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Friday
Jul292016

Pete's Dragon - 1977 and Now

Our year of the month is 1977! Here's Chris looking back on Pete's Dragon...

As Disney has been increasingly revisiting their classics in live action, big budget form, the resulting films have revealed the evolution of family storytelling over the decades. Cinderella showed an increased emphasis on character, while this year's The Jungle Book was an example of the shift towards realism even in fantastical, unrealistic settings. While these rehashings are becoming old hat already, one of the most exciting films still to come this summer is the remake of 1977's Pete's Dragon.

The recent Disney revamps have extrapolated upon or directly lifted from their original source films, but the first glimpses of Pete's Dragon have already revealed a sharp turn in tone. Again, they are trading in a more modestly minded lark for larger spectacle. If nothing else, the creation of the dragon Elliott embodies the shift from traditional animation to digital imagery.

Rewatching the original is almost a shock as an adult - it's far more absurd and loose than you might remember...

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Friday
Jul292016

Cast This!: A Bosom Buddy for Tilda's Auntie Mame

Chris here. It's been so long since we first heard about Tilda Swinton's plans to remake Auntie Mame that we'd assumed the project had died. But, as it turns out, Annie Mumolo and Tilda Swinton are giving us a banquet because we poor suckers are starving to death.

While being interviewed by Vanity Fair, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Annie Mumolo let slip that she's working on the screenplay for Auntie Mame, with Tilda Swinton taking over Rosalind Russell's fur coat. No, it won't be a musical version, because Tilda Swinton in a musical would be too much for our tender hearts.

This would be a huge star vehicle for the actress, putting her at the forefront of a big cast rather than her usual spot on the periphery of comedic ensembles. One thing Swinton doesn't get enough credit for is her incredible chemistry with a wide range of different kinds of performers, so the possibilities to pair her with a great cast is all too exciting. From her nephew Patrick, goofy Gooch, and dreamy Beau, there are a lot of great parts to bounce of Swinton's eccentric socialite.

Vera (Coral Browne) and Mame (Rosalind Russell) in the 1958 classic

But the role we should all be most intrigued to see cast opposite Swinton's Mame is her bosom buddy Vera. More after the jump...

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Thursday
Jul282016

Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced

What do Spotlight and Birdman have in common? Apart from being Oscar Best Picture winners starring Michael Keaton that is. They both debuted at the Venice Film Festival, that's what. The 73rd annual Venice Film Festival line-up has been announced, with the potential of another Best Picture winner in its midst.  As was previously announced, La La Land is opening the festival, and if you've  been watching the trailer on loop like us, it’s hard to get excited about anything else. But let’s take a shot...

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Thursday
Jul282016

Ava & Oprah

Kieran, here.  It was recently announced that Ava DuVernay would direct an adaptation of the classic children’s fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time for Disney starring Oprah Winfrey. The script is to be penned by Frozen scribe and co-director Jennifer Lee and will also star Amy Adams and Kevin Hart. Winfrey is also collaborating with DuVernay (off screen) in the capacity of executive producer for the upcoming OWN series “Queen Sugar” staring Rutina Wesley (“True Blood”). 

While A Wrinkle in Time may seem like an odd career zag on paper for nearly everyone involved, pairing Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey together again after 2014’s justifiably lauded Selma should have movie-watchers willing to follow this director-actor duo to the ends of the Earth...

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Thursday
Jul282016

Looking: The Movie Review

Manuel here with an extra episode of HBO LGBT to celebrate the release of Looking: The Movie. I get the title format but would it have hurt Andrew Haigh to give it a less generic title. I mean, “Looking for Closure” would have been a bit on the nose but it’d have fit nicely with the show’s episodic titles (which included “Looking for a Plot” and “Looking for Home” after all).

I have gone on the record before saying how much I treasured Looking—recapping its second season right here was wonderful and a chance to really flesh out why I think Haigh and Michael Lannan’s show was such a striking meditation on gay male intimacy...

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Thursday
Jul282016

Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" 10 Years Later

Please welcome back new contributor Bill Curran for a 10th anniversary look at Miami Vice

The major studio head-scratcher of its year, the ultimate distillation of Michael Mann’s brand of clean sheen noir, and the most authentically auteurist film of the aughts, Miami Vice was the movie offspring of a successful and ever-parodied 80s TV series that was nothing like the original. Instead, Mann unleashed a brooding and voluptuously pixilated peacock of a crime thriller upon an unsuspecting public

If only every recent remake had as much reckless spirit as this one did when it opened nationally ten years ago today. Though the film received favorable notices from top print critics, including a rave from A.O. Scott, the majority of reviewers (and almost all audiences) were simply confused...

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Thursday
Jul282016

Actresses We Love & the Festivals They Are Going To

Murtada here. It’s the week of fall film festivals announcements. We just heard that The Bening is going to New York. Lupita Nyong'o and Rosamund Pike are going to both London and Toronto. Let’s check in with a few others who are going to Venice, Toronto and possibly Telluride (Telluride doesn’t announce its program until its first day but if a film is announced as a Canadian Premiere at TIFF, and it hasn’t appeared at Sundance, it’s assumed to be Telluride bound).

Sally, Dakota, Rooney and more after the jump...

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