MOV097: “Roooooooooaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr”

It’s the 97th Reel of COL Movies, where the boys dig into the amber to revive DNA of Mr. Spielberg’s 1993 classic, “Jurassic Park”. In theaters, they go all eco-friendly and check out the newest adaptation of the Dr. Seuss story, “The Lorax”. In trailer-land, they head into space to see if it’s possible to save the president’s daughter from the nasty criminals who are orbiting the earth in “Lockout”. All this and news about Ninja Turtles, Prometheus, and the stupid kids – I mean, younger generation – who are lobbying theaters to allow texting during movies. Really? Why don’t we just allow them to start fires and have sex while they’re at it…but I digress… All this and who knows what else in Reel 97… “Roooooooooaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrr”

News:

  • International Trailer

The Past: Jurassic Park (1993)
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Fresh, 81% Audience

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Trivia:

  • William Hurt was offered the role of Dr. Grant, but he turned it down without reading the book or the script.
  • Harrison Ford turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant.
  • Richard Attenborough’s first acting role in 15 years.
  • Michael Crichton’s agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted ‘Steven Spielberg’ to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg, who was already his first choice.
  • In Michael Crichton’s novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the first instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version. This feat was not repeated until 2009, when boxer Paolo Roberto played himself in the film version of The Girl Who Played with Fire. He too was already previously featured as a character in the book.
  • The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.
  • Director Steven Spielberg was worried that computer graphics meant Nintendo type cartoon quality. He originally only wanted the herd of gallimimus dinosaurs to be computer-generated, but upon seeing ILM’s demo animation of a T-rex chasing a herd of gallimimus across his ranch, he decided to shoot nearly all the dinosaur scenes using this method. The animation was first plotted on an Amiga Toaster, and rendered for the film by Silicon Graphics’ Indigo workstations.
  • Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.
  • The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.
  • A baby triceratops was built for a scene where one of the kids rides it. Special effects technicians worked on this effect for a year but the scene was cut at the last minute as Steven Spielberg thought it would ruin the pacing of the film.
  • In the egg-hatching scene, a new-born baby triceratops was originally supposed to come out of the egg, but it was changed to a velociraptor..
  • Many errors were corrected digitally: some stunt people were made to look like the actors, and in one scene an entire Ford Explorer was digitally generated.
  • The first film to use DTS (now Datasat) digital surround sound.
  • To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film’s digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.
  • At one point Lex is hanging from a floorboard between stories. She looks up for a moment. The stunt double looked up accidentally while filming and Ariana Richards’ face had to be superimposed in post production.
  • Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, also directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi also beat Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial as Best Picture).
  • The computer in the back of the computer room with the many (65536) red LEDs is actually a real computer: The Connection Machine CM-5 made by Thinking Machines. It contained many SPARC 2 RISC processors and the LEDs were added to make the machine more aesthetically pleasing than their previous models. Unfortunately, it was not actually a very good supercomputer and the company failed not long afterward. The comment about networking eight connection machines is pretty superfluous as they were meant to be used like this. The bigger problem was writing programs that efficiently mapped onto the data parallel architecture.
  • According to Daan Sandee (Thinking Machines Corp), the CM-5 super computer used in the control room was one of only two ever built to that size (1024 nodes). The other machine was at Los Alamos. The machine used in the movie was sold as smaller segments after the scenes were complete. Mirrors were used to make it seem like more CM-5’s were present.
  • Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler’s List), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.
  • Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.
  • Dr. Malcolm’s quip that Sattler’s and Grant’s jobs are extinct is quoted from what puppeteer Phil Tippett said to Steven Spielberg when he decided to use CGI and not Go-Motion. Spielberg stuck it into the film.i.
  • On 11 September 1992, Hurricane Iniki hit the island of Kauai, delaying production of the film. Much of the crew helped in the clean up.
  • The scene where the T-Rex comes out of the bushes and eats the gallimimus was actually shot on the island of Oahu at Kualoa Ranch. This was the only outdoor scene not filmed on Kauai, due to Hurricane Iniki.
  • Ariana Richards was upset by the fact that an action figure of her character was not produced. (Kenner only made dolls of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.)
  • After making this movie, Ariana Richards developed a great interest in dinosaurs, and assisted Jack Horner (paleontologist advisor for the film and the inspiration for the Dr. Grant character) on an actual dinosaur dig in Montana the following summer.
  • All the merchandise (T-Shirts, stuffed dinosaurs, lunch boxes, flasks, etc.) shown in the film were, in some part, actually created to be sold with the movie.
  • Before Steven Spielberg decided to use animatronic dinosaurs and computer-generated effects, he wanted to use stop motion animation for the dinosaur effects and had Phil Tippett put together a short demo of the kitchen scene using claymation dinosaurs (Barbie dolls were substituted for the actual actors).
  • After Joseph Mazzello was turned down for a role in Steven Spielberg’s Hook for being too young, Spielberg told Mazzello that he was still impressed with his audition and would try to cast him in a future project. Mazzello was then cast as Tim in this movie. His casting led Spielberg to reverse the ages of the children, as he decided that casting a girl younger than Mazzello would be too young to be placed in danger. Lex was therefore made the older child, and the computer expert as well. In Crichton’s original novel, Tim is older, and is both the dinosaur and computer enthusiast.
  • Briefly held the box office record until it was beaten by Titanic.
  • Newspaper clippings on the fridge in Grant’s trailer read “Space Aliens Stole My Face” and “Dinosaurs On Mars!”
  • The novel was published in 1990. However, pre-production of the film began in 1989, using only Michael Crichton’s manuscript. It was widely believed that the book would be such a hit that it would make an outstanding movie. It turns out that assumption was correct.
  • The original idea for Jurassic Park, came from Michael Crichton’s attempt in 1983 to write a screenplay about a Pterodactyl being cloned from an egg. The screenplay and movie never came to fruition. Originally, Crichton’s novel was rejected by his “people”, a group of about 5 or 6 personal acquaintances who always read his drafts before he sends them off. After several rejections, Crichton finally figured out what was wrong: he had originally intended for the story to be through the eyes of a child who was at the park when the dinosaurs escaped, which his peers felt was too ridiculous, and could not identify with the character. Michael Crichton re-wrote the story as it is today, and it became a huge hit. (The story also incorporates the “amusement park run amok” element of Michael Crichton’s Westworld.)
  • In the scene where the survivors are crawling through vent spaces, the computer monitors are shining on the raptor after them. This is usually mistaken as being the shadows from the air vents. It’s the letters GATC, the four letters used to denote the components of DNA.
  • For the part where the T-Rex catches a Galliminus and shakes it in his mouth, the sound was taken from a dog shaking a toy in its mouth.
  • The release strategy was planned 15 months before the studio had the chance to see a frame of the movie.
  • In the shots of the gift shop, clearly visible is a book entitled “The Making of Jurassic Park” by Don Shay and Jody Duncan. This title was published but tells the behind the scenes story of how the film was made. Jody Duncan also wrote the “Making Of” book for The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
  • Steven Spielberg considered hiring Bob Gurr to do the full size dinosaurs because he was impressed with his apes in the “Kongfrontation” ride at Universal Studios.
  • When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Explorer in the first attack, the glass was not meant to break, producing the noticeably genuine screams from the children.
  • Later in the movie, as one of the jeeps pulls up, right before they get out, the camera zooms in on the jeep door. The Jurassic Park logo is on the door, but it is covered in mud so that the only words that can be read is “ur ass Park”, perhaps a subtle joke about many of the characters getting hurt or killed in the movie.
  • Universal paid Michael Crichton $2 million for the rights to his novel before it was even published.
  • Steven Spielberg was in the very early stages of pre-production for the film “ER” (based on a Michael Crichton novel), when he heard about the “Jurassic Park” book. He subsequently dumped what he was doing to make the film. Afterwards, he returned to “ER” and helped develop it into a hit TV series (ER).
  • To give the 1993 Ford Explorer XLTs the appearance that they were driverless and were running on an electric track, the SUVs were driven by remote from the rear cargo area of the vehicle. The driver was hidden under the Ford Explorer’s cargo canvas, which was always pulled closed during filming. To see where to steer the SUV, the driver watched a small TV that was fed outside images via two cameras. One camera was mounted on the dash in front of the steering wheel, and the other was mounted on the lower center portion of the front bumper, above a black box. Both cameras can be clearly seen in the movie several times.
