Why is it that some curmudgeonly, cold-hearted scoundrel always has a leading role in the best Christmas movies — even the ones crafted for children? Do we really require some naughty with our nice?
Considering the popular rapscallions that made our list of 10 Christmas Villains We Love — each with his own noted brand of evil and heartless quote — it would seem that it's just not Christmas without a villain.
And if you want to see these villains in action, check out our Holiday TV Movie Guide: The 12 Flavors of Christmas. Posted 12.09.09 by reelz
According to Pajiba, Robert Zemeckis plans to follow up his take on Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol with an adaptation of another classic Christmas story: E.T.A. Hoffman's 1816 novel The Nutcracker and the Mouse King.
Apparently, Zemeckis has plans to stick to the novel, rather than draw from the Tchiakovsky ballet performed to millions every year around Holiday time. The movie will be a period piece that tells the story of the Nutcracker's origins, including his relationship with the young girl Marie and his his battle with the seven-headed Mouse King.
Zemeckis has gone a little overboard with 3-D animation as of late, and The Nutcracker will be no exception. After hit-or-miss efforts with The Polar Express, Beowulf, and A Christmas Carol (which opened last week), we can only take a guess as to the quality of this next effort.
Still, we have to admit that the idea of a darker, scarier Nutcracker does sound like a welcome departure from the clichéd, sugar-coated version we're subjected to year after year. Hopefully, the darker tone of Zemeckis's A Christmas Carol is a sign of good things to come. Posted 11.12.09 by reelz
Earlier today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced the list of 20 animated movies that will be considered for nomination at the Oscars, which air March 7, 2010.
The Best Animated Feature category traditionally consists of three nominees. (We should add that the use of the "traditionally" is kind of funny, considering the category is less than 10 years old). But according to Academy rules, if at least 16 movies are submitted for consideration, then the number of nominees increases to five.
Among the potential contenders already released are Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Coraline, Disney's A Christmas Carol, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Monsters vs Aliens, Ponyo, and Up. Also being considered are several titles yet to be released, such as Fantastic Mr. Fox, Planet 51, and The Princess and the Frog.
Although it's not likely, there is a slight chance the whole five-nominee thing might not happen. Variety cites the fact that for a title to qualify, a print of the movie must first be submitted to the Academy by this coming Monday. In addition, a movie can be disqualified simply on the basis of bad quality. The nominating committee has to confirm each of the 20 entries by awarding each a score of at least 7.5 (on a scale of 6 to 10). Titles falling below that range will not be eligible for competition. Posted 11.11.09 by reelz
|Title ||Weekend ||Total ||Analysis |
|A Christmas Carol ||$31.0M ||$31.0M ||Dickens + Jim Carrey + "performance capture" = easy win. |
|Michael Jackson's This Is It ||$14.0M ||$57.9M ||MJ rehearsal concert pic beats two new movies in wide release. |
|The Men Who Stare at Goats ||$13.3M ||$13.3M ||Negative critic buzz didn't completely sink Clooney pic. |
|The Fourth Kind ||$12.5M ||$12.5M ||Perhaps Milla Jovovich should stick to Resident Evil movies — this did 1/2 those movies' Week 1 business. |
|Paranormal Activity ||$8.6M ||$97.4M ||Blair Witch it ain't, but within a hair of $100M blockbuster mark. |
Bomb of the Week: The Box stars Cameron Diaz and James Marsden but had the lowest per-screen average of any movie released this weekend. Will America every be ready for director Richard Kelly? Posted 11.08.09 by reelz
We think this is officially the 25th movie version of the classic Dickens tale, this time done with the performance capture technique director Robert Zemeckis used for The Polar Express and Beowulf. Reviews are split, basically along the line of how one feels about performance capture.
"...a marvelous and touching yuletide toy of a movie, and the miracle is that it goes right back to the gilded Victorian spirit of those black-and-white films of yore."
— Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"...an exhilarating visual experience..."
— Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Disney's A Christmas Carol is, in its essence, a product reel, a showy, exuberant demonstration of the glories of motion capture, computer animation and 3D technology. On that level, it's a wow. On any emotional level, it's as cold as Marley's Ghost."
— Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter
"...a whiz-bang 3-D thrill-ride with all the emotional satisfaction squeezed out of it."
— Ella Taylor, LA Weekly
"Shortchanging traditional animation by literalizing it while robbing actors of their full range of facial expressiveness, the performance-capture technique favored by director Robert Zemeckis looks more than ever like the emperor's new clothes in Disney's A Christmas Carol."
— Todd McCarthy, Variety Posted 11.05.09 by reelz
With comic book adaptations all the rage in Hollywood these days, MTV used a recent press conference for A Christmas Carol to ask prolific moviemaker Robert Zemeckis why he has never made a superhero movie. Zemeckis said:
I'm a superhero fan, although I actually have never been offered one. I've never really brought one to someone and said, "I really want to do this superhero [movie]." Obviously, I love the form, as movies really are the extension of comic books.
Of course, you don't build a Hollywood resume as impressive as Zemeckis' without knowing how to deal with the press. He easily turned the conversation back to the movie at hand.
The one thing about A Christmas Carol — it's been made more times than Batman. Posted 11.05.09 by BrentJS
One of Thursday's most anticipated events at Comic-Con was the Disney: 3D Panel. The panel didn't disappoint, either, with Robert Zemeckis kicking things off by speaking about 3-D movies as the wave of the future, though not necessarily right for all movies. The main focus of his talk was on his upcoming re-imagining of A Christmas Tale, which is a decidedly eerie take on the classic novel. The clips he showed definitely upped the creepiness factor in Zemeckis' attempt to reach the surreal tone of the book. He also revealed that Jim Carrey will be playing eight roles in the movie, though why Zemeckis would want that is still unclear.
Despite a little wind being kicked out of his sails, Tim Burton's part of the panel was still the highlight. Although the clip he showed was leaked earlier, it still made quite an impression. Plus, Burton still had a surprise up his sleeves, and brought out his friend Johnny Depp, who plays the Mad Hatter in Burton's upcoming adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
Last up was the Tron panel, which showed footage from last year in 3-D as well as new clips that weren't yet converted. No new details about the plot or technology that's being used to create the movie were offered, but it was officially titled Tron Legacy and the original Tron's creator, Steven Lisberger, joined Jeff Bridges and director Joseph Kosinski onstage.
We'll have videos from this event and others posted shortly, so stick around. Posted 07.23.09 by reelz