Author Archives: Guest Post

Taking A Look At The Hobbit In 48 FPS – Guest Post

Whether it’s turning the shorter prequel to “Lord of the Rings” into a trilogy or filming the story in 48 frames per second (fps) there is no end to the spurious speculation surrounding the much-anticipated live film rendering of “The Hobbit.” What fans hope will be a cinematic masterpiece may end up being better known for its pioneering use of 48fps technology. When it was finally settled that Peter Jackson would once again be at the helm bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s world to life, it seemed like all the drama would die down. But dear Bilbo and his ilk are getting no free passes – and fans who got a sneak peek at the high frame-rate footage were less than enthusiastic.

Jackson, who originally planned a mass release of “The Hobbit” in 48fps, changed his mind after the response to a 10-minute 3D preview at CinemaCon in April. The high frame-rate version will now be a limited release, in order to give people time to get used to the sharper, more life-like images. According to James Cameron, who is a proponent of 48fps and even plans to shoot future “Avatar” sequels in as many as 60 frames per second, “If watching a 3D movie is like looking through a window, then [with this] we’ve taken the glass out of the window and we’re staring at reality.”

That doesn’t sound too bad, so what’s got everyone’s knickers in a twist? Since 1927 movies have been shot in 24 frames per second, and that is what our eyes and minds are used to seeing when we watch a film. The biggest difference in the 48fps world is that everything looks smoother – so smooth that some viewers think it looks fake. High frame-rate eliminates the strobing and flicker that we have become so accustomed to in 24fps. When those interruptions are missing, the action looks wrong to us. Another complaint is that the high definition provides too much reality, making sets look like sets and exposing every flaw of man, prop or beast.

Some who saw the CinemaCon sneak peek felt the reality captured in 48fps made the movie seem less magical, less of an escape into a different world. Others found the footage similar to what they’d seen in IMAX 3D nature documentaries – at least on the big, expansive shots of Middle Earth that fans came to expect from Jackson in “The Lord of the Rings.” Those appreciative fans sang a different tune when it came to intimate scenes of dialogue, saying that everything looked different and jarring. The conclusion being that 48fps looks awesome on wide, capacious shots but our eyes and minds have a hard time processing it on close-ups.

Jackson kind of agrees. He has stated that he doesn’t’ think high frame-rate technology is right for all movies, and that smaller, character-driven movies might not be the best fit for 48fps. And even he admits that viewing 48fps film can take some getting used to.

“It does take you a while to get used to,” Jackson said, later adding that “you get used to it reasonably quickly. We have obviously seen cuts of our movie at 48 and in a relatively short amount of time you have forgotten (the frame rate change). It is a more immersive and in 3D a gentler way to see the film.”

In consideration of the difficulty some audience members may have adjusting to the new technology “The Hobbit” will be released in 48fps, 24fps, 3D and 2D. For such an anticipated movie, it was a risky choice for Jackson to jump into the future of cinema, but it may be the perfect way to ease moviegoers into the next age. And, for those diehard fans out there, trusting Jackson’s judgment goes a long way. It will be interesting to see which format of the film sells the most tickets and how audiences react to a complete, polished 48fps version of Bilbo and Gollum mooning over their so-real-it-looks-fake “Precious.”

About the Author:

The author, Lisa Forester, has been enamored with The Hobbit since elementary school.  When she isn’t making her way through middle earth, she is a professional blogger.

Captain America Through the Years: the Good, the Bad & the Awesome

The blockbuster success of 2011’s “Captain America: The First Avenger “ and 2012’s “The Avengers” have revitalized the 70-year-old Captain America character by making him accessible to a whole new generation. This newfound popularity is epitomized by the number of Captain America costumes being sported at Halloween parties and conventions like Comic-Con.

Although his look has changed significantly over the years, Captain America remains a great hero to young and old alike. And no matter how amazing, atrocious or downright cheesy the various Captain America movies have been, kids of all ages can go get their costume at, Halloween costumes or, with some extra dedication, make their own. You’ll have to choose first, which Steve Rodgers you want to portray, as the onscreen outputs have proven a decidedly mixed bag.

What is it about this particular comic book superhero that makes him so difficult to bring to life on film? Perhaps, like his predecessor Superman, Captain America’s iconic, quintessentially American idealism only truly resonates with certain audiences during specific periods of time. Or perhaps his story has simply fallen into the hands of several filmmakers whose lack of adequate funding was matched only by their woeful lack of talent.

Whatever the case, Captain America’s movie career hasn’t always been met with the critical and commercial acclaim that it currently enjoys. Here’s a quick look back at the evolution of Captain America through his various onscreen appearances.

Captain America (1944)

This Saturday-matinee serial by “B-move” studio Republic Pictures marked the first time that a Marvel Comics character had been adapted into another medium. Dispensing with the comic book’s “Super-Soldier Serum” origin story, the film recasts Captain America’s alter ego as Grant Gardner, a District Attorney investigating a series of suspicious deaths linked to a villainous saboteur called “The Scarab.”

