Animation

Theater or Renter: June 2010

Theater or Renter: June 2010 includes 6 SF movies Marmaduke, Splice, The A-Team, The Karate Kid, Toy Story 3, Jonah Hex.  Will we watch? Will we rent? or do we even care? Rules of the Game: Watch the trailers. Rate the Trailer. Then share with us your comments: does the movie, it’s trailer and buzz make you want to watch it in the theater, rent it, or not interested at all, and why?

Marmaduke:

Release Date:  June 4th 2010

Listed as:  Fantasy, Family

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Director:  Tom Dey

Produced by:  John Davis, Tom Dey

Written by:  Vince Di Meglio, Tim Rasmussen

Stars:  Owen Wilson, George Lopez, Fergie, Kiefer Sutherland

The Plot / Story: Based on the comic strip of the same name by Brad Anderson.  The Winslow family moves from the country to Orange County, California and has to adjust to the new environment.  This is particularly difficult for the lovable yet awkwardly large Marmaduke, who tends to wreak havoc in his own oblivious way.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Marmaduke is a renter at best for me.

Positive

It has a good cast.  The trailer made me laugh at times.

Negative

I have concerns that it may be more kidsey then a family movie.  All of the early promotion materials gave me the impression this movie is more fluff.

Splice:

Release Date:  June 4th 2010

Listed as:  Sci-Fi, Horror, Thriller

Studio:  Dark Castle Entertainment via Warner Bros. Pictures

Director:  Vincenzo Natali

Produced by:  Steve Hoban, Guillermo Del Toro

Written by:  Vincenzo Natali, Doug Taylor, Antoinette Terry Bryant

Stars:  Adrien Brody, Sarah Polley, Delphine Chanéac

The Plot / Story: Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism. Named “Dren”, the creature rapidly develops from a deformed female infant into a beautiful but dangerous winged human-chimera, who forges a bond with both of her creators – only to have that bond turn deadly.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Probably theater definitely renter.

Positive

Guillermo Del Toro.  Premiered at Sitges Film Festival winning Best Special Effects and Best film.  Also had a showing at Sundance and was then fought over by several studios in a bidding war to get distribution rights.  The trailer looks very interesting.  and Guillermo Del Toro.

The A-Team:

Release Date:  June 11

Listed as:  Action, Adventure

Studio:  20th Century Fox

Director:  Joe Carnahan

Produced by:  Ridley Scott, Tony Scott, Jules Daly, Stephen J. Cannell

Written by:  Joe Carnahan, Brian Bloom, Skip Woods, Michael Brandt, Derek Haas

Stars:  Liam Neeson, Bradley Cooper, Quinton Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Jessica Biel, Patrick Wilson, Brian Bloom

The Plot / Story: (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

I'm on the fence if this will be a theater or a renter for me.  This is a niche movie that will probably have a limited appeal with the chance of also attracting the action movie going audiences.  I grew up watching A-Team on TV.  I loved what they stood for:  justice and helping those in need.  I can only hope those elements are in the movie.

Positive

The casting looks the part.  Trailer impressed me, it looked good and has a very A-Team feel to it.  Derek Haas did a good job with wanted so hopefully he brings some of those elements to this project.

Negative

Initially I thought a movie of this was a bad idea but after watching the trailer that has changed.  The Loosers was so disappointing that it has left great concerns for the A-Team which is a similar style of movie.

The Karate Kid:

Release Date:  June 11

Listed as:  Action, Drama, Family

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Director:  Harald Zwart

Produced by:  Jerry Weintraub, Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith, James Lassiter, Ken Stovitz

Written by:  Christopher Murphey

Stars:  Jackie Chan, Jaden Smith, Taraji P. Henson

The Plot / Story: This is a remake of The original Karate Kid The Karate Kid Remake Trailer.  A 12 year old Detroit kid moves to China with his mother.  Due to cultural differences he makes the class bully and enemy.  With no friends, in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a master of kung fu. Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm.  (Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Skeptical of the remake, I have concerns that those values from the original will not be maintained.  I may have to wait for early reviews before I can make a decision on whether I will even watch it.