  • Anna Chlumsky auditioned for the role of Lex.
  • In the book, the sick animal is a Stegosaurus, said by Ian Malcolm to be sick because the Jurassic era air had more oxygen than the Holocene, part of the chaos theory.
  • The company name “InGen” is the Norwegian, Danish and Swedish word for “nobody”.
  • Director Steven Spielberg and author Michael Crichton first met over two decades earlier, when Spielberg gave Crichton a tour of Universal Studios during the production of The Andromeda Strain.
  • Was followed by two sequels. There were plans for a fourth film, but they were immediately scrapped in late 2008, after the death of Michael Crichton.
  • As the movie was released in Costa Rica, local theater owners scratched/blurred the San Jose tag during the scene when Nedry waits for his contact in what supposedly was the country’s capital, because the local audiences reacted negatively to inaccuracies in the scene’s geography.
  • There are only 15 minutes of actual dinosaur footage in the film: 9 minutes are Stan Winston’s animatronics, 6 minutes of it is ILM’s CGI.
  • The real species called Velociraptor was much smaller (about turkey-sized) than the animals in the film and were believed to have been feathered. They were part of bipedal, bird-like predators of the family Dromaeosauridae, some of which were even larger than the “velociraptors” in the film.
  • Much of the behavior seen in the film is based on modern wild animals, since little is known of the actual behavior of dinosaurs.
  • The picture that can be seen taped to programmer Dennis Nedry’s computer monitor is of J. Robert Oppenheimer. The picture is partly obscured by a post-it with an atomic bomb mushroom cloud drawn on it.
  • Years after this film wrapped, it was discovered due to fossil impressions of velociraptor skin that they were feathered, implying that Grant was indeed right that they evolved into birds.
  • Richard Attenborough plays Joseph Mazzello’s grandfather. He subsequently cast Mazzello in his next film, Shadowlands.
  • Grant and Sattler unearth a velociraptor skeleton in Montana early in the film, and later encounter live velociraptors that are about the size of a full grown human. In reality, velociraptors were only about half the size of the animals seen in the film, and their remains have mainly been found in Asia, never in Montana. The species identified as velociraptor in the film is actually more consistent with Deinonychus. When Michael Crichton was doing his research, scientific thinking was that Velociraptor and Deinonychus were variations on the same species.
  • Hammond (Richard Attenborough) creates the dinosaurs from DNA trapped in amber. He also carries around a cane capped with a mosquito in amber. Attenborough’s brother is naturalist David Attenborough, who has his own collection of animals trapped in amber. This was the focus of The Natural World: The Amber Time Machine.
  • Steven Spielberg delayed the beginning of filming by several weeks to get the cast he wanted. First he allowed Richard Attenborough to finish post-production on his own film Chaplin before committing to the film. He also waited until Sam Neill could finish filming Family Pictures. Neill ended up only having a weekend off between finishing that film and starting this one.
  • Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) dresses entirely in black in both this film and its sequel. In the book, he tells Ellie Sattler that he only ever dresses in black and gray, so that he never has to waste time thinking about what to wear. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives the same reason for his monotonous fashion sense in The Fly.
  • Alan Grant is modeled after Paleontologist Jack Horner who, like Grant, digs and teaches in Montana, and was also a technical advisor on this film.
  • The scene where Grant, Tim and Lex meet the heard of Gallimimuses was scheduled to be the last scene shot on location in Kauai. When Hurricane Iniki hit, filming for this scene had to be postponed. Production returned to California and then, a few weeks later, Sam Neill, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards had to travel back to Hawaii, but this time to the island of Oahu, to shoot the scene.
  • The guest’s encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. Michael Crichton’s original novel and the screenplay, however, includes an explanation: the Stegosaur/Triceratops lacked suitable teeth for grinding food and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them as gizzard stones. In the digestive tract, these rocks would grind the food to aid in digestion. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding and eating new rocks to use, the animal would also swallow West Indian Lilac berries. The fact that the berries and stones are regurgitated explains why Ellie never finds traces of them in the animal’s excrement.
  • It was while supervising post-production on this film that George Lucas decided that technology was good enough to begin work on the Star Wars prequels. Appropriately, Samuel L. Jackson was able to appear in those films as well.
  • Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Bridget Fonda, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger were all considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.
  • Michael Crichton has said that his views on science and genetic engineering are largely expressed by Ian Malcolm. Steven Spielberg saw many parallels to himself in the character of John Hammond. Fittingly, he cast a fellow filmmaker in the role, who begins his tour of the park by showing a film, in which he also acts. While Malcolm is dressed entirely in black, Hammond wears all white.
  • The character played by Cameron Thor is named Lewis Dodgson. Author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Lewis Carroll was born with the name Charles Dodgson. Since both the first and last names of the character are written with the less common spellings which Carroll used, this is a fairly obvious nod to him, although the reason for the joke is unclear. Lewis Carroll’s novel is referenced again when Nedry names his program to sabotage the park security systems “White Rabbit.”
  • The crew were caught in a very dangerous Hurricane, Hurricane Iniki which hit the island of Kauai. The film-makers managed to capture shots from the Hurricane and use it in the movie. This incident was told in a recent episode of Storm Stories.
  • The tyrannosaur paddock set was constructed both on location and as a studio set. The former was for the daytime scene in which the creature fails to appear, and the latter for its nighttime escape, in order to accommodate Stan Winston’s robotic t-rex. This set required a soundstage much bigger than Universal had to offer, so it was filmed at Warner Bros.
  • The sounds made by the Dilophosaurus were a combination of the sounds of howler monkeys, hawks, rattlesnakes, and swans. The main cry of the Velicoraptors was a combination of the sounds of elephant seal pups, dolphins and walruses. The elephant seal sounds were recorded at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA, a marine mammal hospital that rehabilitates and releases sick and injured seals and sea lions.
  • The Tyrannosaurus’ roars were a combination of dog, penguin, tiger, alligator, and elephant sounds.
  • The sounds made by the Brachiosaurs were a combination of whale and donkey sounds.
  • Except for some very brief glimpses in the opening scene, the adult velociraptors – often cited as the most memorable dinosaurs in this film – don’t make an on-screen appearance until over 103 minutes into the movie.
  • While discussing chaos theory, Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) shamelessly flirts with Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). After meeting on this film, the two actors began a romantic relationship, and were engaged for two years before breaking up.
  • The film cut out many species of dinosaur that were featured in the novel for budgetary and technological reasons. One of these was a small, chicken-sized dinosaur called Procompsognathids, which later made an appearance in The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Dr. Wu explains their reason for having this creature: Dinosaur excrement, he presumes, would have been bio-degradable during the Cenozoic era. However, in the modern day, bacteria have evolved to the point that it is no longer able to break down dinosaur waste, and the larger dinosaurs produce quite a lot of it. “Compys,” as they are called, eat the other dinosaurs’ waste and then excrete it themselves in smaller piles which are more easily broken down by present-day bacteria. The lack of compys in the film may explain the mountain of excrement that Ellie finds.
  • Phil Tippett became quite depressed when he learned that none of the stop-motion creatures he had been developing would be used in the film. However, shortly after that decision had been made, ILM animators discovered they did actually have a use for him. While none of his stop-motion models would be seen in the film, his techniques were determined to be quite useful in animating the computer-generated dinosaurs, especially given how much research he had put into animal movement. Rather than creating the dinosaur motion using key-frame animation, it was decided to build a stop-motion armature for each computer generated dinosaur and manipulate it as they would for a stop-motion film. These armatures were specially built with motion-sensors, and linked up to the animated dinosaurs being created on the computer. Thus, the motion of the stop-motion armature was directly translated into the computer-generated version that appears in the final film.
  • Shortly after Nedry makes his first appearance in the control room, during his argument with Hammond, you can clearly see the movie Jaws playing in a small video window on one of Nedry’s computer screens. That movie was, of course, directed by Steven Speilberg.
  • When Hurricane Iniki hit, the cast and crew were all required to move into the ballroom of the hotel they were staying in. Richard Attenborough, however, stayed in his hotel room, and slept through the entire event. When asked how he could possibly have done this, Attenborough replied, “My dear boy, I survived the blitz!”

