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Spider-Man Trailer photo
Here comes Marvel's Spider-Man

After his debut in Captain America: Civil War, we've all been itching to see more of Tom Holland's take on Spider-Man. Being an unprecedented co-operative effort from Sony and Marvel, we're finally going to see what Marvel wants to do with Spidey. From the looks of this trailer, it's going to be good things. 

Thankfully, Homecoming isn't another origin story as Peter tries to balance his crazy new life with The Avengers, trying to impress his new mentor Tony Stark, and boring high school drama. There's a bunch of pressure on this to succeed given this is the third Spider-Man in the last fifteen years, but so far so good! 

Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters July 7th, 2017. 

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Flixist Discusses: An Analysis of Denis Villeneuve's Arrival [Part 1]

Dec 08 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]221081:43252:0[/embed] Alec: So, before we get into this, I want to give some context about my own expectations, because I think expectations ultimately matter a lot here (probably more than they should). Denis Villeneuve is one of my favorite working directors. Sicario is one of the best films of 2015, and both Prisoners and Enemy are really good and extremely interesting. (I’m not fully versed on his pre-English work yet, but I’ll get there.) Anyways, his name gets attached to a project and I’m sold on it. It means I don’t need to learn anything about it and that I won’t watch trailers. I didn’t see the trailer for Arrival, though I knew the basic concept: Aliens arrive. How do we communicate with them? I also knew what other people thought. The downside to having a lot of critic friends on Facebook is that you know what people think about things the instant they get screened. Whether it was the festival premiere or when it actually hit theaters, my feed got inundated with various takes. Most of them were glowing, and I saw a lot of “brainy” and “thought-provoking” pull-quotes, but I didn’t read any further. I also knew that one of my day-job colleagues hated it (this person also hated Carol, for what that’s worth) and another thought it was fine, he guesses (this person hates Guardians of the Galaxy, for what that’s worth). I was fairly sure I’d love it, though. The only thing that surprised me was just how much I loved it. Had you read up, Hubert, or did you go in relatively blind as well? Hubert: I went into Arrival knowing the buzz and seeing the blurbs out of the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, but I intentionally avoided reading the full-length reviews. Certain movies I’ll read up on extensively and spoil everything for myself and it won’t dampen the experience of seeing the movie. Some movies you’ve already seen before sitting down to watch them, if that makes sense. I even avoided reading the Ted Chiang short story it’s based on in his book Stories of Your Life. I’m glad I went in relatively blind. Arrival’s all about that act of discovery and revelation, and a couple scenes had me silently geeking out as I began to understand the shape of the narrative, and how little lines or images are clues about the nature of the movie. In a sense, Arrival is a causal loop time travel story. It’s not about time travel in a traditional sense, but rather more about folding a moment in the future back like a piece of paper onto the past--a Möbius strip. Even the look of the heptapod language is a closing circle, like the ouroboros, which made me think about time and cycles of existence. By around the halfway point of the movie, I kind of realized that Louise was seeing flashforwards rather than flashbacks, which was all really set-up in Amy Adams’ opening voice over about beginnings and ends. But even suspecting and discovering that on my own, it didn’t damped my emotional reaction at all. (Given the implications of Arrival, in the world of that film, maybe all movies are movies you’ve seen before you sit down to watch them.) Had I read reviews about the movie, I’m sure some critic somewhere would have mentioned a little too much about one detail or another, and the whole game of Arrival would be given away in my head. Alec: I’ve been wondering that, actually, how much I think knowing the game would have spoiled my experience. I’m glad I went in blind, but I’m not entirely convinced I needed to. The other day, I read an article by Todd VanDerWerff at Vox about twists in the modern TV era. It talks a lot about Mr. Robot, which often telegraphs its big moments pretty heavily, so people aren’t all that surprised when things come. And Sam Esmail says that’s intentional, because then it allows you to think about the thing that just happened and not only be shocked by it. This then led me to another VanDerWerff article, which is ostensibly a review of a movie that you didn‘t like but actually has little to with Goodnight, Mommy at all. It’s about the nature of twists and gets to an interesting question: Is there a difference between a “twist” and a “reveal,” and where does Arrival fall on that line? I actually think the answer changes depending on your interpretation of the events and of Dr. Banks’ fascinating brain. In one of them, Banks knows everything that has happened and will happen simultaneously (the Heptapods experience this). In this, the reveal is fundamentally a Twist, because it’s information that the character knows being hidden from you; in another, she experiences time in a non-linear fashion but she doesn’t fully understand it until she’s been taught to understand it. In this, she learns at the same time we do that her daughter is her future daughter and not her current one and then follow all of that. It’s not until the phone call with Shang that it becomes truly clear, but by the time we got to the “non-zero-sum game” sequence, I had figured out where it was going. And so when it came, my thought was, “Damn, this could have gone bad in so many different ways. Good on you team!” and not “WHHAAAATTT?! NO WAY!” and I think I had the right response. Because, like, oh man, there are so many ways the non-linearity thing could have gone wrong, especially with the way it deals with Banks’s daughter. There was so much potential for it to feel ugly and emotionally manipulative, but no, I think it nails the whole damn thing. Hubert: It’s a definitely a reveal rather than a twist--that’s a good distinction with the language. And yeah, a lot of that has to do with how much of the film is anchored into Louise’s point of view, and how the audience is learning the information as she is through most of the movie. Her brain is rewiring and her perception of time is changing, and the audience is starting the see this narrative in a different way. In the same way that Louise is learning to read heptapod language and learning to interpret time, the movie is teaching the audience how to