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HBO's Westworld gets a new trailer


Aug 31
// Rick Lash
Perhaps you've been feeling the fantasy blues on HBO of late. Game of Thrones been off the air for over two full months. True Blood for over two years. Maybe you've been hankering for some HBO-flavored western, and gosh darni...
Bill Nye on Netflix photo
Bill Nye on Netflix

Bill Nye Saves the World is coming to Netflix in spring 2017


Science Things
Aug 31
// Hubert Vigilla
Everyone's favorite science guy is coming back to the small screen thanks to Netflix. Bill Nye Saves the World will debut in spring 2017. According to the official Netflix synopsis, "Each episode will tackle a topic from a sc...

Review: Don't Breathe

Aug 31 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]220826:43073:0[/embed] Don't BreatheDirector: Fede AlvarezRelease Date: August 26th, 2016Rating: R  Let's talk about genre for a minute: Don't Breathe is being sold as a home invasion film, and it is that; but it's also not really. It's not a home invasion film like The Strangers or Funny Games is. This isn't a film about a family whose home is being invaded by evil forces; it's about the invaders themselves. And, more importantly, it's about the invaders trying to escape. In this case, the invaders are three dumb young 20somethings(?) who rob houses because one of them, Alex, has a dad who works for a security company. They follow strict rules: No cash, a take under $10,000, because law enforcement will go easier on them as a result of it. (These are Alex's rules; he is very worried about things going wrong.) The team learns about an old, blind veteran, Norman Nordstrom, who won a lot of money in a settlement after his daughter was killed in a car accident. To get out of Detroit, they decide to go after it, breaking their rules in the hopes of never needing to do it again. So they invade a home. It's locked with more than just the security key (odd) but make it in there anyway. And once they're inside, things go from bad to worse. Attempting to knock Norman out only serves to wake him up, and though he can't see anything that's around him, he's still plenty capable of causing serious damage to the people who have come into his home.  There are a lot of things about this premise that are interesting, but the best thing Don't Breathe has going for it is the inherent tension in a scene where one character is silent as Norman walks by them, oblivious to their presence. In these moments, you grip the arm of your chair (or whomever you're sitting next to), terrified that they'll make some kind of noise and end up maimed or dead or worse (and yeah, there's a "worse," which by now you've probably already heard about but I was (un?)fortunate enough to have not had that spoiled). I will admit that the tension is mildly undercut by the fact that sometimes it seems like he's too oblivious. And I don't mean that I think the guy should be Daredevil, but the moments where he notices things seem a bit arbitrary given some of the things he doesn't notice. It didn't really bother me much at the time, though, which I think is a testament to the effectiveness of the filmmaking. I like long takes. I like long takes a lot. And Don't Breathe makes excellent use of them. A few years back, a cabin-in-the-woods film called Honeymoon used a long take to introduce us to the house where much of the film would take place. Don't Breathe does something similar, going through and showing us pretty much everything we need to keep track of for the next hour or so. But as excellently staged as that is, the best uses come later. There are two that stick in my mind, but the one that exemplifies the unique tension this film can create comes in a long take as Alex tries to avoid Norman. You think he's gone, but then he appears again (something he does a Batman number of times over the course of the film (so maybe he should be Daredevil)), and it doesn't break away. It's a beautifully conceived scene and a brilliantly executed one. For that moment alone, this film is worthy of praise. One thing Don't Breathe is not, though, is particularly scary. There are jumpy moments (thankfully not accompanied by the obnoxiously loud sounds that tend to plague modern horror movies), but it's never really fear-inducing. It keeps you on the edge of your seat rather than trying to burrow into it. And it doesn't let up once it begins; many people have described the film as "relentless," and I think that's an excellent word for it. It just keeps going and going; there are probably five (maybe more) moments where you think it's over and then some new wrench gets thrown into the works. Still, though a couple people were shouting "ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!" at the screen by the end of it, it doesn't feel too long. It breaks you down just as it breaks down the characters, demoralizing you as it does them. It's efficient, effective, and ruthless. But, really, what else would you expect? This is the man who made Evil Dead. I like having directors whose work I can trust. I like to have people to follow and projects to hype for sight unseen. With his two films, I think Fede Alvarez has more than proved himself to be worthy of everyone's attention. His work has a unique (and honestly spectacular) style, and I am excited to see where he goes from here. Don't Breathe is great, and those flaws that it has don't spoil the experience. I expect I'll be seeing this one again soon, looking to see what things I missed the first time around and just enjoying a well-crafted and executed film. Bravo, Mr. Alvarez, this is your second Flixist Editor's Choice. I hope I don't have to wait another three years before we can give you another.
Don't Breathe Review photo
A different kind of home invasion
Three years ago, Fede Alvarez proved that he was a talent to watch. Evil Dead is a great film, tense and horrific and, more than anything else, polished (in stark contrast to the original film, which is anything but...

