October 2015 - Posts

Review: 'Doctor Who' Season 9 Episode 7, 'The Zygon Invasion,' Lets Zygons Be Zygons

The return of fan-favorite aliens the Zygons would have been enough to get most viewers' hopes up, but when you throw in UNIT, a seemingly-resurrected Osgood and another appearance of the Doctor's electric guitar, you've got a classic in your hands. Luckily, "The Zygon Invasion" more than lives up to the hype, with some stellar political commentary, brilliant performances and some very creepy child actors. PREVIOUSLY: Review: 'Doctor Who' Season 9 Episode 6, 'The Woman Who Lived,' Gets Legendary Seeing DoubleIn this show no one stays dead for long, so even if Osgood's untimely demise at the hands of Missy was heartbreaking at the time, we had a sneaky feeling she'd be back. She's the kind of character who is so blatantly fan service-y that it can be deeply annoying, but if Osgood is a little grating when playing against the Doctor, bantering with herself she's an adorkable delight. When we last saw the Zygons in "The Day of the Doctor," human!Osgood and...
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Andre Holland Reacts to Algernon's Surprise on 'The Knick' and More Season 2 Shockers

Andre Holland is the best thing about "The Knick." Admittedly, Cinemax's turn-of-the-20th-century medical drama features a bevy of exquisite work, from director Steven Soderbergh — whose roaming camera has an even more experimental edge this year — to Clive Owen, who is finding new depths to Dr. John Thackery, to pretty much the entire cast and crew, who create a time machine every week for eager viewers to step inside. Everyone is working at the top of their game, but Holland, somehow, has exceeded even these industry titans to create a fascinating character played by an equally compelling actor. Holland, who's recently proven his range and dexterity in high-caliber films like "Selma" and "42," was pushed to a new extreme Friday night, as Dr. Algernon Edwards came face-to-face with a person from his past who the audience had no idea even existed. It turns out Edwards is married and has been married this whole time — yes, even when he had a heated affair...
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How to 'Call Bullsh*t' on the Republic Debate: Morgan Spurlock and Jeremy Chilnick Explain Their Method

READ MORE: Morgan Spurlock on Why Documentaries Matter On Wednesday, the Republican National Debate on CNBC generated a lot of immediate news stories analyzing various candidates' claims. While those stories were being cranked out, however, the production team at Morgan Spurlock's Warrior Poets was hard at work attempting a different approach: Entitled "Call Bullshit" — or "Call Bullsh#t" for the more conservative-minded — the web-based interactive film published Thursday allows users to watch the debate and click on a "bullshit" button after candidates make various statements. (Experience it above.) By clicking the button, users experience audio and video clips explaining factually misleading information. A partnership between Warrior Poets and the interactive video production company Interlude, "Call Bullsh#t" was headed by Warrior Poets producer Jeremy Chilnick with oversight from Spurlock. On Thursday, still noticeably fatigued from a...
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Attention, Filmmakers! GoPro Wants To Pay You for Your Videos

As part of their transition from camera manufacturer to full-blown media company, GoPro has launched the GoPro Awards, a program meant to incentivize their already prolific users to become their own paid content creators.  READ MORE: A Virtual Reality Camera from Google and GoPro is Coming Soon Though users of the action camera already upload an astonishing number of videos each day, the company wants to bring even more of their costumer's content to light. GoPro will promote chosen winners on its social network feeds, awarding prizes from $500 - $5000 for video editing, clips and photos, amounting to a nearly $5 million a year payout.  "Anything from cute moments with your kids to cooking, camping, surfing and snowball fights could be a contender for a GoPro Award," said GoPro in its announcement. "Amateur, professional or in between, we want to see it all." Visit the GoPro website to learn more about the GoPro Awards.  READ MORE: Watch:...
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First Look: James Franco Time-Travels to Save JFK in New Photos From '11.22.63'

Who better to play a time-traveler than bonafide space alien James Franco? "11.22.63" stars Franco as a history teacher who goes back in time to try to prevent John F. Kennedy's assassination, but his mission hits some considerable roadblocks.  READ MORE: Hulu's '11/22/63': A Sneak Peek at the JFK Assassination (That James Franco's Trying to Stop) Hulu's nine-hour limited event series is based on Stephen King's 2011 novel of the same name. In the show, Franco's rescue attempt gets pushback from his burgeoning love life, Lee Harvey Oswald (go figure), and even the universe, which prefers the past as is (or was, or whatever). Photos from "11.22.63" show Franco adjusting to his new '60s environs, as well as to the matching duds. Joining Franco in the cast are Chris Cooper, Josh Duhamel, T.R. Knight, Cherry Jones, and Sarah Gadon. King himself, as well as  J.J. Abrams and Kevin MacDonald, are among the thriller's creative team.  Hulu is...
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Netflix Renews Cowboy Crime Drama 'Longmire' for Season 5

