Christopher Nolan

Interstellar Tunnel

Starting today, audiences can experience the most immersive “neat marketing thingie” Hollywood has to offer. As a tie-in to Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar, Paramount and IMAX are shuttling an interactive exhibit to four cities across the country. At whichever population center is closest to you — LA, NYC, Houston or, strangely, Chantilly, Virginia — strap on an Oculus Rift headset and experience some simulated virtual gravity from inside the Endurance, the spaceship from Nolan’s film. An “Oculus Rift,” in case you were looking at those words with the same cocked-head confusion as a dog hearing another dog on TV, is this: virtual reality. Or, at least virtual reality for your face; the Oculus Rift is a boxy, black goggle-like eyepiece that lets you see into a digitally-created world, translating all your head and eye movements so you can look around and see digitally anything you want. Digitally. For the most part, the Oculus is confined to video gaming. Its from-the-neck-up limitations are most easily solved with a mouse and keyboard, although laughably dumb-looking inventions like the virtual reality treadmill and the virtual reality bodysuit pop up every now and then.

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Interstellar

If you’re excited to see Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar on the big screen, you may be still more excited to learn that the latest film from the Dark Knight helmer and Matthew “Alright, Alright, Alright” McConaughey will hit theaters with a large number of viewing options, and not just of the “to IMAX or not to IMAX” variety. FirstShowing has been all over the Interstellar news beat, first breaking the news that the film would hit IMAX two days early and then passing along a bevy of cool screening information once Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. Pictures officially announced the news via press release. Interstellar officially opens on November 7th, but a slew of large format screenings will kick off on Tuesday, November 4th, with still more options rolling out on November 5th (all told, about 225 locations will offer the pre-screenings). Basically, if you want to see Interstellar early, you can totally do that, while also getting the best theatrical viewing experience possible. Not too shabby. But if you’re still not sure how to see Interstellar and what format is best, the film’s official site has provided a pretty nifty guide (one that you can use for Interstellar and beyond). Take a look.

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Batmobile in Batman vs Superman

The movies of director Zack Snyder are about as polarizing as any studio filmmaker’s, so when he tweeted out a picture of the new Batmobile from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, we can assume he was prepared for some criticism. Fans complained about a particular aspect of the vehicle that does not conform to the version seen in the comics: the guns. This new Batmobile is front-loaded with weapons that would not look out of place in an American military vehicle. It’s a concerning decision, especially since Batman’s code of ethics precludes him from intentionally killing people. But the real problem is that it shows how little Snyder has learned from the mistakes of Man of Steel. We all remember the outcry from fans when Snyder had Superman kill General Zod in that movie’s climax, and it appears that Snyder is doubling down on the violence, despite that criticism. But it is unfair to lay all this at Snyder’s feet. There has been an increasing militarization of our superheroes afoot for decades, and Snyder is only continuing that tradition. In the Marvel world, superheroes perpetually exist in a military milieu. Tony Stark is a reformed defense contractor, while The Avengers was essentially about a Special Forces unit that prevented another 9/11.

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Eraserhead

I love looking at filmmakers’ early work. Sure, it might be juvenile or lacking the grace of experience, but it’s also the artistic eye before fame, celebrity personas or narrowly honed visions. It’s the work they made before output was partially (if not totally) influenced by investors, studios and critics. First films can be like cinematic diaries of the directors’ vision – like David Lynch’s iconic Eraserhead, which is now on Criterion Blu-ray with almost all of his short films – or whiffs of artistry before the mainstream. Some, sadly, are still out of reach to the Internet masses, though they’d be fascinating first glimpses at cinematic themes and techniques. Long before 12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen debuted with a revealing video installation, Bear, which only makes the rounds at live events. Kathryn Bigelow “plays down” her first film from 1978, The Set-Up, where Gary Busey and another guy fight each other as semioticians deconstruct the images – a film that certainly speaks to her future work, but hasn’t been released for modern audiences. And though someone who thinks they’re clever put up a slave scene on YouTube, insisting it was Spike Lee’s first film, his debut – the Super 8 film Last Hustle in Brooklyn – is actually about “Black people and Puerto Rican people looting and dancing.” Those three might remain out of reach, but here eight filmmakers’ early visions that speak to humor, darkness, unexpected twists, and for one – an artistry before an obsession with […]

