Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Disney Renaissance Part 4: Aladdin

Fairy Tale adaptations marked the beginning of the Disney Renaissance. Hardly surprising, as this type of story having been synonymous with Disney animation since Walt's first feature film, and so it was rather fitting that it formed the cornerstone of the first few years of the late 80's/90's comeback. With The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast the House of Mouse went for a classical tone - they may have been mixed with modern technology and sensibility, but the films more or less played it straight. And were aimed with laser focus at the younger female demographic.

With Aladdin, all that changed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

In Memoriam: Tony Scott's Revenge

Late this summer, movie-making lost one of its most influential and interesting voices when Tony Scott unexpectedly took his own life. The man was - by all accounts of those who worked with him - honest, encouraging, self-deprecating, and friendly in a gruff and course way. His career took off as a highly sought-after studio director, then after a few years began to experiment with the scripts he chose and - a bit later - with his entire style of film-making.

In the first two parts of this memorial retrospective I examined two of his slightly more mainstream offerings, but here we'll find a much darker film. Revenge was a movie made after a string of Scott's successes, and near the height of actor Kevin Costner's career - and the resulting film is somewhat out of step with the careers of both men. It's dark, depressing, and at odds with itself. But at the same time it is, like much of Scott's work, undeniably fascinating.

I don't think that it's Tony Scott's masterpiece as Quentin Tarantino has been quoted as saying, but it's certainly impressive in its own way.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

In Defense of Popcorn Entertainment

So the suckers - I mean, the editors at WHATCULTURE! have seen fit to inflict my latest article upon the world. This one goes a bit far afield - I stated earlier that I'd try to alternate "lighter" pieces (basically fluffy hit-bait that is fun to write) with more "serious" in-depth works, and this one ended up being a bit more of a plunge than I expected.

Hopefully, it's worth it, but you can judge for yourself - the link is after the jump:

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Disney Renaissance Part 3: Beauty and the Beast

If The Little Mermaid kick-started a new public love for Disney animation, then this next film launched it into orbit. It shouldn't have been as successful as it was, considering its tumultuous development. Swapping out directors, bringing in a musical team well into production, a schedule and budget that paled in comparison to that of its predecessors. For all that, it transformed into a beautiful film, a cultural touchstone, and a gorgeous story that became the first animated film ever to be nominated for Best Picture.

Of course, that film is Beauty and the Beast.

Final Check-In - A Library Action Thriller!

A good friend of mine had the crazy idea - sprung from her job - to create a trailer for a mythical action movie set in a library, full of homages to junk Hollywood action flicks as well as filled with librarian in-jokes and settings. This was shot in a couple of days, guerrilla-style with limited equipment, make-shift locations, and no budget whatsoever. It's rather amusing.

And not just because I play a hulking henchman in it.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Okay Warner Bros., Here's the 1st Step of Your Justice League Movie

You'll love it - it involves Batman. I know you want to keep the Batman money train alive even in the aftermath of Nolan's record-breaking Dark Knight Trilogy, and I know you want to instantly get audiences hyped for the Justice League movie you're so keen to make in the wake of The Avengers taking the world by storm.

So here's how you do both...

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

About Those Interesting Developments. . .

In a rather sudden turn of events, I'm a semi-legitimate contributer to entertainment web site My debut article "After The Dark Knight Rises and Harry Potter, What's Next For Warner Bros?" can be read HERE. It's exactly what it sounds like - post-franchise profit pontification (yes, I like alliteration).

So how'd that happen?