10 items from 2014
What's the biggest winner at the box office this week?
Is it "300: Rise of an Empire," which debuted atop the chart with an estimated $45.1 million? Maybe, but that film did about as well as expected, and certainly nowhere near the $70.9 million opening of the original "300" seven years ago. Is it "Mr. Peabody & Sherman," which opened in second place with an estimated $32.5 million? That, too, was on the lower end of expectations, and well behind the $43.6 million debut of original cartoon "The Croods" at this time a year ago.
Was it "Frozen," which earned an Oscar bounce of $3 million after winning trophies last weekend for Best Song and Best Animated Feature -- an impressive figure, considering that the movie is already playing at home on many cable providers' video-on-demand services? Was it "12 Years a Slave," which saw a post-Oscar bounce of 123 percent and added another estimated $2.2 million to its theatrical »
- Gary Susman
Gavin Logan on the Oscar race for Best Original Song...
With all the intense, anxious debate surrounding predictions, snubs, and "who are you wearing?" (like any of us really care) people could be forgiven for forgetting that the Oscars is supposed to fun. One of my favourite categories, and one that tends to get overlooked, is Original Song. We all know just how important music is in helping to capture a tone for a movie but maybe even more important is a particular song that can sometimes sum a movie up and make it easily recognisable. If I throw out 'Misirlou', you automatically think of Pulp Fiction. If I mention 'Unchained Melody', it's impossible not to think of that racy pottery scene from Ghost. Although not original compositions specifically written for those movies, the songs will nevertheless be forever linked to them. In terms of original songs, think back to »
- Gary Collinson
Remember last summer, when Pixar superfan Negroni wrote up his incredibly comprehensive report linking all of the studio's movies into one giant, linear universe? It was an ambitious undertaking that resulted in something obsessively researched and remarkably well-reasoned. In short, it blew our minds. And now, he's reemerged with a new theory, this one revealing the secret identity of Andy's mom, pointing to the many clues served up in "Toy Story 2."
Now, remember that heartbreaking sequence in which we learn how cowgirl Jessie (voiced by Joan Cusack) was abandoned at the side of road by the girl who once loved her? You know, the one in which Sarah McLachlan's "When She Loved Me" kicks your emotions »
- Tim Hayne
With its lively animation and adult-friendly gags, The Lego Movie does nothing to undermine the brand's reputation
The repositioning of luddite Lego bricks as a saleable staple of the digital gaming revolution is one of the greatest marketing coups of the 21st century. Parents who grew up assembling brightly coloured building blocks in the age of the Bakelite telephone were amazed to find their children playing Lego Harry Potter for DS or Lego Star Wars for Wii, the brand name meaning as much to their computer-literate offspring as it did to them.
Terrific to report, then, that The Lego Movie does nothing to undermine the Danish dynamo's ongoing reputation as a purveyor of fine entertainment for kids of all ages. While younger viewers will delight at the whiz-bang animation action and hugely likable familiar figures, adults will laugh themselves silly at the smart consumer satire gags and goggle in wonder at the undulating Legoland vistas. »
- Mark Kermode
A blooper reel for an animated movie isn’t a new concept, Pixar introduced the idea all the way back in 1998 when they attached outtakes to the end credits of A Bug’s Life. The studio continued the routine with Toy Story 2 and Monsters, Inc. - but what makes these outtakes from The Lego Movie unique is that it appears as if they’re […]
Read Watch: The Lego Movie Blooper Reel on Filmonic.
- Andrew Shuster
Big names carry a lot of weight in Hollywood, and over time a filmmaker’s reputation begins to precede them. Though some directors age like fine wine, getting better as their resumes grow larger, others age like vinegar. They somehow lose the initial spark that made them so successful in the first place, either because they grow lazy in their careers, learn all of the wrong lessons from their breakout hits, or simply just don’t make ‘em like they used to.
It’s easy for us to dismiss filmmakers who release one bad film after another, of course, casting them aside whilst refusing to buy any more tickets to their movies. But sometimes, a strange phenomenon begins to seep in with filmmakers we like. We get blindsided by their initial success, and – quite frankly – fail to notice when they begin to lose a little bit of the magic. »
- James Garcia
For anyone venturing into the new Phil Lord and Chris Miller animated movie is sure to walk away with one thing: Tegan and Sara’s happy anthem, “Everything is Awesome” stuck in the head. Not because it’s super catchy, grating and corny at the same time, (it is all of those things) but because its chorus couldn’t be more accurate of how enjoyable The Lego Movie really is.
It’s stunning that they made a movie about Legos in the first place, but be prepared to watch a surprisingly impressive movie–one that will send that warming feeling in your chest, and importantly, never drags. The long-running toy line encompass seemingly all interests and are now as ubiquitous as books and music of all genres. They include licensed lines like Lord of the Rings, Super-heroes, Star Wars, and Friends designed for young girls to their classic lines of space, »
- Ernie Estrella
One of the bright spots this past film year was the success of Disney’s Frozen. On the strength of it’s more modern princesses and an infectious score, the film set box office records and has garnered two Oscar nominations, Animated Feature and Best Original Song for “Let It Go”, its infectious hit. In honor of Frozen’s nomination, we figured it was time to take a look at the history of animated movies in Original Song.
The history of animated films picking up nominations and wins in Best Original Song is a tale as old as time (see what I did there?). Since the 1930s, animated films have won this award 13 times and over 50 nominations, which you can see below. This is an even greater feat when you think about the consideration that animated films get when lists of musicals are made (they »
- Terence Johnson
The opening and closing images in the Toy Story trilogy are one and the same: a picture-perfect blue sky with a couple of carefully placed, nonthreatening fluffy clouds in the middle. While both are computer-generated facsimiles, the former is a facsimile of a facsimile: the comforting wallpaper in the bedroom of a little boy named Andy Davis. The latter is closer to the real thing, greeting the teenage Andy as he drives off to college and out of the lives of the toys with whom he populated his imagination for over a decade. As the series opens, the 6-year old Andy, a suburban Christopher Robin of sorts, proves in the confines of his tiny room, overstuffed with plush animals, board games, action figures, and other toys, that his world of make-believe is limitless. As the series closes, Andy ventures into the known unknown of the real world, secretly wished an »
- Josh Spiegel
Get the Roundup gang together and put on the record player, because it’s time for a new episode of Mousterpiece Cinema! (We’re not making any promises about whether or not you can hear the episode on a record player.) Yes, it’s time for Gabe and Josh to move on from the first adventures of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear, and onto the sequel, Toy Story 2. This 1999 release was totally redone by Pixar’s animators within just nine months, but is widely considered one of the best sequels ever made; in this episode, Gabe and Josh, along with guest Dan Schindel, debate whether that consensus still holds up. Is Toy Story 2 the best film in the trilogy? Are there too many pop-culture references? And, let’s answer that age-old question: is Estelle Harris really a goddess? Find out on the new episode!
The post Mousterpiece Cinema, »
- Josh Spiegel
10 items from 2014
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