Peter Capaldi Doctor Who

It’s been a big year for Doctor Who fans, as the turnover from Matt Smith to Peter Capaldi was finessed by an anniversary special that dove into some previously unseen bits of the character’s history, complete with the return of a fan-favorite actor and the debut of a new part of the Doctor’s history.

Now we’ve got a new image of Capaldi in costume, posed and distributed to celebrate the show’s start of production with the actor in the lead role. The show’s writer and producer, Steven Moffat, joked, “First the eyebrows! Then, at Christmas, the face! Coming soon, the whole Doctor. In the Cardiff studios, the Capaldi era begins.” That’s “the face,” above, from the Christmas Special. Below, you can see the new image.

And for those who haven’t been hanging on every tidbit of news about the new Doctor Who, the first two episodes of the new series are directed by Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England). That info has been around for a couple months, but it’s worth emphasizing now. Read More »

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There’s another Elysium movie moving forward, and Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Sightseers, A Field in England) is going to make it. But this isn’t related to Neill Blomkamp’s recent film. No, this one is part of the story High Rise, by novelist J. G. Ballard. This Elysium is a futuristic apartment block in which all modern amenities are contained, but where class warfare violently destroys the living space.

The book has been in development for ages; Nicholas Roeg had it as a possible project at one point, and the book has eerie similarities with David Cronenberg’s first feature, Shivers, aka They Came From Within. Cronenberg’s film and this book were released in 1975. (Cronenberg went on to film Ballard’s novel Crash.) Most recently Vincenzo Natali was attached to direct, with Richard Stanley (Hardware, Dust Devil) scripting.

But rights lapsed and producer Jeremy Thomas, who has been trying to make the film for decades, now has Ben Wheatley set to make the movie. Read More »

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As we’ve said before, Ben Wheatley is among the most interesting genre directors working right now. Kill List was a wild thriller, but also a fantastic explosion of ideas of masculinity and impotence; Sightseers is a fantastically funny, bloody comedy that also plays with the extreme results of frustrated creative impulses.

His next film is A Field in England, a fairly small production about a few guys who flee the front lines of the English Civil War in the mid-1600s. They’re captured by two men, one of whom is an alchemist, and pressed into assisting in the search for a treasure. But that treasure may in fact be something that drives them totally crazy (at least for a while).

This new teaser really ups the psychedelic factor — it is an almost assaultive collage of color, sound, and shapes. For the audience that is already pre-disposed to respond to a film like this, the trailer is going to be pure crack.  Read More »

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Ben Wheatley hasn’t been making features for very long, but he’s sure good at making his time count. In the four years since his first, Down Terrace, he’s managed to direct three more, each one wonderfully dark and twisted in its own special way.

His black romantic comedy Sightseers is still in theaters over here in the U.S., but there’s already a new trailer for his follow-up release, A Field in England. Even by Wheatley’s standards, this one looks pretty unusual. Set in 1648 during the English Civil War, it follows a group of deserters who get captured by an alchemist and descend into a psychedelic trip. Check out the video after the jump.

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Ben Wheatley (Down Terrace, Kill List) is making some of the best, smartest, and weirdest genre films going right now. His terrific black comedy Sightseers opens in some US theaters and on VOD this week, and now his follow-up effort has a distributor. Drafthouse Films has just announced the acquisition of A Field in England, which is being described as “a psychedelic trip into magic and madness.”

What kind of madness? Get a load of the plot description: “a group of English Civil War soldiers in the 17th century are captured by an alchemist and led into a vast mushroom field, where they fall victim to violent and nightmarish forces.”  Yes, please, let’s see that now. OK, we can’t see it now, exactly, but, Sightseers won’t be Wheatley’s only theatrical release in 2013. Drafthouse Films plans to have A Field in England out this year as well.

We don’t yet have a trailer to share, but in addition to the new image above, you can see the film’s poster below. Read More »

The Alamo Drafthouse Picks the Top 10 Films of 2012

The Alamo Drafthouse brand is beloved among moviegoers for their plush theaters, but it’s revered for their impeccable taste in movies. Whether programming a film festival or picking up indies for distribution, they’ve demonstrated an eye for films that aren’t just good, but unique.

With 2012 on its way out, the company has just released its list of their ten favorite movies from the year. Some of the titles were as successful at the box office as they were with critics, while others are more off the beaten track, but all are well worth checking out. Read their picks after the jump.

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The ABCs of Death is an anthology comprised of twenty-six vile, disgusting, hilarious, sometimes fantastic, and other times forgettable horror shorts. Individual directors each paired a letter of the alphabet with a way someone can die, and every possible option was on the table, no matter how offensive or gory.

Predictably, the results are equal to the imaginations and skills of each director. Some episodes look gorgeous with innovative, shocking and exciting ideas executed beautifully. Others are simple and clean, and work just right. Then there are films that don’t do much with their concept and lay there. Along the way, the constant excitement and anticipation of which filmmaker is next and what their death might be provides a worthy propulsive energy in the absence of a narrative. But when one of the films lays an egg, it hurts everyone else around it.

The ABC’s of Death hits VOD January 31 and theaters March 8, but it just screened at the AFI Fest Presented by Audi. Read more after the jump. Read More »

Edgar Wright hasn’t directed a feature since 2010′s Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, but that doesn’t mean he’s stopped bringing us films over the past couple of years. He exec produced last year’s Attack the Block, which proved to be one of the most enjoyable gems from last year’s crop of summer entertainments. Now he’s followed up by executive producing another promising picture, from Kill List director Ben Wheatley.

The new trailer for Sightseers starts out looking like a run-of-the-mill road trip dramedy, as a sweet, ordinary couple (Steve Oram and Alice Lowe) sets out to explore the English countryside. After the pair have a chance encounter with an irate local, however, the tone veers into something far darker — and funnier. Watch the video after the jump.

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