In late 2012 John Likens joined forces with Cantina Creative to help deliver over 100 shots for IRON MAN 3.
Marvel tasked them with designing all the elaborate 3D head-up displays (HUDs) – a virtual graphical interface that Iron Man sees from within the helmet environment of his armored suits that communicate essential data and statistics ranging from his physical condition to weapon and navigational diagnostics – While putting strong emphasis on the new ultra-high-tech Mark 42 suit, they also delivered upgraded HUDs to match the new suits seen in the film.
All of the 3D elements, including a miniature version of the suit and the holographic helmet, were generated and rendered from CINEMA 4D. These graphics had true 3D depth, which heightened the stereo viewing experience as well as the interactive light qualities that are both photo-real and immersive. Check out their reel here…
Almost exactly one year ago I posted some exciting news that Jim Jarmusch was planning to make a vampire movie with Tilda Swinton that would be a ‘crypto-vampire love story’. Well, he’s made it and by all accounts it’s amazing. Check out the Variety review from Cannes:
Did somebody make it a rule that every director has to do a vampire movie at some point? If so, Jim Jarmusch got the memo, and he tweaks the genre slightly in “Only Lovers Left Alive” to fit his own laid-back vibe, turning in a sweet but slight love story about world-weary hipster bloodsuckers. Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston have empathic chemistry as the leads, and the pic (acquired by Sony Classics at Cannes) is a smidge more commercial than Jarmusch’s meandering previous effort, “The Limits of Control.” But it still feels like an in-joke intended only for select acolytes, who will probably love it with an undying passion.
The end credits mention Jarmusch’s longtime partner, Sara Driver, for “instigation and inspiration,” and indeed the film feels a bit like a quirky, fitfully touching love letter from one aging punk to another. Slightly upending the conventions of the vampire film (although there are precedents for this sort of reinvention), “Lovers” is a celebration of connubial bliss between two creatures who are still in love after centuries, but are out of step with the modern world. They’ve been there, done that, and ripped up the band T-shirts long ago to make cleaning rags for their awesome guitar collection.
Jarmusch’s characters tend to be either laconic, enigmatic ciphers or garrulous clowns, so it’s a surprise to hear what sounds like a clearly spelled-out author’s message for once, when Eve (Swinton) tries to cheer up her suicidal paramour, Adam (Hiddleston), by pointing out all the things in the world there are to live for, like “appreciating nature … kindness and dancing.”
Indeed, these are basically nice, hepcat vampires, deeply attractive despite their fried, undernourished-looking hair, and exquisitely unscary; they score blood from hospitals and almost never feast on live humans, which would be so 15th century. Hyper-sophisticated to the point of being sometimes irritatingly supercilious, they despair at the stupidity of humans, whom they call “zombies,” and congratulate themselves for all the great art they’ve made and the famous luminaries they hung out with, inspired and/or used as fronts to disseminate their own great masterworks (as in the case of Schubert and Shakespeare). It even turns out that Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt), another vampire, really wrote Shakespeare’s plays; he’s still alive and well, living in Tangiers and hanging out with Eve as the film opens.
Adam and Eve (someone should have talked Jarmusch out of those names) are so secure in their relationship that they can spend long stretches of time apart on separate continents, like nuclear particles in Einstein’s theory of entanglement (which is explained in the dialogue), but still keep the connection between them alive. So while she’s in Tangiers, surrounded by a library of books in every language she loves, he’s in decrepit Detroit, making droning dirge rock on vintage recording equipment supplied by Ian (Anton Yelchin), a helpful human dealer in rare goods who’s unaware of Adam’s true nature.
Foreboding dreams about her sister Ava (Mia Wasikowska) send Eve on a night flight to Detroit to be with her beloved. When Ava duly blows into town from Los Angeles, Adam and Eve grit their fangs and bear it, even though they have to hide their blood stash from this selfish, feckless houseguest and can’t leave her alone with their human friends.
“Only Lovers Left Alive” works best in this section, when it’s essentially a light comedy of social mores set among a bunch of bohemians whose drug of choice just happens to be human blood, rather than cocaine or heroin. The attempt to introduce a more tragic dimension in the final act falls flat, however; by this point, the film has run out of juice, not unlike its wan, exhausted protagonists.
Languid pacing makes the result feel longer than its two-hour running time, and although lenser Yorick Le Saux’s nighttime traveling shots of desolate Detroit cityscapes and Tangiers’ acrid backstreets have a bewitching beauty at first, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Likewise, Jarmusch brings the film to a stop too often to show off his taste in slightly recherche music from all over the world, even if the tracks will collectively make for an interesting soundtrack album.
DONATE NOW: A brand new musical, based on the iconic novel by Bret Easton Ellis, is coming to the Almeida Theatre in London this December.
AMERICAN PSYCHO paints the shocking, funny and unsettling portrait of Patrick Bateman, a 26-year-old Manhattan investment banker with a designer lifestyle and a twisted mind. The novel was originally published in 1991 and has remained a part of contemporary pop-culture ever since. In 2000, Lionsgate released the celebrated film version directed by Mary Harron and featuring Christian Bale in his star-turning performance.
The Almeida Theatre and Headlong are two of the UK’s most impressive non-profit theatre companies. They make extraordinary work and keep it universally accessible through funding from public agency Arts Council England, charitable grants and the generosity of individual and corporate donors.
More unwanted remake news… Silver Reel and Lotus Entertainment have partnered with di Bonaventura Pictures and CJ Entertainment for an English-language remake of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance. The script is written by Broken City scribe Brian Tucker, based on the first film in Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy. The film centres on two men who are bound by their common sense of loss and headed on a collision course of revenge. The other installments in that trilogy are Oldboy and Lady Vengeance. This after the news late last year of a remake ofOldboy which will be released in October by Film District, directed by Spike Lee and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Josh Brolin and Sharlto Copley.
Mark Hartley’s remake of the Aussie cult classic PATRICK is in the can and ready to come to life. A trailer for the film, which stars Sharni Vinson, Charles Dance and Rachel Griffiths, has been uncovered and can be viewed here.
After killing his mother and her lover some years before, Patrick is the comatose patient in room 15 of a remote, private psychiatric clinic run by the secretive Dr Roget who treats him as guinea pig in his bizarre studies of life and death. When Kathy, a nurse who has recently separated from her boyfriend, begins working at the clinic, she is instructed to care for him. She is disturbed by Roget’s treatment of him and somehow feels that Patrick is trying to make a connection with her. When Kathy realized that the lifeless murderer can communicate, she is shocked but compelled to prove her theory. Patrick has psychokinetic powers, which he uses to talk to Kathy by transferring his thoughts to her computer. As Patrick’s communication becomes stronger, strange and terrifying events begin to occur. Patrick has feelings for Kathy and his affection is about to manifest itself as a deadly, bloody obsession.
Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment’s newly formed international sales company, International Film Trust (IFT), has added a new title to their slate – the Stephen King adaptation CELL, starring John Cusack – it was announced at Cannes by IFT President Ariel Veneziano.
IFT has acquired the remaining international territories for CELL, based on the novel by Stephen King, with Benaroya Pictures now on board to finance and co-produce. CELL stars Golden Globe nominee John Cusack (2012) and will be directed by Tod “Kip” Williams (PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2, THE DOOR IN THE FLOOR).
Richard Saperstein (THE TOXIC AVENGER, HANCOCK, SE7EN) and Michael Benaroya (LAWLESS, MARGIN CALL) are producing along with The Genre Company’s Brian Witten and Shara Kay. Marina Grasic and Jan Korbelin of Cargo Entertainment will executive produce. The film is currently in pre-production with principal photography set to begin in September.
When a powerful signal is broadcast across mobile networks worldwide, cell phone users’ minds are instantly and dangerously re-programmed. Heading north through New England in search of his wife and son, Clay Riddell (Cusack) is joined by a group of survivors hoping to fend off the bloodthirsty and hyper-connected “phoners.”
BBC Worldwide Australia & New Zealand and Vivid Sydney invite you to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who for one night only!
The grand façade of the Customs House at Circular Quay will feature a visual feast of 3D-mapped projections of the Doctor and some of his greatest enemies, NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner, announced today.
The spectacular celebration of Doctor Who will be staged for fans as part of Vivid Sydney, on Saturday, 1 June. The soundscape with the projections will feature music from the TV show including I am the Doctor and the iconic theme tune.
Developed, owned and managed by the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, Vivid Sydney is an 18-day festival of light, music and ideas. It is the biggest festival of its kind in the southern hemisphere and will take place in Sydney from 24 May to 10 June.
