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Updated: 1 hour 16 min ago

The Best ‘Mission: Impossible’ Action Scenes

July 31, 2015 - 8:00pm

Brian De Palma‘s first Mission: Impossible film wasn’t packed with action setpieces — there are only three, really, but those three are all top-tier action filmmaking, and one of those three defined the series for years to come. In the two decades since, the series has been tackled by a variety of directors — John Woo, J.J. Abrams, Brad Bird, and now Christopher McQuarrie — each of whom bring a slightly different balance of action and espionage to their respective mix.

Paramount in all the best Mission Impossible setpieces, however, is the physicality of Tom Cruise (and, at times, his co-stars) and a direct simplicity that lets Cruise and many stunt performers shine. We’ve examined the major action concepts in the five films in the series to find the best Mission Impossible action scenes and show-off setpieces. (And, OK, we’ve highlighted a couple of the worst, too.)

Note: Below we talk about scenes from Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation, but the stills used are from the trailer, and we’ve kept spoilers to a minimum. That said, there are still some spoilers here for Rogue Nation.

20.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible II (2000)
The Setup: Ethan Hunt meets Nyah (Thandie Newton) and their cars dance.

The second film in the series doesn’t take long to establish itself as vastly different from the first. That could be a very good thing, but warning bells go off during this goofy and visually incoherent flirt-turned-car chase that quickly becomes a literal dance with spinning cars. A better version of this scene may exist in John Woo’s rumored long initial cut of the film, but this final version is laughable.

***

19.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible II (2000)
The Setup: On vacation, Ethan climbs a mountain with no safety harness.

It’s a great idea: re-introduce Ethan Hunt for the second film with a long push-in on his free-climb in Moab, Utah. The first shot is terrific, but the bulk of the scene is lensed and cut in a way that undermines the performance of Cruise and his doubles, and dispels any sense of danger. It’s meant to convey exhilaration and casual danger, but there’s no rush of adrenalin. There’s mostly just a sense of safety and even weightlessness — precisely the opposite of the feeling that should coil in your gut while watching.

***

18.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible III (2006)
The Setup: Drawn back into action when a colleague is engandgered, Ethan’s operation leads to a helicopter chase.

A routine but well-executed gunfight leads to a helicopter chase that is anything but routine as its path veers into a field of giant wind turbines. At this point J.J. Abrams and his crew didn’t have the action chops we’d see later in the Star Trek films, though the seeds are planted, especially in the helicopter chase. There is an ever-escalating series of dangers to evade as copters veer through giant spinning blades, but there’s no spontaneity; each beat feels calculated as a riff on the basic visual pun. Each beat is planned, of course, but the best sequences in the M:I series keep us from thinking about it in the moment. Keri Russell’s performance is the highlight of this sequence, along with the sense of impending doom her story provides.

***

17.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible II (2000)
The Setup: It’s the end of the movie so there has to be a big fight, and this one is nuts.

In a different movie, say, Torque, this foot chase with spinning leaps of gunplay, followed by a motorcycle chase (with spinning leaps of gunplay) followed by a knife fight might be a “get the audience on their feet” showstopper. Here, it’s a tangle of choppy silliness that has exactly the wrong effect. Let’s recognize the stunt driving, wire work, and editing, which together provide the goofiest highlights, while also accepting that the feel is all wrong.

***

16.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)
The Setup: After a document transfer goes wrong, Ethan chases Hendricks into a sandstorm.

Much of Ghost Protocol’s action holds up outside the confines of an IMAX theater, but the sandstorm sequence suffers in home viewing. The concept is terrific. The impending arrival of massive storm clouds is set up at the beginning of the setpiece prior to this, so on some level we’re waiting for this sandstorm chase to happen. On an IMAX screen the effect is great, but at home this is the one place where Ghost Protocol looks excessively digital and murky, and where Cruise and the stunt performers get a bit lost.

***

15.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible III (2006)
The Setup: The IMF locates the MacGuffin in Shanghai, and drops in to steal it.

After a cutesy “distract bad guys with baseballs” opening, this sequence offers its showstopper moment: Cruise (and/or a double) leaps from a rooftop with only a safety wire — that we don’t see at first — preventing his death. That series of shots, together with another set showing Ethan swinging from one building to another, are great. While the concept is done well here, it is perfected in Ghost Protocol, and this sequence leads to a street chase that has Cruise running like a very muscular puppy after the rolling MacGuffin, er, Rabbit’s Foot. In retrospect, this feels like a rough draft for the Burj Khalifa + sandstorm couplet in Ghost Protocol.

***

14.

The Movie: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
The Setup: Ethan escapes the Syndicate.

This sequence does double-duty, establishing Rebecca Ferguson as a vital player in Rogue Nation, and giving Cruise a similar opportunity to flex and fight that we see in the hospital escape from Ghost Protocol. It’s simple stuff done very well, and gives Ferguson the first chance to show her own chops. Her work, combined with the limber power of one particular move from Ethan Hunt, seen as he extricates himself from being handcuffed to a pole, are the highlights.

***

Continue Reading The Best Mission: Impossible Setpieces >>

The post The Best ‘Mission: Impossible’ Action Scenes appeared first on /Film.

‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Exec Showrunner Talks Time Jumps and First Responders

July 31, 2015 - 7:30pm

At the beginning of the AMC panel for Fear the Walking Dead, AMC President Charlie Collier announced that season two of the show would be 15 episodes, which is more than double the first season’s six. Answering questions on the panel, showrunner David Erickson said the companion show, set at the beginning of the zombie epidemic, will still have time to catch up to Rick waking up from his coma in the Walking Dead series premiere.

“By the time we end season one, there’s still a window of time, a window of exploration,” Erickson said. “We have some real estate left. We’ve come to realize things have changed. We structure the season in a way that the characters are still insulated from the truth of what’s going on. Part of season two will be that very thing.”

Fear the Walking Dead stars Cliff Curtis and Kim Dickens as parents trying to protect their kids when infected people start biting and looters flood the streets. Even though this will be the period we never got to see, where governments try to manage the pandemic, Erickson’s plan is to keep the focus on family members, not officials.

“We’re never going to tell the story from the perspective of someone at the CDC or in the military,” Erickson said. “We’ll see how first responders responded when things went sideways, how they protected their own family. That’s an arc of the first season.”

One answer Erickson never plans to give is what caused the zombie apocalypse. “Short answer, no,” he said to a question about the cause.

With a longer second season and questions about catching up to Rick Grimes, Erickson interestingly hinted that future seasons might take giant leaps. “There might be a season where we do a major time cut because that’s always interesting to me,” Erickson said. “How do you catch up with your character when six months have gone by, a year’s gone by? Right now it’s not about how we intersect or catch up.”

Actors on the panel included Curtis and Dickens, actors Frank Dillane and Alycia Debnam-Carey as their children and Elizabeth Rodriguez as the ex-wife of Curtis’s character. One actor whose character is more of a mystery is Mercedes Mason, so she described her character, Ofelia Salazar.

