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Empire's London Film Festival Video Diaries

i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray

Posted on Monday October 22, 2012, 18:48 by James White

3D as a whole is still a controversial topic, and is rarely more divisive when considering older films converted to 3D. But with its new, 3D Blu-ray release of 2004 Will Smith sci-fi thriller i, Robot, 20th Century Fox seems committed to winning over naysayers and giving 3D TV owners the best experience possible from a film that, while it wasn’t shot in the format, definitely appears to benefit from it.

Empire was invited to the Fox lot to meet some of the tech team involved in the new conversion and to hear how the process works. We’ll spare you the talk of different layers and avoiding “cardboard issues”, but suffice to say a lot of care and attention has been lavished on this, utilising some hardware that promises to make future releases much more impressive.

And while the intent is naturally to boost the number of 3D Blu-Ray discs on the market to encourage us consumers to buy them, that wasn’t the main focus on this job. “It's no...

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DreamWorks Touts New 'Toon Footage

Posted on Thursday March 15, 2012, 03:53 by James White

It’s become an annual tradition for DreamWorks animation to put on a little show at LA’s Directors Guild Theatre to show off some scenes from their new films. This year was no exception, with directors, producers and even the odd actor (Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Pine, at least) thrust on stage to talk up Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted and the intriguing Rise Of The Guardians.

The latest Madagascar outing was first, with co-directors Tom McGrath, Conrad Vernon and Eric Darnell bringing 12 years of friendship to bear as they each claimed to have invented the best elements of the franchise and running us through the previous adventures of New York Zoo escapees Alex (Ben Stiller), Gloria (Pinkett Smith), Marty, (Chris Rock) and Melman (David Schwimmer).

After showing some scenes and introducing the new characters incl...

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Golden Globes 2012

Posted on Monday January 16, 2012, 04:32 by James White

So that was the Golden Globes 2012, then. Frankly, the experience of watching this year’s event was less one of blogging, more one of slogging.

Though everyone was wondering what wacky, insulting antics Ricky Gervais would get up to as host this year, it would appear that the Hollywood Foreign Press had actually found a way to insert a tiny poison bomb into Gervais’ leg, which they’d threatened to detonate if he strayed too far from the bounds of his cheeky chirpy, smug-for-pay persona. So we were treated to far fewer cracks at the expense of celebrities, and seemingly more at his bosses and NBC, the American network the show was on: "Tonight you get Britain's biggest comedian hosting the world's second biggest awards show on America's third biggest network. Sorry, it's fourth. For any of you don't know, the Golden Globes are just like the Oscars, but without all that esteem." And comparing the ceremonies again: "The Golden Globes are to the Oscars what Kim Kardash...

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James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D

Posted on Thursday November 10, 2011, 03:12 by James White

Titanic is coming back to our screens this April in a shiny, new 3D conversion. And like an approaching iceberg, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. But James Cameron, the man who wrangled the giant ship on to screens to huge success back in 1998, wants you to be happy with the idea of revisiting Rose, Jack and the rest. So he showed 18 minutes of 3D-retooled footage, and then took the stage at 20th Century Fox’s Zanuck screening room. for a round of his usual candid showmanship to explain why.

“We get to bring Titanic back to the big screen after having been gone for 15 years. There's a whole generation of people who have never seen the film in a movie theatre. I'm a strong believer in the theatrical experience in general, but specifically for this film. When people commit three hours plus a little bit of their lives to sit in a dark room and share this journey with these characters, they find that it's a very powerful, emotional experience a...

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The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: What Can We Expect?

Posted on Thursday June 17, 2010, 16:45 by Helen O'Hara

It was announced today that Stephen Daldry (The Hours, Billy Elliott, The Reader) and Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, 28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) will be in charge of the Opening Ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012. Obviously it's nice to hear that two of Blighty's finest will be overseeing the shindig, and will be in charge of making it both spectacular in execution and awesome in conception. But what can we expect to see from their Olympics adventure? We input all the data into Empire's steam-powered computing machine and odds extractor, and here's what came up as possible inclusions:

1. We open with two security guards chasing Paula Radcliffe, dressed as Virginia Woolf, around the stadium.

2. Then ...

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The Sorcerer's Apprentice Edit Bay Visit

Posted on Thursday April 1, 2010, 17:00 by James White

A couple of days ago, Empire was invited into a magical realm where dreams become reality, charismatic pirates cross the ocean and Nic Cage can be a shaggy-haired sorcerer. Not a fictional world of powerful wizards – just one powerful producer. Yes, we stopped by Jerry Bruckheimer’s office.

We were there to see some footage from one of Bruckheimer’s big summer blockbusters, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, which sees Cage’s plasma ball-conjuring mystic Balthazar Blake finally tracking down the person he thinks can become as powerful as Merlin himself. That person happens to be Dave Stutler, played by Judd Apatow protégé and rising comedy star Jay Baruchel, who between work on She’s Out Of My League and How To Train Your Dragon, is all over films released this year.

But Blake’s quest will not be an easy one. His arch nemesis, Maxim Horvath (portrayed with suitable snark and snarl by Alfred Molina), has es...

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Shutter Island: A Thriller Out Of Time?

Posted on Saturday February 13, 2010, 20:55 by Damon Wise

It's been interesting watching the reactions to Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island, from the trailer alone. People seem to forget that artists have a fractious relationship with their times, that sometimes their work arrives out of synch with public taste, and that sometimes their art takes chances that even their most loyal followers won't accept. The irony, of course, is that nobody knows this better than Scorsese, who has conducted a personal journey through the film cultures of three very cine-literate countries (Italy and the US, with Britain on its way) and directed a milestone documentary (No Direction Home) about the musician, poet and electric folklorist Bob Dylan, himself no stranger to controversy and public questioning. Along the way, the song remains the same; sometimes a contemporary audience isn't always sitting in the right seats to judge.

So what has Scorsese done to blot his copybook, in the wake of his most successful commercial run since the 70s and early 80s? Well...

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What Chris Nolan Could Bring To Superman

Posted on Tuesday February 9, 2010, 17:22 by James White

It’s been a tough few years for Clark Kent and his superhero alter ego (or is it the other way round, as Quentin Tarantino had David Carradine argue?) but with the recent speculation that Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan will be helping to oversee Superman’s return to the screen, things might finally be looking up.

Like any decision regarding the Man of Steel, it’s bound to be a controversial one: the character has been around for so long and so many people (including Richard Donner and, more recently, Bryan Singer) have tried their hand at making a movie based on him, to varying levels of success, that no one can seemingly please everyone.

But Nolan has a solid, proven track record with DC/Warners’ other heavy hitter, Batman and while he has no plans to ditch Gotham City for Metropolis (he has his brother and David Goyer are currently working on the scr...

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The Oscar Back-And-Forth

Posted on Tuesday February 2, 2010, 19:31 by Helen O'Hara

Helen: Well, here we are – and it feels like it’s a pretty predictable mix. Avatar and The Hurt Locker lead the way, both with nine, with Inglourious Basterds, Precious and Up In The Air snapping at their heels. This year’s awards feel suspiciously like a two horse race between Bigelow and Cameron’s movies (will Oscar reward the money, the scale and technical innovation or the sheer ability?) but perhaps I am unwisely discounting Tarantino and Reitman too early. Precious, I feel, is a lock only for Best Supporting Actress, which will go to Mo’Nique or there is no justice.

But let’s focus on Best Picture to begin with. We can discount any film that didn’t also get a Best Director nod from winning, I think. So goodbye (but well done for joining the party) District 9, The Blind Side (definitely the WTF nomination there), An Education, A Serious Man and (the mig...

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The Oscar Race: What Upsets Would You Like To See?

Posted on Friday January 29, 2010, 02:11 by Damon Wise

Taking a break from the Sundance marathon, I found myself watching the SAG awards telecast on Sunday night, which is actually a much bigger event that I'd ever realised. Quite a few things went through my mind as I watched, one of them being that I really think the Oscar race is taking shape now, and, if you haven't already put your money on Jeff Bridges for Best Actor, I think you should do so now, ditto for Mo'Nique (Precious) and Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds), since they too seem to have a lock on their respective supporting-actor categories. But the thing that surprised me most was the award for Best Ensemble cast; like many others, I'd have bet the farm on Nine, for pedigree alone, so I was actually quite shocked – in a good way – to see the guys from Inglourious Basterds win the day. It proved to me that there are still some upsets possible along the way.

So this got me to thinking about the upsets I'd like to see. For Best Acto...

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Should Spider-Man Have Gone 3D?

Posted on Wednesday January 20, 2010, 07:30 by Helen O'Hara

So this morning we've learned that the next Spider-Man film will have a budget of about $80 million. That puts it on a lower budget than Sherlock Holmes, lower than X-Men Origins: Wolverine (by nearly half). Heck, it's less than Fast & Furious, which cost about $85m, and only just more (not adjusting for inflation) than the first X-Men movie. So what does this mean for the film, and might Spidey have been better going for balls-out 3D instead?

Let's look at what the budget means first. That sort of money certainly implies that we're going to see less action - or at least less newly-developed, complicated, CG action. Wall-crawling and web-shooting is probably in; multiple trips around the city by web, massive fire effects, large things collapsing and CG character work* is probably out. The first X-Men movie is the one to think about here: the action there was pretty small and scattered until the final show-down (which would barely make the opening reel of...

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RECENT POSTS

i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray
By James White

DreamWorks Touts New 'Toon Footage
By James White

Golden Globes 2012
By James White

James Cameron Talks Titanic 3D
By James White

The 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony: What Can We Expect?
By Helen O'Hara


RECENT COMMENTS

Little Favour, Big Impact
"A really good short film. Gripping from the outset, a noir-ish action thriller with an interesting s"  Jaks
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i, Robot Goes 3D On Blu-Ray
"I received this yesterday with high expectations Now I am an advocate for 3D and a massive "  BigNickUK
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Golden Globes 2012
"Someone at E! needs to get fired! Their coverage was shocking! Thanks god for Empire showing me the "  guysalisbury
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Golden Globes 2012
""Harvey Weinstein’s nickname apparently being The Punisher. Write your own Thomas Jane jo"  loafroaster
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Golden Globes 2012
"Have to agree with the previous comments about the coverage by E! Truly inept. Other than that, high"  wgfuzzydunlop1
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MOST POPULAR POSTS

Should Spider-Man Have Gone 3D?
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What Chris Nolan Could Bring To Superman
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The Oscar Race: What Upsets Would You Like To See?
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