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Mad Max's Weekend Movie Guide: 'Star Trek Into Darkness' & More

MadMaxStarTrek
"Spock, I do not know too much about these little Tribbles yet, but there is one thing that I have discovered. I like them … better than I like you." –Dr. McCoy, "Star Trek" (1967)

Greetings from the apocalypse! The trouble with Tribbles is not how cute they are but how much they multiply, or in the case of "Star Trek Into Darkness," the silly plot point for which they cameo. That's the only thing I'll spoil from that movie (besides that it stinks), but luckily there's some sweet alternatives this week that boldly go where no J.J. Abrams movie has gone before … coherence. Get More »

Filed Under: Features

Here Are Illustrated Floor Plans for Your Favorite Wes Anderson Movies

Touchstone Touchstone

Consider this scenario: You're visiting the Tenenbaums at 111 Archer Avenue. You need to find the ballroom, but you don't know where the ballroom is, and it's a big house. Richie is watching old tennis highlights of himself, Margot is fighting with Raleigh, and Chas is putting the boys to bed, so there's no one to help you. What to do? Get More »

Wes Anderson Doesn't Think He'd Make a Good 'Star Wars' Sequel Either

TBS

When the new "Star Wars" sequels were first announced back in November, Conan O'Brien did a popular skit showing what a Wes Anderson-directed Han Solo-Chewbacca buddy movie would be like.

People laughed at the mere idea of the twee, oh-so-precious auteur applying his deadpan sensibilities to a galaxy far far away, but in a new awards season interview with Deadline even Anderson himself admits his version of "Star Wars Episode VII: Revenge of the Preppies" might be too clever for its own good. Get More »

Filed Under: Movie News | Source: Deadline

Staff Picks: Brooke Tarnoff's Top 10 Movies of 2012

Warner Bros / Weinstein / Focus

As much as I love the chance to impose my taste upon the world — and I really, really do — the day I have to commit to a final top 10 list is never fun.

I see a lot of movies; some of them are pretty terrible, but the majority fall somewhere on the spectrum between good and amazing. My personal best-list starts with at least 25 candidates, and I slowly yank out movies I really enjoyed until I reach 10. It's painful. Like plucking eyebrows painful. (But not really — dudes, you have no idea how much that actually hurts.)

And then there are the screenings I've missed — I'm positive "Zero Dark Thirty" would be at the top of the list... I just haven't seen it yet.

So, I'm sorry, Kathryn Bigelow — you're not in here, though you should be. "Take This Waltz," "Safety Not Guaranteed," "Smashed," you're the finest of indies; you deserve a place, but there's no room at the inn. And "Wreck-It-Ralph," you sweet lug, I loved you almost enough. May we meet again, someday, on Blu-ray.

Universal

10. 'Pitch Perfect'

This is not a good film, exactly. It's silly, often nonsensical, has befuddling plot holes and relies a little too heavily on ethnic stereotypes for laughs. That said, it's the first movie in who-knows-how-long I've seen in the theater twice in one week. And then once the week after. (And maybe once after that, as well.) The soundtrack is phenomenal, though I'd have sworn I hate a capella, and Anna Kendrick is so ridiculously real-person charming, I could watch her sing the phonebook... as long as someone was beatboxing her accompaniment.

 

Lionsgate

9. 'Cabin in the Woods'

I'm no fan of slashers, but I'm a huge fan of writer/producer Joss Whedon, writer/director Drew Goddard, and clever twists (à la early Shyamalan, sans resemblance à latter day Shyamalan) so I approached "Cabin in the Woods" with an open mind. Still, I was unprepared for how much I could love a slasher – I don't care what you say, it's still a slasher: people get slashed – based on the genre-bending elements of humor, fantasy, whip-smart writing and those twisty, twisty twists.

 

 

Fox

7. 'Chronicle'

I thought I was over the found-footage thing. Actually... I never really thought I was under the found-footage thing. But "Chronicle," hardly a pioneer of the medium, used the device so cleverly, so seamlessly, I felt I was actually seeing a new form of fiction. The few moments where the technique stretched the movie's credibility were balanced by engrossing performances, including Dane DeHaan's heartbreaking turn as a maladjusted teen learning to control his newfound superhero powers. What seems, on its surface, to be a gimmicky comic book action movie is actually a nuanced depiction of an innocent kid's descent into villainy — a character that's all too familiar in the real world.

