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Brigsby Bear Is a Strange Parable of Pop-Culture Obsession That’s Realer Than You’d Think

As frequently as we’ve recently seen onscreen kidnappers holding their captives in bunkers hidden from the outside world (seriously, so many times, let’s hope it’s a vast overrepresentation of reality) few stories have dealt with the fact that some people take to basements better than others. Sure, a basement is a horrifying place to imagine living out years of your life cut off from society, but it’s also where so many socially unsure young people have voluntarily retreated to curl up in the arms of comfort media, far from the sun, where the hours and weeks can pass unnoticed. For Brigsby Bear’s James (Saturday Night Live cast member Kyle Mooney), it’s a little of both: He was kidnapped, unbeknownst to him, as an infant, and his new “parents” have kept him sheltered from society in an underground bunker, where his only cultural interaction is with the titular fictional (in more ways than one) children’s adventure show.


  • Posted 7/25/17 at 12:45 PM

Ben Stiller Is a Sad Dad Named Brad in the Brad’s Status Trailer

Being a dad is all the rage these days. The trailer for writer-director Mike White’s Brad’s Status leans into the cultural obsession with dads, though good luck finding a true dad bod on any of these actors. Ben Stiller stars as the titular Brad, a sad dad who, while touring colleges with his son Troy (Austin Abrams), reflects upon his life and his envy of his much more successful, not very nice friends from college, played by Jemaine Clement, Luke Wilson, and Michael Sheen (who are possibly dads, though this cannot be confirmed). Offering a heartfelt look at a father-son bond with some surprisingly woke dad commentary — at one point in the trailer Stiller is told “You still think that the world was made for you” — Brad’s Status is out September 15.

  • Posted 7/25/17 at 12:35 PM

Get Ready for Awards Season: I, Tonya, mother!, and Everything Else Headed To TIFF This Year

The Toronto International Film Festival released its 2017 slate, featuring movies that are sure to be awards-season heavyweights. It’s early days for a lot of these movies, but there are a handful of performances by top actresses to look out for: Jennifer Lawrence in Darren Aronofsky’s mysterious mother!, Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding in I, Tonya, Elle Fanning in a Mary Shelley biopic, and Annette Bening as Gloria Grahame (In a Lonely Place, The Big Heat) in Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. Sundance standouts Mudbound and Call Me by Your Name will also play at TIFF, along with a notable Cannes selection, BPM (Beats Per Minute).


  • Posted 7/25/17 at 10:38 AM
  • Dunkirk

Did You Catch Michael Caine’s Cameo in Dunkirk?

Since Batman Begins in 2005, every one of Christopher Nolan’s movies has featured longtime collaborator Michael Caine. But if you knew that bit of trivia and wondered where Caine would show up in Dunkirk, only to be puzzled when Caine didn’t appear, fear not: Caine’s voice — just not his face — was indeed in the war epic. Toward the beginning of the film, as pilots played by Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden fly overhead, they receive radio instructions from an uncredited voice. That’s Michael Caine! Nolan confirmed the cameo to earlier this month:


  • Posted 7/25/17 at 9:44 AM

One Mississippi Season 2 Trailer: Tig Notaro is Still Home

“Is this because I’m gay?” Tig Notaro asks the crotchety woman working reception at the local hospital. Her response is irascible: “Yes, it most certainly is.” One Mississippi is back for its second season, with Notaro facing a new batch of misfortunes and cantankerous locals. Last season ended with a cancer diagnosis, and Tig’s decision to trade life in L.A. for Bay Saint Lucille. Notaro has said that the show’s second season will take less inspiration from her real life, but did tease her character’s relationship prospects: “Well, there are people that I’m dating [on the show], and checking things out with, and checking out the spark that got started with the Kate character. That’s definitely in season two,” she told Deadline. One Mississippi returns to Amazon Prime September 8.

Daniel Craig Will Reportedly Tolerate Being James Bond Again After All

Pain him as it might, Daniel Craig will be your James Bond once again. Two sources close to the situation tell the New York Times that Craig’s return to the Bond franchise for a fifth time is a “done deal.” He’ll reportedly play 007 in the just-announced 25th movie in the series set for November 8, 2019. Craig previously cast serious doubt on ever revisiting the role even if his life depended on it, but then later clarified that he doesn’t totally hate playing Bond and yeah, sure, he’d probably do it again. It’s just exhausting being Bond. (Somewhere Idris Elba sits well-rested and ready.) It’s unclear if Spectre and Skyfall director Sam Mendes will also return to direct; Eon Productions and MGM have said more details will trickle out “at a later date.” In the meantime, keep all sharp objects away from Craig!

My Friend Dahmer Trailer: We Really Needed to Talk About Jeffrey

“I’m just like everybody else,” Ross Lynch intones as a teenage Jeffrey Dahmer, the socially awkward misfit and soon-to-be serial killer. In the new trailer for the film, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April, Anne Heche, Vincent Kartheiser, and the rest of Dahmer’s classmates and family fail to notice the mounting evidence that something is terribly, terribly wrong with the Ohio high-schooler, even as he begins to obsess over dead animals, plot the death of a local jogger, and eventually commit his first murder at the age of 18. Based on a 2012 graphic novel of the same name by Dahmer’s high-school friend Derf Backderf, the My Friend Dahmer trailer presents the infamous murderer as a deeply disturbed young man slowly sliding past the point of no return, while those around him miss each and every chance to try and stop him from reaching the brink.

Girls Trip Is the Most Successful R-Rated Summer Comedy Since 2015

The Big Story:
This weekend, every black auntie you know converged upon their local movie theater to see the Malcolm D. Lee comedy Girls Trip. The Essence Festival–set bacchanalia about a foursome known as the “Flossy Posse” — Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, and Tiffany Haddish — opened to $30.4 million this weekend, coming in second behind Dunkirk. It’s the strongest opening for a live-action comedy this year, and the best for an R-rated summer comedy since Ted 2 opened to $33.5 million in 2015, according to The Hollywood Reporter. In a summer stuffed with franchises and comic-book blockbusters, Girls Trip is a rare outlier: a mid-range-budget, original comedy focusing entirely on the friendships between four black women. Appealing to an underserved audience paid off: Girls Trip’s audience was 79 percent female and 59 percent African-American, according to Box Office Mojo. And as Vulture’s Emily Yoshida pointed out in her review, it effortlessly shuts down every hot take about the death of medium-budget studio comedies.


  • Posted 7/24/17 at 11:48 AM

We’re Approaching a Major Turning Point in Trump-Era Pop Culture

For those of us who have spent the last six months tracking the evolution of a new category of entertainment — pop culture of the Trump era — the July 13 announcement of the Emmy nominations provided two headlines: Saturday Night Live received 22, by far the most in its 42-season history, and The Handmaid’s Tale got 13, finally putting Hulu on the awards map and confirming that the blighted theocracy of Gilead now stands tall among the many American dystopias (fictional division) currently available to consumers. These shows are, in their ways, two different answers to the entertainment world’s question of the moment, a.k.a. How Do We Deal With the Present Nightmare? SNL epitomizes intention: Even when the show fails to execute, it understands that its mission is to reprocess the week’s events into savage counterthrusts, meme-able and/or GIF-friendly social-media moments, and commentary via satire that “destroys,” for a weekend, all the things we know will rise again, resolutely un-destroyed, on Monday morning. For a show that has drifted in and out of relevance over the decades, Trump’s election was a reaffirming call to action, and it was no surprise that among its nominations were one for Alec Baldwin — featured so often as Trump that he had to be categorized as a series regular — and one for Melissa McCarthy’s Sean Spicer (well, it was fun while it lasted).


