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Written by Jeffrey Price and Peter Semen
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Visual effects have come a long way since the 1920s when pioneering directors the likes of Carl Theodor Dreyer and Jean Renoir, amongst many other notable filmmakers, attempted to marry real life actors and sets with added optical illusions, bridging the gap between the real and the artificial. Today, the meshing of effects work and live action has reached the stage where the actor becomes the effect through the popularized motion capture process. A strong proponent of the technique is director Robert Zemeckis, but before dabbling in it he started out pushing the boundaries of visual effects in one of the most impressive and visually unique projects of the 1980s, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, a film that has actors like Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd constantly interact with two dimensional animated creatures. »
- Edgar Chaput
That chunk o’hunk, Ryan Reynolds proves he’s not afraid to cry. Or wear a hat. At least in this first image from the upcoming thriller, Queen Of The Night he isn’t. The latest from director Atom Egoyan tells the story of a grieving father struggling to come to terms with the fate of his missing daughter. Reynolds is joined by Scott Speedman, Rosario Dawson, Mireille Enos and Kevin Durand.
From the looks of this photo, it might turn out to be…well, a bit of a spoiler. Scope it out below, then judge for yourself after reading the film’s official synopsis:
In Atom Egoyan’s new thriller, Queen Of The Night, Ryan Reynolds plays Matthew, the father of an abducted child, Cass. Eight years after his daughter’s abduction, a series of disturbing clues surface, convincing Matthew that Cass, now 17, is still alive. In a terrifying race against time, »
- Gem Seddon
My friend and colleague John Cain, who has died aged 89, played a major part in the development of social action broadcasting in Britain, through Broadcast Support Services (Bss), which made possible the charity appeals and sensitive phone referral services that are now commonplace.
From 1972 to 1977, he was the head of further education, television, at the BBC. He had wide interests and enthusiasms, encouraging series about the blues, Diy animated film-making, learning languages, the history of Ireland – and the debut of Delia Smith. During these years the department also played a major part in the BBC adult literacy project, particularly through the 1975 series On the Move, starring Bob Hoskins.
Referral lines needed to be set up so that people could find help locally. The BBC governors ruled that the licence fee could not be used to fund them. At a very late stage, the money had to be found to set »
Every now and then an anniversary comes along and it makes you pause and realize just how much time has passed and how much the world has changed. Twenty-five years ago, the idea of mixing animation and live-action was nothing new, but using computer-enhanced animation was a fresh approach. Then there was the mind-blowing idea of mashing up every animated icon from the golden age of animation. Yes, Disney and Looney Tunes side by side. The Fleischer Studios creations hobnobbing with the others. It had never been attempted before and was cause for celebration.
In the two and a half decades that have passed, Disney’s attempt to turn Gary K. Wolf’s protagonist into a cartoon perennial has petered out. Roger Rabbit was first born in Wolf’s 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? and was turned into a major player thanks to Robert Zemeckis’ ambitious adaptation followed by a »
- Robert Greenberger
There’s something inherently lonely and tortured about being a director. Yes, you’re the tyrant of the set and dictator of the vision, but you’re also the man (or woman) behind the curtain, the puppet master who never appears on stage….unless you’re Clint Eastwood or Quentin Tarantino. Or Alfred Hitchcock….or Roman Polanski…Anyway, the point is that you may be the genius behind a film, and celebrated as such, but you’re no superstar. There’s a reason why they are often referred to as voyeurs.
But the upside is that, once you’re an established money-maker, you can afford to be creative in your guises. That is, to put your dream on screen. Most directors have at some stage championed their baby, a cherished passion project which is their love letter to their craft. However, it’s quite galling how this endeavor often falls on deaf ears. »
- Scott Patterson
Gary Oldman on why his character Bex from the 1989 movie The Firm says everything about the Thatcher years
Maggie at the movies
There isn't a section of society or the media that hasn't reflected on what Margaret Thatcher meant. Film, football, sport, cookery – they've all weighed in with their Thatcher memories when, it seems to me, all we're really doing is basically remembering the 1980s. The nation has become a nostalgia radio station, like a giant Capital Gold, over the past week. Still, I'm not going to let that stop Trash going off on one. Maggie, we know, cared little for the arts — why should she, when every play, film or standup comedian was basically slagging her off? Hate figure she may have been, but it didn't half make for a lively antagonism for writers and directors. Don't we miss having such a big target these days? The only equivalent »
- Jason Solomons
The Margaret Thatcher era left an indelible mark on British cinema – not all of it negative. Here we select some key films that distilled the essence of Thatcher's Britain, for better or worse
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The spirit of free enterprise underpins the Hanif Kureishi-scripted, Stephen Frears-directed comedy – mordant but forward-looking in its equation of immigrant thrift with modern conservative values. Omar, son of a campaigning journalist-in-exile, turns to launderette-management, drug-stealing and inter-ethnic gay sex to boot. Genuinely groundbreaking in its subtle and empathetic portrait of a British Asian community, My Beautiful Laundrette was a teasing provocation to the mindset of the 70s old left. Daniel Day Lewis, of course, made a massive impact as punk rocker Johnny, a stereotype confounder who deserts his street-fighting confreres for Omar's charms. Kureishi's prescience even ran to the »
- Andrew Pulver
"...the shocking true story events of 'The Battle of Isandlwana', started January 1879, when arrogant officials of the British colony of Natal, Africa issued a list of unauthorized ultimatums to the 'Zulu Nation'.
