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Serial Mom

John Waters plays nice but not too nice in this bent scenario about a suburban mom who’s really a serial killer. Starring Kathleen Turner, it’s Mommie Dearest taken to the next level and Waters positively revels in outlandish social satire; he’s like Tex Avery directing a Preston Sturges screenplay (during her trial Turner’s daughter sells merchandise on the courthouse steps). The presence of Waters stalwarts Mink Stole and Mary Vivian Pearce assures us the bad boy from Baltimore hasn’t gone completely Hollywood.
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Film Review: ‘Let Yourself Go”

If you thought seders at your great-aunt Rivka’s were dully predictable affairs, you may want to skip Francesco Amato’s bland Italian laffer “Let Yourself Go.” Set in Rome’s Jewish community, this formulaic comedy about an uptight shrink who loosens up thanks to a shiksa personal trainer is standard-issue Italian fare, with the sole difference being that everyone isn’t Catholic. Stateside Jewish niche distributor Menemsha Films knows its audience (Florida is the first stop); it’s not to be confused with having an appeal to the art-house crowd — unless foreign language is the sole criterion. Local box office finished modestly last spring with just over $2 million in receipts, though the film did win best comedy at the Italian Golden Globes.

Even the great Toni Servillo, usually so adept at freshly delineating each new role, feels old hat here as Elia Venezia, a Freudian psychotherapist more interested in pastries than patients.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

A Spectre Is Haunting...: The Dziga Vertov Group

  • MUBI
The retrospective Godard and the Dziga Vertov Group is showing from February 27 - March 26, 2018 on Mubi in the United Kingdom and United States.British SoundsThe execrable new film Redoubtable by Michel Hazanavicius reduces all aspects of Jean-Luc Godard and his career to the level of a cartoon. And not even a great, cinematically advanced cartoon—the Fleischer brothers, Chuck Jones, or Tex Avery, something that might actually capture some semblance of Jlg’s anarchic humor. No, Redoubtable is strictly Hanna-Barbara, two-dimensional animals lumbering about on an unchanging, depthless landscape. (Oh look! Silly Jean-Luc has broken his glasses again!) As if to drive home the childishness of the film, it is being retitled in the U.S. Now called Godard Mon Amour, it not only makes a mockery of an actually great film by Alain Resnais and Marguerite Duras. It emphasizes Godard as little more than a brand name, a selling point.
See full article at MUBI »

Game Night- Review

Yes, Valentine’s Day was over a week ago, but many longtime couples are still trying to rekindle that special spark in their relationship. Of course that “Fifty Shades” flick is still in theatres, but maybe they don’t want to have some time together that could leave some bruises that others would question (guess you didn’t yell “red’ quickly enough). The 2010 comedy Date Night had Tina and Steve getting away from their kids, and getting mixed-up in a high-octane crime caper. What if the couple are childless and want to enjoy some time with similar couples (now just get those Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice jokes about that 1969 classic out of your dirty minds)? Well, the year before that “date” flick there was the Couples Retreat romp, but that was an exotic vacation locale. A more casual weekly get-together, just eating cheese, drinking wine, and setting out those Milton Bradley
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Fast Facts: ‘Army of Darkness’ and 25 Years Worth of Trivia

Fast Facts: ‘Army of Darkness’ and 25 Years Worth of Trivia
February 19th, 1993 saw the long-delayed release and epic continuation of Sam Raimi’s beloved Evil Dead franchise. With Army of Darkness, Sam and his screenwriting partner (and brother), Ivan Raimi, leaned heavily into the comedy, more so than even the Tex Avery inspired Evil Dead 2 before it. While Darkness wasn’t the biggest success financially (read: it pretty much tanked), it’s safe […]
See full article at Bloody-Disgusting.com »

The Forgotten: Walter Lantz & William Nolan's "Wonderland" (1931)

