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Cannes Winners

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Entries in Disney (103)

Tuesday
May262015

Review: Tomorrowland

Michael C here. Last week I was here to announce that one of my anticipated 2015 titles exceeded my expectations. This week I need to come to grips how another of my most anticipated could miss the mark so badly.

Like the theme park from which it takes its inspiration, the future in Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland is not a tangible thing, but an idea, a gleaming Jetsons cityscape forever just over the horizon inspiring the better angels of our nature with its promise of utopia. It’s not “the future”. It’s THE FUTURE! 

Unfortunately, where Disney World can get away with organizing a collection or attractions around nothing but a spirit of uncomplicated hope, a movie needs to build a structure around those feelings, and it’s there that Bird’s film struggles. It aims to stir the soul but its impact is dulled as it gets lost in its scattershot, thinly conceived screenplay. Enjoyment of Tomorrowland depends on one's ability to appreciate its vibe of retro optimism enough to overlook how far short it falls of its lofty ambitions...

Click to read more ...

Friday
May222015

Tim's Toons: Animated Features at Cannes

This week, the Cannes Film Festival was home to the premiere of Inside Out, the new film by Pixar Animation Studios, and one of its best-reviewed pictures. The film is playing out of competition, as has been the recent tendency of most Hollywood products, and animation in particular. It has been a special habit of films made by DreamWorks Animation in the 21st Century, with all sorts of things from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron in 2002 up to How to Train Your Dragon 2 last year muscling their way onto the Croisette.

There has, however, been a small but meaningful history of animated movies to have been given slightly more honorable treatment, and allowed to play in the big kids’ sandbox. Since the festival’s first edition in 1946, there have been seven animated features entered into the main competition, if my count is right, and they make for a fascinating cross-section of how the international cinema scene regarded the state of that particular art across the years. Here, in order, are those seven films.

Make Mine Music (1946)
The eighth feature made by the Disney studio, and the third of that company’s dubious “package films”, attempts to make entire features by jamming a bunch of short films into one vague thematic frame. Like any anthology, it has peaks and valleys, though the latter dominate, and the film is infinitely less impressive than its quasi-sequel Melody Time. Let us not be baffled by its Cannes slot; this was the fest’s first year & they were figuring it out, everybody loves Disney, and it’s a nice post-war feel-good effort. It won Best Animation Design, a discontinued award.

six more after the jump including Persepolis and... Shrek 2 (!?)

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr272015

Disney's Descendants: Summer TV Camp?

Manuel here bringing a bit of levity to your Monday morning. Sometimes you come across something (a casting announcement, a trailer, a plot description) that leaves you agog. 

Such is the case with this trailer for Descendants, a summer original Disney Channel movie which begins with the premise "what if Disney Villains hadn't died at the end of their respective films but instead were sent to an island prison where they had beautiful children who will now attend the prep school with the beautiful children of your favorite Disney princesses?" I mean. Disney has clearly gone full camp, right? With Kenny High School Musical Ortega, one hopes. Even in describing it it sounds like the sort of thing that'd have made a cool animated series in the early 2000s (you know, alongside Jungle Cubs, Hercules, and The Emperor's New School).

That description doesn't do it justice, so take a look:

 

 

I'm sharing the trailer because I NEED to talk about this. There's so much to discuss! Will Disney ever stop seeing its classic animated characters as anything other than endlessly replicable cosplay opportunities? Will Kristin Chenoweth (as a bite-sized Maleficent) and Kathy Najimy (as the Evil Queen) get the spinoff we probably all would guiltily watch? Tell me everything that came to mind as you realized this was indeed a real thing and not a Tumblr post gone viral. 

Wednesday
Apr082015

April Foolish Oscar Discussion: Animated Features

These two specialized categories can be perplexing from the outside, documentaries moreso, as to what is eligible, why it's eligible, and what motivates people to vote as they do. The official eligibility lists don't arrive until later in the year but for now on the new charts we'll add documentary titles as they make some kind of mark and we'll dive right into animated features, which apart from the foreign produced entries, are much easier to track.

Pixar vs Pixar this year?

This upcoming Oscar season, Walt Disney Studios Animation will be out of the mix after two consecutive wins. Their next features Zootopia and Moana, which both look quite promising, aren't due until March and November of 2016. To fill that giant vacuum, Pixar will likely come roaring back after an uncharacteristic absence last year with two titles Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur

But the contest that's most curious might not be a contest... at least in terms of Oscar. We have two features that are trading on collective international nostalgia for 2D classic properties: The Little Prince and Peanuts Movie. But they're both getting the CG or mixed media approach. That's not so odd since contemporary cinema loves to regurgitate and "update" (shudder) but what's unusual is that both films are clearly trying to mix the endearing flat linework and visual style of these beloved gems into newly three dimensional worlds. A safe bet: these films, particularly The Little Prince which looks "schizophrenic", will be divisive. 

Check out the charts! Which of these films are you most curious about and do you agree with the April Foolish guesswork? 

 

Wednesday
Mar252015

The Links: Buffy, Disney, Hanks, Viggo, Toxic Sets and Tight Pants

Variety several distributors want the Sally Field vehicle Hello My Name is Doris, an  indie hit at SXSW. But neither of the big Oscar dogs want it (no interest from Weinsteins or Fox Searchlight. Hmmm)
Teenage Bedrooms on Screen a tumblr celebrating movie sets from teen films. I thought this was appropriate to share after...
TFE a discussion of interesting / fun film sets 
Variety our favorite Israeli actress Ronit Elkabetz will serve as president of Cannes' "Critics Week" the festival's sidebar focused on newer filmmakers  (That's often where the best movies are anyway!)
My New Plaid Pants on a current rumor about the "toxic" set of Alejandro González Iñárritu's The Revenant

Vanity Fair looks back at Pretty Woman for its 25th, specifically it's originally much darker screenplay
TFE in case you missed it Manuel also looked back on the nation's (and his) 25 year old Julia Roberts obsession
Daily Mail Lauren Bacall's estate auctioning off collections. Her Manhattan partment is also for sale for (gulp) $26 million
The Guardian match the evil quote to the Disney villain - I got a few of these wrong. The Shame!
CHUD Marvel has reportedly cast Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) already and she might even be added to The Avengers: Age of Ultron. WTH... how many actors can be in that one movie and shouldn't they have finished it already given that it opens in a month?  
Film School Rejects Anthony Russo & Joe Russo, who did such a great job on Captain America: Winter Soldier have been adopted by Marvel and will now direct all of their movies (not really but they're locked up for awhile) 

The Film Stage a one hour conversation with Jessica Chastain 
The Playlist Viggo Mortensen turned down Hateful Eight? Sad. He'd be great in a Tarantino and could use a hit
In Contention Sandy Powell talks Cinderella costumes 
ET Online and speaking of costumes, Billy Magnussen talks about his unmissably tight leather pants in Into the Woods 

Today's Watch

Tom Hanks reenacts his filmography's greatest hits in seven minutes with James Corden. Hanks seems to be having a lot of fun with himself lately, right? 

Small Screen

Coming Soon
 The X-Files stars David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are returning to their iconic roles for a miniseries. The original series lasted 9 years and was revived in two feature films so it's had quite a shelf-life. 
Variety I find BAFTA so confusing. They have so many different awards branches and different announcement times. But the TV craft nominations are out with Penny Dreadful doing well 
Ryan Murphy Chloe Sevigny returning to American Horror Story next season. She was a pleasant surprise for me on Netflix's Bloodline. I forget sometimes how totally watchable she is
Towleroad rumors circulating that HBO is cancelling Looking albeit with a wrap up film *sniffle* 
Salon Jon Hamm just out of rehab for alcohol addiction. With Mad Men wrapped hopefully he won't be reminded of the glass in hand for a while. Best wishes! 

Three Must Reads To Go

1. If you're a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and who isn't) you'll LOL all through The Toast's "Every Argument about Buffy on the Internet, From 1998 Until Now." It's blissfully true to its title.

2. This doesn't have a movie connection apart from a well earned dig at that awful Flawless movie starring Philip Seymour Hoffman but The New York Times has an essay on the feminist evolution of the word "flawless" that is really something. A great read.

3. David Poland has said these things before and will say them again. And we've also harped on his underlying theme / advice to the Academy - 'Embrace the fact that you're THE movie institution. be proud, not worried.' But it's always worth repeating and he does a great job in "48 Weeks to Oscar: Academy in Crisis (?)" at highlighting all the problems... which don't have to be problems! Read it (if you've ever bitched about or defended the Oscars). Live it (if you're AMPAS). Love it (if you love the Oscars).

That's a lot to read and discuss, so have at it! 

Thursday
Mar192015

You Link Something New Every Day

• Did you know that Debbie Harry was up for the part of "Pris" in Blade Runner? [Kenneth in the (212)]
• Will the general public love Crimson Peak as much as Stephen King does? [Cinemablend]
• Which SXSW movie buzz got you excited. I'm partial to the response to this Tab Hunter Confidential documentary, mostly because he starred with Natalie Wood so many times [The Playlist]
• Have you seen the list of SXSW winners? [SXSW]
• Have you heard Stephen Sondheim's comments on Lady Gaga's Sound of Music Oscars performance? [THR

• Do you think Disney will just put down permanent roots in mid March for Princess movies? Next up: Beauty & the Beast [Variety
• Are you excited that Sarah Polley will be doing the next remake of the oft remade Little Women? [Guardian]
• Have you been keeping up with all things Madonna this publicity round for Rebel Heart. So many stars, interviews, appearances, plus Ellen DeGeneres all week. Exhausting [Boy Culture]
• Isn't it weird how cinema is so much less horny than it was decades ago, 1976 to be precise? [NSFW -Deep Dish
• Did you know that The Sound of Music is coming back to movie theaters a month from now? That 50th Anniversary celebration just keeps on chugging along [Playbill]
• Which of Netflix's arrivals and departure's this next month have you cheering and weeping? Maybe we should do A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night for HMWYBS? [Dissolve]
• Were you aware that Timothy, one of the very best online film critics (this is why we recruited him!) is offering to review any movie of your choosing for a donation to the American Cancer Society? I just requested mine.  [Antagony & Ecstasy]  

• Finally, have you seen this supercut of actors waking up from nightmares? [Hat Tip: John August]  

It's such a movie trope but does it happen this way in real life. I've woken up like "noooo!" from an upsetting dream but generally more mumbled lethargically than the bolt upright wail. You?