Nine Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar Race - Angelina Jolie, BPM Snubbed

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Chile, “A Fantastic Woman,” Sebastián Lelio, director;
Germany, “In the Fade,” Fatih Akin, director;
Hungary, “On Body and Soul,” Ildikó Enyedi, director;
Israel, “Foxtrot,” Samuel Maoz, director;
Lebanon, “The Insult,” Ziad Doueiri, director;
Russia, “Loveless,” Andrey Zvyagintsev, director;
Senegal, “Félicité,” Alain Gomis, director;
South Africa, “The Wound,” John Trengove, director;
Sweden, “The Square,” Ruben Östlund, director.

Disney CEO Confirms X-Men, Deadpool & Fantastic Four Will Join MCU

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Hours after announcing its acquired 21st Century Fox, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced, via Deadline, that X-Men, Deadpool and Fantastic Four will all join the MCU:

"Ocean's 8" poster

We still don't really know anything about the movie. What we do know is that it's a spinoff rather than a remake, or reboot, and that the cast is great. I'm praying this gets a decent script. Don't fuck it up Warner Bros. We don't need another "Ghostbusters" debacle.

Super Size Me director Morgan Spurlock reveals personal history of allegations of sexual misconduct against him, stating that as someone “who has built a career on finding the truth” that he is “part of the problem.”

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Morgan Spurlock went to Twitter on Wednesday to confess about his own stories of sexual misconduct, saying that as he watches "hero, man after man, fall at the realization of their past indiscretions, I don’t sit by and wonder 'who will be next?' I wonder, 'when will they come for me?'" The fear of being next prompted Spurlock to admit:

Disney-Fox Deal Official: Disney to Buy 21st Century Fox Assets for $52.4 Billion

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Gary Oldman smoked $20,000 worth of cigars while filming Darkest Hour & experienced serious nicotine poisoning

Gary Oldman's Winston Churchill is almost always smoking a cigar, which sometimes required the production to get special dispensation from anti-smoking ordinances. Says director Joe Wright, "Everywhere we went, they'd say, 'No smoking!' And we'd say, 'But it's Churchill!' And they'd go, 'Oh, OK then.'"

Gary Oldman played Winston Churchill in the "Darkest Hour" in the most towering of ways. Oldman is spellbinding, you don't feel like you're watching an actor act, you feel like you're watching Churchill. The enveloping nature of his performance is, of course, unsurprising for fans, such as me, of this highly underrated thespian of an actor, whom, by the way, was never nominated for his work in "Leon," "True Romance," and "Sid & Nancy."  Unsurprisingly, the 59-year-old actor, that most pundits are predicting to win the Best Actor Oscar come next March, is very method.  He's supposedly burnt up close to $20,000 worth of cigars to depict the chain-smoking Churchill. Even worse? He suffered from nicotine poisoning in the process.

First Poster for A24's Drama 'Lean On Pete' - Starring Charlie Plummer, Steve Buscemi, and Chloë Sevigny

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I saw this lovely movie at TIFF. 

Andrew Haigh’s “Lean on Pete”is this sprawling, unsentimental coming-of-age drama that is actually quite devious in its opening moments. You expect a by-the-books slice of Americana as Charley (Charlie Plummer) lives in the middle of nowhere with his sadsack, boozing and womanizing dad Ray (Travis Fimmel) in a shotgun shack. Their life is a bunch of nothings, daily, mundane routines that have become cliches in American independent cinemas. Then, a twist and thenn another and then another.  Whenever you think you know where the film is going, Haigh ("Weekend," "45 Years") pulls the rug under you.

Rian Johnson's Star Wars Trilogy Pitch Didn't Include a Story

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Earlier this month, Lucasfilm gave us the surprising news that Rian Johnson, director of the forthcoming “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” would be starting a brand new “Star Wars” trilogy from scratch and that it wouldn’t be related to the original Skywalker story. Details are being kept hush-hush at the moment, we don’t know necessarily where this latest trilogy would take place nor do we know if any familiar characters would be jumping into this latest vision of the franchise.

Clint Eastwood's "The 15:17 to Paris" casts real-life heroes that stopped a terrorist attack

Director Clint Eastwood has helmed fourteen movies since hitting the age of 70. Has any director come close to that feat at this late stage in their career? Yes, Woody Allen‘s nearly been there thirteen films post-70, but Eastwood is still making hyper-relevant films at the near twilight of his career and sometimes breaking the box office in the process with something like “American Sniper.” Case in point his last two films: ‘Sniper and “Sully,” both of which had the classicism of old-school Hollywood filmmaking, and yet, felt vitally alive and current. The resonant theme that bound both was the cost of hero worship. Both films have male characters who feel isolated and flawed, despite being deemed heroes by those around them.

