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Terminated: James Cameron's lost vision of brutal blue-collar sci-fi

1 hour ago

The director was once the master of building stark, humanist foundations for his futuristic castles in the air. Where is the time machine to take us back to the era of Aliens and Terminator?

It’s easy to forget when reading about James Cameron’s latest ventures, from pro-environmental short films to the 10 million Avatar sequels we seem to have been waiting eons for, that this was once the youthful master of a kind of grounded, blue-collar futurism, a purveyor of science fiction able to conjure up stories in which ordinary people were often just one or two wrong turns away from encountering vicious, multi-jawed, acid-blooded beasties, or grim, unflinching red-eyed robots from the world to come.

Related: James Cameron calls Donald Trump a 'madman' over climate change denial

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- Ben Child

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Suicide Squad trailer: DC's superhero ensemble comedy starring Will Smith – video

2 hours ago

The trailer for Suicide Squad, the superhero movie based on the DC Comics’ antihero team, directed by David Ayer and starring Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie, Joel Kinnaman, Viola Davis, Jai Courtney, Jay Hernandez, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ike Barinholtz, Scott Eastwood and Cara Delevingne. In the film, a secret government agency recruits imprisoned supervillains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency and saving the world from a powerful threat

Suicide Squad is released on 5 August

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- Guardian Staff

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Bad Moms review – bawdy matriarchs stick it to the PTA

3 hours ago

Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell shine in this lewd but safe comedy from the writers of The Hangover that sees what happens when stressed-out mothers cut loose

Let us take a moment to give thanks to whichever deity watches over cinema for the gift of Kathryn Hahn. Ms Hahn, known more from television shows like Parks and Recreation and Transparent has popped up in comedies like Anchorman and Wanderlust as well as strong but esoteric indies like Afternoon Delight. We’ve already counted on her to take whatever she’s in and make it better. But with Carla, the baddest of the bad moms in Jon Lucas and Scott Moore’s new raunchy comedy Hahn delivers a performance that secures her position as one of the most electrifying performers on the scene today. Like a mix of Sandra Bernhard and John Belushi, Hahn’s Carla is a foul-mouthed force of nature, »

- Jordan Hoffman

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The Joker, Nurse Ratched and Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear – Peter Bradshaw’s 10 favourite movie villains

3 hours ago

Who are the forces of satanic nature that chill the blood of our film critic?

• Whatever happened to Hollywood’s really evil villains?

It is usual to distinguish between “lovable” and “non-lovable” movie villains, largely depending on whether or not they are played by a thespian Brit. Heath Ledger’s sensationally disturbing Joker from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, though, straddles both traditions: a pantomime baddie who delivers a genuine frisson of evil. This Joker feels far more authentically psychopathic than previous portrayals by Jack Nicholson and Cesar Romero. His white face makeup is always on the point of being sweated off; his manic grin is there because of rouge, but also because the corners of his mouth have been slashed. Unlike the elegant, theatrically controlled Jokers of the past, Ledger’s Joker is driven, almost out of control, and conveys the sense that he is physically very strong, »

- Peter Bradshaw

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Whatever happened to Hollywood's really evil villains?

3 hours ago

The release of Suicide Squad confirms a cinematic trend: all of our heroes are antiheroes and all of our baddies have been humanised. It’s time for the return of some proper bogeymen

Peter Bradshaw’s 10 favourite screen baddies

Time was when the movie villain was stuck in second fiddle. Their primary role: to devise over-elaborate – and ultimately unsuccessful – ways to kill the hero. But then, somewhere along the line, the bad guys won. Last Christmas, Vader fanboy Kylo Ren erased memories of the Star Wars prequels’ drippy Anakin Skywalker by topping the franchise’s most-beloved character. The cackling nemesis has been given full celebration in the likes of Despicable Me, Megamind and Hotel Transylvania. And now comes Suicide Squad, DC’s party-pack of supervillains – including a certain Clown Prince of Crime – given Dirty Dozen-style licence to run amok with Bohemian Rhapsody cranked up to 11.

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- Phil Hoad

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Drunk and nude in the desert with Gérard Depardieu

4 hours ago

Making any film in the Mojave desert would be difficult – never mind with a wine-swigging, naked Depardieu in tow. Valley of Love director Guillaume Nicloux explains how he did it

In Valley of Love, the new film from French director Guillaume Nicloux, Gérard Depardieu heaves his massive, sweating bulk around in the searing heat of Death Valley in eastern California, where temperatures regularly top 49C (120F). Perched on the edge of the Mojave desert, and notoriously among the hottest, driest places on the planet, Death Valley would appear to be one of the most hostile environments possible to make a film. Even if you don’t – as Depardieu has admitted doing – chug more than a dozen bottles of wine a day.

Nicloux, who at 50 resembles a steeple-fingered intellectual of the old school, from his precise, considered diction to his frowning, high-foreheaded mien, says that, while it was tough, it encouraged a kind of existential phlegmatism. »

- Andrew Pulver

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James Cameron calls Donald Trump a 'madman' over climate change denial

5 hours ago

Ahead of a screening of his new film on global warming at the DNC, director calls Trump’s dismissal of environmental science ‘reckless and dangerous’

James Cameron has called Donald Trump a “madman” and criticised the Republican presidential candidate over his denial of climate change, according to the Associated Press.

