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Harvey Weinstein Denies Telling Peter Jackson Not to Cast Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino in ‘Lord of the Rings’

38 minutes ago

Harvey Weinstein has responded to claims made by Peter Jackson that allege the producer blacklisted actresses Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino from auditioning for “The Lord of the Rings.” In an official statement released by his publicist, Weinstein said he has “nothing but the utmost respect for Peter Jackson” but that he was never involved in any way with the film’s casting.

Read More:Peter Jackson Reveals Harvey Weinstein Blacklisted Ashely Judd and Mira Sorvino From ‘The Lord of the Rings

Jackson revealed to the New Zealand news publication Stuff that he removed Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino’s names from “The Lord of the Rings” casting list after a meeting with Weinstein. Jackson was pitching his idea for the J. R. R. Tolkien adaptation to Miramax in 1998 and met with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who told him both Sorvino and Judd were “a nightmare to work with.”

Sorvino »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Ultimate Beastmaster’ Review: This Insane Obstacle Course Competition is Netflix’s Best Alternative to the Olympics

45 minutes ago

One of the thrills of watching sports, either in person or on TV, is recognizing that everyone taking part is capable of things that you fundamentally are not. Sometimes it’s throwing a baseball at speeds that would get you booked for reckless driving. Other times, it’s running so fast that you can pose for a picture while beating all of your peers. In Season 2 of the Netflix series “Ultimate Beastmaster,” one of those feats is leaping between giant treadmills suspended ten feet in the air.In that way, “Ultimate Beastmaster” is crafted as unabashed TV comfort food. Following in the well-established vein of other televised obstacle course spectacles, it’s similar enough to “American Ninja Warrior” (even using the same director, Patrick McManus) that anyone stumbling across it on Netflix would be forgiven if they thought that this might be the same show that’s been a staple »


- Steve Greene

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The 5 Biggest Spoilers in ‘The Last Jedi’ and What they Mean for the Future of ‘Star Wars’

1 hour ago

The wait is over. The wait for not only the first mainline Star Wars movie since “The Force Awakens,” but also the wait for the first great Star Wars movie since “The Empire Strikes Back.” Mileage will vary, and the series’ diehard fans are only just starting to see Rian Johnson’s space opus and process their feelings on the most eventful Episode in a very long time.

Nevertheless, it’s already safe to say that “The Last Jedi” has been very well received by critics who wanted the story to break free from the past and challenge the fundamental nature of the galaxy’s biggest franchise. As IndieWire’s Eric Kohn wrote in his A- review of the film: “‘The Last Jedi’ turns the commercial restrictions of this behemoth into a Trojan horse for rapid-fire filmmaking trickery and narrative finesse. The result is the most satisfying entry in this »


- David Ehrlich

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Tommy Wiseau Wants A Part in ‘Star Wars Episode IX,’ and This Video Proves It Must Happen — Watch

1 hour ago

The Room” mastermind Tommy Wiseau may be too busy to direct a “Star Wars” movie right now, but he’s apparently free enough to be able to play a part in “Star Wars Episode IX.” Taking full advantage of the fact that “The Last Jedi” and “The Disaster Artist’ are both playing in theaters, Wiseau is pitching himself for the next “Star Wars” sequel, which is being directed by J.J. Abrams.

Read More:Tommy Wiseau Wants to Direct a ‘Star Wars’ Movie — but He’s ‘Very Busy,’ So He’d Prefer to Act

Wiseau has taken to Twitter to directly address the official “Star Wars” account and request a part in the third entry in the Rey-centric trilogy. Fortunately, we already know how brilliant a Tommy Wiseau-starring “Star Wars” film would be thanks to a viral video that launched in May earlier this year.

Oh, hi, Mark. Put me in the next Star Wars. »


- Zack Sharf

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The 10 Best Cinematographers of 2017, Ranked

1 hour ago

There were so many incredibly shot films this year that narrowing it down to 10 wasn’t easy. What follows is not an attempt the highlight the best-looking movies of the year, but the ones that used cinematography most effectively in building expressive, cinematic worlds. This list embraces exploration of form, creative use of limitations, and overcoming challenges with craft and innovation. Often, the awards-season narrative for below-the-line talent is scale and the most obvious use of craft; here, the focus is how form can be used to elicit emotion and tell a story. These are 10 films that do that exceeding well.

10. “A Ghost Story

A movie made with a small group of friends, shot in small house over a small number of days, is not supposed to be this visually big. But just like David Lowery’s film itself, cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo finds incredible depth and beauty in the simplicity of “A Ghost Story. »


- Chris O'Falt

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‘The Crown’ Ratings: According to Nielsen, an Older, Upscale Female Audience Binged Season 2

2 hours ago

Netflix continues to refuse to share its ratings data, but Nielsen is moving forward with data of their own, reporting that the first Season 2 episode of awards contender “The Crown” averaged nearly 3 million viewers within the first three days of availability (December 8 to 10).

