The Star

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The Star

Postby Dacey » July 26th, 2017, 11:18 am

Well, here's the first trailer...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/mov ... 503798001/

I had been hoping this would be a sweet little Christmas film that could, but so far at least this looks...yeah. It also appears to be really low budget, which is more disappointing considering this is coming from a major studio and not The Weinstein Company.

I don't want to be overly pessimistic, but I see this bombing pretty badly in November for the time being.
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Re: The Star

Postby Ben » July 27th, 2017, 2:04 am

Yeah. :(

And almost no Henson mention, apart from a logo amongst all the other logos at the end.

I was expecting the low budget, but was hoping, too, for something heartwarming. As we know, there's no reason low budget has to mean cheap animation and lame scripting, but that's sadly what we look to have got here. From a Small One type scenario and Henson connection that had me hooked and interested, to seeing the film's first trailer, The Star just dropped to a big fat zero on my want to see list.

Any why is it when other religions are mentioned that they all get big name checks but when anything Christian crops up, it's "faith based". It's not just "faith based", it's the foundations of Christianity itself, I just don't get the need to avoid the obvious! Not that this looks like the kind of sweet (as Dacey said) film we might have been hoping for, what with its overly-hip talking animals and tired old "jokes" (see, it's funny because they can't understand him..because he's a donkey! Look, a dancing dove who will likely make a fart sound at the end of that distraction scene! Hilarious!).

In fact, this does look pretty terrible, and demonstrates again that Sony Animation really is at the bottom end of the big four or five animation studios thesedays, reliant not on their own properties but on licensed brand movies and acquisitions that they're all-too eager to slap their logo on. They've done this right from the start, of course, but they'd be better off finding some kind of identity and carving out a niche instead of continually lowering the bar so you never know what kind of film or animation quality you're going to get.

Shame...and a missed opportunity here, me thinks.

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Re: The Star

Postby James » July 27th, 2017, 9:17 am


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Re: The Star

Postby Ben » July 27th, 2017, 6:39 pm

D'oh!

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Re: The Star

Postby Dacey » July 29th, 2017, 2:49 pm

I'd hesitate somewhat to put Sony below Illumination at this point. Although I was a huge fan of Sing (to the point where I'd have mentioned it in our year end review last year had I seen it before we got it up), Despicable Me 3 was disappointingly hit-and-miss for me. And that's not a knock at Illumination or anything.

Sony does have Hotel Transylvania, Surf's Up and the first Cloudy under their belt, which are all legitimately great films, plus they distributed the terrific Arthur Christmas and Pirates (although they didn't make those). It is a shame to see them attached to The Star (or, rather, to see how lousy The Star looks so far), but that's probably going to come and go from theaters before Coco even gets going, so hopefully it won't "scar" them much.

One problem Sony faces as far as its image is concerned is how much of a "corporation" they are, to the point where you're going to see the word "Sony" no less than three times before the logos for The Emoji Movie are even over. And this is present even in their live-action films (The Walk, which I adore, does feature a lot of prominent Sony electronics). I personally don't have an issue with that, but it does appear to get to other people (at least going by some of The Emoji Movie's almost absurdly negative press).
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Re: The Star

Postby Ben » July 29th, 2017, 6:41 pm

Sony's easily the bottom of the pile, Dace. Going from the start, Surf's isn't a franchise, it's a one off theatrical with a DTV sequel, Cloudy made it to two and was admittedly a nice surprise, suggesting where Sony could go creatively (as in different visually to all the other studios) and then they didn't go anywhere with it, and Hotel was pretty tired after the first one-joke film, barely stretched to a second and now we have more coming. In place of any new creative ideas, we get a bunch of the licensed and branded titles I mentioned above, none of which are original to Sony (and we can include the Morales Spidey in the there too!).

On the flipside, Illumination may not be original all the time, but every studio needs their main go-to franchise (Blue Sky with Ice Age, Pixar with Toy Story...) and Despicable is it for them. But look outside that and most every other film has been an original, plus their animation is easil leagues ahead of Sony's up and down approach (as said above, you're never sure if you're getting an in-house or an acquisition, or how well animated it is).

Sony at least should have kept with Aardman: they weren't quite the right fit for the UK studio but it gave them a nice sideline in an alternate to whatever Imageworks was throwing out. As an animation studio, they're wildly all over the place with what they're putting out, which not only has an effect on how we perceive them but also plays up how little they are actually producing themselves right now. Because of those factors, SPA is easily on the lower end of the scale right now, under the still occasionally brilliant Blue Sky, the consistently surprising Illumination (and now sister company DWA) and the obvious champs Disney and Pixar, which I simply view as one seeing as they're run by the same management and now seemingly have so many crossovers happening that to keep them apart seems redundant at this point.

On another point, really nice to see someone else liking The Walk. As I said in the end of year piece, it was unfairly dismissed when, for me, it was perhaps my film of its year. Can't wait to run that again in out new home theatre (and the score often gets a workout in the car too!). :)

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Re: The Star

Postby EricJ » July 29th, 2017, 10:00 pm

Dacey wrote:One problem Sony faces as far as its image is concerned is how much of a "corporation" they are, to the point where you're going to see the word "Sony" no less than three times before the logos for The Emoji Movie are even over.
I personally don't have an issue with that, but it does appear to get to other people (at least going by some of The Emoji Movie's almost absurdly negative press).


There are so many problems with Emoji Movie, and Sony's continuing sad-sack search for a Really Truly Studio Animated Icon (now that it looks like the Smurfs are off the table), that "Sony Electronics product placement" doesn't even Honorable Mention for the top ten. (I remember when Coca-Cola used to own Columbia in the 80's, and every critic freaked out when they saw a Coke bottle onscreen.)

