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James Ellroy Says David Fincher's 'Zodiac' Is "A Great Cinematic Work" With "Inadequate & Unconvincing Performances"

26 minutes ago

David Fincher and famed crime writer James Ellroy are far from strangers. As we documented in our feature A-z: A Guide To The Lost & Unmade Films Of David Fincher, the filmmaker was once attached to the adaptation of "Black Dahlia" before it fell into the hands of Brian De Palma, and the author also contributed a commentary track to Fincher's "Zodiac." Moreover, the pair are currently developing a couple of TV shows for HBO. So just bear that in mind as we move on to this next part. Chatting with NPR recently about his favorite noir films, Ellroy named Fincher's "Zodiac," about the hunt for the famed serial killer, among them. Indeed, on that aforementioned commentary track, the writer called it "one of the half-dozen greatest American crime films." But Ellroy's love of the movie — which he curiously describes as powered by "a subliminally homosexual roundelay of obsessives"  — is not without some. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Love Gets Tricky In The First Trailer For ‘Ex Machina’ With Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, And Alicia Vikander

45 minutes ago

We've seen sci-fi films, we've knotty love stories, but it's likely we haven't quite seen anything like "Ex Machina." Blending a variety of genres, and bringing together a great, young cast (two of which of are in another sci-fi spectacle in 2015, a little move you might've heard of called "Star Wars: Episode VII"), this is one we're eager to see and today, the first trailer has arrived. And one of the big reasons we're anticipating this one is s creenwriter Alex Garland. He's made quite the name for himself over the years in the world of genre film, writing three movies for Danny Boyle (two of which he directed), —“28 Days Later,” “Sunshine,” and “28 Weeks Later” — one for Mark Romanek (“Never Let Me Go”), and he also penned the 2012 cult fave “Dredd.” But as many celebrated screenwriters are wont to do, Garland is trying his hand at directing and his making his debut with “Ex Machina, »

- Edward Davis

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Michael Bay To Direct Benghazi Drama '13 Hours'

12 hours ago

It was probably inevitable that Hollywood would attempt a cinematic rendition of the attack in Benghazi, Libya on a U.S. State Department compound. What exactly happened that night is still a politically charged issue, and so we'd reasonably assume that a filmmaker with some sense of nuance and care would be assigned the job. We were wrong. THR reports that Michael Bay — yep, the guy who made four "Transformers" movies — is in talks to direct "13 Hours." The movie will be based on the book by Mitchell Zuckoff, with a script from Chuck Hogan ("The Town," "The Strain") that will focus on the six members of the security team that struggled to defend American life during the attack. And while the film is described as a "political drama," we'd wager there's still some room in there for Bay-style explosions. Though maybe not Victoria's Secret models. Here's the book synopsis:  The harrowing, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: Jean-Luc Godard's Dense, Brilliant, And Pretentious 'Goodbye To Language 3D'

14 hours ago

This is a reprint of our review from the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. You can't teach an old dog new tricks, they say. Some filmmakers become so set in their ways that others, like Quentin Tarantino or Steven Soderbergh, vow to hang up their viewfinders before they ever reach that point. But over 50 years after his feature-length debut "Breathless" turned the form on its head, and at the grand old age of 83, Jean-Luc Godard has returned to Cannes (not, it should be said, in person) with his first film in Competition in over a decade to prove them wrong — "Goodbye To Language 3D." And prove them wrong he has: Godard's bite-sized latest (running barely 70 minutes long) isn't going to turn around anyone who gave up on the director long ago: it is very much a Jean-Luc Godard joint. But there's also a lot to chew on here, and a sense of »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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The Coen Brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' Sets Early 2016 Release Date, Official Synopsis Revealed

15 hours ago

The stigma of a movie being released in the first few months of the year seems to be fading. Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects" hit in February 2013, Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel" arrived this past March, and Michael Mann's "Blackhat" is coming next January. And now, a pair of auteurs are also looking at a winter release. Universal has set the Coen Brothers' "Hail, Caesar!" with a February 5, 2016 release. The starry comedy now has an official synopsis too. Check out all the details in the press release below. ----- Universal Pictures’ Hail, Caesar! will be released on Friday, February 5, 2016. About Hail, Caesar! Four-time Oscar®-winning filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen (No Country for Old MenTrue Grit,Fargo) write and direct Hail, Caesar!, an all-star comedy set during the latter years of Hollywood's Golden Age. Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton, Channing Tatum, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: Engrossing And Hypnotic 'Algorithms' Explores The World Of Blind Chess In India

