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Watch: First Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron,' Brings Mass Destruction Along With Scarlet Witch & Quicksilver

9 hours ago

It's hard to believe that "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" is just a mere seven months away from hitting theaters. Somehow, the movie went from highly speculated to shot, and being prepared to obliterate the box office next year, in the blink of an eye. And the first trailer is here — leaked online in advance of next week's scheduled premiere of "Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D." — and it promises a lot of destruction on a massive scale. If you thought the city-obliterating finale of "The Avengers" might've been over the top, it seems Joss Whedon and co. are brining an even louder noise this time around. And well, that's not surprising since you can't follow up a billion dollar movie with a more subtle take on the genre. But seriously, it looks like once again city streets will be among the settings for more superhero action which is kinda...dullsville (at least in »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Steve Carell And Charlie Kaufman Team For 'Dr. Strangelove'-Esque Satire 'I.Q. 83'

9 hours ago

One of the great, unrealized movies of the past few years (and one we really hope, but also doubt, will ever get made) is Charlie Kaufman's ambitious, Hollywood skewering, comedy/musical, "Frank Or Francis." But one of the proposed stars of that film is teaming with Kaufman on another project. Deadline reports that Steve Carell will star in "I.Q. 83," with the movie getting a page one rewrite from Kaufman, and for now, there's no word if he'll also direct or not. It's a sci-fi movie with a premise that's right up Kaufman's alley, following a viral outbreak that renders those afflicted with a rapidly decreasing I.Q. — including the scientist tasked with finding a cure. It's based on the book by Arthur Herzog, here's the synopsis from Amazon:  That was before the DNA experiments. Before the accident you said could never happen… Since then you have felt your »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: '1,000 Times Good Night' Starring Juliette Binoche Is Beautiful But Formless

12 hours ago

This is a reprint of our review from the 2013 Marrakech Film Festival. How much does autobiography help or hinder a film's effectiveness? Norwegian director Erik Poppe's first English-language film, which played at the Marrakech Film Festival as part of the tribute evening honoring its star, Juliette Binoche, is avowedly based on incidents, and professional and personal quandaries the director himself experienced with one crucial change: Poppe switched the lead roles around so that it is Binoche who is his proxy, and Kingslayer Nikolaj Coster-Waldau playes the character based on Poppe's wife. That change is crucial to the final film, and as it wears on, begins to look like maybe the best narrative decision that could have been made. Not only does it give Binoche the central role, which she carries with her typical flinty accomplishment, but in making the war photographer who is torn between vocational passion and home life into a woman, »

- Jessica Kiang

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Directors: James Wan Returns To 'The Conjuring 2,' Jonathan Demme & Danis Tanovic Line Up New Gigs

12 hours ago

With "The Conjuring" earning $318 million worldwide, and the spinoff "Annabelle" up to $167 million and counting, Warner Bros. now realizes they have a viable horror franchise on their hands. While "The Conjuring 2" was originally set for an October 23, 2015 release next year, the studio clearly wants to get it right and has courted James Wan to come back and continue what he started. The director will be behind the camera for the sequel, which now lands sometime in 2016. WB division New Line can barely contain themselves. "We had a great experience with James on 'The Conjuring,' and we give him a lot of credit for that movie working so well,” said president/COO Toby Emmerich. “He worked on the screenplay and came to the table with very inventive things that were not in the script and cast it fantastically well. Add to that his work in producing 'Annabelle,' »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Casting: Steve Coogan Replaces Philip Seymour Hoffman In 'Happyish,' Nick Frost Lines Up Sitcom And More

13 hours ago

Well, this bit of news gives us a range of mixed emotions. While we're sad we'll never get to see the dream team pairing of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Kathryn Hahn in the Showtime series "Happyish," due the former's tragic passing, the show is back in the works. And with another talent we really like, who brings a different set of tools to the equation. Steve Coogan has signed on to replace Hoffman, with Hahn in talks to return to show too. The series has been slightly rejiggered and will now focus on "Thom Payne, a 44 year-old man whose world is thrown into disarray when his 25-year-old 'wunderkind' boss arrives, saying things like 'digital,' 'social' and 'viral.' Is he in need of a 'rebranding,' as his mentor insists, or does he just have a 'low joy ceiling,' as his corporate headhunter suggests? Maybe pursuing happiness is a fool’s errand? »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: Kate Lyn Sheil & John Gallagher Jr. Navigate Tech-Dating & Obsession In 'The Heart Machine'

