Apple TV (Shows) photo
Because what's another $7.99 a month?

In the past couple of years, the purpose of content platforms has changed. Netflix was a way to watch other people's stuff, movies and TV at your fingertips (or in your DVD player). But nowadays the exciting things on Netflix aren't its dwindling streaming catalog but its original content. Shows like Bojack Horseman and Wet Hot American Summer justify the price of 

Amazon and Hulu have followed suit. And it sounds like we may be able to add one more company to that list: Apple. Variety reports that the company is looking into making their original shows and films, presumably ones that will be exclusive to their services. The story also makes reference to streaming, which would be an interesting step as well. Apple has jumped into the streaming ring with Apple Music, but there's no Netflix equivalent. My guess is that nobody would buy into a show where they have to pay for individual episodes. 

So if this is true, it seems like we should expect another streaming service, which I'm not particularly excited about. But if they can pull off some really compelling original stuff, maybe I'll give that a look too. (But probably not.)

What do you think? Are there enough streaming services already, or are you a fan of this type of competition?

[Via Variety; Photo via Forbes]

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Marvel photo
Soon to rule all of cinema

I bet you thought that Kevin Feige, as the head of Marvel's movie studios, was pretty damn powerful. Well, not powerful enough. He use to report to the CEO of Marvel, Ike Perlmutter, but no more! In a big shake up Feige will be reporting directly to Disney, who bought Marvel a few years ago, studio chief Alan Horn.

Why do you care who he reports to as long as he keeps making awesome Marvel universe movies? Because Perlmutter is a notoriously recluse CEO who has a penchant for avoiding risk at all costs and pinching pennies. Perlmutter almost derailed Captain America: Civil War because he didn't want to pay Robert Downey Jr. to co-star. He was also against striking a deal with Sony to get Spider-Man into the MCU. Feige has been reportedly frustrated with being denied and re-routed numerous times over where he'd like to take the universe and this move basically frees him up to do whatever the hell he wants. 

Now, we probably will never know the changes that occur. Phase III of the universe has been locked in already so that means anything that's new would come in Phase IV, and we know nothing about Phase IV yet. My hope is that this means that we'll finally get another stand alone Hulk since the ownership issues can all be ironed out with a hopefully willing to talk Feige. 

Also interesting is that Perlmutter will still be overseeing everything else that is Marvel, and that means television too. Seems odd that since the universe crosses over both that movies would be moved away, but the television series have always felt like (awesome) also-rans. Hopefully this doesn't make the divide even worse. 

[via THR]

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Shakespeare photo
The damn spot is out

Get ready for an Oscar nomination, folks. We've only see a pretty dull international clip for the upcoming Macbeth adaptation, but now with a U.S. one we get to see what the film is really about. It's about some striking visuals and what look to be Oscar worthy performances from Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard.

There's definitely something visually striking about director Justin Kurzel's work here that strikes the exact right tone. It looks both epic and yet intimate. The war scenes make you think there's a big world around this, but at the same time the focus is so on the play's two leads that you can't help but feel like you're watching a stage play. It's hard not to get excited for this.

And because of that it's surprisingly hard not to get excited for Assassin's Creed, which will re-team the two actors and the director for what may be a video game movie that doesn't suck.


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Zod the Kryptonian Ghost photo
Can't wait for the erotic pottery scene

You may recall a report the other week that Zod would have flipper hands in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Turns out Michael Shannon was just joking, though Zod might appear as a Kryptonian ghost in the film. I can't wait for the scene in the movie in which Zod, tenderly and lovingly, slides behind Superman and guides his hands at the potter's wheel. (Maybe Scott C. can draw it?)

In an interview with The Daily Beast, Shannon said flipper-Zod was "obviously a complete bulls**t story" that people surprisingly fell for. (I mean, come on, flipper hands would clearly be an impediment toward the proper fashioning of sexy earthenware from clay that warms at the touch, which is what we really want from this movie.) Shannon also noted that he appears in the trailer for Batman v Superman, but it's awkward because it's a movie that he didn't really work on. He elaborated on his role in the film:

The thing about the whole Krypton universe, apparently, is that even when you destroy them, there are ghosts. The first [film], Jor-El is there even though he’s been dead for lord knows how long.

