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Entries in animated films (323)

Sunday
Aug282016

Box Office Special: 1984 Hits

Rather than talk about this weekend's boring box office results (nothing new to see here beyond a big weekend for that new kill-the-trespassing-teenagers flick Don't Breathe) let's travel back to 1984 which was a hugely influential year for franchises of many kinds. What can the biggest hits tell us about the then and the now? 

TOP TWENTY OF 1984
numbers adjusted for today's dollars via box office mojo

01 Ghostbusters $589.6  
Two Oscar nods. Spawned 1 terrible sequel, two animated TV shows, and this year's reboot

02 Beverly Hills Cop $581.5
Led to two sequels, a TV remake, and a TV pilot that wasn't picked up. Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in some stage of development for 20+ years and is still supposedly being made. We'll believe it when we see it.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug222016

Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

This article was originally published in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad

Kubo and the Two Strings begins with Kubo's mother, navigating treacherous waves by slicing them in half with one melodramatic strum on her magical shamisen. The instrument has three strings, not two, but the title can wait. It's time to watch. Kubo's (Art Parkinson) narration warns us to do so closely.

"If you must blink, do it now."

That's a handy if redundant warning because who is going to blink during a Laika movie? The animated studio reliably crafts spectacularly intricate stop motion (with some CG boosting). When Kubo's mother splits the waves desperate to save the baby in her boat, it was hard not to think of Moses, twice over, both a babe in on the water and an ocean-parter.

Religiously suggestive folklore with magic turns out to be perfect fit for Laika because they always bring the eye popping images and movie magic...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug222016

5 Things That The New Poster For 'Zoom' Is Lacking

by Manuel Betancourt

Let's talk about the film Zoom. Have you heard of it? It’s this international co-production film that sounds like the hybrid lovechild of Stranger than Fiction and Adaptation, a third of which is animated, starring a 2D-animated Gael García Bernal. I caught the film earlier this year so I was fascinated (read: bemused) by the latest poster that puts the Mexican actor front and center alongside undersung actress Alison Pill. And yet, compared to the earlier poster that had been revealed for the film, this new floating heads one is pretty… uninspiring to say the least. It loses all the specificity of what makes the film worth seeking out.

But you should be excited for this unique movie. Here are 5 things that the new poster for Zoom isn’t telling you...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug212016

Ben-Who? Weekend Box Office

The name "Ben-Hur" wasn't enough of a brand on its own to lure moviegoers to theaters this weekend for the remake. My guess: Those who know of Ben-Hur love the 1959 version too much to care about a 2016 version. I have zero desire to see it so if you dared the movie theater this weekend to do so, tell me this: did any of the 1925 sensuality or the 1959 homoeroticism survive in the 2016 version. Or is this just all antiseptic generic blockbuster action mode? 

Ben Hur in 1959, 2016, and 1925If you didn't see Ben-Hur, what did you see? Did you like it? More after the jump including the fate of Kubo and the Two Strings and the best thing I saw this weekend...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug142016

Review: Sausage Party

Tim here. You can't deny that Sausage Party does what it promises. It's a not-quite-parody and not-quite-satire of the Pixar-style premise of a secret world where inanimate objects have an elaborate culture unseen by humans. In this case, it's the life of a supermarket with Seth Rogen as the voice of a heroic hot dog and Kristen Wiig as the hot dog bun he loves. To this, add in a bunch of curse words and outlandishly filthy sex talk, and you've got a solid 70% of the movie.  It's not mine to say whether this is good or bad: there's no point in telling people that what they're laughing at isn't funny, and Sausage Party's audience undoubtedly knows itself.

That audience would be anybody who has loved writers Rogen & Evan Goldberg's previous forays into sex-obsessed philosophy hiding in a thick cloud of pot smoke: Superbad, The Interview, or especially This Is the End, the duo's film that Sausage Party most closely resembles. The 30% that's not cartoon characters saying raunchy things is an extension of that film's agnostic theological commentary, and not even a necessarily bad one. [More...]

