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- 09/07/17--10:43: Every Stephen King movie, ranked from worst to best
- 09/07/17--11:13: How the latest Alien movie brought space to life
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- 09/09/17--07:40: 30 classic Hollywood movies you can stream for free
- Universal released the first teaser trailer for the conclusion of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" trilogy, "Fifty Shades Freed."
- Anastasia Steele (Dakota Johnson) and the BDSM-loving billionaire Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan) are settling into married life, but will quickly find marriage isn't as easy as they thought.
- A familiar face from Ana's past will return to seek revenge on the Greys and it doesn't look good for Ana.
- "Fifty Shades Freed" will be released February 14, 2018. The first full trailer will be released in November.
- Watch the first teaser trailer below.
Following a summer movie season that Hollywood wants to quickly forget, it looks as if the industry has a hit to kick off the fall.
"It," the latest adaptation of the classic Stephen King novel, is an extremely entertaining studio horror movie that will make you laugh as much as jump in fear.
That's the big takeaway from a movie that had some big shoes to fill, as it goes up against a previous adaptation, the 1990 two-night ABC made-for-TV movie that haunted anyone who grew up during that time. Tim Curry's portrayal of the alien who often takes the form of a clown named Pennywise and for centuries had been murdering kids from the quiet town of Derry, Maine, was masterfully done.
So not looking to top something that was already great, director Andy Muschietti gave the new movie a new feel. (Muschietti came on the project after Cary Fukunaga left over creative differences, though Fukunaga still has a screenwriting credit.) This new version is set in the late 1980s (it's the 1960s in the book), and it makes the group of high-school losers who band together to take on Pennywise more edgy and foul-mouthed than the kids of the 1990 version.
That leads to a lot of F-bombs and funny one-liners, both done perfectly by child actor Finn Wolfhard (whom you know best as Mike Wheeler on the Netflix show "Stranger Things"). In fact, the entire kid cast does well. And though it's hard to top Curry's Pennywise, Bill Skarsgård gives a solid performance, helped out greatly by CGI to pull off the scares.
There's no question this "It" will bring nightmares to a new generation, and realizing it has a good thing, Warner Bros. is far from ending things. Unlike the 1990 version, this movie does not delve into the characters when they grow up and have to battle Pennywise again. That means a sequel is certainly on the way and will feature the characters all grown up.
So get ready for another round of scares, and in the immediate future, prepare for constant speculation on which adult actors will take on the roles.
"It" opens in theaters on Friday.
If there's one thing we can say about the Disney era of “Star Wars” movies, everything is amplified.
Whether it's pictures tweeted out from the set by a director or news of reshoots, the media (especially us here at Business Insider) rush to write it up. A big reason for that is because the current fandom for “Star Wars” is beyond anything the franchise has ever experienced before, and it seems everyone can’t get enough information, whether it's rumors or facts.
The big difference in today’s “Star Wars” versus when George Lucas made the original trilogy is that there are ten times more outlets writing about it, and thanks to social media, the access to them is instantaneous. Just imagine how social media would have reacted about Ewoks back then!
So of course a director being fired from a “Star Wars” movie is going to be a really big deal.
In today’s Hollywood, being chosen to take on the saga is like getting the industry’s golden ticket. You basically are going to have free reign from then on to work on any project you want — especially if the movie is a hit.
Getting fired (or stepping down over creative differences) from one of the movies doesn’t look good because it gives the impression that you couldn’t swing it, even if the director genuinely just couldn’t mesh with those overseeing the franchise.
The list of directors who have left “Star Wars” projects (that we know of) is small but shows that even a money-making Goliath like Lucasfilm has drama behind the scenes.
Josh Trank left a planned Boba Fett standalone movie in 2015 (he said because he just needed a break from the fans), this summer Chris Mill and Phil Lord left the Han Solo standalone movie with only a month left in production (it was later reported that they were fired by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy), and on Tuesday Lucasfilm announced it had “mutually chosen to part ways” with Colin Trevorrow, its first choice to direct "Star Wars: Episode IX."
All of these exits are likely for different reasons, but what they all have in common is that events led to the people who control the current vision of “Star Wars” — Kathleen Kennedy, franchise longtime screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, among others — losing trust in the directors.
For most movies, when the director and producer (especially when the producer has all the power, whether it be rights to the project for the money) can’t get along, bad things happen. But “Star Wars” has the unique advantage of having incredible resources that it can rebound.
A Boba Fett movie will likely be back on its feet with a new director. Ron Howard is hard at work finishing off the Han Solo movie with no plans of a release date change. And “Episode IX” (which is still in script stage) will soon be taken over by someone else.
And even when the “Star Wars” powers-that-be aren’t into what a director did, they bring in someone to get it right, as was the case with director Gareth Edwards on “Rogue One.” He wasn’t fired, but Lucasfilm brought on Tony Gilroy to direct the reshoots on “Rogue One.”
If there’s one thing we might see change from Lucasfilm in its director choices, it’s the experience level. “Star Wars,” like many franchises, have nabbed young directors who have either made an impressive first movie within the studio system or an ambitious indie film. With Howard coming on to direct the Han Solo movie and veteran English director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot”) reportedly in early work on a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi movie, we might be seeing Kennedy’s new thinking on how to take on “Star Wars” movies going forward.
The reason why “Star Was” fans should not be concerned about the director drama is that, at this point, it has not affected our enjoyment or, more importantly for Lucasfilm and Disney, the box office performance of the movies.
If the day comes when Kennedy can’t put a band-aid on a problem, that's when everyone will panic. But with a line around the corner of capable directors, young and old, who want to work on these movies, it’s hard not to come up with the right formula by picture lock.
When it comes to awards and appraisal, there are some films that clean up every year.
