It’s been such a very long day. In the eighteen years from Before Sunrise to Before Midnight, Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) have been talking about themselves, their lives, their problems. They’ve been having sex, falling in love, having children. They’ve gone from Vienna through Paris and now they’re in Greece. Have they made any progress?
The budget for this film was $225 million. I wonder if any of it was spent on the script? The trailers had convinced me it would be my favorite super-hero movie of the summer – a bit dark, introspective, with the right combination of visual effects and human emotion. The trailers lied.
There’s a whole college catalog of life lessons in this movie, but those lessons are pronounced rather than being tucked carefully into the story. Monsters University is more colorful than creative, fast-paced but a bit formulaic without being surprisingly funny.
If you’re not a ‘car guy’ – and I’m definitely not a ‘car guy’ – this is a really long and very repetitious movie. But it’s not a disappointing one because what you get is exactly what you expect – a movie that downshifts past an incomprehensible storyline, upshifts through poor acting, powers its way through massive plot holes, and slides around a total lack of suspense of any kind.
[Editors Note: As has been widely reported, in recent weeks filmmakers Steven Spielberg and Steven Soderbergh have predicted that Hollywood will implode if the major studios continue to invest only in tent-pole movies and endless sequels. In a guest column Russ Collins, artistic director of the Cinetopia Festival, CEO of Ann Arbor’s Michigan Theater and director of the Art House Convergence, takes exception.] Steven Spielberg is a gifted filmmaker whose impact on the art and business of cinema is arguably peerless. Steven Soderbergh is a gifted and important filmmaker. The aesthetic and financial success of both Stevens is unquestioned. However, both of these cinema icons have come out with almost bitter assessments of the future of movies recently. I believe these assessments are wrongheaded. Maybe it’s because the pessimistic assessments come from these two cinema idols that it makes me sad and a little mad.
Digital Arts in New York City recently installed a new Meyer Sound cinema monitoring system in its new post-production theatre. The system has already been used on such projects as Woody Allen’s forthcoming film Blue Jasmine, and the recent HBO movie Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream.
Montreal area effects house Modus FX completed 240 visual effects shots for This Is The End, the apocalyptic comedy directed by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in theatres now.
When Florida-based director/cinematographer, John Deeb isn’t shooting spots for high-profile clients such as Hard Rock Hotels or Disney, he likes to expand the limits of his creativity with music videos like a recent one for indie rocker Matt Pond. To shoot Love to Get Used, a song off Pond’s new album, The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hand, Deeb got to experiment with different techniques not always viable on commercial productions.
JMR Electronics recently designed and built a high performance server and storage system for the production of the world’s first high-frame-rate 3D movie. UFOTOG, a 10-minute short that tells the story of a man’s attempt to photograph alien spacecraft, is the work of director, visual effects pioneer and filmmaking visionary Douglas Trumbull.
AM Studios, Chennai, one of India’s most famous recording studios, has acquired a Barco Auro 11.1 system to enhance its 3D sound recording capabilities. The sound mixing for Maryan, an upcoming Tamil drama thriller film directed by Bharatbala starring Dhanush and Parvathi Menon was done using Auro 11.1.