Indie News

‘Good Boys’ Tops Box Office, Bringing Hope For Original Comedies

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‘Good Boys’ Tops Box Office, Bringing Hope For Original Comedies
Universal is shaking off the damage from pulling “The Hunt” from release, but it can take comfort in the surprise showing of R-rated comedy “Good Boys.” Not only is it the first original film to reach number one since “Us” in March (another Universal title), but it also shows the depth of the studio’s lower-budget slate.

Good Boys” pushed a Universal franchise, “Hobbs & Shaw,” from the top spot, and created the rare case when a non-Disney studio held the top two spots. The week also came with four new wide releases: Two were sequels (“The Angry Birds Movie 2” and “47 Meters Down: Uncaged”), both of which failed to do more than mediocre business. “Blinded By the Light” and “Where’d You Go, Bernadette” both targeted older audiences and struggled to gain attention, though the former — a Bruce Springsteen-inspired crowd pleaser — seemed to show initial word-of-mouth appeal.
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Disney Wants You to Stop Sharing Your Streaming Passwords

Disney and Charter Communications are teaming up to prevent multiple people from sharing the same streaming account across their offerings, according to a new report. What does that mean for future Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ users? Get ready to say goodbye to using your ex’s login.

The news arrives amid a new distribution agreement announced between Disney and Charter, which is the nation’s second-biggest cable company, boasting nearly 16 million customers nationwide. In their joint announcement, Disney and Charter said they have “agreed to work together on piracy mitigation. The two companies will work together to implement business rules and techniques to address such issues as unauthorized access and password sharing.”

How exactly they plan to put a cap on password sharing is unclear, with the companies stating “we don’t have details to share at this time.”

In addition to streaming services, the deal allows Charter to continue
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Why ‘Blinded By the Light’ and ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ Opened Wide

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Two wide releases from top directors with appeal to adult audiences are specialty films, even if their distributors opted to open them in over 2,000 theaters. Warner Bros. had strong reasons for wide-releasing New Line Cinema’s Bruce Springsteen-infused Sundance pickup “Blinded By the Light” this weekend, as did United Artists with Annapurna’s long-delayed Cate Blanchett vehicle “Where’d You Go, Bernadette.”

The question is how to find audiences for these films, as studios and indies alike wrestle with deeply rooted issues in today’s theatrical market. Even Sony Pictures Classics, which has pivoted to documentaries, found a weak initial arthouse audience for fast-frame-rate “Aquarela,” despite top-end reviews and theaters.

In wider release, “The Farewell” (A24) continues to add to its impressive totals. So does Roadside Attractions’ crowdpleasing “The Peanut Butter Falcon,” which showed a strong second weekend with non-specialized audiences as a key element.

Opening

Blinded By the Light (Warner Bros.
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George R.R. Martin Says HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ ‘Wasn’t Very Good for Me’

The rancorous response to the series finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” continues to generate chatter three months later, and author George R.R. Martin still has to answer to fans. In a new interview with The Guardian, the novelist again says that he is sticking to his original plans for the remaining books in the series, stressing that the controversial conclusion to the show will have no affect on what he’s writing — and whatever that is remains shrouded in mystery.

“You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself,” Martin said, adding that he divorced himself from the ire sparked by the finale. “I took myself out of all that,” he said.

“Some of [the theories] are right and some of [the theories] are wrong,” Martin said in response to fan speculation about what’s to come in the new books. “They’ll find out when I finish.”

Martin
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‘Friedkin Uncut’ Trailer: New Doc Dives Into The Life Of ‘Exorcist, ‘French Connection’ Filmmaker William Friedkin

By now, you ought to know the filmmaking career of legendary Oscar-winning director William Friedkin. If you don’t know Friedkin himself for some reason, you probably at least know films like “The French Connection,” and “The Exorcist.” But Friedkin’s career is extraordinary and offbeat, going from massive box office success (“The Exorcist”) and Oscar-dominating wins (“The French Connection”), to comeuppance from an industry (and critical industrial complex) that turned on the filmmaker known for his arrogance in his youth.

Continue reading ‘Friedkin Uncut’ Trailer: New Doc Dives Into The Life Of ‘Exorcist, ‘French Connection’ Filmmaker William Friedkin at The Playlist.
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Bean Bag Boys 4 Life! ‘Good Boys’ Is Filthy Box Office Gold As ‘Bernadette’ Can’t Find An Audience

After a handful of new releases at the box office last weekend, you might think that studios would take a week off and keep it relatively quiet. But that’s not what happened this weekend, as studios like Sony, Universal, and WB (along with a couple of others) released 5 new wide releases, making an already-crowded multiplex that much stuffier. That being said, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s raunchy tween comedy “Good Boys” found itself surprising everyone and coming away with the box office crown.