read the movie. Such a fascinating parallel. With twists, like in Goodnight, Mommy or High Tension, there’s no sense of learning how to read the text of the film, at least not in the way that would suggest the twist. Usually there’s just a quick explanation at the end. On the note of Todd VanDerWerff (let’s make this a trifecta), he wrote a new piece on Vox about the pivotal phone call scene. His big takeaway is that Louise is omniscient when she makes the call and meet with Shang in the future, and that she’s playing a role to get the information she needs. I personally think there’s a much different interpretation of that moment: Shang himself learns hetapod and taps into non-linear time, and that takes place after he gets the phone call but before he meets Louise. When he meets Louise in the future, he realizes that it is contingent upon him to give her his cell phone number and a message that will convince his past self (whose view of time is pre-non-linear) to avoid conflict and make this future moment possible. The past is contingent on the future and vice versa, which creates this smaller causal loop in the bigger narrative. We got sidetracked to the ending (how non-linear of us), so maybe let’s get into the meat of the movie and its ideas of communication. There’s this line by philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein that if a lion could speak to us, we wouldn’t be able to understand it. The idea is that even if a lion used English, its worldview is so non-human and its use of words/grammar so potentially unfamiliar that we would not necessarily comprehend the meaning of the lion’s sentence. This also means that the interior lives of lions are alien to us. With Arrival, it seems to suggest that seeing the world like a lion might help us understand their language better, and their values. Arrival is a movie about a lot of things, but extrapolating that idea, I think the movie stresses this belief in empathy. Alec: I think that's true. If science fiction is a way to use unreal narratives to comment on very-real societal issues, I don't think there's a more appropriate film for 2016. The entire world is moving rapidly in an isolationist and nationalist direction, so a film about trying to overcome the fundamental barriers of understanding and the need to work together is, to say the least, timely. That lion thought is an interesting one to consider when put up against what I think is one of the most crucial moments in the film: the reveal of the word “weapon.” In our version of English, that has a very specific meaning and it only ever means something to be used for violent purposes. But the heptapods don't have that context. They, as far as anyone can tell, seem to see “tool” and “weapon” as equivalent words. And so we get into a theme of patience. Some have complained about the methods they use and how it seems like they could have used more videos or other aids right at the start to speed up the process, but that misses the point. Underneath the whole experience is a respect for time and taking the time to do a thing. She wants to get it right, and getting it right requires long, boring demonstration. And that minimizes, theoretically, the chance of a miscommunication. (See the film’s discussion of how the Chinese use war games to learn communication and the pitfalls therein.) But when miscommunication comes, we need to be careful and see it as that. Dr. Banks’ pleas to not jump to conclusions, to point out that the heptapods lack true context for “weapon” is oh-so-relatable to right now. Governments all around the world are being forced to deal with an equivalent problem, where they need to know if something that has been said or done is a result of ignorance on the part of our president-elect or actually means a tectonic change in American policy. And they're dealing with someone who may as well be an alien politically AND for the most part speaks a different native language. (You just have to hope that every government has a Dr. Banks to say, “Let's not go to war just yet. Let's make sure we and they all understand each other correctly.) And looking back on what I just wrote, it appears that I'm thinking of the film’s themes about communication in purely political (or perhaps strategic) terms, which I don't think is quite right and is almost definitely me bringing my own baggage into it. Hubert: Right now, political baggage is personal baggage, so I think that political read of the film is warranted. The movie even braids global conflict with Louise’s unavoidable personal tragedy. I’m sure we’ll talk about the implications of time and fate in the film eventually, but on the note of unavoidable things, our president-elect is sorely lacking in patience and language skills. With patience and empathy comes nuance and mutual understanding. And like you said, you need room for there to be nuance, whether it’s to find the context of “weapon” or to understand why a gesture can be taken as an insult or provocation by another culture. That takes more than 140 characters. Meaningful language is generally not found on bumper stickers or baseball caps. What a weird time to be alive. Since science fiction can reflect societal fears, I wonder what other types of science fiction movies we might be seeing in the coming years as the world faces this wave of nationalism, isolationism, bigotry, and uncertainty. I think the appeal of authoritarianism in general is that it ignores nuance and complexity and reduces the world into manichean problems with simple answers and plenty of convenient scapegoats. In some ways, we’ve never really left the world-on-the-brink feeling of Children of Men. We’re just getting closer to the film (well, except babies are still getting made). So much anxiety about potential global conflicts. Maybe we’re going to go through that Cold War/Atomic Age cycle of sci-fi. There’s this old theory about science fiction movies that’s pretty interesting. I can’t remember who first said it or if it’s necessarily true, but it goes like this: If the aliens come to Earth and want to harm us, the film’s politics are conservative; if the aliens come to Earth and they [don't] want to hurt us, the film’s politics are liberal. Arrival’s firmly in the latter camp, especially if it’s stressing a form of patient diplomacy to fight humanity’s innate tribalism and nativism. I guess there’s a sadness bundled up in all this since so much of the real world wants to shut off communication and take care of its own affairs. That’s a bumper sticker or baseball cap answer to problems. By contrast, Arrival is a type of humane and life-affirming wish fulfillment, a Star Trek-esque utopianism. (As an aside, three movies that Arrival reminded of: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Dawn of the Dead, and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.) [Check back tomorrow for Part 2!]
Arrival Discussion Part 1 photo
Premonitions, Politics, Aliens (Oh my!)

