Watch: No Film School’s Glorious Best Cinematography of 2017 Recap

Best Cinematography of 2017

With the year coming to an end, it’s time to look back at the movies that defined the year in cinema. One of our favorite websites, No Film School, has put together a superb video to highlight & discuss their picks for the Best Cinematography of 2017. Not only is the video mesmerizing to watch with all of this lovely cinematography, but they completely nailed the selection – picking out, really, all the best cinematography, including from excellent documentaries like Chasing Coral (one of my favorites), Casting JonBenét, and Kedi. (The only big film missing, to me, is Call Me By Your Name…) Of course they feature Blade Runner 2049 (go, Roger Deakins, go!) and Dunkirk, along with Mudbound, Wonder Wheel, Good Time, The Florida Project, and Columbus. Yep, all the best films right there. This year end movie recap video is a must watch. ›››

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Watch: The Moviejerk’s Wonderful Best of Cinema 2017 Recap Video

The Moviejerk’s Best of Cinema 2017

“If only you knew how little I know about the things that matter…” Another year end countdown video looking back at the best movies of 2017. “The Moviejerk” has released a video called Best of Cinema: 2017 Edition that features clips from his favorite films edited together to songs from the films this year, similar to David Ehrlich’s year end recap. Janz Anton-Iago is “The Moviejerk” and runs the website of the same name. He includes footage from Pablo Larraín’s Jackie in this, because it was released in the UK in 2017 (even though it was released in 2016 in the US). He explains in the intro that this is more of a “video mood-piece” capturing his feelings from all the best films he saw throughout the year. It’s actually worth a watch. ›››

Continue reading Watch: The Moviejerk’s Wonderful Best of Cinema 2017 Recap Video

Comic-Con Recap: Secrets Are Revealed at the HBO Westworld Panel

Go behind the scenes of HBO Westworld. You can watch the full HBO Westworld panel from Comic-Con.

Navigate the maze with a hints, reveals and other surprises from the HBO Westworld Comic-Con panel

Set to return to in spring of next year, Westworld emerged as an immediate hit when its first season premiered on HBO last fall. This year, there was a major turnout for the show’s panel, filling San Diego Convention Center‘s massive Hall H. Moderated by vocal artist, beatboxer, musician and comedian Reggie Watts, the Westworld Comic-Con panel welcomed to the stage creators and showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy alongside stars Ben Barnes (Logan), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Armistice), Ed Harris (Man in Black), Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs), James Marsden (Teddy), Thandie Newton (Maeve), Simon Quarterman (Lee Sizemore), Rodrigo Santoro (Hector), Angela Sarafyan (Clementine), Jimmi Simpson (William), Tessa Thompson (Charlotte), Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores), Shannon Woodward (Elsie) and Jeffrey Wright (Bernard/Arnold).

RELATED: Watch the Westworld Season Two Trailer

Culminating in the reveal of the new season two trailer, the Westworld Comic-Con panel offered reflections on season one from many of the key players involved. Nolan and Joy revealed that the new Westworld was originally envisioned by J.J. Abrams to be a feature film.

“What we’re trying to do with the show is slowly reprogram the entire human population,” Nolan joked. “…My perception of reality has changed quite a bit since we started doing the show… I’ve come to the conclusion that we must be in a simulation of some kind. I just did a tequlia shot in a parking lot with Ed Harris at Comic-Con.”

Joy, who is also married to Nolan, recalled the series’ development process, one that had the couple studying modern video games together.

“Jonah used it as a chance to get me to play ‘Red Dead Redemption’ a lot,” she laughed.

“My wife is the only person who obeys the traffic signals in ‘Grand Theft Auto,’” said Nolan.

“I respect the pedestrians!” Joy shot back.

Go behind the scenes of the HBO Westworld Comic-Con panel. The HBO Westworld Comic-Con panel happened in Hall H.

With plenty of twists and turns throughout the first season, the decision was made to, by and large, keep the actors in the dark about where Westworld is headed.

“In a way, it’s like ‘Game of Thrones,’” said Harris. “I don’t everything going on in that thing, but I like watching it.”

“If we had known anything,” added Newton, “it would have too much. Our brains would just be scrambled.”

Nolan noted that it was Evan Rachel Wood, primarily, who began to piece together clues on her own while on set. Wood, whose Delores has emerged as one of the shows most beloved characters, sang the series’ praises.

“It’s so fulfilling, especially as women,” explained the actress. “I don’t know if this is true for men, too but a lot of the time, you can feel like your wings have been clipped and you’re not being represented the way that you want to. This was just like someone had given me fucking condor wings and I got to just take off and fly. I’m tearing up just talking about it because it’s so important. It’s so important right now.”

“I love how these hosts sometimes represent the best of what humanity is about,” added Marsden. “I recognize that in the relationship between Teddy and Dolores. Sometimes they can be more human than the humans that come to the park.”

Exploring a very different side of humanity, meanwhile, is Newton’s Maeve. Newton herself attempted to cast some doubt on Maeve’s motivations at the end of season one.

Is she going back for her daughter?” Newton teased the Hall H crowd.

“She better be,” Nolan interjected with a smile. “That’s what we wrote!”

Go behind the scenes of the HBO Westworld Comic-Con panel. The HBO Westworld Comic-Con panel happened in Hall H.

Wright, meanwhile, finally had to chance to speak openly about Bernard’s major season one twist.

“I didn’t know at all what it meant,” the actor explained, revealing that he was alerted about what was going to happen when he started filming the show’s second episode. “I knew it would be an interesting foil to play. But, going through the course of the season and into this season, I’m starting to understand the opportunity there… I’m still learning exactly who Bernard is. Join me!”

As for the future of Westworld, only time will tell what direction the series ultimately takes.

“Season six transitions to a point where the stars are you!” joked Nolan with a tongue in cheek claim that the end goal of the series is to open an actual theme park.

And what of the Samurai world glimpses in the season one finale? One fan asked Nolan directly whether or not we’d be seeing more from that side of the park in season two.

“That,” smiled Nolan, “doesn’t look like anything to me.”

