Angus Maclaine (Directing Animator) discusses the making of Wall E.
“In the life of an animator you learn not to throw everything into a scene. If you just have one scene to animate on a film, you’re going to animate the hell out of that thing, and you’re going to put lots of stuff in there, because you want to show everyone you can move stuff around. As a Directing Animator on the film, my goal is not to get in the way of the story. Animation added a lot – seeing stuff move around or not move around really brought it to life – but at the same time the context of the story was what was most important.
If you see a shot of WALL-E staring off screen left, then you see a shot of tumbleweed going by, then you cut back to WALL-E and he’s staring at it and his head slightly rotates and then goes up and down with a sound of a sigh, there’s a mood established by it. That’s mostly story. Animation-wise, you’re mostly still for one shot and in the next shot you’re just going up and down and rotating the head a little bit. There’s not much there. It was easy in that sense because I didn’t have to do very much! But to be honest, a lot of it was not doing very much, and having the courage not to do very much comes with time and confidence.
Because the camera was handheld-operated, it didn’t make everything feel still, so then we just tried not to get in the way of the storytelling with our animation. I think story should take a bigger bow than animation here, because the context they provided for the story allowed for a simplicity of animation that seemed like great animation, but only because it wasn’t doing that much.
Ultimately, everything we needed we had for both EVE and WALL-E. That was fortunate, but we spent a lot of time upfront getting that. The way we eventually came upon the arm design for WALL-E, allowing the arms to slide along the body, let us move the arms in front of the face, which gave us this unsure hand-wringing pose that was key to any scene with EVE where he’s unsure of his approach to her. That, to me, is huge, and largely unrecognised as a big thing in addition to the expressiveness of the eyes.
Universal Wanted a sequel so they’re getting one. Director Timur Bekmambetov, scribes Michael Brandt and Derek Haas, and producer Marc Platt are all reprising their respective duties for the now in-development Wanted 2.
According to Variety, “The creative team is still working on the challenge of continuing the story after most of the principal characters — including Angelina Jolie — ended the original in no position for an encore.”
Platt informed the trade, “The writers are at work already, and those creative discussions are taking place.” The filmmakers also reportedly want to bring back James McAvoy as office drone-turned-superassassin Wesley Gibson.
Wanted has so far grossed $192.6 million worldwide.
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Release date: Friday September 26, 2008 Genre: Thriller Director: D.J. Caruso Studio: DreamWorks Pictures Producer(s): Alex Kurtzman, Patrick Crowley, Robert Orci Screenplay: Dan McDermott, John Glenn, Travis Wright, Hillary Seitz Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Michael Chiklis, Anthony Mackie, Billy Bob Thornton Official Site:eagleeyemovie.com Rating: None None Available film art:Eagle Eye movie posters
Synopsis In the fast-paced race-against-time-thriller “Eagle Eye” Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are two strangers who become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realizing they are being used to further her diabolical plot, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed.
Release date: Friday October 3, 2008 Genre: Comedy/Romance Director: Peter Sollett Studio: Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) Producer(s): Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, Kerry Kohansky, Paul Weitz Screenplay: Lorene Scafaria Cast: Michael Cera, Dana Goodman Official Site: Not Available Rating: None Available film art:Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist movie posters
Synopsis Based on the novel by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan, the story revolves around two bridge-and-tunnel teenagers, nursing broken hearts, who fall in love during one sleepless night in New York while searching for their favorite band’s unannounced show.
You will want to see The Dark Knight more than once – “Repeat viewings are a certainty.”
“The Dark Knight” is pure adrenaline. Director Christopher Nolan, having dispensed with the introspective, moody origin story of 2005′s “Batman Begins,” now puts the Caped Crusader through a decathlon of explosions, vehicle flips, hand-to-hand combat, midair rescues and pulse-pounding suspense.
Nolan is one of our smarter directors. He builds movies around ideas and characters, and “Dark Knight” is no exception. The ideas here are not new to the movie world of cops and criminal, but in the context of a comic book movie, they ring out with startling clarity. In other words, you expect moralistic underpinnings in a Martin Scorsese movie; in a Batman movie, they hit home with renewed vigor.
None of this artistic achievement denies the re-energized Warner Bros./DC Comics franchise its commercial muscle. Those bags of money in the movie’s opening bank heist are nothing compared with the worldwide boxoffice haul “Dark Knight” will take from theaters following its July 18 release via Warner Bros. Repeat viewings are a certainty.
Repeat viewings might also be a necessity. That adrenaline rush comes at a cost: With the film’s race-car pace, noise levels, throbbing music and density of stratagems, no one will follow all the plot points at first glance.
“Dark Knight” revolves around notions of the yin and yang between Hero and Villain and of those gray areas where social conscience and individuality collide. Thinking logically, Nolan and his co-writer/brother Jonathan, working from a story by Christopher Nolan and David S. Goyer, imagine that the heroism of Bruce Wayne’s Batman (a returning and very buff Christian Bale) is a double-edged sword. (A theme the current “Hancock” toyed with but badly mucked up.) Cleaning up the streets of Gotham City turns the crime cartels into an even more dangerous beast that, once cornered, resorts to its own doomsday machine: the maniacally clever and criminally amoral Joker (the late Heath Ledger). And vigilante justice is nonetheless “justice” from outside the law. So who or what polices him?
