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Disney Animation is Looking Even More Realistic

Disney has definitely been on a role in the 3D animated film industry.

In fact, it’s not just the 3D graphics that caught my attention about this new film, but the animation itself.

It looks so realistic it’s scary!

Disney’s Mars Needs Moms, released March 11, is about a young boy who learns to appreciate his mother more after she is kidnapped by Martians. The film follows the boy aboard a space ship as he eagerly searches for his mom, and meets new and interesting friends along the way.

If you take a look at the trailer, you will see what I mean by realistic-looking animation.

Similarly in Avatar, the facial expressions, body language, and overall movement of each character in this film are almost identical to the human attributes.

The film stars Seth Green, Dan Folger, Elisabeth Harnois, Joan Cusack, and Mindy Sterling.


3D Movies: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

It’s no secret that the majority of movies released this year were in 3D.

Next year will be no different.

But is 3D really the future of movies? Here is what college students have to say!

 


2011 is Kevin James’ Year

You may remember him from 50 First Dates and Hitch, or recognize him as the hysterical security guard from Mall Cop. Or maybe you have recently seen Grown Ups and can’t get enough of his comedy.

One this is for certain, funnyman Kevin James has been in at least one film every year since 2004.  

Next year will be his year to shine with two new films, The Zookeeper and The Dilemma.

The Dilemma, scheduled for wide release Jan. 14, is about a man named Ronnie (Vince Vaughn) who finds out his best friend and co-worker’s wife is cheating on him. Ronnie investigates the situation tries to decide whether to tell his friend, Nick (Kevin James), that he has seen his wife with another man. But as time passes and the two near the biggest work presentation of their careers, Ronnie has second thoughts about spilling the beans to his best friend.

Director Ron Howard and Producer Brian Grazer, both known for their Academy Award winning film A Beautiful Mind, collaborated once again in this film.  

The Dilemma also stars Winona Ryder, Jennifer Connelly, Channing Tatum, and Queen Latifah.

James’ other film The Zookeeper (PG), scheduled for wide release July 8, is about how a group of animals at the Franklin Park Zoo decide to break their silence and talk, after their lovable caretaker (Kevin James) decides that the only way to get the woman of his dreams, is to find a new job. The animals try to help their zookeeper get his mate, while still keeping his job at the zoo.



The ZooKeeper also stars Adam Sandler, Sylvester Stallone, Cher, Rosario Dawson, and Jon Favreau.


Black Swan Scheduled Only for Limited Release This Month

Black Swan [R] is probably one of the highest anticipated limited release movies I’ve ever seen.

Why?

Film makers have a strict deadline!

A film cannot be eligible for an Academy Award the following year unless it is released in New York and Los Angeles by the end of December, according to the rules outlined by the Academy.  

Therefore most highly acclaimed films that are limitedly released in December, are later widely released earlier the following year. 

Scheduled for limited release Dec. 3, the drama thriller is about a long-time New York City ballet dancer who falls into a mesh of confusion and jealousy as a new rival (the black swan) crosses her path.

Black Swan’s star-studded cast includes Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder.


Sequels on the Big Screen in the Next Four Years

After the success of Toy Story 3, Iron Man II, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, filmmakers are producing sequels to almost every movie imaginable.   

Ben Barnes, Georgie Henley, and Skandar Keynes return to the big screen in the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (PG) on Dec. 10. This third installment is about Lucy and Edmund Pevensie’s return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace. The film follows them as they travel with Prince Caspian across sea on the royal ship, The Dawn Treader.

Another sequel to look forward to as the year 2010 comes to a end is Little Fockers, the third installment to Meet the Parents and Meet the Fockers.

Little Fockers, which hits theatres Dec. 22, stars comedic actor Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman, Barbra Streisand, Owen Wilson, Robert De Niro, Teri Polo, and Jessica Alba.

