The Croods

Oscar Predictions 2014: Animated Feature

Since its inception in 2001, the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature has been awarded to a wide range of movies. Though in recent years — 5 out of the last 6, to be exact — it’s basically been The Pixar Award. Despite the quality of the other contenders, Pixar seems to wrap it up without fail year-in and year-out. This year, there is no Pixar film nominated, leaving the field wide open for a bunch of newcomers. From cavemen to super-villains to ice princesses, this year’s group of nominees is diverse. But does that make it a more competitive field? We explore as we break down the nominees and predict a winner (shown in red).

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discs 100 bloody acres

Welcome back! This week the pitches come straight from the actual marketing for each release. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of them sound just as ridiculous as the ones I make up every week. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. 100 Bloody Acres When the going gets tough the tough get grinding, and in the Morgan Brothers’ case what they’re grinding are human bodies. They’re not murderers per se as they rely almost exclusively on accident victims, but what else are small business owners to do when they discover that humans are the secret ingredient that makes their fertilizer more popular than ever? When Reg (Damon Herriman) passes three twenty-somethings on a back road and offers to give them a lift the trio learn the lengths he and his brother Lindsay (Angus Sampson) will go to secure the necessary ingredients to satisfy their customers. Writers/directors/probably brothers Cameron and Colin Cairnes deliver an incredibly fun and bloody romp for their feature debut that manages to shake up character conventions in regard to the protagonist/antagonist distinctions. As familiar as the setup feels it’s actually Reg and Lindsay who become the most interesting characters here as the trio of potential victims drown in their own bickering. It’s a damn funny film, but that doesn’t mean they shy away from the red stuff. Just the opposite in fact leading to a bloody good time for all. (Except the folks who get ground up into fertilizer of course.) [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Behind […]

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The Croods

Considering that we live in a world that has multiple animated Smurfs movies, it’s not shocking that DreamWorks Animation is reportedly setting up a sequel to their own unexpected hit The Croods. The recent riff on cavemen, evolution, and the progression of historial eras (fun!) has banked a solid $385m for DreamWorks and Fox and, still better, it’s actually not a bad family film. Deadline Hollywood reports that the studio is “expected to announce” a sequel, and with Fox’s Cinema Con panel scheduled for Thursday, this week is certainly looking like a good time to do so. Evolution is cool again, you guys. With voice talent from Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman, the animated adventure centers on the world’s first family unit as they attempt to survive a changing world around them. Filled with actually funny lines and classic comedic gags, fantastic animal creatures (including a bunch of things that look as if they jumped right off a Lisa Frank folder), and a sweet family-friendly message, we could all do far worse when it comes to kiddo movies, so a Croods sequel sounds rock solid to us.

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The Croods

With a monkey slapping a man, a young girl going crazy for shoes, and a cranky grandma, The Croods isn’t straying too far from the formula for harmless family comedy. It just happens to feature the world’s first family. Nic Cage voices Grug, the pater familias of the pre-historic crew that includes his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), son Thunk (Clark Duke) and mother Gran (Cloris Leachman). Everything is safe and isolated in their cave until an earthquake forces them on an adventure into beautiful, lush new territory where they meet a citizen of the brave new world voiced by Ryan Reynolds. The new trailer is fun in a sweet way, selling a movie about taking risks by playing it as safe as possible. Still, Dreamworks may have a new winner on their hands:

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How to Train Your Dragon

After Rise of the Guardians in November, DreamWorks Animation movies will no longer be distributed by Paramount. It’ll be the job of Fox, and it’s still a bit unclear what (if anything) that business switch will mean when it comes to style and quality. It might be a good faith agreement or it might be the kind of partnership where Fox has its fingers in several pies. One sign that it’ll be the latter option, or at the very least a sign of why Fox was so keen to partner up, is that DreamWorks’ slate for the next 3 years features a nice handful of sequels and spin-offs. Still, the bulk of the list is original concepts. That’s commendable. Even more on the optimistic side, there are some really great bright spots amongst the list, and . Here are the dozen films that DreamWorks Animation has promised fans through 2016.

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Technically, every time he’s paired with another actor, it’s a Cage Match, but I refuse to use that joke. In what I have to assume is another attempt to adapt the GEICO ads into a real story, Variety is announcing that Nicolas Cage is teaming with Ryan Reynolds to play CGI-captured cavemen in The Croods.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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