Kubo and the Two Strings Featurette

This past weekend brought Kubo and the Two Strings to theaters, another gorgeous stop-motion animated adventure from the geniuses at LAIKA. As time goes on, stop-motion animation just gets more and more impressive thanks to the advancement of the technology used to make it. There’s some digital assistance here and there, but largely, it’s just some fine work done by brilliant animators who know exactly what they’re doing. However, one particular sequence needed a lot of digital assistance to come to life

One of the more breathtaking sequences in Kubo and the Two Strings comes from the opening scene when Kubo’s mother is navigating a roaring ocean in the middle of a storm. Thanks to a new featurette, we get the details on how digital animation and stop-motion puppetry combined to create this beautiful sequence. Read More »

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Assassin's Creed Stunt

Warcraft was the most successful video game movie of all time, and a sequel sounds like it may come together despite a disappointing box office performance in the United States. But the video game movie still needs, for lack of a better term, a game changer for the genre. With a director like Justin Kurzel behind the camera and an actor like Michael Fassbender in the lead, Assassin’s Creed could be that movie.

We won’t get to find out until December if Assassin’s Creed will impress audiences, but until then, you can check out an insanely impressive practical stunt from the set featuring a 125-foot jump by Michael Fassbender’s daring stuntman Damien Walters. Watch below! Read More »

Sausage Party Featurette

The final numbers for this past weekend’s box office aren’t in yet, but it looks like Sausage Party will have raked in just over $33 million. That’s an impressive debut for an R-rated animated comedy, especially opening up against the second weekend of blockbuster like Suicide Squad. It appears audiences were interested in something that was truly original and went against the grain of what’s been playing on most screens all summer.

Now a new Sausage Party featurette dives into one of the most important elements of the movie, though it’s not a piece you’d immediately recognize as being integral to a movie like this. Since Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg aren’t animators, it should come as no surprise that they brought in experienced animation directors Conrad Vernon and Greg Tiernan to helm the feature. But what’s truly surprising is they got Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, best known for his work on The Little Mermaid and Aladdin, to compose the score and the opening musical number in the grocery store. The filmmakers and composer talk about their approach to the score in a new Sausage Party featurette. Read More »

Steven Spielberg Documentary

There was a time when it wasn’t easy to watch videos taking us behind the scenes of our favorite movies. Today, cinephiles are spoiled with featurettes, documentaries and more that show how movies are made. But there was a time when you had to be at the right place at the right time to catch a glimpse of your favorite director hard at work, showing how movie magic brings their latest vision to life. Thanks to the magic of the internet, we get to see one of those videos online today.

Back in the 1980s, a Japanese TV crew was given unprecedented access to director Steven Spielberg, resulting in an hour-long documentary that shows the iconic filmmaker in the middle of his booming career. Tour Spielberg’s office and home at a time when he had already directed Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, but hadn’t yet moved on to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. It’s a fascinating and eye-opening documentary into the life and career of a filmmaking legend when he was just in his mid-30s.

Watch the Japanese Steven Spielberg documentary after the jump. Read More »

Suicide Squad Featurette

We’re about a week from seeing whether or not Suicide Squad is as fun as the trailers have made it out to be, hopefully making it the perfect remedy for those who didn’t enjoy Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. There’s not much buzz on the supervillain spin-off of the DC Comics cinematic universe just yet (the embargo on those who have seen it so far breaks in the morning on August 2), but we’re definitely hoping for the best.

Continuing to tease the arrival of Suicide Squad, a new featurette has just surfaced online, and this one has tons of new footage from the film as well as some great glimpses behind the scenes of the set (which we visited last year while they were in production). The cast talks about the experience of working with David Ayer, and there’s plenty of talking heads with the filmmaker himself and some of the other integral members of the crew. Watch the new Suicide Squad featurette below. Read More »

Game of Thrones season 6 blooper reel

As we’ve already reported, winter is coming a bit late next year. The season change on Game of Thrones means production had to be delayed, which means season 7 can’t start airing until summer (instead of spring as usual). But showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff and many of their cast members still managed to make it to Hall H for their annual Comic-Con panel, and they brought a couple of treats with them.

We’ve already covered what we learned from the panel, including how history inspired “Battle of the Bastards” and why Sansa Stark withheld certain crucial information from a certain ally. Now we’re happy to share with you some of what we saw, namely a Game of Thrones season 6 blooper reel and a Game of Thrones season 7 tease. Watch them below.  Read More »

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making of kubo and the two strings

The magic of stop-motion animation is that it still conjures a “How the hell did they do that?” reaction. I’ve enjoyed my fair share of films from Pixar, Disney Animation, and DreamWorks Animation, but the filmmaking process on CG-animated films doesn’t fill me with awe and wonder. At the end of the day, most modern animation is all about talented people sitting around computers and watching files render for hours on end. The end result can be impressive, but it doesn’t exactly light a fire under my imagination.

So bless Laika, the production company that has spent the past decade making stop-motion movies that dazzle the senses while telling offbeat and unique stories that push the boundaries of the medium. And as much as I have enjoyed their finished work, I often find myself enjoying behind-the-scenes looks at their process even more. This new featurette on the making of Kubo and the Two Strings kind of blows my mind.

Read More »

rogue one video breakdown

By now, you’ve probably watched the new Rogue One: A Star Wars Story sizzle reel that premiered at Star Wars Celebration. Heck, maybe you’ve watched it twice. Three times. But did you go through it frame-by-frame and pick out every exhausting detail like an insane person? Because I did. And I did it all for you. Let’s take a look, shall we?

And please note that there are no direct spoilers here, but I ask questions and come to conclusion that could be seen as spoiler-ish. So use your best judgment here.

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rogue one behind the scenes

At last year’s San Diego Comic-Con, the thousands of fans who piled into Hall H for the Star Wars: The Force Awakens panel expected to see a new trailer for the most eagerly anticipated film of 2015. Instead, director J.J. Abrams revealed that they weren’t ready to unveil a new trailer…but they had something else. The video they played was key to energizing the narrative around The Force Awakens, a movie that was, at the time, surrounded by mixed buzz and engendering uneasy feelings amongst the most devoted fans. A look behind the scenes of the film proved to be just as powerful as a traditional preview, touching every nostalgic note while promising a move to the future.

Now, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is attempting a similar narrative at this year’s Star Wars Celebration in London. While just about everyone was expecting a new trailer for director Gareth Edwards‘ new movie to arrive with the film’s panel, Lucasfilm has instead released a video that takes us behind the curtain, offering tantalizing glimpses at the film’s set and the scale of this ambitious production.

Read More »