There’s an image you’ll see connected to the horror film It Follows that looks similar something from a “torture porn” film. You’ll see it in the still frame in the video embed below, in which a terrified young woman is tied to a chair. She’s terrified for a reason, but the situation that image represents is very different from what you might assume it to be. It Follows is a smart and elegantly crafted movie about teen sexual experiences — or, really, the effect of those experiences. It’s a horror film not just about the things that might happen to someone in the future, but also about the things that have already happened.
We’ve seen one teaser for the film, a French edit that was heavy on atmosphere, but didn’t tell much story. In this new UK teaser, the character played by Maika Monroe (The Guest) talks about her youthful fantasies of the ideal date, and then we see some of how that date goes in an unexpected direction. “Someone gave it to me,” says her date, “and I’ve passed it to you.” Read More »
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Perpetrators of the Sony hack got a lot more serious today when they issued a threat that went far beyond stealing internal emails and documents. “Remember the 11th of September 2001,” says the threat. “We recommend you to keep yourself distant from the places at that time. (If your house is nearby, you’d better leave.) Whatever comes in the coming days is called by the greed of Sony Pictures Entertainment.” In this case, “the places” refers to theaters showing The Interview, the film from writer/directors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg in which Rogen and James Franco play a couple of media types who are recruited to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
While no link between North Korea’s government and the hackers (who ironically call themselves “Guardians of Peace”) has been proven, the threat stirred up fears of action that goes beyond the digital realm. And even as Franco and Rogen canceled promo appearances meant to pitch The Interview to various audiences, the Department of Homeland Security says there’s no credible info to indicate an actual threat.
Update: Sony has told theaters there won’t be a problem if they decide to drop The Interview, despite any prior bookings.
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After the lackluster fourth film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Disney has been taking its time developing the fifth movie. But here we are, with Pirates 5 — aka Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales — set to be directed by Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg (Kon-Tiki) in Australia early next year. Johnny Depp returns as Captain Jack Sparrow, but now there’s the suggestion that this fifth film may actually be a soft Pirates of the Caribbean reboot. Read More »
Jason Reitman‘s live-read series has been a hot ticket at LACMA for a few years. The director chooses a new cast to read a well-known, sometimes classic script live on stage as a one-time performance. (We’ve covered many of these events in the past.) This year, among other films, Reitman has chosen one script with a particular appeal: The Empire Strikes Back. Most of the scripts chosen for live reads are oriented very much around character and dialogue; the event is just a bunch of people sitting on stage, after all. But the Empire Strikes Back live read will be one of the few to feature a script that is effects-heavy — meaning the audience will have to imagine a lot of what’s going on as the actors read the pages.
But the cast of characters is still tremendous, and some of the actors have now been revealed. They include Aaron Paul as Luke Skywalker, and J.K. Simmons as Darth Vader. Read More »
Anyone who has ever read Sandman, the genre-bending comic written by Neil Gaiman, has probably thought about the idea of Tom Hiddleston as Morpheus, the title character and personification of Dream. While there was a point where Neil Gaiman was pushing forward the idea of Benedict Cumberbatch as Morpheus, now that the actor is locked into Doctor Strange he’s probably out of the running for any other comic book role. But “Hiddleston is still out there,” as Gaiman said when giving a semi-annual update on the project. Read More »
Steven Spielberg has chosen a newcomer to play Sophie, the young girl at the center of his next film The BFG. The character Sophie is a young Londoner who meets a “big friendly giant,” to be played by Mark Rylance. Now Ruby Barnhill is The BFG star — she will play Sophie in the film scripted by Melissa Mathison based on the book by Roald Dahl. More info is below. Read More »
The Epic Rap Battles of History video series has been going for a couple years. The crew behind the show, which is in its fourth “season,” consistently manages to create simple beats and entertainingly brutal verbal disses by ringleaders Peter Shukoff and Lloyd Ahlquist, and some impressive costumes for the core cast that performs as various figures from history, pop culture, and the creative scene. The latest entry pits Steven Spielberg against Alfred Hitchcock in a multi-act verse showdown. But this is an extra-long episode — typically each combatant gets a couple rounds in — with two big guns stars. Check out the epic rap battle between Spielberg and Hitchcock below. Read More »
If you’ve thought over the past couple years that Terrence Malick has been too tied to a specifically contemplative tone and aesthetic, then Knight of Cups could be a partial antidote to feelings taken out of To the Wonder and The Tree of Life. When this film was announced earlier today as one of the Berlin Film Festival selections set to premiere in February, we couldn’t tell you much more than the title and the fact that the film stars Natalie Portman, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale. Now we’ve got the Knight of Cups trailer, and while this is recognizable as a Malick film, it is also noticeably different than his recent work.
Sure, there’s some of the now-signature Malick aesthetic here, and that reflective voiceover. But as we see Christian Bale playing (apparently) a guy who has lost himself in easy pleasures, there’s also more overt energy here than we’ve seen in Malick’s work over the past couple decades. There’s also that glossy modern LA setting, which isn’t something we’re used to seeing from the director. Check out the trailer below. Read More »
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