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Disney's New 'Beauty and the Beast' Gets 'Perks' Scribe

2 hours ago

If I had to pick my favorite animated film of all time, I would probably end up going with Disney's Beauty And The Beast. It was not one I watched much as a kid. The Lion King and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are where my Disney nostalgia attachments lie. However, when I was about fifteen or sixteen, I revisited the movie and took on a whole new appreciation for it, particularly considering that I learned so much about how musicals should operate. The music by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman is lush and filled with character. It drives conflict and story in a way that makes its pace never let up. The film never sits back and spins its wheels in a redundant song, which is why the extended edition of the movie that came out including the song "Human Again" does not work as well. Upon first hearing »

- Mike Shutt

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Final Trailer Keanu Reeves' 'John Wick' Lights Up, Also New Poster and Pics

3 hours ago

Lionsgate has just premiered the final trailer for their upcoming assassin film John Wick starring Keanu Reeves as the title character, an ex-hitman, who comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. Stuntman and stunt coordiantor Chad Stahelski (300, The Hunger Games) is making his directorial debut with the flick, which co-stars Michael Nyqvist, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean Winters, Ian McShane, John Leguizamo and Willem Dafoe. John Wick recently premiered at Fantastic Fest and based on the nine reviews at RottenTomatoes it's a legit film. We'll find out when it hits theaters on October 24, for now check out the new trailer, poster and a load of pictures directly below. sb id="1012041" height="360" width="640" »

- Brad Brevet

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'White Bird in a Blizzard' (2014) Movie Review

4 hours ago

This is an odd duck of a film. Part coming of age story, part murder mystery, part Douglas Sirk melodrama and all told, the pieces do not really fit together. The mystery is not much of a mystery. Performances range from scenery chewing at its finest to naturalism at its most pure, and it ends up being kind of a mess when the credits start to roll. However, it was a captivating mess. It was a puzzle where the pieces were so compelling to look at that the fact they formed a picture of something rather ugly did not matter. The process of getting there was almost rewarding enough. White Bird in a Blizzard tells the rather familiar story of Kat (Shailene Woodley), an emotionally checked out seventeen year-old in 1988. She hangs out and drinks with her friends (Gabourey Sidibe and Mark Indelicato). She wants to have more sex with her stoner, »

- Mike Shutt

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Paramount Scores Linklater's 'Dazed and Confused' Spiritual Sequel

4 hours ago

First Paramount picked up Boyhood for home video distribution following its impressive (and still ongoing) theatrical run, and now it seems the studio wants to get in on the ground floor for director Richard Linklater's follow-up, That's What I'm Talking About. According to Deadline, Paramount is set to distribute the film in North America, while Megan Ellison's Annapurna Pictures will produce the feature and handle its international release. Ellison is keen on teaming up with the best filmmakers working today, which has led her to produce some of my favorite movies of the last two years, including Zero Dark Thirty and Her. That's What I'm Talking About is reported to begin shooting in the near future, so perhaps we will see it before 2015 is all said and done. Described as a spiritual sequel to Linklater's Dazed and Confused, That's What I'm Talking About takes place in the 1980s »

- Jordan Benesh

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Weaver, Kebbell and Chaplin Join Bayona's 'A Monster Calls'

5 hours ago

So I wasn't the biggest fan of Juan Antonio Bayona's The Impossible, but I love his work on The Orphanage and it's not my belief that one bad egg spoils the bunch when it comes to directors so I'm quite excited for his next feature, A Monster Calls, which just began production on its way to a October 14, 2016 release. With the news of the production start we also have word on the rest of the film's cast. Already cast were Felicity Jones and Liam Neeson, but we now learn Lewis MacDougall, who will also be seen as Nibs in Joe Wright's Pan, will play the central role of Conor, a 12-year-old who attempts to deal with his mother's (Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss and faith. amz asin="B00D460VJ »

- Brad Brevet

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Brad Pitt Praises Shia Labeouf, Talks Directors and Saying 'No' in Hollywood

5 hours ago

"I'm actually very snobbish about directors. I have to say no all the time," Brad Pitt told GQ in an interview for the magazine's upcoming issue. He went on to say that, "No is the most powerful word in our business. You've got to protect yourself... To leave home, it's got to be worth leaving." Pitt's self-diagnosed "snobbishness" about directors certainly hasn't gone unnoticed. Throughout his career, Pitt has worked with David Fincher (Seven) and Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven) three times apiece, Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly) twice, and a slew of other great directors once each, including Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds), Bennett Miller (Moneyball) and the Coen brothers (Burn After Reading). Additionally, Pitt's selectiveness has led him to starring in director David Ayer's (End of Watch) upcoming film Fury, a World War II tank drama that focuses on a crew of battle-hardened allied soldiers during a mission deep in enemy territory. »

- Jordan Benesh

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Watch: Liam Neeson in First Official 'Takthreen' Trailer & Poster

6 hours ago

I decided on today's podcast I will be referring to Tak3n as Takthreen from here on out and I implore all movie blogs to do the same so please, contact your favorite movie bloggers on Twitter and tell them to get this one phonetically correct. That said, today 20th Century Fox has premiered the first trailer for Takthreen, which finds Liam Neeson back as Bryan Mills in a new installment in the Taken franchise, only this time no one is "taken", instead Mills is on the run from the bad guys out to get him. I speculated on whom these bad guys must be, but hopefully the trailer gives you a better idea of what to expect. Takthreen co-stars Maggie Grace and Forest Whitaker and is set to hit theaters on January 9, check out the trailer and poster below. sb id="1011691" height="360" width="640" Liam Neeson returns as ex-covert operative Bryan Mills, »

- Brad Brevet

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Podcast: Talking the Trend in Cinematic Universes vs. 'Dark & Gritty', Latest News, DVDs and More

6 hours ago

With Tuesday comes a rundown of the new DVDs and Blu-rays, but today we're also discussing a range of topics such as the new trends in creating "Cinematic Universes" vs. the idea of "dark and gritty", latest news bits from the Magic Mike Xxl casting, Taken 3 being titled Tak3n (to be known henceforth as Takthreen) and Lindsay Lohan wanting another Mean Girls sequel. Then there are games and so forth... Hope you enjoy. If you are on Twitter, we have a Twitter account dedicated to the podcast at @bnlpod. Give us a follow won'tchac I want to remind you that you can call in and leave us your comments, thoughts, questions, etc. directly on our Google Voice account, which you can call and leave a message for us at (925) 526-5763, which may be even easier to remember at (925) 5-bnl-pod. Just call, leave us a voice mail and we'll add »

- Brad Brevet

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'Transformers: Age of Extinction', 'Chef' & '24: Live Another Day' on DVD & Blu-ray Today

7 hours ago

Chef One of the best films of 2014 so far and a movie that, while I wish you had seen it in theaters (that is if you didn't), will play perfectly at home. I really hope all of you get a chance to check out Jon Favreau's Chef, not because it's Amazing, but because it's just a good, sweet, funny film. Here's my review if you're interested.

Transformers: Age of Extinction Now if you haven't seen Transformers: Age of Extinction, woe be to those of you that watch it for the first time at home. This is a film meant to be seen on a giant screen as it pummels you into submission. At home I just don't see the point. Here's my theatrical review and then an article I wrote examining Michael Bay and the movie if you're interested.

24: Live Another Day I've seen about two or three »

- Brad Brevet

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New Picture of Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in 'A Most Violent Year'

8 hours ago

Along with the announcement J.C. Chandor's A Most Violent Year will hit UK theaters on January 23, 2015 came the above new picture from the film featuring Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac as Anna and Abel Morales in the film, which will have a limited December 31 release here in the states before expanding in January. The film is set in New York City during the winter of 1981, statistically one of the most violent years in the city's history. The film follows the lives of an immigrant and his family trying to expand their business and capitalize on opportunities as the rampant violence, decay, and corruption of the day drag them in and threaten to destroy all they have built. I've included the first trailer below in case you missed it previously or just want to give it another watch. sb id="991407" height="360" width="640" »

- Brad Brevet

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Watch: First Official 'Inherent Vice' Trailer

23 hours ago

Warner Bros. has premiered the first Inherent Vice trailer just ahead of its upcoming New York Film Festival premiere and giving us our first look at the latest from writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson. The film marks the first feature adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel and finds Joaquin Phoenix playing P.I. Doc Sportello's whose ex-old lady (Katherine Waterston) shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend (Eric Roberts) and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin... Well, easy for her to say. It's the tail end of the `60s, paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that "love" is one of those words going around, like "trip" or "groovy," that's way too overused-except this one usually leads to trouble. With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, »

