Wilson (2017) - News Poster

(I) (2017)

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'Matilda' Star Mara Wilson Calls Out Disturbing Trend of 'Sexualizing' Child Actors

'Matilda' Star Mara Wilson Calls Out Disturbing Trend of 'Sexualizing' Child Actors
Mara Wilson is imploring people to reevaluate the way they think and talk about child actors.

The former child star -- who came to fame with roles in films like Matilda and Miracle on 34th Street -- recently penned a forceful editorial for Elle.com, in which she got candid about the perverse sexual objectification directed at young performers in Hollywood -- a troubling trend she became familiar with early in her life.

"Even before I was out of middle school, I had been featured on foot fetish websites, photoshopped into child porn, and received all kinds of letters and messages online from grown men," wrote the actress, who is now 30.

"At every premiere and awards show, I would see strange men holding photos of me they’d printed themselves, hoping I would sign, and I would, hoping they were going to sell it somewhere and not keep it," she added.

Wilson -- who made
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

'Maltida' Star Mara Wilson Calls Out Disturbing Trend of 'Sexualizing' Child Actors

'Maltida' Star Mara Wilson Calls Out Disturbing Trend of 'Sexualizing' Child Actors
Mara Wilson is imploring people to reevaluate the way they think and talk about child actors.

The former child star -- who came to fame with roles in films like Matilda and Miracle on 34th Street -- recently penned a forceful editorial for Elle.com, in which she got candid about the perverse sexual objectification directed at young performers in Hollywood -- a troubling trend she became familiar with early in her life.

"Even before I was out of middle school, I had been featured on foot fetish websites, photoshopped into child porn, and received all kinds of letters and messages online from grown men," wrote the actress, who is now 30.

"At every premiere and awards show, I would see strange men holding photos of me they’d printed themselves, hoping I would sign, and I would, hoping they were going to sell it somewhere and not keep it," she added.

Wilson -- who made
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Roy Moore Reportedly ‘Badgered’ Teen Girls at an Alabama Mall in the ’80s

Roy Moore Reportedly ‘Badgered’ Teen Girls at an Alabama Mall in the ’80s
In the 1980s, Roy Moore had a reputation for allegedly “badgering teenage girls” and “cruising for high-school dates” at an Alabama mall, according to The New Yorker.

More than a dozen people who worked or spent time at the Gadsden Mall during that time told The New Yorker‘s Charles Bethea of widespread rumors that Moore, now the Gop Alabama Senate candidate, was on a list of people banned from the mall.

A former manager who worked at the mall in the late ’80s confirmed the existence of a ban list to The New Yorker, but said he did not
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Emt on Way to Texas Church Shooting Realized Her Family Was Inside: 'My Heart Immediately Sank'

A Texas emergency medical technician was responding to a shooting when she quickly realized she was en route to her family’s church, the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

Wilson County first responder Torie McCallum recalled the gut-wrenching moment she learned her loved ones were inside the same sanctuary where a gunman killed at least 25 people and one unborn child during a Sunday morning service.

“I turn on my E-Dispatch on my phone to listen to the page and realized it was the church in Sutherland Springs and my heart immediately sank,” McCallum, 30, told local news outlet Ksat-tv. “I
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Texas Church Attack Victim Survived by Playing Dead as Gunman Looked for ‘More People to Shoot’

Rosanne Solis is recounting the harrowing moments she and a group of worshipers cowered in silence on Sunday as 26-year-old Devin Kelley opened fire on the rural Texas church.

Solis told ABC News that the churchgoers began screaming when Kelley began unloading a hail of gunfire, but fell silent as the gunman made his way through the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs while reloading his gun.

