CHICAGO – The issue of gender identity, especially for those who are born with a vagueness as to what to call themselves between/beyond boy and girl, has come front and center in the U.S., both with the legalization of gay marriage and the callous repudiation of identity by trying to pass laws dismissing it (the North Carolina “bathroom” laws). The performance companies of The Living Canvas and Nothing Without a Company is currently staging “[Trans]formation,” which presents gender identity art by six performers, who perform most of the play in the nude.
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The clips are starting to pour in for Gareth Edwards‘ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. After plenty of welcomed secrecy, just two short weeks before the movie finally comes out, we’re seeing more and more footage. Yesterday brought us a clip in which Stormtroopers have yet to master the art of simply aiming, while today brings us a new clip showing Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) trying to get on the same page and another with a character you’ll remember from the prequels.
Below, watch the Rogue One clips.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story occurs before the events of the original Star Wars and follows a crew led by Jyn Erso that attempts to steal the Empire’s Death Star plans. Joining the rebel in her fight are Captain Cassian Andor, droid K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker), and Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed). They’ll go up against the posh Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn), Darth Vader, and the rest of the Empire.
The clip, titled “Jyn’s Blaster,” gives an idea of K-2SO’s wit and how Andor and Erso’s relationship begins:
Alan Tudyk bringing some good laughs to the Star Wars universe? No surprise there. He played K-2SO via motion-capture, which Tudyk, who we recently heard voice a chicken in Moana, has previous experience with, thanks to I, Robot. Here’s another clip that surfaced today as well, featuring Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa:
In other Rogue One-related news, a graphic from Entertainment Weekly suggests Edwards’ film shares a connection with Rian Johnson‘s Star Wars: Episode VIII. The outlet unveiled a graphic that reminds us the film takes place before A New Hope, but a red line connects Edwards’ film with Episode VIII. Whether there’s any real substantial connection, we’ll know soon enough.
Still hungry for more information on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Then this 30 minute Facebook Q & A with Edwards and the cast should do the trick:
Right now, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is estimated to make $130 million its opening weekend, which would make for an excellent start for Lucasfilm and Disney’s standalone Star Wars films. If for some reason you still want to see more from Rogue One, check out some new pics, an extended TV spot, and a featurette. You can also find out where you can see the film in 70mm IMAX right here.
Here’s the official synopsis:
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, with Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16th.
The post New ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Clips, A Possible Episode VIII Connection & More appeared first on /Film.
After a while, all the top 10 lists and awards nominations start to blur. Sure, everyone’s choices are a little bit different, but a consensus starts to form around certain titles. (This year, those seem to include the very deserving Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea.) But you can always leave it to John Waters to pick a few that are completely off the beaten path.
This year, his favorites include films like Elle and Everybody Wants Some!! that you’re likely to see on many other people’s lists. But they also include movies like Krisha that haven’t received nearly as much attention, and ones like Like a Cattle Towards Glow that — if I’m being honest — I had never even heard. You may agree with his picks or you may not, but either way you’ll probably come away with one or two (or eight) to add to your own to-watch list. Check out the John Waters top 10 of 2016 below.
For the full experience, you’ll want to click over to Art Forum. Waters’ original story includes commentary on all his selections, like this one for Everybody Wants Some!!: “The best accidentally gay movie ever made by a known heterosexual director features the most talented and sexy ensemble cast of the last decade.” Or no, maybe this one, for Julieta, is even better: “If Hitchcock had actually understood women, might he not have made this serious and absolutely stunning hellodrama about female longing and loneliness.” With a pitch like that, who could possibly resist?
1. Krisha (Trey Edward Shults)
2. Tickled (David Farrier and Dylan Reeve)
3. Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater)
4. Roar (Noel Marshall)
5. Wiener-Dog (Todd Solondz)
6. Elle (Paul Verhoeven)
7. Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar)
8. Like Cattle Towards Glow (Dennis Cooper and Zac Farley)
9. Valley of Love (Guillaume Nicloux)
10. A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies)
Which of these have you seen, and which of you are you adding to your iTunes cart or Netflix queue as we speak?
The post John Waters’ Top 10 Films of 2016: ‘Krisha’, ‘Tickled’, ‘Everybody Wants Some!!” & More appeared first on /Film.
A Monster Calls is a heartbreaking movie. When J.A. Bayona‘s (The Impossible) latest film premiered at the Toronto Film Festival, in a nice bit of promotion, tissue boxes were handed out to those in attendance. That was a good call because the film certainly made our own Angie Han choke up once or twice. She praised the drama as a “five-hankie sobfest, a ruthlessly effective tearjerker even by cancer drama standards,” despite a few scenes she found too manipulative.
Below, watch A Monster Calls featurette, which shows how the story came about and evolved.
Based on the novel by the film’s screenwriter, Patrick Ness, A Monster Calls tells the story of a 12-year-old boy, Conor (Lewis MacDougall), dealing with the weight of the world on his shoulders. He’s bullied and ridiculed at school as he struggles with the pain and confusion of watching his mother (Felicity Jones) fight terminal cancer at home. To escape reality, Conor dreams of a monster — a massive tree (voiced by Liam Neeson) who comes to help the boy through the power of storytelling. The tree will tell Conor a handful of fables, but in exchange, he’ll have to reveal his darkest secret. A Monster Calls co-stars Sigourney Weaver and Toby Kebbell
Before you watch the featurette, I’ll just say A Monster Calls is a movie best to experience with fresh eyes. Some of the marketing materials, especially the three-minute trailer, have maybe shown a little too much from the film. But if for some reason you’re not sold on seeing the next movie from the director of The Orphanage, The Impossible, and the next Jurassic Park movie, or you simply want to see more from the film or learn its origin, then here’s A Monster Calls featurette:
How Bayona visualizes Conor’s emotional state is often stunning, whether through the animated sequences or even one terrific, showstopping use of silence (you’ll know the scene when you see it). A Monster Calls is an exceptionally emotional piece of spectacle with a big, beating, tangible heart. Expect plenty of beauty and heartache from Bayona’s latest.
Here’s the official synopsis:
A visually spectacular drama from acclaimed director Juan Antonio Bayona (“The Impossible”), based on the award-winning children’s fantasy novel. 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall) attempts to deal with his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness and the bullying of his classmates by escaping into a fantastical world of monsters and fairy tales that explore courage, loss, and faith.
