Remember “Fire and Ice,” the 1983 animated fantasy film that combined the talents of animator Ralph “the animated 1977 ‘Lord of the Rings’ movie” Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, the most awesome artist of heroic fantasy and science fiction who ever lived?
It’s cool if you don’t. Even with the Conan-mania it was playing off of, “Fire and Ice” tanked at the box office, grossing less than $1 million, and remains a cult film at best.
It had an interesting pedigree though, with a screenplay by former “Conan” comic book writers Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas. It also used a lot of rotoscoping (which involves tracing live-action performances onto animation cels and gave the film a very specific, surreally fluid look).
Robert Rodriguez has been interested in the property for years and has teamed up with Bold Films and Sony to keep developing a live-action version, deadline.com has reported. Rodriguez is a longtime friend and fan of the late Frazetta. If successful, it’s exactly the sort of film that could launch a new fantasy franchise.
In other Rodriguez news, the El Rey series “The Matador,” produced by University of Texas graduate Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, has been canceled after one season; “From Dusk Till Dawn” is working on its second; and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” is now on Blu-ray and DVD after grossing a let’s-call-it-modest $39 million worldwide.
The trailer for the really cool 2014 film from the Zellner brothers has hit the web. The movie, about a young Japanese woman who takes the movie “Fargo” very seriously indeed, is due in theaters March 2015, about a year after impressing folks at both Sundance and South By Southwest.
”The Interview” might be the most famous movie in the world right now, thanks to the Sony hacking scandal — allegedly at the behest of angry North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — and is sure to go down in history as the film that sparked a legitimate international incident.
Directed with flash and sizzle but not much heart by Rupert “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” Wyatt and written by William “The Departed” Monahan, this is a remake of Karel Reisz’s 1974 movie starring James Caan and written by James Toback.
It must have been difficult to make Alan Turing’s story into a thriller, but, make no mistake, “The Imitation Game” is a rousing, only slightly qualified success.
Turing was a mathematician and cryptanalyst who was asked by British Intelligence to help crack Nazi Germany’s World War II Enigma code. Enigma was a machine used by the Nazis that generated a keyword, changed daily, used to encrypt sensitive communications on strategy and troop movements.
In theory, the story of Walter and Margaret Keane should be perfect for Tim Burton.
In practice, “Big Eyes” is a beautifully art-directed hunk of disappointment — unless, of course, the movie’s own kitschiness, melodrama and lack of subtlety is supposed to mirror that of the paintings themselves.
If that’s the case … well, it still doesn’t work too well.
“Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb” is better than it had to be. To begin with, it didn’t have to be made. Nobody was begging for a sequel to the franchise’s previous two films. It rehashes old ideas, old gags and old characters. It’s no museum piece, by anybody’s standards.
It’s not really a good movie, and yet, it provides a surprisingly enjoyable ending for the series.
“Annie,” a musical that the decades have rendered into a punchline, is modernized, made more streetwise and brought back to life in a production backed by Jay Z and various members of the Will and Jada Pinkett Smith empire.
Quvenzhane Wallis, that wonder of a child actress from “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” is no tap-dancing Broadway baby with a voice built to reach the balcony. But director Will Gluck and the producers tailor this production to her talents, and it pays dividends.