The series also makes significant changes to Captain America’s traditional weaponry, replacing his trademark shield with a common handgun. At the time of its 1944 release, “Captain America” actually received a fairly warm critical response due to its elaborate action sequences and textbook cliffhanger storytelling. Despite the missing shied and Republic’s obvious budgetary limits, the Captain America costume in this serialized film remains essentially faithful to its comic book predecessor.

Captain America and Captain America II: Death Too Soon (1979)

Like the 1944 film, these two made-for-TV movies take significant liberties with Marvel’s source material. In this case, our hero is the son of the original Captain America and saves the day while zooming around on his custom street bike. Like so much pop culture from the 70’s these movies are outrageously campy by today’s standards. The pacing was bad, special effects were cheap and acting was wooden. That isn’t to say, however, that they aren’t fun! With his “futuristic” Plexiglas shield and his crudely painted motorcycle helmet, this Captain America is “far out” to say the least.

Captain America (1990)

The 1990 film version of “Captain America” was the first to keep Marvel’s original back story. Shot entirely in Yugoslavia and starring “Revenge of the Nerds” actor Matt Salinger in the title role, it was never officially released in the United States. This shot at telling the Captain America story may have been a misfire, but it did feature a modern yet authentic costume in brilliant red, white and blue.

Hunger Games Star Jennifer Lawrence Talks New Director

Catching Fire, the sequel to the phenomenal movie The Hunger Games switched directors at the last minute, with Gary Ross leaving the sequel and Francis Lawrence picking it up. Many fans are worried what this change in vision can do to the much anticipated sequel. To quell fears, actress and star of the first movie, Jennifer Lawrence, has said quite a few nice things about the director and what he has in store.

Jennifer had this to say:

I really like his take, which is a lot of what I liked in [The Hunger Gamesdirector] Gary Ross. It’s the realistic grasp of the story instead of all the details of the imaginary things… The new movie will be very real, which is what I’m excited about.”

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their lead roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles.

The coveted roles of Finnick Odair and Johanna Mason have not yet been cast despite several rumors of who is in the running.

The film is set to be released in theaters November 22, 2013.

The Dark Knight Rises Mobile Game Releases Teaser

Gameloft recently released the trailer for their The Dark Knight Rises mobile game via IGN. There is no release date yet for the game, but it is expected to launch around the same time as the film. It will be released on both iOS and Android.

The Dark Knight Rises will hit theaters and IMAX on July 20th and stars Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Morgan Freeman.

You can see the game trailer below:

Ender’s Game Production Officially Wraps

Production has officially wrapped on the set of Ender’s Game and several of the young actors on the film has been tweeting their appreciation and love for the shoot.

The film is based on the novel of the same name written by Orson Scott Card who has a voice cameo in the upcoming adaptation. The film is directed and written by Gavin Hood. It has also been confirmed by Card that the film is a fusion of Ender’s Game and its parallel novel, Ender’s Shadow, focusing on the important elements of both.

The film will be released on November 1, 2013, by Summit Entertainment.

The official plot synopsis for the film is:

Talented pre-teen children, including Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, discovered by humanity’s military International Fleet, are trained for battle against the alien insectoid Formics (“Buggers”) invading Earth. Ordained by Graff as the IF’s next great hope, Ender is promoted to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Rackham himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and humankind.

You can see the tweets below:

The full cast of the film includes:

  • Asa Butterfield – Ender Wiggin
  • Harrison Ford – Colonel Hyrum Graff
  • Abigail Breslin – Valentine Wiggin
  • Hailee Steinfeld – Petra Arkanian
  • Aramis Knight – Bean
  • Moises Arias – Bonzo
  • Jimmy Pinchak – Peter Wiggin
  • Suraj Parthasarathy – Alai
  • Conor Carroll – Bernard
  • Khylin Rhambo – Dink
  • Brandon Soo Hoo – Fly Molo
  • Ben Kingsley – Mazer Rackham
  • Viola Davis – Major Anderson
  • Caleb J. Thaggard – Stilson
  • Stevie Ray Dallimore – John Paul Wiggin
  • Andrea Powell – Theresa Wiggin
  • Nonso Anozie – Sergeant Dap
  • Cameron Gaskins – Pol Slaterry
  • Tony Mirrcandani – Admiral Chamrajnagar
  • Orson Scott Card – Pilot

Rewrites Needed For World War Z Reshoots

The film adaptation of Max Brooks’ World War Z has already gone through hell trying to get made. It has been delayed over and over again. Originally planned for release this December, the project was pushed to June of next year to accommodate extensive reshoots, and now it is being reported that there are some massive rewrites involved in the reshoots as well.