The Avengers Marvel

7. 'The Avengers'

A superhero supergroup and nerd-god auteur Joss Whedon: two great tastes that taste AWESOME together. "The Avengers" contains the best features of its single-hero predecessors and corrects some of their failures: it retains the wit of "Iron Man" (filtered and refined through Whedon's iconic voice) and the bravado of "Captain America," and despite Marvel's repeated "Hulk" failures, finally finds the perfect green goliath in Mark Ruffalo. Yup, somehow, amidst the charisma of Tony Stark, the black-clad posterior of Black Widow and the arrow-flinging gun show that is Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye, Ruffalo is the smash hit of "The Avengers." (Get it? Smash? Yeah... sorry.)

Also Check Out: NextMovie's 25 Best Movies of 2012

TriStar

6. 'Looper'

Spoiler alert: time-travel isn't a real thing. But that hasn't stopped sub-par sci-fi movies from explaining their pseudo-science into the ground. One of the amazing things about "Looper" (aside from some exceptional performances, a riveting plot and a physical transformation so incredible I didn't recognize Joseph Gordon-Levitt though I had just met him for an interview) is the grace with which it backed off from its own time-travel logic. "If we start talking about it, then we're going to be here all day talking about it, making diagrams with straws." Indeed, Angry Bruce Willis From the Future. Indeed.

Moonrise Kingdom Focus Features

5. 'Moonrise Kingdom'

You either love or hate Wes Anderson movies; there's really no middle ground with his style of adorable absurdity. As you might have guessed from his presence on this list: I love him, and I really loved "Moonrise Kingdom," though (or... because?) Anderson out-twees his twee-est "Royal Tenenbaums" scenes by making his latest film entirely about children who listen to age-inappropriately cool music and attempt to elope. It's weird, it's stylish, it's nostalgic without any resemblance to my actual childhood or the childhood of any person I've ever met… and I could watch it every day for a week without getting bored. (Plus, it makes me wonder where Anderson goes from here. My suggestion: well-spoken toddlers in jaunty berets, working out their issues. French accents wouldn’t hurt, either.)

Fox

4. 'Life of Pi'

I put off seeing this as long as I could; I'm one of those people who can't handle animal deaths in movies (p.s. If you're like me, this is the greatest resource you'll ever find) and I was given to understand that "Pi" features CGI creature casualties by the boatload. Literally. I'm glad I disobeyed the instincts of my tender lady-heart for two hours; Ang Lee's visually stunning adaptation — genuinely a breathtaking big-screen spectacle — was worth any mourning I may or may not have done over a certain fictional zebra. Suraj Sharma (as the titular Pi during the most important parts of his narrative) is something special, too. So, yeah. I loved it. Just... don't talk to me about the goat.

Weinstein Co.

3. 'Silver Linings Playbook'

Who knew Bradley Cooper had it in 'im? The pretty boy who once brought us gems like "All About Steve" and "He's Just Not That Into You" was shockingly brilliant in "Silver Linings Playbook" as Pat, a bipolar wreck of a man, fresh from a court-mandated stint in a mental health facility. Despite the grim circumstances — his female lead is Jennifer Lawrence as a brittle, short-fused young widow — the movie is hopeful, funny, uplifting. Watching Lawrence emote, after excellent but glacial performances in "Winter's Bone" and "The Hunger Games," was the icing on a Globe-nominated cake. A silver lining, if you will.

Summit

2. 'Perks of Being a Wallflower'

I read a lot. A lot. A looooot. So believe me when I say this is a big deal: "Perks," the book, was my favorite for about a decade, and it still has a permanent place in my top five. The novelist, Stephen Chbosky, adapted and directed the movie; it's faithful enough to satisfy die-hard fans like me, with enough adjustments to show that Chbosky has allowed his work to evolve. His story remains a moving elegy on adolescent isolation,  a love letter to the precocious and the peculiar. It will touch the heart of anyone who was a little sad or a little strange in high school, whose friends were their lifeboats, who felt the wind in their hair and knew, for a moment, what it meant to be infinite.

Warner Bros.

1. 'Argo'

1970s beards and tan suits have no right to be this riveting. "Argo" proves that Ben Affleck, while decent as an actor and fair-to-middling as a tabloid personality, is one hell of a director. The tension he infuses into a Wikipediable true story is remarkable. Affleck also plays the lead, Tony Mendez, a real person who led the far-fetched rescue of six U.S. diplomats during the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, using a fake sci-fi movie production to cloak his attempt. Even though the mission's outcome is now a matter of public record, the implausibility of its success makes "Argo" more than a nail-biter – "Argo" is a whole-finger-biter. Thanks, Affleck. I needed those.

