Passengers Recut

Despite having a script that was on the Black List, the romantic sci-fi drama Passengers was a bit of a disappointment when it hit theaters late last year. Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence star in the shiny film from director Morten Tyldum which took quite a lashing from critics for its problematic story. Even beyond that, Passengers was also criticized for being rather predictable. But what if there was one way to improve the final cut of the movie that would have made it infinitely more engaging?

Nerdwriter takes a close look at Passengers and imagines how the story would have played out in a much more interesting way if instead of following the movie from the perspective of Chris Pratt’s character Jim, we begin the movie from the viewpoint of Jennifer Lawrence’s character Aurora. It adds an entirely different feel to the first half of the movie. Read More »

Rogue One score homages

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a grand experiment for Disney and Lucasfilm. The movie was meant to be a standalone adventure that has ties to the main Star Wars narrative without being part of the Skywalker saga. That’s why it has plenty in common aesthetically, as far as the production design and art direction is concerned, but still feels different from the rest of the Star Wars movies.

One of the ways Rogue One stands on its own is with the score composed by Michael Giacchino. He doesn’t use the main Star Wars theme prominently, mostly because the movie doesn’t have the traditional opening title and crawl. He also doesn’t go out of his way to frequently use the recognizable themes that John Williams composed for the original trilogy, which Rogue One most closely emulates. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t subtly use pieces of John Williams’ classc score when the story called for it.

A video essay explains the various Rogue One score homages below. Read More »

Escape from Park City - Sundance Documentary Short

We’ve been covering the Sundance Film Festival for years, watching and reviewing dozens of independent films, most of which are playing for audiences for the first time anywhere. Personally, I’ve been to the annual cinematic showcase in Park City, Utah seven years in a row, and even though it’s always exhausting, it never gets old. But not everyone is as lucky in their experience at Sundance, as a new documentary short illustrates.

Filmmaker John Wilson (aka “Johns Movies”) was hired to “uncover some of the festival’s secrets” for Vimeo while crashing on their couch during the 2017 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. Titled Escape from Park City, this short is a truly unique look at the festival that takes away all the glitz and glamor and shows you what it’s really like to be at Sundance. Read More »

Mark Hamill’s tribute to Carrie Fisher panel

With this year marking the first Star Wars Celebration since Carrie Fisher passed away last winter, there were plenty of touching words said about the late actress and writer by colleagues and admirers alike. But no one gave Carrie quite as wonderful a tribute as Star Wars brother Mark Hamill.

Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher formed a strong bond on the set of Star Wars and an even stronger friendship after the film turned them into international superstars. Therefore it should come as no surprise that Mark Hamill has some truly delightful, touching stories about Carrie Fisher in his own Star Wars Celebration panel that was a nearly hour-long tribute to the woman he refers to as his “beloved space twin.” Fortunately, you can watch Mark Hamill’s tribute to Carrie Fisher panel in its entirety right now. Read More »

Rogue One Ending Recreated

The third act of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was one of the most thrilling endings to any Star Wars movie ever. From the space battle above Scarif to the ground battle around the Imperial base on the tropical surface, it was a thoroughly exciting conclusion. But easily the best part came when the plans to the Death Star were finally downloaded by the Rebel Alliance and quickly passed along though Rebel troopers as Darth Vader was in close pursuit.

At Star Wars Celebration 2017 in Orlando, some Star Wars fans got together to recreate that spectacular ending in the Orange Country Convention center, complete with Darth Vader on their trail as they pass the Death Star plans through the convention hall. Watch the Rogue One ending recreated after the jump. Read More »

How Logan Should Have Ended

Under normal circumstances, the folks who put together the ongoing web series How It Should Have Ended offers an amusing, welcome perspective on how a popular blockbuster should have ended. Sometimes it’s based on walking through a major plot hole, other times it just points out something that doesn’t make sense. In this case though, they had their work cut out for them in trying to poke holes in and even poke fun at the perfect ending of Logan. However, I must say that what they came up with is actually pretty clever, and Deadpool is just a small fraction of it.

Watch How Logan Should Have Ended after the jump. Read More »

Star Wars Celebration Carrie Fisher Tribute

It’s been a few months since we all felt the pain of losing the wonderful talent who was Carrie Fisher. Not only was she an accomplished star on the big screen, but she was also responsible for touching up scripts all over Hollywood with her biting wit and sharp intellect.

With Star Wars Celebration happening in Orlando, Florida without her in attendance, a tribute to the people’s princess, senator and general was put together, complete with an emotional reel of footage from Star Wars, archived interviews and behind-the-scenes moments. Plus, there’s a shot of her on the set of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Watch the Star Wars Celebration Carrie Fisher tribute below. Read More »

Rogue One Honest Trailer

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hit Blu-ray and DVD last week, but for some reason, but the folks Honest Trailers must have wanted to give fans time to rewatch the first standalone Star Wars adventure before lampooning it for them.

The Rogue One Honest Trailer takes some jabs that you’d expect, like calling in the most expensive fan film ever made and a big budget fix for a decades old plot hole. Thankfully, it also makes sure to take shots at every single member of the ensemble cast of Rebels that it’s best to not get attached to for obvious reasons.

Watch the Rogue One Honest Trailer below. Read More »

Junkie XL Studio Time Videos

Though cinema is a visual medium, movies wouldn’t be anywhere near as powerful without the music that pulses from their soundtracks. Often times it’s the composer of a film’s score that makes a scene truly memorable. But how do composers create music that enhances movies so the thousands of notes we hear combine to give the film emotion, excitement, suspense and power?

Junkie XL (aka Tom Holkenborg), who has composed the scores for film’s such as Mad Max: Fury Road, Deadpool and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, has created a web series called Studio Time where he explains how he works in the studio to compose music for major motion pictures. For any aspiring composers out there, it’s a master class in music and how to write it for cinema.

Check out the Junkie XL Studio Time videos after the jump. Read More »

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Stephen King's It Trailer Comparison

This fall brings a new adaptation of Stephen King’s It, one of the most revered horror novels of all time. Four years after the book as published, it was turned into a miniseries featuring Tim Curry as the terrifying clown called Pennywise. It’s a little dated now, and it didn’t quite live up to the quality of the source material for some readers, so fans are looking forward to seeing what director Andrés Muschietti brings to the table with Bill Skarsgård as Pennywise, so much that the first trailer set a new record for highest number of views in 24 hours.

In the meantime, see how the new adaptation of It compares to the miniseries from 1990 in a video that matches footage from the older adaptation with what we’ve seen in the first teaser trailer for the updated take on the scary story.

Watch the Stephen King’s It trailer comparison after the jump. Read More »