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Leonardo DiCaprio Might Finally Get to Play a Criminal With Multiple Personality Disorder

Leonardo DiCaprio has long been interested in playing the role of Billy Milligan, the first person to successfully use multiple personality disorder as a defense in the courtroom, in The Crowded Room. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the project has been dormant for nearly a decade, but now has renewed life as Jason Smilovic and Todd Katzberg have been hired to adapt the script from Daniel Keyes's nonfiction book about Milligan and his court trial, where he was charged with robbery and raping three women at Ohio State University. Milligan's various personalities included Adalana, a lesbian who took responsibility for the rapes, and Ragen, a Yugoslavian communist who admitted to the robbery. DiCaprio is going to be doing a lot of Acting.

There Will Be Adventure Time the Movie

The Land of Ooo is headed to the big screen. Deadline reports that Warner Bros. is developing the beloved Cartoon Network show Adventure Time into a film. The movie will be produced by Roy Lee, one of the executive producers of The Lego Movie, and Chris McKay, the man behind Robot Chicken. The show, currently in its sixth season, loosely follows a 12-year-old boy named Finn and his dog, Jake. Other details haven't been announced yet, but hopefully we will see a bevy of princesses, all of whom the Ice King will be obsessed with.

  • Posted 2/27/15 at 2:47 PM
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The Lazarus Effect Is a Dopey Thriller That Wastes a Good Cast

Sort of a Flatliners for the sensitive indie-actor set, The Lazarus Effect is a grimy, dopey, confused thriller that wastes a very likable cast. The film takes place mostly in a Berkeley lab where a group of young medical researchers are developing an experimental new serum designed to prolong the neural activity of coma patients. The idea is “to give health care professionals more time to do their jobs” — because, of course, mad scientists who trample the laws of God always start off with the noblest of aims. From the film’s very first shot — video footage of a dead pig being given high-voltage doses of electricity — we know that these crazy kids are about to start bringing things back to life.

The Lazarus Effect is simultaneously too much and not enough. »

  • Posted 2/27/15 at 2:36 PM
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Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green Make the Western The Salvation Worthwhile

I don’t know when the term revisionist Western came into widespread use, but it’s time we retired it. Even when it meant something, it was a bit of an overstatement; most of the great Westerns bucked convention in one way or another. But starting around the 1960s, it seemed like every entry in the genre pointedly tried to rewrite our collective dream of the West. The unmaking-of-a-myth in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, or the heightened violence in The Wild Bunch, or the anti-romance in McCabe & Mrs. Miller, or the ugliness of justice in Unforgiven — they all told us, “It’s not like you thought it was. It’s not what the movies have told you.”

There’s nothing surprising about The Salvation, which is the most surprising thing about it. »

Jack O’Connell Suffers (Again) and Shines in Northern Ireland Thriller ’71

In the last three films I’ve seen him in, Jack O’Connell has physically suffered so much onscreen that I think he’s accidentally atoned for humanity’s sins. The 25-year-old actor, who ably held together Angelina Jolie’s WWII epic Unbroken and David Mackenzie’s intense prison drama Starred Up, is now at the center of Yann Demange’s brutal ’71, and once again he experiences the tortures of the damned. Luckily, he’s riveting in the role: The film, about a novice British soldier cut off from his unit during a riot in Belfast, is less about words and more about the varieties of terror in a young man’s eyes. 

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Maps to the Stars Is a Hollywood Psychodrama Played to Perfection

There are scads of scabrous inside-Hollywood psychodramas, but never a festering pyre on the order of David Cronenberg and Bruce Wagner’s Maps to the Stars. What a hyperfocused duo of ghouls! Their collaboration is a portrait of inbreeding—metaphorical and literal—in which a seemingly starstruck, fresh-off-the-bus young woman (Mia Wasikowska) becomes a catalyst for carnage, the nihilism so thick that it’s intoxicating, like that rank Icelandic rotten-shark dish that makes even the most hardened culinary daredevils retch. Please don’t bore me by complaining that the characters are “unlikable.” The defense admits that the movie is indefensible. Just breathe in the aroma of decay and howl like a banshee.

