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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Is Only Woke About the Need to Be Woke

“In the United States, sororities aren’t allowed to throw parties in their own houses. Only frats can … Google it," sorority president Selena Gomez tells a room full of pledges at the beginning of Neighbors 2. It’s the kind of cringe-y line that instantly shows that this movie is going to talk about sexist double standards and, oh, probably hit you over the head with that theme. The film is trying to be "woke," but it also carries much of the baggage associated with that word at this point in 2016. In broad strokes it can feel loudly and proudly progressive, but when you drill down it’s not really saying anything new or exciting. 


We’re Finally Getting a Mars Rom-Com With The Space Between Us

In case you thought The Martian was lacking in the romance department, The Space Between Us is here to fill that charming interplanetary void. The first person born on Mars following a successful colonization, a teenage boy (Asa Butterfield) chooses to return to Earth years later for a relatively conventional upbringing, only to escape his scientist handlers (Gary Oldman!) in simultaneous pursuit of a girl (Britt Robertson) he began an online friendship with, and to chase clues about his unknown father. (We're going to go out on a limb here and say it's Gary Oldman.) The only problem with this daring escapade? His organs are beginning to fail owing to the Earth's atmosphere. Holy Phobos and Deimos, what a twist! It'll be hitting Earth's theaters August 19.

Colin Farrell on Suffering, Awkwardness, and His New Satire, The Lobster

The genius of The Lobster, the English-language debut of Greek writer-director Yorgos Lanthimos — whose 2009 wonder Dogtooth was the first Greek movie since 1977 to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film — is that it does not make the assumption that fuels every rom-com and love story known to man: that we can choose how we find love. 


Francis Ford Coppola Is Going to Publish the Glorious Behemoth That Is His Godfather Notebook

Touting the "publishing sensation of the year for every film fan," Regan Arts announced Tuesday that Francis Ford Coppola is reproducing his famous Godfather notebook for public consumption. “This notebook was my private work reference to The Godfather film, and after many years, I’m excited to share it with those who may be interested," the director said in a statement. The book includes initial impressions of Mario Puzo's novel of the same name, as well as ideas that would inform Coppola's creative process during production. It is also roughly 720 pages. Check out the beautiful anvil cinematic treasure in action:


Mike Myers Is Making His Return to the Big Screen With a Noir Thriller

Funnyman Mike Myers has been notably absent from Hollywood in the past few years his last non-animated feature film was a small role in 2009's Inglourious Basterds but now he's making his return in a decisively non-funnyman fashion. Myers has joined the likes of Margot Robbie, Max Irons, Dexter Fletcher, and Simon Pegg for the film Terminal in a not-yet-announced supporting role. As first reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the noir thriller chronicles the story of two hit men (Fletcher and Irons) who embark on a borderline suicide mission for a mysterious employer and a high paycheck. Along the way, the unlikely pair come across a dynamic woman (Robbie) who may be more involved than they had originally suspected. Chances of Myers hollering "yeah, baby, yeah" in the film are slim to none.

  • Posted 5/24/16 at 3:03 PM
  • Obits

Movie-Theater Roller Coaster Animator John McLaughin Dead at 46

Animator John McLaughlin, best known for creating the CGI roller-coaster ride with the perfectly timed popcorn explosion that played before films in the Regal chain of cinemas, has died at the age of 46, The Oregonian reports. McLaughlin started his animation career shortly after his graduation from the California Institute of the Arts, spending time at LucasArts Entertainment and Tippett Studio before making the jump to DreamWorks, where he spent the bulk of his professional life. As a professional animator, his work appeared in Shark Tale, Over the Hedge, and the Kung Fu Panda films. The roller-coaster animation ran in Regal theaters from the mid-'90s until 2004 and was brought back with revamped CGI in 2010; according to McLaughlin's obituary, it was "one of his favorite personal projects." He is survived by his wife and two sons.

  • Posted 5/24/16 at 12:58 PM
  • R.i.p.

