|THE RISE OF SKYWALKERRISE OF SKYWALKERSKYWALKERTENETIMAX|
There’s one particularly telling and effective moment in The Skywalker Legacy, the feature-lenght documentary that’s included on the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker home release that sums up much of the ambivalence and consternation that some had with J.J. Abrams’ return to the Star Wars universe. After showing the intricate construction of a giant, practical snake monster, the doc cuts back to footage of Jabba The Hutt, that old analogue beast that slithered its way into our hearts. The sentiment is clear – we’re making movies like we used to! A celebration of practical effects, the dripping of k-y jelly to give viscosity just like the old costume days, it’s all there. There’s excitement on set, everyone talking about how amazing it looks, how lifelike, how this is how you’re supposed to do movies like this.
Cut to Visual Effects Supervisor Roger Guyett who shatters the myth, letting us know the creature was replaced by a CGI version in post.
Guyett’s resume is mighty. Having made his bones on groundbreaking films like Twister and Casper, he helped Spielberg bring the events of D-Day to screen in Saving Private Ryan, helped bring to life the best looking film in the Harry Potter series, Alfonso Cuarón’s Prisoner of Azkaban, and even made the theatrical version of Rent feel more than a stage production. Guyett has had many collaborations with Abrams – from the Star Trek Reboots through The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker he was even second unit director on the former, as well as working with George Lucas on Episode III to round off the prequels. He’s in a unique position to speak to these changing landscapes of epic filmmaking.
We spoke at length about the apparent contradictions and indulgences in making a Star Wars film, and he made the case for why nothing was wasted and all contributed to the final presentation. He was erudite and open to the discussion, making for a dream conversation with a man who quite literally has helped shape what amazes us on screen for decades.
The following has been edited for clarity and concision.
We see practical effects being championed as almost a marketing ploy with the “postquels” as a mix of nostalgia and an attempt to delineate from Lucas’ second trilogy. In some ways the love of the practically-realized snake undercuts the extraordinary CGI you and your team accomplished, and raises questions about why the need to fetishize the on-set inclusions when they’re replaced anyway. Could you talk about that ethos, that somehow doing stuff on a computer is a “cheat” while doing an effect practically is not?
I think at the end of the day we’re all trying to do the best that we can, trying to make the best, most dramatic or emotional movie we can visually. I’m coming from figuring out how do you get the most...
The back catalog of director Christopher Nolan is chock-full of mysterious cinematic masterpieces. From Memento to Inception, Nolan loves to put together a mind-bending movie experience, and the upcoming action thriller Tenet looks to be no exception. One actor that shows up a lot in Nolan's movies is Hollywood icon, Michael Caine, though despite having already filmed Tenet, as well as being someone that Christopher Nolan relies on as an actor, Caine has now admitted he does not know very much about the movie at all.'He [Nolan] is so secretive he won't let me have the script. All I had was one day's work and he gave me my pages. I did my part and shot only with John David. I haven't heard anything since.'
Well, at least Michael Caine knows that he shot some scenes with headline actor John David Washington. That's something, at least. The only other thing he seems to know about Tenet is that everything surrounding the movie is very secretive. Not the most helpful, then.
It does not come as much of a surprise that Nolan keeps things to himself, even from the actors starring in the movie in question. Most, possibly even all, of his projects have been incredibly secretive, with Inception in particular being surrounded in so much mystery that no one had any idea what it was about. Some still don't even after watching the Tenet trailer.
One thing that Michael Caine does seem pretty confident about is that he is a bit of a 'lucky mascot' not only for Tenet but for director Christopher Nolan.'All the films I have made with [Nolan] have raked in over a billion dollars, so he has to have me in a film even if he has no part for me. In Dunkirk, I was only a voice-over and I got billing in the credit title.'
In fairness to his claim, The Dark Knight made over a billion dollars as did the sequel and trilogy finale The Dark Knight Rises. However, Inception actually made around $828 million worldwide, whilst Batman Begins brought in $373 million, with Dunkirk making $527 million, so his claim certainly has holes in it. Perhaps he was just being hyperbolic.
Tenet meanwhile involves a secret agent who is tasked with preventing World War III through time travel. At least, that's what we think the movie is about. There is also an organization involved called The Afterlife. The footage that has been released so far looks very Nolan-esque, with stylish action sequences taking place, some of them in reverse, hence the time travel element.
The movie is an action thriller directed by blockbuster maestro Christopher Nolan and stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Dimple Kapadia, Michael Caine, and Kenneth Branagh. Tenet is scheduled to be released on July 17, 2020. Until then, let the speculation about just what on earth is going on continue.
This total lack of information about Tenet courtesy of Michael Caine comes to us from The Hindu.
Imax shares surged more than 20% as the market fell more than 2% at the open on Thursday despite massive commitments by governments and central banks to prop up economies and industry and help workers dislocated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Deadline reported Wednesday that theaters in China, where Imax has significant operations, may reopen by the end of the month.
And the National Association of Theater Owners has asked Congress for a an aid package to help workers at the hard hit industry.
Cinemark up 30%..
AMC Entertainment, however, was still down 4%.
Among other big showbiz stocks, Netflix is up 4.3%. Disney is up 1.7%, Comcast, up 1.3%. ViacomCBS is down 3.7%.
After two truly horrific day with 6%-plus losses and trading halts, today’s more modest dip – at least so far – according to one CNBC anchor, may be showing “tepid signs of lessening volatility.”
The U.S. Department of Labor this morning reported a surge of 70,000 new jobless claims for the week ending March 14, reflecting a much greater than expected number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance. The total number of initial jobless claims came in at 281,000 for the week but that number is expected to spike next week.
The European Central Bank launched a so-called Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program PEPP of 750 billion euros $818 billion worth of debt purchases to help the regional economy.
Panic selling smashed the market Wednesday, when the Dow dropped 1,338 points, or 6.% – bringing total losses since its Feb. 12 closing high near 33%,
Late Wednesday, the U.S. Senate a multi-billion aid package that expands unemployment insurance, paid sick leave and other benefits.
The New York Stock Exchange will close its trading floor and move to fully electronic trading on March 23 after two individuals tested positive for COVID-19 during screenings launched at the exchange this week.