Watch the trailer for "Wonder Woman 1984"

It's not the The New Adventures of Wonder Woman that I grew up with but it does have that Stranger Things/mallwave appeal, and a New Order song. It also has Steve Trevor who most certainly died in the first film but no matter.

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DoJ to scrap the Paramount antitrust rule that prohibits movie studios from buying or strong-arming movie theaters

Through the 1940s and 1950s, the DoJ went to war on the "studio system" -- a system whereby studios locked up actors in exclusive contracts and then bought or strong-armed all the movie theaters in America so that they'd screen whatever the studios made, freezing out independent productions from movie companies that might offer their talent a better, less restrictive deal. Read the rest

Fans of Hallmark Christmas movies now have a convention all their own

Christmas is so popular for Hallmark that the network will debut 40 new Christmas-themed movies this year. Read the rest

Arnold Schwarzenegger as Anton Chigurh

In making No Country for Old Men, the Coen Brothers were concerned that the implacable, affectless hit-man Anton Chigurh would be too reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger's legendary turn as The Terminator. So they tasked actor Javier Bardem with approaching the role as a murderous eccentric, a performance that would earn a Best Supporting Actor nod at the following year's Oscars. And now, a decade later, the face of Arnold himself, deepfaked into the movie's most famous scene.

Voice over by Joe Gaudet

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You know, the gas station scene is the most misunderstood scene in modern cinema.

Consider this: you're a hitman on the way to a $3m job, you just killed a cop and a bystander, then stole a car, and pulled into a gas station on a stretch of desert road hundreds of miles long. A nosy attendant makes a point of having seen you and where you came from. You, a criminal who does it for a living, would kill him immediately.

Not this weirdo:

Here's the original:

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Trailer for The Color Out Of Space

H.P. Lovecraft's only good short story is now a movie starring Nicolas Cage. Here's the trailer; it's out January 24, 2020. They've updated the setting to the present day and it's looks like they've gone all in for contemporary cosmic horror, a la Annihilation, over the original's disquieting radioactive miseries. Can't wait! Read the rest

James Dean, dead for 65 years, will star in a new movie

James Dean, who died in 1955, will star in directors Anton Ernst and Tati Golykh's new action-drama flick Finding Jack. Apparently Dean will be entirely CGI with someone else lending the character's voice. From the Hollywood Reporter:

Adapted by Maria Sova from Gareth Crocker’s novel, Finding Jack is based on the existence and abandonment of more than 10,000 military dogs at the end of the Vietnam War. Dean will play a character called Rogan, considered a secondary lead role.

"We searched high and low for the perfect character to portray the role of Rogan, which has some extreme complex character arcs, and after months of research, we decided on James Dean," said Ernst, who also produces with Golykh for Magic City Films alongside Donald A. Barton of Artistry Media Group.

"We feel very honored that his family supports us and will take every precaution to ensure that his legacy as one of the most epic film stars to date is kept firmly intact. The family views this as his fourth movie, a movie he never got to make. We do not intend to let his fans down."

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Japanese film festival in Los Angeles this weekend, Nov 1-3, 2019

The Japan Cuts Hollywood film festival takes places this weekend at the Chinese Theatres in Hollywood. Carla and I will be there. Japan House Los Angeles is curating three movies on Saturday:

37 SECONDS | Director HIKARI is an award-winning writer, producer and director.

TEN YEARS JAPAN | The executive producer is Hirokazu Kore-eda. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with three female Japanese directors.

NO LONGER HUMAN | The US Premiere of director Mika Ninagawa.

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The Blade Runner intro but it's actually Los Angeles in November 2019

I noticed that it was that time of the century and made a mashup up the film's legendary intro, complete with Vangelis's soundtrack, with real contemporary footage of LA. The main difference is, of course, what's on fire. LA, November 2019: smoking hot, yes, flying cars, no. Read the rest

In the mood for a different kind of horror movie tonight? Go see Parasite

If you’re in the mood for an intelligent, unconventional thriller of sorts, get out on the town and treat yourself to Bong Joon-Ho’s Parasite. Come for the promise of nail biting class tension, struggle and all-out war, but stay for the interpersonal relationships, architectural allegories and shocking scares that emerge over the course of Bong Joon Ho’s latest film.

The film is essentially about class relationships, yes, but unlike some recent (American) films that try to tackle the subject, the dynamic between the rich and poor isn’t cut-and-dried black and white. Parasite doesn’t just look at the poor as hopelessly depressed and the rich as cruel and greedy. The well-to-do in this film are moderately benevolent, living their own lives and oblivious to the destitute conditions of their hired help. Though we might cheer on the impoverished Kim family, they seem borderline sociopathic at times (most likely exacerbated by economic circumstances outside their control). We see the Kims pitted against a worse-off family and tensions escalate.

That the Kims don’t register that they have common interests with the other family isn’t a flaw on their part. And that the Parks don’t understand their role in maintaining the cycle of poverty isn’t a damnable offense either. Parasite doesn’t proclaim individuals to be the root cause of inequality. Instead, Bong focuses on the individual members of the families as a metaphor for the larger, systemic problems that heighten economic disparity and keep the working class pitted against itself in a continual cycle of poverty. Read the rest

Watch Tom Selleck as Indiana Jones

Tom Selleck was Steven Spielberg's pick to play Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, Selleck was under contract with CBS and they refused to release him to take the role. Fortunately for us. See what could have been in the deepfake above.

Below, Selleck recounts his experience as almost being Indy:

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Rian Johnson will kill you if you talk or text during his new movie

Knives Out director Rian Johnson demonstrates his killing form in the Alamo Drafthouse's latest Don't Talk PSA:

Previous PSAs have included Sam Jackson promising an "intense solution" for talking:

And some disturbing tongue clicking:

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Olivia Newton-John is auctioning off her Grease leather jacket and pants

Olivia Newton-John is auctioning off hundreds of personal items from her career to benefit the Cancer Wellness & Research Centre she built in Australia. Her iconic "bad Sandy" leather jacket and stretch pants are expected to go for as much as $200,000. From CNN:

Ahead of the auction, Newton-John revealed that she had to be sewn into the high-waisted pants. "The pants have a broken zip and I had to be stitched into them because they were made in the '50s," she told Reuters Television...

A custom Pink Ladies jacket given to her by the "Grease" cast and crew will also go under the hammer and is expected to fetch between $2,000 and $4,000.

More here: "Property from the Collection of Olivia Newton-John" (Julien's Auctions)

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Interview with the real Joker

 

Above, a 1966 interview with the best of all Jokers, the inimitable Cesar Romero who camped it up for the Batman TV series (1966-1968) and subsequent theatrical film. Romero famously refused to shave his trademark mustache for the role so they just slathered the white greasepaint right over his whiskers. (Interview with Romero starts at about 3:36, but watch from the beginning to catch an interview with Julie "Catwoman" Newmar.)

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Watch the final trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

“Long have I waited.”

Us too, Emperor Palpatine. Read the rest

Professional dancers analyze the finale "Time of my Life" scene in Dirty Dancing

Professional choreographers Lauren Yalango-Grant and Christopher Grant deconstruct the final dance in Dirty Dancing. Original below. Nobody puts Patrick Swayze in the corner.

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Storyboards, concept art, and more from Netflix's excellent new horror film In the Tall Grass

Netflix's big movie release this past week was In the Tall Grass, based on a short story by Stephen King and Joe Hill, and directed by Vincenzo Natali. To say much about the plot would spoil the fun of a first viewing, but there is already an incredible amount of information about the making of the film online.

Natali told SyFy about acquiring the option from King and Hill for a dollar, only to see the project seemingly reach a dead end:

Usually, these kinds of high-profile options run can five to seven figures, but that's not how they do it in Maine.

“You option the material for a dollar, but you have to reach certain benchmarks,” Natali said. “It's a very clever thing he does, because he avoids getting his projects trapped in development hell. You have to reach certain benchmarks, and if you don't then you can lose the option.”

One of those benchmarks is a tight turnaround time on the writing of the script. Natali was given three months to deliver a draft, but the timing of the deal was problematic for the writer/director. He had already committed to some TV projects, which meant that he had to bang out the first draft in just about three weeks.

“The very thought that Stephen King would read something I wrote, let alone something I had to write in three weeks, was really, really frightening,” he said.

But he met his deadline, and while he'll never know for sure if either King or Hill actually read the script, the option continued to the next step, which was to get it set up at a studio or production house in a timely matter.

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The airships of Hayao Miyazaki's wonderful films

Film editor Andrew Saladino of the Royal Ocean Film Society analyzes the exquisitely engineered airships in the films of Hayao Miyazaki. Read the rest

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