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Victor Quartermaine (voiced by Ralph Fiennes)First: our reviews of "Roll Bounce" (Roller. Disco. ‘nuf said.) and "Daltry Calhoun" (to be avoided) are here.

In appropriate pairing, Stephen Dalton in the London Times writes about how audiences seem to be turning back to traditional cell and other low-tech animation just as Laura M. Holson in the New York Times reports on the recent closing of Disney revered traditional animation department. Dalton:

William Higham, who runs the forecasting agency Next Big Thing, relates this new lo-fi mood to the popularity of neo-traditional designers such as Kath Kidson and the resurgence in painting over conceptual Brit Art.

We are now, Higham argues, in a "post-bling" culture that prizes homespun honesty over airbrushed perfection. "If you eat too much comfort food, there comes a time when you want something healthy," says Higham. "We are in the middle of an emotional, moral and cultural detox."

Carola Long at the London Times paid a visit to the set of "The Corpse Bride" ("stop-motion has a visceral quality that you just don’t get with CGI"), while at the same paper Dominic Wells looks at another big stop-motion feature: "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit," talking to producer Dave Sproxton, who mentions that despite Aardman Studios’ fondness for stop-motion, most of their advertising work and their next feature, "Flushed Away," will be CGI. Robin McKie at the Observer profiles director Nick Park:

Park claims to have created a new film genre, ‘vegetarian Hammer Horror’, though most critics say it is more like an Ealing comedy made in Plasticene. Certainly, his work is quintessentially English, gentle and cosy, never brash or garish. Not surprisingly, the gulf between the world of Preston’s Prince of Putty and the financial expectations of Jeffrey Katzenberg, head of DreamWorks Animation – which is bankrolling "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" – has created tensions. (Park refuses to say how much DreamWorks invested but dismisses media estimates of £30 million as far too low.)

Stuart Jeffries at the Guardian interviews Park, focuses on the pluses and minuses of getting those Hollywood dollars.

+ Summer’s End: "Roll Bounce" and "Daltry Calhoun" (IFC News)
+ You spent how much on CGI?! (London Times)
+ Disney Moves Away From Hand-Drawn Animation (NY Times)
+ A weird wedding invitation (London Times)
+ Feats of clay (London Times)
+ A dog’s life (Observer)
+ Lock up your vegetables! (Guardian)


Face Melting Cameos

The 10 Most Metal Pop Culture Cameos

Glenn Danzig drops by Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Glenn Danzig rocks harder than granite. In his 60 years, he’s mastered punk with The Misfits, slayed metal with the eponymous Danzig, and generally melted faces with the force of his voice. And thanks to Fred and Carrie, he’s now stopping by tonight’s brand new Portlandia so we can finally get to see what “Evil Elvis” is like when he hits the beach. To celebrate his appearance, we put together our favorite metal moments from pop culture, from the sublime to the absurd.

10. Cannibal Corpse meets Ace Ventura

Back in the ’90s,  Cannibal Corpse was just a small time band from Upstate New York, plying their death metal wares wherever they could find a crowd, when a call from Jim Carry transformed their lives. Turns out the actor was a fan, and wanted them for a cameo in his new movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The band had a European tour coming up, and were wary of being made fun of, so they turned it down. Thankfully, the rubber-faced In Living Color vet wouldn’t take no for an answer, proving that you don’t need to have a lot of fans, just the right ones.

9. AC/DC in Private Parts

Howard Stern’s autobiographical film, based on his book of the same name, followed his rise in the world of radio and pop culture. For a man surrounded by naked ladies and adoring fans, it’s hard to track the exact moment he made it. But rocking out with AC/DC in the middle of Central Park, as throngs of fans clamor to get a piece of you, seems like it comes pretty close. You can actually see Stern go from hit host to radio god in this clip, as “You Shook Me All Night Long” blasts in the background.

8. Judas Priest meets The Simpsons

When you want to blast a bunch of peace-loving hippies out on their asses, you’re going to need some death metal. At least, that’s what the folks at The Simpsons thought when they set up this cameo from the metal gods. Unfortunately, thanks to a hearty online backlash, the writers of the classic series were soon informed that Judas Priest, while many things, are not in fact “death metal.” This led to the most Simpson-esque apology ever. Rock on, Bartman. Rock on.