 

 

 

Here is a list of sequels we can look forward to in coming years:

 

2011

Cars 2

Kung Fu Panda 2

The Wolverine

The Hangover Part II

Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Part I

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Transformers 3: Dark Side of the Moon

 

 

 

2012

Monsters Inc. II

The Ring 3D

Ghostbusters III

Bond 23

Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

The Expendables II

Kick-Ass II: Balls to the Wall

Skyline II

Terminator 5

American Pie 4

Untitled Star Trek Sequel

 

2013

Iron Man III

Austin Powers 4

Independence Day 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Despicable Me 2

The Karate Kid 2

Hancock 2 

Will Smith in Hancock II

 

 

2014

Avatar II

Independence Day III

 


Bieber Fans: Save up for a 3D Movie Ticket!

You may have heard tweens screaming his name and singing his songs, you may know him from Youtube, or you may have never heard of him at all.

But chances are you will soon hear the buzz surrounding Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s upcoming concert film.

Paramount Pictures’ Justin Bieber: Never Say Never is a biopic film about the 16-year-old pop star’s rise to fame along with backstage footage from his many concert tours.

The 3D film which hits theatres Feb. 11, is similar to Disney’s 3D concert film Hannah Montana and Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert.

In fact, Bieber’s film will star Miley Cyrus herself along with Shawn Stockman.

 

 

The film is directed by Jon Chu, director of Step Up 3D and Step Up 2: The Streets.

Bieber's film looks no different than Disney's Hannah Montana: Best of Both World's Concert

According to AceShowbiz.com Bieber commented on the film saying, “Everyone thinks this is going to be another 3-D concert movie, but it’s anything but that. It’s a story of how my family, friends and the fans helped me get here and everyday are helping me live an impossible dream. That’s why I want them to see it first”

 


Mia Wasikowska stars in the Eighth Adaptation of “Jane Eyre”

If you’re like me and love films adapted from traditional British romance novels, like Pride and Prejudice, A Room with a View, and Atonement, be sure not to miss this one next year!

Focus Feature’s Jane Eyre (PG-13) is a romance-drama adaptation based on 1847 British gothic horror novel written by Charlottle Bronte.

The film, which hits theatres March 11, stars 21-year-old Mia Wasikowska, known for her recent role in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.

The very first Jane Eyre adaptation (1934)

It follows the life of Jane Eyre (Wasikowska) as an orphan living in the confines of her aunt’s house up to the point where she becomes the governess to her potential lover Edward Rochester at Thornfield Manner. But when the wealthy Rochester brings another woman into Thornfield Manner things begin to change as Jane tries to uncover Rochester’s hidden secrets.

The film also stars Michael Fassbender and Jamie Bell.

But this is not the first time Charlottel Bronte’s novel has been adapted into a movie.

There are about seven other adaptations to the film.

One adaptation, starred Anna Paquin, William Hurt, and Charlotte Gainsbourg in 1996.

The very first adaptation premiered in 1934, which starred Virginia Bruce and Collin Clive according to Yahoo Movies.


Look for Two Widely Released Nick Cage Films Next Year

Whether you’re a fan of Nicolas Cage or not, you may not want to miss his two new action thrillers released early next year.

Drive Angry 3D, which hits theatres Feb. 11, is about a vengeful felon named Milton, who breaks out of hell in order to chase after the leader of a cult who murdered his daughter and intends to harm her baby. He is joined by a young waitress, who helps Milton escape the pursuit of the police and an enigmatic killer who tries to bring him back to the fiery pit.

The film stars Cage as Milton, including Amber Heard, William Fichtner, and Billy Burke.

Cage also stars in Season of the Witch (PG-13), which was actually pre-released Dec. 2009, and originally scheduled to hit theatres March 2010, but was delayed until Jan. 7, 2011 for wide release.

Season of the Witch is about a medieval knight who sends a cunning witch to the monastery, where she is believed to be responsible for the Black Plague.

This film also stars Ron Perlman, Claire Foy, and Stephen Graham.

  


Jack Black is Back Again!