READ MORE: 6 New Netflix Shows to Binge Watch in May 2015 (And the Best Episodes of Each) The Netflix series 'Longmire' has just announced, via its Facebook page, that it will return for Season 5 on Netflix, giving the series a second season since being cancelled by its original network, A&E, in 2014. Netflix picked up the show only a few months later, and the fourth season was made available on Netflix Instant on September 10, 2015. 'Longmire' isn't the first show Netflix has rescued from cancellation, but it is the first drama to be renewed for a second season after joining the platform. The series is based on the "Walt Longmire Mysteries" series of novels, and follows an ageing Wyoming county sheriff who returns to the job after the death of his wife. Netflix hasn't released any details about the fifth season yet, but check out the announcement above.  READ MORE: 5 Best Bets on TV This Week: 'Jennifer Falls,' 'Orange is the New Black' Season 2 and...
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Here's How the New Apple TV Could Change the Way You Watch Movies at Home

The tagline for the new Apple TV promises "The future of TV is here." Though the new Apple TV will officially be unveiled on Monday, according to reports, it has already hit stores. READ MORE: Attention, Filmmakers: Here's How to Create Holograms In Camera Apple is offering a choice of a 32GB model at $149 or a 64GB one for $199 (The New York Times raves that "the upgraded $149 box is now the best TV streaming device you can get for your money"). But what do you get for your money and how will it change the way you're watching movies? While the previous incarnation of Apple TV offered access to apps from Netflix, HBO, Hulu and broadcast and cable networks, the new Apple TV offers its own apps, created by third-party developers, with endless possibilities. The biggest news is that the Apple TV now supports universal search, voice control and Siri integration so that you can ask your TV "find me films starring Jason Schwartzman" or anything...
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6 New Netflix Shows to Binge Watch in November 2015 (And the Best Episodes of Each)

1. "Marvel's Jessica Jones" (available November 20) Why Should I Watch It? How many female superheroes are there? Okay, maybe quite a few, but how many are on TV? Well, yes, I guess "Supergirl" did just premiere to rave reviews on CBS, but can you binge watch "Supergirl"? Is "Supergirl" a psychological thriller? Does "Supergirl" deal with dark subject matter (possibly including rape) in a gritty, real way? More importantly than contextualizing "Marvel's Jessica Jones" as a female superhero show, let's just look at it for what it is: a damn good looking piece of TV. That should be enough to get excited about. Best Episode: Unknown. Marvel is keeping things pretty close to the vest (big surprise), so we haven't seen any screeners yet. That being said, if any episode is as good as the above trailer, this show is going to be stellar. READ MORE: Get Ready for "Marvel's Jessica Jones," Which May Be Netflix's Darkest...
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'A Wonderful Cloud' Director Eugene Kotlyarenko on Filming a Movie in 8 Days and Learning From Clint Eastwood

READ MORE: SXSW: Indie Maverick Kate Lyn Sheil on Going Big With 'House of Cards' & Making Movies with Exes On Wednesday, October 28, Nitehawk Cinema in Williamsburg, Brooklyn hosted the official premiere of Eugene Kotlyarenko's "A Wonderful Cloud," a weird and charming story of a man trying to connect with his ex-girlfriend Katelyn (played by Kotlyarenko and Kate Lyn Sheil, respectively, who happen to be exes in real life) over a weekend in LA. In a whirlwind hour and 20 minutes, the pair bounce around the city, interacting with all the idiosyncratic characters that make up the LA landscape, from a psychic who swipes a lint roller across Katelyn's face to a slimy fashion designer who insists she's "the next big thing." "A Wonderful Cloud" is a deeply personal tale executed in a film that is stylish and funny, and it also makes important observations about communication and relationships in the digital age....
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25 Years Later, Charles Burnett and Richard Brooks Reflect on Indie Classic 'To Sleep with Anger'

READ MORE: Filmmaker Charles Burnett to Receive Career Achievement Award at Chicago International Film Festival Next Month Thanks to the support of scholars, film critics and cinephiles, Charles Burnett has long been recognized as one of the great American filmmakers, even distinguished by Jonathan Rosenbaum as America’s most "gifted black American director." However, this critical appreciation has not amounted to much insofar as Burnett’s career, which has traveled along a bumpy road from day one. Known best for his 1978 masterpiece "Killer of Sheep," he hasn’t made a feature in six years, and in 40 years of filmmaking has a limited, inconsistent output that has seen him work in TV, shorts, for Disney, but without ever properly breaking out. It isn’t from lack of trying. Burnett has stories tell, and knows how important it is to share an authentic perspective on the African American experience, even as the Obama era has supposedly yielded more space for...
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MPI Media Group Acquires Psychological Thriller 'Emelie'

