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  • Posted 8/1/15 at 5:35 PM
  • Movies

Simon Pegg Ranks the Star Wars Movies

Speaking with MTV, Simon Pegg (looking super trendy with his thick-frame glasses and rolled-up shirt sleeves) was given one minute to rank the six Star Wars films. Though he has only ten seconds to justify each film (he speaks really quickly), Pegg expounds on his decision to rank Revenge as the best of the hated prequels: "It had at least some connection to the first three films, which saved it for me, even though it was another … uh … mess."

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  • Posted 8/1/15 at 2:17 PM
  • Movies

So, Channing Tatum Is Officially Gambit Now

Rumors of Channing Tatum’s departure from Gambit have been greatly exaggerated, it turns out: The Magic Mike XXL star will definitely, totally, officially portray the Cajun superhero in Rupert Wyatt’s upcoming film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Roddy Piper’s Anti-Epic Fight Scene in They Live

Nearly an hour into John Carpenter’s They Live (1988), the gum-chewing, ass-kicking Roddy Piper engages Keith David in one of the most ridiculous bouts of fisticuffs in movie history. The fight lasts for six minutes and purportedly serves no purpose; its incomprehensible duration is the joke, and in lieu of a punch line, Carpenter gives us punches. Lots of punches. It is, as philosopher and cultural critic Slavoj Žižek puts it, totally irrational, and totally brilliant.

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Best of Enemies Is the Saddest Film of the Year

You might see a film about William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal’s ten televised debates during the 1968 presidential conventions as an opportunity to bask in eloquent, pointed repartee. You might also enjoy the spectacle of two of the foremost intellectuals of their time coming very close to physically beating the crap out of each other. You might not expect, however, to find yourself weeping — for the state of the republic and the poisoned media landscape, for the decay of the American social contract. Yet here we are. Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville’s masterful Best of Enemies leaves you with an overwhelming sense of despair. It’s not just a great documentary, it’s a vital one. 

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  • Posted 7/31/15 at 3:26 PM
  • Video

Watch Katherine Heigl Tearfully Come Out As a Lesbian in This Jenny’s Wedding Clip

You might never have thought to pair TV veterans Katherine Heigl and Alexis Bledel as big-screen love interests, and you're not alone: In the new movie Jenny's Wedding (out today), Heigl's family has no idea she's even a lesbian, even though she's been living with Bledel for years. Even though Heigl senses that it's time to come out to her family and come clean about the girlfriend she now wants to marry, to judge from this exclusive clip, it's not going to be easy. Watch as she breaks the news to her mom (Linda Emond), who takes the truth bomb tearfully and, instead of offering support, has only a painful accusation.

Roland Emmerich Discusses His Gay-Rights Drama Stonewall and Debuts the Exclusive Poster

As the action-movie auteur behind films like Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, and White House Down, Roland Emmerich tends to spend his days on set managing explosions and working with tricky special effects. But when Emmerich recently changed gears to make the intimate, low-budget gay-rights drama Stonewall, he found himself faced with a whole new set of problems. "It was a huge challenge to make this movie, and if I had not absolutely wanted it, it would not have happened," he told Vulture this week.

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J.J. Abrams Literally Broke His Back for You, Star Wars Fans

Last night on The Daily Show, J.J. "Don't Call Me Jar Jar Abrams, Please, Seriously, Guys, Please" Abrams told the story of when a space-door fell on Harrison Ford while shooting a scene for Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (practical effects, baby!) and he rushed over to try and save the day. Abrams, who was not hired for his ability to lift things, broke his back in the process. There you go, Star Wars fans. He's given all he could give. What else do you want? Do you want your opening-day midnight screening ticket to come with a vial of his blood, sweat, and tears? Because he'll do it, but you're gross for asking.

The End of the Tour Is Like Spending Two Hours With David Foster Wallace

The tour in The End of the Tour is David Foster Wallace’s 1996 multicity promotion for his epic novel Infinite Jest, a fractured portrait of a manic culture and the biting loneliness at its heart. The movie, directed by James Ponsoldt from a script by the playwright Donald Margulies, depicts what happens when Wallace (Jason Segel) becomes a cog in the machine he’s attempting to deconstruct. He’s seen through the eyes of the writer David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg), who tags along to the last city, Minneapolis, for a Rolling Stone profile. Lipsky has just published his own novel to resounding crickets, and he oscillates between jealousy of Wallace’s sudden celebrity and a desire to live vicariously through it — to know what it’s like to be a literary sensation. Wallace, meanwhile, is visibly uncomfortable with his stardom, partly because he doesn’t want to be seen as comfortable with it and partly because he’s afraid he’ll be weakened by it existentially. He’s especially frightened of being on TV, which riveted him as a child and instilled in him the conviction that mainstream culture is evolving into an ever more efficient drug. He does, however, admit that he’d like to get laid more easily.

