Isn't It Romantic Interview - Todd Strauss-Schulson

Isn’t It Romantic? is in theaters right now. The story follows a New York architect named Natalie (Rebel Wilson) who works hard to get noticed at her job. But more often than not gets relegated to the sidelines, sent out for coffee instead of presenting her big ideas for her firm’s clients. Life takes an odd turn when Natalie gets knocked unconscious and wakes up in her own romantic comedy. It’s both an unsettling nightmare and a hilarious dream.

Director Todd Strauss-Schulson (A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, The Final Girls) has created an vibrant romantic comedy world that emulates all of the genre’s tropes. But it’s also a love letter to romcoms, packed with a big beating heart that it wears on its sleeve. In order to bring this cinematic, romantic world to life, the filmmaker immersed himself in dozens of romcoms in the span of two weeks. In fact, he watched every romantic comedy made between 1988 and 2007, and it shows.

We sat down for an interview with Todd Strauss-Schulson where he talked about the extensive preparation for the movie that no one asked him to do. Plus, he discussed attempting to decode the genome of romantic comedies, making a meta comedy without feeling like a spoof, and bringing to life a scene that he’s dreamed about since he was 10 years old. Read More »

Best Movies Streaming Right Now The Master

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.)

Greetings, movie watchers. It’s time for another edition of Now Stream This, where I attempt to bring you an eclectic mix of movies streaming right this very moment. This week, we have one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s best films; a fantastic horror documentary; a Steven Soderbergh flick shot on an iPhone; a horror classic; a documentary that will make you cry; a cinematic TV series; a haunted baseball field; a dark satire of the Reagan Era; killer A.I.; and an overlooked crime drama. These are the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming!

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Most Dangerous Couples

Rapturous admissions of love – with all their rose-colored dressings and happiest endings – are not strictly reserved for the purest hearts. Even those most wicked, villainous souls can experience companionship in any form required (human, demigod, demonic ruler, etc). Society doesn’t normally classify these “nightmare” stories as “romantic,” but cinema operates to argue otherwise. Love stories come in all moods, genres, and methods of display – or, at the very least, double as a facade for even more unspeakable damnation than previously believed.

With St. Valentine’s influence in the February air, I thought it might be fun to ruin the mood once again with something dark and twisted. An ode to anyone who’d steal Cupid’s bow as a way of extending their ongoing murder spree. To honor those we dub our partners in crime, I’ve compiled a list of *literal* partners in crime who’ve tallied relationship goals and body counts in tandem. The most dangerous cinematic couples that prove “those who slay together, stay together” – in a matter of words. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Jon landau interview

Alita: Battle Angel has been a long time coming. Based on Yukito Kishiro‘s manga series Battle Angel Alita, the big and intimate Robert Rodriguez film was once going to be directed by producer James Cameron, who ended up choosing Avatar over the property. Cameron ultimately handed directorial duties over to Rodriguez, who helped whip Cameron’s epic script into a manageable length.

Even with a different director at the helm, producer Jon Landau wanted to make a James Cameron-style event film, describing the movie as “a movie with themes bigger than its genre” and “has a central relatable character, who on many levels, is an ordinary character who ends up doing extraordinary things against this epic backdrop.” Alita: Battle Angel, which the site’s own Hoai-Tran Bui rightfully praised as Hollywood’s first good manga adaptation, certainly checks those boxes.

We spoke to Landau recently and he told us a bit more about the project’s history, working with Cameron, deleted scenes, and Avatar 2.

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Isn't It Romantic Review

“This is like The Matrix for lonely women,” retorts Natalie, the clever lead of the affable new romantic-comedy spoof Isn’t It Romantic. The “this” in question is the inexplicable alternate universe in which Natalie finds herself, a version of New York City that’s straight out of the romantic-comedy playbook. Isn’t It Romantic isn’t the first film-length parody of rom-coms, nor is it the sharpest or wittiest, but the film’s ebullience and the sheer charm offensive courtesy of lead actress Rebel Wilson makes it a perfectly pleasant, and appropriate, Valentine’s Day affair.