Running for cover, the mob head (Eric Roberts) first takes refuge with a Hong Kong crime mogul (Chin Han). Then when Batman takes him down, he and his fellow mobsters hold their noses and in desperation settle on a man who knows no rules and plays everyone against one another. The Joker relishes the assignment precisely because of his “admiration” for the Dark Knight. In one key confrontation, the Joker purrs to Batman, like a bride to a groom, “You complete me.” The criminal clown, his makeup designed to emphasize his facial deformations, sees in a man dressed up in a bat suit “a freak like me.”
Seemingly on the side of good are the city’s White Knight, District Attorney Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart); his girlfriend/Assistant DA Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal) — and, if you recall from “Batman Begins,” Bruce Wayne’s longtime love — and police Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman). But loyalties are easily dislodged by threats or money. The Joker’s true purpose, besides amusing himself trying to outwit Batman, is to see if he can “turn” the White Knight to his dark side.
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Release date: Friday July 25, 2008 Genre: Comedy Director: Adam McKay Studio: Columbia Pictures/Apatow Productions Producer(s): Jimmy Miller, Judd Apatow Screenplay: Will Ferrell, Adam McKay Cast: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Mary Steenburgen, Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Andrea Savage, Kathryn Hahn Official Site:stepbrothers-movie.com Rating:R for for crude and sexual content, and pervasive language Available film art: Step Brothers movie posters
Synopsis Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly will play coddled guys who live with their respective single parents. Their folks fall in love and marry, making the guys stepbrothers. From the team that brought you “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby” and “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.”
Eric Moro chats with director, Rob Cohen (Tomb of the Dragon Emperor).
The archeological dig is massive, but everyone is in good spirits. Alex O’Connell — son of Rick and Eve O’Connell (protagonists of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns) — is clearly in charge, complementing the camp chef on that day’s soup and commenting on his hopes for finding the entrance to the tomb of the Dragon Emperor. Suddenly, the call comes.
Alex and his team descend into a crypt lined wall-to-wall with ancient treasures, as well as the famed terracotta warriors. But maneuvering through the area is no simple feat. In fact, in a scene ripped straight out of an Indiana Jones film, one of the workers steps on a loose stone tile, which triggers a shot of acid directly to his face. Panicked, another worker takes off running… only to trigger a second trap. An ancient wall-mounted crossbow fires randomly into the tomb, killing several other workers. Alex is horrified; he races to try and save his team, but is stopped by a friend who reminds him that they knew the inherent risks involved with their work. The two soldier on…
A massive stone statue of the Emperor riding his chariot rests in the center of the chamber. Coming to the conclusion that this is a marker of some sort, Alex and his friend trigger a mechanism that lowers the O’Connell son underneath the statue to the final resting place of the Dragon Emperor. But before he can fully examine the remains, Alex is attacked by a masked assailant. The warrior is fast and fierce, knocking the gun out of Alex’s hand and bringing him to the ground before he knows what’s hit him. In the ensuing struggle, the warrior’s mask comes free revealing a beautiful Chinese woman with a scar across her check. From up above, Alex’s friend fires several shots toward the woman, scaring her off and saving the young O’Connell at the same time.
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Release date: Friday December 19, 2008 Genre: Drama/War/Action Director: Edward Zwick Producer(s): Clayton Frohman, Edward Zwick Studio: Paramount Vantage/Grosvenor Park Productions Screenplay:Clay Frohman Cast: Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber, Jamie Bell, Alexa Davalos, Mark Feuerstein Official Site: Not Available Rating:R for violence and language Available film art:Defiance movie posters
Synopsis The film revolves around Jewish brothers (Craig, Schreiber and Bell) living in Nazi-occupied Poland who escape into the Belarussian forest where they join Russian resistance fighters in battling the Nazis. Throughout the war, they build a village inside the forest and save the lives of more than 1,200 Jews. Zwick’s screenplay is based on Nechama Tec’s book “Defiance: The Bielski Partisans.”
Release date: Friday September 12, 2008 Genre: Thriller/Drama/Crime Director: Jon Avnet Producer(s): Alexandra Milchan, Avi Lerner, Daniel M. Rosenberg, Jon Avnet, Lati Grobman, Randall Emmett, Rob Cowan Studio: Alliance Films/Overture Films Screenplay: Russell Gewirtz Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, Brian Dennehy, John Leguizamo, Carla Gugino, Dan Futterman, Donnie Wahlberg, Rob Dyrdek, Trilby Glover Official Site:righteouskill-themovie.com Rating:Not yet rated Available film art:Righteous Kill movie posters
Synopsis “Righteous Kill” features the second bigscreen pairing of De Niro and Pacino, who play two detectives searching for a serial killer.
Release date: Friday November 7, 2008 Genre: Family/Animation/Adventure/Fantasy/Comedy Director: Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath Producers: Mark Swift, Mirelle Soria Studio: DreamWorks Animation Screenplay: Peter Barsocchini Cast: Ben Stiller, Cedric the Entertainer, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer Official Site:madagascarmovie.com Rating:None Available film art:Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa movie posters
Synopsis All the loveable characters are back — Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo, King Julien, Maurice and the penguins — in “Madagascar: The Crate Escape.” Left marooned on the distant shores of Madagascar, the New Yorkers have hatched a plan so crazy it just might work. With military precision, the penguins have repaired an old crashed plane — sort of. Once aloft, this unlikely crew stays airborne just long enough to make it to the wildest place of all — the vast plains of Africa itself — where our zoo-raised crew encounters species of their own kind for the very first time. While discovering their roots, they quickly realize the differences between the concrete jungle and the heart of Africa. Despite long-lost relatives, romantic rivals and scheming hunters, Africa seems like a “crack-a-lackin” great place…but is it better than their Central Park home?