Despite his reputation as a director of groundbreaking and mind-bending films, Christopher Nolan is a stickler for tradition. Just as he passionately fights for the practice of shooting on film, Nolan pushes the casts of his films to appreciate the classics — gathering up his cast and crew before each of his productions start to screen movies that serve as inspirations for their respective projects. Before filming The Dark Knight, Nolan made everyone watch Michael Mann’s Heat, while the cast of Dunkirk was given the homework of All Quiet on the Western Front and The Battle of Algiers. But Nolan broke his own tradition for the first time by avoiding all Bond films before and during the filming of his upcoming movie, Tenet.
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“Did you ever smell sadness?”
Films may not be able to give off scents (yet), but 12 Hour Shift, with its washed out yellow walls and harsh fluorescent lighting, practically reeks of anesthetic and musty hospital bedsheets. And a little bit of sadness. But that sadness is quickly overtaken by the bizarro bloodbath that unfolds in Bea Grant‘s stylish, darkly comic thriller.
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Back in April, we found out Martin Scorsese was again having trouble locking down funding for Killers of the Flower Moon, an adaptation of David Grann’s book of the same name with Leondaro DiCaprio and Robert De Niro on board to star. At the time, the filmmaker was hoping that a streaming service like Neflix or Apple would come through and help Paramount Pictures pay for the production, and it sounds like he got his wish.
Apple will be teaming with Paramount Pictures to make Killers of the Flower Moon, as long as the deal that’s currently in the works gets finalized. The project will be labeled as an Apple original movie, and Paramount will handle distribution around the world. Read More »
(Welcome to Ani-time Ani-where, a regular column dedicated to helping the uninitiated understand and appreciate the world of anime.)
The romantic-comedy, much like its cousin the horror-comedy, more often than not ends up sacrificing the romance for the comedy. Or the comedy for the romance. But where there are plenty of romantic anime shows, few end up being as sweet and as hilarious as Kaguya-sama: Love is War.
Looking from the outside in, Kaguya-sama seems like a traditional slice of life high school romance. In a prestigious academy for Japan’s brightest students (and those from the wealthiest and most influential families), student council president Miyuki Shirogane and vice president Kaguya Shinomiya excel at everything they do and are revered by everyone in the academy. Oh, and the entire academy thinks they should be together.
The good news is that they also very much have feelings for each other, and know that the other is in love with them. The problem? They are too damn stubborn and prideful to admit their feelings. In love, there’s a winner, and a loser (or so says the narrator), so neither Shirogane or Shinomiya want to lose. What ensues is a brilliant and hilarious battle of the wits, a game of psychological warfare where two stellar minds try to out-scheme the other to confess their love first.
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Following the release of Vader Immortal: A Star Wars VR Series (which is coming to PlayStation VR sometime this summer), the creative minds at Lucasfilm’s immersive entertainment studio ILMxLAB are working on another Star Wars VR project, this time centered around the Black Spire Outpost locale at the center of the Disney theme park land Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Read More »
Too many female-led comedies focus on the romance of it all. The chick flick, the rom-com – they’re terms that are interchangeable. But there is so much more depth of emotion that women feel, so many more nuanced relationships that women have, that are rarely show on the big screen. Only a handful of so-called “rom-coms” dig into them, but they’re often mislabeled because it’s less about the romance, or even the comedy, then it is about the women at the center of them.
One of the more recent films to nail the complexity of female relationships was Nisha Ganatra‘s 2019 dramedy Late Night, which followed Emma Thompson and Mindy Kaling as a reluctant late-night show employer and employee pairing who become close friends. Ganatra seeks to repeat this formula with The High Note, a flashy comedy/drama that stars Tracee Ellis Ross and Dakota Johnson in those roles, but now set in the glamorous music industry. But with newcomer Flora Greeson on the script and none of Kaling’s winking humor to drive the drama, Ganatra’s attempt to recapture the success of her previous female-led workplace dramedy unfortunately falls a bit flat.
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HBO Max launched this Wednesday with one of the most impressive catalogues for a new streaming service. Not only did it have the highly coveted streaming rights to Friends, it also had decades of Warner Bros. movies and TV shows to pull from. But as new subscribers scrolled through the offerings, a few gaps in the HBO Max catalogue started getting noticed.
Why are all of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films there, except for The Desolation of Smaug? Why is there not a single Superman title to be found? Every streaming platform has the odd gap every now and then due to the complicated legal web that is streaming rights, but with HBO Max so early in its debut, it’s hard to know or find out when these gaps will be filled. It seems like this is one of the few things that HBO Max has to fix now that it’s launched, in addition to none of its titles being available to stream in the high-definition 4K HDR video.
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(Welcome to The Quarantine Stream, a new series where the /Film team shares what they’ve been watching while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.)
The Series: Looney Tunes
Where You Can Stream It: HBO Max
The Pitch: Looney Tunes has one of the most memorable and beloved rosters of animated characters of all time. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Wile E. Coyote, Road Runner, Sylvester the Cat, Tweety Bird, Pepe Le Pew, The Tazmanian Devil, Foghorn Leghorn, Yosemite Sam, Speedy Gonzalez, and more star in the shorts that shaped animated comedy, creating many of the cartoon tropes that are still prevalent in the medium today. This is timeless comedy at its best, and the whole family can enjoy them.
Why It’s Essential Viewing: Every single animated project you’ve ever seen has been influenced by the classic Looney Tunes (and Merrie Melodies) shorts in one way or another. Even though Mickey Mouse may be the face of one of the most successful media giants in the history of entertainment, Disney’s roster of classic animated characters has nothing on these characters from Warner Bros., many of them voiced by the legendary Mel Blanc. Yes, you can give Disney credit all day since they took cues from Walt Disney’s musical series Silly Symphonies, but for my money, Looney Tunes does it better. Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
All 10 episodes of the first season of Space Force arrive on Netflix tomorrow. It marks the return of Steve Carell to television comedy, and he’s joined by The Office co-creator Greg Daniels. There’s a good chance you’ll be hunkered down on your couch to binge Space Force since there’s not much else to do, and to ensure that you don’t get hungry, the flavor makers at Ben & Jerry’s have created an official Space Force ice cream called “Boots on the Moooo’n.” Find out what’s in the pint below. Read More »
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, take a look back at the goofy action comedy Surf Ninjas starring Ernie Reyes Sr., Ernie Reyes Jr., Rob Schneider, and Leslie Nielsen. Plus, find out everything you need to know about every iteration of the Batmobile, from the classic 1966 version to the military-grade Tumbler from The Dark Knight trilogy. And finally, find out how to make Totchos from Woody’s Lunch Box from Disney theme parks. Read More »