It’s a potent cocktail: money mixed liberally with delusions of grandeur. Recall, if you will, the name Clive Palmer. He’s the billionaire in Australia (at current conversion rates there’s not even a need to qualify him as a billionaire only in Australian dollars) who last year announced his plans to build a full-size, working Titanic replica of his very own. That announcement was followed by a report that Palmer was talking to sheep-cloning scientists with the idea of building his own Jurassic Park.
Palmer denied the JP report, and as far as commercial ideas go, the notion of a working Titanic replica is actually genius. He says he’s lined up thousands of people interested in a Titanic II voyage, and I believe it. It’s an expensive venture, and one loaded with serious risk — against capricious fate, if nothing else — but one which could make money.
Here’s where the crazy kicks in: now Palmer says he’s going to make two Titanic films. One will be a documentary about building the ship, which makes sense. The other is a dramatic film that he claims “should be a lot better movie” than Cameron’s Titanic. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, October 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
It’s a given that movie science needs to be taken with a big fat grain of salt, but even by those standards, some films seem to push the limits of implausibility more than others. And I’m not just talking about obvious nonsense like superpower-bestowing radioactive spider bites here.
So some science-minded folks are fighting back, playfully, by investigating and possibly debunking some of the crazier claims made by Hollywood. On NPR, pop culture’s favorite astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the viability (or lack thereof) of 007′s coolest gadgets, while over on Mythbusters, the hosts cast doubt on James Cameron‘s insistence that Jack had to die at the end of Titanic.
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Posted on Friday, September 14th, 2012 by Angie Han
Jack’s decision to let Rose take the plank at the end of Titanic was unquestionably a noble and romantic one. Unlike so many self-sacrificial heroes, however, he doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory. Instead, he huddles in the icy water and slowly freezes to death. His lady love, meanwhile, gets to sprawl out on her perch and gaze at the stars as she waits for help.
This spring’s 3D rerelease of Titanic inspired a fresh wave of grumbling from viewers convinced that Rose might’ve saved Jack, had she only been smart or generous enough to scoot over a few inches and allow Jack to board the life raft with her. Two fans even mapped out a to-scale outline of the plank and posed within it, definitively proving there was more than enough room for both to fit. But writer/director James Cameron says space was never the issue — their combined weight was. And he’s working with MythBusters to prove it.
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Even when James Cameron doesn’t have a new film in theaters, he’s not far from the headlines. This year saw the 3D re-release of his record-breaking 1997 success Titanic, which pushed the movie’s total gross over two billion dollars. Between that and Avatar, just two of Cameron’s movies have made him more of an economic power than many small countries.
With Titanic hitting DVD this week, Cameron is out stumping for the movie once again, and he’s being asked about his view of the film that challenged his earnings records earlier this summer: The Avengers. Read More »
Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Rob Legato has been involved in many Hollywood classics and blockbusters over the last two decades, including: Apollo 13, Titanic, Armageddon, Cast Away, Harry Potter, Bad Boys 2, The Aviator, The Departed, Avatar, and Hugo. Over the summer, Legato gave a TED talk entitled “The Art of Creating Awe” about how visual effects are used to recreate reality or sometimes even “trump the real thing”.
In the TED Talk, Legato shows us behind the scenes footage of how the movie magic was created, how he tries to recreate the idealized memory of a moment and not necessarily the reality of a moment We learn about the reaction from a NASA consultant who worked on Apollo 13 and legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin. We see how he seamlessly blended real footage of the Titanic with shots of miniature models, and how our brain is tricked into believing that its all real. And lastly, Legato shows how set size limitations on Martin Scorsese’s Hugo resulted in some creative choices: Moving the floor to create the illusion that the train was moving and combining a five different sets and a multitude of shots into the long “steadicam” shot from the beginning of the film.
In the wake of excitement over NASA’s mars rover Curiosity I recently revisited Apollo 13, and was amazed at how well the visual effects held up for a movie released 17 years ago. And after watching Legato’s TED Talk, I’m pretty sure most people watching the film today probably don’t even notice the visual effects. Watch Legato’s TED Talk embedded after the jump.
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Imagine what would happen if the 3D rerelease of Titanic was so profitable that James Cameron employed George Lucas, Michael Bay and JJ Abrams to create a Super 3D version of the film to give audiences an updated 4D experience. This is the premise of a funny youtube video which has been going viral this week. Watch it now embedded after the jump.
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Posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012 by Angie Han
Aside from the addition of 3D, this week’s rerelease of James Cameron‘s Titanic promises to be just as you remembered — unless, perhaps, you’re a bit of an astronomy geek. After prodding from astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, the director has made one small edit to his 1997 film concerning the star formation during the sinking of the ship. While most filmmakers probably wouldn’t concern themselves with such a seemingly minor detail, Cameron’s famed perfectionism compelled him to make the change. Read more after the jump.
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Posted on Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 by Angie Han
Briefly: As McG’s This Means War quietly slinks back from its Valentine’s Day debut to its original Friday opening, another, far more acclaimed romance is boldly shifting up a few days to a midweek opening. Paramount has moved the 3D release of James Cameron‘s Titanic up from Friday, April 6 to Wednesday, April 4, giving it a headstart on the Easter weekend box office.
Also opening that week are American Reunion and The Cold Light of Day, both slated for Friday. The Titanic re-release comes just over a week before the 100th anniversary of the actual sinking of the RMS Titanic, which occurred on the night of April 14-15, 1912. Titanic sees Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio playing… oh, you know the rest.
The historical drama isn’t the only picture Paramount has moved around lately. Back in 2008, Eddie Murphy reunited with his Norbit and Meet Dave director Brian Robbins for A Thousand Words, a comedy about a man who falls under a curse that allows him just one thousand words to speak before he dies. The film was savaged in test screenings (shocking) and sat on the shelf for years before finally getting a release date of January 2012, and then March 23, and then April 20. So what’s one more change? A Thousand Words is now set for March 9, where it will face off against Andrew Stanton’s John Carter and the Elizabeth Olsen-starring horror Silent House.
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