“I played dead and I made sure that I hid myself good under bench,” she told the site. “You could hear a pin drop in there, silence. Real quiet … I knew if I
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

New Star Wars: The Last Jedi Trailer To Debut During “Monday Night Football” Tomorrow October 9

Photo: John Wilson..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Proof that sports and movies can co-exist in the same galaxy, a brand new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi will debut on Espn’s “Monday Night Football” on Monday, October 9, during halftime of the National Football League (NFL) game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears in Chicago. The game starts at 5:15 p.m. Pdt/8:15 p.m. Edt.

Get ready. Trailer tomorrow. #TheLastJedi pic.twitter.com/woC9KF4GH8

Star Wars (@starwars) October 8, 2017

Lucasfilm also announced today that following the trailer launch, tickets to the highly anticipated cinematic event will be on sale everywhere movie tickets are sold.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens in U.S. theaters on December 15.

©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi..Finn (John Boyega) in a Ski Speeder on Crait..Photo: Industrial Light & Magic/Lucasfilm..©2017 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Why Cheryl Hines Was Happy to Return to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (Exclusive)

Why Cheryl Hines Was Happy to Return to ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (Exclusive)
When Curb Your Enthusiasm returned for its eighth season in 2011, it was a strange experience for Cheryl Hines, who is best known for her role as Cheryl, Larry David’s onscreen wife who left David on the show several seasons prior.

“It was kind of sad,” Hines tells Et of being largely absent from the show’s eighth season. “It was a little different because before, I would watch the new episodes with my friends. We had a little Sunday night thing. When I was working on Curb I could stay up, because we had already shot it,” she says. “But when Curb came back and I wasn’t in it, it wasn't quite the same because I was working at the time. I had to get up at four in the morning for an early call time on Mondays, so I couldn’t really stay up to watch it.”

It had been
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

Movie Review – The Glass Castle (2017)

The Glass Castle, 2017.

Directed by Destin Daniel Crettin.

Starring Brie Larson, Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts, Max Greenfield, Sarah Snook, Robin Bartlett, Ella Anderson, Sadie Sink, and Chandler Head.

Synopsis:

A successful New York gossip columnist believes she has left her impoverished and difficult childhood behind her – until one night she encounters her now homeless father. It brings back memories of her earlier years and raises the possibility of letting her parents back into her life.

Is The Glass Castle this year’s Captain Fantastic? Superficially, it could be seen that way. Both have unconventional, unorthodox fathers bringing up a brood of children but, once you get past that, the similarities drop away. Captain Fantastic showed an idealistic and intelligent father whose efforts at raising his children were unusual and sometimes misguided. But there was never any doubt about his devotion to the children. The father in The Glass Castle is a very different proposition.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

"Twin Peaks," Episode 16 Recap: You've Made My Heart So Full

  • MUBI
Twin Peaks Recap is a weekly column by Keith Uhlich covering David Lynch and Mark Frost's limited, 18-episode continuation of the Twin Peaks television series."Finally," says the One-Armed Man a.k.a. Phillip Gerard (Al Strobel) about midway through Part 16 of Mark Frost and David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival, right after a certain FBI Special Agent returns to the world of the living. It's been 13 episodes since we've seen full trace of Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan), though even then he wasn't entirely himself. (Being trapped for 25 years in the otherworldly Black Lodge has a way of tempering certain personality traits.) Now, however, he's "one hundred percent" (in his estimation, anyway), and there's certainly plenty of giddy pleasure to be had watching the energetic, Boy Scout-like Cooper of old take charge. But that presumes that this is the Dale Cooper of old, and it quickly becomes apparent that that's not the case.
See full article at MUBI »

"Twin Peaks," Episode 15 Recap: How Beautiful Is This

  • MUBI
Twin Peaks Recap is a weekly column by Keith Uhlich covering David Lynch and Mark Frost's limited, 18-episode continuation of the Twin Peaks television series.The best things come to those who wait, and Big Ed Hurley (Everett McGill) has long been dreaming of the moment that opens Part 15 of Mark Frost and David Lynch's Twin Peaks revival. "I've been a selfish bitch to you all these years," says his one-eyed wife Nadine (Wendy Robie), who's walked a long way—a Dr. Jacoby/Dr. Amp gold, shit-digging shovel slung over her shoulder—to the cash-only Gas Farm that Ed has run for most of his life. She states the obvious: Ed is in love with Rr Diner propietor Norma Jennings (Peggy Lipton), and she, Nadine, has always stood in his way. Those days are finally over. Ed is reluctant to think of this as anything beyond another of his spouse's manic episodes.
See full article at MUBI »

