the adventures of panda warrior trailer

As long as there are successful Hollywood franchises, there will be rip-offs. This is true in America, where companies like the Asylum have built an entire business model around making movies that look just similar enough to major blockbusters to confuse grandparents and stoners. However, it’s especially true on the international stage, where scrappy filmmakers all over the world have been abusing copyright for decades now. I highly recommend Remake, Remix, Rip-Off, a wonderful documentary about the anarchic world of Turkish cinema in the ’60s and ’70s if you want so see examples of some truly, beautifully shameless filmmaking.

But today, we’re turning our eyes to China, who have produced a Kung Fu Panda rip-off that looks like it clawed its way out of the deepest recesses of your nightmares. And because the universe is cruel (or because parents will confuse it with the other movie about the martial artist panda bear and will pick it up without knowing better), it’s getting an American release courtesy of Lionsgate.

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Now You See Me 2 clips

I’ve been itching to see Now You See Me 2 since I screened the first 15 minutes of the film at CinemaCon and a bomb scare in the theater somehow made the rest of the movie disappear. The trailers are compelling, although the CG-ness of some of the illusions still has me hesitant. Lionsgate has released two new clips from the upcoming magic heist sequel. Watch them now after the jump and tell me if they make you any more excited for the Jon Chu-directed thriller.
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nerve trailer

The movies have always had a fraught relationship with the internet, depicting the online world as a vile hellscape where there is no hope, only agony and humiliation and maybe even the end of the world. And that’s not an entirely inaccurate description. The whole “the internet is pure evil” thing has been the subject of more than a few science fiction and horror films, with most of them building grand online conspiracies or using technology as the host for some king of supernatural evil. The arrival of a movie like Nerve proves that we’re ready to start talking about really makes the internet such a wretched hive of scum and villainy: other people.

The Nerve trailer is all about Emma Roberts and Dave Franco versus The Internet and c’mon, we all know who’s going to win that particular showdown. The internet devours all.

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Cafe Society pic

Earlier today, we shared a few clips from Woody Allen‘s upcoming picture, Café Society. Although it’s sometimes difficult to know what to expect from Allen these days, Café Society looks more enjoyable and intriguing than, say, Magic in the Moonlight and You Will Meet a Tall Darker Stranger. Some of the writer and director’s most recent comedies haven’t struck a chord with audiences and fans, but perhaps his latest film will.

Below, watch the new Café Society trailer.

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the woods trailer

The horror genre has always been home to good old fashioned hucksterism. William Castle would rig theaters with flying skeletons and install seats that “shocked” the audience. Alfred Hitchock famously declared that those who were late to Psycho would be denied admittance. Even the 2013 remake of Evil Dead got in on the action with one of the most audacious movie posters in recent years. The horror genre is one big dare, a challenge from a filmmaker to their audience, and I can’t help but cackle like a loon when I see a movie declare its intentions as clearly as The Woods does.

The trailer for The Woods, the newest film from director Adam Wingard, has arrived and the clacking sound you hear is the Lionsgate marketing department showing off some big brass balls. They have declared that this is one of the scariest movies ever made. That’s their message. Are you brave enough to learn for yourself?

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Now You See Me 2 Trailer

Lionsgate has released a new trailer for Now You See Me 2. The new piece of marketing shows how Morgan Freeman’s character, incarcerated skeptic Thaddeus Bradley, has somehow framed the Four Horseman and is using the magician group to do his evil bidding. Of course we also see a lot of visual flourishes thanks to the film’s magic-fueled heist set-pieces, many of which appear to use too much CG for my tastes. (As an amateur magician, I’d love to see more practical magic being used, as some of these visuals look too impossible even if the ideas are based in possible science.) Hit the jump to see the third Now You See Me 2 trailer.

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urge trailer

Every James Bond actor must eventually come to terms with the end of his tenure as the most famous spy in movie history and address a most terrifying question: what’s next? For Sean Connery, that was a decade-plus of poor choices followed by an Oscar, a career resurrection, and a quiet retirement. For Roger Moore, that was a few decades of work followed by an unofficial position as official mascot of the 007 series. For Timothy Dalton, that was a slow transformation into a malleable supporting actor and eventually, a fantastic starring role on Penny Dreadful.

The arrival of the Urge trailer finally gives us a clue what Pierce Brosnan‘s later years may look like now that he’s officially phasing out of the action hero thing. If this preview is any indication, Brosnan is fully prepared to drop all inhibitions and become the wacky character actor that we’ve occasionally been able to glimpse beneath his steely veneer. Urge looks like a must-see just so we can bear witness to whatever the hell Brosnan is doing here.

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power rangers suits

I’m approaching director Dean Israelite‘s upcoming big screen Power Rangers movie from the perspective of someone who is the right age to have watched the original Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers series in its earliest incarnation but bears no actual, lasting love for the series. I recognize the iconography and know more about it than I wish I did (kids are such sponges, huh?), but I can’t say I’m particularly excited about a new version. I have no emotional stake in this one.

So when I shrug and say “The new Power Rangers suits have been revealed and they look totally fine and perfectly adequate and more than get the job done,” you can judge me based on my particular perspective.

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hologram king

Tom Hanks stars in a movie currently in theaters, but you might not be able to tell judging by the absence of advertising, much less critical buzz, for A Hologram for the King. Tom Tykwer‘s gentle (and often lovely) adaptation of Dave Egger‘s novel of the same name was recently released into a few hundred theaters, and it was met with somewhat mixed reviews and an underwhelming opening weekend at the box office, even by its own modest standards.

How exactly does a movie that stars Tom Hanks manage to fly so far under the radar for the general public? Is the film simply not commercial enough? Maybe, but whatever the case, it’s still a little disheartening to see a fine drama with a name like Hanks attached to it fail to reach a wide audience.

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