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Review: 'John Wick' Is A B-Movie Pleasure, Anchored By Keanu Reeves' Raw Charisma

13 hours ago

After starring in "The Matrix" (and its two mixed-bag sequels), Keanu Reeves could have done just about anything—including becoming Hollywood's next great action star. Instead, he demurred, taking oddball roles in smaller movies, tinkering away on an ultimately illuminating documentary about the sea change happening in film ("Side by Side") and directing his own martial arts extravaganza (last year's unfairly overlooked "Man of Tai Chi"). Even an earnest attempt at mainstream studio fare, like "47 Ronin," ends up being far stranger than it has any right to be. The mold was there, he just refused to fit into it. All of this greatly informs the actor’s decision to star in "John Wick." Ostensibly it's a B-grade action movie about a hitman's quest for (bloody) revenge, but in Reeves' nimble hands, it becomes a much more joyous experience. It's a comic book fantasy of how the criminal underworld works, anchored mostly by Reeves' raw. »

- Drew Taylor

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DC Chief Creative Officer Says "I Love What Marvel Does," Talks TV & Movie "Multiverse," Has No Problem With Spoilers

13 hours ago

In case you somehow missed the news, DC Comics and Warner Bros. have some pretty big plans from now until 2020, when almost every comic book character in the canon will hit the big screen in one way or another. But of course, they'll be up against Marvel, who have not only had a few years head start, but are the envy of Hollywood, showing how to build a blockbuster brand not just at the multiplex, but on television too. And when it comes to DC Entertainment’s Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns, he's got mad respect for his rivals. "I love what Marvel does. I’m a huge fan," he told Buzzfeed, but he's quick to mention that DC will be taking a "different approach" when it comes to how their characters will co-exist (or not) between their big screen and small screen iterations. "We look at it as the multiverse, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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James Cameron Explains How It's Possible For Aging T-800 Arnold Schwarzenegger To Appear In 'Terminator: Genisys'

14 hours ago

"I'll be back" isn't just a catchphrase, it's an inevitable truth. 30 years since he first traveled back in time and landed in our present day to deal with the Connors, Arnold Schwarzenegger will return for another crack at the franchise in next summer's "Terminator: Genisys." But clearly, the former Governator has aged, and he isn't the unfeeling killing machine he used to be. So how will the filmmakers explain the wrinkles around his eyes? Well, none other than James Cameron himself met with producers and gave them the ingredients they needed to push on with another Terminator adventure that could include Arnie. “I pointed out that the outer covering [of the Terminator] was actually not synthetic, that it was organic and therefore could age," he told the audience La’s Egyptian Theatre following a recent screening of "The Terminator" (via Deadline). "You could theoretically have a Terminator that was sent back in time, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: Edward Snowden Doc 'Citizenfour' Plays Like The Greatest Paranoid Thriller Since 'All The President's Men'

15 hours ago

Maybe the most shocking aspect of last year's disclosure to news organizations that the National Security Agency had been illegally spying on countless citizens, was that the man at the center of the leak was an obscure functionary. For the amount of controversy and international attention he attracted a year ago, Edward Snowden lacks the flamboyance of fellow whistleblower Julian Assange, and seems genuinely more concerned with getting the word out than fortifying his own celebrity. So one of the pleasures of "Citizenfour," Laura Poitras' new documentary about Snowden, is what a reserved, principled figure he is. Poitras is a documentary filmmaker whose 2006 "My Country, My Country" was nominated for an Academy Award and who was contacted out of the blue by Snowden (the movie's title refers to his anonymous online handle). The two developed a friendship and eventually met up in Hong Kong along with journalist Glenn Greenwald, »

- Drew Taylor

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Watch: Get Meta With Shia Labeouf In Rob Cantor's Video "Shia Labeouf"

16 hours ago

"[Performance art is about] using my persona. Really I'm gaining control over myself again. I've given up so much control over myself to this industry. I felt like a slave who wasn't allowed to read," Shia Labeouf recently told Interview, one of many eyebrow-raising things he had to say. He added, "I still am a very stubborn, hardheaded person who is theatrical by nature." That's putting it lightly, but he does make for an entertaining personality to follow, and it wouldn't be Thursday without Shia up to something else. So here he is the video for Rob Cantor's "Shia Labeouf." The track itself reimagines Shia as a cannibal, with the song and video utilizing two choirs, a string quartet, dancers, paper masks, and more. It's pretty impressive. And who's that applauding at the end? Why it's Shia himself, obviously, because of course he would. How many Shias can one video take? Find out below. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Interview: Lynn Shelton & Sam Rockwell On Working With Keira Knightley & Chloë Grace Moretz In ‘Laggies’

