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Sundance: At the Women's March, Jessica Williams Was the Leader We Were Looking For

"I am my ancestors' dream," said Jessica Williams, looking out over a huge Park City crowd. "They fought for me to be able to stand up here in the cold-ass snow in front of a bunch of white people wearing Uggs."

The crowd laughed, and shivered. The Daily Show alum Williams was speaking in the aftermath of a crowded women's march down Main Street here at the snow-pelted Sundance Film Festival, where the usual moviegoing and dealmaking has taken a backseat to the inauguration of Donald Trump. As our 45th president rails against celebrities like Meryl Streep and prepares to gut the National Endowment for the Arts — the independent federal agency that gave Robert Redford a loan that he used to start Sundance in the first place— the creative class here is notably anxious about what the future holds. Actress Maria Bello, who spoke before Williams, confessed that her post-election depression had kept her housebound for weeks. "I realized that I stayed in bed for too long, and I have never been that girl," Bello said, raising her voice. "I don't want to be that person now who stays silent."

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  • Posted 1/21/17 at 1:05 AM

Jessica Williams' Wonderful Response When Asked if She Misses The Daily Show

Jessica Williams is the star of The Incredible Jessica James, and a former Daily Show correspondent. We asked her if she missed it at the Vulture Spot at Sundance this year, and her answer was fantastic.

Kristen Stewart Makes a Mysterious Splash at Sundance With Her Directorial Debut

When you're one of the most famously scrutinized women in the world, there aren't many places you can go to get away from it all. If you sneak a bite at a restaurant, someone will tweet it. Seclude yourself at a friend's house, and TMZ might make insinuations about the two of you. Even jetting to a far-flung island on the other side of the world could hold hidden perils: Some paparazzi might lurk offshore, ready to snap a picture of you in a two-piece.

But what if, somehow, you could make it to the bottom of the ocean? Sure, breathing might be a problem, but nobody would find you there, and it's awfully quiet. Imagine the solitude!

It's no wonder, then, that Kristen Stewart found herself returning to that impossibly isolated setting. »

James Cameron is Overseeing a Resurrection of the Terminator Franchise

Despite the fact that there have been five Terminator movies, there hasn’t really been a good one since Terminator 2: Judgment Day in 1991. According to Deadline, James Cameron is looking to hand hold a new — and allegedly final — installment of his landmark franchise into existence, and he is reportedly in early talks with Deadpool director Tim Miller to helm it. Cameron had no involvement with the Terminator movies Rise of the Machines, Salvation, or Genisys, and he didn’t contribute to the Fox TV series The Sarah Connor Chronicles, either. The director sold the rights to the brand before the first movie even came out and it has changed hands various times since then, but as Deadline reports, those rights revert back to Cameron in 2019. In the meantime, producer David Ellison is funding an exploratory effort through his Skydance banner, which includes reaching out to science fiction authors for help fleshing out a story. When Cameron directs a movie, he writes it too, but it sounds like he’s assuming more of a guardian angel role this time around. If a new Terminator does rise, it would be incredibly satisfying to see an actual good movie close out the franchise, but considering how things go in Hollywood now, a successful new Terminator likely wouldn’t be the last one by a long shot.

Kristen Stewart Looks Back on Trump's Tweets About Her Robert Pattinson Split: He Was ‘Really Obsessed With Me'

The only notations next to the year 2012 in your children’s history books will be the second election of President Obama, and the end of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart’s relationship. The Twilight stars split after allegations that Stewart had started a secret relationship with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders, a scandal for which the actress made a public apology, and that caught the attention of one future president, who assertively weighed in on Twitter. “She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again--just watch,” Donald Trump declared in October 2012.

Fast forward to five years later, and Stewart is looking back on the experience with Variety. “He was mad at me a couple years ago. He was really obsessed with me a couple years ago, which is fucking crazy,” Stewart mused. “I can’t even understand it. I literally cannot even understand it. It’s such far-out concept that I don’t want to believe that actually is happening. It’s insane.” 

