MTV Movies Blog http://moviesblog.mtv.com Just another WordPress site Mon, 09 Jun 2014 19:48:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.1 The Best Movies Of 2013 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/17/the-best-movies-of-2013/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/17/the-best-movies-of-2013/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 20:00:44 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98433

To clarify, this is my top ten today at this very moment. It's going to change. Even as I wrote out the below list, I was dramatically shifting these worthy films up and down. For one thing I want — no, need — to see all of these again and again. Because the consensus this time is right on. 2013 was a fantastic year at the movies. Dozens delighted me (and I'll shine a light on some of those at a later date) but these ten are the ones that I feel most confident will stand the test of time.

10. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS
Sure, the last sequence is a tour de force and leaves you a wreck, but that's only because the first 120 minutes are absorbing and tense almost beyond belief. There were a lot of riveting rides at the movies this year; Paul Greengrass' was something special.

9. PAIN & GAIN
So much sweat, so much stupidity. Following so many hard-bodied meat-headed imbeciles shouldn't be so much fun.

8. AMERICAN HUSTLE
I love these characters. And so clearly does David O. Russell, hitting on all cylinders once again. A true ensemble without a dud in the group. Come for the hair and the plunging necklines, stay for the scams and remember the indelible performances.

7. BEFORE MIDNIGHT
A memory film if there ever was one. I can't think of another movie that so took advantage of our fondness and nostalgia for characters from so many years before. Love, loss, frustration, and most importantly, love again. It's all there.

6. THIS IS THE END
The funniest movie of the year. By a mile. It could have turned into a self-indulgent in-joke — and maybe it still is to a degree — but it's also consistently hilarious and ballsy in the best way a comedy can be.

5. 12 YEARS A SLAVE
If the goal of film is to transport you and expand your mind in some way, mission accomplished for the supremely talent filmmaker Steve McQueen, plunging the audience into the shoes of Solomon Northrup (played with dignity and grace by Chiwetel Ejiofor) as he endures a nightmarish existence. It may be easier to look away, but you'd be missing some of the finest moviemaking in years.

4. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS
The Coen brothers might be the closest thing to a sure bet to making my top ten list but in all honesty the first time I saw their latest I was underwhelmed. Cut to a second viewing and repeated obsessive listening to a beautiful soundtrack, and I'm in love with it all. It just gets richer and richer.

3. HER
It's been a year filled with love stories of every conceivable stripe (a few are on this list) but leave it to Spike Jonze's wholly unconventional one to resonate the most profoundly. Remarkable performances from Joaquin Phoenix and yes, Scarlett Johansson, break your heart even as you're rooting for a love affair that can't possibly work. Can it? Should it?

2. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
Of course, the ultimate movie about excess would be too long for some, but I ate up this delicious black comedy, marveled at Leo's bombastic performance and knew immediately that this would be a film I would come back to again and again.

1. GRAVITY
An emotional and visceral experience unparalleled by anything else I encountered in a movie theater this year. You're wrung out by the end and not sure where the tears came from. It's not a theme park ride. It's a contemplative triumph of technology, performance, music, and story. Everything a movie can be at its best. A clear classic.

