Official Trailer for ‘Along for the Ride’ Documentary on Dennis Hopper

Along for the Ride Doc Trailer

An official trailer has arrived for a documentary titled Along for the Ride, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year. Along for the Ride profiles the life and career of actor Dennis Hopper, who you will recognize from all kinds of different movies over the years. Hopper passed away in 2010, but earned two Oscar nominations over his long career. “Method actor, filmmaker, photographer, fine artist, art collector, and all-American madman.” The doc includes a score by Gemma Thompson of the critically acclaimed band Savages, along with plenty of interviews with his friends and colleagues including Wim Wenders, Dwight Yoakam, David Lynch, Michael Madsen, Dean Stockwell, and many others. “Through the triumph of Easy Rider, the magnificent career suicide of The Last Movie, the overlooked masterpiece Out of the Blue, and a midlife comeback after plenty of booze and brawling, Along for the Ride is a vivacious work of film biography with a freewheeling style that’s only appropriate to its anarchic subject.” Watch the trailer below. ›››

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Theme Park Bits: ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ Ride Concept, ‘Star Wars’ Galactic Nights, 35 Years at Tokyo Disneyland

cars-characters-in-costume-at-dca

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • See what a Nightmare Before Christmas ride might have looked like, as envisioned by one Imagineer
  • Cars characters get into the Halloween spirit by dressing up at Disney’s California Adventure
  • The Star Wars: Galactic Nights event is returning to Disney’s Hollywood Studios
  • Get details on how Universal Studios and Legoland are incorporating VR worldwide
  • The parent company of Louis Vuitton is bringing a steampunk theme park to Paris
  • Details for Tokyo Disneyland’s 35th-anniversary celebration have been announced
  • And more!

First, a few follow-ups from last week. In case you were not already sold on visiting Disney’s California Adventure for Halloween (and c’mon, you should be, even NASA scientists have turned out), Disney Parks Blog has shared some nifty photos of the Cars characters in costume. On Twitter, they also posted a pic of the Haunted Mansion Holiday gingerbread house at Disneyland Park.

nightmare-before-xmas-ride-concept

Fans of this seasonal version of the ride, based on Tim Burton’s 1993 stop-motion musical, might get a kick out of seeing old concept art for a Nightmare Before Christmas attraction that never came to be. The design above comes by way of Disney Imagineer Christopher Merritt. Disney and More has some additional illustrations posted.

In another life, perhaps, we could have had coffin ride vehicles. Alas, parkgoers in Anaheim will just have to make due with the sight of grim grinning ghosts. Or they can always bask in the return glow of a new and improved Fantasmic!which still boasts the best black dragon of any show by that name.

star-wars-galactic-nights

Over on the East Coast, meanwhile, the Walt Disney Presents gallery has now opened at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The full model for next summer’s Toy Story Land is on display. Inside the Magic also has video of some concept art for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, as well as the first available part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge model.

On December 16, the day after Star Wars: The Last Jedi hits theaters, Hollywood Studios will be hosting a sequel of its own for Star Wars: Galactic Nights. This special, one-night-only event, which requires a separate admission ticket, will allow fans to don costumes and enter the park — on a red carpet, no less — for an epic Star-Wars-themed party.

ewok-village-hollywood-studios

In addition to the regular Star Wars attractions on offer at Hollywood Studios, there will be an interview with one of the stars of the franchise, as well as a panel discussion on the future of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. And get this: there will be Ewoks on hand, and a DJ, meaning the whole thing could theoretically dissolve into a teddy bear luau like at the end of Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars fans, this is your chance to celebrate the love (yub, yub)! Galactic Nights lasts from 7:00 p.m. to midnight. You can find more information about it on StarWars.com. Tickets are available on the Disney World website.

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Review: Ben Wheatley’s ‘Free Fire’ is a Crazy Fun and Comical Ride

Ben Wheatley's Free Fire

It’s difficult to say which is sharper in Ben Wheatley’s latest film, Free Fire: the bullets being fired by the nefarious characters found within or the witty jabs those characters tend to fling at one another between the continual barrage of deadly gunplay. One may kill you, but the other may actually hurt your feelings. As with his previous films, Wheatley presents Free Fire with a gleefully dark sense of humor, the ridiculousness of events playing out made all the more senseless when you take into account where everyone’s mindset is at. That sense of humor – not to mention the aberrantly comical characters – washes the onslaught of violence down all the easier, though, and, with Free Fire, Wheatley once again proves to be a unique voice ›››

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First ‘Avatar’ Land Ride Footage Arrives Online

avatar ride footage

For the past three years, we’ve slowly watched Walt Disney World’s Pandora: The World of Avatar transform from a giant dirt pile into a jaw-dropping recreation of the alien jungle seen in James Cameron’s Avatar. Now, we’re on the homestretch, flying toward the theme park land’s May 27, 2017 opening, and first footage from the interior of one the area’s two main attractions has arrived online.

