Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Jason Clarke Talk DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Their Reaction to Seeing the Finished Film, Changes During Production & More

by     Posted 14 days ago

Dawn-of-the-Planet-of-the-Apes-Gary-Oldman-Keri-Russell-Jason-Clarke

Let me be very clear: Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of the year and a huge step forward for what can be accomplished with motion capture technology, as Andy Serkis has again delivered one of the year’s best performances.  Loaded with incredible performances all around and a great script, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the rare commercial movie that’s also deep and thoughtful.  Dawn is also atypical in that tells a complete story, but also opens the door for another sequel.  Reeves has hit a massive home-run with this film, and I truly hope audiences and critics embrace this special movie.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the San Francisco press day I landed a video interview with Gary Oldman, Keri Russell and Jason Clarke.  They talked about their reaction to the finished film, advances in motion capture and what it was like working with the new technology, how much changed for their characters and the film during production, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

WETA Digital’s Joe Letteri and Dan Lemmon Talk DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Technical Challenges, Deleted Scenes, and Future Projects

by     Posted 17 days ago

weta-Joe-Letteri-Dan-Lemmon-dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes

The visual effects company Weta Digital became a household name following their groundbreaking work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and they’ve worked on a number of other impressive films in the interim, ranging from District 9 to Avatar to Man of Steel.  With Rise of the Planet of the Apes, however, the company built upon the technology used to bring Gollum to life in Lord of the Rings to create phenomenal motion-capture apes.  That technology has advanced even further for the sequel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, with astounding results.  What Weta has accomplished in conjunction with the actors that played the Apes is a huge step forward for how technology can shape a movie.  I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.

At the recent San Francisco press day I landed an exclusive video interview with senior visual effects supervisor Joe Letteri and visual effects supervisor Dan Lemmon about their work on the film.  They talked about advancements in technology and the challenges of bringing realism to the screen, deleted scenes, the technical challenges in the script, what it was like working with Matt Reeves, what it meant shooting a majority of the movie on location, future projects like Batman v Superman and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, and a lot more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Andy Serkis Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Deleted Scenes, Advances in Motion Capture, and How Early He Was Cast in STAR WARS: EPISODE 7

by     Posted 18 days ago

Andy-Serkis-star-wars-episode-7-dawn-of-apes-interview

Let me be very clear: Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of the year and a huge step forward for what can be accomplished with motion capture technology, as Andy Serkis has again delivered one of the year’s best performances.  Loaded with incredible performances all around and a great script, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the rare commercial movie that’s also deep and thoughtful.  Dawn is also atypical in that tells a complete story but also opens the door for another sequel.  As I said, Reeves has hit a massive home-run with this film and I truly hope audiences and critics embrace this special movie.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review.

At the San Francisco press day I landed a great video interview with Andy Serkis.  He talked about his reaction to the finished film, advances in motion capture and film technology, how everything you see any ape do was done by a human performer, deleted scenes, how long ago he was cast in J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode 7, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Matt Reeves Talks DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, Deleted Scenes, the Original Ending, the Next Sequel, and Doing an Extended Cut on Blu-ray with Additional Music by Michael Giacchino

by     Posted 19 days ago

dawn-of-the-planet-of-the-apes-extended-cut-details-matt-reeves

Let me be very clear: Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is one of the best films of the year and a huge step forward for what can be accomplished with motion capture.  Loaded with incredible performances and a great script, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the rare commercial movie that’s also deep and thoughtful.  Dawn is also rare in that tells a complete story but also opens the door for another sequel.  As I said, Reeves has hit a massive home-run with this film and I truly hope audiences and critics embrace this special movie.

