Animated History of Superman

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, an animated short runs through 80 years of Superman, started with his comic origins and soaring through his most recent big screen adaptation. Plus, a video essay takes a closer look at the toxic masculinity in the films of Paul Thomas Anderson, and a movie trailer parody imagines what it might be like if Matt Damon bought Jurassic Park. Read More »

Cameron Crowe 700

“The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you’re uncool.” – Lester Bangs, Almost Famous

With that quote, writer director Cameron Crowe smashed through levels upon levels of truth. He’s talking about art, he’s talking about loss, he’s talking about individuality, basically he’s talking about everything. What we talk about among friends is what defines us and the films of Cameron Crowe have always been about that. They’ve been about more too, but they’ve always have been about the human experience. In the best cases, Crowe’s words, choice of music and actors have greatly enhanced that human experience too, making the uncool cool.

This week marks the release of Crowe’s eight narrative feature, Aloha. It’s a film fans have anticipated for sometime, mostly because we trust in the work of this iconic, wonderful filmmaker. To celebrate the occasion, we’ve ranked all eight of his narrative features films (he’s done two documentaries too, Pearl Jam Twenty and The Union, which we’ve omitted just to keep things focused). What’s number one? Below, read our rankings of the best Cameron Crowe movies Read More »

Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought a Zoo unfolds in the kind of universe where characters say things like “If you do something for the right reasons, nothing can stop you,” and indeed, it turns out that if your heart is in the right place, Mother Nature herself will stop and part the clouds to make your dreams come true. It’s a place where “Why not?” is a perfectly valid response to the question “What on earth possessed you to buy a zoo?” and where “insane courage” guarantees a desirable outcome. If all of that sounds cringingly sappy, well, it kind of is. But Crowe tells the tale with such genuine feeling that it’s tough not to fall for the movie’s charms all the same.

Based on the memoir by Benjamin Mee, the film follows a freshly widowed father (Matt Damon) who, in an unconventional attempt at self-therapy, moves himself and his two children Dylan and Rosie (Colin Ford and Maggie Elizabeth Jones) into a decrepit zoo. With the help of a small but devoted staff (Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, Angus Macfadyen) led by zookeeper Kelly (Scarlett Johansson), the family sets about renovating the park for a grand reopening.

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Briefly: Evidently the Thanksgiving weekend sneak preview screenings of Cameron Crowe‘s new film We Bought a Zoo went down pretty well, because Fox is doing it again this weekend. The studio has announced that the film, which opens for real on December 23, will show “additional sneak previews of the film in hundreds of theaters across the country.”

The film will be showing at 800 theaters across the US tomorrow, so we don’t have a list of showtimes — that’s just too many to list. But you should easily be able to check local listings to get the relevant data.

Germain recorded some of his thoughts about the movie after the Thanksgiving sneak weekend, and we’ll have a proper review up the week of the film’s actual opening. You can also check out some of the score here.

Ten years after Cameron Crowe included several songs by Icelandic band Sigur Rós in Vanilla Sky, the director turned to band frontman Jónsi to write the entire score for his new project, We Bought a Zoo. Though we won’t know until December 23 exactly how the movie turned out (well, unless you caught one of those sneak screenings like that lucky bastard Germain did), the full soundtrack from the film is available for streaming right now.

The album won’t actually go on sale until December 13, but if you start listening now you’ll have plenty of time to decide whether or not you want to shell out that $10.99. Spoiler alert: If you like Jónsi and Sigur Rós, you probably will. Get a taste after the jump.

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When an audience sits down for a Cameron Crowe movie they have certain expectations. An amazing soundtrack; well-rounded, relateable characters; and a heartwarming, interesting story filled with clever, thoughtful dialogue. We’ve seen these things in Crowe’s most beloved films: Say Anything, Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous. He got away from that a bit with his last feature, 2005’s Elizabethtown, but I’m happy to report he’s back in his wheelhouse with We Bought a Zoo. Based on a true story, the film follows Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) who, following the loss of his wife, buys a zoo to reinvigorate his family.

We Bought A Zoo is Crowe at his most mainstream. The script is filled with the types of pitch-perfect, enlightening exchanges we’ve come to expect from his films but the story is a by-the-numbers rumination of redemption and family. Unfortunately, We Bought A Zoo is never much more than that. Still, it’s hard to imagine a filmmaker more in his element than Crowe is here. Read More »

We’ve already expressed our eagerness to check out Cameron Crowe‘s We Bought a Zoo, and it seems Fox is equally excited to show it to us. The studio has teamed up with social media service TOUT to offer sneak preview screenings of the drama on Saturday, November 26, four weeks before its official release date of December 23. And as if the mere fact of getting to see Crowe’s latest in advance weren’t motivation enough, attendees will also have the opportunity to enter a contest for a trip to San Diego by posting reviews of the film.

Based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee, We Bought a Zoo stars Matt Damon as a single dad who moves his family to a dilapidated zoo. Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, and Patrick Fugit also appear. More details after the jump.

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Earlier today, I posted a story with hundreds of studio released movie posters that all looked the same. The lead sentence was “News flash: today’s movie posters generally suck.” Almost as if it was a response to that, Cameron Crowe‘s official website The Uncool debuted the theatrical poster for his upcoming film, We Bought a Zoo. Designed by Arsonal if features no stars and no dumb tagline, just a striking image that begs the question: what is this movie about? It does what a movie poster is supposed to do. It catches your eye and makes you think.

Check out the full image after the jump. Read More »

One of the things I (and I think many other people) love about Cameron Crowe‘s films is how warm and optimistic they tend to be. And his latest directorial effort, We Bought a Zoo, clearly won’t be any different in that regard. Based on a memoir by Benjamin Mee, the drama stars Matt Damon as a single dad who moves his family to a run-down zoo. As they work to restore the park, they encounter all sorts of lovably offbeat characters and heartwarming life lessons along the way.

But when the first trailer hit earlier this fall, I worried that perhaps Crowe had gone too far into “sweet” this time, crossing right over into “saccharine.” Happily, the new international trailer strikes a much better balance, managing to be uplifting without being groanworthy about it. Watch it after the jump.

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Cameron Crowe might have been MIA for a few years but he’s back in full force in 2011 with two documentaries and his latest narrative movie, We Bought A Zoo. The film stars Matt Damon as a single father who decides to move his family to a downtrodden zoo. Based on a true story, We Bought A Zoo also features Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Patrick Fugit, Elle Fanning, John Michael Higgins and more. It’s scheduled for release December 23. Check out the first trailer after the jump. Read More »