ANNIE Review

by     Posted 42 minutes ago

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The story of Annie, whether it’s in the comics, the stage play, the 1982 adaptation, or Will Gluck‘s new, updated version, requires relentless positivity to combat its cynical message.  Annie must devote an entire song to the power of optimism because the story basically celebrates the lottery and the benevolence of the wealthy while also trying to show that love is the most valuable treasure of all.  One way to handle that conflict is to put on the biggest smile possible.  The other is the route Gluck has gone with his version, which is to be constantly clever, charming, and embracing a modern twist on the character even if it requires new songs that may not be quite as memorable as “Tomorrow” or “Hard-Knock Life”, but still channel the fun and upbeat attitude of the character.  Filled with great performances from most of the cast, Annie is a funny, joyous update that keeps the musical’s upbeat attitude intact while still dancing to its own tune.

Alamo Drafthouse and other Theaters Denied Permission to Show TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE

by     Posted 1 hour ago

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This is why we can’t have nice things when people give into terrorism.  Terrorism wants us to be afraid, and fear causes people to make bad decisions.  Movie theaters—places where people are already reluctant to go for a variety of reasons—pulled The Interview following non-credible threats from the cyber-terrorists who attacked Sony.  Sony subsequently canceled the film’s release, and after slightly mulling over a VOD release, decided against it with no further plans for release (passing on VOD may have been a way to collect on the insurance).  These are bad decisions that can set a dangerous precedent and ramifications.  We already saw a glimpse of it yesterday with New Regency canceling the Gore Verbinski comedy Pyongyang.

The Alamo Drafthouse responded to being unable to show The Interview by making the good decision to show another comedy that poked fun at North Korea, Team America: World Police, a film that holds up on its own merits, not just because it’s become timely.  But now Paramount Pictures is shutting down screenings; screenings that would tell terrorists, “We will not let you control what we are and aren’t allowed to watch.  We don’t live in your shithole country.”  Hit the jump for more.

First CRIMSON PEAK Image Features Jessica Chastain in Gothic Garb for Guillermo Del Toro’s New Ghost Story

by     Posted 3 hours ago

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Guillermo Del Toro‘s Crimson Peak is easily one of my most-anticipated films of 2015.  It’s been eight years since Pan’s Labyrinth was released, and the director will now be returning to a smaller canvas following Hellboy II: The Golden Army and Pacific Rim (not to mention the false starts on The Hobbit and At the Mountains of Madness).  Crimson Peak is part-ghost story, part-gothic romance, and part-haunted house flick.  Putting that combination together in the hands of Del Toro is an incredibly exciting prospect, and that’s not to mention a stellar cast featuring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, and Charlie Hunnam

The first Crimson Peak image has been released, and it shows Chastain in a beautiful crushed blue velvet dress, standing in dilapidated surroundings.  The trailer we saw at Comic-Con (one of the few that hasn’t officially been released online) was terrific, and I’m eager to see what else Del Toro has in store.  Hit the jump to check out the image, and click here for our set visit report.  Crimson Peak opens in regular theaters and IMAX on October 16, 2015.

Check out New Images from THE VOICES Starring Ryan Reynolds and Gemma Arterton; Film Set for Release in Theaters and VOD on February 6th

by     Posted 4 hours ago

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I missed The Voices at Sundance and TIFF, and it has hurt both times because I’ve heard the film is delightfully insane.  Insane to the point where even though Lionsgate acquired, there was the question if the movie could even be released.  Thankfully, the film now has release date and Lionsgate has provided some new images as well.  Ryan Reynolds, Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick, and Jacki Weaver star in the psychological thriller about Jerry Hickfang (Reynolds), a factory worker who fancies his co-worker in accounting.  Per the official synopsis, “When their relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn, Jerry’s evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog lead him down a fantastical path where he ultimately finds salvation.”  Adam liked the film when he saw it at Sundance, and I can’t wait to finally give it a look when it’s released on VOD and in theaters on February 6th.

Hit the jump to check out The Voices images.

Evangeline Lilly Provides New ANT-MAN Details; Says It’s “Very Much a Heist Film”

by     Posted 4 hours ago

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Ant-Man really does feel like the red-headed stepchild of the Marvel franchise right now.  I know it hasn’t been forgotten and we’ll hear more about it in the not-too-distant future, but right now it has the misfortune of coming off the heels of Avengers: Age of Ultron, but it’s not considered big enough to kick off Phase Three (which will begin with Captain America: Civil War).  That’s not to mention the production drama that went down before filming.

