The Incredibles

Swimming With Sharks torture

Being a mentor is tough. You’re putting time into showing a kid the ropes, and what do you get out of it? According to the movies, maybe death. Or at least some non-lethal backstabbing will come about if you’re not lucky. It’s a wonder any of us bother to recruit interns, employees, apprentices, proteges and sidekicks when we know from watching a lot of movies that it’s not a good idea. We’re much better off just doing whatever work they’d have helped with alone and living a longer and more fruitful life. Never mind if we deserve the comeuppance. None of us believe we’re the bad guys, especially when we thought we were actually out for our disciple’s best interest. In the new movie The November Man, it’s Pierce Brosnan who winds up targeted by his former pupil, played by Luke Bracey. The two are spies, Brosnan now retired — until he’s pulled back in for “one more mission,” of course. And in this mission he’s up against a younger fellow to whom he taught everything he knows. Actually, he probably kept at least one thing close to his chest. That’s something else we learn from the movies, that it’s good to hold back from teaching your protege everything, because you’ll need a secret weapon in case he or she comes back to bite the hand that fed. Additionally, the movies teach us seemingly everything we need to know to avoid being betrayed. But if they’re smart, they’re also keeping one thing […]

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Dogtown and Z-Boys in The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Let me start off by saying that I don’t recommend seeing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for any reason. If Spider-Man 2 is the best comic book movie of all time (it’s not, but let’s pretend) then this Spider-Man part 2 is the worst. It’s such a mess that at one point someone says to another character that the room he’s entering is dark and that it’s for the best and that his eyes will adjust, and then the character enters that room and that room is not actually dark at all. There is bright light shining through the window curtains. That’s what little care the filmmakers had, that nobody noticed this literally glaring continuity detail. There are a lot of other things wrong with the sequel, but this is neither a review nor a place to do a lot of nitpicking. This is place for you to come if you actually did see it and are now in need of some cleansing. You’ll notice that in this week’s Movies to Watch that I recommend a couple not-so-great movies. But they’re still better than ASM2, and where they’re bad they’re at least enjoyably bad. I’ve selected a group of movies that includes past work by ASM2 talent and past works that did things that ASM2 does, only long ago and more interestingly. There are also a few titles that are directly referenced in ASM2 that you ought to be familiar with if you’re not already. As always, though, there are spoilers here. […]

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IntroMundaneBadass

In reality, no job is actually mundane unless you make it that way. Washing dishes or delivering mail can be terrific if you’re happy, and you’re with people who make you happy. My point is – a job is whatever you want it to be. You can quote me on that. “A job is whatever you want it to be.” – Man wearing pajama pants Anyhoo – in the movie world this tends to be different. Very rarely do we see a character shuffling fries and acting completely content. The best however, is when a mundane job is used to juxtapose the badassness of the character – or better yet, the badass character just happens to have a mundane job attached to them. These are by far the best combinations of “boring” vs “badass” I could think up in a single afternoon while not wearing any pants. Shop smart, everyone:

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IntroSequelHooks

A sequel hook is that very ambitious moment at the end of a movie where it boldly hint at a second film. While some can give the audience chills (think the ending of Batman Begins) there are a whole lot of them that end up becoming an embarrassment – usually when the film ends up bombing and ensuring that a second helping won’t be needed. Then again, when has a movie being bad stopped sequels from happening? I propose the following eight – ridiculous hooks to sequels that they really ought to have done, if only for the morbid curiosity.

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Brave

Brave has already made a milestone for Pixar as it marks the 13th straight release to debut at #1. No surprise for a brand that’s loved around the world and continually crafts memorable movies that resonate with children and old children alike. But where does it rank against other Pixar openings? According to numbers from Box Office Mojo, The Movie Formerly Known as The Bear and the Bow made $66.7m domestically in its first weekend, making it the fifth highest in the production company’s history. Here’s the full ranking:

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Pixar Scenes We Love

The love of discussing movies is something you and I share, dear reader. Otherwise, what the heck are we doing here? And with few exceptions, there isn’t any kind of film that I love talking about more than the various works of animation created by talented artists, renderers and storytellers throughout the history of the medium. Few do it better and merit as much discussion as the folks from Emeryville, California’s own Pixar Animation Studios. And with the release of their 13th film this week, a princess story called Brave, it’s reason enough to discuss some of the best individual scenes from the Pixar catalog. Personally, I’ve never been hooked on franchise pieces like Toy Story or Cars, but have always loved Pixar’s more stand-alone efforts. Many of which, as you’ll see from the assembled list, come from visionary storytellers Brad Bird, Andrew Stanton and Pete Docter. These filmmakers and their teams have pushed the envelope, even inside the already expansive confines of Pixar’s world. From their films I’ve assembled six Scenes We Love from the films of Pixar Animation Studios. It may not be the definitive list, but it’s certainly the one that lives within my own movie-loving heart.

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For more than fifteen years, Pixar has represented the gold standard in computer generated films. Since the studio’s early days of making groundbreaking short films to producing Oscar-winning feature-length movies, Pixar has become a brand associated with quality animation and adorable characters. There have been some bumps along the road, from a love-hate-owner relationship with Disney to some questionable sequels, but few studios can boast such a consistent level of quality and innovation. This week, Pixar will be releasing its 13th full-length feature, Brave, with an entire new cast of characters different from any other Pixar film. This gives us a chance to look into Pixar’s past and remember some of the favorite characters from their films.

