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Crypt of Curiosities: The Cinematic Carnage of the M.D. Geist Anime Duology

23 June 2017 10:23 AM, PDT | DailyDead | See recent DailyDead news »

You know what doesn’t get enough love in the horror community? Weird, gory anime. Sure, everyone digs Akira, and it’s possible to find a few discussions about the brilliant dark fantasy series Berserk in some circles, but I’ve always been interested in the little guys, the weird, unloved Ova (original video animation) schlock of the ’80s and ’90s—the Future War 198Xs and Black Magic M-66s of the world, unsung and unloved pieces of vibrant genre fiction that never get their dues. Naturally, I plan to fix that on the Crypt of Curiosities, starting with an off-the-wall duology of cinematic carnage that I adore and despise in equal measure: M.D. Geist.

M.D. Geist is the story of, well, M.D. Geist (voiced by the legendary Norio Wakamoto), a maverick M.D.S. (Most Dangerous Soldier) who was literally launched into space after his superior officers found it impossible to control his violent nature. Years later, he finally crash lands on the planet Jerra, a devastated wasteland plagued by violent marauders and warring armies. Now, back on the ground and with a lust for blood, he has one mission and one mission only: kill as much as he can, as violently as he can, until there’s nothing left to fight, living or otherwise.

As you can probably guess, M.D. Geist isn’t exactly what one would call a ‘nuanced’ story. Geist himself doesn’t have a single semblance of personality outside of his love of violence, and in a way, this single-minded nature creates a very distinct character in and of itself. Even when Vaiya (Fumi Hirano, voice of the iconic Lum from Urusei Yatsura), the lovely queen of a wasteland-roaming mercenary company names him their leader and throws herself at him in bed, Geist does little more than swat her body away. He isn’t looking for romance, or forging a relationship of any sort with anybody alive. He is one hundred percent devoted to killing and nothing else, making him less man and more of a flesh and blood avatar of death—destruction taking the form of a six-foot-something with golden hair and cool shades.

Of course, Geist’s one-track rage wouldn’t be notable if the rest of the cast were equally as driven by animalistic ID. While none of them are very well fleshed out, most of the supporting cast is at least recognizably human and sympathetic in their own ways, and all of them pay the price for it. While plenty of action films love killing off a good chunk of their cast, M.D. Geist turns it into a spectacle, inviting audiences to cheer rather than cry as every mildly sympathetic character around gets shot, stabbed, or mutilated at every turn. It almost feels like particularly cruel irony at times, with Vaiya falling madly in love with Geist and soldiers throwing themselves to die on the front lines.

As if the violence wasn’t brutal enough on paper, it appears the entire animation budget went into making the carnage as horrifying as possible, creating some of the most beautiful, absurd gore in anime history. However, when people aren’t bursting into various shades of reds and pinks, the animation is more than a little rough, with character movements lacking the fluidity found in the likes of contemporaries such as Angel’s Egg, Riding Bean, or Dominion: Tank Police, and every character design sans Geist’s magnificent suit of pitch-black power armor does look a bit like rejected Fist of the North Star characters, but the look of the characters clearly isn’t what M.D. Geist’s art is focused on.

No, that’s all devoted to the future tech: the tanks, the aircraft, the towering mecha, the big-ass guns. It’s clear that series co-director and mechanical designer Kôichi Ôhata prefers designer robots to human characters, and nowhere is that more apparent than the finale, when Geist briefly teams up with his former supporting officer, Colonel Krutes (Unshô Ishizuka), and his young, naïve troops to go raid the Brain Palace, a massive structure containing a ticking doomsday device known as the Death Force. The Death Force is, for lack of a better comparison, Skynet on steroids, indiscriminate hunter-killer bots that don’t think and don’t feel—their only purpose is to kill and kill and kill until there’s nothing left living on Jerra. Sound familiar?

