Avatar made $73 million at the box office this weekend, which means a lot of people sat through two hours and 42 minutes of blue CGI people. That's pretty lengthy by today's standards, but it's not like the film isn't deserving of a few hours out of your day. As I mentioned before, the special effects alone sold me on it. Here are ten other films that pass the two and a half hour mark that won't make you think, "what a waste."
It's that time of year again! The Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Films handed out the Saturn Awards last night to honor the best actors, movies, and TV shows in these genres. It's a lot for one awards show to cover, but these awards honored some great entertainment that doesn't always get mainstream attention.
Of course, some blockbusters got recognized, too: The Dark Knight took home lots of awards, including another honor for the late Heath Ledger. Iron Man also did very well, with Robert Downey Jr. nabbing the award for best actor and Jon Favreau for director. I love that even the little vampire movie Let the Right One In scored an award. Battlestar Galactica made a splash in the television categories, winning three awards.
To check out the full list of winners, just read more
All of the new DVD releases hit stores (and Netflix) on Tuesdays. So each week in What to Netflix: New DVD Tuesday, I sort through the best of the batch and tell you what to add to your queue. In addition to my selections below, you can also check out Incendiary, Jon & Kate Plus Ei8ht: Season 4, and the second season of Lipstick Jungle on DVD.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett star in this curious tale of a child born as an old man, based loosely on a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Using groundbreaking (and really cool) special effects, David Fincher directs this epic that follows the life of one man who grows up (and young) as an outsider.
I fell for the improbable romance between Benjamin (Pitt) and his normally-aging love, Daisy (Blanchett). Plus, when you stick both photogenic stars in gorgeous period costumes it becomes a feast for the eyes.
Special features include interviews with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, audio commentary featuring David Fincher, footage revealing the techniques behind the visual effects and makeup, and a step-by-step examination of the motion-capture process used to age Brad Pitt.
Two more up next, so read more
The main themes of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button involve love, life, and death, but behind the scenes, it was all about the technology. From the first scene, Benjamin Button was shot digitally, going from camera's hard drive, to director David Fincher's Mac Pro, and uploaded straight to Final Cut Pro for editing.
Using a Thompson Viper Digital camera, nearly all of Button was captured digitally, with only a few scenes filmed with traditional film. Fincher found that using digital technology was the way to go for getting lifelike effects, but still maintaining realism:
It’s not a special effects movie, but spanning that kind of time, there were a lot of difficulties. First, aesthetically, will you believe it’s Brad? Because he has to start out old, the audience has to see him as wizened and grizzled as we could make him and still be able to recognize him and see his performance in it.
How great is it that you have access to the same tools that an Oscar-nominated director does? This is exactly why I love being a geek!
As we gear up for the Oscars, I'll be featuring the nominees for Best Costume Design. It's a big year for this category as the films nominated represent several vastly different historical periods. Be it eighteenth century England or San Francisco in the '70s, these films include some gorgeous threads. Today's featured movie is The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
No matter what you think of Benjamin Button overall, most agree that the movie is a stunning technical and visual achievement, and part of this is the gorgeous costuming. Director David Fincher sets his magical tale inside a sepia-toned universe, allowing the costumes to indicate the changing times throughout the story while the palette gives it all a mystical effect — as if we've dusted off some old photo book in our grandparents' attic. That is, until Cate Blanchett's character bursts onto the screen in a vibrant red dress or Tilda Swinton glides across a room in a luxurious fur. These costumes tell us the movie isn't just a window into the past but a vibrant living thing to be experienced in the now.
To check out the romantic costumes for yourself, read more
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie smiled and worked the red carpet together, posing with David Fincher at the Benjamin Button premiere in Tokyo earlier today. The actors signed autographs for the large crowd of enthusiastic fans, who were just as thrilled to see them as they were when the entire adorable family arrived in Japan a few days ago. At yesterday's press conference, Brad commented on his life being as dramatic as his character Benjamin's, saying, "I have six children now so it doesn't get more dramatic than that." With their latest mini mes bringing even more excitement to their lives, this is the kind of drama the Jolie-Pitts can enjoy.
To see more photos of Brad, Angelina and David Fincher just read more
If you haven't seen The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, I highly suggest you check it out. I'm not the only one smitten with the movie. Tanita Pe loved the movie so much, she created a Benjamin Button-inspired look highlighting a marvelous trench coat and amazing accessories. Her mix of modern clothing and vintage jewels is perfection; I call it laid-back luxe.
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie made for a picture-perfect couple in Paris today at yet another premiere of Benjamin Button. The events must be even more fun now that the film has raked in 13 Oscar nominations, but it's an equally great day for Angelina, who scored a nod for Changeling. When asked how the actors feel about their respective honors, they said:
- Angelina: "Working with Clint Eastwood was a reward in itself that will last me a lifetime. It has been an exceptional year for acting, and I am honored to be in the company of these talented actors whose performances all deserve this recognition."
- Brad: "[It's] a great honor for the movie. I'm especially happy for [best director nominee] David Fincher, for without him there would be no Ben Button."
Angelina also talked about how excited she is about Kung Fu Panda's nomination, and we can't wait to see the beautiful couple cheer on all of their movies from the audience next month.
To see more of Brad and Angelina, just read more
Brad Pitt and his friend Benjamin Button director, David Fincher, awkwardly posed together at their photo call in Paris earlier today. Note: it looks like Mr. Pitt may have been a bit forgetful when he put on his pants since they're unzipped — oops. While it may have been afternoon there, early this morning in LA both men were nominated for Oscars. The film received 13 nods total including Best Actor, Director and Picture, scoring the most of any movie this year. It's his and hers nods for the Jolie-Pitts this year as Angelina is up for Best Actress in Changeling. Whether or not they're favored to win, sounds like their award-worthy PDA will be on the Oscars red carpet in February.
To see more photos of Brad in Paris just read more