Animation and VFX Fall Movie Preview 2013
Kids, adults and anyone in-between seeking some escape from their daily duties will find a variety of interesting options at the multiplex in the coming weeks. From action stars, dinosaurs and poultry trying to avoid certain doom, to Princesses, superheroes and martial arts masters facing down impossible odds, there will be plenty of spectacle and skill on display this fall. Here’s a breakdown of all the animated and visual effects-centered eye-candy headed our way right up until the holidays.
Gravity – October 4th
Anyone who’s longed to see Sandra Bullock hurled off into outer space might be disappointed to learn George Clooney is joining her there in this sci-fi pic about two astronauts adrift with nothing to cling to but each other. Making it all look real – because you knew Hollywood would never put those two stars through a location shoot with a premise like that – are Framestore, Rising Sun Pictures, Peanut FX, 4DMax, Bot & Dolly, The Third Floor, Nvizible and Prime Focus.
Captain Phillips – October 11th
Tom Hanks and Catherine Keener headline this biopic about the harrowing days real-life Captain Richard Phillips spent fighting off Somali pirates who had hijacked his ship, the Maersk Alabama, in the spring of 2009. Double Negative, Nvizible and Peanut FX bring all of the aquatic action to life in this one, which seems poised to earn Hanks an Oscar nom, if the buzz is to be believed. Seeing as how he’s also playing Walt Disney in Saving Mr. Banks, another highly anticipated piece based on a true story and due out in December, it’s a safe bet he’ll be taking the stage in the spring to accept an award for something.
Escape Plan – October 18th
What happens when you lock Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger together inside “the most secure prison ever built”? Well, only San Diego Comic Con audiences know for sure, as they were the first to get a peek at the finished film back in July. What we can say is that the effects in this picture were handled by Hydraulx VFX and that it also features Sam Neill, Vinnie Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, 50 Cent and Jim Caviezel. So brace yourself for a heartwarming, three-hanky affair, essentially.
Ender’s Game – November 1st
Training for a potential alien invasion is the name of the game in this sci-fi thriller starring Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, Abigail Breslin and Viola Davis. Orson Scott Card, who wrote the original novel back in 1985, called it an “unfilmable book” for reasons we won’t disclose here, but Comen VFX, Digital Domain, The Embassy, Reliance MediaWorks and Method Studios make it their business to turn even the wildest of concepts into reality. Should the film prove a hit at the box office, it may be the start of the next big franchise, with fourteen books – and counting – waiting to be adapted. At the moment, however, that success is anything but a certainty, with many calling for the film’s boycott in light of Card’s history of supporting California’s Prop 8 and speaking out against same-sex marriage.
Free Birds - November 1st
If you thought Chicken Run was an improbable escape story, Free Birds follows two turkeys who want to go back in time and alter history so their kind is no longer considered a must-have menu item every Thanksgiving. Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Amy Poehler and Gargoyles’ own Goliath, Keith David, provide voices in the picture, which was produced by Reel FX, a relative newcomer to the world of animated feature films. Director Jimmy Hayward, meanwhile, previously handled Horton Hears a Who! and animated on everything from Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. to Reboot, so it’s probable this will be some fine feathered fun.
Thor: The Dark World – November 8th
This latest entry in the lucrative Marvel franchise picks up a year after The Avengers to see Chris Hemsworth’s blonde Prince of Asgard square off against an ancient evil named Malekith. Considerably harder? Explaining to Natalie Portman’s Jane why he didn’t make time to hang with her in that aforementioned team flick. Joining them for the fun are Kat Dennings, Anthony Hopkins, Jaimie Alexander, Tom Hiddleston, Benicio Del Toro, Rene Russo and, of course, Stan Lee, as a bus driver. Double Negative, Luma Pictures, The Third Floor, 4DMax, The Base Studio and Gentle Giant Studios, meanwhile, got to play around on the computers creating epic visuals befitting a superhero.