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http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/17/the-best-movies-of-2013/feed/ 0 10. CAPTAIN PHILLIPS Sure, the last sequence is a tour de force and leaves you a wreck, but that's only because the first 120 minutes are absorbing and tense almost beyond belief. There were a lot of riveting rides at the movies this year; Paul Greengrass' was something special. 9. PAIN & GAIN So much sweat, so much stupidity. Following so many hard-bodied meat-headed imbeciles shouldn't be so much fun. 8. AMERICAN HUSTLE I love these characters. And so clearly does David O. Russell, hitting on all cylinders once again. A true ensemble without a dud in the group. Come for the hair and the plunging necklines, stay for the scams and remember the indelible performances. 7. BEFORE MIDNIGHT A memory film if there ever was one. I can't think of another movie that so took advantage of our fondness and nostalgia for characters from so many years before. Love, loss, frustration, and most importantly, love again. It's all there. 6. THIS IS THE END The funniest movie of the year. By a mile. It could have turned into a self-indulgent in-joke — and maybe it still is to a degree — but it's also consistently hilarious and ballsy in the best way a comedy can be. 5. 12 YEARS A SLAVE If the goal of film is to transport you and expand your mind in some way, mission accomplished for the supremely talent filmmaker Steve McQueen, plunging the audience into the shoes of Solomon Northrup (played with dignity and grace by Chiwetel Ejiofor) as he endures a nightmarish existence. It may be easier to look away, but you'd be missing some of the finest moviemaking in years. 4. INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS The Coen brothers might be the closest thing to a sure bet to making my top ten list but in all honesty the first time I saw their latest I was underwhelmed. Cut to a second viewing and repeated obsessive listening to a beautiful soundtrack, and I'm in love with it all. It just gets richer and richer. 3. HER It's been a year filled with love stories of every conceivable stripe (a few are on this list) but leave it to Spike Jonze's wholly unconventional one to resonate the most profoundly. Remarkable performances from Joaquin Phoenix and yes, Scarlett Johansson, break your heart even as you're rooting for a love affair that can't possibly work. Can it? Should it? 2. THE WOLF OF WALL STREET Of course, the ultimate movie about excess would be too long for some, but I ate up this delicious black comedy, marveled at Leo's bombastic performance and knew immediately that this would be a film I would come back to again and again. 1. GRAVITY An emotional and visceral experience unparalleled by anything else I encountered in a movie theater this year. You're wrung out by the end and not sure where the tears came from. It's not a theme park ride. It's a contemplative triumph of technology, performance, music, and story. Everything a movie can be at its best. A clear classic. ]]> 12/17/13 3:00pm EST
'Elysium' VFX Supervisor Dishes On 'Chappie,' Game Spinoffs And Blowing Droids To Bits http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/17/elysium-vfx-supervisor/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/17/elysium-vfx-supervisor/#comments Tue, 17 Dec 2013 18:32:59 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98429

By Charles Webb

"He knows what he wants - he says 'This is how we're going to do the scene,' and we'll often just do it in one take." Muyzer, whose VFX company has worked alongside Blomkamp since his feature debut, "District 9," and spent four years developing the dystopian action film "Elyisum," says this approach is "scary for the people behind the scenes," but Blomkamp's approach allows him to sidestep studio and screening notes: there are no backup shots or cuts, only what the director has put on the screen.

"Elysium," which is out this week on home video, follows Matt Damon's character Max, a factory worker who suffers a lethal dose of radiation poisoning, and must get to the orbiting city of Elysium in order to be cured. Like "District 9," "Elysium" sees the writer-director creating social commentary in a sci-fi action film - this time with plenty of robots, killer exoskeletons, and exotic, flesh-shredding guns, all courtesy of the Vancouver-based Imagine Engine.

The studio, which is working on the "Ninja Turtles" and "Child 44," largely supports Blomkamp - they're already moving on to the director's next film, the Hugh Jackman-starring "Chappie."

When asked what it's like being a studio dedicated primarily to one filmmaker, Muyzers says "I think that working with Neil since 'District 9,' we have developed a shorthand. I can just look at him and maybe see the look on his face and he wants to change something. Or he would send me video shot with his iPhone and it would say 'What the hell is this?' And obviously, there would be a problem, and I would have to go investigate. But more often than not, I would know what he was after."

Still, that doesn't stop Blomkamp from throwing the occasional curveball. "The exploding droid shot in the film, where Matt's character shoots these special bullets at the droid, I imagined it to be something where he fires the gun - boom, boom, boom - big explosion, and off it goes."

Instead, Blomkamp wanted audiences to see the explosion in loving detail, with the droid shattering into a thousand tiny pieces before their eyes. In slow motion. "I said, 'Wait a minute: we're going to see all of these big, shredded pieces, traveling through metal plates?' We were not prepared for that, and at the time we had a lot of other work on our hands. I think that was one of those shots that was quite demanding."

When asked about the look of "Elysium," Muyzers says Blomkamp really wanted this film to evolve the gritty, in-your-face documentary of "District 9." "For [Neil], it's always important to feel like you're there. Now 'Elysium' was a little bit of a step away from that. The purpose was to create a film that felt less documentary-style and more epic. He wanted to create something that was perhaps a little more traditional for that." You can see that switch in the steady shots of the floating community of Elysium (which took six months to create), which contrast with the bouncy, you-are-there camera work in the ruined future L.A.

