Adrien Brody

Tessa Thompson in "Dear White People"; Keanu Reeves in "John Wick"

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Dear White People,’ ‘John Wick’

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After a week off trudging through the cold and mainlining new movies in Park City, your weekly guide to what to buy and rent and stream has, happily, returned. This week’s slate is nice and diverse, just the way we like it: one of last year’s best action movies, one of last year’s best movies period, a recent and unjustly ignored effort from an auteur on the rise, and two underrated classics making their Blu-ray debuts.
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This Week in Trailers: ‘Ted,’ ‘Total Recall,’ ‘To Rome with Love,’ and More

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Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. We’ve got eleven trailers for you this week, including new films from Woody Allen, Oliver Stone, and Seth McFarlane, plus Whitney Houston’s final role and Katy Perry in 3D. (Seriously.) Check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.
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The 10 Best Movies Adapted from Memoirs

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We’re not sure why it seems so hard to adapt a memoir to the big screen. Though hundreds of movies made each year are adapted from novels and short stories, relatively few are built from memoir — despite the fact that the form has been at least as popular as novels in the last two decades, and may be more beloved by the general public. So why are there so few memoir-to-movie deals? And why are the ones that do exist often not very good?

After seeing the film adaptation of Nick Flynn’s great memoir Another Bullshit Night in Suck City, slapped with the anesthetized title Being Flynn, Slate‘s David Haglund wonders “if memoirs simply lose too much in the conversion from first-person prose to a medium in which genuinely first-person narration is very difficult to sustain.” It’s true — film is a third-person medium, not perfectly suited to portraying interior life. Plus, while we might slog through a poorly written novel on account of a ripping story, for us at least, a successful memoir has to rely even more on great line-by-line writing — a really beautifully written one can get us to care about the writer’s most petty grievances — and that may be difficult to translate to film. While the reviews of Being Flynn are mixed so far, we got to thinking about the few really great films adapted from memoirs. Click through to see our picks, and let us know if we’ve missed any of your favorites — or why you think the form is so hard to adapt — in the comments.
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Trailer Park: From Karate to Keanu

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Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got eight new trailers for you this week from all-star directors and former child stars; check ’em all out after the jump.
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Gallery: Carmen Ortiz’s Lifelike Celebrity Pencil Portraits

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Since the days of Andy Warhol, the art world has openly engaged with the cult of celebrity. It’s not uncommon for an artist to use celebrities’ likenesses in their pieces — Daniel Edwards has made a career out of sculpting public figures like Britney Spears in provocative positions — yet rarely does one see works as lifelike and simple as Carmen Ortiz’s illustrations. A self-taught artist, Ortiz creates pencil portraits that are remarkably detailed and beautifully shaded. With the increasing popularity of digital artwork, her hand-drawn portraits are a refreshing change. Click through to see some of our favorite portraits of actors and musicians, including Thom Yorke and Anne Hathaway. If you’re interested in seeing more of her work or purchasing a print, head over to Ortiz’s website.
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The Morning’s Top 5 Pop Culture Stories

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1. Rachel Weisz and director Darren Aronofsky — one of our favorite Hollywood power couples — are separating after nine years together. She has recently been linked with Daniel Craig, who has way less indie cred. [via Jezebel]
2. Good news: Thanks to great ratings out of the gate, AMC’s new zombie… Read More

Rate-a-Trailer: High School

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Riding on some serious Sundance buzz, John Stalberg’s stoner comedy High School tells the story of a control-freak small town high school principal (an unrecognizably plump Michael Chiklis) who decides to institute mandatory drug testing for all students. This zero-tolerance policy becomes a problem for the high school valedictorian (Matt Bush), who has just recently tried marijuana for the first time. So he decides to get his entire class high.
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Rate-a-Trailer: Splice

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The tagline for this one says it all: “Science’s newest miracle…is a mistake.” While you only get a few glimpses at the fugly new species that mad scientists Sarah Polley and Adrien Brody have cloned in the trailer for Splice, just the sound of its creepy wings flapping was enough to scare the crap out of us. That could explain why this low budget indie was the buzziest horror flick to come out of Sundance this year — and why Warner Bros. decided to snatch it up.
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