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Where the Nicolas Cage–Tim Burton Superman Movie Went Wrong

During the '90s, years before Superman Returns, Warner Bros. tried to make a Superman movie with Kevin Smith attached to write the script, Tim Burton attached to direct, and Nicolas Cage attached to play Superman. Obviously, this movie never happened. But from the ashes arose a documentary. The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened? tells the story of the film's ups and downs and downs and features interviews with many people involved in the picture, including Burton and Smith. However, its original round of crowdsourced funding fell a bit short of what it actually needed, so director Jon Schnepp is asking for another $85,000 on FanBacked.com. To entice people, he released a full trailer. Watch below, and then spend your weekend just thinking about Nic Cage flying around without a care in the world.

22 Photos of Emma Stone Making Silly Faces in Fancy Dresses

Despite what her name suggests, Emma Stone is not stone-faced. Her eyebrows and lips dart and dash all over, like that one firework that sends off little sprites flying in different directions after its initial explosion. No wonder she was cast in Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight, which opens this weekend – that's one seriously enchanted face. Here are 22 of her silliest looks.

The Judge Trailer: The Law Brings Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr. Together

Robert Downey Jr. as a jaded defense attorney? That's easy. Robert Duvall as his estranged father, a embittered judge in a small town? Sure, why not. The two are brought together when, by an unexpected twist of fate, the judge is accused of murder. Will this son put disagreements aside to help exonerate his father? Well, you be the judge (of whether you go see this movie).

Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton Are Pleasant and Thoroughly Unremarkable in And So It Goes

Michael Douglas has, in his later years, become a far more amiable onscreen presence than the Greed Decade douchebags he so relished playing once upon a time. Even in the opening scenes of And So It Goes, in which he’s ostensibly playing a cantankerous, hard-headed realtor and all-around grouch, it’s hard not to feel for the guy. Is it that those slightly sleazy looks of his have now gotten a deer-caught-in-headlights quality, like the world has passed him by? Or is it that we’re experiencing a twisted sense memory of his earlier roles, mixed with the hard reality of time — the realization that even Gordon Gekko can get old and frail?

Directed by Rob Reiner, who is responsible for an almost comical number of key classics from the 1980s and '90s. »

Everything You Can Do With the Other 90 Percent of Your Brain (in Movies)

The last time the plot of a major Hollywood movie was built around the oft-repeated but utterly nonsensical myth that humans only use a tiny percentage of their brains, we talked to a professor of neurology to debunk it. Hollywood wasn’t listening. Three years after Limitless, the myth is back in Luc Besson’s Lucy, which has Scarlett Johansson controlling matter when she commands 40 percent of her brain, controlling other people at 80 percent, and potentially unlocking “secrets that go beyond our universe” at 100 percent. As far as manifestations of the old “unlocking the brain” trope go, Lucy’s are among the most powerful. We looked back at a slew of movies built around this myth to find out all the things a human can do when full (fake) brain potential is achieved. Here's what you can accomplish: 

Recall and execute Bruce Lee moves you watched on TV as a kid. —Limitless »

  • Posted 7/25/14 at 11:30 AM
  • Movies

David Edelstein Talks to Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory, and Jonathan Demme About Their New Collaboration

On Wednesday, July 22, I had the privilege of hosting a talk with Andre Gregory, Wallace Shawn, and Jonathan Demme, under the auspices of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, after a screening of the trio’s impressive collaboration A Master Builder (now playing at New York’s Film Forum). Much as they did with Uncle Vanya (filmed by Louis Malle as Vanya on 42nd Street), Gregory, Shawn, and the cast rehearsed Ibsen’s play for many years, ultimately performing it for small, invited audiences. Malle being dead, Demme stepped into the breach and filmed the production quickly and well.

What follows is an edited version of our onstage talk. »

Luc Besson on Lucy and Knowing the Limits of the Human Brain

Once upon a time, Luc Besson was a kind of anomaly. A popular director from France whose visually ravishing films featured both expertly made action scenes and doses of dreamy lyricism, he transcended cultural boundaries. Back then, of course, films like SubwayLa Femme Nikita, and Léon: The Professional stood in sharp contrast to movies starring macho men like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone. Even his sci-fi action epic The Fifth Element, with its poetic flourishes and offbeat sense of fun, was nothing like the sci-fi blockbusters Hollywood churned out.