14 hours ago

This is a reprint of our interview from the 2014 SXSW Film Festival. "The Heart Machine" opens on Friday, October 24th. Part of the pleasure of attending an established film festival like South By Southwest is the caliber of emerging talent it attracts. When you’re seeing a new director’s feature debut, you can rest (reasonably) assured that the cream of the submissions pile has risen to the top. Such is the case with Zachary Wigon’s first film, “The Heart Machine.” Starring John Gallagher, Jr. (“The Newsroom” and last year’s SXSW breakout, “Short Term 12”) and Kate Lyn Sheil (an indie darling who recently appeared in season two of “House of Cards”), the film explores the technological implications of the current dating climate, where sex-with-no-strings is available at the touch of an app, yet intimacy can be kept safely at bay via one’s computer screen (read our »

- Kristin McCracken

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Watch: 'Star Wars' Prequels Recut Into 2 Hour 40 Minute 'Turn to the Darkside: Episode 3.1'

14 hours ago

Recently blasting Hollywood studios by saying "they don't have any imagination and they don't have any talent,” George Lucas might be advised to look in his own rearview mirror, particularly at the years spanning 1999 and 2005. That was when he released his "Star Wars" prequels, a digitally cumbersome, narratively dull disappointment that found the filmmaker taking his rich, imaginative universe to the dullest places possible. Fans, including the likes of Topher Grace, have all tried their hands at recuts, and now one more has arrived for your viewing pleasure (probably until the wrath of Disney and Lucasfilm legal departments take it down). And so, here's "Turn To The Darkside: Episode 3.1" from Double Digit, which takes all three prequels and tries to whittle it down to the essentials, cutting out the crap about trade embargoes and focusing more on the central relationship between Anakin and Padmé. Here's the statement of intent from the. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: 2 Clips From 'The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug' Extended Edition; The Entire Trilogy Cost $745 Million To Make

15 hours ago

What filmmakers do with a seemingly unlimited budget varies. Some will spend it on the best catering ever, others will pour it into the script or set design, and then there's Peter Jackson, who will use every dime to film as much as possible. If "The Lord Of The Rings" trilogy —and the subsequent extended version of the movies— saw him doing his best to capture J.R.R. Tolkien's expansive Middle Earth, "The Hobbit" series adjusts that notion oddly. Somehow, the slim novella has become three bloated movies, each with their own extended home video versions. And it's not cheap. Reports via AP put the total cost of production at $745 million for the trilogy, and by the way, that doesn't include the final eight months of post-production on the forthcoming "The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies." However, quality of the movies aside, you can't argue that Jackson isn't »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Edward Norton Says He Didn't Return To Play Hulk Because He Wanted More "Diversity" In His Film Roles

15 hours ago

For all their success, the one franchise character Marvel has struggled with is The Hulk. After failing with 2003 iteration "Hulk" starring Eric Bana, and directed by Ang Lee, the studio hoped the combination of Louis Leterrier and star Edward Norton could do the trick with 2008's "The Incredible Hulk." Even with Robert Downey Jr. popping his head in for a final stinger at the end, everyone pretty much pretends it didn't happen. And thus, Norton's dalliance with the Marvel-verse — a rare excursion into blockbuster land for the actor — came to an end. And it was one he looks back on reflectively. "My feeling was that I experimented and experienced what I wanted to. I really, really enjoyed it. And yet, I looked at the balance of time in life that one spends not only making those sorts of films but then especially putting them out, and the obligations that rightly come with that. »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: First Red Band Trailer For ‘The Gambler’ Starring Mark Wahlberg, Brie Larson, Michael K. William & More

16 hours ago

Hollywood’s approach to remakes is obviously leaves a lot to be desired. Studios usually remake or reboot whatever was a success decades ago, or in the case of the “Amazing Spider-Man” series,  “hey, it worked before five years ago, maybe it’ll work now?” That’s the dartboard approach to moviemaking in Thistledown, and you can argue all you want, but the proof is right there up on the screen each year. What feels like a major missed opportunity? Think of every movie that was announced over the years with a super enticing set-up that didn’t pan out for whatever reason. Those are the movies Hollywood should really remake: movies with excellent scripts or ideas that weren’t properly executed for any number of reasons. There’s plenty of films out there that sounded like good ideas on paper, and perhaps with the right filmmaker they could be amazing. »

- Edward Davis

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First Look: Johnny Depp As The Dapper Wolf In Rob Marshall's ‘Into The Woods’ With Meryl Streep & More

