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Telluride 2014: Cumberbatch is Remarkable in 'The Imitation Game'

9 hours ago

You never know who might change the world, even if it's someone we can't imagine. There's nothing like that feeling of euphoria after sitting through an outstanding film, one that surpasses expectations and provides so much more on top of any/everything one could imagine. That's how I felt at the end of The Imitation Game, a film by Norwegian director Morten Tyldum (Headhunters) about British mathematician Alan Turing, who helped crack the uncrackable Engima code during World War II. The film tells his life story jumping between his youth, his work during WWII, and time after when he was prosecuted for "indecency" because he was "a homosexual". It's an exceptionally compelling film lead by remarkable performances. The title The Imitation Game refers to a paper that Turing wrote which, as far as I could tell, was a direct inspiration for the Voight-Kampff machine from Blade Runner (questions are asked »

- Alex Billington

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Telluride 2014: Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater' Inspires Activism with Humor

11 hours ago

Premiering at the 2014 Telluride Film Festival is Jon Stewart's Rosewater, his directorial debut based on a true story he was involved in about Iranian journalist Maziar Bahari, played by Gael García Bernal. The film tells a rather straightforward version of the story, focusing on the weeks leading up to and surrounding Bahari's arrest, eventually leading to his time in prison. While the film has some impressive creative choices (including a hashtag moment and some other sleek visuals) it's obviously made by a first-time director, and lacks a bit of the nuances that more experienced directors include. That said, its heart is in the right place. Rosewater, titled because Bahari's "specialist" tormenter in prison smelled of rosewater, is about Bahari's experiences written as the book Then They Came for Me. After traveling to Iran in 2009 to cover the controversial and potentially rigged elections, Bahari filmed interviews on his own and »

- Alex Billington

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'Maze Runner' Will Be First to Try Out Panoramic 'Escape' Screenings

29 August 2014 12:17 PM, PDT

We just got word that Wes Ball's adaptation of the young adult novel The Maze Runner will heading to IMAX theaters the same day it hits standard theaters on September 19th. But the film will also be the first to try out a new projection system that could make the big screen experience even more immersive. THR has word that digital cinema maker Barco and their new Escape projection configuration will debut to the public with a little help from The Maze Runner. The film will be the first feature that has been specifically modified to project extra elements on two other screens to the left and right of the center screen. Read on! However, the film won't be stretched into these side screens so that you have to look in three different directions to see all the action. Instead, this is just meant to make the world of »

- Ethan Anderton

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Simon Pegg is Smokin' on Animated Poster for 'Kill Me Three Times'

29 August 2014 11:50 AM, PDT

We've already gotten one look at Simon Pegg as an assassin in the forthcoming comedic thriller Kill Me Three Times, and now the film is poised to premiere at Tiff 2014. And to hype up the unveiling of the film at the festival, a special animated poster has been released for the film that also stars Sullivan Stapleton, Alice Braga, Teresa Palmer, Bryan Brown, Callan Mulvey and Luke Hemsworth. This is one is just for Tiff because you'll notice that the smoking matchbook (the only animated part of the poster) says Tiff on it, which is pretty cool. Apparently the film is a "must-see" according to Tiff programmer Jane Schoettle. We'll see if that's true soon enough when we hit the Canadian festival. Look! Here's the animated poster for Kriv Stenders' Kill Me Three Times: Kill Me Three Times is directed by Kriv Stenders (Australia's hit Red Dog) and written by newcomer James McFarlan. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Review: 'As Above, So Below' Refreshes Found Footage with Adventure

29 August 2014 10:48 AM, PDT

The use of found footage has become a bit of an eye-rolling endeavor in horror, almost nearly as much as the penchant that iconic horror slashers like Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees have for defying death. It has become hard for horror films to use the narrative style effectively without just being a gimmick, and the explanation for this approach is usually weak, with characters inexplicably never putting down a video camera in moments of terror or being shown in what couldn't possibly be "found" footage. But with As Above, So Below, an engrossing adventure plot mixed with familiar horror elements from Legendary Pictures, those problems are not only explained, but make for some real suspense and terror. More below! Directer John Erick Dowdle, co-writing with brother Drew Dowdle, reunite after previous horror endeavors Devil and Quarantine with what might be their best horror venture yet, but that doesn't mean it's perfect. »

- Ethan Anderton

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Andrey Zvyagintsev's Cannes Selected 'Leviathan' Gets a Us Trailer

29 August 2014 9:57 AM, PDT

Following yesterday's Us trailer for the Cannes Palme d'Or prize-winning film Winter Sleep, we have another much buzzed about title from the French showcase of cinema debuting a trailer. This year, Russian filmmaker Andrey Zvyagintsev (The Return, Elena) returned to Cannes with his drama Leviathan, the story that is described as a gripping parable of class, faith and corruption, centering on a land dispute between a small-time mechanic and his local authorities that reaps unimaginable consequences. The film is actually inspired by the Biblical tale of Job, and looks like a provocative, masterfully shot piece of cinema. Here's the first trailer for Andrey Zvyagintsev's Leviathan from Palace Films: Kolia (Alexey Serebryakov) lives in a coastal village near the Barents Sea in Northern Russia, running an auto-repair shop, shared with young wife Lilya (Elena Lyadova) and his teenage son. Suddenly they find their lives and home threatened as Vadim Sergeyich »

- Ethan Anderton

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Watch: A Brief History of J.J. Abrams' Abandoned 'Superman: Flyby'

29 August 2014 9:17 AM, PDT

Plenty of people are familiar with the failed Superman Lives project that director Tim Burton tried to put together with a script from Kevin Smith and wacky actor Nicolas Cage in the lead role. We've featured a couple trailers for a Kickstarter documentary showcasing the making of the movie that never was, but there's another attempt to make a Superman movie that fewer people might know about. Before Bryan Singer would direct Superman Returns, Warner Bros. tried their hand at a film called Superman: Flyby, with a script from J.J. Abrams and questionable director Brett Ratner behind the camera. Watch now! Here's a brief history of Superman: Flyby in an excerpt of Mr. Sunday Movies (via io9): It's not hard to find the script online if you really want to read what could have been, but here's what Wikipedia has written on the project that fell apart in 2003: »

- Ethan Anderton

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HBO's 'Banksy Does New York' Doc About the Street Artist's NYC Show

29 August 2014 9:12 AM, PDT

"Becoming less an art show than a city-wide, full-contact game of hide-and-seek." We occasionally make exceptions to feature HBO movies and documentaries, and this is worth your attention. It's a documentary titled Banksy Does New York, inspired by Banksy's Better Out Than In (the real name of the show), profiling the controversial street artist's residency in New York City last October. Every day for the entire month, Banksy would reveal a new piece of art hidden around the city, and it caused a flurry of interest and activity. The doc, which will be airing on HBO, is made up of footage from the masses and it looks fantastic. I was involved in the Banksy mayhem myself, scouring the city and chasing the art, and it was so much fun. Editor's Note: The actual trailer for the HBO documentary has not debuted yet, however the trailer below is a Banksy recap »

- Alex Billington

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Infographic: Check Out the 33 Most Valuable Movie Props of All-Time

29 August 2014 8:34 AM, PDT

For any movie fan, getting ahold of any props or wardrobes from your favorite films is about as good as it gets as car as collectibles are concerned. But they're not easy to come by, and the more iconic the film, the more expensive any of them will be. Programs like "Hollywood Treasure" have chronicled the efforts of auction houses getting ahold of the most iconic props, and now a cool infographic runs through the 33 most valuable movie props, as based upon what people were willing to pay for them through various auctions and websites like eBay. They range from the DeLorean time machine from Back to the Future or Luke Skywalker's (father's) lightsaber from the original Star Wars. But what's the most expensive? Look! Here's the 33 Most Expensive Valuable Movie Props of All-Time (via Movies.com): Considering how iconic Marilyn Monroe still is, and how people immediately picture her in that white dress, »

- Ethan Anderton

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Will Forte Provides Update on the Progress of Writing 'MacGruber 2'

29 August 2014 7:48 AM, PDT

Fans of the comedy MacGruber have been jerked around a bit when it comes to the potential of a sequel. Writer and director Jorma Taccone said that he was developing the script for MacGruber 2 with star Will Forte, but then the latter dashed those dreams and said that it was far from being a real project. However, sometime later, Forte changed his tune completely and said they would do whatever it takes to get it made. And since the "Saturday Night Live" veteran has been busy doing press for his turn in Life of Crime, that means it's time to get an update on the hero making life-saving devices out of household materials. Asked if inquiries about a MacGruber ever get tiring, Forte told Collider, "No, it is very exciting because it means that people liked the first MacGruber.  Unless they are saying, 'Are you serious about MacGruber?'" And »

