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Thread: Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom Of Doom

  1. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Good ol' Epoch Times. They really know how to deliver the goods.
    That last line is the kicker. A duck the father of a panda?! We dare not!!
    Seriously the Epoch Times isn't even worthy of wrapping fish and chips in.
    Simon McNeil
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    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
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  2. #77
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    KFP2 in 4D!!!

    I'm so bummed. When I saw it, I missed a D. So what now? I gotta go all the way to Korea to experience that extra D?

    South Korean cinemas show films in "4D"
    Monday, July 11 2011, 11:04am EDT
    By Ben Lee, Editorial Assistant

    Cinemas in South Korea have been showing some of the latest movies in "4D".

    Screenings in 4D have added to the viewing experience with touch and smell, as well as including fog and strobe lights that are synced with the screen.

    A Korean moviegoer, who went to see DreamWorks' animation feature Kung Fu Panda 2, said in the Sunday Times: "The seats have massage chair motors so that they punch you lightly in the kidneys or bottom when Po gets hit or falls down.

    "At the end, bubbles floated down from the ceiling to simulate fireworks - hilarious and well worth the 18,000 [South Korean won] (£11 / $17) ticket price."

    Some people who saw Transformers: Dark of the Moon reportedly complained of the excessive smell of rubber, while Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Avatar are two other movies to have received the 4D treatment.

    The company behind 4D, CJ 4DPlex, intends to expand to America and then Europe.

    There are already cinemas in America and Canada that support D-BOX technology. Seats in D-BOX motion-enhanced theatres rock around based on the action on-screen. Films like Fast Five have used this technology.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #78
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    Right, that's what I want when I watch a movie, to be punched lightly in the kidneys every time a CGI panda does a pratt-fall.
    Simon McNeil
    ___________________________________________

    Be on the lookout for the Black Trillium, a post-apocalyptic wuxia novel released by Brain Lag Publishing available in all major online booksellers now.
    Visit me at Simon McNeil - the Blog for thoughts on books and stuff.

  4. #79
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    $91.9 mill!

    Wonder how Harry will do...
    Posted: Wed., Jul. 13, 2011, 1:33pm PT
    'Panda 2' boosts Chinese box office
    Pic reigns for first part of the year
    By Clifford Coonan
    BEIJING -- "Kungfu Panda 2" dominated Chinese B.O. in the first six months of this year, taking 59675 million yuan ($91.9 million), while total earnings in the fast-growing China market were up nearly 18% at 5.7 billion yuan ($880 million).

    Data from the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television (SARFT) showed domestic films took in 2.93 billion yuan ($450 million), an increase of 38% over the same period last year, while foreign films took 2.77 billion yuan (430 million), up 1.6%, in the first six months.

    Last year, Chinese B.O. was up 64% at $1.53 billion. "Avatar" skewed the figures slightly with its success, notching up $210 million of that figure, and this was the James Cameron pic's second biggest take outside of North American.

    The big pictures of the year so far included "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" took 472 million yuan ($72.7 million) while the Vin Diesel starrer "Fast Five" took 255 million yuan ($39.2 million).

    However, "Beginning of the Great Revival," a propaganda epic to mark the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China, took 304.69 million yuan ($68 million) by the end of June.
    Gene Ching
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  5. #80
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    Random panda

    Eats shoots and doesn’t leave
    Reshma Patil, Hindustan Times
    Chengdu, July 24, 2011

    First Published: 01:05 IST(24/7/2011)
    Last Updated: 08:34 IST(25/7/2011)

    The original kung fu panda, the baby bear that inspired sketches of its Hollywood avatar, lives in a city you may not have heard of. The real baby Po is a three-year-old local celebrity named Kung Zai who has found his inner peace chomping tens of kilos of bamboo in an air-conditioned chamber
    behind glass walls.

    While Kung Zai eats, sleeps and rarely kicks in front of the 2,000 daily visitors who travel to Panda Road in Chengdu, surveyors are following trails of panda droppings to count his elusive family and friends in the mountainous forests of southwest China.

    The ongoing decadal census of the giant panda is likely to reveal a rise in the population of the world’s rarest bear. At last count, 1,596 giant pandas — the last of the eight million year old species — still survived in China’s wilderness.