Talking Points:

  • Does it hold up? VR Display, CD Rom …
  • The Score

What We’ve Learned:

  • Fat guys eating are almost always the villain
  • Auto-erotica <> Animatronic
  • Life will not be contained, life finds a way
  • Don’t be so preoccupied with could that you don’t worry about weather you should!
  • Discovery is a vile penetrative act that scars what it explores
  • Keep your windows UP! don’t move! and stay in the dang car!
  • Animals are never out in the zoo when you WANT to see them
  • Anything all can and does happen
  • If it’s heavy it’s expensive
  • Creation is an act of force
  • Control is an illusion

Trailer

Recommendations:
Jeff: Always considered a classic in my book. This was the introduction to a new age of digital effects and was absolutely brilliantly done. If you haven’t seen this before, what is wrong with you. Buy it for your DVD or digital library NOW.
Ray: Still holds up, the score still gives me goosebumps. If you have not seen this you should. No it’s not Shakespeare but it is what I consider the perfect Spielberg action movie. Wonder, punctuated with moments of absolute terror.
Steve: Overall…amazing movie! Really pushed the boundaries at the time it was made and comes off as a classic. Scary, in a “don’t mess with nature” kind of way – without being preachy.

The Present: Dr. Seuss The Lorax
Rotten Tomatoes: 57% Rotten; 72% Audience

Directors: Chris Renaud, Kyle Balda

Starring: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, Danny DeVito

Trivia:

  • The characters of Ted and Audrey are named after Dr. Seuss (whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel) and his second wife Audrey Geisel.
  • Danny DeVito will also be the voice of The Lorax for the Spanish, Russian, Italian and German dubbed versions.
  • This is the first film to feature Universal’s 100th Anniversary logo.
  • Unlike the original book, the Once-ler is shown fully in the story as a human. Executive producer Christopher Meledandri said of the change, “The minute you make the Once-ler a monster, you allow the audience to interpret that the problem is caused by somebody who is different from me, and it ceases to be a story that is about all of us. Then it’s a story about, ‘Oh I see, the person who led us into the predicament is not a person. It’s somebody very, very different.’ And so it takes you off the hook.”
  • The film premiered on March 2, 2012 – Dr. Seuss’s 108th birthday.
  • Craig Ferguson was considered to play the Lorax.
  • Argentinian film producer Axel Kuschevatzky dubbed Mr. O’Hare on the Latin American Spanish speaking prints of the movie.
  • Despite being the two main characters of the film, The Lorax and Ted never appear in a scene together.

Talking Points:

  • The Controversy , The Message

What We Learned:

  • If you put things in plastic bottles, people will buy it.
  • If a guy does a stupid thing once, it’s because he’s a guy. If it’s twice it’s because of a girl.
  • Bears can be used as defibrillators
  • Sleep is the body’s way of telling other people to go away.
  • The Tree falls the way it leans, so be careful which way you lean

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Very cute film and neat retelling of the Dr. Seuss story. Definitely a kids movie. Take the kids to the theater, but for yourself, could just wait for DVD or Streaming.
Ray: Cute film, even if the message is a little bit heavy handed. It was entertaining, not sure if the 3D was really worth it, but it did make the thing pop off the screen.
Steve:. I’m generally all for animation…and I’m a fan of Dr. S! However, I was just entertained by the visuals – not much at all by dialogue or overall story. So…it looked good. That’s all I can offer.

The Future: Lockout

Release: March 30, 2012

Director: James Mather, Stephen St. Leger

Starring: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Peter Stormare

Summary:

A man wrongly convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage against the U.S. is offered his freedom if he can rescue the president’s daughter from an outer space prison taken over by violent inmates.

Talking Points

  • Anyone else get an escape from new york vibe with this? rescue in a prison.. main characters name is snow instead of snake

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Looks like a fun sci-fi B-ish movie. I’ll see it, but not any sort of priority.
Ray: Looks ok, not sure I’d run out to see it, but definitely a rental or Netflix
Steve: Looks exciting, but probably saw the best of it in the trailer. Con-Air in space? Comes off as a rental to me.

Coming Attractions

The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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MOV086: “Be Brave, Fear God, Honor the King”

Join Jeff, Steve, and Ray on the inaugural reel of 2012 as the boys take a jump back to 1942 and watch Casablanca, exploring all the ways that this movie has influenced popular culture. Is it worth the hype and stand the test of time? From one world war to the next, the boys jump over the Mediterranean and back into the trenches of World War 1 to discuss Spielberg’s take on the 1982 Children’s novel, War Horse. Is this trip into No Mans Land worth the price of admission? Finally from the distant past we warp into the future to look at the new trailer for Ridley Scott’s Prometheus. The long anticipated return to a genre he helped define in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Is it enough to get our butts into the seat? All this and news about Akira’s development nightmare, Zombie Trilogies, and the return of the debate, to post convert or not on this 86th reel of COL Movies “Be Brave, Fear God, Honor the King”

News:

The Past: Casablanca (1942)
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% Fresh, 94% Audience

Director: Michael Curtiz

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

Trivia:

  • The Allies invaded Casablanca in real life on 8 November 1942. As the film was not due for release until spring, studio executives suggested it be changed to incorporate the invasion. Warner Bros. chief Jack L. Warner objected, as he thought that an invasion was a subject worth a whole film, not just an epilogue, and that the main story of this film demanded a pre-invasion setting. Eventually he gave in, though, and producer Hal B. Wallis prepared to shoot an epilogue where Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains hear about the invasion. However, before Rains could travel to the studio for this, David O. Selznick (whose studio owned Bergman’s contract) previewed the film and urged Warner to release it unaltered and as fast as possible. Warner agreed and the premiered in New York on November 26. It did not play in Los Angeles until its general release the following January, and hence competed against 1943 films for the Oscars.
  • Michèle Morgan asked for $55,000, but Hal B. Wallis refused to pay it when he could get Ingrid Bergman for $25,000.
  • The script was based on the unproduced play “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”. Samuel Marx of MGM wanted to offer authors (Murray Burnett and Joan Alison) $5,000 for it, but MGM boss Louis B. Mayer refused; Irene Lee of the Warner Brothers story department praised it to Jack L. Warner, who agreed to buy it for $20,000.
  • Dooley Wilson (Sam) was a professional drummer who faked playing the piano. As the music was recorded at the same time as the film, the piano playing was actually a recording of a performance by Elliot Carpenter who was playing behind a curtain but who was positioned such that Dooley could watch, and copy, his hand movements
  • Captain Renault’s line, “You like war. I like women,” was changed from “You enjoy war. I enjoy women,” in order to meet decency standards
  • Reportedly, many of the shadows were painted onto the set.
  • In the German version, the immortal line “Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”, became, “Ich seh’ Dir in die Augen, Kleines” which translates as “I look in your eyes, honey”.
  • Many of the actors who played the Nazis were in fact German Jews who had escaped from Nazi Germany
  • The letters of transit that motivate so many characters in the film did not exist in Vichy-controlled France – they are purely a plot device invented by the screenwriters.
  • In the famous scene where the “Marseillaise” is sung over the German song “Watch on the Rhine”, many of the extras had real tears in their eyes; a large number of them were actual refugees from Nazi persecution in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and were overcome by the emotions the scene brought out.
  • Casablanca, Morocco, was one of the key stops for refugees fleeing Nazi-occupied Europe, which is why the original playwrights chose the city for the setting of their play (though initially they had opted for Lisbon)
  • Rick’s Cafe was one of the few original sets built for the film, the rest were all recycled from other Warner Brothers productions due to wartime restrictions on building supplies
  • Humphrey Bogart had to wear platform shoes to play alongside Ingrid Bergman.
  • It is never revealed why Rick cannot return to America. Julius J. Epstein later said that “My brother and I tried very hard to come up with a reason why Rick couldn’t return to America. But nothing seemed right. We finally decided not to give a reason at all.”
  • It is unclear where the line, “Here’s looking at you, kid,” originated, but it definitely predated both Casablanca and earlier stage work by Bogart. On March 9, 1932 – 10 years before Casablanca – Eddie Cantor signed his name in cement at Grauman’s Chinese Theater and wrote, “Here’s looking at you, Sid” (referring to Sid Grauman, owner of the theater). Cantor certainly meant it as a take-off on “Here’s looking at you, kid”, which evidently was a line in circulation at the time.
  • Given the extraordinary chemistry between the two leads, it’s curious that Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman never appeared in another movie together, this being their one and only joint venture.
  • No one knew right up until the filming of the last scene whether Ilsa would end up with Rick or Laszlo. During the course of the picture, when Ingrid Bergman asked director Michael Curtiz with which man her character was in love, she was told to “play it in between”. Since the ending was not the final scene shot, there are some scenes where she *was* aware of how everything would turn out, and these include the scene in the black market with Rick and the scene in the Blue Parrot where Ferrari offers the Laszlos one exit visa.
  • Ingrid Bergman considered her left side as her better side, and to the extent possible that was the side photographed throughout the film, so she is almost always on the right side of the screen looking towards the left regardless of who is in the shot with her. However, there are several shots where she is to the left and Humphrey Bogart is on the right

Talking Points:

  • All the pop culture items from this movie –
  • Play it again Sam – was never said in the movie.
  • Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship” #65/100 greatest, #20 by AFI – often misquoted
  • “Round up the usual suspects” #32/100 by AFI
  • “We’ll always have Paris” #42/100 greatest movie lines.
  • “Here’s looking at you kid” #1/100 greatest movie lines. , #5 by AFI
  • “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine” #67/100
  • “I Stick my neck out for nobody” #42/100 greatest movie lines – dont recall this one being as famous
  • “As Time Goes By” #2 on AFI’s 100 years / 100 Songs.
  • AFI 100 Years lists – http://www.afi.com/100years/
  • If this was made today – In the 1980s, this film’s script was sent to readers at a number of major studios and production companies under its original title, “Everybody Comes to Rick’s”. Some readers recognized the script but most did not. Many complained that the script was “not good enough” to make a decent movie. Others gave such complaints as “too dated”, “too much dialog” and “not enough sex”.
  • A lot of the extras and actors had actually fled from Nazi Germany.

What We’ve Learned:

  • Morocco is full of vultures…vultures vultures everywhere.
  • Its ok to be a parasite, just not a cut-rate one
  • The winning side pays much better…maybe
  • Drunkard makes you a citizen of the world
  • You get much more than a penny for your thoughts in France.
  • No one is supposed to sleep well in Casablanca
  • Friends of Rick get the special discount!
  • The problems of three little people don’t mount to a hill of beans in this crazy world

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: There’s a reason this is #2 on AFI’s Top 100 movies and #3 on the 10th Anniversary Edition of the list. Brilliant story telling of the era and the acting was wonderful. Everyone should see this at least once. Some people may be turned off due to the black and white style and the acting style but it’s definitely earned it’s place on AFI’s list.
Ray: “I attempted to watch this movie once before when i was much much younger..and didn’t make it. I think now that I’m older I enjoyed this movie a lot more. I think everyone should watch or at least attempt to watch. If only for seeing where so many of these little influential pop culture things came from.
Steve: First time I’d watched this from beginning to end. I liked being able to see where some of the popular lines actually fit in with the actual movie! I liked it and actually found myself rooting for Rick.

The Present: War Horse
Rotten Tomatoes: 77% Fresh, 77% Audience

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson, David Thewlis

Trivia:

  • Steven Spielberg’s first film to be edited digitally. He has famously held onto editing traditionally, by cutting films manually on a flatbed editing table.
  • Based on both a children’s novel of the same name set during World War I, by Michael Morpurgo, first published in the United Kingdom in 1982, and the 2007 stage adaptation, also of the same name.

Talking Points:

  • The First 30 minutes or so.. too slow? or necessary
  • The “Hidden” Violence leading up to the Front.
  • The Barbed Wire scene.
  • The Private

What We Learned:

  • If you’re going to plow, you need something solid.
  • There are big days, and there are small days.
  • There aren’t words for some things.
  • It’s good to be proud, when you done something good.
  • I might hate you more, but I’ll never love you less.
  • Time spent on reconnaissance is time rarely wasted.
  • The Germans spent their time in trenches reading books and knitting sweaters.
  • The women in Italy, are not as good as the food.

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: Brilliant epic and I think a return to form for Spielberg . . . in the live action sense considering he did come back to form with Tin Tin but that was animated. Definitely a worth see . . . but maybe more of a movie night at home verses the theatre, but that’s just because this isn’t my style of movie.
Ray: Beautifully shot, and if you give the movie enough time to actually engage you, it’s a pretty emotional flick, and I don’t even like horses!
Steve: OK, scenery was amazing. Story was annoying. I didn’t hate it like I thought I would, but I felt emotionally raped afterward because it was forcing an emotional response from the audience. Felt like Crash with horses.

The Future: Prometheus

Release: June 8, 2012

Director: Ridley Scott

Starring: Noomi Rapace, Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson

Summary:

A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race.

Trivia:

  • Was originally intended as a prequel to Ridley Scott’s Alien, but Scott decided to turn it into an original film with Noomi Rapace (who was already set to star in the prequel) still in the cast as one of five main characters. Some time later however it was confirmed that while the movie will take place in the same universe as Alien, and greatly reference that movie, it will, for the bigger part, be an original movie and not a direct prequel
  • For the role of Vickers, Charlize Theron and Angelina Jolie were considered. Theron got the role.

Talking Points:

  • Shared Alien DNA.
  • Title “Scroll”
  • Stone Edifice that look like egg chamber
  • The Space Jockey head / chair
  • Smoking acid in the space helmet
  • The Screaming sound effect
  • The ship.
  • His use of Strong Female Leads

Trailers:

Alien Trailer:

IGN Rewind:

Excitement:
Jeff: I need more. This was just a teaser and I couldn’t get off the fact that Alien was completely implied by the appearance of the title and the flash of a guy holding his helmeted head looking like he was screaming with the scream sound from the soundtrack playing. And it was only for a split second. Applause to Ridley Scott to get people excited by reminding everyone of Alien but I’m not quite buying it yet. Poo poo on this teaser, but HELL YEAH I’m seeing the movie, but not because of this teaser.
Ray: I have a raging sci fi boner for this movie….June cannot get here fast enough.
Steve: Definitely an epic looking trailer and clearly has a lot of similarities to Alien. A must see!

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV085: “How Much For That Mogwai In The Window?”

It’s 85th reel of COL Movies, and Carlos joins the boys in on the fun! They start in the past with the non-traditional Christmas classic, “Gremlins”. From one Spielberg film to another, they head to the theater to check out his first animated film “The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of the Unicorn”. For the future, they review the new trailer for “The Dark Knight Rises”. Along with some updated movie news, it’s the 85th reel of COL Movies…”How much for that Mogwai in the window?”

News:

The Past: Gremlins (1984)
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% Fresh, 70% Audience

Director: Joe Dante

Starring: Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Hoyt Axton, Howie Mandell (VO-Gizmo), Frank Welker (VO-Stripe)

Trivia:

  • Originally planned and scheduled for a Christmas release, the film was rushed into production shortly after Warner Bros. found out that it had no major competition against Paramount’s Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom or Columbia’s Ghost Busters for the summer movie season
  • Generally credited (along with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom) to influence the MPAA to create the PG-13 rating, as many felt the scenes of violence in both movies were too much for a PG rating, but not enough for an R rating.
  • This was the first movie in years to use Warner Bros’ “shield” logo
  • In Cantonese Chinese, mogwai means devil, demon or gremlin. The Mandarin pronunciation is mogui
  • The set for Kingston Falls is the same one used for Back to the Future. Both movies were filmed in the Universal Studios backlot.
  • Though he followed the basic outline of the script, Hoyt Axton is said to have improvised nearly all his lines.
  • After watching his earlier short films, Steven Spielberg considered Tim Burton to direct the film. But decided against it because at the time Burton had never directed a full feature length film.
  • Jon Pertwee and Mako were both seriously considered for the role of Mr. Wing.
  • According to Joe Dante and Michael Finnell, the original rough cut of the film ran 2 hours and 40 minutes.
  • In this film, the Amblin Entertainment logo makes its first on-screen appearance.
  • Within the story, Gizmo was capable of singing or humming. Jerry Goldsmith wrote Gizmo’s song as well, but Howie Mandel never sang it. A girl member of Goldsmith’s congregation was hired to sing Gizmo’s song, although she had never worked in films before.
  • The time machine prop from Time after Time can be seen behind Rand Peltzer when he’s on the phone with his wife, while attending the convention.
  • Chris Columbus’ script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. His original version had the creatures killing the dog and cutting off the mom’s head and tossing it down the stairs. These elements were never shot due to the fact that both, Joe Dante and Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be more family oriented.
  • Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, originally died with dozens of hypodermic needles stuck in his face. But, by request from Steven Spielberg, this scene was re-shot it with just a single needle in the buttocks
  • At the end, Gizmo pulls a window blind which exposes Stripe to the sunlight. But, originally, there are two window blinds and Gizmo pull the first one and then Billy pulls the second one. This scene was edited because Steven Spielberg believed that Gizmo was the hero of the movie and not Billy and therefore Gizmo would be the one responsible for the demise of Stripe.

Talking Points:

  • Non traditional Christmas movies (this movie was a summer release)
  • Intended audience and the addition of the PG-13 rating
  • The Logic Flaw
  • Practical Effects – hold up? (Creepy skeleton Stripe)
  • Voice actors (Howie Mandel & Michael Winslow…among others)

What We’ve Learned:

  • Having cable is not a successful way to pick up girls
  • Gremlins have perfect pitch
  • Suicide rates are always highest during the holidays
  • The smaller the animal the faster the heartbeat
  • Don’t expose them to light, Don’t get them wet and never feed them after midnight.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: An incredibly classic movie but I didn’t feel like it held up. Still feels very dated. But getting past that, still love it. Made me want to watch the sequel.
Ray: This is one of my favorite non-traditional Christmas movies – I think its worth watching, but make sure you watch it yourself before deciding if if its appropriate for younger children to watch.
Steve: A great film. I still have my Gizmo 🙂 I love that it’s practical and even if it doesn’t stand up to the test of time, it’s a classic.
Carlos: This gets violent, and subversive, even for a well-known piece of holiday counter-programming. It has pieces of bitter chocolate even in all the Xmas happy.

