Boxtrolls best scene

The films from Laika are, in a way, like Richard Linklater’s Boyhood — part of the story of the films themselves is the story of how they are made. The process is very different, of course, as Linklater worked for more than a decade on one film, while Laika uses painstaking stop-motion animation to create the illusion of life over a production period that lasts a couple years per film.

We’ve all seen in-process video of Laika artists at work, but the final shot of the studio’s most recent film, The Boxtrolls, illustrates the process in a beautifully meta fashion. It may be The Boxtrolls best scene — and there are no spoilers involved, even for those who haven’t seen the film. Check it out below.

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fourth laika movie

Laika has produced three gorgeous stop-motion features so far: Coraline, ParaNorman, and The Boxtrolls. Now there’s a new one coming, as the fourth Laika movie has been announced as Kubo and the Two Strings. It’s an original story from Paranormal writers Marc Haimes and Chris Butler which the company describes as “a sweeping, swashbuckling adventure set in a mythical ancient Japan.”

As usual, the film is being animated at the company’s home base in Oregon, and is being directed by company founder Travis Knight, who is also producing with Arianne Sutner (ParaNorman). The film uses, as the press release calls it, Laika’s “innovative 3D stop-motion and CG hybrid technique.”

Get the full voice cast list and more info on Kubo and the Two Strings below.  Read More »

The Theory of Everything (1)

As a theoretical physicist, Stephen Hawking isn’t usually one to weigh in on recent movies. But The Theory of Everything is naturally of special interest to him, seeing that it stars Eddie Redmayne as Hawking himself.

For their part, critics have been gushing about Redmayne’s performance. He’s widely considered a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination, and has been ever since the film’s festival debut. But Hawking would know better than anyone whether Redmayne really did a good job — so what did Hawking think? Get the Stephen Hawking Theory of Everything reaction after the jump.  Read More »

Jon Chu Toy Fair

There’s nothing like a nostalgia movie set during the decade you grew up in to make you feel old. The Nineties were my time. My teenage years. The films, music and culture of that decade have helped define who I am, which probably explains a lot about me. When it’s happening though, you never think you’ll see a time when the period you’re in will be looked back at with fond nostalgia. Until it happens, that is, and you realize how times have changed.

As time moves on, every era becomes a period film and the latest is the Nineties. Director Jon M. Chu, director of several Step Up movies, G.I. Joe Retaliation and the upcoming Jem and the Holograms as well as Now You See Me 2, has just sold a pitch to Focus Features for a Nineties-era dance film called Can’t Touch This. Read more about the Can’t Touch This movie below. Read More »

50 Shades of Grey trailer

Here’s the full trailer for the film adaptation of 50 Shades of Grey, and the excitement is palpable. Will this be as crazy and explicit as the book? (Nope.) Will it properly represent the sexual practices and lifestyle it has co-opted? (Maybe, but probably not.) Will there be attractive people having lots of simulated sex? Almost certainly. Check out the 50 Shades of Grey trailer below. Read More »

Insidious Chapter 3 trailer

Chapter 3 in the Insidious saga hits theaters next year and your first trailer is here. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell, Insidious Chapter 3 is a prequel to the other two films, showing how ghost hunter Elise (Lin Shaye) learns about The Further, via the plight of a young father (Dermot Mulroney) and his daughter (Stefanie Scott). It’s scheduled for release May 29, 2015. Watch the first Insidious 3 trailer below. Read More »

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Hunger Games Mockingjay - Cressida

Natalie Dormer is one tough cookie, as evidenced by her steely turns in Game of Thrones, The Tudors, Elementary, and the upcoming The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Now she’s going to use that spirit to battle supernatural forces for David Goyer.

The British actress has just signed on for The Forest, a thriller set in Japan’s Aokigahara forest — nicknamed the “Suicide Forest” for the number of people who end their lives there. Spooky. Hit the jump for more on Natalie Dormer The Forest.

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Laika hand-drawn

Released just over a week ago, The Boxtrolls had the best-ever opening for Laika, and going into this weekend had a global take sitting at $38m. Those are good numbers, and all the more remarkable because The Boxtrolls isn’t a smooth and sanitized picture. Rather it is idiosyncratic and unusual, especially for today’s animation landscape. Since Laika’s films aren’t cheap (this one is reportedly budgeted at around $60m) and take considerable time to create, it’s good to know that the company has a partner going forward.

Focus Features and Universal have partnered with Laika in the past to release the studio’s films domestically and abroad. And the companies have announced that they’ve signed a new three-film pact. That means that we’ll see another trio of Laika films with the muscle of Focus and Universal behind them. More info follows. Read More »

Black Sea Jude Law 3

If movies have taught us anything, it’s that money drives people mad. Movie after movie depicts people doing terrible things for money. Killing, kidnapping, and worse. Now take that tension between people desperate for money, shove it into a super-confined space, and push the container deep under the ocean. The result is Black Sea.

Directed by Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland), Black Sea stars Jude Law as a submarine captain who is let go from his job. Desperate to make a buck, he agrees to lead a rouge mission into the depths where one of Adolf Hitler’s World War II submarines is sitting at the bottom of the ocean, reportedly filled with gold.

Black Sea, which co-stars Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn and David Threlfall, opens January 23. Check out the Black Sea trailer below. Read More »