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Tag: Best of 2012 (11-20 of 21)

Best of 2012: Say what? The worst movie lines of the year

When a screenwriter types the words FADE IN: on a blank white page, he or she is aiming for greatness. “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” “I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas any more.” “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!”

Inevitably, most every writer falls short, even the ones lucky enough to get their script to the screen. Movie lines can be all types of awful, from the joke that sounds like it somehow survived a 1998 re-write to the dialog that makes you feel bad for the actor tasked with bringing it to life. As Harrison Ford told George Lucas on the set of Star Wars: “You know, George, you can write this sh-t, but you sure can’t say it.” Click below for some of the most head-shaking doozies of 2012.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): 'Twilight Saga' screenwriter explains that twist ending

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Twilight Saga scribe Melissa Rosenberg should consider dabbling in espionage. For years, she’s kept a giant secret: how she and Twilight author Stephenie Meyer decided that the series’ final film adaptation would conclude with a thrilling, violent battle scene that — spoiler alert! – ends up being nothing but a vision of a possible future. “It hasn’t been a hard secret to keep, though, because no one suspects it’s going to be any different,” Rosenberg says, pointing out that the scene doesn’t really diverge from Breaking Dawn, the novel: “Fans get the book, but they get a little detour on the way.” Of course, there’s a little more to it than that. Here’s the tale of Breaking Dawn — Part 2‘s shocking battle scene, from conception to screen.

For more stories behind this year’s top moments, click here for TV and here for movies.

As told by: Melissa Rosenberg

We were filming Eclipse up in Vancouver, and Stephenie and I were having dinner at a steakhouse. At the time, she was debating whether she even wanted to make the fourth book into a movie, and I was debating whether I wanted to continue on with the series. Stephenie knew the book ended with this really tense conversation, and she knew that that wasn’t cinematic. We started talking about the ending, and I don’t know who had the idea [to do the battle scene] first — neither one of us can remember exactly. It felt simultaneous. We just went back and forth and were like, “That’s it! That’s gonna work!” READ FULL STORY

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): How the 'Amazing Spider-Man' team made Spidey's swing look so real

Some of the coolest parts of The Amazing Spider-Man are the dizzying shots of Spidey rocketing through the air as he swings around the city. If those scenes seem a little more realistic than in previous movies about the web slinger, there’s a reason. Here, in a piece by originally published when the film opened in July, stunt coordinator Andy Armstrong explains how they reworked Spider-Man’s swing for the new film. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): How 'Life of Pi' was saved

Life of Pi was as good as dead.

The film adaptation of Yann Martel’s 2001 novel, about a young boy stranded at sea with a ferocious Bengal tiger, had been on the shelf for a long time. 20th Century Fox had already approached three directors, who tried and failed to get an adaptation onscreen before bowing out.

The last best hope was Ang Lee, but while the Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director spent eight months developing the project, it was the executives at Fox who began to have second thoughts.

This would not be a cheap movie — the budget was estimated around $120 million, and when the studio took a hard look at the project, they realized they had no idea what they were getting in to.

That’s when Elizabeth Gabler, President of Fox 2000 Pictures, called Lee to tell him that it was off. Fox was backing out, and he was welcome to shop the project elsewhere.

It wasn’t the last time he would have to fight for Life of Pi. Here, in an article originally published as the Oscar contender hit theaters, is how he brought this epic tale of survival back to life, over, and over again.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The story of the after-credits shawarma scene in 'The Avengers'

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At an April 12 press conference, two days after the Hollywood premiere of The Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. let slip that the stars of the film were reuniting that very night to shoot one last bit of footage for the movie. Here, in an excerpt from a piece originally published the day the movie opened, we share the origin of the now infamous shawarma scene. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

So, if you’ve seen the movie, you know that in the climactic New York battle against the alien invaders Iron Man does something selfless and noble and nearly loses his life for it. As he tumbles back to Earth, he is rescued mid-plummet by the Hulk, who breaks the fall by surfing down the side of some buildings and deposits Iron Man’s limp form on the pulverized street below.

EW, coincidentally, was on the New Mexico set of the movie during filming of this scene, in which Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Chris Evans’ Captain America rush over and Thor rips off Iron Man’s mask to reveal an unconscious Tony Stark.

In the original script (SPOILER ALERT — and, do I really need to keep saying that at this point?) the billionaire awakens with a start and asks, ”What’s next?”

But during filming, Downey is notorious for pushing for variations and felt that line could be something snappier. Whedon agreed, and penned several new versions of the scene in a notebook the day of shooting. ”Peek behind the curtain,” Whedon told EW, showing us the scribbles. ”It was one line — now it’s three pages.”

Those new lines were the seed that led to the last-minute scene, though no one knew that at the time — not even Whedon. Otherwise, he surely would have shot the post-credits sequence before his cast scattered and had to be reunited by the movie’s premiere.

