1-20 of 100 items from 2017 « Prev | Next »
It’s no secret James Franco is one of the most hate-him-or-love-him actors working in Hollywood. But even those who consider themselves fans don’t always show up to the countless indies he makes in any given year, from “Memoria” to “The Adderall Diaries,” “King Cobra” and directorial efforts “In Dubious Battle” and “The Sound and the Fury.” At this point there’s no denying Franco has talent, but he takes on so many middling projects and appears in what seems like everything to the point that it can be hard to remember why you loved him in the first place.
Fortunately, Franco looks like he’s ready to remind us why he belongs in the business. It’s happened before — his Oscar-nomianted lead performance in “127 Hours,” his go-for-broke turn in “Spring Breakers” and »
- Zack Sharf
- William Earl
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
Ana Lily Amirpour’s second feature shoots for Harmony Korine meets Mad Max and would have nearly almost hit the mark were it not for the gratingly aloof attitude and the swaths of directorial license being taken. The Bad Batch — an ambitious, expansive dystopian sci-fi western which features partying, drugs, and cannibals — might come as music to the ears of diehard fans of films like Spring Breakers and Gummo (a kid doesn’t quite eat spaghetti in a bathtub, but a kid does eat spaghetti after being in a bathtub). However, beneath its dazzlingly hip surface the script and characters leave much to be desired. It’s like taking a trip to Burning Man: a pseudo-spiritual, uniquely punky experience perhaps, but one that’s full of annoying rich kids and ultimately emotionally shallow. – Rory O. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes
Though it may not feel fully inspired so much as competently pre-visualized, Kong: Skull Island fits snugly into the growing canon of reboots that exist within ever-expanding movie universes. That’s a first sentence to a positive review that perhaps reads a bit more cynically than intended. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by a bunch of dudes (Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly with a story credited to John Gatins), this umpteenth version of the King Kong story pulls from every available pop-culture source in building a fun creature feature. Much of the credit goes to the breathtaking effects and brisk pace, which distract from some lofty line readings and silly plot devices. – Dan M. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google
One of the greatest prison escape dramas of all-time, Jacques Becker’s recently-restored Le Trou is a masterclass in tension. By putting us both in the physical and psychological headspace of our protagonists, it’s an enveloping experience as we see a number of close calls, leading up to one of the most unforgettable endings in cinema. – Jordan r.
Where to Stream: Mubi (free 30-day trial)
Moana (John Musker and Ron Clements)
It’s time for another Disney Princess movie, and you know how it goes. Disney knows too, and wants you to know that it knows. When the title character of Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) denies that she’s a princess, claiming that she’s merely the daughter of her island’s chief and the next chieftain, her adventuring partner Maui (Dwayne Johnson) asserts, “Same difference,” and that, “You wear a dress and have an animal sidekick. You’re a princess.” But Disney is doing its best to make the culture rethink cinematic fantasy princesses, countering the stereotypes of helpless femininity (which the studio largely put in place) with a new roster of highly capable action heroines. And Moana is, as they call it, a good role model. And the movie around her is fine. – Dan S. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press uses a salacious story and website as the launching pad to discuss where we currently are, so much so that I imagine director Brian Knappenberger — who uses footage from President Trump’s infamous press conference only a few days before the film’s Sundance premiere — may wish to stay on the story. Gawker, a site spun out of Gizmodo, was founded to share the types of stories mainstream news outlets would often shy away from, including celebrity sex tapes, outings, drug use, and allegations that have swirled but not picked up traction. They’ve featured Rob Ford smoking crack, Bill Cosby’s multiple accusers, Hillary Clinton’s emails, Tom Cruise’s prominent role in Scientology, and the one that brought them down: the infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape recorded for private use by Hogan pal and infamous Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, best known nationally for his stint on Howard Stern’s satellite channel. Bubba’s antics will no doubt some day be the subject of a documentary of their own, from his role in both the Hogan affair to his odd appearance in the David Petraeus saga. – John F. (full review)
Where to Stream: Netflix
Jim Jarmusch proved he was back in a major way with Only Lovers Left Alive a few years ago, and the streak continues with Paterson, a calm, introspective drama with such positive views on marriage and creativity that I was left floored. In following the cyclical life of Adam Driver‘s Paterson, a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who also has dreams of being a poet, Jarmusch superbly shows that one’s own life experience — however seemingly insubstantial — is the only requirement to produce something beautiful. Moreso than any other film in 2016, this is the kind of world I want to live in. – Jordan R.