  • Posted 7/23/17 at 9:00 PM
  • Profile

T.J. Miller Knows You Think He’s Crazy for Leaving Silicon Valley

Though you may know T. J. Miller best for his role as the overweening wannabe tech guru Erlich Bachman on HBO’s Silicon Valley — a show he recently exited and about which he vented some sour feelings in a widely read interview with The Hollywood Reporter — he’d rather, as he tells me (multiple times), you consider him a nihilist, an absurdist, a provocateur. “People need a villain, and I’m occupying that space,” says Miller with, I assume, mock profundity while seated at a table in a grim, grass-free park in Tribeca. It’s a cloudy summer day. The rumpled Miller, dressed in a red warm-up jacket and wearing a gaudy gold chain, has arrayed a bottle of Mucinex, a copy of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditationsthree small bottles of water, and some sort of facial misting spray on the table before him. “After the election, I realized that there was a gap,” he says in response to what I thought was a straightforward question about why, in that THR interview, he spoke poorly of Silicon Valley showrunner Alec Berg and detailed the boredom he felt working on the critically acclaimed show. “Nobody right now is publicly the Lindsay Lohan–train wreck–but–not–quite person. If I’d just said it was an honor to work on Silicon Valley and was thankful to Alec Berg, I would have disappeared. Instead, by being just a little authentic, I infected the news cycle.” He spritzes his face and clarifies further. “It’s more important to be polarizing than neutralizing. That’s my position.”


Watch All of the Trailers Released at San Diego Comic-Con So Far

Christmas comes in July for the pop-culture geeks of the world, and this year’s Comic-Con did not disappoint, with a slew of new trailers. Think ’90s-cartoon reboots, superheroes with weaponized hair, and horror mayhem. Below are all the major trailers that premiered at Comic-Con, including American Horror Story: Cult, Marvel’s The Defenders, and Stranger Things.


  • Posted 7/23/17 at 3:13 PM

Ryan Coogler Physically Fought Chadwick Boseman On the Black Panther Set To Amp Him Up

Look, making superhero movies is hard. You gotta get up at the break of dawn and stand around under hot lights while pretending to do ridiculous stuff for hours on end, all while eating weird food and hitting weights in order to stay swole. One of the director’s jobs, then, is to ensure their stars remain hyped-up and ready to do more ridiculous pretending. When a director also happens to be a boxing fan, they may employ unorthodox reinvigoration techniques. Welcome to the case of Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and his movie’s star, Chadwick Boseman.


  • Posted 7/22/17 at 9:57 PM

Captain Marvel Will Be Set In The 1990s, And Feature A Pre-Eyepatch Nick Fury

Despite Disney’s D23 conference happening just a week ago, Marvel came to Comic-Con to break news and steal the show with clips, casting announcements, and plot details for its upcoming movies. We now know that Captain Marvel, starring Brie Larson, will take place in the 1990s. It’s also been confirmed that Samuel L. Jackson will be returning as Nick Fury in that movie, and — twist! — he’ll have two good eyes! But who will Fury and Carol Danvers be squaring off against? The studio announced Captain Marvel will introduce the Skrulls, an alien race of shape-shifters from the planet Throneworld, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel’s first female-lead superhero feature is set to arrive in March of 2019, and is being directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden of Mississippi Grind.

Watch the Newest Thor: Ragnarok Trailer and Bow Before Cate Blanchett

The first trailer for Thor: Ragnarok was a whole lot of fun: All those colors! Thor teaming up with the Hulk! That springy new comic tone from director Taika Waititi! But let’s be honest — as good as that trailer was, it left you wanting more Cate Blanchett as Hela, the new villainess who’ll make Thor’s life miserable. Well, you’re in luck. The new, full trailer for Thor: Ragnarok dropped today at Comic-Con, and Cate Blanchett is feeling that fantasy, honey! Watch her lock antlers with Thor, and enjoy that random Pegasus in there as a bonus.

  • Posted 7/22/17 at 6:40 PM

Ben Affleck Bats Back at Reports He’ll Stop Playing Batman

The biggest news about the DC cinematic universe didn’t break today at Warner Bros.’ Comic-Con panel. Instead, it came yesterday, when The Hollywood Reporter alleged that Ben Affleck may soon stop playing his biggest role. “The studio is working on plans to usher out Affleck’s Batman,” wrote THR’s Kim Masters, adding that “it would be wise to bet against Affleck starring in The Batman,” an upcoming, stand-alone Batman film that will be directed by War for the Planet of the Apes helmer Matt Reeves (who took over after Affleck abdicated the director’s chair).


