Along with remaking all of their animated classics into live-action spectacles, Disney has also been leaning into using photorealistic computer generated animals to lead their stories. From Lady and the Tramp to The Lion King, the animation studio is bringing very convincing digital animals to the screen, for better or worse. Even Call of the Wild, which came to Disney from 20th Century Fox, fit right in with their slate by utilizing computer generated dogs. Now another live-action/CGI hybrid animal adventure is coming to Disney+.
The One and Only Ivan, based on Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book of the same name, follows a 400-pound silverback gorilla who was taken from the wild at a young age and brought into the home of Mack (Bryan Cranston), who raised him lovingly until he was big enough that he needed to be kept in a glass enclosure in the middle of a shopping mall when he’s not being shown off to a paying audience. For Ivan, it’s his normal, everyday life, but when a captured baby elephant named Ruby arrives, he begins to dig into his past and longs to return to his jungle home. Watch the Only and Only Ivan trailer below. Read More »
Director Jon M. Chu has built his career making mostly bright, poppy entertainment like Step Up 3D, Jem and the Holograms, Crazy Rich Asians, and the upcoming In the Heights. But he’s dipping into darker territory in Home Before Dark, a new AppleTV+ drama which hails from creators/showrunners Dana Fox (New Girl) and Dara Resnik (Daredevil).
It’s a mystery series centering on 9-year-old journalist named Hilde Lisko, played by The Florida Project’s Brooklynn Prince, and inspired by a real-life kid journalist. In the show, Hilde’s dad (Jim Sturgess from 21 and Across the Universe) gets fired from his job as a reporter in New York City and moves his family back to his hometown, where something horrible happened when he was a kid. Naturally, Hilde goes looking for the truth – and the small town doesn’t like the fact that she’s digging through their old buried secrets.
I spoke with Jon M. Chu and Dana Fox over the phone about the importance of truth, working with Apple, creating the visual style of the series, and more. Read More »
Brooklynn Prince is a (very) young reporter in Home Before Dark, a new series from Apple TV+. Inspired by the true story of Hilde Lysiak, the youngest member of the Society of Professional Journalists, Home Before Dark kinds Prince’s kid reporter character trying to solve a cold case that haunts the small town her father grew up in. Watch the Home Before Dark trailer below.
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(Welcome to The Streamer’s Guide, a new monthly feature recommending at-home viewing options from filmmakers with new movies arriving in theaters this month.)
You may recognize this column name from its appearances surrounding the Sundance, Toronto and New York film festivals over the last two years. Festivals provide an important opportunity to assess filmmakers releasing new works and contextualizing them within their previous projects. They’re often useful for cinephiles and writers looking for growth or an auteurist stamp.
But … why limit it to just festivals? Each month offers a fresh crop of new releases, many of which are culminations or further explorations of elements from those creative teams’ prior work. So we’ve now expanded this feature to encompass each month’s new releases, and believe it or not, there are even things to look at in the barren terrain of January – Hollywood’s traditional graveyard for ominous-looking releases.
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Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw is going to be all the rage next year. Not only is Mike Flanagan using the book as inspiration for the second season of The Haunting of Hill House, but there’s a new movie based on the book as well. The movie is The Turning, and it stars Mackenzie Davis as a nanny who ends up at a potentially haunted house. Stranger Things‘ Finn Wolfhard and The Florida Project‘s Brooklynn Prince play the kids in Davis’ charge. Watch The Turning trailer below.
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Disney has decided to take a break from remaking their classic animated films and try something new: an adaptation of Katherine Applegate‘s children’s book The One and Only Ivan. The live-action/CG hybrid will feature one heck of a cast that includes Danny DeVito, Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston, Angelina Jolie, and Sam Rockwell. More on The One and Only Ivan movie below.
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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 special edition, find out why The Florida Project should have been nominated for Best Picture this year and was unjustly snubbed. On the lighter side, check out an interview with the cast of the film, and watch an extensive screenwriting lecture with writer and director Sean Baker. Read More »
At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, I sat in the library theater for the premiere of an ultra low budget film titled Tangerine. Filmmaker Sean Baker‘s Duplass Brothers-produced dramedy told the story of a transgender working girl searching Hollywood on Christmas Eve for the pimp who broke her heart. The film surprised the crowd with its heart and comedy, but the big shock came after the screening when the director revealed that the whole film was shot on an iPhone 5s.
The film has been namedropped by big filmmakers like JJ Abrams, and a lot of people have been interested to find out what Baker would be doing next. In April it was revealed that Baker had found his next movie, a film called The Florida Project. The title actually refers to Orlando Florida’s Disney World. Disney fanatics probably know that when Walt Disney first started buying up land and planning Disney World, the theme park plans was referred to it as “The Florida Project.”
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