HOWEVER, yes, now that you mention it, it does clear up a lot of mysteries about why Sony is trying to embrace Those Young Kids With Their Cellphones(tm) as a new market for CGI comedies, when put next to "The Angry Birds Movie".
Up to now, I'd just thought it was like when we got all those 80's Saturday-morning cartoons about videogame characters or music videos, as one unlucky industry was seeing the writing on the wall about whom the audience considered cooler.

As for The Star, it's "From the studio that brought you Miracles From Heaven and Cloudy/Meatballs!" :lol:
Meaning, Affirm Pictures' three-picture mainstream-inspirational deal with Sony, including Sony Animation, when Walden/Henson wanted to do a presumably more respectable animated Nativity movie. (Without the black voices or rap songs.)
If it'd had Adam Sandler as the donkey, then it would be Sony Animation's baby.

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Re: The Star

Postby Dacey » July 29th, 2017, 10:56 pm

I'd make the argument that Hotel T is probably their go-to franchise at this point, especially since the sequel significantly outgrossed the original (and it has a Disney Channel series to boot which is very "Gendy-esqe"). It also has one of the closest things to a big name animation director behind it (apart from Brad Bird and certain Disney helmers).

As for Smurfs, I still have yet to see The Lost Village, but most people I know who saw it liked it, so my fingers are crossed it will have more to offer me than some of the critical backlash implied (Smurfs were never really "made for critics" anyway).
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Re: The Star

Postby EricJ » July 30th, 2017, 3:08 pm

Ben wrote:Sony's easily the bottom of the pile, Dace. Going from the start, Surf's isn't a franchise, it's a one off theatrical with a DTV sequel, Cloudy made it to two and was admittedly a nice surprise, suggesting where Sony could go creatively (as in different visually to all the other studios) and then they didn't go anywhere with it.


Pretty much because any sentiment (underneath the spastic attention-deficit) the first Cloudy/Meatballs had was courtesy of Phil Lord & Chris Miller, who now have jobs for life doing Lego movies for Warner.
That's the problem with blaming hit animated movies on franchises rather than directors.

To wit:
On the flipside, Illumination may not be original all the time, but every studio needs their main go-to franchise (Blue Sky with Ice Age, Pixar with Toy Story...) and Despicable is it for them.
As an animation studio, (Sony's) wildly all over the place with what they're putting out, which not only has an effect on how we perceive them but also plays up how little they are actually producing themselves right now. Because of those factors, SPA is easily on the lower end of the scale right now, under the still occasionally brilliant Blue Sky, the consistently surprising Illumination (and now sister company DWA).


When was BlueSky ever "occasionally brilliant", after their Ice Age/Horton talent defected to make Illumination what it was?
Since the Rio movies didn't catch on, the Ice Age sequels are barely even an export market now, and the Peanuts Movie was an infusion of talent from outside, current BlueSky basically HAS neither a franchise nor an identity at the moment, and even less of one now that they were trying to copy Dreamworks in all things.
And that's coming from someone who's had to sit through the Ferdinand trailer twice, now.

As for "Come back, Horton!", loud off-book Dr. Seuss-invoking comedies seem to be Illumination's other go-to franchise at Universal for the moment, now that another Grinch version is in the works, and we're guaranteed to see a Cat in the Hat do-over before the decade is out.

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Re: The Star

Postby Dacey » July 30th, 2017, 3:18 pm

Phil Lord and Chris Miller are not directing The Lego Movie Sequel...or any future Lego movie for the time being.

Blue Sky didn't outsource The Peanuts Movie.

And Illumination announced an animated Cat in the Hat years ago.
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Re: The Star

Postby EricJ » July 31st, 2017, 12:17 am

Dacey wrote:Blue Sky didn't outsource The Peanuts Movie.


More to the point, they didn't WRITE it either.

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Re: The Star

Postby Dacey » August 24th, 2017, 4:25 pm

Why, hello there, Nightmare Fuel Horse...

http://animatedviews.com/2017/animals-m ... -the-star/
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Re: The Star

Postby Ben » August 25th, 2017, 4:18 am

This looks so poor. :(

I honestly thought at first glance that what I guess is supposed to be the baby Jesus was a large egg with a belly button.

And what is Nightmare Fuel Horse looking at? It sure ain't us or the thing in the straw!

(You will also have to explain Nightmare Fuel Horse to me, but I think I get the gist!)

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Re: The Star

Postby Dacey » August 25th, 2017, 1:13 pm

It's her eyes. Or her smile. Or...something.

And now I'm hearing (unverified) reports that the movie has a running time of 52 minutes (including credits!).
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Re: The Star

Postby EricJ » August 25th, 2017, 3:15 pm

Dacey wrote:It's her eyes. Or her smile. Or...something.


Having already seen every nightmare-fodder character Dreamworks pumps out (ahh, Boss Baby! Take him away, take him away! :shock: ), thought Sony's horse is actually...kind of cute, in a Spirit: the Series sorta way. Which the movie will probably ruin once Kelly Clarkson opens her mouth.
I know the joke you wanted to go for, but I would have picked one of the camels instead. Or that hip dove who showed up fresh out of "Valiant".

And now I'm hearing (unverified) reports that the movie has a running time of 52 minutes (including credits!).


Nothing up on IMDb yet about the running time, but wouldn't be a surprise to see Affirm Pictures turn in the "bare minimum" allowed, in order to qualify for that Family Animation market.
Usually it's just the Weinstein and Lionsgate foreign-acquisitions that get chopped to bare minimums.
Last edited by EricJ on August 25th, 2017, 3:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.