The Present: The Adventures of Tin Tin: The Secret of The Unicorn
Rotten Tomatoes: 75% Fresh, 80% Audience

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis, Daniel Craig, Nick Frost, Simon Pegg

Trivia:

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the titular character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong, then came aboard to play Tintin.
  • The first animated film directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg hired E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial writer Melissa Mathison to write a draft of the script. Her script featured a battle in Africa between Tintin and ivory poachers.
  • After Simon Pegg had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Steven Spielberg invited him to the film’s set and offered him the role of Thomson.
  • Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his VFX company Weta Digital would work on the film, in particular creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé’s world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be CGI.
  • Steven Spielberg has always shot his films traditionally, but since he was going to film what he saw was an animated film he didn’t mind shooting it digitally.
  • Claude Berri and Roman Polanski were interested in directing.
  • Screenwriter Steven Moffat claims he was “love-bombed” by Steven Spielberg into writing the script for this film, with Spielberg promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing.
  • Steven Moffat finished a draft of the script, but could not polish it because of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and afterwards becoming executive producer of Doctor Who. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson amiably allowed him to leave and fulfill his duty to the series (Jackson being a fan of the Doctor), and brought in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish to rewrite Moffat’s draft.
  • This is Steven Spielberg’s first comic-book adaptation. He had earlier been considered to do Superman.
  • Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, ‘Tintin’ creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he “thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.”)
  • When the film was in development in 1984, Steven Spielberg wanted Jack Nicholson to play Captain Haddock.
  • This is Andy Serkis’s third collaboration with Peter Jackson, as well as his fourth motion-capture role (he had earlier played the creatures Gollum and King Kong in features directed by Jackson and Caesar in Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Sometime after being cast, Serkis joked that he was worried Peter Jackson would cast him as Tintin’s dog Snowy.
  • To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the “Tintin” comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
  • ‘Danny deVito’ was considered for the role of Senor Oliveira de Figueira, but the character was cut from the script.
  • Daniel Craig (Red Rackham) had collaborated with Toby Jones in Infamous and Jamie Bell in Defiance, and appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Munich.
  • According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2D (“the way viewers would”). But on this film he had both of his eyes open, as it was 3D and he wanted to treat the film like live-action.
  • During filming, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher paid a visit to the set.
  • Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was brought on to act as a lighting consultant for Weta, as Jackson wanted the film to look “film noir-ish, and very atmospheric.”
  • Steven Spielberg shot his portion of the film in 32 days (taking up March 2009). Peter Jackson was present for the first week of filming, and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson’s voice would “be coming over the Tannoy like God.”
  • Steven Spielberg enjoyed working with the virtual camera so much, he did a lot of his own camera work in the movie.
  • Michael Kahn has collaborated with Steven Spielberg as an editor for over 30 years. He has always cut his movies on a Moviola and KEM when working with Spielberg. This will be his first movie that he will cut digitally with Spielberg using Avid (though he has cut movies digitally before, such as Twister).
  • Steven Spielberg is the first Oscar-winning director to direct a Nickelodeon film. Peter Jackson (the sequel’s director) will be the second.
  • Steven Spielberg has had the rights to Tintin since 1983.
  • This is Nickelodeon’s first involvement with Tintin in 20 years. The Nickelodeon channel originally aired The Adventures of Tintin.
  • The Crab with the Golden Claws’ is the most frequently filmed Tintin adventure. It was previously adapted to the screen in 1947 as a stop-motion puppet film, and adapted twice for TV: Once in 1959 and again in 1990.
  • During the final dock scene, a bunch of cans with a crab symbol falls from a crate. These are the same canned crabs that serve as a McGuffin in the original “Crab with the Golden Claws” album.
  • The crab with the golden claws from the Tintin tale of the same name can be seen on display in Sheik Salaad’s palace.
  • At the beginning of the movie, when Tintin is having his likeness drawn, the other likenesses posted in the background are of characters featured in various Tintin books and as shown in the inside covers of every Tintin book.
  • The credits, especially the opening ones, are in the same typeface as the books’ titles.
  • The Adventures of Tintin was released 30 years to the day Indiana Jones was released in 1981, also directed by Steven Spielberg
  • The movie fittingly starts with a closeup of a painter’s palette. On studiobriefing.net, Steven Spielberg said of his experience filming Tintin: “I did feel like a painter in a way, and that was exciting for me.”
  • The ship in the bottle and the Unicorn are based upon the “Soleil Royal”, a large French ship of the line that was launched in 1669.
  • The opening credits feature several references to Tintin books (such as the iconic rocket from ‘Destination Moon’). The departure board shown also features destinations from Tintin books.
  • The framed newspapers on the walls of Tintin’s apartment feature headlines and photos that recall his other adventures. Example: The headline “Tintin Breaks Up Crime Ring,” with a picture of several Egyptian mummy cases, refers to “Cigars of the Pharaoh.” The headline “Tintin Recovers Valuable Sceptre” refers to “King Ottokar’s Sceptre.”

Talking Points:

  • “First Look In 3D” at AMC
  • The Uncanny Valley, physics, story elements
  • Indiana Jones
  • Camera Motion
  • The Violence (gun play) and alcohol use

What We Learned:

  • American = all hair, oil, and no socks
  • The aggressive ones always seem to be the first to roll over on their backs
  • Police work is not all glamour and gunfights
  • There are worse things than sobering up
  • Realist is just another word for failure

Trailer:

Recommendations :
Jeff: I really liked this film. Something about the motion capture made things seem a little weird but it still ended up being fantastic. Reminds me of adventure movies like Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Ray: It was a fun film..although it dipped and weaved in and out of the uncanny valley – Way more violent then I expected it to be, so be aware before taking the kids. Overall though I’d recommend people go see it. 3D was done well but not necessary.
Steve: Didn’t hate it. I actually thought it looked better than other films, like the most recent Indiana Jones and Pirates movies. If think they should have done Young Indiana Jones like this. Didn’t particularly feel it was a “kids” movie…perhaps more PG 13, especially with the violence (swords, guns, etc).
Carlos: Probably the best directed of the cgi animated films. The camera roves around like some hyper but talented 14 year old. It’s an impressive achievement with some sincere emotional hits.

The Future: The Dark Knight Rises

Release: July 20, 2012

Directors: Christopher Nolan

Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Marion Cotillard

Summary:

Eight years after the events of The Dark Knight, the terrorist leader Bane arrives in Gotham City, pushing it and its police force to their limits, forcing its former hero Batman to resurface after taking the fall for Harvey Dent’s crimes.

Trivia:

  • Christopher Nolan is the first director to complete a full trilogy of Batman films, but the second to direct a full trilogy of films on one superhero (after Sam Raimi completed his Spider-Man films).
  • Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series.
  • Christian Bale is the first live action actor to portray Batman/Bruce Wayne in three Batman films. Kevin Conroy has played the character in seven animated films as of 2011 (including Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker).
  • Cinematographer Wally Pfister has expressed interest in shooting the entirety of the film in the IMAX format, as both Pfister and Christopher Nolan have expressed distaste for shooting the film in 3-D. Ultimately, the film would feature approximately 50 minutes of IMAX footage, while the rest was shot in a combination of 35mm and 70mm, as IMAX cameras proved to be too noisy for shooting the films dialogue scenes.
  • Eva Green, Angelina Jolie Blake Lively, Rhona Mitra, Charlize Theron, Abbie Cornish, Vera Farmiga, Jessica Biel, Natalie Portman, Gemma Arterton, Kate Mara, Charlotte Riley, Emily Blunt and Keira Knightley all auditioned for the role of Selina Kyle. After the initial audition process, Biel and Mara all screen tested. Ultimately, Anne Hathaway won the role.
  • Kate Winslet, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz and Marion Cotillard were considered to play Miranda Tate before Cotillard finally got the role.
  • Robin Williams was rumored to play the role of Hugo Strange.
  • There was much speculation in the press when Anne Hathaway was announced as Selina Kyle if the actress would actually portray Kyle’s costumed alter-ego, Catwoman. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey following her stint as host of the Academy Awards, Hathaway let slip that her character indeed would don the Catwoman costume.
  • According to Gary Oldman, Christopher Nolan told the actors the ending of the film verbally to avoid any leaks.
  • One of the reasons why Christopher Nolan cast Tom Hardy as Bane was because of his performance in the film RocknRolla. Hardy stated that he thought he was cast because of his role in Bronson. He arrived on set only to learn that Nolan has never even seen Bronson.
  • Around 10,000 extras were used to shoot the Gotham Rogues scene in Heinz Field. Some of the Pittsburgh Steelers played football players, including Hines Ward, who played himself.
  • Chloë Grace Moretz and Jennifer Lawrence auditioned for Juno Temple’s role.
  • According to The Hollywood Reporter, Anne Hathaway’s stunt double broke one of the IMAX cameras when she crashed the Batpod into it. This marks the second time an IMAX camera has been destroyed on a Christopher Nolan Batman film – a previous camera was smashed when filming the Joker’s underground truck chase in The Dark Knight.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Leonardo DiCaprio , James Holzier, Ryan Gosling, and Mark Ruffalo were considered to play John Blake. Gordon-Levitt was ultimately cast.
  • Anne Hathaway, who plays Catwoman, had been cast as Black Cat (Felicia Hardy) in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, which at that time was under Sam Raimi’s direction as “Spider-Man 4” and was going to feature the Vulture and Black Cat.
  • The character of Bane in this film is more reverent and closer to his comic-book counterpart, unlike Batman & Robin, which reduced him to a mindless henchman. In the comic Books, Bane is a general, a strategist and a one-man army, literally forcing Batman to meet his match (and upon their first encounter it would turn out to be the case).
  • According to Christopher Nolan, Bane was chosen as the film’s main antagonist “to test Batman mentally as well as physically.”
  • To prepare for her role as Catwoman, Anne Hathaway worked out five days a week on a regime that involved vigorous exercise, stunt training and dancing. She called it her most physically demanding role to date.
  • To prepare for his role as Bane, Tom Hardy gained 30 pounds in weight, and studied various fighting styles to use in the film.
  • Tom Hardy described Bane as an absolute terrorist: “He’s brutal, but also incredibly clinical in the fact that he has a result-based and oriented fighting style. The style is heavy-handed, heavy-footed… it’s nasty. It’s not about fighting, it’s about carnage!”
  • After The Dark Knight released, Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in returning as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, as the film had left his role relatively open-ended. Christopher Nolan stated that Dent was definitely dead, and that his death would leave lasting repercussions across Gotham.
  • Composer Hans Zimmer collected online recordings of chanting to incorporate in the film’s score.
  • This is the third Batman film to feature Catwoman after Batman and Batman Returns.
  • Anne Hathaway previously appeared in Alice in Wonderland, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton and featured the previous Alfred, Michael Gough in his final role before his death.
  • Marion Cotillard previously appeared in Big Fish, which was directed by Batman/Batman Returns director Tim Burton. Danny DeVito played The Penguin in Batman Returns which, like this film, also features Catwoman.
  • Reunites Inception stars Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Caine, Cillian Murphy and Marion Cotillard.
  • Like Batman Returns and Batman & Robin, not only does this feature a female villain, but the villain is portrayed by an Oscar nominated actress. Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns) was nominated for Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys and Love Field. Uma Thurman (Batman & Robin) was nominated for Pulp Fiction. Anne Hathaway (this film) was nominated for Rachel Getting Married.
  • This is the fifth film in a row that Christopher Nolan has worked with Michael Caine. The other films were Batman Begins, The Prestige, The Dark Knight, and Inception.
  • Is set eight years after the events of The Dark Knight.
  • With their appearances in this movie, Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Cillian Murphy and Gary Oldman will have each appeared in three Batman movies. Only Michael Gough and Pat Hingle have done the same thing.
  • Christopher Nolan picked Bane as the main villain. Coincidentally, with no known relation, the name of one of the creators of Bane for the comic books is Graham Nolan.
  • In the comics, Bane carried an apparatus that contains a steroid that amplifies his strength and fighting ability. In the film, the apparatus he carries contains an anesthetic as he is in constant chronic pain.
  • The filmmakers cite the “Batman” comics ‘The Dark Knight Returns’ (an aged Batman operates in a future Gotham), ‘Knightfall’ (Bane pushes Batman physically and mentally, causing him to burn out) and ‘No Man’s Land’ (Gotham descends into gangland territory) as major influences on the film.

