"I see everything."
The field of robotics took another giant leap forward recently, with the creation of Rex, a "bionic man" with fully functional artificial human organs and lifelike features, bringing science reality ever closer to the science fiction depicted in movies. As incredible as it sounds, humanoid robots, or androids (just "droids" if you're George Lucas), like Rex have been appearing on screen since well before Czech writer Karel Capek gave the English language a name for them in his 1920 sci-fi play R.U.R. (Rossum's Universal Robots), with the human simulacrum Hadaly a featured character in the 1896 French movie L'Eve Futur (The Future Eve). Hundreds of movies have included androids — and their part man, part machine, cyborg cousins — since Hadaly, but which ones were the best? Help us rank the movies with the coolest, the baddest, the sexiest, the deadliest, the most terrifying androids and cyborgs.
Rate the Top 10 Best Android & Cyborg Movies >>
Posted 03.06.13 by BrentJS
Update: According to Variety, Mark Wahlberg has passed on the project but The Rock is still in discussion.
After finishing his blockbuster trilogy Transformers last June, director Michael Bay is finally creating his dark comedy Pain and Gain. The project has been in the works for the past decade and has a reported budget of $20M. The script was written by Captain America writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely and has, oddly enough, been compared to Fargo by the two.
It is also rumored that beefcakes, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Mark Wahlberg, will star in the comedy. According to Moviefone, Pain and Gain is "based on a 1999 article in the Miami New Times about a pair of bodybuilders caught in an extortion and kidnapping scheme." Posted 12.05.11 by reelz
Today's Challenge: It was on May 29, 1886 that chemist John Pemberton placed his first ad for Coca-Cola that appeared in the Atlanta Journal. In order to commemorate great moments in advertising history, try to connect Transformers, which could be mistaken for a 90-minute GM commercial, to Die Another Day, which contained product placement for everything from Omega watches, to Revlon makeup, to the Ford Thunderbird.
Our first Facebook movie game, ClusterFlick, plays off that old "six degrees of separation" theory — you know, the one that has a certain Kevin at the center of the Hollywood universe. It's easy to play, but not so easy to win. The goal is to use the major cast of movies to get from Point A to Point B in the smallest number of moves.
Play ClusterFlick >> Posted 05.29.11 by reelz
The second installment in director Michael Bay's Transformers franchise, Revenge of the Fallen, was a mega-hit at the box office, opening at #1 and eventually taking in over $400 million domestically, making it the second-highest grossing movie of 2009 after Avatar. However, it was raked over the coals by critics, receiving a score of just 20% by aggregate review site RottenTomatoes, which called it "noisy, underplotted, and overlong special effects extravaganza that lacks a human touch." In a recent AP interview from the Cannes Film Festival, the non-robot star of the franchise, Shia LaBeouf, called out Revenge on its failings and promised Transformers 3 will be a better movie by restoring the human element. read labeouf on why Transformers 2 was bad >> Posted 05.14.10 by BrentJS
"3-D Conversion." To many studio executives, that phrase conjures images of dollar signs in the form of higher ticket prices. But to director Michael Bay the phrase implies gimmicky, "fake 3-D" unsuitable for the "complicated stuff" he puts on film.
Back in February, when Bay was just starting to scout locations for Transformers 3, he dismissed rumors that he might be shooting the movie in 3-D, saying that his style of shooting is "too aggressive for 3-D cameras" and that he preferred "anamorphic lenses" over digital cameras. Despite his disinterest in shooting in 3-D, Bay admitted a month later that he was testing 3-D conversion on "some Transformers scenes."
Apparently, things are not going too well with the conversion process. Bay, as quoted by Deadline, recently had a few choice words to say about the conversion process, seemingly aimed at the Paramount and DreamWorks executives who are presumably pressuring him for a Transformers 3-D.
I'm used to having the A-team working on my films, and I'm going to hand it over to the D-team, have it shipped to India and hope for the best? This conversion process is always going to be inferior to shooting in real 3-D. Studios might be willing to sacrifice the look and use the gimmick to make $3 more a ticket, but I'm not. Avatar took four years. You can't just sh*t out a D movie. I'm saying, the jury is still out.
