Alden Ehrenreich in The Yellow Birds review

The Yellow Birds is guaranteed to attract a certain amount of attention simply because it’s Alden Ehrenreich‘s last major role before Han Solo, and Star Wars fans will be gratified to see that Lucasfilm’s faith in him is not misplaced. He puts in an unforgettable lead performance as Bartle, a young soldier who’s deployed to war and comes back a haunted man, for reasons he’s unwilling or unable to articulate.

But The Yellow Birds is far more than an acting showcase for Ehrenreich’s talents, and would deserve to be seen no matter what big franchises its stars were doing next. It’s a war drama that’s far less interested in the heroism of battle than its cost, as told through the story of a single soldier and those in his immediate orbit.  Read More »

A Ghost Story Review

If I told you there was a movie at Sundance where Casey Affleck appears for most of the film covered in a white sheet with black eyes like some kind of cheap Halloween ghost, you’d probably think it was some sort of quirky comedy. But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

It should come as no surprise that A Ghost Story is about a ghost. Casey Affleck plays a man, only identified as “C” in the film’s credits who dies in a head-on collision outside of the house where he lives with his wife “M” (Rooney Mara) in a small town. After his wife sees his body one last time in the hospital and leaves, the camera lingers, and after a couple of minutes of ambient sound, the sheet covering “C” raises as if he’s alive. And what follows is not horror, thriller or comedy, but a drama from director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Pete’s Dragon) the likes of which you haven’t seen before.

Read on for our full A Ghost Story review. Read More »

Moonlight

We’ve already started posting our own retrospective lists of the Top 10 Movies of 2016, each one different from the next (Jacob Hall and David Chen have posted their lists so far), and next week will bring our cumulative list of /Film’s Top 15 Movies of 2016. In the meantime, why not find out which movies some of the most buzzed about directors loved this year?

A batch of filmmakers like Paul Feig (Ghostbusters), Chris Kelly (Other People), David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon), Mike Birbiglia (Don’t Think Twice), The Daniels (Swiss Army Man), Marielle Heller (The Diary of a Teenage Girl), Jay Duplass (Cyrus), Nicole Holofcener (Enough Said), Jonathan Demme (Silence of the Lambs) and many more each compiled a list of their favorite films from this year, and we’ve highlighted some of them to check out. Read More »

PETE'S DRAGON

David Lowery‘s Pete’s Dragon is a simple, beautiful and warm tale of friendship. It’s a refreshingly sparse story that hardly resembles the original Disney film. Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks lifted very little from the ’77 musical; they made a movie that stands on its own and doesn’t rely at all on nostalgia.

The film was well received when it was in theaters, but now that it’s on home video, more viewers will likely embrace Elliot and Pete’s heartfelt and tender adventure. With Pete’s Dragon now on Blu-ray, we recently had the chance to speak with Lowery again, and he reflected on some of the toughest and most enjoyable days during the shoot, not reading the reviews, the lessons he learned, and the experience of working with Robert Redford again.

Below, read our David Lowery interview.

Read More »

sundance 2017 line-up

We’re only a few short weeks away from the Sundance Film Festival. This year Peter, Angie, and Ethan are on the ground covering the fest, meaning they’ll get to see new movies from filmmakers such as David Lowery (Pete’s Dragon), Gillian Robespierre (Obvious Child), Alex Ross Perry (Listen Up, Phillip), Marti Noxon (UnREAL), and Matthew Heineman (Cartel Land). The Festival has announced the 66 films playing in competition in addition to titles out of competition as part of the NEXT lineup. Expect more titles showing at the festival to be announced shortly. The film fest kicks off in Park City, Utah on January 19th.

Below, check out the Sundance 2017 line-up.

Read More »

casey-affleck-aint-them-bodies-saints

Well, this is exciting. Around the time director David Lowery‘s Pete’s Dragon remake was released he filmed another feature with his Ain’t Them Bodies Saints stars, Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara. Lowery shot the mystery film in Dallas, where he’ll soon shoot his next drama, The Old Man and the Gun, which he calls a bit of a tribute to its star, Robert Redford.

Below, learn more about the secret David Lowery movie.

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david lowery talks the old man and the gun

The Old Man and the Gun is David Lowery‘s next project. The Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and Pete’s Dragon director is reuniting with Casey Affleck and Robert Redford for the movie, which is a remarkable true story about a man who spent much of his life in and out of jail and robbing banks, even when he was nearly 80 years old. Redford is playing that man, Forrest Tucker, in a film Lowery calls a tribute to Redford.

Below, the writer-director discusses his next collaboration with the actor.

Read More »

The Old Man and the Gun - Casey Affleck

David Lowery signed on to direct The Old Man and the Gun and Pete’s Dragon right around the same time. It was initially unclear which movie would happen first, but when Pete’s Dragon began to pick up speed, Lowery asked Robert Redford to play Mr. Meacham, so their other project had to wait. Now, the drama, based on a true story, is moving forward with Lowery, Redford, and a new addition, Casey Affleck (Manchester by the Sea).

Below, learn more about the David Lowery project.

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david lowery

Director David Lowery‘s reimagining of Disney’s Pete’s Dragon is a very, very loose remake. It’s more detached from the original film than any of the other live-action Disney remakes. For Lowery and co-writer Toby Halbrooks, a boy, Pete (Oakes Fegley), and a dragon, Elliot, were all they needed to take from the 1977 musical.

Halbrooks and Lowery’s tale of friendship is character-driven and sparse. Unlike most films we’ve seen this summer, it’s not driven by set pieces or conventional spectacle. Pete’s Dragon is basically a big budget drama. At the film’s press day, Lowery was kind enough to discuss crafting his latest picture with us, how the story evolved, working with Robert Redford, and how a bank commercial inspired him.

Below, read our David Lowery interview.

Read More »

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Pete's Dragon Trailer

It’s been a great year for Walt Disney Pictures with success in both live-action and animation. Zootopia is one of the most successful movies of the year, Finding Dory was a huge box office hit, and the live-action remake of The Jungle Book may be the best revision of their classic animated movies yet. But the studio isn’t done bringing magic to movie theaters just yet.

Pete’s Dragon is yet another remake of a classic Disney movie. However, as we’ve seen in the trailers so far, this new take on the 1977 live-action and animated hybrid could not be more different from the original. Basically, the only thing they share is a camaraderie between a young boy and a dragon in the woods. And the more we see from Pete’s Dragon, the more excited I am to see it, and you just might feel the same way after watching a new trailer from across the pond.

Watch the Pete’s Dragon trailer from the United Kingdom after the jump. Read More »