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Gareth Edwards Rogue One poster

Working on a Star Wars movie would be a dream come true for most filmmakers, so when Gareth Edwards had the chance to helm Rogue One he made the most of it. We’ve already shared our chat with Edwards, where he told us about all the big ways he tried to make Rogue One his own, but here we’re talking about the little things he did to get the full experience. Like leaving his mark on Industrial Light & Magic through a bunch of jokey “notes” on the Rogue One poster, and smuggling out a little memento for himself of his time on set.  Read More »

westworld dolores and man in black

Westworld‘s 90-minute season finale delivered the goods, answering the most pressing questions, providing dramatic closure to the major characters, and still finding several opportunities to turn this entire weird world on its head and set up a very different second season. And while this is the rare Westworld episode to shut more doors than it opens, I still have ten questions to ask before we begin the long wait for more of 2016’s most intriguing and frustrating and entertaining new show.

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Transformers The Last Knight - Michael Bay - Transformers VR

Even though Paramount Pictures has made it possible for Transformers to come to life on the big screen, it’s safe to assume we’ll never see alien robots that can transform into vehicles standing in front of us. However, we’ll get the next best thing thanks to the magic of new virtual reality technology.

While we were on the set of Transformers: The Last Knight (check out our set visit report right here) with a group of press up in Michigan this past summer, director Michael Bay revealed that he’s working on a Transformers VR project with IMAX and Industrial Light & Magic. So now the explosive action of Michael Bay and Transformers will be in your face closer than ever before.

Find out more about the Transformers VR project after the jump. Read More »

Jude Law in The Young Pope trailer

Fear not, HBO subscribers. Just because Westworld is over for now and Game of Thrones isn’t returning til summer, doesn’t mean your expensive cable package has to go to waste in the meantime. Next month brings the debut of The Young PopePaolo Sorrentino‘s lavish miniseries starring Jude Law as the fictional Pius XIII, the first American pope. Diane Keaton also stars, as a nun who seems rather skeptical of his fitness for the position.

While the title and basic premise might suggest a prim historical drama, the new The Young Pope looks like anything but. There’s scandal and intrigue and loads of gossip. There’s enough power-hungry scheming to put Cersei Lannister to shame. Plus, since the young pope in question is being played by Jude Law, there’s a fair amount of sex appeal as well. Watch The Young Pope trailer below.  Read More »

Rogue One Alan Tudyk Interview

Of course Alan Tudyk is in a Star Wars movie.

And of course the beloved character actor whose eclectic credits include Firely, Serenity, I, Robot, Death at a Funeral, Wreck-It Ralph, Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, and Frozen would play a seven-foot-tall, antisocial Imperial security droid reprogrammed to serve the Rebel cause and help steal the Death Star plans in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After all, Tudyk has a knack for popping up in unexpected places, taking on the strangest roles, and stealing every scene he’s in.

I sat down with Tudyk the day after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One footage, which revealed his K-2SO (a digital character created through motion capture) to be an early contender for the film’s MVP. During our all-too-brief conversation, we spoke about bringing humor to a dark movie, avoiding getting typecast, and the importance of spontaneity on set.

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Transformers The Last Knight - Michael Bay's Secret Weapon

There are plenty of movie lovers out there who just don’t like the movies of Michael Bay. But no matter how ridiculous the action is in his movies, or how silly the story may be, you can’t deny that he is one of the most proficient and efficient directors working today. All of the stories you hear about how crazy this man is on movie sets are true. But it’s because of his demand for excellency that the cast and crew respect him, working intensely to ensure that the production is moving quickly and efficiently.

Some might find Michael Bay’s intensity unnecessary and over the top, but it’s his raw, unbridled passion for filmmaking, albeit in his own unique style, that has resulted in one of the most impressively run film sets I have ever seen. In fact, pushing his crew to do such hard, fast work has resulted in one particular innovation that is essentially Michael Bay’s secret weapon to shooting a mega visual effects blockbuster like Transformers: The Last Knight in such a speedy, productive fashion, and it’s not the Bayhem camera that we’ve talked about before.

