We Bought a Zoo

This Week in Blu-ray

Left, right, left we march out of March and into April with another sizzling edition of This Week in Blu-ray. Alright, so that’s not exactly true. Despite finding a number of titles to recommend in this week’s release offering, it’s not exactly a week that’s going to blow your socks off. Which begs the question: why wear socks in the first place if you’re constantly reading Film School Rejects? You know that eventually they’re just going to be blown off anyway. But not today, as you’re about to see. We take a stroll into the world of buying a zoo with Cameron Crowe, we get lost in a great release of Chinatown and we ride the War Horse to yawn-inducing victory. Come along and enjoy the ride. We Bought a Zoo There was a primo opportunity for me to make a ‘We Must Buy This Blu-ray’ joke here, but sadly I’m just not that kind of guy. Our own Jack Giroux love love loved this movie when he reviewed it in December, and it certainly does have its charms. Matt Damon plays a single dad who decides to buy a broken down zoo and nurse it back to health, finding love for family time and Scarlett Johansson along the way. It’s Cameron Crowe, so there’s undeniable sweetness. The one thing the Blu-ray has going in its favor is plenty of special features. From 37 minutes of deleted/extended scenes to a 7 min. gag reel to a 76 minute extensive, well-produced documentary style behind the […]

read more...

Aural Fixation - Large

There are a few things you can expect from a Cameron Crowe film – beautiful people, emotional speeches, memorable quotes and moving music. Crowe’s latest film, We Bought a Zoo, has all these elements plus a score by Sigur Rós front man, Jónsi Birgisson. This choice was a bit of a departure for Crowe who usually fills his films with music from various bands, singers and songwriters and while Crowe still has songs from different artists in We Bought a Zoo (Tom Petty, Cat Stevens and Bob Dylan, to name a few), the musical focus and backbone is mainly provided by Jónsi whose music is more about the impression of sounds rather than impact of lyrics.

read more...

Hundreds of movies are released each year in theaters or straight to DVD, and a large percentage of them suck. A much smaller group though are fantastic slices of cinema that thrill, excite, invigorate and entertain, and while some of them are recognized at the box office many more are left to die a quick and undeserved death. And it’s essentially your fault. Of course I don’t mean you specifically, but instead I’m referring to the average American movie-goer who chose not to see these movies in the theater. They ignored the critical acclaim, reviews and recommendations from sites like ours and instead bought multiple tickets for the latest Twilight or Transformers movie. So while it’s too late to affect their box office returns (most of them anyway), Jack Giroux and Rob Hunter have put together a list of eleven movies that deserved far better treatment in 2011.

read more...

New Frankenweenie Images

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly entertainment news column that collects all the best links of the day, then adds commentary. It is also glad to be back from its Christmas break and hopes you got everything you wanted. It got almost everything on its list. We begin this evening with a fun new image from Tim Burton’s upcoming stop-motion 3D animated film Frankenweenie. It comes to us via the folks at The Playlist, who are quick to remind us that said film is coming out in the fall of 2012. Perhaps this will be the Tim Burton film that allows us to forget the mistakes the director has made with 3D in recent years?

read more...

We Bought a Zoo strives to be Cameron Crowe‘s biggest crowd-pleaser yet, and it’s coming after two of his most splitting features. Elizabethtown was not met kindly and Vanilla Sky either blew your mind or frustrated the hell out of you, despite being a film that made one of the most likable movie stars around a narcissist often hidden under a nightmarish mask — how many directors do that to movie stars? Not many. Crowe doesn’t exactly disfigure Matt Damon in his Christmas release, but the film does what Crowe usually does best: showing good-natured people simply trying to do their best. While speaking to Crowe, he reminded me a lot of his films — someone who clearly wears his heart on his sleeve, and not in an artificial way. In fact, the first thing Crowe said to me left a goofy smile on my face for days, which is what his films usually do as well. The man was kind enough to give me extra time, and even by the end I felt like we could have gone on for hours. The writer-director and I spent more time than I expected but hoped on Vanilla Sky, as well as his writing process, how old films are like diary entries, and why it’s easier to make cynical films nowadays.

read more...

