3 items from 2015
Tokyo — Nippon Animation, one of the oldest animation studios in Japan, is partnering with Shirogumi, the effects house responsible for last year’s animated smash “Stand By Me Doraemon,” to make “Sinbad: The Sky Flying Princess and the Secret Island” (“Sinbad: Sora o Tobu Hime to Himitsu no Shima”), a feature based on the classic tales from the “Arabian Nights.”
The director, Shinpei Miyashita, has worked on the long-running “Doraemon” and “Chibi Maruko-chan” series, the latter a Nippon Animation production. Animation supervisor Yoshiharu Sato has a long association with Studio Ghilbi, beginning with the 1988 classic “My Neighbor Totoro.”
The story centers on the adventures of Sinbad the Sailor and his monkey companion Mimi, after they encounter a girl, Sana, flying a wooden horse.
The film, which commemorates Nippon Animation’s 40th anniversary, is set for a peak-season July release handled by Aeon Entertainment, distribution wing of Aeon Cinema, one of »
- Mark Schilling
Hiromasa Yonebayashi directed When Marnie Was There (Omoide No Marnie) based on the British children’s novel by Joan G Robinson about a troubled young girl drawn to an abandoned home and a mysterious girl who appears in the window.
Gkids plans a spring theatrical release and awards campaign.
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
One of the most disappointing realities about 2014 was that as box office shrank compared to last year, independent films were often hit the hardest. Despite stellar reviews, even festival darlings like “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Skeleton Twins” and “Dear White People” each grossed less than $10 million domestically. Here are the 17 most underrated movies of 2014 that deserve a second look in the opinion of Variety’s film critics and reporters.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s biggest, most buzzed-about performance of 2014 may have been in “Nightcrawler,” but his best work could be found in “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve’s existential thriller about a mild-mannerded Toronto history professor who discovers he has a doppelganger in the form of a bad-boy bit-part movie actor. Virtually a solo — make that dual — performance piece, with Gyllenhaal playing most of his scenes opposite himself (and, in one case, a giant tarantula), this freewheeling mash-up of Davids Cronenberg and Lynch »
- Peter Debruge, Ramin Setoodeh, Scott Foundas and Jenelle Riley
3 items from 2015
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