This stylish British director began his career--while still quite young--working as a camera assistant on the films "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), "Superman" (1978), "Superman II" (1980) and "The Duellist...
While recent animated blockbusters have aimed to viewers of all ages starting with fantastical concepts and breathtaking visuals but tackling complex emotional issues along the way Ice Age: Continental Drift is crafted especially for the wee ones — and it works. Venturing back to prehistoric times once again the fourth Ice Age film paints broad strokes on the theme of familial relationships throwing in plenty of physical comedy along the way. The movie isn't that far off from one of the many Land Before Time direct-to-video sequels: not particularly innovative or necessary but harmless thrilling fun for anyone with a sense of humor. Unless they have a particular distaste for wooly mammoths the kids will love it.
Ice Age: Continental Drift continues to snowball its cartoon roster bringing back the original film's trio (Ray Romano as Manny the Mammoth Denis Leary as Diego the Sabertooth Tiger and John Leguizamo as Sid the Sloth) new faces acquired over the course of the franchise (Queen Latifah as Manny's wife Ellie) and a handful of new characters to spice things up everyone from Nicki Minaj as Manny's daughter Steffie to Wanda Sykes as Sid's wily grandma. The whole gang is living a pleasant existence as a herd with Manny's biggest problem being playing overbearing dad to the rebellious daughter. Teen mammoths they always want to go out and play by the waterfall! Whippersnappers.
The main thrust of the film comes when Scratch the Rat (whose silent comedy routines in the vein of Tex Avery/WB cartoons continue to be the series highlight) accidentally cracks the singular continent Pangea into the world we know today. Manny Diego and Sid find themselves stranded on an iceberg once again forced on a road trip journey of survival. The rest of the herd embarks to meet them giving Steffie time to realize the true meaning of friendship with help from her mole pal Louis (Josh Gad).
The ham-handed lessons may drag for those who've passed Kindergarten but Ice Age: Continental Drift is a lot of fun when the main gang crosses paths with a group of villainous pirates. (Back then monkeys rabbits and seals were hitting the high seas together pillaging via boat-shaped icebergs. Obviously.) Quickly Ice Age becomes an old school pirate adventure complete with maritime navigation buried treasure and sword fights. Gut (Peter Dinklage) an evil ape with a deadly... fingernail leads the evil-doers who pose an entertaining threat for the familiar bunch. Jennifer Lopez pops by as Gut's second-in-command Shira the White Tiger and the film's two cats have a chase scene that should rouse even the most apathetic adults. Hearing Dinklage (of Game of Thrones fame) belt out a pirate shanty may be worth the price of admission alone.
With solid action (that doesn't need the 3D addition) cartoony animation and gags out the wazoo Ice Age: Continental Drift is entertainment to enjoy with the whole family. Revelatory? Not quite. Until we get a feature length silent film of Scratch's acorn pursuit we may never see a "classic" Ice Age film but Continental Drift keeps it together long enough to tell a simple story with delightful flare that should hold attention spans of any length. Massive amounts of sugar not even required.
[Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox]
Director Michael Bay is set to mine interest in Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale - thanks to a new TV movie adaptation starring Eddie Izzard - for his own pirate series, titled Black Sails.
Bosses at U.S. cable network Starz have ordered eight episodes after learning that Bay's project will follow the history of young John Silver 20 years before his legless villain Long John Silver appears in Stevenson's novel.
Filming is expected to begin in South Africa later this year (12).
Meanwhile, Izzard and director Steve Barron are working on a Treasure Island sequel.
The blockbuster king appeared at the Nickelodeon Upfront convention in New York last week (ends16Mar12) and revealed all about his plans to reinvent the turtle superheroes as aliens.
He said, "When you see this movie, kids will believe one day that these turtles do exist... These turtles are from an alien race, and they're going to be tough, edgy, funny and completely lovable."
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles first hit the big screen in the early 1990s with films directed by Steve Barron and Michael Eastman. The franchise returned in 2007 with TMNT.
The Four Weddings and a Funeral star split from her French husband Francois Olivennes - the father of her three children - in 2005 after 18 years together.
