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4:00 PM on 10.23.2014

Flixist's Fall/Winter movie preview that's better than all of everything

Oh, Fall. How quickly you come, and with you you bring movies that we need to start caring about again. As we close out October we finally start to see the Oscar hopefuls begin to trickle in (not to mention horror classics) a...

Flixist Staff


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First official trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron photo
First official trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron
by Nick Valdez

Well I guess no one has to watch Agents of SHIELD on the 28th anymore. Thanks to a snafu leading to a leaked teaser earlier today (which we didn't post because Flixist doesn't dabble in the dark legal arts), Marvel has gone ahead and officially released the first teaser for the much anticipated Avengers sequel, Age of Ultron

We've got a darker tone, James Spader as the killer robot Ultron, and Marvel's version of Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. Oh right, and HULKBUSTER YEEEEEEEEEEEAH. 

Avengers: Age of Ultron releases May 1, 2015. 

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Review Companion: An analysis of theatre and cinema in Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman photo
Review Companion: An analysis of theatre and cinema in Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

I love Birdman. A lot. If you don’t believe me, go look at my ludicrously positive review. Even if you do believe me, you should do so anyway, because this is a companion (and not a replacement) to that piece.

But unlike my last review companion, this is nearly spoiler-free. I’m going to talk about the (not-secret) magic trick that the film pulls, but if you know what that trick is, then you can read this and still go into it feeling untainted. But if you have the chance to see it before reading, why would you be doing anything else with your time? It’s an incredible film, and easily one of the best to come out this year (or, really, any year).

But I made a conscious decision to avoid talking about Birdman’s cinematography in the review, which meant that I had to hold back at least two-thirds of what I had to say about the film (and what its cinematography means in the bigger picture of both theatre and film). Here are the other two-thirds:

[This film was seen as part of our coverage of the 52nd New York Film Festival.]

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Review: The Book of Life photo
Review: The Book of Life
by Nick Valdez

Although advertisements for The Book of Life really didn't kick in until a few months before its release, I've been eagerly anticipating the film for a bevy of reasons. It's produced by Guillermo Del Toro (thus giving it a pedigree), it's directed by Jorge Gutierrez (who once created one of my favorite Nickelodeon cartoons, El Tigre), and it's one of the few mainstream accepted films celebrating Mexican culture. In fact, I'm having a hard time picturing a Latino animated film in recent years (The Road to El Dorado is the only one I can think of, really). 

So with all of that on the line, how does The Book of Life handle the pressure? It's got to deliver an entertaining children's film, it's got to educate folks on the Mesoamerican holiday Dia de Muertos, and it has to do all of this while making sure it has a competent story of its own. Thankfully, The Book of Life maintains some of its balance during this trapeze act of remarkable proportions.  

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Interview: Adam Saunders, producer and CEO of Footprint Features photo
Interview: Adam Saunders, producer and CEO of Footprint Features
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

The role of a producer has always been kind of opaque to me. I just fundamentally get what directors do, cinematographers do, writers, etc., but "Producer" is such a broad term and encompasses so many things. For that reasons, I've tended to shie away from talking to them, because I just didn't really get it. But I got the chance to talk to producer Adam Saunders, CEO of Footprint Features, and I got a bit more of a glimpse into the day-to-day work of what is really a crucial role on set.

So that was pretty cool. And talking to him was cool in general. He's a fast-talker and ridiculously enthusiastic, both of which are pretty good traits for a producer to have.

It's worth noting that this interview was actually conducted a little while ago, during the media blitz for the release of Footprint's most recent film, About Alex. The content of the interview itself is not particularly time sensitive, though, so what he said then certainly still applies now.

Let's get to it!

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Review: Fury photo
Review: Fury
by Nick Valdez

I've been anticipating Fury for quite some time. Writer/Director David Ayer is one of my favorite folks in the industry, and I'm always eager to find out what he's churning out next. From Training Day to The Fast and The Furious, Ayer's writing is always top notch. Though recently he's taken up the directing duties himself (resulting in one of 2012's best films, End of Watch) I was a bit worried after his most recent effort, Sabotage, released to middling reviews earlier this year. 

Looks like Fury drew all of his real focus. Fury debuted its first trailer with a bang, and has never let go. Tragic, hilarious, and full of more acting chops than you can shake a stick at, Fury is f**king fierce. 

