Best Movie Moms

Mothers are incredible creatures, that’s a given. From your own to those of a fictional existence, all of the moms of the world each play a critical role in the story of our lives, or in the tales of our favorite pieces of media. They inspire the hero, teach them the fundamental building blocks of life, and energize them to continue on their own personal journeys – all the while being their own special brand of magical, smart individuals (or being terrifying villains of the horror sort, but that’s for another list.)

So with a certain mother themed holiday having just passed, along with the momma-positive flicks Life of the Party and Breaking In now in theaters, it is definitely time to celebrate some of the best moms in cinematic history. There will be some obvious choices for sure, but there are also some underrated ladies that need their moment to shine. Whether you would put them on your own list, or choose a different movie mom to recognize, there is no denying the importance these women have within their stories, and for the legacy of moms on film as a whole. So grab your bouquet of flowers – its time to pay the 10 best movie moms some respect! Read More »

12 Essential Stop-Motion Animated Movies

stop-motion animated movies

(Welcome to Let’s Get Animated!, a column that spotlights the best of film animation. In this edition: here are the most essential stop-motion animated movies.)

Stop-motion animation is largely seen as a quaint relic. An animation style that has roots in the earliest days of cinema — the first reported film to use stop-motion animation was Vitagraph’s lost 1897 film Humpty Dumpty Circus. Stop-motion would remain at the cutting edge of movie-making, central to special effects used in live-action movies like Star Wars, and winning mainstream popularity at the height of the animation renaissance in the ‘90s.

Stop-motion animation is the manipulation of any physical object — ranging from paper cutouts, puppets, Lego bricks, and yes, clay. It’s one of the most tedious formats you can imagine, requiring hours to set up a simple one-minute shot. But despite the domination of CG animation in the past decade, stop-motion is here to stay. Just look to this year’s Berlinale darling, Isle of the Dogs, and the latest Aardman film Early Man.

Here are the most essential stop-motion animated movies.

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haunted mansion animated series

There probably aren’t a lot of people clamoring for a Haunted Mansion reboot, but once you see this brief animated teaser, you might start to think differently.

The forgettable 2003 comedy-horror movie starring Eddie Murphy — itself an adaptation of the Disney parks attraction — was probably better left to collect dust in the Disney archives, but in the hands of Kubo and the Two Strings character designer and story writer Shannon Tindle, a Haunted Mansion animated series opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The animator released a brief teaser for his proposal of a Disney animated series, as well as some art that he developed for the project. Alas, the series was never picked up by Disney, but it does make me wonder what could have been.

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Thor Ragnarok Mondo Print

Today is Thanksgiving, when families all round the country gather to stuff their faces with delicious food and argue about politics. Then we follow that up with Black Friday, when we forget about all the things were were thankful for so we can run through the aisles of various retails outlets for discounted electronics, appliances and more. But if you’re not the kind of person to brave the massive crowds out in the real world, there’s plenty of good stuff for you to snag online as well.

The awesome folks at Mondo have a handful of great Black Friday deals which include new prints for Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Thor: Ragnarok, Ex Machina and the films of LAIKA, not to mention a deluxe edition of The Art of Mondo book. Check out all of the Mondo Black Friday deals below. Read More »

the laika experience

Comic-Con doesn’t officially kick off until tomorrow (although it unofficially kicks off tonight with all kinds of previews and off-site presentations), but everyone in San Diego can already get a little taste of some cinematic magic. LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio behind films like Coraline, ParaNorman, The Boxtrolls, and Kubo and the Two Strings has set up shop in the Gaslamp District, offering a walkthrough mini-museum showing off puppets and sets from their movies.

And while you don’t have to be a Comic-Con badge holder to check out The LAIKA Experience, not everyone can be in San Diego. But we’ve got you covered. We checked it out and we returned with photos. Lots and lots of photos.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Laika Experience at Comic-Con

In less than two weeks, over 130,000 fans will descend upon southern California for the annual San Diego Comic-Con, the biggest pop culture convention in the world. The/Film crew will be there to bring you the big updates from all the panels and events happening on site, and one of the events we’ll be attending doesn’t even require the coveted Comic-Con badge. In fact, it’s free, and anyone in the San Diego area can check it out.

The stop-motion animation studio LAIKA has announced a pop-up event in the Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego where they will showcase props, puppets, monsters, and sets from Kubo and the Two Strings, The Boxtrolls, ParaNorman and Coraline, as well as fan art, interactive experiences, giveaways and a shop for picking up some sweet merchandise. Find out below what you can see at The LAIKA Experience at Comic-Con later this month. Read More »

Gremlins

Now that the weather is getting nicer, you might not want to sit at home on the couch to watch stuff on Netflix, but the streaming service is going to do their best to keep you there with their new line-up of shows and movies getting added to their library in April.

As usual, there are a bunch of Netflix originals, including some movies that debuted at the SXSW Film Festival, new episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000, a new comedy special from Louis C.K., a new season of The Get Down and more. But there are also plenty of licensed titles ranging from a Disney sports classic to a Best Picture winner.

Get our personal recommendations and the full list of TV shows and movies coming to Netflix in April 2017 below.

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silence andrew garfield

The nominees for the 89th Annual Academy Awards were announced this morning and, as usual, there were plenty of moments that made you want to shout “Come on!” And to be fair, there were also plenty of moments where you smirked and announced to the empty room “Well, at least they got that one right.”

The paint isn’t even dry on these new Oscar nominations, but it’s time to dive in and start picking them apart. So let’s start with the knee-jerk reactions. Let’s take a look at the biggest surprises and snubs of the 2017 Oscar nominations.

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2017 pga nominations

One of the big surprises of this awards season so far has been Deadpool‘s emergence as the scrappy little superhero movie that could. While its Golden Globe nomination wasn’t entirely unexpected, its Writers Guild nomination raised a few eyebrows. And now the Merc’s managed to wrangle himself a Producers Guild nomination as well.

Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the PGA nominations, which also went to favorites like La La Land and Moonlight. See the full list of 2017 PGA nominations below.  Read More »

top 10 movies of 2016 la la land

Let’s get one thing straight: 2016 was a great year for movies.

It certainly didn’t feel that way in the doldrums of the June and July, when audiences found themselves staring down the barrel of the worst summer movie season in years. But while the larger movies fell on their faces, the smaller movies flourished, proving that the only people who think cinema is dead are people who only see movies with numbers and colons in their titles. To carve out my top 10 of 2016, I had to work down from a list of 33 contenders and to be quite frank, I feel like a garbage human for leaving certain movies off this list. But here we are. Liking too many great movies is an excellent problem to have in the grand scheme of things.

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