Jess and Keith Calder interview

Blindspotting has been a labor of love for over a decade. It shows in the end result. Director Carlos López Estrada‘s hard-hitting drama, which also has a lot of laughs, has been drawing strong reactions ever since it premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. “Sharp, stylish, and sincere, Blindspotting may hook you with its flashy wordplay and slick visuals, but this is a hilarious and vital movie of the moment that’s burning with empathy,” our own Ben Pearson wrote in his review from the fest.

The more than warmly received drama hails from producers Jess and Keith Calder, the two behind Snoot Entertainment. Snoot Entertainment has been making films with strong voices behind them since their inception. From Anomalisa to The Guest to Blindspotting, the Calders have been putting out the sort of creative and imaginative movies we’re always craving. The two producers recently took the time to take us behind the scenes of Blindspotting, including the project’s development, shooting in Oakland, and plenty more.

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Never Goin’ Back is a movie bursting with life. Even when the film’s two teenage best friends (played by Maia Mitchell and Camila Morrone) are just tolerating another mundane shift at the diner, there’s still a feeling of joyfulness in Augustine Frizzell‘s feature directorial debut. Even in the story’s most dire or ridiculous situations, the characters manage to keep the good times going, thanks to each other.

There’s a happy-go-lucky, adventurous spirit to Never Goin’ Back, which is based on Frizzell’s own teenage experiences with her best friend. The writer-director looks back on those times fondly and with reflection and, clearly, a lot of laughs. She has a lot of love for her protagonists, which is always evident in the movie. Frizzell recently told us about how close she is to these characters, working with A24, days from the set, and a whole lot more about her comedy, which managing what /Film editor Jacob Hall called “a sweet and raunchy tale of glorious idiocy” in his review.

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Stoned Alone details

The recently announced Home Alone riff, Stoned Alone, is in good hands with director Augustine Frizzell. Frizzell’s feature directorial debut debut, Never Goin’ Back, is an acclaimed and wonderful A24 release that should raise expectations for 20th Century Fox’s R-rated, Ryan Reynolds-led stoner comedy. Frizzell recently told us about the importance of the Christmas classic, making a holiday stoner comedy with some heart, and more.

Below, read what the director had to say about her Home Alone riff.

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Mission: Impossible audio commentaries

What all goes into making a Mission: Impossible movie? According to the star and arguably the mastermind behind the film franchise, “fun.” If there’s one word Tom Cruise consistently uses to describe making these movies and all his death-defying stunts, it’s fun. Cruise always sounds like he’s having the time of his life making movies, but from the sound of it, he has an especially good time making Mission: Impossible movies.

We all know Tom Cruise is a great actor and movie star, but he’s also a great producer. With each Mission: Impossible commentary, the directors share his notes and input, and they range from shots needed for a sequence, how to get across a piece of exposition, what Ethan would and would not do, and a whole lot more. He knows exactly what a Mission: Impossible movie needs to be. He has really shaped what a franchise is all about, with the help of countless fellow filmmakers he always makes sure to thank during the end credits.

Below, check out what we learned from the Mission: Impossible audio commentaries.

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Christopher McQuarrie

After over 20 years and six movies, the Mission: Impossible series is still evolving, and not just because the action is getting bigger and wilder. Mission: Impossible – Fallout contains the biggest action sequences in the franchise, but also the most personal. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) is more conflicted than ever as he enters morally murky waters in the well-received sequel.

Following up Rogue Nation, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie returns not to simply top the previous installments, but to deepen Ethan Hunt and the world of the IMF. The filmmaker gives Ethan Hunt as many personal challenges as physical ones in the sequel, although the action sequences are stunning to behold and mind-boggling in their ambition and scope. Both Ethan Hunt and Tom Cruise always go big, never home.

And as you’d imagine, McQuarrie had a lot to say about the making of the film in our interview.