The footage comes from the Twitter account of Visit Pandora, a promotional campaign assembled by Alpha Centauri Expeditions. This is the travel agency of choice if you want to book a trip to the dangerous and beautiful world of the Na’vi. On other words, it’s part of the marketing for Pandora: The World of Avatar and like the Visit Pandora website, the Twitter account is committed to staying “in-character.”

So while the text says “here’s a cute joke pretending that Pandora is real,” the attached video says “hey, here’s the first actual footage from the Na’vi River Journey attraction.”

The video is conspicuously lacking sound, which may be by design. The official description of the ride teases the “Na’vi Shaman of Songs” who “fills the forest with beautiful music,” which suggests that the Na’vi River Journey is very much a next-gen version of It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean – a slow boat ride past enchanting visuals set to catchy music. Here’s that description:

Climb aboard a reed boat and soon you’ll see that on the sacred Kaspavan River, every moment tells a story, and every bend sings a song. This expedition into the rainforest deep within the Valley of Mo’ara will take you right into the middle of Pandora and Na’vi culture. Traveling into the darkest part of the forest, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a canopy of exotic glowing plants and amazing animals on the move. Listen closely and you’ll hear the Na’vi Shaman of Songs as she fills the forest with beautiful music about the sacred bond between nature and ourselves. Beyond any family adventure you’ve had before—that’s the Na’vi River Journey.

Of course, the technology on display looks first-rate. In the slow pan across the scenery, you can see at least a few minor animatronic creatures living amongst the bioluminescent flora, but those larger creatures seen near the end appear to be (very convincing!) projections. Since we already know there will be at least one full-sized Na’vi animatronic (the Shaman of Songs herself), it looks like the Na’vi River Journey will feature a combination of practical robots and projections.

Pandora: The World of Avatar will open with one other major ride: the banshee flying simulator Flight of Passage. The exterior of the land, which features a recreation of those floating mountains from the film, will offer different experiences depending on whether you visit during the day or at night. We’ll know more in just a few months when the land opens at the Animal Kingdom park in Florida’s Walt Disney World.

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Theme Park Bits: ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Director is Working on the Ride, a New ‘Avatar’ Ride Trailer, and the Chance to Meet BB-8

guardians of the galaxy ride

In this edition of Theme Park Bits:

  • Disneyland prices just went up. Again.
  • Director James Gunn is working on Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – BREAKOUT!
  • Watch a new trailer for the Avatar-themed Flight of Passage.
  • You will soon be able to meet BB-8 at Walt Disney World.
  • The shark from Universal Studio‘s Jaws ride is taking a little break…
  • And more!

Disneyland, already an expensive place to visit, just got a little more expensive. Value day tickets will now cost $ 97, up from $ 95. A regular day ticket will now cost $ 110, up from $ 105. A peak day ticket now goes for $ 124, up from $ 119. Oh, and parking is now $ 20 instead of $ 18.

Much like how J.K. Rowling consulted on Universal’s Harry Potter attractions and James Cameron was heavily involved in the upcoming Avatar rides, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn says that he’s had a hand in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout! ride coming to Disney’s California Adventure.

Speaking of new Disney rides based on movies, here’s a very brief trailer for Flight of Passage, the Avatar-themed simulator ride that will let you soar over Pandora on a Banshee. There doesn’t seem to be any ride footage here, but hey, it’s something.

Star Wars The Force Awakens bb-8 2

And while we’re still  talking about Disney theme park stuff based on movies, it must be noted that visitors to the Star Wars Launch Bay exhibit at the Hollywood Studios theme park in Walt Disney World will soon be able to meet BB-8. Guests have previously been able to have their photograph taken with Kylo Ren and Chewbacca, which was pretty cool. But this? Oh, man. The lines are going to be huge.

Speaking of theme park robots…what happens when the Jaws section of Universal Studios Hollywood’s backlot tour section is undergoing maintenance? The shark gets to hang out on dry land, of course.

And speaking again of theme park robots, a first look at some of items available in the upcoming Knott’s Berry auction has been revealed. And yes, for the right price, you can bring home a terrifying theme park animatronic!

