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8 items from 2017


Peter Travers' 2017 Alt-Oscars: From Scorsese to 'Deadpool'

23 February 2017 7:13 AM, PST | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

Come Sunday, a.k.a. Oscars night, we'll all be tipping our hats to the year's winners. But before we do that, here's to the "losers" – the worthy ones of 2016 that, for whatever cockamamie reason, didn't even get a nomination.

In an effort to do right where the Academy effed up, I give you the Travers Awards – my own personal version of the Alt-Oscars. (For those of you playing along at home, the award is an engraved image of a critic screaming.) It's one last chance to single out the »

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Sandy Wexler Trailer #2 Has Adam Sandler Stuck in the 1990s

16 February 2017 4:56 PM, PST | MovieWeb | See recent MovieWeb news »

Following the brief teaser trailer released last month, Netflix has now unleashed a full trailer for their upcoming comedy Sandy Wexler, starring Adam Sandler as the title character. This comedy marks the third movie in his four-picture deal with the streaming service, which has already yielded the 2015 Western The Ridiculous Six and last year's The Do-Over. While the comedy superstar reunites with several of his frequent collaborators, this movie shows Adam Sandler sharing the spotlight with Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.

Sandy Wexler (Adam Sandler) is a talent manager working in Los Angeles in the 1990s, diligently representing a group of eccentric clients on the fringes of show business. His single minded devotion is put to the test when he falls in love with his newest client, Courtney Clarke (Jennifer Hudson), a tremendously talented singer who he discovers at an amusement park. Over the course of a decade, the two of »

- MovieWeb

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Berlinale 2017: 8 Must-See Films At This Year’s Festival

8 February 2017 10:44 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

This year’s Berlin International Film Festival bows in Germany later this week and with it, one of Europe’s most exciting and singular film festivals. As ever, the annual fest is playing home to dozens of feature films and short offerings, with picks aplenty from both modern masters and fresh faces. The Berlinale often breeds some of indie film’s most unexpected and unique standouts, so if it’s at the fest, it’s likely worth a look.

Read More: 5 Exciting Films in the 2017 Berlin Film Festival Competition Lineup

Ahead, check out the 8 titles we are most excited to check out at this year’s festival.

“Have a Nice Day”

Expectations are high for this Chinese animated feature that marks the sophomore effort from director Liu Jiang, whose surreal debut “Piercing” offered an inventive look at modern day city life in China’s capital. If the gorgeous stills from »

- David Ehrlich, Eric Kohn and Kate Erbland

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Sundance Film Review: ‘Golden Exits’

24 January 2017 4:21 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

“People never make films about ordinary people who don’t really do anything,” a young woman complains near the beginning of Alex Ross Perry’s “Golden Exits,” a dense, defiantly prickly film about ordinary people who don’t really do anything. Sure to raise a laugh from audiences who know what they’re in for, it’s both the most self-reflexive and self-congratulatory moment in a film that challenges viewers to connect the subtextual dots between its variously dissatisfied quinoa-class Brooklynites — one man’s “ordinary” is another man’s alien, after all — whose conflicts and yearnings don’t build to a tidy thematic destination. Many will accuse Perry of navel-gazing here, but that’s partly the point: “Golden Exits” means to frustrate, even to abrade, in its coolly articulate portrait of cosseted people who want for nothing and vaguely desire everything. An intriguingly motley ensemble, ranging from the Beastie Boys »

- Guy Lodge

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Watch This: At Sundance ’96, Nicole Holofcener made an endearing (and enduring) debut

24 January 2017 11:00 AM, PST | avclub.com | See recent The AV Club news »

One week a month, Watch This offers movie recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: With Sundance in full swing, we’re looking back at some of the best directorial debuts that premiered at the festival.

Walking And Talking (1996)

In the mid-’90s there was a boomlet of independent movies about young-ish, usually urban-dwelling neurotic types making small talk, cracking wise, and often making pop-culture references. Two of the very best of this batch had the misfortune to come out within about a year of each other with extremely similar titles: Noah Baumbach’s Kicking And Screaming and Nicole Holofcener’s Walking And Talking. Holofcener’s first film premiered at the 1996 Sundance Film Festival, in a terrific class that included Welcome To The Dollhouse, Citizen Ruth, and Big Night.

Holofcener, a smart and perceptive writer, would go on to tell more complex stories ...

»

- Jesse Hassenger

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‘The Squid and the Whale’ Blu-ray Review (Criterion)

23 January 2017 2:01 AM, PST | Blogomatic3000 | See recent Blogomatic3000 news »

Stars: Jesse Eisenberg, Jeff Daniels, Laura Linney, Owen Kline, William Baldwin, David Benger, Anna Paquin | Written and Directed by Noah Baumbach

As they bicker over the tennis net and over the dinner table, there’s tension in the Berkman family from the start. The year is 1986, and a pair of middle class Brooklyn parents are on the cusp of divorce. As we discover, it’s been coming for a long time. Joan (Laura Linney) had an affair for four years. Bernard (Jeff Daniels) is jealous of his wife’s blossoming career, as he finds his own on a down slope.

Upon hearing the devastating news of the separation, the younger son Frank (Owen Kline) starts speaking obscenely and behaving obscener. His older brother Walt (Jesse Eisenberg) is more measured in his grief, but his cocky swagger is no more convincing a mask for the pain. As Joan and Bernard bellow, »

- Rupert Harvey

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Sundance Film Review: ‘L.A. Times’

22 January 2017 6:27 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The challenge of finding the right romantic partner seems to be the theme of every other American indie at Sundance, and “L.A. Times” definitely suffers from privileged-white-people-natter-on-about-their-relationships fatigue. But first-time writer-director (and also star) Michelle Morgan brings just enough specificity, and a surprisingly sharp eye, to make the film an interesting calling card for future work. Whether there’s anything here that will appeal beyond a very small niche audience is another matter.

With a heavy dose of Whit Stillman and sprinklings of Woody Allen, Noah Baumbach, and Lena Dunham, among others, Morgan leans on her influences in exploring the intersecting lives and romances of three thirtysomething Angelenos, beginning with Annette (Morgan), an aspiring writer whose withering judgment of everyone and everything in her life proves impossibly irritating.

Annette’s boyfriend Elliot (Jorma Taccone) is the creator of a Z-grade “Game of Thrones” knockoff called “Haggard’s Landing,” which has »

- Geoff Berkshire

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‘Homeland’ Star Elizabeth Marvel: ‘It’s a Wonderful Time’ to Be Playing the President-Elect

13 January 2017 4:43 PM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

When “Homeland” returns for its sixth season on Sunday, a few changes will be in store. Not only will the series be set in the United States for the first time, but the commander-in-chief about to be sworn in will be a woman. Executive producer Alex Gansa has said he didn’t, however, model the character on former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. And Elizabeth Marvel, the actress who plays the Peotus, says she had some very different politicians in mind as she prepared for the role.

Here, Marvel tells Variety why she channeled former President George W. Bush, what to expect from President-Elect Elizabeth Keane this season, and why it’s important for our leaders to pay attention to the intelligence community.

What made you want to take on the role?

Who wouldn’t want to play the leader of the free world? It’s a fascinating compliment to play the president-elect. The »

- Debra Birnbaum

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8 items from 2017


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