There are a lot of complaints about over-reliance on CG in Hollywood films, and some of those gripes are on point. Films that go overboard with computer-generated creatures and digital doubles can quickly increase the distance between an audience and the story, rather than bridging it.
But a great many films use CG in ways that most audiences never think about while a film runs. Take Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street. When Jordan Belfort goes to London to recruit Aunt Emma for a scheme, there’s a simple shot of Leonardo DiCaprio and Joanna Lumley walking into a flat. Think what’s on screen is what was shot on the day? Not really.
Or take the walk along a scenic quay, as seen above. The final shot is almost entirely a digital composite. Same for the white-collar prison where Jordan Belfort ends up, seen in a big crane-shot pullback. For even the most FX-savvy audiences, there are probably a couple shots in the film that didn’t ping as digital creations. Check out the great reel below. Read More »
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Posted on Tuesday, January 7th, 2014 by Angie Han
No year in cinema ever shapes up exactly the way we’d expect. In fact, it’d be boring if one did. Still, when faced with the promise of a whole new year of movies, I can’t help try and predict which ones I’ll love or hate. I put my best guesses in list form last year, and I did it again this year.
Now, in the spirit of journalistic integrity (or, less charitably, critical solipsism), it’s time for me to look back at my most anticipated films of 2013 and see just how reality measured up to expectation. Hit the jump to see how great or terrible I was at guessing what’d be my favorite films of 2013.
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Posted on Friday, January 3rd, 2014 by Angie Han
Following SAG and the PGA, the Writers Guild of America has just unveiled its list of nominees for the 2014 nominees. For anyone who’s been watching the awards race, the list won’t contain many surprises. The WGA likes American Hustle and Dallas Buyers Club just as much as everyone else does. Additionally, several of the most notable absences can be chalked up to disqualifications. 12 Years a Slave, considered a favorite for the Best Picture Oscar, was deemed ineligible, as was Golden Globe nominee Philomena.
One that did qualify but failed to secure a nomination nonetheless was the Coens’ Inside Llewyn Davis, which similarly struck out with both SAG and the PGA. And one unexpected outcome was a nomination for Peter Berg’s Lone Survivor, which hasn’t come up in too many awards seasons conversations as of yet.
Hit the jump to read the full list.
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Posted on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 by Angie Han
The Wolf of Wall Street is all about obscene excess in every vice imaginable. Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his associates do more blow, screw more hookers, toss around more money, and piss on more legal documents than most of us could ever dream of.
So it only makes sense that they’d be more profane than just about everyone else, as well. As it turns out, The Wolf of Wall Street has more utterances of the f-word than any other non-documentary film in cinema history. Find out just how many fucks it gives, as well as which films it had to beat out to get there.
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Over the past few weeks, and for the next few months, discussions will center on the best films of 2013. I did a list, the /Filmcast did a list and innumerable others will do the same leading up to the moment the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences crowns their best film of the year with the Best Picture Oscar.
But what do even bigger audiences think? Many film fans don’t have a blog, paper or podcast to spout off on. Many of those people turn to the Internet Movie Database to vote on the films they loved best in any given year. Now, the IMDB has published their top 50 films of 2013 according to over 10,000 users. Check it out below. Read More »
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The biggest debate over Martin Scorsese‘s current hit The Wolf of Wall Street hasn’t been its quality. Its been its ethics. The film shows stockbrokers lead by Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) abusing the legal and financial systems to ridiculous gain, only to blow it all on lavish possessions and parties. Some have said the film glorifies these actions. Others, and I’m in this camp, think it paints Belfort as a terrible person and ends up being a harsh criticism of America’s economic character.
Another reason for the controversy is the film features a cameo by Belfort himself, a convicted criminal and informant who is presumably profiting from both the movie and increased sales of his book on which Scorsese’s film is based. Since Belfort has failed to make the restitution payments mandated by his 2003 conviction — he’s got almost $100m to go — that’s been a huge sticking point for some.
However, Belfort has taken to social media to explain where his new money is going. While he will profit from the film, all of the money is being turned over to the government as continuted restitution for his years of criminal activity.
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Martin Scorsese‘s new film, The Wolf of Wall Street, is turning into one of the biggest firebrands of late 2013 as it provokes conversations about glorification versus excoriation of the film’s central character, and about our national obsession with getting rich. You won’t see too much of that in the official marketing, which is aimed squarely at getting across how much fun these characters have screwing people over. But it’s still there, and then when Scorsese and his collaborators have a chance to talk about the material it all starts to come out. Below we’ve got a couple official behind the scenes fluff pieces, and a couple of longer interviews that are much more in-depth. Read More »
Looking back on 2013, it’s hard to spot one overriding trend other than “great.” Like any other year, the superhero movies, sequels, adaptations and remakes were present, but most of them were disposable and forgettable. The greatness in 2013, not surprisingly, was from the original and unexpected movies. Films born out of the mind of talented, creative people which were executed to delightful and sometimes heartbreaking perfection. Those unique wonders of cinema make up the majority of my top films of the year, but don’t fret. There are some adaptations and sequels on there too. It’s a list that hopefully represents 2013 as one of the best in recent memory.
Over the course of the year, I saw almost 150 films that had theatrical releases. Below you can read about my ten favorites. Read More »
The thought of interviewing Rob Reiner is daunting. As a director, he’s responsible for some of the most popular and influential films of the past thirty years. Films like This Is Spinal Tap, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride and Stand By Me. As an actor, he started his career on one of television’s most important shows of all time (All In The Family). Now he’s part of Martin Scorsese‘s impressive ensemble in The Wolf Of Wall Street, playing Max Belfort, father of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio).
That’s a lot of history and talent wrapped up in one man, so when I spoke to Reiner I focused on what his directorial expertise tells him about Scorsese, what it was like being one of three directors who act in the film and how his latest two films, Flipped and The Magic of Belle Isle, inform his current view of the Hollywood landscape. Read the full interview below. Read More »