It was bound to happen eventually. After a quarter-century
, 26 Academy Awards
, and an unparalleled streak of eleven artistic and commercial triumphs
, Pixar's latest project, Cars 2
, is Certified Rotten
. Critics have assailed the film
as a slick but hollow vehicle for Disney's $10 billion-dollar Cars
merchandising industry "lifestyle brand,"
replacing the original's serviceable tale of small-town redemption with zany spy games
, hyperactive chase sequences
, and even more lowbrow aww-shucks potty humor
from Larry the Cable Guy
. But it's not all bad news! Along with a fun new Toy Story 3 short
, preceding today's (3-D) premiere showings is a first look at next year's Brave
-- a darkly magical original story
set in ancient Scotland featuring the studio's first female lead (and director
). Evocative high-res concept art [mirror]
is available at the official website, and character sketches
have leaked to the web, with the apparently striking teaser trailer sure to follow. Also, be sure not to miss the sneak peak of Brave
's associated short, "La Luna"!
posted by Rhaomi
on Jun 24, 2011 -
To record the history of the large format movies and the 70mm cinemas as remembered by the people who worked with the films.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 18, 2011 -
As time has gone by, though, Touch of Evil has acquired a large cult following, and it now regularly appears on lists of the best films of the century. What is not generally known is that the film never accurately reflected Welles's intentions for it. In July 1957, the studio took over the editing of the film and prevented him from participating in its completion. In an odd turn of events, however, a 58-page memo that Welles wrote in 1957 was recently rediscovered, and a small team on which I was film editor and sound mixer has used that remarkable document to bring
Touch of Evil as close as possible to Welles's original concept.
- Walter Murch, 1998
posted by Trurl
on Jun 14, 2011 -
A visitor to the Rotten Tomatoes site can check out the data for individual Hollywood careers—that's how Tabarrok came up with the Shyamalan graph—but there's no easy way for users to measure industrywide trends or to compare different actors and directors side-by-side. To that end, Rotten Tomatoes kindly let Slate analyze the scores in its enormous database and create an interactive tool so our readers might do the same.
posted by Trurl
on Jun 7, 2011 -
For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence."
For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con.
For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them."
For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension."
For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it.
For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists."
It spent thirty years in development, three in editing
and, yes, it contains dinosaurs
. The Tree of Life
, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan
and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick
, won the Palme d'Or
at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States
. [more inside]
posted by alexoscar
on May 26, 2011 -
"Beat the Devil" went straight from box office flop to cult classic and has been called the first camp movie, although Bogart, who sank his own money into it, said, "Only phonies like it." It's a movie that was made up on the spot; Huston tore up the original screenplay on the first day of filming, flew the young Truman Capote to Ravallo, Italy, to crank out new scenes against a daily deadline and allowed his supporting stars, especially Robert Morley and Peter Lorre, to create dialogue for their own characters. (Capote spoke daily by telephone with his pet raven, and one day when the raven refused to answer he flew to Rome to console it, further delaying the production.)
- Roger Ebert's Great Movies
posted by Trurl
on May 22, 2011 -
He told me his gorilla suit had been taken by his landlady in Pensacola, Florida because he could not pay his back rent. She kept his trunk with all his possessions as well. So his movie days were over...
A brief, thoughtful recollection of the last days of the elusive Emil Van Horn
, who, with pioneers like Charles Gemora
, Ray "Crash" Corrigan
, Steve Calvert
, George Barrows
, Janos Prohaska
, and Bob Burns
, established the golden age
of Hollywood gorilla men
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot
on May 19, 2011 -
'Star Wars' Producer Gary Kurtz Reflects When George Lucas and I began planning the first film, we had no idea what it would become; the kind of devotion it would attract... So what was it that made Star Wars so different, so special? I can give you one small example of the kind of care we took when putting the film together...
posted by modernnomad
on Apr 19, 2011 -
of Japan were live narrators of silent films.
"To many 'silent' cinema fans in Japan, benshi
were a major attraction. It was usually the film that drew people to the theater, but it was often the benshi
which determined which theater a person would attend. Benshi
were huge cultural stars of the time, with benshi
earning as much, if not more, than many actors." [more inside]
posted by Paragon
on Feb 27, 2011 -
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13) Testament (1983)
. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese
on Feb 25, 2011 -
Film editor and sound designer extraordinaire Walter Murch writes to Roger Ebert
regarding a fundamental conundrum of current 3D technology: "It is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time."
posted by oulipian
on Jan 24, 2011 -
The "Brown Stabilizer" - better known as a Steadicam
- had its first commercial use
35 years ago in Bound for Glory
, Hal Ashby's biopic of Woody Guthrie. Later that year, it was used to film the iconic
shot of Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But it was this
shot in The Shining
- which even Kubrick-hater Pauline Kael deemed "spectacular" - that showed the technology's full potential. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese
on Jan 16, 2011 -