Stop-motion animation is perhaps the most difficult in the entire animation field. Animators have to move their characters and sets by a single frame at a time to film 24 frames in a second. And if you’ve seen movies from Laika such as Coraline and ParaNorman, then you know that they don’t hold back when it comes to intricate and meticulously crafted production pieces.
Now a new video reel from Laika celebrates 10 years of stop-motion magnificence, running through clips and behind the scenes footage from their films Coraline, ParaNorman and most recently The Boxtrolls. Plus, there’s some new footage from their forthcoming adventure Kubo and the Two Strings. Watch! Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 by Angie Han
Laika has a knack for creating worlds we’d want to live in: beautifully hand-crafted, gorgeously detailed, and a tad off-kilter. And while it’s unlikely we’ll ever actually get to visit Cheesebridge or Blithe Hollow or Other World (since they’re, y’know, fictional) we’ll now have the opportunity to take a bit of those worlds home with us.
The animation studio has just announced an auction — the first in the company’s history — with over 250 puppets, props, models, and art pieces up for grabs. But if you haven’t got the money to buy your own Other Mother from Coraline or Mecha-Drill from Boxtrolls, fear not. Select items will go on a brief exhibition tour before they go up for sale. More details on the Laika auction, including photos and descriptions of some key offerings, after the jump. Read More »
The Fine Brothers love to spoil everything, In past years, we’ve featured their popular videos 100 Movie Spoilers in 4 minutes and Spoiling Every Best Picture Winner in Oscar History. After seeing all of the big movies of 2009, the brothers are back once again. Their latest video spoils 50 movies released last year (including all ten best picture nominees) in one take, in under 4 minutes. Watch the video now, after the jump.
And if it isn’t completely obvious already, please be warned that the following video contains spoilers.
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I usually loathe Top lists.
As the adage says, if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. I have been starting to get highway hypnosis with the sameness of a lot of these Best Of lists for films in 2009, so I was emboldened when asked to come up with a Top 10 Trailers list for 2009 as I haven’t seen a lot of people devoting time to stacking which of them they thought performed their duty exceptionally well.
When I cobbled this list together I essentially, and unscientifically, used some of the same criteria that I use every week for my This Week In Trailers column. I wanted to include a wide swath of various genres (foreign, kids, drama, comedy, action) to show representative samples of what can be done within those arenas; thus, a few solid trailers just couldn’t make the cut.
Because these trailers are usually entry points for the films listed below, some of the challenge of this exercise is trying to “unexperience” watching the eventual film and judge these things based on why they moved me to begin with. It was tough separating what I know now versus what I knew then but, as you will see as my #3 choice, they don’t always have to result in great films. Trailers are always trying to separate you with your money or trying to make the best case why they deserve to be experienced so I hope you enjoy the ones I selected below and leave a comment or two for any trailers you think deserve a special mention.
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The American Film Institute have announced the official selections for the 2009 AFI Awards, nominations which include the “10 Most Outstanding Motion Pictures and TV Programs of the Year”. You can find out the top tv in both tv and movies after the jump, included in the official press release.
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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.
Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the films at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.
(Available as single-disc Theatrical Cut and 2-Disc Director’s Cut)
For the longest time the Watchmen graphic novel was said to be “unfilmable”. Obviously, that’s a nonsensical notion. If we’ve learned anything from the Super Mario Bros. movie, it’s that any property can be adapted into a film, regardless of story (or lack thereof). The real question is whether or not it can be done well. And in the case of Watchmen, director Zack Synder found himself in a lose-lose situation. The problem with adapting any comic or novel for the big screen is that, more often than not, what worked in its original medium just doesn’t translate that well to film. Thus, the only solution is to make concessions by changing various aspects of the source material. In many instances, this process has yielded positive results (V for Vendetta, the latest Harry Potter films), regardless of what the frothing hostility of certain fanboys might suggest. Watchmen though, would only suffer from these types of changes. To significantly alter the source material would be to defeat the purpose of adapting it at all. Zack Snyder was clearly aware of this, and decided (with one notable exception) to remain as faithful to Alan Moore‘s classic graphic novel as possible. While I strongly believe Snyder made the right choice, there’s no denying that the resulting film suffers from all the expected flaws that come with going down this route. The pacing is all over the place, certain twists and turns don’t carry the same weight as they do in the graphic novel, and uninitiated viewers may find themselves at a total loss as to what in the hell they’re watching. Simply put: As a movie meant to stand on its own, Watchmen is a failure. It succeeds, however, as a fascinating experiment and companion piece for those who have already read and loved the graphic novel. Likely not what the studio was hoping for, admittedly, but for people like me, it’s just about the best Watchmen film we could’ve asked for… even if, frankly, it probably shouldn’t have been made in the first place.
