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John Lasseter Takes Leave of Absence From Disney/Pixar, Apologizes for Unwanted Hugs

John Lasseter Takes Leave of Absence From Disney/Pixar, Apologizes for Unwanted Hugs
John Lasseter, the head of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios and one of the most powerful figures in the entertainment industry, acknowledged Tuesday that he had crossed the line with employees. He is taking a six-month leave of absence.

Lasseter sent a memo to staff apologizing for making employees feel disrespected or uncomfortable, Variety has confirmed.

“That was never my intent,” he wrote. “Collectively, you mean the world to me, and I deeply apologize if I have let you down. I especially want to apologize to anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of an unwanted hug or any other gesture they felt crossed the line in any way, shape, or form.”

Lasseter is taking a leave as several prominent Hollywood figures are grappling with allegations of sexual harassment. His name has continued to be mentioned privately, with a number of former Pixar employees telling Variety that he has behaved inappropriately and describing a culture
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The 7 Best Pixar Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey

  • Indiewire
The 7 Best Pixar Movies — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: “Coco” arrives in theaters on November 22nd. With that in mind, we asked our panel of critics to name their favorite Pixar movie. In a testament to the studio’s work, all seven of the critics who participated in this survey highlighted different films.

Read More:‘Coco’ Review: Pixar’s Latest Proves That the Studio Still Has Some Life in its Bones Christy Lemire, @christylemire, RogerEbert.com/What the Flick?!

For a long time I would have said “Wall-e,” just because it’s so audacious: It’s about a lonely garbage collector in space, and the first 15 minutes of it are wordless. The fact that
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Blade Runner 2049’: Denis Villeneuve on the Challenges of Three-Way Sex Scenes and His Very Real Need for a Nap

  • Indiewire
‘Blade Runner 2049’: Denis Villeneuve on the Challenges of Three-Way Sex Scenes and His Very Real Need for a Nap
With “Blade Runner 2049” playing on the big screen (where it must be seen in all its glory) amid debates about mismarketing and spoiler phobia, director Denis Villeneuve was relieved to be able to sit down and talk openly about making the movie — with a few well-placed spoiler alerts.

Like “Life of Pi,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” along with its main Oscar rival “Dunkirk,” critically hailed “Blade Runner 2049” pushes the state of motion-picture making to its apex. And the Academy — from the picky directors branch and the crafts to actors with a fondness for long-overlooked Harrison Ford — should reward the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 “Blade Runner” with multiple nominations. (The original landed just two craft nods.)

Read More:‘Blade Runner 2049’ Could Finally Nab Harrison Ford and Roger Deakins Those Elusive Oscars

I’m not the only one who came out of this complicated two-hour, 43-minute
See full article at Indiewire »

‘Blade Runner 2049’: Denis Villeneuve on the Challenges of Three-Way Sex Scenes and His Very Real Need for a Nap

‘Blade Runner 2049’: Denis Villeneuve on the Challenges of Three-Way Sex Scenes and His Very Real Need for a Nap
With “Blade Runner 2049” playing on the big screen (where it must be seen in all its glory) amid debates about mismarketing and spoiler phobia, director Denis Villeneuve was relieved to be able to sit down and talk openly about making the movie — with a few well-placed spoiler alerts.

Like “Life of Pi,” and “Mad Max: Fury Road,” along with its main Oscar rival “Dunkirk,” critically hailed “Blade Runner 2049” pushes the state of motion-picture making to its apex. And the Academy — from the picky directors branch and the crafts to actors with a fondness for long-overlooked Harrison Ford — should reward the long-awaited sequel to Ridley Scott’s 1982 “Blade Runner” with multiple nominations. (The original landed just two craft nods.)

