as Johnny Cage, Mark Dacascos (Brotherhood of the Wolf) as Kung Lao, Brian Tee (The Wolverine) as Liu Kang, Samantha Tjhia (Man of Steel) as Kitana, Michelle Lee (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End) as Mileena, »
- Flickering Myth
Vivienne Jolie-Pitt's paycheck might be bigger than yours. The 4-year-old daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt was cast in "Maleficent," the Jolie vehicle which tells the backstory of the evil witch in "Sleeping Beauty," and TMZ reports the youngster was paid handsomely: $3,000 per week with a $60 per diem.
"Maleficent" is a highly anticipated film. Photos of Angelina Jolie doing her best evil witch (horns and all) helped drum up publicity for the project, which stars Elle Fanning and a couple of other Jolie-Pitt tots. Pax and Zahara Jolie-Pitt reportedly have much smaller parts.
Vivienne plays young Princess Aurora, the girl who grows up to be the nemesis of Maleficent. India Eisley plays young Maleficent. The movie is directed by Robert Stromberg, best known for his visual effects work on "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," "Pan's Labyrinth," "There Will Be Blood" and "The Golden Compass," and is slated for a March 2014 release. »
- The Huffington Post
Let’s face it, we all love to hate on terrible films, and often there’s nothing more enjoyable or uniting than collectively voicing your grievances upon seeing a recent stinker. But what can easily get overlooked when focusing on this critical response is a film’s commercial success, or lack of. In a number of cases those guilty films thankfully get their just deserts – disasters such as Battlefield Earth, Gigli, and Catwoman not only quickly found themselves rated amongst the worst films of all time, but also flopped spectacularly at the box office as movie-goers made it perfectly clear to filmmakers what they thought of their efforts by withholding their wallets.
However, it is becoming increasingly common to look at lists of highest-grossing films and be thoroughly baffled at just how financially successful that one movie you thought was terrible in fact turned out to be. Indeed, no matter »
- Dave Taylor
By now, it's well known and irksomely tolerated that all films face the wrath of a given market's ratings board or censors if wide distribution remains in their sights. While the MPAA and BBFC occasionally produce a decision that leaves some films weakened by cuts or alternate takes, the latest verdicts laid down by China for two of the holiday season's bigger films have taken that concept to a new extreme. Minor spoilers below. Though they premiered to polar opposite receptions both critically and financially, “Cloud Atlas” and Bond entry “Skyfall” have both fallen prey to the Chinese censors all the same. The country's government has a long history of altering films, homegrown and international -- the complete erasure of Chow Yun-Fat's character in “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End” comes to mind -- but now they've cut an entire scene and scrubbed dialogue from “Skyfall,” while essentially. »
- Charlie Schmidlin
Before Daniel Craig could show off his train-hopping, cuff-tugging, martini-swiggin' James Bond magic in "Skyfall" to China's movie audiences, censors employed a few not-so-creative adjustments to the film's final cut.
As detailed by The Hollywood Reporter, "Skyfall" — which was partially set in Shanghai and Macau — was trimmed and tweaked quite a bit in order to avoid political and/or cultural rife with notoriously free speech-inhibited nation before being introduced to its theaters.
Included in the re-working were the removal of a shooting death scene involving a Chinese security guard, a subtitle switcheroo of spoken lines involving a local prostitution ring - replaced with written words on something with the mob instead - and an overhaul of villain Raoul Silva (Javier Bardem)'s backstory of torture at the hands of Hong Kong authorities.
The "Skyfall" edits are but the latest in a growing series of film censorship for Chinese markets.
- Amanda Bell
Shanghai assassination scene cut and subtitled dialogue modified to bring film into line with state sensibilities
Record-breaking Bond film Skyfall is due for release in China on Monday, but reports are surfacing that scenes have been censored and altered to make it acceptable to the Chinese authorities.
The main casualty of the culling is a scene that occurs during the Shanghai-set sequence, in which French hitman Patrice (played by Ola Rapace) shoots a security guard after entering a skyscraper. The scene has apparently been cut in its entirety. In addition, the Chinese subtitles have changed the meaning of dialogue between Bond and bar hostess Sévérine (Bérénice Marlohe) in a Macau casino, removing a reference to her becoming a prostitute at a young age.
- Andrew Pulver
Ned Wertimer, pictured above with "Jeffersons" co-stars Marla Gibbs and Sherman Hemsley, passed away on Jan. 2, his manager tells the AP. The 89-year-old actor had been in a Los Angeles-area nursing home following a fall at his Burbank home last November.
Wertimer was a native of Buffalo, N.Y. and flew planes for the Navy in World War II before turning to acting. His other credits include "I Dream of Jeannie," "Mary Tyler Moore" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End."
He is survived by wife Skyne Uku, an Africana Studies professor at Cal State-Long Beach who married Wertimer in 1978.
11 items from 2013
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