7. Anthrax on Married…With Children

What do you get when Married…with Children spoofs My Dinner With Andre, substituting the erudite playwrights for a band so metal they piss rust? Well, for starters, a lot of headbanging, property destruction and blown eardrums. And much like everything else in life, Al seems to have missed the fun.

6. Motorhead rocks out on The Young Ones

The Young Ones didn’t just premiere on BBC2 in 1982 — it kicked the doors down to a new way of doing comedy. A full-on assault on the staid state of sitcoms, the show brought a punk rock vibe to the tired format, and in the process helped jumpstart a comedy revolution. For instance, where an old sitcom would just cut from one scene to the next, The Young Ones choose to have Lemmy and his crew deliver a raw version of “Ace of Spades.” The general attitude seemed to be, you don’t like this? Well, then F— you!

5. Red and Kitty Meet Kiss on That ’70s Show

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

Long before they were banished to playing arena football games, Kiss was the hottest ticket in rock. The gang from That ’70s Show got to live out every ’70s teen’s dream when they were set loose backstage at a Kiss concert, taking full advantage of groupies, ganja and hard rock.

4. Ronnie James Dio in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (NSFW, people!)

What does a young boy do when he was born to rock, and the world won’t let him? What tight compadre does he pray to for guidance and some sweet licks? If you’re a young Jables, half of “the world’s most awesome band,” you bow your head to Ronnie James Dio, aka the guy who freaking taught the world how to do the “Metal Horns.” Never before has a rock god been so literal than in this clip that turns it up to eleven.

3. Ozzy Osbourne in Trick or Treat

It’s hard to tell if Ozzy was trying his hardest here, or just didn’t give a flying f–k. What is clear is that, either way, it doesn’t really matter. Ozzy’s approach to acting seems to lean more heavily on Jack Daniels than sense memory, and yet seeing the slurry English rocker play a sex-obsessed televangelist is so ridiculous, he gets a free pass. Taking part in the cult horror Trick or Treat, Ozzy proves that he makes things better just by showing up. Because that’s exactly what he did here. Showed up. And it rocks.

2. Glenn Danzig on Portlandia

Danzig seems to be coming out of a self imposed exile these days. He just signed with a record company, and his appearance on Portlandia is reminding everyone how kick ass he truly is. Who else but “The Other Man in Black” could help Portland’s resident goths figure out what to wear to the beach? Carrie Brownstein called Danzig “amazing,” and he called Fred “a genius,” so this was a rare love fest for the progenitor of horror punk.

1. Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World

It’s surprising, sure, but for a scene that contains no music whatsoever, it’s probably the most famous metal moment in the history of film. When Alice Cooper informed Wayne and Garth that Milwaukee is actually pronounced “Milly-way-kay” back in 1992, he created one of the most famous scenes in comedy history. What’s more metal than that? Much like Wayne and Garth, we truly are not worthy.

Post-Toronto days.

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"Two medical emergencies the very first screening!"The Toronto wrap-ups are rolling in — a few selections:

Roger Ebert:

Although the Toronto Film Festival lacks an official competition, lots of awards are handed out on closing day. As they were announced Saturday, I felt like I was standing on the pier waving sadly as the ship sailed. Although I saw 43 of this year’s films, either here or at Telluride, Cannes or Sundance, I managed for the first time to get through the entire festival without having seen a single film that won a prize.

David Poland (who also picks his top twenty from the festival here):

I saw four unmitigated disasters this year at TIFF. (I didn’t catch "Tideland," so I remain hopeful.)

All four of the car wrecks were high profile. Part of that is because everything ugly is uglier under a microscope, and part of it is that I’m not real interested in shredding small, helpless indie films whose birth already left enough marks for the filmmakers. Still, the most disastrous directing debut of the festival was that of Stephen J. Mavilla, whose pre-show "no cameras/no cell phones" piece for Motorola was universally despised, marking the fastest rise and fall of a career in movie history, not just TIFF’s history. You shouldn’t have put your name all over that thing, Steve. So change your name or start writing documentary grant applications.

