Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ghostbusters 3 - Will it be a bust? A Ghost Bust?

Check out this story here:

Sony Pictures’ Ghostbusters 3 has been in developmental limbo for years, held up in large part by the studio’s inability to get leading man Bill Murray to commit, or for that matter even read a script. Today, franchise co-star Dan Aykroyd said the film will shoot next year, even if Murray’s not in. “That is our hope. We have an excellent script,” he said on radio’s The Dennis Miller Show. ”What we have to remember is that Ghostbusters is bigger than any one component, although Billy was absolutely the lead and contributed to it in a massive way, as was the director and Harold (Ramis), myself and Sigourney (Weaver). The concept is much larger than any individual role and the promise of Ghostbusters 3 is that we get to hand the equipment and the franchise down to new blood.” Somebody better tell the execs at Sony, where it’s still no Murray, [no] movie. And for that matter, Murray.

And then username "Everyone" had a nice comment here:


Ghostbusters WILL MAKE MONEY NO MATTER WHAT. Since, it’s one of those popular movies that each generation loves. For example Tron was a box office failure but the sequel made bank even though it was only an ok film.

Ghostbusters 2 wasn’t all that bad. It just lacked the epic, edginess and horror elements of part 1. But, it’s not exactly a Uwe Boll film or some cheesy movie of the week on the syfi network. Part two was a quality film that just had a few flaws. I saw it in theaters and thought is was an ok movie. It’s only major flaw is that the made part 2 more of a tongue and cheek family flick which part one WAS NOT.

I think part of the reason was because the cartoons were on TV at the time. I remember the Real Ghostbusters cartoon and other cartoon when I was a kid.

Ghostbusters is bigger then Bill Murray. But, they can bring in any number of A-List comedians who are just as funny or even funnier. I love Bill Murray but if he’s not even going to contribute by reading the script and/or making contributions then he’s not being a team player so forget him!! He’s not exactly A list anymore so NO FRANCHISE SHOULD HAVE TO BOW DOWN TO HIM.

Note to the people making this movie:
1. Make sure the story is taken seriously, not campy. The original had comic relief, but it wasn’t a three stooges UNREALISTIC movie.
2. Make sure the horror elements that scared the hell out of me when I was little are in it.
3. Make sure the mythology of whichever horror ghost is on the epic level of part one and not part two.

Again, this movie will be a hit with or without Bill Murray. It’s like Tron and other franchises that are loved by generations.




I agree with Everyone…

Everyone is always right…

Everyone always agrees with Everyone…

Okay, how’s that? Punny enough?

Anway… pay attention to Everyone, people who are making the movie but who aren’t reading this!

And while we’re at it…

4. Don’t try to replace Murray. You can try creating a new, fun character, but don’t bother trying to replace Murray. It won’t happen. You’ll have to try to find characters that are good but different.

5. Keep some humor in the film. It is a little scary that Aykroyd and Ramis didn’t help write it (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289401/fullcredits), but at least they’re both exec producing and Reitman is directing again and exec producing. But see Everyone’s points #1-3, because you made Ghostbusters 2 too campy. So keep the balance you had in Ghostbusters 1.

6. Wait, are you making this one a team of girl ghostbusters??? (Faris, Dushku, Milano): http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1289401/fullcredits#cast
Wow. You couldn’t get the rights to Charlie’s Angels? I gotta hand it to you; your ladies wouldn’t try to recreate Murray’s humor. But still, Faris’ humor is pure slapstick and your other ladies are cool, but they aren’t comedians. Good luck with that; it seems far riskier than mixing it up with guys and gals. So… please don’t do this? Please?
Fortunately, on August 25th, Aykroyd said they were looking to cast three guys and a gal:

7. Keep the directing style similar to Ghostbusters 1. Reitman, you must’ve been watching a lot of Spielberg films before you made Ghostbusters, because you nailed it with the right camera angles, reveals, and suspense factor in your timing and pacing. So go watch some more Spielberg films before you begin shooting. Looking at your most recent projects helps calm that nerve a little:

8. I recommend that you keep working on Bill Murray. He was the star of the first film (as Dan said). Ramis and Aykroyd were just straight-man characters that played off of Murray (so Murray was the only character who was intentionally funny). Bill fell away with Dan and Ramis during Groundhog Day (I think that’s the bigger reason why he’s not interested). So try talking to Bill and his new group of friends (Wes Anderson), and see if you can get Bill to sign on and cut some sort of compromise (and maybe his high standards will help make the film better). Previously Bill said he’d do it if he gets to die and be done with it. So it sounds like he’s close.