16 hours ago

This is a reprint of our interview from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. "Laggies" opens in limited release beginning this weekend October 24. Since her breakout film “Humpday” premiered at the Sundance Film Festival five years ago, writer/director Lynn Shelton has been one of the hardest-working women in the business. In addition to her last two features—“Your Sister’s Sister” and “Touchy Feely”—she has also directed numerous episodes of “New Girl” and “Mad Men.” Her films are complex and touching explorations of human relationships and, until now, they have mostly been improvisational works developed with talented ensembles of actors (read our review here). In her latest film, “Laggies,” which premiered last week at the Sundance, Shelton switches gears, working from another person’s script for the first time—without most of her standard improvisation—on a much higher budget (“I broke the million-dollar mark, by quite a lot!”), and with a bigger cast of. »

- Kristin McCracken

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Dawn Weiner Returns In Todd Solondz's 'Wiener-Dog' With Greta Gerwig And Julie Delpy

16 hours ago

Todd Solondz has created worlds and characters so unique and compelling that one film can't contain them. Eleven years after "Happiness," the filmmaker returned (sorta) to concerns and lives in that milieu (with some of the parts recast, and other tweaks) with "Life During Wartime," and now he's doing the same with his breakout film "Welcome To The Dollhouse." THR reports that Solondz is working on "Weiner-Dog," which will feature an ensemble cast rotating around a dachshund forming the thematic backdrop of the movie. (Uh, okay). But the biggest point of interest is that one of the film's threads will catch up with the adult Dawn Weiner, which will be played by Greta Gerwig. And yes, that sounds pretty damn great. Julie Delpy is also in discussions for a role,. Casting is underway and the project is picking up forward momentum thanks to Megan Ellison, who can once again be »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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‘Wild’ Soundtrack Feature Bruce Springsteen, Portishead, Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams & More

16 hours ago

Is the Reese-ergence going to take flight this winter? I don’t know about that, but Reese Witherspoon, at the very least, seems to be taking on meaty roles that aren’t rom-com fare like the odious “This Means War.” Her latest film scoring accolades is “Wild,” by filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee, who directed both Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto to Academy Awards for their performances in “Dallas Buyers Club.” “Wild” is a survival narrative about perseverance; a woman’s quest for herself incarnating as a dangerous, possibly ill-advised solo trek down the Pacific Crest Trail (read our review). We already described the movie as kin to a Lucinda Williams song, and the alt-country singer is on the film's soundtrack. Fox Searchlight and Sony Legacy have announced their partnership for “Wild: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack” which arrives physically and digitally on November 10th and is available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes now. »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: 13-Minute Tribute To Alfred Hitchcock Celebrates The Films Of The Master Of Suspense

17 hours ago

It’s been 34 years since Alfred Hitchcock’s passing and his influence still looms large, such as TV shows like “Bones,” which will present an homage to the director for its 200th episode. The tributes to the self-described traditional filmmaker don’t end there, as editor Shaun Higgins has crafted a nearly 13-minute long video tribute to the Master of Suspense. Covering the entirety of his big-screen career —which that means no “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” —the video contains shots from every single film Hitchcock directed, from the 1925 silent film “The Pleasure Garden” to Hitch’s last film, the disappointing 1976 comedy-thriller “Family Plot.” This may be the first time a tribute video finds itself impervious to criticisms of omitted films, though you may still be miffed that your favorite moment or shot isn’t accounted for. Watch “Alfred Hitchcock (1925 - 1976)” below and let us know what some of your favorite Hitchcock movies are. »

- Cain Rodriguez

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10 Great Self-Absorbed, Narcissistic Movie Assholes

17 hours ago

"The characters aren't sympathetic enough," goes one of the most popular, and most-derided, notes perpetually sent from executives to filmmakers. And in certain movies, likability is a factor, but we'd rather spend time with three-dimensional characters who were interesting, authentic and human, rather than simply blandly nice, and there's something particularly fascinating about the self-absorbed, narcissistic, unrepentant asshole. There's more than a few examples of the archetype doing the rounds at the moment, from the three lovably awful kids in Amazon's brilliant "Transparent" to the title character of Alex Ross Perry's brilliant "Listen Up Philip," which opened in limited release last Friday and will continue to expand in the coming weeks. Said archetype is of course often complex, and "asshole" frequently doesn't cover it. These characters often are masking deep pain, insecurity, self-doubt and or misplaced arrogance. But we know these »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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Watch: Meryl Streep, Anna Kendrick And More Sing In Featurette For 'Into The Woods'

