Mr. Beaks Salutes Disney Saluting Itself!
The Walt Disney Company took over the Kodak Theater and a chunk of the Hollywood & Highland complex Wednesday for a six-hour presentation aimed at hyping up their employees, their international partners, and a cluster of entertainment journalists over their extended production slate. Hosted by senior executive Dick Cook, the stunningly lavish affair began with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra tearing through a medley of classic Disney themes ("When You Wish Upon a Star", "I Wanna Be Like You", "Life Is a Highway", etc.) and ended with a surprise appearance by Johnny Depp in full Captain Jack Sparrow getup. In between, there were performances by Miley Cyrus and Dr. John, lots of trailers, and one feature-length movie (BOLT). We heard Pixar mastermind John Lasseter hold forth on the future of animation, saw William H. Macy zoom across the stage on a motorcycle, and toured a makeshift art gallery showing off the Hammer-esque horror design of Robert Zemeckis's A CHRISTMAS CAROL. A continental breakfast, lunch, and cocktails were served. Eventually, a nap was encouraged and a frog dissected. A letter was drafted by Woody Allen's lawyers.
There's something spectacularly not right about a studio feting itself so opulently as the economy threatens to collapse, but Hollywood has always been our inspiring beacon of wretched excess. So while it's true that hard-working folk are losing their jobs and their homes due to bad-faith capitalism, I take great comfort in the fact that Disney can still hire out the USC marching band to announce Jerry Bruckheimer's reimagining of THE LONE RANGER. Burning money because you can is a show of strength; it's a sharp elbow to the emaciated midsection of socialism. It's what makes us better than the rest of the world. It's also why I fell in love with film.
Most importantly, it's a repudiation of the cost-conscious Disney philosophy of the early 1990s, which brought us nothing but shame, misery and LIFE WITH MIKEY. Judging from Wednesday's star-studded buffet, scrimping is not an option at the Bob Iger-led Mouse House; though they're still very much in the Walt Becker/Adam Shankman/Anne Fletcher business (i.e. the "Whatever you say, boss!" style of directing), the studio is also keen to establish relationships with visionaries like Tim Burton and Robert Zemeckis. And while these films - ALICE IN WONDERLAND and A CHRISTMAS CAROL - have huge built-in insurance policies thanks to the involvement of Johnny Depp and Jim Carrey, from what I saw on Wednesday, they don't look terribly mainstream. (That said, it's way early for Burton's film; to be honest, the filmmaker's sketches of the Cheshire Cat, the Caterpillar and the Queen of Hearts didn't appear radically different from the boilerplate take on Lewis Carroll's classic. It's the Zemeckis movie that looks... odd. More on that below.) For Disney, this is tantamount to "risk".
But - thanks to Pixar (and Lasseter's stewardship of Disney Studios Animation), the company's extensive library of classics, their sturdy relationship with hitmaker Jerry Bruckheimer, and, of course, merchandising - it's risk they can well afford. This is what Dick Cook made abundantly clear to the (mostly) home crowd on Wednesday (who else would cheer wildly over the prospects of a WILD HOGS 2?). The state of Disney's production slate is strong. This is tremendously good news for them. Yay them!
As for what you can expect over the next few years from the makers of CONDORMAN, here are my notes from the Day Of Disney:
BEVERLY HILLS CHIHUAHUA
In a touch of tie-in genius, a real live Chihuahua joins Cook and George Lopez on the stage. The crowd is beyond delighted. A woman behind me exclaims, "Oh, wouldya look... a Chihuahua!" Lopez dubs the picture "Citizen Kanine". Mercifully, no footage is shown.
HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 3
Cook and director Kenny Ortega are flanked by stars Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale, Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman. Evidently, flanking is all the kids were intended to do, as Ortega answers a few questions, and we move on to...
Adam Shankman's BEDTIME STORIES
This is Disney's Christmas Day release. It stars Adam Sandler as a ne'er-do-well whose bedtime stories (told to his nephew and niece) start coming true. Or parts of them anyway. Before the trailer plays, there's an adorable skit in which Sandler sends a pajama-clad Cook off to slumberland with a tale of "gi-normous" holiday box office. The crowd reacts as if they've just heard Robin Harris's "Piccolo Player" bit for the first time. The actual movie looks like a spin on WALTER MITTY: Sandler inserts himself into the stories, playing a brave gladiator, an intergalactic something-or-another and so on. It's Sandler, so it looks far more appealing than it should.
