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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Previewing JJ Abrams' 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Prologue

I got an early glimpse on Sunday of the nine-minute prologue for "Star Trek into Darkness" in IMAX 3D, followed by a meet and greet yesterday at director J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot studio in Santa Monica...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 11, 2012 4:09 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Production Designer Rick Carter Goes Inside Out with 'Lincoln'

For Rick Carter, "Lincoln" represents the culmination of a decade-long encounter with "the nature of conscience and the Goya-esque disasters of war." It's been a cathartic journey also encompassing "War of the Worlds," "Munich," "Avatar" (for which he won the Academy Award), "Sucker Punch," and "War Horse." But "Lincoln" is special.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 10, 2012 3:13 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Composer Alexandre Desplat Talks 'Rise of the Guardians'

There is no movie composer today more prolific than four-time Oscar nominee Alexandre Desplat. Why, this year alone he has "Zero Dark Thirty," "Argo," "Moonrise Kingdom," and "Rust and Bone" in Oscar contention along with "Rise of the Guardians"...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 7, 2012 4:28 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Peter Jackson Talks 'The Hobbit' and Controversial 48 fps

Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth with "The Hobbit" at the higher frame rate of 48 is certainly a bold experiment. It's new; it's different; it's smoother; it's more realistic. But there's no question that HFR 3-D is already causing an aesthetic divide. For some, it's jarring; for others, it's jaw-dropping.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 5, 2012 2:43 PM
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  • 6 Comments

Immersed in Movies: Talking More Stop-Motion with the 'ParaNorman' Directors

Laika's "ParaNorman" not only outpaced its two stop-motion rivals, "Frankenweenie" and "The Pirates! Band of Misfits," at the box office with a respectable $55.8 million, but it also pushed the boundaries of a family movie with its theme of intolerance...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • December 3, 2012 2:26 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Composer Patrick Doyle Talks Pixar's 'Brave'

Patrick Doyle isn't new to animation but his first taste of working with Pixar on "Brave" brought him even closer to his Scottish roots. Doyle, in fact, was in Scotland when he was first approached to compose the quintessentially ethnic score accentuated by the Highland bagpipes.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 30, 2012 2:25 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Cinematographer Deakins Talks 'Skyfall'

With the record-breaking "Skyfall" (perhaps even the first billion dollar Bond) generating lots of Oscar buzz, is there any doubt that acclaimed cinematographer Roger Deakins will receive his 10th nomination? Not after turning in the most stunning-looking Bond movie in its illustrious 50-year history.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 28, 2012 2:16 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Production Designer Greenwood Talks 'Anna Karenina'

What's old is gloriously new again in Joe Wright's magnificent "Anna Karenina." He boldly conveys the complexity of Tolstoy's epic love story through the simplicity of a puppet-like theater, compressing time and collapsing space in a real theater. It's an elegant metaphor...
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 26, 2012 1:35 PM
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Immersed in Movies: A CG Tiger to Die for in 'Life of Pi' (VIDEO)

Don't be surprised if Ang Lee's "Life of Pi" is right up there competing for the VFX Oscar with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" and all the other prestigious front runners. It's that good. In fact, Richard Parker, the integral tiger, is arguably the best photorealistic CG animal ever created. What a performance: the way he interacts with Suraj Sharma's Pi in such close proximity on a lifeboat. The tiger exhibits such believable expression and nuance; he uses the space underneath the tarp first as shelter and then to observe and control his turf. It's truly an amazing character arc, bolstered by the most spiritual and dimensional use of 3-D yet, which only enhances its Oscar chances.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 23, 2012 1:58 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Director Ramsey Talks 'Rise of the Guardians' Darkness and VFX Breakthroughs

"Rise of the Guardians" marks another turning point for DreamWorks Animation with its sincere embrace of pure enchantment. "The Avengers"-like take on protecting children with Santa, the Easter Bunny, the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and Jack Frost is as far from "Shrek" as you can get.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • November 21, 2012 2:52 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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