Exclusive 'Dangerous Men' clip asks the urgent question 'Where is Black Pepper?'
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Exclusive 'Dangerous Men' clip asks the urgent question 'Where is Black Pepper?'

You really do have to see this film to believe it

Who is Black Pepper?

I cannot convey to you the power and the majesty of "Dangerous Men" simply by explaining it to you in words. Writer/director/composer/everything else John Rad was a visionary, and the world he creates is a singular place where women have to fight back because men are, as the title would suggest, dangerous.

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Lisbeth Salander's heading back to movie screens, but Rooney Mara won't return
Credit: Sony Pictures

Lisbeth Salander's heading back to movie screens, but Rooney Mara won't return

Neither will anyone else involved in 2011's big expensive 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'

There's been a question hanging over Sony since the release of "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," and it appears that the answer involves shaking everyone involved with the first film loose because there's no way they can afford to make the sequel.

Instead, "The Girl In The Spider's Web" is going to allow the studio to do a hard reboot on the franchise, with Steven Knight attached to adapt the book. There's no word yet on whether Knight will also direct, but it is clear that Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both off the series now, as is David Fincher.

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Review: 'SPECTRE' manages to majorly muddy Daniel Craig's James Bond legacy
Credit: Sony Pictures
C-

Review: 'SPECTRE' manages to majorly muddy Daniel Craig's James Bond legacy

Brace yourself for one of the dumbest "twists" in movie history

Oh, "SPECTRE," you vex me. You vex me mightily.

There is a sense as you're watching the first half of the film that they're having fun playing with the iconography of the entire series, staging scenes that nod at moments from a number of the other films. There's one in particular, a sort of brutal homage to the fight with Robert Shaw on the train in "From Russia With Love," that I think might be the best moment in the film. In those moments, "SPECTRE" is enjoyable and a fitting entry to celebrate the history of Bond on film.

But the things that the film gets wrong, it gets so powerfully wrong that I can honestly say they have retroactively ruined the Daniel Craig films for me. I will have to actively ignore the information and ideas that are introduced here if I'm going to enjoy the three films that have already been released. And, yes, "Quantum Of Solace" is a better overall entry in the series than this one is, because the ideas introduced in that film don't change the very nature of what we consider a James Bond movie.

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Review: 'The Peanuts Movie' is very true to the Charles Schulz source material
Credit: 20th Century Fox
B+

Review: 'The Peanuts Movie' is very true to the Charles Schulz source material

Charming and sweet, this one gets it largely right

When we live in an age when everything, no matter how pure the intent of the creator, is simply IP to be farmed, it is right to be suspicious of a "Peanuts" movie. After all, Charlie Brown and the rest of the characters created by Charles Schulz have been huge business for decades, and it makes sense that they would put something together if for no other reason than to keep the characters active in pop culture.

Thankfully, it appears that the people behind "The Peanuts Movie" take the legacy of these characters very seriously, and the result is a gentle, charming movie that seems far less frantic than much of what is created for young audiences these days. Blue Sky, one of the two major producers of CG animated films for Fox, has produced ten feature films now, and while the majority of their efforts have been originals, it was clear from "Horton Hears A Who" that when they adapt someone else's property, they try to do so from a position of authenticity and respect.

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Should a new 'Star Trek' TV series worry fans of the ongoing movie series?
Credit: Paramount Pictures/Omaze

Should a new 'Star Trek' TV series worry fans of the ongoing movie series?

Can they sustain two ongoing series at the same time?

Sometimes, there are more forces than just "what's the next story?" at play when a studio is deciding what to do with one of their major franchises. "Star Trek" is one of the few homegrown assets that Paramount has in its arsenal, co-owned with CBS, and any decision they make about the franchise has to be run through several different viewpoints.

When they were trying to figure out how to follow up "Star Trek Into Darkness" once JJ Abrams left the series, they heard a lot of ideas, and there was a period where Roberto Orci wanted to take over the film franchise himself, which makes sense considering his involvement in the first two films under Abrams. At the time Alex Kurtzman was still Orci's producing/writing partner, so if Orci had ended up in charge, Kurtzman would have been a big part of that.

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Sacha Baron Cohen's back with a NSFW trailer for 'The Brothers Grimsby'
Credit: Sony Pictures

Sacha Baron Cohen's back with a NSFW trailer for 'The Brothers Grimsby'

Oh, look, it's a filthy James Bond... or is that redundant?

