8 items from 2014
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 »
Bruce Wayne is heading back to the small screen in live-action form for the first time since 1968, with Fox chairman Kevin Reilly announcing that the upcoming Gotham TV series will focus on the exploits of the young billionaire prior to him donning the cape and cowl as Batman.
Gotham has been created by Bruno Heller (The Mentalist), with Danny Cannon (Judge Dredd) set to executive produce and direct the pilot episode. The show had been described as focussing on a pre-Commissioner Jim Gordon, but now it's been revealed that it will instead adopt a Smallville style approach by exploring the origin of the Batman.
"The show will track Bruce from a child until he puts on a cape (in the finale),” said Reilly, before stating that The Riddler, Catwoman and The Penguin will also makes appearances. "We will see how they get to become what they are as Gotham is teetering on the edge. »
- Gary Collinson
“Some of you may remember the character I voiced back in 1998…,” started Vin Diesel in a recent Facebook post, referring to his titular character in The Iron Giant. “Last month I had the opportunity to voice a new character, on the Disney lot… and I was shocked to see the same sound engineer, Doc, who was there when Brad Bird was directing me 15 years earlier, as the Iron Giant. As artists we are susceptible to clocking omens… and this was a great sign. As I worked, with James Gunn, breathing life into Groot… I saw more and more of the film… wow.” Diesel concluded the Facebook post, which has a photo from his Groot recording session, with “This summer's Guardians of the Galaxy, is not only going to blow you away, it could very well break Marvel records. Grateful for the opportunity to make magic.” What do you think? Marvel »
8 items from 2014
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