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Doc NYC 2017: Exclusive Maynard Trailer Premiere, From Protest to Power

4 hours ago

Heading for its world premiere at Doc NYC on Thursday, November 16, 2017, Maynard examines the fascinating life and legacy of Maynard Jackson. We are pleased to premiere the first trailer, which you can watch below.  Here's the festival's description: "Director Sam Pollard constructs a portrait of charismatic trailblazer Maynard Jackson, who became Atlanta’s first black mayor in 1973. The son of pastors raised in the segregated South, Jackson entered college at 14 and took office at 35. During his three-term tenure, he led the city through the traumatic Atlanta child murders and triumphantly hosted the 1996 Olympics, all while championing racial equality. Family and colleagues, including Bill Clinton, Andrew Young and Al Sharpton, tell the epic story of a dynamic leader and his legacy...

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Busan 2017 Review: Last Child, a Powerful Tale of Guilt and Grief

5 hours ago

Grief and guilt get a thorough review in Shin Dong-seok's debut film Last Child, one of three Korean films competing in this year's New Currents competition in Busan. A trio of powerful performances ground this emotionally gritty tale and lure us into a complex web of suffering but while the director for the most part avoids the overly depressing aura of similar stories, a shoddy climax undermines the measured work that precedes it. A middle-aged couple who run a small interior decorating business are grieving the tragic loss of their son Eun-chan, who perished six months ago while saving his friend from drowning in a river. The husband takes an interest in helping Gi-hyun, the boy who was saved, eventually offering him work in the...

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Newly Single Trailer and Poster Promise a Caustic Relationship Comedy

5 hours ago

Writer-director Adam Christian Clark follows up his well-received first feature, Caroline and Jackie, with meta-dark-comedy Newly Single.   Clark himself plays the bitter and broken protagonist in a film that only came into being after the director saw his original bigger-budget follow-up movie fall through, leaving him jobless, on the brink of financial collapse and engulfed in drinking and empty dating. Out of this unfortunate situation came Newly Single and the trailer promises a film that takes an acerbic look into the modern world of dating. Check out the new trailer ahead of its Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Premiere.   Synopsis: On the heels of booking a life-changing motion picture, Astor Williams Stevenson drives away his girlfriend and aggressively re-enters the La dating scene. The...

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Screen Anarchists On Blade Runner 2049

6 hours ago

We almost didn't publish a "Screen Anarchists On Blade Runner 2049" article. I did a quick tally among our editors, critics and contributors, and everybody seemed to like the film. Now that ain't interesting, is it? We want divisiveness in this category! Thing is, a few days later everybody was still talking about it. And when I saw the film myself, I couldn't shut up either. People weren't talking about the same subjects, and when they did, they often didn't agree. A few were gobsmacked by how awesome they thought it was. A few dismissed the film as pretty, and not too bad. Stuart Muller saw both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, both in a cinema, for the first time of his life,...

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Blu-ray Review: Linda Blair in Wes Craven's Summer Of Fear, Gently Unnerving Horror

17 October 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

More than a fascinating curio, Summer of Fear (aka Stranger in Our House) showed that Wes Craven was a talented director and that Linda Blair could more than hold her own at the center of a dramatic film. First broadcast on the NBC television network on October 31, 1978 as Stranger in Our House, the film was adapted by Glenn M. Benest and Max A. Keller from Lois Duncan's novel. The book was first published in 1976 and tells the story of a young woman named Julia (Lee Purcell) who comes to live with the her aunt's family after her parents are killed in an automobile accident. The screen version is told through the eyes of Rachel Bryant (Linda Blair), a teenage girl who loves...

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Star Wars: Han Solo Movie Wraps, Has a Title

17 October 2017 11:00 AM, PDT

When Ron Howard stepped in to take over the reigns on the Han Solo standalone Star Wars flick he not only had to recover the flick to a stage where it met the standards of the studios in charge but he also had to restore the faith of the fans that the film was in good hands.   Largely through his Twitter account and bolstered by his humor and whit he has largely done so, posting pictures from the production here and there. So it is only fitting that he get to announced the title of this second standalone flick.    [https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/920320502320771073]   Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25, 2018. ...

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Criterion Gets Nostalgic: The Breakfast Club to Warm Hearts in January 2018

17 October 2017 9:02 AM, PDT

When it was released in February 1985, The Breakfast Club was very much 'of the moment,' capturing the zeitgeist of suburban American youth during the teenage years. Coming off the modest success of his debut feature, Sixteen Candles, writer and director John Hughes was on a roll that hit a noxious bump with Weird Science and then soared again with Ferris Bueller's Day Off, before giving way to his masterpiece, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. In the three decades since its release, however, The Breakfast Club has become a monument to nostalgia, as individuals who readily identify with one (or more) of the gleefully mawkish, stereotypical characters adapt it as their own and fondly recall their younger days while their children mock them mercilessly, even as...

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Have Your Say: Hit Re-Start

17 October 2017 8:00 AM, PDT

The big winner at the box office last weekend was Christopher Landon's horror comedy Happy Death Day, netting itself 26 million dollars on a budget which (reportedly) was less than a fifth of that. The film stars Jessica Rothe as a college student who gets brutally murdered... only to see her day restart at the moment she wakes up. From then on, she tries to prevent her murder, and each time she fails, her day starts over again. This kind of time-travel is not new in film, of course, though I don't recall it being used in a horror slasher before. But as a story device, there are examples aplenty in science fiction, comedy, drama... always showing how even the tiniest details can have large...

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Trauma: Nc-17 Trailer For Lucio A. Rojas' LatAm Extreme Horror

17 October 2017 7:30 AM, PDT

The latest, and likely bloodiest, harshest and most extreme blast of violent horror cinema from Latin America comes in the form of Lucio A. Rojas' Trauma. His latest film will have its world premiere at Morbido at the end of the month.   Directed by Lucio A. Rojas, the film stars Catalina Martin, Daniel Antivilo, Macarena Carrere, Ximena del Solar, Felipe Ríos, Dominga Bofill, Alejandro Trejo, Max Torres, Claudio Riveros and Eduardo Paxeco. It was produced by Luciano and Nico Onetti who have their own extreme horror offering What the Waters Left Behind playing at the festival as well.    Fangoria debuted the Nc-17 trailer yesterday.   Trauma tells the brutal story of a group of women stalked and outraged by two men, whose evil...

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Busan 2017 Review: The Work, an Essential Exploration into Masculine Fragility

16 October 2017 8:30 PM, PDT

There are few places in the world more terrifying than prison. For most of us, it is an environment we will never have to experience first hand, but for those who are incarcerated, it is a community of division, hostility and persecution, with little opportunity for redemption or rehabilitation.   In The Work, court videographer Jairus McLeary and documentarian Gethin Aldous venture inside one of the most notorious correctional facilities of them all, Falsom Maximum Security Prison in California, to witness an extraordinary program of therapy and communication.    Over a four-day period, a selection of prisoners, many of them serving multiple life sentences for murder and gang-related crimes, come together for a special retreat and healing session. Leaving any gang affiliations, grudges or other...

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Nicolas Winding Refn Launches Free Content Platform: byNWR.com

16 October 2017 3:01 PM, PDT

Divisive Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (The Neon Demon) will launch a new online content platform called byNWR in February. The site is currently live and accepting email subscriptions. The platform, which will offer films and other curated content free of charge, will be "an unadulterated cultural expressway of the arts," said Refn at the Lumiere Film Festival in Lyon, France. When speaking about the free model, Refn stated that he believed that in the future "all entertainment will be free." byNWR.com will update quarterly with a diverse range of content, including fully restored feature films, essays, music, video, photography and more. The first batch of content will explore exploitation works from the American South, including The Nest of the Cuckoo Birds, a rare film...

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Busan 2017 Review: A Tiger In Winter Hunts Our Individual Fears

16 October 2017 1:01 PM, PDT

Following his wonderfully droll indies Romance Joe and A Matter of Interpretation, both of which also debuted at Busan, director Lee Kwang-kuk is back with A Tiger in Winter. Though it employs a similarly low-key but careful aesthetic and continues to explore some of the same themes, Lee's latest loses much of his earlier work's comedy. Yet it also gains a more focused and structured screenplay, if a little conventional by his standards, and features some strong performances, particularly an excellent Ko Hyun-jung as a drunken, has-been novelist. Wannabe writer Gyeong-yu wakes up in his girlfriend's apartment one day to two pieces of news: a tiger has escaped from the zoo and is prowling the city, and his girlfriend wants him to leave her apartment....

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Vancouver 2017 Review: Maison Du Bonheur, a Lovely Portrait

16 October 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Filmmaker Sofia Bohdanowicz's 2016 film, Never Eat Alone, won her Viff's Emerging Canadian Director prize for that year. Now, she returns to the festival with her newest feature, Maison du bonheur. How the film came to be is a charming story in itself, which Bohdanowicz relayed for us during the Q&A period: Given that she has made several films concerning grandmothers, a colleague of the director asked if she'd be willing to make a movie about Juliane -- the coworker's mother. Of course, Bohdanowicz agreed to the project, which sent her to Paris (from Toronto), where she would cohabit with Juliane for a month. The two women had never spoken with one another before, and the film (indeed, shot on 16mm) would be a largely...

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Review - The Adventurers (2017)

16 October 2017 12:00 PM, PDT

In regards to his personal life, this hasn’t exactly been the best year for actor Andy Lau. At the start of the year Lau was filming a commercial in Thailand, which involved him having to ride a horse. This resulted in Lau being thrown from the horse, which then proceeded to step on him. This resulted in a fractured pelvis, spinal injuries and damage to his tendons. Thankfully for him and his family he is on the road to recovery. For his fans, they had the relief of knowing that before his accident, he already had five films due for release, keeping him very much in the public eye throughout the year. Firstly he had a supporting role in the lacklustre fantasy actioner The Great...

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An Ideal Partnership - The films of director J. Lee Thompson and actor Charles Bronson - Part 2

16 October 2017 11:30 AM, PDT

After working on Caboblanco, Thompson moved onto the slasher genre with Happy Birthday to Me (1981). Whilst by no means the best the genre has to offer, Happy Birthday to Me proved to be an enjoyable horror film, and definitely better than some similar films made in the wake of John Carpenters Halloween (1978). Between Caboblanco and 10 to Midnight, Bronson kept himself busy, starring in director Peter Hunt’s Death Hunt (1981), which found the actor sharing the screen once again with Lee Marvin, the first time since working together on The Dirty Dozen. Opening to mixed reviews, Death Hunt is still an excellent old style action movie, and one of Bronson’s best later star vehicles. Death Hunt was followed by Death Wish 2 (1982),...

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New Black Panther Trailer Has King-Sized Action in an Awesome Afrofuturist World

16 October 2017 11:30 AM, PDT

The first trailer for Ryan Coogler's Black Panther was a simply awe-inspiring little bit of marketing that focused on Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa ascending the throne of Wakanda. The new trailer for Marvel's latest big screen IP isn't quite as good, honing purely in on the action spectacle of the film, with a tad more on Michael B. Jordan's adversarial Killmonger. What remains clear though is that Coogler and his team are having a heck of a lot of fun with the look and design of the world of Black Panther, excelling at creating an awesome Afrofuturist wonderland. Indeed, because of the recent success of the Guardians films and Taika Waititi's very buzzed about Thor: Ragnarok, it seems Marvel is letting up on the pallid pallettes...

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Busan 2017 Review: Bluebeard, Ambitious Chiller Lacks Tension

16 October 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

Much like her debut The Uninvited, Lee Soo-yeon's latest film Bluebeard teases a dark genre storyline before turning off into more psychological territory through several layered images and a protagonist who isn't quite what he seems, played by Cho Jin-woong of A Hard Day. Unlike her impressive 2003 horror film, her second work feels less fresh and a lot more contrived. Seung-hoon is a doctor whose failed Seoul practice has forced him to move to a small town on the outskirts of the city, where he now lives in a cramped apartment above a butcher shop. Recently divorced, Seung-hoon only gets to see his son once every two weeks. He begins to work at a clinic in town and one day, while performing a colonoscopy,...

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Sitges 2017 Review: Blade Of The Immortal, Miike Takashi's 100th Feature Film

16 October 2017 10:01 AM, PDT

There are very few directors who are as much loved as Miike Takashi for audiences in Sitges, that’s a fact. His movies have earned a very well-deserved place in genre fans’ hearts all over the world, so every new film by Miike screened at Sitges is a guaranteed sell-out. Which is quite something, as there are very few directors as prolific as Miike. Well, actually “prolific” may be underselling it: Blade of the Immortal is the 100th film directed by him. Yup. And he only started directing in the early 90’s. So if bearing this mark wasn’t enough, Blade of the Immortal is also the adaptation of a hugely popular and successful manga by Samura Hiroaki. It tells the story of Manji (played by Kimura Takuya),...

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Busan 2017 Review: Missing, a Compelling Women-Led Kidnap Drama

16 October 2017 9:01 AM, PDT

The kidnap thriller is a popular genre in Korea but E.Oni's Missing proves to be a refreshing addition to the crowded genre, buoyed by a pair of fine performances by Uhm Ji-won and Gong Hyo-jin in a story forged by compelling and twisting themes of female identity and motherhood in a patriarchal society. The film ends on a slightly disappointing note with a soft climax but the buildup and characters make the journey there more than worthwhile during its svelte 100 minute running time. A high-level PR executive, Ji-sun is in the midst of a custody battle with her ex-husband for her daughter Da-eun. Due to the demands of her work and the legal case, she hires Han-mae, a Korean-Chinese nanny, to care for Da-eun...

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Our Favorite Faces Of Jackie Chan

16 October 2017 8:00 AM, PDT

This week saw the North American wide release of Martin Campbell's thriller The Foreigner, starring Jackie Chan and Pierce Brosnan. For Jackie, it's actually his second film in the current box office top-10, as he also voices one of the characters in The Lego Ninjago Movie. At 63 years of age, Jackie Chan can of course no longer be expected to show his legendary acrobatic martial arts prowess of thirty (or more than forty) years ago, so to see him diversify towards animated films and serious thrillers makes sense. But legendary he rightfully is, as amazing he was. He has performed in more than 130 films, using a large variety of names and spellings (IMDb lists Jacky Chan, Yuan Lung Chan, Yuen-Lung Chan, Jakkî Chen,...

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