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Why aren't there more serious movies about cheerleading?

Cheerleading

When you Google “cheerleading movies,” the top hits include the likes of Bring It On (and its four straight-to-DVD sequels), Sugar & Spice, Ninja Cheerleaders, and (no joke) Cheerleader Ninjas. When you Google “football movies,” the top hits include Remember the Titans, Friday Night Lights, Any Given Sunday, The Blind Side, and Rudy, just to mention a few. Why does the entertainment business see cheerleading as a sport that lends itself to comedy, while the world of football’s the idea place to set a drama? Does Hollywood believe that cheerleading isn’t serious enough to sustain a movie that isn’t tongue-in-cheek?

A new documentary called American Cheerleader might just help to change that.The documentary takes a very honest, straightforward look at two high school cheerleading squads—one in New Jersey and one in Kentucky—as they prepare mentally and physically for competition and, hopefully, find their way to nationals. New Jersey-based Burlington Township is returning to the game as the former National champions; Southwestern, the other school, made it to nationals the previous year, but suffered a heartbreaking defeat after one of the girls got dropped during their routine. READ FULL STORY

Martin Scorsese to exec produce Grateful Dead documentary

Get ready, Deadheads. The Grateful Dead turn 50 next year and to celebrate, they’re getting a new documentary from executive producer Martin Scorsese and director Amir Bar-Lev (Happy Valley).

The still-untitled doc will feature never-before-seen footage from various performances, archived interviews and behind-the-scene moments as well as new talks with surviving members Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann, Phil Lesh, and Bob Weir. It’ll also feature the eccentric characters from the “Dead universe.” Band archivist David Lemieux will serve as the music supervisor.

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Bar-Lev noted that he’d first set out to make a film about the Grateful Dead 10 years ago. While there have been many documentaries, concert films and television specials chronicling aspects of the seminal band, including a 10-minute short from Paul McCartney, the press release notes that this film will be the first official career-spanning portrait of the influential rockers.

“The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans,” said Scorsese in a statement. “I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.”

The surviving members agreed heartily, saying jointly that they’re “humbled to be collaborating with Martin Scorsese. From The Last Waltz to George Harrison: Living In The Material World, from Bob Dylan to the Rolling Stones, he has made some of the greatest music documentaries ever with some of our favorite artists and we are honored to have him involved. The 50th will be another monumental milestone to celebrate with our fans and we cannot wait to share this film with them.”

It might be time to outfit that old VW microbus with a television.

Box office preview: 'Ouija' faces off against 'John Wick'

Keanu Reeves, once one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars, will be competing against a board game thriller this weekend as John Wick opens against Ouija. In this case, it looks like the teen screamers might have the edge despite the overall stellar reviews for Reeves’ revenge picthe latest R-rated film to hit a particularly crowded market. St. Vincent also expands nationwide after playing for two weeks in limited release, but its unlikely to crack the top five.

Here’s how things might play out:

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Mondo debuts new poster for acclaimed documentary 'The Overnighters'

THE-OVERNIGHTERS

Directed by Jesse Moss, new documentary The Overnighters , details the attempts of a Lutheran pastor named Jay Reinke to help the homeless migrants who flocked to the oil boom town of Williston, ND, in search of work.

“The lure of the boomtown and its powerful place in the American imagination resides in its seductive promise of redemption and fortune for the brave and the desperate,” Moss says in his director’s statement. “It is this theme—played out in stark, raw terms in North Dakota and viewed through the prism of Pastor Reinke’s Church—that drew me to this story. As a student of American history, I was fascinated by the idea that a boomtown existed in modern-day America. Stories about Williston suggested an intoxicating and possibly combustible mixture of oil, men, money, opportunity and crime.” The Overnighters enjoyed an acclaimed festival run, currently boasts an impressive 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes, and was awarded a B+ by EW‘s Leah Greenblatt.

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Things get hairy in trailer for new werewolf movie 'Late Phases'

Late-Phases

In the new horror movie Late Phases, actor and excellent cook Nick Damici (Cold in July) plays a blind war veteran who discovers that something is badly wrong in the seemingly idyllic retirement community of Crescent Bay—and it isn’t excessive bingo fees.

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Get hypnotized by this clip from sci-fi film 'LFO'

lfo-the-movie

What would you do if you discovered a sound frequency that allowed you to hypnotize people? Well, if you’re a fan of science fiction, movies you might compel them to watch the new film, LFO. Written and directed by Antonio Tublen, this sci-fi-comedy stars Patrick Karlson as an amateur sound engineer who makes just such a discovery and, according to the official synopsis, uses it to “indulge in his most megalomaniacal fantasies.”

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'The Room' star making mockumentary about 'the greatest bad movie ever made'

What do you do if you wind up being in one of the most hilariously terrible films of all time? You make a comedy about it. That’s the exact approach being actress-turned-filmmaker Robyn Paris is taking. More than a decade after she appeared in writer-director-star Tommy Wiseau’s infamously awful cult film The Room, Paris has now launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a Christopher Guest-style mockumentary about what happened to the cast after shooting concluded.

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Get in bed with the poster for horror film 'Starry Eyes'

Starry-Eyes-Theatrical-Poster

In the new horror film Starry Eyes, an aspiring actress named Sarah (Alex Essoe) discovers there are much worse things that can happen in Hollywood than not getting called back for that dandruff shampoo commercial. Written and directed by Kevin Kolsch and Dennis Widmyer, the tale of “paranoia and possession” garnered rave reviews on the festival circuit and is produced by Snowfort Pictures, the boutique production company that has been on something of a tear of late with Jodorowsky’s Dune, Big Ass Spider!, and Cheap Thrills. READ FULL STORY

Eli Roth executive producing remake of 'Cabin Fever'

Cabin-Fever.jpg

In what is either the least or most timely film news of the month, it was announced today that writer-director Eli Roth is executive producing a remake of his 2002 flesh-eating virus horror film, Cabin Fever.

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Jason Schwartzman gets acerbic in this 'Listen Up Philip' clip

Director Alex Ross Perry takes a chainsaw to the tweedy highbrow literary scene and the toxic men who inhabit it in Listen Up Philip.

Philip Lewis Friedman (Jason Schwartzman) is one of those fully realized personalities. A successful novelist awaiting the publication of his second book, Philip is at turns cripplingly insecure and a megalomaniac who’s unafraid to alienate and offend. In this exclusive clip, you’ll see Philip meeting up with an ex early in the film.

With the droll, unflinching narration (from Eric Bogosian), and bristly intelligent humor, it’s an indicative sample of the belligerent arrogance Philip displays throughout the film as he leaves his girlfriend (Elisabeth Moss) in the city and retreats to the country house of his literary idol Ike Zimmerman (Jonathan Pryce) for some peace. EW spoke with Perry about his third feature, its cinematic and literary influences, the value in dark humor and why this film transcends the misogyny of the wretched men at its center

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