Cheap thrills making of

Cheap Thrills is one of my favorite films of the year so far — a simple, tightly contained and very vicious punch to the gut. Now we’d like to show you a clip from the making-of documentary that is on the new Blu-ray release. The film stars Pat Healy and Ethan Embry as two not-quite-friends who are down on their luck. Potential financial salvation arrives in the form of a couple, played by Sara Paxton and David Koechner, who are celebrating a birthday with a night on the town. But their night on the town isn’t like yours — they’re willing to pay ever-larger sums of money to see Healy and Embry do crazy things, all in the name of entertainment.

One of those crazy things (well, several of them, really) is beyond crazy — it goes into the realm of totally insane. Below, you can see a clip of how the sequence, and the prop associated with it, was put together. What follows is both a spoiler for the film, and not for the squeamish. Read More »

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Performance Capture

Last month, 20th Century Fox screened five scenes from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. While I was very impressed with the footage, I was blown away by the performance capture I saw in the 20 minutes previewed — it was the best performance capture performances I had seen to date.

On top of that, Andy Serkis was on hand to introduce a brief video showcasing the live-action human actors filming the performance capture for the Ape roles side by side split screen with the computer animated finished footage of the Apes. I cant tell you how impressive this brief clip was on the big screen — it brought me back to the days of movie magic specials from my childhood.

20th Century Fox has now released the clip online for all of you to see. Watch the Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Performance Capture comparison clip embedded after the jump.

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Fistful of Dollars outtakes

The Cannes Film Festival will close this year with a presentation of a restoration of Sergio Leone’s 1964 film A Fistful of Dollars. (Released in the US in early 1967.)  The movie, an uncredited remake of Yojimbo, turned Clint Eastwood into a movie star and made the spaghetti western the hottest genre going. Quentin Tarantino will present the film at Cannes, but even if you can’t attend that show we’ve got a good treat, in the form of some newly discovered and restored A Fistful of Dollars outtakes.

The Cineteca di Bologna and Unidis Jolly Film (the original producers and distributors of the movie) were behind the restoration. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation also helped out. As part of the process of restoration, some outtakes from the film were discovered and restored. Cineteca has now put them online. Watch below. Read More »

Frank featurette Michael Fassbender

One of my favorite films so far in 2014 is Frank, the movie in which Michael Fassbender plays a musician who spends every minute of every day wearing a giant fake head. That’s a pretty good way to get some attention for the film, but Frank is a very funny and genuinely wonderful movie about the process of creativity, and the fact that some of us are simply no good when it comes to making music and art.

Still, it’s a weird concept to get your, um, head around to some extent, so how about a clip featuring Fassbender’s title character in conversation with the musician (Domhnall Gleeson, of About Time and soon of Star Wars Episode VII) who desperately wants to be his musical equal? That will get across the tone of the film pretty well. If you still have questions (and you will) there’s also a great ten-minute featurette that gives a lot of background without giving too much away. Read More »

two Godzilla clips

Want to see more of Godzilla? New clips and a big collection of behind the scenes shots will give you more of a look at the revitalized lizard. You can see Gareth Edwards directing Bryan Cranston, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, among others, in eleven minutes of behind the scenes B-roll. In addition, two of the film’s better scenes have been excerpted as clips. Check out the two Godzilla clips and other footage below. Read More »

Escape From Tomorrow

One of the craziest movie stories of 2013 was Escape From Tomorrow. The film quietly premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and, overnight, became the talk of the industry. People were amazed that this psychological thriller about a man on vacation with his family at Disneyland covertly shot at the theme park without permission from the company. Most believed Disney would never let it see the light of day. But as buzz continued to build, and the film was picked up for distribution, Disney seemed to think not addressing the film would be the best course of action.

So they let it go. Now Escape from Tomorrow is coming to Blu-ray April 29. We’re excited to exclusively debut a clip from the film’s making-of documentary, discussing the complicated legal issues surrounding the release of the film.  Read More »

Only God Forgives VFX breakdown

Nicolas Winding Refn doesn’t shy away from the excessively visual aspect of filmmaking, even when doing a low-budget effort like Only God Forgives. The hallucinogenic family crime thriller opened last year, but it’s a gift that keeps on giving to those who appreciate a touch of the weird. While we wait to hear what Refn will do next, check out this great Only God Forgives VFX breakdown to see how effects were used not only to create violent illusions, but to clean up difficult locations and make long dolly shots possible. Read More »

Guardians of the Galaxy featurette

Guardians of the Galaxy doesn’t really look like anything that’s come before it in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s a good thing for those of us eager to see Marvel branch out, but a potential WTF for those who take comfort in Marvel’s reliability and consistency.

So a new Guardians of the Galaxy featurette tries to encourage those in the latter camp to join the former. Producer Kevin Feige and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, and Bradley Cooper promise the film will “blow you away with how unique it is,” while still reassuring viewers that it’s part of the same old MCU. Watch it after the jump.

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