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We're still a few weeks away from Star Wars opening, which means most of us can't make our Top 10 list until we see that movie. But in the meantime, some critics have no desire to worry about Star Wars and are putting out their Best of the Year lists right now anyway. One of the annual must-see lists is actually a video countdown made by my colleague David Ehrlich (follow him @davidehrlich). He counts down his 25 best films of the year, including one excellent short (World of Tomorrow). It's a beautiful video that, along with trailer retrospectives, is a stellar reminder of why we loves movies - to discover the few that stick with you.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? You don't want to be on his list. Now playing in theaters everywhere is Krampus, the new horror comedy mashup from Mike Dougherty, the director of Trick 'r Treat. This time he introduces us to the Krampus myth, with a story about the big, nasty Christmas beast and his friends who come torment a small town. Think Gremlins meets Christmas Vacation. Starring Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, with Emjay Anthony as Max. So how is it? Will it become your new Christmas viewing tradition? The best horror comedy since Trick 'r Treat, or is it really awful? Once you've seen it, post a comment below with your thoughts on Mike Dougherty's Krampus.
It's time! With the end of the year approaching, everyone starts to reveal their own Top 10 best of the year lists. One of our favorite lists that kicks off this time is from filmmaker John Waters' - his Top 10 favorite films from this year. In 2015, Waters has chosen yet another eclectic mix of films, including Mad Max: Fury Road, Tangerine, Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm, Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella (really!), and The Diary of a Teenage Girl, among some other oddball picks. A few years back his top film was Spring Breakers, and last year it was Cronenberg's Maps to the Stars. I always like hearing about Waters' favorites because he has such unique taste and his comments are fun to read. I'm glad he loved Mad Max as much as everyone else.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? The new Pixar movie is here! Now playing in theaters everywhere is the 16th feature film from Pixar Animation Studios (the second this year following Inside Out) titled The Good Dinosaur. Directed by Peter Sohn, the film is set in an alternate timeline where the dinosaurs evolved into intelligent species, and one of them named Arlo ends up on an adventure with a tiny human friend. Arlo is voiced by Raymond Ochoa. Along the way he meets a family of T-Rexes - voiced by A.J. Buckley, Anna Paquin and Sam Elliott. So how is Pixar's latest? Did it pull at your heart strings? Make you laugh? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on Pixar's The Good Dinosaur.
Wow. This is crazy. There's a video going around online from the special features of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies that is one of the most honest looks at filmmaking I've ever seen. It features extensive footage and interviews of the entire crew of The Hobbit trilogy, from director Peter Jackson to all of his various staff including script supervisor, production designer and set decorator talking about how they all had no idea what they were doing with these movies. It's a very sad, remarkably rare look at how hard it is to make a massive movie on this scale, and how much stress there is on a director. Having finally watched this video, I just keep wondering: how the heck did this get made and actually released to the public? Amazing.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Three wise men. One wild Christmas. Now playing in theaters is the new Christmas comedy The Night Before, formerly known as X-Mas. Three friends get together on Christmas eve in New York to have one last party together before they each go their own ways. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie are the guys. The cast also features Jillian Bell, Lizzy Caplan and Ilana Glazer. So is it any good? One of the best Christmas movies, or not? How much did you laugh? Once you've seen it, leave a comment below with your thoughts on The Night Before.
Another day, another remake. This time it's another movie that just doesn't need to be remade, and may be hitting too close to home for some. Andrea Iervolino and Monika Bacardi's AMBI Pictures have officially announced a remake of Christopher Nolan's 2000 thriller Memento, starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss. It's one of many films ("400 additional critical hits, commercial blockbusters and cult favorites") that AMBI acquired in picking up the Exclusive Media Group film library. They claim in the press release that the remake will "stay true to Christopher Nolan’s vision and deliver a memorable movie that is every bit as edgy, iconic and award-worthy as the original." Okay. But the question always is: do we really need this?