    “We estimate that the number of giant pandas has grown,’’ Hou Rong, Director, research center, at the Chengdu panda base, told HT. “A little bit."

    “The panda numbers will be higher than the last 10 years,’’ agreed Xie Yan, China Director of the Wildlife Conservation Society. “We have reasons to be optimistic."

    Until India this year declared that its tiger population had increased to 1,706, there were more giant pandas in China than tigers roaming India.

    China has used ingenious and often drastic methods to bring pandas back from the brink of extinction. But their future still looks ‘bleak,’ says the narrative in a video at the panda base in Chengdu.

    This 100-hectare forest inside a northern suburb of the congested, 13-million strong capital of Sichuan province that claims to have the country’s largest software park, is squeezed in by urbanisation like the Borivali forests in northern Mumbai. The comparison ends in location; unlike the depleting wildlife in Mumbai, the Chengdu family is growing.

    The panda base has increased the population of China’s national symbol from six in 1987, when it was established, to 34 ten years ago and 96 today. Its collection of the foxy red pandas — shifu the meditative kung fu guru in the DreamWorks animation — has grown from zero to 19 in 2001 and 60 today. Another 317 pandas are bred in captivity.

    “Our plan for the next 10 years is to increase the population,’’ said Hou, “To 120-150 for both giant and red pandas.”

    A bearable match
    The television screens in Chengdu’s shops selling panda accessories for ponytails and cell phones show the challenge of match-making pandas disinterested in the opposite sex. Researchers have shown the bears panda porn videos. They spy on their relationships using DNA satellite technology to know couples from cousins and prevent interbreeding among the indistinguishably black and white bears. A standard method today is sedating pandas and applying mild electric shocks to collect semen.

    “The biggest challenge is to maintain genetic diversity,’’ said Hou. “The original group of pandas interbred among each other may not have carried all their genetic characteristics, so there is a great danger that certain genetics might be lost.”

    A panda is also China’s great consumerist challenge. A 100-kilo panda in this centre eats his way daily through 15 kilos of bamboo leaves, 20-40 kilos of shoots, half a kilo apples and cakes steamed with corn, soybean, oats, rice, wheat, vegetable oil and vitamins. The centre buys 5,000 kilos of bamboo per day from the shrinking vegetation of the rapidly urbanising province.

    The high-profile panda may have distracted the government from species in dire need of protection. China had less than 50 wild tigers left in 2010, the lunar year of the tiger, and aims to double their number by 2022, the next tiger year.
    The Chengdu base is organising a research group to prepare select pandas for release in the wild, an experiment that had some failures so far. In some nature reserves, handlers now wear full-length panda costumes to prevent baby bears from getting used to humans.
    “First, we have to find an environment very similar to the wild for the pandas to adapt, develop abilities to survive, and capture food,’’ said Hou. The pampered Chengdu inhabitants are not ready, yet, to take the big step back into their natural home.
    However, HT’s tour guide said the bears are not that lazy. “We saw two-three pandas cooperating with each other to scale the moat,’’ he said. “Now there is an electric fence to keep them inside.’’

    Box-office bear
    The panda is not just China's best-known ambassador. In 2008, the Sichuan government turned to the panda to lift its image from the rubble of an 8.0 magnitude earthquake that killed nearly 80,000 people and left five million homeless.
    “After the earthquake, the government wanted to improve the image of Chengdu and prove that it’s worth visiting,’’ Liu Yulong, a local official, told HT. “Even for Hollywood’’.

    Officials Googled the producers of Kung Fu Panda and invited them to tour panda country. “To our surprise,’’ said Liu, they showed up and were introduced to the bear that inspired the making of baby Po.

    A slew of Beijing’s nationalists recently advocated boycotting Kung Fu Panda 2 as an American 'cultural invasion,' but the Sichuan government shrugged off the backlash and released a statement defining the movie as ‘deeply connected’ to the city’s culture.

    “Artistically, the film is very Chinese. If you like the movie, watch it," Liu said. “Don’t like it, don’t watch it."

    We were chatting in the three-centuries-old ‘narrow’ and ‘wide’ Qing dynasty lanes. Its sloping grey rooftops with dragon carvings are depicted in the fictional sequel with storefronts selling hot pot and noodles. In reality, the lane is lined with cafes selling Seattle coffee, Italian gelato and Indian roti.
    I'm only really posting this because of these two sentences:

    "Researchers have shown the bears panda porn videos."

    "A standard method today is sedating pandas and applying mild electric shocks to collect semen."

    Gene Ching
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  6. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post

    "A standard method today is sedating pandas and applying mild electric shocks to collect semen."

    Is that this '4D' technology I've been hearing about? I'm up for trying it! Why let pandas have all the fun?

  7. #82
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    $600 mil worldwide

    JULY 26, 2011, 8:52 P.M. ET
    DreamWorks Buoyed by 'Kung Fu Panda 2'
    By MICHELLE KUNG

    DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc.'s revenue and profit for the three months ended June 30 surged, thanks to the international success of "Kung Fu Panda 2," despite the film's weak domestic performance.

    "Kung Fu Panda 2," a 3-D animated film released May 26, has been a hit for the company overseas, grossing over $600 million world-wide. It is currently the fifth highest-grossing film of 2011.

    Domestically, however, the family film has underperformed, Chief Executive Jeffrey Katzenberg said in a conference call with Wall Street analysts. Mr. Katzenberg said the movie was hurt by "The Hangover Part II," which opened the same day.

    The executive said the R-rated "Hangover Part II" proved to attract a broader audience than DreamWorks had anticipated. The raunchy comedy's success ultimately cost "Kung Fu Panda 2" roughly $20 million in ticket sales, Mr. Katzenberg said. The executive described the rival film's effect as "a completely unanticipated tidal wave."

    The animation company's net income rose 42% to $34.1 million, or 40 cents per diluted share, versus $24 million, or 27 cents per diluted share, a year ago. Revenue was $218.3 million, compared with $158.1 million revenue in the year-earlier period.

    The earnings were released following the Nasdaq Stock Market's 4 p.m. close, sending company shares up about 4% in after-hours trading, to $22.48.

    Executives declined to discuss reports that the company is in talks with Netflix Inc. for an exclusive streaming deal.

    DreamWorks executives also addressed the recent announcement that their current distributor, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, is planning its own animation studio. Mr. Katzenberg characterized Paramount's plan as an affirmation of the value of animation in the marketplace, rather than a competitive threat.

    The CEO remained bullish about making films in 3-D, a format for which he has been a vocal advocate. Acknowledging the current backlash against 3-D among U.S. audiences, Mr. Katzenberg said that commentary on the issue had veered between extremes. He said that he was "probably to blame for some of" the overly optimistic remarks about the format, but said that current pessimism probably went too far, too.

    Also in the second quarter, "Megamind" contributed $19.7 million in revenue, primarily from home entertainment. "Shrek Forever After" and "How to Train Your Dragon" contributed $34.9 million and $41.4 million, respectively, primarily from world-wide pay television and home entertainment.

    Third-quarter results are expected to be driven primarily by the continuing international box office revenue of "Kung Fu Panda 2," which has yet to open in Japan and Italy, and domestic pay TV revenue from 2010's "Megamind." Come fourth quarter, the studio will see the theatrical release of "Puss in Boots," a spinoff of the company's popular "Shrek" franchise, and the home video release of "Kung Fu Panda 2."
    Interesting situation - KFP2 was supposed to be a tentpole for DreamWorks, but it's become a lightning rod for 3D and global markets.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #83
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    The wake of Po

    DreamWorks Animation Rejects Paramount Offer to Extend Distribution Deal By One Year (Exclusive)
    6:37 PM 8/1/2011 by Kim Masters


    Paramount, whose deal with DWA runs through 2012, had offered to continue to release DWA movies for an 8 percent fee, though the studio wants to receive more in the future and DWA wants to pay less.

    The relationship between DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures continues to devolve. The Hollywood Reporter has learned that DWA's board has rejected an offer to extend its current distribution pact for an additional year, through 2013.

    Paramount, whose deal with DWA runs through 2012, had offered to continue to release DWA movies for an 8 percent fee, though the studio wants to receive more in the future and DWA wants to pay less. The standoff between DWA topper Jeffrey Katzenberg and Paramount's Brad Grey intensified when Grey announced last month that it will launch its own animation division.

    DWA declined to comment.

