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Nov 162013
Thor - The Dark World – The New Thor Trailer

Thor The Dark World  is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Thor Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. This is the sequel of Thor the movie (2011) and the eighth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Directed by Alan Taylor who [...]

Apr 162014
The 11 Most Anticipated Movies of the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival


Hey, look, it’s film festival time again! (It’s always film festival time, much like it’s always awards season time.) This time around, the films are unfurling at New York City’s own Tribeca Film Festival, and two of our very own NYC-based scribblers are on the ground to cover the best of what the festival has to offer. As ever, the festival offers a robust programming slate of brand-new premieres, holdovers from other festivals around the world (we recommend titles like In Your EyesChef, and Begin Again, if you’re looking to play catch up), and some uniquely compelling titles just daring you to try them out (one word: zombeavers).

The festival kicks off tonight with the premiere of the Nas documentary, Time Is Illmatic, and runs until Sunday, April 27th. For these next few days, Lower Manhattan will be jumping with the festival and its many offerings, and we dare say that our own Kate Erbland and Daniel Walber have picked out some of the best.

In Your Eyes

Sure, most people who are excited to see Brin Hill‘s In Your Eyes are in it for the Joss Whedon connect — he wrote the film, proving that the rest of us are just slackers — but I am more intrigued by a feature that uses the divine Zoe Kazan as a romantic foil for the guy from Cloverfield (hey, Michael Stahl-David). The romance apparently hinges on the duo’s “strange connection,” and as much as I hope that means that they can literally see through each other’s eyes, I really want to go into this one fresh. -Kate Erbland

Something Must Break and Broken Hill Blues

One of the best kept secrets of Tribeca is, believe it or not, Scandinavia. From Trollhunter to Turn Me On, Dammit the last few years have seen a number of offbeat Nordic hits screen at the festival. This year there are two Swedish coming of age stories, each examining the break that can happen in the life of a teenager. Something Must Break seems the simpler film, a story of a young man coming to terms with his sexuality. Broken Hill Blues might be a bit more surreal, set in a town soon to be abandoned after land erosion. Both of them promise to be empathetic, unique portraits of youthful uncertainty. -Daniel Walber

Goodbye to All That

Paul Schneider‘s career has been built on a series of solid supporting roles — from the doofus cousin in Elizabethtown to the pained best pal in Bright Star to the stunned brother in Lars and the Real Girl – but his best part is still his leading role in All the Real Girls as a former ladies’ man trying to navigate a deep romance. Angus MacLachlan‘s directorial debut is also about Schneider’s character working through the dating pool, but for a different reason — he’s just been dumped by his wife. With a supporting cast that includes Melanie Lynskey, Heather Graham, Anna Camp, and Amy Sedaris, the film sure sounds like a real can’t-miss. -KE


The Midnight section is always a strong cocktail of straight-faced horror and deranged descents into bloodcurdling insanity. The latter category is usually more fun. This year the most immediately appealing title is Zombeavers, which is about a group of slasher-movie-hot college students who get attacked by zombie beavers. That’s amazing. -DW

Every Secret Thing

Hello, there. Are you looking for a film with one hell of a lady-friendly pedigree? You are! Good, we’ve got one. Amy Berg directs Every Secret Thing, which comes to us by way of an adapted screenplay (by Nicole Holofcener!) based on Laura Lippmann‘s novel of the same name, with a cast that includes Elizabeth Banks, Diane Laneand Dakota Fanning. It’s also about unsolved murders and teen crime, so that’s basically just all our interests in one tidy package. -KE

The Search for General Tso

There’s a particularly funny moment in the trailer for The Search for General Tso in which the filmmakers wander a city in China with a photograph of General Tso’s Chicken. No one they meet has any idea what it is, of course. The famous dish is uniquely New World, an immensely popular recipe with vague origins that can be found all over the USA’s tens of thousands of Chinese restaurants. And so, in a way, Ian Cheney’s search for General Tso is inevitably a search for America itself. -DW

Life Partners

There’s nothing quite like a strong best friend bond, but that doesn’t mean it’s unbreakable. In Susanna Fogel‘s feature debut, the director explores the friendship between Paige (Gillian Jacobs) and Sasha (Leighton Meester), a super-tight duo who find things changing for them when Paige starts dating a new dude. Suddenly, Sasha feels like the odd gal out, and she does everything she can to keep her BFF, well, her BFF. Of note: this is a comedy, not a Single White Female reboot. -KE


Five years ago, Louie Psihoyos launched a movement and won an Oscar with The Cove, his heist-like expose of dolphin hunting in Japan. His new project has a much broader scope, purporting to address the issue of endangered species in general. Screening as a work-in-progress, promises to be a thrilling and bold work of cinematic activism. -DW

A Brony Tale

I just want to understand. -KE

Point and Shoot

Documentarian Marshall Curry has a knack for making nonconventional political films. Street Fight and If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front are both the stories of political outsiders, one on the ascent and the other doomed to collapse. Yet never before has he tackled something as remote and unlikely as the terrible ordeal of Matthew VanDyke, an American who joined the Libyan Revolution and wound up a prisoner of war. Point and Shoot looks to be a remarkable, if harrowing, next step for the director. -DW

Apr 162014
Chloe Grace Moretz Breaks Our Hearts In Two In The First If I Stay Trailer


When we think of Chloe Grace Moretz, we think of a sassy kid with a biting wit, and often a gift for violence as seen in Kick-Ass, Let Me In and Dark Shadows. But Moretz is offering a different side, a more tender side, in the trailer for her new drama If I Stay.