Continue reading Bean Bag Boys 4 Life! ‘Good Boys’ Is Filthy Box Office Gold As ‘Bernadette’ Can’t Find An Audience at The Playlist.
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Kevin Bacon Doesn’t Think He’s a Movie Star — and He’s a Better Actor For It

Kevin Bacon Doesn’t Think He’s a Movie Star — and He’s a Better Actor For It
Living inside a dark, violent world will take a toll on anyone, even when it’s just one part of your life — or a part, among many.

“I was having really bad dreams on ‘The Following,'” Kevin Bacon said, remembering his three-season stint leading the Fox serial killer drama. “Part of that was the fact that I was so inundated with violence every day I went to work. I was killing somebody, somebody was killing me, I was using guns, knives, fighting, and that kind of caught up to me. It was a dark fucking place to go to.”

Bacon dove into treacherous waters yet again with Showtime’s “City on a Hill,” an hourlong drama set to wrap its first season Sunday, August 18. Starring as the Boston-based FBI Agent Jackie Rohr, the Golden Globe-winning actor is immersed in the dirty life of a crooked cop: He plants evidence,
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Horror-Comedy ‘Extra Ordinary’ Is An Outrageously Farcical Spin On Ghost Stories [Nbff Review]

The overwhelming nature of grief and the inability to let go of those who have passed on is universal. Not as relatable is that weight twisted into a hilariously morbid narrative: a child lost to a ritual sacrifice at the hands of a washed-up Christian rock star who has made a deal with the devil for one more shot at stardom. You know, that old chestnut. “Extra Ordinary”— the debut film from Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman — takes nearly every heavy ghost and exorcism film impeded with bereavement, and flips them on their heads with humor and ingenuity to spare, which more than makes up for the times when the film gets away from them.

Continue reading Horror-Comedy ‘Extra Ordinary’ Is An Outrageously Farcical Spin On Ghost Stories [Nbff Review] at The Playlist.
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‘Mindhunter’ Review: Season 2 Is a Magnum Opus on White Guilt

‘Mindhunter’ Review: Season 2 Is a Magnum Opus on White Guilt
[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “Mindhunter” Season 2, including the ending.]

While fully utilizing David Fincher’s icy aesthetic and featuring just enough creepy prison visits to satiate expectations, “Mindhunter” makes a lot of savvy changes in Season 2. Most noticeable (and necessary) is a protagonist switch, as Holt McCallany’s endearing buzzcut of a cop, Bill Tench, takes center stage over the single-minded know-it-all Holden Ford, played with a curiosity-invoking detachment by Jonathon Groff. That early shift sets up more to come, as the research-based behavioral analysis seen in Season 1 gets pushed into early field testing in Season 2. The Btk Killer (Sonny Valicenti) looms over the series yet again — like a big bad in training who, instead of lifting weights or recruiting an army, practices autoerotic asphyxiation in a doll mask — but these nine episodes examine how public scrutiny and systemic political issues can tarnish noble intentions.

Or, in a nutshell, “Mindhunter” Season 2 is about how
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Tiff 2019 Deals: The Complete List of Festival Purchases So Far

With the Toronto International Film Festival’s 2019 edition unspooling September 5 through September 15, IndieWire has compiled all of the film acquisitions out of the fest so far. Check back for updates as the festival unfolds.

Look for the upcoming awards season’s major Oscar players to bow in Toronto, including the world premiere of “The Goldfinch,” the Safdie Brothers’ “Uncut Gems,” the Mr. Rogers film “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” Sundance winner “Clemency,” and many more. There are also gems to be found across the Discovery, Platform, Midnight Madness, and Contemporary World Cinema programs, as well as highly anticipated auteur works in the Masters sidebar, including new films from Terrence Malick, Bertrand Bonello, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Marco Bellocchio, Ken Loach, and Roy Andersson, among others.

IndieWire will be on the ground covering the festival to keep you up-to-date with reviews, interviews, features, and more news.

Blow the Man Down

Buyer: Amazon Studios
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I Directed Peter Fonda in a Western, and It Was a Privilege

I Directed Peter Fonda in a Western, and It Was a Privilege
We asked Jared Moshe, who directed Peter Fonda in the 2017 A24 Western “The Ballad of Lefty Brown,” to share his memories of working with the late actor.

It was our first day of shooting on “The Ballad of Lefty Brown.” The sun had just dipped behind the mountains. As darkness descended, we raced to get our final shot. Despite the rush, the crew was buzzing with excitement. I wish I could say it was because of stunning image or a powerful moment of performance. No. Word had spread that Peter Fonda had landed in Montana.

I can’t think of another actor who occupies such a unique space in the history of cinema. On the one hand, Peter is a counterculture icon. Half of “Easy Rider.” The star of “The Wild Angels.” “The Trip.” On the other hand, he’s Hollywood royalty. Son of Henry. Brother of Jane. Father of Bridget.
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Xavier Dolan’s Original ‘Death and Life of John F. Donovan’ Cut Was Four Hours Long

Xavier Dolan’s Original ‘Death and Life of John F. Donovan’ Cut Was Four Hours Long
Canadian filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s epic drama “The Death and Life of John F. Donovan” has been sitting on the shelf, at least stateside, since its world premiere at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival. Boasting Dolan’s most ambitious cast to date — including Kit Harrington, Jacob Tremblay, Natalie Portman, Kathy Bates, Thandie Newton, and Susan Sarandon — “Donovan” was met with jeers at the festival, including by IndieWire’s critic Eric Kohn. In a new interview with the Globe and Mail, Dolan now says that the film originally ran a lengthy four hours long. As it stands, the film currently runs a cool two hours.

“I shot the film that I wrote, but the film that I wrote was a 160-page script that made no choices,” Dolan said. “You now want to focus on something [the editing] that I’ve been focusing on for two years and I don’t know how inspired I
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Peter Fonda’s Five Must-Watch Performances

Peter Fonda’s Five Must-Watch Performances
At 79 years old, inimitable Hollywood icon Peter Fonda passed away this week, leaving behind a legacy of iconic work. He is survived by his older sister, actress Jane Fonda, and his daughter, actress Bridget Fonda. In tribute to his career, here are five Fonda performances to seek out:

The Wild Angels” (1966)

Cult hero Roger Corman’s 1966 biker outlaw film put Peter Fonda on the map as one of the faces of the New Hollywood, and forever memorialized the actor as a Harley-Davidson icon. The film that Leonard Maltin once called “Ok after 24 beers” stars Fonda as Heavenly Blues, the leader of a hard-partying San Pedro motorcycle gang, opposite Bruce Dern, Nancy Sinatra, and Diane Ladd. Fonda went on to co-star with Dern in Corman’s 1967 psychedelic film “The Trip.”

Easy Rider” (1969)

Dennis Hopper’s wild road movie arrived in Hollywood like a brick through a windshield, shattering conventions and inspiring generations of filmmakers to come.
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Olivia Colman Will Play a Femme Fatale Who Falls for Homer in ‘The Simpsons’

Olivia Colman Will Play a Femme Fatale Who Falls for Homer in ‘The Simpsons’
From playing a completely graceless stepmother in “Fleabag” to embodying the tragic, gout-ridden Queen Anne in “The Favourite,” British actress Olivia Colman can do it all. And now, the Academy Award winner and 2019 Primetime Emmy nominee will lend her voice to the 31st season of “The Simpsons,” adding to an enviable guest roster that will include John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Jason Momoa, Bob Odenkirk, John Mulaney, and Jane Goodall.

The Simpsons” executive producer James L. Brooks tweeted that Colman will play “the most down home femme fatal [sic] ever who attracts every man she’s ever met but falls hard, harder than she ever imagined, for Homer Simpson.” Brooks also teased the performance to say, “Just this second came from recording one of the best guest appearances in Simpson’s [sic] history. No kidding, I am flying.”

Olivia Colman is currently an Emmy nominee for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for “Fleabag,
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‘Mindhunter’ Season 2 Didn’t Consult Families of Atlanta Child Murder Victims

The new season of Netflix’s hit series “Mindhunter” dropped Aug. 16, and this year the series finds FBI agents Holden Ford (Jonathan Groff) and Bill Tench (Holt McCallany) taking on the Atlanta child murders, which unfolded between 1979 and 1981, with 28 African Americans slaughtered in Georgia. No one has ever been charged for the murders.

According to a new feature in the Los Angeles Times, Netflix has confirmed that the “Mindhunter” team did not consult the families of the victims in the killings, two of whom feature prominently in the season — Camille Bell, the mother of nine-year-old Yusuf Bell, who was found dead in 1979, and Venus Taylor, the mother of 12-year-old Angel Lenair, who was found dead in 1980. The investigation is currently being reopened, and with the new attention the issues of racial injustice inherent to the case are coming to the forefront.

