Joseph Kahn, director of Detention, the best film ever made, is an exceedingly well respected music video director. Most recently, he’s known as the guy who makes all those amazing Taylor Swift music videos. Together, the two of them have done Blank Space, Bad Blood, Wildest Dreams, and Out of the Woods. They make one hell of a pair, and everything they do is compelling. But some of it is more compelling than others. Of the four they’ve done together, one has always stuck out to me as lesser: Bad Blood. I was excited to see that music video. I followed the discussion on Twitter, saw the character posters, and all that good stuff. People were making references to the Thriller video, and so I was expecting a big epic. There were a dozen characters to be introduced, and then it would start.
But no, rather than kicking into gear when all of the characters have been introduced, Bad Blood ends. And I couldn’t help but think, “Is that it? All that setup? For what?”
Hail, Caesar! is kinda like that.... read + comment
Ever since hearing about Robert Eggers' The Witch at last year's Sundance Film Festival, I've been waiting eagerly to see it. If you live in New York City, Los Angeles, Austin, or Detroit, you can catch the movie a few days early thanks to your friends at The Satanic Temple.
That's right. The critically acclaimed horror film has the official backing of The Satanic Temple, with TST spokeswoman Jex Blackmore hailing the film a "transformative Satanic experience." Blackmore noted in a statement that "The Witch examines theocratic patriarchy in microcosm, documenting the pathology of a religious hysteria that is still influential in politics today."
The TST screenings kick off in NYC on 2/10, with subsequent screenings in LA on 2/12, Austin on 2/16, and in Detroit on a day TBD. I'm having trouble finding the actual locations and times for these screenings, but TST did launch the website satanic-revolution.com, which I assume is where the info will eventually be available. (If anything, you can sign the guestbook and declare yourself a witch. Have fun.)
A new trailer for The Witch was released earlier in the week, which you can check out below.
You can read Jex Blackmore's full statement about The Witch below.
The Witch officially hits theaters on February 19th. Look for our review of the film that week.
[via Den of Geek]... read + comment
There have been quite a few films shot entirely from the first-person perspective. The results of this can vary. You have loads of found-footage movies, for example, many of which are fodder with some memorable exceptions (the original [REC] and Cloverfield come to mind). Beyond the diegetic conceit of cameras-on-the-scene, there's also POV-based movies like Franck Khalfoun's 2012 remake of Maniac and, going way back, Lady in the Lake, a 1947 first-person Philip Marlowe mystery.
Now we have Pandemic, a zombie apocalypse movie in the style of a first-person shooter. The film's promo material is even embracing its FPS roots ("a new model of action thriller for the video game generation," make of that what you will).
So yeah, kinda like Doom. Here's a trailer.
Here's a synopsis:
Pandemic is set in the near future, where a virus of epic proportions has overtaken the planet. There are more infected than uninfected, and humanity is losing its grip on survival. Its only hope is finding a cure and keeping the infected contained. Lauren (Rachel Nichols) is a doctor, who, after the fall of New York, comes to Los Angeles to lead a team to hunt for and rescue uninfected survivors.
It'll be interesting to see if Pandemic can play with the first-person perspective to do something novel rather than just exploiting the FPS-style as a gimmick.
Pandemic will shamble into theaters on April 1st.
What do you think of the first-person visual style in general? Use the comments to chime in.
[via ScreenRant]... read + comment
Writer/director Jeremy Saulnier's Blue Ruin was an exceptionally made, critically acclaimed revenge thriller that drew comparisons to the Coen Brothers' Blood Simple. It was one of my favorite movies released in 2014.
For a follow-up, it looks like Saulnier's knocked it out again with the intense-looking standoff thriller Green Room, which stars Anton Yelchin, Patrick Stewart, Imogen Poots, and Alia Shawkat.
The red band trailer for the film was just released today, and while it uses the "ominous cover of a classic song" trailer trope, it does so to great effect. Here it is:
[embed]220334:42808:0[/embed]... read + comment
In general, I'm more excited about the animated DCU releases than I am their live-action blockbusters (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Suicide Squad). There's something about classic and newer DCU animation like Batman: The Animated Series, Justice League Unlimited, or the countless DTV films they've done that get the spirit of the comics and the characters right.
