First poster revealed for Seth Rogen and James Franco assassination comedy 'The Interview'
Credit: Sony PIctures

First poster revealed for Seth Rogen and James Franco assassination comedy 'The Interview'

How do you think Korea's going to feel about this?

Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen have become a major force for good in film comedy over the last decade, and after their co-directing debut, "This Is The End," it would be fair to say that they are the all-purpose package. They write, they direct, they produce, and Seth's a bona-fide movie star.

Some of the best chemistry Seth has ever had with a co-star was with James Franco, so it's good to see the two of them working together as well. I had no idea what "The Interview" was about the first few times I heard it mentioned, and for some reason, I thought it was about a job interview. Turns out, it sounds like a truly weird concept that could yield a fantastic movie. In it, Rogen and James Franco play guys who are recruited by the CIA to go to North Korea, pose as journalists, and assassinate Kim Jong Un.

That's a description that absolutely makes me want to see the film immediately, but even if I hadn't been sold right away, the new poster is so great that I can't believe it's for a real studio release. Studios don't take chances on the posters for the most part, but this one looks amazing.

The art style is perfect, suggesting a political propaganda poster from WWII. Seth and Evan seem fairly unstoppable these days, especially coming off the spring hit "Neighbors," which has made back something like 130,000 its budget.

Looking good so far, guys.

"The Interview" arrives in theaters October 10, 2014.

Read Full Post
The new Dreamworks animated comedy 'The Penguins Of Madagascar' gets a silly first trailer
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Dreamworks Animation

The new Dreamworks animated comedy 'The Penguins Of Madagascar' gets a silly first trailer

Why does this look like 'Scrat: The Movie' to me?

Somewhere, right now, my kids are losing their minds.

I'm not particularly fond of the "Madagascar" films, but they're fine, I guess. This is the side of Dreamworks that I'm less fond of, the super-jokey frantic-to-be-funny side. Coming on the heels of the beautiful, heartfelt "How To Train Your Dragon 2," it feels like a far more crass decision. That sort of sums up exactly what's wrong with Dreamworks as a studio. They are capable of greatness, but they seem to aim for the "farts are funny" crowd more often than not.

Read Full Post
Exclusive: Two new stills of Sky Ferreira in Eli Roth's cannibal horror film 'The Green Inferno'
Credit: Open Road

Exclusive: Two new stills of Sky Ferreira in Eli Roth's cannibal horror film 'The Green Inferno'

We premiere the images as she battles online censorship of her new album cover

The more I've thought about Eli Roth's latest film "The Green Inferno," the more I like it, and especially the way it fits into Eli's overall filmography.

Read Full Post
Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'Americanah' is more exciting than 'Star Wars Episode VII'
Credit: Alexi Lubomirski for Lancôme

Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'Americanah' is more exciting than 'Star Wars Episode VII'

This is what real representation looks like

There was a fair amount of excitement that greeted the recent news that Lupita Nyong'o and Gwendoline Christie had been added to the cast of "Star Wars," and the exaltations that I read were just as fervent as the condemnations of the table read photo that led me to write this piece a few weeks ago. I'm glad people are excited for them to be cast, and I certainly think they are both talented performers, but I'm not sure party hats are appropriate yet.

I think both sets of reactions are sort of ridiculous, and not because I have any problem with the idea of discussing how people feel under-represented in movies. I think the reactions are ridiculous because we still have no idea what roles they're playing or what story is being told. We have no idea if they'll have big roles or small roles or even interesting roles. Terrence Stamp is one of my favorite actors, and he makes 100% no difference in "The Phantom Menace." It is inconsequential to even mention his work in the film because of how little he has to do. Who knows? Maybe Lupita Nyong'o will be sitting next to Han Solo in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon and get every great line in the film.

Read Full Post
14 great science-fiction indie films from 'Under the Skin' to 'The Terminator'

14 great science-fiction indie films from 'Under the Skin' to 'The Terminator'

It's important that films like these are made outside the system

It's an interesting summer for science-fiction, and we're going to see a lot of younger filmmakers wearing their inspirations on their sleeves this year, even as we see guys who are jumping to the next level, taking on massive scale projects for the first time. One of the guys who is working somewhere between the two extremes is Will Eubank, director of "The Signal."

Eubank's previous film was "LOVE," a hand-made science-fiction that he shot on his own property. It's a beautiful, odd, unique movie that would never have happened at a studio. Likewise, "The Signal" is a film that unfolds in its own particular way. It's not like any other science-fiction movie you're going to see this year, and that's to its credit.

While science-fiction is normally the domain of the giant budget, especially since "Star Wars" landed on the mainstream in 1977, some of the most provocative and interesting science-fiction films of all time are independent films that had to happen outside the system. We picked ten that we particularly admire because of the way they work first as great stories, but also because of what they say about using the genre the right way.

Science fiction can tackle any idea, any concern, any type of character study. It is an incredibly rich genre, but it's often used to just tell simple good-bad power fantasies. We wanted to spotlight some films that have dared to do something truly different and that made permanent impact on the genre.

The thing is, we started with a list of at least 40 titles that could have easily been part of this list. It's actually pretty encouraging to look at that many films that have dared to redefine what science-fiction is. I believe we will always have people who dare to dream big on a very small budget, and that we are better for it.

Check out 14 must-see independent Sci-Fi films in the embedded gallery below.  Did we miss a favorite? Let us know in the comments section.

Read Full Post
Review: Shailene Woodley lights up the lovely and unsentimental 'Fault In Our Stars'
Credit: 20th Century Fox/Fox 2000

Review: Shailene Woodley lights up the lovely and unsentimental 'Fault In Our Stars'

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
As YA adaptations go, this one's got a more mature idea about love than most

Love is not convenient.

For all the words that poets have spilled trying to describe love over the years, it seems to me that it is easier to describe by explaining what love is not. Love is rarely on your schedule. It would be amazing if we could simply snap our fingers and have love whenever we want it, but if that were the case, it wouldn't be love. The pain that is a huge part of the experience is one of the reasons it matters. Love is not easy. Love is not casual. Love is not interested in what we want.

"The Fault In Our Stars" is a very simple story about two kids, each struggling with cancer, who find each other at the least convenient time and fall in love. I don't think any part of that sentence is a spoiler. It's just a description. The details are what matters, and the script by Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber, adapted from the well-loved novel by John Green, is very smart and fairly unsentimental, which works to the material's advantage. When you're talking about a movie that deals with two young people with cancer falling in love, the potential for that to be hugely sappy is overwhelming. I haven't read the book, but the film nimbly avoids most of the things I expected from it, and does so in a lovely, thoughtful way.

Read Full Post
'Ask Drew' tackles 'Star Wars' rumors and guilty pleasures
Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

'Ask Drew' tackles 'Star Wars' rumors and guilty pleasures

Plus a fiendishly clever 'Movie God' scenario

This week's "Ask Drew" includes a moment I suspected would happen at some point, and now that it has, I'll address it here.

I don't like the answer I gave to one of the questions. I don't think it's a bad answer, but it's not the right answer. On the way home, I thought of a far more appropriate response, and so I feel like I owe it to the person who sent the question in the first place. Basically, he asked me if there are any truly bad films that I love. I sort of dismissed the idea of "guilty pleasures" and then talked a little bit about "Buckaroo Banzai," but I think that's sort of me dodging the question.

Read Full Post
<p>Schmidt and Jenko, straight up spring breakin&#39;</p>

Schmidt and Jenko, straight up spring breakin'

Credit: Sony Pictures

Review: '22 Jump Street' roasts the entire idea of sequels while delivering a great one

HitFix
B+
Readers
n/a
It's not as fresh as the first film, but that's also sort of the point.

The only truly negative thing I have to say about "22 Jump Street" is that Chris Miller and Phil Lord are setting themselves up to eventually become a media punching bag. That's the inevitable ending when someone's on a winning streak, and right now, Miller and Lord are looking like the guys you call when you have a terrible idea but want to make a great film anyway. That's an amazing skill set, and I find myself deeply impressed by each new thing they release.

What made "21 Jump Street" so much fun was that it was completely self-aware. The movie openly made fun of what a terrible idea it is to turn old TV shows into new movies, and it also managed to run some very smart and fun riffs on high school movies and buddy cop films, constantly subverting expectations in a way that I think added up to something that felt very fresh.

Read Full Post
6 movie stars on the summer movie hot seat in June

6 movie stars on the summer movie hot seat in June

We've got titans and rising stars alike on the list this month

We did this for the first time last month, and I think it's a perspective worth offering at the start of each month, particularly during a season when the stakes are so financially important to the industry as a whole.

For the purposes of this conversation, it's important to start from a common definition of movie star. There's several different metrics you can use. There are people who are positively incandescent when they show up in front of a camera, and you can't get enough of just looking at them. They were born to be photographed. Light bends differently off of them. In a case like that, you could say someone has "movie-star charisma." That is a necessary quality for a movie star, but that's not all that is involved.

Read Full Post
'X-Men' producers Donner and Kinberg on the past, present, and future of the series
Credit: 20th Century Fox

'X-Men' producers Donner and Kinberg on the past, present, and future of the series

How far ahead are they planning 'X-Men' movies now?

One of the most impressive things about "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" is how it feels like they've reset the entire series to a point, and they can now tell any story they want again with any of the characters they've used so far without worrying about continuity issues.

It is amazing to realize that they've been working with the same cast and many of the same people behind the camera for fourteen years now. Not many series can pull off that sort of longevity without having to shake everything up completely, and yet it looks like Hugh Jackman is signing another deal to keep playing Wolverine and now the series has a second wind with some of the hottest new stars in Hollywood including Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence.

I reached out to Lauren Shuler-Donner and Simon Kinberg and asked them if we could sit down and discuss the series, the choices they made about this film, and what they see as the future of the franchise, and so the day after Memorial Day, we all hopped on the phone and dug right in.

Read Full Post