15 hours ago

The first question that a person, previously unaware of the practice, might ask about the world of competitive blind chess is: but how do they play? That’s why it’s genius that Ian McDonald’s “Algorithms” introduces us to the process right away, by starting in a close up on the board, as players’ hands roam the pieces, feeling their way from spot to spot, piece to piece. McDonald’s absorbing documentary brings the viewer again and again back to the board, where fierce battles play out over the course of the film, commandeered by unlikely generals—a band of blind teenage boys from different parts of India. “Algorithms” is a film possessed by chess—the strategies, the wins, the losses, the material nature of the boards, and pieces themselves, as blind players experience the game in a completely tactile way. But it’s also a vehicle for exploring »

- Katie Walsh

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Watch: Park Chan-wook's 20-Minute Fashion Short 'A Rose Reborn' Starring Jack Huston

16 hours ago

Luxury brands have luxury marketing budgets to match, and so it's not a shock they are able to hire top tier directors, actors, and other technical crew to execute expensive art projects/advertainments to promote their attire. But we have to give it up to Ermenegildo Zegna for who they've pulled together for the short film "A Rose Reborn." Co-written and directed by Park Chan-Wook, starring Jack Huston, and featuring a score by Clint Mansell, the film follows a young, handsome CEO who journeys from London to Wyoming, Shanghai, and Milan, to find learn how to be part of a “new generation of leaders who are successful, charismatic, and respectful of people and the planet.” There's a sci-fi tinge to the proceedings, and lots of exchanging of fancy clothes, on immaculate sets. After screening at the Rome International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival, you can now watch the full short below. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Contest: Win 'Life Of Crime' Starring Jennifer Aniston, Isla Fisher, Will Forte & More On DVD

16 hours ago

While it's not an official prequel, if you want to revisit the characters of Quentin Tarantino's "Jackie Brown"—based on the novel by Elmore Leonard—then "Life Of Crime" will fit the bill. Adapted from a Leonard book, is uses the same characters in a story that takes place before the events of "Jackie Brown." And we want to give you a chance to check it out. Starring Jennifer Aniston, yasiin bey, Isla Fisher, Will Forte, Mark Boone Junior, Tim Robbins, and John Hawkes, the story kicks off when a pampered housewife (Aniston) is kidnapped by a pair of blundering ex-cons in an effort to extort money from her sleazy real-estate tycoon husband (Robbins). The perfect crime becomes the perfect opportunity for the husband to ride off into the sunset with his sexy young mistress (Fisher), until the housewife decides it is her turn to even the score. Yep, »

- Edward Davis

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Listen: 45-Minute Talk With Cliff Martinez, Composer Will Score Cary Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation'

16 hours ago

By now, thanks to his extensive work on films by Steven Soderbergh, and his imprint on recent cult faves "Drive" and "Spring Breakers," composer Cliff Martinez doesn't need much introduction. In fact, his unique brand of percussive, synth-y compositions make his scores immediately recognizable every time out, and yet, they are distinct, and bring a singular texture and mood to whatever project they're associated with. And once again, he's got an intriguing film on his plate. During an interview with Celluloid Tunes (via Film Music Reporter), Martinez revealed he'll score Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts Of No Nation." Starring Idris Elba and based on the book by Uzodinma Iweala, the story follows Agu, a young boy forced to become a child soldier, with Elba playing The Commander who initiates Agu into his army. It's certainly much different than the genre world Martinez sometimes finds himself in, and we're intrigued to see what his flavor adds. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: 30-Minute 'Interstellar' Talk With Christopher Nolan, Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway & Jessica Chastain

17 hours ago

"I don't know the title, I don't know what it's about or anything," Matthew McConaughey told The Hollywood Reporter about his first meeting for "Interstellar." "I fly in. We go in his office and we talk for three hours. Not one word about the film, not what it was about. I came away knowing nothing else about the film. We talked about who we are as 43-year-old men, talked about who we are as [fathers], talked about our kids. We talked about some other films and work and just got really a sense of each other. And so when I walked out, I had a little bit of, 'Ok, what was that?' I think he wanted to see who I was." Indeed, Christopher Nolan isn't one to show and tell until he's ready, but with "Interstellar" (review here) due in theaters next week, the filmmaker and cast are starting to »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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15 Years: Watch 30 Minutes Of Behind-The-Scenes Footage From 'Being John Malkovich'