Of course, having the host of The Apprentice weigh in on your personal life, while rude, doesn’t carry the same heft as a world leader’s personal condemnation. “At that point, he was just, like, a reality star. I had no reference,” Stewart says about the experience. “It wasn’t like really a thing. But in retrospect, somebody reminded me of that and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, you’re right!'” Perhaps too late, Stewart then realized, "He’s probably, like, going to tweet about this." At least this time, Trump's tweets will be coming from the official POTUS Twitter account.   

New Lost City of Z Trailer: You Know, Maybe Sometimes Man's Reach Shouldn't Exceed His Grasp

Man, everybody really wants Charlie Hunnam to find this place.  In The Lost City of Z, based on David Grann's nonfiction book of the same title, Hunnam portrays Percy Fawcett, a British explorer who gets obsessed with locating a civilization deep in the Amazon in the early 1900s. While he must leave his wife Sienna Miller at home during his adventuring, she seems just as enthusiastic about his quest as his son Tom Holland, partner Robert Pattinson, and a thundering church full of applauding Brits. You'd think the blow darts, flash floods and panthers would dampen their enthusiasm a little bit, but apparently not. Watch the latest international trailer above for the film, due out in the United States on April 14, as well as the movie's first trailer below. It is your destiny.

A Dog's Purpose Writer Responds to Controversy Surrounding Alleged Animal Abuse

Two days ago, TMZ posted a video of what seems to be a distressed dog being forced to perform on the set of the movie A Dog’s Purpose. In the footage, a German Shepherd named Hercules appears to be forced into a tank of churning water despite demonstrating resistance, and once slips under water, eliciting a sudden, fearful reaction from crew members on set. As a result of video, the movie’s Saturday premiere was canceled, and some groups have called for it to be pulled entirely unless large portions of the box office proceeds were donated to animal welfare organizations. Now, the author of the book on which A Dog’s Purpose was based is speaking up to defend the production, according to Variety. W. Bruce Cameron, who also co-wrote the screenplay, is saying that the TMZ footage misrepresents what actually happened on set with Hercules on the day in question.

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Vulture’s Final Oscar-Nomination Predictions

After months of award-season campaigning and shifting fortunes, the Academy will finally announce this year's Oscar nominations next week on Tuesday, January 24. So what will make it in, and what won't? That's the topic of this week's episode of the Awards Show Show, where Vulture's Kyle Buchanan and KPCC's John Horn each make their best guesses in the eight biggest categories. Listen to their picks below and subscribe to the Awards Show Show on iTunes, or read Kyle's more extensive picks underneath, where he picks the likeliest nominees in every single category except the shorts.

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The Founder’s Director Wants You to Disagree About How Much of a Jerk Ray Kroc Is

The primary image in the advertising for The Founder has been that of Michael Keaton, as Ray Kroc, standing in front of a symbol that nearly every American can recognize: the Golden Arches, a crowning bit of '50s iconography that functions as a shorthand for McDonald's. Of course, this is a bit of a bait and switch — it presents Ray Kroc as the founder of McDonald's, just as McDonald's has for decades, even though the truth, as the movie depicts, is a little bit more complicated. Vulture caught up with John Lee Hancock, the film's director, to discuss how we're supposed to feel about Kroc, how he and Keaton fine-tuned their character, and what his film says about the American Dream.

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  • Posted 1/20/17 at 11:24 AM
  • Stunts

I Went to Woody Harrelson’s Curious Livestreamed Movie, Lost in London

On Thursday night, when I made my way to a Times Square theater to see Woody Harrelson’s livestreamed movie Lost in London, I felt myself hoping that something would go wrong. Maybe Woody would flub a few lines somewhere in the nearly two-hour set piece, which was being filmed live in a single take. Maybe a camera operator would trip, compromising the single camera that was transmitting Harrelson’s misadventures to theaters across America. Maybe one of the cars, used in the film’s smattering of chase scenes, would make a wrong turn and the project would grind to a halt, actually lost in London. Shouldn’t you want every live event to fail in at least one small, but obvious, way? It certainly makes for a better story. 