If you haven't seen Arrival yet, you should do so immediately. Not just because this thing right here spoils the hell out of the movie and won't really make any sense if you haven't seen it; see it because it's a genuinely fantastic movie. Denis Villeneuve has once again proved that he is one of the most interesting filmmakers working today, and he has made something here that is both beautifully made and full of deep meaning. Exactly the sort of thing that gets our own Hubert Vigilla and I to have one of those discussions that we have every so often. And so, with the film fresh in our minds, we set about documenting that conversation for anyone who might be interested. (Side note: If you ever hang out with us, this is exactly what it sounds like.)

As these so often do, this went a bit long and we decided to break it into two chunks. In Part 1, we talk mostly about context, including some political talk that was pretty much impossible to avoid. Part 2, where we actually delve into some of the deeper themes behind it instead of just talking about the fact that we're going to delve into some of the deeper themes, will be released at this time tomorrow.

Enjoy.

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Brooklyn Horror Film Fest photo
Showcase your short or feature

The inaugural Brooklyn Horror Film Festival (BHFF) was a good time, and screened a number of solid horror films around Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Bushwick. This highlight for me was the Emiliano Rocha Minter's nasty and unforgettably transgressive We Are the Flesh. The BHFF will be back next year, running from Thursday, October 12th through Sunday, October 15th.

While October 2017 is a ways away, submissions for the second annual Brooklyn Horror Film Festival are now open. The initial super earlybird deadline for short films and feature-length films is January 15, 2017. The regular deadline for film submissions is May 15, 2017. The absolutely final deadline for submissions (which is later than late, mind you) is August 15, 2017.

If you're a filmmaker with a horror short or a horror feature, consider checking the BHFF out. For more submission information, visit the BHFF on FilmFreeway or visit the official Brooklyn Horror Film Festival website.

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Baywatch photo
Those ABS

I'm not sure anyone was actually looking forward to the Baywatch movie. We heard Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron signed on to star, but it wasn't on anyone's radar until now. This first trailer for the upcoming reboot actually got a few laughs out of me. It's bro humor, yes, but at least the eye candy is fair to both sexes. 

As our Editor-in-Chief Matthew Razak notes, this trailer makes it seem like a 21 Jump Street-esque reboot where the characters knowingly reboot a property. With all the meta jokes about "reclaiming the brand" and slow motion runs, this might be a goofy surprise. But in all honesty, all I need is more shots of Johnson's sick calves.

Baywatch releases May 26th next year. 

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Long live the king.

Move over Aflac Duck, there's a new (old) richest duck in town. Sure Scrooge McDuck has been on hiatus since 1990, but the nostalgia effect is in full force for children of the 80s and 90s and as such continue to expect more reboots, re-launches, and new iterations of the things you used to love; specifically, here, the animated Disney Channel original DuckTales.

DuckTales will return to television during the summer of 2017, featuring your favorites from the original, including Scrooge, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, as well as Launchpad and Donald Duck in what appears to be an expanded role. You can view the teaser here, or wait for it on television, premiering Friday during Disney Channel's Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special.

Outside of the glorious return of Launchpad, I'm equally excited for money swimming, lucky dimes, and that amazing theme song, which I will admit, still resides on my computer to this very day. Play count, over three hundred.

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And just in case you didn't get enough with the tease of a teaser, here's the original DuckTales opening done with real ducks. You're welcome.

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[Via D23]

 

 

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Walton Goggins TombRaider photo
The Tombful Raid

The Tomb Raider reboot is coming together nicely. Yesterday, Walton Goggins (The Hateful Eight, Sons of Anarchy) was cast as the villain of the film. He will be taking on Alicia Vikander as the new Lara Croft, with Norwegian filmmaker Roar Uthaug at the helm.