A Monster Calls opens in theaters on December 23rd.
The post ‘A Monster Calls’ Featurette: What’s The Story Behind the Story? appeared first on /Film.
This Week In Trailers: Amateurs in Space, Happy Hour, NETIZENS, A FOND, True New York, Beyond The Gates
Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we crusade for civil rights using the Internet, get excited over a five-plus hour movie about four women living in Japan, I find a French Robert Downey Jr. lookalike, we try to get to the moon with power tools, we remember VHS board games through a little horror, and we get to know the Big Apple a little better.
Beyond The Gates Trailer
F it. Have an upvote.
I don’t know director Jackson Stewart from a hole in the ground but after watching this trailer last week, passing on it, and then coming across this silly promo today, I just had to give into his charm. The premise, initially, sounds preposterous and destined for a life on VOD sandwiched right between whatever films a distributor picked up at a cinematic flea market that was promised a release but this one might have a pulse. I watched the trailer again and found it to be convincingly exciting enough that I wanted to share with the rest of the community here to see if there’s anything to the extremely complimentary reviews it has received thus far. Consider me interested.
Amateurs in Space Trailer
Look, just forget Billy Bob Thornton ever made The Astronaut Farmer. (Most have)
What documentary filmmaker Max Kestner captures here is part crazy, part ambitious, and totally engrossing. Our players sound and feel like schlubby Elon Musks as they amble around trying to make their dream to get into orbit using parts you could find at The Home Depot and Wal-Mart but it’s that kind of passion that is so fundamentally inspiring. And it completely comes across in the trailer as we get to know these guys and why they will positively, absolutely, not give up until their dream is realized. I wish I had that kind of drive and what we see here shows you don’t have to be rich to be ambitious. Just have a vision and get after it.
Happy Hour Trailer
What some might say is self-indulgent, most have said this movie from Hamaguchi Ryusuke is an absolute charmer. The trailer is so very elegant as it doesn’t use words or try to set up a complicated narrative. It just allows the players in our story to be present on screen and we fill in our own conceptions of what we’re viewing, what we’re supposed to be taking from it. There almost seems to be a resignation to the idea that it’s not trying to fill stadiums with people clamoring to see it but that it wants to sit there, out in the open, waiting for the right people who are drawn to its light. That might be overstating it but it’s a beautiful piece of marketing.
True New York Trailer
I’ve never been.
The only way I’ve experienced New York is through media. Whether that’s movies, television, news, scripted media, Billy on the Street, you name it, that’s the only way I have a handle on what people are crowing about when it comes to the Big Apple. That said, this is the kind of filmmaking I adore. It’s short narratives with no real through line other than it’s about the people who make it what it is. The even better thing is that these people aren’t just a part of New York, these are stories about human beings who just happen to live in that part of the country. Regardless of their physical geography there are some gems to be experienced in here if this trailer is to be believed. I want to believe. It’s what keeps me going.
Not many documentaries feel like they deserve to be exulted and heralded as MUST-SEE but director Cynthia Lowen has done something special. What I felt after watching Bully, of which Lowen was a co-filmmaker, was that it was an important document. I’m not sure of how well it resonated with those who really could make a difference but, as a human being, being aware of these kinds of stories just helps to contextualize something that is easily painted with broad strokes by local media with stories that usually result in the most dire of ways. This has the sheen of yet another topic that many have pontificated about but have never looked deeper to understand what it is people are standing up to. While the production of the trailer isn’t what got this noticed, it’s the content that makes you sit and listen.
A FOND Trailer
Oh look, it’s a french Robert Downey Jr.
That’s all I have to say about this one.
Nota bene: If you have any suggestions of trailers to possibly be included in this column, even have a trailer of your own to pitch, please let me know by sending me a note at Christopher_Stipp@yahoo.com or look me up via Twitter at @Stipp
In case you missed them, here are the other trailers we covered at /Film this week:
- The Belko Experiment Trailer – Me, of all people, can’t even get around how utterly high concept this is.
- Mad Sheila Trailer – I couldn’t even get through the trailer.
- Almost Paris Trailer – Wildly plastic and unbelievable.
- Sleight Teaser – Go on…
- The Great Wall Trailer – Fun fact, yet another trailer this week I couldn’t get through.
- The Belko Experiment Red Band Trailer – Nope.
- The Mummy Teaser Trailer – I’ve got nothing.
- The Shack Trailer – This looks like visual barf.
- The Autopsy of Jane Doe Trailer – Sorry, not watching this.
The post This Week In Trailers: Amateurs in Space, Happy Hour, NETIZENS, A FOND, True New York, Beyond The Gates appeared first on /Film.
Superhero Bits: Jai Courntey’s Naked Suicide Squad Chase, Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Game & More
Why did Jai Courtney get naked and chase David Ayer on the Suicide Squad set? Why does Jason Momoa identify with Aquaman? Are you ready for a Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale video game? Did you know there was once a pitch for an odd crossover between Smallville and Supernatural? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits.
Check out some images of some forthcoming SH Figuarts figures for Marvel, including Doctor Strange and more.
Did you catch these references and easter eggs on last night’s DC’s Legends of Tomorrow crossover episode?
— Louis D'Esposito (@louisde2) November 30, 2016
Marvel’s Louis D’Esposito indicates that meetings have been taking place for The Avengers: Infinity War.
People were mad that Batman did some killing in Batman v Superman, but here are 15 other times Batman killed.
A new featurette goes behind the scenes of Marvel’s new Monsters Unleashed comic book series, starting in January.
The conclusion of the Arrowverse crossover on DC’s Legends of Tomorrow gave the show its highest ratings yet.
Pretty much all the Batman characters can be spotted in this new poster for The LEGO Batman Movie.
Deadpool has been close to the top of the home media charts during the holiday season, just under Finding Dory.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 next page of Superhero Bits.
The post Superhero Bits: Jai Courntey’s Naked Suicide Squad Chase, Guardians of the Galaxy Telltale Game & More appeared first on /Film.
Eager to see a sci-fi war movie this month but too lazy to leave your house for Rogue One? Netflix has got you covered. Last month the streaming service scooped up Legendary’s Spectral. Nic Mathieu‘s directorial debut centers around a Special Ops team going on a deadly mission to stop a wave of otherworldly forces.
