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Movie Review: The B-Side finds Errol Morris aiming his Interrotron at another artist for once

7 hours ago

Over his nearly 40 years as a documentary filmmaker, Errol Morris has conducted in-depth, direct-to-camera interviews with criminals (both guilty and falsely convicted), grieving pet owners, Florida eccentrics, Abu Ghraib soldiers, eminent scientists (including Stephen Hawking), and not one but two men who formerly held the position of U.S. secretary of defense. Artists, however, have been conspicuous in their absence. Until now, the sole example to be found among Morris’ features was topiary gardener George Mendonça, who shares 1997’s Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control with two scientists and a lion tamer. So it’s surprising to see Morris devote an entire movie to Elsa Dorfman, a portrait photographer best known for her regular use of Polaroid’s largest instant camera. Arguably, Dorfman would have made a better fit for Morris’ half-hour First Person TV series—even at only 76 minutes, The B-Side feels a tad overextended—but »

- Mike D'Angelo

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Movie Review: The Reagan Show traces Trump’s sideshow tactics back to our first TV-ready president

7 hours ago

It’s almost impossible to watch Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez’s found-footage docu-essay The Reagan Show without thinking about the White House’s current occupant. The connections are intentional. Pettengill and Velez constructed The Reagan Show entirely from old media coverage of Ronald Reagan, using interviews, punditry, and amusing flubs and outtakes to paint a picture of a presidency that traded on the celebrity of its chief executive to sell simple, reactionary ideas about taxes, social welfare programs, and national defense to fiercely devoted supporters. In the opening minutes, the film even has a clip of President Reagan speaking to backers about his vision for the country, and promising, “Together, we’ll make America great again.” The message is clear: The voters just elected a man who invoked nostalgia for a man who invoked nostalgia.

But it’d be wrong to think of The Reagan Show as some kind »

- Noel Murray

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Great Job, Internet!: Chris Miller references his Han Solo firing with an apt Star Wars quote

8 hours ago

Outside of a few statements the day it was announced—establishing “creative differences” as the reason for their ousting—former Han Solo movie directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord have been pretty quiet since they left the stand-alone Disney movie last week. Miller returned to social evening earlier today, though, and when he did, it was with a particularly apt Star Wars reference at the ready:

Situation normal

Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) June 27, 2017

In another context, Miller’s quote might be taken as face value, but as Star Wars fans know, it’s also one of the first lines of Han’s improvised attempt to play Stormtrooper in A New Hope. In case it’s been a minute, the attempt doesn’t go over very well—it was a pretty boring conversation, anyway—although it’s not clear if Miller himself is Han in this situation, or if he »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner might write the Toni Erdmann remake

10 hours ago

According to Deadline, Girls creator Lena Dunham and showrunner Jenni Konner are “in early talks” to write the English-language remake of German film Toni Erdmann. The original, a three-hour comedy about a man pulling pranks on his overly serious daughter that was occasionally very sad, was directed by Maren Ade and received an Oscar nomination in the Foreign Language category last year, and this remake will star Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig. The Deadline story says this is all still in “early days,” though, so it sounds like there’s still a chance that either Dunham and Konner or Nicholson and Wiig could end up leaving the project before things really start moving forward. Also, a director isn’t attached yet, but Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum are producing through their Gloria Sanchez label. »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Hugh Jackman to play Frontrunner Gary Hart for Jason Reitman

10 hours ago

Hugh Jackman is ready to trade in slashing bad guys for shaking hands and kissing babies (and possibly some other, more scandalous stuff), with Variety reporting that the Logan star has signed on for the title role in Jason Reitman’s new film The Frontrunner. Jackman will star as Senator Gary Hart, the 1988 Democratic candidate whose hopes for the presidency were destroyed when allegations arose that he was engaged in an extramarital affair. Although Hart attempted to weather the accusations, his credibility was damaged, leaving opponent Michael Dukakis to get crushed in the ’88 campaign against George H.W. Bush.

The Frontrunner marks a return to more political film-making for Reitman, who made a name for himself with 2005’s Thank You For Smoking. The Oscar-nominated director is currently finishing up work on his latest feature, Tully, with Charlize Theron and Juno writer Diablo Cody. »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: The Lucas Museum will break ground in L.A. next year

13 hours ago

In January, Los Angeles announced that it would be making some room for the George Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art that Chicago had so much trouble with, and now the Los Angeles City Council has formally granted Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, the specific location they wanted in the city’s Exposition Park. Groundbreaking will begin at some point next year, with the museum itself scheduled to open in 2021.

This news comes from Variety, and the story says that the museum is “a gift to the city of Los Angeles” that will come with an endowment of “at least $400 million”—which Chicago could’ve had if certain groups had been willing to break a silly law about building things on the lakefront. During the city council meeting, Lucas offered some details on why he thinks this museum will be important, explaining that popular art “appeals to people »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: R.I.P. Michael Nyqvist, of John Wick and the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

13 hours ago

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, best known for starring in the original film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, and as a flamboyant bad guy in Hollywood films like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and John Wick, has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nyqvist was suffering from lung cancer, and died at the age of 56.

Adopted out of an orphanage as a baby, Nyqvist quickly gravitated to the stage, first as a prospective ballet dancer, and later as an actor. He gained his first taste of international prominence in 2000, when he co-starred in Lukas Moodysson’s serio-comic film Together, playing an abusive husband whose wife leaves him to join a commune. His career gained a similar global boost in 2004, when he starred in As It Is In Heaven, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Already one of Sweden »

- William Hughes

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The SuperManual: Doctor Poison

14 hours ago

Who she is: Doctor Poison, a.k.a Dr. Isabel Maru

Her power: She doesn’t have any superpowers, but she’s a valuable asset for the German army thanks to her expertise in chemistry and amoral nature.

Her story: Recruited by General Erich Ludendorff to create chemical weapons for the German army during World War I, Dr. Poison is a megalomaniacal mad scientist who wears a ceramic mask to cover a disfigurement on one side of her face. At the beginning of Wonder Woman, Dr. Poison is scrambling to create a poison powerful enough to melt gas masks, believing that this weapon would be able to end the war—and bring her the glory and fame she craves in the process. Her efforts are initially thwarted when Steve Trevor steals her notebook during an undercover mission, but eventually she is able to create her poison gas just in »

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Newswire: Steve Carell doesn’t mind being called a silver fox

14 hours ago

Today we’ve dealt with disgraced journalists and comedians, so here’s some lighter news. In his post-Office career, Steve Carell has played a creepy scion, a high-powered agent, and a resentful financier, but while promoting his ongoing stint as a not-so-evil mastermind in the Despicable Me movies, the internet cast him as a silver fox. Last week, Carell, who’s voicing Gru for a third Minion-packed outing, was going about his day with his grays, when some especially appealing photos began making the rounds online. Dressed in a button-down, sweater, and chinos (we think), Carell looked every bit the flinty-haired man of leisure. One appreciative fan couldn’t keep their find to themselves, and Carell’s newfound reputation took off:

Honestly take your Goslings and your Zayns Malik and give me 2017 Steve Carell pic.twitter.com/lUWWF2A8Ue

— Chloe Gilke (@GilkeAsCharged) June 21, 2017

As with all such »

- Danette Chavez

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Newswire: Ansel Elgort pivots from getaway driver to John F. Kennedy for next movie

15 hours ago

Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s latest, marks a turning point in the career of one Ansel Elgort, establishing him as a star beyond the world of Ya or Edm. (Yes, Elgort is also a budding pop star who has gone by DJ Ansolo.) But now he’s got another project in the works that should test his range as an actor. According to Deadline, he’s going to star as a pre-presidency John F. Kennedy in the WWII-set Mayday 109. The film, which is written by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore, will tell the story of Kennedy’s military heroics after his Patrol Torpedo Craft was hit by a Japanese destroyer.

“We could not be more excited about Ansel coming aboard,” producer Basil Iwanyk said, per Deadline. “Not only is he a tremendous actor, he embodies the charisma, athleticism and looks of a young JFK. We love that this is »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Great Job, Internet!: What the hell are all those jobs listed in film credits?