NOTE TO EVERYONE: Tron 1 didn’t really do that well. It made a little momentum as a cult classic, and then Tron Legacy was released with a blockbuster formula (Tron 1 was missing the love story, emotion, and the pacing felt more like a drama), and it featured Jeff Bridges in a role that made his character twice as interesting. So if we were going to take Tron Legacy as an example, then that’s more of a reason to get Bill Murray on and to redefine his character in a huge way that makes him the center of the story. For example, turn Murray into a ghost, zombie, werewolf, or the main villain/source of evil (or he gets cloned and his clone is the evil one who he has to combat). That would be the lesson to learn from Tron Legacy (along with the love story, emotions, and superior pacing, all of which were used effectively in Ghostbusters 1, unlike Tron 1). And, honestly, if you turn Bill into a villain and have him killed, then you probably satisfy his request to die and could get him to sign on (see #8 above). After all, he died in a hilarious (and slightly similar) way in Zombieland, so he’d probably like the concept.

Aykroyd also says...

"I like this guy Matthew Gray Gubler from the 'Criminal Minds' show, but there's going to be a casting. We're going to see everyone that wants to do it. We're going to need... three guys and a young woman."

Special thanks to Everyone and to the filmmakers who won’t read this!


Monday, August 29, 2011

Disney is looking for your 1977 John Lasseter Jungle Cruise photos!

Join the hunt @ http://JohnoftheJungle.com

Do you have a photo of John Lasseter from his 1977 stint as a Jungle Cruise skipper at Disneyland?

Enter your photo for a chance to win a private Jungle Cruise with John Lasseter and attend the Grand Opening of Cars Land at Disney's California Adventure!

Friday, August 26, 2011

John Carter Trailer -- Disney takes on Avatar and Star Wars!

Andrew Stanton follows up Finding Nemo and Wall-E with an Avatar/Star Wars like film, based on the book series that helped inspire such films.

It looks like they made the red princess not too red (or else they might make her feel too inhuman). It looks very interesting the way it's set up. So far, Andrew Stanton has only directed hits. Here's the story...


John Carter of Mars is inexplicably transported to the mysterious and exotic planet Mars, and becomes embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions and discovers that the survival of the planet and its people rests in his hands.

John Carter is a sweeping action-adventure set on the mysterious and exotic planet of Barsoom (Mars). John Carter is based on a classic novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, whose highly imaginative adventures served as inspiration for many filmmakers, both past and present. The film tells the story of war-weary, former military captain John Carter (Taylor Kitsch), who is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet, including Tars Tarkas (Willem Dafoe) and the captivating Princess Dejah Thoris (Lynn Collins). In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of Barsoom and its people rests in his hands.

John Carter of Mars will be out in cinemas in March 2012.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Movie Review - The Last Airbender

Updated with more review info at the bottom (explains how M Night ended up with their Airbender actor, Noah Ringer and how Noah has improved his acting in Cowboys and Aliens). Originally posted on 2/23/11.

by Alex Popp

Four Nations. One Destiny.

The world is divided into four kingdoms, each represented by the element they harness, and peace has lasted throughout the realms of Water, Air, Earth, and Fire under the supervision of the Avatar in "The Last Airbender," directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the director of "The Sixth Sense." When young Avatar Aang disappears, the Fire Nation launches an attack to eradicate all members of the Air Nomads to prevent interference in their future plans for world domination. 100 years pass and current Fire Lord Ozai continues to conquer and imprison anyone with elemental "bending" abilities in the Earth and Water Kingdoms, while siblings Katara and Sokka from a Southern Water Tribe find a mysterious boy trapped beneath the ice outside their village. Upon rescuing him, he reveals himself to be Aang, Avatar and last of the Air Nomads. Swearing to protect the Avatar, Katara and Sokka journey with him to the Northern Water Kingdom in his quest to master "Waterbending" and eventually fulfill his destiny of once again restoring peace to the world. But as they inch nearer to their goal, the group must evade Prince Zuko (played by Dev Patel from the Best Picture winning "Slumdog Millionaire"), the exiled son of Lord Ozai, Commander Zhao, the Fire Nation's military leader, and the tyrannical onslaught of the evil Fire Lord himself.

