VOTD: The Evolution of CGI Faces in Movies

CGI Faces in Movies

Visual effects in movies have advanced in a spectacular way in the relatively short history of cinema. What once was thought to be impossible to create in post-production has become a mainstay in blockbuster tentpoles. More recently, visual effects companies have become quite skilled in creating human faces entirely with computer generated imagery, and a new video essay shows us how this part of movie magic has evolved in a small window of time.

Watch the evolution of CGI faces in movies after the jump. Read More »

What Are the Most Pirated Movies of 2015?

Furious 7

Generally speaking, studios, filmmakers, and stars are happy to see their films land on awards shortlists or critics’ top 10s. But then there are the lists they’d probably rather not be on, like this one of the most pirated movies of 2015.

To be sure, most of these movies did just fine even without the pirates’ box-office dollars. This year’s #2, Furious 7, was a favorite of pirates basically from the moment it opened, and it still managed to set records. (Records which were later broken by Jurassic World and then Star Wars, but never mind that.) Still, it’s gotta be annoying to think of all the money they didn’t make because some people didn’t feel like paying. Especially since a couple of these titles could’ve used that extra boost. Find out what the most pirated movies of 2015 are after the jump.

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Final Cut 2015

The first year-end retrospective video mashing up a whole slew of movies from this past year just arrived earlier this week with the 2015 Salute to Cinema. Now a friend of the site has come through with his usual look back at the year in cinema with Final Cut 2015, and this is well worth your eight minutes. The way some of the movies blend into each other, especially how Furious 7 meshes with Inside Out and Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation makes this feel like a trailer for some kind of mega movie. Read More »

15 Movies to Be Thankful For This Year

movies to be thankful for header

Come Thursday, many of us, like many of you, will find ourselves around a dinner table with our distant relatives, reflecting on what we’re grateful for in our lives. But before we get to that, we thought we’d take a moment to think about the films we’re thankful for this year.

This isn’t a list of our favorite films of the year, or the best films of the year (though some of them are that, too). These are the films that surprised us, that gave us something we didn’t even know we needed, that seemingly willed themselves into being against all odds, or that just made us really, really happy. After the jump, join us in looking back at the movies to be thankful for in 2015, and then hit the comments to let us know which films you’re grateful for.

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Paul Walker Furious 7

It’s kind of a miracle Furious 7 turned out so well. After the tragic loss of actor Paul Walker, nobody knew where that left the unfinished film. Would it be reshot? Scrapped altogether? In the end, Universal, director James Wan (The Conjuring), and all involved worked with Weta to finish Paul Walker’s scenes. Read more about how they did it after the jump. Read More »

Furious 7 Honest Trailer

It’s crazy to believe that we’re seven movies into what started as a throwaway action franchise back in 2001. We’ve gone from The Fast and the Furious to just Furious 7 over the span of 14 years, and a new Honest Trailer wastes no time making fun of the ever-changing title format that seems to be happening for no good reason.

Furious 7 is a big dumb action movie, but it’s also a hell of a lot of fun, and it brings with it a decent amount of heart this time since it’s the final ride for co-star Paul Walker. It does, however, seem to fit into the same mold as the others in that every single movie is the last mission for these guys, and yet they keep coming back for more. Watch the Furious 7 Honest Trailer below! Read More »

How Did This Get Made? Furious 7 (An Oral History)

Furious 7

Fast Cars + Furious Stunts = How Did This Get Made?!?!

This is that story behind the stunts of the 5th highest grossing movie of all time: FURIOUS 7.

Given the box-office success of Fast & Furious 6 ($788 million worldwide), it’s not too difficult to figure out how Furious 7 got made. But there is, however, one thing that does immediately jump out about the making of this film: the staggering number of stunt performers—over 150 in total—that it required to complete this movie.

This is a story about two of those stunt performers—who just so happen to be married to each other—about the film’s two stunt coordinators—who also happen to be brothers—and about the brilliant mad scientist at the center of it all…

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Furious 7 deleted scene

For anyone who would like to argue against the idea that the Fast & Furious films are successful because they graft action movie setpieces to soap opera story concepts, I point to the Michelle Rodriguez character Letty Ortiz as Exhibit A.

So many classic soap opera plot ideas have been applied to Letty over the past four films that she’s basically a Cliffs Notes for any daytime TV series with the gumption to be on the air in 2015. Why watch Days of Our Lives now? Just check out Letty’s character arc, which has a bunch of car chases and punching as a bonus.

In the seventh film, Letty tries to deal with her amnesia (amnesia!) by running off to find her memories. She disappears from the movie for a while, but at least one scene was shot to show where Letty went. You can watch that Furious 7 deleted scene below, complete with a bonus appearance from Gal Gadot! Spoilers ahead for half of the films series, by the way. Read More »

HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS – PART 2

It’s not every big-budget action movie that can reduce an entire audience of grownups to tears, but Furious 7 did just that with its closing Paul Walker sendoff. Director James Wan got a huge assist on that front from Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth in the form of “See You Again,” a melancholy tune which has been making the rounds all summer.

Now the song’s even made its way to Hogwarts, sort of. A fan video sets the (surprisingly numerous) deaths of the Harry Potter franchise to Khalifa and Puth’s hit, and we just dare you not to choke up a bit. Watch the Harry Potter Furious 7 tribute video after the jump.  Read More »

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2015 Golden Trailer Awards Winners Revealed

Furious-7

The 16th Annual Golden Trailer Awards took place last night at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, California. Universal Pictures/AV Squad’s Furious 7 “Family” campaign won the Best of Show Prize and the award for Best Action, just 2 of the 78 different awards given by the annual award show (only 20 of the top awards are handing out at the live awards ceremony).

Universal Pictures (alongside Focus Features) was the winner of the night taking home 15 Golden Trailer Awards, followed by Warner Bros. (with HBO) which earned 11 wins, while Disney and Lionsgate earned 9 statues each. Of all the films that took home golden statues, American Sniper and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 tied for the most wins, each scoring 5 separate categories. Read a complete list of 2015 Golden Trailer Awards winners after the jump.
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