17 hours ago

The number of big movies left in the year yet to be seen is getting smaller and smaller, and one of the most intriguing on the way from Disney is "Into The Woods." Based on the smash hit musical and featuring an all-star cast and gnarly twist on classic fairy tales, the film has all the ingredients for a big holiday success. But can this ensemble hit the right notes? Well, a new featurette for the film is here, and it contains some of the first footage of the cast getting into the musical mood. Anna Kendrick and Meryl Streep in particular are highlighted, and while thanks to "Pitch Perfect" and the upcoming "The Last Five Years" we know the former can belt out a number, the latter Oscar winning actress shows that she's been practicing as well. The promo also features a nice bit of footage, finding director Rob Marshall »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: 'Ouija' Starring Olivia Cooke, Daren Kagasoff and Douglas Smith

18 hours ago

After doing rigorous testing, i.e., sitting through “Ouija”, we can now confirm that you can, in fact, jump out of your seat with fear and roll your eyes at the same time. This film is effectively scary, filled with plenty of jump moments and a few slow-burning scenes, but the scares aren’t enough to balance the poor writing and lack of imagination. We can’t help but wonder what movie would have resulted had a version from Marti Noxon (of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and the underrated “Fright Night” remake) actually made it to the screen. She was attached to the script, but this Hasbro-produced film shuffled through a number of writers and filmmakers before finally landing on first-time director Stiles White, who wrote the script with Juliet Snowden. The pair had previously worked together on critical disasters “The Possession,” “Knowing” and “Boogeyman.” But instead of Noxon’s »

- Kimber Myers

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Aaron Sorkin Confirms Christian Bale For Steve Jobs Pic, Says He'll Have More Dialogue Than “3 Movies Combined'

19 hours ago

Last we heard, Christian Bale was in talks for the Steve Jobs biopic directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin. The notion of that trio alone hopefully washes away the memory of “Jobs” starring Ashton Kutcher. It now appears that Bale has signed-on the dotted line; Sorkin confirmed the actor’s participation during a recent interview with Bloomberg Television’s Emily Chang on a coming edition of “Studio 1.0.” “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range, and that’s Chris Bale,” Sorkin said, making an NFL draft reference that's mostly lost on movie nerds. “He didn’t have to audition. Well, there was a meeting.” It's pretty rare for an A-lister like Bale to audition for anything, particularly since he has an Oscar in hand, but we suppose there are exceptions. Apparently the rapid-fire Sorkin-ese mile-a minute dialogue will go into overdrive for this film. »


- Edward Davis

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'Birdman' & Beyond: The 10 Best Performances In Alejandro González Iñárritu's Films

19 hours ago

It would take a bit of effort and some fairly tortuous reverse engineering to see "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)," which continues in limited release this week and expands next week, as anything but a departure for director Alejandro González Iñárritu, or Alejandro G. Iñárritu as his current incarnation is called. Indeed, formally it’s almost the Platonic opposite of his previous films, seemingly unfolding in one breathless, unbroken take and moving ever forward in time in a manner that, compared to the shifting perspectives and jumbled chronology that characterize the majority of his films, feels refreshingly linear. Still, one element of his directorial approach remains constant, despite occasionally disheveled structures and blunt thematics: his ability to get very strong performances from his cast. Michael Keaton, whose turn in "Birdman" is truly of the career-relaunching variety (check out our 10 »

- The Playlist Staff

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Watch: Get Terrified With First Trailer For 'Insidious: Chapter 3'

19 hours ago

The Man Who Can't Breathe. The Man Who Lives In The Vents. I Heard Him Saying Your Name Last Night. I Heard Him In Your Room. While You Were Gone He's In There Standing Right Now. Standing In Your Room. Some movies have taglines, and others have full-blown freaky passages like the one above. So congratulations, "Insidious: Chapter 3," you've sufficiently creeped us out. The third entry of the surprisingly successful horror franchise rewinds the clock a bit. Patrick Wilson and Rose Byrne are gone, and in their place are Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, Lin Shaye, Angus Sampson, and Leigh Whannell (who also directs), with the story going the prequel route:  The newest chapter in the terrifying horror series is written and directed by franchise co-creator Leigh Whannell. A twisted new tale of terror begins for a teenage girl and her family, predating the haunting of the Lambert family in »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Michelle Williams & Matthias Schoenaerts Take On A Forbidden Love In The Trailer For First ‘Suite Francaise’

