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Welcome to Holiday Favorites, a series in which Slackerwood contributors and our friends talk about the movies we watch during the holiday season, holiday-related or otherwise.
Today's inspired choice comes from Austin Film Society Associate Artistic Director Holly Herrick. Her pick is a classic from 1962: Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color presents Hans Brinker or the Silver Skates: Part 1 and Part 2, directed by Norman Foster. "Aka, the only time I will ever prefer Disney to Sidney Lumet," Holly says. Here's why she loves this one so:
On Christmas Eve every year, after our traditional holiday dinner of hominy grits and homemade sausage served with King corn syrup, my brothers and sisters and I dig out an old re-recorded VHS tape from sometime in the early 80s of the 1962 Disney's Wonderful World of Color version of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates. The film is an adaptation of a popular »
- Caitlin Moore
Saving Mr. Banks is a tale of two halves. The first half involves a rather standard setup with more flashbacks than any film need utilize. We're introduced to the ever lovable and determined Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) and the persnickety P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), author of "Mary Poppins", a book Disney had promised his daughters he'd make into a movie and has spent the better part of 20 years trying to convince Travers to sell him the rights. However, as much as I grew tired of the looks back on the early life of Travers as the story builds, the second half puts all of those flashbacks into perspective, resulting in a wonderful third act where Thompson shines, giving the film an emotional weight that's as welcomed as much as it is cliched. Hollywood may revel in making movies about making movies, but it's hard to fault them as working with »
- Brad Brevet
Looks like Disney is getting to end 2013 on their own terms, a privilege rarely granted to your average person, but certainly less rare for multinational mass media conglomerates. It’s been a year where having the last word might be more important for the company than most, as the House of Mouse has taken a fair bit of battering in the last twelve months. Lucky for them, that house is home to cleanup extraordinaire Mary Poppins, and her roundabout return vehicle, Saving Mr. Banks, seems perfectly designed to ensure Disney goes into 2014 with as spotless a reputation as possible.
January saw the premiere of Escape from Tomorrow, a surrealist horror film shot guerrilla-style in Disneyland, leading to plenty of industry handwringing over whether Disney would take legal action. Even though its response was measured -wisely choosing to ignore the film, so as to avoid making a Matterhorn out of a »
- Sam Woolf
Above anything, Paul Walker was a family man. It’s no secret he was close with his family, including his two brothers Cody and Caleb. Six weeks before his tragic death, Paul supported Caleb as the best man in his wedding — see the new pic.
Caleb Walker and Cody Walker definitely have a great deal of memories with their older brother, the late Paul Walker. When Caleb, 36, got married on October 19 at the Dove Canyon Country Club In Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., Paul stood at his side as his best man.
Paul looked beaming on his little brother’s wedding day. In a new pic, Cody, 25, Caleb, and Paul pose for a photo outside the country club, and are all smiles. They all look so handsome in gray suits.
Paul Walker Video Shows Actor Burned To Death
Family was »
- Emily Longeretta
Paul Walker’s friends and family are completely heartbroken over his tragic death, and that includes girlfriend, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell, 23, who literally collapsed when she heard the news.
Paul Walker‘s girlfriend, Jasmine Pilchard-Gosnell is in “so much anguish” after her boyfriend died in a fiery crash on Nov. 30 in Santa Clarita, Cali. Jim Torp, an engineer at the Reach Out Worldwide charity told HollywoodLife.com exclusively. He was also the one who told Paul’s girlfriend – who has been dating him for seven years, about the accident.
Paul Walker’s Girlfriend Jasmine Pilchard In ‘Anguish’
Jim heard a loud bang about five minutes after Paul, 40, got into a Porsche Gt with his friend, Roger Rodas. Jim’s son was one of the first to arrive on the scene and immediately called his father to give him the horrific news.
“I got a phone call from him and he said it didn’t look good, »
- Emily Longeretta
Paul was developing a touching bond with his teenage daughter after she recently moved in with him. HollywoodLife.com learned Exclusively that not only is Paul’s family still in shock over their tremendous loss, they are absolutely heartbroken that ‘his time’ with his daughter was cut short.
Paul Walker‘s tragic Nov. 30 death is especially heartbreaking since his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow Walker, had just moved in to his California home from her mother Rebecca McBrain‘s home. Paul had always been a big part of Meadow’s life, but a special father-daughter relationship was budding between the two when they were together full-time. As his family grieves his untimely death, HollywoodLife.com learned Exclusively that they also mourn the tragedy that Paul finally felt he was getting the extra time with his girl he always wanted.
