Interview | IMAX’S Brian Bonnick talks about the future of IMAX
“Go and watch a movie in IMAX. Then go and watch the same movie in another theatre, and if you don’t get it then don’t bother going to IMAX anymore, because we believe you will get it. You’ll get what the difference is.”
This confident pride in the product is inherent throughout our interview with IMAX Chief Technological Officer Brian Bonnick. Before answering our first question the CTO semi-seriously states that he could talk about IMAX for hours, and though I had significantly less time with him he still left us with a wealth of information on the company’s future. Among the talking points were IMAX cameras, changes in aspect ratios, and expansion into home cinemas. Have a read below.
Interview | Madhur Mittal and Mark Ciardi talk Million Dollar Arm
Prior to Million Dollar Arm, Madhur Mittal’s biggest role had been in Danny Boyle’s Oscar-winning Slumdog Millionaire. In both films he manages to leave a lasting impression, and we can only hope to see more of the up and coming actor in future.
Ahead of this week’s UK release of Million Dollar Arm we sat down with Mittal and the film’s producer Mark Ciardi to quiz them on their favourite sports flicks, how they adapt when they’re out of their comfort zones, and much more. We also promised Madhur we’d get the word out on his days as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Regretfully, a dance-off did not take place. Have a watch below. (more…)
Film Review | Million Dollar Arm
Directed by Craig Gillespie, Million Dollar Arm is a heart-warming and well-told tale that remains appealing in spite of its unsubtlety, and you certainly don’t have to be a baseball fan to enjoy it.
Based on a true story, Million Dollar Arm focuses on J.B. Bernstein (Jon Hamm), a floundering sports agent who is in desperate need of a big signing. Late night channel-flipping between a cricket match and Susan Boyle’s ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ brings inspiration (as it so often does) and soon Bernstein is journeying to India to host a talent competition that will determine which would-be cricketers have the best chance at being groomed into baseball players. Returning to America with the contest winners Rinku Singh (Life of Pi’s Suraj Sharma) and Dinesh Patel (Madhur Mittal) in tow, the two prospects soon begin training under unorthodox coach Tom House (Bill Paxton), but have difficulty mastering both the game and American culture.
Film Review | Boyhood
Richard Linklater is no stranger to portraying the passing of time on screen. While the rightly heralded ‘Before…’ trilogy saw the auteur return to his protagonists at nine year intervals, here he takes the concept even further. Shot over a period of 12 years, Boyhood is a gamble of epic proportions, and its paid off in near-miraculous fashion.
Boyhood is told from the perspective of star-gazing six-year old Mason (Ellar Coltrane, in the mother of all breakthrough roles), and over the course of 166 engrossing minutes we watch as he grows from kidulthood to adulthood. Along the way he gets visits from his estranged Father (Ethan Hawke), while his Mother Olivia (Patricia Arquette) goes through a string of tumultuous relationships.
Film Review | Guardians of the Galaxy
Before Marvel Studios released Iron Man in 2008 it was considered a risk. Few non-comic book readers knew of the genius billionaire playboy philanthropist before Robert Downey Jr. swaggered his way onto the big screen, and the rest is history. Risk has once again been the watchword in the build-up to Guardians of the Galaxy, the tenth film in Marvel’s ever-expanding cinematic universe. Granted, it’s a lot stranger than a man in a metal suit, but Marvel have since proven how adept they are at realising their characters on the big screen. Guardians is their reward for those previous nine pictures, and as directed by James Gunn it’s a delightfully fun ride.
Interview | Jack Reynor talks Transformers: Age of Extinction
I was lucky enough to be sent to chat with Jack Reynor ahead of the Dublin premiere of Transformers: Age of Extinction. Check out our fun conversation below.
Interview | Andy Serkis talks Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Set 10 years after its predecessor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes sees Andy Serkis reprise his role as Caesar, leader of a genetically evolved ape colony that is threatened by a band of human survivors. We’re not monkeying around when we say Serkis delivers one of the finest performances of the year, and when combined with WETA’s phenomenal CGI effects the result is something truly special.
Along with a handful of other journalists I was fortunate enough to sit down with the actor ahead of the film’s UK release, and an enjoyably chatty Serkis talked about how far performance capture has come in addition to developing Caesar’s voice and where the series might be headed in future instalments. It’s all been transcribed for your reading pleasure below.
Film Review | Transformers: Age of Extinction
Picking up four years after the Battle of Chicago in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Age of Extinction sees amateur robotics inventor Cade Yaeger (Mark Wahlberg) discovering Optimus Prime (voiced superbly once more by Peter Cullen) while searching for junk to refurbish. The gravely wounded Autobot commander has been in hiding from a covert black ops team led by Harold Attlinger (Kelsey Grammer), who has teamed up with Cybertronian bounty hunter Lockdown (voiced by Mark Ryan) in a bid to destroy all shape-shifting robots. Meanwhile, tech tycoon and billionaire inventor Joshua Joyce (Stanley Tucci) is busy reverse-engineering his own Transformers with a view to having an army of robots under human control.