15 hours ago

Anyone who’s ever stuck around through a film’s credits has probably started asking themselves the same kind of questions as the names rolled on and the titles got stranger. What’s a second unit, and what does it do? What’s the difference between “written by” and “story by”? What the hell is a best boy and what makes him so great? Well, John P. Hess and the folks at Filmmaker Iq have put together an incredibly thorough video to help clear up some of those mysteries, explaining the roles of everyone from the executive producer to the head of craft services.

Turns out, the best boy (which is a title that doesn’t change according to the person’s gender, just so you know) is one of the highest ranking members of a movie’s lighting crew. They answer to the gaffer, who heads up the lighting »

- Matt Gerardi

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Coming Distractions: The women of Star Wars have their own adventures in this Forces Of Destiny teaser

15 hours ago

At Star Wars Celebration back in April, Disney announced a new series of animated shorts that will focus on the universe’s female heroes. Titled Star Wars: Forces Of Destiny, each short will follow a different hero from the movies and TV shows, including Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, and Ahsoka Tano. Now, Disney has released a short teaser for the series, and while some of this stuff might not be strictly canonical, it is surprisingly badass for a show that seems targeted at kids. Plus, all of the original actors are present (except for Carrie Fisher, obviously), which helps make Forces Of Destiny feel like it really is part of the larger Star Wars universe.

The first Forces Of Destiny shorts will premiere on YouTube on July 3. »

- Sam Barsanti

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Great Job, Internet!: Nothing to disagree with here, just a definitive list of the best actors to play each superhero

16 hours ago

Many a night at the local watering hole has been spent debating which actor best embodies our favorite superheroes. Luckily, Cracked’s Daniel Dockery is here with a definitive answer, at least when it comes to Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the Joker, the Incredible Hulk, and the Punisher. While most superhero fans would consider how the actor best embodies the character’s physical attributes, or perhaps how effectively they interwove their origin story into the character, Dockery instead conducts a “Superhero Actor Battle Royale, wherein actual acting talent comes in a far second behind the ability to beat a costumed person unconscious in under 10 seconds.”

Some of the results will please longtime fans: Even with such threadbare judging criteria, Christopher Reeve emerges as the best Superman. Elsewhere, devotees may find their sacred cows left to the slaughter. Why would anyone want Michael Keaton’s Batman in a fight when all »

- Randall Colburn

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Newswire: It’s Rumor Time: Is Warner Bros. planning a Superman: Red Son movie?

16 hours ago

Mostly thanks to the fact that the guy running the United States these days is an unwitting stooge for Vladimir Putin, Russia is suddenly more culturally relevant than it has been in decades. Combine that with the fact that the public’s thirst for superhero movies is so unquenchable that even bad ones can make a ton of money, and suddenly it becomes clear that the timing is pretty good for an adaptation of Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, and Kilian Plunkett’s 2003 comic book miniseries Superman: Red Son. That seems to be what Warner Bros. is thinking, at least, as Den Of Geek claims that the studio has taken pitches from multiple directors about possibly making a live-action version of the comic.

None of this is confirmed, so it’s a very tenuous rumor at this point, but most of the “evidence” comes from a Twitter exchange between Mark »

- Sam Barsanti

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Great Job, Internet!: The Last Jedi trailer gets a cyberpunk-as-hell remake

16 hours ago

The below remake of The Last Jedi trailer is certainly interesting, in part, because of how it was produced, using an Apple IIc from 1984, a program from the era called Dazzle Draw, and some 48 floppy disks, the entirety of which contained 6 Mb of information. But the method is a little less important than the end result, which is completely, stupidly cool, like you’re seeing through the code from The Matrix to visualize the Magic Eye-like images buried underneath it.

Cita-cita waktu masih kecil di th 80an: bikin trailer Star Wars pakai komputer Apple bermonitor monochrome, baru kesampaian sekarang. pic.twitter.com/kUV28VB5pq

— Pinot (@pinotski) June 26, 2017

According to TechCrunch, Twitter user @pinotski produced the video over the course of three weeks, apparently while holding up transparent plastic sheets against the monitor. That sounds like a lot of work, but the end result is worth it »

- Clayton Purdom

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Coming Distractions: Robert Pattinson is on a gritty mission to save his brother in the new Good Time trailer

16 hours ago

Following a well-received premiere at this year’s Cannes Film Festival, we now have another look at Heaven Knows What directors Ben and Joshua Safdie’s new film Good Time, starring Robert Pattinson as a bank robber who desperately attempts to get his brother Nick (Ben Safdie) out of Rikers. Our critic A.A. Dowd was especially taken with Pattinson’s performance when he saw the film in France: “Pattinson is enthralling in the part; he lets us see not just the caged-animal attitude of the character, who’s in survival mode for the entire running time, but also the improvisational spark of his intellect,” Dowd wrote.

