Puss in Boots

Oscar 2012 Predictions: Best Animated Film

The Best Animated Feature category first appeared in 2001 (Shrek was the winner), and a cartoon has taken home the prize every year since. Crazy, right? And while the Pixar juggernaut has won this category four years running, their decision to focus on profit with Cars 2 instead of quality has cost them the nomination. Their absence has left the field wide open, and for only the third time in the past decade there are five nominees vying for the award. Unlike some Academy Award categories, this year’s nominees for Best Animated Feature actually managed to include the year’s best animated feature. Even better? It’s going to win. The nominees are listed below with my predicted winner in red…

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It’s been a year filled with silent screen stars seeking redemption, the 1920s coming alive in Paris, a young boy searching for the first great director, sex addicts in New York City, horses going to war, maids of dishonor, and skulls getting crushed in elevators. Now it’s time to celebrate all of those things and more with the 84th annual Academy Awards. They’ve come a long way since the Hotel Roosevelt in 1929 (although sex addicts have almost always been a fixture). Get to ready to smile, ball your fists with snubbed rage, or be generally unsurprised. Here they are. The 2012 Oscar nominees:

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Did you not already get your fill of the Jack and the Beanstalk myth from this year’s Puss in Boots? Good, because Bryan Singer has his own (live-action) take on the tale, and the results look to be similarly cartoonish. Listen, you try to make magic beans look menacing while also crafting a giant goddamn beanstalk that pops up out of the ground without it looking totally bizarre and silly, okay? Oh, you did already? Oh. Oh, that looks nice! While there was a fair bit of buzz around Singer’s Jack the Giant Killer before the film blossomed into existence (see what I did there?) mainly regarding Singer talking about the project for over two years, casting rumors as to who would be starring as the titular Jack (Aaron Johnson and Andrew Garfield were both talked about before the role went to another superhero kiddo, X-Men: First Class‘s Nicholas Hoult), and a delay that pushed the film back almost a year, news on the project has been surprisingly scarce since it started filming earlier this year. So what’s the finished result of the classic tale reimagined going to look like? Well, if you believe this trailer, a bit like a cross between Puss and Robin Hood: Men in Tights. Check out the first trailer for Jack the Giant Killer, complete with its own big-eyed orange kitty (seriously), after the break.

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The Reject Report

There are only a few proven constants in the known universe. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, mixing Pop Rocks and Pepsi in your stomach will cause you to burst from the inside out (actually, this one hasn’t been proven), and the Twilight movies make a crap ton of money. And here we are again, ladies and germs, at the period of the box office year when Twi-hards feast their ever-loving eyes on yet another one. But this isn’t just another Twilight movie. This is the beginning of the end, the first of a two-parter that finishes off the franchise for good. Or, at least, until they reboot. I’m guessing it’ll make some dough this weekend. Aren’t you? It’s the Reject Report, and teen angst is eternal. At least, that’s what teens tell me.

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Immortals Box Office

The Gods have spoken, and what they’ve said is, “We want your money, puny human movie goers.” It makes you wonder what kind of movies Gods watch. Definitely the works of George P. Cosmatos. Cobra and Tombstone and the like. You know, because he’s Greek. Moving on from that lead balloon attempt at humor, Immortals rocketed skyward, shocking box office analysts who had it pegged to debut somewhere between $15-20m. Instead, it ended up pushing that number on Friday alone, and it was clear early on in the weekend that the epic war movie was going to take the top spot on the chart. It even ended up topping the opening weekends of similar war epics like Prince of Persia ($30m opening weekend) and Robert Zemeckis’ Beowulf ($27.5m opening weekend). It was, however, unable to beat 300′s 2007 $70.8m opening weekend, a number that allowed Immortals to even exist in the first place.

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The Reject Report

And it’s likely to fetch a whole lot more than a pail of water. In fact, regardless of whether your or I like it, the new Adam Sandler movie, awful as it may look, is primed to make another mint for the comedian. In fact, other than Puss in Boots, the lock Jack and Jill has in taking the top spot at this weekend’s box office seems pretty evident. Like the battle for #1 last weekend between Puss in Boots and Tower Heist, we’re looking at a round 2 of sorts here. Regardless who comes out on top, my money is on the movie featuring characters named Jack and Jill. In fact, you can take that one to the bank.

