Showing posts with label Holly Hunter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Holly Hunter. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Review: "Incredibles 2" Surpasses the Original

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 10 (of 2018) by Leroy Douresseaux

[This review was originally posted on Patreon.]

Incredibles 2 (2018)
Running time: 118 minutes (1 hour, 58 minutes)
MPAA – PG for action sequences and some brief mild language
PRODUCERS: John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Mahyar Abousaeedi (D.o.P.)
EDITOR: Stephen Schaffer
COMPOSER: Michael Giacchino


Starring: (voices) Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson, Catherine Keener, Eli Fucile, Bob Odenkirk, Phil LeMarr, Isabella Rossellini, Sophia Bush, John Ratzenberger, Adam Rodriguez, and Brad Bird

Incredibles 2 is a 2018 3D computer-animated film and superhero movie written and directed by Brad Bird.  Produced by Pixar Animation Studios for Walt Disney Pictures, Incredibles 2 is the direct sequel to Pixar's Oscar-winning, animated film, The Incredibles (2004).  Incredibles 2 finds the super-powered Parr family trying to balance normal life and having powers in a world where superhero activities are illegal, even as the world faces a dangerous new techno-villain.

Three months following Syndrome's defeat (as seen in The Incredibles), the Parr family continues to operate as superheroes.  Husband and father, Bob Parr, a.k.a. Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and wife and mother, Helen, a.k.a. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) have been superheroes for a long time, even before being a superhero was outlawed.  Now, they are joined their daughter, Violet (Sarah Vowell), and their son, Dashiell, a.k.a. “Dash” (Huck Milner), who both have powers.  Even baby son, Jack-Jack Parr, tags along on adventures.  The Parrs are the superhero team, The Incredibles.

However, The Incredibles family friend and fellow superhero, Lucius Best/Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), are unsuccessful in preventing the villain, Underminer, from robbing Metroville Bank.  The Incredibles and Frozone's battle with this villain causes massive damage to the city.  In the wake of this disaster, the “Super Relocation” program that allowed the Parrs to be superheroes is ended, and they are being forced to permanently live as ordinary citizens.

Frozone later informs Bob and Helen that Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk), a superhero fan and telecommunications tycoon, and his sister, Evelyn (Catherine Keener), an inventor, have a plan to make superheroes legal again.  That plan includes using their company, DEVTECH, to spearhead a public relations plan that will free superheroes.  But a mysterious new villain, “The Screenslaver,” may wreck everyone's plans.

I liked the original film, The Incredibles, but I did not really warm to it.  Of course, as a fan of superhero comic books, I was happy to finally get an animated superhero film from a major Hollywood studio (Pixar) that obviously had the kind of production budget that usually went to prestige, big tent, Hollywood live-action films.  I loved the characters, but I did not like that The Incredibles mostly focused on Mr. Incredible.

First, let me say this, writer-director Brad Bird's story for this sequel has shockingly predictable outcomes for its main plot and for some of the subplots.  While watching this film, it was painfully obvious to me what the central conspiracy was, even if I was unsure if the Incredibles were facing a single primary adversary or several until midway through the film.  But I don't give a crap about predictability.  I finally got the Incredibles film that I wanted fourteen years ago.

In Incredibles 2, Brad Bird takes the potential of all the Parr family, not just Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, but he also takes the potential of Helen and the Parr children and shows how great a character each one can be or is.  Incredibles 2 is really about the Incredibles – all of them, and I am happy.  There is a bonus, Bird takes the story shackles off Frozone and allows the character to be not just a superhero, but a major superhero.  And with more screen time, Samuel L. Jackson shines like sunlight reflecting off a snow-covered peak in his voice performance as Frozone.

Holly Hunter, an exceptional actress, stretches out as Bird expands Elastigirl's role.  She is good and brings dramatic heft to this film.  Craig T. Nelson brings more to Bob Parr, and this time, he shockingly gives pathos to Mr. Incredible/Bob Parr, as he excavates the male ego in this father/husband/hero.  Plus, the advertisements and trailers for Incredibles 2 are not lying; baby Jack-Jack is a non-stop scene-stealer and a heart-stealer.

You would say “d'uh” if I expounded on the technical virtuosity and wizardry of Incredibles 2.  Pixar always seems to be raising its own bar in showing what computer software and hardware can do in creating animated films filled with complex movement, action, drama, and environments and spaces.  So I will focus on what I think is the best thing about Incredibles 2.  I finally got a movie about all the incredible characters in this franchise.

9 out of 10

Saturday, June 16, 2018

The text is copyright © 2018 Leroy Douresseaux. All Rights Reserved. Contact this blog or site for syndication rights and fees.


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Warner Bros. Brings Three Tent Pole Films to 2015 San Diego Comic-Con International

Warner Bros. Pictures Reveals Superlative Line-up for This Year’s Comic-Con

The Studio gets set to hit Hall H with Fan Favorites and a few surprises

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures continues its tradition of delivering its most anticipated tentpole properties and their biggest stars to Comic-Con International: San Diego with this year’s Hall H presentation.

    “Comic-Con provides us a fantastic opportunity to interact with the fans and this year, as with every year, our aim is to surpass their expectations. We’re also thrilled to give our filmmakers and talent a chance to experience the unique energy and enthusiasm of Comic-Con.”

On Saturday, July 11, 2015 beginning at 10:30 a.m., Warner Bros. will showcase several of its upcoming feature releases and offer up a surprise or two as well.

Keen to deliver a taste of one of next year’s most eagerly awaited pairings, director Zack Snyder and stars Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill take the main stage with “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” They are joined by castmates Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot for a sneak peek at the 2016 action adventure that brings the Super Heroes together on the big screen for the very first time, from Warner Bros. Pictures and RatPac-Dune Entertainment.

From “Pan,” Hugh Jackman, Garrett Hedlund and Peter himself, Levi Miller, together with director Joe Wright, soar into town with their high-flying adventure, coming to theaters this fall from Warner Bros. Pictures and RatPac-Dune Entertainment.

And Cavill once again takes the stage, this time with Armie Hammer, a duo with a very different dynamic in this summer’s fresh, über-stylish actioner from filmmaker Guy Ritchie, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” along with fellow stars Alicia Vikander and Elizabeth Debicki.

Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, stated, “Comic-Con provides us a fantastic opportunity to interact with the fans and this year, as with every year, our aim is to surpass their expectations. We’re also thrilled to give our filmmakers and talent a chance to experience the unique energy and enthusiasm of Comic-Con.”

With “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” and “Pan” headlining the bill, Warner Bros. will also present some unexpected offerings that are sure to delight the crowd.

About “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice”
Fearing the actions of a god-like Super Hero left unchecked, Gotham City’s own formidable, forceful vigilante takes on Metropolis’s most revered, modern-day savior, while the world wrestles with what sort of hero it really needs. And with Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it’s ever known before. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film stars Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter and Gal Gadot. Snyder directed from a screenplay written by Chris Terrio and David S. Goyer, based on characters from DC Comics, including Batman, created by Bob Kane, and Superman, created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster. The film is produced by Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder, with Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and David S. Goyer serving as executive producers. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, an Atlas Entertainment/Cruel and Unusual production, a Zack Snyder film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” The film opens nationwide in 3D and 2D and in select IMAX theaters on March 25, 2016, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

About “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
Henry Cavill stars as Napoleon Solo opposite Armie Hammer as Illya Kuryakin in director Guy Ritchie’s action adventure “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,” a fresh take on the hugely popular 1960s television series. Set against the backdrop of the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War, the film centers on CIA agent Solo and KGB agent Kuryakin. Forced to put aside longstanding hostilities, the two team up on a joint mission to stop a mysterious international criminal organization, which is bent on destabilizing the fragile balance of power through the proliferation of nuclear weapons and technology. The film also stars Alicia Vikander, Elizabeth Debicki, with Jared Harris, and Hugh Grant. The screenplay was written by Guy Ritchie & Lionel Wigram, story by Jeff Kleeman & David Campbell Wilson and Guy Ritchie and Lionel Wigram, based on the TV series “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” John Davis, Steve Clark-Hall, Wigram and Ritchie produced the film, with David Dobkin executive producing. Warner Bros. Pictures presents, a Ritchie/Wigram production, a Davis Entertainment production, a Guy Ritchie film, “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. The film opens nationwide in theaters and IMAX on August 14, 2015.

