Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland 2010 Movie

According to Variety, Disney has hired Linda Woolverton, a seasoned blockbuster screenwriter, to get cracking on a sequel to the monster hit Alice in Wonderland. The writer has a history with the studio — writing Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King among others — and her work has gone on to earn towering amounts of money so the appeal is pretty clear on the business end. Not to mention the financial no-brainer of continuing this franchise. But what about the artistic side? Woolverton is an excellent writer, but as we saw with Alice in Wonderland, her work can also be turned into a drippy mess of unnecessary bizarreness that hoists visuals (and poorly CGI-ed dance moves) so far above story that it gets downright embarrassing. That’s not the only obstacle to quality with Alice in Wonderland 2 either. There are at least three that jump to mind. The urge to copy the model of the first unfortunate film. The element of new territory now that they’ve already covered a lot of Lewis Carroll‘s original work with “Adventures” and “Through the Looking Glass.” There are still other tales, like the Caucus Race to cover, and the 2010 film strayed from the books considerably, but it’ll be curious to see whether they stick mostly with the other film’s characters (Johnny Depp for sure) or go Return to Oz style, trying to introduce or create new ones. That’s a challenge without the safety net of Carroll’s work to guide them. They’re leaving the safe harbor where fans can […]

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People like to see the same plots rehashed over and over again. That’s how James Bond became such a long and successful series, isn’t it? Following Pixar’s success with Toy Story, the animation studio looked to follow a sort of pattern, but it wasn’t so much in terms of the storyline as the setup of having an ensemble of characters where each was representative of a different kind of some such (usually titular) thing. Toy Story starred different toys, then A Bug’s Life involved different types of bugs, Monsters, Inc. involved different types of monsters, Finding Nemo had different fish and other sea creatures and Cars had, of course, different models of automobile. Fortunately, Pixar has gotten a bit more inventive with their basic pitches, but now Disney has borrowed the model for Wreck-It Ralph. It could have easily been titled “Video Game Life” or “An Arcade Story.” There is a bit more to it than this, and in fact I was surprised to find that a lot of the movie is more about sweets than video games, especially where Alice in Wonderland-esque puns are concerned (the “laughing taffy” made me laugh). Overall, I had a good time watching the movie and appreciate the greatest addition to the Disney Princesses roster in years. But it didn’t really feel like something that will become a “Disney Classic,” and not just because our grandchildren will have no understanding of what arcade games are in a way they could relate to it. It […]

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Boiling Point

The Avengers is kind of a major success. What, you hadn’t heard? Of course you did. Avengers box office is on the tips of tongues, internet screens, newspapers, and even within the pages of Time Magazine. You don’t make a billion dollars that quickly without garnering a lot of attention. With attention comes discussion. People always want to be included in the discussion, it helps get a little bit of that attention directed their way. If at this point you feel the need to point out the hypocrisy of this entire thing, go for it. What do I care? In attempting to be part of the discussion and gather up some of that sweet, sweet spotlight, everyone has been discussing the Avengers box office results and asking the question we all ask of super hero teams and double rainbows: What does it mean?

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Merch Hunter - Large

It’s a brand new year, and now that the festivities are well and truly done in Britain – where everything literally transforms into a Muppet’s Christmas Carol style wonderland where cars skid balletically and fatally across the smallest patches of ice , all households run out of salt and everything shuts down embarrassingly, as if noone was expecting the identical annual weather patterns - we can recommence with the serious business of buying as much multi-coloured movie crap as our bulging homes can take. No, of course I don’t believe it’s crap, but then I am one of those people who will be found in later years crushed under a pile of mint in the box Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion action figures, half-eaten by cats. Some might call it a problem, I call that a wonderfully fitting end. The more astute of you will notice I’ve dropped the numeric from the title – good work. The even more astute of you will realise it’s probably because I have forgotten which number comes next. Onward, merch hunters – to the shelves!

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. There’s something brilliant about the voice over work for trailers in the 1950s, and this is a great example of it. Remember how Snow White thrilled you? How Cinderella won your heart? Here’s Walt Disney‘s third cartoon heroine come to life, and chasing a very tardy white rabbit. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Academy Awards broadcast. Please join us for our Live-Blog tonight (because we ask nicely), and while you wait for the winners, check out our Oscar Week Series, where you will find breakdowns and predictions for all of the major categories. Tonight’s the night! You find out if you will take top prize in your office pool, and, you know, you’ll get to see which fantastic films are most celebrated with little naked statues of gold. If you love the Oscars, hate them, or pretend to hate them while sitting riveted to the broadcast, one thing is clear: tonight is a night to celebrate the best in filmmaking. We love movies. So do you. Tonight we can all celebrate our favorites of 2010 even if they don’t win and even if they weren’t nominated. As for those in the running, they are all beautiful works of art, they’re all winners tonight, they went out on the field and gave 110%…and…yeah, yeah, yeah. Let’s get to the winning, right? And the Oscar goes to…

