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Jamie Dornan Leaves His Whips Behind for Director Alexandre Aja’s ‘The Ninth Life of Louis Drax’

52 minutes ago

Though Jamie Dornan will soon be seen taking care of business and (literally) cracking the whip as a young entrepreneur with an exceptionally active social life over at Fifty Shades of Grey, he’s signed up for a bit of a fictional career change as he joins the cast of Alexandre Aja‘s The Ninth Life of Louis Drax. The film, an adaptation of a best-selling novel by Liz Jensen, follows a nine-year-old boy named Louis Drax who is a little different than the other kids. Brilliant, but perceived as weird, Louis always seems to have something terrible happen to him — and his ninth birthday is no different. He suffers a massive fall that nearly takes his life, and there are no details to shed light on how or why the incident occurred. Dornan steps in as Dr. Allan Pascal, a physician who is drawn to Drax’s peculiar case. Drax »

- Samantha Wilson

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Alan Rickman is a Legendary Creep in This Short Film

1 hour ago

Why Watch? A disheveled man follows a little girl and her mother as they walk down the street, he breaks into their home, and soon he’s writhing around in the little girls’ bed. This man is Alan Rickman, in case you weren’t already completely creeped out. In the short film Dust from Ben Ockrent and Jake Russell, the concept of what millions of people knowingly allow into their child’s bedroom is explored with an unnerving sense of simplicity. It’s almost pure atmosphere, punctuated only by a singular goal that maintains mystery simply because we may refuse to believe that we’re about to see what the film is promising to show us. It’s all body language and intent, which makes Rickman perfect casting not only because his ease of appearing terrifying, but also because he’s committed to even small roles like this one. Granted, it »

- Scott Beggs

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6 Filmmaking Tips from Jim Jarmusch

3 hours ago

As many successful American filmmakers who get their start in independent filmmaking quickly find themselves comfortable in Hollywood studios, Jim Jarmusch feels like the anachronism that the economics of filmmaking rarely find room for but the culture of cinema certainly needs. After making the No Wave-era Permanent Vacation on the seemingly post-apocalyptic landscape of a crumbling late-70s New York, Jarmusch made waves at the then-young Sundance film festival with Stranger Than Paradise, a bare bones indie that exhibited the director’s penchant for deliberate pacing, wry humor, an insistent soundtrack and a canted examination of Americana. Jarmusch’s productions are few and far between, partly due to the fact that he is ever in want of funding and seeks final cut on all his films. The process may be difficult, but it’s worth it: thirty years after Paradise, Jarmusch crafted Only Lovers Left Alive (recently released on disc and digital), a film that surprised me »

- Landon Palmer

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5 Movie Sequels Everyone Hates (That A Lot of People Love)

4 hours ago

If you’ve been on the internet for more than a few minutes, then you’ve probably got a pretty good idea of the movies that everyone hates. They’re movies that are legendary in their awfulness, ruined people’s childhoods, whatever. And then those movies get sequels and people go bananas wondering who’s greenlighting these things. The answer, of course, is the same people complaining loudest about them. They’re doing it with their wallets. 5. Spider-Man III The first Spider-Man film was, shockingly, not a disaster and made Sam Raimi a household name. Then he followed it up with another one and it was good, too! Then he announced a third one! With Venom! What could go wrong? If you believe the internet, the whole thing was Emo Peter. (Really that sequence only lasted about ten minutes.) And then you had that skinny whitebread Venom and a shoe-horned Hobgoblin and the whole thing was just »

- Ashe Cantrell

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Lake Bell Will Direct Long-in-the-Making ‘Emperor’s Children’ Film, Which Is Awesome

5 hours ago

This is dream team stuff, people. The Wrap reports that actress/writer/director Lake Bell has been tapped to direct the big screen adaptation of Claire Messud‘s Man Booker Prize listed bestselling novel “The Emperor’s Children.” Bell will direct from Noah Baumbach‘s script, which has basically just been sitting around for whole years waiting for someone to make it into a real movie. Set in New York City just before and after 9/11, the novel centers on a trio of Brown University pals (who maybe don’t like each other as much as they should) who are just trying to make their way (often, their very misguided way) around life in the big city. The events of 9/11 change that, of course, and the novel is an unsentimental look at how we experience tragedy, especially the wide-ranging and extremely unexpected kind (as the pages tick by and the days move forward and the inevitability of what »

