Oscar Profile #388: George Pal

Born February 1, 1908 in Cegléd, Austria-Hungary (now Hungary) the son of stage entertainers, George Marczincsak was educated at the Budapest Academy of Arts, graduating in 1928 with a degree in architecture. Highly skilled at drawing, with no prospects for a job as an architect, he went to work for Hunnia Films in Budapest. There he drew lobby posters and created embellished titles for silent films. He also learned the craft of motion picture cartooning.

In 1930, Marczincsak married Elizabeth Josepha (Zsoka) Grandjean with whom he would have two sons and remain married to until his death. In 1931, he went to work for UFA Studios in Berlin where he became head of the cartoon department. With the rise of the Nazis, he moved first to Prague, then Paris and then Eindhoven in the Netherlands. It was there that he met American filmmaker Dave Bader who came up with the name for his three-dimensional cartoons: “Puppetoons”. Changing his name to Pal, he and his wife repeatedly applied for American visas only to be turned down because the quotas for Hungarians was small and quickly filled. Finally, in 1939 the American consulate granted a visa for them and their first son (born in 1937) to leave for New York where he was offered a lectureship at Columbia University.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 19 (2018)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released


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Poll: What Are You Watching? (Feb. 20-22, 2018)

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What Are You Watching? (Feb. 20-22, 2018)

Cinema Sight Asks: What are you watching? (Feb. 20-22, 2018)

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Trailer Watch: Ocean’s 8 (2018) Updated

New Trailer (#3)

Ocean’s 8, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

2018 Summer Season Preview: May

Here we look at the upcoming month’s offerings.

May 4, 2018

Bad Samaritan

Premise: From IMDb: “A pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob.”
Box Office Prospects: $1.5 M
Expectations: Weak. I don’t see there being a huge audience for this film, except perhaps when it comes to home viewing.
Oscar Prospects: None.
Cinema Sight Preview: See my preview of this title here.

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Looking at the Weekend: Feb. 20-22, 2018

The second weekends of both Rampage and A Quiet Place will likely give I Feel Pretty a run for its money to take the box office crown. Ultimately, I suspect I Feel Pretty hasn’t had nearly the interest in it that these other films have, so I give the victory to A Quiet Place in its third week.

Our Highest Rated Films: I Feel Pretty
Our Best Awards Ratings: None

OTHER LIMITED RELEASES

The Devil and Father Amorth
Furious (Legend of Kolovrat)
Genesis
Ghost Stories
Godard Mon Amour

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This Day in Oscar History: April 18 (2018)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

Oscar Ceremonies

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Film Preview: Adrift (2018)

Page Revisions:

(April 15, 2018) Original

Release Date:

June 1, 2018

Synopsis:

From IMDb: “Starring Shailene Woodley and Sam Claflin, Adrift is based on the inspiring true story of two free spirits whose chance encounter leads them first to love, and then to the adventure of a lifetime. As the two avid sailors set out on a journey across the ocean, Tami Oldham (Woodley) and Richard Sharp (Claflin) couldn’t anticipate they would be sailing directly into one of the most catastrophic hurricanes in recorded history. In the aftermath of the storm, Tami awakens to find Richard badly injured and their boat in ruins. With no hope for rescue, Tami must find the strength and determination to save herself and the only man she has ever loved. Adrift is the unforgettable story about the resilience of the human spirit and the transcendent power of love.”

Poster Rating: C+

SEE ALL POSTERS BELOW
Review: With a film like this, this rather vacant poster is thematically perfect, though I wonder why we don’t have a very tiny boat in the pic adrift on the water…or something that ties into the title itself.

Trailer Rating: B

SEE ALL TRAILERS BELOW
Review: This kind of story has been told many times before and there isn’t a lot left that could be said, but putting a woman at the forefront having to be the pillar of strength is new for the genre and might end up making a worthy film.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Trailer #1

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The DVD Report #564

The Greatest Showman may not be a great movie, but it has great things in it. It’s not so much a biography of P.T. Barnum as it is a celebration of show business and as such, it works magnificently. The infectious joy of performing leaps off the screen as it did with 42nd Street, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Singin’ in the Rain, Easter Parade, The Band Wagon, The Sound of Music, Cabaret, and a handful of other film musicals that put the show in show business.

According to star Hugh Jackman, the film had its genesis at the 2008 Academy Awards which he hosted in February 2009 in which commercial director Michael Gracey had an uncredited role. He promised Gracey that they would work together again and surprised him a short while later by asking him to direct the film whose screenplay would be written by two other participants in that Oscar show, Jenny Biggs and Oscar winner Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters). Gracey brought on co-star Zac Efron and songwriters Benj Pasek and Justin Paul early in the planning of the film which took seven years to complete.

Jackman, of course, has the plum part of Barnum. Others impersonating real-life people include Michelle Williams as Barnum’s wife Charity, Rebecca Ferguson as Swedish nightingale Jenny Lind, and Sam Humphrey as miniature Tom Thumb. Efron’s fictional character is based, in part, on James A. Bailey, Barnum’s real-life business partner. Zendaya as his love interest, is a total fabrication while Keala Settle’s bearded lady is a composite of the real-life Josephine Clofullia and Annie Jones.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 17 (2018)

Here’s what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Released

Oscar Ceremonies


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Rampage”

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Now That You’ve Seen Rampage…?

Cinema Sight Asks: Now that you've seen "Rampage," which video game adaptation (non-sequel) is best?

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Trailer Watch: The First Purge (2018) Updated

New Trailer (#2) / New Poster (#2)

The First Purge, updated

Preview Link: CLICK HERE for all of the new content as well as the original.

Oscar Preview: Weekend of Feb. 13-15, 2018

We had no films release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Review: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (2015)

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

Rating

Director

Wes Ball

Screenplay

T.S. Nowlin (Novel: James Dashner)

Length

2 h 11 min

Starring

Dylan O’Brien, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores, Jacob Lofland, Rosa Salazar, Giancarlo Esposito, Patricia Clarkson, Aidan Gillen, Terry Dale Parks, Kathryn Smith-McGlynn, Lili Taylor, Barry Pepper, Nathalie Emmanuel, Alan Tudyk

MPAA Rating

PG-13 for extended sequences of violence and action, some thematic elements, substance use and language

Original Preview

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Review: Proud Mary (2018)

Proud Mary

Rating

Director

Babak Najafi

Screenplay

John Stuart Newman, Christian Swegal, Steve Antin

Length

1 h 29 min

Starring

Taraji P. Henson, Billy Brown, Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Neal McDonough, Margaret Avery, Xander Berkeley, Rade Serbedzija, Erik LaRay Harvey, Danny Glover

MPAA Rating

R for violence

Original Preview

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