    DreamWorks is said to be exploring other distribution options but an insider says at this point, "nobody has been pitched to do distribution" for DWA and therefore, no one has passed. Though some outsiders do not see an obvious contender to take Paramount's place, this source says the animation firm "is not quaking in its boots going, `Paramount is the only game in town'" because DWA can deliver solid fees on product that reliably grosses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Even the latest DWA film, Kung Fu Panda 2, perceived as a relatively disappointing performer, has grossed more than $600 million worldwide.

    The DWA insider dismisses Paramount's decision to launch an animation division as a plan "to do low-rent movies."
    Interesting shift. Wonder what's behind it all exactly...
    Gene Ching
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  9. #84
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    Po's continued impact

    UPDATE 1-Yoku.com to distribute KungFu Panda films in China
    Mon Aug 29, 2011 10:14am EDT

    * Signs pact with DreamWorks Animation for online distribution

    * Shares up as much as 10 pct

    Aug 29 (Reuters) - China's Internet television company Youku.com Inc said it had entered into an agreement with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc for online distribution of KungFu Panda franchise films in mainland China.

    Shares of the company were trading up 7 percent at $24.94 on Monday morning on the New York Stock Exchange. They touched a high of $25.69 earlier in the session.

    One of China's YouTube clones, Youku.com debuted in December 2010 and competes with Tudou Holdings Inc , Ku6 Media Co Ltd , Qiyi.com -- a firm partly owned by Baidu Inc -- PPS.tv and PPTV.

    Both KungFu Panda titles are available for on-demand viewing on Youku Premium and will subsequently debut on Youku's Hollywood Movie Channel after the paid viewing window closes, Youku said in a statement.

    DreamWorks Animation's KungFu Panda franchise has grossed over $1.25 billion at the box office till date and is very popular with Chinese audiences, the company said. (Reporting by Rachana Khanzode and Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)
    Aug 29 2011 09:38 PM ET
    'Kung Fu Panda 2' becomes highest-grossing film directed by a woman
    by John Young


    Jennifer-Yuh-Nelson
    Image Credit: David Gabber/PR Photos

    One small step for giant panda, one giant leap for female filmmakers. With a worldwide tally of $637.6 million and counting, Kung Fu Panda 2 has become the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman. In this case, the honor goes to Jennifer Yuh Nelson, who made her directorial debut with the well-reviewed Panda 2 after working on the first Kung Fu Panda as head of story and the director of that film’s opening dream sequence. Panda 2 broke the record by passing Phyllida Lloyd’s Mamma Mia!, which earned $609.8 million globally in 2008.

    Although Panda 2 has been a slight box-office disappointment domestically, grossing $164.3 million here compared to the original’s $215.4 million, it has been a firecracker overseas. That’s especially true in China, where Panda 2 has collected a staggering $91.5 million. Just three years ago, the original Panda made only $26 million in the country. Clearly there was an increased interest in the sequel, but it also goes to show you just how much of a booming market China has become.

    As for the domestic record for female filmmakers, that’s slightly more complicated. Domestically, the biggest movie helmed by a woman was 2001′s Shrek ($267.7 million), which was co-directed by Vicky Jenson. But if you’re looking for the highest-grossing film that was directed by one woman, that’d be 2009′s Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel ($219.6 million), made by Betty Thomas. And if you want to exclude pictures with animated protagonists, then it becomes Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight, which drained $192.8 million in 2008.

    Summer Movies: Get the latest news, photos, and more

    But for now, the spotlight deserves to shine on Nelson, who was born in South Korea, immigrated to the United States at the age of 4, and grew up in Southern California watching martial-arts movies and drawing perpetually. With Kung Fu Panda 2, Nelson has combined those two interests and guided the result to nearly two-thirds of a billion dollars. That’d be an impressive outcome for any filmmaker, but considering that only seven percent of Hollywood directors are female, her achievement becomes — in the words of Po — pure awesomeness.
    Funny how KFP2 is still considered a disappointing performer for DreamWorks. I'm now inclined to write this off to the 'kung fu stigma' - that generally low regard for kung fu by pop culture.
    Gene Ching
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  10. #85
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    More merch.

    Kung Fu Panda and gang makes music
    Edwin Kee 10/12/2011 03:42 PDT



    I have yet to meet a person who found Kung Fu Panda to be a turn off, so it either is one universally appealing cartoon character, or I do not know enough people – I suspect it is the latter, but I digress. If you happen to be a fan of Kung Fu Panda, then you would definitely be pleased to hear (pun not intended as you can soon tell) that the Panda (Po) and his cohort will come in the form of MP3 players to assault your ears with your favorite tunes, thanks to Mugo.

    These aren’t just MP3 players but like many others, they too are USB flash drives. It doesn’t matter which character you pick up – Po, Master Shifu, Monkey, and Tigress – they all come with a couple of GBs of internal storage space, in addition to an audio jack located right on the top of the character’s head (which is better than the butt, of course).

    They’re all priced the same – $55, and that is rather pricey considering the amount of money you fork out for it in return for the amount of storage space. Guess this is something meant for the kids who can’t get enough of Kung Fu Panda…load it up with the movie’s soundtrack and you’re set.
    $55? How many GBs for that?
    Gene Ching
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    Just in time for the holidays

    ...and synched w/the roll out of the new Nick series.
    Kung Fu Panda 2 DVD & Blu-Ray
    04 November 2011

    One of the top films of the year worldwide, Kung Fu Panda 2, DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.’s spectacular follow up to the Academy Award®-nominated original, earned more than $650 million at the global box office, delighting viewers of all ages with its engaging story.

    Combining non-stop action, beautiful storytelling and stunning animation, the winning sequel makes its highly-anticipated Blu-ray and DVD debut on 14 November 2011 featuring the year’s heavyweight hero and loads of entertainment you didn’t see in cinemas.

    Boasting an all-star cast of voice talent including Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Michelle Yeoh, Danny McBride and Jean-Claude Van Damme, Kung Fu Panda 2 delivers an action-packed, uproarious and inspiring experience that the whole family can enjoy.

    Over-stuffed with Po-sized bonus features, the Awesome DVD and Blu-ray Triple Play (Blu-ray, DVD & Digital Copy) provide hours of hilarity and entertainment including interviews with the returning cast and new faces who have joined the journey, a fun tutorial that teaches 50 Kung Fu Panda-inspired words in Chinese, deleted scenes and filmmakers’ commentary.

    In addition, the Blu-ray Triple Play pack includes a digital copy of the film to enjoy on the go, hilarious pop-up trivia, and a visit to the Animators’ Corner featuring interviews with creators, animators, cast and crew, storyboards, commentary and more.

    In DreamWorks Animation’s Kung Fu Panda 2, Po is now living his dream as the Dragon Warrior, protecting the Valley of Peace alongside his friends and fellow kung fu masters, the Furious Five.

    But Po’s new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. Po must look to his past and uncover the secrets of his mysterious origins; only then will he be able to unlock the strength he needs to succeed.
    Gene Ching
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    Top Annie Awards

    12 nominations for KFP2.

    "Kung Fu Panda 2" tops Annie Award nominations
    By Steve Pond
    Mon Dec 5, 2011 3:52pm EST

    LOS ANGELES (TheWrap.com) - The Annie Awards, which have been wracked by controversy in recent years, attempted to right the ship on Monday with a slate of nominations that included, well, everybody.

    With an expanded field in nearly every category, including 10 nominees for Best Animated Feature, the International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, was all-inclusive in its nominations, with 13 different animated films receiving nominations and no one film running away from the field the way "How to Train Your Dragon" did last year.

    Typically, a DreamWorks Animation production led the pack, with the 12 nominations for "Kung Fu Panda 2" being three more than the nine received by that company's "Puss in Boots" and Paramount's "Rango."

    But Disney and Pixar were well-represented as well, after a year in which they withdrew from ASIFA-Hollywood over concerns about the judging process. Pixar's "Cars 2" received seven nominations and Disney's "Winnie the Pooh" received eight, though it was shut out of the top category, Best Animated Feature, despite that category's 10 nominees.

    Competing for the top award will be DWA's "King Fu Panda 2" and "Puss in Boots," "Cars 2," "Rango," Blue Sky Studios' "Rio," Sony and Aardman Animation's "Arthur Christmas" and Amblin's Steven Spielberg production "The Adventures of Tintin."