- Kate Erbland

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David Lynch Offers a Surreal Ice Bucket Challenge as Only He Can

6 hours ago

An iced coffee, a trumpeted rendition of a magical tune, and the man from the White Lodge. David Lynch has now transformed the ephemeral absurdity of the ice bucket challenge into physical absurdity. It’s enough to make you wonder why thousands of people have made videos of themselves being doused in freezing water. Think about how truly strange that is for a moment. Like we were all hypnotized, allowed by society to be socially bizarre for a good cause. The two funniest moments are when Lynch says, “I’m taking the challenge” so sweetly (we don’t even have to ask which challenge he’s talking about), and when he says, “The second bucket…” so casually after his mid-musical, caffeinated sloshing. Perfect comic timing. Of course, both laugh lines are due in large part to Lynch now being a fantastically adorable old man. Life just keeps staying weird. Source: The Film Stage

"David Lynch Offers a »

- Scott Beggs

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Where Is All the Buried Pirate Treasure?

6 hours ago

As I tend to watch movies for a living, periodically I am faced with potential career choices that might be more lucrative for me. A stint aboard a space mining freighter for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation is a bit too futuristic for me, and I’ve missed the boat for enrolling in med school or law school. However, there seems to be one way to make money that doesn’t seem to take any formal schooling: treasure hunting. Of course, before I kiss my wife and kids good-bye and embark on a whirlwind global journey to get rich off of other people’s plundering, I had to look into this career choice a bit. I started by thinking: Where can I dig up a buried pirate’s treasure chest? The Answer: Only in the movies, unless you get creative or have unlimited funds. Pirate treasure has been the source of many entertaining films, including »

- Kevin Carr

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‘The November Man’ Review: The Spy Who Came In from the Old Folks’ Home

7 hours ago

One of the absolute best spy thrillers of the past three decades is the Kevin Costner-led No Way Out. Seriously. If you haven’t seen it, or haven’t seen it in a while, go watch it again and marvel at its sharp script, fantastic action set-pieces and electric performances from all involved. Plus Iman! Director Roger Donaldson has returned to the genre on occasion since ’87, but while he’s yet to capture that same magic it hasn’t stopped him from trying. Which brings us to The November Man. Peter Devereaux (Pierce Brosnan, himself no stranger to the cinematic spy game) is retired and living the peaceful life of a single parent and shopkeeper when an old friend visits to ask a favor. He needs help with an ex-filtration, and the woman in desperate need of escaping Moscow is someone very close to Peter’s heart and past. He »

- Rob Hunter

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Required Reading: Manipulating Movies and Why Women Can’t Be Funny

7 hours ago

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? “How Movies Manipulate Your Brain to Keep You Entertained” — Greg Miller at Wired looks at vision science and the randomness of car crashes that you can’t fake. “Interview: Harvard Business School Professor Anita Elberse on What Hollywood’s Love of Blockbusters Means for the Rest of Us” — Erika Olsen at RogerEbert.com presents great news for people who love semi-bad news. “I think it’s hard to deny that it creates significant challenges for independent studios and others who seek to produce and market films that are truly original. In an industry in which studios seek to make big bets on the most likely winners, and those titles are picked for having some resemblance to past winners (be it that they are based on a book that was once successful, or »

- Scott Beggs

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‘Cam2Cam’ Review: Who Knew Meeting Strangers Online Could Lead to Murder?

16 hours ago

Lucy has settled in for the night in her Bangkok apartment with a bottle of wine and a desire to chat up hot babes online, but she’s interrupted by a knock at the door before she even gets to virtual first base. A new neighbor, a creepy Brit named Russell (Russell Geoffrey Banks), invites her to his upstairs soiree, but she declines the offer and returns to the half-naked girl on her computer screen. She eventually notices that the girl, whose head is cropped out of the frame, is visibly several feet away from the keyboard even as new messages are being sent. (Viewers with eyeballs have been wondering about this for several minutes already.) Things get creepy, and Lucy ends up losing her head too. Some time later another young American woman moves into the same apartment. Like Lucy, Allie (Tammin Sursock) enjoys ogling the ladies online, and soon she finds herself waist deep in »

- Rob Hunter

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Mike Epps Recieves Tweet of a Lifetime, Has Finally Been Cast as Richard Pryor

22 hours ago

Okay, this isn’t normally the way we do things. An actor gets cast in a role, and we hear about it from some trade magazine of glamorous and shining repute. But not this time. Lee DanielsRichard Pryor biopic looks to have just cast its lead, and we’re hearing the first news…on Twitter. But it’s Lee Daniels’ Twitter, so we’ll take that as slightly more legitimate than most. Here’s the fateful tweet in question: Get ready y’all- #MikeEpps as #RichardPryorpic.twitter.com/0sothu7yVB — lee daniels (@leedanielsent) August 24, 2014 I think it’s safe to assume that, were Stephen Spielberg to tweet “Get ready y’all- #Ryan Reynolds, #RyanGosling and #RyanSeacrest in #SavingPrivateRyan2,” we’d be inclined to believe him. If Saving Private Ryan 2 was real. And probably if he didn’t use the words “Get ready y’all,” which probably mean Lee Daniels has gotten a hold of Spielberg’s »

- Adam Bellotto

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It’s Okay, Dudes, Kimmy Gibbler Will Be Back for New ‘Full House’

23 hours ago

If you’ve already exhausted your syndicated TV options — heavy on the Friends, light on the Family Matters, some Seinfeld thrown in for good measure – we’ve got the throwback news you’re apparently pretty hungry for. New Full House. No, really. And, no, it’s not suddenly 1997, so stop shaking your calendar (and making that joke). TV Guide reports that “Warner Bros. TV is mulling a new take on Full House, with some of the original cast intact.” What. Well, it turns out that Full House continues to perform exceptionally well on the syndicated market (it does seem to be on all the time) and that measurable audience interest, combined with the actual cast’s apparent desire to come back from some more family-friendly hijinks, means that little dollar signs are positively dancing in the heads of the Warner Bros. brass. Honestly, who could possibly blame them? The outlet also shares that John Stamos (Uncle Jesse »

- Kate Erbland

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The Movies Tell Us: Don’t Trust Your Protege

26 August 2014 2:00 PM, PDT

Being a mentor is tough. You’re putting time into showing a kid the ropes, and what do you get out of it? According to the movies, maybe death. Or at least some non-lethal backstabbing will come about if you’re not lucky. It’s a wonder any of us bother to recruit interns, employees, apprentices, proteges and sidekicks when we know from watching a lot of movies that it’s not a good idea. We’re much better off just doing whatever work they’d have helped with alone and living a longer and more fruitful life. Never mind if we deserve the comeuppance. None of us believe we’re the bad guys, especially when we thought we were actually out for our disciple’s best interest. In the new movie The November Man, it’s Pierce Brosnan who winds up targeted by his former pupil, played by Luke Bracey. The »

- Christopher Campbell

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Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day Are Taking a Little ‘Vacation’ Together

26 August 2014 1:00 PM, PDT

Sometimes it’s scary how much people wind up being just like their parents. They try to fight it, but there they are, 30-something years later, dragging their own kids in the trusty family car down the same winding roads that they once had to travel on some wacky adventure. You’d think Rusty Griswold would have learned some lessons back in the ’80s after just a few failed family bonding attempts, but the long-gestating reboot of National Lampoon’s Vacation is still underway, with a couple new faces now added to the cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter: Chris Hemsworth and Charlie Day. In the new incarnation of Vacation, written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein, Rusty (Ed Helms) is all grown up and taking his own family (including wife Christina Applegate) on a whirlwind road trip that way or may not have an end goal of visiting Walley World. You »

- Samantha Wilson

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Richard Attenborough’s Accessible Activism

26 August 2014 11:00 AM, PDT

Yesterday, Scott Beggs discussed how the subject of war permeated throughout Richard Attenborough’s career both in front of and behind the camera, noting how anti-war themes ran through the former Royal Air Force flier’s directing debut in Oh! What a Lovely War to his Best Director win for Gandhi and beyond. But there’s another important aspect of Attenborough’s unique career that informed this consistent theme of pacifism: the actor/director often gravitated toward stories of activists determined to change the world and its asymmetrical relations of power. Attenborough rarely put himself in the position of liberator, but recognized and used his position of Western privilege to render the speech of others heard. Attenborough was a genteel Englishman who seemed positively aristocratic in his presentation and demeanor – his appearance made him look the part of someone who might have been quite comfortable in the role of colonizer a century ago – but he used this »

