Movie News

Laggies

Quarter-life crises hit everyone differently, whether it’s paying for a bodega sandwich in change for the third day in a row and coming up short that does it, or resolving to stay in your room indefinitely because you’ve received another wedding announcement from a childhood friend the morning after an OkCupid date with a guy who wanted to sniff your hair, or just realizing that woah, high school was awhile ago and you still don’t have your shit together. It’s even happening to Keira Knightley, one of the so-called Laggies who doesn’t quite have things figured out yet, and is taking the most adult and rational approach to handling her problems: running away and ignoring them. The trailer for the Lynn Shelton film introduces us to Megan (Knightley), a 28-year-old on the verge of something not-so great when she attends her high school reunion. A proposal from her boyfriend (Mark Webber), whom she’s been dating since high school, leads to her fleeing into the night and away from that whole nightmare (ugh, can you imagine getting engaged at your high school reunion in front of a bunch of people you probably hate?) and more or less into the arms of Chloe Moretz (who, for the first trailer in a long time, is not wearing some sort of neon wig). Like an respectable gaggle of 16-year-olds, Moretz’s Annika and her buddies hit Megan up for help buying a six pack “because they left their IDs at home,” and seeing some of her old, fun self […]

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SNL Logo

Well, so much for my theory that the Saturday Night Live blood-letting (read: staff-letting) was over after Monday’s news that newbie featured player Brooks Wheelan had been fired after just one season on the sketch comedy series. Deadline reports that fellow featured players Noël Wells and John Milhiser will also not be returning for the show’s fortieth season come this fall, bringing the current axing total up to three. As Deadline reminds us, “the first year on SNL is considered a boot camp, in which new cast members have a season to make a mark. This past year was particularly tough.” The thirty-ninth season saw the addition of seven new featured players, bloating the cast and kind of making it seem like a real sink or swim situation for the new kids. Apparently, about half of them sank. The outlet also confirms news we’ve known for weeks, that star Nasim Pedrad will not be back on the show after five strong seasons, as the comedienne is dedicating her full talents to former SNL writer John Mulaney‘s new Fox show, Mulaney, which will debut this fall. (Fun fact: did you know that Mulaney’s little sister, Claire Mulaney, joined SNL‘s writing staff last year?) So we’re down four now. Will it ever end? 

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Ronia the Robbers Daughter Studio Ghibli

Because this is not a Japanese film site, Japanese film news tends to slip under the radar. So while Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter was announced in February as something new and sparkly and unique – a Studio Ghibli TV series, headed up by Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao), to be done entirely in CGI – it was mostly forgotten about in the post-February world. Only now, several months later, has Ronia has peeked its head above the Tokyo skyline, and it’s here to show us what traditional Ghibli animation looks like when hauled screaming into the third dimension. The results? They’re OK, I guess.

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Power Rangers 90s Movie

From one superhero franchise to another. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, the writers behind X-Men: First Class, have signed on to mighty morph the Power Rangers film into something a little more sophisticated than the Saturday morning kid’s hour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Orci, one of the screenwriters behind the Transformers and Star Trek franchises, has also hopped on board to serve as the film’s executive producer. He will team up with Miller and Stentz to formulate a new story around the team of teenaged superheroes, but he’s leaving the actual screenwriting duties to the twosome, whose writing credits as a team also include 2011′s Thor and the highly important Frankie Muniz teen spy flick Agent Cody Banks. But the three shouldn’t have much of a problem finding inspiration in the source material — or even reason to change it much, actually.

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Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live is slimming down. With the show’s fortieth season set to kick off in September, NBC’s venerable sketch comedy show has apparently set about culling its cast, and single-season featured player Brooks Wheelan appears to be the first to go. Wheelan tweeted the news (which he seems to have a pretty good attitude about) last night: Had a blast and loved every second of it. I’m totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT! — Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) July 14, 2014 Perhaps Wheelan can get a pep talk from another one-season SNL star like Jenny Slate, who didn’t let her short-lived run on the series sink her career in the slightest. Sure, getting fired always sounds (and feels) bad, but it’s by no means a death sentence (also, Wheelan is just twenty-seven-years-old, he’s got lots of merrymaking to get to.)