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Pixar Character Logo

If there’s any outfit that celebrates the team sport aspect of filmmaking, it’s Pixar. What began as the Graphics Group at LucasFilm has evolved into its own behemoth of wonder and magic. Not just pioneers of technology, they’ve sought to invent in order to put stories out into the world – using computer animation for the ancient purpose of spinning tales and crafting characters. Led by Ed Catmull, the production house (which was bought by Disney in 2006) boasts luminaries like John Lasseter, Brad Bird, Pete Docter, Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich and many more. There newest film, Brave, is in theaters this week, so here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from RenderMan and company.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s your hero. It knows what movie and entertainment news you need, and it delivers in the nick of time. That is, if the nick of time is late at night. If your nick of time happens at any other time, you’re out of luck. We begin tonight’s very art-heavy edition of News After Dark with a piece of a piece of art by Scott Reifsnyder, a tribute to Pixar’s The Incredibles. That’s just an impressively fun movie about heroes.

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The Gift Guide: Collectibles

It’s the final countdown. Dunuh na naaaa. Less than two weeks to go until Christmas, so naturally now’s the time to start buying things. Who needs organizational skills when you can imbue that action-film frenzied spirit into your final rounds of festive gift buying? Since I’m the collectible fiend around these parts, I’ve been tasked with listing the essential holiday gifts from that world for every film fan. It hasn’t been easy, and I’ve mentally spent way too much money in compiling the list myself. But hey, occupational hazard. Anyway, here follows 15 of the must-have collectibles for this holiday season, some regulars of the Merch Hunter column will recognize, and some will be brand new. Either way, they’re what movie lovers want. As this is my handiwork, you can expect a general mix of the uber-expensive and ultra-collectible as well as the affordable and accessible, more charming options. No snob am I….

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For a while there, with the exception of the Toy Story films, it didn’t seem like Pixar was very interested in doing sequels to its big hits. The company focused instead on creating new characters and exploring new worlds every time out. But that focus has seen a shift recently with the studio putting together projects like Cars 2 and Monsters University. And if there ever was a Pixar property that felt like it could use a sequel, even back before Pixar was doing sequels, it was Brad Bird’s tale of a family of super heroes The Incredibles. So what gives? The super hero genre is inherently serial in nature. Why haven’t we heard any news about the further adventures of the mighty Parr family?

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Last month we featured one of Kees van Dijkhuizen‘s director tribute montages, the one for Michel Gondry. He did an excellent job showing off the visual power of Gondry, as well as David Fincher, Sofia Coppola, Wes Anderson, Danny Boyle, and Baz Luhrmann. Now he’s cut together a video to showcase the God-like power of Pixar. It’s not like any of us need a reminder of Pixar‘s ability to make us shed waterfalls and get oversized lumps in our throats, but Dijkhuizen does a damn good job of doing so. Heart and wonder is what the studio does best, and this montage perfectly encapsulates how they do it Prepare to feel like a child again:

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This Week in Blu-ray

It’s another week of high definition hijinks here on This Week In Blu-ray. Perhaps one of the slower weeks we’ve seen this year, but certainly not one lacking in quality. Besides the big Pixar Pick that you see below, you’ll find something to love when I review the latest Harry Potter flick, one of 2010’s best and most underrated docs, and the latest Criterion release. We’ll also touch on that movie in which Gwyneth Paltrow sings country songs, but only momentarily. The Incredibles Every new release that Pixar has brought to the Blu-ray format has been of a certain quality. Plenty of extras, brilliant transfers and all the little goodies that make Disney one of the better distributors of the format. The same can be said of their back catalog releases, including Monsters Inc. and Toy Story 2. To that end, The Incredibles is perfectly matched to that standard of quality. The 2004 film, not old by any means, looks particularly brilliant in 1080p because of the colorful nature of its story. From the flashy red of the family’s suits to the lush jungle around Syndrome’s volcanic layer, this film pops with every frame. It’s the reason videophiles have been drooling over its potential HD release for some time now. Feel free to celebrate, fair ‘philes, as your day has come. The Incredibles is just as incredible as you’ve imagined it would be. For those with tastes that run behind the arts, there are brand new featurettes in which the […]

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Megamind

It’s clear from this first full trailer for Dreamworks’ upcoming animated superhero film Megamind that the similarities to Pixar’s The Incredibles are on purpose. That said, it isn’t exactly a bad thing.

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fp-73613

After the usual editorials about the death of a genre, I’d like to offer some common sense.

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incredibles-nietzsche

After reading Audrey Anton’s The Nietzschean Influence in The Incredibles and the Sidekick Revolt, it has become incredibly clear that being super in a Hollywood blockbuster certainly does not entail possessing super powers.

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Quantum of Solace

In honor of the release of James Bond’s 22nd adventure, Quantum of Solace, hitting theaters tomorrow, fans all over have been re-cutting and mashing up the film’s trailer with various other films. This one mixes Bond’s latest with Pixar’s The Incredibles.

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Samuel L. Jackson has been in 7,000 films, but we took on the cyclopean task of finding the Ten Best. We also got a Word-of-the-Day calendar and have been dying to use ‘cyclopean’ in a sentence.

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Ten Movie Superheroes Who Could Take on The Hulk

Would Brandon Routh’s Superman stand a chance against the green giant? What about Christian Bale’s Batman? Here who we think might actually stand a chance against the Incredible Hulk from the new film.

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