Pixar’s ‘Brave’ – What Did You Think?


Brave is Pixar’s first overt fairy tale, and the studio’s first film with a female protagonist. Those points, combined with the fairly public development process that saw the title change from The Bear and the Bow, and original director Brenda Chapman replaced with Mark Andrews, has positioned Pixar’s thirteenth film as a film of interest for many.

Brave is in theaters now, so how did it turn out? Talk about your experience watching Brave after the break, and keep in mind that spoilers are welcome in the comments below. Read More »

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Two big film releases this week both feature historical settings in which a fantastic story takes place, but Brave and Timur Bekmambetov‘s Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter couldn’t be more different. This film is based on the novel by Seth Grahame-Smith (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Dark Shadows screenwriter) in which Abraham Lincoln (Benjamin Walker) is revealed to be a man tortured by the memory of his mother’s death at the hands of a vampire.

So what’s the consensus on Abe and his vampire hunting efforts? Discuss the film, in spoilerish glory, after the break. Read More »

‘Dark Shadows’ – What Did You Think?

There was the time when the release of a new Tim Burton movie seemed like a major event. And, after Alice in Wonderland made an insane amount of money thanks in part to being part of the immediate post-Avatar 3D boom, for Hollywood the release of a Burton movie remains a big deal. The director has a lot of fans still, for reasons that include his own particular blend of the weird and comic, an idiosyncratic approach to design, and his long working relationship with Johnny Depp.

Dark Shadows brings all those factors to bear, or attempts to. It is a remake/continuation/alternate look at a daytime soap opera that started in the ’60s and ran until the early ’70s. (The film is set primarily in 1972, just after the show went off the air.) Vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) is locked away for hundreds of years by the witch Angelique (Eva Green). Freed, he returns to his old family home, where he finds a collection of characters that is almost as eccentric and downtrodden as he is.

Depp and Burton have talked about making this film for quite some time, and now that it has arrived, we want to know what you thought of it. Chime in below, where as always in posts of this sort, full spoilers are fair game. Read More »

‘The Avengers’ – What Did You Think?

The event Marvel Studios has been working towards for many years is here: the studio has released The Avengers, in which the various stars of Iron Man, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and The Incredible Hulk unite in the sort of super-team movie that once would have existed only as a fan pipe dream. Well, most of the various stars of those films, as Mark Ruffalo steps in as Bruce Banner and the Hulk, but otherwise we’ve got the roster that Marvel has been building over the past few summers: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, and relative newcomers Jeremy Renner and Cobie Smulders.

Joss Whedon got the job rewriting and directing the film and, I think, managed a neat balance of character and action. Every member of the team gets their due, and the conflict that brews between the rougly-formed team of Avengers and Asgardian trickster Loki culminates in a giant battle sequence that occupies most of the film’s final act. But Whedon & Co. keep the action lively and the staging uncluttered enough that we can see what these heroes are doing as they repel an alien force.

So now that you’ve had a chance to see The Avengers, what did you think? Chime in through the comment section below where, as always for these pieces, spoilers are totally acceptable. Read More »

‘John Carter’ – What Did You Think?

It’s the big weekend for Disney, and Pixar director Andrew Stanton, as Stanton’s live-action adaptation of the Edgar Rice Burroughs novel A Princess of Mars finally hits theaters. John Carter is a film that has been many, many years in development, and finally sees life thanks to Stanton’s interest in the story. Taylor Kitsch, Lynn Collins, Willem Dafoe, Mark Strong and more make up the cast of the film, which follows a Civil War vet (Kitsch) who is transported to Mars, where he meets a smokin’ hot princess (Collins) and is drawn into an alien civil strife.

In our review of the film, Angie praised the loving care devoted to realizing the film’s world, even as she was less than impressed with the overall narrative structure and central character. But enough about our thoughts, and enough about Disney’s marketing of the movie, plans for sequels, or past versions that never came to be. Let’s talk about the John Carter that we have here and now — hit the jump to voice your thoughts on the film, and go into the discussion knowing that spoilers lie ahead. Read More »

‘Hugo’ – What Did You Think?

If I had to imagine the results of a quick exit poll, I really don’t know how I’d expect responses to Martin Scorsese‘s latest movie, Hugo, to fall. The director’s first ‘family’ film is an adaptation of Brian Selznick’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret and, on the surface at least, tells the story of a young boy’s attempt to live in the roof of a train station in ’30s Paris. The boy, Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is trying to repair a curious automaton that is the last relic of his father, and in so doing discovers tales of the earliest days of cinema.

Hugo has a very impressive use of 3D that makes perhaps the best argument yet for the format, and expresses such a love for early cinema that some scenes within may be the most irresistible stuff to parade in front of the eyes of film nerds this season. But it isn’t uniformly as magnificent as some of the best scenes, and it isn’t the sort of family film that audiences are expecting to see. So let us know: what did you think about Hugo? Read More »

‘The Muppets’ – What Did You Think?

After a long promotional runup that included a never-ending string of parody trailers, photo shoots and gleeful audio experiments, The Muppets is finally in theaters. Jason Segel‘s loving ode to Jim Henson‘s puppet troupe combines some winking modern showmanship with a whole lot of love for the Muppets and what they have always represented in pop culture. Because the Muppets mean a lot to many of our readers, it is possible that the film has a difficult standard to live up to.

So the question is: did director James Bobin, co-writers Segel and Nicholas Stoller, songwriter Bret McKenzie, co-stars Amy Adams, Jack Black, Chris Cooper and all the Muppet puppeteers manage to craft a modern Muppet vision that jibes with the classic image of the characters? Tell us what you thought in the comments after the jump. As always, spoilers are fully cleared to go in this discussion. Read More »

‘Contagion’ – What Did You Think?

There really is nothing like a sprawling film covering a complex topic directed by Steven Soderbergh. Soderbergh’s Contagion hits theaters today boasting a cavalcade of big film stars, all trying to make sense of a world  being torn apart by an infectious virus.

So with the insane amounts of talent behind it, does the film live up to its promise? Does it measure up to that other Soderbergh epic, Traffic? And most importantly, does Gwyneth Paltrow make it out of the film okay? Hit the jump for some of my thoughts and feel free to share your own in the comments. Assume SPOILERS lie after the jump and in the comments.

Read More »

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