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BIG HERO 6

He’s fluffy, slow, and he’s about to get an upgrade [cue the Beyonce song]. He’s Baymax, and he is the perfect best friend as long as he doesn’t run out of batteries. The Big Hero 6 trailer makes the movie feel like a family friendly Iron Man blended with The Iron Giant and whatever else has “iron” in the title. It’s also a nice reminder that there’s another Marvel movie coming out that seeks to fill the Pixarian void. Check out the trailer, and see if you can guess who’s voicing Baymax, the fluffy robot who earns afterburners.

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Horns-Daniel-Radcliffe

The new teaser for Horns is ever so brief, but it captures the plight of its hero in a tiny snapshot. Ig Parrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is dealing with the fallout of his girlfriend (Juno Temple) being brutally murdered, and everyone suspects him as the coldblooded killer. They don’t have much basis for their accusations — he didn’t do it — save for the fact that after her death he started sprouting alarmingly devil-like horns from his head without any explanation. Yeah, you would probably start the angry mob, too, after finding out on Nancy Grace that that guy was her boyfriend. The film, directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) adapted by Keith Bunin from the novel by Joe Hill, contains another major detail not mentioned in the teaser trailer: once Ig sprouts these strange horns, he can now also get everyone he encounters to be completely and utterly honest, even when he doesn’t want them to be that forthcoming. The horns are also a mind-control device, letting him easily manipulate the people who hate him so much into doing things out of their will. Ig didn’t kill Merrin, but the townspeople still have their pitchforks raised, wondering aloud if he has the “face of the devil.” Post-horns sprouting, are they correct?

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Jurassic World

If you were concerned that Jurassic World (the fictional place, not Jurassic World, the real movie) wouldn’t be kitted out with the very best amenities that the theme park world has to offer, rest your pretty little heads. This place is going to be sweet, even if it’s packed with murderous dinosaurs and apparently bored teens. A leaked brochure that purports to be a fun prop from Colin Trevorrow‘s currently in-production addition to the Jurassic Park mythos has just hit the web, and it boasts all kinds of special attractions for Jurassic World visitors, from an official soda (Jurassic World is a Coca-Cola joint, okay? there are no Pepsi products to be found here) to various “park highlights” that allow guests to enjoy the dino-goodies that have been (quite literally) cooked up for them. The brochure — which we certainly hope is real — popped up on Reddit (via MTV and Cinema Blend), and while it appears to be missing one major aspect (that would be a map), it sure looks like the real deal. Otherwise, it’s just a very strange piece of marketing for FedEx. Or American Airlines. Or Samsung, Coke and Starbucks. Take a look at the brochure below:

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Gregg Turkington in The Comedy

In 2012, Tim Heidecker stepped out of his Tim and Eric bubble to make The Comedy with writer and director Rick Alverson. It’s a strange and powerful film that finds humor in the uncomfortable and pathetic depiction of an aging hipster and his friends galavanting around Williamsburg to avoid their responsibilities. While a far departure from the Awesome Show, Great Job! aesthetic, the film features some of the usual suspects alongside Heidecker, like Eric Wareheim, LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, and Gregg Turkington (aka comedian Neil Hamburger, Heidecker’s cohost at On Cinema At The Cinema). Now, according to Deadline, Heidecker and Alverson are teaming up again to create a vehicle for Turkington. Called Entertainment, the movie will have Turkington play a struggling and aging entertainer known only as “The Comedian,” who travels across the Southwest on a long and winding road trip to track down his estranged daughter and rekindle his failing career along the way. The constant barrage of unsuccessful shows and meet-ups with weirdo locals on his journey cause him to sink further and further into some sort of weirdness himself. After all, he’s just a comedian, right? For anyone familiar with Turkington’s work under his Neil Hamburger persona, this is the perfect showcase for the anti-comedian. Hamburger is a greasy, combover-ed remnant of some standup era that has been long forgotten, and he’s none too pleased about it. Painfully slow and nasal, his jokes are more lists of things he hates. If anyone understands playing to an empty room, it’s this man.