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This Week in Blu-ray

This Week in Blu-ray is back again with a massive slate of releases. You’d think that it’s about to be Christmas time around here with the amount of quality Blu-rays spilling into stores. Everything from a beautiful edition of a Disney classic (seen below in the new Pick of the Week section) to another institutional Criterion release, combined with a chance for home video buyers to see some of last year’s more interesting indies. In column news: I’m taking your comment section silence to mean that you like the new format, so I’m sticking with it. But enough talk, lets make with the recommendations. Alice in Wonderland: 60th Anniversary Edition Call me a victim of nostalgia — or a man of taste — but the bitterness of seeing Tim Burton take the care of a baby rhinoceros in a chandelier shop with the story of Alice in Wonderland this year made me sad. Someday, much to the benefit of movie lovers everywhere, that guy will realize that you can’t just take Johnny Depp, some pastels and a little bit of weird and make a good film. Especially if you do it in mind-numbingly bad 3D. Which brings us to the point — Disney has released their now 60-year old Alice in Wonderland tune on Blu-ray. And like many of its animated catalog titles, the color and detail of the hand-drawn tale is brilliant in high definition. It’s supplemented with great extras, new and old. Among the new are two interactive […]

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At the end of the 90s, famous Oscar show writer and Celebrity Fit Club contestant Bruce Vilanch claimed that, “Generally with the Oscars…there isn’t much you can do until the nominations are announced. Then you know what kind of year you’re dealing with – what’s been overlooked, what the issues are.” He was talking about preparing to write the show, but it applies to everyone from the directors, producers and stars on down to the fans. It’s fun to guess around the water cooler (your office still has a water cooler?), but until now, it’s all been speculation. Thankfully, almost all that speculation has been spot on, so we can all continue our conversations about whether Black Swan will beat The Social Network for Best Picture. Whether Natalie Portman has any true competition for Best Actress. Whether, most importantly of all, Colleen Atwood will beat Mary Zophres for Best Costume Design. Here they are. The 2011 Academy Award nominees:

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The race for the Oscar for Best Visual Effects is on, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has put it into full gear by releasing the list of films that will comprise the final 15 contenders. As you might remember from previous years, this only the first cut. Over the next few weeks, the Academy’s visual effects branch will narrow the list down to seven films, then watch 15-minute clip reels and bring it down to five nominees for a January 25th announcement. Which leaves us the never-difficult task of picking through the list and deciding two things: which films we think deserve the 5 nominations, and which five films will actually get the nominations. First, lets take a look at the list.

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thisweekindvd-header1

Is a 2D version of Alice In Wonderland a trip worth taking? Don’t stick things in Ninja Pussy Cat that you hope to get back! Uwe Boll goes on a Rampage and may have ended up with his best movie! The Wolfman chokes up a slightly less crappy director’s cut! Acott Adkins and Marko Zaror go head to head in Undisputed III: Redemption! And Wild Things IV proves that three naked chicks in a shower is no guarantee of a good time!

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we mourn the loss of Dennis Hopper and do a three-word review of Sex and the City 2.

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This Week in Blu-ray, we celebrate one of my favorite movies of all-time. No, it’s not Alice in Wonderland or Wild Things: Foursome. Close, but no.

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Alice in Wonderland is joining the club by grossing over $1 billion. Which highest grosser is your favorite?

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3d-image2

Over the past few years, I have been a very vocal supporter of 3D films, and unlike many of the voices in the blogosphere, I don’t see the technology as a gimmick or a fleeting element of the cinematic experience. Now there is a veritable war for 3D with Clash of the Titans battling with How to Train Your Dragon and even Alice in Wonderland for digital screens, and from the noise created on the Internet, you’d find it hard to believe the general public cares.

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How to Train Your Dragon Box Office

It’s not on the same level as Monsters vs. Aliens, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, Kung Fu Panda or some other movies, but it’s still $43 million for the much-acclaimed How to Train Your Dragon, in 3-D.

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Hot Tub Time Machine

It’s shaping up to be an interesting weekend at the box office with a couple of promising-looking new movies How to Train Your Dragon and Hot Tub Time Machine rolling out in an attempt to finally knock off Alice in Wonderland as the top-grossing movie in North America.

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Alice in Wonderland

There wasn’t much in the way of surprises at the box office as Alice in Wonderland continues to tear up the box office with another first place finish and a haul this weekend of over $34 million.

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Alice in Wonderland

There were no really big surprises this weekend at the box office, as Alice in Wonderland continued to make a ton of money. It finished with a $62 million weekend and its overall domestic haul has now hit an impressive $208 million.

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Alice Eve

it’s shaping up to be another weekend for Alice in Wonderland to dominate the box office. Not that there isn’t going to be plenty of competition out there this week, looking to knock Alice off.

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Alice in Wonderland

Well, we kind of figured that Alice in Wonderland would set the top box office opening of 2010, but I dunno how many people predicted this: $116 million!

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