“A lot of the theme of the show is about family and when the world goes to hell, what does family mean?” Mason said. “Is it something you’re born into, something you pick, what is morality? Ophelia goes through that very quickly in the first season. She has to discover herself. Her bond to her own family is questioned, as she starts learning about her family and her father. The nice ones are always the first to die [so] she has to grow a set.”

Erickson also addressed the development of the title Fear the Walking Dead. When it was announced, the show was merely the Untitled Walking Dead Spin-off.

“Fundamentally, you’re inheriting obviously a major franchise,” Erickson said. “There’s a legion of fans. We wanted Walking Dead in the title. What we wanted to avoid was doing The Walking Dead: Los Angeles. So we put something at the beginning rather than the end.”

In success, Erickson expects the companion show to be referred to simply as Fear. “We’re already referring to it as Fear,” he said. “I think Fear is going to become shorthand for the show. There’s a line of Ruben [Blades]’s coming up that incorporates fear in a beautiful way. There was a practical reason to do it but it also speaks very much to what the characters are going to go through and where the show is going to go.”

And he’s said this before, but since it comes up on every panel, Erickson asserted again that he has no plans to have characters from Fear show up on The Walking Dead or vice-versa.

“There’s no crossover plans right now,” Erickson said. “Telling parallel narratives that live under the same mythological umbrella, my instincts would be I’d love to see those stories conflate ate some point, but there’s no plans to do so. There’s no intention to have Easter eggs.”

***

Fear the Walking Dead premieres August 23 on AMC.

The post ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Exec Showrunner Talks Time Jumps and First Responders appeared first on /Film.

Best Stories of the Week: Ghostbusters, Mission: Impossible, Key & Peele, Gambit and More

July 31, 2015 - 7:00pm

It hasn’t been the most exciting week in movie news, but we’ve still rounded up the Best Stories of the Week for you to catch up on.

This time we’ve got stories on the line-ups for Fantastic Fest, the Venice Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, some conflicting reports on a Ghostbusters spin-off, the end of Key & Peele, and casting updates for Wonder Woman, Doctor Strange, Bourne 5 and Gambit.

Plus we also have trailers for the TIFF selected drama Room, the Christmas comedy The Night Before, Michael Bay’s 13 Hours and Johnny Depp‘s crime drama Black Mass. Check out all the Best Stories of the Week after the jump!

#31. Film Line-Ups Unveiled for Fantastic Fest, Venice and TIFF

We’re coming up on a round of film festivals, featuring the premieres of plenty of new movies. Click the respective links for the line-up of films playing at Fantastic Fest, the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

#30. Michael Moore’s Next Documentary is Where to Invade Next

Controversial director Michael Moore is back on the scene with a new documentary that will be playing at TIFF called Where to Invade Next. The filmmaker has been working on the movie in secret, and you can find out more about the film in our original story.

#29. Will Ferrell Joins America’s Pastime in Ferrell Takes the Field Trailer

The comedy special premieres on HBO on September 12th.

#28. The Witch Director Robert Eggers Boards Remake of Nosferatu

The classic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is getting the remake treatment from director Robert Eggers, the man behind the chilling Sundance selected indie horror flick The Witch. To find out more about the project, check out our full story.

#27. Poltergeist Remake Director Gil Kenan Spending Five Nights at Freddy’s

After directing the remake of Poltergeist, filmmaker Gil Kenan is heading into video game territory by bringing the popular computer game Five Nights at Freddy’s to the big screen. Get more details in our original report.

#26. Shaft is Getting Rebooted as an Action Comedy

It’s been 15 years since Samuel L. Jackson brought Shaft back to the big screen, though the film had ties to the original iteration of the character played by Richard Roundtree. This time the property is getting a total reboot in action comedy form. Find out who’s behind the reboot in our full story over here.

#25. Mark Hamill is Back as The Joker for The Killing Joke Animated Movie

Largely considered to be one of the best versions of The Joker, Star Wars actor Mark Hamill will reprise his role as Batman’s arch nemesis in the forthcoming animated adaptation of The Killing Joke. Get more information on the new project right here.

#24. Antonio Banderas is Trapped Underground in The 33 Trailer

The real life drama arrives on November 13th.

Continue Reading The Best Stories of the Week >>

The post Best Stories of the Week: Ghostbusters, Mission: Impossible, Key & Peele, Gambit and More appeared first on /Film.

Superhero Bits: Fantastic Four, Jessica Jones, Arrow, Luke Cage, Flash, Ant-Man, Arkham Knight

July 31, 2015 - 6:00pm

Which Daredevil character has just been confirmed for Jessica Jones? Has Arrow Season 4 added a new baddie? Who do the Fantastic Four cast want to battle? Which supervillain is coming to Luke Cage? How’s Grant Gustin looking in the new Flash costume? Which actress is being rumored for Ms. Marvel (again)? Want to see a cool Batman: Arkham Knight Alfred mod? Read about all this and more in today’s Superhero Bits.

Wanna learn how to make your own Ant-Man costume? (Shrinking technology not included.)

Marvel Universe LIVE! (not to be confused with Marvel Experience) will tour for a second year.

A Batman: Arkham Knight mod lets you play as Alfred.

The Fantastic Four cast wants to battle the Silver Surfer and face off against the X-Men.

Cornell Cottonmouth will reportedly be a villain on Netflix’s Luke Cage.

Comic Book Resources remembers Gambit‘s most facepalm-worthy moments from the comics.

The “Emily Blunt as Ms. Marvel” rumor has resurfaced. Take it with a grain of salt. (Skip to around 33:30 for the pertinent bit.)

The Spider-Gwen artist walks back a comment about not being allowed to create new characters because Marvel doesn’t have the Spidey rights.

Continue Reading Superhero Bits >>

Due to the amount of graphics and images included in Superhero Bits, we have to split this post over THREE pages. Click the link above to continue to the second page of Superhero Bits.

The post Superhero Bits: Fantastic Four, Jessica Jones, Arrow, Luke Cage, Flash, Ant-Man, Arkham Knight appeared first on /Film.

Exclusive: BBC America President Promises “Character Surprises” in ‘Orphan Black’ S4

July 31, 2015 - 5:30pm

BBC America didn’t do an executive session for the Television Critics Association today. The company president, Sarah Barnett, just made a few quick announcements and introduced panels on The Last Kingdom and Doctor Who. So before BBC America cleared out for other networks, I asked Barnett a few questions about the future of Orphan Black. She explained that Orphan Black season 4 has been greenlit and right now the focus is on coming up with surprising character revelations.

“We’re just starting the writers room, so we’re breaking the season, excited about it,” Barnett said. “Trying to get back to the essence of real, big character surprise in season four. I just want to continue helping and nurturing Graeme [Manson] and John [Fawcett] to do what they’ve done so well in the first three seasons.”