I went over and did some voice-over stuff because it’s like that ghost thing. But I don’t know if I’m supposed to say that. I get very nervous.

You know what helps me when I'm nervous?

Making erotic pottery.

Batman v Superman: The Clay of Sensuality comes out March 25, 2016.

[The Daily Beast via Screen Crush]

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Sad Keanu

When the first trailer for the Eli Roth directed Knock Knock landed I was pretty excited. We had just learned we wouldn't be seeing Green Inferno any time soon (it finally lands this year) and this looked like a pretty good send up of the home invasion genre. After this second trailer, which released along with the poster below, I'm a bit less excited.

The tension is gone with this one, and the switch of tropes (teenage girls murdering older man) feels limited. Instead things look to play too heavily on him cheating and the hyper-sexulization of the girls. I'm still excited to check out the movie, but it's lost something for me. Maybe I just know that nothing will ever be as good as You're Next when it comes to the genre. 

How are you guys feeling about it?


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Ghostbusters photo
Bill's bountiful blessings

A few weeks ago, we reported that Bill Murray was going to make an appearance the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot headed up by Paul Feig. This left many of us wondering, why did he do it after turning down so many other Ghostbusters revivals in the past? Was the check finally big enough? Did he misread the director's name again? Does busting just make him feel good? Turns out, he just wanted to give the project his approval and blessings.

In an interview with Vulture, he spoke very positively about the group behind the film, featuring headlining actresses Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy, who Murray claims to be a fan of.

"You know, they were incredibly nice to ask me," says Murray. "And I really enjoyed being there, they have such a jolly group, and they are going to have great success with this project. I didn’t want to overshadow [them] or anything, and I feel really good about it.”

Murray is going to appear in the movie not as a reprising Ghostbuster, but instead as a nosy skeptic who sets out to debunk the girls and prove them wrong. It should certainly be a noteworthy cameo and fits well with the actor's infamous trickster personality, but he certainly didn't accept the invitation to the project without a good reason.

“I thought about it for a very long time..." Murray recounts. "It kept eating at me, and I really respect those girls. And then I started to feel like if I didn’t do this movie, maybe somebody would write a bad review or something, thinking there was some sort of disapproval [on my part].”

This certainly makes a lot of sense since Murray is well known for refusing to take part in previous attempts at revitalizing Ghostbusters just because he didn't feel like it was up to snuff. He even turned down Ghostbusters 3 script from Dan Akyroyd just because he didn't feel like it was done right.

Perhaps if Ghostbusters fans know that Paul Feig's version is the version that Bill Murray finally feels does the property justice, they can rest easy in their comfy theater seats and enjoy the movie in peace.

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Trailer: All Things Must Pass covers the rise and fall of Tower Records

Aug 31 // Hubert Vigilla
It's odd to think that working at a record store or a video store used to be an odd badge of honor, as if a music geek or movie geek could earn his or her stripes by having a crummy retail job. With age I've realized that my teenage and college retail jobs weren't a rite of passage but a means to an employee discount. Physical media is almost a niche interest despite arguments for quality and ownership, and if you live in a city, it's all just an inconvenient source of clutter. On top of that, people tend to rely on the statistical certainty of algorithms for music and movie recommendations rather than talking to an ostensibly knowledgeable human being whose taste, no matter how impeccable, is subjective (the nerve!). The above may partially explain the wistful romance of the record store, and why people cling to brick and mortar shops despite the looming threat of the cloud. ("The cloud" in some contexts is such a menacing name, like "the airborne toxic event" from Don DeLillio's White Noise.) There's the thrill of browsing through actual artifacts and interacting with other enthusiasts, an experience that's been lost or taken for granted. Record stores still have cachet (the aural equivalent of independent bookstores), though physical video stores seem even rarer and more niche (a smooshed box by the curb with the word "free" written on the side and somehow misspelled). As the older millennials hit their 30s and as Gen-Xers hit middle-age, a nostalgic look back at Tower Records right about now makes sense. Just don't expect as fawning a documentary about Blockbuster Video or Sam Goody when those are inevitably made. [via /Film]
Tower Records documentary photo
Remembering the big chain record store

If you were a teenager before the 2000s and lived in a decently sized town or city, chances are you went to a Tower Records. Tower used to be one of my go-to spots to buy/browse music while I was a high school kid in the Bay Area, and I saw a free Queens of the Stone Age show at the Tower Records in San Diego while I was in college. The company was dead by 2006.

The demise of Tower Records is the subject of Colin Hanks' documentary All Things Must Pass. (Yes, he's the son of Tom Hanks. No, he's not the son of Colin Farrell or Colin Firth--names and blood relations don't work that way. Though, oddly, Colin Farrell is the Bizarro version of Pharrell Williams and George Harrison's All Things Must Pass is one of the best albums ever recorded and the son of Colin Firth, but this is all very complicated and silly.)

Check out the trailer for All Things Must Pass below:


Here's a synopsis for All Things Must Pass, which comes out October 16th:

Established in 1960, Tower Records was once a retail powerhouse with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. From humble beginnings in a small-town drugstore, Tower Records eventually became the heart and soul of the music world, and a powerful force in the music industry. In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. In 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy. What went wrong? Everyone thinks they know what killed Tower Records: The Internet. But thats not the story. All Things Must Pass is a feature documentary film examining this iconic companys explosive trajectory, tragic demise, and legacy forged by its rebellious founder, Russ Solomon.

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Concussion photo
Even more so

By now the NFL's flagrant disregard for their players health has been well documented. I myself am a football fan, which makes it all the more difficult to watch the trailer for Will Smith's upcoming Concussion, the true story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the man who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy, an issue that is caused by repeated trauma to the head. 

His findings were of course swept under the rug by the NFL until recently when the league has attempted to clean up its act through rule changes and awareness. Sadly, that wasn't prompted by a moral obligation, but by lawsuits and deaths.

Anyway, the movie itself looks seriously dramatic, with lots of muted colors and depressing boardrooms. Smith will either sell this movie or break it. From this trailer his performance looks like a return to his glory days before the likes of After Earth drove him away from more serious roles. Then again it could just be more melodrama. 


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Fear the Walking Dead Season 1 Recap: "So Close, Yet So Far"

Aug 31 // Nick Valdez
After the fallout from last week in which Madison, Travis, and Nick witness a zombified Calvin fail to stay down, the three part ways and try and figure out what to do next. The general consensus being that they plan to escape to the desert. The funny thing is, they only seem to care about their own safety. Keeping the secret from the neighbors (who were throwing a little girl's birthday party, just to rub salt in the wound) and keeping quiet in general as folks are caught in protests over "police brutality" in an effort to shoe horn in current events. I'd see people reacting that way if we were caught in the situation, but it's still a little weird that the dead rising up would be a secret even after numerous videos and stuff leaked online as this episode leads us to believe. Anyway, this episode shifts the focus to Madison, Nick's mother, who goes out in search of some kind of fix for Nick now that he's going through withdrawal.  I figured something like this would've happened, but kudos to Fear for getting it out of the way early while there's only lingering tension rather than use it as a way to force more immediacy into some terrible scene later. We also get a better grip on Travis' family, his ex-wife Liza (the fantastic Elizabeth Rodriguez) and his terrible son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) as Travis tries to convince them to safety without exactly telling them what's going on. It's pretty stupid since Chris eventually gets rapped up in a protest of one of the "shootings" and Travis and Liza end up in a terrible part of town during a riot instead of somewhere way better. But that sets them up for the rest of the season as they take refuge in a barber shop owned by the Salazar family. Thanks to Fear's LA setting (though it shouldn't be the only reason), there's already way more Latin representation, and that's a pretty big deal for me. Although apparently neither Walking Dead likes African American characters (despite the showrunner's insistence that it's merely a coincidence of casting) thanks to three Black characters dying in two episodes, it's great to see focus on a non-White family for once.  Speaking of, Madison and Alycia (the daughter who's still kept out of the loop for some stupid reason) both deal with African American death in their own way. Alycia's boyfriend Matt was attacked and is slowly becoming a zombie (off screen for both of those things, thankfully) and Madison come across a zombified version of her former boss as she combs her school for her son's drugs. Although it's a weird idea, the show tells us it's smart by having the audience speak through some kid whose name I forgot. Honestly, he was the only kid clued into the whole thing and it's a shame he won't be around for the other episodes. Anyhoo, Nick and Alycia end up sharing some good character moments when Nick seizures. It's a little too on the nose given the moment, but I'll take it.  Observations:  This episode is one of transitions and sets the pace for the rest of the season. It'll be interesting to see where it goes, but waiting two more weeks is f**king ridiculous. Just should've waited another week to premiere it. Get your head out of your butt, AMC.  Seriously, it's a little suspicious given all of these black character deaths are just "casting coincidences." Someone's got to keep a better eye on that.  During Walking Dead season six, there'll be a 30 minute short, taking place on an airplane headed for LA, that'll introduce a character for season 2. Who knows what the character'll be like, but I don't really care. They should really focus on developing clashing familial ideologies.  I'm putting a lot of faith in the show representing these Latin character properly. They're Catholic, since one was already praying, so hey it might be good.  One last thing, love the constant alarms and sirens in the background. Always reminds the audience that stuff is going down. 
FTWD Recap photo
Yeah, pretty much

After Fear the Walking Dead's first episode set its slow burning tone for the rest of the season, and thus set it further apart of The Walking Dead's current craziness, it left a lot of folks wanting. Opinions were divided as most folks were turned off by the lack of zombies, and don't really think it compares to the main show. 

Taking all of that into consideration this week, I think I'm enjoying Fear a lot more than I've enjoyed the last few seasons of TWD. It's more grounded and less caught up in all of the fantastical comic book stuff, but if it doesn't get a handle on its black characters we're in for a problem. 

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MCU photo
A potential web of intracases

Response towards Sony's Amazing Spider-Man films had been mixed at best, so it's no surprise that when it was announced earlier this year that Marvel Studios would fold a new Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe starting with Captain America: Civil War, many were excited at seeing the character trade production hands. This left many people wondering what was to become of Andrew Garfield since the new Peter Parker will be played by Tom Hollard? Turns out he's pretty cool with it and he even advocated teaming up with Marvel while he was still working with Sony.

Uproxx recently interviewed Garfield about his upcoming film, 99 Homes and addressed the red and blue spandex elephant in the room. When asked how he felt about being in the audience for the next Spider-Man picture instead of on the screen, Garfield responded, saying "...I’ve been petitioning to hook up with Marvel since the beginning, so I’m really glad they’re finally doing it."

He goes on to discuss how he had been working closely with Alex Kurtzman on writing The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and how they were ready to keep pushing Peter through some pretty dark territory, especially after what they had put him through with Gwen Stacy in the second film. Fortunately, he harbors no hard feelings about the third film being scrapped early on into production due to the deal.

"...Yeah, we got to some pretty heavy places and I was really excited to kind of explore it and be involved on the ground level like that," he notes. "But, anyway, it wasn’t meant to be. As I say, I’m just really excited that I get to watch."

I think we can all agree that we're pretty excited to see what comes next, Mr. Garfield. We're all pretty excited.

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Box Office Numbers: No Vaseline

Aug 31 // Nick Valdez
[embed]219851:42577:0[/embed] 1. Straight Outta Compton - $13,243,530 2. War Room - $11,000,000 3. Rogue Nation - $8,300,000 4. No Escape - $8,288,000 5. Sinister 2 -$4,650,000 6. Man from UNCLE - $4,410,000 7. Hitman: Agent 47 - $3,850,000 8. The Gift - $3,134,000 9. Jurassic World - $3,122,280 10. Ant-Man - $3,054,000
Box Office Numbers photo

As we all figured, Straight Outta Compton is still dominating the box office. It released at just the right time as the Summer was winding down and the award season is still a few weeks away. It's not like it would've got swallowed up by the other films, as it's full of great performances, but this window allows it the attention it deserves. It's rare we get a biopic that succeeds on multiple fronts. 