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Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel Studios is still new. Based on their track record, that’s almost hard to believe. Of the nine movies they’ve put out, all of them have performed considerably well, if not completely gangbusters, at the box office. Considering their latest film, Guardians of the Galaxy, is on track to make over $70m this weekend, their luck will continue. At this point, we may have to stop calling it luck and start calling it smart business decisions. One of the people responsible for Marvel’s success is, of course, the president of the studio, Kevin Feige, and he’s fully embraced the spirit — and often downright weirdness — of the characters and their worlds. Feige gambled on an untested formula that’s paid off. Few people expected Iron Man, and with it Marvel, to succeed the way that it did, but he was one of them. Six years ago, it was clear he believed in their ambitious plan from the start. “It’s a little bit of planning, a little bit of luck and you end up with a studio that has the film rights to Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk and Ant-Man,” he said in 2008. “And clearly, when you put them all together, you know who you get.” He meant The Avengers, as well as a whole series of successful solo superhero films around it. Guardians of the Galaxy is the one that now puts Marvel’s brand to the ultimate test. Iron Man wasn’t a very well known character to the general public, but the Hulk, Thor and Captain America were all pretty […]

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Interstellar

Here is a takeaway from this latest trailer for Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar: Matthew McConaughey is going to cry a lot in this thing. The star of the upcoming sci-fi space opus already teared it up in the film’s first teaser, and now he looks like he’s back at it. This time, though, it looks like he’s crying in space. Here is another takeaway from this latest trailer for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar: we’re going to space, you guys! This new trailer gives us a much better and wider look at what Nolan’s spacey stuff is going to look like — cold, watery, very cool — alongside McConaughey apparently sobbing at every turn. As it so happens, when you decide to go save the world and leave your family in the process, you get emotional about it. We’re right there with you, big guy. Take a look:

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Memento Movie

We can learn a lot from the movies. Of course, sometimes what we learn has no basis in reality. For example, lawyers should not take their cross-examination techniques from Tom Cruise in A Few Good Men, and doctors shouldn’t be too quick to use a defibrillator as demonstrated in… well… pretty much every medical drama ever made. Certain real-life afflictions make excellent plot points in movies and television, and one of the biggest cliches that’s still used today is amnesia. Whether it’s Jason Bourne trying to get a hold of his past or a poor widower chasing down a man named John G., amnesia makes for a compelling story where we get to learn alongside a person who already knows the thing that they don’t know. But is movie amnesia realistic, or is it total crap?

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Interstellar Movie

Some people just wanna watch the world burn. Christopher Nolan might be one of them. It’s been almost half a year since our last tease, but this new Interstellar trailer gives the full force of the fire. Our wonderful planet is doomed, so the only hope for humanity is to find a new place to live. That’s where engineering whiz Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) and a visionary played by Michael Caine come into the picture. Yet while the larger focus is traveling to another star, Cooper is tethered to this planet by his daughter Murphy (Mackenzie Foy). Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Pacific Rim

One of the top-ten highest-grossing movies of 2013 will be nominated for Best Picture, and that’s something that didn’t happen in the past two years. The same movie, Gravity, will very likely be the sixth in a row to win the Oscar for Best Visual Effects to also be a Best Picture nominee. If it wins the top award, it will be the first to win both those honors since The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.  I know a lot of people consider Gravity to be a science-fiction film, while I don’t quite qualify it as such. So I merely see it as the closest thing to a genre movie contending for Best Picture this year rather than a true representative. It’s more The Right Stuff than Star Wars. Wasn’t the allowance for more Best Picture nominees intended to accommodate those more popular choices? The first year the Academy returned it to a ten-title category was 2009, and then we saw Avatar and District 9 plus Up, the first animated feature to get a slot since 1991. The next year we had another animated feature in the bunch, Toy Story 3, as well as the sci-fi film Inception. In 2011, Hugo nearly counted as a fantasy picture while Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris was a kind of time travel film, but they stretched the definitions of genre film. Last year, the same went for the fantastically dipped Life of Pi and Beasts of the Southern Wild. […]

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interstellar teaser 1

How do you fill a nearly two-minute-long teaser for a movie you’re not ready to show much footage from? Pad it with archival material, of course. The first look at Christopher Nolan‘s highly anticipated new sci-fi film Interstellar has arrived online, and at first we could mistake it for a documentary with its clips from the Great Depression and the history of the U.S. space program plus some celebrity voiceover narration by Matthew McConaughey. This is a nonfiction propaganda film about why we must support a return to space exploration, isn’t it? After all, the concept is nearly identical to that of the Peter Cullen-narrated “We Are the Explorers” NASA PSA that played ahead of Star Trek Into Darkness earlier this year.

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Cillian Murphy Batman

If you’ve ever wondered what Cillian Murphy would have looked like as Batman, wonder no more. The above image (via Batman-News) is from the new Dark Knight Trilogy: Ultimate Collector’s Edition box set, and they’ve got him as Bruce Wayne, too. Somewhere, Tim Burton is jumping with glee. Now, if you’ve ever wondered whether the Swear To Me voice was always in the mix, wonder no more again. As the below screen test video proves, Christian Bale was asking where the drugs were in that now-signature growl from the very beginning (although I wonder if Kevin Conroy has something to say about what Christopher Nolan is claiming here). Just think. In ten years, we’ll be seeing shots like this of Josh Brolin and video like this of Ben Affleck surface. But who will we be watching in the Batsuit in twenty?

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Matt Damon

We still know next to nothing about Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar. Matthew McConaughey will voyage through a wormhole- that’s about it. But at least we can add one more name to the list of those joining him on his cosmic voyage: Matt Damon. The actor will be joining Nolan’s latest for a small role; one that only necessitates two weeks out of Interstellar‘s four-month shoot. Obviously, it hasn’t yet revealed who Damon will be playing, but presumably he’ll be another space voyager, or an alternate-universe version of McConaughey’s character, or a caveman in some elaborate sequence where the film jumps back to the dawn of time (as people are already comparing this one to 2001: A Space Odyssey).

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Paramount announced today that principal photography is officially underway in Canada for Christopher Nolan‘s galactic voyager movie Interstellar. The film, based on a combination of an original idea by Nolan and an existing script by Jonathan Nolan, follows a group of intrepid explorers who use a wormhole to bend the limits of human travel and experience a radical space journey. On this fantastic voyage? Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Topher Grace, John Lithgow, Ellen Burstyn, and Michael Caine, among others. Nolan is re-teaming with his usuals: production designer Nathan Crowley, editor Lee Smith, and composer Hans Zimmer for the film as well. Though not much is known about the film yet besides these little tidbits, it sounds like a fantastic sci-fi affair with the trappings for something of epic proportions. Can you just picture Michael Caine hurtling through a wormhole set to a Hans Zimmer score? Because I’m definitely imagining that right now, and it’s the best movie of the year. Interesting to note: renowned physicist Kip Thorne is consulting on the film, as well as serving as executive producer, so this wormhole journey might actually be pretty factual. Interstellar is in theaters November 7, 2014.

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news pfister nolan

Apparently, being Christopher Nolan is contagious. The director’s 2010 film Inception was a twisty-turny science fiction epic shrouded in secrecy, and now Nolan is hard at work on the similarly twisty-turny Interstellar that’s similarly shrouded in secrecy. Wally Pfister, Nolan’s longtime cinematographer, has apparently caught the Nolan bug. He too has a science fiction film coming out in 2014- Transcendence- and up until now there’s been very little word on what the film’s actually about. All we’ve had to go on was a brief summary that mentioned how Johnny Depp‘s character will be assassinated, then turned into some kind of artificial intelligence. Now, ScreenCrush has the official synopsis. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add a whole lot. Ready? Here it is:

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Batman Beyond

The heat of Comic-Con might already be getting to people because there’s a rumor going around that Warners is considering tapping into Batman Beyond for their post-Nolan reboot of the character. That’s according to Bill Ramey at Batman On Film, who is hearing “some whispers” that a movie version of the future-set animated show where Bruce Wayne passes the utility belt to teenager Terry McGinnis is “on the table” as a potential direction to take the character. The only problem is that there’s no way it’s going to happen. Full stop. It’s possible that it’s out there in a no-idea-is-a-bad-idea way, but if Warners is serious about Justice League, they’ll quickly shove Batman Beyond off the table. Ramey disagrees with that point, saying, “If you don’t think a solo Batman film series based on Batman Beyond would mesh with a [DC Universe] on film — if there ever is one — you’d be wrong. The ‘in his prime’ Bruce Wayne Batman could potentially be in a team-up film, while the aged and retired Bruce Wayne Batman would be the version of the same character in the Beyond solo films. Think ‘non-linear’ — same Batman, different time periods.” It’s not that the worlds don’t mesh; it’s that they don’t mesh easily. I love the wishful thinking, but there’s no chance a studio could (or would want to) sell “It’s Batman, but not Batman,” to general audiences.

