In the decade-plus that’s passed since the series ended, it’s become increasingly clear that Lisa Kudrow was the best actor on Friends. Maybe we were too preoccupied with Rachel’s hair and perfecting our Joey impressions to notice it then, but thanks to the generous gift of hindsight, it seems glaringly obvious now. Despite David Schwimmer’s excellent Juice-fueled turn on The People v. O.J. Simpson, and Jennifer Aniston’s typically solid and, sure, occasionally good roles, it’s Kudrow who has proven herself as the most consistently great actor of the bunch. Why, then, has Hollywood been neglecting her so much in recent years? Why are films like Neighbors and The Girl on the Train wasting her on nothing, throwaway roles with a maximum screen time of three minutes?
Disney’s Gigantic just got a little more interesting, as the studio has promoted screenwriter Meg LeFauve to co-director for the upcoming animated project. The co-writer of Inside Out and Marvel’s Captain Marvel solo movie joins Tangled director Nathan Greno on the new film, which offers an animated reimagining of the classic Jack and the Beanstalk story, first previewed during last year’s D23 Expo.
Raw is the debut feature from French director Julia Ducournau, a fact that is nothing short of astonishing from the opening moments of this inventive and beautifully shot new horror film. To say that Ducournau’s cinematic introduction is assured would be an understatement; it’s a shrewd, insightful and surprisingly funny film that feels like the work of a more accomplished filmmaker who has refined their talents over the course of many films and many years. Though it is not without slight flaw, Raw is one of the smartest, most rewarding horror movies in recent years.
Over the summer, a report suggested that Warner Bros. had put Man of Steel 2 in “active development,” despite reports in 2015 that the sequel to Zack Snyder’s Superman film had been placed on permanent hold. Warner Bros. has yet to confirm plans for a new standalone Superman sequel, but it looks like someone else just did it for them: Henry Cavill’s manager.
Okay, now here’s a bit of exciting news to end the week: Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, director Michelle MacLaren and Octavia Spencer are teaming up to develop a new project for HBO about the infamous Jonestown cult. The incredibly talented trio are joining forces to produce the limited series, with MacLaren also set to direct.
It’s been about four months since Disney premiered the first teaser for their live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, and the wait for the official, full-length trailer hasn’t gotten any easier. Following last week’s reveal of concept art and behind-the-scenes photos, the studio has debuted a clip from a new sneak peek that’s included on the upcoming 25th anniversary release of the animated classic.
Anticipation for Arrival to, well, arrive is pretty high, with several cinephiles eager to experience the latest effort from Denis Villeneuve — the director of last year’s exquisitely intense Sicario. If you’re feeling particularly anxious to see more from the new sci-fi drama, Sony has released two new clips that expand upon a couple of scenes from the trailer, in which Amy Adams’ expert linguist first meets our unearthly visitors.
The latest photo from the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming is dark — literally. As in, Tom Holland is hanging out (lurking?) in an alleyway, doing his best Daredevil impression, righteously looking down on injustice from atop a structure piled with boxes and making all of us feel very small in comparison. It’s like, a metaphor or something. Also it’s just a cool photo with a nice shout-out to Holland’s stunt team.
You don’t have to wait for Captain America: Civil War to hit Blu-ray in order to enjoy the special features, like this sneak peek at Doctor Strange. The featurette, which includes new footage and concept art, takes a closer look at Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Mordo (Karl Mordo, actually) and the crew of baddies led by Mads Mikkelsen’s Kaecilius — who looks a little less severe here than the version we’ve seen in the trailers.
Of the many bonus features included in each new Marvel Blu-ray / DVD release, the gag reels are always the most special of the bunch, especially when the whole MCU gang gets together. You won’t be able to purchase Captain America: Civil War for another couple of weeks, but thanks to Marvel, you can watch the hilarious outtakes featuring Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of the Avengers crew right now.
What if Rutger Hauer’s relatively absurd, visually-impaired martial arts badass from Blind Fury was besieged by a home invasion in his reclusive Early Bird Special years? The answer is — to an extent — Don’t Breathe, a thriller that skews a little more toward The Collector than David Fincher’s underrated Panic Room. The latest effort from director Fede Alvarez (the Evil Dead remake) is a relentlessly intense cat-and-mouse game with a couple of hard lefts thrown into its twisted domestic labyrinth. It’s a nasty little piece of work that needs to be a bit more lean and slightly less mean.
2016 has been the year of pop culture surprise releases — some, like Lemonade and 10 Cloverfield Lane, have been pretty great, which makes us even more hopeful for Blair Witch. Originally marketed as The Woods, the sneaky sequel to the found footage horror classic is set to hit theaters next month, taking audiences back to where it all began…but judging by these new TV spots, heading back into the woods of Burkittsville seems like a pretty terrible idea (in a good, spooky way, of course).
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