The first 4DX movie theater in the United States opened in Los Angeles last weekend. Located in theater 6 at the Regal Cinemas LA Live in Downtown LA, the 104-seat theater books one first-run 3D movie at a time, and augments the showing with real-world physical effects. Those effects are the fourth dimension.
So, timed with the movie, you basically experience a theme park ride. Your seat rumbles and moves around, water squirts, there’s smoke, flashing lights, lumbar effects, gusting wind, even scents. The presentation admirably tries to bring the viewer into the movie.
Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Age of Extinction was the first film to play in the format here, so Peter Sciretta and myself were given a nearly three hour 4DX experience. This was great in that we were privy to the full slate of 4DX effects, but the film also became a tasking mental and physical exercise. Below, we present a video blog about the experience, along with a bunch of photos and a brief rundown of how Transformers: Age of Extinction translates into 4DX. Read More »
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Living in Los Angeles, I’m often asked, “What should I do when I’m in town?” Every single time that question comes up, I point people to the Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour. I wrote about it here a few years ago. It’s a two hour-plus, small-group tour through the Warner Bros. lot where you’ll see amazing iconic locations, drive by live shoots, walk on famous sound stages and see two full museums of one of a kind props.
To keep the tour fresh, those museums (which you can only see as part of the tour) are semi-regularly updated. So, for example, when I was there a few years ago, the entire second floor of one was themed to Harry Potter. It probably still is. But the latest update is just as exciting. Warner Bros. has installed a massive Batman 75th Anniversary Exhibit including props from all seven of their Batman films. Check out a slew of images below. Read More »
Early on in The Graduate, there’s that iconic moment. Ben Braddock, a recent college grad, is talking with the beautiful older family friend Mrs. Robinson. Ben says, “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me.” It’s iconic thanks to director Mike Nichols’ choice of angle, the delivery of the line by Dustin Hoffman, and the way that one sentence sets the entire story into motion.
At Jason Reitman‘s final live read of the season, actor Jay Baruchel played the role of Ben Braddock. When he got to that line, delivered next to his Mrs. Robinson, Sharon Stone, the 32-year-old actor broke character, cocked his right arm on his side and whispered, “Yes!” He was excited, not just because he nailed the legendary line, but maybe he got the feeling what was to follow was going to go very well. Reitman’s casting of Baruchel as the nervous, unsure, yet charming and likable Ben couldn’t have been more perfect. The same could also be said for Sharon Stone, whose Mrs. Robinson was sexy, confident and cool.
Though both actors were merely sitting in chairs, reading lines of dialogue, their body language created an electric chemistry that turned the combination of a great cast and a flawless script into a memorable event. Below, read more details about the Film Independent at LACMA Live Read of The Graduate. Read More »
Generally when a group puts on a live read, they pick a script of reverence. An Oscar-winner like The Usual Suspects, a classic comedy like Groundhog Day or Ghostbusters, maybe a stage masterpiece like Glengarry Glen Ross. When Funny or Die does it, they go a little out of the box. They do Space Jam.
Michael Jordan famously starred in the 1996 animated hit, which blended live actors with the Looney Tunes in a sci-fi, comedic, basketball romp. For kids of that era, the film became a classic. For anyone who has seen it since, it doesn’t quite hold up. But it’s fun, with a nostalgic appeal, and so Funny or Die recruited an all-star cast to read the script. Literally. NBA All-Star Blake Griffin read the role of Jordan and a slew of comedians and actors filled in the other roles, such as Seth Green, Ralph Garman, Danielle Fishel, Paul Scheer, Nick Kroll and others.
Below, watch – not the whole thing – but a good 10-minute highlight of the Space Jam live read. Read More »
10,000 years. That’s how long Phil Connors was stuck in Groundhog Day. At least, that’s what writers Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin said in an early draft of the now classic 1993 film. That revelation was later cut out, along with a lot of other things, to make the film we know and love.
But on March 20, Jason Reitman presented that early draft as part of his Film Independent at LACMA Live Read series. On a night dedicated to Ramis, the Groundhog Day co-writer and director, Reitman brought together a small but perfect cast to read through the script. That cast included Jason Bateman as Phil, Elizabeth Reeser as Rita, Jeffery Ross as Larry, Mae Whitman as Nancy, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, the role he originated.
That balance of familiarity from Tobolowsky, coupled with a fresh but perfectly poignant take from Bateman, made Groundhog Day one of the best live reads to come out of the series to date. Read More »
Los Angeles film fans used to have two choices when they wanted to see old-school 70mm film IMAX. There was the Universal CityWalk location and The Bridge, which then became the Rave. Unfortunately, the Rave 18 was recently purchased by Cinemark and that company has “decided to go in a different direction with this auditorium,” according to IMAX. That means the AMC Universal CityWalk is the only 70mm IMAX screen left the movie capital of the world. However, that too will soon change, eventually leaving the city without a film projection IMAX theater. In its place will be a much more advanced laser projection system. Read more below. Read More »
There’s absolutely no need to touch Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction. Built around an Academy Award winning screenplay, the film is pretty much perfect from beginning to end. It teems with exquisite detail as performances and dialogue tell interweaving stories of crime and craziness. A reinforcement of that absolute brilliance was the main thing I took out of the latest Film Independent at LACMA Live Read, which took place February 20 in Los Angeles. Director Evan Goldberg (This is the End) subbed for Jason Reitman and assembled an eclectic, star-studded cast to read Tarantino’s masterwork. It was a two and a half hour celebration of Pulp Fiction‘s perfection.
While no one could ever replace the iconic cast of John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and so many others, stars like Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Jonah Hill and Lizzie Caplan laughed, imitated and sometimes stumbled through the script with excitement and reverence. Along the way, a few Easter Eggs were uncovered, alternate interpretations attempted and much fun was had. Read about the live read below. Read More »
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Shia LaBeouf would be proud of Jerry O’Connell. LaBeouf got national press Tuesday for the opening of his contemporary art installation #IAMSORRY. The “show” features LaBeouf in the paper bag he wore to the world premiere of Nymphomaniac in Berlin, sitting quietly while fans talk to him. Wednesday, in the space right next door to LaBeouf’s in West Hollywood, actor Jerry O’Connell set up #IAMSORRYTOO, which featured the Stand By Me, Jerry Maguire and Sliders star in a bag that said “Super Famous,” and willing to talk about damn near anything. Read More »