The small screen regularly attracts many big screen filmmakers to film 30 and 60 second television commercials, but the Super Bowl is the premiere for many of these new spots. So beyond the commercials for big screen movies and television shows, which of the commercials shown during the big game were directed by movie directors? Find out after the jump.

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Director Carl Erik Rinsch on 47 Ronin set

In June 2011, I traveled to London to visit the set of director Carl Erik Rinsch‘s big screen adaptation of 47 Ronin. (You can watch my video blog about the experience here.) While on set, Rinsch gave us a passionate plea to explain why the 47 Ronin story was an important one to bring to the big screen, and why and how he was trying to make it look and feel like nothing you had ever seen before.

He called it “Kurosawa On Meth,” and explained his choices to shoot the tale in 3D and be more aggressive about the dimensionality than previous Hollywood releases had at the time. He also talked to us about the historical importance of this story in Japan, how he planned to honor the story’s less-than-Hollywood ending, and even about falling asleep watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Read the entire roundtable interview after the jump.

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47 Ronin behind the scenes

In 2011, I traveled to London to visit the set of director Carl Erik Rinsch‘s big screen adaptation of 47 Ronin. The 47 Ronin story is not something I would have expected a Hollywood movie studio to tackle. While Rinsch is bringing a super-stylized fantasy-infused vision to this classic Japanese tale, some of which makes it look more like a studio film, it still stays true to the original story. That may have resulted in marketing challenges, and has likely lead to challenging test screening responses. Reshoots and rumblings of studio unhappiness aside, I have to admit three things:

  1. I still think the trailers for this film look very promising.
  2. I’ve been a fan of Carl Erik Rinsch’s commercial work for years now, and am excited to see what he will do with a feature length movie.
  3. We were very impressed with what we had seen on the set at Shepperton Studios.

Hit the jump to watch a video blog I recorded after the visit, and find out more about what we saw and learned while on set.

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47 Ronin Freak header

A second international trailer for Carl Erik Rinsch‘s long delayed 47 Ronin has been released. Where last week’s Japanese trailer focused on the famous international cast (Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, Rinko Kikuchi) this new one focuses on creatures, monsters and similarly disgusting bad guys. Or at least, that what it looks like; the dubbing in the trailer means story points are difficult to verify. Check it out below. Read More »

’47 Ronin’ Japanese Trailer: Flash of the Blade

47 Ronin Keanu Reeves header

47 Ronin, a supernaturally-themed remake of a classic Japanese story, seems like a strange Christmas offering. But the film, directed by Carl Erik Rinsch and starring Keanu Reeves (with Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, and Rinko Kikuchi) will be under the tree as a gift from Universal this holiday season. Well not a gift exactly — you’ll still have to pay to see it.

The first trailer hit a while ago and had to shoulder the weight of months of reports about the film suffering delays and unplanned reshoots. It was seen by some viewers as evidence from an accident scene. “What will this disaster look like?”

Now there’s a Japaneser trailer that boils the whole thing down to a procession of big images and quick swordplay. Without being able to read the brief Japanese text or understand the scant voiceover, it is a pretty pure sales pitch for an action/adventure movie. Take a look below.  Read More »

47 Ronin

Carl Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin has had a long, tough journey to the big screen. The release date was pushed back multiple times, each time amid a flurry of rumors about on-set trouble. But this Christmas 2013 release date is sticking, and the samurai epic is now ready to show off its first bit of footage.

Keanu Reeves leads the fantasy epic as an outcast who joins with a band of warriors seeking to avenge their murdered master. Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano, and Rinko Kikuchi also star. Watch the first trailer after the jump.

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A few years ago, Universal announced a release date of November 2012 for 47 Ronin, Carl Rinsch‘s samurai epic starring Keanu Reeves. Then the studio pushed the date back to February 2013, then back again to Christmas 2013. As of now, months after that first 2012 date has passed, we’ve yet to see any footage for the movie. For that matter, we’ve barely seen any marketing at all, unless you count a couple of uninspired posters and some unfinished scenes shown at Cinema Con 2012.

That’s not technically changing today, but what we do have are some gorgeous posters that seem to have been created for that original 2012 opening. If these are any indication, the campaign for 47 Ronin will be damn gorgeous when it finally gets going. Check them out after the jump.

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Whipsers of trouble behind the scenes have plagued Carl Erik Rinsch‘s 47 Ronin ever since Universal bumped the film’s release from Fall 2013 to February 2013, and they only intensified when the studio moved the opening date yet again to Christmas 2013. Then last week, a report came out that seemed to confirm everything we’d feared. Describing the production process as “a nightmare,” the article claimed that the samurai epic’s budget had ballooned from $175 million to $225 million, and that the studio had wrested the project away from first-time feature director Rinsch.

But anonymous “individuals close to the project” are notoriously unreliable, and now other inside sources are denying that the situation is as bad as all that. According to this new story, Rinsch has not been pulled off the project, and in fact has been holed up in the editing room all week. Moreover, the budget remains under $200 million including the reshoots. Read more after the jump.

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When the Keanu Reeves samurai epic 47 Ronin was pushed from Fall 2012 to February 2013, some feared that the movie was troubled. The studio denied problems, saying the film needed more time to finish visual effects. Ronin was surprisingly absent from Comic Con, reshoots in full swing, and the release date was pushed back again (this time to Christmas 2013) which got even more people speculating about troubles between the studio and the commercial filmmaker turned first time feature director. And now a report claims that Universal has pulled director Carl Erik Rinsch from the editing room, and is now being overseen by Universal co-chairwoman Donna Langley.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

We haven’t seen much so far from 47 Ronin, the film that Carl Erik Rinch directed with Keanu Reeves, as a semi-remake of a story that has been filmed in Japan several times. We know the movie also features Hiroyuki Sanada, Kou Shibasaki, Tadanobu Asano and Rinko Kikuchi, and we know that it is an effects-heavy 3D affair. In fact, the release was just pushed back a couple months, reportedly so more work can be done on the final effects renders.

Yesterday Jeff Snider from Variety tweeted about info on a test screening of the film, but along with that he shot out a low-res image of a poster for the film. The banded image features four character portraits, with text labels Outsider, Demon, Witch and Savage. All combined, that contributes to our understanding that this take on the story is fairly different from previously filmed versions.

Check out the small poster image below. Read More »