Have you seen Holy Motors? If not, add it to your to-watch list post-haste. French filmmaker Leos Carax’s bizarro collection of connected vignettes follows a odd man named Mr. Oscar as he goes about his day enacting a series of elaborate role playing scenarios, from a facially-scarred hitman to a hair-eating troll to a motion-capture technician creating an alien phantom. I’m not selling it all that well, but trust me when I say there’s a reason it usually ends up in conversations about the finest films of our young millennium. And continue trusting me when I tell you that news of another feature project from the less-than-prolific Carax is ample reason to prick up your ears and pay attention.
Pixar’s 2016 was something of a mixed bag, having landed a true-blue blockbuster with Finding Dory but then missing out on the coveted Oscar nomination. They’ll get back in the saddle in 2017 with Coco, a vibrant fantasy about the power of music, family, and remembrance of those lost to us. In the film, a lonely young boy finds a link to the past through an enchanted stringed instrument and sets off on an incredible journey with an animal companion, encountering all manner of dreamlike wonders (along with a monster or two) on the way. It bears mentioning at this point that this film is, in fact, not Kubo and the Two Strings.
Hey, are you between the ages of 18 and 25? Are you of Middle Eastern descent? Are you free from April of this year right on through to January 2018? Have you ever been described as ‘telegenic,’ and most importantly, can you hit a high C? Then good news, you have a solid shot at landing one of the starring roles in Guy Ritchie’s upcoming live-action Aladdin remake for Disney!
L. Frank Baum‘s fantasy novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proven a malleable property over the years. Of course everybody knows and loves Victor Fleming’s 1939 film adaptation, then came the urban-set musical revision The Wiz, the villain’s-eye-view retelling Wicked, Sam Raimi’s limp-noodle Oz the Great and Powerful, NBC’s crazytown new gritty-reboot series Emerald City, not to mention the dozens of films that have paid homage to the timeless scenes of Fleming’s film. (The bit in O Brother, Where Art Thou? when our heroes sneak into a KKK meeting like it’s a Winkie stronghold is a particular standout.) And today brings the news that the merry old land of Oz will get yet another new spin, and this time, there will be blood.
Hope you liked Get Out — and if the near-unanimous critical consensus, robust opening weekend box office receipts, and massive swell of support on social media are any indicator, you probably did — because there’s a whole lot more where that came from. We all rushed to anoint director Jordan Peele as a bold new voice in the horror landscape upon his debut feature’s release, and a new notice today suggests that he’s going to ride this wave as long as he can. In a new interview with Business Insider, Peele stated that in the grand tradition of John Carpenter and Wes Craven before him, he’s getting into the sequel business.
Summer movie season starts a little earlier every year, and in 2017, it has consumed May, April, and even our beloved March. Logan will kick off the big-budget bonanza in the first weekend of March, and then cede the floor to the gargantuan Kong: Skull Island the weekend after. Even so, these two releases in particular inspire hope rather than dread when reflecting upon the studio-fronted franchise releases encroaching beyond their summer stomping grounds. All the previews have suggested that these two films will have something original to bring to the table, and the latest clip for Kong: Skull Island confirms that if nothing else, we’ll have some delectable character acting to enjoy.
Just as the nation’s mushroom-takers have begun to hit up their connections in preparation for this May’s opening of the lush, psychedelic new amusement park Pandora — The World of AVATAR, yet another attraction has appeared on the horizon. At present, Star Wars superfans can immerse themselves in the fantasy universe with the series of films, novels, spin-off films, animated television programs, various board games, and Disneyland’s popular Star Tours ride. But some diehards demand more, a fuller and more transportive experience. And Disney CEO Bob Iger has some great news for them. (And less-great news for everyone else.)
Look, you can’t blame a studio for taking notice when something is working and wanting to replicate their own success. Sequels wouldn’t get greenlit unless someone, somewhere, wanted them. It makes perfect fiscal sense for upstart animation studio Illumination to follow up on their blockbusters Minions, The Secret Life of Pets, and Sing. But, god, did they have to announce them all at once like that?
As is tradition, the night before the Oscar ceremony takes place, the 37th Annual Golden Raspberry Awards will descend on Los Angeles to commemorate the worst that Hollywood had to offer in 2016. A mean-spirited diss-fest in the estimation of some, a good-natured ribbing to others, the so-called Razzies are twice as unpredictable and ten times as frank as the usual awards program. The expected categories of Worst Picture, Worst Director and Worst Actor/Actress share space with the distinctions of Worst Screen Combo and Worst Prequel, Remake, Ripoff, or Sequel at the ignominious ceremony. Some celebrities take the jokes in stride (Sandra Bullock famously showed up to receive her Worst Actress Razzie for All About Steve the day before she dropped by the Oscars to pick up her Best Actress prize for The Blind Side), but the program goes widely ignored by the industry overall.
Foreign films have historically done pretty well in the Best Animated Feature category at the Academy Awards, with at least one import usually squeezing into the nominations alongside the latest pictures from Disney or Pixar. Last year included Brazil’s Boy and the World as well as Japan’s When Marnie Was There, and while the likes of Kubo and the Two Strings, Moana, Finding Dory and Zootopia have all but sewn up their nominations for the 2017 ceremony (check back on the 24th to find out!), that leaves room for one wild card. It could be The Red Turtle, the latest animated film with a Studio Ghibli pedigree, or it could be a poignant and sweet little Swiss picture My Life as a Zucchini.
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