Disney has three big films coming out this holiday season, but only one is about the company itself. That’s Saving Mr. Banks, the true story of Walt Disney’s courting of author P.L. Travers for the rights to her book, Mary Poppins. Directed by John Lee Hancock (The Blind Side), the film features Tom Hanks as Disney and Emma Thompson as Travers. It opens December 13 in the U.S. but had its world premiere this weekend at the London Film Festival.
So how is it? The first reviews are out and while everyone seems to agree there’s plenty of Disney magic, and some people even smell Oscars, a few don’t necessarily think it works. Read a bunch of reviews below. Read More »
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Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.
Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, September 4th, 2013 by Angie Han
Ron Howard is by no means critically reviled, but as a director he hasn’t had the sort of career that gets hardcore cinephiles all hot and bothered, either. So while we’ve been curious about Rush, his Formula 1 racing drama, it’d be a stretch to say it was one of our most anticipated releases of the year.
In the wake of its Toronto Film Festival debut, however, we may have to reconsider. Early reactions have ranged from solid to positively glowing, with plenty of reviewers noting that Howard has managed to avoid his usual sentimentality. As a matter of fact, praise was lavished on just about everyone involved, including stars Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl, screenwriter Peter Morgan, and cinematographer Anthony Dod Mantle. Hit the jump to read the reviews.
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Posted on Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 by Angie Han
It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven long years since Alfonso Cuarón released his last movie, the dystopian sci-fi Children of Men. But at least he’s made his new film worth the wait, if early Venice Film Festival reviews are anything to go by.
Gravity stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as two astronauts — she a newbie, he a veteran. While on a mission, a bit of floating debris knocks into their shuttle, sending them floating into outer space and struggling to survive.
Reactions from an early test screening last year were mostly quite positive, and now that the film’s complete the praise is even more glowing. Hit the jump to see what the critics are saying.
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“Free screening of Anchorman 2 this Tuesday!” As a film fan, hearing someone scream that outside a movie theater is like being invited to the ultimate event. As a film journalist, it’s the opposite, because you can’t attend. (Test screenings are typically closed to press.) Last week, I was in Burbank, CA attending a press screening of the awesome horror film You’re Next when I heard someone say those beautiful words. I didn’t follow up because I’d be stopped at the door. But lots of other people went to the show, and today we have our first reactions to Adam McKay‘s Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
Those reactions are decidedly mixed but, with a film from this team, that’s nothing to be worried about just yet. Test screenings are literally used as part of the filmmaking process. McKay and producer Judd Apatow use audience reactions to early versions of the film to fine tune jokes, insert alternate line readings and change the pacing of the film. So things that didn’t work in Burbank, CA could very well be changed. Read some reactions below. Read More »
Posted on Monday, August 5th, 2013 by Angie Han
As Us Weekly‘s familiar refrain goes, celebrities are just like us! They, too, like to check out the summer’s big studio releases and then talk about their opinions afterward. The difference is that when the famous people in question are comic book writer Grant Morrison and filmmaker David Gordon Green, they’re weighing in as pop culture creators, not just consumers.
Morrison, whose works include the DC Comics series All-Star Superman, recently offered his ambivalent thoughts on Supes’ latest big-screen outing Man of Steel. Meanwhile, Green professed to liking Pacific Rim, though he had one major complaint. Hit the jump to see their comments.
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Darren Aronofsky‘s Biblical epic Noah is scheduled for release March 28, 2014, which means the marketing should start fairly soon. Case in point, the director showed an early cut of the trailer on Thursday to an audience at the Echo Conference, a church-based conference in Texas for “artists, geeks and storytellers.” He sent a video introduction and then showed the trailer.
We don’t have the trailer just yet, but we have the video introduction and some reactions, all of which were positive. Read More »
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Posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 by Angie Han
After much anticipation, neither Kim Ji-woon’s The Last Stand nor Park Chan-wook’s Stoker set Western audiences on fire when they opened earlier this year. But the third English-language debut by a South Korean director this year, Bong Joon-ho‘s Snowpiercer, seems poised to blow the other two out of the water.
Following very early screenings for the highly anticipated sci-fi film, the very first reviews have begun trickling out. And the critics seem to agree on a few points: 1) that Snowpiercer is very, very dark, 2) that it’s so dark it could turn off movie ticket buyers, and 3) that it’s freakin’ fantastic. Hit the jump to read their comments.
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