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Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) photo
Review: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

You should see Birdman. In fact, you need to see Birdman. Alejandro González Iñárritu’s film is something truly special, and were it not for the fact that Boyhood finally saw its release, it would undoubtedly be the most fascinating thing to come out this year (and, really, in recent memory). Every single facet of it can be the start of its own overly-long review. And for that reason, this review is going to be split into two parts. This is the main review, and in the coming days I’ll be following it up with a more analytical (though still generally spoiler free) Review Companion piece.

If you know nothing about Birdman, you should just go see it. Close your laptop, turn off your phone, stop whatever it is you are doing and just get to the nearest theater where it’s playing. Going in blind isn’t really necessary here, but there’s no reason not to either. I went in knowing only that it was not an adaptation of Harvey Birdman (spoiler), and that made it especially fascinating for me. But to be honest, the things that I found fascinating probably won’t be the things you find fascinating. Really, there is so freaking much to talk about in this movie.

So let’s get into it. 

[This film was seen as part of our coverage of the 52nd New York Film Festival. It is being posted to coincide with the film's limited theatrical release]

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DC's film slate finally revealed! photo
DC's film slate finally revealed!
by Sean Walsh

Hold on to your hats, boys and girls, DC has revealed their film slate through 2020. This is major! We're looking at a pretty major A-List line-up (and Suicide Squad, which is cool too!) following Batman v. Superman - Dawn of Justice:

  • 2016: Suicide Squad
  • 2017: Wonder Woman
  • 2017: Justice League Part One
  • 2018 The Flash
  • 2018: Aquaman
  • 2019: Shazam
  • 2019: Justice League Part Two
  • 2020: Cyborg
  • 2020: Green Lantern

Additionally, Jason Mamoa is finally, officially Aquaman and some rather out-of-left-field casting for Flash sees We Need to Talk About Kevin's titular sociopath Ezra Miller don the red and yellow suit.

What do you guys think? Are you hyped? It's hard not to get excited with a line-up like that to look forward to. Also note this doesn't even include additional Superman and Batman solo movies.

I'ts an exciting time to be a comic fan.

(Header courtesy of the awesome Bobby Rubio)

[via Comic Vine]

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NYFF Review: Inherent Vice photo
NYFF Review: Inherent Vice
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

I’m not educated enough to have an intelligent conversation about Inherent Vice. I’m smart enough, but to seriously wrestle with what Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s book is trying to do and say would require me to have A) Seen more of P. T. Anderson’s films, or B) Read more (read: any) of Pynchon’s books (perhaps even the source material itself), or C) Know more about the era in which the film takes place.

And so it’s taken me well over a week to write this review, because I simply didn’t know what to say. I wanted to deconstruct the film in some meaningful way, but I don’t feel qualified to do so.

What I can do, however, is consider just what it means to see (and generally enjoy) a film that I don’t understand. 

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 52nd New York Film Festival. More information can be found here, and all of our coverage can be found here.]

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Robert Downey Jr. cast in Captain America 3, story based on Civil War  photo
Robert Downey Jr. cast in Captain America 3, story based on Civil War
by Matthew Razak

Big news today coming from Variety as they report that Rober Downey Jr. is on the verge of signing on to play Iron Man/Tony Stark in the third Captain America film. They're also saying that the film will launch the next phase of Marvel's cinematic universe, one that will be based on the Civil War story line from the comics. 

The plot, as those who have read the comic, pits Captain America against Iron Man as the fued over the superhero registration act that requires all people with special abilities to reveal their identity to the U.S. government. This gives Downey a pretty heavy role of villain that could mean he sticks around as Tony Stark for a while longer. He's only signed up at the moment to play the Avenger for one more film, but this role hints at an extension. 

Reportedly there was a lot of hemming and hawing behind the scenes to make this happen, and Downey is going to get quite the paycheck now that he's agreed to star. Most importantly it signals the future of the Marvel cinematic universe as Civil War and its fallout are going to cause some massive shifts. 

[via Variety]
[Image

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Review: Whiplash photo
Review: Whiplash
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

I thought the good folks over at the NYFF were kidding when they described Whiplash as "Full Metal Jacket at Julliard." I've been burned by their film descriptions before, so I couldn't trust something that just sounded so brilliant. I mean, that's one hell of a pitch. But sticking with my rule of going into films blind, I left it at that. I didn't watch the trailer, nor did I seek out the short film that raised the money to fund the feature. I didn't even listen to "Whiplash."

But that pitch pulled me in. And much to my surprise, it's shockingly fitting. And to be honest, it's even better than it sounds.

[This review was originally posted as part of our coverage of the 52nd New York Film Festival. It is being reposted to coincide with the film's theatrical release.]

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NYCC: Thoughts on Disney's Tomorrowland panel photo
NYCC: Thoughts on Disney's Tomorrowland panel
by Nick Valdez

Yesterday morning was the official start of 2014's New York Comic Con. What was originally a press day was opened to the public thanks to the other three days filling up so quickly. We'll have smaller impressions up throughout the weekend, but for now, I'm going to dish out some details regarding the big opening panel: Disney's Tomorrowland.

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NYCC: We're here. Join us! (over the Internet) photo
NYCC: We're here. Join us! (over the Internet)
by Matthew Razak

New York Comic Con is back again and Flixist is here to bring you all the movie news you can handle. Can you tell how excited we are? OK, that picture isn't actually representative of the excitement we're feeling with chances to look at Birdman, Netflix's new Daredevil series and possible a few leaks here and then about the Avengers movie. Not to mentions some penguins.

Tune in all weekend to catch cosplay and coverage as Nick, Alec, Geoff and myself bring you everything we possible can from the panels and floor. Maybe we'll even find a few things to give away to you guys. You never know.

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Review: Dracula Untold photo
Review: Dracula Untold
by Matthew Razak

Everyone listen. I'm going to pretty much surprise the crap out of you because by writing the next sentence I'm surprising the crap out of myself. I enjoyed Dracula Untold. I know. You've probably just decided that maybe you don't want to trust my opinion anymore, but hear me out. 

Dracula Untold is a Universal monster movie. You know those old classics from back in the day that starred Dracula and the Wolfman and the Mummy. In fact they're making an entire film universe for those guys to star in. The point is that those movies were meant to be fun and kind of ridiculous and that is exactly what Dracula Untold is despite its many flaws.

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NYCC: Disney's Tomorrowland gets its first teaser photo
NYCC: Disney's Tomorrowland gets its first teaser
by Matthew Razak

If you're not excited for Tommorowland now is the time to get there because at the New York Comic Con Disney started the hype. Nick will be supplying us with a full rundown from the event itself, but above you'll find our first look for the finally-here film from Pixar director Brad Bird. 

Britt Robinson plays a young teen who joins up with a jaded scientist (George Clooney) to discover the mysterious Tommorowland. Just from the trailer alone you can tell they'll be imbuing something special into this film. The only real worry is that Damon Lindelof co-wrote the screenplay with Bird so we might be in for a lot of nonsensical science fiction stuff. Hopefully it is kept at bay by the fun we know Bird can have. 

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Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 2) photo
Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 2)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Welcome to part two of our two-part discussion of David Fincher's Gone Girl. If you missed part one, I highly recommend checking it out. This is a direct continuation of the dialogue that special guest Hubert Vigilla and I have already begun, so we're jumping right on in.

For those who are just joining us, though, welcome to the Flixist Discusses analysis of Gone Girl. We are spoiling the heck out of the film, so if you haven't seen it, you should stop right here. And it's not just about ruining the big twists; you won't even have a point of reference for what we're talking if you haven't seen the film.

But let's just get to it, shall we?

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 52nd New York Film Festival. More information can be found here, and all of our coverage can be found here.]

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Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 1) photo
Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 1)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is The Big Thing right now, and rightly so. It's a great film, and it's one that deserves to be considered in depth. Given how significant the narrative curveballs the film throws are to its overall impact, my review was forcibly cut back in order to remain spoiler free. But I had plenty left to say, and this discussion comes with a massive spoiler warning. You really shouldn't read this unless you've seen the movie. 

I am joined by former Flixist News Editor Hubert Vigilla, now a contributor over at Unseen Films. The two of us attended the same screening at the new York Film Festival, and though we talked about it pretty extensively at dinner afterwards, as well as in our respective reviews (his can be found here), we decided to keep it going here afterwards.

And we just kind of kept going, to the point where we are breaking this conversation up into two parts solely for the sake of readability. The discussion hits a whole lot of topics, but though we reference other shows, films, etc. there are no spoilers other than those for Gone Girl

Enjoy.

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 52nd New York Film Festival. More information can be found here, and all of our coverage can be found here.]

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Review: Gone Girl photo
Review: Gone Girl
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Gone Girl is the book of the moment. Much as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was The Big Thing when David Fincher adapted it for US screens, Gillian Flynn's novel seems to be ubiquitous. Everyone is reading it and talking about it, and those who aren't are certainly aware of its presence.