The film was originally going to be titled, "Avatar: The Last Airbender," because that was the name of the TV series on which it's based. However, the word "Avatar" was dropped to avoid confusion with James Cameron's "Avatar." And this is most certainly not to be confused with the brilliant majesty of "Avatar."

I never watched any episodes from the cartoon, but others who had were disappointed. And I hated the movie enough without seeing the series. The whole premise is based on Buddhist theology, but that wasn't the main thing that brought down the quality. Some may not think about the effects at all, but if you really compare them with the background, you can tell that it's all fake. On top of that, the script is so juvenile, blending well with the terrible acting. To me, the movie was just flat out boring. I probably would have liked it more if Jesse McCartney had gotten the role of Zuko which he was originally given.

Some consider M. Night Shyamalan to be the master of twist endings, but the only twist in the ending of this film is that it tells you there's going to be a sequel. Great.

Don't ask me how M. Night Shyamalan made a movie as good as "The Sixth Sense" and then turned around and made this.

Rated PG for sequences of fantasy action.

One and a half stars (out of four) for "The Last Airbender," proof that not every movie from 2010 was good.

Review by Alex Popp for The Animation Empire blog.

And now here's a review from The Emperor...

I think this review might be a bit too harsh. The Avatar actor (playing Aang) is obviously inexperienced, and so his acting is a little wooden. The northern tribe water nation princess is also a little wooden, but her charm, character, and story arc make all that easily forgiven and forgotten.

The overall story of this film is exciting and interesting, and there is more than enough drama and special effects to hold your interest, especially at the end. So I think if anything, the faults lie (1) in the Avatar boy's acting (and selecting him in the first place) and (2) that (like all M. Night films) it takes some time to get it going. M. Night certainly bombards you with activity and effects at the beginning, but you don't enjoy the characters until later in the film.

The actor, Noah Ringer, was cast as Aang because he's a martial artist (first-degree black belt rank with the American Taekwondo Association). He painted the arrow on his bald head and submitted his tape of him doing all the martial arts. His friends had even already nicknamed him Airbender (based on the fact that he looked and acted like the cartoon character).

However, M Night and crew overestimated their abilities to train a new young actor and to direct a new young actor (two major skillsets, and they depend on the actor's ability to learn). M Night has picked great child actors in the past (Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs), but he picked them based on acting, not on martial arts and how much they look like the character (big difference).

Despite Noah's poor acting as Aang (and despite Night's poor directing his actors to... well... act), Noah was able to train some more and follow it up with a much better performance in Cowboys and Aliens (he was in two films, and both were intended to be hits). So he's off to a good start in his career (despite the acting hickup in Airbender and the poor performance of Cowboys).

I think M. Night needs to be produced well in order to make a hit film, and he got that oversight and attention with his first four commercial films at Touchstone/Disney (Sixth Since, Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village). Then he left Disney, and his films stopped being as big commercial successes (Lady in the Water from WB, The Happening from Fox, The Devil, and The Last Airbender from Paramount).

That said, Airbender was still a success. While it lost 19 million in the US (cost $150 million and made $131 million) it was a success still because it made $187 million overseas, which typically happens when a movie is cool and packed with effects and action, but is weak on story and characters.

Prince Zuko has a great arc that is only just beginning to form in this film (and the actory nailed the character incredibly well; he starts out as the #1 villain and then slowly moves his way down the villainous charts and into your hearts). Katara (Avatar's friend) is a good actress, though not perfect (I think it might be the directing a little though, because sometimes she nails it).

And I loved the story of Sokka (Katara's brother) and the northern princess, which was only beginning to unfold at the end of the film when it tragically stopped. So the problem partially lies with the source material as well. It's a good story, but he probably needed to rip apart the source material even more to make it more interesting earlier in the film. It's definitely a slow burner.

