New Rick and Morty Episode

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, go behind the scenes of the recent season four return of Rick and Morty. Plus, find out how one of the sets for a fight scene in The Hunt was created to be almost entirely breakable, and watch Mark Hamill do some Star Wars impressions in a flashback clip from Late Night with Conan O’Brien back in 1997.

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Pole-Dancing Movie Scenes

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, see how a professional pole dancer reviews pole-dancing scenes from movies like Hustlers, Date Night, Showgirls, and more. Plus, find out how some of the most influential filmmakers, like Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Nora Ephron, and dozens more, got their start and take an epic runthrough of dozens of Easter eggs from Pixar’s 25 years of animated movies, from Toy Story to Onward and everything in between. Read More »

the hunt review

The road to bringing The Hunt to big screens has been a bumpy one. Scheduled to be released in September 2019, the film was delayed after a series of high-profile gun violence incidents, exacerbated by President Trump tweeting in late Summer that the horror film that involves the murder of right-wing internet trolls was “made in order to inflame and cause chaos”. 

Shifted to an early March release and marketed overtly using the controversy as a selling feature, the film received lukewarm reviews from many, while this writer enjoyed it as a throwback, schlocky bit of exploitation fun that takes the travails of internet discourse to its most appalling limit.

As Covid-19 shifted all of our lives this spring, the film was soon pulled from theatres for the second time. Universal has arranged for the film to stream on VOD, essentially abandoning the theatrical run in favor of allowing audiences to engage from the comfort of their homes during the cloistering due to the pandemic. Strange days, indeed.

Director Craig Zobel is no stranger to controversy – his 2012 film Compliance generated plenty of discussion – yet he’s spent the last decade doing some remarkable work on both big screen (the fantastic, much-overlooked Z for Zachariah) and small (The Leftovers, American Gods, Westworld, One Dollar).  In this exclusive interview, /Film spoke to director Craig Zobel about this journey, including how the film was made, how he personally reacted to the changing fortunes of the project, and how he has witness the narrative surrounding the film echo many of the themes his film reflects. 

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downhill review

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic grows and more businesses and movie theaters close, Hollywood studios have been left with nowhere to drop their theatrical releases. While some studios chose to delay their biggest feature films until the worst of the pandemic passes, a few studios decided to break the monotony of everyone’s self-isolation (and help keep a few kids entertained) by releasing their theatrical films on digital platforms early. Most films available to buy digitally about 74 days after they first arrive in theaters, but studios are breaking that tradition by releasing their films on VOD mere weeks after, or even on the same day of, the theatrical debut.

Here is an ongoing list of the films that have been or will be released early.

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Amazon Prime Cinema

With almost all the movie theaters closed around the United States, movie studios are releasing some recent and upcoming theatrical releases on VOD much further in advance than usual. Universal Pictures was the first to take a step in this direction, and they’ll be shaking things up even more when they release Trolls: World Tour on VOD on the same date it was intended to be released in theaters. Since then, other studios have followed suit with movies like Sonic the Hedgehog and Bloodshot arriving on VOD early. So Amazon has unveiled a dedicated space for them to be featured, and it’s called Amazon Prime Cinema.

As for how the former theatrical releases of movies like The Invisible Man and Onward are faring so far, it’s only Disney’s latest Pixar Animation adventure that seems to have cracked Top 10 lists. Instead, it’s the cheaper VOD movies that were more recently released on home video have been dominating the charts. Get the lowdown below. Read More »

The Invisible Man live tweet

Earlier this week, NBCUniversal became the first major Hollywood studio to shatter the traditional theatrical window by announcing that some of its films which recently debuted in theaters would be heading to VOD on an accelerated timeline. Each of those films – Focus Features’ Emma., and Universal Pictures’ The Hunt and The Invisible Man – are available to rent today due to the unusual circumstances of the coronavirus, and the filmmakers behind all three movies are participating in live tweets of their respective projects to help celebrate this odd occasion.
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weekend box office bloodshot

Movies can often be a great form of escape during times of crisis. But unfortunately, the crisis we currently find ourselves in – dealing with the coronavirus – has made movie-going difficult. Theaters are cutting capacity, and in some cases, closing entirely. On top of all that, the message that’s being spread far and wide is: social distancing, AKA “Stop going out in public, you dopes.” Which means the weekend box office was…not great. In fact, the weekend saw the box office at a 20-year low.

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the hunt review

How can a film this violent be so toothless? All bark and no bite, The Hunt rides a wave of faux-outrage into theaters, having been pulled from its original release in the wake of bad buzz and endless public shootings. And now that it’s here we can all see how utterly limp it really is. It’s a film that feels like it was designed to rile everyone up, but it ultimately has nothing to say about anything.

Had the movie opened during its original release date, we likely would’ve all forgotten about it by now. That’s not to say the rumors about the movie were untrue. Yes, it really is about liberal elites hunting MAGA-loving deplorables for sport. But rather than risk offending either side, The Hunt instead chooses to hang back and offer no real commentary. It’s a pulpy gore-fest that wants to shock, but ultimately fizzles.

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Streamer's Guide to March 2020

(Welcome to The Streamer’s Guide, a new monthly feature recommending at-home viewing options from filmmakers with new movies arriving in theaters this month.)

March is when the movie year feels like it really kicks off in earnest. The studios start putting their best foot forward, not just taking out their trash. The indie labels put out some of prior year’s festival hits that weren’t quite built for an Oscar run – but are nonetheless incredibly impressive titles. Last year’s films finally start to surrender their screens at the multiplex and head to streaming, leaving audiences with many exciting new options.

This year, we’re getting two Cannes competition entries, a (potentially) bold reimagining of a Disney classic, a movie recently feared canceled, a sequel to one of 2018’s biggest original hits, a standout feature from an American indie legend and a movie about how a deerskin jacket turns a man on to crime. And that’s just what I covered here! Read on to find out not only what to see in March 2020 but also what you should be watching at home now to prepare for some of the month’s highest profile releases.

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the hunt trailer

Who is hunting whom in the new international trailer for The Hunt? The controversial Blumhouse thriller that was pulled from release, then put back, has a new trailer with a big twist at the center. We all know the premise of this polarizing satirical horror movie: a group of “elites” hunt down “deplorables” as part of a demented game. But not if Betty Gilpin‘s character has anything to say about it. Watch the new international The Hunt trailer below.

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