  • Posted 7/22/17 at 3:54 PM

Watch the New Justice League Trailer, Now With More Wonder Woman

Ben Affleck may be on his way out as Batman, but he still showed up at Comic-Con today to help tout Justice League, the big superhero team-up that DC is delivering this November. A lot has changed, though, since Justice League’s appearance at Comic-Con last year: Director Zack Snyder took time off from the film to deal with a family tragedy, Joss Whedon came onboard to steer reshoots, and most important, Wonder Woman became DC’s biggest smash. It’s no surprise, then, that this new trailer for Justice League goes heavy on Gal Gadot’s big-draw Themiscyrian princess, though it also finally teases the return of Henry Cavill’s Superman and adds the villainous Steppenwolf, too. It’ll be out November 17.

  • Posted 7/22/17 at 2:54 PM

Ready Player One Trailer: See Steven Spielberg’s First Sci-fi Adventure In Years

Tucked among all the superhero offerings today at Warner Bros.’ big Comic-Con panel was the trailer for Ready Player One, which welcomes director Steven Spielberg back to the sci-fi genre over a decade later. Based on the Ernest Cline novel, the movie casts Tye Sheridan as a virtual-reality player who’s intent on finding a hidden fortune left by game guru Mark Rylance. Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, and T.J. Miller co-star in the movie, which will be out next March (even as Spielberg currently shoots a new film, The Papers, that will come out even earlier this winter). Will Spielberg find the virtual-reality setting to be as high-stakes and murderous as Jessica Fletcher once did? Stay tuned!

  • Posted 7/22/17 at 2:02 PM

Dick Van Dyke Would Like to Formally Apologize for His ‘Atrocious’ Mary Poppins Cockney Accent

On a scale of Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary to Don Cheadle in Ocean’s Eleven, how bad was Dick Van Dyke’s fake British accent in Mary Poppins? The answer is only up to you or noted Cockney hero Michael Caine, but that isn’t stopping Van Dyke from making amends with his interesting Cockney twang after all of these years, anyway. “I appreciate this opportunity to apologize to the members of BAFTA for inflicting on them the most atrocious Cockney accent in the history of cinema,” the sprightly nonagenarian joked while reacting to news that he was chosen to receive the Britannia award for television excellence.* “I ruined it for everybody.” Frankly, he was too busy “singing and dancing” to be remotely concerned about it: “I’ve always wondered — everyone in that movie was British! Not one of them said, ‘That accent isn’t right, Dick. Why don’t you work on it?’” All’s well that ends well — he’ll be back and steppin’ in time in Mary Poppins Returns next year alongside Emily Blunt.


  • Posted 7/22/17 at 10:42 AM
  • Obits

Home Alone’s John Heard Dead at 72

John Heard, who’s perhaps best known for his work as Peter McCallister in the classic ’90s comedy Home Alone and its sequel, has died at the age of 72*. Per Variety, Heard was found dead in a hotel room in Palo Alto, California, days after undergoing minor back surgery. Besides Home Alone, Heard had a prolific career in television, film, and theater, appearing in well over 200 projects since he began acting in the 1970s. Some of his other well-known roles include the corrupt police detective Vin Makazian in The Sopranos, which netted him an Emmy nomination for Oustanding Guest Actor in a Drama in 1999; Paul Davenport in 1988’s Big alongside Tom Hanks; John Pierce in 1988’s Beaches; and, most recently, the original Sharknado TV movie. He is survived by three children from two marriages.


  • Posted 7/21/17 at 10:01 PM

A Tribute to Julianne Moore’s Delicious New Villain in Kingsman: The Golden Circle

Have you ever wondered what would happen if Giada De Laurentiis broke bad? I started to after an infamous appearance on Ellen where the Food Network host struggled to wrangle Nicole Kidman and Ellen DeGeneres during a cooking segment gone oh so wrong. As De Laurentiis tried her best to whip up some risotto balls and focaccia, DeGeneres and Kidman continually shaded her, refused to follow orders, and ultimately mocked her focaccia for being too tough. The audience laughed as De Laurentiis’s stock plummeted, and though she kept a smile plastered on her face, there was murder in her eyes.