The Most Unforgettable Movie Moments You Probably Missed Last Month

1. Bank employees get led out in cuffs in Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.


PBS Distribution

The Sung family in Abacus: Small Enough to Jail.

Only one US bank ended up indicted for mortgage fraud in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis that crashed markets and set off a global economic downturn. It wasn’t JPMorgan Chase or Citigroup or another widely recognized name — it was Abacus Federal Savings Bank, a small institution servicing primarily a Chinese-American clientele. In May 2012, the family-run affair, with its roots in Manhattan’s Chinatown and a mortgage default rate that was a fraction of the national average, drew the attention of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

The idea of a movie about a bank’s prosecution might not exactly sound riveting, but Abacus: Small Enough to Jail director Steve James (the documentarian responsible for Hoop Dreams and The Interrupters) manages to present the case like an epic David-and-Goliath struggle. And, in a rare instance these days, it’s not the bank that comes out looking like the villain.

James presents, instead, a multilayered and quietly enraging story about immigrants being treated as easy targets. The film explores how Abacus’s attempts to bridge cultural gaps for a sometimes insular community left it vulnerable to a DA’s office that sensed the potential for (and PR to be found in) a win against a financial institution, if not one of the apparently untouchable major ones.

The most eloquent image it puts onscreen is one that was actually staged for the press: a group of the bank’s employees being paraded in linked handcuffs, hiding their faces from the cameras. It’s a scene that, as interviewee and journalist Matt Taibbi notes, resembles “this almost Stalinist-looking chain gang.” One of the people in handcuffs puts it more simply: “It is a humiliation.”

How to see it: Abacus: Small Enough to Jail is now in limited release and is making its way to theaters around the country.

2. A train ride turns incredibly tense in The Age of Shadows.


CJ Entertainment America

Um Tae-goo as Hashimoto and Song Kang-ho as Lee Jung-chool in The Age of Shadows.

Like last year’s The Handmaiden, The Age of Shadows is a thriller set in an oppressive but gorgeously rendered Japan-occupied Korea in the 1920s-’30s. It’s also packed with twists and tension (while coming up short on the startling explicit sex — sorry); but in its case, all that intrigue is for the sake of the nation.

Most of the characters in The Age of Shadows are resistance fighters plotting against their foreign oppressors by way of a plan to smuggle explosives in from Shanghai, a calling that comes with a high risk of death, torture, or imprisonment. The film’s most fascinating figure, however, isn’t a rebel — he’s an opportunistic police captain named Lee Jung-chool (the great Song Kang-ho) who was once resistance-adjacent but has since turned his loyalty, and his investigative services, over to the Japanese.

Resistance fighter Kim Woo-jin (Gong Yoo) believes that Jung-chool, having been turned once, could be turned again, and their canny, calculated back-and-forths become the film’s backbone. But it’s action that director Kim Jee-woon (of A Bittersweet Life, I Saw The Devil, and the Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Last Stand) is renowned for. And that’s exactly what he provides in a series of stunning set pieces that make up for any espionage incomprehensibility, from an opening involving a police chase over rooftops to a chaotic train station shootout. The train ride becomes the film’s highlight, a brilliant sequence in which characters try to hide amid passengers, goods are smuggled, loyalties flip, and everything goes fabulously to hell despite everyone’s best efforts.

How to see it: The Age of Shadows is new to DVD and Blu-ray, and is also available for digital rental and purchase.

3. George Lazenby gets laid on the studio’s dime in Becoming Bond.


Hulu

Josh Lawson as George Lazenby in Becoming Bond.

The only consolation for losing one James Bond in May is getting such a rollicking tribute to another one, George Lazenby, in the form of Becoming Bond, Josh Greenbaum’s
Hulu original documentary. Lazenby, an Australian model with no acting experience, was famously chosen to replace Sean Connery in 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Even more famously, Lazenby would play the iconic spy only once, brashly walking away from a multipicture deal to become an entertainment history punchline.

In Becoming Bond, he walks the audience through all this and more, starting with his working-class upbringing as a mechanic turned salesman, through the loss of his virginity, his romance with an upper-crust woman, and his eventual, incredible finagling of the world’s most coveted role. Greenbaum makes the very smart decision to stage Lazenby’s stories, Drunk History–style, with a cast that includes Josh Lawson as the man himself, as well as appearances from Jane Seymour, Jeff Garlin, and Dana Carvey.

