gunfighter nick offerman

What if voice-over narration and scene-setting music could be heard by the characters in a film?

The split between diegetic and non-diegetic sound (ie, stuff characters can hear vs. stuff only the audience can hear) prevents voice-overs from intruding on the lives of the people in a story. But in The Gunfighter, a lone man walks into an old west saloon, and things get weird when everyone in the joint hears a baritone voice explaining the guy’s thoughts and actions.

And because the narrator is voiced by Nick Offerman, the messed-up situation is also very funny. I laughed more in eight minutes than in all of A Million Ways to Die in the West. Director Eric Kissack and writer Kevin Tenglin really nail the script and tone here, and Offerman’s performance — along with that from everyone else in the cast — is spot-on. Read More »

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Lava short film

In keeping with tradition, Pixar’s Inside Out will be preceded by an animated short at the theater. This week, Pixar offered a little more detail about what that short film would be.

The first poster and details for Lava, a musical short directed by Pixar’s head of animation James Ford Murphy, have just hit the web. Get those, plus a high-res look at Inside Out‘s new logo, after the jump.

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Lars von Trier animated short

Back in 1967, when Lars von Trier was just Lars Trier, and only 11 years old, the future director made what he later called his first film. The movie is short, and animated in a crude stop-motion using cut-out paper characters. It is also, as you might expect, more than a bit unusual.

Turen til Squashland… En Super Pølse Film is the title, which translates to Trip to Squash Land… A Super Sausage Film. What does it all mean? Difficult to say, really, but there are dancing rabbits, and some troll-like creatures which fit right into some Nordic folk tales. There’s no dialogue, only a song. Check out the short below. Read More »

Da Sweet Blood of Jesus image

Spike Lee‘s Oldboy was a big fat flop, but he could be bouncing back in no time. Even before that remake premiered, he was getting the pieces together for his next feature Da Sweet Blood of Jesus. Today, we have a first look at the indie horror romcom, which centers around people who are addicted to blood.

And though Da Sweet Blood of Jesus doesn’t yet have a theatrical release date, Lee also has a new project that you can watch right now. This one is The Game, a short film for Pepsi Max’s 2014 World Cup promotional campaign. See the Da Sweet Blood of Jesus image and watch The Game short after the jump.

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Trank Star Wars short film

Josh Trank is best known for directing the sort-of-superhero film Chronicle — or that’s what he has been best known for. He’s also about to direct The Fantastic Four, and after that will make a Star Wars spin-off film. And so now is a good time to revisit his first short film, Stabbing at Leia’s. As the title implies, there’s a Star Wars connection here.

The short went online in 2007, years before Chronicle. I’ve heard that this film helped Trank land the Chronicle directing gig with Fox, and it’s easy to see why. There are a lot of similar ideas at play here in this short, shaky account of a party fight that features some unearthly technology. Think of the show Cops, but in the Star Wars universe. Watch the short below. Read More »

philip seymour hoffman animated short

Despite Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s tragic death earlier this year, the actor will continue to appear on screens for just a while, thanks to films completed before his passing. This short, however, is unexpected. Using a conversation with Simon Critchley recorded on December 22, 2012 at the Rubin Museum of Art, a team at PBS assembled a lovely animated short that captures the actor’s views on pleasure, happiness, and family as they relate to his own life. That this Philip Seymour Hoffman animated short would be terribly poignant is no surprise — that was Hoffman’s power, after all — but that it would arrive as a posthumous statement is particularly affecting.  Read More »

new pixar short

Does this summer movie season feel a little light on the animation? That’s because Pixar pulled out of 2014 entirely, leaving us without a film from the award-winning animation house for the first time since 2005. But the work never stops at Pixar Animation Studios. Besides the six movies scheduled over the next four years, Pixar is constantly producing shorts. Their latest one is now available online. For free.

The new Pixar short is called The Radiator Springs 500 1/2 and follows the misadventures of the Cars crew in Radiator Springs. It’s the latest in the ongoing Tales From Radiator Springs series. Find out how to download it right now below. Read More »

Lego Star Wars The New Yoda Chronicles

Happy (upcoming) Star Wars Day to one and all! After the jump:

  • Carrie Fisher‘s mom and Daisy Ridley‘s dad comment on casting
  • EW’s Anthony Breznican reveals what he knows about the script
  • Here’s another look at that 1313 game you’ll never get to play
  • Star Wars Day brings some special discounts on games that do exist
  • Watch a trailer for LEGO Star Wars: The New Yoda Chronicles
  • D23 brings you a special Star Wars Day message from R2-D2
  • Wonder what the folks at Lucasfilm are eating for Star Wars Day?
  • Watch a sexy lightsaber battle in Joe Lynch‘s short Saber III

Read More »

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