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Colin Farrell in Miami Vice

Would the word “Carcosa” sound cooler when spoken in an Irish brogue? I guess it doesn’t really matter. Because while Colin Farrell might be in talks for True Detective, the second season has been confirmed for a California setting. So unless creator Nic Pizzolatto was writing the series with an Irishman in mind, chances are Farrell will have to put on his best American accent for this one. Also, that whole Carcosa thing is over and done with, so there’s really no earthly reason for Farrell to be putting those syllables in that order. But yes, the announement is official. Colin Farrell. True Detective. In talks. In a story broken by Deadline, we have the first big piece of news for the HBO series’ second season (Sorry William Friedkin, but unless you’re willing to make your directing gig on the season official, Farrell wins the “first big news” statuette). And like anything and everything relating to True Detective, this news is shrouded in a veil of secrecy so thick you’d need a machete to hack through it.

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Unbroken Movie

First of all, Angelina Jolie‘s Unbroken looks like a breakout moment for Jack O’Connell, regardless of how the movie itself does overall. He stars as the real-life Louis Zamperini, who did more in his lifetime than we could do in five. Long distance Olympic athlete who met Hitler, WWII POW survivor, inspirational speaker, Zamerini had a hell of a biography before passing away July 2nd of this year. Now, his story will be secured in cinema with O’Connell at the forefront of what looks like a whirlwind performance. Second of all, my fingers are crossed tight enough to break off circulation, hoping this movie isn’t even one tenth of how schmaltzy a slab of forced inspiration the trailer makes it out to be.

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jack-oconnell-starred-up1

Yes, I suppose you could watch the just-released trailer for Unbroken and be all inspired by the part-Olympic hero, part-WWII hero Louis Zamperini, played by Jack O’Connell. But why would you, when you could see O’Connell melt a razor blade into the backside of a toothbrush and swing it at an authority figure? I vote “prison shanking” every time. This extreme opposite of Unbroken‘s “be inspired until the inspiration pours from every orifice” approach comes from the new prison drama Starred Up, from director David Mackenzie. Well, new-ish – the film released in its native United Kingdom back in March, but it’ll be getting a limited release here this August. So us American folk get a Starred Up trailer all our own. Here, O’Connell plays Eric Love, who decided early on that his name would be an ironic one, and thus spent most of his youth getting in and out of prison. In fact, he’s so skilled at getting himself locked away that the authorities have decided to transfer him early, from the juvenile facilities to the adult ones, even though he’s just a teen (which is what the phrase “starred up” refers to). And that’s where he’ll meet two very important people. One is a prison psychologist, played by Rupert Friend, who really wants Eric to turn his life around. The other is Eric’s father, played by Ben Mendelsohn, who happens to be a con himself in the very same prison. The three of them then proceed to play tug-of-war with Eric’s future.

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Reese With Her Spoon Going Wild

There comes a time in every woman’s life where she has to face a couple forks in the road. When her life is going completely to hell and there’s really nothing that can remedy the situation. Is this the time to give up and curl into the fetal position indefinitely? Or does she gather up a fat stack of Oprah magazines and take life by the steering wheel, setting forth some impossible self-help journey to cleanse her system of whatever’s bringing her down? Girlfriend, you know the answer. The first trailer for Wild, the Nick Hornby-scripted adaptation of the wildly popular memoir by Cheryl Strayed, gets a few things clear straight off the bat. The source material for the film contains much darker depths than we’re used to seeing from the “find yourself” genre. One of the main reasons for Cheryl setting out on her journey is to cope with her former heroin addiction, and it’s clear from flashbacks peppered into the trailer that while the habit might be kicked, the emotional toll may still be present. It’s a stark contrast to Eat, Pray Love, where Elizabeth was dissatisfied with a mostly okay life and went on an extended vacation to canoodle with handsome dudes, or even something like How Stella Got Her Groove Back, where Stella … gets her groove back … directly via Taye Diggs on vacation. The other point is that Reese Witherspoon‘s hair after weeks on the Pacific Crest is much better than mine looks after sitting at a desk writing all day.