"Twin Peaks," Episode 14 Recap: Tell Me The Story

  • MUBI
Twin Peaks Recap is a weekly column by Keith Uhlich covering David Lynch and Mark Frost's limited, 18-episode continuation of the Twin Peaks television series.It's James Hurley's (James Marshall) birthday and he wants a present. Not that he's demanding it—no, no. James is cool. He's always been cool. So in that affable way of his that can be equal parts endearing and insufferable, he asks his going-on-23-year-old coworker, Freddie Sykes (Jake Wardle)—a U.K. to U.S. transplant who, like James, is a security guard at the Great Northern Hotel—to explain why he's always wearing a green gardener's glove on his right hand. "Tell me the story," he says to Freddie. The young man obliges the birthday boy with a captivating tale ("you ain't gonna believe me anyway," he prefaces) of a man in the sky called The Fireman, who told him to buy the glove,
See full article at MUBI »

The Glass Castle – Review

With just a few weeks left in the big Summer season, Hollywood hopes to get a slight jump on the serious Fall/Winter awards time with an adaptation of an acclaimed biographical novel. Oh, and it’s a “heart-tugger’ about an offbeat family. Now, such movies can be heartwarming like Meet Me In St. Louis and I Remember Mama, or countless other syrupy-sweet homages to home and hearth. And then there’s the opposite, the tough profiles of hard lives with difficult heads of the household like The Great Santini or (gasp) Mommie Dearest. Really, this new flick could almost be “Daddy Dearest”, as its main focus is a man who made life difficult for his offspring, due partly to his boozing, but mainly because he could never really realize his dreams, particularly his elaborate, unmade plans for The Glass Castle.

Those blueprints are a long ago memory for successful
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

‘Ant-Man & The Wasp’ Has Officially Started Production

Marvel Studios have sent in a press release confirming that work has started on the sequel Ant-Man and the Wasp. More on the Ant-Man and the Wasp filming announcement below.

Ant-Man and the Wasp filming commences!

Marvel Studios announced late yesterday that production has begun on Ant-Man and The Wasp, starring Paul Rudd (Captain America: Civil War, The Fundamentals of Caring), Evangeline Lilly (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Lost), Michael Peña (The Martian, Fury) and Academy Award® winner Michael Douglas (Behind the Candelabra, Wall Street), who all return to the roles they originated in the 2015 box office hit Ant-Man.

Bobby Cannavale (Vinyl, Chef), Judy Greer (War for the Planet of the Apes, Wilson), Abby Ryder Fortson (Togetherness, Transparent), TipT.I.” Harris (Sleepless, Get Hard) and David Dastmalchian (Twin Peaks, The Belko Experiment) also reprise their supporting roles.

The highly-anticipated follow-up welcomes Academy Award® nominees Michelle Pfeiffer (The Wizard of Lies,
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Woody Harrelson talks War for the Planet of the Apes and his passion for the environment

  • Cineplex
Woody Harrelson talks War for the Planet of the Apes and his passion for the environmentWoody Harrelson talks War for the Planet of the Apes and his passion for the environmentDebra Wallace - Cineplex Magazine7/11/2017 10:18:00 Am

When Woody Harrelson was first offered a major part in War for the Planet of the Apes, he had visions of stepping into the skin of a primate.

Then he realized he was being asked to play the Colonel, an iron-fisted, ruthless soldier brought in to tamp down the now hyper-intelligent apes waging war with mankind.