In addition to the short adventures of Justice League Action, DCU animated fans can look forward to Justice League vs. Teen Titans, an original animated feature coming out in late March/early April.
Here's the trailer for Justice League vs. Teen Titans.
It's the good ol' story of heroes fightin' possessed heroes. I loves 'em when done right (e.g., the Stealing Thunder story arc from JSA back in 2003.)
Justice League vs. Teen Titans will be out on Digital HD on March 29th. The Blu-ray/DVD package will be available on April 12th, and will include a documentary on the Teen Titans, character featurettes, and more.
[via IGN]... read + comment
Last year, horror maestro John Carpenter released the album Lost Themes, a collection of original compositions that could have come from one of his movies. If you loved Lost Themes, you'll be happy to know that a new Carpenter album, Lost Themes II, will be out on April 15th.
John Carpenter will play his first live music dates overseas this year. His first live performance will be at ATP Iceland in July, with subsequent ATP Release the Bats shows scheduled in Manchester on October 29th and London on Halloween.
According to the AV Club, the press release also teased possible US dates to be announced.
Here's a track from last year's Lost Themes.
Hopefully Carpenter plays New York. I've loved his film scores ever since high school, and I'd love to see the director (currently 68 years old) in person. If he does play NYC, I'm totally wearing this Cinemetal t-shirt.
[via The AV Club]... read + comment
Several months ago we reported that Ewan McGregor might have a cameo in the new Star Wars films. Turns out the rumors were true.
While promoting Jane Got a Gun (a western starring Natalie Portman) on Jimmy Kimmel Live, McGregor talked about his contribution to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and how it came about.
Guys, Ewan McGregor is totally ageless.
This makes me wonder if McGregor will be adding more of his vocal talent to the subsequent Star Wars movies. Whether it was a one-off or the start of something else, it's nice to see the best thing about the prequels (i.e., Ewan McGregor) being revisited, even if just briefly.
[via The Mary Sue]... read + comment
The Iowa caucuses are today, which means that the race for The White House is really kicking off tonight. Whoever becomes the new POTUS will have the fate of the free world in his or her hands. He or she will also be able to watch movies in The White House, which sounds pretty flippin' sweet. (You can thank Jimmy Carter for making the Iowa caucuses matter. And as Matt Novak at Gizmodo points out, Carter also watched the original Star Wars with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat before the Camp David Peace Accords.)
Gizmodo filed a Freedom of Information Act request and obtained a complete list of the movies Bill Clinton watched while in The White House. He watched 171 films in his two terms as President, including a curious dry spell in 1996 and 1997.
Let your speculation run wild.
We've got the full list is below the cut. I think film/culture critic Nathan Rabin put it best on Twitter:
What movie would you like to see with a President? You may choose any president you wish and post it in the comments. (I'd watch Drunken Master 2 with Teddy Roosevelt.)
[via Gizmodo/Paleofuture]... read + comment
In 2002, Eli Roth launched his career with Cabin Fever. Now, 13-14 years later, we have a remake of Cabin Fever that looks a lot like, well, Cabin Fever.
Give the Cabin Fever remake a look below.
While Peter Jackson hyped the movie many years ago, I've always felt that Cabin Fever was overrated. It's homage-y, sure, but it never really made an impression. By the end, I wondered what all the hype was about.
Numerous sources say that the Cabin Fever remake is basically reshooting the same script that Eli Roth used for the original film, which makes this remake feel even less worth seeing. Why would fans of the original Cabin Fever want to see an updated version of essentially the same film when they enjoyed the first one just fine?
The Cabin Fever remake comes out on February 12th in limited release.
Is anyone interested in this?