This new trailer captures some of the movie’s frantic and violent qualities, all bathed in seamy light. Good Time is due out August 11. »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Newswire: Daniel Day-Lewis to become a dressmaker, or maybe just play one in a movie

18 hours ago

Method acting is confusing. That’s the takeaway from a recent rumor published in the New York Post’s Page Six gossip section, saying that the reason famed Method devotee Daniel Day-Lewis recently announced his retirement from acting is because he’s found a new career as a dressmaker. The paper claims that Day-Lewis has been studying the art of haute couture for some time, but waited to announce his career change until he could “go out with a bang”—i.e. Paul Thomas Anderson’s next film, unofficially referred to as Phantom Thread.

The thing is, though, that Day-Lewis is playing a couturier in said film. So, yeah, he presumably has been studying dressmaking for a few years to prepare for the role, because he’s committed like that. But making the link between that and his retirement from acting seems, let’s say, tentative, especially since Day-Lewis has »

- Katie Rife

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Great Job, Internet!: Anakin versus Obi-Wan, now with 100 percent more Pitbull

18 hours ago

If someone were to make a list of all the things that could be done to improve the Star Wars prequels, replacing the score with modern pop music would likely be nowhere near the top. In fact, some might say John Williams’ arrangements are among the few redeeming qualities of those three films, and that altering them in any way would be a fool’s errand. But this fan-made mashup is making a pretty good case that what the final act of Revenge Of The Sith really needed was some blaring Miami reggaeton courtesy of Mr. Worldwide himself.

https://kanjiklubs.tumblr.com/post/155277620326

Using Pitbull’s 2014 track “Fireball” and some slick editing tricks, Tumblr user and Star Wars fan Kanjiklubs transformed the epic duel between master and apprentice into what it was always meant to be: a fun, tightly choreographed dance party between two friends on the volcanic »

- Dan Neilan

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Great Job, Internet!: It’s hard to ignore Aladdin’s brutal violence when rewatching it as an adult

18 hours ago

One of the pleasures of being a film buff is revisiting the movies that first shaped your sensibilities as a wee one. As a kid, you probably dug Ghostbusters for Slimer and Stay Puft, but to view it with experienced eyes is to discover the intricacies and subtle humor of Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis’ script. On other occasions, however, that rose-colored revisitation can reveal some truly freaky shit about the art that seared itself on your brain all those years ago.

Take Disney’s ’80s and ’90s animated flicks, for example. No, that bishop in the The Little Mermaid did not have a boner, but let’s not forget that Ursula got impaled. There’s plenty of impaling in Aladdin, too, as well as all kinds of wanton violence, stupidity, and general assholery. The gang at Looper took it upon themselves to chronicle it all in the below video »

- Randall Colburn

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Newswire: Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Laura Harrier joins HBO’s Fahrenheit 451

19 hours ago

It’s time to get familiar with the stars of Spider-Man: Homecoming, because it looks like they’re going to be popping up in a lot of intriguing projects. Case in point: Deadline reports that Laura Harrier—who plays Liz Allan, the object of Spidey’s affection in the Marvel Cinematic Universe movie— has joined the cast of HBO FilmsFahrenheit 451. Harrier will be taking on the role of pill and TV-addicted Millie, the wife of “fireman” Guy Montag (Michael B. Jordan). The cast for the project, which is set to be directed by 99 Homes’ Ramin Bahrani, also includes Michael Shannon and The Mummy’s Sofia Boutella. It’s unclear when the Ray Bradbury adaptation will hit screens, but reviving classic dystopias does seem to be all the rage these days.

[via Screenrant] »

- Esther Zuckerman

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