Jake Kasdan, once known exclusively as a comedy director, is now playing in the big leagues. With just the right amount of nostalgia and newness, Kasdan turned Jumanji into one of the biggest modern franchises around. While the large scale and effects were initially new to him, he’s now growing comfortable working at that level.

Kasdan made his directorial debut with a sharp ’90s noir with a killer Bill Pullman performance, Zero Effect. It features a Pullman performance deserving of more love in this world. Kasdan followed his directorial debut with Orange CountyThe TV Set, and Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story. During our phone interview with Kasdan, we recently talked about how Walk Hard has changed the biopics forever, how he’s grown as a filmmaker making the Jumanji movies, and the unfortunate state of the world at the moment.

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1917 featurette new

The “hidden man” is how editor Lee Smith sees himself in 1917. Not for a second did Smith want audiences paying attention to his cuts or tricks, but to instead immerse themselves in director Sam Mendes‘ World War I story, which is constructed to take place in one seemingly unbroken take. Despite the obvious technical wizardry and razzle-dazzle, they pulled it off. Audiences were caught up in the feeling and exhilaration of 1917, not the craft of 1917.

The war pic isn’t the first time Smith and Mendes collaborated. The two worked together on Spectre, which involved a long take that gave the editor and filmmaker some ideas of how to accomplish 1917. Outside of Smith’s collaborations with Mendes, he’s edited several Christopher Nolan films, Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, and an underrated gem from the early 2000s, Buffalo Soldiers.

Recently, Smith spoke to us about his intense work on 1917, a few of the movie’s standout sequences, and doing what hasn’t been done before.

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the lodge trailer

Filmmakers Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala know how to let a movie get under an audience’s skin. Even the simplest of their shots, such as Riley Keough scratching her knees, elicit discomfort. They maintain that mood of dread throughout the their newest film, The Lodge, their followup to Goodnight Mommy.

Their latest is a chilly head trip of a horror movie about bottled-up emotions exploding into fear, terror, and mystery. It’s an unsettling experience best seen blind. “This movie lingers long after the credits roll,” Chris Evangelista wrote in his review. “After the conclusion, I stumbled out of the dark theater into the sunlight, disoriented, excited, and, yes, a little scared. As long as more movies are like The Lodge, the horror genre will be in great shape.”

Franz and Fiala met when Fiala was babysitting Franz’s children. The two bonded over horror movies. Years later, that chance encounter has given the world The Lodge. Recently, we spoke to the duo about the horror movie in a mostly spoiler-free conversation about messages, telling a story without heroes and villains, and the Michael Keaton holiday “classic,” Jack Frost.

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Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinnis a movie bursting with personality. It’s poppy and gritty, slapstick-y and visceral, and most striking of all, it doesn’t confine itself to as many boxes or rules as most comic book movies do. It’s a rare comic book movie with an actual sense of freedom and spontaneity. Behind the boisterous vision is filmmaker Cathy Yan.

Before Yan was writing and directing films, she was already sharpening her skills as a storyteller. A graduate from Princetown University and the New York University Tisch School of the Arts, Yan was a journalist for the Wall Street Journal, based in Beijing, Hong Kong, and New York. She was one of the youngest writers in Wall Street Journal history. After her time as a journalist, she went on to direct more shorts and her feature directorial debut, Dead Pigs, which impressed Birds of Prey‘s star and producer, Margot Robbie.

Recently, we spoke to Yan about the set pieces in the movie, paying homage to Jackie Chan and Orson Welles, and more.

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DC has been a good home to screenwriter Christina Hodson. After writing Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn), DC and Warner Bros. hired Hodson to adapt two other comic book properties, including Batgirl. Based on the glowing reception to Birds of Prey, the studio now has another strong voice behind their comic book movies. They haven’t always this much sense of authorship and crystal clear vision.

Birds of Prey is a comic book movie that doesn’t overstay its welcome and has more personality than explosions, although the grounded action is a visceral delight. It’s a tight, character-driven comic book movie that Hodson – a former executive at Focus Features – recently told us about writing. Plus, she discussed her favorite Harley Quinn stories, the Trainspotting influences, and her days as an executive.