This link between Geist and the apocalypse is particularly prevalent in the last five minutes—and yes, I will be discussing the ending of M.D. Geist, because to be honest, it’s the ending that really makes the whole movie such a fascinating example of pessimistic genre films. Colonel Krutes leaves Geist for dead at the hands of an ultra-powerful security robot, and uses this opportunity to shut off the Death Force once and for all. Unfortunately for him, Geist isn’t as dead as he hoped—the M.D.S. strides into the room, grabs him by his head, and squeezes until it explodes, sending red goop and stray eyeballs flying across the room. And then Geist does the unthinkable. He turns the Death Force back on.

This is, without a doubt, the single most defining moment of M.D. Geist. Not only does it solidify every monstrous take the viewer may have had of the anti-hero, it solidifies where the film’s priorities lie. Not with humanity. Not with the people of Jerra. Not with concepts like “taste” or “satisfying narratives.” M.D. Geist is the sort of film that exists for one reason and one reason only: to give you as much wanton death, violence, and desolation as you can stand and then some—standards be damned. Naturally, this sort of film got a sequel.

M.D. Geist II: Death Force may take place less than a year after the insane ending to M.D. Geist, but in the real world, fans(?) didn’t get M.D. Geist II until 1996, ten years after the release of the first film. As the title suggests, Death Force follows Jerra after the activation of the Death Force, and as promised, they’ve almost entirely exterminated the planet’s human population. The remnants of humanity live under the iron grip of Krauser (Takumi Yamazaki), who just so happens to be an M.D.S. himself. Geist, naturally, is still roaming the wastelands, but a choice encounter puts him on the warpath against Krauser, and, along with him, the remnants of humanity.

If you thought M.D. Geist was grim (it was), M.D. Geist II: Death Force is an apocalyptically bleak movie. While the first film was more of a gory rollercoaster ride, M.D. Geist II: Death Force tries to put more focus on its honestly terrible villain (he has all of the presence of a plastic bag), which really drags the whole thing down. Thankfully, Geist is even more imposing than ever, and he even picks up a killer set of metal wings for Death Force’s explosive finale.

Unfortunately, the combat in M.D. Geist II: Death Force is far more infrequent than the first title, with only the opening, ending, and a brief sequence in the middle delivering the same high-octane thrills seen in M.D. Geist. The lack of fun action isn’t helped by the new art style, which gives the cast a new angular design that doesn’t quite suit the world.

On the plus side, M.D. Geist II actually shows the titular death force in full, and as expected, all of the detail goes into making the killer robots look as equally awesome and creepy as possible. While it’s unfortunate that they get sidelined in favor of human conflict, all of their appearances are among the best-drawn sequences in the movie, only second to an amazing hallucination of a massive skeleton in Geist’s armor (which may as well be the single coolest image from anything ever).

While M.D. Geist II can’t quite stack up to the crazed majesty of its predecessor, it still has its fair share of highlights. While the aforementioned battle sequences are great, the final showdown with Krauser is among the best moments in the duology—it’s a chance for Geist to finally go toe to toe with someone on his level, and the results are as brutal and messy as possible. And, much like M.D. Geist, the movie ends on a real shocker, this time climaxing with Krauser’s downfall coming in the form of him murdering a kid, and Geist using his brief moment of hesitation to take him out.

It’s an utterly terrifying ending for multiple reasons, the most important being that the thing that brings the villain down is that he’s only a sliver more human than the “hero,” who by the end of M.D. Geist II: Death Force, has successfully exterminated the human race with his driven lust for blood. It’s a truly crude, monstrous ending for the series—but then again, how else could something like M.D. Geist end? In almost any other film, the crushing consequences of Geist’s rampage could be read as a critique of the “collateral damage be damned” attitude of many action films, but it’s clear that the Geist franchise isn’t condemning it at all. It’s the cinematic equivalent of an edgy 14-year-old’s violent drawings in notebook margins—carnage for the sake of fun.

