Geof Darrow has had an enviable career. A career in which he has worked with his icons and grown to call them friends, one that has traversed both cinema and comics, and one that has seen all of his success come from one thing: drawing what he loves.

After decades in the States, Darrow has decided to leave and move back to France, the place that he sees as the birthplace of comics career. I sat down and chatted with Darrow about art, film, friendship, and how he feels he owes his whole career to one man.

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Peppermint Trailer

Peppermint is the fifth movie Pierre Morel has directed, but “from the director of Taken” will likely follow him forever. The landmark action film turned acclaimed Oscar-nominee Liam Neeson into an action hero just as prolific than Schwarzenegger and Stallone in their day.

Now, Morel is trying to do the same with Jennifer Garner. When drug dealers murder Riley North’s family, the legal system fails her. So she returns five years later to take out the cartel and the corrupt system.

Morel spoke with /Film by phone on his way to record the DVD commentary for Peppermint. He talked about the film’s action style, its take on revenge, and concerns that a villainous Mexican cartel would perpetuate negative stereotypes. Peppermint is in theaters now.

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Ray Park Solo interview

Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t land with quite the splash that Disney and Lucasfilm wanted, but one moment that was a big hit with fans was the secret cameo of Darth Maul, embodied once again by actor Ray Park.

I had a chance to catch up with Park in advance of Solo‘s home video release, and he told us about Lucasfilm’s hardcore secrecy, shooting that sequence, working with actor Sam Witwer (who provides the character’s voice), and more. Plus, he even showed us a few lightsaber moves and shared a story about filming the iconic lightsaber duel at the end of The Phantom Menace. Check out our Ray Park Solo interview below. Read More »

The Nun Screenwriter Interview

Screenwriter Gary Dauberman joined the Conjuring franchise with the very first Annabelle spin-off, and has written every spin-off since including Annabelle: Creation and this week’s The Nun. In between, he had time to write It: Chapter One and then adapted the rest of the Stephen King novel for It: Chapter Two. He also wrote the Swamp Thing series for the DC Universe streaming service and an adaptation of the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark?

The Nun tells the origin of the demonic spirit the Warrens faced in The Conjuring 2. This spin-off takes us back to 1952 in a remote convent in Romania. Father Kirk (Demian Bichir) and Sister Irene (Taissa Farmiga) visit the abbey to investigate a nun’s suicide. Spoiler alert: it’s related to The Nun.

Dauberman spoke with /Film by phone about The Nun and its place in the continuing Conjuring universe, as well as his upcoming projects for film and television.

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It's Always Sunny Creator Interview

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns for its 13th season to answer some cliffhangers. Dennis (Glenn Howerton) was moving to North Dakota to be with his son, and Charlie (Charlie Day) and the Waitress (Mary Elizabeth Ellis) were going to try to have a baby.

With Howerton’s involvement still ambiguous (one episode features a lifelike Dennis sex doll prominently), only two of the original Sunny creators were available for interviews at TCA. Charlie Day and Rob McElhenney spoke with /Film about the upcoming season.

Episodes previewed for press include the season premiere set in an escape room (with guest star Mindy Kaling), the sex doll episode, and one in which Mac comes out. Day and McElhenney told us more, and also speculated on the gang’s political preferences. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia returns tonight on FXX.

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Even without taking into account his 30-plus-year acting career—highlighted by performances in Dead Poets Society, Reality Bites, Training Day, and Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy—Ethan Hawke has had a hell of a 2018, which technically began a year ago at the Venice Film Festival), where writer-director Paul Schrader’s First Reformed premiered, featuring a career-best performance from Hawke. The film wasn’t officially released until May 2018, and just recently came out on home video.

Currently, Hawke has two more films making their way across the country in limited release, both of which debuted at the year’s Sundance Film Festival—one he stars in (Juliet, Naked) and one he directed (Blaze). (We could also throw in his extensive interview about Elvis Presley’s flawed acting career in director Eugene Jarecki’s documentary The King, which came out earlier this summer.) Produced by Judd Apatow and directed by Jesse Peretz, Juliet, Naked is the story of a British woman (Rose Byrne) whose boyfriend (Chris O’Dowd) is obsessed with a reclusive singer who had one of the great broken-heart records decades earlier. When Bryne’s character lashes out at a record label releasing demos for said record as being a lame cash grab, the long-silent musician (Hawke) writes her an email confirming her suspicions, and the two begin an online correspondence that has the potential for something more, if for no other reason than it drags him out of hiding. Based on the novel by Nick Hornby, the film is charming, funny and gives Hawke the chance to use images of himself from younger days in very amusing ways.

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When filmmaker Bing Liu was a younger man shooting skateboarding videos of himself and two best friends Zack and Keire in their hometown of Rockford, Illinois, he likely didn’t realize that years later he would use that footage, as well as more deeply personal interviews with the two and many of their closest friends and family to compile a portrait of broken homes, domestic abuse, and undeniable impact of role models — both good and bad. While skateboarding begins as the central focus of the resulting documentary, Minding the Gap, it eventually becomes the much-needed escape from the real world for this kids — a real world that includes alcoholism and getting his girlfriend pregnant for Zack, and losing his father and coming to grips with being the only African-American kid among his group of friends for Keire.

Minding the Gap, which won a Special Jury Prize for Breakthrough Documentary Filmmaking and has additionally won countless Best Documentary and Audience awards along the 2018 festival circuit, explores the grueling transformation from adolescence to adulthood, made all the more painful since these three are exceptional on their boards and must give up their time a skate parks in order to get jobs to support themselves and their loved ones. There’s a confessional tone to the project that Liu himself takes part in when he interviews his mother about her abusive second husband, who mercilessly disciplined him as a child.

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kin director interview

Kin is a crime drama about two brothers on the run from a dangerous man, an intimate story of how family transcends blood. But there’s also a sci-fi gun in the mix.

Summing up the feature debut of directors Jonathan Baker and Josh Baker is a bit tough. It’s a science fiction movie where the genre elements sit at a distance, a movie featuring a powerful (Alien? Experimental? From the future?) laser gun that isn’t actually about the laser gun. It’s just something one of those brothers happened to find. A massive sci-fi world sits adjacent to Kin, even as the film focuses on those two brothers (Jack Reynor and Myles Truitt) and their relationship above all else.

I recently sat down with the Baker brothers, as well as screenwriter Dan Casey, to talk about this wild new movie, how they expanded their original short film, injecting genre elements into a more realistic world, and how Vimeo is the place to be for young filmmakers.

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arizona trailer

Danny McBride gives his most frightening performance to date in Arizona. Director Jonathan Watson, who’s worked with McBride since season 2 of Eastbound and Down, uses McBride’s charisma and comedic powers to make a blonde-haired, golf-playing baddie all the more menacing. There’s something unsettling about McBride’s comedic sensibilities in a villain like Sonny, who never loses his scary sense of humor throughout the Rosemarie DeWitt-led Arizona

McBride read Luke Del Tredici‘s (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) script years ago and thought it was “a wild ride,” so he sent the script to Watson, helping to launching the well-seasoned first assistant director’s feature directorial debut. The first-time filmmaker shows a great grasp of tone with his thriller by nicely balancing the horror and laughs.

McBride recently spoke with us about playing his most villainous and insecure character yet, his work with costumer designer Sarah Trost, his time with Sir Ridley Scott, and the importance and power of sometimes pushing boundaries in comedy.

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Bad Times at the El Royale interviews

In June, I visited Lake Tahoe, California to attend an early press day for Bad Times at the El Royale, a new crime thriller from writer/director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods). That’s the setting for the new film, a mystery that unfolds in 1969 and centers on a run-down motel on the state line between California and Nevada. That duality is an integral part of the movie – characters aren’t always what they seem, and their shaky allegiances can switch sides in an instant when things go wrong (and naturally, things go very wrong).

During the junket, I jumped in a small boat and was taxied out to a yacht on Lake Tahoe, where I interviewed Goddard about why surveillance plays a large part in his movies, how he makes movies that reveal more layers on multiple viewings, and more. I also had the chance to speak with stars Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, and Jeff Bridges about the details in Goddard’s script, how the setting informed their physicality, and a lot more. Read More »