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Whereas Pixar has dominated the category in recent years, the sense that Cars 2 isn’t a shoe-in for awards season is offering a spotlight to a wider field. In fact, it’s also a wider field that will beget more nominees – if there are 16 eligible in the given year, 5 nominees will make the short list. If the numbers stay steady, this would mark the third time since the Best Animated Feature‘s inception in 2001 that there are more than 3 films up for the big prize. According to The Wrap, the list of films that have been submitted for consideration include: The Adventures of Tintin, Alois Nebel, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Arthur Christmas, Cars 2, A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita, Gnomeo & Juliet, Happy Feet Two, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, Kung Fu Panda 2, Mars Needs Moms, Puss in Boots, Rango, Rio, The Smurfs, Winnie the Pooh, and Wrinkles. Just because they’ve been submitted doesn’t meant they’re all eligible. Several haven’t done qualifying runs in Los Angeles theaters, and many are questionable because of their use of motion capture or live-action blend. In the mo-cap cases of Tintin, Happy Feet Two and Mars Needs Moms, filmmakers have been asked to discuss their methods and intentions with the process in order to prove eligible. The Smurfs and Alvin and the Chipmunks are also animation/live-action hybrids, so their fate is unclear at this time. Without them, and without, say, the Czech Republic’s rotoscoped Alois Nebel, the […]

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The Reject Report

What? Tintin? I know what you’re thinking. “I know we had Daylight Saving Time this morning, Jeremy, but you’re taking this “time travel” business a little too far, aren’t you?” You’ve probably notice we’re still at the beginning of November and haven’t been transported magically to December 21st when The Adventures of Tintin gets its US release, and you’d be both observant and right. However, Tintin, world figure that he is, got his release in several foreign markets on October 26th-28th. The ignorant American that I am didn’t bother to address this until now. Well, here you go, foreign markets. It’s your day to shine. The Adventures of Tintin has already pulled in $125.3m in foreign territories, pretty much guaranteeing its worldwide success well before its North American release. The film is already generated income from over 5000 locations in 21 foreign markets, but most of its dollars have come from the United Kingdom and France so far. It made $21 million from France last weekend and $10.9m from the UK. Spain and Germany were also big markets for the film, pulling over $10m from the locations combined.

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The Reject Report

Yes, we know. It’s a little early to be celebrating Christmas already. It’s actually a lot early to be celebrating Christmas, but what’s good enough for the weekend box office is good enough for the Reject Report. There is a Christmas movie hitting this weekend, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, and it’ll be looking to take dollars and laughs away from the other new release, Tower Heist. As much as we’d all like to see Brett Ratner go down in flames to the might of Harold & Kumar, that outcome might not be so foregone. Doesn’t matter to our Christmas spirit, though. We’ll still be singing carols and hanging out underneath the mistletoe. Alone. Practicing on the back of our hands. Oh, right, the box office.

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The Reject Report

And we’re back. Three cups of coffee, and these boots are made for walking. Granted, the walking might be a little jittery. That’s what happens after you’ve gone through a whole pot of the magical, black stuff. It’s kind of like catnip for adult humans. And it all comes back full circle. The circle this week leads to Puss in Boots, that lovable side character from the Shrek films who’s finally getting his own animated adventure. He’s sure to take the grand ball of yarn this weekend, but he’ll have some stiff competition from the returning Paranormal Activity 3 and the triple threat himself, Justin Timberlake, finally getting his name above the title on an action/sci-fi/epic. It’s the Reject Report this week, and we’re seeing the bottom of the cup. Coffee coffee coffee.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on some 3D glasses to look at some puss… in boots, that is. He proceeds to rewrite fairy tale fiction to include more bodily function humor, an egg-shaped Zach Galifianakis and a hairy but still sexy Salma Hayek. Then, he heads to the reference department of his local library to discover who really wrote the complete works of William Shakespeare. When all signs point to Neil Miller as the real author, Kevin gives up, realizing he’s out of time. So he brings sexy back and heads out to kidnap Amanda Seyfried so he can occupy Hollywood and start a revolution together… or get arrested.