And that brings us to the core of M.D. Geist as a whole. If there’s one thing anyone can take from the story (ha) of the M.D. Geist duology, it’s that, much like its villainous protagonist, it hates people. From the brutal set piece on an airship that kicks off M.D. Geist to the horrific child murder that punctuates M.D. Geist II: Death Force, both films show a blatant disregard and even dislike for human life, using everyone from the most fiendish of villains to the most innocent of children as another excuse to portray increasingly nasty violence. In many ways, the Geist films feel like a rough preview of things to come, a sneak peak at the hedonistic carnage seen in the films of Michael Bay and Robert Rodriguez (well, Machete-era Rodriguez), where the plot is little more than an excuse to show countless bodies meeting a grisly end. It is animated violence at its most exuberant, pumped with enough guts, gore, and gunfire to be constantly kinetic, to the point of overwhelming the average viewer within minutes of its unhinged combat sequences.

But the fact of the matter is that the M.D. Geist duology doesn’t care what viewers think. It doesn’t care what basic storytelling standards think. It’s an unhinged work of vulgar art that actively spits in the face of structure, consistency, character, and taste with an unbridled ferocity rarely seen this side of ’80s Italian schlock. Unrelentingly unpleasant from start to finish, it’s a duology that cannot decide between being off-the-wall fun or horrifically unwatchable, with only white-hot misanthropy tying it together. You’ll either love them or you’ll hate them (and to be honest, I often fluctuate between both at the drop of a hat), but either way, there’s no denying that they’re worth a watch.

[Note: Select images courtesy of aniSearch.]

The post Crypt of Curiosities: The Cinematic Carnage of the M.D. Geist Anime Duology appeared first on Daily Dead. »

- Perry Ruhland

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PBS’ Independent Lens Announces Season 16 Slate (Exclusive)

22 June 2017 11:05 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Despite the fact that President Donald Trump’s proposed federal budget calls for the eventual elimination of government funding for public TV, Independent Lens isn’t going anywhere… at least not for the next 12 months.

The long-running documentary series that airs on PBS will launch its 16th season on Nov. 6 with John Scheinfeld’s “Chasing Trane.” About John Coltrane, the film premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last September followed by a screening at Toronto Intl. Film Festival. Pic includes interviews with Wynton Marsalis, former President Bill Clinton, and Common, with Coltrane’s own words spoken by Denzel Washington. Abramorama »

- Addie Morfoot

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Vivica A. Fox Accused of Destroying Black Male Stripper Show

5 June 2017 4:29 PM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Earlier this year, Vivica A. Fox hosted a Lifetime reality show about male dancers, entitled “Vivica’s Black Magic.” The show ran into trouble when Fox, in a promotional interview, seemed to indicate that it was not intended for gay men.

The show’s executive producer, Jean-Claude Lamarre, distanced himself from her, declaring that “all are welcome.” The incident caused a bitter split between them, and the two then launched rival touring shows based on the TV series.

Lamarre has now taken the beef to court, filing a lawsuit Monday accusing Fox of libel, slander, and contract interference.

“Lamarre conceived the idea of a live all black male revue,” the suit states. “Fox employed a concerted effort of defamation, intimidation and misrepresentation to steal talent from ‘Black Magic Live,’ and to confuse ‘Black Magic Live’s’ audience, providing the public with false statements that Fox’s copycat dance venture was in fact the real ‘Black Magic Live »

- Gene Maddaus

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Vivica A. Fox Sued by Ex-Strip Club Partner for Poaching Dancers, Ruining Biz

5 June 2017 3:06 PM, PDT | TMZ | See recent TMZ news »

Vivica A. Fox's former business partner says she ruined his "Black Magic" male stripper revue by bad mouthing him and stealing his dancers ... according to his lawsuit. Jean-Claude Lamarre says his partnership with Vivica went south when she went on "The Breakfast Club" and said the "Black Magic" guys don't strip for gay men. The Lgbtq community blasted her, and Lamarre says Vivica got pissed at him when he distanced himself from her ... during a "TMZ Live" appearance. »

