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‘Leap’ Review: Elle Fanning Is an Orphan With Ballerina Dreams in this Flat-Footed Animation
25 August 2017 2:46 PM, PDT
Generations apart, but connected by chutzpah and talent, Mel Brooks and Kate McKinnon have two of the most signature voices in comedy. Now, try to identify their characters in “Leap!,” the latest mediocrity for children from the Weinstein Company.
Either they were both so ashamed by the humorless script that they masked their voices well, or it’s impossible to imagine either one in the movie’s shockingly lifeless version of 1880s Paris. Directed by Eric Summer and Éric Warin from a script by Summer, Laurent Zeitoun, and Carol Noble, this filmmaking-by-committee approach ensured “Leap!” got tugged in a million different directions — and none of them good. The movie is weighed down by too many secondary characters, which only serve to dissipate their flickering charms. No one in the film, even our heroine, gets more than a hint of backstory as the single-minded plot careens toward its predictable conclusion.
- Jude Dry
Sigourney Weaver Was the Best Dressed in ‘The Defenders’: 17 Ensembles, Ranked
25 August 2017 1:56 PM, PDT
However you might feel about “Marvel’s The Defenders” as a series, there’s one element of the series that’s completely uncontroversial. Not only is Alexandra (Sigourney Weaver) impeccably dressed, but many of her ensembles go beyond simply striking to “I need to own that now.”
[Editor’s note: Minor spoilers for “The Defenders” follow.]
To spotlight just how incredible these outfits are, below is a complete ranking, from least fashionable to most fabulous, of Weaver’s wardrobe. One consistent factor across this list: Weaver makes being an immortal supervillain look amazing.
17. The Hospital Gown
We first meet Alexandra at her most vulnerable and defenseless, and the gown she dons for her medical exam reflects just that. While no one can make this look work, Weaver comes dangerously close to succeeding.
16. The Fur Vest
Not all that flattering, and better suited to lounging in a Swiss ski lodge than confronting superheroes in a Chinese restaurant.
15. Green Brocade, Grey »
- Liz Shannon Miller
‘Game of Thrones’: The Next Roles for the Cast During the Wait for Season 8
25 August 2017 1:43 PM, PDT
As Season 7 of “Game of Thrones” heads out into the wintery night, thus begins the lengthy hiatus before the series’ final Season 8. But for fans who tune in mainly for the performances, these stars obviously aren’t going to disappear from sight.
Until the next batch of episodes arrives, many of the main “Game of Thrones” folks can be seen on screens elsewhere. Some will venture to more TV projects, others are hitched to massive franchises, while a few will pop up in a few hotly anticipated indie film titles. So if you can’t wait until 2018, here’s a quick overview of what some of the biggest names have on the horizon.
- Steve Greene
‘The Crown,’ ‘Feud,’ and ‘Victoria’ Battle for Best Score Emmys — Listen
25 August 2017 1:27 PM, PDT
Ascending queens Elizabeth (“The Crown”) and Victoria (“Victoria”) face off in the Emmy race for Series Original Dramatic Score, while old Hollywood (“Feud: Bette and Joan”) counters Russian classicism (“Fargo”) for Limited Series, Movie, or Special Dramatic Score.
Meanwhile, political (“House of Cards,” Taboo”) and survival overtones (“Planet Earth II” and “A Series of Unfortunate Events”) clash in the Series category, as well as war (“Five Came Back,” “The White Helmets,” “Suite Française”) and culture (“O.J.: Made in America”) in the other category.
Not surprisingly, the odds are with Rupert Gregson-Williams (“The Crown”) and last year’s “Mr. Robot” winner, Mac Quayle (“Feud”), for their respective retro scores. While Williams reached for orchestral nobility, Quayle went for more orchestral glam.
- Bill Desowitz
Why the Fall Movie Season Is About to Change Things Very, Very Quickly — IndieWire’s Movie Podcast (Screen Talk Episode 162)
25 August 2017 1:20 PM, PDT
The summer movie season has been slowly winding down for weeks now, but the fall movie season wastes no time getting started. Next week, the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals will unveil a wave of new films bound to generate all kinds of buzz, Oscar-related and otherwise. Then comes the powerhouse of Tiff. There are many movies worthy of anticipation in all three festivals, so in this week’s episode of Screen Talk, Eric Kohn and Anne Thompson take advantage of the calm before the storm to discuss the various possibilities and why they’re about to turn the year in cinema into a much more crowded place. Plus: What to make of James Cameron’s “Wonder Woman” debacle?
Listen to the full episode below.
Screen Talk is available on iTunes.