Goggins has always been a solid performer, so it's great to see his star on the rise. Heck, he even made an impression on me in his brief supporting role as a cowboy bandit in Shanghai Noon. I'd like to think that the Shanghai Noon character wound up in The Hateful Eight. Life is more interesting that way.

I've never watched Sons of Anarchy, but if I did, a joke about that would go here. Ha. Laughter. A sign of human mirth.

Still no word on the plot of the Tomb Raider reboot and if it will follow the plot of the 2013 reboot game. It's probably a safe bet to assume the new film will avoid the camp of the Angelina Jolie movies.

[via Variety]

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Phantasm Xmas ornament photo
Deck the balls with Tall Man mayhem...

Phantasm is one of the great influential cult horror movies. Released in 1979, the film unfolds like a strange teenage nerd dream--a little bit B-movie, a little bit Something Wicked This Way Comes. In some ways, 2016 was the year of Phantasm. We lost the franchise's iconic co-star Angus Scrimm in January, there was a 4K restoration of the original film, and the series concluded with Phantasm: Ravager.

Ending the year on a high note: there are now Christmas ornaments in the shape of The Tall Man's badass silver spheres.

That's right, Mondo collaborated with Phantasm creator Don Coscarelli to create these awesome death spheres of yuletide glee. Well... sort of. Unfortunately these Christmas ornaments won't get to you in time for this Christmas. It says on the Mondo website that the estimated shipping date is January 2017. Maybe they have to be examined by shrunken QA workers on Mars first?

Check out a festive image of the ornament in the gallery. Learn more about these Phantasm Christmas ornaments here, BOOOOOY!

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Get em all, support Planned Parenthood*

The Coen brothers' Inside Llewyn Davis is one of the great, unsung movies of 2013. It's bitter, brilliant, and ignored, which is sort of like its title character, come to think of it. I often think of the movie fondly and sadly. Maybe one day it'll get the acclaim it deserves.

Llewyn Davis has his cult diehards, though. Case in point: writers Stephen Winchell and Grayson Davis created a fake set of Topps baseball cards for the film. The set of 40 cards captures key moments from the film, like the "Please, Mr. Kennedy" song and the part where the lady asks Llewyn about a cat's scrotum. (It makes sense in context, guys.)

For a while, you could have purchased the entire set of 40 cards for just $5, with all proceeds going toward Planned Parenthood. However, because the demand was so great, they can no longer take any more orders for cards.

Maybe more people love that miserable Llewyn Davis than I thought. (Still, you should donate to Planned Parenthood.)

Check out a few select cards in the gallery. You can view all 40 cards by clicking here.

[via AV Club]

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You were warned

Netflix knows you all responded to its most recent high-profile revival with a collective shrug, so its time for them to hype its next big original series with a new trailer. Check out the latest peek at the streaming service's adaptation of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events:

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A Series of Unfortunate events follows the misadventures of the Baudelaire children – Violet, Klaus and Sunny – three orphans who find themselves under the care of the nefarious Count Olaf (Neil Patrick Harris) who will stop at nothing to obtain the kids' sizable inheritance. 

A Series of Unfortunate Events drops on January 13, and also stars Malina Weissman, Louis Hynes, Alfre Woodard and Catherine O'Hara.

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Rogue One jackets photo
Is it just me, or do these look good?

Merchandising, merchandising, where the real money from the movie is made! Rogue One-the T-shirt! Rogue One-the Coloring Book! Rogue One-the Lunch Box! Rogue One-the Breakfast Cereal! Rogue One-the Flame Thrower!

And now, from Columbia Sportswear, limited edition Rogue One jackets that will be available in stores and online starting December 9th. Seriously.

And you know what? Two out of three of these jackets are pretty cool.

The women's jacket-and-vest combo is inspired by Felicity Jones' character Jyn Erso. The men's blue parka is inspired by Diego Luna's character Cassian Andor. The least interesting and most fascist one is a men's jacket inspired by the Death Trooper armor in the film.

Check out images of these jackets in the gallery. For more info, visit Columbia Sportswear's handy Rogue One jacket page.

[via /Film]

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Suicide Squad sucks photo
No holds barred

Suicide Squad, oh, Suicide Squad--what an odd duck of a movie you are. Hype after an initial movie trailer, generally hated and rightfully crapped on upon release. Even the mixed reviews had to admit you were a poorly constructed hodgepodge of different edits. I doubt an extended cut would help.

The people at Honest Trailers got downright savage on Suicide Squad yesterday, noting its exposition-heavy dialogue and its obvious, uninspired music choices. (And yet that basic bro mixtape of a soundtrack got five Grammy nominations. Go figure.)

Watch Honest Trailers hit Suicide Squad in the head with a baseball bat below. To the EXTREME!

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This isn't going to end well

Look, I'll stand up for Will Ferrell any day. The man has delivered some of the best comedies of the past two decades, but he's been in a bit of a slump at the moment, and that's just one of the reasons why that the news of him starring as an professional eSports player in an upcoming comedy isn't exciting me too much.

