When he's not busy stealing every scene of NBC's 'Parks and Recreation,' Nick Offerman is busy appearing in all kinds of movies, from major blockbusters like '21 Jump Street' to small independent productions like 'Somebody Up There Likes Me.' His most recent production, a concert film of his comedy show 'American Ham,' played at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and Offerman went on 'Conan' to explain the secret to getting your movie accepted into the prestigious fest.
Before he went on to direct four entries in the lovably ludicrous 'Fast and Furious' series, Justin Lin was known for his small, personal film, 'Better Luck Tomorrow' (and, uh, 'Annapolis'). The latest project on his plate looks like it could be a return to the smaller, more character-driven films of his early work: producing a feature adaptation of the acclaimed documentary 'The Battered Bastards of Baseball.'
The first 'Babadook' trailer certainly knows its audience. After all, even the most seasoned horror fan gets creeped out by childish drawings of truly unsettling monsters, and this Australian horror film seems to have that in spades. If you happen to be at the Sundance Film Festival, you have a chance to go see this. Otherwise, you'll just have to make do with the trailer for the moment.
Nobody shoots people through windows quite like Dutch photographer-turned-filmmaker Anton Corbijn. After coming out of the gate with the splendid Ian Curtis biopic 'Control' and the gorgeous but muted 'The American,' his adaptation of John Le Carre's recent novel, 'A Most Wanted Man,' suffers from his intentional coldness and precision. Recollecting on the film reminds me that it is an interesting yarn, but while watching it I was unable to shake that it was so ... freaking ... slow.
It's more than just “OK to be Takei.”
If you are one of the six million people who follow the internet meme-machine that is George Takei on social media, you know that this catchphrase was just one example of 'Star Trek''s original Mr. Sulu using his wry wit to promote marriage equality and normalize the gay lifestyle.
Mixing genres never works, especially surrealist comedy and character-based drama. Indie filmmakers often try it, and the seesaw of quirk and forced pathos is what makes people roll their eyes and wish for "a real movie." But once in a while it does work - and when it does, as with Lenny Abrahamson's 'Frank,' the result is something of a miracle.
'Frank,' co-written by Peter Straughan ('Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy') and Jon Ronson (the journalist/author of 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' and 'The Psychopath Test') and starring Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy and, wearing that ridiculous papier-mache head, Michael Fassbender, is a readymade cult classic.
Nobody asked for this movie. But someone was going to make it. I'm just glad it was Matthew Johnson, a young (but not as young as he looks!) Canadian director/co-writer/co-star who has the chutzpah to take on a really difficult subject and the chops to deliver without coming off as crass or exploitative. There are plenty who will refuse to give 'The Dirties' the time of day, and that's somewhat understandable, but if you believe that, in order to correct a problem it must first be discussed, 'The Dirties' is, I feel, a noble mix of entertainment and social importance.
I have a theory that I should probably run by an evolutionary psychologist (an actual field of study). I think we have so many people with emotional problems because our brains have not yet adapted our early fight-or-flight responses to the conditions of the modern world. This disconnect between the biological and the environmental is, in my extremely uninformed opinion, why you have people who crack on the Maury Povich show when they see balloons or something.
We can act like tough guys if we want, but we all experience irrational paranoia. Not all of us collapse like Juno Temple's Alicia in Sebastian Silver's quite extraordinary film workout 'Magic Magic.' The film opens with young Temple visiting her cousin (Emily Browning) and her cousin's friends in Chile. It's her first time out of the country, and her shyness and inexperience manifests in odd ways. (I've never seen someone shower in such a unique position before.)
Lake Bell wrote, directed and stars in 'In a World...,' and if she's anything like the character she created, I can tell that she's a good person. That's why it pains me to ultimately dismiss her (allegedly) quirky comedy that debuted at this year's Sundance. I like her, I'd be down to hang out in the world she's created, I'm just not interested in watching this convention-driven film version of this story.
After a too-long delay, writer/director Shane Carruth is back with a follow-up to his time travel indie flick 'Primer.' The first trailer for 'Upstream Color' is mesmerizing and intense, and certainly appears to be a worthy sophomore effort.