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M83-Scored Trailer for A Monster Calls Summons Another BFG

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M83-Scored Trailer for A Monster Calls Summons Another BFG

Focus Features

M83-Scored Trailer for A Monster Calls Summons Another BFG

In April, it was announced that Juan Antonio Bayona, director of The Orphanage and The Impossible, would be at the helm of Jurassic World 2. Say what you will about the filmmaker, he has a gift for summoning spectacle, as evidenced throughout the new trailer for his upcoming A Monster Calls. Based on the children’s fantasy novel of the same name by Patrick Ness, the film tells the story of 12-year-old Conor (Lewis MacDougall), who copes with the travails of his coming of age, from his mother’s (Felicity Jones) illness to bullying classmates, through his friendship with a tree-like monster that appears at his bedroom window. Given the subject matter, and the impression left by the trailer, aptly scored to the navel-gazing synth grooves of M83’s “Lower Your Eyelids to Die with the Sun,” comparisons to Steven Spielberg’s The BFG and Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are will be inevitable.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Gets Teaser Trailer

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Gets Teaser Trailer

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Gets Teaser Trailer

The teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has dropped and it’s mostly notable for the concerted, and effective, effort that’s been made to have this first Star Wars Anthology film be in conversation with and stand apart from the official Star Wars series. Felicity Jones is at the helm as Jyn Erso, who makes clear midway through that she understands instructions that, at least on the surface, couldn’t be any clearer: “We have a mission for you. A major weapons test is imminent. We need to know what it is and how to destroy it.” Which is to say, more of the same, but evident from the teaser is that director Gareth Edwards looks to bring to the film that same artful mix of the disquieting and the beautiful that dignifies his previous works, Monsters and Godzilla. The film, which also stars Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Forest Whitaker, and Mads Mikkelsen, is rumored to feature an appearance by Darth Vader. More certain is that, no matter how much of the familiar the film will recycle, it will make a killing at the box office come December.

Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actress

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Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actress
Oscar 2015 Winner Predictions: Actress

That the only nomination for Gone Girl, a critically endorsed box-office smash that sparked a slew of think pieces and also happens to be at its core a film about a woman asserting her sense of agency, came in this category while the year’s most-nominated film forces Naomi Watts and Andrea Riseborough into a non-sequitur lip lock is both too perfect and sadly telling. Women just can’t catch a break. Even this year, while every observer has seemingly added an extra dash of salt to their beef against the Academy’s retrograde tastes and disinterest in multiculturalism, the argument that Oscar’s notion of excellence continues to center around phalli remains a distant runner-up to pointing out its Caucasian persuasion. At the risk of getting self-righteous, we’ve been on AMPAS’s nuts over this practically as long as we’ve been putting them through the wringer: “Does one have to be a raging feminist to suggest that Capote and Brokeback Mountain aren’t aesthetically superior to North Country and Transamerica? Or that what distinguishes your glorified Lifetime movie of the week from your serious Oscar contender is whether or not the lead character has exterior genitalia?”

Sundance Film Festival 2013: Breathe In and Concussion

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Sundance Film Festival 2013: <em>Breathe In</em> and <em>Concussion</em>
Sundance Film Festival 2013: <em>Breathe In</em> and <em>Concussion</em>

After exploring the complications of young love in his Sundance champ Like Crazy, director Drake Doremus returns to the festival with another relationship drama, Breathe In, this time about the affair between a married man and a teenaged girl. Guy Pearce turns in a reserved performance as Keith, a former musician and dissatisfied family man longing to leave his job as a high school music teacher and return to the exciting life he had before he and his wife (Amy Ryan) left New York City for a quiet, suburban existence. Enter Sophie (Felicity Jones), an 18-year-old British foreign exchange student who joins Keith, his wife, and their teen daughter for a semester in the United States. There’s a nearly instantaneous attraction between Keith and the mysterious Sophie, and most of the film is a slow, steady burn toward the initiation of their affair, which plays out as more a chaste schoolyard romance than a passionate tryst. Still, the chemistry between Pearce and Jones is electric; scenes between the two that are light on dialogue and heavy on meaningful glances are striking, subtly conveying the tension building between the two characters from their first moments on screen together.

Doctor Who Recap: Season 4, Episode 7, "The Unicorn and the Wasp"

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<em>Doctor Who</em> Recap: Season 4, Episode 7, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”
<em>Doctor Who</em> Recap: Season 4, Episode 7, “The Unicorn and the Wasp”

I’m sure I read an interview with Russell T Davies some time ago where he referred to “The Unicorn and The Wasp” as “the first comedy we’ve done.” I put that in quotes because that’s what I recall him saying, but I’ll be damned if I can find the piece now. It probably doesn’t matter, but it does seem the aim of the episode is to be a comedy—well, a comedy and a murder mystery peppered with ample doses of sci-fantasy. The episode worked better on the second viewing, yet I still couldn’t shake the feeling that I’m beginning to tire of this brand of Doctor Who story. I’ve got plenty of respect for Agatha Christie’s body of work, but I’ve never read any of her books—pathetic, but true. I grew up reading Doctor Who novelizations written by Terrance Dicks—also pathetic, but true.