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What would you do if you discovered that there was another person in the world who looked exactly like you? How quickly would your world be torn from its moorings? What would you do? Would you ignore that person? Or would you obsessively track him/her down? Either way, you’d probably feel like something was gravely wrong with this universe.

Denis Villeneuve’s Enemy, which features Jake Gyllenhaal playing two versions of himself, provokes this hypothetical unease, drawing it out expertly until it’s almost unbearable. The film is out in theaters this weekend. After the jump, check out my video review of it.

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Muppets Most Wanted review

The Muppets are nothing if not self-aware, and Muppets Most Wanted opens with a promising joke. Picking up just moments after the last movie left off, Kermit and company launch into a jaunty, toe-tapping musical number that acknowledges all the pitfalls of a follow-up. “We’re doing a sequel,” they sing. “That’s what we do in Hollywood / And everybody knows that the sequel’s never quite as good!”

But all the knowingness in the world can’t save the Muppets from the actual pitfalls of doing a sequel. In the end, Kermit’s early admission feels more like a warning than a joke. Muppets Most Wanted isn’t bad; in some parts, it’s very good. Still, it struggles to match the highs that the first one hit so easily.

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Groundhog Day Live Read

10,000 years. That’s how long Phil Connors was stuck in Groundhog Day. At least, that’s what writers Harold Ramis and Danny Rubin said in an early draft of the now classic 1993 film. That revelation was later cut out, along with a lot of other things, to make the film we know and love.

But on March 20, Jason Reitman presented that early draft as part of his Film Independent at LACMA Live Read series. On a night dedicated to Ramis, the Groundhog Day co-writer and director, Reitman brought together a small but perfect cast to read through the script. That cast included Jason Bateman as Phil, Elizabeth Reeser as Rita, Jeffery Ross as Larry, Mae Whitman as Nancy, and Stephen Tobolowsky as Ned, the role he originated.

That balance of familiarity from Tobolowsky, coupled with a fresh but perfectly poignant take from Bateman, made Groundhog Day one of the best live reads to come out of the series to date. Read More »

Captain America Winter Soldier review

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a big movie. Big in scope, dense in story, and pivotal to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole. It continues the story of Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), also known as Captain America, as he begins to return to “normal” life after saving the world with some friends in The Avengers. He’s joined by fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), a soldier turned friend Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie) and a slew of others including, but not limited to, characters played by Sebastian Stan, Robert Redford, Frank Grillo, Georges St. Pierre, Cobie Smulders and Hayley Atwell. Like I said, it’s a big movie.

Directors Anthony and Joe Russo do a solid job of molding all these moving parts into a story that, for the most part, makes sense. But even when the story gets a little too complicated and the exposition a bit too wordy, it’s quickly saved by its entertaining action and continual narrative twists. Many of these will change everything you thought you knew about the Marvel Cinematic Universe. And I’m not just talking about the two credits scenes. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a fun, worthy, if slightly bulky entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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James Bobin

Even if you take away his two Muppet movies, writer/director James Bobin is a guy you want to talk to. He helped shape Sacha Baron Cohen’s legendary Da Ali G Show and the HBO show Flight of the Conchords, and is helming the next Disney Alice in Wonderland film, Alice Through the Looking Glass. He also helped bring The Muppets back to the big screen in the 2012 hit and co-wrote and directed this week’s hilarious sequel, Muppets Most Wanted. This James Bobin fellow has it going pretty well.

We were lucky enough to speak to Bobin and discussed a myriad of topics. In addition to an Alice tease, we discussed the self-referential nature of Muppets Most Wanted, having to change elements of the story when songs have already been finished, the canon of the Muppets, the rules for shooting and working with the Muppets, action sequences, dance and much more. If you’re a fan of the Muppets, or filmmaking in general, I think there’s a lot to learn here. Read our full interview below. Read More »

Ghostbusters 3 Ivan Reitman

Ghostbusters 3 is as close to filming as ever, but it just lost a very important piece of the puzzle. Speaking exclusively to Deadline, Ivan Reitman revealed he will no longer direct the project, instead stepping into a producer role. Reitman directed of the first two installments in the blockbuster franchise and revealed the tragic passing of star Harold Ramis cast the film in a new light for him. Now, despite his departure, filming will start by early 2015 at the latest.

He, along with Sony Pictures, will now begin the search for a new director based on a select list of candidates. Read some of Reitman’s quotes below. Read More »

30 Years After Return of the Jedi

Here’s some actual Star Wars news! (Even if it is minor.) Most of what we know about Star Wars Episode VII can be confined to a paragraph, and we know next to nothing about the new story. But today in a shareholders conference call Disney head Bob Iger said that Episode VII will take place thirty years after Return of the Jedi. That means the series is aging nearly in real-time along with its fans.

Along with that nugget, Iger confirmed that there will be three new young characters, and several retuning faces.

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The Incredibles 2 art by Roars Adams
Disney head Bob Iger dropped a big piece of news offhandedly during the Disney Investor’s Meeting today, stating that Brad Bird is working on the story for The Incredibles 2 and that Pixar is also working on a new Cars movie.

No surprise with the Cars sequel; I’m sure they will continue that franchise until it runs out of gas and stops making them money in toy stores and at theme parks. The Incredibles sequel, on the other hand, is big news, and fans should be excited that Brad Bird is involved. No other details have yet been revealed.

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