THE GOOD DINOSAUR

Today Disney and Pixar are announcing details for the film The Good Dinosaur, from which we’ve previously seen only concept art. Footage was shown today, which Peter described as “very beautiful, not very cartoony, almost like a segment from Fantasia.” The story is described as the biggest “what if?” ever — what if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed Earth entirely?

The primary cast was also announced. The primary characters are a family of farming Apatosaurs, with John Lithgow as the father, Frances McDormand as the mother, Bill Hader and Neil Patrick Harris as brothers Forrest and Cliff, Judy Greer as Ivy, and Lucas Neff voicing the lead character Arlo.

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With the likes of Chris O’Dowd, Lena Dunham, and Melissa McCarthy in supporting roles, Judd Apatow‘s This is 40 is positively overflowing with hot comedic talents. But the film features some more established comic players as well, including Robert Smigel.

During what must’ve been a slow day on set, Smigel decided to bring along his old pal Triumph the Insult Comic Dog to mingle with the cast and crew, specifically Apatow, Leslie Mann, Paul Rudd, John Lithgow, and Megan Fox. The results are predictably entertaining and just a little bit painful. Watch the video after the jump.

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One can only guess how the horribly mismatched Ben and Alison from Knocked Up are faring these days, but in just a few weeks we’ll get to see how their pals Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) are dealing with being on the cusp of middle age. Universal has just dropped a new red-band trailer for Judd Apatow‘s This is 40, which picks back up with the bickering marrieds five years after we last saw them.

A few things have changed: Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl are nowhere to be seen, Maude Apatow has grown from cute kid to angsty teen, and Albert Brooks, John LithgowMegan Fox, Chris O’Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, and Lena Dunham are joining in on the fun this time around. The winning blend of cozy sentiment and inappropriate humor, however, remains much the same. Watch the somewhat NSFW trailer after the jump. (And yes, smartasses, the “favorite movie blog” I’m referencing in the headline is /Film.)

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Dog Fight is going to be one of the more visible political satires to hit just before the 2012 Presidential election; the movie will be from director Jay Roach, featuring Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell as North Carolina politicians who are running opposite one another for a congressional seat in a district election.

Brian Cox recently joined the cast, which also includes Jason Sudeikis, Dylan McDermott, Sarah Baker and Katherine LaNasa. Now John Lightgow has signed on to play an unspecified role. The film is shooting in New Orleans, and already has an August 10, 2012 release date. [Variety]

After the break, Rachel Weisz joins Colin Firth in a real-life drama about POWs forced to build a railroad, and there are new actors for Elvis & Nixon and A White Trash Christmas. Read More »

‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ Review

Andy Serkis’ work in Rise of the Planet of the Apes locks his position amongst legendary ‘monster’ actors such as Lon Chaney, Sr, Lon Chaney, Jr. and Boris Karloff. That might not seem to be the greatest compliment at first; that roster of actors shouldn’t be marginalized so. I think all would bristle at being considered as performers we take seriously only when they work behind makeup and prosthetics or their digital equivalents.

The fact, however, is that Andy Serkis’ best work has been done in conjunction with groundbreaking washes of pixels. Beginning with his portrayal of Gollum in The Lord of the Rings, continuing on through Peter Jackson’s King Kong and now culminating with Caesar, the ape at the center of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, the partnership between the actor and effects house WETA has done far more than most to advance the idea of what the nature of screen acting really is.

Serkis and WETA lend Caesar a moving depth of personality that goes beyond the bounds we’re accustomed to seeing in non-human characters. And, as many of his interactions with the other simian characters are necessarily devoid of dialogue, the film displays a spirit that cuts closer to pure cinema than I expect from the seventh film in the 40-year old franchise. Read More »

20th Century Fox has been working hard to promote Rise of the Planet of the Apes, releasing trailers, clips, and even a series of viral videos. With just a couple weeks to go until the film’s opening, the studio has released another new clip, this time introduced by star Andy Serkis. The scene shows off main ape Caesar (Serkis) and his relationship to his caretaker Charles Rodman (John Lithgow) before all that “taking over the world” stuff happens. Watch the scene, which clocks in at just over three minutes, after the jump.

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We just saw a new commercial for Rise of the Planet of the Apes that had a lot of new footage, but that 60-second piece was pulled from YouTube fairly quick. Now there is a UK trailer that has a lot of the same footage, and more. Beware: you’ll walk away from this feeling like you’ve seen way too much of the movie. Check it out after the break, if that isn’t a problem. Read More »

While the two previously released trailers for Rise of the Planet of the Apes have focused more on action, this brand new 60 second TV spot finally strays from that. In the film, James Franco plays Will, a scientist who develops a drug intended to cure his father (John Lithgow) of Alzheimer’s disease. Will also discovers that the drug increases the intelligence of an ape named Caesar (Andy Serkis) and decides to bring him home. This 60-second clip focuses more on that family aspect, gives us our first real good look at Tom Felton‘s character and then, of course, kicks up the action. From what I know about Rise, this 60 second look is the best representation of the film yet, both in its tone, structure and percentage of action. Check out the new-footage-filled clip after the jump. Read More »

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