  • MUBI
Walt Disney lost control of his most popular character, Oswald the Rabbit, probably the low point of his life. He bounced back by starting his own company and introducing Mickey Mouse, a thinly-veiled Oswald rip-off, down to the same short pants, with added alliteration, and the rest is history.Oswald, of course, faded into obscurity without Disney's hand to guide him, but here's a later talking Oswald cartoon (Mickey introduced sound to the cartoons with Steamboat Willie in 1928, an oddly abrasive toon in which the iconic rodent spends most of his time torturing animals to produce musical sounds. Mickey, at this stage in his development, seems likely to grow up to be a serial killer.)The wonderful thing about thirties cartoons is how disturbing they are. We first encounter Mickey Oswald here getting his ass sewn up by granny and a cat and a mouse, their traditional enmity forgotten
See full article at MUBI »

"Woody Woodpecker" The Movie

  • SneakPeek
Sneak Peek more new footage from Universal's CGI animated "Woody Woodpecker", directed by Alex Zamm, available on DVD February 6, 2018:

"...'Woody Woodpecker' loves his home in the forest in the mountains. His tree is just the right size and perfect for his needs. Then a lawyer from the city arrives with his girlfriend and son and tries to tear it down to build a 'dream' home for humans. 

"Woody being Woody decides to use his unique method of handling irritations to stop the development plans: He terrorizes the humans entirely. He goes after the construction crew, attempts to electrocute and peck the father and causes mayhem everywhere. 

"After Woody finds himself relating to the son, can he and the humans come to a compromise that works for everyone?...":

Woody Woodpecker was created in 1940 by storyboard artist Ben "Bugs" Hardaway, who previously laid groundwork for "Bugs Bunny" and "Daffy
See full article at SneakPeek »

Bugs Bunny Character Designer Bob Givens Passed Away at the Age of 99

Bob Givens, the animator who officially designed the cartoon character Bugs Bunny, has passed away. The artist was 99-years-old, and he lived a very long and successful life who has left behind quite an incredible legacy. After all, he did help create one of the most iconic cartoon characters of all time.

After givens worked on Disney's 1937 animated filmed Snow White and the Seven Dwarves he went to work alongside Chuck Jones and Tex Avery at Warner Bros. and that's where Bugs Bunny was born. 

Givens also worked on classic TV cartoon series like Popeye the Sailor in 1960s and Alvin and the Chipmunks and He-Man during the 80s. Writing on Facebook, Professor of Animation at the University of Southern California Tom Sito talked about his time with Givens, saying: 

I just heard from Mariana about the passing of her dad, animator Bob Givens, at the age of 99. Bob began at Walt Disney,
See full article at GeekTyrant »

Battle Cry

Move over James JonesLeon Uris clobbers the big screen with a sprawling adaptation of his WW2 combat novel, loaded down with roles for promising young actors. This is the one where twice as much time is spent on love affairs than fighting. War may be hell, but if Mona Freeman, Nancy Olson, Dorothy Malone and Allyn McLerie are going to be there for comfort, sign me up.

Battle Cry

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1955 / Color / 2:55 widescreen / 148 min. / Street Date , 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, Mona Freeman, Nancy Olson, James Whitmore, Raymond Massey, Tab Hunter, Dorothy Malone, Anne Francis, William Campbell, Fess Parker, Justus E. McQueen (L.Q. Jones), Perry Lopez, Jonas Applegarth, Tommy Cook, Felix Noriego, Susan Morrow, Carleton Young, Rhys Williams, Allyn Ann McLerie, Gregory Walcott, Frank Ferguson, Sarah Selby, Willis Bouchey, Victor Milian.

Cinematography: Sidney Hickox

Film Editor: William H. Zeigler

Original Music: Max Steiner
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Stalker

Andrei Tarkovsky’s bizarre philosophical science fiction epic may be his most successful picture overall — every image and word makes its precise desired effect. Three daring men defy the law to penetrate ‘the Zone’ and learn the truth behind the notion that a place called The Room exists where all wishes are granted. Plenty of art films promise profound ideas, but this one delivers.

Stalker

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 888

1979 / Color / 1:37 flat full frame / 161 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date July 18, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Aleksandr Kaidanovsky, Anatoly Solonitsyn, Nikolai Grinko, Alisa Freindlikh, Natasha Abramova.

