by     Posted 1 year, 53 days ago


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.

Nicholas Hoult, Michael Shannon, Elle Fanning and Kodi Smit-McPhee to Star in YOUNG ONES

by     Posted 1 year, 68 days ago


Quite the impressive ensemble is being assembled for director Jake Paltrow’s (The Good Night) upcoming futuristic thriller Young OnesVariety 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.

PARANORMAN ‘For Your Consideration’ Featurette Goes Behind-the-Scenes of the “Most Ambitious Stop-Motion Film Ever Made”

by     Posted 1 year, 116 days ago


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 AlbrizziParaNorman is now available on DVD/Blu-ray. Hit the jump to check out the featurette.


by     Posted 1 year, 134 days ago


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.

Chloe Moretz May Reteam with Kodi Smit-McPhee for THE WILDERNESS OF JAMES

by     Posted 1 year, 235 days ago


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.

TOP 5: THE EXPENDABLES 2, PARANORMAN, THE LAST STAND, David Cronenberg Doesn’t Like Superhero Movies, BULLET TO THE HEAD

by     Posted 1 year, 240 days ago


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.


by     Posted 1 year, 241 days ago


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.


by     Posted 1 year, 242 days ago


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.

Fantastically Moody New Trailer for PARANORMAN

by     Posted 1 year, 243 days ago


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 MannParaNorman opens in 3D on August 17th.


by     Posted 1 year, 249 days ago


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.

PARANORMAN Time-Lapse Video Shows a Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Making of a 3D Stop-Motion Animated Feature

by     Posted 1 year, 252 days ago


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.

Watch Six Clips from PARANORMAN

by     Posted 1 year, 252 days ago


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.

Olympic TV Spots for Animated Features WRECK-IT RALPH and PARANORMAN

by     Posted 1 year, 259 days ago

With the Olympics currently dominating TV viewership, the animated characters of ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph have decided to get into the gamesTwo 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.

Comic-Con: PARANORMAN Panel Recap; Christopher Mintz-Plasse Reveals KICK-ASS 2 May Start Filming in September

by     Posted 1 year, 276 days ago


I’ve been looking forward to ParaNorman ever since the incredible first trailer premiered nearly a year ago.  The stop-motion animated pic comes from LAIKA, the studio behind Coraline, and centers on a young boy whose ability to communicate with the dead comes in handy when his town is overrun by ghosts, witches, zombies, etc.

Directors Sam Fell and Chris Butler, LAIKA head Travis Knight, and actors Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse took the stage at Hall H at Comic-Con 2012 to unveil some footage and answer questions.  The 3D footage looks incredibly and you can read my recap of the lively panel discussion after the jump.

PARANORMAN Viral Newsletters Highlight Stop-Motion Characters

by     Posted 1 year, 303 days ago


The stop-motion animated film ParaNorman already boasts cutting-edge visuals, but new viral newsletters serve to flesh out the story of the characters behind the puppets.  ParaNorman centers on the title character, voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee, a gifted but misunderstood young boy who has the power to speak to the ghostly residents of his hometown of Blithe Hollow.  We’ve already seen the gorgeous character and scene work in these images, TV spots, posters and trailers; Steve got an even closer look at the animation process during his set visit to LAIKA Studios.  Now, thanks to these viral newsletters, we get to see a little more background story on on the inhabitants of the cursed little town.

ParaNorman also features the voices of Casey Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Leslie Mann, Jeff Garlin, John Goodman, and Alex Borstein.  The movie opens in 3D on August 17th.  Hit the jump to check out the newsletters.

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