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Review: 'Creep' Is Like An Unholy Mix Of 'What About Bob?' And 'Fatal Attraction'

14 hours ago

Producer Jason Blum has made a name for himself (and built a very successful company) from the success of the "Paranormal Activity" franchise, a series of films largely built around grainy home video footage of doors slowly opening and closing. A number of his films that followed "Paranormal Activity" adapted this formula, with varying degrees of success. The found footage genre has a ceiling, one that Blum and his confederates constantly bump up against. But with his newest found footage concoction "Creep," he seems to be going for something altogether different and far stranger — a funny/sad horror comedy that feels like the unholy union of "What About Bob" and "Fatal Attraction." Blum has broken through that ceiling and has found something very weird on the other side. Like most found footage horror movies, it starts out innocently enough: cheery but down-on-his-luck filmmaker Aaron (Patrick Brice, who also co-wrote »

- Drew Taylor

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Watch: Jack Black Gets Into Monstrous Trouble In New Trailer For 'Goosebumps'

14 hours ago

A staple of so many childhoods, R.L. Stine's books have already been fodder for the small screen, but now they're headed to the multiplex with "Goosebumps," led by none other by Jack Black. Can it recapture the those creepy thrills readers got as kids, or will it just be another CGI monster movie? We'll let you decide with the new trailer below. Read More: Watch Jack Black Go Supernatural In First Trailer For 'Goosebumps' Joined by Jillian Bell, Amy Ryan, Ken Marino, and Kumail Nanjiani, the meta movie finds Black playing R.L. Stine himself. When he discovers his creatures on the page have become real life creations, he has try and stop them from wreaking havoc. Here's the official synopsis:  Upset about moving from a big city to a small town, teenager Zach Cooper (Dylan Minnette) finds a silver lining when he meets the beautiful girl, Hannah »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: Doc 'The Black Panthers: The Vanguard Of The Revolution' A Compelling And Timely Exploration Of The Party

15 hours ago

It’s almost too obvious to call Stanley Nelson’s “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution” timely. Yes, it’s timely because we still have to assert that #BlackLivesMatter nearly 50 years after the Panthers declared “black is beautiful.” It’s timely because of the deep soul searching over police brutality, and gun rights and who gets to have them, and because the Panthers recently showed up at a protest in Ferguson sporting rifles like it was 1967. It’s timely, because, as this documentary will make you question, what has truly changed in those 50 years?  Read More: Watch This Exclusive Clip From 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution' It’s also timely with N.W.A. biopic “Straight Outta Compton” currently trouncing all comers at the box office, a true August phenomenon. It’s not explicitly illustrated in Nelson’s film, as it ends with the dissolution of the party’s first incarnation, »

- Katie Walsh

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Venice: 4 Clips From Frederick Wiseman's New Documentary 'In Jackson Heights'

15 hours ago

Famed documentarian Frederick Wiseman may be 85-years-old, but he's working a clip worthy of a filmmaker half his age. He's been busy knocking out documentaries at nearly one per year since 2009 (he did miss delivering something in 2012), and he continues to be in top form. His last two efforts, "National Gallery" (review here) and "At Berkeley" (our review), got some very good notices, and now he's at the Venice Film Festival, where he'll debut his next film, "In Jackson Heights." Read More: Watch The Trailer For Frederick Wiseman's Art Documentary 'National Gallery' Once again, Wiseman is taking a deep, immersive look, this time bringing his camera to the titular New York City neighborhood, chronicling the diverse, multi-ethnic citizens, in a picture that runs over three-hours-long. Here's the official synopsis:  In Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City, live many immigrants coming from South America, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: Deeply Harrowing And Striking Mountain Climbing Documentary 'Meru'

16 hours ago

There is a small faction of climbers for whom a mountain’s size and its supposedly un-ascendable conditions can prove to be the most tempting of challenges. The more demanding and dangerous the climb, theoretically, the greater the reward. Conrad Anker, the man who purportedly found George Mallory’s body near the peak of Everest in 1999 and has devoted his subsequent years to a series of almost unbelievably daunting expeditions, is one of these climbers. He must clearly believe that no journey is irresolvable, because what he puts himself and his crew through in “Meru” — a harrowing, gorgeous new doc directed by Anker’s fellow climbers Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, about the first ever journey up Mount Meru, one of the milestones of big-wall climbing — would shake most of us puny mortals to our very core. This is a striking, clear-eyed, and expressive film, and also an occasionally problematic one. »