"But his thoughts of immersiveness plays a secondary role to where he's thinking, 'We could do a game of this film, or we could do this.'"

He couldn't say whether we'd be seeing the HULC suit or the world of "Elysium" appearing in games anytime soon, but Muyzers says early in the process of shooting the film, "There was some kind of talk about using a games-type approach to some of the shots, but [Blompkamp] wanted it to feel overall like a feature film."

To that end, the crew experimented with this aesthetic in throughout the shoot, going so far as to invent a new camera that evolved the "Bullet Time" aesthetic of the "Matrix" films (you can see it in the slow-mo mech explosion). "We created a new camera rig called the Arc Rig, which is an array of Canon 5D still cameras that all create video at the same time. So a little like [the "Matrix" films'] 'Bullet Time,'

Still, that specific visual only made its way into the earthbound gun battle/heist early in the film. "Out where we were shooting in Mexico, we would have a camera operator follow Matt around. And we would pretend that Matt's back was attached to the camera." To get the unique behind-the-back look, Muyzers says "We took the plates and stabilized them in post," to avoid the queasy-making aesthetic of some handheld camera work.

While details are still scarce on 2015's "Chappie" - which features a robot kidnapped at birth and raised by a dysfunctional family, Muyzers said it was a no-brainer that Imagine Engine would work on the film. Without spoiling what's to come, Muyzers offered that "A lot of the artists working on Neil's films always go back to 'District 9.' I'm not sure, but the impression that I get is that 'Chappie' could be more like 'District 9' than 'Elysium.'"

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http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/17/elysium-vfx-supervisor/feed/ 0 By Charles Webb "He knows what he wants - he says 'This is how we're going to do the scene,' and we'll often just do it in one take." Muyzer, whose VFX company has worked alongside Blomkamp since his feature debut, "District 9," and spent four years developing the dystopian action film "Elyisum," says this approach is "scary for the people behind the scenes," but Blomkamp's approach allows him to sidestep studio and screening notes: there are no backup shots or cuts, only what the director has put on the screen. "Elysium," which is out this week on home video, follows Matt Damon's character Max, a factory worker who suffers a lethal dose of radiation poisoning, and must get to the orbiting city of Elysium in order to be cured. Like "District 9," "Elysium" sees the writer-director creating social commentary in a sci-fi action film - this time with plenty of robots, killer exoskeletons, and exotic, flesh-shredding guns, all courtesy of the Vancouver-based Imagine Engine. The studio, which is working on the "Ninja Turtles" and "Child 44," largely supports Blomkamp - they're already moving on to the director's next film, the Hugh Jackman-starring "Chappie." When asked what it's like being a studio dedicated primarily to one filmmaker, Muyzers says "I think that working with Neil since 'District 9,' we have developed a shorthand. I can just look at him and maybe see the look on his face and he wants to change something. Or he would send me video shot with his iPhone and it would say 'What the hell is this?' And obviously, there would be a problem, and I would have to go investigate. But more often than not, I would know what he was after." Still, that doesn't stop Blomkamp from throwing the occasional curveball. "The exploding droid shot in the film, where Matt's character shoots these special bullets at the droid, I imagined it to be something where he fires the gun - boom, boom, boom - big explosion, and off it goes." Instead, Blomkamp wanted audiences to see the explosion in loving detail, with the droid shattering into a thousand tiny pieces before their eyes. In slow motion. "I said, 'Wait a minute: we're going to see all of these big, shredded pieces, traveling through metal plates?' We were not prepared for that, and at the time we had a lot of other work on our hands. I think that was one of those shots that was quite demanding." When asked about the look of "Elysium," Muyzers says Blomkamp really wanted this film to evolve the gritty, in-your-face documentary of "District 9." "For [Neil], it's always important to feel like you're there. Now 'Elysium' was a little bit of a step away from that. The purpose was to create a film that felt less documentary-style and more epic. He wanted to create something that was perhaps a little more traditional for that." You can see that switch in the steady shots of the floating community of Elysium (which took six months to create), which contrast with the bouncy, you-are-there camera work in the ruined future L.A. "But his thoughts of immersiveness plays a secondary role to where he's thinking, 'We could do a game of this film, or we could do this.'" He couldn't say whether we'd be seeing the HULC suit or the world of "Elysium" appearing in games anytime soon, but Muyzers says early in the process of shooting the film, "There was some kind of talk about using a games-type approach to some of the shots, but [Blompkamp] wanted it to feel overall like a feature film." To that end, the crew experimented with this aesthetic in throughout the shoot, going so far as to invent a new camera that evolved the "Bullet Time" aesthetic of the "Matrix" films (you can see it in the slow-mo mech explosion). "We created a new camera rig called the Arc Rig, which is an array of Canon 5D still cameras that all create video at the same time. So a little like [the "Matrix" films'] 'Bullet Time,' Still, that specific visual only made its way into the earthbound gun battle/heist early in the film. "Out where we were shooting in Mexico, we would have a camera operator follow Matt around. And we would pretend that Matt's back was attached to the camera." To get the unique behind-the-back look, Muyzers says "We took the plates and stabilized them in post," to avoid the queasy-making aesthetic of some handheld camera work. While details are still scarce on 2015's "Chappie" - which features a robot kidnapped at birth and raised by a dysfunctional family, Muyzers said it was a no-brainer that Imagine Engine would work on the film. Without spoiling what's to come, Muyzers offered that "A lot of the artists working on Neil's films always go back to 'District 9.' I'm not sure, but the impression that I get is that 'Chappie' could be more like 'District 9' than 'Elysium.'" ]]> 12/17/13 1:32pm EST
'Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters' Blu-ray Exclusive: Behind The Creature Effects http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/16/percy-jackson-sea-of-monsters-blu-ray-exclusive-behind-the-creature-effects/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/16/percy-jackson-sea-of-monsters-blu-ray-exclusive-behind-the-creature-effects/#comments Mon, 16 Dec 2013 18:48:27 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98424 Percy Jackson