“I’m a very simple moviegoer. I see a trailer, and I go to see the film, and I enjoy it most of the time.” »

Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth Star in the Before I Go to Sleep Trailer

What if you combined 50 First Dates with Memento? It would look something like Before I Go to Sleep. Based on S.J. Watson's best-selling novel, Nicole Kidman plays a woman who wakes up every morning with total amnesia. And if that's not bad enough, some real psychological-thriller business happened in her past. Colin Firth plays her charming yet seemingly sinister husband. Not sure how a vomiting walrus will come into play.

Hercules Is Fun. It’s Also a Hot Mess.

Hercules has no right to be as entertaining as it is. It’s dumb, choppy, cheap-looking, and it even somehow manages to waste the Rock … but this big-budget jettisoning of the Greek myth, based on Steve Moore’s Radical comic, is also a million miles from the self-important grandiosity of the 300 films, or the over-CGI'd garishness of Clash of the Titans. It has a playful heart and spirited cast, and little else. But — and maybe this is just what George W. Bush called “the soft bigotry of low expectations” speaking — that turns out to be (mostly) enough.

At times during Hercules, you could swear that you’re watching a comedy. »

A Most Wanted Man Is an Unshapely Movie That Showcases Philip Seymour Hoffman at His Peak

The new film based on John le Carré’s novel A Most Wanted Man features the last significant Philip Seymour Hoffman performance (there are still two Hunger Games movies in the pipeline), and part of me wishes I could report that he was at low ebb, at the end of his talent as well as his tether: It would make his loss easier to bear from an artistic (if not a human) standpoint. But what’s on display here is a great actor at his absolute peak — damn it all.

Hoffman plays German spymaster Gunther Bachmann. »

In the Outlandishly Entertaining Lucy, Scarlett Johansson Becomes One With the Action-Movie Universe

The new Luc Besson action picture Lucy is an outlandishly entertaining mixture of high silliness and high style. Working from the (disputed) premise that we humans have access to only 3 to 5 percent of our brains, Besson tells the story of a young American (Scarlett Johansson) in Hong Kong who’s accidentally dosed with a mind-expanding drug and, as hitherto unused gray cells are activated, becomes more and more omnipotent — super, super-duper, and then super-duper-puper-uper-uper. To help us keep track of how much of her own brain she’s “colonizing,” Besson puts the percentage in big, bold letters on the screen, and he regularly cuts to a speculative lecture by a neuroscientist (Morgan Freeman), from whom we learn that more cells don’t just mean deeper thoughts. With as little as 20 percent of your brain, he intones, you can control other things, other people, and, eventually, all matter. At 100 percent, the sky’s the limit. Like, literally.

Johansson plays Lucy as a mouthy hanger-on who’s transformed into a ninja Carrie White. »

  • Posted 7/25/14 at 8:45 AM
  • Primer

Now That You've Seen Snowpiercer, Which Other Movies Should You Watch From Director Bong Joon-ho?

Last year, Quentin Tarantino likened South Korean director Bong Joon-ho to Steven Spielberg, but that doesn’t mean that many American filmgoers have ever heard of him. That’s likely to change this weekend, with Bong’s stateside debut, Snowpiercer – an action-packed sci-fi saga about a rebellion aboard an elaborate speeding train that houses the last human survivors of an environmental apocalypse. Fantastically inventive and gripping, Bong’s latest is merely par for the course for the 44-year-old director. A filmmaker with a gift for injecting nuanced characters, lively humor, and complex interpersonal and familial dynamics into large-scale genre pictures — be they serial-killer police procedurals, monster movies, or murder-mystery thrillers — Bong’s work has an electricity rivaled by few contemporaries. To prepare you for his maiden English-language effort, here’s a rundown of his past output – subtitles be damned, his is a diverse and daring canon with universal appeal.

