Cutting Room for November 28

Not that I’ve watched the teaser for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens a lot, but this may be the longest that I’ve gone without replaying it. Actually, hold on a second, I have to do…something… Okay, I’m back. One of the only controversies about the gobstopping wonderment-inducing footage is whose voice that is dripping with Britishness and menace in the voiceover. Many thought it was Benedict Cumberbatch, which is what I thought too, but it turns out it’s Gollum. Seriously, Andy Serkis, best known for playing the “precious”-loving baldie is the teaser’s narrator, doing what can only be described as a “Cumber-pression.” It has been confirmed as Serkis, so now you can tell your friends. What? Your friends aren’t doing nothing but talking about this trailer? Get some new friends.

Talk about a movie going from off my radar to the top of my “gimme now” list: Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming Steve Jobs movie went from having Christian Bale as the turtlenecked guru to having Michael Fassbender turtling his neck. With Danny Boyle directing, that already sounds bad-ass before you tell me Natalie Portman is in talks to play Jobs’ daughter, Lisa, who Sorkin calls “the heroine of the movie.” How do you like them Apple?

“We finally really did it. You maniacs! Damn you. God damn you all to hell!” What? Is there another way to tell you they officially greenlit an Independence Day sequel without Will Smith?

Ridley Scott, who has done many things I admire and a few big things I don’t, added to the latter this week by responding to the “whitewashing” controversy surrounding Exodus: Gods and Kings. In a flippant response, Scott addressed his decision to have historic Middle East figures played by the whitest humans imaginable by saying he couldn’t have gotten the movie funded using racially accurate actors. Racism: It’s good for business!  

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


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Cutting Room for November 21

Ah that old Hollywood motto: “Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Now, bring me more cocaine!” For no good reason, the latest attempt to bring Stephen King’s “The Stand” to the big screen has seen the big book split into four movies. Four. As in one more than our beloved family dog, Tripod, has legs. While I’m a fan of the book, this seems a bit excessive. Then again, in Hollywood, excessive is a synonym for “more cocaine.”

Mel Gibson is about to see if we’re over it yet. He is currently circling a directing gig with Hacksaw Ridge, which is the true story of the first “Conscientious Objector” to win the Congressional Medal of Honor. Andrew Garfield is contemplating the lead role and, I’m sure, whether he wants to tie his first major dramatic role to a guy who once unironically used the phrase “sugar tits.”

It still holds up, but I don’t know how many of us not named Ben Stiller have been breathlessly awaiting a Zoolander sequel. Awaiting or not, it’s a-coming, as Zoolander 2 just cast Penelope Cruz. While that casting announcement is interesting, I think we’re all holding our breath for one name and one name only: Will Billy Zane be back or not?

Sometimes, you get to write a sentence about a movie that is so incredibly cool without having to inject one creative word of your own. Chris Pratt is going to play a Cowboy Ninja Viking. Based on the comic, Pratt will play an assassin with multiple personalities. Do you know what those different personalities are? I’ll give you a hint. They rhyme with Sowboy, Pinja and Biking. I think I speak for all of us when I say, consider that ticket purchased.

Cutting Room provides breaking local and national movie news … complete with added sarcasm. Send any relevant information to film@thereader.com. Check out Ryan on Movieha!, a weekly half-hour movie podcast, catch him on the radio on CD 105.9 on Fridays at around 7:30 a.m. and on KVNO 90.7 at 8:30 a.m. on Fridays and follow him on Twitter.


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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The epic conclusion to the most epic of epics.

GRADE
A-


The Babadook

A terrifying tale of an ooky pop-up book and motherly love.

GRADE
A


The Tale of Princess Kaguya

A water-colored take on a Japanese folktale that is prettier than it is interesting.

GRADE
B-


The Theory of Everything

"Out of this world" performances buoy a sub-par script.

GRADE
B+


Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

Half of what promises to be an epic conclusion to a fabulous series.

GRADE
B+


Birdman

A delirously fun satirical send up of artistic pretension. 

GRADE
B+


The Overnighters

"The Grapes of Wrath" in documentary form set in North Dakota.

GRADE
A-


Interstellar

If this was humanity's last hope, give up.

GRADE
D


Happy, Little Clouded

Actual human beings made The Tale of Princess Kaguya, and you can tell. A water-colored rebuke of the robots who...

more »


No Big Bang

In 1965, Stephen Hawking wrote his first ground-breaking thesis and wed Jane Wilde. His paper argued that if a star can...

more »


Leni Riefen-stalling

On the one hand, any film subtitled “Part 1” is a naked cash grab. On the other hand, shut up and take my money, Hunger...

more »


Oopsie Genius

I know two things for sure: (1) Birdman aims to relentlessly drive home one singular point, one thoroughly expressed thesis...

more »


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