Indie News

‘6 Underground’ Review: Michael Bay’s Costly Action Outing Could Be Netflix’s Next Mega-Franchise

‘6 Underground’ Review: Michael Bay’s Costly Action Outing Could Be Netflix’s Next Mega-Franchise
Michael Bay knows his way around a multimillion-dollar budget. This is, after all, the man who gifted the world a $150 million movie about aliens that turn into cars, and that was just the start — but the “Transformers” and “Bad Boys” director’s latest comes with a different kind of price tag. For his first Netflix-financed feature, Bay is again in $150 million territory, enough to earmark his “6 Underground” as the streaming giant’s second-most expensive original ever. The first is still “Bright,” a critical laughingstock that overcame biting reviews to become a massive hit for its ambitious owner.

Those are big shoes to fill, but Bay and his wildly charismatic cast are more than up to the task in

If you like Bayhem, you’re going to love “6 Underground,” which opens with a nearly 15-minute-long car chase that pokes fun at spy flicks, the Spice Girls, and even
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‘Frozen 2’: How Production Design Empowered Elsa’s Transformation as the Snow Queen

‘Frozen 2’: How Production Design Empowered Elsa’s Transformation as the Snow Queen
It’s not often that design helps drive the narrative in animation, but when production designer Michael Giaimo had a brainstorm for the four elemental spirits of fire, earth, wind, and water in “Frozen 2,” it altered the animation and led to the ultimate transformation of Elsa (Idina Menzel) as the Snow Queen.

“From the very beginning, there was this idea of Elsa connecting with the elements of nature,” said Giaimo, who was nominated for his work on “Frozen 2” by the Art Directors Guild Awards. “But it was actually slow in growing, narratively, that there would be four elements and how they would be described. It wasn’t a given at the beginning that they would be exemplified by living creatures. But it all evolved. And I would say the art department played a major role in helping to develop that elemental narrative.”

It began about two years ago, when Giaimo
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‘Hail Satan?’ Director: ‘This Movie’s Confused a Lot of People in a Really Cool Way’

‘Hail Satan?’ Director: ‘This Movie’s Confused a Lot of People in a Really Cool Way’
When director Penny Lane began filming “Hail Satan?,” she knew the title would confuse some people. But the film is not about devil worshippers — it’s about the political origins of the nontheistic religious group The Satanic Temple, and the activists in its membership who are trying to point out hypocrisy in American politics.

The group staged its first rally in 2013 in support of a bill signed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott that allows students to read self-chosen inspirational messages at school events without input from school administration. The group made national news yet again when it petitioned for a Baphomet statue to be erected at the Arkansas State Capitol near a statue of the Ten Commandments — again highlighting the lack of separation of church and state.

“The Baphomet campaign crystallized the movement in a way that was really kind of like, ‘we’re on track, this is who we are,
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‘Euphoria’ and ‘Mrs. Fletcher’: HBO Made the Year’s Best TV Shows About Sexuality

‘Euphoria’ and ‘Mrs. Fletcher’: HBO Made the Year’s Best TV Shows About Sexuality
It’s no secret that sex and Hollywood go hand in hand, but rarely do onscreen depictions of sex interrogate human sexuality in illuminating ways. As it began doing with “Sex and the City” and “The Sopranos” when it launched the current heyday of peak TV two decades ago, HBO is still producing the most incisive shows about contemporary sexuality anywhere on television. Two of the year’s new offerings, “Mrs. Fletcher” and “Euphoria,” prove the premium network still lives up to its lofty slogan. It’s not TV if nothing else even comes close.

Premiering to major ratings and online buzz this summer, “Euphoria” followed Rue (Zendaya), a jaded teen battling addiction and her extended social circle of sexually active and culturally literate high schoolers who behave like twentysomethings. Along her raw and arduous journey towards sobriety, Rue develops a crush (along with everyone else) on her best friend Jules (Hunter Schafer). Ethereal,
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Oscar Isaac Says Denis Villeneuve’s Vision for ‘Dune’ Is ‘Nightmarish’ and ‘Brutalist’

Oscar Isaac Says Denis Villeneuve’s Vision for ‘Dune’ Is ‘Nightmarish’ and ‘Brutalist’
Oscar Isaac is returning to the big screen this Christmas as Poe Dameron in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” but it’s the actor’s next Christmas tentpole that reporters can’t stop asking about. Isaac is starring as Duke Leto Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune.” Isaac’s character is the father of the film’s protagonist, Paul Atreides, played by Timothée Chalamet. Isaac is currently on his “Star Wars” press tour but took a moment while talking with Collider to tease Villeneuve’s grand vision for his “Dune” adaptation.