The Hollywood Reporter has said that writer Damon Lidelof has been brought in to rewrite the scenes involved in the reshoot. Lindelof is most known for his work on the recently released film Prometheus as well as the television show “LOST.”

The original script was drafted by Matthew Michael Carnahan.

World War Z is set to star  Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Matthew Fox and David Morse, revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself.

The film is scheduled to be released on June 21, 2013.

Battle Royale Gets Theaterical Release In U.S.

Over the holiday weekend last weekend, moviegoers had several choices but one stuck out: Battle Royale. Though technically it came out 2000, the film has finally gotten the theatrical release it deserved here in the U.S.

The film, which was directed by Kinji Fukasaku from a script by his son Kenta Fukasaku, was based on the 1999 book of the same name written by Koushun Takami. It follows 40 school children who are taken to an island, outfitted with exploding collars and told to kill each other.If they don’t by the end of the time limit, everyone will die anyway. There can only be one winner.

While, yes, the premise of The Hunger Games is *similar* to this book turned manga turned film, BR is so much more. With realistic amounts of gore, psychological terror, breakdowns, and more.

Times critic A.O. Scott said regarding the film:

American fans of “The Hunger Games” may not embrace — or even be permitted to see — “Battle Royale,” which is too bad. It is in many ways a better movie and in any case a fascinating companion, drawn from a parallel cultural universe. It is a lot uglier and also, perversely, a lot more fun.

You can see the trailer below:

Author Says The ‘Ender’s Game’ Film Is Quite Different From His Book

The first film adaptation of the massively popular sci-fi novel, Ender’s Game, is well underway and fans have been holding their breath for news and information about the project. There hasn’t been to much released about the film yet but fans hope that the film will stay mostly true to the novel they love.

However, the Rhino Times recently reported that the author of the novel, Orson Scott Card, has visited the set and saw some things that were not pleasing.

Scott Card was on the set to lend is voice in a cameo as one of the pilots. However, when he referred to his scene he revealed this:

The scene does not come from the book – very few of the scenes in this movie do – so it was amusing when others asked me how it felt to have my book brought to life. My book was already alive in the mind of every reader. This is writer-director Gavin Hood’s movie, so they were his words, and it was his scene.”

This sounds quite alarming to fans of the novel, such as myself. Although Scott Card pointed out that although the film will differ, doesn’t mean it won’t be great. in regards to the overall film he did say, “The movie Ender’s Game is going to look great.”

To alleviate building fears of fans, Scott Card also mentioned the acting between Asa Butterfield playing Ender and Harrison Ford playing Colonel Graff.

“…they were superb. Film acting, especially in closeup, is not about facial expressions. It’s about what’s going on behind the actors’ eyes. And it’s about timing.”

It seems there is a lot to be excited about and a lot to be worried about as a fan. The novel is expected to hit theater next year.

Development Diary Released For The Video-Game of Thrones

The developers of the new Game of Thrones: the Game, aka VideoGame of Thrones, have released a new development diary detailing their work on the RPG. Cyanide Studios had begun the development on the game is before the HBO series began.

The game is being spun as an original interpretation of the book series although the author of the series, George R.R. Martin did not write the script or the dialogue. Although Martin did collaborate with Cyanide to ensure that nothing in game would conflict with anything that the story has coming.

The plot of the game will run parallel to the first book. However, instead of simply recreating the entire storyline, they cheater two new playable characters: Mors Westford, a ranger of the Night’s Watch, and Alester Sarwyck, a red priest. Mors has the ability to control his pet dog using telepathy and Alester will have magical fire powers. Players will switch off between the characters through out the campaign that could last anywhere between 25 hours to 40 hours to complete. Players will also have to make tons of moral choices along the way.

You can watch the development diary below:

Note: the video is for mature audiences only as is the video game.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes Sequel Could Be On Its Way

Tom Rothman, the Fox Co-Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Fox Filmed Entertainment, recently hinted at the fact that we may be seeing a sequel to the hit 2011 film, Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

The sequel was mentioned by Rothman as a part of a list of movies Fox is planning to start production by the end of summer. The list also included films such as The Wolverine, which is expected to begin shooting in Japan.

Based on the fact that most of the films on the list are expected for a summer 2013 release, there is a chance that Fox is planning the Planet of the Apes sequel to hit theaters at the same time. However, it also rumored that they could be saving the sequel for a fall or holiday release considering that the season is fairly open for blockbusters.

At the moment, there is not confirmation that director Rupert Wyatt would be returning. Andy Serkis will most likely be busy working on Peter Jackson’s two-part The Hobbit although he has signed on for the sequel, so they would have to make time for both films in the fall.

More information regarding the sequel is expected to be released soon.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes was meant to act as an origin story for a new series of films based on the original series. Following its release on August 5, 2011, the film became a critical and box office success. In January 2012 the film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects.