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Entries in Puss in Boots (7)

Wednesday
Feb222012

Animated Weekend: Two Cats, Multiple Movie Homages

Jose here.

Last weekend I decided to catch up with some Oscar nominated films and realized I was doing terribly in the Animated Feature department having only seen Rango when it came out last year. Back in December after watching Arthur Christmas and The Adventures of Tintin I was sure I'd done my homework, as those were the nominees we were all expecting. However clever old AMPAS sneaked up on us delivering the weirdest lineup the category has seen in its young history. Not being a fan of Dreamworks animation, at all, I decided I might as well just get done with it and saw the 4 movies back to back. 

I kept a journal to accompany me down this trip.

This is how it went...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb152012

Interview: The Man Behind "Puss in Boots" Is A Dog Person!

Monty and PussMonty meows and leaps up on the chair beside me. Cats always know when something is up. In this case, what's up is a phone call to Chris Miller the director of Puss in Boots, who is still reeling from his first Oscar nomination last month when Puss in Boots won itself a slot in the Best Animated Feature race. "Oh my god, it's insanity," Miller admits. "That day is a blur. I've never been through this before so I was pretty overwhelmed at the scope of it."

Monty does a little spin and settles in. If my cat understood any words beyond "treat", "Monty" and "no"*, he might be incensed by Miller's next confession when I ask him about his own pet situation. "Technically I'm more of a dog person. I can't lie about that."

* There is still some debate about whether or not Monty understand this word.

Miller is sadly pet free himself at the moment, still in mourning for the loss of a beloved pug. But this past year in cinema has been a dog person's dream and Miller is enjoying it. Martin Scorsese's plea for a write-in vote for "Blackie" at the inaugural Golden Collar Awards made him laugh and, like the rest of the world, Miller is crazy about "Uggie" from The Artist. He sheepishly admits that the main reason he attended a recent screening and Q&A of Oscar's frontrunning film was Uggie-related. "I thought 'I wonder if Uggie will be there. Oh I hope the dog shows up' I'm being totally honest!"

He was surprised and thrilled about Antonio Banderas open letter which added to the Golden Collar fuss by speaking out about Puss's snub. Puss in Boots, the character, has been in Miller's life for nearly ten years and it's the one cat he loves as much as dogs. "That cat was my favorite from the onset," he says recalling his years with the Shrek franchise. He loved Puss' intrigue. "He came with some history already. Or at least you knew he had some incredibly history. "

"Fear me. If you dare!

NATHANIEL: I'm curious about the career track for animation directors. You've done a lot of voicework and story art? How did you graduate to directing?

CHRIS MILLER: I was involved in story early on in my career and the writing end of it. With Antz and the Shrek movies we were given a lot of latitude to come up with material, characters and dialogue.
A lot of times we'd be sort of given an idea and sent off to come up with something. You share it with the producers and the directors and you sell it a bit. In doing that you get a little taste of everything in cinema. You're writing, you're composing shots, you're blocking out scenes, coming up with character interaction. You're really getting a first crack at visualizing a sequence. Looking back it was a great training ground for direction.

[Improvisation, Oscar madness, and moviemaking from your bedroom after the jump]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan242012

How Would *You* React to an Oscar Nomination?

Today is the Great Day of Press Releases, of Oscar nominees or their people issuing brief outbursts of joy and pride from their good fortune. Rarely are the quotes anything but generic 'it's such an honor!' cries followed by a deferrment of praise to other people involved. If you'd like to see a ton of them, In Contention has a plentiful roundup.

But here are six that stood out for me from all the emails that I'd like to say one or two sentences about.

I woke up to a text and thought, 'Am I still dreaming?' What an absolute honor to be nominated. Thank you to the Academy on behalf of the entire cast, crew, our swashbuckling cat and his boots! This is beyond a thrill...and I'm pretty sure I'm awake."
-Chris Miller (Animated Feature) Puss in Boots 

Funny is always good. And we're always suckers for that old standby classic intro 'I just woke up' . P.S. I'm pretty happy at the way the animated category worked out, aren't you?

It's an honor to be nominated a second time, it is a personal accomplishment and triumph for women and women of color. I'm so glad the film has been recognized, it was a labor of love from the moment it was conceived and it is rewarding to see the impact it is having."
-Viola Davis (Best ActressThe Help

This one is fairly standard until you realize how rare this truly is and why shouldn't Viola point it out!

Only one other woman of color has been twice nominated and that would be Oscar winner Whoopi Goldberg (The Color Purple and Ghost). Women of color seem to only get one shot at the Oscar. The same is fortunately not true for the men, who have had better luck with career longevity and multiple visits with Oscar.

Four more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov152011

You Better Link

Clara and soldiers in "WINGS", the first Best Picture winnerThe Film Doctor offers 7 notes on J Edgar (mostly in relation to two time jumping powerful men classics it attemptes to emulate: The Social Network and Citizen Kane... both recently discussed right here.) I particularly like thought #7.
⇚ Rope of Silicon the first Best Picture winner Wings is finally coming to DVD/Blu-Ray. Yay. Loves that movie, I do.
Coming Soon Tim Burton may be doing an adaptation of the children's book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children after The Addams Family.