- Landon Palmer

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What Happens When You Make an Nc-17 Movie

26 August 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

You may have heard Nc-17 called the “rating of death” for the way it kills a movie’s commercial success. Is this true? As a producer of one of the handful of Nc-17 films ever made, Lucky Bastard, I can tell you it’s like the guys on Jackass finding out what happens when you get kicked in the nuts: Yes, it hurts like hell. Does the spectacle itself attract attention? Maybe—but you’ve still been kicked in the nuts. Lucky Bastard is a thriller about an adult website that pairs average Joes with porn stars (there really are such sites). When one troubled young man fails to perform, he is driven by shame and humiliation to enact bloody revenge on the porn crew. For us, this was a great micro-budget premise that let us comment upon America’s obsessions with sex, violence and “humiliation entertainment.”For artistic reasons, we »

- Lukas Kendall

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‘Gone Girl’ Trailer: 5 Elements That Will Drive Book Readers Wild

26 August 2014 9:00 AM, PDT

We already know that David Fincher‘s Gone Girl will be slightly different than author Gillian Flynn‘s original novel — at least, different when it comes to some third act tweaks — but that doesn’t mean that the filmmaker and writer have abandoned all the stuff that made the bestelling tale of a missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and her maybe-guilty husband (Ben Affleck) so good. That would be, in simple terms, really stupid. Most of our looks at the film so far — and there have been plenty, thanks to two juicy trailers — have focused on the film’s basic premise, which sounds like an obvious thing to do, but one that doesn’t exactly reflect the twisting and twisted nature of Flynn’s book. Yes, Amy Elliott Dunne (Pike) is missing, but no, this isn’t a film about a husband (Affleck) who offs his wife and tries to get away with it (and, no »

- Kate Erbland

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Required Reading: Making ‘Back to the Future’ and Remembering ‘My So-Called Life’

26 August 2014 8:18 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? “Guardians of the Galaxy was so much fun. So why did it feel so empty?” — Todd VanDerWerff at Vox rebounds from the “post-plot” conversation to explore where emotional resonance doesn’t match the MacGuffin-focused goal. He makes some interesting points about franchise needs overshadowing, but I’m not sure why the story of a hand-rejecting loner learning to work with — and then care for — others as they complete an important mission isn’t an example of pathos marching alongside high concept. “20 Years After My So-Called Life, Bess Armstrong Reveals What Creators Planned for Season Two” — Katey Rich at Vanity Fair gets and explores the scoop on a show that focused equally on parents while finding a rabid audience in young teens. “My So-Called Life at 20” — Speaking of which, Sylvia »

- Scott Beggs

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MPAA: Gay People Are Unsuitable for Children

26 August 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

Love Is Strange is a movie about, well, love. It’s about the love shared by its central couple, George (Alfred Molina) and Ben (John Lithgow), but there’s more to it than that. It’s about all of its varieties and inflections, and the way that it’s expressed by husbands, nieces-in-law and friends. Beautifully lit spaces, subtly crafted dialogue and open, naturalistic performances from the whole cast help director Ira Sachs play with the manifestations of this title concept. The MPAA ratings board, meanwhile, didn’t pay attention to any of this. Love Is Strange was given an R rating. There’s no sex in the film, nor any notable violence. The reason this family drama wasn’t considered family-friendly was “language,” that ever-vague, often ironically meaningless word. What exactly does that mean? Sometimes it means too many “fucks,” or some similar breach of the arbitrary mathematics of swear-word policing. Here »

- Daniel Walber

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‘The Legend of Hell House,’ ‘Queen Margot’ and ‘The Walking Dead’ Are the Best New DVD/Blu Releases of the Week

26 August 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 Legend of Hell House The Belasco House had seen its fair share of tragedy and carnality even before the man who had it built disappeared, but the years since have seen a continuation of death and terror. It’s known as Hell House, the Mt. Everest of haunted houses, and now a team consisting of a scientist, his wife and two mediums is going in to prove once and for all whether or not ghosts and the afterlife exist. Two of them are going to find out first hand before the week is out. Richard Matheson’s novel (Hell House) was adapted to the screen way back in ’73, but it remains one of the best haunted house flicks out there. There are legitimate chills throughout, some PG-rated sexiness and a wonderfully intense performance from »

- Rob Hunter

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