Read More:‘Blade Runner 2049’ Could Finally Nab Harrison Ford and Roger Deakins Those Elusive Oscars

I’m not the only one who came out of this complicated two-hour, 43-minute
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Blade Runner 2049 movie review: a rickety retro replicant

MaryAnn’s quick take… Visually, this dying future world is immersively hellish. Intellectually, though, its ideas haven’t kept up with the rapidly evolving science-fictional conversation. I’m “biast” (pro): love the original film; big science fiction fan

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

You may have heard something about the instructions to critics from director Denis Villeneuve that were passed along at some press screenings of Blade Runner 2049. One critic shared a redacted version:

Concerned this was handed out to critics following #BladeRunner2049 screening this a.m. @akstanwyck @erickohn @AwardsDaily @kristapley pic.twitter.com/gnZ94QZTcl

Dustin Chase (@TexasArtFilm) October 2, 2017

(Click here for a screengrab if the tweet has been deleted.)

This is bizarre for many reasons; for one, filmmakers should not be dictating how critics frame their reviews or structure their sentences. (I attended a public multiplex screening,
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

'Stranger Things': 7 Questions We Have For Season 2

'Stranger Things': 7 Questions We Have For Season 2
Has it only been a little over a year since Stranger Things arrived with almost no hype – and then, within days of Netflix dropping the first season online, became one of 2016's most talked-about TV shows? Created by twin brothers Matt and Ross Duffer, the first season of the sci-fi/horror series paid homage to Stephen King novels and the Eighties' classic Spielberg-to-slasher genre films, while telling a story about super-powered paranormal entities, covert government agencies, small-town Indiana kids and a dark dimension known as "the Upside Down." Even more than the nostalgic kick,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

‘Coco’ First Look: Pixar’s Multicultural Message Will Make Waves in Trump’s America

  • Indiewire
‘Coco’ First Look: Pixar’s Multicultural Message Will Make Waves in Trump’s America
Coco,” Pixar’s love letter to Mexico and the Day of the Dead festival, couldn’t come at a better time for the animation studio and the country. It’s Pixar’s first original movie in two years and offers a vital cultural remedy to Trump’s nationalistic fervor (with an all-Latino cast that includes “Mozart in the Jungle’s” Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renée Victor, and newcomer Anthony Gonzalez).

“In a time when the political climate seems very much divisive, it fills my heart with hope that a masterful filmmaker like Lee Unkrich is using his and Pixar’s considerable talents to showcase the people and culture of our beloved Mexico,” said Jorge Guitierrez, director of the first Day of the Dead animated feature, “The Book of Life,” produced by Guillermo del Toro in 2014. “I will be there on ‘Coco’s’ opening night with my whole family, living and remembered.
See full article at Indiewire »

Emmys 2017: the Duffer Brothers talk 'Stranger Things'

  • ScreenDaily
Emmys 2017: the Duffer Brothers talk 'Stranger Things'
For the Us filmmaking duo, developing their sci-fi nostalgia-trip TV series Stranger Things was the culmination of a well-spent youth.

Growing up in North Carolina in the 1980s, twins Matt and Ross Duffer developed a love for genre and sci-fi with a particular passion for Steven Spielberg movies and Stephen King novels.

In a formative life event, echoing the plot of Jj AbramsSpielberg-inspired Super 8, the pair were gifted a video camera during third grade and began making amateur films.

Relocating to California to study film at Chapman University, the duo graduated in 2007 and immediately began taking steps into the movie business, collaborating on a series of short films and feature screenplays. Warner Bros optioned their post-apocalyptic horror script Hidden in 2011, and hired the brothers to direct Alexander Skarsgard and Andrea Riseborough in the film, which was released in 2015. While that project did not instantly propel them to stardom, the script
See full article at ScreenDaily »

'Wall-e': THR's 2008 Review

'Wall-e': THR's 2008 Review
On June 27, 2008, Pixar unveiled Wall-e, a sci-fi adventure that would become a summer hit with critics and audiences. The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below:

This is getting to sound like a broken record: Pixar Animation Studios has just topped itself. Again.

