Tag Archives: Disney Film

Tron: Legacy on iMax 3D Doesn’t Disappoint! Michelle’s Review

Tron: Legacy Movie Review

I have to admire the folks at Disney. When they want to market a movie, they market a movie. Tron: Legacy followed me around all year, whether it was the big Tron Press Conference at Wondercon, to their Comic-Con panel, to their weekly Tron emails and video releases the movie was in my face. Even with all that marketing and pr work I somehow managed to avoid having all of that material “spoil” me because, shhhh…. Don’t tell the Disney PR folk, but I simply didn’t watch most of it, I posted a lot of the clips and I missed the Press Conferences (not on purpose, just had conflicts and sent other people to cover them). So despite their best efforts I walked into the movie fairly “cold.”

My concerns going in where A) it’s in 3D and I’ve made it clear how much I loathe the format and B) Tron just has never been my thing. The first thing you should know is the screening was on iMax 3D. It’s extremely rare the studio screens a movie in iMax so that was a real treat. Yeah we had the “fake” Max but the screen was large and beautiful with an amazing audio system.  The 3D was projected flawlessly so I didn’t have a single complaint in that department so I was able to actually focus on the movie.

Continue reading Tron: Legacy on iMax 3D Doesn’t Disappoint! Michelle’s Review

Michelle Kind of Likes Tangled!

Tangled Movie Review

Tangled is a strange animal. It wants to be a modern animated film with all of the modern trappings but it’s also Disney’s 50th Animated film, so it has to show both sides of the mouse house – it’s roots as an innovative in animation and wholesome good fun, while also showing us that Disney Animation is moving forward and competing with that “young” upstart Pixar Animation.

Continue reading Michelle Kind of Likes Tangled!

Disney Picks Up Radical Publishing’s Oblivion!

Oblivion_Preview_Cover

The folks at Radical Publishing have, once again, sold the film rights to one of their properties – in this case, though, it’s not a graphic novel. Oblivion is an illustrated novel written by Arvid Nelson and created by the director of TRON: Legacy, Joseph Kosinski. It’s a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel that will be released in the summer of 2011.

Details from the press release follow the jump.

Continue reading Disney Picks Up Radical Publishing’s Oblivion!

Bruckheimer goes French, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey to star in new Pirates Movie!

Astrid Bergès-Frisbey has been selected by producer Jerry Bruckheimer and director Rob Marshall to star in the key role of Syrena, a beautiful and alluring young mermaid, in Walt Disney Pictures’/Jerry Bruckheimer Films’ epic adventure “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth in the blockbuster series of films. Bergès -Frisbey joins Johnny Depp, returning in his iconic role of Captain Jack Sparrow. The film is slated to open on May 20, 2011.  Born in Barcelona of French-American and Catalan parentage, and now based in Paris, Bergès-Frisbey, one of France’s brightest young stars, appears in such French films as “La Fille du Puisatier,” “Bruc,” “Extase,” “La Premiere Etoile” and “Un Barrage Contre le Pacifique.” She has also appeared in the telefilms “La Reine Morte,” “Elles et Moi,” “Divine Emilie” and “Sur le Fil.” Berges-Frisbey appeared on stage at the Theatre Marigny in a production of Peter Shaffer’s “Equus.”

Wondercon 2010 Day 2, Amy Acker, Geoff Stults, Nicholas Cage, Jake Gyllenhaal and more!

Wondercon 2010, Prince of Persia Press Conference

I’m back and I survived last weekend’s big San Francisco Adventure known as WonderCon 2010. Friday was all about opening day and comic books, Saturday was all about pop culture the day started with spending an hour in the Press Room with the cast of ABC’s new spooky show Happy Town.  We sat down with the producers, Amy Acker, Geoff Stults, and I’ll admit I don’t know who the 3rd guy was since I don’t watch Lost.  I was sitting right next to Amy trying to figure out why she looked so familiar it wasn’t until later in the day when I realized, wholly s it’s Fred from Angel! How could I forget that? Right after that we went into the next room to spend a lot of quality time with Jerry Bruckheimer – who for some reason kept staring and winking at me out of the corner of his eye.

Continue reading Wondercon 2010 Day 2, Amy Acker, Geoff Stults, Nicholas Cage, Jake Gyllenhaal and more!