“I couldn’t imagine anyone more suited for the tone of the original Frank Herbert novels than Denis,” Isaac said. “There are some things that are — for lack of a better word — nightmarish about what you see. There’s just this kind of brutalist element to it. It’s shocking. It’s scary. It’s very visceral. And
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Timothée Chalamet Takes a Jab at Scarlett Johansson’s Casting Backlash Response

Timothée Chalamet Takes a Jab at Scarlett Johansson’s Casting Backlash Response
Timothée Chalamet took a subtle hit at Scarlett Johansson during his December 9 appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” The 23-year-old actor was singing the praises of his “Lady Bird” and “Little Women” writer-director Greta Gerwig when he said he would do anything to star in her future projects. “Greta, if you’re watching this…you want me to play a chair or a tree [I will],” Chalamet said. “Like Scarlett Johansson, I’ll play a tree!”

Chalamet was referencing Johansson’s viral interview with “As If” magazine published in July. The actress was responding to her history of casting controversies when she said, “You know, as an actor I should be allowed to play any person, or any tree, or any animal because that is my job and the requirements of my job.”

Johansson latter clarified her thoughts by telling Entertainment Weekly, “I personally feel that, in an ideal world,
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Sundance Film Festival Announces 2020 Indie Episodic, Shorts and Special Events

Eighth episodic works, 74 short films and nine special events were announced today as part of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The shorts were selected from 10,397 submissions hailing from 27 countries. In the press release, Kim Yutani​, the Festival’s Director of Programming, said, “Authenticity and independent voices resonate across formats – and that’s evident across the full spectrum of this year’s Indie Episodic and Special Events slates. Defined by distinctive voices and enlightening viewpoints, these are riveting projects that find inspiration in the urgent stories and extraordinary individuals of our times.” Mike Plante, ​Senior Programmer, Shorts, said, “With an […]
See full article at Filmmaker Magazine »

Sundance Film Festival Announces 2020 Indie Episodic, Shorts and Special Events

Eighth episodic works, 74 short films and nine special events were announced today as part of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. The shorts were selected from 10,397 submissions hailing from 27 countries. In the press release, Kim Yutani​, the Festival’s Director of Programming, said, “Authenticity and independent voices resonate across formats – and that’s evident across the full spectrum of this year’s Indie Episodic and Special Events slates. Defined by distinctive voices and enlightening viewpoints, these are riveting projects that find inspiration in the urgent stories and extraordinary individuals of our times.” Mike Plante, ​Senior Programmer, Shorts, said, “With an […]
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Sundance 2020 Sets TV and Shorts Lineups with Sarah Polley, Steve James, and Lin-Manuel Miranda

Sundance 2020 Sets TV and Shorts Lineups with Sarah Polley, Steve James, and Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Sundance Institute announced its 2020 lineups for the Indie Episodic, Special Events and Shorts programs Tuesday, featuring a slew of new talent as well as plenty of faces familiar to Park City. This year’s selections include work from Steve James (“City So Real”), Sarah Polley (“Hey Lady!”), and two entries starring Lin-Manuel Miranda.

“Authenticity and independent voices resonate across formats — and that’s evident across the full spectrum of this year’s Indie Episodic and Special Events slates,” Kim Yutani, the director of programming for the festival, said in a statement. “Defined by distinctive voices and enlightening viewpoints, these are riveting projects that find inspiration in the urgent stories and extraordinary individuals of our times.”

James makes his return to Sundance after 2018’s “America to Me,” his 10-part docuseries which was picked up by Starz. This year finds James again focusing on his beloved hometown of Chicago, capturing the
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‘Star Wars’: Revisiting The Iconic Saga As We Prepare For ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ [Be Reel Podcast]

With “The Rise of Skywalker” looming on Dec. 20, we throw caution to the desert winds of Tatooine on this week’s Be Reel and revisit every ‘Star Wars‘ movie in the Skywalker Saga.