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Why Joe Carnahan left Bad Boys 3

The Bad Boys movies aren’t just Michael Bay movies—they are the definitive Michael Bay movies. The first installment marked Bay’s film debut, which he now thinks looks like an indie compared to his subsequent work, and the sequel was the movie that showcased Michael Bay in all his most creative and insipid ways. The sequel showed Bay’s true self as an artist, the full id of his sensibilities. Through the beloved and scolded sequel’s aesthetic, its sense of humor, and its utter disregard for both human life and more broadly, the mere concept that “less is more.” Bay proudly proclaims for two and a half self-indulgent hours, “Here… I … am.”

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David Ayer does not make light movies. Ayer’s name is most known to mainstream audiences for Suicide Squad and Bright, but his filmography is mostly hard-hitting crime thrillers. Harsh TimesStreet Kings, and End of Watch – they’re Los Angeles crime movies with plenty of brutality, believability, and attention to detail. They feel legitimate, perhaps partly because Ayer is a longtime resident of Los Angeles, having moved to South Central in the ’80s.

This year, there are two more projects from Ayer set in L.A, starting with Fox’s new drama, Deputy. The Stephen Dorff-led cop series is executive produced by Ayer, who directed the pilot and another episode. While the network drama is not as brutal as Ayer’s crime movies, the story, character, and world are very familiar to him. Sometime in 2020, we’ll see another L.A. crime movie from the filmmaker, called The Tax Collector, which he confirmed will hit VOD. The director also told us about his experiences in Los Angeles, working in television versus film, dealing with creative differences, and working with movie stars.

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bad boys for life clip

After 17 years of waiting, we finally got to see the bad boys of Miami grow up with Bad Boys For Life. And it was worth the wait. Without Michael Bay at the helm, the Miami cops actually got to grow a little, have some real heart-to-heart moments, and do and say things we just don’t see in Bay’s movies. Co-directors Bilall Fallah and Adil El Arbi managed to recharge the franchise and make a sequel both modern and nostalgic.

After the success of Bad Boys for Life, another sequel is already in the works. If all goes according to plan, expect Fallah and El Arbi back to direct. While speaking with the Belgium filmmaking duo behind Black, which is what caught Will Smith and Jerry Bruckheimer‘s attention, they told us about their plan to direct one more sequel. They also told us about making the movie’s massive motorcycle chase scene, paying homage to Bay and the ’90s, and more.

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You can’t talk about the last ten years of movies without talking about Crank: High Voltage, right? The gonzo action pic was one of the most fascinating sequels from recent years, basically taking structure of the first movie but ramping everything up to 200. Brian Taylor and Mark Neveldine‘s action movie never holds back, never quiets down, and never stops throwing everything in the kitchen sink. No hijinks or action beat is too silly or wild or grotesque. It is, without question, the pinnacle of Neveldine/Taylor’s filmmaking career together.

Ten years after Crank: High Voltage showed audiences a whole new world, Taylor remains incredibly proud of the movie. It’s only grown crazier over the years, too. How many action movies look and sound like this these days? Not many. The “love it or hate it” experience revels in itself, and it plays by no other movie’s rules than its own. Crank: High Voltage is just an explosion of grim and ridiculous creativity.

To celebrate the film turning ten years old this year, Brian Taylor recently spoke to us about the film.

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1917 interview krysty wilson-cairns

1917 is a masterful piece of craftsmanship. Sam Mendes‘ one-shot epic takes a forward-thinking approach to its depiction of World War I, which is an almost apocalyptic vision. It’s a rare vision, too, in which the camerawork and technique are noticeable yet don’t detract from the experience. To write the ambitious war movie, Mendes called Krysty Wilson-Cairns, who was a writer on the Mendes-produced Penny Dreadful and recently co-wrote Edgar Wright’s next film, Last Night in Soho.

Over the last few years, Mendes and Wilson-Cairns collaborated and wrote a handful of scripts together, but for one reason or another, they never became movies. After what they’ve accomplished with 1917, we can only imagine what they could’ve done together sooner. They aimed high and didn’t miss their target on this one. Recently, Wilson-Cairns told us about the earliest ideas for 1917, influential war poetry, and the advantages of writing a one-shot movie. [Warning: this Q&A contains spoilers.]

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