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Sunday
Aug072016

Box Office Special: When Films are Bigger Abroad...

What did you see this weekend?

Let's ignore Suicide Squad's big box office weekend (read Lynn's review here) as that story is overworked already given the months of hoopla on the internet and the expected fact of a very big weekend (that's what happens with much-hyped superhero films). Instead for the weekend box office column, let's talk about a situation that occurs each year in terms of different preferences in blockbusters around the globe. Those differences sometimes go a long way in explaining why some franchises never die (Hello, Ice Age) even long past their natural expiration dates. Though Finding Dory has easily topped the domestic charts in the US to become 2016's champ, it couldn't reach the global power of Captain America: Civil War (#1), Zootopia (#2) or The Jungle Book (#3) worldwide. Taste and success do vary across borders.

Stephen Chow's "The Mermaid" is the 7th biggest hit of 2016... but it did only $3 million in the US

After the jump let's look at the titles from 2016 with less than a third of their treasure chests coming from the US (currently the biggest film market though China will reportedly surpass us soon). What can we learn from this list?

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug072016

Seventeen (Links) Again

Variety TCA Awards announced with top honors going to The People vs OJ Simpson, Black-ish, The Americans, Mr Robot all of which enjoyed big Emmy nominations and Crazy Ex Girlfriend which did not. GRRRR
TheaterMania Nina Arianda talks Florence Foster Jenkins (I just saw the movie and she's bliss to watch in it, so lively)
• The Observer Thelma Adams on John Waters restored Multiple Maniacs
Broadway.com Glenn Close might be reviving Sunset Boulevard on Broadway
The Film Stage Martin Scorsese says Silence will be ready for release this year as planned. (But that means Paramount has 4 major titles to juggle this Oscar season.)


Interview talks to Little Men breakout Michael Barbieri who's already lined up two major projects afterwards
i09 Deadpool 2 will take aim at superhero sequels in its jokey fourth wall breaking

Controversies
• Nerds of Color Why is the Kubo and the Two Strings cast, set entirely in Japan, so white? Good question. And why on Earth is Rooney Mara doing this again after being raked over the coals for taking Tiger Lily in Pan? I asked it about the also totally Asian Guardian Brothers which as an all white star voice cast (Kidman/Streep/etcetera) despite being about Chinese legends and people got mad at me, as if animated films should have different rules and it's okay because everyone does it. It's not okay. Stars with huge bank accounts need to stop accepting these roles, they have innumerable other ways to make a quick buck. It just looks bad for everyone. Animated studios need to stop doing this. The voice talent is not the stars of animation, it's the animation itself. ACCEPT YOUR STRENGTHS. Big ups to Disney who cast racially appropriate actors for Big Hero 6 and Moana, trusting the material was there and you don't need big movie star names on posters when their faces never appear in the film.
After Ellen this is some bullshit - Delta Airlines edited the kisses between Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara out of Todd Haynes' Carol
• Slate good piece on understanding angry conspiracy theory behavior via angry Suicide Squad defenders
• Slate another interesting piece on what's wrong with numbers based movie review systems
• Comics Alliance Cara Delevigne proves she has complete ignorance about modern film criticism when she announces that they just don't like superhero movies. Oh, Cara. no. They just don't like yours. If anything critics are too easy on superhero movies which usually win pretty favorable review percentages.

ALSO from Tonga. And one of 11 out male athletes at the gamesOlympic Fever
• Broadway.com 5 random Broadway talents that should be Olympic sports
The New Yorker "Olympic Events I would win if they existed"  
Towleroad on that Tongan flagbearer 
Outsports a record number of out LGBT athletes are at the Olympics this year. Most are women, two of which are even married to each other.
Outsports None of the male out athletes are from the US begging the question - why don't American male athletes come out? The out men are from the UK, Tonga, New Zealand, Brazil, Finland and The Netherlands.