It's been a while since Sacha Baron Cohen dropped off the map completely, and I don't think that was an accident.

Cohen is incredibly savvy, and if there's anything that can kill a comic's career, it is over-exposure, and Cohen really hit a wall with "The Dictator," at lease commercially speaking. I think it would be foolish to count someone as smart and funny as Cohen out, though, and early word on his new movie is terrific. Now there's a red-banded trailer for the film, and it got its restricted rating for some serious "O" face.

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The family living in the real 'Conjuring' house sues Warner Bros
Credit: Warner Bros./New Line

The family living in the real 'Conjuring' house sues Warner Bros

They're not happy about the tourists, and why would they be?

Last night, I put on "Blair Witch 2: Book Of Shadows" for the first time since its release because I know several horror fans who genuinely like the movie and feel like it was misunderstood or overlooked when it came out. While I'm not sure I liked it any more this time than I did when it first opened, one of the things I think is very smart about the film is the way it plays with the confusion about what's real and what's not that was absolutely in the air when the first film was released.

At this point, it's hard to imagine a world where people are actually confused about a found-footage/mockumentary film, but in 1999, thanks in large part to the Wild West feel of the early Internet, people really weren't sure what "The Blair Witch Project" was, and that became a huge playful part of the sales pitch. in the sequel, it's clear that the small town of Birkitsville is less than thrilled about the confusion and the sudden influx of tourists, and while it might seem hard to believe someone would be upset about anything that would drive business to their town, it can be maddening when you have to keep explaining what is or isn't true to people.

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Film Nerd 2.0 triumphantly screens 'Shaun Of The Dead' for Halloween... almost
Credit: Universal Home Video

Film Nerd 2.0 triumphantly screens 'Shaun Of The Dead' for Halloween... almost

Toshi and Allen make an attempt at Edgar Wright's zom-rom-com classic

"I want to watch 'Shaun Of The Dead.'"

Toshi's an ambitious kid at this point in many ways, and he had his argument all lined up. To be fair, it wasn't his idea. I was looking for something from my horror collection that they wanted to see, and so we were going through these books, looking for something that was the right kind of scary for them. I've got some Val Lewton I want to show them, but Toshi was giving me all sorts of specific requests.

Meanwhile, Allen was getting stressed out. I told him we could completely opt out of the horror movie if he wanted to, but he told me he wasn't scared because Toshi wasn't scared. There's a huge amount of hero worship going on with Allen these days. He wants to be his older brother so much it hurts, and Toshi really doesn't know what to do with that impulse. It's enormously sweet, but it can be absolutely maddening. Allen's at that age where truth is a completely liquid idea, so anytime Toshi has an accomplishment to share with me, Allen has to make sure he's got a story that trumps it.

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Writer/director Paul King returns to charm again with 'Paddington' sequel
Credit: The Weinstein Company

Writer/director Paul King returns to charm again with 'Paddington' sequel

Nice move, David Heyman

Paul King is a remarkable talent.

His work on "The Mighty Boosh" is a delightful kind of madness, and his first film "Bunny & The Bull" was fiercely inventive. It's one thing to do small and dark and culty, but making the jump to something that plays to a much broader audience isn't always possible. I love Michel Gondry, but I'm not sure I believe he's ever going to harness his whimsical side into something that connects on that giant mainstream level. He doesn't have to, of course, but I do think it's harder than people think to make a film that speaks to all audiences.

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Michael Mann's 'Enzo Ferrari' lands at Paramount and wins a crazy development race
Credit: Universal

Michael Mann's 'Enzo Ferrari' lands at Paramount and wins a crazy development race

What makes this story the one that Hollywood won't let go?

Will Michael Mann succeed where David Cronenberg and so many others have merely crashed and burned previously?

We'll find out if he manages to cross the finish line (I'll stop now, I swear) with "Enzo Ferrari," a film that Michael Mann has been trying to make for almost twenty years now. There was a point where David Cronenberg spent several years trying to make a film called "Red Cars," which would have dealt with the life of Enzo Ferrari dung the 1961 racing season, and it was primarily meant to be told from the perspective of Phil Hill, a driver working for the millionaire and struggling to hold up against the demands of winning a championship.  

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