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Sunday, November 23, 2008

ice ice baby....

Regardless of what you think of the finished films (and I enjoy them personally) you'd have to be missing some vital organs not to enjoy the teaser trailers for the Ice Age movies. Featuring the lovable and unlucky saber-tooth squirrel Scrat, the trailers stand alone as animated shorts that bring to mind the classic Chuck Jones old school of animation. My point here being that the Ice Age 3 trailer is now online, and you should watch it. It's a hoot. Link

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Monday, November 17, 2008

toon times

If you wanted proof of how animation is becoming more important in Hollywood, then you might look to the number of live-action directors are getting involved. Last week John Boorman, best known for directing Deliverance released information on his first foray into the medium, a new CG adaptation of the Wizard Of Oz. It's occurred to me before that an animated version of that particular book could work, so I'm looking forward to finding out more. It's going to be more faithful to the book than the old musical version and the concept art is just gorgeous, so consider me thoroughly interested.

Meanwhile, Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy 2 director Guillermo Del Toro will be writing and producing a dark stop-motion take on Pinocchio (he'll be too busy with the Hobbit to direct) and Danny Boyle (28 Days Later director) has just co-founded an animation studio named Treat studios. It's certainly an interesting time to be an animation fan.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Panda Power

The general noise from critics about Kung-Fu Panda was that it was surprisingly good. Personally I was won over as soon as I heard the title, but then I am basically an overgrown kid. I finally got to see it this week (on beautiful shiny Blu-ray) and I loved it. Unless something unexpected happens, I expect it to battle Wall-E for the best animated film Oscar next year (and most probably lose). Gorgeous as it looks though, my favourite thing about it is the beautifully stylish 2d animated segments that open and close the film. I personally could have watched a whole film like that, but unfortunately that would have been too risky a prospect for the studio. Thank god Pixar have insisted that Disney bring back 2d animations. Maybe if they succeed, it will see other studios following.

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Everybody loves a bit of Bondage.

The new James Bond flick Quantum Of Solace opened first here in the UK last Friday, so I've seen it before the majority of my readers (who hail mainly from the US of A) will have had a chance to. You've likely seen the trailer and I can confirm that despite some indifference form the critics, this movie kicks substantial amounts of arse. Daniel Craig has now completely made the role his own, easily putting him up with Connery as the best of the Bonds to date. What makes the new rebooted Bonds even more interesting is how they balance the classic elements you expect from Bond while bringing it up to date and making it more relevant. Basically, I recommend QOS without hesitation- it's quite ridiculously exciting and I can't wait to watch it again.

I'm clearly not the only one who thinks so because Quantum broke all box-office records here in the UK, scooping the highest ever opening day on Friday with a massive £4 million (about $8 million US). Bond is obviously a British icon and 007 fever has swept the nation. Just as an interesting comparison it has made almost as much* as High School Musical 3 already despite having been out half the time and HSM being a big hit with the kiddies. It'll be interesting to see how it fares when is opens Stateside in a couple of weeks.

* This is only going on the weekend-so it may have surpassed it by now!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Dead Good.

As you may have guessed I am quite a fan of zombie movies, so when a new zombie flick comes out, I'll always at least give it a look. However I'm pretty sure that Dead Set is the first time that the undead have had their own TV series. Mind you, at four half-hour shows and and extended opener it's pretty much a slightly long movie cut into chunks. It's got a killer hook- zombies meet Big Brother, and is written by the hilarious Charlie Brooker, best known for his Screen Burn column in the Guardian Guide. However it's not a spoof, but a full blooded horror, albeit one with a strong satirical edge and excellent writing. It's proper scary and probably the most violent thing I've seen made for TV. The Big Brother angle is smart (the house being an ideal location for a traditional zombie siege) and being made by Channel 4 enabled it to use the actual Big Brother house, and feature cameos from the presenter and some former housemates. As a card-carrying Big Brother hater, the chance to see BB contestants eaten by Zombies was a chance not to be missed. I was even able to forgive the fact the zombies were the modern 'running' kind, so well was it pulled off. There's a cute and spunky female lead too I urge zombie and horror fans to check it out- you should be able to find it on e4's website- or it's coming out soon on DVD

Trailer here:

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