Dope review

Four days in, Rick Famuyiwa‘s Dope is the best film I’ve seen so far at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A coming of age story for the “post hip hop generation” best described as a mix of three films: Doug Liman’s Go, Greg Mottola’s Superbad and John Singleton’s Boyz n the Hood.  I’m posting this review the morning after the premiere and its being reported that six studios are rabidly bidding to distribute this film — its insanely accessible movie for a Sundance film and will sure to be a hit that lives on past its festival and theatrical runs. Read my Dope review after the jump.

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Dope

With the Sundance Film Festival slated to kick off tomorrow, we have a fun first look at one of this year’s under-the-radar treats. Dope stars Shameik Moore as a teenage geek named Malcolm growing up in a rough neighborhood in Inglewood, California. He winds up in a sticky situation after attending a party where a drug deal goes sour.

Also starring are Zoë KravitzTony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), Blake Anderson (WorkaholicsKeith Stanfield (Short Term 12), and rapper A$AP Rocky. Pharrell contributed to the soundtrack. Watch the Dope trailer after the jump.  Read More »

good-kill-1

A decade after Lord of War and nearly two decades after Gattaca, Andrew Niccol and Ethan Hawke have joined forces again for Good Kill. Hawke leads the drama as a military pilot at war, but the twist is that he’s fighting this particular war from home — he’s a drone pilot stationed in Las Vegas while controlling machines halfway around the world.

In theory, it’s an ideal compromise that allows him to simultaneously serve his country and be there for his family. But as time goes on, he starts to question the mission and the tactics they’re using to achieve it. January Jones stars as his long-suffering wife, Zoe Kravitz is his co-pilot, and Bruce Greenwood is their commanding officer. Watch the Good Kill trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Divergent

It’s probably not entirely fair to keep comparing Divergent to The Hunger Games. But given that they’re both female-led dystopian YA action franchises, and given that Divergent is very obviously aiming to be the successor to the Hunger Games throne, it’s pretty hard not to make the comparison.

Not that they’re exactly the same. Directed by Neil Burger and based on the book by Veronica Roth, Divergent takes place in a futuristic Chicago. Therein, each citizen, upon reaching adulthood, must ally him- or herself with one of five factions. Shailene Woodley leads the cast as Tris, who leaves behind Abnegation, where she was raised, to become one of the thrill-seeking Dauntless.

Hopefully the differences between the two series will become clearer as we see more from the film. Like this first bit of footage, in the form of a very brief teaser. Check out the video after the jump.

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Gore Verbinski‘s The Lone Ranger was forced to make some changes when Disney balked at its $250 million price tag, but happily, it doesn’t seem the cuts have stopped the project from continuing to land some solid talent. Deadline reports that rising star James Badge Dale is now the frontrunner to join the cast in the role of Dan Reid. The older brother of the titular character (Armie Hammer), Dan Reid is an ex-ranger and hero himself. Johnny Depp, Ruth Wilson, Tom Wilkinson, Barry Pepper, Helena Bonham Carter, and Dwight Yoakum also star in the Western, which is being produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.

The one possible downside to this news for Dale’s fans, however, is that if he officially boards Lone Ranger, it’ll pull him out of the running to play John McClane Jr. in A Good Day to Die Hard. Either way, though, Dale’s obviously on his way up. He was most recently seen in last year’s Shame, and will next appear in this month’s The Grey opposite Liam Neeson. In addition, he has two more high-profile projects, Flight and World War Z lined up for this year. Lone Ranger is scheduled to enter production next month.

After the jump, Orphan and The Hunger Games star Isabelle Fuhrman buddies up with Jaden Smith.

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M. Night Shyamalan‘s next film, After Earth, came pre-packaged with its two leads: Will and Jaden Smith. The pair will play a father-son duo whose spaceship crash lands on Earth 1,000 years after humans were forced to leave the planet. Now The Hollywood Reporter says the ladies in their lives are close to being cast and they’ll be played by Zoe Kravitz, who was recently seen in X-Men First Class, and Sophie Okonedo, best known for her Oscar-nominated work in Hotel Rwanda. They’d play the daughter and wife of the family, respectively.

The casting news actually comes with a few new details on the plot too and you can read those after the jump. Read More »

A couple weeks ago a great international trailer for X-Men: First Class appeared, with dialogue dubbed in Russian. Now there is a Japanese cut of the trailer — same thing, but with original English dialogue. If the dubbing put you off before there’s no reason not to take a look now. While some of the marketing for the film has been a little off the mark, the two core trailers — this one and the primary US one — have been fantastic and full of promise. So catch up now by hitting the jump. Read More »

Total Film has a new cover story on X-Men: First Class, and the magazine has created a bonus for those who purchase: a series of three vintage-style covers that emulate the classic styles of mags such as Life and Esquire. They’re great ways to get across the swinging ’60s vibe of First Class. And damn, but Michael Fassbender’s cover makes him look like a pretty ideal possible James Bond successor.

There’s a gallery with the covers right after the break, and then a rundown of quite a few new plot details that have broken over the past couple days as various people involved in the film have talked to the press. Consider those details all mildly spoilerish at least; if you want to be surprised by the film just check out the great cover gallery and move on. Read More »

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