Saturday, May 5, 2012
I saw tonight The Avengers, and the movie is not only as terrific as you've probably heard, but it's a triumph! Let's say it: The Avengers is clearly the best Marvel Super-Heroes movie ever done. Not less. And this is due not only to a perfect cast but also, if not mostly, to the brilliant script and direction by Joss Whedon who has obviously understood "everything" to what a Marvel super-heroes movie must be.
The Avengers is a 2h20 min movie but i can assure you that it will be hard to find one minute that you'll like to cut. And this because Joss Whedon is a director "who knows to take its time without losing it", to quote the famous quote of french director François Truffault about John Ford. The action scenes are of course perfect and, again, the cast with a special mention to almost everyone and especially Tom Hiddleston playing Loki, the Asgardian god who come down to steal the Tesseract, a cube of energy of unknown potential, activate it and open a portal to another dimension over Manhattan through which an alien race called the Chitauri come to invade the Earth.
Frankly, if there is one super-hero movie to see this season, it's The Avengers. Hopefully the new Spiderman and the next Batman will be good too, but i'm not sure they will be as enjoyable as The Avengers is.
Last but not least, yes, Stan Lee has his cameo and i will not tell you exactly where he is. But for those of you who always try to don't miss him all i can say is that you'll see him somewhere in the last ten minutes, so you can relax and concentrate on the movie itself the rest of the time. Also, stay during the first part of the end credits as there is a bonus scene coming after it.
I expect the movie to be a tremendous success and there is no doubt that The Avengers box-office will reach easily $1Billion later this month, considering that it already did at the time i type this article $306M outside U.S and $80M this friday, which was its release date in the U.S. Update: The Avengers has set a new opening week-end record with an amazing $200M on its first week-end! So, if you go to see The Avengers this week-end, let us know in the comments what you think about it!
Battleship, directed by Peter Berg is far to be as perfect as The Avengers is, it's the least we can say. The first 45 minutes are so unlikely that i even wondered if i didn't entered the wrong theatre - no kidding. But if you succeed to don't get out of the theatre during these first 45 minutes, then the real movie you came for will begin and the next hour and a half will be okay, specially for those who like alien invasion movies. That said, the film was probably sponsored by the american army as it is really a "Navy at war" movie. The cast is okay - if we except Liam Neeson who is hardly credible in his role of Admiral Shane.
But the one who really surprised me is Rihanna - yep, the singer - who plays the Raikes character. To be perfectly honest when i've watched Battleship i didn't knew that Rihanna was part of the cast - and didn't recognized her during the whole movie. But each time her character was on screen i remember thinking "how good the girl who is playing was". Taylor Kitsch playing Lieutenant Alex Hopper - the main character - does a decent job and Brooklyn Decker - playing his girl friend and daughter of the admiral - brings the sexy touch in Battleship.
In two words, Battleship - released May 18 in the U.S - is supposed to be the Independence Day movie of the season but at the end it's just one more deluxe "B" movie that you will probably forget as quick as you entered the screening room.
Pictures: copyright Disney - Marvel, Battleship Delta Productions, Bluegrass Films
Arjun, The Warrior Prince is the first animated movie coming from India produced and released by Disney. I've said "produced and released" and not "created by Disney" as this 2D animated movie was done by Indian movie studio UTV in which Disney bought some shares early this year.
Arjun is the first name of a man, based on Arjuna, a legendary hero of India who is considered as the greatest archer ever and a central character in famous Hindu epic Mahabharata. Although his story is unknown in western countries you'll understand that Arjun is part of India legendary characters and the movie should be successful in India, and hopefully elsewhere, if Disney released it in other countries.
The animation itself, although not as perfect as in Disney U.S productions, is not bad and i think that this Indian animated studio might be promising for the future. Have a look and keep an eye on their future productions!
Picture and video: copyright Disney - UTV
Thursday, May 3, 2012
This week Disney released a new trailer for the TRON Uprising animated series to be released on Disney XD next month. As Blue Sky Disney said in his post HERE the trailer looks terrific, and you can check this by yourself below.