The 55-year-old actor admits he was a bit chagrined. “I tried anything and everything to get them to come around, but they told me I was playing a human,” he explains, tongue in cheek, during a recent chat at a posh Manhattan hotel. Dressed in a blue T-shirt and hoodie, he’s approachable and irreverent. “I
See full article at Cineplex »

Judy Greer Reveals Her Awkward Moment While Rehearsing a Sex Scene With Woody Harrelson

Judy Greer Reveals Her Awkward Moment While Rehearsing a Sex Scene With Woody Harrelson
As Judy Greer can attest, steamy sex scenes often arise from some seriously blush-worthy moments onset.

For example, the actress, 41, recently told People Now about an embarrassing experience she endured while rehearsing a sex scene with Woody Harrelson for their new film Wilson.

Before the rehearsal, Greer tried hyping herself up for the scene. “I’m not gonna be shy, I’m not gonna be ashamed,” she recalled telling herself. “I’m gonna really do my full performance here for this rehearsal so everyone knows what I’m gonna do.”

From Pen: Glenn Close and Michael Douglas on the Famous
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Midway Oscars Forecast: A Cluttered Landscape for Indies and Streamers

Midway Oscars Forecast: A Cluttered Landscape for Indies and Streamers
It was barely four months ago that director Barry Jenkins stood alongside the baffled cast and crew of “Moonlight” at the Dolby Theatre after defying virtually every known Oscar convention in spectacular, immortal fashion. But just eight short weeks from now, the season will purr right back to life at the Venice and Telluride film festivals. Hollywood will set its sights on that coveted gold statuette for the 90th time, and a new flock of prestige productions will vie for the industry’s top honor.

New York-based distributor A24’s victory brought the best picture tally for independents (and studio dependents) up to nine over the past decade. The only major studio to score in that stretch was Warner Bros. with “Argo,” as the game of Oscar continues to be one of bolstering the financial outlook of artistic risks that conglomerate-tethered companies feel they can’t afford. A glance at the horizon this year reveals a healthy
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Laura Dern-aissance: From Blacklisted After ‘Ellen’ to 2017 Scene-Stealer of ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘Twin Peaks’

The Laura Dern-aissance: From Blacklisted After ‘Ellen’ to 2017 Scene-Stealer of ‘Big Little Lies’ and ‘Twin Peaks’
A formidable actress, Laura Dern has been working in Hollywood since age 5. At 13 years old, the daughter of icons Diane Ladd and Bruce Dern became the youngest Miss Golden Globe and soon thereafter earned critical acclaim with her breakout role in Blue Velvet. The 1986 film also marked the first time Dern and director David Lynch would work together throughout her career, a pairing that continues with Twin Peaks’ celebrated return on Showtime.

Known for her highly emotive face,
See full article at Entertainment Tonight »

New to Streaming: ‘The Bad Batch,’ ‘Summer Hours,’ ‘Kong: Skull Island,’ ‘Paterson,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit platforms. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour)

Ana Lily Amirpour’s second feature shoots for Harmony Korine meets Mad Max and would have nearly almost hit the mark were it not for the gratingly aloof attitude and the swaths of directorial license being taken. The Bad Batch — an ambitious, expansive dystopian sci-fi western which features partying, drugs, and cannibals — might come as music to the ears of diehard fans of films like Spring Breakers and Gummo (a kid doesn’t quite eat spaghetti in a bathtub, but a kid does eat spaghetti after being in a bathtub). However, beneath its dazzlingly hip surface the script and characters leave much to be desired. It’s like taking a trip to Burning Man: a pseudo-spiritual, uniquely punky experience perhaps, but one that’s full of annoying rich kids and ultimately emotionally shallow. – Rory O. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes

Kong: Skull Island (Jordan Vogt-Roberts)