But that doesn’t mean the movie won’t be good, and I’m excited to see a film that looks different from anything we’ve seen before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  Evangeline Lilly is excited too, and she recently commented on the upcoming superhero movie.  Hit the jump for what she had to say.  Ant-Man opens July 17, 2015, and also stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “Ti” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Wood Harris, Jordi Mollà, and Michael Peña.

New LAST DAYS IN THE DESERT Images Feature Tye Sheridan, Ciarán Hinds, and Ayelet Zurer in the Biblical Drama Starring Ewan McGregor as Jesus

by     Posted 5 hours ago

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There are a lot of must-see films for me at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and hovering around the top of the list is Rodrigo Garcia‘s Last Days in the Desert.  The plot takes place during Jesus’ forty days in the desert, but here’s the twist—Ewan McGregor is playing both Jesus and the Devil, and Jesus is tested by the Devil when confronted by the fate of a family in crisis.  We previously saw McGregor as Jesus, and now we have images of the family—Tye Sheridan (Mud) as “The Boy”,  Ciarán Hinds (Game of Thrones) as “The Father”, and Ayelet Zurer (Man of Steel) as “The Mother”.

Hit the jump to check out the new Last Days in the Desert images.  The film will make its world premiere on January 25th at 6:30pm in the Eccles Theater.

Don’t Expect to See THE INTERVIEW Anytime Soon; Sony Says It Has “No Further Release Plans”

by     Posted 5 hours ago

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Following last night’s news that Sony had decided not to release The Interview after major theater chains refused to screen the film, I saw people on Twitter popping up saying that Sony should release the movie on VOD right now as if there was some switch waiting to be flipped.  Considering that movies stay in theaters for 3-4 months before hitting VOD, I don’t think there was someone at Apple or Amazon waiting by the phone, ready to put the film up for rent or purchase at a moment’s notice.

I don’t know how we’ll see The Interview, but I double it will be anytime soon.  Hit the jump for more.

Sony Hack Fallout Continues; New Regency Cancels Gore Verbinski’s PYONGYANG Starring Steve Carell

by     Posted 23 hours ago

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Some people are joking that the Sony hack is a viral campaign for The Interview, but a more accurate joke would be a viral campaign for Blackhat, a movie about how much power a hacker can wield in the digital age.  Movie theaters have caved to terrorist threats, and now New Regency is avoiding the problem altogether by canceling Gore Verbinski‘s adaptation of Guy Delisle‘s graphic novel Pyongyang, which is a memoir following “the French-Canadian cartoonist’s travels through North Korea after obtaining a work visa (a rarity for a Westerner) for his job on a children’s cartoon show,” but his journey becomes complicated when he’s accused of espionage.

According to The Wrap, Verbinski was prepping to start filming in March with Steve Carell set to star in the comedy, but now New Regency is the latest company to cave into fear, which is exactly what terrorists want.  This is a movie the company could have billed as “From the Director of Pirates of the Caribbean” and starring a likely Oscar-nominee, and they’re choosing to drop it.  With The Interview and now Pyongyang, the message is clear: don’t make fun of North Korea or else.  Hit the jump for a synopsis of Delisle’s book.

Want to Write for Collider? We’re Now Accepting Internship Applications

by     Posted Yesterday

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I’ve been working for Collider since 2007, and over the years we’ve added great people to our team. The site continues to expand, and we are now accepting applications for paid internships (if you are still in college, you can receive college credit).  One position is Los Angeles-based and the other is based outside of L.A.  If you’re looking to build a portfolio, get real experience writing about movies professionally, and contribute to our great site, we would love to read your application.

Hit the jump for more details on who we’re looking for, the responsibilities of the job, and how to apply. We will be accepting applications through January 1st and begin looking through them shortly thereafter.

THE JUNGLE BOOK Director Jon Favreau Shares Behind-the-Scenes Images of Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and More

by     Posted Yesterday

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Jon Favreau is a pro at working social media (he even made using Twitter a plot point in Chef), and he’s using his skills to showcase his upcoming film, The Jungle Book (not to be confused with Jungle Book: Origins, which is being directed by Andy Serkis).  The director has released the first set photo from the movie along with behind-the-scenes images of voice actors Bill Murray (Baloo), Scarlett Johansson (Kaa), Christopher Walken (King Louie), and musician Kermit Ruffins.  The film will be a blend of live-action and CG animation, with Neel Sethi filling the live-action role of Mowgli, a young boy who is raised in the jungle by wolves and goes on a journey of self-discovery when he comes to the civilized world.

