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Wes Anderson's The French Dispatch

Even though 20th Century Fox isn’t exactly doing The Walt Disney Company any favors with their box office performance this year, Fox Searchlight is still operating like it’s business as usual. The more indie-focused and award-driven arm of Fox has just secured the worldwide distribution rights to Wes Anderson‘s next film, The French Dispatch. This comes after Fox Searchlight released Isle of Dogs, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Darjeeling Limited. Learn more below. Read More »

ang lee interview

Gemini Man may be Ang Lee‘s most existential action movie. Starring Will Smith as a hitman who becomes the target of a younger clone of himself, Gemini Man is a fairly straightforward sci-fi action flick that has famously become the vessel for Lee’s digital film innovations — shot digitally at an extra-high frame rate of 120 fps, modified for 3D, and featuring a fully CGI recreation of a younger Will Smith. But more than just presenting a new challenge for Lee, who has been experimenting with high frame rates since 2016’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime WalkGemini Man is an action movie that allows him to examine the endlessly fascinating “subject matter of nature versus nurture.”

“The two Will Smith’s coexisting, with one looking so much younger, in this medium the feeling is kind of existential,” Lee told /Film at a roundtable interview for Gemini Man in New York. “It really makes you wonder about your own existence and what would you tell your younger self. And also see your trajectory when you’re young.”

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office reboot possible

What is dead may never die, as the saying goes, and sure enough, the fine feathered folks at Peacock – the new NBCUniversal streaming service – are in the midst of plotting an Office reboot. To be fair, this isn’t the craziest idea: the American Office was itself a reboot, and the show has continued to thrive after its ending thanks to the world of streaming. The question is: if this should happen, will any of the original cast members be back? Or is this going to be a fresh start?

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The Rhythm Section trailer

After a few delays, Reed Morano‘s The Rhythm Section is finally finding its way to theaters early next year, and we now have a trailer to prove it. The action-thriller stars Blake Lively as a woman who finds herself set on a path of bloody revenge to find the people responsible for killing her family. And while it’s true we’ve seen this kind of “lone person out for revenge” tale before, this trailer looks promising. Watch The Rhythm Section trailer below.

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A Hidden Life and Christianity

Ask any progressive Christian who their favorite filmmaker is, and more often than not, you’re likely to hear Terrence Malick’s name invoked in reverent tones. Of course, plenty of folks who rarely (or never) set foot in a church recognize Malick as a significant artist. However, to Christians who care a great deal about the nexus of faith and art, it’s almost impossible to have a conversation about movies without discussing Malick first.

The reasons for this may be readily apparent to anyone who’s familiar with the director’s work. Essentially, though, they come down to this: most media associated with Christianity (say, Left Behind, or Breakthrough, for a more recent example) is not good art. It’s preachy and explicit in its messaging, with no apparent care for craft. Malick is the polar opposite, concerned more with questions, poetry and introspection. He’s also obsessed with craft, seeing great art as an act of worship in and of itself. Especially from 1998’s The Thin Red Line onward, his films feel like authentic, conflicted expressions of a personal spiritual journey. 

Malick’s latest, A Hidden Life, is his most directly faith-oriented film to date. It’s the true story of Franz Jägerstätter (played by August Diehl), an Austrian farmer executed by the Nazis for refusing to swear an oath of loyalty to Hitler when called up to join the army. Jägerstätter is considered a martyr, and was beatified by the Catholic church in 2007. For Malick, he becomes a Christ figure, but also an allegory. He sees Jägerstätter’s life, and the lives of those around him, as examples of what happens when an ideology of hatred and fervent nationalism plants a stake in a community, and how people of faith are called to stand (and struggle to stand) against it. A Hidden Life’s WWII is a stand-in for the world right now. 

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Disney Apple merger

Rumors about a Disney Apple merger swirled for years, but thanks to Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger, we now know that a deal between the two companies was likely to actually happen – if, that is, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs didn’t die back in 2011.

Vanity Fair published an excerpt from Iger’s upcoming autobiography, “The Ride of A Lifetime: Lessons From 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company,” in which Iger talks about the probability of the two companies joining forces, something that clearly would have had huge ripple effects across the entertainment industry. Read More »

Eyes Wide Shut - Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman

July 16, 1999.

That was the last day of my eighteenth year and the first day Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut was released into the world. As an eighteen-year-old kid obsessed with film still devastated by the loss of Kubrick just a few months prior, I was dying to see this film. I’d hardly seen anything in the theatre but The Phantom Menace since its release in May, so this was going to be a refreshing change of pace. 

Naturally, Eyes Wide Shut deals with themes that an eighteen-year-old kid ought to have very little frame of reference for. Jealousy was an abstract that I understood, but the intimate moments in a relationship recreated in the film were as much film fantasy as Star Wars was to me. I’d never been in a serious relationship to that point and the art of Eyes Wide Shut would help inform my understanding more than I would be able to decode anything from it.

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Ratatouille LEGO Set

If there’s one Pixar Animation movie that doesn’t get as much respect as it deserves, it’s Ratatouille. While on the surface the movie is about cooking, it’s moreso about passion and realizing that everything you love is some kind of art. That includes building a LEGO set, and one brilliant master builder has created an incredible Ratatouille LEGO set of the final restaurant that Linguini and his little chef Remy start together. It’s not an official Ratatouille LEGO set, but it can be with your support. Read More »

The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance Featurette

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, take a deep dive into the evolution of Muppet technology with a special focus on The Dark Crystal and the 30 years it took to eventually make The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance. Plus, a professional dialect coach reviews more actors attempts at doing the personal idiolects of real people like Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, and Jennifer Lopez runs through the history of music video dancing with Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show. Read More »

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Joker

What shocking turn unfolded in the first issue of the new Spider-Man comic by J.J. Abrams and his son? What famously bad actor is trying to get a role in The Suicide Squad? When do Joker tickets go on sale? Would you like to see Stephane Beatriz take the role of She-Hulk? Want to learn how to make your own Tesseract? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »