Movie News

Robin Williams as Mrs Doubtfire

No, I’m not thinking Doubtfire vs. Madea. Technically that would involve a man fighting a woman, as Mrs. Euphegenia Doubtfire is Robin Williams playing a male character who dresses as an old lady while Mabel “Madea” Simmons is just Tyler Perry playing an old lady. It doesn’t sound like a fair battle. Obviously Madea would kick the fake nanny’s ass. But the synopsis I have in mind is similar for this Mrs. Doubtfire sequel that Fox 2000 has just announced with original director Chris Columbus and Williams both on board. It has to be an Expendables type movie, which means it’s not just Doubtfire 2 but an ensemble piece in which Williams as Daniel Hillard as Doubtfire is joined by Dustin Hoffman as Michael Dorsey as Tootsie, Martin Lawrence as Malcolm Turner as “Big Momma,” David Cross as Tobias Funke as Mrs. Featherbottom, Miguel A. Nunez Jr. as Jamal Jeffries as Juwanna Mann, Harland Williams as Doofer as Roberta from Sorority Boys and Amanda Bynes as Viola Hastings as Sebastian from She’s the Man, and they’re on a mission to … whatever it doesn’t matter, just like an Expendables movie.  

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John C Reilly and Will Ferrell in Step Brothers

When Anchorman 2 was announced, the Adam McKay and Will Ferrell collaboration was a blessing for fans of the original film. Sure, another Anchorman movie meant that Ron Burgundy, Champ, Brian and the whole gang would be back for a new adventure after years of anticipation, but it also meant something truly terrible: a sequel to Step Brothers would never happen. The Ferrell and John C. Reilly film, in which two 40-something screw-ups are forced to move in together after their parents get married and then subsequently become best friends, is one of the finest comedies of our times — I’ve waxed poetic about its greatness before — and after the lackluster continuation of Ron Burgundy’s story, the fact that we wouldn’t be able to hear another refrain of “Boats ‘n Hoes” only hit harder. But today’s news is sweetening that bitterness just a little bit with word that Ferrell and Reilly are teaming up again for a different kind of story, and McKay is set to direct this one, too. According to Deadline, the duo will reunite for Border Guards, the tale of two All-American citizens who take it upon themselves to patrol our border with Mexico for illegal immigrants. Naturally, they’re both well-meaning idiots who can’t do their job properly, meaning they somehow wind up on the other side of the border without their passports or a way to get back home. It’s now up to them to figure out how to sneak back into the United States.

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If I Stay Movie

In If I Stay, Chloe Moretz plays a talented musician on the cusp of auditioning for The Juilliard School. She’s got all the happiness that being 17 can afford, but it’s all taken away by a severe car accident that leaves her in a coma. While she hangs on the edge of death, she has an out of body experience that allows her present life (with all the threat and promise of its future) to flash literally in front of her eyes. It shares a surface-level spiritual connection to the recent Heaven is For Real, but it more obviously resembles The Lovely Bones. Hopefully that won’t hold it back. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

If the main creative issue with superhero movies is figuring out how to make them bigger and more bombastic, Bryan Singer and his mutant friends seem to have found solutions for X-Men: Days of Future Past. At the very least they’ve given sufficient ammo to the trailer editors, because the world they’re portraying is a massive one. Sentinel armies, time travelling jumps, Magneto’s famous hatred of baseball stadiums. Everything is offered a chance to be pumped full of BGH. Check it out for yourself:

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Korengal Mountains

Filmmaker Sebastian Junger launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier today for a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated documentary Restrepo. And it’s already about a third of the way funded. The new film, titled Korengal: This Is What War Feels Like, is basically a sequel to that 2010 effort, for which he and co-director Tim Hetherington were embedded with a U.S. platoon in Afghanistan for a look at a year on the front lines of the war. Hetherington later died covering another dangerous conflict, the Libyan civil war, and became the subject of Junger’s subsequent film, Which Way Is the Front Line From Here. Korengal takes us back with the duo to the titular valley for events that happened either following or alongside those in Restrepo. Junger says in his campaign statement that it had been an idea during the editing of the earlier film that they’d come back and make another doc out of the unused footage. That makes it sound almost like what they did with the Anchorman movies, but of course this is reality and also this second film is said to pick up where the other one left off, not be merely a collection of deleted scenes.

