Year in Review: 15 Great Films You May Have Missed in 2013

by     Posted 313 days ago

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Every year, there are plenty of great films, but some fall through the cracks and others are overshadowed.   While we’ll have our Top 10 of the year lists near the end of 2013, we wanted to share with you some movies that may have slipped past your attention.  There are films like these on our Top 10 lists as well, but we didn’t want to be redundant, and we wanted to bring attention to more films.  These movies either had too limited of a release or they were dismissed because they looked bad or the premise was deemed too cheesy.  Whatever the reason, they have the potential to be a cult classic in the making or at least a movie you’ll probably be sharing with your friends.

Hit the jump for Matt, Dave, Adam, and Brendan’s choices for great movies you may have missed this year.

75 Songs Eligible for Best Original Song Oscar Including Tracks from FROZEN, THE GREAT GATSBY, and ANCHORMAN 2

by     Posted 318 days ago

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After unveiling the list of scores that will be competing for the Best Original Score Oscar last week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has now unveiled the list of 75 songs that are in contention for Best Original Song.  The fantastic “Let It Go” from Frozen is already an early favorite, and five songs are eligible from Baz Luhrmann’s music-heavy The Great Gatsby including “Young and Beautiful” by Lana del Rey and “Over the Love” by Florence and the Machine.  As for pleasant surprises, it would be most excellent to see the emotional rap “So You Know What It’s Like” from Short Term 12 land a nomination.  Upcoming films that have eligible original songs include “Doby” from Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues and “The Moon Song” from Her.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of songs eligible for the Best Original Song Oscar.  The 86th Academy Award nominations will be announced on January 16th, followed by the Oscar ceremony on March 2nd.

Director Chris Wedge Talks EPIC, the Road to Finally Getting a Greenlight, the Oscars, Branching into Live-Action with MONSTER TRUCKS, and More

by     Posted 319 days ago

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Epic (available on Blu-ray/DVD) is an animated family adventure that reveals a fantastical world hidden from the human eye.  In the forest, there is an ongoing battle between the forces of good, who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil, who wish to destroy it.  When a teenage girl (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she teams up with the Leafmen, led by Ronin (voiced by Colin Farrell), and a cast of odd-ball characters, who must work together to save both their world and ours.  From Ice Age director Chris Wedge, the film also features the voices of Beyonce Knowles, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Sudeikis, Aziz Ansari and Armando “Pitbull” Pérez.

With award season in full swing, Epic has picked up five Annie Awards nominations, including directing for Chris Wedge.  During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, Wedge talked about how it took much longer for Epic to get to theaters than he had expected, that it took awhile to get a green light because it was different from what people had come to expect from him, what finally got him the production go-ahead, how even though it’s arbitrary to put out prizes for art, he still loves the Academy Award he has on a shelf (he won Best Short Film, Animated for Bunny in 1999), what he thinks it would take for an animated feature to win Best Picture, and how he likes going to see all of the other animated features.  He also talked about the live-action/animation hybrid film about Monster Trucks that he’s currently developing, and that’s expected to be done in about a year, and the goals they have at Blue Sky Studios.  Check out what he had to say after the jump. 

Oscar Beat: 19 Animated Features Submitted for 86th Academy Awards

by     Posted 359 days ago

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19 animated feature films have been submitted for consideration for the 86th Annual Academy Awards, and it’s clear that this is a very thin year for the Best Animated Feature race.  Monsters University and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 feel like the biggest standouts, and while MU is certainly a strong effort from Pixar, it’s tough to imagine those two rousing the same kind of passion that previous nominees like How to Train Your Dragon, Toy Story 3, or even ParaNorman instilled.  DreamWorks Animation has two contenders in the bunch with The Croods and Turbo, while Illumination Entertainment’s Despicable Me 2, Blue Sky’s Epic, and Disney’s Planes and Frozen are also eligible for nominations.  Hayao Miyazaki’s latest feature The Wind Rises is also among the submitted films.