Overall, they'll probably make another sequel (since it made $319 million, worldwide), but either M. Night will do it if he thinks he can step up the game a notch (especially in the story and characters) or they'll give it to a new director. Either way, they need to teach that Avatar kid how to act. (Based on his performance in Cowboys and Aliens, he has definitely improved; too bad the film tanked.)

Currently M. Night is following it up with "One Thousand A.D." with Jaden Smith. Jaden is fresh off of Karate Kid, so this is a good idea (especially with Will Smith producing).

I give it three stars out of five, or 2 1/2 stars out of 4.

- The Emperor

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Avengers Teaser Trailer (first Disney Marvel film)

Why you should stay till the end of Captain America: The First Avenger

Can't wait to see Avengers!

See the whole thing here:

That was the Avengers trailer after Captain America ends. Also the last few minutes of Captain America.

And quite possibly the best fan-made trailer of The Avengers (seems better than the actual teaser):

So all this is to pay homage to the first Disney produced Marvel film. This is what Disney bought for a mere $4 billion... a whole lot.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Miggie Mouse Presents THE VAULT (with SteamBoot Billy)

Check out our new Disney parody! It parodies Disney's animal violence (Steamboat Willie had a lot), and it parodies how Eisner fired Roy Disney (and Roy fought back). Leave a comment and... Enjoy!

Oh the sarcasm abounds as we look tongue in cheek at the Disney corporation.

Animation and Music by Joseph Morabito:


Produced and Written by Ed 'word' Price

Brock Baker (McGoiter) - Steamboot Billy
Vernon Dew - Miggie Mouse
Robbie Daymond - Narrator and Vommit Duck
Dave Stuchkus - Parrot

Specifically, this addresses:

- Disney animations used to contain a LOT of animal abuse as a source of humor. This includes their flaship animation (the first hit that Walt had), Steamboat Willie (which was actually a spoof of Steamboat Bill Jr, a popular Buster Keaton movie that was released 2 months before Walt worked on the animation). Steamboat Willie (like many of Walt's shorts) contained a whole LOT of animal abuse!

- Roy Disney Jr. (Walt's nephew) was fired from the Disney board by Michael Eisner (Eisner fired several people who challenged his ways)

- Roy then launched a huge "Save Disney" campaign to the shareholders, which resulted in (1) Eisner getting transitioned out (he was sort of fired, but he made money off of it), (2) Bob Iger getting hired as the new CEO (he's done an amazing job), (3) Disney acquiring Pixar, and of course, (4) Roy getting rehired onto the Disney Board. Who says the good guys can't sometimes win?

This is our fourth animation with Joseph. Joseph also collaborated with the Empire on the following shorts:

- The Dating Game
- Ducks Playing Duck Hunt
- Farmville Parody

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why Action Animated Films Don't Do Well

UPDATED: Originally posted 3/12/09.
We added more information at the bottom (to explain why animated Pixar films and some animated buddy comedies do so well), and don't forget to read the post that we link to on the bottom. Some people want more "proof", but it's all there. Just keep reading. Thanks!

Most people don't realize what a strong position women have in specific purchasing decisions.

With animated films, filmmakers often set out to make an animated film for a specific audience, not realizing that the audience they need to appeal to is mothers and women. The reason is that boys aren't making the decisions to see the films. The moms are making the decision, and if the mom doesn't want to see the film or she also has a daughter who doesn't want to see the film, then she'll tell her son to go watch cartoons and to wait for DVD to see the film. (This is supported with data that shows how popular action cartoons are on TV but not in the theaters.)

For example, Final Fantasy, Beowulf, Sinbad, Treasure Planet, Quest for Camelot, The Iron Giant, Osmosis Jones, Ant Bully, The Road to El Dorado, Meet the Robinsons, and Star Wars: Clone Wars were all animated action films that failed to find success. What all those films had in common is that they didn't appeal to women.

