Tag Archives: The Walt Disney Company

“Star Wars” – Attack of the production line?

Image

Honestly, you go away for a couple of days – a work trip, not exactly exciting – and things get all confusing for any self-respecting member of the “Star Wars” generation.  It’s as though you’ve been out of the game for a while and people get delusions of grandeur or something…

The sci-fi franchise’s new overlords, the Walt Disney Company, this week unleashed dark, Sithian portents of wholly predictable corporate malevolence by announcing that films seven, eight and nine in the new trilogy will open two years apart in 2015, 2017 and 2019 , with spin-off movies featuring “Star Wars” characters filling in the gaps between new instalments of the main saga (“Salacious Crumb – Lust for Glory” – make it so).

So, the House of Mouse is borrowing a note or two from the thus-far successful Marvel Studios play book and pitching their comic book movie business against the biggest name in cinematic sci-fi in a playground battle to win all of the marbles in the yard.  Greedy, much?

I confess to be alarmed by the proposed timeline – is two years between movies really a realistic schedule which would allow for quality to be maintained?  It doesn’t seem as though director J.J. Abrams could realistically turn around movies on this scale in that production line fashion – could any director keep to that kind of workload and deliver something which didn’t feel like a product tooled to meet a release date line in the sand?

Is the plan, then, to alternate directors on each Episode? Curiouser and curiouser…

Advertisements

3 Comments

Filed under Films, Geekery

Oscar gets it right…

Image

It’s funny how time changes you.

There was a point where the Academy Awards were quite a big deal for me.  I did my best to see nominated films, had an opinion on buzzed-about performances and genuinely looked forward to the ceremony itself, even with the cheesy, self-congratulatory, megawatt pageantry which is so frequently inherent in the telecast.

That ship, it would appear, has sailed.

The still above, from Disney‘s glorious animated short subject winner “Paperman”, represents the only major award winner that I saw at the cinema prior to the ceremony this year.   Attached to “Wreck-It Ralph“, it didn’t do anything more revolutionary than tell a simple love story without words and

Which means that I’ve missed out on “Argo“, “Life of Pi“, “Zero Dark Thirty”, “Les Miserables”, “Silver Linings Playbook”, “Django Unchained” and “Lincoln”.  And I’m mostly okay with that.

I will definitely get around to watching “Zero Dark…” as Kathryn Bigelow can do little wrong in my eyes, and I’ve enjoyed everything that Ben Affleck has done as a director, but I can’t get excited about the sort of films which have been nominated in the last few years:  Vaguely Traditional Musical, Obligatory Mainstream Hit, Ersatz, Quirky Pseudo-Indie Flick, Crossover Foreign Arthouse Piece – these, it seems,  are your options when it comes to February and the solemn bestowing of Little Gold Men.

And that is my problem – the woefully predictable Oscar Bait which surfaces in the Autumn and defines the race from thereon.  There’s simply no room for a genuine surprise, as even a left-field entry like “Beasts of the Southern Wild” has all edges removed and uncomfortable, below-the-surface truths obscured by the PR hive-mind in order to pitch an alternative, life-affirming narrative about debuting actress Quvenzhané Wallis.  It’s the equivalent of patting the cheeky little kid on the head and ignoring all the stuff about post-Hurricane Katrina communities because that awkward stuff doesn’t exactly uplift.

Grumpy old man – moi?

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Films

Yoda movie in works at Disney?

A stand-alone Yoda film?  I’ll believe it when I see it on Deadline.com

Hold onto your Gungans – Lucasfilm and Disney want to make a Yoda movie per dear old Harry Knowles and Ain’t It Cool News.

You can’t argue with the logic.  Having carefully laid the ground work for, and then convincingly established a catalogue of films based around Marvel’s superhero stable, it doesn’t take a genius to work out that Disney might find their newly-acquired “Star Wars” universe a suitable vehicle for further exploration.  Particularly as this particular sci-fi cast of characters and settings is as popular as ever with a younger generation of fans, who don’t have the hang-ups of oldsters like me about new-fangled “Clone Wars” spin-offs and patchy prequel trilogies.

AICN’s story alludes to Lucasfilm chairperson Kathleen Kennedy putting together a slate of movies set in the “Star Wars” universe and planning a first instalment set around the adventures of the diminutive Jedi Master, which strikes me as an interesting choice.  No Boba Fett?  No young Han Solo cutting a swathe through the galactic underworld, Danny Ocean style?  Still, if this initial salvo (should it come to pass) takes off, there’s no reason that we can’t see a whole panoply of “Star Wars” experiences duking it out in cinemas with Marvel movies for years to come.

But seriously, an IG-88 movie.  Make it happen, Ms Kennedy.

 

 

 

3 Comments

Filed under Films, Geekery

Alternate “Avengers” Awesomeness Amazes?

“And this is the bit where more amazeballs awesomosity is going to go…”

In the spirit of global collaboration and nerd-sharing, it behoves me to direct you towards io9.com, who currently have an alternate opening sequence for “The Avengers” posted on their site.  It’s a really interesting choice and I can absolutely see why it went the way of all flesh – I can’t imagine many fans digging the ‘unreliable narrator‘/alternate perspective direction that this opening implies, intriguing as it might have been…

If I know Marvel (and their dark corporate over-Mice, Walt Disney) this won’t be up for long but you will be able to peruse it at your leisure in a few weeks when Joss Whedon‘s superhero opus is out on DVD, Blu-Ray, digital download and can settle the question once and for all – how did this film and “The Dark Knight Rises” both manage to independently construct endings which pivot on wide-ranging moral choices selflessly enacted by rakish billionaires who moonlight as technologically advanced fighters of crime.

And no, h8t0rz, that doesn’t mean that Hollywood has no ideas.  Just not that many.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery

A “Rocketeer” sequel? Better late than never…

The Rocketeer” – bopping Nazi swine on the chin and narrowly evading serious rear -end charring. Now THAT’s a superhero to reckon with…

Emboldened, perhaps, by the success enjoyed by junior partners Marvel Studios with their forties flavoured action adventure, “Captain America: The First Avenger“, Big Mouse on Campus Walt Disney Studios are apparently moving ahead with a slightly overdue sequel to their 1991 comic book adaptation, “The Rocketeer.

As I say, better late than never (given the equally prolonged period between sci-fi touchstone “Tron” and its follow-up, “Tron: Legacy“, perhaps this is just the way that the House of Mouse does it), albeit an intriguing choice given that many observers may look at the gigantic shortfall between financial outlay to box office receipts for the “Tron” sequel and this year’s “John Carter” and wonder just whether Disney have the wherewithal to deliver live action sci-fi thrills which resonate for a modern audience.

For the record, I enjoyed “Tron: Legacy” well enough, loved “John Carter” and would happily adopt “The Rocketeer” and bring it up as my slightly nerdy, earnest offspring, so the news of a new film is like catnip to me.  Or whatever it is that Dog-loving people would have in place of catnip.  I digress…

Logic would tell us that Disney would keep the period setting – my teeth are positively on edge at the mere idea of a modern “Rocketeer” reinvention – but who knows where they’re going with this revamp?  If it’s not LA in the forties, I’ll be a grumpy bunny.  Or more so than usual, anyway.

A casting suggestion, if you don’t mind, for chief rocket jockey Cliff Secord and then we’ll take our leave of this retro-frippery?

This chap:

 

 

You know it makes sense.

3 Comments

Filed under Films, Geekery

Joss back for more “Avengers”, shiny awesome badassery to ensue…

“And the awesome sauce shall be liberally sprinkled behind me. Make it so, CG elves!”

Is it Summer 2015 yet?

Disney have announced, via one of those highfalutin financial call things, that Joss Whedon will write, direct, act-out motion capture reference material, pen delightful ditties and liberally sprinkle his particular brand of spectacular nerdery over the “Avengers 2: Thanos Boogaloo” sequel.

Apparently, and who would have thought it, earning $1.5 billion at the box office tends to make you popular and beloved with studios, don’t you know?  It couldn’t have happened to a nicer multi-media hypethenate.

Assembled. Any questions?

Whedon’s deal locks him into Disney’s mousy embrace until 2015 and includes input into the much-rumoured Marvel Universe television drama and other Marvel flicks, which I suspect is the kind of vote of confidence that must be nice to have.

So, Thanos and some galaxy-bestriding, cosmic adventuring, budget-smashing shenanigans then?  Sounds lovely.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery

“TRON: Legacy” Concept Art

Image

TRON: Legacy Concept Art – Imgur.  Via Reddit user Lechedemipalo.

No apologies for a bit of self-indulgence, here.  I loved “Tron: Legacy” and can’t get enough of its insanely geeky universe – hopefully, we’ll get to see more on a cinema screen sometime soon (with an improved, non-terrifying virtual Jeff Bridges, let us hope), but in the meantime perhaps the forthcoming animated series “Tron: Uprising” will tide me over until that happy return to the Grid.

Leave a comment

Filed under Films, Geekery