"When the 'Zulu King' refused their demands, the Empire declared war.
"And in a series of grave tactical blunders, a garrison of 1,500 British soldiers faced an army of 25,000 enraged Zulu warriors in what would become the most horrifying disaster in British military history..."
- Michael Stevens
Chicago – When “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was released 25 years ago, it was a revolutionary critical and commercial smash on its way to four Oscars, including a special Academy Award created just for its amazing technical achievement (live-action and animation may be as common as McDonald’s commercials now but not in 1988). However, not every film from the late ’80s has held up well. In fact, most of them work more as nostalgia than anything else. (Case in point, the recent-to-Blu-ray “Willow”). Does “Roger Rabbit” still work? Does it ever. Watching the film on this long-overdue Blu-ray release, I was stunned by how great it still works in every way. It’s a classic.
Why has Robert Zemeckis’ classic held up while others have not? I think the lack of ’80s-specific references really helps the piece feel timeless and the performances and fantastic script would work in any era. “Roger Rabbit” is just a fun, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Sequels are awesome, plain and simple. Returning to familiar characters and worlds we love is like covering yourself with a warm blanket, although when a sequel is bad it can be like a blanket covered in potato bugs and lice. Studios love sequels because seven times out of ten they open huge, no matter how good they are.
With that in mind, here's 50 of your favorite titles all preparing to get new installments. Some of them are deep into pre-production while others have barely gotten out of the pitch stages, but you'll be salivating at the thought of some of these sweet babies finally making their way to the screen.
Status: The law of diminishing returns seems to have caught up to Paramount's annual license to print money, and even though the last "Paranormal" grossed half its predecessor, producer Jason Blum is gonna »
- Max Evry
Cinema's newfound interest in London's modern architectural landmarks demonstrates the UK capital's status as a global city
For most of its history, Hollywood has been all over the skyscraper like a colossal gorilla with a fistful of starlet: helicopter shots gliding over teetering architecture are part of the long-established blueprint for high-octane cinema. In the UK, we've been slower to build tall, and as befits our world-famous self-deprecation we're slower to cinematically brag about skyscrapers once they're up: the likes of One Canada Square and 30 St Mary Axe normally appear hazily in the background of the drab streets and precincts where our films feel more comfortable unfolding.
That's about to change. Three new films focus on the elevated London skyline of the past 15 years; the capital is about to have its pop-culture coronation as a blinged-up 21st-century global metropolis. The Shard has its first feature-film closeup in Eran Creevy's »
- Phil Hoad
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is celebrating its Silver Anniversary this week with a brand-new 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray, which is in stores now! To celebrate this long-awaited release, we caught up with Roger himself, Mr. Charles Fleischer, to talk about his long history as the man behind the bunny. Charles isn't only a stand-up comedian and actor, he is also a published scientist and inventor who recently did a study on Gamma-Ray bursts for Cornell University. He talks about this, the inspiration behind Roger, and more in our exclusive interview.
Will we see Roger on screen again in the near future? Will Moleeds save mankind? Here is our very interesting conversation with the man of many talents, Charles Fleischer.
Charles Fleischer: What kind of recorder are you using? Are you using your computer?
No, I am »
The voice actor told ComingSoon that he would "more than like" to reprise the role, but insisted that talk of a follow-up is merely rumour.
"I would say that the update is that there are rumours. Because I'm not an executive at Disney studios - or at least I wasn't before this interview - the answer would fall outside my canon," he said when asked for an update on the rumoured sequel.
"If it were within my decision-making capacity, I would more than love to do more with Roger. I think there's a lot of people that would too, and that leads me to believe that it could happen. If something happens once, it might happen again."