About “Pan”
From director Joe Wright (“Atonement,” “Pride & Prejudice”) comes “Pan,” a live-action feature presenting a wholly original adventure about the beginnings of the beloved characters created by J.M. Barrie. Peter is a mischievous 12-year-old boy with an irrepressible rebellious streak, but in the bleak London orphanage where he has lived his whole life those qualities do not exactly fly. Then one incredible night, Peter is whisked away from the orphanage and spirited off to a fantastical world of pirates, warriors and fairies called Neverland. There, he finds amazing adventures and fights life-or-death battles while trying to uncover the secret of his mother, who left him at the orphanage so long ago, and his rightful place in this magical land. Teamed with the warrior Tiger Lily and a new friend named James Hook, Peter must defeat the ruthless pirate Blackbeard to save Neverland and discover his true destiny—to become the hero who will forever be known as Peter Pan. The film stars Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard; Garrett Hedlund as James Hook; Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily; newcomer Levi Miller as Peter; and Amanda Seyfried as Mary. Wright directed “Pan” from a screenplay written by Jason Fuchs. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter and Paul Webster produced the film, with Tim Lewis serving as executive producer. Warner Bros. Pictures Presents, in Association with RatPac-Dune Entertainment, a Berlanti Production, a Joe Wright film, “Pan.” The film is set for a worldwide release in 3D and 2D on October 9, 2015. It will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Untitled Superman/Batman Movie is Now Named "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"

Cameras Roll on Director Zack Snyder’s “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” from Warner Bros. Pictures

Principal photography is underway in Metro Detroit, Michigan

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Filming is underway on Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” the highly anticipated action adventure from director Zack Snyder, starring Henry Cavill in the role of Clark Kent/Superman, and Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne/Batman.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” also stars Gal Gadot as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman, with Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane returning from “Man of Steel,” Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and Holly Hunter in a role newly created for the film.

“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

Principal photography will take place on location at Michigan Motion Picture Studios and on location in and around Detroit, Michigan; Illinois; Africa; and the South Pacific.

Set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.


Saturday, April 5, 2014

Oscar-Winner Holly Hunter Leads New Cast Additions to Superman/Batman Film

Holly Hunter Joins the Cast of Director Zack Snyder’s Untitled Superman/Batman Film from Warner Bros. Pictures

Callan Mulvey and Tao Okamoto add to the international ensemble.

BURBANK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Warner Bros. Pictures announced today that Oscar®-winning actress Holly Hunter, Callan Mulvey of “300: Rise of an Empire,” and Tao Okamoto of “The Wolverine” have joined the cast of the upcoming Zack Snyder untitled Superman/Batman film. The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President, Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President, Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures.

All three actors will play characters newly created for the film.

Snyder stated, “Holly has always been one of my favorite actresses; she has immense talent and is always captivating on screen. I had an opportunity to meet her a while back and knew instantly that I had to work with her, so as we began writing the script I made sure to create a role specifically for her.

“I just had the good fortune to work with Callan on ‘300: Rise of an Empire’ and was very impressed with his incredible talent,” the director continued. “He’s a fantastic actor and I’m looking forward to having the chance to work with him again. And, quite simply, Tao is a striking presence whose beauty is aptly rivaled by her amazing abilities as an actress. I’m really excited to have her joining us on this adventure.”

Hunter received the Academy Award® and a Golden Globe Award for her starring role in Jane Campion’s “The Piano.” She also garnered Oscar® nominations for her work in “Broadcast News,” “The Firm” and “Thirteen.” She has starred in such films as the Coen brothers’ “Raising Arizona” and “O Brother, Where Art Thou?,” Steven Spielberg’s “Always,” Lasse Halström’s “Once Around,” Jodie Foster’s “Home for the Holidays” and Brad Bird’s animated hit “The Incredibles.” Hunter was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award® when she reunited with Campion for the TV miniseries “Top of the Lake.” She next appears in David Gordon Green’s “Manglehorn” and in Terrence Malick’s upcoming feature.

Australian-born Mulvey stars in the current box office hit “300: Rise of an Empire,” produced by Snyder. He also appeared in Kathryn Bigelow’s “Zero Dark Thirty,” and will next be seen in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.”

In addition to “The Wolverine,” Okamoto also appeared in the video “The Wolverine: The Path of a Ronin,” and in the Japanese television miniseries “Chi no wadachi.”