James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Bruce Greenwood, Clayne Crawford, Jimmy Akingbola, and Max Martini play a few of the humans that get mixed up in this crazy mess, which has been described as a sort of supernatural Black Hawk Down. Check out the first Spectral trailer below.
Spectral has had a rough time getting to the screen. Shooting began all the way back in 2014 in Budapest, and the finished film sat on a shelf for over a year in anticipation of an August 2016 release from Universal. Then, just a few months before it was supposed to hit theaters, Universal quietly yanked the film from its schedule. Finally, last month, Netflix announced they’d picked it up to distribute.
None of that seems to bode well for the movie, but on paper it actually sounds pretty decent. Scripted by George Nolfi (The Bourne Ultimatum) and based on a story by Mathiu and Ian Fried, Spectral centers on an engineer who joins forces with a Special Ops team after mysterious phantoms code-named Spectral begin killing people in a battle-scarred city. The film boasts weaponry by Weta Workshop and VFX by Weta Digital, and a score by Junkie XL (Mad Max: Fury Road).
In practice, the Spectral trailer looks… fine. It’s not bad-looking, but it feels a little generic, and the central premise is inherently kind of goofy. (There are many shots of CG knocking over brawny soldiers.) Still, for those evenings when you just want to watch a bunch of ghosts blowing people up, this could hit the spot.
Spectral will be on Netflix December 9.
The post ‘Spectral’ Trailer: Soldiers Battle Ghosts (or Something) on Netflix appeared first on /Film.
We’ve reached the point in the year where every publication, website, and critics’ group is rushing to announce their favorite movies of the year before everyone else, a time-honored tradition known as “First!” But few film publications carry as much weight in the end-of-the-year game quite like Sight & Sound, whose Greatest Films of All Time list (updated every ten years after polling critics and film directors) tends ignite movie site comments sections like a match dropped in a puddle of gasoline.
Their annual lists tend to reflect a similar sensibility – a mixture of arthouse fare from around the world with a sprinkle of Hollywood.
Anyone who has been following the early Oscar prognostication won’t be surprised to see that Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight, Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, and Damien Chazelle’s La La Land all found homes on the list (on spots 2, 7, and 16, respectively). But it was Maren Ade’s Toni Erdmann, Germany’s submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards, that took the number one spot. While I missed the film at Fantastic Fest this year (a 162-minute running time and a busy festival schedule do not always mix), the film has been warmly received by just about everyone who has seen it.
Other stand-out entries on the list include Paul Verhoeven’s controversial Elle at number 3, Kelly Reichardt’s Certain Women at number 5, Andrea Arnold’s American Honey at number 5 (which I did see and love at Fantastic Fest), and Jim Jarmusch’s Paterson at number 9.
Many of the other films on the list have flown past my personal radar, but that’s the fun (and the whole point) of lists like these. Now I have some homework to do. You can peruse the complete list below, which includes a few ties.
1. “Toni Erdmann” directed Maren Ade
2. “Moonlight” directed by Barry Jenkins
3. “Elle” directed by Paul Verhoeven
4. “Certain Women” directed by Kelly Reichardt
5. “American Honey” directed by Andrea Arnold
6. “I, Daniel Blake” directed by Ken Loach
7. “Manchester by the Sea” directed by Kenneth Lonergan
8. “Things to Come” directed by Mia Hansen-Løve
9. “Paterson” directed by Jim Jarmusch
10. “The Death of Louis XIV” directed by Albert Serra
11. “Personal Shopper” directed by Olivier Assayas
=11. “Sieranevada” directed by Cristi Puiu
13. “Fire At Sea” directed by Gianfranco Rosi
=13. “Nocturama” directed by Bertrand Bonello
=13. “Julieta” directed by Pedro Almodóvar
16. “La La Land” directed by Damien Chazelle
=16. “Cameraperson” directed by Kirsten Johnson
18. “Love & Friendship” directed by Whit Stillman
19. “Aquarius” directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
=19. “Victoria” directed by Sebastian Schipper
The post Sight & Sound Announces Their Top 20 Films of 2016 appeared first on /Film.
Rogue One Bits: The Creation of the U-Wing, Space Battle Details, and Alan Tudyk On Playing a Mo-Cap Droid
In this edition of Rogue One Bits:
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story‘s big space battle is teased.
- A look at the design process of the U-Wing.
- Yes, there will be plenty of available Rogue One tickets.
- Jimmy Kimmel Live will dedicate an entire episode to Rogue One.
- Alan Tudyk promises that K-2SO won’t be Jar Jar Binks.
- A new interview with Gareth Edwards.
- Take a VR tour of the Rogue One set.
Entertainment Weekly has an article diving into the creation of the U-Wing, the Rebel spaceship making its debut in Rogue One. The design intentionally borrows from other recognizable Star Wars ships, with visual effects supervisor John Knoll (who also came up the original pitch for Rogue One) explaining:
Our conceit is that the U-wing came from the same factory that was manufacturing X-wings. It’s just like if you look at cars from one [automaker], you see design themes carried across multiple different product lines.
Speaking of John Knoll, Wired has published a profile on him, diving into his work on Rogue One and with ILM. The article supplies some details about what to expect from the upcoming film’s big space battle over and it sounds…huge. Consider these paragraphs spoiler-y:
Knoll’s job also requires painful, almost microscopic scrutiny. At one point he reviews a Star Destroyer torn in half in battle—the reflections, the textures, the realism of the bent metal. The model maker is working from the book Incredible Cross-Sections of Star Wars: The Ultimate Guide to Star Wars Vehicles and Spacecraft to make sure that what an audience sees inside the ship matches what’s known about Star Destroyers. No one wants to be the subject of a subreddit dedicated to power converters and the jerks who put them in the wrong place.
Next up: a sequence of two Star Destroyers about to collide, part of the beat that ILM had to solve. The shot is impressive—the immensity of the cruisers overwhelming, the cinematography stunning. Knoll smiles.
“Final,” he says. The room cheers.
The whole article, which you can read at the link above, is worth your time.
