‘Fury Road’ Looks Dangerous Even Without CGI

I just found this four-minute clip that shows snippets of the insane chase scenes from Mad Max: Fury Road without CGI enhancement of any kind — and the sequences don’t lose any of their heart-stopping thrills at all!

While it’s true that the final onscreen product was “sweetened” with some visual effects, it’s important to note that so much of the action was done with live-action, practical vehicles and stunt players. The climatic crash of the War Rig, seen in this clip, was obtained in just one take!

In my opinion, MM:FR should have won the Best Picture Oscar for 2015. While Spotlight certainly was the most important and most prestigious film of last year, it was also fairly forgettable. Come next February, just try to find someone who can tell you which movie won the previous year’s top award.

No one will have trouble recalling this R-rated, Charlize Theron/Tom Hardy instant classic. Fury Road drove away with six Oscars in tow, but I believe it was robbed of Best Picture and George Miller deserved Best Director.

But everyone who saw it will remember Fury Road as shiny and chrome for many years to come. It left flaming skid marks across my movie mind, and I was really (really) pulling for Max and Furiosa to pull an upset in L.A. I suppose this near-perfect film will have to be content in the company of so many other indelible movies that didn’t win the big prize.

To paraphrase the narrator of The Road Warrior, It lives now… only in my memory.

CGI of the Planet of the Apes

When the primates of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hit the big screen on July 11, a lot computer wizardry will have gone into making Caesar and friends look like real apes.

Take a look at this clip showing side-by-side examples of live-action filming of the actors and the finished product:

Let’s not forget that the realistic apes owe a lot to the talents of Andy Serkis and his fellow motion-capture artists! One of these years, Serkis will win the Oscar he deserves!

Apparently, Apes Hate the Golden Gate Bridge…

apesbridgePoor San Francisco… well, technically, poor Golden Gate Bridge. Whenever something bad happens there — sea monster attack, mutant war, kaiju invasion — the iconic orange bridge takes it on the figurative chin.

In director Matt Reeves‘ upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the future doesn’t look too bright for the bridge once again.

What if somebody painted it a different color?

Great Ape Photos From ‘Planet of the Apes’ Sequel

If you don’t read USA Today (translation: You didn’t stay in a motel last night), you probably have not seen the clutch of excellent photographs 20th Century Fox released to the newspaper for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. These images make me want to see the movie.

Director Matt Reeves is excited about the sequel to his 2011 hit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes:

“We’ve got apes on horses. There is a sense in the beginning of the movie that apes have inherited the Earth. You see the species as it takes dominion over the planet. It’s an ape-world. That’s the fun of it.”


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Hear Bradley Cooper as Voice of Rocket Raccoon!

At last, Rocket Raccoon of the Guardians of the Galaxy speaks!

In this short little introduction to the character, Rocket says a few lines, and Bradley Cooper is shown delivering his voice performance. Check it out.

So… that happened.
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A Peek Behind the Scenes at ILM

We all know Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was nominated for just one single Academy Award — for special effects — but it should win the prize in a walk. Just to remind everyone how awesome and detailed the SPFX were, Industrial Light & Magic has released a special clip that demonstrates how some of the visuals were achieved.

Pretty amazing, if you ask me. (And I really love this kind of “how they did it” feature, so DVD/Blu-ray has been a real boon to me.) These were the effects The Avengers deserved.

Anyway, here’s what ILM had to say about the reel:

“We are proud to present this video, which showcases some of ILM’s Oscar nominated effects work for the 2012 hit film, Marvel’s The Avengers. This reel represents a small fraction of the work created by over 200 ILM artists, scientists, and engineers backed up by a world class production team.”

By the way, did everyone notice that the Oscar nomination list referred to the title of this film  as Marvel’s The Avengers?