Hit the jump to check out the full list of submitted features and for my early thoughts on the Best Animated Feature Oscar race.  The 86th Oscars will be held on March 2, 2014.  To catch up on all of our Oscar Beat coverage thus far, click here.

New to Blu-ray: AMOUR, EPIC, SCARY MOVIE 5 Unrated Cut, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 69 days ago

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Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:

25 Things to Know about Blue Sky’s EPIC Blu-ray/DVD Release

by     Posted 1 year, 72 days ago

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To celebrate the release of their latest film, Epic, on DVD and Blu-Ray, Blue Sky Studios recently held a press day at their studio headquarters in Greenwich, Connecticut.  A select group of reporters spent the day taking a tour of the studio and learning about the process of taking a film from initial concept through to finished product you watch on the big screen (or on Blu-Ray at home.)  The film stars the voices of Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, and many more.  Hit the jump for more about the animation process, interviews with director Chris Wedge, production designer Greg Couch and art director Mike Knapp and read 25 more Fun Facts you never knew about Epic and Blue Sky Studios!

Chris Wedge Talks EPIC, FERNGULLY Comparison, Picking His Voice Cast, New Blue Sky Logo, Possibility of More ICE AGE

by     Posted 1 year, 150 days ago

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FernGully 2.0? Perhaps a little, but director Chris Wedge’s Epic is really much more than that. After kicking off the Ice Age franchise, directing the 2005 release, Robots, and voicing Ice Age’s Scrat in between, Wedge moved on to Epic, a film inspired by William Joyce and his book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs. Epic features the voice of Amanda Seyfried as Mary Katherine, a human non-believer who shrinks down to the forest floor and is shocked to find herself face-to-face with a brigade of Leaf Men soldiers, a snail, a slug, and more creatures that should be a fraction of her size.

During my interview with Wedge, we discussed the FernGully association, how to decide between giving a character a noticeably famous voice or a famous yet less obvious one, and how an animated character may come to look like his or her real life counterpart. We also touched on Wedge’s hopes to direct again and the possible continuation of the Ice Age franchise. Hit the jump to watch the interview.

Weekend Box Office: FAST & FURIOUS 6 Leads Biggest Memorial Day Box Office of All Time

by     Posted 1 year, 157 days ago

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So far, 2013 has been a little light on winning weekends – even the phenomenal success of Iron Man 3 represented a decline from 2012 when The Avengers reigned. But the ridiculous bounty of big-time releases this holiday weekend has delivered a win over last year’s frame and set a new record for the biggest Memorial Day box office of all time.

 Title Weekend Total
1.  Fast & Furious 6 $98,528,000 $98.5
2.  The Hangover III $42,400,000 $54.2
3.  Star Trek Into Darkness $38,000,000 $146.8
4.  Epic $34,200,000 $34.2
5.  Iron Man 3 $19,424,000 $367.5
6.  The Great Gatsby 3D $13,705,000 $114.4
7.  Mud $1,980,000 $14.5
8.  42 $1,245,000 $91
9.  The Croods $1,215,000 $179.2
10.  Oblivion $815,000 $87.2

Friday Box Office: FAST & FURIOUS 6 Blows by THE HANGOVER III to Start Crowded Memorial Day Weekend

by     Posted 1 year, 158 days ago

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Today is like Christmas for box office nerds – giant franchises, an over-packed holiday schedule, all-time records on the line? In my world, it’s about as exciting as it gets. Three major new releases join an already saturated marketplace this weekend – The Hangover Part III, Fast & Furious 6 and the animated Epic. For weeks, box office watchers have wondered how the unusual decision to set two major studio sequels (targeting roughly the same audience) opposite each other would play out. Now its time to open our presents.

