Billy Lynn 120 fps theaters

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was supposed to jumpstart a cinematic revolution, as the first mainstream feature film shot and released in 48 frames per second (as opposed to the usual 24 fps). Alas, it didn’t exactly work out that way, as audiences complained about the “soap opera effect” of the higher frame rate. Nevertheless, Ang Lee decided to double down on the technology, making Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk the first movie ever shot in 120 frames per second.

But there’s a very good chance you’ll never get to see it as Lee intended. Turns out there’ll be only about half a dozen theaters in the world, including two in the U.S., that are equipped to show the movie to its exacting, cutting-edge specifications: 120 fps, 3D, 4K resolution. Which may be for the best, based on the disastrous reactions to the film’s debut screening last weekend at the New York Film Festival.  Read More »

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Reviews

Last night brought the world premiere of Ang Lee’s latest film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Yesterday we happened to run a featurette exploring director Ang Lee‘s use of new technology that allowed the film to be shot at 120 frames per second (FPS). That’s a significantly higher frame rate than Peter Jackson’s experimental use of 48 FPS for The Hobbit trilogy, and it sounds like the reaction to this format from the first reviews of the movie is even more resistant than to that previous effort.

Most of the criticism from the first Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk reviews are with regards to the distracting presentation (which will end up not matter for general audiences, as we’ll explain at the end). But beyond that, it sounds like the film doesn’t bring anything else potentially groundbreaking to the table, offering another metaphor for our society to deal with in relation to war with some decent performances and occasionally beautiful visuals scattered throughout.

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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk - Joe Alwyn

As the new movie by Ang Lee, and an adaptation of a highly acclaimed bestselling novel to boot, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk would be one of our most anticipated movies of the fall no matter what. But the project’s been getting special attention for the way it was shot and is being presented: in 120 frames per second. For comparison, most movies are in 24 fps; Peter Jackson made a very unusual move when he shot The Hobbit in 48 fps.

So, what does that high frame rate do, exactly? In a new featurette, Lee and his cast members talk up the “immersive experience” of 120 fps. Plus, there’s a behind-the-scenes promo featuring NFL stars J.J. Watt and Richard Sherman, both of whom appear in the movie, and a more straightforward 30-second spot. Watch it all below.  Read More »

mulan director

With a 2018 release date already on the calendar, Disney’s live-action remake of Mulan is out to find a director. But not just any director. A new report indicates the studio would “ideally” like to hire an Asian filmmaker for the job. In fact, they’ve already approached Ang Lee, although he has since turned them down. Meanwhile, the competition is on a similar mission: Sony also has a Mulan picture in the works, and is also looking to find an Asian director to take the reins. Read More »


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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk teaser trailer

Sony Pictures has unveiled the first teaser trailer for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkAng Lee‘s drama about a squad of soldiers who are brought home from Iraq for a victory tour around the U.S. Much has been made about Lee’s groundbreaking use of 120 fps to heighten the realism of the war flashbacks, but the present day unfolds at a Thanksgiving Day football game, where the soldiers are to be honored in a glitzy halftime show.

“It is sort of weird being honored for the worst day of your life,” observes Billy (played by newcomer Joe Alwyn), and that’s this movie in a nutshell — it exists in the dizzying space between our sentimental celebration of the troops, and the harsh realities they face every day. Watch the Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Ang Lee directing Life of Pi

Four years after the technically audacious, jaw-droppingly gorgeous Life of PiAng Lee is back this fall with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Based on the novel by Ben Fountain, the modern wartime drama follows a squad of heroic American soldiers brought home for a victory tour culminating in a showy appearance at the Thanksgiving Day game. Get your Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk first look below.  Read More »

Ang Lee directing Life of Pi

A few years ago, James Cameron started touting higher frame rates — 48 or 60 frames per second instead of the industry-standard 24 — as the future of cinema. “If watching a 3D movie is like looking through a window, then [with this] we’ve taken the glass out of the window and we’re staring at reality,” he boasted at ShoWest 2011. Then we finally got our first look at an actual feature film shot and projected in 48 fps in 2012 in the form of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The results were spectacularly underwhelming, and the so-called “cinematic revolution” stalled before it even began.

But maybe it’s finally time to give the high frame rate thing another go. This year, Ang Lee brings to screens the first feature film ever shot in 120 frames per second, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The first footage from the Iraq War drama screened at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show this past weekend, and attendees have begun sharing their impressions of the film itself and the higher frame rate.  Read More »

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2 Trailer

Fans of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon weren’t thrilled when they got their first look at its sequel, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny. Like Ang Lee‘s picture, the sequel is based on a five-part series, written by Wang Dulu. Despite going back to the source material, plenty of fans labeled the sequel a cheap cash grab.

The Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon 2 reviews are in, and most critics are still calling the film a cash grab.

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Thrilla in Manila Movie

It’s been a couple of years since we heard about Ang Lee‘s 3D boxing drama that was said to focus on the boxing world in the 1960s and 1970s, when heavyweights like Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier ruled the ring and grabbed people’s attention. The project was set up at Universal, but ended up taking a backseat so Lee could direct Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk instead.

Now the project has life again, this time at Jeff Robinov’s Studio 8, and Lee is already scouting locations for the project. He also has an eye on two stars to play Frazier and Ali. Find out who they are after the jump. Read More »

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sam mendes interviews

Director Sam Mendes is guest-editing next month’s issue of Empire and he really delivered the goods. He could have easily just coasted on this gig and used his temporary position to just remind people that Spectre is coming out on November 6th, but instead, he rounded up a bunch of Hollywood’s biggest and most respected directors and asked them simple questions about their filmmaking process. The answers are fascinating.

To check out some highlights from the Sam Mendes interviews, hit the jump.

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