Chipotle's new ad for a mobile game is haunting, dark, and beautiful. It strikes a pretty serious chord for a fast food chain trying to launch a game that ends with a free burrito. If you were wondering how in the hell it got made, there's a behind the scenes video with the creators, designers, and animators that came up with it on their website.
Bored by the ho-hum nostalgic Oscars last night? Enjoy Seth Rogen's edgy/funny 15 minute opener to the previous night's Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Everything is a Remix Part 2: Movies Mind-blowing cuts of how previous films influenced pretty much all of Hollywood's output today. Previously this series examined music in much the same way.
The Trailer Mash is the spot for movie trailer recuts and mashups. We've done the subject before, but now the subject has its own blog. Current new favorites: Garden State as a murder thriller and School of Rock as a kidnap film. [via mefi projects]
Refuge of Last Resort is a documentary shot in the wake of Katrina. They've got a trailer up showing a quick overview of the project and they're even offering raw footage shot in hi-def. [via mefi projects]
Theo Van Gogh, murdered last week by a muslim in retalliation for a movie called Submission, a fictional short film critique of how women are treated within Islam. If you were curious about whether the film was worth dying for, the folks at iFilm have it on their site. It's basically an imagined monologue between a woman and Allah. It's 11 minutes long and is safe for work.
Yep, it's true, a Simpsons movie is being worked on. Target release date is sometime in 2006, though there's nothing in IMDB about it yet.
What is the AniMatrix? A direct-to-video release of 9 animated shorts (comic book style, pure CGI, etc) by 7 directors looks at possible visions of the world pre-Matrix. Looks like it could be an interesting collection.
Make an Oscar-nominated documentary, get fined $25,000. Ry Cooder gets slapped with a fine from the US Treasury Department for "spending money in Cuba without its permission." Are they pissed because The Buena Vista Social Club was a terrific movie that opened the eyes of millions of Americans to the pointlessness of the Cuban embargo? [via RRE]
Guess what? Online film is not dead. Submitted for your approval: the hilarious Ron Howard's Dream, The Award Showdown, and Gwyneth and Steve - our struggle to have a baby. The amusing Upgrade, the haunting Genesis and Catastrophe, and finally, the amazing (and oscar nominated) Periwig-Maker. I only hope that with banner ad revenue going down, and the future of sites like ifilm and atom films in peril, stuff like this still has an outlet and gets made (most movies via ebert's weekly show).
Remember the movie Magnolia? One of the themes running through the movie was of amazing coincidences and chance. This story of a people getting hit by trains near San Francisco this week mentions one such coincidence. A man was hit by a train, and on that very train was the chairman of a "nonprofit group whose goal is to reduce the number of train-related collisions, deaths and injuries." The additional fact that this safety group leader was enroute to give a speech on grade-crossing safety makes it approach urban legend status, but it did indeed happen.
I hadn't seen the Mission Impossible 2 trailers until just a few mintues ago. My first question is "when did Tom Cruise become a James Bond clone?" Is Mission Impossible going to become a series? I'd pay to see more episodes, if John Woo directs them...
Clerks: The Animated Series is coming to ABC in May (here's a preview in quicktime format). How far will ABC let slacking, smoking, cursing vandals go? Are they gunning for SouthPark? I can't imagine a watered-down version of Clerks being very funny at all, the whole point of Clerks the movie was the absurdity of the dialogue and jokes. Don't get me wrong, I used to be an über Kevin Smith fan, but I just can't imagine enjoying a kid-friendly version of the New Jersey universe.
Much in the spirit of the ASCII Star Wars site, Neale over at wetlog has unveiled an short ASCII version of American Beauty (when is the academy going to finally recognize the brilliant work of ASCII illustrators everywhere?). He's also running a contest for players of The Sims. I've been thinking about getting this game since I first saw it, but Neale's contest is enough to push me over the edge and actually buy it. I'd like to try getting my Sims to perform either Magnolia or The Ice Storm.