Though it may not feel fully inspired so much as competently pre-visualized, Kong: Skull Island fits snugly into the growing canon of reboots that exist within ever-expanding movie universes. That’s a first sentence to a positive review that perhaps reads a bit more cynically than intended. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and written by a bunch of dudes (Dan Gilroy and Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly with a story credited to John Gatins), this umpteenth version of the King Kong story pulls from every available pop-culture source in building a fun creature feature. Much of the credit goes to the breathtaking effects and brisk pace, which distract from some lofty line readings and silly plot devices. – Dan M. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Le Trou (Jacques Becker)

One of the greatest prison escape dramas of all-time, Jacques Becker’s recently-restored Le Trou is a masterclass in tension. By putting us both in the physical and psychological headspace of our protagonists, it’s an enveloping experience as we see a number of close calls, leading up to one of the most unforgettable endings in cinema. – Jordan r.

Where to Stream: Mubi (free 30-day trial)

Moana (John Musker and Ron Clements)

It’s time for another Disney Princess movie, and you know how it goes. Disney knows too, and wants you to know that it knows. When the title character of Moana (Auli’i Cravalho) denies that she’s a princess, claiming that she’s merely the daughter of her island’s chief and the next chieftain, her adventuring partner Maui (Dwayne Johnson) asserts, “Same difference,” and that, “You wear a dress and have an animal sidekick. You’re a princess.” But Disney is doing its best to make the culture rethink cinematic fantasy princesses, countering the stereotypes of helpless femininity (which the studio largely put in place) with a new roster of highly capable action heroines. And Moana is, as they call it, a good role model. And the movie around her is fine. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press (Brian Knappenberger)

Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press uses a salacious story and website as the launching pad to discuss where we currently are, so much so that I imagine director Brian Knappenberger — who uses footage from President Trump’s infamous press conference only a few days before the film’s Sundance premiere — may wish to stay on the story. Gawker, a site spun out of Gizmodo, was founded to share the types of stories mainstream news outlets would often shy away from, including celebrity sex tapes, outings, drug use, and allegations that have swirled but not picked up traction. They’ve featured Rob Ford smoking crack, Bill Cosby’s multiple accusers, Hillary Clinton’s emails, Tom Cruise’s prominent role in Scientology, and the one that brought them down: the infamous Hulk Hogan sex tape recorded for private use by Hogan pal and infamous Tampa shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, best known nationally for his stint on Howard Stern’s satellite channel. Bubba’s antics will no doubt some day be the subject of a documentary of their own, from his role in both the Hogan affair to his odd appearance in the David Petraeus saga. – John F. (full review)

Where to Stream: Netflix

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch)

Jim Jarmusch proved he was back in a major way with Only Lovers Left Alive a few years ago, and the streak continues with Paterson, a calm, introspective drama with such positive views on marriage and creativity that I was left floored. In following the cyclical life of Adam Driver‘s Paterson, a bus driver in Paterson, New Jersey, who also has dreams of being a poet, Jarmusch superbly shows that one’s own life experience — however seemingly insubstantial — is the only requirement to produce something beautiful. Moreso than any other film in 2016, this is the kind of world I want to live in. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Star Trek Beyond (Justin Lin)

After the pleasant fluff of its kick-off installment and the frog march of unpleasantness that was Into Darkness, the rebooted Star Trek film series finally hits a fun median between big-budget bombast and classic Trek bigheartedness with Star Trek Beyond. Does the franchise’s full descent into action, with only the barest lip service paid to big ideas, cause Gene Roddenberry’s ashes to spin in their space capsule? Probably, but in the barren desert of summer 2016 blockbusters, this is a lovely oasis. – Dan S. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon Prime

Summer Hours (Olivier Assayas)

Perhaps a point of contention on New York Times’ top 25 films of the 21st century list, Olivier AssayasSummer Hours is a commendable top 10 pick. Led by Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jérémie Renier, and Kyle Eastwood, this drama follows a family reuniting following the death of their mother. Like the best of Assayas’ films, it’s an impeccably-crafted, subtly-moving experience, one that wades in the ideas of the value of what we hold on to and a graceful reflection on the passage of time. – Jordan R.