The good thing is that these animated series indicates that Disney is willing to go on with the TRON license. Sure, a good animated series can help to prepare the audience to a third TRON movie, specially considering that TRON Legacy box office in 2010 was good although less than what Disney had expected ( $400M worldwide including $175M in the U.S for a $170M production budget ) and reviews of TRON Legacy were so-so with 50% of "rotten tomatoes" on the Tomatometer. So, Disney could have decided to stop anything TRON but as we can see they didn't did it. And not only that, but chances are that we'll see a TRON 3 movie in a near future. Sure, if the animated series are popular this will help to launch the TRON 3 production, but there might be another reason for that, and this reason is: Shanghaî Disneyland.
Take a look at the rendering above - not perfectly sharp, i agree, but that's the best we can get so far. It's an excerpt of the new bird's eye view artwork that was presented at the National Committee of U.S - China relations last fall. On the left of the castle you have SDL Tomorrowland. As we know SDL Tomorrowland won't have Space Mountain. Instead WDI will introduce a TRON motor bike coaster as revealed by Screamscape some months ago. And if you look well at the big white building on the very left you'll see that its design looks like a stylized motorbike - what a surprise.
Now, what you must not forget is that chinese audiences are familiar with recent Disney productions but not really with the old classics - that's one of the reason why Hong Kong Disneyland doesn't have the classic DL dark rides like Snow White, Pinnochio or even Peter Pan's Flight. Instead HKDL have the Winnie the Pooh ride as ten years ago Winnie was the most known Disney character in China. Of course chinese know Pixar animated or Pirates of Caribbean movies and TRON Legacy, when released in China in 2010 even did $18M, a remarkable number as it was the third highest of all foreign countries.
Back to SDL: One thing we can be sure of is that Bob Iger wants that Shanghaî Disneyland will be a success from day one, and also that he had a special look on the attractions developed for the park, if not the "final cut". Now that the not-yet-officially-confirmed choice to build a TRON motorbike coaster has been done, Iger probably wants to make sure, too, that the TRON license is not forgotten in China. For us who know the world of TRON since 1982 and consider the original film as a cult movie, it's simple. A TRON ride, if well done, will be a dream come true for most of us and who wouldn't like to jump on a TRON motorbike and race in the amazing world of TRON? But for chinese who didn't discovered TRON 30 years ago but only in 2010, it's different. And, as the success of the Shanghaî Disneyland ride will also depends how much the TRON mythology will be known and popular in China, that's one of the reason why - in my opinion - these animated series will be followed by a third TRON movie anytime soon.
Pictures: copyright Disney
Tokyo Disneyland has announced that TDL 30th Anniversary celebrations will start on April 15, 2013, and that it will be called "The Happiness Year". What's on the menu? A new parade called "The Happiness is Here" and in terms of rides the arrival of Star Tours : the Adventures Continue. Looks exciting, will you be there?
Talking about Tokyo Disney Resort, if you have not download yet on iTunes my great TDS Wallpapers application for iPhone or iPad - see below - it's still time to do it! Click HERE for direct access to the TDS Wallpapers HD iTunes page or READ my article first HERE.
Picture: copyright Disney - Oriental land Company
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
When the Walt Disney studios opened in Paris in 2002, the Cinemagique" attraction was one of the best one, and still is. For those of you who have never seen it, the attraction is a tribute to cinema history, and it's done in a brilliant way. Actually it's one of my favorite attraction at the WDS and one who come to visit the park must not miss it!. Here is the story line: The movie begin by a black and white 1920's sequence until somebody inside the audience is magically transport inside the movie - just like in Woody Allen's Purple rose of Cairo. Then, the man goes from one famous movie sequence to another - digitally include in the original shots, and funny and emotional things happen between him, the characters of the original sequences and a girl. That's very basically how the attraction goes.
Now, some weeks ago, i was reading an article on the very good Cartoon Brew web site, talking about something called "Balloon movies" done by a mysterious director...just to discover that what they were talking about was one of the first and abandoned concept for the Cinemagique attraction!
In this other concept, we always had the famous movie sequences, but a facetious balloon - digitally included in the original shots with After Effects - was going from a sequence to another.
Not only it's perfectly done, but also funny or poetic. Here is what the director said in his own words about it:
“The main through line was a romance between a guy in the audience and a woman in the movie. The “every man” goes into the movie (right through the screen) and meets a beautiful woman there. There is a spark of romance. He is then chased by villains out of her movie and stumbles through many other classic films, lost and alone. The woman leaves her movie to go on a quest to find him.
