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With his recurring appearances both as a cast member and host on “Saturday Night Live,” Murphy brought to life some of the show’s most recognizable sketch characters, including Mr. Robinson, Buckwheat, and “Stevie Wonder.” His stand-up gigs in the 1980s are also legendary, and the filmed versions of Raw and Delirious are oft quoted and considered the height of stand-up.
For those not familiar with Delirious, it may come as a surprise that the voice of the beloved, scene-stealing Donkey from Shrek also made the most vulgar stand-up special in existence. Murphy’s 1983 special featured 230 instances of the f-word, and it’s only sixty-nine minutes.
Let’s put aside his work on “Saturday Night Live” and stand-up, and look at Murphy’s contribution to film. »
- Sasha James
Check out the new trailer for Disneynature’s Monkey Kingdom.
Life is an adventure for Maya, the clever and resourceful blonde-bobbed monkey in Monkey Kingdom, Disneynature’s new feature film set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya’s world is forever changed when she welcomes her son, Kip, into her complicated extended family. Like all families, Maya’s has more than its share of colorful personalities—and she’s determined to give her son a leg up in the world. When their longtime home at Castle Rock is taken over by powerful neighboring monkeys, Maya’s whole family is forced to relocate, where she uses her street smarts and ingenuity to lead them to untapped resources amidst strange new creatures and unsettling surroundings.
Ultimately, they will all have to work together to reclaim Castle Rock, where Maya can hopefully realize her dreams for her son’s future. »
- Melissa Thompson
In June 2014, moviegoers traveled to the village of Berk once again in How To Train Your Dragon 2. The film’s composer, John Powell, recently won Best Score – Animated Film for the movie at 5th Annual Hollywood Music in Media Awards.
Powell has scored films including Antz, Chicken Run, Shrek, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, and X-Men: The Last Stand and has frequently collaborated with directors Doug Liman and Paul Greengrass, on films including the Bourne trilogy, United 93 and Green Zone.
His infectious score for How To Train Your Dragon earned him his first Academy Award nomination. Powell has also lent his voice to the score of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, and Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. Most recently, audiences heard his music on the scores to Rio 2, directed by Carlos Saldanha, as well as the Dragon 2 sequel.
With the latest adventures of Hiccup and Toothless released on DVD in November, »
- Michelle McCue
It's been 20 years since DreamWorks Animation set up its stall, originally as part of the broader DreamWorks Skg project, but since splintering out on its own. One of the constants in that time has been the man heading it up: Jeffrey Katzenberg. Having overseen animation at Disney from the mid-1980s through the second golden era for the studio in the early 1990s, his company has made 30 animated films.
Here, he chats to us about film 30, The Penguins Of Madagascar, as well as the state of the business, the changing face of animation, and his fears for 2016...
As CEO of DreamWorks Animation, Jeffrey Katzenberg has seen a huge upheaval in the Hollywood landscape over the past 20 years. The carefully-crafted 2D animations have fallen by the wayside, as souped-up digital blockbusters like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and Madagascar have taken their place.
Katzenberg, who oversaw an animation renaissance during his tenure as Walt Disney Studios chairman (which spanned from The Little Mermaid to Tarzan), isn't wistful for those heady days. "I don't have a nostalgic gene in me," he told Digital Spy. "What I find most valuable focusing on are my mistakes and on the things that went badly because I find my best lessons come from the things I did wrong, not the things I did right."
The studio boss addressed latest offering Penguins of Madagascar, what's in store for DreamWorks and why the industry has let the public down with its approach to 3D.
There's a »
Superheroes, time travellers, aliens and zombies. Here’s our pick of forthcoming Us geek TV for 2015…
Following on from our list of brand new UK geek-skewed TV shows to keep an eye out for next year is this gaggle of Us counterparts. There are film adaptations from 12 Monkeys to Scream, comic book adaptations including Daredevil and Dark Matter, and a host of original projects.
All of the ones listed below are as certain as certain gets in the world of Us TV commissioning, and as a bonus, there’s a wee list of sci-fi and fantasy pilots to look forward to should they be picked up by their respective networks.
You’ll find this one among our running total of movies currently being turned into TV shows, for obvious reasons.
A Syfy production that’s expected to arrive in January 2015, 12 Monkeys is based on the 1995 Terry Gilliam film (itself »
Aired November 22, 2014 at 11:30 pm Et on NBC (East coast version watched for review)
When SNL is firing on all cylinders, there’s a sense of respect for its audience. “Sure,” it seems to say, “we know we’ve put out some real stinkers over the years, but you keep coming back for more, sometimes against your better judgement. So for your support and patience, here is an episode that simply doesn’t suck.” In the current state of a Saturday Night Live that is approaching 50, “doesn’t suck” is some of the highest praise it can get.
