Life of Pi

Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

This was a major holiday week in America, so FSR content was a bit lighter than usual. And yet you may have been too busy traveling to follow the site over the past few days anyway. If so, the most important thing you missed is our post highlighting all the things we’re thankful for this year. Among them is you, whether you’re one of the longtime loyal or one of the many who’ve just started reading us this year. Now, even though the holiday is a couple days past, we want to thank you for once again catching up with us here at the Reject Recap as we give you another rundown of our best reads from the past seven days. As always, first we remind you to check out our reviews of this week’s new releases: Life of Pi; Red Dawn; Hitchcock; Rust and Bone; and The Central Park Five. We also re-posted our Silver Linings Playbook review since the film went wider this week. Among the films, it looks like we recommend Rust and Bone and Central Park Five the most. We haven’t published a review of Rise of the Guardians yet, but we invite you to read our interview with the animated film’s director, Peter Ramsay, the introduction for which offers some critical praise. This week we also watched and commented on new trailers for Now You See Me, Parental Guidance, Admission, Chasing Ice and Jack the Giant Slayer. Watch those and all our latest Short Film […]

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The Best Damn Oscar Blog

Some of this year’s big movies are like a Thanksgiving dinner. They’re elaborate, colorful, and delicious. They also take time to digest, as most meals of such size and ambition do. Filling and complex, they remind us of the important things and inspire us to be thankful for art and the movies. In this category I’d put Anna Karenina, Life of Pi, and The Master. Black Friday films are different, though not necessarily opposite. They are marvelously entertaining, extremely well-executed Hollywood productions. They bring laughter and tears, suspense and comfortable resolution, all in familiar packaging. One could compare them to the thrilling, stressful and often rewarding experience of rushing to a 50%-off television, or go even further and point out similarities to the mass-produced and well-advertised objects themselves. This year’s best examples are Argo and Silver Linings Playbook.

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Life of Pi

Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) is a middle-aged professor visited at his home in Canada by a stranger in search of a story. The two men share an acquaintance who pointed the writer (Rafe Spall) Pi’s way for a very specific tale. It seems Pi was the lone human survivor of a shipwreck when he was a teenager, and the events between the sinking and his rescue are reportedly enough to make a person believe in God. The story begins with Pi’s childhood and ends with his post-disaster return to civilization, but it’s the center of the tale that makes up the bulk of the film. And for good reason too, as minor familial interactions pale beside the visual wonders and life-threatening adventures that occur while he struggles to survive adrift at sea. His life afloat is made more dangerous and unpredictable by the presence of a full grown tiger he finds sharing the lifeboat with him, and as a few other zoo animal stragglers succumb to the elements and each other, Pi and the tiger (named Richard Parker) form an uneasy, symbiotic relationship. Director Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi takes up the challenge with the story’s implied promise of a resultant belief, but neither Pi’s tale nor Lee’s film satisfies on anything more than a superficial level. The beautiful visuals and occasionally tense action offer distractions in the service of empty platitudes and an insulting view of where and how people find their faith. Ultimately, this is a story that […]

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Life of Pi AFI FEST

October offered up plenty of films to give this awards season a proper start. Ben Affleck once again showed he’s got one of the best eyes for tension working today; John Hawkes gave another year’s best performance in Fox Searchlight’s The Sessions; Martin McDonagh made another wicked, original dark comedy with real bite; and, who could forget, The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer made a huge box office smash which received unabashed praise up the wazoo, especially for the seamless makeup work. While I wish Cloud Atlas did fit that description, at least for a few more years the trio’s daring and moving film will go down as a box office bomb which may or may have not been ahead of its time. No matter how Cloud Atlas stands up in a few years, it was the type of ambition which served as another reminder of how important going to the movie theater is and to truly have experiences while you are there, be they good or bad. With November 2012, there are plenty of movies to have a similar experience with, from Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi to a triumphant new Bond movie. Keep reading to find out what other eight movies you must see this month.

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As has become par for the course over the past few years, Hollywood’s own AFI FEST has brought out the big guns for its star-studded Galas screenings, with the festival set to open with Hitchcock and close with Lincoln - and yet, as exciting as both of those titles are (seriously, Anthony Hopkins as Hitchcock? Steven Spielberg directing Daniel Day-Lewis as ol’ Honest Abe? it’s all a bit too good), the five films I am most anticipating will arrive smack in the middle of the festival. Some of these titles come with significantly less fanfare than either of the fest’s big guns, and some are just as primed for awards season domination, but all five of them are at the top of my movie-going list. After the break, take a look inside my AFI FEST-addled brain to get a sense on five films I think (hope?) are the true winners of this year’s festival.