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
After the pleasant fluff of its kick-off installment and the frog march of unpleasantness that was Into Darkness, the rebooted Star Trek film series finally hits a fun median between big-budget bombast and classic Trek bigheartedness with Star Trek Beyond. Does the franchise’s full descent into action, with only the barest lip service paid to big ideas, cause Gene Roddenberry’s ashes to spin in their space capsule? Probably, but in the barren desert of summer 2016 blockbusters, this is a lovely oasis. – Dan S. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon Prime
Perhaps a point of contention on New York Times’ top 25 films of the 21st century list, Olivier Assayas’ Summer Hours is a commendable top 10 pick. Led by Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier, and Kyle Eastwood, this drama follows a family reuniting following the death of their mother. Like the best of Assayas’ films, it’s an impeccably-crafted, subtly-moving experience, one that wades in the ideas of the value of what we hold on to and a graceful reflection on the passage of time. – Jordan R.
Where to Stream: FilmStruck
The world of Daniel Clowes is one without manners, glamour, and tact, but it is also one of uncomfortable truth, as scathing as it might be. One may have never verbally conveyed the discourteous musings of his characters to the extent to which it is their everyday vernacular, but we’ve all had similar thoughts when life isn’t going our way. The latest adaptation of his work comes with Wilson, directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins), featuring a role Woody Harrelson is clearly having the time of his life with. Despite his commitment to a lack of civility, there’s a darker film lying in the cynical heart of Wilson, one that gets squandered by its mawkish aesthetic and lack of interest in exploring these characters beyond their crudeness. – Jordan R. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google
The Zookeeper’s Wife (Niki Caro)
The Zookeeper’s Wife begins with those five famous words that hold the power to either become a film’s dependency (and therefore downfall) or its empowering catalyst, laying the foundation to convey a poignant tale: “Based on a true story.” Fortunately, The Zookeeper’s Wife sticks with the latter, and the true tale being told is one for the ages. Niki Caro‘s drama follows a couple who hide Jews in their zoo and use it as a point of passage and escape during the Nazi takeover of Warsaw. The narrative is a simple one, allowing The Zookeeper’s Wife to shine in its performances, imagery, and storytelling, which it pristinely accomplishes. – Chelsey G. (full review)
Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google
Also New to Streaming
Night School (review)
Rodeo and The Moment of Truth
Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? and Quadrophenia
An Actor’s Revenge
Mubi (free 30-day trial)
The Train to Moscow: A Journey to Utopia
Lost in Lebanon
Molly’s Theory of Relativity
The Stanford Prison Experiment (review)
Discover more titles that are now available to stream. »
- Jordan Raup
“The Handmaid’s Tale,” which aired its Season 1 finale June 14, is one of the best shows of the 2016-2017 season. It’s also one of the most challenging. The drama is beautifully lit and gorgeously directed, and the protagonist is performed with singular clarity by Emmy winner Elisabeth Moss. And yet there are times where the show is, for lack of a better word, basic — simplistic, in a way that seems out of pace with what the rest of the show is accomplishing.
The best example is in the fourth episode, “Nolite Te Bastardes Carbonundorum,” in which June, called Offred, discovers a pidgin Latin phrase used by her predecessor Handmaid. It prompts her to look back on her own identity as a Handmaid and reframe it. “We are Handmaids,” June muses to herself at the end of the episode, with a slight smile on her face. “Nolite te bastardes carbonundorum, bitches »
- Sonia Saraiya
After teasing fans on social media with a series of clues about her latest music video-short film-mystery project, Selena Gomez has unveiled “Bad Liar,” the poster for which she shared three times on Instagram on Monday, June 12. The poster reads “a film by Jesse Peretz,” though the “film” is a music video in which Gomez plays three separate characters. (She previously released a different “Bad Liar” music video exclusively on Spotify).
A co-executive producer on HBO’s “Girls” and director of 18 episodes of the show, Peretz has also directed episodes of Netflix’s “Orange Is the New Black,” “Nurse Jackie” and “New Girl,” among other show. A feature film director with credits including Paul Rudd’s “Our Idiot Brother” and “The Ex,” starring Zach Braff and Amanda Peet, Peretz is currently prepping “Juliet, »
- Graham Winfrey
Annapurna, the production company run by Megan Ellison which was behind “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Spring Breakers,” and “20th Century Women,” is steadily expanding its new distribution wing. The company has set awards-friendly fall dates for “Death Wish” and “Professor Marston & The Wonder Women.” The first, from the reigning king of horror Eli Roth will be released on November 22, with Angela Robinson’s biopic of Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston coming out October 27.