In 2017, we had "La La Land" and "Moonlight," while 2016 saw "Deadpool,""Rogue One," and "Finding Dory" take the stage.
With so much attention on these superstar blockbusters, it becomes far too easy for a quality movie to fall through the cracks — even with a star-studded cast and reputable director behind it.
Business Insider asked 10 film industry experts, critics, board directors, and editors at some of the world's leading film committees and publications — from BAFTA to Empire magazine — for three of their favourite films through the years that haven't received the attention they deserve.
Including everything from gory, vintage horror to stop-motion family flicks, scroll on to discover 28 of the best films of all time that you've probably never heard of.
"The Warrior" (2002) — directed by Asif Kapadia.
Mark Samuelson, Chair of the BAFTA Film Committee, believes that many acclaimed British directors first gained wider public attention after receiving BAFTAs in the "Outstanding Debut" category. One example of this is "The Warrior"— the story of a lone warrior in rural India attempting to escape his violent past.
Documentary master Asif Kapadia's debut feature-length film won two BAFTAs. "Before the BAFTA-winning [biography] 'Senna' and the BAFTA and Oscar-winning [documentary] 'Amy,' there was this sumptuous epic starring renowned Indian actor Irrfan Khan," Samuelson said.
Watch the trailer here:
"Hunger" (2008) — directed by Steve McQueen.
According to Samuelson, "Hunger" is an "unflinching dramatisation of the last weeks in the life of Provisional IRA member Bobby Sands, played by Michael Fassbender.
"McQueen followed this up with the BAFTA-nominated 'Shame,' and the seminal BAFTA- and Oscar-winning '12 Years a Slave,'" Samuelson added.
Watch the trailer here:
"Red Road" (2006) — directed by Andrea Arnold.
"A BAFTA-winner in 2007, 'Red Road' is the debut of Andrea Arnold," Mark Samuelson said.
"This visually striking story of female isolation is a bold introduction to the work of Arnold, who has gone on to win a BAFTA for 'Fish Tank,' and was nominated in 2017 for 'American Honey.'"
Watch the trailer here:
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
When Los Angeles high school students Eduardo Cho and Kimberly Carrillo showed up to the set of their short film “Dumpster Diving,” they did not expect to see that the cast included the likes of Seth Rogen, James Franco, Nick Kroll, Hannah Simone, and Michael Pena.
The students were told they would be getting the chance to work “with professionals in the film industry,” but the reality was even greater than anyone could’ve expected.
“Dumpster Diving” is the first short released under Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s “And Action!” program, which seeks to give young aspiring filmmakers and screenwriters the chance to break into the industry from a young age.
The pilot program took place at John C. Fremont High School in L.A. and the Rene Gordon Health and Wellness Academy in Toronto, with Rogen and Goldberg working with students to brainstorm script ideas and later bring them on to set.
The short film the Los Angeles students came up with is “Dumpster Diving,” an 11-minute comedy about two bullied high schoolers who befriend a couple of gang members and are brought to their gang-leader, known only as El Diablo. Naturally Franco is the gang-leader and sports a tone of face tattoos. The Toronto short film, called “Robot Bullies” and staring Jay Baruchel, will be released at a later date.
Watch the short film below, courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.
Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau never thought much about big game hunting. In fact, the two photojournalists-turned-filmmakers, who have been a couple for years, didn’t even know how each other felt about the controversial sport.
Then almost four years ago, Schwarz was on his computer when he came across a “trophy shot” — a photo taken of a hunter next to the animal he or she has just killed. Schwarz shouted his displeasure, which fell on deaf ears as Clusiau didn’t see any problem with it.
“Growing up in Northern Minnesota it’s what people do, hunting,” Clusiau, sitting alongside Schwarz, told Business Insider. “So to me I felt everybody does it. It’s normal.”
“I grew up in Israel where if you shot a deer you shot Bambi,” Schwarz said.
That led to the making of “Trophy” (opening in select theaters on Friday), the duo’s powerful documentary that delves into the world of safari hunting. On the surface, the movie looks to be an anti-big game hunting movie that sheds light on man’s atrocities toward animals. And with the main financing coming from Impact Partners — a company most recognized for backing the 2009 Oscar-winning movie, “The Cove,” which looks at the slaughter of dolphins in Taijii, Japan — that wouldn’t be a bad guess.
But Schwarz and Clusiau go beyond the low-hanging viral sensations that diminish the sport, from Donald Trump’s sons taking trophy shots while on a hunting safari in Zimbabwe, to the death of Cecil the lion at the hands of a Minnesota dentist. Instead, they explore a complex issue in which big game hunting has fueled not just breeding of endangered species but wildlife conservation as well.
That was the biggest shock Schwarz and Clusiau got when attending Safari Club International’s annual Hunters’ Convention in Las Vegas in 2014. Essentially the Comic-Con of hunting, the three-day event offers everything from buying the latest high-tech hunting weapons, to getting a new fur coat, to spending thousands of dollars to make a reservation to hunt a buffalo or rhino on an African safari.
“It angers you that there’s so much money, but then they started to throw this argument at us that money is what drives this, this is why there is wildlife conservation,” Schwarz said.
The movie explores this tricky topic with lush visuals and moving interviews from those on the front lines of the issue, who are passionate about their stance.
There’s Philip Glass, a Texas sheep breeder who is on a quest to hunt the “big five game” (African lion, elephant, cape buffalo, leopard, and rhino); John Hume, a South African who owns a rhino farm and cuts off their horns to protect them from poachers; Christo Gomes, a South African all-inclusive safari owner; and Chris Moore, a Zimbabwean anti-poacher.
With a crew only made up of Schwarz and Clusiau, the two traveled with their subjects around Africa and other parts of the world. How to tell their stories evolved through time. At first, the two wanted to tell it as a verite with no narration or interviews. However, gradually they brought in interviews to better explain why people believe big game hunting is a positive for wildlife in Africa.
“When we started working with Craig Packer, the ecologist, that helped us reinforce doing interviews because he’s the one that says how this model can bring a restored ecosystem,” Clusiau said. Including interviews also revealed a surprising emotional moment. In one interview with Gomes, he breaks down and cries after asked if he has ever had an emotional connection to the animals he breeds that are eventually killed by hunters on his safari.
Then there are the movie’s visuals, which aren’t just stunning but showcase the incredible access the filmmakers got. To pull that off was physically draining and at at times dangerous.
The two often lugged around a drone for miles to film aerial shoots. It paid off after Glass killed an elephant. Before men from a local town picked it apart for meat to bring back to their village, Schwarz and Clusiau filmed an aerial shot via drone of the dead elephant. It’s one of the most memorable shots in the movie.
But getting drone shots almost led to the filmmakers getting stranded in the bush. After filming shots with the drone one morning, they went back by boat to the camp where they were to meet their hunting party. But when they got to the site no one was there.
“I think the guy misunderstood that we were coming back,” Clusiau said.
Remembering being told that buffalo and crocodiles roam the river at this time of day, the filmmakers knew they couldn’t walk along the river to get back to the home base. They thought of taping a note to the drone and flying it back to the base to get help. But finally Schwarz got reception on his phone and after calling numerous numbers where no one picked up the phone, he emailed the general email box of one of the companies that assisted in connected them with the hunters. Four hours later, a boat came to pick them up.
But their closest call wasn’t realized until six months after shooting was completed.
Schwarz got a voice mail out of the blue from Moore who shared what he learned about the poacher they were trying to track down when Schwarz and Clusiau filmed one of his anti-poacher raids:
"So, I discovered from an informant yesterday that that night when you were on that raid the guy was at home, he was there, he jumped out of the window, remember there were no burglar bars. And he had the 375 high-caliber rifle and he didn't know which guy to shoot, you or me,” Moore said in the voice mail, which Schwarz played for Business Insider. “He was confused. But he got a beat on both of us a few times and then, anyway, he decided to not pull the trigger for whatever reason."
Besides the incredible access, what makes “Trophy” so memorable is its ability to tell both sides of a complex issue. Schwarz and Clusiau are well aware the movie is a tough sell for people. But what they have realized is once they get people in the theater, they'll recognize the other side of the argument.
“We had Philip Glass at a screening in LA, a very liberal audience, and two days later he got this long email from a person there saying they were still against trophy hunting but thanked him for the dialogue,” Schwarz said. “And from the hunter side we hear from people who say, ‘Maybe ‘God giveth’ isn't the best excuse.’ That makes me happy. We are happy when people will go out of their comfort zone.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced Thursday that the company's upcoming Disney-branded streaming service will feature Marvel and Star Wars movies, and its app is set for launch in late 2019.
Iger told a Bank of America-Merrill Lynch media conference in Los Angeles that the service will also feature four to five original films and four to five original TV series, produced exclusively for the app, as well an extensive library of Disney film and TV content, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
"It will have the entire output of the studio, animation, live action at Disney, including Pixar, Star Wars, and all the Marvel films," Iger said.
Iger told investors to "think of the Disney app as a traditional SVOD service," or streaming video on demand service, in the vein of Netflix. He did not specify a monthly fee for the service.
The new service marks a significant strategy change for Disney.
Starting in 2017, Netflix became the exclusive subscription streaming home of all new Disney movies. Disney's decision to shift to its own app in 2019 will, however, bring an end to their Netflix deal, and remove a vast amount of Disney-produced content from the service.
Iger said just last month that the company hadn't decided how to deal with Marvel and Star Wars films, but it's now clear that Disney is making moves to bolster the service's "treasure trove" of content, as Iger labeled it on Thursday.
Lots of people are creeped out at the site of clown, whether it's at the circus or creeping around in the woods at night. Movies like Stephen King's "It" and the new season of "American Horror Story" featuring some terrifying clowns that take prey on the fears of the viewer. We spoke with Dr. Dena Rabinowitz, a psychologist in New York who specializes in the treatment of anxiety disorders and phobias, to find out why we are so scared of something that's meant to make us laugh. Following is a transcript of the video.
Hi my name is Dr. Dena Rabinowitz, and I'm a clinical psychologist specializing in anxiety disorders.
I think most people find clowns delightful, but there's definitely a group of people who find them creepy. There two things about clowns that kind of inherently lead people to be frightened of them. The first is that we rely a lot on facial expressions to understand people and see their motivations. And with clowns you don't have facial expressions. It's all under makeup, and it's fixed. And so there's a kind of a question of, "what's going on under there?"
The second thing is people don't inherently trust people who are always happy and laughing. For a lot of people, the fear of clowns actually is part of a more general fear of masked creatures. In regular parlance it's called: coulrophobia.
We don't like things that are familiar but then a little bit off. And so clowns look like people, but there's an oddity to it. There's something that is a little bit strange and from the norm. If we see clowns in places like in a circus where they belong, that's often not as scary. But if we see a clown which is already slightly odd and different to us in a place where we don't typically think they should be like the woods, it's even scarier.
People aren't born with a clown phobia, but they can certainly be genetically predispositioned to have an anxiety disorder. But a specific fear of clowns either comes because you had a traumatic event in childhood around clowns, a family member or somebody close to you kind of has taught you that clowns are scary, or you had an anxiety attack when you were around clowns and paired them together.
If you already have a clown phobia, watching movies like "It" or "American Horror Story" is not going to help, because all it does is reinforce the fact that clowns are in fact dangerous and scary. What we want to do to help with a phobia is show you that they're just people with makeup underneath and that there's nothing inherently scary.
