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Archive for November 2011

Newsarama’s HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, Part 2: For Kids

The second part of our seasonal gift guide sees top comic pros giving their advice on what to get kids this year


Andrew Stanton Tells Me It’s On His Agenda To Completely Change The Way Movies Are Made

A couple of weeks ago I got to see almost twenty minutes of John Carter and take part in an energetic and sometimes pretty intense discussion with co-writer and director Andrew Stanton.

At the end of the session, I threw him a question that really – and I mean really – got him worked up. While answering me, Stanton was punching the air and gritting his teeth and showing very clearly just how passionate he was about the matter in hand.

The subject of our discussion was how the traditional process for live action movie making is deeply flawed, and demonstrably inferior to the system cooked up at Pixar.

Here’s Stanton running headlong at that one:

You know, I planned reshoots for after I got an assembly, so I had real objectivity about what it needed. That’s all we do at Pixar. The truth is, we rip down and put up our movies a minimum of four times over four years. How I learned to make a movie by shooting it four times. That’s how me make them.

People wonder what the magic elixir of Pixar is. It’s this: we shoot the movie four times!

There’s no rocket science to it. It’s like saying, you’re a musician. You get to go and write a song, but you only get to touch the strings once on your guitar. Once. And then we take it away from you. As opposed to just going into your office and just strum until you get a great tune.

To me, that’s just how art is formed. So, again, no huge epiphany.

It’s definitely more cumbersome with live action, so I couldn’t set up four reshoots, but damn, I’ll always ask for as many as I can get, because I don’t find any embarrassment in that.

It’s like me saying to you, you can all go and write a piece about what we talked about today, but you only get to write it once. You don’t get to change a word once it’s set down. And that’s how movies are made, and it’s fucked up. It should be that you should somehow be able to balance economics and let the artist be an artist, and not be afraid of failure or trial and error.

You do it with takes, right? Everybody gets 30 takes, 10 takes, five takes until we get it right. Why should I suddenly be omniscient and know that something will work, no matter how it’s written on the paper? It’s a different beast when it’s on the screen. Believe me, we know that at Pixar.

There’s a knowledge that doesn’t come any sooner until you watch it. So why not plan for that? If history’s shown that, for 70 fricking years, why aren’t you planning a process?

Why, if it’s so proven that way, don’t you set up a process that acknowledges it? It’s been so forever.

That’s what Pixar did. We didn’t know how other people made films, we just used logic, which it turns out, nobody uses.

I couldn’t correct the whole screwed up process of live-action movie making, but that’s certainly on my agenda someday. But by hook or by crook, I managed to get on screen what I wanted to see. So I looked and I learned a tonne on the way.

There’s a lot more from Mr. Stanton coming soon. If you haven’t seen the new footage from the film that premiered today, be sure and check it out.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


Videogame Documentary Gets Great Sundance Trailer – Meet Indie Game: The Movie

This one is, if you’ll pardon the expression, really pushing my buttons.

On the occasion of their film being announced as part of the 2012 Sundance Festival competition selection, the folk behind Indie Game: The Movie have released a new, and very attractive trailer.

Maybe its because I spend a lot of my time staring at a screen and trying to be creative, or maybe it’s because I’m a fan of the games featured, but I’m feeling quite powerfully drawn towards this movie.

Indeed, on finishing with the trailer, I dived in and watched a number of other clips from the film’s YouTube account:

Kudos to directors Lisanne Pajot and James Swirsky. They’ve gotten me hooked.

A special edition DVD is already available for pre-order from the film’s official site. What will happen to those orders if the film nets a big time distribution deal at Sundance, I don’t know, but the promise of two more films worth of extra scenes is just too tempting…

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


The Powerful First Trailer For Kirby Dick’s Sundance Selection, The Invisible War

I can’t imagine Kirby Dick‘s new film is going to be an easy watch, but judging from his previous pictures, like This Film Is Not Yet Rated, Sick and Chain Camera, it’s certainly going to provoke some useful debate.

Dick posted the first trailer for The Invisible War earlier today, and made it public when the Sundance listings were revealed.

Alongside the video was this basic description:

An investigative and powerfully emotional examination of the epidemic of rape of soldiers within the U.S. military, the institutions that cover up its existence and the profound personal and social consequences that arise from it.

We’ll be talking about this film a lot more in the new year, I’m sure.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


Good Quality Versions Of The Prometheus Images, Informative Notes And All

Prometheus images last seen online in scruffy scans from Entertainment Weekly have now been given a new lease of life in better quality.

So far they appear to have popped up only at Making Of, who have run them with some informative captions. I’ll share those nugget-lets with each image below.

Ridley Scott directs Noomi Rapace on the set of Prometheus.

Noomi Rapace (left) and Kate Dickie (with Michael Fassbender in the background) explore the Ampule room.

Logan Marshall-Green, left, Noomi Rapace, and Michael Fassbender explore a planet in the darkest corners of the universe.

A monolithic figure towers over the explorers of a distant planet.

Charlize Theron and Idris Elba on the bridge of the ship Prometheus.

Note the Weyland Yutani logo on Elba’s shirt in that last image there. If that doesn’t make this an Alien prequel, what will?

UPDATE: Fox supplied an even better version of the fourth picture, so I swapped it again.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


The First Comic To Break The $2 Million Barrier: Nicolas Cage Action Comics 1 Sells For Record $2,161,000

It has become the most famous individual copy of any comic book in the world.  And now, the Nicolas Cage copy of Action Comics #1, graded CGC 9.0 and the best copy ever evaluated by the industry’s third-party grading service Comics Guaranty Corporation, has sold for the highest price ever paid for a comic book.  The auction for the 1938 comic book closed just moments ago at the price of $2,161,000.

