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Newswire: Sterling K. Brown joins Shane Black’s Predator reboot

49 minutes ago

Sterling K. Brown followed up his breakout role in American Crime Story: People Vs. O.J. Simpson by finding a place in the ensemble of This Is Us. The NBC drama just picked up a two-season renewal, which should keep the actor busy, but just in case, he’s still taking calls for feature films. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Brown is in talks to join Shane Black’s The Predator.

The reboot from the Predator actor may or may not be set in suburbia (there’s conflicting info), but it will star Boyd Holbrook as the leader of some alien-hunting (or alien-hunted) team. Olivia Munn and Keegan-Michael Key have already signed on, and were recently joined in the cast by Moonlight’s Trevante Rhodes. Brown is playing a government agent, while Keegan-Michael Key and Rhodes have taken on roles as ex-Marines. Munn is the scientist of the group, but »

- Danette Chavez

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Scenic Routes: Half a century later, In The Heat Of The Night remains sadly topical

8 hours ago

In Scenic Routes, Mike D’Angelo looks at key scenes, explaining how they work and what they mean.

On the day that I’m writing this, there’s a news item about a Northwestern University engineering student, Lawrence Crosby, who was pulled over on suspicion of stealing a car that turned out to be his own vehicle. Within seconds of exiting the car, hands raised, Crosby was tackled to the ground and reportedly beaten, though it’s hard to see just what happens through the scrum of cops. (This incident happened in 2015, but apparently the dashcam video was only just made public, as part of a civil rights lawsuit Crosby filed against the police.) The Evanston Police Department determined that its officers were justified in their use of force, but as I watch the video, it appears that the guy’s only “mistake” was not instantly complying when ordered ...

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- Mike D'Angelo

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Newswire: Universal cancels premiere, press events for A Dog’s Purpose

11 hours ago

Universal Pictures has canceled this weekend’s premiere for A Dog’s Purpose, after controversy erupted around leaked footage from the film’s shooting, in which a clearly frightened German Shepherd was repeatedly forced into quickly moving water against its will. According to Variety, Universal reassured readers that the dog, Hercules, was unharmed, but said it was “in the best interest of A Dog’s Purpose to cancel this weekend’s premiere and press junket.”

Universal and Amblin Entertainment are both investigating the footage, which was originally posted by TMZ. Director Lasse Hallstrom and star Josh Gad both expressed dismay at the video, with Gad saying he was “shaken and sad” by what he saw. Although it’s canceled the premiere and press support for the film—which follows a dog’s soul as it reincarnates over multiple lifetimes—Universal is still planning to release the film nationwide in theaters »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: Jesse Plemons has been invited to Jason Bateman’s Game Night

12 hours ago

Earlier this month, we reported that Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams would be starring in a movie called Game Night, but a game night with two people is just a romantic Ticket To Ride session. To have a proper game night, you need at least one additional person, and Bateman and McAdams have found such a person in famous Breaking Bad and Friday Night Lights murderer Jesse Plemons. According to Variety, Plemons is “in negotiations” to join the project, and if he does, he’ll presumably be one of the night’s other attendees.

We still don’t know very much else about the film, but we do know that something during Game Night’s game night “goes terribly wrong.” That could suggest some brutal relationship drama, where maybe two of the people get into a huge fight over Sequence, or it could be something more fantastical, like a game »

- Sam Barsanti

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Coming Distractions: I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore trailer seeks to rid the world of assholes

13 hours ago

The world is full of assholes. At best, everyone’s only looking out for themselves, and at worst, everybody’s actively trying to hurt others. That’s how things are in the real world, but that’s also the basic setup for I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, a new Netflix original from director Macon Blair. The movie is about a nursing assistant (Melanie Lynskey) who gets fed up with the world’s descent into bullshit after someone breaks into her house, with her and a martial-arts-enthusiast neighbor (played by Elijah Wood) teaming up to embark on a quest for vengeance. The film will be Blair’s directorial debut, and if the little glimpses of violence in the trailer above seem particularly dramatic, that could be because Blair has frequently collaborated with Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier. That guy knows a thing or two about violence »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Update: A celebrity-filled anti-Trump rally is streaming on Facebook right now

