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David Lindsay-Abaire Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

David Lindsay-Abaire Archives - ShowBizCafe.com

Jack Rico

By

2013/03/12 at 12:00am

Rise of the Guardians

03.12.2013 | By |

 

Though it wasn’t even nominated in the Best Animated Feature category at the 2013 Oscars, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ in 3D is the gem of the 2012 animated movies. Its simpatico characters, wondrous-action-packed universe and crisp-immersive 3D, make this a fun and overwhelming joy to watch with adults, teens and young children, not kindergarden kids, making that clear. 

 

The story is very similar to the Avengers – a group of the most powerful childhood legends, called The Guardians (Jack Frost, Santa Claus, The Easter Rabbit, Tooth Fairy and Sandman), assemble to put an end to The Bogeyman, a villain that has attained ultimate darkness and whose mission is to erase the Guardians from existence by robbing children of their hopes and dreams. Jack Frost, a reluctant new recruit who’d rather enjoy a snow day than save the world is who the film revolves around.

 

‘Rise of the Guardians’ is an epic animation with loads of adventure, touching moments, humor, and some twists to keep you sharp. The voice actors, formed by Alec Baldwin (Santa Claus), Hugh Jackman (Easter Bunny), Chris Pine (Jack Frost), Isla Fisher (Tooth fairy) and Jude Law (Bogeyman), do a commendable job. The best voice actors are those whose voice changes enough to not discern who they are immediately. Law doesn’t quite live up to those standards, yet his is a pleasing and soothing voice worth listening to. The rest of the cast provide are enjoyable vocal performances and don’t overshadow the visuals. 

 

Speaking of visuals, this film is a 3D spectacle. I am not a technical graphics animator, but I can recognize when my eyes and mind have a psychogenic orgasm. I remember seeing ‘Avatar’ and not feeling as wowed by the 3D as James Cameron had promised, but here, for the first time in my life I felt I was actually inside a movie. The skin texture of the characters, the universe where they reside in, the color richness, lighting, and cinematography were just sublime. Perhaps the greatest cinematographer Hollywood has is Roger Deakins and he served as the visual consultant to the production in selecting and composing the shots that would best be suited to 3D. The 3D technology used here is called “Tru 3D” – it’s a standard in all DreamWorks Animation films – and is utilized here in an organic way that was integral to the story, not as a stunt or an afterthought. As a result, the movie has a sense of wonder and magic, not to mention a lustrous feel to it all. The best moments to appreciate the 3D are during Jack Frost’s scenes. The snowflakes falling from the sky feel like they’re falling inside the theater and the characters close-ups look like they’ve popped out of the screen. Just wonderful.

 

Worthy to mention, award-winning, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who collaborated with DreamWorks Animation as a creative consultant on “Megamind” and was an executive producer on “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Puss in Boots,” returns as an executive producer for the movie. 

 

Overall, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is an ambitious, visually stunning and sophisticated animation that has a wonderful message at its core – a quest to never stop believing in goodness. If there is one family movie to see this year it’s this movie… and in 3D

 

Karen Posada

By

2013/03/07 at 12:00am

Oz the Great and Powerful

03.7.2013 | By |

Oz the Great and Powerful

At the end of the summer 1939 audiences experienced ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ a film that became an instant classic that has been watched for generations and came from L. Frank Baum’s books. Seventy-four years later comes the prequel ‘Oz the Great and Powerful’, which tells the story of how the wizard came to be. I think most people would agree with me that the biggest fear of touching a classic is of ruining or shaming it, well fear no more! In our interview director Sam Raimi assured me that you can’t ruin a classic and I’m happy to say he carefully crafted a film that can be proud to be a prequel of such a renown movie and can maybe even become a classic itself starting with this generation, because it used all the great elements of its predecessor and extenuated some more. 

 

This prequel follows young Oscar better known as the magician (later on Wizard) Oz (James Franco) at the beginning of his struggling career as a trickster, by chance he’s taken to the magical Land of Oz where he meets three witches: Theodora (Mila Kunis), her sister Evanora (Rachel Weisz) and Glinda (Michelle Williams). Here with the help of an assistant monkey, Finley (Zach Braff) and an adorable China Girl (Joey King) Oz gets a chance to transform himself and become a better man by helping the people in this land.

 

The film does an enchanting contrast beginning with black and white in a more real setting and changing to bright colors once we reach the Land of Oz, something it took from its predecessor and it is truly magical. The 3D effects are sure to captivate the audience, adults will fall in love with Oz all over again and children will want to visit this Land more than once. One of the smartest moves is that the movie uses ingredients from the previous film such as the hot air balloon, traveling companions, the yellow brick road and many more, which set a familiarity. The script incorporated well what we know of the Land of Oz as well as new additions; it has a lot of substance and likability. Admittedly the movie really reaches its PG audience at some point and here it might get a bit childish, but hey it is a PG movie after all. The film has its flaws in that some parts feel rushed, while others prolong more than necessary and there are some smalls gaps, but that’s easy to overlook thanks to everything else it offers, including nods to the original.