Well if you just don't like clowns, then you really don't need to do anything about it. but there's a small subset of people who really are terrified of clowns in that goes into the category of a phobia lots of people have phobias and just because you have a phobia doesn't mean you need treatment. When you need to seek treatment for a phobia is when it interferes with your daily life. If you go screaming from a theater because there might be a clown that shows up or you can't go into town because there's a circus, then you really need to seek treatment.
The best thing to do about a phobia is first of all recognize that the thing you're afraid of is not dangerous and then do something called "exposure." Which is putting yourself in proximity to the feared object until you get comfortable.
So one of the things I recommend of clowns is watch somebody put on the clown makeup, so you can see that they're just a human being and see the progression of them turning into a clown. It makes it a lot more approachable, and you can learn to overcome your fear.
I don't have a fear of clowns. I have a fear of snakes. So i understand this.
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Stephen King’s work has been adapted so many times — sometimes by King himself — that it’s impossible to find a single unifying thread in all of the film adaptations.
Sure, a lot of them are horror (certainly a lot of the worst are horror), but that’s largely because the boom period for King movies was the 1980s, when he was known solely as a horror writer. As his canvas (and reputation) has expanded over the years, his work has been turned into dramas, comedies, musicals, and even a Bollywood movie.
Because of this dissonance, ranking King movies is particularly difficult: The Mangler and The Shawshank Redemption barely seem to exist on the same plane of dimensional existence, let alone on the same list of movies.
But nonetheless, with the latest King adaptation, It, opening this week, we gave it the old college try. (For the purposes of this list, we looked at theatrical releases only, and excluded Lawnmower Man, an “adaptation” so vastly different from the original that King sued to get his name off it.) With one notable exception, you’ll find the adapted movies turned out much like King himself: They got more serious and substantial with age.
40. "Maximum Overdrive" (1986)
The one movie King ever directed, and … well, you know, Stephen King is a wonderful writer who should probably stick with writing. The movie’s tone is set in the opening scene, in which a man (played by King) tries to take money out of an ATM, and the ATM calls him an asshole. Apparently, a comet has passed by Earth and given mechanical objects sentience, and once they attack humanity, Emilio Estevez helps lead a human resistance.
The movie isn’t even absurd enough to have fun with this lunatic premise, and King has zero skills as a director — visually, narratively, or in any other sense. King has called it the worst adaptation of any of his works, and we are not about to disagree. Though, according to King: “I was coked out of my mind all through its production, and I really didn’t know what I was doing.”
39. "The Mangler" (1995)
Of all the Stephen King adaptations, we must confess that this one has our favorite title. Boy, though, is this thing ridiculous. What, exactly, is “the Mangler,” you ask? Well, the Mangler is a demonically possessed … laundry press! This setup leads to hilarious scenes of an angry laundry press pressing up and down, like a hungry, hungry hippo.
Eventually the Mangler develops legs and starts chasing people. It’s all terrible, but, you never know, it might be your thing. Maybe you’re into laundry-press cosplay. You do you.
38. "Graveyard Shift" (1990)
Graveyard Shift is as schlocky as low-budget horror films get. Its premise: Overnight workers at an abandoned-then-reopened textile mill keep dying, and no one can figure out why. Wanna guess why? We don’t want to give it away. All right, they’re being killed by … a giant bat! Because bats hunt at night, you see. (In the short story, it’s a giant rat. Bats are much more cinematic.) This movie looks like it was made for about $35, but it does feature a truly insane closing credits song.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Following Oscar hype at its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, “Call Me by Your Name” shows up at the Toronto International Film Festival with the hopes of increasing the buzz. And after its premiere screening here Thursday night, it did just that.
From director Luca Guadagnino (“I Am Love,” “A Bigger Splash”), with a script by James Ivory, this adaptation of the André Aciman novel is a touching portrait of a summer love affair between student Oliver (Armie Hammer) and the son of the professor that’s taken him in, Elio (Timothée Chalamet).
Guadagnino has dazzled audiences in the past with lush visuals of rural Italy that makes you want to jump on a plane and vacation there. “Call Me by Your Name” is no different, as the “somewhere in Northern Italy” setting is a character all its own in the movie with its hidden ponds, cute towns, and a rustic villa. But what’s different this time around is that with the movie’s setting of the late 1980s, Guadagnino gives us a more playful feel. Similar to “A Bigger Splash,” the movie features fun music and a lot of sexual tension, but in “Call Me By Your Name” there’s no sinister third act. The movie is about sexual discovery and the feeling of finding your first love.
The movie is fueled by Elio’s fondness for Oliver, which turns into a mutual love over the six weeks they are together. Hammer plays the Oliver character as a macho American, who shows up with a confidence that at first intimidates Elio. But by the end, Elio doesn’t want to just sleep with him, he wants to be just like him.
Hammer and Chalamet have incredible on-screen chemistry as they go back and forth from a playful big brother/little brother vibe to passionate lovers. Both should be in the awards season discussion (Guadagnino as well), but it’s Hammer who really shines. The Oliver role gives him the opportunity to really show off his dramatic chops and leading man charm.
The movie might be a little too long (running time is over two hours). By the end it gets to the point where there are about three different endings. But buried in there is a fantastic scene between Chalamet and character actor Michael Stuhlbarg, who plays his father, that is an emotional high of the movie.
“Call Me By Your Name” opens in theaters November 24.
There are more than 120 different Emmy award categories. And that doesn't even include the retired ones.
The huge number of awards — compare it to the Oscars, which has 24 categories — means that a lot of people are winners. They're split between Primetime Emmy Awards, Primetime Emmy Engineering Awards, and Creative Arts Emmy Awards categories, which means that many winners and nominees are known only within the industry. But a lot of obscure categories also means that a good number of famous people get lost among all the gold.
