Jack's top 10 films of the year

At times, 2016 was an emotionally exhausting year at the movies. We saw plenty of tearjerkers and great, empathetic filmmaking over the past 12 months. 2016 was a rare time where I could often sense crowds were mostly on the same page. Sitting in a huge audience, and feeling that nearly everyone else is captivated by the same story, is a great experience, one that doesn’t happen frequently — but I think it was something I was lucky enough to see occur more than a few times in 2016, thanks to some emotional movies.

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Valley Girl remake star

Nicolas Cage is very charismatic in Valley GirlMartha Coolidge‘s charming 1984 love story benefits greatly from his often endearing performance and goofy haircut. It’s not one of Cage’s more famous roles, so when it comes to the remake, its star, Josh Whitehouse, doesn’t exactly have a large shadow cast over him. But hopefully he’ll be able to bring as much energy and fun to the punk rock character as Cage did.

Below, learn more about the Valley Girl remake star.

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Beauty and the Beast TV Spots

The new year has just started, but we’re only a few months away from seeing one of the most anticipated movies of 2017 on the big screen. Disney is continuing their trend of remaking their animated classics with Beauty and the Beast this spring. We’ve already seen how loyal the new live-action adaptation is to the original animated take on the classic tale in the full theatrical trailer, and now we get to see some tidbits of new footage thanks to a couple of TV spots.

Watch the new Beauty and the Beast TV spots below. Read More »

Wonderful Christmastime A Cappella

Sing is the latest animated comedy from Illumination Entertainment, and it’s in theaters now. If somehow after the onslaught of musically charged TV spots that have been all over the place this holiday season you weren’t aware of that, here’s another reminder.

The voice cast of Sing (including Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane and Tori Kelly) appeared on The Tonight Show to perform an a cappella version of Paul McCartney‘s signature holiday tune “Wonderful Christmastime” with the help of Jimmy Fallon and The Roots. Oh, and the former member of The Beatles popped up to help out too.

Watch the Wonderful Christmastime a cappella video after the jump. Read More »

Sing Review

Note: With Sing out this weekend, we’re re-running our review from the TIFF.

Since Despicable Me, Illumination Entertainment has established itself as a go-to source for sturdy family entertainment. Their films may not reach the artistic heights of Pixar or Disney, but you can generally count on them to be perfectly pleasant and inoffensive, able to entertain the kids without annoying the parents.

Sing is Illumination’s first musical, but otherwise it’s cut from the same cloth as the company’s other films. While not especially deep, the combination of a star-studded cast and an equally star-studded music catalogue make for a fun time. It’s light and sweet and pretty as cotton candy, and it dissolves from memory just as quickly.  Read More »

Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig Musical

Former SNL stars and frequent collaborators Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig may reunite for an original musical. They’re attached to develop an adaptation of Steve Young and Mike Murphy‘s book, Everything Is Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age Of Industrial Musicals, which is about the musicals corporations used to put together to inspire their workers. The producer behind La La Land and Grease Live!Marc Platt, is producing the project.

Below, learn more about the potential Will Ferrell and Kristen Wiig musical.

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la-la-land

This news story begins with an anecdote. I arrived early for an interview during The Edge of Seventeen press and found myself killing time with the local PR folks. They told me they were working on a promotional campaign for the upcoming film La La Land. I suggested they take advantage of the fact that it’s an old-fashioned musical. To my surprise, they ended up taking me very literally. So I’m pleased (and a little shocked!) to help premiere this lovely video, where a key scene from Damien Chazelle‘s Oscar frontrunner is recreated in public, with the Austin, Texas skyline as a backdrop.

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 Ruby Rose in John Wick Chapter 2

Two very different sequels are currently out looking for fresh blood. Pitch Perfect 3 has found its newest recruit inside Litchfield Correctional, as Orange Is the New Black star Ruby Rose boards the a cappella musical. Meanwhile, the Sicario follow-up Soldado is enlisting one of this summer’s Magnificent Seven, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo in the War on Drugs — but on the “drug” side of that fight.  Read More »

La La Land - Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

La La Land is a bittersweet feast for the senses. Damien Chazelle‘s (Whiplash) original dance musical stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling as struggling artists and lovers. Thankfully, their love story is registering with both audiences and critics right out of the gate. The film just had a hugely successful opening weekend and won Best Picture at the 2017 Critics Choice Awards.

Below, learn how well La La Land performed at the box-office and the Critics Choice Awards.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

afi awards

We’re in awards season, which means it’s the time of year when critics’ groups praise their favorites, top 10 lists are published, and words like “overrated” and “underrated” become overused. Awards season can lead to healthy or unnecessarily heated debates among film fans online. The AFI Awards 2016 Official Selections may cause a disagreement or two, especially since they awarded Mel Gibson‘s Hacksaw Ridge and Clint Eastwood‘s Sully, but they’ve also selected other titles that do represent the best of 2016.

Below, see which movies the AFI Awards honored for the 17th year of voting.

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