How to Make Harry Potter Potions

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 to make Harry Potter potions like Amortentia and Felix Felicis, with ingredients at home. Plus, listen as an astronaut fact checks notable space movies like Interstellar, Gravity, Armageddon, and more using his NASA experience and vast knowledge of outer space. And finally, see what happens what King of the Hill voice star Pamela Adlon creates voices for cartoon characters she’s seeing for the first time. Read More »

Infographic: Bad Science in Movies Chart

IO9 has created a handy chart which shows which space movies feature the most common scientific mistakes. It might come as a surprise that Michael Bay’s Armageddon actually fares better than the Star Wars of Alien films. And it comes as no surprise that Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff have been graded a clean bill of accuracy. Hit the jump to see the entire chart.

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VOTD: 15 Years of Fox Searchlight

Fox Searchlight released their first film, The Brothers McMullen, in 1995. This year the minimajor is celebrating their 15th anniversary. Anyone who reads /Film knows that I tend to love the type of films that Searchlight picks up at Sundance, and more recently, the films Searchlight has been producing in house (Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Boyle’s 127 Hours, Romanke’s Never Let Me Go to name a few). /Film reader Kees van Dijkhuizen put together a short video showcasing some of the great films Searchlight has brought up over the last 15 years. You might remember that Kees created some of the video montages we’ve posted in VOTD in past years including Cinema 2009: 1 Year, 342 Movies, 12 Months of Production, 7 Minutes and the movies of Cinema 2008. It looks like someone at Fox saw his work and commissioned the video editor to create this video for Fox Searchlight 15th anniversary. Here is Kees description:

15 Years of Drama, Compassion, Icons, Romance and Challenges. Some of the best indie flicks came were brought to us by Fox Searchlight, and to celebrate their 15 year anniversary, here’s a quick recap of what they have brought us. Some of the movies featured include Juno, The Darjeeling Limited, Slumdog Millionaire, 28 Days Later, Sunshine, (500) Days of Summer, Napoleon Dynamite, The Last King of Scotland, Crazy Heart, Sexy Beast, One Hour Photo and Thirteen.

Watch the video now embedded after the jump.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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To promote Inglourious Basterds, Quentin Tarantino hosted a week of films on the British television station Sky Movies. In past weeks, we’ve featured some of the gems to come out of this appearance, including Tarantino’s listing of the top 20 movies to be released since he became a filmmaker, his review of There Will Be Blood, and Tarantino’s review of Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. Today we bring you Tarantino’s review of Danny Boyle‘s underrated sci-fi space thriller Sunshine.

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Sunshine Soundtrack Sees The Light of Day After All

We’ve written a few times about the soundtrack to Danny Boyle’s latest film, Slumdog Millionaire, while simultaneously referencing the fact that the soundtrack to Boyle’s Sunshine has been stuck in legal hell for quite some time now. In 2007, producer Andrew Macdonald said explicitly that there were “no plans to release” the soundtrack. This was a huge shame, as composer John Murphy put some great work into the film, and Underworld also lent some sublime sounds.

Now comes word via The Playlist that the soundtrack has been released via iTunes! You can download the soundtrack by CLICKING HERE. There are two tracks that I’d strongly recommend: “Sunshine (Adagio in D Minor),” which I believe is played during the climax of the film, and I Am Kloot’s “Avenue of Hope,” a beautiful song that evokes a profound sadness. The former is a great track that has been used in movie trailers such as the one for Blindness. The latter song was used in the film’s end credits sequence, cut expertly to random shots from the film. In the commentary for Sunshine, Boyle revealed that the reason for doing this was because the shots from the film were just so damn good, it’d be a shame not to use them again. (P.S. I love Danny Boyle). Check out an ultra-low-quality video of the film’s credits (with annoying subtitles) below:

Discuss: Have you checked out the Sunshine soundtrack yet? What do you think?

Interview: Sunshine Director Danny Boyle

Danny BoyleOn Monday July 16th I had the chance to sit down with Trainspotting/28 Days Later director Danny Boyle about his new film Sunshine.

Fifty years from now, the sun is dying and a solar winter has enveloped the earth.  Our last hope: a spaceship and a crew of eight men and women.  They carry a device which will breathe new life into the star.  But deep into their voyage, out of radio contact with Earth, their mission is starting to unravel.  Soon the crew is fighting not only for their sanity, but their lives.

Boyle is everything you would expect – courteous, excited, intelligent, reserved yet frank and uncensored. You can listen to our entire round table interview with Danny Boyle below. We have provided chapter points after the jump.

