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First breaking into composing for film by providing the score for 2001’s The Delivery, DJ Junkie Xl (also known as Tom Holkenborg, and best know for his remix of Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation) has gone to make quite a name for himself in the film world, providing music for Domnio, Blade, 300: Rise of an Empire, Divergent, Run All Night, as well as working with Hans Zimmer on Megamind, Inception, Madagascar 3, The Dark Knight Rises, and Man of Steel (they will once again collaborate on next year’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice). He also provided one of the soundtracks of the Summer with his amazing score for Mad Max: Fury Road (seriously, play that in a car, and you’ll swear you're driving an armoured big rig through a post apocalyptic desert), so you better believe there were many fists pumped in the air when he announced »
- email@example.com (Tom White)
Based on the "Wallace and Gromit" television spin-off of the same name, Shaun the Sheep is written and directed by Mark Burton (Madagascar) and Richard Starzack. Below, the pair – along with Nike Drake, the creator of "Shaun the Sheep" – give us the inside look at just what it took to bring Shaun to the big screen. From the screenplay and storyboards, to character models, Aardman takes us behind the latest stop-motion adventure.
Animation studios are basically small cities, employing thousands of talented creatives who specialize in the tiniest of things – and Aardman Animations is no different. Five bucks that there are at least a dozen people who are in charge of making Shaun's clay coat look like wool.
Shaun the Sheep plays Cineplex theatres this summer on August 7th.
Go behind the scenes of Shaun the Sheep Movie below: »
- Sasha James
A cringe-worthy jamboree of dimbulb manflesh that’s even more embarrassing than the first film. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): didn’t like the first film, don’t like Channing Tatum, don’t find stripping sexy
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If you want a picture of the future, imagine Channing Tatum grinding his crotch in a human face, forever.
You think I exaggerate? Between this cringe-worthy jamboree of dimbulb manflesh (and that of the first film, which wasn’t even this embarrassing) and Fifty Shades of Grey’s celebration of abuse as romantic, Hollywood has gotten a warped idea about What Women Want. Expect more of it, soon. Because plenty women have embraced these things. (Magic Mike earned $167 million worldwide on a paltry budget of $7 million. Xxl will do at least as well, because there’s nothing audiences love »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Twenty years ago Pixar Animation Studios released their first feature-length film: Toy Story. It was the first completely computer generated film out there and changed everything. Every other studio making animated films has been trying to catch up to them, not only in terms of technological achievements but in crafting stories that make everyone old and young laugh, cry, and thrilled. Not every single film they've made has been a home run, but their track record thus far has been pretty impressive. This year's release Inside Out is no exception, arriving as the fifteenth feature in the animation house's stable. Given the occasion, I've taken it upon myself to rank Pixar's first fifteen features to settle once and for all what is the best and worst from the studio. I contemplated bringing in the short films that precede each of their features, as many are just exquisite if not better than the films they accompany, »
- Mike Shutt
“The Bravest” marks the producers’ second animated film after “Ballerina” (pictured) which is being presented at Annecy in the Work In Progress section.
The English-language feature is currently in development. The animation will be created out at L’Atelier Animation in Montreal.
Set in the 1920’s, against the backdrop of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory disaster, “The Bravest” turns on a 15-year old girl who desperately wants to make her father proud. After finding out that her dad used to be a firefighter, she sets out to become one and enrolls into a fire station.
Zeitoun told Variety that “The Bravest” will be in the same artistic vein as “Ballerina,” the 1884-set film charting the journey of Felice, an 11-year-old orphan girl from Brittany »
- Elsa Keslassy
Read More: 6 Ways Virtual Reality Will Change Filmmaking On Tuesday, almost half a year after debuting its first four-minute virtual reality experience, "Lost," at Sundance, Oculus Story Studio introduced the star of its second project: a hedgehog named Henry, on its blog. Henry loves birthdays and balloons and friends, but his spikes make contact impossible and he only scares potential companions away. "Henry" is directed by Pixar veteran Ramiro Lopez Dau ("Brave," "Monsters University"), and the character was co-created by production designer Kendal Cronkhite ("Madagascar," "James and the Giant Peach") and character artist Bernard Haux ("Brave," "Toy Story 3," "Up"). These animation pros discuss Henry's social struggles in the teaser above. "[Henry is] really the first character in virtual reality," said producer Edward Saatchi. "We've noticed that he's starting to feel »
- Sara Itkis
Grammy nominated producer and composer Tom Holkenborg aka Junkie Xl is launching a new YouTube tutorial series “Studio Time with Junkie Xl.” The series will give aspiring composers, producers, and musicians a rare glimpse into the inner workings of a Hollywood composer.