The others? Well, I can only cringe at how they're most likely going to treat the world of eSports and gamers in general. Hollywood doesn't have the best track record of representing gamers as normal human beings, especially in comedies. The film's plot, in which Ferrell will play an elderly professional gamer in a sport where most people retire by 20, also seems ripe with cliche and only plays into the tired man-child schtick that Ferrell hasn't been able to stick in years. Plus, I'm not sure I'm ready for how much Mountain Dew product placement is sure to be crammed into every corner of this film. 

However, there is some hope. Evil Geniuses and Fnatic, two eSports teams, are reportedly in talks to show up in the film so maybe they can lend some diversion from all out mockery. The film is also said to be in the vein of Talladega Nights, which took a much mocked pastime (NASCAR) and made a comedy that was more than just laughing at rednecks. Still, I can't see this film not leaning way too heavily on nerd stereotypes and Big Bang style comedy.

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The trailer for Kodoku: Meatball Machine is blood-soaked and absolutely bonkers (NSFW)

Dec 06 // Hubert Vigilla
Well. So here's a synopsis for the film from the people over at Screen Anarchy: Nishi-Eizo, the Tokyo-based film production and special effects company from Yoshihiro Nishimura, is proud to reveal the poster and trailer for the upcoming gorefest KODOKU: MEATBALL MACHINE, which Nishi-Eizo has produced alongside King Records and Ark Entertainment Inc. The insane, hyperviolent new feature film was written, directed, edited, and had all of its special effects created by the legendary Nishimura, whose previous credits include TOKYO GORE POLICE, HELLDRIVER, THE ABCs OF DEATH, and the recent festival favorite NINJA WAR OF TORAKAGE. KODOKU: MEATBALL MACHINE is the splatter-filled sequel to Yudai Yamaguchi and Jun'ichi Yamamoto's MEATBALL MACHINE, which Nishimura created the original special effects for back in 2005. The twisted story, which melds cyberpunk sci-fi, fantasy, extreme gore, and comedy, carries on in Nishimura's latest blood-drenched riot, which will be released in 2017. KODOKU: MEATBALL MACHINE stars Eihi Shiina (AUDITION), Takumi Saitô (13 ASSASSINS), Ami Tomite (TAG), Maki Mizui (TOKYO GORE POLICE), and Yôji Tanaka (KILL BILL VOL. 1). Yeah. It's a sequel! Christ! The trailer for the first Meatball Machine is included below. I smell a very strange double-feature in my future. [via Birth.Death.Movies, Screen Anarchy] [embed]221102:43249:0[/embed]
Kodoku Meatball Machine photo
Content and title are a perfect match

If GWAR in its classic form decided to remake Tetsuo: The Iron Man, it might look like Yoshihiro Nishimura's Kodoku: Meatball Machine.

That is all I can really say. There are no words. Just feelings. Strange, strange feelings.

Seriously, watch this f**king trailer, dudes.

Note: There is a lot of blood and some (maybe fake?) nudity.

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Chinese Rogue One: A Star Wars Story trailer features an intro with Donnie Yen & Jiang Wen

Dec 06 // Hubert Vigilla
The world premiere of Rogue One is this Saturday, December 10th in Los Angeles, which may explain why most of the cast and director Gareth Edwards have been in California lately. Last week they did a 30-minute Q&A at Facebook as well as a 60-minute Q&A organized by Twitter, People, and Lucasfilm. Rogue One opens in the United States on December 16th and in China on January 12, 2017. [via /Film]
Chinese Rogue One trailer photo
Another final Rogue One trailer

There will never be a final trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There was the final trailer a little while ago. And then a second final trailer last week. And now here's a Chinese trailer for the film. It's like one of Zeno's paradoxes. There are only penultimate Rogue One trailers without end.

This new Rogue One trailer features two of the film's Chinese co-stars, Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen. It looks like the two of them had some spare time at a press junket, which led to a semi-stilted exchange. But hey, it's Donnie Yen in a Star Wars movie. I'm okay with that.

Give it a watch below.

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Sega Films and TV photo
Part of Sega's major film and TV push

Sega and Stories International announced plans to adapt more than 40 Sega properties (including the likes of Golden Axe and Crazy Taxi) a few years ago, but we haven't heard many rumblings until this year with films based on ShinobiRent-A-Hero, and Sonic the Hedgehog moving forward. Well, these next projects aren't what I expected to get the push next but hey anything's possible. 

According to Polygon, Sega and Stories International are working with The Walking Dead's executive producers to develop "entertainment adaptations" of Streets of Rage and Altered Beast. I'm pretty sure these beat 'em up games would be better suited for weekly adventures on TV, but I could totally see a 90 minute Streets of Rage movie working if they went the Kung Fury route and had fun with its retro premise. 

[via Polygon]

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Rogue One creatures photo
It's a trap! And a mask! And a trap!

