Even though this year brought the most successful video game movie of all time with Legendary Pictures bringing Warcraft to the big screen, there still hasn’t really been a video game turned into a movie that has struck a chord with audiences and critics alike while also being a big hit at the box office. From the abysmal Super Mario Bros. in 1993 to more recent attempts such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Max Payne, video game movies have a terrible track record. Now a new video essay attempts to explain why. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, July 15th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
This weekend brings Paul Feig‘s reboot of Ghostbusters to theaters. Even though the reboot doesn’t really measure up to the high profile of the original, it does offer something exciting for a different demographic and a new batch of young people. While the movie is undoubtedly entertaining, it does have ample shortcomings, specifically in the story department, and that’s something that the original had perfected.
Like any good screenplay, the high quality of the final draft of the original Ghostbusters was a result of careful planning, rewriting and simply compelling storytelling. A new video essay takes a look at how the original concept for Ghostbusters changed from the idea Dan Aykroyd had in his head to the movie we ended up seeing in 1984 and have loved ever since. Check out the Ghostbusters screenplay video essay after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
This week we’ll get to see if Independence Day: Resurgence can shake a stick at Roland Emmerich’s original 1996 blockbuster. Some early reviews from select outlets attending the Hollywood premiere indicate that the movie pretty much delivers the fun and silliness of the first one, but that’s something we’ll find out ourselves starting tomorrow evening. In the meantime, let’s take a look back at what made the original Independence Day so great with a video essay that examines just how well-crafted the screenplay is.
Watch the Independence Day video essay after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Slow motion is used so often today that it’s easy to forget that filmmakers use it as a storytelling tool beyond making action simply look cool. A new video essay dives into the art of slow motion in film by showing how various directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma and more use the tool in different ways.
Learn about how these directors use slow motion in movies after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, May 26th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
The Nerdwriter’s latest video “Intertextuality: Hollywood’s New Currency” takes a look at how Hollywood is using our nostalgia to play with our emotions in sequels, remakes and even original movies. Inspired by the recent record-breaking live-action Beauty and the Beast trailer (and heres a good side-by-side comparison that furthers the point of this video essay), Nerdwriter presents the idea of a new kind of currency in Hollywood movies called Intertextuality. Hit the jump to find out what Intertextuality is and watch the video essay.
Posted on Thursday, May 19th, 2016 by Peter Sciretta
In 2010, Kirby Ferguson created a video essay called Everything is a Remix, about how it’s not just Quentin Tarantino, but every single artist (authors, musicians or filmmakers) who borrows something old to make something new. The video essay spawned a series of essays, which was later combined into an almost 40 minute long documentary (which you can watch here).
Ferguson has returned once again with a new Everything is a Remix video essay, this time focusing not just on Star Wars: The Force Awakens but also the overall storytelling career of JJ Abrams. The video isn’t just a visualization of all the complaints we’ve heard about Force Awakens being a rehash of A New Hope (we’ve already seen that before), but a serious look into the screenwriter, director and producer’s filmography, as well as an examination of how Abrams copies, transforms and combines his stories to create his art. But it also asks: is the remix method growing stale and have we hit the limits of remixing?
Posted on Friday, May 6th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has come and gone from theaters and it now sits in our digital libraries and on our movie shelves. But unlike some of the movies we have at our disposal, we’ll be talking about this one for a long time. Now the excitement and hype has died down over Star Wars: Episode VII and the dust has settled on Jakku, allowing us to take a closer look at the film.
Recently, a video showed a side-by-side comparison of shots and sequences in The Force Awakens compared to Star Wars: A New Hope, enforcing the observation and criticism that the sequel was a copy of the original. This is something that J.J. Abrams recently addressed as intentional, and his thinking behind this decision made sense. But The Force Awakens still has its detractors, and those people should give this new video essay from Movies with Mikey a chance to help clear the air a bit so they might cut the movie a little slack. Read More »
Posted on Friday, April 8th, 2016 by David Chen
I was a big fan of Jean-Marc Vallée‘s last film Wild, which featured Reese Witherspoon playing the real-life author Cheryl Strayed and taking on a physically impossible task as a means of working out issues in her personal life. When I heard Vallée would be directing a similar film with Jake Gyllenhaal, I was excited at what new aspects of the human spirit the movie might illuminate.
Demolition (out today in theaters) has many of the same virtues of Wild, only with a male protagonist. Both films are shot beautifully and have some of the best editing I’ve seen, using cuts in footage not just to convey the passage of time, but also to establish mood, and to explain a character’s mindset. On a technical, they are exceptionally executed.
Unfortunately, I found Demolition ultimately amounted to less than the sum of its parts. Hit the jump for my brief video review.
Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 by David Chen
Nearly three years after Man of Steel, Zack Snyder is back with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, an ambitious film that not only attempts to play out the aftermath of the attack on Metropolis in the last movie, but also set up Warner Bros’ DC Universe film franchise. Batman v Superman is a overlong, poorly plotted, thinly characterized, painfully dour mess, but it’s a gorgeously shot mess that has the kind of spectacle and grandeur that you’d hope for from a major big budget release.
Hit the jump to see my full video review.
Read More »