Westworld series is inspired by the 1973 motion picture Westworld, written and directed by Michael Crichton. Westworld is produced by Bad Robot Productions, Jerry Weintraub Productions and Kilter Films in association with Warner Bros. Television. The series is executive produced, written and directed by Jonathan Nolan, executive produced and written by Lisa Joy, and executive produced by J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk.

You can read our full recaps of Westworld season one by clicking here.

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The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale Recap

The Walking Dead Season 7 Finale Recap

The Walking Dead Season 7 finale recap

Let’s start in the jail cell, where Rick has his gun to Dwight’s head. He wants Negan dead, but can’t do it himself; “they’re all Negan.” He weakly defends himself for killing Denise, which makes Daryl throw him against the wall, a knife millimeters from his eye. Tara eggs him on; so does Dwight. Dwight admits what he did was for someone else (his wife); now that she has escaped, he doesn’t want to help Negan. Daryl eventually puts his knife down, and Rosita points out that Sasha is over there. Dwight may be their only chance to get her back. Tomorrow, Negan and his crew return to Alexandria. Dwight offers to slow them down, buying Rick time to get set up. They take them all out, then Dwight will radio back and tell the Sanctuary that everything went well. Rick’s team will drive the trucks back, and with the right plan, they can take down the Sanctuary. Dwight is certain they can get the workers on his side, then they will go from outpost to outpost, taking out every last Savior. They agree, and Dwight goes back home. Regardless of how it turns out, Daryl still wants to kill him. “If he’s lying, this is already over,” Rick warns.

At the Sanctuary, Negan brings Sasha breakfast (pancakes with a happy face drawn in blueberries). He tells her his plan, which we don’t hear, save for the epilogue: Lucille gets her three. Sasha cries a little and agrees to the plan, but doesn’t believe anyone has to die. As a compromise, Negan decides only one person has to die.

Maggie rallies the troops at the Hilltop. Apparently the little getaway Gregory went on last week was permanent. Maggie is considering whether or not to lead the Hilltop into war. Enid gives her Glenn’s watch while she considers her options.

Carol has taken lead over the Kingdom’s troops. They come across Morgan, who was going to ambush the Saviors on his own. Ezekiel speaks to Morgan, who admits he wants the Saviors dead. He encourages Morgan to join them. Shiva is helping out; why not Morgan?


The Scavengers arrive at Alexandria. In one of the funniest moments of the season finale, Jadis asks Michonne if Rick is “hers.” She asks if she can lay with him after. Michonne is dumbstruck for a moment, then suggests they get back to work. Rick backs away slowly, weirded out. Jadis shrugs. Can we take a moment to discuss the Scavengers? The apocalypse has only been going on for a few years now. Why would Jadis feel the need to devolve so significantly? It’s not just asking to share Rick; it’s the way she speaks. And how did she convince a big group of people to devolve with her?

Anyway, Daryl, Aaron, and Rosita work with a couple of Scavengers to set up explosives outside the wall. Michonne sets up a blonde Scavenger at a sniper point, but wants to split up so they have more sight lines. The blonde will take another position, but promises “we win.”

True to his word, Dwight felled a number of trees in the road, slowing down the Saviors’ approach on Alexandria. While the muscle is clearing the trees, Eugene asks Negan for the chance to speak to Rick first, not go in with guns hot.

Bird calls are exchanged as the Saviors approach Alexandria. Everyone is ready, in position, with the Scavengers hiding so they won’t be seen by the Saviors. Rick was not expecting Eugene to be at the fore of this caravan, calling to him over a megaphone, telling them compliance is their only chance to survive. “Will you comply, Rick?” Rick asks for Negan. “I’m Negan,” is Eugene’s answer, which sickens Rick. He weighs his options, then signals sadly to Rosita, who looks away as she presses the button. Rick ducks; nothing happens. The explosions are a dud. Then the Scavengers pull their weapons on the Alexandrians. It was all a set up. When Rick asks Jadis why, she just shrugs. “Made a better deal.”

Negan is mock-surprised that Rick would blow up Eugene, one of theirs. “You people are animals!” Dwight and Simon stand up a coffin on the flatbed truck, next to Negan. He says Sasha is in the coffin, alive and well. “I brought her so I wouldn’t have to kill you all.” Negan makes his demands: he wants every gun they have, every last bit of lemonade, a person of his choosing for Lucille, he wants Daryl back, and a pool table. If he doesn’t get that, Sasha dies, then all of you, “probably.” Rick wants to see Sasha.


Throughout the episode, we have seen tight close-ups of Sasha in the dark, listening to an iPod, and thinking back to the last conversation she had with Abraham, trying to convince him not to go on the trip to take Maggie to the Hilltop. I hate when they do these little scenes that are trying to be misleading, peppered through the episode, then colliding with a big “ohhhh” at the end of the episode. Anyway, at this point we go back to when Negan and his crew are loading up to head to Alexandria. Negan tells Sasha she doesn’t have to ride the whole way there in the coffin, but Sasha could use the nap. She just needs a bottle of water, and she will be fine. Eugene gives her the iPod to keep her company on the trip, which should last a few hours. Before she gets in the coffin, Negan actually sounds genuine when he tells her how much he appreciates what she is doing. He won’t be saying that soon. Once Sasha is sealed in the coffin, she turns on the iPod and takes out the suicide pill Eugene made her. She swallows it.

So now, when Negan opens the coffin, zombie Sasha ambles out in an awesome reveal and lunges onto Negan. Carl takes this opportunity to shoot the Scavengers. Other Alexandrians follow his lead, and gunfight erupts all over the community. One of Negan’s men pulls Sasha off his leader, and she chomps on him. Simon grabs Negan and pulls him to safety. Jadis shoots Rick in the leg and kicks him off the guard tower. Daryl shoots a Scavenger and takes his weapon. On the sniper post, Michonne has been accosted by the blonde, who bashes her head into the ground. Jadis forces Rick through the streets at gunpoint.

Rick is forced to kneel beside Carl, who is positioned in front of Negan. Jadis reaffirms her deal with Negan, for 12 people. Negan renegotiates for 10. “People are a resource.” They stare each other down, but eventually Jadis caves. She will take 10. Negan turns his attention to the Grimes men, taunting them. From the sniper post, there is a scream and someone falls. Negan taunts Rick about losing someone he loves.

This really irked me. The producers clearly wanted the audience to think that Michonne died. But there was no way that screechy scream came from Michonne, whose voice is too deep and who I don’t believe would scream if she was pushed to her death. Obviously, Michonne isn’t dead, but Rick believes she is, and the audience is supposed to believe this as well.


But back to Negan’s extended blathering. He promises to try to kill Carl in one swing, “because I like him.” Rick stares him down. “I told you already I’m gonna kill you, all of you,” Rick spits. “Nothing is gonna change that. You’re all already dead.” Negan just giggles, then takes off Carl’s hat. He swings Lucille back, but before the bat can connect, Shiva pounces on one of Negan’s men, scaring the hell out of Negan. Shiva for the win! The Kingdom cavalry has arrived, followed closely by the Hilltop. (Did they run into each other on the way in?) Negan is shocked that they have a tiger, then is more shocked when he sees Maggie is alive and well and really good with a gun.

It is full-out war. Negan hides. Shiva attacks Saviors. Morgan grabs a gun and fights at Rick’s side. Gabriel has an automatic rifle. A Scavenger sends up a flare, and several people toss in homemade smoke bombs. It looks like scenes from a Vietnam movie.

Eventually, the Saviors and the Scavengers fall back. Negan escapes in a truck, giving Alexandria the finger as they go. Aaron leads a team to close the gate, which seems to be stuck on something. Ezekiel insists they finish this, but by the time Daryl climbs atop a truck to see over the wall, everyone is gone.

Rick and Carl rush to what they fully expect is Michonne’s corpse, but find the blonde Scavenger. Upstairs, they find Michonne, badly beaten but alive.

Back at the Sanctuary, Dwight assures Negan that, say the word, and they are ready to roll out. Negan turns to Eugene suspiciously, and asks how Sasha ended up dead in the coffin. Eugene determines she suffocated. Negan isn’t so sure, but he has more important things to worry about. “We are going to war!”

Maggie has a vaguely sappy voice over footage of the Alexandrians in the aftermath. She talks about how she did this for Glenn, that he was the one that put them on this path, turned them into family. Some people walk the perimeter, checking the damage. Jesus and Maggie find zombie Sasha and Maggie, tearfully, puts her down. Gabriel has a funeral service for the dead. Carol sits beside Morgan on the porch. Maggie, Rick, and Ezekiel, now united, address the people about the next move.

Daryl, checking out the front gate, finds what was jammed in the track. One of Dwight’s wooden figures. “Didn’t know” is carved onto its back.

You can watch recap videos for Season 7 of AMC‘s The Walking Dead using the players below.

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20th Century Fox CinemaCon Presentation Recap

Captain Underpants was also part of the 20th Century Fox CinemaCon Presentation.

The 20th Century Fox CinemaCon presentation showed off Aliens, Apes and lots more!

The 20th Century Fox CinemaCon presentation opened Thursday in Las Vegas with a bit of flair, offering an opening song and dance routine performed by the light-up dance troupe iLuminate. Because much of the performance spectacle relies on the balance of light and darkness, the studio pulled a clever gag by invisibly swapping out the lead dancer at the last moment with the studio’s Head of distribution Chris Aronson (or, perhaps, Mr. Aronson is an incredible dancer in addition to being an executive). Aronson then introduced the trailer for the animated adventure Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. You can click here to watch the Captain Underpants trailer yourself.

The Fox CinemaCon stage was then passed to studio President Stacey Snider who, in turn, introduced Snatched stars Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn. While the clip itself wasn’t showcased at the presentation, Fox timed the online debut of a new Snatched clip to arrive as the CinemaCon crowd was treated to an extended look at the R-rated adventure comedy.

Next, Fox showcased trailer for two new films: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul and The Mountain Between Us. You can watch the Diary of a Wimpy Kid trailer right here, but the latter video has not yet made its way online. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad, the film stars adapts Charles Martin‘s 2010 novel with Idris Elba and Kate Winslet starring as a pair of strangers who, up sharing a small prop plane, wind up crash landing in the High Uintas wilderness. There, they are forced to survive in the unforgiving cold with any hope of rescue slowly fading.

War For the Planet of the Apes opened the Fox cinemaCon presentation.

War for the Planet of the Apes was next in the Fox CinemaCon presentation and, in addition to the new Apes trailer, congoers were treated to an extended sequence from the July 14 release.

Caesar, alongside fellow chimpanzee Rocket, the orangutan Maurice, and the gorilla, Luca, have climbed to the top of a utility pole in a snowy western town. At the base of the pole are several horses, with a young girl sitting atop one of them, playing with a doll. Quietly, a strange approaches. We can’t see his face, only the back of a hooded parka as the figure makes his way to the horses. Sneaking around to a saddle bag on the opposite side from where the girl is sitting, the figure begins to quietly rummage through the bag. When he drops a flashlight, he freezes, worried the girl heard him. She didn’t, but someone else did. From overhead, Luca looks down and roars!

The stranger immediately leaps onto the horse and takes off through the wood. Caesar and friends descend the pole and mount up on horseback themselves, taking off in hot pursuit of the stranger. There’s an impressive horse chase sequence through some snowy woods and up alongside an abandoned ski lift. Caesar and his team (which seems to include the little girl) arrive at an abandoned building. Caesar and the apes get off the horses and, armed with guns, approach the structure. They’re signing to one another using ASL and staying as quietly as possible as they approach the chimney. Someone is hiding inside.

The stranger in the parka steps out. It’s not a man, but rather an ape. He’s a chimp, smaller than Caesar and a face that none of the others recognize.

“Bad ape,” it says, pointing to itself. This is a new character played by Steve Zahn.

“He’s not one of us,” Maurice signs. The bad ape doesn’t understand ASL.

“Cold,” says the bad ape, taking off the parka and giving it to the girl. He says that he’s been living here alone for a long time. He has a toy alligator with a zoo logo stamped on it. That’s where he came from.

“Humans got sick,” he says, “and apes got smart.”

The familiar group of apes is astonished. They had no idea that there were other smart apes out there. They question the bad ape and learn about another group of humans.

