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‘Borat 2’: The 17 Craziest Pranks, Ranked and Investigated

“Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” finds its fake Kazakh journalist (plus teen daughter) pranking Americans across the country, with shocking results that often lead them to reveal embarrassing or offensive beliefs. Despite the many unnerving surprises throughout the movie, however, much about this “Borat” entry is business as usual: star Sacha Baron Cohen has been building his cringe-inducing blend of documentary and performance art for two decades, ever since “Da Ali G Show” hit HBO. Once again, his antics have targeted a wide-range of…

Scarlett Johansson, Sebastián Lelio Team for Apple, A24’s Genre Bender ‘Bride’ — First Details

Oscar-winning filmmaker Sebastián Lelio has set up his next project at A24, “Bride,” a genre-bending film set to star Scarlett Johansson. Lelio, whose “A Fantastic Woman” at Sony Pictures Classics won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 2018, previously teamed with A24 on “Gloria Bell.” “Bride” is also the latest collaboration between A24 and Apple, who together are this year releasing Sofia Coppola’s “On the Rocks” in theaters and via streaming on Apple TV+. Johansson will also produce “Bride,” which…

Don Hertzfeldt Discusses ‘World of Tomorrow Episode Three’ and the Ambitious Future of His Sci-Fi Series

In 2014, DIY animator extraordinaire Don Hertzfeldt wrote a loopy sci-fi story around some ridiculously cute audio recordings he made while playing with his four-year-old niece Winona. He cast her as a pigtailed stick figure named Emily Prime, and roped in friend and animator Julia Pott to voice the time-traveling adult Emily clone who zaps into the past on a mission to retrieve something from her younger, original self (and leads Emily Prime on a whirlwind tour of the future along the…

Denial, Blame, and Hubris: How Movie Theaters Are Making Their COVID Situation Worse

Theaters deserve credit: They took elevated steps to keep their audiences safe. Theaters deserve sympathy: They are at the mercy of those who supply movies. Theaters are also in actual dire straits, as Regal Cinemas shuts down, AMC is a junk bond with just six months of cash, and exhibitor lobbyist NATO pleads with the government for financial bailout. At this rate, by the time “Dune” plays next October, the theatrical landscape may look like the barren plains of Arrakis. COVID-19 is a…

Warner Bros. Moving Denis Villeneuve’s ‘Dune’ to October 2021

As the house of cards that is theatrical distribution 2020 continues to fall, the latest casualty is Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Dune,” which has just been moved off this year’s calendar and into 2021. “Dune” will now open on October 1, 2021, just under a year after its planned opening of December 18, 2020, in IMAX and 3D. Collider first reported the news. Warner Bros is not confirming the release date change at this time but we expect the announcement to be made…

Recent reviews

Coming Home Again

Coming Home Again

★★★½

Review by Ryan Lattanzio

Director Wayne Wang’s “Coming Home Again” opens a window onto dying days in all their ugliness, but also onto their possibility of redemption for a mother and son. Formally impeccable and observant, the “Joy Luck Club” filmmaker’s latest wastes none of its 85 minutes in unpeeling the relationship between Chang-rae (Justin Chon) and his ailing mom (Jackie Chung). At the heart of this Ozu-esque drama is Chung, who supplies a heartbreaking performance as a woman trying…

Review by Eric Kohn

In his 2006 mockumentary, Borat went to America and provoked rampant anti-Semitism across the land. It was hard to imagine how a sequel could go much further. But then Trump happened, white nationalism scored a national platform, internet conspiracy theories went mainstream, and the pandemic only further exacerbated the festering, stupid rage of a society on the brink. The time was ripe for more Borat, and Baron Cohen has met his moment, with a wily, dangerous…

The Sounding

The Sounding

★★★

Review by Kate Erbland

In the spring 2017, one-time “All My Children” star Catherine Eaton’s directorial debut, “The Sounding,” made its premiere at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival, where it picked up the Audience Award in the “New American Visions” section. Since then, Eaton — who also stars in the film, which she wrote with Bryan Delaney — has taken the film around the world, picking up jury awards, audience awards, and even a best cinematography win for…

I'm Your Woman

I'm Your Woman

★★★★

Review by Eric Kohn

You’ll be halfway through “I’m Your Woman” before its premise is clear, but the mystery is as gripping as its payoff. Director Julia Hart’s fourth feature pairs an engrossing turn from Rachel Brosnahan with a tense ‘70s-set script constructed with jigsaw precision. The full picture may amount to a contrived gangster story, but Hart (who scripted with her partner Jordan Horowitz) approaches that formula from the inside out. By the time you realize the kind of movie you’re watching, it’s already a few steps ahead.

Soul

Soul

★★★★½

Review by Kaleem Aftab

If 2020 had worked out differently, Pixar’s “Soul” would have started its run back at Cannes — the first Pixar effort since “Inside Out” to do so — ahead of a much-anticipated theatrical release. Like a lot of promising cinema on the docket for earlier in the year, those plans fizzled, but the “Soul” train keeps chugging along. The winding path is appropriate for a movie steeped in observations about life’s unpredictable turns. While Disney’s decision…

Review by Jude Dry

If you were to assume that a movie starring Robert De Niro, Uma Thurman, Christopher Walken, Cheech Marin, and Jane Seymour sounded like the next Quentin Tarantino epic, you would not be entirely remiss. But you would be sorely disappointed to discover, upon purchasing entry to “The War with Grandpa,” that the killer cast is sorely wasted on an utterly inane script about a spoiled kid who inexplicably decides he hates his very nice grandpa for…

Review by Eric Kohn

Anyone living under a rock over the past eight months, blissfully unaware that the country mismanaged the coronavirus outbreak and caused thousands of unnecessary deaths, would do well to watch “Totally Under Control.” Churned out by prolific documentarian Alex Gibney with co-directors Suzanne Hillinger and Ophelia Harutyunyan over the last few months, this infuriating overview of the government’s response to the virus isn’t revelatory or groundbreaking, but in an era dominated by misinformation, it plays like an essential service to set the record straight.

The Lie

The Lie

★½

Review by Kate Erbland

It’s remarkable what packaging can do for a film. In 2018, filmmaker Veena Sud’s second feature film bowed at the Toronto International Film Festival in the starry Galas section — other Galas that year included “First Man,” “A Star Is Born,” and “Widows” — where its heavy subject matter and high-profile placement seemed to earmark the drama as a contender to watch. First filmed under the title “Between the Earth and Sky” and based on a…