The approach provides some distance from Lazenby’s sometimes unfortunately of-its-era treatment of women, and emphasizes the hilarity of this bluff, oblivious, hard-partying Aussie stumbling into stardom. In the best scene, Jake Johnson shows up at Lazenby’s door with a woman the soon-to-be-Bond cheerily and unquestionably begins banging, only to be informed later that the strange setup was staged by the studio to confirm his sexuality. Lazenby, unfazed by that and by seemingly everything else, shrugs and goes on.

How to see it: Becoming Bond is streaming on Hulu.

4. A traveler realizes she’s trapped in Berlin Syndrome.

Andi (Max Riemelt) and Clare (Teresa Palmer) in Berlin Syndrome.

The most painful scene in the abduction drama Berlin Syndrome isn’t the one in which Australian backpacker Clare (Teresa Palmer) first finds herself locked in the isolated apartment belonging to her fling Andi (Max Riemelt). That first day she plays off as an accident, the man she went home with forgetting to leave her a key after he heads off to work. It’s the second day in which she understands that it’s intentional — that the handsome German she met on the street and ended up postponing her trip to be with is dangerous. She doesn’t want to believe it, which is what makes the realization so slow and sickening — she keeps up a charade of everything being fine for as long as possible, until the urgency of her situation can no longer be ignored.

Berlin Syndrome is the rare abduction drama directed by a woman — filmmaker Cate Shortland, of Somersault and Lore. And that’s something you can feel in all of its choices, including the way it keeps Clare at its heart even when it follows Andi into the outside world he’s denied her. The film never turns Clare’s fear or suffering into spectacle — it’s about her experiences, about how she rebels against and then tries to manipulate Andi’s obsession and desire for a simulacrum of a normal relationship to her advantage. The result is an effective but never exploitative play on what plagues every solo female traveler — that you want to be open, to meet strangers and experience new places, but that that same trusting approach to exploring can also leave you horribly exposed.

How to see it: Berlin Syndrome is available for digital rental and purchase.

5. Tracy Letts sings in The Lovers.


A24

Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger) in The Lovers.

The Lovers starts like a French adultery farce that’s been dropped into the most unromantic of suburban California settings. The cars are sensible, the couches are dumpy, the jobs involve seas of cubicles — and yet the orchestral score swoons when Michael (Tracy Letts) and Mary (Debra Winger), two halves of a long-wed couple, meet up with their respective lovers. Mary is seeing Robert (Aidan Gillen), a writer, while Michael is dallying with Lucy (Melora Walters), a hot-tempered ballet instructor. Both Michael and Mary insist, separately, that their marriage is over and that they’re ready to leave, to commit to their new partners — until an unexpected evening spent together results in the two rediscovering a sexual spark.

If this all sounds high-concept — a marital affair in the midst of two extramarital ones — well, The Lovers does play as a little schematic as first. But Azazel Jacobs’ movie is worth sticking with as it builds into something more bitter and complex about the nature of love, about how it can abide in ways that have nothing to do with the ebb and flow of passion or of even being able to stand one another. The Lovers features impressively frank lovemaking between characters of an age at which they’re usually consigned to onscreen sexlessness. But its rawest scene actually involves a song, performed by Letts after a visit from the couple’s son (Tyler Ross) and his new girlfriend (Jessica Sula) has brought all sorts of long-simmering anger and disappointment to light. It’s a familiar tune that’s transformed into something heartbreaking, carrying the weight of years — or just the weight of a decades-long relationship.

How to see it: The Lovers is now in theaters in limited release.

6. Survivors cry about wanting to go home in Seoul Station.


FilmRise

Seoul Station

Before South Korean filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho made the 2016 zombies-on-a-train thriller Train to Busan, he was known for his work in animation. So it’s not so odd that his prequel to that breakout hit, Seoul Station, is animated. But what is startling is that it’s even darker than the live-action film it precedes, in terms of both its ravenous undead action and its pointed social commentary.

The movie takes place in a Seoul teetering unknowingly on the verge of apocalypse, and it centers on characters who’ve been relegated to society’s outskirts — in particular, on a teenage runaway who’s forced into sex work, the father and ne’er-do-well boyfriend looking for her, and a group of homeless men living in the train station.

Maybe it’s the abstraction of animation that allows Seoul Station to get away with being so bracingly harsh — either way, it works from the beginning. In the dark suspense of the opening sequence, a homeless man with a developmental disorder tries and fails, repeatedly, to get help for his bitten friend. Even when that friend lurches back to life with alarming appetites, the city’s residents remain skeptical about claims of an infection, finding it easier to look away or to blame the aberrance on homelessness rather than believe something has gone terribly wrong.

By the time the body count picks up, it’s too late to do anything but run, or cry about wanting to go home, which is exactly what two characters do in the movie’s most relatable moment. It’s a plaintive, hopeless desire that gets turned into a very grim joke in the film’s final setting, achieving the kind of ending that makes you think, Hey, maybe it’s the zombies we should be rooting for.

How to see it: Seoul Station is available for rental or purchase on iTunes.

Netflix Has Canceled “Sense8” And Fans Are Not Happy

“After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end,” Cindy Holland, vice president of original content for Netflix, said in a statement. “It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana [Wachowski], Lilly [Wachowski], Joe [Michael Straczynski] and Grant [Hill] for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.”

The Mayor Of Austin Just Shut Down This Sexist Email About Wonder Woman And It's Everything

Here is the full email:

“I hope every man will boycott Austin and do what he can to diminish Austin and to cause damage to the city’s image. The theater that pandered to the sexism typical of women will, I hope, regret it’s decision. The notion of a woman hero is a fine example of women’s eagerness to accept the appearance of achievement without actual achievement. Women learn from an early age to value make-up, that it’s OK to pretend that you are greater than you actually are. Women pretend they do not know that only men serve in combat because they are content to have an easier ride. Women gladly accept gold medals at the Olympics for coming in 10th and competing only against the second class of athletes.

Name something invented by a woman! Achievements by the second rate gender pale in comparison to virtually everything great in human history was accomplished by men, not women. If Austin does not host a men only counter event, I will never visit Austin and will welcome it’s deteriorati on. And I will not forget that Austin is best known for Charles Whitman. Does Austin stand for gender equality or for kissing up to women? Don’t bother to respond. I already know the answer. I do not hate women. I hate their rampant hypocrisy and the hypocrisy of the “women’s movement.” Women do not want gender equality; they want more for women. Don’t bother to respond because I am sure your cowardice will generate nothing worth reading.”

Rate These Romantic Movies On Netflix And We'll Guess Your Relationship Deal-Breaker

You got: They don’t read

You know what they say: “readers are leaders.” Reading is a large part of your life and you couldn’t imagine dating someone who you couldn’t form a book club with.

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You got: On their phone too much

You’re not looking for a person who’s glued to their phone when they’re supposed to be spending time with you.

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You got: No sense of humor

Laughter matters to you. If a person can’t make you laugh, and doesn’t laugh at what you find funny, there’s a pretty good chance they aren’t your type.

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You got: Too needy

You like being wanted, but being needed is just too much pressure for you. You like your space.

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You got: Goes out too much

You like going out and having a good time, but you have your limits. A person who doesn’t share those limits is definitely not your type.

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You got: Too lazy

You find laziness extremely unattractive. You’re looking for someone with a little get-up-and-go.

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“Bachelorette” Contestant Under Scrutiny For Racist, Sexist, And Islamophobic Tweets

Lee Garrett, a contestant on the current season of ABC’s The Bachelorette, has locked his Twitter account after a series of racist, sexist, and Islamophobic tweets from before the show filmed were exposed.

“What’s the difference between the NAACP and the KKK? Wait for it… One has the sense of shame to cover their racist ass faces,” he posted, according to a screenshot from Twitter user @emesola. Garrett also appears to have tweeted a petition to have Black Lives Matter recognized as a terrorist group. In another tweet, he allegedly wrote, “When is the last time you saw a pretty feminist? There is a reason for this,” and in another: “I don’t hate Muslims, I do hate Islam. I just mindfucked a few liberals for standing for something while making reasonable sense.”

Garrett is currently vying for love on of The Bachelorette with Rachel Lindsay, the franchise’s first black lead.

More than a dozen alleged tweets from Garrett throughout 2015 and 2016 have been published by a handful of websites in the last 24 hours.

ABC and Warner Bros. — which produces The Bachelorette — had no comment on the matter, and Garrett did not immediately reply to BuzzFeed News’ request for a comment.

A three-minute promo for what’s to come hinted that Garrett may emerge as this season’s villain.

The announcement that Lindsay had been chosen as the next bachelorette felt like a long overdue decision as the franchise had infamously never featured a black Bachelorette or Bachelor.

Lindsay, who originally appeared opposite Bachelor Nick Viall earlier this year, was instantly a fan favorite and while her search for love got off to an awkward start, it appears that Lindsay’s time on The Bachelorette was well-spent since she — spoiler alert! — posted on Instagram that she is currently engaged.

Jarett Wieselman is a senior entertainment editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles. Wieselman writes about and reports on the television industry.

Contact Jarett Wieselman at jarett.wieselman@buzzfeed.com.

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Making Sense Of The Cancellation Of “Underground”

The critically acclaimed series Underground was canceled by WGN America this week, and Black Twitter is crying foul.

The show, produced by John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Company, trended on Twitter weekly and brought in record ratings for the burgeoning network when it premiered in March 2016. That mixed with the fact that it centered on the Underground Railroad and featured a predominantly black cast has many people unhappy, but the situation is more complicated than what could easily be pointed to as racism in Hollywood.

It all started in mid-April when WGN America canceled its highest-rated drama, Outsiders. Peter Kern, the president and CEO of Tribune Media, WGN’s parent company, gave the following explanation for the cancellation at the time: “We will be reallocating our resources to a more diverse programming strategy and to new structures, enabling us to expand both the quantity and breadth of content aired by WGN America.”

Some took the vague statement as a sign that WGN America was trying to spend less money on scripted series (it is expensive to make period pieces and shoot on location, as we just saw with Netflix’s The Get Down), while others remained optimistic that “more diverse programming” meant more racially diverse programming, like Underground.

That optimism started to die, though, when Sinclair Broadcast Group — the same media company that made deals with the Trump administration — bought Tribune Media in early May.

It’d be easy to point to that as the reason Underground, a highly publicized hit, got the axe, but the explanation Kern gave on Tuesday reflects his statement about Outsiders. “As WGN America evolves and broadens the scope and scale of its portfolio of series, we recently announced that resources will be reallocated to a new strategy to increase our relevance within the rapidly changing television landscape,” he said. “This move is designed to deliver additional value for our advertising and distribution partners and offer viewers more original content across our air.” TL;DR: Being in the business of prestige drama series is incredibly expensive, and WGN America cleaned house to increase the quantity of original shows on the network. (Underground reportedly costs $5 million per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter.)

WGN America has only had four original scripted series to date, and Underground and Outsiders had marked an upswing for the network. They also had high-profile series in development, like Black Wall Street from Get Lifted and a TV adaptation of DC Comics’ Scalped.

While Underground showrunner Misha Green left the series a week after the Sinclair deal to run Jordan Peele’s new HBO series, Legend still holds onto hope that another network will pick up the groundbreaking series…and he tweeted a not-so-veiled warning about Sinclair.

Sony Pictures Television, which distributes Underground, has a history of saving shows — Community went from NBC to Yahoo Screen, and Damages went from FX to DirecTV Audience Network but because Hulu has exclusive subscription video-on-demand rights to Underground, it might not end up surviving.

When contacted by BuzzFeed News, Sony TV did not have a comment about the future of the series or the reasons behind the cancellation. Legend and Get Lifted did not immediately reply to BuzzFeed News’ requests for comment.

This “House Of Cards” Quiz Will Determine Which Character Is Your Soulmate

You got: Frank Underwood

You are a real BOSS just like Frank, and a natural born leader. You are focused, strategic, and very, very smart. Hard work, determination, and perseverance are tools you use to get what you want. Taking “no” for an answer is completely out of the question.

Frank Underwood
Netflix

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You got: Claire Underwood

You’re a total badass just like Claire. You are stylish, gorgeous, and always have a plan B. You’re always there to help out people you love, but at the end of the day, you keep your best interest in mind.

Claire Underwood
Netflix

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You got: Remy

You demand trust and respect from those around you. Your circle is tight but your sources are wide. You’re well liked by many, and people come to you for advice whenever they need it and you always deliver.

Remy
Netflix

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You got: Zoe Barnes

You’re curious, always looking for the real answers to things and trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on

Zoe Barnes
Netflix

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You got: Doug

You get shit done! You are typically the brains behind the operation and are always willing to help out your friends in need. You’re also extremely trustworthy, and people can always rely on you.

Doug
Netflix

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We're Getting An Alanis Morissette Musical And Everything's Gonna Be Fine, Fine, Fine

Not to mention “Head Over Feet,” “All I Want,” “You Learn,” and many more emotionally raw anthems of angst that made then-21-year-old Morissette the youngest ever Album of the Year winner at the Grammys and propelled her to stardom. If you grew up in the ’90s, there’s a very good chance you scrawled these lyrics into a notebook at some point.