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[Review] Bad Moms

15 hours ago

Subversive in passages, Bad Moms is a fairly paint-by-numbers affair with all the beats that years of test audiences have told Hollywood they need to include, from the protagonist trading up to the baddest of the bad moms growing to learn how to balance being both bad and good. It’s the kind of screenplay careful observers of the genre could write even before walking in the door of your local multiplex, based on recycled parts of other films. A gag involving a “mom” bra, for instance, was done just as effectively in The Boss, an earlier Kristen Bell outing from April; this time Bell watches as Kathryn Hahn critiques Mila Kunis’ “mom” bra. Both male-directed directed pictures are cynically crafted for a suburban gals night out at the local cinemas, as focus grouped and market researched as the T.G.I. Friday’s margarita I imagine this picture’s »

- John Fink

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Meryl Streep Joins ‘Mary Poppins’ Sequel, Kim Ki-duk Will Ask ‘Who is God?’ & More

15 hours ago

Don that hat and grab your umbrella because Meryl Streep in in talks to join the sequel to Mary Poppins, Variety reports. If Streep should accept, the Oscar winner joins Emily Blunt (who plays the titular Poppins) in Mary Poppins Returns, which would reunite the two and director Rob Marshall from Into the Woods — not to mention The Devil Wears Prada for the acting duo. Set in Depression-era London and concerns Jane and Michael Banks, who are now all grown up and have suffered a personal loss when they get a visit from the titular character. There is no news on who will play either Banks, but Hamilton star Manuel Miranda has been cast as Jack, a streetlamp lighter and friend of Blunt’s Poppins who will assumedly play a pivotal role in helping her coax the family out of sadness. The script is penned by David Magee, who recently adapted Life of Pi, »

- Mike Mazzanti

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U.S. Trailer For ‘Klown Forever’ Heralds the Return of Danish Depravity

16 hours ago

It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a half-a-decade since the Danish dark comedy Klown was first released. After enjoying a festival run and release here — in which it rightfully earned acclaim for its Curb Your Enthusiasm-esque awkwardness and depravity — the duo have returned. Klown Forever, a follow-up from the original team of director Mikkel Nørgaard and writers / stars Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen, will be released this fall and the U.S. trailer has now landed.

As we said in our review, “Those familiar with the off-kilter comedic duo behind the Danish TV series Klown (or Klovn as it is known in Denmark) — which spurned one of the most hilarious and inappropriate feature films of recent years — will know exactly what type of humor to expect from their sequel Klovn Forever. Frank Hvam and Casper Christensen star essentially as parodies of themselves in this Curb Your Enthusiasm-style comedy, »

- Leonard Pearce

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The Film Stage Show Ep. 198 – The Childhood of a Leader

17 hours ago

Welcome, one and all, to the newest episode of The Film Stage Show! This week, I am joined by Amanda Waltz and Bill Graham to discuss Brady Corbet‘s directorial debut The Childhood of a Leader, starring Bérénice Bejo, Robert Pattinson, Liam Cunningham, Stacy Martin, Yolande Moreau, and Tom Sweet, which is now available to stream and in limited release.

 Subscribe on iTunes or see below to stream download (right-click and save as…).

M4A: The Film Stage Show Ep. 198 – The Childhood of a Leader

0:00 – 1:09:32 – The Childhood of a Leader Discussion

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E-mail us or follow on Twitter and Facebook with any questions or comments.

»

- Brian Roan

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U.S. Trailer For Park Chan-wook’s ‘The Handmaiden’ Gets Kinky

19 hours ago

Following up his English-language debut Stoker, Park Chan-wook is finally back this year with The Handmaiden. Amazon Studios and Magnolia Pictures picked up the Cannes premiere for a release this October, and we now have the first U.S. trailer. While it’s identical to a previous international version, it’s a great reminder to get excited for what’s surely an essential watch. Amazon has also dropped a fantastic new poster that gets a little handsy.

