Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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Cat Fight: Benedict Cumberbatch and Idris Elba to Play Shere Khan in Different ‘Jungle Book’ Films

The dueling Jungle Book adaptations are beginning to seem like the hoards of never-actualized Janis Joplin biopics – so… Read More

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Brad Pitt’s Nazi-Killing Streak Continues in Trailer for ‘Fury’

Brad Pitt’s face has long been an icon of Caucasian-everyman “Americanness.” Perhaps for that reason, he’s taking on the role of… Read More

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‘The One I Love’s’ Big, Secret Plot Twist Is About the Marketing, Not the Movie

When the screening invite for Charlie McDowell’s new film The One I Love landed in my inbox, an odd disclaimer caught my eye. “Please note that no one will be admitted to screenings of The One I Love once the film has begun,” it went. “We kindly request that you abstain from plot spoilers in your coverage and on social media.” This has been the movie’s big bullet point since it premiered at Sundance, spotlighted in the pull quotes of its trailer — there is a big twist, so overarching that when co-star Elisabeth Moss appeared on The Daily Show to promote it, she told Jon Stewart that said twist “basically means that I can’t tell you anything about the movie.” But once you see the movie, all of the coy pre-release hand-wringing doesn’t make a helluva lot of sense. It’s not a film that somehow hinges on explosive surprises; the fact that it’s being marketed as such is less a protective measure for the picture’s delicate fabric, and more an uninspired marketing hook. … Read More

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How Does ‘Y Tu Mamá También’ Fit Into Alfonso Cuarón’s Idiosyncratic Career?

You’re not exactly dancing out on a limb these days if you suggest Alfonso Cuarón all but saved the Harry Potter film franchise when he took over for Chris Columbus with The Prisoner of Azkaban. But there was a bit of an uproar among concerned parents and cultural watchdogs when he was first attached to the project, for one reason and one reason only: his previous film, and biggest success to date, was the road movie Y Tu Mamá También, rated NC-17 for its drug use and “strong sexual content.” Fears of Cuarón crafting scenes of Harry, Hermione, and Ron toking up and having a three-way were ultimately for naught, and Azkaban’s success would propel Cuarón to the upper ranks of the mainstream. But Y Tu Mamá También (out today in a lovely new DVD/Blu-ray special edition from the Criterion Collection) remains his most fascinating work — and, increasingly, an outlier in his idiosyncratic filmography. … Read More

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So Bad It’s Good: ‘Howard the Duck,’ the Marvel Movie We’d All Like to Forget

Bad movies are not a simple matter. There are nearly as many categories of terrible movies as there are for great ones: there are films that are insultingly stupid (Batman & Robin), unintentionally funny (The Room), unintentionally, painfully unfunny (White Chicks), so bad they’re depressing (Transformers), and so on. But the most rewarding terrible movies are those we know as “so bad they’re good” — entertaining in their sheer incompetence, best braved in numbers, where the ham-fisted dramatics and tin-eared dialogue become fodder for years of random quotes and inside jokes. And in this spirit, Flavorwire brings you the latest installment in our monthly So Bad It’s Good series: Howard the Duck, the first big-screen adaptation of a Marvel comic book, which makes their subsequent films seem like the flowers that bloom beneath a heavy load of dense fertilizer. … Read More

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Watch a Fake Trailer for ‘Up,’ Directed by Michael Bay

Here’s something depressing: a month after becoming the highest-grossing movie ever in China, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction… Read More

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Boomer Audit: Despite the Self-Indulgence and the Clichés, ‘Easy Rider’ Retains Its Pulse

Easy Rider is nothing but trouble. Even the most casual of film fans is aware of its importance; an out-of-left-field critical and commercial smash in the summer of 1969, its unconventional approach, anti-authoritarian themes, and pop soundtrack helped set the table for the “New Hollywood” of the 1970s, and all that came after. Without Easy Rider, there would have been no Last Picture Show or Five Easy Pieces. Jack Nicholson may have never crossed over from screenwriting to screen acting. And the studios, falling to pieces after years of expensive flops, might have taken a good while longer to discover that genre-bending young filmmakers were the key to their survival. Easy Rider’s influence, its value, its consequence are irrefutable — and none of that makes it any easier to sit through. Yet saying so sounds like sneering contrarianism, if not outright trollery. You just can’t win with this one. … Read More

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