The Gang Are Back In The First Teaser For ‘Toy Story 4’

“Woody has always been confident about his place in the world and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. But when Bonnie adds a reluctant new toy called “Forky” to her room, a road trip adventure alongside old and new friends will show Woody how big the world can be for a toy.”

Directed by: Josh Cooley

Cast: Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, Tim Allen, Bonnie Hunt

Release Date: 21st June 2019

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The Parrs Are Back In Action In A Brand New ‘Incredibles 2’ Trailer

“Helen is called on to lead a campaign to bring Supers back, while Bob navigates the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life at home with Violet, Dash and baby Jack-Jack—whose superpowers are about to be discovered. Their mission is derailed, however, when a new villain emerges with a brilliant and dangerous plot that threatens everything. But the Parrs don’t shy away from a challenge, especially with Frozone by their side. That’s what makes this family so Incredible.”

Directed by: Brad Bird

Cast: Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, Sarah Vowell, Huck Milner, Samuel L. Jackson

Release Date: June 15th, 2018

 

Coco

Year: 2017
Directed by: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina (co-director)
Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renee Victor, Jaime Camil

Written by Jessica Peña

Pixar Animation Studios lets us escape once more. It’s easy to relish in the studio’s latest film, ‘Coco,’ which exudes rich, cultural delicacies of tradition and music. It’s rejuvenating to see a shift into diversity in one of the year’s biggest animated films. Lee Unkrich, with the help of co-director Adrian Molina, brings Mexican culture to the spotlight in such a graceful and energetic fashion.

It’s a story about afterlife and legacy, as much as it is music and tradition. Miguel Rivera comes from a family that holds an ancestral grudge against music after a member of their family seemingly disowns them for a life of glamour and fame as a musician. Even on the Day of the Dead, his family insists he take up a special role in their long-running shoe making business. Miguel is a musician at heart and it sways him enough to confront his family and run off to compete in the town’s talent show. His idol, the late, great Ernesto de la Cruz, is what keeps Miguel fighting for the chance to prove himself to his family that music is the melody of his life. With the honoring of the dead, crowded festivities lead him to find de la Cruz’s guitar. With a strum of the dusty guitar, Miguel is suddenly transported to the Land of the Dead. He meets trickster skeleton, Hector, voiced by ‘Mozart in The Jungle’s’ Gael García Bernal.

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is the Mexican holiday in which friends and family gather to pray and remember their deceased loved ones. It is celebrated to help support the dead in their spiritual afterlife journey. ‘Coco’ is so very enthusiastic in the way it educates us and presents it in the style of childlike dreams. The pictures on the “ofrendas,” and the use of neon-lit “alebrijes,” as the spiritual, whimsical animals that guide the dead and scare away evil, really breath life into an animation that one would at first dub as “a little kid’s movie.” ‘Coco’ quickly becomes something much more than that after its midpoint. With a patient first half, the film soars into storytelling momentum and we see a young boy take brave steps to secure creative freedom for himself and an understanding of how important it is to honor your family’s love and memory.

‘Coco’ is a colorful visual achievement that celebrates culture and legacy in a way that is enjoyable for all generations of viewers. The importance of family and tradition is very much ingrained into Mexican culture, and it’s beautifully represented in this film. A warm color palette with strikingly beautiful cool tones balances the film. To watch ‘Coco’ is like taking a walk through real Mexican towns and fiestas at night. It is the collaboration of many artists that create the boundless architecture of The Land of the Dead. Layer over layer, Pixar imagines and displays a fluorescent and neon land where our Miguel journeys through for most of the story. Even his walk across the marigold bridge in the other land is so wonderfully lit. I sat in awe as I was transported to a vibrant land that I know my eight-year-old sister beside me was marveling at as well.

The family dynamic toward the end really pulls on those heartstrings. This animated film has a way of reeling in a lesson so pure and close to the heart, it drives the story back home for the win. I found myself relating to its Hispanic culture charm that makes it all so refreshing to watch. In a way, this PG-rated voyage connects us to its adoration for the arts. ‘Coco’ is a colorful visual achievement that celebrates culture and legacy in a way that is enjoyable for all generations of viewers.

