Empire Big Screen Roundup: Part 2


Total Recall – Lens Wiseman

We were show a look at an unfinished scene still with animatics.
– Quaid (Colin Farrell) is going in to the Total Recall clinic, the decor is Asian influenced so more close to the Philip K. Dick material (Pretty much akin to Blade Runner)
– Quaid is about to go under when an alarm triggers, the Total Recall engineer (John Cho) points a gun at Quaid and accuses him of being a spy.
– A police force breaks in to the room, dressed in white SWAT variation uniform. Lots of guns pointed at Quaid
– A confused Quaid kicks in to reflex mode grabbing a gun and killing every operative. Lens Wiseman uses a unique camera technique where it literally guns around the room as Quaid kills people.
– Tech also seen is an “eye”, esentially a rocket that scatter hundred of mini cameras in a room to get a holographic images of inside.
– Quaid blows the room up and escape through a vent.
– We also gimpse humanoid robots and police flying crafts.

Puss in Boots – Chris Miller

I must admit that this was not on my radar at all of films to look forward to.
The last Shrek film was terrible,  it was a franchise that seemed to be on it’s last legs and I just didn’t think the character had enough to sustain his own film.
But I was dead wrong! Puss In Boots is hilarious and a departure from the usual world of Shrek.
We were show 10 minutes from the beginning of the film.
– It is set in some non-descript South American inspired fantasy land which resembles old favellas.
– Jack and Jill are the villians, a murderous ugly and brutish couple. They have some magic beans which Puss in Boots wants to acquire, but he also has some competition in getting them.
Hands down this is the best 3D I have ever seen. Dreamworks have complete grasp over what angles bring out maximum impact without impeading the story or action.
– There is humour to suit everyone.


The Adventures of Tin Tin – Steven Spielberg & Peter Jackson

We were shown a few minutes of footage.
– The CGI is stunning and photorealistic, though I still think Tin Tin suffers from ‘dead eyes’ the rest of the characters’ expressionism was spot on.
– There will be gun and shooting involved, people died but there isn’t any bloodshed.
– It’s a murder mystery that feels along the lines of an Indiana Jones film.

Real Steel – Shawn Levy

We saw two scenes one involving an underground robot fight where Charlie’s (Hugh Jackman) black market bought robot gets a beatdown.
The second scene was where Charlie’s son discovers the robot they use to fight, Adam, in the junkyard.
The premise is that people have got sick of watching boxing etc as it’s all contained fighting, people wanted more. So with robots they can have no holds barred violence.
From the footage I definitely get the feeling that it’s ‘Rocky’ meets ‘The Iron Giant’, which is fantastic!

Shawn Levy was on hand for an interview aswell, here’s some excerpts:

Steven Spielberg had been developing this script for 7 years.
– They actually built 4 fully working robots so that the characters could interact.
– He made the anmatronic people actually mimic the kid in real time to capture that true sense of awe.
– The focus of the story is on the lost boy from a broken background finding redemption in the robot, his father thinks it’s just a machine, but he believes that their is some kind of conscious.
His next project is a remake of Fantastic Voyage with James Cameron.
Fantastic Voyage would be shot underwater in 3D to replicate being inside the body.
– He thinks Real Steel has the potential for a series of films and feels that there’s more to give.

John Carter of Mars – Andrew Stanton

We saw two new scenes:
The first John (Taylor Kitsch) meets the local aliens after just discovering that he is able to leap incredibly high and has improved vision to see very far in to the distance, at first aliens speak a language unknown to John, one recognises that he is infact a sentient being. The aliens are humanoid with four arms.

The second clip sees John in an arena, he is captured and in chains. A massive monster is unleashed to kill him and an alien comrade.
Think Jabba the Hut’s dungeon from Star Wars or the arena scene from Attack of the Clones.

The more I see from John Carter of Mars the more I’m intrigued.
It seems like a Superman type story of someone discovering they have abilities on an alien world.

War Horse – Steven Spielberg

We were shown a sizzle reel:
Very much get the idea that this is meant to be an Oscar contender as it goes through many different landscapes and events.
It is beautifully shot with massive sweeping shots following the galloping horse through battles, it also has a very classic epic score with horns (Band of Brothers/Saving Private Ryan)

Jeremy Irvine the film’s lead was on hand for an interview:
– Spent 2 months auditions, which involved lots of call backs, interacting with a horse, cold reads. It all then was sent to Spielberg in the US.
– Found he got the part when he was called back of a read, was then told it had to be spontaneous so he couldn’t see the script until it was turned over in his hand. In his put on West Country accent he read “Joey! Joey! you’ve got the job”.
– Trained for 2 months with intense horse riding training from Spanish Jockeys. He was incredibly sore after that but could ride a horse without hands.

For more films, check out our Part 1 roundup

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