Morgan photo
Morgan

Trailer for Morgan made by IBM AI


Soon they'll be writing our reviews
Aug 31
// Matthew Razak
Computers just can't get enough of stealing everyone's jobs. They're coming for the trailer creators next as this new trailer for Morgan shows. Somehow IBM's fancy Watson computer analyzed a bunch of horror movies and ch...

Stranger Things S2 photo
Stranger Things S2

Netflix renews Stranger Things for a second season in 2017, watch the teaser


2 Stranger 2 Things
Aug 31
// Hubert Vigilla
I may be the last Gen-X-cusp-Millenial geek in America who hasn't seen Stranger Things yet. Now I have an excuse. Netflix's surprise hit of the summer has been renewed for a second season. The new season will debut in 2017. A...
Warcraft sequel photo
Warcraft sequel

Duncan Jones would still like to make Warcraft 2, comments on director's cut of first film


"Maybe I'm just being a masochist."
Aug 31
// Hubert Vigilla
Warcraft had a rough go critically but was able to make money thanks to the foreign box office (particularly China). While a sequel seems unlikely, director Duncan Jones is still game to make the movie given all of the time a...
Transformers photo
Transformers

So King Arthur will be in Transformers: The Last Knight


Just when you had hope
Aug 30
// Matthew Razak
Transformers: The Last Knight dropped an incredible looking poster a little while ago and it actually made me think that Michael Bay and company were possibly maybe doing something interesting. What a fool I am. With jus...

RIP Gene Wilder (1933-2016)

Aug 29 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220824:43071:0[/embed] [embed]220824:43072:0[/embed] [embed]220824:43070:0[/embed]
RIP Gene Wilder photo
The actor was 83 years old
Beloved actor, writer, and comedian Gene Wilder has passed away from complications related to Alzheimer’s disease. He was 83 years old. Wilder was a comedy icon whose classic film appearances include Young Frankenstein,...

Batman v Deathstroke photo
Batman v Deathstroke

Deathstroke is the villain of Ben Affleck's solo Batman movie, here's a first look


DO YOU STROKE IT? YOU WILL!
Aug 29
// Hubert Vigilla
After Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Ben Affleck signed on to write and direct his own Batman movie. We had a little bit of April Fool's fun speculating about who the villain would be, but until today, that remained a my...
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Mockumentary reveals what Thor was up to during 'Captain America: Civil War'


Me-time
Aug 29
// Matt Liparota
Earlier this year, Captain America: Civil War was basically another Avengers movie in disguise, with almost every hero from Marvel's tentpole franchise showing up to beat up on each other. However, there were a couple of nota...
#Ash4President photo
#Ash4President

Vote for Bruce Campbell in these Ash vs Evil Dead campaign ads #Ash4President


Make America Groovy Again
Aug 29
// Hubert Vigilla
Billy West's #MakeAmericaBrannigan shenanigans have been a fine way to explore the absurdity of this year's presidential race. Yet we have another candidate who promises to Make America Groovy Again. That man is Ash Williams ...

Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer getting 4k restoration, 30th anniversary theatrical re-release

Aug 28 // Hubert Vigilla
[embed]220820:43067:0[/embed] If you've never seen Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer before, the trailer above will give you an idea of what to expect. What makes the movie so chilling isn't the gore (though it has its share) but rather its worldview. The movie is an upsetting, psychotic nightmare played straight for its duration. Henry feels real, and that's a terrifying thing. Expect a Flixist Cult Club spotlight on Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer in mid-October. Below is a theatrical re-release poster for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Additional screening engagements and Blu-ray release information are currently unavailable. [via Fangoria]
Henry 30th anniversary photo
An underrated and unsung classic
Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer is one of the best horror movies of the 1980s. Directed and co-written by John McNaughton, the film is an unrelentingly bleak trip into the world of its title character. Loosely based on rea...