The Hangover III got an early start (opening Thursday with an estimated $11.7 million including Wednesday pm and midnight previews), but Fast & Furious 6 will be the undisputed Memorial Day winner. From 3,658 locations, the Universal release took in an estimated $38.2 million. That’s a new record for the 12 year-old franchise, topping the $34.4 million of 2011’s Fast Five. At this point, Fast 6 is expected to take in close to $100 million through Sunday and $119 million for the four-day holiday frame. In contrast, The Hangover III is struggling. Just two years after The Hangover Part II broke records with its $85.9 million opening weekend, its follow-up is expected to earn just $64 million over its first five days. Overall, the 2013 Memorial Day weekend is on track to become the most lucrative of all time, so check back tomorrow for more on this crazy-busy holiday box office.

 Title Friday    Total
1.  Fast & Furious 6 $38,200,000    $38.2
2.  The Hangover III $14,530,000    $26.2
3.  Star Trek Into Darkness $10,200,000    $119
4.  Epic $9,350,000    $9.3
5.  Iron Man 3 $5,113,000    $353.1

Chris O’Dowd & Aziz Ansari Talk EPIC, Improvising, THOR: THE DARK WORLD, Ansari’s Scripts, ICE AGE 4: CONTINENTAL DRIFT and Michele Bachmann

by     Posted 1 year, 159 days ago

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For the record, Chris O’Dowd and Aziz Ansari, I was totally onto you.  Appropriately, the comedy duo serves as Epic’s comedic relief, Grub (O’Dowd) the snail and Mub (Ansari) the slug. When Grub isn’t dreaming of joining the ranks of the Leaf Men and Mub isn’t hitting on Mary Katherine (voice by Amanda Seyfried), the pair is in charge of keeping a very special little pod moist. It sounds like a silly job, but if that pod doesn’t bloom in the moonlight, the entire forest could wilt at the hands of the leader of the Boggans, Mandrake (voiced by Christoph Waltz).

When Ansari wasn’t rising to the challenge and seeing how many times he could squeeze Ice Age 4: Continental Drift into a single interview, we discussed how they fleshed out their characters while the animators put the world of Epic together, to Ansari’s amusement, how working on Epic compared to Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, a Michele Bachmann namedrop, and whether or not they got the opportunity to improvise. Moving on to their upcoming films, O’Dowd was cryptic or perhaps honestly uninformed about his Thor: The Dark World cameo and Ansari touched on the difficultly of getting his own scripts into production. Hit the jump to watch the interview.

Amanda Seyfried Talks EPIC, Awkward Non-Dialogue Voice Work, Tricks for Working in a Sound Booth, Z FOR ZACHARIAH, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 160 days ago

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The moment you’re famous enough that your voice becomes recognizable, the animated movie offers must come pouring in, but even after years of being in the spotlight, Epic only marks Amanda Seyfried’s very first foray into the world of voice work. She plays Mary Katherine, the daughter of Professor Bomba (voiced by Jason Sudeikis) who’s essentially given up everything for an obsessive pursuit to prove that there are tiny warriors living in the forest. Like everyone else, MK isn’t buying it, but when Queen Tara (voiced by Beyonce Knowles) has no choice but to shrink MK down to Leaf Man size so she can help save the forest, MK realizes her father’s been right all along.

With Epic on its way to a May 24th release, Seyfried sat down in New York City to talk about making the film and more. We ran through what drew her to the project, her love of the forest, the challenge of tapping into her imagination while in a sound booth, the physicality involved in doing voice work, how voicing an animated character compares to singing live on set, and the awkwardness of non-dialogue voice work. Seyfried also offered an update on her upcoming projects including Lovelace and Z for Zachariah. Hit the jump to watch.