- Nicholas Laskin

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Feast Your Eyes On Over 90 Images Of Ralph McQuarrie's 'Star Wars' Concept Art

16 hours ago

Though the first time I saw the "Star Wars" trilogy was decades ago, the imagery certainly still resonates in my head, even while I watch (and rewatch, and rewatch…) the trailers for the globally anticipated "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." Though George Lucas is credited as the creator and driving force behind the trilogy, it’s the essential illustrations of conceptual designer Ralph McQuarrie that give strength to the fictional universe (and the Force). Read More: Watch: New Teaser Trailer And Images For ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Commissioned by Lucas, McQuarrie worked on all three of the original films, not to mention that he came up with the idea for Darth Vader to wear a breathing mask (so he could breathe in space, naturally) and the designs for Chewbacca, C3PO, and R2D2. Take a look at some of these paramount illustrations below, and find out why »

- Samantha Vacca

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Netflix Renews 'Narcos' For Season 2

17 hours ago

While critics have mostly been kind to Netflix's "Narcos," our own Erik McClanahan was far less enthused in the series. In particular, he had issues with the Pov of the narrative, which tells the story of Pablo Escobar through the eyes of a DEA agent, and it wasn't helped by the atrocious voiceover given to that character (in fact, it's so bad, I couldn't bring myself watch any more after the first episode). But Netflix has the faith, because they've ordered up more. THR reports that "Narcos" has been renewed for season two. The creative team will get a slight switcheroo with Adam Fierro ("The Shield") stepping in as showrunner for Chris Brancato ("Hannibal"), and the writers room is being put together for the next wave of episodes. Read More: Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows We'll wait to see if they keep the formula or try and shake »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Watch: Agnes Varda's New Short Film 'Les 3 Boutons'

17 hours ago

Agnès Varda just dropped her new short film, “Les 3 Boutons,” and it looks absolutely magical. Inspired, imaginative, and lyrical, the film follows “an adolescent who lives and works on a farm and tends goats asks herself the typical questions of her age and shares them with us. From the countryside to town, she pursues a waking dream but loses three buttons during her journey.” By all appearances a modern fairy tale, the short is set in a halcyon idyll and instantly defines itself with an endearing trifecta of magic, innocence, and whimsy. Read More: 20 Great Debut Films From Female Directors It’s no surprise that a short from such a legendary and important filmmaker arrives with a ton of promise. Varda (“Cléo from 5 to 7,” “Vagabond”), who started out as a photographer and photojournalist, was an integral player in the development of French New Wave. In particular, she was one of »

- Zach Hollwedel

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The Essentials: The 10 Best Wim Wenders Films

18 hours ago

Wim Wenders started out as a painter, and one could argue that helps to explain a long-held fascination with landscapes that’s run through his career (and perhaps best exemplified in the recent “The Salt Of The Earth”). But the director, born in 1945, a key figure in New German Cinema and the holder of three Academy Award nominations (plus a Golden Lion, a Palme d’Or and an honorary Golden Bear from Venice, Cannes and Berlin respectively), has from day one been as interested in the people that fill these landscapes, and in the ways that they move. Wenders first came to the United States in 1972 with his second feature, the New Directors/New Films premiere of “The Goalkeeper's Fear Of The Penalty” and he never quite looked back. The journey seemed to trigger the restless wanderer in him and the painter-turned-filmmaker soon began a soulful and inquisitive examination of landscapes from America and beyond. »

- The Playlist Staff

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Venice And Telluride Trailer: 'Taj Mahal' With 'Nymphomaniac' Star Stacy Martin, Alba Rohrwacher, And More

18 hours ago

The Telluride Film Festival revealed their lineup this morning, and the organizers have long-staked their reputation on being careful curators, even if that means offering up more challenging fare or unexpected titles than pundits might be looking forward to. "I don't think the conversations will be quite as loud this year. There is a steadiness to the films and a balance in quality. Sometimes there are things that are so super sparkly and explosive. This year, we have films that require a lot of thought. If that means awards people get bored, so be it," the festival's co-director Julie Huntsinger told Indiewire. Thus, you can expect more surprising choices like "Taj Mahal." Read More: Venice Film Festival Unveils Lineup: Includes 'Equals' and 'The Danish Girl' World Premieres, New Noah Baumbach Documentary Also slated to screen at the Venice Film Festival, the film features "Nymphomaniac" star Stacy Martin and Alba Rohrwacher among the international. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Classy, Deadly New Poster For 'Spectre'; Daniel Craig Hopes His Bond Is "Not As Sexist And Misogynistic" As Previous Versions

