10 items from 2014
Jorge R. Gutierrez, as it turns out, has something of an artistic fascination with death. His first feature film, The Book of Life, opened last weekend. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, it’s a love story that crosses into the afterlife and builds upon the aesthetic and spiritual traditions of Dia de los Muertos. Death comes early on in the film, when Manolo (Diego Luna) is bitten by a venomous snake and sent into the next world. To regain the love of his life, Maria (Zoe Saldana), he has to find a way to come back from the beyond. It may not be the only recent animated feature for kids to address death, after Paranorman and others, but its embrace of such a morbid narrative is an exciting risk. For Gutierrez, however, this is nothing new. His final film as a student at CalArts in 2000 was a 3D short called Carmelo. It »
- Daniel Walber
For now, it looks like Angelina Jolie’s better half and a squadron that includes Shia “I’m not famous anymore” Labeouf and Logan Lerman will steer “Fury” to the top of the box office chart with a $25 million opening from 3,155 locations. “Fury” cost $68 million to produce and was backed by Columbia Pictures in association with Qed International and LStar Capital. It’s the brainchild of “End of Watch” auteur David Ayer and has enjoyed strong reviews for its story of men at war.
- Brent Lang
Hitting theaters from Fox this Friday, The Book of Life is one of the most anticipated films of the Fall. While this stylized animated adventure is produced by Guillermo del Toro, its director is a relative unknown. That man is Mexican creator Jorge Gutierrez, best known as the man behind the Nikelodeon series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera. But before he made El Tigre, Gutierrez made a bit of a splash while at Cal Arts with his 2001 Student Emmy Award-winning short Carmelo. We've got the impressive short for you now, and the connections to this weekend's The Book of Life will be pretty obvious from the get go. Check it out below....
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
It was the pitch from hell.
Jorge Gutierrez had been granted entry to Guillermo Del Toro’s Los Angeles home, hoping to convince the “Pan’s Labyrinth” filmmaker to produce “The Book of Life,” an animated fantasy centered around the Day of the Dead. He hadn’t counted on doing his pitch outside in the 100-degree heat, with gardeners working all around him, their leaf blowers creating a deafening roar. Nor had he expected to have to cut down his twenty-minute song and dance routine to a mere five minutes, because Del Toro was pressed for time.
“There was life-size statue of Ray Harryhausen that I swear was judging me,” remembers Gutierrez. “I yelled everything to be heard. I almost fell in the pool. I’m drenched in sweat and he’s drenched in sweat.”
At the end of it, Del Toro agreed. The pitch fell flat, but fortunately he »
- Brent Lang
The visuals outshine the story in “The Book of Life,” a lively animated tale that mixes age-old myths with today’s toon tropes. But what lovely visuals they are. The feature debut of smallscreen animator Jorge R. Gutierrez (co-creator of Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera”) proves to be perfectly charming in relaying the tale of a lopsided love triangle set against the backdrop of Mexico’s Day of the Dead holiday. And yet it hardly matters what the characters are saying (or occasionally singing) when their warmly handcrafted appearance keeps stealing the spotlight. Opening domestically three weeks after Focus/Laika’s “The Boxtrolls” and three weeks ahead of Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” “Book” should have time to carve out its own space in the family entertainment marketplace and could become a significant sleeper worldwide, especially if Latin audiences respond to the pic’s universal, yet culturally specific, »
- Geoff Berkshire
20th Century Fox will release The Book of Life in theaters this fall, and the animated film may be worth a look for the visuals alone. The movie’s storyline, as was co-written by the director Jorge R. Gutierrez (El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera), follows the adventures of Manolo (voiced by Diego Luna), a young man out to fulfill his dreams. That includes winning the heart of Maria (Zoe Saldana), who makes it clear that’s easier said than done, in the above trailer.
Book of Life‘s second theatrical preview, similar to its previous trailer, doesn’t shed so much light on its plot as it does on the rich, colorful, and lively visual aesthetic of the film (inspired by traditional artwork for Mexico’s holiday Dia de Muertos), as well as the movie’s kid-friendly humor and cartoony hijinks. However, according to the official ...
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- Sandy Schaefer
Attach Guillermo del Toro’s name to your project, and it’s pretty much guaranteed that we’re all going to take a look at it. Luckily for The Book of Life, a vividly animated adventure hitting theaters this October, there’s a lot more to like than just that the Hellboy director is involved.
For one thing, the visuals continue to look absolutely gorgeous in this second trailer for the movie, which follows three childhood friends who become the corners of a love triangle. Maria (Zoe Saldana) is the beautiful and spirited lady adored by both the noble-hearted bullfighter Manolo (Diego Luna) and the handsome, self-confident Joaquin (Channing Tatum). The Book of Life focuses primarily on Manolo as, after calling upon the powers of an ancient deity, he travels through The Land of the Living, the Land of the Remembered and the Land of the Forgotten as he searches »
- Isaac Feldberg
Guillermo del Toro is not a very prolific director, but he sure does like getting himself involved in an abundance of projects as a producer. He’s taken on the role of executive producer on such films as Puss In Boots, Rise Of The Guardians and last year’s Mama. This summer, we’ll see Del Toro take on television for the first time with The Strain, a show he co-created, which is set to air on FX. But his latest producing effort, The Book Of Life, seems to hit closer to home than any of those other efforts. This 3D computer-animated feature is very clearly influenced by the Mexican holiday The Day of the Dead, and if this trailer is any indication, we should be in for a real visual treat.
The film marks Jorge Gutierrez’s directorial debut. Though not a big name, Gutierrez previously co-created the animated »
- Ken Guidry
It's no surprise when a Disney film is met with critical and commercial success, but after winning an Academy Award and the title of highest grossing animated picture of all time, it's safe to say that Frozen is impressive even by Disney's high standards. Storyboard artists Jeff Ranjo (Frozen, Surf's Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Fawn Veerasunthorn (Frozen, Hop, El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera), Nicole Mitchell (Frozen, Wreck-it Ralph, Winnie the Pooh) and Normand Lemay (Frozen, Rio) were on hand at WonderCon today to give a behind-the-scenes look at the art of storyboarding and the process of crafting story for an animated film. Hit the jump to learn some Frozen movie secrets and for highlights of the panel. Frozen - The Art of the Story WonderCon Panel Recap: The group kicked things off by explaining the job of a story board artist. They described the process »
- Haleigh Foutch
If two recently released art pieces for the Guillermo Del Toro-produced Book of Life are any indication, the upcoming film should be a vivid visual experience. In a new interview with the Hollywood Reporter, co-writer/director Jorge Gutierrez offers two stunning concept images (featuring kaleidoscopic city streets and ornate skies) for the upcoming Fox Animation film (see one above), while also discussing his vision for the project's bold look.
Gutierrez, who co-created the Emmy-nominated Nick »
10 items from 2014
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