As we said in our review, “Park Chan-wook has often iterated his conviction that vengeance is a topic ripe for infinite cinematic treatments. Following the conclusion of his trilogy dedicated to the subject – Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Sympathy for Lady Vengeance – he largely moved on. (Although Stoker did use elements of revenge to drive the narrative along, it didn’t constitute the film’s central preoccupation.) But now he’s back »

- Jordan Raup

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New to Streaming: ‘It’s Such a Beautiful Day,’ ‘Holy Hell,’ Quay Brothers, ‘Born to Be Blue,’ and More

20 hours ago

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

Born to Be Blue (Robert Budreau)

I played jazz trumpet growing up in Oklahoma, so Chet Baker’s somber swing always brought our ensemble back to earth when Dizzy Gillespie’s flying fingers sent us noodling in quick cacophony. We thought Baker was the romantic trumpeter, the kind you’d play when you wanted to impress a date — and whose pretty-boy face on the album cover »

- The Film Stage

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Explore the Story and Craft Behind Hollywood’s Most Iconic Opening Titles

21 hours ago

When many think of the opening of a film, it’s the score, the opening image, that initial moment. But sometimes the unsung hero of a film’s memorable beginning is the title design, the specific font and kerning, how it enters the image, how it draws the eye, and what it says about the story it is introducing.

A new video by The Academy titled Title Design: The Making of Movie Titles delves into openings of films with title designer Dan Perri, who talks about gems such as Raging Bull and Star Wars. “I fell in love with letter when I was about 12 years old,” Perri recalls, who has since worked on a vast amount of title designs — including Days of HeavenRaising Arizona, and The Exorcist, not to mention Nashville, Taxi Driver, and All the President’s Men.

See the full video below.

»

- Mike Mazzanti

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First Trailer For Venice and Tiff Drama ‘Planetarium’ Starring Natalie Portman

22 hours ago

One of two Natalie Portman-led films premiering on the fall festival circuit — the other being Pablo Larraín‘s biopic Jackie — Rebecca Zlotowski‘s Planetarium is a 1930s period piece that’s set to screen at both Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival. Ahead of the premiere in about a month, the first international trailer has now arrived.

The latest film from the Grand Central director follows two sister spiritualists (the other being Lily-Rose Depp) who are believed to have a special connection to ghosts. The first preview, although absent of English subtitles, has some beautiful imagery and introduces an intriguing story. Check out the trailer below for the film also starring Emmanuel Salinger, Amira Casar, Pierre Salvadori, and Louis Garrel.

Update: Trailer removed at the request of the producers.

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- Jordan Raup

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[Fantasia Review] Little Sister

23 hours ago

Saying Zach Clark‘s Little Sister being called a comedy does a disservice to the film seems like a slight on the genre. I know. But I don’t mean it that way. What this label does — even if it’s clarified with the word “dark” — is build an expectation that’s able to hurt the film’s true appeal. Clark and Melodie Sisk‘s script is definitely a drama first: a tough familial drama consisting of broken souls seeking an avenue to mend fences and remember what it was like to be whole. The humor enhances this drive by lightening the weightiness of the Lunsfords’ struggle as well as endearing them as a relatable group not so different from our own families regardless of our personal issues possibly not matching their immense tragedy.

The title dually represents young Colleen (Addison Timlin). She’s the “little sister” of the family, »

- Jared Mobarak

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NYC Weekend Watch: Max Ophüls, ‘Seven Samurai,’ ‘On the Silver Globe’ & More

28 July 2016 6:43 PM, PDT

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Museum of Modern Art

Leo McCarey and the great Gaumont series are continuing their ongoing retrospectives, both of which make for a densely packed lineup.

Metrograph

Relive your traumatized childhood with “This Is PG?!” Jaws, Temple of Doom, and Poltergeist are but a few of the first weekend’s titles.

Helen DeWitt will present a print of Seven Samurai on Sunday. »

- Nick Newman

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New Faces of Independent Film, Abel Gance’s ‘Napoleon’ Restored, Mel Gibson’s Action, and More

28 July 2016 2:27 PM, PDT

Dailies is a round-up of essential film writing, news bits, videos, and other highlights from across the Internet. If you’d like to submit a piece for consideration, get in touch with us in the comments below or on Twitter at @TheFilmStage.

Filmmaker Magazine has published their annual 25 New Faces of Independent Film, featuring Sasha Lane, Macon Blair, Connor Jessup, and more.

