Your Breaking Bad Fix During The Hiatus

Last night’s opening scene of Breaking Bad, Episode 5.7 Say My Name, was just a riveting reminder of why this show is a king on network television. You’re goddamn right. Unfortunately, next Sunday marks the last episode before an extended hiatus, after which AMC will premier the final eight episodes. But what is one to do once the withdraws of being deprived of Heisenberg’s infamous Blue Sky set in? Well, hop on over to AMCtv’s Breaking Bad Page to check out an exclusive behind-the-scenes look into each of your favorite episodes. There is enough there to keep people happy during the upcoming down time. Most of the video content can also be found on AMC’s YouTube Channel.

When watching sneak-peaks is no longer enough, go out and score some of your own Breaking Bad-Inspired Blue Meth Rock Candy available for sale from Etsy.

Just try not to let the DEA (Dental Enforcement Agency) catch you with it.

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Bond is Back in Skyfall

For months we have seen glimpses and peeks of what 007 will be up to in his upcoming film, but now there are finally two full theatrical trailers for the twenty-third James Bond film, entitled Skyfall. These more in-depth previews of the storyline tease of the sinister challenges that bad guy, Javier Bardem, will present for Bond. Also, fans should breathe a sigh of relief as this trailer reveals that the new movie will, in fact, reintroduce the Q Branch!

Enjoy the domestic and international trailers (yes, they are different):

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The latest installment of the 007 franchise starring Daniel Craig will hit theaters this November.

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What Have We Really Learned From The Dark Knight Rises Trailers?

The good news is that July of 2012 has finally arrived and the widely anticipated release of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises is only mere days away. The bad news is that this third and final film will bring a prosperous seven-year run of Nolan’s Batman to a close. Yes, this will be Christopher Nolan’s final directorial installment into the Caped Crusader franchise, and the previews make no mistake of conveying the message that with this movie – “The Legend Ends.” Bearing that thought in mind, it begs one to wonder what the possibilities of ending a legend might entail. Thus the question of such a potential culmination arises – will Batman die in The Dark Knight Rises?

First of all, Nolan has stated that his intent is to complete his trilogy with “a unified statement, a real ending, a true conclusion.” What in life is more conclusive than the ultimatum of death? Knowing what we do about Christopher Nolan movies and his penchant for throwing audiences a third act curveball, we certainly should expect nothing less here. However, if this movie does not present the fatal demise of Batman, the marketing campaign would surely have audiences believe that, if nothing else, this storyline will really put its stamp on history – “Every Journey has its End,” “The Epic Conclusion to the Dark Knight Legend.”

Many have noted that Nolan’s grounded, realty-centric Batman universe relies on a great deal of content present in different story-lines from the original comic series. It would be a mistake to assume that TDKR will be any different. So, with Batman set to square off against Bane, his toughest adversary yet, we should turn to Bane’s biggest mark on the franchise’s comic history, Batman: Knightfall, for answers.

In the comics, Bane decides he wants to dethrone Batman and position himself as Gotham’s sole king. To do so, in Knightfall, he unleashes a terror storm by freeing and arming Arkham Asylum’s deadliest inmates to exhaust Batman until the point of an easy defeat. This element holds true as the trailer clearly depicts a large group of orange jumpsuit clad inmates marching out of a battered prison.

The trailers tease that TDKR will feature more than one of Batman’s Tumblers. Remember back in Batman Begins (2005) when Lucius Fox first presents Bruce with a desert-camouflaged schemed “batmobile,” and Bruce asks if it comes in black? Well, it seems that Bane and his terrorist crew have managed to commandeer these bridge-jumping military vehicles and put them to use for their own agenda.

The argument could be made that the trailer does not convey enough evidence to make this assumption and the Tumblers might even be fighting on Batman’s behalf. However, the trailer also gives us a tantalizing glimpse at “The Bat,” Batman’s Bat-copter/Bat-jet, as it flies in hot pursuit of these other Tumblers with guns blazing and all. What does that really mean though? Well, in simple logic it goes like this – If Bane has one, that means he knows where to get one. If Bane knows Batman has one, then Bane also knows where Batman got his, and can assume that Batman probably did not steal his from Wayne Enterprises. This leads us to our next point.

In Knightfall, Bane also becomes one of the few villains to uncover the true identity of Batman – Bruce Wayne. In one of the later trailers, we get a glimpse of Bane casually disregarding the cracked remains of Batman’s cowl. Without the mask, Bruce is, well, only Bruce.

Then, knowing the true identity of Batman, Bane gains entrance into the Wayne Manor and the Batcave where he confronts Batman in a hand-to-hand battle and ultimately wins by breaking Batman’s back over his knee.

Perhaps the most telling and important factor, though, that The Dark Knight Rises might actually kill off Batman comes from a different element of the trailers – GPD Officer John Blake.

Supposedly, he is just a run-of-the-mill beat cop on a special assignment from commissioner Gordon, however, his character gets featured quite frequently in most of the trailers. Also, if John Blake is an average John Doe cop, it would seem a strange and distracting choice to have a prominent actor, such as Joseph Gordon-Levitt, play the role. Maybe misdirection is what is actually at play, though.

What is everyone’s first thought? Of course, John Blake becomes Batman’s trusty sidekick, Robin. Well, perhaps not. Years ago, Christian Bale stated that if the character Robin ever creeped its way into this trilogy, he would no longer be a part of it. Obviously, this makes the theory of Robin old news, but something that is worth noting are the names of those in the comic books who took up the role of Robin. First was Dick Grayson, then Jason Todd, but the third Robin was Tim Drake. That sounds eerily similar to John Blake, right?

Regardless, we know that Nolan wants to end Batman’s character arc, and probably with a bang. The trailers would have audiences believe that this bang could bring the death of Batman. And, if staying relatively true to the comic Knightfall, Bane will certainly be the bearer of Batman’s demise. Now we face the question – If Batman does die, which “Batman” will it be? Will Christopher Nolan simply unveil the end of the legend known as Batman – a symbol of justice and Gotham’s silent protector? Or, will the entity Bruce Wayne actually perish?

Therein lies the rub. Can you really kill a symbol, or will there always be someone to carry the flag? Perhaps, the end that audiences will come to meet is Bane, in fact, breaking Batman’s back and turning him into a paraplegic, as he does in the comics. Or, maybe in Nolan’s realistic depiction, Bruce Wayne as Batman will find a darker, more permanent close. Either way, the city of Gotham will, no doubt, be looking for someone with enough passion, mental cunning, and physical prowess to take up the reins of justice. Again, staying closely linked to the comics, Bruce Wayne was not the only person to put on the Bat-Suit. In Knightfall, there is even a “changing of the guard” in Bruce Wayne’s absence.

So, who better to take over – in a Nolan-style “leave the audiences wanting more” – than a young, motivated Gotham police officer, who already has the trust and support of Batman’s biggest ally, commissioner Gordon?

The Dark Knight Rises will obliterate box office records everywhere on July 20th, and surely give viewers their money’s worth clocking in at a whopping two hours and forty-four minutes. Do not drink too much soda because you will not want to sacrifice a second of this movie for a bathroom break.

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Physics Matter In Movies

Today, in the twenty-first century, movies are constantly dominated by the crutch of computer generated imaging for special effects. Perhaps, CGI is the product of filmmakers attempting to dream bigger or, perhaps, it spawns from an attempt to squeeze the most out of a budget. Whatever the case might be, general audiences seem to have finally become sensitized and more aware, and somewhat less fond of such CGI heavy films.

Viewers are now able to tell the difference between good effects, and effects that just do not seem to feel right. It should come as no surprise, though, since there are a lot of programs out there available to consumers and prosumers that enable just about anyone with some technical know-how to add alien worlds, giant killer robots, or earth shattering explosions to even the lowest of low-budget projects. Melt-your-face special effects have over-saturated themselves and thus have become less valuable.

Fortunately, it is refreshing to know that some people still pay attention to the practicality of capturing stunts and effects with a camera on the set. Hit the jump to see how The Amazing Spider-Man’s stunt coordinator, Andy Armstronggot Andrew Garfield into the swing of things.

The article outlines how the production wanted to take a more practical approach to the stunts in this next generation version of Spider-Man. More movies, with the proper budgets and means, should follow this lead in the sense of doing stunts in an old-school manner. For example, if a scene calls for a guy to jump off a building, get a stuntman to actually jump off a building. If possible, try to avoid bringing in third-party computer programs.

This is not to say CGI is all bad, however. There is a time and place for everything.

For a brief glimpse, check out the behind-the-scenes video below:

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Movie Trailer Roundup

It would be hard to miss the countless trailers for this summer’s biggest blockbuster contenders; The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises, Total Recall, and of course, the testosterone-fueled The Expendables 2. With these movies constantly dominating the silver screens, as well as the television screens, it would be easy to miss some of the other movies that are just starting to poke their heads up.

So, check out the first trailers for Liam Neeson’s much-anticipated return to ass-kicking, in Taken 2, (no, Unknown (2011) did not count) and the remake of a 1995 Sylvester Stallone Sci-Fi flick, Dredd. Oh, and just in case you skipped over them, take a look at the latest trailers for The Bourne Legacy, and Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film The Master.

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Happy summer movie-going!

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Star Wars: A Look Inside

Over time, some movies, such as Star Wars (1977), have garnered so much attention and success that they earn a near legendary status. That being said, it is always fun to take a look inside and get a glimpse of how much fun, as well as hard work, the filmmakers experienced during their production. So, below are some pictures that show the more casual side to the making of Star Wars. Also, take a look at director Irvin Kershner‘s personal script notes from The Empire Strikes Back (1980).

And speaking of legendary, jump to the bottom to see an awesome infographic detailing just how influential the Star Wars Franchise has been…

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Cinematic Music

Check out the latest music video for Jay-Z and Kanye West‘s song, No Church in the Wild, from their current collaborative album, Watch the Throne. I thought this video would be worth posting because of its fantastic production value, and honestly, it’s one of the best music videos I’ve seen in a while. Afterwards, you can also check out some of the behind the scenes spy videos. The crew filmed on location in Prague, and appears to be shot with the ARRI Alexa.

Can you spot the artists amidst all of the chaos?

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