At the San Francisco press day I landed a great video interview with Matt Reeves.  He talked about the positive reaction to the film, how he’s definitely coming back for the next sequel, writing the next one with Mark Bomback and “we are just starting to figure out what it would be,” deleted scenes, how he plans to release an extended cut on Blu-ray (which will include additional music by composer Michael Giacchino), the original ending of the movie, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

THE EXPENDABLES 3 Was Originally Rated R; Had to Make Cuts for PG-13 Rating

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Last week, we reported that director Patrick Hughes‘ The Expendables 3 was rated PG-13 due to “violence including intense sustained gun battles and fight scenes, and for language.”  While many fans were a bit disappointed with the rating, I’m wondering why.  The MPAA has shown again and again that you can show insane bodily harm in a movie and get a PG-13 rating, but if you show two people kissing it pushes it into R-rated territory (while clearly an exaggeration, the MPAA has proved with regularity that onscreen sex is the fastest way to get an R).   Does anyone remember what Heath Ledger did in The Dark Knight with a pencil?  I’m still shocked they could get away with that in a PG-13 movie.

While you might think The Expendables 3 is taking it easy on the violence, think again.  I’ve learned from sources that the film just squeaked by the MPAA with a PG-13 rating, and they had to make trims to get there after the first pass was given an R.  Based on what I saw on set, that doesn’t surprise me.  I really believe the third installment is going to be the best one yet, especially with the addition of Mel Gibson as the baddie.  Also, while PG-13 could mean we might not see arms and limbs getting blown apart, it will allow for a younger generation to watch some of the most ass-kicking action heroes ever to grace the screen.  Hit the jump for more.

Over 80 Things to Know About GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY from our Set Visit; Plus Video Blog Recap and New Images

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Last September, when director James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was filming outside London, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  While I knew a bit about the diverse characters starring in Marvel’s latest franchise before I arrived, I definitely wasn’t prepared for the size and scope of the movie, or how Gunn and his filmmaking team were preparing to blow open the doors of the Marvel Cosmic universe by introducing tons of new characters and worlds.  Trust me, Guardians of the Galaxy is telling a huge story on the other side of the universe and it’s going to enable Marvel to bring in numerous new elements to their already expanding universe.

During the set visit I got to watch filming, participate in group interviews with James Gunn, Dave BatistaChris PrattKaren GillanZoe Saldana, and many others, and walk through the art department, weapons room, costumes, SFX, and many other behind-the-scenes locations.  From all this I put together a huge list of things to know, recorded a video blog when I got back from set, and have five new images from the prison sequence provided by Marvel/Disney.  Hit the jump for more.

Zoe Saldana Talks Being Green for Four Months, Avoiding the Comics, and More on the Set of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

by     Posted 20 days ago

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When Zoe Saldana was helping to figure out the look of Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy she decided to focus on something she normally doesn’t care about, “She just needs to be pretty.”  During a group interview on the London set last year she explained:

“That’s usually a thing that I don’t think about with other characters that I play but for some reason because I was going to be green and I was going to be the lead girl, I just wanted teenage boys to find me attractive.  I don’t know why I was stressing this a lot but I really was when we were testing.  That’s where I was coming from, everybody else was just like, “Contacts?  Do we dye the hair?  Wig no wig?  What color hair?  How long is it?”  I’m like, “Pretty.  Teenage boys, please.  We gotta get their vote.”

I think she succeeded.  During the rest of the interview she talked about landing the role, how her 11-year-old nephew gave her insight into the character, why she was nervous to have her character wield a sword, the science fiction genre, working with James Gunn and the cast, being green for four months, avoiding the comics for fear of coloring her interpretation, and so much more.  It’s another great interview from the set so hit the jump and check it out.

James Gunn Talks Having More Time, Money, Talent, Marvel Characters and Meeting High Expectations on the Set of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

by     Posted 20 days ago

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When you visit a movie set, the one person you’re never sure you’ll get to talk to is the director.  Not only are they involved in every decision happening each moment, they’re usually busy planning the coming days and also reviewing edited footage as well.  It’s a non-stop job that continues even after the film gets released (that’s when the director fine-tunes the Blu-ray release).  So when James Gunn participated in a lengthy group interview on the set Guardians of the Galaxy last year, we were all very surprised and excited.