Watch a clip from the restoration of Abel Gance‘s Napoleon:

Mubi‘s Michael Pattison on Don Hertzfeldt’s It’s Such a Beautiful Day, our favorite animation of the century so far:

Psycholinguists call the opening gag of It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012), Don Hertzfeldt’s delightful hour-long feature, a blend. Bill, a black-on-white stick figure whose only distinctive feature is his top hat, is on his way to the bus stop when he sees someone he recognizes but whose name he doesn’t remember. »

- The Film Stage

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[Fantasia Review] Shelley

28 July 2016 1:56 PM, PDT

Everything starts so innocently that you’d be hard-pressed to realize Ali Abbasi‘s Shelley is a horror film besides the score’s dread-inducing soundscape rising to a deafening level of static. Sure the setting’s weird with Louise (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) and Kasper (Peter Christoffersen) living in the Danish woods without electricity or running water far-removed from civilization, but the world’s fill of eccentrics. They’re actually quite nice, bringing in a new maid (Cosmina Stratan‘s Romanian single mother Elena) with open arms and warm smiles. It takes some getting used to, but the newcomer is quite content after a while. She adjusts to the quiet, regularly calls home to speak with her mother and son, and resigns herself to the prospect of returning after two to three years accumulating salary abroad.

In a moment of bonding Elena and Louise speak about motherhood to reveal the tragedy of the Dane’s past. »

- Jared Mobarak

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Watch James Cameron’s Sigourney Weaver-Narrated Short Film About Climate Change

28 July 2016 1:34 PM, PDT

It is, I think, essential that a film-centered publication doesn’t throw its hat into the too-large, shriek-filled tunnel that is American electorate discourse, so I’ll tread lightly when posting this new short by James Cameron — one that concerns climate change, premiered at the Democratic National Convention last night, and attacks a major party’s candidate while exalting the efforts of another. But we’re just here for the cinema! (Maybe.)

Anyway, it’s nice to see something from Cameron, even if that something is only a few minutes long and in large part consists of pre-existing footage. (Call this the “Avatar Effect.”) While one might think Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sigourney Weaver‘s participation are about the only thing that give this an auteurist stamp, consider the relationship of this short’s apocalyptic visions with the likes of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, The Abyss, and Titanic… or, well, don’t, »

- Nick Newman

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Giveaway: Win ‘Indignation’ Prize Pack Featuring Tickets, Soundtrack, and Book

28 July 2016 1:32 PM, PDT

One of the highlights of the summer arrives this week: James SchamusPhilip Roth adaptation Indignation, starring Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, and Tracy Letts. We’ve teamed with Roadside Attractions to give away  a prize pack features a $25 American Express Gift Card to see Indignation in theaters, the official soundtrack, and a copy of Roth’s movie tie-in book. See how to enter below. All entries must be received by 11:59 Pm Est on Sunday, July 31st.

To enter, do the first two steps and then each additional one counts as another entry into the contest.

1. Like The Film Stage on Facebook

2. Follow The Film Stage on Twitter

Follow @TheFilmStage

3. Comment in the box on Facebook with your favorite college-set film.

4. Retweet the following tweet:

We’re giving away an #Indignation prize pack. Rt this & follow us to enter. See details: https://t.co/Qew94nFVNF pic.twitter.com/AXZF »

- The Film Stage

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Zack Galifianakis, Kristen Wiig, and Owen Wilson Become ‘Masterminds’ in New Trailer

28 July 2016 1:00 PM, PDT

After the uneven Don Verdean, Jared Hess is returning to adventure comedy with more of an action tinge in the new trailer for the long-delayed Masterminds. Sad-sack night guard for an armored car company David Ghantt (Zach Galifianakis) is getting married to Jandice (Kate McKinnon), who comes in a package with her mother. He aspires to be something more, believing he is destined for adventure. Enter Kelly (Kristen Wiig), a new employee with a plan to rob the bank with her cohorts (including Owen Wilson), all the while special agent Scanlon (Ghostbusters star Leslie Jones) is hot on their tail.

Throw in a crazed hitman played by the always-game Jason Sudeikis, Hess’ oddball stylings, and the guaranteed constant improv from the cast, and what you get is the makings of a goofy, potentially dark action-comedy to kick off the fall. Here’s hoping it doesn’t get too bogged down »

- Mike Mazzanti

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Watch: Tour of Guillermo del Toro’s “Bleak House” Verifies the Director’s Love of Cinema

28 July 2016 12:14 PM, PDT

Director Guillermo del Toro is undeniably one of the most gleefully geeky directors working in Hollywood. His love of horror, fantasy, and the history of cinema blends effortlessly into his works, just as his painstaking attention to detail demonstrates his true care for the world of movies. Andy Richter of the Conan O’Brien Show recently visited the Pan’s Labyrinth director’s wondrous and bizarre “Bleak House,” more akin in many ways to a museum than a humble abode.

