What Makes Anthony Hopkins Great In Westworld

Westworld is all the rage right now. We’re so obsessed with the show that we’re talking about new and old theories after every new episode, our own Jacob Hall always chimes in with some spoilery questions to accompany everything we learned in the latest installment of HBO’s latest sci-fi series, and we even have a podcast called Decoding Westworld.

Thankfully, we’re not the only ones who have fallen for the adaptation of of the film from 1973. A new video from Nerdwriter has taken a closer look at one very specific part of Westworld, one of the actors who consistently makes the show truly compelling every single week. Anthony Hopkins is an icon, and when you see how his performance is broken down in the video essay after the jump, you’ll better understand why he’s such a revered actor.

Find out what makes Anthony Hopkins great in Westworld after the jump.

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william-logan

I’m five episodes into HBO’s Westworld and I’m already hooked for life. The show is not only technically dazzling but also thought-provoking in how it raises issues surrounding A.I., game design, morality, and what it means to be human.

One of the most interesting elements of the show is how it plays with the audience’s sense of reality. Many scenes (particularly “diagnostic” scenes featuring Dolores) are introduced with with zero context, while several of the hosts such as Dolores and Maeve start to encounter hallucinations and visions from the past(?), causing them to deviate from their “loop.”

Through all of this, one major fan theory has emerged: Westworld is actually taking place in two separate time periods, and this fact is being concealed with some skillful editing. Below, I edit together some video evidence of the non-linear timeline theory. Note that there are SPOILERS through this week’s episode of Westworld.
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Brad Bird Commentary

Brad Bird is one of the best filmmakers working in animation today. He doesn’t have an endless list of films in his career, but quantity doesn’t necessarily equal quality, and when you know that the few films he has directed are The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille, then you know why he’s such a respected talent.

For anyone looking for a little more insight into Brad Bird’s creative process, editor Kees van Dijkhuizen Jr. has put together a little video essay of sorts featuring explanatory voiceover on top of clips from the director’s movies. Watch and listen to the Brad Bird commentary on animation after the jump. Read More »

Green Band Trailer

One of the most exciting things in the movie news world is when a new trailer arrives for one of our most anticipated movies. Last week we were treated to teaser trailers for both Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Logan, the third and final Wolverine sequel featuring Hugh Jackman. But have you ever wondered why these clips used to market upcoming movies are called trailers?

A new video essay from the YouTube channel Today I Found Out explains the origins of movie trailers, including not only where they came from, but why they’re called trailers to begin with. Learn about the origin of movie trailers after the jump. Read More »

Scott Pilgrm vs the World Transitions Video Essay

Even though Scott Pilgrim vs the World was praised highly by critics, resulting in an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes, the film was a disappointment at the box office for Universal Pictures. After costing $60 million to make, the movie only made just over $47 million worldwide. The film has become a bit of a cult classic, and it’s found a decent sized audience on home video, but it deserves so much more attention than it’s gotten, if only because it’s evidence of Edgar Wright’s skills as a masterful and economical filmmaker.

A new video essay examines an easily overlooked element of the graphic novel film adaptation: the transitions. If a film is directed and edited properly, each scene moves seamlessly from one into the next and you may not even notice. The Scott Pilgrim vs the World transitions are some of the most efficient and meticulously planned, so much that you maybe didn’t realize how many of them happen in a short span of screentime. Read More »

Steven Spielberg Stanley Kubrick side-by-side shot comparison

If you’re more than a casual fan of either Steven Spielberg or Stanley Kubrick, then you likely know that the film A.I. Artificial Intelligence is basically a collaboration between the two filmmakers. Kubrick began working on the film in the 1970s and kept developing it through the 90s, mostly because he didn’t believe technology would effectively allow him to create the lead character David in the way he wanted.

In 1995, Kubrick handed the project to Steven Spielberg, who would run with it starting in 1999 following the death of the iconic director behind The Shining, A Clockwork Orange and 2001: A Space Odyssey. However, when you look at some parts of A.I. Artificial Intelligence, it’s almost as if Kubrick was looking over Spielberg’s shoulder. There are some striking similarities in shots between the 2001 sci-fi film and Kubrick’s previous work.

Watch the Steven Spielberg Stanley Kubrick side-by-side shot comparison after the jump. Read More »

Film Meets Art

Some have criticized Quentin Tarantino for stealing from other movies, but it’s a practice that he’s very open and even proud of, and he should be. For centuries, all the best artists have been inspired by the artists the came before them, and the same can be said of every single filmmaker out there.

While most directors may not borrow as much from other movies as Quentin Tarantino, a video series called Film Meets Art compares movies like There Will Be Blood, Melancholia, Lost in Translation, Empire of the Sun, Inherent Vice and and even Django Unchained to the pieces of art that inspired some of their gorgeous shots.

Watch the Film Meets Art videos after the jump. Read More »

Breaking Bad Ozymandias video essay

This week marks the three-year anniversary of the end of Breaking Bad — which seems crazy because it feels like in that time, we’ve never stopped talking about it. While lots of great shows have run out of steam or even faded into obscurity by the end, Breaking Bad stayed strong through the finish, delivering one of the most satisfying endgames in recent memory.

For my money, though, that final season peaked not with the actual finale, “Felina,” but the third-to-last episode, “Ozymandias.” That’s the one where all the chickens come home to roost, where Walt finds that even his brilliance can’t keep his many misdeeds from rippling outward to everyone he cares about. And it’s the subject of a new video essay that delves into why, exactly, “Ozymandias” was so effective. Watch it below.  Read More »

VOTD: What Makes a Good TV Show Title Sequence?

Best TV Show Title Sequences

Right now we’re in a new golden age of television where the programming that’s on our screens at home, whether it’s from networks, cable channels or streaming services, is some of the best quality storytelling right now. And a small part of what makes any television show memorable is a great opening title sequence.

A new video essay takes a look at some of the traits of great title sequences from shows such as Game of Thrones, True Detective, Mad Men, Dexter, Weeds and more, all of which create an ambiance that prepares you for the world you’re about to enter. Within many of the best TV show title sequences lie visual metaphors and themes hinting at the characters and their stories. Read More »

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Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind's Eye

In 1976, Alan Dean Foster was contracted to ghostwrite a novelization for Star Wars, as well as a second novel which would have been used as a basis for a low-budget sequel to A New Hope in case the film was not successful. Of course, Geroge Lucas’ film opened to great acclaim and massive box office so that Star Wars sequel was never produced.

The novel was instead released in 1978 under the title Star Wars: Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, taking place between A New Hope and its sequel The Empire Strikes Back, making it one of the first pieces of what would become the Star Wars expanded universe. That universe is no longer canonized, but a new video essay takes us back in time for a look at the lot Star Wars sequel. Hit the jump to find out the story behind Splinter of the Mind’s Eye and discover what could have been.
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