New on Netflix: Sabotage, The Ides of March, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1

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There may not be a ton of new movies and TV shows on Netflix Instant this week, but there’s a pretty good chance you’ll find something here that’s worth a look. The biggest titles added in the U.S. include David Ayer’s Sabotage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Dream House starring Daniel Craig, and the first season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. However, looking beyond that we also have Joe Berlinger’s latest documentary Whitey: U.S.A. v. James J. Bulger, Pawel Pawlikowski’s acclaimed drama Ida and the silent classic The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari plus Leos Carax’s first film Boy Meets Girl and a documentary about Carax called Mr. X. In Canada, we get George Clooney’s The Ides of March, Blue Ruin, Fading Gigolo and Samsara, while both regions get the third season of the Netflix original series Lilyhammer. Will you be watching anything on Netflix this week? Check out the full list of new additions after the jump.

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Strange Magic Trailer: George Lucas Makes an Animated Musical

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Although one might assume that Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm meant that George Lucas was looking to retire from filmmaking altogether, that does not appear to be the case. He has been hinting for years that he wants to start making more experimental art films, but he just can’t seem to help himself when it comes to fantasy / sci-fi blockbusters. His latest project is a CG animated film called Strange Magic, a fairy tale of sorts that involves goblins, fairies, elves, imps and many other mythical creatures. But here’s the weird part: it’s also a musical.

Lucas came up with the story (which is loosely based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream) and served as executive producer, but the project is being directed by Gary Rydstrom, a sound designer who directed a few shorts including Pixar’s Lifted. Rydstrom compares the movie to Labyrinth, but if you ask me it looks a lot more like the recent Fox animated film Epic. The voice cast includes Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Kristin Chenoweth, Peter Stormare, Alfred Molina and Maya Rudolph, all of whom are called upon to sing versions of well-known pop songs. Strange Magic hits theatres on Jan. 23rd; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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Sony Drops Aaron Sorkin’s Steve Jobs Biopic

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Just a few weeks after Christian Bale officially passed on the lead role in Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s upcoming Steve Jobs movie, the project appears to be in a bit of trouble. Word on the street is that Sony Pictures is now bowing out of the project, although there is still a chance that another studio will pick it up instead. We had been hearing that Michael Fassbender was being pursued as Bale’s replacement, but it is unclear if any offers had actually been made. Seth Rogen and Jessica Chastain were also reportedly attached to star. Ultimately, it would seem that perhaps Sony agrees with David Fincher, who said he would not make the movie without Christian Bale as Jobs.

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The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Review

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Directed by: Francis Lawrence
Written by: Peter Craig, Danny Strong and Suzanne Collins
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Stanley Tucci, Elizabeth Banks, Jeffrey Wright and Sam Claflin.

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Last year Catching Fire, the second film in The Hunger Games franchise, went out with a bang when heroine Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) abruptly put an end to the games with a well-executed arrow shot. Shortly thereafter she learned that drastic measures had been taken in District 12 (her home district) and that Peeta was in danger. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 picks up right where things left off.

Katniss is tucked away in a bunker under the charred remnants of District 13. The bunker is home to the rebellion movement, and they want Katniss to serve as a spokesperson for the insurgence. She reluctantly takes on this role for the sake of the movement.

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New to Theatres This Weekend: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, V/H/S: Viral, Happy Valley

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There is just one major release hitting theatres this weekend and all others will fall by the wayside as the beginning of the end of The Hunger Games saga descends on multiplexes. It should easily score the biggest debut of the year, and if it doesn’t, it will be considered a major disappointment. If you’re looking for alternatives, there really isn’t a whole lot to choose from in terms of new releases. The Stephen Hawking biopic The Theory of Everything is expanding to a semi-wide release, while in select theatres we have the latest found footage horror anthology installment V/H/S: Viral and the Penn State / Jerry Sandusky documentary Happy Valley. What will you be watching this weekend?

Quantum Entanglement: How Interstellar Got the Science Right But the Human Math Wrong

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Warning: This article contains light spoilers for Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

“So Mr. Nolan you want to make a movie about a father and daughter who share a powerful love for each other but time dilation turns it into a real bummer? Hmmm. Love meets general relativity, you say. Well nobody’s done that before.”

