The Muppet Babies are back - in CG form?
The Muppet Babies are back - in CG form?

"Muppet Babies" returns to television with CG animated series

For several generations of kids, the only thing better than The Muppets was "Muppet Babies," the animated show that lasted for about seven years in the '80s and early '90s. Now, Disney aims to give a new generation of children that same experience, as the company announced today it's creating a reboot of the animated series – this time with CG animation – for Disney Junior. 

Here's how they look, making the jump from 2-D to 3-D:

They look good, like they actually have the texture of the felt puppets from our youth. Now, how that'll look in actual motion, we'll have to wait to see – quite a while, too. The show isn't set to premiere until early 2018, and right now, the only thing we really know about the show is the above photo and that it'll be, according to Variety, "geared toward children ages 4-7 and feature two 11-minute adventures per episode."

While we're waiting, I suppose we can just listen to the theme song a couple hundred thousand times (on that note: Disney Junior, don't mess with this). And also debate whether the CG animation could ever match the original animation – or their felt forefathers. Because arguing about children's puppets is just what mature adults do. 

"Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2" released its first teaser today.

First "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2" teaser is here ... as if you needed it

You probably didn't need much of a teaser trailer to start getting excited about "Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2.," the sequel to arguably Marvel's most universally enjoyed film. But here's one anyways, released today by returning director James Gunn, and it certainly doesn't hurt!

There's also this new first poster, which already has a strong future ahead of it as a dorm room staple:

Between the poster and teaser, there's a lot here to be excited about – beyond simply the whole gang being back together with another cool "Hooked on a Feeling" remix. The humor of the first film seems intact, from the on-point tagline ("Obviously") to delightfully awkward David Bautista hugs. The fact that Karen Gillan's Nebula, at least based on the poster, appears to be getting a larger role befitting her character's awesome design is an intriguing prospect, and the visuals – like that shot of Star Lord overlooking some sort of space swamp – look even more spectacularly imaginative and comic book-y.

And most importantly:

Why yes, that is Baby Groot. And now that you mention it, yes, he is wearing a little Star Lord jacket. They probably could've just released that GIF as the trailer and that still as the promotional poster and made $150 million on its opening weekend next summer (May 5, to be exact).

But they didn't. They gave us a whole teaser trailer – not that we needed one to be excited, but it goes give me something to watch 80 times on repeat tonight rather than the debate. So much appreciated, Marvel.

Read more...
Disney star Ross Lynch (right) will play Jeffrey Dahmer (left) in a new movie, and the resemblance is ... startling.
Disney star Ross Lynch (right) will play Jeffrey Dahmer (left) in a new movie, and the resemblance is ... startling. (Photo: Instagram/r5_rocks_rossy)

There's a new Jeffrey Dahmer movie coming out ... with a Disney star in the lead

With true crime stories all the rage in Hollywood, it's actually surprising that it has taken this long to get around to a new movie about the case of Milwaukee's own Jeffrey Dahmer. But it's finally happened – and with a surprising face in the lead. Well, maybe a surprising name; the face is ... well, more on that later. 

Based on Derf Backderf's graphic novel of the same name, "My Friend Dahmer" tells the story of the notorious cannibal's high-school teenager years before his first killing. The script – adapted by Marc Meyers, who's also in line to direct – made Hollywood's famous Black List, a yearly list of the best unproduced screenplays out on the market, back in 2014.

Two years later, with OJ, Jon Benet and other cases popping back into the pop cultural spotlight, the movie is now en route, starring Anne Heche, Vincent Kartheiser of "Mad Men," Alex Wolff of the upcoming "Jumanji" update and in the title role ...

(PHOTO: Disney Channel Facebook)

Huh. Well, that is an ... interesting choice.

For those over the age of 15, that's teen heartthrob Ross Lynch, star of Disney's "Austin & Ally" and both "Teen Beach" movies. He also performs in a pop rock band called R5. None of these details particularly scream perfection to play one of the nation's most infamous serial killers, but maybe the four-time Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards winner had a really great audition. Or maybe his agent knew how to pull some impressive strings. Or maybe ...

It's pretty uncanny how similar they look... #myfrienddahmer #rosslynch

A photo posted by Ready Set Rock (@r5_rocks_rossy) on

Oh, OK, I guess it all makes sense now – and also, is it really cold in here? Anyone else suddenly shivering a lot? 

"My Friend Dahmer" will be far from the first time the killer's been brought to the big screen. "Jeff: The Jeffrey Dahmer Files" a documentary – shot in Milwaukee – about the case, hit SXSW and the Milwaukee Film Festival in 2012, …

Read more...
These kooky creations deserve a better documentary than "Yarn."
These kooky creations deserve a better documentary than "Yarn."

Art doc "Yarn" disappointingly fails to make the most of its material

Forget your dusty old sweaters and moldy, drafty blankets: There are a lot of exciting, creative and vibrant things happening in the world of yarn. You just wouldn’t get that impression walking out of "Yarn," one of the Art & Artists documentary selections at this year’s Milwaukee Film Festival. Given a sprawling quilt’s worth of solid storytelling threads to work with, Icelandic director Una Lorenzen unfortunately only knits together a few moderately interesting socks.

The material is certainly there – quite literally – as "Yarn" unwinds around the globe and needles in on four diverse and daring yarn artists in action.

One, Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar, works as a graffiti artist – but with wool rather than paint and stickers, stapling up bright pieces of crocheted rebellion around Iceland and Cuba. The Polish-born Olek also uses yarn for unexpectedly bright and bold art works – most notably, a collection of knitted multi-colored camo bodysuits – that probably wouldn’t enchant your knit-happy grandma (especially the window piece proclaiming "Keep calm & eat my c*ck" in yarn) but have enchanted art house crowds here in America and worldwide.

Meanwhile, in the doc’s most intoxicating chapter, Canadian-based yarn artist Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam uses her craving for crochet to create massive, colorfully webbed pools of hanging yarn for children to play on like a bouncy, woolen Chuck E. Cheese’s. Her tightly wound playgrounds of loose, free childish exploration look so delightful that a viewer can easily find oneself regretting being stuck in a theater seat.

That feeling of regret only grows – for unfortunately far less whimsical and entertaining reasons – as "Yarn" sluggishly unravels throughout its thin 79-minute running time. That’s especially the case during the doc’s last intertwined artist profile: a band of Swedish circus performers assembling a yarn-themed conceptual show that mostly comes off as Cirque-lite, all-caps ART. Though a sequ…

Read more...