[via /Film]... read + comment
While DC Comics and Warner Bros struggle to figure out what they should do with their movies, they've always dominated TV. Arrow, The Flash, and Legends of Tomorrow are huge on the CW, Supergirl is doing well on CBS, Teen Titans Go! plays for like 14 hours a day on Cartoon Network, and their animated projects are some of the most fondly remembered comic book adaptations of all time. Heck, they're still churning out home video animation regularly and they're always on the better end of decent.
So now the Justice League are coming back...pocket sized. Much like Teen Titans, Justice League is getting a revival as Justice League Action, a 15 minute program featuring short adventures. While the show may sound weird at first, James Woods was cast as Lex Luthor, Diedrich Bader (who voiced the best animated Batman in Brave and the Bold) as Booster Gold, and the biggest surprise? Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are set to return as Batman and the Joker respectively.
There are no further details as to the tone of the show or premiere date, but given that this new show has the some of the same producers from the original Justice League animated run, I'm not writing this off anytime soon. The same with Teen Titans Go! While I was sad we weren't getting a story driven show anymore, Go! ending up being pretty funny. So who knows?
[via DC Comics]... read + comment
"Just drown me."
[embed]220327:42801:0[/embed]... read + comment
This year's presidential primaries have been fascinating and occasionally terrifying if you're a political junkie like me, especially watching the rise of unbridled derp on the Republican side. If you've been following the lead up to the Iowa caucuses, you know that Donald Trump decided to skip last night's Republican debate because Megyn Kelly and Fox News were mean to him.
(That's what we need in an American president: a massive yet fragile ego and thin skin, just like Eric Cartman from South Park. Also, awful hair.)
To rectify the situation, Stephen Colbert decided to hold a Donald Trump vs. Donald Trump debate last night on The Late Show. You can check it out below.
This is some classic Colbert Report-style work that shows how flip-floppy and disingenuous Trump is at his core. But hey, his supporters don't care about that. He's still the frontrunner for the Republican party right now.
The Iowa caucuses are on February 1st. That should make for an insane night of television.
[via Salon]... read + comment
Laika is a studio we at Flixist gladly pay attention to. Thanks to ParaNorman and Coraline, they've earned our respect with their stop motion craft coupled with fine storytelling. Even their weaker entry, The Boxtrolls, ended up on the better side of good. So did you hear they've assembled a huge name cast (which includes the likes of Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara, and Matthew McConaughey) to tell the story of a young boy named Kubo and his magical shamisen in ancient Japan? I can't believe this exists.
This first trailer's absolutely catching. From its Beatles cover, to its art style (that stop motion ocean!). and to Kubo controlling little origami animals with his music. Sign me up yesterday.
Kubo and the Two Strings releases August 19th.
[embed]220318:42799:0[/embed]... read + comment
With 2015 behind us, you'd think that was the end of weaponized Back to the Future nostalgia. Well, no. Turns out you'll be able to buy a brand new replica DeLorean in 2017. (As noted by /Film's Ethan Anderton, only 9,200 vintage DeLoreans were ever manufactured in 1981 and 1982, with just 6,500 DeLoreans remaining today. The rest were erased--eased from existence!)
You see, there's this law on the books that allows small batches of replica vintage cars to be made that do not need to adhere to modern safety standards. Only 325 of these replica DeLoreans will be made over the course of five years.
The 2017 DeLoreans are not exact replicas, however. The replica DeLoreans will come with a more powerful V6 engine (which will make hitting 88 mph a little easier), a modern brake system, and stuff for your smart phone (leave that Van Halen cassette at home, bucko).
If you want one of these replica DeLoreans, it will set you back between $80,000 to $100,000. You will also need to provide your own flux capacitor.
[via /Film]... read + comment
Following the death of David Bowie, more and more information has surfaced about his works in progress and his past projects. Up until his passing, the man was writing new songs. He has multiple posthumous albums set for release starting in 2017. James Gunn even mentioned they were trying to have Bowie make a cameo in Guardians of the Galaxy 2.