The Avatar director, speaking ahead of the premiere of his new documentary short, Not Reality TV, at the Democratic national convention, said that Trump’s assertion that he would tear up the Paris climate agreement and his repeated dismissal of the science behind climate change was “incredibly reckless and dangerous”.

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- Henry Barnes and agencies

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Venice 2016: Terrence Malick and Tom Ford set for red carpet in bumper year

6 hours ago

Premieres of new films from Ford, Malick and Mel Gibson join highly-anticipated Michael Fassbender/Alicia Vikander romance, Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy and Timothy Spall as Ian Paisley

Related: Venice film festival 2016: full line-up

American cinema has secured a pre-eminent position in the line-up of the 2016 Venice film festival, with new films from Terrence Malick, Tom Ford, Damien Chazelle and Derek Cianfrance among the highlights of the competition that was announced on Thursday.

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- Andrew Pulver

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Internet Famous: vlogging gets the mockumentary treatment

8 hours ago

YouTubers send up their profession in a satire that’s surprisingly self-assured

A new generation of comedy fans are turning away from the multiplex and towards YouTube, Vine and Snapchat – but that doesn’t mean their idols are immune to the allure of mainstream stardom. Beloved online personalities like vlogger JennXPenn, sketch duo Smosh and full-time BFFs Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee have all answered Hollywood’s call and made the leap to the big screen, with varying levels of success.

Related: Netflix v Amazon: who will win the streaming wars?

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- Charlie Lyne

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Margot Robbie is more than a 'love interest': don't waste her as a Bond girl

20 hours ago

This is no Bechdel test-brandishing diatribe – Hollywood simply needs to do better if the best part it can find for the fabulous actor is 007’s latest squeeze

It should be pointed out that British bookmakers are not always so powerfully prescient as, say, the Pythian priestesses of the temple of Apollo, or even the mercurially gifted Sybill Trelawney from the Harry Potter books. But the announcement by one (actually Irish) site, Paddy Power, that it sees Suicide Squad’s Margot Robbie as the clear favourite to play a Bond girl in the next 007 movie has nevertheless caused a bit of a stir in the martini-quaffing spy’s homeland.

Related: Margot Robbie calls her Vanity Fair profile 'really weird'

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- Ben Child

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Mike Birbiglia: 'You can't direct a film if you're not ambitious'

21 hours ago

The standup comic and film-maker discusses Don’t Think Twice – his follow-up to Sleepwalk With Me – and why nixing a potential TV show was the right call

For his directorial debut, Sleepwalk With Me, Mike Birbiglia did what so many comics do when assembling their crossover calling card: he made it about himself.

Following loosely in the footsteps of Jerry Seinfeld, Roseanne Barr, and countless others, Birbiglia pulled from what he knew best in his 2012 film to play a comic who, like himself, suffers a severe sleepwalking disorder. The movie was culled from his one-man off-Broadway show and book of the same name.

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- Nigel M Smith

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Stage v screen: is theatre better in the cinema?

23 hours ago

Theatre is pricey and divisive but can a livestream ever capture its flesh and blood thrills? Our film critic decided to find out – by legging it out of Kenneth Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet at the interval …

It has, in the past, taken all too little encouragement for me to express my bad-tempered and contradictory views concerning the theatre: namely, that it is pricey and divisive compared to cinema’s democracy; and furthermore, that livestreaming theatrical events into cinemas is gimmicky and a pale reflection of the flesh-and-blood experience (which I have only just finished slagging off as pricey, divisive, etc).

So, in an attempt to kill both bees in my bonnet at the same time, the Garrick theatre in London’s West End and the Picturehouse cinema group challenged me to an experiment. I would watch the first half of Kenneth Branagh’s production of Romeo and Juliet in the theatre. »

- Peter Bradshaw

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The Land review – lowlife teen misery porn is as perky as it sounds

27 July 2016 9:24 AM, PDT

This grim social-realist portrait of at-risk young people offers no solutions and little in the way of originality or drama

The Land’s first two sequences offer a remarkable contrast in sympathies. We open with a montage of our four leads, seniors in high school, mumbling their way through a dressing-down session from their guidance counsellor. They are delinquents who, if they are lucky, could get jobs as mechanics. After gazing at their glum faces, we cruise alongside them as they skateboard through Cleveland’s dingier streets. A man on his way home is whapped unconscious by our quartet and has his car stolen (and sold to a breaker’s yard for $75). Just when we were starting to feel sorry for these kids.