It’s Julianne Moore who enters the pantheon of Hollywood freaks. »

Watch the Visually Remarkable Trailer for Bill Plympton’s Cheatin’

As computer-animated movies continue to become more prevalent, does it ever seem to you like they're all becoming one homogenous cartoon, where the faces and aesthetics all look weirdly similar? At least you'll never mistake the hand-drawn animation of Bill Plympton for anything else. You may recognize Plympton's iconic work from films like I Married a Strange Person and his collaborations with Kanye West and Madonna, and Vulture can exclusively premiere the trailer for the award-winning animator's new film, Cheatin’. Inspired by the works of Double Indemnity author James M. Cain, it's a story about love, lust, and jealousy, but the trailer is also a spellbinding tribute to hand-drawn creativity, and it might be the prettiest, most unusual thing you watch today. Cheatin' is out in theaters April 3.

  • Posted 2/26/15 at 12:30 PM
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In the Age of Hacking, Is the Con-Artist Movie Genre Dying?

Focus, the new film starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie, is a giddy love letter to a lost art: not the art of the con man (though it is that, too), but the art of the con-man movie. Con-artist movies are dying off, or at least finding it nearly impossible — like some grizzled, old-school grifter set in his ways — to adapt to the modern world, a place where you’re less likely to get your wallet pinched than to have your PayPal hacked. In Focus, Smith plays just such a grizzled old-school grifter, Nicky Spurgeon, while Robbie plays Jess, a fledgling hustler looking to Nicky for tips (and maybe more — dun dun dun!). As Nicky inducts her into his underworld of scoundrels, cutpurses and flimflam artists, the film nods dutifully to modern cyberscams — ATM skimmers, credit-card fraud, identity theft — but who are we kidding here? What we really want to see from Nicky are the lifts, bumps, slips, drops, flimps, fine-wirers, and tosses. In one scene, he shows Jess the various ways a person can be distracted and then relieved of her valuables — ergo focus — and it starts to look like he’s giving her a tango lesson. This classic sleight-of-hand trickery retains an aura of sexy romance that just doesn’t transfer to online swindlers tapping away at keyboards. There’s a reason the slang phrase cutpurse has a swashbuckling flare, but no one ever calls someone a cardswipe.

Which points to one of the great dilemmas of modern movies and TV: Just how do you make anything computer-related look remotely interesting? »

College-Rape Documentary The Hunting Ground Plays Like a Horror Movie

Journalistic prudence would have me evaluate Kirby Dick’s incendiary college-rape exposé The Hunting Ground objectively, careful to consider opposing viewpoints and to always put the word “alleged” before “sexual-assault victim.” Journalistic prudence would in this case be an ass. Rape is not a partisan issue, and—Rolling Stone’s infamously botched University of Virginia story notwithstanding—there aren’t two sides to the problem of college sexual predators. They need to be swiftly confronted and, if guilty, thrown the hell off campuses (preferably into prisons) before they can prey on anyone else. Administrators’ astonishing tendency to do otherwise is a mystery that leads Dick and producer Amy Ziering to the dark heart of American higher education. What they find has little to do with protecting the rights of the accused or—surprisingly—discerning the supposedly murky line between “yes” and “no.” As with so many things, you just have to follow the money, honey.

The filmmakers’ techniques are not subtle, but neither is their subject. »

Neill Blomkamp’s Alien Will Finish the Aliens Story Line

While promoting Chappie, Neill Blomkamp and Sigourney Weaver teased some exceedingly vague plot points for the former's newly announced Alien project. However nebulous the movie currently is, though, one thing's certain: "I want this film to feel like it is literally the genetic sibling of Aliens," Blomkamp told Sky Movies. "So it's Alien, Aliens, this movie." Obviously this complicates the saga, given it already has Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection. But hey, Weaver says she's willing to give us a proper Ripley ending (her words). So just relax, wait for more Blomkamp art, and bask in the joy of knowing this team has myriad mulligan possibilities to make a refurbished third installment.

Sand and Dancing Are Big in Beach Boys Biopic Teaser

Love & Mercy, the biopic about legendary Beach Boys front man Brian Wilson, unfurled a teaser today, and, as to be expected, it's very beachy. There's no dearth of sand, haphazard dance fits, warm horizons, or short-sleeved button-downs. There's also a lot of Paul Dano, who plays a young version of the troubled genius, and John Cusack, who may or may not be playing an older, fatigued version of Wilson. The movie, which will thankfully showcase the band's tasty tunes, too, is slated for a June release.