19 hours ago

Bond is back in a couple of short months, and the secret agent, to the dismay of some, is digging into his family roots. Indeed, the Daniel Craig incarnation of Bond has something of a burdened soul, and is a far cry from the martini-drinking, woman-craving hero of previous films. In a new chat with Esquire, Craig explains 007's headspace in these movies.  Read More: Sam Mendes Says 'Spectre' Will Be His Last James Bond Movie, Reveals Theme Song Is Done “He’s very fucking lonely. There’s a great sadness. He’s fucking these beautiful women but then they leave and it’s… sad. And as a man gets older it’s not a good look. It might be a nice fantasy – that’s debatable – but the reality, after a couple of months…,” he trails off. Alas, Bond exists in a different era too, one not only full of male-sensitivity, »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema Is Not Shooting 'Wonder Woman'

20 hours ago

One of our favorite cinematographers at the moment is someone who has definitely flown a bit under the radar for far too long: Hoyte Van Hoytema. He first came to our attention with this work on "Let The Right One In," and has since lined up a heckuva CV with credits on "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," "Her," "Interstellar," and the upcoming "Spectre." Frankly, it's somewhat criminal he's yet to receive an Oscar nomination. And so, it was understandable that some excitement flew around the web that he would be lensing an upcoming superhero movie. But it turns out, that won't be the case. Yesterday, Collider reported that Hoytema would be the cinematographer on Warner Bros.' "Wonder Woman," slated to be directed by Patty Jenkins. However, when we reached to the cinematographer directly, he was quite clear about his involvement. "I have nothing to do with that movie," he stated. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Tiff Exclusive: Trailer For Andrew Cividino's Unique Coming Of Age Tale 'Sleeping Giant'

20 hours ago

Often told with whimsy and a light touch, cinematic coming-of-age tales have long been a staple of Hollywood. And while filmmaker Andrew Cividino steps into the genre for his feature debut, he takes an entirely different route with "Sleeping Giant." And today, we have the exclusive trailer for the movie as its heads to the Toronto International Film Festival for its North American premiering after screening this spring at Cannes Critics' Week. Starring Jackson Martin, Nick Serino, and Reece Moffett, the dark, edgy film follows three teenage friends wasting away an idle summer, and the friction that occurs what a girl comes between them. Here's the official synopsis:  Teenager Adam is spending his summer vacation with his parents on rugged Lake Superior. His dull routine shatters when he befriends Riley and Nate, smart aleck cousins who pass their ample free time with debauchery and reckless cliff jumping. The revelation of »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Telluride 2015: 10 Must-See Films To Watch Out Of A Killer Line-Up

20 hours ago

Well, it’s the end of the summer, which means the beginning of the awards season and the line-up for this year's Telluride Film Festival has finally been announced. Notoriously secretive and the only major film festival that unveils its line-up the day before it starts — a bold move and seemingly risky for those making the trip all the way to Colorado — for 41 years the tastemaking festival has proven itself to have terrific programming and a boast a few “premiere-y” coups within the fall film festival circuit too. Technically, Telluride doesn’t call any of their films “premieres” or even “world premieres,” but they certainly have had many a prestigious global premiere in the last few years including Oscar winners “Argo,” “The King’s Speech,” “12 Years A Slave” and “Slumdog Millionaire.” And as the festival wars continue—though maybe they’re now known as just smaller festival resentments as Venice, »

- Rodrigo Perez

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Venice Review: Sue Brooks' 'Looking For Grace' With Radha Mitchell And Richard Roxburgh

21 hours ago

The things that happen to us do not always belong to us. Sometimes they are parts of someone else's story — our heartbreaks, our illnesses, our sudden, dumb-luck accidental deaths all might actually be the property of other people, at least partially. It's an esoteric point, perhaps, on which to build a career, but director Sue Brooks appears preternaturally interested in this notion. It turned out to be pivotal to her 2003 film, the simple but resonant "Japanese Story," in which, following the death of her unacknowledged married lover, Toni Collette rails "But I was there too! It happened to me too." And it also informs the more sprawling, looser structure of her latest "Looking For Grace," writ large by the division of the film into chapters, headed "Denise's Story," "Dan's Story" and so on. Which event, over the course of several days and nights, to "file" under whose story, since they are all closely interconnected and. »

