maze runner panoramic

A new panoramic process, the modern version of Cinerama, is on the immediate horizon. The ultra-wide screen projection process Cinerama had a brief heyday in the ’50s, when the 146° arc of the Cinerama screen was one of several challenges to television mounted by studios and theater owners. Now, giant-screen exhibition is limited to IMAX, a few dome projections, and special event setups such as the Warner Bros. domination of Hall H at Comic Con, where fully half the hall was wrapped in projection screens.

A company called Barco is now pushing a display tech it calls Escape, in which two additional screens are positioned on either side of a primary cinema screen to create a panoramic image. Now, the first Escape auditoriums are being finished, and The Maze Runner will be the first film to take advantage of them, starting September 19.  Read More »

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star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope-original

You would need an encyclopedia to know how many different versions of the original Star Wars Trilogy are out there. From obvious changes made to create the Special Editions, or the addition of “Episode IV” to the first film, to more subtle ones like color correction or audio tweaks, there are dozens of different versions of each film. All fans want, though, are the original negatives, with no “special” additions, but corrections to make them look and sound as good as modern technology will allow.

Unfortunately, that’s probably never going to happen because of rights issues and George Lucas’ wishes. So a group of fans made the Star Wars Despecialized Edition, a painstaking project that’s still in progress. The Despecialized Edition removes all the additions and tweaks slathered onto the films over the years, while simultaneously upgrading the sound and picture to modern standards. The results are pretty incredible and a new featurette shows the jaw-dropping changes and work put into the project. Read More »

Nolan film deal

Film ain’t dead. It is having a hard time, but that combination of polyester and emulsion that records light with such a warm, natural “feel” still has its adherents. And those acolytes, including major movie industry players such as Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, and J.J. Abrams, are doing their bit to maintain an active business relationship between studios and Kodak.

Now, dealmaking revelations show that studios, pushed in part by the filmmakers named above, have made a deal with Kodak to purchase a certain amount of film each year, allowing film stock production to continue. Read More »

Hunger Games MockingJay header

Don’t worry fans, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 is in fact coming to San Diego Comic-Con. It’s just also coming to a mobile device near you, and your local Best Buy, all at the same time.

While the film won’t be presented in Hall H (probably because the cast has been filming for six months straight) it will have a presence both on the show floor and outside. The highlight is the first full trailer for the film, which opens November 21, will premiere Friday July 25 at the Samsung Experience outside the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. If you aren’t at the event though, you can head to select Best Buys on July 26 to see the trailer and enter for a chance to get free tickets. It’ll probably end up online too.

Read the full Hunger Games Mockingjay Comic Con press release below. Read More »

xbox entertainment studios closes

A year and a half ago it looked like Microsoft was really going to take the plunge into developing Netflix-style original content. The company hired a former CBS exec, Nancy Tellem, to lead the Xbox Entertainment Studios division, and announced a live-action Halo series produced by Steven Spielberg. Now, Microsoft has killed off Xbox Entertainment Studios, and in so doing is all but abandoning the plan to create original content for Xbox Live.

Read More »

Star Wars Episode 7 script reading

We thought it might be true, but Twitter and IMAX have now made it official. J.J. Abrams is shooting Star Wars Episode VII in IMAX. See the proof below. Read More »

The Sound of ‘How To Train Your Dragon 2′

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2 is so awesome. It’s everything you want in a big summer blockbuster. Action, romance, surprises, suspense, yet for some reason it hasn’t struck a cultural chord like many people expected it to. However, it’s not over yet for Hiccup and Toothless.

In its second week at the box office, the film crossed $100 million domestic and will pass $200 worldwide later in its third week. Plus, it was the number one movie on a daily basis in its second week. That indicates staying power. Sure that’ll change thanks to Optimus Prime and the gang but there’s still plenty of time for film goers looking for a dynamite time at the movies to find How to Train Your Dragon 2, a beautiful and rewarding movie in every way.

And when I say “in every way” I mean that. The Soundworks Collection has done a video detailing the sound work in the film. It’s great watch to see some of the small details that can regularly go unnoticed in a film of this size and scope. Read More »

4dx

The first 4DX movie theater in the United States opened in Los Angeles last weekend. Located in theater 6 at the Regal Cinemas LA Live in Downtown LA, the 104-seat theater books one first-run 3D movie at a time, and augments the showing with real-world physical effects. Those effects are the fourth dimension.

So, timed with the movie, you basically experience a theme park ride. Your seat rumbles and moves around, water squirts, there’s smoke, flashing lights, lumbar effects, gusting wind, even scents. The presentation admirably tries to bring the viewer into the movie.

Michael Bay‘s Transformers: Age of Extinction was the first film to play in the format here, so Peter Sciretta and myself were given a nearly three hour 4DX experience. This was great in that we were privy to the full slate of 4DX effects, but the film also became a tasking mental and physical exercise. Below, we present a video blog about the experience, along with a bunch of photos and a brief rundown of how Transformers: Age of Extinction translates into 4DX. Read More »

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