Movie News

Jim Carrey in The Truman Show

It was over a year ago that Paramount first declared its intent to “get back, with very little investment, into the television production business.” But it’s not enough just to announce to the world that you want to make TV and you don’t want to spend a lot of money doing so. Eventually, you actually have to make that TV. And to their credit, Paramount has finally announced just what shows constitute their minor TV footprint. The winners are: An adaptation of Caleb Carr’s novel, “The Alienist,” (which is about late-19th century police psychology, and not someone who’s racist against aliens, as the name might suggest). A “limited series” (like a mini-series, but more prestigious-sounding) based on a biography of  Charles Lindberg. An Amerification of Peter Moffat’s BBC Series The Village Narc: The Show Ghost: The Show Terminator: The Show The Truman Show: The Show Par for the course as far as original ideas are concerned, but one stands out in particular (Hint: it’s the one mentioned in the title of this article). Unlike all the other book and movie and TV adaptations on Paramount’s TV slate, this Truman Show show has the potential to be something different, something more than just a previously written work squashed and stretched into 13-ish episodes, something astoundingly, soul-erodingly meta.

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Tina Fey and Amy Poehler in Baby Mama

It’s a line delivered straight out of your lady dreams, and it’s blissfully true. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Saturday Night Live alums, former Weekend Update co-anchors, two-time Golden Globes co-hosts, occasional movie co-stars and your best friends in your mind probably are teaming up again for something new. According to Deadline, they are taking their twosome to the next level by portraying sisters (it’s the natural progression in the friendship level) in The Nest, a feature from SNL writer and all-around funny person Paula Pell. The Nest focuses on the two 30-something siblings as they take a weekend to visit their parents, only to find out that their childhood home is being sold. They take the opportunity to have one last crazy weekend together there, bonding and feuding the way that only sisters do. Eventually, of course, they’ll wind up coming to their senses when the weekend is over and do some growing up together too — with no childhood home to come back to, it’s time to be real life adults.

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Wish I Was Here

First of all, you won’t be surprised by the band included in the trailer for Wish I Was Here. Second of all, you won’t be surprised by the raw quirkiness at work. It’s very Braffian. Which is remarkable considering that Zach Braff has only directed two features. He’s already nailed down a signature style as a sophomore. Here he follows up Garden State with the next step in adult existential crisis and a hint of Walter Mitty. Braff plays Aidan Bloom, an unsuccessful actor who ends up having to home school his children. It’s an even money guess on who learns the most out of the deal.

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AMERICAN BLOGGER

First things first. Kudos to Chris Wiegand on the completion of his first feature film. It’s a big accomplishment, and no one can take that away from him…  no matter what I say after this point. Think about the best documentaries you’ve seen, the ones that tell an unexpected story about people and events you’ve never heard of or the people and places you already thought you knew. Films that reveal truths behind big history or insight into individuals previously lost in time. Now watch and listen as a narrator, a man clearly being blackmailed over the safety of his family or compromising pictures of him with a donkey, tells us about Wiegand’s “beautifully filmed and artistically crafted” documentary, an important and possibly life-changing film. It’s a movie about bloggers. Enjoy the comedic genius of the American Blogger trailer below.

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Kate Mulgrew

One would imagine that serving as the narrator of a film would be like serving as any other part in a film – there’s a script, you get it, you study it, possibly memorize it, and deliver it. Sure, said delivery most likely won’t be captured on film and it may be hard to totally grasp what’s going on without visual aid or the involvement of other actors, but it would seem reasonable to assume that you still know what’s going on in the film. After all, you are narrating it. Turns out, this might not be the case, at least if Kate Mulgrew’s story is to be believed (and, as this is the actress who played beloved Star Trek character Captain Janeway, we’d love to believe her). Earlier this week, a trailer hit the web for a documentary titled The Principle, a science-y (emphasis on the “-y”) feature that sort of dances around its subject matter for a bit (at least, that’s what the trailer does) before revealing what it’s really about, which is actually something totally insane. It’s about geocentrism – the belief that the sun and the other planets and the entire universe revolve around the Earth. Stop laughing! Some people really believe this and they apparently have enough money to make a film about it and employ Mulgrew as their narrator. Wait, wait?

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Full Metal Jacket

About ten years ago, Matthew Modine released the journal he kept on the Full Metal Jacket set along with the photographs he took. It’s as amazing as it sounds. A hypnotic first-person account from a burgeoning actor working with a master. Now he wants to turn it into an audiobook. Thompson on Hollywood has the details on a Kickstarter campaign to make the audio version a reality. Modine and project co-director Adam Rackoff are looking for $12,000 and using the pre-order model to secure it. Plus, they’ve got some excellent enticements for Stanley Kubrick fans and fans of his sharp-tongued war movie.

