When Keanu Reeves was announced as starring in a new take on the story, it was immediately obvious that it wasn’t going to be a historically faithful version. Then we started hearing about “witches and giants” and I guess they’d decided to chuck all realism out the window. The results look alright, I guess, but a little too heavy on that bland, plasticky big-budget action-adventure CG look that Hollywood has been cranking out too much of lately.
The film also stars Hiroyuki Sanada and Rinko Kikuchi. It hits theaters on December 25th this year — in 3D, of course.
Okay, if you didn’t watch that yet, watch it. (And since somebody is going to ask, yes, I loved it.)
The reveal at the end, for those of you who haven’t seen promotional images before, is that Hiccup is older. Five years older, in fact.
From the official synopsis: “While Astrid, Snoutlout and the rest of the gang are challenging each other to dragon races (the island’s new favorite contact sport), the now inseparable pair journey through the skies, charting unmapped territories and exploring new worlds. When one of their adventures leads to the discovery of a secret ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.”
As writer-director Dean DeBlois explained to Variety earlier this year: “At the end of last film, all these Vikings who were previously somewhat landlocked are now on the backs of dragons so the entire Northern Hemisphere opens up to them. And with that Hiccup’s curiosity increases, the map expands and inevitably they are going to come across new dragons, new cultures.” Hiccup soon “discovers a larger conflict brewing between humans and dragons and he finds himself at the center of it.”
It’s a pretty brave move, to redesign characters from a popular film like this, and I think it’s a good sign that they might actually take some chances with this sequel and give us something original enough to stand next to the original.
Battle of the Planets was one of those things that I would talk about in my teens and everybody would look at me like I was making shit up. (“Birds…? Riiiiight.”) Now, everybody’s all “oh yeah, I totally watched that when I was a kid,” and I think they’re all a bunch of big, fat liars.
Toya Sato’s live action Gatchaman has another trailer out, and while I don’t understand any of it on account of only retaining about twenty words of Japanese from the classes I took in college, it looks… well, okay, it looks kind of bad. But it also looks awesome!
The movie stars some people I’ve never heard of (Tori Matsuzaka, Gō Ayano, Ayame Gouriki, Tatsuomi Hamada, and Ryohei Suzuki) and comes out in Japan on August 24th. It will probably not make it to the U.S. until its DVD release, so unless you live in the Land of the Rising Sun, don’t hold your breath just yet.
A “first look” trailer for Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen is online. While the 53rd Disney animated feature is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, this has no discernable connection to the tale, playing a bit like a Scrat short about a snowman (which, in turn, played sort of like a Looney Tunes cartoon).
Still, it’s fun, and the animation is lovely. The full film stars Kristen Bell as “Anna,” the lead, and Idina Menzel as the Snow Queen. It hits theaters this Thanksgiving (or that weekend, anyway), on November 27, 2013.