I imagined Barnett meant surprises for the LEDA clones played by Tatiana Maslany, but could there be more CASTOR surprises too?

“I don’t know yet,” she said. “Truly, we’re working it all out. I think some of the surprises, there’ll be plot surprises for sure without a ton of crazy exposition, but I also think there will be some real, big character surprises. One of the many defining things of the show is that rhythm in the storytelling of Russian nesting dolls, so you think it’s painted itself into a corner, and then something else pops out which takes it in this crazy new different direction.”

This year also sees Maslany nominated for her first Emmy for playing multiple characters on Orphan Black. Fans and critics have long been championing Maslany for her work distinguishing every clone she plays. Barnett was glad the Emmy Academy finally took notice.

“So satisfying,” Barnett said. “In a way she’s been the poster child for being snubbed for the past few years. Which is actually quite sweet I think, to have so many people, critics and regular consumers, talk about how much she’s deserved that nomination for what is just such a unique and extraordinary performance, obviously like no other on television. So the fact that she’s now getting recognized for that is tremendous.”

BBC America also announced a Dirk Gently television series based on the Douglas Adams books, to be written by Max Landis. Barnett wouldn’t address any specific questions about Dirk Gently.

“It’s too early for me to even say anything that wouldn’t end up potentially being [a spoiler] because we’re just digging into it really,” Barnett said. “It’s a really exciting world. Max Landis, who’s attached to it, is a crazy, brilliant mind so we’re super excited.”

The post Exclusive: BBC America President Promises “Character Surprises” in ‘Orphan Black’ S4 appeared first on /Film.

‘The Leftovers’ Creators Explain New Ideas and Religious Expression in Season Two

July 31, 2015 - 5:00pm

HBO ended their Television Critics Association sessions with a panel on season two of The Leftovers. Damon Lindelof, author and co-creator Tom Perotta, and stars Justin Theroux, Carrie Coon and Regina King were on the panel. As (spoiler) the first season ended with Kevin Garvey (Theroux) leaving town with a new surrogate family, season two finds them in Miracle National Park.

“The premise of this place, Jardin, TX which is Miracle National Park, is there were no departures from this place,” Lindelof said. “It has a population over 9,000 and nobody departed, so what would that be and what would happen if there was a departure?”

“In the normal world, if someone goes missing, we think foul play, somebody kidnapped or hurt them, or they ran away. In this world where this concept exists, there’s the third possibility. This season is interested in exploring that idea of loss. I think there’s a much more immediate sense of something happening, versus the examination of the aftermath of something that happened. We’re using this as a lens to bring out the larger ideas of narrative in a plot driven way.”

Perrotta added that Miracle National Park allows them to explore the departures in a different way than season one’s Guilty Remnant.

“Because it’s been insulated from the most significant trauma of the departure, the really dark religious unrest that we explored with the Guilty Remnant isn’t happening there,” Perrotta said. “It has its own peculiarities that lean in to protect it’s special identity. We’re looking at a different sort of religious expression. This town called Miracle tries to geographically separate itself and create the sense of psychological, geographical isolation. That creates vulnerabilities, arrogance and an unstable situation. How did the community set itself apart? Saying we’re chosen, what does that mean when you do that?”

That’s not to say the Guilty Remnant are gone. They’ve been left behind, to quote another story of departures, but Lindelof says their presence is still felt. “As storytellers, we’ve said that the dramatic conflict of Season 2 is that Season 1 is trying to get in,” Lindelof said. “There’s this branch that separates the national park from the outside world. It’s very difficult to get into this national park because as you can imagine, it’s a much sought-after tourist destination. People are grafting a lot of meaning onto this place. We think that’s interesting. What is it about this place? Is it a statistical anomaly or is there something special? Even though Amy Brenneman, who’s a regular this season and we’ll continue to see her, we really want to see what the next chapter for her is. She and Meg are manifesting different aspects of that Season 1 idea.”

Season two will have a somewhat lighter tone. Clips shown in the HBO presentation included people actually smiling!

“The first season of the show we make no apologies for,” Lindelof said. “We wanted to ground the world. To many that may have felt bleak and depressing. To us it felt honest. What was important to us was the characters on the show didn’t want to feel that way. The idea of people wanting to feel better and gravitating towards ways to feel better, this family wouldn’t want to stay in the place where they were, geographically or emotionally. When we started talking about them sitting around a table saying, ‘What if we left this place?’ ideas started flowing. It opened the show creatively in interesting ways, and created the opportunity to introduce new characters.”

One of those new characters is played by King. “I play Erika Murphy,” King said. “I am a mother, a doctor who works at the clinic. I’m married. My husband was the man who was kicking through doors [in the trailer clips]. My son is the one that’s making eyes with Jill. She’s light, she’s bright. When I say bright, I mean smart, bright and full of life. There are some things you get to learn about that’s behind that smile.”

Theroux teased a surprise in store for Kevin Garvey: “I have a surprise in my character.”

“It is this big beautiful open sky Texas, this new town,” Theroux said. “What I find interesting now, we’re halfway through making the show [and] they’re illuminating certain parts of the path as we go. The show opens up visually, but it has this other quality because Miracle has such a small population, it literally has fences around it in a way that keeps that population unto itself. They’ve created this bizarre ant farm where the world is smaller and more intense. That struck me and that came after reading a couple scripts and starting to make the show and see the sets.

“This move, obviously he’s not going to be able to take his badge or responsibilities to the people with him. He ends up coming up completely against himself and a woman he doesn’t even really know that well. When you think back on it, it’s a very spontaneous decision they make together. She’s behind the driver’s wheel a lot. In a weird way, the pressure’s off him there but it forces him to confront all the things he gets when you make those grand wishes for yourself.”

Coon added a bit about Nora’s evolution in Miracle. “I suppose I was prepared for whatever the transformation in Nora would be taking on this role again as a mother,” she said. “Having been defined by her grief, she’s stepping into the role of wife and mother again, and what that would mean for her. It hasn’t turned out the way I expected it to. [The expression is:] Wherever you go, there you are. I think her Nora Durst-ness is intact. I don’t know what’s coming. The surprise you’re asking about hasn’t happened to me yet but I think it’s coming.”

Spoiler alert for season one, but viewers who did see the entire first season might be surprised to learn that Ann Dowd is returning for Season 2 as well. “Believe it or not, she’s still going to be on the show,” Lindelof said. “We have a plan. What we’re doing hopefully in the second season with her is fairly unique. I think we don’t want to use her as a Shakespearean ghost, to say she’s just someone there to comment on the action.

She’s in the show but we don’t really want to talk too specifically about how she manifests. Suffice to say, she’s a huge problem that needs to be solved. Not Anne Dowd [but her character Patti Levin].”

***

The Leftovers returns October 4 on HBO.