Cinematography: Alexander Knyazhinsky

Film Editor: Lyudmila Feyginova

Original Music: Eduard Artemyev

Written by Andrei Tarkovsky and Arkady Struagtsky, Boris Strugatsky from their novel Roadside Picnic.

Produced by Aleksandra Demidova

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky

If the definition of film artist is ‘one who goes his own way,’ Andrei Tarkovsky qualifies mightily. Reportedly cursed with a halting career
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Golden Globes Give Oscars a Worthy Adversary

In 1943, the same year that the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. was founded, movie screens were filled with a popular series of Warner Bros. cartoons that riffed on the “Tortoise and the Hare” Aesop fable, where the faster rabbit competes with the hopelessly outclassed tortoise and yet inexplicably loses the contest.

Midway through Tex Avery’s 1941 classic, “Tortoise Beats Hare,” the rabbit is exasperated and mystified by his inexplicable failure and one of the tortoise’s co-conspirators winks to the audience and announces, “We do this kinda stuff to him all through the picture!”

Think of the Academy’s Oscars as Bugs Bunny, the famous, well-heeled favorite to win and the HFPA’s Golden Globes as Cecil Turtle, the lesser-known, comical four-legged foil whose victory drives Bugs completely up the wall.

The Oscars have thousands of famous members and a board of governors packed with movie stars, studio chiefs and legendary filmmakers. The
See full article at Variety - Film News »

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99
June Foray, the voice of “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame in the early 1960s and a key figure in the animation industry, died Thursday. She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was also the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among hundreds of others.

The first lady of voice acting, one of the original members of animation organization Asifa-Hollywood and founder of the annual Annie Awards, was also instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category.

“We are all saddened by the news of June’s passing,” said
See full article at Variety - TV News »

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99

June Foray, Voice of ‘Bullwinkle Show’s’ Natasha and Rocky, Dies at 99
June Foray, the voice of “The Bullwinkle Show’s” Rocky the Flying Squirrel and his nemesis Natasha Fatale of Boris and Natasha fame, died Thursday. She was 99.

Her close friend Dave Nimitz, confirmed her death on Facebook, writing “With a heavy heart again I want to let you all know that we lost our little June today at 99 years old.”

Foray was the voice behind Looney Tunes’ Witch Hazel, Nell from “Dudley Do-Right,” Granny in the “Tweety and Sylvester” cartoons and Cindy Lou Who in Chuck Jones’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” among many others.

The first lady of voice acting and founder of the annual Annie Awards was instrumental in the creation of the Oscars’ animated feature category.
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'The Thomas Crown Affair': THR's 1968 Review

'The Thomas Crown Affair': THR's 1968 Review
On June 26, 1968, Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway's heist film The Thomas Crown Affair hit theaters, touting itself with a tagline of "A thrill-a-minute deal for a million dollars!" The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

Like Richard Lester and Tex Avery, Norman Jewison continues to prove himself among the most facile and appropriative of the two-dimensional directors, paring the elements of character, plot and motive to promote entertainments in which the vogues of unrestrained directorial technique are ultimately the star, protracted commercials in which the director is both progenitor and featured product.

With the Mirisch presentation of The...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Annecy Film Review: ‘Animal Crackers’

Annecy Film Review: ‘Animal Crackers’
When Ringling Bros. announced its plans to retire the Greatest Show on Earth after 146 years, animal-rights activists rejoiced, relieved that dancing bears and trained elephants would suffer no more. But “Animal Crackers” has a much better solution, albeit one that demands a dash of magic: In this delightfully inventive, frequently hilarious animated feature, a box of enchanted cookies allows big-top couple Buffalo Bob and Talia to shape-shift into a full menagerie of circus animals. All it takes is a bite of the right cookie, and presto, they become the critter in question!

In addition to boasting a downright clever idea, “Animal Crackers” is uniquely suited to the medium of animation, considering that live action (even heavily CG-embellished live action) simply wouldn’t support all those dramatic transformations — from two-ounce hamster to 600-pound brown bear, for example — and the wonderfully anthropomorphic behavior each of those species requires. The fact that this Spanish-produced,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Florida Project review – poverty and joy in the shadow of the Magic Kingdom

Sean Baker, director of the iPhone movie Tangerine, steps up to a whole new level with this life-affirming story of a six year old living in a Florida motel

Ken Loach and Tex Avery never had a chance to collaborate on a film together, but the manic, high-energy and ultimately heartbreaking social drama The Florida Project more than suffices.

Continue reading...
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Stan Lee's Role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Finally Revealed

Stan Lee's Role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Finally Revealed
If you haven't raced to the local theater for a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 yet, you might want to save this story for later. As it contains Spoilers! Those who have seen the movie, and stayed all the way to the very last of five post-credit scenes, know that Stan Lee's Marvel character has finally been revealed. Yes, his cameos mean something, they're all connected, and he's played the same character in every movie, presumably even those outside of Marvel Studio's cinematic universe including X-Men and Deadpool.

As it stands, Stan Lee has appeared in more Marvel movies than anyone else, including Robert Downey Jr., who reprises Tony Stark for an 8th time in this summer's Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Samuel L. Jackson, who has turned in 7 appearances out of the 9 in his contract. Known for creating some of the greatest superheroes in history and forever the face of Marvel comics,
See full article at MovieWeb »

Annecy unveils 2017 line-up

Annecy unveils 2017 line-up
Zombillenium announced as opener; China named as guest country, Guillermo del Toro to return.

French animator and illustrator Arthur de Pin’s child-friendly comedy-horror tale Zombillenium (pictured) - set against the backdrop of an amusement-terror park were the staff are a motley crew of vampires, zombies and werewolves - will open this year’s edition of the Annecy International Animated Film Festival, running June 12-17 this year.

It is among nine special event screenings including Pixar’s Cars 3, which will be proceeded by a presentation of footage from Mexico-set, Day of the Dead-inspired drama Coco in the presence of director Lee Unkrich, producer Darla K. Anderson and co-director Adrian Molina; Despicable Me 3 and The Big Bad Fox And Other Animals.

Zombillenium will also compete in the 10-title feature film competition.

Other contenders for Annecy’s Cristal for best feature film include Iranian director Ali Soozandeh’s Tehran Taboo, exploring sexuality
See full article at ScreenDaily »

Tom McGrath interview: Boss Baby, animation, George Lucas

Simon Brew Apr 5, 2017

We chat with Boss Baby director Tom McGrath about animation, changes at DreamWorks, Boss Baby 2, advice from Ron Howard and more...

Tom McGrath is one of Hollywood’s most underappreciated comedy directors. Megamind was a hoot, I found myself guffawing heavily through the Madagascar trilogy and now, with The Boss Baby, he’s brought yet more animated mischief to the screen.

We got the chance to have a chat with about the movie, about the big behind the scenes changes at DreamWorks Animation, and the invaluable advice of Ron Howard and George Lucas

I remember watching the Oscars one year, and Jim Carrey came on to present an award just as Liar Liar had opened to massive numbers. He walked up and said “how was your weekend, mine was good!”. So, Tom McGrath: how was your weekend?

It was great! It was good! [Laughs] You know, I don’t have children myself,
See full article at Den of Geek »

'The Boss Baby' Review: This Is Not the Trump-Trolling Toon You're Looking For

'The Boss Baby' Review: This Is Not the Trump-Trolling Toon You're Looking For
Let's address the elephant-sized diaper in the room, shall we? No, The Boss Baby is not about Donald Trump. Not that director Tom McGrath, or screenwriter Michael McCullers, or anyone at Fox or Dreamworks Animation would ever say that it was; it's safe to assume that this adaptation of Marla Frazee's 2010 children's book was in the works long before our current administration slithered its way into office. But given that this tiny tyrant is voiced by none other than Alec Baldwin, who's carved out a lucrative side career imitating an infantile commander-in-chief,
See full article at Rolling Stone »
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