To keep things under 100 hours long, we decided to take an essayistic approach to this eight-movie marathon: try to give one fresh observation on each installment, rate the film, and move on.

Continue reading ‘Star Wars’: Revisiting The Iconic Saga As We Prepare For ‘Rise Of Skywalker’ [Be Reel Podcast] at The Playlist.
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Netflix Expects 40 Million Households Will Watch ‘The Irishman’ In Its First Month

With the debate about how Netflix released “The Irishman” in the rearview mirror, we can now move ahead with just how well (or not) the film has done since its debut on the streaming service on November 27. Recently, it was reported that the first five days of release were strong for Martin Scorsese’s latest film, but according to a Netflix exec, we now know how many households have streamed “The Irishman” in the film’s first week on the platform.

Continue reading Netflix Expects 40 Million Households Will Watch ‘The Irishman’ In Its First Month at The Playlist.
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The Best Movie Trailers Of 2019

Everything-is-epic culture has transformed film trailers over the last few years. What used to be a commercial for a movie has now changed into a mini-event. Now, we get the teaser, the teaser for the teaser, the teaser trailer, the full trailer, the Nsfw trailer, and the extended trailer. But here, we are paradoxically, hypocritically, contradictorily complaining about marketing, but also celebrating the art that’s sometimes part of it—at least the non-promotional aspect of it, if you can separate that from the product.

Continue reading The Best Movie Trailers Of 2019 at The Playlist.
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‘Hustlers,’ ‘Star Wars’ & ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Earn 2020 Costume Designer Guild Awards Nods

The Costume Design Guild announced the 22nd Costume Designer Guild Awards nominations this morning and there were a number of expected nominees. For instance, Michael Travers work for “Hustlers,” Ruth E. Carter’s creations for “Dolemite is My Name” and Julian Day‘s nominations for “Rocketman” were not surprises when the three different film categories were revealed. What was unexpected were the two major designers who didn’t make the cut for their high profile films this year.

Continue reading ‘Hustlers,’ ‘Star Wars’ & ‘Schitt’s Creek’ Earn 2020 Costume Designer Guild Awards Nods at The Playlist.
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Tarantino Says ‘Kill Bill Vol. 3’ Is ‘Definitely in the Cards’ but Would Be Years Away

Tarantino Says ‘Kill Bill Vol. 3’ Is ‘Definitely in the Cards’ but Would Be Years Away
Is “Kill Bill Vol. 3” going to be the last feature film Quentin Tarantino directs? The filmmaker recently joined Andy Cohen for a radio interview and confirmed a third installment in the Uma Thurman-led franchise is “definitely in the cards.” Tarantino said in July he was still in talks with Thurman about the project and added, “If any of my movies were going to spring from my other movies, it would be a third ‘Kill Bill.’” But Tarantino sounded even more confident about “Kill Bill Vol. 3” during his interview with Andy Cohen.

“I just had dinner with Uma Thurman last night,” Tarantino told Cohen. “We were at a really cool Japanese restaurant. I do have an idea of what I would do with [‘Kill Bill Vol. 3’]. That was the whole thing, conquering the concept. What has happened to The Bride since then? And what do I want to do?”

Tarantino added, “I didn
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Golden Globes Producer Suggests Expanding Categories In Wake Of Best Director Controversy

With representation and inclusivity being discussed by Hollywood studios, film festivals, and awards organizations so often nowadays, whenever there’s an announcement, folks look at it under a much more critical lens. Yesterday, with the Golden Globes announcement, the discussion of representation came up yet again when it was revealed that the HFPA nominated five men for Best Director and seemingly “snubbed” female filmmakers such as Greta Gerwig, Lulu Wang, and others.

Continue reading Golden Globes Producer Suggests Expanding Categories In Wake Of Best Director Controversy at The Playlist.
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Palm Springs Film Fest 2020 Presents a Showcase of 51 International Oscar Contenders

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Palm Springs Film Fest 2020 Presents a Showcase of 51 International Oscar Contenders
The annual Palm Springs International Film Festival in California is always an opportunity to catch up on many of the contenders for the Best International Feature — née Best Foreign-Language — Film Academy Award. Now in its 31st edition, the festival this year has 51 of them, from favorite-to-beat “Parasite” from South Korea and Senegal’s “Atlantics,” to other films quietly making strides in the race: Czech Republic’s “The Painted Bird,” Sweden’s “And Then We Danced,” Russia’s “Beanpole,” Romania’s “The Whistlers,” North Macedonia’s documentary contender “Honeyland,” Norway’s “Out Stealing Horses,” and many more.

The festival will screen 188 films from 81 countries, including 51 premieres, from January 2-13, 2020. The Awards Buzz section includes a special jury of international film critics, who will review these films to present the Fipresci Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year, as well as Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay in this category.
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John Boyega Didn’t Agree With Some Choices Made In ‘The Last Jedi’ & Felt Film Was “Iffy”

Yes, we’re on the verge of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” hitting theaters, but the conversation surrounding the Lucasfilm franchise can still find its way back to 2017’s ‘The Last Jedi.’ And now, after almost two years, John Boyega is admitting that there were parts of Rian Johnson’s film that he didn’t agree with.

Speaking to Hypebeast, Boyega talked about his feelings towards ‘The Last Jedi’ and how fans reacted to the film.

Continue reading John Boyega Didn’t Agree With Some Choices Made In ‘The Last Jedi’ & Felt Film Was “Iffy” at The Playlist.
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Saoirse Ronan: Greta Gerwig Being Shut Out of Golden Globes Proves ‘How Far We Still Need to Go’

Saoirse Ronan: Greta Gerwig Being Shut Out of Golden Globes Proves ‘How Far We Still Need to Go’
The backlash against the 2020 Golden Globe nominations for shutting out women filmmakers in the Best Director race continues with a strong response from Saoirse Ronan. The 25-year-old actress earned her fourth career Golden Globe nomination this week for her leading turn in “Little Women,” but the film’s writer-director Greta Gerwig was snubbed in the Best Screenplay and Best Director categories. Ronan appeared on “Today” to promote “Little Women” with co-stars Eliza Scanlen and Florence Pugh, the latter of whom said she was “totally shocked” by Gerwig’s Globes shutout. Ronan defiantly stood by her director.

“She has made one of the best movies of the year,” Ronan said. “But it’s vital for something like this to happen, because it reminds us of how far obviously we still need to go. [Greta is] a really brilliant filmmaker. We wouldn’t be here without her. Our performances rely so much on one another,
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Not Even Margot Robbie Understands The Relationship Between Harley Quinn & Joker In ‘Suicide Squad’

To say that David Ayer’s 2016 film, “Suicide Squad,” is a bit of a mess is an understatement. Honestly, describing the film as a “mess” is probably a bit of a compliment because many have called it far, far worse. Long story short, with the reports of rampant studio interference and barely any time for pre-production, Ayer’s film didn’t have much of a chance. The film, ultimately, suffered because of the aforementioned issues, particularly in fleshing out its characters beyond their garish, in-your-face introductions.

Continue reading Not Even Margot Robbie Understands The Relationship Between Harley Quinn & Joker In ‘Suicide Squad’ at The Playlist.
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2020 SAG Awards TV Predictions: Will Actors Honor ‘The Crown’ or Look to ‘Watchmen’?

2020 SAG Awards TV Predictions: Will Actors Honor ‘The Crown’ or Look to ‘Watchmen’?
The Golden Globe nominations are out, and now it’s the Screen Actors Guild’s turn to steer the 2020 awards cycle. With more voting members than the HFPA — and more long-lasting devotion to previous nominees — the 2020 SAG Awards likely won’t see as many new faces and wild picks. Instead, expect to see beloved shows like “The Crown” and “Game of Thrones” to continue to do well, while new series need broad viewership and intense support to break through.

Take a look at IndieWire TV Awards Editor Libby Hill’s recent breakdown of the voting process and the SAG Awards’ significance to TV before checking out our 2020 predictions below. The 2020 SAG Awards nominations will be announced Wednesday, December 11 from the Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles at 10 a.m. Et and 7 a.m. local time. America Ferrera and Danai Gurira will reveal the nominations, and fans can watch via TNT,
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