    Also in the running: the smaller European films "A Cat in Paris," "Arrugas" ("Wrinkles") and "Chico & Rita," all of which are also in the running for the Best Animated Feature award at the Oscars.

    George Miller's "Happy Feet 2," which opened in November to disappointing box-office returns and largely negative reviews, did not receive any nominations.

    ASIFA reorganized under new leadership earlier this year, resulting in Disney and Pixar returning to the organization.
    Gene Ching
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    Just watched this the other day with the wife and thought it was a pretty good movie.

    Good story, had a beginning a middle and an end and the underlying message was good too!

    You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel good watching this movie.
    Really.

    Kung Fu is good for you.

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    The DVD drops next week

    I'm picking one up for an Xmas present.... for my kid. Meanwhile, the buzz machine is cranking...

    Newest Members of a Very Small Club
    12:45 PM PST 12/8/2011 by Pamela McClintock


    Angelina Jolie & Jennifer Yuh Nelson
    Peggy Sirota
    Hollywood's biggest actress-turned-director talks shop with the highest-grossing female director of all time: "I don't think about the gender thing very much."

    It's been months since Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Yuh Nelson -- who directed Jolie in Kung Fu Panda 2 -- have seen each other. The last time they were together was for the May 22 Los Angeles premiere of the celebrated toon, which became the highest-grossing film ever directed by a woman, earning $663 million worldwide. Now, meeting up at a small Hollywood studio just after Thanksgiving, they share even more in common: Like Nelson, Jolie is now a first-time director herself and in the final stages of preparing for the Dec. 23 limited release of her Bosnian war film In the Land of Blood and Honey. She can't wait to compare notes with Nelson on the mundane details that evaded her as an actress. "Isn't it exciting when the first poster comes out?" Jolie says to Nelson before conceding that as an actress, she could always blame the director, but not this time. Although neither would label herself an activist for female causes per se, the duo are mystified as to why there aren't more women directors -- only 13.4 percent of the DGA's director members are female. To boot, Kung Fu Panda 2 is only the second animated studio pic solely directed by a woman, after The Tigger Movie. "Isn't that crazy? Animated films are so family-oriented, you'd think that there would be women," Jolie, 36, says. Like so many other female directors with less-commercial films -- Kathryn Bigelow, Jane Campion, Lisa Cholodenko -- Jolie was forced to go the indie route, since no studio wanted to back a bleak war movie with local actors set against a love story between a Muslim and a Serb. Jolie herself put up a large chunk of the $15 million budget, while Graham King's GK Films put up the rest. Jolie considers Nelson, 39, a mentor, and was so comfortable on the set of Kung Fu Panda 2 that she often brought one or more of her six kids to the studio. Both women are among a cadre of female directors gearing up for this year's awards season -- Vera Farmiga, Phyllida Lloyd and Dee Rees among them -- and the prospect is daunting. In the Land of Blood and Honey is angling for a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign language film (Jolie shot the film in both English and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian; in the U.S., it will be released in BCS at her request), while Jeffrey Katzenberg's DreamWorks Animation is pushing hard for Kung Fu Panda 2 across multiple Oscar and Globe categories. THR senior film writer Pamela McClintock sat down with them both.

    PHOTOS: 5 of Hollywood's Hottest Female Directors

    THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: Angie, what was it like working for a woman after being directed by two men on the first Kung Fu Panda?

    Angelina Jolie: When Jen came on, there was an extra level of elegance and humanity, which you see in the film. It is a truly great movie, and I love when my children watch it because I know it's teaching them great things. It's especially relevant to my family because of adoption [in the film, Po the panda, who has been raised by his goose father, goes in search of his birth parents].

    Jennifer Yuh Nelson: It's something we were very aware of and when we showed the story to Angie, we thought, "I hope she likes it."

    PHOTOS: The Kung Fu Panda 2 Premiere

    THR: Jen, you've worked at DreamWorks Animation for 14 years. Jeffrey Katzenberg calls you a superstar, and says the reason you can handle yourself in such a macho profession is that you "walk softly, but carry a big stick."

    Nelson: I always take my ego out of it. When people feel safe, they can come up with ideas. It's important to listen to the actor who is there on the stage and living it. If the actor doesn't feel it's right, that's when you say, "OK, let's find something else." It's then that you get the natural moment.