20 hours ago

Where’s The Weinstein Company’s “Suite Francaise,” a movie many assumed would be an Oscar player? Well, it will make its world premiere at the American Film Market, among 90 other premieres, in November. And Afm is for buyers and distributors, so it’s the opposite of the splashy premiere that you might expect from TWC. In fact, if you’re being cynical or conspiracy theory-like, you might think they're trying to unload the picture since they already own it. But that's nothing but speculation for now. Regardless, the picture stars Michelle Williams and Matthias Schoenaerts as two diametrically opposed people who embark on a forbidden affair. Set during World War II, during the early years of Germany’s occupation of France, Williams plays a French villager who falls for a Nazi soldier (Schoenaerts) stationed to look over her township. Co-starring Kristin Scott Thomas and Sam Riley, the film is »

- Edward Davis

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Watch: 'Mystery Science Theater 3000' Takes On 'Mitchell' In Full, Annotated Episode Now Streaming Online

20 hours ago

Were it not for "Mystery Science Theater 3000," where would we be as a society right now? The live-tweeting (or live-snarking) of shlock like “Sharknado” owes a great deal to Joel Hodgson’s iconic show, and now a favorite episode of the cult comedy show is finally available for free online. A little over 90-minutes long, this episode is from the show’s fifth season and centers around the 1975 Joe Don Baker-starring cop movie “Mitchell” (this episode also marks Hodgson's final appearance). Thanks to a partnership with Shout Factory, the episode—and all future posted episodes—will contain annotations (from The Annotated Mst) that delve into the MST3K crew’s often obscure jokes. For every easy-to-catch “Shaft” reference, Joel and his robot pals toss off a couple of references to long-since cancelled '70s TV shows, so the annotations should prove useful to younger viewers. Watch the “Mitchell” episode »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Watch: This 20-Minute Video Collection Of 1983 Network And Cable TV Show Intros Is Amazing

20 hours ago

This one will take you back—31 years back, to be precise. YouTube user Kwadwo Holloway cut together almost 20-minutes worth of show intros from 1983, from both network and cable sources, and the result is a blast from the past. At least, some viewers will think so. Others (those not old enough to remember the decade) might wonder why any of us ever bothered to watch TV in the '80s at all. What familiar faces do you see? David Letterman is in there. And Johnny Carson. And a handful of others. But more noticeable are the shows and entertainers that have all but been lost to television history, as far as younger audiences are concerned. Ask anyone under 30 who Mike Douglas was, and they’ll probably tell you he was the guy who was married to Catherine Zeta-Jones. Little do they know, you were actually referring to the long-time entertainer who, »

- Zach Hollwedel

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Exclusive: Hit Replay With This Clip From 'The Heart Machine' Starring John Gallagher Jr. And Kate Lyn Sheil

21 hours ago

We live in age where we can hook up with prospective partners with no more than an app, look for our soul mates by answering a questionnaire, and keep in touch with our significant others by sending texts and not saying a word. It's within this digital age where the romantic drama "The Heart Machine" kicks off. Directed by Zachary Wigon and starring John Gallagher Jr. ("The Newsroom") and Kate Lyn Sheil ("House Of Cards," "You're Next"), the story follows Cody and Virginia, who meet and fall in love online. Despite the distance between them—he's in New York City, she's in Berlin—their romance blooms, until Cody begins to suspect that Virginia might be not be telling the whole truth about where she lives. In this exclusive clip, we see Cody's uncertainty about Virginia, fueled by recently seeing her on the subway....or did he? "The Heart Machine" opens »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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'Boyhood' Leads Gotham Award Nominations, Oscar Isaac Gets Best Actor Nod For 'A Most Violent Year'

21 hours ago

It's the middle of October, and you know what that means: announcements of nominations for year-end awards. In the same way that movie summer now starts in February, more and more organizations shift up their ceremonies in order to make a bigger impact, and the latest of these is the Gotham Awards, which just revealed their nods for this year. Leaning indie-minded on the whole, this year's noms are led by a genuine Oscar hopeful, Richard Linklater's "Boyhood," which picked up four nominations. "Nightcrawler," "Under The Skin," "Dear White People," and "Birdman" each picked up two nods, "The Grand Budapest Hotel" and "Love Is Strange" are among the Best Feature nominees, and "Foxcatcher" has been awarded a special jury prize for its three lead performances, deservedly so. Perhaps most interestingly, though the film doesn't screen for critics until it premieres at AFI in a few weeks, Oscar Isaac picked. »

- Oliver Lyttelton

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