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Holiday Treat: Rise of the Guardians

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I do enjoy the concept of the TV show Once Upon A Time, which expands the personalities and back-story's of fairytale and legendary characters. This season even goes so far as to have Snow White and Sir Lancelot be old friends and Mulan is quite familiar with Rumpelstiltskin.  What I don't like about "Once" is simple - it's poorly written.  The plots never really grab you or make very good use of these fabled, beloved heroes, heroines, villains and creatures.

Going into Rise of the Guardians I expected to feel pretty much the same, as this story brings together Santa Claus/North (Alec Baldwin), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), The Sandman (who doesn't speak, but communicates through sand images that he conjures above his head) The Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), Jack Frost (Chris Pine) and the Bogeyman (Jude Law).  Impressive cast, but the trailer features all those gnome like elves running around looking very commercial. And never having read "The Guardians Of Childhood" series by William Joyce, the books from which this latest DreamWorks feature is based - the whole concept seemed cutesy at best.

Boy was I wrong!  Rise of the Guardians is absolutely engaging, interesting, spiritual, mature yet child-like and exquisitely beautiful.  The film deals with concepts of finding one's center; the insidiousness of fear and the higher consciousness and knowledge that each one of us possesses the power to bring light into the world and defeat the evil grip of dark thoughts. At the same time, the movie is never preachy, or esoteric, it's completely kid friendly and there's plenty of action and humor for all!


Does anyone really know much about Jack Frost? We all know the saying "Jack Frost is nipping at your nose" but we don't really have a concept of who Jack Frost really is. Well, in the movie, neither does he, and that's our hook into the plot, discovering who Jack Frost is, how he came to be, and why is he being called to join "The Guardians".

Santa Claus is not your typical St. Nick, he's a Russian Cossack warrior:
"We looked at Russian architecture such as the Kremlin," art director Max Boas says. "His home in the North Pole is a giant wooden fortress. He's a gung-ho, untamable wild guy, so we wanted his architecture to be very masculine and strong. His home is built by interlocking wood pieces, a bit like the game Tetris"

The Easter Bunny is a bad tempered, bad-ass, nature loving Australian:
"Easter Bunny's garden home is an underground oasis where all life originates. Bunny lives there with giant sentinel eggs, ancient stone sculptures that come to life when invaders intrude...Since his home is the birthplace of nature, we designed a shrine environment after doing a lot of research on old temples, forest spirits, hieroglyphs and ancient carvings."

The most lovable character is The Sandman:
"He lives on a Dream Cloud right between night and day and travels with the sunset."Think of him as navigating an ocean of clouds," Hanenberger says. "If you're on a red-eye flight to the East Coast at sunset and you see that last little bit of sunlight hitting the clouds, you should look outside for Sandman, because that's where he would be."

The Tooth Fairy has a bird-like appearance, but I think her coloring should have been yellow and orange tones, rather than the greens and blues of the sea:
“For the Tooth Fairy's palace, located in Southeast Asia, the team turned to Thai architecture. It's very bird-based and has a lot of wing and beak motifs," Boas says. Since she stores the baby teeth of all mankind, she's basically a librarian, so there's tons of detail everywhere: carvings, mosaics and wall murals, it's all about communication and visual information.”



Rise of the Guardians is Peter Ramsey's, directorial debut, having begun as a storyboard artist working for David Fincher on Fight Club and Steven Spielberg on A.I., He has the distinction of being the first African-American filmmaker to direct a major, big budget CG-animated motion picture. Yet for Ramsey, himself, the milestone feels more like a necessary progression of sorts than an executed plan.

“It’s just like any other part of the industry, or any other part of the working world,” Ramsey told theGrio. “It’s just part of the evolution. Why’d it take so long to have a black president? Same kind of thing, but I think it’s one of the those things – there were a lot of people’s shoulders that I stood on…It was all based on work, and being ready when the right opportunity came along...
Me being an African-American filmmaker – [I] didn’t necessarily bring anything about that experience to this [film], but [that] a black filmmaker can make movies that anybody can enjoy,” he adds. “That we’re universal people too. I think that’s just as important as literally being represented on screen in that way.”  READ MORE

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is about discovering what I find pleasing in screening & eating - in case you missed it, the name is a play on Tinseltown using the Tines of a Fork.

Feel free to send me info on a film or new restaurant you'd like me to highlight.
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Will there ever be a cap on movie prices?

Will we one day pay $20 a pop?

Why don't we pay on a scale?

A crap movie like everything Adam Sandler has ever done should cost about $4.50.
Big action movies like"Lord of the Rings", "Iron Man," "Transformers" are worth $10.
Woody Allen movie or something like "Silver Linings Playbook" $6-$7.
A chick flick or light comedy $5.75 and most Indie Films $5.25.

You could even do it by seasons - all summer block busters from May to August - $10
Sept - November 15th $3.50 - $4
Back to $10 for Thanksgiving and Christmas etc...

Or you can do it by A Actors ($9 - $10), B Actors ($6 - $7) TV actors on the big screen ($3.50 - $4)

Surely I'm not the first person to realize this makes sense. Has it been voted on in the Motion Picture Industry and then vetoed? If so, why?
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