Positive

Loved the original film.

Negative

Concerns over how they will keep some of the spirit of the original film due to some of the fundamental changes.

Toy Story 3:

Release Date:  June 18th

Listed as:  Fantasy, Family

Studio:  Pixar Animation Studios

Director:  Lee Unkricha

Produced by:  Darla K. Anderson, John Lasseter

Written by:  Michael Arndt

Stars:  Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger, Don Rickles, Estelle Harris, Wallace Shawn, Blake Clark, Jodi Benson, Michael Keaton, Ned Beatty, John Morris

The Plot / Story: Andy is now heading off to college and plans to put the toys into storage in the attic but his mom accidentally donates them to the Sunnyside Daycare.  Woody, Buzz and the whole gang meet new toys at the daycare for better and worse. Learning of Andy's sadness over their loss they must fight to find their way back to Andy's house before he leaves for college.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

Theater

Positive

Really enjoyed the previous 2 Toy Story Movies.  The cast is stellar.   Trailer looks good.

Jonah Hex:

Release Date:  June 18

Listed as: Superhero, Westeren

Studio:  Legendary Pictures, DC Entertainment

Director:  Jimmy Hayward

Produced by:  Akiva Goldsman, Andrew Lazar

Written by:  Screenplay: Neveldine & Taylor  Story: Neveldine & Taylor, William Farmer  Characters: John Albano, Tony Dezuniga

Stars: Josh Brolin, John Malkovich, Megan Fox, Michael Fassbender, Will Arnett, Michael Shannon

The Plot / Story: Jonah Hex is a scarred drifter and bounty hunter of last resort, a tough and stoic gunslinger who can track down anyone... and anything. Having survived death, Jonah's violent history is steeped in myth and legend, and has left him with one foot in the natural world and one on the "other side." His only human connection is with Leila, whose life in a brothel has left her with scars of her own. But Jonah's past is about to catch up with him when the U.S. military makes him an offer he can't refuse: in exchange for his freedom from the warrants on his head, he must track down and stop the dangerous villian Quentin Turnbull. But Turnbull, who is gathering an army and preparing to unleash Hell, is also Jonah's oldest enemy and will stop at nothing until Jonah is dead.(Wikipedia) (The Official Site)

First Impressions:

On the fence between theater and renter.

Positive

John Malkovich a plus.  Superhero movie a plus.  The steamPunk elements borrowed for the film it makes for a more fantasy version of the Wild West but one that I enjoy.

Negative

The trailer was not terribly exciting border lining on the boring.


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Megamind's Humble Beginnings video

Exploring: Megamind

Megamind's Humble Beginnings

Megamind didn't start out evil it was the fault of the jock boy Metro Man.  I love how they gave them a Superman type back story setting up their revelry early.

If you ever doubt that Megamind is evil just look at his Baby Seal Leather Boots.

I too fear Aracnus deathicus!

I'm excited about Megamind.  It is an animated comedy by DreamWorks Animation, a big plus they have done a lot of good movies from Prince of Egypt to Shrek to Kung Fu Panda.  Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, and Tina Fey are in it too which are a plus.

Trailer

The trailer looks good, watch it above.  Megamind is an animated comedy by DreamWorks Animation, a big plus they have done a lot of good movies. Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, and Tina Fey are in it too which are a plus.

Story

Megamind is the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known. And the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City in every imaginable way. Each attempt, a colossal failure thanks to the caped superhero known as 'Metro Man,' an invincible hero until the day Megamind actually kills him in the throes of one of his botched evil plans. Suddenly, Megamind has no purpose. A super villain without a superhero. He realizes that achieving his life's ambition is the worst thing that ever happened to him. Megamind decides that the only way out of his rut is to create a new hero opponent called 'Titan,' who promises to be bigger, better and stronger than Metro Man ever was. Pretty quickly Titan starts to think it's much more fun to be a villain than a good guy. Except Titan doesn't just want to rule the world, he wants to destroy it. (wikipedia)

  • Release date     November 5, 2010
  • Directed by       Tom McGrath
  • Produced by     Lara Breay, Ben Stiller, Denise Nolan Cascino
  • Written by        Alan J. Schoolcraft, Brent Simons
  • Starring             Will Ferrell, Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Tina Fey, Justin Long, Bill Hader
  • Studio                DreamWorks Animation
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The Star Wars Trilogy Video In 2 Minutes

This video retells The Star Wars Trilogy in 2 minutes using Legos and stop animation.  The video is great fan fun.  Watch the video above.

