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Well Pixar, this was an interesting ride.
I walked into The Good Dinosaur expecting a cutesy comedy about two unlikely friends, and left rambling descriptors like “relentless,” “abusive,” and “way ‘effing darker” than any previous Disney tearjerker. To be fair, this not-so-prehistoric tale follows the same formulaic Pixar framework you’ve seen twenty times over, yet we’re leagues beyond some of the studio’s bleakest, gut-punching moments. Realer than Toy Story 3 and its incinerator march towards death. Harsher than Charles Muntz’s plunge in Up. Mortality, fear, isolation – these are just some of the themes that’ll pepper your child’s post-screening questions, which there will be plenty of.
Starting on a sweeter note, we’re introduced to a timid Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa). He’s the runt of his family, and strives to be a brave dinosaur like his mighty Poppa (Jeffrey Wright) is, but Arlo »
- Matt Donato
Tom McCarthy, the fantastic director who gave us the thought-provoking "Spotlight," is going to be honored at the upcoming Palm Springs International Film Festival. He will join Johnny Depp (Desert Palm Achievement Award Actor for "Black Mass"), Brie Larson (Breakthrough Performance Award for the amazing "Room"), Saoirse Ronan (I love her in "Brooklyn" and she is set to receive the International Star Award), and Cate Blanchett (Desert Palm Achievement Award Actress for the twofer "Carol" and "Truth"). I will be live at the red carpet and will give you the very latest! For now, here's the complete press release regarding Tom McCarthy:
Palm Springs, CA (November 24, 2015) . The 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (Psiff) will present Spotlight director Tom McCarthy with the Sonny Bono Visionary Award at its annual Awards Gala. Past recipients of the Sonny Bono Visionary Award include filmmakers Tom Hooper, Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Richard Linklater and Michel Hazanavicius. »
Shamefully banal, and such a confused mess that I cannot even figure out what the title is supposed to mean. Almost a slap in the face to Pixar fans after the triumph of Inside Out. I’m “biast” (pro): big Pixar fan
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
The Good Dinosaur, the latest animated flick from Pixar and Disney, is such a confused mess that I cannot even figure out what the title is supposed to mean. Clearly it refers to the movie’s putative hero, Arlo the vaguely apatosaurus-esque giant lizard, but in what sense is he “good”? It’s not like there are lots of evil dinos around for him to distinguish himself from. (There are barely any other dinosaurs at all, which is really weird.) It’s not like he was naughty and learns how to behave »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The Good Dinosaur, 2015
Directed by Peter Sohn
An epic journey into the world of dinosaurs where an Apatosaurus named Arlo makes an unlikely human friend.
Prior to the release of the incredible Inside Out earlier this year, there was a worry that Pixar had lost some of their mojo. Underwhelming sequels in Cars 2 and Monsters University sandwiched the divisive Brave and suggested that Pixar had become too ingrained into the Disney lifestyle and were happy to settle for mediocrity. And with the rest of the Pixar slate for the next few years being mostly sequels (Finding Dory, Cars 3, Toy Story 4, The Incredibles 2), we should really appreciate when they bring a new IP to the table. Sadly, The Good Dinosaur is more »
- Luke Owen
With the midesason finale of The Walking Dead Season 6, Start to Finish, airing next week, AMC has released a new preview and a clip for the final episode of 2015. If you didn't catch last night's episode of The Walking Dead, Head's Up, there will be a massive Spoiler in the clip, so be sure to watch at your own risk. If that wasn't enough, we also have new photos from both Head's Up and Start to Finish. This is your last chance to avoid any spoilers, so stop reading now if you didn't watch last night's episode.
