1-20 of 75 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
We start the Top 7. You finish the Top 10. Or in this case, I give you 14 films.
Two themes seemed to keep popping up in 2011; nostalgia and forgetting. The forgetting specifically came in the form of Alzheimer’s disease. Friends with Benefits, A Separation, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Descendants, and 50/50 all had a key character with Alzheimer’s. On the flip side, nostalgia seemed central to many films. The Artist is an homage to silent films, while Hugo pays tribute as well. The Muppets and Winnie the Pooh told stories that could have existed when those timeless characters were first created (tapping in to our nostalgia). Young Adult exists because of high school nostalgia. Super 8 is the nostalgia of Steven Spielberg through the eyes of J.J. Abrams. Midnight in Paris is most-definitely an obvious nostalgia for Paris in the 1920s.
Don’t forget to remember. That »
- Jeff Bayer
Opening on Christmas Day is director Steven Spielberg‘s fantastic new movie, War Horse. Based on the Award winning play (which is based on Michael Morpurgo’s book) and set during World War I, War Horse tells the story of “the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert (Jeremy Irvine), who tames and trains him.” And don’t just take my word for it, early screenings have been very positive and the drama is heading into Oscar season with very positive buzz, especially after the National Board of review named War Horse one of the best 10 films of the year. The film also stars Emily Watson, David Thewlis, Peter Mullan, Niels Arestrup, Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Toby Kebbell. You can watch the trailer here and here’s seven clips. To help promote the film, DreamWorks recently held a press junket in New York »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
British filmmaker Alex Cox once said of Steven Spielberg, “[he] isn’t a filmmaker, he’s a confectioner”, referring to his heavily sentimental approach to the majority of his best-known – and best-loved – works. The legendary director’s detractors seem to view his emotive method as ineffectual, even disingenuous, and in just a few instances – chiefly Hook and A.I. – they might be right. However, the grand emotional power of the director’s most heralded works such as E.T., Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, is difficult to fight against, unapologetically grandiose and unerringly confident. Spielberg’s latest, his much-anticipated adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s novel War Horse (which was then adapted into a more famous play in 2007), is straddled somewhere between his best and his worst; a perfectly respectable weepie which nevertheless tries a little too hard to earn your tears throughout.
War Horse’s human protagonist is »
- Shaun Munro
Where to begin. Perhaps with the first sentence of the Wikipedia entry: "Steven Allan Spielberg Kbe (Hons.) (born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur." And this year, as he turns 65, he's Father Christmas, too — at least at the box office. After a mightily successful run in Europe, The Adventures of Tintin opens in the Us on Wednesday, followed by War Horse on Christmas Day.
"Every time a new Steven Spielberg film opens, a divisive critical discourse emerges," wrote Michael Koresky and Jeff Reichert in 2003, introducing a symposium at Reverse Shot. "Are Saving Private Ryan and Amistad heavily critical of American history, or are they glowing tributes to democracy? Is The Color Purple a progressive portrayal of a region mostly ignored by Hollywood, or a sugarcoated bastardization of Alice Walker's far grittier novel? Is A.I. sentimentalized Kubrick or cynical Spielberg? Does Schindler's List »
Quick! How many superstar directors could get away with opening one blockbuster less than a week after another? Right now that list has one name: Steven Spielberg. As the holiday box office awaits War Horse and The Adventures of Tintin, we’ve seen set pics of Daniel Day-Lewis as our 16th president in Lincoln, and now longtime Spielberg producer Kathleen Kennedy talks about the next project on the director’s eternally-crowded slate: Robopocalypse. [The Playlist]
Kennedy answered a number of question regarding projects that have been rumored (Jurassic Park 4 – “we don’t have a writer yet”), speculated about (Indiana Jones 5 – same story: “We’re not writing ‘Indiana Jones’ right now”), and some of them may very well be wishful thinking (a NeverEnding Story reboot, a Who Framed Roger Rabbit? sequel).
The project she divulged the most details about was the next planned shoot for Spielberg once Lincoln is wrapped (the man »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (thefilmstage.com)
Keloid Short Film Trailer. The Keloid short film trailer is produced by Big Lazy Robot, Gene Vengerov-Markmann, Aaron Beck, Amon Tobin, and Greg Broadmore. Keloid‘s plot synopsis: “Eliezer S. Yudkowsky* wrote about an experiment which had to do with Artificial Intelligence. In a near future, man will have given birth to machines that are able to rewrite their codes, to improve themselves, and, why not, to dispense with them. This idea sounded a little bit distant to some critic voices, so an experiment was to be done: keep the AI sealed in a box from which it could not get out except by one mean: convincing a human guardian to let it out.
