Tag Archive: ParaNorman


Oscars 2013: Best Animated Film

So over the next couple weeks I’ll be predicting some of the bigger categories at this year’s Oscars. From Best Picture to Best Actress, I’ll be taking a stab at this. First up is Best Animated Feature.

This is a very close race this year with the five nominees: “Brave”, “Frankenweenie”, “ParaNorman”, “The Pirates! Band of Misfits” and “Wreck-It Ralph”. Frankly, the only ones I don’t see as serious contenders are Pirates and “ParaNorman”. Pirates

You could make a case for the other three, however. “Brave” won the Golden Globe. And it was close to a return to form for Disney/Pixar after the “Cars 2” debacle. “Wreck-It Ralph” won the Producers Guild of America and the Annies award though, giving that some serious momentum. But don’t count out “Frankenweenie”. It may have underperformed at the box office, but the Oscars love stop-motion (just look at this list of nominees) and they could view this as a way to recognize Tim Burton.

That being said, the Oscars love for stop motion could mean “ParaNorman” could be in for the upset. It’s an outside shot, but the film received great review and did well at the box office. Still, with no major wins, it’s tough to see that winning. And Pirates…I would have much rather seen the stronger “Rise of the Guardians” get into this category.

As for my pick: This is a category I could be very wrong in, but I’m going with “Brave”. Here’s why: Out of the serious contenders, it’s the most original film. I didn’t think it was great, but the presence of a strong female lead probably works in its favor as well. My choice on what should win would be Ralph, but honestly, I think it’s video game subject matter will turn away the older Oscar voters.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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Ok folks, this is probably the last real time I’ll get on my soap box. But, Tom Tykwer’s and the Wachowskis’ fantastic and amazing film “Cloud Atlas” got the short end of the stick. Regardless of if the film worked for you or not, clearly it invoked similar reactions to other films like oh say…”2001: A Space Odyssey” did when it was released…and I think that film has aged pretty well don’t you? That being said it was a foregone conclusion it wasn’t going to get into the Best Picture race, even though it deserved to. But this is all I’m going to say: No nominations…really? Not a single one?

Let me go down the list of films that got nominations: “Mirror, Mirror”, “Snow White and the Huntsman”, “ParaNorman” and “Frankenweenie”and “Ted”. Heck, I loved “The Avengers”, but to think that it deserved a nomination more than “Cloud Atlas”? You’re crazy. Let me ask you something. The films nominated for say Best Makeup: “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”, “Hitchcock” and “Lincoln”. Two of those three films the main makeup job was on one actor. “Cloud Atlas” had men playing women, women playing men actors playing different races to the point where you had an Asian actress playing a hispanic lady, an African American actress playing a white, Jewish woman and lots more. Tell me how that isn’t more impressive than making ONE actor look like another person from the past?

Anyways, there were a lot more snubs than just “Cloud Atlas”. Mainly Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow. All I will say is this, this year’s Oscars frankly…have lost a lot of luster for me.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

 

Now that we’ve all had time to digest the nominations, what was the biggest Oscar snub? This year was quite a head scratcher. Let’s start with Kathryn Bigelow. I haven’t seen ‘Zero Dark Thirty” yet, but by all accounts the film is a great film. And though she just won a Best Director for “The Hurt Locker”, it seems pretty shocking that she didn’t get nominated this year. Out of the directors nominated, I gotta say, Bigelow is a stronger director than a few of them on that list.

An even bigger surprise for me though was “Rise of the Guardians” not getting into the Best Animated Film category. Look, I’d give the award to “Wreck It Ralph”, but for my money, “Rise of the Guardians” was by far better than “Frankenweenie” and “ParaNorman”.

Also, though Christoph Waltz got a nomination, Leonardo DiCaprio for his absolutely evil performance and Quentin Tarantino, heck maybe even Jamie Foxx all got snubbed in acting and director categories as well.

Of course the biggest head scratcher that makes no sense to me is Ben Affleck not getting a Best Director nomination. Are you kidding me? “Argo” received near universal acclaim, was a hit at the box office and the film was by far and away an improvement over his last outing, “The Town”. And yet, not even a nomination? That’s ridiculous. Not to mention “Cloud Atlas” not even getting nominated for Best Makeup. Also, for the second year in a row, only nine films were nominated for Best Picture, leaving out deserving films like “Moonrise Kingdom”.