    Jolie: She's got this magical power and I was so fortunate to learn from Jen. She's just so calm about the way she asks for something. There's no possible way to deny her. On the first Kung Fu Panda, I would fight a line. With Jen, she would politely say, "Can we just try it?" And you kind of melt and say, "OK." She is a genuine artist who can see the bigger picture. And, fortunately, I've scored some points at home because of Kung Fu Panda. They love Tigress, who is my alternate personality. Otherwise, they think Brad [Pitt] and I are just so not cool.

    THR: Were there other directors you both turned to?

    Jolie: I've had the fortunate experience of working with so many interesting directors, from Michael Winterbottom to Clint Eastwood. I tried to remember the experiences that were my best as an actor, and what a director did to give me comfort and confidence. And I tried to keep a happy crew, which I learned a lot about from Clint and Jen.

    Nelson: I remember being in the middle of Kung Fu Panda, which took three years, and everyone was upset and tired and wondering if we were ever going to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and Guillermo del Toro stopped by and gave me the "man" speech. He said, "You've gotta man up and take this, and don't be scared of making bold choices." He was such a great supporter.

    PHOTOS: Angelina Jolie's Top 10 Red Carpet Looks

    THR: Angie, how did you convince Graham King to take on this project, considering that war films are, as you put it, "famously unsuccessful." The film tackles tough subjects, including the war's infamous rape camps.

    Jolie: I worked with him on The Tourist, and one day I asked him if he'd read my script. I didn't know how he'd react, since on many levels, this was a big risk. I wasn't going to star in it, and I wanted to cast all local actors. It wasn't a pile of good news for him. But he was great, and he took the chance.

    THR: How did you ever find time to write the script?

    Jolie: I wrote whenever I could, when the kids were asleep or in their classes. Halfway through some of the most horrific scenes, I'd hear, "Mommy, I need another story, I can't go to sleep," and so I'd pause what I was doing and go tell happy stories about bunny villages. I studied a lot about the war, and watched a lot of documentaries.

    PHOTOS: 'The Tourist's' Style

    Nelson: And you filmed every scene twice, in two different languages?

    Jolie: We would do a few takes in one language, and then we'd switch and do a few takes in the other. Sometimes, we'd have to return to the English take, because they discovered something when filming in their own language. The producers had said we'd have to cancel shooting in two languages if I went over schedule. We actually gained a day in our first week, so they left us alone. It was always my hope that the film would be released in the native language, but some countries, like England, bought the English version. France bought the BCS version. It also will be released in Bosnia.

    THR: What will you tell your kids about In the Land of Blood and Honey?

    Jolie: They won't see this movie. They know that mommy, on occasion, goes off to Libya or other places. I make them very conscious of the fact that there are a lot of people struggling through different things, and I don't protect them from the fact that war isn't a video game, it's a very, very horrible thing.

    VIDEOS: 4 Clips From 'In the Land of Blood and Honey'

    THR: How did you go about casting local actors in Bosnia?

    Jolie: I hid my name from the script when it went out because it was important to get a genuine reaction. By the time the actors found out, they'd already been introduced to the subject matter. I consider them the closest friends I've got right now. These are people who lived through the war. I'm nervous because I'm responsible as the director to the crew and cast. I want so much for them to be recognized for the work that they've done and the bravery of the choice to participate. We have 16 people coming to New York for the premiere on Dec. 5, and I'm so excited.

    Nelson: Your movie is very powerful.

    THR: Before reading the script, the Bosnian government temporarily suspended your filming permit after the Association of Women Victims of War in Bosnia objected to a Muslim woman falling in love with her Serb captor. But that wasn't the case -- the two fall in love before the war starts -- so the permit was reissued.

    Jolie: There was one woman who hadn't read the script, and who didn't want to meet with me. This is a very sensitive subject for someone who lived through these things. It's only been 15 years since the war and it's a painful memory. In my heart, the film was done on behalf of all people who suffered through this. A lot of women's groups have seen it, and the New York premiere of the movie was co-sponsored by Women for Women International, another group founded after the war in Bosnia. They felt it was the right thing to support it.

    Nelson: It's definitely not a passive movie and it makes you think.
    continued next post
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  15. #90
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    continued

    from previous
    THR: Why did you decide to build the story around a love affair?