Let’s get this out of the way now: I’m a Cameron Crowe fan. The director has his critics. Most of his divisiveness comes down to the tone of his films, which some find wrongfully cheesy. I, on the other hand, find Crowe’s humanism endearing, never silly or phony. Somehow, when everyone else has drunk the cynical Kool Aid and acts too cool for school towards anything with a big heart, the director remains optimistic about life and (ugh) people. Crowe, who aims high to plant a big smile on your face, does so here more than competently. The surface-level concept of We Bought a Zoo is fairly ridiculous-sounding: Benjamin Mee (Matt Damon) buys and decides to rebuild a broken-down zoo. I’m not sure how We Bought a Zoo differs from Dave Blank’s true life story, and while watching the film and even while writing about it at this very moment, I don’t care. The most important part of Crowe’s adaptation is that, every emotion felt genuine. The “getting the zoo back in shape!” serves as a metaphor for Mee attempting to rebuild his once happy family – heavy shit, right?

read more...

This is it: the final month of the year, a.k.a. the month to shell out as much cash as you got at the theaters. December is always the best and worst movie-going time. There’s so many damn pictures hitting the screens, and it’s the time where everyone’s running around, trying to get things done before the New Year. It’s wonderful, annoying chaos. This December is different, though. In fact, it’s going to be about 100 times more chaotic. Folks, if you plan on seeing all of the good to the “this will be up for Oscars, kid!” movies this month, plan on forking out a lot of dough. This is unquestionably the strongest month for films this year. Without further ado, here are the ones to end the year on a great note with:

read more...

We Bought a Zoo

Since the release is a little far off, I just saw the film, and considering Fox asked me to hold my review until opening day, I decided only providing brief thoughts on Cameron Crowe’s latest would be the most suitable option. In short: I love this movie. A few days ago, like everyone else, I rushed to see The Muppets and found it thoroughly charming. We Bought a Zoo, in comparison, makes that level of heart-warming seem like child’s play. Yes, Cameron Crowe’s film is that sweet and tender, and not in a schmaltzy or dopey way, either. Crowe finds that comforting warmness he usually tends to capture with his great casts and rocking soundtracks, both more than present here with Matt Damon‘s excellent performance and Jónsi’s lovely score.

read more...

It looks like some hardcore cinephiles will have less worry when it comes to choosing a film outing this Christmas, with DreamWorks announcing today that they’re set to hold “special word-of-mouth screenings” for the upcoming Steven Spielberg epic, War Horse, over Thanksgiving weekend. The film is scheduled for a nationwide opening on December 25, but these special sneaks have been crafted to build buzz for the film with almost a month of lead time. Just last week came news that 20th Century Fox was launching a massive sneak peek for their own Christmas release, We Bought a Zoo, over the Thanksgiving holiday, rolling the Cameron Crowe film out to 800 theaters around the country on Saturday the 26th. But this Spielberg sneak will be a decidedly more quiet affair, with screenings taking place on Sunday the 27th in just ten cities.There’s no news yet on how the public will find out about these screenings, but it’s probably best to hang around the film’s Facebook page or its Twitter feed for a hint or two.

read more...

