Beauty and the Beast review

Disney’s live-action-remake obsession continues this month with Beauty and the Beast, and it might be one of the trickiest adaptations they’ve tackled so far. Oh, sure, it’s an easy sell: the 1991 animated feature is one of the most beloved films in the studio’s catalogue, and nostalgia alone would’ve been enough to get some butts in seats. But on the other hand, how do you live up to near perfection? What’s the point in redoing something that good? How do you make a movie that satisfies fans of the original, while adding enough of a twist to justify redoing it in the first place?

We don’t have all the answers — if we did, we’d be running Disney, not blogging for /Film — but the first reactions to the first screenings offer some clues as to how the studio tried to address these challenges. See the first Beauty and the Beast reactions below, as well as our own brief Beauty and the Beast review. 
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Logan trailer - Hugh Jackman

In just under two weeks, Logan will hit theaters, giving us what is supposed to be the last outing for Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. Thankfully, it sounds like this movie not only gives fans the Wolverine movie they’ve been waiting to see for years, but it also gives Hugh Jackman a powerful send off as the adamantium-clad mutant.

Our own David Chen already delivered a spoiler-free review of Logan, and he loved it. Of course, you might want to know what a variety of other critics though, so we rounded up some of the other reviews out there. For anyone excited for Logan, you’ll be happy to hear that the latest sequel from director James Mangold will not disappoint.

Check out our Logan reviews round-up after the jump. Read More »

logan trailer

After nearly two decades, the X-Men franchise under 20th Century Fox’s stewardship has begun to feel too constrained by storytelling mechanics and full of characters that are warmed over. After the third or fourth time that you’ve seen the X-Men crew go up against a powerful supervillain and face off against a city- or world-destroying force (often accompanied by a blue beam shooting towards the sky), you begin to wonder whether this franchise still has new stories to tell.

These days, films that deviate heavily from the formula have felt refreshing (e.g., Deadpool, Days of Future Past), while those that hew closely to it are tiresome (e.g., X-Men: Apocalypse). This is why James Mangold’s Logan is a goddamn miracle. It unapologetically blazes its own trail in the X-Men universe. Logan throws the whole X-Men chessboard into the air, settles on the few pieces it wants to use, and then plays them off each other in ways we’ve never seen. The results are thrilling, and give me hope that the genre as a whole can still be fresh and inventive. It’s a near-perfect film, and one that I’ll be thinking about for a very long time.

Spoiler-free thoughts on Logan follow.
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The LEGO Batman Movie Reviews

In just a few days, we’ll get to see if The LEGO Batman Movie lives up to the hype and continues the inspired style and imagination of The LEGO Movie that introduced us to this brilliant version of Batman voiced by Will Arnett. This past weekend the first press screenings rolled out, and the reviews were available online later in the day.

The LEGO Batman Movie reviews are overwhelmingly positive, though some point out that it’s not quite on par with The LEGO Movie. One of the more common claims though is that this is one of the best Batman movies ever made, including some talk about how its creators understand Batman infinitely better as a character than those driving the DC Expanded Universe.

Check out The LEGO Batman Movie early buzz after the jump. Read More »

Newness Review

Back in 2011, director Drake Doremus made a splash at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival with his indie romance Like Crazy, which won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic category. Since then, his films Breathe In and Equals haven’t really reached the same level of praise. But with his latest work behind the camera that hit the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Doremus makes a valiant, respectable effort in his creation of a new honest portrait of love in the age of Tinder.

Newness focuses on a couple twentysomethings (Nicholas Hoult and Laia Costa) who meet through a Tinder-style app called Winx. Both had a couple failed hooks-ups, and they decide to have a late night rendezvous with no strings attached. But after spending some time together, and eventually having sex, they fall for each other. That’s the kind of story that has been used to take up a whole hour and a half story, but for Newness, it’s just the first 15 minutes. For the rest of the movie, Doremus digs a little deeper.

Read on for our full Newness review. Read More »

sundance 2017

The /Film team of Angie Han, Ethan Anderton, and myself have returned from the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. Over the six days we were in Park City, we screened over 36 movies (with only one movie having been watched by all three of us). Here are 15-second capsule reviews of all the movies we saw at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

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Columbus review

Early in Columbus, Casey (Haley Lu Richardson) defends her decision to use less spice in a dish. She was going for subtlety, she explains, all the better to let the true flavors of the ingredients shine through and leave a lingering aftertaste. That, essentially, is the mission statement for the entire movie. It might not be to everyone’s tastes — it’s too delicate and slow and, yes, subtle for that. But those who stick with it will find a drama worth savoring, with echoes of OncePaterson, and the Before trilogy and fine performances from Richardson and John ChoRead More »

Nobody Speak Hulk Hogan, Gawker and the Trials of a Free Press

Nobody Speak: Hulk Hogan, Gawker and Trials of a Free Press premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday afternoon. From Brian Knappenberger comes a documentary about how the Gawker lawsuit might lead to the loss of free press in the United States. It’s an informative, fascinating, and terrifying look at how people with big pockets and large power can silence media.

Read my Nobody Speaks review after the jump.
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get out

The midnight secret screening at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival was probably the worst kept secret in the festival’s history: It was the premiere of Jordan Peele‘s directorial debut Get Out, a Blumhouse-produced horror movie that takes on the monster of racism in modern times. Imagine Meet The Parents mixed with The Stepford Wives. It’s smart, visceral, thrilling and, of course, funny.

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Call Me By Your Name review

First love has rarely been depicted as beautifully or as movingly as it is in Luca Guadagnino‘s Call Me By Your Name, an adaptation of the André AcimanTimothée Chalamet, probably best known as bratty Finn Walden from season one of Homeland), has a star-making turn as a teenager exploring his sexual identity. Meanwhile, Armie Hammer, a very good actor who’s been stuck in some not-very-successful movies, is downright mesmerizing as the young man who changes his life forever.

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