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Director: Jorge R. Gutierrez; Screenwriters: Jorge R. Gutierrez, Douglas Langdale; Starring: Channing Tatum, Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Ron Perlman, Danny Trejo, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube; Running time: 95 mins; Certificate: U
Mexican mythology provides the inspiration for The Book of Life, a sunny and spirited animation that's as much about what happens after we leave this mortal coil. Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana and Diego Luna lend their voices, each in the corner of a love triangle that spans three beautifully realised worlds: the Land of the Living, the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten.
At the centre of some cosmic turbulence is Manolo (Luna), the son of a bullfighter who is expected to follow in dad's footsteps, but Manolo would rather play his guitar and serenade the town beauty Maria (Saldana). Rivalling him for Maria's affections is best pal Joaquin (Tatum), a bit of a blowhard who »
Now in theaters is Jorge Gutierrez‘s charming and visually stunning tribute to Dia de los Muertos, The Book of Life. The animated feature depicts Gutierrez’s vision of the afterlife in which the celebrated and beloved spend eternity in the Land of the Remembered, ruled over by the beautiful and kind-hearted La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), while the souls beyond remembrance languish under the rule of the trickster Xibalba (Ron Perlman) in the Land of the Forgotten. The film’s events are set into motion when the deities place a wager on the romantic fate of three childhood friends – should Maria (Zoe Saldana) choose to marry Manolo (Diego Luna), a good-natured musician, Xibalba will stop meddling in human affairs, but if she marries the rakish warrior Joaquin (Channing Tatum), Xibabla will take over as ruler of The Land of Remembered. I recently sat down with Diego Luna and Zoe Saldana »
- Haleigh Foutch
One of the unique fixtures of an opening weekend in Los Angeles, whether it's an art house release or a studio blockbuster, are filmmakers and sometimes stars popping their heads into a theater to see how their baby plays. Well, if you're going to a screening of the new animated feature "The Book of Life" in the Southland this weekend, there's a good chance you might see Jorge R. Gutierrez dropping by your theater. "Book" is Gutierrez's directorial debut and a project he's worked diligently to bring to the big screen for 14 years. The talented animator has received advice about handling the release from the film's producer, Guillermo del Toro, but Gutierrez jokes he's not listening to it. "He said don't read the Internet, don't read any reviews, like, don't look at the comments," Gutierrez says. "But I am a masochist, so I'm reading everything. And then this whole weekend »
- Gregory Ellwood
Friends for life, brothers from another mother, and dudes that make movies... James Cameron and Guillermo del Toro have been pals since the ‘90s. They met at a Fourth of July party. Del Toro eventually wound up living in Cameron’s guesthouse for a period of time, and following those days the men have traded opinions and advice regarding the other’s work. Cameron suggested the line in Cronos where Ron Perlman says, “Not my nose again!” Del Toro elaborates on their working relationship: “He’s helped with every one of my movies, except Mimic, where we were sequestered in Toronto and couldn’t show anyone. In Blade II, he gave me a few comments on the cut. I’ve been with him in the editing room for True Lies, Titanic, Avatar...
- Alison Nastasi
As the title of Ron Perlman's memoir Easy Street (the Hard Way) implies, the actor—whose Amazon pilot, Hand of God, recently got a season order and who voices a character in the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature The Book of Life now in theaters—has a life story full of ups and downs. "The book is very much about how every time something really, really bad happens, there's a resolve that takes place as you heal your way out of it," he says. "One of my favorite quotes, which is really representative of the book, is that »
- Mandi Bierly
Now in theaters is Jorge Gutierrez's charming and visually stunning tribute to Dia de los Muertos, The Book of Life. The animated feature depicts Gutierrez's vision of the afterlife in which the celebrated and beloved spend eternity in the Land of the Remembered, ruled over by the beautiful and kind-hearted La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), while those souls beyond remembrance languish under the rule of the trickster Xibalba (Ron Perlman) in the Land of the Forgotten. The film's events are set into motion when the deities place a wager on the romantic fate of three childhood friends - should Maria (Zoe Saldana) chose to marry Manolo (Diego Luna), a good-natured musician, Xibalba will stop meddling in human affairs, but if she marries the rakish warrior Joaquin (Channing Tatum), Xibabla will take over as ruler of The Land of Remembered. I recently sat down for an exclusive video interview with »
- Haleigh Foutch
"The Book of Life" is a colourful, slightly macabre animated story that draws from Mexican culture and aesthetic style. Told as a story-within-a-story, this is a straight-up fairy tale that sees the protagonist go on a traditional heroic quest, with visits to the underworld, battles with raging beasts, and overcoming family expectations.
