Michael Eisner Movies
Since 1984, media mogul Michael D. Eisner has been influential in turning Walt Disney Productions into one of the most powerful forces in American entertainment. Before coming to the Disney empire, Eisner, a graduate of Denison University, Granville OH, was a television executive and then, in 1976, the president of Paramount Pictures. The resurgence of the Disney company began in the early '80s when Walt Disney's son-in-law Ron Miller took over the reins. After founding Touchstone Pictures, Disney's prominent subsidiary and main producer of adult-oriented films, Miller got into a power struggle with Roy E. Disney and ended up being fired. Eisner took over as CEO in '84 and, with the help of Jefferey Katzenberg as chairman of the movie-making division, began concentrating on turning out lively, high-quality mainstream films such as Honey I Shrunk the Kids
and the blockbusters Pretty Woman
and Sister Act.
In 1990, he helped found the Hollywood Pictures division, and helped restore the sagging reputation of the company's animation studios with such innovative, high-quality features as The Little Mermaid and Lion King.
In addition to dealing with the media aspects, that also include the lucrative Disney Channel cable network, Eisner is in charge of all four Disney theme parks. ~ Sandra Brennan, Rovi
A young man has to choose if his loyalties lie with his family or the woman he loves in this independent drama. Cole (Richard de Klerk) was born and lives in a small town in British Columbia, where he helps his sister Maybelline (Sonja Bennett) run the local gas station and looks after his mother (Rebecca Jenkins), who is slipping into senility. Cole also keeps an eye on Bobby (Chad Willett), Maybelline's live-in boyfriend who has a vicious streak and sometimes beats both her and Rocket (Jack Forrester), her young son fathered by a previous boyfriend. While Cole has plenty of drama to deal with at home, he dreams of becoming a writer, and he decides to hone his craft by enrolling in a college three hours away. In one of Cole's writing classes, he meets Serafina (Kandyse McClure), who is everything Cole isn't -- confident, wealthy and casually beautiful. Also unlike Cole, Serafina is black, but that doesn't dull the mutual attraction between them. But as much as Cole cares for Serafina, he's not sure if there's a place for her in his old hometown, and he's torn between his desire to start a new life in the city and his need to take care of his family and protect his sister and nephew. Cole was an official selection at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
- Richard de Klerk, Kandyse McClure, (more)
This web series follows a handful of girls at Edward Adams High, where teenage drama is an everyday phenomenon, and the most important concept in any girl's personal universe is who will be crowned Prom Queen. Everybody dreams about it, from quirky outsiders to bubbly rich girls, but this sacred institution is about to get shaken to its core, revealing a secret that no senior at the school will be able to ignore. ~ Cammila Collar, Rovi
Famed cartoonist Ub Iwerks's granddaughter Leslie turns the camera lens on the artists and storytellers behind some of the most widely hailed animated films of the modern era in the in-depth documentary The Pixar Story. Featuring such key members as John Lasseter, Steve Jobs, and George Lucas, the doc tells the story of the company's humble roots all the way to being one of the biggest power players in Hollywood. Featuring unseen footage of early output from the studio, as well as a full overview of its many box-office successes and technological breakthroughs, Iwerks's film celebrates the artistic spirit that has pushed the boundaries of what animation can deliver, while staying true to the ideals that its parent company Disney once held so dear. ~ Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
- Brad Bird, Loren Carpenter, (more)
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Acclaimed film director Sydney Pollack took a five-year break from the realms of fiction to assemble a lovingly crafted tribute to longtime friend and acclaimed architect Frank Gehry in this documentary born from the sketches of its talented subject. A notoriously shy craftsman whose impressive body of work includes the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Ghery is shown working in his studio unobstructed as Pollack attempts to capture the very essence of the artist's bold works through use of film and digital video. Driven by an intimate but informal series of discussions between Ghery and Pollack, Sketches of Frank Gehry uses the subject of architecture as a launching point to discuss the creative process, and paints a fascinating portrait of how one humble man was able to create some of the world's most awe-inspiring structures. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
- Frank Gehry, Sydney Pollack, (more)
Originally produced for PBS, the American Cinema series examines at length what is probably the leading American art form: film. Chock-full of clips from important films and interviews with the men and women who made them, each episode is an in-depth look at an important facet of the history of American film. This particular episode examines the studio system in the golden age of Hollywood movies. For a long period of time, Hollywood was run by three or four major film studios. Having squeezed out the independent producers, these studios were free to impose their idea of what a movie should be on the viewing public. Paramount Pictures is used as a case study. ~ Rob Ferrier, Rovi