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  • Posted 8/17/17 at 5:16 PM
  • Obi-wan

What, Exactly, Would a Stephen Daldry Obi-Wan Movie Look Like?

After all of the drama over the young Han Solo movie, Disney has decided to double down on Star Wars spinoffs and is planning a film about Obi-Wan Kenobi. On one level, that’s a fairly obvious idea. Along with Boba Fett, another character The Hollywood Reporter says might be the subject of a potential spinoff, Obi-Wan has long seemed like a go-to choice for a stand-alone movie. The question, however, is how Stephen Daldry, a three-time Oscar nominee known for staid and serious dramas like Billy Elliot, The Hours, and The Reader got involved in talks to direct the film. Is Netflix not paying him enough for executive producing The Crown? Was Trash really that bad? Is this in some way related to him directing Wicked? (I mean, no, that movie is never going to happen.)

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  • Posted 8/17/17 at 4:55 PM

Glenn Close to Star in Paramount’s Sunset Boulevard Musical Movie

Great news, all you wonderful people out there in the dark. The Wrap reports that Glenn Close is set to star as Norma Desmond in Paramount’s film adaptation of the Sunset Boulevard musical, a part she originated in the show’s initial Broadway iteration in 1994. Close reprised the role in the musical’s revival, which just closed in June. Paramount is, of course, both the studio heavily referenced in the 1950 film, as well as the studio that distributed it. The Wrap also claims Ryan Murphy has been rumored to direct, but “a representative for Murphy flatly denied his involvement at this time.” If he’s not available, they should try and get that Mr. DeMille guy we keep hearing about.

These Australians Are Here to Scare the Hell Out of You

The Babadook, 2014’s surprising horror breakout from Australian director Jennifer Kent, wasn’t a fluke. Australia’s long had a brand of horror uniquely its own, producing masterworks of the violent, the surreal, and the just-plain-insane, with movies like Picnic at Hanging Rock, Wolf Creek, Wake in Fright, Patrick, The Last Wave, The Snowtown Murders, and Wyrmwood trafficking in exuberant brutality and psychological terror — oftentimes with a sick sense of humor.

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  • Posted 8/17/17 at 4:21 PM

Logan Lucky Is a Delightful Trick of a Film That Reverses Expectations at Every Turn

He’s in, he’s out, he’s in again! Not so long ago, Steven Soderbergh announced his retirement from making movies, but he’s the director least likely to ever put down a camera for long. It’s through his camera that he makes sense of the world, often in the conviction (most obvious in his debut, sex, lies, and videotape, but dramatized in other films) that our mediated reality dehumanizes us. To cap it off, he feels the need to wield the camera himself (usually under the name “Peter Andrews”) in evident distrust of anyone else’s mechanical eye. (To cap off the cap, he needs to edit what he shoots.) It’s easy to see how such a controlling vantage could leave him exhausted. But it’s easier to see how disoriented he’d be without recourse to it.

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The Next Star Wars Spin-Off Movie Will Reportedly Be About Obi-Wan Kenobi

The bigwigs behind the ever-expanding Star Wars universe are lining up their next project. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the next saga spinoff will be a solo story for your original Jedi father figure, Obi-Wan Kenobi. There is apparently no script yet, but Stephen Daldry is reportedly in very early talks to direct. Daldry is an Oscar nominee best known for highly emotional dramas like The Hours, The Reader, and Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close. Most recently he’s directed episodes of The Crown and is attached to a screen adaptation of Wicked.

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  • Posted 8/17/17 at 2:55 PM

Lakeith Stanfield Faces a Hostile Jury in Exclusive Crown Heights Clip

In Crown Heights, Lakeith Stanfield plays Colin Warner, an 18-year-old Brooklyn resident wrongfully convicted of murder who is sentenced to life in prison for the crime. While he’s locked up, his friend Carl “KC” King takes up the cause of justice and fights for years — taking out loans and getting a job as a legal courier to study the court system — to help Warner get his life back. In this clip, we see Warner and his loved ones reacting as the jury reads the verdict aloud in court. Crown Heights hits theaters on August 25.

  • Posted 8/17/17 at 2:08 PM

Crown Heights Will Floor You With the Facts of Its Incredible True Story

Crown Heights is based painstakingly on true-life events, but if you’re not familiar with them before watching the film, then it plays out a lot like a particularly maddening mystery. We see events almost exclusively through the eyes of its two leads, and the injustices surrounding them are so grossly unfair that, in search of sanity, one starts flipping through a list of increasingly improbable reasons behind them: a scorned lover? Some kind of pre-internet analog identity theft? A witch’s curse? Due to the nonfictional nature of the film, I don’t feel terribly bad about spoiling it, but I imagine it’s easy to guess: There is no grand conspiracy, aside from America’s broken legal system.

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  • Posted 8/16/17 at 10:20 PM

Chinese Filmmaker Wang Quan’an’s Next Political Thriller Will Be About Trump’s Border Wall

While details are hazy on how President Trump will secure the funds to build his promised border wall between America and Mexico, his dream might actually become a reality in La La Land. According to The Hollywood Reporter, award-winning Chinese film auteur Wang Quan’an has signed on to write and direct American Wall. The political thriller will reportedly follow an architect who is driven to design the infamous 40-foot-tall wall that might actually be a fence. The particularly timely movie, referred to as a “tale of greed, vengeance, sex and ambition,” will by Quan’an’s first English-language picture and will film in New York and Berlin. It is also said to be seeking a “high-profile” U.S. actor for the role. What’s Mark Ruffalo up to these days?

  • Posted 8/16/17 at 6:23 PM

Hallucinate Your Way Through the First Gemini Trailer

The movie Gemini premiered at SXSW earlier this year, and the early reviews have been very strong. It’s a murder mystery starring Lola Kirke as the devoted friend and personal assistant of a beautiful Hollywood star, played by Zoë Kravitz. Based on the trailer, it looks like Kravitz might be the one who ends up dead, but it’s all very dreamy and vague. Speaking of dreamy: John Cho co-stars as a hard-nosed cop trying to get to the truth, and an indeterminate number of wigs are also present on the head of Kirke, providing what might be the film’s strongest supporting presence. It looks like neo-noir and a boulevard full of broken dreams.

  • Posted 8/16/17 at 1:24 PM

Edgar Wright on Baby Driver Blowing Past $100 Million, Making Original Movies, and Baby Driver 2

Film fans and critics have long counted Edgar Wright as one of Hollywood’s most exciting directors, and it looks like everybody else has finally caught on. Over the weekend, Wright’s high-octane action film Baby Driver passed $100 million at the U.S. box office, the first of Wright’s movies to hit that box-office benchmark. “You know things are going well,” he told Vulture, “when you get congratulatory emails from people you’ve never met.”

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  • Posted 8/16/17 at 12:56 PM

Lemon Is Not the Flailing-White-Male Sundance Comedy You Think It Is

You’d certainly be forgiven for overlooking Lemon in whatever lineup of Quirky Indie Comedies With Dysfunctional Male Leads recommendation list it winds up in on Netflix. The premise on paper feels utterly unremarkable: An out-of-work actor, pushing 40, begins to realize his life is a failure. Commence awkward flailing. But if you are familiar with the work of writer-director Janicza Bravo, who, in addition to multiple shorts, has the beloved “Juneteenth” episode of Atlanta under her belt, then you know that there will be nothing shambling about her debut feature film. Through her work with actors like Brett Gelman (her frequent collaborator and Lemon co-writer, as well as her husband) and Michael Cera, Bravo has become both a keen observer of the absurdities of American racial divides and an unlikely voice of broken white masculinity. Her debut feature is abundant proof that she is capable of turning garden-variety awkwardness into baroque exercises in squirm.

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St. Vincent’s Annie Clark to Direct Dorian Grey Adaptation With Female Lead

St. Vincent is sliding back into the director’s chair. (We know, we know, we’re still waiting on her new album, too.) Annie Clark has been announced as the director of Lionsgate’s female-led adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s 1890 novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Per Variety: “The studio is putting a twist on the classic Victorian age story of a hedonistic man whose self-portrait ages while he stays eternally young. In this project, the title character will be a woman.” Clark previously directed a short titled Birthday Party, which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as part of the XX horror anthology. David Birke, who wrote last year’s Elle, will write the script for Dorian Gray. Now, can we start fan-casting?

Ben Affleck Won’t Be Batman Again, According to Casey Affleck, Who Really Shouldn’t Have Said Anything

Ben Affleck has been putting so much work into assuring us that he’ll be back to play Batman. In classic little-brother fashion, however, Casey Affleck might have just leaked the news that Batfleck will end with Justice League. When Casey appeared on WEEI’s “Dale & Holley With Keefe” radio program to talk about throwing the first pitch at Fenway Park, the hosts praised Ben’s Batman performance, and asked if he’d be back. Instead of coyly demurring — or even just saying he didn’t know — Casey said that Bafleck wouldn’t be back, then awkwardly backpedaled. “Um … I thought he was an okay Batman. As far as … Nah, he was great,” Casey joked. “He’s a hero, so he had something to channel and work with there. But he’s not going to do that movie, I don’t think.” Oof! Ignoring all the signs, the hosts seemed to be shocked, then Casey tries to clean it up: “Is that breaking news? I was kind of making that up?” Oh, to be in the Ben–Casey–Matt Damon group text right now.

Every Steven Soderbergh Movie, Ranked from Worst to Best

Perhaps the most fascinating thing about Steven Soderbergh’s nearly 30-year film career is that he’s a genius without a masterpiece. He’s made some fantastic movies, and he’s never made anything dull, but he’s also always so concerned with reinvention and experimentation that he’s never made the sort of go-for-broke, career-defining work you’d expect from such an ambitious filmmaker. He’s a director who never makes anything terrible – he could shoot a coffee table for two hours and make it interesting – but always seems to hold a little bit of himself in remove. He’s brilliant, but contained.

