Aardman Animation is moving into 3D CGI holiday fare with Arthur Christmas, which stars James McAvoy as the title character in a story “which at last reveals the incredible, never-before seen answer to every child’s question: ‘So how does Santa deliver all those presents in one night?’ The answer: Santa’s exhilarating, ultra-high-tech operation hidden beneath the North Pole.”

The voice cast also features Bill Nighy,Hugh Laurie, Jim Broadbent, Imelda Staunton and Ashley Jensen, and now you can see a bit of the film at work. A teaser has just landed, and you’ll find it after the break. Read More »

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Arthur Christmas Voice Cast: Hugh Laurie, James McAvoy and Jim Broadbent

The last time we checked in on Arthur Christmas, the planned 3D CG holiday film from Aardman Animation, we had only a single promo image to offer up. Now there’s a lot more detail, including a full plot description, clarification on the behind the scenes talent, and a voice cast that includes James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent. Read More »

Peter Jackson Announces ‘The Hobbit’ Cast

Peter Jackson has, at long last, made an official announcement about who will appear in The Hobbit. He has confirmed Martin Freeman as Bilbo Baggins, taking over the role originated by Ian Holm in The Lord of the Rings. A great many other names were released as well, almost all of whom make up the large company of Dwarves that hires Bilbo to be their ‘burgler’ before setting out to kill the dragon Smaug and recover the dwarven treasure the dragon uses as a bed. All the names are after the break. Read More »

wild-target-trailer

Wild Target is Jonathan Lynn‘s remake of a 1993 French hitman comedy called Cible émouvante. Yep, another assassin movie. But this one is meant to be funny, and it certainly has a strong cast: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Martin Freeman, Rupert Everett, Eileen Atkins and more.

It’s been a while since Lynn really made a picture that hit (My Cousin Vinny was almost 20 years ago!) but with that cast, maybe he’ll have something here. Watch the trailer after the break. Read More »

mortimer-jones-banks-deschanel

An impressive quartet of actresses has just signed on for My Idiot Brother, the Paul Rudd comedy that we first reported on last week. Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Rashida Jones and Emily Mortimer are all part of the cast as of now. (And just the other night I was wondering how the hell Emily Mortimer seems to have barely aged since appearing in The Ghost and the Darkness in 1996.)

The film is about “an idealist (Rudd) dealing with his over¬bearing mother who crashes at the homes of his three ambitious sisters and brings truth, happiness and a sunny disposition into their lives while also wreaking havoc.” Banks, Deschanel and Mortimer are his sisters, while Jones plays Rudd’s ‘caring, responsible’ girlfriend.

Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall wrote; Jesse Peretz directs. The film shoots next month in New York City.[THR]

After the break, it’s Bill Nighy in 3D! And Vinnie Jones becomes a super-villain. Again. Read More »

Teaser Trailer: Gore Verbinski’s Rango

Rango

Paramount Pictures has released the first movie trailer for Pirates of the Caribbean helmer Gore Verbinski’s computer animated feature film Rango. Based on an original idea by Verbinski, Rango is scripted by The Aviator scribe John Logan. Johnny Depp stars as an “chameleon with an identity crisis.” PRevious information has stated that Rango  is “a oddly charismatic household pet that goes on an adventure to discover its true self.” The movie co-stars Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, Bill Nighy, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Winstone, and Timothy Olyphant as The Spirit of the West.

But the most interesting thing about this new project is that Industrial Light & Magic will be doing the animation using “cutting edge techniques” that Verbinski has said, “will allow us to capture and translate every aspect of Johnny’s performance, using it to drive the computer-generated character in a way that has yet to be seen in an animated feature.” Basically it sounds like Verbinski has gone the way of Robert Zemeckis.

The trailer, embedded after the jump, doesn’t really show us much. It’s more of a “what the fuck did I just see” kind of teaser trailers. Watch it now after the jump and please leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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palmer_and_nighy

That short silent film which Neil Gaiman is currently in the midst of directing, and as reported on earlier, is to start shooting this Sunday. From the info now available, we know that it’s going to be called Statuesque, will star Bill Nighy and Amanda Palmer, pop star and Gaiman’s girlfriend, and is one of a series of films commissioned by Rupert Murdoch’s UK based Sky TV, each to mark one of the twelve days of Christmas. The film is going to be short, at eight minutes long, and I’m prepared to bet it ends up rather sweet too.

After the break: where and when the shoot is taking place.

Read More »

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