Paul Walker’s Family: Daughter Meadow Finally Was Having Her Time With Dad
“Everyone is in shock still. »
- Kristine Hope Kowalski
Anyone who has seen and loved Mary Poppins as much as I have knows one thing for certain: it's not about the kids. For all its riotous scenes of young Jane and Michael having tea parties on the ceiling and jumping through chalk pavement pictures, it's the uptight Mr Banks who is the real target of Poppins's attentions, as she seeks to break him out of his "bank-shaped cage" and reconnect him with what really matters – his family. No wonder the enduring Disney classic ends with Mr Banks himself leading everyone in a tear-jerking chorus of Let's Go Fly a Kite; after all, it was his story all along.
This is the central thrust of Saving Mr Banks, a lovely, sentimental and quietly insightful account of the making »
- Mark Kermode
For Josh Gad, who grew up during the "Disney Renaissance" of the late '80s and '90s, playing scene-stealing talking snowman named Olaf in "Frozen" is a childhood dream come true -- getting a song in a Disney movie, that is, not playing a living, breathing snowman. And while Disney has ceded the top spot in the animated movie landscape to Pixar in recent years, "Frozen" feels like a return to the same kind of classic Disney magic that Gad grew up with, only with a few modern twists.
Like "The Little Mermaid," "Frozen" is inspired by a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, and tells the story of two royal sisters Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Broadway star Idina Menzel). When Elsa's ability to create ice and snow (and her inability to control it) freezes over their kingdom, Anna must set out to find Elsa and reverse the eternal winter. »
- Rick Mele
Director John Lee Hancock’s preceding film was the Oscar-winning The Blind Side, and he now returns with another film that has a more than good chance of being a triumph at the Academy Awards next year, with his brilliant drama Saving Mr. Banks, based around the making of Mary Poppins.
We had the great pleasure of sitting down with Lee Hancock to discuss the title, working with Emma Thompson and Tom Hanks and how fearful he was about making a film with Disney, about Disney. He also tells us what it was like to have composer Richard Sherman around on set, and what other films he’d be interested in exploring on film from a pre-production perspective.
Well I’ll start by saying that the film, deservedly, has been very well-received. Though initially I was a bit worried that the hardened critic may have been put off by the sentimentality… »
- Stefan Pape
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 28 Nov 2013 - 06:04
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2000, and another 25 overlooked gems...
The new millennium brought with it an eclectic range of hit films. Hong Kong action director John Woo brought us Mission: Impossible II, the most profitable film of the year at the box office. Ridley Scott enjoyed one of the biggest critical and financial successes of his career with Gladiator, while Robert Zemeckis created a memorable drama with Tom Hanks and a ball named Wilson in Cast Away.
From a comic book movie standpoint, 2000 was also a key year. X-Men not only established a successful film franchise which is still going, with X-Men: Days Of Future Past out next year, but also headed up a wave of big-budget Marvel adaptations which shows no sign of slowing down.
As ever, we've travelled far outside the »
It's taken the Walt Disney Company more than 70 years to bring Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen" to the big screen. Originally conceived by Walt himself in the studio's post-war period, it was eventually attempted (and canceled) at least a half-dozen times in the decades that followed, taking a number of different permutations (including, briefly, a Disneyland attraction and a potential Pixar film).
But now it's here. And it was worth the wait.
The story of Anna (Kristen Bell) and Elsa (Idina Menzel), two characters from a vaguely Scandinavian storybook kingdom who find themselves locked into an eternal winter after Elsa unwittingly unleashes her frosty powers (in glorious 3D, no less).
1. It's Very Different From »
- Drew Taylor
Poor, deprived Barbara Walters! The 84-year-old veteran journalist recently went to Disneyland for her very first time. In a special "The View from the Disneyland Resort" episode airing Friday, Nov. 22, Walters toured the Happiest Place on Earth with her View co-hosts and special celebrity guests like Kurt Russell. Us Weekly got an exclusive sneak peek at Walter's momentous trip to Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. Actor Russell, 62, who had a 10-year contract with the Walt Disney Company as a kid and teen star back in the [...] »
Daughter of Walt, she played a key role in safeguarding the Disney legacy
When Diane Disney Miller was born, the Los Angeles Times announced: "Mickey Mouse has a daughter." It was a testament to the fame of her father, Walt Disney, and the cartoon star on whose popularity one of the great entertainment empires of the world would be built. For Diane, who has died aged 79 as a result of complications following a fall, this might have been the prelude to a life of celebrity, but her parents shielded her from all that. There was a family story that when, as a child, Diane discovered from school friends that she had a famous father, she asked him, "Are you Walt Disney? The Walt Disney?" and, on being told that he was, asked for his autograph. Diane, who tended to dismiss this as a piece of embellishment, personally eschewed the limelight »
- Brian Sibley
Barbara Walters took advantage of The View's weeklong trip to Disneyland to pay a visit to her ABC colleague Jimmy Kimmel, making her first appearance Monday on his eponymous late-night show. Walters confirmed that she will retire in May but will continue to executive produce The View and do her Most Fascinating People special, she thinks. Photos: 15 Possible 'View' Panelists to Fill the Empty Seats "I want to leave while people say, 'We will miss her.' I don't want them to say (makes a face), 'Is she still on?' I sort of think that May is a
- Hilary Lewis
On the first day of rehearsals for “Saving Mr. Banks,” Jason Schwartzman was running 20 minutes late. By the time he got to the tableread with Emma Thompson and the rest of the actors, he was in an apologetic frenzy. It got worse when Thompson, whom he had never met before, suddenly exploded.
