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Review: Terrifying, Suspenseful Thriller 'Blue Ruin'

10 hours ago

Dwight (Macon Blair), the lead character of “Blue Ruin,” is a haggard, defeated, middle-aged man. His clothing clings to him, as if to avoid callously slipping to the ground. His beard seems to have formed on his face the way weeds gather on undernourished lawns. One of our first glimpses of his eyes come from the way they gape when he finds out people are home, and he’s naked in the bath. His mad dash reveals this is not his house. But those eyes remain troubled even when he’s not using the homes and resources of others. The sense is that Dwight hasn’t been home for years, and he hasn’t felt at home within himself for even longer. The picture quickly settles into a familiar genre set-up. Dwight is alerted by local police that the man convicted of murdering his parents is set to be released from prison. »

- Gabe Toro

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Tribeca Review: Amy Berg’s ‘Every Secret Thing’ Starring Elizabeth Banks, Dakota Fanning & Diane Lane

12 hours ago

Pitched somewhere between a David Fincher crime procedural, a Denis Lehane suspense novel and a “Mommie Dearest” melodrama, documentarian Amy Berg’s move into the feature-length world of dramatic narrative is by nature of the material, an uneven one. It’s not for want of trying, however. Making her narrative debut here, Berg directs the hell out of every crime segment in the film, and there’s a strong level of craft in sequences that would make Fincher and “Se7en” Dp Darius Khondji proud. And Nicole Holofcener’s adaptation of the book doesn’t have any real egregious material, at least not in its dialogue. But there’s something lost in the translation from psychological suspense novel by author Laura Lippmann: what likely reads as gripping, disturbing and haunting on the page is occasionally engaging, but strains suspension of disbelief and credulity throughout on the screen. It also leaves a bad taste in the mouth. »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Jessica Chastain Is Marilyn Monroe In Andrew Dominik's 'Blonde'

12 hours ago

The last we heard about Andrew Dominik's long brewing Marilyn Monroe biopic "Blonde," was that it was "good to go" with a shoot aiming for this August. But we had been down this road before when plans were afoot to shoot the movie in 2013, with Naomi Watts in the lead. Well, that actress dropped out a while ago and another has come in, and we think it's a pretty great choice. Jessica Chastain is now set to play Marilyn Monroe in the movie, which will be based on the critically acclaimed novel by Joyce Carol Oates. "The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford" and "Killing Them Softly" star Brad Pitt's Plan B is producing the movie that Dominik has previously called "a really sprawling, emotional nightmare fairy-tale type movie." Damn. Here's the book synopsis from Amazon:  One of America’s most acclaimed novelists boldly re-imagines »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Author Gillian Flynn Says Reports Of Changes From Book For David Fincher's 'Gone Girl' Are "Greatly Exaggerated"

12 hours ago

At the beginning of the year, word emerged that David Fincher's "Gone Girl," based on the best-seller by Gillian Flynn, would throw fans for a loop by switching up the ending. “Ben [Affleck] was so shocked by it. He would say, ‘This is a whole new third act! She literally threw that third act out and started from scratch,’ ” the author herself told EW at the time. But hitting a Reddit Ama today, she tempered her comments a bit.  Asked by a fan about changing the book for the movie, Flynn said it was more a matter of adapting the story to make it work on the big screen. "....those reports have been greatly exaggerated! Of course, the script has to be different from the book in some ways—you have to find a way to externalize all those internal thoughts and you have to do more with less room »


- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: HBO Perfectly Captures Awkwardness Of Watching Sex Scenes With Your Parents In Series Of HBO Go Ads

13 hours ago

There you are, watching "True Detective" when a pair of handcuffs comes out, as you turn in horror and realize your parents are sitting next to you. The room becomes deathly, uncomfortably silent as Woody Harrelson and Alexandra Daddario indulge in their various kinks, while you pray for the scene to end. Yes, watching sex scenes with your parents is hugely awkward, and odds are if you're watching any of the hit HBO shows—"Game Of Thrones" and "Girls" particularly—the risk of nudity, groaning and lots of skin runs pretty high. But the cable network has a solution for you. They've dropped a pretty amusing series of ads about the virtues of using their HBO Go service—no more awkward sex scene encounters with parents. Granted, this is provided the service works and doesn't crash during season premieres/finales as it has a couple of times this year, but that aside, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: New Trailer For Sundance Comedy 'Ping Pong Summer' With Susan Sarandon, Amy Sedaris & More

