Looking back on 2013, it’s hard to spot one overriding trend other than “great.” Like any other year, the superhero movies, sequels, adaptations and remakes were present, but most of them were disposable and forgettable. The greatness in 2013, not surprisingly, was from the original and unexpected movies. Films born out of the mind of talented, creative people which were executed to delightful and sometimes heartbreaking perfection. Those unique wonders of cinema make up the majority of my top films of the year, but don’t fret. There are some adaptations and sequels on there too. It’s a list that hopefully represents 2013 as one of the best in recent memory.
Over the course of the year, I saw almost 150 films that had theatrical releases. Below you can read about my ten favorites. Read More »
Posted on Monday, December 23rd, 2013 by Angie Han
If you’re both 1) desperate for some distraction from the holiday hubbub and 2) eager to get a leg up on the rest of your office for the annual Oscar pool, here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone.
Over thirty screenplays for some of 2013’s top films have just been made available, legally and for free, through the studios. Highlights include John Ridley‘s 12 Years a Slave, Richard Linklater, Ethan Hawke, and Julie Delpy‘s Before Midnight, Terence Winter‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, and many more.
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Award season is ready to get into full swing, and one of the early stages of the runup to the Academy Awards is the submission of Best Animated Feature options.
This year there are nineteen submitted features, including big studio fare (Cloudy 2, The Croods, Despicable Me 2, Monsters University), one from Studio Ghibli (The Wind Rises), a European effort we’ve covered a good bit (Ernest and Celestine) and a good few films that US audiences haven’t had much chance to see yet. One pleasant side effect of the animated Oscar list is that it draws attention to films that are new to many viewers.
That said, of the studio fare there are only a couple of compelling submissions, and enough of the rest are going to be new enough to Oscar voters that this might not be much of a race. The 86th Annual Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16, 2014, and we’ll be curious to see how many films actually make the nomination cut. The awards will be held on March 2, 2014.
Read the submission list below.
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One of the things Pixar is legendary for is the company’s story meeting. Each is a gathering of creative minds (John Lasseter, Andrew Stanton, Pete Docter, Lee Unkrich and Brad Bird are frequent attendees) at which they go over the scripts for upcoming movies and riff on concepts. Ideas are thrown out, discussed, and evolved. It’s this collaborative process that helps Pixar make such timeless movies.
Unfortunately, the normal fan is never allowed into these meetings. Instead, we have to settle for a minute long tease of one where director Dan Scanlon and others discuss Monsters University. It’s still pretty great and you can see it below. Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, October 15th, 2013 by Angie Han
The completed Monsters University hit theaters this summer, but now director Dan Scanlon is back to earn some extra credit with two new deleted scenes. The clips were released as promotion for the film’s home video release, which will hit in time for Halloween.
The first offers a better look at the Monsters University campus and curriculum, including a lesson on gathering information about kid targets. The second shows Mike (voiced by Billy Crystal) and Sulley (voiced by John Goodman) butting heads yet again, this time in the context of a drama course. Hit the jump to check them out.
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The tweet above, which you can also see here, has all the real info: today at D23 Pixar and Disney debuted a new short called Party Central. The short features characters from Monsters University, and will debut in theaters in front of Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur next year. Response to the short was very positive from audiences at the Expo, and we’ll update with stills if and when Disney releases any.
The short is directed by Kelsey Mann, story supervisor on Monsters University. The short shows what happens when no one shows up to OK’s party. They solve this problem by using door stations to steal from the bigger party of the year, which is also going on at another frat. They must steal the food, the music, the monsters and the fun, but must do so by going through another human house and in through another closet door.
For all the hate, garbage and stupidity the Internet brings us on a daily basis, every once in a while it provides a global platform for something awesome. In this case, Jon Negroni‘s Pixar Theory. Negroni wrote a post that has been circulating since last week which goes through every single Pixar movie since Toy Story and surmises they’re all set in the same universe.
So, for example, the theory states Brave sets a precedent for why animals can interact with humans, which explains a lot of Ratatouille, which maybe inspired the characters in Up to invent tech to communicate with their animals, which possibly inspired the beginnings of Buy-N-Large from Wall-E, and so on and so on. It’s obviously much more detailed than that and I totally don’t believe it’s “real,” from Pixar’s perspective, but it’s a fun read that does make some sense.
Below, we’ll link to the original post and even show you a video that details it. Read More »
Pixar Animation Studios has created a monster and it’s not named either Mike or Sulley. It’s called “expectations.” After pretty much a decade of flawless excellence, the creators of Toy Story, Cars, Finding Nemo, Up, The Incredibles and so much more hit a bit of a critical rough patch. 2010’s Toy Story 3 was their most successful film of all-time, grossing over $1 billion worldwide. That was followed by Cars 2 and Brave. Each were financially successful, and Brave even won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, but many Pixar fans were disappointed. They looked ahead to 2013 for the next chance at Pixar perfection.
That chance comes this weekend with the release of Dan Scanlon‘s Monsters University. The film comes not only with the baggage of Pixar’s last two films, but the fact that it’s the company’s first prequel. That’s a lot to live up to. As reviews were released over the past few weeks, reactions have been decidedly mixed. Some, like me, praised it as a return to the glory of Pixar. Others have dismissed it as a sub-par cash grab with little heart or emotion. Personally, I have no idea how anyone could come to that latter reaction, but we’d love to hear your thoughts on the film below.
Is Monsters University a return to the Pixar of old? Or is this their third questionable film in a row? Read our review here, listen to the /Filmcast review here and tell us what you think in the comments below.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Pixar’s favorite monsters, Mike and Sulley, return to the big screen this weekend as the excellent Monsters University has finally been released. To mark the occasion, College Humor has imagined the moment when Pixar first revealed the younger versions of the characters to their voices, John Goodman and Billy Crystal. The results are hilarious. Read More »
Dave, Germain, and Laremy (author of Film Critic) discuss this weekend’s box office contenders, Monsters University and World War Z.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Also, like us on Facebook!
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