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Making Movies: The art of creating awe

Here’s a great TED talk by Rob Legato, creator of movie effects so good they (sometimes) trump the real thing. The stuff on “Apollo 13″ and “Titanic” is pretty amazing, and he discusses “Hugo” as well.

You can follow us on Twitter @moviebuffs and on Facebook as well.

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Cool student film

It’s short but perfectly executed.

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‘Homeland’ sweeps Golden Globes again

“Homeland” has won the award for Best Drama Series two years in a row, while Claire Danes and Damian Lewis won for best actress and best actor. It’s a pretty incredible show, even with the elevated craziness of Season 2. And while I don’t think it’s quite as good as “Breaking Bad” it’s hard to argue with these choices.

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‘Argo’ making quite an impression

According to Rotten Tomatoes, the critics and fans both agree that “Argo” is an excellent film. Ben Affleck is pretty proud of the film, as he should be. It’s also very timely with Iran being in the news so much.

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See Thriller live

Ever since his death, many fans have been gobbling up Michael Jackson music and everything else associated with him. He’s one of the biggest entertainment icons of the 20th century, and in death he’ll be just as popular as Elvis. The sales figures since his death for his music are incredible, and his family is cleaning up.

But there’s more than just the music. You’ll start seeing all sorts of adaptations of his music. If you’re in London and looking for West End shows, you’ll see you can snap up Thriller tickets for a show which is based on Michael’s epic music video. Check out the video above for a preview.

It will be interesting to see what kinds of Hollywood movies come out of this, and whether the representatives of his estate will be licensing out his music for movie soundtracks. Michael Jackson’s music helped to define a generation, and I’m sure there’s a ton of music producers will be salivating to get his music into their movies. But, there’s always the issue of cost, and demand sets the price, so we may not see much at all as the estate has tons of options and they don’t want to over saturate the market.

In any event, get ready to see lots of Michael Jackson in the coming years.

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David Fincher’s obsession with detail

There’s plenty of buss around The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, the new film from director David Fincher. Wired has a great profile of Fincher, with some interesting stories about his obsession with detail.

For much of the past year, Fincher has been filming The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, his roughly $100 million adaptation of the macabre Swedish mystery that centers on a punk-hacker heroine with distinctive skin art. On one of the first nights of shooting, Fincher and his crew were in Sweden, filming a murder scene that takes place alongside a gloomy dock. But after a night’s work, Fincher didn’t have the shot he wanted, and the film’s ultratight schedule meant he wouldn’t be able to return for months.

When Fincher began planning the reshoot, he learned that the property had been sold to one of the guys in ABBA. Apparently, the new owner—either Benny or Björn, it’s not really clear—wasn’t thrilled at the prospect of having his evening stroll interrupted by a simulated drowning, and he refused to let the crew come back. Rather than find a new location or make do with the footage he had, Fincher decided to build his own Swedish dock.

Which is why, on a late-summer afternoon, we’re standing on a Los Angeles soundstage, examining a replica of a rural-Scandinavia mise-en-scène: mossy rocks, foliage-fat trees, and—perched high above the docks, turtlenecking out of the woods—a squat, deceptively cozy faux cottage. Like most sets, it looks a bit weird naked. But once the lights hit and the smoke drifts in, we are suddenly in the land of stunted summers and moderately high suicide rates.

I guess his approach is a bit different than that taken by Clint Eastwood, who loves going with the first take when he feels it’s good enough.

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Fun app from Axe

With the holidays around the corner it’s always fun to find new and unique ways to send holiday messages.

Axe has a new message app on Facebook called AXE CELEBRATIONS that let’s you send some fun messages to friends for all sorts of events. Get any ideas from the image above? Axe always comes up with fun stuff so this one is worth a try.

The gist is that this app offers up a new way of celebrating the special dates of the year like holidays, birthdays etc. You can set it up to have messages sent at any time using all the tools in the app. Install the application on your Facebook profile and then start playing around with it.

Try it out and see how your friends react.

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“The Dictator” trailer

This looks like another classic from Sacha Baron Cohen.

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Three Stooges trailer

It’s not as bad as I thought it would be . . .

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Aaron Paul on Conan

Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul stops by the show. Cool interview . . .

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