Rise of the Guardians

Features, Shorts, Live-Action and Direct-To-Video
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by ibrmacf » September 27th, 2012, 6:07 pm

This is actually the first Dreamworks' Animation film that I'm extremely anticipating and anxious for its arrival.

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by Dacey » December 1st, 2012, 4:53 pm

Saw this yesterday in an empty theater in 3-D. Not sure if that's a sign of it doing badly or not since it was a 2:00 show on a Friday, but still...

For about the first two thirds, I kept thinking "this is some of the best stuff DreamWorks has ever done, this is some of the best stuff DreamWorks has ever done." The animation really is terrific here--not sure if the 3-D made it "better" or not, but it did make several scenes more enchanting--, with the notable exception of the children. Unfortunately, they look oddly dead-eyed--almost creepy--which is something I don't think I've ever thought about animation from the studio before.

The voice work was also great. Chris Pine played Frost essentially as animated version of Kirk, but that's fine and dandy by me since it suited the character. Baldwen didn't sound like Baldwen at all, but you could tell that he was having a blast with the part, and apart from making Santa into a tough guy, he had plenty of warmth. Isla Fisher, as she proved in Rango, has a ton of life in her voice, and I hope she keeps doing voices for animated films because she really is terrific at it. They all might be dwarfed by Jude Law, though, who almost steals the show as Pitch, and although the Sandman by far had the best character animation in the film, Pitch's slick movements still made quite a visual impact.

Sadly the final standoff with him was where I was most dissapointed. The movie goes out of its way to make Pitch into a truly dangerous threat for the guardians, but he's defeated surprisingly easily. There's also not as much action in the film as the trailers would indicate, with the story being more focused on childhood dreams than battles. Then again, this is a Christmas movie, so maybe that makes sense.

Overall, worth seeing, and deserving of a nomination for BFA this year, although Wreck-It Ralph is hands down my pick to win. Also, for better or for worse, this is probably the most "non-DreamWorks" movie that DreamWorks has ever produced. Take from that what you will.
Last edited by Dacey on December 1st, 2012, 5:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by EricJ » December 2nd, 2012, 2:33 am

Dacey wrote:Saw this yesterday in an empty theater in 3-D. Not sure if that's a sign of it doing badly or not since it was a 2:00 show on a Friday, but still...
Uh, it's doing badly (4th place opening, with Monday numbers), but that's more of a reflection on the fact that it got almost zero promotion.
No, seriously, if it hadn't been for the calendar here, I'd have literally thought it was opening in March.

(Although what little promotion I saw was Elves marketing all over the theater lobby, hoping that we'd confuse them with Minions. Seems Jeff doesn't think Pixar is his one mortal nemesis rival anymore...)
Also, for better or for worse, this is probably the most "non-DreamWorks" movie that DreamWorks has ever produced. Take from that what you will.
Well, that's probably because they went out and hired outside blood (getting Guillermo Del Toro to "consult" on several projects)--
For some strange reason, every time DW hires someone from outside the studios, the movies don't have Will Ferrell, they don't have karaoke parties, and they have bold sympathetic heroes as protagonists who AREN'T comic self-delusional losers who dream of not being bullied by all the Mean People.

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by Dacey » December 2nd, 2012, 10:58 am

Kinda funny that you say that, since del Toro has been consulting on every DreamWorks movie since Megamind...which, funnily enough, had Will Ferrell as the lead. Also I don't think a movie from the studio has ended with a "karaoke party" since Shark Tale, which was back in 2004! But if you're counting musical finales, I suppose that the third Madagascar film more or less falls into that category...which, by the way, del Toro was involved in as well.

Also, they've been marketing this movie since a trailer was shown before Titanic way back in April, so I don't think it was the lack of promotion. But the mixed messages that they sent with the last few TV spots--essentially trying to make it look like Despicable Me, when those elves in reality are barely in the movie--might've hurt it in some way. But I kinda doubt that too. At the end of the day, when it comes to the box office, you either win big when you open on Thanksgiving weekend (Tangled) or you lose (Arthur Christmas). Competing with the final Twilight film was also a poor choice on Paramount's part, since its target audience of young women actually accounts for a good portion of animated movie ticket sales (see also Happy Feet Two bombly badly last year).
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by ShyViolet » December 2nd, 2012, 1:28 pm

Thanks for the review Dacey! I'm seeing this tommorow. Very excited! :)
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by Ben » December 2nd, 2012, 7:22 pm

And you guys know Hollywood plays funny games, right? So much easier for Paramount to justify losing their DWA distribution contract if the last film to go through them doesn't set the box-office alight...

