/Filmcast Ep. 218 – Side Effects

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Dave, Adam, and Devindra discuss why Flight is a failure, explain why Community is a shell of its former self, and list their most anticipated films of 2013.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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With just days to go until Oscar nominations are announced, the Writers Guild of America has unveiled its list of nominees for their top screenplay awards. As expected, many of these are films that have picked up plenty of accolades already. It’ll surprise no one to see that Zero Dark ThirtyMoonrise Kingdom, and Lincoln are among the contenders. But they’ve made room for some more offbeat choices as well, including LooperPerks of Being a Wallflower, and The Master. (Jason Reitman should be pleased.) Hit the jump to see the list.

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In this episode, Dave, Devindra, and Adam chat about the spate of hot new sci-fi film trailers, lament the preachiness of Flight, and get really troubled by Compliance. Special guest Joanna Robinson joins us from Pajiba. Be sure to check out the bad language in Lincolnthe science of high framerates, and how Tolkein retconned his own books.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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This morning Megan Fox, Ed Helms, and Jessica Alba announced the nominations for the 2013 Golden Globes. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the organization behind the event, is famous for nominating films and performances simply based on their star factor — if there’s an actor that members of the HFPA want to hang out with, they’re sure to get a nomination.

But the HFPA is great at putting on a show, and so the Golden Globes generate a lot of attention every year. And, as the NY Times points out, with the Globes nominations coming just days before Oscar nomination voting starts, there’s a possibility that nominations here could affect Oscar voting. The Best Picture nomination set includes what is already becoming a standard set of awards favorites, such as Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty, but there are also nominations for Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, and Django Unchained. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen picked up a few nominations, actually, which was one of  the big surprises.

The Golden Globes will air on January 13, 2013, hosted by Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The full nomination list is below. Read More »

Why wait for DVD? The “bonus features” on many older DVD releases (and laserdiscs, for the ’90s folks) pale in comparison to some of the effects breakdowns and other filmmaking explanations that are available in video form all over the internet. The entire internet is now a cache of info about the creation of films, even as they’re in theaters.

So here are a few choice bits of info. One is an effects overview for Robert Zemeckis‘ new film, Flight, in which a drunk pilot played by Denzel Washington narrowly pilots a plane away from certain doom. The featurette goes into some of the general effects used for the film, before detailing that crash sequence. You might be surprised at how much practical photography was used to create the views of the inside of the plane during that sequence.

Then there’s a piece on Dredd, and just as parts of Flight required extensive digital alteration or augmentation to present the view the filmmakers wanted, Dredd digitally altered the landscape of Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa to generate the film’s sprawling Mega-City One. FInally, get some details on how a real Aston Martin was preserved for Skyfall, even as the filmmakers had a real product to damage. Read More »

Odds are if you’ve been to the movies in the past four weeks, you saw Wreck-It Ralph, Argo, Flight or Skyfall. They’re the top four movies at the box office at the moment and each have their own merits. One is great family fare with fun geeky spin. The next is a taut thriller in the mold of old Hollywood. The third is a well-done, but slightly preachy, character study and the last one is a crowd-pleasing addition to an action-packed franchise.

Basically, the current wide releases having something for everyone. Each is very distinctive, and if you’ve seen any of them, videos about each title, from the SoundWorks Collection, are a must see. The fantastic site has posted very cool videos on all four films, detailing their sound mix, scores and more. Check them out below. Read More »

Since getting into filmmaking over thirty years ago, Robert Zemeckis has had an incredible career. He’s tackled multiple genres, won Oscars, written some of the most revered films ever and then, after about twenty years, he took a dramatic turn. Zemeckis began making films with a new technology called performance capture and experienced great success. Exploring in the playground of animation, and advancing a technology in its infancy, confirmed his innovative tendencies, but some argued that it began to overshadow his talent for storytelling.

That talent is back on display in Flight, Zemeckis’ first live action film in over a decade. It’s about an airline pilot named Whip (Denzel Washington) who lands a distressed plane while intoxicated. Is is a hero? A drunk? Can he be both? The film asks lots of complicated questions with not always complicated answers. Still, it’s filled with intense moments, emotional resonance, and plenty of surprises for the audience.

One thing that’s not a surprise is that Zemeckis has still got it, and that talent is well on display in several minutes of B-roll footage that’s been released. Check it out below. Read More »

An Oscar-winner for Forrest Gump and director of some of our favorite movies, it’s hard to imagine that Robert Zemeckis hasn’t made a live-action film in over a decade. Then, the year was 2000, and the film was Cast Away. Though the director of Back to the Future, Contact, and Used Cars has found some of his greatest commercial success in the last twelve years, all the films have used motion capture. Despite any financial success, however, The Polar Express, Beowulf and A Christmas Carol never quite satisfied the older Zemeckis fans who yearned for him to get out of the computer and back into the real world.

He’s finally doing that with Flight, an intimate, challenging character study about a pilot (Denzel Washington) who lands a crashing plane while drunk. More than a return to live-action, it’s a return to maturity for Zemeckis, as it’s his first R-rated movie in some time, complete with foul language, nudity, and drug use. It opens November 9.

Speaking at this weekend’s press junket for Flight, Zemeckis said while fans might see his career as having taken a detour, he doesn’t see it that way. Read his quote and discuss after the jump. Read More »

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