‘Zootopia’ Trailer Features New Shakira & Sia Collaboration

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Along with an intriguing cast of animals, Zootopia features star talent on the music side. The new trailer features the new song “Try Everything,” a track performed by Shakira and penned by Sia and Stargate. The single’s official release is January 8.

The storyline centers on Officer Judy Hopps (voiced by Ginnifer Goodwin) who arrives in Zootopia and tries to make a name for herself in the big city. But life isn’t easy peaches for the determined rabbit and to help gain a little respect she tries to solve a mystery with the help of a manipulative, fast talking fox named Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman). The movie is Walt Disney Animation Studios’ 55th animated feature and it’s directed by veteran animated filmmakers Byron Howard (Bolt) and Rich Moore (Wreck-It Ralph). Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think!




Zootopia, which also features the voices of Idris Elba, J.K. Simmons, and Tommy Chong, hits theaters nationwide March 4, 2016.

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Orson Welles Classic ‘Chimes At Midnight’ Hits The Silver Screen

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One of the huge cinematic treats on the first day of 2016 is the release of Orson Welles’ masterpiece Chimes At Midnight. Though not as widely known or celebrated as Citizen Kane or even Touch of Evil, Chimes At Midnight is a towering achievement that, like most of Welles’ work, has stood the test of time. Tangled up in rights issues for years, the movie’s debut in select theaters will hopefully be a sign of good things to come, leading to an eventual release on Blu-ray and DVD.

Integrating elements from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Henry V, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Richard II, Chimes At Midnight features Welles as John Falstaff, the waywardly knight who serves as a father figure to Prince Hal (Keith Baxter). Along with carrying a top-notch ensemble (the film co-stars John Gielgud, Margaret Rutherford, and Jeanne Moreau), the 1966 feature also contains one of Welles’ most charismatic and ultimately heartbreaking performances, as he perfectly embodies Falstaff’s humorous and eventually practical approach towards life.

Chimes at Midnight debuts January 1, 2016 at Los Angeles’ Cinefamily and the Film Forum in New York.


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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Bryan Cranston To Receive Spotlight Award At PSIFF

trumbo14Bryan Cranston will be honored with the Spotlight Award at the 27th annual Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). The Awards gala, which also features honorees Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Johnny Depp, Michael Fassbender, Brie Larson, Rooney Mara, director Tom McCarthy, Saoirse Ronan and Alicia Vikander takes place Saturday January 2 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

“Whether on film, television or Broadway, Bryan Cranston is an outstanding actor who delivers an extraordinary and memorable performance with each character he takes on,” said Film Festival Chairman Harold Matzner. “In Trumbo, Cranston brings his amazing talent to his portrayal of blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. For this brilliant performance, worthy of the awards recognition it has been receiving, it is an honor to present Bryan Cranston with the 2016 Spotlight Award, Actor.”

For his work in Trumbo, Cranston has received two SAG nominations, two Critics’ Choice Movie Award nods, and a Golden Globe nomination.

Previous Spotlight Award recipients include Julia Roberts, Jessica Chastain, J.K. Simmons, Amy Adams, and Helen Hunt. The PSIFF takes begins January 1 and runs through January 11.

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Trailer: ‘The Abandoned’ Is Refreshingly Creepy Beyond Belief

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One of the first releases of 2016 is the The Abandoned, a psychological horror-thriller headlined by Louisa Krause (Martha Marcy May Marlene) and Jason Patric (After Dark My Sweet, Sleepers). The trailer suggests the storyline focuses more on things that go bump in the night rather than outright gore, and the actual premise is promising.

Streak (Krause) is a mentally unstable woman who lands a job as a security guard at a once lush and now abandoned apartment complex. Her first night on the job, however, is a harrowing one, as their may be an evil presence that is lurking within the inner corners and forgotten rooms of the building. Patric is Streak’s new co-worker Cooper, a guy who probably knows the ins and outs of the area but presumably leaves Streak in the dark.

The intriguing part of The Abandoned, at least judging from the trailer, is the suggestion that this newfound terror may be a figment of Streak’s imagination.My guess is Streak’s own unstable nature may come into play, but the film’s moniker may suggest there may be someone (or something?) living within the building. The picture marks the featuring directing debut of Eytan Rockaway.

Check out the trailer below and tell us what you think! The Abandoned opens in New York and Los Angeles on January 8 and will also be available on VOD.

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Posted By: Greg Srisavasdi

Review: ‘The Big Short’ Comes Out a Winner

the-big-short-teaser-posterHow do you make a film about banking and the housing bust interesting? You start with casting Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Brad Pitt, then add a director known for comedy in Adam McKay to the mix and soon you’ve got the makings of The Big Short, a film that analyzes the fiscal irresponsibility of banks that led to the housing crisis of the mid-to-late 2000s.

The story centers on a trio of groups, each of which who had the wherewithal to dig a little deeper and see that something horrible was about to happen. It begins with eccentric financial analyst Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), a man who is more at home in a t-shirt and playing metal songs on drums than showing up to the office in a suit. Burry has made his company a lot of money, but when he investigates the housing market and spots a trend of people defaulting on loans, he’s convinced that at some point the housing market will collapse. As such, he decides to approach some of the top banking institutions who almost laugh him out of the office when he wants to sell short on bundled mortgages. In fact, they’re more than willing to take the millions he’s willing to invest, which puts his own company on the line. To say the least, his investors are none too happy, but he’s put them in a place where they must commit to his vision.

The second group consists of Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), a banker who gets wind of Burry’s prospectus and knows that there’s something to it.  Seeing a way to make money, he starts pitching the idea to a number of groups, but like Burry, he’s laughed out of most pitches until he comes across a financial team led by Mark Baum (Steve Carell) and his associates (Rafe Spall, Jeremy Strong and Hamish Linklater), who listen to his pitch, do their own investigating and decide to go in with him in shorting the market.

The third group consists of up-and-coming bankers Charlie Geller (John Magaro) and Jamie Shipley (Finn Wittrock), who are looking for a seat at the big table but have come up horribly short. But when they catch wind of Vennett’s prospectus, they too see an opportunity. They reach out to their neighbor Ben Rickert (Brad Pitt), a former banker at a major bank who has lost his taste for it. They convince Rickert that they see something that nobody else does and he agrees to help them get their ISDA and pursue their goal.

While it may seem that these three storylines, which never really intersect, would be hard to follow, McKay makes it all work with snappy dialogue and very few lulls in the storyline. Using the device of breaking the fourth wall helps as well as the characters address the audience along the way. And while you may worry that all the banking terms may be above your head, even that is broached in a clever way to help audiences follow along.

The Big Short plays out like a mystery that we already know the answer to, but the journey in getting there is where all the fun is at. It’s equally entertaining and horrific to think about as we learn how the housing bubble came to burst and even more terrifying when we learn the results of the actions taken by the banking industry. Though an ensemble piece, Carell’s Mark Baum is a ticking timebomb that is infinitely watchable, and Gosling’s Jared Vennett oozes the type of confidence he gave in the film Crazy Stupid Love. Meanwhile, Bale could turn some heads with a supporting actor nod for his ill at ease visionary. If you’re banking on The Big Short this Oscar season, you could come up a winner.

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Posted by AC