14 hours ago

With Donald Trump holding a pre-inauguration concert in Washington D.C. tonight that is sparsely attended by celebrities (and maybe in general), a bunch of those famous people that Trump supposedly doesn’t care about have popped up in New York City outside of the Trump International Hotel for an anti-Trump rally. According to MoveOn.org, the attendees include Sally Field, Mark Ruffalo, Rosie Perez, Alec Baldwin, Marisa Tomei, Julianne Moore, Cynthia Nixon, Natalie Merchant, Michael Moore, and Shailene Woodley. Robert De Niro was doing a slick, stand-up routine of sorts a few minutes ago, and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio just finished making a passionate plea for upholding the Affordable Care Act.

This is one of many anti-Trump events happening this week, with a number of pro-women’s rights marches scheduled across the country on Saturday.

Update: The stream has ended, but you can see an archived version »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Video-game adaptation The Division finds its director

15 hours ago

According to Variety, video game adaptation The Division is moving forward, with Syriana and Gold director Stephen Gaghan stepping up to both write and direct the film. The Division video game is about special operatives sent into a plague-ravaged Manhattan to try and restore order by using shooter skills and light-role-playing-game-style tactics to kill rioters, renegade soldiers, and other human players. Gaghan’s movie will probably follow a similar path, but with fewer human players and role-playing-game-style mechanics—though a scene where the hero has to compare the stat benefits between two different pairs of gloves would be pretty awesome.

As we’ve previously reported, The Division will star Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain, but it’s still unclear who they’ll be playing. The game is about making your own person and discovering new, battle-ready outfits for them to wear, so Gaghan will probably have to come up with »

- Sam Barsanti

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Great Job, Internet!: Someone made an extremely literal video game adaptation of The Room

15 hours ago

Ludum Dare is a long-running game jam, in which thousands of game designers all come together to produce a short interactive experience around a similar theme over the course of just a couple days. The result is a volcanic outpouring of creativity, the constraints forcing scrappy innovation that sometimes leads to larger projects and mainstream success.

The theme of last month’s Ludum Dare 37 was “One Room,” and, while winning entries riffing on that premise included the text-based Walkie Talkie and the terse, arcade Death Dash, it’s Noah Ratcliff’s You’re Tearing Me Apart that leans most directly into the “one room” concept—notably, by evoking The Room, the 2003 cult classic that can’t stop giving to pop culture. In the game, you walk into a spartan room full of everyday objects—not unlike the very room in which director Tommy Wiseau set his surreal melodrama ...

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- Clayton Purdom

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Coming Distractions: Anne Hathaway gets drunk and destroys Seoul in the trailer for Colossal

16 hours ago

The first trailer for Colossal, Timecrimes director Nacho Vigalondo’s typically inventive foray into the kaiju genre, has arrived in all its beer-soaked glory. The film stars Anne Hathaway and Jason Sudeikis, playing against type as childhood friends turned mean-spirited drunks whose relationship takes a turn for the nasty after Hathaway’s character gets dumped by her boyfriend and has to move back home. Oh yeah, and she can control the giant monster that appears every night to terrorize the people of Seoul by walking across a playground.

The A.V. Club saw Colossal in its U.S. premiere at Fantastic Fest, where we said, “At first, Colossal seems like a rather on-the-nose metaphor for the destructive nature of alcoholism, but by the end it develops into a more nuanced statement about jealousy and male entitlement. This is Vigalondo’s most Hollywood film yet, and as long as he ...

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- Katie Rife

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Movie Review: xXx: Return Of Xander Cage is gloriously dumb, just like its title

16 hours ago

Could we have another Fast & Furious on our hands? xXx: Return Of Xander Cage seems to think so. Boasting the same sort of multiracial, mixed-gender casting that’s a hallmark of Vin Diesel’s other gleefully over-the-top action franchise, Return Of Xander Cage brings together a motley crew of good-looking, gun-toting lawbreakers—a squad, if you will—on a mission that’s pure suicide, if you catch our drift. Throw in some Kingsman: The Secret Service-style cheekiness and the flashy bullet-time effects popularized by The Matrix three years before xXx’s 2002 debut, and you’ve got a basic idea of what director D.J. Caruso is working with here. Does he take any of these elements seriously? Hell no. And thank goodness, because otherwise it would be unbearable.