For a film that has significant events that take place in the underworld, this seems like a weird title.
Originally the film was called "Day of the Dead," which, frankly, is much more in keeping with the film's style. While granting that there are entire swaths of the audience that would be caught, um, dead taking their children to a film of that title, from both a narrative and aesthetic point of view it's a much more apt title.
What's with Mexicans and all this death stuff?
That seemingly offensive question is a rhetorical question that the film explicitly raises, »
- Jason Gorber
In the delightful new film The Book Of Life directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez, Ron Perlman and Kate del Castillo portray Xibalba and La Muerte – the rulers of the Land of the Remembered and The Land of the Forgotten. Desperate to get out of his realm, Xibalba makes a wager with his ex-flame La Muerte to swap lands which creates a marvelously fun animated, musical adventure. Thankfully, you couldn’t have picked two better actors to play these exciting characters. Sitting »
"We got the first draft of the movie now, and we are going to spend another 4-5 months on the screenplay before we start pre-production. We start pre-production next year in August-September and start shooting November-December next year.
The direction we're going in is very different from the first. All I can say is some of your favorite characters come back, some others don't because we have decided that we're going to shoot ambitiously and say 'Let's hope we have three movies,' so some characters come in »
- Garth Franklin
The great “schnozzola” Jimmy Durante’s signature catch phrase “Everybody wants ta’ get into da’ act!’ couldn’t be more true when it comers to animated features these days. Perhaps this may be a result of the incredible all-ages success of Pixar. Or it might be the love of animation held be many aging “baby boomer” film makers who awaited Saturday mornings in front of the tube (which just ended now that no broadcast networks run weekend ‘toons) or those grand ole’ special kiddie matinees. Tim Burton may have kick-started this trend by coming off his big Batman flicks to produce The Nightmare Before Christmas and later direct The Corpse Bride and Frankenweenie. Johnny Depp and his Pirates director scored a hit with Rango. And recently Adam Sandler started a new franchise with Hotel Transylvania. New to the animation arena, but a big name in the fantasy/horror genre is »
- Jim Batts
Chicago – Unfortunately you can’t judge “The Book Of Life” by its cover. The movie draws on the fertile imagery of the Mexican “Day Of The Dead” to create its own animated world. The animation is excellent and the wooden characters seem to spring to life – but those performances are as wooden as a board.
Which also describes my feelings for most of this uninspired journey…bored.
The film doesn’t have the courage to go its own way, instead it uses the window dressing of its distinctive look to paper over a story that is firmly stuck in the material world of mediocrity. Trouble begins from the onset with an uninspired framing device involving grade school slackers touring a museum and learning about the Mexican cultural traditions – complete with a map showing Mexico with a giant bandito mustache. These modern characters seem to have been inspired by the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Back in June, Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro announced that Pacific Rim 2 is moving forward, with Warner Bros. handing out an April 3, 2017 release date, along with an animated TV series that will bridge the gap between the first two movies. While promoting his animated adventure The Book of Life, the filmmaker revealed that he is actually planning on making Pacific Rim 3, with certain characters appearing at the end of Pacific Rim 2 that will lead into the third installment.
Here's what he had to say in a recent interview, where he confirmed that a first draft of the Pacific Rim 2 script is complete.
"We got the first draft of the movie now, and we are going to spend another 4-5 months on the screenplay before we start pre-production. We start pre-production next year in August-September and start shooting November-December next year. The direction we're going in is very different from the first. »
Any children’s film that opens with a Le Tigre song and contains a sad matador singing Radiohead is basically alright by me. Death is ‘in’ at the moment in children’s animation, with The Book of Life belonging to a quirky little group along with Frankenweenie and Paranorman (or going back a bit further, The Corpse Bride and The Nightmare Before Christmas). But even among this morbid crowd, The Book of Life racks up an impressive body count. Given that the film bears Guillermo del Toro’s unmistakable fingerprints, this perhaps isn’t surprising, as in this case, animation allows his intricate imagination to run riot.
