With just a few weeks until Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk starts hitting theaters, one final trailer has arrived, and it’s full of quotes from critics who are primarily talking about the high frame rate that director Ang Lee used to shoot the war drama. Based on the book of the same name by Ben Fountain, the story follows a soldier who comes home from the war in Iraq on a temporary victory tour. Through flashbacks, we learn about what he’s endured on the battlefield as he and the rest of his squad are honored over the Thanksgiving break on the holiday’s big football game.
Watch the Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 18th, 2016 by Angie Han
Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was supposed to jumpstart a cinematic revolution, as the first mainstream feature film shot and released in 48 frames per second (as opposed to the usual 24 fps). Alas, it didn’t exactly work out that way, as audiences complained about the “soap opera effect” of the higher frame rate. Nevertheless, Ang Lee decided to double down on the technology, making Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk the first movie ever shot in 120 frames per second.
But there’s a very good chance you’ll never get to see it as Lee intended. Turns out there’ll be only about half a dozen theaters in the world, including two in the U.S., that are equipped to show the movie to its exacting, cutting-edge specifications: 120 fps, 3D, 4K resolution. Which may be for the best, based on the disastrous reactions to the film’s debut screening last weekend at the New York Film Festival. Read More »
Last night brought the world premiere of Ang Lee’s latest film, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Yesterday we happened to run a featurette exploring director Ang Lee‘s use of new technology that allowed the film to be shot at 120 frames per second (FPS). That’s a significantly higher frame rate than Peter Jackson’s experimental use of 48 FPS for The Hobbit trilogy, and it sounds like the reaction to this format from the first reviews of the movie is even more resistant than to that previous effort.
Most of the criticism from the first Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk reviews are with regards to the distracting presentation (which will end up not matter for general audiences, as we’ll explain at the end). But beyond that, it sounds like the film doesn’t bring anything else potentially groundbreaking to the table, offering another metaphor for our society to deal with in relation to war with some decent performances and occasionally beautiful visuals scattered throughout.
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Posted on Friday, October 14th, 2016 by Angie Han
As the new movie by Ang Lee, and an adaptation of a highly acclaimed bestselling novel to boot, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk would be one of our most anticipated movies of the fall no matter what. But the project’s been getting special attention for the way it was shot and is being presented: in 120 frames per second. For comparison, most movies are in 24 fps; Peter Jackson made a very unusual move when he shot The Hobbit in 48 fps.
So, what does that high frame rate do, exactly? In a new featurette, Lee and his cast members talk up the “immersive experience” of 120 fps. Plus, there’s a behind-the-scenes promo featuring NFL stars J.J. Watt and Richard Sherman, both of whom appear in the movie, and a more straightforward 30-second spot. Watch it all below. Read More »
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Posted on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
This 2016 fall movie preview was written by Jacob Hall and Jack Giroux.
The summer is over and the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting milder and (fingers crossed) the movies are going to start getting better. The next four months offer an embarrassment of cinematic riches, with new films from Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Tim Burton, Gareth Edwards, Paul Verhoeven, Mel Gibson, Robert Zemeckis, Park Chan-Wook, Terrence Malick, J.A. Bayona, Jeff Nichols, Ang Lee, Denis Villeneuve, Kenneth Lonergan, and other filmmakers of note waiting in the wings.
We’ve narrowed down the list of must-see movies to 32 titles and have ranked them from “We really want to see this!” to “We will push you out of the way at a sprint to see this!”
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Posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2016 by Angie Han
Sony Pictures has unveiled the first teaser trailer for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Ang Lee‘s drama about a squad of soldiers who are brought home from Iraq for a victory tour around the U.S. Much has been made about Lee’s groundbreaking use of 120 fps to heighten the realism of the war flashbacks, but the present day unfolds at a Thanksgiving Day football game, where the soldiers are to be honored in a glitzy halftime show.
“It is sort of weird being honored for the worst day of your life,” observes Billy (played by newcomer Joe Alwyn), and that’s this movie in a nutshell — it exists in the dizzying space between our sentimental celebration of the troops, and the harsh realities they face every day. Watch the Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk trailer after the jump. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 by Angie Han
Four years after the technically audacious, jaw-droppingly gorgeous Life of Pi, Ang Lee is back this fall with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Based on the novel by Ben Fountain, the modern wartime drama follows a squad of heroic American soldiers brought home for a victory tour culminating in a showy appearance at the Thanksgiving Day game. Get your Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk first look below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, April 19th, 2016 by Angie Han
A few years ago, James Cameron started touting higher frame rates — 48 or 60 frames per second instead of the industry-standard 24 — as the future of cinema. “If watching a 3D movie is like looking through a window, then [with this] we’ve taken the glass out of the window and we’re staring at reality,” he boasted at ShoWest 2011. Then we finally got our first look at an actual feature film shot and projected in 48 fps in 2012 in the form of Peter Jackson‘s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The results were spectacularly underwhelming, and the so-called “cinematic revolution” stalled before it even began.
But maybe it’s finally time to give the high frame rate thing another go. This year, Ang Lee brings to screens the first feature film ever shot in 120 frames per second, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. The first footage from the Iraq War drama screened at the National Association of Broadcasters trade show this past weekend, and attendees have begun sharing their impressions of the film itself and the higher frame rate. Read More »
Yesterday was the second day of CinemaCon 2016 in Las Vegas. As you know, each year movie theater exhibitors gather to, among other things, watch presentations from all of the major movie studios previewing their film slates for the upcoming year and beyond. Sony Pictures presented a ton of new footage for upcoming films, including:
Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt, Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, the animated Spider-Man movie, Blake Lively’s contained thriller The Shallows, Ron Howard’s DaVinci Code sequel Inferno starring Tom Hanks, Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters, the R-rated Seth Rogen animated film Sausage Party, and antoine Fuqua’s remake of The Magnificent Seven.
Warner Bros also presented a preview of their upcoming films, including:
Justice League, Wonder Woman, Suicide Squad, Shane Black’s buddy cop period comedy The Nice Guys, James Wan’s The Conjuring 2, Lights Out starring Teresa Palmer, Dawson Thurber’s comedy Central Intelligence starring The Rock and Kevin Hart, The Legend of Tarzan, the Todd Phillips comedy War Dogs, The LEGO Batman movie and the Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Hit the jump to watch both video blogs talking about all the clips shown at the presentation.
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Posted on Tuesday, January 12th, 2016 by Angie Han
There’s so much about the process of putting together a “most anticipated” list that just isn’t fair. Films that have already put out trailers have a distinct advantage over those that haven’t. New installments of familiar franchises are easier to get hyped for than completely unknown quantities. And in any given year, some of the very best films are the ones that come out of seemingly nowhere, crafted by filmmakers and stars we haven’t even heard of yet.
So I’m not going to pretend there’s anything close to an even playing field here. This isn’t a merit-based competition, because by definition I don’t know what merits any of these films have yet. It’s simply an excited look ahead at the year to come. Here are the films that make me glad, even in the freezing doldrums of January, that we’ve finally arrived at 2016. Read More »