16 hours ago

“I’ve been offered many witches over the years, starting when I was 40, and I said no to all of them,”  Meryl Streep told Entertainment Weekly in this week’s issue of the magazine wherein “Into The Woods” graces the cover. Clearly she changed her mind for Rob Marshall’s dark adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's beloved musical. “But this was really fun because it played with the notion of what witches mean. They represented age and ugliness and scary powers we don’t understand. So here’s my opportunity to say, here’s what you wish for when you’re getting old.” Intertwining the plots of several Brothers Grimm fairy —"Little Red Riding Hood," "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Rapunzel," and "Cinderella"— the musical is about a baker and his wife, their wish to begin a family and their interaction with the witch (Streep) who has put a curse on them. »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: Fascinating 1-Hour Doc 'Dear Censors' Explores Relationship Between British Ratings Board And Filmmakers

17 hours ago

“Ban it. Cut it. Classify it.” That was the stance the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) took when rating movies in the middle of the last century, according to Professor Christopher Frayling. Frayling is just one of the subjects interviewed in Matt Pelly’s BBC Four documentary, “Dear Censor,” originally released in 2011 as part of the doc series "Timeshift." The hour long film takes a look at regulations and alterations the BBFC imposed upon films distributed to for UK audiences, and how such censorship led filmmakers to buck the system in sometimes surprisingly profitable ways. Overseen by Arthur Watkins, Chief Censor from 1948-1956, the BBFC took an incredibly harsh stance against films now considered iconic, including “Rebel Without A Cause.” While the studio fought for an A rating on that release, which would have dubbed the film suitable for adults, the Board felt James Dean would have been seen »

- Zach Hollwedel

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Interview: Laura Poitras Talks Incendiary Doc ‘Citizenfour,’ How Edward Snowden Is Like Aaron Sorkin & More

17 hours ago

Laura Poitras’ “Citizen Four” is bound to be either inspiring or infuriating depending on your perspective on the actions taken by its protagonist, Edward Snowden. It’s a sinewy portrait of the man behind last year’s remarkable series of revelations about the breadth of the U.S. government’s surveillance programs, enacted with the support of some of the world’s largest telecommunications and internet companies (read our review). The film, which premiered recently at the New York Film Festival before its October 24th release stateside, is the final part of director Poitras’ trilogy of documentaries that unearth the chilling ambiguities beneath Washington’s official line on the status of the Iraq War (the Oscar-nominated “My Country, My Country,” from 2005), the mindset of the men they claim to defend the American public from (2010’s haunting “The Oath”), and, in her newest film, the means that they are using to do so. »

- Brandon Harris

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Listen: Todd Haynes Talks His Upcoming 'Carol,' 'Velvet Goldmine' & More In 80-Minute Podcast

18 hours ago

Barring his excellent miniseries take on “Mildred Pierce,” Todd Haynes hasn’t released a feature film since 2007’s experimental Bob Dylan biopic, “I’m Not There.” However, the director is ending his big-screen drought with the Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara-starring “Carol,” and now we have a few more details on the period piece. A few weeks ago, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago hosted Haynes and his frequent collaborator, costume designer Sandy Powell, for a special screening of “Velvet Goldmine” for the museum’s ongoing “David Bowie Is” exhibit. Per The Film Stage (via MissBelivet), the duo revealed that “Carol” is nearing the end of post-production, with “mixing & color timing” to be completed in New York City, and that a spring 2015 premiere date is being eyed. Also of note? Apparently Harvey Weinstein “really gets” the film. So, see you at the Croisette? Despite taking place »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Exclusive: Dance To Belle And Sebastian In Clip From Brazil's Oscar Entry 'The Way He Looks'

18 hours ago

Coming of age often means grappling with the first feelings of real love, finding your own skin, and discovering who you are. Part of that process is found in music, and that permeates much of "The Way He Looks," Brazil's Oscar entry for Foreign Language Film. And today we have an exclusive clip from this multiple award-winning film, which collected the Fipresci Prize and Teddy Award at this year's Berlin International Film Festival. Written and directed by Daniel Ribeiro, and starring Ghilherme Lobo, Fabio Audi, and Tess Amorim, the story follows the blind Leo, who decides to study abroad to escape his overbearing mother and bullies at school. The news is not welcomed by his best friend Giovana, and things get more complicated as those feelings turn to jealousy when Leo grows close to Gabriel after working with him on a school project. In this tender scene, "There's Too Much »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Ikea Spoofs 'The Shining' In New Ad Plus Watch 3 Early Short Documentaries By Stanley Kubrick

