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Having not seen last summer's Disney's Planes ("From the world of Pixar's Cars!"), I went into its fast-tracked, pre-ordained, computer animated sequel with two questions: 1. What happened in the first movie? And 2., How can that possibly matter? After seeing Planes: Fire & Rescue, the questions remain, albeit sans my original sarcasm. Not only did I take on the task of reviewing Fire & Rescue ignorant of the first Planes, but I didn't particularly care about that. Having heard that Planes is trite and uninspired at best, and an obnoxious airborne redux of Cars 2 (of all things!) at worst -- a reviewer friend of mine panned it as a "junk food movie" -- I figured perhaps it's best to let the sequel stand on...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
NBC's relationship comedy "A to Z" will answer a question TV fans never even thought to ask: Do Cristin Milioti (the Mother on "How I Met Your Mother") and Ben Feldman (Ginsberg on "Mad Men") have chemistry? That, and the conceit of following a relationship from beginning to end over the course of a single season, were the hot topics at the show's panel at the TCA 2014 summer press tour. Executive producer Ben Queen (a writer on "Cars 2" and creator of that short-lived Fox series "Drive" with Nathan Fillion and Emma Stone) said chemistry was the primary concern in casting. "When they got together to do the network test they had met each other literally a hour before. It was real electric chemistry. I had been told this existed and it's there," Queen said. While Feldman was more self-effacing ("Cristin had her job, they needed to bring in a »
- Geoff Berkshire
Based on this weekend's returns, the Transformers aren't going to face extinction any time soon.At the domestic box office, the fourth installment in the immensely successful franchise opened to $100 million*. That's the biggest opening of the year so far ahead of Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($95 million).More importantly, it took in over $202 million from 37 international markets. That includes a stunning $92 million in China, which is the biggest "foreign" opening ever there (and probably the biggest overall, though we don't have data to confirm that).Overall, the movie earned over $300 million worldwide this weekend. With openings throughout Europe and Latin America on the way, Transformers: Age of Extinction seems poised to make a run at $1 billion.Domestically, Age of Extinction's opening ranks second all-time among Transformers movies behind 2009's Revenge of the Fallen ($108 million). That's not an apples-to-apples comparison, though: all three previous movies burned off demand by launching mid-week. »
- Ray Subers <email@example.com>
Think Like a Man Too narrowly defeated fellow Sony comedy 22 Jump Street to take first place at the box office this weekend. Meanwhile, Clint Eastwood's Jersey Boys got off to a quiet start.Overall, it was a slow weekend at the box office, with the Top 12 earning $138.8 million. That's down a whopping 40 percent from the same weekend last year, when Monsters University, World War Z and Man of Steel combined for $190 million.Playing at 2,225 locations, Think Like a Man Too opened to $29.2 million this weekend. That's a bit lower than the original Think Like a Man's $33.6 million, and is also below November's The Best Man Holiday ($30.1 million). It is at least an improvement over February's About Last Night, which also starred Kevin Hart and opened to $25.6 million.A $29 million opening for a modestly-budgeted relationship comedy is undeniably good. Still, with Hart's increased popularity and with a fun new »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For the first time in nearly a decade, Pixar Animation Studios is taking the year off. The Emeryville-Calif.-based company will not be releasing a film in 2014, and it also finds itself in an interesting position, striving to maintain its identity as a haven for bold original visions while at the same time seeing some of its biggest successes inevitably move into franchise and sequel terrain. Wednesday night representatives of the studio took over a theater in West Hollywood's Directors Guild of America (DGA) headquarters to present materials from one such original vision from "Monsters, Inc." and "Up" director Pete Docter: "Inside Out." The film is set for release exactly one year from now, on June 19, 2015. Producer Jonas Rivera quipped that such a seemingly long lead is "dog years" in animation time, where projects typically move at a glacial pace for years on end. When he and Docter finished »
- Kristopher Tapley
They're talented, individual, but could, possibly, do with a bit of editorial guidance. Could these directors use a boss, we wonder?
In truth, we're a bit frightened about this one. Several times in pub/coffee shop/cider drinking in the park conversations, we've chatted about film directors who perhaps have got too powerful, that they seem to be able to get their own way without having someone to call bullshit on them - be it a good boss, or a very good friend that they trust and listen to.
This can be a very good thing. After all, we want film directors to be free to tell their stories. We don't want studio suits calling the shots. And some directors use their independence wondefully well, without losing what bought it to them in the first place (so, Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Christopher Nolan, Robert Zemeckis and such like).
Though Cars 2 fizzled and Monsters University didn’t really offer much to Monsters Inc. fans, Pixar has proven with Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3 that it understands how to make great sequels. So we’re holding out hope for Finding Dory, a sequel to Oscar winner Finding Nemo, especially because the first film’s director Andrew Stanton is back on board. Unfortunately, we won’t get to see it until 2016 because of The Good Dinosaur getting delayed and moved to Dory‘s spot, but at least we’ve got some interesting news about the film to tide us over.