While I've been anticipating Rogue One: A Star Wars Story all year, I'm sort of glad that the marketing blitz for the film has been mostly concentrated into this last few weeks. Maybe I've just been avoiding all of the marketing hype, but it seems restrained until now--like a long stretch of low tide before a big wave rolls in.

Anyways, this new Rogue One featurette briefly showcases some of the creatures and critters in the movie, many of which were created through practical effects. Nothing like some good old-fashioned creature creation and sculpting in a workshop to make cool masks, costumes, and animatronics.

Plus, look, mon calamaris! It's Ackbar's people, guys.

Check out the featurette below. Rogue One is out on December 16th.

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[via CBR]

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The Mummy reboot featurette has Tom Cruise getting bruised behind the scenes

Dec 06 // Hubert Vigilla
What do you think of this take on The Mummy? Is Fruity Yummy Mummy a better cereal than Count Chocula, Boo Berry, Franken Berry, and Fruit Brute? Would you rather a General Mills Breakfast Cereal Monster Movie Universe (GMBCMMU)? Let us know down below. [via /Film]
The Mummy featurette photo
FruityYummyMummy I got love in my tummy

The first trailer for The Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise dropped the other night. It had Tom Cruise running, so you knew it was a Tom Cruise movie. Universal hopes to spin this out into a full-fledged movie universe--the Universal Monster Movie Universe Movies (UMMUM, which I'm sure will catch on).

The movie isn't coming out until June 9, 2017, but they're already trying to build the hype. Here's a brief behind-the-scenes featurette for the film that features Tom Cruise in the Vomit Comet and doing more of his own stunts.

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HTTYD3 photo
Bad dragon! No! No!

Remember when we were all supposed to have already seen How to Train Your Dragon 3 in June of this year? Yea, that didn't happen. Then we were supposed to get in sometime in 2017. Then 2018. Now, and hopefully finally, the movie has been pushed once again to 2019. The new date is Friday, March 19. So block of your calendar, I guess.

That's a lot of movement for what should be a sure-thing, quality success. But don't be too concerned the delay is more likely due to Comcast's purchase of Dreamworks and the new control under Universal. The studio is tailoring back its aggressive 3 movie a year plan, and rearranging your successful franchise is pretty easy since they know it has legs. 

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Mononoke back in theaters photo
20th anniversary, 76th birthday

Hayao Miyazaki (who is no longer retired from filmmaking) turns 76 years old on January 5th. His film Princess Mononoke turns 20 years old in 2017. To celebrate these two landmark occasions, GKIDS and Fathom Events are bringing Princess Mononoke back to theaters on the nights of January 5th and January 9th.

On January 5th, the Japanese-language/English-subtitled version of Princess Mononoke will play in participating theaters. On January 9th, the English-dubbed Neil Gaiman translation of Princess Mononoke will be screened. Each screening will also include the 1995 music video for "On Your Mark" by Chage & Aska, which was directed by Miyazaki but never released in North America.

I still remember seeing Princess Mononoke on the big screen in 1999 and enjoying it immensely, though it was the dubbed version. I may make some time to check out the Japanese-language version come January.

For tickets, theaters, and more information, click here for the January 5th screening or click here for the January 9th screening.

[via IndieWire]

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Trans-five-mers photo
I'm so confused, man

Well, that was certainly something. Not content to leave the series as he claimed, Michael Bay has returned to direct Transformers: The Last Knight, a movie featuring a very serious plot about very serious things. But will also at some point feature King Arthur and his knights. But as what we can see in the trailer, Mark Wahlberg returns to the series as he's being hunted down by Transformer elimination squads.

I have no idea what's going on in this trailer. Was that Unicron? Why does this look like a colorful Terminator? Why the hell is Anthony Hopkins here? 

Transformers: The Last Knight releases June 23rd next year. 

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Conan O'Brien brings Olan Rogers' Final Space to TBS: Watch the animated show's teaser/pilot

Dec 05 // Hubert Vigilla
Here's the premise of Final Space as reported by Deadline: Final Space is a serialized intergalactic space saga about an astronaut named Gary and his adorable, planet-destroying friend, Mooncake. The series will follow their adventures as they embark on a quest to unlock the mystery of "Final Space," the place where the entire universe ends. Final Space will debut on TBS in 2018. You've got a while to wait. In the meantime, we've included the original seven-minute pilot for Final Space below. [via Indiewire, Deadline] [embed]221090:43242:0[/embed]
Final Space photo
More Conan-related stuff on TBS

Conan O'Brien is staking more territory over at TBS. In addition to his own talk show, Conanco (O'Brien's production company) is set to produce an all new animated television show called Final Space.

Created by Olan Rogers and co-written by David Sacks, Final Space began as a seven-minute pilot funded by New Form. The animated pilot was released online last April as part of their Incubator 3 Series, where it caught O'Brien's attention. O'Brien will serve as one of the show's producers.

Here's a brief teaser/preview for Final Space.

