Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie and Hayley Atwell Will Appear in ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

Avengers: Age of Ultron has revealed some new members of its already impressive cast list: Idris Elba, Anthony Mackie and Hayley Atwell.… Read More

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‘Electric Boogaloo': How Cannon Films’ ’80s Trash Tactics Took Over Hollywood

It would be tempting to say that documentarian Mark Hartley’s in trouble once he runs out of schlocky movie subcultures to turn into films, but who am I kidding? Hollywood will never stop turning out schlocky movies. He broke out with the 2008 film Not Quite Hollywood, a raucous celebration of “Ozploitation,” the exploitation pictures of his native Australia; he followed it up with 2010’s Machete Maidens Unleashed!, which looked at the (frequently foreign) exploitation filmmaking of the Philippines in the 1970s and 1980s. His latest, Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films (which opened the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s “Film Comment Selects” series last weekend), dives into the rich story of the notorious mini-studio run by Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus. It is, as per usual for Hartley, a giddy, lightning-paced celebration of cheerfully terrible movies. But in a post-movie discussion with Hartley and some of his participants, it became clear that it’s also not some piece of moldy, irrelevant movie history. … Read More

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‘Birdman,’ ‘Maps to the Stars,’ and Hollywood’s Current Vogue for Self-Obsession

“Pray that those that eat, those that are eaten, and the act of eating be universally devoid of self,” celebrity therapist Dr. Stafford Weiss (John Cusack) says smugly in Maps to the Stars, director David Cronenberg’s big, wet defecation on the deadening influence of Hollywood. He’s quoting the Dalai Lama, he says, but long before his cushy life goes up in flames, it’s clear that Weiss’ Buddhist wisdom is all smoke and mirrors, a vain stab at profundity from an exceedingly shallow man. Indeed, here, as in other recent depictions of Tinseltown’s insider baseball, such noble sentiments ring false, or are otherwise crushed by an industry no longer much interested in altruism. That four films from four directors, each with its own distinct style and tone, should tread such similar thematic ground in this short span of time suggests a certain discomfort with the changing rules of the game, a fear that the dog-eat-dog business of filmmaking threatens to annihilate a particular brand of film art. Call it the unexpected anxiety of obsolescence. … Read More

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The 6 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Whiplash,’ ‘Big Hero 6’

We usually use this space to recommend the week’s five best new releases streaming and on disc, but some weeks that’s just not enough — and this is one of those weeks. Making their debuts are two of last year’s most entertaining flicks, fresh off of big wins on Oscar night; one of 2014’s best documentaries (and a surprising exclusion from that category); and three terrific catalog titles with spiffy new Blu-ray upgrades. … Read More

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Kristen Wiig/Alexander Skarsgård-Starring ‘The Diary of a Teenage Girl’ Will Open New Directors/New Films Festival

The New Directors/New Films festival, one of the best festivals out there devoted to emerging filmmakers, has announced its… Read More

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Patricia Arquette on Twitter: Equal Pay Means All Women, Especially Women of Color

Some of Patricia Arquette’s ill-advised comments about the pay gap last night (“And it’s time for all the women in America… Read More

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Richard Linklater Is Contemplating ‘Boyhood 2′

One of the main takeaways of Boyhood, a message that seems so self-evident as to merit the cartoon sound of being flicked on… Read More

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Watch: Matt Damon, Lupita Nyong’o, Jeff Bridges and Sean Penn’s Acting Coach, Jimmy Kimmel, Abuses Them for Sake of the Craft

Have you ever noticed a startling similarity in the acting styles of such greats as Sean Penn, Jeff Bridges,… Read More

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