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Newswire: Please don’t hug Adam Driver when he’s in character as Kylo Ren

37 minutes ago

The Dark side is so strong within Adam Driver when he’s playing Kylo Ren that he’s immune to such joys as getting hugged by John Boyega. Vanity Fair has a piece on just how incredibly intense Driver is when he’s in character—so intense, in fact, that he’ll simply ignore Boyega’s attempts to get him to chill out. “I give Adam hugs randomly, just for no reason,” Boyega told Vf. But, alas, he explained that Driver “just stands there,” adding: “He just waits for me to be done.”

Driver also turned down a lunch invitation from Mark Hamill, even when Hamill made a pretty good point about their characters’ relationship. “He’s very moody and intense,” Hamill said in an interview. “I remember saying to Adam, ‘I don’t know how you work, or your technique. But, at some point, you were my nephew. I »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Newswire: Movie studios are still doing a crappy job at Lgbtq representation

2 hours ago

A new report released today by GLAAD indicates that in 2016, major movie studios still did a crappy job at Lgbtq representation, with just 18.4 percent of the 125 releases featuring characters that were identified as such. While that’s slightly up from 2015, it’s still unimpressive, especially given that of the 23 films that had Lgbtq characters, 43 percent gave said characters less than one minute of screen time. GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis put it simply in an interview with Variety: “It is not getting better.”

No studio received a grade of “Excellent” or “Good” from the organization. Universal—which fared best—received only an ”Insufficient,” with GLAAD citing Neighbors 2’s “unexpectedly well-handled subplot about former fraternity brother Pete [Dave Franco] getting engaged“ while also highlighting the “dated narratives” of Bridget Jones’s Baby and an “offensive and incredibly overdone” trope in Hail, Caesar ...

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- Esther Zuckerman

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Great Job, Internet!: Star Wars’ head-bonking Stormtrooper had the shits, it turns out

2 hours ago

For all its still-impressive special effects, there’s a scrappy immediacy to the original Star Wars that remains a part of its enduring appeal. While that was washed away with the CGI sparkle of the prequel trilogy, the currently unfolding trilogy retains a bit of that grit, with practical effects galore and sets that don’t look like anesthetized doctor’s offices. But it’s hard to imagine even those movies keeping in something like the infamous shot of the Stormtrooper parading through an open doorway on the Death Star only to bonk his head, cartoon-like, on the frame. Viewing after viewing, it only grows more apparent over time, and gets funnier as it goes.

The Hollywood Reporter has an interview today with the actor Laurie Goode, who claims to have been that infamous Stormtrooper. He was 31 at the time of filming, and his explanation for the blunder is ...

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- Clayton Purdom

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Newswire: The New Mutants will be a straight-up horror movie

3 hours ago

Being an adolescent really is a nightmare a lot of the time. The best pop culture about young people has openly played with how quickly everyday life can turn into a horror show (looking at you, Buffy The Vampire Slayer), and the ways the ups and downs of teenage life can sometimes feel like the end of the world. So it’s fitting The New Mutants, the upcoming X-men spinoff film from 20th Century Fox, is going to lean into that sensibility. In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Josh Boone states, “We are making a full-fledged horror movie set within the X-Men universe. There are no costumes. There are no supervillains. We’re trying to do something very, very different.”

Boone, who most recently helmed the massive teen-weepie hit The Fault In Our Stars, also revealed himself as a longtime nerd, discussing his childhood love of Stephen King »

- Alex McLevy

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Newswire: Adam Carolla needs your money to really stick it to those damn “safe spaces”

13 hours ago

Adam Carolla has joined the ranks of the numerous comedians—mostly male, mostly white—defending America’s college campuses from the hated “snowflakes” that flurry all over them these days, ruining higher education with their constant demands for their personhood to be acknowledged or treated with respect. In order to combat this empathetic scourge, Carolla has announced a new film project, a documentary titled No Safe Spaces, that he’s creating with radio host Dennis Prager. And because there’s no more noble use of the beloved right to free speech than begging other people for money, he needs your help to make it.

Carolla has just launched a $500,000 Indiegogo campaign for the film, which will follow him and Prager as they travel America’s college campuses (including a stop at Uc Berkeley with Ann Coulter), spreading the gospel of “Suck it up, you pussy.” Carolla announced the ...

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- William Hughes

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Movie Review: A backpacker becomes a captive in the murky Berlin Syndrome

13 hours ago

Women traveling alone are supposed to follow certain rules. Never go anywhere without someone knowing where you are and when you’ll be back. Don’t accept drinks from strange men. Don’t get into a stranger’s car. And no matter what you do, never go home with someone you just met, especially in a new city where you don’t know where you’re going. These rules aren’t always strictly obeyed, of course, particularly when a seemingly gentle man with piercing blue eyes and a charmingly incomplete understanding of the English language is involved. But the little voice in the back of your head is always there, reminding you that every time you sneak back into your hostel still wearing last night’s clothes, you’re lucky to be alive.

Australian director Cate Shortland’s Berlin Syndrome, the follow-up to her 2012 World War II drama Lore ...

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- Katie Rife

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Movie Review: The smug satire War Machine can’t wipe that look off its face

13 hours ago

The nicest thing one can say about David Michôd’s maladroit, Netflix-produced Afghan War satire War Machine is that despite the high statistical likelihood of its existence (A-list star, bestselling source material, obvious political angle, semi-established writer-director), nothing in the movie suggests that it was made to please anyone. Whether it’s intentionally off-putting is a different matter. An adaptation of the late Michael Hastings’ non-fiction book The Operators: The Wild And Terrifying Inside Story Of America’s War In Afghanistan (itself expanded from Hastings’ 2010 Rolling Stone article “The Runaway General”) that bears almost no resemblance to Michôd’s earlier films Animal Kingdom and The Rover, the film casts Brad Pitt as General Glen McMahon, a fictional stand-in for Stanley McChrystal, the onetime commander of Nato forces in Afghanistan whose career was destroyed by Hastings’ all-access profile. This is the most bizarre lead performance of Pitt’s career, as »

- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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Newswire: A Top Gun sequel is actually happening, and Oblivion’s Joseph Kosinski might direct

23 hours ago

It looks like Tom Cruise wasn’t kidding when he revealed that Top Gun 2 was going to start filming “probably in the next year,” as Variety is now reporting that Joseph Kosinski is already the front-runner to direct the film. Considering that we didn’t know if the movie was actually happening until Cruise dropped his seemingly optimistic announcement, this is a pretty big leap forward. Paramount, the studio that controls Top Gun, hasn’t made any announcements about the project, but “insiders” seem confident that it’s really happening now.

As for Kosinski, he previously directed Cruise in the sci-fi film Oblivion. While largely removed from Tom Gun on the surface, Oblivion did feature Cruise zipping around in a high-tech flying machine at the behest of a mysterious superior officer, which isn’t that different from how the Navy works these days. Nothing in Oblivion had the panache »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: The new poster for Spider-Man: Homecoming is just not very good

24 May 2017 10:28 AM, PDT

We’ve been pretty open about the fact that Spider-Man: Homecoming looks like it’s going to be a whole lot of fun. All the trailers have been strong, and even the round of posters Marvel already released were almost uniformly excellent. So naturally, someone unskilled in the ways of design had to go and shit the bed, wrecking the grade curve for this marketing campaign in the process. Behold, the latest poster for Spider-Man: Homecoming.

Sure, it doesn’t quite reach the magical heights of the Geostorm poster, but it’s still pretty bad. Spider-Man: Ineptly Executed Mondo Poster Ripoff doesn’t roll off the tongue, but it conveys the general problem here. Trying to do the characters interspersed with action is fine, but the tonal clash of the bright colors of that giant Spider-Man with his back to it all really throws it off, as do the out-of-place »

- Alex McLevy

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Great Job, Internet!: Let’s figure out why King Arthur bombed so hard

24 May 2017 10:16 AM, PDT

As we noted in our roundup of the weekend box office last week, Guy Ritchie’s would-be blockbuster King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword flopped hard, the sword of financial disaster pulled smoothly from the stone of foolish expectations and held aloft for all to see. Current estimates have the film on track to lose upwards of $150 million, and the movie now holds the record for the third-worst opening of all time for a movie with such a wide release and giant budget. So now the Monday-morning quarterbacking can begin: What are the reasons this project was such a catastrophic box office failure, other than being a film where Guy Ritchie took the Arthurian legend and updated it to include lots of gun-wielding gangsters and convoluted plots where knights call each other “bruv”? (Full disclosure: We may not have seen the film yet.)

A new video from Ben at ...

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- Alex McLevy

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Coming Distractions: Why yes, that is “Gangsta’s Paradise” in the new Valerian trailer

24 May 2017 9:13 AM, PDT

The new trailer for Luc Besson’s Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets foregrounds the occasionally Avatar-esque CGI creatures—including an intergalactic beach idyll complete with adorable pastel lizard creatures—that populate the space metropolis of Alpha. But if you listen closely, you’ll find that, along with clearly outlining the existential threat that drives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline’s (Cara Delevingne) mission in the film, there’s a cleverly placed bit of ’90s nostalgia in the trailer. Underneath all the trippy neon sci-fi action, thee’s a musical track that sounds a whole hell of a lot like an orchestral version of Coolio’s 1995 mega-hit “Gangsta’s Paradise”—or, to follow the musical thread, an orchestral version of the chorus and strings from Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise.”

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets opens on July 21.

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- Katie Rife

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Coming Distractions: Spidey gets an internship with Tony Stark in the new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer

24 May 2017 8:26 AM, PDT

In the new Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer, Peter Parker has a pretty convenient excuse for bailing on his friends to go fight crime: He has an internship with Tony Stark. And, hey, that’s not even that much of a lie. He goes out, stops petty crime, and reports back about his activities and churro-eating. However, his connection to Iron Man also means Spidey’s at the mercy of a “training wheels protocol” that enables Stark to disable his suit when he gets too big for his high-tech britches. Peter’s dorky petulance is actually an endearing spin on a superhero, but, naturally, big set pieces are also in order—this is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, after all.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is due out July 7.

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- Esther Zuckerman

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Newswire: Meet Laura Dern’s purple-haired officer and Benicio Del Toro’s “DJ” in The Last Jedi

24 May 2017 8:02 AM, PDT

Perhaps we’re only saying this because the only image we’ve seen of her was shot by Annie Leibovitz, but Laura Dern’s new Star Wars heroine looks like she’s adding a giant dose of fashion to the galaxy. According to Vanity Fair’s story about The Last Jedi, Dern is playing Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. She’s an officer in the Resistance, she has gorgeous purple hair, and she’s wearing a gown that wouldn’t be out of place on a Cannes red carpet.

Ahem.

Laura Dern has purple hair in Star Wars. https://t.co/GS5jUsLtq5 pic.twitter.com/CCzUY70Wyl

— kateyrich (@kateyrich) May 24, 2017

Meanwhile, Vf also has some information regarding other new faces to the franchise. Benicio Del Toro’s character is at this point the most mysterious—so mysterious that he doesn’t even have a name. He’s described as a »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Newswire: Tom Cruise insists that a Top Gun sequel is filming soon

24 May 2017 7:13 AM, PDT

Even though he can play shirtless beach volleyball with the Sea Org any time he wants, Tom Cruise is still adamant that a sequel to Top Gun will be made at some point. He reiterated that belief yesterday on the Australian morning chat show Sunrise, saying that the sequel will begin filming “probably in the next year” as the anchors freak the fuck out. “I went to boarding school, and we watched the volleyball scene literally every day,“ co-host Samantha Armytage says.

Worldwide Exclusive: @TomCruise just confirmed that Top Gun 2 is happening! “I’m gonna start filming it probably in the next year”. #sun7 pic.twitter.com/X17xvxz4Q4

Sunrise (@sunriseon7) May 23, 2017

Beyond Cruise’s gigantic grin and the tingling in Australian TV hosts’ loins, the only proof we have of movement on a Top Gun sequel is a tweet from Jerry Bruckheimer saying that he and Cruise »

- Katie Rife

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Movie Review: Baywatch is even emptier than its source material

23 May 2017 10:00 PM, PDT

Nobody cares about Baywatch. With the exception of David Hasselhoff, Eastern European villages where it still runs in syndication, or Yasmine Bleeth’s lawyer, no one particularly harbors a lingering appreciation for the series that nevertheless lasted 11 seasons, spanning the entirety of the 1990s, yet leaving next to no cultural impact besides its unaccountable global popularity. When Baywatch is remembered at all, it’s for the most superficial of signifiers: Playboy Playmates in red swimsuits running in slow motion across sandy beaches, either toward or away from Hasselhoff’s hairy torso. There are no lasting, iconic characters, no memorable episodes fondly recalled. Baywatch is the rare work of pop culture that was already an empty, kitschy joke as it aired.

In many ways, this should work to the advantage of Seth Gordon’s Baywatch, a film inspired by the TV series and, more specifically, by those vague vestiges of ...

