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Sundance 2017 may have already wrapped up, but some of the highlights from last year’s festival are still, slowly, making their way to theaters across the country. Sure, Oscar may be on everyone’s mind, and cinephiles are either catching up with nominees that are finally making the rounds or anxiously awaiting those films we’ll be talking about one full year from now, but there are a cavalcade of new releases that, sadly, went underrated during their festival runs.
The film stars Riley Keough as a mother of one and a wife to a husband who is less than present. We watch as she tends to her energetic youngster and yet slowly become less and less sure »
- Joshua Brunsting
A day after Thursday’s A Day Without Immigrants nationwide observance, Pantelion/Lionsgate's new release Everybody Loves Somebody puts a spotlight on the bi-cultural Latino experience via romantic comedy, while FilmRise's From Nowhere even more directly tackles the current experience of immigration by focusing on undocumented Bronx teens. Also this weekend: Peyton Kennedy stars in IFC Films' American Fable, opening day and date today, while Riley Keough and Jena Malone… »
First, there was that inexplicable half-hour climax in “Transformers: Age of Extinction,” which exported the entire cast to Beijing. Now, Matt Damon’s battling mystical forces in medieval China. Hollywood and China’s terminally awkward shotgun wedding continues with “The Great Wall,” a clunky, effects-riddled blockbuster in which a humorless Damon joins forces with major Chinese director Zhang Yimou for a project that suits neither of their talents. There’s little need for good performances or filmmaking when every scene has been calculated to serve the bottom line.
Assailed in the West for presenting a white savior at the center of an Asian cast, the movie’s racial violations aren’t as egregious as some early critics claimed. Instead, the bland story finds Damon and two other white actors surrounded by a largely Asian cast in a Chinese-approved adventure (where it’s already generating strong, though not blockbuster, box office »
- Eric Kohn
Volker Schlöndorff’s “Return to Montauk” speaks from both sides of its mouth telling two very different tales. Hear it one way, and you’ll get a story of time and regret, an august Euro-drama that asks if love lost can ever be found anew. But come a bit closer, listen past the din, and you’ll hear something entirely different. This time the film is not asking any questions, but flat out saying: Self-delusion is a powerful weapon, and its greatest victims are often those who dare to wield it.
The film’s opening scene offers a helpful key to unlock what then follows. In one long, unbroken take, a man stares right into the camera and tells a story. He speaks of philosophy and of his father, and says that on the older man’s deathbed, he told his son that there are two kinds of regret – regret »
- Ben Croll
The smartest choice that filmmaker So Yong Kim made when crafting “Lovesong,” an intimate exploration of the fluid nature of friendship, identity and sexual attraction, comes from the cast. Toplined by Jena Malone and Riley Keough, “Lovesong” leans heavily on the pair’s chemistry and ability to carry a slow-simmering storyline, but even their contributions can only carry the thinly-plotted film so far. While “Lovesong” fails to coalesce, Malone and Keough emerge with two of their best performances yet, bolstered by an on-screen bond that deserves far richer material that what is offered up here.
Sarah (Keough) is a stay-at-home mom with a cute kid (played at different ages by Kim’s own cute kids, Jessie Ok Gray and Sky Ok Gray) and a distracted husband (director Cary Fukunaga of season one “True Detective” fame, »
- Kate Erbland
To the cadre of fans who have followed South Korean director Hong Sang-soo’s work over the years, he’s best-known for repeating different versions of the same formula: Portraits of chatty, neurotic creative types, usually filmmakers and actors, all of whom usually wind up drinking a lot of Soju and arguing through their problems with alternately funny and insightful results.
More recently, Hong has also been known as one half of a marriage scandal that dominated Korean tabloids more than any of his movies. While the media speculated, the peripatetic filmmaker quietly stuck to his one-film-a-year pace while remaining silent on the topic. Now, he has provided a response in the best terms at his disposal — with a movie. “On the Beach at Night Alone” is a fascinating sublimation of autobiography into Hong’s precise creative terms, a bittersweet character study as poignant, witty and deceptively slight as much »
- Eric Kohn
There’s no denying that Billy Bloom is the most flamboyantly fabulous character in the history of high school movies — it’s not even close. A “trans-visionary gender obliviator” who’s been forcibly relocated from the liberal enclave of Darien, Ct (“hometown of Chloë Sevigny!”) to an anonymous red state somewhere in flyover country, Billy struts into the heartland like Boy George showing up for a round of golf at Mar-a-Lago.
In fact, he even dresses like Boy George on the first day of class, riling up the cartoonishly conservative student body in the process. The local teens, insufferable archetypes who range from a Trump-quoting mean girl to an All-American football star with half a brain and a heart of gold, have no idea what to make of the colorful new kid, and they don’t have the slightest prayer of keeping up with his restless creativity or the fearlessness »
- David Ehrlich
This is a reprint of our review from the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Sundance alum So Yong Kim returns to Park City with a quiet, evocative look at the intimacies and intricacies of female friendship. Sarah (Riley Keough) and Mindy (Jena Malone) make the sort of mismatched pair young women sort themselves into in their early 20s, as if to balance each other out, each seeing the other as a compliment to their own lack.
- Kevin Jagernauth
In keeping with the Valentine's Day theme this week, Alicia Malone covers three movies about love -- one is new in theaters, two are available on Demand (stream them on FandangoNOW). First up is Lovesong, in limited release February 17. It stars Jena Malone and Riley Keough as old friends who reconnect on a road trip, with consequences that take them in a direction they never expected. Available to watch at home are Oscar nominee Moonlight, about a young man's troubled...
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Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
This Past Weekend:
The Lego Batman Movie won the weekend as expected, but not with nearly as much money as I had predicted, not besting the opening of The Lego Movie as expected, but instead ending up with a reasonable and not so bad $53 million. Fifty Shades Darker proved that the audience for movies based on the popular books was still great enough for it to win Friday with $21 million (to Lego Batman’s $15 million) and end up second for the weekend with a strong $46.6 million. That was still almost $40 million less than the opening of the previous movie Fifty Shades of Grey, but the sequel also didn’t have the benefits of Valentine’s Day and a four-day holiday. Coming in »
- Edward Douglas
Riley Keough’s list of upcoming projects continues to grow. In addition to Steven Soderbergh’s “Logan Lucky,” Trey Edward Shults’ “It Comes at Night” and David Robert Mitchell’s “Under the Silver Lake,” the actress is now set to appear in Lars von Trier’s “The House That Jack Built.” Sofie Gråbøl (“The Killing”) has also just been added to the cast, which includes Matt Dillon in the title role and Bruno Ganz (“Wings of Desire,” “Downfall”).
“The House That Jack Built” is set in America in the ’70s and follows the eponymous murderer’s point of view through five incidents. Jack “views each murder as an artwork in itself, even though his dysfunction gives him problems in the outside world. Despite the fact that the final and inevitable police »
- Michael Nordine
Ahoy folks! With the Academy Awards still a couple of weeks away, we can momentarily take a breather and look at something else for the day. What is that, you might ask? Well, today is a look at what else theaters will have playing throughout this month, besides the obvious Oscar hopefuls and leftover prestige movies. I do this every single month, as you all must know by now, so of course I won’t exclude February. Much like with January, this month gets a bad reputation as one of the worst for new releases, and while that’s often been well founded, if you look closely enough this month you can find some very solid cinematic options. Consider this list another public service for those of you who have seen all of the Oscar contenders and nominees already. You might even find a gem or two amongst the junk… »
- Joey Magidson
In the last few years, Riley Keough has carved out quite a burgeoning career, working with George Miller, Andrea Arnold, Steven Soderbergh, David Robert Mitchell, Trey Edward Shults, and, for her most recent premiere, Charlie McDowell. Starring alongside Rooney Mara, Jason Segel, Robert Redford, and Jesse Plemons, The Discovery finds her playing Lacey, a character attempting to rebuild her own life under the guidance of Redford’s character after the afterlife was discovered.
While at Sundance Film Festival, I sat down with the actress to discuss the emotional sci-fi film, how realistic it might be, the ethical questions behind it, as well her promising upcoming year, her favorite sci-fi films, her thoughts on television after The Girlfriend Experience, and much more. Check out the conversation below.
The Film Stage: There’s great world-building right from the beginning, and I was curious if it was all in the script, or did »
- Jordan Raup
Some people loved it, some people hated it, but Donnie Darko was definitely a movie that captivated audiences both with Jake Gyllenhaal and his sister Maggie's performance, and the fact that the movie was left open to interpretation. It is rare that an open-ended movie becomes this big of a cult hit, but Donnie Darko did just that and fans still wonder today if they got it right about the entire movie being a parallel universe set up to create the wrongs of the primary universe, or if it was simply just a mind f%@k.