John Carter of Mars is finally a Go!

John Carter of Mars Movie on the Way

I don’t know anything about the Princess of Mars series, I did purchase the complete collection for my Kindle last year, but haven’t gotten around to reading it. I hear this is a pretty over the top, brutally violent book with incest and stuff – so that turned me off on reading this, but it’s supposed to be one of the best fantasy series ever. It’s been in production hell for the last 10 years, but finally Disney Pictures has broken through and it’s going into production. Principle photography is now underway in London under the watchful eye of Academy Award Winning Director Andrew Stanton who co-wrote and directed Wall E. How much you want to bet, this will be shot in 3D? The official Disney Press Release is after the break.

Continue reading John Carter of Mars is finally a Go!

MOVIE REVIEW: Earth: Lovely to Look At; Not So Delightful to Know!

Earth, the first release from the new arm of Disney, DisneyNature, may be the most beautifully shot film you will see all year – and James Earl Jones could make the phone book sound great. Unfortunately, the cinematography is really the only stellar part of the film.

EARTH 01

The trailer for Earth says it follows three animal families. That’s only partially true. Besides the attention spent on the polar bear family, the elephant family and the whale family, we get detours to watch wolves stalk caribou, baboons having a problem with “waterfront property,” and penguins [which have their own, “built-in toboggans”]. The result is that, of the film’s ninety-six minutes, after digressions and credits, there’s about eighty minutes split between the three families – most of it on the elephants.

Continue reading MOVIE REVIEW: Earth: Lovely to Look At; Not So Delightful to Know!

MOVIE REVIEW: Race to Witch Mountain, Good clean fun. Michelle’s Take.

MOVIE REVIEW: Race to Witch Mountain
MOVIE REVIEW: Race to Witch Mountain

I love Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he has that “It” quality that makes me want to watch him no matter what he does. He’s moved away from the action role stereotype and has gone into the Disney Family movie.  A move many muscle bound stars like Stalone, Vin Diesel and Arnold have tried and failed at in the past. Diesel destroyed his career by doing The Pacifier – a movie I kind of liked, but then I’m a sucker for the Disney family movie.  The reason it works for Johnson and didn’t for the others is that he doesn’t take himself too seriously and the fact that he’s having fun really comes through. This is Johnson’s 3rd Family film in a row, it’s time for him to go for some hardcore action film, but it seems like he’s happy where he is. His latest film Race to Witch Mountain is a remake of the Disney Classic Escape to Witch Mountain.

Disney released the classic film along with the sequel Return to Witch Mountain on DVD this week and I didn’t watch it so that I can go into this updated version fresh. The first few minutes of the film I was tired and out of it. But the movie doesn’t waste time with unnecessary build up or back-story, it throws you into the main story ten minutes into the film and doesn’t let up until the end. The kids (AnnaSophia Robb) Sara and Seth (Alexander Ludwig) appear out of thin air in the back of Jack Bruno’s (Johnson) cab and former “The Game Plan” Director Andy Fickman kicks the film into action and stays there for 90 minutes.

The film lacks soul and is straight out of Disney cookie cutter land, especially the cheesy low budget special effects. But somehow the film works for me, I don’t know and can’t explain why, it’s just nice little lightweight film to watch, especially after watching the heavy and  depressing stuff that’s been coming out in the theaters and on Blu-ray lately.  This is the first “pure” family film that I’ve watched since Coraline. I will say, I’m really tired of Animated films already. The previews before this showed 6 trailers – all 3D animated features. Talk about overkill. I don’t have a lot to say about Race to Witch Mountain. This film works because the kids and Dwayne Johnson are so darn likable.

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EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted 3.13.09

BLU-RAY REVIEW: Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

If you have read my reviews for any length of time you will know that one of my many film bias is an extreme dislike of talking animals in my movies. Generally, they creep me out and take me right out of the experience. The one exception to that rule was The Chronicles of Narnia. I didn’t think that was a perfect film, but I liked it well enough to go and read all of the books. I always thought Prince Caspian was a pretty weak book. It was too short, the lead character Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) was a whiney little #$## who didn’t do much in it, but the book’s biggest sin was it didn’t really delve into what it must of been like for the Pevensie kids – High King Peter Pevensie (William Moseley), Edmund Pevensie The Just (Skandar Keynes), Lucy Pevensie – The Valiant (Georgie Henley) and Susan Pevensie (Anna Popplewell) adjusted to the idea that they were adult Kings and Queens trapped as powerless 13 – 16 year old children.