One of the interesting things that's come up recently is that David Bowie did in fact audition for Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, confirming some old rumors. Dominic Monaghan said the following to The Huffington Post:
... read + comment
I was at the Hubbard's, which is a pretty notorious casting agency office in London, doing an audition for Lord of the Rings, and when it ended I went over and talked to John Hubbard, who was running the audition, and he said, 'Hey, it went really well. You should wait around for 5 or 10 mins. We'll give you some feedback.
I thought, 'Oh, OK, cool, and I sat in the reception office. As I was reading a magazine waiting, David Bowie came in and signed his little list and went in. And I'm assuming he read for Gandalf. I can't think of anything else he would've read for. He may have read for something else, but I'm a huge David Bowie fan, and I was lucky enough to know his son now so just seeing him in person was pretty special to me.
Abe Vigoda, best known for his work in Barney Miller and The Godfather, passed away yesterday. He was 94 years old.
While he was recognizable character actor throughout his long career, at a certain point in his life, Abe Vigoda was most famous simply for being Abe Vigoda. He became a cult figure, making appearances on late night television with David Letterman and Conan O'Brien.
In the 1988 Letterman clip below, Vigoda laughs at the false reports of his own death.
[embed]220314:42797:0[/embed]... read + comment
Nick DenBoer and Davy Force's The Chickening is a poultry-centric parody of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.
I want you to pause a moment, read that sentence again, and then just watch the NSFW video below.
That was the Citizen Kane of poultry-based Shining parodies.
My friend Jon Russek sent this along to me last night, and it is a mesmerizing remix. Stranger still, The Chickening played at last year's Toronto International Film Festival as well as this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Provide your detailed, overly intellectualized reads of The Chickening in the comments.read + comment
The first trailer for The Angry Birds Movie was not particularly good. It was rife with bad animated movie cliches and seemed pretty lazy and silly (bad-silly, not good-silly).
There's a new trailer for The Angry Birds Movie you can check out below.
Well... that happened, didn't it?
Man, this looks like piss after a lunch of asparagus and coffee. Not even cloaca shots can save this movie.
The Angry Birds Movie features the voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Maya Rudolph, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, and Peter Dinklage, Keegan-Michael Key, and Hannibal Buress. It comes out May 20th.
[via /Film]... read + comment
In 2012, V/H/S helped kick off a mini-boom in anthology horror films, eventually spawning two sequels of its own. Anthology films are typically hit or miss from short to short (or a big miss overall), though at their best, anthology horror movies are generally a nice showcase for the various filmmakers involved.
Southbound, a new anthology horror film that debuted at last year's Toronto Film Festival, looks like it could be more hit than miss. The opening scene of the film has been released online and looks like a promising and eerie set-up.
Give the opening scene of Southbound a watch below.
[embed]220311:42792:0[/embed]... read + comment
The Survivalist was one of my favorite movies from last year's Tribeca Film Festival. (You can read my review at another site here.) It was a moody, memorable indie drama set in the overgrown woods of a post-apocalyptic future. First-time feature filmmaker Stephen Fingelton was nominated for a well-deserved BAFTA for his film (Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director, or Producer).
A UK trailer for The Survivalist was released last week, which you can check out below:
The Survivalist stars Martin McCann, Olwen Fouere, and Mia Goth, with each of the three leads bringing a kind of feral suspicion and intensity to their roles.
The Survivalist will be out in UK and Ireland theaters and VOD on February 12. Hopefully the film secures US distribution in the future.
[via The Film Stage]... read + comment
Yesterday we mentioned that there is a Labyrinth reboot in the works, which is being written by Guardians of the Galaxy co-writer Nicole Perlman. Perlman took to Twitter over the weekend to assure fans that the film is not a remake, while suggesting the project is a continuation of the story that's been in the works for some time.
There you have it. If this is a Labyrinth sequel, it'll be interesting to see if it revisits Jennifer Connelly's character as an adult; ditto how they'll discuss Jareth the goblin king (David Bowie).
So far my friend Christina Nicholls has the best suggestion for who should play the new goblin royal: Tilda Swinton.
Any other suggestions? Add them to the comments.read + comment
It's just two months until Zack Snyder's Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice hits theaters, which means we're getting a steady string of TV spots until then. In the most recent two TV spots, we can see our heroes seethe in each other's presence.