- Ethan Anderton

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Review: Even With Standard Weapons 'The November Man' Still Excites

29 August 2014 6:57 AM, PDT

What's that? Pierce Brosnan needs a new action franchise now, 12 years after his James Bond stint ended? There's a series of novels ripe for the action genre taking that would suit him perfectly? Let's make that deal. But The November Man, from the novels by Bill Granger, ends up being more than a run-of-the-mill spy thriller. Aided by some superb action directing from Roger Donaldson and a nice turn from its charismatic lead, the film trumps most of the recently standard "old guy in an action flick" turns we've gotten. Brosnan joins the ranks of Liam Neeson and Kevin Costner, and the former 007 prevails. Brosnan plays Peter Devereaux, a former CIA operative who has left his days taking out the bad guys for the good guys long behind him. He's enjoying a peaceful life by a lake in Switzerland when he's called back into the field. What begins as a »

- Jeremy Kirk

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Aardman Animation's 'Shaun the Sheep' Gets a Second Teaser Trailer

29 August 2014 6:44 AM, PDT

If dry British humor and stop-motion animation make for a cup of tea that you enjoy, then you're probably excited about the forthcoming release of Shaun the Sheep, an adaptation of the popular TV series from across the pond. The first teaser for the film debuted this past spring, and now we get a better idea of the story as Shaun and a bunch of his sheep friends end up stuck in the big city, leaving them with no choice but to find their own way home. However, since this property is far more popular in the United Kingdom, don't expect a release in the United States too quickly, if it even makes it over here at all. Watch the trailer now! Here's the second teaser trailer for Aardman Animation's Shaun the Sheep from the film's YouTube page: Shaun the Sheep is written and directed by Mark Burton (writer of Madagascar, »

- Ethan Anderton

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Over the Mountains, and Into Telluride We Go - Let's See Some Films

28 August 2014 7:05 PM, PDT

Over the mountains, and into Telluride. Here we go again. I'm back in Colorado, where I grew up as a kid (I now live in New York City) for my seventh time back to the Telluride Film Festival. The line-up has been unveiled (view the selections in full here), and I can't wait to start watching films. I'm always intrigued by Telluride keeping the line-up a secret until the day before the fest and I was curious how things would shake up with Tiff and Venice complaining about world premieres this time. Why does there have to be so much fighting over what to call a premiere? I'm just here to see good films. Premiere or not, I want to be moved. The festival this year includes a hefty amount of Cannes holdovers, luckily the best of the bunch including Xavier Dolan's Mommy, Bennett Miller's Foxcatcher and the »

- Alex Billington

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Second 'Harmontown' Trailer: 'Community' Creator is in His Element

28 August 2014 3:55 PM, PDT

For several years now, the NBC comedy series "Community" has evaded cancellation like a ninja. It earned five seasons on the TV network after nearly getting canceled several times, and when they finally axed it before the sixth season, Yahoo Screen revived it at the last minute. And one of the reasons the show has gotten such a big cult following is because of series creator Dan Harmon. The writer and producer has become known for his cynicism and blunt attitude along with his hard work and clever writing. Now the documentary Harmontown has followed him on a podcast and live performance tour, complete with interviews with collaborators like Sarah Silverman, Jack Black, Joel McHale and many more. Watch! Here's the first trailer for Neil Berkeley's documetntary Harmontown, originally from Yahoo: A kindred spirit to nerds everywhere, writer-comedian Dan Harmon has achieved celebrity via the hit series “Community,” but »

- Ethan Anderton

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Read Bill Hader's List of 200 Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See

28 August 2014 3:33 PM, PDT

Now you don't have to be a comedy writer to appreciate great comedic filmmaking, but "Saturday Night Live" veteran Bill Hader has an impressive list of 200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See. Thankfully, this is also just a great list of comedies that any cinephile with a penchant for good comedy should check out. The list comes from Mike Sacks' book Poking A Dead Frog: Conversations With Today’s Top Comedy Writers, which sounds like a great read for anyone with more than a passing interest in the art of comedy. But we know you came here for the movie list, so keep reading for the goods. Read on! Bill Hader's (alphabetical) 200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See from Xo Jane: 1. 9 to 5 (1980) 2. 1941 (1979) 3. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) 4. Ace in the Hole (1951) 5. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) 6. After Hours (1985) 7. Airplane! (1980) 8. Amarcord (1973) 9. American Graffiti (1973) 10. An American in Paris »