It is the first comic book to break the $2 million barrier.

The book was auctioned by high-end comic collectible auction house Comic Connect, which has now sold 4 of the 5 comic books to break the million dollar mark: the previous record holder Action Comics #1 CGC 8.5 for $1.5 million in March 2010, an Action Comics #1 8.0 for $1 million in February 2010, and an Amazing Fantasy #15 (first appearance of Spider-Man) CGC 9.6 for $1.1 million in March 2011.  Heritage Auctions sold a copy of Detective Comics #27 CGC 8.0 for $1,075,000 in February 2010.

The new record-holding copy of Action Comics #1 has quite a fabled history, as Bleeding Cool was the first to tell you.  It was sold by Sotheby’s in 1992 for $82,500, and sold to Nicolas Cage in 1997 by Metropolis / Comic Connect’s Stephen Fishler for $150,000.

Then, in 2000,  this Action Comics #1, a copy of Detective Comics #27, and a copy of Detective Comics #1 were stolen from Cage’s home.  Cage, a well-known comic book fan and at the time the owner of a jaw-dropping vintage comic book collection, was extremely disheartened by the theft and subsequently sold his entire collection with Heritage Auctions.  The announcement of the sale became infamous late night talk show and gossip mag fodder because Cage married Lisa Marie Presley just days after announcing that he was selling his comic books.

The comic was recovered by Los Angeles police in April 2011 after being discovered in a San Fernando Valley storage locker. As news broke of the recovery in April, Cage told ABC News that he would seek to have the comic returned to him.  Though there was extensive debate in the vintage collecting community as to whether Cage would be able to recover the comic due to possible insurance claim issues — and Comic Connect has never divulged the identity of the seller of the book in this auction –the Hollywood Reporter subsequently ran a story which stated “Comicconnect is selling it for the current owner, which is still believed to be Cage.” When I questioned Hollywood Reporter writer Andy Lewis on this point, he stood by his story.

There has long been quite a mystique built up around high grade copies of Action Comics #1 — and for reasons beyond the simple fact that they are among the most valuable comics on the planet.  This Cage copy had been missing for a decade.  The infamous Edgar Church copy, part of a treasure trove of high grade comics purchased in 1977 by Mile High Comics owner Chuck Rozanski, has been sitting ungraded and virtually unseen in the hands of a private collector for decades.  No decent scan or photo of the Church copy — widely considered the most valuable comic in existence —  has ever been made public on the internet, though the few knowledgeable individuals who have seen it claim it is undoubtedly the best copy known to exist.

But the 9.0 designation makes the Cage copy the highest-condition copy certified by CGC.  The comic, featuring the first appearance of Superman by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, and published by DC Comics, is widely considered the most important American comic book ever released.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


Action Comics #1 Hits $2.1M for New Record

With bidding closing just seconds ago, we have a new record, as an Action Comics #1, CGC 9.0, has sold for $2,161,000.

We’ll have more later. For now, just wow.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


DARK HORSE Goes Same-Day Digital Across the Board on Dec. 14

Starting on Dec. 14, every Dark Horse release will be available digitally on the same day as the print product goes on sale


Nifty First Trailer For Wrong, The Follow-Up To Rubber

Quentin Dupieux‘s Wrong has been selected for competition at Sundance, as I noted quite excitedly, just a while ago. In a rather timely fashion, Dupieux has shared his first trailer for the film.

Click here to view the embedded video.

“Why?” is the perfect book-end to Rubber‘s “No reason.”

Lots more on Wrong as it comes along, I’m sure.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]


Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Soundtrack To Come On Six LPs, Feature Bryan Ferry Cover

The various twitter accounts of Trent Reznor and company have been a little leaky today. Around an hour ago, new info was released through both @trent_reznor and @destroyangels, the official feed for his band How To Destroy Angels.

Working with @ and Neil Kellerhouse on a cool package to house the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack's SIX vinyls.
@trent_reznor
Trent Reznor
Yes, David Fincher asked us to do a cover of Bryan Ferry's "Is Your Love Strong Enough?" for Dragon Tattoo. It will be on the soundtrack.

The Bryan Ferry song in question originally featured on the soundtrack to Ridley Scott’s Legend.

Now, if we were to get 6 LPs of actual music in the film that would mean, I believe, that it would be wall-to-wall soundtrack. Instead, it seems more likely that we’ll be getting extended versions away from the images, and abbreviated cues and sequences where appropriate in the movie. But who knows?

I haven’t even been able to confirm the run time of the allegedly “looooong” film, and have even seen rumours that Sony and Fincher have been arguing over the final cut – though by now, I’d imagine that dispute is over, if it ever happened.

Reznor has promised that a lot more information about the soundtrack will be released on December 2nd, which is this Friday.

Let’s listen to the Bryan Ferry original of Is Your Love Strong Enough and perhaps ponder what use Fincher has for it.

As I understand it, that video was directed by Tim Pope. I miss Tim Pope.

Thanks to Pitchfork for the heads up on the Reznor tweets.

[Note: We have had to remove images from the feed due to other high-traffic sites hotlinking our hosted images. We hope to be able to restore them here eventually. In the meantime, see bleedingcool.com for complete post]