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Pharrell on Hidden Figures, Female Genius, and How He Knew Trump Would Win

"Women go through a lot, man," Pharrell said, sighing, as we met up in a recording studio late last year. He was there to discuss Hidden Figures —  on which he served as producer, songwriter, and composer (along with Hans Zimmer and Benjamin Wallfisch) — which would shortly become one of this season's box-office smash hits. An in-demand recording artist and producer, Pharrell carved out time for Hidden Figures in an effort to help elevate the untold story of three African-American women at NASA, Katherine Johnson (played by Taraji P. Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Oscar-winner Octavia Spencer) and Mary Jackson (singer-actor Janelle Monáe), whose math skills proved invaluable when it came to launching astronaut John Glenn into orbit in the 1960s. Pharrell had plenty to say about the film, but he also wanted to discuss how it plays after Donald Trump's election, a political shock he claims to have foreseen.

"The uneducated or high-school-educated white male is fearful." »

Let’s Talk About the Ending of Split

This post discusses the ending of Split in detail.

Few filmmakers working in Hollywood are more famous for their endings than M. Night Shyamalan. For better or worse, Shyamalan has built his reputation on sucker-punch endings that have audiences recalibrating the movie they've just sat through, and his new multiple-personality thriller Split is no exception. It might be too simple to call the development in the movie's final scene a "twist," but — well, to discusses it in more detail, we're going to jump to the next paragraph. Follow us, if you dare.

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Colossal Trailer: See Anne Hathaway Mind-Control a City-Destroying Monster

Anne Hathaway is a too-old-for-it-to-be-cute party girl whose life has little-to-no direction, but her whole outlook on the world is tossed upside down when she wakes up one day to realize she is psychically linked to a kaiju ripping its way through South Korea. That’s the plot of Colossal, a new sci-fi dramedy from director Nacho Vigalondo, which has been receiving strong reviews after debuting at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival. From the look of the movie's new trailer, there’s plenty of kooky stuff going on here, and the presence of Jason Sudeikis suggests the film will lean on comedy at points, but reports say Colossal also has a lot of darker elements woven throughout. Hathaway and her monstrous psychological counterpart hit theaters on April 7.

Anne Hathaway in Talks to Join Rebel Wilson in Nasty Women, the Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Remake

Not just dirtier, but nastier. Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are set to out-con one another in MGM's Dirty Rotten Scoundrels remake. The duo would take on the roles Steve Martin and Michael Caine played in the original 1988 comedy, where two swindlers — one tasteful, the other tacky — see who can con an heiress first. The new title, of course, comes from Donald Trump's characterization of Hillary Clinton. Because times are a changin', the ladies won't try to dupe an heir but a tech prodigy, according to Deadline. In the words of Joanne the Scammer: Scamming a man, let's chat later.

Silence’s Theological Adviser on the Movie’s Controversial Ending

This post discusses the ending of Silence in detail.

The priest tasked with making sure Silence got its Jesuit details right has seen The Wolf of Wall Street, and he chuckles when I bring it up. I’m sitting in Reverend James Martin’s office, in the same place where he spent about a year teaching Andrew Garfield about Jesuit prayer. Martin, the editor-at-large of the Jesuit magazine America, is devout, energetic, and open, so I’m curious to know how it felt — even as a Scorsese fan — to reckon with a director whose previous feature was full of frenetic bacchanalia. Was it weird? “Marty's been working on this movie for as long as I've been a Jesuit," the priest, who worked as the movie’s theological consultant, says. "But I was talking to Marty’s research assistant after they’d just finished working on Wolf of Wall Street, and she said ‘This is a lot more enjoyable.’ That movie is all about cocaine use!"

