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It’s been a VFX season dominated by giants in a range of superhero, sci-fi and action-adventures. They include Mark Rylance’s 25-foot dream catcher in “The Bfg,” Christopher Walken’s King Louie in “The Jungle Book,” the heptapods from “Arrival,” the 7-foot K-2So droid from “Rogue One” and the Moon Beast and Skeleton from “Kubo and the Two Strings.”
Whittling down the preliminary list of 20 contenders to 10 for the VFX bake-off on January 7th won’t be easy. There is so much outstanding work. Yet the great hybrid achievement of Disney’s “The Jungle Book” makes it the favorite, and “Rogue One” offers a new, gritty “Star Wars” look that should provide serious consideration. Here’s a list of 10 prime contenders:
1. “The Jungle Book”
- Bill Desowitz
The next time you're murdered by a blood elf rogue in World of Warcraft ... there's a good chance the person killing you is Ronda Rousey. Turns out, the Ufc star is Super into World of Warcraft -- and that's actually how she became friends with Vin Diesel on the set of "Furious 7." During her appearance on "Conan," Ronda admitted she was a socially awkward kid and video games were an escape for her ... and still are. »
- TMZ Staff
After a more than two-year hiatus, Paula Patton has officially returned to social media with an apologetic message to fans.
"Please forgive my long absence! Feeling so grateful for every second of this life," Patton tweeted on Tuesday. "If any of you are still out there, thank you & I'm sorry!"
Luckily, Patton's followers didn't seem to mind her extended break, and replied to her tweet with loving messages.
"We all love ya! Great to see you back in Action," celebrity chef G. Garvin tweeted back.
"No need to apologize!" tweeted one understanding fan. "Sometimes it's best to take out time for self away from social media."
Patton also shared a video on Instagram wishing fans a (belated) “happy Thanksgiving,” while showing off her new blonde hair.
"My family has been on my case all day," she wrote at »
Will Ferrell has signed on to star in yet another sports comedy. This isn't just any sport, though. Ferrall, along with Legendary, Mosaic, and Gary Sanchez Productions are going where no major motion picture has gone before, into the world of eSports!
Will Ferrell has been a Nascar driver, semi-pro Basketball player, and even a figure skater. Now, he intends on conquering the fast-rising video game leagues of eSports. eSports isn't like your normal NFL, NBA, or Mlb. Instead, it embodies not just one game, but several including League of Legends, Counterstrike, Super Smash Bros., World of Warcraft, etc.
If you're unfamiliar with eSports and are scoffing at this idea, eSports is no joke. Where NFL players get $20 million contracts that get paid out over 4 years, eSports players can get close to that in one night, by winning championships and earning endorsements.
As for Ferrell's new film, it's way too »
- email@example.com (Matt Malliaros)
“The Great Wall” presents a whole series of firsts. It is the first movie made in English by Zhang Yimou, China’s master of the big spectacle. Costing some $150 million it is possibly the biggest-budget Chinese film of all time. It is certainly the biggest Hollywood-Chinese co-production to data and is Matt Damon’s first Asian movie.
All that is another way of saying there is a lot at stake. And it is why the movie’s upcoming release in China is being delivered to market with an unprecedented marketing and promotional campaign.
“It is a new kind of film,” says producer Peter Loehr, and CEO of Legendary East. The action-fantasy-adventure movie has major elements of Western blockbuster cinema, yet is 20% in Chinese and is directed by Zhang, »
- Patrick Frater
Last night brought about the annual Game Awards which featured its normal exclusives, awkward moments, and some incredible high points. With all that went down, I'm taking a look at this year's high and low points with hope for the next year. Come inside to check it out!
It's no secret that I've given The Game Awards some crap over the years. While much of it is light-hearted jabs, there are plenty of legitimate criticisms to be made. For better or worse, The Game Awards is about the Only major awards show for the games industry. While there are other (some would say more prestigious) awards, they're all attached to conventions and aren't big public affairs.
As such, there's a lot of potential for the show to be a shining moment for gamers and something we can all be proud of, but there are some things that continue to hold it back. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jordan Maison)
Welcome to “Playback,” a Variety podcast.
On this week’s show, Variety Chief Film Critic Peter Debruge is back to discuss the upcoming critics awards circuit. Films like “Manchester by the Sea” and “Moonlight” are expected to do well, but what other corners of the season could these groups illuminate? Additionally, with “Silence” having finally screened, we discuss Martin Scorsese’s spiritual epic. Could it unseat the perceived Oscar frontrunner “La La Land” or is it arriving too late to fully connect?
Later on I’m talking to “Hell or High Water” star Ben Foster, who also turns up in three other films this year: “Finest Hours,” “Warcraft” and “Inferno.” He’s picked up a pair of supporting nominations this year from the Film Independent Spirit Awards and the Critics’ Choice Awards, and could be in line to join co-star Jeff Bridges at the Oscars.
