La La Land Review

“They don’t make ’em like this anymore” is a frequent lament when it comes to movies, but it couldn’t be truer in the case of La La Land, an unabashedly old-fashioned musical directed by Whiplash‘s Damien Chazelle. Set in contemporary Los Angeles — with just enough modern-day flourishes to remind you that this is a movie made and set in the 2010s, not the 1950s — La La Land follows a struggling pianist and an aspiring actress who fall in love but find their separate dreams threatening to pull them apart. It’s a story as old as Hollywood and jazz, and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone feel like a pairing for the ages.

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Loving review

Jeff Nichols has never been one for outsized drama. It’s not that dramatic things don’t happen in his movies — on the contrary, his films are full of superpowered kids and apocalyptic dreams and the like. But he often seems less interested in big events than in all the moments in between, the everyday bonds and minute details that make up the textures of everyday life.

In Loving, Nichols applies that same approach to the 1967 Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, which struck down anti-miscegenation laws across the country. Aided by awards-worthy performances from Joel Edgerton and especially Ruth Negga, Nichols delivers an intimate drama that feels all the bigger for keeping its scope so resolutely small.  Read More »

The Light Between Oceans Video Review

Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine blew me away when it debuted at Sundance in 2011, with its evocative style and its powerful performances. Thus, I was excited to learn Cianfrance would be applying his skills to a period drama starring Michael Fassbender and Alicia Vikander in The Light Between Oceans

Oceans is grander on every level — in its setting, its scope, its ambition, and the emotional heights of its performances. And while its latter half does give way to some overwrought moments and dialogue, I never lost sight of the central, compelling connection that the two protagonists had with each other. Hit the jump to see my full video review of the film.

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2016 fall movie preview

This 2016 fall movie preview was written by Jacob Hall and Jack Giroux.

The summer is over and the days are getting shorter and the weather is getting milder and (fingers crossed) the movies are going to start getting better. The next four months offer an embarrassment of cinematic riches, with new films from Martin Scorsese, Damien Chazelle, Tim Burton, Gareth Edwards, Paul Verhoeven, Mel Gibson, Robert Zemeckis, Park Chan-Wook, Terrence Malick, J.A. Bayona, Jeff Nichols, Ang Lee, Denis Villeneuve, Kenneth Lonergan, and other filmmakers of note waiting in the wings.

We’ve narrowed down the list of must-see movies to 32 titles and have ranked them from “We really want to see this!” to “We will push you out of the way at a sprint to see this!”

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A United Kingdom trailer

A United Kingdom is like a trifecta of talents who seem like they should be much bigger than they are. In the lead roles it has Rosamund Pike and David Oyelowo, who gave two of the best performances of 2014, and behind the camera it’s got Amma Asante, who delivered the smart period drama Belle that same year. While none of them are at household name status quite yet, all three are worth keeping an eye on. So when they all converge for one project, you can bet we’ll be paying attention.

Based on a true story, A United Kingdom chronicles the eventful romance of Seretse Khama and Ruth Williams. The two meet and fall in love in 1940s London, which is tough enough given they’re an interracial couple — but their relationship is further complicated by the fact that he is the prince of Bechuanaland (present-day Botswana). The film is slated to debut at TIFF next month, but before we get there you can check out the first A United Kingdom trailer below.  Read More »

My Blind Brother trailer

NBC’s Parks and Recreation ended at the exact right time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t miss it now that it’s gone. So if you’re still in mourning, you may find some comfort in the new trailer for My Blind Brother. Sophie Goodhart‘s indie drama stars not one, not two, but three former Pawneeans caught in a love triangle. Nick Kroll, the former Douche, gets to play the nice guy this time, while Adam Scott steps up as the douchey one. The two guys play brothers after the same woman, played by Jenny Slate. Watch the My Blind Brother trailer after the jump.
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La La Land trailer

The first trailer for Damien Chazelle‘s La La Land treated us to the musical stylings of Ryan Gosling, as he sang the poignant ballad “City of Stars.” The new one puts Emma Stone in the spotlight, as she performs the equally wistful “Audition.”

Stone and Gosling play a couple of striving artists — she an actress, he a musician — who meet and fall for each other in Los Angeles. Though the film is set in the present day, there’s an unmistakably old-fashioned feel to it, from the colorful sets to the fanciful dance sequences. The very idea of releasing a classic movie musical in 2016 may seem kind of nuts, but just as Stone sings, “Here’s to the ones that dream, foolish as they may seem.” Watch the latest La La Land trailer below.  Read More »

Passengers Photos

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt are two of the most popular and good-looking stars working in Hollywood today. Both have major franchises to their name, the admiration of droves of fans, and now all those audiences are going to lose their mind when they see these two fall in love in deep space.

Passengers is an original sci-fi romance from Prometheus scribe Jon Spaihts and The Imitation Game director Morten Tyldum which follows a man (Pratt) who is just one passenger on a colony ship full of thousands in a cryogenic sleep. However, the man finds himself woken up due to a system malfunction, leaving him all alone on this big ship. Desperate for some company, he decides to wake another sleeping passenger, and of course he picks a character played by Jennifer Lawrence.

Now a couple Passengers photos have surfaced online with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence looking as respectively handsome and pretty as you’d expect. Even a big ole spacesuit doesn’t make Chris Pratt look goofy. Read More »

Allied teaser trailer

Robert Zemeckis‘ last movie, The Walk, sank down and disappeared without a trace, but maybe his next one will have better luck staying afloat. It surely helps that Allied boasts the combined beauty and star power of Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard, who play spies in World War II. They’re assigned to work together as pretend husband and wife, but as invariably happens with these situations in the movies, they start to fall in love for real. Watch the first

Watch the first Allied teaser trailer below.

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