17 items from 2014
Pixar has revealed the lead character of its next short Lava. Meet Uku, the volcano. He's crusty and known to erupt in bursts of anger at any minute without warning, but he also has a very warm center in this 7 minute musical love story between two mountains. Take a look.
Uku and Lele are two mountains in love in the Pixar animated short Lava, which will have its premiere at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival in Japan in August, before being attached to prints of Pixar's next full-length feature Inside Out, in theaters June 2015.
Lava is directed James Ford Murphy, an animator who started working with Pixar on 1998's A Bug's Life. He came up with the idea for Lava more than twenty years ago, visiting Hawaii's Big Island while on his Honeymoon. He explains,
"I thought it would be so cool to fall in love with a place who's also a character. »
We've been talking about the upcoming Sasquatchploitation film Love in the Time of Monsters for some time now, and the good news is the film has found distro so we'll actually be able to see it, too! Oh, happy day!
From the Press Release
After a successful premiere at the Cinequest Film Festival and a recent screening at the Chinese Theater in Hollywood (through Dances with Films), Indican Pictures is proud to announce that they’ve secured the domestic distribution rights to horror comedy Love in the Time of Monsters.
- Steve Barton
Pixar's next film is Inside Out, directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up) and hitting theaters on June 19, 2015 and with it will come a new short film, this one titled Lava and the studio just sent over the first teaser poster for the film tonight. Lava is directed by James Ford Murphy, animator on films from A Bug's Life to Ratatouille, and was inspired by the isolated beauty of tropical islands and the explosive allure of ocean volcanoes. The short is described as a musical love story that takes place over millions of years. Here's the poster and for more on Inside Out, click here. »
- Brad Brevet
They're talented, individual, but could, possibly, do with a bit of editorial guidance. Could these directors use a boss, we wonder?
In truth, we're a bit frightened about this one. Several times in pub/coffee shop/cider drinking in the park conversations, we've chatted about film directors who perhaps have got too powerful, that they seem to be able to get their own way without having someone to call bullshit on them - be it a good boss, or a very good friend that they trust and listen to.
This can be a very good thing. After all, we want film directors to be free to tell their stories. We don't want studio suits calling the shots. And some directors use their independence wondefully well, without losing what bought it to them in the first place (so, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis and such like).
Sadly, due to the delay of The Good Dinosaur, we won't be seeing Pixar Animation's sequel Finding Dory until the summer of 2016. The original film's director Andrew Stanton will get some help this time though. Pixar Planet (via SlashFilm) noticed a Twitter update from Stanton which named Angus MacLane as his co-director whilst posting an amusing Lego creation commemorating Iron Man. MacLane isn't new Pixar blood as he was at the helm of the Halloween animated short "Toy Story of Terror." Stanton doesn't specifically mention Finding Dory, but it's the only film he's working on at this time, so it just makes sense. MacLane hasn't just directed the aforementioned Pixar shorts though as he's been involved in some capacity on all of their films since A Bug's Life, right up through Toy Story 3. And yes, that includes Stanton's turns as director on Finding Nemo and Wall-e. Other shorts that »
- Ethan Anderton
Denzel Washington may be going from vigilante to gunslinger. The Oscar winner is circling a role in MGM's upcoming remake of "The Magnificent Seven," which would reunite him with "Training Day" director Antoine Fuqua. Both have received offers to join the film, according to Variety. The 1960 original starred Steve McQueen, Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn as the titular gunslingers who unite to protect a small Mexican village from recurring outlaw attacks. It was based on Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film "7 Samurai," and the formula has also been adapted to fit films based in outer space ("Battle Beyond the Stars") and the insect world (Pixar's "A Bug's Life"). It's unknown if the new version will take place in the Old West, or be transferred to the modern day. Tom Cruise was attached to the film at once point, but exited late last year. The remake script was written by "True Detective” creator Nic Pizzolatto, »
- Dave Lewis
After watching this video, we want to go re-watch A Bug's Life, because by the look on little Luca Comrie's face, it's apparently the best movie, well, ever. Hilary Duff posted a video of her son watching the popular Pixar Animation flick and it's safe to say the 2-year-old is killing us with cuteness in the Instagram clip, which is the most ridiculously adorable thing we've seen all week. "Baby giggle are the best.... This guys realllly into A Bugs Life," she captioned the video in which little Luca cannot his laughter. The clip shows Luca bursting in a fit of giggles as Hilary sits beside her son, asking him "What's going to happen?" before he erupts into glee. »
By Lee Pfeiffer
There are precious few things in life that reach the status of absolute perfection. Off-hand I can think of three:
1. A top notch Cuban cigar.
2. A wee-small hours meal in a New Jersey White Castle.
3. Any performance by the New York Philharmonic.
Last night, I had the opportunity to cover the latter for Cinema Retro, as the Philharmonic, under the direction of the esteemed conductor David Newman, presented a magnificent tribute to the music of the Pixar animated film classics. The event took place at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City and was the latest production in the legendary orchestra's tie-ins to major motion pictures. Last year, I reported on the Philharmonic's similar celebration of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. (Click here for coverage) However, the Pixar event was even more impressive. My one gripe with the Hitchcock event was that the film »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Odd List Ryan Lambie 28 Apr 2014 - 06:21
From Japanese anime to Disney via stop-motion, here are 18 animated films that are mystifyingly unavailable on Blu-ray...
Not all movies need to be seen in HD, but if there's one type of filmmaking that regularly benefits from the Blu-ray format, it's animation. Let us cite one example at random: My Neighbour Totoro. Until fairly recently, the only copy we had on the shelf was an early, imported version on DVD, which was grainy and a little washed-out.
When Studio Canal issued Totoro on Blu-ray in 2012, the difference in image quality was little short of a revelation: Hayao Miyazaki's colours and fluid lines positively shimmered. In short, it was like seeing this fresh, sun-drenched film again for the first time.
The same could be said for so many other animated films, no matter what country they come from: in high-definition, we can truly »
Why is "Seven Samurai" considered one of the greatest films ever made? I'd answer that by telling you to go watch it right now, but you probably don't have 3 hours and 27 minutes free at the moment. (It goes by super fast, though, which is one of the reasons the movie is great.)
One reason is simply the movie's vast influence. Released 60 years ago this week in Japan (on April 26, 1954), Akira Kurosawa's epic has had an incalculable impact on adventure filmmaking for six decades. Some of your favorite movies owe a huge debt to "Seven Samurai," and you may not even realize it.
The movie's plot has proved simple but durable: The residents of a farming village are beset by roving bandits until they hire a septet of ronin to defend them. Despite the lengthy running time, that's pretty much it, plus a lot of character development so that you »
- Gary Susman
With almost 40 years of history - encompassing films, TV, comic books, video games and novels - there's a wealth of interesting facts and information about the vast universe hatched by George Lucas.
Here are ten fast facts we've discovered from a galaxy far, far away…
1. Inspired by the swashbuckling Flash Gordon adventures that began in the '30s, a young George Lucas initially wanted to bring that serial to the big screen, but found the rights to the character difficult to untangle. From there he began to fashion his own space epic - a project that would eventually become the Star Wars we know and love.
However, things could have been a lot different as Lucas's first draft script was »
Togas-to-go and abs to die for atop the UK box office, while Grand Budapest Hotel books in a surprise third
• More from UK box office
Seven years after the original 300 film, and with Gerard Butler's slain character missing this time around, it was by no means certain that audiences had an appetite for second helpings. But backers Warners and Legendary Pictures will be plenty happy with the opening numbers for 300: Rise of an Empire in the Us and internationally. In the UK, the film, from director Noam Murro (Smart People) and starring Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton (Animal Kingdom), achieved a robust £2.76m debut. While that's well down on 300's opening salvo – £4.75m including previews of £784,000 – it's not bad for a film that seemed short of marketable elements other than the 300 brand name.
Rise of an Empire knocked The Lego Movie off the top spot after a three-week run. »
- Charles Gant
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
Oscars buzz boosts UK box office and whether growling on a plane or voicing an animation, it's Liam Neeson's moment
• Review of The Lego Movie
• Review of Non-Stop
• More on the UK box office
Adding another £4.79m in the past seven days, The Lego Movie now stands at a sturdy £26.67m after three weeks of play. That puts it level with the lifetime tallies of blockbusters including Spider-Man 2 (£26.72m) and Ocean's Eleven (£26.47m), and ahead of fellow animations including Ratatouille (£24.80m) and Wall-e (£22.91m). The Lego Movie will pretty soon overtake the likes of Shrek (£29m) and A Bug's Life (£29.45m) and is clearly headed into the mid-30s (£m).
Although box office for The Lego Movie is certainly skewed to the weekend, its decent performance in the Monday-to-Thursday period suggests that it is picking up a true adult audience, rather than merely adult chaperones of children. »
- Charles Gant
Back in the day, every Pixar movie was accompanied, during the closing credits, with a series of "bloopers." These freshly animated pieces, either combining real in-the-recording-studio bloopers with new animation or wholly invented comedy bits, pushed the metatextual realism to wacky new heights (see the bugs from "A Bug's Life" are actors making a movie!), with some of the outtakes working better than others (my personal favorite are the ones from "Monsters Inc."). Pixar discontinued the bloopers a few movies ago, citing their reluctance to ever fall into a "predictable" pattern (and they would seem horribly out of place on something like "Up" or "Brave"), but it makes sense that "The Lego Movie" would carry that idea forward, with a wonderful blooper reel just as charming and hilarious as the actual movie.
To give away the outtakes would be a punishable offense, but I'll just say that they seem to »
- Drew Taylor
News Simon Brew 14 Feb 2014 - 06:25
Harking back to the days when Pixar did this, the team behind The Lego Movie have released some outtakes...
Remember when early Pixar films used to have fake outtakes at the end of them? When they debuted them at the end of A Bug's Life it was both a surprise and a treat, and whilst Pixar would stop after a few movies, its fake outtake work remains quite brilliant.
Well, The Lego Movie - which arrives properly in UK cinemas this weekend - is now getting in on the act. It's probably best you don't watch this until you've seen the movie, but if you have, then you might just enjoy these. We particularly like the fact that they appear to have gone to the effort of animating moments where the voice cast fumbled. That's dedication...
Follow our Twitter feed for faster news and bad jokes right here. »
If you didn't check out The Lego Movie last weekend, you really owe it to yourself to see it. The movie is funny and one of the all around best animated movies in a long time. The sense of humor is great for all ages with some nice easter eggs for adults. Until the Blu-ray hits and the already announced sequel hits, we can enjoy the various clips and such available online. Newly released is a blooper reel for The Lego Movie. Unlike the reels for movies like Toy Story or A Bug's Life, »
- Alex Maidy
17 items from 2014
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