Friday, July 15, 2016

Must Watch: New Featurette For ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY!

Wow. This featurette (a must watch) really nails it home for me - ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is looking extremely good.

The visuals are amazing, the message that director Gareth Edwards is emphasizing is bang-on, and I am a sucker for behind the scenes shots. I'm looking forward to some original material being exploited in the STAR WARS universe.

"It’s a style that is unlike any other Star Wars movie," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. She recounted seeing director Gareth Edwards, camera on his shoulder, testing shots guerilla-style as a sign that this movie would be different. "I think that’s what’s so amazing about his style," she said. "This is going to be an incredibly immersive experience when you see Rogue One."

Director Gareth Edwards recounted traveling to New York for the voiceover session with Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood. When Jones delivered the line, “POWER,” Edwards summed up their reactions succinctly. "We looked at each other and had nerdgasms."

Yes. James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Darth Vader. You can't get any better than that! One of cinema's greatest villains (if not the best) will be back in all his glory.

Enjoy the featurette!!

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY opens on December 16!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Watch: Final Trailer For Justin Lin's STAR TREK BEYOND

I have to admit, even as a self-described Trekkie, that I wasn't overly thrilled with the trailers for STAR TREK BEYOND thus far. I didn't really see anything overly compelling that built anticipation other then, well, it's Star Trek.

But with this final trailer, I'm seeing more character development, emotion and jaw-dropping visual effects and the Rihanna song "Sledgehammer" really adds another dimension. Love it.

Of course, the untimely passing of Anton Yelchin who plays Pavel Chekov in this beloved movie franchise has cast a somber shadow on the release, but one that we will celebrate in his memory.

STAR TREK BEYOND, the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin ("The Fast and the Furious" franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew. In "Beyond," the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

STAR TREK BEYOND opens on July 22.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

WATCH: New Trailer For Disney's Live-Action PETE'S DRAGON

Disney isn't at a loss for acting talent in this live-action retelling of the animated Disney classic PETE'S DRAGON. Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban and young Oakes Fegley star in what seems to be a gorgeous live-action version of the family favorite film.

Disney continues to bring over classic animations to live-action and while I was skeptical at first, I enjoyed CINDERELLA and this looks great.

Here's the storyline:
A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, PETE'S DRAGON is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. PETE'S DRAGON stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Oscar® winner Robert Redford. The film, which is directed by David Lower, is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a., with Barrie M. Osborne serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. 

Disney’s PETE'S DRAGON opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

WARCRAFT Powerleveling In China! $145 Million In 4 Days

Contrary to many critics I enjoyed WARCRAFT. Perhaps it's because I've actually played the game and I can pick up on most of the locations and references - it's still a CGI powerhouse and the 3D is amazing.

The 3D is amazing because most of it's pure digital 3D that's well done. It's a positive byproduct of doing most of the movie with CG characters and backgrounds. Loved the action sequences and how it all looked on a giant IMAX 3D screen. I'll be seeing it again on a Real D screen and I'm sure the level of excellence will be the same for stereo enjoyment.

WARCRAFT is the fastest international movie to $135 million ever in China. The movie only opened to $27 million in North America. I love how the movie has bounced back against the critics in China. Absolutely love it.

The story is somewhat hard to follow at times for someone who has not played the game I would imagine, but even if you haven't the visual effects are jaw dropping. The scale of the movie is off the charts.

WARCRAFT is a definite must-see in 3D. The stereo view enhances the CGI and makes the characters much more realistic and closer to crossing the uncanny valley. Trust me. 3D makes this movie.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Movie Review - CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR - 9.1 Stars! Spoiler Free!!

I managed to see CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR in Real D at the local Ultra AVX premium large screen format Cineplex last night and I was not disappointed.

If you are a fan of the Marvel universe and especially the Avenger movies then you'll love CW. The humor - oh THE HUMOR is back. There's nothing quite like Marvel's brand of laughter out there and for that reason alone I recommend you go see it.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is cerebral and comedic just when it needs to be. A beautiful accomplishment!

