14 items from 2014
The past may be immortal, but not so the reanimating magic that turns New York’s American Museum of Natural History into a dusk-to-dawn happy hour for dinosaurs and Neanderthals, explorers and conquerors, and a capuchin monkey with an overactive bladder. Such is the dilemma this motley crew (once more under the leadership of Ben Stiller’s harried night watchman) faces in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb,” a most enjoyable capper to director Shawn Levy and producer Chris Columbus’ cheerfully silly and sneakily smart family-entertainment juggernaut. A fond farewell, to the series and to two of its stars — Mickey Rooney and Robin Williams — “Tomb” offers little in the way of secrets of surprises, but should add much holiday cheer to Fox’s box-office coffers.
The “Night” movies haven’t much endeared themselves to highbrow critics — among those who’ve even bothered to write about them — but it »
- Scott Foundas
Director: Joe Dante. Review: Adam Wing. Why is Joe Dante so inconsistently consistent? I look back over his career in movies and see some of my favourite films growing up. Dante's first film was released in the year I was born, and Piranha still has more teeth than a lot of horror movies made today. It wasn't until 1984 that I started paying attention though, with the release of one of my all time favourite movies, Gremlins. Innerspace followed in 1987, The New Batch arrived in 1990 and sandwiched somewhere in between was The 'Burbs. Starring Tom Hanks, Corey Feldman (of course, it was the '80s) and Carrie Fisher, The 'Burbs is the kind of movie that gets better with age. "There go the Goddamn brownies..." Joe's output became more infrequent in the 90s, with standouts being Small Soldiers in '98 and 2003's Looney Tunes: Back In Action. I only mention this »
Backed by Steven Spielberg in the 1980s, filmmaker Joe Dante would go on to make some incredible touchstones of cinema from that decade, including “The Howling,” “Gremlins,” it’s sequel, the cult-classic “The ‘Burbs,” “Explorers” and more. The ‘90s and aughts couldn’t quite live up to his incredible ‘80s run, but he did direct memorable pictures like "Matinee" and "Looney Tunes: Back in Action," and shot a lot of TV. But Dante is back, and he has a new zom-com about a young man whose regrets over moving in with his girlfriend are compounded when she dies and comes back as a zombie. Titled “Burying The Ex,” the movie makes its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival this week, and the first clip has arrived. The movie stars Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario (“True Detective”) and Oliver Cooper. We’ve also got our hands on a few new photos too. »
- Edward Davis
“Demons run when a Good Man goes to war,” went the ancient line. But the problem is, The Doctor is no longer sure he’s a good man. Further problem is, neither is Clara. So The Doctor’s not quite sure what he’s going to do when he’s invited to go…
Into The Dalek
Directed by Ben Wheatley
Human rebel fighter Journey Blue is about to have her ship destroyed by a Dalek saucer when The Doctor saves her by materializing the ship around her, a move for which he expects and demands a thank you. Returning her back to her command ship, he’s quickly arrested, until Journey tells them he’s a Doctor…which is lucky because they have a patient. The patient is a Dalek, who is malfunctioning. As in, it has become good – it is raving that the Daleks must be defeated. »
- Vinnie Bartilucci
The last time we saw Warner Bros' golden age animated characters on the silver screen, it was courtesy of Joe Dante and his 2003 film, Looney Tunes: Back In Action. It wasn't a box office success, unfortunately, but it offered lots to enjoy, with Dante's anarchic sense of humour perfectly suited to the antics of character such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Tasmanian Devil.
A little over a decade later, and it's been revealed that a new Looney Tunes movie is in the offing. Currently going by the short, snappy title Acme, it's being written by Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz - the duo who brought us the thoroughly entertaining X-Men: First Class. The pair also wrote the comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love, directed by Glenn Ficarra »
With Warner Bros. still trying to bring the Looney Tunes crew back to cinemas in some fashion, it appears the current project has evolved considerably. In development since at least 2010, the film now seems focused on the Acme Company seen most often in the Road Runner cartoons, has Steve Carell attached to star and X-Men: First Class writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz on board to crank out the script.Unless this is somehow a divergent movie from the one we last checked in on back in 2012 – when Saturday Night Live veteran Jenny Slate was hired to write a script for a story that appeared more closely focused on the actual Looney Tunes team a la 2003’s Looney Tunes: Back In Action – the drive here is to create something that blends CG and live-action but instead explores the Acme factory and its products.How Carell fits into that, and indeed »
The Warner Bros. Looney Tunes-based feature film “Acme” looks to be gaining speed, as the studio has set “X-Men: First Class” scribes Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz to pen the script. Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, helmers of “Crazy Stupid Love” and the upcoming “Focus,” are in early talks to direct.
After the success of “The Lego Movie,” which Lin produced, the studio is looking to fill the pipeline with animated properties that appeal to several demographics. »
- Justin Kroll
No top billing for you, Bugs Bunny. Daffy Duck, prepare to play second banana. Elmer Fudd? Fuh-fuh-fuh-fuggedaboutit!