The post ‘The Leftovers’ Creators Explain New Ideas and Religious Expression in Season Two appeared first on /Film.

‘Trainwreck’ Outtakes: Watch the Hilarious Improvised Riffs That Didn’t Make the Cut

July 31, 2015 - 4:30pm

In typical Judd Apatow fashion, Trainwreck runs a bit long, thanks in part to its lengthy improvised riffs. But even at 125 minutes, Trainwreck had to leave a few bits of comedy gold on the cutting room floor. So Universal has released some of the best unused lines in a hilarious Trainwreck outtakes video. Watch it after the jump.

The Trainwreck outtakes went up on YouTube. There aren’t any major spoilers (not that you could really spoil a movie like this anyway), but be warned it’s very much NSFW for nudity and language.

LeBron James was the surprise scene-stealer of Trainwreck, and he’s the surprise scene-stealer of the Trainwreck outtakes as well. You’d expect comedy veterans like Amy Schumer, Bill Hader, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, and Mike Birbiglia to be comfortable improvising, but James more than holds his own. If he ever gets tired of that whole basketball thing, maybe he can try auditioning for Saturday Night Live. His BFF Hader could probably put in a good word for him.

That last scene of him gushing about Cleveland might be the best part of the whole video, though some of the pitches from that S’Nuff staff meeting are pretty spectacular as well. I’d totally read “Get Your Girlfriend’s Pussy That New Car Smell,” if only out of morbid curiosity.

Trainwreck is in theaters now.

Since she was a little girl, it’s been drilled into Amy’s (Amy Schumer) head by her rascal of a dad (Colin Quinn) that monogamy isn’t realistic. Now a magazine writer, Amy lives by that credo — enjoying what she feels is an uninhibited life free from stifling, boring romantic commitment — but in actuality, she’s kind of in a rut. When she finds herself starting to fall for the subject of the new article she’s writing, a charming and successful sports doctor named Aaron Conners (Bill Hader), Amy starts to wonder if other grown-ups, including this guy who really seems to like her, might be on to something.

The post ‘Trainwreck’ Outtakes: Watch the Hilarious Improvised Riffs That Didn’t Make the Cut appeared first on /Film.

Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell Explain How ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Is the Revival Fans Wanted

July 31, 2015 - 4:00pm

My most anticipated panel at the Television Critics Association summer press tour was the Starz panel for Ash Vs. Evil Dead. Bruce Campbell dominated the panel, both via questions asked of him, and those asked of his costars and collaborators. Wearing a white dinner jacket and what could’ve quite possibly been alligator shoes (from this distance from the stage), Campbell made sure to let the room know he was there as he talked about the bloody show and his long relationship with fans. 

Sam Raimi, who directs the pilot and produces the show, joined Campbell on stage and said Ash Vs. Evil Dead began as a feature film sequel script.

“First my brother Ivan and I wrote a movie,” Raimi said. “It was too big and unwieldy. Then our partner Rob Tapert said, ‘Why don’t we make it as a TV show? I’ve had some great experiences in television, [like] Spartacus. The threshold of what you can show on TV [has increased]. We can give the audience what they really wanted, which was Bruce Campbell as Ash. TV is about character. This is an opportunity to let him talk which Bruce loves to do. Starz said that’s exactly what we want to do.”

Campbell offered a descriptive illustration of how bloody the show can be. “I went blind the other day shooting a scene,” Campbell said. “Just picture that. Take a shower and open your eyes right into the faucet. That’s how much blood there is on this show. I’ve been gagged once and I went blind. That’s a lot of blood on the show. So anyone who’s looking for it, it’s coming your way.”

There won’t, however, be a tree rape. “I think you’re going to find things that disturb you as much as that sequence in the original Evil Dead but they’ll be different and new,” Campbell said.

The first episode of Ash Vs. Evil Dead will be a 30-minute Sam Raimi movie. Raimi described some noticeable adjustments to his Evil Dead style in the television adaptation.

“We couldn’t set up as many trick shots,” Raimi said. “We had to focus on the character which is what the audience wanted anyways. I think the transition TV demanded was precisely what the fans wanted and will work out for the best.”

Both Campbell and Raimi spoke a lot about fans asking them about an Evil Dead sequel every year, even when Raimi was promoting Spider-Man movies. They joke about fans demanding more Ash, but when it comes down to it they sincerely want to please them.

“Even if I was over it, the fans would not allow me to be over it,” Campbell said. “I’ve gone to conventions since 1988, every subsequent year I hear, ‘When are you making more of this?’ I came to a realization. You’re only going to be remembered based on what people watch. If you only watch horror movies, I’m going to be remembered as Ash. I’ve actually been more pigeonholed by my fans than the film industry itself. I don’t think I was ever really over it. You get a little tired of not being able to answer them. I couldn’t really tell them so I was more frustrated like them, than being over it. I can’t be over the Evil Dead movies. They got me into the film business.”

Raimi revealed a little resistance to revisiting his original trilogy, but felt it was best to embrace it. “I had the same experience as Bruce,” Raimi said. “I thought I was very lucky in my film career. I got some great jobs, Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2. I’d go to conventions and all people ask is when I’m going to make another Evil Dead film. I thought this is the biggest movie I could do and all you want to talk about [is Evil Dead]. They want this story from me. I thought I was telling other good stories but they don’t care about them. They want this one. We should really embrace it. It just takes a long time to get over yourself.”

Lucy Lawless was also on the panel to talk about her character on the show, Ruby. Ruby believes Ash is the cause of the deadite rising and she is hunting him. Raimi elaborated, “We needed a powerful adversary for Ash. Someone who can be formidable and you can believe can kick his butt. He’s a monster fighter every day. She has gravitas and is a real threat to him. That’s why Lucy’s a great choice.”

The Evil Dead team hasn’t ruled out more movies either, and Raimi would continue to direct them. “I’d love to direct if Bruce is starring in it and Rob was producing it, yeah,” Raimi said.

With all this talk about reviving old movies and shows, Lawless was asked about a Xena reboot. Lawless said that reports of her confirming a new Xena were false. She never said that. That didn’t stop Campbell from trolling her for work. “I pitched a 3 episode arc as Autolycus,” he deadpanned.

One reporter even asked Campbell if he would revisit Brisco County, Jr., the 1993 western series that lasted one season. Campbell said, “You never know. Never say never. Old TV shows used to age like fish but not anymore. They’ll pull anything out of the hat.”

He was more upset that the theme song to The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. became NBC’s theme song for The Olympics. “If we did a reboot of Brisco they’ll go, ‘Why are you using the theme of the Olympics?’ They stole my life, NBC.”

Ash Vs. Evil Dead premieres October 31 on Starz.

The post Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell Explain How ‘Ash vs Evil Dead’ Is the Revival Fans Wanted appeared first on /Film.

