‘The Pirates! Band of Misfits’ UK Trailer #2

Can you resist the grinning appeal of a new claymation animated film from Aardman Animation? I’m not certain that I can, if the first trailer for The Pirates! Band of Misfits is any indication. The film adapts Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists — a loopy tale of high-seas misadventure and scientfic discovery — with a vocal cast that includesHugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen.

Here’s a new UK trailer for the film, which bears the original subtitle ‘In an Adventure With Scientists,’ and pushes the overall story structure more than the last US trailer, but keeps the levels of charm and appeal as high as the crow’s nest. Read More »

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The Wire‘s Michael K. Williams (who, like John Goodman, just guest-appeared on Community) was in the running for the title role in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained, and though he lost the part to Jamie Foxx, he may still end up in the film, in a part written just for him.

Hopefully another new job won’t get in the way; Williams will now also be a producer and actor in Life Garland‘s indie thriller The Suspect, written by Stuart Connelly. Here’s how the writer describes the film: “Two African American social scientists pose as bank robbers in an effort to understand the racial dynamics of small-town law enforcement. However, their experiment takes an unplanned, deadly turn.” That’s a great premise that could be the beginning of a compelling film. We’ll definitely follow the development. Shadow and Act reveals that Isaiah Washington is also set for the film.

After the break, David Duchovny rides a sub, and The Last Stand and Cloud Atlas get new actors. Read More »

This isn’t the sort of movie that we normally see Hugh Grant agree to make. The guy is drawn to romcoms of various stripes, with the last vaguely edgy movie he made possibly being the ’96 thriller Extreme Measures.

So it’s a big surprise — and not an unpleasant one — to see Grant booking a role in Cloud Atlas, the century-spanning, genre-hopping literary adaptation from co-writers and co-directors Tom Tykwer and Andy & Lana Wachowski. Read More »

Third ‘Bridget Jones’ Movie Now Moving Ahead

Both Renee Zellweger‘s grocery store manager and nutritionist are having a very good day. They’re each sure to make a ton of money now that the Oscar-winner is going to have gain, and subsequently lose, weight for a third film playing Bridget Jones. Entertainment Weekly broke the news that Working Title Pictures is moving ahead with a third film in the series about an adorable English woman who is unlucky in love, though there’s no word if Paul Feig will actually direct as previously rumored.

The character, created by Helen Fielding, spawned two books and movies, both of which were international hits: Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001 and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason in 2004. Read more about what the story could be after the jump. Read More »

Aardman Animation doesn’t just have the CGI holiday film Arthur Christmas to release in the next year. The company also has the stop-motion The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. The cast was announced not long ago, and is a thing of beauty: Hugh ‘News of the World Killer’ Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Salma Hayek, Brian Blessed, Brendan Gleeson, Russell Tovey, and Ashley Jensen.

The trailer for the film hit today, and if you are (a) dissatisfied with the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, (b) hungry for anything new from Aardman, (c) ready to see a weirdly appropriate use of a Ramones song in a kids’ pirate movie, or (d) all of the above, check it out after the break. Read More »

The oversized success of Bridesmaids instantly turned Freaks & Geeks veteran Paul Feig into a big director in Hollywood. He’s already got possible foll0ow-up projects brewing, including one comedy that would see him working again with Bridesmaids breakout star Melissa McCarthy. But his next film may not even be made in Hollywood, as one report says he’s in negotiations to make a third Bridget Jones film. Read More »

Sony and Aardman Animation have teamed for a new 3D stop-motion animated film, called The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based in part on Gideon Defoe‘s book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists. (Which is also the film’s title in the UK, I believe.) That isn’t news, but the first still, above, and the announcement of the full cast definitely is.

Aardman co-founder and Chicken Run co-director Peter Lord is directing the film, which is animated in the now-classic Aardman clay figure style, and he’s got Hugh Grant making his clay debut as the chap you see above. There are a bunch of other great names on hand to provide voices as well, and you can get the full list after the break. Read More »

trailer1

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?

Afterschool Trailer

I have great feelings of amity towards documentaries that pick apart the lives of teens and films that try and get it right with regards to giving us people who seem real, not grown-ups asked to put on varsity jackets.

PBS had a fabulous documentary series years ago called American High and not even last years’ American Teen could capture the level of verisimilitude that’s non-existent in the fluff that passes for teen drama on television today. That’s why movies like Assassination of a High School President, Elephant or even the crowd pleasing Heathers are such an attraction to me; it’s the visceral, evocative explorations into the pain of what it’s like to be a teen and misunderstood as hormones crackle like sparklers.
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