In an unprecedented move, 20th Century Fox will be holding a massive “sneak preview” event for Cameron Crowe’s We Bought a Zoo a full four weeks before the film opens for the Christmas holiday. The film, scheduled to go wide on December 23, will now take over a different holiday, playing in more than 800 theaters around the country on the Saturday of this year’s Thanksgiving weekend, November 26. The studio is reportedly holding the sneak previews based on positive test screenings, in hopes that the massive launch will spawn both good word-of-mouth from regular filmgoers and a spat of fresh reviews from critics who shell out their own cash to jump the review gun. Fox is also partnering with TOUT (some sort of social media hub that I’ve never heard of that relies on “video status updates”) to allow viewers to post reviews of the film (presumably via quick video snippet). Fox is also reportedly crafting a larger social media campaign that includes tie-ins with Twitter and Facebook. Based on Benjamin Mee’s memoir, the film follows a single dad (Matt Damon) who hopes to reinvigorate his family life with a new home – one that’s in the middle of a ramshackle zoo whose rebuilding the family takes on. The film also stars Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning, and Patrick Fugit. The last two trailers for the film have won the hearts of both myself and our own Cole Abaius, so here’s hoping that the film delivers on its promise.

read more...

The Dark Knight Occupies Wall Street

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s not the nightly news column you want right now, but it’s the one you need. Because you need a nightly news column that will be strong in the face of adversity, cover the things you care about, and publish videos of Ryan Gosling being sexy without words. We begin tonight with a shot from the set of The Dark Knight Rises, something we’ve refrained from covering too much. However, I found this particular photo — one of a batch from Mail Online – that shows a tender moment between our hero, as played by Christian Bale, and his new foe Bane, as played by Tom Hardy. Just a little hug as Chris Nolan’s production occupies Occupy Wall Street in New York.

read more...

The first trailer for Cameron Crowe‘s adaptation of Benjamin Mee‘s memoir We Bought a Zoo hit the interwebs back in September, and while that trailer aimed a bit too squarely for the heart, I’m a sucker for Crowe working for emotion, and the shades of Jerry Maguire (the quitting! the Tom Petty music!) work for me like nothing else. Throw in some animals, cute kids, and soaring music, and I’m a mewling mess of feelings-goo. But if you’re not as gooey as I am, this new international trailer might work much better for you. Check out the international trailer for We Bought a Zoo after the break, featuring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Elle Fanning and Patrick Fugit.

read more...

Cameron Crowe is a heartstring-tugging force to be reckoned with. Even with a few low points, he still emerges as one of the best writer/directors of our time, creating sentimental stories that push us into an emotional space whether it’s because a band is singing Elton John or because a sports agent has a girl at “hello.” His next film, as if no one knew, is the adaptation We Bought a Zoo, which features Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Hayden Church, Elle Fanning and Patrick Fugit. The trailer is a soft focus blend of tears and triumph, and you can check it out for yourself:

read more...

A swift kick in the pants is all you need to get your midnight juices flowing, that’s an ideal that I’ve always held to be true. If you don’t have anyone to kick you, you can always simply read Movie News After Dark. It will either get you pumped up and ready for that late-night fast food run or put you to sleep, or both simultaneously. How did he do it, you may wonder after wrapping your car around a telephone poll while stuffing your face with an extra large gordita. Run for the border my friends, it’s time for movie news…

read more...

Hope springs eternal. As we round the bases of another year, it’s important to let the average and outright crappy slough off and realize that we’re all standing on the precipice of another year of movies. The future stretches out before us full of possibilities. That cheesy trailer you saw last week could end up producing your favorite film of the year. That epic blockbuster you’ve been waiting for could be bigger than you ever imagined. There’s hope for everything, but there’s also expectation, which is why Rob Hunter, Neil Miller and Cole Abaius painstakingly put together our list of the 30 Most Anticipated Films of 2011. It’s the stuff we’re most looking forward to this year, put together when our hope and optimism is at its peak.

read more...

The entire blogosphere has exclusively heard today that Matt Damon and Cameron Crowe are in talks for a team-up. More to the point, Damon is in talks to join Crowe’s next film, We Bought a Zoo, an adaptation of a memoir by Benjamin Mee. The story follows a man who buys a zoo. Get it?

read more...

The brilliant director has chosen a memoir to adapt for his next.

read more...
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Comic-Con 2014
Summer Box Office Prediction Challenge
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3