Best Stories of the Week

It’s the weekend again, and in addition to bringing the arrival of Jurassic World in theaters, that means it’s time for our round-up of the Best Stories of the Week.

This time we’ve got updates about The Simpsons, The Hateful Eight, the reboot of Ghostbusters, Spider-Man, Daredevil and more. You’ll also find trailers for movies like The Martian and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 and TV shows like Scream and Orange is the New Black. And as always, there were some big Star Wars updates as well.

Check out the Best Stories of the Week after the jump! Read More »

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Ty Simpkins Jurassic World Interview

The following interview was conducted by Courtney Howard:

Not only is child-actor Ty Simpkins an absolute pro, he’s managed to maintain his down-to-Earth persona picture perfectly – a tricky thing to do in show business. His projects have ranged from horror (Insidious, Insidious: Chapter 2), to superhero action (Iron Man 3), to sci-fi (War of the Worlds), to independent darling (Little Children). With director Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, the affable actor blends elements from all of these roles in a popcorn flick of epic proportions. He plays Grey, a super smart pre-teen going through a tumultuous time – including, of course, facing off against dinosaurs.

At the film’s recent press day in Los Angeles, we spoke to Ty about everything from Jurassic Worlds top secret nature, to being immortalized in Lego, to his next dream project – director Paul Haggis’ adaptation of The Ranger’s Apprentice.

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B.D. Wong jurassic park

The following interview comes from Courtney Howard:

Actor B.D. Wong has played an assistant to a flamboyant wedding planner (Father of The Bride), a mobster (Mystery Date), and, for eleven years, a psychologist (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit). He also won many awards, including a Tony, for his breakout role in the play M. Butterfly. Now, with director Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, he’s slipping back into the lab coat of a character he originated twenty-two years ago in director Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Dr. Henry Wu has returned – and he’s created bigger, badder, bolder dinosaurs this time around.

At the film’s recent press tour, we spoke with Wong over the phone about everything from being the only character in the franchise to return, to the level of secrecy around the film, to how to nail tongue-twisting dialogue perfectly. Read the BD Wong Jurassic World interview after the jump.
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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl review

Editor’s Note: Below is our review of from the Sundance Film Festival. We’re republishing it now that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is open in limited release. Find theaters here.

On paper, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl doesn’t seem particularly exciting. An adaptation of a book by Jesse Andrews, it’s the story of a high school senior who is forced to become friends with a school acquaintance who is diagnosed with leukemia.

Interesting, yes but not that exciting. Thankfully, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl isn’t merely on paper. It’s a film — in fact, a film that loves film, celebrates film, and is very much about the medium – with beautiful shot composition, tense long takes and elaborate tracking shots. It tells a touching and incredibly funny story with very realistic, honest characters and enough self-awareness to make it all feel modern. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and adapted by Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl had its world premiere at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival this weekend. Read our Me and Earl and the Dying Girl review here. Read More »

Jurassic World early buzz

[This article contains major SPOILERS for Jurassic World.]

Jurassic World (see Peter and Germain‘s reviews) is a film loaded with contradictions. It’s a movie that acknowledges and even ridicules standard action film tropes, then goes on to invoke them.

For instance, the movie points out the increasing commercialization and product integration in major studio films, then follows it up with a beauty shot of a Mercedes, driven by velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and park operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). Later, one of the park’s operators (Jake Johnson) goes in for a dramatic kiss with a female colleague (Lauren Lapkus), only to be shot down in hilarious fashion – seemingly poking fun at how these films over-dramatize romantic connections. And yet at the end of the film, Grady and Dearing still get a romantic Indiana Jones-esque moment as they walk in silhouette into the distance.

It’s a movie that wants to comment on the modern blockbuster, while still playing to that sort of film’s worst and basest tendencies. In fact, there were several points throughout the film where I couldn’t help but feel as though the plot of the film was a meta commentary on the movie itself.
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Colin Trevorrow Jurassic World Follow-up

Jurassic World is finally hitting theaters today, and as promised, here is my final interview with director Colin Trevorrow about the movie. As many of you know, I have talked to Colin two other times during the production of the film, once about the information leaks and fan backlash to some of those details and another time in an extensive interview when I visited the set of the film. My latest interview with Colin was conducted at the junket on the Universal back lot last week after having seen the movie.

In the interview, Colin talks about the Flight of the Navigator remake, how the voice cameos in the movie came about, the ideas of commercialization and sequels in the movie, how Steven Spielberg helped change the edit of the movie, the fan reaction to the trailers and the struggle to preserve surprises, how he met his writing partner Derek Connolly while working at Saturday Night Live, featherless dinosaurs in an age when science thinks different, and would he be interested in directing a Star Wars movie.

After the jump, you can read the whole interview (a couple of excerpts have run earlier in the week) which is virtually spoiler free (I have removed one question and answer which I will run next week after everyone has seen the film).

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Jurassic world theory

So this Jurassic World fan theory has popped up a few times over the past year, but with the movie finally hitting theaters it seems to be gaining momentum and I thought it might be fun to discuss. Could it be possible that Chris Pratt‘s raptor-trainer character Owen in Jurassic World could be a character we’ve seen before in Steven Spielberg‘s original Jurassic Park? Lets examine the evidence and then find out what director Colin Trevorrow has to say about it, after the jump.

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Colin Trevorrow Star Wars

In November 2012, a rumor was widely reported that Colin Trevorrow was up for directing Star Wars: Episode 7. When Colin was announced to remake Flight of the Navigator (which it now sounds like might be dead) we wrote off the rumors as having been likely about the other Disney science fiction film.

But on the set of Jurassic World, I discovered there was some truth behind the rumors after all, and told you the story of how Brad Bird almost helming Star Wars: The Force Awakens resulted in Colin Trevorrow directing Jurassic World. The fast version of the story is Brad Bird almost directed Episode 7 but because he was busy with Tomorrowland he suggested that LucasFilm and Disney have a filmmaker he trusted prep the film for him, that filmmaker being Colin Trevorrow.

The idea was pretty crazy and of course never happened, but now that Josh Trank is off the second Star Wars Anthology film, we wondered if Colin Trevorrow coming hot off Jurassic World might be in the running. Could we ever see a Colin Trevorrow Star Wars movie? We asked the filmmaker himself, read the quotes after the jump.

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Tomorrowland roads

Hollywood has a woman problem, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. There isn’t enough female filmmakers making big movies, and there aren’t enough big-budget films centering on — or even featuring — complex female characters. This is something discussed many times in recent years here and on other sites. Over the last decade we’ve seen the Bechdel test, a simple routine which calls attention to drastic gender inequality in our big screen stories, blow up in popular culture.

The old Hollywood way of thinking has always been that female driven stories doesn’t usually equate to huge box office successes unless they involve princess fairytales or epic love stories. In recent years we have seen a growing desire for female driven stories on the big screen, from young adult adaptations like Twilight or The Hunger Games to 2013’s Oscar-winning success Gravity, or even breakout b-action films like Lucy.

But the tables are turning and we’re starting to see Hollywood bet big on female-driven stories. This summer alone is filled with blockbuster films with strong female characters in the central role. I thought now that we are almost half way into June we should look back and forward and take an assessment of the new era we may have approached.

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