Destination NSW has collaborated with BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand to ensure local fans of Doctor Who can celebrate this major Anniversary through an evening of entertainment, featuring amazing light projections and a special cinema screening of two episodes from the series.
“This collaboration sees Australian creative innovators, The Spinifex Group, working with the Doctor Who team to create projections that will deliver a worldwide unique birthday celebration for the shows legion of fans, and our own Vivid Sydney is the perfect environment for this experience,” Mr Stoner said.
Customs House, 31 Alfred Street Sydney
Times: 6.50pm; 8.50pm, 10.50pm & 11.50pm
Oddest news for some time… Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks to star in the new “Toxic Avenger,” but he’s no Toxie. He’s in negotiations for another lead role in the reimagining of the 1980s cult pic.
International Film Trust, the sales outfit launched last week by Benaroya Pictures and Miscellaneous Entertainment, is pitching Steve Pink’s reboot of the campy 1984 action comedy in the run-up to Cannes. New project has been described as an action adventure geared toward mainstream auds.
Schwarzengegger is talks with the producers to star. “Hot Tub Time Machine” helmer Pink and Daniel C. Mitchell penned the script while Elysium Films is attached to produce, along with Akiva Goldsman, Richard Saperstein, Charlie Corwin and Michael Benaroya.
Troma Entertainment’s Michael Herz and Lloyd Kaufman directed the original 1984 pic, which initially flopped before gaining cult popularity through midnight screenings. “Avenger” went on to spawn three sequels, a musical and a cartoon. The story centers around Melvin Ferd III, a 98-pound weakling who gets transformed into a superhuman crime-fighting creature after falling into a vat of toxic waste.
Check out this Mother’s Day screening from Screen Junkies. In honor of Mother’s Day – they flew in Hal’s Mom! But only if he and his Mother agreed to watch and review the most inappropriate Mother’s Day movie we could think of… The Human Centipede!
At last, the sequel we weren’t waiting for has a release date. Anchor Bay Films has set a fall release for CineTel’s horror sequel “I Spit on Your Grave 2,” which wrapped production late last year with Steven R. Monroe directing. A loose sequel to the 2010 remake I Spit On Your Grave.
Synopsis: “Naturally beautiful, Jessica (Dallender) has just settled into New York where she, like many other young women, is trying to make it as a model. But what starts out as an innocent and simple photo shoot soon turns into something disturbingly unthinkable! Raped, tortured and kidnapped to a foreign country, Jessica is buried alive and left to die. Against all odds, she manages to escape. Severely injured, she will have to tap into the darkest places of the human psyche to not only survive, but to exact her revenge…”
Special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen, whose work influenced filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, James Cameron, Peter Jackson and George Lucas, died in London. He was 92. His family announced the death via The Ray and Diana Harryhausen Foundation Facebook page. The Oscar and BAFTA award winner was known as the master of stop-motion animation on such films as 1963′s Jason And The Argonauts, for which he’s remembered for his extraordinary animation of seven sword-fighting skeletons. In 2003, Harryhausen wrote: “Each of the model skeletons was about eight to 10 inches high, and six of the seven were made for the sequence. The remaining one was a veteran from The Seventh Voyage Of Sinbad, slightly repainted to match the new members of the family. When all the skeletons have manifested themselves to Jason and his men, they are commanded by Acetes to ‘Kill, kill, kill them all,’ and we hear an unearthly scream. What follows is a sequence of which I am very proud. I had three men fighting seven skeletons, and each skeleton had five appendages to move in each separate frame of film. This meant at least 35 animation movements, each synchronised to the actors’ movements. Some days I was producing less than one second of screen time; in the end the whole sequence took a record four and a half months.”
Harryhausen’s fascination with animated models began in the early 1930’s after watching Willis O’Brien’s creations in King Kong with his childhood friend, the late Ray Bradbury. He began his lifelong adventure in filmmaking with his own home movies that featured his first attempts at model animation. His genius was in bringing his models to life, becoming characters in their own right. The signature technique he devised blending rear projection and stop-motion animation came to be known as Dynamation and was applied in the majority of his other major works, which include Mighty Joe Young (1949), It Came From Beneath The Sea(1955), 20 Million Miles To Earth (1957), Mysterious Island (1961), One Million Years B.C. (1966), The Valley Of Gwangi, (1969), The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad(1973), Sinbad And The Eye Of The Tiger (1974) and Clash Of The Titans (1981).
Check out a compilation of every Harryhausen creature, in chronological order: