In what is being described as the most disappointing year for the box office in history, one unlikely winner has been the Sonic the Hedgehog live-action feature. It's not just that the movie arrived in theaters with low expectations, it's that it was actively disowned by its fandom when the trailer for the film dropped, revealing a design for Sonic the Hedgehog that was horrifying instead of cute. Sonic's voice actor, Ben Schwartz, recently commented on the redesign controversy.'The way that I saw it first I think was on the trailer. I had to do ADR for the actual trailer because up until then it was all very temp. But I believe the trailer had to be done very quickly or something like that. So the first time I saw it was then. And then when it came out and the reaction it got when it came out. First of all we didn't know if anyone would care. We care because we like video games and movies it seems.' 'But the biggest thing we learned from that was that when it came out so many people were so vocal and it became a huge thing. It got passed around so much. It may have not been the most positive reason why it was getting passed around, but it got passed around so much and so people had such heartfelt passionate ideas for it. That the biggest thing we learned was 'Oh, people care a lot. Let's look at this and figure it out.''
The trailer for Sonic revealed a computer-generated hedgehog that was made to look as realistic as possible, with a lean body and humanized features. Unfortunately, the result was a Sonic that looked nothing like the video game characters fans have grown up with. So intense was the backlash that the movie's creators issued a statement promising that the film was going to be reshot with an altered Sonic design. And that was a good thing, according to Ben Schwartz.'The big thing they were trying to do was how do you bring Sonic into the real world? Because he's a computer character, you can't just bring him in. How will he look in a real life situation? So I think that's what they were tackling. But I will say the new version... when I was doing my voice the whole time I was doing it the way the new version looks. In my head, that's the way it looked. So when I saw the first one I was like ok, but when I saw the second one I was like 'This is in my head what the little guy looks like.''
Caving in to fan outrage proved to be a smart move, and the movie went on to become a hit at the box office, guaranteeing sequels and spin-offs for the franchise for years to come. Now let's hope the people behind Mario take the cue and bring the plump plumber, the most iconic gaming mascot ever, on to the big screen soon as well. This comes from Cinemablend.
Although “The L Word: Generation Q” may have tried desperately to speak to a “new generation” of queer women and non-binary folks, fresher creative voices quickly rose to the top in its place. Though people still watched. Showtime’s “Work in Progress” was the best queer comedy of the year, Netflix’s “Feel Good” was an unexpected delight, and “Vida” is returning just in time for queer audiences to catch up on the best show about queer women of color on TV. Yet another contender released a promising first trailer today: “Betty” is a stylish and youthful portrait of Brooklyn teen skaters that already appears extremely queer.
The six-part half-hour arrives on HBO from filmmaker Crystal Moselle, who quickly made waves in 2015 with her her riveting documentary hybrid “The Wolfpack.” “Betty” is adapted from her second feature, the similarly hybridized “Skate Kitchen,” which followed a group of teenage girl skaters in New York City. The film premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival to positive reviews and was released by Magnolia Pictures that year.
In his B+ review of “Skate Kitchen” out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote: “The streetwise alternative to ‘Girls,’ the movie weaves together such a complete vision of its subjects that the rest of the world barely exists. Of course, there's a long-standing precedent to capturing this subculture — ‘Kids’ did it, with more adventurous storytelling twists, more than 20 years ago — but Moselle's subjects hold their own with the surprising ability to clarify their emotions through the cathartic process of hanging out.”
“Betty” features many of the film’s original stars, most of whom had not acted before, including Kabrina Adams, Dede Lovelace, Nina Moran, Rachelle Vinberg, and Ajani Russell. All accomplished skaters in their own right, the first trailer shows the charismatic crew navigating various crushes and friendship trials with compelling panache and humor.
“Betty” is directed, co-written, and executive produced by Moselle. Lesley Arfin and Patricia Breen are also co-writers. Arfin, who also EPs, is a comedy writer best known for co-creating the Netflix series “Love” with Judd Apatow and Paul Rust.
HBO will release “Betty” beginning May 1 at 11 pm ET. Check out the exciting first trailer below:
A rumor cropped up online recently that Cats, Tom Hooper‘s huge flop featuring horny cat people introducing themselves for 110 minutes, originally had CGI buttholes on all the feline behinds. And even though Cats is already a fever-dream to begin with, we weren’t entirely sure how much credence to lend that story. Now, an intrepid journalist has done the legwork, and turned up the true story of the Cats butthole cut.
It’s official: the Cats butthole cut did, indeed, exist. The Daily Beast has the scoop, and let’s just say the true story is even wilder than we could’ve predicted. Per their report, Cats was halfway complete when someone finally noticed the buttholes. “We paused it,” a source who worked on the film’s visual effects said. “We went to call our supervisor, and we’re like, ‘There’s a fucking asshole in there! There’s buttholes!’ It wasn’t prominent but you saw it… And you [were] just like, ‘What the hell is that?… There’s a fucking butthole in there.’ It wasn’t in your face—but at the same time, too, if you’re looking, you’ll see it.”
What the hell is that, indeed. The source goes on to state that no one flat-out ordered buttholes added to the digital cat people – it just sort of happened. They materialized organically – as buttholes do sometimes. Unfortunately, when the buttholes started to be noticed, it fell upon one visual effects artist to go through and erase every sphincter.
Beyond the story of the butthole cut, The Daily Beast story paints a portrait of a terrible behind-the-scenes process for the visual effects folks working on the film. One source even goes so far as to compare it to “slavery.” And director Tom Hooper only made things worse, primarily because he didn’t seem to understand how VFX even worked:
Before visual effects artists fully render sequences for animated films, they normally show directors playblasts—preview renderings that feature characters without color or texture. That allows the director to evaluate the motion before hours of work are done to flesh out things like color, texture, and lighting. Hooper, however, did not seem to grasp that process. Any time the visual effects team wanted to show the director any animatics, the source said, they had to fully render it. Otherwise, he’d say things like, “What’s this garbage?” and “I don’t understand— where’s the fur?”
Sources describe Hooper as “disrespectful,” “demeaning,” “condescending,” and “horrible,” and add that he talked to everyone like “garbage.” In short, the experience of working with Hooper does not seem like it was the cat’s pajamas. It wasn’t even the cat’s meow.