Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Midway Movie Mania

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

What a surprise! With no prior announcement, Disney California Adventure today held a preview of a new limited-time attraction — an overlay of Toy Story Midway Mania featuring Marvel theatrical films!

Marvel Midway Mania

Guests boarded the attraction vehicles as usual, but instead of playing the usual game they were whisked away for a private showing of a popular Marvel feature film in glorious, high-quality 3D!

Given that this is an entirely new concept for the park, there were both positive and negative aspects of the attraction.


  • You get to see four full-length Marvel films (after the first finishes, you are whisked to a different screen to see another).
  • Films are randomly chosen, so it’s a big surprise!
  • Some films let you use the attraction vehicle’s gun to, for example, shoot cream pies at the Red Skull!
  • Free (virtual) popcorn!


  • Because the movies are randomly chosen, if you have bad luck, you might end up seeing films in the wrong order (e.g., Iron Man 3 before Iron Man 2) or the same movie more than once (e.g., The Hulk four times in a row).
  • It’s rather a long time to go without access for a restroom.
  • Lines for the attraction were lengthy (estimated weight times were generally in the 45 to 60 hour range).

The Avengers official synopsis

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Today, Disney released the official synopsis of the upcoming The Avengers film. We reproduce it here so you don’t have to spend a lot of time Googling for the real thing:

Disney’s Marvel Studios presents The Avengers: Age of Ultron Featuring The Avengers, the herotacular sequel to the most thoroughly marketed action movie ever! When Tony “The Incredibly Profitable Iron Man” Stark tries to restart a long forgotten earth-destroying robot that looks interesting, things go haywire and The Avengers (including Iron Man, Capt. America, Winter “Bucky” Soldier, The Falcon, Thor, The Hulk, She-Hulk, Red Hulk, Red She Hulk, Black Widow, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, Wonder Man, Prince Namor, War Machine, Moon Knight, the late Jack of Hearts, Luke Cage, Dr. Strange, and Ant-Man/Giant-Man/Goliath/Yellowjacket) leap into action without spending a lot of time on boring back stories. When the horrifying Ultron (a distant cousin of Destroyer from Thor) shows up, The Avengers start destroying buildings like there’s no tomorrow, even before they’ve all learned each others’ names!

Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Featuring The Avengers stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, and Mark Ruffalo. Also appearing on film but less importantly so are Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Samuel Mother****ing Jackson, and Cobie Smulders. James Spader wrapped in tin foil and CGI plays Ultron, and the film introduces two new heroes: Elizabeth Olsen as Only Incidentally The Scarlet Witch and Aaron Taylor-Johnson as Not Quicksilver For Legal Purposes. Paul Bettany reprises his role as Tony Stark’s House, but finds himself upgraded to Tony Stark’s Android Friend.

Written, directed, and inspired by the imagination of Joss Whedon, the film could not have been completed without the invaluable assistance of many other people who are far too not-Joss-Whedon to mention. Get set for a month of returning to the theaters repeatedly so that pundits don’t freak out and declare the whole thing a failure if the movie makes less than half a billion dollars when The Avengers return in Marvel’s The Avengers: Age of Ultron Featuring The Avengers in 2015.

(True Marvel fans will want to wait until after the credits when, in a hint of things to come, Black Panther arm wrestles Ka-Zar!)

This post was viciously copied semi-word-for-word from the fabulous Planet Lilo website.

Awesome Mix-up Vol. 1

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Earth music from the 1970s plays an important part in Guardians of the Galaxy. Throughout the film, Star-Lord (not his real name) plays music from a cassette tape given to him by his mother, titled “Awesome Mix Vol. 1.” (To be clear, this is the title of the tape, not Star-Lord’s mother.)

As a tie-in with the movie, Disney released a CD version of Awesome Mix Vol. 1, so that fans of the movie could recreate the experience of dancing to classic popular music while their girlfriends look at them like they’ve lost their mind. Unfortunately, the CD includes the Jackson 5 track “I Want You Back,” causing an uproar among fans.