17 hours ago

Before he detailed the romance between a man and an Os, or took you where the Wild Things were, Spike Jonze decided to get into the head of John Malkovich. Time flies, but it has been 15 years since the brilliant and bizarre "Being John Malkovich" hit theaters, so today we're going to take you behind the scenes. Featuring longitme collaborator Lance Bangs, and cast members John Cusack, Catherine Keener, Cameron Diaz, and, of course, John Malkovich, the footage is a bit scattershot, but gives a sense of what shooting the oddball, Charlie Kaufman-penned picture was like, not only for those in front of the camera, but for the crew too. It's actually a pretty great dip into what it took to get inside Malkovich's brain, at least on set, and if you're of the film and filmmakers, it's worth perusing. Check it out below, along with a couple of extras, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: ‘Nightcrawler’ Director Dan Gilroy Talks Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Elswit & Sociopaths

18 hours ago

Writer and director Dan Gilroy speaks in a manner in which ideas, facts and concepts come tumbling out, his train of thought speeding fast but never in danger of going off the track. The credited screenwriter on films like “The Bourne Legacy,” the long-forgotten “Freejack,” the family-friendly heroics of “Real Steel” and the grim fairy tale “The Fall,” Gilroy makes his directorial debut with “Nightcrawler.” Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, the film depicts the rise and fall of Lou Bloom, a self-motivated striver who bootstraps into a freelance job filming the car crashes and crime scenes of L.A. at night for the local news channels that thrive on blood and bad news (our review).  Gilroy spoke with The Playlist about what cinematographer Robert Elswit (“There Will Be Blood,” “Boogie Nights”) brought to the film, the economic realities behind the Lou Bloom character, Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance and the film's depiction of the dark dream of L. »

- James Rocchi

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Watch: Debut U.S. Trailer For 'Serena' Starring Jennifer Lawrence And Bradley Cooper

18 hours ago

Earlier today, you saw Jennifer Lawrence in blockbuster mode with the final trailer for "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1." Now you can see the actress try on her period melodrama pants with "Serena," opposite Bradley Cooper, and get more of a sense if the mostly negative reviews are warranted. Based on the novel by Ron Rash, the film is a Depression-era tale about George and Serena, a couple who forge a mighty timber empire together. Problems arise when Serena can't get pregnant, and George strays outside their marriage. From there, inevitable tragedy looms. It's good stuff on paper, but as our recent review noted, there's good reason why the folks behind Susanne Bier's long delayed movie "might be keen to sweep this one under the rug." "Serena" is now playing in the U.K. (where it opened in 19th place over the weekend —ouch), and comes to the U. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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New Posters: Michael Mann's 'Blackhat,' 'Foxcatcher,’ & 'Ex Machina' Starring Oscar Isaac & Alicia Vikander

19 hours ago

Is the state of movies in 2014 reflected in the release date of Michael Mann's new cyber thriller "Blackhat," which is scheduled to arrive in the not-very-promising January season? Is there no longer room for an auteur like Mann in a stronger quarter? Or maybe it's not an awards worthy picture and has been relegated to January for quality reasons? And when you factor in there's only one real name in the picture, Chris Hemsworth, one who hasn't truly proven himself at the box-office outside his 'Avengers' franchise, perhaps January is a safer month to release "Blackhat." And though there's talk of an Oscar qualifying run, we'll believe it when we see it (this year seems too competitive, and Universal has too little gain and much too lose if early word is negative). Regardless, we're psyched, because a Michael Mann film is always an event in our minds. The movie »

- Edward Davis

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25 Must-See Movies About The Media

19 hours ago

This week sees the arrival, after its much-lauded premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival last month, of Dan Gilroy's directorial debut "Nightcrawler." The film, about an ambitious young drifter (Jake Gyllenhaal, in a brilliant performance) who finds his calling in the world of L.A. freelance crime reporting, is many things: a taut thriller, a complex character study, a stunningly-photographed portrait of Los Angeles at night, and a borderline horror picture. Along with all of that, it's also a biting satire of the vulture-like behavior of the modern media. As such, the film fits into a long history of Hollywood (and independent filmmakers) examining, attacking, and sometimes celebrating the fourth estate, a practice that's been going on almost as long as films have contained dialogue. So, with "Nightcrawler" in theaters on Friday (and read our review to remind yourselves why it's worth checking out this weekend) , we've picked out 25 of. »