During the interview he talked about landing the job, what Joss Whedon told him about the first draft of the script, working with the amazing cast, meeting Marvel’s high expectations, filming the movie with long takes, making a PG-13 movie, why he wanted Bradley Cooper for Rocket Raccoon, how Karen Gillan is Clint Eastwood on screen but Hello Kitty offscreen, and so much more.  It’s a great interview so check it out after the jump.

Karen Gillan Talks Shaving Her Head and Being a Female Villain In a Marvel World on the Set of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

by     Posted 20 days ago

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Last year, when James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy was filming outside London, I got to visit the set with a few other reporters.  During a great group interview with Karen Gillan during a break in filming, she talked about who Nebula is and her purpose in the film:

“She is a lieutenant of Ronan the Accuser, a daughter of Thanos. They are on this holy mission to kind of cleanse the galaxy of all that is weak. That is her ultimate objective and what’s been drilled into her as a kid. So she is brainwashed by these people, and she just wants to impress, and achieve, and be as strong as possible. That’s her ultimate goal.”

And after seeing her up close wearing some amazing practical makeup, trust me, she definitely looks the part and I wouldn’t want to get on her bad side.  During the rest of the interview she talked about landing the role, having an American accent, how Nebula is a total sadist, the makeup process, the fight scenes, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.

Dave Bautista Talks Fight Scenes and Finding The Humor in Drax on the Set of GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

by     Posted 20 days ago

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While I’ve been very lucky to spend a lot of time on movie sets, one of the things that blew me away about my Guardians of the Galaxy set visit was seeing Drax the Destroyer (Dave Bautista) up close.  You might think some of his look was created in a computer, but it’s actually all Bautista, along with five makeup artists spending four hours a day getting him camera ready.  While I’ve seen plenty of practical makeup done well, the work that was done on Guardians of the Galaxy is spectacular and it’s going to make kids think they’re real.

During a break in filming last year on set, I got to participate in a group interview with Dave Bautista.  He talked about the fight scenes, finding the humor in Drax, how his whole purpose is to get even with Thanos, how happy he was to land the role, Drax’s relationship with the other Guardians, the makeup process, and so much more.  It’s a great interview so check it out after the jump.

Chris Miller and Phil Lord Talk 22 JUMP STREET, How Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum Weren’t Contracted for the Sequel, Why Brie Larson Isn’t in the Film, and More

by     Posted 23 days ago

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What’s frustrating about the movie world nowadays is it feels like we are always looking forward rather than enjoying the moment.  We spend years anticipating a movie and the moment it gets released it’s on to the next thing.  It’s frustrating.  Yet I’m as guilty as anyone; I do the same thing.  Which is why, during this holiday weekend, I want to take a second to talk about 22 Jump Street.  While many of you have seen Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s awesome sequel, a bunch of you have heard the buzz but haven’t found the time to go.  Trust me, if you want to laugh and have a good time, see this film, especially this weekend when the theater is crowded.  I normally hate crowded theaters but with comedies I’ll admit it’s a lot more fun to laugh with strangers than on your own.  For more on the film, read Matt’s review and check out all our previous coverage.

At the New York City press day I landed an extended video interview with Chris Miller and Phil Lord.  While I already posted a lot from that interview, I saved a bit for today so I could have something to remind you guys to see their film.  During this portion of the interview they talked about when Sony approached them to do the sequel, how Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum weren’t contractually obligated to do it, how Amy Pascal, the head of Sony Pictures, was laughing the most at the table read during the jokes about things being “too expensive,” the sequel budget, why Brie Larson isn’t in the sequel, and if they might make a 3rd Jump Street movie.  Hit the jump to watch.

Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura Talks TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, Dinobots, What Mark Wahlberg Added to the Story, Sequels, and More

by     Posted 24 days ago

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The day after the world premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction in Hong Kong, I landed an awesome extended video interview with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura.  Since the franchise launched in 2007, he’s produced all the films along with projects like G.I. JoeRedSide Effects,Stardust, and many more.  While we already posted what he had to say about Joe Carnahan’s Five Against a Bullet, G.I. Joe 3, David S. Goyer’s The Breach, the possibility of a Transformers/G.I. Joe crossover movie, and the Dead Rising digital series, it’s finally time for what he had to say about making Age of Extinction.

During the interview he talked about how the story came together for the film, how and why they finally brought in the dinobots, the way they work with Hasbro, how breaking the story led to introducing a new kind of character to the Transformers movie mythology, where the film could go in future sequels, how adding a legitimate action star in Mark Wahlberg changed the dynamic of the human component of the story, and more.  Hit the jump to watch and make sure to see Transformers: Age of Extinction in IMAX 3D if you have the option.  The film will take up the full IMAX frame about 60% of the time and the 3D is great.

Paul W.S. Anderson Talks Filming His Volkswagen Commercials, How the Process Differs from Films, and More

by     Posted 25 days ago

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While you might know Paul W.S. Anderson from the movies he’s directed like Resident EvilEvent HorizonDeath Race and Pompeii, over the last few years he’s also been doing something you may find more surprising: directing award winning commercials.  Like his movies, his commercials are loaded with action.  In the first of three new ads for VW, Anderson takes the tag line “made for real life, not the movies” and offers a tongue-in-cheek take on car commercials/high-octane action movies.  After you see the ad (which is after the jump), the tag line will make a lot more sense.  In addition to this ad called “Bus,” the second ad “Chase” and third one “Explosion” will be playing in theaters in the UK in front of movies starting July 11th and September 12th and will be released online shortly after.

Recently, I got on the phone with Anderson to talk about his commercial work.  He discussed how he first came to be directing commercials, the way he’s taken custom camera rigs created for the ads and incorporated them in his own movies, the premise of the different VW ads and why they were created, how he works with Volkswagen on the day of the shoot, and a lot more.  In addition to the interview, Anderson provided us with a number of behind-the-scenes images from the shoot.  Hit the jump to check it out.

Producer Wyck Godfrey Talks THE MAZE RUNNER, Adapting the Novels, Casting the Characters, Building a Practical Set, Grievers, Production Challenges & More

by     Posted 25 days ago

wyck godfrey the maze runner

Last summer, when The Maze Runner was filming outside New Orleans, I got to visit the set along with a few other reporters.  If you’re not familiar with James Dashner’s YA novel, it centers on a group of teens who appear in an area known as “The Glade” but have no memory when they wake up. The only way out appears to be through a shifting maze of massive walls that harbor dangerous creatures known as Grievers. Only one of the teens, Thomas (Dylan O’Brien), holds the secret to their escape. The Maze Runner also stars Kaya Scodelario, Aml Ameen, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, and Patricia Clarkson.

During a break in filming I was able to participate in a group interview with producer Wyck Godfrey.  He talked about adapting the novel, putting together the cast, building practical sets, the Grievers, production challenges, the cast boot camp, and a lot more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

Stanley Tucci Talks TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION, Working with Michael Bay, Filming the Action, Alan Rickman’s A LITTLE CHAOS, and More

by     Posted 26 days ago

Stanley-Tucci-Transformers-Age-of-Extinction-interview

Stanley Tucci is one of those actors that shines in every genre and role.  I won’t list his great resume, but check it out on IMDb and you’ll see someone that has consistently done excellent work for almost three decades and acted in over 100 projects.   He’s also a writer-director helming projects of his own like Big NightThe Impostors and Blind Date.  In his latest role for Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction, Tucci plays the head of a tech company that develops weapons.

At the Hong Kong press day for the film, I talked to Tucci about working with Bay, the new technology that was used on the film (like the new IMAX 4K 3D digital camera), playing a role that’s serious while also providing levity, filming the action, and getting to work with Alan Rickman on his movie A Little Chaos.  Hit the jump to watch. 

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