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When watching a release from a first-time director, it's always difficult to know exactly what to expect. Judging by the previews, you might have expected Earth to Echo to be a sophisticated, effects-driven grand adventure on the scale of The Goonies or Et: The Extra-Terrestrial. What you'll get is a charming mashup that pulls its strongest influences from classics like Et, The Goonies and The Iron Giant but never finds enough of its own identity to become more than an "echo" of those sources.
Director Dave Green and writer Henry Gayden, who both worked on the small screen on the series Zombie Roadkill, have assembled a talented cast of relative unknown child actors including Teo Halm (Alex), Brian Bradley (Tuck), Reese Hartwig (Munch), and Ella Wahlestedt (Emma). The most recognizable face is the adult villain Dr. Madsen played by the unlikely Jason Gray-Stanford, best known as police Lt. Randy Disher in Monk. »
- Mike Saulters
Cinema is inherently political. Even when filmmakers don’t go out of their way to put ideology under a microscope, their films still make implicit political statements. In 2008, for example, The Dark Knight combined all the thrills of a superhero flick with a gritty crime yarn while providing an allegory for the war on terror; meanwhile, 1999′s The Iron Giant delighted audiences with its central emotional through lines of friendship and self-determination, but also contains an anti-gun sentiment and a satirical critique of reactionary governance.
Neither film engages with contemporary politics openly and head-on; the political messages have to be read out of them. Other films, though, prefer to wear their politics on their sleeves, and Seth Rogen’s upcoming The Interview is one of them. The film has Rogen play ...
- Andy Crump
Hollywood has introduced us to a ton of awesome robots over the years. Robots have always been extremely cool, and they've sparked the imagination of what is possible. The robots we've seen in the movies have inspired technology and science. There are engineers out there who have created robots of their own and are constantly trying to perfect them. One day those robots will take over the world and destroy us all.
We all have our favorite robots, and I thought I'd come up with a top 10 list of my personal favorites. Note: Cyborgs like RoboCop don't count as robots on this list.
If you'd like to share your own favorites, please feel free to post them in the comments section below!
Iron Giant - The Iron Giant
The Iron Giant is by far my favorite robot. He's the one I would have loved to play with as a kid. »
- Joey Paur
Robots have been a part of cinema since its creation and still make for intriguing on-screen presences. With RoboCop set for a Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, DVD and Blu-ray release on 9th June 2014 from Studiocanal, we count down the most memorable movie cyborgs to have graced our screens.
Evil Maria – Metropolis (1927)
Fritz Lang’s classic sees an inventor, who has created a robot to resurrect his deceased wife, apply the likeness of a popular female worked named Maria (played by Brigitte Helm) in an attempt to ruin her reputation amongst her peers. Once completed, the robot is an evil incarnation of Maria and wreaks havoc in the dystopian future depicted by Lang.
Not only are these two of the most beloved robots in cinematic history, but one of the most revered fictional filmic double acts to adorn the screen. R2-D2 (played by »
- Phil Wheat
It’s time, once again, for Hollywood to bring to the big screen another tale from the pages of a popular young adult novel. But this one is a bit different. It’s not the first in a series, so no franchise this time. Oh, and it’s not set in the fantasy realm of sparkly vampires, hunky werewolves, and displaced offspring of mythical beings. And it’s not so in a dreary, futuristic dystopian society where evil adults force teens to battle each other for survival. Nope, this is a sweet, down-to-Earth story about two teens falling in love, much like last year’s low-key love story The Spectacular Now. Hey, the blossoming beauty from that earlier film, Shailene Woodley, is the female lead in the new flick. This after being the lead in the first film based on a series with those futuristic teen battles, Divergent, earlier this year. »
- Jim Batts
It seems that Warner Bros. is planning a full-length animated "Flintstones" project, with Will Ferrell and his frequent creative collaborator Adam McKay producing through their Gary Sanchez Production shingle (at least according to The Hollywood Reporter). What's more is that Chris Henchy, another partner in Gary Sanchez and a writer on such Sanchez projects as HBO's genuinely amazing "Eastbound & Down" and the somewhat less inspiring political comedy "The Campaign," will be writing the screenplay. While a cast hasn't been announced yet, we've already begun saying prayers for Ferrell and John C. Reilly to play Fred and Barney.