19 hours ago

It’s been fifteen years since his death, but we can’t seem to stop talking about Stanley Kubrick. Just yesterday we saw a brand new trailer cut for the forthcoming U.K. theatrical re-release of his landmark “2001: A Space Odyssey,” and now we have an entirely different sort of tribute to the iconic director. In honor of Halloween, the Singapore division of Swedish furniture chain Ikea has released a minute and a half long commercial-cum-tribute (via Reddit) to Kubrick’s peerless horror classic “The Shining.” It’s a cute little recreation of the famous scene of Danny riding his tricycle throughout the Overlook Hotel, but with a new twist, of course. If you need more of a Kubrick fix, you can check out the director’s earliest films, a trio of short documentaries (via Open Culture). His first film was “Day of the Fight,” a twelve-minute long doc »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Exclusive: Teaser Trailer For Dramatic Mystery 'Desert Cathedral' Wants You To Pick Up The Phone

19 hours ago

What if you suddenly decided to disappear without a trace? What would you leave behind to explain your actions? In 1992, a real estate developer did indeed vanish into thin air, with only VHS tapes left to  detail to his loved ones the reasons as such. Writer/director Travis Gutiérrez Senger has used this story as inspiration for his debut feature "Desert Cathedral." Starring Lee Tergesen, Chaske Spencer, and Petra Wright, this moody picture blends found footage elements, archival video, and more to create a unique setting for this based on a true story tale, in which a wife hires a private investigator to track down her missing husband. Aside from the intriguing teaser trailer which you can see below, the talent assembled for the film is strong, with Lincoln Leopard Films and Chip Hourihan ("Frozen River") producing, a score from excellent, on the rise composers Saunder Jurriaans and Danny Bensi ("Enemy, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Powerful Short Film 'The Slaughter' Brings Light To The Process Of Humane Animal Slaughter

20 hours ago

Today we're sharing a short film, "The Slaughter," that garnered festival attention last year at the SXSW, BFI London and Locarno film festivals, and was a finalist for the Student Academy Awards. This week, it's the current Vimeo Staff Pick, as well as the Featured Short on Short Of The Week. Shorts don't get much attention outside of festival programming, but many are able to pack more of an emotional punch in just 15 minutes than many studio feature films. "The Slaughter" is no exception, coming with a strong message inspired by director Jason B. Kohl's background.  Kohl's father breeds and sells Mangalista pigs, and after witnessing a humane pig slaughter, he was inspired to explore the process onscreen. "The Slaughter" features the story of a father and son who are negotiating their troubled relationship, as the father attempts to pass on his knowledge of pig farming and humane slaughter to his son. »

- Katie Walsh

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Watch: Make The Choice With TV Spot For 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1' Plus new Pics

20 hours ago

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay—Part 1" is on the way, and Lionsgate wants to make sure that you're uh, hungry for it. And so, via one of the weirdest corporate team-ups ever, Doritos, Whole Foods and Mazda are combining forces for the app, Our Leader The Mockingjay, that will help fans unlock exclusive content, give to charity, and possibly win tickets to the premiere screening. So you know, standard blockbuster marketing, which in this case means branded TV spots with new footage.  And so here's the latest Doritos presented promo, which runs for thirty seconds and provides a new look at the 'Mockingjay,' Peeta's duplicity, Katniss' concern and resulting wild emotions. And of course, there's lots of fighting and explosions. If that's not enough, a handful of new images are here too, highlighting the characters you already know and love, the dystopian future, and some behind-the-scenes material. 'Mockingjay' gets its wings on November 21st. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Susanne Bier Says 'Serena' Was "Never A Mainstream Film," Talks "Anxious" Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence

20 hours ago

After a long, long wait, Susanne Bier's "Serena" finally emerged at the BFI London Film Festival, and it isn't a lost classic, or even a so-bad-it's-good future cult move. As our own Oli Lyttelton wrote in his D- grade review, the movie is simply "tedious" and that "given the result, you can see why people might be keen to sweep this one under the rug." For the most part, Bier and the cast have kept quiet on the long delayed movie, but with "Serena" hitting UK cinemas this weekend, the director is now opening up about the movie, and what she doesn't say is an interesting as what she does. Speaking with The Times, Bier insists her vision for the Depression-era drama was never one for mass consumption, but things changed as the film's stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence became more famous. "I had to fight for Jennifer »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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