When can you see Paul Thomas Anderson's newest film in a theater?
Credit: Drag City Records

When can you see Paul Thomas Anderson's newest film in a theater?

The answer is surprisingly soon

Surprisingly, there will be a new Paul Thomas Anderson film in theaters from October 16th to October 22nd. That's this month. If you are as baffled as I was when I opened the e-mail, let me assure you that you did not accidentally black out and forget an entire announced project.

Instead, this is a new video called "Divers," built around the song by Joanna Newsom and the artwork of Kim Keever, and it's being released exclusively to theaters to count down to the release of Newsom's new album, also called "Divers." Newsom appeared in Anderson's most recent film, "Inherent Vice," playing a role that spurred some fascinating conversations with other fans of the film, and she's a remarkable vocalist as well. Anderson directed the first video from her album, "Sapokanikan," and I've watched it four or five times now. It's a challenging song, and Newsom's performance is so vulnerable and raw that it's hard to look away.

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F. Gary Gray schedules a monster payday as director of 'Furious 8'
Credit: Universal Studios

F. Gary Gray schedules a monster payday as director of 'Furious 8'

Only three more of these, and Universal's making smart choices about who's in charge

F. Gary Gray's about to get paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaid.

And why not? "Straight Outta Compton" has been a monster hit for Universal, a surprise to many box-office prognosticators, and in a strange way, that film brought Gray full circle. After all, his first film was "Friday," starring Ice Cube, and his latest film is a blockbuster biopic of, among other people, Ice Cube.

There is no franchise more important for Universal to finish out in style than the "Fast and Furious" series. Right now, the announced plan is for there to be three more movies, one final trilogy, that will round the entire series out to ten full movies. That is, frankly, amazing when you consider what a low-key hit the first film was. No one would believe you if you went back in time to the summer the first film came out and you told people that eventually, each entry in that series would be bigger than the one before it, with a cast of dozens, packed with gigantic physics-busting set pieces that push the state of the art of blending effects and stunts. It just seems impossible that the first film eventually would lead to the mayhem in the streets of Los Angeles that closed out the last movie.

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'The Flash' continues to race its way towards a 2018 release
Credit: Warner Bros

'The Flash' continues to race its way towards a 2018 release

Warner Bros likes to keep this guy busy

This year at the San Diego Comic-Con, I moderated a panel about "Kung Fury," the completely insane movie by David Sandberg. I was approached about moderating by Seth Grahame-Smith, and the night of the panel, I had a chance to chat with Grahame-Smith a bit. Since his breakthrough success with the book "Pride & Prejudice & Zombies," he's managed to stay hard at work as a screenwriter while publishing a number of other books and supervising the translation of his breakthrough to the bigscreen.

It feels like things are starting to pay off now, though. He brought "Pride" to the Comic-Con this year, and he seemed absolutely delighted with the end result. He's the writer of "The Lego Batman Movie," which is one of those films I would not dare underestimate on a commercial level. After the way Batman essentially walked away with "The Lego Movie," it seems likely a solo film starring the character is going to be a major event for family audiences.

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Review: R.L. Stine's monsters all come to life in successful 'Goosebumps' movie
Credit: Sony Pictures
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Review: R.L. Stine's monsters all come to life in successful 'Goosebumps' movie

It's 'Jumanji' with monsters, but it benefits enormously from Jack Black's lead performance

By the time the "Goosebumps" publishing phenomenon began, I was well past the age of the target audience. I worked at a bookstore for a little while in the '90s, and watching the way kids went berserk about the series, I was always curious about what made them so addictive. Now I've got a voracious reader in my house, and he's burning his way through the series, which made us the perfect pair to watch Sony's new big-budget "Goosebumps" movie.

Sony has several films on their slate that follow the "Jumanji" model, including an actual "Jumanji" reboot, and the script credited to Darren Lemke, from a story by Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski, is certainly efficient at setting up and unleashing the bad guys here. What once would have seemed avant-garde, blending the author of the series with his own creations, is now a big fat commercial hook. After all, this premise allows director Rob Letterman to unleash all of the most iconic villains from the series in one crazy night, which should be fairly irresistible to fans.

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Wait... how many more 'Mad Max' films does George Miller want to make?
Credit: Warner Bros

Wait... how many more 'Mad Max' films does George Miller want to make?

One more reason to exercise and eat healthy so we're alive to see these films

George Miller struck a pretty tremendous blow against the idea of ageism with his vibrant, dynamic work on "Mad Max: Fury Road," and since that film came out, his name's been bouncing around, with several different possible projects rumored as his next priority.

He's said several times now that the rumor about him directing "Man Of Steel 2" is simply untrue, but he has yet to offer up the title of what he's doing instead. Talking to Top Gear, he gave a pretty clear picture of what's on his mind right now. "I want to do a small film without special effects… just do it quickly," he said, and it's easy to imagine why he'd want that. "Fury Road" was a monumental shoot, and when you look at the final film, it's pretty clear why it took so long. That kind of remarkable, precision-based mayhem is demanding, and Miller's the kind of guy who has to do it right, or not at all. "We shot 'Fury Road' for eight months… that's a lot. Every day in the heat and the dust, doing these stunts, it's very wearing."