In Wall-e, following the sublime culinary slapstick of Ratatouille, Pixar and director-writer Andrew Stanton — officially the studio's ninth employee way back when — have spun a whimsical sci-fi fantasy about robots 800 years into the future that has all the heart, soul, spirit and romance of the very best silent movies 80 years ago. Well, you don't...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

J. Hoberman’s Best Movies of the 21st Century

  • Indiewire
There have been a lot of lists about the best films of the 21st century. IndieWire has been digging through the last two decades one genre at a time; meanwhile, the New York Times’ top movie critics provided their own takes. J. Hoberman, the longtime Village Voice film critic who now works as a freelancer, decided to join the fray. Here’s his take, also available at his site, and republished here with permission.

People have been asking me, so I thought I might as well join (or crash) the party initiated by the New York Times and put in my two cents regarding the 25 Best Films of the 21st Century (so far). I don’t see “everything” anymore and I haven’t been to Cannes since 2011.

There is some overlap but this is not the same as the proposed 21-film syllabus of 21st Century cinema included in my book “Film After Film.” Those were all in their way pedagogical choices. Begging the question of what “best” means, these are all movies that I really like, that I’m happy to see multiple times, that are strongly of their moment and that I think will stand the test of time.

My single “best” film-object is followed by a list of 11 filmmakers and one academic production company (in order of “best-ness”) responsible for two or more “best films,” these followed by another eight individual movies (again in order) and finally four more tentatively advanced films (these alphabetical). I’m sure I’m forgetting some but that’s the nature of the beast.

Christian Marclay: “The Clock

Lars von Trier: “Dogville” & “Melancholia” (and none of his others)

Hou Hsiao Hsien: “The Assassin” & “Flight of the Red Balloon

Jean-Luc Godard: “In Praise of Love” & “Goodbye to Language”

David Cronenberg: “Spider,” “A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises,” & “A Dangerous Method

David Lynch: “Mulholland Drive” & “Inland Empire

Ken Jacobs: “Seeking the Monkey King,” “The Guests” (and more)

Cristi Puiu: “The Death of Mr Lazarescu” & “Aurora

Chantal Akerman: “No Home Movie” & “La Captive” (assuming that 2000 is part of the 21st Century)

Paul Thomas Anderson: “The Master” & “There Will Be Blood

Kathryn Bigelow: “The Hurt Locker” & “Zero Dark Thirty

Alfonso Cuarón: “Gravity” & “Children of Men

Sensory Ethnology Lab: “Leviathan,” “Manakamana,” & “People’s Park”

“The Strange Case of Angelica” — Manoel de Oliviera

“Corpus Callosum” — Michael Snow

“West of the Tracks” — Wang Bing

“Carlos” — Olivier Assayas

“Che” — Steven Soderbergh

“Ten” — Abbas Kariostami

“Russian Ark” — Aleksandr Sokurov

“The World” — Jia Zhangke

Citizenfour” — Laura Poitras

Day Night Day Night” — Julia Loktev

“Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” — Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Wall-e” — Andrew Stanton

Related stories'Transformers: The Last Knight' Review: Here's the Most Ridiculous Hollywood Movie of the Year'En El Séptimo Dia' Review: Jim McKay's First Movie in a Decade is the Summer's Surprise Crowdpleaser'All Eyez on Me' Review: Tupac Shakur's Complicated Life Deserves More Than This Sprawling Biopic
See full article at Indiewire »

Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ Races Past ‘Wonder Woman’ to No. 1

Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ Races Past ‘Wonder Woman’ to No. 1
This weekend featured a heated race between four new films that opened in wide release. As of Sunday morning, it appears some have fared better than others.

The big winner is Disney and Pixar’s “Cars 3,” which is speeding to $53.5 million from 4,256 locations, putting it in first place. That’s a lower opening than “Cars” ($60.1 million) and “Cars 2” ($66.1 million), but still enough to win the weekend. The first two “Cars” movies combined have made more than $435 million in the U.S. and $1 billion globally. The “Cars” films are far from Disney and Pixar’s highest earners, but “Cars 3” is another example that even a decent opening for the duo is a victory in the big picture.

