Many who watched the trailer for Joseph Kosinski‘s upcoming sci-fi film Oblivion might have had the same lingering question. “Haven’t we seen this movie before?” The aesthetic is certainly similar, but many sci-fi films are. It’s the story that rings a bell. A lone wolf, cleaning up a desolate Earth after the planet was destroyed. Hmm. Wait a minute, it’s the same thing as Wall-E!

Andrew Stanton’s Oscar-winning 2008 Pixar film seems to share a very similar DNA with the upcoming Tom Cruise action film, and YouTube user Giant Mimosas took the visuals from the former and audio of the latter creating an eerily perfect mash-up that’s both funny and clever. Check it out below. Read More »

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VOTD: Pixar Fan Builds Real Life WALL-E Robot

Going by Pixar’s timeline, we’ve got about 800 years until WALL-E is a reality. Thanks to California resident Mike Senna, we’re a tad ahead of schedule. Senna spent the last two years building a life size, working WALL-E that has to be seen to be believed. Since actual materials, decals and parts from WALL-E don’t exist, he was forced to build the entire thing from scratch and the results would likely make everyone from John Lasseter to Andrew Stanton proud. Check out the video and more after the jump. Read More »

Pixar films ranked

The release of Inside Out is an invitation to revisit all the films from Pixar, going back to the studio’s 1995 debut Toy Story. That movie changed the landscape of feature animation with stunning immediacy; after Pixar hit the scene nothing was the same. The twenty years since have given us a total of fifteen animated films from the studio, and we can’t resist the urge to do a little comparison between them. Read our own Pixar ranking, below.
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Brave Logo Art

This weekend saw the release of Pixar’s latest film, Brave, a movie that easily won the weekend, garnering an overall “A” CinemaScore from appreciative audiences. Still, at only 74 percent on RottenTomatoes (Pixar’s second worst), and a 7 out of 10 from Germain Lussier, it is clear there is a bit of room for dissent.

Out there in audience-land, did you notice something a little “off” about Brave? Perhaps there are lessons that can be learned, or conversations to engage in?

To provide some context, and on the off chance we have completely different taste, here are my top five Pixar efforts:

1. WALL-E
2. Up
3. Toy Story
4. Finding Nemo
5. Monsters, Inc.

Until now, the only Pixar film I flat out didn’t enjoy was Ratatouille, though I admit to only having seen it once, and folks say I’d like it much more if I were to re-visit. Even Cars 2 had redeeming qualities. I can truly say I’ve never found a Pixar film entirely lacking, and that statement includes Brave. There’s no question the film had amazing visuals, setting a new standard for excellence within the animation genre. Unfortunately, the story lacked a bit of … what’s the word I’m looking for? Ooomph. As such, I’m compelled to break down where I feel the problems were, if only to restore everyone’s favorite animation house to the glory they so richly deserve.

One final note, just to head off the obligatory “comparing Brave to the rest of Pixar’s work isn’t entirely fair” argument, we’re in complete agreement there. It’s not fair, and in many ways Pixar’s own ambition and commitment to excellence have raised the bar for all movies. So no, Brave isn’t a bad movie on merit, it’s merely an average one, which animation houses make all the time without compelling anyone to write a 3,000 word article on the subject. But within the greater context of Pixar’s previous work, Brave does come up short, and I think we’ve got a bead on the reasons why.

Note: Massive SPOILERS follow, naturally.

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In the Summer of 1994, while deep in production on their first feature film Toy Story, the key Pixar creatives (including John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter and Joe Ranft) had a now famous lunch in a diner called Hidden City Cafe in Point Richmond. During this lunch meeting they ended up brainstorming the ideas that eventually became the films A Bug’s Life, Monsters Inc, Finding Nemo and WALL-E. The story has become mythical, a part of film animation legend and a cornerstone moment in Pixar’s history. It was even featured in the teaser trailer for Andrew Stanton‘s WALL-E.

Sadly, the cafe has closed its doors after over 20 years of service, with unconfirmed reports that it was shut down for rats (Ratatouille anyone?).
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Everyone loves M-O. The adorable, tiny, cleaning robot (or Microbe-Obliterato) on the Buy N Large Axiom in Andrew Stanton‘s Oscar-winning film WALL-E was a breakout character for his determination, charm and of course that voice. “Mo.” While the film was in production, Stanton’s team had a real life statue of the character and one day, on a whim, took him to Sears to get a bunch of family portraits taken. That was years ago and, since then, the photos have remained safely on Andrew Stanton’s iPhone. Nowhere else.

Then at last weekend’s Hero Complex Film Festival (read the full recap here) Stanton told the above story and said he’d send out the images for the world to see. He has and they’re awesome, as you can see above. If you’re a Pixar fan, this gallery is insane. Check it out below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Featuring a line up that included Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, RoboCop, A Clockwork Orange, Super, Wall-E and Serenity, the 3rd annual Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Film Festival was held this past weekend. Each film was accompanied by one or two prominent guests who all gave fascinating behind the scenes facts about their films as well as info on some upcoming projects.

It was a great weekend to be a fan of movies in Los Angeles and, after the jump, you can read dozens and dozens of behind the scenes facts from all those movies as well as Zack Snyder‘s update on Man of Steel, Simon Pegg talking The World’s End and Star Trek 2, Peter Weller‘s feelings on a RoboCop remake, Malcom McDowell‘s thoughts on The Avengers, James Gunn‘s thoughs on the similarites between Super, Kick Ass and God Bless America, Andrew Stanton‘s statement on possible Pixar sequels and Nathan Fillion‘s casting choices for UnchartedRead More »

Even as we dive into the heart of the summer movie season, some of the most promising imminent releases could be titles that aren’t new at all. Pixar is re-releasing four of its recent hits — Toy Story 3, Ratatouille, Up, and Wall-E — into AMC theaters for four days over Memorial Day weekend, from May 25 through May 28. The films will be be up against the horror Chernobyl Diaries and the sci-fi sequel Men in Black 3. Yeah, given those options, I may just opt to revisit one of the Pixar classics too.

Especially since tickets will be going for as low as $6 each. Considering that regular screenings generally cost twice that in my area, that’s quite the bargain. Further sweetening the deal, each screening will also include a classic Pixar short and a behind-the-scenes sneak peek at Pixar’s next project, Brave. Head to the AMC website for more info on locations, pricing, and showtimes.

And speaking of Brave, hit the jump for details on its world premiere, which will coincide with the debut of Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

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The third annual Hero Complex Film Festival, presented by the Los Angeles Times, is as star studded as ever. Taking place from May 18-21 at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE Stadium 14, this year’s line up goes from zombies, to cult classics, animation and superheroes. It all begins with Zack Snyder and Robert Kirkman presenting Dawn of the Dead followed by Edgar Wright and Shaun of the Dead. Saturday starts with a digitally remastered version of RoboCop with Peter Weller, A Clockwork Orange with a Malcolm McDowell Q&A and finally the hugely underrated Super with star Rainn Wilson. Then on Sunday, Andrew Stanton will present the Oscar-winning WALL-E, Nathan Fillion will present Serenity and finally there will be ‘An Evening With Stan Lee,’ which will feature a screening that is yet to be announced.

After the jump, find out how you can get tickets and more. Read More »