Based on the lauded novel by Gayle Forman, If I Stay has Moretz playing 17-year-old Mia, who is faced with a major decision. After a brutal car crash kills her parents, Mia is in a coma, but fully aware of the friends and remaining family that …
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Apr 162014
‘Antboy’ Review: A Fun Little Superhero Movie, You Know, For Kids


It’s possible you haven’t noticed, but Hollywood  is in a bit of a superhero glut right now. This isn’t a bad thing — especially if the mediocre fare is balanced out with fantastic titles like Captain America: The Winter Soldier — but they all seem to be aimed at the same target demographic. Where are the comic book adaptations for Presbyterians? Or bodybuilders? Or even for kids?

Antboy is a new film from Denmark that tries to address that last gap with a story and style aimed squarely at the pre-teen crowd.

Pelle (Oscar Dietz) is a shy kid, small for his age, and crushing hard on the most popular girl in class. Trouble continues when he tries to help a kid being bullied and instead ends up chased into an abandoned yard, but it’s there where he’s bitten by a genetically modified ant. Soon he’s discovering new abilities like super strength, wall climbing and highly acidic pee, and with the help of his comic-loving friend Wilhelm (Samuel Ting Graf) he sets out to fight crime under the moniker Antboy. It all goes fairly easy too until a villain calling himself The Flea (Nicolas Bro) shows up on the scene, kidnaps his crush Amanda and holds the town in terror.

Director Ask Hasselbalch‘s debut feature, based on Kenneth Bogh Andersen‘s books, is a paper-thin riff on Spider-Man from the geeky underdog hero to the insect origin to the awkward montage of Pelle discovering his powers, but it never tries to hide that influence. Wilhelm shares his comic book knowledge with the slightest provocation leading him to acknowledge the gamut of popular superheroes up to and including Ant-Man.

But while the narrative is extremely familiar the story is scaled down to a kid’s level in wonderful fashion. We still get all the iconic moments and characters from the scientist villain who tried to play god and has instead been driven mad to the damsel in distress (Cecilie Alstrup Tarp) who comes to love her hero, but they’re presented in a simpler fashion devoid of much in the way of complex moral dilemmas.

The downside to that simplicity though is that events rarely feel truly dramatic. Resolutions are reached fairly easy, and there’s no real logic when it comes to the adults in this world. The Flea is actually the only grown-up who gets more than a couple token lines, but that makes sense as this truly is the kids’ story.

It’s a fun one too. We adults may know where it’s going at all times, but Hasselbalch keeps things lively with a visual affinity for the comics. The opening credits use hand drawn panels to give a bit of a pre-story, a flashback section is told via similar panels and we even get the occasional word balloons.

The heart and soul of the film is Dietz who gives a charismatic and gung-ho performance as the downtrodden little guy that keeps the film’s energy and likability high throughout. Unfortunately the other child actors can’t quite compete. Some of them are seemingly devoid of emotion and expression and deliver all of their lines identically aside from the volume. It’s worth noting that the version of Antboy hitting theaters this week in limited release is dubbed into English, so most of the blame goes to the voice actors. That said, I’ve seen the Danish language version as well and the actual actors in question aren’t that much better in their own tongue.

At a slim 82 minutes Antboy is a fast and easy watch and suitable for anyone in the family. It can’t compete with the big boys out of Hollywood, but it never really tries to. Instead it’s happy and more than capable in its small scale simplicity, and the end result is a fantastic starter film for the budding young comic fans in your care.

The Upside: Enjoyable for all ages but mostly for the 8-12 year old range; Dietz is cute and all-in for the character and story; fun sense of humor; comic book stylings; no fart gags

The Downside: Slight; some of the kid actors are a bit flat expression-wise

On the Side: Antboy 2 is currently in production.

Antboy opens in limited theatrical release starting April 16, 2014.

Apr 162014
Anna Paquin Will Be In "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" After All


While director Bryan Singer said last December that the actress “won’t appear” in the film, Fox confirms to BuzzFeed that Paquin’s character Rogue has made the final cut.

Anna Paquin as Rogue in 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand

20th Century Fox

Breathe easy, X-Men fans: You will get to see Anna Paquin in X-Men: Days of Future Past after all.

In December, director Bryan Singer told Entertainment Weekly that the True Blood star “won't appear” in the superhero sequel after the only action sequence involving her character Rogue had to be cut from the film. Singer explained that in the editing process, he discovered the sequence was “extraneous” to the story. “Unfortunately, it was the one and only sequence Anna Paquin was in, the Rogue character was in,” Singer said. “Even though she's in the materials and part of the process of making the film, she won't appear in it.”

That sequence may not have survived, but it turns out, Rogue has. After noticing Paquin's name was conspicuously present in the credits following the newest trailer for the film released late Tuesday, a rep for 20th Century Fox has confirmed to BuzzFeed that Paquin is back in the film. “Essentially, [it's] a cameo,” the rep said.

With a storyline that jumps from the near future to 1970s America, X-Men: Days of Future Past is the most ambitious movie in the 14-year-old, now seven-film franchise, incorporating actors from the original film trilogy like Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Hugh Jackman, and Halle Berry, as well as Michael Fassbender, James McAvoy, and Jennifer Lawrence from the 2011 prequel X-Men: First Class. With so many characters to service in a feature-length running time, it is understandable that Singer and screenwriter Simon Kinberg (X-Men: The Last Stand) would have difficulty working every single X-Men character into the film. In Paquin's case, apparently, they were ultimately able to conjure the screen time.

X-Men: Days of Future Past opens May 23 — watch the new trailer here: