16 items from 2015
It’s been nearly two years since Pixar last had a film in theaters, but given the strong reaction that “Inside Out” enjoyed from exhibitors Wednesday at CinemaCon, the wait was worth it.
The animated family comedy received enthusiastic applause — and a few tears from the crowd.
“Inside Out’s” concept is a heady one. It offers up a colorful story of the inner emotional workings of an 11-year-old girl whose family moves from Minnesota to San Francisco. A running joke about the jingle for Triple-dent gum proved especially popular, while the poignancy of a little girl becoming so sad that she starts running away from home turned on the tear ducts for more than a few exhibitors.
Nearly all of the film is set within the brain of Riley Andersonn with five emotions — Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness — trying to lead her through life.
Some audience members wondered »
- Dave McNary
When you see “Inside Out” in the theater this summer, the short film in front of it will be called “Lava,” and it is a labor of love for writer/director James Ford Murphy. If you want to know about the film itself, you should check out my reaction piece from the event, which I'll post on Wednesday, but before I left the Pixar campus, I sat down with Murphy to talk about his film, the inspiration behind it, and the odd effect it had on the animators who worked on it. When I walked into the room, he looked at my shirt, which read “Cassius Clay,” and immediately remarked on it. We talked about boxing and Ali specifically for a few before the publicist asked us to start. It put us in a great mood as the conversation opened. Drew McWeeny: I enjoyed the short last night, and »
- Drew McWeeny
Pixar has a lot riding on their new feature “Inside Out” if they want to recapture their 2000s golden age as the quintessential leaders of animation. The colorful story of an adventure that takes place inside the mind of a little girl is the studio’s first film in two years (They released one every year since 2006’s “Cars”). It’s also their first original, non-sequel project since 2012’s charming but underwhelming “Brave," as well as the triumphant return of director Pete Docter after he helmed “Up," the second greatest animated film of '00s in this writer’s opinion (It loses to “Wall-e” by a tiny margin). Yes, the premise sounds like a mix of “Osmosis Jones” (an under appreciated animated feature in its own right), and the lesser-known early '90s sit-com "Herman’s Head." However, all of the marketing materials we’ve seen so far, along with »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Around the time the fourth Steven Spielberg/Tom Hanks team up, Bridge of Spies, received a title (after filming for a couple of weeks without one), we got word that composer John Williams would be marking his twenty seventh collaboration with the director. Now word has reached us, as well as the new image found above, that Williams is off the project due to health issues, thankfully minor and now corrected. Twelve time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman ( has been announced as his replacement. Newman has an impressive track record, with The Shawshank Redemption, Finding Dory, Wall-e, and American Beauty (the beginning of his collaboration with director Sam Mendes, which continues with Spectre) all under his belt, and should prove the perfect fit for the cold war thriller. This isn't the end of Spielberg and Williams working together though, with the pair teaming up again on the director's next project, The Bfg. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Tom White)
Earlier this month it was reported that John Williams would be scoring his 27th film for Steven Spielberg, "Bridge Of Spies." But in just a couple of weeks, things will have changed, and the filmmaker will be working with a new composer for his upcoming thriller. DreamWorks has announced that twelve-time Oscar nominee Thomas Newman ("Wall-e," "Skyfall," "The Good German") will step in to score "Bridge Of Spies," replacing John Williams who stepped out due to a health issue, which has since been cleared up. No argument here about Newman's hire, and if anything, it'll be interesting to see a Spielberg movie under a different musical palette than that of his longtime collaborator. But the Spielberg/Williams duo won't be apart for too long as the composer will score Spielberg's next film, "The B.F.G." "Bridges Of Spies" arrives on October 16th with "The B.F.G." arriving on July 1, 2016. Full press. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Director Niell Blomkamp’s new sci-fi epic Chappie opened this weekend. The film tells the story of a robot who is given artificial intelligence by his inventor, but he must learn the ways of the world just like a child. However, his innocent mind is being molded by gangsters and violent criminals.
Photos: 'Pacific Rim' and 7 Giant Robot/Monster Mashes
It’s still to be seen if Chappie will go down as a classic in the robot sci-fi genre, but if it whetted your appetite for artificial intelligence movies and android action scenes, here are nine of the best robotic heroes and nine of the craziest robotic villains in cinematic history.
9. Gigolo Joe from A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
Played by: Jude Law
This is one of Law’s greatest roles. Gigolo Joe is a mechanical male prostitute on the run from authorities after being framed for murder. Joe is a highlight »
Intelligence, artificial or otherwise, is one of the major casualties of “Chappie,” a robot-themed action movie that winds up feeling as clunky and confused as the childlike droid with which it shares its name. Mashing together various elements from director Neill Blomkamp’s earlier sci-fi pictures (including another prominent role for Sharlto Copley), this South African spin on “Short Circuit” displays the same handheld immediacy and scene-setting verve as its predecessors, but all in service of a chaotically plotted story and a central character so frankly unappealing he almost makes Jar-Jar Binks seem like tolerable company by comparison. Absent “District 9’s” subtle apartheid allegory or “Elysium’s” health-care brief, but offering a bizarre performance showcase for the rap-rave group Die Antwoord, Blomkamp’s third feature exhausts its meager ideas and the viewer well before the end of its two-hour running time. Curiosity will beckon for a few, but this »
- Justin Chang
Artificial intelligence – and its close link to the essence of humanity – is one of cinema’s favourite topics. There are tons of films about robots with varying degrees of sentience. 2001: A Space Odyssey, I, Robot, The Terminator, Blade Runner, Her, Wall-e, and A.I. Artificial Intelligence are just a few of them. The list could go on and on.
