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Scare Me review – cabin-fire tales get nasty in self-aware comedy horror

1er octobre, par Benjamin Lee[ —]

Josh Ruben and Aya Cash play writers trying to outscare each in other in a playful, patchy midnight movie with a timely sting in its tail

There’s a fine line, tonally, between knowing and smug, a line that writer-director Josh Ruben’s ambitiously contained comedy horror Scare Me treads precariously, its story of storytellers telling stories to scare each other almost stumbling over its own ego. But while there are lapses, an overindulgence here and there, Ruben mostly keeps his canny debut feature afloat and us entertained, if not exactly scared …

Related: The Glorias review – Gloria Steinem biopic is a laughably shoddy mess

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Avatar 2 is ready for launch – but has James Cameron left it too late?

1er octobre, par Ben Child[ —]

The first sequel is in the can and the second is almost complete but the universe has changed in the 11 years since cinema’s biggest sci-fi blockbuster

If James Cameron’s Avatar were a pop song it would be Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, an epic concoction that brings immense joy the first time it is experienced but eventually becomes nulled by its cultural ubiquity. Or perhaps Spaceman by Babylon Zoo, a startlingly popular effort that never got the follow-up it required to make its creator anything more than a cosmic one-hit wonder.

Or so we might have thought until this week, when Cameron emerged from the creeping cobwebs of time to announce (to Arnold Schwarzenegger, no less), that Avatar parts 2 and 3 are almost ready. Avatar 2, apparently, is done and dusted, while Avatar 3 is “sort of 95% complete”.

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My Zoe review – cloning around to no one's amusement episode download
1er octobre, par Peter Bradshaw[ —]

Julie Delpy mashes family drama with sci-fi thriller in a film hamstrung by its earnest absurdity

However sincerely intended it is, there is something jarringly misjudged and misconceived (and not especially well acted) in this peculiar Europuddingy film from writer-director Julie Delpy. It starts out as a wrenchingly painful human drama. But having clumsily invoked the most intimate of family tragedies, it lurches into a preposterous melodrama from a Huxley-esque dystopia.

The setting is the present or near-future (some tech innovations tip you off) and Delpy plays Isabelle, a French scientist living in Berlin with her six-year-old daughter Zoe (Sophia Ally), whose custody arrangements she is negotiating with her angry British ex-husband James (Richard Armitage). He’s an abusive and controlling figure who never supported her career and accused her of neglecting their daughter.

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Tony Todd on Candyman, Black Lives Matter and seeing stars cry on the set of Platoon

1er octobre, par Phil Hoad[ —]

The actor who terrified a generation in the 90s horror classic returns to the role for the sequel – and for a documentary looking back at the gruelling shoot on Oliver Stone’s iconic 1986 war movie

Tony Todd chuckles heartily. “Why in the fuck would I go to a mirror, with me in the mirror – the actor who played the role – and call out my own damn name five times?” I have just asked the dumb – but obligatory – question of whether he has ever dared utter Candyman’s fatal invocation. Todd played Daniel Robitaille, AKA the Candyman, the hook-handed, bee-spouting yet swoonsome spectre from the 1992 horror classic. “I have never waded in that water. I don’t even listen to people when they come to me and say that. I cut them off. They try it; they want to me stop them or something.”

Todd is probably getting quite a bit of this right now. Candyman was already enjoying a critical revival in the last few years as Black Lives Matter and other social movements gathered headway; despite, or perhaps because of, its white director (the Englishman Bernard Rose), it was able to smuggle in a theme that was exceptional for a 90s horror film: the psychic cost of centuries of oppression of African Americans. Now, after the George Floyd protests and with a Jordan Peele-produced sequel imminent, interest in this unusually sensitive piece of Hollywood product is white-hot.

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20 best African films – ranked!

1er octobre, par Peter Bradshaw[ —]

As the UK’s leading African film festivals showcase the past decade’s classics online, we pick 20 great landmarks from the continent’s dazzling movie-making history

The film’s director, Apolline Traoré, was born in Burkina Faso and educated in the US before returning to the country of her birth and working with Idrissa Ouédraogo. Borders is her third feature, a road movie about four very different women travelling across beautifully evoked landscapes from Senegal to Nigeria, having melodramatic, shocking or comic episodes on the hot and dusty road.

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The Elfkins review – elves to the rescue in sickly-sweet kids' animation

1er octobre, par Leslie Felperin[ —]

Two plucky denizens of an underground world emerge into a German town to help the local baker – with soft-as-icing results

Anyone who has spent countless hours watching cartoons with children will attest that some of the output made for the younger end of the spectrum can be surprisingly watchable, even mesmerising. Sadly, this German production about plucky elves who decide to help a depressed artisanal baker does not fall into that category.

Visually palatable but as uniform and monotonously predictable as a Mr Kipling cake, The Elfkins posits an underground world where elves live, fearful of the human world above. Elfie, a heavily fringed tween elf (voiced in this English-language version by Rivka Rothstein) decides to explore the human world and persuades portly sidekick Buck (Valentin Beinhold) to accompany her. A misadventure involving a drainpipe and a black pug pup results in them being joined by rule-stickler Kipp (Liam Mockridge) in what looks like a provincial German town. Eventually, they fall in with Theo (Erik Hansen), a skilled maker of baked foodstuffs with the long grey ponytail of an ageing rocker, whose business is on the decline. Luckily, elves like making stuff, as any cobbler could tell him.

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Borat praises Donald Trump on Twitter ahead of new film episode download
1er octobre, par Catherine Shoard[ —]

De facto first look at sequel appears on social media, with Kazakh presenter praising president’s performance in debate

A parody Twitter account styled to represent the government of Kazakhstan but apparently in promotion of the forthcoming Borat sequel, has praised Donald Trump’s performance in the recent US presidential debate.

“Congratulation to great friend of the Kazakh people @realDonaldTrump for winning debate today!” it read. “Impressive and amazing result for a strong premier who always put America and Kazakhstan first!”

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Scorsese, Eastwood, Broccoli say US cinemas may not survive pandemic

1er octobre, par Reuters[ —]

Industry figures have signed a letter saying ‘we fear for the future’ of cinemas, 69% of which could go out of business

Oscar-winning film directors James Cameron, Clint Eastwood and Martin Scorsese joined forces with movie theatre owners on Wednesday in an appeal for financial help, saying they feared for the future of their industry.

In a letter to the leaders of the US Senate and the House of Representatives, they said the coronavirus pandemic had dealt a devastating blow to movie theatres and that without funds “[cinemas] may not survive the impact of the pandemic”.

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Walt Disney sheds 28,000 jobs at theme parks as pandemic bites

play episode
30 septembre, par Dominic Rushe in New York[ —]
  • Company blames limited attendance at reopened parks
  • Disney posted $4.72bn loss in second quarter

Walt Disney announced it was laying off 28,000 employees from its theme park business on Tuesday, the latest company to announce huge jobs cuts in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The entertainment company blamed limited attendance at the theme parks it has reopened and the continuing closure of others for the “difficult decision”.

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Back to where you came from: how Vietnam drama Monsoon ignites the battle for belonging episode download
29 septembre, par Georgina Quach[ —]

Hong Khaou’s thoughtful film speaks to those of us who were forced to move from our homeland but are now finding a haven in other spaces, from food to family

‘Go home!” or “Go back to where you came from!” are words that people of colour hear and swallow all the time. Having grown up in the UK, such jeers ignite both confusion and anger – as my sense of a community is diminished by the insults of people who are no more British than I am.

Related: Monsoon review – sweet times and scented tea in Saigon

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