I love the scenes picked to highlight all of the events from the three movies.  There are many ships, settings, characters, and events featured.  One of my favorite is Yoda chilling in a recliner under an umbrella on Dagobah.  In context it's hilarious.

The language used is very casual and without names which works since the voice narrating it is a child.  This lends to the fun relaxed nature of the video.  For instance the scene where Darth Vader reveals his identity to Luke is phrased as "That was when the Boy got very surprising news about his dad... Wud up son."

I want that Lego collection, Wow!

(via /Film)

Animation Verses Prejudice

Trade paperback cover of Buffy: Season Eight V...
Image via Wikipedia

John The Rogue Demon Hunter asks:

With all the Buffy and Angel cast getting older, would the fans being willing to accept further adventures in the animation style of Star Wars: The clone Wars?

Fans would be willing to accept further adventures of Buffy, Angel, and Firefly in an animation style.  The bigger question is would the general public accept further adventures in animation style?  Would the studios have the patience to back and distribute further adventures in animation style?

Joss Whedon has already transitioned those settings and characters into a comic format.  There is great acceptance and love for the continuation of the series in print comic form.  This leaves a short step to move from print to animation.

The current success of animated shows both on TV and in the direct to DVD markets also support the plausibility of doing more animated shows.  Clone Wars had a rocky start getting accepted though most of it was due to the new style they used in animation that took some getting used to.  The Simpsons had a lucky start with "bartmania" that still gets large ratings decades latter.  Both DC and Marvel’s direct to DVD animated movies prove both quality in animated projects and how they can cater to the adult market.

We face several problems that are hindering future projects.

General Public Prejudice

The general public in the American market has a prejudice against animated shows.  When first approaching an animated show they presume it is for children not adults.  Many don’t even bother to give those shows the time of day unless they are bringing their kids to watch it.

Though this public prejudice has decreased some in recent years it is still rampant.  I could not count the number of adults that give subtle nonverbal clues of disdain when they find out I’m watching Clone Wars or Planet Hulk.  Others still voice their prejudice by replying “I thought that was a show for kids?”

Many creators of animated projects have their demons to wrestle with too.  First, before the project is even done they have to admit they won’t win any prizes for the work due to the prejudice in viewing it as less no matter how brilliant and deserving.  Look at Avatar, the movie would have been better going full animation but instead it went with live action parts so that it could be a “movie with cool special effects”.

This prejudice holds back studios from giving a green light to an animated project that is not targeted toward the children / young adult markets.  This forces many good projects to include in kidsey elements and to remove some of the better adult elements.  Clone Wars season one is a great example of this problem.  The show was so much less than it could have been.  Once they got past the prejudice it got better in season two.

I Find Their Lack of Faith Most Disturbing

Because of the prejudice against animated projects they tend to take longer before picking up larger audience share.

Studios have been trending toward a less lenient policy when it comes to new projects.  They have been quick to cancel projects that don’t show immediate success.

This is a recipe for failure by proclamation instead of giving the project time to get over the inherent hurdles.

A New Hope

I hope that the American public continues to learn from the Japanese, and Korean animated markets.

I hope that we continue to see the trend in the decline of prejudice against animated projects.

I would love to see the continuing adventures of Firefly and Buffy the vampire slayer in animated format.

I've always wanted a Faith The Vampire Slayer series and wrote up a series outline. Maybe one day I will hook up with some animators.

I hope John finds some animator to help him with his Faith the Vampire Slayer project and that they then check in with us for many more projects.

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