Through the Ice Age movies, Blue Sky Studios has become one of the premier CG animation houses for feature films, and the company’s new effort is a whimsical forest battle called Epic. Chris Wedge, who directed the first Ice Age film and has voiced the Scrat character throughout that franchise, is directing.
This one features Josh Hutcherson as the voice of the lead character, a diminutive forest warrior who rides a hummingbird, but all you’ll hear of him in the first trailer is a bunch of grunts and exclamations. Most of the audio in this trailer is Snow Patrol’s song ‘The Lightning Strike,’ though there is a bit of dialogue from Aziz Ansari (as a slug) and Amanda Seyfried as a teenage girl who finds herself in the midst of a strange forest war.
Check out the trailer below. Read More »
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Posted on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012 by Angie Han
Thanks to the ongoing licensing expo in Vegas, we’re getting early looks at a couple of films on our radar. The same event gave us the first tiny and not at all revealing glimpse of Fast & Furious 6 promo art earlier this week, and today we’re getting an eyeful of two animated projects that have been on our radar.
The first is Blue Sky’s Epic, a 3D CG-animated adventure about a teenage girl caught up in a battle between good and evil, while the other is DreamWorks’ Turbo, which features the voice of Ryan Reynolds as a garden snail with racing ambitious. Check them out after the jump.
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Adding to the big day over at 20th Century Fox, they’ve just announced the full voice cast for their latest CG 3D animated film called Epic. Created by Blue Sky Studios, Epic (formerly called Leafmen) “tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world…and ours.”
The voice cast is impressive. It includes Beyonce Knowles, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Knoxville, Aziz Ansari, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Blake Anderson and Judah Friedlander.
Directed by Chris Wedge, Epic is scheduled for release May 24, 2013. Read more after the jump. Read More »
Setting a director to make The Hunger Games sequel Catching Fire turned out to be a little more complicated for Lionsgate than was originally expected. While Gary Ross was first thought to be fully set to reprise his directorial duties after making the smash first film, he moved on to other jobs. After casting about for follow-up options, Lionsgate made an offer to I Am Legend, Constantine and Water For Elephants director Francis Lawrence.
Today Lawrence has signed to make Catching Fire. The film will start shooting in the fall, and “Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth will reprise their roles as Katniss, Peeta and Gale, with Lenny Kravitz, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland, Toby Jones, and Woody Harrelson also returning to their respective roles.” The release date remains November 22, 2013.
Read the full press release below. Read More »
There’s a great semi-futuristic story of brutal combat, in which a battered nation is captivated as two-person teams battle one another to the death in an ironic but potent allegory of public entertainment and government control gone wrong. A reserved but driven hero manipulates public perception to gain an edge in the games, and could ultimately become something more significant than a survivor.
I’m not thinking of The Hunger Games; I’m thinking of Paul Bartel’s Death Race 2000, released in 1975 and made under producer Roger Corman. Death Race 2000 does a lot of things right, as Corman’s shoestring affairs go. It has the silly, exploitative and satirical angles covered with material to spare. What it doesn’t have, however, is a truly compelling main character. The Hunger Games has that one thing Bartel didn’t: a killer lead performance, in this case from Jennifer Lawrence as the young family provider turned warrior Katniss Everdeen. That’s just about all it’s got.
As satire and allegory, The Hunger Games is a whiff and a miss. But as a portrait of Katniss, it has the benefit of featuring Lawrence in nearly every scene, and the young actress doesn’t squander the movie’s opportunity. I suspect that in twenty years Winter’s Bone will be the movie in which we turn back to see Lawrence play an impressive provider, but The Hunger Games makes a good introduction to the fierce Lawrence, if nothing else. Read More »
When Lionsgate began the task of adapting The Hunger Games for the screen, the odds were never in its favor. The book was too violent, too well-known and too hard to translate because not only was it about kids killing each other, it would also have to create a whole new world.
I’m happy to report that director/co-writer Gary Ross has made the impossible possible. With The Hunger Games he has made a rousing, highly-emotional, and epic film that will be engaging for new audiences and give chills to true fans. It’s hard to imagine someone making a better adaptation of Suzanne Collins‘ popular novel.
Major set pieces all carry the emotional resonance and excitement they deserve. Every single performance pops with life and energy. When changes are made, they’re made to streamline the huge story. Even so, the film never feels slight. If anything, at 2 hours and 22 minutes, it might be too long and a little more subtle than most audiences are used to. It demands us to infer and enjoy the ride. And we oblige. Read More »
Posted on Monday, March 12th, 2012 by Angie Han
Another day, another The Hunger Games clip. Where most of the previous ones have focused on Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) — she is the protagonist, after all — this one puts the spotlight on her fellow competitor Peeta (Josh Hutcherson). In it, he sits down for his public interview with Caesar (Stanley Tucci) and makes a declaration that, true or not, is sure to pique the interest of viewers and potential sponsors. Watch it after the jump.
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Since making the movie from the ring to the big screen, Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson has tried to balance teen to adult-skewing action movies with more family-friendly fare. His latest family outing was Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, in which he essentially took the place of Brendan Fraser, who had starred in the 2008 Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D.
Journey 2 was dinged by critics left and right, but it did well enough, especially internationally, to out-perform the first film. (3D ticket surcharges, which weren’t as high in many markets when the first movie was released in 2008, likely helped.) So New Line is already assembling a third film based (kinda) on the writings of Jules Verne.
Earlier this week director Brad Peyton and screenwriters Brian Gunn and Mark Gunn were signed to make the threequel, and now Dwayne Johnson is in talks to join them. Read More »