THE ILLUSIONIST Blu-ray Review

by     Posted 2 years, 297 days ago

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First of all, I must state that this is not The Illusionist, the brilliant film from 2006 with Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti, but the French animated film The Illusionist from 2010, that also happens to be rather brilliant in its sweet way. Set in the mid-1950’s, it’s the story of a small-time illusionist who visits a tiny Scottish town, and a young female resident who believes through his kind actions that he is an actual magician.  She tags along with Tatischeff the Illusionist, and they form a bond of friendship.  More that this, it is, in a small way, the story of the approach of the modern era and the increasingly hard-to-please and sophisticated public. It’s a story of kindness, and the little things that one can do for almost complete strangers that make all the difference in the world.

Cool Posters for THE HAUNTING, WINTER’S BONE, SOURCE CODE and More

by     Posted 3 years, 99 days ago

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I’m a movie poster dork and I always like seeing what various artists do when creating posters for movies they enjoy or are looking forward to.  The folks at Phantom City Creative have done some pretty sweet work by creating three posters dedicated to the film’s of director Robert Wise: The Body Snatcher, The Haunting, and The Andromeda Strain.  Each of their posters is limited to an edition of 113, measures 11×17, and costs $30 (plus shipping) or $75 (plus shipping) if you buy all three posters together.

Moving on, artist Sam Smith designed posters for his ten favorite films of 2010 and came up with some really stunning work.  I particularly love his posters for Winter’s Bone and Toy Story 3.  Finally, Lloyd Stas, whose work we featured last week when he designed posters for the work of Edgar Wright, has taken a stab at Duncan Jones’ upcoming film Source Code.  Hit the jump to check out all of the posters.

THE SOCIAL NETWORK Takes Top Prize at the Los Angeles Film Critics Awards

by     Posted 3 years, 132 days ago

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The critics’ lists just keep on coming. We already brought you the American Film Institute and the Boston Society of Film Critics’ awards for the best in film of 2010 earlier today, and now the Los Angeles Film Critics Association has announced the winners of their awards. The Social Network was, again, the big winner. David Fincher’s award-magnet picked up Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Music, and in a tie with Carlos’ Olivier Assayas, Best Director. In a bit of a surprise, the other big winner was the French-German television mini-series-turned theatrical film Carlos. The film took home the award for Best Foreign-Language Film as well as Best Director. Oscar heavyweight The King’s Speech only managed to pick up one award, Best Actor. Hit the jump for a full list of winners and runners-up.

Nominations for the 2010 Annie Awards Announced

by     Posted 3 years, 138 days ago

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Award season is in full-swing, and today the nominations for the 38th Annual Annie Awards were announced. Headed by the International Animated Film Society, the Annies’s recognize the best in the field of animation including best animated feature, television production, commercials, short subjects, video games and outstanding individual achievements. “This has been an unprecedented year for animation, as the high quality of work represented by our nominees will attest,” says ASIFA-Hollywood President Antran Manoogian. “On behalf of ASIFA-Hollywood, we congratulate all of the nominees and their respective studios.” The Annie’s are usually a fairly good predictor of Oscar gold, with the winner of the Annie for Best Animated Feature matching the winner of the Oscar for the same category 6 of the 9 years the Annie’s have been in existence.  Winners will be announced at the 38th Annual Annie Awards ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011. Hit the jump for the list of nominees, as well as the special honorees for this year’s ceremony.

2010 European Film Award Winners Announced; THE GHOST WRITER Wins Six

by     Posted 3 years, 139 days ago

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The 2010 European Film Award Winners were announced this weekend, and the big takeaway is that the European Film Academy really liked The Ghost Writer.  The Roman Polanski-directed feature was warmly received on this side of the Atlantic, but I’d be shocked if it swarms the Oscars with quite the ferocity it did the EFAs. Six awards in total, including best film, director (Polanski), actor (Ewan McGregor), screenwriter (Polanski and Robert Harris), production designer (Albrecht Konrad), and composer (Alexandre Desplat).

The ceremony wasn’t entirely Ghost-written, though: Lourdes, The Illusionist, Carlos, and Lebanon were among the other winners.  Hit the jump for the full list.

15 Animated Films Submitted for Best Animated Feature Film Oscar

by     Posted 3 years, 159 days ago

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the fifteen animated feature films that have been accepted for consideration in the Animated Feature Film category at the 83rd Academy Awards.  The list includes the obvious blockbusters such as Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, and Shrek Forever After, as well as less traditional but no less critically praised fair such as My Dog Tulip, Summer Wars, and the French film The Illusionist.

Under Academy rules, any year in which 8 to 15 animated features are released, a maximum of 3 motion pictures may be nominated. If 16 or more animated features are submitted and accepted in the category, a maximum of 5 motion pictures may be nominated. Since the Academy only deemed 15 animated feature films from this year worthy of being considered, there will only be 3 nominations in the Best Animated Feature Film category at the Oscars in February.  However, films submitted in the Animated Film category are also eligible for Academy Awards in other categories, such as Best Picture, so fear not Toy Story 3 fans, it’s still got a shot at the top prize. Hit the jump to check out the full list of films under consideration, as well as speculation as to which three films are most likely to be nominated.

A Recap of All Our AFM Coverage; Tons of Synopses, Posters, and Images for Upcoming Films

by     Posted 3 years, 171 days ago

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With the American Film Market (AFM) starting today in Los Angeles, we’ve been posting an enormous amount of promo posters and first synopses from a wide assortment of movies. Due to the amount that we’ve been posting, we think there is a good chance you might have missed some of the posters and info over the course of the day. So to make sure you’re all caught up, here’s links to all our AFM coverage. Look for more tomorrow:

Posters for THE KING’S SPEECH, THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER, and THE ILLUSIONIST

by     Posted 3 years, 171 days ago

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This afternoon, we have posters for The King’s Speech, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Illusionist.  The poster for the The King’s Speech is awful, which is a shame as the film has an insane amount of positive buzz and looks like a lock for an Oscar nomination.  The poster for Narnia is much better even though they’ve already done one where they got up into Aslan’s grill.  Finally, The Illusionist is trying to win people over with blurb-power.  It’s not a bad strategy, but it short-changes the art of the film, which looks stunning.

Hit the jump to check out the posters along with a synopsis for each film.  The King’s Speech opens November 26th.  The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader opens December 10th.  The Illusionist opens December 25th.

Telluride Film Festival Line-Up Announced; Includes Errol Morris’ TABLOID and Peter Weir’s THE WAY BACK

by     Posted 3 years, 233 days ago

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The line-up for the 2010 Telluride Film Festival has been announced and there are some exciting inclusions.  If I were attending Telluride, the two films at the top of my must-see list would be Errol Morris’ new documentary Tabloid which is about former-Miss Wyoming/convicted rapist/dog-cloning advocate Joyce McKinney, and Peter Weir’s war film The Way Back, which is the director’s first film since 2003′s Master and Commander.

The line-up also includes other films that are making the festival rounds including Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go, the financial-collapse documentary Inside Job, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful, Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, Mike Leigh’s Another Year, and Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe.  Hit the jump to check out the full line-up.  The Telluride Film Festival runs from September 3 – 6th.

Matt’s 15 Most Anticipated Films for the Rest of 2010

by     Posted 3 years, 234 days ago

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The 2010 summer movie season kind of sucked.  There were some good wide-release movies like Splice and Predators.  But there were also films like Iron Man 2 and Toy Story 3, which were unable to meet the (perhaps unfairly) high expectations put upon them.  The only major films that cleared the high bar were Inception and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.

But I think the rest of the year has the potential to blow minds.  There’s a wonderful variety of both light and serious fare.  I’ve boiled down the number of films I’m excited to see over the next four months down to 15 flicks.  Hit the jump to find out what’s on my radar.  Also, be sure to sound off in the comments section about what films you’re jazzed to see as 2010 begins to wind down.

