LIFE OF PI Review

by     Posted 1 year, 148 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi presents a tough sell for mainstream audiences: the main character is oddly named, the cast is not comprised of instantly-recognizable faces and the bulk of the story strands the viewers in a small boat with a boy and a tiger in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But if people take a chance and put their faith in the Oscar-winning director, they’ll experience a beautifully told story about survival, self-discovery, the triumph of the human spirit and the quest for meaning in life, all wrapped up in a well-paced film in which the gorgeous special effects and responsible use of 3D are actually quite complementary.

Based on the novel by Yann Martel, Life of Pi stars Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, Tabu, Rafe Spall and Gerard Depardieu and is in theaters now. Hit the jump for my review.

Two New Featurettes for Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI Focus on the 3D and Creating a CG Tiger

by     Posted 1 year, 153 days ago

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Two new featurettes for director Ang Lee’s ambitious adaptation of Life of Pi have been released.  Lee has stated many times that this is the hardest film he’s ever had to make, and it’s obvious that’s not an understatement when you realize that the premise involves a young boy and a tiger lost at sea for the majority of the film.  The featurettes released today focus on the meticulousness that went into creating the CG tiger Richard Parker, and choosing to shoot the film in 3D.  The latter featurette includes 3D guru James Cameron talking about Lee’s use of 3D in the pic and how it enhances the story, naturally.

Hit the jump to take a look at the featurettes.  Life of Pi opens in 3D on November 21st.

New Posters for LIFE OF PI, CLOUD ATLAS and WARM BODIES

by     Posted 1 year, 180 days ago

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Check out the offerings from our latest poster round-up:

  • The U.K. poster for Ang Lee’s Life of Pi, starring Suraj SharmaRafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain. Life of Pi opens in 3D November 21st.
  • A huge banner poster for Cloud Atlas, from directors Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tyker.  Starring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent and more, Cloud Atlas opens October 26th.
  • A teaser posters for Warm Bodies, a zombie romance (zomance? zom-rom?) starring Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer, which opens February 1st, 2013.

Hit the jump for the posters and synopses. 

First Clip from LIFE OF PI with an Introduction by Director Ang Lee

by     Posted 1 year, 182 days ago

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The first clip from visionary director Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is now available.  The scene in question is an extension of the stunning trailer for the film, which was adapted from Yann Martel’s novel by David MageeLife of Pi follows an Indian boy named Pi (Suraj Sharma), a zookeeper’s son who finds himself in the company of a hyena, zebra, orangutan, and a Bengal tiger after a shipwreck sets them adrift in the Pacific Ocean.  Viewed in 2D, the clip can be a bit distracting as there are obvious places where the 3D will be played up; it entertains just the same.

Also starring Rafe Spall, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan and Adil HussainLife of Pi opens in 3D November 21st.  Hit the jump to see the clip.

New Featurette for LIFE OF PI Focuses on Director Ang Lee’s Ambitious Vision

by     Posted 1 year, 184 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s “unfilmable” novel Life of Pi has been a long time coming, and the film finally premiered late last month at the New York Film Festival to a largely positive response.  Many critics were taken with Lee’s incredibly ambitious use of 3D and visual effects to bring the larger than life story to the screen, and now a featurette for the film has been released that focuses on how Lee tackled the adaptation.  We see a few bits of new footage interspersed with Lee and Martel talking about the difficulties the production faced, including having a CGI tiger as one of its main characters.

Hit the jump to take a look, and be sure to check out Steve’s extended interview with Lee in which the filmmaker talks about how tough it was to get the film made and his thoughts on 3D as a new art form.  Life of Pi opens in 3D on November 21st.

Ang Lee Talks LIFE OF PI, the Difficulty of Getting the Project Off the Ground, 3D as a New Artistic Form, Deleted Scenes and More

by     Posted 1 year, 197 days ago

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Last week at the New York Film Festival, I saw one of my favorite films of the year:  Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi.  Based on Yann Martel‘s “unfilmable” 2001 novel, the story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.  Loaded with a great script, fantastic direction, amazing cinematography and CGI, and 3D that actually helps tell the story, Life of Pi’s universal message of hope, courage, and spirituality is sure to connect with audiences and critics alike when it opens in late November.  The film will definitely be up for a number of year-end awards.  For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.

The day after the world premiere I got to sit down with Ang Lee for an exclusive interview.  We talked about what it was like to premiere the film at the NYFF, the lightning-fast Twitter reactions, whether he ever thought Life of Pi wouldn’t get made given the difficult road to production, how the eventual budget reduction changed the film, deleted scenes and the length of his first cut, the challenges of filming in 3D, whether he’ll use 3D on his future projects, how close the film is to completion (he still has 90 visual effects shots that aren’t done), future projects, and whether there’s a genre he hasn’t tackled yet that he still wants to work in.  Hit the jump for the video and transcript.

First Reactions from the Premiere of Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI

by     Posted 1 year, 202 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s adaptation of the Yann Martel novel Life of Pi was flying pretty much under the radar until footage was unveiled earlier this year at CinemaCon.  Those in attendance were wowed by the visuals of Lee’s 3D pic, and the general public got their first peek at the film shortly thereafter by way of a stunning trailer.  For those unfamiliar with the source material, the story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.

The film is having its world premiere today at the New York Film Festival, and the first reactions from those in attendance have landed online.  They’re largely positive, with everyone buzzing about some truly wonderful visuals from Lee and a masterful use of the 3D.  And yes, Oscar talk looks to have already begun.  Hit the jump to check out some of the first reactions.

New International Trailer for Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI

by     Posted 1 year, 209 days ago

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A new international trailer for director Ang Lee’s ambitious adaptation of Life of Pi has landed online.  The story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.  The clip gets things started right with the lovely stylings of Sigur Ros, and we get to see quite a bit of new footage on land.  The trailer opens as a frame story as we see the journalist character that was previously played by Tobey MaguireLee decided to recast the role after he saw that Maguire’s starpower made the scene feel off, so now we see Rafe Spall in the part.  Every piece of footage we’ve seen thus far has been gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see Lee’s Life of Pi on a giant screen when it hits theaters.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer.  The film also stars Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain, and Gerard DepardieuLife of Pi opens in 3D on November 21st.

Tobey Maguire Cut from Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI

by     Posted 1 year, 225 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s gorgeous-looking adaptation of Life of Pi is shaping up to be a major awards contender this year, but official word has now come down that the film’s biggest star has been cut from the film.  Lee filled his international cast with relative unknowns, but he went with Tobey Maguire to tackle a small role as a writer who interviews the protagonist.  We’d heard rumblings that Maguire was no longer in the film, and THR now confirms that the role was recast after the director felt that Maguire’s performance “wasn’t working.”  Hit the jump for more.

David Fincher No Longer Attached to CLEOPATRA with Angelina Jolie

by     Posted 1 year, 238 days ago

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It appears we’ll never get to see David Fincher’s iteration of Cleopatra.  The director began eyeing the project back in March of 2011, but now it appears that talks between Fincher and Sony have broken off and he’s no longer involved.  Angelina Jolie has long been attached to star in the film based on Stacy Schiff’s book Cleopatra: A Life.  Fincher’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button scribe Eric Roth entered talks to pen the screenplay late last year, but the last update about the project came from Fincher himself last December:

“Cleopatra, I haven’t even begun. I’ve just spoken with Angie [Angelina Jolie] and Eric [Roth] and I’m trying to figure out how to weigh in. It’s just a discussion about what can it be, what are people expecting, what do we need to do to destroy that?”