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Luke Cage photo
Things we already knew

I am behind. Way behind. My wife and I got caught up watching West Wing since we'd never done that and now we're behind on every show ever, including Luke Cage. Soon, though, I will be caught up and then I'll be done with Luke Cage and then I'll want season 2 of Luke Cage. And now I know for sure that I'll get it.

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Marvel tweeted the confirmation yesterday with a nice little video that I'm sure makes total sense if you've seen the first season. Obviously there's no release date yet, but we'll most likely be seeing Iron Fist, The Punisher, Jessica Jones season 2, and The Defenders before season 2 hits. That's fine. The more of Netflix's fantastic Marvel shows the better.

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Aquaman release date photo
Tuna piano

The DC Cinematic Universe isn't going as swimmingly as Warner Bros execs might have hoped. Both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad were flooded with negative reviews, and it looks like The Flash movie with Ezra Miller may be lost at sea after director Rick Famuyiwa left the project. Still, Wonder Woman looks like it could turn the tide and keep these movies afloat, and Zack Snyder's Justice League will likely... jeez, I don't know. Something about water or sea life.

Oh and Aquaman is going to happen. James Wan is set to direct the film (he's been attached to the project since 2015) with dreamy Jason Manoa as the underwater beefcake. So long as Wan doesn't abandon ship, the King of Atlantis should make waves on the big screen on October 5, 2018.

Fish. (The best Aquaman is still the Batman: The Brave and the Bold version of Aquaman voiced by John DiMaggio.)

Are you so excited about Aquaman that you can't kelp yourself? Do you think the movie will tank? Did you read this in Gene Shalit's voice? Leave a comment below.

[via Collider]

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New Rogue One clips, and a possible connection to Star Wars: Episode VIII

Dec 05 // Hubert Vigilla
Okay, onto the speculation about Rogue One and Episode VIII. Over at Entertainment Weekly, they ran the following graphic in a video about the continuity of the Star Wars films and its canon: Notice the red lines from Rogue One. There's no explanation of how Rogue One connects to Episode VIII or The Empire Strikes Back in the Entertainment Weekly video, mind you. Maybe they know something we don't. It would make sense that the movie released this year (which is basically Star Wars Episode 3.5: Rogue One) would help set up some events or reveals in Episode VIII, which comes out December next year. I'll go into a few theories in bit. Keep in mind they are just unconfirmed speculation. Feel free to stop reading now if you don't want to see any of the theories that could be ****POTENTIAL SPOILERS****. [embed]221086:43238:0[/embed] There's been some suggestion among online Star Wars fans that Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones) might be the mother of Rey (Daisy Ridley) from The Force Awakens, or perhaps related to Rey in some capacity. Another theory suggests that the Rebel Alliance strike force of Rogue One might have some connection to the Knights of Ren, the mysterious dark side group of which Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a member. An outlier theory is that Jyn becomes Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie), which i don't really buy. The Knights of Ren theory seems most intriguing to me. There are five members of the Rogue One strike force, and in concept art for The Force Awakens, there are five members of the Knights of Ren (apart from Kylo Ren). Each of these five Knights of Ren seem to correspond to a character type from the rebel strike force. There's a detailed explanation of this Knights of Ren/Rogue One connection at The Cancrizans. Makes me wonder if something awful happens to our heroes in Rogue One. We won't have to wait much longer to find out what the connection is. Well... I guess we probably will since Episode VIII isn't out for another year. Oh well. Speculate away in the comments. [via /Film]
Rogue One and Ep 8? photo
Curiouser and curiouser

Rogue One opens next week. Can you believe it? I'm legitimately getting more excited for this movie as the release draws near. Over the weekend, two new clips for the film surfaced, as well as some indication that Rogue One will tie into Rian Johnson's Episode VIII.

Before dipping into the Episode VIII stuff, first let's check out the clips. This first clip was part of a special 60-minute Q&A/panel in San Francisco. (For a moment I thought it was the 28-minute preview at Skywalker Ranch, which we noted when discussing the 30-minute Q&A with Gareth Edwards and the Rogue One cast.)

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Another short clip has a brief appearance by Jimmy Smits as Bail Organa.

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Trailer for The Mummy with Tom Cruise reveals a new world of gods and monsters

Dec 04 // Hubert Vigilla
Makes me wonder if Tom Cruise will make appearances in other Universal Monster Movie universe movies. (The UMMUM, as the cool kids call it. Cool kids meaning me, mostly.) Here's an official synopsis for The Mummy: Tom Cruise headlines a spectacular, all-new cinematic version of the legend that has fascinated cultures all over the world since the dawn of civilization: The Mummy. Thought safely entombed in a tomb deep beneath the unforgiving desert, an ancient princess (Sofia Boutella of Kingsman: The Secret Service and Star Trek Beyond) whose destiny was unjustly taken from her is awakened in our current day, bringing with her malevolence grown over millennia and terrors that defy human comprehension. From the sweeping sands of the Middle East through hidden labyrinths under modern-day London, The Mummy brings a surprising intensity and balance of wonder and thrills in an imaginative new take that ushers in a new world of gods and monsters. The Mummy hits theaters on June 9, 2017. Check out a poster for the film below.
The Mummy trailer photo
Run, Tom Cruise, run!