Talking Points:

  • Did anyone contribute to the chant?
  • Has anyone seen the sneek peek before MI4?

Trailers:

Excitement:
Jeff: It’s nice to see more in this trailer. However, I’ve suddenly not as excited as before. It’s still one of the top movies on my list to see but something about the trailer, didn’t increase my excitement.
Ray: I was more excited by the sneak preview (Which is amazing) than the trailer.. so I am excited to see it but not because of the trailer.
Steve: Best Nolan-verse trailer to date. Finally one that excited me! OK, so perhaps it’s just Tom Hardy…but still. It’ll get me to the theater. 🙂
Carlos:

Coming Attractions

The Past

The Present

The Future

Download Podcast

MOV077: “Beauty Always Gives Me A Hardon”

On this reel of COL movies.. The boys skirt the very limits of decency delving into John Waters crazy, campy and raunchy dark comedy “Female Trouble” Was it divine? or make them feel like throwing acid into their own faces? Next up the boys jump into the present to talk about the….. 30th attempt at the now classic french story, “The Three Musketeers” After so many attempts have they finally gotten it right? And Last but not least they look into the not so distant Christmas movie season future to talk about the upcoming Spielberg World War One epic “War Horse” Will we be galloping into the theaters this Christmas to see it? Or will we be bringing ol’ trigger to the glue factory? All this movie news and more, so mainline some mascara and strap on your Cha-Cha heels and join us for the next reel of COL Movies # 77 “Beauty always gives me a hardon”

News:

The Past: Female Trouble
Rotten Tomatoes: 79% Fresh, 84% Audience

Director: John Waters

Starring: Divine, David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce

Trivia:

  • The film is dedicated to Manson Family member Charles “Tex” Watson. Waters’ prison visits to Watson inspired the “crime is beauty” theme of the film and in the film’s opening credits, Waters includes a wooden toy helicopter that Watson made for him.
  • The lyrics to the title song of the same name, sung by Divine, were written by Waters and set to a pre-existing piece of music.
  • A scene was filmed in which Concetta (Cookie Mueller) burst into the courtroom in an attempt to rescue Dawn Davenport (‘Divine’). According to John Waters, the scene was “technically bad” (visible boom mic, light poles, etc.) and not included in any released version.
  • Dawn Davenport’s stage performance is based upon an act performed by Divine at San Francisco’s Palace Theatre. Divine would wheel a shopping cart full of mackerel on stage and hurl them into the audience while claiming responsibility for various high-profile crimes.
  • Many of the principal actors’ and crews’ parents played the jurors in the final courtroom scene, including the mother and brother of David Lochary (Donald Dasher) and the mother of set designer Vincent Peranio.
  • John Waters still has the “lectric’ chair” and keeps it in his Baltimore home.
  • The female prisoner kissing Dawn in her cell at the end of the movie previously appeared in Pink Flamingos as “Chick with a Dick.” The actress is a male-to-female transsexual.
  • This film marks the last time that John Waters would work with his friend and regular David Lochary. Lochary bled to death while under the influence of PCP before he could appear in Waters’ next picture, Desperate Living.
  • Although released in 1974 the copyright date at the end of the credits is MCMXCIX or 1999.
  • At the time that the electric chair scene was filmed, the death penalty had been banned in the State of Maryland. The day before John Waters had his “sneak world premiere” at a prison, Maryland reinstated the death penalty.
  • Although Dawn Davenport was executed at the end of the film, US capital punishment was suspended from 1972 to 1976 due to the Supreme Court’s ruling in the case of Furman v. Georgia. Maryland didn’t formally reinstate capital punishment until July 1, 1975 and its constitutionality wasn’t passed until 1976. Furthermore, asphyxiation in the gas chamber was the authorized method of execution, not electrocution.
  • The birth scene was saved until the end of shooting, when Dreamlander Susan Lowe gave birth to a son. The umbilical cord was fashioned out of prophylactics filled with liver, while the baby (Ramsey McLean) was doused in fake blood. The scene created quite a scandal for Lowe’s mother-in-law, who arrived on the set in a state of confusion.
  • The unique production design is by Dreamlander Vincent Peranio, who created Dawn’s apartment in a condemned suite above a friend’s store.
  • Divine chose to perform his own stunts, the most difficult of which involved doing flips on a trampoline during his nightclub act. Waters took Divine to a YMCA, where he took lessons until the act was perfected.
  • On the 2004 DVD Director’s Special Comments, Waters states that the original working title of the film was “Rotten Mind, Rotten Face”.

Talking Points:

  • Do we have a Modern Day John Waters?
  • NC-17 rating… deserved?

What We’ve Learned:

  • Nothing says Merry Christmas like Running away from home and screwing some random stranger in the woods.
  • There’s no need to learn about, the presidents, wars, numbers, or science. ‘
  • Feel depressed? Just get your hair done.
  • If they are smart, they’re queer and if they are straight they’re stupid.
  • Nice girls don’t wear Cha-Cha Heels.
  • Bumping Pussies is a violation of jail rules (Eww-Jeff)

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Wait, I think I found a movie worse than “Starbooty”.
Ray: I think this is the movie that “Starbooty” was trying to be.. and failed miserably. You are a John Waters fan.. or your not. It’s not something i’d recommend to just anyone.. but I did think it was funny.
Steve: I tend to love wacky stuff like this, but I was honestly just bored to tears. It did nothing for me. I feel like my gay card should be taken away…

The Present: The Three Musketeers
Rotten Tomatoes: 24% Rotten, 49% Audience

Director: Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring: Logan Lerman, Matthew Macfadyen and Ray Stevenson

Trivia:

  • At the beginning of the movie, the map of Europe shows several states and kingdoms of that era. However, in Germany, a fictional kingdom west of Bavaria called “Wurzburg” is shown (slightly misspelled, as the original spelling is “Würzburg”), the name of a Franconian city where major parts of the movie were shot.
  • The substitute for Versailles in the movie is a German palace, the Fürstbischöfliche Residenz (the prince-bishop’s palace) in Würzburg, Lower Franconia, Bavaria.
  • Christoph Waltz (Cardinal Richelieu) has the same birthday (October 4) as Charlton Heston, who played Richelieu in The Three Musketeers/The Four Musketeers.
  • Playing Rochefort, Mads Mikkelsen in this movie wears an eye-patch over the very same left eye that his Le Chiffre character wept blood in Casino Royale.
  • A sizable proportion of the funding for the film came from German sources: $4 million from Bavaria’s bank fund (BBF) and film and TV fund (FFF), about $1.3 million from the federal German Film Board, about $10 million in tax rebate cash from the German film fund, the DFF and $1 million (€800,000) in subsidy financing from the Berlin-Brandenburg Medienboard. The production budget was $90 million.
  • Milla Jovovich criticized Summit Entertainment for not “promoting [the film] properly” as a “family film” in the United States. Deadline.com reported that Summit responded with “She doesn’t know what she’s talking about and we don’t know where she’s coming from.” and that “Wouldn’t you think she would call us first about this? It’s frustrating. It’s not the right way to behave. If she has a problem then come to the studio and talk about it”.

Talking Points:

  • Use of the super slo-mo over used?
  • Is this trying to cash in on the popularity of Sherlock Holmes, and the release of the sequel?
  • Annoying variety of accents (Steve)
  • Steampunk and period films? Really? (but not as prevalent as others)
  • Anyone else think the king was going to come out? Or kiss D’Artagnan?
  • Do we think there will be a sequel?

What We Learned:

  • French Spies are arrogant, foolish, and sexy!
  • Trust no one, especially women.
  • Never bring a sword to a gun fight.
  • Dignified and Dashing are equally important
  • Evil is just a point of view.
  • History isn’t written by heroes it’s written by victors.
  • Green is sooooooo last year.
  • Oh, Porthos. *dreamy sigh*

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: It was alright. I supposes. Oh, Porthos. *dreamy sigh*
Ray: I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would… Although I think the pacing got really slow towards the end…and it ran a little long.
Steve: Enjoyable. Not Shakespeare, but fun. Felt like it had elements of Sherlock Holmes and the Wild Wild West. What is it with steampunk in these kinds of movies?

The Future: War Horse

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Jeremy Irvine, Emily Watson and David Thewlis

Summary:

In Devon at the outbreak of World War I, Joey, young Albert Narracott’s beloved horse, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France. He serves in the British and German armies, which takes him on an extraordinary odyssey, serving on both sides before being alone in No Man’s Land. But Albert cannot forget Joey, and, still not old enough to enlist in the army, he embarks on a dangerous mission to find and bring Joey home

Trivia:

  • Steven Spielberg’s first film to be edited digitally. He has famously held onto editing traditionally, by cutting films manually on a flatbed editing table.
  • Based on both a children’s novel of the same name set during World War I, by Michael Morpurgo, first published in the United Kingdom in 1982, and the 2007 stage adaptation, also of the same name.
  • In 2009, film producer Kathleen Kennedy saw the critically acclaimed production of War Horse in London’s West End with her husband, fellow producer Frank Marshall and their two daughters. They were very impressed by the story and Marshall has recalled how he was amazed that no-one had already bought the film rights to the book.
  • Steven Spielberg was told about War Horse by several people, including Kennedy, who was his colleague at Amblin Entertainment. It was announced on 16 December 2009 that DreamWorks had acquired the film rights for the book, with Spielberg stating: “From the moment I read Michael Morpurgo’s novel War Horse, I knew this was a film I wanted DreamWorks to make … Its heart and its message provide a story that can be felt in every country.” Spielberg saw the London production of the play on 1 February 2010 and met some of the cast afterwards.
  • Spielberg films are renowned for the levels of secrecy and security during filming, and War Horse was no exception: filming took place under the codename Dartmoor.
  • Filming of War Horse began with the cavalry scenes being filmed at Stratfield Saye House in north Hampshire, the estate of the Duke of Wellington, where incidentally Wellington’s war horse “Copenhagen” is buried.
  • Filming on location on Dartmoor, Devon started in August 2010. Dartmoor locations included the small village of Meavy, and near Widecombe-in-the-Moor. Ditsworthy Warren House, an isolated Grade II listed building near Sheepstor on Dartmoor served as the Narracott family’s farmhouse.
  • Working with horses on this scale was a new experience for Spielberg, who commented: “The horses were an extraordinary experience for me, because several members of my family ride. I was really amazed at how expressive horses are and how much they can show what they’re feeling.”

Talking Points:

  • Do you feel that the trailer conveys any of the story we are going to see?

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: Sweet, epic, war movie feel to it, just something doesn’t work quite right. It’s feels like it’s trying to get me to watch Seabiscuit. Which means I don’t want to see it. I dunno, just doesn’t work for me.
Ray: It exudes that certain… “Spielbergness” that you come to expect from his movies. If anything some of the visuals make me interested in seeing this, and the fact that its set in WWI which we don’t get to see too much of these days.
Steve: The setting looks beautiful and I’m sure it will be shot extremely well. But, it won’t be on my Christmas list…unless I want to take a long nap.

Coming Attractions:

The Past

The Present

The Future

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MOV064: “Me, Me, Me, Me, Me. Me Too.”

The boys go back to the future to watch Neo battle Agent Smith in “The Matrix Reloaded”, then head back to the old west to see if those cow pokes can really defend theselves in Jon Favreau’s “Cowboys & Aliens”. They also review the trailer for “The Adventures of Tintin”, Steven Spielbergs first hack at a full-length animated movie. In movie news, there’s more about “Man of Steel”, Perry White is black?, a possible reboot for “Short Circuit”, and how about Snow White and the Seven Ninjas? Welcome to a brand new reel of COL Movies #64.

News:

The Past: The Matrix Reloaded
Rotten Tomatoes: 74% Fresh, 74% Audience

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss

Trivia:

  • Eva Mendes, Samantha Mumba, Brandy Norwood and Tatyana Ali were all rumored to be possible replacements for the character of Zee, after the initial choice Aaliyah died in a plane crash on 25 August 2001. Nona Gaye (daughter of late Motown legend Marvin Gaye) was eventually cast in the role.
  • There are twelve hoverships in Zion’s fleet, of which ten are shown or mentioned in the films and video game, Enter the Matrix, and whose names and captains are as follows: Osiris – Thadeus; Logos – Niobe; Nebuchadnezzar (Neb) – Morpheus; Mjolnir (Hammer) – Roland; Caduceus – Ballard; Gnosis – Ice; Vigilant – Soren; Icarus – Ajax; Brahma – Kali; Novalis – Tirant. Concept artwork reveals the names of the remaining two ships: the Ganesha and the Vishnu.
  • The Matrix Revolutions, Enter the Matrix, and this film were shot back-to-back.
  • It was reported that Keanu Reeves volunteered to give up a claim to a share of ticket sales amounting to around $38 million when producers feared that the film would never recoup the cost of the special effects.
  • GM donated 300 cars for use in the production of the movie. All 300 were wrecked by the end.
  • There were several injuries on the set: Carrie-Anne Moss broke her leg training for a wire stunt, Laurence Fishburne fractured an arm in another training incident and Hugo Weaving put out a disc in his neck while being pulled back on a wire.
  • The film’s highway chase sequence took almost three months to shoot (longer than many films’ entire shooting schedule).
  • Trinity uses a genuine hack to get into the Matrix. She uses Nmap version 2.54BETA25 (an actual port scanning tool) to find a vulnerable SSH server, and then proceeds to exploit it using the SSH1 CRC32 exploit from 2001.
  • The red chair Morpheus is sitting in when he is expounding his plan to access the source is the same red chair he was sitting in when he offered Neo the red and blue pills in The Matrix and when he explained to Neo what the Matrix was.
  • Only a few of the Smith clones were actually played by Hugo Weaving. Open casting calls for males with similar body shapes and structures took place, and Weaving’s head was superimposed on them later.
  • The tractor-trailer used in the freeway chase scene has Big Endian Eggs written on it’s side. This is a reference to Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels: The Lilliputians, being very small, had correspondingly small political problems. The Big-Endian and Little-Endian parties debated over whether soft-boiled eggs should be opened at the big end or the little end, (Big-endian has also been adopted as computer terminology.)
  • According to Oakland city officials who worked with the filmmakers on the downtown Oakland shots, all red and blue colors had to be removed, so sidewalk curbs were painted over. Also, there could be no greenery or other plant life, so filming was done over the winter before tree leaves sprouted in the spring.
  • Lambert Wilson’s French accent as The Merovingian is intentionally exaggerated at the directors’ demand. Wilson speaks English very well and said it was his only deception towards the movie.
  • It took Carrie-Anne Moss six months just to get the Scorpion Kick in the beginning of scene correctly.
  • The fight sequence of Neo versus Smith and his clones (a.k.a. The Burly Brawl) took 27 days to shoot.
  • The Matrix Reloaded promotional material was in such high demand, that distributors were extremely worried about it being stolen. To combat this, standees and banners were sent out with the code names of “Caddyshack 2” and “The Replacements”. Several cinemas thought they had not received the materials due to these names, and as such, did not display them until the last minute.
  • The Matrix Reloaded is a highest grossing film in the series.
  • The Keymaker, while explaining how Neo will reach the Architect, says they will have to knock out 27 blocks of power and they will have exactly 314 seconds before the power begins to reroute. In the Bible, the 27th book of the New Testament (Revelation) chapter 3, verse 14 speaks of being a witness to the source of creation (which in the Matrix is the Architect).
  • Total Film magazine says this film contains “the worst line ever delivered in a mainstream Hollywood film.” The line of dialogue is: “Your life is the sum of a remainder of an unbalanced equation inherent to the programming of The Matrix.”

