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Review Companion: An analysis of theatre and cinema in Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman

Alec Kubas-Meyer, Reviews & Features Editor - Flixist
39 minutes ago - 4:00 PM on 10.22.2014
Review Companion: An analysis of theatre and cinema in Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman photo

I love Birdman. A lot. If you don’t believe me, go look at my ludicrously positive review. Even if you do believe me, you should do so anyway, because this is a companion (and not a replacement) to that piece.

But unlike my last review companion, this is nearly spoiler-free. I’m going to talk about the (not-secret) magic trick that the film pulls, but if you know what that trick is, then you can read this and still go into it feeling untainted. But if you have the chance to see it before reading, why would you be doing anything else with your time? It’s an incredible film, and easily one of the best to come out this year (or, really, any year).

But I made a conscious decision to avoid talking about Birdman’s cinematography in the review, which meant that I had to hold back at least two-thirds of what I had to say about the film (and what its cinematography means in the bigger picture of both theatre and film). Here are the other two-thirds:

[This film was seen as part of our coverage of the 52nd New York Film Festival.]




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Red Band teaser for The Gambler is a big f**k you

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
2 hour ago - 2:00 PM on 10.22.2014

I don't really know what's going on in this first teaser for The Gambler (featuring a slimmed down Mark Wahlberg), but I dig it. Most films that deliver an expletive spouting John Goodman are pretty much winners in my book. Since this is just a teaser, there isn't much going on in terms of stuff to judge but looking at this great cast gives me hope. 

I'm sure the actual theatrical trailer will be interesting as well. The Gambler gets a limited release December 19th and opens wide January 2 next year. 



Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer to premiere during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Matthew Razak, Editor-in-Chief - Flixist
3 hours ago - 1:00 PM on 10.22.2014
Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer to premiere during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. photo

Look we were all there. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kind of sucked for the first chunk of the season. The Winter Solider happened and damn did it get good. The second season is good too, but if you haven't gotten back on the bandwagon here's an excuse. The first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron will be shown during the show on October 28.

We're not really big on promoting a promotion, but this one is kind of a big deal so we're running with it. Time to boot up Hulu and catch up on your Marvel television.

[via ComicBook.com]



First trailer for Act of Killing follow up The Look of Silence

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
4 hours ago - 12:00 PM on 10.22.2014

Joshua Oppenheimer's Indonesian genocide documentary The Act of Killing was one of the best films of 2013. It was unique in that it forced those who bragged about their killings to reenact them and see it from a different perspective. This trailer is for the companion film The Look of Silence, which focuses on the victims of those attacks rather than the attackers. 

There doesn't seem to be as much nuance as the previous film, but the directness will give the story a fresh angle. The Look of Silence hits sometime next year. 



First trailer for Madea's Tough Love

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
6 hours ago - 10:00 AM on 10.22.2014

Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry in Tyler Perry's Madea's Tough Love: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor. 

(Madea's Tough Love releases on VOD January 20th next year.)



James Wan returning for The Conjuring 2

Matthew Razak, Editor-in-Chief - Flixist
23 hours ago - 5:00 PM on 10.21.2014
James Wan returning for The Conjuring 2 photo

In case you missed the news The Conjuring 2 was delayed until 2016 instead of having a 2015 release date. That was kind of weird because Annabelle did really well at the box office so you'd think they'd want more out there so they can make more money. It is no longer weird because it turns out they did it so that director James Wan could return for the sequel. 

Actually it still is weird, but for different reasons. Wan had stated that Conjuring and Insidious 2 were his last horror films ever so unless they're drastically changing the genre of The Conjuring 2 that seems to be have been a lie. I wonder how big a pile of money they drove up to his door. It also may mean he is not going to return to Fast and Furious after the seventh film. All very odd. Maybe he's coming back for more Saw?

[via Deadline]



Judge Dredd Superfiend gets first teaser

Matthew Razak, Editor-in-Chief - Flixist
3:00 PM on 10.21.2014

While we may all be chomping at the bit for a return of Karl Urban's Judge Dredd, I think we were happy to hear about the film's producer Adi Shankar taking the character further through a mini-series like he did with The Punisher. Sadly our hopes of seeing Urban back in the role are slightly dashed as it appears the mini-series will be animated and called Judge Dredd Superfiend.

Obviously the name is playing off the Superfriedns cartoon, which is right in line with Dredd's dark humor, but I can't help but feel a bit disappointed. The teaser looks like it could be fun, but the animation is only passable and... I just want a new movie. Time to go curl up in a ball with a my Dredd plushie.

[via Collider]



Saw producers are ready for more Saw

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
2:00 PM on 10.21.2014
Saw producers are ready for more Saw photo

How many Saw films were there? It seems like twenty were crammed into the franchise's six year run (2004-2010), but now producers Mark Burg and Oren Koules feel like a four-six year break is long enough for people to want more of them. Speaking with Shock Til You Drop over Saw's 10th Anniversary, Brug and Koules want another Saw film by 2016: 

James [Wan] and Leigh [Whannell]…when Saw came out they were so afraid of being ‘the Saw guys’,” Koules told Shock Till You Drop, “and they were trying to make their own mark. Now that they’ve made their own mark, they’re very comfortable to come back...We kind of wanted to build it up. Our goal is to go to Comic-Con, not next summer but the summer after [about 2016] with our heads up saying, ‘Here we go.’ James and Leigh are comfortable with the success they’ve had. And it’s time.