Hit the jump to check out The Jungle Book set photos.  The film opens October 9, 2015, and also features the voices of Lupita Nyong’o, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, and Giancarlo Esposito.

Five Largest Theater Chains Cave to Terrorist Threats; Won’t Show THE INTERVIEW; Landmark Cancels New York Premiere

by     Posted Yesterday

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Yesterday, we reported on the latest threat from the cyber-terrorists who hacked Sony.  The group threatened violence towards any theater showing The Interview, and although the Department of Homeland Security says there is no active plot against movie theaters, Carmike Cinemas has decided to drop the upcoming comedy about a dimwitted talk show host and his producer going to North Korea to assassinate Kim Jong-un.  Insiders tell THR that exhibitors are worried about being held liable if they show the movie and violence occurs.  I assume concern about the lives of innocent people is a close second.

Hit the jump for more on how theaters are giving into the terrorists’ demands. [Update: THR now reports that the top five theater chains--AMC, Regal, Cinemark, Cineplex, and Carmike--as well as Bow Tie Cinemas have all dropped the movie according to THR.] [Update #2: Sony has now canceled the theatrical release of the film.  More here.]

The National Film Registry Adds THE BIG LEBOWSKI, WILLY WONKA, FERRIS BUELLER’S DAY OFF, ROSEMARY’S BABY, and More

by     Posted Yesterday

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Every year, the members of the National Film Preservation Board (NFPB) selects 25 films to be added to the Registry, and these films will be preserved in the Library of Congress for all-time due to their significant contribution to American society.  After watching the great documentary These Amazing Shadows (which is about the National Film Registry) several years ago, I wondered when The Big Lebowski would get in.  A couple years ago I was still wondering the same thing.  For a movie that didn’t blow up the box office when it was released or rack up tons of awards, it has entered the national consciousness and even created an annual festival that’s been going around the country since 2002.

Today, The Dude is finally in the registry.  The NFPB have announced their selections, and The Big Lebowski is among them.  Other films added to the registry include Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Rosemary’s Baby, House of Wax, Little Big Man, Pixar’s Luxo Jr., Rio Bravo, and Saving Private Ryan.  Hit the jump for the full list and the NFPB’s reason for each selection.  Also, if you want to try and get a film into the registry, you can go here to nominate a film (Die Hard is long overdue).

AMC Theaters Teams with MoviePass to Test Monthly Subscription Service

by     Posted 2 days ago

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Several years ago, MoviePass came on the scene with the terrific idea to sell consumers a monthly subscription that would offer unlimited theatrical screenings for a flat fee.  The only problem with their plan is that movie theaters didn’t want to participate.  AMC Theaters in particular issued a statement saying that MoviePass did “not integrate well into our programs and could create significant guest experience issues.”  But times have changed, and young people aren’t showing up at theaters like they used to.  The Nielsen Co. reporting [via The Kansas City Star] that total attendance dropped 5 percent this year.

Now AMC Theaters is singing a different tune and seeing if MoviePass is the way to win back Millennials.  Hit the jump for more.

SUICIDE SQUAD Sets Viola Davis to Play Amanda Waller

by     Posted 2 days ago

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I’m more excited for Suicide Squad than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.  Not only does it look like it’s not trying to rush a setup for a big crossover film, it’s got a bonkers cast that includes Tom Hardy as Rick Flag, Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang, Cara Delevinge as Enchantress, and Jared Leto as The Joker.  Now the incredibly talented Viola Davis is rounding out the cast to play Amanda Waller.  In the comics, Waller is a cold, pragmatic government agent who’s in charge of the Suicide Squad, a team of supervillains tasked with carrying out secret missions in exchange for pardons.

Hit the jump for more.

Trailer for the Final Season of PARKS AND RECREATION Travels to the Year 2017

by     Posted 2 days ago

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The final season of Parks and Recreation has no patience for our pitiful present.  For its final 13 episodes, the show will take place in the year 2017, a time with delivery drones, Johnny Karate has his own TV show, and Gary is now called Terry.  Last season’s finale was a big cliffhanger that raised plenty of questions, and a new teaser trailer only offers more.  While it’s nice that Parks and Recreation will have some mysteries to solve, I’m just happy to be spending time with these characters again before we have to say goodbye to Pawnee.

Hit the jump to check out the Parks and Recreation trailer for the final season.  The season premieres on January 13th at 8/7c.

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