READ MORE: The 13 Best New Indie Horror Movies You Should Watch For Halloween 2015 MPI Media Group has acquired "Emelie," a psychological thriller about a bad babysitter situation. "Emelie" marks short film and concert director Michael Thelin's feature debut. Said MPI's Greg Newman, "With his first narrative feature, Michael Thelin proves to be a consummate craftsman, delivering a mature and thoroughly chilling and disturbing thriller that will stay with viewers long after it’s over." According to the thriller's official synopsis: "The Thompsons, a loving family living in a peaceful suburb of Buffalo, New York, are the definition of wholesome American normalcy. When their regular babysitter can’t make it, Dan and Joyce turn to her friend Anna to watch their three children while they go out to celebrate their anniversary. At first, the young woman seems like a dream come true for the kids, as she allows them to play with things that are...
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'Carol' Composer Carter Burwell Talks The Coen Brothers, 'Twilight' and His Unconventional Musical Roots

Though Carter Burwell is no stranger to prestigious film projects, 2015 finds his work in the some of the most acclaimed films of the year, including Bill Condon's "Mr. Holmes," Todd Haynes' 'Carol" and Charlie Kaufman's "Anomalisa." With over 80 scores including films by the Coen Brothers, Spike Jonze and Sidney Lumet to his credit, Burwell is indisputably one of the most talented and prolific film composers working today.  The recent Middleburg Film Festival held a tribute concert for Carter Burwell's miriad works, and he stopped by to discuss his work. The Loudon Symphony Orchestra appeared to perform some of his pieces live at the event. Watch their performance of Burwell's "Carol" theme above. Here are the highlights of the discussion with Burwell.  READ MORE: Middleburg Film Festival Announces Full Lineup, Including 'Spotlight,' 'Carol' and More 1. He didn't start in film.  "I'm not a trained musician really unless...
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SXSW Apologizes and Reinstates Online Gaming Harassment Panels With Day-Long Summit

After unceremoniously canceling a pair of slated panels on online gaming harassment after a series of "numerous threats of on-site violence," SXSW has placed the previously rescinded panels back on the schedule.  READ MORE: OPINION: SXSW is Wrong to Cancel Panels Due to GamerGate Fears, And May Be Hurting Itself Four days after their cancellation (and the considerable online blowback for the decision), SXSW released a statement apologizing for sending the message that "SXSW not only tolerates online harassment but condones it." The festival has announced a day-long online harassment summit set to take place at SXSW 2016, including the previously scheduled panels. The summit will include Randi Harper, Katherine Cross and Caroline Sinders from "Level Up: Overcoming Harassment in Games," as well as Perry Jones, Mercedes Carrera, and Lynn Walsh from "SavePoint: A Discussion on the Gaming Community." You can...
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Watch: Billy Eichner in the Streets Meets Adele in the Sheets in James Corden's 'Hello' Parody Video

READ MORE: Watch: Xavier Dolan Directs Adele in IMAX-Sized 'Hello' Music Video It looks like "The Late Late Show" dressed as Stefon from "SNL" for Halloween on Thursday night, debuting a video that -- with Adele music, crying jack-o-lanterns, 1980s cell phone technology, and Chewbacca and Han Solo -- had everything.  In "Helloween," James Corden and Billy Eichner parody Adele's heart-wrenching "Hello" music video, trading in Chewbacca and Han Solo couples costumes for a sadder kind of going solo. Chewbacca's singing voice sounds remarkably like that of a human man. Check out the hilarious clip above. READ MORE: Watch: Matt Damon Reenacts His Most Memorable Roles With James Corden on 'The Late Late Show'
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6 Things We Learned About Lee Daniels, Including Why He Didn't Go to Film School and Why People Laughed at 'Precious'

Lee Daniels, the free-spirited and enigmatic writer/director/producer of such films as "Precious" and "The Paperboy," has conquered the television landscape with his wildly successful "Empire." Now, Daniels is looking to get back into film with the upcoming biopic "Richard Pryor: Was it Something I Said?" and his musical feature "Star."  In the midst of pre-production madness, Lee Daniels sat down at the Middleburg Film Festival to talk about his rough and tumble film education, his personal heroes and how "Dreamgirls" changed his life. Here are the highlights:  1. Daniels never went to film school. Though somewhat a jack of all trades when it comes to film, Daniels has no formal training. "My experience as a filmmaker started on the sets when I was managing actors. Because I hadn’t gone to film school, I had to hustle. I managed actors in theater," Daniels explained. "I studied ADs and I...
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