What’s a “For Your Consideration” Academy Screener?

As a professional film critic I get a ton of email from PR reps from what feels like every major movie studio on the planet. Whether they’re sharing the third official trailer for a film that’s not out for six months, casting news for a big franchise or a box office milestone that one of their films has just crossed, it’s always interesting industry news. And then when it gets to be the end of…Read More

Pixar’s ‘Up’ Academy Awards Screener Package

Though I can’t say that I’m an unabashed fan of the recent Pixar animated film Up (see my review of Up), I did enjoy it and certainly feel that the first 30 minutes or so stand up as some of the best scenes in a motion picture I’ve ever seen, animated or otherwise.  That’s why it was interesting – and darn cool – when Disney sent me the entire Awards Screener package for Up, known…Read More

Review: Ponyo

The original story of The Little Mermaid is about a mermaid who dreams of some day becoming a human. Ponyo is based on the same theme, but this time it’s a goldfish called Brunhilde who dreams of becoming human. This isn’t Disney computer-assisted animation as usual, however, but rather the amazing hand-animated world of Japanese legend Hayao Miyazaki. You’ve probably heard of Miyazaki, he’s had three films in relatively wide distribution here in the United States: Princess…Read More

Review: Up

There is no greater compliment that I can pay modern animated fare than to say that the best of them are now most properly viewed as films, not as animated films. 25 years ago we talked about “feature-length animation” but in the last few years we’ve seen such landmark achievements as Wall-E and Spirited Away, films that let us stop looking at how they’ve achieved the visuals, stop thinking about how much work it was,…Read More