Slow Motion in Movies

Slow motion is used so often today that it’s easy to forget that filmmakers use it as a storytelling tool beyond making action simply look cool. A new video essay dives into the art of slow motion in film by showing how various directors like Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma and more use the tool in different ways.

Learn about how these directors use slow motion in movies after the jump. Read More »

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1998 The Avengers oral history

In June 1987, in an interview for The New York Times, Stanley Kubrick spoke glowingly about a series of Michelob beer commercials.

“They’re just boy-girl, night-fun,” Kubrick praised, “leading up to pouring the beer, all in 30 seconds, beautifully edited and photographed. Economy of statement is not something that films are noted for.”

That piece published on a Sunday. The following day—after interested parties tracked down who was responsible for these spots—the phone of fashion photographer turned commercial director Jeremiah Chechik started rining off the hook.

Living up to that hype, Jeremiah Chechik’s first feature, Christmas Vacation, dazzled at the box office. Over the next decade, Chechik continued to rise up the ranks, establishing himself as a profitable director and, perhaps as importantly, a director known to work well with actors and the studios. Which is why, in the mid-‘90s, he was tapped by Warner Bros. to direct a $60 million summer action film based on a popular ‘60’s British TV show called The Avengers. With a stellar cast (Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman and Sean Connery) a legendary producer (Jerry Weintraub) and a top-tier British screenwriter (Don Macpherson), The Avengers seemed like a can’t miss film.

Unfortunately though, it missed the mark by a wide margin and drastically changed the trajectory of Jeremiah Chechik’s career. But what, at first, may have looked like a fall from grace wound up leading Chechik to terrific success in another medium. To find out what went wrong and then, ultimately, what went right, we spoke with the talented filmmaker and took a stroll down memory lane…

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Cary

Update From Editor Peter Sciretta: The Hollywood Reporter confirms the rumors that filmmaker Cary Fukunaga is in talks to direct Stanley Kubrick’s abandoned passion project Napoleon, with David Leland writing the miniseries for HBO. Jack Giroux’s original story from May 18th 2016 follows.

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The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in February 2016

armageddon

Unless Dirty Grandpa tickled you to tears this past weekend, you probably consider this another “dump month” January. While plenty of December releases are still killing it at the box office and there’s still time to catch up on the major Award nominees, it’s more likely that you’ve been stuck with your streaming options these past few weeks. There’s no shortage of quality movies on Netflix, and a few more notable titles are coming to the streaming service soon.

Find out the best movies coming to Netflix in February 2016 after the jump.

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Artificial Intelligence video essay

While some movies are immediately beloved and acclaimed, destined to be one of the films we talk about every year for decades, others come and go without much pomp and circumstance. One of those movies seems to have been A.I. Artificial Intelligence, the former Stanley Kubrick project that was completed by Steven Spielberg and released in 2001.

The film certainly wasn’t a dud, but it wasn’t universally acclaimed either. At the time, Rotten Tomatoes wasn’t used as a reference point for the quality of a movie, but retrospectively, it has a 73%, which is a decent score for such a dense, wandering sci-fi fairytale of sorts.

Over the years, as the film has gotten older, some critics and bloggers have revisited the film, finding it to even improve with age and reexamination. And that’s just what a new video has done, examining the film in a 15-minute visual study. Watch the Artificial Intelligence video essay after the jump! Read More »

Stanley Kubrick

Sixteen years after Stanley Kubrick‘s death, a new Stanley Kubrick project is on the way. Marc Forster is set to helm The Downslope, from an unproduced screenplay written by Kubrick in 1956. The plan right now is to turn The Downslope into a trilogy. More details on the Stanley Kubrick Downslope movie after the jump.  Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Grand Overlook Hotel

At first, you might think that directors Wes Anderson and Stanley Kubrick don’t have much in common. Their films couldn’t be on more opposite ends of the spectrum. However, Steve Ramsden used the similarity in the way Anderson and Kubrick frame shots as a reference point to create The Grand Overlook Hotel, a truly incredible mash-up of The Shining and The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Watch The Grand Overlook Hotel after the jump! Read More »

Disney's TOMORROWLAND World's Fair  Ph: Film Frame ©Disney 2015

Brad Bird‘s Tomorrowland is a celebration of dreamers and thinkers of all kinds. A few famous dreamers and thinkers, like Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Jules Verne, even make it into the film in a roundabout way. And originally, there was at least one more that Bird wanted to include.

The filmmaker reveals he initially had plans to include a Stanley Kubrick cameo in an early scene set at the 1964 World’s Fair. Hit the jump for more on the Tomorrowland Stanley Kubrick cameo that never was.  Read More »

oscar isaac Ex Machina

Fans love to complain that good sci-fi isn’t released any longer. Alex Garland‘s Ex Machina, however, is good sci-fi. The passage of time may even turn it into great sci-fi. The film stars Oscar Isaac as Nathan, a billionaire savant who created a fictional analog to Google. He invites Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), one of his employees, to his secluded home in order to test a new piece of technology. That technology is a beautiful, mysterious, artificially intelligent robot named Ava (Alicia Vikander)

After that setup, the film is very careful about letting us know what is really going on. Caleb, Nathan and Ava all seemingly have their own agendas in a very tense, very exciting sci-fi story that surprises from the first moment to the last.

We were lucky enough to speak to Isaac about this great movie. He discussed how he shaped such a fascinating, yet seemingly familiar character, creating tension on set, the influences on the character – including Stanley Kubrick – and, of course, some discussion of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and X-Men Apocalypse.

There are no spoilers here. We’ll post those after opening weekend. For now, read our Oscar Isaac Ex Machina interview. Read More »