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Newswire: Michelle Rodriguez says she’s out unless Fast And Furious revs up female characters

11 minutes ago

Over the course of the Fast & The Furious franchise’s evolution from a drag-racing crime drama to the most over-the-top display of mechanical excess this side of the Transformers movies, Michelle Rodriguez’s Letty Ortiz has remained a constant. First introduced in The Fast And The Furious as main man Dom’s (Vin Diesel) girlfriend, over the course of eight movies her character has evolved into, um, Dom’s wife. A skilled street racer in her own right, Letty is the only original female character left over from the first film, although she’s been relegated to the background for much of the past few films. And Rodriguez is getting bored with it.

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In a post on Instagram earlier this week, Rodriguez essentially threatened to hit the gas and drive away if Fast & Furious doesn’t “show some love to the women of the franchise »

- Katie Rife

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Movie Review: Despicable Me 3 is as tired as its ’80s duds

1 hour ago

Here’s one to distract the kids. Despicable Me 3 (styled Despicable M3), the latest animated adventure to feature the neckless, pick-nosed ex-villain Gru (Steve Carell) and his gibberishy, Twinkoid, banana-sucking Minions, finds our grumpy hero enlisting the help of his long-lost twin brother, Dru (Carell again), in order to foil Balthazar Bratt (Trey Parker), the former child star of the hit 1980s TV show Evil Bratt (catchphrase: “I’ve been a bad boy!”), who is now a moonwalking super-criminal armed with Rubik’s Cube bombs, thermic yo-yos, and a grappling Walkman. Those who have seen too many of these things may recall that “Gru” is supposed to be the character’s last name and might even point out that it doesn’t make any sense for his brother to be named “Dru,” but who really cares? The reunion is occasioned by a trip to Gru’s hitherto unmentioned homeland »

- Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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Coming Distractions: Hugh Jackman becomes The Greatest Showman in new trailer

1 hour ago

Ladies and gentlemen, and anyone else interested in a biopic about circus founder P.T. Barnum: We have the first trailer for Michael Gracey’s The Greatest Showman, starring Hugh Jackman as the politician, businessman, and notorious hoaxster. The trailer for the film, which was written by Jenny Bicks and Bill Condon, is full of pluck, complete with a soaring ballad scoring the downtrodden Barnum’s rise from failed businessman to, well, greatest showman. Because of that heavy-handed tune, we don’t hear Jackman sing, but when he does, it will be with words from La La Land lyricists Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Michelle Williams wordlessly and cheerfully supports her onscreen husband, who recruits Zac Efron as the resident hardbody, or strongman, or maybe trapeze artist—we can’t really tell from the trailer, but he does end up in the hospital. And Zendaya, who might now be contractually »

- Danette Chavez

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Newswire: You might not need glasses to watch Avatar 2 in 3-D

2 hours ago

Just like recreating the Titanic disaster or forcing millions of people to watch tall blue aliens have sex with their hair, the idea of a glasses-free 3-D experience might be moving from James Cameron’s fantasies to reality. Inside The Magic reports Cameron’s company Lightstorm Entertainment has renewed a five-year agreement with Christie Digital to “create high-tech, immersive cinema.” So far, so boring press release. But the real news here is that part of the agreement includes Christie supplying one of their Rgb projection systems to Cameron for the Avatar sequels. This provides massively bright and crisp images at a high frame rate—i.e. it pushes right up against the possibility of 3-D without those shitty plastic glasses.

This has been Cameron’s celluloid wet dream for a while now: He said last year that he wanted to develop the glasses-free 3-D experience for film, and this deal »

- Alex McLevy

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Interview: Okja’s Tilda Swinton and Bong Joon-Ho crafted their greedy capitalist tale long before Trump’s presidency

3 hours ago

This interview contains plot points of the film Okja.

Before The A.V. Club settled down to speak to Tilda Swinton and Bong Joon-Ho about their new film Okja, there was cooing. That’s because Swinton had just given this reporter permission to “cuddle” a rotund, pink, stuffed version of the eponymous super-pig—or one of her brethren—while conducting the interview at a New York hotel earlier this month.

