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Newswire: Edgar Wright finally opens up about why he left Ant-Man

1 hour ago

Possibly inspired by watching two other beloved directors get abruptly removed from the Marvel-Disney-Lucasfilm fold this week (or maybe just by the fact that he’s finally getting his latest film, Baby Driver, into theaters after working on it for years), Edgar Wright has finally opened up about why he left Marvel’s Ant-Man movie. Wright discussed the departure on Variety’s Playback podcast this week, attempting to phrase his answer in the most diplomatic way possible:

“I wanted to make a Marvel movie, but I don’t think they really wanted to make an Edgar Wright movie,” he told host Kristopher Tapley, describing the split. The final straw apparently came when Marvel decided to do a re-write on the film without Wright’s input. “Having written all my other movies, that’s a tough thing to move forward. Suddenly becoming a director for hire on it, you’re sort »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: Brad Pitt and Tommy Lee Jones are headed to deep space for some father-son bonding

5 hours ago

Deadline reports that Tommy Lee Jones and Brad Pitts are headed to space, with both actors close to signing on to James Gray’s new film, Ad Astra. The plot kind of sounds like a darker, more Joseph Conrad-y version of the parental space drama of Interstellar, with Pitt as an astronaut trying to figure out what happened during an interplanetary mission that saw his dad (Jones) disappear 20 years earlier.

This’ll be Pitt’s third attempt in recent years to star in one of Gray’s films; most notably, he was previously attached to the director’s critically lauded The Lost City Of Z, before scheduling problems forced him to depart. »

- William Hughes

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Great Job, Internet!: 2017’s most avant-garde documentary was filmed inside a ’90s superstore

6 hours ago

David Lynch must be kicking himself right now, because his attempt to induce a mass meditative state by making viewers watch a guy sweep the floor on Twin Peaks just got one-upped by a Washington woman’s dad. As Willamette Week explains, Kellie Rogers took some old tapes from her dad’s VHS camcorder to be transferred to DVD, only to discover that one tape contained a 26-minute chunk from the camcorder’s former life as a floor model in the electronics department at a Washington State Fred Meyer store.

Intrigued by the camera’s unblinking look into the everyday life of a ’90s superstore, Rogers took the tape to Reddit, whose detectives were able to determine that the footage was shot in the spring of 1992, thanks to the presence of Garth Brooks’ Ropin’ The Wind, the Wayne’s World soundtrack, Slaughter’s The Wild Life, and Pantera’s »

- Katie Rife

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Newswire: Wonder Woman sets new record for biggest live-action film directed by a woman

7 hours ago

Wonder Woman and its director, Patty Jones, just set a new box office record, snagging the distinction of being the most successful live-action movie ever directed by a woman. Today saw the Warner Bros. superhero flick surpass the previous title holder, Phyllida Lloyd’s Mamma Mia!, which brought in $609.8 million in 2008.

Wonder Woman has earned strong praise for bringing a lighter, but still epic, touch to the DC movie universe, with Jenkins getting a strong share of the credit for the film’s success. (She’s currently working on a story treatment for the film’s sequel, although there’s no formal deal in place yet to bring her on to direct it.) That being said, Wonder Woman still has a pretty long way to go to surpass the title holder for overall box office success by a female director; it’s only about halfway to the »

- William Hughes

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Mailbag: A box of travel essentials for when you need to Get Out

10 hours ago

Welcome back to Mailbag, a series about the sometimes weird, sometimes fun stuff we get in the mail. Today, Blumhouse Productions and the team behind Get Out sent us some swag to prep for what’s sure to be a harrowing stay with the Armitage family, including branded luggage tags, travel bottles, a phone charger, and a couple tea bags for the road. Blumhouse also sent us the Blu-ray for the film (which is out now) and a welcome mat with an ominous warning: “Just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you’re welcome.” »

- Baraka Kaseko

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Newswire: Journalist sues All Eyez On Me filmmakers for infringement

10 hours ago

Just one week after it opened, the Tupac Shakur biopic All Eyez On Me is causing a stir far from the box office. Deadline reports that the movie’s writers and producers, including Lionsgate, are being sued by veteran music journalist Kevin Powell for infringement. Powell, who’s written extensively for Vibe, claims there are “significant portions of the film is based on interviews he did” with the iconic rapper years ago. After seeing the film a couple of times, Powell says “it is clear that my exclusive Vibe cover stories on Tupac Shakur (when he was alive), were lifted, without proper credit or compensation of any kind to me” for use in the film directed by Benny Boom, and written by Jeremy Haft, Eddie Gonzalez, and Steven Bagatourian.

