in & of itself - In and Of Itself

A couple years ago, two-time Close-Up Magician of the Year Derek DelGaudio and Helder Guimarães broke records at Los Angeles’ Geffen Theatre with their magic show Nothing To Hide. That production was extended to 144 performances, breaking daily and weekly box office sales, and grossing more than $1 million before moving to New York City. It was one of those little shows that became the thing to see in LA. When I saw it, the theater was filled with a who’s who of Hollywood, all there to see exactly what everyone was talking about. And the show itself, in many ways was about that — about having a special experience with a small group of people, untethered by technology, that couldn’t be taken in anywhere else.

So when Derek DelGaudio announced he would be returning to the Geffen with a new show called In & Of Itself, directed by Frank Oz (The Muppet Studio legend who voiced/performed Yoda and directed many great films in his own right) and featuring an original score by Mark Mothersbaugh (the Devo co-founder who has composed so many great film and television scores over the last three decades, but with notable contributions to Wes Anderson’s films), I knew I had to see it.

And in the months leading up to the show, there has been very little information revealed about what it would even entail. In place of a description, Geffen’s own programing magazine features a one page handwritten letter from Derek explaining why he was unable to write one for this show. Last night I saw the opening night performance, and I can tell you that In & Of Itself is unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before.

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Suicide Squad Trailer Mash-Up

Last month a rumor began to circulate that Disney was considering re-theming Disney California Adventure’s The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror ride into a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction. When the rumor hit, even though it was from a source that had been right many times in the past, I commented on Twitter that I just didn’t buy it. But sadly it seems like there may be truth to this rumor after all. I have since spoken to two separate sources who have corroborated the rumor, and a reliable Disney rumor site is now reporting it’s true. Find out the details on the Guardians of the Galaxy ride after the jump.

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2016 Summer Movie Preview

This week officially kicks off blockbuster summer with the release of Captain America: Civil War. And the Marvel Studios sequel is just one of a bunch of movies you should be excited to see this season. Later this week we’ll highlight a selection of movies that might be flying under your radar this summer, indie comedies and dramas that may not get the barrage of marketing that studios dish out this season. But this edition of the /Film 2016 Summer Movie Preview will focus on the studio and blockbuster releases you should be excited about. Read More »

anakin skywalker force awakens reference

Its not a new phenomenon, a lot of movie trailers feature shots from movies that don’t end up on the big screen. This usually takes the form of scenes or moments that hit the cutting room floor in the time between the early marketing and release date. And with big budget visual effects films, its not uncommon to see many different iterations of a computer rendering that evolves into a much better looking effect by the time it hits multiplexes.

And we’ve already talked a bunch about the deleted scenes that were glimpsed in the marketing for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but didn’t make it to the theatrical release. But now that the movie is on Blu-ray and VOD fans are noticing some of the smaller details that didn’t make the theatrical cut of the film, the most recent of which is a reference to George Lucas’ Star Wars prequels and specifically Anakin Skywalker. Hit the jump to see the deleted Anakin Skywalker Force Awakens reference.

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solarbabies oral history

In 1970, an L.A.-born artist who went by the name “Metrov” moved to New York City. He began the decade working as a designer for the famed Push Pin Studios and then eventually made a name for himself as a fine arts painter, working out of a loft studio across the street from Andy Warhol’s Factory. 

In 1979, inspired by a friend and guerilla filmmaker, Metrov came up with an idea for a low-budget, high-concept movie he wanted to direct: Solarbabies. This is a story about what happened next—how it was sold to Mel Brooks, how it was directed by a choreographer—and why, by the time Solarbabies was finally shot, its creator was no longer involved in his creation. 

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comic con

San Diego Comic-Con International’s Hall H is the stuff of geek legend. Every summer, nearly 7,000 fans pack this convention center hall for the promise of seeing their favorite filmmakers, actors and creators showing a sneak preview of some of the biggest and most anticipated films. For example, James Cameron showed up at the Hall in 2009 to give fans an unprecedented first look at Avatar.

But as technology has gotten smaller and harder to detect, piracy has become a huge problem for movie studios exhibiting at Comic-Con. You see, most of the footage they show at the event is super early and unfinished, not meant for the masses around the world — certainly not meant for blogs like ours to do frame-by-frame breakdowns of (note: we never publish pirated footage). And now 20th Century Fox is apparently not coming to Comic-Con 2016 because “the studio feels it cannot prevent the piracy of custom trailers and exclusive footage.” Hit the jump and I’ll explain why Fox skipping Comic-Con is not the right way of handling this issue.

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game of thrones season premiere recap

Last night brought us the season premiere of Game of Thrones season 6 and (dramatic drumroll, please)…it was a fairly typical Game of Thrones season premiere. By now, we all know the pattern: every season of HBO’s flagship series starts slow, assembling the players in their various formations and shifting the landscape, before dropping something big around episode four. And then things escalate and get nuttier and wilder until episode eight or nine, when everything comes tumbling down in the most dramatic fashion possible. And then episode ten lays the groundwork for the next season. I love this show, but let’s face it: you can set your watch to its patterns.

So when I say that the first episode of the new season is just good and not great, I say that as someone who knows that Game of Thrones never shows its hand too early. “The Red Woman” was not about dramatic reveals (although there were one or two) or huge action beats (although there were one or two) and even game-changing character decisions (although there were one or two). It was entirely about maneuvering everyone into place so it can deliver the goods at a later date. Game of Thrones takes its time, but it tends to reward your patience. With that said, let’s dive into this episode and run down the important stuff, shall we?

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The Hateful Eight by Jason Edmiston

Mondo has again teamed with filmmaker Quentin Tarantino to release a poster print for his latest film, The Hateful Eight. Created by artist Jason Edmiston, we are excited to exclusively premiere this new print, which will be offered as a timed edition — which means that unlike with the usual super limited edition Mondo prints, you’ll have an opportunity to buy one of these if you really want it. And if you like this film you won’t want to miss out. Find out the details on the timed edition and learn about a special insert that will be randomly inserted into one lucky fan’s poster tube.

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Ghost in the Shell

Earlier this year Chris Rock caused a minor kerfuffle at the Oscars when he took the stage to take on Hollywood’s mistreatment of black people… only to crack jokes at the expense of Asian people. The tasteless jokes underlined what I think many Asians and Asian-Americans have long suspected: that the push for more “diversity” and “inclusion” in Hollywood does not extend to us. That to them, we aren’t worthy of respect or consideration or even common courtesy.

Last week, two major projects further drove that point home. On Tuesday night, Marvel dropped the first trailer for Doctor Strange, rich in Orientalist undertones and featuring a white woman (Tilda Swinton) as a racebent version of an Asian character. Then on Thursday, Paramount and DreamWorks unveiled the first official still from the anime adaptation Ghost in the Shell, starring another white woman (Scarlett Johansson) as a character named “Motoko Kusanagi” in the source material. Whitewashing is a tradition as old as Hollywood itself. Still, you’d think that after the Oscars misstep, and the Emma Stone in Aloha dustup, and the The Last Airbender and Exodus: Gods and Kings and Pan and Gods of Egypt controversies, Hollywood would have learned its lesson. Doctor Strange and Ghost in the Shell suggest that they most certainly have not.  Read More »