Saturday, August 5, 2017

Spiderman Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes Short Reviews

I watched the last days in theatre Spiderman Homecoming and War for the Planet of the Apes. The first one was an ordeal and the second one was extremely good, in my opinion. Let's start by Spiderman Homecoming: although Tom Holland, the new young actor playing Spidey is very good as well, as always, as Michael Keaton playing the Vulture, it's definitely a teenager movie - logical, the Spiderman character IS a teenager - and the film will be enjoyed by teens who are the main target. But i'll go as far as to say that anyone over, let's say to be large, 26, who liked Spiderman Homecoming should seriously think about growing-up. Because all the scenes between the action scenes are really conventionals, unoriginals to a point that it is either an embarrassment or, more simply, boring. Robert Downey Jr as Stark / Iron Man is playing it like he does in the others Iron Man / Avengers movies and give the feeling that he agreed to be back because of the amount on the check. He's okay, but nothing special here, from someone who can be such a good actor.

Let's move to War for the Planet of the Apes which was much much better but which may have less success than the Spiderman. I'm not gonna say how great the visual effects are because we all know that now they can do everything and recreating a herd of apes is certainly a lot of work for VFX wizards but nothing impossible. But War for the Planet of the Apes is really one of the most interesting blockbuster of the season and the reason why is because it's a movie which "knows to take its time without losing it" to quote what famous french director François Truffaut was saying about legendary western director John Ford, and the emotion is always right which is always amazing when we remember that the apes are CGI creatures, though "played" by great actors like Andy Serkis. It's been a long time since i watched a movie where you don't have the feeling that the film editor had the nose in a stack of coke, and War for the Planet of the Apes definitely don't try to go faster than it does - or than it should - by fear to bore the audience. That said, may be younger audiences will find that the movie don't go fast enough, that's the problem when you brainwash audiences with movies build like rollercoasters. If you want to ride a rollercoaster go to a theme park, not watch a movie. War for the Planet of the Apes could even have been perfect without the scene being an analogy to Abraham dying before seeing the promised land, as i found this scene really a bit too "easy". One last thing: strangely, the scene that you can see on the poster below don't exist in the film, which is no big problem indeed.

Pictures: copyright Marvel, 20th Century Fox

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Breaking : Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience Coming This Holiday Season at Disneyland Resort Downtown Disney and WDW Disney Springs

A news release from Lucasfilm and The Void announced that Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire Hyper-Reality Experience is coming this Holiday season at Disneyland Resort Downtown Disney and WDW Disney Springs:

Soon, you’ll be able to literally step inside Star Wars as Lucasfilm, ILMxLAB, and THE VOID today announced a new hyper-reality experience called Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, which promises to plunge fans into the Star Wars universe. Created by ILMxLAB, Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment division, in collaboration with THE VOID, it will open to the public at two new VOID Experience Centers at Downtown Disney at Disneyland Resort and Disney Springs at Walt Disney World Resort beginning this holiday season. Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire will allow fans to move freely in an untethered, social, and multi-sensory experience, including interaction with friends, fans, and Star Wars characters.

 “At THE VOID, we combine the magic of illusions, advanced technology and virtual reality to create fully immersive social experiences that take guests to new worlds,” said Curtis Hickman, co-founder and chief creative officer at THE VOID. “A truly transformative experience is so much more than what you see with your eyes; it’s what you hear, feel, touch, and even smell. Through the power of THE VOID, guests who step into Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire won’t just see this world, they’ll know that they are part of this amazing story.”

 “At ILMxLAB, we want people to step inside the worlds of our stories,” explained Vicki Dobbs Beck, executive in charge of ILMxLAB. “Through our collaboration with THE VOID, we can make this happen as guests become active participants in an unfolding Star Wars adventure. By combining Lucasfilm’s storytelling expertise with cutting-edge imagery, and immersive sound from the team at Skywalker Sound, while invoking all the senses, we hope to truly transport all those who experience Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire to a galaxy far, far away.”

Pictures: copyright Lucasfilm, The Void

The Making of Shanghaî Disneyland Pirates of Caribbean : Battle for the Sunken Treasure

When Shanghaî Disneyland opened last year the Pirates of Caribbean : Battle for the Sunken Treasure attraction at Treasure Cove was praised by everyone, and for good reasons: this new version of Disney parks beloved ride was such a wonder of technology and staging that every Disney fan knew that it would get the next THEA Award, and it did.

Now, thanks to the Themed Entertainment Association and the presentation of WDI Imagineers Luc Mayrand and Nancy Seruto during a recent TEA Summit we can discover never seen before pictures of the whole creation process of this unbelievable attraction. Before watching the video of the full presentation i did for you screen captures of the most interesting shots and i suggest that we begin by the beginning, i.e the original renderings for SDL POTC, including early concepts for the ride. Make sure to click on each picture to see them in big size, and Luc Mayrand will give you more info on each of these pics in the video!

Then come pictures of the model, ride layouts, digital renderings and timing.

As usual at WDI a computer generated Animatic was created to visualize the full ride before being built.

Luc Mayrand also shown during the TEA presentation some great construction shots!

