Cars 2 comes out on DVD today. If you vaguely resent Pixar Animation Studios for pushing its parallel universe of talking automobiles on the moviegoing public, you will not appreciate the way the DVD plugs Planes. Sometimes, Pixar's DVDs contain extras on the same creative level as the films themselves. On the disc for the original Cars, the short "Mater and the Ghost Light" had all the prankish, anarchic humor the movie lacked. The Cars 2 extras seem designed only to promote Planes, a direct-to-DVD spinoff set in the Cars world but produced by DisneyToon Studios, not Pixar.
Not only does the disc include a Planes teaser trailer that looks like a Top Gun parody, the short "Mater's Tall Tales: Air Mater" pretty much only serves to set-up a plane-based town comparable to Cars' Radiator Springs. Some of the "Mater's Tall Tales" shorts are pretty amusing, but "Air Mater" seems to have been written by the auto pilot. Here's an excerpt, such as it is.
Studio Ghibli, the totally splendid Japanese animation production house, has released an English-language trailer for its 2012 release, The Secret World of Arrietty. While Studio Ghibli's best known for the modern classics by director/co-founder Hayao Miyazaki, including Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke, Hiromasa Yonebayashi, the youngest director in the company's history, helms Arrietty (although Miyazaki co-wrote the screenplay). Called The Borrower Arrietty in Japan, the film adapts Mary Norton's classic 1952 children's book The Borrowers, which was most recently made into a tepidly-received John Goodman film in 1997. Judging from the trailer, the eponymous Arrietty looks like a typical Studio Ghibli heroine: a smart, spunky young woman who experiences adventures as a member of a doll-sized race of beings who live in the homes of unsuspecting humans. Could be fun for all ages.
In the spirit of And the Band Played On..., The Plaza Theatre presents We Were Here, David Weissman's documentary about the devastating impact of AIDS, a.k.a. "the gay plague," in the 1980s. Subtitled The AIDS Years in San Francisco, the documentary harks back 30 years ago to the emergency of the disease: "Early in the epidemic, San Francisco’s compassionate, multifaceted, and creative response to AIDS became known as “The San Francisco Model”. The city’s activist and progressive infrastructure that evolved out of the 1960’s, combined with San Francisco’s highly politicized gay community centered around the Castro Street neighborhood, helped overcome the obstacles of a nation both homophobic and lacking in universal health care."
We Were Here plays at the Plaza until Oct. 20.
This sounds pretty cool: the Uruguayan horror film The Silent House, screening at GSU's Cinefest beginning Monday, presents the tale of a young woman and her father who spend a night at a dilapidated cottage, only to be increasingly frightened by mysterious phenomena. The twist is that director Gustavo Hernández filmed the movie in a single take, in what could be South America's answer to The Blair Witch Project. To quote the Wiki page:
La casa muda was shot in real time in one continuous 78 minute take, with no cuts. It is one of only a handful of theatrically released movies to be shot in one continuous long take, and it has been billed as the first ever single-take horror film, though this claim is the subject of some dispute. With a budget of just $6,000, it was filmed using a handheld high-definition digital single-lens reflex camera over a period of just four days.
Oct. 17-21, 24. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.
Anyone who wants to participate in today's Talk Like a Pirate Day should be required to talk like a Somali pirate, not Long John Silver. The concept was pretty cute when it first emerged more than a decade ago, but now, after four hugely lucrative pirate movies, bloodthirtsy buccaneers are looking pretty long in the tooth. But if one studio can make pirates fun again, it's Aardman Animation, creators of "Wallace and Gromit" and Chicken Run. Next year's The Pirates! Band of Misfits, based on Gideon Defoe's book The Pirates! In an Adventure With Scientists, casts a claymation Hugh Grant as the luxuriantly bearded pirate captain. The editing and pop songs of the trailer steps on some of the jokes, but it looks pretty amusing:
Now here's a remake we can get behind. Tomas Alfredson, director of the original Let the Right One In, helms a big-screen adaptation of John LeCarre's classic espionage novel Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Inspired by the case of Kim Philby, a high-ranking British Intelligence officer who turned out to be a double agent for the Soviet Union, Tinker, Tailor depicts mild-mannered spymaster George Smiley (Gary Oldman in low-key Commissioner Gordon mode) who comes out of retirement to uncover an active mole among England's covert agencies. Technically the book's never been a motion picture before, but the BBC adapted a seven-part miniseries version in 1979, with Alec "Ben Kenobi" Guinness playing George Smiley. (Apparently Guinness so owned the Smiley role on the TV versions that LeCarre felt he could no longer write the character.)