“I just flew in from London!” she bellowed. “The least you could do was be on time!” An awkward hush fell over the room, and Schwartzman was horrified.
“Though my body was the same, within me I was shrinking,” says Schwartzman, who plays “Mary Poppins” songwriter Richard Sherman. “I was so embarrassed, and then she started laughing and the whole thing was a joke. The fear that she put in me, I used that for the rest of the shoot.”
While delivered in jest, the reprimand personifies Thompson’s dry wit and penchant for pushiness.
“My dad always »
- Ramin Setoodeh
This weekend, as you search for a movie to watch, you can either go see Bruce Dern in Alexander Payne's Nebraska (opening in limited release) or stay home and pick one of approximately 14 billion options available on streaming over a variety of services, be it Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, On Demand, or other sites. Every Friday, Vulture tries to make life easier by narrowing it down to a handful of heartily recommended options. This week, we see the world in black and white with an animated memoir, a poignant coming-of-age comedy, and the Disneyland vacation from hell.Frances HaIn twenty years, we’ll be revering Frances Ha the way we praise early Woody Allen. Collaborating together on the script for Frances Ha, director Noah Baumbach and actress Greta Gerwig bravely enter the harsh waters of urban millennials. There they find Frances, a sardonic opponent to the “hipster” archetype, though one »
- Matt Patches
There are more than a handful of sequels and franchise movies that came out amongst tons of hype only to fail or disappoint fans that waited far too long to finally see them. Sometimes, its this anticipation that makes a movie seem less than its sum. We, as lovers of pop culture, have spent far too much time cultivated our own ideas about them. In many instances we have years, even decades, to build the movie for ourself inside our brain. So, of course, more often than not...There's going to be a disconnect. We never return to these movies again. Our tainted memories remain firmly in place. But sometimes, its these bloated expectations that devour us, killing any enjoyment or fun we might otherwise have with any given installment of the latest blockbuster. Sometimes, we just take these things too seriously. And a perfectly decent movie gets lost in that 'expectation translation'. »
The fourth annual London Underground Film Festival is the first edition of the fest to be run by new caretakers Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais, two accomplished filmmakers. The festival will run November 14-17 at the legendary avant-garde media center, the Horse Hospital.
Fawcett and Pais have programmed a bold fest, which begins on the 14th with the London-based documentary Grasp the Nettle by Dean Puckett. The film follows the challenges faced by a group of land rights activists fighting for a piece of disused land in West London. Also on opening night is Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow, which was filmed surreptitiously at Disneyland; and Táu by Daniel Castro Zimbrón.
Other films screening at the fest include the award winning doc A Body Without Organs, directed by Steven Graves; Alex Munt’s Warhol homage Poor Little Rich Girls (After Warhol); Irene Lusztig’s history of childbirth, The Motherhood »
- Mike Everleth
Tamera Mowry's son, Aden, is growing up fast! The 35-year-old actress and hubby Adam Housley's baby boy turns 1 on Nov. 12 and Mowry is giving E! News exclusive scoop on the family's big first B-day party plans! Mowry says she'll be taking Aden to Disneyland for his very first time on his birthday. "And I haven't been in a really long time, so I can't wait," she recently told us. "He loves music and lights, like he lives for that, so there's lots of that at Disneyland. I knew we would be covered. Also, he likes Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, so we're good. That's like easy and fun." Mowry says twin sister, Tia Mowry, will "of course" be there to help »
Both Disney and Lionsgate held their quarterly earnings conference calls yesterday, where the studios revealed that new theme park attractions are in the works, based on both the Star Wars and The Hunger Games franchises.
"The only thing I can share, which actually I don't think we've talked about much, is there is a fair amount of development going on at Disney Imagineering right now to expand the Star Wars presence in California and in Orlando and eventually in other parks around the world. We do have Star Wars in other theme parks, France, Paris and in Tokyo, and we haven't made any specific announcements of what will be in Shanghai or what will be added in Hong Kong after »
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