Call of the Wild Visual Effects

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, see how Corridor Crew reacts to Call of the Wild visual effects used to create an entirely digital dog and environments. Plus, listen as a retired Navy SEAL analyzes combat scenes from Saving Private Ryan and other combat sequences from a few war movies, and finally, listen to how the Star Trek theme has evolved over the decades, as played on the violin. Read More »

War is hell but it sometimes provides the backdrop for great movies. The recent Blu-ray release of 1917, followed by the 50th anniversary, this week, of the Oscar-winning Patton, starring George C. Scott, is as good an excuse as any for cinephiles to hunker down in the trenches of an impromptu war movie marathon (especially if you’re stuck at home right now due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic).

With that in mind, here’s a mission for you, soldier: work your way through this chronological list of the best war movies of the last fifty years. “Best” is ultra-subjective, of course, but when you’re Alamo-ed up in a fort of pillows in your living room and there’s nothing good on television, few of these movies should disappoint.

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1917 featurette new

The “hidden man” is how editor Lee Smith sees himself in 1917. Not for a second did Smith want audiences paying attention to his cuts or tricks, but to instead immerse themselves in director Sam Mendes‘ World War I story, which is constructed to take place in one seemingly unbroken take. Despite the obvious technical wizardry and razzle-dazzle, they pulled it off. Audiences were caught up in the feeling and exhilaration of 1917, not the craft of 1917.

The war pic isn’t the first time Smith and Mendes collaborated. The two worked together on Spectre, which involved a long take that gave the editor and filmmaker some ideas of how to accomplish 1917. Outside of Smith’s collaborations with Mendes, he’s edited several Christopher Nolan films, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and an underrated gem from the early 2000s, Buffalo Soldiers.

Recently, Smith spoke to us about his intense work on 1917, a few of the movie’s standout sequences, and doing what hasn’t been done before.

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New Blu-ray Releases Rise of Skywalker

Welcome to another week in quarantine! As we continue to find ourselves sequestered in our domiciles, there’s never been a better time to block out the horrors of the real world and kick back with some movies. And while streaming is great – and convenient – you just can’t beat the quality of physical media, folks. So, without further adieu, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.

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How to Make a Long Movie Shot

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, find out how long shots that appear to resemble single takes, such as the entirety of 1917, are created with seamless visual effects, camera movements, and editing tricks. Plus, watch the Director’s Guild of America‘s feature film symposium with the nominees of the 2020 DGA Awards, and listen to original All That cast members answer some burning questions. Read More »

Bad Boys for Life has been dominating the box office since arriving in theaters in the middle of January, but the ladies of Birds of Prey took Will Smith and Martin Lawrence down a peg with some DC Comics action. However, even though the movie starring Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn ended up Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with an 81% critical score, it only ended up with roughly $33.25 million, opening below the projected $45 million that Warner Bros. Pictures was hoping for.

Get more on the Birds of Prey box office performance below. Read More »

Oscars season is a time of the movie-going year unlike any other, seemingly mandating that film aficionados draw imaginary lines in the sand pitting certain works, both past and present, against each other in an occasionally insightful – though oftentimes frustrating – spectacle. Do you think Taika Waititi’s Best Picture nominee Jojo Rabbit goes so far as to make a mockery of sensitive (and unfortunately timely) issues while Terrence Malick’s much less mainstream A Hidden Life deserved the latter’s accolades? There’s likely a viral-ready tweet for that. Itching to examine all the ways that Todd Phillips’ Joker exposes both the strengths and weaknesses of the class commentary in Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite? That’s already been fodder for some interesting reviews.

With 1917, directed by Sam Mendes, comparisons to another recent film from a similarly accomplished and distinctive filmmaker came flooding in even as early as its very first trailer, having only increased in fervor since its release. That movie, of course, is Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, a fairly obvious parallel that strengthens its own case when considering how much Mendes himself has encouraged those correlations through his last several films.

What most sets Dunkirk and 1917 apart from other would-be pairings, however, is in how their inextricably linked subject matter goes far beyond mere surface-level similarities or reductive hot takes. Even with such notable differences in nuts-and-bolts filmmaking (perhaps exact opposites, in fact) and the depiction of two vastly disparate World Wars, both narratives feature purposefully grounded perspectives that are wielded to powerful effect. Despite being billed as ostensible war epics, both commit to premises based on preventing further bloodshed. And most intriguingly, Mendes and Nolan take pains to zero in on a particularly overlooked brand of heroism – the subtle, anonymous, understated kind that can add up to make the biggest difference.

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2020 Oscars Honest Trailers

This weekend brings the 92nd Academy Awards, honoring achievements in film from the year 2019. There are nine movies nominated for Best Picture, each bringing something different to the table. Well, they mostly bring something different to the table, even though the some of the movies share Al Pacino, Scarlett Johansson, Robert De Niro, Laura Dern, and Tracy Letts. Oh, and they also have a lot of white people dancing. And let’s not forget the strangely recurring presence of stereotypical “Cowboys and Indians.” You know what, we’ll let the 2020 Oscars Honest Trailer take over from here. Read More »

2020 Best Visual Effects Oscar Nominees

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, a visual effects supervisor walks us through the movie magic for this years nominees for Best Visual Effects at the Academy Awards, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Avengers: Endgame. Plus, Margot Robbie stops by Hot Ones to eat some spicy chicken wings and talk about her career so far, and Samuel L. Jackson dramatically reads Yelp reviews. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

2020 Oscar nominees artwork

We’ll all be pulling for our favorite movies to win big at the Academy Awards this weekend, but first, Shutterstock is putting the 2020 Oscar nominees for Best Picture in a whole new light in a series of pop art posters. Check them out below, along with a new Oscar illustration from artist Olly Gibbs.
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