We open in the ‘real world’ to find four misbehaving children on a school trip to a museum. The guide (Christina Applegate) is teaching them all about the Mexican Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) via a children’s fable told through wooden toys. »
- David James
Ron Perlman is an amazing presence. Whether he is heavily buried under FX make-up or leather jacket clad on a Harley, he can certainly draw attention the second he walks in a room. Even in his latest, the wonderfully charming and visually stunning animated feature The Book Of Life, the actor gives his character this incredible sense of bravado. He is a force to be reckoned with. Recently at the junket for the film, I had a couple of opportunities to talk to Mr. Perlman. The second time, we »
Arriving in theaters this weekend from producer Guillermo del Toro is The Book of Life. The animated feature depicts director Jorge Gutierrez's vision of the afterlife where the celebrated and beloved spend eternity in the vibrant Land of the Remembered, while those beyond recall languish in the desolate Land of the Forgotten. In the middle is the Candle Maker, a benevolent keeper of the Book of Life who shepherds the souls of the deceased and ensures balance in the afterlife. As the Candle Maker Ice Cube lends his voice to an animated film for the first time - a surprising fact given that his career, which includes more than thirty film credits to date, began in a recording studio more than three decades ago. The Book of Life also stars Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Kate del Castillo, and Christina Applegate. I recently sat down with »
- Haleigh Foutch
Every year, one event rocks New York to its very core in a way that is so profound and so special that it grows in audience attendance every fall when it rolls along. That event, of course, is the hugely popular New York Comic Con and thousands of faithful pop culture fans and cosplayers flock to the Big Apple to partake in the annual celebration. It is an event that draws in crowds from all over the world and features many individuals and companies showing off their latest products in the hopes that those who come to the convention will purchase whatever they’re selling. But Nycc isn’t just about pushing merchandise and entertainment, it is about togetherness and every October, geeks come to New York and they conquer.
If you are unfamiliar with Nycc, then it’s pretty simple. It is a comic book, movie, TV, video game »
- Randall Unger
Over the weekend I had a chance to speak with director Jorge Guiterrez about his new film "The Book of Life," which is also produced by Guillermo del Toro. The look of the film is inspired by the Mexican Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos) celebrations.
"The Book of Life" is the journey of Manolo (Diego Luna), a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. Rich with a fresh take on pop music favorites, "The Book of Life" encourages us to celebrate the past while looking forward to the future.
Here is what Guiterrez had to say about the film.
For me, when I first saw the film, I thought of it as elements of a video game. »
- Kellvin Chavez
Director Ekachai Uekrongtham (The Coffin) changes direction with his latest movie, a collaboration with Thai superstar Tony Jaa. It's been a long time since Jaa had a bona fide hit on his hands, and there's little chance of this one breaking the mould, however, he is joined by some awesome talent. Dolph Lundgren (The Expendables) shares top-billing with the pintsized wonder, but he's not the only big Hollywood star to make an appearance. Sons of Anarchy regulars are currently seeking new employment, which means the likes of Ron Perlman (Hellboy) and Peter Weller (Robocop) have some free time on their hands. Michael Jai White, fresh from Arrow duties, more than makes up the numbers in this decent looking action movie. Set in and around Bangkok, we'll bring you more information when we have it. For now though, check out the impressive trailer. Guilty pleasures don't come around that often these days. »
There is a trio of Part III sequels currently creeping towards becoming a reality that we constantly hear about. Last week, Ghostbusters finally took a giant leap ahead, confirming director Paul Feig along with its completely rebooted all-female concept. While Ron Perlman failed to provide any substantial update on Hellboy 3 over the weekend at New York Comic Con, John Wick star Keanu Reeves did have an update on Bill & Ted 3. He was able to give new story details and some interesting time twists, extrapolating on what co-star Alex Winter had to say earlier this month. There will be wormholes!
Keanu Reeves claims that Dean Parisot is still attached as a director. He may be best remembered as the driving force behind Galaxy Quest and he was at the helm of last summer's sequel Red 2. Reeves also confirms that the story will still revolve around the creation of the greatest song in the world, »
With a host of films in the pipeline involving sharks, War Pigs, and other purveyors of carnage, Dolph Lundgren has a lot on his plate, but before that there’s the small matter of Skin Trade, the pet project that’s taken him over six years to get off the ground. An early 2015 release date is expected and the first official trailer has just gone live.
Lundgren stars as Nick Cassidy, whose family is killed by Serbian Gangster Viktor Dragovic (Ron Perlman). Cassidy tracks Viktor to Bangkok where he teams up with local police detective Tony (Tony Jaa). The pair set about bringing an end to Viktor’s sex trafficking operation once and for all. Judging by the trailer a lot of cans of whoop-ass will get opened.
- Gary Collinson
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