Atlantis did okay (still lost money, but not a flop). It had good Disney marketing muscle, and it also pushed the love angle and characters well. It did well enough for them to make a direct-to-video sequel. The 3D-animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did okay and actually made money, but it did even worse than Atlantis (it was made with a low budget purposefully so that it could still turn a profit).

And then Emperor's New Groove is another example. It's not an action animation, but it still lost money and wasn't a hit for Disney (it did about as well as Atlantis). It's an example of a straight comedy. Why would moms want to see an animated comedy that doesn't interest them with emotion (like the Pixar films) or romance (like Aladdin, Little Mermaid, and others)? The answer is that they don't. Other 3D films to suffer from this were Antz (did well, but it was not a hit), Jimmy Neutron (also did well and nominated for best animated film, but it was not a hit), Doogal, Barnyard, and Cats Don't Dance (same director as Emperor's New Groove). And Wallace and Grommit was cute and won the Academy Award for animated film, but it was strange and not as well targeted toward women as Chicken Run was (Chicken Run was basically a romance, starring Mel Gibson... boom).

However, Pixar has the idea right. They can do any topic they want, including toys, monsters, bugs, super heroes, rats, cars, and robots. These topics don't sound like they'd appeal to women, but Pixar makes sure the heart of the stories do.

All those movies are about things that appeal to boys... but all the stories are written for mommies. Have you seen Up? Every woman was fighting tears within the first 10 minutes (when the wife dies). The wife also dies at the beginning of Finding Nemo. Those were two of Pixar's top 3 films (boom).

Incredibles is a movie about family, about trust (adultery, suspicion) between a husband and wife, and about love between each member of the family (husband and wife, siblings, father daughter, father son, mother daughter, and mother son)... it's all in there. It sounds like an emotional drama if you were to only look at the relationships covered. They even deal with Violet's fear/crushes with boys. Wow.

The Incredibles was a movie for women... However, it also had action and humor, and it was about super heroes. So it was a movie for men and boys as well.

That's the genious of Pixar.

Other films have also achieved similar success with the buddy comedies and relationship comedies (Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda, Despicable Me, and Ice Age). Same thing. The topic appeals to kids (animals in Madagascar), the humor to men (Ben Stiller and Chris Rock), and the relationships to mommies. Shrek was basically Beauty and the Beast in reverse (the message to women was that the inside matters more than the outside), Despicable Me was about a single father adopting children (did you miss that? it's super sappy) and a bunch of cute minions to sell to children, and Ice Age was about returning a lost child (incredibly emotional to mothers). All those films were made with mommies in mind.

The studios try to reach all the audiences, but the most important audience members are the kids and moms.

Is this pandering to moms? No. No more than pandering to kids or men. It's all marketing and business. Studios and shareholders want to make money, and if these films didn't make as much money, thousands would be out of jobs. It's a business, like buying milk at a grocery store.

I'm not going to condemn someone for selling their product in a way that makes the most money. Are you?

Read more here:


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Donner the Retired Reindeer (TRAILER)

Jon Canham animated and composed the music for this wonderful trailer (and soon to be animated short) that follows the Easter Bunny's diabolical schemes to stop Christmas. Only the chosen one can save Christmas... Donner the Retired Reindeer!!!

Check out Jon's other animations, including his "Frank N Steve" series over on his channel, MiddleDistanceProduc:


Did you see that we spilled "reigndeer" wrong? =^)

Anyway, here is some info...

SOFTWARE: Anime Studio
WRITER & DIRECTOR: Ed 'word' Price
DONNER: Dave Stuchkus


Please check out our other wonderful-ish animations...
Pirates of the Caribbean Parody: http://youtube.com/watch?v=jHPDINRTDy0

Fruits VS Bugs - Agent Pineapple Steals: http://youtube.com/watch?v=j40Fn0rzlAs

Thanksgiving Cartoon - Gurkel's Revenge: http://youtube.com/watch?v=5ArXuSTuQYQ

Farmville Parody: http://youtube.com/watch?v=Voel8Uj59XE

Dr. Octagonapus (53K+ views): http://youtube.com/watch?v=qW2H2fGOlhw

Ducks Playing Duck Hunt (80K+ views): http://youtube.com/watch?v=Zkcj-A1lLEk

Thanks for watching!


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