Presiding over all the extreme sports action and thumping electronic beats is Diesel’s Xander Cage, a lunkhead James ...

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- Katie Rife

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A.V. Club Live: Everything about this A Dog’s Purpose story just keeps getting worse

16 hours ago

After leaked footage revealed animal abuse on the set of A Dog’s Purpose, star Josh Gad and the film’s director and producer have all called for an investigation into the company responsible, while PETA has urged a boycott of the film. Should it still be released? And how deep does this company’s history of animal abuse go? »

- Sean O'Neal

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Film Club: Our film critics are of one mind on Split

16 hours ago

On this week’s Film Club, A.V. Club critics A.A. Dowd and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky sit down to discuss M. Night Shyamalan’s shameless low-budget B-film Split and take live questions. The twist? They both think it’s the best thing the one-time Hollywood golden boy has done since his heyday in the 2000s, and even if they don’t see eye to eye on The Happening and The Village, they think you should see Split.

Watch the full episode of Film Club below.

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- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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Newswire: R.I.P. Miguel Ferrer

16 hours ago

According to Deadline, actor Miguel Ferrer—probably best known to A.V. Club readers for his work on Twin Peaks, though he also had prominent roles on NCIS: Los Angeles, Crossing Jordan, and in RoboCop—has died today after a battle with cancer. He was 61.

Born in Santa Monica, California in 1955, Ferrer was the son of Academy Award-winner José Ferrer and Rosemary Clooney, making him the first cousin of George Clooney. Deadline says he was “an accomplished drummer” before he became an actor, having recorded with The Who’s Keith Moon and toured with his mother and Bing Crosby. His first acting job came in 1981, when he appeared on an episode of Magnum, P.I., and he began getting more and more frequent gigs throughout the ‘80s.

Ferrer is known for a handful of memorable roles, and the first of them came in 1987, when he appeared ...

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- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: G.I. Joe can’t play with Transformers until Michael Bay’s done with them

17 hours ago

G.I. Joe meeting the Transformers is the kind of bold, ambitious storytelling you can only find inside studio executive boardrooms and 7-year-olds’ bedrooms, but despite the grabbiness of the concept—and an entire comic series to draw from—it’s yet to be realized on screen. Director D.J. Caruso recently lamented this in an interview with Collider, revealing that his original treatment for the still-gestating G.I. Joe 3 ended with the two Hasbro worlds colliding at last, thus creating a veritable maelstrom of merchandising synergy and large, shouty things. But alas, Paramount—in a situation familiar to anyone who’s ever had a play-date with a tyrannical child—can’t touch those robots until Michael Bay is finished with them. “They will eventually collide those two worlds and it’s probably when Mr. Bay decides he’s done with Transformers,” Caruso says, a moment that will come »

- Sean O'Neal

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Newswire: Anne Hathaway joins Rebel Wilson in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake

17 hours ago

Anne Hathaway continues scuffing up her otherwise squeaky-clean cinematic image. She’s already boarded the woman-led heists and hijinks of Ocean’s 8, and it looks like she’s going to continue in that confidence woman vein. Deadline reports that Hathaway is being courted by MGM to join the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake that’s already ensnared Rebel Wilson. Hathaway and Wilson will play scam artists from different social strata who try to out-grift each other while swindling some “naïve tech prodigy.”

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is the latest film to get the remake and gender-reversal treatment—you might recall that Frank Oz directed Steve Martin and Michael Caine as the titular scamps in the original. There’s an added twist: the film’s been renamed Nasty Women. There’s no word on whether that’s a reference to Donald Trump’s attempts to disparage Hillary Clinton by calling her a ...