A crime thriller about a widower vigilante, “Death Wish” stars Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio and Elisabeth Shue in a re-make of the 1974 film starring Charles Bronson. An executive producer on Jordan Peeele’s “Get Out,” Roth steps out of his considerably lucrative horror comfort zone with the action drama. “Death Wish” is produced by MGM, Annapurna’s international distribution partner.
Read More: ‘Wonder Woman »
- Jude Dry
The swimming pool is a surprisingly common motif in the movie world. Not only does water look great on camera (see Daniel Craig in Casino Royale), it also serves as the perfect metaphor. Whether it’s suggesting that a character is out of their depth, shallow as a paddling pool, or set to take a trip into their own subconscious, the act of swimming is a potent symbol. Hollywood movies are filled with watery scenes, with everything from Sunset Boulevard to Jaws, The Graduate, Skyfall, and Spring Breakers throwing their characters in at the deep end. Arthouse cinema is similarly fixated
Five Amazing Swimming Scenes in Movies »
- Nat Berman
There’s a scene in the second episode of TNT’s Claws that sums up this wildly inventive, delightfully surprising show: a funeral unlike any you’ve ever seen.
This funeral features strippers dressed in black and twerking on the eulogy podium, along with a solemn reading from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography — but also a touchingly sincere song from an unexpected mourner. It’s that outlandish blend of comedy and drama, along with a top-notch cast and a colorfully vibrant filmmaking style, that makes Claws — debuting this Sunday at 9/8c — one of this summer’s most promising new shows.
Starring Niecy Nash — who is fantastic at keeping a lid on the chaos percolating around her — Claws feels a little like a drama that started out as a comedy about a bunch of eccentric women in Florida working at a nail salon — which is something that could work. But it appears there wasn't a lot of confidence in that idea, or perhaps a little too much confidence in expanding the concept to include storylines »
- Tim Goodman
May kicked off the summer movie season, but June brings some studio tentpoles actually worth seeing (yes, we didn’t like that one everyone else did last month). Along with popcorn entertainment, there’s some of the finest independent films of the year, ranging from a long-delayed final feature from a late master to Sundance favorites and more. We should also note that, despite getting a release last year, IFC seems to be putting the Palme d’Or-winning I, Daniel Blake back in theaters this week, and we recommend seeking it out if you missed it.
Matinees to See: Past Life (6/2), Band Aid (6/2), My Cousin Rachel (6/9), Megan Leavey (6/9), Score: A Film Music Documentary (6/16), Maudie (6/16), Harmonium (6/16), The Journey (6/16), All Eyez on Me (6/16), Lost in Paris (6/16), Pop Aye (6/28), The House (6/30), and The Little Hours (6/30).
15. It’s Only the End of the World (Xavier Dolan; June 30)
Synopsis: It would have been a lovely family dinner. »
- Jordan Raup
Vanessa Hudgens is hopping on the hot tamale train. The actress, known for such classics as High School Musical and Spring Breakers, is officially joining the judging panel on So You Think You Can Dance alongside Nigel Lythgoe and Mary Murphy. Hudgens has never served as a permanent reality show judge before, but did serve as a guest judge in a 2016 episode of Project Runway. However, she did show off some serious dance skills as Rizzo in the Fox's Grease Live early last year, so we don't doubt her dancing expertise or her charm. She will make her judging debut in the June 12 premiere. "I am so excited for Vanessa to join Mary and me on the judging panel for the »
Hudgens will make her debut on the June 12 season premiere, which will showcase the Los Angeles auditions for the long-running dance competition series.
“I am so excited for Vanessa to join Mary and me on the judging panel for the 14th season of ‘So You Think You Can Dance.’ There was instant chemistry in the audition rounds, and I know the ‘Sytycd’ fans will love her as much as we do. Vanessa is an accomplished artist and brings her own brand of enthusiasm and energy »
- Elizabeth Wagmeister
In news that would make James Franco’s white gangster character in Spring Breakers lose his mind, Universal Pictures’ long-brewing Scarface remake may have finally found its director. Suicide Squad director David Ayer is in early talks to take over directing duties from The Equalizer’s Antoine Fuqua, who vacated the project earlier this year due to scheduling conflicts. But is Ayer […]
- Ben Pearson
Harmony Korine’s The Beach Bum is a comedy about the misadventures of a loveable rogue, which sounds like the perfect fit for McConaughey and a throwback to his earlier work. Production for the project begins in the fall, with the film arriving in cinemas in 2018, and will serve as Korine’s follow up to Spring Breakers.
As well as directing the film, Korine will take up writing duties, and LeGrisbi Productions’ John Lesher, Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Iconoclast’s Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar and Nicolas Lhermitte will produce.
Matthew McConaughey will next appear in the long-awaited Stephen King adaptation The Dark Tower adaptation as the villain, The Man in Black. He will star in the film opposite Idris Elba as Roland the Gunslinger. »
- Samuel Brace
Is there a more perfect combination of artist and company than Harmony Korine and Vice? Probably not, so it makes perfect sense that, as Deadline reported, Vice will be releasing the Spring Breakers director’s latest movie, The Beach Bum, starring Matthew McConaughey. It will do so in tandem with Neon, the new distribution arm of Alamo Drafthouse. (For what it’s worth, Korine directed an episode of “Profiles by Vice.” You can watch it here.)
As for the movie itself, well, this is one that features a bit of perfect casting, too, given that McConaughey is playing a character named Moondog, who is described by Deadline as a “rebellious and lovable rogue who lives life large.” The film is set for release sometime in 2018, man.
- Esther Zuckerman
Matthew McConaughey to star in comedy.
Production is scheduled to begin in autumn on Korine’s follow-up to Spring Breakers in time for a 2018 theatrical release.
Rocket Science handles international sales and introduced the project at the Efm in Berlin.
The Beach Bum is an irreverent comedy about the misadventures of Moondog, a rebellious and lovable rogue who lives large.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Jeremy Kay)
Neon and Vice have pre-bought U.S. rights to Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum,” with Matthew McConaughey. The comedy about the misadventures of a lovable rogue (who else but the former Wooderson, McConaughey). It marks Korine’s follow-up to “Spring Breakers.”
Production will begin this fall. The film will hit theaters in 2018.
Korine will write, as well as direct. In addition to “Spring Breakers,” he wrote the script for “Kids,” the 1995 look at sexually active teens that pushed buttons. McConaughey won an Oscar for “Dallas Buyers Club” and has starred in “Interstellar” and “A Time to Kill.” He will next appear in “The Dark Tower,” a Stephen King adaptation, and “White Boy Rick,” a crime drama.
LeGrisbi Productions’ John Lesher, Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Iconoclast’s Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar and Nicolas Lhermitte will produce. The film is executive produced by Tom Quinn and Tim League for Neon and Shane Smith, »
- Brent Lang
Neon and Vice have prebought U.S. rights to Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum.” The movie marks Korine’s first feature since 2012’s “Spring Breakers,” which took in more than $31 million at the worldwide box office.
Read More: The Cannes Film Festival Buyers Guide: Who’s Buying the Movies You’ll Watch
“The Beach Bum” is a comedy that follows the misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a “rebellious and lovable rogue who lives life large.” Korine will write and direct the movie, which begins shooting this fall for a 2018 theatrical release.
“We’ve been huge fans of the singularly talented Harmony Korine for a very long time now,” Neon said in a statement, adding that “The Beach Bum” will be a “wild, crazy and intoxicating piece of cinema.” The film is executive produced by Neon co-founders Tom Quinn and Tim League and Vice’s Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti, and Danny Gabai. »
- Graham Winfrey
Neon and Vice Media have teamed up to buy U.S. rights to writer-director Harmony Korine’s “The Beach Bum” starring Matthew McConaughey as a rebellious but lovable rogue named Moondog. The film, a follow-up to Korine’s 2012 indie hit “Spring Breakers,” is due to begin production this fall with a theatrical release planned for 2018. LeGrisbi Productions’ John Lesher, Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Iconoclast’s Charles-Marie Anthonioz, Mourad Belkeddar and Nicolas Lhermitte will produce. The film is executive produced by Tom Quinn and Tim League for Neon, and Shane Smith, Eddy Moretti, and Danny Gabai for Vice Media. Rocket Science is handling international. »
- Thom Geier
Neon and Vice have pre-bought U.S. rights to one of the early Cannes buzz pre-buy titles, the Harmony Korine-directed The Beach Bum. A follow-up to Korine’s sleeper Spring Breakers, the film will star Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey and is set to begin production this fall with a theatrical release planned for 2018. Pic is an irreverent comedy that follows the misadventures of Moondog (McConaughey), a rebellious and lovable rogue who lives life large. The film will be… »
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