Second time’s a charm?
One of the most infamous film-making disasters of all time was told with mesmerizing, heart-breaking detail in the 2002 documentary Lost In La Mancha. It captured the tale of ambitious director Terry Gilliam‘s failed, er, quixotic attempt to bring his take on the Don Quixote story to the screen. It’s a compelling watch, especially since what it reveals isn’t a filmmaker out of control but, rather, just how fragile any film production can be.
Well, now Paris-based Alfama Films has come on board to resurrect the once-doomed fantasy adventure. Titled The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (based on Miguel de Cervantes’ classic novel), casting is now underway. Budgeted at 16 million Euros (roughly $18+ million dollars), it will begin shooting in Spain and Portugal this September…knock on wood.
Today – March 30, 2016 – marks the 163rd birthday of the famed, troubled artist Vincent Van Gogh. Now, a new film about the painter’s life and death is coming to theaters, boasting a revolutionary technique: it’s a motion painting.
Below, you can watch the first teaser trailer for Loving Vincent. What you’ll see is not animation. Each frame – 12 per second – is an actual hand-made painting, all done in the Van Gogh’s signature style.
Here is a description, from the film’s website:
- Loving Vincent is an investigation delving into the life and controversial death of Vincent Van Gogh, one of the world’s most beloved painters, told by his paintings and by the characters that inhabit them. The intrigue unfolds through interviews with the characters closest to Vincent and through dramatic reconstructions of the events leading up to his death.
Loving Vincent features over one hundred and twenty of Vincent Van Gogh’s greatest paintings. The plot, drawn from the 800 letters written by the painter himself, lead us to the significant people and events in the time leading up to his unexpected death.
Loving Vincent will be the world’s first feature-length painted animation, and is brought to you by Oscar winning film companies Breakthru Films and Trademark Films. Every frame in the Loving Vincent movie is an oil painting on canvas, using the very same technique in which Vincent himself painted.
Here is the first official trailer:
As well as a previous concept trailer:
Fascinating or Indicting?
Your reaction to this 4-minute shot-to-shot comparison (below) between Episode’s IV and VII – aka A New Hope and The Force Awakens – will directly coincide with whether you thought the callbacks were intentional by thematic design (a good thing) or unoriginal fan service (a lazy thing, as argued here by Collider’s Matt Goldberg – and the vitriolic comments thread).
I’ve argued for the former, at length (here and here), that the callbacks were a part of the structural and spiritual fabric of what George Lucas established in the first two trilogies, and that J.J. Abrams came up with inspired – at times superior – versions of how this galaxy’s history and time loops in an eternal, poetic circle. You can see a similar side-by-side edit showing how the Original Trilogy and Prequels mirrored each other, in the same fashion, linked here.
Anyway – here’s the new edit, from Zachary Antell. It’s titled “A New Awakening”, and it’s fun to watch. (I also dig the “Rey’s Theme” music choice.)
The home video release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is almost here, and now there’s a teaser for one of the most intriguing bonus features: the deleted scenes.
Completely rendered with final visual effects (rather than just the raw footage, like many deleted scenes are presented), fans will be able to see the moments that didn’t make the final “canonical” edit – and begin to argue if they should have. The Force Awakens drops its Digital Download on Friday April 1, and hits DVD and Blu-Ray on Tuesday April 5th.
In the fall of 2015, a new, longer remastered version of the animated classic The Iron Giant enjoyed a limited run in theaters. This fall, on September 6th, it hits blu-ray in Signature and Ultimate Editions.
The Signature Edition (or “the normal blu-ray purchase”) will have the 2015 re-release version (with additional scenes), as well as a high-def version of the original theatrical cut. Here are the other features of that blu-ray package:
- Director Brad Bird‘s Commentary (on the original theatrical cut)
- An alternate opening
- A NEW documentary titled “The Giant’s Dream”, which chronicles the making of The Iron Giant
- Other bonus content, which includes:
- The Iron Giant: Signature Edition trailer
- Additional scenes
- Mini documentary segments
- Teddy Newton The X Factor
- Duck and Cover sequence
- The Voice of the Giant
- Motion Gallery
- Brad Bird trailer
The suggested retail price for the Signature Edition will be $14.99.
The Ultimate Collectors Edition (pictured above) will come in at a much higher price point: $74.99 (suggested retail). Along with the Signature Edition blu-ray, additional items exclusive to this box set are:
- A hardcover art book on the film
- Collectible Mondo art cards
- A 4-inch plastic articulated Iron Giant statue
- A personal letter from director Brad Bird
Right on the heels of a huge opening weekend, the first deleted scene from Batman V Superman has been released by the studio (see below). And the more you know about DC canonical history, the more packed with potential the scene apparently is.
Titled “Communion”, the 45-second creepy outtake – which will most certainly appear in the 3-hour Rated R cut, to be released on DVD/Blu-Ray – is a treasure trove of Easter Eggs for DC diehards. They all point to Darkseid, the ultimate villain of the DC universe (or so I’ve read).
Not being a comic geek myself, I’m grateful to comicbookresources.com for unpacking what us novices can’t see past the surface:
- In the clip, some kind of special forces unit enters the Kryptonian ship Lex Luthor uses to create Doomsday. As they wander the strange, alien halls, they encounter an alien creature, who is holding three gray cubes. While Luthor kneels before him, the creature and the cubes dissolve, only to leave Luthor standing in the Kryptonian sludge with sniper rifles trained on his back.
- Since Darkseid is teased throughout several of Bruce Wayne’s visions, it’s very likely this creature is none other than Steppenwolf. In the comics, Steppenwolf is a general on Apokolips, Darkseid’s home world. A member of Darkseid’s Elite, the character is an immortal with superhuman strength, speed, endurance and reflexes.
If the creature is indeed Steppenwolf, the cubes are likely Mother Boxes. Mother Boxes enable interstellar teleportation (among various other abilities), which would explain the creature’s subsequent disappearance.
Here’s the clip:
UPDATE: Final numbers came in $4 million lower than the Sunday estimates, lowering Batman V Superman‘s North American debut to $166.1 million. Two records have been updated accordingly, noted with an asterisk *.
Talk about critic proof.
Despite the doomsday response from film writers, audiences turned out in record-breaking droves to resurrect Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice from the Good Friday critical drubbing it received. The DC Universe blockbuster opened to $166.1 million in North America and over $424 million worldwide.
Here’s a brief rundown of the box office marks that Batman V Superman set:
- Biggest March opening ever (previous: The Hunger Games, $152.5 million)
- Biggest Easter opener ever (previous: Furious 7, $147.1 million)
- Biggest DC Comics opener ever (previous: The Dark Knight Rises, $160.8 million)
- *Second biggest Warner Bros. opener ever (Biggest: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, $169.1 million)
- *Seventh biggest domestic debut of all time
- Fourth biggest global debut of all time
In addition to all of that, BvS‘s $166.1 million haul came in the shadow of a 29% Rotten Tomatoes average. Prior to this, no film with a rating lower than 63% from RT had ever opened to $150 million or more. The Cinemascore audience grade of “B” further defined the gulf between critics and moviegoers.