Sunday, May 13, 2012

'The Avengers' smashes box office records more efficiently than the Hulk

The Avengers has officially passed the billion dollar mark at the worldwide box office, after only a week and a half in theaters.

That means that it has shattered 23 records, and is set to break even more as attendance shows no sign of slipping. These records include best opening weekend, best second weekend, best 3-day, 4-day, 5-day, 6-day, 7-day, and 8-day gross, and the fastest film to gross every amount between $100 million and $350 million.

Avatar is the current all-time champ, having made $2.7 billion worldwide, but that took over 34 weeks to achieve. In the same time that The Avengers broke $1 billion, Avatar was going steady at a measly $300 million.

And not only is Joss Whedon's blockbuster on track to become the biggest movie ever, but it has widespread critical acclaim, with a 93% on Rotten Tomatoes. Check out my quick review here.

And go see The Avengers right now! It is a great movie, and I can't think of any storyteller more deserving to take the throne of box office king than Joss.

Art: 'Where The Avengers Are' by AgarthanGuide on DeviantArt


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Viral Marketing for Pixar's 'Brave': Kilt by Ruff McLauren

Posted just moments ago to Brave's iTunes video page is a surefire viral marketing masterpiece, Kilt.

It is a faux advertisement for Kilt, by Ruff McLauren (as opposed to Ralph Lauren). "What makes a man feel like a man? . . . The freedom a man feels when he wears a small plaid skirt . . . Stylish, sexy, strong. . . Kilt. Are you BRAVE enough to wear one?"

This spot is just downright funny and clever. I was surprised that Disney took the marketing into the realm of such blatant satire, especially with humor edging on the adult. Still, I think that it will payoff in the end. I certainly enjoyed the sarcastic and over-the-top nature of it. And Brave!

Be sure to pay close attention during the video. You'll spot some great-looking new footage from the film, as well.

Brave hits theaters June 22, 2012.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Some Spoiler-free Reasons Why 'The Avengers' is Great (Hint: JOSS)

I didn't quite know what to expect from The Avengers. Yeah, I love Joss Whedon's work. All of it. But when you're tackling a huge summer blockbuster film like this one, it's tough to get your way and have your style really shine through with all those suits breathing down your neck. Disney suits, too, even. On top of that, I wasn't a huge fan of the second Iron Man, and Mark Ruffalo is a dweeb.

Let it suffice to say that I didn't go into this film with the highest of expectations.

However, get yourself ready to heighten your own expectations: The Avengers is a very good film. And the main reason is Joss Whedon.

More often than not, tentpole films like this one get destroyed when a half-baked story ends up drowned beneath a pile of special effects, pop stars, and an edgy soundtrack with electric guitar-ridden Bob Dylan covers. But Writer/Director Joss Whedon is a talented storyteller, and it really shows.

The subtleties of each character come across as they individually trudge through their own emotional journeys. The debonair Tony Stark is as deliciously snarky as ever (and man is he cool). Captain America's stoicism, Thor's family issues, Bruce Banner's anger management, and even Fury's political struggles (and shiny eyepatch) are all poignantly portrayed. There is intense inter-personal drama and complication. While nothing got as heated or in-depth as it could have, and the villain could have been more motivated for his villainy, it all served its purpose of getting the audience emotionally-vested in what's going on.

But the important thing is that this quality character development is balanced perfectly with what the audience is really there for: explosions and capes and laughs. There are countless fight scenes, each with their own unique twist for added suspense and visual stunnery. You are constantly thrown for a loop as each character is dealt the next impossible task they have to accomplish. The shots soaring through the sky with Iron Man or jumping between buildings with the Hulk leave you feeling like you just took the wildest ride of your life. Like a super awesome roller coaster. With punches and flying. And more awesome.

And not only are the fights and effects spectacular in every sense of the word, but the writing is genuinely witty and the character interactions hilarious. I don't remember the last time I laughed in a movie theater that much. The film plays with audience expectations, exploits superhero stereotypes, and is just plain smart about the way it approaches its combination of high and lowbrow humor.

Without giving any plot detail or specific situations away, I am going to tell you, dear reader, that you should go see The Avengers. Whether you are familiar with the caped heroes or not, you'll have a blast. The writing is clever, the story is fleshed out Joss-style, the jokes are beyond funny, and the action is so action-packed that it should be illegal. It won't win an Oscar, but it will win the hearts of countless Americans with its unique brand of charming action and rakish dialogue.

This movie will break box office records. Everyone can enjoy it, and word of mouth will ensure that everybody will. A sequel will definitely be on its way, if it isn't already. And I'll be the first in line to see it.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Disney's 'Paperman' poster and details

At CinemaCon earlier last month, Disney revealed an up-and-coming animated short, Paperman.

It is an experimentation in the medium, seeking to redefine what animation can be. It involves "seamlessly merging computer-generated and hand-drawn animation," and in just black-and-white. Here's Disney's pitch:

Introducing a groundbreaking technique that seamlessly merges computer-generated and hand-drawn animation techniques, first-time director John Kahrs takes the art of animation in a bold new direction with Paperman. 
Using a minimalist black-and-white style, the short follows the story of a lonely young man in mid-century New York City, whose destiny takes an unexpected turn after a chance meeting with a beautiful woman on his morning commute. Convinced the girl of his dreams is gone forever, he gets a second chance when he spots her in a skyscraper window across the avenue from his office. With only his heart, imagination and a stack of papers to get her attention, his efforts are no match for what the fates have in store for him. 
Created by a small, innovative team working at Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paperman pushes the animation medium in an exciting new direction.
See the poster, released on Disney's Facebook page, at the top of the post. A really great, clean, unique design.

Expect to see this shopped around festivals before (most likely) seeing shown before Wreck-It Ralph in November.

I am excited to see this. It will be awesome. And I can't wait.