At the end of Head's Up, a large tower just outside the Alexandria walls, came tumbling down, breaching the wall and giving the zombies a way in to this once-peaceful town. The trailer for Start to Finish reveals numerous zombies flooding into Alexandria, as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) tries to lead the Alexandrians to safety. »
Is Glenn’s fate on ‘The Walking Dead’ the football to the audience’s Charlie Brown? After three weeks of dangling his fate like a carrot on a string, “The Walking Dead” finally revealed what happened to Glenn after Nicholas knocked them both into a herd of walkers as his final — inept — act. If you’ve yet to see the episode, flee now. If you don’t want to know about possible spoilers from “The Walking Dead” comic and what that could mean for the back half of the season in 2016, flee now. If you want to live in a hopeful world where everything is gonna be okay at the end of the day, flee now. For the rest of you? Are you as worried about Negan as I am? Warning: “The Walking Dead” Spoilers And Speculation Beyond This Point. This season of “The Walking Dead” has been uniquely structured. »
- Donna Dickens
Pixar hasn't been in contention in this category since the hat trick of "Ratatouille," "Wall-e" and "Up" from 2007-09. But "Inside Out" was a major critical and commercial success with a very clever script that seems like the closest thing we have to a lock in this category right now. Right up there with it is Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer's script for "Spotlight," which was met with near-unanimous praise in Venice, Telluride and Toronto. After that, it gets murky. "Joy" and "The Hateful Eight" are two of the biggest question marks left this awards season. Until we see them, the chances for contenders like "Bridge of Spies," "Youth," "Sicario" and "Son of Saul" are still very much up in the air. Best Original Screenplay predictions below. Check out predictions in other categories here. The Predicted 5: 1. Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, "Spotlight" 2. »
- Peter Knegt
From “Spy” to “Inside Out,” these are the major motion picture casts that still have us raving. “Inside Out”Don’t discredit one of the year’s best ensembles just because you can’t see its actors; the Disney Pixar animated film boasts a troupe of A-listers so masterfully cast that they can convey every nuance with their voices alone. Living inside 11-year-old Riley’s head, her emotions Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) are tested when Riley’s parents (Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan) decide to move the family from the Midwest to San Francisco. Joy, who’s used to being in charge, fights to regain control when the stress of Riley changing schools, leaving her friends behind, and moving out of her childhood home pushes Sadness to the forefront. Much like writer-director Pete Docter’s previous films (“Up, »
(Photo by Deborah Coleman / Pixar)
Featuring an 80-piece orchestra and conductor Tim Simonec, Giacchino’s score is being recorded this week.
So proud to be a part of Zootopia w my friends @DisneyAnimation – @ByronPHoward @_rich_moore pic.twitter.com/8CSQns8tU6
— Michael Giacchino (@m_giacchino) November 16, 2015
“In a world as vast as Zootopia, we needed someone who could deliver a score that can feel exotic and powerful, but also provide that same emotional intimacy,” said director Byron Howard. “We tell stories with images, Michael tells stories with music. ‘Zootopia’ is a massive film with deep emotional themes running throughout the story, and Michael was the perfect choice to bring the music of this extraordinary animal world to life.”
- Michelle McCue
Walt Disney Animation Studios has released a new international poster for their upcoming movie Zootopia, featuring the tenacious rookie cop Judy Hoops (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) trying to track down con artist Nick Wilde (voiced by Jason Bateman). The studio has also announced that award-winning composer Michael Giacchino marks his first-ever feature collaboration with Walt Disney Animation Studios for next spring's big-screen adventure. Featuring an 80-piece orchestra and conductor Tim Simonec, Giacchino's score is being recorded this week. Here's what director Byron Howard had to say about Michael Giacchino coming aboard to provide the score.
"In a world as vast as Zootopia, we needed someone who could deliver a score that can feel exotic and powerful, but also provide that same emotional intimacy. We tell stories with images, Michael tells stories with music. Zootopia is a massive film with deep emotional themes running throughout the story, and Michael was the »
It’s a pretty good bet that if John Williams has an original score in play during a given Oscar season, he’s going to be Oscar-nominated for it. His 44 nods to date (plus five more for songs) don’t exactly lie. So how can you start a discussion of this year’s score contenders anywhere else but with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens?”
How much original music will be in the film, though, and how much will it distinguish itself from the iconic pre-existing themes? That’s the question. While all three original “Star Wars” films were nominated, none of the prequels made it. This will be just one more mystery held close to the vest until Disney decides to let the cat out of the bag next month. But it could yield a 50th Oscar nomination from the cinema legend.
From one legend to another, there’s Ennio Morricone, »
- Kristopher Tapley
It’s been a couple months since the last edition of What’s Up Doc? placed Michael Moore’s surprise world premiere of Where To Invade Next at the top of this list and in the meantime much shuffling has taken place and much time has been spent on various new endeavors (namely my Buffalo-based film series, Cultivate Cinema Circle). Finally taking its rightful place at the top, D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hagedus’ Unlocking the Cage is in the midst of being scored by composer James Lavino, according to Lavino’s own personal site. Though the project has been taking shape at its own leisurely pace, I’d expect to see the film making its festival debut in early 2016.
- Jordan M. Smith
A clip from Micheal Bafaro's Wrecker reminds us that road rage can be deadly. Also in this round-up: a new trailer for the film Applesauce and a call for entries to the Silver Scream Fest, featuring the 35th anniversary screening of An American Werewolf in London.
Wrecker: "Best friends Emily and Lesley go on a road trip to the desert. When Emily decides to get off the highway and take a “short cut,” they become the target of a relentless and psychotic trucker who forces them to play a deadly game of cat and mouse.
Distributed by XLrator Media, Wrecker hits theaters, VOD, and iTunes on November 6th.
- Tamika Jones
In the history of the Academy Awards, only three animated films have ever been nominated for Best Picture: Beauty and the Beast in 1991, Up in 2009, and Toy Story 3 in 2010. This year, forecasters have been buzzing about the potential for Pixar.s Inside Out to be the fourth title added to that list, but could it happen? I recently asked the cast and director of the film that very question. Back in early October, I had the pleasure of flying up to San Francisco, CA . the setting of most of Inside Out - and had the great opportunity to sit down with not only stars Phyllis Smith, Richard Kind, Kyle MacLachlan and Kaitlyn Dias, but also director Pete Docter. During my time with each of them, I asked what they thought of the idea of the movie being nominated for Best Picture, and while I got a different response from everyone, »
Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.
The last two trips director James Ponsoldt made to Sundance it was with two excellent dramas: Smashed and The Spectacular Now. This year, Ponsoldt returns with the often moving and consistently funny The End of the Tour. While the director’s latest may not be on par with his past two efforts, that’s not much of a problem considering the level of quality he achieves here. The End of the Tour follows a failed author, »
- TFS Staff
We recently journeyed to Pixar to take a look behind the scenes of The Good Dinosaur. Ryan goes behind the scenes of Pixar's latest.
Over 20 years of feature filmmaking, Pixar has specialised in making us care about the unlikeliest of characters: toys, cars, fish, insects, the emotions rattling around inside the head of an ordinary school girl. It all began, of course, with Toy Story, the 1995 film which transformed the face of animated movies. Its humour, pathos and technical ingenuity were all so natural, so effortless, that it’s easy to forget just how ground-breaking John Lasseter’s film really was.
With each subsequent film, Pixar has explored different themes and set itself new challenges; it’s worth noting that, of the 15 feature-length movies Pixar has released so far, only four are sequels. Pixar’s most recent film, Inside Out, is the latest example of how adept »
Last night the Beverly Hilton Hotel played host to the 19th annual Hollywood Film Awards, which bills itself as “The Official Launch of the Awards Season” (read: a trial run for more important and prestigious award ceremonies). Here’s a full list of the winners from the night:
Hollywood Career Achievement Award
Hollywood Producer Award
Hollywood Director Award
Hollywood Actor Award
Hollywood Actress Award
Hollywood Supporting Actor Award
Hollywood Supporting Actress Award
Hollywood Breakout Actor Award
Hollywood Breakout »
- Gary Collinson
Mar Del Plata: On the first leg of a jet-setting promo tour, Peter Sohn, director of “The Good Dinosaur,” unveiled a never-seen-before scene from Disney-Pixar’s big Thanksgiving Day play at a master class delivered Sunday at Argentina’s Mar del Plata Festival.
He also spoke from the heart about inspiration for his career and film – his mother, for instance – which he called “a coming of age” and “survival tale” which, when asked to sum up in one phrase, is about “overcoming one’s fears.”
The excerpt, about five minutes long, also says much about the character/background animation contrast that gives “The Good Dinosaur” much of its style.
As the first teaser for “The Good Dinosaur” made clear, Sohn’s debut feature turns on two premises: that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed the earth; the dinosaurs evolved: Sohn’s film pictures Arlo, a talking Apatosaurus who befriends Spot, »
- John Hopewell and Emilio Mayorga
The stars scheduled to present honorees with their awards at the “19th Annual Hollywood Film Awards,” hosted by critically and globally acclaimed actor, comedian and late-night talk show host, James Corden. Presenters Steve Carell, Russell Crowe, Johnny Depp, Vin Diesel, Jamie Foxx, Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling, Jake Gyllenhaal, Armie Hammer, Amber Heard, Ice Cube, Amy Poehler, Mark Ruffalo, David O. Russell, Kurt Russell, Quentin Tarantino and Reese Witherspoon will be in attendance at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, on Sunday, November 1, 2015 to honor their colleagues and friends. The Hollywood Film Awards, the official launch of the awards season®, has recognized excellence in the art of cinema and filmmaking for 18 years, honoring some of the world’s biggest stars. More than one hundred honorees have gone on to garner Oscar® nominations and wins. Honorees for this year’s show include: • Robert De Niro – “Hollywood Career Achievement Award” • Ridley Scott »
During a new 90-minute episode of The Walking Dead on November 1st, trailers for both Preacher and Into the Badlands will premiere. Also: a Halloween screening at participating theaters, a Puppet Master marathon on El Rey, the short film Under the Dark Wing, and Dead Town Indiegogo details.
The Walking Dead Event: Press Release: "For Immediate Release – AMC is bringing fans “The Walking Dead Mega Sunday” event on November 1st at 9:00 p.m. Et/Pt. During the all-new extended 90-minute episode of “The Walking Dead,” AMC will air the world premiere of the trailer for AMC’s upcoming, highly anticipated series “Preacher,” as well as the television premiere of the “Into the Badlands” trailer.
In this all-new episode of “The Walking Dead,” “Here’s Not Here,” written by Scott M. Gimple and directed by Stephen Williams, the survivors must ask themselves who can be trusted, and better yet, can they change? »
- Tamika Jones
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