If you haven’t bought Rogue One tickets yet and fear for your chances of not seeing the movie opening weekend…fear not? Mashable did the math and says you should be okay:
There are more than 5300 movie theater locations in America; a typical Hollywood tentpole release will open at something like 4,200 of those. With just under eight screens per cinema, there are more than 40,000 operating movie screens in the U.S., each with an average of 250 seats, according to the National Association of Theater Owners.
All that makes for roughly 10 million total movie theater seats.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the biggest domestic opener of all time at $247,966,675, sold about 30 million tickets over its first three and a half days — meaning each of those seats got used about once, on average.
But here’s the thing: most screening rooms churn three to five showtimes per day or more.
In other words, even the biggest movie ever is only using about a third to a fifth of the nation’s total capacity.
I mean, buy them now if you want to guarantee an ideal time and theater, but maybe you don’t have to rush…
Meanwhile, Jimmy Kimmel Live will dedicate an upcoming episode to Rogue One, with Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, and director Gareth Edwards set to appear as guests. This is similar to what the show did last year, when it booked J.J. Abrams and the cast of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The episode is set to air on December 9, 2016.
But you don’t have to wait until December 9 to hear from Alan Tudyk, who plays the reprogrammed security droid K-2SO in Rogue One. Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, who described the motion capture process and how his character differs from the likes of Jar Jar Binks:
It’s motion capture. So, you will hear my voice, but I was there for the whole thing. It was a blast. It’s basically acting, but you’re wearing a silly costume and the actual costume comes later in post. But you’re working with the other actors, so the lines change and you’re affected by their performance. You’re part of making the role and making the movie there on set as opposed to animation, which is very different. There’s one animated character that’s a good example of Star Wars animation gone bad, which is Jar Jar Binks. He was 100 percent animated and it didn’t go well. It became cartoonish and I think a lot of that can be attributed to the way that it was done.
Jar Jar is a pretty low bar to hurdle, so Tudyk probably has that much down.
Meanwhile, the latest episode of The Star Wars Show features an interview with Gareth Edwards (as well as details on StarWars.com’s Rogue One red carpet live stream and the Star Wars Identities exhibit in London).
Time has debuted a new behind-the-scenes video from the set of Rogue One, but with a catch: you can watch the whole thing in virtual reality and witness a scene being filmed in 360 degrees. If you can’t make that happen, you can watch a video version at the link above, where you can also learn other ways to view the footage as intended. Here’s what to expect:
In the video, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards takes us to Pinewood Studios in London, where the crew is filming an action sequence on the planet Jedha in which rebel fighters Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) and Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) lead an ambush against an Imperial tank and a squad of stormtroopers. “You can see the people in costumes constantly acting,” says the director. “They don’t know when they’re going to be in shot. That was part of the design of this set, so that at any point we could move the camera around and film 360° spontaneously.”
The post Rogue One Bits: The Creation of the U-Wing, Space Battle Details, and Alan Tudyk On Playing a Mo-Cap Droid appeared first on /Film.
“I think that Blonde will be one of the ten best movies ever made,” Andrew Dominik says. “That’s why I want to do it.” And the director behind The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford has been wanting to do it for many years now. In 2010, Blonde and My Week with Marilyn were the competing Marilyn Monroe biopics. Six years later and Dominik is still trying to make the film, which will not star Jessica Chastain and, despite Netflix reportedly backing the movie, no deal has been struck yet.
Below, learn more about the Marilyn Monroe biopic.
Over the summer, Dominik told Indiewire he cast a new unnamed actress as Marilyn Monroe and was aiming for a January start date. At the time, the story went that Netflix was financing Blonde and planning a limited theatrical release before it was made available to stream. But while promoting his Nick Cave doc, One More Time With Feeling, Dominik told Collider “it’s not, in any way, a done deal.” Of course, the filmmaker hopes a deal gets made, but he’s unsure if he’ll finally get to shoot the biopic anytime soon.
Since Dominik believes Blonde will be one of the greatest movies of all time, though, he’s not going to give up on it. When asked why he’s so passionate about the project, he responded:
It’s a film about the human condition. It tells the story of how a childhood trauma shapes an adult who’s split between a public and a private self. It’s basically the story of every human being, but it’s using a certain sense of association that we have with something very familiar, just through media exposure. It takes all of those things and turns the meanings of them inside out, according to how she feels, which is basically how we live. It’s how we all operate in the world. It just seems to me to be very resonant. I think the project has got a lot of really exciting possibilities, in terms of what can be done, cinematically.
Dominik has ambitious plans for Blonde, based on the Joyce Carol Oates novel of the same name. The script has very little dialogue in it. Dominik doesn’t think there’s single a scene in the Blonde script that’s longer than two pages. He wants to make a film that’s “an avalanche of images and events,” more accessible and, in his words, faster paced than his previous features.
Speaking of his prior work, for all you fellow Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford fans out there: in case you were wondering if anything ever came of those fan outcries to get the epic western a Criterion release, nothing ever did:
I don’t think Criterion are interested in it. I don’t think that they feel it’s significant enough for them. There was this really lovely guy, who was a film student, that organized this Jesse James revival, either last year or the year before. He was a film student or something, and Jesse James is his favorite movie. He basically took it upon himself to create a Jesse James revival and he set up all these screens at various Cinematheque type of things. He tried to get Criterion interested, and they weren’t.
The post Andrew Dominik’s Marilyn Monroe Biopic ‘Blonde’ Is Not a Done Deal at Netflix appeared first on /Film.
Before you start doling out superlatives for the year in movies, you’ll want to check out what I’m pretty sure is still one of the most unsettling cinematic experiences of 2016. The Eyes of My Mother creeped the hell out of audiences at Sundance at the start of the year, and has spent the past several months traumatizing the rest of festival circuit with its odd blend of startling beauty and quiet but visceral brutality. Now, at long last, it’s available for everyone to see. But if you’re still not quite convinced, allow an exclusive The Eyes of My Mother featurette to make its pitch. Click through to watch.The Eyes of My Mother Featurette
This is definitely not a film for everyone. If I’m being honest, it wasn’t a film for me. It’s a nasty piece of work that invites you into the mind of a monster, bringing you along through her formative experiences and everyday routines. Turns out that’s not a very pleasant place to be, which might be why The Eyes of My Mother feels far longer than its 76-minute runtime. It’s punishing in its brutality, and sickening to behold. If you haven’t got the stomach for it, I don’t blame you — I nearly walked out of a screening myself.