Line-Up for 2010 Toronto International Film Festival Announced; Films Include NEVER LET ME GO, THE CONSPIRATOR, and BLACK SWAN

by     Posted 3 years, 270 days ago

Every year, the Toronto International Film Festival showcases some of the year’s most exciting and must-see movies, and 2010 isn’t going to be any different.  Fifty films showing at this year’s festival have been announced and I’m (unsurprisingly) bitter-as-hell that I’m not going to be there.  Films making their various premieres (World, North American, etc.) include Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go (image above), and Ben Affleck’s The Town.  While the line-up includes plenty of films that have already premiered at other festivals (including Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful, Julian Schnabel’s Miral, and Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe), it will be the first time they’ll be showing up on our quaint little 9.5 million square mile-continent.

Hit the jump for a list of all 50 films.  The 2010 Toronto International Film Festival will run from September 9th-19th.

Release Dates for THE FIGHTER, FRIGHT NIGHT, THE ILLUSIONIST, KUNG FU PANDA 2 and More

by     Posted 3 years, 303 days ago

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A slew of release dates and release date changes were announced today.  Movies getting their release date changed are the animated films Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom (May 27th, 2011 to May 26th) and Rango (March 18th, 2011 to March 4th).

Getting release date announcements are The Company Men (Oct. 22nd), David O. Russell’s The Fighter (Dec. 10th), Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist (Dec. 25th), Mike Leigh’s Another Year (Dec. 29th), Made in Dagenham (Nov. 19th), Stephen Frears’ Tamara Drewe (Oct. 8th), and the remake of Fright Night (Oct. 7, 2011).  Hit the jump for details on all of these films.

New International Trailer for THE ILLUSIONIST from Sylvain Chomet (THE TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE)

by     Posted 3 years, 312 days ago

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Writer/director Sylain Chromet drew inspiration for The Illusionist, his follow-up to the Oscar-nominated animated feature The Triplets of Belleville, from an unproduced 1956 script by French filmmaker Jacques Tati.  The story follows “The Illusionist” (fashioned after Tati himself) as he learns to accept the fading status of his art and meets young Alice, who “changes his life forever.”

From my limited exposure to Tati’s work, the animated likeness is a spot-on homage to the his particular brand of silent physical comedy, and accessed a nostalgia I was previously unaware of.  Check out the lovely trailer after the jump.

Sony Pictures Classics Acquires Sylvain Chomet’s THE ILLUSIONIST, His Animated Follow-Up to TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE

by     Posted 3 years, 362 days ago

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In what seems like a match made in heaven, Sylvain Chomet–the writer/director of the whimsically Oscar-nominated The Triplets of Belleville–teamed up with the timeless French funnyman and filmmaker Jacques Tati for the new animated feature The Illusionist.  (Given that Tati died in 1982, said match was in all likelihood negotiated within the pearly gates).  Sony Picture Classics bore witness to the magic of Illusionist after its Berlin Film Festival world premiere and acquired the North American distribution rights, targeting an end of the year release: your move, Oscar.

In The Illusionist, Chomet brings Tati back to life in animated form through an unproduced Tati screenplay, which tells the tale of “details the story of a dying breed of stage entertainer whose thunder is being stolen by emerging rock stars.”  You’ll find the full press release after the jump.

Russian Trailer for THE ILLUSIONIST, the New Film from TRIPLETS OF BELLEVILLE Director Sylvain Chomet

by     Posted 4 years, 32 days ago

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A sweet little trailer for Sylvain Chomet’s The Illusionist has come online.  The trailer is originally from afisha.ru and comes to us via Catsuka via Twitch.  Even though I cannot read the Russian title cards, I can see that the animation is stunning and filled with personality.  There’s a sense of melancholy, humor, and discovery and since I think Chomet’s The Triplets of Bellville is fantastic, I can’t way to see this.  It’s also his first feature since Triplets debuted back in 2003.

The film premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and is set to open in France on May 5th.  No word yet when US audiences will see it, but hopefully it will be sometime this year.  Hit the jump to check out the trailer and the synopsis.

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