“As you know, serial killers rarely ever cross racial lines,
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Seven Director’s Cuts to Watch After ‘Apocalypse Now’

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Seven Director’s Cuts to Watch After ‘Apocalypse Now’
Director’s cuts are having a bit of a moment. This week sees the release of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now: Final Cut,” a work 40 years in the making. Ari Aster is also debuting a nearly three-hour extended version of “Midsommar,” and Quentin Tarantino is hard at work recutting his westerns. After releasing “The Hateful Eight” as a four episode Netflix series, he has announced that he’s working on a director’s cut of “Django Unchained” as well.

In an era where it’s easier than ever to distribute content to fans, artists are taking full advantage of the opportunity to show off their original visions. If these new releases piqued your interest, here are seven more essential director’s cuts to check out.

More from IndieWireRutger Hauer Rewrote His Iconic 'Blade Runner' Monologue, Added 'Tears in Rain' HimselfFrancis Ford Coppola on How 'Apocalypse Now
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Peter Fonda, Star of ‘Easy Rider,’ Dies at 79

Peter Fonda, Star of ‘Easy Rider,’ Dies at 79
Fifty years after the release of low-budget rebel odyssey “Easy Rider,” which pushed Hollywood into the ’70s and shook the foundations of Hollywood, writer-director-actor Peter Fonda has died of respiratory failure from lung cancer. The son of Hollywood star Henry Fonda and New York socialite Frances Seymour Brokaw was born 79 years ago in New York City. He is survived by his older sister, actress Jane Fonda, and his daughter, actress Bridget Fonda.

In a statement to People magazine, the family said Fonda “passed away peacefully on Friday morning, August 16 at 11:05am at his home in Los Angeles surrounded by family …In honor of Peter, please raise a glass to freedom.”

Said Jane Fonda: “I am very sad. He was my sweet-hearted baby brother. The talker of the family. I have had beautiful alone time with him these last days. He went out laughing.”

Fonda made a splash with his
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Choose Your Fighters: ‘Mortal Kombat’ Casts A New Crew Of Killer Champions

Choose your fighter. Hot on the heels of today’s Liu Kang casting news, The Hollywood Reporter says several actors have signed on for roles in the next “Mortal Kombat” movie being produced by James Wan and currently slated for a spring 2021 release.

A few hours after Chinese actor Ludi Lin— best known for roles in 2017’s “Power Rangers” reboot along with last fall’s “Aquaman”— was set to rip out some spines and pulverize brains alongside Joe Taslim of “The Raid” fame, THR now is adding to more names to the mix: Mehcad Brooks, Tadanobu Asano and Sisi Stringer, who would be making her big-screen debut.

Continue reading Choose Your Fighters: ‘Mortal Kombat’ Casts A New Crew Of Killer Champions at The Playlist.
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Cinematographer Robert Richardson Will Shoot Venom 2 For Director Andy Serkis

The symbiote Venom is reforming for a new showdown. Three-time Academy Award-winning cinematographer Robert Richardson has been hired to shoot the “Venom 2” sequel for director Andy Serkis and Sony Pictures. Serkis, known for his motion-capture movies and move from mo-cap actor to technology-savvy director, just signed on to the movie last week. Tom Hardy will reprise his role as the journalist/ anti-hero symbiote alien who takes out bad guys and sometimes eats them too.

Continue reading Cinematographer Robert Richardson Will Shoot Venom 2 For Director Andy Serkis at The Playlist.
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‘Game of Thrones’: Unleashing Drogon’s Godzilla Force in the ‘Battle of King’s Landing’

‘Game of Thrones’: Unleashing Drogon’s Godzilla Force in the ‘Battle of King’s Landing’
The horrific sight of Dany (Emilia Clarke) turning into the Mad Queen in Season 8 of “Game of Thrones” and vaporizing King’s Landing atop Drogon became the ultimate expression of destruction for the series. Indeed, the “Battle of King’s Landing” from Episode 5 (“The Bells”) dwarfed all previous annihilation, with the VFX stepping up by taking its cue from London after the Blitz and the fire bombing of Dresden toward the end of World War II.

King’s Landing finally comes crashing down during the firebombing, the Clegane brothers (Rory McCann and Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) perish from their battle, and the Red Keep castle collapses on Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). “So, after seven years of building out the physical and sometimes emotional world of ‘Thrones’ through use of visual effects, in ‘The Bells,’ it was time to add an exclamation point,” said Joe Bauer, the lead VFX supervisor.
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