RACE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN
Dwayne Johnson joins Cook for a little banter. They refer to director Andy Fickman as an alien. If he's really that nutty, why didn't they bring him out on stage, too? The trailer is the same one from Comic Con, and it looks above-average for this sort of thing.
OLD DOGS aka
THREE TWO MEN AND A BABY TWO KIDS
Stars John Travolta and Robin Williams stroll out to the Cook couch. Much is made of this comedy being a family affair for Travolta (his wife, Kelly Preston, and their daughter, Ella Bleu Travolta, co-star). Cook jokes with Travolta about sharing his family with the unpredictable Williams. The audience roars with laughter. Williams retorts that he broadened their cultural horizons. "Daddy? What's LAST TANGO?" This doesn't kill like it should.
Footage is shown. People get hit in the nuts with golf balls. None of them are Ted Knight.
ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, HANNAH MONTANA.
Arguably the biggest star in the United States (and her father) commune with Cook. "With all the things that have happened to you, how do you stay grounded?" Miley is turning sixteen soon, so there is talk of buying a car, which isn't the big sticking point that it would normally be for a teenage girl and her parents. Why? Because she's loaded! I'm still laughing.
Miley performs a song from her movie. It sounds like something she'd sing, and she sings it well. Can't wait until 2012 when she remakes SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS.
It's time for the Pixar portion, and I am relieved. Lasseter proudly shows off his BOLT Hawaiian shirt, but quickly segues to UP, Pete Docter's tale of old man and his flying house. Basically, we get the Comic Con spiel, so feel free to re-read my brief interview with Docter from last July.
THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
Classic, hand-drawn Disney animation from Ron Clements and John Musker (directors of THE LITTLE MERMAID and ALADDIN). It's a fairy tale set in New Orleans during the Jazz Age, and it'll feature new music from Big Easy native Randy Newman. Oprah Winfrey is announced as the voice of Eudora. We're also shown a few character sketches: e.g. there's a cajun firefly (with bad teeth and a dazed countenance), a trumpet-playing alligator, and a voodoo villain who should probably be voiced by Yaphet Kotto (though Keith David will do just fine).
Then we're treated to the morning's highlight: Dr. John premieres one of Newman's songs (). It's nothing out-of-the-ordinary for latter-day Newman or a Disney cartoon, but it's a nice melody, and it's just cool to unexpectedly see a legend like Dr. John.
Coming to a theater near you in 2011. That's a year earlier than before. And that's what happens when your tie-in merchandise outsells trinkets from TOY STORY, FINDING NEMO and MONSTERS, INC..
Brad Lewis, not Lasseter, will direct the sequel, which will be something of a globetrotting affair. To tide audiences over, there will be a series of "CARS Toons", which will feature Mater (the tow truck voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) telling whoppers about his adventures as, for example, a fire truck or a matador (battling Bull-dozers, of course). We watch the first short, "Rescue Squad Mater", in which he bravely extinguishes a blaze at the Gasoline and Match Factory. Kinda funny.
TOY STORY 3
2010. In spectacular Disney 3-D! It begins with the day Andy leaves for college, and it will for sure return the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, John Ratzenberger, Joan Cusack and Don Rickles. The big question for now: who will voice Ken?
To punctuate the triumphant announcement of a movie already known to be in production, drab green army men rappel from the rafters of the Kodak Theater. They're joined by more army men and, finally, the characters we know and love from the first two movies. Then there's a confetti explosion. Bet there wasn't a confetti explosion when Bergman announced FANNY AND ALEXANDER.
This takes us into a fifteen-minute bathroom break, which is followed by...
The entire (if 80% finished) movie. In spectacular Disney 3-D. (Get used to it: Disney's got sixteen 3-D movies in the pipeline.) Reviews are embargoed (which is fair, as the film's final act, and highly emotional payoff, was laden with storyboards), but I don't think I'm violating Disney's trust when I say that the movie looks like it should gross in the neighborhood of WALL-E's domestic take, if not more. Dogs are an easier sell than robots.
