The gravitational pull of the endless Star Wars franchise is inescapable in modern cinema. Though there have only been six live-action films in the series, the vast ocean of toys, theme-park attractions, animated TV series, books, and more make it impossible to avoid, even before there were rumors of a new trilogy. After the Walt Disney Company purchased Lucasfilm in the fall of 2012, the rumors became truth: within just a few years (now under 2 years), a new trilogy of Star Wars films would be unveiled, following up on the events of Return of the Jedi. Since that time, it’s been assumed that Disney wouldn’t just make new live-action films in that galaxy far, far away. Why not make more animated films, or spin-off series, and so on? For now, at least, these are rumors.
Great movie trailers are something of a lost art. While we are overloaded with ads for every new big-budget movie these days, they’re getting more obnoxious, cacophonous, and ruinous. Depending on the movie, you can go onto its website or YouTube and see a handful of TV spots—most of which repurpose the same shots, action, and dialogue, but tweak them ever so slightly to stand out—as well as teaser trailers and full trailers that often lay out a movie’s entire plot. If they don’t, they’re almost certainly going to show you some of the most impressive bits of action or the funniest jokes. It feels as if we’ve been clucking our tongues at trailers that spoil the films they sell since the advent of the Internet. So why, exactly, should we watch trailers for movies we know we’re going to see? [Read more…]
Brad Bird has built up some serious cred with but a few films. The Iron Giant did not perform well at the box office, but over time it has been extremely well-receieved, with some calling it one of the best animated films ever. After coming over to Pixar, Bird brought us The Incredibles, easily one of the greatest superhero films. Then, he jumped onto Ratatouille after production had already began, and that film gave us one of the best looks at what it means to be a critic. Now, he is currently working on Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, his first live-action film. Collider was at the CBS TCA (Television Critics Association) press tour, where producer J.J. Abrams confirmed what I had already been thinking – Brad Bird is on track to bring us another great film. [Read more…]