For more, listen to the latest episode of “Playback” below. »
- Kristopher Tapley
Members of the Academy’s visual effects branch will have their work cut out for them in narrowing this year’s wide-ranging field of big-screen spectacles down to 10 semi-finalists for the bakeoff stage in a few weeks, let alone settling on five nominees to fill out the Oscar ballot.
At least two films are all but locked for recognition, and one of them we can probably feel safe in calling sight-unseen: “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.” No one will get a look at the film until the Dec. 10 Hollywood premiere, but the mega franchise’s history in this category is difficult to ignore; the only “Star Wars” film to be dismissed by the visual effects branch was “Revenge of the Sith” in 2005, when the whole enterprise had become rather stale (despite, naturally, showing no signs of weakness at the box office). Not only that, but visual effects play into »
- Kristopher Tapley
Following the disappointing misfires of Warcraft: The Beginning and Angry Birds: The Movie earlier in the year, all eyes are beginning to turn toward Assassin’s Creed in what could be a defining turning point for video game adaptations. At least, that’s the idea.
Thanks to the involvement of Justin Kurzel, Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard – the talented trio that last collaborated for Macbeth – 20th Century Fox and Ubisoft’s live-action feature has potential in spades, and practically every piece of footage to emerge from Assassin’s Creed drums up just how faithful Kurzel’s adaptation is – the stunts, the Spanish decor, the international ensemble.
Assassin's Creed Gallery 1 of 16
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Flanked by an all-star cast comprised of Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson and Michael K. Williams, the time-hopping story of December’s AC movie orbits around Fassbender’s Callum Lynch, a modern-day Average »
- Michael Briers
The fantastic Ruth Negga from "Loving" is being honored (deservingly I might add), at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival! I sat down with the actress for "Loving," take a look at my interview:
And here's why you have to see "Loving":
Here's the full press release from the Palm Springs International Film Festival:
Palm Springs, CA (November 16, 2016) . The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) will present Ruth Negga with the Rising Star Award at its annualRuth NeggaFilm Awards Gala for her performance in Loving. The Film Awards Gala, hosted by Mary Hart, will be held Monday, January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The Festival runs January 2-16.
.Ruth Negga.s performance as Mildred Loving is one of the year.s most luminous and striking portrayals,. said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. .This timeless love story about an interracial couple reminds us of the unstoppable power »
Tom Hiddleston (Thor: Ragnarok) will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight to debut the brand new theatrical trailer for Jordan Vogt-Roberts' upcoming monster movie, Kong: Skull Island. The new trailer is expected to run 2:24 and will finally drop the veil on the titular beast. There's also a very strong possibility that we'll get to see some of Skull Island's other oversized monsters, which should include the reptilian beast we were teased with earlier this morning. The film, which will serve as the second installment in Legendary Pictures' budding Godzilla/Kong universe, stars Hiddleston alongside an all-star cast that consists of Samuel L. Jackson (xXx: The Return of Xander Cage), John Goodman (Transformers: The Last Knight), Brie Larson (Captain Marvel), Jing Tian (The Great Wall), Toby Kebbell (A Monster Calls), John Ortiz (God Particle), Corey Hawkins (24: Legacy), Jason Mitchell (Straight Outta Compton), Shea Whigham (Vice Principals), Thomas Mann »
The 28th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival has selected Ruth Negga for its Rising Star Award.
The award will be presented at the festival’s Film Awards Gala on Jan. 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center. The festival runs Jan. 2-16.
“Ruth Negga’s performance as Mildred Loving is one of the year’s most luminous and striking portrayals,” said Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “This timeless love story about an interracial couple reminds us of the unstoppable power of love in the face of hate and prejudice – a story that could not be more resonant and powerful today. This will certainly be just one of many breathtaking performances in a long career.”
- Dave McNary
Over the past few days, Warner Bros. has been releasing brief trailer previews to get fans ready for the full Kong: Skull Island trailer, which is slated to debut later today. While we wait for the trailer, the studio has debuted two final trailer previews, along with two posters that surfaced from the Twitter accounts of stars Brie Larson and Tom Hiddleston. The final preview gives us our first look at a mysterious reptilian monster that is seen coming out of the sea.
This is the first we're seeing or hearing about a reptilian creature being included in Kong: Skull Island, and hopefully we'll get to see more when Warner Bros. debuts the full trailer. It's possible that this creature could be tied into Warner Bros.' Godzilla vs. King Kong, which has been set for release on May 29, 2020. There have been reports that the Skull Island script features references to Monarch, »
The Game Awards 2016 are only a few weeks away! Which means, it's time to find out if your favorite games of 2016 got nominated! Come inside for the full list of nominees!
