Universal Studios Hollywood nighttime studio tour

Universal Studios Hollywood is gearing up to introduce their new nighttime version of their famous Studio Tram Tour featuring all new lightening effects and sequences. It appears they have begun testing some of the new nighttime additions, and sadly it looks like they’ve dropped the ball in not including a Back to the Future sequence at the famous clocktower square. Check out some videos from the early previews of the new nighttime studio tour after the jump.

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Jurassic World video Raptor Pratt

The park reopens on June 12 when Jurassic World hits theaters. Universal Pictures knows it has got a potential blockbuster, so the marketing is wisely using the audience’s nostalgia for the original Jurassic Park in the new film’s favor. The John Williams score, Steven Spielberg‘s enthusiasm, Chris Pratt‘s fandom, it’s all been used of the marketing strategy for the film. Speaking on a personal level, it’s definitely working.

The latest Jurassic World featurette continues this trend with a John Hammond voiceover, Pratt’s reverence for the franchise and Spielberg himself talking up the film. But it also goes one step further but showing a ton of brand new footage from the movie. In fact, the video might be half all new footage. Check out the new Jurassic World video below. Read More »

Action Filmmaking Tips

We’ve been talking a lot about Mad Max: Fury Road for the past couple weeks, and one reason is that it is, as I argued in my review of the film, incredibly precise and clear storytelling from a visual perspective. There is virtually nothing as good as Fury Road in action films of late. But there is in older work, such as the remarkable run of ’80s and early ’90s movies from Jackie Chan.

A couple weeks ago I came across a video essay that is itself very precise about breaking down just what works in Chan’s films, and why. I’ve watched this essay many times now, and despite the fact that it isn’t “new,” having debuted late last year, I wanted to share it as an explanation of exactly how and why some visual storytelling works so well.

Whether you aspire to make films, or just want to gain a better understanding of how they work, you must watch this video.

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Fantastic Four banner header

So far, the trailers for Josh Trank‘s Fantastic Four have shown us brief glimpses of the characters’  powers. We haven’t really gotten a chance, however, to visually study each ability. We now have a pretty decent chance to do that in a very odd place. Movietickets.com has released a commercial featuring the Fantastic Four and, for twenty seconds, it’s probably the best look yet we’ve seen from the movie…until it becomes an app commercial. But for 20 seconds, you get a really great look at what Josh Trank has in store for us on August 7. Check it out below. Read More »

Special Effects in the 80s

Earlier this week, we featured a little infographic counting down the biggest movie sets in the history of cinema. This look into the practical sets from decades past shows both how impressive and large some physical sets used to be, and also just how few giant film sets are built today, in favor of digital effects. But even the world of special effects wasn’t so technologically advanced. And much like extensive practical set building, the use of less-sophisticated but still impressive special effects is something that seems to be missing from today’s movies.

So if you need to escape the present day for awhile, check out this vintage one-hour NOVA special that takes a look at the magic of special effects in the 80s, focusing on films such as Return of the Jedi and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Watch the NOVA segment on special effects below! Read More »

Sicario clip

We’re seeing more of Sicario, the new film from Denis Villeneuve, very slowly. There were a few images, then a poster. And if you want to know more about the film, there are quite a few reviews floating around from the film’s Cannes premiere. Now there’s also a Sicario clip, and while we wait for the film’s official trailer, it’s a good first taste of the work by Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro, and Josh Brolin, playing a set of government consultants and agents who form an uneasy alliance to fight one battle in the war on drugs. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Bad Santa

Some odds and ends from the world of sequels. After the jump:

  • Krang is rumored to be in Ninja Turtles 2
  • Gramercy Pictures relaunches with Insidious 3
  • Leslie Mann and Kat Dennings join Croods 2
  • Independence Day 2 adds Patrick St. Esprit
  • … and Vivica A. Fox discusses her return
  • Warner Bros. sets Project XX for summer 2016
  • Bad Santa 2 is hoping to shoot this fall
  • Mimi Rogers boards the Ash vs. Evil Dead show
  • Magic Mike XXL reveals a sexy new poster
  • Terminator Genisys unleashes another TV spot

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last David Letterman episode

Wednesday May 20 ended the three decadeplus television career of David Letterman. The guy is a legend, with a resume of comedy milestones that’s second to none. So how did he go about putting on his last Late Show ever? With a lot of celebrities, humor and heart. Below, you can watch the last David Letterman episode of the Late Show (Stephen Colbert is taking over later this year) and check out some highlights too. Read More »

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl trailer 2

As good as Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is, it’s hard to put that quality into words. I tried with my Sundance review and I tried again when the first trailer for the film was released. Still, the wonderful mix of humor, sadness, melancholy and cool is something you simply just have to see to understand.

Thanfully, a new Me and Earl and the Dying Girl trailer does a better job of conveying the unique tone of the film than the first trailer, which was already pretty good. The film opens on a limited basis June 12; check out the trailer below along with a few new clips from the Sundance Award-winner. Read More »