If you can’t get enough of Jack Black, you don’t want to miss this one.

Inspired by the book and the 1939 animated film, 20th Century Fox’s Gulliver’s Travels, stars Black in all his comedic glory.

The film, which hits theatres Dec. 22, is about a travel writer named Lemuel Gulliver who intends to go to Bermuda for one of his assignments, but ends up on the undiscovered island of Liliput where he meets a society of tiny people. Gulliver uses his size and ego to his advantage by telling white lies about himself in order to gain the community’s trust. But once Gulliver leads his tiny citizens into a dangerous battle against their enemies, he loses this trust and must try to gain it back before it’s too late.

This comedic adaptation also stars Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Jason Segel, and Chris O Dowd.

After watching the trailer, take a look at the original Gulliver’s Travels 1939 trailer.

Although looks like a classic Disney film, it’s not. This cartoon was distributed by Paramount Pictures 70 years ago.


Paul Haggis’ Remake May Not Be as Great as Previous Films

 

Lionsgate’s The Next Three Days (PG -13), which hits theatres Nov. 19, is a suspense-thriller remake of the 2008 French film “Anything For Her” directed by Fred Cavaye.

The Next Three Days is about a man named John Brennan (Russell Crowe) who goes through extraordinary lengths to free his arrested wife (Elizabeth Banks) from a murder crime she didn’t commit. The film follows Brennan three years after his wife’s arrest as he struggles to raise his young son without her. After realizing that his wife is on the verge of suicide, he tries to beat the system in order to free her from prison.

The film also stars Liam Neeson, and Olivia Wilde.

The film is written and directed by Paul Haggis, who won two Oscars, one for writing Million Dollar Baby’s screenplay and the other for directing Crash.

But will Haggis’ directing expertise and creative skills land him another Oscar with The Next Three Days?

Critic Todd McCarthy from the Hollywood Reporter doesn’t think so.

Fred Cavaye’s original “Anything For Her”

He said the remake fell flat from the original. “This remake of a recent French film never reaches the anticipated heights of excitement and suspense,” McCarthy said. “And Russell Crowe’s subdued characterization of an ordinary man who undertakes extraordinary actions remains a little too ordinary.”

We’ll just have to wait until Nov. 19 to see what other critics have to say about this remake!


Is Simple Animation Coming Back?

If you miss those old-school animated films Walt Disney used to produce, look no further.

Judging by the trailer, the animation in Sony Pictures’ upcoming film, The Illusionist (PG) looks like a cross between anime and early 90’s Disney animation.

The Illusionist, scheduled for limited release Dec. 25, is written and directed by French animator Sylvain Chomet . The film is based on an unproduced script written by French actor Jacques Tati in 1956.

The story is about an aging French magician in the 1950s, a character meant to resemble Tati himself, who travels across countries looking for a place to perform. He ends up in an isolated community in Scotland where he meets a young girl, Alice who is amazed by the illusionist’s magic tricks. As they journey across countries their relationship grows into one of a father and daughter.

The film’s voice actors include Jean-Claude Dondu and Edith Rankin.


Critics Say “The Way Back” is Oscar-Worthy

Newmarket Films’ The Way Back (PG-13) is about a group of multi-national prisoners during World War II who escape a Siberian gulag, traveling 4,000 miles across five countries. The story follows them through their epic journey across mountains and deserts as they battle the perils of nature and starvation.

The Way Back, based on Slawomir Rawiez’s memoir “The Long Walk: The True Story of a Trek to Freedom”,  is scheduled for limited release Dec. 29 in Los Angeles and will hit theatres everywhere else on January 21.

The film’s director Peter Weir also directed Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, Dead Poets Society, and The Truman Show.

Director Peter Weir

Although Weir has not won an Academy Award for any of his films, critics say The Way Back has the Oscar-winning potential for best picture. Hopefully this film will be Weir’s breakthrough.