And yet, I’d encourage anyone who has a taste for unusual horror movies to at least give it a shot. The mere fact that it’s still so vivid in my memory, nearly a year after I saw it, speaks highly of its ability to make an impression. Jacob Hall, who enjoyed it much more than I did, put it this way:
The Eyes of My Mother isn’t a crowdpleaser. It’s not fun in the traditional sense of the word. It may leave those without a thick skin for cinematic cruelty a little overwhelmed and sickened. But this is an audacious, undeniably impressive film that achieves exactly what it sets out to accomplish. This will not be an easy experience to shake.
Also worth pointing out is that this film marks Nicolas Pesce‘s directorial debut — and as those go, it’s a stunning one. I think and hope we’ll be seeing much more from him in the years to come.
The Eyes of My Mother is now in theaters, and you should watch it that way if you can. Aside from the fact that it looks freaking gorgeous on the big screen, this is a film that relies heavily on mood and atmosphere and would benefit from the dark, quiet isolation of an actual cinema. But if you can’t, it is also currently available on iTunes, Amazon, and VOD.
In their secluded farmhouse, a mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death. One afternoon, a mysterious visitor horrifyingly shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening some unique curiosities. Though she clings to her increasingly reticent father, Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a distinctly dark form.
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While many are looking ahead a couple weeks to the release of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in just two weeks, some may be looking forward to getting absolutey crazy with a raunchy, R-rated holiday comedy, and Office Christmas Party will try to come through next week.
A new trailer for the comedy from Blades of Glory directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck has just arrived, and while it shows more of the party shenanigans that happen in an office in downtown Chicago, it also shows more of the outside happenings, including Jennifer Aniston assaulting some guy, and Karan Soni (the cab driver from Deadpool) trying to get a hooker from Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street).
Watch the new Office Christmas Party trailer after the jump.
Judging by all the trailers we’ve seen so far, Kate McKinnon feels like she’ll be the standout, but if you’re not a fan of her in general, you probably won’t enjoy her antics this time either. However, I’m also looking forward to seeing T.J. Miller and Courtney B. Vance really cut loose together at this shindig.
While all the comedic talent on display here has me wholly excited to see how this movie turns out, I must say that I’m worried this one is going to get a little too out of control, bordering on the insanity of Horrible Bosses 2 that crosses the line into goofy rather than just dancing around it. All of the stuff outside of the party is what seems to be the most outlandish stuff for now, but maybe when we see it executed in context it will work. At the very least, it might give you some ideas for your own office Christmas party if you’re looking to get fired.
The rest of the ensemble cast includes Olivia Munn, Vanessa Bayer, Randall Park, Sam Richardson, Jamie Chung and more. If you haven’t seen it already, you can still watch the most recent trailer for Office Christmas Party right here. Plus, there’s an assortment of clips available to watch over here.
When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s branch, he (T.J. Miller) and his Chief Technical Officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.
Office Christmas Party hits theaters next week on December 9.
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At the end of the summer, we got a glimpse of Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania, a sequel to the 2007 animated comedy that followed a young penguin named Cody Maverick (Shia LaBeouf) as he took part a big surfing competition. This time, Cody Maverick is hitting the waves again, voiced by someone completely new, as he joins a whole new crew of surfers who just so happened to be voiced by WWE superstar wrestlers John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, Paige and Vince McMahon.
Now a new Surf’s Up 2 trailer has arrived, showing us exactly why this is a straight-to-DVD and VOD title instead of getting a theatrical release.
While I enjoyed John Cena in Trainwreck, this seems like a supreme waste of his surprisingly great comedic talents. In addition, his voice sounds a little too close to what Diedrich Bader did with his character in the first Surf’s Up. Sure, that’s just his normal voice, but it’s just a little repetitive. As for the rest of the WWE superstars, their vocal performances sound exactly as underwhelming as you’d expect, and they just don’t measure up to the chill surfing master played by Jeff Bridges in the original movie.
It’s a shame that a Surf’s Up sequel didn’t do something more worthy to follow the first film, which is a sorely underrated and too easily forgotten flick from nearly a decade ago. But maybe Sony Pictures Animation couldn’t assemble all of the voice cast again to make it worth their while for a theatrical feature, and then this strange idea came along to capitalize on wrestling fans who will watch anything featuring their favorite athletes.
Cody Maverick, hungry for a new challenge, convinces an infamous big wave riding crew known as The Hang 5, voiced by WWE Superstars John Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, Paige and Mr. McMahon to let him join them on their journey to a mysterious surf spot known as The Trenches, where legend has it, they’ll find the biggest waves in the world. Cody soon discovers that the life he left behind might be more heroic than what any death-defying wave has to offer.
Directed by Henry Yu, Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania is based on a screenplay by Abdul Williams. The film is a co-financed production between Sony Pictures Animation and WWEStudios, and is produced by Michelle L.M. Wong and executive produced by Michael Luisi.
Surf’s Up 2: WaveMania hits DVD and VOD on January 17.
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Life in plastic is fantastic for Amy Schumer. She’s just been set to play Barbie in Sony’s live-action adaptation of Mattel’s toy line, while the studio continues to look for a director. In addition to starring, Schumer will also rework the script with her sister Kim Caramele. The film is described as a family comedy in a similar vein as Splash, Big, and Enchanted.
The Hollywood Reporter broke news of the Amy Schumer Barbie casting. Sony has been trying for a few years now to get a Barbie movie off the ground, and no wonder — she’s one of the most recognizable toy brands in the world. (Before Sony, Universal took a stab at it too.) Diablo Cody (Juno) and Jenny Bicks (Rio 2) have worked on previous drafts, but the studio is now working off of a script by Hilary Winston (Community, The Lego Ninjago Movie) which Schumer and Caramele will rewrite. Amy Pascal, Laurie MacDonald, and Walter F. Parkes are producing.
Barbie the doll needs no introduction. If you grew up any time during the past half-century or so, chances are you had a couple of these kicking around in your toybox somewhere, or at least had a friend or sibling who did. Since its inception in the 1950s, the toy line has expanded to include dozens of additional characters (including, most famously, her on-again, off-again beau Ken) and span multiple films and video games.