Any movie that's going to have Greek gods and half-breeds in it is going to need some impressive special effects work to back up the creatures. That applied for "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," the second movie in the fantasy franchise.

With the Logan Lerman movie about to hit Blu-ray and DVD this week, MTV Movies Blog has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what went into bringing the character Tyson to life.

As anyone who has seen the movie knows, Tyson is a cyclops, and putting one eye on an actor is harder than you might expect.

Check out our exclusive look at a behind-the-scenes featurette from the "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" Blu-ray after the jump!

"Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 17.

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http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/16/percy-jackson-sea-of-monsters-blu-ray-exclusive-behind-the-creature-effects/feed/ 0 Any movie that's going to have Greek gods and half-breeds in it is going to need some impressive special effects work to back up the creatures. That applied for "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," the second movie in the fantasy franchise. With the Logan Lerman movie about to hit Blu-ray and DVD this week, MTV Movies Blog has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at what went into bringing the character Tyson to life. As anyone who has seen the movie knows, Tyson is a cyclops, and putting one eye on an actor is harder than you might expect. Check out our exclusive look at a behind-the-scenes featurette from the "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" Blu-ray after the jump! [mtvn_player vid="988577"] "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" hits Blu-ray and DVD on December 17.]]> 12/16/13 1:48pm EST
You Have To Watch The Trailer For 'Freezer' http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/12/you-have-to-watch-the-trailer-for-freezer/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/12/you-have-to-watch-the-trailer-for-freezer/#comments Thu, 12 Dec 2013 19:06:22 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98421 One way that low-budget thrillers have dealt with the constraints of having less money than their competitors is to keep the action contained to a single room. There was "Phone Booth," then "Buried," and even "ATM." But "Freezer" might take the cake.

"Freezer," as you might imagine, is about a man who is trapped in a bathroom. Okay, we're lying. He's obviously trapped inside a freezer.

But that's just the start of this absurd trailer, which stars Dylan McDermott. Please watch the above preview on the promise that you will watch nothing better today*.

If you'd like to watch 88 more minutes of Dylan McDermott trapped inside a cooling unit, "Freezer" hits VOD, Blu-Ray and DVD on January 21st.