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The tale of Puss In Boots is not all swordplay and adventure-seeking, Puss is also a lover (yeah – it gets a little weird) and his boots were not just made for walking, they were made for dancing too. From the opening guitar riffs, Puss In Boots has a frenetic energy that keeps the story moving and reminds you that beyond the innuendos and back-story, Puss truly is (and will always be) an adventurer at heart. Composer Henry Jackman (Winnie The Pooh, X-Men: First Class) takes the reigns for this spin-off (the previous Shrek films having been scored by Harry Gregson-Williams) creating a Latin-infused score that also utilizes full-bodied orchestration to keep the feel and sound of a grand adventure. Jackman has created a score that is reminiscent of classic animated features with the music underscoring the action on screen. The music swells as the group takes off on a chase (“Chasing Tail”) and tip toes as they are trying to sneak around undetected (“Kitty-Cat Break-Out”). But Jackman’s score also feels very modern and keeps up with the 3D animation featured on screen. Puss (Antonio Banderas) is a Spaniard (naturally) and as such, the score features Latin guitars and percussion you cannot help but tap your feet to. To create the authentic Latin sound, Jackman tapped Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela and their impressive guitar playing is featured on “Diablo Rojo.” The music is infectious and causes you to feel torn between wanting to duel, or dance. But have […]

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Finally, a supporting character from the Shrek franchise who earned their chops the hard way, enduring arduous animated battles and even more arduous stunt voice casting, has gotten a film of their very own, a fuzzy family affair that will make the whole brood giggle. No, sadly, it’s not those adorable flying Donkey-Dragon babies (trivia! Wikipedia tells me they are named Debbie, Coco, Bananas, Peanut, Parfait, and Éclair), but it’s Dreamworks’s own answer to “what would Zorro be like if he was, stop me if you’ve heard this one before, actually a cat?” That’s Puss in Boots to you, amigo. Antonio Banderas returns to the role he originated, a Zorro-meets-French-fairy-tale feline famous for stealing both bullion and babes. But what if Puss was, gasp, not a criminal at all, but a misunderstood kitty desperate to return to the mother he loves, a innocent cat framed for a crime he didn’t commit, a bipedal boot-wearing bad boy who is quietly concealing a heart of gold? What if then? Well, you’re about to find out.

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Antonio Banderas and Cats

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s about to get a little strange, that’s what it is… We begin tonight with… yes, a picture of Antonio Banderas and a few cats. This should serve as an official warning that tonight’s entry into the Movie News After Dark series may get a little silly. Mr. Banderas recently participated in a “Cat Premiere” of Puss in Boots at the Paramount Lot in LA. I can haz movie premiere? Si, mis amigos. Si.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s nothing more than a nightly film news column that keeps fighting the good fight. The one that celebrates movies, good, bad and otherwise interesting, and is generally optimistic. It doesn’t attack other websites that smear its name. Though if /Film’s Page 2 keeps mean-mugging it, that bitch is gonna get smacked. That’s how we settle things in the streets. As you are about to see, this week’s final News After Dark edition comes on a very slow news night. So it’s all posters, future Blu-rays and articles I found interesting. Including this AV Club Q&A about first R-rated movies. Like AV’s Josh Modell, I’m fairly certain — almost completely certain — that my first R-rated film was The Blues Brothers, a film that has remained part of my beating, movie-loving heart ever since. What was your first R-rated movie? Feel free to let me know in the comment area below and we’ll have some fun discussing. Or not, whatever. I see how it is.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Jake Gyllenhaal ends up appearing in almost every segment randomly. Him as a topic. He doesn’t actually appear on the show.

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ZachGalifianakisPussinBoots

The beard enthusiast (and sometimes actor) is in talks to voice Humpty Dumpty. Beats getting high and agreeing to G-Force.

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Puss in Boots in Shrek 29

We decided not to make the headline: Writer Steps into Puss’ Boots or some variation thereof because every other outlet is doing that.

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