Among the more surprising developments in recent months was the seemingly-out-of-nowhere announcement that J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot teamed up with genre director Don Coscarelli to restore Phantasm. The cult classic received a full 4k makeover, enhancing both sight and sound to restore the wonderfully weird and creepy horror-fantasy to something even better than its former glory. The remastered Phantasm debuted at SXSW, allowing fans both old and new to rediscover and experience Coscarelli’s cinematic fever dream.
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You probably haven’t heard of ‘Dan Trachtenberg’ unless you’ve seen his sci-fi short, ‘Portal: No Escape,’ or followed news about him directing the mysterious Bad Robot project ‘Valencia.’ As we all learned two months ago, ‘Valencia’ was actually the codename for ‘10 Cloverfield Lane,’ a secret film related to the 2008 monster movie’ Cloverfield.’
How big of a secret was the J.J. Abrams produced ‘10 Cloverfield Lane’? So big that star Mary Elizabeth Winstead didn’t even know the movie’s title until an hour before the rest of world did. Up until the trailer for the movie surprised audiences in front of Michael Bay’s ‘13 Hours’ two months ago, no one outside of the cast and crew knew the upcoming thriller was related to 2008's ‘Cloverfield.’
One of the many intriguing aspects of the Sony e-mail leak was the news that Warner Bros. was in talks with Jeff Nichols (the upcoming Midnight Special) to direct the Aquaman spinoff. We know now, over a year later, that Warner Bros. eventually hired James Wan to direct Aquaman, but I caught up with Nichols today to get the full story on what happened to his version of the film, and why he eventually decided to walk away.
Emmanuel Lubezki just won his third Academy Award, marking a three-year-in-a-row streak for the Mexican cinematographer. Like ‘Birdman’ last year, Lubezki’s second collaboration with Alejandro Iñarritu, ‘The Revenant,’ won big at the 2016 Oscars, certifying him one of the most celebrated cinematographers of our time.
As the story goes, corrupt government officials intentionally introduced a dangerous drug into marginalized minority communities resulting in increased power for politicians and law enforcement through the manipulated fear of the middle class. This narrative has been the subject of a number of popular conspiracy theories over the years concerning the CIA’s alleged involvement in the crack cocaine epidemic among the African American community in the mid-80s. It’s also the plot of the 55th Disney animated movie starring a group of cute, talking animals.
In Hail, Caesar!, the new comedy from Joel and Ethan Coen, Alden Ehrenreich accomplishes a seemingly impossible task: He steals a movie from a cast that includes Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Ralph Fiennes, Frances McDormand, Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, and two Tilda Swintons. (She plays twins.) Amidst that incredible array of talent, it’s Ehrenreich who emerges as the film’s breakout star, and shares (with Fiennes) its funniest scene, in which a Hollywood director (Fiennes) desperately tries to coax a believable Mid-Atlantic accent out of Ehrenreich’s dopey cowboy, Hobie Doyle. This extended riff, which was already heavily featured in the Hail, Caesar! trailer, is an instant classic from the Coen brothers, and will almost certainly go down in history as one of the best scenes of their entire career.
Brolin reunited with the Coens for their remake of True Grit, and now they’re back together again for Hail, Caesar! a hilarious comedy about 1950s Hollywood. Brolin plays Eddie Mannix, an executive at Capitol Pictures, a major studio with several major problems that need fixing. Chief among them: Capitol’s biggest star, Baird Whitlock (George Clooney) has been kidnapped, and a mysterious group known as “The Future” wants $100,000 for his safe return.
It’s only been a week since ‘Swiss Army Man’ shocked Park City audiences at its Sundance world premiere, and the absurdist dramedy is already known as “the Daniel Radcliffe fart movie.” If you’ve seen the headlines and read the reviews (here’s ours), you already know the film prompted some walk-outs after Paul Dano‘s Hank rode the back of Radcliffe’s Manny, a farting corpse, like a jet-ski across an ocean. But, like those who left after the hilarious, blissfully weird opening scene, what you don’t know is that Swiss Army Man is actually a meditation on profound, human topics.
As any fan of ‘Once’ can attest, writer, director John Carney is a master at capturing the complexities of love through music. In his latest musical, ‘Sing Street,’ Carney pulls from his own past as a misfit school boy in the 1980s who found solace in music.