Digging for the Deeper Meaning in Disney Movies

Ever since Walt Disney began turning out feature-length animated films, scholars, theologians and journalists have plumbed the depths of the simple morality tales for deeper religious meanings and messages.

Was Snow White’s eating of the poison apple an allusion to the Fall in the Garden of Eden? When the puppet maker Geppetto was swallowed by a whale, was that a veiled reference to Jonah in Hebrew Scriptures? Were Jiminy Cricket’s initials in “Pinocchio” a hidden reference to Jesus Christ?

While we’re at it, have the Disney films morphed under the corporate leadership of Michael Eisner from an early reflection of Judeo-Christian religious sensibilities during Disney’s life to embrace a wider pantheon of non-Western and pagan beliefs and gods? How do the stories accommodate changing cultural perceptions about race, sexual orientation and gender roles?

There has been no end of fascination with what some have called the Gospel According to Walt, and it’s little wonder. The Disney gospel is among a child’s earliest tutors, offering insights into acceptable human behavior and relationships through the dilemmas, triumphs and failures of its cartoon characters.

15 Interesting Facts About The Daniel Craig Bond Films

daniel_craig_mainJames Bond is undeniably one of cinema’s most famous characters. His adventures have now spanned 24 movies and over half a century, making his saga one of the longest and most profitable in all of film. Nowhere has that success been more apparent than in recent years.

The Daniel Craig era, specifically, has breathed to life into the franchise. Introducing 007 as a gritty agent in a realistic world of espionage, the newest films have let go of the ridiculous gadgets and instead clung to believable action scenes. The results have been a string of massive blockbusters, each one’s production bigger than the last.

Of course, since these films are so popular, much of their production has long been public knowledge. Even to the average filmgoer, the goings-on behind the scenes of a Bond film are hardly too surprising. Thanks to websites reporting on every aspect of these movies, details like alternate scenes or potential casting choices almost never go unnoticed.

With his newest film Spectre just now hitting theatres, there’s never been a better time to look back at the Daniel Craig

4 Things To Take Into Consideration When Watching 3D Movies

blog15A gimmick to some, the future to others. Whatever you might think about 3D movies there’s no denying that in today’s film industry they’re important both as a gimmick and as a way to introduce the audience in the story (take Coraline, for example). However there’s no denying that while the 3D works pretty well for some movies, sometimes it just ruins the experience.

Despite the advances in current technology when it comes to filming in 3D or with those infamous 3D conversions sometimes some movies’ 3D works better than others. That’s why people still have some doubts about whether or not they should go to the theatre and spend more money on a movie that could be much better without the 3D.

However there are a few factors that play a big role when you’re watching a 3D movie that affect whether or not this will be an awesome experience or an incredible failure. So if you want to know the best way to decide whether or not you should see a movie in 3D, please take into consideration some of these tips…

4. The Time

A treasure trove of silent American movies found in Amsterdam

Long-missing comedy shorts such as 1927’s “Mickey’s Circus,” featuring a 6-year-old Mickey Rooney in his first starring role, 1917’s “Neptune’s Naughty Daughter”; 1925’s “Fifty Million Years Ago,” an animated introduction to the theory of evolution; and a 1924 industrial short, “The Last Word in Chickens,” are among the American silent films recently found at the EYE Filmmusem in Amsterdam.

EYE and the San Francisco-based National Film Preservation Foundation have partnered to repatriate and preserve these films — the majority either don’t exist in the U.S. or only in inferior prints.

The announcement was to be made Sunday in Amsterdam at EYE Museum with a public screening of the first film saved from the project “Koko’s Queen,” a 1926  “Out of the Inkwell” cartoon, which had been available in the U.S. only in substandard video copies.

Annette Melville, director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, said EYE came to them after learning of NFPF’s partnership four years ago with the New Zealand Film Archive, which repatriated nitrate prints of nearly 200 silent U.S. films, including a missing 1927 John Ford comedy, “Upstream.” The following year, the NFPF and the New Zealand archive also identified the 30-minute portion of the 1923 British film “The White

Hollywood action movies Could they be any worse

A few nights ago, I finally caught up with watching the most recent Tweedledee and Tweedledum of action movies – “White House Down” and “Olympus Has Fallen.”

“White House Down,” with Channing Tatum in the lead role, was one of the flubs that drove a big revenue decline at Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2013 – losses that contributed to last month’s layoff of 216 employees at the studio’s Culver City headquarters. “Olympus Has Fallen,” starring Gerard Butler, was made for less money and did pretty well selling tickets. The contrast in box office performance, though, is one of the few things that sets the two movies apart.

During production, it was common knowledge that two cinematic versions of an attack on the White House were in the works and, since their release, many people have noted the remarkable similarities between them. If a viewer did not know they were made at the same time, it would be easy to think one was a remake of the other.

 

Tatum plays a cop who is rejected as a candidate for Secret Service agent’s position in the White House. Butler plays a Secret Service agent who has been banished from the White House

Five unconventional movie adaptations from William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare, whose 450th birthday is being celebrated around the world Wednesday, never seems to go out of vogue for movie directors eager to put their own spin on his classic texts.

Most of Shakespeare’s plays have been adapted for the big screen multiple times over, ranging from faithful (Laurence Olivier’s “Hamlet”) to wildly unconventional (Baz Luhrmann’s “Romeo + Juliet”). Because Shakespeare’s plays exist in the public domain, adapting them for the movies is an economical way of co-opting some literary prestige.

In the past 20 years or so, the unconventional appears to have outnumbered the faithful. Ian McKellen’s “Richard III” took place in a Third Reich-style regime; Julie Taymor set “Titus Andronicus” in a postmodern mashup of ancient Rome and present day; and Kenneth Branagh adapted “Love’s Labour’s Lost” as an old-Hollywood-style musical.

Here are five more unconventional Shakespeare adaptations committed to the big screen, their creative liberties often taking precedence over the Bard’s text.

“Much Ado About Nothing”: Joss Whedon’s low-budget 2012 adaptation of this Shakespearean comedy updated the action to the present day and locations around Santa Monica. The script retained much of the original dialogue, with the cast speaking in verse while wearing contemporary clothes. Shot in