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Channing Tatum Magic Mike Flexing

It’s a good time to be Channing Tatum. One minute he’s taking a meeting with the X-Men people, the next minute MTV is bestowing their most prestigious golden popcorn bucket upon him. And amidst all that goodness is something else to be proud of: Warner Bros. considers him decent enough competition (or at least, a viable alternative) to the Terminator franchise. Because it’s just been announced that Tatum’s Magic Mike 2 (rumored to be called Magic Mike XXL) is slated for release on July 3, 2015, which is two days before Terminator Genesis‘s own release date in the Great Summer of All Blockbusters. Of course, the one thing 2015 doesn‘t already have is a sex movie about shirtless men (just kidding! — there’s also 50 Shades of Grey), so Tatum and his cohorts can step up to fill an important niche (har!). Magic Mike 2/XXL‘s release date is also the first news about the sequel that’s come down the official news pipeline, and like all officially sourced news, it contains both the phrase “get your banana hammocks ready” and “drops trau.” Everything else about the sequel — that Tatum would be penning the screenplay (along with Reid Carolin), that it might be called Magic Mike XXL and that its director will probably be Magic Mike‘s first AD, Greg Jacobs, have come from unconfirmed sources, little hints dropped by actors or Tatum’s Facebook page.

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Obvious Child trailer

One of the breakout hits from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a film that has romance, yes, and is definitely a comedy, but perhaps not exactly a typical rom-com. At least, nothing you’ve probably seen starring Kate Hudson and a nondescript white bachelor suitor probably involves a plotline centered upon abortion. As it turns out, Obvious Child maybe just isn’t that obvious of a choice. The film, directed by Gillian Robespierre, focuses on a down on her luck comedian named Donna, played by real life comedian and former Saturday Night Live member Jenny Slate. After a particularly heinous breakup, Donna downspirals, losing her job and sending her already shaking existence as an unambitious twenty-something into overdrive. Even something good, like a silly one night stand with a new guy who seems to share her proclivities for farts and fun, leads to an unexpected and unwanted pregnancy.

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Magic Mike

Back in January, uber producer Lauren Schuler Donner said she wanted Channing Tatum for a movie about everyone’s favorite card-flinging Cajun X-Man. Now Tatum has confirmed (while blazing trails for MTV) that he’s taken a meeting about it and is definitely interested. Something we’ve all known since he auditioned for a part in X-Men: The Last Stand. So it goes. If a million things line up correctly, Channing Tatum playing Gambit might be our future. The thing is, of course, that if a movie is an adult who can vote, this is the movie news equivalent of hearing two people fucking through your hotel wall. But grains of salt aside, it offers us an interesting opportunity to look at what went wrong with the first live-action Gambit and how a solo film with the character might be a much-needed antidote for comic book movie fatigue.

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Maps to the Stars trailer

Although you won’t see her in the first promotional trailer for David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, it appears (at least according to the film’s IMDb page) that Carrie Fisher is co-starring in the auteur’s latest film as herself (or, perhaps more accurately, as a version of herself). Whereas the rest of the star-studded cast is saddled with hilariously fake-sounding names (John Cusack is “Dr. Stafford Weiss,” with Julianne Moore set to play “Havana Segrand” and Robert Pattinson rounding things out as “Jerome Fontana”) that make everyone seem like they’ve been picked to play characters in a high-minded pornographic film, Fisher apparently gets to keep her own. It’s a fitting choice for Cronenberg to file in a “Fisher” amongst other roles that are stuck with names like “Azita Wachtel” and “Sterl Carruth,” because at the very least it adds a touch of actual veracity to his latest feature – which is about Hollywood itself. Even in a city steeped in stage names, there has to be at least one “Carrie” to normalize things a bit (and this Carrie is a real one!), though Maps to the Stars looks as if it’s gloriously unbound to the normal.