Burt Kwouk, Best Known as Cato From the Pink Panther Films, Dead at 85

Raise your glass and add some Henry Mancini to your playlist today. Burt Kwouk, who played the role of Inspector Clouseau's dedicated manservant and martial-arts expert Cato Fong in the Pink Panther film series, has died at the age of 85. Appearing in seven Pink Panther films from 1963 to 1993 alongside Peter Sellers, Roger Moore, and Roberto Benigni Kwouk's Cato was memorably tasked with acting as an assailant who unexpectedly attacked Clouseau at inconvenient times throughout the day as a way to always keep his master alert and sharp. (Clouseau, though, would often prove victorious with a final post-fight punch.) Besides Panther, Kwouk had a solid film and television career, appearing in titles such as Goldfinger, Tenko, Doctor Who, Last of the Summer Wine, and The Harry Hill Show. His contributions to the arts netted him an OBE in 2011, which was presented by Prince Charles. "Beloved actor Burt Kwouk has sadly passed peacefully away," said a statement obtained by BBC News. "The family will be having a private funeral but there will be a memorial at a later date."

The New Finding Dory Trailer Promises Friends, Family, and a Big Scary Squid

Ellen DeGeneres's affable and oblivious Dory stole your heart 13 years ago in Finding Nemo with her mantra "just keep swimming," and quickly appeared, as a plush toy, on the bed of every child in America. Fans have been clamoring (get it?) for a sequel to the underwater adventure for years, and on June 17 we're finally getting Finding Dory. The new trailer shows off the new characters (Ed O'Neill as a grumpy octopus, Idris Elba and Dominic West as lazy sea lions, and Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy as Dory's parents), plus the old characters you love (Albert Brooks's sapient clown fish, Hayden Rolence taking over for a now-adult Alexander Gould as Nemo, and that surfer turtle guy). It basically looks like the first movie, but with better animation and the memory of Blackfish lingering like so much flotsam. You can watch the first two trailers here, and listen to Sia's song "Unforgettable" (get it?) here.

  • Posted 5/24/16 at 9:38 AM
  • Sequels

John Carpenter Says the Next Halloween Sequel Will Be ‘the Scariest of Them All’

There’s going to be a new Halloween film, and the tagline might go something like "Halloween, the Night He Came Home" "he" being John Carpenter, director of the original Halloween, and "home" being the film franchise. Carpenter is returning to the series he created, acting as an executive-producer on the Trancas/Blumhouse–produced tenth film, the first since Rob Zombie’s oneiric Halloween II in 2009. (Zombie’s 2007 remake of Carpenter’s original remains the series’ highest-grossing entry, with 80.2 million blood-stained dollars; Zombie's second film made less than half that.) In a statement, Carpenter said, “Thirty-eight years after the original Halloween I’m going to help to try to make the 10th sequel the scariest of them all.” Note that this is actually the ninth sequel, since there are ten films total in the franchise. Anyway, cue the synths.

  • Posted 5/23/16 at 3:21 PM

Ethan Hawke on How River Phoenix Inspired a Chapter in His Children’s Book

Who knew Ethan Hawke had an aversion to rules? Speaking to New York Magazine film critic David Edelstein Sunday as part of Vulture Festival, the acclaimed actor confessed that he once was “allergic” to them. Which is precisely why he ended up writing the book Rules for a Knight for his four children. It all started when Hawke had trouble introducing some house rules at home. "I was daydreaming about this knight who would tell his kids how to be a knight and these would be the principles. I would get irritated with my wife … bedtime is at 8:30, let’s make that a rule. No! Let’s talk about the importance of getting good sleep [instead].”


Priyanka Chopra Knows You Want Her to Be a Bond Girl, But ‘F*ck That,’ She’d Rather Play James Bond

Forget Idris Elba, forget Tom Hiddleston. The name is Bond ... Priyanka Bond. Or at least it could be if Priyanka Chopra actually gets her wish and becomes the next James Bond. In a new cover story for Complex, she says that while it's great that fans want her to play a Bond girl, she has other ideas: "Fuck that — I wanna be Bond." In fact, Chopra already gender-swapped one role in Baywatch, telling Complex that the villain she's playing was originally supposed to be a man. "Another barrier broken," she says. But she'll have some tough competition to be the first female Bond. Over the weekend, Gillian Anderson responded to a fan-made campaign pushing for her to become the next Bond, tweeting: "It's Bond. Jane Bond." Both women would be breaking new ground, but for Chopra, it'd inevitably represent something much bigger.