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- Danette Chavez

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Great Job, Internet!: Move beyond “bad” movies with this encyclopedia of weird ones

17 hours ago

Loving “bad movies” is a rite of passage for almost any cinephile. For some, however, that fascination with “badness” eventually transforms into an investigation of the ineffable. It’s not what’s bad that retains interest, but what’s, well, weird. This was the journey that led to the creation of 366 Weird Movies, a site that aims to compile what its curators think to be the 366 best weird movies.

What makes a weird movie? That’s tough to say, but here’s how the site puts it:

Most of the movies selected are both weird and good. Sometimes, if a movie is very weird, it will make the list ahead of a better movie. Sometimes, if a movie is very good, it does not have to be quite as weird. The key determinant is that each movie gives me that I-know-it-when-i-see-it feeling; a film that makes my skin ...

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- Randall Colburn

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Newswire: Dwayne Johnson’s Black Adam is getting his own movie

17 hours ago

After walking into a meeting with New Line Cinema and DC executives, Dwayne Johnson shouted an ancient, powerful word and called down a bolt of lightning that magically transformed the humble, long-in-the-works Shazam movie into multiple super-powered Shazam movies; one about the eponymous hero and one about his longtime nemesis, Black Adam. Alright, so the meeting in question probably wasn’t that thrilling, but that is how Shazam and Black Adam manifest their superpowers in the comics, so it stands to reason that an important business meeting about the future of the Shazam movie would play out in a similar way.

According to Deadline, Johnson—who has been attached to play Black Adam for several years—did meet with New Line and DC, and he was somehow able to convince them to give Black Adam his own movie, but that’s pretty much all we know. Even without very many »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth sequel arrives this summer, is probably way too late

17 hours ago

Assuming that the Earth is still around this summer, Al Gore’s follow-up to the climate change documentary An Inconvenient Truth will hit theaters July 28. The film—fully titled An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power—premieres today at the Sundance Film Festival.

Even though it’s hard to get doom and destruction off of the mind, the Sundance synopsis makes An Inconvenient Sequel almost sound optimistic. In the film, Gore apparently “pursues the empowering notion that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion.” The only catch is that the doc was filmed before the results of the 2016 election came in, as The Hollywood Reporter notes. Per THR, the format of An Inconvenient Sequel, directed by Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, will diverge from the PowerPoint presentation style of the first, which was helmed by Davis ...

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- Esther Zuckerman

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Great Job, Internet!: The new bass drop that’s ruining every trailer

18 hours ago

A new supercut by the short filmmakers and pop culture fans at CinemaRaven displays the criminally excessive use of a particular bass drop in dozens of recent movie trailers. Whether Dominic Toretto is turning his back on his family or Lightning McQueen is leaving racing behind him, nearly every trailer marks the dramatic turn with a similar deep bass tone that dips into an inaudible rumble. Listen for yourself below:

While the musical sting isn’t identical in each clip, the effect the filmmakers (or more likely studio heads) were going for remains the same. Amidst the non-stop action of a modern blockbuster trailer, the audience apparently needs a moment to stop and remind themselves, “This is dramatic and I’m aware of that because of the scary bass noise!” And though it may not be as in-your-face as the Hans Zimmer “Braaaaam” or the hit-you-over-the-head meta jokes of recent »

- Dan Neilan

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Newswire: Miles Morales will be Sony’s friendly animated Spider-Man in a new movie

20 hours ago

Spider-Man remains a white guy named Peter Parker in Sony’s upcoming live-action movie, but that won’t be the case in the animated film due out in 2018. Miles Morales—the half-black, half-Latino hero introduced back in 2011—will be the star of the still-untitled project being executive produced by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Sony Animation announced yesterday.

The idea of getting a non-white Spidey on the big screen has been building momentum among fans for some time now. Miles was created for the Ultimate Marvel universe after writer Brian Michael Bendis was inspired by Donald Glover’s campaign to take on the role in The Amazing Spider-Man. In 2015, the character officially adopted the Spider-Man moniker. But even as the world of the comics diversified, the big-screen Spider-Man remained the same as always when Tom Holland joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the webslinger. Now Morales is ...

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- Esther Zuckerman

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