It's unclear whether Bay truly believes that 3-D conversion might eventually work on Transformers 3 or if he's simply trying to appease the studios, but he said that he hasn't completely abandoned conversion as an option.
I am trying to be sold [on conversion], and some companies are still working on the shots I gave them. Right now, it looks like fake 3-D, with layers that are very apparent. You go to the screening room, you are hoping to be thrilled, and you're thinking, huh, this kind of sucks. People can say whatever they want about my movies, but they are technically precise, and if this isn't going to be excellent, I don't want to do it. And it is my choice.
While Bay either can't or won't flat-out tell the studios what he thinks about 3-D, Avatar director and champion of 3-D technology James Cameron has no problem speaking his mind about it. Cameron used the Spider-Man reboot as a prime example of the wrong way of going about making a movie in 3-D.
This is another example of Hollywood getting it wrong. Sony says, "We're doing Spider-Man in 3D." The director doesn't say, "Hey, I want to make the movie in 3D." The studio says, "You want to direct this movie? You're doing it in 3D, motherf*cker!" That's not how it should be. Posted 03.25.10 by BrentJS
Only a month after director Michael Bay said that 3-D technology "might be a fad" and that it isn't suited for his "old school" style of filmmaking, Bay conceded that he was "testing" 3-D conversion on his first Transformers to see if it will be viable to release Transformers 3 in 3-D. Now, it appears that the Transformers, themselves, might be getting a makeover along with the movies in which they star.
In a recent interview with SciFiWire, Scott Benza, animation supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic, said that at least two of the featured robots will be getting upgrades in Transformers 3.
Our two lead characters, Optimus and Bumblebee, needed to be updated for the next chapter in the Transformers series. Bumblebee's matured a little bit, so I would just say look for subtle changes to his physique that have him look more mature.
Scott Farrar, the visual effects supervisor on Transformers 3, said that the changes to Optimus Prime will be more subtle.
[Prime will have] little tiny things that maybe the average viewer isn't going to notice but probably the fanboys will. You actually will run into pieces that are maybe always in the way, and wouldn't it be nice if that part wasn't there? Maybe you make a shift in the shoulder, in the chest or what have you. So it might be proportioning, but it also might be for usability, so [the animators]' task could be easier, too.
Farrar also offered the first update on the progress of Ehren Kruger's script for Transformers 3.
There's an outline and most of the script is done. It hasn't been released to us completely because they want to keep that under wraps, but we certainly know enough. Michael turns over sections of the script, and then the art department is full steam ahead right now, the L.A. art department. We also have an ILM art department working on this at the same time. So we take their 2-D work and start turning it into 3-D models, because we like to get a jump-start on this. Any model that looks like it could start, we want to get going, because it'll take us 30 weeks to build it. Posted 03.04.10 by BrentJS
Even before Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (ROTF) opened in theaters, Paramount and DreamWorks announced that the next sequel, Transformers 3, was already in the works, and that it would open July 1, 2011. This apparently caught director Michael Bay off-guard because he immediately refuted the release date, saying that he needed "a break from fighting robots," and that he wanted to do a "small movie" before Transformers 3.
However, shortly after Bay's statements were widely publicized, he changed his mind and said that he was on for Transformers 3. So, what caused Bay to change his mind? Was it the fact that ROTF opened stronger than Transformers, ultimately surpassing it at the box office? It's likely that the large box-office numbers for ROTF translated into an even bigger paycheck for Bay to direct the sequel, but according to an interview he gave on Starz' "In the House," Bay was motivated to return by the prospect of saving jobs during a depressed economy.
The true story is we went to Vegas to celebrate [Revenge of the Fallen] crossing the $400 million mark domestic. I said, "I'm excited to do my small little movie." They said, "Well, we're here to talk about that." I've become friends with these guys that run Paramount and they [told me,] "We're going to get fired if we don't have a 2011 franchise," so I'm like you can't let these guys down.
The economy's been so rough, it's kind of important. When you say yes to [a] movie like this you automatically give 3000 people jobs. 1000 for the toys. 2000 for the filmmaking. I'm going to put [the small film] on hold and do it right after [Transformers 3].
As for what fans can expect from Transformers 3, Bay said that there will be new characters and "a lot of twists." And, though he previously stated that his style of directing is "too aggressive for 3-D cameras," he did say that he was willing to explore the possibility of converting Transformers 3 to 3-D after he shoots it.
It's a process we're testing with some Transformers scenes. How successful it is with my movie in terms of a lot of real stuff coming out of the frame, real dirt, real complicated little particles coming towards the lens, because hopefully that process will work. I've seen some tests that look great on other movies. I just want to see how it looks on my footage.
In other Transformers news, Bay's personal web-sitewas also recently updated with this new ROTF featurette showcasing the movie's Academy Award-nominated sound mixing. Posted 03.03.10 by BrentJS
Over the past decade or so, Hugo Weaving has created two of the most memorable supporting characters in recent pop-culture. He oozed malice and evil as Agent Smith in The Matrix, and he found just the right blend of benevolence and regality as the elf lord Elrond in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. In both of those projects, Weaving seemed to have lots of fun diving into the roles.
But apparently, this wasn't the case when he voiced the villain Megatron for Michael Bay's Transformers movies. Weaving recently interviewed with The Age in his native Australia, and the idea of a sequel to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen came up. Weaving's laughed and simply said: "Oh no. They're not making Transformers III, are they?"
Weaving went on to say that he actually knows very little about Bay's movies, and that the voiceover work was mainly just a paycheck for him.
Michael Bay talks to me on the phone. I've never methim. We were doing the voice for the second one and I still hadn't seen the first one. I still didn't really know who the chracters were and I didn't know what anything was. It's a voice job, for sure, and people assume I've spent my life working on it, but I really know so little about it.
Ouch. Well, Bay can refute the critics all he wants, but when Agent Smith-slash-Elrond says your movie isn't interesting, maybe it's true.
Weaving also stars in The Wolfman, which opened last Friday. Posted 02.16.10 by reelz
According to a recent Variety article, Hollywood's demand for 3-D movies is so strong right now that many studios are looking overseas for companies that can provide the conversion technology. One such company, Stereo Pictures of Korea, expects to receive orders for as many as 19 3-D film conversions in 2010, a demand that will require the company — currently employing only 60 people — to train as many as 750 new 3-D artists and engineers.
Stereo Pictures president Sung Young-seok said that the company is currently converting Cats and Dogs 2 for Warner Bros. and that it has bids in for three other Warner films, including one for Michael Bay. Could this mean that Transformers 3 will be in 3-D? Unfortunately for 3-D fans, that prospect seems unlikely. At least, not if Bay has anything to say about it.
Just prior to winning the ShoWest 2009 Vanguard Award for Excellence in Filmmaking, Bay told the press that 3-D technology "might be a fad" and that it isn't suited to his style of "old school" filmmaking.
The way I shoot, it's too aggressive for 3-D cameras, you know? It's a time-consuming thing. And, they haven't come up with a system where you can shoot it very aggressive, in terms of how you use the cameras. Everything's so precise.
In addition to Bay's personal preference for "anamorphic lenses" over digital cameras, another obstacle is time. The time-intensive nature of 3-D conversion makes it unlikely that Transformers 3, which is only being scouted at this time, could be filmed, edited, and converted in time for its July 1, 2011, release date. It's far more likely that the Bay film in question would be one of the many projects that he is producing. Posted 02.03.10 by BrentJS
It's officially full steam ahead on the as-yet-untitled third Transformers movie. Director Michael Bay announced on his personal website that he recently went location scouting.
Busy scouting - Chicago, Detroit, and Washington D.C. for Transformers last week. Things are going well. The script is feeling very different from the other two.
Only days ago, Bay said that Transformers 3 will be more about "character" and less about explosions, a statement that seems to agree with his new blog post about the script "feeling very different."
Ehren Kruger, who assisted with the script for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, was hired to write Transformers 3, and the fan site TFormers claims to have an early draft of his screenplay. The "leaked script" once again features Sam Witwicky, the character played by Shia LaBeouf, though only Megan Fox's return has beenconfirmed so far. Posted 01.28.10 by BrentJS