‘Sleeping with Other People’ Trailer: Jason Sudeikis Shows Alison Brie Some Special Moves

July 31, 2015 - 3:30pm

One of my favorite films from this year’s Sundance Film Festival was the raunchy romantic comedy Sleeping with Other People, starring Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie. Thankfully, IFC Films picked up the indie from the festival, and you’ll be able to see it in theaters in just a few weeks.

In the meantime, a new international trailer for the film has just surfaced, and be prepared to watch it somewhere privately, because even though it’s not an official red band trailer, it’s still a little NSFW, due to some pretty risque conversation topics. The major culprit is Sudeikis explaining to Brie how to touch herself in a very intimate way.

Watch the international Sleeping with Other People trailer after the jump!

Here’s the trailer from La Belle Company (via The Playlist):

The good news is that today is National Orgasm Day, so this trailer fits right in with the day’s, uh, activities. This movie is like a much more explicit When Harry Met Sally, but without going overboard. It also has a lot of heart, and Jason Sudeikis proves that he’s quite the charming leading man, while Alison Brie makes a case for her status as a leading actress as well.

If you need anymore convincing, I suggest watching the first US trailer from last month, and not just because it has a quote from my Sundance review (back when I was at another outlet). This is a great date movie, as long as it’s with someone you’ve been in a relationship with for awhile, with a lot of laughs and genuine romantic sparks.

Amanda Peet, Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne, and Jason Mantzoukas also star in the film written and directed by Leslye Headland (Bachelorette), and it hits theaters on August 21st.

Years after impulsively losing their virginity to each other in college, Lainey (Alison Brie) and Jake (Jason Sudeikis) meet at a support group in New York (“What’s a nice girl like you doing at a sex addicts meeting?”). A spark resurfaces, but they’ve walked this road before. Abject failures in romance who lead lives of serial infidelity and self-sabotage, they agree to a platonic friendship to mutually support their recovery—and what’s more supportive than teaching your friend proper self-stimulation? Can love bloom while you’re sleeping with other people? Lainey and Jake may have struck a deal that proves easier said than done.

The post ‘Sleeping with Other People’ Trailer: Jason Sudeikis Shows Alison Brie Some Special Moves appeared first on /Film.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s ‘Son of Zorn’ Adds Jason Sudeikis and Cheryl Hines

July 31, 2015 - 3:00pm

Phil Lord and Chris Miller have found a leading man for their new project. No, not the Han Solo spinoff — Son of Zorn, their live-action / animation hybrid series for Fox. Jason Sudeikis will play Zorn, an animated barbarian struggling to reconnect with his life-action family.

Cheryl Hines, Tim Meadows, and Artemis Pebdani have also signed on. More on the Son of Zorn Jason Sudeikis casting after the jump. 

Here’s the bizarre-sounding synopsis for Son of Zorn (renamed from Son of Zahn):

Upon arriving home for the first time in ten years, an animated Barbarian father finds that reconnecting with his live-action son and ex-wife while suffering a mundane office job and the banality of suburban life is harder than waging actual war in his distant, animated world.

EW reports Sudeikis will play Zorn, and Hines his ex-wife Edie. Meadows plays Edie’s new live-in boyfriend. Pebdani is Zorn’s boss. As previously announced, Johnny Pemberton will play Zorn’s angsty estranged teenage son. Son of Zorn will shoot an 8- to 10-minute pilot presentation for Fox this summer.

Reed Agnew and Eli Jorne will serve as showrunners and executive producers on Son of Zorn. Eric Appel will direct and co-executive produce. Seth Cohen is also executive producing alongside Lord and Miller. The trio previously collaborated on Fox’s The Last Man on Earth, which featured Sudeikis in a small role.

Sudeikis shot to fame on Saturday Night Live and has managed to build a pretty solid career outside the show as well. He’s appeared in both studio pics (Horrible Bosses, We’re the Millers) and indies (Sleeping With Other People, Tumbledown). His upcoming roles include the Zach Galifianakis heist comedy Masterminds, the drama The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea, and the animated Angry Birds.

Hines was last seen in Think Like a Man Too and the comedy series Suburgatory. She is currently filming Wilson, based on the graphic novel by Daniel Clowes. Meadows is shooting Conner4Real, the Lonely Island movie. And Pebdani has a recurring role on ABC’s Scandal, which enters its fifth season this fall.

The post Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s ‘Son of Zorn’ Adds Jason Sudeikis and Cheryl Hines appeared first on /Film.

‘Humans’ Renewed for Second Season

July 31, 2015 - 2:30pm

Humans, the show that explores new developments in tech and artificial intelligence by creating a vision of London in which Synths, or extremely human-like androids, are the latest tech development, has turned into a hit for AMC in the States and Channel 4 in the UK. Today the companies announced that Humans will get a second season. With Humans renewed, eight episodes are planned for season two, and the series will go before cameras in 2016.

A press release, via ComingSoon, announces the renewal. It’s interesting to remember that Humans was originally going to be a co-production between Channel 4 and Xbox Live, until the shakeup at Xbox led to exec departures and a change of strategy at Microsoft’s subscription service. Things changed, and the show went to AMC, where it likely found far more success than it would have via Xbox.

Here’s some of the press release, with excited quotes from execs.

“We’re so pleased to announce a second season of ‘Humans’ and extend our terrific partnership with Channel 4, Kudos and the stellar cast, crew and writers Sam and Jonathan,” said Joel Stillerman, president of original programming and development for AMC and Sundance TV. “As one of the year’s top new cable series, ‘Humans’ has been embraced by fans and critics across the U.S. and UK. We’re looking forward to continuing this very captivating story and further exploring the show’s parallel, Synth-filled world that hits so disturbingly close to home.”

Piers Wenger, Head of Drama at Channel 4, said: “‘Humans’ has proved a huge hit with both audiences and critics alike this summer, and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to writers Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley and to the team at Kudos for bringing a truly unmissable show to life. It also marks a key moment for Channel 4 as we expand our remit for bold and original drama into the international, co-production space. We look forward to working with our partners AMC on season two of ‘Humans’ and to more Synth-related adventures to come.”

This is one of the latest promos from AMC, exploring the specific requirements faced by actors who play Synths.

The post ‘Humans’ Renewed for Second Season appeared first on /Film.

‘Doctor Who’ Producer Steven Moffat Speaks on Maisie Williams’ Mystery Role, and a Female Doctor

July 31, 2015 - 2:00pm

Today BBC America presented a Doctor Who panel for the Television Critics Association. Stars Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman were only available via satellite from the set, but writer/executive producer Steven Moffat was here in person. After the panel, Moffat answered follow-up questions from reporters, including some details about the possibility of a female Doctor, and the character guest star Maisie Williams will play. She will be different from Arya Stark for sure.

(Some vague spoilers for recent Doctor Who episodes are ahead.)

“I would say she’s very different but I can’t really say much about it,” Moffat said. “I’m really excited about what Maisie gets to do in the show but it’ll take you a moment or two as you watch it to realize what we’re up to.”