Danny Boyle on the Influences of Sunshine:

There are three huge, titanic, space movies which if you ever make a film like this you cannot avoid. You may want to avoid them but you cannot. I’ve never known a genre like it where you are dictated to by these films, 2001, Alien, and Tarkovsky’s Solaris. Believe me, they hover over you the whole time and sometimes you just have to tip you hat to them — reference them in some way. They are there and you’re judged against them, not just on whether the film ultimately works as a film but technically. The way you depict space has been dictated by those three films and you have to get to that level. And I had no idea how intimidating that level was, when I set out to make it.

There are a lot of space movies that don’t get to that level, because they don’t have enough money or time, or people weren’t willing to make that effort. The effort involve in depicting this place is staggering. There were other influences as well like Das Boot, and Wages of Fear. There are lots of films you use as a kind of help to you but those three in particular.

Apocalypse Now is my favorite film and it’s known as The Heart of Darkness film because it’s loosely based on the Joseph Conrad book. And we always said that our starting point for this film was a “Journey into the Heart of Lightness.” There are certain rhythmical similarities. It’s a journey and at the end of the journey is a fantastic, a madman who’s seen the light in his own way. Structurally you could compare it to Apocalypse Now which has a similar shade to it’s journey as far as shape is concerned.

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Movie Review: Sunshine


Sunshine takes place 50 years in the future, and follows a crew of astronauts aboard a spaceship named the Icarus II.  The characters are venturing into space to deliver a payload to reignite the sun which is about to burn out, obliterating all mankind.  The entire film takes place away from earth as the small crew fights technical difficulties, human error, and nature’s wrath to reach the sun intact and in time to save humanity.

Have you ever gone to a restaurant that says they serve sushi, Italian, Greek, and Indian food?  I usually avoid those places because I don’t really believe that one place can do all those vastly different things well.  That was pretty much why I wasn’t too sure about going to see Danny Boyle’s Sunshine.  It was a huge departure from Boyle’s other successful works, including drug film Trainspotting, thriller 28 Days Later, and the family-friendly Millions, but here’s the deal, when free food and drinks are offered at a press screening, I cannot refuse.  Several mini grilled cheeses, tequila shrimp skewers and quarter-sized hamburgers later, I bring you this review.  This movie surprised me.  It was well-shot, suspenseful, and best of all, pretty scientifically accurate for a space sci-fi film.

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Danny BoyleThis weekend MTV broke the news that Sunshine director Danny Boyle had an idea to direct a 28 Weeks Later sequel. Today I was lucky to sit-down with Boyle to talk about his new film Sunshine and to hopefully extract some new details about 28 Months Later.

“I’ve got an idea for it. I didn’t think I would have, because I didn’t want to do the second one. I did do some second unit shooting for them one weekend, just to get myself out of the cutting room. It’s been so long doing this film [Sunshine],” said Boyle. “And I really enjoyed it, doing something trashy like Zombies killing people. That’s basically what I shot all weekend and I was like ‘WOW, this is great! You just come in and kill him! That’s what we’re going to shoot today’ [laughs]”

He wouldn’t give us any new details so we pushed slightly and were able to get this juicy tidbit: The movie will not take place in France!

“It’s to do with Russia actually. It’s to do with that part of the world. NOT FRANCE. The second film hints that it gets to France eventually, and wipes out the French. But this third idea is actually more to do with Russia, but that’s actually all I can say,” said Boyle. “I don’t know whether it will happen.”

Boyle scouted locations in Star City, Russia for the Sunshine interiors but found that the technology was too outdated.  Fox Atomic has supposedly dropped all horror films from the slate, which leads me to believe that a third 28 Days Later film would probably find a home at Fox Searchlight. Look for our full interview with Boyle later this week. And be sure to check out his new movie Sunshine which hits theaters on Friday July 20th 2007.

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Final Sunshine Movie Poster Revealed

Sunshine PosterDanny Boyle’s Sunshine (not to be confused with Little Miss) was released overseas in April. We’re still looking forward to this one, if it will ever get here. The sci-fi thriller hits US theaters on July 20th, and Fox Searchlight has released the final US Poster. Check it out to the right. Left click to enlarge.

The Sun is being destroyed from inside out by a type of highly stable form of matter that renders nuclear fusion impossible, by turning common matter on its own kind. The only hope is to send a team of astronauts to detonate a massive, highly energetic bomb, able to destroy this strange matter and restore Sun’s natural state.