The next film from the director of The Witch is coming together nicely. Filmmaker Robert Eggers recently cast Willem Dafoe in his upcoming A24 film The Lighthouse, and now he’s added Robert Pattinson to the Lighthouse cast as well.

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They say life imitates art, but when you’ve had a storied career like that of Burt Reynolds, it can easily be the other way around.

In The Last Movie Star, Reynolds plays a not-too-transparent version of himself: a fading former Hollywood idol who gets invited to accept a lifetime achievement award at a film festival — only to discover that the festival is a low-rent affair held out of a bar.

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Best Movies Streaming Feb.

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Looking for something to stream this weekend and beyond? I’ve got you covered. This latest edition of Now Stream This has scoured streaming services to bring you back a variety of films: comedy, horror, drama, as well as modern-day movies and classics from Hollywood’s yesterday.

Here you’ll find the directorial debut of Amber Tamblyn; a classic screwball comedy; a horror anthology film; a forgotten Nicole Kidman thriller; a recent highly acclaimed sci-fi flick; an intense indie drama; yet another incredible performance from Michael Stuhlbarg; and much more. It’s time for best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

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Willem Dafoe Joins New Film from ‘The Witch’ Director

The Lighthouse

Willem Dafoe is a treasure. A frequently terrifying, shapeshifting treasure. The instantly recognizable character actor broke the mold with his Oscar-nominated turn as an amicable motel manager in The Florida Project, but you can’t keep Dafoe away from all things creepy and unpleasant. He’s now set to star in The Lighthouse, the new film from the director of The Witch. Sounds like a match made in heaven. Or hell. Both apply here!

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hereditary trailer

When a new horror movie invites immediate comparisons from critics to The Witch and Kill List, it has my attention. So Ari Aster‘s Hereditary had my complete and undivided attention the moment in premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. But now that the first trailer for this film arrived, it has all of my attention and then some. The festival buzz suggests that this is an early contender for the best horror movie of 2018 and this footage does nothing to convince me otherwise.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Hereditary Review

Much like The Witch, another film distributed by indie powerhouse A24, the feature debut from writer/director Ari Aster (probably best known for his darkly comedic 2011 short The Strange Thing About the Johnsons) leaves open the possibility that you are not watching a horror movie but that you’re, instead, watching a horrific drama. While the modern-set Hereditary shares little else in common with that period piece, it does show a family in crisis, leaving emotional cracks wide open so something dark — perhaps actually evil — can crawl in an fester and eventually destroy all that was good and sacred about the sanctity of blood relations. In other words, Hereditary takes its deep-seated sense of danger and foreboding quite seriously and with a level of maturity that few of today’s horror releases do.

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Oscar Rules

It’s officially Oscar season! To prepare for Hollywood’s big, self-congratulatory night, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consulting service that handles the envelopes containing the names of the official Academy Award Winners, have implemented a new set of rules to help avoid a repeat of last year’s embarrassing Moonlight/La La Land mix-up.

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Phantom Thread dressing

At any given moment within Phantom Thread, the newest film from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson, it’s amazing to consider how far the filmmaker has come in the past 20 years. Earlier this fall, I wrote about Anderson’s masterful, sprawling tragicomic epic Boogie Nights upon its 20th anniversary and how so many of his films focus on the creation of a makeshift family when biological family members simply won’t do. However, while that theme recurs in many of Anderson’s films, it’s utterly remarkable to consider how much he’s pushed himself upon the release of his eighth feature. Phantom Thread is perhaps his most compelling, maddening, entrancing story to date.

The pattern that Anderson’s earlier films, the ones from the late 1990s, seemed to fit within began to evaporate with the release of Punch-Drunk Love in 2002. Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia are all talkier films, the latter two owing visible debts to Anderson’s inspirations, directors like Martin Scorsese and the late Robert Altman. Punch-Drunk Love does have a few aspects that seem to tie it to Anderson’s previous films: a Jon Brion score, a present-day California setting, the appearance of Philip Seymour Hoffman (a PTA regular), and a tie to Altman’s filmography (in the use of a song from Popeye). But Punch-Drunk Love is the start of two notable elements that have recurred in a few other PTA films, including Phantom Thread: implacably mysterious lead characters, and the battles of wills that occur between them and others.

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lady bird 3

Lady Bird is a big deal. It’s one of the best-reviewed films of all time, is raking in major awards nominations and wins (like its recent Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Musical/Comedy), has no shortage of famous fans (Stephen Colbert called it one of the best movies he’s ever seen), and has made writer/director Greta Gerwig the figurehead of a movement to better-respect female filmmakers and storytellers. Awards season hype is often prone to hyperbole, but in the case of Lady Bird – a film so soft, quaint, and realized – the praise doesn’t feel like too much. It feels exactly right, if somewhat surprising.

Why is that? I’ve been wondering since I saw the film in early autumn why Lady Bird is so magnetically and universally appealing. Perhaps it’s the relatable aspects: it’s hard to find a woman who doesn’t connect with it in some way, whether it’s through the titular Lady Bird’s idiosyncrasies, her relationship with her mother (played with devastating accuracy by the great Laurie Metcalf), or in Sacramento’s class dynamics. But that’s all surface-level. There are deeper-layer elements of Lady Bird that make a film that, in other years, would be written off as light teenage girl fare rather than a major awards contender.

Here are some of the reasons Lady Bird has transcended its teen genre to become one of the most instantly beloved films in recent years.

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Lady Bird Featurette - Greta Gerwig

Lady Bird is one of the major awards contenders this season, and it will likely end up with a Best Picture nomination when all is said and done. The real question is whether the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will be smart enough to give Greta Gerwig a nomination for Best Director.

So far, plenty of awards programs have left Greta Gerwig out in the wind, with the Directors Guild of America being the only major award outlet to recognize her talent with a nomination. But if there’s any doubt that Gerwig should be included among the likes of other probable nominees like Guillermo del Toro and Christopher Nolan, a new Lady Bird featurette that focuses on what she brought to the table as a director should change anyone’s mind. Read More »