Colin Farrell Talks EPIC, Playing His First Animated Character, Working with Chris Wedge, Disney’s SAVING MR. BANKS, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 161 days ago

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After all these years, it’s surprising Colin Farrell has yet to lend his voice to an animated character, but turns out, waiting served him well because his character, Ronan, is featured in the “achingly beautiful” world that drew Farrell to Epic to begin with. Ronan is the leader of the Leaf Men and when Mandrake (voiced by Christoph Waltz) and the Boggans threaten to destroy the forest, he joins forces with the formerly human-sized Mary Katherine (voice by Amanda Seyfried), a renegade young Leaf Man, Nod (voiced by Josh Hutcherson), and a slug and a snail, Mub and Grub (voiced by Aziz Ansari and Chris O’Dowd), to ensure a very special little pod stays safe, giving them a chance to keep the terrain lush with greenery and life.

While in New York City celebrating Epic’s May 24th release, Farrell sat down to talk about how director Chris Wedge and his team of animators first reeled him in, the challenge of working in a sound booth for the first time, Ronan’s backstory, and about how he felt seeing his voice coming out of a completely different body. And before wrapping up, Farrell also spoke a bit about Saving Mr. Banks and Winter’s Tale. Catch it all in the video interview after the jump.

Armando “Pitbull” Pérez Talks EPIC, Why He Wanted to Voice an Animated Character, His Upcoming Tour with Ke$ha, and More

by     Posted 1 year, 162 days ago

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Epic is a 3D family adventure comedy that reveals a fantastical world hidden from the human eye.  In the forest, there is an ongoing battle between the forces of good, who keep the natural world alive, and the forces of evil, who wish to destroy it.  When a teenage girl (voiced by Amanda Seyfried) finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she teams up with the Leafmen, led by Ronin (voiced by Colin Farrell), and a cast of odd-ball characters, who must work together to save both their world and ours.  From Ice Age director Chris Wedge, the film also features the voices of Beyonce Knowles, Josh Hutcherson, Christoph Waltz, Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler, Chris O’Dowd, Jason Sudeikis, Aziz Ansari and Armando “Pitbull” Pérez.

At the recent L.A. press day, Collider got the opportunity to chat with superstar music artist Pitbull about what made him want to voice a character in an animated movie, what made Epic the right project, and what kind of a frog his character is.  He also talked about his upcoming concert tour with Ke$ha and what he loves about performing live.  Watch the video or read the transcript after the jump:

6 Clips from EPIC Featuring the Voices of Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, and Christoph Watlz

by     Posted 1 year, 174 days ago

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20th Century Fox has released six new clips from the upcoming animated film Epic.  The story tells of a hidden land deep in the forest where the battle between the forces of good and evil continues under our very noses.  A teenage girl is magically transported into their secret universe by shrinking down to their size, where she must combine forces with an assortment of colorful characters in order to save both worlds.  The pic boasts an impressive voice cast led by Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, and Christoph Waltz, and promising to be a thrilling adventure ride that’s sure to transport kids to a wholly different world.

Hit the jump to watch the cilps.  The film also features the voices of Aziz Ansari, Colin Farrell, Pitbull, Jason Sudeikis, Steven Tyler, Blake Anderson, Judah Friedlander, and Beyoncé Knowles.  Epic opens in 3D on May 24th.

Four New TV Spots for EPIC Highlight Characters Voiced by Josh Hutcherson, Steven Tyler, Pitbull and Beyoncé

by     Posted 1 year, 184 days ago

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Some new TV spots for Fox’s latest animated effort Epic have made it to the web. Based on William Joyce’s children’s book The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs, the 3D pic follows a teenager (Amanda Seyfried) who is shrunk down to insect-proportions while exploring a magical forest and finds herself caught up in a battle between the virtuous Leaf Men and the dastardly Boggans. Christoph Waltz, Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Beyoncé Knowles and Jason Sudeikis are a few of the other high-profile celebs voicing this one to life.  The film was directed by Chris Wedge, who helmed the first Ice Age (in addition to doing the “voice” of Scrat throughout that franchise’s run).

The four one-minute spots feature Hutcherson, Knowles and fellow stars Steven Tyler and Pitbull talking about their characters, the experience of voice-acting and what to expect from Epic (apparently, it’s pretty “epic”). Hit the jump to check them out. Epic hits theatres on May 24.

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