Peanuts

A24

New movie trailers drop every day, and it’s not always all that easy to keep up with them. Okay fine, it is easy, but sometimes there just isn’t a lot to say about a film that’s still many months away from release. We covered a few of this week’s offerings already — the big ones (Cinderella), the unfortunate ones (Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2), the ones that just annoy us (The DUFF) — but there are more that either by accident or intention managed to slip between the cracks. So allow me to bring you up to speed with the rest of this week’s new trailers for movies due out in the months to come. I don’t want to make a big deal out of it, but one of them just might just be for a certain upcoming film starring Harrison Ford. Yeah, that’s right. Keep reading for your first look.

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Why Charlie Brown Why

Youth, love and cancer. That’s a formula of sorts, one that conquered the world back in 1970 with Love Story and has since bounced back and forth between Hollywood and the Lifetime network. The most recent incarnation is The Fault in Our Stars, an adaptation of a Young Adult novel by John Green, starring Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley. It’s getting decent reviews and may very well be a head above the rest of the genre, to the extent that one can use the word “genre” to describe this mini-phenomenon. Yet what I find the most interesting about this particular sort of film is the way it might be seen as something of a psychological education. The fact that The Fault in Our Stars is a YA novel has raised some eyebrows and ruffled some feathers, in particular given the anger evoked by a Slate piece shaming adults for reading the book. While I’d object to the idea that YA books are exclusively for teenagers, I wonder whether we can consider them somehow proscriptive texts. Is The Fault in Our Stars, at least in part, trying to introduce young people to the concept of serious illness? That’s an open question. It’s also a good an excuse as any to look back at a particularly fascinating cartoon. Why, Charlie Brown, Why? is a Peanuts TV special that first aired in the spring of 1990. As you can probably tell from the title, it isn’t exactly the subtlest educational cartoon in television history. Like The Fault in Our Stars it is a […]

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Peanuts Movie 2015

Pushing the cynicism way, way down, there’s a sweet promise in the Peanuts teaser trailer. First of all, the look of Charlie Brown, Snoopy and Woodstock isn’t atrocious — evoking a classic feel even with the CGI paintbrush (no Pixarification!). Second of all, director Steve Martino has done honest service by a bygone children’s story with Horton Hears a Who! and a modern tale with the not-terrible Ice Age: Continental Drift. That’s not a rousing endorsement, and it’s unclear how Charles Schulz‘s dynasty will be honored in the hands of Bryan and Craig Shulz, but there’s also producer Paul Feig’s involvement to keep in mind. With any luck, Feig will be more than an In Name Only producer. At the very least, the movie will probably be more like children’s Tylenol then an all-out assault on peoples’ childhoods. That is, if a million MetLife commercials haven’t done the trick already. There’s not a story to be found in the teaser trailer, but it is an excellent first look at the CGI characters in motion:

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woodstockcannibaltruth-1

Imagine sitting down with your family in November to watch the classic Peanuts television special A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. After enjoying the antics of Snoopy making a Thanksgiving dinner of toast, pretzels, popcorn, and jelly beans for all the neighborhood kids who rudely invite themselves over to Charlie Brown’s place, you find yourself horrified at the final scene: Snoopy’s little yellow buddy Woodstock stuffs himself on turkey. To this day, this scene shocks viewers, with some accusing Woodstock of engaging in cannibalism. He seemed like such a nice bird. Since we love a good Thanksgiving feast, and we love the Peanuts characters, this got us thinking: Is Woodstock really a cannibal?

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I suppose if one has to make a Peanuts movie (and according to the laws of Hollywood, yes – one has to make a Peanuts movie), putting Paul Feig in a leadership role is a step in the right direction. According to Deadline Hollywood, the man behind Bridesmaids, The Heat, and all other things Melissa McCarthy will “produce and oversee” the newest animated feature based on Charles Schulz‘ classic comic strip. For those of you expecting Feig’s involvement to usher in a slew of pooping-in-sink gags and a sequence where Lucy attempts to seduce Linus outside an airplane bathroom, think again. Feig may have been the mastermind behind Bridesmaids, but he was just as mastermind-y with Freaks and Geeks, which remains one of the better portrayals of the high school experience to ever hit the small screen. Feig may have a gross-out sense of humor, but he understands younger characters as well. The latter might mean great things for Peanuts.

