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Saturday, December 03, 2016

IT'S HERE!!! First Trailer For GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2

Oh man have I been waiting for this one and it delivers. I won't spoil it, but really it's the characters that I have been wanting to see engage each other again, and engage they do!

What do you think? Are you excited about what James Gunn has in store this time around?

Marvel’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is directed by James Gunn and stars Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, featuring Vin Diesel as Groot, Bradley Cooper as Rocket, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Tommy Flanagan, Laura Haddock and Kurt Russell. Kevin Feige is producing, and Louis D’Esposito, Jonathan Schwartz, Victoria Alonso, Nik Korda and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by James Gunn.



GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 2 is coming in May 2017.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM - Apparently At The Theater! Great Movie!!

I thoroughly enjoyed FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. It has enough Harry Potter DNA within it to give it some gravitas, yet it overflows with new ideas and dogma based on the magic community within North America.

The visual effects are jaw dropping in many scenes and some very imaginative minds were involved in creating them much to my pleasure! Good enough for an 'A' Cinema Score and Certified Fresh too.

If you are one of those movie goers who doesn't enjoy 3D unless it's dialed up a bit then you will enjoy BEASTS. In some areas, I felt it shouldn't be with so much depth, especially fast tracking scenes early on that may make you feel dizzy. But the movie as a whole does accomplish very nice things with 3D. I appreciated the effort. I felt the faces, even close up were superbly done.

BEASTS will apparently need more of those expanding suitcases for all the cash they are bringing in! $30 million on Friday to be exact - so that pegs the weekend at a potential $76m for the new "spinoff". Of course, being in the Potter universe doesn't hurt, does it? Clearly, sequels were set up as well. I am certainly looking forward to them.

And Eddie Redmayne? Superb as Newt Scamander!

Here's the movie's storyline:
The year is 1926 and Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident...were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM is playing now in RealD 3D.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

MUST WATCH: New WONDER WOMAN Trailer!

It's finally here and it's looking like WONDER WOMAN may be getting the movie she deserves! I'm not sure what to make of the storyline yet as we just don't know the details, but visually the trailer rocks!

Gal Gadot is absolutely stunning in the role as we saw in BvS and the addition of Chris Pine here will pay off I think.

I'm loving the production quality, the attention to detail and of course, WW's Bracelets of Submission which, as you can see, easily deflect oncoming bullets.

Enjoy!



WONDER WOMAN is slated for release June 2, 2017. Stay tuned for more!


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

First Trailer For Sci-Fi PASSENGERS Looks Like An Awesome Ride!

Director Morten Tyldum's PASSENGERS looks VERY promising. First of all the casting is intriguing with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence headlining (Michael Sheen and Laurence Fishburne are no slouches either). But what I find most interesting is the mystery behind being woken up too soon on an epic space journey. Let's hope what has been done before is not repeated here - perhaps something original. I don't think that's too much to ask from screenplay writer Jon Spaihts.

Here's the movie's storyline:
Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are two passengers onboard a spaceship transporting them to a new life on another planet. The trip takes a deadly turn when their hibernation pods mysteriously wake them 90 years before they reach their destination. As Jim and Aurora try to unravel the mystery behind the malfunction, they begin to fall for each other, unable to deny their intense attraction... only to be threatened by the imminent collapse of the ship and the discovery of the truth behind why they woke up.

Should look amazing in 3D. Can't wait to see this!

PASSENGERS opens on December 21.


Tuesday, August 30, 2016

TERMINATOR 2 Finally Getting That James Cameron 3D Conversion?

Looks like it! 2017 Release!! The official TERMINATOR 2 Facebook page posted an awesome new poster for the 3D conversion and because Cameron is involved with it, you know it will be done CORRECTLY. About $6 to 7 million dollars for the effort probably.

Here's what the T2 Facebook posted: "August 29th 1997: The day Skynet first became self aware. August 29th 2016: the day you first saw the brand new poster for Terminator 2 in 3D. Coming to theaters in 2017."

I'm very excited to see this on the big screen. I can think of so many scenes where 3D is just going to amplify the experience so much! More when I get it.



Monday, August 29, 2016

Whoa! Deathstroke Is In JUSTICE LEAGUE?

Interesting piece of news flooding the Internet today after Ben Affleck (Batman) tweeted the following:



Deathstroke? Sure looks like him! Here's how Wikipedia describes him: "Deathstroke (Slade Joseph Wilson) is a fictional character who appears in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Marv Wolfman and George Perez. He is a mercenary and assassin who first appeared in The New Teen Titans (vol. 1) #2 (1980). Wizard magazine rated him the 24th greatest villain of all time. Also, in 2009, Deathstroke was ranked as IGN's 32nd greatest comic book villain of all time. Originally the archenemy of the Teen Titans, writers have developed him over the years as an adversary of other heroes in the DC Universe. Parallels have been established between him and Batman, and he has a deep-seated grudge against Green Arrow. The character has been substantially adapted from the comics into multiple forms of media, including several Batman related projects and the Teen Titans animated series. Slade Wilson/Deathstroke later appeared on The CW's live action TV series Arrow, where he is portrayed by Manu Bennett."

If you'd like to read more about Deathstroke - here you go. I'm not including his deeper bio here in case some of you want to discover him (and any studio changes) first in the movie.

We already know that Steppenwolf will be the main villain in JL, so all signs point to Deathstroke being a secondary attraction. Looks interesting and if I do say so myself an awesome adversary for Batman. They both do not have any super powers.

JUSTICE LEAGUE is slated for release on Nov 17, 2017.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Are You Experienced? BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK Premiere's October 14th

Yes, I say "experienced" because Ang Lee's BILLY LYNN'S LONG HALFTIME WALK will be something you've never seen before and sets the stage for "the new platinum standard" of modern stereoscopic 3D. This is a game changer and a world's first.

It's not just 3D anymore guys. It's 4K 3D shot at 120 frames per second! From everything I've heard, this is THE way to experience the format. I've seen 3D shot/shown at 48 and 60 frames per second created by James Cameron, but never 120. Apparently, all aspects of the alleged "soap opera" effect disappear at 120 - something I have yet to see.

But the real trick is going to be for the masses to see it in 4K3D @ 120. Most cinemas can go to a maximum of 60 fps, not 120. There will have to be major capital investment by theater owners (new projectors!) in the future to be able to screen movies like BILLY LYNN in the premium format, and I certainly appeal to them to do so earlier rather than later, but it's a foregone conclusion that it won't be anytime soon.

If you will be in New York after the premiere, apparently the theater that is being used for the New York Film Festival premiere of the movie (AMC  Lincoln Square) will keep the dual laser projectors in place for the theatrical run. So there's that.

From FSLC (Film Society Lincoln Center): Lee’s stunning adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel is the story of an Iraq war hero (newcomer Joe Alwyn) who comes home with his fellow members of Bravo Company for a victory tour. This culminates in a halftime show at a Thanksgiving Day football game—a high-intensity media extravaganza summoning memories of the trauma of losing his beloved sergeant in a firefight. Lee’s brave, heartbreaking film goes right to the heart of a great division that haunts this country: between the ideal image of things as they should be and the ongoing reality of things as they are. With a brilliant supporting cast, including Kristen Stewart, Chris Tucker, Garrett Hedlund with Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.

I know most of the 3D team behind this movie personally and trust me - these guys are at the top of the game, starting with the Stereographer / Stereo Supervisor, Demetri Portelli and Production Systems Supervisor (2D, 3D, All Digital Workflow), Ben Gervais along with 3D Systems Technicians, Brian Cassar and Sandra Lombardi. The team also set up a 3D digital lab and entire DI lab in Ang's office which housed Nathan Shields (Toronto), Daniel George (Toronto), Michael Buck (LA) and Derek Schweickart (LA) who also did LIFE OF PI with Ang.

Production Systems Supervisor Ben Gervais was quoted (Variety) talking about the audiences thus far: "Test subjects that have seen some footage have commented that 40 minutes after seeing battle footage, they're still shaking." Really underscores their accomplishment!

Stereographer Demetri Portelli used Stereotec lightweight rigs with F65 cameras and of course Master Prime lenses (same as he did on LIFE OF PI, 47 RONIN, TS SPIVET). He and Gervais manufactured their own mirrors specifically for this project and they modified the fiber cable on set workflow, to suit the needs of production. They used Panavision Woodland Hills for prep and accessories. The key element was building a complete 4K stereo DI in Ang's office watching 120 FPS which was only made possible by Baselight (a Filmlight color grading system which they also used on HUGO).

Says Portelli: "It is also the first film graded at 120/4K/3D on Christie projectors with the digital master being projected at 28 foot lamberts! As (audiences) will see during the 12 minutes at IBC, and then the whole experience at New York Film Festival - our huge thanks to Christie projectors for their support in getting these images on the screen."

I've talked to Ang Lee as well specifically about 3D and future plans - as usual he's humble, yet obviously an extremely gifted filmmaker. Lee will also receive the IBC International Honor For Excellence (International Broadcasting Convention) next month in Amsterdam.

We are in good hands here. I can't wait to be wowed. My anticipation is through the roof for this movie and I've got to find some way of seeing it in 4K3D @ 120 fps.

NYC road trip anyone? :-)




Friday, July 15, 2016

Must Watch: New Featurette For ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY!


Wow. This featurette (a must watch) really nails it home for me - ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY is looking extremely good.

The visuals are amazing, the message that director Gareth Edwards is emphasizing is bang-on, and I am a sucker for behind the scenes shots. I'm looking forward to some original material being exploited in the STAR WARS universe.

"It’s a style that is unlike any other Star Wars movie," Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. She recounted seeing director Gareth Edwards, camera on his shoulder, testing shots guerilla-style as a sign that this movie would be different. "I think that’s what’s so amazing about his style," she said. "This is going to be an incredibly immersive experience when you see Rogue One."

Director Gareth Edwards recounted traveling to New York for the voiceover session with Skywalker Sound’s Matthew Wood. When Jones delivered the line, “POWER,” Edwards summed up their reactions succinctly. "We looked at each other and had nerdgasms."

Yes. James Earl Jones returns as the voice of Darth Vader. You can't get any better than that! One of cinema's greatest villains (if not the best) will be back in all his glory.

Enjoy the featurette!!



ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY opens on December 16!!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Watch: Final Trailer For Justin Lin's STAR TREK BEYOND

I have to admit, even as a self-described Trekkie, that I wasn't overly thrilled with the trailers for STAR TREK BEYOND thus far. I didn't really see anything overly compelling that built anticipation other then, well, it's Star Trek.

But with this final trailer, I'm seeing more character development, emotion and jaw-dropping visual effects and the Rihanna song "Sledgehammer" really adds another dimension. Love it.

Of course, the untimely passing of Anton Yelchin who plays Pavel Chekov in this beloved movie franchise has cast a somber shadow on the release, but one that we will celebrate in his memory.

STAR TREK BEYOND, the highly anticipated next installment in the globally popular Star Trek franchise, created by Gene Roddenberry and reintroduced by J.J. Abrams in 2009, returns with director Justin Lin ("The Fast and the Furious" franchise) at the helm of this epic voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise and her intrepid crew. In "Beyond," the Enterprise crew explores the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test.

STAR TREK BEYOND opens on July 22.



Tuesday, June 14, 2016

WATCH: New Trailer For Disney's Live-Action PETE'S DRAGON

Disney isn't at a loss for acting talent in this live-action retelling of the animated Disney classic PETE'S DRAGON. Robert Redford, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban and young Oakes Fegley star in what seems to be a gorgeous live-action version of the family favorite film.