On the panel, Moffat spoke about casting Michelle Gomez as Missy, who is the first female incarnation of The Master. During follow-ups, he elaborated on the progressive gender take.

“The key thing about changing the Master to Missy was that the Doctor doesn’t react to it at all,” Moffat said. “He just carries on talking. He’s shocked that she’s there. He doesn’t say anything about the fact she’s a woman. So clearly that’s a very big statement. That’s just a thing that happens.”

This became part of a larger discussion on the possibility of having a female Doctor, not that we want to see Peter Capaldi leave any time soon. “We always say ‘a woman playing the Doctor’ [but] no one ever says ‘a man playing the Doctor,’” Moffat said.

The producer elaborated on that topic:

Most men would be rubbish as the Doctor. There are very, very few people who can do that part. I think it is necessary to expand what the show can do all the time, because that’s why it’s alive. I’m not making it inevitable and I’m not preventing it. I’m just saying it’s possible. In my head, rationally it seems to me, you know how human beings are never completely male or female. You’re mostly a woman, I’m mostly a man. Maybe a male Time Lord is someone who most of his regenerations are male. Maybe he’ll have a couple of female. The science fiction of that would make sense to me. Otherwise life might be a little complicated. I wish sometimes that the politics of that would take a backseat and talk about the art, because it’s not really about that. It’s just about would it work. When it will work is when somebody says, ‘that person would be amazing.’ The most conservative, most traditional member of the audience says, ‘Oh God yes. I hate the idea of a lady Doctor but that one would be great.’ That’s what you want.

What qualities would that woman need to have to garner that reaction? “Carved out of solid star and someone who you can’t take your eyes off, not because they’re beautiful,” Moffat said. “Just somebody who’s face is so fascinating.”

The return of Coleman means that Clara has embraced life on the TARDIS, as Coleman said via satellite. Later, Moffat said that her splintering through time will have subtle ramifications.

“She’ll have dreams about it,” Moffat said. “It’s one of those things, if I put it in an episode, most of the audience will have forgotten now and go what the hell are you talking about? In my mind she has dreams. She has a vague awareness that there was other stuff but not very clear at all.”

Moffat also said that there is less of a serialized mystery this season. “This is, I would say, one of the lighter [mysteries],” he said. “I’d say the story this time, because I thought it worked last year rather well, the main story is the emotional. Clara has now decided that the TARDIS is her real life and that’s what she loves and loves running around in the TARDIS with the Doctor and getting into scrapes. The more dangerous the better. She’s becoming like him.”

The post ‘Doctor Who’ Producer Steven Moffat Speaks on Maisie Williams’ Mystery Role, and a Female Doctor appeared first on /Film.

David Fincher’s ‘Utopia’ and ‘Video Synchronicity’ in Trouble at HBO

July 31, 2015 - 1:30pm

HBO’s love affair with David Fincher may be on the rocks. Both of his planned HBO series, the ’80s music video drama Video Synchronicity and the sci-fi mystery Utopia, are in jeopardy. As of now, however, HBO hasn’t officially pulled the plug on either. Both were ordered straight to series by the network in the past year. Get the latest updates on the David Fincher HBO shows after the jump.

Production on Video Synchronicity was abruptly halted in June, in the middle of shooting the fourth or fifth episode of the first season, and crew members were sent home. Nevertheless, HBO president Michael Lombardo insists the show “isn’t dead” — though he did acknowledge its troubles. “When we both saw the third and fourth [episodes], we realized we needed to go back and do some work on the scripts,” he told THR at the TCA summer press tour.

Lombardo continued:

David’s attention at that point — he is someone who likes to be hands on, on everything — got diverted by another project [HBO’s Utopia]. [He’s] not good at letting us go ahead and do what we needed to do on Video Synchronicity while he was working on Utopia. I texted with him today, we’re going to turn our attention soon back to Video Synchronicity and figure out the path forward. But I fully expect we’re going to be able to finish that up.

While Video Synchronicity suffers from Fincher’s divided attention, his other show Utopia is having money woes. THR‘s sources indicate the drama pilot is “way over budget,” and Lombardo admits the network is “struggling right now trying to figure that out.” He said, “We’re at that moment, trying to figure out if there is a path forward or not for Utopia.”

Deadline reports the cast (which includes Fincher’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara) has been released from their contracts. Their sources say the quibble is over money in the range of $5 million — Fincher won’t go lower than $100 million for the series, while HBO won’t go above $95 million.

Fincher had planned to direct every episode of the first season of Utopia, which is being scripted by Gone Girl writer Gillian Flynn. Based on the British TV series of the same title, Utopia follows a group of comic book fans who get their hands on a graphic novel that holds the key to a dangerous conspiracy.

Video Synchronicity stars Charlie Rowe as a college dropout who moves to Hollywood in 1983 with the intention of directing a sci-fi epic. He lands a job as a PA for a music video company, just as the music video industry is blowing up. Of the two projects, Video Synchronicity looks more likely to make it to air. “There’s too much good stuff for us not to figure it out,” Lombardo said of the series. “We’re going to figure it out.”

The post David Fincher’s ‘Utopia’ and ‘Video Synchronicity’ in Trouble at HBO appeared first on /Film.

J.J. Abrams Broke His Back on the Set of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’

July 31, 2015 - 1:00pm

Before Harrison Ford crashed his plane in Los Angeles, he had already sustained a pretty significant injury on the set of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, breaking his left leg. But it turns out that wasn’t the only injury sustained during the production of Episode VII.

In fact, when one of the doors on the film’s set fell on Harrison Ford’s leg, director JJ Abrams (who appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart yesterday) rushed over to help by lifting the object off Ford as quickly as possible. But in the process, Abrams actually broke his back. That’s right, Abrams literally broke his back trying to make this movie for Star Wars fans.

Hear more about how J.J. Abrams broke his back after the jump!

This revelation came from an interview on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (via Hulu):

As a big Star Wars fan, Jon Stewart tried to get J.J. Abrams to tell him everything about The Force Awakens, but the director successfully dodged the hardball question by simply praising Stewart as he only has four shows left before he leaves The Daily Show behind.

With regards to the injury, Abrams lays out what happened, and it sounds pretty gruesome. If you can’t watch the video, basically a hydraulic door fell on Harrison Ford, and the director says you saw the actor’s ankle turn 90 degrees, breaking instantly. Thankfully it sounds like Ford, who Abrams calls a superhero and miracle man, was about as cool as you can be when there’s a door on top of you that just broke your leg.

But Abrams wasn’t so lucky since he found out that he broke his back in the process of trying to help. He had to wear a back brace on set, but didn’t tell anybody what had happened to as not to raise concern. During this time, a completely healed Ford was able to run over to Abrams on set, while the director felt pain just by talking to him. Trust me when I say Abrams tells this story better when talking to Jon Stewart, so it’s worth six minutes of your time.

