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There’s a lot of lore and misunderstanding with respect to what ‘improvising’ means with respect to filmmaking. I think there are some who take ‘improvised’ to mean that there is no script, or that actors go completely off-book when shooting a scene. And while there are a few directors who do shoot films like that — very few — most of the time improvisation on film means that an actor comes up with a new line or action in the context of a scripted scene.

Here’s a video that compiles twenty-five of the most influential unscripted moments in film. Some of these are things that weren’t in the script, but created on set between takes (supposedly Bogie’s “here’s looking at you, kid” line from Casablanca is one of those) and some are genuine spur of the moment creations.

[via The High Definite]

‘The Godfather’ Tops List of Films People Pretend to Have Seen VOTD: Edgar Wright’s 1993 Mash-Up ‘Gun Fetish’VOTD: The 100 Greatest Movie InsultsVOTD: 9 Famous Movies Recreated in One Take Music VideoPage 2: Superman, James Cameron, Spider-Man, Tyler Perry, X-Men, Christopher Nolan, The Big Lebowski 2Infographic: Famous Movie Quotes

Source: /Film
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When we ran the story about 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy beating the opening day box office record in Hong Kong of the all-time box office champion, Avatar, it was just kind of a joke. Those of us in North American never actually thought we’d get to see the movie in theaters. But now, we just might. According to The Hollywood Reporter, China Lion Film Distribution has picked up the erotic Chinese blockbuster for North American distribution, though no release date has been set.

As previously stated, 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is a remake of a 1991 film of the same name about a sexually frustrated teacher in ancient China who gets wrapped up in the harem of a new friend. Featuring full nudity and “camouflaged lovemaking” but no actual penetration, Sex and Zen is billed as “the world’s first 3-D erotic film.” When it opened in April, it was an instant smash in Hong Kong and has continued that run of success in Australia, New Zealand and more. We’ve got more after the jump.

The Hollywood Reporter ran the news about the 3D blockbuster and said that, after it beat the opening day gross of Avatar (read about that here) it went on to basically sell-out the entire first week. Opening in Australia, the film has made over $1 million over several weeks for a per-screen average of $122,000, which is several thousand dollars more than the per-screen average of Fast Five (Fast Five is, obviously, on more screens). In New Zealand, the per-screen average was $24,000, which was neck in neck with that of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Strangers Tides. Plus, in both those countries, the film was released uncut with an R18 rating. That’s not to say it’ll get an R-rating here, but, we’ll have to see.

Exactly how wide and when will the film open in North America? Well China Lion CEO Milt Barlow said the following:

We’re looking at as wide as possible a release for this groundbreaking film in North America and are currently working with our theatrical partners AMC for the US and Toronto, Cineplex for Vancouver and Consolidated in Hawaii. Announcements are expected in the next few weeks.

While it’ll most likely be a very limited release, it could be even more limited than usual as few independent theaters are equip for 3D, unlike the multiplexes. It should be interesting to see where 3D Sex and Zen ends up. Would you go check it out?

Here’s the trailer for the film, which is directed by Christopher Sun Lap Key and stars Hara Saori, Suo Yukiko and Vonnie Liu.

3D Porn Film Beats ‘Avatar’ On Opening Day in Hong Kong

Source: /Film
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In the end, the only thing that could take down the Na’vi was full frontal nudity. Among its many box office records, Avatar held the single day box office record in Hong Kong, grossing 2.63 million Hong Kong dollars on its opening day. That record has now fallen, though, as a 3D soft core porno film called 3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy made HK$2.78 million (the equivalent of $340,ooo U.S.) on its opening day on just 73 screens, eventually grossing HK$17 million over its opening weekend.

3D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is a remake of a 1991 film of the same name about a sexually frustrated teacher in ancient China who gets wrapped up in the harem of a new friend. Featuring full nudity and “camouflaged lovemaking” but no actual penetration, Sex and Zen is billed as “the world’s first 3-D erotic film” Learn more about it and watch the trailer after the break.

Though Sex and Zen is billed as “the world’s first 3-D erotic film,” producer Stephen Shiu, admits that a 2010 South Korean feature called Natali actually beat it to the punch. Still, he told NPR that audiences desire 3-D erotic movies:

We met people’s expectations. People have always thought that you need 3-D technology for this kind of content. So people were very curious.

Sex and Zen received a Restricted rating, meaning only people 18 and over could get in and it would need to be cut to be released in different territories. However, reports are that more than half the viewers on its opening weekend in Hong Kong were people who live in mainland China and traveled to evade the censors and see the movie.

Here in the West, pornography is an multi-billion dollar business and that’s with most of the money made on DVD and online. The market for theatrical porn is almost non-existent. However, with Sex and Zen opening not only just in China, but in Australia, South Korea, France, Italy and India in the coming months, maybe 3D will change that in some way.

