Monday, July 21, 2014

Must Watch: Five Minute Extended Clip From GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY


Alright. Marvel's marketing machine has slammed out another home run with this five minute extended clip from James Gunn's GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. I have to say there is nothing I do not like about this movie thus far!

We all love STAR WARS and I'm thinking that GOTG may be the closest thing yet to that style of movie outside of Lucasfilm. An epic space comedy - with Marvel flair. Have to say the casting looks spot on too. Music, check. Visual effects? Cmon - it's Marvel. 3D? More superlative work from Stereo D. I can't find a hole yet. This could be a monster hit for a bunch of original characters that not many outside of the comic book world know anything about.

I won't spoil the clip for you - but it's certainly worth the 5 minutes! As far as content and how it relates to the movie, there are a few pieces of information that we hadn't known officially yet about Gamora and some cool visual effects shots but I'd say it was pretty well chosen to illustrate the quality of the movie, build excitement and yet not give too much away. I say watch it - but I understand if you are trying to avoid these clips for a pristine viewing experience opening night.

Anyway - for those that want to, here's the clip. ENJOY!! Dave - thanks for the heads up!

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens on August 1.



Here's the storyline:
An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is presented by Marvel Studios.

Finally! XBOX ONE Gets 3D Blu-ray Support



Yes! Finally Microsoft will be implementing 3D Blu-ray support for it's XBOX ONE console with a new software update coming in August. This marks the first time the XBOX platform will offer the cool feature.

This is HUGE news in the platform gaming and entertainment field. 3D support adds the immersion that is expected with console owners as anyone with a PS3 and 3D TV will attest to.

Some other improvements coming with the update:
  • Activity feed updates, and expanded friend area on Home screen: you'll be able to see what your friends are doing, and be more aware of it right from the Xbox One dashboard. And it'll show how long a friend's been away from his or her console.
  • Mobile purchases: You can buy games or other content from the SmartGlass app or from Xbox.com, and have it download right to your Xbox One remotely.
  • Low battery notification: You can already peek at your controller's battery level, but a pop-up warning now lets you know when it needs a recharge.
  • Disable notifications during video: It's amazing this wasn't available before.
  • OneGuide in Brazil, Mexico, Austria and Ireland: Four more countries can try connecting their Xbox One to their TV and browse TV listings.
Those with early preview access could get these updates as soon as this week.

Sony's Playstation 4 still hasn't updated with 3D support as of yet, but it is expected as they did with the Playstation 3 support for 3D Blu-rays (that I am still enjoying tremendously).

Now I'm considering an XBOX ONE purchase whereas I've always been a Sony guy. Congratulations on the 3D support Microsoft! Thanks for the heads up Tobias!

Source: XBOX Wire

Friday, July 18, 2014

Watch: First Clip From GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY


Check the first movie clip from GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY registering in at just under 1 minute. The scene involves a shot that has been widely seen in the trailers thus far and expands both before and after. There's no spoilers of any significance in the clip - so enjoy!

Here's the movie's storyline:
An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” is presented by Marvel Studios.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens on August 1.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Two New TV Spots For TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES


Obviously the world wants more Michael Bay-ish action (TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION just hit $750m worldwide) and they are in for just that with TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES which is being produced by Bay.

These TV spots highlight more of the interactions between the turtles themselves and with reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox). William Fichtner is in this movie. I repeat, WILLIAM FICHTNER is in this movie.

TMNT looks like some good popcorn fun for the family with heavy emphasis on VFX.

Here is the storyline for the movie:
The city needs heroes. Darkness has settled over New York City as Shredder and his evil Foot Clan have an iron grip on everything from the police to the politicians. The future is grim until four unlikely outcast brothers rise from the sewers and discover their destiny as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The Turtles must work with fearless reporter April O'Neil (Megan Fox) and her wise-cracking cameraman Vern Fenwick (Will Arnett) to save the city and unravel Shredder's diabolical plan.

TMNT hits theaters on August 8.




Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Watch: Two More TV Spots For GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY


Curious about the origins of Star-Lord, Drax and Gamora? These TV spots spend some time giving you some background as well as dropping in a sprinkling of new shots and scenes about the characters played by Chris Pratt, Dave Bautista and Zoe Saldana respectively.

Here's the movie's storyline:
An action-packed epic space adventure, Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY expands the Marvel Cinematic Universe into the cosmos, where brash adventurer Peter Quill finds himself the object of an unrelenting bounty hunt after stealing a mysterious orb coveted by Ronan, a powerful villain with ambitions that threaten the universe. To evade the ever-persistent Ronan, Quill is forced into an uneasy truce with a quartet of disparate misfits – Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, Groot, a tree-like humanoid, the deadly and enigmatic Gamora and the revenge-driven Drax the Destroyer. But when Peter discovers the true power of the orb and the menace it poses to the cosmos, he must do his best to rally his ragtag rivals for a last, desperate stand – with the galaxy’s fate in the balance. Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY is presented by Marvel Studios.

GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY opens on August 1.