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Back to the Future Part II Documentary

Pretty soon, there’ll be a whole genre of documentaries just about or related to Back to the Future. Among the fandom-based projects that show up on crowdfunding sites, Robert Zemeckis’s time travel trilogy seems to be tied to the most. There are the successfully Kickstarter-funded DeLorean-focused films Back in Time and DeLorean: Living the Dream, and there are the less successful, such as the Indiegogo-hosted The Time Machinists. I’m sure I’ve spotted more out there, and yet we haven’t seen any show up as finished and released yet. Maybe they’re all waiting for 2015? The latest, titled Back to the Future Again,is also aiming for next year, specifically because it’s about the technology “promised” for 2015 by Back to the Future Part II. This one is on Kickstarter with a goal of £403,160 ($675,365.73), which is the highest amount for this lot. More than half of that budget, though, goes directly to licensing clips and music from the movie in order to properly illustrate their comparison of what 2015 is supposed to look like, based on the movie’s estimation, and what it actually looks like. The rest goes toward making the doc itself, which will explore how far off we are from BTTF2‘s technology. When will we have flying cars and and self-lacing sneakers and hoverboards and hydrators, etc.? Back to the Future Again will also tackle the culture of the movie’s 2015, too, by talking to fashion designers about not just the science behind Marty Jr.’s footwear and clothes but also […]

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Phillip Seymour Hoffman in A MOST WANTED MAN

When he passed away this past February, Phillip Seymour Hoffman left a lot of work behind. Specifically, there are four films — God’s Pocket, A Most Wanted Man and the last two Hunger Gameses — plus the pilot for a Showtime series called Happyish. This is good news (as good as good could be under the circumstances, anyway) if you’re a fan of Hoffman’s work, because 2014  is overstuffed with remembrances of the actor and his abilities. Now, the trailers for Hoffman’s many posthumous performances are rolling out online. Newest among the bunch is God’s Pocket, a crime drama directed by Mad Men‘s John Slattery from a novel by Pete Dexter. Here, Hoffman is Mickey Scarpato, a working-class dude from the working-class Philadelphia neighborhood of God’s Pocket. His stepson is found dead under questionable circumstances, so naturally the rough-edged bastard with a heart of gold must crack the case, please the grieving dame (Christina Hendricks) and witness the beatings of various mooks. The whole thing seems more than a little film noirish. This being Slattery’s feature debut, he’s used every ounce of his “remember me from Mad Men?” pull to attract the ideal indie cast. Along with Hoffman and Hendricks, this trailer shows off John Turturro, Richard Jenkins and Eddie Marsan. Keep a careful eye peeled and you’ll also spot Domenick Lombardozzi (Herc from The Wire) and Glenn Fleshler (True Detective‘s hulking lawnmower gentleman). Looks like True Detective might keep Fleshler in the impossibly huge man-mountain business for a long time. Also, […]

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Ben Affleck in GONE GIRL

You can have your Paul Thomas Andersons and Terrence Malicks, your Richard Linklaters and Friedberg/Seltzers. For my money the most consistently fantastic and exciting director working today is David Fincher. Even perceived “bottom tier” Fincher thrillers (Panic Room, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) are better than a large percentage of other suspense films out there, and it’s his work that I most look forward to every couple years. His latest is once again an adaptation of an immensely popular novel, but unlike Stieg Larsson’s Nordic thriller Gillian Flynn‘s book lacks a distinct visual style that plays so well into Fincher’s wheelhouse. The film, scripted by Flynn herself, is a mystery set in suburban America that follows a man’s (Ben Affleck) attempt to find his missing wife (Rosamund Pike) and convince the world that he’s not somehow responsible. Check out the first trailer for Gone Girl below.