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Final 'SPECTRE' trailer puts Daniel Craig face to face with Christoph Waltz
Credit: Sony/EON

Final 'SPECTRE' trailer puts Daniel Craig face to face with Christoph Waltz

Big stunts and a throwback attitude are featured in the new trailer

We are in the home stretch now, with only a month to go before the new James Bond film arrives in theaters, and Sony has just issued the final trailer for the film.

I've been somewhat ambivalent about "SPECTRE" since it went into production. I want to be excited, but I've been given plenty of reasons to be hesitant. That feels especially strange considering how much I've enjoyed the series since "Casino Royale." I thought "Skyfall" was a strong entry in the series for a variety of reasons. You can read my insanely lengthy review of the film if you want. I came out of that movie hyped for them to get started on the next film immediately, and when word came that they had finally won the rights back to use Blofeld and SPECTRE, I thought it was a good omen for the series overall.

The new trailer is surprisingly short, but it's also very effective in a very short period of time. The one big exchange between Bond, once again played by Daniel Craig, and Oberhoffer, the Christoph Waltz character, feels like vintage Bond, and Mendes has already demonstrated that he has a knack for this, and I love the particular flavor of slick that cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema brings to the table.

Every time a new Bond film comes out, I find myself wading back into the history of the series to watch some of the old films, and this time's no different. We've still got some ground to cover in our "James Bond Declassified" series, and it feels like as good a moment as any to get back to that. The last film we covered was "Moonraker," and I'll just admit it now… that one broke me. I was shocked by how much I didn't care for it, and it made it hard for me to want to watch another Bond film for a while after that. Right now, though, I'd like to be full of Bond optimism, and the final trailer for "SPECTRE" is making that easy.

"SPECTRE" arrives in US theaters on November 6, 2015.

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What clues to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were hidden in the SHIELD premiere?
Credit: Marvel Studios

What clues to the Marvel Cinematic Universe were hidden in the SHIELD premiere?

We're curious how much of this week's episode laid groundwork for the bigger picture

One of the things the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been careful about so far is tying events in the movies too closely to events in real life. Even though part of the draw of the original Marvel comics was that its characters lived and worked in the world we recognized, in New York and Chicago and all over the Earth, it was still a world with some big fantasy elements mixed in, heightened.

As a result, they've been careful not to use real world leaders in the films, instead creating their own characters. President Ellis (William Sandler) showed up in "Iron Man 3," where he came into direct contact with Tony Stark, and last night, he resurfaced on "Marvel's Agents Of SHIELD," announcing the formation of the Advanced Threat Containment Unit.

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Is the most timely movie of 2015 a Blu-ray release of a movie from 1982?
Credit: Warner Bros

Is the most timely movie of 2015 a Blu-ray release of a movie from 1982?

This amazing adaptation of John Irving's novel features one of the best Robin Williams performances ever

Based on a novel published in 1978, "The World According To Garp" was released in 1982, and yet watching the film on the recently-released Blu-ray from Warner Archive, I was struck by how timely and even urgent the material felt, and how much more adult and daring it is than most of the movies released by studios today. Not only do they not make them like this anymore, but I'd offer the opinion that they never really did.

How can a film from 1978 have a better handle on the times we're living in right now than most of the films coming out this year? After all, much of John Irving's novel is a direct reaction to the late '70s and what Irving thought of the social landscape at that particular moment. How relevant could it be today, since we've obviously progressed so much since then?

You'd be surprised.

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Move over, Tommy Wiseau... Drafthouse Films is bringing John Rad to theaters
Credit: Drafthouse Films

Move over, Tommy Wiseau... Drafthouse Films is bringing John Rad to theaters

This 2005 curio may be one of the strangest things the company has ever bought

What is "Dangerous Men," and when can you have its sickness in your head?

This afternoon, in Austin, TX, the madmen (and madwomen) who put on Fantastic Fest each year held one of their secret screenings. The first secret screening, held a few days ago, was for Guillermo Del Toro's "Crimson Peak." I would imagine many people walked into the second secret screening hoping for some big-budget movie, like "Cloud Atlas" from a few years ago or some intriguing arthouse title from another country, like "Goodnight Mommy" at last year's fest.

Nope. Instead, what Tim League and his accomplices did was premiere their latest acquisition title, a film they've been chasing since the day they started the company. This is along the lines of "Miami Connection" or "The Visitor" or this spring's remarkable "Roar!", films that were released once before but that never got the right kind of support from a company that genuinely understood their appeal. In this particular case, there is no company on Earth better qualified to unleash this on an unsuspecting public than Drafthouse Films.

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Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy clash in surreal new trailer for 'The Revenant'
Credit: 20th Century Fox

Leonardo Di Caprio and Tom Hardy clash in surreal new trailer for 'The Revenant'

Oh, god, that bear attack looks insane

It should be a surprise to no one that the new film from Alejandro G. Inarritu looks absolutely beautiful, even though it deals with dark and upsetting subject matter. At this point, Innaritu has become one of our most reliably interesting directors for grown-ups, and this time, he's got a hell of a piece of material to wrangle to life.

If you've never listened to "The Dollop," a podcast by Dave Anthony and Gareth Reynolds, it's a different story from history each week, with Anthony doing the research and telling the stories to Reynolds without him knowing what's coming. Early in the podcast's life, they told the story of Hugh Glass, and that was the moment I decided to subscribe to that podcast permanently.

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