Disney continues to bring over classic animations to live-action and while I was skeptical at first, I enjoyed CINDERELLA and this looks great.

Here's the storyline:
A reimagining of Disney’s cherished family film, PETE'S DRAGON is the adventure of an orphaned boy named Pete and his best friend Elliott, who just so happens to be a dragon. PETE'S DRAGON stars Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley, Karl Urban, Oona Laurence and Oscar® winner Robert Redford. The film, which is directed by David Lower, is written by Lowery & Toby Halbrooks based on a story by Seton I. Miller and S.S. Field and produced by Jim Whitaker, p.g.a., with Barrie M. Osborne serving as executive producer.

For years, old wood carver Mr. Meacham (Robert Redford) has delighted local children with his tales of the fierce dragon that resides deep in the woods of the Pacific Northwest. To his daughter, Grace (Bryce Dallas Howard), who works as a forest ranger, these stories are little more than tall tales…until she meets Pete (Oakes Fegley). Pete is a mysterious 10-year-old with no family and no home who claims to live in the woods with a giant, green dragon named Elliott. And from Pete’s descriptions, Elliott seems remarkably similar to the dragon from Mr. Meacham’s stories. With the help of Natalie (Oona Laurence), an 11-year-old girl whose father Jack (Wes Bentley) owns the local lumber mill, Grace sets out to determine where Pete came from, where he belongs, and the truth about this dragon. 

Disney’s PETE'S DRAGON opens in U.S. theaters on August 12, 2016.

Here's the trailer:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

WARCRAFT Powerleveling In China! $145 Million In 4 Days


Contrary to many critics I enjoyed WARCRAFT. Perhaps it's because I've actually played the game and I can pick up on most of the locations and references - it's still a CGI powerhouse and the 3D is amazing.

The 3D is amazing because most of it's pure digital 3D that's well done. It's a positive byproduct of doing most of the movie with CG characters and backgrounds. Loved the action sequences and how it all looked on a giant IMAX 3D screen. I'll be seeing it again on a Real D screen and I'm sure the level of excellence will be the same for stereo enjoyment.

WARCRAFT is the fastest international movie to $135 million ever in China. The movie only opened to $27 million in North America. I love how the movie has bounced back against the critics in China. Absolutely love it.

The story is somewhat hard to follow at times for someone who has not played the game I would imagine, but even if you haven't the visual effects are jaw dropping. The scale of the movie is off the charts.

WARCRAFT is a definite must-see in 3D. The stereo view enhances the CGI and makes the characters much more realistic and closer to crossing the uncanny valley. Trust me. 3D makes this movie.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Movie Review - CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR - 9.1 Stars! Spoiler Free!!

I managed to see CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR in Real D at the local Ultra AVX premium large screen format Cineplex last night and I was not disappointed.

If you are a fan of the Marvel universe and especially the Avenger movies then you'll love CW. The humor - oh THE HUMOR is back. There's nothing quite like Marvel's brand of laughter out there and for that reason alone I recommend you go see it.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR is cerebral and comedic just when it needs to be. A beautiful accomplishment!

I won't spoil the movie for you but I will let you know a few things you can expect. The 3D was on par with everything else from Marvel except for just a few lazy areas which I thought should have been tighter - nothing to worry about though, most will miss them. The 3D conversion was done by StereoD as lead and Prime Focus as secondary. Also I felt some depth should have been dialed up for some key scenes that were not. Still, a good job. I gave it a ranking of 92%. I definitely wish that Marvel had gone with native 3D (DC for that matter - would have been a great differentiator), but it's too late to continue complaining I suppose.

Visual effects were jaw dropping of course including some new technology that was used for some up close scenes - you'll know when you see it. I can't comment on it or it will spoil the surprise!

I thought the visual effects, directing and score were the best accomplished tactical aspects of the movie, but really for me the comedy was gold. Again.

CLICK TO ENLARGE
Captain America movies are generally more cerebral than the others in the universe and you can really isolate that juxtaposition when you see the other heroes mixed in and working together. Take Ant-Man for example - you'll know what I'm talking about when you see them together.

Yes, I missed the other Avengers that weren't included in the movie, but just seeing Spider-Man on the same screen is AMAZING.

Here's the movie's storyline:
Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR finds Steve Rogers leading the newly formed team of Avengers in their continued efforts to safeguard humanity. But after another incident involving the Avengers results in collateral damage, political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability, headed by a governing body to oversee and direct the team. The new status quo fractures the Avengers, resulting in two camps—one led by Steve Rogers and his desire for the Avengers to remain free to defend humanity without government interference, and the other following Tony Stark’s surprising decision to support government oversight and accountability.

Marvel’s CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR stars Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Emily VanCamp, Don Cheadle, Jeremy Renner, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Rudd and Frank Grillo, with William Hurt and Daniel Brühl.

Anthony and Joe Russo are directing with Kevin Feige producing. Louis D’Esposito, Alan Fine, Victoria Alonso, Patricia Whitcher, Nate Moore and Stan Lee are the executive producers. The screenplay is by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely. Get ready to pick a side and join the nonstop action playing out on two fronts when Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War” opens in U.S. and Canadian theaters on May 6, 2016.

Go see this as soon as possible because if you're like me you're going to want to see it again very, very soon! Oh and I saw the trailer for DOCTOR STRANGE in 3D pre-rolling before CW - and WOW. Can't wait for that one! Cumberbatch looks perfect in the role.


Thursday, April 14, 2016

Four AVATAR Sequels Confirmed By James Cameron - Releases Start in 2018

Ok I feel much more confident about these estimates. I was never good with the seemingly rushed schedules that were announced with finished scripts in hand, but now things are progressing as I had originally envisaged.

James Cameron has announced at Cinemacon that the AVATAR universe will have four sequels, not 3 and that the releases are slated for 2018, 2020, 2022 and 2023. 

Says Cameron: "We have decided to embark on a truly massive cinematic project, making four epic films, each of which stands alone but together forms a complete saga."

Further Cameron states: "I’ve been working with the top four screenwriters and designers in the world to design the world of Avatar going forward. The environments, new cultures - whatever it takes to bring it to life. From what I’m seeing of the art on the wall, in pure imagination, is just beyond the first film. I’m speechless."

Man I miss Cinemacon! I've got to get back next year. To personally miss announcements like this hurt me on a physical level!

Happy to hear there are 4 sequels now. It explains a lot about why things got delayed and the mindset of the creatives and the studio. Can't wait to start hearing more about the projects. Remember, Cameron already had a massive budget in place for 3 sequels already - add on a fourth and wow! That's a sizable commitment from 20th Century Fox.And commitment from Cameron - he will be one busy man for the next 7-8 years.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

When Push Comes To Shove: Warners Moves WONDER WOMAN And JUNGLE BOOK Launches

Some pulling up going on too. WONDER WOMAN is being pulled up to a slated release date 3 weeks earlier to June 2, 2017. Showing us some confidence? I hope so. I really enjoyed Gal Gadot's performance in the role in BATMAN v SUPERMAN - one of the few aspects of that movie that I didn't have any issues.

Meanwhile, Andy Serkis' JUNGLE BOOK: ORIGINS has been pushed out a full year from October 6, 2017 to October 19, 2018. I also view this as a positive with not only giving Serkis more time to deliver on his performance capture promises but also allowing audiences some breathing room from Jon Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK offering (which looks amazing) opening next week on April 15. It will feature the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett among others.

Said Serkis: "I’ve got to say that personally I’m absolutely thrilled that Warner Brothers have changed the delivery date of our movie. The ambition for this project is huge. What we are attempting is an unprecedented level of psychological and emotional nuance in morphing the phenomenal performances of our cast into the facial expressions of our animals."