We may get to learn the actual truth in the upcoming years as director Richard Kelly is questioned about the reissue (4k in some places of the world) that would disregard the almost unseen S. Darko (a failed offshoot). He is asked by HMV if we could return to the Donnie Darko world in a sequel. »
- Drew Carlton
Will we finally get Donnie Darko 3, a true sequel to the Jake Gyllenhaal sci-fi classic? Last year, the 2001 thriller Donnie Darko celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a 4K re-release in select U.K. theaters, although it never made it to the U.S. Now that the re-release is available on Blu-ray, writer-director Richard Kelly revealed in a new interview that he does have plans for a true follow-up that will return to this unique universe. While he doesn't offer specifics, the filmmaker explained that it will be even bigger and more ambitious than the original.
"I think there's something much bigger and more ambitious to do in that universe. It's big and expensive and I think there's time to get to that. I want to make sure we've got the budget to do it justice and not to compromise anything. Another story in this world needs resources and we need to have that in place. »
After actor Anton Yelchin passed away in June of last year, he left behind a substantial body of work as well as a handful of posthumous releases. He stars in two films that will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival — Cory Finley’s “Thoroughbred” and Mark Palansky’s “Rememory” — but he appears in another film to be released this April: “We Don’t Belong Here,” a family thriller about the dark secrets buried deep underneath dysfunction.
Written and directed by Peer Pederson, the film follows family matriarch Nancy Green (Catherine Keener) who’s pushed to the tipping point because of the disappearance of her bipolar son (Yelchin) which eventually leads to the exposure of numerous ugly memories from the past. The film co-stars Kaitlyn Dever (“Justified”), Maya Rudolph (“Bridesmaids”), Riley Keough (“Mad Max: Fury Road »
- Vikram Murthi
Four years after working together on “For Ellen,” So Yong Kim and Jena Malone reunited for the indie filmmaker’s latest drama “Lovesong,” a tale about two friends whose relationship deepens while on a trip of self-discovery. The film’s first trailer has been released, courtesy of Strand Releasing.
The movie follows Sarah, portrayed by Riley Keough, a woman neglected by her husband who goes on an impromptu road trip with her younger daughter and best friend, Mindy (Malone). Along the way, the friends become physically intimate until Mindy leaves abruptly. After three years of not speaking to each other, the two try to reconnect in the days before Mindy’s wedding. Brooklyn Decker, Amy Seimetz, Marshall Chapman, Ryan Eggold and Rosanna Arquette co-star.
Co-written by Kim and Bradley Rust Gray, the feature made »
- Liz Calvario
Every day, women face an onslaught of unwanted male attention, but most people fail to grasp the magnitude of damage this toxic culture fosters. The new documentary “Hotel Coolgardie” follows two young female backpackers from Finland, Lina and Steph, who work the only pub in the small town of Coolgardie, Australia’s most isolated city. Treated as rare commodities in this atmosphere of simmering hyper-masculinity, Lina and Steph walk a tightrope between keeping the male patrons happy and protecting themselves against their relentless advances and propositions.
The portrait of this isolated tumbleweed town examines the perpetual power struggle between sexes, and the toll of constant harassment takes on the human psyche. Watch an exclusive clip from the film below.
Read More: Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2017 Lineup: ‘Aerotropolis,’ ‘The Children Send Their Regards’ and More
This is Gleeson’s first feature-length documentary. His short documentary “Something To Tell You” received widespread »
- Vikram Murthi
"It's okay to feel a little crazy... But it's not fair to you to have to do it all by yourself." Strand Releasing has debuted a trailer for the film Lovesong, an indie drama that premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival last year. Lovesong is the latest film from Korean-American director So-yong Kim, starring Riley Keough and Jena Malone as two close friends who end up getting even closer when they go on a roadtrip together just before one of them is getting married. The cast includes Brooklyn Decker, fellow filmmaker Cary Fukunaga, Juliet Fitzpatrick, Neal Huff, Ryan Eggold, Marshall Chapman & Amy Seimetz. This trailer has a nice feel to it, and this seems like it might be worth catching for these two lead performances. Here's the first official trailer (+ poster) for So-yong Kim's Lovesong, in high def from Apple: Neglected by her husband, Sarah (Keough) embarks on an »
- Alex Billington
Ahead of its release next month, the first trailer has arrived online for director So Yong Kim’s upcoming romantic drama Lovesong which stars Jena Malone and Riley Keough; take a look below after the official synopsis…
Neglected by her husband, Sarah embarks on an impromptu road trip with her young daughter and her best friend, Mindy. Along the way, the dynamic between the two friends intensifies before circumstances force them apart. Years later, Sarah attempts to rebuild their intimate connection in the days before Mindy’s wedding.
- Amie Cranswick
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