 

Franco’s character is so layered and he easily goes from being a trickster, to being a decent human with ease; in my opinion he filled in the shoes well. Williams is so sweet you might get a toothache just from looking at her, that’s her character’s intent, which means she did a good job. Weisz has a great mysterious atmosphere although her performance is a little too over the top at times, but nonetheless she’s a good representation of a typical Disney character. Kunis beauty really stands out here with her innocence but that dies off once she begins to throw tantrums, which are exaggerated a bit, but her high pitch voice (á la Meg Griffin) goes along with her character development. My favorite character is Finley the flying monkey, he’s delightfully hilarious and has so much heart that he sets a tone in every scene and steals each and everyone of them. The China Girl is so pretty and cute, we are all going to want to buy one!

 

Honestly I didn’t think they were going to be able to pull it off and they completely surprised me and left me speechless because they did it! Thanks to an amazing cast, director and team this movie went beyond my expectations. There are some parts that might be scary to younger kids, so keep them close to you. As a side note if you’ve never seen ‘The Wizard of Oz’, this movie is capable of standing alone; although you might miss what some of the nods represent you can enjoy the story with ease. Even the introduction to the film in the circus setting is beautiful in 3D and the film in its entirety with its colorful gorgeous atmosphere is bewitching. Exploring the Land of Oz and walking down the yellow brick road to Emerald City once more is bound to take you back to your childhood and you’ll be happy to share this story of love and friendship with your children.

Jack Rico

By

2012/11/23 at 12:00am

Rise of the Guardians (Movie Review)

11.23.2012 | By |

If you pay money to see ‘Rise of the Guardians’ in 3D, you most likely will be watching the film that will win the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year (Disney’s ‘Wreck-it-Ralph’ is a very close second). It’s simpatico characters, wondrous-action-packed universe and crisp-immersive 3D, make this a fun and overwhelming joy to watch with adults, teens and young children, not kindergarden kids.

The story is very similar to the Avengers – a group of the most powerful childhood legends, called The Guardians (Jack Frost, Santa Claus, The Easter Rabbit, Tooth Fairy and Sandman), assemble to put an end to The Bogeyman, a villain that has attained ultimate darkness and whose mission is to erase the Guardians from existence by robbing children of their hopes and dreams. Jack Frost, a reluctant new recruit who’d rather enjoy a snow day than save the world is who the film revolves around.

‘Rise of the Guardians’ is an epic animation with loads of adventure, touching moments, humor, and some twists to keep you sharp. The voice actors, formed by Alec Baldwin (Santa Claus), Hugh Jackman (Easter Bunny), Chris Pine (Jack Frost), Isla Fisher (Tooth fairy) and Jude Law (Bogeyman), do a commendable job. The best voice actors are those whose voice changes enough to not discern who they are immediately. Law doesn’t quite live up to those standards, yet his is a pleasing and soothing voice worth listening to. The rest of the cast provide are enjoyable vocal performances and don’t overshadow the visuals. 

Speaking of visuals, this film is a 3D spectacle. I am not a technical graphics animator, but I can recognize when my eyes and mind have a psychogenic orgasm. I remember seeing ‘Avatar’ and not feeling as wowed by the 3D as James Cameron had promised, but here, for the first time in my life I felt I was actually inside a movie. The skin texture of the characters, the universe where they reside in, the color richness, lighting, and cinematography were just sublime. Perhaps the greatest cinematographer Hollywood has is Roger Deakins and he served as the visual consultant to the production in selecting and composing the shots that would best be suited to 3D. The 3D technology used here is called “Tru 3D” – it’s a standard in all DreamWorks Animation films – and is utilized here in an organic way that was integral to the story, not as a stunt or an afterthought. As a result, the movie has a sense of wonder and magic, not to mention a lustrous feel to it all. The best moments to appreciate the 3D are during Jack Frost’s scenes. The snowflakes falling from the sky feel like they’re falling inside the theater and the characters close-ups look like they’ve popped out of the screen. Just wonderful.

Worthy to mention, award-winning, Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who collaborated with DreamWorks Animation as a creative consultant on “Megamind” and was an executive producer on “Kung Fu Panda 2” and “Puss in Boots,” returns as an executive producer for the movie. 

Overall, ‘Rise of the Guardians’ is an ambitious, visually stunning and sophisticated animation that has a wonderful message at its core – a quest to never stop believing in goodness. If there is one family movie to see this year it’s this movie… and in 3D

Jack Rico

By

2009/06/22 at 12:00am

Inkheart

06.22.2009 | By |

Rating: 2.0

Rated: PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language.
Release Date: 2009-01-23
Starring: David Lindsay-Abaire
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country:UK, Germany, USA
Official Website: http://www.inkheartmovie.com/

 Go to our film page

Brendan Fraser’s new family adventure film ‘Inkheart’ has no heart at all, just ink on 120 pages of a script. The concept and premise are alluring, but it never delivers more than a basic and elemental movie experience. Instead of engaging the senses, the film only provides apathy. In addition, the film targets infant and juvenile audiences, but makes no excuses in its exclusion of adults. Parents beware, you are going to have a hard time maintaining any interest after the first 15 minutes.