Further to Warner Bros announcement of these changes, they added dates for a couple of untitled DC Comics launches: October 5, 2018 and November 1, 2019.
 

Friday, March 18, 2016

Check The Latest TV Spot For Duncan Jones' WARCRAFT!!

Check the latest TV Spot for Duncan Jones' WARCRAFT based on the popular MMORPG from Blizzard Entertainment, World of Warcraft. This is looking GOOD. I was skeptical at first because video game adaptations for the big screen do not have a great reputation, but I did have confidence in Jones to deliver something palatable. And so he has!

I can see the character traits exploding from these creatures and the casting seems particularly well done. The effects? Staggering! Looks amazing. Can't wait!!

Here's the boilerplate for the movie:
From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment’s global phenomenon.

The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.

Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu is a Legendary Pictures, Blizzard Entertainment and Atlas Entertainment production.

The producers are Charles Roven, Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni, Alex Gartner and Stuart Fenegan. Jillian Share, Brent O’Connor, Michael Morhaime and Paul Sams serve as executive producers. Rob Pardo, Chris Metzen, Nick Carpenter and Rebecca Steel Roven co-produce. Warcraft will be released by Universal Pictures. www.warcraftmovie.com

WARCRAFT opens on June 10 in RealD 3D, IMAX 3D and flat.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Check The Latest Poster And TV Spot For Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK

I am so looking forward to seeing director Jon Favreau's THE JUNGLE BOOK! It's natively shot in 3D and with High Dynamic Range HDR imagery. The visuals are looking so darn good. And as I said it's a Favreau movie which I've been salivating for recently. I loved CHEF.

Favreau hits all the right notes with his comments relating to the massive audience for the movie: "You are serving many masters... you are trying to honor the memory, preconceived memory of people who grew up with it, but you are also trying to make a movie that appeals to the full audience -- that is ethically what we set out to do. We are trying to pay tribute, and we can also see that with the visual effects, we are pushing the technology. We are mixing the old story with cutting edge technology".

Here is the movie's storyline:
Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), based on Rudyard Kipling’s timeless stories and inspired by Disney’s classic animated film, THE JUNGLE BOOK is an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi), a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (voice of Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera (voice of Ben Kingsley), and the free-spirited bear Baloo (voice of Bill Murray). Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa (voice of Scarlett Johansson), a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotizes the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie (voice of Christopher Walken), who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire. The all-star cast also includes Lupita Nyong'o as the voice of the fiercely protective mother wolf Raksha, and Giancarlo Esposito as the voice of wolf pack’s alpha male Akela. THE JUNGLE BOOK seamlessly blends live-action with photorealistic CGI animals and environments, using up-to-the-minute technology and storytelling techniques to immerse audiences in an enchanting and lush world.

Disney's THE JUNGLE BOOK opens on April 15. Here's the official website.





Friday, January 29, 2016

THE FORCE AWAKENS - And Yours Truly - Among Winners At This Weeks Advanced Imagining Society Creative Arts Awards!

Yes, this year's Advanced Imaging Society's Creative Arts Awards was an exciting event for many, many reasons including our own 40 BELOW AND FALLING which I had the pleasure of helping produce along with a truly exceptional team. We won the 3D Feature Jury Prize and are deeply honored with the Lumiere.

Here's the official press release:
HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Advanced Imaging Society bestowed 20 honors for “distinguished achievement” at the Creative Arts Awards on Wednesday night, at Warner Bros. Studios in Hollywood.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Disney/Lucasfilm) was honored with two Lumiere statuettes, for Best 3D Live Action Feature and Best 2D to 3D Conversion (StereoD). “The Martian” (20th Century Fox) was also honored with two awards, for Best Live Action Stereography and Best Use of Native 3D. “The Walk” (Sony/Legend3D) won 3D Scene of the Year for its Act 3 high wire walk by actor Joseph Gordon Levitt. Pixar was honored with 3 Lumieres, including: Best 3D Animated Feature and Best Animated Stereography for “Inside Out” (Disney/Pixar) and Best 3D Short for “Lava” (Disney/Pixar).