Hit the jump for more on the future of Cleopatra and what other projects Fincher is circling for his feature film follow-up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI to Open New York Film Festival

by     Posted 1 year, 248 days ago

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Director Ang Lee’s ambitious 3D adaptation of the classic Yann Martel novel Life of Pi has been chosen to open the New York Film Festival, where it will also be making its world premiere.  For those unaware, the story centers on a young man (Suraj Sharma) who is stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger following a shipwreck.  The simple premise gives way to themes of hope, courage, spirituality, and avoiding being eaten by a tiger.  The first trailer for the film wowed us with some truly spectacular visuals, and further footage really impressed convention goers at CinemaCon earlier this year.

As the film includes no big stars and centers on the dialogue-light relationship between a boy and a tiger, Life of Pi is a tough sell for general audiences.  The draw for holiday moviegoers will be the lush visuals, and I’m hoping Lee has cooked up an emotionally engaging and challenging adaptation of Martel’s novel.  As the film has now been selected as the prestigious opening film at NYFF, we’ll have our first reactions to the full film on September 28th (as well as a clearer “yay or nay” concerning the pic’s Oscar chances).  Life of Pi opens on November 21st.

First Trailer for Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI

by     Posted 1 year, 267 days ago

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The first trailer for Ang Lee‘s adaptation of Life of Pi has gone online.  The film looks, in a word, vibrant.  The few still images we’ve seen looked pretty, but this will definitely be a visually amazing feature when it opens this November.  As for the story, the trailer doesn’t lay out the plot and instead sells the message of hope, discovery, and courage.  There’s not a single line of dialogue in the trailer, and it’s a smart decision letting the visuals and tone do the talking.  I’m still not entirely sure what to expect from Life of Pi, but I like what I’m seeing from this trailer.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  Life of Pi opens in 3D on November 21st.

Uncut Scenes from LIFE OF PI to Play Before 3D Showings of PROMETHEUS, ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER and ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT

by     Posted 1 year, 318 days ago

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20th Century Fox is planning to get the buzz out on director Ang Lee’s 3D adaptation of Life of Pi in grand fashion.  Uncut scenes from the film will play exclusively in 3D in front of Prometheus, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and Ice Age: Continental Drift, well ahead of its November 21st release.  Apparently the scenes will not be released online, as these clips will only be viewable in 3D in front of the aforementioned Fox films.  It’s an interesting strategy, but given the wildly enthusiastic reaction to 3D footage shown at CinemaCon, Fox is taking precious care of how Life of Pi is released.  Hit the jump for more, including the importance of the theater-going experience.

Fox Moves LIFE OF PI Up to November 21; THE INTERNSHIP Starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn Set for June 28, 2013

by     Posted 1 year, 330 days ago

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Following the big release date shakeup of Paramount moving G.I. Joe: Retaliation to March 2013 and Ted taking the film’s June 29th slot, 20th Century Fox has announced two release date shifts of its own.  Briefly:

  • Fox moves Ang Lee’s 3D adaptation of Life of Pi up from December 21st to November 21st.
  • Director Shawn Levy’s comedy The Internship, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn, will open on June 28th, 2013

Hit the jump for more on each film.

20th Century Fox CinemaCon Recap: Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI, TAKEN 2, NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH, PROMETHEUS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 357 days ago

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At this morning’s 20th Century Fox CinemaCon 2012 panel, Tom Rothman and Jim Gianopulos (Co-Chairman Fox Filmed Entertainment) world premiered footage from all their upcoming releases and talked about what they have coming up in the future.  While I was excited to see more of Ridley Scott‘s Prometheus, and Liam Neeson kicking a lot of ass in Taken 2, the real surprise was Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi.  Called unfilmmable by anyone that’s read Yann Martel‘s 2001 novel about a boy and a tiger that get stranded at sea, the unfinished footage that Fox world premiered today was nothing short of stunning, and it was easily the highlight of their presentation.  While you might have wondered if Ang Lee could pull it off, based on what I saw today, Life of Pi is an early contender for Best Picture and all the other year end awards.  Hit the jump for more.

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