- The Playlist Staff

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Watch: Saddle Up With 30 Minute Documentary On The Making Of 'Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid'

20 hours ago

45 years after its release, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” remains just as vibrant and warm as it was in its original theatrical run. To celebrate its anniversary, here’s a superb half-hour documentary on the making of the film. These days, most behind-the-scenes documentaries have more in common with electronic press kits in which filmmakers and actors diplomatically praise one another via PR speak, hoping to sell their film instead of actually giving a realistic view of filmmaking. What a revelation then that “Butch Cassidy” director George Roy Hill gives an unvarnished look at the making of the classic western. Hill talks about how he approached scheduling the shoot —setting aside an entire week for half a week’s work because he tends to “fuck it up the first week”— and how his star Paul Newman had trouble playing Butch Cassidy the first few days. Newman himself reveals what »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Watch: Action-Packed Final Trailer For ‘The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1’

21 hours ago

A refresher, in the event if you need one: In the “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1," Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is traumatized due to the capture of her old bud/sorta flame Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) after the last Quarter Quell games. Perhaps this doesn’t make much sense to non-fans, but in short: shit hit the fan in 'Catching Fire.' Peeta was seized and Katniss was "kidnapped" only to discover that several of her friends and supposed enemies were colluding to build their own underground resistance against the government. So in ‘Mockingjay - Part 1', the distressed Katniss reluctantly becomes a symbol of Panem's revolution against the tyrannical Capitol. It’s a burden she doesn’t want to bear, but one she’ll have to reconcile regardless. This latest entry in the 'Hunger Games' franchise stars most of the same players including Liam Hemsworth, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour Hoffman, »

- Edward Davis

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First Look: Emilia Clarke, Matt Smith & Jason Clarke In 'Terminator: Genisys,' Plot Details Revealed

21 hours ago

“It’s like going on tour again if you’re Pink Floyd—the audience always wants to hear some of the old songs,” Matt Smith tells EW about "Terminator: Genisys." “There are enough nods to the past that people will feel satisfied.” But thing is, with this sequel, some of those old songs are getting a fresh twist. The magazine has the first look at next summer's blockbuster, and they reveal some of the key ingredients to the new movie, which also stars Emilia Clarke, Jason Clarke, and a returning Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it finds some of the timeline of the series getting a serious tweak. 'Genisys' is set in 2029, and once again, Reese gets sent back to 1984, but what happens next, well, we'll let EW explain:  Sarah Connor isn’t the innocent she was when Linda Hamilton first sported feathered hair and acid-washed jeans in the role. Nor is »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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The Gyllenaissance: 5 Recent Roles That Have Re-Established Jake Gyllenhaal's Career

21 hours ago

“I just feel more alive in what I’m doing,” Jake Gyllenhaal, star of this week’s excellent “Nightcrawler,” told Indiewire back in February. While that could easily sound like so much actorly cod psychology, so much soundbite-friendly chatter from a PR-trained star with a movie to shill (it was on the eve of the release of “Enemy”), two main factors put the lie on that possibility. First, if there’s a single trait that characterizes the meta-story of Gyllenhaal’s career to date, it may very well be sincerity. He has not always succeeded, and his choices have not been flawless, but it feels like he has essayed each role, whether it’s his shimmery, minor key Oscar-nominated turn in “Brokeback Mountain,” or the bluff, buff, bronzed action hero of “Prince of Persia,” with a whole heart. It’s not difficult to believe that Gyllenhaal takes his responsibility to his films seriously, »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Watch: Honest Trailer For 'Saw,' The First In A String Of Cheaply Made "Gore-Nos"

22 hours ago

Ten years ago, cinemagoers were first introduced to "Saw," a low-budget horror flick that became an unexpectedly massive hit, ushering in a new era of no-cost, queasy, poorly shot genre films. With the movie returning to theaters this weekend for its tenth anniversary, and just in time for Halloween, Screen Junkies takes a look back in their latest Honest Trailer. Of the many jokes this video jab takes at "Saw," the one that's the most spot on regards the acting. Yes, Leigh Whannel is pretty terrible, but so too was Cary Elwes. Frankly, the performances were so bad in this movie it's surprising people were able to look past it and get involved and/or terrified by the otherwise wacky premise, which, as the Honest Trailer points out, got milked to absurd levels in the subsequent sequels. So take a trip down memory lane and watch below. And man, director »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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