Richard Linklater in Talks to Direct ‘Where’d You Go Bernadette’

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Boyhood director Richard Linklater is in talks to direct Maria Semple's 2013 best seller Where'd You Go Bernadette for Annapurna Pictures. The book has already been adapted by The Faults in Our Stars writers Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, and hopefully it won't take anyone on this team 12 years to produce. (Turns out, even that much effort won't win you the Oscar!) 

Jessica Chastain Will Be in the Snow White and the Huntsman Spinoff

Jessica Chastain will be in The Huntsman, Universal's forthcoming Snow White–less spinoff of 2012's badass Snow White redux, Deadline reports. Chastain's role is unknown, but, in some capacity, she'll join Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Nick Frost, and Emily Blunt. The movie is slated for an April 2016 release and will serve as a prequel to show how the titular huntsman and Queen Ravenna crossed paths before meeting Snow White. Blunt will reportedly play this film's central villain, the Snow Queen, so maybe Chastain will play a young intelligence officer hellbent on coordinating the assassination of said villainous ruler.

Marvel’s Official Avengers: Age of Ultron Poster Is Claustrophobic-Cool

Marvel unveiled the poster for Avengers: Age of Ultron today, and it's littered with superheroes, robots, debris, and that abysmal font reserved for such fun promotional things. It's a lot to soak in, but it's neat as hell. Feast your eyes on the latest looks at Nick Fury, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and lots of robots, including (what is probably) the Vision. Then see them actually do something about this swirling mess on May 1.

What If Power Rangers Were R-Rated and Starred James Van Der Beek?

Don't ask how or why, just watch this Power Rangers "deboot," POWER/RANGERS, written and directed by Joseph Kahn (of Britney Spears's music-videos fame) starring Dawson (James Van Der Beek) and Starbuck (Katee Sackhoff). It's cool, unofficial, violent, and has a twist ending. Power Rangers fans will be plenty pleased. 

This Video of Michael Keaton Sadly Putting Away His Oscars Speech Will Break Your Heart

What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun? Or does it fester like a sore — or a speech in the pocket of Michael Keaton? Congratulations, Eddie!

Tom Rothman Will Replace Amy Pascal at Sony

Deadline is reporting that TriStar's Tim Rothman will become the new head of Sony Pictures, taking the place of former studio chief Amy Pascal, who left her post earlier this month after the fallout from the Sony hacks (though it wasn't just that). Rothman is known for his long career leading 20th Century Fox — a studio tenure that produced James Cameron's blockbuster hits Avatar and Titanic — though he's also notoriously hands-on when it comes to comic-book films, a genre that has only grown in importance over the last decade. Best of luck, Spider-Man franchise!

What Is Expiring From Netflix on March 1?

Having come to the conclusion that it's genuinely useful to tell its users what movies will soon be expiring from its service, Netflix now releases a list of the films that will disappear from its coffers (some, presumably, only for a short time) at the end of every month. Here is a list of what will expire on March 1, and in the weeks after. It includes nearly all of your favorite '90s comedies and a whole lot of Cartoon Network shows. Start watching! We will update the list closer to the end of the month with additional titles. (And here's a list of what will be available to stream on Netflix starting March 1.) 

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What’s New on Netflix: March 2015

At the beginning of (and throughout) every month, Netflix Streaming adds new movies and TV shows to its library. Here is a quick list of several that you might be interested in. Some of these may have previously been on Netflix, only to have been removed and then added back. We will update this list as more titles are added closer to the end of the month.

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Netflix and Judd Apatow Are Making That New Pee-wee Herman Movie

The news has been rumored for a while, but now it's confirmed: Judd Apatow's long-gestating Pee-wee Herman movie is headed to Netflix, the streaming giant announced today. Pee-wee's Big Holiday will tell the story of how "a fateful meeting with a mysterious stranger inspires Pee-wee Herman to take his first-ever holiday." It's being produced by Judd Apatow and Paul Reubens, written by Reubens and Paul Rust and directed by first-timer John Lee (Broad City). "Bowtie is the new black," said "Pee-wee" in a statement. He's on-brand already!