“Conquest of the Skies” (Colossus Productions), hosted by Sir David Attenborough, won Best 3D Documentary. The Russian cinema commercial, “Schvabe” (StereoTec) won for Best 3D Advertising. The 3D short “Hard Reset” (Buk Films) won for Best Live Action Short. “Emma” (Pannon Entertainment) was awarded for Best use of High Dynamic Range. “Great Barrier Reef,” (Atlantic Productions) also hosted by Sir David Attenborough, won in the Best Ultra HD content category. The Best Virtual Reality Experience was awarded to “The Walk: Virtual Reality Experience” (Sony/Create Design LA).

Marvel’s Victoria Alonso, who heads the Studio’s Physical Production Unit and serves as Executive Producer on many of the Studio's blockbuster hits, was presented with the Harold Lloyd Award for filmmaking.

BBC and BBC Earth were awarded the annual Sir Charles Wheatstone Award for excellence in natural history documentaries.

“With movies like ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens,’ ‘The Martian,’ and ‘Inside Out’ competing for our top honors, we had an extraordinary awards process this year. 3D has never had a better year at the box office, or a better year in terms of brilliant creative work,” said Society President Jim Chabin. “With the addition of Virtual Reality, High Dynamic Range, and Ultra HD entries, our members are clearly working at the very cutting edge of our industry’s future,” he added.

Several Jury Prizes were presented for special achievement. Director Raman Hui was awarded a Lumiere for 2015’s “Monster Hunt,” (Edko Films Limited) the biggest box office hit in Chinese history. The romantic comedy “40 Below And Falling” (Avatar Media), the 3D Short “Coda” (National Film Board of Canada), and the Japanese animated children’s film “Gamba” (Shirogumi) were also honored with jury prizes.

“Our honorees this year came from all over the globe, from China to the UK, to Europe, Canada, and of course Hollywood, 3D has truly come of age,” said Society Awards Chairman Buzz Hays. “Both the high level of quality and the quantity of 3D, HDR, and VR production is impressive,” he added.

Here are the night's winners in detail:

HAROLD LLOYD AWARD
VICTORIA ALONSO
MARVEL

SIR CHARLES WHEATSTONE
BBC EARTH

3D LIVE ACTION FEATURE
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
DISNEY/LUCASFILM

3D ANIMATED FEATURE
INSIDE OUT
PIXAR

STEREOGRAPHY LIVE ACTION
THE MARTIAN
20TH CENTURY FOX

STEREOGRAPHY ANIMATED
INSIDE OUT
PIXAR

3D SHORT ANIMATED
LAVA
PIXAR

3D SHORT LIVE ACTION
HARD RESET
BUK FILMS

3D DOCUMENTARY
CONQUEST OF THE SKIES
COLOSSUS PRODUCTIONS

UHD
GREAT BARRIER REEF
ATLANTIC PRODUCTIONS

BEST USE OF NATIVE 3D
THE MARTIAN
20TH CENTURY FOX

HIGH DYNAMIC RANGE
EMMA
PANNON ENTERTAINMENT

BEST USE OF 2D TO 3D CONVERSION
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS
DISNEY/LUCASFILM

3D SCENE OF THE YEAR
THE WALK
(SCENE: TIGHT ROPE WALK BETWEEN WTC TWIN TOWERS)
SONY/LEGEND 3D

VR
THE WALK: VIRTUAL REALITY EXPERIENCE
SONY/CREATE DESIGN LA

3D ADVERTISEMENT
SCHVABE
STEREOTEC

3D FEATURE JURY PRIZE
40 BELOW AND FALLING
AVATAR MEDIA
CANADA

3D SHORT ANIMATED JURY PRIZE
CODA
NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA
CANADA

3D FEATURE JURY PRIZE
MONSTER HUNT
EDKO FILMS LTD
CHINA

3D ANIMATED FEATURE JURY PRIZE
GAMBA
SHIROGUMI
JAPAN

On behalf of our director Dylan Pearce, producer Andy Scholotiuk and everyone else involved with 40 BELOW AND FALLING, I'd like to thank everyone involved with the Advanced Imaging Society for the honor, and the continuing passion for our industry. It was a tremendous year again for 3D highlighted with STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS dominating the box office and setting records and the top 4 movies of the year being in 3D.

2016 looks to be another amazing year!!

More Trade Coverage: Variety | THR

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

World Box Office: THE FORCE AWAKENS vs. AVATAR? Forget it... Look At All That Cheddar.

As I've been postulating for weeks now (other than the fact I knew there was no way AVATAR 2 would hit its latest release date), there is no way STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS challenges James Cameron's AVATAR in worldwide box office. Let's face it, worldwide box office is the number that matters most and while the domestic record is an awesome achievement, it's only a third of what really matters or in SWTFA's case, half. Yes, TITANIC may sink, but AVATAR is quite safe.

Was there really any doubt about this? Not to me. There's the old description of a four quadrant movie that sort of fits both movies: Males under 25, Males over 25, Females under 25 and Females over 25. I think SWTFA delivers admirably on this, but not in the league of AVATAR. But of course there is much more to the story than just four quadrants.

Many will argue that shiny new 3D technology helped push AVATAR to dizzying heights and while that is true to some degree, SWTFA has nostalgia and an extremely well established fanbase and, count 'em, SIX previous feature releases. SWTFA also has 3D revenue in MORE theaters. AVATAR was an original work. That more than balances the scales.

Here's why AVATAR will remain king of the world in my opinion:
1. James Cameron. The world loves him. They love his movies and love his environmental stance. That's a huge reason why AVATAR commanded the box office it did. SWTFA must measure up to this standard of relevance or fail in my opinion. Cameron is AVATAR's scientist to SWTFA's fantasy magic. It's a very interesting comparison to contrast AVATAR's environmental message to THE FORCE AWAKENS' well... force, and while I'm sure I'll hear from more Star Wars fans on this (I am one!), AVATAR much better aligns with true Science Fiction. Star Wars embraces the supernatural, albeit in a passionate, space opera setting. Don't underestimate the power of "James Cameron Presents". Just his name alone will bring in masses of people. Abrams is good and is getting better, but he doesn't command Cameron's respect yet in the theater - and very probably never will. Cameron IS Captain SciFi. I feel the pure SciFi play is a better option for box office when we're dealing with four quadrant movies.

2. Everyone can relate to AVATAR's story. Indigenous people's oppression. The environment. Corporate greed. Romance. The world responded to it. It had legs. With SWTFA however, the story continually evolves around the soap opera of grandparents, parents, siblings and children with unexpected gasps from audiences as lineages are revealed. There needs to be more at stake and more that relates to our world directly to connect as AVATAR has. THE FORCE AWAKENS needs more meat to move to the next level. Perhaps EP. VIII or the spin offs will.

3. The AVATAR sequels will punch up cinematic technology once again and potentially set the bar even higher in the coming years. You didn't think he was done with just 3D did you? You can bet Cameron will be marketing some new technology very, very hard for the sequels. AVATAR broke amazing ground with 3D, crossing the uncanny valley with photo realism, performance capture and virtual real-time cameras. You can expect more of the same for the sequels only with technology 10 years better. Imagine what he could and will do.

So if not SWTFA, then what will overtake AVATAR? AVATAR 2? Maybe. I suspect the movies will be BETTER than the original (as Cameron always shines in sequels) and will do massive box office, but AVATAR was a must see event for the world. It will be hard to replicate that again and re-energize that urgency. That being said, if there is one person in the world that can beat James Cameron, it's James Cameron. He's already proven that. And there's plenty of causes that are of urgent priority on this planet. Mine that cheddar.


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Jim Dorey
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