- TMZ Staff

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Alex Gibney’s ‘No Stone Unturned’ Will No Longer Have Its World Premiere At The Tribeca Film Festival

14 April 2017 12:04 PM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

If the documentary world has rock stars, then Alex Gibney certainly qualifies. The Academy Award-winning filmmaker — his 2007 “Taxi To The Dark Side” took home the award for Best Documentary Feature — has made a name for himself producing documentary films with crossover audience appeal. Movies like “Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room” and “Going Clear: Scientology And The Prison Of Belief” have emerged as minor hits with mainstream crowds, giving people a glimpse at secretive organizations who have amassed extraordinary amounts of power.

Continue reading Alex Gibney’s ‘No Stone Unturned’ Will No Longer Have Its World Premiere At The Tribeca Film Festival at The Playlist. »

- Matthew Monagle

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‘The Eyeslicer’ Trailer: Get Ready to Have Your Mind Fried by Crazy Tribeca-Selected Series – Watch

12 April 2017 2:13 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The Tribeca Film Festival is bringing filmmakers to the small screen with “The Eyeslicer,”a variety show of sorts featuring short films collected and commission from today’s diverse new generation of filmmakers.

This collection of works from the up-and-coming auteurs, include a variety filmmakers known for their creative work on film and TV, including the inventive David Lowery, director of “Pete’s Dragon” and critical favorite “A Ghost Story” and actress/director Amy Seimetz, creator of the Starz anthology series, “The Girlfriend Experience” (who is also set to appear in the upcoming “Alien: Covenant”).

The series features up to 55 shorts from filmmakers at all stages in their careers, categorized into 10 hour-long episodes. “The Eyeslicer” is created by Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell (“collective:unconcious”), who ran a successful Kickstarter for the project last year. Both veterans of the independent film scene, the community is not unfamiliar to them.

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- Maya Reddy

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‘Nobody’s Watching’ Teaser: Julia Solomonoff’s Immigration Drama Has No Easy Answers — Watch

10 April 2017 11:38 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Julia Solomonoff, a New York-based Argentinian filmmaker, will premiere her third feature film, “Nobody’s Watching,” at the Tribeca Film Festival later this month. The film is an international production between the U.S., Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia.

Read More: Tribeca Talks 2017: Scarlett Johansson, Kathryn Bigelow, Noah Baumbach, and Lena Dunham Join The Conversation

“Nobody’s Watching” is an immigration story not about acquiring a green card, but about the confrontation of self and truth. The protagonist, Nico, overstays his visa, which happens to 40% of undocumented immigrants in the United States. In his struggle, Nico must confront the true reasons for leaving home and reclaiming his identity through self-discovery and self-worth. That Nico happens to be an actor — and a struggling one at that — only adds to his ability to disappear into his own lies.

Solomonoff is a lauded name in Latin American cinema, and her films have gone »

- Kerry Levielle

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Magnolia Nabs ‘Lucky’ Starring Harry Dean Stanton (Exclusive)

7 April 2017 10:58 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Magnolia Pictures has acquired U.S. and international rights to the comedic drama “Lucky,” John Carroll Lynch’s directorial debut.

Lynch is an in-demand character actor who has played showy roles in the likes of “Fargo” and “Zodiac.” “Lucky” follows a 90-year-old atheist who goes on an unexpected journey toward enlightenment. The film boasts a star turn by Harry Dean Stanton of “Paris, Texas” and “Big Love” fame. The cast includes David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr., and Tom Skerritt.

In a rave review, Variety’s Joe Leydon wrote, “an unassumingly wonderful little film about nothing in particular and everything that’s important.”

Related

SXSW Film Review: ‘Lucky

Lucky,” which world premiered at SXSW, will be released theatrically by Magnolia later this year.