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Mary-Elizabeth-Winstead-Death-Proof-Widescreen-Wallpaper-mary-elizabeth-winstead-7221018-1280-800

What is Casting Couch? It’s the news roundup that’s gathering together one last batch of casting reports before it takes a brief Comic-Con break. Read on for news regarding screen beauties like Linda Cardellini, Ashley Greene, and John Lithgow, and then we’ll see you again next week. After recent performances in dramas like Smashed and The Spectacular Now, actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead seems to be leaving her past of performing in genre work behind in order to take more dramatic roles. Deadline is reporting that she’s just signed up for her third new job is just a few weeks, and this one will see her joining the Jeremy Renner-starring Gary Webb biopic, Kill the Messenger, as the character of Dawn Garcia, who was Webb’s editor at the “San Jose Mercury News.” Just a year or so ago people might have been questioning if she could pull this off, but now it’s clear that she can. Let’s just hope that all of these new bonafides don’t keep her from still doing the occasional cheesy action movie now and then. It’s important to let your hair down.

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horovitz

What is Casting Couch? It’s a daily news column that compiles the biggest casting scoops from all around the Internet. Today’s edition is absolutely bursting with news, so let’s jump right in. Due to his being a member of The Beastie Boys, Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz is a legend in the rap game. Many don’t know that he has a little bit of a history in the acting world though. Of course, many don’t know that because his career consisted of a couple small roles in the late 80s and early 90s, and then he seemed to forget about his little hobby. The Wrap has a report that Horovitz might soon be making a big acting comeback though, because apparently he’s in talks to join Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts in Noah Baumbach’s (Frances Ha) next film, While We’re Young. In it Horovitz would be playing a new father who can no longer relate to Stiller and Watts’ characters because they don’t have kids, which is pretty much the most frightening notion ever for those of us who remember Ad-Rock as being a beer-swilling teenager on MTV’s spring break.

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david-goyer

Screenwriter David S. Goyer and his bank account must be very pleased with the audience turnout for Man of Steel, but this Superman reboot wasn’t always an easy bet. Remember in 2006 the months leading up to Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns? The buzz and box-office expectations were all around hyperbolic. So much so even Entertainment Weekly predicted it would make over 300 million dollars domestically It didn’t. Was that because audiences no longer had an interest in Superman or that they just couldn’t get behind Singer’s idealistic ode to the Donner films? Maybe both. Goyer, producer Christopher Nolan, and director Zack Snyder realized audiences needed a more modern take on the character, which they delivered on with large-scale action sequences, shades of science-fiction, and no bumbling Lex Luthor goons. We spoke with screenwriter David Goyer after the film’s opening weekend about the project’s conception, grounding an alien who flies, and how we still haven’t seen a fully-formed Superman in our SPOILER-filled discussion:

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Man of Steel

Spoilers Ahead: This article contains advanced talking points for Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. We recommend reading it after you see the film. Anyone who called Iron Man 3 or any other blockbuster in the past few years an “epic” will be eating their words once they see Zack Snyder‘s giant toy set called Man of Steel. It’s as if Shane Black and J.J. Abrams were playing with plastic action figures and then, all the sudden, Snyder showed up with real heroes. His Superman reboot is exciting, a visual marvel, and gives fans the movie they wanted to see from Bryan Singer. Finally, we have a 21st century Superman who punches somebody, but is there more here than a few wicked brawls? For the most part, yes. There’s some heart present, especially with Russell Crowe taking part in the film’s emotional peak within the first twenty minutes. After that, the movie loses some of that patient drama with certain structural and character choices. This isn’t, let’s say, a Star Trek Into Darkness situation where the experience falls flat by Abrams & Co. consistently choosing spectacle over logic. For every confounding choice made in Man of Steel, there’s plenty of right choices made. Some of those puzzling choices raise questions, though. There’s no plot holes to drive buses through here, but they feel like issues that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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Man of Steel

It’s a story about the potential for every person to be a force for good. Yes Russell Crowe, that’s exactly what the story of Superman is about. And as we see here in this brand new behind the scenes featurette for Warner Bros.’ upcoming film Man of Steel, it’s also about the potential of a Christopher Nolan Dark Knight-esque reinvention of a character who is a 75-year old that wears his underwear on the outside. “It’s not a comic book Superman,” explains writer David S. Goyer (The Dark Knight). “We wanted a Superman that exists in the real world.” A tall task, to say the very least. Needless to say, after 12 minutes of behind the scenes B-roll and cast interviews, you might start to believe that Zack Snyder could pull off his greatest trick of all: making Superman feel new again.

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