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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies UPDATE: 'Elysium' Trailer Lands, Plus Previewing Blomkamp's Dystopian Sci-Fi Film

At a Comic-Con-style presentation this morning at The Grove, we finally caught a glimpse of Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium," the ambitious sci-fi follow-up to his acclaimed indie hit, "District 9," which opens August 9. The trailer (watch below) and additional 10 minutes of socially-conscious, high-octane action didn't disappoint.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 10, 2013 12:39 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Adriano Goldman Keeps 'Company' with Redford and Streep

For Adriano Goldman ("Jane Eyre," "Sin Nombre"), it's definitely about the company you keep. The Brazilian director of photography has shot Robert Redford as a former '70s Weather Underground radical on the run in "The Company You Keep," as well as Meryl Streep as the dysfunctional Midwestern matriarch in the upcoming adaptation of Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning play, "August: Osage County" (November 8).
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 4, 2013 3:06 PM
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Disney Shuts Down LucasArts and Star Wars 1313, Lays Off 150 Employees

After buying Lucasfilm 154 days ago, Disney has closed LucasArts, laying off 150 employees. This is on the heels of cancelling The Clone Wars animated TV series on Cartoon Network and laying off animators at Lucasfilm. This means we will not be seeing the darker and edgier next-gen shooter game, Star Wars 1313, featuring higher quality performance-captured animation from Lucasfilm Animation and VFX from Industrial Light & Magic.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • April 4, 2013 12:36 PM
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  • 3 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Stepping Up the VFX for 'G.I. Joe: Retaliation'

After viewing the bang-bang antics of "G.I. Joe: Retaliation," it made perfect sense that Jon Chu became the director. His dance experience with "Step Up 2: The Streets" and "Step Up 3D" provided the perfect training for the choreographed action he devised for the "G.I. Joe" sequel starring newcomers Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock and Bruce Willis as the original Joe. The stealthy overthrow of Cobra after the Joes have been decimated and disgraced involves a series of escapades that are as remarkable for their balletic brilliance as their explosive firepower.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 29, 2013 2:55 PM
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  • 0 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Exclusive Early Peek at Blue Sky's Star-Studded 'Epic' -- 'Avatar' Meets 'Gladiator'

Blue Sky founder and director Chris Wedge recently gave a sneak peek of his latest animated feature, "Epic" (May 24), at Fox (you can view the new trailer below). It's certainly no "FernGully," and it's a far cry from "Ice Age" and everything else Blue Sky has ever made. It's more like "Avatar" meets "Gladiator," if you had to pin it down.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 22, 2013 4:03 PM
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Finally: Union Talk at VFX Town Hall

Not surprisingly, talk of unionization and a trade association dominated the international Pi Day VFX town hall meetings on Thursday in LA, the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin, Vancouver, and Wellington. Everyone agrees that the VFX industry has reached a tipping point and that the business model with the studios must change.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 16, 2013 6:10 PM
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Immersed in Movies: DreamWorks Has a 'Crood' Awakening

You couldn't find a more apt movie to sum up DreamWorks Animation at the moment than "The Croods" (March 22), the prehistoric road trip adventure about embracing change as a survival strategy when the world turns terribly hostile. After last year's box office misfire with "Rise of the Guardians," which resulted in a $165 million write-off, layoffs, and schedule reshuffle, DreamWorks is definitely in transition.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 15, 2013 3:04 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Puppet Cams, China Girl and VFX Wizardry in 'Oz the Great and Powerful'

Bryan Singer and Sam Raimi both embraced lighter, kid-friendlier fables with "Jack the Giant Slayer" and "Oz the Great and Powerful," tapping into their inner child while pushing virtual production and 3-D with theatrical flair. While the results have been mixed (it's hard to pull off innocence after the post-modern "Shreking" of our culture), Disney placed serious pressure on Raimi, whose return to "Oz" was a bumpy ride.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 8, 2013 2:23 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Bryan Singer Talks 'Jack the Giant Slayer'

Bryan Singer getting kid-friendlier with "Jack the Giant Slayer" isn't as much of a stretch as you might think. He's still dabbling with truth and legend -- literally in this case -- only the fairy tale is more overt.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • March 1, 2013 2:17 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Exclusive Design Video on Park Chan-Wook's 'Stoker'

With "Stoker," acclaimed Korean director Park Chan-Wook ("Oldboy") riffs on Alfred Hitchcock in his own artsy and oppressive way. It's a chilly reworking of "Shadow of a Doubt," (with nods to "Psycho" and "The Birds" along the way), that eventually takes a turn into Brian De Palma territory.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • February 28, 2013 3:34 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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