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Orphan Black, Ep. 3.06, “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” strengthens season three’s return to form

11 hours ago

Orphan Black, Season 3, Episode 6, “Certain Agony of the Battlefield”

Written by Aubrey Nealon

Directed by Helen Shaver

Airs Saturdays at 9pm (Et) on BBC America

Given the inconsistency of Orphan Black season three, it was easy to fear last week’s moving installment would be a blip in an otherwise unremarkable season. Thankfully, “Certain Agony of the Battlefield” builds on the strengths of its predecessor, continuing its character-based approach and efforts to tie as many threads as possible into the central narrative of the season, Project Castor’s conflict with Sarah and the rest of Clone Club.

Paul has been a problem character for much of the run of Orphan Black. The creative team are clearly fond of the character, bringing him back time and again when he could have easily been written out, but few of his character pivots have worked. He was Beth’s boyfriend, then her uninformed monitor, »

- Kate Kulzick

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Cannes 2015: ‘Macbeth’ and the reliable charm of Michael Fassbender

11 hours ago


Directed by Justin Kurzel

Written by Jacob Koskoff, Todd Louiso

UK 2015

The final film in competition, Justin Kurzel’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth delivers a spectacle of dripping blood, slow-motion battle scenes, sprawling Scottish highlands and Michael Fassbender. Fassbender stars as the Scottish warrior turned regicide and paranoid monarch, who after a particularly bloody battle has a vision of three witches predicting he will be King of Scotland. Macbeth starts out as an honorable soldier loyal to King Duncan (David Thewlis) and decides to only become king the “natural way”. However, after imprudently sharing the witches’ prophecy with his wife, played by Marion Cotillard, Macbeth finds himself constrained by her ambitious power lust.

Finding the right balance between words and images is essential when adapting a Shakespearean play for the screen and Kurzel’s weapon of choice is the emphasis on the rugged, indomitable beauty of the Scottish landscape, »

- Zornitsa Staneva

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The unlikeliest action star: Kurt Russell in the 80s

12 hours ago

Bob Hauk: Remember, once you’re inside you’re on your own.

Snake Plissken: Oh, you mean I can’t count on you?

Bob Hauk: No.

Snake Plissken: Good!

Escape from New York

Somewhere between Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 80s had another action star, one that wasn’t unintelligible, one that had far fewer muscles and seemed downright average in comparison to Arnie and Sly. With three movies in a six year span Kurt Russell became America’s biggest cult badass.

First came arguably his toughest tough guy Snake Plissken in 1981’s Escape from New York. It’s hard to beat an eye patch and an abdomen snake tattoo. Plissken, a cocky prisoner, is tasked with rescuing the kidnapped President in the collapsed, criminal run New York. Following Escape from New York was Carpenter’s 1982 terrifying alien invasion remake of The Thing and finally Big Trouble in Little China »

- Tressa

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‘Forbidden Empire’ has interesting visuals but a rushed pace

12 hours ago

Forbidden Empire

Written by Aleksandr Karpov and Oleg Stepchenko

Directed by Oleg Stepchenko

Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, 2014

Though we may not like to admit it, some movies simply have the deck stacked against them. Case in point, Forbidden Empire. Forbidden Empire is, in fact, a dubbed and re-cut version of Viy, a 2014 Russian fantasy-horror film with a very interesting pedigree. The film is based off a short story by Nikolai Gogol, one of the more towering figures of classic Russian literature, and was previously adapted into a film of the same name in 1967. The previous version of Viy is regarded as something of an unsung classic, an immensely watchable gem rife creative and memorable effects sequences. The new film, however, eschews most of the practical effects wizardry that made the original what it is in favor of CGI effects. So, in summary, it’s a re-cut, dubbed version of a »

- Thomas O'Connor

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The original ‘Poltergeist’ successfully blends horror and family melodrama

13 hours ago


Written by Michael Grais, Steven Spielberg, and Mark Victor

Directed by Tobe Hooper

The original 1982 Poltergeist, directed by Tobe Hooper, opens with an apt image: an extreme close-up of a television set. Not only does the object prove pivotal to the film’s narrative, but the close proximity of the camera to the screen imbues the television with a strange, almost alien quality. Though it simply plays the national anthem over patriotic imagery, the signature sign-off for most TV stations in the 1980s, the close-up distorts the pictures and renders them wholly indeterminable. For a film that explores the dark unknowns that lie beneath the seemingly innocent and ordinary, Poltergeist certainly knows how to prime its audience for what’s to come.

As the channel transitions to the familiar static blizzard, five-year-old Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke) awakens to the sound of voices emanating from the set. As »

- Jacob Carter

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Amy Schumer, Paul Feig teaming up for new action-comedy

13 hours ago

More Amy Schumer? Yes, please!

It seems like the comedian is finding more fans in the movie world as her comedy Trainwreck is set to open in theaters this summer, but that hasn’t stopped her from bagging another project with one of the top comedy directors working today.

The Hollywood Reporter broke on Friday that Schumer would be teaming up with Bridesmaids and the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot director Paul Feig on an action-comedy that she would write and star in.

She would be working with her sister, Kim Caramele. The two will be reworking an initial script written by The Heat and Ghostbusters scribe Katie Dippold to put the main character in Schumer’s voice. Feig is not attached to direct the project, and is listed as a producer so far.

According to THR, the plot is being kept under wraps but sources say it is an action-comedy in »

- Zach Dennis

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Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola prepare us for the holidays with Netflix’s ‘A Very Murray Christmas’

13 hours ago

Is this the Lost in Translation sequel we have desired? Probably not, but it will still be great.

Netflix released the first trailer for A Very Murray Christmas on Thursday, which reunites Bill Murray with his Translation director Sofia Coppola. The cast will be led by Murray playing a version of himself with guest stars, including: George Clooney, Paul Shaffer, Amy Poehler, Julie White, Dimitri Dimitrov, Michael Cera, Chris Rock, David Johansen, Maya Rudolph, Jason Schwartzman, Jenny Lewis, Phoenix, Frederic Moulin, Rashida Jones, Miley Cyrus and more.

The teaser doesn’t show much outside of Murray, with reindeer ears, looking out a window that is very reminiscent to many scenes in Lost in Translation, but regardless, I’m sure a lot of people will tune in to see something starring both Bill Murray and the array of guest stars that he and Coppola have amassed.

The special will be coming »

- Zach Dennis

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The Conversation: Landon Palmer and Drew Morton Discuss ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’

13 hours ago

The Magnificent Ambersons

Landon’S Take: 

Orson Welles is celebrated as one of the foremost visionaries in the history of American filmmaking. He’s also renowned as the perennial artist against the system. While both of these factors make Welles perhaps the ideal auteur – someone satisfied with nothing less than a perfect articulation of his individual vision within the collaborative medium of filmmaking – it also presents some unique problems in examining works that were taken away from him.

The classically celebrated auteurs of studio era Hollywood (e.g., Hawks, Ford, Hitchcock) were known for creating individuated worldviews across their body of work either despite or even because of the strictures inherent in Classical Hollywood filmmaking. This was not Welles, who from his rise to infamy with the 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast to his first studio feature made a name by challenging the assumed utilities of a medium. Neither could »

- Drew Morton

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Cannes 2015: ‘Rams,’ ‘The High Sun’ among Un Certain Regard winners

13 hours ago

The first winners from the Cannes Film Festival have been revealed.

According to Deadline, the jury for Un Certain Regard, led by Isabella Rossellini, have awarded its top prize to Rams. The film, directed by Grímur Hákonarson, is set in a remote Icelandic valley and the comedy centers on two brothers who haven’t spoken in 40 years, but who must come together in order to save their prized sheeps.

This is the second year that an animal-themed film has won the award with the Swedish film featuring dogs, White God, winning last year.

The High Sun, directed by Dalibor Matanić, took the jury prize. The film follows three different love stories set in three consecutive decades, in two neighboring Balkan villages burdened with a long history of inter-ethnic hatred.

Kiyoshi Kurosawa won Best Director for his film, Journey To The Shore (Kishibe No Tabi). The Japanese ghost story centers on »

- Zach Dennis

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Sos This Week #9: Is Simon Pegg right about geek culture?

23 hours ago

Simon Pegg had some strong words this week about the “infantilization” of our society caused by today’s blockbusters, and not all of his fans took his quotes kindly. But does Pegg have a point? We discuss the state of geekdom along with all the other top stories of the week, including Disney’s latest live-action picture, trailers for Pan, Amy, and Steve Jobs, and new projects about The Girl on the Train and Brian Epstein. Plus, give all your money to our Wtf of the Week, Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves. Find us on iTunes and send comments and questions to newseditor ‘at’ soundonsight.org.

Top Stories:

Reese Witherspoon to play live-action Tinkerbell Peter Pan is the chosen one in first trailer for Joe Wright’s Pan Cannes ’15: Amy Winehouse is a star born again in new doc trailer and clip Week in Review: The New York Times will »

- Brian Welk

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Sketchy Episode 172 – ‘Grave of the Fireflies’

23 May 2015 7:12 AM, PDT

This week it’s the first part of a double feature. It’s the 1988 Studio Ghibli film “Grave of the Fireflies,” directed by Isao Takahata, which many describe as one of the saddest films of all time. So, it’s appropriate that Sketchy, the saddest podcast of all time (sad as in pathetic), discuss this heartwrenching film.

Listen on iTunes!

Follow Sketchy




The post Sketchy Episode 172 – ‘Grave of the Fireflies’ appeared first on Sound On Sight.


- Ryan Clagg

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Cannes 2015: ‘Valley of Love’ – Depardieu’s Heft Fills the Screen

22 May 2015 8:50 PM, PDT

Valley of Love

Written and directed by Guillaume Nicloux

France 2015

Minimalist drama Valley of Love is the final French entry in this year’s competition. It stars two living monuments of French cinema, Isabelle Huppert, in no less than two films in competition this year, and Gerard Depardieu whose performance in last year’s out of competition Welcome to New York was apparently a tour de force. Valley of Love is the baby of prolific French filmmaker Guillaume Nicloux (none of whose films I had previously seen and about whom I had no expectations whatsoever.)

First things first, the film is a chamber drama with little plot beyond the two leads errant in the scorching barrenness of Death Valley National Park. They incarnate a former couple of French actors, Isabelle and Gérard, reunited at the behest of their son who has recently committed suicide. A letter sent to each of »

- Zornitsa Staneva

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Consider the ante officially upped in ‘Archie Vs. Predator’ #2

22 May 2015 4:23 PM, PDT

Archie Vs. Predator #2

Written by Alex de Campi

Pencils by Fernando Ruiz

Inks by Rich Koslowski

Colors by Jason Millet

Published by Dark Horse Comics

Now that we’re halfway through Archie Vs. Predator, it would make sense for pieces of the overarching plot to begin to take shape. If Archie Vs. Predator was a bad comic, it would fail to accomplish this task. If it was a good comic, it would already have done it and be content with itself. As it happens, Archie Vs. Predator is not simply a good or a bad comic, but an absolutely insane one. Our outdated notions of “quality” have no bearing on a comic such as this, and require a more in-depth analysis in order to fully understand its secrets.

The first issue, while fun and unique, felt very much like the prologue to a bigger and bolder story. The newest issue only cements that fact. »

- Halden Fraley

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Cannes 2015: ‘The Assassin’ is a beautifully filmed, inane postcard from 9th century China

22 May 2015 2:59 PM, PDT

Nie Yinniang (The Assassin)

Directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien

Written by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, Chu Tien-Wen

Taiwan 2015

There was a lot wriggling and quite a few walkouts in today’s screening of Nie Yinniang. My initial thoughts were rambling along the lines of: “Is this worse than the worst film in competition so far?”; “The writers need to take some remedial scriptwriting classes”; “Did someone bribe Cannes to get this film in?” Woe the martial arts and Asian cinema ignoramus that I am – apparently the director is a “master of the genre” and critics loved the film. Well, critics except this one.

Nie Yinniang tells the story of Yinniang, played by Shu Qi, a taciturn black-clad female assassin (for a while I thought the character was supposed to be mute but eventually she blurted out some random phrase or two). She is under the control of a most preposterous princess Jiaxin, »

- Zornitsa Staneva

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Last Night on Late Night, 5/21/15: Conan gives his staff a performance review and Heidi Klum smuggles scrotums

22 May 2015 11:59 AM, PDT

Real comedy still happens on late night, we can prove it. If you like Conan comedy gold, Fallon friendliness, cutesy Corden, list-making Letterman, kneedy Kimmel, and all the rest, I hope you’ll enjoy this column too.

Last night on late night, there was no Letterman. Conan gave his staff at “Conaco” a performance review, Jimmy Fallon talked to Dwayne Johnson and Meghan Trainor, Kimmel talked goombahs and gangsters with Ray Liotta, and Seth Meyers talked Kangaroo parts with Heidi Klum.


Performance review at “Conaco”.

Once again, Jordan Schlansky is on the chopping block.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon 

Dwayne Johnson was a colossal 15-year-old.

Misheard lyrics bit.

Jimmy Kimmel Live! 

Ray Liotta talks Goodfellas reunion and dealing with wise guys.

Liotta talks about his new Western series, Texas Rising. DC capitol police can’t stop leaving their guns in the public bathrooms. Howie Mandel has athlete’s foot. »

- Max Wood

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Watch Chris Pratt’s hilarious drunk acting lesson for GQ

22 May 2015 11:29 AM, PDT

Chris Pratt is GQ’s Cover Man for June, because who else? And if you thought Andy Dwyer was fun, you better believe that Drunk Andy Dwyer is even more fun. Pratt was supposed to do a DVD acting lesson for a film he’s shooting, but the heat in Joshua Tree got to him and he downed an entire bottle of Fireball Whiskey before offering his lessons. At least now I know how to convince my wife her birthday is in fact tomorrow. And a reminder, this message has been brought to you by Fireball Whiskey. Fireball: Ignite the Night.

Watch the video above, and for more check out Pratt’s special PSA about the dangers of doing meth.

The post Watch Chris Pratt’s hilarious drunk acting lesson for GQ appeared first on Sound On Sight.


- Brian Welk

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Week in Review: The New York Times will no longer review every movie opening in NY

22 May 2015 8:52 AM, PDT

In this day and age of film criticism, less of it is seemingly always a bad thing, and when a bastion like The New York Times announces they’re cutting back, it seems like a particularly painful blow. However, Variety Thursday obtained an email from Nyt Film Critic A. O. Scott explaining that the Times would no longer be reviewing every movie opening in New York, and the ironic truth is that this “new” policy may go a long way toward bettering the film coverage.

“Because of the increasing volume of new films released each year, the Times is no longer able to guarantee reviews of all New York theatrical releases,” Scott said in an email. He went on to add in a phone interview to Variety that the paper had already instated such a policy quietly earlier this year, and coyly confirmed as much on Twitter.

In 2013, the Times published nearly 900 film reviews. »

- Brian Welk

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Femme Fatales terrorize Keanu Reeves in new ‘Knock Knock’ trailer from Eli Roth

22 May 2015 7:19 AM, PDT

If It Follows was the best argument for abstinence in a horror movie in some time, Eli Roth’s Knock Knock should make a good double feature about the sin of adultery.

Keanu Reeves stars in Roth’s latest, in which two gorgeous women (breakouts Lorenza Izzo and Ana De Armas) seemingly stranded out in the rain take advantage of him sexually while his family is away, only for them to return, invade his home and terrorize him for his infidelity.

In our review upon its premiere at Sundance, Dylan Griffin called it “camp glory,” writing, “Knock Knock is Roth’s most measured work to date, but it does still carry some of his filmmaking’s more significant pitfalls.” Griffin added that the film is designed to be something of a horror satire, lit like a soap opera and offering great joys in Keanu Reeves shouting at the top of his lungs. »

- Brian Welk

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Video of the Day: Watch the Hillywood show do their take on ‘Supernatural’

22 May 2015 6:50 AM, PDT

The youtube channel The Hillywood Show has made a name for itself by recontextualising popular songs to double as homages to well-known tv shows, with costumes and sets to match, along with dances. They have previously done parodies of Doctor Who and The Walking Dead, repurposing “The Time Warp” and “Another One bites the Dust” respectively.

For their latest video, the duo behind the channel took on the CW series Supernatural, setting the storyline of the show’s just-ended tenth season to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off”. In addition to getting a Chevy Impala much like the one driven in the series, the show tapped Osric Chau, who played Kevin Tran on the series and has appeared on previous Hillywood Show videos, to play Sam Winchester. In addition, the video managed to snag Rob Benedict, who played Chuck Shurley on Supernatural, to take on the role of Cain, with »

- Deepayan Sengupta

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Twin Peaks, Ep. 2.11: “Masked Ball”: Off the board, off the wall

22 May 2015 6:00 AM, PDT

Twin Peaks, Season 2, Episode 11, “Masked Ball”

Written by Duwayne Dunham

Directed by Barry Pullman

Aired December 15, 1990 on ABC

“There is also a legend of a place called the Black Lodge, the shadow self of the White Lodge. Legend says that every spirit must pass through there on the way to perfection. There, you will meet your own shadow self. My people call it the Dweller on the Threshold. But it is said, if you confront the Black Lodge with imperfect courage, it will utterly annihilate your soul.” - Deputy Hawk

The long-awaited revival of Twin Peaks returned from its own horrific limbo in the Black Lodge earlier this month, when David Lynch announced on Twitter that he’d worked out a deal with Showtime to honor his original commitment to direct the third season—only six weeks after he’d walked away from the project in a similarly public fashion. »

- Les Chappell

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