What if, as Yudkowsky states, ‘Humans are not secure’? Could we chess match our best creation to grant our own survival? Would man be humble enough to accept he was superseded, to look for primitive ways to find himself back, »
If you don't think 2011 has been a good year for movies, considered the fact that the most celebrated and influential filmmaker of our generation, Steven Spielberg, is releasing not one but two films before the calendar flips. The releases of The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse have not only put Spielberg back in the public spotlight, they've once again opened up a discourse about his masterworks of the past four decades. One of the staples of all those films is popularly called "The Spielberg Face." It's described as a look with "eyes open, staring in wordless wonder in a moment where time stands still." You see a double example of it above from Jurassic Park but it's literally in every single one of his movies, and often way more than once. A new video essay has been posted dissecting the uses of "The Spielberg Face," its origins, subversions and much more. »
- Germain Lussier
Directed by: Martin Scorsese
Running Time: 2 hours and 7 mins
Release Date: November 23, 2011
Plot: A historical fiction, set in 1930s Paris, about a young orphan boy (Butterfield) who lives in the walls of a train station. He believes that if he can fix an automaton, left behind from his father, his life will make sense.
Who’S It For? If your child has a short attention span, this might be a tough one to sit through. So, you’ve been warned. For everyone else, it’s a 3D must-see family adventure film.
Expectations: I worship at the Scorsese-alter. I was curious, not nervous, about what he could do with a family film. In an interview he said something about his 11-year-old wanting a 3D movie. That motivation made me hope he knew what he was doing.
- Jeff Bayer
Steven Spielberg's 2001 film "A.I. Artificial Intelligence" imagines a future where life-like, sentient robots live among us, but as visionary as the film was, there's one future development he couldn't have predicted: The YouTube mashup.
Luckily for all of us, that's the future we are now living in -- and today, /Film and movie remix artist Nick Bertke have unveiled an audial and visual wonder featuring the sights and sounds of "A.I." itself. Talk about art imitating art imitating life.
Titled "Davyd," the new clip takes sound effects and snippets of dialogue from the film -- and their corresponding visual clips -- to piece together an ethereal soundscape. The centerpiece? Well, as you could probably guess from the title, it's Haley Joel Osment's Pinocchio-like robot David and his quest to become a real boy -- though you should also keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of superstar Jude Law as well. »
- Scott Harris
What do a tapping foot, sliding face and removable jaw have in common? They're three of the main elements Australian film/audio remix artist  Pogo uses for his latest work, Davyd, a music video inspired by and comprised of sounds and music from Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Stanley Kubrick's vision, A.I.: Artificial Intelligence. Check it out after the jump. Thanks to Laughing Squid  for the heads up. Here's Davyd. We've highlighted many of Pogo's , real name Nick Bertke, remixes in the past and they never disappoint. (Some highlights: Groundhog Day , Toy Story , Terminator 2 , etc.) He chooses interesting subjects, eclectic sounds and makes you look at an old movie in a whole new light. With Davyd, he makes the already creepy A.I. even weirder but also more beautiful. Here's the description from the YouTube  page: My remix of voices, chords and sound effects from Spielberg's 'AI: Artificial Intelligence'. Enjoy! »
- Germain Lussier
Chicago – Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams have one of the most creatively impressive collaborative histories in all of film. Having worked together since “The Sugarland Express,” the two forever changed the way film scores are produced and judged with countless classics. Tonight, November 15th, 2011, the two discuss their influences and work together at the American Film Institute in “AFI’s Master Class: The Art of Collaboration” and the conversation is a fascinating one, although the short running time leads to a program that feels a bit shallow at times.
Television Rating: 4.0/5.0
If you don’t know the name John Williams, you know his music. The living legend has 45 Oscar nominations, second only to Walt Disney, and has won five Oscars. Any conversation of the best film composers of all time that doesn’t include him is incomplete. “Star Wars,” “Superman,” and “Harry Potter” alone would cement the man’s place in history, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
"If everything moves along and there's no major catastrophes, we're basically headed towards holograms. Why can't you have Hamlet in 3D who comes out to the audience and does 'To be or not to be?' I mean, they do in the theater. You have to think that way. Don't let the economics, and fashion, inhibit you if you're being creative."
That's Martin Scorsese, as quoted by Todd Gilchrist at the Playlist. As Steven Zeitchik also reports for the Los Angeles Times, the comments followed an enthusiastic endorsement of 3D, which in turn followed this weekend's Los Angeles premiere of Hugo, Scorsese's adaptation of Brian Selznick's novel The Invention of Hugo Cabret. We saw a few early reviews last month when Hugo was still a work-in-progress. Zeitchik: "Set in the late 1920s, Hugo tells of the titular orphan (Asa Butterfield) who lives in a train station, his relationship »
If there's anyone who knows about breaking barriers in the visual effects industry, it's Dennis Muren, Phil Tippett and John Rosengrant, whose computer-generated dinosaur effects on Jurassic Park forever changed the FX landscape, earned them Academy Awards and famously caused George Lucas to tear up with joy. But their work pioneering new technologies did not begin or end with Steven Spielberg's 1993 classic. The artists have worked on some of Hollywood's most technologically innovative titles including Star Wars, E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Predator, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Avatar. »
We take a look back at the most disturbing moments in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster movies…
For many of us, Spielberg’s films have formed a childhood backdrop. Geeks of a certain age grew up with such classics as Jaws, Raiders Of The Lost Ark and E.T., and the director and his films have a familiar, almost avuncular presence. It shouldn’t be forgotten, though, that Spielberg’s pictures have always had a dark edge, and it’s inarguable that, even in his most family-oriented films, there lurks a streak of gleeful horror.
As Jurassic Park makes its high-definition debut as part of the Ultimate Trilogy boxset, what better time than to salute the most unexpectedly grotesque moments in Spielberg’s mainstream career? Those sequences that had youngsters everywhere watching through their fingers, or hiding behind a cushion for protection.
Bear in mind, though, that this list is devoted to the director’s blockbuster movies, »
Real Steel offers a rivet-popping, metal-rending sci-fi take on the sports movie, and a refreshing counterpoint to more realistic genre fare such as The Fighter and Warrior. Although special effects play a big part in its entertainment factor, it is, like Rocky before it, a drama at heart, and in many ways this is as important to the movie’s success as giant robots and computer effects.
Ahead of Real Steel’s release on Friday, we caught up with director Shawn Levy to discuss the film. And here’s what he had to say – and do bear in mind, there's a bit of colourful language dotted about here and there...
Obviously, Real Steel’s a special effects-heavy film, but it’s heavily reliant on drama as well »
…of the world. Maybe of the entire universe. Who knows what kind of movies or box office receipts they have in the far galaxies? Still, regardless how much money The Sands of WeepWoo makes on planet Brackle, it couldn’t have been stepped up to the how well the giant robots did this weekend. Real Steel didn’t break any box office records. Even for a robot movie, its opening was on the high end but still South of movies like A.I. Artificial Intelligence ($29.3m opening) and Robots ($36m). It did, however, have the biggest opening for a boxing film, topping Rocky IV‘s $19.9m debut from 1985. A nice sized opening like we see hear combined with how crowd-pleasing the film is could prove Real Steel to have some solid longevity. The Ides of March might have some equally good longevity, not that a film like The Ides of March is looking to break the $100m bank »
- Jeremy Kirk
Real Steel fought its way to the top of the box office this weekend, though its debut didn't quite reach heavyweight levels. The Ides of March was the runner-up with a standard George Clooney opening, while Dolphin Tale and Moneyball continued to hold well in their third frames.Real Steel scored an estimated $27.3 million, which tops Rocky IV's $20 million for highest boxing debut ever (though it obviously lags in estimated attendance). It was also the second highest-grossing opening for a sports drama behind The Blind Side's $34.1 million. Still, Real Steel had an average start for movies involving robots, and even wound up behind A.I. Artificial Intelligence ($29.4 million). According to distributor Walt Disney Pictures' exit polling, the audience was 66 percent male and 70 percent under the age of 35, and the movie earned a strong "A" CinemaScore ("A+" for the under-25 crowd). The Ides of March earned an estimated $10.4 million on its opening weekend. »
- Ray Subers
Films about robots have long captured the imagination of movie goers, who may or may not believe in its existence in the not-so-distant-future. Here are the top films about these intelligent mechanical human friends... or enemies. Check it out!
The Best Robot Movies'i, Robot'
When: 2004 Who: Will Smith and Bridget Moynahan What: In the not so distant future, (2035), a detective, who dislikes the rapid advancement of technology, investigates a crime that may have been caused by a robot. »
Real Steel emerged as the undisputed champion on Friday, though it packed a fairly average punch. The Ides of March wound up in second with a decent debut right in line with past George Clooney projects, and Dolphin Tale held strong in third place. Real Steel earned an estimated $8.55 million on Friday, which is double the debut of last October's Secretariat ($4 million) and also a bit ahead of Red ($7.3 million). More impressively, it's the second-best opening day ever for a boxing movie behind Ali's $10.2 million on Christmas Day. Still, it's middle-of-the-road for sci-fi movies and off from I, Robot ($18.1 million) and A.I. Artificial Intelligence ($9.8 million). Real Steel appears in line for an opening just north of $25 million. Political thriller The Ides of March grossed an estimated $3.45 million, which is a slight improvement from star George Clooney's Michael Clayton ($3.3 million). However, it was a bit off from Ryan Gosling's »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If we extrapolate out the current trend we can deduce that I'll never pick the top slot correctly again. Last weekend? As Gob would say, I made a huge mistake, taking Simba over Dolphin Tale. But this weekend? It's in the bank, cut the check, ball don't lie. Let's break it down! Laremy predicted the #1 movie correctly 0 Weeks In A Row Real Steel Seriously here people, having a $17m cushion means we're back on track. $9k per theater feels solid, a number right around A.I. Artificial Intelligence. As for the film itself, we're definitely going to get into it on Friday's podcast, but let's just say (as Brad has already indicated) it's not pretty.
Budget-wise, they had to have spent some cash here. I have seen some reports suggesting $80+ million? The formula is clear: Hugh Jackman + CGI robots - whatever a screenplay normally costs. Zing!
Still, it has 3,300+ theaters to »
- Laremy Legel
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