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It's always a good time to revisit our favorite children's movies, whether you're introducing your kids to them for the first time or enjoying a Disney classic yet again. If kids' movies like "Dumbo" and "The Rescuers" aren't already in your library, they're available right now to stream on Netflix, along with a lot of newer movies that will appeal to your kids (and to the kid in you).
(Availability subject to change.)
1. "Anastasia" (1997) G
2. "Antz" (1998) PG
3. "Born Free" (1966) PG
A still-moving classic about the couple who raised Elsa the Lioness, an orphaned lion cub, then »
- Sharon Knolle
The animated comedy adventure tells the story from the point of view of the animals and follows an outcast aardvark who becomes the reluctant leader of a ragtag group of misfit animals.
“John Stevenson is among the finest storytellers and animation filmmakers in the business and brings with him a wealth of experiences,” said Unified Pictures president Keith Kjarval. “His unique ability to personalize this global story with tremendous heart and humor is sure to make this an inspiring film for all ages.”
- Dave McNary
This week: Did anyone order more Muppets? Also: Tom Hardy gets his motor runnin', and James Spader's 'Blacklist' gives the networks reason to smile. ► Well, this seems familiar: The Muppets come out with a movie everyone seems to love, but the sequel? Not so much. That was the case the first time around back in 1981, when 'The Great Muppet Caper' was met with shrugs. Now, after the 2011 »
- John Law
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
A Long Way Down: a suicide-club meet-cute? it shouldn’t work, but it does, as wonderfully sardonic British humor and as a reminder that you’re not alone in being messed up in this insane world [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Tim’s Vermeer: must-see, chills-inducing documentary looks at the intersections of art, craft, and technology [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to streaming
Omar: Palestine’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Oscar is terse, tense suspense drama, and less overtly political than you might expect [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Visitors: a weirdly beautiful film, eerie in its complicated simplicity, and open to seven billion interpretations, all of them valid [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] The Missing Picture: a blend of documentary and memoir that’s like a dream and a nightmare, though it’s »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The only thing missing from this week's episode of The Americans was Dame Diana Rigg stepping in at the end of kidnapped refusenik Anton Baklanov's single scene – not dressed as Oleanna Tyrell, but as fashion guru Lady Holiday – and remarking on his tech-heavy monologue, "It's plot exposition, it has to go somewhere!"
'The Americans,' A to Z
Feature Mark Harrison 1 Apr 2014 - 05:47
Following new Captain America and Muppets movies, Mark looks at the challenges facing a second movie...
This article is spoiler-free, but it may contain some plot details about Muppets Most Wanted and Captain America: The Winter Soldier that you may not want to know if you haven't already seen those films, so proceed carefully.
The sophomore slump is a trend observed in academic study, whereby a decline in morale in second-year students can be linked to new stressors, and disaffection with what previously seemed new.
Its equivalent in the music industry would be the term “difficult second album”, which gets bandied around a lot, largely projecting audience anticipation onto an artist who has enjoyed a successful début, and now has the world snapping at their heels for an equally well-received follow-up.
And, in a film industry where brand-led tentpoles are becoming dominant, the enthusiasm »
Muppets Most Wanted, 2014.
Directed by James Bobin.
While on a grand world tour, The Muppets find themselves wrapped into an European jewel-heist caper headed by a Kermit the Frog look-alike and his dastardly sidekick.
When it was released in 1979, The Muppet Movie was a stage for Jim Henson and his Muppet cohorts to take their relatively simple TV show and expand and develop their techniques as puppeteers to show off what they could really do. They dreamt big and it paid off. Its sequel The Great Muppet Caper on the other hand was just that - a sequel. It wasn't bad, nor was it inferior. The jokes were all solid, the writing was great and the songs were brilliantly executed, »
- Luke Owen
I feel bad for The Muppets in the same way I feel bad for aging rock bands. They used to be cutting edge but now they’re content to be a nostalgia act making money by playing the hits. I don’t begrudge them the work and frankly I might be a little jealous of how much money they’re making doing the same old thing but I wish they doing new and exciting things rather than just jamming out on “Sympathy for the Devil” one more time. Muppets Most Wanted is a fun movie but it’s nothing you haven’t seen before.