However, Barbie doesn’t come packaged with a ready-made storyline like a lot of toys do. Instead, we can look to films like Enchanted, Splash, and Big for comparisons — ones that combine fantasy, comedy, and tons of heart in a family-friendly way. Schumer’s Barbie starts out in a picture-perfect land of picture-perfect Barbies, but it begins to dawn on her that she doesn’t quite fit in. After she’s kicked out, she winds up in the real world where she comes to realize that it’s a good thing to be unique.
The Barbie brand has been frequently criticized for promoting unhealthy beauty standards for women and girls. Which is why it may come as a bit of a surprise to realize they’ve hired Schumer, a self-proclaimed feminist who does not shy away fact that she falls outside Hollywood’s size-zero ideal. However, the trade says that’s the point, so it sounds like they’re trying to update the character for the modern era. Barbie should also open up a whole new set of fans for Schumer, who’s mostly been known for her raunchy, very adult-oriented comedy.
Barbie already has a May 12, 2017 release date on the calendar but it obviously won’t make that deadline at this point. Still, it’s clear the studio wants to get going sooner rather than later, and casting Schumer is a big step in that direction. Look for more updates on this project before long.
Few game video game designers have managed to blur the line between interactive gaming and cinema quite as effectively as Hideo Kojima, so is it any surprise that the trailer for his latest project, the oddly titled Death Stranding, features characters played by Mads Mikkelsen and director Guillermo del Toro in motion capture performances? We still don’t know how this game plays or what it’s about or when it’s expected to hit shelves, but these actors (and the sensibilities on display in this footage) suggest that Kojima is trying to draw as many cinephiles into his web as he is gamers.
The trailer was revealed at the 2016 Game Awards, where Kojima also received the Industry Icon Award. Like the previous teaser shown earlier this year, this footage is less about showing off the game itself and more about revealing its world and an unsettling, disconcerting, nightmarish tone. In a vacuum, this footage is effectively nonsense, albeit gripping, visually stunning nonsense created by people with one hell of a strong track record for aiming big and hitting their target. Now that he’s officially divorced fro the Metal Gear Solid series, Kojima appears to be embracing his weirdo ambitions like never before. I’m fully prepared for some top-notch WTF-ery.
In addition to del Toro and Mikkelsen (who was already having one hell of a year between Doctor Strange and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story), the game will feature The Walking Dead‘s Norman Reedus as the main character. This reveal came in the original E3 trailer…which also offers no clue as to what Death Stranding is actually about.
The origin story of Death Stranding, and the reason why this eclectic group of talented folks has come together, begins with disappointment. A few years ago, Kojima and del Toro were collaborating on Silent Hills, the latest entry in Konami’s Silent Hill video game series, which would have featured Reedus as the lead character. To tease the game, they created a short game called P.T. (short for “playable teaser”) that existed to tease the mood and tone of the future game. The result was one of the scariest things I’ve ever experienced in any medium. And then Konami cancelled the game, leaving everyone to wonder what could have been. Kojima left the company, went independent, and announced Death Stranding.
del Toro, who is involved in Death Stranding creatively as well as playing a character, let his feelings on this matter be known on Twitter last night.
FUCK KONAMI https://t.co/YRl5uXQlO6
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) December 2, 2016
Konami cancelling SH after PT is one of the most moronic things I've ever witnessed.
— Guillermo del Toro (@RealGDT) December 2, 2016
Of course, del Toro and Kojima making a game starring Mikkelsen and Reedus that doesn’t have to exist within a pre-existing franchise is exciting stuff. Hopefully, whatever they’re cooking up lives up to these weird trailers.
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After spending so much of the past couple months digging into the intricate mysteries of Westworld, it might be a nice change of pace to dig into a more straightforward HBO drama. Though this one’s hiding away some shocking secrets as well. The premium cable channel has debuted the latest trailer for Big Little Lies, David E. Kelley‘s adaptation of the bestselling novel by Liane Moriarty.
Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and Shailene Woodley star as a trio of moms in beautiful, well-to-do Monterey, California. But when their idyllic lives are shattered, things sprial down until someone winds up dead. Witherspoon’s Wild director Jean-Marc Vallée helmed all seven episodes. Watch the Big Little Lies trailer below.Big Little Lies Trailer
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from Hollywood, it’s that the more picture-perfect a suburban community looks, the more likely it is that it’s roiling with rivalries and resentments and petty cruelties just underneath the surface, and that it’s just a matter of time before someone gets killed. The town in Big Little Lies is clearly no exception. “We pound people with nice,” Madeline (Witherspoon) says in the trailer. “To death!” Celeste (Kidman) adds cheerfully. And sure enough, by the end of the video, someone’s asking, “we’re seriously using the word ‘murder’?”
The promo plays coy about what, exactly, goes down, but it’s clearly something very terrible. We see a lot of talking heads — other townspeople, presumably — talking about how “viciously competitive” the people in town are, over scenes of our main characters gossiping and partying and stabbing each other int he back. All in all, Big Little Lies looks like one part suburban satire, one part pitch-black comedy, one part upper-middle-class drama, one part mystery thriller, and 100% a good time.
Big Little Lies will premiere Sunday, February 19 at 9 PM on HBO. Alexander Skarsgård, Adam Scott, Laura Dern, and Zoë Kravitz also star.
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This weekend, Emma Stone returns to Saturday Night Live to host the late night sketch show for a third time. However, she almost starred in an entirely different sketch comedy show much earlier in her career, one that would have had her crossing paths with a certain SNL cast member at a young age.
While appearing on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the 28-year-old actress revealed that she auditioned for the Nickelodeon kids sketch comedy show All That when she was 12 years old. Even though she didn’t end up getting the job, her audition sounds rather entertaining.
Find out what happened when Emma Stone auditioned for All That after the jump.
The cheerleader character she created wasn’t anything that could have been turned into a recurring one, but then again, most of the characters on All That were one-note jokes that just repeated themselves. That happens on SNL occasionally too, but there’s usually enough variance in the jokes themselves that it doesn’t feel quite as tired. However, that possessed babysitter sketch sounds simultaneously horrifying and hilarious, and it’s impressive that she came up with those characters on the spot at just 12 years old.