Raking in $13 million it beat out the other two releases, War Room with $11 million and Rogue Nation with $8 million. Yup. 

Here are the box office performances for the last weekend of August. 

[via Rentrak]

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RIP Wes Craven (1939-2015)

Aug 30 // Hubert Vigilla
RIP Wes Craven photo
Horror maestro dies at age 76

Wes Craven, the director of horror classics A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) and Scream (1996), passed away this afternoon at age 76. Craven's family announced that the filmmaker died in his home in Los Angeles after battling brain cancer.

Craven's first film was the revenge movie The Last House on the Left (1972), followed in 1977 by The Hills Have Eyes. It was the inventiveness of A Nightmare on Elm Street that cemented Craven's place in the horror canon, and made the film's villain, Freddy Kreuger, a household name. While Craven's later work in the 80s and early 90s was not as successful as A Nightmare on Elm Street, he would make two more notable contributions to the horror canon in the form of deconstructions: Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994) and Scream.

For a little while, Wes Craven's New Nightmare was one of my favorite horror films, and it's still my favorite movie of the Elm Street series. In some ways, New Nightmare was the movie that got me more interested in the idea of the collective unconscious and the work of Carl Jung. Who says no good can come of bad dreams?

Wes Craven's influence is indisputable and he will be missed. Flixist sends our condolences to his family and loved ones.

[via Deadline]

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Borderlands photo
Greetings traveler!

We're hot of the heels of getting our first peak at Michael Fassbender in the upcoming Assassin's Creed movie and now we have more news of a gaming franchise adaptation. Lionsgate has announced that it's developing a Borderlands movie. No word on anything yet, but Ari Arad, who produced the newer Spider-Man films and has Metal Gear Solid, Uncharted and Mass Effect movies slowly moving forward is producing this one as well. If his other gaming properties are any indication we probably won't be seeing this any time soon.

Still, Borderlands offers up some awesome science fiction movie fodder. It's both comical and action packed and the premise of a bunch of stranded weirdos on a planet covered in monsters slowly spiraling towards death as they hunt for a treasure is a good one. We already know that the Borderlands universe can handle some impressive narrative thanks to the games being strong in that department and the Telltale spin-offs rocking. This could really work, especially if the hire some of second game's writers

Plenty of questions still on this, though. Will the visual look be adapted from the game or will they go straight live action? Will we get an R-rating so it can be the film that a Borderlands should be. Will they do the right thing and hire George Miller to direct since he influenced the entire aesthetic of their game and then made a movie that was basically Borderlands anyway. 

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Director says it will be his next movie, remember Prometheus? That modern classic sci-fi film that set the world on fire and had clamoring fans eager for a sequel the second they left the theater? No?'re getting a Prometheus sequel anyway.

In an interview with /Film, famed director Ridley Scott confirms that his next movie will, in fact, be Prometheus 2, the "long-awaited" sequel to the "hit" 2012 Alien prequel. The first movie ended with Whats-Her-Name and Head-of-Michael-Fassbender taking an alien spaceship and heading for the homeworld of those big muscly guys, so presumably seeing what happens to them is the film's primary focus. Also, there, a proto-xenomorph or something that maybe we'll see followed up on? Who knows. That movie was kind of a mess.

This isn't super-surprising – Scott has publicly defended the widely-panned Prometheus and expressed his intentions to do a follow-up – but it is news that's just kind of...there. Look, the original Prometheus was fine, I guess, not nearly worth the hate it got but also not really anything special either. It fell just short of making back its budget in theaters, but Ridley Scott is one of those directors who kind of gets to do whatever he wants (with good reason, to be fair) so letting him do a sequel to is disappointing just-kind-of-there movie makes a certain kind of sense.