The story focuses on a young girl (Eliza Hope Bennett) who discovers that her father (Brendan Fraser) has an amazing talent to bring literature characters to life and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt (Helen Mirren), and a storybook’s hero (Paul Bettany).

The acting is neither uproarious nor dreadful, just bland. Fraser gives you the ol’ nice guy acting he consistently does well, young newcomer Bennett shows potential and Mirren and Bettany are too good for the film – and it is noticeable.

The demise of ‘Inkheart’ comes at the misuse of its premise, the director Iain Softley could have trounced us with creativity, it also manipulated the laws of storytelling to suit the story’s shortcomings and the it had the inconsistencies of a stale and uninspired script.

It’s interesting to note, the movie’s message is to have us indulge in the journey of our imagination, but all it achieves is to be lifeless and forgettable.

Jack Rico

By

2009/01/20 at 12:00am

Inkheart

01.20.2009 | By |

Rated: PG for fantasy adventure action, some scary moments and brief language.
Release Date: 2009-01-23
Starring: David Lindsay-Abaire
Director(s):
Distributor:
Film Genre:
Country: UK, Germany, USA
Official Website: http://www.inkheartmovie.com/

Go to our film page

Inkheart

Brendan Fraser’s new family adventure film ‘Inkheart’ has no heart at all, just ink on 120 pages of a script. The concept and premise are alluring, but it never delivers more than a basic and elemental movie experience. Instead of engaging the senses, the film only provides apathy. In addition, the film targets infant and juvenile audiences, but makes no excuses in its exclusion of adults. Parents beware, you are going to have a hard time maintaining any interest after the first 15 minutes.

The story focuses on a young girl (Eliza Hope Bennett) who discovers that her father (Brendan Fraser) has an amazing talent to bring literature characters to life and must try to stop a freed villain from destroying them all, with the help of her father, her aunt (Helen Mirren), and a storybook’s hero (Paul Bettany).

The acting is neither uproarious nor dreadful, just bland. Fraser gives you the ol’ nice guy acting he consistently does well, young newcomer Bennett shows potential and Mirren and Bettany are too good for the film – and it is noticeable.

The demise of ‘Inkheart’ comes at the misuse of its premise, the director Iain Softley could have trounced us with creativity, it also manipulated the laws of storytelling to suit the story’s shortcomings and the it had the inconsistencies of a stale and uninspired script.

It’s interesting to note, the movie’s message is to have us indulge in the journey of our imagination, but all it achieves is to be lifeless and forgettable.

Mack Chico

By

2008/10/31 at 12:00am

"Spidey 4" has a new screenwriter

10.31.2008 | By |

"Spidey 4" has a new screenwriter

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire got out of a rabbit hole, only to be ensnared by a spider’s web.

Lindsay-Abaire, who won a Pulitzer in 2007 for his drama “Rabbit Hole,” is in final negotiations to write “Spider-Man 4” for Columbia.

Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire are back as director and star, respectively. Kirsten Dunst also is expected to return for the latest movie featuring the Marvel Comics character.

Plot details are under lock and key. Producer Laura Ziskin had said she would like to aim for a May 2011 release for “Spider-Man 4,” nine years after the original movie’s debut.

Columbia always has gone off the beaten path during the development process when hiring writers for the “Spider-Man” movies. Alvin Sargent, a veteran scribe best known for 1973’s “Paper Moon” and 1980’s “Ordinary People,” served as a writer on the second and third films. Michael Chabon, another Pulitzer winner, also worked on “Spider-Man 2.”

James Vanderbilt previously wrote a draft of “Spider-Man 4.”

Lindsay-Abaire’s “Rabbit Hole,” which starred Cynthia Nixon and Tyne Daly, hit the Broadway stage in 2006 and won four Tonys, including best play. The writer also is known for the play “Fuddy Meers.”

Lindsay-Abaire has said in interviews that his plays tend to be “peopled with outsiders in search of clarity,” which would put his work on sympathetic terms with Peter Parker, who in his classic incarnation is the perpetual outsider.

The choice of scribe also signals that that filmmakers are intent to focus on character, something that critics said got lost in the third installment.

Lindsay-Abaire, now writing the book and lyrics for the Broadway musical adaptation of “Shrek,” has dipped his toe in Tinseltown before, with his adaptation of “Inkheart” due in January. He is also adapting “Rabbit” for 20th Century Fox and Nicole Kidman.

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