“‘Lucky’ is an uplifting, beautifully crafted paean to one of the most iconic actors of any era,” Magnolia President Eamonn Bowles said. “John has truly captured »

- Brent Lang

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‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ New Trailer: Woody Harrelson and Andy Serkis Prepare for Battle — Watch

30 March 2017 11:20 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

An epic battle is brewing in Fox’s “War for the Planet of the Apes,” the new trailer for which premiered at CinemaCon in Las Vegas on Thursday. In the trailer, diplomatic relations between men and apes have officially collapsed, as Woody Harrelson’s Colonel declares, “There are times when it is necessary to abandon our humanity to save our humanity.”

Read More: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’: Fox Debuts Extended Look at Matt Reeves’ Gritty, Western-Influenced New Sequel

Andy Serkis returns as the ape Caesar in the film. “I did not start this war,” he says. “I fight only to protect apes.” “War for the Planet of the Apes” also stars Steve Zahn, Karin Konoval and Judy Greer on the ape side.

Read More: ‘War for the Planet of the Apes’ Teaser Trailer Warns That Battle Has Begun

Matt Reeves directed this latest installment, continuing his »

- Graham Winfrey and Michael Nordine

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‘Newton’ Exclusive Clip: Berlinale Black Comedy Amusingly Illustrates Struggle in the Fight for Free Elections — Watch

30 March 2017 8:25 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

One of the privileges of the United States is the right to a fair and free election. Various countries throughout the world do not.

“Newton,” directed by Amit V Masurkar, focuses on the struggles in maintaining a fair and free election in India, with a very amusing twist. The film debuted at the Berlinale earlier this year, where it won the Cicae Art Cinema Prize (Forum Section). It will next screen at next month’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Read More: Tribeca 2017: New Online Works Showcase Will Premiere Fresh Efforts from Shailene Woodley, Eli Roth and More

According to the official synopsis, “Newton is given the job of volunteer election worker and entrusted with a mission that demands the utmost flexibility if it’s to succeed. Newton is flown by helicopter into the jungle. The village where he’s to make sure that the election is carried out properly turns »

- Kerry Levielle

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‘The Book of Henry’ Trailer: Colin Trevorrow Returns to Indie Filmmaking Between ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Star Wars’

30 March 2017 7:19 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

How do you follow up a blockbuster like “Jurassic World”? If you’re Colin Trevorrow, you go back to your indie roots.

Read More: Focus Chases ‘Jurassic World’ Director Colin Trevorrow’s Hush-Hush ‘Book of Henry’

The director was a major discovery at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival thanks to his feature debut “Safety Not Guaranteed,” a $750,000 indie starring Mark Duplass and Aubrey Plaza that miraculously got him the keys to the $150 million “Jurassic World.” That dinosaur epic earned more than $1 billion at the worldwide box office and got Trevorrow the gig directing “Star Wars: Episode IX.” But before he takes on the Skywalker saga, Trevorrow is returning to indie filmmaking with “The Book of Henry.”

The film stars Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay and Jaeden Lieberher as a family who discover their neighbors are hiding a dark secret. “St. Vincent” and “Midnight Special” breakout Lieberher is the 11-year-old Henry, who befriends »

- Zack Sharf

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‘A Dark Song’ Trailer: Black Magic is Not a Game

29 March 2017 4:00 PM, PDT | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

One of the most pleasant surprises to come out of last year’s Fantastic Fest was Liam Gavin’s A Dark Song, a stripped-down, no-nonsense horror movie about the perils of the occult. It was one of the most intriguing, unique, and creepy movies I saw in 2016…and soon, it will be one of the most intriguing, […]

The post ‘A Dark Song’ Trailer: Black Magic is Not a Game appeared first on /Film. »

- Jacob Hall

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‘Dimension 404’ Trailer: Hulu’s Anthology Series Takes a Tongue-in-Cheek Approach to Sci-Fi — Watch

29 March 2017 3:53 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Hulu has released the trailer for “Dimension 404,” a six-episode sci-fi anthology series narrated by Mark Hamill. It begins with Patton Oswalt assuring us that “this is gonna suck,” but one imagines (or at least hopes) that the self-deprecating tone might serve the satirical show well. Watch below.