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This year’s New York Film Festival ended on Sunday night with the world premiere of Robert Zemeckis‘s Flight, a big Hollywood movie that many saw as too mainstream a selection for the event. But it’s apparently decent enough to currently have a very high rating on Rotten Tomatoes — our own Jack Giroux gave it a “B” in his review from the fest — so it’s not like they closed things out with Alex Cross. Other big movies that some didn’t see as fitting were opening night film Life of Pi (review)and the “secretly” screened debut of Steven Spielberg‘s Lincoln (review). However, for the most part the 2012 programming was the typical New York cinephile’s dream smorgasbord of highbrow indies and foreign films. And these seemed to mainly meet the approval of our two primary critics covering them, Daniel Walber and Caitlin Hughes (both of whom are new additions to the FSR team and did an excellent job). And all together, our 22 reviews of NYFF features averaged mainly in the range of “B” to “B+” grades. And the only thing to get less than a “C” was Brian De Palma‘s Passion, to which Caitlin gave a “D.” We weren’t only interested in new works, either. Caitlin had some fun with the anniversary screening of The Princess Bride, while Daniel had requested that one of his picks of the fest be an older film: “If I can say the new (Dolce and Gabbana funded) restoration of Satyricon that made its […]

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Director Ang Lee was given a reported $100 million to make this trippy, gut-wrenching, and moving picture. An adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel of the same name, Life of Pi is an epic art house film that was somehow granted big studio treatment. How could this happen, you ask? If any excuse could be made, it’s likely that Fox knew Lee had something this special up his sleeve. Pi Patel (Irrfan Khan) is given a lofty request by a visiting writer at the beginning of the film: “Tell me a story that will make me believe in God.” What follows is a story that may not make you run to church but at least will make you reach for a tissue. Pi tells this man, played by Rafe Spall, a tale full of suffering and hope. As a boy, he and his family are forced to move out of India, along with the zoo they own. Like most trips in film, their journey does not go smoothly. The ship is hit by a massive storm and the family is lost at sea, leaving the young Pi (Suraj Sharma) alone on a life boat with a few of their animals. Soon, he discovers he has a starving companion along for the ride in Richard Parker, who happens to be a Bengal tiger.

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Life of Pi Movie

The international trailer for Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi features none other than Sigur Rós and Coldplay. When those two bands are used, you know a trailer is really trying to tell you how hopeful, sweet, and inspiring their movie is. Our earlier looks at Lee’s film showed the visuals alone can do the moving bit, so throwing Coldplay and Sigur Rós into the mix isn’t at all needed. But God damn if those two schmaltz groups don’t help pull the heart strings Lee is aiming for even more. See how CG animals and Coldplay mix together after the jump:

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Life of Pi Movie

With gorgeous open sea visuals and a sweeping sound, the trailer for Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi is proof that the filmmaker can make hearts beat faster with only a boat, a young boy and a tiger. From the bestselling novel by Yann Martel, the story focuses on a zookeeper’s son (Suraj Sharma) who has some unusual lifeboat companions after a shipwreck. And then a whale jumps over him. Check it out for yourself:

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It’s already the second day of 2012, which means we’ll all be sober within the next day or two. It also means that we can officially start looking (through blurry eyes) ahead to the future. A future of promise and potential. A future of hope. A future of tingling anticipation that the road stretched out in front of us that leads to the cinema will be paved with gold. Will there be piles of excrement along the way? Of course, but we don’t know how many or how badly they’ll tarnish our yellow-bricked roller coaster ride. All we can see from this far out is the shimmering wonder of movies to come – the vast unknown that looks wonderful (and might just live up to the hype). In past years (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011), we’ve gone with a fairly arbitrary count of 20-30 movies. This year, we decided to prove that there were 52 movies worth prematurely celebrating (even though what we found were many more). That’s one for every week (even if there are some weeks with a few and some weeks with none at all). Regardless of the number, Rob Hunter, Neil Miller, Kate Erbland, Allison Loring, Landon Palmer, Brian Salisbury and Cole Abaius have joined forces to remind us all that there are a lot of great movies to hope for this year. Go grab a calendar and pencil in everything that gets your blood pressure up toward unsafe levels. It’s going to be a busy, flick-filled […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? It ain’t messin’ with you, bub. You should know that up front. It’s only bringing you the best of the weekend’s news, tidbits and otherwise noteworthy items. It believes that you shouldn’t mess around either. That’s why it recommends reading it every single night before you go to bed. Today begins with a project that I know many of you are excited about, 20th Century Fox’s Deadpool. A perfect fit is Ryan Reynolds in the titular role, as are Zombieland writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick on scripting duties. This week the project got a director, effects artist Tim Miller, whose credits include X-Men, X2 and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. He has also served as the Inferno Supervisor (read: Guy Who is In Charge of Digital Explosions) on several other projects. That’s a pretty wicked line of work.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve heard any movement, but 3D and Ang Lee might have this one close to the greenlight.

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Life of Pi

Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” was a huge bestseller in 2000 and the film rights were snapped up almost immediately.

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