Several News outlets noticed the strong presence of internet companies this year's Sundance Film Festival. I figured sometime after it was over, they'd have previews from the best short films. Well, it didn't take long for them to start posting films from this year's Sundance, along with some daily news from the road. It looks like AtomFilms is now signing distribution deals too. If you have access to a fast connection, AtomFilms is a great diversion, them getting exclusive rights to films like these is just going to make them better.
MovieFone (or 777film.com, or AOL/Moviefone if you want to be official) has long been my favorite place to look up movie showtimes, but lately I've been running into problems. The biggest one is this: if you search for movies by theater, then hit "more" a couple times, it reaches a limit of about 12 theaters. Here in LA, that limit corresponds to a 4-5 mile radius. The theater I want to look up movie times at is maybe 7-8 miles away, but no where in the interface is a real "search." It's all just lists and lists. Eventually, I found a list of local theaters (covering about a 20 mile radius) in the theater codes section, but it's not a real search engine, so looking up times at out of town theaters requires you to know the zip code of the place you're going to. I know they're trying to simplify their site by taking out a search engine, but what about the people that know exactly what they want? I use moviefone on the web because using it on a telephone requires you to navigate convoluted menu systems, but they've transferred the phone experience to the web quite well.
Jon Katz' new book to be made into a movie? Now this just boggles the mind. I've read Geeks, and it was an interesting story (to fellow geeks), but I just can't imagine this as a movie. It's non-fiction, so there's little, if any drama happening in any single scene. The screenwriters are going to have a field day with this. I predict that the movie may contain the general points as frames of reference, but everything else will be made up.
(probably my last post about Magnolia) There were a few 'easter eggs' in Magnolia worth mentioning. What may be the first non-555 phone number in a movie was mentioned, but I can't remember it, if anyone tracks it down, please post. There was the 1-877-TAME-HER number that was mentioned on every ad done by Tom Cruise's character. You can call it and hear a special message. If you don't feel like leaving your computer, you can use dialpad.com to make the call. Also, at the end credits of the gameshow, they flash a URL, wdkk.com, which maps to the Magnolia website. At one point, a audience member of the quiz show has a sign that says 'Exodus 8:2' which I looked up, and it reads 'And if thou shalt REFUSE to let [them] go, behold I will smite all thy borders with frogs'. Usually when I see a movie, I don't pick up on these things, I guess Magnolia really was that good.
More Magnolia-esque links. There were several well-known urban legends mentioned in the movie; the stories about the 3 men hanged, the scuba diver found dead in a wildfire, and the old suicide jumper shot while falling. There was also some stuff about raining frogs, and the only things I could find about it were: this newsgroup message, this other ng message, and an entry at the urbanlegends.com site.
I just saw Magnolia, and went looking for interviews with P.T. Anderson, the writer-director. I found one on a fan site, with a bunch of great insider stuff, but I wouldn't suggest reading it unless you've seen Magnolia. Too many spoilers.
Even though the movie 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' doesn't come out until a year from now, they've already got a flash teaser up at their site.
I've heard a lot of good buzz about Being John Malkovich, and I wasn't sure it could live up to the hype. After seeing the trailer, I want to see this NOW. It looks like the first original story I've seen all year, appearing to be a mix between Alice in Wonderland and Naked Lunch.
I can't wait for the new version of Shaft to come out. It should be pretty cool. Richard Roundtree played a pretty good badass in the original, but other than that it was pretty comical. Rent it and listen to the lame dialouge the writers came up with.
The first rule of fight club is... you do not talk about the fight club. Second rule of Fight Club is you do NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB. God I hope that movie doesn't suck. And I love walking around the office repeating the two rules of fight club. Do it, your co-workers will love you for it.
If you've seen Sixth Sense, check this out. There's an analysis of the symbolism used all throughout the film. Lots of it makes sense, but I didn't notice too much of it during the movie.
People like great trailers, but what if there was no movie? This site a great collection of super-hyped parody trailers for non-existent movies. This site had me laughing for a good while
From the You Learn Something New Everyday file: I had no idea there was such a huge move industry in Bombay, India, known worldwide as Bollywood. I need to get out more, I'm becoming quite the ugly american lately...