Read More: ‘Harlots’: Why Hulu’s Bawdy Prostitution Drama Will Prepare You for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Here’s the synopsis: “In the darkest depths of cyberspace, there is another world. A lost dimension, home to wonders unseen, terrors unspeakable, and stories unlike any ever told. ‘Dimension 404’ is a science fiction anthology that explores the wonders — and terrors — of our digital age. From outrageous horror comedy to mind-bending action adventure, each episode tells a weird and wild sci-fi tale where the twist ending…is just the beginning.”

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Trailer: Elisabeth Moss is Forced Into Sexual »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Dimension 404’ Trailer: Hulu’s Anthology Series Takes a Tongue-in-Cheek Approach to Sci-Fi — Watch

29 March 2017 3:53 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Hulu has released the trailer for “Dimension 404,” a six-episode sci-fi anthology series narrated by Mark Hamill. It begins with Patton Oswalt assuring us that “this is gonna suck,” but one imagines (or at least hopes) that the self-deprecating tone might serve the satirical show well. Watch below.

Read More: ‘Harlots’: Why Hulu’s Bawdy Prostitution Drama Will Prepare You for ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Here’s the synopsis: “In the darkest depths of cyberspace, there is another world. A lost dimension, home to wonders unseen, terrors unspeakable, and stories unlike any ever told. ‘Dimension 404’ is a science fiction anthology that explores the wonders — and terrors — of our digital age. From outrageous horror comedy to mind-bending action adventure, each episode tells a weird and wild sci-fi tale where the twist ending…is just the beginning.”

Read More: ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ Trailer: Elisabeth Moss is Forced Into Sexual »

- Michael Nordine

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‘Neruda’: Gael Garcia Bernal Is an Expert Policeman in Exclusive Digital Release Clip — Watch

29 March 2017 12:48 PM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larrain had a very, very big 2016, thanks to the release of not one, not two, but three of his singular works to American audiences. From his bold “The Club” to his ambitious “Neruda” and the lauded “Jackie,” last year spelled the start of a brand new beginning for the talented helmer.

Larrain’s singular “Neruda,” styled as a wholly different kind of biopic (something that will surely sound familiar to fans of “Jackie”) features Gael Garcia Bernal as the “expert policeman” Óscar Peluchonneau, who pursues the celebrated poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) after he joins the Communist Party in the late 1940s.

Read More: Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast: Pablo Larraín On Catching Ghosts to Make His ‘Neruda’ and ‘Jackie’ (Episode 17)

Not simply a biographical look at Neruda, beyond just a cat and mouse game between two unique men, “Neruda” puts creativity and performance at the forefront, and you »

- Kate Erbland

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‘Get Me Roger Stone’ Trailer: Netflix Documentary Explores the Career of the Infamous Trump Advisor

29 March 2017 8:39 AM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Netflix has released the trailer for its upcoming original documentary “Get Me Roger Stone.” The film explores the life and career of the longtime Donald Trump advisor, who helped launch his political run.

Read More: Sarah Paulson Nominates Herself to Play Donald Trump in New Season of ‘American Horror Story

“Get Me Roger Stone” features interviews with the infamous political strategist and self-proclaimed “agent provacateur,” as well as with people who have followed and studied his career. The documentary explores the career of the man who sports a tattoo of President Nixon in his back as a badge of honor.

“Those who say I have no soul, those who say I have no principles are losers,” Stone says in the trailer, sounding a lot like Trump. “Those are bitter losers.”

Read More: Writers Guild Negotiations: If Talk Shows Go Dark, Donald Trump Could Be The Biggest Winner in a Strike »

- Yoselin Acevedo

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‘Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets’ Trailer: Luc Besson Is Back With The Sci-Fi Epic He Was Born to Make — Watch

29 March 2017 6:35 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

The way French blockbuster auteur Luc Besson tells it, “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” is the film he was born to make.

