7 items from 2015
You might recognize the tall, thin, strong-jawed actor/clown/comedian Bill Irwin as Ham Gravy in Popeye, as Mr. Leeds in Lady in the Water, as Anne Hathaway's dad in Rachel Getting Married, or even as Mr. Noodle on Sesame Street. However, there's one role where you simply will not recognize him: as Tars the robot in Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. Many may think that Tars was just a CGI creation that Irwin voiced, but the reality is that the robot was actually a practical effect puppeteered by Irwin on set. We recently caught up with the actor ahead of this week's Blu-ray, DVD and DigitalHD release of Interstellar to talk about how he got the odd job, what it's like working with Nolan and whether or not the director's movies are really as secretive...
- Peter Hall
Robert Altman, the grizzly-bear genius of American cinema celebrated in the new documentary Altman, first found success at the same time as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Martin Scorsese, but he was no movie brat. With a career in television and a spell as a fighter pilot behind him, he had a jump of nearly 20 years on those upstarts by the time he achieved his breakthrough in 1970 with his fifth film, the spiky Korean war comedy M*A*S*H, made when he was 44. Over a 50-year period, he bashed out almost 40 films. There were iconoclastic assaults on genre (the anti-western McCabe and Mrs Miller, the wayward detective film The Long Goodbye, the who-cares-whodunnit Gosford Park), sprawling ensemble pieces (Nashville, »
- Ryan Gilbey
Sad news for anyone eagerly anticipating the CGI animated Popeye movie that was being planned at Sony. Director Genndy Tartakovsky, best known for his Samurai Jack TV show and the 2012 hit Hotel Transylvania, is no longer with the project. Not only that, it may no longer be happening at Sony.
Genndy Tartakovsky's next project is Hotel Transylvania 2, which comes to theaters this fall. The first teaser trailer was released earlier in the week, with Moviefone speaking to the director. Even though an animation test for Popeye was met with enthusiasm, the recent regime change at Sony has seen production on the high seas adventure come to a halt. He explains:
"Popeye we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don't »
I'm not certain a CG-animated Popeye movie, or any Popeye movie for that matter, would be much of a hit with today's movie-going audience. Yet, Sony Animation seemed to be all aboard to the point they hired Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania) to direct and even released a sizzle reel back in September, offering a first look at the film as you see above. Now, in an interview with Moviefone, Tartakovsky reveals all isn't well with the film: Popeye, at least, we put up a great screening, everybody really liked that sizzle, we got a positive reaction. I was in love with what we were doing, but I think the studio is going through changes and I don't know if they want to make the Popeye that I want to make. So they've got to make a decision. Right now, I'm off Popeye and moving on to the other one that we soft-announced, »
- Brad Brevet
From the pool party dive in Boogie Nights inspired by Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba to the steering wheel scene in Hard Eight that so deftly recalls Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur, playing spot the reference with Paul Thomas Anderson is always fun. It is through these moments that we can fully appreciate the voracious depth at which one man is embroiled in his art; forever the immersed student despite his steady rise to master, yet with a constant, gleeful wish to share with us an unconditional love for the cinema – something that we can all identify with.
Of all Paul Thomas Anderson’s creations, one continues to standout as a jarring anomaly: that being Punch-Drunk Love, which does away with many of the recurring narrative themes (fathers and sons, abandonment, etc.) that can be traced throughout his work, and instead challenges the conventions of the romance genre – though, with »
- Nicholas Page
Paddington is an instant family classic, and will likely defy the expectations of those expecting another live-action CGI hybrid such as Scooby Doo, The Smurfs or Yogi Bear. Director Paul King is able to take the story of a young Peruvian bear known worldwide, and turn it into a unique and charming experience unlike anything seen before. It truly is a special little film, and it will surely continue to find an audience well after it leaves theaters. Its the type of movie that is impossible to hate on any level.
The movie follows Paddington as he travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined, until he meets the kindly Brown family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. »
Paul Thomas Anderson learned to make movies by watching movies. Each of his films bears the ghostly fingerprints of his masters and mentors: the obsession and one-point perspective of Kubrick; the tough-guy veneers and fetid societies that sated the first decade of Scorsese’s career; the intense meditative stares of Jonathan Demme, constantly reminding us that we are, of course, watching a film—we’re immersed in it, but we are spectators, non-participants, in the hands of an artist. Anderson has never created voyeuristic or naturalistic films, never approached Cinéma vérité, and he’s never tried to feign an amateur aesthetic. He crafts films indebted to the grand ambience of New Hollywood, rendered unnaturally lucid and diligently composed. To watch one of Anderson’s films is to get a condensed lesson on the artisanship and history of American cinema.
But Anderson’s most obvious early influence—one he has name-checked, »
- Greg Cwik
7 items from 2015
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