The prospect of remaking "The Flintstones" seems like a simple enough proposition. It's not the most sophisticated property to update (and the series itself is just a stone-age retelling of "The Honeymooners"). But it has become increasingly difficult to adapt the beloved Hanna-Barbera cartoon (which, before "The Simpsons," was the longest running »
- Drew Taylor
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 »
Since Brad Bird directed The Iron Giant, he's gone on to direct some awesome films in his career such as The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol. Out of all of those movies though, The Iron Giant is my favorite, in fact it's my number one favorite animated flick ever. I know many of you are fans of the movie as well, and it's a shame that it still hasn't been released on Blu-ray.
Even though the film is a classic, and one of the greatest animated film of all time, Warner Bros. screwed it over by not marketing it. It's an incredibly sad story, because this thing should have been a huge hit. The WB continues to screw it over by not releasing it on Blu-ray.
Bird was recently asked on Twitter when it might be released, and this was his reply:
"WB & I have been talking. But »
- Joey Paur
News Simon Brew 24 Apr 2014 - 07:17
You want a really good The Iron Giant Blu-ray release? Then you might need to do something about it...
Way back on the press tour for Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol, we got to spend 20 minutes in the company of its director, Brad Bird. This was a big moment for us, given that Bird directed The Incredibles and Ratatouille, along with one of our favourite films, The Iron Giant.
We've written about our precise love for The Iron Giant here, but Bird told us something about the film's planned Blu-ray release when we interviewed him. Here's what he said: "I’ve been talking with Warner Bros for basically the past ten years, and all sorts of options have been discussed.
There’s been talk of doing about a minute and a half, two minutes, of new animation for it, that were some sequences that we designed in the original, »
The Iron Giant is one of my all-time favorite movies. I have two Iron Giant Mondo posters. I have a little Iron Giant toy on my desk. What I don't have is the movie on Blu-ray because it's not available in that format. The special edition DVD is nice, but writer-director Brad Bird made a visually impressive movie, and it's worth a high-end Blu-ray release that not only looks good, but also has plenty of great extras. Earlier today, Bird was asked on Twitter about when we might see the movie on Blu-ray. Bird explained that he's spoken with Warner Bros. about it, but he wants more than a bare bones release. I couldn't agree more. I know it's kind of a cult film, but plenty of cult movies get excellent Blu-ray releases, and I think WB might be surprised at how many people want The Iron Giant to get the same treatment. »
- Matt Goldberg
These days, it’s easy to say you love Brad Bird. After The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, you’d be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t like his work. But many of us were on board from the beginning with The Iron Giant. In the summer of 1999, Bird was just another untapped talent […]
- Germain Lussier
It looks like Disney and Pixar are in the sequel game for good now with three Toy Story films, two Cars productions and one Monsters Inc. prequel under their belt, they’re not stopping there.
Everyone knows that sequels tend to make more money at the box office these days, and it just so happens that Pixar are not only extremely popular, but they also make exceptional follow-ups to their work. With the upcoming Finding Dory as well as the recently announced 3D conversions of The Incredibles and Ratatouille, you would think Pixar have enough exciting prospects on their hands. However the multi-award winning animation studio have just dropped another sequel bomb that many movie-goers have been anticipating for a very long time.
Pixar have just announced that The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3 are currently in early stages of development. Of course Cars 3 was all-but-a-given for the studio with the success of the previous two instalments, »
- Ben Read
It is the day fans have been asking for since 2004, and for many years, it was a day that I was sure would never happen. In the decade since the first film was released, Brad Bird has probably answered the question about whether or not there would be an "Incredibles" sequel a hundred times, and each time, he's been very blunt. The problem was always coming up with a story that was worth telling again with those characters. It would be easy to crank out a dozen movies where we just spend time with Bob, Helen, Dash, Violet, and the deeply freaky Jack Jack, and I'm sure audiences would have been happy to watch those films. But Brad Bird is not a guy who had a lot of patience for business as usual. Before "The Iron Giant," I knew Brad primarily from his work on "Family Dog" and as a screenwriter, »
- Drew McWeeny
News Simon Brew 18 Mar 2014 - 18:26
Disney's chief confirms that both The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3 are on the way from Pixar...
You know that bit where if you sit and wish hard enough, sometimes it comes true? Well, if you were one of those who was wondering if there would be a sequel to Brad Bird's brilliant The Incredibles, then stand back: Disney has now confirmed that another Incredibles film is in the works. Our, and many other people's wish, has come true.
This makes us very, very, very, very, very, very happy.
