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Entries in Disney (126)

Monday
May232016

YNMS: Beauty and the Beast

For better or worse, the Disney live action adaptations are here to stay. We bemoan the risk of bastardizing our classics, but it is easy to forget that some of these stories have a long history of screen iterations from their fairy tale roots. Beauty and the Beast has been seen as legendary Cocteau classic and 80s TV cheese before Disney musicalized the legend into its most popular version. Naturally, Disney has another one on deck.

While the quality of these reboot/rehashes has ranged from the unexpected delights (Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella) to the outright nightmares (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), the predictably high box office returns of each guarantees that your personal favorite will eventually get the live action treatment if it hasn't already. The just released teaser for Bill Condon's hints at a very literal take on the musical, but is that a good thing or bad? 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May082016

Box Office

Black Panther coming for your ticket moneyWhile Captain America v. Iron Man didn't prove to be that much hotter a ringside ticket than Batman v. Superman did in its opening weekend (there's just a 15 million difference or so), the gap will surely widen. The movie's general quality will help it outlive and outperform that earlier embarrassment. One thing the two films do have in common is that the audience excitement appears to be primarily wrapped up in the new characters (Wonder Woman then & Spider-Man/Black Panther now) as opposed to the familiar faces. In related news, Bunny v Fox aka Zootopia overtook Batman v Superman this weekend to become the second highest grossing film of the year thus far.

But real question: who on earth was going to Batman v Superman THIS weekend of all weekends (it earned another million) with Iron Man vs. Captain America available to them? 

TOP TEN WIDE
01 Captain America: Civil War $181.7 NEW Review
02 The Jungle Book $21.8 (cum. $285.9) Articles
03 Mother's Day $9 (cum. $20.7)
04 The Huntsman Winters War $3.5 (cum. $40.3)  Review
05 Keanu $3 (cum. $15.1) 
06 Barbershop: The Next Cut $2.7 (cum. $48.7)
07 Zootopia $2.6 (cum. $327.6)  Reviewish
08 The Boss $1.7 (cum. $59.1)  Review
09 Ratchet & Clank $1.4 (cum. $7) 
10 Batman v. Superman $1 (cum. $327.2) Review 

Sing Street is benefitting from great word of mouth as it expands

Other movies steered clear of opening against the third Avengers film but for Luca Guadagino's I Am Love follow up A Bigger Splash which began its platform release. Now there's an annual franchise option we could get behind. Imagine a world where each Gaudagino & Swinton release is as buzzed about and dissected as any new "Underoos!" moment from Marvel. We're here for that world, whenever it collides with this one.

TOP TEN PLATFORM
01 Sing Street $422K on 153 screens (cum. $1.1) Review
02 Green Room $343K on 470 screens (cum. $2)

03 The Meddler $294K on 53 screens (cum. $.6)  Review
04 The Man Who Knew Infinity $220K on 40 screens (cum. $.3)

05 Papa Hemingway in Cuba $181K on 208 Screens (cum. $.8)

06 Compadres $170K on 212 screens (cum. $2.7)
07 Miles Ahead $131K on 141 screens (cum. $2.2) Review
08 Everybody Wants Some $110K on 131 screens (cum. $3.2) Review Con, Review Pro, Podcast
09 A Bigger Splash $110K on 5 screens NEW Articles
10 The Family Fang $104K on 52 screens Review

What did you catch this week in theaters? 

Tuesday
Apr262016

Curio: Eyvinde Earle's Centennial

Today marks the 100th birthday of famed illustrator Eyvinde Earle (1916-2000) who has a special connection to the cinema having logged time with Walt Disney Studios, most famously helping to shape the aesthetic of the studio's greatest looking traditional classic, Sleeping Beauty (1959). The artist passed away sixteen years ago but his work lives on. Take a look...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr042016

April Foolish Predix: Best Animated Features

It's past time to begin our annual tradition of predicting the future Oscar nominees way before anyone should (yes, I'm aware that nowadays every clickbait site does it the day after the Oscars but we're not into that. Jesus, ppl, let each film year settle!). Let's start with the easiest category in that it's its own world entirely, The Animated Feature. Last year was a relatively thin year for the medium, in that the number of eligible films just barely triggered a 5 wide field. We shouldn't expect a similar dearth this year.

After all 2016's already delivered a possible frontrunner (the delightful Zootopia), a hit that people have already forgotten about (Kung Fu Panda 3... currently #4 of 2016 but have you ever heard anyone talk about it?), trailers to roughly a billion would be cartoon blockbusters scheduled for 2016, and the very tantalizing prospects of an original Disney musical (Moana) and a new Laika feature (Kubo and the Two Strings).

So who do we think will win the nominations this year? I'm not falling into the trap of assuming Pixar is locked up each year (we saw The Good Dinosaur go nowhere, really, in terms of critics and awards enthusiasm) so my big no guts no glory call is that Finding Dory will miss a nomination. Yes, everyone loves Dory and Finding Nemo (2003) but I'm suspicious of a mere fanservice treading of water outing, pun intended, while we wait for a cool original again a la Inside Out. It's a strange reversal that Disney has suddenly taken up the "original" baton and Pixar is wasting its time with sequelitis.

What's below the US radar? Generally speaking online punditry seems to forget that the Academy's animation branch rightly takes foreign cartoons seriously when they're making their calls so something smallish and non American always shows up in the final shortlist. This early -- again, way too early -- I'm guessing that's The Red Turtle. It's due in September from Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli and given those two companies it will surely be beautiful. Plus it's wordless which should be interesting. The other film I'd ink in if I was sure it would be released in time is Loving Vincent, an entirely oil painted (!!!) animated biopic of Vincent Van Gogh. 

There's a lot to consider out there: martial artist pandas, red turtles, amnesian fish, little princes, secretive pets, pissed off birds, delicious trolls, singing pigs, genius artists, island girls and demigods, police bunnies and more. Check out the chart and do speak up in the comments. 

 

Tuesday
Mar292016

A "Zootopia" Top Ten

We've never even discussed Zootopia! What's wrong with us? (Don't answer) What follows is an off the cuff top ten. But consider this intro a number eleven plus: the joy of the movie is that it's not frontloaded at all continuing to offer delights all the way up to its concert finale in its fleet 108 minutes. So don't let this list feel complete: share your favorite things about it in the comments.

(This is assuming you loved it because everyone seems to)

TOP 10 DELIGHTFUL THINGS ABOUT "ZOOTOPIA"

10 Size Matters (in Comedy)
Lt. Judy Hopps, our heroine, would argue that it doesn't but it does. The animators and writers and filmmakers spin multiple jokes from the disparity in size of so many of the characters. And they've really worked the scale out. Few images in the movie radiated more comic bliss then watching a parade of conformist lemmings lining up for hundreds of miniature sweets made from one elephant sized dessert scoop.

09 Bunny Jokes
That throwaway line "your 275 brothers and sisters" and Judy's sly math joke later on "we're good at multiplying!"

8 more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar272016

Tim's Toons: Easter animation

Tim here. Easter is upon us, and with it comes the realization that, for a holiday with such prominent iconography and a pre-made adorable talking animal, the movies haven't been able to do much with it. The go-to classic Easter film for generations of TV audiences has been The Ten Commandments, a religious epic that isn't even about the life of Jesus; meanwhile, the secular side of the date has been horribly mangled. Recent attempts at minting new holiday classics include Rise of the Guardians, which devoted all of its energy to pretending to be a Christmas movie instead, and the deeply execrable Hop, a live-action/animation hybrid with James Marsden as the perpetually horrified human companion to an abominable CGI rabbit voiced by Russell Brand.

Dig a little, however, and you can still find some reasonably charming Easter Bunny pictures out in the world. As a public service, may I offer these three Easter-themed shorts, all of them available on the internet.

Funny Little Bunnies (1934)
One of Disney's Silly Symphonies from the middle of that series' life, this is a look at the factory-like process by which a community of rabbits ready the various candies distributed to the Christian American children of the world. Primitive already by the standards of 1934, with its metronome-like repetitions of action and complete lack of a plot, the film nonetheless thrives on account of its gorgeous color palette, blending dreamy springtime pastels with the rich saturation of early Technicolor. Not one of the all-time great Disney cartoons, but at just seven minutes, it goes down nicely. Right up until the split-second blackface gag, anyway, startlingly unnecessary even by the standards of Disney's 1930s infatuation with minstrelsy. (On YouTube)

Two more Easter shorts after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Mar072016

Bewitched, Bothered, and Be Link-ed

Thrillist Best Movies of 2016. haha. I don't know exactly how this column is going to work but I'm curious to find out
THR an interview with producer Irwin Winkler on Martin Scorsese's Silence and the Creed sequel
Frontier an oral history of "The Golden Girls"
Twitter Why Leo waited until just now to win an Oscar 

Nick Flicks Picks are you following his supporting actress project? The gold numbers reflect full performance reviews
Guardian Fans keep trying to restore Star Wars (1977) because George Lucas doesn't want
Film Mix Tape praises Michelle Visage as RuPaul's Drag Race returns (TONITE. WHEEEE)
Comics Alliance if you want to have yet another superhero's cameo in Batman v Superman spoiled for you, here is the info
Deadline How Mark Rylance won the Oscar without any campaigning
AV Club Disney's next animated feature will be an adaptation of The Nutcracker 
i09 a fan film about Darth Maul, the only good thing to emerge from that second Star Wars trilogy 
Variety an interview with Julian Fellowes on the series finale of Downton Abbey. Good stuff. Between the exits of Mad Men and now Downton, I have so few shows that feel like they're a part of my life (from staying power) left.

Read Only if You've Seen The Witch
If you've already seen The Witch I'd recommend reading these two takes on its most riveting scenes and primarily its divisive ending and the subversive extent of the femininism within the film. Salon's look at Thomasin as a "Final Girl laced into a puritan bodice" is great and a piece at Vague Visages takes a more mixed tack. Angelica Jade Bastién grapples with what she feels is unearned about the film's jawdropping finale:

I love the film, but how feminist can The Witch be if Thomasin remains primarily a cipher?