Movies have the Oscars, TV has the Emmy Awards, and Video Games have The Game Awards. On December 1st, the 3rd annual Game Awards will distribute their awards to the games, developers, talents, and eSports members that astonished and amazed gamers, around the world, from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles!
This is a night where video games, and all who make and play them, are honored for their hard work and committment to excellence. Among the nominees, no game is being honored more than Naughty Dog's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, which has earned 9 nominations, including Game of the Year. Other games garnering a lot of nominations include Blizzard's Overwatch, Indy Developer Campo Santo's Firewatch and PlayDead's Inside, »
- email@example.com (Matt Malliaros)
Spotlighting the crème de la crème of the past 12 months, Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Blizzard’s über-popular Overwatch are up for multiple awards, while the likes of Firewatch and Playdead’s critically adorned Inside have received nods for Best Art Direction, Best Sound Design and more.
For the first time, The Game Awards 2016 will be live across every gaming screen – Facebook Live, PlayStation Network, Steam, Twitch, Twitter, Xbox Live, or YouTube – and the event itself can even be streamed via compatible Vr devices. It’ll take place on Thursday, December 1 at 9:00 pm Et and if previous years are any indication, should herald a number of worldwide reveals and all-new trailers.
Below, you’ll find the comprehensive list of nominees. »
- Michael Briers
We’re getting to that time of the year when Best and Worst lists will start littering the internet. And one movie that seems poised for infamy as 2016 closes is Duncan Jones‘ maligned video game adaptation “Warcraft.” The filmmaker has been candid that he didn’t quite get to make the movie he wanted to, and the result was a blockbuster that was savaged by critics, flopped domestically, but did quite well overseas, particularly in China.
- Kevin Jagernauth
Duncan Jones’ “Warcraft” was a box office flop in the Us but grossed over $433 million worldwide, becoming the highest-grossing video game adaptation of all time. The film was torn apart by critics and has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 28 perfect. So in case you didn’t know why it received such negative reviews, the folks at CinemaSins released a new “Everything Wrong With” video to let you know all the mistakes the film had.
The first sin occurs right at the beginning because, according to them, Universal’s opening logo takes too long. The second sin comes from the “Tolkien-created orcs” that the film is “blatantly stealing for this game/movie,” and the narration that is going on.
Read More: ‘Warcraft’ Honest Trailer Calls the Film a ‘Gorgeous-Looking, High-Budget Mess’
The sixteen-minute video continues by criticizing the film’s plot, the characters and just about every single scene, with the »
- Liz Calvario
Over the past few days, Warner Bros. has debuted brief trailer previews with new footage of the massive King Kong to prepare fans for the full trailer, set to arrive Wednesday, November 16. Today we have another brief preview, with new footage of King Kong smashing two helicopters together with his bare hands. It seems likely that another preview will arrive tomorrow as well, so stay tuned.
The preview debuted on Warner Bros. official Twitter account for the movie, which comes a few days after a new photo gave us our best look at King Kong yet. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts revealed this summer that Kong: Skull Island will feature the largest version of this King Kong ever seen on the big screen. The director teased that his King Kong will be over 100 feet tall.
It's possible that they made the ape so large to even the odds, so to speak, when »
Back on Thursday, Warner Bros. revealed the first photo that gave us our best look yet at the iconic King Kong from the upcoming Kong: Skull Island. We also learned yesterday that the second trailer is coming Wednesday, November 16, with the arrival of a brief trailer preview. Today we have yet another trailer preview, which offers a brief glimpse at King Kong in action, as the countdown towards the new trailer continues.
Back in June, director Jordan Vogt-Roberts revealed that Kong: Skull Island will feature the largest version of King Kong ever seen on the big screen. The director teased the movie will feature a "100-foot ape," and this new trailer preview, that was released on Twitter, shows King Kong roaring while a number of Army helicopters circle around the massive ape. It seems likely that the studio will release even more trailer previews as the countdown continues to the first trailer. »
Lazy Bear Games, the developers of this year’s Punch Club, have recently announced a sequel set for a 2017 release entitled Punch Club 2: Fast Forward.
Little is known about the sequel as-of-yet, but we do have a few key bits of information to go on. First off, Lazy Bear has stated that Punch Club 2: Fast Forward will lack any form of “stat-decay”. In case your not aware, “stat-decay” is the gradual lowering of player stats over time (in this case: strength, vitality, and stamina). This was a key complaint for players of the first game, as many found it extremely frustrating to contend with constantly lowering stats. Also known, at this time, is that the game will be set in the future. Beyond that, we have a few screenshots to go on, but more information will be announced at Pax South.
In addition, Lazy Bear has added some »
- Jordan Jones
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