Regarding 3-D... as a colleague said, it's a gimmick that could get old very soon, especially when we start to get more and more movies that are actually composed for the process (and in IMAX, to boot). Watching BOLT in 3-D didn't enhance my enjoyment of the movie at all because it clearly wasn't meant to be seen in 3-D (though there's a syringe gag near the end that made me jump). When the finished film is screened, I'd rather watch it in regular old 2-D so I can fully appreciate the animators' impressive work.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Before we return to the Kodak, we're encouraged to walk through a gallery setup in the Hollywood & Highland annex for Robert Zemeckis's motion-capture rendition of Dickens's yuletide yarn. The first room is lined with classical portraits of Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Robin Wright Penn as multiple characters from the story. Basically, it's digital makeup f/x, only a thousand times creepier than anything Dick Smith, Rick Baker or Rob Bottin ever devised. Look, I've read Dickens's novella, and I'm well aware that the narrative is much darker in tone than it's usually presented; with this in mind, I'm pretty sure I never imagined Bob Cratchit looking like a cross between Gary Oldman a face-lifted Katherine Helmond in BRAZIL. Or Belle as a bulb-eyed Robin Wright Penn with a dash of Sleestak thrown in. I am not exaggerating. Perhaps the digital alterations will play better when they're not in portraiture. Or maybe Zemeckis intends for this film to play like a goddamn nightmare. After what he did to THE POLAR EXPRESS (loved those Leni Riefenstahl elves), I'm beginning to think that the mean-spiritied satirist who gave us USED CARS is alive and well. And I'm starting to get excited about this.
Back at the Kodak, Zemeckis is called out on stage to sell us his vision. "You can't beat the source material," he says. He also notes that A CHRISTMAS CAROL is one of the greatest time travel stories ever written. The inference is clear: "Let me at some time travel, and I'm a lock for $200 million." The rest of his comments concern the upside of motion capture and digital cinema: at last, Dickens's story can be presented "the way it was intended" (I didn't know Charlie was such a forward technological thinker); the only limit is one's imagination.
After a few minutes, Carrey joins Zemeckis on stage and yuks it up. I really wish Cook would've asked after the "smiley Christ" character sketch. I don't remember that from Dickens. Peter Barnes, yes. Dickens, not so much.
Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND
Depp is the Mad Hatter. The movie will be in Disney 3-D. And something called "feel-a-round".
Thus begins the Touchstone Pictures segment of the auto show. This is a Sandra Bullock/Ryan Reynolds romantic comedy about a tyrannical boss (Bullock) who bullies her young assistant (Reynolds) into marrying her to avoid deportation to Canada. Bullock and Reynolds are an odd pair, but the premise isn't bad for a sexy R-rated comedy. As a formula PG-13 comedy, perhaps it will match the Lubitsch-ian heights of WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING.
The trailer gives way to the day's nadir: Cook slobbering over Bullock. I realize it's all for comedic effect, but Cook plays the letch a little too well. I'm also annoyed by his futile attempt at establishing the "Anne Fleming" brand when she's only directed two banal programmers (STEP UP and 27 DRESSES). Bullock looks great, though. She's had a very successful career, and yet it feels like she's been underutilized.
This Jonathan Mostow-directed sci-fi flick about a future in which humanity interacts with the outside world via android doubles isn't due until September 2009, but I want to see it now. Bruce Willis plays a cop who must re-enter society as his flesh-and-blood self to investigate a string of murders (the first homicides in fifteen years). It's one of the best trailers of the day! Where the hell are Mostow and Willis?
The company has admirably rededicated itself to nature documentaries (harkening back to Uncle Walt's "A True-Life Adventure" series), and their first feature will be EARTH. It's set for release on Earth Day 2009, and the little glimpse we get is impressive. James Earl Jones evidently won the narrator coin-flip with Morgan Freeman.
WILD HOGS 2: BACHELOR RIDE
If you wanted it, you're getting it. Tim Allen's in a jovial mood, talking over Travolta, Macy and Martin Lawrence. Unfortunately, he's fresh out of LAST TANGO IN PARIS jokes.
Daniel Battsek briefly classes up the proceedings (ignoring Cook's fourth or fifth swipe at Harvey & Bob Weinstein) with a non-shticky run-through of Miramax's fall lineup: Fernando Meirelles's BLINDNESS, Mark Herman's THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS and John Patrick Shanley's DOUBT. Hoping we'd get a look at Herman's picture (which received a rave review from one of our readers a couple of weeks ago), but all we get is the already-released trailer for DOUBT.
I haven't seen this printed anywhere else, so I guess it's news that Miramax has signed Helen Mirren to play a Mossad agent in THE DEBT, a drama/thriller to be directed by SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE's John Madden.