While movie stars like Tom Hanks and Brad Pitt have received Emmy awards for producing prestigious television shows, a good number of musicians like Taylor Swift and Cher have won for working on other creative projects.
Here are 10 famous people you didn't realize had Emmys.
Taylor Swift has an Emmy for an interactive version of her "Blank Space" music video.
The pop star won an Emmy in 2015 for an original interactive program: "AMEX Unstaged: Taylor Swift Experience." It's an app that offers a 360-degree view of her "Blank Space" music video integrated with a virtual reality headset.
Brad Pitt won an Emmy for bringing a classic play to television.
Pitt has long been an A-list producer with his company Plan B Entertainment, which won him an Oscar for producing "12 Years a Slave." With Ryan Murphy's HBO adaptation of Larry Kramer's classic play, "A Normal Heart," he also got the Emmy for Outstanding TV Movie in 2014.
Pitt was nominated in the same Emmy award category for producing "Nightingale" and has a nomination from 2002 for Outstanding Guest Actor in "Friends."
Jay-Z has a Sports Emmy award for his 2009 Super Bowl performance.
His performance of "Run This Town" at Super Bowl XLIV won an award for Outstanding Music Composition, Direction, or Lyrics.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Spike Lee and "Get Out" director Jordan Peele are teaming up for a film called "Black Klansman," a crime thriller that will be based on the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the KKK, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Lee will reportedly direct the movie, which also serves an adaptation of a 2014 memoir by Ron Stallworth, the aforementioned officer. Peele's Monkeypaw Productions company will produce the film.
Denzel Washington's son, John David Washington (HBO's "Ballers"), is in talks to star in the film.
According to THR, Lee and Peele have been working on "Black Klansman" for at least two years.
Peele's "Get Out" was one of the most critically acclaimed box office hits of this year. Peele said the film, with its darkly satiric take on race relations, would be the first in a series of "social thrillers" from his production company, and "Black Klansman" seems to fit that mold.
Lee's most recent feature film, "Chi-Raq," was a controversial musical drama and a study of gang violence in the south side of Chicago.
Jake Gyllenhaal has shown for over a decade that he has an impeccable ability to choose roles that can highlight his ever-expanding talents. But his latest role could get him his first Oscar nomination since 2006’s “Brokeback Mountain.”
In “Stronger” the actor plays Jeff Bauman, a free-spirit Bostonian who, like most in the city, grinds out his days so he can race to cheer on his beloved Red Sox, Bruins, or Patriots (depending on the time of year) at a nearby bar with friends and family. But after losing both his legs following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Bauman suddenly becomes the unlikely face of the “Boston Strong” motto the nation uses to recover. Bringing notoriety to Bauman he never wanted.
Gyllenhaal plays Bauman in two parts. Before the bombing he’s a free spirit who can sweet talk anyone to get his way. And when it comes to his ex-girlfriend, Erin (Tatiana Maslany from “Orphan Black”), he lays on the charm big time, even promising her that he’ll be at the finish line to root her on at the marathon. Which leads to his horrific injury. Following the bombing, the charismatic smile is gone and Bauman is left lost navigating a world alongside family members that can’t get enough of him being a hero after not just surviving the blast but also helping the police ID one of the bombers.
For both versions of Bauman, Gyllenhaal goes all-in, delivering a tour-de-force performance that is the heart and soul of the movie. But the secret weapon of “Stronger” is Tatiana Maslany.
As Erin, Maslany plays a woman riddled with guilt as she feels responsible for what happened to Bauman.
Though the horrific event brought them back together, Erin struggles with becoming a part of his close-nit family, especially getting the approval of his often tipsy mother (played by Miranda Richardson). Erin is the person that keeps Bauman driven through his rehab and comforts him during his mental trauma.
A thankless job, it’s her refusal to enable Bauman during his darkest moments that finally makes him realize how vital she is to him and what his life means to others.
Maslany’s performance resembles Amy Adams’ in “The Fighter,” who also played an outsider trying to fit in with the dysfunctional Ward family as she falls for boxer "Irish" Micky Wars (Mark Wahlberg). The role garnered Adams a best supporting actress nomination. Maslany is worthy of the same attention.
At the helm of “Stronger” is David Gordon Green (“Pineapple Express”), who once more shows he can direct any genre. But he wisely stays in the background, keeping the storytelling by the numbers. He pushes all the much-deserved attention on his stellar cast.
“Stronger” opens in theaters September 22.
On paper, a movie directed by George Clooney, with a script written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and starring Matt Damon and Julian Moore looks like a hit. But after seeing “Suburbicon” you’re left with only disappointment as all these talents couldn’t pull off a good movie.
A major reason for the disappointing outcome is that the movie tries to be a dark satire on suburban culture and a commentary on racism. Yes, that part of the movie will be a surprise, especially if you’ve seen the trailer.
According to a profile on Clooney done recently by The Hollywood Reporter, the Coens originally wrote their script back in the 1990s and approached Clooney to star in it. That story, set in the 1950s, follows a white family looking to be living a carefree life in the suburbs until a home invasion leaves the father unhinged. Recently when Clooney took the project on as something for him to direct — with racial tension bubbling to the surface during Donald Trump’s race for the presidency — he and his writing partner Grant Heslov decided to also include a real-life incident that took place in Levittown, Pennsylvania in 1957 where a white suburban neighborhood erupted in violence after an African-American family moved in.
It’s almost embarrassing to imagine that Clooney, Heslov, and others would think these two plot elements could work seamlessly in one movie.
