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There they are
This is the only featurette, in fact the only extra at all, on my library's DVD copy of, well, Terminator: Genisys. It's 15 minutes long, and consists of interviews with cast and crew, behind-the-scenes footage and film clips. There are subtitles for it, in multiple languages.
They go into the many different nationalities represented(and no, you can't see them the same after you hear their real accents and dialects! Of course, this is hardly the first time you can hear them, they've been famous for a number of years now), Arnie being back and everyone's reaction to that(he talks about how in the 1984 original, he barely ever had to strip, and did not have to flex his muscles. His first villain role. Then he says "kind of heroic", which I think must be him accidentally jumping to the second entry. Or maybe he is getting obsolete), Emilia(they don't mention that she looks so much like Linda Hamilton. I mean, yes, she's an incredible actor, and a bad-ass. And that's necessary too. However, with that pick, they got the look just right), why this Kyle Reese looks(, sounds, behaves...) nothing like Michael Biehn, why Simmons joined this(why he's not among the listed on this site, I do not know) and what he brought to this, how good Jason is, the character of John, Lee(who actually had the nickname Terminator as a teenager!), Smith(wait. Who?). Everyone has something to add, and it's edited and paced well.
There is a little moderate to strong swearing in this. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the subject. 7/10
Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
30 years later, aged like fine wine
LAPD officer K(Gosling, cynical on the surface) investigates an unusual case. No, sorry, that's all you're getting for plot. If you see someone getting into a lot of detail, avert your eyes. Go into this as blind as Niander(Leto, driven by his cause). Thank me later.
This is 2 hours and 33 minutes long, which is not excessive considering how it uses its time. The pacing allows some scenes to go on for a while, however, it's always appropriate. Major props to whoever thought Denis Villeneuve would be right for this. He couldn't be more perfectly chosen. His use of symbolism, exploration of philosophy and compelling themes fit as a companion to the film Ridley Scott created, without merely redoing it(the hints are neat, if perhaps a tad too numerous). This expands upon the issues about Replicants in truly inspired ways(albeit I acknowledge that not all of them were thought up purely for this movie). The acting is sublime. If Joi(Armas, expressing so much with so much forced restraint, for reasons I won't reveal) doesn't break your heart, get an EKG stat, it's stopped beating already. This is not driven by action, rather, the gripping mystery.
There is some bloody, even brutal, violence, nudity and disturbing material in this, used well. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys speculative sci-fi. 10/10
Progress, not simply a dystopia
This is one of the only two featurettes on my library's copy of Total Recall 2012, the other being Designing The Fall. The running time is 9 minutes.
It consists of an interview(not with the director and two stars. I can only imagine there is more than one version, or that whoever submitted them didn't actually watch it), no behind-the-scenes footage and film clips. Discussed is the realism of the science seeng in the picture. The memory implantation(with experiments in rats setting up what might happen), the robot guards(including the singularity, the possibility of them making us their slaves rather than the other way around which might be how it starts out), holograms(there are already working models. Currently it's, potentially prohibitively, expensive with all the lasers. But there might be a time where the technology can be used to create a disguise), flying cars(again, extremely high cost at this time. Using a magnetic cushion, these can float in the air), an elevator a la The Fall(theoretically could be built, however, there are, for now, substantial problems with accomplishing it).
Note that this spoils a lot of what happens in the flick, in going over the things that are in use in the setting, speaking about how much of it are, or will become, entirely doable. I recommend it to anyone interested in the subject. 7/10
This is not one of the 3 featurettes(The 'Next' Grand Idea, Making The Best Next Thing and Visualizing The Next Thing, all of which I've reviewed on their separate pages on this site) on the DVD of Next. Instead, it is a sitdown interview with the female star of the film. Intercut with some clips that help illustrate points made. 2 minutes(and a half, if you count the end credits). Like, you know. That's just as far as Cris can see in the picture, itself. See? It's clever.
She talks about what it would be like to see into the future, two minutes or otherwise. "It would be cool in one respect, because you can relax about what your career is gonna be like". "Or maybe not relax", she realizes. "It doesn't make life very fun", she says, speaking about preferring the spontaneity. She would rather be able to make the mistakes, even if they're painful. If you skip them all, you haven't learned anything, she remarks, perhaps having recently rewatched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(it holds up, trust me, go back and see). She does admit she might go to Vegas and make some money, but she wouldn't stay too long.
I recommend this to any fan of her, or, *sighs* the movie. It spoils a little of what happens. 7/10
The 'Next' Grand Idea (2007)
It was something I wanted to share with audiences
This is one of the 3 featurettes(the others being Making The Best Next Thing and Visualizing The Next Thing, both of which I've reviewed on their separate pages on this site) on the DVD of Next. It consists of interviews with cast and crew, behind-the-scenes footage, film clips, and is 7 minutes long. Everyone has something to say, it's edited tightly, and neither rushes by too quickly or overstays its welcome.
The focus here is on the location of the Grand Canyon(yup, they just could not resist the pun in the title), the why(it was where Nicolas Cage took his wife on their first date, and he thought it was beautiful. Because of this, he wanted more people to see it, and, well, it's easier to put it on the silver screen than shipping people there), giving some time to the romance(not just because Cris can see what their future looks like, but to *really* fall in love with her), the challenges of shooting there(it was one of the worst production nightmares. What with having to fly down to, and back from, this inaccessible place), the Havasupai people and their relationship with Nic, etc.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the subject. 7/10
He gets too involved in the drugs that he's trying to destroy
He gets too involved in the drugs that he's trying to destroy This is one of the two featurettes, the other being One Summer in Austin: The Story of Filming 'A Scanner Darkly' on the DVD of A Scanner Darkly. It consists of interviews with cast and crew(lots of cross-cutting early on. Unsurprisingly, we meet a lot of animators), behind-the-scenes footage(including a time lapse that is positively exhausting even as you just sit and watch), film clips, work in progress, conceptual drawings. In an estimate, they thought it would be 350 man hours per minute: it ended up being a lot longer. This is 21 minutes long.
It goes into the roto-scoping process in detail. Drawing over live-action footage, the different approaches to certain characters(and assigning each to one particular artist, ), backgrounds and the like, the specific somewhat comic-book-y look, the challenge of Keanu's beard(not too patchy, not too full, etc.), men trying and failing to draw women(hence, Winona was dealt with by one of the females at the production studio. What? Girls sketch, too), the scramble suit(20 people on that aspect, which was more than any other group) both the acting and the post work on it, the countless rows of corn, etc.
Note that this spoils some of the movie. I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the subject. 7/10
They all don't have much of a sense of reality anymore. But he's the furthest along
This is one of the two featurettes, the other being The Weight of the Line: Animation Tales, on the DVD of A Scanner Darkly. It is made up of interviews with cast and crew(as well as Philip K. Dick himself, from 1977. In one part, he reads part of the book aloud on the radio. Isa Dick Hackeet, one of his daughters, both of them concerned with getting it right, also further supplies the personal perspective. It's such an intimate book, and I was deeply impressed with this adaptation. Really, the only major issue I see is the ending not being as clear), behind-the-scenes footage and film clips, often matched up to them being shot(most of the time, you see either of them split from the other).
Topics discussed include the novel being visionary(such as predicting the great increase in surveillance seen in more recent years. It *was* written as Nixon started the already-then-intense war on drugs, and PKD was one of the many that the government looked into, whether that really made a lot of sense to do or not. The greater police violence also really rings true), the reactions to the script by the perfectly chosen actors who perform it, the director and his approach(you didn't think you'd be spared the lovefest, did you? He talks about them, as well), the characters(Bob in particular, what with him being the first person perspective protagonist. Fred, as well), each, especially, as perceived and analyzed by the person portraying them. This is 26 and a half minutes long, the last half minute being devoted to credits.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the subject. 7/10
"What's it been?" "Three years. ...four." "How much do you need this time?"
An adorable wiener-dog changes owners, impacting these four different miserable and frequently humiliated people, each with terrible personal judgment, who clearly can't take responsibility for her. Remi is a lonely 7-year-old cancer-survivor. He once calmly mentions to his mother "we're all going to die". Dawn, though now an adult, remains naive, and reacting far too positively to Brandon. Gerwig does, some of the time, evoke Matarazzo's spot-on performance. Dave is a middle-aged struggling screenwriter who teaches film school, facing students who are particularly painful to endure. And the elderly Nana is kept company by little other than her regrets.
The director's pitch black humor stays strong. We meet more people who definitely shouldn't be taking care of kids, and children who are comprised entirely of depression. One mother describes cremation as "sort of like... being put in an oven". The acting is all good. This is incredibly quotable, why is there only the "heel" one on the page? The fake intermission gave me cramps from laughing. How have DeVito and Todd not worked together before this? The only of his films I haven't watched now is Dark Horse. I love them all(this very much included), though I admit they aren't all equally good(this is one of the "not the best" ones. But I'm ecstatic that I watched it). I watched this as soon as I could, it's available for free streaming on my library's website. It never hit my cinema, an indie and all.
The trailer tells you it's hilarious, in that dark way he does: if you watch that, you should have a fair idea of what to expect. Note that a lot of the negative reviews are from people who saw the title, and nothing else about it, and expected it to be heartwarming, rather than, y'know, soul-rending. Storytelling has problems from pacing as it's about such different people and stories; Happiness, the people have stuff in common. This fares pretty well. More exploration of "the h*** of suburbia", and the misery of middle America. The running time is 81 minutes without credits, or 84 with.
Yes, the ending is shocking. But if you don't think there was a reason for that...then your mind is not twisted enough for Solondz' work. I recommend this to any fan of his. 7/10
This is one of the two featurettes on my library's DVD of The Adjustment Bureau. The other being Leaping Through New York. Well, there's also Destined To Be, but that one isn't on IMDb as I type this. The running time is 7 minutes.
It's made up of interviews with both romantic leads(who go into the extensive training, the food she had to eat... Matt! You jerk! Solidarity, dude! I'm kidding. Wasn't the nicest thing to do, though. It took me completely by surprise that it didn't come naturally to her. In both this and The Edge of Tomorrow, she's so graceful - I guess that's why they call it movie *magic*).
Then there's writer/director George Nolfi(who had envisioned it for a professional, rather than an actor), and choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer(who knew the difficulty in making someone not experienced *appear* to be, to move in just the right way for it), ...and several other people, that I guess either weren't submitted to here, or confirmed as being in it, or something. Anyway, also, film clips, and behind-the-scenes footage. This shows lots, and lots, of dancing... rehearsing, performing, etc.
This has a little(albeit for the short duration, it will seem like a lot. Concentrated around the middle) moderate to strong language. I recommend this to anyone interested in the subject. 7/10
Leaping Through New York (2011)
I hate downtown
This is one of the two featurettes on my library's DVD of The Adjustment Bureau. The other being Becoming Elise. Well, there's also Destined To Be, but that one isn't on IMDb as I type this. That one is 5 minutes, and goes into the subject of the sweet romance, the charming chance meeting, the wit of both characters, the relationship between the two actors. The running time is 7 and a half minutes. It's made up of interviews with some key cast and crew, film clips, pre-vis and behind-the-scenes footage.
It goes into actually using the city, with things said such as "it's another character" (Emily Blunt). "We don't want sparks flying when people go through doors: we want it to feel seamless". Of course they were going to travel through Yankee Stadium! And the Statue of Liberty! "A love letter to New York", Damon puts it. We see how they actually filmed some of the effects shots. Everyone has something to add. It's edited and paced well. You get a good sense of what it was like, and there's a lot of interesting information for the short duration.
I recommend this to anyone who wants to know more about the movie. 7/10