Powell, who has his own Tupac biography set for next year, also believes his claims are bolstered by the fact that »

- Danette Chavez

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Film Club: Transformers: The Last Knight is less than meets the eye

11 hours ago

For this week’s edition of Film Club, A.V. Club film editor A.A. Dowd and staff critic Ignatiy Vishnevetsky take a look at Transformers: The Last Knight, which finds Michael Bay, the maestro of pyrotechnic wreckage, pitting alien robots against the audience’s patience for the fifth time. Yes, it’s another overlong, often incoherent robo-slug-fest full of terrible characters and dazzlingly realized explosions—though by now, it seems like even Bay is bored with this stuff.

Watch the full episode of Film Club below: »

- A.A. Dowd, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky

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Newswire: White House officially condemns Johnny Depp as “sad”

11 hours ago

Hastening his retreat to the mole underworld, Johnny Depp joked yesterday about killing Donald Trump, the sort of irreverent jest made by a Hollywood celebrity that is, along with Kathy Griffin and Shakespeare In The Park, currently the source of all the hate in the world. “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp asked during an appearance at the Glastonbury festival, making a glib allusion to John Wilkes Booth that even Depp immediately realized would end up splattered across news stories like this one (“It’s gonna be in the press; it’ll be horrible”).

But while Depp could have predicted the backlash from conservatives who condemn all famous people advocating violence against America’s leaders except for Ted Nugent, he probably didn’t expect to receive an official condemnation from the White House. But such is the stupid world we live in now, where Trump »

- Sean O'Neal

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Great Job, Internet!: Liar Liar finally gets the serious, scholarly criticism it deserves

11 hours ago

Filmmaker, actor, and seasoned movie buff Kentucker Audley has consistently amused us with his satirical video essays, the likes of which include a celebration of the “cutting edge” use of close-ups in Powder and Pleasantville’s “excellent themes.” What makes his latest video essay on the 1997 Jim Carrey comedy Liar Liar one of his best is that it barely justifies its own existence.

In his token, NPR-esque monotone, Audley pretty much just explains the movie’s conceit—a lawyer who lies a lot loses the ability to lie after his son makes a wish—shows some clips, and describes the scene where Carrey comments on a woman’s breasts as “iconic.” It’s basically a movie trailer with spoilers, but Audley’s mock pretension elevates it to a delightful subversion of internet criticism.

On the other hand: That scene where he throws his shoe at an airplane is »

- Randall Colburn

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Newswire: Dazzler will be in X-Men: Dark Phoenix

11 hours ago

Dark Phoenix, the next entry in the Fox’s X-Men franchise, will have a cast of familiar faces and tons of new ones. Sophie Turner’s reprising her role as Jean Grey/Dark Phoenix, and James McAvoy will be back to mentor her as Professor Charles Xavier, bald head and all. And, despite previous evidence to the contrary, Jennifer Lawrence and Michael Fassbender will also return to play their respective characters, Mystique and Magneto. New villain Lilandra of the Shi’ar will probably be played by Jessica Chastain, who’s among the newcomers to the series. Entertainment Weekly’s learned that there’s a huge casting call for mutants right now, including someone to take on the role of Dazzler.

The casting notice actually calls for several roles, including a young girl with “an old soul,” who, Heroic Hollywood speculates, may or may not be Rogue, as well as someone »

- Danette Chavez

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Great Job, Internet!: You have earned 5 minutes of insane floppy naked people

11 hours ago

Computer-generated imagery technology has come a long way in the past few decades. Using various techniques, filmmakers can now create realistic-looking humans out of thin air and ask them to perform tasks that would otherwise be impossible for flesh-and-blood actors. Of course, the ultimate purpose of all these advancements is to give creatives the freedom to finally achieve the height of artistic expression, i.e. hordes of floppy naked people. On the forefront of the floppy genre is filmmaker David Lewandowski, who previously released the short films Going To The Store and Late For Meeting, and has now returned with his magnum opus, Time For Sushi.

While his previous efforts focused on the adventures of one floppy protagonist, Lewandowski’s newest piece features an entire army of flailing naked people squiggling along to a happy jazz tune as they make their way through a Japanese city to their true home »

- Dan Neilan

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Newswire: Aubrey Plaza gives Dave Franco an earful in an exclusive clip from The Little Hours

12 hours ago

We’ve been anticipating the release of the upcoming comedy The Little Hours here at The A.V. Club, not only because Alison Brie and Aubrey Plaza as foul-mouthed nuns checks a lot of boxes for our readership, but also because this gleefully filthy update on The Decameron is getting a positive reception in early reviews.

You can decide for yourself with a new clip from the film, exclusive to The A.V. Club; in the clip, Aubrey Plaza’s Fernanda threatens new deaf-mute day laborer Massetto (Dave Franco), only putting down her axe as a favor to convent boss Sister Marea (Molly Shannon). What Fernanda and the rest of the sisters don’t know, however, is that Massetto is faking his disability, and can hear them just fine.

The Little Hours hits theaters in New York and L.A. on June 30, with an expansion planned for the »

- Katie Rife

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Contest: Chicago and Milwaukee, swing your way into Spider-Man: Homecoming, early and for free

12 hours ago

There’s a lot riding on Peter Parker’s shoulders right now (as per usual). As played by Tom Holland, Peter’s about to face his biggest challenge yet: anchoring a brand new superhero franchise, in the form of the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. Can Spidey beat Michael Keaton as the villainous Vulture? Will he earn Tony Stark’s respect, and a spot on the Avengers? Will Sony’s willingness to play ball with the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe actually pay off, or will this whole thing go the way of the Amazing Spider-Man franchise?

We’ve got no clue, honestly, but we’ll presumably know more on July 7, when the movie swings into theaters nationwide. Lucky readers in Chicago and Milwaukee can get the scoop early, though, because we’re offering free tickets to advance screenings in both cities for next Wednesday, June 28. To get your tickets for »

- William Hughes

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Newswire: Neve Campbell to scale Skyscraper with Dwayne Johnson

12 hours ago

Neve Campbell will likely witness the daring heroics of Dwayne Johnson in the upcoming Skyscraper. According to Deadline, the actress—recently of House Of Cards—will have a starring role alongside the most gregarious man in showbiz in the 3D movie that has been called “Die Hard in China.” The plot concerns a man (Johnson) who is framed for starting a fire in a skyscraper that has trapped his wife and kids. In an Instagram, Johnson says his character “is also an homage to the everyday man and woman who, despite all odds, will dig deep and do everything possible to protect and save their family.”

The project is being directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, who previously worked with Johnson on Central Intelligence. It’s scheduled to come out in July 2018. »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Coming Distractions: Jessica Williams shuts down a Tinder date in The Incredible Jessica James teaser

12 hours ago

Jessica Williams has a great Tinder date strategy in the teaser for The Incredible Jessica James. Don’t “love the whole vibe of this interaction”? Simply shut it down. She also appears to be an expert at curbing the trend of manspreading on the subway. The upcoming Netflix comedy from writer/director Jim Strouse features the former Daily Show correspondent in her first leading role, and follows her character, a playwright, as she falls for a divorced man played by Chris O’Dowd after a break-up. O’Dowd doesn’t show up in this first look, but there’s a lot of wonderful dancing.

The Incredible Jessica James premiered at Sundance and hits Netflix July 28. »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Coming Distractions: Jake Gyllenhaal and Tatiana Maslany grow Stronger in David Gordon Green’s latest

13 hours ago

Last year’s Patriot’s Day took a broad look at the events surrounding the Boston Marathon bombing, but, based on the first trailer, Stronger—which tackles the same subject—looks like it’s seeking to tell a more personal story. The movie stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Jeff Bauman, who was the subject of one of the most famous photos from the day, and charts his recovery process and his relationship with then-girlfriend Erin Hurley (Tatiana Maslany). (The real-life Bauman and Hurley got married and then announced they were divorcing earlier this year.) David Gordon Green—whose oeuvre is impossible to pin down—directs. Stronger is due out September 22. »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Coming Distractions: Person To Person trailer stars Abbi Jacobson, Michael Cera, and an old-school feel

13 hours ago

Let’s get the obvious comparison out of the way first: Yes, this looks and feels very much like a Woody Allen comedy from the ‘80s. The trailer for Dustin Guy Defa’s Person To Person features a sprawling cast, comic vignettes taking place all over New York City, and wry, meandering conversations about life, love, and what it all means. The excerpts from positive reviews sprinkled throughout all mention a similar old-school, talky vibe and the ease with which the movie slips you into the rhythms of these characters’ lives, and that does seem to largely be the point. This is a film about trying to capture those little moments that end up being meaningful in the larger picture, and it shows, for better and worse. (Tavi Gevinson’s character in particular seems like she might be straining under the weight of that arch dialogue.)

Unfolding over the course »

- Alex McLevy

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Newswire: Ridley Scott would be happy to replicate more Blade Runner films

13 hours ago

Now that he’s gone all in on Alien, Ridley Scott is completely sold on the idea of expansive franchises, which could be the future of Blade Runner. In an interview with IGN, he suggested that, sure, he’d be into the idea of making more movies in that world after the upcoming Blade Runner 2049. Asked whether he’d continue to grow Blade Runner in the same fashion as Alien, he invoked George Lucas in his response.

Yes. I think that, you know what, George has always proved that. Of course there’s always something. George Lucas. You know, and the way he’s handled Star Wars has been spectacular. It’s what I’ve been trying to do to really evolve Alien, because in those days I wasn’t into making sequels, but now suddenly you realize, “Well, that’s stupid.” I’ll use the word “duh” again »

- Esther Zuckerman

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Newswire: David Fincher will direct the World War Z sequel after all

13 hours ago

After J.A. Bayona walked away from the World War Z-equel, rumors began flying around that Brad Pitt had asked his old Fight Club buddy David Fincher to take over. As the potential franchise’s star and producer, Pitt’s been very hands-on, butting heads with previous helmers over adapting the Max Brooks novel just so for the second outing. Despite reviews, the first movie managed to make a killing at the box office, so Paramount is moving forward with the sequel, which it’s just confirmed will be directed by Fincher.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount boss (and former Fox chairman) Jim Gianopulos talked about various projects and challenges at his new studio home, including the fitful production of World War Z 2, or whatever it’s actually being called. Gianopulos said the sequel is in “advanced development,” with Fincher “and Brad Pitt” at the »

- Danette Chavez

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Newswire: Appropriately named actor Michael Beach lands key role in Aquaman

14 hours ago

Third Watch star Michael Beach has been cast as a character named Jesse Kane in Aquaman—at least that’s the official story Warner Bros. is telling, according to Deadline. Kane is reportedly a “high-seas hijacker” who has a “fateful interaction with Aquaman” in James Wan’s film. But, as Deadline points out, speculation has been going around for a while now that Beach could be the dad of villain Black Manta, who is being portrayed by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II. And Beach has not done much to dissuade that theory’s supporters, posting a cryptic message on Twitter.

Yes or No ... correct! https://t.co/khOOAPjSMa

Michael Beach (@MikeABeach) May 24, 2017

Of course, Beach could just be having a bit of fun—or this could be a “John Harrison” situation all over again. According to some Aquaman lore, the death of Black Manta’s father is crucial to his »

- Esther Zuckerman

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