Batman and Superman are so into each other.
Check out these new Batman v Superman TV spots below.
[embed]220308:42787:0[/embed]... read + comment
Looks like that Avatar sequel James Cameron has been working on for years is getting pushed back yet again. This is not a repeat from the last few years.
Avatar 2 was unofficially slated for a Christmas 2017 release after a previous delay, but as of now there is no new release date planned. According to /Film, Cameron wants to get all three of his planned Avatar sequels finished and release them annually. (I'm estimating a release date of 2039 at this point.)
While Avatar is still the biggest moneymaker of all time, the film's lasting legacy is just a high perch in box office tallies and technical kudos. Culturally it's not Star Wars or Lord of the Rings, and by that I mean you didn't have a generation of children growing up and aspiring to be the heroes in Avatar. I mean, who played Avatar on the playground? Who would want to be that bland lead guy or that tall blue love interest woman? It wasn't a bad movie at all, but people remember the 3D spectacle, not the story or its characters.
On the note of Star Wars, Avatar 2's delay means it won't have to compete against the rescheduled Star Wars Episode VIII.
What do you think about the Avatar 2 delay? Do you even care about Avatar anymore?
[via /Film]... read + comment
After seeing the first trailer for Duncan Jones' Warcraft, News Editor Nick Valdez felt that the movie looked a little off. Some shots were great, some not-as-great, most shots looked green screened to heck, and the vibe of the movie seemed a little too been-there done-that. (He's still hopeful about the mainstream appeal of the film, as you can read in his recent feature on the potential of a great videogame movie in 2016.)
I agree with Nick on all of his assessments, and echoed some of his thoughts when writing about a subsequent international Warcraft movie promo.
Well, a new TV spot for Warcraft was released yesterday, which you can watch below.
Yeah, I don't know, guys.
As much as I enjoyed Jones' other films (Moon, Source Code), Warcraft still looks like Generic Fantasy Film: The Movie. Maybe the final film will be different, but this looks like a bland collection of fantasy tropes and story cliches devoid of personality.
On top of that, 2015 was a fine year of merging practical effects and CG, with some standout VFX work seen in Mad Max: Fury Road and Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Something about Warcraft just looks synthetic and artificial--less like Lord of the Rings and more like The Hobbit, if catch my drift. Since the film is apparently in the can and awaiting release (Warcraft was purportedly good to go for its original December 2015 release), I doubt the visual effects can or will be polished beyond what we're seeing in these ads.
Disagree? Let me have it in the comments.
Warcraft will be in theaters on June 10th.
[via Collider]... read + comment
Star Wars Episode VIII was originally going to be released on May 26, 2017, but now the film has been pushed back seven months. The new release date for Star Wars 8 is December 15, 2017. Rian Johnson is still set to begin production on Star Wars Episode VIII next month as planned.
While there is no official word on the Star Wars Episode VIII delay, there are two reasonable guesses about what caused it.
For one, this may be a strategic move by Disney to release the film in the winter rather than the summer. This ensures that Star Wars won't get lost in the week-to-week blockbuster rollout from May through July, boosting its chances of box office dominance in the process. It also places a full year of time between Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and another Star Wars film--a way of avoiding the Star Wars equivalent of an ice cream headache.
Another reason could be to accommodate some rewrites. Rian Johnson's screenplay for Star Wars 8 apparently introduced a number of new characters to the Star Wars mythos. Given the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the popularity of the new characters introduced in that film, Johnson is retooling his script to shrink the roles of the new characters he wanted to introduce and focus more on Rey, Finn, Poe, Kylo, Maz, and company.
If anything, Star Wars might become an end-of-the-year tradition. Sort of like Life Day.
What do you think about Star Wars being pushed back a few months and the rewrites in progress?read + comment
For men and women of a certain age, Labyrinth was their introduction to the late, great David Bowie. The 1986 Jim Henson film starred Jennifer Connelly as a teenager who travels to a fantastic land in order to rescue her kidnapped baby brother. Dance magic ensues.
Given that we're in an age of reboots, rehashes, and remakes, it should come as no surprise that there's a Labyrinth reboot in the works. Nicole Perlman, who co-wrote Guardians of the Galaxy, has been hired to pen the reboot screenplay.
It's unclear how Bowie's role as the goblin king will fit into this reboot, as it may be a sequel or a restart to the franchise. It'll also be difficult to replace Bowie in the role since there's no one quite like him. Perhaps they could get Lady Gaga as a goblin queen given her shifting persona from pop-art popstar to high-class chanteuse (it owes a lot to Bowie). Maybe Bjork would work as well, and ditto the quirkily elfin Grimes.
Obviously no one can fill Bowie's shoes, but who do you think could play the goblin king or the goblin queen in a Labyrinth reboot?
[via THR]... read + comment
It's weird to think that the first Ip Man came out in 2008. It seems so much longer than that. Since then, the series has spawned two sequels as well as plenty of other media about the eponymous real-life practitioner of Wing Chun. There's The Legend Is Born: Ip Man with Dennis To (a young-man Ip Man movie), Ip Man: The Final Fight with Anthony Wong (an old-man Ip Man movie), Wong Kar-Wai's sumptuous The Grandmaster starring Tony Leung and Zhang Ziyi, and even an Ip Man TV series.
In just eight years, Ip Man has gone from real-life historical figure to full-blown action movie folk hero. He's become the new Wong Fei-Hung, the legendary martial artist who'd later be portrayed by the likes of Jet Li, Jackie Chan, Gordon Liu, and Sammo Hung. This all paves the way for Bruce Lee's inevitable transformation from on-screen icon to cinematic folk hero. (Lee was a real-life student of Ip Man's; Birth of the Dragon, a new American Bruce Lee biopic starring Philip Ng, is currently in the works. It's only a matter of time.)
Ip Man 3 is presumably the final movie of the Donnie Yen/Wilson Yip series, and it may even be Yen's last kung fu movie since the actor is now 51 years old. It's a fitting send off in a lot of ways, because Ip Man 3 seems to be an Ip Man movie about Ip Man movies.... read + comment
Parody movies come in all shapes and sizes, but most of us think of something like Scary Movie when we think of them.Those can be funny, but truly great parody comes from creating something original that riffs on tropes, and that is exactly what Keanu looks like. Clearly the film's title cat is a nod of the head to the angst ridden John Wick and his puppy (seriously, f*ck those Russian gangsters), but the entire trailer shows off an hilarious take on the revenge genre.
Plus, it's Key and Peele doing Key and Peele things so I mean they goota put the pussy on the chain wax, right?... read + comment
Remember Neighbors? It was the decent Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg produced film released in-between juggernauts This is the End and The Interview. Well, if you've forgotten about that movie than Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising is for you! In the sequel, a sorority moves in next door and can't stop they're wild partying!
So Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne's parental figure characters decide to get them out of the neighborhood through wacky shenanigans! Except this time, Zac Efron's character is here to help! Ugh, seriously. This is really just the first film again. They even repeat a gag for keeps. Too bad for the sequel that Chloe Grace-Moretz has nowhere near the appeal Zac Efron had as the jerky college brat.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising opens May 20th.
[embed]220302:42783:0[/embed]... read + comment
The first full trailer for David Ayer's Suicide Squad plays like WB/DC's answer to Guardians of the Galaxy. Still don't like the songs these trailers keep using but it's pretty well edited. The film looks fun, but also kinda looks like a garbage fire. The marketing for the film has been trying way too hard to be the "punk" alternative to the other hero movies out there ("This ain't your average superhero movie!"), and I'm hoping all the style isn't trying to cover up a big pimple.
I'm hoping the actual film ends up better, and I am looking forward to this. It's well cut enough that the film looks like it's got so much personality that even the standard drywall of a human being, Jai Courtney, even looks like he's having a good time.
Suicide Squad opens August 5th.
[embed]220301:42782:0[/embed]... read + comment