Derek Cianfrance‘s next film, The Place Beyond the Pines, won’t land in theaters for another couple of weeks. But in the meantime, we have another new work of his for you right here.

The Blue Valentine director was hired by Dick’s Sporting Goods to put together this ad titled “Every Pitch,” about the high-pressure moment between two pitches in a tied baseball game. What’s striking about it is that it feels less like a big-budget retail ad and more like a scene from one of his natural, humanistic dramas. Check it out after the jump.

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Video game fans are well-aware that Halo 4 is hitting stores November 6. It’s the gaming equivalent of The Dark Knight Rises or The Avengers being released: a guaranteed blockbuster with huge, mass appeal across multiple mediums. The difference is Halo 4 will probably gross more because it costs $60 a pop instead of $15. But unlike the standard practice of popular movies being turned into video games, popular video games don’t always get turned into movies. Halo in particular has a long, storied history of  filmmakers trying to make it to the big screen. To date, it hasn’t happened.

Today, we get a huge live-action version of Halo in commercial form. Oscar-nominated director David Fincher has produced a TV spot for the game, directed by Tim Miller, the creative director of Blur Studios, who helped Fincher on the title sequence to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It the latest in a long history of Halo commercials getting a Hollywood upgrade.

Check out the commerical, when delves into the past of Master Chief, after the jump. Read More »

I’m not sure we’ll ever get a live-action movie adaptation of Halo, but the advertising world has been doing a good job of showing us what it could look like. Neill Blomkamp (District 9) was the first to realize the game in live action in a short film which also served as a test for a Halo movie that never got made. Rupert Sanders (Snow White and The Huntsman) directed a spot for Halo 3 and more recently Halo 3: ODST. Israeli commercial director Noam Murro (Smart People) did some spots for Halo: Reach.

At E3 2012, Microsoft revealed a new must-see live-action Halo trailer for Halo 4 directed by Danish commercial director and former photo journalist Nicolai Fuglsig.

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I don’t even know where to begin with today’s extra-packed edition of TV Bits, so let’s just… begin. After the jump:

  • Olivia Wilde will return for the House finale
  • IFC renews Portlandia for a third season
  • Doctor Who casts its new companion
  • 30 Rock plans to do another live episode
  • Wes Anderson teases a new TV commercial
  • January Jones’ pregnancy means less Betty
  • A first look at the Sex and the City prequel

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There are things it makes sense for Darren Aronofsky to direct. All of his films, obviously. PSAs for young people about the dangers of meth use. A steamy fragrance ad featuring his Black Swan star Vincent Cassel. Possibly even a music video for the unholy union of Lou Reed and Metallica. Nowhere on this list is an upbeat Kohl’s ad for Jennifer Lopez‘s apparel, home, and accessories line, and yet here we are.

This isn’t an insult to Aronofsky, Lopez, Kohl’s, the handsome backup dancers, or anyone else involved with this commercial, by the way. Titled “Classic. Remixed,” the commercial is actually a fun, poppy little video that shows off J.Lo’s considerable dance skills against her cover of Kiki Dee Band’s “I Got the Music in Me.” But who’d ever have expected these two to meet, let alone collaborate? Watch the ad after the jump.

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Commercial director Carl Erik Rinsch‘s big screen debut 47 Ronin won’t hit theaters until November 2012, but he somehow found time to shoot a new short film/commercial for Mercedes-Benz during the film’s post production period.

Rinsch’s commercials show an amazing sense of imagination, visual effects artistry and composition. We’ve profiled his amazing commercials on the site, more than once. You might recall that Rinsch was originally tapped to direct a prequel/remake of Alien, before Fox convinced Ridley Scott to helm the project himself. Rinsch’s futuristic action thriller short film The Gift quickly spread around the internet, sparking a bidding war to turn the short film into a feature. Before his first film is even finished, Rinsch has become one of the most in demand director’s in new Hollywood — his name seems to appear on every other big tentpole short list these days.

“Escape The Map” is set inside the computer world — a virtually-rendered Hong Kong. It looks like something like what I imagine Rinsch would’ve have pitched for Tron: Legacy — the result looks kind of a mash-up of The Matrix and Inception. Mariah Bonner plays Marie, someone who finds herself and her C 63 AMG Coupé trapped inside Google Streetview. The short also features music created by Oscar-winning composer Atticus Ross‘ (The Social Network) company 1159.

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Watch Four Terrifying Anti-Meth PSAs by Darren Aronofsky

Given that Requiem for a Dream is among the most horrifying portrayals of drug addiction to ever hit the big screen, it seems only natural that an organization aimed at reducing first-time meth use would turn to filmmaker Darren Aronofsky to direct their new series of public service announcements. In fact, the only surprising thing about that team-up is that it’s taken this long for the anti-drug people to enlist Aronofsky’s help — Requiem was released over a decade ago.

But it’s better late than never, because Aronofsky absolutely delivers here. If his four videos for the Meth Project are slightly less disturbing than Requiem, it’s probably just because at 30 seconds each, they’re only a fraction as long.

I should also warn you that while I don’t think these are technically NSFW — there’s no nudity or cursing — they’re pretty distressing, so use your best judgment if you’re watching these around other people. Videos are embedded after the jump.

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If ever a video game franchise begged for the blessing of action director Michael Bay, Need for Speed would be it. The title could almost be a subtitle for the man behind Bad Boys, The Rock and Transformers and now he’s directed his first video game trailer for the franchise’s latest game. Need for Speed: The Run will be released November 15 and centers on a cross country race where the winner gets $25 million and everyone else dies. Bay’s trailer is comprised completely of in game footage and highlights the game’s two lead voices, Never Back Down‘s Sean Faris and Mad Men‘s Christina Hendricks, as well as massive action set pieces.

After the jump, see Bay’s take on racing video games as well as a behind the scenes video of the master of Bayhem himself. Read More »

Harmony Korine has built up quite a reputation as a polarizing cult filmmaker (writer of Kids, writer/director of Gummo, Mister Lonely, Trash Humpers), but that hasn’t stopped him from doing quite well for himself in the relatively safe world of commercials. Among his past high-profile clients are Budweiser, Liberty Mutual, and Axe. His latest commercial effort sees him teaming up with high-end fashion line Proenza Schouler for a four-minute short titled Snowballs, featuring the brand’s Southwestern-flavored Fall 2011 collection. Although Snowballs won’t drop til next week, we’ve got an exclusive look at two posters for the film that suggest something artsy, colorful, and hopefully a little twisted. Check ’em out after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Darren Aronofsky‘s original plan was to follow up Black Swan with The Wolverine. Instead, he chose Luscious Plumping Mascara. Aronofsky’s second directing gig (he did a Yves Saint Laurent commercial too) after the incredible success of Black Swan is this brand new Revlon commercial featuring Jessica Biel and rapper/producer Pharrell Williams. In classic Aronofsky fashion, there’s plenty of beauty going on in these frames. Check it out after the jump. Read More »