- Jessica Kiang

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"If I See Yet Another Spider-Man, I’m Going To Have To Actually Hang Myself": Emma Thompson Talks Superhero Movies

21 hours ago

With Steven Spielberg opining that superhero movies will eventually go the way of the western, and given that Universal dominated the summer box office without one single comic book character, some might argue that superheroes aren't solely the kings of the blockbuster heap anymore. In fact, perhaps some audiences are getting a bit weary of a new spandex suited hero coming along every couple of months, if not on the big screen, then on television. And that's not to mention the rapid reboots of name brand characters, and Emma Thompson for one, is getting a bit tired of it. “I loved the original 'Superman' with Chris Reeve because there was a real tongue-in-cheek-ness to it,” she told Vulture when asked about the proliferation of comic book flicks.  “After a while, you do get a tiny bit cynical about it. The fact that I know they’re going to win out »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Cary Fukunaga Shares The Vision For His Two-Part Movie Adaptation Of Stephen King's 'It'

22 hours ago

With rave reviews rolling in for Cary Fukunaga's "Beasts Of No Nation" (read ours), you have to wonder if Warner Bros./New Line is wincing slightly at having let the director go from their brewing adaptation of Stephen King's "It" over clashing visions for the movie. "...we just wanted to make different movies,” Fukunaga recently said, being diplomatic about the situation. But in a new interview with Variety, the filmmaker is a bit more pointed, saying things got "quietly acrimonious" with the studio, and he shares what his two-part horror would've entailed. “I was trying to make an unconventional horror film. It didn’t fit into the algorithm of what they knew they could spend and make money back on based on not offending their standard genre audience. Our budget was perfectly fine," he said, disputing early chatter that cost was the reason he exited the picture. "It »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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Review: 'The Transporter Refueled' Starring Ed Skrein

22 hours ago

So many amazingly absurd things occur during the course of “The Transporter: Refueled” that it’s almost easy to forget that the basic idea driving this fourth installment — namely, to reboot the franchise without its reason for existing in the first place: star Jason Statham — is itself nonsensical. Credit that to Bill Collage, Adam Cooper, and Luc Besson (the series’ godfather), whose script is one of those awe-inspiringly dim-witted creations that’s compelled to amplify its insanity at every turn. It’s the kind of movie that has its hero, Frank Martin (Ed Skrein), drive a speeding jet ski up onto a beach and, while it’s still moving, leaping off it and into the window of an SUV that's racing by — feet first! And one that casts Frank’s dad, Frank Sr. (Ray Stevenson), as a covert espionage operative, only to then have the supposed super-spy get kidnapped »

- Nick Schager

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Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci

23 hours ago

A film as passionate about the exposure of the corruption of one institution as it is ferociously proud of the integrity that can be shown by another, Tom McCarthy's scintillating, superb "Spotlight" may just be the best film about inspirational investigative journalism since "All The President's Men." Marking not just a return to form for its director after the wild wobble of "The Cobbler," it's the best film McCarthy has ever made: restrained, intelligent and grown-up, but unfolding with the pacing and rhythm of a thriller. Like the Alan J. Pakula touchpoint it emulates, there are no subplots, little human-interest backstories for our principals and not a hint of anything as crass as love interest or a car chase or even a shady meeting in an underground car park. Instead it is just a fluid, deeply engrossing story of intelligent, dedicated people doing their jobs brilliantly (in a vanishing »

- Jessica Kiang

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Watch: Ethan Hawke Is Chet Baker In First Clip From Biopic 'Born To Be Blue'

3 September 2015 5:21 AM, PDT

It will be a fall calendar filled with music biopics. Tom Hiddleston will be strumming the guitar as Hank Williams in "I Saw The Light," Don Cheadle will take on the legendary Miles Davis in "Miles Ahead," and Ethan Hawke channels Chet Baker in "Born To Be Blue." And today we get the first taste of the latter in action. Directed by Robert Budreau, who previously made a short about the jazz musician, "The Deaths Of Chet Baker," "Born To Be Blue" celebrates Baker's life, mixing fact and fiction to detail his comeback journey following a personal and public fall. Here's the official synopsis:  Read More: Review: Heartwarming And Funny 'Ten Thousand Saints' Staring Ethan Hawke Ethan Hawke is an utterly magnetic screen presence as Chet Baker, the legendary trumpeter and singer who, after becoming a jazz icon in the 1950s, became equally famous for his drug addiction. »

- Kevin Jagernauth

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