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Montage of Heck Has Added Another New Kurt Cobain Song

Fans of Kurt Cobain will have the chance to hear another as-till-now-unreleased demo if they go see Montage of Heck in theaters next week. Billboard reports that filmmaker Brett Morgen added the song (probably circa 1991) to the film's soundtrack without compromising anything from the iteration that debuted on HBO; the new track is supposed to have Cobain showing off his falsetto. Billboard had a chance to preview the song and said it reminded them a little bit of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson, but with slightly darker lyrics ("Wonder how I breathe" and "I'm a bad man," for example). Makes sense. Morgen didn't share where the untitled song pops up in the theatrical cut because he doesn't want people to bootleg it — so, yep, you'll probably have to go to find out. The movie, which has been nominated for seven Emmys and already has a slew of other recently unearthed demos and song snippets, hits theaters August 7 (check here for locations).

Sean Penn and Charlize Theron Are Living Out Your Worst Breakup Fears

Sean Penn and Charlize Theron started dating in late 2013, got engaged in 2014, and broke up last month after she reportedly ghosted the hell out of him. Now they've reunited for reshoots on the Penn-directed, Theron-starring The Last Face, which means both of them are forced to spend uncomfortably long hours literally reenacting things they once did together as a happy couple. Look at their faces: This is the darkest breakup time line.

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation Accomplishes Its Task, Just Not Always That Well

Although the 53-year-old Tom Cruise’s biceps are impressive and his Six Million Dollar Tin Man running style as endearing as ever, the best reason to see Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation is Rebecca Ferguson, a Swedish-born actress passing easily as a British spy named Ilsa. The character is either a double (good) or triple (bad) agent — but it's the type of bad that would make most of us want to switch our allegiances in a heartbeat. Actually, Ferguson’s mom is a Brit, which would account for the slight smirk that suggests naughty secrets on an otherwise coolly beautiful face, as well as the kitty-cat purr that makes routine lines sound as insouciant as Emma Peel. Ferguson is a scary-good fighter, too. One minute she’s still, the next she has wrapped her strong limbs around some scummy thug and is pounding away. She fights like someone who thinks more about winning than striking poses.

Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation doesn’t have the nonsensical lyricism of Brad Bird’s stupendous Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol, but it’s still pretty good. »

  • Posted 7/30/15 at 4:52 PM
  • That D

Everything You Need to Know About Chris Hemsworth’s Prosthetic Penis in Vacation

In Thor, Chris Hemsworth wields a mighty hammer, but in the new reboot of Vacation, he's swinging something considerably more obscene (but just as potent): a giant dick. The member in question comes into play at the movie's midpoint, when our hero Rusty (Ed Helms) makes a pit stop to visit his sister (Leslie Mann) and her well-equipped husband (Hemsworth), the latter of whom carries on half-nude, almost oblivious to the size of his own package. Was it, uh, hard to shoot that scene? We asked writer-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein how it came together.

The filmmakers had to find a bigger prosthetic for the Thor star after he made the first one look too small. »

Vacation Is More of a Carnival Cruise Than a Monte Carlo Getaway, But It’s Still a Vacation

Vacation is lazy, idiotic, and gross — and I laughed my ass off at it. A totally unnecessary sequel to a long-dormant, totally unnecessary series, this latest entry in the Griswold Saga — which kicked off back in 1983 with National Lampoon’s Vacation, starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo — doesn’t even try to distinguish itself. It starts off with a version of the series’ signature tune, Lindsey Buckingham’s “Holiday Road” (have any horror films featured a serial killer who plays this song over and over again?), and demonstrates all the previous films’ (in)attention to production values, craft, storytelling, and visual elegance. 

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Ricki and the Flash Shocker: Meryl’s Playing a Republican!

The billboards for Ricki and the Flash tell you to "Get Ready for Ricki," but it may take a little more preparation than you were expecting. Because while you've surely had ample time to acclimate yourself to the spectacle of Streep belting "Bad Romance" in her role as small-time, mascara-smudged bar singer Ricki, you still might not be ready for the bomb dropped by the film in its very first scene: Despite her boho-rock braids and follow-your-bliss lifestyle, Meryl's Ricki is a dyed-in-the-wool, Obama-hating Republican.