Taking all 10 episodes into account, within the first three days, “The Crown” averaged nearly 1.3 million viewers P2+ watching and close to 600,000 adults 18-49 viewers.

According to Nielsen’s Svod Content Ratings, “The Crown” skews older than some of Netflix’s other offerings and is also among the streamer’s most upscale shows. Per the ratings service, half of “The Crown” audience was over 50 — outside of the adults 18-49 demo that advertisers covet (something the ad-free Netflix doesn’t need to worry about). Two-thirds of the audience within the first three days were over the age of 35.

Read More:Netflix’s ‘Ozark’ Was Most Popular Streaming Show This Summer, »


- Michael Schneider

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Guillermo del Toro Originally Pitched ‘Trollhunters’ As a Live-Action Drama Like ‘Stranger Things’

2 hours ago

It may seem like Guillermo del Toro is up to a lot of different things at once. But while his current projects may seem to verge wildly at the moment, from the award-nominated fantasy film “The Shape of Water” to the Netflix/Dreamworks Animation series “Trollhunters,” there is one common element — one which unites those projects as well as much of his past work.

“I’m a guy that’s been doing fairy tales all his life,” del Toro told IndieWire. “It can be ‘Shape of Water,’ it can be ‘Pacific Rim,’ it can be [‘Trollhunters’]. It can be Pan’s Labyrinth. There is that thruline.”

While the intention might be the same, we do see variations in del Toro’s approach to making film and television. For example, the second season of “Trollhunters,” which premieres Friday on Netflix, is far less adult than some of his other work, even though »


- Liz Shannon Miller

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Peter Jackson Reveals Harvey Weinstein Blacklisted Ashely Judd and Mira Sorvino From ‘The Lord of the Rings’

2 hours ago

Peter Jackson has broken his silence on the sexual harassment and abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. The Oscar-winning director revealed to the New Zealand news publication Stuff that he removed Ashley Judd and Mira Sorvino’s names from “The Lord of the Rings” casting list after a meeting with Weinstein.

Jackson was pitching his idea for the J. R. R. Tolkien adaptation to Miramax in 1998 and met with Bob and Harvey Weinstein, who told him both Sorvino and Judd were “a nightmare to work with.”

Read More:‘Lord of the Rings’ TV Series in the Works at Amazon, Which Wants the Precious All for Itself

“I recall Miramax telling us they were a nightmare to work with and we should avoid them at all costs,” Jackson said. “This was probably in 1998. At the time, we had no reason to question what these guys were telling us — but in hindsight, I »


- Zack Sharf

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John Boyega is Stunned Speechless After Interviewer Reveals Massive ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Spoiler — Watch

3 hours ago

With two “Star Wars” blockbusters under his belt, John Boyega knows a thing or two about protecting spoilers during interviews and making sure nothing top secret slips from his mouth when he’s answering questions. But what happens when the interviewer just goes ahead and lets loose a massive spoiler? During an appearance on the UK’s “This Morning,” Boyega was left speechless by co-host Holly Willoughby after she revealed something huge about “The Last Jedi.”

Read More:‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Review: Here’s the Most Satisfying Star Wars Movie in Decades

Boyega reprises his role as former Stormtrooper and current Resistance fighter Finn in “The Last Jedi.” The Rian Johnson-directed sequel finds the character teaming up with friend Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and new character Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) to thwart a new threat from The First Order.

We won’t reveal what the huge spoiler is, »


- Zack Sharf

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‘The Polka King’ Trailer: Jack Black is a Polish Hustler in This Stranger-Than-Fiction True Story

4 hours ago

Jack Black is looking to kick off 2018 with something of a career resurgence. The comedian is one of the leads in the Christmas family tentpole “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle,” and just a few weeks later his indie comedy “The Polka King” will debut on Netflix.

Read More:‘The Godfather’ Trilogy Makes Netflix an Offer It Can’t Refuse Next Month; ‘Marie Antoinette’ and ‘Midnight in Paris,’ Too

Directed by “Infinitely Polar Bear” filmmaker Maya Forbes, “The Polka King” tells the stranger-than-fiction true story Jan Lewan, a Polish hustler known for being the “King of Pennsylvania Polka” in the early ’90s and for running a Ponzi scheme to fund his aspiring music career. Jenny SlateJason Schwartzman, Jacki Weaver, and J.B. Smoove co-star.

The Polka King” premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. The film will be available to stream on Netflix starting January 12. Watch the trailer below.

