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17 articles


‘Dazed and Confused’ Spiritual Sequel Has Begun Casting the Afflecks and McConaugheys of Tomorrow

16 September 2014 2:00 PM, PDT

For the last 12 years, you could say that Richard Linklater has been just a little bit busy developing Boyhood, his triumph of a film concerning the growth and life of a boy from childhood through adolescence — in real time. And while that ate up a dozen actual years, Linklater didn’t put all his eggs in one basket. As with his Boyhood cast, he allowed himself to work on other projects and tinker with new ideas for future films. One such project is the long-awaited follow-up to his 1993 masterpiece Dazed and Confused. The Playlist reports that Linklater has begun casting this “spiritual sequel” (as Linklater has called it), which is titled That’s What I’m Talking About. He sent offers for three of the lead roles to the following up-and-coming young actors: Blake Jenner (Ryder from Glee — you know, the one that got catfished by another Glee club member), Tyler Hoechlin (the Teen Wolf from Teen Wolf »

- Samantha Wilson

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3 More ’90s Horror Reboots We Need in Addition To ‘I Know What You Did Last Summer’

16 September 2014 1:00 PM, PDT

No one has any lingering affection for I Know What You Did Last Summer, right? No? Great. Just making sure no one’s feelings will be crushed by the announcement that Sony has an Ikwydls reboot fast-tracked for 2016. The following details come by way of Deadline: Mike Flanagan and Jeff Howard (Oculus) will script the reboot, which will “again” take its inspiration from the 1973 novel by Lois Duncan. “Again” should really be up for debate, because it’s not like the original film was a slavish page-to-screen update. The book saw a group of teens kill a kid in a hit-and-run and then be haunted by a mysterious figure with a spooky connection to the killing. The movie saw a group of teens kill a scary hobo. Then they were slashed apart by a scary hobo. Still, it’s not like anyone’s thought of Ikwydls in years. It made a boatload of cash in 1997, churned out »

- Adam Bellotto

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The 6 Best Documentaries of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

16 September 2014 12:00 PM, PDT

Given the enormity of the festival, with all its glitz and glamour and galas, it’s sometimes easy to forget that the Toronto International Film Festival is one of the premier destinations for the top documentaries of the year. Curated by Thom Powers and his team, the selection here definitely leans towards the cinematic, where a compelling narrative and well-assembled, cohesive film is often as important as any journalistic intent of the work. With dozens of films to choose from, along several nonfiction titles that play outside the already impressive Tiff Docs slate, this year once again reestablishes the festival as the place to see some of the finest documentaries from around the world. Of the dozen-and-a-half selections I screened this year, here are the six best documentaries of Tiff ’14: The Look of Silence This quiet, contemplative film at times belies the sheer enormity of its accomplishment. Joshua Oppenheimer and his team of collaborators (often simply »

- Nonfics.com

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Let’s All Play ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Plot Mad Libs

16 September 2014 11:00 AM, PDT

How about that Avengers: Age of Ultron plot synopsis, eh? Shockingly generic? Yes it is. They might as well have said, “The Avengers are getting back together because the world is even more threatened this time, and you know you’re going to see it anyway you have your alarm set for May 2015 so why do you keep asking us for a plot synopsis?” In other words, it’s an excellent synopsis that doesn’t give everything away or deliver pure fan service to the faithful. It’s also kind of pointless, so to make it more useful, let’s play Avengers: Age of Ultron Plot Synopsis Mad Libs. Here’s how: Choose a noun, a plural noun, the name of someone in the room, a verb that ends in S, the name of your favorite person, an adjective and one more noun. Plug them (in order) into this handy be-underlined paragraph, and »

- Scott Beggs

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If You Love ‘The Hunger Games,’ The ‘Mockingjay’ Trailer Will Destroy You

16 September 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

Near the opening of the trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Jennifer Lawrence’s Katniss points out that she didn’t set out to cause massive social disruption; she only wanted to protect her little sister from certain death at the hand’s of an oppressive regime. It’s an excellent thematic introduction to a penultimate series entry that should radically change what the franchise is all about. What she did by volunteering was intimate and fiercely personal, but it resonated in a way that opened everyone else’s eyes. When one person stands up, the question is why everyone else isn’t on their feet. Donald Sutherland’s President Snow responds with a poetic zen koan about the things we love killing us. Undoubtedly, he loves power, so we’ll see how that all works out for him. Before you watch the trailer, a fair warning: it shows how one character has significantly changed — altering »

- Scott Beggs

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Why Doesn’t Anyone Want These Jeremy Renner-Starring Action Franchises?

16 September 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

  Let’s take a journey back in time. The year? 2010. Hot off The Hurt Locker (and reasonably hot off The Town), Jeremy Renner looked poised to break out in a big way. He was going to be Hawkeye. He was going to be the new Jason Bourne. He was going to take over the Mission: Impossible franchise. It was going to be Jeremy Renner’s world, and we were all just going to live in it (and buy lots of movie tickets while living in it). It was going to be great. It didn’t happen. The literal promise of Renner’s breakout did come true – he is Hawkeye in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he took over the Jason Bourne franchise, he was introduced as a new character in the last Mission: Impossible film – but he’s still not the star of any of those franchises. And, based on the latest round of Hollywood news, he »

- Kate Erbland

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Teddy Roosevelt: The First Cinematic President

16 September 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

As with any Ken Burns documentary, PBS’s The Roosevelts (having finished its second of seven two-hour episodes last night) features a trove of archival material including photographs, documents, newspaper headlines, excerpts of diaries and books reads by actors ranging from Meryl Streep to Billy Bob Thornton, and new footage from the preserved estates of the title characters. Yet what dominated yesterday’s entry (which takes place roughly between 1901 and 1909) was silent film footage of the United States’ 26th President, often brought to life for a sound-sync audience through music or even foley effects. While Burns’s films are known for their archival display, they don’t always contextualize how certain information is made available at certain points in history. Yet as The Roosevelts promises to cover over a century of ground between 1858 and 1962, the way information spread is a story that will inevitably be told, explicitly or implicitly. Between the early days of the moving image »

- Landon Palmer

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‘The Battery,’ ‘The Burbs’ and ‘Eraserhead’ Are the Best New Blu-ray/DVD Releases of the Week

16 September 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Battery The zombie apocalypse has left America a wasteland of the undead with pockets of mankind struggling to survive. Two former baseball players forced by the situation to become fast friends travel the country looking for supplies and safety, but their different personalities and views on the situation lead to dramas far removed from the flesh-eating varieties. Zombies have been ubiquitous in the horror genre for years now with three out of every five horror films focusing on them as their monster of choice. (I totally made that up, but it feels right.) The vast majority of them are pretty damn terrible, but once in a while a real gem comes along, and one of the best is this American indie that dares find the humanity in a story about the inhuman. It »

- Rob Hunter

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Required Reading: Marilyn Monroe’s Dress and Edith Beale’s Beauty

16 September 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “‘That silly little dress: the story behind Marilyn Monroe’s iconic scene” — Anne T. Donahue at The Guardian celebrates the 60th anniversary of hot air affecting a dress by sharing some interesting facts about The Seven Year Itch. “Grey Gardens and the tragedy of short-term beauty” — Nathan Rabin at The Dissolve spends some time with two nice ladies. “Grey Gardens is a film of mysteries. Why did a pair of semi-shut-ins seemingly hiding from the prying eyes of an unfeeling world allow this window into their madness, loneliness, despair, and alternately loving and poisonously co-dependent relationship? Why would people who talk throughout the film of propriety, of the way in which things must be done, allow themselves to be seen in a state of borderline-feral madness, as »

- Scott Beggs

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‘I Saw the Devil’ American Remake May or May Not Be a Good or Bad Thing

15 September 2014 4:30 PM, PDT

Here’s the thing. It’s fashionable to bash remakes from their very first announcement as unnecessary and doomed to failure, but there have been more than enough good (and even great) ones to know that’s just dumb. No remake, whether good or bad, has the power to alter the original which will always be available to watch and enjoy. Of course, knowing that doesn’t change the knee-jerk reaction you feel when a particularly fantastic foreign film is snatched up and scheduled for American consumption. Kim Jee-woon‘s deliciously brutal I Saw the Devil has been on the path towards an English-language remake since its release in 2010, but details as to who would actually be involved have been up in the air until now. The Wrap just revealed — and producer Keith Calder confirmed via Twitter — that the team behind You’re Next and the recent The Guest will be writing and directing the film. Adam Wingard »

- Rob Hunter

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8 Former Sitcom Stars With Oscar Buzz This Fall

15 September 2014 2:00 PM, PDT

It’s an understood rule of comedic actors that they can all do drama, as well. Comedy is harder, of course. But then not every comedic actor is truly an actor. Not every comedic performance is about more than good line readings and having the necessary timing to tell a joke. Stand-up comedians often get starring gigs on sitcoms, but that doesn’t mean they’ll wind up with an Oscar nomination someday. (Sorry, Sinbad.) Those who do end up with Academy recognition are those who were always set to shine on the big screen and wound up on TV as a short little detour along the way. Jennifer Lawrence, for example. And Tom Hanks. And Leonardo DiCaprio. But there are also former TV comedy stars who do great work in dramatic movies and never garner Oscar attention, and then they have to go back and do a Dumb and Dumber sequel. There »

- Christopher Campbell

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A ‘Last of Us’ Fan Short Film Delivers Face-Eating Atmosphere

15 September 2014 11:00 AM, PDT

Why Watch? This short film proves that at least one filmmaking collective in Finland is obsessed with the fungus-murdering “The Last of Us.” Mikko Löppönen and company have created a slick action set piece that earns its haunting atmosphere with navel gazing music and uncomfortably long shots of a decrepit location. L4ST barely has any dialogue, and it doesn’t exactly need what it has. It’s a brief anxiety attack, shot in a way that forces you to try to look around corners even though you have no control over the scene. That echo of video game views helps sell the survival, but the short’s greatest strengths are the choreography and execution of its fight scenes. Quick, sharp and simple, they mirror the ferocity necessary to survive in a world with few supplies and many dangers. Someone give these people a bigger budget. A New Short Film Every Week Day

"A ‘Last of Us »

- Scott Beggs

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Let’s Take 5 Minutes to Appreciate ‘Edge of Tomorrow’s Practical Effects

15 September 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

As you all know, Edge of Tomorrow is the story of a man facing a grueling mid-life crisis who can only save himself by escaping a workday grind where every day poses the exact same set of existential irritations and wide-mouthed aliens who want to blow him into tiny bits. We’ve all been there. The movie required a lot of projectiles and explosions for Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt to run away from (or to), and this B-roll footage (via ScreenSlam) shows the pair doing their own stunts while practical fireballs blaze in the background. It’s tough to say whether Edge of Tomorrow had more practical special effects than other big action flicks (I once saw a car thrown at another car while driving near the Transformers set), but it definitely feels like it. The kind of explosions and stunts they’re pulling off without CGI are really fantastic. The »

- Scott Beggs

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The 11 Best Films of the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival

15 September 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival boasted dozens upon dozens of films to sate the cinema-hungry masses, and we’re willing to bet that we saw…well, at least a hearty fraction of them. The festival has just wrapped up, and as we all attempt to recover from ten-plus days of universally excellent film-going, it only seems appropriate to revisit our favorite films of the festival. These are the titles that stuck with us, the ones we recommended to anyone who would listen, the ones we couldn’t quite shake, a big mix of the funny and the fantastic, the sad and the silly, the wild and the weird. Are these the best films of Tiff? We certainly think so. Nightcrawler When did Jake Gyllenhaal learn to be so goddamn terrifying? In Dan Gilroy‘s fierce and fearless directorial debut, the man who would be Prince of Persia (and eventually king, too »

- FSR Staff

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‘Top Five’ Review: Chris Rock’s Stand-up Distilled Into Movie Form

15 September 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

If we were to list some of the most horrific cultural tragedies of the 20th and 21st century, the paucity of films that have effectively captured the comic genius that is Chris Rock would have to … not make that list. It wouldn’t even make the honorable mentions. But still, it’s astounding that after three decades of work in cinema, Rock’s sensibility has failed to be transplanted successfully from stage to screen. Alas, Top Five is probably as close as we’ll ever get to a proper Chris Rock joint. Vulgar, obscene and insightful, Rock’s third directorial effort proves to be his strongest and most similar to his rollicking standup routines. At once autobiographical and satirical, the film picks up with Andre (Rock), a celebrated comedian no longer interested in being the funny man. After four years of sobriety, Andre believes he’s incapable of making people laugh without being intoxicated. So »

- Sam Fragoso

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What Did You Watch This Weekend?

15 September 2014 7:00 AM, PDT

The Weekend Watch is an open thread where you can share what you’ve recently watched, offer suggestions on movies and TV shows we should check out (or warnings about stuff to avoid) and discover queue-filling goodies from other Fsr readers. The comments section awaits. I’ll get the ball rolling with the movies/TV my eyeballs took in this weekend. My trip to Alaska ended with a few hours to kill before our flight out of Anchorage, so we took up another friend’s suggestion and checked out the city’s Bear Tooth Theatrepub. The food and beer were quite good, and while I had already seen Snowpiercer earlier this year we figured it was a fitting end to our (partially) snowy adventure. This second viewing actually confirmed my initial thoughts in that while the movie is visually interesting and often humorous it’s also dumb, poorly written and a sad attempt at world-building. I »

- Rob Hunter

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Required Reading: Adult Adolescence and ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’

15 September 2014 6:00 AM, PDT

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “The Death of Adulthood and the Rise of Pleasure, or Why Seth Rogen is More Serious Than Woody Allen” — Adam Sternbergh’s response to A.O. Scott’s thought-catalyst on maturity, pointing out the age-old element of these discussions and the kernel at their core. “Cultural essays about the death of adulthood are often Trojan horses for a different complaint: the death of seriousness. These essays read as modern analogues to the mid-20th-century jeremiads about middlebrow, which were, similarly, taking people to task for not being sophisticated (i.e., adult) enough in their cultural tastes.” “The Darkness of Kristen Wiig” — Noah Gittell at Esquire finds seriousness in the funny woman’s latest films (and in her earlier funnier ones). “How Julia Roberts became an icon by playing the Girl Next Door” — Matt Singer »

- Scott Beggs

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