The book missed an opportunity to explore this dichotomy. When we first see the Pevensie kids we see how they are adjusting – not well. Peter is getting into fights over the most minor slights and it’s up to Edmund to protect his back. And that’s the beautiful thing about this movie – it’s how the Pevensie family has become so close to each other and wise. In the first film they were typical one dimensional kids and the kid actors were clearly out of the element.

Here, they are very self aware and self assured as both actors and characters. There are times when you watch this movie where you can really see the duality of their personalities. You get that yes while they may look like kids, they truly are the former great Kings and Queens that they once were. It’s in their eyes, the way they move, and how they act. These kids could never had pulled this complexity of emotion off in the first film, but here it’s as if they were born to play these parts. The change in Edmund and Susan are the most pronounced. Edmund is a bad ass, calculating warrior that will do anything to protect his family, especially his brother Peter. While Susan has grown to be quite the fighter herself, the camera loves her and director Andrew Adamson showcases her perfectly, especially during the sweeping battles. When Susan breaks out the bow and arrow it’s a thing of beauty and pleasure to watch. As far as the animals go, I had the biggest concern for the noble mouse Reepicheep, I didn’t care for his character in the book, but he’s great in the film.

In one of our many emails, I think Sheldon summed up why Caspian works so well the best – it’s because the filmmakers chose to “make Caspian, naïve, rather than whiney.” And that subtle change makes all the difference in the world. Caspian comes across as stronger in the movie, more pro-active, not someone who just let’s things happen to him. He’s also self-involved at the most inopportune times. I like the fact that the film really played up the rivalry between Peter and Caspian. In the book Caspian just let Peter do everything without complaining or standing up for himself. Here Caspian calls Peter on his sometime “arrogance.” The writers Andrew Adamson (screenplay), Christopher Markus (screenplay), and Stephen McFeely took the best of C.S. Lewis’ work and expanded it to make it better. It’s a shame that Peter and Susan won’t be in the next film, because they will be missed. Everything about Prince Caspian is just right in terms of cinematography, scope and vision; the tone is dark but hopeful, and epic but intimate. While watching the battle scenes, the only thought going through my mind was, I hope the final Harry Potter film is a 10th as good as this was. Bring on Eustace and Dawn Treader!

Blu-ray Features

The 3-Disk Blu-ray includes a pristine full 1080p, 2:40:1 version of the movie, which I happily tested on my new 46 inch Bravia (I’ll be mentioning my new TV for the next few Blu-ray reviews).  The colors really pop on screen.  Audio is 7.1 DTS HD, and there are over 22 subtitle tracks. 22!

You can access all of the disc’s special features through a thing that Disney is calling Circle Vision Interactive. It’s a full look at how they created the Castle Raid and it’s in full HD. Broken up into about 10 different featurettes. It really goes deep into all aspects of creating this scene – from constructing the castle to having the costume designer talk about the costumes.   The Blu-ray has support for BD-Live but it wasn’t active when I watched the movie.

On the 2nd Disc, you get a bunch of deleted scenes, bloopers and more featurettes.

•    Inside Narnia – 35 Minutes (HD)
•    Sets of Narnia – 23 Minutes (HD)
•    Big Movie Comes to Small Town – 23 Minutes (HD)
•    Previsualizing Narnia – 10 Minutes (HD)
•    Secrets of the Duel – 7 Minutes (HD)
•    Becoming Trumpkin – 5 Minutes (HD)
•    Warwick Davis The Man Behind Nikabrik – 12 Min (HD)

And Disc 3 you get the Disney File digital copy version of the film.

Conclusion

Disney really knows how to put together Blu-ray Discs Narnia is another great addition to their recent efforts. When I do my year’s best list this year, several Disney titles will be there. This is one of the top 5 Blu-ray releases of the year.; fantastic film, amazing extras, and Digital copy to seal the deal. Narnia on Blu-rar retails for $39.99 and will hit the streets on Blu-ray and DVD, Dec. 2, 08.

Features Grade – A

Movie Grade – A+

Final Overall – A+

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally Posted, 12.02.08