The Mummy reboot with Tom Cruise teased a trailer last week with a short preview and a movie poster. The trailer for the film just dropped, and it looks much darker than the kooky, happy-go-lucky Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser.

Also, you get to see Tom Cruise running in this trailer, because of course you do. It's a Tom Cruise movie.

Check out the trailer below.

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Rogue One 60-minute Q&A photo
More questions and anwers with the team

The 30-minute Facebook Q&A with the Rogue One cast and director Gareth Edwards wasn't the only appearance the team made in the Bay Area. There was a 60-minute Q&A/panel with the same talent in San Francisco. Twitter, People Magazine, and Lucasfilm teamed up to put this appearance together.

Again, no major revelations, but it's nice seeing the group together talking about the film. Some of the audio isn't so great, but oh well. Makes me wonder if more appearances like this are planned in the lead up to the December 16th release.

Below is the full Q&A, which includes a new clip featuring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, and Alan Tudyk (well, his voice, really).

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Science v Cinema: Arrival photo
Find out if the science holds up

I mentioned last week that Denis Villeneuve's Arrival is one of the best movies of 2016. Artist Peter Konig shared some concepts and designs that demonstrate the craft involved in the film. But if you're a hardcore sci-fi geek you may be wondering: how does the science of Arrival hold up?

Astrophysics professor Andy Howell takes a closer look at the science of Arrival in a new Science vs. Cinema video essay. The 28-minute video includes interviews with Villeneuve, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, and screenwriter Eric Heisserer. Howell also interviews author Ted Chiang (writer of the story upon which the film is based), astronomer Seth Shostak, mathematician Stephen Wolfram, and linguist Jessica Coon.

There's major SPOILERS, so keep that in mind before watching the video below. Share your own thoughts on Arrival or this video essay in the comments.

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[via Indiewire]

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Watch a 30-minute Q&A with the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story cast and director

Dec 04 // Hubert Vigilla
So how was that actual footage that was screened like? So far, the reactions from people who saw the footage have been positive. In addition to select Facebook employees, a number of film writers, critics, and industry people got to see the footage at Skywalker Ranch. Over at Collider, they've compiled a number of Twitter reactions from people who saw the footage, including from EIC Steven Weintraub. Here is all you need to know. [embed]221083:43233:0[/embed] [embed]221083:43234:0[/embed] [embed]221083:43235:0[/embed] Hype. Reviews for Rogue One (the entire movie) should start showing up late this week. May the Force be with us. [via Collider]
Rogue One 30-minute Q&A photo
Facebook employees getting all the perks

Last week, the cast members of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and director Gareth Edwards dropped by Facebook HQ in Menlo Park, CA for a Q&A and special 28-minute preview of the film.

A video of the Q&A session was posted on Facebook by Facebook. In attendance are Edwards, Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Alan Tudyk, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, and Donnie Yen. There are no spoilers and not too many details about the movie, but they seem like swell bunch of people (though a little tired). After the Q&A is a brief new featurette.

Give the Q&A and featurette a watch below.

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New Assassin's Creed clip features a carriage chase, horses, swashbuckling

Dec 04 // Hubert Vigilla
This all looks pretty promising, with some daring leaps and wood 'splosions. The clip seems a little truncated, though, since the scene begins and ends so abruptly; not quite enough time to let all the action breathe. I assume this is just a tease and that the actual chase is longer in the finished film. Regardless, I like what I see. The practical effects and real-life stuntwork help ground the action, adding some visceral danger to every leap and every landing. All the while, director Justin Kurzel drapes the images in a haze of dust and grime. Will Assassin's Creed be a genuinely great video game movie? What do you think of this clip? Did you ever want a horse growing up? Or a pony? Let us know in the comments. [via Screen Crush]
Assassin's Creed clip photo
Giddyup

December 21st is fast approaching, which means the marketing for the Assassin's Creed film is in full effect. In the last week we've seen a clip featuring the souped-up Animus as well as the launch of an Assassin's Creed VR experience, which you can do at home or at six participating theaters.

The other day, another clip from Assassin's Creed was released. This one features Callum (Michael Fassbender) chasing after a carriage. Give it a watch below.

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I AM GROOT VOL GROOT photo
We are Groot

All right, a-holes, here it is. The official trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 has arrived. Everyone's back, it sounds like we've got a new track from the second Awesome Mix, and Groot's a baby. (Which means Vin Diesel plays a baby in this movie, which is everything you want in life.)

Enough of my jibber jabber and prattle, give it a watch.

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That song's "Fox on the Run" by Sweet, if you were wondering. And you're welcome.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 comes out May 5, 2017.

[via Collider]

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