The “Lucy” and “The Professional” filmmaker’s latest feature is based on the French sci-fi comics series “Valérian and Laureline,” written by Pierre Christin and illustrated by Jean-Claude Mézières. It was a childhood favorite of Besson, one that was originally distributed as two-page panels in the weekly magazine “Pilote.”

Read More: Why French Cinema Faces an Uncertain Future in America

Even the visionary Besson thought the story, complete with a slew of complex alien creatures and space-set locations, was impossible to make. Then technology caught up with him, allowing him to bring his beloved vision to life. But it didn’t come cheap.

The ambitious $180 million production bowed its latest trailer at this week’s CinemaCon to a mostly appreciative audience filled with theater owners and press. »

- Kate Erbland

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Louis C.K. ‘2017’ Trailer: Netflix Presents Another Stand-Up Special — Watch

28 March 2017 1:57 PM, PDT | Indiewire Television | See recent Indiewire Television news »

Netflix’s stand-up selection continues to expand. A week after releasing Dave Chappelle’s first two comedy specials in more than a decade, the streaming service has dropped the trailer for Louis C.K.’s upcoming “2017.” Watch below.

Read More: Dave Chappelle’s Triumphant Return to Stand-Up is Upon Us in New Trailer for Netflix Specials

No footage of the actual jokes makes said trailer, but a press release assures us that “religion, eternal love, giving dogs drugs, email fights, teachers and more” will all be discussed by the “Louie” creator as he wears a suit and tie onstage in Washington D.C. Before taking the stage, C.K. sets a coffee mug down on a sheet of paper reading simply “this is it.”

Read More: Louis C.K., Albert Brooks Animated Series ‘The Cops’ Gets Greenlight From TBS

We may never get more episodes of “Louie,” but at least we’ll see more of Louis himself. »

- Michael Nordine

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Our Staff Picks: TV Shows to Watch the Week of March 20, 2017

20 March 2017 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Welcome back to Tune In: our weekly newsletter offering a guide to the best of the week’s TV.

Each week, Variety’s TV team combs through the week’s TV schedule, selecting our picks of what to watch and when/how to watch it. This week, Dave Chappelle comes roaring back to the small screen with two never-before-seen comedy specials, while Fox will debut its police shooting limited series “Shots Fired.”

Dancing With the Stars,” ABC, Monday, 8 p.m.

The ever-popular dance competition series returns for its 24th season with an all-new cast of celebrity contestants vying for the mirror ball trophy. This season’s hopefuls include record-breaking Olympic gold medal gymnast Simone Biles, former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan, “SNL” alum Chris Kattan, and original “A-Team” member Mr. T. We pity the fool who misses the first episode.

Dave Chappelle Comedy Specials, Netflix, Tuesday (Critics’ Pick)

These two hourlong offerings, which »

- Joe Otterson

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Shekhar Suman calls Kangana Ranaut as 'one cocained actress', feels Rangoon failure is poetic justice

28 February 2017 2:28 AM, PST | FilmiPop | See recent FilmiPop news »

The bitterness between Kangana Ranaut and the Suman family is not hidden from anyone. It came to light when Adhyayan Suman opened about his traumatic experience last year during the course of his relationship with Kangana, back from the year 2008. And, it looks like things are still as bitter as ever between them. Vishal Bhardwaj directed Rangoon, which released in around 1800 screens across the country, did not do as good as expected and earned a total to Inr 20.22 in four days. After it failed at the Box Office, actor Shekhar Suman took to Twitter to share his thoughts on the same, which was ofcourse not sweet at all. "One cocained actress was carrying the burden of her non-existent stardom. She has fallen flat on her face n how. Guess this is poetic justice," he wrote. According to Adhyayan, he was tortured and abused by the 'Queen' actress, when they were together. »

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