“Soldiers,” Caesar asks. The bad ape nods and grows terrified when Caesar wants him to lead the way. In fact, he’s so reluctant to go that he’s willing to give the little girl a piece of shiny metal she has been eyeing. It’s part of an old Chevrolet and pays homage to a classic Planet of the Apes character as the little girl clutches a logo that reads “NOVA”.

Captain Underpants was also part of the 20th Century Fox CinemaCon Presentation.

The Fox CinemaCon presentation continued with a first look at Red Sparrow, the new thriller that reteams Jennifer Lawrence with The Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence. Based on the book by Jason Matthews, the contemporary espionage tale follows a Russian dancer (Lawrence) who, after an injury to her leg, is recruited into a top secret spy program where it is promised they can “make her special again”.

“People cannot survive without something larger than themselves to submit to,”  she is told. “In this case, Mother Russia.”

Joel Edgerton (The Gift, Loving) costars in November 10 release.

Next up, the Fox CinemaCon panel gave us a first look at Kingsman: The Golden Circle. In a new red band trailer, Taron Egerton’s Eggsy is seen, now a full agent, driving a specially armored spy car.

“Permission to blow these f–ers away?” he asks Mark Strong’s Merlin over a radio.

At first he’s told not to, but he’s finally given and rockets shoot out his car, utterly destroying the vehicles pursuing him.

We hear about an “underground institution” called “The Golden Circle”. Members can be identified by circular tattoos that are actually filled in with real gold. Someone, the Golden Circle is tied to the destruction of Kingsman headquarters. We see the shop from the original getting blown up and then Merlin and Eggsy enacting a backup plan. They are to go a special safe but, when it’s opened, all it reveals is a bottle of whiskey. They sit and drink and, upon seeing the distiller’s label, decide to head to Kentucky. It is there that they encounter the Statesman headquarters. The American branch of Kingsman, Statesman officers include cowboy characters played by Channing Tatum and Jeff Bridges and Tatum especially received a lot of laughs from the CinemaCon crowd. We see one of his spy weapons is a sort of laser lasso, which we see being used to slice through someone’s limbs like a hot knife through butter. Other trailer flashes included a robot dog attacking Eggsy in a bowling alley and some sort of robotic mannquein with a gun.

“It’s very American,” Eggsy says in the final shot, looking a little displeased with Tatum’s character.

Tatum’s character just gets a big smile.

“F– yeah!” he shouts.

Alien: Convenant was also part of the 20th Century Fox CinemaCon Presentation.

The Fox CinemaCon presentation then continued with a first look at the studio’s Agatha Christie adaptation, Murder on the Orient Express. Directed by and starring Kenneth Branagh as world famous detective Hercules Poirot, the ensemble cast of suspects includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Michael Pena, Judi Dench, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Lucy Boynton, Sir Derek Jacobi, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, Sergei Polunin and Willem Dafoe.

Orient Express appears to be a faithful adaptation of the 1934 book with a somewhat contemporary sheen. At one point set against Imagine Dragons‘ “Believer,” a camera pushes through a dining car and each of the cast is given a on-screen title (“The Governess,” “The Missionary,” “The Widow,” etc) as they offer their own alibis and explanations. This is very much a character driven costume heavy film, and it looks to pair quite well with a wide assembly of acting talent.

Branagh’s own character isn’t revealed until the final shot when he responds to someone who asked he is.

“I’m Hercules Poirot,” he says, “and I’m probably the greatest detective in the world.”

Alien: Covenant was next with a special video message from Ridley Scott.

“I hope you enjoy,” he said, “and I hope it scares the s–t out of you.”

The footage begins on what looks to be the engineer homeworld. Thousands of them are gathered in a central area, looking up at the spaceship descending from the sky. Aboard is Michael Fassbender’s David. He press a control panel and thousands of the Prometheus black goo containers fall from the sky. Like a plague of locusts, the engineers are devoured alive as David watches, his eyes looking as though he’s about to cry.

There were flashes of the Covenant crew and we hear David’s plans for the colony ship.

“They don’t deserve to start again,” he says, “and I’m not going to let them”.

Lots of interesting footage flashed by, including some human/xenomorph hybrids and a classic looking alien egg that David seems to refer to as his own creation.

Look for the Ridley Scott film to hit the big screen May 19.

John Cena then took the stage to introduce the trailer for the Blue Sky Studios animated feature Ferdinand. Based on the classic children’s book, the film hits theaters December 15. You can watch the Ferdinand trailer yourself right here.

The Fox CinemaCon presentation drew to a close with Hugh Jackman taking the stage to introduce his upcoming musical, The Greatest Showman. Boasting music by La La Land‘s Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, the P.T. Barnum biopic also stars Zac Efron, Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson and Zendaya.

You can check out our Facebook Live reaction to the Fox CinemaCon panel in the player below:

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Universal CinemaCon Presentation Recap

Despicable Me was showcased in the Universal CinemaCon presentation. Which of the Universal CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

The Universal CinemaCon presentation offered looks at Despicable Me 3, The Fate of the Furious and lots more!

The Universal CinemaCon presentation launched the Las Vegas event’s Wednesday festivities. First up in the studio’s showcase was a look at what’s to come from Illumination Entertainment. Following a 2016 that saw sizable hits with both The Secret Life of Pets and Sing, Illumination has plans to continue both original projects as animated franchises. First, though, they’re continuing their most popular film series with this year’s Despicable Me 3.

Following a Despicable Me 3 sizzle reel to remind the crowd where it all began, star Steve Carrell took the stage alongside Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri. Together, they reminisced about the franchise, recalling Gru’s origins. The voice, Carell explained, came about simply because it was a voice that made his kids laugh the hardest.

“Eight years later, though,” he laughed, “it’s not that cool anymore.”

In Despicable Me 3, Carell also voices Dru, Gru’s long lost identical twin brother who, the star explains, has a similar imaginary eastern European accent, but who is much more excited about life. Carell would usually record Gru and then Dru, ultimately being made to perform opposite himself.

“I have the cynicism of Gru and the carefree ebullience of Dru,” he laughed when asked if he connects with the characters.

Despicable Me 3 will also introduce a new Minion character, Mel, named for Meledandri.

“[He’s a] pain in the ass,” grinned Carell at Meledandri, who also lovingly compared the CEO to the follically challenged Gru. “A thorn in the side. Make the connection, Chris!”