Snyder’s film stars Henry Cavill, reprising his role as Superman/Clark Kent, Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne, and Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince. The film also stars Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor and Jeremy Irons as Alfred, and reunites “Man of Steel” stars Amy Adams, Laurence Fishburne and Diane Lane.

The new film is currently being written by Chris Terrio, from a screenplay by David S. Goyer. Charles Roven and Deborah Snyder are producing, with Benjamin Melniker, Michael E. Uslan, Wesley Coller, David S. Goyer and Geoff Johns serving as executive producers.

The film is set to open worldwide on May 6, 2016, and is based on Superman characters created by Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster, Batman characters created by Bob Kane, and Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston, appearing in comic books published by DC Entertainment.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Performances Carry "Thirteen"

TRASH IN MY EYE NO. 174 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

Thirteen (2003)
Running time – 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – R for drug use, self destructive violence, language and sexuality – all involving young teens
DIRECTOR: Catherine Hardwicke
WRITERS: Nikki Reed and Catherine Hardwicke
PRODUCERS: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte and Michael London
EDITOR: Nancy Richardson
Academy Award nominee


Starring: Holly Hunter, Evan Rachel Wood, Nikki Reed, Jeremy Sisto, Brady Corbet, and Deborah Kara Unger

Thirteen is the story of Melanie Freeland (Evan Rachel Wood), a 13 year-old girl living with her single mother, Tracy Louise Freeland (Holly Hunter), and her brother, Mason (Brady Corbet). Melanie is an A-student but the pressures of being an L.A. teen surround her and eventually break her down via promiscuous bad girl Evie Zamora (Nikki Reed). Before long Melanie is into sex and drugs, and she becomes so materialistic that she begins to steal people’s purses and such for money. Things rapidly go from bad to worse when Evie invites herself to live with the Freelands, and Melanie falls headlong into reckless teenage abandon and rebellion. When will she hit bottom?

Thirteen is a nice drama about out of control and depressed teens, like Larry Clark’s Kids, but much less graphic and shocking. Still, the film’s portrayal of the hedonistic lives of the youngest teenagers is unsettling. Catherine Hardwicke does a good job keeping her film from being an “ABC After School Special” or some kind of movie of the week melodrama. The script by cast member Nikki Reed (who based the screenplay upon her actual experiences) and Hardwicke focuses more on delineating teenage rebellious atrocities, dangerous youth lifestyles, and other reckless behavior than on plot.

Thus, it’s the performances that really carry this film. Holly Hunter earned an Oscar® nomination for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” for her performance as the mom Tracy, who does a remarkable job holding things together considering the state of her life. Ms. Hunter does have a habit of wearing her characters’ angst on her sleeve, but here, her Tracy is authentic, and the character centers everyone else’s dysfunctions into a workable system.

Evan Rachel Wood smolders as Melanie, but she clearly isn’t ready to show too much beneath the surface, though she has her gallant moments. It’s the same case with Nikki Reed; her face tells that there is so much more beneath the pouting, the sad eyes, the crassness and the trickery, but she’s not ready to go where the big girl actresses go when they create unforgettable performances.

7 of 10

2004 Academy Awards: “Best Actress in a Supporting Role” (Holly Hunter)

2004 BAFTA Awards: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role” (Holly Hunter)

2004 Golden Globes: 2 nominations: “Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama” (Evan Rachel Wood) and “Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture” (Holly Hunter)


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pixar's "The Incredibles" On Blu-ray Tuesday

Everyone’s Favorite Family of Undercover Superheroes Bursts Into High-Definition

Academy Award®-Winning Animated Feature Disney•Pixar’s THE INCREDIBLES Makes Its Highly-Anticipated Blu-ray™ Debut On April 12th

BURBANK, Calif., February 10, 2011 – THE INCREDIBLES, everyone’s favorite family of undercover superheroes and Disney•Pixar’s two time Academy Award®-winning animated feature film (2004 Best Animated Feature Film and Best Achievement in Sound Editing), makes its highly- anticipated Blu-ray™ debut on April 12, 2011. Releasing as a 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (2 Blu-ray Discs + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy), this superset has something for everyone – from the discerning enthusiast who demands nothing less than the highest-quality home entertainment experience, to the family who enjoys the interactive and engaging bonus features that only Blu-ray can provide – making this a “must add” to every home entertainment collection across the nation.