Matt Damon plays the father, Gardner. Julianne Moore plays his wife and also her sister, Margaret. Gardner’s wife dies during the home invasion and it is soon revealed that it was Gardner who was involved in planning the invasion so he can ship his son to boarding school and run off to Aruba with Margaret. While all of this is going on, the African-American family living in the town are dealing with continued racist behavior from everyone in the neighborhood.
Beyond the fact that everything going on in the Gardner family plot of the movie is unoriginal, there is very little time given to the plight of the African-American family. Outside of a scene here and there of white angry men yelling at the family from the sidewalk and neighboring yards, there’s no scenes with dialogue of the family dealing with the harassment. It’s all done through the brief interaction between the sons of each family.
There are a few parts of the movie that seem to have a Coen brothers feel, from the opening scene that reveals the racial tension in the neighborhood to a shifty insurance investigator played by Oscar Isaac, but the movie, outside of being very violent, doesn’t have the bite of a Coen story. It’s also a far cry from the originality or style that Clooney has given us in previous directing work like “Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” and “Good Night, and Good Luck.”
Damon and Moore work hard with the material given, trying desperately to make a few comic moments hit the mark. But mostly they are stuck with really lousy material.
I can’t really say I’m even curious what the Coens' script on its own would have looked like because the kidnapping aspect of the plot in “Suburbicon” is so close to what happens in “Fargo,” the Coens-directed 1996 classic. I just can’t believe no one went to Clooney at the script stage and told him he was dancing very closely to what one of the Coen brothers’ classics already did. And why the Coens would write something so similar to what they did in “Fargo.” Rewrites may have been the culprit, however.
Regardless, Clooney is so heavy-handed with both the satire and commentary on race, watching “Suburbicon” builds into a frustrating experience.
“Suburbicon” opens in theaters October 27.
At first glance, the public domain appears to be a deep, intimidating vortex of innumerable media. To some extent, this is true — by way of making it slightly less so, let’s talk about what, exactly, it is. A free, accessible resource for films, books, and music available to the public, the public domain’s been in existence ever since copyright laws were implemented back in the 18th century. In their early years, copyrights (indicated by that © you’ve seen in books, music, movies, and other works) varied from country to country. It wasn’t until the Berne Convention of 1886 — an international agreement governing copyright that protects literary and artistic works — that a universal copyright procedure was assembled. But not for the United States, which refused to take part in the convention for over 100 years, because it required too many significant changes to their moral rights and copyright formalities.
Prior to 1988, when the U.S. finally signed the Berne Convention Implementation Act, all films distributed after 1909 were required to provide a registered copyright. If properly printed, the copyright lasted for 28 years before it needed be renewed, assuring that the film would remain property of whatever studio owned it. But studios during the Golden Age were focused on profit, not preservation, making it easy to lose track of renewal deadlines — meaning many of those forgotten films fell into the public domain.
Bottom line: The public domain remains one of the most easily accessible — and most underused — resources available for watching silent films, Golden Age hits, and even 1960 horror classics like Francis Ford Coppola’s Dementia 13 (1963) and George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead(1968). It’s as simple as hitting YouTube and searching a movie’s title.
To help get you started, here are 30 classic films available, divided by genre.
"Till the Clouds Roll By" (1946)
Based on the life of composer Jerome Kern, Till the Clouds Roll By is a rip-roaring musical starring Judy Garland, Robert Walker, Lena Horne, and Frank Sinatra, just to name a few. The story follows a fictionalized Kern (Walker) as he looks back on the early stages of his prominent Broadway career.
Why Watch It? Dame Angela Lansbury — or Jessica Fletcher, for Murder, She Wrote fans — began her career at the age of 17 while filming the 1944 psychological thriller Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, and Joseph Cotton. Her performance as a scheming cockney maid both earned her an Academy Award nomination and caused her to be typecast in subsequent films because of the financial success she brought MGM. That is, until she was cast in Till the Clouds Roll By.
"Mr. Imperium" (1951)
Frederica Brown, played by blonde bombshell Lana Turner, is vacationing at an Italian resort when she not-so-accidentally stumbles into a man who calls himself Mr. Imperium. The two strike up a romance that’s put on pause when Mr. Imperium confesses that he’s a — wait for it — European crown prince. Oh, and his father is gravely ill, and he must leave at once. Years pass, and while the prince tends to his father, Frederica becomes a movie star. He travels to California to rekindle their romance — only for his duties to get in the way once more.
Why Watch It? Though Mr. Imperium isn’t the most notable Technicolor film — it lost more than $1 million the box office — it has an all-star cast, including a young Debbie Reynolds. Her next film would be Singin’ in the Rain (1952).
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
In a year where a lot of the hyped titles playing at the Toronto International Film Festival have already premiered at Telluride or Venice, “I, Tonya” is one title TIFF can claim as its own.
The dark, twisted, and hilarious look at the rise and fall of US Olympic figure-skater Tonya Harding had its world premiere at the fest on Friday, and with no distribution in place, the movie has buyers scrambling to nab it.
Margot Robbie plays the disgraced skater in a performance that is the best of her career to this point.
Though Harding’s claim to fame should be as the first American woman to land a triple axel in competition, what she’s really known for is being the center of one of the biggest scandals in US sports history when her rival, US figure-skater Nancy Kerrigan, was attacked leading up to the 1994 Winter Olympics. Later on, it was discovered that Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, hired someone to assault Kerrigan.
But “I, Tonya,” directed by Craig Gillespie (“Lars and the Real Girl,” “The Finest Hours”), doesn’t only focus on the scandal that became a pop-culture obsession in the mid-1990s. To tell the story right, you have to delve deeper into Harding’s life and that’s just what Gillespie and screenwriter Steven Rogers did.
Pushed to be a figure-skater by her mother (played by Allison Janney) at 3, Harding knew two things growing up, skating on the ice and being abused.