The tutorial topics will range from technical advice, such as string and drum arrangements, to programming tips and advice on how to channel your musical influences. “Studio Time with Junkie Xl” launches today (Tuesday, May 26) at youtube.com/junkiexlofficial.
In addition to music, teaching has always been one of Holkenborg’s passions. He was an associate professor at Artez, the Dutch music conservatorium where he developed and taught a four year music program based on all of the elements of his career. His latest teaching endeavor is an online video series that will allow him to reach a broad audience directly from his home studio and share his knowledge of composing. »
- Michelle McCue
The Shaun the Sheep movie, the latest stop-motion adventure from Aardman Animations, is based on the television show of the same name – which is a spin-off of Aardman’s beloved "Wallace and Gromit." The film follows Shaun and his fellow sheep as they head into the big city to save The Farmer, who is suffering from a bout of amnesia after an accident. Unfortunately, however, Animal Control is hot on their heels – wait, do sheep have heels? – and Shaun, the sheepdog Bitzer, and the rest of the Farmer’s flock need to avoid capture at all costs.
Watch the trailer for Shaun the Sheep Movie below!
- Sasha James
Chicago – It’s “the greatest action movie ever made,” so says the television commercials (which means it’s true). And it’s buoyed by other quotables galore including “what a lovely day!,” “from mastermind George Miller,” “pulse pounding,” “heart wrenching” and “teeth grinding”.
While these words are actually true, though, the film doesn’t need them to sell it.
Though a cinematic “thrill ride” is often marketing speak – sometimes rightfully earned and oftentimes overhyped – this $150 million film sells itself because it really is exactly that. Gritty, dirty, mad and fun as hell, you can’t get much more of a thrill ride than “Mad Max: Fury Road”. And there’s no other filmmaker for the job than George Miller yet again, who not only proves he’s still got it but reminds us that he’s more than just the “Mad Max” mastermind. He’s also the creator of the »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Running Time: 92 minutes
Extras: Top-Secret Guide To Becoming An Elite Agent, Madagascar Mash-Up, Cheezy Dibbles Ad, The World Of DreamWorks
After the immense success of Madagascar (2005) it was inevitable that sequels would follow, and that they did in the form of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) and Madagascar 3: Europe’S Most Wanted (2012), with a fourth installment planned for 2018. However, it wasn’t just the main characters/animals to win over the hearts of children and adults alike; four penguins by the names of Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private have shot to stardom, with their film Penguins Of Madagascar a hoot from beginning to end.
When evil Dr. Octavius Brine aka Dave the evil octopus (Malkovich) decides he’s going to turn the world against cute, »
- Jazmine Sky Bradley
The family film was the weekend’s top ticket seller, pulling in a sterling $54 million, easily eclipsing projections that had it bowing to between $30 million and $35 million. It’s one of the studio’s best-ever openings for an original movie and the biggest debut it has had since 2012’s “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted” kicked off to $60.3 million in 2012.
The studio has suffered through a string of film flops such as “Turbo” and “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” as well as failed sales to Hasbro and SoftBank. “Home” is the only film it is releasing this year, so expectations for the movie about an alien invasion were high and scrutiny was intense. “Home” cost $130 million to produce and launched in 3,708 locations. Fox distributed the picture. »
- Brent Lang
Massive writedowns. Failed sales. Deep staffing cuts.
It’s a trifecta of troubles that has left DreamWorks Animation struggling to find its footing and move forward after the worst year and a half in its often rocky history.
The company’s suffering won’t be alleviated when “Home,” its upcoming alien invasion film, lands on Friday. The picture is on track to open to between $30 million and $35 million, a respectable result but for the fact that it also carries a $130 million pricetag.
“Home” opened to strong numbers overseas last week, leading some analysts to predict that the film should end up with more than $100 million domestically and roughly $380 million globally.
“They would skirt the writedown and be out of a deficit situation with those numbers,” said David Miller, an analyst with Topeka Capital Markets.
Others are less optimistic.
“We have become a little bit more concerned that ‘Home’ could underperform expectations, »
- Brent Lang
Top Five Chris Rock's movie was one of the better comedies last year and it took me a couple times to realize this so definitely give it a chance and after that first viewing, if you aren't entirely convinced, give it a second spin.
Ride the Pink Horse (Criterion Collection) I have a copy of this, but haven't yet watched it, though I'm looking forward to it and will share some thoughts down the road. For now, here's Criterion's description: Hollywood actor turned idiosyncratic auteur Robert Montgomery directs and stars in this striking crime drama based on a novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. He plays a tough-talking former GI who comes to a small New Mexico town to »
- Brad Brevet
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
This gorgeous Oscar-nominated animated feature is about a girl named Saoirse and her brother Ben, who discovers that the fairy tales his mother told him about selkies -- half human, half seal creatures -- are all too true.
Here's another animated feature, albeit one with a much more modern flair. The bumbling penguins of previous "Madagascar" films are recruited for a wild espionage adventure. Voice actors include Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Chris Miller, and plenty of others.
TV Worth Watching
"Dancing With the Stars" (Monday, ABC at 8 p. »
- Jenni Miller
Brooklyn mobster and prolific hit man Jimmy Conlon (Neeson), once known as The Gravedigger, has seen better days. Longtime best friend of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Harris), Jimmy, now 55, is haunted by the sins of his past—as well as a dogged police detective (Vincent D’Onofrio) who’s been one step behind Jimmy for 30 years. Lately, it seems Jimmy’s only solace can be found at the bottom of a whiskey glass.
But when Jimmy’s estranged son, Mike (Joel Kinnaman), becomes a target, Jimmy must make a choice between the crime family he chose and the real family he abandoned long ago. With Mike on the run, Jimmy’s only penance for his past mistakes may be to keep »
- Michelle McCue
Jeffrey Katzenberg diverted his attention from his core business of making family films, and it contributed to DreamWorks Animation racking up a whopping $300 million in losses last year — nearly half of what it generated in overall sales.
“The last eight months have been the worst in the company’s 20-year history,” Katzenberg told Wall Street analysts on Feb. 24, as he licked his wounds and reflected on a period of painful cost-cutting that resulted in layoffs, the closure of Dwa’s Northern California studio, and a serious re-examination of its creative choices. Analysts and stockholders don’t care about the past, however. They want to know whether Katzenberg has a plan for the future.
That future is dependent on hit movies, something Dwa has been sorely lacking. The Glendale, Calif.-based animation company’s recent success largely has ridden on the back of its “How to Train Your Dragon” franchise, and its 2013 hit “The Croods. »
- Marc Graser
Penguins of Madagascar moves toward an interesting take on the sequel genre, if there is such a thing, by creating a spin-off film, from characters that have already had a spin-off show. Such is the appeal of the Madagascar films (though the straight sequels have had varying levels of success), that both the penguins and King Julien have managed animated series, and there’s something to be said for the idea that if people love the penguin characters we should run with that.
The film bases its plot on the dueling ideas that Private is fed up with having no role in the crew, and that the penguins in general, and then to another level of “in general,” have taken the spotlight off of a certain octopus.
- Marc Eastman
Penguins of Madagascar was unlucky when it came to looking back over the year, because it was overshadowed by other animated efforts in a year that was just lousy with surprisingly strong animated releases. But, it’s not a movie you should let slip past, and is one that will certainly be a rewatch staple for younger audiences for a long time.
We’ll have a full review of the Digital release very soon, but wanted to make sure you got the news that the movie is available now on iTunes and other Digital HD retailers.
We also want to make sure you have all the info for the Blu-Ray release, including the toy pack that will be available. The iTunes release comes with the bonus features of the Blu-Ray release.
Perfect for Easter Gift Baskets, the Blu-ray™ and DVD Come With Two Hopping Penguin
Toys Available for »
- Marc Eastman
From finding new ways to shoot the most adrenaline-infused car chases to taking exhibition audio into new frontiers, this year’s recipients of the Academy Scientific & Technical Awards are pushing the limits of cinema in every way they can.
These awards are sometimes called the Sci-Tech Oscars, but most honorees are given plaques or certificates, as opposed to the fabled statuettes. Only two of the awards come with actual Oscars and those nods aren’t given every year, though this year both will be presented.
The highest Sci-Tech Award — and one that comes with an Oscar — is the Academy Award of Merit. The award is designed to single out game-changing technology. This year Larry Hornbeck will receive the citation for his digital micromirror technology that powers Dlp cinema projectors, now the standard throughout the industry. These micromirrors, 37 years in development, are used for “intelligently steering light” in order to help deliver bright, »
- Karen Idelson
Flickering Myth sat down with the directors of Shaun the Sheep Movie…
Out now in cinemas, Shaun the Sheep makes the leap from TV to the silver screen with Shaun the Sheep Movie (read our review here) and Flickering Myth Deputy Editor Luke Owen caught up with its directors Mark Burton and Richard Starzack, who also wrote the movie. Check out the interview on the Flickering Myth Podcast and read what they had to say below…
Lo: Are we calling the film Shaun the Sheep Movie, or Shaun the Sheep: The Movie?
Mb: We thought everyone would call it The Shaun the Sheep Movie, but we ended up getting snowed under by “the”. So it’s Shaun the Sheep Movie. That was actually the first six months of development – just getting the “the” in the right place! (laughs)
Lo: You’re both first time feature directors, this is quite »
- Luke Owen
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