Find out what Michael Bay’s secret weapon is after the jump. Read More »

Transformers Dark of the Moon

Even though the Transformers franchise brings in some big-name talent to star in each and every movie, it’s the Transformers themselves and the insane action involving them that people are coming to see. Seeing the Transformers come to life on the big screen wouldn’t be possible without the impressive visual effects work done by countless people behind the scenes. And when you’re talking about a movie from a large-scale director like Michael Bay, we’re getting a movie where almost every single shot has visual effects in it.

In fact, director Michael Bay revealed on a visit to the set of Transformers: The Last Knight that the visual effects of the Transformers franchise are so complex that they have broken the computers of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). Find out how Transformers visual effects break ILM computers after the jump. Read More »

Transformers The Last Knight

This past summer, Paramount Pictures gave us the opportunity to visit the set of Transformers: The Last Knight while they were shooting up in Pontiac, Michigan. The experience of being on a Michael Bay movie set is one that I’ll never forget, if only because of the amount of explosions, gunshots and debris myself and other members of the press saw in front of our eyes. We’ll have more about the experience of being on a Michael Bay production soon, but this portion of our set visit is dedicated to the story and characters.

While most moviegoers aren’t necessarily going into a Transformers movie with a lot of concern for the story and character development, that doesn’t mean there aren’t longtime fans of the franchise interested in how the battle of the Autobots and Decepticons continues in Transformers: The Last Knight. That includes the return of some human characters from previous movies, a few new ones and a deep dive into the mythology of Transformers in general. And of course, there are plenty of new Transformers, and one returning Transformer that fans will be happy to see more of.

In this set visit report, we run through everything we learned about the story, including where we find our human characters with regards to their relationship to Transformers. There are plenty of new details here that haven’t been revealed until now, so get the full rundown in our Transformers The Last Knight set visit report below. Read More »

Universal Monsters Movie Universe

Last year it was revealed that Fast and the Furious producer Chris Morgan was teaming with screenwriter/director Alex Kurtzman to design a Universal Monsters cinematic universe. The plan was to reboot the Universal Monsters properties, including characters such as Dracula, The Wolf Man, Frankenstein, The Invisible Man, and Creature from the Black Lagoon, each with their own movies leading to an Avengers-type film that would bring them all together.

The trailer for the first film in the series, The Mummy starring Tom Cruise, was released over the weekend, giving us a first look at the Universal Monster movie universe. I had the opportunity to talk with director Alex Kurtzman about the creation of this world, what their intentions are, how they hope to bring it all together and more. Please note the headline comparison to Marvel is my own, not Kurtzman’s. Although I think its obvious that Kurtzman’s opinion on building a cinematic movie universe seem to closely reflect Marvel Studios’ own philosophies and approach.

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Star Wars Rogue One set - Diego Luna, Felicity Jones, Jiang Wen, Gareth Edwards

Gareth Edwards looks tired.

It’s the kind of fatigue you see on the faces of filmmakers after they’ve put the finishing touches on major motion pictures and have to summon a second (third? fourth?) wind to survive the press cycle. A stiff breeze could knock him over. But the director of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is smart and alert and clearly as much in love with George Lucas’ classic science fiction universe now as he was when he first signed to to make Lucasfilm’s first Star Wars spin-off movie. He’s also the kind of filmmaker who is comfortable naming The Battle of Algiers as an influence on his space opera.

I spoke with Edwards the day after watching 28 minutes of Rogue One and the director of (the wonderful) Monsters and (the divisive but brilliant) Godzilla shared his thoughts on moving from the independent realm to the world of blockbusters, why Star Wars still matters, and how the war-torn fictional moon of Jedha is like Nazi-occupied France.

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