Year in Review: Best Performances, Direction, and Other Miscellany of 2013

by     Posted 359 days ago


Over the past week, we’ve been looking back on 2013 and trying to whittle down what we thought were the “best” of the year.  Obviously, this is all subjective.  There is no mathematical formula at work.  I feel I shouldn’t have to state this, but there are people in the comments section who feel that everything should be appraised “objectively”, which in this case would simply be “These are five actors who starred in movies” or “These are five people who directed movies”.  The debate comes over who can be considered the best in their respective fields.  Who gave a performance that we still can’t shake?  Who put together a powerhouse of a picture?  Who created the score we’re still humming?  Who was the bane of our protagonists?  Who’s on the cusp of the A-list?  These are fun questions to ask, and hopefully they’ll stir up some fun (and respectful) debate.

Hit the jump for my miscellaneous “Best of 2013″ picks.  Check back from December 28 – 30th for the Top 10 Films of 2013 lists from me, Adam, and Dave.


by     Posted 1 year, 246 days ago


When science fiction wants to present thoughtful subtext, it can’t go broad.  The freedom to construct a world has to come down to precise themes.  The world can be derivative (or “inspired by” if you want to be charitable), and the themes can be universal, but they have to be cohesive.  In casting a wide net for influences, Joseph Kosinski‘s Oblivion mashes-up the ideas from better movies, and doesn’t put them towards abstraction or ambiguity, but towards ambivalence.  The film is more concerned with its gorgeous visuals and rousing score while the emotions become lost in a shuffle of reveals and fragmented ideas.

Director Joseph Kosinski Talks OBLIVION, Movies That Ask Big Questions, Why He Chose Not to Do 3D, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 248 days ago


Producer/director Joseph Kosinski’s visionary sci-fi epic, Oblivion, was inspired by his graphic novel written in 2005 which became the pitch for the film.  Set in the year 2077, the story centers on Jack Harper (Tom Cruise), a security repairman stationed on an evacuated, post-apocalyptic Earth who is part of a massive operation to extract vital resources after decades of war with a terrifying alien threat.  When Jack rescues a beautiful stranger (Olga Kurylenko) from a downed space craft, her arrival triggers a chain of events that forces him to question everything he thought he knew.  Opening this Friday, the film also stars Morgan Freeman, Andrea Riseborough and Melissa Leo.

At the recent press day at Universal Studios, Kosinski discussed how the finished film compared to what he had originally envisioned, why he likes movies that ask big questions but don’t necessarily answer all of them, the challenges of creating a sci-fi world that’s never been seen before, getting M83’s Anthony Gonzalez to compose the cool score, what the actors brought to their roles, how his background in mechanical engineering and industrial design influenced the film’s groundbreaking visual design, collaborating with DP Claudio Miranda on the high definition front projection, and why he chose not to do 3D.  Hit the jump for the interview.

Limited Paper: OBLIVION Soundtrack Announced as Mondo’s Next Vinyl Release, Features Artwork by Killian Eng

by     Posted 1 year, 252 days ago


If you read the interview that Collider’s Steve “Frosty” Weintraub recently conducted with Mondo’s Justin Ishmael, you know that Austin’s biggest screenprint retailer is dead serious about making vinyl a consistent part of their output.  Their most recent vinyl release—the soundtrack to Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, featuring artwork by the one-and-only Tyler Stout—sold out quickly upon release, and the company’s previous vinyl releases have also sold well…and now we’ve got the details on their next vinyl drop.  Pretend you didn’t read the headline and find out when the album’s dropping, what’s on it, and who did the artwork after the jump, folks.

Stream M83’s Entire Score for OBLIVION [Updated with IMAX Poster]

by     Posted 1 year, 260 days ago


Fresh off his swell collaboration with Daft Punk for Tron: Legacy, director Joseph Kosinski enlisted yet another talented artist to score his upcoming sci-fi film Oblivion.  The electronic band M83 has composed an entirely original score for the Tom Cruise-fronted film, and now the score is available to stream in its entirety.  Fans of M83 should be pleased with the result, which is at once haunting and massive in scope, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the score plays within the context of the film.

Hit the jump to listen to the Oblivion score in its entirety, click here for four clips from the film, and click here to read Steve’s interview with Kosinski in which the filmmaker talks at length about M83’s involvement with the pic.  The film opens in traditional theaters and IMAX on April 19th. [Update: We've added the IMAX poster for the film, which you can check out after the jump.]

Listen to the First M83 Track from OBLIVION

by     Posted 1 year, 289 days ago


Director Joseph Kosinski famously collaborated with the music duo Daft Punk on the score for Tron: Legacy, and for his new film Oblivion, Kosinski has once again reached out to the music community for the pic’s soundtrack.  The filmmaker has been developing Oblivion for a number of years, and in a recent interview with Steve the filmmaker revealed that as early as his first treatment for the script in 2005, he had noted his desire for a soundtrack from the electronic band M83.

Kosinski’s dream came true, as Anthony Gonzales and Co. have composed the entire original score for Oblivion and now the first track from their efforts has been unveiled online.  “StarWaves” is a decidedly synth-heavy cut, but it does a nice job of mirroring the scope and expansiveness of Oblivion that we’ve seen in the trailers.  Hit the jump to take a listen and to see what Kosinski had to say about M83’s score for the film.  Oblivion opens in IMAX and traditional theaters on April 19th.

Watch M83′s Drum Battle for OBLIVION Score

by     Posted 1 year, 341 days ago

m83-lolic-maurin oblivion

Joseph Kosinski is two for two in hiring cool bands to score his first two movies.  Daft Punk fit right in with the TRON: Legacy universe, and we expect the same from M83 for Oblivion.  Kosinski told us in December, “I went back and I found my first treatment for Oblivion from 2005 and it had listed in the treatment a soundtrack of M83.”

It’s not much to go on, but M83 has posted a short clip to their YouTube channel of a drum battle between band member Loic Maurin and Ilan Rubin that will feature in an “Oblivion action scene” according to the description.  You can hear the full dramatic orchestral score in the background.  Watch the drum battle after the jump.  Oblivion—starring Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, and Olga Kurylenko—opens April 12.

Exclusive: Joseph Kosinski Talks OBLIVION, Working with Tom Cruise, Getting M83 to Compose the Score, the Film’s Unique Design, the IMAX Release & More

by     Posted 1 year, 354 days ago


In a small, nondescript office building somewhere in Los Angeles, director Joseph Kosinski (TRON: Legacy) and his post-production team are working feverishly behind the scenes finishing up his second feature film, Oblivion, for its April 19 release.  Tom Cruise stars as one of the last remaining drone repairman stationed on a post-apocalyptic Earth.  He works as part of a mission to extract vital resources from the ground following a decades-long war with a threat known as the Scavs.  When Cruise’s character rescues a beautiful stranger from a downed spacecraft, events are set in motion that force him to “question everything he knows and puts the fate of humanity in his hands.”  Oblivion also stars Morgan Freeman, Olga Kurylenko, Andrea Riseborough, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Melissa Leo.

Recently, I got to do an extended interview with Kosinski at his post-production facility.  We talked about how he came up with the idea, why they filmed in Louisiana and used the new Sony CineAlta F65 camera, how and why they’re releasing the film a week early in IMAX,  why he chose M83 to do the soundtrack (and if it’s all new music), how long was his first cut and what’s the current running time, how he landed Cruise, the costumes and design of the ships, why Disney passed and how it landed at Universal, if things changed on set, and so much more.  Hit the jump for what he had to say.

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