With an all-time record breaking opening weekend gross of $207.1 million, odds are many of you saw The Avengers over the weekend. Joss Whedon‘s Marvel superhero mashup is one of the most fun summer movies in recent memory and delivers on the nearly impossible promise set up by Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger before it. Now that’s it out there, though, it’s time to look forward. Iron Man 3, Thor 2 and Captain America 2 are all on the way and one huge surprise in The Avengers will likely have some kind of effect on them all.

Whedon sneaks two special credits sequences into The Avengers. One was just recently added but the other, more surprising and possibly confusing one, has been in the works for years. It sets the tone in the Marvel Universe for years to come.

At the press junket for The Avengers, I asked both Whedon and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about this incredibly important scene and deleted the quotes from my initial interviews so you could all see the movie first. Now, after the jump, you can read whose idea this pivotal scene was and how it came about. Be aware, if you haven’t seen The Avengers yet, this is a massive spoiler. Read More »

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Movie fans have been waiting for this weekend since May 2, 2008. That’s the day Jon Favreau’s Iron Man was released and, after the credits, Samuel L. Jackson showed up as Nick Fury, asking Tony Stark about The Avengers. Four movies of set up and introduction later, The Avengers is finally out on Friday. It’s the culmination of four year’s worth of intricate layering by all the people who made the Iron Man films, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Just how intricate are we talking? We won’t get into major spoilers for The Avengers just yet but it’s not a spoiler that the Cosmic Cube, referred to as the Tesseract, is the centerpiece of the movie. While most of us believe it first appeared in Captain America: The First Avenger as the object of the Red Skull’s desires, it actually first appeared in Iron Man 2 as Tony Stark flipped through his father’s journal. His father, of course, was a major character in Captain America, which took place before Iron Man 2 even though Iron Man 2 was released first. Make sense? It will when you click below. Read More »

Pixar’s Brave is set in what appears to be some part of Scotland, many years ago. Well before the existence of pickup trucks, at least. So while we knew that actor John Ratzenberger was cast — he being a member of every Pixar voice cast to date — there was reason to wonder whether or not the practice of animating easter eggs from previous Pixar films had continued.

We’ve rundown these references in the past for other films, but those familiar with every detail of Pixar’s output have probably already wondered how, for example, the Toy Story Pizza Planet truck will end up in the film. A pizza cart, maybe? (Let’s not talk about what the Scottish equivalent of pizza might be, a hundred or more years ago. That scares me.)

Ratzenberger isn’t the only continuing tradition in the film, however. Director Mark Andrews says that all the small touches Pixar fans have come to expect from the company’s films will be in Brave, too. Read More »

Chances are you saw the new trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s The Dark Knight Rises and didn’t catch Robin the boy wonder or a reference back to the very beginning of the trilogy: Batman Begins. And you probably also saw Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol in IMAX but somehow missed the hidden Pixar easter eggs that Ratatouille/The Incredibles director Brad Bird hid within the film. Aren’t you glad we’re here to point them out to you? Find the easer eggs, after the jump.

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The Collected Voice Cameos Of James Cameron

Alfred Hitchcock did it, so why not James Cameron? Hitchcock loved to cameo in his own films and, though many people don’t know it, Cameron does the same. Cameron, however, didn’t physically appear on Judgement Day or live on Pandora. Instead the Oscar-winning director of the two most successful films in history has made a voice cameo in every single movie he’s ever done.

The website FILMdetail has put together an great six-minute video highlighting this phenomenon and you’ll chuckle at some of the places Cameron’s voice pops up. Check it out after the jump. Read More »

The most disappointing, albeit it inevitable, part of attending Comic-Con is when you hear about something that happened you would have loved to see but totally missed. For me, that happened at Entertainment Weekly’s Totally Lost: One Year Later panel when show runners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse made a surprise appearance with a “deleted scene” from the finale of the first season.

Here’s the set-up. Lindelof and Cuse take a lot of flack for saying they had everything in the series planned out even though very little of what actually happened – Jacob, the Man in Black, Candidates, light caves, etc – was never hinted at. This scene “proves” that they weren’t lying. The fact that it was shot specifically for Comic-Con, a year after the series finale aired, is insignificant. It would have been awesome to be in the room for this surprise, especially the big reveal at the end, but thanks to the magic of the Internet, we can all check it out now. Read More »

‘Cars 2′ Easter Eggs

Update: this post was originally published on July 1st, but was quickly taken down for corrections at the request of Pixar.

Disney has released a list of Easter eggs and fun facts from Pixar’s Cars 2. Did you see the reference to The Incredibles in Radiator Springs? Did you miss the “car-ified” version of one of the characters from Pixar’s 2012 film Brave? Check out the list after the jump.

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Say what you will about Michael Bay, but he is a filmmaker who knows how to maximize the bang for the buck. He is often critisized for using too much product placement, which gives him millions of dollars more to play with than he would have otherwise had access to. In a film like The Island it is annoying and distracting, and in a film like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, its much less noticable (although David Chen was bothered more by the Cisco product placement).

Filmmakers often use stock footage to save money from traveling to capture an exterior of a city, house or location. Its a very common occurance which you likely never notice. Bay has used stock footage in most of films, sometimes borrowing shots from his earlier movies (here is an example from Transformers, a shot of an aircraft carrier that was borrowed from Pearl Harbor). My friend Alex from FirstShowing just pointed me to a clip on YouTube which shows that Bay recycled shots from an action sequence from The Island in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think. Watch the clip after the jump.

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