Monday, July 14, 2014

I'm Back!

Hi guys - thanks for all the support over the past week or so as I had some emergency surgery done. I am back on my feet and feeling fine. Back to more 3D stories and in particular the Summer Stereographer Series of interviews I am lining up! Stay tuned!!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes - Tim's Review

Tim here, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the best blockbuster movie I have seen so far this year! It currently ranks as the second best movie I've seen this year behind The Grand Budapest Hotel, which would have been fantastic in the stereoscopic 3D format. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes has such a compelling story that is very well written and directed that it manages to transcend beyond the normal sci-fi summer blockbuster into a contemporary power struggle tale between two species and the factions within each.

In regards to the story, the writing, and character development it is not without some fault. There was a moment early on in the movie where the characters made a claim about how important it is for a certain character to come along with them into the ape territory to fix the dam to restore power to the human community. However after an incident he is sidelined without further explanation of how his expertise is missed when it comes to repairing the dam. Beyond that small plot hole I couldn't find any additional faults with the story. Although some of the main human characters lacked development the main ape characters made up for that. And the truth is the movie is more about the apes than the humans. However, it would have been nice to have equal attention given to both.

Within the apes' community there are three particular apes that had great development and were performed by the actors with great poise. In fact two of the ape performers were so mesmerizing in performance that their characters felt compellingly real. It was so easy to relate to both viewpoints and where each of those characters were coming from in terms of their motivations and intentions. Those two characters (and, the actors who played them) are Caesar (Andy Serkis) and Koba (Toby Kebbell) whose relationship is strongly built. Very early on it's displayed how they are close friends (loyal to each other) and rely on each other to lead the ape community. As the film progresses they represent two opposing sides within the ape community: peace and war.

Andy Serkis' performance as Caesar is magnificent and awe-inspiring! If Serkis does not get award nominations this award season it will be criminal. Through Serkis' performance the full weight that rests on Caesar's shoulders is so immediately conveyed. He's responsible for not only his family but, also, the entire ape community needs his leadership. Serkis conveys so many emotions visually in his performances, and succeeds on levels that are astounding, while the WETA Digital team that brought those emotions through the digital make did a fantastic job at making him believable.

The visual effects in this movie are remarkable; the best I've seen so far this year. The opening shot and closing shot of the movie, which have beautiful circularity, are wonderful examples of how far WETA has come. They focus on Caesar's eyes and use a zoom where beyond the close-up detail the audience witnesses the amazing level of artistry to create the skin and hair of the apes. The apes are shown in wet and rainy environments and it's amazing how realistic the hair reacts to that environmental element.

This is a movie that deserves to be seen in the 3D format!

Next the stereoscopic 3D in the movie was excellent. It was a very soft and subtle 3D, and it worked so well for the story. There were maybe a few places where I wished they had pushed it more, but overall it was really well thought out in its use. Props need to be given to 3ality Technica for their stereoscopic services on the film since it was their rigs that were used paired with the ARRI ALEXA. This is a movie that deserves to be seen in the 3D format! Michael Seresin's cinematography was absolutely beautiful and breathtaking. It felt very naturalistic, and his use of lighting was fantastic. He used the full latitude of light and as well used color, or lack of, to convey the emotional points of the story. It felt grim, and at the same time Edenesque.

The production design and art department did a fantastic job as well. They accomplished so much in building practical sets and environments for the actors to work in. As well they helped build a sense of realism with those aspects. One of the most impressive was the single abandoned gas station in the middle of a forest. The moment when the humans and apes manage to restore power and go to it is an astounding one. It was made all the more powerful due to the production design.

A movie isn't complete without the sound and score, and both were fantastic. The sounds of the ape world were very well designed. A lot was built around what was heard and not seen in the movie, and that couldn't have been accomplished without the astounding work of the sound team. One of my favorite shots in the film worked so well because of the sound. Completely the sound-scape was Michael Giacchino's score, which was hauntingly beautiful. It hit the soft moments, hit the fast paced action moments, and emotionally connected me to the world all that much more.

Director Matt Reeves deserves mad props for his excellent direction of this motion picture. Going back to the favorite shot I mentioned earlier: it was a long tracking shot similar to what Alfonso Cuarón did in Children of Men, however it's not quite as long. It follows Malcolm (Jason Clarke) in a building that is overrun by apes hunting down humans as he desperately looks for medicine. The choices Reeves made as a director were spot on in so many places. He brought so many talented people together to create a rich and engaging world set to a complex and emotional story and did a great job leading the charge.

I highly suggest you go out and see Dawn of the Planet of the Apes in 3D. Make sure to see it on the biggest possible screen. I promise you won't be disappointed.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

#FourthOfApes Message From DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES


Watch the Independence Day message from DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES - some new shots in this and all shown with the dramatic narration of a famous speech you will all recall.

Can't wait for this movie. Critics who have seen it are raving! Currently sitting at 94% fresh over at RottenTomatoes. Don't forget this is a native 3D production using the industry's best of the best technology, like 3D rigs from our friends over at 3ality Technica.