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Three more days ’til Halloween (silver shamrock), but the dressing up and trick-or-treating has already begun for those who prefer to get the major celebrating done on the weekend. If your Wednesday evening will now lack door-to-door activity or involve fewer kids coming to your house for goodies, perhaps you would like to watch others partake in costumed candy hunting via this crop of trick-or-treating scenes from films. Or, maybe you just want another excuse to watch the scene from E.T. I will admit, this is my primary reason for compiling this week’s installment of Scenes We Love. But I promise the other videos are worth a look, too.

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Peanuts

At 65 years of age, you would think that lovable loser Charlie Brown and his not-so-loyal pup Snoopy would be looking a bit long in the tooth, but the truth is that these two kids couldn’t possibly look any more spry, so what better way to celebrate their 65th birthday than by having them star in their own big screen feature? It was announced in a press release today [via ComingSoon] that Blue Sky Studios (the studio behind Ice Age and Rio) is going to be making another Peanuts movie. This will be Charlie’s fifth chance to get put down by Lucy on the big screen, as creator Charles Schulz’s characters have previously appeared in films called A Boy Named Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Come Home, Race For Your Life, Charlie Brown, and Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown (and Don’t Come Back!!). Seeing as how Charles Schulz passed in 2000, you might be wondering who would be willing to step into his legendary shoes and make a new Peanuts feature. As it turns out, Schulz’s son, Craig Schulz, his grandson, Bryan Schulz, and a writer named Cornelius Uliano have all collaborated on the script, and Ice Age: Continental Drift director Steve Martino is set to helm. Sounds like as qualified a team to carry on a legacy as any…but there still isn’t any word on who will be providing the melancholy jazz music.

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Criterion Files

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Moonrise Kingdom. Wes Anderson is known for getting his inspiration from a variety of sources. While Anderson’s signature visual quirks make his films unquestionably his own, the director’s images, themes, and characters also emerge through an amalgamation of materials that inspire him, whether the source be the stories of J.D. Salinger or the pathos of Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. But most of Anderson’s references are to other works of cinema, as detailed in this five-part video essay by Matt Zoller Seitz, which details Anderson’s particular influence by auteurs ranging from Orson Welles to Hal Ashby. However, certain films anchor their influence more directly than others. For instance, The Life Aquatic was greatly inspired by Federico Fellini’s post-Dolce Vita work, and The Darjeeling Limited is dedicated to celebrated Indian auteur Stayajit Ray. In the weeks since the Cannes premiere and commercial release of Anderson’s latest, Moonrise Kingdom, several critics have noted that only does the film seem to be directly influenced by a specific director, but one particular film by that director. Pierrot le Fou, Jean-Luc Godard’s colorful, whimsically anarchistic couple-on-the-run film from 1965 seems to bear a great deal of similarity to Moonrise Kingdom, which takes place the year that Godard’s film was originally released in France (Pierrot’s US release was delayed until 1969, where it stood curiously opposite Godard’s polemical late-60s work). Having read several reviews that cite Pierrot‘s influence on Moonrise, I reflected back on both films, and here are some of the […]

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Drinking Games

Sure, there’s a lot of new DVD and Blu-ray releases this week to get as last-minute stocking stuffers. But none of these really scream “Christmas” unless you’re a huge Woody Allen fan or someone who watches way too much mixed martial arts. (Which, of course, begs the question as to when Woody’s gonna make his neurotic MMA comedy?) So to get into the Christmas spirit in the last couple days before the fat guy in the red suit comes barreling down your chimney, let’s look at a classic. If you recorded A Charlie Brown Christmas a few weeks back, or if you have the copy of the DVD or Blu-ray, here’s a chance to toast that bald kid whom nobody likes.

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DVDs I Bought This Week!

Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves digging through dumpsters for cans and bottles to recycle. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs.

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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C
published: 11.18.2014
B+
published: 11.14.2014
B+


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