From a massive Boris Karloff head as Frankstein’s Monster greeting guests in the foyer to incredibly detailed, life-sized recreations of H.P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allen poe in the den, del Toro’s locale proves the director’s inspirations (and creations) are truly dear to him. See the full tour below, with a countless number of classic cinematic artifacts and recreations — along with Andy’s cameraman accidentally breaking an object. »

- Mike Mazzanti

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Trailer For Sundance Drama ‘Spa Night’ Features Atmospheric Beauty

28 July 2016 11:43 AM, PDT

The beautiful, mysterious first trailer has arrived for Spa Night, the directorial debut of Andrew Ahn. Comprising almost entirely of static frames, the objective imagery creates a serious atmosphere and tension even when nothing seems afoot. A particularly memorable shot of a towel of a lamp creates meaning and provokes thought, despite the full context lacking. Premiering at Sundance earlier this year, Spa Night tells the story of a closeted boy who begins work at spa to help his family, and soon discovers an underground world within its confines that both excites and scares him.

We said in our review, “I firmly believe that we’ll know the representation gap in American entertainment will have been closed not when the prestige dramas featuring minorities are getting their fair Oscar shake, but when people don’t bat an eye at the most banal films of every possible category just happening to »

- Mike Mazzanti

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World in Action: A Paul Greengrass Retrospective

28 July 2016 10:05 AM, PDT

With Jason Bourne arriving this week, we’re looking back on the career of director Paul Greengrass. As the person who single-handedly popularized the technique of “shaky cam” for the new millennium, Greengrass has seen his signature style emulated in action films as wide-ranging as Quantum of Solace and Taken 2. While so many of these pictures exploit the visual chaos of handheld camerawork to mask lazy fight choreography, Greengrass has always wielded the aesthetic with visionary purpose, whether that purpose be visceral, political, or both.

Indeed, shaky cam may be Greengrass’ most recognizable trademark, but it is the filmmaker’s purposefulness in confronting social and political issues that most fully unites his work past and present. Prior to making feature films, Greengrass worked for ten years at World in Action, a British investigative current events program known for its forceful and unorthodox journalistic style. Leaving a trail of controversy in its wake, »

- The Film Stage

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Colin Farrell Recalls the Beautiful Contradiction of Terrence Malick’s ‘The New World’

28 July 2016 9:30 AM, PDT

With a new restoration of Terrence Malick‘s exceptional historical epic The New World recently arriving on the Criterion Collection, remembrances and examinations are surfacing. In classical Malick form, The New World is at once beautifully sweeping and tactile and raw, painting broad themes and grasping intimate moments into a sensory experience that transports viewers to Jamestown, 1607, as worlds and cultures collide. Thanks to Criterion, a brief video of star Colin Farrell has been shared in which he recounts working with the legendary director and how these two styles came to pass.

“For Terry, there is this contradiction between how prepared he was — and how much I believe the vision of the film lived within him and how he can see it clearly,” Farrell recalls, “and [yet] also how he was moved by nature, and how he’d be moved by what he saw.” On this note, he tells a wonderful »

- Mike Mazzanti

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Trailer for Ron Howard’s ‘The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years’ Would Love to Turn You On

28 July 2016 9:21 AM, PDT

When I tell you I’m a huge, massive fan of The Beatles, know I’m being serious when I say we don’t really need another documentary about the four lads from Liverpool — certainly not one concerning their best-known years, and maybe not one directed by Ron Howard, who’s here making his leap into the form. The funny thing, then, about those low stakes is that this film’s promise of high-definition, never-before-seen footage is good enough, because if you don’t have expectations or, for that matter, great excitement, just about anything worthwhile can sweeten the deal.

You’ll see plenty of that in a full-length trailer for Howard’s documentary, which will be broadcast across England on September 15 with restored footage of their legendary Shea Stadium concert. American audiences will only have to wait until September 17, when it goes to Hulu — exactly the venue to replay »

- Nick Newman

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