By Lee Pfeiffer
Fifteen years after co-producing and directing the British Victorian-era war classic Zulu, Cy Endfield brought an epic prequel to the story to the screen with Zulu Dawn. Unlike the original film, however, this 1979 release suffered from a bungled and scatter shot North American release that ensured that very few Yanks or Canadians ever had the opportunity to see the film in theaters. Botched release notwithstanding, the movie is in many ways as good as its predecessor, even if the screenplay falls short on presenting the main characters in a fully developed way. The story pertains to the greatest British military defeat of its era as the Victorian penchant for colonialism extended into South Africa. Initially the indigenous Zulu tribes had a cordial relationship with the British, but a foolish change in political strategy saw increasing incursions onto Zulu territory. The Zulu king went to great lengths to »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Home Invasion is a weekly post every Tuesday which shows you what is being released on Blu-Ray & DVD today! We scoured through Amazon to bring you everything you might be interested in. Our Picks of the Week are releases that we are looking forward to checking out, have reviewed and/or were are Picks of the Week on the Dtb Podcast. All descriptions are courtesy of Amazon.com.
Click Here to buy the Blu-Ray/DVD Combo
Oscar Winners Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren* are spellbinding in this provocative story about the making of one of cinema’s most iconic films. Plagued by both a reckless ego and nagging self-doubt, Hollywood legend Alfred Hitchcock (Hopkins) becomes obsessed with a grisly murder story that the studios won’t back. Determined, he risks his reputation, his home and even the love of his wife Alma (Mirren), as he sets out to make the film. »
- Andy Triefenbach
Interview conducted by Tom Stockman March 6th, 2013
It all began in 1986 at the Comedy Store in La where director Robert Zemeckis saw Charles Fleischer perform his stand-up comedy act. The act consisted of a lot of voices and sound effects, but what most impressed Zemekis was what he called ”his vocal presence.” And so when auditions began for the human star of Zemeckis’ upcoming live action/animated hybrid murder mystery noir film Who Framed Roger Rabbit — the part eventually played by Bob Hoskins — they called Fleischer. Not to read for that part, but to read with the actors auditioning for that part. Fleischer eventually got the part providing the voice for Roger.
That was 25 years ago. Charles Fleischer went on to voice Roger in some Roger Rabbit shorts and has acted in movies such as Dick Tracy, Straight Talk and Zodiac and recently provided one of the voices in Rango. »
- Tom Stockman
When Who Framed Roger Rabbit sprang into theaters in the summer of 1988, animation was as beleaguered as ol’ Wily E. Coyote. These were the dark days of Disney’s The Great Mouse Detective and Universal’s An American Tale, which only seemed to prove that the glory years of cartoon mice and other fuzzy critters had finally run its course. But Robert Zemeckis’s Roger Rabbit changed everything, practically overnight. Much was made of the novelty of combining live-action with animated characters, but Mary Poppins had mixed both a quarter century earlier — and Bert and his dancing penguins were hardly the first themselves. »
- Jeff Labrecque
Disney's Oscar-nominated family adventure Wreck-It Ralph arrived on Blu-ray earlier this week. This fun ode to video game nostalgia features John C. Reilly as the voice of Ralph, a pixilated villain who, after some thirty years on the arcade floor, grows tired of his place as the bad guy and decided to go game hoping in hopes of becoming a hero. Naturally, disaster ensues. We recently caught up with director Rich Moore to talk about the film's many classic cameos, and the one's that didn't make the cut.
Here is our conversation, where Rich Moore reveals his love of Tapper, Dirk from Dragon's Layer, and the fact that we may just see Mario in the sequel.
Were you surprised to see a resurgence in the popularity of Tapper after the film came out in theaters last year? The old guy's started »
Roger Rabbit: Zemeckis' classic blend of animation and live action will have a 25th anniversary screening at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in April Upon its release in 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was called a landmark mix of animation and live action; the Robert Zemeckis-directed movie also marked the beginning of the renaissance of the Walt Disney Animation Studios, which had hit rock bottom in the '80s after decades of steady decline. In celebration of the film’s 25th anniversary, the Academy will present a new digital restoration at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 4, at its Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. (Pictured above: a youthful-looking Zemeckis and pal Roger Rabbit.) Zemeckis, who has since made his mark in performance capture animation features (for instance, 2004's The Polar Express, with Tom Hanks and 2007's Beowulf, with Angelina Jolie), will be present for a post-screening onstage chat about his movie. »
- Andre Soares
This article is dedicated to Andrew Copp: filmmaker, film writer, artist and close friend who passed away on January 19, 2013. You are loved and missed, brother.
Looking at the Best Actor Academy Award nominations for the film year 2012, the one miss that clearly cries out for more attention is Liam Neeson’s powerful performance in Joe Carnahan’s excellent survival film The Grey, easily one of the best roles of Neeson’s career.
Along with negligence, other factors commonly prevent outstanding lead acting performances from getting the kind of critical attention they deserve. Sometimes it’s that the performance is in a film not considered “Oscar material” or even worthy of any substantial critical attention. »
- Terek Puckett
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