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Thompson on Hollywood

Immersed in Movies: Disney's Mini Comic-Con D23 Showcases Marvel, 'Maleficent,' 'Cinderella' and Oscar-Contenders 'Frozen' and 'Saving Mr. Banks,' But No 'Star Wars'

Despite ignoring "Star Wars: Episode VII," D23 showed off Disney's impressive live-action and animation slate, making it the envy of the industry now that Lucasfilm has joined the fold with Marvel and Pixar.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 12, 2013 4:00 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Neill Blomkamp Talks 'Elysium,' Sci-Fi, VFX (TRAILER)

"Elysium" director Neill Blomkamp discusses going more commercial and the have and have nots of his movies and the VFX industry.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • August 6, 2013 2:21 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Comic-Con Immersed in Movies: 'Gravity' Could Be This Year's 'Life of Pi,' A Commercial Art Film in Glorious 3-D (UPDATED VIDEOS)

It looks like Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity" (October 4) could be this year's "Life of Pi," a thrilling roller-coaster ride in space and a mystical meditation on the cosmos and rebirth, and a major VFX Oscar contender.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 24, 2013 11:47 AM
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  • 1 Comment

Comic-Con Immersed in Movies: Whedon and Gregg Talk 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD,' Separate from 'The Avengers: Age of Ultron'

The tagline says it all for ABC's "Marvels's Agents of SHIELD," which sneaked the pilot Friday at Comic-Con:"Not all heroes are super." In fact, creator Joss Whedon, who directed the pilot, suggested that this rag-tag group of agents without super powers represent the Marvel universe on a much more human scale. Like their mentor, the resurrected Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg, who stars in Whedon's arthouse hit "Much Ado About Nothing"), they investigate the bizarre occurrences that connect The Avengers to ordinary people. (Whedon showed up as the capper for the Marvel panel, with a brief teaser of "The Avengers" sequel, now called "Age of Ultron." The crowd roared.)
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 20, 2013 11:21 PM
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Comic-Con Immersed in Movies Exclusive: Director Jose Padilha Talks Politicizing 'RoboCop' Remake (VIDEO)

For acclaimed Brazilian director Jose Padilha ("Elite Squad," "Bus 174"), remaking "RoboCop" (February 7, 2014) is the perfect storm of politics and robotics. We chatted at Comic-Con about re-imagining the Paul Verhoeven cyborg classic from '87, which recasts Joel Kinnaman ("The Killing") as Alex Murphy, the Detroit cop gunned down and transformed into the half-man/half-machine Frankenstein. The timely actioner co-stars Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Abbie Cornish.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 20, 2013 7:23 PM
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  • 2 Comments

Comic-Con Immersed in Movies Exclusive: Marc Webb Slings 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'

I grabbed "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" director Marc Webb for a Comic-Con chat --he'll meet the fans at Friday's panel in Hall H at 5:30 pm. For him, the follow-up was not only about continuing the rite of passage of Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker, but also learning more about the vernacular of tentpole movies. After all, Webb's only prior feature experience was helming "(500) Days of Summer," so he's still facing a steep learning curve in handling the demands of the superhero genre.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 19, 2013 6:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments

Immersed in Movies: James Wan and Vera Farmiga Talk '70s-Set Paranormal Frightener 'The Conjuring'; Sequel in Works (VIDEO)

"The Conjuring" proves that you don't have to indulge in torture porn to be scary. In fact, the well-crafted throwback is a family drama driven by horror. It's a true life story from 1971 about a family tormented by spirits in its secluded Rhode Island farmhouse, and how renowned paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren (Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga) came to their rescue.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 16, 2013 1:59 PM
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Immersed in Movies Comic-Con EXCLUSIVE: Director James Mangold Previews 'The Wolverine'

On the eve of "The Wolverine" Comic-Con presentation this week in San Diego, James Mangold discussed what it was like tackling the most popular X-Men superhero. After all, what was the acclaimed director of "Walk the Line, "3:10 to Yuma," "Girl Interrupted," and "Cop Land" doing messing around with an expensive franchise?
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 15, 2013 12:26 PM
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Immersed in Movies: ILM Rearms for 'Pacific Rim' VFX (FEATURETTE)

If there's a mid-year front-runner for the VFX Oscar, it's definitely Industrial Light & Magic's exceptional work on Guillermo del Toro's "Pacific Rim," which is more than just rock 'em sock 'em robots vs. monsters. Aside from the masterfully animated Jaegers and Kaiju, there's also the complex lighting, atmospherics, and water simulation, which take CG mise en scene to a new level of sophistication.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 12, 2013 2:57 PM
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Immersed in Movies: Guillermo del Toro Talks 'Pacific Rim' Robot Porn (VIDEO)

Guillermo del Toro calls it "robot porn." The Mexican filmmaker was at his geekiest last week at Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco, dissecting a fierce fight at sea in "Pacific Rim" between his enormous robot Jaegers and Kaiju alien monsters. It was like watching his version of "Raging Bull," as he explained how he staged the fight choreography while getting the right height, weight, speed, and volume in CG. But he was just as effusive about the aesthetics of alternating between gritty and surreal.
  • By Bill Desowitz
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  • July 5, 2013 1:29 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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