Here’s the trailer for the film, which is directed by Christopher Sun Lap Key and stars Hara Saori, Suo Yukiko and Vonnie Liu.

Even the beautiful girls can’t save the blatant and terrible uses of 3D here. Would you pay to see this movie?

Source: NPR

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Source: /Film
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There are people who make a career of being an extra. Maybe not a career that spans decades, but close enough. Jesse Heiman‘s career is something different. Not quite a typical extra and not quite a character actor, this guy is all over the place. I guarantee you’ve seen him in half a dozen things at least, and once you start looking you’ll probably see him frequently. Check out a video of Jesse Heiman’s appearances — most of which are in uncredited roles like ‘student’ or ‘geek’ — after the break.

He’s got almost 50 IMDB credits, and there are probably more things that didn’t make it onto that listing. Watching this video it’s weird to see one guy who plays the same role, not just in a great many movies and TV shows, but over a pretty serious span of time. Jesse Heiman has spent a decade being the uncredited ‘nerd #1.’

Even weirder than the fact that the same guy is quite visible in all these different movies and shows is that he’s actually in his ’30s, despite often being cast to play characters half that age.

[reddit]

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Source: /Film
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You may have wondered why do so many movie trailers premiere on Apple.com. Chad Little, a former Apple.com employee has posted a public response to this question. The answer? Blame it on Jar Jar Binks and Star Wars Episode 1 The Phantom Menace….

Little wrote on Quora.com:

It started as a showcase for QuickTime, at the time of first launch we only had a handful of trailers and one or two studios. It was really the Phantom Menace trailer that put apple.com/trailers into the spotlight. Lucasfilm had posted a rather crappy trailer on their site, the team at Apple was appalled. Through DNS records, the web team at Apple managed to contact the Star Wars web team and set up a meeting. That single trailer showcased QuickTime’s quality over RealVideo by leaps and bounds, and quickly surpassed over 1 million downloads to become the most popular web video of the internet in that time. But that wasn’t the end of it. There was another problem delivering all these trailers at high bandwidth. Enter Akamai. Hosting the Star Wars trailer on this little known startup called Akamai gave Apple the edge in delivery and quality of high bandwidth video. Streaming sites just couldn’t compete. Through these connections studios began sending trailers left and right, and Apple was at the launch of many successful trailer premieres from Lord of the Rings, X-Men, even now with the latest Iron Man 2 Trailer. They don’t pay for content rights, but do host and pay for bandwidth.

So there you have it: Apple and Quicktime profit in the branding department.

Source: /Film
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National Geographic‘s upcoming television series How Hard Can It Be? sent Scientists, engineers and pilots from Southern California into the Mojave Desert to try to recreate Carl Fredricksen’s flying house from the Pixar computer animated movie Up. They attempted to lift a lightweight 16 x 16ft yellow house construction with 300 colored helium-filled balloons. Did it work? How high did the house get off the ground? Watch the video after the jump.

Source: /Film
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There’s a great flash-based web game making the rounds this week called Famous Objects From Classic Movies. The mechanic is simple: you’ll see a minimalist silhouette of an iconic image or prop related to a movie, and in a little hangman-style text box you need to fill in the name of the film.

The game isn’t wildly difficult, though it throws a few curve balls, like an image of a tiger for The Hangover. Some of those curves are pretty clever, though, especially for truly classic films. I loved the one used for Breathless. Many of you will be able to get through a couple dozen without taking a hit, but it’s worth a few minutes just to scan through all the images, and you’re bound to be stumped eventually.

Play the game here. [via Badass Digest]

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Source: /Film
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Jon and Al Kaplan have spent the past year creating a series of frequently clever, occasionally hilarious videos that re-imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger action films as musicals. The appeal isn’t based so much in listening to an Arnie impersonator warble through a tune, as it is in seeing how nimbly the Kaplans can summarize the plot of each film in a few song lyrics.

The latest installment — and last, if you believe them — is Predator: The Musical. Watch it after the break.

This is a good end point, because while Predator isn’t as consistently funny as the Conan or Terminator 2 musicals, it is a much more impressive piece of songwriting. Almost every character in the film (save Hawkins — wtf?) gets a voice, and the song, called ‘If It Bleeds, We Can Kill It,’ soon becomes a rising chorus of overlapping characters. It sounds like something Trey Parker and Matt Stone might write in one of their more inspired moments.

As a bonus, here’s another Predator music video, which has dancing Predator footage that looks surprisingly like it came from the Predator 2 set.

Source: /Film
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Not only is 3D driving movie ticket prices through the roof, it’s driving manufacturers to make very unnecessary products. A few months back we showed you a whole bunch of different TRON: Legacy themed 3D glasses and at this year’s New York Toy Fair, Hasbro announced they’ve partnered with Real-D to create Autobot Cine-Mask 3D glasses so kids can watch Transformers: Dark of the Moon in 3D looking like Bumblebee or Optimus Prime. See high-res photos of each mask after the jump.