Beauty and the Beast Theme Song Remake

Just in time for the new movie, Disneyland is introducing a variety of Beauty and the Beast-themed experiences into its Fantasyland section. The most extensive change appears to be the Red Rose Taverne:

This dining location at the northwest edge of Fantasyland will magically transform from Village Haus Restaurant into a lively French taverne, with delicious quick-service meals perfect for all ages! Adorned with beautiful murals depicting favorite scenes from Disney’s animated feature, “Beauty and the Beast,” and draped with inviting curtains, each room of Red Rose Taverne tells a different chapter of the tale as old as time. The menu will transform as well, featuring some of your favorite tastes with a French taverne-inspired twist, as well as new signature beverages. We’ll have details to share on these delicious additions soon – and yes, you will be able to try our own version of the Grey Stuff. (I hear it’s delicious!)

star tours concept art

Star Tours: The Adventure Continues is finally coming to Disneyland Paris and will open on March 26, 2017. A few new pieces of concept art for the attraction, which should be familiar to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World fans, have been revealed.

star tours concept art 2

If you’re heading to Walt Disney World in the near future, plan to not leave with an empty stomach. The menu for the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (which kicks off March 1) has been revealed and it looks as delectable as you’d imagine. Meanwhile, the Coronado Springs Resort and the Caribbean Beach Resorts are about to undergo extensive construction to add new rooms, new waterfront dining, and retail shopping areas.

For years, the Disneyland Skyway attraction allowed visitors to traverse the park from above and view the Happiest Place on Earth from a thrilling perspective. It closed in 1994. But the spirit of the gondola may be alive and well at Walt Disney World, where some internet sleuths think a new aerial transportation system is in the works that will help move people between various parks and resorts. Considering the transportation issues currently plaguing the area, this could be a very interesting and convenient solution. Of course, these modern gondolas would be much larger and much safer and presumably air conditioned.

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‘A Cure for Wellness’ DP Bojan Bazelli: Verbinski’s Demented, Wild Ride is an Homage to ‘The Ring’

Gore Verbinsksi’s ‘A Cure for Wellness’ is so unique that the DP had to develop a brand new aspect ratio to shoot it.

That Hollywood produced the twisted and bizarre A Cure for Wellness is something of a modern miracle. Returning to horror 15 years after The Ring, Gore Verbinski presents a film that is part baroque fairytale, part deranged nightmare. Shifting between body horror, atmospheric mystery, and pure spectacle, Verbinski’s mesmerizing parable diagnoses the malady of the modern soul (namely, capitalism). But there is no cure to be had in A Cure for Wellness—only the slippery slope of insanity.

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This Fan-Created Star Wars Roller Coaster Is The Best Star Wars Theme Park Ride Ever

star wars roller coaster

Right now if you want to ride a Star Wars themed theme park attraction, your choices are limited between Star Tours: The Adventures Continue and Hyperspace Mountain, Season Of The Force’s retheme of Disneyland’s Space Mountain. But the mouse house is quickly building Star Wars themed lands in both their Orlando and Anaheim-based parks. But we’re still a couple years away from the grand opening, at earliest.

But today we bring you a fan-created Star Wars roller coaster is cooler than any of the Star Wars rides that exist in the real world, and it’d very possible it could be better than anything in Star Wars Land (I’d be happy to be wrong but the sheer size and cost of this simulation is tough to beat). Watch a video of the Star Wars roller coaster after the jump.

Guitar Covers Inc created this Star Wars roller coaster in the PC game Planet Coaster. It’s basically a complete redesign of Hyperspace mountain, an indoor in the dark roller coaster with a Star Wars theme. The coaster, which he calls Star Wars: Death Star Strike, re-creates the attack against the Death Star from Star Wars: A New Hope.

Released by Frontier Developments, Planet Coaster is an amusement park simulator which allows players to design their own roller coasters. It basically looks like RollerCoaster Tycoon on crack. I’ve wanted to play it for some time but unfortunately, it isn’t available for Mac. Guitar Covers Inc notes that the queue line scenery takes you into a Rebel hidden base to give us a peek at how x-wings and rebels ships are made.

“I built my own Starspeeder 3000 inspired from Disneyland Paris. The whole thing looks more of a Starspeeder 0.333 than a Starspeeder 3000 but that’s enough for me at the moment. I know the queue line is long, but I had to deal with the underground coaster.”

The ride footage begins at the one minute and fifty-second mark, and watch until the epic ending climax. I wish this Star Wars roller coaster was real and that I could ride it.

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