Delicate Art of Puppetry

This week we received an email from a filmmaker about his crowdfunding campaign for a feature called The Delicate Art of Puppetry. It’s a high school movie focused on a nerdy kid who is a fledgling puppeteer, and I guess his two hand puppets are sentient and take control of the boy’s life. Yes, once again the puppets are evil, not unlike such cult-classic horror flicks as Magic and the Puppet Master series. That isn’t to say The Delicate Art of Puppetry is a bad idea — in fact, the comedic project shows promise for a low-budget debut — but it got me wondering if a movie could be made featuring puppet characters who are simply characters, not necessarily villains or purposefully bad or edgy, without that movie being a Jim Henson Company production or something involving the late Jim Henson‘s creations. In other words, is there a Muppet monopoly? It should be noted that there are a few distinct categories for puppet-based movies. There are those where the puppets are actually puppets within the movie story, even if they come to life, a la The Delicate Art of Puppetry and The Beaver. There are those where puppets are used as a creature effect, as in the case of Henson-produced or involved works like <strongLabyrinth and Babe or the Star Wars movies and anything featuring the talents of Bob Baker (who just died last week), including Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Bedknobs and Broomsticks. And then there are those where puppetry is a form of animation and puppets make up all the characters, like Team America: […]



Let’s see a show of hands…how many of you remember the NBC series Manimal? Yeah, not too many. And with good reason. Manimal was a ridiculous show about a college professor who had the ability to turn himself into animals. What would you imagine a stuffy, academic type would do once he gained such phenomenal abilities? Why, he fights crime alongside a sexy police lady and one of his old ‘Nam buddies, of course. Manimal debuted in 1983 to abysmal ratings and even worse reviews, and only aired 8 episodes before the plug was pulled. It being something from the ’80s that someone somewhere might remember, however, still makes it a prime candidate to get a big screen adaptation, so THR is reporting that Sony Pictures Animation has won what was most likely an intense bidding war to acquire the rights to the property.


The most vivid memory I have of television’s classic 1980s sitcom, ALF, involves running away. Even as a wee lass, I was obsessed with ALF. And, also, ALF. ALF was not a show for children. Gordon Shumway was a dick. He ate cats. He was rude and cynical and he didn’t pay any heed to what would happen if he was discovered and what that would mean for the beleaguered Tanner family who took in his burnt sienna ass. He also, apparently, once had liposuction. But he was also a loyal friend with a big appetite for life (and food). I loved ALF. Even at the tender age of four, I loved ALF (no, my parents didn’t put limits on my television-watching, even then). So why the running? Every time ALF popped up on TV, I had to run from one end of the house (TV room) to the other (my room) to grab my ALF doll for hugging, squeezing, and watching together. So you might expect that the news from THR that ALF is getting a new feature from Sony Pictures Animation and producer Jordan Kerner (who is also responsible for those Smurfs features) would send me into fits of rage like much of the movie blogger populace. Wrong. Are you convinced that a new CG/live action ALF film, already expected to feature original ALF pupeteer Paul Fusco back in the role, will be bad? Trust me, no matter how bad you think that a new ALF feature could […]


What is Movie News After Dark? It doesn’t have time to explain it to you, yo. We just gotta get out of here, Mr. White! We begin this evening with the first image from the upcoming fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, courtesy of AMC. And guess what? It’s a shot of Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) standing in a field looking less than pleased with their surroundings. Even though it’s a shot we’ve seen a million times in four seasons, it never ceases to be interesting. 


80s TV shows

With The A-Team hitting theaters June 11, I felt inclined to compile a list of ’80’s television gems that are ripe for studio picking. I’ve narrowed said list down to my ten favorite nostalgia inducing shows, adding a gentle twist to each plot to maximize studio head salivation.

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published: 12.23.2014
published: 12.22.2014
published: 12.19.2014

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