The film’s cast includes multiple acclaimed actors. Jim Sturgress known for his lead roles in 21 and Across the Universe;  Colin Farrell, who starred in The New World, Maimi Vice, and Alexander; Saoirse Ronan from The Lovely Bones and Atonement; Mark Strong from Sherlock Holmes and The Young Victoria; Copying Beethoven’s Ed Harris will all star in this film.


UConn’s Movie-Goers on the Latest Films

As a movie fanatic at the University of Connecticut, I took on the role of a roving reporter and asked students about the latest movies.

Let’s take a look at what movies students on UConn’s Storrs campus are watching and planning to see!


‘Simpsons’ Developer Produces his Sixth Film

Sony Pictures’ How Do You Know, scheduled for release Dec. 17, is about a 27 year old professional softball player who gets caught up in a love triangle between her major league pitcher boyfriend and a cooperate executive.

The romantic comedy is written and directed by Academy Award winning director James L. Brooks, developer of The Simpsons television series. Brooks also directed Spanglish, Broadcast News, The Simpsons Movie, and As Good as It Gets.

Legendary Director James L. Brooks

How Do You Know stars Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson. But one cast member is no stranger to Brooks. In 1997 Jack Nicholson won an Oscar in Brook’s hit film As Good as It Gets.


Mark Walhberg Plays 80’s Boxing Champ in Biopic Film

If you’ve already seen Million Dollar Baby, Rocky Balboa, Cinderella Man, and are looking for a new film to inspire you to literally fight off life’s difficulties, you don’t want to miss this one.

Paramount Picture’s The Fighter, scheduled for wide release Dec. 17, is a true story about the life of boxer “Irish” Mickey Ward and his half-brother Dickie Eklund who trains him to become a professional boxer in the 1980s. Ward dreams of making enough money to support his daughter through boxing as Eklund’s detrimental drug addiction spoils the two brothers’ relationship. The story follows Eklund and Ward as they fight to get their both their lives back on track.

The real "Irish" Mickey Ward

The Fighter is directed by David Russell and stars Mark Wahlberg as Ward and Christian Bale as Eklund. According to IMDb, this will be Russell and Wahlberg’s third film collaboration after Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees.

The cast also includes Amy Adams and Jack McGee.


Touchstone Pictures turns Shakespeare’s Last Play into a Dynamic Film

If you haven’t read or seen The Tempest, you would be surprised to learn that this Shakespearean play is as magical and imaginative as the Harry Potter series.

Touchstone Pictures The Tempest (PG-13) will combine the same elements of romance, fantasy and drama present in Shakespeare’s whimsical playwright on Dec 10.

The Tempest, which is believed to be the last play Shakespeare has ever written, is about Prospero, the rightful Duke of Milan, whose jealous brother Antonio, banishes him and his young daughter to a deserted island. After 12 years of exile Prospero uses magic and manipulation to conjure up a storm that will lead Anton and King Alanso of Naples to the Island. Hoping for his daughter to marry the right man, Prospero manipulates his daughter into liking Alanso’s son, Ferdinand. But after he sees that they have fallen in love too quickly, he forces Ferdinand to become his servant.

The film’s  writer and director Julie Taymor, who also directed Across the Universe, has incorporated her own visionary craft and spin on the renowned play.

Prospero will instead be a female named Propersa played by Helen Mirren. The Tempest also stars Russell Brand, Alfred Molina, Djimon Hounsou, Felicity Jones and Chris Cooper.

 

The film industry has always been a little shaky in producing films off of Shakespeare plays. Just like the 1996 film Romeo and Juliet, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes, the dialogue in the Tempest will be purely in Shakespearean iambic pentameter.

Critic Desson Howe of the Washington Post said Romeo and Juliet lost its relevance to the play because it was over-stylized.  Howe said, “The tragedy of this movie is not that the lovers might perish from poison, it’s that they’re innocent victims of stylistic overkill.”

This can only mean The Tempest will be either a straight-out win or fail in the critics’ eyes.

Let’s hope it’s a win!


