Yesterday morning when JJ Abrams posted a video from the Abu Dhabi set of Star Wars: Episode VII, everyone got excited about the appearance of an alien creature which walks by the filmmaker as he makes his charity pitch. Of course, Star Wars is synonymous with alien creatures, but the reason for the excitement was the practical, puppeteered nature of the new alien.
He’s not a computer animated thing, akin to the aliens we saw in the Star Wars prequels. The creature’s inclusion in this early video is deliberate — a message that we’re doing something more like the original trilogy than the prequels. It recalls the statement last summer by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy that ”We’re going to use every tool in the toolbox.” Many of us who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s were taken back to the days of Jim Henson and practical movie magic. I mean, how cool was that creature?
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It’s no secret Cameron Crowe had problems giving his 2000 semi-autobiographical film a title. At one point it was actually called Untitled, a clever nod to the musical story held within, as well as an admission of defeat. The studio wouldn’t let that fly, so Crowe went through many different titles before settling on Almost Famous. And it’s a perfect title.
For a contribution to the 300th issue of Empire Magazine, Crowe dug up the original notebook pages where he brainstormed all kinds of different titles for the movie, much like William Miller does during the credits of the film. Check out Cameron Crowe’s alternate Almost Famous titles below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 31st, 2014 by Angie Han
Captain America may be the most American of superheroes — it’s right there in the name — but that doesn’t mean he can’t adapt to other cultures. While audiences around the globe flock to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, they’ll be getting ever-so-slightly different versions of the movie depending on what country they’re watching from. Hit the jump to find out what specific detail has been altered for the Captain America 2 international versions.
UPDATED: Now than Captain America: The Winter Soldier is actually out, Yahoo has a more comprehensive list of Cap’s to-do list for each market. Items that show up in other (non-U.S.) countries include currywurst (Germany), Roberto Benigni (Italy), Daft Punk (France), and Tim Tams (Australia). No matter what country he’s in, though, his curiosity about Thai food remains the same.
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FilmmakerIQ has put together a 15 minute video essay profiling the history of movie trailers. When did movie trailers come about? Why are they called movie trailers? How has the format of movie trailers evolved over the years? How did Jaws and the blockbuster film release strategy change the way movies are advertised? Find out now by watching the movie trailer history video lesson embedded after the jump.
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Get A Horse, the 3D animated short seen by millions in front of Frozen, is now on Blu-ray. That means millions more will discover the “lost” Walt Disney animated short, that then becomes a full on, 3D marvel. The short is packed with characters, information, jokes and – surely – easter eggs. For example, in the world of Disney, hidden Mickeys are a big thing. But when the short stars Mickey, what do you do? A hidden Oswald, Disney’s first animated character, of course! Did you miss the Get A Horse Oswald Cameo? Below, check out the image.
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Posted on Friday, March 14th, 2014 by Angie Han
To date, every single Marvel Cinematic Universe has been rated PG-13. That’s the sweet spot for big-budget four-quadrant tentpoles like these; a PG-13 lets a movie be edgy enough to attract the grown-ups but not so hardcore it keeps out kids. But as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently revealed, getting that rating has been a trickier task for some films than others.
While the latest Marvel outing, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, easily made the PG-13 cut, Feige revealed that 2012′s The Avengers initially got an R rating from the MPAA. The filmmakers recut the movie and submitted it again — only to get another R rating. Hit the jump to find out which specific scene was the sticking point.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 12th, 2014 by Angie Han
Taken transformed Liam Neeson from respected dramatic actor to white-hot action star in 2008. But that transition could’ve come a lot sooner had Neeson accepted a certain job in the ’90s.
In a recent interview, Neeson revealed he’d turned down the iconic role of James Bond in what turned out to be Goldeneye, for the most un-Bond-like of reasons. Find out why after the jump.
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Want a real-life story worthy of Marvel Comics’ long-running series What If? The current wave of Marvel movies could have happened a lot earlier, or much differently, if plans begun in the early ’70s had come to fruition.
The late French director Alain Resnais, who died just a week ago, was responsible for some of the most powerful films in French cinema. The concentration camp documentary Night and Fog led to Hiroshima Mon Amour, which developed a narrative take on memory and relationships that deepened in Last Year at Marienbad and Je t’aime Je t’aime. (That’s just the beginning of his work.) Resnais is known as a science fiction fan, and genre and experimental fiction crept into his films in significant ways.
Resnais was also a lover of comic books. He claims he learned English by reading Marvel Comics, and he once wanted to make a Tintin film, decades before Spielberg and Jackson got around to it. In 1972, Resnais connected with Stan Lee of Marvel, and the two ultimately worked on a pair of scripts together. Neither was ever made, but just imagine what might have come to pass, had they gone before cameras. Read More »
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