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Justin Simien To Direct Horror Satire Called Bad Hair That’s About Evil Autonomous Hair

Justin Simien is best known for writing, directing, and creating both the movie and TV series Dear White People. But for his next project, he will take his talents as a satirist to the horror genre with Bad Hair. As Deadline reports, the movie will be set in 1989 and focus on a young woman looking to climb the ladder in the high-pressure, image-obsessed world of music television. To get the right look, she springs for a brand-new weave, which could end up doing more harm than good when she realizes the hair might have its own agenda. Simien told Deadline, “This will be both a love letter to black women and a critique of the cultural forces our society puts them through.” It also sounds like Idle Hands but with social commentary, which can only mean a great time.

  • Posted 8/15/17 at 6:05 PM

Showtime Reportedly Making a Documentary About What It’s Like Working at Trump’s Least Favorite Paper of Record

Showtime reportedly has a documentary coming out about the New York Times that is so timely, it might even be outdated by the time it airs. Since Inauguration Day, filmmaker Liz Garbus has been embedded with the paper, chronicling its operations in the tumultuous age of Donald Trump, who’s been none too fond of the Times during his administration. The working title right now is The Fourth Estate, which is the same name as a 2015 documentary about phone hacking in the U.K., and should not be confused with The Fifth Estate from 2013, starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange. CNN reported about the new film, but Showtime provide no further information regarding a premiere date. Garbus, who has previously directed Nothing Left Unsaid: Gloria Vanderbilt & Anderson Cooper and What Happened, Miss Simone?, has apparently been shadowing journalists in Washington, D.C., and New York, and in addition to exploring political coverage, it will also get into how the paper has built up its digital operations. But the Trump stuff will probably be the part you want to know all about.

  • Posted 8/15/17 at 4:40 PM

Five Easy Steps to Making a Better Horror Sequel

Fans of horror movies have dug their own (… excuse me) graves when it comes to the glut of the Passable Horror Sequel. We’ll show up to the theater no matter what, which means we’re given half-assed attempts at brand extension like Psycho 4: The Beginning and Friday the 13th Part VII: Jason Takes Manhattan. So it’s long been something of an unspoken, unchallenged fact: Horror franchises get progressively worse with each subsequent installment. But two recent horror sequels, 2016’s Ouija: Origin of Evil and this weekend’s Annabelle: Creation, have defied expectations by being — if you can imagine it — even better than their predecessors.

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Only Beyoncé Could Inspire Samuel L. Jackson to Wear Tinsel Hair in Brie Larson’s Directorial Debut

As if you needed more proof that Beyoncé’s cultural influence is transcendental, inescapable by all those living or dead, Brie Larson dropped a nugget of info on how Queen Bey left a mark on her upcoming directorial debut Unicorn Store, which will premiere at the TIFF next month. In an interview with Variety, Larson described not only how her Kong co-star Samuel L. Jackson got to be in her film but also how he looked to Beyoncé for inspiration with his appearance:

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  • Posted 8/15/17 at 1:12 PM

Louis C.K.’s Secret Movie I Love You Daddy to Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival

The Toronto International Film Festival is just a few weeks away, and more premieres have been announced. One of this year’s biggest surprises comes as a literal surprise: I Love You Daddy, directed by and starring Louis C.K., was shot on the down low in New York earlier this year, and is about a successful TV writer and producer (C.K., naturally) and his relationship with his daughter (Chloë Grace Moretz). C.K. filmed in 35 mm, and the movie will be presented in black and white. More TIFF entries were announced today as well, including the Kennedy drama Chappaquiddick, starring Jason Clarke; Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game, starring Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba; the period piece On Chesil Beach, which will be Saoirse Ronan’s first film since 2015’s Brooklyn; and Unicorn Store, featuring Brie Larson as both star and director in her first turn behind the camera. The festival kicks off on September 7 with the opening-night film Borg/McEnroe.

  • Posted 8/15/17 at 12:22 PM
  • Crushes

Why I’d Swipe Right on O’Shea Jackson Jr. in Ingrid Goes West

Be forewarned: You’ll leave Ingrid Goes West wanting to swipe right on O’Shea Jackson Jr.’s Dan Pinto. Or at least I did. As a single woman living in New York City, where too many single guys think Williamsburg is adventurous, I firmly believe that Dan — Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza’s) Batman-loving landlord turned love interest — represents the platonic ideal of both a cinematic and actual boyfriend. Dan is charismatic, chill — he vapes! — and lovable, the type of guy you can’t wait to introduce to all your friends so that they can all vape with him. It helps, too, that Jackson delivers a warm, funny performance that takes Dan far beyond the stereotypical boneheaded boyfriend of romantic dramedies past. Here’s why I would literally date Dan, even though he is a fictional character who, fictionally, lives across the country. It’s fine.

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