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- Sean O'Neal

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Newswire: R.I.P. Lisa Spoonauer, Caitlin Bree from Clerks

23 May 2017 6:03 PM, PDT

Entertainment Weekly reports that Lisa Spoonauer, the actress who played Caitlin Bree, one-third of the love triangle that partially powers Kevin Smith’s debut feature, Clerks, has died. Spoonauer was 44.

Spoonauer’s acting career was brief; her only IMDb credits are Clerks, a guest-star appearance on its animated spin-off, and a part in Gabe TorresBartender. After a brief marriage to co-star Jeff Anderson, she gave up acting, working instead as a restaurant manager and event planner in New Jersey, raising two children with her husband Tom. Her obituary briefly mentions her acting career, but doesn’t dwell on the fact that she once starred in one of the iconic cult films of the late 20th century.

Smith posted a tribute to Spoonauer on social media today, praising not just her acting—which he first saw while scouting community college acting courses, looking for actors to fill out his ...

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- William Hughes

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Newswire: Doug Liman drops out of Justice League Dark

23 May 2017 5:56 PM, PDT

According to Variety, director Doug Liman has dropped out of directing Justice League Dark, the DC universe movie that’s set to feature a ragtag group of magical heroes like John Constantine, Swamp Thing, and Zatanna. If this news seems familiar, it could be because DC’s Flash movie has also had a similarly difficult time holding onto directors, or it could be because this is the second time Liman has stepped away from a high-profile superhero movie—he was previously set to direct the X-Men spin-off Gambit for Fox before moving on to Justice League Dark.

Liman left Gambit because he “wasn’t feeling” the script, but apparently his exit from Dark is simply for scheduling reasons. Variety says his film Chaos Walking just got a green light from Lionsgate, so he’s going to work on that instead. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. has started meeting with other directors and »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Charlie’s Angels are coming back Summer 2019

23 May 2017 5:18 PM, PDT

Charlies’s Angels will soon be back to treat summer movie audiences to their signature blend of action, sex appeal, and self-aware, campy parodies of both of the above. Per The Hollywood Reporter, Elizabeth Banks’ new film version of the franchise will arrive in theaters on June 7, 2019.

Banks has been working on the project for a while now, her second directing gig after Pitch Perfect 2 made enough money to make producers at Sony sit up and take notice of her behind-the-scenes career. The film has yet to cast its titular Angels, former policewomen who answer to a smooth-voiced intercom that sends them on various adventures that allow them to show off their martial arts skills, espionage prowess, and era-defining hair. The Angels last hit the screen in 2011, when ABC aired an extremely short-lived TV version.

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- William Hughes

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Newswire: Johnny Depp vetoed a female villain for Pirates 5

23 May 2017 2:31 PM, PDT

We like to imagine Hollywood as a precision machine, with every million-dollar decision motivated by an enlightened blend of business savvy and artistic intent, while auteurs and producers battle it out in the honest assumption that their conflicts will create masterpieces of commercial cinema. The truth, of course, is a little more blurry, as we were reminded this week via a column from prolific screenwriter Terry Rossio.

Rossio—whose credits include Shrek, the 1998 Godzilla, and a host of Disney films, including Aladdin and most of the Pirates Of The Caribbean franchise—revealed that his version of the script for the upcoming Pirates sequel, Dead Men Tell No Tales, featured a female villain, but the character was nixed by star Johnny Depp. Why didn’t Depp want to face off against a powerful female adversary? Because he’d already done that, a mere five years earlier.

Depp apparently cited his ...

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- William Hughes

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Movie Review: Pirates Of The Caribbean slogs out to sea for the fifth time in Dead Men Tell No Tales

23 May 2017 1:20 PM, PDT

Plot is never the best part of a Pirates Of The Caribbean movie. It’s always some mumbo jumbo about maritime curses, lost treasure, and seafaring ghosts—and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the fifth entry in this long-running series adapted from a Disneyland ride, is in no way different. Returning to the basic formula of the three Pirates films directed by Gore Verbinski, in which Johnny Depp’s louche and campy Jack Sparrow played second banana to an insipid love story, Dead Men Tell No Tales finds the dipsomaniacal pirate trading away his magical compass—the one that leads anyone who holds it to what they need most—for a bottle of rum, thereby freeing a ghostly Spanish ship of the line from the Devil’s Triangle. The requisite dull courtship comes courtesy of Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites), the son of Orlando Bloom and Keira »

- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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