There’s a lot to laugh about and get nostalgic over in “I, Tonya,” but at its core it’s a story about a woman who has been mentally and physically abused by everyone who has ever been in her life.
By 15, Harding moves from the slaps and shoves of her mother to go live with Gillooly (Sebastian Stan), and things don’t get better. He beats her constantly, which doesn’t stop Harding from marrying the guy.
Through all of this, Harding rises through the ranks of US figure-skating, and because of her ability to land the triple axel, becomes an elite skater. Which is even more remarkable in a sport like figure skating — where privilege and a wholesome image is a necessity — Harding did it all dirt poor and never making nice with anyone.
Robbie (who is also a producer on the movie) captures the rough Harding persona and delivers a performance which is at times heart-achingly real and at others masterfully comedic. From her hair to her loud outfits, Robbie is everything that made you love Harding if you lived through the time when she was one of the most recognizable people on the planet.
And then there’s the supporting cast that only makes Robbie and the movie better. Stan as the mustached Gillooly is the perfect villain. And Paul Walter Hauser, who plays Gillooly’s friend and Harding’s “bodyguard” Shawn Eckhardt, is a hilarious scene stealer. But it’s Janney as Harding’s unforgiving mother that's the most remarkable. She plays her ruthless and never gives the character the slightest hint of compassion towards Harding.
The movie has top notch make-up and costume design as it goes through the decades of Harding’s life and jumps forward to present day with the characters giving interviews looking back on the events. This style gives the movie one of its most memorable moments, when present day Harding looks into the camera and describes the pain she feels being the punching bag of the media and public. They being her latest abuser. And how this movie, and we the audience enjoying her messed up life, are now her current abuser.
If there’s one knock on the movie, the poor CGI for the skating scenes makes it obvious Robbie isn't doing most of the skating. But, no one was expecting her to learn the triple axel for the role.
With “I, Tonya” having no distribution at the time of this writing, it’s hard to forecast what’s in store for it. But outside of box office, which should be solid seeing the amount of people still fascinated by Harding and the scandal, this movie certainly has the potential of being an awards season player this year.
I certainly hope that happens.
Darren Aronofsky has always been fascinated to delve into religion and the macabre in all his work. And his latest, "mother!" is no exception.
An ambitious project that explores the deepest nightmares about family and the world, like all things Aronofsky, you will leave the movie with more questions than answers. But he wouldn't want it any other way.
In the movie Jennifer Lawrence plays a woman (a name is never given in the movie, in fact, no names are given) who spends her days renovating the house she lives in with her husband (Javier Bardem), a poet who is struggling with writer's block. But things begin to get unsettling when a stranger (Ed Harris) comes to their door.
The husband says he can stay as long as he wants, to the surprise of his wife. And things only get more weird as the stranger's wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) shows up the next day and then their sons (Brian and Domhnall Gleeson).
Throughout this the woman is taking everything in stride, following her husband's lead and trying to cope with her guest's unusual behavior.
But when the strangers break a crystal ornament the husband holds dear, and the the older son of the strangers attacks his younger brother, the woman has enough and demands everyone leave.
Feeling her husband doesn't give her any attention, they get into a fight, which leads to them having sex and the next morning the woman says she's pregnant. And the husband suddenly loses his writer's block.
Still with me? It gets a lot stranger, but for the sake of spoilers let's stop right here.
The movie will bring comparisons of work from Roman Polanski like "Repulsion" and "Rosemary's Baby", as well as Aronofsky's early film, "Requiem for a Dream." But as the movie evolves and you see the story Aronofsky is weaving, you can't help to appreciate what he's doing and how he's doing it (especially that a studio allowed him to make it), though the story gets frustrating at times.
Then there's the portrayal of Lawrence's mother character, which will likely be criticized by those who want to see stronger female leads in movies. The mother is passive and submissive to her husband.
But Aronofsky doesn't seem to be exploring positives here. Instead, he's meshing religion, obsessions, and the hunger to believe in something with the current unsettled nature of the world to present a portrait of how we are. And it's pretty ugly.
Sadly though, by the end of the movie you don't really care. Aronofsky has messed with you so much, giving you so little to hold onto that by the end, when he wraps it all up in a bow, it's too late.
"mother!" opens in theaters September 15.
The INSIDER Summary:
Sixteen years ago, on 11 September 2001, Hollywood actor Steve Buscemi — known for his depictions of gangsters and weirdos, once described by The Guardian as a "strangely attractive shoelace"— returned to his job as a New York firefighter.
He worked 12 hour shifts for several days alongside other firefighters, searching for survivors in the rubble from the World Trade Center.
He later left the service to become an actor, but has remained engaged in New York firefighters causes, having spoken at union rallies and hosted the HBO documentary A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY.
At the time, he said of his efforts during the rescue: "It was a privilege to be able to do it. It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside. And it was enormously helpful for me because while I was working, I didn't really think about it as much, feel it as much."
In 2013, the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page reminded people of his selfless act of courage, writing beneath a picture of Buscemi.
"Do you recognise this man? Do you know his name? Lots of people know he's an actor, and that his name is Steve Buscemi. What very few people realise is that he was once one of New York's Bravest.
"In 1976 Steve Buscemi took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18 years old. In 1980 Steve Buscemi became a New York City Firefighters. For four years, Buscemi served on one of FDNY's busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan's Little Italy. He later left the fire service to become a successful actor, writer and director.
"After 9/11/2001... Brother Buscemi returned to FDNY Engine 55.
"On September 12, 2001 and for several days following Brother Steve worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters digging and sifting through the rubble from the World Trade Center looking for survivors.
"Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn't there for the publicity."
Buscemi also been an advocate for firefighters' welfare, telling CBS News: "Firefighters are great at helping others, they're great at helping each other. But they're not always—they don't always know that they, themselves, are in need.
"Their first reaction would be: ‘Oh, the next guy has it worse, you know?'"
During the 11 September attacks 343 firefighters gave their lives protecting and rescuing others.
Buscemi still serves on the Board of Advisors for Friends of Firefighters, an organisation dedicated to New York firefighters and their relatives.
In 2004, then-unknown filmmaker Morgan Spurlock examined our obsession with fast food by going on a McDonald’s only diet for one month. The movie didn’t just make him an instant star, but also completely changed the fast food industry, as the chains suddenly provided healthier options on their menus.
Or did they?
13 years later Spurlock is making the sequel, “Super Size Me 2: Holy Chicken!” This time he’s not setting his sights on McDonald’s, but rather on one of the most popular items on the menu at any chain: the chicken sandwich.
“Super Size Me 2” shows Spurlock at his best: being a showman to bring focus to a cause. This time, it’s getting people to understand how the chicken industry, or “Big Chicken” (Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrim’s, Koch Foods), has suckered us into thinking we’re eating “natural,” and how the multibillion-dollar industry is destroying the lives of the farmers that raise its chickens.
In typical Spurlock fashion, there has to be a hook for the audience, and with “Super Size Me 2,” it’s the filmmaker getting into the chicken business. The movie follows Spurlock as he goes through the process of starting his own chicken franchise, called Holy Chicken! We see everything under the hood, from how he gets his chickens, to coming up with items on the menus and figuring out brand. This leads to Spurlock visiting all the chains to eat chicken sandwiches — yes, even McDonald’s, the first time he’s walked into one since filming the first “Super Size Me.”
“The first film is from a consumer perspective — the choices we make, why we make them — so we said what if we come from the corporate side,” Spurlock told Business Insider a day after the movie had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. “We show you how the corporations think, why they do the things they do, and how the food is raised and being sold to you.”
Some of the process is shocking. From the “health halo” terms the chains use — you never see the word “fried” anymore, if a chicken sandwich is deep-fried it is now called “crispy” — to how some chains paint grill marks on their cooked chicken breasts to give the look that you’re eating a grilled chicken sandwich.
But the biggest part of the movie, and the most heartbreaking, is Spurlock’s look at the farmers.
Big Chicken has such a monopoly on the industry that it’s almost impossible for an independent to start up. Spurlock shows this as he’s constantly turned away by anyone in the industry he calls to get help to start his chain. And then the companies Spurlock called realized who he was, leading to an industry-wide letter to farmers to stay clear of him. Finally, Spurlock found Jonathan Buttram last summer, an Alabama chicken farmer who for the last decade has been trying to get the public to understand what Big Chicken has done to farmers.
Buttram admits he had no idea who Spurlock was when the director contacted him, but quickly realized they both wanted to accomplish the same thing.
“I set out ten years ago with a cause to help the consumer because all of them have been deceived,” Buttram told Business Insider at TIFF. “The chickens are being mistreated and the growers are definitely being mistreated.”
In the movie, we see that even though Big Chicken now uses words and phrases to make it seem like chickens are being treated humanely, that isn’t the case. For example, the term “free range chickens.” It's perceived to mean that on the farm chickens roam around open spaces all day. Not true. By definition of the FDA, "free range" only means that a space the size of a small closet is open to the chickens to go outside the barn. And the chickens get so big so fast, even if they wanted to walk outside they would have a heart attack and die.
The farmers are all competing in a “tournament system” for their pay, so if any of them complain about the conditions of their chickens, or anything related to the upkeep of the chicken barns they spent millions to build, it will hurt their standing. One month, a farmer working for a Big Chicken company (which provides the farmers the chickens to raise) may get a great selection of chickens that will grow very big, which means more money. Big Chicken pays the farmers for not just the amount they have, but the sizes of chickens they produce. If a farmer hands over bigger birds versus another farmer, they get more money. Complain at all, the next month you’ll suddenly receive a poor group (sometimes the chickens are even sick), leading to smaller chickens and less money.
Many farmers are in debt millions of dollars because of the tournament system, which led to a group of farmers in Kentucky filing a lawsuit against Tyson in 2015.
“You can’t live life scared,” Charles Morris, a farmer who's in the ongoing Kentucky lawsuit that's featured in “Super Size Me 2,” told Business Insider. “We need Morgan, we really do. What he’s done is instrumental in helping us.”
“Super Size Me 2” ends with a pop-up opening of Holy Chicken! In four days, a closed-down Wendy’s restaurant was turned into a fully transparent chicken sandwich chain, displaying all the tricks Big Chicken uses on us. The reaction was so positive that on the final day of the pop-up, Spurlock was approached by a company that wanted to franchise it. Though the movie does not have distribution yet, Spurlock promises Holy Chicken food trucks will travel across the country to coincide with the movie’s opening. Happy news for Buttram, who will be providing the chickens.
But Spurlock hopes to have other tricks up his sleeve to get the word out about “Super Size Me 2,” maybe even enlisting the help of celebrity chefs he has in the movie to also stand up with him against Big Chicken. Exposure for a documentary has changed greatly since the first “Super Size Me,” as it seems a movie with a message now comes out weekly.
“When ‘Super Size Me’ came out that was at the tail end of the real independent film movement. That was the last hurrah movie, it got proper windowing — theatrical, subscription TV, regular TV — and all pre-Facebook, pre-YouTube, pre-Twitter,” Spurlock said. “So now the ability for people to support or trash talk a movie is in an instant. The time to give a film to find itself is gone. Luckily, we have the pedigree of the first film, we have a seal of approval that's coming along with it. Now we just have to win audiences over.”