The plot of Muppets Most Wanted centers around an international jewel thief frog who is identical to Kermit with the exception of a mole on his lip. Using his underling Dominic Badguy (Ricky Gervais), Constantine switches place with Kermit, taking over running the Muppet world tour »
- Arthur Tebbel
Interview Simon Brew 28 Mar 2014 - 06:15
Heading into UK cinemas today is the brand new Muppets movie, Muppets Most Wanted. Directed once more by James Bobin, he spared us some time to talk about working with The Muppets, the complexities, the preparation, the bits that were cut and more. Here's how it went...
Mild spoilers for Muppets Most Wanted lie ahead...
The Muppets continue to popularise quite an old fashioned craft. More than just puppeteering, too. What are your feelings on it? Because my understanding of doing a Muppets film is that the preparation is arduous, the shoot is arduous, the post-production is a little bit lighter?
It is to a degree, but remember too that in post we have to deal with the fact that they »
Walt Disney Studios
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
In 2011, Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, along with director James Bobin, were able to successfully bring the Muppets back into the public consciousness after 12 years of dead air. Their love for the long-running franchise shone through clearly on the big screen and it lead to the film, The Muppets, becoming a critical and financial success.
Two years later, audiences are being invited to take part in yet another Muppet adventure, this time without Jason Segel. So, is Muppets Most Wanted good enough to make you forget about Segel or should they have quit while they were ahead?
Much like how The Great Muppet Caper followed The Muppet Movie over thirty years ago, writers James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller have followed up The Muppets with another caper comedy that’s light, innocuous, enjoyable, but fails to live up to the previous film. While it »
- Ken Guidry
The much buzzed-about film adaptation of Veronica Roth's literary series, Divergent, hits theaters this weekend with a new bevy of tough women who kick butt. And what's not to love about the Muppets returning to the big screen? Check out our recommendations on what films are worth seeing and skipping this weekend. See ThisDivergent var brightcovevideoid = '3372463640001'; Comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games is near irresistible, and understandably so, given that they both feature a feisty teen heroine battling to save her family in a dystopian future. Unfortunately for the newcomer, such comparisons are nearly ever in Katniss's favor, »
- Alynda Wheat, PEOPLE Movie Critic
One problem facing Muppets Most Wanted is that it follows up 2011′s The Muppets, which saw everyone’s favorite gaggle of vaudevillian weirdos taking part in a giant reunion in order to save both their theater and the rights to their name. The Great Muppet Caper (which this film cribs more than a little from) was content to put the Muppets in a genre plot rather than try to top the origin story of The Muppet Movie. Most Wanted again tries to pluck the heartstrings, separating Kermit from the rest of the Muppets and putting him in a crisis as he thinks his family has abandoned him (when really they’ve only failed to notice that he’s been replaced by a doppelgänger… which isn’t much better). But it can’t match the emotional tug of seeing the Muppets getting back together. Escalating the stakes with each new sequel doesn’t really work for this franchise »
- Dan Schindel
Directed by James Bobin
At their best, the Muppets walk a careful balance between sincerity and self-awareness, something few cinematic comedy acts can handle. All the way back to The Muppet Movie, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, The Great Gonzo, and their friends were able to step outside of any given story to gleefully mock it and, almost in the same instant, wholeheartedly embrace the artifice of the moment. When the situation demanded it, they could be journalists or pirates or beloved literary characters in a holiday story. The 2011 reboot demanded that they play themselves, in a story that acknowledged how the Muppets had fallen out of public favor over time and needed to mount a comeback to win back the masses. As Muppets Most Wanted opens, the Muppets have won the day and are stuck for ideas about what to do next. »
- Josh Spiegel
Oscar-winning British cinematographer who worked on a wide range of film classics
The Oscar-winning British cinematographer Oswald Morris, who has died aged 98, will be remembered for many classics, including Moulin Rouge, Fiddler on the Roof, Moby Dick and Lolita. He worked with some of the great directors, John Huston, Sidney Lumet, Carol Reed, Stanley Kubrick and Franco Zeffirelli. Many of Morris's films are landmarks in the history of colour cinematography. For Moulin Rouge (1952) he used filters to create a style reminiscent of paintings by Toulouse-Lautrec. For Fiddler on the Roof (1971), which won him an Oscar, he filmed with a silk stocking over the lens to give a sepia effect.
