Image: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Many lists that are predominantly populated by modern movies feel slanted to younger writers/readers who may not have an exposure to films older than they are or a contextual understanding of their importance.
The superhero movie is a unique beast, though. A few genres and sub-genres, like sci-fi, have been greatly helped by the advance of CGI over the last quarter-century. Sci-fi was still capable of brilliance with just ideas alone, though; superhero movies lend themselves so closely to goofiness, parody, or sublime farce that the modern age of computer effects has served largely to legitimize a type of film that often wasn’t taken very seriously before the new millennium, even when they starred icons like Superman or Batman.
Image: Warner Bros.
There’s something about ’90s comedies that, when watched now, seems kind of… quaint. All the demographic-courting PG-13 fare like Wayne’s World, Dumb & Dumber, and Tommy Boy — even more boundary-pushing, R-rated comedies like Clerks. or There’s Something About Mary — still lacks a little of the subversion, intellect, or bravado of the comedies of the new millennium.
Image: Buena Vista Pictures
In the late ‘90s, it was hard to discern why exactly the golden renaissance of Disney, going so strong in 1994 with The Lion King, dissipated so suddenly. With the benefit of hindsight, the biggest reason was the release of the first feature-length computer-animated movie in 1995, Pixar’s Toy Story.
In less than a decade, computer-animated movies had become so advanced and such a box office draw, even Disney shuttered their hand-drawn animation studio down in 2004 and switched to 100% computer-animated fare.
As the cost of computer animation has decreased, more and more computer-animated movies have flooded movie theatres, with fewer being any good, but great ones still exist. Some even outshine that first Pixar feature from 21 years ago. These are the best examples of what modern animation can achieve.
In the wake of the success of The LEGO Movie and The Angry Birds Movie, Minecraft is on its way to the movies.
Aware that both of those properties were elevated by being comedies first and toy adaptations seconds, Warner Bros. has hired It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia creator and star Rob McElhenney to direct Minecraft.
Shawn Levy (Night at the Museum, This is Where I Leave You) was originally attached to direct, but left after differences in vision with game developer Mojang.
Nothing is yet known about the movie adaptation’s plot. The best-selling computer and video game Minecraft was an open-world sandbox simulation, allowing players to construct whatever worlds they could envision.
According to Variety, Minecraft will arrive in theatres May 25, 2019. (This may be an error, as May 25, 2019 is a Saturday.) May 2019 will also feature the hotly anticipated The Avengers: Infinity War, Part II and Star Wars: Episode IX (working title).
Movies based on Candy Crush and Fruit Ninja are also in the works.
Photo: Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures
Twenty-fourteen was not the best year for movies. By no means is that to say there weren’t some truly great ones, but there was more than the usual number of mediocre or simply good movies, and fewer masterpieces than in the past few years.
That having been said, while there may not have been as large an abundance, there were still 25 films that stood above all the rest. Comedy, sci-fi, drama, animation, romance, suspense, documentary, horror, and action make up these, the very best movies of the year. Continue reading
Photo: Warner Bros.
On New Year’s Eve last year, I resolved to try and see every wide release that came out in 2014. (“Wide release,” these days, means a minimum of 600 screens.) It’s resulted in me seeing many more movies by this point in time than I usually do. Last year, I didn’t see my 50th movie until the first week of October. This year, with another month to go until October, I’ve already seen 84 movies from 2014. Continue reading
Photo: Warner Bros.
Remember when you played with toys as a kid and one fantasy scenario would lead right into the next? Wolverine, Donatello, and Scrooge McDuck could race the Batmobile across the deck of the Titanic, before suddenly warping to the moon and playing a game of darts with Bart Simpson, and it all made a twisted kind of sense. It’s that childlike sense of genius randomness that makes The LEGO Movie the first great movie of 2014.