The last time we heard anything about The Congress, Ari Folman‘s follow-up to his remarkable 2008 film, Waltz with Bashir, was back in 2011. The movie is a blend of live action and animation that adapts Stanislaw Lem’s classic short story, “The Futurological Congress”, and follows an aging actress desperate for work (Robin Wright) who takes one last job to support her disabled son (Kodi-Smit McPhee). We hoped to see the film in 2012, but now it will finally debut at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The trailer has debuted online, and the movie looks beautiful and enchantingly strange. Wright plays herself, and then is scanned into an animated world where the studio now owns her, but she will be forever young. Even though there’s a bit of sci-fi in here, it’s not too far removed from reality where motion-capture has become a regular part of filmmaking.
Hit the jump to check out the trailer. The film also stars Danny Huston, Harvey Keitel, and Paul Giamatti. The 2013 Cannes Film Festival runs from May 15 – 26th.
The first trailer for director Carlo Carlei’s adaptation of Romeo & Juliet has landed online. Written by Julian Fellowes (Downton Abbey, Gosford Park), the film stars Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) as Juliet and Douglas Booth (The Pillars of the Earth) as Romeo, with a rather impressive supporting cast that includes Paul Giamatti, Stellan Skarsgard, and Homeland’s Damian Lewis. Carlei maintains the original setting of Shakespeare’s play and looks to be taking a rather classical approach to the storytelling. Following a rather awkward opening with “movie trailer guy” reciting Shakespeare, the clip sufficiently teases the romantic and intense aspects of Shakespeare’s source material. However, with a story that’s been told countless times, it’s tough to be excited by a new adaptation unless its told in an original or interesting fashion.
Hit the jump to watch the trailer. The film also stars Ed Westwick, Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) and Natascha McElhone. Romeo & Juliet is set for release in the U.K on July 26th, but a US distribution deal has yet to be made.
Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) has been cast as a lead in Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. When the sequel added Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) just a few days ago, we learned that the plot would be set 15 years after Rise of the Planet of the Apes and involve “the group of human scientists who are struggling to survive alone in San Francisco.” We still don’t know exactly how Clarke and Smit-McPhee fit into the story, but they’re both solid additions. Also featuring the return of Andy Serkis in his phenomenal role of Caesar, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is due out May 23, 2014. Hit the jump for more.
Quite the impressive ensemble is being assembled for director Jake Paltrow’s (The Good Night) upcoming futuristic thriller Young Ones. Variety reports that Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning, and Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) have signed on to star. The story centers on a 14-year-old boy forced to use his wits to survive and “is set in a violent near-future where water has become the most precious—and fastest-dwindling—resource on the planet.” Paltrow wrote the script and will direct, with production already underway in South Africa’s Northern Cape desert.
This isn’t Hoult’s first go at apocalyptic landscapes, as he recently wrapped director George Miller’s sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. He recently scored a hit in his first leading turn with Warm Bodies, and also plays the title character in next month’s Jack the Giant Slayer. After Young Ones, he’ll report to the set for the sequel X-Men: Days of Future Past. Since the lead in the film is a 14-year-old, though, one assumes Smit-McPhee is playing the main character.
The amount of behind-the-scenes work that went into creating ParaNorman should be worth an award by itself. New featurettes for the Chris Butler and Sam Fell film are reminding the academy voters that the animated feature is the “most ambitious stop-motion film ever made.” Using cutting-edge technology in the form of fully-articulated puppets and 3D printing, just to name a few, the creative army behind ParaNorman is still a devoted group of craftspeople at their core. Even for those of you who enjoyed the film, these featurettes reveal a lot of hidden details in certain scenes and will give you a whole new appreciation for the work that went into bringing ParaNorman to the screen.
Featuring the voices of Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman, Leslie Mann and Tucker Albrizzi, ParaNorman is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Hit the jump to check out the featurette.
by Rob Vaux Posted: December 2nd, 2012 at 10:57 am
Here’s the thing about ParaNorman: it’s not the family romp it claims to be. The ads push the child hero, and the kid-friendly animation, peppered with the expected amount of grown-up in-jokes. They’re not lying, but at the same time, they miss film’s overall tone: dark, creepy, and often quite sad. That’s actually a good thing – it helps make ParaNorman one of the more original animated features in recent years – but it might catch newcomers by surprise. Hit the jump for my full review of the Blu-ray.
A Let Me In reunion may be in the works. Deadline reports that Chloe Moretz is currently in negotiations to star in the indie The Wilderness of James, where she would star opposite her Let Me In screen partner Kodi Smit-McPhee. The coming of age story takes place in Portland and centers on a young boy who is dealing with the absence of his father. Michael Johnson, who wrote the script, is making his directorial debut on the project.