- Brad Brevet

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'Seven' (1995) - Best Movies #6

29 September 2014 2:15 PM, PDT

I can't tell you exactly when I first saw David Fincher's Se7en. I definitely saw it in theaters on or around when it was released on September 22, 1995, and after seeing it I know I quickly ran to purchase the film's soundtrack, not because I necessarily loved Howard Shore's score, but because that's what I did back then. In the days before short theatrical windows and immediate DVD releases, purchasing the score was my way of preserving the experience of seeing a movie I truly loved. In this case I could listen to Shore's "Suite from Se7en" or "Portrait of John Doe" and immediately find myself back in the seedy, noir world Fincher envisioned, Andrew Kevin Walker scripted (read it here*) and Darius Khondji photographed. It was the films of David Fincher that first caused me to start looking at movies differently. Se7en and then Fight Club were »

- Brad Brevet

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Elizabeth Banks, Donald Glover and Michael Strahan Join 'Magic Mike Xxl'

29 September 2014 1:58 PM, PDT

Warner Bros. has officially announced the start of production on Magic Mike Xxl, the sequel to Steven Soderbergh's 2012 break-out hit Magic Mike, which will again star Channing Tatum in the title role and co-writing the screenplay with Reid Carolin. Soderbergh will serve as cinematographer this time around, handing off directorial duties to Gregory Jacobs (Wind Chill) and along with Tatum and returning stars Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias, new roles will be played by Elizabeth Banks, Donald Glover, Amber Heard, Andie MacDowell, Jada Pinkett Smith and even Michael Strahan. Here's the official synopsis: Picking up the story three years after Mike (Channing Tatum) bowed out of the stripper life at the top of his game, Magic Mike Xxl finds the remaining Kings of Tampa likewise ready to throw in the towel. But they want to do it their way: burning down the house »

- Brad Brevet

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Leaderboards Updated: 'Equalizer' #1, 'BoxTrolls' Strong, Neeson's 'Tombstones' Dips

29 September 2014 1:35 PM, PDT

Nothing all that new to report that wasn't previously discussed yesterday morning as this weekend's estimates were pretty much spot on. Antoine Fuqua's The Equalizer starring Denzel Washington took the #1 spot to the tune of $34.1 million, which was about $900,000 less than estimated, but that's no huge surprise. Opening day audiences gave the film an "A-" CinemaScore, which could make next weekend's drop interesting, though facing off against David Fincher's Gone Girl and Annabelle could be tough given there are so many R-rated movies today's movie going audiences can support at once. In second was last weekend's #1 film, The Maze Runner, which dropped only 46.4% to $17.4 million, which is far better than we saw from Liam Neeson's A Walk Among the Tombstones, which fell 67.1% and finished its sophomore weekend with $4.1 million. The weekend's other new release was Laika's The BoxTrolls, which earned the stop motion animation studio its highest opening to date at $17.2 million. »

- Brad Brevet

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Don Hertzfeldt's 'Simpsons' Couch Gag is... Well... What You'd Expect

29 September 2014 12:08 PM, PDT

I first came to know animator Don Hertzfeldt through his Oscar-nominated "Rejected", a collection of animated shorts he created for commercials and television network interstitials for the Family Learning Channel, all of which were, to no surprise, rejected. My favorite of the bunch (which you can watch at the bottom of this post) is the very first one in which a character screams "My spoon is too big!" before he's joined by a talking banana. No, it doesn't make any sense, but that's exactly what I love about it. Now, "The Simpsons" have opened the door to Hertzfeldt to take over their "couch gag" scenario that plays at the beginning of each episode just as they did with Banksy (watch here), Sylvain Chomet and Guillermo del Toro (watch here) recently. To no surprise it is completely batsh*t insane, but I'm largely posting it so you can watch the "My spoon is too big" piece, »

- Brad Brevet

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David Fincher Considered Directing 'Star Wars: Episode VII'

29 September 2014 11:19 AM, PDT

What would you think if David Fincher, and not J.J. Abrams, had been chosen as the director of Star Wars: Episode VIIc It's only a hypothetical looking back, but as Fincher tells Total Film, leading the new Star Wars trilogy wasn't entirely off the table. "I talked to Kathy Kennedy, President of Lucasfilm about it, but I think that it's a different thing from... I don't know what Disney-Lucasfilm will be like," Fincher told the site. His apprehension makes sense, seeing as his long-in-development 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was pretty much shot down by Disney, which owns Lucasfilm. Earlier this month, Fincher observed in an interview with Little White Lies that, "You get over $200 million... all motion picture companies have corporate culture and corporate anxieties." Relating specifically to his shuttered maritime fantasy adventure, it sounds like it was very difficult for Fincher to appease the anxieties of Disney's corporate culture. »

- Jordan Benesh

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Hey, Can We Stop Worrying about 'Gone Girl's Oscar Chances for a Minutec

29 September 2014 9:45 AM, PDT

"How will 'Gone Girl' do at Oscarsc" That was the subject line of an e-mail I woke up to yesterday morning, sent by none other than industry awards blog Gold Derby. I should be used to seeing headlines like that, now that we're knee-deep in awards season following the start of the fall film festival circuit, which began in Venice and continued on to Telluride and Toronto before arriving in New York this weekend. And if I'm not already used to it, I should probably start, because now that October is only a couple days away, there really is no end in sight. But still, it was an interesting e-mail to see sitting in my inbox. Since it was Sunday morning and there wasn't much else to do, I took the bait and opened the article, which had been published shortly after 9:00 Am (Pdt) Saturday morning, meaning it was »

- Jordan Benesh

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Political Thriller 'Colonia' Adds Emma Watson and Daniel Bruhl

29 September 2014 9:16 AM, PDT

Even though, as of late, Emma Watson has been making waves in her fight for gender equality, she is still an actor, and a pretty good one at that. And actors are always in search of their next gig, which she has just signed up for. She and Daniel Bruhl, the should have been Oscar nominated star of Rush (I'm not still bitter about that...), have joined the cast of Colonia for Oscar winner Florian Gallenberger. I am sure many of you out there are surprised to learn that Mr. Gallenberger is an Oscar winner, as was I. He won Best Live-Action Short Film in 2001 for Quiero ser (I want to be...). Admittedly, I am a complete novice when it comes to his films, so I will need to go back and check that short out, as well as his features Schatten der Zeit (Shadows of Time) and John Rabe »

- Mike Shutt

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Watch: Trailer for Jacques Tati's Newly Restored 'PlayTime'

29 September 2014 8:38 AM, PDT

Criterion will be bringing The Complete Jacques Tati to DVD and Blu-ray on October 28, delivering Tati's six feature films -- Jour de fete, Monsieur Hulot's Holiday, Mon oncle, PlayTime, Trafic and Parade -- as well as seven of his short films. Of that lot, PlayTime, the film many consider to be his masterpiece, has not only received a new 4K digital restoration, but it will be playing the BFI's Southbank as part of a wider Jacques Tati season in November. amz asin="B00LUSUWSQ" size="small"I reviewed the Criterion Blu-ray edition of PlayTime back in August 2009 and wrote of its plot: PlayTime follows Monsieur Hulot played by Tati himself as he makes his way from one setting to the next, but Hulot, this time, is not the main focus of attention. Instead, modern architecture is the theme as it dictates human behavior from straight lines in the film's early »

- Brad Brevet

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New 'Birdman' and 'Dumb and Dumber To' TV Spots

29 September 2014 8:05 AM, PDT

A pair of new TV spots for a couple of this year's major Oscar contenders appeared over the weekend, the first for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's Birdman, the second for Dumb and Dumber To, bringing back Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne. I actually caught the Dumb and Dumber To spot during "Saturday Night Live" this weekend and I got a few chuckles, but I feel I already know how it's all going to end, which makes me wonder if knowing the "ultimate" punch line spoils the entire thingc I mean, you all remember this scene from the first Dumb and Dumber rightc As for Birdman, it will be playing the New York Film Festival shortly where even more people will gush all over it as we await its October 17 release. I managed to avoid the slobbing of Gone Girl over the weekend as I see it tonight, »

- Brad Brevet

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