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Kurt Cobain Death Scene in Soaked in Bleach

We’ve already had one great documentary spinning theories about Kurt Cobain‘s death (Nick Broomfield’s Kurt & Courtney) and one great dramatization of the last days of the Nirvana frontman (Gus Van Sant’s Last Days), but now there’s a (possibly great?) movie coming out that combines both approaches. Today is the 20th anniversary of when Cobain’s body was found dead, so of course the first trailer for this new docudrama has just arrived online. Titled Soaked in Bleach, it combines interviews with people associated with the case, including private detective Tom Grant, with reenactments featuring actors such as Lost‘s Daniel Roebuck as private detective Tom Grant. Others in the drama side’s cast play Cobain (Tyler Brian), Courtney Love (Sarah Scott), Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson (Kale Clauson), Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan (Tor Brown), Butthole Surfers singer Gibby Haynes (David Daskal), Earth front man Dylan Carlson (August Emerson) and a character named Kat, who I assume is Babes in Toyland’s Kat Bjelland (Alyssa Suede). The talking head interviewees include forensic pathologist (and JFK assassination conspiracy theory fueler) Cyril Wecht and former Seattle Chief of Police Norm Stamper. Not surprisingly, Love herself did not participate. 

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Sinister-Six-Amazing-Spider-Man-2

We’re one step closer to the inevitable fiery collapse of the comic book movie. Maybe. Sony, one of the four studios (count ‘em: Marvel, Sony, Fox, Warner Bros.) currently building an expanded comic book movie universe, has just put another piece into its gargantuan, multi-movie puzzle. That piece? Drew Goddard. Who, technically, had already been ensnared in Sony’s many-Spiderman’d web — he was announced as the writer of Sinister Six back when Sony first rolled out their cinematic Spidey-verse. But now there’s more, as Variety reports Goddard will be directing Sinister Six as well. Goddard’s first and only directorial effort was The Cabin in the Woods, a film that took typical slasher movie conventions, whisked them together with LSD and then laid them all out in a jumble (or something to that effect). Sinister Six is the first big superhero movie in the Big Superhero Movie era that doesn’t have any superheroes (at least, as far as anyone knows). So a director with a knack for outside-the-box thinking is a director well-suited to the project.

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battlestar-galactica-cylon

Battlestar Galactica, the gone but not forgotten sci-fi series that still lives on in the reruns of our hearts and the cable network Syfy, is getting the film adaptation that fans have been demanding since its end in 2009. But while many may have thought a movie would continue the adventures of the inhabitants of the Twelve Colonies of Kobol in a new journey, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Instead, according to Variety, the movie will be a reimagining of the story as told by Transcendence writer Jack Paglen (also the man attached to write Prometheus 2) and produced by original series creator Glen Larson. Of course, reimagining is flowery code for a term we’ve come all too familiar with hearing lately: reboot. For a television series that has already gone through three series, including a brief but mentionable run called Galactica 1980, it’s questionable if this move is altogether necessary. But for fans of the highly popular military space drama, maybe anything is worth some more screen time for another chance at seeing their beloved BSG again.

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Fast and Furious

If you like both whiplash and the Fast & Furious franchise, it sure sounds like Universal Studios Hollywood has got something very special in store for you. The New York Times reports that the studio theme parks are going great guns on a little something called “competing with Disney and then probably crying about it,” with plans that include some massive overhauls at both their Orlando location and their Hollywood outpost. The Orlando location has already had great success with their Harry Potter branded sub-theme park, and although it’s long been rumored that they’re bringing the Wizarding World to SoCal, it’s now been revealed that’s not the only new attraction on the way. Can you say “vroom”? More specifically, can you say “supercharged tram tour”?

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Neighbors

Wholesomeness does not last forever, especially the kind seemingly cooked up in a Disney or Nickelodeon lab somewhere. Plenty of child stars – squeaky clean in their tween years – have fallen from grace in some way or another. Naked pictures! Rehab! Drugs! (Maybe that last one before rehab! Maybe also after, though!) Indie movies! It’s a rough world out there, and it’s hard to stay on the straight and narrow (or the at least overly family-friendly) path for too long. Such is the case with young Zac Efron. The three-time star of the Disney Channel’s hugely popular High School Musical series (a gem of modern kiddie fare, and don’t you ever forget it) has had some, well, troubles. There’s been some drugs. Some rehab. Some getting peed on by Nicole Kidman on screen. There’s been some oat-sowing, okay? But although Efron has made some missteps and mistakes in both his personal and professional lives, but it looks like he might have finally found a way to marry his panache for the bad boy stuff with something that might actually make some damn money. It’s called Neighbors, and you’re not going to be able escape it this time next month. 