There are a few scheduling issues to work out before Moretz can sign on. Production on The Wilderness of James is set to begin next month, but Moretz is currently filming Kimberley Peirce’s Carrie remake and will move directly into filming Jeff Wadlow’s sequel Kick-Ass 2 once she wraps. No word on where James might be shooting, but as the immensely talented Moretz steps into more high-profile roles it’s nice to see that she’s still attracted to small, dramatic indies.
by Jason Barr Posted: August 18th, 2012 at 1:59 pm
This weekend’s release of ParaNorman will afford me the rare opportunity to share an afternoon in the theater with two of my nephews, ages 8 and 10. Granted, they’re a little disappointed that we’re not checking it out in 3D, but I just can’t bring myself to foster any sort of affinity for the technology in their young and impressionable minds. The last movie we watched in theaters together was 2009′s Up and it was an experience that I’ll never forget as its brilliant opening sequence brought tears to both of their eyes at the ripe ages of 5 and 7. It was a glowing example of the cinema’s ability to touch young and old alike and while ParaNorman will likely be unable to touch that moment, I’m looking forward to it a ton nonetheless.
My weekend plans aside, in a three-fifths ode to our action heroes of yesteryear, this week’s Top 5 includes video interviews with the cast of The Expendables 2, video interviews with the cast and directors of ParaNorman, the first poster and trailer for Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s The Last Stand, David Cronenberg vs. the superhero genre, and the first trailer for Sly Stallone and director Walter Hill‘s revenge tale, Bullet to the Head. As always, a brief recap and link to each greets you after the jump.
LAIKA’s awesome 3D stop-motion feature, ParaNorman opens this Friday. Directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, the film centers on a young boy who can see the dead and must use this gift to lift a curse that threatens his small town. ParaNorman features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and more. For more on the film, here’s six clips, a very cool featurette called Time Lapse, and all our previous coverage.
At the recent Los Angeles press day I spoke to Kodi-Smit McPhee. We talked about making ParaNorman, his reaction to the finished film, how the script change along the way, what surprised him about the recording process, and upcoming projects like The Congress, Romeo and Juliet and A Birder’s Guide to Everything. Hit the jump to watch.
I’ve always been slightly bewildered by the zombie genre. Occasionally, it will be a social satire (the original Dawn of the Dead) or a spoof/homage (Shaun of the Dead), but I’m not sure what to do with games like Left 4 Dead or Zombieland. They’re certainly entertaining, but they seem based on the desire to kill humans without having to deal with the nasty morality of that decision. Zombies aren’t people too, but they were humans once, and it’s odd to take such glee in destroying them. It’s a license to kill with the knowledge that zombies are out to hurt you first. But what if the zombies weren’t malevolent? What happens when we shoot first, and don’t bother asking questions later? ParaNorman is a sharp, witty comedy with a ton of heart that puts a thoughtful twist on the zombie genre, and how a righteous cause can be anything but right.
A new web-only trailer for LAIKA’s (Coraline) stop-motion animated film ParaNorman has gone online, and the film continues to look absolutely gorgeous. This trailer is framed by narration from the character voiced by John Goodman as he explains that a witch’s curse is descending on the town and Norman is the only person who can stop it. While the other trailers have played up the film’s top-notch humor and swell animation, this clip reminds us of the pic’s supernaturally enhanced, moody atmosphere. I continue to be ridiculously excited for ParaNorman and Friday can’t get here soon enough.
Hit the jump to watch the new trailer, and if you missed Steve’s interviews be sure to check out what Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler had to say about the film. The voice cast also includes Kodi Smit-McPhee, Casey Affleck, and Leslie Mann. ParaNorman opens in 3D on August 17th.
With directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell’s ParaNorman opening in a couple weeks, we’ve been given some swag to send off to one lucky reader. The 3D stop-motion picture centers on a young boy who can see the dead and must use this gift to lift a curse that threatens his small town. ParaNorman features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, John Goodman, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann, Jodelle Ferland and more. The stop-motion animated flick opens August 17th. Hit the jump to see how you can win some swag.
We previously brought you these six new clips from the upcoming 3D, stop-motion animated film, ParaNorman, but now we can give you a quick look at how the feature came together. This behind-the-scenes featurette gives you an idea of the technology involved (3D printing of character molds), the meticulous nature of filming each individual scene and the sheer manpower involved with pulling off a feature of this complexity.
ParaNorman, directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell, and starring the vocal talents of Kodi Smit-McPhee, John Goodman, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Casey Affleck, Leslie Mann and Jeff Garlin, opens in 3D on August 17th. Hit the jump to check out the behind-the-scenes time-lapse video.
The visually stunning ParaNorman opens in theaters August 17th, but we have six new clips to tease you with today. If you missed Steve’s set visit to LAIKA studios, do yourself a favor and check it out. The technology and man-power involved in the making of this 3D, stop-motion animated adventure comedy is astonishing. The following clips highlight the film’s technical beauty and give glimpses of its characters, plot and humor.
ParaNorman, from directors Chris Butler and Sam Fell, features the voices of Kodi-Smit McPhee, Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman and Alex Borstein. Hit the jump to view the clips.
With the Olympics currently dominating TV viewership, the animated characters of ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph have decided to get into the games. Two new TV spots have gone online for ParaNorman, the stop-motion animated tale directed by Chris Butler and Sam Fell that tasks Norman (Kodi Smit-McPhee) with preventing a curse that will allow the dead to overrun his hometown. Rich Moore’s Wreck-It Ralph also gets into the act with a spot featuring stars Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch. Hit the jump to check out the TV spots.