The Davy Jones Audio-Animatronic is one of the most sophisticated ever created by WDI and the presentation also included some shots of it during its programming.

The wizards of ILM are the ones who created the fantastic underwater sequences like the one below that SDL POTC guests discover when their boat is supposed to go "under water".

There is a ritual when Imagineers build a new POTC attraction which is to pour some water coming from each other Pirates of Caribbean rides in the water of the new ride. And this is what the team of Imagineers of SDL POTC did before the attraction opening during a "water ceremony"!

Last but not least two pictures showing for the first Luc Mayrand, Nancy Seruto and others Imagineers in Pirates costume and the other show the full team who built SDL POTC!

Before watching the presentation video the best is probably to watch again - or to discover - the video of the full POTC ride, and here is an excellent one filmed in 4K by SoCal Attractions 360.

Time to watch the video of this TEA Summit in which there is much much more to discover! However, recently, TEA who uploaded on Youtube the video disabled the viewing on others sites, so jump to Youtube to watch it HERE, and don't miss it as it is rare to have such a great Imagineering insight in the making of an attraction!

Pictures: copyright Disney, TEA

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

For The First Time i History, The Next Three Olympic Games Will Happen in Cities Which Are Also Disney Parks Destinations!

The Olympic Game are the event the most followed in the world - even more than the Football / Soccer World Cup, and, for the first time in history, the next three Olympic Games will happen in cities which are also Disney Parks destinations!

The next Olympic Games, in 2020, will happen in Tokyo and last night Los Angeles announced they have an agreement with the Olympic Games committee to organize the Olympic Games in 2028 in L.A. Which mean that Paris will organize them in 2024 - L.A and Paris being the only two cities which remained on the list for 2024 and 2028. Although it's not "official" yet for Paris - it will be this September after the big meeting of Olympic committees in Lima, Peru - chances that Paris will host the Games in 2024 are so high that we can count on it.

Now, for the first time in history the next three Olympic Games will happen in cities which are also Disney Parks destinations. As we know, Tokyo, Paris and Los Angeles have Disney theme parks and, as we also know, Olympic Games bring a LOT of visitors from others countries who don't go only to the Olympic Games but also visit the cities, and the main touristic places. It's of course a fantastic opportunity for Disneyland Resort, Tokyo Disney Resort and Disneyland Paris to welcome more visitors and no doubt that the parks will be official partners of the Olympic Games.

Disneyland Paris is now owned by the Walt Disney Company and, although it was not announced at the last D23 Expo, will most probably go through important placemaking in the next years and DLP parks better be ready for 2024 as it is a once in a lifetime chance for the resort!

Last Picture of Disney Legend and Beloved Imagineer Marty Sklar

The picture above is most probably the last picture shot of Marty Sklar, here with Imagineer Tony Baxter and John Stamos. The picture was shot backstage at D23 when the "Legends of Imagineering" discussion happened and would turn out to be Marty's last appearance. Marty Sklar was in great form that day and Tony and him had a lot of fun with host John Stamos who made the show both enjoyable and informative at the same time.

Marty Sklar memorial service happened a few hours ago and Joe Rhode posted on Instagram this wonderful tribute to Marty who will help all of you to understand why Marty Sklar was so beloved by all WDI Imagineers:

"I went to Marty Sklar's memorial service today, at which family and friends said beautiful and memorable things about this great man, who is now gone. It's not for me to repeat or report those words here. I just thought I'd leave those of you who may not have known Marty with my sense of what he meant to us...(besides being leader of Walt Disney Imagineering for half a century.) Many of us who are Imagineers today would simply be nothing without Marty Sklar because we were pretty much nothing when he found us. He had the bravery and the vision to indulge us until we showed promise. And he had the compassion to forgive us when we screwed up, and give us a second, and third chance, because he knew that creative work is really hard to do, and that success comes from unexpected quarters. Marty Sklar had absolute faith in creativity and in creative people. We who remain to honor him are the proof of that. We were the blank sheets of paper he spoke about so often, and it is his pen that has written us into being. We at Imagineering refer to the early creative development process as "Blue Sky." The birthplace and nursery of creative intuitions. Marty protected and defended this territory fiercely. Without that carefully nurtured seed, all that follows is meaningless...just busy work. A blue sky. That's a better monument than any stone. Not a commemoration of what was, but a blue sky filled with invisible dreams of things that are yet to be. That is Marty. Others will say more and better, but to me, he was the master wizard, the one who made the ones who made the Magic."

You can follow Joe Rhode on Instagram HERE.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Discover The Exclusive Cinderella Float of Tokyo Disneyland Gorgeous DreamLights Electrical Parade !

Tokyo Disneyland gorgeous DreamLights electrical parade has a new and exclusive Cinderella Float! The Cinderella float also changes colors as you'll see and is followed by a Princess ball float

The Cinderella float arrive at 13 min in the video but watching the full parade is highly recommended!

Last but not least, a big celebration jus happened at TDR as Tokyo Disney Resort celebrates its 700 MILLIONth Guest!

Video: copyright Tokyo Disney Report