I expect this is partially because of the David Fincher adaptation. The book was released in 2012, and though it quickly hit the New York Times Best Seller List, I didn't hear about it until the announcement of its cinematic release. I considered reading it, but I never got around to it. (Flixist Editor-in-Chief Matt Razak has been hounding me to do so now, though, so I may pick it up.)

Walking around New York City, posters for the film are unavoidable. This adaptation is a big deal. The Big Book is about to be The Big Movie.

And it's going to get people talking.

[This review was originally posted as part of our coverage of the 52nd New York Film Festival. It has been reposted to coincide with the film's theatrical release.]

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First teaser trailer for Pixar's Inside Out  photo
First teaser trailer for Pixar's Inside Out
by Jonathan Wray

In a rather unexpected move, Pixar released their first teaser for the upcoming film Inside Out, scheduled to tug on our heartstrings next summer.

The teaser trailer mentally prepares you for what you're about to see by quickly spanning through the emotions you felt while watching previous Pixar movies, such as Up (I'm still crying), Cars, Wall-E, Monsters, Inc., Brave, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and even Ratatouille. The trailer then poses the question: Have you ever wondered where those emotions live?

That's the premise for Inside Out, a film that deals with Riley and all of her emotions - Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), and Joy (Amy Poehler). It's Joy's job to keep the other four emotions in check. In true Pixar fashion, something's bound to go wrong, but it all wraps up with a happy ending, then we praise it for the next five to seven years.

In all seriousness, there's nothing that I look forward to more than an upcoming Pixar film, and this one's no exception. The emotions are extremely colorful, and given that the film will have a 3D release, Pixar is sure to once again set the visual standard for animated films and 3D effects. With Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc., Up) directing, my hype level is pretty high.

Inside Out opens nationwide June 19th, 2015.

[via Collider]

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UPDATE: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel releasing to Netflix and theaters simultaneously photo
UPDATE: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon sequel releasing to Netflix and theaters simultaneously
by Nick Valdez

UPDATE: According to the good folks at Variety, it looks like Weinstein Company's deal with Netflix has rubbed some theater chains the wrong way. AMC, Regal, Cinemark, and Carmike have all refused to show the sequel. Each theater claims that a theater screen is the best to view the content and not one on smartphones. Check out the whole Variety article for all the little business details, but the important thing to note is these chains have taken a firm stance against day-and-date releases. Interesting stuff. 

Now this is something I didn't see coming. First of all, we have some news on the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Sequel announced a bit ago. It's titled Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend (based on Wang Du Lu's Iron Knight, Silver Vase which in turn inspired the title of my latest rap album, Dairy Queen, Rainbow Carnival) and will release to IMAX theaters in 2015. 

Now onto the crazy part. The sequel is set to release to Netflix Instant at the same time (with the word "exclusive" being thrown around like crazy) thanks to a deal signed by The Weinstein Company and Netflix. Just, wow. If this succeeds (and there're no signs it won't thanks to the current success of simultaneous VOD/Theater releases), just imagine what this could lead to. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend releases August 28, 2015. 

We've got our first look at Donnie Yen and Michelle Yeoh too! So cool.

[via Collider]

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Final Trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar photo
Final Trailer for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar
by Nick Valdez

As Interstellar is one of the few films left making use of physical film over digital, you'll notice a surprising amount of emphasis over it in this most likely final trailer for Christopher Nolan's space hip-hopera (not really) Interstellar. Being touted as a 70mm IMAX film, 70mm film and 35mm film release, Nolan's longest film yet might be his most visually exciting. 

I'd just have to hope it's at least visually good because this trailer showing a few cracks. Watch it and you'll see what I mean. Interstellar opens November 7th. Follow this link to find all the ways you can watch this sucker. 

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Review: The Boxtrolls photo
Review: The Boxtrolls
by Nick Valdez

Laika is that rare production company where you absolutely have to pay attention to whatever they put out next. As one of the last few studios that specializes in stop motion animation, their films have garnered a lot of well deserved praise. With such a demanding production, their output is limited to one film every few years, the pressure is on to make every film count. 

The company's last film, ParaNorman, went on to become my favorite animated film of 2012 so I jumped into The Boxtrolls hoping to see some amazing work once again. Thankfully, The Boxtrolls is another hit for Laika...but unfortunately isn't a hit out of the park. 

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