Documentary Now! 2 photo
Documentary Now! 2

Watch the season 2 trailer for IFC's Documentary Now! starring Fred Armisen and Bill Hader


Jiro, Talking Heads, Maysles, and more
Aug 28
// Hubert Vigilla
Fred Armisen, Bill Hader, and Seth Meyers' Documentary Now! is a loving in-joke of a show for fans of non-fiction film. The first season of the IFC show spoofed seminal documentaries like Errol Morris' The Thin Blue Line, the...
Captain America quits photo
Captain America quits

Russos say Steve Rogers is no longer Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe


Russo swerve!
Aug 27
// Hubert Vigilla
Captain America: Civil War was a solid MCU entry--not as good as The Winter Soldier, but an entertaining beat-em-up that touched on the difficulties of foreign intervention in the Obama era. The film didn't have a hug-it-out ...
Sausage Party controversy photo
Sausage Party controversy

Union files complaint on behalf of mistreated Sausage Party animators


Someone's getting grilled
Aug 27
// Hubert Vigilla
Controversy has grown around Seth Rogen's cartoon dick-joke movie Sausage Party. The film was made by Nitrogen, a Vancouver-based animation studio. According to comments at Cartoon Brew, Sausage Party animators were...
Brooklyn Drafthouse delay photo
Brooklyn Drafthouse delay

Opening of Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse delayed indefinitely, there's something in my eye


Dammit
Aug 26
// Hubert Vigilla
Aww man, what a bummer. As you may recall, Brooklyn was set to have its own Alamo Drafthouse this summer, which would have made up for the Upper Westside Alamo Drafthouse getting nixed. Turns out we really can't have good thi...
Angry Birds Movie sequel photo
Angry Birds Movie sequel

An Angry Birds Movie sequel is in the works, so here's that Sean Penn meme


Money, money, money, money, money, money
Aug 26
// Hubert Vigilla
The Angry Birds Movie made $347 million worldwide, so they're making a sequel. Are you happy now, Earth? There are no plot or story details at the moment, but money-money-money, ergo sequel. I haven't seen the film, but I ass...
Guardians trailer photo
Guardians trailer

Check out the trailer for Guardians, a Russian Avengers-style superhero epic


In Russia, love comes to get you
Aug 26
// Hubert Vigilla
In the future, all movies will be superhero movies and all restaurants will be Taco Bell. Search your feelings, you know it to be true. While the United States has flooded the market with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the...
Sam Mendes photo
Sam Mendes

Sam Mendes possibly tapped for live action James and the Giant Peach


Next up in Disney's live action crusade
Aug 26
// Matthew Razak
As we all know Disney is on a relentless quest to turn their animation adaptation into live action movies. And considering that the likes of Maleficient, The Jungle Book and Cinderella all did gangbusters it makes s...
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Edge of Tomorrow director will tackle Justice League Dark


As opposed to the lighter DC movies
Aug 26
// Matt Liparota
The long-delayed Justice League Dark movie has (another) director, bringing the supernatural superhero team one step closer to appearing on the big screen. THR reports that Doug Liman, director of Edge of Tomorrow and Mr. &am...
Jon Favreau photo
Jon Favreau

Jon Favreau will direct Seth MacFarlane's new space comedy show


Not a Star Wars parody
Aug 25
// Matthew Razak
I fell off the Family Guy band wagon after season five or six, but that doesn't mean I'm not excited for Seth MacFarlane's as-of-yet unnamed new science fiction comedy show coming to Fox. The live-action show will hopefu...
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Charlie Cox: Luke Cage will overlap with Daredevil's second season


Much ado about a face cut
Aug 24
// Matt Liparota
The Marvel Cinematic Universe was built around the premise that, just like in the comics they're based on, all of the characters we're seeing onscreen are living in the same universe and that characters in one movie could pop...
Batman photo
Batman

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders gets a trailer


The best Batman is back
Aug 24
// Matthew Razak
I'm pretty sure very few people under the age of 50 became fans of Batman through the old Adam West Batman TV show, but that's how I did. Reruns on some random channel at some random time were some of my favorite things ...
Rings Trailer photo
Rings Trailer

First trailer for The Ring sequel Rings goes viral


One week since you looked at me
Aug 24
// Nick Valdez
With all of these nostalgic projects lately, we've gotten more hits than misses. Usually sequels (or reboots) ten years in the making never usually live up to why people liked the original. But I don't think Rings will have t...