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Kate Lyn Sheil

Remember back when we told you that it was time you started paying attention to indie it girl Kate Lyn Sheil? Well, not to get out braggy on, but we were right. Sheil has got a packed schedule — just look at her IMDb page, which is crammed with “completed” and “post-production” features, shorts and television projects — but the actress has managed to make some room for another feature film, one that’s already been poised to rocket its talented team into the next echelon of indie filmmaking. Needless to say, it’s a good fit for Sheil. Sheil has just joined up with Drake Doremus‘ Equals, the latest feature from the perennial Sundance favorite (the director behind films like Breathe In and Like Crazy, both of which have bowed at the film festival in recent years to general acclaim), a futuristic and sci-fi-tinged project titled Equals. The film is a big step forward for Doremus, a high concept affair that still manages to focus on relationships (Doremus’ speciality). Complete with a script by Nathan Parker (Moon), Equals could be the next big sci-fi romance to hit the box office. Oh, and the rest of its cast doesn’t hurt, with Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult and Guy Pearce already on board.

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Grand Central trailer

Love in the time of great and terrible radiation isn’t a novel concept. Look at Marie and Pierre Curie. Or Bryan Cranston and his coworker wife in Godzilla. Now, the nuclear power from within a French plant is going to spark the beautiful power of desire within Léa Seydoux and Tahar Rahim. It’s science. The trailer for Grand Central, a film directed by Rebecca Zlotowski (Belle Épine) and written by Zlotowski and Gaëlle Macé (Aliyah), is a study of passion over OSHA safety standards, which are there for a reason, buddy. Gary (Rahim, A Prophet) is a worker who takes up a job at a nuclear power plant in the French countryside because if Homer Simpson can do it, really then everyone else can, too. He’s quickly introduced to the inherent dangers of his new line of work through the trailer’s whirlwind montage of safety measures and visions of his new friends suiting up and stripping down in front of stern faces; without proper caution, the consequences are dire and deadly, with the threat of radiation contaminating their every pore and poisoning their bodies.

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Pacino in Scarface

One of these days, Universal will finally get around to their latest incarnation of Scarface. That officially planned remake of the 1932 Howard Hawks gangster flick, which was previously redone in 1983 by Brian De Palma, is currently set up with Chilean director Pablo Larrain (No; Tony Manero), screenwriter Paul Attanasio (Donnie Brasco) and a supposed plot involving a Mexican drug cartel and one man who rises in its ranks. In the meantime, another effort to reimagine the story is already moving forward and should be finished as early as this December. The wonderfully odd folks at The Borscht Corporation, who run Miami’s semi-annual Borscht Film Festival (see our write up on the 2012 event), are working on a project centered specifically on De Palma’s version of Scarface. The plan is to compile a scene-for-scene redo consisting of a collage of various styles. They’ve broken the movie up into 636 pieces, each one 15 seconds in length, and anyone can submit their own interpretation of one of these bits. Want to recreate the part where Tony (Al Pacino) yells “say hello to my little friend” but have the little friend be an actual little person? Well, that gag has already been done before, but if you have any other bright ideas, that particular scene is still available to claim. “For better or worse, Scarface had held Miami’s image in a vice grip since it came out,” states an email we received about the project, which is titled Scarface Redux. “As our mission is […]