A person with a rash from sitting too long at the computer and too much time on his hands explains:

In the film, which surely must serve as cannon for this issue, the Jackson 5 song “I Want You Back” is clearly seen as being part of Awesome Mix Vol. 2, not Vol. 1. It makes no logical sense for the mother of Peter Quill (his real name) to have put the song on both tapes, even if she really liked it, even though she had cancer. Also, did you notice that Quill’s mother was also in Captain America? That’s part of a whole sub plot that’s really obvious so I’m sure you don’t need me to go into details, but I will if you really need me to.

For the record, the official Awesome Mix Vol. 1 track listing is as follows:

  1. I Don’t Like Mondays (Boomtown Rats)
  2. In the Navy (Village People)
  3. You’re the One That I Want (Travolta/Newton-John)
  4. Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas)
  5. School’s Out (Alice Cooper)
  6. Sugar, Sugar (The Archies)
  7. It’s a Sunshine Day (The Brady Bunch)
  8. Cold as Ice (Foreigner)
  9. I’m Alive (Electric Light Orchestra)
  10. Funky Town (Lipp’s Inc.)
  11. The Night Chicago Died (Paper Lace)
  12. Disco Inferno (The Trammps)
  13. The Hustle (Van McCoy)
  14. The Loco-Motion (Grand Funk Railroad)

Special Guardians screening

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Over the weekend, Disney held a special private screening of their new hit film Guardians of the Galaxy in the London Zoo’s raccoon habitat. Said an unlikely representative of the film’s producer Kevin Feige:

We did most of our filming in London, and we thought it only right that we screen the film for the wonderful, intelligent rodents who inspired one of the film’s standout characters, Rocket Raccoon.

For security and anti-piracy reasons, no humans were invited to either this screening or to a second private screening held in California for a stand of ancient redwoods.

A third screening was held for one of Rocket’s creator, Bill Mantlo, who is currently hospitalized.

Said a representative of the production company:

We thought that would be nice, too.

“it’s a small movie”

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Today, Disney announced that an “it’s a small world” feature film is currently in production. Although details are few at this time, we have confirmed that the soundtrack will consist entirely of one movie-length song.

In other news:

  • The Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln movie was cancelled, and then reinstated after an outcry from Disney fans.
  • Filming for the Carousel of Progress movie has been moved to Florida.
  • The Magic Skyway movie has been cancelled, but an already completed section of it featuring dinosaurs will be reused in the upcoming Disneyland Railroad feature film.

Muppets Most Wanted

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

The entire staff went out to see Muppets Most Wanted tonight. It is, of course, an awesome film, but a few points really stood out for us as favorites, namely:

  • The pre-movie trailer for the Muppets’ return to films based on literature, Muppet Wuthering Heights. (The scene with Miss Piggy knocking on the window was hilarious.)
  • The pre-movie short, “Monster House,” in which Monster University’s Oozma Kappa fraternity strikes back at Dean Wormer, the Deltas, and their other enemies by converting Mike Wazowski’s car into the “Deathmobile” and using it to massively disrupt the homecoming parade.
  • The cameo by Skrillex as the Muppets’ new musical director (and the resulting “Muppet Show Themearang”).
  • Sam the Eagle’s dream about being Captain America (with Gonzo as Black Widow and one Gonzo’s chickens as Falcon).
  • Miss Piggy’s show-stopping “P.I.G.” (based on Lady Gaga’s “G.U.Y.”).
  • Clever cameos by various celebrities, including Prince as a prince, The Rock as a rock, and Lady Gaga as a baby.
  • The hilarious, slapstick cameo by a pantsless Vladimir Putin.
  • The incredibly subtle cameo by a Subway sandwich.
  • The adorable post-credits sequence where Animal finds a tiara discarded from the crown jewels and puts it on, declaring himself “PRINCESS!”

Frozen Assets

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Over the last weekend, the total global box office receipts for Frozen passed $800 million, which means that if the movie were a nation its annual GDP would exceed that of 91% of the world’s countries, putting it in 17th place, right above Turkey (and with its eye on Indonesia).