The news was broken by Bob Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney, who revealed that Pixar was working both on The Incredibles 2 and Cars 3. No further details - including details of who's directing and when to expect the films - are thus far forthcoming. A Tweet from Pixar added that "we’re currently working on new »
Last year's Oscar telecast set the bar pretty low. Seth MacFarlane's turn as an emcee was a horrible miscalculation. The energy and occasional charm that be brought to his cartoons and his unfathomably popular film "Ted" seemed to curdle while on stage, and the night dragged on in a series of unfunny songs and jokes that were tired, sexist, and bigoted. So all that Ellen DeGeneres had to do was not shove a wheelchair-bound kid down a flight of stairs, "Friday the 13th: Part 2"-style, and she would have pretty much aced the night.
But DeGeneres went above and beyond, liberally mixing sugar and spice for a dynamic, lively performance that set the bar fairly high for whoever takes over the job next year (can we start a petition to get her pre-approved?) Ellen unified the entire experience of Oscar night under one exuberant umbrella. It didn't feel »
- Drew Taylor
The Iron Giant may not have been a box-office success upon its original 1999 release, but the animated film based in 1957 Maine has come to be loved and appreciated by many in the years since. The quirky, heartbreaking sci-fi tale pairs the beauty of its hand-drawn animation with a powerful message.
Hogarth (Eli Marienthal, American Pie) is a young boy in fictional coastal town Rockwell (presumably named after this Rockwell) who stumbles upon a ginormous alien machine one night. Hogarth befriends the giant, who has lost most of his memory, and attempts to pass knowledge on to the larger being. Harry Connick, Jr. figures into the voice cast as a hipster scrap metal collector/artist who supervises some of Hogarth and the giant's interactions.
- Elizabeth Stoddard
Angry Birds is one of the most well known mobile gaming apps in the world and has not only spread to games consoles but also film franchises such as Rio and Star Wars. After this it wasn’t entirely surprising when it was announced that an animated film adaptation of the popular game was in the works.
The film will be produced and financed by the brands’ parent company Rovio Entertainment and distributed by Sony Pictures. Angry Birds will also be the directorial debut of Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis, who have both previously worked in the art department of hit animated films such as The Iron Giant and Wreck It Ralph. Now Rovio Entertainment have announced that they have chosen Sony Pictures Imageworks Vancouver to primarily animate the upcoming adaptation. You can read the press release below:
“‘Angry Birds’ is a worldwide phenomenon, and its creators want its movie adaptation done right, »
- Ben Read
Good things might happen to those who wait, but the Disney/Pixar masterpiece Ratatouille tells us great things only happen to those who act fearlessly.
“Anyone can cook,” is the quote most viewers leave the film with, and director Brad Bird lets the themes represented by this philosophy—nothing is impossible, anyone and everyone is capable of reinvention—run wild throughout the picture. But there’s another quote, one that comes very early in Ratatouille, that sums up both what the film is about and the true breadth of Bird’s accomplishment. After all, this is a film about a rat who tries and sort of succeeds in becoming a gourmet Parisian chef, and his journey is completely, objectively believable.
Here are the words of our hero’s idol, the late chef Auguste Gusteau: “You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must »
- John Gilpatrick
Feature Simon Brew 5 Feb 2014 - 06:57
Think kids' movies are just meaningless fluff? Think again. Many of them address important themes in smart, accessible ways, Simon argues.
At the time of writing, Disney's latest animated opus, Frozen, is in a very good place. Off the back of positive reviews, it's thus far hauled in nearly $900m at the global box office, and has a sporting chance of being the first animated movie to cross the $1bn mark. It's won a Golden Globe, is up for a couple of Oscars, and has built on the collection of strong films that Walt Disney Animation Studios has released over the past five or six years.
Personally, I'm thrilled with the success of Frozen. Not just because I really, really like the film an awful lot, but also because of its ambition and willingness to tackle deeper subjects under the surface. To be clear, »
Arriving in 2015, the Disney sci-fi adventure Tomorrowland has remained a fairly secretive project ever since it was announced back in May 2012, and that hasn't changed since filming began. Star George Clooney recently teased some new details directly from the set during an Ama (Ask Me Anything) session on Reddit to support his upcoming period drama The Monuments Men.
While Tomorrowland is shourded in mystery, we do know that the actor will be playing a 'former boy-genius inventor' who has become disillusioned with the advancement of the human race. A young teenage girl (Britt Robertson) reignites his passion for science, and together, they seek out what has become known as Tomorrowland, which may or may not have anything to do with the Disney Parks attraction.
While the actor couldn't offer any real story details, he did talk about the shooting process, and gave high praise to his director Brad Bird, a »
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