Video Review | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
I reviewed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes for The Reel Deal. Check it out below.
Video Review | Begin Again
I reviewed John Carney’s Begin Again for The Reel Deal. Have a watch below.
Film Review | The Anomaly
Whilst not quite sparse enough to be considered anomalies, British sci-fi thrillers are rare beasts. As such, you have to at least admire the ambition in Noel Clarke’s third directorial feature – titled The Anomaly – if not the execution.
Set in the near future, the Memento-inspired plot is centred on grizzled ex-soldier Ryan (Clarke), who wakes up sans-memory in the back of a van with a kidnapped boy. After 9 minutes and 47 seconds Ryan blacks out, only to reawaken several days later in a new location. This cycle keeps repeating itself, and each ten minute rebirth brings with it a new set of clues as to Ryan’s predicament.
Video Review | How to Train Your Dragon 2
Here’s me nattering on camera about How to Train Your Dragon 2 for The Reel Deal.
Film Review | How to Train Your Dragon 2
Visually striking with a healthy dose of heart to boot, How to Train Your Dragon 2 fulfills all the criteria needed for a good follow-up without falling prey to its pitfalls. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois – who only agreed to return if he would be allowed to make a trilogy – it’s as assured an animated sequel as you’ll see. And see you should.
Dragon 2 wastes little time bringing unfamiliar audiences up to speed. It’s been five years since Hiccup (voiced once again by Jay Baruchel) tamed his Night Fury dragon Toothless, and Vikings and dragons now share a peaceful co-existence on the island of Berk. While exploring more of the surrounding lands, Hiccup and Toothless happen upon a hidden cave inhabited by a host of dragons belonging to mysterious dragon-rider Valka (Cate Blanchett), who also happens to be our hero’s estranged mother. There is little time for them to reconnect though; trouble is on the horizon in the form of Drago Bludvist (Djimon Hounsou), who is gathering dragons of his own for his army.
Interview | Nat Wolff Talks The Fault in Our Stars
The future is bright for Nat Wolff. The 19-year old actor and musician – he frequently tours with his brother Alex – has starred in over a dozen films, and with a promising upcoming slate that includes adaptations of The Stand and Paper Towns, his is a name we’ll be hearing more often.
Though the romance between Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort forms the focus of The Fault in Our Stars, Wolff leaves an indelible impression as Isaac, the blind best friend of Elgort’s Gus. Ahead of the UK release of the film this week, I sat down with Wolff to discuss working with his co-stars, emotions and near-accidents on set, and more. Have a read of our fun and honest tête-à-tête below.
Film Feature | Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Extended Footage Report
On behalf of HeyUGuys I was among a lucky group of journalists who were shown five scenes from the highly anticipated Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, effectively amounting to a 20 minute tease. The footage was introduced by Caesar himself, Andy Serkis (we’ll have our interview with the star up on the site next month), and the performance capture pioneer was also on hand to add context to each clip we were shown. Below is a breakdown of what we saw. Be warned: SPOILERS AHEAD.
Interview | Director Ryan Coogler Discusses Fruitvale Station
It’s been a rollercoaster year and a half for Ryan Coogler, debut director of docudrama Fruitvale Station. After winning awards at Sundance and Cannes last year, The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights and Coogler – who also wrote the film – has been busy promoting it around the world. The film finally arrives in UK cinemas this week, and on behalf of DIY Mag I sat down with the filmmaker a couple months ago at Sundance London to talk about the challenges he faced making his feature debut.
Film Review | A Million Ways to Die in the West
On paper a western comedy is a very intriguing prospect, only more so with Seth MacFarlane’s name attached to it. ‘The Man Who Killed The Oscars’ earned plaudits as well as a hefty box office reward for 2012’s Ted (the sequel hits cinemas next year), and in addition to writing and directing A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014) the film sees him make the transition to live-action acting. Though enjoyable in parts, there is a sense that MacFarlane’s sophomore feature fails to fully maximise its potential.
Interview | Sam Riley Discusses Maleficent
Disney’s Maleficent is the story of Sleeping Beauty’s iconic villian and lands in cinemas on May 28th 2014. The beautiful Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) leads an idyllic life in a forest kingdom until the day an army threatens the peaceful land. After a cruel betrayal the once pure-hearted young woman becomes focused on revenge and faces a battle with the successor of the invading king, placing a curse upon his newborn child, Aurora (Elle Fanning).