Blomkamp, Patel, and the Chappie crew go behind the science of artificial intelligence in the below two featurettes. Check them out below, and make sure to catch the film by the South African-Canadian director on Friday, March 6!
- Sasha James
Cinema loves robots. We mean, who wouldn’t want an automaton or metal pal as a sidekick? The movies have proved that robots come in all shapes and sizes- from Wall-e to Johnny-5 and beyond – and the upcomingChappie ushers in an entirely new form of sentient being.
In an oppressive future world where crime patrols are operated by a mechanized police force, Chappie, a police droid, is stolen by a group of individuals and re-programmed to become the first robot to think and feel for himself.
The movie comes to us from a man who has had his eye on the future for some time. Director Neill Blomkampcrafted a futuristic world out of slums in both his earth-bound breakout District 9, and in the idyllic space station-set Elyisum. (He’ll next tackle space in a just-announced Alien flick).
- Rachel West
The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is the second installment of the star-studded British comedy that follows a group of British retirees who decide to spice up their lives in magical India.
In theaters on March 6, 2015, the sequel was once again directed by John Madden, best known for his acclaimed movies Shakespeare In Love (Academy Award winner for Best Picture, 1998), Proof (based on the eponymous Pulitzer Prize winning play, 2005) and The Debt.
The beloved first film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel movie proved to be an international success, grossing over $136 million worldwide.
Read Variety’s early review here.
The renowned cast has reunited for the film including stars Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Celia Imrie, Penelope Wilton, Ronald Pickup, Tina Desai, Diana Hardcastle and Lillete Dubey. Additional cast making their debut include Tamsin Greig, with David Strathairn and Richard Gere.
The soundtrack for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel »
- Michelle McCue
I love movie and television soundtracks. I’ll often use a given soundtrack while I work, letting it fuel my writing. I can’t listen to music with lyrics in them; that interferes with my process. I’ll get themes, characters, even scenes or whole plots from the music. Soundtrack music is in service of the story that the film is trying to tell; it’s a part of the narrative, heightening the emotion that’s being invoked.
I have my own particular favorites. The composers usually have a large body of work but certain key works resonate within me – Jerry Goldsmith’s Chinatown and Patton, James Horner with Field of Dreams, Shaun Davey’s Waking Ned Devine, Elmer Bernstein’s To Kill A Mockingbird (has there ever been a more beautiful and evocative theme?) and, of course, The Magnificent Seven.
I’ve also been very fond of Alan Silvestri »
- John Ostrander
Now we know what the cubes were in The Power of Three – space Lego blocks.
Lego has announced that its newest approved project will be a Doctor Who and Companions Lego set, designed by Andrew Clark. Created as part of their Lego Ideas program, the site allows users to design and submit potential Lego sets to be manufactured by the company. Past sets from the program include japan’s Hayabusa satellite, a series of Minecraft-inspired sets, and an assortment of female scientist minifigures.
Doctor Who already has a building block license with the company Character Building – their blind-buy minifigures are currently available across the world.
Emma Owen, UK spokesperson for Lego Ideas commented:
No details have »
- Vinnie Bartilucci
It may seem cliche, but everything is truly awesome now with LEGOs. After a hit movie last year, it seems like the company is now digging into pop culture more with Back to the Future and Ghostbusters sets out, but now it will go into the Pixar label as well as one of the most popular television shows of all-time to create their newest sets for fans.
Lego announced on Wednesday that later this year, it would be debuting sets based on Doctor Who and Wall-e. The company had been taking ideas for some time now on possible TV shows and movies that people would like to see in Lego form and it seems like both the BBC sci-fi show and Pixar film will be making the transition.
- Zach Dennis
Doctor Who fans will finally be able to get their hands on an official Lego set later this year.
The concept for a Doctor Who set came from the Lego Ideas website, where fans submit entries for fantasy sets to be produced.
Artist and fan Andrew Clark's concept received the 10,000 votes required for The Lego Group to consider it for production.
BBC Worldwide and The Lego Group have signed a licensing agreement that will see the new set available by the end of 2015.
Clark's design features several Doctors, companions, monsters and the Tardis, but it has yet to be confirmed which elements will form the set.
A set based on the Pixar movie Wall-e will also be produced.
Emma Owen, »
Are you ready for Doctor Who Lego? We hope so, because it’s coming soon…
Exciting news for Whovians, this – the big-wigs of both the BBC and Lego have come to an agreement to begin producing Doctor Who Lego sets. The idea was approved after 10,000 votes came in for fan Andrew Clark’s proposal on the Lego Ideas website.
Now, it’s become a reality.
While Mr Clark’s initial idea featured a wide range of Doctors, the new Lego/BBC alliance are being coy about which eras, Doctors and companions they will be recreating in brick form. At least one whopping great Tardis set is surely fairly certain, though, as is a Peter Capaldi-themed set (judging by the image they sent us). To clarify - that is just rampant speculation on our part.
Several studios used Super Bowl Xlix as a platform to promote a number of highly-anticipated upcoming movies, but, just as Super Bowl Sunday is a beloved annual tradition for sports and advertising fans alike, Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl has become a popular alternative to the big game. During Puppy Bowl Xl earlier today, Disney Pixar debuted a new trailer for their next animated film Inside Out, which gives us a better understanding at how the emotions of a young girl truly works. All of the emotions, Joy (Amy Poehler), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) are put on display as 11-year-old Riley (Kaitlyn Dias) watches footage from the Puppy Bowl.
Growing up can be a bumpy road, and it's no exception for Riley, who is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Like all of us, »
16 items from 2015
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