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Sharp Objects

By the time 2014 closes out, fans of Gillian Flynn‘s uniquely thrilling (and, typically, totally dark) novels will be doubly treated to a pair of new films based on her works. For an author who has so far only penned three books, that’s pretty handy work, but for awhile there, Flynn was going to be three for three in the feature adaptation department. Last summer, all of Flynn’s novels were in various states of cinematic production, with David Fincher‘s Gone Girl enjoying the bulk of the hype (it’s certainly the most star-studded production of the trio), Gilles Paquet-Brenner‘s Dark Places secure in a very respectable second place position and Sharp Objects just sort of hanging out in vague pre-production land. Gone Girl will now hit theaters on October 3 (though the possibility that it will bow at TIFF in September seems like a safe enough bet), just a month after Dark Places releases (with a September 1 release date, it sure would be nice to see a trailer or something soon, cough cough), but what about that Sharp Objects movie? Turns out, there’s not going to be one — because it’s going to be a Sharp Objects television show. This is fantastic news.

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20th Century Fox

Ridley Scott is no stranger to period epics, but Gladiator aside, he hasn’t had the best of luck with them at the box office. 1492: Conquest of Paradise disappeared from theaters faster than the Native Americans did from Columbus’ conscience, and Robin Hood resulted in people wishing they were watching the Kevin Costner version. (Okay, maybe that was just me.) His 2005 religious-themed epic meanwhile, Kingdom of Heaven, failed to appeal to audiences and only banked less than $50 million domestic (on a $130m budget). But Scott’s nothing if not persistent — hence his penchant for director’s cuts — and he’s ready to try his hand at another biblical epic combining faith in a god with slow-motion death from horseback. And he found two perfect Middle Eastern actors to head up his cast. Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of the tiff between Moses (Christian Bale) and Ramses (Joel Edgerton) that resulted in the former orchestrating a mass exit of god-fearing slaves out of Egypt and the latter being inundated with messy plagues. Check out the first trailer for Exodus: Gods and Kings below.

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Image Entertainment

Bible epics are so in right now as evident Noah and the upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings, and thanks to the combined efforts of Godzilla and Guillermo del Toro, monster movies are also back in vogue. So, like pious peanut butter and unimaginable chocolate carnage these two great genre tastes have come together for a David and Goliath movie. Well, sort of. It’ll actually by a post-Goliath David and Goliath movie, but if we’re lucky, we’ll still get an awesome Goliath corpse “elephant graveyard” scene. First reported by Variety, the working title for the film is David, and it’ll be coming from the same team currently hard at work making the story of Moses into something more interesting than your average Sunday school class. Ridley Scott will be producing the film along with Chernin Entertainment (20th Century Fox will reign over all), while Jonathan Stokes will handle the screenplay.

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batman-v-superman-logo

Here’s something that is true: filmmaker Kevin Smith is a consummate comic book fan, one who almost got to see his own vision of Superman hit the big screen a couple of decades ago (the film that would have been titled Superman Lives, a failed feature that was so tweaked, rewritten, and run into the ground that it was eventually in the nineties), one who has also penned some special series about another favorite comic book superhero (that would be Batman) and someone who is clearly excited about what Zack Snyder‘s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice holds for DC Comics’ most beloved superheroes and the DC universe at large. Here’s something else that is true: Kevin Smith is not involved with Batman v Superman, and the proliferation of rumors that link the busy filmmaker to a film that he’s not even remotely attached to have become so bizarre and bloated that it’s incredible that anyone could discuss them with a straight face, no matter how desperate everyone seems to be for information on the much-hyped film. The latest Smith-centric rumor that recently hit the web held that Smith penned an entire fake script for the production, which was then purposely leaked it to the press to throw them off the trail of the film’s actual direction. This is, of course, not true. Smith himself took to the Internet today to straighten out a rumor that gained significant traction, well, on the Internet. Cinema Blend clued their readers in to a Smith announcement (Smith-nnouncement? Smod-ment?) earlier today that vowed to clear up the […]

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