Thanks to Forbes (with a heads up from Screen Rant) for alerting us to his hilarious piece of merchandise. Here’s the official description from Hasbro, followed by the high res images.

Approximate retail price: $9.99: Ages: 5 & up; Available: 5/16/2011 – Get ready for TRANSFORMERS role-play masks that are “MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE!” New to the TRANSFORMERS line, fans can gear up and roll out with the TRANSFORMERS CINE-MASK 3D Masks for an all-new, one-of-a-kind experience. Each role-play mask – offered in OPTIMUS PRIME and BUMBLEBEE styling – functions as a “battle mask” to play out the TRANSFORMERS fantasy as one of these AUTOBOT characters. Each mask is also equipped with built in RealD 3D lenses that allow fans to watch any RealD 3D compatible movie! Each mask sold separately.

Optimus Prime 3D Glasses
Bumblebee 3D Glasses
Prime 3D Crop

At only $10, I have a feeling these will actually be a pretty decent seller, even if it’s strictly as a mask. Then it’s up to the parents to tell their kids they’re running around the house with 3D glasses on and bring them to the theater on July 1. We’ve seen a trailer and two commercials (the Super Bowl and Daytona 500) for Transformers: Dark of the Moon and if you watch them thinking about 3D, Bay has certainly composed his images with depth of field as a priority. Now if he can only make story and character a bigger priority, he might be on to something.

Would you purchase these masks for your kids? Yourself? Don’t lie.

Photos: The Wreckers from ‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ at the Daytona 500‘Transformers: Dark of the Moon’ Daytona 500 TV TrailerPage 2: Preacher, DJ Caruso, Black Swan, Harvey Weinstein, The Hangover 2, Natalie Portman, Lost, Michael Bay, Sex and the City 3Page 2: Green Lantern, Voltron, Knights of Badassdom, Cars 2, Johnny Depp, Aaron Sorkin, Ghostbusters, Arthur, Scott PilgrimPage 2: Transformers, Brick, Justin Bieber, Star Trek, Federico Fellini, Gremlins, Dogma, Neil Gaiman, SupermanPage 2: Steven Spielberg, Rango, Green Lantern, Battlestar Galactica, X-Men: First Class, Star Wars, The Hobbit, Transformers Twilight, Fight Club,

Source: /Film
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By the end of 2011, Hollywood will break their record for most sequels released in a calendar year. According to Box Office Mojo, 27 films released in 2011 will be sequels, up from 24 in 2003. That averages to about one every other week and about one-fifth of total wide releases. It’s almost impressive if you don’t consider the lazy, money hungry thought that had to go into such an exorbitant amount of unoriginal content (and that’s not even counting the innumerable other films based on previously released material). And while there are sequels that audiences are clamoring for more than others (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two vs. Big Momma’s House: Like Father Like Son for example) no matter how you slice it, 2011 is going to be a cinematic repeat of epic proportions. Break down the entire list after the jump.

We’ve gotta thank Box Office Mojo (with a heads up from Cinematical) for doing most of the legwork here.

Here’s how it breaks it down. 27 sequels total. Nine second movies (up from eight in 2010), five third movies (down from seven), five fourth movies, five fifth movies, two seventh movies and one eighth movie. 9+5+5+5+2+1=27.

The second movies are Cars 2, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, The Hangover Part II, Happy Feet 2, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Johnny English Reborn, Kung Fu Panda 2, Piranha 3DD and Sherlock Holmes: The Book of Shadows.

The third movies are Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Paranormal Activity 3 and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

The fourth movies are Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Scream 4, Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One).

The fifth movies are Fast Five, Final Destination 5, Puss in Boots, X-Men: First Class and Winnie the Pooh.

The seventh movies are The Muppets and Rise of the Apes.

And the eighth movie is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.

Mojo is also quick to point out that they didn’t count New Year’s Eve or The Thing, which are sort of a sequel and a prequel, but I guess not officially. (However, it sort of evens out because they’re counting films like Puss in Boots and Winnie the Pooh which feel like tangential sequels at best.) They also go down the list and break down many of the major sequels as to why they were made, when it’s being released, etc. It’s a highly recommended read.

Speaking with USA Today, the author of the Mojo article, Brandon Gray, put it perfectly:

Hollywood is dipping into the well of past glory more than ever. It’s truly unfortunate that story is held in such little regard, when that’s what sells the picture more than any other element.

Obviously, audiences flock to sequels and, I have to admit, I’m part of the problem and will be first in line for many of these movies. But how is it possible that one-fifth of the movies released by studios are all almost totally thoughtless? They’re obviously in the business of making money, and everyone likes their jobs to be easier, but I’d hope that film executives would try and take their jobs a bit more seriously and look for new and worthy stories. Stop looking into the past, Hollywood. Show us the future.

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Source: /Film
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