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Watch: "If Pride Rock Could Talk" (Mashup trailer of "The Lion King" and "If Beale Street Could Talk")

  When the news broke that Barry Jenkins was going to direct the sequel to The Lion King (2019) for Disney, I have to admit I was a bit blindsided. Jenkins, whose Moonlight won the Best Picture Oscar, was far from the studio hires I would expect from Disney. But then I started to look on the bright side for Barry: our guy is going to GET. PAID. And now that some weeks have passed, I'm starting to wonder what a Barry Jenkins-Disney-photo-realistic film would actually *feel* like. Jenkins, a filmmaker of such tenderness, is sure to inject his DNA into this studio tentpole film...but how?  I created this mashup trailer as a sort of vision board for The Lion King 2 .  Here is If Pride Rock Could Talk .
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Watch: GOOD TIME BATMAN (Mashup trailer of GOOD TIME and THE BATMAN)

Robert Pattinson  certainly has pivoted his acting career in the most prolific and profound way. Who would've thought the guy from Twilight  would work with the likes of Cronenberg, Denis and Gray in just a handful of years? I thought Pattinson deserved an Oscar nomination for his high-octane performance in the Safdie Brothers' masterpiece Good Time . In fact, Good Time  was the first film reference that popped into my head while watching the new trailer for Matt Reeves ' The Batman (which Pattinson also stars in). There's a shot of his Bruce Wayne looking pensively near the edges of the screen at one point. That shot reminded me of Pattinson's character Connie in Good Time . Then my imagination took over and I wondered about a cinematic universe where maybe Connie was the estranged twin brother of Batman. And maybe Batman needed help. And maybe Connie was the only person who could go the extra mile. So I made GOOD TIME BATMAN. 

The 35 Best Films of 2019

2019 was a trying year. The movies have always reflected that state of the world, the state of ourselves. It's no wonder that some of the year's finest films ( A Hidden Life , Waves , One Child Nation ) deal with trauma through acts of forgiveness. This isn't a rah-rah moment for the world. We are hurting. But through these gestures of introspection and attempting to understand what could manifest such negativity in our lives, we become a new kind of strength. The cinema, once again, invigorates us. 35.  Atlantics  Directed by  Mati Diop   34.  The Two Popes  Directed by  Fernando Meirelles 33.  The Souvenir  Directed by  Joanna Hogg 32.  The Report  Directed by  Scott Z. Burns 31.  Pain and Glory  Directed by  Pedro Almod√≥var 30.  High Flying Bird  Directed by  Steven Soderbergh 29.  American Factory  Directed by  Steven Bognar  and  Julia Reichert 28.  Little Women  Directed by  Greta Gerwig 27.  Toy Story 4  Directed by  Josh Cooley 26.  Diane  D

VIDEO ESSAY: Scorsese's Second Take

Martin Scorsese 's new film The Irishman , which makes its streaming debut today on Netflix , is another landmark achievement from one of the world's greatest filmmakers. The film is also a reckoning for Mr. Scorsese. The fact that The Irishman opens up with a long tracking shot (photographed by Rodrigo Prieto ) is a deliberate nod to Scorsese's -- arguably -- most famous sequence: the long tracking shot into the Copacabana from Goodfellas (photographed by the late Michael Ballhaus ). Nearly 30 years after that shot first dazzled audiences, Scorsese looks to be making an amendment to his visual thesis. Gone is the glory and glamour from the Goodfellas days. In The Irishman , melancholy oozes from the edges of the frame. Right out of the gate, we're introduced to the end of the road: a senior home where mob hitman Frank Sheeran ( Robert De Niro ) sits alone, awaiting his meaningless death. When this shot is juxtaposed against the Goodfellas shot showing Henry H

VIDEO ESSAY: Once Upon A Time...In The F.B.I.

Something I tend to do at some point in the evening, whether or not drinks are involved, is to make anyone who is visiting my apartment sit down and watch something I love or find compelling or just want to share because I think it's the most special thing. It could be a whole movie or a short film or a music video. Maybe it's an SNL digital short. Sometimes it could be a video essay I just cut and want some feedback on. The through line is always the same: it's the moving image that I always go back to, wanting to relish in experiencing it with other people. In the months since first watching Quentin Tarantino 's Once Upon A Time...In Hollywood , his slow-burning cinematic love letter to Tinseltown in 1968, it's become fact that this movie serves the same purpose for Mr. Tarantino. It's not just a glorious "hangout movie" -- it's a glorious "hangout movie about watching movies -- and TV and commercials and even just listening to the radio

Watch: Gaspar Noe's ENTER THE CATS

It's been quite the day for trailers. Ad Astra . It Chapter Two . Top Gun: Maverick . But I don't think anyone was REALLY ready for the promised "digital fur technology" of Tom Hooper 's Cats . The trailer is pure nightmare fuel. While watching it, the first thing that struck me was how dark and dreadful the film looked. Like physically and literally. I started thinking about how the film would probably be enjoyable while on some drugs. Then I started fixating on a shot of Idris Elba on top of a multi-colored lit building and the poster for Gaspar Noe 's Enter The Void  suddenly popped in my head. And after that, there was no turning back...

Trailer Alert: James Gray's space epic "Ad Astra"

It's no secret that I greatly admire James Gray 's The Lost City of Z . So his upcoming operatic space drama Ad Astra has been of great interest to me. While the first trailer certainly was intriguing, the second trailer (which 20th Century Fox released today) works like gangbusters. Tonally, it fits more in the Gray cinematic canon -- i.e. it's introspective, it has stirring orchestral music and focuses on another father-son dynamic. Think about it. Joaquin Phoenix felt an obligation to do the right thing for his cop father Robert Duvall in We Own The Night . Phoenix also felt an obligation to keep his father's dry cleaning business alive -- and therefore making his social and romantic life impotent -- in Two Lovers . In The Lost City of Z , a final father-son exploration back into South America proves tragic. And now Ad Astra stars Brad Pitt as an astronaut who goes looking for his estranged astronaut father ( Tommy Lee Jones ) in deep space. For me, this