Frozen Short Removed from Coco

Many audience members who sat down to see Coco over the past couple weeks were not looking for warm hugs before seeing Pixar’s latest animation feature. But that’s exactly what they got when a 21-minute Frozen short film played before the movie.

Olaf’s Frozen Adventure has stirred up plenty of people since hitting theaters with Coco. Parents, impatient children and critics alike were not happy with the extended running time of the Frozen short film, and even theaters in Mexico were starting to remove the short due to the excessive complaints about it. Well, Disney has been listening, and they will be removing the short from Coco starting next week. Read More »

music of coco

Coco isn’t a musical, but its music is as central to it as the elements of family, memory, life, and death. Music is what carries Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) along on his quest to find his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) in the Land of the Dead, music is what unites Miguel and his ragamuffin skeleton companion Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal), and what ultimately tears apart and unites his family.

Music — and the fantastic original songs from the Pixar animated film — is the warm, beating heart of Coco. Because music plays such an essential role, the music team behind Coco made sure to embed the songs and score as deeply into Mexican culture as they could. This amounted to years of research and 5o (!) Mexican musicians participating in the vibrant, effervescent soundtrack.

I spoke to composer Michael Giacchino, who has had a busy year composing scores for a whopping three blockbusters (Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes); orchestrator Germaine Franco, who participated in the movie’s pivotal song “Remember Me”; and cultural consultant Camilo Lara, who brought to the film a connection to the plethora of Mexican music genres as well as a signature Dr. Seuss-style hat.

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Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Clip

Hollywood and the music industry have occasionally crossed paths throughout the years — a pop star sings on a romantic-comedy soundtrack, a musician takes a dip in the acting pool — but in the era of needle drops and “Hans Zimmer is a rock god” takes, these intersections will only become more frequent.

Now that the Grammy Award nominations are out, Hollywood has scored big, raking in several nods for prolific blockbusters like Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (best compilation soundtrack) and La La Land (best score soundtrack for visual media), as well a spoken word album nomination for the late and great Carrie Fisher. And of course we can’t go a year without Mr. Rock God himself, Zimmer, scoring two nominations for both Dunkirk and Hidden Figures.

Read on to see more of the Hollywood Grammy nominations.

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Pitch Perfect 3 clip

The ladies are back, pitches. In Pitch Perfect 3, Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, and the rest of the acapella-singing Bellas have graduated from Barden University and are looking for work in the real world. When they’re given a chance to sing together during a USO tour overseas, they jump at the chance, but the Bellas are going to have to face off against competition they’ve never faced before: musicians who use instruments other than their mouths.

In this new clip from the film, the Bellas meet their fellow performers and launch into a classic riff-off…which leads to a lot of confusion (and some pretty catchy tunes).
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How the Family in ‘Coco’ Reminded Me of Mine

coco's family

“This place runs on memories,” Hector (Gael Garcia Bernal) informs an awed Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) as they wander the land of the dead in Pixar’s newest film, Coco. Preserved through the memories of their family, people are kept alive, as jubilant in the afterlife as they were in life — sometimes even more so.

In Coco, death is just a new beginning. Less so a film about grief and loss, Coco is a story about celebrating life through the people that the dead once touched and affected. It’s aligns perfectly with the values of Dia de los Muertos, otherwise known as the Day of the Dead.

“[In] Dia de los Muertos, the whole point is to never say goodbye to anyone and to always remember them,” director Lee Unkrich told me in an interview a few month’s prior to the release of Coco. “And it’s your responsibility to keep their memories alive.”

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We all have a movie that we consider to be “ours.” Whether it be the one that our family showed us as kids, the one we saw on a dark stormy night at a sleepover, or one we just discovered on TV, everyone eventually finds a movie that is as much a part of them as their own vital organs. This seems especially true if that beloved movie of yours maybe isn’t exactly loved by everyone else in the world.

This is where the term of “cult” comes into play. By definition, a “cult following” signifies a group of individuals with an incredible amount of passion for a specific aspect of culture. And with so many books, TV series, Broadway shows and movies that never really got the kind of respect their fandom thinks they deserved, the amount of titles that fall into “cult” category is becoming more and more frequent these days. The internet has only helped build cult followings all the faster.

How do we fall in love with a movie like this? Does the cult film choose us or was it destined for us in the stars long ago? Does it involve how our parents raised us and what fundamentally makes us the individuals we become?  I will now ask you to take a deep breath and travel with me to a slightly embarrassing time and place, the time when I (covered in raccoon eye liner) discovered the movie that changed me: Brian De Palma’s Phantom of the Paradise.

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Get Out Golden Globes

Get Out, the smash hit horror satire that may very well be the best film released in 2017, could be a dark horse awards contender. After all, this is looking like a weak year for prestige pictures and a critically lauded, bold-as-hell vision could sneak in through the cracks. It’s possible!

And if it does sneak in through the cracks, the Golden Globes will treat it as a comedy.

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Basmati Blues trailer

Basmati Blues began production back in 2013, but we’re only now seeing footage from the film as it nears its eventual release date. It’s never a good sign when a film is delayed for so long, and the first Basmati Blues trailer seems to confirm this. This movie looks…questionable at best.

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the greatest showman trailer

You can’t put on a show without some music, and the new The Greatest Showman trailer is here to remind you that it is, in fact, a musical.

Hugh Jackman stars as P.T. Barnum, the founder of the famous traveling circus and self-ascribed “Greatest Show on Earth,” as he risks his career and reputation to create the beloved Barnum & Bailey Circus.

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Maori Moana song translation

The entire Moana soundtrack is full of incredible original songs that rival some of Disney’s most classic tunes. But perhaps the most stylish song is “Shiny,” sung by the giant golden crab called Tamatoa. Thanks to Flight of the Conchords star Jemaine Clement channeling both Tim Curry and David Bowie in his performance, it’s a performance that is catchy, funny and simply fantastic. And it sounds even better in Jemaine Clement’s native language.

Moana was already a big deal because it shined a light on the Polynesian culture that isn’t typically in the spotlight of mainstream Hollywood movies. But down in New Zealand it’s connecting with people on another level, because in some areas of the island nation it’s been translated into the indigenous Maori language that has become increasingly rare. Since Jemaine Clement was raised by his Maori mother in New Zealand, he was able to sing the song in Maori for the film’s soundtrack, and it sounds so cool.

Listen to the Maori Moana song translation below. Read More »