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amulet review

Amulet is the type of film where you spend more time noticing the production design than you do giving a shit about the story. A painfully slow slog, this horror film from Romola Garai has plenty of good ideas and a few neat creature effects, but that’s not enough to salvage things. Some may come away thrilled with Amulet‘s big finish, which sends a message folks can get behind – especially in this day and age. But that doesn’t excuse the rest of the movie.

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sundance sales record

Andy Samberg’s Palm Springs just broke the nicest records at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival this year. Hulu and Neon acquired the romantic-comedy for $17.5 million…and 69 cents. The number broke Sundance sale records for the biggest acquisition deal, sailing past Nate Parker’s 2016 film The Birth of a Nation by, yes, 69 cents. And while Hulu and Neon made a historic deal worthy of a few winks and nudges, Apple and A24 celebrated a more serious record-breaking deal in their acquisition of Boys Statea buzzy documentary that at $12 million, became the highest-paid documentary in Sundance history.

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Omniboat review

Omniboat: A Fast Boat Fantasia is the wildest movie of Sundance 2020, and maybe the most outlandish film at the festival since Daniel Radcliffe played a farting corpse in 2016’s Swiss Army Man. Unsurprisingly, Daniels (the directing duo responsible for that endearingly odd gem) are also partially responsible for Omniboat, an anthology-style love letter to the city of Miami as seen through the eyes – or rather, the windshield – of a rip-roarin’ speedboat. Not convinced yet? How about this: in the first few minutes of this movie, the speedboat, which is named Lay’N Pipe, has sex with a souped up monster truck and gives birth to a baby speedboat, which has monster truck wheels mounted to its undercarriage. I hope you’re wearing your life preserver, because this movie gets weird. Read More »

groundhog day super bowl commercial

Talk about déja vu. Bill Murray is reprising his role as the cynical TV weatherman in a Groundhog Day Super Bowl commercial for Jeep, which has been spotted filming in the town of Woodstick, Illinois, where the 1993 comedy classic was first shot. It’s the kind of movie tie-in that Super Bowl advertisers, whose big-budget commercials have payed homage to many a classic movie, could only dream of because this is the year that the annual championship football game falls on the same day as Groundhog Day.

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Parasite

What praise is left to offer for Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite that someone has not yet said? From debuting to the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival to earning the first ever Oscar nominations for South Korea, this riveting masterpiece gained fans among critics, moviegoers and industry folk at every turn this season. With the film now available to rent digitally and purchase on DVD and Blu-ray in the United States, it’s time to go deeper into the film’s immaculate construction and execution.

Luckily, I was able to do just that with the film’s editor, Jinmo Yang. I caught him on the phone at the end of the whirlwind day where he scored an Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing. Despite being incredibly tired, he still cogently spoke to how the collaboration process worked with director Bong and how little the film departed from the meticulous storyboards created in pre-production.

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Under the Skin TV Series

Under the Skin is a dramatic sci-fi thriller starring Scarlett Johansson, and now it could be on the verge of being turned into a TV series. But it’s a rather complicated affair.

After earning rave reviews from critics out of the Telluride Film Festival, Under the Skin was released in the spring of 2014, earning only $5.3 million worldwide. It was hardly a runaway hit, but it certainly has an intriguing premise, following an extraterrestrial disguised as a woman as she preys on men in Scotland. Now, a prospective Under the Skin TV series is now at the center of a bidding war between the original film’s financier and A24, the studio that released it in the United States. Read More »

mcmillions review

McDonald’s made a killing with their Monopoly games – simply peel a card off a box of fries or a sweating cup of soda and you could be a winner! But there was a catch – a catch that McDonald’s wasn’t even aware of. While everyday ordinary people were able to win themselves free burgers, the higher prizes – fancy cars and bundles of money – had a weird way of going towards a group of interconnected people. Because someone on the inside had found a way to game the system, and pull off one a super-sized swindle. HBO’s new six-part series McMillions tells this story with all the energy of a Hollywood comedy – before it starts going to darker places.

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Hunters Trailer

Amazon would like you to watch their new drama series Hunters and they’ve spent Super Bowl cash to create a new trailer and put it in front of the largest possible audience. Ahead of the weekend’s big game, a new trailer for the upcoming series about Nazi-hunters seeking out and destroying fascists-in-hiding in 1970s New York City has arrived and it looks slick and brutal. Watch it for yourself below.

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On the January 28, 2020 episode of /Film Daily, /Film editor-in-chief Peter Sciretta is joined by /Film weekend editor Brad Oman and writer Hoai-Tran Bui to discuss the latest film and tv news, including Transformers, Marvel Studios, The Thing, The Batman, and Super Bowl Commercials.

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The Farewell and Grieving

This isn’t a sad story despite triggers like “grief,” “loss,” and “saying goodbye.” It might be about death, Lulu Wang’s The Farewell, and choked-back holiday tears – but I type these words with clarified purpose.

I wasn’t ready, on a Saturday morning last month, to deal with emotions The Farewell jostled free about my own “Nai Nai’s” passing earlier that year. Then, as I attended Christmas Eve mass with just my parents for the first time, I couldn’t shake The Farewell from my thoughts. For days I struggled to manifest any awards season pitch focusing on Wang’s immaculately powerful film until Christmas Eve inspired the very prompt I needed. About seeing ourselves in art, recognizing significance, and allowing someone’s scripted journey to unlock something within us that otherwise might remain walled away.

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