"I have a lot of friends and relatives who do nothing but watch Fox News," says Streep. »

  • Posted 7/30/15 at 12:53 PM

Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence Jet Skied Together Using the Power of Celebrity Friendship, the Most Sustainable Fuel There Is

"We've heard so much about Amy Schumer recently," internet commenters across the land bellowed en masse. "Could you possibly tell us even more about her? And maybe, while you're at it, could you let us know what that Jennifer Lawrence is up to, too?" Could we ever! As it turns out, America's sweetheart and the singular representative of all the complexities of feminism went on what looks like the world's most delightful Jet Ski ride together! Lawrence was driving, of course — when you're an Oscar winner, you don't hand over the reins to anyone, except maybe Tommy Lee Jones — and Schumer tweeted a pic of the experience with the telling hashtag "#maniac." This photo is such a perfect blend of everything that everyone loves that somewhere, Jimmy Fallon is looking for a way to set it to '90s music.

How the Hell Did They Get Marlon Brando to Narrate a Documentary About His Life?

This post originally ran January 2015. We are rerunning it with Listen to Me Marlon out this weekend.

Marlon Brando died more than a decade ago. And Marlon Brando when he was alive wasn’t known for being particularly open; indeed, for much of his life, he was considered fairly reclusive. And yet here he is, in the fascinating documentary Listen to Me Marlon, taking us on a journey into his life and his deepest, most intimate thoughts. The film, which premiered at Sundance this week, was produced and developed by Showtime and will premiere on the network later this year. It turns out that Brando — starting in the 1940s and right through to his later years — had been creating private audio recordings in which he discussed his life. “Probably about 300 hours of it,” says director Stevan Riley. “When we finally got it all transcribed, we had a pile of paper about four feet off the ground.” Using those recordings, and supplementing them with clips from interviews and other appearances, Riley was able to construct Listen to Me Marlon as a film narrated by Brando. The result is unusually eerie — a trip inside the head of one of the most elusive and unusual stars in Hollywood history.

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Woody Allen Calls Dynamic With Soon-Yi ‘Paternal’

In a rare interview with NPR, Woody Allen is opening up about his controversial relationship with wife Soon-Yi Previn, the adopted daughter of his former partner Mia Farrow. Asked how he and Soon-Yi have been able to maintain a 20-year marriage despite their 35-year age gap, he credits the "paternal" nature of their relationship:

"I lucked out in my last relationship. I've been married now for 20 years and it's been good. I think that was probably the odd factor that I'm so much older than the girl I married. I'm 35 years older, and somehow, through no fault of mine or hers, the dynamic worked. I was paternal. She responded to someone paternal. I liked her youth and energy. She deferred to me, and I was happy to give her an enormous amount of decision-making just as a gift and let her take charge of so many things. She flourished. It was just a good luck thing."

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Watch the Emotional Trailer for Room, Brie Larson’s Potential Masterpiece

Last summer, when we profiled best friends Shailene Woodley and Brie Larson, they had both been vying for the lead role in the same project, with Larson ultimately getting the part. Woodley held no hard feelings, though: “I just wanted the movie to be made,” she told us, noting that Larson was perfect for the part and predicting, "It will be a masterpiece." The movie they were discussing was Room — an adaptation of the best-selling novel about a woman, kidnapped for years, who raises her young child while in continued captivity — and you can watch the new trailer for the film below. It's an emotional whopper, so start preparing yourself: Room, directed by Lenny Abrahamson (who made last year's terrific, underrated Frank) will bow in September at the Toronto Film Festival before arriving in select theaters on October 16.

  • Posted 7/30/15 at 3:10 AM

Tom Cruise Is Already Working on Another Mission: Impossible

Because he is immortal, Tom Cruise is already hard at work producing a sixth Mission: Impossible. He confirmed this with Jon Stewart during a Daily Show visit, noting the film may or may not involve rappelling down a volcano in Iceland. "We're starting to work on it now," he told Stewart. "We'll probably start shooting next summer." Well, here's to another decade of impossible missions. And here's the full interview clip, in which the two also talk about how to get fit and what happened with ol' vulnerable Cruise.

Feel Nostalgic, Uncomfortable With Lifetime’s First Unauthorized Full House Story Movie Clip

If this clip is any indication, it looks like things are going to get pretty weird in Lifetime's Unauthorized Full House Story, which is purportedly about what went down behind the scenes of the show. As the great Austin Powers once said: "Oh, behave!" No, but seriously, everybody: Behave. Especially on the set of Fuller House. You can catch the Lifetime flick August 22 at 8 p.m.