Tag Archives: ParaNorman

The Best – and Worst – Movie Promos of the Week

Best-Movie-Posters-of-2012Just think about how many movies hit theaters this year, and remember that every single one of those films has a poster. Actually, maybe we should multiply that number by five because it’s not uncommon for a wide release to amass an entire set of promotional designs before hitting theaters. The character poster, the minimalist look, the hand-drawn rendering, the epic banners – yes, there are many different routes to go when trying to make a poster pop, but with the onslaught of new designs each week, it’s getting tougher and tougher to stand out. Funny thing is, while the competition is getting complicated, it’s the images that keep it simple and put their film’s story first that are the most successful.

As the author of our Best — and Worst — Movie Promos of the Week column, I’ve seen my fair share of posters over the past 12 months. Here are what I feel are the 10 best of 2012.

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Interview: ParaNorman Director Sam Fell And Writer-Director Chris Butler

It ain’t easy making a stop-motion animated feature. “ParaNorman” clocks in at 96 minutes. The best weeks of production for the “ParaNorman” team resulted in two minutes of footage. You only need to do some really simple math to figure out how big of an undertaking it is to make a stop-motion animation film and you only need to see the final product to know that in the case of “ParaNorman,” the work was well worth it.

On top of having to deal with bullies and typical pre-teen troubles, Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) also talks to the dead and the whole town knows it. Cool, right? Well, maybe if they actually believed he really was talking to the dead and not just out of his mind. When Norman’s Uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) passes away, Norman’s the only one left who can talk to the dead and, therefore, is the only one capable of keeping the witch’s curse at bay.

In honor of the film’s August 17th release, director Sam Fell and writer-director Chris Butler sat down to run through the whole process from the pieces of Butler’s own childhood that influenced the story to the attention to detail that goes into creating even the tiniest prop, the use of 3D printers and more. Check it all out for yourself in the video interview below and be sure to catch “ParaNorman” in theaters this weekend.

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‘ParaNorman’ and ‘The Tall Man’ Lead Our Best and Worst Movie Promos of the Week

I like sports, but I wouldn’t say I was particularly excited to watch the Olympics. However, now that the event is underway, I can’t stop watching! Assuming quite a few of you may be indulging in swimming, gymnastics, beach volley and more, I can’t help but wonder why ParaNorman and Wreck-It Ralph are the only two features seizing the marketing opportunity.

While those two reap the benefits of airing between high-stakes Olympic events, the The Paper Boy and Killing Them Softly try to consume Web-based viewers via Web-based trailers. Both generate a great deal of intrigue courtesy of big name players and riveting visuals, but neither cross the barrier into truly alluring material that leaves you wanting more. Bachelorette and Taken 2 take steps in the right direction; Bachelorette earning more laughs courtesy of red-band privileges and Taken 2 looking less like a desperate attempt at earning a buck by milking a successful concept and suggesting there actually is some room for this story to grow.

The Big Wedding trailer looks like one big, fat star-studded flop while Anna Karenina dazzles with a new featurette showing off its grandiose setting, costumes, characters and more. The worst and best of the week? Close, but not quite. Check out what made the cut below.

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Review: ParaNorman

As a sucker for animated movies and horror films, hopes were high for “ParaNorman.” While the experience was primarily satisfying, those with a pension for horror suspecting this might bear a creep factor similar to “Coraline” beware; “ParaNorman” does boast downright incredible visuals, an engaging plot, charming characters and more, but it’s also quite juvenile.

Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee) isn’t the most popular kid at school. It isn’t because he’s a nerd, isn’t a jock or even because he’s in a lame school club; Norman’s an outcast because he talks to the dead. While many folks pass away and make a B-line to the other side, those with unfinished business, like Norman’s grandmother (Elaine Stritch), hang around.

When Norman starts to have even stranger otherworldly visions, he comes to learn that it’s because the anniversary of the witch’s death is on the horizon. His uncle Prenderghast (John Goodman) tells him that if someone doesn’t go to her grave and read from a particular book, the curse will come true. With the help of his sister Courtney (Anna Kendrick), buddy Neil (Tucker Albrizzi), Neil’s big brother Mitch (Casey Affleck), and Norman’s schoolyard nemesis Alvin (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), Norman sets out to send a group of zombies back to their graves and put an end to this 300 year old curse for good.

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‘ParaNorman’ and Cheesy Sports Stories Lead the Best and Worst Movie Promos of the Week

You know what’s better than a week’s worth of promotional material with three pieces deserving Best Stuff honors? Even more than three that deliver big time.

Sure, there’s some concern that Man of Steel might end up being a typical Zack Snyder production with all mesmerizing visuals and little in the story department, but even if that’s the case it still makes for two impressive trailers. We’ve also got a nice collection of material fromThe Bourne Legacy, with some clips to be exact. While the film is geared towards folks looking for a hefty dose of action, the talk-heavy “Sin Eater” and “Name” clips certainly resonate more than the other snippets we’ve seen thus far. We’ve also got a clip from Step Up Revolution, and in an obvious and appropriate move, the film’s marketing team dishes out one of the film’s prime mass-dance sequences.

Want to ditch the action and dancing in exchange for a laugh? I’m almost embarrassed to admit it, but the potty humor in this restricted clip for The Campaign is actually kind of hilarious. And while this outtake reel for The Watch is more of a montage of scenes from the film than actual outtakes, some of it is worth a watch as Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill and my new favorite, Richard Ayoade, certainly know how to earn an unscripted laugh.

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‘The Master’ and ‘Man of Steel’ Lead Our Best and Worst Movie Promos of the Week

How about some movie clips to lead you into the weekend? Not only did a pair drop for bothThe Bourne Legacy and Total Recall, but we’ve also got scenes from End of Watch and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, too.

Total Recall definitely trumps the lot, delivering two clips that exhibit a strong connection to the 1990 film, but also confirm we are desperately in need of an upgrade. Click here to check out the first clip featuring a futuristic video chat between Bryan Cranston and Kate Beckinsale, and here to see Beckinsale on the hunt for Colin Farrell and Jessica Biel. The pieces from The Bourne Legacy look solid as well, but the motorcycle chase scene andescape from the cops aren’t as effective as they likely are in context.

On the non-summer blockbuster level, we’ve got a little something from the September 28threlease End of Watch highlighting one of the film’s prime assets, the chemistry between Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. We go full horror with a clip from one of this year’s Halloween releases, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. Based on this material, it looks as though we’ll get our fix of those monster-like characters, but the question still remains, will Revelation have a fully realized story to go along with the scares?

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SDCC 2012: ParaNorman Panel Live Blog

Hello from Hall H! I’ve got my granola bars, a bottle of water, some Lifesavers and, most importantly, a seat, so we’re all set for a full day of coverage of some of the hottest TV and film properties San Diego Comic Con has to offer.

We’re kicking things off with the “ParaNorman” panel where stars Kodi Smit-McPhee, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Anna Kendrick are due to take the stage alongside writer-director Chris Butler, director Sam Fell and producer Travis Knight to discuss the Focus Features stop motion animated comedy thriller.

10:47 – Here we go! Dave Karger of Entertainment Weekly takes the stage and introduces a little clip showing off the RealD technology followed by a 3D presentation of the “ParaNorman” trailer.

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