If you’re wondering, his disasters picks are: "Mrs. Harris," with Ben Kingsley and Annette Bening; "Elizabethtown" (nothing but bad buzz about that one — heh, Cameron Crowe!); "Edison" (Justin Timberlake‘s acting debut); and "Revolver" (Raising the question: when would you call time of death on Guy Ritchie‘s career? Now, or around "Swept Away"? Or when he married Madonna? You burned bright, Mr. Ritchie.). Also, you can watch Mavilla’s piece here.

(Also, baaaad buzz for "Tideland" (sniff!). At a screening the other day we heard someone refer to it as "career suicide for Gilliam.")

Sharon Waxman on the new film investors:

[Several of the big studio acquisitions] are "independent" in the most basic sense: paid for by these individuals and a few other investors who believed in the material. And if Hollywood has expressed skepticism about the affluent neophytes who have entered the business in the past few years – mainly Internet, retail and trust-fund tycoons – this, their first real crop of movies entering the marketplace, may indicate that they have a future in the industry.

Patrick Goldstein on SPC’s old-school biz style:

In an era when most studio films vanish from multiplexes in a matter of weeks, Sony Classics will patiently work a film for months to find a broader audience. "Triplets of Belleville," which was released in November 2003, was still in theaters on July 4, 2004. "That’s our mantra," says Barker. "The longer you keep a film in the theaters, the more value it’ll have down the line."

Eli Roth (who directed "Cabin Fever"), writing to Empire about screening his latest gory horror (gorror?) flick "Hostel" at the festival:

At the first screening…we had not one, but TWO medical emergencies. One guy left
in the middle because he was so distraught and dizzy, and he passed out
and fell down the escalator outside the theater! Paramedics were called
and, luckily, the guy was fine, although if he had died it would have
been a better story.

About 15 minutes later, a woman flees the theater thinking that the film’s
giving her a heart attack! She’s having chest pains – so the festival
people called the paramedics again!!! Turns out she was fine, too. Oh
well, serves ‘em right for leaving in the middle!

Tim Robey of the Telegraph on falling for an unexpected film:

[T]here’s no way of summarising [Curtis Hanson‘s] "In Her Shoes" without making it sound like bog-standard chick-flick mush, but it really isn’t.

Hanson has always been a skilled actor’s director…and this movie really is the reinvention of Cameron Diaz. She isn’t afraid to make Maggie a total hair-flicking pain even past the point when the film strictly needs her to be, but we always know there’s something in the character worth redeeming. [Shirley] MacLaine, who has done little but chew scenery for the past decade, reins it all back in to give us a lovely, contained supporting turn.

But even so, it’s [Toni] Collette‘s film, all the way. Rose is more sympathetic than a dozen Bridget Joneses, and this sublime actress – so good at romantic frustration, welling emotion, and outbursts of giggly euphoria – is the reason why.

We dunno about you, but we’re feeling positively positive about film again, possibly because we saw "L’Enfant" this morning, but mostly because of all the good words reaching us from TIFF. ’bout damn time.

+ Toronto #8: The winners (RogerEbert.com)
+ TORONTO WRAP UP (The Hot Button)
+ TORONTO WRAP UP. PART 2 (The Hot Button)
+ And the Film Deal Goes to . . . an Outsider (NY Times)
+ Savvy kings of the art house (LA Times)
+ Hostel Causes Hospitalisation (Empire)
+ Toronto Film Festival: when feelgood is actually very good (Telegraph)

Toronto – the awards.

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"Tsotsi"Postings are going to be a bit sparse this week while we’re running to and from New York Film Festival screenings, but we wanted to pop our head in to say: Toronto awards — as always, obscure. People’s Choice goes to Gavin Hood‘s "Tsotsi," a South African film based on the novel by Athol Fugard, while the press gives the Discovery Award to Australian comedy "Look Both Ways." Annnnnnd…we’ll probably never hear from these films again.

+ International and Canadian Films Honoured at Closing Awards Event (TIFF site)

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