Talking Points:

  • Wire work and fight scenes weren’t as crisp – looked fake
  • What was the point of spending 5 minutes on the rave/dance/orgy scene?
  • Was anyone expecting to be flying inside a virtual vagina?
  • The Freeway scene
  • The whole assimilation angle was cool…especially that people who went in the matrix could be.

What We’ve Learned:

  • There’s no point in old men making points
  • You do not truly know someone until you fight them (fight club?)
  • You can never see past the choices we don’t understand
  • Some things never change……and some things do.
  • Swearing in french is like wiping your ass with silk
  • Choice is an illusion created between those with power and those without
  • Denial is the most predictable of all human emotions

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: Fighting, Euphoric Orgy In A Cave, Bullet time. Love it. Good movie? Not really.
Ray: This was the one before we stepped completely out of wonderland… fortunately the philosophical babble doesn’t get ultra heavy until the last 20 minutes of the film. Contains one of the best car chase scenes ever filmed
Steve: I like the concept of this one. Definitely takes the original to the next level. Exciting and full of twists and turns.

The Present: Cowboys & Aliens
Rotten Tomatoes: 44% Fresh, 60% Audience

Director: Jon Favreau

Starring: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford and Olivia Wilde

Trivia:

  • Robert Downey Jr. was set to play Jake Lonergan, but dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
  • Daniel Craig was chosen because of his distinct likeness to Yul Brynner, who starred in the cowboy epic The Magnificent Seven.
  • Daniel Craig recommended Eva Green for the role of Ella after working with her in Casino Royale. However, Eva turned the role down and Olivia Wilde was cast.
  • An early draft of the screenplay was written by Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer.
  • This is DreamWorks’s third comic-book adaptation, after Road to Perdition and Over the Hedge.
  • The filmmakers cite Alien and Predator as an influence on the look of aliens in the film.
  • Screenwriters Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman described the film as “Unforgiven with aliens landing.”
  • Director Jon Favreau was constantly harassed with demands to shoot/convert the film in 3-D, but he held his ground, claiming Westerns should only be shot on film.
  • Steven Spielberg screened The Searchers and Close Encounters of the Third Kind for Roberto Orci and Jon Favreau so that they could get the atmosphere of the film.
  • Roberto Orci feels that the title, humorous as it may sound, will raise interest and put people off guard about the film, which will surprise them.
  • Harrison Ford wanted to go bareheaded in the film and not wear a hat (he is most famous for his performance in Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones films, where Jones wore a fedora), but since it was a Western film he was convinced to wear a hat. In American Graffiti , Harrison Ford was asked to cut his hair (to go bareheaded with a period haircut) for the film. He refused, stating that his role was too short, and offered to wear a hat instead.
  • Once again, with the involvement of Steven Spielberg, Harrison Ford is cast opposite a James Bond, in this case, Daniel Craig. The last time was when he worked opposite Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Craig has also appeared in ‘The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert (1999)’.
  • In the final scene of the movie, a “Southland Ice Company” ice wagon is shown. Southland Ice Company is the predecessor company to 7-11 stores.
  • As with most films distributed by Universal Pictures, there is a brief promo after the end credits for Universal Studios. However, the promo used at the end of this movie uses the decidedly 1960s era ad to promote the Universal Studios back lot tour in Hollywood, California. This promo was replaced in 1990 when Universal Studios opened a second location in Orlando, Florida and changed its logo.

Talking Points:

  • Did you buy the combination? True Grit meets Super 8?
  • “Use the Glaive” (Film Sack Krull reference)
  • Continuity error! When Jake was riding across the plain, no cuff…when he comes up the hill on close up, cuff!
  • Point of taking the people? To learn weaknesses?
  • Harrison Ford
  • Olivia Wilde’s character
  • What did you think of Jake?
  • The aliens

What We Learned:

  • Only 2 Kinds of men get shot, Criminals and Victims
  • God Doesn’t care who you were, just who you are.
  • Kissing makes you stop thinking.

Trailer:

Recommendations:
Jeff: I quite enjoyed this movie, but I could easily just watch this movie on DVD at home. See it in the theatres if you want, but okay to wait for the DVD.
Ray: I Liked it. I’m not sure why its getting all the bad word of mouth
Steve: I liked it. Wasn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, but I enjoyed it.

The Future: The Adventures of Tin Tin

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Jamie Bell, Andy Serkis and Daniel Craig

Trivia:

  • Thomas Brodie-Sangster was originally set to play the titular character, but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts. Jamie Bell, who had worked with Peter Jackson on King Kong, then came aboard to play Tintin.
  • The first animated film directed by Steven Spielberg.
  • In the early 1980s, Steven Spielberg hired E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial writer Melissa Mathison to write a draft of the script. Her script featured a battle in Africa between Tintin and ivory poachers.
  • After Simon Pegg had completed How to Lose Friends & Alienate People, Steven Spielberg invited him to the film’s set and offered him the role of Thomson.
  • Originally, Steven Spielberg was going to do a live-action adaptation of Tintin, and called Peter Jackson to ask if his VFX company Weta Digital would work on the film, in particular creating a CGI Snowy. Jackson, as it turned out, was a longtime fan of Tintin, and convinced Spielberg that live action would not do justice to the comic books, and that motion capture was the best way of representing Hergé’s world of Tintin. However, Snowy would still be CGI.
  • Steven Spielberg has always shot his films traditionally, but since he was going to film what he saw was an animated film he didn’t mind shooting it digitally.
  • Claude Berri and Roman Polanski were interested in directing.
  • Screenwriter Steven Moffat claims he was “love-bombed” by Steven Spielberg into writing the script for this film, with Spielberg promising to shield him from studio interference with his writing.
  • Steven Moffat finished a draft of the script, but could not polish it because of the 2007-2008 Writers Guild of America strike, and afterwards becoming executive producer of Doctor Who. Steven Spielberg and Peter Jackson amiably allowed him to leave and fulfill his duty to the series (Jackson being a fan of the Doctor), and brought in Edgar Wright and Joe Cornish to rewrite Moffat’s draft.
  • This is Steven Spielberg’s first comic-book adaptation. He had earlier been considered to do Superman.
  • Steven Spielberg has been an avid fan of ‘The Adventures of Tintin’ comic books since 1981, when a review compared Raiders of the Lost Ark to Tintin. His secretary bought him French-language editions of each book, but Spielberg did not have to understand them: he immediately fell in love with its art. Meanwhile, ‘Tintin’ creator Hergé became a fan of Spielberg (reports say he “thought Spielberg was the only person who could ever do Tintin justice.”)
  • When the film was in development in 1984, Steven Spielberg wanted Jack Nicholson to play Captain Haddock.
  • This is Andy Serkis’s third collaboration with Peter Jackson, as well as his third motion-capture role (he had earlier played the creatures Gollum and King Kong in features directed by Jackson). Sometime after being cast, Serkis joked that he was worried Peter Jackson would cast him as Tintin’s dog Snowy.
  • To prepare for his role as Captain Haddock, Andy Serkis read the majority of the “Tintin” comics. He later commented that they had a surreal quality, similar to the Monty Python films.
  • ‘Danny deVito’ was considered for the role of Senor Oliveira de Figueira, but the character was cut from the script.
  • Daniel Craig (Red Rackham) had collaborated with Toby Jones in Infamous and Jamie Bell in Defiance, and appeared in the Steven Spielberg film Munich.
  • According to Steven Spielberg, when shooting he always keeps one eye closed when framing a shot, so that he can visualize the film in 2D (“the way viewers would”). But on this film he had both of his eyes open, as it was 3D and he wanted to treat the film like live-action.
  • During filming, Guillermo del Toro, Stephen Daldry and David Fincher paid a visit to the set.
  • Steven Spielberg’s cinematographer Janusz Kaminski was brought on to act as a lighting consultant for Weta, as Jackson wanted the film to look “film noir-ish, and very atmospheric.”
  • Steven Spielberg shot his portion of the film in 32 days (taking up March 2009). Peter Jackson was present for the first week of filming, and supervised the rest of the shoot via a specially made iChat videoconferencing program. Simon Pegg said Jackson’s voice would “be coming over the Tannoy like God.”
  • Steven Spielberg enjoyed working with the virtual camera so much, he did a lot of his own camera work in the movie.
  • Michael Kahn has collaborated with Steven Spielberg as an editor for over 30 years. He has always cut his movies on a Moviola and KEM when working with Spielberg. This will be his first movie that he will cut digitally with Spielberg using Avid (though he has cut movies digitally before, such as Twister).

Talking Points:

  • Who is this film for?

Summary:

Tintin and his friends discover directions to a sunken ship commanded by Capt. Haddock’s ancestor and go off on a treasure hunt.

Trailer:

Excitement:
Jeff: The film noir nostalgic aspect of this movie is making me want to see this.
Ray: Animated… Spielberg… Jackson… nuff said for me.
Steve: Looks interesting. I don’t know anything about Tin Tin, so I suppose I would need to in order to really grow interest.

Coming Attractions
The Past:

The Present:

The Future:

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