What was in those pages? “Please tell me nobody tried to kiss me,” Stark says, looking up at a looming Thor and Cap. That line made the finished movie, but others didn’t. There were several other variations in which Stark congratulates his fellow Avengers on winning the battle, and then — realizing it’s not over yet — wearily begins making suggestions about how much time off they’re going to be owed.

The line that made the final cut was a slightly more random one: Stark learns that there is more fighting left to do, and says fine, as long as the others agree to hit a good shawarma restaurant he knows in the neighborhood. (I guess after spending all that time in the Middle East, Stark developed a taste for Arab slow-roasted meats.)

We’re not doing justice to the jokes here, but Stark’s other cracks seemed to be a little funnier than the shawarma one, which seemed a little obscure. Of course, that changes dramatically if you pay it off with a scene of Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Widow, Hawkeye, and the re-humanized Hulk all grabbing an after-work bite at said restaurant.

And that, dear readers, is what Whedon and Marvel realized after the fact, too.

When The Avengers is over — and we mean over-over, when the last credit has rolled — we cut to the gang sitting silently around a table, munching on pitas like any colleagues who have just put in a lot of overtime. In the background, restaurant workers quietly clean-up debris in the apocalypse-adjacent eatery.

And they say… nothing. After saving the planet, they are spent. It’s basically an awkward kind of funny.

You can find bootleg clips of the scene online, but why do that? You’ve already seen the movie, right?

Right?

Anyway …

We join The Avengers reunion already in progress [for an exclusive roundtable that would become an EW cover story].

It’s the day after filming the new scene — weirdly, two days after the premiere — and Chris Hemsworth and Jeremy Renner are seated at a conference table in the Four Seasons Hotel, joking about the look of their respective LEGO figurines. Mark Ruffalo is playing “Hulk SMASH!” with a few of the Hasbro toys scattered across the table while Joss Whedon looks on. We’re waiting for the rest to arrive.

Robert Downey Jr. has just entered the room, and immediately begins mocking the prosthetic that Evans needed to hide his beard for the scene. (Evans also, you’ll notice, covers his face throughout that footage by resting his cheek against his hand.)

“Where is Chris Evans? Getting his face replaced?” Downey asks.

Evans hasn’t arrived yet, but that doesn’t hold back Downey. “Chris, why the long face? Chris, why the WRONG face?” Downey says as the other guys laugh.

Ruffalo shakes his head, his lips pursed. “Oh no …”

“I felt so bad for him!” Hemsworth says, wincing. He makes a swallowed sound, like someone trying to speak through glued-shut lips.

Downey twists his face into an Elephant Man snarl. “Hey guys, I am not an animal,” he mutters.

Pah! Out of nowhere, a rocket from an Iron Man toy fires just past Ruffalo’s head, nearly hitting the real Iron Man beside him.

“What the f–k did you just do?” Downey asks, still giddy.

Ruffalo is still turning over the toy, trying to figure that out. “I just shot myself,” he shrugs.

Whedon, who has been silent this whole time (making ixnay eyes because THERE’S AN EW REPORTER SITTING RIGHT THERE) finally gives up, and tells Downey: “Thank you for having every reporter ask me what we were shooting.”

“You’re welcome,” Downey says, unapologetic about revealing plans for the scene at a press conference the afternoon before.

Whedon was exaggerating, of course. Not every reporter had asked that question … yet.

“So what were you shooting today?” your friendly neighborhood EW reporter inquires.

Whedon squints his eyes, like Mr. Peabody when he’s fed up with Sherman.

Downey opens his arms. “Carnival barker!” he declares. “Last night, I just wanted to make sure the excitement was there.”

Whedon breaks into an impression of what he’s been dealing with all day: “’So I hear you’re shooting a scene?’” he says in the voice of a curious reporter. Leaning back and twiddling his thumbs, the filmmaker offers his fake-smiley response: “‘I’m sure I don’t know what you mean!’”

Then Whedon decides to tell them how it turned out. “We actually went through it as you guys left. It’s awesome. We found three bits, beginning, middle, and end, and the end one was just supreme.”

“So it’s [going to be] the last 30 seconds?” Ruffalo asks.

“They. Are. Tired,” Whedon tells him. “And then at the last second, he is just like [CHOMP],” the filmmaker says, gesturing toward Hemsworth and miming a big bite from a stuffed pita.

“I thought I might be sick, by the way,” Hemsworth says. “I ate one [pita] each take, you know! And by the end, I was like, Whooooaaa …”

“Hello, sir!” Evans says cheerfully as he enters the conference room — unaware that his prosthetic-covered lower face, and the difficulty he had speaking, are the hot topic.

“Not without my beard,” Downey says, mumbling like his jaw is wired shut.

Suddenly Renner, who has been low-key this entire time, breaks into a Chris-Evans-with-prosthetic-make-up Buffalo Bill impression from The Silence of the Lambs: “‘I’d f–k me!’”