Extended Independence Day: Resurgence Trailer: Definitely Bigger Than the Last One

Ah, Independence Day, where we give thanks for our freedom and also for true American hero Jeff Goldblum. Do you not give thanks for Jeff Goldblum? Is this a regional thing? Anyway, the extended trailer for Independence Day: Resurgence, the long-gestating sequel to Roland Emmerich's mammoth 1996 blockbuster about Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith fighting aliens, is here. And so are the aliens, only, y'know, bigger. Goldblum returns, sans Smith, alongside Judd Hirsch, Bill Pullman, and Vivica A. Fox. They're joined by Liam Hemsworth, Brent Spiner, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Jessie Usher, Maika Monroe, and Sela Ward. Watch the latest spot above, and get a little more context (as if Independence Day needs context) in the previous trailers below. Independence Day: Resurgence crashes into theaters like an alien mothership on June 24, 2016.

Captain America Makes a Billion American Dollars Worldwide and Zac Efron’s Abs Sell Many Tickets, Too

In life, there are three guarantees: Death, taxes, and any movie produced by the Marvel Cinematic Universe machine making a whole lotta money. Contra that impressive Rotten Tomatoes score (which is, as always, misleading and culled from an arbitrarily chosen group of critics and bloggers), Captain America: Civil War has divided moviegoers into two factions (though everyone agrees that the Arrested Development Easter egg at the end was solid like a rock), and yet the critical response hardly matters. The movie pulverized the worldwide box office, again, topping $1 billion after just 24 days in theaters. It's now the fourth-highest grossing Marvel movie, and the fourth to make $1 billion, and the 19th-highest grossing movie of all-time. It brought in $33.1 million domestically this weekend, just behind Angry Birds' $39 million, which is funny, because Angry Birds is based on a smart phone video game franchise and Hollywood is really struggling for ideas.


  • Posted 5/22/16 at 4:10 PM
  • Cannes

Here Are the Cannes 2016 Award Winners

Cannes is the world’s preeminent film festival, and moviegoers, particularly critics, can get really perfervid (and sometimes hostile) about which films they think deserve which awards — or don’t deserve awards, even. Last year, the jury, led by Joel and Ethan Coen, awarded Dheepan the festival’s top prize, to a resounding hiss of vexation from pretty much everyone; this year, the dichotomy between jury and moviegoers was arguably even more jarring. Critics seemed to almost universally want the top prize to go to one of the two female filmmakers, Andrea Arnold (American Honey) and Maren Ade (Toni Erdmann). The jury, headed by Mad Max: Fury Road maestro George Miller, included Hannibal star Mads Mikkelsen (who won Best Actor in 2012 for The Hunt), Arnaud Desplechin (who won the SACD Prize last year for My Golden Days), Kirsten Dunst (Best Actress for Melancholia), László Nemes (Grand Prix last year for Son of Saul), Vanessa Paradis, Katayoon Shahabi, and Donald Sutherland. Miller called his jury “intelligent, fierce, and beautiful” at the press conference, and when expounding on the jury’s choices said they didn’t read reviews: “We avoided looking at what other people were saying." Isabelle Huppert was the front-runner for Best Actress for her turn in Paul Verhoeven's twisted rape comedy Elle, while Sean Penn's panned The Last Face was the front-runner for most-hated movie of the festival. Check out the winners below.


Seth Rogen and Zac Efron’s Muscles Fight Zombies in Neighbors 3: Zombies Rising

Seth Rogen and meat-glazed thirst trap Zac Efron have an idea for a movie: There's a zombie, tied to a chair, and Rogen is going to kill its brains with a huge sword he stole from a Renaissance Faire, but Efron, whose muscles are barely contained by a standard T-shirt, notices that the zombie is one of his frat bros and tells Rogen they can't kill the zombie. "When you're brothers, it's forever!" The movie is called Neighbors 3: Zombies Rising. Good idea, right? Mmm. Baywatch bae Efron isn't the only one who has sand in his mouth, ’cause suddenly we're really #thirsty.