When you learn a little about the quantum (sub-atomic) world, it’s easy to understand why Nolan and his physicist buddy, Kip Thorne, could get so inspired. These theories about the tiny stuff everything is made of are so tantalizing (and overwhelmingly counter-intuitive) that when melded with great human themes, the artistic potential is legitimately and (maybe literally) mindblowing. But creatively the two elements of humanity and quantum physics are not an easy fit as Nolan finds out in Interstellar.

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Mike Nichols 1931-2014

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Both Broadway and Hollywood have lost a legend this week as celebrated director Mike Nichols has passed away. Nichols is best known for helming the 1967 Best Picture winner The Graduate (for which he also won Best Director), although he also has plenty of other well-regarded films under his belt including Catch-22, The Birdcage and Charlie Wilson’s War. He also directed over 20 Broadway productions including Monty Python’s Spamalot and won a total of 9 Tony awards. James Goldston, the president of ABC News, announced that he died of a cardiac arrest on Wednesday night. He was 83 years old.

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Pitch Perfect 2 Trailer

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The musical comedy Pitch Perfect was a bit of a surprise hit back in 2012, earning $113 million worldwide on a $17 million budget. At the time, it definitely capitalized on the popularity of Glee, but it has since made a name for itself… which explains all the hype surrounding the first trailer for the sequel. Pitch Perfect 2 has most of the original cast returning including Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Skylar Astin, Alexis Knapp and Anna Camp, but this time they have also added Hailee Steinfeld, Katey Sagal and Elizabeth Banks (who is also directing, believe it or not). There’s not much more to say except that it looks like more of the same. Pitch Perfect 2 hits theatres on May 11th, 2015; check out the trailer after the jump and see what you think.

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Paul Greengrass to Direct 1984 Remake

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Although we now know that Paul Greengrass will be returning to direct a new Bourne movie with Matt Damon, that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to line up more additional projects in the meantime. Last month he signed on to direct a Berlin Wall escape thriller called The Tunnels, and now this week we are hearing about an even more intriguing project being added to his plate. Greengrass is currently contemplating his first foray into science-fiction with a new take on George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984. But will it come before or after Bourne? Hit the jump for more details.

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X-Men: Apocalypse Casting Shortlist Includes Chloe Moretz and Elle Fanning for Jean Grey

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Considering that X-Men: Days of Future Past was packed to the brim with multiple actors playing different versions of the same character, you might assume that the follow-up X-Men: Apocalypse couldn’t possibly be any bigger. However, based on what we’re hearing, the cast for X-Men: Apocalypse will continue to feature some of the original cast members along with some new additions to the X-Men: First Class line-up as well. Chief among them will be Jean Grey and Cyclops, two key X-Men characters that were left out of the Matthew Vaughn’s 2011 pseudo-reboot. Now we’ve got our first lead on who might be playing the younger versions of these two characters. Hit the jump for the full scoop.

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Disney’s Cinderella Trailer Starring Lily James and Cate Blanchett

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The first full trailer for Disney’s latest live-action fairy tale Cinderella has arrived online this week, and it seemingly takes a classic children’s story and turns it into a stuffy period costume drama. I guess that makes sense considering that it is directed by Kenneth Branagh, but there is a brief hint of some cartoony magic in there so I’m assuming the CG effects are still a work in progress. The movie stars Lily James (Downton Abbey) as Cinderella (or “Ella” for short), Cate Blanchett as her evil stepmother and Helena Bonham Carter as her fairy godmother along with Richard Madden (Game of Thrones) as Prince Charming. Cinderella hits theatres on March 13th; check out the trailer after the jump and let us know what you think.

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The Wolf Man Reboot in the Works, New Universal Monster Movies Will Be Action-Adventure Not Horror

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We’ve been hearing for a while now that Universal is in the process of rebooting their Universal Monsters franchise, launching a new interconnected series of films that revolve around iconic horror characters like Dracula, Frankenstein and The Mummy. Alex Kurtzman is overseeing the new series with the help of Chris Morgan and he will also be directing the first official installment, a new version of The Mummy. The recent film Dracula Untold may also be loosely tied to the franchise (Kurtzman supposedly reshot the ending in order to leave it open to this possibility), but up until now we haven’t heard about any other installments they might have planned. However, word on the street is that The Wolf Man reboot may be next on their list… and in case you haven’t guessed, it probably won’t be a horror movie.

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