From my co-director’s clever Lego “couch” series: “@AngusMacLane: Tony Stark having a drink on a couch, in Lego. http://t.co/uw6oyALe36”
— andrew stanton (@andrewstanton) June 5, 2014
- Isaac Feldberg
With the middling success of Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University, Pixar has been stuck in a bit of a rut over the past few years. Luckily, the animation studio’s upcoming slate looks primed to deliver the same kind of inventive, exhilarating family adventures that put Pixar on the map in the first place. And none of them look more promising than 2015′s Inside Out, which travels inside the mind of a young girl.
We’ve gotten bits and pieces of information about Inside Out over the past few months, but director Peter Docter (Up) actually gave attendees of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival an extended look at the film yesterday. According to Docter, like Up, Inside Out starts out with a montage of a young girl named Riley in her early years, showing color-coded and anthropomorphized emotions appearing based on corresponding events. One observer sent the following description to Pixar Post. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Though composer Michael Giacchino has recently been delving into big studio tentpoles like Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and the upcoming Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Jurassic World, he hasn’t turned his back on the studio where he won his Oscar. During a recent pre-concert Q&A, Giacchino confirmed that he will be reuniting with Up director Pete Docter to score Pixar’s Inside Out, which takes place inside a young girl’s mind and revolves around anthropomorphized versions of her emotions. This will be Giacchino’s fifth feature film with Pixar, having previously scored Up, Ratatoullie, The Incredibles, and Cars 2 in addition to a number of short films—most recently Toy Story of Terror!. Hit the jump to see what Giacchino had to say and for more on his upcoming slate. While speaking before a concert for Star Trek Into Darkness in Switzerland (via Pixar »
- Adam Chitwood
Though the mixed success of its three most recent releases, Cars 2, Brave and Monsters University, have caused some to wonder whether Pixar’s golden age has drawn to a close, there’s no denying that the animation giant has turned out some of the greatest family films of all time in its 28 years of existence. And with next summer’s Inside Out, many are hoping that Pixar is gearing up for a creative resurgence. Now, an updated plot synopsis for the film has hit the web, and it sounds pretty exciting.
The film, from Up director Pete Docter, was hailed by Pixar’s chief creative officer John Lasseter last August as, “one of the most unique films I’ve ever been associated with – a magical, wonderful, original film.” It’s based on an original idea by Docter and boasts a screenplay by Toy Story 3 scribe Michael Arndt. Check out the synopsis below, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Everyone's favorite Toys are back in Disney•Pixar's frightfully fun adventure Toy Story of Terror!, available for the first time ever on Blu-ray + Digital Copy, DVD, Digital HD, and Disney Movies Anywhere August 19th. Reuniting after the events of the blockbuster smash Toy Story 3, Buzz, Woody and the gang join new friend Combat Carl for a spooky tale full of mystery and humor that's a must-own for Toy Story and Disney•Pixar fans this summer!
Toy Story of Terror! makes its in-home debut loaded with never-before-seen bonus features, including three Vintage Toy Commercials, which can be viewed as act breaks during the film or separately with Director Introductions. Additional all-new bonus features include Audio Commentary, Deleted Scenes with Editor Introductions and "Team of Specialists," in which director Angus MacLane goes deep behind the scenes to introduce the team of specialists required to make this fun-filled Toy Story adventure!
John Williams thought it compelling enough to return and score the next three “Star Wars” films for J.J. Abrams, but it appears the prospect of returning to another of his brilliantly-composed franchises, “Jurassic Park,” wasn’t something Williams wanted on his resume (not that this guy has to worry about his resume, having won five Oscars throughout his career). Michael Giacchino will score the new t-rex footprint in the franchise, “Jurassic World.” The Jp and Star Wars worlds are already intertwined with Spielberg and Lucas sharing Williams for both scores, but the pact grows tighter with the next generation. Giacchino is a long-time collaborator with Abrams, having scored “Lost,” “Alias,” “Fringe,” “Mission: Impossible III,” “Star Trek,” “Super 8,” and “Star Trek Into Darkness.” But the connections don’t stop there! Giacchino also scored “Up,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” and “Cars 2” for Pixar—a company famously grown from the computer division of Lucasfilm. »
- Joshua Encinias
Oscar-winning composer Michael Giacchino has closed a deal to score “Jurassic World,” the next installment of the hit “Jurassic Park” series, Universal announced Monday. Colin Trevorrow is directing the epic action-adventure movie from a screenplay he wrote with Derek Connolly. Since his TV collaborations on “Lost” and “Alias” with J.J. Abrams, Giacchino has become one of the most in-demand composers in Hollywood. He scored both “Star Trek” movies, the last two “Mission: Impossible” movies and such Pixar hits as “The Incredibles,” Ratatouille,” “Cars 2” and “Up,” the latter of which earned him an Academy Award. Also read: Vincent D'Onofrio to Play Villain in. »
- Jeff Sneider
Michael Giacchino, the composer known for his work for Pixar and filmmaker J.J. Abrams, has now set his sights on dinosaurs. Giacchino has signed on to score Jurassic World, Universal’s latest installment in the Jurassic Park movie series. Giacchino won an Oscar for scoring Pixar’s Up. His other work for the animation powerhouse includes The Incredibles, Ratatouille and Cars 2. His collaboration with Abrams has yielded the scores for Mission Impossible III, Star Trek, Super 8 and Star Trek Into Darkness, as well as shows such as Lost, Alias and Fringe. Other credits range from Speed Racer to The Family Stone to
- Borys Kit
By Lee Pfeiffer
There are precious few things in life that reach the status of absolute perfection. Off-hand I can think of three:
1. A top notch Cuban cigar.
2. A wee-small hours meal in a New Jersey White Castle.
3. Any performance by the New York Philharmonic.
Last night, I had the opportunity to cover the latter for Cinema Retro, as the Philharmonic, under the direction of the esteemed conductor David Newman, presented a magnificent tribute to the music of the Pixar animated film classics. The event took place at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City and was the latest production in the legendary orchestra's tie-ins to major motion pictures. Last year, I reported on the Philharmonic's similar celebration of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. (Click here for coverage) However, the Pixar event was even more impressive. My one gripe with the Hitchcock event was that the film »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a film that looks more like the filmmaker’s midlife-crisis wish-fulfillment fantasy than this one. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
You know how it happens. A beautiful, wealthy woman — a doctor — happens to mention, offhand, just out of the blue, to one of her patients that she and her even more gorgeous, even more rich friend are just dying to have a threesome. And the patient, who just happens to be Woody Allen, naturally thinks to pimp out his florist pal, John Turturro, to them. Cuz who couldn’t use a little extra dough? Same old story, really.
Did I mention that this is written and directed by Turturro?
This is like Twilight for middle-aged men, in which prostitution is an adventure and getting paid tons »
- MaryAnn Johanson
This year we’ve already heard about The Lego Movie being anti-capitalist (even though it’s the opposite) and Frozen having a gay agenda (I can neither confirm nor deny this, as I still haven’t seen it), so it’s surprising that the conservative media hasn’t also jumped at the chance to denounce Rio 2 for its tree-hugging liberal propaganda. Maybe after piling on The Muppets, The Lorax, Cars 2, Happy Feet Two and others they’re tired of pointing out that basically every family film seems to them as leaning left. Or maybe, as Matt Patches argues disappointedly in his Fighting In the War Room podcast review, the message of Rio 2 is not direct enough to reach the young viewers because it implies the birds are fighting deforestation in the Amazon just fine on their own. Either way, I invite the Right to join me this week in recognizing the 30th anniversary of »
- Christopher Campbell
Those high flyers return in a sequel to the spin-off of Pixar’s worst franchise that now has nothing to do with Pixar. In its defense, Planes was infinitely better than the mess that was Cars 2, and arguably better than Cars. This sequel was announced before Planes was even released, and Planes went on to make over $219 million worlwide on a $50 million budget. The plot takes a dramatic turn from the idea of a race in the previous film, this time having Dusty Cropper (Dane Cook) wanting to become part of a fire and rescue squad. There seems to be puns a plenty and some that actually work; the line about pickup trucks made me giggle. It doesn’t look completely awful, but at the same time even the trailer seems to start repeating itself.
Planes: Fire & Rescue is released 18th July in the Us and 8th August in the UK. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
With no films from Pixar Animation on the calendar this year, Disney must make due with their spin-off sequel Planes: Fire & Rescue. Unfortunately, this looks to be even worse than both Cars 2 and the preceding original spin-off Planes. Again, the animation looks incredible with all the fire and sweeping landscapes, but the writing is flat, and there just doesn't seem to be any passion in this story at all. It's just a showcase so that young boys will want to buy more toys. There is absolutely nothing that looks redeeming about this sequel, and we really hope Dusty (Dane Cook) doesn't come back after this adventure. Watch? Here's the latest trailer for Planes: Fire & Rescue from Disney: Planes: Fire & Rescue, the feature film sequel to Disney's Planes, will be directed by Bobs Gannaway. Comedian Dane Cook returns to voice cropdusting plane Dusty Crophopper, who learns that »
- Ethan Anderton
We all knew it was coming, folks. The Pixar-Disney movie making machine has been printing money for almost 20 years now, but they have only recently got into the non-Toy Story sequel game. A couple days ago, Pixar announced that Brad Bird, writer and director of The Incredibles, has officially started work on a very much in demand sequel to the 2004 Superhero/Family movie classic.
Of all the entries in Pixar’s “Golden Age” (a period which sadly came to an end circa Cars 2), The Incredibles was the one that had the most fan support behind the prospect of a sequel. This hardly comes as a surprise, given that nowadays it is extremely rare for a Superhero film to go without an immediate sequel green light when it makes such an impact at the box office.
But what exactly are the specific aspects of the Incredibles that make »
- Robert Tiemstra
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