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Empire States9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley

Posted on Saturday June 28, 2014, 18:14 by Ali Plumb in Empire States




1. It’s big
While Hogwarts (and the ride inside it, Harry Potter And The Forbidden Journey) and Hogsmeade itself (and the ride beside it, Dragon Challenge) is a decently-sized destination – especially considering the queues lining up around the franchise outlet of Ollivander’s Wand Shop – its new sister site Diagon Alley is flipping massive in comparison.

Though you might initially think that Diagon Alley would be, well, just Diagon alley, the new section of Harry Potternalia in Universal Studios Orlando also includes the more sinister lane that branches off it (Knockturn Alley) as well as an entirely new street and a covered market. Think Borough Market - huge crowds and railway bridges above you - but don't go expecting giant cathedrals slap bang in the middle of it. There’s also Gringotts Ba...

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Empire StatesPete Docter And Jonas Rivera Talk Pixar's Inside Out

Posted on Wednesday June 25, 2014, 16:58 by James White in Empire States
Pete Docter And Jonas Rivera Talk Pixar's Inside Out

Director Pete Docter and producer Jonas Rivera are the Pixar-based duo who last brought us the adventurous, famously tear-jerking tale of an old man, a house and a lot of balloons in Up. For their next project, they’re switching the age focus the other way, chronicling the world of an 11-year-old girl named Riley. But she’s not the main character: she’s the setting. Inside Out takes place within Riley’s mind, exploring how her emotions Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Anger and Fear deal with a traumatic move from the Midwest to San Francisco when Riley’s family is uprooted by her father’s job. The girl is struggling to cope with the new situation as she hits the age when kids start to lose their childlike sense of happiness and head towards the grumpier tween / teen years. Then Joy and Sadness find themselves trapped elsewhere in her mind, and must make their way back to “headquarters” even as their colleagues try to hold things together...

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Empire StatesMiss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…

Posted on Tuesday June 24, 2014, 15:49 by Dan Jolin in Empire States
Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…

Arguable spoiler warning. It is week one of the post-Game Of Thrones year. Nobody you love (or love to hate) is going to die in an entertainingly horrible way on the TV this week. If, like me, you feel that Thrones is the most colossally entertaining televisual event of any year, you’re probably feeling like a large hole has been punched, once more, into your cultural life. Especially if, like me, you can’t even turn to the novels, having binged on all the books after Season One ran… Then slogged through A Dance With Dragons when that eventually came out after Season Two.

There is a way to fill that hole, at least temporarily, which doesn’t involve cosplay or novelty mugs. And it’s with a once obscure (in this country at least) French medieval-history series first published in the 1950s.

Stay with me…

Publisher HarperCollins has already cottoned on to, and admirably exploited...

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Small Screen4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology

Posted on Thursday June 19, 2014, 11:39 by James Dyer in Small Screen
4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology

2014 represents a difficult transitional period for home cinema. On the one hand, 1080p sets are sleeker and cheaper than ever before, on the other a new breed of UHD 4K models have now arrived, their clarity matched only by the accompanying price tags. Given the dearth of 4K content available, it’s hard for most of us to justify shelling out a king’s ransom for a UHD set when there’s nothing out there bar the occasional Netflix broadcast to truly take advantage of the pixel count. Equally, though, with 4K media likely to ramp up in 2015, do you really want to buy a standard HD set and risk early obsolescence?

The solution to this decidedly first world problem may be a clever compromise. According to Sharp, the newly launched Quattron Pro technology bridges the resolution divide between ‘Full’ HD’s 2 million pixels and and 4K’s 8 million, allowing...

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Words From The WiseCannes Film Festival 2014: Awards Wrap

Posted on Monday May 26, 2014, 23:07 by Damon Wise in Words From The Wise
Cannes Film Festival 2014: Awards Wrap

The main thing that can be said for the rise in daily internet coverage of the Cannes film festival is that the story carried in the media is no longer just Best Cannes Ever/Worst Cannes Ever. There is still a certain amount of hyperbole, however, and the festival opened to howls of derision for Olivier Dahane’s ludicrous Grace Of Monaco – immediately dubbed one of the worst opening films of all time, even though it actually isn’t (The Da Vinci Code still has that distinction for me). However, the good news is that it means the official selection is no longer written off at the halfway mark, as so often used to happen, with the result that even though the 67th edition got off to a slow and stumbling start, the critics allowed it to unfold film by film, at its own steady pace.

On paper, the Competition line-up didn’t prove especially scintillating – lots of regulars and a preponderance of reasonably dependable old-timers but nothing like the auteur...

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Empire StatesH. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute

Posted on Tuesday May 13, 2014, 14:10 by Ian Nathan in Empire States
H. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute

Swiss artist H. R. Giger, who has died at the age of 74, was known for biomechanical visions replete with horror and strange beauty. Few designers with an eye for all that is strange and spectacular in sci-fi have remained uninfluenced by his remarkable work. Empire's Ian Nathan, author of Alien Vault: The Definitive Story Behind The Film, pays tribute.

H. R. Giger was, of course, involved in Alien long before Ridley Scott. The mercurial Swiss artist, who had pursued a unique style he described as “biomechanical”, was part of the team of artists and eccentrics (including Salvador Dali) assembled to envisage Alejandro Jodorowsky’s aborted adaptation of Dune, and had been retained by screenwriter Dan O’Bannon to visualise the eggs and facehugger for his B-movie concept Starbeast. The film that would eventually evolve into Scott’s science-fiction masterpiece.

But befor...