Little White Lies interviews Paul Feig on the success of Bridesmaids.
Hollywood Reporter on 7 films that could be looking at SAG Ensemble nominations: Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, and The Artist are the more comedic possibilities but will SAG take comedy seriously this year?
Super Punch Calling all artists who read The Film Experience. Super Punch is hosting a James Bond art contest if you're 007 inclined. 
Animation Yes, it's true. They're going to make an action movie set in the world of Legos.  

Go Fug Yourself Lisa Rinna at The Muppets premiere. LOL.
Grantland Mark Harris on the multiple Davids and three Goliaths (Leo, Brad, George) of the Best Actor race.
In Contention the Vanessa Redgrave AMPAS tribute
Pajiba on classics of Lady Porn and the men of The Immortals.

Not since the costuming department of “Mad Men” got ahold of Christina Hendricks has a pair of mammaries been so lovingly showcased. In fact, the accentuating bronzer is liberally applied not only on Henry Cavill’s heroic bosom, but also Luke Evans’ grimly clenched ab muscles and Stephen Dorff’s morally questionable obliques.

"Morally questionable obliques." Hee!

Speaking of morally questionable... I lurve this Puss in Boots piece at Ultra Culture on Puss's "synthetic heterosexuality". It's pretty great.

The trailer for season 4 of RuPaul's Drag Race

 

 

If only their budget on the show was as high as their advertising budget ;) "Go forth and be sickening!" LOL. Quick head count: how many of you watch this show? Am I speaking to deaf ears whenever I mention it?

Monday
Nov142011

10 Word Reviews: Hanna, Like Crazy, Puss in Boots, Coriolanus

Though I'm happy to have finally banged out a few thoughts on J Edgar, I'm never going catch up without engaging in some quickies. So herewith some miniature takes on things I've recently seen that I haven't written up. (And at the end of the post, a bit more on J. Edgar because you were asking... )

CORIOLANUS
For Fiennes directorial debut he adapts one of Shakespeare's lesser tragedies
10WR: Swings with brutish fists, occasionally landing blows. Impactful locale choices. B 
Oscar? Supporting Actress. It will be all about beastly mama Redgrave chewing determinedly on her own anger. (Fiennes does the spitting for their amusingly Oedipal bond).

LIKE CRAZY
Crazy College Kids Cuddling Cross-Atlantic 
10WR: Intermittently endearing / annoying, sensitively made. Starter kit for promising careers. B-
Oscar? Unlikely despite early buzz to the contrary. Best Actress is too crowded and romantic dramas don't win kudos for their male leads. On that note, I feel it's worth trumpeting that Anton Yelchin is every bit as strong as Felicity Jones in detailing the first crushing moments of love and the romantic confusion that often follows. Bonus points for giving us the most authentic "drunk but horny, trying to stay awake" face the movies have ever seen.

NO STRINGS ATTACHED
Crazy Post-Collegiate Kids' "NO CUDDLING!" Coitus
10 WR: 100% predictable but funny. Authentically acted despite proud sitcom leanings. C+
Oscar? LOL. But no embarrassment for Portman as post-Oscar performances go -- which it could have been. She's far better here than in The Other Woman. No really.

PUSS IN BOOTS
Puss invades another fairy tale (Jack and the Beanstalk) for treasure and personal redemption.
10WR: Indulgent backstories / setpieces bore. Charms with character and recurring gags.  
Oscar? Seems likely for animated feature but then they did ignore the last two Shrek movies. 

HANNA
in which a teen killing machine is on the run from...  because of... with only .....
10 WR: Carnage-filled collision of fairytales/Catholocism. Ridiculous. Unique. Very watchable B
Oscar? Stylized teen driven genre pieces are not their thing so "No". But how about that Chemical Bros score, eh? Cinematography was compelling, too.


J EDGAR & OSCAR?
Already reviewed and interviewed but y'all kept asking about Oscar. I only have it predicted for two nominations right now, Best Makeup and Best Actor. The makeup is getting mostly bad reviews but bad reviews have rarely stopped them from honoring "Most Makeup" in the past. As for the Best Actor nomination for Leonardo DiCaprio, I agree with Mark who says in the review comments.

I don't want to live in a world where Leo is given out of some sense of obligation but Fassbender is snubbed for his miraculous turn in Shame.

... but we do live in that kind of world, even if this year happens to pan out differently.

Otherwise, I don't see a way the film can find much Oscar traction. The costumes and art direction aren't particularly showy (and it's a crowded year). The cinematography seems to be one of the more divisive elements and historically the cinematography branch isn't as enamored with Eastwood's filmography as other branches tend to be. Even when his films are Best Picture nominated they don't often show up. Unforgiven (Jack N. Green) is the only one of his four Best Picture nominees to receive a cinematography nomination and Changeling (Tom Stern) is the only other one of his pictures so honored.

What's next review wise?
More substantial takes coming on Melancholia and the Scandinavian Oscar submissions...