    Jolie: I'm sure people will read different things into it, but the overall theme for me was intervention and what happens to people when war breaks out and how, over the years, they are tested -- whether a couple, or a father and son or friends -- and pulled apart, how they keep trying to hold on to their humanity but it keeps getting strained. The longer it takes to intervene and the more they witness, the more they are pushed to the edge. That's why it's so important to prevent conflict and when it happens, to educate ourselves as quickly as possible. It's not just buildings that are blown up, it's the souls of people that are affected and broken over the years.

    THR: The shoot for In the Land of Blood and Honey wrapped after 41 days, while it took three years to make Kung Fu Panda 2. Jen, how did you manage?

    Nelson: It's a long process, and you have to know exactly what's going to happen next. You can't do coverage. Everything has to be planned ahead of time. And you have to make sure that people are still motivated and happy and creatively challenged so that it can all be stitched together. The voice acting starts after a lot of the storyboards are done. With Angie, things would change when we got into the booth and played with her lines. We would discover things in the moment and rewrite the script on the spot. She really knows the character, so when she would say, "A tiger wouldn't say that," she was absolutely right. She gives Tigress that extra level, and that's why people like the character so much. Sometimes, Angie's kids would be in the booth with me. Maddox would say, "That take was good," and I'd think, OK, he likes it, let's take that one.

    PHOTOS: Hollywood's 10 Highest-Paid Actresses

    THR: Is it hard to believe that you're the first woman to direct an animated studio film?

    Nelson: I don't think about the gender thing very much. But when I speak at schools, I've had female students say to me afterwards, "I never envisioned myself being a director, since I've never seen women do it." But after seeing me, they can picture themselves directing, so maybe we'll see more female directors. And half of these kids in art and animation schools are girls.

    Jolie: You should be very proud to have led the way.

    THR: Are you nervous about awards season? Jen, Kung Fu Panda 2 leads all Annie nominations with 12 mentions. And Land of Blood and Honey seems like a shoo-in for a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign language film.

    Nelson: It's a totally different side of things. When you make a movie, it's just so personal and then you put it out in front of people and it becomes something else.

    Jolie: I honestly can't even think about that. I'm just hoping the movie isn't a complete disaster.

    THR: Angie, what's your next role? I know you recently signed a deal to star in Ridley Scott's movie about Gertrude Bell, who played an instrumental role in the formation of the modern Middle East.

    Jolie: It's been a very hard one to get financing for, because it isn't a small movie. I also want to do Maleficent at Disney, but we need a director.

    THR: Do you both want to direct again?

    Jolie: I don't know how confident I am yet that I can direct.

    Nelson: You should do it again.

    Jolie: No, you do it next. I'll jump into anything you direct.

    Nelson: I'm working on something, but I can't talk about it.

    THR: Is there a Kung Fu Panda 3 in the works?

    Nelson: There's plenty left to tell.

    Jolie: We can say we are in discussions. Tigress is my alternate personality, especially with children. I love animation because you get to do things you don't normally get to. For one, I could bring my kids and wear my pajamas, and hang out with Jen. And my character is just so badass.

    Nelson: And the stunts are safe.

    Jolie: Yes, eating pizza is the hardest stunt we did.

    ♦♦♦♦♦

    FEMALE DIRECTORS AT THE WORLD BOX OFFICE

    1. Kung Fu Panda 2: $663 million
    DAW/Paramount (2011)

    Jennifer Yuh Nelson's sequel narrowly bested the $631.7 million earned by the original Kung Fu Panda.

    2. Mamma Mia!: $609.8 million
    Universal (2008)

    Phyllida Lloyd's film adaptation grossed an astounding $465.7 million overseas.

    3. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The SqueakQuel: $443.1 million
    Fox (2009)

    Director Betty Thomas' other credits include Doctor Dolittle and 28 Days.

    4. Twilight: $392.6 million
    Summit (2008)

    Catherine Hardwicke's pic proved that women and girls are as fervent as fanboys.

    4. What Women Want: $374.1 million
    Paramount (2000)

    Like Nora Ephron and Penny Marshall, director Nancy Meyers has cracked the studio system, primarily with romantic comedies. Anne Fletcher another to watch, with The Proposal earning $443.1 million.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

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