One Pixar film a year almost always feels like a treat. Two films in one year (actually less than six months) feels unearned largesse, but that’s assuming the second film, in this case The Good Dinosaur, matches the first, Inside Out, in the depth and breadth of its storytelling, of its emotional resonance, and visual and verbal wit. Unfortunately, that assumption would be wrong were The Good Dinosaur, a long-delayed, shockingly short-on-imagination animated film stitched together through several, ill-fitting conceits, beginning with the asteroid credited with the extinction of dinosaurs as recently as 65 million years ago. In The Good Dinosaur, the asteroid comes closes, but misses, burning out as it hits the earth’s atmosphere, saving the dinosaurs and, in turn, relegating the descendants of small rodent-sized mammals to never-was, supporting status. It’s clever, certainly, but what The Good Dinosaur does with that conceit isn’t clever at all. It’s often plodding, dull, and uninventive, dolling out child-oriented life lessons minus the subtlety and nuance typical of Pixar’s significantly better, previous efforts. (more…)


JJ Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens began being tracked by distributors today, and estimates have it grossing anywhere from $170 million to $300 million in its opening weekend. The current highest December weekend opening belongs to The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, coming in at $85 million, meaning that that the highly anticipated Star Wars sequel is expected to double the record. However, that doesn’t come close to the highest grossing weekend of all time, which is Jurassic World with $208.8 million. Of course, that film premiered during the summer blockbuster season, when the empty classrooms generally mean more money in studio pockets. (more…)


It’s official- according to a press release from Disney, production has started on Marvel’s Doctor Strange. You’ve probably already figured as much, thanks to the footage seen of stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Chiwetel Ejiofor on set, but there are some other confirmations in the press release you may not know about. Rachael McAdams, Michael Stuhlbarg, Mads Mikkelsen, and Academy Award winner Tilda Swinton were announced as the other major cast members, along with the official description of the movie and members of the crew.  Read on for more details. (more…)


It was a story everyone could identify with. Life-long Star Wars fan Daniel Fleetwood had a terminal illness, and despite the fact that he had exceeded the life expectancy quoted to him by his doctor by more than two months, he wasn’t so certain he could hold out another couple of months until the wide release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Thousands of other Wars fans lent their voices online to Daniel’s cause, the ranks of which also included Star Warriors Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Carrie Fisher and Daisy Ridley, and while the tale ended in success, there’s now a sad coda. Via a Facebook post from Daniel’s wife this morning, we’ve learn that Daniel has died from his illness. (more…)


If there’s one thing that the original Star Wars trilogy teaches us about Carrie Fisher’s character of Princess Leia Organa, it’s that she is one fierce female. Outspoken, battle-ready and highly intelligent, she held her own both alongside and against Luke Skywalker, Hans Solo, and Jabba the Hutt. All of this empowering character building falls apart, however, with the infamous “Slave Leia” wardrobe. After being captured by Jabba the Hutt, Leia is forced to wear a skimpy bikini-like costume. She totally kicks ass and frees herself, but that image was enough to cause controversy. (more…)


For much of North America, this past weekend it was the end of daylight savings time, so could their be a better time to promote through puns the return of one of fantasy literature’s greatest heroines to the big screen? Of course not. Early Sunday morning, the Walt Disney Company released a teaser for one of there upcoming, big budget sequels (although probably not the one that fans are especially interested in seeing). No, it wasn’t the trailer for the next Captain America, it was the Alice in Wonderland sequel Alice Through the Looking Glass. Not much is revealed but as the pun infers, there is a fall… (more…)


When the last Star Wars movie came out, Netflix was still mailing out DVDs. Who could have foreseen just a decade ago, when Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was released, that the proliferation of streaming video sites would have been so total? Especially considering that just six years before that, Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox were still putting out VHS versions of the movies. But with DVDs and video stores on the brink of extinction, streaming is the way to go, which is why it’s been announced that Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming to Netflix! Addendum, make that Canada’s Netflix. (more…)


When Disney made the decision to repurpose much of their classic animated film stable as new live action films, the choice was met with a bit of trepidation. Entire generations of children were raised with these timeless films, which all began with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, back in 1937, so many hold these movies sacred.  Still, when Disney began their experiment with 2010’s Alice in Wonderland, which was part reboot of the classic Disney animated film and part sequel to the same, audiences flocked to the cinemas to see the film, driving the global box office total to over $1bil. Being the money making machine it is, Disney took the ball and ran with it, and quickly followed up with Maleficent and Cinderella.  The next live action adaptation on the slate is The Jungle Book and if the new trailer is any indication, it may be the best animated to live-action adaptation that the studio has produced. (more…)