Leonardo DiCaprio signs on for Alejandro González Iñárittu’s “The Revenant”

Leonardo DiCaprio signs on for Alejandro González Iñárittu’s “The Revenant”

Now here is a collaboration I am looking forward to! Leonardo DiCaprio and Alejandro González Iñárittu have both set up their next project together titled The Revenant. Based on the novel by Michael Punke, The Revenant is a gritty historical western that revolves around DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass, a fur trapper who is mauled by a bear and then left for dead and robbed by his own team of trappers and…

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First Reaction to “Inherent Vice” Hits the Web

First Reaction to “Inherent Vice” Hits the Web

Following the news that Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice will be skipping the Cannes Film Festival, eager fans of Anderson’s work are looking for a first shot to catch his latest starring Joaquin Phoenix.

Audiences are still months away from seeing Anderson’s Inherent Vicein theatres, but Anderson has been in the editing booth long enough for a rough cut to be shown off. An early test…

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The Studio Ghibli Retrospective: Tales From Earthsea

by Christopher Runyon

As has already been documented on the Retrospective, I wasn’t as big a fan of Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko or Hiroyuki Morita’s The Cat Returns as many others were; but neither of them were explicitly “bad” movies. While I wasn’t particularly amused by Pom Poko‘s surrealist brand of cultural humor, I appreciated how it managed to bring surprising depth and nuance to its eco-message, which could’ve been preachy and was instead handled maturely. The Cat Returns, on the other hand, was the studio’s most empty and light film at the time, but it at least had charm and likability to compensate.

I mention this because this week, we’ll be dealing with the first and so far only (in my opinion) “bad” movie to come out of Studio Ghibli. And Tales of Earthsea isn’t just bad. It’s actually pretty awful. An overly stoic, pretentious, boring, unimaginative trainwreck that just happens to have been made by some of the greatest animators in the history of Japanese anime. It brought to mind when I had to detail the monstrosity that was David Lynch’s Dune for his retrospective series, except whereas Dune was awful in very interesting, bizarre, hard-to-believe ways, Tales From Earthsea is just a cliched chore to sit through.

And like most ambitious yet misguidedly bad productions, the most interesting aspect of Tales From Earthsea‘s folly is, unfortunately, what happened behind the scenes. A fair amount of the studio’s feature films have been directed by other animators besides Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata at this point. But Earthsea bears the distinction of being directed by Hayao Miyazaki’s son, Goro Miyazaki, who was not an established film director — let alone a director of animation –, thus turning this into a project fueled by legacy.

Click here to read the rest of Christopher’s detailing of Studio Ghibli’s black sheep.

The Studio Ghibli Retrospective: “Tales From Earthsea”

The Studio Ghibli Retrospective: “Tales From Earthsea”

As has already been documented on the Retrospective, I wasn’t as big a fan of Isao Takahata’s Pom Poko or Hiroyuki Morita’s The Cat Returns as many others were; but neither of them were explicitly “bad” movies. While I wasn’t particularly amused by Pom Poko‘s surrealist brand of cultural humor, I appreciated how it managed to bring surprising depth and nuance to its eco-message, which could’ve…

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First Trailer for David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” Ben Affleck Accused

First Trailer for David Fincher’s GONE GIRL Ben Affleck Accused

Ben Affleck walks the line between likeable guy and man who may have murdered his wife in Gone Girl. Director David Fincher is taking on this project from the acclaimed novel by Gillian Flynn. Hardworking everyman Nick Dunne (Affleck) arrives home on his fifth wedding anniversary to find his wife has gone missing.

What seems like a simple enough premise, goes into a much deeper story. Nick Dunne…

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David Fincher Log’s Off Sony’s Steve Jobs Biopic

David Fincher Log’s Off Sony’s Steve Jobs Biopic

There was much rejoicing! Blasphemy you say? Well we really don’t need a Steve Jobs biopic. Hot off the press comes word that David Fincher will not be reuniting with Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin for a new Steve Jobs biopic. The only great loss here is that we won’t get another witty Fincher / Sorkin collaboration.

According to Cinemablend (via THR), Sony’s actively seeking a replacement…

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Looking Back: Alice or the Last Escapade

by Fernando Croce

“To the memory of Fritz Lang.” So reads the dedication at the opening credits of Claude Chabrol’s remarkable 1977 film Alice or the Last Escapade. Long known as “the French Hitchcock” for his suspenseful dissections of the bourgeoisie, Chabrol deeply admired Lang, the great Teutonic visionary whose characters perpetually felt the heavy grasp of Fate squeezing around their throats. Both auteurs were expert engineers of cinematic steel-traps, and yet their sense of geometric doom hid more than a hint of dark poetry. (Think, for instance, of Lang’s Secret Beyond the Door or Moonfleet.) It’s fitting, then, that the younger director’s tribute turns up in a film that mingles ruthless dread with metaphysical enchantment in ways that would have made his idol proud.

Click here to read the rest of Fernando’s retrospective.

Trailer for David Cronenberg’s “Maps To The Stars” Online

Trailer for David Cronenberg’s “Maps To The Stars” Online

Gather round Cronenberg fans for the first trailer of his latest film Maps To The Stars. This outing finds Cronenberg setting his off-kilter lens onto Hollywood life with a screenplay by Bruce Wagner. The film made the list of our own Russell Hainline’s Top 50 Most Anticipated Films of 2014.

The plot appears to intertwine multiple characters and storylines centering around the Weiss family, who…

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Trailer for ‘God’s Pocket’ Released

Trailer for GOD’S POCKET Released

Today sees the release of the trailer for one of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s final performances in the film God’s Pocket. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year just weeks before his tragic death. Our own Christopher Runyon listed the film in the list of his 20 Most Anticipated Films from Sundance.

Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Dexter, the film revolves around…

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David Michôd and Brad Pitt to Team Up for ‘The Operators’

David Michôd and Brad Pitt to Team Up for ‘The Operators’

Here is some good news to kick off the day with. Animal Kingdom Director David Michôd has found his next project, with Brad Pitt to both produce and star in, titled The Operators.

The film will be adapted by Michôd from the non-fiction book of the same name by Michael Hastings. It follows the time that General Stanley McChrystal spent as the commanding general of United States and international…

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The MTV Movie Awards Were On Last Night, Apparently

While everyone else was watching Game of Thrones or Mad Men, I am told that the MTV Movie Awards happened last night. The live event was hosted by Conan O’Brien, a man used to being ignored over on TBS, and Zac Efron took off his shirt and everyone clapped.

In terms of winners, which are chosen by fans, the night kicked off by further encouraging Jared Leto for his performance in Dallas Buyers…

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Weekend Box Office: “Captain” Wins Again, “Rio” A Close Second

Weekend Box Office: “Captain” Wins Again, “Rio” A Close Second

Based on the box office this weekend, there were only two movies in release – so it goes as the summer movie season approaches. Despite the fact that the animated sequel Rio 2 opened in first place on Friday, it slipped into second place for Saturday and Sunday, which allowed Captain America: The Winter Soldier to claim the number 1 slot for the second weekend in a row. Captainadded $41.3 million…

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Oculus: Turns Out It Was Just A Reflector

by Christopher Runyon

Not being able to tell what’s real and isn’t real in movies, let alone those of the horror genre, has become such an overused, pretentious cliche when it comes to faux-profound filmmakers. So much so that when a film like Oculus comes along and does it so damn right, it’s all the more impressive. But don’t take from that statement that that’s meant to be the main draw of Mike Flanagan’s psychological horror film. Sure the film’s central, malevolent mirror is able to alter the perception of those caught in its grasp, but this is really more of a gonzo elaboration of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining than yet another Paranormal Activity style spooker. Oculus manages to excel not only as a horror movie, but also as a portrait of a family descending into utter madness, and how the buried traumas of our childhood continue to haunt us all the way up to our adult lives.

Grade: A-

Click here to read the rest of Christopher’s rave of the new horror film.

"Only Lovers Left Alive"

Jake Mulligan dives deep into Jim Jarmusch’s ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE, the perfect date movie. Read on.

The main character in Only Lovers Left Alive is literally a romantic. Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a centuries-old vampire, and according to his lover Eve (Tilda Swinton,) his personality was shaped by Romantic-era “assholes” like Shelley and Byron. Now he resides in the ruins of modern-day Detroit, recording underground hits via his collection of ancient guitars. Eve is posted up on the other side…

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Will we ever get to see ‘Jane Got a Gun’?

Will we ever get to see ‘Jane Got a Gun’?

Somebody could, and really should, write a book on the troubled history of Jane Got a Gun.Where do we begin? Let’s zap back to 2012 when Natalie Portman signed on to star in the Brian Duffield script. The script revolves around Jane Hammond(Portman), whose husband turns on his gang and returns home barely alive. The gang, led by John Bishop comes back to finish the job, and Jane turns to her…

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