Posts Tagged ‘20th century fox’

Rio

Posted 22 May 2011 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Got

By Scott Martin

Rio, USA, 2011Rio film in 3D

Directed by Carlos Saldanha

There aren’t many reasons to seek out a film like Rio. It’s probably the very definition of inconsequential. But I  imagine that the filmmakers, who also gave us the three Ice Age movies, didn’t have much consequence in mind. A domesticated blue macaw is kidnapped and taken to Rio De Janeiro to mate with the only other bird of his kind. A weird hypothesis for the film to take, considering that we aren’t told what kind of blue macaw these birds are – hyacinth or throated? Is it a Spix blue macaw? And even so, why are there only two of them left? I’m not an ornithologist, but this crossed my mind more than once during the film. Suspending disbelief works most of the time.

Early on in the film, and by “early on” I mean “pretty much during the opening credits”, we’re let in on the joke: this is a film about a bird finding the courage to fly. Of course, flying is a metaphor for being free. It’s not that the bird can’t fly, so he doesn’t have any sort of disability to overcome; it’s that he was knocked out of a tree by poachers when he was extremely young, and just never learned. This bird is Blu (voiced by Jesse Eisenberg), and he grew up in the warm protective arms of a woman named Linda (voiced with love by Leslie Mann). Linda has no idea how special Blu is, and neither does he, until (for some reason) a Brazilian bird doctor walks past their bookstore and sees Blu for what he is – the last of his kind, sort of. The three of them go to Brazil, right before Carnival, to mate Blu with Jewel (voiced by Anne Hathaway) in order to continue the race. The birds are kidnapped for other gains, and the film finally truly starts, with absolutely no urgency whatsoever. Read More

Still Hard For Women Filmmakers

Posted 10 Nov 2010 — by contributor
Category Essay, Film Industry News, Hollywood Beat

By Rachel Menendez

elle women in hollywood power list 2010 movies i didnt getLast month, Elle magazine compiled its “Power List” of women in Hollywood. On this list, put together by Deadline.com’s Nikki Finke, were some notable mentions in Hollywood, ranging from the elite to the lesser known, but most notable to me was New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis. Dargis is a hero of mine, not only for her erudite knowledge of film but also for pointing out that, even in the wake of Kathryn Bigelow’s Best Director win for The Hurt Locker at last year’s Oscars, there is still a glass ceiling for women filmmakers in Hollywood. In an Article she wrote last year, she points out that there is still a lack of opportunities to produce the kind of success Bigalow has had.

Dargis is not attacking men, either; much of her anger is directed toward women in the industry. Hollywood is not just made up of misogynistic men, it’s filled with people who come from many backgrounds. Many people are involved in making decisions about who gets opportunities to show what they can do, and women are just as much a part of that. To boil this problem down to sexism would be an easy answer and just another reason for many women trying to make a career in film to give up, but as Dargis points out, the scarcity of opportunities for women is a legitimate problem and worth talking about.

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Robots

Posted 23 Aug 2009 — by contributor
Category Animation, Film Reviews, Movies I Didn't Get

By Corey Birkhofer

Robots, USA, 2005

Directed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha

Rodney Copperbottom and Herb Copperbottom

Hello again, folks. Thanks for checking in. This time around, I’d like to switch gears from live-action and focus on a 20th Century Fox animation called Robots. Being a huge fan of all forms of animation, from old fashioned cell to state-of-the-art CG, the little kid inside of me still gets a little giddy every time I’m about to watch an animated film I haven’t seen yet. It was no different when I happened upon a film released in 2005 that I had heard very little about, called Robots. Now I’ll go and see just about anything Pixar puts out, but I’ve had mixed feelings when it comes to Fox’s animation attempts. I want to see Fox put out great works so Pixar has some competition to keep them on their toes, but unfortunately, Robots was definitely a movie that I did not get into.

Spoiler Alert

The premise is simple: the Copperbottoms (voiced by Stanley Tucci and Dianne Wiest) are a happy robot couple who live in their peaceful world, filled with spare parts and resources in abundance. They decide to build their own robot son, Rodney Copperbottom (voiced by Ewan McGregor) and raise him the best they can. Rodney is a good son with dreams of becoming an inventor like his hero Bigweld (voiced by Mel Brooks). Rodney’s inventions never seem to quite work out the way he intends, but that doesn’t stop him from wanting to show his latest invention to Bigweld and become a famous inventor in the big city. So here we have a simple “small town boy wants to make it in the big city” premise that seems like a reasonable enough base from which to build. Despite its lack of originality, I was still intrigued enough to go along for the ride at this point. Unfortunately, things went downhill from here.

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