 

NextMovie Senior Editor Brooke Tarnoff also sings in a band, regularly ignores off-leash laws in the park with her dog, and reads zombie fiction like it's her job. (It's not.) Follow her on Twitter.

Filed Under: Best of 2012

The 5 Best Animal Performances of 2012

Life of Pi 20th Century Fox

Awards season is now underway, which means for the next few months Hollywood will carry out its competitive annual tradition of putting roses on the noses, so to speak, of the year's decidedly best actors and actresses of the human variety. Looking back at some of the finest flicks from 2012, though, we noticed some pretty significant contributions coming in courtesy of the rest of the animal kingdom.

So, to throw our furry film friends a proverbial golden bone, here are our top five picks for tail-waggingest animal performances of the year. Get More »

Filed Under: Best of 2012 Features

The 38 Roles for Which Bill Murray Was Snubbed by the Oscars

Focus Features

In 2003, William James Murray (better known to those who haven't spent hours reading his Wikipedia page as Bill Murray) starred in Sofia Coppola's "Lost in Translation," a poignant, somber romantic comedy that spotlighted the budding relationship between an aging film star (Murray) and the lonely wife of a photographer (Scarlett Johansson) in Tokyo. Murray was nominated for an Oscar for said performance, but he ultimately lost to Sean Penn's turn in "Mystic River."

At one point, he also did the Garfield movies.

But herein lies the massive injustice. Bill Murray should have been nominated for an Academy Award for every other movie he's done. There. We said it. The following is a comprehensive list of Murray movies where the Academy unconscionably overlooked his performance, starting from the very beginning of his illustrious career. Get More »

Filed Under: Awards Features

Check Out This Awesome Fan-Made 'Moonrise Kingdom' Awards Campaign

Oscar season is upon us, which means that ads begging Academy members for their votes are almost as ubiquitous as dazzling couture dresses will be in a few weeks. Usually, the ads consist of a production still and a headline, but the Wes Anderson-directed fan favorite "Moonrise Kingdom" took a different approach.

Focus Features ran a Tumblr-based contest asking fans to submit their own ads, with the chance of their original art being used in the movie's actual awards campaign, as well as a cash prize. NextMovie's own Max Evry was announced as one of the winners today, for his hand-drawn ad featuring Suzy and Sam. Check it out below!

Filed Under: Check This Photos | Source: Tumblr

The 20 Best Movie Posters of 2012

Tired of those boring-ass Photoshopped floating head jobs that flaccid studio marketing departments call posters? So are we, which is why we've singled out the most distinguished, eye-catching promotional pieces to come out this year.

Taking the old-fashioned hand-painted approach always stands out, but sometimes all it takes is using photography in an interesting, innovative way to get some really challenging stories across in a single image.

Here are the absolute best general release or alternate posters of 2012.

Get more Best of 2012 here.

Filed Under: Best of 2012 Features

5 Questions With 'Moonrise Kingdom' Star Jason Schwartzman

Getty Images

It sounds dramatic to say that Jason Schwartzman would be nowhere in Hollywood without director Wes Anderson. It is. But it's also true.

Despite being born into industry royalty — his mother is "Rocky" star Talia Shire, his uncle is iconic director Francis Ford Coppola, his cousin is Nicolas Cage, etc. etc. — Schwartzman had no plans to embrace the family business until Anderson cast him in the lead role of "Rushmore."

It was the start of a prolific career and a long-lasting relationship with Anderson; their fourth feature film collaboration, "Moonrise Kingdom," comes out on Blu-ray tomorrow, 14 years after their first. So if you're a fan of the actor like we are, you can thank Anderson. Jason Schwartzman certainly does.

Wes Anderson obviously has an established — though growing — pool of actors he casts in his movies. Is that a function of pure admiration for the people he's worked with, or is he trying to create a cohesive body of work that way?
My feeling is that Wes really does love his friends and collaborators. I'm just going to answer this in a very convoluted way. You know how some people work certain hours of the day and they take breaks, or they work very hard for six months and then don't work? He does this thing where he is constantly working all day long, every day. He will walk out and go have lunch, but he'll be thinking about something, then he's writing, everything is moving, it's all about this something that he's making.

He's always going forward, and he meets people when he works with people. He likes the community feeling of it. There is no difference between working and not working, it's all life and work in one strange kind of weird swirl. You drive to the set together, everyone is in the car talking, get out of the car and keep talking, you walk up to the set, you are talking, now the cameras are shooting, now you start talking again. I feel like that’s how it is to work with Wes.

Focus

So he's sticking with roughly the same cast because that's just the world he lives in?
I just love it. And also, a lot of actors, he's wanted to work with for a long time — I'm sure he's been wanting to work with ["Moonrise Kingdom" co-star] Ed Norton for years, he's just been trying to think of what would be right. I know that Edward Norton is going to be in the next movie, and that's because they had a great working relationship, and now remain friends.

How much does that sense of community inform the way you all work?
On one of Wes' movies lately, he said, "no trailers," and there's this green room where all of the actors can be, but ideally the actors stay on set. That's also just to keep things moving forward, because when people disappear, it can really kill you time-wise, and that's really hard for money — you're trying to get all of the money to go where it's supposed to be — but all of the actors live together in a house with the cinematographer and stuff, they eat dinner together.

It makes it so much less scary to go to work the first day. I read this interview with Bill Murray ... he says that when he goes to work, his feeling is that you need to be prepared to die out there ... I took that as you can't be afraid to f**k up. Some actors are really serious and tense-looking, they're trying so hard to just nail it ...  I realize that when I work with Wes, it's been so long: he has seen me be so bad, so way off. When you're relaxed and when you're working with people that are familiar to you, you can go farther more quickly. When you're working with people that you know, maybe you aren't working as hard.

It makes the working process fun. It's hard no matter what, but it can be a little less aggravating if the people around you, you don't mind how loud they chew because you love them.

Touchstone

Anderson cast you in your first role, and so many of your projects since then have been similar in their off-kilter sensibilities. Did he influence you that dramatically, or did he just really get 17-year-old Jason?
I wasn't trying to be an actor, I was with my band and I just never thought about being in movies. So yes, it sent me down a path to be in movies. Essentially, I grew up in L.A in the '80s. When you're little, and you're getting your hair cut in some barbershop and the girl cuts a bunch of kid actors' hair, you see headshots on mirrors of little kids with really spikey hair, dressed like cowboys. I felt like, when I was really little, "I am not one of those people, whoever those people are, I am not one of those."

When I grew up, I never went to film sets. [My mom] really loves movies, but she doesn't like Hollywood; she's very wary of it and so made a real attempt to keep us away from it. I have no problem with people who didn't do that approach, but for me it was cool to not have that. When I did go to see movies, everything was larger than life. I read this interview with an actor, he said that when he was little, it was like, "I want to do that, I can do that." I didn't see a movie that made me go, "I can do that." I was like, "I can say these lines on the way home in front of my family." When Wes and I met and began to work, it was like a lot of stuff in my life made sense all of the sudden.

Is he aware of his influence on your teenaged self?
At a time when you are 17 and totally lost and deeply unpopular, yeah. I talked to Wes about this a couple of days ago ... I'm comfortable being this sentimental. I was like, "You are really the first person who treated me like, 'Hey, what do you think?'" No one really asked me my opinion about anything. My mom did, or whatever, but I mean like a stranger who I thought was cool. When we were on the set of "Rushmore," he didn't treat me like I was 17, he treated me like I was 27, like I was his age, accountable and responsible. He asked me about music, and was interested in things that I was interested in, and wanted to know what was on my mind.

When you have a kid of a certain age and you're trying to talk to them, some say to kneel down and look your kid in the eye. It's kind of respectful to them. Instead of talking feet above them, you get down and talk to them. I noticed that on the set of "Moonrise Kingdom," that Wes — and obviously he hasn't been reading a lot of baby books — but any time he went to talk to [the kid actors] and give them advice, he would kneel down. He has an instinct to be respectful, to treat them as equals. I think that shows.

Filed Under: Interviews

New on DVD and Blu-ray: 'Moonrise Kingdom' and More

Moonrise Kingdom Focus Features

This week: Wes Anderson's latest heartfelt comedy, "Moonrise Kingdom," chronicles the great romance between two 12-year-old runaways during the summer of 1965.

Also new this week is the animated sequel "Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted," the found footage-ish horror flick "Chernobyl Diaries," the Adam Sandler comedy "That's My Boy" and an edition of "Avatar" on Blu-ray 3D that one can buy without it being bundled with a hardware purchase. Get More »

Filed Under: DVD & Blu-ray Queue It Up
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