Notable Extras: DVD – Single-disc includes the theatrical cut of the film. 2-Disc includes the director’s cut with 25 minutes of additional footage, a “The Phenomenon: The Comic that Changed Comics” featurette, 30 minutes of Video Journals, a My Chemical Romance Desolation Row music video, and a digital copy of the theatrical version. Blu-ray – Includes all of the 2-Disc DVD extras, along with 2 additional featurettes (“Real Super Heroes, Real Vigilantes”, “Mechanics: Technologies of a Fantastic World”), 30 minutes of Watchmen Focus Points, and a Warner Bros. Maximum Movie Mode.
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Editor’s Note: After Turner Classic Movies released their list of the 15 Most Influential Classic Movies, some people were complaining that no films were included from the last 32 years. I joked on Twitter that I would like to see a list of the ten most influential films of the last ten years, and Brendon jumped at the opportunity to create such a list. The idea is to predict what ten films from this decade would be looked at as influential in 20 years. The task is ridiculous, because its hard to predict the long term effects of the films that were released in the last decade (especially ones released in the last couple years), but Brendon did a pretty good job. It should be noted that Brendon’s list is more skewed towards advances in filmmaking and storytelling which influenced and changed the future of cinema, rather than movies that influenced the culture.
Are these the ten most influential films of the last ten years? I think they might just be. Disappointingly, I really don’t like four of them. I’ve also cheated and only included English language films.
The full list will come after the break, and then after that will come the comments section for your contributions.
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In this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley share reflections from New York Comic-Con, evaluate the merits of Andrew Niccol’s directorial/writing career, and contemplate a future full of board-game-to-movie adaptations. Special guest Steve Weintraub (AKA Frosty) from Collider joins us this evening.
Tune in next Monday night to Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Tom Tykwer’s The International.
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Today’s the day that the lucky people of America get Henry Selick’s Coraline in their cinemas, in both 2D and 3D flavours. Tomorrow is the day we all get to know how well it is doing.
And that’s a big question, even bigger than usual, because not only is Coraline the very first feature film from Laika productions, the entire studio has been placed into… erm… suspended animation while their financial situation is assessed. In December, pre-production was underway on their likely second film – the naffly named bluebird odyssey Jack and Ben’s Animated Adventure – and ten others were in various stages of development (Here Be Monsters and The Wall and the Wing being previously announced), but unfortunately, most of the workforce were laid off and all formal development slowed to snailish pace.
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Editor’s Note: This is the debut post by Kevin Kelly, who will be offering his expertise in geekdom in a new /Film daily blog feature called GeekBomb. Welcome Kevin to /Film!
Neil Gaiman’s Coraline opens this weekend, and it’s directed by Henry Selick, one of the few modern masters of stop-motion animation. Although he was trained as a traditional animator, he really came to fame with stop-motion, having directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, James and the Giant Peach, and Monkeybone. In the day and age of everything being whipped up in CGI, it’s really a testament to see people work in a medium that requires hours of tedious work on films that can take an extremely long time to produce. Which is why the Sundance opening night film Mary & Max was such a treat.
Whenever someone mentions stop-motion, most people tend to think of one of the above movies, or the equally excellent Chicken Run or Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, both co-directed by the amazing Nick Park. And just to be clear, I’m not calling Monkeybone excellent… but the stop-motion moments are pretty damned awesome. You just have to love a naughty monkey sometimes. Even though most of those films are fairly recent, stop-motion animation has been around in one form or another for more than one hundred years. Click through for the highlights and milestones of this under appreciated art form.
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