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I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore Trailer: Melanie Lynskey Is Tired of Assholes

Consider this: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Jane Levy, and Macon Blair have come together to make one of the Sundance-iest movies of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it’s already been snatched up by Netflix for distribution ahead of its premiere. Lynskey plays Ruth, a nursing assistant on the brink of existential collapse who's pushed over the sanity cliff after petty thieves break into her house and steal her grandmother’s silver collection. The upshot, though, is that solving the crime lights a fire under Ruth, and together with her nunchaku-wielding neighbor Tony (Wood), she sets out to find the perp to get back her belongings and regain control over her life. This is the directorial debut of Blair, who served as producer on Blue Ruin and Green Room, so it’s unsurprising that Ruth and Tony end up squaring off with a seedy band of criminals, which includes a supremely methy-looking Jane Levy. Tell your friends: I Don’t Feel at Home will stream on Netflix starting February 24.

The Founder Is an Acerbic, Uncomfortably Timely Bite of McDonald’s History

The title of the Ray Kroc biopic The Founder is mocking, acidic, a dig at the man who called himself the founder of McDonald’s but, as the movie dramatizes, founded zilch. What he actually did, of course, was no small feat. In the '50s, he took an ingeniously mechanized San Bernardino fast-food hamburger restaurant created by the McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac, and turned it into a franchising gold mine — no, make that a diamond mine. Or maybe a uranium mine, given what happened to the health of Americans.

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M. Night Shyamalan on Split, Finding the Balance Between Fear and Sentiment, and Why Horror Is So Great Right Now

Throughout the first half of M. Night Shyamalan's career, the director had a penchant for casting himself in increasingly pivotal roles: He was a stone-faced drug dealer in Unbreakable, a man plagued by guilt in Signs, and, notoriously, an author whose prose would lift humanity to a higher sense of collective purpose in Lady in the Water. Shyamalan has always had a good sense of humor, but his characters, like his movies, tended toward the grave.

That changes in his new movie Split, which sees the director pop up as a dim-witted security guard who likes chicken wings and frequently patronizes Hooters. (He's credited as "Jai, Hooters lover.") It’s the kind of self-awareness that, even in his boom years, seemed absent in Shyamalan, and one of the many signs in the film that points to a new era for the director. To be sure, the film doubles down on the core elements of the Shyamalan brand -- the Philadelphia location, a central character dealing with extraordinary trauma, emotional (and physical) metamorphosis, and, of course, a late-stage plot twist — but the author of dark fairy tales has sharpened his focus, too.

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This Clip From Netflix’s Casting JonBenét Doc Will Give You Chills

A new clip from Netflix's JonBenét Ramsey doc needs some kind of NSFW-style tag: Not Safe for People Creeped Out by Kids Asking About Child Murder? NSFPCOBKAACM? Sure. The new preview of Casting JonBenét is heavy on eerie imagery: Eight identically dressed blonde girls giggle as they run to sit in a line of chairs. Then a small blonde named Hannah steps into the frame for her audition. "Do you know who killed JonBenét Ramsey?" she asks, closing the clapperboard as the screen goes black. The documentary-narrative-feature hybrid (think Kate Plays Christine) was one of the first big acquisitions out of this year's Sundance slate, and Netflix describes the film as a "sly and stylized exploration of the world's most sensational child-murder case." 

The Power Rangers Reboot Trailer Uses a Kanye Song So You Know It’s Morphin Time

The quickest way to tip off fans that this is a cool and hip movie is to include a Kanye song, so the trailer for the Power Rangers reboot settles on an auspicious pick: "Power." This is an origin story of five teens-turned-superheroes after all — "We were all in the same place at the same time when Billy found those coins!" — so the transition from homeroom to hero needs a particularly rousing piece of music. In the reboot, five 20-somethings play the teen titans Red Ranger, Pink Ranger, Blue Ranger, Yellow Ranger, and Black Ranger, helped out by a spunky robot voiced by Bill Hader. They're tasked by their ancient alien mentor Zordon (Brian Cranston) to protect the Earth. The baddie here is good-ranger-gone-bad Rita Repulsa (Elizabeth Banks, wielding a scepter that looks like a discarded illustration from Michael Jackson's Dangerous album cover), who has the gilded villain named Goldar at her disposal. No one man should have all that power ... so see the rangers split it among five stars when Power Rangers is released March 24.