Where to Stream: FilmStruck

Wilson (Craig Johnson)

The world of Daniel Clowes is one without manners, glamour, and tact, but it is also one of uncomfortable truth, as scathing as it might be. One may have never verbally conveyed the discourteous musings of his characters to the extent to which it is their everyday vernacular, but we’ve all had similar thoughts when life isn’t going our way. The latest adaptation of his work comes with Wilson, directed by Craig Johnson (The Skeleton Twins), featuring a role Woody Harrelson is clearly having the time of his life with. Despite his commitment to a lack of civility, there’s a darker film lying in the cynical heart of Wilson, one that gets squandered by its mawkish aesthetic and lack of interest in exploring these characters beyond their crudeness. – Jordan R. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Niki Caro)

The Zookeeper’s Wife begins with those five famous words that hold the power to either become a film’s dependency (and therefore downfall) or its empowering catalyst, laying the foundation to convey a poignant tale: “Based on a true story.” Fortunately, The Zookeeper’s Wife sticks with the latter, and the true tale being told is one for the ages. Niki Caro‘s drama follows a couple who hide Jews in their zoo and use it as a point of passage and escape during the Nazi takeover of Warsaw. The narrative is a simple one, allowing The Zookeeper’s Wife to shine in its performances, imagery, and storytelling, which it pristinely accomplishes. – Chelsey G. (full review)

Where to Stream: Amazon, iTunes, Google

Also New to Streaming

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Night School (review)

FilmStruck

Rodeo and The Moment of Truth

Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? and Quadrophenia

An Actor’s Revenge

Her Brother

Conflagration

The Woman in Question

The Importance of Being Earnest

Mubi (free 30-day trial)

Paris Frills

The Train to Moscow: A Journey to Utopia

Lost in Lebanon

Being 14

Molly’s Theory of Relativity

Le Moulin

Netflix

The Stanford Prison Experiment (review)

Discover more titles that are now available to stream.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Review: Wilson

  • Comicmix
We all like to root for the underdog, especially if it is someone we, the audience, feel is being unjustly treated by a cruel, uncaring world. So, sitting down to Wilson, the film adaptation of Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel, we’re predisposed to cheer for the title character, especially as portrayed by Woody Harrelson.

Unfortunately, we get a soft, gooey portrayal of a misanthrope who brings much of the misery upon himself, surrounding himself with ill-defined characters. The 94 minute experience is at times uncomfortable and other times you shake your head at the missed opportunities.

The 2010 graphic novel is comprised of 70 single page gag strips about Wilson, inspired in part by his own father’s death as well as the relationship between Peanuts creator Charles Schulz and his father. Days and years pass in Wilson’s life between these vignettes forcing you to guess what has happened. In some ways, the film works in the same frustrating manner.

The film, out now from 20th Century Home Entertainment, focuses on Wilson, a down on his luck guy who loses his father to cancer then goes in search of his past by tracking his ex-wife where he learns the abortion that ended their marriage never happened. Instead, she gave away the child, now a teen, and they go in search of her.

Laura Dern looks appropriately strung out as Pippi, his ex, who is variously described as a crack whore and lunatic. She left Wilson, gave up her daughter, and tried to stay straight as a waitress. When Wilson finds her, she crumbles around whatever she originally found in him to love. As a result, she gives in all too readily and all too often, when he wants to love her or find their daughter and then pursue a relationship with her. Later, time passes and her situation changes with no real explanation, undercutting our appreciation for her struggles.

Harrelson gives the part his all, but is ill served by Clowes script. The story is fine but there’s little to like about Wilson, who is rude, arrogant, befuddled, and stressed out depending upon the scene. After being arrested for allegedly kidnapping Claire (Isabella Amara), he transitions to a three year stint at prison. There, he seems to find God or bond with every sub-culture in the prison population, softening his edges at last, so in the final act, he can find some solace. There’s a better story hidden under all this but Clowes won’t show us. His adaptations of Ghost World and Art School Confidential are far superior.

Had this been in the hands of a surer director, such as the originally-planned Alexander Payne, we might have been given that better movie. Instead, we get relative novice Craig Johnson, making just his third feature. Therefore, performances by Judy Greer, Cheryl Hines, and Margo Martindale are wasted.

We veer from slapstick to sentimental and the entire final portion of the film shifts tone into something sappy. The entire production lacks focus, direction, and even a point. As a portrait of a middle-aged man lost in the world, it has more promise than actual delivery.

Overall, the film looks and sounds fine on Blu-ray, coming as part of a Combo Pack that also includes a DVD and Digital HD code.

Given that the film was a box office and critical disappointment, it’s no surprise that there is a paucity of special features. We do get 15 Deleted Scenes, some of which would have helped the overall story but none are entirely missed. There are also a photo gallery and trailers.
See full article at Comicmix »

Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far

Oscars: 13 Deserving Contenders From 2017 So Far
As we rapidly approach 2017’s midway point, there are already a number of films that deserve to be remembered by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when Oscar ballots go out at the end of the year. Academy voters notoriously have short memories, though it’s hardly their fault alone; studios are so obsessed with back-loading the year with prestige product that in the rush, earlier gems are often forgotten.

So we’re here to help. Perhaps members will take a moment to bear these contenders in mind before the awards season glut finally hits.

Note: This list spotlights films theatrically released to the paying public. There have been festival standouts that won’t hit theaters until the coming months, and a number would bear mentioning. Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler are all fantastic in Noah Baumbach’s “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected),” for example. And David Lowery’s vision for “A Ghost Story” makes for one of the greatest motion pictures of the year. But we’ll stick to what will hit theaters as of June 30 for this piece’s purposes.

Related

Oscars at the Halfway Mark: ‘Logan,’ ‘Get Out’ and Women Directors

***

Best Picture: “The Big Sick

Don’t dismiss it just because it’s the funniest movie of the year so far, it’s also the most heartfelt and intelligent. Willing to mix big issues with big laughs, the tone is held together perfectly by director Michael Showalter, the outstanding cast and an excellent script. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “Baby Driver”; Get Out”; “Logan”; “Okja

Best Director: Bong Joon Ho (“Okja”)

Netflix’s Cannes entry is a whole lot of movie, and a whole lot of vision. Director Bong Joon Ho dazzles with his deft kinetic touch while also pulling an impressive performance out of young lead Seo-Hyun Ahn to anchor the zany satire. But as ever, Bong proves a master of balancing tonal shifts, ultimately crafting a moving piece of work. (KT)

– Other Standouts: Sofia Coppola (“The Beguiled”); Michael Showalter (“The Big Sick”); Jordan Peele (“Get Out”); Trey Edward Shults (“It Comes At Night”)

Best Actor: Sam Elliott (“The Hero”)

The role of an aging star who never realized his greatness fits Elliott like a glove. It’s also a reminder of how underutilized he has been on the big screen. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Richard Gere (“Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer”); Daniel Kaluuya (“Get Out”); James McAvoy (“Split”); Kumail Nanjiani (“The Big Sick”)

Best Actress: Sally Hawkins (“Maudie”)

Hawkins is always excellent and reliable, but she outdoes herself portraying Canadian painter Maud Lewis. Crippled by arthritis, married to a rough fisherman (a great Ethan Hawke), Hawkins allows Maud’s joy to shine through. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Jessica Chastain (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”); Anne Hathaway (“Colossal”); Salma Hayek (“Beatriz at Dinner”); Rachel Weisz (“My Cousin Rachel”)

Best Supporting Actor: Patrick Stewart (“Logan”)

Let’s be honest; take away the superhero element and this would be an Oscar slam-dunk. Stewart’s portrayal of Charles Xavier in waning health with a broken mind will break your heart. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: Sharlto Copley (“Free Fire”); Ethan Hawke (“Maudie”); LilRel Howery (“Get Out”); Ray Romano (“The Big Sick”)

Best Supporting Actress: Betty Gabriel (“Get Out”)

Jordan Peele’s impressive directorial debut deserves a shout-out in virtually every category, but hopefully no one snoozes on Betty Gabriel’s unsettling work as a housekeeper trapped in “the sunken place.” She etches that inner turmoil across her face with such aplomb you simply cannot look away. (KT)

– Other Standouts: Laura Dern (“Wilson”); Holly Hunter (“The Big Sick”); Dafne Keen (“Logan”); Terry Pheto (“A United Kingdom”)

Related

Playback: Sam Elliott on ‘The Hero’ and Living His Childhood Dream

Best Screenplay: “Shimmer Lake

Technically ineligible for Oscars as it didn’t receive a theatrical run, that doesn’t stop this twisty thriller from earning our consideration. What sounds like a gimmick — a crime drama told backwards — proves absolutely essential to telling a fascinating story. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “The Big Sick”; “Get Out”; “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore”; Split

Best Cinematography: “Kong: Skull Island

Jordan Vogt-Roberts’ simian sequel was a bit of a tonal omelette, but one element that gave it an unexpected level of iconography was Larry Fong’s striking photography. Sunburnt vistas and heat-rippled frames sometimes call back to “Apocalypse Now,” but more often they give the film its own intriguing visual identity. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Alien: Covenant”; “The Beguiled”; “The Lost City of Z”; “Song to Song

Best Costume Design: “Wonder Woman

Speaking of iconography, one of the eye-popping elements of Patty Jenkins’ landmark superhero entry is the iconic image actress Gal Gadot strikes as the eponymous Amazon. But beyond Diana Prince’s well-known threads, there’s a whole array of dazzling outfits on the screen, from the battle gear of Themyscira to 1920s fashion and World War I attire. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Beauty and the Beast”; “The Beguiled”; “The Great Wall”; “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Best Film Editing: “LA92”

Lest we forget, National Geographic’s Emmy-contending L.A riots documentary is also eligible for Oscar consideration this year. Last year “O.J.: Made in America” garnered some attention for its handling of tons of material, and hopefully reminded voters that documentary editing ought to be recognized. Reams of footage were assembled from countless sources to drive this particular version of the story, which was also covered elegantly by director John Ridley in “Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992.” (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Baby Driver”; “Get Out”; “Logan”; “Okja

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Best Production Design: “Beauty and the Beast”

It’s a tall order to match the stunning animation of the original film, but the “Beauty and the Beast” team pulled it off. Every ornate touch, from the Beast’s castle to the world of Belle’s village, was a visual feast. (Jr)

– Other Standouts: “The Great Wall”; “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2”; “King Arthur: Legend of the Sword”; “Wonder Woman

Best Sound Editing: “Baby Driver

Being something of a musical-slash-actioner, Edgar Wright’s latest owes everything to its soundtrack. But more than that, the precision with which sound is layered and cut to enhance the various tracks scattered throughout gives the film an innervating sense of propulsion. When there’s no sound, you’re desperate for it to scream back. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Free Fire”; “John Wick: Chapter Two”; “Okja”; “Transformers: The Last Knight

Best Visual Effects: “Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2

It’s a pity we can’t throw “War for the Planet of the Apes” (July 14) in here, but more on that in due time. Marvel’s latest installment of the “Guardians” franchise doubles down on rendered environments. When you have a character who at times serves as the actual location (I guess you have to see the film to understand), the sky is the limit on VFX. (KT)

– Other Standouts: “Beauty and the Beast”; “Ghost in the Shell”; The Great Wall”; “Okja

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