Ahead of the UK release this week, I had a chat with actor Sam Riley who plays Diaval, the loyal servant of Maleficent. He talks about working with Angelina Jolie and big budget special effects.
Watch the interview at This is Fake DIY.
Interview | Hans Zimmer Talks 12 Years A Slave, Superhero Scores and More
A look through Hans Zimmer’s discography reveals a truly staggering body of work; The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight trilogy and countless other films have been blessed with his gift of musical storytelling. Now a 30 year veteran of the industry the film composer is still at the top of his game, and on behalf of HeyUGuys I was lucky enough to chat with him ahead of the home entertainment release of the brilliant 12 Years A Slave.
So vast and varied is Zimmer’s catalogue and so excited was I to to speak with him that the 15 minutes I was granted felt like 5. Nonetheless it was a fascinating conversation, and here he speaks about working with Steve McQueen, the challenges when coming up with superhero scores and a special edition re-release of his work on The Lion King. Have a read below.
Film Review | X-Men: Days of Future Past
After Matthew Vaughn’s X-Men: First Class (2011) rejuvenated the series original director Bryan Singer returns with the daunting task of uniting two timelines and two casts in the ambitious X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014). With both new and old characters to introduce and re-introduce, as well as the tricky mechanism of time-travel, there was tremendous potential for it to go horribly wrong. Which makes it all the more impressive that Singer gets it mostly right.
Taking inspiration from Chris Claremont and John Byrne’s beloved comic book storyline of the same name, Days of Future Past begins with a chilling battle in a dystopian future between powerful mutant-hunting robots – known as Sentinels – and a motley cadre of mutant survivors. In order to avoid extinction, Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page) uses her powers to send Wolverine’s consciousness back into his younger body in 1973 (both versions played once again by the ageless Hugh Jackman) to alter past events and change the course of history. To do so, Logan must enlist the aid of both a younger Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensher aka Magneto (Michael Fassbender), whose friendship is on the rocks.
Film Review | Godzilla
It’s been 60 years since Ishirō Honda’s thunderous Godzilla (1954), and since then the fearsome reptile has gone on to become an icon of pop culture spawning no fewer than 28 iterations. Only the sophomore effort from Gareth Edwards, the Monsters (2010) director was far from the obvious choice to bring the legendary beast to life once more, but thankfully the 29th iteration marks a triumphant return for the titular Kaiju.
It’s a while before we see him though, as the film begins by focusing on Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston), a nuclear technician whose wife died when the Japanese plant they worked at suffered a meltdown in 1999. Unconvinced of the ‘natural disaster’ cover up by the government, he’s been searching for answers on what really caused it in the 15 years since. Now a military bomb-disposal expert, his estranged son Ford Brody (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) tries desperately to convince his Dad to move on, but when signs point to history repeating itself and a mysterious monster reawakens the senior Brody is proved right.
Film Review | Frank
As unique selling points for films go, it doesn’t get much more intriguing than the promise of Michael Fassbender in a papier-mâché head. Thankfully it proves to be an inspired piece of casting in Frank, the weird, funny and affecting fourth feature from Irish director Lenny Abrahamson.
Co-written by Jon Ronson – upon whose experiences with Frank Sidebottom the film is loosely based – Frank follows Jon (Domhnall Gleeson), an aspiring but struggling musician who happens upon an eccentric touring band as their keyboardist is trying to drown himself. That band’s unpronounceable name is The Soronprfbs, their lead singer is the fake head clad Frank (Fassbender), and once it’s ascertained that Jon can play the C, F and G chords, he is recruited.
Film Review | Next Goal Wins
Next Goal Wins kicks off with a flashback to 2001, when the American Samoa national football team conceded a record-breaking 31 goals without reply against Australia in a World Cup qualifier. Branded the worst team in the world and ranked rock bottom of the FIFA rankings, a decade later the team turn to maverick Dutch coach Thomas Rongen to help them qualify for the 2014 World Cup.
Film Review | Sabotage
The last two films in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s comeback tour have provided schlocky but enjoyable titillation, with The Last Stand edging out Escape Plan as the better of the two. Directed by David Ayer, Sabotage (2014) has loftier ambitions, but despite some solid work from its leading man the film is tripped up by its messily executed plot.
Loosely based on Agatha Christie’s novel Ten Little Indians (yes, really), Schwarzenegger stars as John ‘Breacher’ Wharton, leader of an elite team of DEA agents looking to swindle $10 million from a cartel. What initially looks to be a successful heist proves anything but; the stolen loot goes missing, and the team fall under heavy scrutiny from their superiors. A lack of evidence means the investigation is soon dropped, but one by one the team are soon picked off by unknown assassins.