An animated short film titled In A Heartbeat has been circulating online this week, usually attached to captions expressing refreshed delight. See, the short revolves around a young boy at prep school whose crush on a classmate manifests as an anthropomorphic heart that bursts out of his chest and exposes his feelings. What’s made this short into a festival favorite and word-of-mouth sensation is the crucial detail that this boy’s crush [pregnant pause] is on another boy! What would have otherwise been a saccharine little wisp of an idea most likely yielding comparisons to Lava is invested with greater purpose by gaily zigging where hetero films have repeatedly zagged.
Channing Tatum’s a delight — fleet-footed dancer, lovably lunkheaded actor, and crooner of the occasional showtune, he’s got more of a claim to the title of America’s sweetheart than just about anybody. But while I may love Channing Tatum, and you may love Channing Tatum, he’s got one critic he just can’t seem to win over: his four-year-old daughter Everly.
The memory of Ang Lee, sensitive humanist auteur from Taiwan's New Wave has become a distant memory over the past decade or so. All hail Ang Lee, constructor of boundary-pushing technical spectacle! He earned his second Best Director Academy Award for besting the hazard-trifecta of children, animals, and water with Life of Pi and then introduced public audiences to high-framerate hyperreal photography with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk last year. (Though opinions on the extent to which he succeeded on that second one vary wildly.) And now, the news is out that he’ll rejoin us in 2019 for another huge undertaking.
Not a whole lot of people ended up seeing last year’s minimalist horrorshow The Eyes of My Mother, but most of those who did were suitably impressed. Director Nicolas Pesce’s stripped-down approach to small-town sadism earned the respect of the juries at Sundance and the same set of horror purists who made The Witch an out-of-nowhere hit. An emerging artist with a clearly defined sense of style, Pesce stuck out as a talent to watch, and those who had kept tabs on the director will be pleased to see he’s landed his next gig. And you may already be familiar with his next project, too.
At last, a news item that combines the two most universally beloved genres of showbiz reporting: “Celebrities extending kindness to un-famous teens by acknowledging them through the internet” stories and “Ryan Reynolds getting into mischief again!” stories. We live in wondrous times, friends, where a skillful Photoshop job and a moment’s tweetings can get a bona fide movie star into your orbit — and change the trajectory of your life forever.
Two decades ago, could any of us have predicted the future that awaited Harry Potter? One massively successful book expanded to seven, which begat a theme park, a universe’s worth of merchandising, eight films, a play, and a new tangentially related franchise. And for those fans who still want more Potter, there is Pottermore.
Spend long enough interviewing actors for a living, you start to pick little things up. For instance, whenever a performer’s discussing their most recent production and utters any variant on the phrase “it really felt like the cast and crew was one big family,” that’s a major red flag that they’re full of crap. Costars are coworkers, and usually for about six months, and that’s on the longer side. But the ladies of Pitch Perfect 3 seem to be pretty earnest when they gush about the spirit of sisterhood and camaraderie that dominated the atmosphere on set. And for those as skeptical of myself, they proved it with video evidence.
It’s a tableau with which anyone who watches the news is all too familiar: police station, pair of white interrogators, terrified-looking black man. But it’s not from last night’s 10 o’clock broadcast — the year is 1967, and that’s Star Wars star John Boyega in the chair, fielding aggressive and leading questions from the stern officers. It’s a tense scene bordering on the sickening, and the trailer for Kathryn Bigelow’s supercharged period piece Detroit only get more brutal from there.
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