You can subscribe here or via RSS. Share your feedback with Thompson and Kohn on Twitter or sound off in the comments. »
- Indiewire Staff
Yes, Summer Box Office Was Bad — and Here’s 6 Reasons Why the Worst is Yet to Come
25 August 2017 1:00 PM, PDT
The summer movie season is almost over, and will total about $3.875 billion in North America. That’s a 13 percent drop from last summer; adjusted to the number of tickets sold, it’s the lowest summer in at least 20 years. And when you consider population growth, it’s even worse.
The losers here are the theaters. But for the studios, it validated their decision to make movies that consider the international audience first — which means for domestic theaters, there’s even more bad news to come.
Here’s what we learned on summer vacation:
Yes, there will be more sequels.
In North America, we’re getting sick of sequels — not that it matters. A summer sequel still sees easy entry into the $100 million club, thanks to overseas audiences. “Despicable Me 3” is the #1 film in foreign and worldwide totals, but stands as only #4 in the U.S./Canada. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales »
- Tom Brueggemann
‘Zama’ Trailer: Lucretia Martel’s Latest Is Pedro Almodóvar–Approved Psychological Horror — Watch
25 August 2017 12:58 PM, PDT
Argentinian director Lucretia Martel was one of the most exciting filmmakers in the world when she completed “The Headless Woman,” her fascinating 2008 character study about a dazed woman recovering (and not recovering) from a car crash. Then, Martel dropped off the map, reportedly due to a debilitating illness that deprived the film community of a first-rate talent. She apparently recovered, and it’s especially heartening to head into the fall season with a new Martel film in the cards.
Set to premiere in Venice and also play at Tiff and Nyff, “Zama” is a sweeping period piece years in the making. Adapted from Antonio Di Benedetto’s 1956 novel, the movie focuses on Don Diego de Zama (Daniel Gimenez Cacho), a government clerk stuck in Paraguay, estranged from his family and keen on getting transferred to Bueno Aires. With time, he grows increasingly violent and frustrated with his surroundings, lashing out »
- Eric Kohn
‘Red Christmas’ Review: Australia’s Latest Horror Export Isn’t Much of a Present
25 August 2017 11:32 AM, PDT
You know you’re in trouble when the matriarch of a horror movie is determined to make this “the best Christmas ever.” Australia’s latest genre export is in keeping with the country’s cinematic tradition of brutality, if not necessarily the quality— Craig Anderson’s “Red Christmas” isn’t exactly a lump of coal in your stocking, but neither is it worth waking up early for on the big day.
Suffice to say this isn’t actually the best Christmas ever. Already off to a rocky start due to the fact that mom is planning to sell the family home, the day takes a dark turn when a robed man with bandages covering his face and limbs knocks on the door intending to deliver a letter to his own mother. The children are all adults now, »
- Michael Nordine
The 20 Best Lgbtq Movies of the 21st Century
25 August 2017 11:25 AM, PDT
“Moonlight.” “The Handmaiden.” “Carol.” The last few years have not only brought Lgbtq films and stories further into the mainstream, but queer films have dominated awards seasons and found commercial success. This has been a long time coming: The New Queer Cinema was a major influence on the indie film boom of the ’90s, and set the bar high for the many queer films to follow.
No longer limited by low budgets, films with gay and lesbian stories have flourished in the first two decades of the 21st century. There is something about the scrappy Diy aesthetic that will always be essentially queer — and the films below reflect a notable shift in the ambition and scope of contemporary queer films. While there may not be a new wave of queer filmmakers on par with the ’90s boom, in their place we got stories as complicated, sensual, soul-searching, and hilarious as the queer experience itself. »
- Jude Dry, Kate Erbland, Eric Kohn, David Ehrlich, Michael Nordine, Jamie Righetti and Chris O'Falt
‘Suspiria’ Rediscovered: Why Guillermo Del Toro and Others Are Fighting to Salvage Dario Argento’s Masterpiece
25 August 2017 11:23 AM, PDT
Guillermo del Toro will have a busy fall promoting his new movie “The Shape of Water,” but he’s squeezing in time to plug another project that’s not his own: Dario Argento’s expressionistic horror classic “Suspiria.” As a guest curator at the upcoming 50th edition of the Sitges Film Festival in Spain, Del Toro will curate a series of Italian gothic and giallo films, but he’s particularly keen on returning Argento’s work to the big screen.
“Dario especially needs this now that we have a little historical perspective to position ‘Suspiria’ as the work of pure madness and cinematic joy it is,” said del Toro. “I think it’s very important to celebrate his place in history.”
