› Emma Stone from La La Land
› Blair Witch's Wingard/Barrett
› Writer & Director Matt Ross
› Mia Hansen-Løve at Berlinale
› Taika Waititi Talks Comedy
› Birth of a Nation's Nate Parker
Find more of our interviews ›››
It's that time again! With the end of the year approaching, everyone begins revealing 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. For 2016, Waters has chosen yet another (expected) eclectic mix of films, including Paul Verhoven's controversial Elle, Todd Solondz's divisive Wiener-Dog, as well as David Farrier & Dylan Reeve's outstandingly creepy documentary Tickled, among some other oddball picks. A few years back his top film was Spring Breakers, and last year it was a film titled Helmut Berger, Actor. I always like hearing about Waters' favorites because he has such unique taste and his quick comments are fun to read.
"We can do whatever we want if we just believe we're able to." Blumhouse Tilt has released a brief teaser trailer for a film titled Sleight, which premiered in the ultra-low budget NEXT section of the Sundance Film Festival in January. Sleight is about a street magician in Los Angeles who gives himself superpowers and takes on a local drug dealer to save his sister. Jacob Latimore plays Bo, also featuring Seychelle Gabriel, Dulé Hill, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata, Michael Villar, Brandon Johnson & Cameron Esposito. The film received quite a bit of positive praise at Sundance. I wrote in my review that "it's a fairly simple story, but the film is still awesome." It's an impressive little homemade indie that's worth catching.
"There are many things you have not seen." Like a 9 minute long trailer? This is pretty epic. An extended Chinese trailer has debuted for the Chinese epic The Great Wall, from director Zhang Yimou. The film is set to open in China this December, which is why this seems like a massive marketing push even though it doesn't open in the US until February. This features footage from other trailers at the opening and closing, and spends six minutes in the middle introducing the five different main Chinese characters. Matt Damon stars as one of the few white dudes; also starring Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Tian Jing, Eddie Peng, Numan Acar, Han Lu, Kenny Lin, Zhang Hanyu. This looks colorful and entertaining.
"You have your mission, Doctor, and I have mine." Paladin has debuted a trailer for the film The Ottoman Lieutenant, another historical war drama, this one directed by Joseph Ruben. Set during the first World War (or "The Great War"), the film is about a woman who ends up in a love triangle between an American doctor and a dashing lieutenant for the Ottoman Imperial Army. Josh Hartnett stars as the American, Michiel Huisman as the lieutenant, and Hera Hilmar as the woman who comes between them. The cast includes Ben Kingsley, Haluk Bilginer, Affif Ben Badra, Paul Barrett, Jessica Turner and Peter Hosking. For whatever reason this reminds me of Bitter Harvest, and sadly both films look quite mediocre.
DC's biggest heroes have been facing an adversary even bigger than Doomsday or Kryponite as of late: their own studio, Warner Bros. It was last month when it was revealed that director Rick Famuyiwa dropped out of directing The Flash, citing creative differences. This was a sizable loss for the film, as Famuyiwa's hiring was considered a major coup. His departure hints at trouble for DC on film, who has stumbled out of the gate when their films should be leaping over tall buildings in a single bound. Along with countless mixed to negative critical reactions to their last two offerings, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, it's become clear Warner Bros is struggling to bring DC's finest to the big screen. But why?
"But in the blink of an eye, everything changed…" Sony Pictures has revealed one more trailer for the sci-fi movie Passengers, starring Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence as the only two people awake on an interstellar spaceship traveling to another solar system. We've seen lots of footage this by now, with plenty of trailers to choose from, but this one has even more scenes that haven't been shown yet. This new trailer also features the song "Levitate" by Imagine Dragons, which helps set the mood for the romance. They're definitely selling the love angle in this trailer, showing Lawrence eventually falling for Pratt, despite their circumstances. Fine with me, I just hope it brings big audiences in to see this! More sci-fi movies, the better.
"See how I kill you." Nothing like a Chinese ripoff to keep you warm this winter. A trailer for a film titled Mad Shelia: Virgin Road has been making its way around the web this week. The film is the first in a series, with the next one coming out in 2017 titled Mad Shelia: Revenge of the Road, that is pretty much a direct ripoff of Mad Max: Fury Road. Fuo Xiao stars as Xi Liya, a bounty hunter who rescues a bunch of virgins from desert warlords. These kind of ripoffs are not uncommon in China, as they're often known as "wang da", short for "wangluo da dianying" or "big internet films", made for cheap without much oversight and released straight to the web via the Tencent Video platform. Watch this trailer just for fun, nothing else.
Time to get in the holiday spirit! While this is more of an advertisement than a short, it's worth watching anyway because it's directed by Wes Anderson (and this kind of work is becoming increasingly common these days with filmmakers). Come Together is a short film holiday ad directed by Wes Anderson, starring Adrien Brody. As others have pointed out, it's kind of a nice The Darjeeling Limited reunion given that it takes place on a train. Brody plays a conductor who has to figure out some makeshift plans when he learns the train is going to be very late. It's charming, and has all the usual Wes Anderson quirks & accoutrements.
"Trust the Force." Don't forget, Star Wars fans - early tickets for the opening weekend of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story go on sale this week! Starting this Monday (November 28th) around most of the world (they're already on sale in the UK). Check your local cinema for info. To remind everyone this is happening, Disney + Lucasfilm have released one more 90 second trailer with bits of extra footage. Starring Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso, plus Mads Mikkelsen, Donnie Yen, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Diego Luna, Jonathan Aris, Riz Ahmed & Alan Tudyk, Rogue One is about a group of rebels who set out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. This looks so badass! See everyone in theaters in a few weeks.
Want to geek out with Adam Savage and Peter Jackson? A video from Adam Savage's website Tested has debuted that involves Savage stepping inside of Peter Jackson's prop warehouse. Guillermo del Toro's massive collection has been in the news the most recently with his exhibition at LACMA, but Jackson has a collection of props and movie items that might rival that one. Savage and Jackson spend most of their time in this video examining the HAL 9000 faceplate from 2001, but there's other cool things hidden around. You can see one of the Ray Harryhausen skeletons from Jason and the Argonauts, and a Vogon from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, too. Jackson says he collects things from films that inspired him as a kid.