It’s a truism that good video game adaptations are hard to come by, but as long as studios smell franchise potential they’ll keep trying. That’s turning out to be good news for fans, as “trying” in this case means hiring interesting talents to tackle favorite titles. One of the particularly intriguing ones coming up is the Deus Ex movie, which reunites Sinister director Scott Derrickson with writer C. Robert Cargill (a.k.a. AICN’s Massawyrm).

The duo signed on back in November, and while there’s no release date just yet the pair say the project is “moving like a rocket.” In a new interview, Derrickson and Cargill discuss their approach, namechecking District 9, Looper, and Inception as inspirations. Hit the jump to get their updates.

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Good news for Coen Brothers fans: the pair’s new film, Inside Lleywn Davis, has a home. CBS Films bought the movie for US theatrical distribution. We don’t have a release date yet, though we can likely expect to see it this year. A trailer for the film was released in January, but that won’t be the final look at the indie that Joel and Ethan Coen shot last year. (The movie was the first one they did in many years without any studio or distributor backing.)

The film stars Oscar Isaac as the title character, a folk singer navigating life in New York in the ’60s. The supporting cast includes Carey Mulligan, John Goodman, Garrett Hedlund, F. Murray Abraham, and Justin Timberlake. Read More »

It’s going to be an arthouse-friendly summer. Following yesterday’s announcement that Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight would land in theaters Memorial Day weekend, Sony Classics has just set June and July openings for two more upcoming auteur releases, Pedro Almodovar‘s I’m So Excited and Woody Allen‘s Blue Jasmine.

The news is less positive for DreamWorks’ animation slate, as Mr. Peabody & Sherman has been pushed from late 2013 to early 2014, knocking Me and My Shadow off the schedule altogether. And finally, rounding out this batch of release date updates is Last Vegas, which is moving up to avoid the crowded Christmas slate. Hit the jump to keep reading.

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Update: Toy’s House was renamed The Kings of Summer, so I’ve changed the title in this review.

Coming of age stories are a dime a dozen. Good ones are one in a million and The Kings of Summer, written by Chris Galletta and directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts, is definitely the latter. It’s the story of Joe Toy (Nick Robinson) who along with his friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and oddball Biaggio (Moises Aries) decide to build their own house in the woods and run away from home. Not a tree house, mind you, a real house with everything except plumbing, electricity and running water.

The true joy in the film, though, comes not just from seeing these kids come into their own, it’s with the adult cast, which includes Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie and Mary Lynn Rajskub. Offerman and Mullally in particular are just spectacularly hilarious, which offsets some of the swings and misses on the part of the kids. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The 2010 horror movie The Last Exorcism told the story of Cotton Marcus, an evangelical minister in Louisiana who is the subject of a documentary effort by a small film crew. Though Marcus doesn’t believe in the power of exorcisms, he performs them occasionally as a faith-building exercise. But while doing an exorcism on camera for the film crew, things get out of control.

This sequel is connected to the original, as the formerly possessed Nell (Ashley Bell) takes center stage, but it uses a slight location change and convenient amnesia to tell what looks like enough of a standalone tale that anyone who didn’t see the first film can jump right in. Yep, Nell is found by the ancient evil once more. (We know he’s ancient because he still calls the landline.) It also is presented as a conventional movie rather than a found-footage film.

It’s easy to make a joke about the title, so think of it this way: if the title of the original film represented the last exorcism performed by Marcus, this one twists it a bit. Which is to say, the demon in Nell might well be saying “the last exorcism you experienced wasn’t enough to drive me out.” Yike? Some of the trailer looks like old-fashioned scary movie fun; see it below.

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Stephen King‘s 2009 novel Under the Dome looks like it’s finally going to be adapted. The project was originally optioned for Showtime and fan-favorite writer Bryan K. Vaughan was hired to adapt, but after some time the project was put into turnaround. It’s now been picked up by CBS and given a 13 episode straight-to-series order for the Summer of 2013. Steven Spielberg‘s Amblin Entertainment is still attached to produce and Neal Baer (ER) has signed on as the showrunner. Niels Arden Oplev, the director of the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, will helm the first episode. Read more after the jump. Read More »

“Everyone wants to do sequels,” says Chris Tucker. Indeed. After the jump:

  • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gets a plot summary, will shoot in March
  • Keith Richards may return to the Pirates of the Caribbean series
  • Chris Tucker is interested in Rush Hour 4, not so much Friday 4
  • Nick Cannon talks up his plans for a Drumline sequel and TV series
  • Isla Fisher signs on for the kinda-sorta Jackie Brown sequel Switch
  • Transformers 4 explores Bangkok as a potential shooting location
  • The Last Exorcism Part II gets picked up by CBS Films; see a new image

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Watching Sinister, I never would have guessed that the creators — director Scott Derrickson and co-writer C. Robert Cargill (aka Massawyrm at AICN) – would move on to tackle one of the most popular video game hits of the past twenty years.

The game series in question is Deus Ex, a set of first-person shooters that factors in many stealth and role-playing character elements as it drops players into a world characterized by giant corporations and extensive cybernetic body modification. The specific game in question is the latest release, Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which acts as a prequel to the 2000 original and features the early days of human modification and the social, political, and economic changes that the technology threatens to push forward. Read More »

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