14 hours ago

You try and do what you can at film festivals, and sometimes scheduling sleeping/eating/screenings just doesn't work out. So this past January at Sundance, "Ping Pong Summer" just didn't make it onto our radar, but the buzz seemed to be good both there and at SXSW (where we missed it again), but the movie is coming to theaters so perhaps finally we'll see this thing. Written and directed by Michael Tully, and featuring Susan Sarandon, John Hannah, Lea Thompson, Amy Sedaris, Robert Longstreet and newcomer Marcello Conte, the 1985-set movie follows a shy 13-year-old white kid, obsessed with ping-pong and hip-hop, who comes of age during summer vacation in Ocean City, Maryland. The nostalgia/quirk meter is pretty off-the-charts with this one, but here's hoping the underlying story at least rings true, because we're always down for some old school jams.  "Ping Pong Summer" arrives in theaters and on VOD June 6th. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: 2-Minute Visual Essay On Michael Mann's 'Thief'

14 hours ago

How much do we like "Thief"? Let us count the ways. The Criterion Collection edition of the film released at the beginning of the year gave us an excuse to do a full retrospective on the filmmaker, and we had the pleasure of an extensive interview with Mann about the movie itself. The director's rain-slicked 1981 sizzler is still an influence to this day and one of his top-tier works, and if you haven't seen it—or are already a fan and just want to appreciate it again—here's a way you can do just that. Omar Ahmed has put together a 2-minute visual essay/highlight reel of the many magnificent shots in the film, all powered by M83's "Vision." And while that's cool, the original Tangerine Dream score is so good, why not just use a track from that? That's a small quibble for what is ultimately a pretty sweet drive down memory lane. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Tina Fey & Amy Poehler Comedy 'The Nest' Will Open Same Day As 'Star Wars 7,' 'Foxcatcher' Arrives In November

14 hours ago

Listen, we love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. They're two smart, funny women, and when brought together, they usually have Voltron-like comedy powers. Their Golden Globes hosting gigs have been a blast, and generally, put them in a room and they'll be the funniest people in it. But taking on "Star Wars: Episode 7"? Good luck. We figure someone had to do it—there are only so many weekends in December—but Universal has decided to take on Disney by slotting the Fey/Poehler vehicle "The Nest" on December 18, 2015, right up against one of the most anticipated sequels in quite some time. But maybe the counterprogramming will work, with the story following two disconnected sisters summoned home to clean out their childhood bedroom before their parents sell the family house. Looking to recapture their glory days, they throw one final high-school-style party for their classmates, which turns into the cathartic »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Rachel Weisz Joins 'Miss You Already' With Toni Collette, Catherine Hardwicke Takes Over Director's Chair

15 hours ago

Some movies kick around in development, trying to get made. "Miss You Already" is one of those movies. It first surfaced back in 2012,  when Jennifer Aniston signed up to star with Paul Andrew Williams ("London To Brighton," "Unfinished Song") directing his Brit List script he co-wrote with Morwenna BanksToni Collette joined not too long after, but then everything stalled out. Now, two years later, the project is back on with some big changes. Collette is still on board, but Aniston is out, and Rachel Weisz is in, while Catherine Hardwicke has replaced Williams in the director's chair. And suddenly, we're much more interested in this one. Said to be in the vein of "Beaches," the story follows two best friends whose relationship ruptures when one becomes pregnant and the other becomes ill. The script was originally London-based, but has apparently been broadened to include other U.K. cities.  Like »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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10 One-Man Show Movies

15 hours ago

If there's any justice in the world, many of you will spend 85 minutes of your upcoming weekend in a car with Tom Hardy. "Locke," the formally rigorous, real-time Steven-Knight-directed film opens on Friday, and it's terrific: a taut drama that unfolds like a thriller despite being a small, detail-specific, domestic story; and an absorbing Richard Burton-inflected showcase for its sole onscreen star. Hardy, aided by the offscreen voices of Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott and others via his handsfree phone ( the way Knight organized the calls, so that they came to Hardy "live" is fascinating) is just brilliant, crucially underplaying most of the time, as though aware that with only him onscreen (also immobile), the tiniest tic is magnified exponentially. It's the kind of tour de force that highlights by contrast just where so many other single-actor films go wrong. Not that there actually are that many, no doubt because »

