Fall 2012 Animation and VFX Movie Preview
The Man With the Iron Fists – November 2nd 2012
Grammy Award-winning hip-hop producer RZA (aka Robert Fitzgerald Diggs) makes the leap into martial arts movie-making with this homage to the work of Hong Kong’s Shaw Brothers Studio. Serving as writer, director and star, RZA tells the story of a blacksmith in feudal China who is forced to protect his community by literally punching his adversaries’ heads off. The film co-stars Lucy Liu, Russell Crowe and Pam Grier, but the real draw is sure to be the Kill Bill-style action, imaginative weaponry and visual effects by Gradient FX and Post Matters. With plenty of blood splattering and slo-mo battle scenes, Fists is sure to pack a punch in more ways than one.
Skyfall – November 8th in IMAX, 9th elsewhere
Bond films are known for their special effects sequences, whether hokey (a helicopter with a huge dangling buzz saw blades, anyone?) or harrowing (a sinking Venetian home). Director Sam Mendes, however, seems eager to keep the drama in this latest installment focused on the relationship between Bond (Daniel Craig) and M (Dame Judy Dench), which is tested when one of her decisions inadvertently leaves him dead to the world. For all the trademark train accidents and motorcycle chases one expects from a Bond film, Mendes has called in some special forces of his own, namely Cinesite, Lola Visual Effects, Double Negative, MPC and BlueBolt. Fans will get to decide for themselves how their work measures up to previous spectacles in the history of James Bond’s adventures when Skyfall hits the big-screen – and for the first time, IMAX as well – next month.
Red Dawn – November 21st 2012
Dan Bradley, stunt coordinator on The Bourne Legacy and The Bourne Ultimatum, takes the director’s chair for this remake about a group of American teens defending their town from overseas invaders. The original 1984 film starring Patrick Swayze was considered the most violent film at the time by the Guinness Book of World Records, and was the first US release to be given a PG-13 rating. This one looks to have just as much gunfire and chaos. While the ‘80s version featured Americans fighting off Soviet forces, however, this update had the Chinese pegged as the enemy until controversy grew to the point where it seemed likely to impact ticket sales in an important market. In post-production, the enemy forces were altered to be Korean instead, resulting in what producer Trip Vinson calls “a scarier, smarter and more dangerous Red Dawn that we believes improves the movie.”
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 2 – November 16th 2012
When Bella (Kristen Stewart), Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) join forces in the final installment of the Twilight franchise, there’s bound to be hordes of fans both cheering and mourning the end of the romantic fantasy franchise begun in 2008. The final chapter boasts a serious showdown between supernatural forces over the fate of Bella and Edward’s child, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), who the Volturi fear is an “immortal child” with dangerous powers. Director Bill Condon says the girl’s abilities, however, won’t manifest themselves in quite the way audiences might expect. “There are some visual things, but a lot of that is done through Carter Burwell’s score,” he explains. To bring all the werewolves and vampires to life, however, Condon is relying on various effects houses, like Spin VFX, Tippett Studios, Hydraulx and Lola Visual Effects.