All of this attention has rumors swirling about the possibility of a Frozen attraction appearing at one or more of Disney’s theme parks. According to a portion of commenters on the Official Unofficial LEGOLand Fanblog Discussion Forum’s “Other” subsection, Disney may be planning a reskinning of the Epcot’s Norway Pavilion’s Maelstrom attraction. The overlay would be fairly simple — little more than redecorating a few trolls as princesses and snowmen and installing equipment to freeze all the water — but might cause more problems than it solves. “The little movie shown after the attraction would just be that much more confusingly contextless,” said a person clutching a tiny Norway flag on a stick and looking at it wistfully. “There are already too many people who either walk on out without seeing it or emerge from the theater with a glazed look in their eyes. Also, the country of Norway sponsors the pavilion and we don’t want to upset them — particularly when their military power is almost equal to that of Disney.”

A far more appetizing option (with not apologies for the pun) would be to convert the Akershus (gesundheit) princess breakfast into an exclusively Frozen themed one. This would be another easy change, necessitating only turning down the thermostat a tad more, swapping in two new princesses, and replacing the current smorgasbord with a selection of frozen foods. “I would welcome the change,” said Arial, one of the princesses often found in the current breakfast. “I wouldn’t mind being transferred to another part of one of the parks — preferably one without such an emphasis on eating fish.”

…And an Indy New Year!

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

Disney fans across the globe are celebrating the fact that that Disney has control over the Indiana Jones franchise with a new New Year’s Eve tradition: Midnight Raiders Parties.

If you want to have an official Midnight Raiders Party, all you need to do is get a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark and begin playing it at 11:51:34 PM on New Year’s Eve (if you are using a copy of he film from iTunes — adjust accordingly for other media). If you do, then the film’s giant boulder will drop and begin rolling 14 seconds before midnight, and Indy will fly out of the cave to safety (sic.) at the exact second you ring in the new year!


Liefacts: Frozen

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
  • The movie is based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale “The Snow Queen.” It sticks pretty closely to the original story, aside from the characters, plot, and lack of religious overtones.
  • This is the first Disney animated feature to include three princesses as main characters — Anna, Ella (who becomes queen), and the secret surprise princess seen briefly after the credits.
  • With the release of Frozen, Disney is one step closer to having an animated feature to represent each of the countries in Epcot’s World Showcase. The Emperor’s New Groove, Mulan, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Pocahontas, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Great Mouse Detective, and Brother Bear cover all but Japan, and that will be taken care of when Big Hero 6 is released next year. After that, the company will concentrate on making features themed to the various areas of Future World.
  • The film had a short production schedule, so instead of going to Norway to study the environment, animators were sealed in a commercial meat locker over a weekend.
  • A live reindeer was brought into the animation studio to help with the development of Sven’s dialogue.
  • Over the years, Disney has tried many times to bring an adaptation of “The Snow Queen” to the screen, but the movie kept being derailed during the character-design process. A breakthrough came when John Lasseter suggested that if they stopped making character maquettes out of ice, they might not keep melting away before more progress could be made.
  • The title was cut from The Snow Queen to Frozen because the film was running too long.
  • Frozen is Disney’s first computer-animated feature since last year’s Wreck-It Ralph.

“Let Fireworks Go”

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

Disney’s Frozen — the first Disney animated feature to double-down on the princess concept — opened over the Thanksgiving weekend. In just five days, the film grossed more than $93 million, which, according to experts who have degrees and everything, is more than any other Disney animated film grossed this weekend.

Disney is particularly pleased with these numbers because of Frozen’s relatively low cost. “Frozen had a relatively low cost,” said an official-looking person in a blazer, “in part because one of the main secondary characters doesn’t talk (so we didn’t have to hire a voice actor), and in part because ice is so cheap to animate. You don’t have to hire many colorists in a film that’s all white.”

Disney also saved money on the soundtrack. According to the same disreputable source, “We were able to save a ton of money on song writing by just re-using existing music. For example, the main song in the film, “Let It Go,” is just Katy Perry’s “Firework” with some word changes. And before you ask, it’s not stealing — it’s recycling.”

If you’re a music historian, Disney music fan, or compulsive audiophiliac, here’s a sample for comparison: