Don Hertzfeldt Simpsons

In the past couple years the producers of The Simpsons have allowed a few different filmmakers and artists to go wild in revamping the show’s opening “couch gag.” Banksy envisioned a mine in which slave labor animates the show and grinds up kittens to stuff Bart Simpsons dolls; Guillermo del Toro scripted kaiju battles and cameos from Alfred Hitchcock, Stephen King, and a legion of other horror characters from his own films and others. This week, Oscar-nominated animator Don Hertzfeldt got his shot, and the Don Hertzfeldt Simpsons couch gag has got to be the most bonkers animation that will run on mainstream TV this year. Read More »

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Avengers 3 split

If the pattern of Marvel’s last couple team-based movies holds, Avengers: Age of Ultron will likely be a gigantic affair, in terms of production scale, promotion, and (hopefully) reception. And with Avengers 3 known to be in the pipeline for a likely 2018 release, expectations will run high for that film to surpass everything Marvel has done before it. So could Marvel follow in the wake of other studios and split the final chapter of this set of Avengers stories into two parts? It’s unlikely, but below we’ll discuss a report that claims exactly such a plan is under consideration.

Along with the two-film rumor, there’s a slightly more credible report floating around, saying that the Age of Ultron trailer will arrive with Interstellar.

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‘The Hateful Eight’ Shoots in Colorado in December

Hateful Eight shoot date

Moreso than anything he’s ever done, the new Quentin Tarantino film The Hateful Eight is being assembled in public. There was the very early script leak, the live-read of that first draft featuring actors such as Kurt Russell, Samuel L. Jackson, and Walton Goggins, and the out-in-the-open back and forth over whether or not the script would actually become a film. Now we know The Hateful Eight shoot date: the project will roll film in Colorado in December.

And Tarantino will indeed roll film, as you’d expect. In fact, The Hateful Eight will shoot in 70mm when that Colorado shoot commences. More info on the new Quentin Tarantino shoot is below. Read More »

See a New ‘Birdman’ Poster and Images

new Birdman poster

As we get into the full swing of the fall movie season, one of the films we’re most interested in is Birdman, from Alejandro González Iñárritu, also the director of Amores Perros and 21 Grams. We’ve already seen some head over heels reviews of the movie thanks to early festival appearances. Now there’s a great new Birdman poster, which reminds us of the film’s subtitle: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Check out that one-sheet along with a batch of new Birdman images below. Read More »

Marvel Kirby settlement

As of today, Marvel Comics and the estate of Jack Kirby are friends again. Or, at least, they’re not fighting out a dispute in court.

Kirby was the creator or co-creator of many of Marvel’s biggest characters including The Fantastic Four, the Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, and the original X-Men. But his work for Marvel was under a work-for-hire contract. Despite being one of the brightest talents who built Marvel’s greatest age, Kirby ended up with no copyright ownership for his characters. Now, after several lower court battles over Kirby’s rights, and an impending date with the Supreme Court, Marvel and the Kirby Estate have reached a settlement. Read More »

See the ’22 Jump Street’ End Credits Gallery

22 Jump Street end credits

One of the best bits in 22 Jump Street, a film which heavily satirized the very idea of a sequel to 21 Jump Street, is a set of jokes that runs during the end credits. Here writer/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller and their team went all-out in making fun of the potential for further sequels. If you haven’t seen the film and don’t want to know any more, we won’t spoil the joke(s) here. But if you have seen the movie and want to revisit the 22 Jump Street end credits, your future Twitter header photo is in the gallery below. Read More »

Quicksilver Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past featured old man Wolverine, Sentinel attacks, and a couple of giant battles featuring coordinated X-Men attacks — the sort of stuff we’ve been wanting from an X-Men film for a long time. And still, the best part of the movie was the one we all underestimated. Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters, looked pretty uninspired when we saw mere costume photos. But Peters nailed this version of the character, and his big action sequence is a standout not just in this film, but in the 2014 summer lineup.

Now, a behind the scenes video shows how some of the Quicksilver effects were achieved. More of it was done in-camera than people might realize, and so this is a treat to watch. (Germain mentioned this in Superhero Bits yesterday, but we figured that might not show it off to enough people.)  Read More »

playtime restoration

If you’ve never seen Playtime, the movie that almost broke Jacques Tati, 2014 could be your year. A new seven-disc box set of Tati blu-rays hits the UK in July, and Criterion should have its own set for release soon in the US. Along with the blu-rays comes a 4K restoration of Tati’s incredible film Playtime. I couldn’t love this film more; it’s a delight for so many reasons.

Recapping the plot of Playtime is difficult, because there’s not much of one. A bunch of characters (many Parisians, a group of American tourists, and Tati’s alter ego M. Hulot) wind their way through a mid-’60s vision of modernized Paris, eventually ending up at the opening night of a new restaurant, which crumbles around them as a party rages into the night. A trailer for the Playtime restoration is out, and I highly encourage you to watch below.

Update: We’ve got a new HD trailer for the restoration, which hits Blu-ray via Criterion at the end of October, and it’s even better than the one originally included over the summer. Both are now below.

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