It's unfortunate that Battsek didn't delve deeper into Miramax's '09 slate. Would've been nice to see Greg Mottola's ADVENTURELAND and Mike Judge's EXTRACT get some love.
To close out the marathon of self-love, Cook is joined by the studio's number one supplier of (live-action) box office smashes to tease us with his upcoming product. He's immediately joined by Nicolas Cage, which hastens the announcement for NATIONAL TREASURE 3: THEY SAVED NIXON'S BRAIN. Cage will also be appearing in a Manhattan-set version of THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE, in which he'll play the sorcerer.
Bruckheimer closes out his segment by showing us the teaser for G-FORCE, an action-adventure about an elite squad of guinea pigs (the furry kind) who work undercover for the U.S. government. Cage, Penelope Cruz, Tracy Morgan, Steve Buscemi and Jon Favreau provide the animals' voices, while Zach Galifanakis pulls down a well-deserved payday as their human liaison. The special f/x are unfinished, but I'm getting a strong whiff of CATS & DOGS from this thing. I do hope they're holding back the funny.
CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC
Actually, Bruckheimer produced this, too, but they wisely call upon the vivacious and lovely Isla Fisher to sell it to the crowd. It's based on the chick-lit fave from Sophie Kinsella, and, due to the involvement of Fisher and director P.J. Hogan, it looks like it could be another THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA if not better. It's due out February 13, 2009. Sorry, but your girlfriend is not accompanying you to FRIDAY THE 13TH.
Please call this TRON 2. Inserting the number into your title only makes you look stupid or desperate - and the teaser (same one from Comic Con) looks anything but. All that's missing is Wendy Carlos's main theme (and Journey's "Only Solutions").
USC MARCHING BAND ANNOUNCES THE LONE RANGER
With Johnny Depp as Tonto. Until we get a director attached (who'll be faced with the unenviable task of enlivening the assembly-line plotting of Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio), this means nothing to me. But nothing is already better than William A. Fraker's THE LEGEND OF THE LONE RANGER.
Also announced off-handedly: PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN 4. Here's hoping it's longer than BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got two incredible Budd Boetticher movies to write about, which, combined, probably cost less to make than Wednesday's continental breakfast.
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Sept. 25, 2008, 5:32 p.m. CST
by otm shank
That's an interesting premise. Has it been done before?
Sept. 25, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST
Disney had a circle jerk and AICN is joining in?
Sept. 25, 2008, 5:33 p.m. CST
by Leto III
"Chicken." God help me, that was hilarious.
Sept. 25, 2008, 5:35 p.m. CST
That's.. a lot of cool news.
Sept. 25, 2008, 5:39 p.m. CST
disney may be using it as one but its really just the next step in filmmaking after sound and color.
Sept. 25, 2008, 5:43 p.m. CST
by The Handsome 12th Doctor
(Unless I missed it) Why did none of the previous reports about this day make mention of 'Surrogates'?<p>'Wild Hogs 2' got mentioned all over the place, but people forgot about this cool sounding sci-fi flick starring Bruce Willis? Well done Mr Beaks for seemingly being the only one there with any taste.
Sept. 25, 2008, 5:47 p.m. CST
by The Handsome 12th Doctor
Sorry, Electric Dreams DID mention it briefly. Apologies to him/her.
Sept. 25, 2008, 6 p.m. CST
by Frodo T. Baggins
Depp Fucking Loves Jack Sparrow..."Mr. Depp Will Please Make A Cameo For Our Party Dressed As Jack Spa....Im Sorry? Your Wearing The Costume Right Now? Pirates 4 You Say? Not PG-13? But Rrrrrr?"
Sept. 25, 2008, 6:03 p.m. CST
by Frodo T. Baggins
For years the rumors that they own multiple porn companies...and now this. Seems like more than a theory my friends. The rabit hole gets deeper...
Sept. 25, 2008, 6:06 p.m. CST
You're fucking kidding me
Sept. 25, 2008, 6:28 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Sept. 25, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST
really? what about Se7en?<p> p.s. is National Treasure 3 really subtitled THEY SAVED NIXON'S BRAIN? because while i enjoyed the 1st film alot, the second one was soulless dreck and that subtitle would almost make up for it.
Sept. 25, 2008, 7:02 p.m. CST
I don't care about anything on Disney's roster. Where are the muppets?
Sept. 25, 2008, 7:09 p.m. CST
If it were the original Tom Cochrane version, it would be. The Rascal Flatts cover sucks.
