the disaster artist review

(This review originally ran during our coverage of the SXSW Film Festival earlier this year. The Disaster Artist opens in limited release today and expands next week.)

The most surprising thing about The Disaster Artist, James Franco‘s adaptation of Greg Sestero’s book of the same name, is that it doesn’t have a mean-spirited bone in its body. Here’s a film about the making of The Room, one of the worst and most baffling movies to ever achieve cult infamy, told with sincerity, sweetness, and pure affection. Franco isn’t here to laugh at The Room – he’s here to laugh with it. The Disaster Artist has no scorn for its subject. Instead, it is fascinated by this impossible-to-believe tale and the impossible-to-believe movie it produced. No irony. No scorn. Only love.

And that makes a movie whose existence already feels impossible feel all the more unlikely and all the more wonderful.

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atomic blonde review

Note: This review originally ran following the world premiere of Atomic Blonde at the SXSW Film Festival. It is in theaters today.

In a nutshell: Atomic Blonde is about a badass, bisexual British secret agent who fights like John Wick and seduces like James Bond who travels to Germany days before the fall of the Berlin Wall to recover some stolen intelligence. She wears a number of amazing outfits, kills a whole bunch of bad guys, and just looks terrific as she struts through noisy nightclubs and desolate alleyways to a soundtrack of ’80s synth pop. It is excellent, two-fisted entertainment and further proof that Charlize Theron is one of our great modern action heroes.

In a smaller nutshell: Atomic Blonde is one of the most purely entertaining action movies coming out this year.

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Baby Driver Review

(This review originally ran following Baby Driver‘s world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival. The film opens in theaters today.)

Edgar Wright makes movies for movie fans, first and foremost. Is there a wide audience for a zombie comedy that upends the genre while also delivering one of the most affecting horror tales of the 21st century? Maybe not at first, but Shaun of the Dead exists and it is spectacular. It took too many people too long to fall in love with a stylized rom-com martial arts adventure that appropriates video game language to provide commentary on how relationships evolve, but Scott Pilgrim vs. the World has rightfully become recognized as a one-of-a-kind pop masterpiece.

And speaking of pop masterpieces, Wright’s latest film, Baby Driver held its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival over the weekend and it’s remarkable for two reasons. First, Wright’s unique voice remains intact, even as he plunges into a genre that is new to him and a story that takes away some of his more familiar crutches. Second, he’s made a movie that feels like it has the capacity to win over the average moviegoer as quickly as it wins the hearts of his fellow cinephiles.

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2017 sxsw film festival in review

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival is over, and it was an exceptional year for an always exceptional film festival. It’s rare to attend a movie fest and leave every single screening with something to talk about, but even the movies that I didn’t love have stuck with me in some way or another. This year’s line-up was a lot of things, but boring was certainly not one of them.

So let’s recap everything we saw. Let’s run down the best films and the best performances, the movies that almost worked and the movies that barely missed the mark, the bad movies you should see for yourself and the bad movies you really have to see.

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win it all review

Win It All is a nice movie.

That may seem like faint praise, but it’s hard to think of a more accurate or complimentary way to describe the latest collaboration between co-writer/director Joe Swanberg and co-writer/actor Jake Johnson. It is a pleasant, agreeable movie about people you like, where every single scene (and the movie itself) refuses to overstay its welcome. It is funny. It is moving. It is sweet. It is easy to watch. It is nice.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

gareth edwards SXSW keynote

While the bulk of the Gareth Edwards-related headlines to come out of SXSW have to do with the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray and DVD release, the filmmaker was actually in Austin, Texas for a reason beyond talking about Star Wars with journalists and bloggers. He was actually there to talk about Star Wars in front of an enormous crowd as one of the fest’s keynote speakers.

Now, his entire keynote has been put online by SXSW, so non-attendees can watch the whole thing.

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american gods tv show

When we discuss the stunning and bizarre and frequently hilarious first hour of Starz’s American Gods, we may very well be discussing your next television obsession. At the very least, Bryan Fuller and Michael Green‘s adaptation of Neil Gaiman‘s beloved novel has a stunning opening filled with astonishing images, bizarre characters, and evocative mysteries.

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Alien Covenant footage

“I’m pleased to show you some clips from our latest project, Alien: Covenant. My mantra has always been to scare the living shit out of you.”

And after that brisk introduction from director Ridley Scott, we were off. Technically, the crowd in the Paramount Theater in downtown Austin was there to watch a repertory screening of the original 1979 Alien, Scott’s horror/science fiction classic that has inspired countless imitators, but no equals. However, our session got started with with 15 minutes of the next film in the series, Alien: Covenant, with cast members Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, and Michael Fassbender on hand for a brief Q&A.

We watched three full scenes from the upcoming film and they were very promising: slick, violent, and very intense. Oh, and full of what seem to be major spoilers, but we’ll leave those parts out. Instead, let’s dive into what was on display in this footage in the most spoiler-free way possible.

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sxsw 2017 preview

The 2017 SXSW Film Festival kicks off today and /Film will be there for the duration, bringing you reviews of major premieres and new discoveries alike. While we’re bound to uncover a gem (or three) that come out of nowhere, a few movies are already on our radar as must-sees. Let’s run down the films we’re prioritizing this year.

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Netflix sxsw trailers

Netflix has released trailers for three original films in advance of their premieres at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, which begins tomorrow in Austin Texas. Those films include: Joe Swanberg‘s new comedy Win It All starring Keegan-Michael Key, Jake Johnson and Joe Lo Truglio, Tommy O’Haver‘s true-crime biopic drama The Most Hated Woman in America starring Melissa Leo, Adam Scott and Juno Temple, and E.L. Katz‘s dramatic crime thriller Small Crimes.

Below, watch the Netflix SXSW trailers, learn more about these three films, and find out when you’ll be able to watch them at home on Netflix streaming service.
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