The Host: In six months, it may be genuinely hard to remember who the host of this episode was. This is not to say that Cameron Diaz is a shaky host. Quite the contrary: Diaz blends in so well with the cast that, »
- Jj Perkins
When a long-time A-lister with proven comedic chops like Cameron Diaz hits Studio 8H to host Saturday Night Live, expectations tend to be high. But would the Annie star’s wacky charm spin her first official hosting stint since 2005 — she’s done numerous guest spots, it must be noted — into comedy gold?
Despite a promising but eventually flat “Schoolhouse Rock”-themed cold open (highlighted by Jay Pharoah’s President Obama repeatedly throwing Kenan Thompson’s “Bill” down the Capital Hill steps) and Diaz’s less-than-stellar audience Q&A as opening monologue (“Is Shrek just as grumpy in real life?”), the »
Cameron Diaz hosted Saturday Night Live this weekend for the fourth time, and the episode allowed her to rap, wear lingerie and channel her Annie character. But was this a hard-knocked episode? Keep reading to find out. After the Schoolhouse Rock! cold open took aim at the immigration bill, the subpar monologue focused on Diaz fielding questions from the audience about Shrek and the fact that she's hot. By the time Tony Danza got name-checked, it was clear this monologue was not the boss. Faring better was a pre-taped sketch in which the show's ladies rapped about being
- Ryan Gajewski
In Cameron Diaz, “Saturday Night Live” has its second consecutive host making an appearance after a lengthy absence. Although Diaz has hosted the show three times before, this is her first time doing so since 2005. Will there be “Annie” sketches? Probably! Will there be a Jamie Foxx and/or Quvenzhané Wallis cameo? Possibly! Will Bruno Mars make an in-sketch appearance in addition to his musical role tonight? Likely! Will this be an exciting episode or one that puts audiences to sleep faster than Thanksgiving dinner? Who knows! As always, I’ll be liveblogging the show in real time, assigning grades to each segment. As always, I’ll remind you that comedy is subjective and the grades don’t have any more power than you allow them to have. As always, a few of you will ignore that last statement and quibble over a “B-“ versus a “B”. It’s cool. »
- Ryan McGee
Four years after the Warner Bros. heist adventure Yucatan was first announced, the project is moving forward with screenwriter Terry Rossio (The Lone Ranger, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides) coming aboard to re-write the script. Anthony Peckham was first set to write the script when Robert Downey Jr. attached himself to star in 2010.
The story is based on a massive 1,700-page movie treatment written by legendary actor Steve McQueen in the 1960s, which he was developing as a starring vehicle for himself. The treatment was discovered in two leather-bound trunks by the actor's son Chad McQueen in 2005, 25 years after his death in 1980. The original treatment followed a salvage expert (Robert Downey Jr.) and his search for lost Mayan treasure in the Yucatan peninsula. No details have been given for the updated story, but Terry Rossio and actor/producer Robert Downey Jr. are using the original premise as a »
The first project under Robert Downey Jr.’s production banner Team Downey, the drama The Judge, was released earlier this year, and now another Team Downey film is moving closer to fruition. Deadline reports that screenwriter Terry Rossio has been tapped to pen the script for the Warner Bros. treasure hunt film Yucatan, which is based on an original idea by iconic actor Steve McQueen and is being developed as a star vehicle for Downey Jr. Rossio’s credits include co-writing the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films as well as the animated features Shrek and Aladdin, so he’s got plenty of experience in the adventure realm. More on Yucatan after the jump. Steve McQueen was developing Yucatan as a star vehicle for himself in the late 1960s, and after his death a 1700-page treatment for the film was discovered in two leather-bound trunks. The original vision follows »
- Adam Chitwood
After courting and being snubbed by several deep-pocketed investors including a Japanese tech giant, Hollywood’s major studios and now Hasbro, Jeffrey Katzenberg may continue to struggle to find a buyer for his DreamWorks Animation Studios.
With each miss, the executive appears to look more desperate. Those who know him well say it will be tough for Katzenberg to restrain his controlling nature and secure the kind of pact that works for both buyer and seller.
Katzenberg’s desire to lock down an ultra-rich deal for the toon studio he built from the ground up and took public in 2004 is considered one obstacle. But so is his desire to take the top spot at the table of any company that buys his firm.
Analysts have begun voicing concern, saying that Dwa’s attempts to sell itself for years with no success is starting to ding the company’s reputation. Not »
- Marc Graser
Both Hasbro chief Brian Goldner and Dwa founder Jeffery Katzenberg are tough negotiators, and willful individuals who are used to running their own shows. So one of the open questions about a potential merger of their companies is whether the two CEOs can come to terms on operational control of the new entity. It’s impossible to imagine Katzenberg reporting to Goldner (or vice versa), even though Hasbro would be acquiring Dwa.