The 49 year old reportedly enjoyed a brief fling with English actor Tobias Menzies, who is 14 years her junior, following the breakdown of her marriage, but has been single since.
But now, she is stepping out with Barron - the man behind Michael Jackson's Billie Jean video - according to Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.
A source tells the publication, "Steve and Kristin met through mutual friends in the film industry eight months ago and have been inseparable ever since. Now there are murmurs that they are trying to work on a project together."
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences handed out 21 awards tonight for scientific and technical achievements.
Actress Charlize Theron hosted the black tie gala at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel.
Scientific and Technical Awards are presented by the academy for ``devices, methods, formulas, discoveries or inventions of special and outstanding value to the arts and sciences of motion pictures.''
Seven Scientific and Engineering Awards were presented in the form of plaques, and 14 Technical Achievement Awards were given out as certificates. Its board of directors chose the winners based on recommendations from the
Scientific and Technical Awards Committee.
Achievements receiving the scientific and technical awards needn't have been invented during the current year, said Awards Administration Director Richard Miller. They are considered ``only if they have proved their exceptional merit through successful use,'' he said.
An Oscar statuette was presented to Edmund M. Di Giulio, who the academy calls one of the film industry's ``foremost engineering minds.'' De Giulio was the Gordon E. Sawyer Award recipient. The award, established
in 1981, is ``presented to an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.''
Perhaps best known for his part in the engineering and development of the Steadicam, Di Giulio has been active on various Academy subcommittees. He chaired the Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for five
An Award of Commendation went to Rune Ericson, who was honored for ``his groundbreaking efforts on and dedication to the development of the Kodak Super 16mm film format for motion pictures.'' According to the academy, the Swedish director of photography has worked for more than 30 years to improve the Super 16mm, which has been used for more than 500 feature films shot throughout the world since the 1970s.
The system gives the camera extreme mobility, allowing cuts in production costs and shooting time without corrupting the quality of the image, according to AMPAS. The 16mm film format has also played a significant part in furthering the mainstream success of low-budget films. By extending the width of the 16mm frame, more of the frame height can be used, which allows low-budget films to be produced in a technically compatible version for widescreen theatrical release.
Here are the Scientific and Engineering Award recipients:
John Eargle, Don Keele and Mark Engebretson for the concept, design and engineering of the modern constant-directivity, direct radiator style motion picture loudspeaker systems;
Iain Neil won for the concept and optical design and Al Saiki for the mechanical design of the Panavision Primo Macro Zoom Lens, a compact, wide-angle, macro focus lens;
Peter Kuran for the invention, and Sean Coughlin, Joseph A. Olivier and William Conner for the engineering and development, of the RCI-Color Film Restoration Process, which restores color to faded color negatives;
Franz Kraus, Johannes Steurer and Wolfgang Riedel for the design and development of the ARRILASER Film Recorder, which demonstrates a high level of engineering resulting in a compact, user-friendly, low-maintenance device while at the same time maintaining outstanding speed, exposure ratings and image quality;
Makoto Tsukada, Shoji Kaneko and the Technical Staff of Imagica Corp., and Daijiro Fujie of Nikon Corp., for the Imagica 65/35 Multi-Format Optical Printer, a liquid-gate optical printer that offers ease of set-up and change-
over to various formats from 35mm to 65mm;
Steve Gerlach, Gregory Farrell and Christian Lurin for the design, engineering and implementation of the Kodak Panchromatic Sound Recording Film, which allows all four soundtrack systems to be exposed on a single negative
with relative ease, facilitating more economic distribution of motion pictures; and
Paul Constantine and Peter M. Constantine for the design and development of the CELCO Digital Film Recorder products.
Here are the Technical Achievement Awards winners:
Pete Romano for the design and development of the Remote AquaCam, an underwater camera housing system for use in motion pictures;
Jordan Klein for his pioneering efforts in the development and application of underwater camera housings for motion pictures;
Lance Williams for his pioneering influence in the field of computer-generated animation and effects for motion pictures;
Bernard Werner and William Gelow for the engineering and design of filtered line arrays and screen spreading compensation as applied to motion picture loudspeaker systems;
Tomlinson Holman for the research and systems integration resulting in the improvement of motion picture loudspeaker systems;
Geoff Jackson and Roger Woodburn for their DMS 120S Camera Motor;
Thomas Major Barron for the overall concept and design; Charles Smith for the structural engineering; and Gordon Seitz for the mechanical engineering of the Bulldog Motion Control Camera Crane;
John Anderson, Jim Hourihan, Cary Phillips and Sebastian Marino for the development of the ILM Creature Dynamics System;
Dr. Steve Sullivan and Eric Schafer for the development of the ILM Motion and Structure Recovery System;
Carl Ludwig and John Constantine Jr. for their contributions to CELCO Digital Film Recorder products;
Bill Spitzak, Paul Van Camp, Jonathan Egstad and Price Pethel for their pioneering effort on the NUKE-2D Compositing Software;
Dr. Uwe Sassenberg and Rolf Schneider for the development of ``3D Equalizer,'' an advanced and robust camera and object match-moving system;
Garland Stern for the concept and implementation of the Cel Paint Software System; and
Mic Rodgers and Matt Sweeney for the concept, design and realization of the ``Mic Rig,'' a self-contained, low bed picture car carrier and camera platform.
Helmed the NBC miniseries "Merlin", produced by Hallmark Entertainment; received Emmy nomination
Produced "Reboot" (ABC), the first fully computer-animated children's show
Directed music videos for Michael Jackson ("Billie Jean") and Madonna ("Burning Up")
Signed two-year, first-look deal with Jim Henson Productions to develop feature and TV productions
Helmed the Hallmark miniseries, "DreamKeeper"
Directed the Emmy-nominated ABC miniseries "Arabian Nights", produced by Hallmark Entertainment
Served as a camera assistant on such films as "A Bridge Too Far", "Superman" and "The Duellists" (dates approximate)
TV directing debut, "Hans My Hedgehog" episode of "The Storyteller"
Wrote and directed the independent film, "Choking Man"
Feature directing debut, "Electric Dreams"
Co-produced and directed the comedy "Rat"
Directed "Coneheads," a feature film based on the "Saturday Night Live" sketches
Debut as screenwriter (also director), "The Adventures of Pinocchio"
US feature directing debut, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"
This stylish British director began his career--while still quite young--working as a camera assistant on the films "A Bridge Too Far" (1977), "Superman" (1978), "Superman II" (1980) and "The Duellists" (1977). Born in Dublin to a film family (his father was an actor and technician, his mother a director), Barron knew his way around a film set as a child. He made his feature debut with the video-oriented "Electric Dreams" (1984), which won awards at festivals in Madrid and France. During the mid-80s, he began directing hit music videos for Madonna, David Bowie, Michael Jackson ("Billie Jean"), Dire Straits ("Money For Nothing"), A-HA ("Take On Me") and Natalie Cole ("Unforgettable"), among others.
Barron returned to features with the action-comedy "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (1990), which went on to become the highest grossing independent feature to date (grossing over $300 million worldwide). He continued making escapist fare with "Coneheads" (1993), a film adaptation of the classic "Saturday Night Live" sketch. In 1994, he began a producing career, acting as co-executive producer on the Sylvester Stallone-Sharon Stone actioner "The Specialist" and the hit romantic comedy "While You Were Sleeping" (1995). He returned behind the cameras to helm the live-action adaptation of "The Adventures of Pinocchio" (1996) starring Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Martin Landau. This latter film also marked Barron's debut as a screenwriter.
Of course, Barron's music videos were seen on TV, but he made his official small-screen debut directing "Hans My Hedgehog" and "Fearnot" (NBC, 1987), the first two segments of "The Storyteller" series. In 1994, he executive-produced "Reboot" (ABC), the premiere for the first fully computer-animated children's series. Barron has also directed numerous TV commercials in England and the USA for Pepsi, Coke, Ford, Renault and other clients. In 1997, he entered into an agreement with Jim Henson Productions and Hallmark Entertainment that resulted in his helming such acclaimed TV miniseries as the Emmy-nominated "Merlin" (NBC, 1998) and "Arabian Night" (ABC, 2000).