Unstoppable Rolls into Theatres

If you’re looking for an action-thriller that may not be a train wreck check out 20th Century Fox’s Unstoppable (PG-13) on Nov. 12.

Unstoppable, directed by Tony Scott, is about an engineer and a conductor who risk their lives trying to stop an unmanned, half-mile long train, carrying poisonous gas and explosive chemicals before it destroys an entire city.

The film is said to be loosely inspired by the unmanned train incident that occured in Ohio in 2001, where trainmaster Jon Hosfeld and transportation workers were able to stop a runaway freight train carrying thousands of gallons of highly hazardous chemicals. CNN reported that after two hours, engineers were able to slow the train down as Hosfeld was able to jump on a stop it.

The cast includes Chris Pine known for his role in Star Trek, Denzel Washington, Kevin Dunn, Rosario Dawson, and Kevin Chapman.


Get Inspired with New Movie Costumes!

New costumes influenced by this year’s successful films have become widely available at costume stores across the nation.  

In spirit of Halloween, here’s a collection of 2010’s new movie costumes:

Avatar

Alice In Wonderland

 

Clash of the Titans

 

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

A Nightmare on Elm Street 

Jonah Hex

 

The Karate Kid 

 The Last Airbender

 

Iron Man II


Two Renowned Actors Star in an Action-Packed Comedy

If your looking for a fresh, new adventure film that will keep you on the edge of your seat with two of the greatest actors of all time, look no further. 

Sony Picture’s The Tourist, released Dec. 10, will star both Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp together for the first time in this comedy-action thriller.  

The film is a remake of the 2005 French film “Anthony Zimmer”.

The Tourist about an American tourist, Frank (Depp), who travels to Italy and meets an English woman, Elise (Jolie),  on the train. Elise uses Frank in order to mislead those following her for her former lover, who is a wanted criminal. As the romance unfolds between the two, they realize they are being used as pawns in a dangerous scheme.  

The movie was filmed both in in Paris and Venice.

The Tourist also stars Paul Bettany, Rufus Sewell, Timothy Dalton, and Steven Berkoff.


Director of Slumdog Millionaire Produces Another Triumphant Film

James Franco (left) plays Aron Ralston (right)

Imagine being trapped under a rock in the middle of Utah for nearly a week without food, water, or another soul in sight. 

Now imagine amputating your arm in order to survive.

This was the case for American climber Aron Ralston.

Fox Searchlight’s 127 Hours (rated R) is based on the true story of Aron Ralston, who was forced to amputate his own arm after being trapped under a bolder for five days.

127 Hours, scheduled for limited release Nov. 5, is written and directed by Danny Bolye, who directed the 8 academy award winning film, Slumdog Millionaire.

Just like Slumdog Millionaire it is a story about survival and independence.

It stars James Franco as Ralston, as he battles some nature’s most fatal conditions and resorts to desperate measures to ensure his own life.

Joe Margentsern from The Wall Street Journal calls  James Francosimply terrific” in this film.

The film also stars Amber Tamblyn, from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, and Kate Mara and Lizzy Caplan.


Tyler Perry Brings Award-Winning Play to the Big Screen

You don’t have to be a woman of color to see LoinsGate’s For Colored Girls released Nov. 5.

The film, based on the 1977 Tony Award winning play, “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf”, explores what it’s like to be a black woman in society.

The film is written and directed by Tyler Perry, known for “Why Did I Get Married?” and “Dairy of a Mad Black Woman”.

For Colored Girls‘ star-studded cast includes Janet Jackson, Thandie Newton, Whopi Goldberg, Macy Gray, Kerry Washington, Kimberly Elise and Loretta Devine.

The play, which is written by Ntozake Shange, has been performed on and off Broadway and has been adapted into a book. Shange’s play features seven women performing 20 poems.  The stories deal with love, abuse, loneliness, rape, and abortion.

Shange's Play

According to IMDb, unlike the play, the film will feature 20 unique characters, each with their own thought-provoking story.