Of course, the other big question is whether the executives can agree on a price.
Katzenberg is naturally looking to get the best deal for Dwa, and is said to be asking Hasbro to pay more than $30 a share for the company in a deal that could be worth at least $2.3 billion. (Japan’s SoftBank is said to have recently offered $32 a share, »
- Marc Graser
DreamWorks Animation is in talks with Hasbro to merge the toon studio with the toy maker, according to individuals familiar with the discussions, Variety can confirm. In another potential deal, Dwa is considering selling a stake of AwesomenessTV to Hearst Publishing for $81.5 million.
The companies were unavailable or declined to comment. Deadline first reported the talks.
The discussions — as well as other potential investments in DreamWorks from Japan’s Softbank and China’s Alibaba — in recent months signal that Dwa-chief Jeffrey Katzenberg is clearly looking for a partner with whom he can restructure a company that has recently struggled at the box office with a string of misses with “Rise of the Guardians,” “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” “How to Train Your Dragon 2″ is one of its few hits of late. Dwa’s next film is “The Penguins of Madagascar.”
The timing of the merger talks come a decade »
- Marc Graser
Mike Myers doesn’t cite uber-manager Shep Gordon’s epic laugh as his primary reason for making his buoyant new documentary portrait “Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon,” but it’s easy to assume it was a factor.
After all, what comic wouldn’t revel in Gordon’s distinctive chortle-meets-whinny-with-a-dash-of-old-fashioned-guffaw?
But Myers was after much bigger game here, and claims he spent “20 years begging Shep” to participate in a documentary which Myers says he always envisioned as “an entertaining cautionary tale” of a man who’s clearly a close friend of Myers as well as an important personal model. “He’s a first-class BuJew,” says Myers, helpfully explaining that’s his term for “Buddhist Jew,” because Gordon “combines the wisdom of Judaism and non-attachment of Buddhism. He’s in the jungle with a machete and he’s flying over the jungle in a helicopter at the same time.”
After debuting at the Toronto Intl. »
- Steven Gaydos
Opening in limited theatrical release today is director Andrew Adamson's ("Shrek," "The Chronicles of Narnia") drama "Mr Pip," which is based on the award-winning novel by New Zealand author Lloyd Jones. It's named after the chief character in Dickens' novel. Living under the shadow of the Papa New Guinean civil war, a young girl (her name is Matilda) forms a unique bond with an eccentric schoolteacher, over their shared love for Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations." "Mister Pip" is the story of a girl caught in the throes of war on the island of Bougainville. It is »
- Tambay A. Obenson
Exclusive: Double Dutch International (Ddi) president Jason Moring has announced an output deal to sell worldwide rights to Awesometown Entertainment’s animations kicking off at Afm with $16m Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer.
Production is set to begin in January on the underdog story about a miniature horse vying to land a spot on to Santa’s sleigh team. Paul Griffin, who served as lead animator on Happy Feet 2, will direct.
Double Dutch and Awesometown plan to produce two to three animated features annually in the $10-15m range.
“Double Dutch is extremely excited about this massive partnership deal with Awesometown,“ said Moring. “We could not imagine a better filmmaker to kick of the slate of films in Paul Griffin.” »
- email@example.com (Jeremy Kay)
<< Back to Holiday 2014 ForecastPenguins of MadagascarRelease Date: November 26th (3D)Studio: 20th Century FoxGenre: AnimationDirector: Eric Darnell, Simon J. SmithWriters: John Aboud, Michael Colton, Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Brandon SawyerCast: Voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Peter Stormare, John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, Chris MillerStudio Description: Super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then...you know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it.Analysis: DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar franchise has been its most reliable brand outside of the Shrek series: the third installment, 2012's Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, is also the highest-grossing with $216.4 million. »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
John Powell has received two Hollywood Music in Media Award nominations for DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon 2. Powell is nominated for Best Score – Animated Film and Best Song – Animated Film for “Where No One Goes,” his collaboration with Sigur Ros lead singer Jónsi.
The Hollywood Music in Media Awards will be held at the Fonda Theater in Hollywood on November 4th, 2014.
The How To Train Your Dragon 2 soundtrack is available on Relativity Records. The DVD will be available on November 11, 2014.
The film crossed the $600,000,000 global mark over the Labor Day weekend in September. A record-breaking opening in China coupled with phenomenal success in territories around the world catapulted Dragon 2 to become the highest grossing animated film of the year and one of the top ten grossing films of the year in any genre.
How To Train Your Dragon 3 is scheduled for a June 9, 2017 release »
- Michelle McCue
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