Morris also shot popular favourites such as The Guns of Navarone (1961), Oliver! (1968), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) and The Man Who Would Be King (1975), and photographed acting luminaries: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, Gregory Peck and Humphrey Bogart. »
- Brian Baxter
If you're a die-hard Muppets fan, you must be really looking forward to this weekend and the release of Muppets Most Wanted. Also if you're a die-hard Muppets fan, you'll agree that choosing a favorite of the Muppets movies so far is very difficult. Not that all of the features starring the Jim Henson creations are equal, but those first three are pretty incomparable if you're of a certain generation. And if you didn't grow up along with the original trilogy of The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets Take Manhattan, then you might have a preference for one of the movies released during your own childhood. A lot of young people today, for instance, might like 2011's The Muppets best. I'm of an age where The Muppet Christmas...
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Morris died March 17 at his home in Dorset, England, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Oswald won an Oscar for his work on 1971′s “Fiddler on the Roof.” His long list of credits ranged from early 1950s British pics such as “The Golden Salamander” and Tab Hunter starrer “Island of Desire” to 1981′s “The Great Muppet Caper” and 1982′s “The Dark Crystal.”
His work with Huston began with “Moulin Rouge,” the 1952 bio-tuner that starred Jose Ferrer, and stretched through 1975′s “The Man Who Would Be King.” Morris also worked on multiple pics with Sidney Lumet (1977′s “Equus,” 1980′s “Just Tell Me What You Want,” 1981′s “The Wiz”) and with Stanley Kubrick on 1962′s “Lolita.”
- Variety Staff
Oswald Morris, the acclaimed British cinematographer who earned an Oscar for the 1971 musical Fiddler on the Roof and paired often with John Huston, has died. He was 98. "Ossie" Morris, whose incredible resume includes such wide-ranging films as Stanley Kubrick's Lolita (1962), Franco Zeffirelli's The Taming of the Shrew (1967) and Jim Henson's The Great Muppet Caper (1981), died Monday at his home in Dorset, England, the British Society of Cinematographers announced. He was one of the most outstanding directors of photography of the 20th century, perhaps best known for expanding the parameters of color cinematography, especially on
- Mike Barnes
With Muppets Most Wanted in theaters this week, we give you some factoids you might not have known about these furry friends. 1. Kermit the lizard? Before he was a famous amphibian, Kermit began life as a reptilian creature and evolved into a frog over time. 2. Animal can be defined by five words: sex, sleep, food, drums and pain. 3. Floyd Pepper’s character is a direct reference to the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. 4. There’s always been a question mark regarding what exactly Gonzo is. Maybe it’s a hint that he has the same eyes as Big Bird. 5. In The Great Muppet Caper Fozzie and Kermit are identical twin brothers with the same...
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If it's the fate of rebooted franchises to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors, then let's just say that “Muppets Most Wanted” puts a fresher spin on “The Great Muppet Caper” than “Star Trek Into Darkness” did to “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.” Even if the 21st century Muppet features don't quite reach the pinnacle established while Jim Henson was alive, “Muppets Most Wanted” is often as good as or even better than 2011's “The Muppets,” which wonderfully relaunched the cinematic shenanigans of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and all the felt-covered rest. This latest chapter picks up precisely. »
- Alonso Duralde
The Butler didn't do it for Oscar voters, but there are sharper ideas in some of last year's under-the-radar thrillers
If a film seemingly made for the express purpose of piling up Oscar nominations then receives precisely none, does it make a sound? Well, yes and no. Lee Daniels' The Butler (Entertainment, 12) was a surprise summer hit in the Us, where audiences weary of monsters fighting robots were apparently up for a windy dose of all-star, semi-fictionalised civil rights history, but that doesn't mean it has anything to say.
Awards voters, oddly, couldn't see the hokey Forrest Gump parallels in Forest Whitaker's Cecil Gaines, humble White House butler to every president from Eisenhower to Reagan. A noble cypher who stoically pours tea while history is made around him, he's a less-than-riveting presence around whom to centre the narrative; there's more going on back home, where his radical Black Panther »
- Guy Lodge
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