Maleficent Preview

This weekend WonderCon took place in Anaheim California. Despite the fact that the Anaheim Convention Center is a few steps away from Disneyland, Disney decided not to have a presentation at the convention. Instead they launched a 20 minute preview of Maleficent in their theme park across the street. The preview is being shown in the Bugs Life Theater in Disney California Adventure theme park until June so all park visitor will have a chance to experience the magic complete with 4D effects. Germain Lussier and I are both card carrying members of the Disneyland annual passholder club, so after walking the show floor at WonderCon on Friday, we visited the park to take in the sneak preview. After the jump you can watch a video blog where we give our reaction to the Maleficent Preview footage, along with a brief written description of the footage screened.

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Tarantino Hateful Eight script

It seems like the best hope for Quentin Tarantino‘s live read of The Hateful Eight — that working on the staged reading of the script would revive the director’s interest in making a film — could become a reality. On Saturday night at the Ace Hotel in Los Angeles, the director assembled a cast of “Tarantino Superstars” to perform a one-time reading of the first draft of his western The Hateful Eight. He had famously planned to shoot the film this year, but scrapped that plan after a first draft of the script leaked online.

While there is no hard and fast plan to make the movie just yet, Tarantino did announce at the reading that he is writing a second draft and is planning to follow through with a third. Read More »

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

We all know where first Rise, and now Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, are going. To a planet totally inhabited and ruled by hyper-intelligent apes who speak fluent English and have never seen a human. In Matt Reeves‘ upcoming Fox release, an important new wrinkle is added to that possibility. Was there ever a time humans and apes might have tried to co-exist? The answer is “Yes” but, of course, it didn’t quite work out.

Star Andy Serkis recently screened five scenes, about 20 minutes total, from the July 11 sequel to a group of press. The scenes contained very little action, instead focusing on relations between the two species and the rising tension among members of both sides to distrust the other. They set up a film surprisingly emotional and complex for a typical summer blockbuster. A film whose themes, according to Serkis, are “family, tribalism, empathy and prejudice.” Below read about, and watch a video blog reaction to, five brand new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes clips. Read More »

Ryan Gosling's directorial debut

Ryan Gosling spent some of the last year making his first feature as a director. Originally called How to Catch a Monster, the film is now called Lost River, and is set for the Un Certain Regard sidebar at Cannes. That’s the place where films that are either the product of newcomers to Cannes, or that are a little more unusual than the typical Competition titles. So that tells us something right there.

This film features Christina Hendricks as Billy, “a single mother of two who is swept into a macabre and dark fantasy underworld while her teenage son discovers a secret road leading to an underwater town.” So, yeah. that gives us more to go on, and there’s also been a comment about Hendricks finding a “very surreal club,” which is presumably what that door leads to. Check out another image below. Read More »

 

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we go back to the Korengal Valley, have a kid or two, consider Amanda Palmer’s celebrity, get bitten by a hipster, and head into the Australian outback with Agent Smith.
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hollywood sex abuse documentary

This week, a civil suit named director Bryan Singer as one of several defendants in allegations of sexual abuse that took place in 1999. Now details have emerged that the producers of a film about sex abuse in Hollywood have reached out to the plaintiff in that suit about participating in the film. Amy Berg, director of Catholic church sex abuse doc Deliver Us From Evil and the West Memphis Three movie West of Memphis, has been working on the Hollywood sex abuse film for two years, but details on the project are scarce.

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LFO trailer

Hypnotism is a pretty classic concept in films, especially when it is used to change peoples’ behavior, at times against their will. But the strange Swedish sci-fi thriller LFO takes it a step further — here, a man finds he can use sound to influence the people around him. And then he pushes the concept a little too far. The first LFO trailer (kinda) shows how.

This trailer is not new, but we haven’t featured it in the past. With Dark Sky Films banner setting a fall 2014 theatrical release date, with Elijah Wood’s company SpectreVision as exec producers and “presenters,” there’s good reason to promote it now. So if you missed the film when it did some festival appearances last year, this is a good time to get to know what it’s all about. Read More »

new Dardenne Brothers trailer

The Kid With a Bike, the last film from sibling directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, was one of the best films of 2011, and will probably end up standing as one of the best films of the decade. So we’d be excited at the prospect of any new film from the brothers. The fact that their new movie, Two Days, One Night, stars Marion Cotillard is just a lovely bonus. The film will premiere at Cannes next month, and the first new Dardenne Brothers trailer film is below. Read More »

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