“So — now you’re probably wondering where the balloon shots come in. Well they don’t. Not in the final show. However, just before we committed to film the project, we decided to go through a kind of wild card period. Float some totally different ideas. I thought it might be fun to do a nod to “The Red Balloon”. I did a few of these balloon shots at home and took them into the studio. Everybody enjoyed them. So we explored a possible version centered on that idea. I did more and more shots, took them in, hunkered down with the editor and stitched together a draft. We all got a kick out of it, but utimately decided that we missed the romantic comedy of Plan A. So after the diversion, we returned to our original course.
“So I had all these shots at home that I’d done on spec. I figured that since I did them and they contain no material from the studio, and I don’t reference the context we used when toying with them, they’re safe to post.”Please note that he didn't say that it was in relation with "Cinemagique" , I did.
Of course you certainly would like to see how it looks, so, as the embedded is disabled, jump on youtube HERE and HERE to watch the two videos where you will see the 18 different sequences , all together, plus a new one on "Lord of the Rings".
And remember to look for the arrival of the balloon!
Here are the name of the famous movies that you'll see in these videos:
The Wizard of Oz
Singing in the rain
Buthch Cassidy and the Sundance kid
Once upon a time in the west
North by northwest
The Empire strikes back
Gentlemen prefer blondes
Lord of the Rings
Picture: copyright Disney
Tuesday, May 1, 2012
That's it, we will receive from the printer all copies of the Disneyland Paris book in a few days and starting early next week we will ship all pre-orders and the book will be available for immediate shipping! And to celebrate this, I've created a new site all dedicated to the Disneyland Paris book. It's the official web site of Neverland Editions, the company who is publishing the book and you will find there the same infos that you found before on Disney and more. The site looks quite like D&M, so you will feel at home! The url is: http://neverlandeditions.blogspot.com/ and if you forget the link in the future, come back on D&M as the book links on the top of the right column are now directly linking to the new site.
The book is always available in both english or french edition, and to make things even more simple for those of you who want to order the book there is now a "one click purchase" Paypal button available! And if you're really hurry and don't need to go through the Neverland Editions site you even have the Paypal button on the right, here, near the top of the right column - or right below.
As we know, a good news never come alone, and i am pleased to tell you that we have found a great packaging to ship the book and make sure that it will arrive in perfect condition - hey, isn't that the most important? So, not only the book will be rolled in four feet of BulPack ( plastic bubble ) but then we will put it in the same kind of box than the one that you can see below ( except that the box will be brown and not white ) with plenty of specially designed anti-shock foam inside. With the foam and rolled in the plastic bubble, and the cardboard box itself, the book should arrive in perfect condition. ( Note: the picture below coming from the seller site shows another item inside the box, not the DLP book ).
The special price on the book at 100 euros is still going on, whether it's a french or english edition and the shipping is 15 euros only whether you live in France or any other country on the planet!
All Paypal payments - if you don't use the Paypal button - must be sent to the publisher email address: firstname.lastname@example.org If you can't pay with Paypal, bank wire transfer are possible.
If you didn't order the book yet, this 20th anniversary year is the perfect time to do it, and i can guarantee you that you will LOVE, literally, this book!
Thanks again to all of you who pre-ordered the book for your trust and patience, this republishing wouldn't have been possible without you!
Picture: copyright Disney
Monday, April 30, 2012
After a Universal Studios in Japan and one in Singapore - and probably one in South Korea - it seems that a new Universal Studios park will come in Moscow with works expected to start in 2014 and an opening date scheduled (for now) in 2018. And it's not apparently a rumor as Universal has confirmed the project. Like they did in Singapore it will be probably a licensed park, i.e that Universal won't rule the park directly but that's not the problem. And because it will be built in Moscow the whole park would be an "indoor" theme park, which, considering Moscow's winter temperatures might be a good idea.
