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3 items from 2016


‘Mission to Mars’: Brian De Palma’s Lavish, Epic-Scale Lark

22 August 2016 1:10 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

“It can be said with certainty that any reviewer who pans [Mission to Mars] does not understand movies, let alone like them,” declared Armond White in 2000. While perhaps an over-corrective to the critical drubbing the film had just received, there’s nonetheless a grain of truth in his statement. Far from being a pale imitation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as many reviewers accused, Mission to Mars actively deflates its predecessor’s misanthropy and grandeur – on one level, it’s a lavish, epic-scale lark from a director who’s often been as much a satirist as a craftsman.

With a budget of $100 million, it was and still is the most expensive project Brian De Palma has tackled. It’s also the only straight-up piece of science fiction among his filmography, as well as a relatively wholesome, PG-rated affair – a rarity for this most salacious of mainstream American filmmakers. Originally to be directed by »

- The Film Stage

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How Alien: Resurrection led to the Ice Age movies

12 July 2016 5:54 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Louisa Mellor Jul 13, 2016

Blue Sky Studios’ CGI work on Alien: Resurrection began a long and fruitful relationship with 20th Century Fox…

When Blue Sky Studios was tasked with creating swimming CGI Xenomorphs for the fourth film in the Alien franchise, its animators looked to inspiration from the natural world. Aptly for Hr Giger’s demonic creations, said inspiration was found in a Galapagos Island creature nicknamed by Charles Darwin the “imp of darkness”.

“We patterned [the Xenomorphs’] movements on reference footage of sea iguanas” Blue Sky’s Digital Effects Supervisor for Alien: Resurrection Mitch Kopelman told American Cinematographer magazine in November 1997. “They have this crazy little swim where they tuck their legs under their bodies and use this really long tail to propel themselves.” After much work, the end result was the CGI swimming aliens that pursued Ellen Ripley and co. through the flooded kitchens of the Usm Auriga in the 1997 sequel. »

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25 underappreciated family movies of the last 20 years

26 May 2016 8:09 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

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From Flushed Away and Hunchback to Titan A.E. and Sky High - the family movies that don't get the love they deserve...

When I sit through a film such as Zootropolis, Rango, Frozen, Wreck-It Ralph, Eddie The Eagle or Coraline, I can’t help but be thankful somebody has bothered. As a parent as well as a movie lover, I’ve grown to really dislike family movies that just turn up to act as a surrogate babysitter for 90 minutes, with no intention of becoming anybody’s favourite film. The films I'm going to talk about are the family movies therefore that I think both try and do something a bit more, yet continue to fly under many people's radar. 

A bonus mention before we get going, and number 26 in the list, much to my surprise: Alvin & The Chipmunks 4. I was expecting next to zero from it, courtesy »

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3 items from 2016


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