Sept. 25, 2008, 7:24 p.m. CST
I'd like it to be about Theodore Roosevelt. The people that flock to these movies need to be made aware of him because surely they aren't as of now. The whole movie could be a scavenger hunt through the national park system. Benjamin Gates' great-great-great-uncle could have been a Rough Rider or something.<p>They Saved Nixon's Brain works too.
Sept. 25, 2008, 8:16 p.m. CST
Not many details yet, but what we've been told is very promising.
Sept. 25, 2008, 8:32 p.m. CST
by Adelai Niska
Sounds like Avatar but with some blade runner thrown in. I wonder why Beaks called Elliot and Rossio's plotting assembly-line. After pirates 2 and 3 I'd be more inclined to call them haphazard and thrown-together-at-random. I really like the script for pirates 1 though.
Sept. 25, 2008, 8:44 p.m. CST
I wish i knew what happened with Harry's expected interview with Steve Lisberger several weekends ago. Maybe the studio asked Mr. Lisberger not to talk about it?
Sept. 25, 2008, 9:15 p.m. CST
by Alice Cooper Stalker
I thought I read somewhere that Ken had been cast...Mr. Mom, Tim Burton's Batman...aka Michael Keaton. IMDB has him listed in this role...with a (rumoured) next to it.
Sept. 25, 2008, 9:43 p.m. CST
...sure it was cheesey, but there was a lot to like in it as well. Christopher Lloyd as Butch Cavendish was fun to watch. The ambush of the rangers was a very good scene. The taming of Silver was also a great piece. In fact, everything leading up to Reed actually putting on the mask was gold. After he actually becomes the Lone Ranger the cheese factor kind of sends the movie off the rails, but i still have love for it.
Sept. 25, 2008, 9:56 p.m. CST
by Speed Fricassee
Disney pays their employees with shit, and tells them they should feel PRIVILEGED just to have the Disney logo on their paychecks. Fuck 'em and their fake happy little world.
Sept. 25, 2008, 10:05 p.m. CST
by Reverend Toast
The one thing I LOVE about Disney putting their stuff in RealD format is that they aren't going for the cheap 3d gags... its just adding depth to the movies. Most "Made for 3d" movies are chock full of stupid "poking out of screen" gags, but Disney knows that their stuff's true success is in the home theater so they don't make gags to sell the movie (LIke Jaws 3d, Friday the 13th 3d, or Fly Me to the Moon).
Sept. 25, 2008, 10:49 p.m. CST
OH MY GOD!!!... WHAT?
Sept. 25, 2008, 11:18 p.m. CST
You won't be disappointed!
Sept. 26, 2008, 12:33 a.m. CST
I think the Sixth Sense is the only movie where Mr. Willis doesn't hold a gun.
Sept. 26, 2008, 12:46 a.m. CST
Watching Patton Oswald on Conan from a couple nights ago. Seems like they wouldn't invite him to something like this. No Ratatouille 2 I guess. Disney's come back in a big way. Life with Mikey....Atlantis, why does Micheal J. Fox signify low points in Disney history. Hopefully I don't hear his name being announced in some upcoming Pixar movie.
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:08 a.m. CST
I mean Jesus Christ. Selling out much? this is the guy who forced his firing from a mainstream tV show then did nothing but movies only cinephiles love for 15 years. Is he entitled to massive success? Absolutely. But schilling himself out in costume in front of a bunch of reporters? Sad.
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:12 a.m. CST
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:13 a.m. CST
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:14 a.m. CST
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:41 a.m. CST
There's Disney's nod to the state of the economy.
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:58 a.m. CST
especially if depp was in costume, WTF?
Sept. 26, 2008, 2:39 a.m. CST
At press events for his next film yelling out "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!!!!" and taking requests calling people a "Bastard from a basket!" I think the Academy would demand he give his Oscar back. It's just tacky, especially for an actor as good as Depp. And the fact that he was completely shallow and un-nuanced as both Sweeney Todd and Willy Wonka (watch the Burton version again and appreciate how twistedly brilliant Gene Wilder is in the original all over again) makes me think that he's an actor prematurely settling into his twighlight and just doin' it for the "kiddies". Let's hope Public Enemies proves me wrong.
Sept. 26, 2008, 2:48 a.m. CST
Sept. 26, 2008, 3:56 a.m. CST
by drew mcweeny
... this is a criminally good write-up of the event. I'm sorry I couldn't have been there next to you to soak up the entire spectacle, but thanks to your piece, I feel like I was. <P>My two favorite lines: "It's what makes us better than the rest of the world" and "LUNCH: chicken." Well-played.
Sept. 26, 2008, 4:37 a.m. CST
i love those films, but they're just gonna ruin them. the only way they should do more pirates films is if they do another 3, back to back, and just follow the Sparrow/Barbosa plotlines.
Sept. 26, 2008, 6:06 a.m. CST
"I think the Sixth Sense is the only movie where Mr. Willis doesn't hold a gun." And look what it got him. Shot and killed. Is it any wonder he's always packing on screen?
Sept. 26, 2008, 9:38 a.m. CST
by Bouncy X
funny...i thought it was a shitty 17 year old canadian song that was waaaaay over played.
Sept. 26, 2008, 10:12 a.m. CST
Really? That movie was Pixar's worst. However I'm assuming that since my 5 year old nephew has every piece of Cars merch known to man, Disney made out pretty well. So sure let's make a sequel, gotta sell that merch! And as far as Johnny Depp goes, while I can't begrudge anyone for selling out, it's getting to the point now where I'm wondering if he turns anything down anymore. Pirates 3 was a convoluted mess, leave that mess alone.
Sept. 26, 2008, 11:25 a.m. CST
..I'm sick to death of Disney jacking themselves off.<P> FUCK THIS!! AND FUCK ANYONE WHO LAPS THE MILK OFF THEIR BALLS!
Sept. 26, 2008, 1:48 p.m. CST
by Han Cholo
That would be a great pairing I think. Seriously, Brand already looks like a pirate and has the chops to pull it off alongside Depp. Make him a captain of his own ship, maybe picking up where 3 left off by picking up Sparrow on his long boat and joining the race to find the Fountain of Youth. I can just see Depp, Brand, and Rush trying to steal every scene they're in from each other. But they shold make sure the script and the chracter development comes first. Cmon Disney, make this happen.
Sept. 26, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST
why Depp would dress up like Jack Sparrow if there was only an offhand mention of Pirates 4. It's very confusing to me. <p> But even though this seemed to be an exercise in excess, I'm glad to see what Disney's got on their plate over the next couple years. Consider me intrigued.
Sept. 26, 2008, 6:53 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Sept. 26, 2008, 6:54 p.m. CST
by Flim Springfield
Sept. 26, 2008, 8:27 p.m. CST
The main reason to make it would be as an apology for the insanity of At World's End. The insanity of the writers. Seriously, what drugs were they taking when they decided that short-changing every single plotline they started was a good idea? In particular the moment where Lord Beckett is asked 'what mark did he leave on you?' meaning why did he have this grudge against Jack Sparrow, but this was never mentioned again. Dead Man's Chest is a fucking masterpiece in comparison - it contains actual character material. Considering Dead Man's Chest and At World's End were mostly shot back-to-back it's crazy how lame the third movie was. The new one should be more stripped back.
Sept. 27, 2008, 8:11 p.m. CST
by The Amazing G
I am interested in A Christmas Carol
Sept. 27, 2008, 8:12 p.m. CST
by The Amazing G
will Toy Story 3 have a musical sequence in a junk-yard?
Sept. 28, 2008, 11:24 a.m. CST
*Sigh* I hope you're taking the piss, but I doubt it somehow....
Sept. 28, 2008, 12:31 p.m. CST
of great cinema, and guarantee a huge blockbuster in 2010, then they need to start casting now for "Are you there God ? It's me, Hanna Montana 2: Hanna stars in a 2 hour full out graphic porno with Anne Hathaway, Natalie Portman and Lexington Steele" Biggest selling movie of all time.
Sept. 29, 2008, 12:21 p.m. CST
Though it's never actually stated, I always assumed Sparrow castrated Beckett. Sparrow's obsessed with eunichs and at one point I believe someone even asks Beckett incredulously what he could possibly want with Elizabeth.
Sept. 29, 2008, 9 p.m. CST
CARS was the least inspired Pixar movie I thought, and it's success stings me like a million rabid wasps. INCREDIBLES was by far the most sequel-ready Pixar movie yet, and so far NOTHING! My only consolation is that I'd rather wait a few (more) years for a GOOD sequel than get a quick and uninspired money grabber. That said, I still loathe another CARS getting any attention from Pixar artists.