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The Fault In Our Stars

Late last night, as you were attempting to watch Mad Men or Game of Thrones, or file your taxes at the last minute, you might have heard an eerie howling carried in the wind through your open window, making you pause for a minute and consider the possibility of something terrible afoot. Nope, it was just the sound of thousands of teens simultaneously freaking out while watching the MTV Movie Awards — the first clip from The Fault In Our Stars was released during the broadcast, and it was positively swoon-worthy. Stars is the highly anticipated adapatation of the YA novel by John Green that has a near cult-like following at this point by teens and younger readers. The story follows Hazel Grace Lancaster (Shailene Woodley), a sixteen-year-old girl suffering from cancer whose parents make her attend a support group meeting for young patients. There she meets Augustus Waters (Ansel Elgort), an ex-basketball player whose beaten bout with osteosarcoma cost him his leg in the process. The two strike up a friendship over their unfortunate bond, as well as their passion for books, and as these things happen, they begin to fall for each other as well.

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Michael Pitt and Britt Marling in I Origins

[Rob's note: Fair warning, this trailer and post contain 2nd/3rd act spoilers that Fox Searchlight should have known better than to include in their marketing.] There’s a point that we get to in movie trailers where fantastical and awe-inspiring story becomes maybe a little too hokey and we’re left with the cheesy pieces. It’s hard to say if there’s one singular problem causing this phenomenon to happen or if attempting to cram every crazy event that happens in the film into a little over two minutes just makes it seem extra ridiculous. Such is the case with the trailer for I Origins, a film that will probably be perfectly enjoyable once it hits theaters. But packed in pint-sized form, things seem to be getting out of hand for this team of scientists and their host of crazed ideas. The story follows Michael Pitt as a biologist who spends his time studying the function and mapping of the human eye. In his time outside the lab, he’s falling deeply in love with Sofi (Astrid Bergès-Frisbey), a girl with beautiful, mesmerizing eyes — “the eyes that changed this world.” After some sort of tragedy befalls the couple, Sofi is out of the picture, but her eyes are still the focus of his strange life, especially when his pretty lab assistant (Brit Marling) points out that a child in India has the exact same eye mapping as his beloved. What that means is beyond me (and hopefully you; I don’t like feeling dumb), but it’s […]

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Thanos-The-Avengers

Captain America has come and gone. Now, it’s time for the great hordes of Marvel fans to shift their attention to the next film in Marvel’s two decades of future comic book films: Guardians of the Galaxy. It’s a film we really don’t know that much about. Sure, we have a trailer, but it’s a single trailer from a month and a half ago, and since then we’ve gotten so precious little. Just a “new clip,” if two seconds of new footage sewn onto half a stale trailer counts as a clip these days. And Nathan Fillion, hinting that he might have a line or two. “Check the credits,” he says, coyly. I’d check the credits if I could, Mr. Fillion. But I can’t, so instead I will languish away into a husk of my former self. But Entertainment Weekly has a big expose on Guardians of the Galaxy, and like any big print media story, it’s been savaged by digital media and stripped of all the juicy parts, long before it ever hits newsstands. So without further ado, thanks to MTV News, here’s every juicy part (suck it, print media):

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chubby feet in FED UP

One of the bigger documentary sub-genre booms in recent years has been in the area of food docs exploring and/or decrying what we eat, the way we eat and why we probably shouldn’t be eating it. Films like Food, Inc., Diet for a New America, Forks Over Knives, King Corn, and Super Size Me have all taken a stab at educating Americans on what we put in our mouths. More importantly, they’ve tried to educate us on what we’re putting in our children’s mouths. But if there’s been one constant through the years it’s this: America just doesn’t give a shit. The latest film hoping against hope to change the nation’s lethargic stupidity and penchant for slowburn child abuse is Fed Up from director Stephanie Soechtig and producer Katie Couric. The film addresses the already established problem — Americans are getting fatter and sicker — but instead of simply saying we need to exercise more and eat more fruits & vegetables the film points an accusatory finger at big business and the government that’s supporting them. Check out the depressing trailer for Fed Up below.

