Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer debut

There has been more speculation about the Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser trailer alone than there is for most movies at a whole. First we learned that it had been edited, and that John Williams had recorded new music for the trailer. Then there was a series of rumored descriptions. This week a report claimed that the teaser would premiere attached to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, but we were able to exclusively debunk that rumor and tell you that Disney has “bigger plans”.

So when will the Star Wars The Force Awakens trailer debut? This week. When and how? Thats a bit more complicated.

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Hunger Games MockingJay part 1 review

Note: This review was original published on November 10. We’ve bumped it up now that the film is in theaters. 

It’s a shame The Hunger Games series gets filed into the “young adult” category. Sure, there’s some dystopian young romance in there, but with each subsequent film, the series proves it is about much more than unattainable love with sporadic action. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 takes the series to its furthest point from YA stereotypes yet.

However, what’s most interesting about this latest installment — the first part of a two-part finale — is just how different it is from the rest of the franchise. Is that a good thing? Below, read why The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 feels like a different franchise. Read More »

Diner Live Read Header

Usually when I go to a Live Read, I know the movie like the back of my hand. Ghostbusters, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects, American Beauty, these are all movies I’ve seen dozens of times and know backwards and forwards. However, the November reading was a film I’d never seen until this week: Barry Levinson‘s Diner. It totally deserves to be mentioned among those films, but it somehow fell through the cracks in my years as a film fan. It’s as timeless, funny and poignant as any movie I’ve ever seen.

Watching the film, I began to worry about the Live Read. Sure this was a movie with dynamic characters based on a razor sharp script, but Levinson’s film also created such a perfect atmosphere. The movie was 1959 Baltimore, from the weather to the locations, outfits and the music. Oh, the music. Diner is a jukebox full of awesome tunes and the Live Reads don’t play music during the read. Was it going to work out?

Presenter and director Jason Reitman had an answer for that. To make the script move at a clip worthy of its amazing original cast, and to make the audience forget there was no music or settings to enhance it, he’d need actors who are incredibly familiar with each other. Actors with an ability to deliver filthy dialogue very fast, have perfect chemistry, talk a ton of crap and dish about football. How about the cast of FXX’s The League?

Yes, almost the entire cast of The League read Barry Levinson’s Diner at latest Jason Reitman Live Read, presented Film Independent at LACMA. Below, read what the cast brought to the script and what the script revealed about itself.  Read More »

Empire Strikes Back Mark Hamill Yoda

We don’t know what the Star Wars stand alone movies are going to be about. Initially, there was the belief these films, which Disney will release between the regular episode installments, would be origin story stories. Rumors focused heavily on Han Solo, Boba Fett and Yoda. As time moves on, however, that seems less and less likely. Now, the more rumblings you hear about the Star Wars stand alone films, the more it seems like they’re going to be stories that live between the other films both on the release calendar and in the Star Wars canon. They may tell stories about smaller, tangential characters that expand and enhance the Episodes. They may even solve some of the unsolved mysteries of the Star Wars universe.

Now, to be fair, we can’t be sure this is the case. For all we know, director Gareth Edwards and writer Gary Whitta will release an origin film as the first stand-alone project on December 16, 2016. But that’s probably not going to happen. No matter what their film or Josh Trank’s 2018 film is, we have a bunch of Star Wars mysteries we think would make good stand alone movies at some point down the road. Read More »

10 Movie and TV Trends We Love

10 Movie and TV Trends We Love

In our line of work, there are days when we get discouraged. Like the ones where yet another studio announces it’s building a Marvel-style universe, or the ones where we spend three hours watching some $200 million movie only to realize it feels exactly like the last three $200 million movies we saw. It starts to feel like there’s nothing new under the sun, and we might as well stop caring.

But we wouldn’t be doing this if there weren’t even more days that made us rejoice in the movie business, and made us excited to see where things are headed next. Not all trends are bad, even if we’ve complained about some of our least favorite ones in the past. After the jump, check out 10 movie and TV trends we love. Read More »

Mike Nichols, Director of ‘The Graduate’, Has Died

Mike Nichols directing Closer

Mike Nichols, the award-winning director of films such as The Graduate, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Working Girl, has died. No cause of death has been given. He was 83. He is survived by his wife, ABC News Anchor Diane Sawyer, as well as three children and four grandchildren.

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50 Great Films You Should See From 2014

great films from 2014

2014 has been an amazing year for movies, but it’s easy to be overwhelmed by the number of films being released. With VOD and digital viewing options starting to gain ground on traditional theatrical distribution, there’s more to watch than ever before. When compiling the list, Peter, Angie, Germain and I easily came up with a raw list of about 100 movies, and that’s while feeling there’s still a lot we have to see.

The great news is that many of these films are excellent. The bad news is that the biggest films can drown out everything else. Most movies don’t have a Marvel Studios ad budget; many come and go in a matter of weeks. Sure, they end up on disc, VOD and Netflix soon, but there they join thousands of other options. So here’s a list of 50 great films from 2014 you should see, drawn from the independent circuit and from foreign releases with independent US release.

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Inherent Vice movie review

Paul Thomas Anderson never ceases to amaze. He makes a rain of frogs look plausible, turns Adam Sandler into an actor, and makes an iconic image out of drinking milkshakes. He’s always doing something surprising and wonderful. Anderson’s latest film, Inherent Vice, is two hours of those moments loosely strung together with a detective narrative.

Based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice stars Joaquin Phoenix as Doc, a ratty detective whose mysterious ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston) asks for help with a supposed plot against her new squeeze. Doc obliges, as Doc does with many people in the film, but the movie never really cares about solving this mystery. It’s more interested in Doc’s pot-infused, Choose Your Own Adventure lifestyle where he says “yes” to everything and takes the ride that follows.

That ride introduces some absolutely insane, memorable characters played by the likes of Josh Brolin, Martin Short, Reese Withersooon, Owen Wilson, Benicio Del Toro, Eric Roberts, Maya Rudolph and Jena Malone, all of whom pop in and out of Doc’s life on a whim. Some play significant roles, others do not, but Inherent Vice isn’t a movie about connecting these points. It’s pretty much just about the trip.

Inherent Vice had its Los Angeles Premiere at the AFI Fest presented by Audi and you can continue reading our Inherent Vice movie review below.

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