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Empire StatesHow Edible Cinema Finally Allows You To Eat A Movie

Posted on Monday April 28, 2014, 10:29 by Ali Plumb in Empire States

There are a few moviegoing “experiences” out there – some requiring you to dress up, others involving a jacuzzi – but I don’t think I’ll keep any of their literature in my memory drawer. Here’s a scan of my lovingly crumpled menu from Edible Cinema’s Trading Places screening from back in December 2013, which I bring up now because a new Edible Cinema event is coming up soon, and it’s important you know about it.

The premise is simple: each audience member sits in a seat with a tray of numbered footstuffs in front of them. A low light is kept on to see what’s what, and just beneath the screen itself there's a handy Edible Cinema assistant who raises the appropriate number on a piece of card when you’re required to eat (or drink) something. Otherwise, it’s a relatively normal screening of a relatively normal film – albeit one that featur...

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Words From The WiseSundance London: An Introduction To The 2014 Edition

Posted on Wednesday April 23, 2014, 23:54 by Damon Wise in Words From The Wise
Sundance London: An Introduction To The 2014 Edition

Some 15 years ago, we at Empire made a terrible mistake by sharing our discovery of a wonderful Christmassy village in Utah that every January showed great independent films by terrific emerging filmmakers to enthusiastic audiences. It had been an open secret for a while before then, but sometime in the late 2000s the Sundance Film Festival simply exploded, making it not just the first appointment festival on the calendar but an event that now resounds throughout the rest of the year. Never mind its rep as the festival that discovered Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh and Kevin Smith, Sundance continues to be relevant by championing films that in recent years have launched X-Person Jennifer Lawrence, (re)discovered the elusive Sixto Rodriguez and made Benh Zeitlin a surprise Best Picture nominee for his debut Beasts Of The Southern Wild.

With Sundance London returning for its third year at London’s O2 this weekend, we thought we’d catch up with festi...

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Empire StatesWhy Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?

Posted on Wednesday April 9, 2014, 10:48 by Helen O'Hara in Empire States
Why Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?

This week Vulture published an article arguing that Captain America is “only interesting if he’s a prick”. It echoes quite a few conversations I’ve heard where people complain that Cap is “boring” or “vanilla” or whatever, like the only heroes they want to see are the ones who reflect the worst in themselves. And frankly, I’m beginning to wonder what the hell is wrong with everyone.

Batman broods. We get it. Like Angel in Buffy and Heathcliff in Wuthering Heights, it’s part of his essence. Many superheroes, action heroes and sci-fi stars have troubled pasts that they sometimes like to reflect upon while staring handsomely into the distance. But does it feel to anyone else like maybe we have a few too many troubled heroes these days? And that maybe this whole dark, brooding, troubled, tortured thing h...

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Empire StatesAre iPads And Smartphones Changing The Face Of Filmmaking?

Posted on Tuesday April 8, 2014, 11:15 by Ben Kirby in Empire States
Are iPads And Smartphones Changing The Face Of Filmmaking?

When shooting Lawrence Of Arabia, one of the biggest challenges David Lean and cinematographer Freddie Young faced was operating the camera and the film. Sand, unsurprisingly got everywhere, the film was warped by the heat, and most of the rushes couldn’t even be viewed until the crew had returned to London. Thank God, then, for technology. Today, we live in a world where not only can a whole Empire Videoblogisode be filmed on a mobile phone, but so can an actual, proper, honest-to-goodness film.
Sally Potter’s Rage (2009) had the conceit of being filmed on a mobile (even if it was, in reality, a digital camera), and was even released simultaneously in the cinemas and on phones in the UK. Yet in 2014, this is seeming like less of a gimmick. In the last few years, we’ve had plenty of short films – like 2011’s ‘Framed’ – that were shot on a mobile, and 2014 sees the...

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Empire States (439)

Under The Radar (317)

Infinite Lives (92)

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Words From The Wise (35)

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RECENT POSTS

9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
By Ali Plumb

Pete Docter And Jonas Rivera Talk Pixar's Inside Out
By James White

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
By Dan Jolin

4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
By James Dyer

Cannes Film Festival 2014: Awards Wrap
By Damon Wise

H. R. Giger: An Empire Tribute
By Ian Nathan

How Edible Cinema Finally Allows You To Eat A Movie
By Ali Plumb

Sundance London: An Introduction To The 2014 Edition
By Damon Wise

Why Do People Think Captain America Is Boring?
By Helen O'Hara

Are iPads And Smartphones Changing The Face Of Filmmaking?
By Ben Kirby


RECENT COMMENTS

Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Nice to know Martin enlisted another author to help in his world-building. Time to get acquainted wi"  Imperion
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9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"@Y2Nield.com The original Hogwarts section and what was duelling dragons (has now"  Sexual Harassment Panda
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4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
"It doesn't matter if there are 50 billion pixels. The human eye cans perceive anything smaller than "  rubenjames
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Night Visions 2013: Adjust Your Tracking (or Does Anyone Actually Miss VHS?)
"Or don't..."  Owen Williams
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4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
"4K TVs are actually not that expensive anymore and the 'Quattron' costs 2.300€ (60inches).<"  DrGreenSkunk
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Miss Game Of Thrones Already? Here's The Solution…
"Actually i recomend The Foucault Pendulum for several reasons, in the first place it explores the es"  andresfelipeurb
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4K Or Not 4K?: First Look At Sharp's '2.5K' Quattron Pro Technology
"So this is basically the "HD-ready" version of 4K."  grucl
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9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"A great sneak peek, Ali. Aside from your confusion as to where Diagon Alley/King's Cross and Hogsmea"  bruciebonus
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9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"im due to go in October this year and having been before, i can honestly say i cannot wait. I agree "  kopite
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9¾ Things We Learnt At Universal Studios Florida's Diagon Alley
"still think it's a shame that they didn't make this in England. imagine getting the Hogwarts Express"  RX78
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