Downey, as you can imagine, just loses it.

Evans laughs along like a good sport, but it was probably easier on him when the other Avengers had their faces stuffed with shawarma.

Read more:
More of EW.com’s Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes) coverage
Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The Avengers assemble for an EW roundtable — VIDEO

Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Casting the young star of 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

The name you’re going to want to remember is pronounced: Kwah-VAHN-Jah-Nay.

Nine-year-old Quvenzhané Wallis is the adorable little star who melted hearts at Sundance this year with Beasts of the Southern Wild, a dreamlike Dixieland fable about a swampland girl named Hushpuppy who faces down the apocalypse alongside her ailing daddy.

The movie won the festival’s Grand Jury Prize, and introduced its charismatic young actress to the world (and Oscar campaigning).

Here, in an article originally posted last January, is the tale of how she was cast.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): Wes Anderson's animated take on the film's imaginary books

In Wes Anderson’s indie mega-hit Moonrise Kingdom12-year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward) packs an unusual set of items for her runaway adventure with her pen-pal boyfriend, Sam (Jared Gilman): A half-dozen (fictitious) storybooks she stole from the library, three of which she reads aloud over the course of the film. Anderson commissioned six artists to create the books’ evocative jacket covers, but initially the director wanted to take the artistry even further. “At one point in the process, when she’s reading these passages from these books, I’d thought about going into animation,” he says.

Anyone who’s seen the film knows Anderson ultimately chose to simply hold on the faces of his cast as they listen to Suzy read, but with his experience making the stop-motion animated Fantastic Mr. Fox still fresh in his mind, Anderson never quite let go of the idea.

So in April, the idiosyncratic filmmaker decided to animate all six books anyway, as a supplementary treat to the film itself. “I wrote passages for the other books that didn’t have any text [read aloud in the film], and we animated that too,” he says. “So we now have this piece where our narrator, Bob Balaban’s character, takes us through these little sections of each of these books.”

You can watch the result below. (They contain no Moonrise Kingdom spoilers, so feel free to check it out even if you haven’t yet seen the film.) Here, in a piece originally published as the movie hit theaters, Anderson takes us inside the process. For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): How 'The Cabin in the Woods' became the year's most buzzed-about fright flick

“I still smell the blood in my sleep,” says Drew Goddard. The filmmaker is talking about the psychic aftershocks of shooting his debut movie, The Cabin in the Woods, a horror comedy he co-wrote with Buffy the Vampire Slayer creator and Avengers director Joss Whedon. That Goddard’s subconscious is still haunted is testament to the volume of fake red stuff in his movie, which stars Chris Hemsworth, Bradley Whitford, and Richard Jenkins. Why? Because Goddard shot Cabin in Vancouver way back in 2009, only to see its release delayed by more than two years due to the bankruptcy of the film’s original studio, MGM. That’s long enough for Hemsworth to have played the role of Thor twice, the second time in Whedon’s Avengers, which would arrive in cinemas just three weeks after Cabin. “We shot the film and had an amazing time,” says the Australian actor. “Then it disappeared for three years.” Here, in a piece originally published last April as the movie finally hit theaters, is one of the year’s best making-of stories.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The inside story behind Emily Blunt's [SPOILER] in 'Looper'

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! When writer-director Rian Johnson and actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt first unveiled Looper at WonderCon last March, the filmmaker and his cast carefully and pointedly kept a major feature of the time-warping sci-fi thriller under wraps. But now that audiences have had a chance to see Looper for themselves (click here for EW’s B+ review), many of the film’s key players are finally willing to talk about this top secret element for the first time — and using words like “spooky,” “brilliant,” and “extraordinary” to do it. Here, in a piece originally published right after the film hit theaters, is that reveal.

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.
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Best of 2012 (Behind the Scenes): The Avengers assemble for an EW roundtable -- VIDEO

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After the credits roll on a movie, it’s always good to sit around with friends and talk about your favorite moments.

When Entertainment Weekly got a conversation going about The Avengers last spring, the friends just happened to be Iron Man, Nick Fury, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and the Hulk, or at least the stars who played them — who swear a lot more.

Miniature versions of the heroes as Hasbro playthings were scattered around the table, but they stayed mostly quiet, unless their buttons were pushed. (The stars were more focused on pushing each other’s buttons.)

The Avengers writer-director Joss Whedon says his biggest challenge with the actors was getting them to stop goofing around on set, but now that the film is finished, you can see him here dropping the vice principal act and joining forces with the troublemakers.

Check out our exclusive video with Whedon and his cast below. Their far-ranging discussion included such matters as: Who has the most serious battle scar, who blew the most takes by forgetting lines, and … did Whedon really cry while discussing Black Widow’s origin story? 

For more stories behind this year’s top TV and movie moments, click here for EW.com’s Best of 2012: Behind the Scenes coverage.

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