It’s probably for the best that Emma Stone didn’t make it into the cast of All That, because her career ended up blossoming in quite a fantastic way after her breakthrough performance in Superbad in 2007. Before that she actually had a role over at Nickelodeon’s chief competitor, The Disney Channel, where she appeared in a single episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, starring Dylan & Cole Sprouse, the twins who played the kid in Adam Sandler’s Big Daddy.
But if Emma Stone had starred in All That, then her hosting duties on SNL would have made for a fun reunion with former All That cast member Kenan Thompson. Maybe one day they can get together and create a “what if” scenario where Emma and Kenan play Randy and Mandy, the chefs who love cooking with chocolate.
Even though we never got to see Emma Stone on All That, at least we get to see her on Saturday Night Live again this weekend. In the meantime, enjoy her quick rendition of Gilda Radner’s iconic character Roseanne Rosannadanna from the SNL 40th anniversary special:
We’ll have a recap of Emma Stone’s Saturday Night Live episode, running through the best and worst sketches, the morning after the episode airs.
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A little over a month ago, Bryan Fuller stepped down as showrunner on CBS’s upcoming Star Trek: Discovery series, resulting in the internet making a sound akin to a balloon slowly deflating. After all, Star Trek has seen its ups and its downs, but surely it would’ve flourished under the watchful eye of the genius behind Hannibal and Pushing Daisies! Without him at the helm, an exclamation point became a question mark. The silver lining was that Fuller would remain on board as an executive producer, allowing him “to remain actively involved albeit not on the day-to-day production level as originally envisioned.”
Well, so much for that. In a new interview, Fuller has essentially confirmed that we won’t be working on Star Trek: Discovery at all.
Speaking with Newsweek, Fuller said that the production will still utilize the scripts he’s written and the first season arc he’s plotted, but he won’t have any say beyond that:
I’m not involved in production, or postproduction, so I can only give them the material I’ve given them and hope that it is helpful for them. I’m curious to see what they do with it. […] They have my number and if they need me I will absolutely be there for them.
Fuller, a veteran of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek Voyager, seemed like a perfect fit to run the new series. Before vacating the captain’s chair, he said all of the right things, insisting that Star Trek: Discovery would restore the positivity and hopefulness of creator Gene Roddenberry’s original vision for the future. Unfortunately, his Trek duties collided with his showrunning duties on Starz’s American Gods, leading to Discovery being delayed from January 2017 to May 2017. Fuller was gone about six weeks later. In the Newsweek interview, he’s diplomatic about the whole thing:
It is bittersweet. But it was just a situation that couldn’t be resolved otherwise…so I had to step away.
And while Fuller’s departure is disappointing, I can only continue to wish new showrunners Gretchen Berg and Aaron Harberts the best of luck. They’ve inherited the captain’s seat under less than ideal conditions, but Star Trek has always been about rising the occasion in the face of things going horribly wrong.
In any case, the show has finally started lining up its crew, with Michelle Yeoh, Doug Jones, and Anthony Rapp boarding the ship. The lead character, a female first officer, has yet to be cast.
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We’re coming up on 10 years of development on the Escape from New York remake that originated at New Line Cinema but now finds itself at 20th Century Fox. Over the years, we’ve seen various talents attached such as writers like Gary Whitta (Book of Eli) and Ken Nolan (Black Hawk Down) involved, directors such as Brett Ratner and Breck Eisner once attached, and names like Gerard Butler and Tom Hardy thrown around to play the lead.
As of now, no new talent has come on board since Luther creator Neil Cross was hired last fall, but some new details have emerged on the project that could either be really interesting or extremely frustrating for fans of the original movie. First and foremost, it has been confirmed that the Escape from New York remake is in fact a prequel that will provide some origin details on both Snake Plissken (originally played by Kurt Russell) and the state of the world. However, keep in mind that some of these details might dive into spoiler territory, so continue to read at your own risk.
The Wrap was first to reveal some intriguing details about the Escape from New York remake. First and foremost, unlike the setting of the original 1981 film, New York City is not a maximum security prison. Instead, New York is described as “breathtakingly lovely,” but with some futuristic touches. Specifically, Manhattan has some “towering glass structures and a high, undulating glass wall.” There are also little drones that fly around without disrupting the beauty of the city, as well as artificial intelligence that keeps everything in order and a small staff of technicians and researchers known as “Seers.”
However, despite the serene nature of New York City, the rest of the world is in chaos. As far as the population of the world goes, “one in every seventy five human begins is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.” So it seems New York City is one of the few safe places in the world, which would explain why New York is managed so expertly by artificial intelligence and drones, all controlled by a woman named April.
It appears New York’s primary problem is Superstorm Ellery, which is on its way to the East Coast. And while the city might feel safe from all the protection in place by the aforementioned security drones and artificial intelligence, these measures are not as good at keeping the city safe as everyone hoped.
So what’s Snake Plissken’s role in all of this? Apparently he is being tasked by CIA Deputy Executive Director Roberta Hauk (a gender-swapped role originally played by Lee Van Cleef in the original) with bringing in a man named Thomas Newton, described as a lean, intensely charismatic playboy heir to an agrochemical and biotech corporation. Newton donated his entire fortune to charity five years before our story takes place, but don’t let that trick you into thinking he’s a good guy. Newton also happens to have some kind of mysterious device call Fat Boy, “an ominous, dull metal sphere about the size of a car, in a nest of conduits and cabling.”
With the exception of Snake Plissken being tasked with bringing in someone from inside New York City, this doesn’t sound anything like the original Escape from New York. But that’s why Bloody Disgusting says that this is actually an Escape from New York prequel. And when you take into account something Joel Silver said back in 2014, this shouldn’t be surprising. The producer said:
There was a videogame that came out a few years ago called Arkham City, which shows how when Gotham became this kind of walled prison. And they never deal with that in the story of Escape from New York, so part of our idea was to kind of see how the city became this walled prison and how the Snake Plissken character was a hero and how he became not looked at as a hero. And then, in the middle of the story, would be the movie that we, you know, previously saw about the President’s daughter goes down, he has to go in and get her. And then, you know, they did a sequel, Escape from LA, but I would like to then kind of find a way to have New York go back to a place that we’d like to see what it is today.
