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Jackie & Ryan Is Like Nicholas Sparks-Lite

50 minutes ago

Could Jackie and Ryan even be called a movie? And does it really matter? This underdeveloped romance seems to be lacking an act, or two, or maybe even three. But it’s filled with such great music that the emotions are there regardless. Not unlike Once, the movie itself feels like an excuse for the music. And as with Once, that’s not always a bad thing.The film follows Ryan (Ben Barnes), a modern-day hobo riding the rails, guitar in hand, busking along the way as he makes some vague noises about maybe starting a recording career. One day in Ogden, Utah, he finds himself playing on the street for Jackie (Katherine Heigl), a former country star now going through a messy divorce and living with her mom (Sheryl Lee). A minor car accident brings them together, and soon enough, they’re making eyes at each other, while he »


- Bilge Ebiri

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New Video Shows Nic Cage as '90s Superman

1 hour ago

A long time ago, in the ’90s, filmmaker Tim Burton infamously planned on a making a Superman movie starring one Nicolas Cage. At the time, Burton had yet to devolve into a parody of himself, and Cage… well, at that point in his career he was still known more as an actor than a recurring internet meme. The film, which never took off, was called Superman Lives, and you can just imagine the bizarre iteration of the Man of Steel that Burton and Cage could’ve conjured. A new documentary chronicling the film’s failure called The Death of Superman Lives (which is a most excellent title) is coming out July 9, and courtesy of the Los Angeles Times, you can now watch a clip from the documentary showing the "holy grail" footage of Cage's costume test: Here is the trailer for The Death of Superman Lives, which will be shown »


- Greg Cwik

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Zarafa is Wise and Elegant, for Kids and Adults

4 hours ago

A sweet and sad African adventure with some admirably dark overtones, Zarafa is a Belgian animated film being released Stateside with English subtitles by GKids, the same company that has brought us extraordinary films like Ernest & Celestine and The Tale of Princess Kaguya. (They’re also the folks responsible for the wonderful New York International Children’s Film Festival, which I wrote about last year.) GKids has done an admirable job of bringing to the U.S. youth-oriented films, usually animated, that tackle potentially unsettling, grown-up issues. These tend to be limited releases, often subtitled and screening in small theaters – a far cry from the behemoths of Pixar and Dreamworks. It’s a curious, maybe even crazy idea: bringing together children’s movies and the arthouse. But over the past few years it’s paid some wonderful dividends. Zarafa, which was originally released in Europe in 2012, is one of them. »

- Bilge Ebiri

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Some of the Best Back to the Future Fan Theories

4 hours ago

Robert Zemeckis’ beloved sci-fi-comedy and coming-of-age period-piece, Back to the Future, has spawned a lot of strange speculation from fans over the years. The film, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, seems to come alive again with each new generation, and each generation also seems to find new, bizarre conspiracies skulking in between the figurative lines. The folks at the Av Club have collected a bunch of the most prevalent online theories, and amidst the usual JFK and Illuminati codswallop are some fun, if bonkers, ideas. Here are a few of our favorites:Perhaps the most innocuous theory is that Marty wrote two letters to Doc Brown warning Emmett that he would be killed by the Libyan nationalists on October 21, 1955. The letters are visually different, most likely because the filmmakers didn’t have the same exact prop letter that Doc tore up in 1955, sheets of paper being so easy to »


- Greg Cwik

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Harry Styles Dishes Details on Zayn Malik

5 hours ago

One Direction, a very popular boy band that has sold a lot of records and whose posters adorn the walls of so many teenage girls, lost one of its key members, Zayn Malik, earlier this year. Fans were devastated, and theories and rumors on his return have circulated since. How’s the band doing without Zayn? Harry Styles, talking to Entertainment Weekly, has some updates:How has the production of the concert changed without him? The only changes have been that the parts Zayn sang have been picked up by different people. Other than that, the shows have been going absolutely great. Have you had to modify the set list at all? Malik has a big solo on “Story of My Life,” for instance. It would be pretty devastating if we took that song out. Liam [Payne] stepped up to do the high notes. He kicks them in the bollocks every show. »


- Greg Cwik

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Hannibal Recap: Bowels In Or Bowels Out?

6 hours ago

After the enthralling “Mizumono,” which ended season two on a moribund ellipsis, and the three sublime Vincenzo Natali-directed episodes that began this season with the lingering discomfort of a faulty memory, Hannibal has finally reached its nadir. The end of “Contorno” is, while inevitable, also infuriating, and emblematic of everything that’s wrong with the two most recent episodes of Hannibal: with its arm-snapping, face-cracking histrionics and unrepentant deus-ex machina, it feels like fan service gone awry. It lacks the fun of the killer-of-the-week episodes, and also the profundity of the slower, more pensive ones. It’s at once a not-so-sly inversion of the fight that began, and ended, the glorious second season, in which Hannibal stabs Jack in the neck and leaves him to die before departing calmly (and comely) into that good night while Jack just manages to hold on to life. And it's also an »


- Greg Cwik

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Wayward Pines Recap: You Dropped a Bomb on Me

6 hours ago

Now that Wayward Pines has gone through not one, but two episodes – a great one and a not-so-great one – explaining the abbies and the 2,000-year time jump and how could Pilcher and everybody survive so long in suspended animation and all that stuff, we can now finally get back to the action.Once again going super-on-the-nose with an episode title, “Betrayal” has several characters defying wishes and going behind backs, with many of them either trying to keep some peace or find answers. Ethan disobeys Pilcher’s instructions about not informing people of everything he knows, immediately telling Theresa, and later Kate, what lies beyond that fence. However, Theresa and Kate’s refusal to believe him proves Pilcher’s point about people not being able to handle the truth. I wish Ethan could’ve been a bit more convincing with Kate – maybe a little, “Woman, There Are Monsters Out There! »


- Craig D. Lindsey

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Will Shark Week Get Back to Reality This Year?

7 hours ago

Can a former Disney executive undo the damage to a cable network’s reputation caused by an extinct shark? That’s the promise of new leadership at the Discovery Channel, which for the past two years has substituted fiction for fact during Shark Week, and hurt both itself and the public in the process.Discovery Channel President Rich Ross knows that Shark Week is an institution for the network he was hired to run last fall. “People love being part of it,” he told me, because it “had a sense of timelessness that is pretty rare in the world of entertainment” and is “a great celebratory manifestation of what the network stood for, stands for, what is most loved about it.” The love that Discovery Channel built over 25 years of the summer programming stunt was challenged two years ago when it aired Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives. Presented as a »


- Andy Dehnart

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Eminem and Gwen Stefani Did a Song Together, So You Should Probably Give It a Whirl

13 hours ago

In weird pairings you thought you didn't need: Eminem and Gwen Stefani on Thursday hopped into a time machine set for the early aughts to whip up a new single, "Kings Never Die." The Southpaw song is as poppy as it is rappy — why, yes, that is Em sing-rapping! It almost has a Gym Class Heroes, or even Fall Out Boy, feel to it, thanks to the guitar-heavy spitting. (Who knows, maybe Em is thinking about forming a band?) The track also does a very, very good job of kvetching about the internet and sounding grumpy, all while making it clear Gwen and Em are still musical kings. It's a good time, but it's a weird, nostalgic good time. Aside from the interesting sound, it's fairly classic Em: lyrical intensity; complex, staccato rhymes; and a syncopated but unrelenting flow. (King alert, king alert.) The rapper has been heavily involved »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Diddy Has Avoided Felony Charges

14 hours ago

Prosecutors have decided not to charge P. Diddy with felony assault and battery for his alleged kettlebell incident at UCLA, CNN reports. The case will instead go to the L.A. City Attorney's office for misdemeanor consideration. "We are thankful that the district attorney rejected felony charges in this matter," Diddy's attorney told CNN. "This case never should have been part of the criminal justice system to begin with." Still: Probably a good idea to stick with making the new music, Diddy, and doing less of the confrontational-slash-heroic-slash-mysterious things with weights in hand. »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Meghan Trainor Has Had to Postpone Her First Two Tour Shows Because of a Vocal-Cord Hemorrhage

15 hours ago

A vocal-cord hemorrhage has forced Meghan Trainor to postpone at least two of her MTrain Tour concerts until further notice. The singer announced the disheartening news via social media late Thursday, noting that she's seeing doctors in New York and currently unable to make noise. "I want to cry but can't cuz it will hurt more," she told her fans, via iPhone, in an Instagram video. "I'm sorry megatronz I will make it up to you I promise." Trainor had a kick-off show coming up in Atlantic City (July 3), as well as one in Connecticut (July 4), but her doctors have told her she needs "complete vocal rest until they are healed." As People points out, the young musician has had similar trouble before: She was forced to rest for roughly two months last year while recording All About That Bass because of polyps on her vocal cords. Let's »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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Jerry Seinfeld Got Coffee With Trevor Noah and Told Him He’s Going to Do ‘Just Fine’

16 hours ago

For this week's installment of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Jerry Seinfeld had a play date with Trevor Noah. The young, new Daily Show host bounced all over the place, talking about his rise to stardom, what comedy was like in South Africa (including incidents involving heckling and blatant racism), how he first learned the power of humor, why Jon Stewart left at the perfect time, and how he manages his insane schedule, among many, many other topics. Of all the gems in here, though, one of the best moments came from inside the coffee shop, when Seinfeld looked at Noah and said: "You know what? You're gonna do just fine. You are a purebred ... you're comedic heritage is very purebred." Noah was all smiles and laughs and took all of the other Seinfeld-isms (including the host's sage definition of pain) with no protest. The only unfortunate part about »


- Sean Fitz-Gerald

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16 Movies to See (or Not) This Fourth of July

2 July 2015 1:23 PM, PDT

The Fourth of July is upon us. That means you'll probably spend just enough time under the sun — baking in its heat, getting sweaty, feeling light-headed, peeling clothes from your body, worrying about melanoma, talking to people you see all the time, anyway — to realize that you'd rather not be spending time under the sun. When that occurs, know that there are plenty of options awaiting you at a nearby movie house. Here's a list of 16 flicks —  and what Vulture's reviewers had to say about them — to help expedite your escape from the outdoors.Magic Mike XXLThe Channing Tatum–produced follow-up to 2012's surprise hit Magic Mike, Xxl is fun despite the inherent cynicism of sequels, according to David Edelstein: “My hunch is that the whole thing was thrown together quickly and shot on the fly, which accounts for the loose narrative and let’s-put-on-a-show sense of immediacy. »


- Jack Holmes

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Marisa Tomei Is Coming to Empire As a Lesbian Billionaire

2 July 2015 1:10 PM, PDT

Anything is possible in the universe of Lee Daniels. After a breakneck first season with everyone from Courtney Love to Jennifer Hudson* to Naomi Campbell in guest roles, Oscar winner Marisa Tomei has also heard Daniels's siren call for big stars rarely seen on TV. Deadline reports that Tomei will play Mimi Whiteman (very subtle), a venture capitalist and Forbes list billionaire who is "a lover of hip hop music, social trends, high-end fashion and beautiful women" in a recurring role. She'll be joining a jam-packed season that already includes Chris Rock, Lenny Kravitz, and Alicia Keys. Game time, bitches.* The post misidentified Jennifer Hudson. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Michael Douglas Would Love to Join the Avengers

2 July 2015 12:13 PM, PDT

Michael Douglas has been a part of movie history for most of his working life, but even at age 70 he's still open to new chapters. When we chatted with him earlier this week at the Los Angeles world premiere of his new Marvel movie Ant-Man, Douglas raved about the craft that went into it. "It's incredible," he said, "when you have a break from working with the first unit, which is the actors, and you get to go watch the second unit with the stuntmen or the third unit with the special effects or the fourth unit, which is the ant’s point of view — the macro photography, and you see how they put it all together." In fact, now that his character Hank Pym has been added to the Marvel cinematic universe, Douglas wouldn't mind popping up in one of the studio's even bigger films. "I’ll go anywhere »