From the creative minds behind the Toy Story films and Ratatouille, comes the hilarious, action-packed animated adventure about a seemingly ordinary family with an incredible secret. Releasing for the first time ever in high-definition and in its original theatrical wide screen version, THE INCREDIBLES has been packed to include fascinating audio commentary by Academy Award®-winning director Brad Bird and his fellow filmmakers, exclusive new bonus features, deleted scenes, behind-the-scenes features, hilarious bloopers and much, much more.

An explosion of fun, comedy and action-packed adventure, THE INCREDIBLES 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack will be available at retailers nationwide for the suggested price of $45.99 U.S./$52.99 Canada.


Includes The Following All-New Bonus Features Plus All The Classic DVD Features:

• The Incredibles Revisited – A roundtable discussion with Writer/Director Brad Bird, Producer John Walker, Story Supervisor Mark Andrews, Supervising Technical Director Rick Sayre, Production Designer Lou Romano, Character Designer Teddy Newton, and Supervising Animator Tony Fucile.

• Paths To Pixar: Story Artists – Continuing the popular bonus feature series that viewers have seen on many other Disney•Pixar releases, this exciting new feature showcases multiple Pixar story artists giving viewers exciting insight into their work, their inspiration and the personal paths that eventually led them to a career at Pixar.

• Studio Stories: Gary’s Birthday – Trying to make a movie when there are not enough work days and too many birthday parties? This feature showcases how The Incredibles crew solved that problem.

• Ending With A Bang: Making The End Credits – Interview with Director of Photography Andy Jimenez and Character Designer Teddy Newton about the process of creating the end credits for the film.

• “The New Nomanisan” Island Redevelopment Plan – A guided tour of Nomanisan Island, post- Syndrome, pitching the island as a vacation resort paradise.

Classic DVD Features:
The DVD in the 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack Includes:
• The Incredibles feature film
• The original short film Jack-Jack Attack
• Pixar’s Academy Award®-nominated short film Boundin’ (2003 Best Animated Short)


Street Date April 12, 2011
Direct Prebook February 8, 2011
Distributors Prebook February 22, 2011
Suggested Retail Price 4-Disc Blu-ray Combo Pack (2 Blu-ray Discs + 1 DVD + 1 Digital Copy Disc) = $45.99 U.S./$52.99 Canada
Feature Run Time Approximately 115 Minutes
Rated USA: “PG” (For Action Violence); Canada: “G” (For Violence) *Bonus materials not rated
Technical 2.39 (Presentation Size: 16X9)
Sound English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio Sound, Eng 2.0 DVS
Languages English, French and Spanish
Subtitles English SDH, French and Spanish

THE INCREDIBLES follows the adventures of a family of former superheroes who are rediscovering the true source of their powers—in one another. Once one of the world’s top masked crime fighters, Bob Parr (a.k.a. Mr. Incredible) fought evil and saved lives on a daily basis. But 15 years later, he and his wife Helen (the former Elastigirl) have been forced to take on civilian identities and retreat to the suburbs.

Today they, and all superheroes, live as mere mortals. Bob and Helen lead all- too-ordinary lives with their children, Violet and Dashiell “Dash” Parr, who go out of their way to appear “normal,” and new baby Jack-Jack As a clock-punching insurance man, the only thing Bob fights these days is boredom and a bulging waistline. Itching for action, the sidelined superhero gets his chance when a mysterious communication summons him to a remote island for a top-secret assignment. Now, with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, the family must come together and once again find the fantastic in their family life.

THE INCREDIBLES, features a top-notch list of voice cast talent that includes Craig T. Nelson (TV’s “Parenthood,” “Coach”) as Bob Parr/Mr. Incredible, Holly Hunter (TV’s “Saving Grace,” 1993 Academy Award®-winning Best Actress for The Piano) as Helen Parr/Elastigirl, Samuel L. Jackson (The Other Guys, Iron Man 2) as Lucius Best/Frozone, Jason Lee (TV’s “My Name is Earl,” Almost Famous) as Buddy Pine/Syndrome, Spencer Fox (The Groomsmen, and the voice of Mudbud in Air Buddies) as Dashiell Parr (Dash), Sarah Vowell (author and noted radio show commentator on public radio’s “This American Life”) as Violet Parr, Jean Sincere (TV’s “Glee,” “The Drew Carey Show,” “Frasier”) as Mrs. Hogenson, John Ratzenberger (TV’s “Cheers,” the Toy Story films) as the Underminer, Wallace Shawn (TV’s “Gossip Girl,” The Princess Bride) as Gilbert Huph and many more.