So the idea is that this first movie will lead into Escape from New York, then they’ll remake the story of Escape from New York in the new setting they’ve created, and then a sequel will be an attempt to get New York back to where it was before the chaos turned it into a wasteland.
My bet is that New York ends up getting destroyed by whatever that Fat Boy device is that Newton has, and it ends up getting blamed on Snake Plissken. Authorities don’t realize that Plissken didn’t fail his mission or that he was set up by Newton as part of some kind of conspiracy plan that would presumably make him money or give him some kind of power he didn’t have before. Therefore he gets jailed and sent away for years before being called upon to save the President’s daughter (or whoever) from the destroyed NYC. And then who knows what happens in the third movie.
One other detail that this Escape from New York prequel may actually reveal is how Snake Plissken got that eye patch. Because Bloody Disgusting also says that there’s a chance that Plissken won’t have an eye patch at the beginning of the movie. They acknowledge that could change before shooting begins, but that’s something that feels like a key part of any prequel involving Snake Plissken, even if it goes against his traditional look. Oh, and for those curious, apparently Snake’s real name is Robert.
Personally, I’m torn about this approach to the material. While there’s a chance to have a prequel that sparks a new franchise along the lines of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, they also seem to be explaining too much about the origins of Escape from New York, and that’s not always as interesting as just being thrown into a world we haven’t experience before without little to no explanation as to how it became that way. Prequels just don’t leave enough to the imagination, and this could ruin the mystique of both the world of Escape from New York and the character of Snake Plissken.
The good news is that John Carpenter is involved as an executive producer, so hopefully he has some input as to how this all plays out. After all, as far back as 2007, Carpenter previously said, “I don’t know that it’s a remake. I think it’s a lot about Snake before he gets to New York.” There’s no indication as to when we might see this Escape from New York prequel/remake come together, and it could easily end up stuck in development for a few more years. But as soon as new info becomes available, we’ll let you know.
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André Øvredal‘s The Autopsy of Jane Doe was one of my favorite movies at Fantastic Fest 2016 and one of the best horror films I’ve seen in a year that has been very kind to the genre. It will be released on VOD platforms on December 20, 2016 and in select theaters on December 21, 2016. If you like good horror movies that value performances and mood and character as much as they value scares, you should go out of your way to see it. If it’s playing in a theater near you, it’s worth the price of admission. This is such an audience movie.
And if you’ve already decided to see it, I’d recommend skipping the latest trailer, which tips its hand a little too much and teases a few too many of the film’s finest scares.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe stars Brian Cox as a veteran coroner and Emile Hirsch as his son and assistant. The former is still grieving after the loss of his wife. The latter is considering leaving the family business. And then a mysterious, unidentified body is brought in and the duo is tasked with discovering a cause of death. Working through the night, they slowly discover that there is something incredibly wrong with the “Jane Doe” on their table.
And really, that’s all you should know. I don’t recommend clicking play on the trailer below, but you are your own person.
In addition to just being plain scary, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a terrific father and son movie, with Cox and Hirsch showing off a natural chemistry that makes you believe that these two have truly know each other their whole lives. The film does a tremendous service to these characters, introducing them as intelligent men and refusing to dumb them down for the sake of genre convenience. Come for the scares, stay for these two giving tremendous performances that help sell an increasingly bonkers horror tale.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe couldn’t be more different than André Øvredal’s debut film, 2011’s ambitious and hugely entertaining Trollhunter, but it’s just as effective at pulling off a tricky premise. He’s become one of the most exciting guys working in genre film right now and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Autopsy of Jane Doe:
In small-town Virginia, police are called to a gruesome crime scene where a family has been massacred in their own house. In the basement, an even more disturbing discovery is made: the partially buried corpse of a nude woman. The cops take this unidentified victim to a small, family-run morgue, where they ask proprietor Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) to perform an urgent forensic analysis in order to help determine what happened at the blood-stained house. Tommy’s son Austen (Emile Hirsch) cancels a date with his girlfriend (Ophelia Lovibond) in order to help his father perform an autopsy, and the two Tildens set about their grisly examination in the morgue basement. Working late into the night as they methodically peel back layers of skin, muscle, and bone, Tommy and Austen are baffled by the lack of external signs of trauma on the victim and the alarming extent of her internal injuries. Increasingly perplexed and frustrated by these forensic anomalies, the pair begins to succumb to late-night jitters, getting spooked at apparitions that seem to be lurking in the shadows. As the dread mounts and the atmosphere gets thick with evil, it becomes apparent that the Tildens’ fate is intertwined with a darkness that neither of them can comprehend.
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The 2016 edition of The Game Awards were held last night (Blizzard’s Overwatch was the big winner, for the record) and 20th Century Fox used this celebration of the best in video games to advertise Assassin’s Creed, their upcoming video game movie adaptation starring Michael Fassbender. This extended clip from the film was preaching to the choir last night, but it’s now arrived online, ready to win the hearts and minds of non-gamers looking for a big movie that will allow them to escape their family for two hours this holiday season.
The clip takes place in 15th century Spain and follows Aguilar (Fassbender), a member of a secret order known as the Assassins, as he chases down a carriage that has abducted a young child for reasons unknown. There will be horseback riding! And dramatic leaping! And stabbing! And maybe even an overturned carriage or two! Of course, all of this is simulation of sorts, a flashback experienced by Aguilar’s modern day descendant, Callum Lynch (also Fassbender) via a machine called the Animus, which allows users to re-live their “genetic memories.”
We got a good look at the Animus itself in a previous clip and recent featurette tried to explain this ludicrous technology, but it’s the period-piece action that has always been the draw in the Assassin’s Creed games and it’s what should be the draw for a big screen adaptation. That’s what makes the reports that the bulk of the film will take place in modern day so weird and disheartening – the modern day stuff is what gamers literally rush through as fast as possible so they can get back to stabbing people in the face while wandering immaculate recreations of centuries-old cities.
While this clip feels like it has been chopped to bits so it can fit into a slot on a live television program, this footage certain looks like the work of Justin Kurzel, whose Macbeth never met a cloud of dust or ash it didn’t want rain down upon its actors. History will tell us whether or not he’s a filmmaker to treasure, but he’s certainly talented and he’s certainly our dustiest director.
Assassin’s Creed opens on December 21, 2016.
Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
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