Starting with The Hangover, Todd Phillips has turned into a new cash cow for Warner Bros., with the two Hangover movies and Road Trip cumulatively earning more than a billion dollars worldwide. (The Hangover films are responsible for the bulk of that gross.) Not bad for a guy who makes absurd comedies.

Now WB has renewed its first-look deal with Phillips and his company Green Hat Films. And while they work on The Hangover Part III and prepare for the release of the Phillips-produced Project X, there are four other films that are possible directorial follow-ups for Phillips. Details are below. Read More »

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Infographic: Michael Bay’s Bayhem

Michael Bay is well-known for his use of explosions, helicopters, and sheer budgetary mayhem. But what is the breakdown, by movie, of the use of some of those factors? And which of the films managed to turn Bay’s excess into financial gain?

An infographic called The Formula for Complete and Utter Bayhem breaks it down. Check it out below. Read More »

Michael Bay may be best known as the guy who blows things up, but like any auteur, he’s got more than one signature move in his bag of tricks. Perhaps his second-favorite tool — after those big, loud, fantastically expensive explosions — is the slow-motion, low-angle, 360-degree shot. You know what I’m talking about: The character, who’s usually recovering from some earlier incident that’s landed him on the ground, looks off into the distance at something alarming and/or horrifying that we can’t see. As he comes to realize that shit has just gotten really real, the camera slowly revolves around him for dramatic effect.

This new supercut pulls together clips of Bay’s favorite shot while revealing what it is that has all these characters so riled up. (Hint: It’s another Bay staple.)

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Say what you will about Michael Bay, but he is a filmmaker who knows how to maximize the bang for the buck. He is often critisized for using too much product placement, which gives him millions of dollars more to play with than he would have otherwise had access to. In a film like The Island it is annoying and distracting, and in a film like Transformers: Dark of the Moon, its much less noticable (although David Chen was bothered more by the Cisco product placement).

Filmmakers often use stock footage to save money from traveling to capture an exterior of a city, house or location. Its a very common occurance which you likely never notice. Bay has used stock footage in most of films, sometimes borrowing shots from his earlier movies (here is an example from Transformers, a shot of an aircraft carrier that was borrowed from Pearl Harbor). My friend Alex from FirstShowing just pointed me to a clip on YouTube which shows that Bay recycled shots from an action sequence from The Island in Transformers: Dark of the Moon. I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think. Watch the clip after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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VOTD: A Brief History of Conspicuous Product Placement

With today’s DVR culture, product placement is becoming more and more prevalent. The only way for advertisers to get eyeballs on their products, since we fast-forward through the commercials, is for those products to actually be in the shows. It’s a fact of life and it can be infuriating. And when it happens in a movie, it can be even more infuriating. But also, sometimes, hilarious.

Filmdrunk has gone through some of your favorite, and least favorite, movies to find a bunch of the most ridiculously obvious instances of product placement and mashed it up all into one, nice little video. They even classed it up with some facts about the history of product placement in movies. For example, did you know that Fatty Arbuckle is credited with the first instance of product placement? Or that Michael Bay is the current king of it? Combining education, humor, and Nintendo’s Power Glove (“It’s so bad”), you’ve gotta check this out. Read More »

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