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What’s Worth Watching This Week: ‘Snowpiercer,’ ‘Life After Beth,’ ‘Pee-wee’s Playhouse’

Chris Evans in 'Snowpiercer'

At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what’s streaming on Netflix, we’ve got you covered.

New on DVD and Blu-ray

“La dolce vita”
Even if you snagged “La dolce vita” on Blu-ray when it was available via Kino Lorber, you’ll still want to upgrade to this fancy Criterion edition. This new release received the 4K digital restoration treatment, and the extras include an interview with writer/director (and AD for “La dolce vita”) Lina Wertmüller, an audio interview with star Marcello Mastroianni, and more.

“Life After Beth”
Life After Beth - DVD Clip No. 1

This is a kooky zombie love …

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‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ Will Have More Visual Effects Than Any Other Marvel Movie

Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Age of Ultron

Marvel is upping its visual effects game with forthcoming “Avengers” sequel “Age of Ultron,” as one of the studio’s effects executives has revealed that the flick will have the most visual effects shots of any Marvel movie.

Victoria Alonso, the executive vice president of visual effects and postproduction for Marvel Studios, told a crowd at the VES Summit this weekend that the studio is constantly one-upping itself in terms of the scope of its projects, and that includes “Ultron.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alonso, who is executive producing the flick, “anticipates topping 3,000 VFX shots for the ‘Avengers’ …

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First Look at Disney’s ‘Moana,’ Setting Sail in 2016 (PHOTO)

Moana

Late last year, riding high on the success of female-centric flick “Frozen,” Disney announced that another young girl would be at the heart of its next animated feature, “Moana.” Now, the Mouse House has revealed a first look at concept art for the upcoming film, and announced a new, closer release date.

The photo (click here for a larger version), released on Walt Disney Animation Studios’s Facebook page, depicts the young titular heroine setting sail on a makeshift boat, her long locks flying free in the breeze. She seems to be headed toward a large, mountainous island, …

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Box Office: ‘Birdman’ and ‘St. Vincent’ Soar in Limited Release

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Michael Keaton and Bill Murray haven’t been box office heavyweights for ages, but at the art-house, both men are setting ticket sales on fire, with “Birdman” and “St. Vincent,” respectively. During what proved to be a ho-hum weekend for mainstream, wide-release movies, led by Brad Pitt‘s underperforming “Fury,” Keaton and Murray were among the stars packing them in at the indie theaters.

Overall, the North American box office was down 13 percent from last weekend, despite three eagerly awaited new wide releases. PItt’s World War II action drama was in the lead, but while pundits had expected …

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Weekend Box Office: Brad Pitt’s ‘Fury’ Blasts ‘Gone Girl’ From Top Spot

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – The bloody World War II drama “Fury” blew past “Gone Girl” at theaters this weekend.

“Gone Girl” was tops at the box office for two weeks before Brad Pitt and his rag-tag group of tank mates in “Fury” blasted the film to second place.

According to studio estimates Sunday, Sony’s “Fury” captured $23.5 million in ticket sales during its opening weekend. Fox’s “Gone Girl” followed with $17.8 million.

Two other new movies landed in the top five: The animated Fox feature “The Book of Life” opened in third place with $17 million; …

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‘August: Osage County’ Actress Misty Upham’s Body Found

SEATTLE (AP) – The King County medical examiner has confirmed that a body found in a ravine in the Seattle suburb of Auburn is that of missing actress Misty Upham, known for her roles in “August: Osage County,” ”Frozen River” and “Django Unchained.”

In a statement, the medical examiner’s office said Friday that the 32-year-old woman died Oct. 5. That’s the day her family told police that the Native American actress was suicidal. Relatives reported her missing the next day. The medical examiner said the cause and manner of death are pending investigation.…

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Ian McKellen Has Some Great Advice for Young Students

“The Lord of the Rings” star Ian McKellen stopped by the Chew Valley School, a performing arts college near Bristol, U.K. on Friday and dispensed some very helpful advice to students who stood outside its library.

We could tell you what it is, but we think “Gandalf” says it better than anyone could describe.

For all two of you who haven’t seen “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, the line comes from this scene in its first instalment, “The Fellowship of the Ring.”

(You probably knew that already, but we never tire of watching this sequence.)

McKellen certainly won …

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‘The Book of Life’ Review: Macabre Cartoon Almost Gets There

The Book of Life” is a colourful, slightly macabre animated story that draws from Mexican culture and aesthetic style. Told as a story-within-a-story, this is a straight-up fairy tale that sees the protagonist go on a traditional heroic quest, with visits to the underworld, battles with raging beasts, and overcoming family expectations.

For a film that has significant events that take place in the underworld, this seems like a weird title.
Originally the film was called “Day of the Dead,” which, frankly, is much more in keeping with the film’s style. While granting that there are …

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‘Birdman’ Review: 10 Things You Need to Know About Michael Keaton’s Big Comeback Movie

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Michael Keaton is perhaps best known for playing Batman in a pair of Tim Burton-directed superhero movies, whose visionary tone has set the standard for the genre until this day. And now he’s stepping back into the superhero suit (sort of) for “Birdman,” the latest film from “Babel” director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

“Birdman” tells the story of an actor who has been immortalized in a series of superhero movies (played, obviously, by Keaton), who decides to attempt a comeback by writing, directing, and starring in a stage adaptation of a Raymond Carver story. Of course, everything that …

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Brad Pitt Facts: 35 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About the ‘Fury’ Star

Brad Pitt Facts

Since breaking out over 20 years ago in “Thelma & Louise,” Brad Pitt has been difficult to miss.

After landing his place in cinematic history as a hunky (and shirtless) criminal, Pitt’s career blossomed with starring roles in critical and box office hits alike, such as “A River Runs Through It” (1992), “Seven” (1995), and “12 Monkeys” (1995) — just to name a few. In the past two decades, Pitt has become one of Hollywood’s biggest stars, but his role has expanded beyond just acting. In only the past few years, he’s produced two Best Picture …

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