Lada Gaga Makes an Unlikely Appearance in Laura Poitras’s New Julian Assange Documentary

If you’re not from England, where Julian Assange has spent five years in London’s Ecuadorian embassy, you might not be aware that in October 2012 Lady Gaga became one of a long line of celebrities to visit the WikiLeaks founder and de facto political prisoner there. Assange cannot leave the building for fear of extradition to Sweden to face rape charges, and then extradition from Sweden to the U.S. for a possible espionage trial. Plenty of celebrities, though, have come to him, including fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard, John Cusack, and Pamela Anderson. Gaga’s well-documented visit, indeed, was at the behest of rapper M.I.A., who'd tweeted to Gaga, “im there. ill bring TEA and CAKE,” but it’s still a shock to see her pop up in Assange’s Spartan room, in a black witch’s outfit, two-thirds of the way through Laura Poitras’s new documentary Risk, which debuted at Cannes this week.


  • Posted 5/21/16 at 8:36 AM

New Star Trek Beyond Trailer: Fear of Death Is What Keeps Us Alive

Well, that's one way to make everyone forget Star Trek Into Darkness. The first trailer for the Justin Lin–directed, Simon Pegg–penned Star Trek Beyond is above, and it throws away the Inception-horn bombast of most blockbuster trailers, replacing it with the Beastie Boys' "Sabotage." That's not a very Star Trek choice, but it is a very Justin Lin one. And in the new trailer, below, we see the Enterprise being torn apart by an onslaught of menacing alien attackers. Because of what happened last time, there's still not a whole lot about Idris Elba's villain here, except the reveal that his role apparently continues the series' proud tradition of casting famous actors and then making them unrecognizable with weird makeup. The film will be out July 22.

We Might Be Getting a Live-Action Fruit Ninja Movie, and Losing So Many Innocent Watermelons

There are five basic stories: Man versus man, man versus nature, man versus society, man versus self, and man versus fruit. Tripp Vinson and his Vinson Films production company have announced plans to turn Fruit Ninja, the immensely popular mobile game about a ninja's crusade against produce, into a "live-action family comedy." J.P. Lavin and Chad Damiani are writing the script, which, given that pitch, is either about a family of ninjas or a family of fruit. The Angry Birds movie hits theaters this weekend. What's next, Tetris?

Maggie’s Plan Is an Enjoyably Silly Fantasy

As the 30-something title character in Rebecca Miller’s lively comedy Maggie’s Plan, that darling of American indie cinema Greta Gerwig dithers and rolls her eyes and clomps around in hideous overaged-schoolgirl outfits: She forces me to exhume that most gruesome of adjectives, adorkable. The problem, though, is not so much her performance. She is charming. She is — damn it — adorkable. But she’s just too... Greta Gerwig-ish. The familiarity of her shtick robs Maggie of uniqueness, at least in the film’s wobbly first third, when we can’t tell if the heroine is supposed to be this much of a flake.


Movie Review: The Nice Guys Is a Loose, Fun Buddy-Cop Movie Like They Used to Make

Twenty or 30 years ago, the multiplexes were lousy with mismatched-buddy-cop action comedies, and they’re still around — except the bickering buddy cops now have superpowers and no one ever really dies. That’s why Shane Black’s '70s L.A. noir The Nice Guys feels fresh, even when it isn’t. Its loose, shambling rhythms and lack of whoosh make it seem grounded, and its A-list stars, Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, look as if they’re having a good time. (If they aren’t, they know to pretend they are. Mismatched buddy cops should always seem a bit in love.) And characters do die, horribly. There’s something cruel and unresolved in Black’s work, even at its most ingratiating. The threat of violence against women is pervasive. The threat of violence against men who commit violence against women is even more intense.

The Nice Guys has a nice feel: just slick enough to keep from falling apart, just brutal enough to keep from seeming inconsequential. »