I was fortunate enough to attend a screening of Get Out earlier this week, and hoo boy, that right there is one fine motion picture. Our beloved Editor-in-Chief Matt Singer made as much clear in his ringing endorsement from Sundance, but take it from me: very spooky, very funny, has something to say, insanely well-cast and even more well-acted. It’s an easy movie to love, and while the box-office receipts from this upcoming weekend will rule on whether audiences agree, the critics of America have already made their voices heard. And those voices are ringing out in perfect unison, a harmony sounding out as if from an angelic choir: “THIS MOVIE RULES.”
Quick, without thinking: greatest American film of the ’90s? Martin Scorsese’s decade-spanning gangster epic Goodfellas is probably the answer that pops into most heads, and rightfully so. It was a success under every criterion, amassing a tidy profit that‘s only grown through infinite televised syndication and home-video releases, earning Joe Pesci an Academy Award for his turn as the short-fused Tommy DeVito, and leaving a titanic influence on pop-culture in the years to follow. It has earned the distinction of “masterpiece,” right in the thick of any conversation on Scorsese’s finest accomplishment. But man, at first, people hated it.
How do you say “sike!” in Japanese? Master animator and Studio Ghibli cofounder Hayao Miyazaki dun got us again, totally convincing us that he was really retiring this time by saying things like “I am done making movies” and “This time is for real.” We believed him like a bunch of fools when he announced a “semi-retirement” following the completion of Princess Mononoke, we believed him when he said he wanted to call it quits after Spirited Away, and we believed him back in 2013, when he declared The Wind Rises to be his final feature. The Boy Who Cried Not Making Any More Movies has pulled the same trick on us all again, with the news that he’ll un-retire one more time for a new feature called Boro the Caterpillar.
What with social cliques, homework, and hormones, high school is tough enough already. Add to that a massive natural disaster, and it’s a different sort of catastrophe entirely. My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea is both exactly what it sounds like and much more than that, an animated riff on the likes of San Andreas that adds an eccentric sense of humor to the genre. The newly unveiled trailer offers a sample of the thrills (jumping across shark-infested waters!) and the laughs (the bookcase-amputation joke is aces) to be had in this odd little festival favorite.
Humor me for a moment — is Damien Chazelle‘s old-school romantic musical La La Land really all that far removed from the cinema of David Lynch? Like the avant-melodrama triumph Mulholland Dr., Chazelle’s film is obsessed with the artifice that defines both Los Angeles and the entertainment industry around which it was built. Both films revolve around a pair of people inexorably drawn to one another, linked even as they drift apart due to the vicissitudes of circumstance. Both Lynch and Chazelle are fond of stylistic breaks from reality, exploring a dreamlike or otherwise surreal plane beyond this dimension. Hell, “here’s to the ones who dream” might as well be the mission statement of Lynch’s entire filmography.
As the X-Universe continues to expand outward, characters deeper in the roster have gotten a chance to shine. Sure, Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey and Professor X were pretty much a given from the start, but who’d have thought we’d see a cinematic appearance from Negasonic Teenage Warhead in our lifetime? A Gambit solo movie has been milling around development hell for months, the New Mutant film has been gradually amassing cast members, and today brings a major update to the progress on yet another tangential X-project, the rough-and-tumble X-Force. Today, the project gained a writer, and of course it’s a fanboy-familiar name.
Netflix scooped up a lot of hot property back at the Sundance Film Festival, and after they’ve pulled back the curtain on the award-winning I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore come February 24, their next big unveiling will be The Discovery. The high-concept sci-fi drama will be fully available through the streaming service on March 31, and while the element of mystery has remained a major part of the film’s advertising campaign, a new trailer does offer some more clues on what the deal is. The most important reveal of all: Mary Steenburgen is in this film.
Of course, no individual could be fairly credited with having singlehandedly invented the modern understanding of what it means to be cool, but Japanese filmmaker Seijun Suzuki is as good a place as any to start. With such films as Branded to Kill and Tokyo Drifter, he reimagined the gangster figure as an icon of bold sartorial style, unflappable stoicism, and casual Zenlike profundity. A few years later, these films would go on to inspire French New Wave classic Le Samouraï, which would later trickle down to the cinema of Quentin Tarantino and Jim Jarmusch. But to ascribe Suzuki’s importance to his influence on others would be an insult; his films map an entire engrossing world unto themselves.
It was back in July that the news of an impending return from everyone’s favorite B-movie mockery program Mystery Science Theater 3000 first broke. Fans of Manos: the Hands of Fate and Santa Claus Conquers the Martians were atwitter with excitement for a revival of the long-running program last seen in 1999, breathlessly speculating on which schlock gems would get roasted this time around. And while the fodder for the upcoming eleventh season has yet to be named, Netflix has finally announced a release date and included a new press photo of the whole wisecracking robotic gang.
Sound the alarm emojis — last night brought a new update on the slow gestation of Martin Scorsese’s next feature film project, the mob drama The Irishman. It’s already a hot property, boasting a cast including Marty favorites Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci along with newcomer Al Pacino, who already spent the last two decades acting as if he was in the third act of Goodfellas anyhow. “Martin Scorsese doing another crime epic with some of today‘s greatest living actors” turned out to be quite the tantalizing prospect, too, because last night brought the news that Netflix has purchased the rights to the film right out from under Paramount.
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