THE INCREDIBLES is produced by John Walker (The Iron Giant) and executive produced by Academy Award®-winning filmmaker and chief creative officer of Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios John Lasseter (The Toy Story films, Cars, Monsters, Inc.). Kori Rae is associate producer, and Katherine Sarafian is production manager. Written and directed by Academy Award®-winning Brad Bird (Ratatouille, The Iron Giant, TV’s “The Simpsons”). And playing a major role in creating the film’s retro-futuristic style and exuberant mood is Academy Award®-winning composer Michael Giacchino (Up, Ratatouille and TV’s “Lost”).

For more than 85 years, The Walt Disney Studios has been the foundation on which The Walt Disney Company (DIS: NYSE) was built. Today, the Studio brings quality movies, music and stage plays to consumers throughout the world. Feature films are released under four banners: Walt Disney Pictures, which includes Walt Disney Animation Studios and Pixar Animation Studios, Disneynature, Touchstone Pictures and Marvel. Through the Home Entertainment division, innovative distribution methods provide access to creative content across multiple platforms.

Original music and motion picture soundtracks are produced under Walt Disney Records and Hollywood Records, while Disney Theatrical Group produces and licenses live events, including Broadway theatrical productions, Disney on Ice and Disney LIVE! For more information, please visit

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Review: "Crash" Crashes into Itself (Happy B'day, David Cronenberg)

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 45 (of 2005) by Leroy Douresseaux

Crash (1996)
Release date: March 21, 1997 (USA)
Running time: 100 minutes (1 hour, 40 minutes)
MPAA – NC-17 for numerous explicit sex scenes
WRITER: David Cronenberg (based upon the novel by J.G. Ballard)
EDITOR: Ronald Sanders
Cannes winner


Starring: James Spader, Holly Hunter, Elias Koteas, Deborah Kara Unger Rosanna Arquette, and Peter MacNeill

After being seriously scarred in a near-fatal collision (that was his fault and cost a man his life), television director James Ballard (James Spader) finds his soul mate in Dr. Helen Remington (Holly Hunter), fellow crash survivor and wife of the man killed in the accident. Anxious to connect with the widow, Ballard joins Dr. Remington in a study of cars, sex, and death in which they focus on the point where the three meet. Together, with a band of misfits that include Ballard’s wife, Catherine (Deborah Kara Unger), and Vaughn (Elias Koteas), a fetishist who recreates and eroticizes famous car crash deaths (James Dean and Jane Mansfield’s seem to be his favorites), they probe the eroticism of the automobile and the sexual violence of auto accidents.

To call David Cronenberg’s Crash “weird” would be kind of dumb and simple. To call it an obtuse art project would be close. The film continues Cronenberg’s look at the effects of technology, in this case machines, in particularly the automobile, on the human body. The film seems to take place in the near future, sort of a tomorrow or the day after that. Sensations increasingly have become the method of communication between humans, and mechanical things intrigue people, in particularly how they can be an extension of the human body and also extend perception of or enhance sensation. Cronenberg gives us lots of sex scenes that involve cars, car crashes, and death as aphrodisiacs.

Those who like film as art with an emphasis on the visual sensation or the visual communication of film will find interest in this. However, Crash too often comes across as a boring exercise in creating mildly disturbing images. Sometimes, those images are disgusting, but in a way that makes you roll your eyes. Still, Cronenberg is, as always, daring in the way he challenges audiences to come with him as explores the darker side of humanity merging with machinery.

6 of 10

1996 Cannes Film Festival: 1 win: “Jury Special Prize” (David Cronenberg); 1 nomination: “Golden Palm” (David Cronenberg)


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Review: "The Incredibles" the Best 3D Animated Superheroes... So Far

TRASH IN MY EYE No. 218 (of 2004) by Leroy Douresseaux

The Incredibles (2004)
Running time: 115 minutes (1 hour, 55 minutes)
MPAA – PG for action violence
PRODUCER: John Walker
EDITOR: Stephen Schaffer
Academy Award winner


Starring: (voices) Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Samuel L. Jackson, Jason Lee, Spencer Fox, Sarah Vowell, Elizabeth Peña, Wallace Shawn, and Brad Bird

Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) and Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) are two superheroes that fall in love and eventually marry. Not long after their nuptials, the government forces superheroes into retirement because the citizens that the heroes rescue start suing the government for property damages and personal injuries. Thus Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl assume their civilian or secret identities as husband and wife, Bob and Helen Parr. They go on to have three children together, the shy Violet (Sarah Vowell), the energetic scamp Dashiell or “Dash” (Spencer Fox) and baby Jack Jack.