Related

Film Review: ‘Cars 3

The movie comes from director Brian Fee, who was a storyboard artist on the first two “Cars” films, as well as “Ratatouille” and “Wall-e.” The ensemble
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ to Speed Past ‘Wonder Woman’

Box Office: ‘Cars 3’ to Speed Past ‘Wonder Woman’
Wonder Woman” no longer has to bear the burden of saving the box office — after two weekends on top, a new champ will take the reign.

Cars 3,” the third installment in the franchise from Disney and Pixar, should speed to the $55 million to $65 million range. That’s about the same as the first two movies which, combined, have made more than $435 million in the U.S. and $1 billion globally. The “Cars” films are far from Disney and Pixar’s highest earners, but “Cars 3” should be another example that even a decent opening for the duo is a victory in the big picture.

Related

Film Review: ‘Cars 3

So put this one in the win column for first-time director Brian Fee, who was a storyboard artist on the first two “Cars” films, as well as “Ratatouille” and “Wall-e.” The ensemble voice cast of “Cars 3” includes Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Cars 3' Review: Series Finally Delivers a Movie Deserving of Pixar Name

'Cars 3' Review: Series Finally Delivers a Movie Deserving of Pixar Name
When kids – largely, but by no means exclusively, little dudes – lose their minds over the anthropomorphic autos of the animated Cars movies, it's simple math: Wisecracking racecars equals bright, shiny entertainment for the junior need-for-speed crowd and happiness for the shareholders. But if adults big-up the series for anything besides being a visual babysitter, it's for proving that yes, even the mighty Pixar is not perfect.

Since 1995, a.k.a. The Year That Toy Story Changed Everything, the company hasn't only revolutionized American animation – it's also had an insane hit-to-miss average,
See full article at Rolling Stone »

Review: ‘Cars 3’ Is the Best Entry In Pixar’s Weakest Franchise

  • Indiewire
Review: ‘Cars 3’ Is the Best Entry In Pixar’s Weakest Franchise
“It’s the comeback story of the year.” So says one announcer as the stakes go up in “Cars 3,” and while that may be hyperbole when applied to the movie itself, there’s no question that this latest edition in Pixar’s weakest franchise rescues it from mediocrity. Ironically, the first two “Cars” installments were shepherded along by Pixar guru John Lasseter, but traded the sophistication associated with the brand for hokey archetypes and surface-deep gags. Perhaps the setback came from the starting point: It was never a surefire bet that the travails of googly-eyed talking vehicles (in a world eerily devoid of other species) could muster much depth, but “Cars 3” finally gets there.

This time, Lasseter takes a backseat to new director Brian Fee (a storyboard artist on the first two films), who develops a richer scenario out of rusty parts — finding, along with screenwriters Kiel Murray,
See full article at Indiewire »

Film Review: ‘Cars 3’

Film Review: ‘Cars 3’
Cars,” back in 2006, was the first Pixar movie that was far more beloved by audiences than critics. That meant something, since Pixar had long been a critical darling. The movie struck many reviewers as being less heady and artful, more insistently conventional, than the “Toy Story” films or “Finding Nemo.” And after it was followed up by the critically revered triple whammy of “Ratatouille,” “Wall-e,” and “Up,” “Cars” languished, in reputation, as a “lesser” Pixar movie. Yet it found a deep place in the hearts of kids (and in many adult kids too), and the critics, in my view, were always too down on its shiny and sentimental off-the-beaten-track-of-Americana appeal.

It was clear that the co-director of “Cars,” the founding Pixar guru John Lasseter, felt close to the film and even protective of it, so five years later, when he made “Cars 2,” you can sort of understand why he shot the works.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Stranger Things Season 2 Monsters Will Make Demogorgon “Look Quaint”

Among many other things, part of what made Netflix’s Stranger Things a super smash-hit when it arrived last summer on the streaming service was how much it leaned into its numerous horror movie influences.

At the crux of this, of course, was the terrifying creature nicknamed the “Demogorgon” by Mike, Eleven and their friends, which hails from the mysterious realm called the Upside Down. An unstoppable monster with a face like a Venus flytrap, it won’t be easy to top in the second season. Still, the showrunners think they might have actually managed it.