You can check out the Despicable Me 3 trailer right here.

The Mummy was showcased in the Universal CinemaCon presentation. Which of the Universal CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

The Universal CinemaCon presentation then turned to this summer’s The Mummy, launching with a sizzle reel of classic universal monsters film and ending with with the famous line from James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, “Welcome to a new world of gods and monsters!”

Cast members Sofia BoutellaJoshua Jackson and Annabelle Wallis then joined director Alex Kurtzman on stage to discuss the project.

“I think that there is always a monster in us,” said Boutella, who plays the title monster. “Whether or not we decide to use it [is up to us].”

“I think I was brought onto this movie to be scared to do stunts with Tom Cruise,” joked Jackson. “Tom really does it and he makes his cast do it, too. And I do use the term ‘makes’”.

A new trailer was also shown with a special video introduction from Cruise himself (who is currently in London prepping to begin filming on Mission: Impossible 6 next week). He described The Mummy as being a “bold, romantic, terrifying, epic monster film”.

“To be able to usher in a new age of gods and monsters,” he said, “is something that makes me very proud.”

Set to the music of The Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black,” the new trailer offers a bit more story detail that the previous Mummy trailer. It begins with Jackson and Cruises’ characters getting into some kind of trouble in Egypt. They wind up getting chased across rooftops in a firefight that leads to a massive explosion. In the aftermath of the explosion, a tomb in uncovered that reveals the burial place of the film’s mummy, Ahmanet. Thousands of years ago, she was to be queen. She lusted too strongly for power, however, and was conspired against, turned into a mummy and buried prematurely.

As we saw in the first trailer, Cruise’s character is involved in a plane crash that actually kills him. In this trailer he’s told that he was brought back because he has been chosen to be used for ultimate evil.

“She will not stop until she has remade our world into her own,” says Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jekyll.

The footage ends with a final shot of Cruise and Wallis half submerged in water. Ahmanet rises from the deep and pulls Wallis under violently.

Atomic Blonde was showcased in the Universal CinemaCon presentation. Which of the Universal CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

Moving into Girl Trip, the Universal CinemaCon presentation then played a sizzle reel that showcased a history of funny women in Universal films.

“Women really do let loose and have a good time and there’s often more ruckus than you might think,” said Queen Latifah, who took the stage alongside costars Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Regina Hall as well as director Malcolm D. Lee.

“It’s four best friends who go to New Orleans for Essence Fest,” said Lee. “There’s a lot of trouble to get into.”

Shot during the Big Easy’s 2016 Essence Fest, the comedy follows four friends who haven’t been hanging out as much the past few years and who decide to rectify that by going on a group vacation. As you can see in the Girl Trip trailer, things don’t exactly go as planned.


Next up in the Universal CinemaCon presentation was a look at director David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde with Leitch and star Charlize Theron taking the stage. Theron, whose impressive fight choreography is evident in Atomic Blonde‘s first trailer, hurt her teeth while filming.

“I’m going in for my fourth root canal tomorrow,” she said. “Thanks, David.”

Despite some dental misgivings, Theron is thrilled with the result of all the work that went into making Atomic Blonde.

“It was a five year journey,” she said. “We worked our balls off. I have no more balls. I’m full girl now.”

“Bold choices was our theme,” says Leitch. “…We wanted the film to be provocative… Everything you want is on the other side of fear. You’ll see that in this movie.”

The new trailer was set to both New Order’s “Blue Monday” and Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” and offered even more of the intense action that fans have come to expect from the John Wick helmer.

Look for Atomic Blonde to hit theaters July 28.

The Fate of the Furious was showcased in the Universal CinemaCon presentation. Which of the Universal CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

The Universal CinemaCon presentation then concluded with Vin Diesel taking the stage for The Fate of the Furious and showing off a franchise sizzle reel for what he called “the biggest saga in history” (It actually comes in 15th place, per Box Office Mojo).

“We’ve been so fortunate to have this saga continue for so long,” said Diesel. “With that fortune comes the challenge… One of the things we’re so proud of with this chapter is that we really defied expectations.”

Following the tragic loss of Paul Walker during production on Furious 7, Diesel says that there was a question as to whether not the Fast and the Furious franchise would continue at all.

“It was a hard decision to make,” he said somberly. “But part of Paul’s legacy lives through every frame we shoot. Every time you see Dom Loretto on film — anytime you see any of the case — Roman or Tej or Letty or Mia — you’re reminded to this angel, who was so integral to our concept of brotherhood this millennium… The irony is that, when I thought about going into this eighth chapter, it was Paul Walker who promised eight. It just played over and over in my brain, him saying ‘eight is guaranteed’. I always felt he was looking down on us and I just don’t want to let him down.”

Now nine and ten are also guaranteed as Diesel plans to keep the franchise rolling.

“As the world sees this movie,” he said, “they’ll see how this is the beginning of new trilogy.”

Although the CinemaCon crowd was surprised with the first ever screening of The Fate of the Furious, we have been asked not to share any details from the film itself. Instead, perhaps you’d like to watch our FB Live Universal CinemaCon presentation recap video in the player below:

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WB CinemaCon Recap: DC Comics, LEGO and More

Wonder Woman was showcased in the WB CinemaCon presentation. Which of the WB CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

The DC Comics film slate was a major focus at the WB CinemaCon presentation

Opening with a quick sizzle reel of the upcoming Warner Bros. slate, the WB CinemaCon presentation brought to the NATO event quite a bit of new footage from a wide variety of features including the studio’s full DC Comics slate, Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk, the Stephen King adaptation IT and lots more!

Going in Style stars Alan Arkin, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine recorded a special message that was played at the presentation’s start for exhibitors, jokingly revealing that the stars follow theater owners like some people follow sports players. They even collect and trade movie exhibitor trading cards, specifically naming certain representatives in the audience.

Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception) then took the stage to introduce his WWII drama, Dunkirk.

“They were faced with the choice between surrender and annihilation,” he said, “and the fact that this story ends in neither surrender nor annihilation is why I believe Dunkirk to be one of the greatest stories in human history.”

A scene was showcased, but it was the same prologue that was available publicly last December, showing in select IMAX theaters before screenings of Rogue One.