Bob, however, sorely missed his superhero life, so at night he sneaks outs with his buddy Lucius Best (Samuel L. Jackson), formerly known as Frozone. They done ski masks to hide their identities and rescue citizens from burning buildings and such. Bob soon catches the interest of a sexy female operative named Mirage (Elizabeth Peña). She summons him to a mysterious island and offers him a job paying him three times what he makes an insurance adjuster. The job also allows him to dress up in a superhero uniform and be Mr. Incredible again. However, a mysterious and sinister villain, Syndrome (Jason Lee), with a link to Mr. Incredible’s past arrives on the scene, and his actions bring the whole Parr family from undercover. Elastigirl assumes her old identity, but the eldest Incredible children also have powers. Dash becomes…well, Dash, the boy who can move at incredible speed. Violet becomes Shrinking Violet who can become invisible and generate force field bubbles. Dash and Violet don costumes like mommy and race off to save Daddy, but will The Incredibles and Frozone be able to save the world from the menace of Syndrome.

The Incredibles is the sixth collaboration between Pixar, the gold standard in computer animation studios, and Disney, and it is by no means their best work. However, in terms of the quality of the computer animation, The Incredibles is, to date, technically the best feature length computer animated film. In fact, there is never a moment in the film where The Incredibles really looks like the typical computer animated film. The animation is a cross between hand drawn three-dimensional art, claymation, stop-motion, and marionettes, the characters move with fluidity that is as good as the best second-tier hand drawn animation.

As for the story contents of the film: the super action is as about as good as the action in X2: X-Men United and Spider-Man 2, and that is a testament to the skill of the computer techs and artists at Pixar. It is something of a miracle to get a computer to render dramatic action on that level.

However, The Incredibles lacks the heart of classic Pixar films like the Toy Story series, Monsters, Inc., and Finding Nemo. The drama, the emotional conflicts, the plot, and the poignancy are missing. The Parr family dynamics are a bit cold, about what we’d get from an average TV family sitcom. Elastigirl, although ostensibly the co-lead, feels like a supporting character; writer/director Brad Bird dropped the ball there. The daughter Violet is vague and more of a caricature than a character.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks that Patrick Warburton (who played the title character in Fox’s short-lived TV series, “The Tick” and provided the voice for an animated Superman in a Jerry Seinfeld American Express commercial) should have provided the voice for Mr. Incredible, but Craig T. Nelson is really good. He gives the character extraordinary life and individuality. Nelson truly makes Mr. Incredible one of the top screen superheroes.

My favorite characters in the film were Dash and Frozone. Frozone is sadly too relegated to the sidelines, but he has enough onscreen time to make it clear that Sam Jackson should do more animated voiceover work. Dash is an absolute delight. The quintessential hyperactive kid, he is a bold, confident, and brash young hero that could be the star of his own film. Spencer Fox’s performance and the Pixar artistry make Dash a charming scene-stealer. I wouldn’t mind an all-guys line up of Dash, Mr. Incredible, and Frozone in a follow-up.

On the strength of the high quality of the computer animation art in this film, I’ll call The Incredibles the best animated film of the year. It’s a sheer delight with the suspense, thrills, and action of a good family action film. Too bad the soft drama keeps it from being a truly great film.

8 of 10

2005 Academy Awards: 2 wins: “Best Animated Feature Film of the Year (Brad Bird) and “Best Achievement in Sound Editing” (Michael Silvers and Randy Thom); 2 nominations: “Best Achievement in Sound Mixing” (Randy Thom, Gary Rizzo, and Doc Kane) and “Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen” (Brad Bird)

2005 BAFTA Awards: 1 win: “BAFTA Children's Award Best Feature Film” (John Walker and Brad Bird)

2005 Golden Globes: 1 nomination: “Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy”