by Rob Boylan
Film critics luckier than us (damn youse!) were treated a sort of odd treat this week when Pixar screened the first 30 minutes of Brave in a few select locations.
The film has a few obstacles to overcome, the least of which might be the young male audience's reaction to cooties since it's about a yucky girl. I kid. There will be less consternation over Pixar making a film about a girl than there was about The Hunger Games casting -- gasp! -- black people. Not that the mouth breathers set a high bar there, but I digress.
But the two for-real biggest things it has to overcome are the similarities to How to Train Your Dragon that stick out like a sore thumb and the fact that The Hunger Games already owns the tween and teen archer girl demo.
How big a deal is it?
Last year Pixar cancelled an in-production film called Newt because it was too similar to Rio, and before that went to war with Dreamworks over Antz when they pipped A Bug's Life to the screen.
But word from the screening has been really positive as far as I can tell. With words like "delightful" being bandied about, it should end up being just the thing to wash the taste of Cars 2 off of our collective tongue.
Pixar has become so much its own thing that I don't think for a second either of these big obstacles will hurt the film in any meaningful way. Antz didn't hurt A Bug's Life at all, though Antz sort of sabotaged themselves by casting Woody Allen, who kids don't get and a lot of adults hate.
And how about a little something to make you feel old: Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home 18 years ago today, having died most likely on April 5th. There are now people who can vote, buy cigarettes and join the military who were never alive at the same time as Kurt Cobain, whose daughter by the way is now a "it" fashion model.
I suspect that Hollywood and certain bottom feeding relations with well known money and drug problems will not be able to leave it alone, and sometime in 2014 we'll get the long-dreaded Kurt Cobain biopic.
News, links, etc:
-The more of you who "like" The Avengers on Facebook, the better the chance that Orlando gets a sneak peak at the film on April 14th. (Facebook)
-I'm really glad Fred Savage found his way back like Danica McKellar did. Thankfully he did it without modeling in his undies for Maxim. (NPR)
-Neil deGrasse Tyson fixes Titanic. But he's the only one who was nerdy enough to know it was broken. (i09)
-Here are the first character posters for Brave. (EW)
-Thinking about a career in animation? Read this blog first, though it doesn't mention Full Sail or SVA, which you should also look into. (Oodles of Doodles)
-Well, this was Linevitable. They're making a documentary on Linsanity. Praise the Lord. Actually, I'm not much of a basketball fan, but I thought The Year of the Yao and Magic and Bird were great, so I'd probably watch it anyway. (LA Times)
-Not a shock, but Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster is running late and will not be at Cannes or Venice. Probably better to get more separation from Ip Man anyway. I finally watch Ip Man 2 on Netflix last night and thought it was a real let down, but only because of the ridiculously awful acting from the foreign devils. (Deadline)
-Blood on the Tracks, the movie? I'm not sold, but I'm not walking away either. (Coming Soon)
-Tarsem Singh's Snow White adaptation, Mirror, Mirror is a little too white male, even with the female cast, neutering of Armie Hammer and the Bollywood dance number that caps it off. (Movieline)
-How did Whitney Huston's performance in the upcoming Sparkle come to get made? (The Daily Beast)
-Greta Gerwig on Damsels in Distress, frat guys and debate club. (Vulture)
-More Greta Gerwig from Vulture. She is this year's Jessica Chastain. She has another summer movie coming out called Lola Versus. Not bad for a girl who was only seen as a picture on a cell phone in her first role (Joe Swanberg's LOL). (Vulture)
-The internet has kind of turned into all Whit Stillman, all the time. Not bad for a guy who couldn't get a movie financed for 10 years because no one outside of The New Yorker readership and Criterion Forums really knew who he was. (AV Club)
-Some pretty well designed updates for Disney Animation posters, the Bambi one especially. (i09)
-I'd never spend a dime in a theater, movie or otherwise, that encouraged Tweeting. Then again, I'm old and finally understand why adults hate kids with such a passion. (Tribeca)
Trailers, posters, etc:
-The trailer for Ted is absolutely hilarious, but I think they showed too much of their hand. I think it could end up played out before the movie comes out, and it also won't reach the right audience unless it opens wide and theaters don't mind kids smoking weed in the parking lot. (Apple)
-The trailer for Lola Versus, starring Greta Gerwig. (Apple)
-Oliver Stone's latest, Savages. With Taylor Kitsch and Blake Lively. Oh boy, it's just our lucky day. (IMDb)
-The trailer for The Exorcist in the 21st Century, a documentary about the only Catholic priest authorized to perform exorcisms in Spain. I suppose you'd need to take this with a grain of salt. (Official Site)
-You can watch Morgan Spurlock's Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope on Amazon Instant for 7 bucks. (Amazon)
Finally, one of my favorite Nirvana songs: