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Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger team up for record label drama

19 hours ago

Set in 1970s New York, Vinyl will explore the drug-fuelled music business at the dawn of punk and disco, starring Olivia Wilde and Jagger’s son James

A new TV series about the music industry co-produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger will premiere on HBO in 2016, it has been announced. The “rock’n’roll drama”, Vinyl, will star Boardwalk Empire’s Bobby Cannavale, House’s Olivia Wilde and Jagger’s son James.

Set in New York in the 1970s, it will tell the story of a fictional record label called American Century records, exploring the drug- and sex-fuelled music business when the punk and disco scenes were emerging.

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- Nadia Khomami

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Producers of Hollywood child abuse documentary criticise director for not promoting film

19 hours ago

An Open Secret, about the abuse of children in the film industry, has charted the lowest box office figure its distributer has seen in 26 years, as director Amy Berg cites a “busy schedule” as the reason she has refused TV interviews

Related: An Open Secret review – damning documentary takes aim at sexual abuse in Hollywood

The producers of An Open Secret, a controversial documentary about child sex abuse in Hollywood, have criticised their director, Amy Berg, for failing to sufficiently promote it.

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- Henry Barnes

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Why Man with a Movie Camera is the one film you should watch this week – video review

21 hours ago

Dziga Vertov's 1929 art film/documentary spins the ordinary workings of city life in Moscow, Kiev and Odessa into a hallucinatory montage of the Soviet Union in frantic, constant motion. Here Peter Bradshaw explains why Vertov was the punk rock film-maker of his day and why Man with a Movie Camera is worth your time. Man with a Movie Camera is released in select UK cinemas today Continue reading »

- Peter Bradshaw and Henry Barnes

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Is Josh Trank's Fantastic Four doomed?

21 hours ago

Reshoots, angry fans and reports of the director’s on- and off-set travails have plagued the production of Fox’s latest reboot for Marvel’s superhero quartet

Let’s pause before writing off the new Fantastic Four movie before anyone’s seen a single frame on the big screen. Similar negative buzz flurried around 2012’s Dredd, with reports that director Pete Travis had been locked out of the editing room by the studio while untried screenwriter Alex Garland took charge. Three years on, Garland is being vaunted as one of the most talented young film-makers of his generation after huge critical acclaim for Ex-Machina, and Dredd is widely considered something of a cult classic.

Related: Fantastic Four film-makers respond to criticism of decision to cast black actor

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- Ben Child

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Straight Outta Compton review – A-side is let down by a bloated B-side

21 hours ago

This much-anticipated Nwa biopic has inspired and exuberant moments but its second half plays it too safe

With biopics of living musicians, there is always a conflict of interest. You need to have the creators on board if you want to feature the songs that made them noteworthy. And by the end of the film, everyone has to end up smelling like roses. The first half of Straight Outta Compton, F Gary Gray’s two-and-a-half hour opus about the birth of west coast gangsta rap, is bursting with energy, exuberance and inspiration. The second half is immobilised by bloat and sanctification. There are, as they say, some truly dope cuts up in here, but there’s plenty of filler, too.

Related: Nwa member Mc Ren says Straight Outta Compton trailer is 'disrespectful'

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- Jordan Hoffman

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This week’s new film events

21 hours ago

Josephine Decker | Close-Up Cinema | An Evening With Fenella Fielding | Film4 Summer Screen

It has been widely agreed that New York film-maker Josephine Decker has “got something”. The New Yorker described her as “the most original independent film-maker to surface in the past few years”, and her first two features, Butter On The Latch and Thou Wast Mild And Lovely are both sensual, impressionistic, elliptical stories, teetering on the edge of strangeness. These films are probably too experimental for mainstream distribution: as an alternative, Decker is touring them as a double bill in seven UK cities this month, and holding Q&As after each event.

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- Steve Rose

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This week’s new films

21 hours ago

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation | Hot Pursuit | The Cobbler | Iris | Beyond The Reach | Cub | Doctor Proctor’s Fart Powder | Man With A Movie Camera

After four previous instalments of Mission Nearly Impossible But Somehow They Pulled It Off, you know where you’re going here, and there’s often a feeling you’ve been there before: exotic locations, opera assassinations, car chases, high-tech MacGuffins, and a plot that puts Cruise’s spy crew out in the cold. But the bar is still pretty high, especially in terms of action set-pieces and authentic-looking daredevil stunts, which are surely a better outlet for Tom Cruise’s excessive zeal than Scientology.

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- Steve Rose

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Why SpongeBob SquarePants could never 'jump the shark'

21 hours ago

As the porous prankster enters his 17th year, it would be all too easy for the show to become a parody of itself. But an enduring wackiness keeps it afloat

The phrase “jumping the shark” – used to describe the exact moment a TV show becomes a parody of itself – originates from a fifth season episode of Happy Days. Continuing his evolution from eccentric supporting character to godlike emblem of superhuman cool, Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli is challenged to leap over a tiger shark on water-skis and succeeds in lively fashion, dressed in skimpy trunks and trademark leather jacket.

Since then, eagle-eyed viewers have identified the shark-jumping Rubicons of various other shows – Niles and Daphne’s wedding on Frasier, that episode of Friends where Ross bleaches his teeth – confirming in the process a key requirement for inclusion: the shark in question must once have been thought to be unjumpable. (Had Fonzie »

- Charlie Lyne

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'Have you no decency, sir?': Vidal v Buckley and the art of killer comebacks

22 hours ago

The lifelong feud between Gore Vidal and William F Buckley Jr saw some of the best comebacks anyone has ever uttered. Now as Best of Enemies, the documentary about their falling out, is released we look at the best of the rest

Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon’s riveting documentary Best of Enemies examines the debates conducted by William F Buckley Jr, one of the fathers of modern American conservatism; and the leftwing novelist, critic and sometime political candidate Gore Vidal, at the Republican and Democratic National Conventions of 1968. It prompts a certain nostalgia for the role of the public intellectual on television over the professional pundits and rent-a-mouths of our own time, and for the demolition of one’s ideological opponents with elegantly crafted (if poisonous) barbs and devastating put-downs over the predictable talking points assembled each morning for recital in tedious unison by political pundits and party hacks today. »

- John Patterson

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America's best outdoor movie screenings of the summer – well, what's left of it

22 hours ago

Here’s our guide to options across the Us for cinephiles who choose to brave the heat and watch classic films under the stars or hot sun

The warm months of summer are soon coming to an end. That sad truth is especially tough on cinephiles who love to experience their films under the stars on a rooftop, or surrounded by nature.

Luckily, August is a robust month for outdoor movie events, with screening series across the Us going strong up until the end of the summer. From big-budget blockbusters al fresco-style to classic black-and-white films with the Manhattan skyline glowing in the background – we have you covered.

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- Nigel M Smith

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Spread your bets now! The A-listers with more than one horse in the Oscar race

23 hours ago

Throwing their hats, scarves and gloves in the ring, some of Hollywood’s biggest stars are hoping that betting on more than one film will secure them the prize

While it might seem as if we’re only just catching our breath after the most recent set of awards, we’re already heading into another six months of tireless campaigning, tearful speeches and Weinstein grandstanding.

Related: And the Oscar may go to: 30 movies we've already seen which could win big

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- Benjamin Lee

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Ghostbusters producer torpedoes talk of all-male Ghostbusters movie

23 hours ago

Ivan Reitman says Paul Feig’s Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig-led remake is the only Ghostbusters film on studio Sony Pictures’ slate

The producer of the much-hyped female-fronted reboot of the classic 1980s comedy Ghostbusters has denied reports that a rival male team is also heading for cinemas.

Ivan Reitman, who directed 1984’s original Ghostbusters and its 1989 sequel, said in a statement that the only new film on its way to multiplexes would be the confirmed version overseen by Bridesmaids’ film-maker Paul Feig, starring Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig alongside Saturday Night Live alumni Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones. Feig’s film is due in July 2016 and has become a major talking point following the director’s decision to gender-swap the original’s central spirit-bashing quartet.

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- Ben Child

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Jeremy Renner: five best moments

23 hours ago

Having hit the bullseye as Marvel’s ace archer Hawkeye in the Avengers franchise, he is back this week as Agent Brandt in Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Here, we celebrate his best performances

It’s been a blockbusting summer for Jeremy Renner that continues with this week’s release of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, where he stars as right-hand man Agent Brandt. The 44-year-old actor scored a bullseye when he was cast as a reoccurring character in Marvel’s The Avengers franchise. He’ll be on the big screen again as ace archer Hawkeye in Captain America: Civil War next year but it’s often forgotten that he started out as more of a character actor, with intense performances in smaller films, often playing unstable characters. Here’s a list of Renner’s non-Marvel career highlights.

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- Marnie Langeroodi

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Paper Towns author John Green defends 'dehumanised' Cara Delevingne

31 July 2015 1:11 AM, PDT

Novelist criticises Good Day Sacramento presenters for asking ‘annoying’ questions after video of awkward interview with model-turned-actor goes viral

Author John Green has sprung to the defence of Cara Delevingne after the British star of forthcoming teen romance Paper Towns was criticised for an awkward interview on Us television.

Related: Cara Delevingne: 'Some people just don't understand sarcasm'

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- Ben Child

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Daniel Radcliffe set to go undercover in white supremacist thriller

31 July 2015 12:59 AM, PDT

The Harry Potter alum will take the lead role in Imperium, based on a real life FBI agent who infiltrated neo-Nazi groups

Daniel Radcliffe’s intriguingly varied post-Potter career is set to continue with a lead role in new FBI thriller Imperium.

Related: Daniel Radcliffe: ‘If people are speculating about your sexuality, then you’re doing Ok’

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- Benjamin Lee

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Another Country review – enlightening observation of a very different Australia

30 July 2015 9:51 PM, PDT

David Gulpilil returns home with filmmaker Molly Reynolds to explore “what happened to my culture when it was interrupted by your culture”

David Gulpilil – magnetic Indigenous actor connecting two Australias

Film-maker Rolf De Heer’s achingly beautiful 2014 character study Charlie’s Country, co-written by and starring David Gulpilil, could have been called Another Country – the title of director Molly Reynolds’ new documentary exploring Gulpilil’s home community of Ramininging, Northern Territory.

Both films focus on settings that to the vast majority of viewers will feel exotic but familiar, close but far away: a country very different from the Australia viewers with choc-tops in their hands and apps on their smartphones are likely to be familiar with.

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- Luke Buckmaster

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Desperately seeking distribution: new Aussie hit thriller not available at home

30 July 2015 3:49 PM, PDT

Director of The Suicide Theory, a black comedy thriller made in Queensland, hopes Us success will help to secure distribution deal in Australia

Earlier this month a bizarrely compelling new Australian film blitzed into American cinemas. Brisbane film-maker Dru Brown’s micro-budget directorial debut, The Suicide Theory (he has made one other feature but regards it as a hobby project), generated a windfall of head-turning reviews – the kind that seem to have been written by critics who’ve just picked their jaws up from the floor.

If the response to Brown’s darkly comic and shrewdly orchestrated thriller could be summarised with a single line, it would be something like: “What the hell was that?” Not necessarily in a bad way. In fact, generally speaking, in a good way.

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- Luke Buckmaster

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The Cobbler review – botched Adam Sandler fantasy comedy

30 July 2015 2:40 PM, PDT

This entirely dreadful yarn about a magical cobbler is up to Sandler’s usual standards, but you might have expected more from its director

It stars Adam Sandler and, yes, cobbler’s in the title. Make your own jokes, because they’re otherwise lacking here: this botched fantasy – in which Sandler’s downtrodden Max discovers a magical stitching machine that allows him to literally walk a mile in his customers’ shoes – collapses amid its attempts to reshape a notionally sincere script to fit an A-list heel. An intriguing Jewish-heritage angle is soon overwritten so a bodyswapping Sandler can gawp at boobs; thereafter, it shrugs through boring squabbles with slumlord Ellen Barkin towards a will-this-do? punchline about cobblers being “guardians of soles”. Such indifferent material may now be expected from Sandler; coming from Tom McCarthy, writer-director of 2003’s cherishable The Station Agent, it’s an almighty shame.

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- Mike McCahill

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Beyond the Reach review – desert-dry survival thriller

30 July 2015 2:20 PM, PDT

Michael Douglas is suitably villainous in this modern Western about a wealthy hunter gone rogue in the California desert

Related: Michael Douglas: ‘It’s more fun to be bad!’

Michael Douglas serves up an enjoyably villainous performance for this survival thriller in the classic 70s style of Deliverance and Duel, based on the 1972 novel Deathwatch by Robb White. It’s certainly tense, with some nice touches, though with plausibility issues and an odd, unnecessary coda. Douglas plays Madec, a rich and thoroughly obnoxious asshole who’s come to the Mojave desert basin for some hunting, driving a flashy Mercedes SUV and using a customised Austrian hunting rifle. For a guide, he hires Ben (played by Jeremy Irvine), a young local guy with excellent knowledge of the terrain. But while out there in the burning heat there is a terrible incident caused by Madec’s arrogant irresponsibility; Ben refuses to »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Hot Pursuit review – strained, unfunny Reese Witherspoon cop comedy

30 July 2015 2:00 PM, PDT

Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara team up for a witness-protection comedy that can’t get its double-act balance right – and doesn’t have any good jokes

The title would work better if the two hot women were the ones doing the pursuing, as opposed to being pursued – and indeed, if the film were funny in the first place. Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara have a terrible, sub-Thelma-&-Louise act as an uptight cop and the Colombian drug-baron trophy wife she is escorting to witness protection, forced to go on the run together and surrounded on all sides by gun-toting criminals and corrupt law officers. (Brit actor Robert Kazinsky gets the young Brad Pitt role as a sexy young guy they pick up on the road.) It’s not that Witherspoon can’t do comedy exactly: she was famously great in Alexander Payne’s classic Election – but there she was playing it dead straight, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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