According to The Hollywood Report, Warner Bros. is moving full steam ahead on bringing the classic cartoon "Looney Tunes" to the big screen. They've hired writers Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz ("X-Men: First Class"), and Steve Carell is attached to star. He may reunite with his "Crazy Stupid Love" directors, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, too.
And while the movie will be a mix of live action and CGI, the actual "Looney Tunes" characters will not be the focus of it.
Rather, the movie is kind of spinoff centering on the Acme Corporation, which manufactures "crazy and sometimes dangerous products" used by Looney Tunes characters (like Wile E. Coyote in his futile quest to catch Road Runner).
- Kelly Woo
With “The Lego Movie” established as a major franchise starter, Warner Bros. is tooning up its animation schedule by announcing release dates for two untitled movies for the Memorial Day holiday on May 25, 2018, and on May 24, 2019.
The studio did not disclose any details about the new titles. It already had “Lego” spinoff “Ninjago” set for Sept. 23, 2016, followed by a “Lego” sequel for May 26, 2017, so it’s possible — but not definite — that the two additonal films could be “Lego” related.
The studio, which has been looking to catch up to competitors in the animated game, now has half a dozen animated films in the pipeline.
Warner Bros. announced early last year that it had formed an animated think-tank-style creative consortium aimed at »
- Dave McNary
On June 15th one of the most recognizable voices in radio and television died, succumbing to lingering complications of Lewy Body Dementia. At 82 years of age the legendary Casey Kasem passed on to the next level of existence.
For America it was a sad day. Despite the fact that hordes of the younger generations couldn’t speak on the man’s accomplishments, they know his voice when they hear it. And we know it too. The longtime, hardcore, deeply rooted genre fans know Kasem for his prolific run as the eventual pop-culture standout character Shaggy Rogers, of the timeless “Scooby-Doo” series.
Shaggy was one of (if not the) first animated stoners to hit commercial television. Hanna-Barbera Productions – to my knowledge, which is creepily thorough in all honesty – never stepped out of the shadows to make it known that Shaggy was a major weed-head (totally expected and for quite obvious reasons »
- Matt Molgaard
The studio, which has been looking to catch up to competitors in the animated game, announced early last year that it had formed an animated think-tank style creative consortium aimed at delivering one “high-end” pic per year.
“Lego,” the first film to go out as a Warner Animation Group title, has overperformed with $457 million worldwide and set a sequel for release on May 26, 2017.
The untitled animated films — both in 3D — have landed on Feb. 10, 2017 and on Feb. 9, 2018. Warner Bros. did not disclose further details. Both are the first projects to land on those dates.
Fox has already dated five animated projects for 2018 while Disney has dated three.
- Dave McNary
Who could begrudge Joe Dante the honor of an anthology volume dedicated to his work? Here's a director who's never quite gotten his due despite a plethora of appreciative, dedicated fans. Serious American critics, including Jonathan Rosenbaum and Dave Kehr, have stumped for him for decades, but it seems sadly unlikely that such a volume would come out in his home country. In fact, even the Austrian Film Museum press' previous subjects (e.g., Apichatpong, Karmakar, Denis, Assayas) merely emphasize how this looks, superficially at least, like a departure. As an object, of course, the book is beautiful like the other entries in the series.
The co-editors Nil Baskar and Gabe Klinger have brought together a nicely diverse set of accounts of Dante's work. Some are pieces of historicist criticism; others are textual readings of certain tropes or tensions in the movies themselves (e.g. Dušan Rebolj on “Dante's Agents, »
- Zach Campbell
Well, of course it's going to be a trilogy. The profile that The New York Times just ran on Warner's newest CEO, Kevin Tsujihara, was all about the way he's planning to keep Warner in the franchise business in the near future, and one of the things he mentioned was the new project that was announced last year, "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them," an original project by Jk Rowling that builds off the world she created for her "Harry Potter" books. One thing I'll say immediately that makes me like Tsujihara is that he's pushing Warner to produce and release more films instead of less at a time where so many other studios are barely making films. And, sure, many of those films are going to be giant tentpole movies, but that's what allows them to take a chance on something like "Gravity." The "Fantastic Beasts" trilogy will focus on Newt Scamander, »
- Drew McWeeny
This weekend's "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," a feature-length, 3D animated film from DreamWorks Animation, is already notable in the sense that it's the first film based on characters from the classic series "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show" that doesn't look like it's going to be a huge financial disaster.
The spritely story of time traveling dog Mr. Peabody (this time voiced by Ty Burrell) and his "pet" human Sherman (Max Charles) is adapted from the "Peabody's Improbable History" segments of "The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show," and was directed by Rob Minkoff (it's his first animated feature since a movie we've never heard of called "The Lion King").
With "Frozen" finally exiting theaters and "The Lego Movie" losing some of its staying power, it looks like "Mr. Peabody and Sherman," a brightly colored, lively movie that will probably rake in some big box office. The premise is appealing and a number of parents »
- Drew Taylor
14 items from 2014
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