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Class is in session for The Goldbergs‘ new spin-off this year. Schooled follows Lainey Lewis (AJ Michalka) as she becomes a teacher at William Penn Academy. Mr. Glascott (Tim Meadows) is now the principal and Mr. Mellor (Bryan Callen) and Mr. Ball (Stephen Tobolowsky) are still around too.

What The Goldbergs is to the ’80s, Schooled is to the ’90s. Mark Firek, who co-created Schooled with Adam F. Goldberg, was at ABC’s party for the Television Critics Association and spoke with /Film about the show’s take on the ’90s, and this week’s episode centered on the iconic ’90s musical Rent. Schooled airs Wednesdays at 8:30 p.m. right after The Goldbergs on ABC.

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frozen 2 teaser trailer breakdown

Disney released the Frozen 2 teaser trailer today, giving us our first look at the highly anticipated sequel to the 2013 mega-hit. Elsa (Idina Menzel), Anna (Kristen Bell), Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Olaf (Josh Gad) return in what looks to be an epic and action-packed sequel, as our heroes venture beyond the Kingdom of Arendelle for the first time.

What could take them outside of the snow-covered kingdom we’ve come to know and love? Why does everyone look so serious? And just who are those two new characters we glimpse in the first trailer? We’ll try to figure all that and more in our Frozen 2 teaser trailer breakdown. Leaf it to me! (I’m sorry.)

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mary poppins returns songs

(Welcome to The Disney Discourse, a recurring feature where Josh Spiegel discusses the latest in Disney news. He goes deep on everything from the animated classics to the theme parks to live-action franchises. In this edition: Disney may be massively successful, but its failures speak to a troubling trend.)

Last month, Robert Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company, spoke to the financial magazine Barron’s about what 2019 brings for Disney. Among the various topics, including the upcoming streaming service Disney+, the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge area coming to the company’s continental theme parks, and more, Iger hit upon the inarguable notion that at the box office, Disney is a behemoth. He referenced the fact that Disney releases typically “between eight and ten movies a year”, and that doing so will help them reach a plateau of $7 billion at the box office in 2019, a feat only accomplished by…Disney, a few years ago.

But what’s important to remember, and perhaps a little distressing, is that those numbers are being met thanks to the various studios Disney has acquired in its monstrous wake, as opposed to films made by the studio itself.

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Universal has announced that all systems are “Go!” on an Invisible Man reboot to be written and directed by Leigh Whannell (Upgrade), with the horror maestros at Blumhouse steering the ship. Sorry, “Dark Universe.” Blumhouse’s involvement teases the capability to reboot Universal’s entire classic monster catalog should The Invisible Man rake in profits, which – by Blumhouse’s margin-friendly methods – shouldn’t be an outstanding ask. Pretty big news for horror fans.

In looking towards the (inevitable?) future, there exists no set-in-stone roster of filmmakers should other monster reboots be announced. Could we call ourselves online journalists here at /Film if someone didn’t rise to the challenge of drafting their fantasy lineup of possible fill-ins? Speculate, opinionate, debate! I’m here to drop my murderer’s row of creators who’d make us all forget Johnny Depp was EVER slated to play a Dark Universe icon – but, plot twist, I’m not alone.

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doom patrol review

Once DC Comics’ streaming service, DC Universe, announced that it was developing several live-action comic book adaptations, many were leery. However, the young upstart streamer defied the odds and delivered the polarizing Titans which, regardless of how you felt about the series, you had to admit that it wasn’t what we were expecting. Now, the DC Universe is tackling an adaptation of the story of the group that was once dubbed “The World’s Strangest Heroes.”

Doom Patrol is DC Universe’s second original live-action series following last year’s Titans. In an interesting move, DC decided to introduce the titular Doom Patrol, a group of heroes that aren’t the most well-known in comics lore, in Titans Season 1, and the group was positively received by fans and critics alike.

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