This year I think the Academy got some things very wrong. What’s your biggest snub?

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Here’s the entire nominee list for the Oscars:

Best Picture
“Argo”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Amour”
“Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”
“Beasts of the Southern Wild”

Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Hugh Jackman – “Les Miserables”
Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
Denzel Washington – “Flight”

Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
Quvenzhané Wallis – “Beasts of Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”

Actor in a Supporting Role
Alan Arkin – “Argo”
Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”
Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”

Actress in a Supporting Role
Amy Adams – “The Master”
Sally Field – “Lincoln”
Anne Hathaway – “Les Miserables”
Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Jackie Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Animated Feature Film
“Brave”
“Frankenweenie”
“ParaNorman”
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Directing
“Amour” – Michael Haneke
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi” – Ang Lee
“Lincoln” – Steven Spielberg
“Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

Writing – Original Screenplay
“Amour” – Michael Haneke
“Django Unchained” – Quentin Tarantino
“Flight” – John Gatins
“Moonrise Kingdom” – Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola
“Zero Dark Thirty” – Mark Boal

Writing – Adapted Screenplay
“Argo” – Chris Terrio
“Beasts of the Southern Wild” – Lucy Alibar & Benh Zeitlin
“Life of Pi” – David Magee
“Lincoln” – Tony Kushner
“Silver Linings Playbook” – David O. Russell

Music – Original Song
“Before My Time” from “Chasing Ice,” music and lyrics by J. Ralph
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” from “Ted,” music by Walter Murphy, lyrics by Seth MacFarlane
“Pi’s Lullaby” from “Life of Pi,” music by Mychael Danna, lyrics by Bombay Jayashri
“Skyfall” from “Skyfall,” music and lyrics by Adele Adkins and Paul Epworth
“Suddenly” from “Les Miserables,” music by Claude-Michel Schönberg, lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer and Alain Boublil

Foreign Language Film
“Amour” (Austria)
“Kon-Tiki” (Norway)
“No” (Chile)
“A Royal Affair” (Denmark)
“War Witch” (Canada)

Cinematography
“Anna Karenina”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall”

Costume Design
“Anna Karenina”
“Les Miserables”
“Lincoln”
“Mirror Mirror”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

Documentary – Feature
“5 Broken Cameras”
“The Gatekeepers”
“How to Survive a Plague”
“The Invisible War”
“Searching for Sugar Man”

Documentary – Short
“Inocente”
“Kings Point”
“Mondays at Racine”
“Open Heart”
“Redemption”

Film Editing
“Argo”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Makeup And Hairstyling
“Hitchcock”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Miserables”

Music – Original Score
“Anna Karenina”
“Argo”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall”

Production Design
“Anna Karenina”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”

Short Film – Animated
“Adam and Dog”
“Fresh Guacamole”
“Head over Heels”
“Maggie Simpson in ‘The Longest Daycare'”
“Paperman”

Short Film – Live Action
“Asad”
“Buzkashi Boys”
“Curfew”
“Death of a Shadow (Dood van een Schaduw)”
“Henry”

Sound Editing
“Argo”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”
“Skyfall”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Sound Mixing
“Argo”
“Les Miserables”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall”

Visual Effects
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
“Life of Pi”
“Marvel’s The Avengers”
“Prometheus”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

My initial thoughts:

I wish they would have nominated 10 films for Best Picture. A film like “Cloud Atlas” or “Moonrise Kingdom” really deserved to get recognized. Looks like Joaquin Phoenix’s little Oscar rant didn’t cost him a nomination after all. Stay tuned here in the coming days for predictions of all the categories!

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

The L.A. Times hosted a fascinating roundtable discussion with Mark Andrews (Brave), Peter Ramsey (Rise of the Guardians), Chris Butler (ParaNorman), Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph),and Genndy Tartakovsky (Hotel Transylvania). The hour long discussion takes a look at this year’s animated films and these are likely to be some, if not all, of the Oscar’s final nominees for Best Animated film. The only notable animated films that didn’t have representation here in person is Pirates! Band of Misfits, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Madagascar 3:Europe’s Most Wanted.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

Liam Neeson takes on an a cappella group and a dead dog brought back to life this weekend. Which new film will do the best?

Neeson returns to the role that kick started his second career as an action star in “Taken 2”. This one, directed by Olivier Megaton doesn’t do much to mess with the formula with another kidnapping and Neeson going on the offensive. That shouldn’t matter to most audiences who just want to see Neeson kick some butt again. That being said, this film will be incredibly front loaded. And, with less than stellar reviews, it won’t have the same legs as the first film either.

Opening weekend: $50-52 million

Total box office gross: $140-145 million

Tim Burton releases his latest film, “Frankenweenie”. But, “Dark Shadows” bombed earlier this year. And, with “Hotel Transylvania” having a huge opening and “ParaNorman” being moderately successful before that, one has to wonder if this film will be on the outside looking in. It should still get families in, but it’s also darker than those other two films and Transylvania should have a strong second weekend.

Opening weekend: $18-20 million

Total box office gross: $45-50 million

Here’s the dark horse. After a strong showing in limited release, “Pitch Perfect”, starring Anna Kendrick, gets a wide release. Conventional wisdom says this film should open in the low to mid teens because many people who wanted to see this film saw it last weekend. But, those people are likely to see it again. And, a strong social media marketing campaign, surprisingly strong reviews and word of mouth means this film could break out. I have a feeling it’s going to open higher than this, maybe in the low $20s, but I’ll stick to conventional wisdom for this.

Opening weekend: $15-17 million

Total box office gross: $60-65 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

Anna Kendrick’s rise in Hollywood has been pretty recent and swift. I will say this though, anyone who saw her in “Up In The Air”, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” or “50/50” knows she is extremely talented. Like, those three films should make her my favorite actress today. Except, I hesitate to say that. Because, her movie choices have been….shall we say suspect.

She had a role in the “Twilight” movies. Regardless of whether you liked the books, can we all just agree they’re subpar movies? Anyways, I probably can’t fault her too much as an up and coming actress looking for a big break. And, Michael Sheen even joined those films so…oh well.

Then she was was in the disappointing “What To Expect When You’re Expecting”, the OK “ParaNorman” and an upcoming role in “Pitch Perfect”. Are you kidding me? This is an actress who can clearly carry her own film and stand toe-to-toe with the likes of George Clooney. Kendrick needs to start choosing roles worthy of her talent. Stop with the teen franchises. Stop with the Glee knockoffs. And please, get back to what made me immediately peg you as one of the best actors out there today. Choose roles that challenge you, that give you depth and show off all that you can do. Kendrick is one of the best actors out there. Now, she just needs more movies that show it.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

 

Three new movies hit theaters. Will these movies shine or fall flat on their faces?

Though “The Bourne Legacy” opened strongly last weekend, it will fall from the top spot to yet another action film. This time, Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li, Jason Statham, Chuck Norris, Jean Claude Van Damme, Arnold, Bruce Willis, Terry Crews and more team up for “Expendables 2”. The first film opened to around $30 million and with even more action stars, you’d think it’d have a much bigger opening. However, I wonder with three straight weekends of new action movies if audiences may get a little fatigued. Still, it should have a strong opening and take the top spot.

Opening weekend: $35-37 million

Total box office gross: $100-105 million

“ParaNorman” the new animated stop motion film featuring the voices Kodi Smit-McPhee, Leslie Mann, Anna Kendrick, John Goodman and Christopher Mintz-Plasse will  be looking to cash in on the same family audiences that made “Brave”, “Ice Age” and “Madagascar 3” such big hits. However, it won’t do nearly as well.

Opening weekend: $18-20 million

Total box office gross: $75-80 million

The final film, “Sparkle” sees Jordin Sparks and the late Whitney Houston team up. There should be some curiosity to see Houston on screen one final time, but, frankly, this film won’t break out.

Opening weekend: $12-14 million

Total box office gross: $35-40 million

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.