Movie Meter: Reese Witherspoon is Back and Chris Rock Deserves a High Five

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Wild: Through the more than two decades of her acting career, 38-year-old Reese Witherspoon has gone from being totally unknown to known to overrated to supremely overrated, and now all the way back down to significantly underrated. Jean Marc Vallé’s film—based on an Oprah-approved memoir by Cheryl Strayed about an emotionally devastated woman who decides to hike the PCT from Mexico to Canada to reclaim her lost soul—gives Witherspoon a showcase opportunity to show the world what she’s capable of with the right material. Not unlike Matthew McConaughey, who starred in Vallé’s previous film, Dallas Buyers Club, and rode that performance to Oscar glory, Witherspoon is getting rave notice for her most welcome return to form. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 92%

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PHOTOS: 10 Character Posters From Into The Woods

While we’re all chomping at the bit for tomorrow’s release of the much-much-anticipated final Into The Woods trailer, producers are giving us something to bide our time: 10 character posters from the movie. Most everyone is there: The Baker’s Wife (Emily Blunt), Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), The Prince (Chris Pine), and most importantly The Witch (Meryl Streep. Check them out in the slideshow below.



[Huffington Post]

Movie Meter: Jake Gyllenhaal Goes Full-Creeper for Nightcrawler

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Nightcrawler: You have to give Jake Gyllenhaal some credit: Dude is not afraid to go full-creep if a role demands it. In Dan Gilroy’s scathing indictment of mass media and gore-celebrating TV journalism, Gyllenhaal plays a gaunt sociopath who looks as if he’s survived for months on Jolly Ranchers and cigarette ashes. Seeking some kind of direction in his life, he becomes an indispensable freelance cameraman for a desperate local L.A. affiliate. He films the city’s murders, fires, car accidents and other assorted horrors on his all-night shift to bolster their sagging morning ratings. The film is brilliantly unsettling. (Pearl, Rave, UA Main Street, UA Riverview) Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%

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Rob McElhenney to Make Directorial Debut With Kids Film Figment

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Photo: Shutterstock

Sunny skies are not about to turn gray for co–star and co-creator of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Rob McElhenney. The Philly native will make his directorial debut with a kids adventure film called Figment.

Legendary Pictures has recently closed a seven-figure deal with McElenny to write, direct and produce Figment, an action film about an imaginative boy and his family. The family’s adventure will be enhanced by Legendary’s signature large-scale template and McElenny’s Always Sunny charm. Figment is expected to revisit heartwarming motifs analogous to that of the 1980s classics ET and The Goonies. Sounds like a long-overdue genre that hasn’t been tackled since Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves.

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FIRST LOOK: American Sniper Trailer, Starring Bradley Cooper

The trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper was released. The film, based on a memoir of the same name by Chris Kyle, stars Philly’s Bradley Cooper as Kyle. It follows him from his days as a rodeo cowboy to a SEAL chief who racks up the highest number of sniper kills in U.S. American History. This is the film in which Cooper packed on 40 pounds to play the role.

The film is due out December 25th.

3 Unique Film Festivals To Look Out For in October

Found Footage Festival

john johnnyThe Found Footage Festival (FFF), currently in its 10th year, is coming to Johnny Brenda’s Thursday, October 2nd for two showings at 7:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. This special event is a guided tour through wacky and weird found VHS footage, hosted by curators Joe Picket and Nick Prueher, who provide commentary and “where are they now” stories from the videos’ stars. FFF has been featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, and NPR.

Highlights from this year’s show include footage of the strangest home-shopping hosts you’ll ever meet: John & Johnny. As part of the festival’s 10-year anniversary celebration, Pickett & Prueher did some investigating into this crowd-pleaser from years past. Not only did they dig into old footage to find some never-before-seen John & Johnny clips, but they hired a detective to reunite the two hosts: “They’re living on opposite sides of the country, but we reunited them for the first time in 26 years,” says Prueher. “We videotaped it, so we’re showing not only the long-lost John & Johnny footage, but we’re showing the reunion.”

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André 3000 Wants Kevin Hart to Play Big Boi in Outkast Biopic

kevin hart big boi

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Outkast’s André 3000 chats about playing Jimi Hendrix in the upcoming Jimi: All is By My Side. During the course of the conversation he teases an Outkast biopic, and how he’d like a certain Philly comedian to play his sidekick Big Boi.

Rapper André Benjamin worked obsessively on his startling portrayal of Jimi Hendrix in the new film Jimi: All Is By My Side, and he already has ideas about a potential biopic for his group Outkast. “It would be great to make an Outkast movie right now, but instead of really serious, make it a full comedy — like Kevin Hart would play Big Boi,” he said of his rapping partner last night. And as himself? “We should cast somebody stupid — like Leonardo [DiCaprio].”

[Rolling Stone]

Who and What to See This Weekend at qFLIX

Jack Turner and Michael Hamilton in "10 Year Plan."

Jack Turner (left) and Michael Hamilton in”10-Year Plan,” which screens Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday evening saw the inaugural launch of two new LGBT-centric arts events in Philadelphia: William Way’s brand-new, first-of-its-kind queer jazz festival, OutBeat, and qFLIX, the new-media film festival that seeks to take the place of our dearly departed QFest.

The film festival runs all weekend and closes with a special screening on Monday night. For a festival that seemed to come together out of the blue, organizer Thom Cardwell has managed to cull a pretty impressive lineup of films and special guests—from local filmmakers and actors on the rise, like Jordan Fraser and Erik Ranson, to internationally known celebs Michael Lucas and Glee star Max Adler.

I’ve got the complete itinerary below, but first a few things to get excited about:

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