This Week in Trailers

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising?

This week, we talk about COVID-19, go along for a Russian ride, see what it’s really like to run this town, get swole, and fight the patriarchy out in the ocean.
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Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Want to find out where some cool Easter eggs are in Spider-Man: Miles Morales? How many people played the Galactus event in Marvel’s Fortnite crossover? Did Sony accidentally spoil multiple Spider-Men coming in Spider-Man 3? Could Zack Snyder’s Justice League arrive earlier than we thought? Why is Black Panther star Letitia Wright under fire? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

Mandalorian The Tragedy Review

On the December 4, 2020 episode of /Film Daily, /Film Editor-in-Chief Peter Sciretta is joined by weekend editor Brad Oman and special guest Bryan Young (from Star Wars Insider, StarWars.com and Full of Sith podcast) for a spoiler-filled conversation about the fifth episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian season two, entitled “The Tragedy”.

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Sound of Metal Director Interview

Sound of Metal is a movie pulsating with life. It’s such a gut-churning drama, the kind you feel instinctually in every passing moment. It’s a pure debut film from director Darius Marder. Prior to his Toronto Film Festival hit (now available on Amazon Prime), Marder co-wrote The Place Beyond the Pines, made his directorial debut with Loot (2008), and edited a variety of documentaries.

Marder’s experience in documentaries shows in Sound of Metal, which is about a two-person punk band drummer named Ruben (Riz Ahmed) losing his hearing. It’s also a story about addiction, community, love and time, and the search for stillness. Sound of Metal is an emotionally stirring debut that Marder recently told us about crafting.

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Code Geass

(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)

Because of its incredibly long and daunting history, it can be really hard to know what mecha shows to watch. On this column, we have already covered an Evangelion-like mecha show, a throwback to Saturday morning cartoons, and the best introduction to the massive Gundam franchise. This week, let’s do something a bit different and explore an anime that’s like one giant political chess game and also a fun teenage drama show. It’s time to declare war on Britannia and join Zero in Code Geass: Lelouch of the Rebellion.

In an alternate version of our world, the French Revolution spread across Europe, and all European nobles fled to the American colonies (which never gained independence) and founded the Holy Britannian Empire. The Empire controls most of the entire world since it invaded Japan, now known as Area 11, and rules with the highly xenophobic, racist ideology of “all men are not created equal” that puts the strongest at the top and everyone else is treated like crap. No matter how many rebellions begin, they’re brutally smashed by the Empire.

That is, until we meet Lelouch Lamperouge, secretly the 11th prince of the Britannian Empire who was exiled by the Emperor to live in Japan with his sister, who is now obsessed with getting revenge and discovering who murdered his mother. The show evolves into a combination of the mecha and war themes of Gundam, the psychological and moral games of Death Note, and all the teenage drama of a CW show. And it begins the moment Lelouch gains literal superpower, a “Geass” that allows him to mind control anyone and give them one command they can’t refuse. 

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Sky High Revisited

(Welcome to Out of the Disney Vault, where we explore the unsung gems and forgotten disasters currently streaming on Disney+.)

For over a decade now, Disney has dominated the superhero film market thanks to the colossal success of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But in the early 2000s, the thought of audiences getting not one, but multiple superhero movies each year was unthinkable, and a superhero movie that connected to a larger world of other heroes was but a mere wishful thought.

Except Disney did all that years before the Avengers first assembled, with an unassuming, family-friendly superhero movie that poked fun at expanded universes, superhero legacies, and every trope in the book. With the film having celebrated its 15th anniversary earlier this year and finally becoming available on Disney+, it’s time to take the “hero or sidekick” test and revisit Sky High.

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New Blu-ray Releases lord of the rings trilogy

The time has come for another Blu-ray round-up, friends. This week we’ve got not one but two big 4K box sets taking us back to Peter Jackson’s Middle-earth. There’s also a body horror masterpiece and an oft-maligned sequel that’s getting a second chance.

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Mandalorian The Tragedy Review

Naturally, there are spoilers here.

Robert Rodriguez, renowned action director and digital cinema pioneer, directs the fourteenth chapter of The Mandalorian. “The Tragedy” bears an ominous title and, by the end, portends even more darkness to come.

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star trek discovery costume designer

(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)

The Series: Star Trek: Discovery

Where You Can Stream It: CBS All Access

The Pitch: Initially set 10 years before the events of the original Star Trek series, Star Trek: Discovery offers a shot in the arm for a science fiction series that has seemingly done it all over the past 50-plus years. Heavily serialized, lavishly produced, and chock-full of terrific actors taking on potentially goofy material and giving it all they’ve got, Discovery tries to be a show for old fans as well as a jumping-on point for newbies. Despite some early growing pains, it succeeds.

Why It’s Essential Quarantine Viewing: After Star Trek: Nemesis bombed at the box office in 2002 (possibly because it’s just a very bad movie), the Star Trek franchise was in an “evolve or die” situation. The first step in that evolution was the J.J. Abrams-directed 2009 reboot film, which really does work (its sequel does not). The second step was to revitalize Trek on the small screen, and after a bumpy road that saw the exit of the first showrunner and the firing on the second, Star Trek: Discovery has finally stabilized. And despite proving continuously controversial to the core fan base, the series has made the most of its impossible situation: it’s a thoroughly modern TV show that works overtime to adhere to what makes the more important tenets of Trek resonate.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

netflix animated shorts

Netflix churns out content at a mile a minute, but every now and then, there’s a title that demands that you stop and think for a moment. And this month, there are three — though they’ll only ask that you stop and think for about 10 minutes.

Three diverse Netflix animated shorts being released this holiday season are turning attention toward powerful, emotionally resonant issues like grief, school shootings, and police brutality through striking storytelling and eye-catching art. The three shorts include the Laura Dern-produced short If Anything Happens I Love You; the directorial debut of Soul animator Frank E. Abney III, Canvas; and an experimental animated poem, Cops and Robbers.

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