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See the first clip of Samuel L. Jackson in TIFF feature 'Big Game'

big-game

Finnish writer and director Jalmari Helander made a big splash with 2010’s Rare Exports, the tale of a giant, monstrous Santa Claus. How do you follow that? The answer arrives at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival in the form of Big Game, which makes its world premiere at the event tomorrow night when it kicks off TIFF’s Midnight Madness strand.

Samuel L. Jackson stars in the film as an American president who, following an attack on Air Force One, is pursued through the Scandinavian wilderness by a band of killers. The only person who can help him survive: a 13-year-old boy, played by Rare Exports actor Onni Tommila.

Big Game costars Ray Stevenson, Ted Levine, Felicity Huffman, Victor Garber, Jorma Tommila, Mehmet Kurtulus, and the always watchable Jim Broadbent. Watch Jackson and Onni Tommila in the exclusive first clip from the film below. READ FULL STORY

Big Trouble in Little Downton: When Dan Stevens met Kurt Russell

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Downton Abbey fans may be a tad surprised by Dan Stevens’ recent choice in roles, which include a gun-toting Kentucky army veteran in the bananas action movie The Guest (out Sept. 17) and a New York drug dealer in the Liam Neeson-starring private eye thriller, A Walk Among the Tombstones (out Sept. 19). But such projects are very much in the wheelhouse of the man who spent three years playing the period drama’s dashing Matthew Crawley, as this writer discovered when he recently met with the actor for a feature in this week’s Entertainment Weekly. “I’m a genre fan,” he explained, over dinner at a restaurant close to where the British actor now lives in Brooklyn.

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Can indie cartoon 'Hullabaloo' give new steam to hand-drawn animation? -- EXCLUSIVE Q&A

hullabaloo

Hand-drawn animation needs a hero, and the latest project to champion the technique is an upstart steampunk adventure  overseen by a group of veteran Disney and DreamWorks artists.

Hullabaloo is the Victorian era sci-fi story of Veronica Daring, a young scientist who goes on a quest to find her kidnapped inventor father. The title refers not just to the ruckus she causes, but is the codename for her secret, crime-fighting identity.

To complete her mission, Hullabaloo’s going to need friends, cunning, intelligence, and — in the real world, at least — some money. That’s where Indiegogo comes in with a fundraising campaign by creator James Lopez to raise $80,000 to produce a proof-of-concept short.

The dream: a full-length, hand-drawn feature film — something none of the major film studios plan to make in the foreseeable future.

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Watch a 'Downton Abbey' star get into a bar fight in 'The Guest'

What has actor Dan Stevens been doing since he left Downton Abbey? Beating up high school kids! That, at least, is what the actor formerly known as Matthew Crawley is doing in a new clip from his film The Guest, which arrives in cinemas September 17.

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The Dowdle brothers talk about shooting their horror-thriller 'As Above So Below' in the Paris catacombs

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Ah, Paris. City of love, romance—and a terrifying network of skull-filled catacombs where filmmaking brothers Drew and John Erick Dowdle shot their new horror-thriller As Above So Below. “It is an extremely creepy place,” says director John Erick (Quarantine, Devil). “It really tweaks at the mind. You go down there and your pulse slows. It’s really weird.”

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Watch the first trailer for Jon Stewart's 'Rosewater'

Last summer, Jon Stewart left his post on The Daily Show to shoot his debut film, Rosewater. Now, Stewart and Open World Films are giving viewers a look at his take on journalist Maziar Bahari’s memoir Then They Came for Me with the film’s first trailer.

In the trailer, the London-based Bahari, played by Gael García Bernal, leaves his pregnant fiancée to cover the 2009 Iranian presidential election. Bahari is then captured and tortured for 118 days, believed to be a spy by his interrogator. The film’s name comes from Bahari’s statement that the only distinctive feature of his captor, who kept him blindfolded, was that he smelled of rosewater. In an ironic twist, Bahari’s real-life interview on Stewart’s show was used as evidence by his captors of Bahari’s guilt, though the film looks to be too serious in tone to play up that plot point.

From the trailer, it seems Stewart’s directorial debut will use real-life news footage to ground the scenes Stewart shot, which were filmed in Jordan. Much of the trailer showcases snippets of Bahari’s introduction into the country and the torture he suffered.

Rosewater opens on Nov. 7, but will first be screened at the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto Film Festival.

'Saw' to be rereleased this Halloween

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Would you cut off your own foot to see Saw back on the big screen? If so, you’re crazy—but, also, here are some glad tidings. Lionsgate announced today that, to mark the 10th anniversary of director James Wan’s franchise-inaugurating horror movie, the film will return to cinemas on Oct. 31, with select screenings the night before.

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See the poster for VICE skateboarding doc 'All This Mayhem'

ALL-THIS-MAYHEM

If the story of skateboarding siblings Tas and Ben Pappas were an attempted trick jump, it would feature a remarkable ascent and a horrible, deadly landing.

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Shlocky charms: The crazy rise and 'terrifying' return of 'Leprechaun'

How did a low budget horror movie about a diminutive Irish monster spawn five sequels, a new reboot, and the career of Jennifer Aniston? EW tracks the deranged history of the Leprechaun franchise.

British actor Warwick Davis says he has “specific” fans—well-wishers who want to discuss just one of the several fantasy franchises in which he has appeared. “People talk about Star Wars, people talk about Harry Potter,” he explains, “and people talk about Leprechaun.

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Box office report: 'If I Stay' is No. 1 on Friday

Teen tearjerker If I Stay (Cinema Score: A-) set the pace at the box office on Friday, but Guardians of the Galaxy may have enough fuel left to pass it and top the box office by Sunday night.

If I Stay, based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman and starring Chloë Grace Moretz, proved a draw for young audiences. Its $6.8 million opening day put it ahead of Marvel’s latest blockbuster, which added an estimated $4.8 million to its domestic total of $239.1 million. But tracking suggests the lead for the YA adaptation directed by R.J. Cutler may not hold up over the next two days.

Coming in at No. 3 was the pizza-loving pack in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with an estimated $4.54 million. Starring Megan Fox and Will Arnett, the comic book reboot has held strong for three weeks running, and its domestic total stands at an estimated $133.3 million. And there may be more in store for the half-shell heroes: the film has yet to open in international markets including Korea (Aug. 28), Spain and the U.K. (Oct. 17), and Japan (Dec. 19).

Fox comedy Let’s Be Cops came in at No. 4 with $3.2 million, bringing its domestic total to an estimated $35.7 million—a boon for a film that cost a reported $17 million to produce. When the Game Stands Tall, a biopic about an inspirational high school football coach played by Jim Caviezel. The sports flick took in $3 million, rounding out the top five. But it still outpaced disappointing newcomer Sin City 2: A Dame to Kill For (Cinema Score B-), which came in at No. 6 with an estimated $2.6 million from 2,750 locations.

Here are the top five films:

1. If I Stay - $6.83 million (new)

2. Guardians of the Galaxy - $4.83 million ($239. 1 million total domestic total)

3. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – $4.54 million ($133.3 million total domestic total)

4. Let’s Be Cops – $3.23 million ($37.5 million domestic total)

5. When The Game Stands Tall – $3.0 million (new)

Behind Sin City 2 at No. 7 was The Weinstein Company’s The Giver at an estimated $2.1 million, followed by The Expendables 3 with $1.9 million (its estimated domestic gross currently stands at $22.8 million). Foodie flick The Hundred-Foot Journey brought in $1.6 million on Friday, bringing its estimated domestic gross to $28.8 million.

Check back Sunday for full weekend estimates.

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