Animation and VFX Summer Movie Preview 2013
R.I.P.D. – July 19th
Sounding a little bit like Showtime’s late, great series Dead Like Me – only with more ammo – R.I.P.D. focuses on the adventures of an afterlife police squad. Their mission? To protect and serve by hunting down some CGI spooks generated by Rhythm & Hues Studios, Image Engine, Proof Inc., Stereo D, Level 256, Framestore and Gradient Effects. Though it’s adapted from Peter M. Lenkov’s Dark Horse comic series of the same name, the trailer gives off a heavy Men In Black vibe by emphasizing the buddy cop relationship between stars Jeff Bridges and (guess who?) Ryan Reynolds. Whether it’ll spawn some MIB-style sequels is anyone’s guess, though we’re sure director Robert Schwentke is keeping his fingers crossed.
RED 2 – July 19th
You can’t keep a good CIA agent down. In RED 2, Bruce Willis teams up with John Malkovich, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Mary-Louise Parker and Helen Mirren for another explosive mission, this time to prevent Russia from making a big ‘ol nuclear mess of things. Dean Parisot (the director behind the beloved sci-fi classic Galaxy Quest, and episodes of The Good Wife and Justified) takes over for Robert Schwentke to tell this latest story, which winningly features Willis’ Frank Moses being coaxed out of retirement while bulk shopping at a Costco. It’s a safe bet Outback Post, 4DMax, MPC, Bullpen VFX, Luma Pictures, Method Studios, ILM and Pixel Liberation Front focused their attentions on other, more high-octane sequences.
The Wolverine – July 26th
This X-Man may have mutant healing abilities (and some Broadway calibre pipes), but nothing will save him from the wrath of his fans should this second solo adventure prove as disappointing as the first. With memories of the silly X-Men Origins: Wolverine still fresh in our minds, director James Mangold is going to have an uphill battle convincing the public to check out this latest installment in the 20th Century Fox/Marvel Comics franchise. Luckily, eye-candy will not be in short supply. Fan fave Hugh Jackman is back in all his glory, with the fantastic Famke Janssen reprising her role as the late Jean Grey and relative newcomer Svetlana Khodchenkova slinking on-screen as the femme fatale Viper. It’s up to Weta Digital, Shade VFX, Stereo D, Rising Sun Pictures, Method Studios and Halon to combine their powers and make sure everything else looks up to snuff.
The Smurfs 2 – July 31st
Director Raja Gosnell and much of the cast of the original Smurfs – including Jayma Mays, Neil Patrick Harris and Hank Azaria – reunite for this live action/CG adventure set in Paris and filmed in Montreal. This time around, Gargamel is trying to harness himself some Smurf essence with the help of two creatures he calls “the Naughties”, named Hackus and Vexy. Good thing he also has help from PLUG Visual Effects, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Level 256 and Legend 3D, because that plan just doesn’t sound like it’s going to work.