Elizabeth Banks

Check Out the First Photos from ‘Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp’

With so much needed talk recently about ageism (which, on a side note, is completely intertwined with sexism)… Read More

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In the ‘Pitch Perfect 2′ vs. ‘Mad Max’ Box Office Battle, Everybody Won

Among the many, many problems with pervasive reportage of weekend box office is the false sense of blood-sport competition it creates. It’s what happens when ticket sales are framed as box scores, encouraging moviegoers to cheer the “winner” and flee the “loser,” positioning films less as works of art or even snapshots of a culture than as professional wrestlers, talking shit or eating crow. Such juxtaposition is reductive to begin with, collapsing the entirety of a film’s being — its cultural impact, its critical reception, its potential longevity — into a stark, simple number that holds the entirety of its value. But in the wake of a weekend like this one, in which the astonishing success of Pitch Perfect 2 over second-place finisher Mad Max: Fury Road is being classified by industry rags and film bloggers alike as some kind of girl-power rebuke to testosterone-fueled action, such simplistic equivalency isn’t just ignorant, it’s counterproductive. … Read More

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How ‘Pitch Perfect’ Helped A Cappella Hit a High Note in the Mainstream

If there is one thing you learn at the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCA), it’s that there are a lot of ways to wear a vest. The vest, you see, is part of the changing uniform of the a cappella group. While perfectly matching (and perfectly dorky) bow ties, khaki pants, and suit jackets were once the preferred aesthetic of a cappella and its innumerable male groups from across the Ivy League, the sound’s “cool” new look involves coordinating trends across a singular color palette and a renewed sense of individuality. There were more pleather skirts on stage at this past April’s ICCA Finals than there are at a Forever 21. And don’t even get me started on the University of Michigan G-Men, who wear numbered soccer jerseys while covering Alt-J and employing mouth percussionists so frighteningly guttural, you’ll swear there’s some sort of woodland mammal among their ranks. … Read More

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“I Don’t Know If I Believe in Evil”: Director Amy Berg on ‘Every Secret Thing’ and the Film Hollywood Wouldn’t Touch

The transition from directing documentary to directing narrative is one of the trickier moves in the movie business, one that has tripped up plenty of fine filmmakers, from Errol Morris (The Dark Wind) to Michael Moore (Canadian Bacon) to Joe Berlinger (Blair Witch 2) to Steve James (Prefontaine). And while Amy Berg is one of our most consistently interesting nonfiction directors — her credits include the Oscar-nominated Deliver Us from Evil, the history-making West of Memphis, and the forthcoming (and controversial) An Open Secret and Prophet’s Prey — she makes the switch to fiction storytelling seamlessly in Every Secret Thing (out this Friday). It’s a very good film, perhaps because it’s so well written (by Nicole Holofcener, adapting Laura Lippman’s novel), perhaps because it’s so sensitively acted (the ace cast includes Elizabeth Banks, Diane Lane, and Dakota Fanning). But Berg is also an adroit storyteller, and if the form is new, she’s still exploring the primary preoccupation of her films thus far: the nature of evil. … Read More

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New ‘Magic Mike XXL’ Trailer Features Copy That’s Just as Arousing as all That Gyration

“We didn’t want to show/the best parts/of this movie/but it was very/ very/hard/to resist,” claims the scintillating metallic text —… Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Indie Flicks to See in May

As you may have noticed from the giant 50-megaton tentpole movie hitting theaters today, summer movie season is in full swing. Thankfully, a robust release slate in the hotter months isn’t solely a studio pursuit; this month’s lineup of independent releases is one of the best in recent memory, with a four-star mix of foreign pictures, oddities, genre flicks, and documentaries. Here are a few to put on your radar: … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to 2015 Summer Movies

This Friday, just like the first weekend of every May since 2007, a new movie based on a Marvel comic book will open in thousands of theaters across the country, will make all the money, and will serve as the official starter pistol for summer movie season. And for many a seasoned moviegoer, that’s a cue for despair; after all, summer has become synonymous with big, bloated, stupid blockbusters of the Transformers school. And make no mistake, there’s plenty of those on the runway this season (how ya doin’, Terminator Genisys, it’s pretty funny that you’re actually going with that spelling). But don’t go into cinematic hibernation just yet; there’s also a steady stream of first-rate indie-flick counterprogramming on the runway, and some of the big movies actually sound pretty good. So, as a public service to you, the discerning moviegoer, we’ve assembled a month-by-month look at what might actually be worth your time and… Read More

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Noted Gender Expert Russell Crowe Explains Why Actresses Over 40 Complain About Hollywood’s Obsession With Youth

There are already plenty of reasons to loathe Russell Crowe. He is, by most accounts, a bullying boor; he hasn’t made a good movie in years (2007, by my clock); he’s one of those actors who insists on also playing rock star. Well, if all that weren’t enough, we can now add “sexist mansplainer” to Crowe’s CV, thanks to a face-palming interview in The Australian Woman’s Weekly, wherein he just wishes that all these lady actresses would learn to act their age. … Read More

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