“Morning Glory” Reveals the Non-Glorious Lives of Television News Reporters

Rachel McAdams, known for her roles in The Notebook, Red Eye, and Mean Girls has taken up a more unique and vulnerable role in Paramount Picture’s upcoming film Morning Glory (P-13).

Morning Glory, which hits theatres Nov. 12, is a story that questions whether a television reporter or producer can really have a personal life outside their demanding job.

From the same screenwriter of The Devil Wears Prada and the director of Notting Hill, Morning Glory is about a lonely news producer, Becky, played by McAdams who is fired from her local news program, and takes a job at a failing morning show program, Daybreak.

The film follows her as she struggles to revitalize Daybreak by bringing on a legendary TV anchor, played by Harrison Ford. But it only seems to get worse for Becky as the new anchor (Ford) fights with Daybreak’s current anchor, played by Diane Keaton. Becky’s love life has gone down the tube and her personal life spins out of control as she tries to find a way to revitalize Daybreak and get her life back on track.

The film also stars Patrick WilsonJeff Goldblum, and renowned rappers 50 Cent and Lloyd Banks.

Morning Glory will feature Natasha Bedingfield’s recent single “Strip Me”

Rachel McAdams, Diane Keaton, and Harrison Ford star in "Morning Glory"

Judging from the film’s trailer, maybe television producers and reporters do have “personal lives” outside their careers. You’ll just have to go see the movie to find out if Becky’s personal life takes the backseat forever.


The CIA Leak Scandal of 2003 is now a Movie

Summit Entertainment’s Fair Game (PG-13), released Nov. 5, 2010, is inspired by the true story of covert CIA agent Valerie Plame whose identity is dangerously leaked out to the world after her husband publishes a controversial editorial on the Bush administration.

If you don’t know about Valerie Plame and widely publicized story that started a huge controversy in 2003, here’s a brief overview:

Plame’s husband, Joseph Wilson discovered that former President Bush’s claim that Iraq was using uranium in Africa for nuclear weapons was false. When Wilson writes an NY Times editorial exposing this discovery, White House officials reveal his wife’s identity to the press. This White House leak ends up breaking the 1982 Intelligence Identities Protection Act that prohibits the disclosure of a covert CIA agent’s identity.

The film follows Plame and her husband as they deal with the life-threatening risks of Plame’s exposed identity.

Fair Game, which is also the title of Plame’s book, stars Naomi Watts as Plame and Sean Penn as Wilson. The cast also includes Ty Burrell, Nicolas Sadler, and Liraz Charhi.


Two Classic Kid TV Shows Hit the Big Screen

If you consider yourself and adult, but still love those old school cartoons that were on television over 20 years ago, you would probably be excited to hear that Yogi Bear and the Smurfs are headed to the big screen.

But this time these simple cartoons will become lifelike with the use of 3D imaging and computer animated technology.

Warner Brother’s Yogi Bear, released Dec. 17, is stars Dan Aykroyd as Yogi and Justin Timberlake as his trusty sidekick Boo Boo. The film puts these two lovable cartoon characters into a real-life setting. After their home in Jellystone Park is closed down, Yogi and Boo Boo are forced to take on the challenges of the modern world. The two must find a way to save Jellystone Park from closing forever.  

Yogi Bear also stars Anna Faris, Christine Taylor, T.J. Miller, and Tom Cavanagh.

Like Yogi Bear, The Smurfs (released Aug. 2011) follows these tiny blue characters as they take on the New York City after being chased out of their magical world by an evil wizard. They must overcome the challenges in the Big Apple in order to find their way back home.

It seems like well-known pop singers found their niche in animation because just as Justin Timberlake will voice Boo Boo, Katy Perry will be the voice of Smurfette.

The Smufs will also star Neil Patrick Harris, Jayma Mays, and Anton Yelchin.  

Another popular TV-show-turned-film that is currently in the workings is The Jetsons, scheduled for release in 2012.