Robert Zemeckis

I’ve always found Robert Zemeckis’s films to be hit or miss. Lately he’s been pretty solidly in the miss category though. Sometimes it’s hard to remember he directed films like Back to the Future or Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. Movies that were full of genre weirdness, but were undeniably mainstream because they had that certain Robert Zemeckis touch. It’s even kind of hard to remember that he made the movie with perhaps the most universal appeal of all time in Forrest Gump. It’s hard to remember because of the last ten years of weird looking, off putting, motion capture animation movies that he’s insisted on making. His next film was set to be another of those creepy exercises in something nobody ever asked for, this time a motion capture take on the Beatles classic Yellow Submarine, but then Mars Needs Moms tanked at the box office. Suddenly the hammer was put down on weird, experimental forms of animation, and that left Zemeckis scrambling to find a script for a live action film to direct.

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It looks like everyone is throwing their hats into the ring. When the studios announced a plan to release movies in home theaters just 30 days after the theaters located outside the home (with a price tag of $30 per rental), the National Association of Theater Owners balked. Apparently their threat to boycott big blockbusters was a fake, but they haven’t kept secret their disgust for the new model that would limit their ability to make money showing movies (since studios take the 50%-100% lion’s share of the ticket split in the first weeks). Now, 23 directors and producers are speaking out against it. That list includes James Cameron, Michael Bay, Kathryn Bigelow, Guillermo del Toro, Roland Emmerich, Antoine Fuqua, Todd Garner, Lawrence Gordon, Stephen Gyllenhaal, Gale Anne Hurd, Peter Jackson, Karyn Kusama, Jon Landau, Shawn Levy, Michael Mann, Bill Mechanic, Jamie Patricof, Todd Phillips, Brett Ratner, Robert Rodriguez, Adam Shankman, Gore Verbinski, and Robert Zemeckis. The full, un-edited open letter is below:

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What is Movie News After Dark? Someone said something nice about it the other day, so it’s feeling sort of full of itself. Luckily this means that there will be more news, more snark and even a few surprises in tonight’s entry! There really is nothing like a self-aware movie news column with a sense of purpose. In addition to the surprisingly dark first trailer, Fox has released some HD concept art for the ineptly titled Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The art is also quite stunning, showing off some large scale scenes. Most interesting is the fact that it hints at a movie that focuses much of its time on the actual ape uprising, rather than the build-up. I’m ready to see humanity swallowed by simian rage. Aren’t you?

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Culture Warrior

One odd thing about being a child of the 80s is that you learn movie history backwards. In watching anything from Animaniacs to Pulp Fiction, I became acquainted with references and homages to classical Hollywood cinema long before I ever watched the movies referenced or the moments paid homage to. Thus, my knowledge of cinema’s past was framed through cinema’s present: I learned about old movies because of what new movies did with them. One of the most formidable moments of this backwards cinematic education occurred in the late 1980s and early 1990s when major event kids’ movies became especially preoccupied with 40s film noir in movies like Robert Zemeckis’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988) or Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy (1990). These movies embodied a world of double crosses, femme fatales, and cynical detectives without requiring their viewers, young or old, to have seen any of the films these genre tropes are indebted to. Thus, because of my exposure to new tweaks on an old form, conventions became familiar to me long before I could name the films from which such conventions originated. But one movie was exceptionally influential in formulating a distinct impression of film noir in my childhood imagination, and that movie was – oddly enough – Home Alone (1990).

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Drinking Games

Yeah, we know it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but that hasn’t stopped the advertisers and the studios from assaulting us with Christmas-related stuff. So what better way to take the edge off the early holiday onslaught by tipping back a glass or two of eggnog and watching one of the bigger early Christmas releases. And if you’re lucky, Jim Carrey may just start to look less creepy as you move through this film.

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Drinking Games

If everything had gone perfectly back in 1985, Doc Brown would have rolled into our future this week on October 25, 2010. But that wasn’t the case, and thus started one of the greatest motion picture trilogies of all time. Back to the Future is out on Blu-ray for the first time in a box set (and also on DVD), so not counting the hours of special features, you can spend six hours revisiting the entire saga. And if you’re going to spend that much time watching the movies, you’re gonna need to have something to drink with that.

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A highly anticipated sequel, Scorsese and De Niro back together, and another from a Japanese legend round out our list of what we’re looking forward to most this year.

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I’m hoping that a casting director for Robert Zemeckis asked Cary Elwes to star in Yellow Submarine, and he answered, “As you wish.”

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YellowSubmarine

Robert Zemeckis is moving forward with his remake of a movie based on one of the lesser works of pop icons who didn’t even appear in the first film. Explain to me why this is relevant.

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Brian Salisbury goes into Robert Zemeckis’ highly animated retelling of A Christmas Carol with high hopes. He emerges however, with less than high praise.

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Kevin Carr takes a look at this week’s movie releases, including A Christmas Carol, The Fourth Kind and The Box.

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Will Disney’s A Christmas Carol worm it’s way into your hearts and homes and become as much of a holiday staple as rum balls and spotted dick are now? Rob Hunter answers this and more…

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Fat Guys at the Movies

Kevin and Neil stare at some goats, grumble about not being allowed to open a box, visit the uncanny valley and debate whether Kevin is spoiling the viewing experience for The Fourth Kind.

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I would bet my life that I’ve seen this full trailer for A Christmas Carol before, but apparently its brand new. Either I’m psychic or I’ve gone insane. As a test, I’ll need you to choose a number between 1 and 100. Was it 43?

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Poster goodness for I Love You Phillip Morris and A Christmas Carol.

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Strangely enough, it’s the look of the animation that will nauseate and not just Jim Carrey playing Scrooge playing Jim Carrey in Robert Zemeckis’s latest.

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The folks at Yahoo have debuted the first poster for Disney’s upcoming CG-animated film A Christmas Carol from director Robert Zemeckis. The poster features the CG-version of Jim Carrey as a very creepy looking Ebenezer Scrooge.

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Like LL Cool J said, “Don’t call it a comeback. The Early Edition’s been here for weeks.” Or something like that.

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You may have heard about all of this Forrest Gump 2 talk that is going on during the Benjamin Button press tour. And well, we’ve got some details — and there somewhat interesting.

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Romancing the Stone

Fox is hoping to recreate the magic with a remake of Romancing the Stone, and have tapped Daniel McDermott to write it. So what does this tell us? Besides the obvious that Hollywood is brain-dead I mean.

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published: 11.21.2014
D
published: 11.21.2014
B+
published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C


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