Anyway, the new Tinker, Tailor opens Sept. 16 and the cast looks like a who's who of popular British actors. Joining Oldman are newly-minted Oscar-winner Colin Firth, Inception's Tom Hardy (tapped to star in the Mad Max reboot and play bad guy Bane in the Dark Knight sequel), Green Lantern's Tom Strong, Ciarin Hinds (Julius Caesar from HBO's "Rome"), Stephen Graham ("Boardwalk Empire's" Al Capone), Christian McKay (Orson Welles in Me and Orson Welles), Toby Jones (Truman Capote in Infamous, the voice of Dobby the house elf), John Hurt (everything) and Benedict Cumberbatch (the title role in "Sherlock," the voice of Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit). If a bomb goes off on opening night, the film industry is done for. Here's the trailer:
"How does a political party go from the party of Lincoln to the party of avoiding urban areas?" director Kevin J. Williams asks in his documentary Fear of a Black Republican. Williams, a politically active Republican (who happens to be white) living in Trenton, N.J., wondered why the G.O.P. seemed so reluctant to challenge the Democrats' political monopoly, particularly among African-Americans, in his hometown. Fear of a Black Republican records his attempts to answer that question, tracing African-American historical party allegiances and interviewing the likes of Cornel West, Christine Todd Whitman, Tavis Smiley and former Republican party chair Michael Steele. Billed as "the film neither party wants you to see," Fear of a Black Republican holds its world premiere screening at 7 p.m., June 23 at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema.
Atlanta stands in for "Bomont, Tenn.," in the Southern-inflected remake of Footloose. Kenny Wormold steps into Kevin Bacon's dancing shoes as a teenager who rebels against a small town's ban on dancing. Wikipedia points out some of the Georgia shooting locations:
Principal photography began in September 2010 in and around metro Atlanta, and wrapped two months later in November. A courtroom scene was shot at the Newton County Historic Courthouse in Covington on September 17, 20 and 21. A family scene was filmed at the New Senoia Raceway in Senoia on October 1. A scene taken from the original film, in which McCormack plays a game of "chicken" with his love interest’s boyfriend, was filmed on the Chattahoochee River bridge on Franklin Parkway in downtown Franklin also in October. The home and church seen in the film were filmed in downtown Acworth. Production used the sanctuary of Acworth Presbyterian and the house of the Mayor.
Opening Oct. 14, Footloose features Dennis Quaid and Georgia-born character actor Ray McKinnon
A trailer for David Fincher's adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo has mysteriously appeared on the Internet. Rumor has it that the trailer was illegally camcorded (I love that verb) in a European movie theater and uploaded to Youtube on Saturday. The Hollywood Reporter, however, has an intriguing theory:
Could this all actually be a clever viral campaign on Sony’s part? For starters, the trailer is preceded by an MPAA red-band, advising that the preview has been approved by the MPAA for mature audiences. But why would theaters in Europe be showing an MPAA advisory which is aimed at U.S. moviegers?
Also, while the trailer gives the appearance of being filmed in a theater with some sort of handheld device — the trailer is off-center and appears to shake as it begins — it’s actually a pretty good copy. There’s no audience noise, and once the trailer kicks in the framing settles down and the sound is good.
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