IT was showcased in the WB CinemaCon presentation. Which of the WB CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

On the heels of the new trailer for the Stephen King adaptation (Watch the IT trailer here), the WB CinemaCon presentation moved into horror territory with a look at IT, the horror thriller Unforgettable and the The Conjuring spinoff prequel Annabelle: Creation. It offered a bit more footage than today’s trailer, including some additional shots of Pennywise. One of them had him standing outside with a triangle made of dozen balloons blocking his face. Annabelle, meanwhile, teased the origins of the killer doll and offered a creepy scene where a young girl approaches a real-life Annabelle at her window. When Annabelle turns around, though, her face is horrific and distorted. Unforgettable, starring Katherine Heigl and Rosario Dawson, marks the directorial debut of producer Denise Di Novi. You can check out the previously released Unforgettable trailer right here.

The WB CinemaCon presentations continued with extended looks at the bestseller adaptation Everything, Everything (May 19), and the comedies Bastards (December 22) and The House (June 30). The former stars Ed Helms and Owen Wilson as two kids in search of their father while the latter features Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler as a suburban couple who turn their basement into an illegal casino in order to help pay their daughter’s tuition.

While some other footage was showcased in the Sony CinemaCon presentation earlier this week (Sony is distributing internationally), the WB CinemaCon presentation offered a few more tantalizing glimpses at Blade Runner 2049. In the new footage, we see the moments just before the Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford encounter from the trailer. Gosling’s character approaches what looks like a bell jar and, touching a panel, a miniature hologram within begins to play Frank Sinatra’s “One For My Baby”. The footage also ended with a new shot: a closeup of a tiny carved horse (like the origami from the original, but sculpted).

“This is impossible,” says Gosling’s character.

From there, the WB CinemaCon presentation ran an LEGO sizzle reel, fully touting the term “LEGO Cinematic Universe”. Joining previous hits The LEGO Movie and The LEGO Batman Movie, September’s The LEGO Ninjago Movie expands the toy franchise with a martial arts themed entry that features the voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Olivia Munn, Jackie Chan, Fred Armisen, Abbi Jacobson, Kumail Nanjiani, Michael Pena and Zach Woods.

Aquaman was showcased in the WB CinemaCon presentation. Which of the WB CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

DC Comics films closed out the WB CinemaCon presentation. Leading man Jason Momoa took the stage to introduce a video comprised of behind the scenes interviews and animated concept art. Director James Wan described his vision for the film, which began with the image of a spaceship approaching from the distance. Slowly, the audience realizes that it’s not a spaceship at all, but rather someone mounted on a shark and armed for underwater combat. Then imagine not just one of these shark riders, but an army of them, swimming into conflict with other underwater characters that also make use of incredible sea creatures.

Describing Aquaman as an origin story, Wan says that he wanted to let audiences see Atlantis as his hero sees the underwater city for the first time. There was also concept art for Black Manta (very true to the comics, only slightly bulkier like a real deep sea suit) and a look at an alternate Aquaman costume that harkens back to the classic design, including an orange scaled top.

Set to Jimi Hendrix’s “Purple Haze,” the Aquaman footage teased incredibly elaborate underwater kingdoms and finally concluded with an image of skeleton (perhaps a zombie?) in Aquaman’s armor.

Wonder Woman footage then began with a message from an absent Gal Gadot. Director Patty Jenkins joined a very bald Chris Pine on stage, though, to introduce an extended look at the June 2 release.

“She must never know the truth about what she is,” says a voice at the beginning of the footage.

We see Wonder Woman going through training, as most recent trailer. It seems that after Pine’s Steve Trevor comes to the island, she decides that it’s her duty to find and destroy Ares, the God of War, and hopefully end World War I. At one point, someone suggests that they get the men who can do it.

I’m the men who can do it,” says Wonder Woman defiantly.

She leaves Themyscira alongside Trevor in a small boat. He tries to give her the boat’s makeshift bed, but she wants to know why he won’t lay down and sleep next to her. Awkwardly trying to explain how he feels it would be inappropriate to lay next to a woman to whom he is not married, Trevor learns that she doesn’t even know what marriage is.

“Don’t you have a father?” he asks her.

“My mother sculpted me from clay and I was brought to life by Zeus,” she explains earnestly.

“Well,” says Trevor, unsure of what to say. “That’s neat.”

The pair later wake up in a harbor in London where the pollution from the city has led to a dark, desaturated cityscape.

“It’s hideous,” says Wonder Woman, potentially offering a meta wink to fans who have had a similar complaint about the lack of color in the DCU.

“Yeah,” Pine admits. “It’s not for everybody.”

Another scene has the title heroine (in disguise as Diana Prince) protecting Trevor from armed attackers in an alleyway. Here, we see the lasso of truth in action. It glows brightly as she lassos an escape thugs.

One final sequence offered some great footage of Wonder Woman in action in her classic costume, breaking into an enemy base and, at one point, racing across a rooftop. There’s a lot of quick bullet time effect, showing off the epic nature of the comic book adaptation.

Justice League was showcased in the WB CinemaCon presentation. Which of the WB CinemaCon films are you most excited for?

The WB CinemaCon presentation then concluded as the Zack Snyder and his Justice League cast took to the stage. Strangely, no one from the cast said a single word, but Snyder introduced an extended version of the recent Justice League trailer. In this version, Affleck’s Batman has additional dialogue at the beginning. Alfred tells him that he’s been spending so much time trying to build a team. He admits that he’s been working too long to tear things apart and now he needs to brings things together.

We see Bruce Wayne working on a trooper carrier, checking its armaments as Wonder Woman enters. He says that he’s amazed she made it in so easily because he spent a billion dollars on security.

“Well you go your money’s worth,” she said. “It took me almost a minute.”

Also added to the trailer as a scene where the bat signal shines in the distance from where Wayne is standing alongside Diana Prince and Barry Allen.

“That’s your signal!” shouts Allen, incredibly excited but also suddenly embarrassed that he just let slip Wayne’s identity in front of this woman (who he doesn’t seem to know yet). Wayne glares, but Allen can see no harm was done.

“So cool,” he says to himself.

Look for Wonder Woman in theaters June 2, Justice League on November 17 and Aquaman on December 21, 2018.