Jessica’s Rating: 8.5 out of 10

 

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Nothing Is More Important Than Family In The Final Trailer For ‘Coco’

“Despite his family’s baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector , and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel’s family history”

Directed by: Lee UnkrichAdrian Molina
Cast:  Edward James OlmosBenjamin BrattAlanna Ubach, Gael García Bernal
Release Date: 19th January 2018

Cars 3

Year: 2017
Director: Brian Fee
Starring: Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Chris Cooper, Nathan Fillion, Larry the Cable Guy, Armie Hammer, Bonnie Hunt

Written by Chris Gelderd

After a lacklustre response to ‘Cars 2’ which, in its defence, had some fresh ideas and a fast-paced plot, Pixar returns to the narrative of their original story for the third and possibly final (only if the cash doesn’t flow) chapter of the Lightning McQueen story. After some of the most dramatic marketing for a Pixar film in the guise of teasers and posters for the story that “will never be the same again”…. it pretty much IS the same and I am so frustrated by it.

When the marketing effort is more exciting and dramatic than the film itself, you know you’ve been sucker-punched into thinking this was something major. It’s not. The “money shot” of the trailers is out the way in the first 10mins, leaving the other 70 for a ho-hum, been there done that story that fails to step out of its comfort zone too much.

While ‘Cars’ had a perfect balance of characters, melodrama, racing and slapstick fun, ‘Cars 2’ came off as a spin-off film for hillbilly pick-up truck Mater, voiced by Larry the Cable Guy. With a host of new locations and characters, it was very different to what we expected. ‘Cars 3’ tries to learn from the critical and audience panning by taking us back to familiar places, showing us familiar faces and spending more time with our red racer and less with the pick-up truck. Does it work? Just. The balance is still not right, and there are more new faces and more old faces but lots of moments feel shoe-horned in for effect and the overall pace is a bit jarring, jumping back and forward, which may be a bit too much for younger viewers to keep up with.

The film belongs to Owen Wilson as McQueen and newcomer Cristela Alonzo as trainer Cruz. Remember that sleek black racer from the trailers and posters? The “villain” of the piece? Armie Hammer voicing? Yeah you’ll forget him soon enough sadly as he spends all of his amounted 10mins of screen time driving around a racetrack or sneering in the pits.  He doesn’t get to do much at all, nor does he present many thrills or any danger. He looks brilliant and sounds superb on screen, but he doesn’t do much, and I think it’s a real shame because he could have added the much needed “ka-chow!” to this.

You can see my frustrations here now – there is so much talking and little else, that I was a getting bored by the third time McQueen reflects on his past, or the fifth time friends remind him of Doc Hudson (voiced by the late Paul Newman via unused footage from the first film), and the sixth time McQueen or Cruz or Sally or whoever fail to see themselves as anything but worthless.

Jeez, Pixar, talk about bringing the mood down.

Yes, there are fun moments, and a few silly goofs and crashes to tickle the funny bone, but they are few and far-between all the heartfelt talking, training, failing and floundering. From a blistering opening race that is more exciting than the rest of the film, to a mid-section stock-car race, to an under-whelming training session and an even more under-whelming finale, it seems the cars here want to talk more, train more but race less. Will this appeal to younger audiences? My little boy certainly switched off half-way through when the mood got solemn and the sequences were slower and moody – he came for the thrills of the first and fun of the second, but got little.

However, on the whole, the way the film looks is one big success; another perfectly presented Pixar production. The colours leap off the screen, and the attention to detail is immersive. Textures looks superb and the characters are sleek and stylish. A sequence on a beach looks as if the beach is real and the cars are super-imposed there, it looks that good! ‘Cars 3’ doesn’t disappoint technically, and the sounds of the racers send shockwaves through your bones when they rev their engines and speed around the track…when it happens finally that is.

As you can see, I love the first film and tolerate the second. This third outing is just frustrating as it sold us on something like ‘Rocky 4’ in the Pixar world. Instead, it’s a slow journey dragging a mopey racer back to the podium with little chance to fist pump the air in triumph. The actors give their characters personality, yes, that’s not in question, but they sure seem to lack some vigour in doing it.

The door has been left ajar for a fourth film, and I imagine the takings from the toys are going to smash the box-office takings as the 90min toy advert certainly sells lots of new faces and race-tracks for young audiences.

Do they need another film? At this point I’d say no, and if they do, it needs to really think what made the first film a winner and harness that again because ‘Cars 3’ starts with a bang and ends on a whimper.

Chris’ rating: 4.8 out of 10

 

The Race Is On In The Latest Cars 3 Trailer

Thanks to social media, I have seen a fair amount of scepticism towards ‘Cars 3’. And yeah, I won’t lie, when I first saw the initial poster I was a little sceptical too. However, after watching this trailer most – if not, all – of my scepticism and snide remarks have disappeared. ‘Cars 3’ looks cool.

Judging from the trailer itself, it looks like the movie ‘Cars’ should have been all along. Not a spy movie nor a fish-out-of-water tale, no; it looks like a movie about racing, which I love. It also seems to have some interesting metaphors about technology and millennials. And to address the elephant in the room, yes, it does look “dark” and “gritty” (which, honestly, might turn out to be what ‘Cars’ needed…maybe).

I’ll stop talking now though because at the end of the day, it’s a Disney/Pixar movie and people will probably see it no matter what. I just hope it’s as cool as this trailer makes it out to be.

Written by Dalton Brown

Time To Find Dory

The sequel to everyone’s favourite Pixar movie ‘Finding Nemo’ (and here’s the proof) is coming along swimmingly by the looks of things. If this latest trailer is anything to go by, we should be set for plenty of laughs and another great story from under the sea.

Do you think we needed this sequel? What’s your favourite Pixar movie? Let us know your thoughts.

Don’t forget, Finding Dory dives into UK cinemas 29th July 2016

 

Oscars 2016: Best Picture Predictions

Written by Chris Winterbottom

It may be early, but with awards season kicking off, I thought I would share my tips for who will be nominated at the 2016 Academy Awards, which will be held on the 28th February. Last year’s winner of the award for Best Picture, ‘Birdman’, was part of an eight-strong group vying for that prestigious gold statuette, but the category can have up to ten films nominated. With that in mind, I’m predicting a nine horse race, considering the amount of interesting films still to be released before the big night.

And the nominees are…

Steve Jobs

After making the hugely enjoyable ‘Trance’, Danny Boyle is back to courting the big awards with this biopic of the Apple genius Steve Jobs. Michael Fassbender plays the titular character and with supporting actors in Kate Winslet and Jeff Daniels, early reviews have suggested this is the one to watch. Personally, I am looking forward to this immensely; Danny Boyle is one of my favourite filmmakers and with a script penned by Aaron Sorkin, whose other works include the wonderful ‘The Social Network’, this film looks set to be a huge success both financially and critically.

Suffragette

This recent release has seen much of its acclaim directed towards the acting performances; I am sure Carey Mulligan in particular will at least be nominated for Best Actress at the awards ceremony next February. I haven’t seen the film, but with Jennifer Lawrence’s recent essay on sexism in Hollywood, and the regular calls of discontent at the amount of roles for women and the pay they receive when they come along, I feel the Academy will include the film in the Best Picture category to acknowledge female filmmakers’ cries for equality, regardless of its quality.

Sicario

This Denis Villeneuve film is one of my favourites of the year so far. Currently, I would like ‘Sicario’ to win the award for Best Picture, but I haven’t seen the majority of the other potential nominees so it is too early to put fully commit. That said, the film is a brilliant piece of visceral, shocking and tense filmmaking. There may be nominations for its cast too, particularly for Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, and Roger Deakins is sure to win the Best Cinematography award for the first time. For now, ‘Sicario’ is an outsider, but we shall see what will happen in the coming months.