Writer-director Steven Caple Jr’s grim social-realist portrait of at-risk young people offers no solutions, which is a valid artistic choice, but likewise offers little originality or drama. »

- Jordan Hoffman

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Mike Mills' 20th Century Women to world premiere at New York film fest

27 July 2016 8:38 AM, PDT

The 1970s-set drama stars Annette Bening as a bohemian mother, Greta Gerwig as a punk artist sporting a Bowie-like haircut and Elle Fanning

20th Century Women, the new film from Beginners writer/director Mike Mills, will have its world premiere as the centerpiece screening of the 54th New York film festival, it was announced Tuesday. The is the second addition to the event’s lineup, following the reveal of the opening night selection, The 13th, Ava DuVernay’s documentary on race and prison.

Related: Ava DuVernay documentary on race and prison to open New York film festival

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- Nigel M Smith

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Paul Feig to fashion comedy from tale of supermodels lost in blizzard

27 July 2016 3:23 AM, PDT

Supermodel Snowpocalypse, the story of how Jerry Hall and a crew of models survived a fur-coat photoshoot by partying on a mountaintop, will be the Ghostbusters director’s next project

Paul Feig’s next project will be Supermodel Snowpocalypse, a comedy based on the true story of a group of models who got snowed in during a ski resort photoshoot.

Feig isn’t directing, but will produce the film for Paramount, according to Variety. It will be based on an Elle magazine article that purports to reveal “fashion’s best-kept secret”.

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- Henry Barnes and agencies

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Otto Bloom film-maker Cris Jones on the curious case of living life in reverse

26 July 2016 9:32 PM, PDT

In The Death and Life of Otto Bloom, the writer-director had no small feat ahead of him: to reimagine time. Just don’t mention Benjamin Button

The first thing Cris Jones says to me after we exchange greetings outside a Sydney cafe is, “Sorry I’m late.” A perfectly normal comment to make were it not for the fact it is a measly one minute past the hour we agreed to meet – surely within anybody’s acceptable margin of error.

What constitutes being late? When should one contemplate apologising? Our conversation ventures into the concept of time so quickly I don’t even have the, well, time to realise how apt that is, given the subject matter of the UK-born, Sydney-raised writer/director’s first feature film, The Death and Life of Otto Bloom.

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- Luke Buckmaster

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'I don't like to sugarcoat anything': Gleason shows reality of living with Als

26 July 2016 11:34 AM, PDT

When former NFL player Steve Gleason was diagnosed with the muscle-debilitating disease, he started on a film project to explain Als to his infant son

Many people have cried (this writer included) watching The Theory of Everything, the drama that won Eddie Redmayne an Oscar for playing Stephen Hawking. However, few were as likely to have been moved as Michel Gleason, wife to New Orleans Saints NFL player Steve Gleason. The former athlete was diagnosed with the muscle-debilitating disease Als (also known as motor neurone disease), the same disease Hawking has, in 2011 at the age of 34. Michel has been by his side ever since.

“I went to a 10 o’clock showing with my parents,” Michel recalls. “I have never cried so hard at anything. My mom kept saying, ‘We don’t have to stay – we can go.’ I’m like, ‘Mom, I’m fine – I just need to cry it out. »

- Nigel M Smith

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Marni Nixon obituary

26 July 2016 10:01 AM, PDT

The ‘ghost’ who sang for Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady, for Deborah Kerr in The King and I and for Natalie Wood in West Side Story

Millions of filmgoers who enjoyed the singing of Deborah Kerr in The King and I (1956), Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961) and Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady (1964) were unaware that their voices were dubbed by Marni Nixon, who has died of breast cancer aged 86.

In order to keep the illusion a secret, the extraordinarily versatile American coloratura soprano was uncredited. It was only some years later, after the heyday of the Hollywood musical had passed, that the curtains were figuratively pulled back to reveal Nixon at a microphone behind the scenes. In film circles, this most unsung of singers was dubbed the “ghostess with the mostest”. However, in classical music circles, Nixon was well known for her wide range of recordings and opera performances, »

- Ronald Bergan

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Black Widow, Star Wars or Terminator: what should Joss Whedon do next?

26 July 2016 9:39 AM, PDT

The Avengers director seems keen on a solo outing for Scarlett Johansson’s karate-kicking ex-Soviet agent. But other franchises need his originality more

Joss Whedon may not have created the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that wildly ambitious tangle of interweaving superhero movies, but he certainly gave it much of its vim and verve. Rather like the outlandish technology featured in the cult film-maker’s creepy Dollhouse TV show, in which brainwashed human beings are imprinted with off-the-shelf personalities for the entertainment of rich clients, Whedon took an existing property and upgraded it to the next level.

Related: Comic-Con trailer rundown: from comedy Batfleck to Guy Ritchie's streetfighting King Arthur

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- Ben Child

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Blair Witch trailer: watch first footage from the surprise sequel – video

26 July 2016 9:19 AM, PDT

At Comic-Con on the weekend, it was revealed that The Woods, Adam Wingard’s new horror, is in fact a sequel to found footage classic The Blair Witch Project (1999). Unfolding 20 years after the disappearance of three friends in a Maryland forest while researching the legend of the Blair Witch, leaving a trail of theories and suspicions in their wake, this followup tracks what happens when one of their sisters and her friends head into the same woods to investigate

Blair Witch is released in UK cinemas on 16 September

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- Guardian Staff

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