15 items from 2014
Into the Woods has been crying out for a big screen adaptation since it launched on Broadway back in 1987.
With its combination of catchy songs, heartwarming moments, classic characters and pure fantasy, it is surprising that it has taken 27 years for a movie to be made. Despite winning several Tony Awards and revivals, it hasn't quite reached total mainstream status yet. That may be all about to change this Christmas thanks to the big screen adaptation.
In fact, a film version has been in the pipeline for over a decade. In the early 1990s, Columbia and Jim Henson Productions were developing a version starring the likes of Robin Williams, Goldie Hawn, Cher, Danny DeVito, Steve Martin and Roseanne Barr. A few years later, Billy Crystal, Meg Ryan and Susan Sarandon were attached.
After years of failed attempts, the project appears to be in good hands, as Chicago director Rob Marshall is behind the camera, »
1915: The Beginning
MIT graduates Herbert Kalmus, Daniel Frost Comstock and W. Burton Westcott used the success of their first business venture – the chemical process development firm Kalmus, Comstock and Westcott – to build upon Kalmus’ prediction that color film was the future of cinema, and on Nov. 19, 1915, Technicolor was incorporated in Maine. The next year, they moved their operations to Jacksonville, Fla., and began production on their first project in their unusual laboratory space.
From Weekly Variety, Dec. 1, 1916: “Kalmus, Comstock & Westcott have bought outright and fitted up as a complete laboratory plant a 72-foot Pullman car. It left Boston Sunday morning for Jacksonville, Fla. There the promised picture, a 7-reeI dramatic subject, will be filmed, developed and made into positives, the railroad car plant doing the work.”
That proposed picture, “The Little Skipper,” would never come to light, but in 1917 Technicolor released its first film, “The Gulf Between.”
- Kevin Noonan
Making its bow in 1937, Disney's first animated feature is still regarded by many as its best. A wonderful rendition of the classic Grimm fairy tale, it tells of the beautiful princess Snow White, who escapes into the forest after being sent for execution by her evil stepmother. Luckily, she is taken in by a septet of diminutive miners, each with their own very distinct personality. »
Fairytales getting turned into movies are almost a dime a dozen these days. Already on the horizon are sequels and prequels to Alice in Wonderland and Snow White and the Huntsman, as well as new versions of Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan and The Jungle Book. So when a film like Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters comes along, which takes the original Brothers Grimm story and spins it in a completely new direction, it’s kind of a big deal.
While the film loosely based on the well-known German fairytale didn’t do so well domestically, it ended up captivating audiences overseas with its guts-and-glory approach and grossed $200 million worldwide at the box office. Needless to say, after earning four times ...
Click to continue reading ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2′ Loses Its Director
- Araceli Roach
Funny it might seem, but Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was one of the more successful Grimm fairy tale re-imaginings, having grossed more than four times its $50 million budget worldwide in theaters. It’s the only recent movie of that ilk that is set to receive a direct sequel in the foreseeable future (though Snow White and the Huntsman has a spinoff/prequel in the works).
Paramount has announced that Hansel & Gretel 2 is moving at a pace that (barring any unforeseen obstacles) should allow it to reach theaters by 2016. Hansel & Gretel writer/director Tommy Wikola, who’s got another sequel in Dead Snow 2 hitting theaters soon, has revealed that he’s handed over a finished Hansel & Gretel 2 script to the ...
Click to continue reading ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2′ Update; Script Has Been Finished
- Sandy Schaefer
Summer movie season is a magic time of year when Hollywood traditionally rolls out its most appealing merchandise. It’s true that some summer movie seasons are better than others. This is our ranking of all the summer movie seasons since 1980 from worst to best.
On January 20th, 1975, Steven Spielberg and Universal Studios released Jaws. The movie landscape would be forever changed from that date. Jaws is widely credited as being the first blockbuster film because it was the first movie to make over $100 million (non-adjusted). The fact that the film had a meager $8 million budget meant that it was a huge cash cow for the studio and rocketed Spielberg to the the forefront of a new generation of filmmakers for a new era of movie mass-consumption. George Lucas and Spielberg followed up in 1977 with Star Wars, which became a sensational and very profitable hit. It helped to convince production »
- email@example.com (G.S. Perno)
Repackaging classic fairytales for a modern audience suddenly became a hot button topic for Hollywood in the last couple of years with Snow White & The Huntsman and Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters providing revisionist takes an age-old stories. However, neither project managed to strike a chord with its respective audience and it seems the latter IP may be retracing a string of wayward breadcrumbs to get back to its roots.
That’s according to Variety, who are reporting that a live-action adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s soon to be published Hansel and Gretel graphic novel has been given the green light. In collaborating with Juliet Blake — producer behind this year’s comedy-drama, The Hundred-Foot Journey — the recently-revealed rendition will be much more traditional than its underwhelming predecessor.
Shortly after the announcement, Gaiman spoke of his excitement for the cinematic translation and promises that the terror and longing found in the classic »
- Michael Briers
Meryl Streep, Johnny Depp, Emily Blunt, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, James Corden and more star in this mashup of Brothers Grimm fairy tales characters and based on the famed play by Stephen Sondheim.
Unfortunately the studio is pulling a trick all too common with movie musical trailers - they've cut it so the clips contain no hint of singing and thus differentiating it from various other films of the genre (ala "Maleficent," "Jack the Giant Slayer," "Snow White and the Huntsman").
- Garth Franklin
In Disney’s 1959 Sleeping Beauty, the evil Maleficent has less than 15 minutes of screen time, making the character’s decade-lasting infamy and the initial interest in a feature-length film of her re-imaging, Maleficent, notably impressive. Of course, the same could be said for the Evil Queen of Disney’s 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, who’s gotten two recent chances to re-captivate audiences with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman. Judging by Maleficent‘s opening weekend domestic box office numbers, this serpentine queen is number one in fans’ cold dead hearts. Anyone who remembers Maleficent’s fifteen minutes of fame in Sleeping Beauty already knows that Maleficent writer Linda Woolverton took enormous leaps in filling the expansive gaps in Maleficent’s history. However the same can be argued for the writers of Sleeping Beauty as well. The original Disney film was based on both the original fairy tale “La Belle au Bois Dormant (The »
- Emily Estep
The trailers teased glimpses of Sleeping Beauty's iconic villainess, accompanied by a gothic cover of "Once Upon a Dream." Gone were the 1959 animated film's Technicolor wonders, replaced with shades of blacks and blues, while Lana del Rey's vocals enveloped Mary Costa and Bill Shirley's airy duet with jazz-club smokiness. Even when the sneak peek appeared to throw a bone of sympathy towards the titular evil character, it brooded with the faux-angst of 9th grade poetry. This was what you could expect from Maleficent — Disney's early bid for summer-film dominance, »
Everyone knows that the best fairy tales are the really dark ones you never heard as a child. What’s better: Cinderella’s ugly stepsisters pouting in the background, or getting their eyes pecked out by vengeful doves? The Evil Queen in Snow White falling off a cliff, or dancing in red-hot iron shoes until she drops dead? I’ll consider that point proven.
Big Bad Wolves, an Israeli film from writer-directors Navot Papushado and Aharon Kashales, wants to be a modern fairy tale for adults, one which bets on being as twisted and disturbing as possible. Though Quentin Tarantino (probably knowingly) damned Big Bad Wolves by naming it the best film of 2013, which it certainly is not (despite it playing almost like a feature-length version of the torture scene from Tarantino’s own Reservoir Dogs), there’s still an undeniable fascination to be found in watching a tale of »
- Isaac Feldberg
Michelle Obama will appear in a cameo on the season finale of Parks & Recreation.
Canadian channel Showcase has ordered a fifth season of the very gay inclusive Lost Girl. That should make it easier for Syfy to continue airing it stateside.
The New York Daily News claims that CNN doesn’t know who will take over Piers Morgan‘s soon-to-be-vacated time slot but the channel’s top choice is Rosie O’Donnell. Joy Behar, Ann Curry, Star Jones and Rachel Maddow are also on CNN’s list. That’s »
- Lyle Masaki
With anticipation building for Angelina Jolie's "Maleficent," due May 30, it's worth noting that the source of her live-action remake, Disney's animated "Sleeping Beauty," marks its 55th anniversary this week. Released on January 29, 1959, the movie was only a modest hit at the time, but over the years, it earned acclaim for its gorgeous wide-screen visuals, its memorable music, and its unforgettable villainess.
It's a movie you probably watched many times as a child, and yet there are still some things you probably don't know about "Sleeping Beauty," including its connections to Bugs Bunny, "The Andy Griffith Show," and the British royal family.
Here's a list of 25 such items you can stack on your spindle -- but be careful to shield your fingertip.
- Gary Susman
Walt Disney Pictures took advantage of the 56th Annual Grammy Awards to debut a 90-second preview for Maleficent, featuring previously-unreleased footage and vocalist Lana Del Rey’s achingly somber rendition of the classic animated Sleeping Beauty tune “Once Upon a Dream,” which shall be featured in the end credits of the Mouse House’s upcoming live-action revisionist take on the Grimm fairy tale.
The Maleficent footage in the “Dream” trailer recalls the swords and sorcery featured in Snow White and the Huntsman, yet its ethereal color tones and texture bear a strong resemblance to Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (minus the gloom of Burton’s vision) compared to either the morbid Snow White re-imagining or the lighter style of Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer.
- Sandy Schaefer
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Nega-fairy tale in which The Sleeping Beauty story is told from the point of view of Maleficent, the misunderstood fairy godmother. Angelina Jolie stars as the artist formerly known as "The Mistress of All Evil". Elle Fanning is that scheming harpy, Princess Aurora aka Sleeping Beauty. Following the recent trend for skew-wiff folk tales (Snow White and The Huntsmen, Mirror Mirror) special effects veteran Robert Stromberg makes his directorial debut with a Disney film that looks stranger and darker than the average. 28 May
Jason Segel's Muppets reboot positioned Kermit and ko as comeback kings - old friends returning from the edge of showbiz to full-felted glory. »
15 items from 2014
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