CS also recorded a FB Live reaction to the presentation, which you can check out in the player below:

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The Walking Dead Episode 714 Recap and Preview for Next Week

The Walking Dead Episode 714 Recap and Preview for Next Week

The Walking Dead Episode 714 recap and preview for next week

Maggie is making a life for herself at the Hilltop, one which makes Gregory uneasy. Before Rosita showed up, asking Sasha for help to bring down Negan, Sasha, Maggie, and Jesus were already writing up battle plans, teaching the “cannon fodder” how to fight, and sketching maps of the Saviors’ compound.

Sasha is caught by Jesus when she steals a couple of bullets from a hollowed out book in his trailer. He knows that she and Rosita are going after Negan. Jesus and Enid want to join them, but Sasha insists that they need to stay there, protect Maggie and the Hilltop. Jesus isn’t going to stop them, but wants her to wait until they have more people. Sasha is stubborn and refuses. Enid is going to tell Maggie what is going on in ten minutes. What Sasha chooses to do in those ten minutes is up to her. But there is no time. The watchtower raises the alarm: the Saviors are coming. Enid rushes Daryl and Maggie into a root cellar to hide, where Maggie insists she and Daryl hide behind shelves and other things. Just in case. Sasha and Rosita escape through a secret tunnel Sasha made when Maggie mentioned they should have a quick way to escape.

Simon and a throng of Saviors pay Gregory a visit in the main house. He is there for a certain someone….

Rosita is trying to hotwire a car when the necklace that Abraham gave Sasha falls out of her shirt. Rosita points out with vitriol that she made it. The car is dead, so they move on, and Sasha tries to make small talk. Rosita has no interest, and only wants to talk about the mission. Sasha steps away for a moment, taking a deep breath, before returning to angrily lay out her plan. They both have a different idea of how the mission should go. Sasha wants to set up in a neighboring building and sniper Negan. This way they may make it out alive. Rosita wants to infiltrate the compound, kill Negan up close so she is sure he is dead. No decision is made; no friendship is made, either.


Enid runs to intercept a Savior who is sniffing around the root cellar. She brings him a basket of vegetables, but he doesn’t want it. Enid cannot stop him from entering the cellar, and poking around. Luckily Maggie and Daryl are well-hidden, and the Savior is an idiot. Daryl wants to kill him, but Maggie stops him. Eventually the Savior leaves with a couple boxes of produce. Maggie confronts Daryl about him almost killing the Savior; Daryl says he deserves to die. Maggie takes a different tact, and points out that since he has gotten here, he hasn’t said a single word to her. He faces her and, sobbing a little, he apologizes. Maggie assures him Glenn’s death wasn’t his fault, even though Daryl believes it was. They have a good talk, ending with a warm, tearful hug, and Maggie assuring him that she wants them all to die, too, but “we need to win.”

It turns out that Simon isn’t here for Maggie or Daryl or anyone else who is hiding at the Hilltop. He is there for Dr. Carson. “Why does Negan need two doctors?” he asks, then realizes he doesn’t. Negan’s doctor — and Carson’s brother — is dead. Carson doesn’t fight, he just asks Gregory to make arrangements for his “ongoing patients.” In exchange for the doctor, Simon leaves behind an enormous crate of aspirin. Gregory takes Simon aside to express his concerns to Simon, that he is worried that if he doesn’t have the trust of the Hilltoppers, someone else might take over, one who isn’t as willing to work with the Saviors. Simon writes down instructions on how to get in touch with him, and promises that he will take care of it. The Saviors roll out with the doctor in tow.

Having picked up a car from a car lot, Sasha and Rosita have made it to the Saviors’ compound. They are camped out in one of the abandoned buildings around the compound. Through her sniper’s sight, Sasha sees Eugene hard at work in front of the walker pit, ordering around underlings. With nothing left to do but talk and practice tying knots, the girls talk. Sasha is lucky that they found Rosita – she knows how to do everything. She admits she learned it all from a trio of brothers she hooked up with when the world first fell apart. A lot of guys wanted to protect her, and she hated not knowing how to protect herself. So she watched them, picked up everything they did, and did it better than they did. Then she would “pounce.” I am assuming she would kill them. She admits the sex was “just for fun,” but it was different with Abraham. She was drawn to him because he saw she could handle herself. She admits to having trouble accepting that, once they got to Alexandria, they “made it,” and she thought she hated Sasha, but it was just the situation. Rosita never told any of that to anyone, and she feels bad that she never told Abraham she was happy that he was happy. Sasha doesn’t like knowing that Abraham would have wanted to go out fighting, and Rosita agrees. “It wasn’t his time.” The girls promise that they have each other’s backs, and now they are besties!


Before things can get too sappy, the trucks roll up and Sasha takes her place behind her rifle. They are worried when they see Maggie’s doctor is now a captive. Negan comes outside, but Sasha can’t get a clean shot. They turn on the walkie and hear Eugene making proclamations about being the chief engineer, also that he is Negan, etc. Rosita is done waiting. “We’re going in.”

Jesus goes in to see Gregory, who warns him that he has been slacking on his scavenging and recruiting duties. He also has noticed too many people living in his trailer, something he views as a “fire hazard.” Jesus accuses him of trying to separate and isolate people, and Gregory issues a warning: “You better watch what you say. You never know what will happen with the Saviors around.” Jesus takes this as a threat and leaves when a Hilltopper brings Gregory his requested bottle of tequila. Out in the lobby, Jesus runs into Daryl, who asks where Sasha and Rosita are.

Eugene is going over new safety protocols with another Savior. A bullet takes the guy out cleanly, and Eugene drops, terrified. Rosita is there and tells Eugene they are breaking him out. He refuses to go with them, and goes back inside, crying. Pissed off, Rosita decides she is going in. Sasha tells her to watch her back while she cuts open the fence. She does, and Sasha soon appears on the other side of the fence and tells Rosita to go. “It’s not your time.” She runs towards the buildings, shoots a guy as he comes outside and slips through the door before it closes. Rosita turns and runs. A safe distance away, she stops to catch her breath and cry while cursing Sasha. She is quieted by someone watching her from the distance. We don’t see who it is, and I think the idea is that it is supposed to be someone threatening, but I feel like it is just Daryl.

