History Cops

What do animators do when they have extra time and materials on hand? That’s a trick question; animators really don’t have any extra time. But if there were a few surplus minutes on hand, they might make something like History Cops.

The Lego Movie hits blu-ray next week, but one of the special features is online now. History Cops is a parody of grindhouse trailers featuring Lego versions of Michelangelo and Abraham Lincoln. They fight crime, they bust heads, and they dish out quips like “I release you from the shackles of freedom!” It’s lovely, watch below. Read More »

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BIlly Dee Mark Hamill

Lots of cool stuff in this edition of Star Wars Bits. Lots of Episode VII, of course, but also some cool Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher quotes, new merchandise and even a George Lucas cameo. Below, read about the following.

  • Paparazzi spotted an interesting trio of Star Wars Episode VII principals on the street.
  • George Lucas doesn’t seem worried about the leaked set photos.
  • Check out the first Star Wars Hot Wheels toy.
  • Watch a full, 45 minute interview with Mark Hamill at Star Wars Weekends at Disney World.
  • Billy Dee Williams confirms he has contributed to Star Wars Rebels.
  • Watch a new video about the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.
  • Potential details of multiple Star Wars Episode VII sets are revealed.
  • See John Boyega in the Star Wars makeup chair.

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Terminator 2 Chase

James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day is one of those movies we’ve all seen a million times. When it’s on television, its familiarity is like a warm blanket we can snuggle up in and can enjoy from any point. We even do other things while watching, without getting lost, because we know it so well.

In fact, we know it so well it’s probably lost some of its power. When we first saw the T-1000 emerge from flaming wreckage, or a Mack Truck fly off an overpass, they were eye-popping moments. Now, they’re very familiar. Unless, of course, they’re presented in new ways.

Maybe that means 3D, maybe that means seeing the film on the big screen the first time, or maybe it means the painstaking work of a YouTube team to recreate a scene from the film, nearly shot by shot, using Grand Theft Auto 5. Check out a Terminator 2 GTA chase below. Read More »

Ricky Nierva TED Talk

Pixar Art Director/Production Designer Ricky Nierva recently gave a TED Talk at TED x Athens in Athens, Greece. Titled “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Blank Sheets”, Nierva’s talk is about writers block and the artist’s struggle with the creative process and a behind the scenes peek into the design behind the magic created at Pixar.

Nierva was a story artist on Toy Story 2, has character design and storyboarding credits on Monsters Inc, was an art director on Finding Nemo and served as a production designer on Up and Monsters University. Ricky explains the creative process behind the designs for Up‘s Carl Fredricksen and Russell and how the film’s story helped create the design of the story’s central characters. You will probably be amazed at how all the little details reflect the film’s storyline and how they are almost inseparable.

You can watch the Ricky Nierva TED Talk now embedded after the jump.

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Star Wars Alphabet

The internet has allowed fans to distribute a wealth of videos dissecting their favorite films that otherwise wouldn’t exist. Sometimes the OCD of obsessive fandom results in something so insane that you just need to see it just to know someone spent the time to create it. YouTube user suckerpinch decided to take Star Wars Episode VI: A New Hope and reedit the movie sorted by alphabetically by word. Why? We’re not sure. But the resulting 43 minute video is mesmerizing. Watch the Star Wars Alphabet video embedded after the jump alongside some fun facts discovered by suckerpinch in the process. For example, did you know the word “lightsaber” appears in the film only once but the word “the” appears 368 times?

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refn texas chain saw massacre

Nicolas Winding Refn, director of films such as Drive and Valhalla Rising, is a big horror fan. In fact, to hear him tell it, a horror film is responsible for his desire to make movies in the first place. At Cannes this year, Refn introduced a screening of the 4k restoration of Tobe Hooper‘s The Texas Chain Saw Massacre as part of the the Directors’ Fortnight program.

Refn’s long intro to the movie is an enthusiastic expression of love for the film, and has plenty of humor. After Tobe Hooper is introduced he mentions “my dear friend Nicolas,” to which Refn quips “we just met.” But Refn’s estimation that The Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a masterpiece is spot-on, however. There’s no other horror film like it. Watch the intro below. Read More »

Everything Wrong With the Movie Gravity

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has been critical of Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity in the past, and in particular, some of the film’s scientific inaccuracies. For the latest edition of their insanely popular “Everything Wrong With Movies” feature, CinemaSins was able to get Cosmos host Neil deGrasse Tyson to narrate a 9-minute long Everything Wrong With the movie Gravity video. Yes, this is really Neil deGrasse Tyson narrating this video, and not a stupid parody. Tyson participated in the fun video to help promote his podcast Star Talk Radio. You can watch the video now embedded after the jump.

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star-wars-logo-gold

Part of the reason Star Wars still resonates with audiences today, much like it did in 1977, is that it is simultaneously familiar and new. George Lucas created something wholly original while being inspired by a great many things that came before his work. From Akira Kurosawa, Flash Gordon, and Stanley Kubrick to Fritz Lang, the list of things Lucas channelled is long and distinguished.

That’s where this video comes in. Michael Heilemann, an interface director at Squarespace, edited clips and images into the original 1977 Star Wars to show Lucas’ influences. Check out the annotated Star Wars below. Read More »

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