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mission impossible fallout stunt

“A man with no fear” is how Mission: Impossible 2 director John Woo describes Tom Cruise, who laughs in the face of death with each Mission: Impossible sequel. Cruise has hung off an airplane, jumped around the Burj Khalifa, held his breath for six minutes, and flown jets and planes, all in the name of entertainment. The Evil Knievel of the big screen accomplished what’s probably his most miraculous stunt yet in Mission: Impossible – Fallout: jumping out of a plane 25,000 feet in the air.

Recently, writer-director Christopher McQuarrie told us about all the hard work that went into the breathtaking HALO jump sequence.

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antoine fuqua interview

If we’re lucky, Antoine Fuqua and Denzel Washington will make Equalizer movies until the end of days. In a sea of +100 million dollar franchises, Fuqua and Washington are making a series unlike any other in major theaters right now. No franchise star today is as hard-hitting, violent, and as well-spoken as Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), whose eloquent threats and promises of vengeance are as crowd-pleasing as his fighting skills.

But don’t call this Equalizer series a franchise or blockbuster to Fuqua, because he’s more interested in telling a good standalone story than making a sequel that’s really just a bit more of the same. Like Washington, Fuqua had opportunities to make prequels and sequels, for both Training Day and Olympus Has Fallen, but they never made sense to him. The world of Robert McCall, on the other hand, was rich enough for the filmmaker to continue to McCall’s journey.

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with the always passionate Fuqua to discuss The Equalizer 2, working with Denzel Washington for the fourth time, Miami Vice, and even his fond memory of working with Prince.

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Peyton Reed spoiler interview

From Ant-Man to Bring It On to his crowning achievement, Down With Love, there’s a sincere buoyancy to director Peyton Reed‘s work. His deft control of tone is currently on display in Ant-Man and the Wasp, which brings good-hearted laughs to the Marvel Cinematic Universe after Infinity War‘s downer ending. While Reed made Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) origin story a heist movie, the sequel is a comedy focused more on banter and character than action – though the action is bigger this time around.

Before making the latest entry in the MCU, Reed watched “the holy trinity of romantic comedies”: Philadelphia Story, His Girl Friday, and It Happened One Night. “The male and female characters are so smart, and there’s this mutual respect between those characters, particularly in His Girl Friday, they respect each other in terms of what they do,” he told us. Reed, who’s also fond of those movies’ “incredible humanism,” also discussed returning to the Quantum Realm, mini Paul Rudd, the end credits tags, the influence of Elmore Leonard, and more. Read our full Peyton Reed spoiler interview below.

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Jody Hill interview

Jody Hill is trying to warm some hearts with his latest comedy, The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter. The co-creator of Vice Principals and director of Observe and Report hasn’t softened up his humor for his Netflix movie, but the lead characters in his father/son story are certainly far less destructive than his past protagonists. Hill’s first feature film since 2010’s Observe and Report stars Josh Brolin as a hunter and TV show host – and Danny McBride as his trusted and inappropriate cameraman – taking his son Jaden (Montana Jordan) hunting for the first time.

The story, which Hill co-wrote with McBride and John Carcieri (Eastbound & Down), has a surprisingly sweet side to it. The movie will likely feel both familiar and new for Hill’s fans. The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter has the director’s sense of humor, although it’s not quite as dark this time around. Hill says he wanted to do something different. The very polite filmmaker recently told us about the project’s history, watching old ’80s hunting videos, memories from making HBO’s Vice Principals, and more.

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the domestics set visit

Standing on the set of Mike P. Nelson‘s directorial debut, The Domestics, it looks like the world has visibly turned rotten. A flipped plow truck, the fake blood strewn about, and the beefed-up muscle cars have turned a suburban neighborhood not too far outside of New Orleans, Louisiana, into a battleground between the survivors of a chemical attack.

When we visited the set of the Orion release, the firefight was nearing the end but not quite over, and we witnessed one of the violent dustups Mark (Tyler Hoechlin) and Nina West (Kate Bosworth) experience during their bumpy road trip.

Below, check out what we learned from The Domestics set visit.

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