I won't spoil the movie for you but I will let you know a few things you can expect. The 3D was on par with everything else from Marvel except for just a few lazy areas which I thought should have been tighter - nothing to worry about though, most will miss them. The 3D conversion was done by StereoD as lead and Prime Focus as secondary. Also I felt some depth should have been dialed up for some key scenes that were not. Still, a good job. I gave it a ranking of 92%. I definitely wish that Marvel had gone with native 3D (DC for that matter - would have been a great differentiator), but it's too late to continue complaining I suppose.

Visual effects were jaw dropping of course including some new technology that was used for some up close scenes - you'll know when you see it. I can't comment on it or it will spoil the surprise!

I thought the visual effects, directing and score were the best accomplished tactical aspects of the movie, but really for me the comedy was gold. Again.

Captain America movies are generally more cerebral than the others in the universe and you can really isolate that juxtaposition when you see the other heroes mixed in and working together. Take Ant-Man for example - you'll know what I'm talking about when you see them together.

Yes, I missed the other Avengers that weren't included in the movie, but just seeing Spider-Man on the same screen is AMAZING.

Here's the movie's storyline:
Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl.

Anthony and Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in U.S. and Canadian theaters on May 6, 2016.

Go see this as soon as possible because if you're like me you're going to want to see it again very, very soon! Oh and I saw the trailer for DOCTOR STRANGE in 3D pre-rolling before CW - and WOW. Can't wait for that one! Cumberbatch looks perfect in the role.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Four AVATAR Sequels Confirmed By James Cameron - Releases Start in 2018

Ok I feel much more confident about these estimates. I was never good with the seemingly rushed schedules that were announced with finished scripts in hand, but now things are progressing as I had originally envisaged.

James Cameron has announced at Cinemacon that the AVATAR universe will have four sequels, not 3 and that the releases are slated for 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. 

Says Cameron: "We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic project, making four epic films, each of which stands alone but together forms a complete saga."

Further Cameron states: "I’ve been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward. The environments, new cultures - whatever it takes to bring it to life. From what I’m seeing of the art on the wall, in pure imagination, is just beyond the first film. I’m speechless."

Man I miss Cinemacon! I've got to get back next year. To personally miss announcements like this hurt me on a physical level!

Happy to hear there are 4 sequels now. It explains a lot about why things got delayed and the mindset of the creatives and the studio. Can't wait to start hearing more about the projects. Remember, Cameron already had a massive budget in place for 3 sequels already - add on a fourth and wow! That's a sizable commitment from 20th Century Fox.And commitment from Cameron - he will be one busy man for the next 7-8 years.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

When Push Comes To Shove: Warners Moves WONDER WOMAN And JUNGLE BOOK Launches

Some pulling up going on too. WONDER WOMAN is being pulled up to a slated release date 3 weeks earlier to June 2, 2017. Showing us some confidence? I hope so. I really enjoyed Gal Gadot's performance in the role in BATMAN v SUPERMAN - one of the few aspects of that movie that I didn't have any issues.

Meanwhile, Andy Serkis' JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS has been pushed out a full year from October 6, 2017 to October 19, 2018. I also view this as a positive with not only giving Serkis more time to deliver on his performance capture promises but also allowing audiences some breathing room from Jon Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK offering (which looks amazing) opening next week on April 15. It will feature the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett among others.

Said Serkis: "I’ve got to say that personally I’m absolutely thrilled that Warner Brothers have changed the delivery date of our movie. The ambition for this project is huge. What we are attempting is an unprecedented level of psychological and emotional nuance in morphing the phenomenal performances of our cast into the facial expressions of our animals."

Further to Warner Bros announcement of these changes, they added dates for a couple of untitled DC Comics launches: October 5, 2018 and November 1, 2019.

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Jim Dorey
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