- Ethan Anderton

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Cannes Palme d’Or Winner ‘Winter Sleep’ Drama Gets First Us Trailer

28 August 2014 3:10 PM, PDT

After earning the prestigious Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest film Winter Sleep will roll out to theaters late this year for an Oscar qualifying run in limited theaters, expanding into more into early 2015. And now you can get a look at the film that clocks in at over three hours long as the first Us trailer has arrived showcasing the story of a small hotel owner, his wife (and her sister) who are at odds with each other as the winter weather becomes more fierce, forcing everyone into an inescapable, tense environment from which they can't leave as long as the snow keeps up. Watch below! Here's the first trailer for Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Winter Sleep from YouTube: Winter Sleep is directed by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) and premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, »

- Ethan Anderton

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'Avengers: Age of Ultron' May Introduce a New Team - But with Who?

28 August 2014 1:42 PM, PDT

Now that The Avengers have assembled on the big screen, everyone is very familiar with Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye. But those aren't even the original Avengers, and they're not going to always be the superheroes who assemble to save the world. As Marvel continues to broaden their cinematic universe, they're introducing new characters who will replace the original team eventually. But the question is just who will step up to join the team? Doctor Strange and Ant-Man are on the way, but that's only two people. Well, a new rumor says we might find out next year who else might enter the superhero assembly mix by way of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Read on! **Minor Spoilers from here on out regarding The Avengers: Age of Ultron** Badass Digest reports that at the end of The Avengers: Age of Ultron, we'll see »

- Ethan Anderton

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Hilary Swank Struggles with Als in First Trailer for 'You're Not You'

28 August 2014 12:02 PM, PDT

Awareness of Als (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gherig's disease) has been raised exponentially thanks to the online charity trend of the Als Ice Bucket Challenge, with donations going to the Als Association, aiming to find a cure for the disease that attacks the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. All the talk about support to fight disease is mere coincidence as a film called You're Not You is on the way featuring Hilary Swank as a famous pianist who suddenly finds herself diagnosed by the disease, and hires an unconventional assistant, Emmy Rossum, to help her cope. It looks pretty conventional and very melodramatic, but also pretty uplifting on some level, I guess. Watch! Here's the first trailer for George C. Wolfe's You're Not You, originally from EW: You're Not You is directed by George C. Wolfe (Nights in Rodanthe) and »

- Ethan Anderton

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Steve Carell Gives America Hope in New 'Foxcatcher' Teaser Trailer

28 August 2014 10:55 AM, PDT

So far there have only been two short but superb teaser trailers for Bennett Miller's Cannes selected drama Foxcatcher, but they've been the perfect way to tease the Oscar hopeful without giving too much of the movie away. Now another brief teaser has surfaced, this time with an ominous voiceover by Steve Carell, who seems to be delivering a performance that is almost guaranteed to get him an Oscar nomination. Carell plays John du Pont, the intense trainer of Olympic champion wrestler Mark Schultz & Dave Schultz (Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo), and it's clear their relationship results in some tension. Watch! Here's the new teaser trailer for Bennett Miller's Foxctatcher, originally from IMDb: Check out the first and second teaser trailer's for the Cannes selected drama too. Foxcatcher is directed by Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) and written by Dan Futterman (Capote, "In Treatment") and E. Max Frye ("Band of Brothers »

- Ethan Anderton

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Watch: First Trailer for Jon Stewart's Directorial Debut 'Rosewater'

28 August 2014 10:29 AM, PDT

"You have a real weapon and you choose not to use it." Though he's better known for his sense of humor covering the week's headlines in politics and world affairs, comedian Jon Stewart is getting deadly serious with his directorial debut, a drama called Rosewater. In the film Gael Garcia Bernal plays journalist Maziar Bahari, a Tehran born man who returned to Iran in 2009 to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. But following his shooting coverage of the protests after Ahmadinejad's victory before the polls even closed, Bahari was arrested by police, tortured and interrogated for 118 days as a spy. Now the trailer has arrived and it looks powerful and superb. Watch now! Here's the first trailer for Jon Stewart's Rosewater, originally from Apple: See the first poster for the film premiering at Telluride and Tiff right here. In 2009, Iranian Canadian journalist Maziar Bahari »

- Ethan Anderton

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