You can watch a preview and clip from next week’s episode of AMC‘s The Walking Dead below.

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The Walking Dead Episode 712 Recap and Previews for Next Week

The Walking Dead Episode 712 Recap and Previews for Next Week

The Walking Dead Episode 712 recap and previews for next week

Rick and Michonne are searching for guns and supplies. So far they haven’t had much luck (but they have had some good sex). After two days, Michonne wants to go back, but Rick insists they stay out a little longer. While Rick is dozing in the van, Michonne sees a deer. She returns to the van to get her gun, waking Rick in the progress. The deer has disappeared by the time they return for it, and Rick promises her he owes her a deer. They start looking for it – and find something much, much better.

A school, complete with a carnival in progress, became a military outpost. All of the soldiers are now zombies, wandering around. They climb up to the roof of the school to get a better look at things and see that all of the zombie-soldiers still carry their weapons. Michonne shoots at a can-shooting game and when she hits the target, decides they can take them all on. Suddenly the roof collapses, and Michonne and Rick fall through. They are not hurt, though – they giggle, and Michonne thinks it’s a “sign.” Rick points excitedly – there are pallets and pallets of unopened military meals ready-to-eat. That night, they have themselves a candle-lit feast of chili and mac n’ cheese. Once they kill Negan, Michonne points out that it is up to them to reorder the world. Rick points out that each community needs to be involved, but Michonne still thinks someone needs to lead them. She thinks that someone should be Rick. He thinks it should be the two of them together. As far as I’m concerned, that pretty much sounds like a marriage proposal.

The next day, they head out to the carnival and set out a plan. Rick will kill one zombie wandering around a car, then push the car to block a hole in the fence. Meanwhile, Michonne is left to take on eight walkers. “You can handle it,” Rick assures her. And she can. Rick is the one who has a problem, trying to remove a walker that is jammed in the windshield. It takes him three tries, and Rick finally removes him – in three separate chunks. He puts the car into neutral and Michonne pushes while he steers the car. Suddenly they are under fire. A soldier has impaled himself on some spikes, and his gun is caught. Michonne jumps into the trunk and the car coasts… right through the hole in the fence. They overshot it.


The pair make it out of the car and jump over a tiny fenced area, around a kid’s play area. This holds off the walkers long enough that they can kill three of them, but then they run into the carnival proper. They split up, each taking up position behind more sturdy ride gates: Michonne with a giant slide, and Rick with the Ferris wheel. It is a slaughterfest. They pause to catch their breaths and call out their remaining walkers to each other. She has eight; he has ten. But then Rick sees something – the deer. The zombies are unable to get past the barrier, so he climbs the Ferris wheel and takes aim. The wheel gives out, he falls, and is set upon by a flood of zombies. Michonne, finished with her eight, rushes over to help her fallen mate. She hears Rick shooting from behind a wall of walkers, but then the chamber clicks empty. By the time she gets to the zombies, they have descended onto their meal. Michonne drops her sword, consumed with grief. She can hardly be bothered to defend herself when the walkers move towards her.

Now, I don’t know if the producers thought they were actually fooling anyone with this scene, but obviously the zombies were munching on the deer, not Rick. And in case that wasn’t clear, Rick crawls out from a cubby, and throws Michonne her sword like some kind of action movie. She grabs it like He-Man and they kill the rest of the mob before she rushes into his arms. “I tried… I still owe you one,” he says, referring to the deer. The duo pick through the remains, collecting lots and lots of guns. Michonne collapses, emotionally. After stocking the van with as much as they can, they drive off, but Michonne’s dour mood remains. Rick stops the van and turns to her. He admits he hasn’t been sleeping, thinking about what they lost. He is still really broken up about Glenn. Rick promises that they are going to fight the Saviors, but warns that they are going to lose people, maybe a lot, and they might lose each other – but it will be worth it. “I can’t lose you,” Michonne argues, but Rick reminds her that they can lose each other, their friends, the people they love, because it’s not about “us” anymore. It’s about the future.

Meanwhile, Rosita and Tara are both dealing with their own nonsense. Tara can’t decide if she should tell Rick about the community of women she found. She wants them to fight with them, but worries they will just fight against them in the desire to go back to hiding. Rosita is mad at everyone because she didn’t kill Negan when she (maybe) had the chance. She blames Gabriel because she listened to him tell her not to do it.


Rick and the Alexandria team deliver the guns to Jadis. They brought 68 guns, but it is not enough for Jadis. She and Rick negotiate terms, and they finally agree that Rick’s group will go out and find more guns, but they get to keep some of them to defend themselves while they search. Rosita looks pissed. Tara looks worried.

Back at Alexandria, Rick is looking for Rosita. She missed her guard shift. Tara doesn’t know where she is… but she has something to tell Rick.

Rosita missed her shift because she has slipped away to the Hilltop, where she finds Sasha at Abraham’s grave. Rosita is here because she needs Sasha’s help. Sasha knows what she wants and agrees to help, with one condition: “I get to take the shot.” Rosita agrees, and shows Sasha the weapons she brought. She didn’t bring any of the explosives because she didn’t want anyone to notice they were gone. Rosita is annoyed that Rick and Michonne are taking so long to get the attack on the Saviors going. She warns Sasha that it is a one-way ticket for both of them.

You can view previews for AMC‘s new episode of The Walking Dead, titled “Bury Me Here,” using the players below.

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Berlinale 2017: Recap of My Favorite Films & Performances of the Fest

Berlinale 2017

The lesson I’ve learned covering film festivals is that sometimes the best films aren’t always the one you loved at first sight, sometimes they’re the ones that you remember. There’s something about them. It could be the performance, it could be the story, it could be something else about it that gets into your mind and still lingers there. Something about it that you keep thinking back to, even if it isn’t a perfect film, there’s something you can’t shake. That is usually the sign of a great film, and film festivals (which are exhausting to cover) help us figure out which ones leave a lasting impression because there’s so many to see in so little time. To wrap up my 4th year attending the Berlin Film Festival (aka Berlinale), I want to recap a few of my favorite films and favorite performances of the 2017 festival. I hope all these films end up on your radar. ›››

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