VERONICA MARS Set for March 14, 2014 Release

by     Posted 1 year, 17 days ago

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The Veronica Mars movie will finally be unleashed in theaters on March 14, 2014.  The folks at EW broke the news of the release date (and also unveiled an exclusive clip), where the young sleuth will square off against the actioner Need for Speed, the Nicole Kidman-fronted biopic Grace of Monaco, and Tyler Perry’s Single Moms Club at the box office.  Written and directed by Rob Thomas, Veronica Mars finds Kristen Bell’s titular character returning to her hometown of Neptune for her 10-year high school reunion, only ot find a new mystery she has to solve.  Matt was pleased with the footage he saw at Comic-Con this summer, and fans are surely happy to know that the long-awaited feature will finally be in their grasp in three short months.

TOP 5: FROZEN, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE Trailer Cut Like THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, HOMEFRONT, What to Watch Online, OLDBOY

by     Posted 1 year, 21 days ago

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Last night I rewatched Man of Steel for the first time since catching it in theaters back in June. Previously, I wrote that the film had me emotionally invested in Supes in a way that only Grant Morrison‘s All-Star Superman had done before. While I’ve since been blown away by Alan Moore‘s For the Man Who Has Everything tale, my second Man of Steel viewing from yesterday corroborates my previous statement. I see the pic as being good, borderline great thanks in large part to the outstanding performances of Michael Shannon and Kevin Costner. The tragedy of Zod’s story was somewhat lost on me during my first screening (perhaps it was dulled by the impressive array of action set pieces). This time around, though, I felt the full brunt of it and I couldn’t help but sympathize with him for knowing no other purpose than to defend the people of Krypton at any cost. Also, the scene where he introduces himself to the citizens of Earth? Downright frightening. Regarding Pa Kent: although I loved every facet of Costner’s performance the first time I watched the film, I was surprised at how much his scenes still resonated with me on the repeat viewing. Kudos to Zack Snyder and Co. for limiting his screen time and, in doing so, making every single second with him in the frame mean that much more.

My Blu-ray pick of the week aside, this week’s Top 5 features Frozen interviews with Kristen Bell and more, an It’s a Wonderful Life trailer cut in the style of Martin Scorsese‘s The Wolf of Wall Street, Homefront interviews with James Franco and more, the first installment in Allison’s new monthly list of recommended streaming, and Oldboy interviews with Spike Lee, Josh Brolin, and more. As tradition dictates, a brief recap and link to each of the above rests after the jump.

FROZEN Review

by     Posted 1 year, 25 days ago

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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Disney Animation Studios had a marvelous revival and created some of their best films with (in chronological order) The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King.  Since then, the luster has faded but there have been bright spots like Mulan, The Emperor’s New Groove, Lilo & Stitch, Tangled, and Winnie the Pooh.  They even had terrific one with The Princess and the Frog, but as 2D animation dies and the 3D becomes default, the 2009 picture looked like the end of an era.  But with Frozen, directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee have conjured up a film that is among the best in the studio’s history.  The movie gracefully glides around conventions, and combines magnificent music and lovable characters with an artistry and style rarely seen in 3D animated family films.  It is a picture that recalls Disney’s classic films, but also strides boldly into the 21st century.

Kristen Bell Talks FROZEN, Being a Princess at Disneyland, the VERONICA MARS Movie, and LADY GAGA & THE MUPPETS HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR

by     Posted 1 year, 38 days ago

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Over the past few years, Disney Animation has really impressed me.  I thought both Tangled and Wreck-it-Ralph were huge steps forward for the studio, but nothing could have prepared me for how much I loved Frozen.  Loaded with amazing songs (written and composed by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez), great characters (wait until you meet Olaf), and enough humor to keep both kids and parents interested, I’m planning on taking my entire family to see it over Thanksgiving weekend and think it’s going to a huge hit at the box office. If you’re not familiar with Frozen, the story centers on a young dreamer named Anna (Kristen Bell) who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find her sister Elsa, the Queen of Arendelle (Idina Menzel) who has accidentally trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  For more on the film, here’s all our previous coverage.

At the recent New York City press day I landed a great interview with Bell.  She talked about when she first realized Frozen might be a great movie, changes during production, when she first realized she’d be a princess at Disneyland, the Veronica Mars movie Kickstarter campaign, being part of Lady Gaga & the Muppets’ Holiday Spectacular, getting to do a few episodes of Parks and Recreation, and more.  Hit the jump to watch and make sure to see Frozen in 3D when it opens November 27th.

Featurette for VERONICA MARS Movie Delves into Plot Details and Offers Plenty of New Footage

by     Posted 1 year, 54 days ago

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A new featurette for the Veronica Mars movie has landed online, giving fans a glimpse at what’s in store for the continuing adventures of the titular character.  I know next to nothing about the series so it’s tough for me to suss out the important bits from the new footage, but this featurette is similar to the one that was shown at Comic-Con this summer; Kristen Bell lays out the plot of the film and accompanies quite a few clips from the Rob Thomas-directed feature.  If you’re a fan of the series, this will likely pique your interest.

