Opening in theaters on September 14th is the classic Pixar film Finding Nemo, which is now being re-released in 3D. The movie was directed by Andrew Stanton (John Carter) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3) and boasts an amazing cast of voice actors that includes Albert Brooks (Drive), Ellen DeGeneres (The Love Letter), Alexander Gould (How to Eat Fried Worms), Willem Dafoe (The Hunter), Brad Garrett (Tangled), Allison Janney (The Help), Austin Pendleton (The Muppet Movie), Stephen Root (Rango), Geoffrey Rush (Green Lantern), Eric Bana (Hulk), and John Ratzenberger (Brave).
IAR's Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of traveling to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to speak with co-director Lee Unkrich, as well as Pixar's Stereoscopic Supervisor Bob Whitehill, and director of 3D production Josh Hollander about Finding Nemo 3D. The filmmakers discussed the movie, its cultural impact, Brooks and DeGeneres' amazing voice performances, why the film was right for a 3D update, the process of actually converting it to the new format, and Pixar's chief creative officer John Lasseter's obsession with 3D.
In 1988, the news cycle didn't work with the same rapidity that it does today, when a story can go from the center of global attention to virtually nonexistent in a matter of days or even hours. Almost 25 years ago, big stories became big stories without so many competing 24-hour news networks, all manner of social media, immediate meme-dom, and the eventual backlash.
It was a year that included an American presidential election and the release of Die Hard, but one particular story that captured the imagination and attention not just of America but of the world at large was that of three California gray whales surrounded by encroaching ice in the Arctic Circle. Multiple nations and even conflicting interests united to find a way to get the whales, known affectionately as Fred, Wilma, and Bam Bam, through miles of ice to the safety of the open ocean.
Operation Breakthrough, as it was known, was chronicled by Tom Rose in the 1989 book Freeing the Whales: How the Media Created the World's Greatest Non-Event. That book inspired the new film Big Miracle, which dramatizes the events and stars Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, who respectively play a Greenpeace activist and the journalist who first discovered the whale family. With the new family-friendly drama arriving this Friday, both stars were recently on hand for a Los Angeles press conference, along with fellow actors Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Dermot Mulroney, Vinessa Shaw, and director Ken Kwapis. IAR's own Jami Philbrick was present to get these creative figures' thoughts on telling the story of Fred, Wilma, Bam Bam, and all those who aided in their journey.
Though he has thrice been nominated for an Academy Award, Leonardo DiCaprio has never won an Oscar. Based on the first trailer for J. Edgar, released about three weeks ago, DiCaprio is going hog-wild on his latest role, playing FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, and from the looks of it, he can practically taste the awards-season glory. DiCaprio is certainly working with a creative team familiar with awards, as J. Edgar is directed by Clint Eastwood and written by Dustin Lance Black, who penned Milk. Two new poster designs released by Warner Bros both focus on DiCaprio's fierce Hoover visage, complete with old age makeup, and both get across the classy pedigree and subject matter of this biopic.
Of all the classy pictures scheduled for the upcoming prestige movie season, J. Edgar is one of the classiest and most prestigious. It's got Clint Eastwood directing from a screenplay by Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar in 2008 for his Milk script, and it's got Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role of founding FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, a controversial Washington figure if ever there was one.
The first trailer for J. Edgar has arrived, with DiCaprio looking to really sink his teeth into the role, which follows Hoover from his earliest days attempting to impose law on the likes of John Dillinger all the way to his twilight years. There is plenty to be intrigued by in this trailer, but I suspect a lot of people are going to talk mostly about that old age makeup.
The phrase, "Behind every great man there's an even greater woman," usually implies the solidarity of a healthy and supportive romantic relationship. In the case of founding FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, the greater woman behind him was not a love interest, but his secretary Helen Gandy, who loyally served as his right hand for 54 years, even torching the controversial power-magnet's incriminating personal files after his death. Clint Eastwood's new biographical film J. Edgar, which chronicles the early years of Hoover's tenure, would be incomplete without an appropriately forceful Helen Gandy, who is played by Oscar Nominee Naomi Watts.
Last week, the first official images from J. Edgar showed Leonardo DiCaprio as the title character, along with Armie Hammer as Clyde Toulson, with whom Hoover had a relationship that went beyond the strictly professional. Now, another new image reveals Naomi Watts as Gandy, with DiCaprio present as a supremely agitated-looking Hoover.
Even before he began promoting his self-distributed horror film Red State in earnest, Kevin Smith was saying that it would be his second-to-last movie before retiring from directing to preside over his podcast empire, write comics, and produce the cinematic efforts of aspiring filmmakers. Turns out, though, that the assertion will end up being not quite accurate, since his last project, the hockey-opus Hit Somebody, will apparently be divided into two separate films.
The last time Leonardo DiCaprio played a prominent, controversial 20th Century historical figure, the world was gifted with my beloved The Aviator, in which Martin Scorsese depicted, with plenty of dramatic license, the early years of Howard Hughes.
That sets a high bar for J. Edgar, the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic chronicling the early career of J. Edgar Hoover, the powerful and enduring bureaucrat who served as the first director of the FBI. Way back in February, set photos of DiCaprio smoking a cigarette in his Hooverian vest and hair combo made their way online, but now an official image gives our best look at the actor, complete with some unnerving shark eyes.
With 1994's Clerks, writer-director Kevin Smith established that his characters frequently speak obscenity-laced dialogue that references all manner of sexual acts, usually of the most foul variety. Much has been made of Smith's new film, Red State, and the left turn it represents for the podcaster in terms of both style and substance. A new red band trailer for the thriller opens with some familiar Smithian dialogue before moving on to religiously-themed horror, Michael Parks pontificating, and no small amount of automatic weapons fire. Through it all, though (except the screeching torture bits), there is a certain tone to the dialogue that suggests its still the work of the man behind Chasing Amy, Dogma, and Mallrats.
The theme for this week is slim pickings. Sorry to report, ladies and gentlemen, that this week's haul of big news-trailers consists of a meager four entries. Represented on the list, you'll find previews for Woody Allen's latest, starring Rachel McAdams and Owen Wilson, an offbeat drama from Will Ferrell, a grindhouse splatterfest, and the sequel to the most successful comedy of all time, with Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, and Ed Helms.
Will Ferrell is known for his oblivious, over the top comedic creations, such as Anchorman's Ron Burgundy, but he has infrequently tried his hand at more nuanced dramatic characters, most notably in 2006's Stranger Than Fiction. While most summer movies starring Ferrell involve unbridled absurdity and at least once instance of him screaming at the top of his lungs, Everything Must Go looks to be more along the lines of Stranger Than Fiction, but not without a wry sense of humor. A poster and an excellent trailer debuted at Apple (via Collider) today, and you should check it out, even if you're typically turned off by the presence of Will Ferrell.