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by ShyViolet » December 3rd, 2012, 12:31 am

Great story on DWA and Guardians!

(Scroll down to bottom): http://www.variety.com
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by EricJ » December 3rd, 2012, 7:47 pm

Ben wrote:And you guys know Hollywood plays funny games, right? So much easier for Paramount to justify losing their DWA distribution contract if the last film to go through them doesn't set the box-office alight...
They certainly didn't go out of their way to promote it in the last weeks.
But also, just more a case of November problems: The family animated movie that opens in the first week in November is the sought-after "starting pistol" for the Nov-Dec. hoiiday season, and the one that opens three weeks later in Thanksgiving is going to end up in the first movie's shadow.
Normally, DW jumps for that valuable spot (eg. Bee Movie making more than it should have), but Ralph got the opening this year, and Ralph cast a very big shadow.

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by ShyViolet » December 9th, 2012, 6:35 pm

I think what you said about the film feeling "nonDreamWorks" was very interesting and significant Dacey. I felt the same, and the best answer that I could come up with to explain this was that this film did NOT carry the "adult in
every child" motif that so many DW films have carried. This film had the most innocence and childlike wonder in it than any DW film since Prince of Egypt. The need for DW to have the signature wise-cracking feel to its films was barely present here at all. It felt more like a Disney film (in the best possible sense) than any DW film released in the past eighteen years.
There was no "kids are so sophisticated these days" feel to it, the way there was with so many DW films. It was, in essence, a celebration of childhood wonder. Such a wonderful throwback as far as DW (and other current studio output) is concerned.
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by ShyViolet » January 11th, 2013, 12:24 pm

I'm very disappointed this wasn't nominated. It wasn't a perfect movie but it had some beautiful things in it.
Wreck It Ralph was definitely a lot of fun and I'm very glad it got the nom but Rise was great too. I was actually thinking that maybe DW would win the oscar for the first time since shrek.
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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by James » January 11th, 2013, 3:17 pm

I don't think Guardians had a chance head to head vs Wreck-It Ralph, but I was surprised that Pirates got the nod over it.

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by EricJ » January 13th, 2013, 4:19 pm

James wrote:I don't think Guardians had a chance head to head vs Wreck-It Ralph, but I was surprised that Pirates got the nod over it.
Pirates was...okay, in that an average/bad Aardman is still better than most other studios' good movies, but it's absolutely no Flushed Away. (And a little too snide-spirited to even be as harmless as Chicken Run.)
Think the Animation voters wanted to stick up for the brave stop-motion folks this year. :D

(Just now catching up with all my Oscar nominees, now that I have a little set aside for 3D rentals:
Brave had even less of story than I feared it would have, haven't gotten to Frankenweenie yet, although I know--in excruciating detail--what kind of bad to expect from Tim Burton, and my views on Paranorman are best expressed elsewhere.
Ralph has nothing to fear from competition this year, Guardians or no.)

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by Ben » January 14th, 2013, 12:23 pm

EricJ wrote:Ralph has nothing to fear from competition this year, Guardians or no.)
...or Brave, which just won the Globe over it. :(

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by Macaluso » January 14th, 2013, 4:07 pm

Ben wrote:
EricJ wrote:Ralph has nothing to fear from competition this year, Guardians or no.)
...or Brave, which just won the Globe over it. :(
Which is totally ridiculous for a number of reasons. Ugh.

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Re: Rise of the Guardians

Post by EricJ » January 14th, 2013, 11:20 pm

Chief being, nobody pays any attention to the GG's AFTER the Oscar nominations come out.
Before, it's "Ben Affleck for Best Director? This could be a major factor in the nominations!"
After, it's "What, you still here? Thought you stopped giving them out twenty years ago!"

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