Indeed, Okja herself is a remarkable, sweet creature—with the demeanor of a hyper-intelligent puppy—but the movie is more than a huggable romp. Rather, it’s about the villainy of a corporation willing to do anything for a buck. Swinton plays Lucy Mirando—as well as her twin sister, Nancy. Upon taking over her nasty father’s company, Lucy announces a contest called the Super Pig Project whereby piggies are sent to farmers around the world and the best »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Movie Review: The B-Side finds Errol Morris aiming his camera at another artist for once

12 hours ago

Over his nearly 40 years as a documentary filmmaker, Errol Morris has conducted in-depth, direct-to-camera interviews with criminals (both guilty and falsely convicted), grieving pet owners, Florida eccentrics, Abu Ghraib soldiers, eminent scientists (including Stephen Hawking), and not one but two men who formerly held the position of U.S. secretary of defense. Artists, however, have been conspicuous in their absence. Until now, the sole example to be found among Morris’ features was topiary gardener George Mendonça, who shares 1997’s Fast, Cheap & Out Of Control with two scientists and a lion tamer. So it’s surprising to see Morris devote an entire movie to Elsa Dorfman, a portrait photographer best known for her regular use of Polaroid’s largest instant camera. Arguably, Dorfman would have made a better fit for Morris’ half-hour First Person TV series—even at only 76 minutes, The B-Side feels a tad overextended—but »

- Mike D'Angelo

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Movie Review: The Reagan Show traces Trump’s sideshow tactics back to our first TV-ready president

12 hours ago

It’s almost impossible to watch Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez’s found-footage docu-essay The Reagan Show without thinking about the White House’s current occupant. The connections are intentional. Pettengill and Velez constructed The Reagan Show entirely from old media coverage of Ronald Reagan, using interviews, punditry, and amusing flubs and outtakes to paint a picture of a presidency that traded on the celebrity of its chief executive to sell simple, reactionary ideas about taxes, social welfare programs, and national defense to fiercely devoted supporters. In the opening minutes, the film even has a clip of President Reagan speaking to backers about his vision for the country, and promising, “Together, we’ll make America great again.” The message is clear: The voters just elected a man who invoked nostalgia for a man who invoked nostalgia.

But it’d be wrong to think of The Reagan Show as some kind »

- Noel Murray

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Great Job, Internet!: Chris Miller references his Han Solo firing with an apt Star Wars quote

13 hours ago

Outside of a few statements the day it was announced—establishing “creative differences” as the reason for their ousting—former Han Solo movie directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord have been pretty quiet since they left the stand-alone Disney movie last week. Miller returned to social evening earlier today, though, and when he did, it was with a particularly apt Star Wars reference at the ready:

Situation normal

Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) June 27, 2017

In another context, Miller’s quote might be taken as face value, but as Star Wars fans know, it’s also one of the first lines of Han’s improvised attempt to play Stormtrooper in A New Hope. In case it’s been a minute, the attempt doesn’t go over very well—it was a pretty boring conversation, anyway—although it’s not clear if Miller himself is Han in this situation, or if he »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner might write the Toni Erdmann remake

15 hours ago

According to Deadline, Girls creator Lena Dunham and showrunner Jenni Konner are “in early talks” to write the English-language remake of German film Toni Erdmann. The original, a three-hour comedy about a man pulling pranks on his overly serious daughter that was occasionally very sad, was directed by Maren Ade and received an Oscar nomination in the Foreign Language category last year, and this remake will star Jack Nicholson and Kristen Wiig. The Deadline story says this is all still in “early days,” though, so it sounds like there’s still a chance that either Dunham and Konner or Nicholson and Wiig could end up leaving the project before things really start moving forward. Also, a director isn’t attached yet, but Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and Jessica Elbaum are producing through their Gloria Sanchez label. »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: Hugh Jackman to play Frontrunner Gary Hart for Jason Reitman

16 hours ago

Hugh Jackman is ready to trade in slashing bad guys for shaking hands and kissing babies (and possibly some other, more scandalous stuff), with Variety reporting that the Logan star has signed on for the title role in Jason Reitman’s new film The Frontrunner. Jackman will star as Senator Gary Hart, the 1988 Democratic candidate whose hopes for the presidency were destroyed when allegations arose that he was engaged in an extramarital affair. Although Hart attempted to weather the accusations, his credibility was damaged, leaving opponent Michael Dukakis to get crushed in the ’88 campaign against George H.W. Bush.

The Frontrunner marks a return to more political film-making for Reitman, who made a name for himself with 2005’s Thank You For Smoking. The Oscar-nominated director is currently finishing up work on his latest feature, Tully, with Charlize Theron and Juno writer Diablo Cody. »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: The Lucas Museum will break ground in L.A. next year

18 hours ago

In January, Los Angeles announced that it would be making some room for the George Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art that Chicago had so much trouble with, and now the Los Angeles City Council has formally granted Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, the specific location they wanted in the city’s Exposition Park. Groundbreaking will begin at some point next year, with the museum itself scheduled to open in 2021.

This news comes from Variety, and the story says that the museum is “a gift to the city of Los Angeles” that will come with an endowment of “at least $400 million”—which Chicago could’ve had if certain groups had been willing to break a silly law about building things on the lakefront. During the city council meeting, Lucas offered some details on why he thinks this museum will be important, explaining that popular art “appeals to people »

- Sam Barsanti

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Newswire: R.I.P. Michael Nyqvist, of John Wick and the original The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

18 hours ago

Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist, best known for starring in the original film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Girl With The Dragon Tattoo series, and as a flamboyant bad guy in Hollywood films like Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and John Wick, has died. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nyqvist was suffering from lung cancer, and died at the age of 56.

Adopted out of an orphanage as a baby, Nyqvist quickly gravitated to the stage, first as a prospective ballet dancer, and later as an actor. He gained his first taste of international prominence in 2000, when he co-starred in Lukas Moodysson’s serio-comic film Together, playing an abusive husband whose wife leaves him to join a commune. His career gained a similar global boost in 2004, when he starred in As It Is In Heaven, which was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.

Already one of Sweden »

- William Hughes

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The SuperManual: Doctor Poison

19 hours ago

Who she is: Doctor Poison, a.k.a Dr. Isabel Maru

Her power: She doesn’t have any superpowers, but she’s a valuable asset for the German army thanks to her expertise in chemistry and amoral nature.

Her story: Recruited by General Erich Ludendorff to create chemical weapons for the German army during World War I, Dr. Poison is a megalomaniacal mad scientist who wears a ceramic mask to cover a disfigurement on one side of her face. At the beginning of Wonder Woman, Dr. Poison is scrambling to create a poison powerful enough to melt gas masks, believing that this weapon would be able to end the war—and bring her the glory and fame she craves in the process. Her efforts are initially thwarted when Steve Trevor steals her notebook during an undercover mission, but eventually she is able to create her poison gas just in »

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Newswire: Steve Carell doesn’t mind being called a silver fox

20 hours ago

Today we’ve dealt with disgraced journalists and comedians, so here’s some lighter news. In his post-Office career, Steve Carell has played a creepy scion, a high-powered agent, and a resentful financier, but while promoting his ongoing stint as a not-so-evil mastermind in the Despicable Me movies, the internet cast him as a silver fox. Last week, Carell, who’s voicing Gru for a third Minion-packed outing, was going about his day with his grays, when some especially appealing photos began making the rounds online. Dressed in a button-down, sweater, and chinos (we think), Carell looked every bit the flinty-haired man of leisure. One appreciative fan couldn’t keep their find to themselves, and Carell’s newfound reputation took off:

Honestly take your Goslings and your Zayns Malik and give me 2017 Steve Carell pic.twitter.com/lUWWF2A8Ue

— Chloe Gilke (@GilkeAsCharged) June 21, 2017

As with all such »

- Danette Chavez

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Newswire: Ansel Elgort pivots from getaway driver to John F. Kennedy for next movie

20 hours ago

Baby Driver, Edgar Wright’s latest, marks a turning point in the career of one Ansel Elgort, establishing him as a star beyond the world of Ya or Edm. (Yes, Elgort is also a budding pop star who has gone by DJ Ansolo.) But now he’s got another project in the works that should test his range as an actor. According to Deadline, he’s going to star as a pre-presidency John F. Kennedy in the WWII-set Mayday 109. The film, which is written by Samuel Franco and Evan Kilgore, will tell the story of Kennedy’s military heroics after his Patrol Torpedo Craft was hit by a Japanese destroyer.

“We could not be more excited about Ansel coming aboard,” producer Basil Iwanyk said, per Deadline. “Not only is he a tremendous actor, he embodies the charisma, athleticism and looks of a young JFK. We love that this is »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Great Job, Internet!: What the hell are all those jobs listed in film credits?

20 hours ago

Anyone who’s ever stuck around through a film’s credits has probably started asking themselves the same kind of questions as the names rolled on and the titles got stranger. What’s a second unit, and what does it do? What’s the difference between “written by” and “story by”? What the hell is a best boy and what makes him so great? Well, John P. Hess and the folks at Filmmaker Iq have put together an incredibly thorough video to help clear up some of those mysteries, explaining the roles of everyone from the executive producer to the head of craft services.

Turns out, the best boy (which is a title that doesn’t change according to the person’s gender, just so you know) is one of the highest ranking members of a movie’s lighting crew. They answer to the gaffer, who heads up the lighting »

- Matt Gerardi

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Coming Distractions: The women of Star Wars have their own adventures in this Forces Of Destiny teaser

21 hours ago

At Star Wars Celebration back in April, Disney announced a new series of animated shorts that will focus on the universe’s female heroes. Titled Star Wars: Forces Of Destiny, each short will follow a different hero from the movies and TV shows, including Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso, Sabine Wren, and Ahsoka Tano. Now, Disney has released a short teaser for the series, and while some of this stuff might not be strictly canonical, it is surprisingly badass for a show that seems targeted at kids. Plus, all of the original actors are present (except for Carrie Fisher, obviously), which helps make Forces Of Destiny feel like it really is part of the larger Star Wars universe.

The first Forces Of Destiny shorts will premiere on YouTube on July 3. »

- Sam Barsanti

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Great Job, Internet!: Nothing to disagree with here, just a definitive list of the best actors to play each superhero

21 hours ago

Many a night at the local watering hole has been spent debating which actor best embodies our favorite superheroes. Luckily, Cracked’s Daniel Dockery is here with a definitive answer, at least when it comes to Batman, Superman, Spiderman, the Joker, the Incredible Hulk, and the Punisher. While most superhero fans would consider how the actor best embodies the character’s physical attributes, or perhaps how effectively they interwove their origin story into the character, Dockery instead conducts a “Superhero Actor Battle Royale, wherein actual acting talent comes in a far second behind the ability to beat a costumed person unconscious in under 10 seconds.”

Some of the results will please longtime fans: Even with such threadbare judging criteria, Christopher Reeve emerges as the best Superman. Elsewhere, devotees may find their sacred cows left to the slaughter. Why would anyone want Michael Keaton’s Batman in a fight when all »

- Randall Colburn

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Newswire: It’s Rumor Time: Is Warner Bros. planning a Superman: Red Son movie?

21 hours ago

Mostly thanks to the fact that the guy running the United States these days is an unwitting stooge for Vladimir Putin, Russia is suddenly more culturally relevant than it has been in decades. Combine that with the fact that the public’s thirst for superhero movies is so unquenchable that even bad ones can make a ton of money, and suddenly it becomes clear that the timing is pretty good for an adaptation of Mark Millar, Dave Johnson, and Kilian Plunkett’s 2003 comic book miniseries Superman: Red Son. That seems to be what Warner Bros. is thinking, at least, as Den Of Geek claims that the studio has taken pitches from multiple directors about possibly making a live-action version of the comic.

None of this is confirmed, so it’s a very tenuous rumor at this point, but most of the “evidence” comes from a Twitter exchange between Mark »

- Sam Barsanti

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Great Job, Internet!: The Last Jedi trailer gets a cyberpunk-as-hell remake

21 hours ago

The below remake of The Last Jedi trailer is certainly interesting, in part, because of how it was produced, using an Apple IIc from 1984, a program from the era called Dazzle Draw, and some 48 floppy disks, the entirety of which contained 6 Mb of information. But the method is a little less important than the end result, which is completely, stupidly cool, like you’re seeing through the code from The Matrix to visualize the Magic Eye-like images buried underneath it.

Cita-cita waktu masih kecil di th 80an: bikin trailer Star Wars pakai komputer Apple bermonitor monochrome, baru kesampaian sekarang. pic.twitter.com/kUV28VB5pq

— Pinot (@pinotski) June 26, 2017

According to TechCrunch, Twitter user @pinotski produced the video over the course of three weeks, apparently while holding up transparent plastic sheets against the monitor. That sounds like a lot of work, but the end result is worth it »

- Clayton Purdom

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