Inside Out

This may prove a controversial choice to some, considering no animated film has ever won Best Picture, but the amount of positive reviews for this Disney-Pixar effort may sway Academy voters. This is another film which I am yet to see, and I have to say that it is one of my big film regrets this year. I suspect that ‘Inside Out’ is the animated film most likely to pick up the Best Picture gong in February, but it still remains a big outsider. However, it was not so long ago that the majestic ‘Toy Story 3’ picked up the nomination for Best Picture, with ‘Up’ achieving this feat the year before.

Bridge Of Spies

Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and The Cold War? I’m predicting this film will receive the most nominations of all at the 2016 Academy Awards. But I feel this movie will pull an ‘American Hustle’ – receive the most nominations, including Best Picture, but then fail to win anything. Whilst it has a chance in the Best Costume and Best Make Up categories, and maybe some of the technical categories, I just don’t feel like the ‘Bridge Of Spies’ campaign will gain enough momentum.

The Hateful Eight

Tarantino’s last two films, ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (I know it’s spelled wrong) and ‘Django Unchained’ both received Best Picture nominations, and I am certain his latest effort will deliver him another. The film’s official release date is the 8th January 2016 in the USA, which would have made this ineligible, but with a limited release on Christmas Day, I’m confident that ‘The Hateful Eight’ will be nominated. The release date is telling; films with a release date around January and February here in the UK are often the big contenders when it comes to awards. I wouldn’t be surprised if this turned out to be Tarantino’s most financially successful film, even surpassing ‘Django Unchained’, but like his previous couple of movies, I don’t think it’ll win the Best Picture award.

The Revenant

Will Leonardo Di Caprio finally win the elusive Oscar for Best Actor? Many seem to think it’ll be his year, but I think the great man will have to wait at least another year. Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu enjoyed big success at last year’s ceremony with ‘Birdman’, but I think he will receive something of a muted backlash for ‘The Revenant’, at least in terms of its critical reaction. However, The Academy love Inarritu and because of this, I believe the film will be competing for the Best Picture award. More likely though, I think we could see Emmanuel Lubezki pick up another statue for his cinematography work. For those that have seen the trailer, it already looks to be a visually stunning film.

Hail, Caesar!

The Coen Brothers are back with ‘Hail, Caesar!’, a musical-comedy satirising Hollywood. The film has a 1950’s setting, during Hollywood’s golden era, and features a fantastic cast including Scarlett Johansson. This film will be the main competition for Danny Boyle’s ‘Steve Jobs’. It will certainly challenge in terms of the technical awards, like Best Editing, but in my opinion the film will most likely pick the Best Director(s) award. The Coen Brothers are no strangers to award nominations, after the receiving a whole spate of them for ‘No Country For Old Men’, ‘True Grit’ and ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’.

The Danish Girl

I am a big admirer of Tom Hooper, particularly for his work on the underrated ‘The Damned United’. But his rise to the top, in terms of British filmmakers, has come off the back of ‘The Kings Speech’ and ‘Les Miserables’. You only have to look at the poster for this movie to know that this is an unashamed, Oscar-bait project. I don’t feel like this will be much of a success at the Oscars in February, but having said that I didn’t think ‘Gravity’ would either. Sometimes there are surprises, and I am sure Redmayne will receive another Best Actor nomination for his defiant, cross-dressing role, but my gut instinct is that the film will slip under the radar somewhat.

So there you have it – my predictions for the Best Picture category. Of course, this list may well be wrong and even if it is, it does not necessarily represent the year’s best films. I often find that The Academy is completely wrong in its choices; like Christopher Nolan being ignored twice, for ‘Inception’ and ‘Interstellar’. We are talking about an awards ceremony which snubbed ‘Citizen Kane’, after all. But there is no getting around the fact that the Oscars are the most prestigious of awards ceremonies, and I think in 2016 we will see Danny Boyle and his film ‘Steve Jobs’ be the triumphant victor.