Stranger Things producer Shawn Levy spoke to YouTuber GoldDerby about the new season recently and promised that things will get much darker and more dangerous when the hit series returns.

“Will Byers is very much at the center of several intersecting challenges, threats in season two and I think overall the forces of evil
See full article at We Got This Covered »

Film industry reacts to Jonathan Demme's death

  • ScreenDaily
Film industry reacts to Jonathan Demme's death
Martin Scorsese, Edgar Wright, Kevin Smith among those to pay tribute to director.

Following the news that American director Jonathan Demme has died at the age of 73, the film industry has taken to social media to mourn the loss.

Martin Scorsese issued a statement that read: “Whenever I ran into Jonathan, he was filled with enthusiasm and excitement about a new project. He took so much joy in moviemaking. His pictures have an inner lyricism that just lifts them off the ground – even a story like The Silence Of The Lambs.

“I have great admiration for Jonathan as a filmmaker – I love the freshness of his style and his excellent use of music, from Buddy Holly to Miklos Rozsa. There’s so much more to be said, and I hardly know where to begin. I also loved him as a friend, and to me he was always young. My young friend. The idea that
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Film industry mourns Jonathan Demme

  • ScreenDaily
Film industry mourns Jonathan Demme
Edgar Wright, Kevin Smith, Elijah Wood among those to pay tribute to director.

Following the news that American director Jonathan Demme has died at the age of 73, the film industry has taken to social media to mourn the loss.

Hot Fuzz director Edgar Wright referred to Demme as a “great”, adding that “he could do anything”, in a tweet.

The Lord Of The Rings actor Elijah Wood took to Twitter to simply post that he was “sad to hear that Jonathan Demme has passed.

Tribeca Film Festival’s official account posted a tribute tweet, quoting Demme as saying “The chance to make a film that deals in an imaginative way with stuff you care tremendously about is a real high.”

David Simon, the creator of The Wire, stated that Demme was “a warm, gracious man”, expressing that he wished he’d had the chance to work with the director, though had come close twice.

Clerks director
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Cars 3 Posters Pit Lightning McQueen Against New Millennial Racers

  • MovieWeb
Cars 3 Posters Pit Lightning McQueen Against New Millennial Racers
Disney has released two international posters for Cars 3, which show Lightning McQueen squaring off against two young racers Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) and Jackson Storm (Armie Hammer). While Jackson Storm becomes his most contested rival on the Piston Cup circuit, Cruz Ramirez is actually on Lightning's side, serving as his new trainer to help him beat the young upstart. The first poster teases a scene we've previously seen in early concept art, which may be an homage to an iconic movie.

BadTaste.it debuted these posters, the first of which shows Lightning McQueen on the beach. You may recall that, back in May, Disney revealed concept art that showed Lightning McQueen and Cruz Ramirez racing on the sand, which may or may not be an homage to the iconic oceanside race between Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) in Rocky 3. The second poster, however, is set at a packed racing arena,
See full article at MovieWeb »

14-Time Oscar Nominee Thomas Newman on Scoring Space Drama ‘Passengers’

14-Time Oscar Nominee Thomas Newman on Scoring Space Drama ‘Passengers’
This is not a typo: Thomas Newman has earned 14 Oscar nominations without a win. The composer behind such iconic scores as “The Shawhsank Redemption” and “American Beauty,” son of legendary composer Alfred Newman, finds himself back in the race with director Morten Tyldum’s sci-fi romance “Passengers.” Though he’s tackled countless genres, Newman spoke to Variety about the unique challenges of composing the sound of outer space.

***

How did you come to be involved with “Passengers?”

For me, it was space. I’ve done space a little bit with “Wall-e,” but I’d never really done a space movie and the idea of floating through space interested me.

How do you go about creating the sound of the future?

Probably anywhere that gives you an idea. You just want to have an idea and if it’s a success, you ask where else it can go. It’s a
See full article at Variety - Film News »
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