The whole project will be located in the south of Moscow and is in fact called Galactic Park. It will include much more than the Universal Studios as an aquatic park is also planned as well as an area for sports activities, shows, a musical theatre, a cinema, exhibition halls, restaurants and a shopping centre. In addition to that are also planned two hotels, a congress hall and a huge parking space. The project leaders said that the project will cost 2.8 billion US dollars with the theme park alone costing $500 million. It’s the first Universal Studios park which will be built indoor, in a closed space.
According to minyanville.com: "Experts, however, say that the real cost of construction will actually be $11 billion, as the transport infrastructure around the proposed 22 hectare site in south Moscow requires a massive upgrade. Universal doesn’t have to worry though as the universal is reportedly not putting any of its money into the project."
"The man behind the project, Gutsiriev, is a big fan of theme parks and in 2010, at the same time he launched discussions with Universal, Gutsiriev also entered talks with Disney to set up a Russian Disneyland, which ultimately did not materialize. It’s not surprising that Disney declined Gutsiriev’s offer as Moscow is a tricky market. Though it is the most populous city in Europe with 10 million people, it is also 1,500 miles away from Western Europe. Paris has a smaller population, but the Disneyland there can draw on the tens of millions more Europeans from nearby cities and countries.
And among the 10 million people, it’s likely that a majority will be unable to afford the entrance fees. After all, Russia is ranked 70th in terms of GDP per capita, according to the CIA World Factbook. Accounting for the low median spending power of Russians, Galactic Park plans to charge an admission fee of about $34, which would be the lowest in the world. Universal’s parks in Orlando and Singapore charge $85 and $54 respectively.
Universal’s entry into Moscow reflects the growing significance of Russia and other emerging markets to Hollywood’s balance sheet. In 2011, the burgeoning Russian box office grew by 20% from 2010 and topped $1 billion for the time ever."
Here is a video from russian TV about the project.
A press conference happened three weeks ago and Michael Silver, president of global business development at Universal Parks & Resorts declared: "Russia is an important and attractive market, and we see tremendous potential for the development of theme park entertainment. Entertainment is an international language, and we will provide the same thrills, excitement and unique family adventure that Universal theme parks create around the world." The Universal Studios Company is not yet ready to disclose and discuss details of the planned theme park, water park, or individual rides and shows".
For those who like proofs this statement from Michael Silver is a good one to prove that it's not one more rumor. That said, what kind of ride will we find at Universal Moscow. Although it's probably a bit too early to say, if we look at the rendering on the top of this article you can see clearly an Egyptian pyramid which would mean that The Mummy ride will be include in the park. In the background we can also see what looks like a raft ride - probably another Jurassic Park river adventure.
Anyway, i think that it's a smart move again from Universal, especially if they just take a license and don't finance the park and little by little they are the first to enter territories in which Disney is not there yet. Just like you i suppose i'm curious to see if it will be finally built or not!
Pictures: copyright Universal Studios, Galactic Park project
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Pixar has relesaed a new clip from the upcoming Brave movie, and this one is called Eyes on the Pies and introduce a bit more Merida's mischievous triplet brothers. Have a look, as well as to the new high-res pictures below and above!
Pictures and video: copyright Pixar
Those of you who like behind the scenes should like these two documentaries, both showing what's happening in DLP backstage. The first one is in english and was released by Channel 5 and will show you more of the making of DLP Disney dreams show as the 20th Ann Parade. Not bad at all.
The second one called "The Craftsmen of the Dream" released by french channel France 3 is all in french and part of the shots were seen in Mireille Dumas show that i've posted some weeks ago. That said, even if you don't understand french don't miss the POTC backstage sequence - which i think was not in Dumas show - at 3.30 min where you'll see DLP technicians literally undressing one of the pirates Audio-animatronics to check inside of it what's going wrong. Another AAs sequence can be seen around 16.50 min and at 22.45 min another sequence will show you the restoration of the Captain Hook ship in Adventureland.
If you wish to celebrate too Disneyland Paris beauty i remind you that the Disneyland Paris book is always available in its collector edition and that there is even a special offer on it running all this month! And, good news, we expect to receive the printer shipment and ship all copies anytime soon so you won't have to wait too long before your copy will be shipped! Place your order now for a collector's edition copy while you can get the special offer on this wonderful book! To know how to order and send your payment please go on the DLP book page HERE.
Videos: copyright Channel 5, France 3