Bong fully established his Spielberg-ian credentials with The Host, South Korea all-time box-office champ. »

  • Posted 7/25/14 at 12:16 AM
  • Sequels

The Hot Tub Time Machine 2 Trailer Goes Back to the Future

Thanks to Comic-Con, we now have a first look at the follow-up to 2010's premise-heavy sleeper hit Hot Tub Time Machine, which puts Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, and Clark Duke back in the tub — with Adam Scott stepping in for the absent John Cusack — for another round of space-time-continuum-bending antics. This time, the gang is heading into the future, with the aim of preventing Lou (Corddry) from being murdered by getting shot in the penis by a time-traveling assassin. It's kind of like Looper, only with more sex, drugs, and instances of referring to one another as looking like "Billy Zane's dick" (okay, that only happens once, but it's more than enough).

Christopher Nolan Just Brought a New Interstellar Trailer to Comic-Con

You know that Comic-Con is about to spring some surprises on you when they've got Megan Fox up on the dais at Hall H, yet they start rushing her off after five minutes. "Why can't the audience have more time to ask questions?" asked a confused Fox, who was at Comic-Con to promote Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — ostensibly Paramount's biggest coming attraction here — and had barely spent any time onstage before the studio terminated her Q&A. The unofficial reason for Fox's quick hook came later in the Paramount panel, when two unannounced guests appeared and immediately became the stars of the show: Matthew McConaughey and his Interstellar director Christopher Nolan, Comic-Con virgins both.

Learn about the new trailer. »

Comic-Con: Everything Benedict Cumberbatch Said That Made Women Scream

"I'm gonna try not to cry," said the big-eyed brunette fan, quavery-voiced as she approached the microphone. 

Forty feet away, the British actor seated at the dais in Comic-Con's Hall H leaned forward and nodded benevolently.

"We'll all try together," replied Benedict Cumberbatch.

"You exist!" he said to his fans. »

Whiplash Trailer Is Very Intense for a Movie About Jazz Drumming

After we called Whiplash "the Sundance Film Festival's Strongest Opener in Years," it went on to win both the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the festival. This is what all the hype was about. Opening October 10, the film features Miles Teller playing a young drummer aspiring for greatness and J.K. Simmons as his drill-sergeant-esque jazz-band conductor. If you don't get enough of Simmons screaming and hitting Teller here, may we direct you to the slap-filled clip we posted two months ago. And if that isn't enough of that stuff, there's also a Fifty Shades of Grey movie coming.

Quiz: Is This the Title of a Rom-Com, or a Common Cliché?

The third rule of rom-coms, after "they have to hate each other at first" and "there has to be a wacky best friend," is "its title has to be a cliché." So on the occasion of And So It Goes, the new cliché-happy rom-com starring Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas, Vulture has a challenge for you: Can you distinguish a rom-com title from a regular old cliché? Take our quiz and find out. (Related: Do you need a title for your rom-com? Suggestions below.)

Kristen Bell Sounds Great As Mary Poppins in This Mary Poppins Parody

Parodies are fun and all, but let's not hide the fact that Kristen Bell sounds great as Mary Poppins. It's actually quite distracting from the song's main purpose, which appears to be something about raising mimimum wage. Mary is quitting unless you give her more money, but Bell would probably consider doing a live version of Mary Poppins for NBC. Whaddaya say, NBC?

All of Jamie Dornan’s Creepy Stares From the Fifty Shades of Grey Trailer

Check out the lust parade that is the teaser-trailer (or just a teasing trailer?) for Fifty Shades of Grey! Aside from a few somewhat gratifying shots, there isn't much real action, given the amount of longing stares that go back and forth between Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. Hopefully that'll be remedied next Valentine's Day. For the time being, though, we have all of these Jamie Dornan looks and stares. Feast your eyes upon him feasting his eyes.

Read More  »

Afghanistan War Movie The Kill Team Is an Absolutely Essential Documentary

Many of us take the phrase “war is hell” to mean getting ripped apart by bullets or seeing other soldiers maimed or killed. But there’s another sort of “war is hell” story that centers not on what’s done to us, but on what — given license to kill and a broad sense of entitlement — we’re capable of doing (or watching get done) to someone else. That’s the hell at the heart of Dan Krauss’s inconsolably moving documentary The Kill Team, an essential film no matter what your political convictions. The setting is Afghanistan, but it might be Iraq or Vietnam or anywhere with occupying forces. It might be Gaza. This map of hell is timeless, placeless.

Krauss had amazing access to the central figure, Adam Winfield, a U.S. Army private. »