Review: Hell or High Water

Aug 22 // Rick Lash
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Hollywood is a strange place. It bombards you with marketing materials 24/7, always promising the next best, biggest and brightest, only to deliver on best and/or brightest with less regularity than a really good Major League...

Star Trek photo
Star Trek

William Shatner not really apologizes for Star Trek V


What does god need with a star ship?
Aug 22
// Matthew Razak
Fellow humans, the day has come. William Shatner has shown some humility. Well, no, not really, but he has admitted that Star Trek V: The Final Frontier wasn't actually all that great a movie. I mean, it's great in all t...
Screenings photo
Screenings

See Morgan early and free


Washington DC and Baltimore screenings
Aug 22
// Matthew Razak
Morgan looks like it could be one of the creepier films to land this year, but it could also easily fall into the trap of too clever for its own good. If it holds out on the creepy, all-powerful child experiment theme it...
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Zendaya will reportedly play Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Homecoming


Face it tiger, etc. etc.
Aug 19
// Matt Liparota
Casting speculation for Marvel and Sony's upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming has been pretty hot and heavy since Comic-Con (and before), but now it looks like we have confirmation of a major comics character joining the movie: R...

Review: Kubo and the Two Strings

Aug 19 // Matthew Razak
[embed]220794:43057:0[/embed] Kubo and the Two StringsDirector: Travis KnightRated: PGRelease Date: August 19, 2016 Kubo is a bit of a departure for Laika both visually and thematically. While their animation style still seeps through Kubo is far more inspired by Japanese art and anime than their previous work. It's also their most serious plot to date. Kubo is a young boy who lives with his mother in a cave hiding from his grandfather, who, when Kubo was a baby, stole his eye. His grandfather is now after his other eye for nefarious reasons. One day, when Kubo doesn't make it home before dark, his mother's evil sisters find him and adventure begins to find three pieces of magical armor in order to defeat Kubo's grandfather, the Moon King. Having to set out on his own, Kubo is accompanied by Monkey and Beetle on his grand adventure. It is a very traditional quest adventure, but the story is infused with themes of family, love and loss. If it weren't for the stop motion animation you would easily thing that this was a Pixar movie the story is so well executed and characters so likable. Kubo's tale isn't just one of high adventure, but also deep sorrow. It, like Pixar films, believe in the intelligence of the children it is geared towards and instead of pandering to them executes and story that engages both young and old.  It is, of course, easy to engage when your visuals are probably some of the most stunning of the year. You'll want to pause every scene to see the clear and crisp details while marveling at just how they could possibly do half the things they do with some lumps of clay. Even the simplest movements seem to stand out more thanks to the stop motion. The painstaking creation seeping through every scene.  Director Travis Knight, who is CEO of Laika but has never directed, paces what could be a very dull story beautifully. Despite the standard set up the story unfolds wonderfully, building tension between the characters fantastically. He also has an eye for pushing scary things just enough. Never letting them get so overwhelming that children won't enjoy it, but actually making villains menacing and powerful. Kubo is also being pushed hard in Dolby's new digital theaters where new projectors bring forth some the sharpest images you'll ever see and surround speakers shake the seats. It is possibly one of the best advertisements for these theaters, though whether or not the fantastically crisp picture and blacker than black blacks are worth the extra cost is up to you. I can only tell you that the movie looked better than anything I've seen outside of true IMAX. It isn't what size screen you see Kubo on or how earth shattering the sound is. Those things can make it better, but what make it great is its imagination. It's a stunning world that's hard to forget, and in that world a poignant story is told. The title may only mention two strings, but it will easily pull on all of your heart strings. 
Kubo Review photo
Stunning
If you know the name Laika then you know they do amazing things with stop motion. They may be the only ones doing it at the scale they do it too. Anyone who has seen Coraline or ParaNorman or any of their other work...

Middle Earth photo
Middle Earth

Massive Hobbit/Lord of the Rings box set announced


What a stylish shelf
Aug 18
// Matthew Razak
Are you ready to lay down some serious money for three really great movies and three not as good movies? Then you'll want to head over to Amazon and sign up for an email alert for when you can buy "Middle Earth UCE (BD) [Blu-...

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