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Eric Bana in DELIVER US FROM EVIL

With horror movies hitting theaters left and right, it’s often hard to tell new releases apart. After all, it’s easy to stick with a tried and true formula if it’s guaranteed to get the maximum amount of scares and screams. Take some nice, normal people, for example, and have them get plagued by a demon or a malevolent poltergeist. It’s been working for the last 30 or so years, hasn’t it? Have their plight be viewed through the grainy green haze of found footage and there’s an even bigger chance that it’s going to be a hit. Or stick that nice family in an even worse situation — maybe it’s some facet of the house itself that’s turning on them, like a cursed mirror or family heirloom. It’s the “call is coming from inside the house” of ghosts. While these methods of spookiness are effective and often masterful, they’re also becoming another thing — expected. There can only be so many Paranormal Activity sequels before Paranormal Activity: Maybe We Should Just Move makes it into the mix. That’s why the trailer for Deliver Us From Evil, the new horror from Scott Derrickson (Sinister, The Exorcism of Emily Rose) looks so refreshing. While Derrickson is guilty of a few genre sins in his last couple films — that nice family plagued by demons, getting a pretty Catholic girl mixed up with Satan — Evil appears to be unlike what the genre’s been churning out for the last few years. Check out […]

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Disney Monkey Kingdom 1

Who else is excited about Bears, the latest Disneynature documentary, which arrives in theaters next Friday? After taking last year off, the Mouse House is back for another Earth Day release, and sure it’ll feature a lot of anthropomorphizing narration but at least that narration is being spoken by John C. Reilly. And with it also comes the first trailer for next year’s feature (yay, they’re back on an annual track), which is titled Monkey Kingdom. Disney has already gone ahead and debuted the spot a week early, though, and while it doesn’t have any celebrity voiceover (I don’t think this one’s has been revealed yet), it is entirely soundtracked with the singing voice of Lorde. Of course it is. After all, she has a song called “Royals,” perfect for a movie with the word “kingdom” in the title, though the tune in this trailer is “Team,” which also fits because of the lyric “living in ruins of a palace within my dreams.” And the movie is about macaque monkeys who are living in ruins of a former Buddhist palace (well, temple), not in their dreams but in, I believe, Sri Lanka. At one point in the video they kind of sing along, as do a deer and a lizard, while a tiger looks on at them like they’re a bunch of lame pop music lovers. Or does he just want to eat them? 

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Stephen Colbert

Last week, the news of David Letterman‘s imminent retirement (gently) shook the late night scene, and before anyone could actually mourn the end of the Late Show host’s career, speculation as to who would replace him hit overdrive. We’re guilty of it, too, though our speculative bits were centered around picking a host that could switch up the generally male-dominated late night scene. Our immediate attention turned to women who could take over the desk — women like Chelsea Handler, who already has a late night talk show and is nearing the end of her contract over at E!, along with other (probably high-shooting) picks like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Essentially, we wondered if the late night world was ready for a woman host (and, yes, although there have been female hosts in the past, none of them have stuck like the dudes have) — and, a week later, we’ve got our answer. They’re not. They are, however, ready for Stephen Colbert, who will now host The Late Show.

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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

“Apes on Horses! Apes on Horses!” exclaims a giddy title from Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci in an article about new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes photos being released into the wild. As he continues in his assessment of these new stills from the Fox marketing team, he calls out the fact that early footage never quite sold this new apes film, but these stills do. Their greatest achievement: a sense of realism not yet seen in any of the numerous attempts to bring the Planet of the Apes world to life. Even as impressive as Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes was in 2011, there was still a bit of an uncanny valley gap with Caesar (played in motion capture by Andy Serkis). The most impressive CGI ape in that movie was the most exotic, an orangutan that didn’t quite get a lot of screentime. Most of the effort went into creating Caesar (and the film’s climactic battle on the Golden Gate bridge), and even he still had a bit of shine. This time though, the wizards of WETA  have absolutely created a photoreal group of apes that have increasingly human characteristics. Such as intricate facial expressions, emotional response and yes, the ability to ride horses and fire guns. It’s even more impressive a feat when you consider how far the craft of visual effects has come since the first Planet of the Apes film was released in 1968. It’s a history I’d like to explore for a moment in photos.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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