Sign Up:Stay on »


- Zack Sharf

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Why ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Surpassed Expectations — IndieWire’s Movie Podcast (Screen Talk Episode 177)

4 hours ago

It’s been a busy week for the movie business, starting with the most predictable news — the Golden Globes nominations on Monday morning — in addition to the unprecedented sale of Fox’s film and TV properties to Disney, just a few days after “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” reviews landed. All three of those developments have stimulated far-reaching conversations about the art and business of making movies. In the case of the Globes, debate has focused as much on the movies that didn’t get nominated (“The Big Sick”) as the off-the-wall ones that did (“The Greatest Showman”?). But Disney’s new acquisition raises a series of more open-ended questions, from the future of the Marvel universe to the next steps for Fox Searchlight.

With “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” however, one question looms above them all: How did this blockbuster behemoth turn out so good?

See More:‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi »


- Indiewire Staff

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Daniel Day-Lewis Doesn’t Give the Best Performance in ‘Phantom Thread’: Vicky Krieps on Her Breakthrough Role

4 hours ago

Daniel Day-Lewis is unsurprisingly great in “Phantom Thread,” the thrice-awarded thespian’s supposed swan song, but the movie doesn’t belong to him. That honor goes to the remarkable Vicky Krieps, who’s far from a newcomer but essentially unknown on this side of the Atlantic — outside of “A Most Wanted Man” and “Hanna,” most of the Luxembourgian thespian’s work has been in Germany. One suspects that’s about to change.

Day-Lewis plays a mid-century fashion designer in Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest, which reunites him with his “There Will Be Blood” star a decade later. Brilliant and neurotic, the esteemed Reynolds Woodcock can’t stand deviations from his routine and, according to his old so-and-so of a sister (Lesley Manville), is disoriented for the rest of the day whenever breakfast doesn’t go exactly as planned — which makes it a minor disaster when Alma (Krieps), whom he meets in a seaside inn, »


- Michael Nordine

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Lili Reinhart Defends Controversial ‘Riverdale’ Striptease: ‘It Was Supposed To Make You Uncomfortable’

4 hours ago

The CW’s “Riverdale” is one of TV’s most talked about series, but one scene in the Season 2 episode “Chapter Twenty-One: House of the Devil” caught most fans off guard. The Archie Comics adaptation has always pushed the envelope with the edgy reimagining of the classic comic, but a striptease scene involving 16-year-old Betty Cooper has given fans pause.

In “House of the Devil,” Betty (Lili Reinhart) helps her boyfriend Jughead (Cole Sprouse) throw a retirement party for his father, who has decided to leave behind his biker gang, The South Side Serpents. Jughead had previously joined the gang during his father’s stint in prison. Worried about her boyfriend’s safety and wanting to be a part of his world, Betty decides to join the gang herself. Her initiation? A pole dance at the gang’s bar hangout.

Read More:Dylan Sprouse on His Killer New Role, Life After Disney, »


- Jamie Righetti

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‘Birdboy: The Forgotten Children’ Review: A Dark Animated Delight About Cute Animals, Hard Drugs, and Hope for the Future

5 hours ago

The opening moments of “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children” unfold like an urgent warning to any parents who might think that this is just another kid-friendly animated film about cute animals who learn valuable lessons. “The future is past,” a voice insists from the darkness, speaking in Spanish and accompanied by exclamatory subtitles (an English-language version is also available). “The garbage is the present. Blood is the law!” From there, we’re hurled through the history of a once-vibrant storybook world, a colorful idyll where bunnies and mice and all sorts of creatures lived in harmony until a nuclear disaster scorched the island and turned its survivors against each other.

Adorable silhouettes bleed into red and black monsters, and the nice sounds of nature are replaced by a queasy synth score that sounds like it was borrowed from “The Neon Demon.” Within minutes, we’re introduced to a young mouse named »


- David Ehrlich

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Matt Damon on Harvey Weinstein and Al Franken: Not All Sexual Misconduct ‘Belongs in the Same Category’

5 hours ago

Matt Damon is once again stirring the pot when it comes to sharing his opinions on sexual harassment and abuse in Hollywood. TheDownsizing” actor joined Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers for a video interview and expressed his belief that the punishment should fit the crime when it comes to sexual misconduct allegations, meaning not all men should be punished the same if the type of misconduct is different.

Read More:Matt Damon Admits He Heard About Harvey Weinstein Sexually Harassing Gwyneth Paltrow

“I do believe that there’s a spectrum of behavior,” Damon says. “And we’re going to have to figure — you know, there’s a difference between, you know, patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation, right? Both of those behaviors need to be confronted and eradicated without question, but they shouldn’t be conflated, right?”

Damon admits that all sexually inappropriate behavior “needs to be confronted, »


- Zack Sharf

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Zac Efron Joins Harmony Korine’s ‘The Beach Bum’ Opposite Matthew McConaughey — Exclusive

6 hours ago

Zac Efron has joined the cast of Harmony Korine’s new film, “The Beach Bum.” Efron is set to play a character named Flicker opposite Matthew McConaughey, Isla Fisher, Jimmy Buffet, and Snoop Dogg. The film is currently wrapping production in Miami, Florida.