Now that Saw is returning to theaters for a week starting October 31st for its 10th Anniversary, are you ready for more torture? I'm good, thanks. 

[via STYD]



Guardians of the Galaxy revives the cassette tape

Jonathan Wray, Editor - Flixist
1:00 PM on 10.21.2014
Guardians of the Galaxy revives the cassette tape photo

Guardians of the Galaxy, which had one of the best soundtracks in recent memory and was he biggest hit of 2014 (domestically), will have its soundtrack released on cassette tape.

The soundtrack, which features amazing artists like the Jackson 5, Redbone, and The Runaways, will be the first thing released on cassette tape in well over a decade. The last cassette tape produced was 2003's "Classic Disney: 60 Years of Magical Music", which featured songs from Disney's most popular films, like Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and Cinderella.

The cassette tape will be released on November 17th and is expected to have an extremely limited run. It'll only be available at independent retailers associated with Record Store Day, which means two things: they'll sell out quickly, and you should buy me one.

This is the second piece of vintage technology that Guardians of the Galaxy has made popular again, the first being Peter Quill's Walkman. The Sony Walkman TPS-L2, which you should totally buy to complete your Star-Lord cosplay, currently sells anywhere from $300-$500. Closer to the film's theatrical release, several auctions on eBay sold for well over a thousand dollars.

The Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack will be available as long as supplies last (which should be roughly two hours or so) or until December 31st, whichever comes first.

Guardians of the Galaxy will be released digitally on November 18th, then on DVD and Blu-Ray on December 9th.



Rob Riggle is Frank f**king West

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
12:00 PM on 10.21.2014
Rob Riggle is Frank f**king West  photo

Remember when I told you all that a movie based on the Dead Rising videogame series was in the works for Sony's Crackle digital service? Yeah, I wasn't thrilled about the concept either, but proving movies work in mysterious ways, I'm now excited for a film I'll probably never see thanks to some genius casting. 

Rob Riggle (best known for his stints on The Daily Show, various TV shows and movies, and being a Lt Colonel in the f**king Marine Corps) has signed on to play the series' hero, Frank West, a photographer who has covered wars. The film also has an official title and synopsis: 

Dead Rising: Watchtower takes place during a large-scale zombie outbreak. When a mandatory government vaccine fails to stop the infection from spreading, the four leads must evade infection while also pursuing the root of the epidemic, with all signs pointing to a government conspiracy. Politics, public paranoia, and media coverage play an important role in the story's narrative.

If there's anyone who could capture both the terror and zaniness a Dead Rising film would need to muster, it's f**king Rob Riggle. We'll keep you posted when a release date is announced. 

[via The Verge]



Disney's Moana gets synopsis and new release date

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
10:00 AM on 10.21.2014
Disney's Moana gets synopsis and new release date photo

When we'd last heard about Disney's next animated (possibly princess) film, Moana, it was working in the same style as their gorgeous Paperman short and was debuting in 2018. Looks like production has sped up over the last few months as now we have all sorts of new details and an even closer release date. 

Directed by John Musker and Ron Clement (Aladdin, The Little Mermaid), here's the synopsis: 

In the ancient South Pacific world of Oceania, Moana, a born navigator, sets sail in search of a fabled island. During her incredible journey, she teams up with her hero, the legendary demi-god Maui, to traverse the open ocean on an action-packed voyage, encountering enormous sea creatures, breathtaking underworlds and ancient folklore.

AHHHHHH this sounds awesome! Moana is expected to hit November 23th, 2016 but I wish it were SOONER. Check out that concept art! Although it's most likely not in the Paperman style (it's confirmed as CG and nothing more yet) anymore, I'm sure it'll still be freaking gorgeous. 

[via MTV]







Review: The Book of Life

Nick Valdez, News Editor - Flixist
4:00 PM on 10.20.2014
Review: The Book of Life photo

Although advertisements for The Book of Life really didn't kick in until a few months before its release, I've been eagerly anticipating the film for a bevy of reasons. It's produced by Guillermo Del Toro (thus giving it a pedigree), it's directed by Jorge Gutierrez (who once created one of my favorite Nickelodeon cartoons, El Tigre), and it's one of the few mainstream accepted films celebrating Mexican culture. In fact, I'm having a hard time picturing a Latino animated film in recent years (The Road to El Dorado is the only one I can think of, really). 

So with all of that on the line, how does The Book of Life handle the pressure? It's got to deliver an entertaining children's film, it's got to educate folks on the Mesoamerican holiday Dia de Muertos, and it has to do all of this while making sure it has a competent story of its own. Thankfully, The Book of Life maintains some of its balance during this trapeze act of remarkable proportions.