James Wan presented a panel on this summer’s horror sequel The Conjuring 2 at Wondercon. Afterwards, /Film joined other journalists on a press line to speak with Wan. Being at a comic book convention, every journalist had their own question about Wan directing the solo Aquaman movie and Wan was gracious about answering every one. For us, he revealed that the world of Aquaman is inspiring some of his horror sensibilities. Think sea monsters! Read More »
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With his fourth feature film to date, Midnight Special
, writer-director Jeff Nichols often asks audiences to connect the dots. The filmmaker behind Mud and Take Shelter isn’t exactly making filmgoers work during his sci-fi drama, which stars Michael Shannon, but simply asking them to lean in, watch, and listen. The exposition is sparse, as is typically the case with Nichols’ dramas, and according to the director, he wanted to experiment with Midnight Special in that regard.
Below, read our Jeff Nichols interview (mild spoilers follow).
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Posted on Thursday, March 24th, 2016 by Fred Topel
There may be an unprecedented number of television shows based on movies on the air simultaneously: Limitless, Fargo, Bates Motel, Damien and the just ended Minority Report and Hannibal with the upcoming Uncle Buck and shows like Lethal Weapon, Rambo and The Expendables in development. Add to that Rush Hour, based on the Jackie Chan/Chris Tucker series.
CBS’s Rush Hour stars John Foo and Justin Hires as Detectives Lee and Carter. The pilot tells how Lee comes to Los Angeles and works with Carter at first grudgingly, but ultimately agrees to stay as partners. A new development is Carter’s chief (Wendie Malick) flirting with Lee. The series was developed by Bill Lawrence and Blake McCormick, with Steve Franks joining the team as producer. We go to speak with the trio after their panel for the Television Critics Association. Rush Hour premieres March 31 at 10PM on CBS.
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Posted on Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
Director John Lee seems, at first, to be an odd fit for a Pee-wee Herman movie. With writing and directing credits that include Wonder Showzen, Inside Amy Schumer, Broad City, and The Heart, She Holler, Lee seems to exist in a darker, more pointed universe than the colorful, silly world of Paul Reubens‘ iconic character. But as I learned when I sat down to interview him the day after the SXSW premiere of Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, his experience operating on the darker side of comedy had left him hungry and well-equipped for something sunny and silly.
Our sprawling conversation begins with a discussion of our favorite sounds, touches on the magic of Joe Manganiello, and explores what it’s like to work with Judd Apatow and Netflix.
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For any comedy writer of a certain age, working on a new Pee-wee Herman movie is a dream come true. And you can clearly see just how giddy Paul Rust is to have written Pee-wee’s Big Holiday alongside Paul Reubens. Rust, an actor and writer whose credits include everything from Arrested Development and Comedy Bang! Bang!, didn’t even try to mask his enthusiasm when I sat down with him the day after the film’s world premiere at SXSW. He was a kid in a candy shop.
During the course of our interview, we discussed old school Pee-wee fandom, his new Netflix series Love, and how writing a Pee-wee adventure is so very different than writing for most comedies.
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I was in Los Angeles recently on a business trip when I got to have lunch with my friend, writer/director Bradley King, whose film Time Lapse is a fun genre thriller that recently hit Netflix. As typically occurs when I meet with fellow film nerds, we started talking about what films he’d seen recently. That’s when he admitted he’d seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens more than 23 times in theaters, as of this writing, and had no plans to stop going.
I enjoyed The Force Awakens myself when it was first released, but I can’t quite imagine seeing any movie that many times in theaters, let alone that specific one. I needed to understand the depths and purpose of this obsession, so King agreed to let me interview him. Hit the jump to read a transcript of our interview, which has been edited for grammar and clarity, as we explore why King does it, what theaters he chooses to go to, and what he learns from each viewing. And of course, the following contains massive spoilers for The Force Awakens.
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When the first teaser trailer for 10 Cloverfield Lane was released, many people noticed that John Gallagher Jr.‘s character Emmet was looking at a VHS tape of a fake movie called Cannibal Airlines. It’s one of those fun little details that sent many fans on a hunt to find out what it may mean, or if whether it’s somehow connected to the film’s ARG (it wasn’t). When I talked to 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg last week, I found out the story behind the movie within the movie. And you might be surprised to learn that the VHS tape came from the mind of the man who is currently directing The Lego Movie 2.
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Posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2016 by Fred Topel
Daredevil season two introduces new characters on screen. Jon Bernthal stars as Frank Castle, Marvel comic’s antihero the Punisher, and Elodie Yung stars as classic Daredevil love interest Elektra. There’s some new blood behind the scenes too, or at least promoted blood. Marco Ramirez and Doug Petrie graduated to showrunners this year, after working as writers and producers on season one.
We got to speak with Ramirez and Petrie in advance of the season premiere on Netflix. Ramirez even gave /Film a couple of shoutouts during our talk. Daredevil returns March 18 on Netflix. Read More »
Posted on Wednesday, March 16th, 2016 by Jacob Hall
I had many conflicting thoughts about Hardcore Henry, one of the most impressively made movies to ever leave me unsure of what I just watched. But there is one thing I can say for sure: director Ilya Naishuller is a guy we should be keeping an eye on. No matter what you think of his ultra-violent, incredibly silly action film, there is no doubt that it is an impressive technical achievement. I can safely say that Naishuller, his crew, and his death-defying stuntmen have created a movie that is unlike anything I have seen before.
And it turns out that making a bombastic shoot-’em-up that utilizes video game language to tell the story entirely from the first person point-of-view of the lead character is a huge pain in the ass. I sat down with Naishuller the day after Hardcore Henry’s SXSW screening to talk about the difficulties in making a movie like this, his influences, and how video games are changing cinema.
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