Here's the storyline for the movie:
A growing nation of genetically evolved apes led by Caesar is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species.

DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES opens on July 11.


THEORY: Is Gentleman Ghost A Villain In BATMAN V. SUPERMAN? Check The First Official Image Of Superman


Beware first glances! You may overlook something. Ok, it's Henry Cavill in his Superman outfit. So what? Well for starters, does that look like Metropolis to you? More like Gotham correct? Yes, it's the location that counts here and the image certainly does convey the dreariness of the city if it does indeed turn out to be Gotham.

Note the smoking chimneys on the left hand side of the photo. That looks like the industrial revolution to me - and interesting inclusion for the downtown skyline of Gotham. It almost looks out of place, time wise that is. If it is Gotham. Perhaps it's London in the 1800's? Let me explain...

Looking down to the small clue that was left in the image: "LF GHO..." - LF is the common abbreviation for "Looking For" and GHO could very well be the first three letters of GHOST - or better known to DC comic fans as "Gentleman Ghost" or Jim Craddock. Craddock was a robber who lived in England during 19th century. Eventually he becomes a phantom and must walk the earth until the spirit of his killer moves on to the next plane of existence. Unfortunately for him - that can't happen (you can read more via the link at the end of the post).

The point is - he is immortal and has battled both Batman and Superman at various times. In the DC comic universe, Ghost is a member of the Injustice Society. BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE may explore some of the origins story of Ghost - or at least set the stage somewhat. And I'm just saying, that looks like London at SOME point in history. Time and dimensions are not really a problem for Superman as most comic book aficionados know, so he could very well be standing in 1800's London.


Here are Ghost's powers and abilities (from wikipedia):
Originally, the Gentleman Ghost seemed to rely on devices to simulate a ghostly existence; the original 1940s stories left the question of his nature open to speculation. Later, however, he is retconned into a true ghost and his abilities altered to follow suit. As a ghost, Craddock has several abilities. He can become intangible and pass effortlessly through solid material. He can become completely invisible. In fact, the appearance of his head as a floating hat and monocle is actually him rendering his decayed face invisible. He has been shown as being able to teleport as short a distance as a few rooms or as far as across states. Gentleman Ghost can also summon spectral weapons including a cane that shoots spectral fire and flintlock pistols. When passing through Craddock's ghostly form, people will sometimes experience an intense feeling of cold. Since this does not happen every time, it would seem that he can control this effect. Craddock can apparently track psionic energy and travel across dimensions as he did when he followed an astral tether from the Wizard to Johnny Sorrow. On certain occasions most of the manifestations of his abilities like teleportation and phasing are accompanied by a purple glow of spectral energy or transparent mist (possibly courtesy of different pencilers). Around the time of his prophesied return to life, he gains the power to summon and control the spirits of the dead due to his mother's spirit spending centuries recruiting them to help her son. It is unknown if he can still call upon them.

The Gentleman Ghost is apparently unable to touch or be touched by virgins. This is confirmed by his inability to do harm to both Stargirl and Jakeem Thunder. However, he can pick up a real weapon and be able to hurt them, as when he brandished the Cosmic Rod.

As a supernatural being, Gentleman Ghost cannot be killed and is very hard to hurt. However, those with royal blood can physically harm him and, when unaware, energy hitting him causes pain.

In the episode "Dawn of The Deadman" of Batman: The Brave and The Bold animated series, it is shown that if he is hit with Nth metal, he will momentarily show his true form, reverting to a decayed version of himself with black suit and hat. As shown in the same episode, he can also be hurt by other ghosts, as Deadman is able to hit him. It is also shown that if he is out cold then he remains in his black form. Also, despite the fact that he is easily defeated by Batman during the early episodes, Gentleman Ghost later demonstrates that he is a skilled hand-to-hand/martial combatant, as shown for example when he simultaneously fights with Batman and Deadman. His heroic Earth-Three counterpart reverses his color scheme, appearing as a ghost with a black suit and hat and turning white when hit.


This actually makes sense to me as DC really has to play catch up very fast in order to not be overwhelmed by the coming onslaught of all that is Marvel. It would make sense to have a super villain of Ghost's caliber as he is somewhat analogous in some few ways to Marvel's Thanos.

And get this - Ghost could tie in a number of other very well known characters in Sherlock Holmes (no longer protected under copyright) and even lure Batman and Supe to London (as what occurred in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame with Batman at least). Probably a bit too far down the rabbit hole, but interesting conjecture at this point.

I think there are some tantilizing clues in this first official photo that points to the Gentleman Ghost, Jim Craddock as a super villain in BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE and in fact sets up their nemesis group called the Injustice Society.

What do you think? Think I am on track or way off? Time will tell! :-)

BATMAN V. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE opens on May 6, 2016 starring Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Gal Gadot, Jesse Eisenberg, Laurence Fishburne, Jason Momoa, Amy Adams, Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey, Scoot McNairy, Tao Okamoto, and Jeremy Irons.

Gentleman Ghost material courtesy of Wikipedia

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