- Eric Kohn
The 7 Best Music Videos Nominated for the 2017 MTV VMAs, From Kendrick Lamar to Katy Perry
25 August 2017 10:49 AM, PDT
Once upon a time, back in the network’s golden years, MTV would assemble all the stars in the top-40 galaxy for an annual celebration of the very best in music videos. They called it the Video Music Awards — the VMAs, for short. They still do, believe it or not, but the VMAs have come to serve a very different purpose in an age when MTV and C-span air roughly the same number of music videos.
These days, it would be fair to say that the VMAs exist less to celebrate music videos than they do to celebrate MTV itself, to reaffirm the network’s place in the zeitgeist. As a pop spectacle, the VMAs are right up there with the Super Bowl halftime concert. As an awards show, they’re a complete farce (to this day, nobody actually knows how the nominees are selected, and few people even bother »
- David Ehrlich
‘Game of Thrones’ Finale: 5 Bold Predictions About How Season 7 Will End
25 August 2017 10:45 AM, PDT
Much like the Red Woman looking into Arya’s future, much death seems likely in the season finale — but in what form might we expect it? There are plenty of theories out there as to what might transpire in “The Dragon and the Wolf.” The one guarantee: There will probably be a dragon and a wolf involved, at least on a metaphorical level. Beyond that, here are some additional thoughts.
The Snow Job
In order for a previous prediction for the “Game of Thrones” series finale to pan out, there needs to be some traction on the Dany/Tyrion romance. Pair that with my demand for meaningful blood to be spilt, and there’s only one thing that can happen Sunday night:
Jon Snow will die.
I know, I know. He’s died already, and, worse yet, it’s felt like he’s died 1,000 times. Even mentioning Jon Snow dying feels like a tired, »
- Hanh Nguyen, Ben Travers, Liz Shannon Miller, Steve Greene and Michael Nordine
Patty Jenkins Defends ‘Wonder Woman’ Against James Cameron’s Criticism as Sexist Interview Reemerges
25 August 2017 10:20 AM, PDT
Ah, the sweet smell of male entitlement no longer allowed to run rampant. Notorious blowhard James Cameron has put his foot in his mouth yet again while, you guessed it, explaining why his movies are better than everyone else’s. The director drew the ire of “Wonder Woman” lovers everywhere when he recently told The Guardian that Hollywood’s “self-congratulatory back-patting” over “’Wonder Woman’ has been so misguided.” He is also being called a sexist.
He continued: “She’s an objectified icon, and it’s just male Hollywood doing the same old thing! I’m not saying I didn’t like the movie but, to me, it’s a step backwards.” A valid point if it had come from a woman, and Cameron is likely parroting a criticism he read from some shrewd feminist film critic. »
- Jude Dry
The Best Version of a Joker Movie Already Happened, With Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy
25 August 2017 8:57 AM, PDT
Things are just a little bit chaotic in the DC Extended Universe right now, as multiple projects have been announced and updated regarding spin-offs set in the comic book world — including a few that may involve iconic Batman villain The Joker. Unfortunately, the brass at Warner Bros is missing one opportunity that could make for one of DC’s most innovative experiences yet.
Read More:The Joker Spinoffs — Everything You Need to Know About the Many Dceu Projects in Development
The psychopathic supervillain Joker has, of course, been a character of fascination for decades, as seen most recently on screen in “Suicide Squad,” where Jared Leto’s portrayal was paired with Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, the Joker’s partner in life and crime. But as more than one person on Twitter has pointed out, DC may be overlooking a spinoff idea that could be the very best version of a »
- Liz Shannon Miller
Pamela Adlon Gave the World ‘Better Things’ Exactly When It Was Needed Most
25 August 2017 8:33 AM, PDT
If you live in the world long enough — really out there, l-i-v-i-n, as they say — you’ll find the truth. That, or the truth will find you.
Pamela Adlon has been livin’ in the proper sense for some time now. An Emmy-nominated writer and producer of “Louie” and a beloved character actress from long-running series like “Californication” and “King of the Hill” (yup, she’s Bobby Hill), Adlon built a career many would envy. From that experience, “Better Things” was built; Adlon’s first starring role in her own series (co-created with Louis C.K.), her voice sounded out loud and clear from the start.
She found the truth of the world, crafting episodes about teens acknowledging their sexuality and her mother’s casual racism. Adlon pushed back against sleazy Hollywood sexism and the patriarchy in general. She took the stage — literally — to sound off on how the shared burden of »
- Ben Travers
‘Twin Peaks’: Breaking Down Cooper’s Possible Fates and How He’ll Return to Twin Peaks
25 August 2017 8:25 AM, PDT
As “Twin Peaks” starts nearing its end, David Lynch has been kind enough to start giving the series a little bit of closure when it comes to the familiar characters in the town. The central mystery, however, is more baffling than ever, and the most recent question on everyone’s mind is the fate of Special Agent Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan).
