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Beasts of the Southern Wild

By Kevin Kelly
Sundance has long been known for its artsy films. That's all fine and dandy, but what about the geek side of movies? Where is the spirit of independent filmmaking when it comes to our world?

Thankfully, Sundance has been slowing addressing that problem. Over the years they have premiered films like "Primer," "Moon," "Splice," and "Another Earth," that scratched a bit of that itch. The demanding film buff wants more genre out of this snowbound film festival, and Sundance is finally starting to deliver. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival has a lot to offer in science fiction, horror, and beyond.

Check out our genre highlights.

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If you aren't too confident with a crab and a mallet, don't worry. Common will show you the way.

In this exclusive clip from "LUV," Common plays a man with a troubled past who forms an unlikely bond with his nephew over the course of one day in Baltimore. Here, he shows the boy how to crack a crab.

Director and co-writer Sheldon Candis based the film on his experiences growing up with his uncle who, unbeknownst to Candis at the time, was a notorious drug dealer.

"LUV" will premiere at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival.

What did you think of the clip? Let us know in the comment section and on Twitter!

Kevin Smith has never been one to hide his views and opinions, especially on hot-button topics, so it couldn't come as a surprise that after the "Red State" director stopped by MTV News, he planned to head downtown to check out the Occupy Wall Street protests and perhaps finally get a straight answer about what the demonstrations were all about.

"You hear people online go, 'It's this. It's that.' You never know unless you go down there," Smith told MTV News' Josh Horowitz. "So I'm going to go down there and talk to some cats."

The movement intrigued Smith for both it's uniqueness and the way it seemingly hearkens back to some of the civil unrest of previous decades. "There's no Hyrda head, so you want to talk to a bunch of people to find out what is this," Smith said. "It sounds kind of cool. You haven't seen any sort of spontaneous civil disobedience like this in a long f---ing time."

Smith encouraged everyone to go visit the protests just to be a part of history and to find out what it was all about for themselves. "Something like that bears looking at. We live in history every day of our lives," Smith said. "Jump in and touch it. Don't just read about it online."

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Tom HanksBy Sterling Wong

As ambitious big-budget projects get shut down or postponed indefinitely, one high-concept movie will finally begin shooting in less than a month’s time...but only with a reduced budget.

The Wachowski brothers and German director Tom Tykwer start work on "Cloud Atlas," the adaptation of David Mitchell’s prodigious novel, in mid-to-late September in Germany after a delay in financing negotiations. The film’s budget had been touted as somewhere around $100 million to $120 million in the past, but producer Stefan Ardnt confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that it will be "definitely lower" than that.

'Cloud,' which stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and Hugo Weaving, spans several centuries, from 19th century Australia to a post-apocalyptic Hawaii, and follows six distinct yet ultimately interlocking storylines. The expansiveness of the saga undoubtedly presents the directing trio with the complicated challenge of bringing it all onto the big screen in coherent fashion (and with less than a 14-hour running time).

Ardnt is confident the trio has worked out a solution, saying, “"Many have called the novel unfilmable, but Tom [Tykwer] and the Wachowskis have found a way to tell these stories in an amazing, linear and very cinematic way."

The Wachowskis and Tykwer have come up with a savvy method to split directing duties: They will shoot this sci-fi epic in parallel with two separate teams. We’re guessing the Wachowskis will be bringing their forward-looking "Matrix" vision to the futuristic parts of the film, while Tykwer will take charge of the period storylines.

With the reality of a weak global economy and lofty, big-budget fare like "Cowboys & Aliens" underperforming at the box office, it seems like the way to go forward for high-concept projects is to reign in the spending and go creative, as the Wachowskis and Tykwer will be doing. We'll find out how this project ends up looking next year, as the trio is aiming for a Summer 2012 release.

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All things considered with the lively contests that went down during our heated Harry Potter World Cup, it's been bloody good fun. Particularly the most unexpected victories and defeats of J.K. Rowling's most beloved characters. Neville Longbottom is a great example and although his fans put up a great fight, Longbottom eventually fell to the titular boy wizard.