Read More:News Film TV Awards Toolkit More Search Harmony Korine Set to Adapt Controversial Teacher-Student Sex Novel ‘Tampa’

The Beach Bum” is Korine’s first feature since 2012’s “Spring Breakers” became his biggest project to date, grossing over $31 million worldwide and introducing the “Kids” scribe to a whole new generation of audiences. “The Beach Bum” has been billed as a “stoner comedy” — though one expects with Korine that it isn’t your traditional one — and stars McConaughey as the titular character, a rebellious stoner named Moondog who lives life by his own rules. Efron’s Flicker is one of the characters Moondog meets on his journey.

Neon »


- Zack Sharf

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‘Gunpowder’ Review: Kit Harington Needs a Dragon’s Fire to Spark This Handsome Historical Yarn

6 hours ago

Gunpowder” invites a lot of comparisons to “Game of Thrones.” Much of the three-hour series is spent watching Kit Harington swing his sword around, sport period garb while walking through castles, deliver stirring motivational speeches, and recruit an army to defend his fellow men from persecution. Future generations can look at .gifs of a grimacing Harington and guess, “‘Game of Thrones’ or ‘Gunpowder’?”

As fun as that sounds, the limited series deserves slightly more respect than such frivolity implies. It’s an earnestly made, well-told, true story about a group of 17th century Catholics who rebelled against a Protestant king that saw their faith as a threat and wanted them eliminated. Dragons do not belong here, nor should one wish for them to fly in and set the world ablaze.

But while “Gunpowder” tells its story clearly and respectably — previously unaware British viewers will see Guy Fawkes Day differently — its »


- Ben Travers

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The 2018 Foreign Language Oscar Shortlist: 9 Films, Many Snubs and Surprises

18 hours ago

Whittling down this year’s record 92 foreign-language Oscar submissions to a shortlist of nine was a challenge for the Academy which, under the leadership of new president John Bailey, instituted voting changes for the disparate group of Academy volunteers commandeered by foreign-language committee chair Mark Johnson.

Eight of the films were well-known from festival play and have been racking up awards, most notably European Film Awards winner “The Square.” Two lesser-known films that were not widely predicted made the cut, “Félicité” from Senegal and “The Wound” from South Africa. Steady as they go for Sony Pictures Classics and Magnolia Pictures, which lead the field with three and two films, respectively.

The nine films are listed alphabetically below.

“A Fantastic Woman”  (Chile, Sony Pictures Classics)

Berlin debuted Sebastián Lelio’s transgender drama, which won Best Screenplay and played well at Telluride and Toronto.

 “Félicité”  (Senegal, Strand Releasing)

In Alain Gomis’s family drama, »


- Anne Thompson

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‘The Last Jedi’ Will Be the Biggest Movie of 2017, Even as It Leaves Some Records Untouched

18 hours ago

The first shows for “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” begin tonight, and there’s every expectation that is will be the biggest-opening, top-grossing domestic release of 2017. At a minimum, we’re looking at a $200 million opening, with $225 million very likely.

With strong holiday playtime following the first 10 days of release, a multiple of at least three times its opening is possible, which could propel to the domestic take to around $700 million.

Yes, it’s going to be huge — but there’s a few records it might not beat. Here (with adjusting numbers to 2017 values) are some comparable numbers that “Jedi” will easily best, and a few that seem unlikely.

Top domestic grosses of 2017: Yes

“The Last Jedi” should find the opening numbers easy to beat, and it’s hard to imagine it won’t be the best-performing movie of the year.

Film Studio Opening Gross Domestic Total Beauty and the Beast »


- Tom Brueggemann

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10 Cinematography Masters Who Love Celluloid, from ‘Dunkirk’ to ‘Wonder Woman’

19 hours ago

The romance with film turned a corner this year with the massive success of Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.” The World War II actioner had the widest 70mm release in 25 years (125 prints, dominated by IMAX), grabbing $188 million domestically and $525 million worldwide. And the visual impact of the IMAX format was powerful in the best picture frontrunner. Whether by land, by air, or by sea, the imagery was immersive. That is why Dutch-Swedish cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema is the frontrunner in his race as well.

But the impact of film on the cinematography race doesn’t stop there. Also in strong contention are “The Beguiled,” “Call Me By Your Name,” “Wonder Struck,” and “Wonder Woman,” all period pieces shot in a variety of styles that particularly benefited from the texture and warmth of 35mm film. At the same time, “The Post,” “Murder on the Orient Express” (another 70mm spectacle), “The Florida Project, »


- Bill Desowitz

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