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Bond is back! Now playing in theaters everywhere is the 24th Bond movie, titled Spectre, from Eon Productions, directed once again by Sam Mendes. Daniel Craig returns for his fourth Bond movie as Agent 007, this time chasing after a mysterious Oberhauser. Is it time to re-introduce the evil organization SPECTRE? Also starring Ralph Fiennes as M, Ben Whishaw as Q, Naomie Harris as Moneypenny, plus Christoph Waltz, Monica Bellucci, Dave Bautista and Léa Seydoux. So how is this new Bond movie? Better than Skyfall or nowhere close? Is Daniel Craig done with Bond? How about that ending? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Spectre.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Can a great man be a good man? Universal's opening of the Aaron Sorkin-scripted Steve Jobs movie is expanding further to wide release, so it's time to open up the discussion. Michael Fassbender stars as Steve Jobs, controversial genius and co-founder of Apple. Danny Boyle directs a cast including Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, Seth Rogen as Wozniak, Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld, plus Katherine Waterston. The story unfolds in three acts, taking place at the launch of three pivotal products in Jobs' life. How is it? Any good? Is Sorkin's script brilliant? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Boyle's Steve Jobs.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? In the shadow of war, one man showed the world what we stand for. Now playing in theaters is the new Steven Spielberg movie! Get your tickets, go see it now. Spielberg directs Tom Hanks in Bridge of Spies, about honest lawyer James Donovan recruited by the government to negotiate the trade of a Russian spy for a downed American pilot captured by the Russians during the Cold War. Mark Rylance stars as the spy he's defending; plus Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Jesse Plemons. So how is it? Worth the wait for the new Spielberg flick? Is it better than his more recent movies? Once you've seen it, post a comment with your thoughts on Spielberg's Bridge of Spies.
After years of off-screen hell, the newest movie directed by Guillermo del Toro, titled Crimson Peak, comes out nationwide today to unleash a kind of cinematic hell upon viewers everywhere. However, much like every one of del Toro's films, even though Crimson Peak is being sold as a horror movie (it's not) it's actually far more tragic than terrifying. As del Toro has tried to bring to people's attention on Twitter and other forms of social media, Crimson Peak is much more of a gothic romance than a straight-up horror film. Unfortunately, most people will go into the film this weekend expecting to be scared out of their minds and instead they will find something much more tragic and somber. With that let's take a look at why Guillermo del Toro's movies are never what they seem – and why Crimson Peak is no different.
Last week at the BFI London Film Festival, English filmmaker Christopher Nolan showed up for a few interesting discussions on film and filmmaking. During one of his chats about the importance of continuing to use real film, as opposed to digital, he briefly commented on the topic of the theatrical experience and how bad it has become. If there's anyone who knows about and should be listened to when it comes to the theatrical experience, it's Christopher Nolan, as he has always valued the big screen experience as much as the story, and that's why his films have such a cinematic feeling. "For some reason, it has become acceptable to say [to audiences] we are providing this empty room with a TV in it and just watch a film." Oh so true.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Bring him home! It's time! Time to take a journey to Mars. Ridley Scott's new adventure The Martian, adapted from Andy Weir's bestselling novel of the same name, is now in theaters. Matt Damon plays Astronaut Mark Watney, who gets stranded on Mars alone after a storm during a manned mission to the red planet. He must figure out a way to survive until a crew can return and rescue him. The cast includes Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mackenzie Davis and Donald Glover. So how is it? As good as the book? Once you've seen it, post a comment below with your thoughts on The Martian.
Now that you've seen it, what did you think? Never let go! Now playing in theaters everywhere is Everest, a 3D adventure from filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur. Telling the story of the 1996 expedition to Everest documented in Jon Krakauer's book "Into Thin Air", Everest is a cinematic version of that story - being presented in IMAX 3D in many locations worldwide. Michael Kelly plays Jon Krakauer, with Jason Clarke starring as New Zealand guide Rob Hall who leads the team. Also with Martin Henderson, John Hawkes, Emily Watson, Sam Worthington, Keira Knightley, Josh Brolin and Jake Gyllenhaal. So - is it intense? Once you've seen it, leave a comment with your thoughts on Baltasar Kormákur's Everest.