Hit the jump to watch the featurette.  The Kickstarter-funded feature also stars Jason Dohring, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino, Chris Lowell, and Enrico Colantoni.  Veronica Mars is due out in early 2014.

New Trailer for FROZEN Features Elsa and a First Listen to One of the Film’s Musical Numbers

by     Posted 1 year, 64 days ago

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Until this point, I had been underwhelmed by what I’d seen from Disney’s new animated movie musical, Frozen.  It seemed kind of cute, but with too much emphasis on the goofy snowman Olaf (Josh Gad).  But now Disney has released a new trailer that makes me incredibly excited to see the film.  The film centers on a young dreamer named Anna (Kristen Bell) who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find the Snow Queen, Elsa (Idina Menzel), and put an end to a spell that has trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  Elsa is also Anna’s sister, and this trailer shows that Elsa isn’t some one-dimensional villain.  She has a power she can’t control and is being persecuted for it.  Anna and Elsa are sisters, and seeing Anna try to help her sister rather than defeat some super-powered baddie is far more interesting.  The trailer also gives us a sample of one of the musical numbers, it sounds good.

Hit the jump to check out the trailer.  The film also features the voices of Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, and Chris WilliamsFrozen opens in 3D on November 27th.

First Full Trailer and New Images for Disney’s FROZEN Featuring the Voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, and Josh Gad

by     Posted 1 year, 86 days ago

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Disney has released the first theatrical trailer for its upcoming animated film Frozen.  Directed by Chris Buck (Tarzan) and Jennifer Lee (Wreck-It Ralph), the film features Kristen Bell as the voice of a young dreamer named Anna who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find the Snow Queen (Idina Menzel) and put an end to a spell that has trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  While the film certainly looks cute and funny, I’m a tad disappointed that this trailer doesn’t showcase the film’s musical numbers.  That being said, the trailer does show hints of a return to the fantastical, cynic-free films that Disney used to make, so here’s hoping we see more of that in subsequent trailers.

Hit the jump to watch the trailer and to check out a couple of new images.  The film also features the voices of Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Santino Fontana, and Chris Williams.  Frozen opens in 3D on November 27th.

Kristen Bell Talks THE LIFEGUARD, Working with Liz Garcia, Finding Out She Was Pregnant During the Shoot, and the VERONICA MARS Movie

by     Posted 1 year, 116 days ago

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From writer/director Liz W. Garcia, The Lifeguard tells the story of Leigh (Kristen Bell), who flees to her suburban hometown when her career and love life both come crashing down.  Once there, she moves into her old room with her parents, hangs out with old friends, and reclaims her former job as a condo-complex lifeguard, without ever thinking about the affect her actions will have on those closest to her.

At the film’s press day, actress Kristen Bell spoke to Collider for this exclusive interview about wanting to play a character that doesn’t have reason to smile, why she wanted to work with Liz Garcia, the challenge of finding out she was pregnant while doing the movie, and that it was both fun and exhausting to be so vulnerable.  She also talked about the experience of returning to Veronica Mars, the ease she has working with creator Rob Thomas, having various Kickstarter backers on set, every day, fulfilling her dream of bringing a Disney princess to life, for the animated movie Frozen, and why it was important for her to make the character quirky and goofy.  Check out what she had to say after the jump. 

Kristen Bell Talks FROZEN, Being Part of an Animated Disney Film, and the VERONICA MARS Movie at D23

by     Posted 1 year, 134 days ago

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Disney’s Frozen opens November 27th and the studio showed off some new footage today at D23.  Part of the voice cast joined the presentation to talk to the packed convention hall.   The story centers on a young dreamer named Anna (Kristen Bell) who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find her sister Elsa, the Queen of Arendelle (Idina Menzel) who has accidentally trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  For more on the film, here’s Dave’s recap from D23, and all our previous coverage.

A few minutes after she walked off the stage, I landed a quick interview with Kristen Bell backstage.  She talked about how cool it is to be part of a Disney animated movie, how prepared she is for her character to be a greeter at Disneyland, if she gets a lifetime passport to Disneyland since being cast in Frozen, how the Veronica Mars movie turned out, and more.  Hit the jump to watch.

Watch the Comic-Con Trailer/Featurette for the VERONICA MARS Movie

by     Posted 1 year, 151 days ago

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Last Friday at Comic-Con, the Veronica Mars panel brought a behind-the-scenes featurette/teaser trailer for the upcoming Kickstarter-funded picture.  The new movie has Veronica (Kristen Bell) returning to her hometown of Neptune for her 10-year high school reunion only to find a new mystery she has to solve.  In my recap of the panel, I argued that while most Comic-Con presentations should show the footage only to those who stood in line, everything Veronica Mars should belong to the fans who funded it, not just people who could attend the convention.  I’m glad this footage has been released online, and I hope that for the fans, there’s plenty more to come.

Hit the jump to check out the featurette/trailer.  The film also stars Jason Dohring, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, Tina Majorino, Chris Lowell, and Enrico ColantoniVeronica Mars is due out in early 2014.