Throughout the tourney the man behind the humble and courageous Griffindor, actor Matthew Lewis, has been gracious enough to indulge us here at MTV News and do a little campaigning for his character, followed by some insightful Potter World Cup bracket analysis. Now today, thanks to another chat with Lewis during the "Deathly Hallows: Part 2" press day, we had him weigh in on Longbottom's tournament run and being ousted by Harry himself.

"If we had to go, [losing to] Potter, I can understand that and accept that," Lewis said humbly, adding that he was just honored to be a part of things and especially grateful to his fans for their support.

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With the dynamic duo of "Incredibles" director Brad Bird and A-list action man Tom Cruise bringing us a new chapter of Ethan Hunt's impossible missions, it's safe to assume that the fourth installment of this blockbuster franchise will be bigger and badder than the first three.

When MTV News caught up with Bird at the "Super 8" premiere, we asked the Oscar winner just how crazy the film will be, in terms of stunts and action sequences - especially given the photos that surfaced online of Cruise atop Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

"It's big and it is crazy," Bird said. "I think the craziest thing is that they're real they're not digital. That's Tom Cruise on the tallest building in the world, he's doing all that stuff," Bird said of Cruise's death-defying stunts. "People won't believe it, but we shot it in IMAX so it's there for everyone to see."

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By Ryan J. Downey

Aziz Ansari has delivered brilliant one-liners, barbs and tomfoolery in small supporting roles in movies like "Get Him to the Greek" (2010), "Funny People" (2009) and "I Love You, Man" (2009). But "30 Seconds or Less" sticks the 28 year-old South Carolina-born standup comic in multiple scenes, providing a welcome expansion of the "Parks and Recreation" star's movie screen-time.

Speaking with MTV News at a Q&A following a Sneak Peek Week screening of "30 Seconds or Less" (which costars Jesse Eisenburg, Danny McBride and Nick Swardson) at Los Angeles' Pacific Design Center, last year's MTV Movie Awards host told us about the pressures of tackling a leading role.

"I had to shoot a lot more since I was in the movie more," he pointed out. "It was a lot of work."

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Neil Blomkamp's much buzzed-about upcoming film "Elysium" had many of us sold even before its stellar cast was announced. Mostly because his first film, "District 9," was SO great! But now with all the star power of Matt Damon, Sharlto Copley, Jodie Foster, Wagner Moura and my favorite, William Fichtner, the movie is pretty much a must-see. Even if we have to wait until March 8, 2013, to see it.

Although details are scarce, I managed to get Jodie Foster to talk briefly about her role as an alien head of state during the press day for "The Beaver" on Tuesday.

When asked whether her character will be a good or bad alien ruler, Foster said she'll be a little bit of both.

"I'm kind of evil-ish, yes, I'm kind of evil-ish, which you know I love," she said. "I'm just excited to work with Neil Blomkamp, the director of "District 9," which I think is pretty much as close to a perfect film that I can think of, and Matt Damon, who I'm a big fan of, and Sharlto Copley."

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Although we still have quite a ways to wait for Tarsem Singh's sweeping, stylistic, sword and sandals epic "Immortals" to arrive in theaters, stars Henry Cavill and Luke Evans recently hit up WonderCon to start building some fan excitement.

We don't know too much about the film, other than the fact that it revolves around characters from Greek mythology and also stars Mickey Rourke, Kellan Lutz and Freida Pinto, so when we sat down with Cavill and Evans, we asked them to explain their characters and how they fit into Singh's world.

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The last time we checked in on Jason Segel's "Muppets" movie, he saddened us with news that Paul Rudd will NOT be in the film, but teased the fact that we can expect a bunch of other celeb cameos (maybe Lady Gaga, probably Michael Cera. Hooray for ambiguity!).

Anyway, one lady that audiences will indeed see in the film is Segel's "Gulliver's Travels" co-star, Emily Blunt. When MTV News caught up with the charming actress recently, while she was doing press for "Gnomeo and Juliet" with fellow voice talent (and Patrick Stewart impressionist) James McAvoy, we asked about her day on the film. What followed was a hilarious exchange between Blunt and McAvoy — the latter of whom did a fine job of helping prod Blunt for more information.

"I did do a day on 'The Muppets,' yes," Blunt told us.

"Who do you play?" McAvoy cuts in.

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