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'X-Men' director Bryan Singer reveals how he built the 'Apocalypse'

After "X-Men: Days of Future Past" -- the most sprawling and ambitious movie in the mutant superhero series to that point and the franchise's top box office earner –   director Bryan Singer knew he somehow needed to go even bigger with the next installment. Like fate-of-humanity-in-the-balance big....

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  • Sam Mendes won't direct next James Bond film

    Sam Mendes won't direct next James Bond film

    Sam Mendes says it’s time for a new director to tackle James Bond.  The British director said Saturday that he would not return to helm the next installment in the long-running spy series, telling the audience at the Hay Festival of literature in Wales he believed it was “time for somebody else.”...

  • For Cirque, Disney and others, does standing up for LGBT rights require ethical acrobatics?

    For Cirque, Disney and others, does standing up for LGBT rights require ethical acrobatics?

    When Cirque du Soleil recently announced that it would join a boycott of North Carolina over the state’s controversial transgender bathroom law, the company received effusive praise from activists on social media.  But it also attracted criticism from those who detected a double standard: Why is...

  • Inside the making of a YouTube sensation with the documentary 'Presenting Princess Shaw'

    Inside the making of a YouTube sensation with the documentary 'Presenting Princess Shaw'

    Standing onstage in a Tel Aviv theater, Samantha Montgomery looks out on a crowd of admirers. Fighting back nerves and tears, she belts out her original song “Give It Up” to her largest audience to date. Officially gone are the days of trotting to New Orleans open mikes hoping to make it big, to...

  • With 'X-Men: Apocalypse' and 'Game of Thrones,' Sophie Turner is coming into her own

    With 'X-Men: Apocalypse' and 'Game of Thrones,' Sophie Turner is coming into her own

    Sophie Turner is due for some apocalyptic developments. At the tender age of 13, Turner booked her first big gig in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” She was cast as Sansa Stark, the oldest daughter of the noble Stark household; a red-headed beauty with wide-eyed plans for the future.  Sadly, her wide-eyed...

  • Plodding ‘Stressed to Kill’ is off the mark

    Plodding ‘Stressed to Kill’ is off the mark

    In craftier hands, the semi-comic revenge thriller “Stressed to Kill” might have been a minor treat: a riff on ‘70s vigilante classics like “Death Wish” that redefines unacceptable outrage for the thin-skinned 21st century. But if writer-director Mark Savage and co-writer Tom Parnell have anything...

  • Post-Holocaust drama 'To Life' lacks emotional connection

    Post-Holocaust drama 'To Life' lacks emotional connection

    More resonant in theory than in execution, the post-Holocaust drama “To Life” never truly embraces the promise of its title or the roiling emotion beneath its surface.   Director Jean-Jacques Zilbermann, who co-wrote with Danièle D'Antoni, was inspired here by the experiences of his late Auschwitz-survivor...

  • Dreamy 'Princess' reveals young girl's nightmare

    Dreamy 'Princess' reveals young girl's nightmare

    The moody, hallucinatory and darkly intimate drama “Princess” by Israeli writer-director Tali Shalom-Ezer explores the psychological coping mechanisms of children who are subjected to abuse within their families. The precocious and intelligent Adar (Shira Haas) is mature mentally but physically...

  • Thriller 'The Ones Below' ably echoes early Polanski

    Thriller 'The Ones Below' ably echoes early Polanski

    Capably delivering on its ominous title, “The Ones Below” is a masterfully calibrated psychological thriller that deviously plays off of anxieties surrounding contemporary notions of domesticity and identity. When the long-vacated lower apartment in their English home is finally occupied, newly...

  • Suspenseful doc 'Holy Hell' mesmerizes

    Suspenseful doc 'Holy Hell' mesmerizes

    Part expose, part catharsis and all disturbing, “Holy Hell” is filmmaker Will Allen’s suspenseful documentary about his and others’ experiences in the Buddhafield, a spiritual cult that dominated more than 20 years of his life. Young, gay and searching, Allen happened upon a group in West Hollywood...

  • Finding 'Australia's Lost Gold' proves elusive

    Finding 'Australia's Lost Gold' proves elusive

    The intriguing documentary “Australia’s Lost Gold” sets out to get to the bottom of the legend of Harold Lasseter, a prospector who died of starvation in the harsh Central Australian desert in 1931 shortly after purportedly discovering the mother lode in a quartz reef that has never been located....

  • Oscar Isaac gets his supervillain on for 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

    Oscar Isaac gets his supervillain on for 'X-Men: Apocalypse'

    If you were casting a supervillain in a comic-book movie, odds are Oscar Isaac wouldn't be the first person you'd think of. Until he broke out to worldwide fame last year in "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" as ace pilot Poe Dameron — a guy squarely on the light side of the Force — Isaac was best...

  • Helena Bonham Carter brings her brand of formal oddity to 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'

    Helena Bonham Carter brings her brand of formal oddity to 'Alice Through the Looking Glass'

    Helena Bonham Carter has never been afraid to let her freak flag fly, either on-screen or off. In Disney's return trip to Lewis Carroll's nonsensical Wonderland, "Alice Through the Looking Glass," opening Friday, the two-time Oscar nominee reprises her role as the bombastic, egomaniacal Red Queen,...

  • Take a new look (and listen) at David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet'

    Take a new look (and listen) at David Lynch's 'Blue Velvet'

    David Lynch's "Blue Velvet" marks its 30th anniversary with a one-week run presented by the Cinefamily. Following is an excerpt from our 1986 review: Secrets are at the heart of David Lynch's "Blue Velvet,"  the most brilliantly disturbing film ever to have its roots in small-town American life....

  • Romania continues an unlikely cinematic domination at Cannes, with a pair of rival directors

    Romania continues an unlikely cinematic domination at Cannes, with a pair of rival directors

    As the Cannes Film Festival wound down last weekend, the festival jury offered a reminder of how large a shadow one small country has cast on this gathering. The Romanian director Cristian Mungiu took the director's prize (he shared it with the French filmmaker Olivier Assayas) for "Graduation,"...

  • Putting money where the gender diversity is: How international film boards are pushing the cause of female filmmakers

    Putting money where the gender diversity is: How international film boards are pushing the cause of female filmmakers

    In March 2015, an Australian researcher published a statistic that drew both laughs and gasps in the business community there: Fewer large Australian companies were run by women than by men named Peter. The damning statistic prompted some introspection in the Australian film industry in particular,...

  • Fans urge Marvel to give Captain America a boyfriend

    Fans urge Marvel to give Captain America a boyfriend

    For the second time this month, fans are urging Disney to give the star of one of the studio’s films a same-sex partner. In early May, Twitter users launched the #GiveElsaAGirlfriend campaign, asking the studio behind “Frozen” to consider including a lesbian relationship in the musical's upcoming...

  • 'LOEV': A love story that could change Bollywood

    'LOEV': A love story that could change Bollywood

    In an early scene in “LOEV,” two young men drive off in a rented BMW convertible, listening to Kanye West as they leave the city behind. On the way to their weekend getaway destination, they discuss the pressures of career, family and love. The movie is shot and set in India, but it may not be...

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