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Motherless Brooklyn review

Edward Norton’s adaptation of Jonathan Lethem‘s novel took over twenty years to bring to the screen. But while delays like this are traditionally to a film’s detriment, it actually works in favor of Motherless Brooklyn. The distance allowed by this time in development leads to a movie that is likely significantly more mature and thematically rich than what Norton would have made in 1999. Read More »

ralph mcquarrie star wars the rise of skwalker

Concept artist Ralph McQuarrie helped craft the vision for the original Star Wars trilogy with his stunning concept paintings and early sketches. And long after the legendary concept artist’s passing in 2012, McQuarrie continues to influence the look of that galaxy far, far away even today. The Lucasfilm creative team had incorporated parts of McQuarrie’s original unused concept art in films like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the prequel film Solo: A Star Wars Story, and they again return to McQuarrie’s vision for inspiration with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

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Fantasia 2000 Revisited

(Revisiting the Renaissance is a bi-weekly series in which Josh Spiegel looks back at the history and making of the 13 films of the Disney Renaissance, released between 1986 and 1999. In today’s final column, he discusses the 1999 film Fantasia 2000.)

Ambition is the great historical throughline of the Walt Disney Animation Studios. The notion of making a feature-length animated film was, in the early 1930s, seen as folly by many critics. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, of course, proved that notion wrong. A few years later, though, the notion of making a feature-length animated film comprised of short films scored to various pieces of classical music was seen as a much larger folly. Many of the films Disney released during Walt Disney’s lifetime — many more than people today may realize — were seen as, at best, ambitious failures upon their initial release.

One of those ambitious failures, one of the few that deserves the categorization, was The Black Cauldron. It was the ignominious end of a dark era of Disney animation, but an ambitious film nonetheless. The Black Cauldron was an expensive attempt to marry classic animation with a more male-driven story aimed at teenagers, flopping painfully at the box office. The Disney Renaissance followed, with films that largely married ambition and success. But all good things come to an end, and so this era did with another ambitious, expensive film that has slowly gained appreciation over time. 

How fitting it is that the Renaissance concluded with Fantasia 2000.

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star wars the rise of skywalker ticket pre-sales

The newest Star Wars movie doesn’t need lightspeed to shatter the sound barrier — or in this case, the Atom Tickets pre-sales record. Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker ticket pre-sales went live on Monday night, and within the first hour, Episode 9 had already set a new record for ticket pre-sales.

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Jojo Rabbit Book

Adaptation, by its very nature, is transformative. A screenwriter must necessarily make changes to another form of written work in order for that work to function in the medium of film. Fans of the original work will often judge the value of the adaptation by fidelity to the source material, judging a film by how much it adheres to the story beats, tone, and even specific dialogue that they remember and appreciate from the work they grew to love in the first place. But sometimes the adaptational process subjects the original work to such transformative pressures that it’s barely recognizable.

Take, for instance, Taika Waititi’s Jojo Rabbit. Ostensibly, Waititi adapted the screenplay from a novel by Christine Leunens titled Caging Skies, but if you’re familiar with the kinds of films Waititi makes, Caging Skies seems like an exceedingly odd choice to inspire this particular filmmaker. Most notably, Caging Skies is a very, very bleak story. It is so bleak, in fact, that even though the book jacket for the recent U.S. printing describes the story as “darkly comic,” that darkness is so stifling that I struggle to understand why anyone would think it’s remotely funny. And yet, when you look at Jojo Rabbit, the bones of this story are still there, even if radically altered to serve different ends.

This post contains spoilers for Jojo Rabbit.

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VOTD: How ‘It Chapter 2’ Should Have Ended

How It Chapter 2 Should Have Ended

The easy answer to how IT Chapter 2 should have ended is probably about 45 minutes earlier than the nearly three-hour theatrical runtime. But that’s a conversation for another time.

We all know that the second part of Andy Muschietti‘s adaptation of Stephen King’s thick horror novel IT resulted in a somewhat happy ending for The Losers’ Club. What this particular version of How It Should Have Ended presupposes is, maybe it didn’t have to go down that way at all? After all, there’s a secret weapon right in front of them.

Find out How It Chapter 2 Should Have Ended below. Read More »

Disenchantment Easter Eggs

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, check out some Easter eggs and references you might have missed in the first season of Disenchantment on Netflix. Plus, visual effects artists take a look at the work done on movies like Gemini Man, the robot from I Am Mother, and other movies, and Kevin Smith breaks down some theories and questions that fans have had about Jay and Silent Bob. Read More »

the rise of skywalker trailer new

It’s been a long time coming, but the end of the Skywalker Saga is almost here. That’s not to say there will be no more Star Wars projects – Disney is already cooking up a bunch for their streaming service Disney+, and there are movies involving David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and Rian Johnson still in the mix. But this December, the long journey that began back in 1977 will come to a close. And the final Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer is here to give us another look at what director J.J. Abrams has in store.

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Hellboy Winter Special

Want to make Deadpool chimichangas? Could Stargirl move from DC Universe to The CW? What did James Gunn say about Francis Ford Coppola‘s recent Marvel movie remarks? Are you ready for a Hellboy Winter Special comic? Why the hell is there a rap anthem asking for Zack Snyder‘s cut of Justice League? What did David Ayer say about the recent story about Jared Leto being cut from Suicide Squad? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

gemini man box office failure

Perhaps the world just wasn’t ready for two Will Smiths in the same movie. Ang Lee‘s Gemini Man, an action spectacle in which Smith has to fight a younger clone of himself, did paltry box office in America, but there was a hope that its weekend release in China could turn things around. But that didn’t happen. The end result is a box office bomb, with Gemini Man suffering a loss of at least $75 million. Ouch.

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