Other chatter in the interview focuses on whether or not Abrams has ever been fired from a job before, and how The Force Awakens is about the story of Jar Jar Binks (who almost ended up being played by Michael Jackson).

Check out the latest edition of Star Wars Bits for another quick interview with Abrams about the pressure of directing Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and stay tuned for even more updates about the continuing sci-fi saga.

The post J.J. Abrams Broke His Back on the Set of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ appeared first on /Film.

Peter Quill Meets Yondu in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Animated Series ‘Origins’ Short

July 31, 2015 - 12:30pm

Disney is giving Guardians of the Galaxy the animated series treatment on Disney XD, joining the ranks of other Marvel animated shows as well as Star Wars Rebels. We’ve already seen the trailer for the new show coming in the fall, but now the first clip has arrived, revealing that this series will reveal more backstory about our characters than the feature film did.

Leading up to the premiere of the Guardians of the Galaxy animated series, Disney XD is releasing a series of two-minute Origins shorts, showing the backstories of Star-Lord, Rocket Raccoon, Gamora, Drax the Destroyer and Groot. And new a tease of Star-Lord’s origin story has been released online, showing his first meeting with the Ravager named Yondu.

Watch the Guardians of the Galaxy Origins clip below!

Entertainment Tonight debuted the teaser clip:

The animation looks much better than any of the other Marvel series on Disney XD, so that’s very encouraging. And the voice talent is nothing to scoff at either, with Will Friedle as Peter Quill / Star-Lord, Trevor Devall as Rocket Raccoon, Vanessa Marshall as Gamora, David Sobolov as Drax the Destroyer, Kevin Michael Richardson as Groot, and James Arnold Taylor as Yondu and Cosmo.

Keep in mind that while this new animated series will give us new details about the Guardians of the Galaxy, the information is not considered canon with regards to the Marvel cinematic universe. So whatever we learn about the ragtag team of cosmic misfits only applies to the world of the animated series.

Of course, in the clip you’ll see that the spirit of the movie is intact, complete with Yondu’s counterparts wanting to eat young Peter Quill, because they haven’t tasted Terran before. Notice that this is “Part 2″ of Star-Lord’s origin story short, but both parts in full will be on Disney XD on August 1st and presumably online sometime after they premiere. Or if you don’t have Disney XD, you can pay to see all the Guardians of the Galaxy Origins shorts on iTunes. Otherwise, you can watch the teaser trailer for the series right here.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy follows the newly-formed team who finds a strange artifact keyed only to the DNA of Peter Quill. Upon opening it, Quill unleashes a treasure map leading to a powerful weapon known as the Cosmic Seed which is capable of giving birth to the next universe. It’s up to the Guardians to find, protect and ultimately destroy the Cosmic Seed in order to keep it out of the hands of those who would abuse its power, from galactic big boss Thanos, to the conniving brothers the Collector and the Grandmaster, to a resurrected Ronan, to the ultimate trickster, Loki, in order to save the universe.

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy animated series premieres on September 26th, but there will be a sneak peek at the first episode on September 5th, only on Disney XD.

The post Peter Quill Meets Yondu in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Animated Series ‘Origins’ Short appeared first on /Film.

AMC Releases First ‘Better Call Saul’ Season Two Photo

July 31, 2015 - 12:00pm

Better Call Saul surprised a lot of people in 2014. How could a spin-off prequel show featuring a side character from a TV show, even one as excellent as Breaking Bad, tell a viable story? Creators Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, with Bob Odenkirk to play Jimmy McGill, showed everyone how to do it, and Better Call Saul became a hit with audiences and critics alike, scoring seven Primetime Emmy Awards nominations, including Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.

The producers are bringing the show to AMC’s panels at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, and we’ll likely have more news from that later today. For now we’ve got two Better Call Saul S2 first-look photos (one featuring creators Gilligan and Gould) taken from the set of the show as it films in Albuquerque, NM.

Better Call Saul season 2 will debut on AMC early in 2016. While the first season ran ten episodes, the second season order is thirteen episodes.

He wasn’t always Saul Goodman, ace attorney for chemist-turned-meth dealer Walter White. Six years before he begins to represent Albuquerque’s most notorious criminal, Goodman is Jimmy McGill, a small-time attorney hustling to make a name for himself. He’s a forceful champion for his low-income clients, an underdog whose morals and ambitions often clash. Jimmy works with private eye Mike Ehrmantraut, a former Philadelphia cop and recent transplant to the Southwest. Mike has a specialized skill set — he’s a “fixer” of sticky situations — that Jimmy soon learns to appreciate.

The post AMC Releases First ‘Better Call Saul’ Season Two Photo appeared first on /Film.

Spider-Man Has Already Shot His ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Cameo

July 31, 2015 - 11:30am

It’s long been expected that the new Spider-Man (Tom Holland) would debut with a small role in Captain America: Civil War. Now we have confirmation that not only is the cameo happening, Holland has already shot it. Read all about the Civil War Spider-Man cameo after the jump. 

Speaking with Vulture, recently announced Spider-Man screenwriters John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein revealed they’re headed to Marvel this weekend to look at the footage of Holland as Spider-Man. “We hear good things,” said Goldstein. “We might even get to look at the Spidey suit, which is exciting.”

Speculation has been burning hot about that new Spider-suit, which may or may not have been teased in a series of tweets earlier this month. Alas, the pair didn’t give any hint of what it might look like.

Nor did they offer any clues about which characters or stars might join Holland’s Spider-Man in the movie — except to call bull on the rumored cast list that’s been floating around the internet. “We’ve discussed certain characters, but nothing is certain yet, for sure,” said Daley.

In earlier interviews, Daley and Goldstein (as well as Marvel president Kevin Feige) have emphasized the new Spidey’s sense of humor. Meanwhile, director Jon Watts has described his Spider-Man as “the most grounded, relatable of superheroes.” However, it’s unclear how much of that personality we’ll see in Captain America: Civil War, as we don’t know the nature of his cameo appearance.

The cast of Civil War could rival any Avengers movie, Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. lead, along with Scarlett JohanssonAnthony MackiePaul RuddSebastian StanFrank Grillo, and Daniel Brühl. Holland’s Spider-Man is one of two future Marvel headliners debuting in the film, with the other being Chadwick Boseman‘s Black Panther. Joe and Anthony Russo are directing.

Captain America: Civil War is due out May 6, 2016. The Spider-Man standalone movie follows on July 28, 2017.

The post Spider-Man Has Already Shot His ‘Captain America: Civil War’ Cameo appeared first on /Film.

‘Goodnight Mommy’ Trailer: Something’s Wrong With Mama

July 31, 2015 - 11:00am

Whatever gives you the heebie-jeebies — monstrous mothers, twin children, grotesque masks, writhing cockroaches — the first Goodnight Mommy trailer has it. Those who caught Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz‘s psychological horror on the festival circuit last year are already calling it one of the creepiest films of 2015, and in a couple of months the rest of us will get to join in on the fun as well. Watch the Goodnight Mommy trailer after the jump.

RADiUS debuted the Goodnight Mommy trailer on YouTube. The film centers on a pair of identical twin boys (Elias and Lukas Schwarz, making their big-screen debuts) whose mother (Susanne Wuest) returns home after a facial surgery. With her face completely covered in bandages, she’s hardly recognizable. Before long, the boys notice there’s something off about her demeanor as well — the warm, loving mother they know seems to have been replaced by a cold, angry beast.

If there’s one thing all the critics seem to agree on, it’s that Goodnight Mommy is artfully stylish and unquestionably unsettling. It may not be for everyone. In fact, several of the reviews noted that there were walkouts during the intense final act. But as Thompson on Hollywood put it, it’s “a must-see for fans of extreme cinema and those movie-lovers who get off on taut editing, delicately placed sound design and tightly wound storytelling.”

Goodnight Mommy gets a limited theatrical release starting September 11.

In the heat of the summer lays a lonesome house in the countryside where nine year old twin brothers await their mother’s return. When she comes home, bandaged after cosmetic surgery, nothing is like before and the children start to doubt whether this woman is actually who she says she is. What ensues is a terrifying observational struggle with fatal consequences on par with THE SHINING and DEAD RINGERS.

The post ‘Goodnight Mommy’ Trailer: Something’s Wrong With Mama appeared first on /Film.

‘Mission: Impossible’ Scores Another Big Win With ‘Rogue Nation’

July 31, 2015 - 10:00am

Any franchise could be forgiven for growing a bit stale after twenty years and five installments, but against all odds the Mission: Impossible series is still going strong. While the new entry directed by Chris McQuarrie may not be an all-time high, it’s another solid entry that equals its predecessors in the stunt department, and features the most engaging new character since Simon Pegg and Philip Seymour Hoffman in III. Read our full Mission Impossible Rogue Nation review after the jump. 

The Setup

As is often the case with these films, the plot of Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation hardly matters. Mostly, it’s just a convoluted excuse to ferry the characters and the audience from one breathtaking action set piece to another. But the basic premise is this: The IMF has been dissolved by new CIA chief Alan Hunley (Alec Baldwin), who (quite reasonably, though Ethan and company don’t see it that way) points out that chaos tends to follow the organization, and that even their best results look an awful lot like luck. But Ethan remains a rogue agent out in the field, chasing after a shadowy organization known as the Syndicate.

His efforts rope in a few familiar faces: agents Benji Dunn (Simon Pegg) and William Brandt (Jeremy Renner), who now report to Hunley; and retired agent Luther Stickell (Ving Rhames). They also bring him in contact with two mysterious new figures: Syndicate head Solomon Lane (Sean Harris) and his right-hand woman Ilsa Faust (Rebecca Ferguson). From there, the characters jump from Paris to Vienna to Morocco to London in pursuit of each other and a certain crucial piece of information.

The Stunts

Given how much of the Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation marketing has focused on that plane stunt — you know, the one in which McQuarrie and his crew literally strapped one of America’s biggest movie stars to the outside of a moving plane — it’s a surprise to realize it’s the very first scene of the movie. What’s more, it’s not even close to its best action sequence. It’s something like the fourth or fifth. That’s not a knock on the scene, which is plenty fun, but rather a testament to those other scenes.

Particular highlights include an underwater sequence and an opera house scene. Cruise reportedly learned to hold his breath for six minutes at a time for the former, and it shows. McQuarrie does an effective job of building up the tension, keeping the takes just long enough to be uncomfortable. Even though there’s no real chance of Ethan Hunt drowning halfway through the movie, it’s hard to keep from gasping for air while watching him.

Meanwhile, the opera house scene makes such spectacular use of its setting, it raises the question of why more action movies aren’t set in opera houses. The space is simultaneously expansive and claustrophobic. Ethan and his opponents tiptoe across catwalks, duck in and out of shadows, and rise and fall with the equipment. The lavish backdrop and swelling music — did I mention all of this is going down during a live performance of Turandot? — only add to the drama.

And that’s not the half of it. If accelerating airplanes, claustrophobic water tanks, and backstage hijinks aren’t your speed, there’s also a car chase, a motorcycle chase, a foot chase, a knife fight, several shootings, multiple fist fights, and, of course, a mask gag.

***

On the next page: Ethan’s old friends return, and the franchise introduces one of its best characters ever.

Continue Reading ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’ Review >>

The post ‘Mission: Impossible’ Scores Another Big Win With ‘Rogue Nation’ appeared first on /Film.

Two ‘Deadpool’ Trailers Arrive Next Week

July 31, 2015 - 9:30am

Ryan Reynolds promised shortly after Comic-Con that the first Deadpool footage would arrive in just a few weeks. Now he’s about to make good on his word. The first two Deadpool trailers are set to arrive next week — one red-band and one green-band. Get all the release details on the Deadpool trailers after the jump.

The Deadpool red-band trailer will be unveiled first on Tuesday, August 4 on Conan, as confirmed by the official calendar for the show. Reynolds is listed as the guest for that date, and the episode description reads as follows:

Ryan Reynolds debuts the new redband trailer for “Deadpool.” We’re filling up his dressing room with chimichangas in anticipation.

Meanwhile, the Deadpool green-band trailer is expected to debut in theaters Friday, August 7 with fellow 20th Century Fox superhero pic Fantastic Four. According to SuperHeroHype, the red-band trailer runs about 17 seconds longer. The film itself will be rated R, although the MPAA hasn’t issued a formal ruling yet.

Both trailers should hit the web not long after they debut elsewhere, and you can be sure we’ll have it here the moment they come online. If you’re desperate for more details now, check out our recap of the Comic-Con panel — including a detailed recap of the footage screened — here.

Deadpool arrives February 12. In addition to Reynolds as the title character, the film also stars Morena Baccarin, Brianna Hildebrand, T.J. Miller, Gina Carano, and Ed Skrein. Tim Miller is directing.

Based upon Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, DEADPOOL tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds), who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.

The post Two ‘Deadpool’ Trailers Arrive Next Week appeared first on /Film.

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  • Lori Petty, photo by Joe Arce

    CHICAGO – Lori Petty will never be predictable, nor put into some show business box. The free-wheelin’ Ms. P applies her expansive performance skills to the role of Lolly – a guest spot that turned into a recurring character – on Netflix’s hot series “Orange is the New Black,” which released its third season on June 12th, 2015.

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    CHICAGO – The legacy of public housing is one of the strangest forces of karma in the City of Chicago. For example, sites that were once some of the roughest and most neglected housing for the poor now contain luxury condos. It is the people of those former hellholes that still remember the sorrowful history of what they once called home. The American Theater Company (ATC) have gathered these stories for the poignant and extraordinary “The Projects.”

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