SAG Nominees: "Three Billboards utside Ebbing, Missouri" Leads the way with 4 nods

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George Lucas Says The Last Jedi Was 'Beautifully Made'

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George Lucas has probably gotten over the fact that he sold his life's passion to Disney more than 6 years ago now. It must also help that they are clearly trying to expand his vision and embrace the prequels he made as part of the canon. I can't exactly blame the guy for being a little sour after Disney threw his episode 7 ideas away, Star Wars is practically his life's work. 

"Good Time" Tops Film Comment's 2017 Critics Poll

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Daisy Ridley cried when she heard JJ Abrams was coming back to direct Episode IX

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Back to the top. That’s what happened when JJ Abrams was given the task of directing ‘Episode IX.’ He directed “The Force Awakens” with his usual lens flares and kick-ass, Spielberg-inspired action sequences. There also was the news, according to his friend, that he regretted not directing ‘Episode VIII.’ “He read it and said something he never, ever says, he said, ‘It’s so good, I wish I were making it.’ He may have said something one time on ‘Lost’ with Damon [Lindelof], but I never hear him express regret like that.” He actually passed “The Force Awakens,”  but Kathleen Kennedy wouldn’t take no for an answer. Nevertheless, he and Daisy ridley bonded quite well on that film, so much so that upon hearing the news that Abrams was returning, Ridley revealed she was in tears. According to Rolling Stone, the 25-year-old said: “Everyone was saying it was going to be Rian [Johnson, The Last Jedi director] and everything, so I was genuinely quite surprised. “And was like ‘Oh my god!’ and I started crying immediately with three people in the office. “And they were like, ‘What the f*** just happened?' So I emailed J.J. saying, ‘Oh my god I am crying.’ “And he goes, ‘Oh my god, me too.’ And then we had a conversation a few days later and we stay in touch. But we stayed in touch the whole time anyway.”


Review: "The Last Jedi" is the best directed, most beautiful-looking "Star Wars" movie since "The Empire Strikes Back."

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At some point in "The Last Jedi" Luke Skywalker says: "This is not going to go the way you think." He couldn't be more right, and wrong.  "The Last Jedi" is a the most modern, hilarious, and meta installment of the franchise, filled with potent twists and surprising character development. And yet, it also feels safe. There's no risk-taking the way "The Empire Strikes Back" blew our mind back in 1980, but it is a significant step forward for this trilogy. It sets up characters, conflicts, situations, which leave you very hungry for the third installment, which will be released in 2019.

Saudi Arabia Lifts A 35-Year-Old Ban On Cinemas; Theaters Re-Opening in 2018

      Image result for saudi arabia cinema wsjWe know that 200+ high ranking Saudis have been detained and $50 billion in assets seized. Some kind of societal overhaul is happening over there.  I wonder what is the cause? There has always been a running division amongst Saudi royalty. The powerful are Western educated and their religious beliefs are, err, moderate to say the least.  The royals being arrested seem to be those using religion to gain more power. This has been a major crutch for the moderates. To avoid this, they have focused on bringing about attitude changes first - hence the enormous women's university and similar projects. It seems like it might be working. Either this will blossom into a full-blown westernized country or we wukk see a religious uprising and it'll all go to hell. Good luck to anyone living there.

Spike Lee says Nate Parker was setup and double-crossed

Speaking with The Daily BeastSpike Lee says he believes Nate Parker was set up, adding that he knows who did it:
“One day, someone’s going to write a book about that whole thing, because I’ve never seen someone fall so quick. I just find it strange that on the same day, Variety and Hollywood Reporter reported [on Parker]. There were some shenanigans there,” he said.
“I know who it is. I’m not going to say who it is,” Lee continued. “But they do that type of stuff. [‘The Birth of a Nation’] was a film that they knew was a lock, so they had to come up with some dirt to knock it out. And they were very successful. It was a dirty, low-down shame. A dope-fiend double-cross. It’s still a great film, too. I’ll go on record and say that’s a great film, and I said it the first time I saw it at Sundance.”

Golden Globe Nominations: "Shape of Water" leads the way, Plummer nominated for replacing Spacey, "The Big Sick," "Wonder Woman," snubbed

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