*Not a guarantee.

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http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/12/you-have-to-watch-the-trailer-for-freezer/feed/ 0 "Freezer," as you might imagine, is about a man who is trapped in a bathroom. Okay, we're lying. He's obviously trapped inside a freezer. But that's just the start of this absurd trailer, which stars Dylan McDermott. Please watch the above preview on the promise that you will watch nothing better today*. If you'd like to watch 88 more minutes of Dylan McDermott trapped inside a cooling unit, "Freezer" hits VOD, Blu-Ray and DVD on January 21st. *Not a guarantee. ]]> 12/12/13 2:06pm EST
Exclusive 'The Legend Of Hercules' Photos: Kellan Lutz Is A Man And A God http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/11/legend-of-hercules-kellan-lutz/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/11/legend-of-hercules-kellan-lutz/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:00:23 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98404 A061_L008_0523UB

It may have started with "Batman Begins," but the superhero origin story is still a popular route to go when tackling an iconic character on the big screen. Just last year, we saw Superman get rebooted with "Man of Steel," and next year, one of the world's first superheroes is getting an origin story of his own.

In "The Legend of Hercules," "Twilight" star" Kellan Lutz is taking on the role of the legendary half-god and taking him all the way back to his roots.

We've scored a whole bunch of exclusive photos from "The Legend of Hercules," including several of Lutz in various kind of sheets and armor, if you're into that kind of thing.

Check out the rest of our exclusive photos after the jump!

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"The Legend of Hercules" opens on Janaury 10.

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http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/11/legend-of-hercules-kellan-lutz/feed/ 0 It may have started with "Batman Begins," but the superhero origin story is still a popular route to go when tackling an iconic character on the big screen. Just last year, we saw Superman get rebooted with "Man of Steel," and next year, one of the world's first superheroes is getting an origin story of his own. In "The Legend of Hercules," "Twilight" star" Kellan Lutz is taking on the role of the legendary half-god and taking him all the way back to his roots. We've scored a whole bunch of exclusive photos from "The Legend of Hercules," including several of Lutz in various kind of sheets and armor, if you're into that kind of thing. Check out the rest of our exclusive photos after the jump! 3 5 6 A053_R001_0521AA DSC_3489.NEF DSC_8407.NEF DSC_4027.NEF IMG_7058.JPG "The Legend of Hercules" opens on Janaury 10.]]> 12/11/13 11:00am EST
If Katniss Faced Tauriel From 'The Hobbit,' Evangeline Lilly Knows Who Would Win http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/10/if-katniss-faced-tauriel-from-the-hobbit-evangeline-lilly-knows-who-would-win/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/10/if-katniss-faced-tauriel-from-the-hobbit-evangeline-lilly-knows-who-would-win/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 17:44:45 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98402 Right now is a great time for female protagonists in big blockbusters. "Frozen" and "Catching Fire" have jockeyed for the top spot at the box office for two weeks in a row, and Evangeline Lilly is playing a badass dwarf created specifically for "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug."

When MTV News sat down with Lilly to discuss Tauriel and the other famous female archer in movies right now, Lilly wasn't afraid to throw down some truth on the topic.

Who will win between Tauriel and Katniss? It's not as clear of a victory as you might think. Check out the video above to find out.

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http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/10/if-katniss-faced-tauriel-from-the-hobbit-evangeline-lilly-knows-who-would-win/feed/ 0 Who will win between Tauriel and Katniss? It's not as clear of a victory as you might think. Check out the video above to find out. [uma_snippet id="1718736"]]]> 12/10/13 12:44pm EST
Today's Horror Icons: Helene Cattet And Bruno Forzani http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/05/todays-horror-icons-helene-cattet-and-bruno-forzani/ http://moviesblog.mtv.com/2013/12/05/todays-horror-icons-helene-cattet-and-bruno-forzani/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 20:27:02 +0000 http://moviesblog.mtv.com/?p=98399 Black-gloved killers, lurid murder scenes, striking music... it can only be one thing: a giallo film.

Filmmakers Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani helped resurrect the Italian horror subgenre with their 2009 thriller "Amer" — a sensual, sensory tale about a young girl's journey to womanhood on the French Riviera.