“Free screening of Anchorman 2 this Tuesday!” As a film fan, hearing someone scream that outside a movie theater is like being invited to the ultimate event. As a film journalist, it’s the opposite, because you can’t attend. (Test screenings are typically closed to press.) Last week, I was in Burbank, CA attending a press screening of the awesome horror film You’re Next when I heard someone say those beautiful words. I didn’t follow up because I’d be stopped at the door. But lots of other people went to the show, and today we have our first reactions to Adam McKay‘s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Those reactions are decidedly mixed but, with a film from this team, that’s nothing to be worried about just yet. Test screenings are literally used as part of the filmmaking process. McKay and producer Judd Apatow use audience reactions to early versions of the film to fine tune jokes, insert alternate line readings and change the pacing of the film. So things that didn’t work in Burbank, CA could very well be changed. Read some reactions below. Read More »
Darren Aronofsky‘s Biblical epic Noah is scheduled for release March 28, 2014, which means the marketing should start fairly soon. Case in point, the director showed an early cut of the trailer on Thursday to an audience at the Echo Conference, a church-based conference in Texas for “artists, geeks and storytellers.” He sent a video introduction and then showed the trailer.
We don’t have the trailer just yet, but we have the video introduction and some reactions, all of which were positive. Read More »
Tuesday night in Los Angeles, Sony held an early screening of Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg‘s comedy, This Is The End, which opens June 12. In the film Rogen, James Franco, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Jay Baruchel all star as themselves. They, along with half of Hollywood, are at Franco’s house for a party when the world literally starts to end.
Watching the trailers, we could see a lot of promise in the film. However, mixing Hollywood gossip with gross-out humor and Biblical stakes is a weird premise with plenty of risk. Could the laughs, cameos and other surprises balance out to make an actual funny, entertaining movie? According to the tweets coming out of the screening, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Here’s just one, from a name you may recognize, then read more below.
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Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
As a Guillermo del Toro-directed film about giant robots battling giant monsters, Pacific Rim was automatically burdened with sky-high expectations. But the more we hear about it, the more it sounds like it actually lives up to them and then some. The first test screening last month was met with glowing approval. Now another test screening from this past weekend has yielded even more overwhelmingly positive responses. Hit the jump to read more.
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Thirty minutes of J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek Into Darkness screened Friday in London, setting off a thunderstorm of discussion and spoilers about what we’re going to see in the highly anticipated sequel. Don’t worry, we won’t post any spoilers here. We, like you, prefer to be surprised. What we are interested in is what some of the biggest UK publications — The Guardian, SFX, Total Film and Bleeding Cool for example — thought of the footage. Does it live up to expectations? We’ve compiled a few quotes below. Read More »
Zack Snyder‘s Man of Steel has begun to screen and word is that it’s fantastic. We’d heard that executives at Warner Bros. truly loved the film and now, reports are coming in from other people too. (And from people who don’t have billions and billions of dollars potentially invested in the success of a rebooted Superman.)
In particular, JoBlo is reporting the film is nearly complete (save for the 3D conversion) and despite the somber tone the trailers suggest, the film is chock full of action. We’ll talk more specifics below. Read More »
Normally if the ground shakes in Los Angeles, it’s an earthquake. Saturday night, any shaking was likely a result of giant robots and giant monsters squaring off on screen.
Guillermo Del Toro‘s July 11 release, Pacific Rim, had a early test screening in Burbank, CA Saturday night and the buzz is extremely positive. Looper director Rian Johnson praised the film along with several others who took to Twitter and message boards to give reactions. It seems Del Toro has at least met, and possibly exceeded the gargantuan expectations for the film. Read the reactions – and see some brand new images – after the jump. Read More »
The long Thanksgiving weekend brought major buzz for two potential Oscar contenders: Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables and Kathryn Bigelow‘s action procedural Zero Dark Thirty. Both films are from recent Best Director Oscar winners so expectations were predictably high for each. However, while Les Mis is a known property, a dramatization of the hunt for Osama Bin Laden is much more of a mystery, making the buzz out of those screenings even more intriguing.
Bigelow, along with Oscar-winning writer Mark Boal, was developing a film about the search for the most wanted man on the planet when United States military forces killed him. That completely changed their movie and made its completion even more time-sensitive. The film is now done, set for release December 19, with an all-star cast including Jessica Chastain, Mark Strong, Chris Pratt, James Gandolfini, Kyle Chandler and Joel Edgerton. The first screenings took place over the weekend, and reactions to them were incredibly positive, with an eye on another Oscar run for Bigelow and Boal. Get some early buzz after the break. Read More »
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There are several major take aways from the latest trailer for Paranormal Activity 4. One is that Katie and the boy she kidnapped, Hunter, are definitely back. Another is that the evil spirits from the first three films still really, really love to drag people down hallways. A third is that your XBox Kinect is the devil. It all adds up to a very intriguing bit of marketing.
Paranormal Activity 4 opens October 19 from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, who did Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3. This time around, the story is back in the present, following the neighbors of a mysterious new family whose son may, or may not, be the aforementioned Hunter.
After the jump, you can not only check out the revealing new trailer, but read a bunch of early buzz from a work print screening at Fantastic Fest 2012. Either way, you’ll never look at XBox Kinect the same way again. Read More »
Testing a film with a live audience is a huge part of Judd Apatow‘s filmmaking process. Finding the biggest laughs and gauging reactions is treated as an additional round of editing for the writer/director/producer. The danger in that is, even though most people sign non-disclosure agreements, word is bound to leak out early. So while This is 40, Apatow’s latest film, won’t hit theaters until Christmas, the first review has made it online in a very non-traditional place.
Comedian Marc Maron, best known for his hugely popular WTF Podcast, was among a star-studded early audience invited to see the “sort of sequel” to Knocked Up starring Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann and talked about it on his show. Read his quotes and more after the jump. Read More »