Sept. 29, 2008, 10:21 p.m. CST
I'm all for kids' movies. Every audience deserves their film, and sometimes it's nice to have something that isn't overly serious or raunchy or scary. <br> <br> When I'm in the mood for a family friendly film, I invariably turn to a Miyazaki film, or maybe an old Tim Burton film. Anime geekdom aside, Miyazaki is just a fantastic story teller. His movies are engaging and genuinely magical. <br> <br> Disney films, on the other hand, are merely imitations of family friendly films like Miyazaki's. I mean, am I the only one who sees every Disney film as marketing devices loaded with token caricatures of characters used to sell Happy Meal toys? <br> <br> Ultimately, there's difference in telling a story suitable for the whole family, and spewing brightly-colored facsimiles of family friendly stories in the sole interest of making box office bucks.
Sept. 30, 2008, 7:26 a.m. CST
Sept. 30, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST
One horrid economic collapse in and still in fucking denial.
Sept. 30, 2008, 8:28 a.m. CST
One horrid economic demise in and still in fucking denial.
Sept. 30, 2008, 8:33 a.m. CST
Sept. 30, 2008, 6:12 p.m. CST
*shrug* That's how I see them. Pardon my not leaping on the Praise Disney bandwagon, but I just can't appreciate something that seems that dumbed down.
Oct. 1, 2008, 9:31 a.m. CST
I freely admit to the Disney shortcomings of the past decade or so. However, even with many of their in-house films lacking, they have funded some great family entertainment through Walden Media and some of the greatest family enntertainment of all time through Pixar. And classic Disney flat out can't be beat. To say nothing of Walt Disney and his crew revolutionizing animation, film and many aspects of technology- all in the name of family entertainment. Miyazaki is great, but there would BE no Miyazaki without Disney. In fact, film and the world in general would be lacking A LOT of things without Disney. Credit where credit is due, sir.
Oct. 2, 2008, 4:41 a.m. CST
Well, I'll concede that Dumbo and the animated Robin Hood were good entertainment when I was a kid, and that they have a notable presence in the film industry, but that's it. Except for "Antz", I have yet to see a 3D animated film from either Disney or Pixar that didn't feel like torture. <br> <br> I highly doubt Miyazaki wouldn't exist without Disney. He might not exist in the States, but he'd be doing just fine. What's more, it's more often that the Disney folk are inspired by him, not the other way around. <br> <br> You see, Miyazaki doesn't go for the bucks. He likes telling stories. That allows him to round out the characters (both good and evil), take his time, set the tone, and keep things subtle. He doesn't force anything down the audience's throats. In contrast, there's absolutely no subtly in a Disney film.
Oct. 2, 2008, 6:50 a.m. CST
if that is what you think, then you, sir... are an idiot. I was almost willing to concede and just say "okay, that is just his preference", but ANYONE who thinks Pixar movies are "torture" is, in fact, a complete moron. Sorry, bud.
Oct. 2, 2008, 2:50 p.m. CST
Oct. 2, 2008, 2:53 p.m. CST
Alright, my accidentally hitting 'enter' was a fluke on my part, but how is being tortured by Pixar an indication of idiocy? Maybe you should concede and realize that not everyone has the same taste as you. Maybe you should realize that some people like Disney, some don't, and some outright hate it. Does it make me a better or worse person? Maybe you should learn to accept that there are people with tastes which differ greatly from yours.
Oct. 2, 2008, 3:34 p.m. CST
in regards to Disney. But hating (or considering them "torture") PIXAR films is not a matter of taste... since it illustrates a complete lack of taste. Considering they are all strong on story, even stronger on characterizations, feature some of the best music in film, arguably the most nuanced and layered voice acting in animation... and on top of all that, they are all visually stunning. And that even goes for their weaker entries.
Oct. 2, 2008, 3:44 p.m. CST
It's all just opinion, honestly. They're much more acclaimed, but I feel like I'm being pandered to. And yeah, since I do regard it as torture, that is a matter of taste. It means I really, really, REALLY don't like those movies. <br> <br> So, if I merely really, really don't like them, is that the boundary between taste and idiocy, or is that still too far? <br> <br> Bear in mind, no matter how successful a film is, no matter how many people it reaches, it's status as "good" is still a matter of opinion. One can say something is made well, but even if 3/4 of the world loves a film, all that means is a lot of people love the film. It doesn't mean it's necessarily good.
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