Comic-Con: VERONICA MARS Panel Recap; Kristen Bell, Rob Thomas and the Cast Talk Kickstarter, New Story and Plot Points, Reprising Their Characters and More

by     Posted 1 year, 155 days ago

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I’ve shared my skepticism in the past about the Veronica Mars movie, but that’s been related to how it relates to funding in Hollywood rather than the content of the picture itself. I’ve seen all three seasons, and while I felt it was diminishing returns, I can see it’s appeal, and it’s a world that could reasonably be adapted into a feature film. At today’s Comic-Con panel, we got a brief glimpse at the film, but it left me cold. Perhaps appropriately, this panel was for the fans rather than anyone else in Hall H even though Thomas stated that they want to open the property up to newcomers. Based on what we saw and heard, they still have a way to go.

Hit the jump for my recap of the Comic-Con panel. Veronica Mars is eyeing an early 2014 release.

Trailer and Poster for THE LIFEGUARD Starring Kristen Bell, Martin Starr, and Amy Madigan

by     Posted 1 year, 166 days ago

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Focus World has released the trailer for the indie drama, The LifeguardKristen Bell stars as a woman who is unable to cope with her life in the big city, and decides to regress by coming back to her hometown and work her old job as a lifeguard.  I caught the movie at Sundance, and thought it was abysmal.  The trailer tries to condense the message of the movie, which is that regression is a positive thing because it lets you find yourself.  The trailer also quickly buries one the major plot points, which is Bell’s character sleeping with a teenager (David Lambert) and calling that self-discovery.

Hit the jump to check out the poster and misleading trailer.  The film also stars Martin Starr, Mamie Gummer, Joshua Harto, and Amy MadiganThe Lifeguard opens in limited release on August 30th.

New Images from VERONICA MARS, CURSE OF CHUCKY, and THE FAMILY

by     Posted 1 year, 177 days ago

New images have been released from a few upcoming films.  Briefly:

  • Veronica Mars – The first official image from director Rob Thomas’ Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie isn’t much, but fans will surely be happy to see Kristen Bell back in her VM get-up.
  • Curse of Chucky – The first two images from this direct-to-DVD sequel show the return of the killer doll, again voiced by Brad DourifDon Mancini, the scribe behind every single Child’s Play film, directs the pic, which is slated to hit shelves later this fall.
  • The Family – A couple of new images from director Luc Besson’s action-comedy focus on the kids of the titular unit, played by Dianna Agron and John D’Leo. The film also stars Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Tommy Lee Jones, and opens in theaters on September 20th.

Hit the jump to check out the images.

First Images from Disney’s Animated Film FROZEN

by     Posted 1 year, 187 days ago

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Disney has released the first images from their upcoming animated film, Frozen.  The film features Kristen Bell as the voice of a young dreamer named Anna who teams up with Kristoff (Jonathan Groff), an extreme mountain man, to find her sister Elsa, the Queen of Arrendelle (Idina Menzel) who has accidentally trapped their kingdom in eternal winter.  Anna and Kristoff are joined on their journey by Kristoff’s trusty reindeer Sven, and a talking snowman/comic-relief, Olaf (Josh Gad).  The film will also have a bit of a love triangle between Anna, Kristoff, and the dashing Prince Hans (Santino Fontana), but the story will focus more on the relationship between Anna and Elsa.  “That’s such an important part of this,” co-director Jennifer Lee tells USA Today.  “Two sisters torn apart by a big family secret.”  Bell adds that Anna is “not a good fighter, she doesn’t have good posture, she’s not very elegant, and she’s constantly putting her foot in her mouth.  But, Bell adds, “she’s a good person and she’s utterly determined.”  That sounds a bit like Disney’s Rapunzel, but I’m sure Anna will have her own personality, and I’m particularly interested to see how she relates to Elsa, since we haven’t really seen that dynamic with a Disney princess before.

Hit the jump to check out the first images from the movie, which features music from The Book of Mormon‘s Robert LopezFrozen opens in 3D on November 27th.

VERONICA MARS Kickstarter Ends Strong with $5.7 Million

by     Posted 1 year, 251 days ago

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It looks like a Veronica Mars movie will be coming to a theaters near you in 2014.  After a record-breaking month of Kickstarter donations, the feature adaptation of Rob Thomas’ (Party Down) beloved cult TV series has the funding to go into production.  The original goal of $2 million was surpassed in just the first day, but Thomas himself had a personal hope that they would reach $5 million by the end of the month.  While not everyone was fully behind the idea of using Kickstarter to fund the film, it is undeniable that this project shows the power of the fans and viewers.  If there is a dedicated following behind a TV show or film, they would be willing to move mountains and open up their wallets to see unfinished stories get that last chapter.

The Veronica Mars movie has commitments from stars Kristen Bell and Jason Dohring, but hopefully we can also see other cast members such as Enrico Colantoni, Percy Daggs III, Francis Capra, Ryan Hansen, and Tina Majorino in the mix.  Hit the jump for more on the project. 

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