/Filmcast Ep. 214 – Gangster Squad

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Dave, Adam, and Devindra discuss this year’s Oscar nominations, and explain why you should watch LA Confidential instead of Gangster Squad.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.
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Ranking the Best & Worst Pixar Movies

How is it that a movie studio that produces kid’s films can be responsible for so many of the best films in cinema?

Twenty years ago, that question would be directed at Disney. Now it’s more likely to refer to Pixar, Studio Ghibli, or even Dreamworks of late. What is it about children’s entertainment that has, time and time again, managed to capture the hearts and minds of adults as much as it has their offspring?

Perhaps it’s a result of these films rekindling our lost sense of childlike wonder and naively adventurous spirit. Perhaps it’s their universally accessible narrative simplicity, always ready to charm away our worries with the awe-inspiring visual splendor through which these tales are so often told.

Whatever the case may be, with thirteen films under their belt, the Pixar formula is one that’s proven itself to leave a lasting impression, transporting us to spectacular, gorgeously rendered and thoughtfully defined worlds — second only to the passionately heartfelt and funny stories of family and friendship embedded within.

What’s more, Pixar is able to achieve this mixture while emboldening children to think for themselves; to challenge the status quo; to recognize their true potential, as well as their limitations. As fun and charming and pretty as Pixar’s films are, it’s the complex ideas and emotions they explore that makes them truly special, affording youths the opportunity to confront the realities of the world around them in a way they can understand and cope with. While everyone else is content to pander to kids, Pixar knows that the best way to communicate with children is to treat them as equals.

But equality is not a trait shared by the current roster of Pixar films. Despite the technical virtuosity on full display with every production, it takes a lot more than stunning animation to make a film great, and that’s not a balance that Pixar always strikes — at least not recently. At one point it may have seemed like the studio could do no wrong, but that was a short-lived romantic notion, and hardly one that merits much deliberation. No, far more instructive would be to scrutinize their missteps in conjunction with their successes, and try to determine what exactly it is that makes any one of their works richer than the other. After all, what better way to understand what makes a story great than to study the best? Read More »

It may be a while before we see the triumphant return of Bob and Helen Parr and their superpowered brood, but if Joss Whedon is to be believed, a rematch between Dr. Horrible and Captain Hammer may not be so far off. After the jump:

  • Joss Whedon will get started on Dr. Horrible 2 this summer
  • Catching Fire (a.k.a. Hunger Games 2) won’t be in 3D
  • Hey look, it’s another new Riddick image
  • Brad Bird might maybe do an Incredibles 2 someday, eventually
  • Madagascar 3 will debut at Cannes

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There’s a lot of early talk about sequels going around this week, as the directors of current movies promote their new releases. After the break, we’ve got quotes on the following:

  • Mark Neveldine says Crank 3 will happen,
  • Rupert Wyatt talks about a Planet of the Apes sequel,
  • Brad Bird has a couple more comments about The Incredibles 2,
  • Guy Ritchie talks up a possible RocknRolla sequel,
  • And Robert Downey Jr. and producer Joel Silver address a possible Sherlock Holmes 3.

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The Incredibles is a great movie. It might be the best superhero movie, and it is certainly one of the best Pixar efforts. With Pixar making sequels more often now than in the past, naturally questions arise about a follow-up to Brad Bird‘s story of a super-powered family. But we’ve never heard anything that suggests a sequel is likely to happen.

Brad Bird is starting to promote Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, his first live-action movie. While talking about that movie last week, he was asked about a possible Incredibles sequel, and his answer was simple. Pretty much the answer I think anyone would hope he’d give: he’s open to doing one, but only if the story is great. Read More »

Going to big conventions is a lot of fun until a few days later and you hear what you missed. Recently, this happened at Comic Con when I heard what happened at the Lost panel. Speaking of Lost, that show’s composer, Michael Giacchino, apparently had an amazing panel at the D23 Expo. Which we missed. Giacchino’s panel, The Music of Pixar, unfortunately ran up against Disney’s epic movie panel but, thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can now all watch the Oscar-winning composer talk about his inspiration, and music for, the Pixar films The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Up and Cars 2. We’ve got the full panel embedded after the jump. Read More »

VOTD: ‘[the films of] Pixar Animation Studios’

For the past seven months, Kees van Dijkhuizen‘s been releasing tribute videos for his yearlong “[the films of]” project, each showcasing the work of a different director via a montage, and we at /Film have been with him since the beginning. For his newest installment, however, van Dijkhuizen chose to go a slightly different route: Rather than select one auteur to focus on, he’s chosen an entire company. Watch “[the films of] Pixar Animation Studios” after the jump.

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‘Cars 2′ Easter Eggs

Update: this post was originally published on July 1st, but was quickly taken down for corrections at the request of Pixar.

Disney has released a list of Easter eggs and fun facts from Pixar’s Cars 2. Did you see the reference to The Incredibles in Radiator Springs? Did you miss the “car-ified” version of one of the characters from Pixar’s 2012 film Brave? Check out the list after the jump.

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