In the last episode, Cooper is living his best Dougie life by digging into some chocolate cake when he catches on TV the portion of “Sunset Boulevard” that mentions Gordon Cole, which happens to be the same name as his old FBI Director pal, played by Lynch. Recognition spurs Cooper into action, and he sticks a fork into the electrical socket. Cut to outside of the house as the sounds of Dougie’s wife Janey-e (Naomi Watts) screaming within can be heard.
Read More:‘Twin Peaks’ Just Explained How Dougie »
- Hanh Nguyen
Lucasfilm Will Demo New Virtual Reality Technology As Nyff Sets 2017 Convergence Slate — Exclusive
25 August 2017 8:04 AM, PDT
Every year, the New York Film Festival descends upon the city’s most passionate cinephiles, bringing flashy world premieres and giving New Yorkers a chance to finally see films they’ve been salivating over since Cannes. For the experimentally minded, the Convergence series is a chance to explore immersive storytelling such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and interactive multimedia projects with an eye on the future.
Read More:Massive Robert Mitchum Centenary Tribute Set As Nyff 2017 Retrospective — Exclusive
The sixth edition of the annual program announces its full slate today, including three Vr horror experiences from Dark Corner Studios, a Vr documentary series exploring the lives of Pakistani citizens from Academy Award-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, and a game about sci-fi hallucinations from Tender Claws. In addition, Nyff is partnering with Lucasfilm to premiere their new virtual production technology with a public presentation. The never-before-seen technology harnesses the power of Vr as »
- Jude Dry
Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ Lyric Video Coproduced by ‘Detention’ Director Joseph Kahn — Watch
25 August 2017 7:20 AM, PDT
Taylor Swift’s new song “‘Look What You Made Me Do” is getting plenty of attention due to lyrics which may or may not air petty grievances with fellow millionaires, but behind the gossip is a nifty animated lyric video with an independent film connection. The clip, which debuted on August 24, was coproduced by Swift and music video mastermind Joseph Kahn, who has worked on some interesting film projects.
Kahn made big waves online in 2015 with the short “Power/Rangers,” a violent fan film reimagining of the kids’ series, which starred James Van Der Beek. He also directed the primarily self-financed horror film “Detention,” which premiered at SXSW in 2011. But Kahn’s splashiest works are squarely in the music video world, where he’s helmed high-profile projects for Lady Gaga, Eminem, Katy Perry, and many, many more. »
- William Earl
20 Female Directors Who Will Rule This Fall Festival Season, Including Agnes Varda, Greta Gerwig, Dee Rees, and More
25 August 2017 6:59 AM, PDT
Girl Talk is a weekly look at women in film — past, present, and future.
The fall festival season has long been a harbinger of things to come, from the contenders that will consume months of awards season jockeying to bright new talents just making their first big splashes, and this year brings with it another glimpse of the future: one that’s filled with new films from a wide variety of female filmmakers.
From Venice to Toronto, New York to Telluride, this year’s fall festival circuit is filled with new offerings from from female filmmakers of every stripe, including 20 that we’ve hand-picked as the ones to keep an eye on during the coming weeks.
First-time feature filmmakers like Maggie Betts, Brie Larson, and the Mulleavey sisters are out in full force, along with the return of mainstays like Angelina Jolie, Lynn Shelton, and Susanna White. There are plenty »
- Kate Erbland
‘Black Mirror’ Season 4 Trailer Teases ‘Star Trek’ Homage and Black-and-White Episode
25 August 2017 5:08 AM, PDT
What’s in a title? In the case of Netflix’s Emmy-nominated anthology series “Black Mirror,” sometimes quite a lot, as revealed in the teaser trailer released that offers not just a glimpse at first footage, but the full list of episode names we can expect from the upcoming fourth season.
The six episode titles, along with accompanying images:
“Crocodile” (featuring two women, one in a hat and the other in a headscarf) “Arkangel” (with footage including a little girl and some unique tablet technology) “Hang the DJ” (involving a young couple and some sort of mobile game) “USS Callister” (a “Star Trek”-esque spaceship appears to be in danger) “Metalhead” (monochromatic footage including a robot of some kind?) “Black Museum” (fancy headgear and booby traps, amongst other images)
Update: Netflix has »
- Liz Shannon Miller