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Chris Pratt in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

It was inevitable I guess. We used to get full trailers and artistic posters for upcoming movies, but those days are gone and have been replaced by teasers and amateur Photoshop retreads. And now the next target of over-zealous studio marketers appears to be the “clip.” Typically a clip is an uninterrupted thirty to sixty seconds from a scene in the movie — an action beat, a setup and punchline or a big character moment — something to offer a taste of the film beyond a trailer edited to hit the sweet spots. Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy is the studio’s biggest risk since the first Thor film in that its characters are a bit outside the typical superhero realm readily accepted by audiences. So yes, any marketing that reaches eyeballs is a good thing. But calling something a clip when it’s actually nothing more than a new teaser featuring a few seconds of new footage and a whole lot of what we’ve already seen? That’s just rude. Keep reading to check out a brief new look at Guardians of the Galaxy that debuted on MTV last night.

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Justin Theroux in The Leftovers

Ah, the old “fake commercial that’s actually a trailer for something else” trick. A classic. First you lull ‘em into a false sense of security, then ka-blam! Zombies/aliens/vampires/dinosaur sharks/Muppets. Sure, The Leftovers loses a little bit of its fake-out oomph by airing on HBO, a network that doesn’t actually show commercials (at least, not for any non-HBO products), but the suspense is still mostly there. And for those poor, uninformed souls who don’t know the ins and outs of HBO’s commercial policies, there are still a few gotchas to be had. What starts out as an ad for some sciencey whatever — a smartphone or the environment or something — segues into something a little scarier when a great big chunk of the population disappears into thin air. What the trailer doesn’t mention, however is just what’s causing our nation’s babies to vaporize out of their car seats: the Rapture. Maybe not the Rapture, but a Rapture nonetheless. And the series, based off the similarly-titled book by Tom Peretta, will follow the non-raptured (hence the title) as they feud and fuss in post-apocalyptic suburbia.

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Wreck-It Ralph Sequel

With Frozen becoming the highest grossing animated flick of all time, Disney’s definitely in the place to keep developing their other beloved franchises. Wreck-It Ralph, the 2012 film that told us that video game villains can be people too, is in the process of getting its sequel, according to the film’s composer Henry Jackman. Jackman spoke to Collider recently in a sprawling interview about Captain America: The Winter Soldier, of which he composed the score (he’s also the man behind the music of Captain Phillips, X-Men: First Class, G.I. Joe Retaliation and This is the End) , and confirmed that the studio is currently writing up the script for a second dose of Wreck-It Ralph. At this point, the details are hazy on what that sequel entails, but Jackman was confident that it is indeed happening. “I can’t tell you more, not because I’m being coy, but I believe that it is officially on the cards,” he said. “I don’t know any more other than a story is indeed being written. I’d be very surprised not to. I’m not blowing my own trumpet. Forget about the music. Just the movie itself I thought was a fantastically imaginative and creative piece of work.”

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Chewbacca in Star Wars

Just imagine any of the original Star Wars ensemble not making at least a cameo appearance in Star Wars: Episode VII. There’d at least have to be an explanation for why, maybe for what happened to that character. Like if Harrison Ford was on board and reprised his role as Han Solo but there was no Chewbacca, we’d want to know how the Wookie died. And he would have had to have died, because we wouldn’t accept that he and Han went separate ways, for any reason given. After all, Chewie has a sworn debt to protect Han for the rest of his life. Of course, there’d never be such a case with Chewbacca, anyway, because technically anyone (with a height of 7’3″) could play the part underneath the hairy costume. Fortunately, though, that also isn’t necessary because, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Peter Mayhew is returning to play the big furry oaf for the fifth time (excluding the Holiday Special and other non-movie appearances), and thanks to recent surgeries to help the actor with his physical health issues (see details via the upcoming Kickstarter-funded documentary Standing in the Stars), the Wookie won’t be needing either a wheelchair or cane. 

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Chef trailer

“Be an artist on your own time! It’s my restaurant!” Metaphors are cool, okay? Similes and parallels and references are awesome literary devices that can often work wonders when translated into different realms of art — like filmmaking, where traditionally written nods to other things and people and senses can be portrayed visually. Or, in the case of Jon Favreau‘s Chef, they can be shown quite overtly, because there’s little doubt that the filmmaker’s latest outing is its own giant reference to the Hollywood machine that he is still a part of. Favreau pulls triple duty on the film — he wrote it, directed it, and stars in it — and it’s clearly a passion project for him. But how much of it has he pulled from his own life? In the film, Chef Carl Casper (Favreau) is a talented cook who gives into the demands of his boring boss (played by Dustin Hoffman, which sounds awesome) and subsequently biffs things big time. An unfavorable review sinks Carl, and he attempts to rebuild his life and career — one ruined by critics and people who don’t want to let him do his own thing — by setting out to make his own food in a rehabbed little food truck. The food truck may as well be the indie movie of the chef scene, and Hoffman might as well be wearing a shirt that says “executive producer” on it. See what Favreau’s cooked up (and how many parallels you can find with Hollywood) with the very first […]

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key_peele_magician_cop

If you spent the recent 30th anniversary of Police Academy wondering where the comedy franchise’s reboot is already, it seems that New Line might have been doing the same. And now they’ve revealed, via The Hollywood Reporter, that Key & Peele stars Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are on board as producers of the next movie, which seems to be more of a continuation with an all new cast than a remake. That means we shouldn’t be wondering if the duo will be taking over the roles of Hightower and Jones, respectively, or — less racist in thought — pondering if one of them will be the new Mahoney. Still, we’re in the mood to play casting director, so let’s look at who among Key and Peele’s pals might be right for a part, if not any of the parts we love from the previous seven installments. A number of the guys they’ve worked with are actually old members of The State, which means they’ve all done their share of Police Academy antics on Reno 911 (so have both Key and Peele, as a matter of fact). Another comedic actor they’ve both worked with on more than a few occasions is Rob Huebel, who I could easily see as playing an antagonistic Captain Harris type. And how about their new friend Liam Neeson (aka Liam Neesons) as the academy commandant?

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venus_in_fur_still

The first trailer for Roman Polanski‘s Venus in Fur actually debuted a few months ago. But alas, that trailer was in French, leaving all us non-Francophones out in the dust. We could look at the pictures. We could hoot when the pictures looked nice, scratch our heads in confusion when they didn’t. But anything above orangutan-level comprehension was a bit of a stretch. Well, now the English-speaking world has its own Venus in Fur trailer, with subtitles and narration and a full grasp of “who are these people and what are they doing.” That’s the good. The bad is that our English-language introduction to Venus in Fur has lost a certain something in translation.

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Robin Williams in Angriest Man in Brooklyn

You know that old saying “live each day as if it were your last”? While it’s supposed to be inspirational and designed to get you up off your butt and out into the world doing great things like traveling and confessing your love to your best friend, there’s also the view that it could be a terrifying and wholly negative statement. Living each day like it’s your last? That means you’re dying tomorrow. There’s so much you didn’t do! The Angriest Man in Brooklyn takes this concept and amplifies it times 100 by giving America’s wacky uncle Robin Williams only 90 minutes to live. What’s a guy to do when he’s only got an hour and a half to do everything he has left to get done? The trailer for the film attempts to explain how Williams is going to attempt such a feat, and why the poor man is in this situation in the first place. The film, a remake of the 1997 Israeli feature Mar Baum, is from Phil Alden Robinson, director of Sneakers (it should be noted that this is his first film in over 10 years since the fantastic  The Sum of All Fears), and paints Williams as the titular angry man, a brash and maniacal Brooklynite who can’t control his temper for even the slightest of inconveniences: red lights, subwoofers, greeting cards, cheap cologne and people passing out flyers. When Dr. Mila Kunis attempts to explain to him that he has a fatal brain aneurysm, that’s just another thorn in his […]

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LESSON OF THE EVIL from Takashi Miike

The Stanley Film Fest is the new kid on the block in the film festival game as 2013 was their premiere. We had the pleasure of attending and covering the genre-themed gathering last year, and in addition to the films that played the fest one of the biggest highlights was the location. The historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, CO hosts the festival, and as horror fans know it was an extended stay here that inspired Stephen King’s “The Shining.” The hotel and grounds are an architectural and atmospheric joy, and the surrounding mountains add a gorgeous sense of natural beauty. Basically, it’s a perfect setting for a horror film festival. This year’s list of films playing the fest is unfortunately light on premieres, but it features a fantastic bunch of critical darlings, new releases and genre favorites. It’s essentially a make-up fest offering a chance to see recent festival hits on the big screen where they belong. Some of the highlights include Jennifer Kent’s wonderfully creepy Sundance hit The Babadook (our review), Gerard Johnstone’s fresh horror comedy Housebound, Hitoshi Matsumoto’s incredibly funny, strange and affecting R100 (our review), and the funniest film of the year so far, Taika Waititi & Jemaine Clement’s What We Do In the Shadows (our review). The fest also features some retrospective screenings including Joe Dante’s Gremlins, Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and Mick Garris’ Sleepwalkers. (One of those things is not like the others…) There are other non-screening events planned too including a murder mystery dinner, a […]

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published: 04.17.2014
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