- Diane Gordon

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All the GIFs You Need From Rihanna’s ‘B*tch Better Have My Money’ Video [Nsfw]

2 July 2015 11:57 AM, PDT

Rihanna celebrated America's birthday by dropping her "Bitch Better Have My Money" music video last night, and it instantly became the front-runner for "Most Gif-able Music Video of 2015." It's everything "Bad Blood" should have been: A seven-minute spectacle of cartoonish violence, lavish production values, and absurd celebrity cameos. The plot follows the lyrics to a T, but the real fun comes from the ever-increasing insanity of the individual moments, all of which become only more fun when you loop them over and over again. Here they are, in perfect meme-ready form. (Nipples figure quite prominently, so this post is Nsfw.)Our story begins with a Rihanna dragging a mysterious trunk into an unknown residence. Is this woman the titular bitch who better have Rihanna's money? You would certainly think so, given the way she's naked and hanging from the ceiling. Then there's a desert interlude where Rihanna does the same »


- Nate Jones

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Michael Douglas Would Love to Join the Avengers

2 July 2015 11:42 AM, PDT

Michael Douglas has been a part of movie history for most of his working life, but at age 70, he's still open to new chapters. When we chatted with him earlier this week at the Los Angeles world premiere of his new Marvel movie Ant-Man, Douglas raved about the craft that went into it. "I think it's incredible," he said, "when you have a break from working with the first unit, which is the actors, and you get to go watch the second unit with the stuntmen or the third unit with the special effects or the fourth unit which is the ant’s point of view, the macro photography — and you see how they put it all together." In fact, now that his character Hank Pym has been added to the Marvel cinematic universe, Douglas wouldn't mind popping up in an even bigger Avengers film. "Honey, I’ll go anywhere, »


- Diane Gordon

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Melissa Leo Will Play the Lady Bird Johnson to Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon B. Johnson

2 July 2015 11:17 AM, PDT

On Wednesday HBO announced that Marvel's Falcon Anthony Mackie would play Martin Luther King Jr. to Bryan Cranston's Lyndon B. Johnson in its adaptation of the Robert Schenkann play All the Way, which won best play from the Tonys, along with a win for Cranston. But every Johnson needs a Lady Bird, and the woman who will play the Southern aristocrat (née Claudia Alta Taylor) is none other than Oscar winner Melissa Leo. Don't expect any car blow job, though. »


- E. Alex Jung

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Just a Reminder That Donald Glover’s Rap-Music-Business Pilot Is Still in the Works

2 July 2015 10:28 AM, PDT

Almost two full years ago, we learned that Donald Glover was developing a show for FX called Atlanta. We almost totally forgot about it until late last year, when we learned the Community dropout would be shooting a pilot for it. FX announced on Thursday that they've cast the rest of the roles and that the pilot would be directed by Hiro Murai, who's best known for directing music videos for Spoon, Earl Sweatshirt, and, of course, Childish Gambino. In addition to Glover, who stars as Earnest "Earn" Marks, an aspiring rapper who returns to Atlanta with his tail between his legs, only to find his cousin Alfred Miles suddenly blowing up in the hip-hop scene. Alfred will be played by Brian Tyree Henry, who is currently in HBO's Vice Principals, and also has Broadway cred as the General in Book of Mormon. Joining them are Lakeith Lee Stanfield as Darius, »


- E. Alex Jung

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The 25 Worst Ways to Be Killed by Arnold Schwarzenegger

2 July 2015 9:59 AM, PDT

Arnold Schwarzenegger has killed somewhere around 500 people during his 40-year film career, gleefully trading in bedlam and bloodshed while spitting out one-liners the way Josey Wales hawks out tobacco-laced saliva. Over that time, Schwarzenegger's means of disposal have become increasingly creative: When Arnold kills men (or machines) (or, occasionally, women), he kills them real good. Here's a showcase of his gnarliest, most resourceful work. »


- Greg Cwik

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