- Jessica Kiang

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Powerhouse Duo Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci Split Up, Orci Wants To Direct 'Star Trek 3'

15 hours ago

For better (and definitely for worse), producing/writing duo Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci have been behind some of the biggest blockbusters of the last decade or so. "The Amazing Spider-Man" and "Star Trek" franchises are among their biggest accomplishments, and "Now You See Me" was a massive hit. But the pair are now breaking up, cinematically speaking, each pursuing their own movie gigs (though they are keeping their lucrative TV business partnership going). So, who will be Paul Simon and who will turn out to be Art Garfunkel? Time will tell, but Orci is driving hard to the hoop to make his blockbuster filmmaking debut. According to Variety, Orci is "heavily lobbying" to direct "Star Trek 3," though understandably, Paramount is playing it cool since it would be his directorial debut (Orci is already co-writing the movie with Patrick McKay and John D. Payne). And that must sting a »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Disney's Alan Horn Says Studio Is "Struggling With" Opening 'Captain American 3' Against 'Batman Vs. Superman'

16 hours ago

When Warner Bros. moved "Batman Vs. Superman" to May 6, 2016—against a then-untitled Marvel movie—it seemed like a confident jab at their competitors. When "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" opened to massive numbers, and "Captain America 3" was revealed as Marvel's mystery movie, suddenly WB's plans seemed ill advised. But perhaps they know something about the status of the third movie that no one else does? Earlier today, chatting with Bloomberg, Disney Honcho Alan Horn revealed a few more juicy details regarding "Star Wars: Episode 7." Then he spoke with Variety's Brent Lang and briefly touched upon the release date battle with WB, and was candid about the status.  "We'll see. We're struggling with it" Alan Horn on #CaptainAmerica3 debuting against #BatmanvsSuperman— Brent Lang (@BrentALang) April 22, 2014 As you know, 'Winter Soldier' directors Anthony and Joe Russo will be back, and the writers are already hinting at what kind of shape the next entry will. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Video Interview: Mary Elizabeth Winstead Juggles It All In Tribeca Drama 'Alex Of Venice'

16 hours ago

When actresses and audiences alike lament the lack of interesting roles for—and movies about—women as central characters, “Alex of Venice” should be held up as a shining example of what could be. The independent feature, which premiered this week at the Tribeca Film Festival, stars Mary Elizabeth Winstead (“Smashed,” “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”) as the title character, whose tenuous grasp on her multitasking life is rocked when her husband (Chris Messina, who also directed) announces he is leaving. Alex is a mother, she’s an environmental lawyer, and she’s also caring for her aging actor father (played by Don Johnson in a much-buzzed-about cameo), who’s in the early stages of Alzheimer’s. As she navigates her new (single) life, Alex dances around a romantic entanglement with her legal adversary (Derek Luke), and she fiercely tries to keep her 10-year-old son’s world grounded. Alex’s sister Lily (Katie Nehra, »

- Kristin McCracken

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Budget For 'Star Wars' Sequels Likely Around $200 Million, George Lucas Still Consulting On The Films

17 hours ago

So, with "Star Wars: Episode 7" coming in just over 18 months, Disney is still playing their cards close to the vest. But honcho Alan Horn has been letting little morsels out of the bag, and today comes a few more minor but intriguing details about the size and scale of the films, as well as as where the production is at right now. Earlier this month, it was revealed that shooting had indeed started on the movie, and while that may be technically true, fanboys watching arid desert set photos for any kind of details might want to take the following comments to heart. "We did some second unit work in Abu Dhabi and other places, because we have all these locations we have to film and we have to give it that Star-Warsian look," Horn told Bloomberg. "We haven't commenced the main part of principal photography yet." And indeed, they »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: 6 Minutes Of Only Known Footage Of 1939 Union Station Opening, Shot By Oscar Winner Ward Kimball

17 hours ago

Ward Kimball might be the most important name in animation you've never heard: one of Disney's first animators, he worked on the dwarfs for “Snow White,” designed Jiminy Cricket for “Pinocchio” and redesigned Mickey himself in the '50s. Later he became a member of the “Nine Old Men” who advised and counseled Walt and the Disney company for decades. All that, and he mentored Brad Bird, Pixar's presiding genius and one of the most important figures in animation today.Kimball had hobbies too, though, and one of them was trains: he was fascinated by railways and collected railway memorabilia (Kimball is part of the reason Disneyland features lots of train-related attractions). So it's hardly surprising that when Los Angeles' Union Station, the last of the great, palatial American train stations opened in 1939 just down the road from Disney, he was there with a camera, shooting the only known footage of the opening. »

- Ben Brock

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New Pics Of Robert Pattinson, Mia Wasikowska & More In David Cronenberg's Cannes Bound 'Maps To The Stars'

18 hours ago

While most films headed to Cannes are keeping a tight seal until the lights go down and the projector goes on, that's not the case for David Cronenberg's "Maps To The Stars." That may be due for the fact that the film is opening in a handful of overseas territories this summer, so regardless of the festival, they need to start advertising. And it could be just because the director doesn't really care. Either way, more images from the movie are here. Fresh looks at Robert Pattison, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack and more are ready for your eyeballs, in the Bruce Wagner penned tale of a twisted Hollywood dynasty, with the R-rated movie promising  violence, sex, nudity and drugs. Because, obviously. And with a Competition slot, expectations will be high for this one which also features the talents of Julianne Moore in its ranks. But whether or not it »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Tribeca Review: Incendiary Political Documentary '1971'

18 hours ago

On March 8th, 1971, the Citizens Committee To Investigate The FBI convened to break into FBI offices in Media, Pennsylvania. The result, as the new documentary “1971” dares to argue, is a significant, but temporary shift in an ongoing struggle between the general public and the government, one that has waged since war overseas has dared society to question their very own neighbors. The film doesn't bother to hold your hand: if you're an American willing to place blind faith in your elected officials and anyone with a badge, you're not going to cotton to what this film has to show you. What “1971” uncovers is the actual identities of those involved with the Citizens Committee, or at least a couple of them who don't mind coming forth and becoming the face of a loaded investigation. Director Johanna Hamilton should be credited for getting these faces in front of the camera, to humanize »

- Gabe Toro

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Watch: Alexander Payne's 15-Minute 1985 UCLA Film School Short 'Carmen'

18 hours ago

It’s always fun to see the evolution of a filmmaker’s voice and thanks to the power of the internet we can peer even further back through a director’s body of work. For example, an odd short film from Alexander Payne has been unearthed, an effort that was completed over a decade before the “Nebraska” director would get a shot at his feature-length film. Lasting over fifteen minutes and made during Payne’s studies at the UCLA Film School, the short film “Carmen” lacks any dialogue and relies primarily on music and some choice sound effects. The short’s definitely a little broader and structurally it's stranger than something like “Sideways,” but it provides some context for the Preston Sturgess-leaning “Citizen Ruth” with its screwball energy. Watch the short below.  [Thompson On Hollywood via Cinephilia & Beyond]  »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Watch: Nsfw Trailer For David Cronenberg's Upcoming Book 'Consumed'

19 hours ago

In between supervising the new 2K digital film transfer of “Scanners” for Criterion and nabbing a competiting slot in the Cannes Film Festival for “Maps To The Stars,” Canadian provacteur David Cronenberg has found time to write his very first novel, joining the ranks of other directors like Guillermo Del Toro. As is becoming standard in the literary world – at least for larger properties – the novel has its very own trailer, however this one has the benefit of Cronenberg himself at the helm. Just over two minutes long, the trailer for “Consumed” is very much in the Cronenberg mold so you definitely don’t want to be watching this at work. We don’t want to spoil what small fun there is in the teaser but we will note that it finds the “Videodrome” director working with a found-footage aesthethic and that it ends with a few glowing quotes about »

- Cain Rodriguez

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Tribeca Review: Mental Illness Drama 'Gabriel' Starring Rory Culkin

19 hours ago

When "Gabriel," the debut feature from writer/director Lou Howe, begins, it seems like any other romantic drama about two young people who are in love. Our title character (Rory Culkin) takes a bus out to his girlfriend's dorm. He bangs on her door, a wadded up piece of a letter balled in his fist. When a different girl answers, she informs him that the girl he is looking for doesn't live there, especially when he tells her that the address on the envelope is several years old. "This is a freshman dorm," the girl says. And that's when it becomes very clear that this movie is not your typical romantic drama; it's far more unhinged than that.The rest of "Gabriel" unfolds with an admirable single-mindedness and focus: Gabriel is a kid who is just being released from an institution and is coming home to spend time with his »

- Drew Taylor

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