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Captain America Civil War photo
Marvel's Team Edward vs. Team Jacob

Somehow there is no superhero movie scheduled to be released until Deadpool in February 2016 and the legal thriller Superman v Batman: Dawn of Justice in March 2016. The next MCU movie slated is Captain America: Civil War in May 2016, which pits Iron Man against Captain America in an ideological struggle that will split the Avengers (or at least the ones who were contractually available) in two.

New promo art for the film earlier this week reveals who the Iron Man/Cap'n teams will be. 

On Team Iron Man:

  • War Machine
  • Black Widow
  • Vision
  • Black Panther

On Team Captain America:

  • Falcon
  • Winter Soldier
  • Agent 13: Sharon Carter
  • Hawkeye
  • Ant-Man

As other Flixist staffers noted, Scarlet Witch is oddly absent. Given her role in Avengers: Age of Ultron, she may be away searching for an understandable motivation. (Snap.) Also yet to make an appearance: Spider-Man and possibly The Hulk.

Check out the promo art in the gallery.

Feel free to state which side you're on in the comments. Do you support the prevaricating billionaire playboy whose questionable motives led to the creation of a powerful robot army that almost destroyed the world or the guy who fought Hitler?

[via Comic Book Movie and Screen Crush]

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Brad Bird photo
Love this giant

Warner Bros. has just released a new trailer for The Iron Giant: Signature Edition, which is seeing a wide rerelease in theaters on September 30th and October 4th. The new trailer definitely tries to make sure the movie lives up to its legacy this time around by resting on its award-winning laurels and pushing its attachment to Brad Bird.

Fathom Events, who is distributing the picture, have gone ahead and posted all the screenings for the film as well-- its actually going to be in at least two theaters around me, so that's pretty exciting. If you really want to show your excitement for the event, you can go ahead and buy your tickets now to make sure your seat is guaranteed.

Warner Bros. has also announced that the Signature Edition of the movie featuring remastered visuals and new scenes will also be released on digital services this fall. No word yet on a long overdue blu-ray release.


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Comedy photo
Joe Dante confirms it

Anyone who has seen Gremlins 2 (and that should be everyone) has also uttered the words, "What the f**k was that?" It's a question that's long plagued all of us, but Key and Peele figured it out as you can see in the sketch below.


Now, normally this would just be a funny sketch and we probalby wouldn't say anything, but when Joe Dante, the director/writer of the Gremlins films comes out and backs up the sketch we figured we should probably share. It happened exactly like that, evidently.


For his part Dante has repeatedly claimed that Gremlins 2 was basically the studio coming to him and saying do whatever the hell you want with this movie so he made a sequel about how there shouldn't be a sequel. It's ridiculous because it's supposed to be, but more importantly it has Hulk Hogan breaking the fourth wall.

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Star Wars photo
The power of the dark side

You want to see power? Behold the all encompassing power of Star Wars. IMAX has struck a deal that means that Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be the only film to run on any IMAX screens for four weeks after its release. That's a pretty big deal (it's only been done for The Hobbit movies before) or it would be if any other companies were even trying to compete with the film that month.

See every other studio has basically given up the time around The Force Awakens release. Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 2 will have already had its run in IMAX while Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea and Fox's The Revenant are resigned to the fact that they'll only be getting a week or so in the larger format. Both those films aren't really planning to pull audiences away from Star Wars anyway as they're more big dramatic Oscar grabs. 

[via THR]


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Castlevania Mini-Series photo
From the producer of Dredd

On Tuesday, Dredd and Power/Rangers producer Adi Shankar announced on Facebook that he would be producing a "super violent" mini-series based on Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse with Fred Seibert and Kevin Klonde. Fred Siebert is a big name in television (particularly animated television), but the only Google results for Kevin Klonde are people who wrote about this story before we did. (In fact, Google first searched for Kevin Kline, sure I'd make a mistake.)

"It’s going to be dark, satirical, and after a decade of propaganda it will flip the vampire sub-genre on its head," Shankar finished. Which sounds... interesting. I like Castlevania games for a lot of reasons, of which the overarching narrative is not one, but that doesn't mean I am not down for an ultraviolent animated adaptation of it. In a follow-up interview with Collider, Shankar said that he wants this to be the first American animated series for adults, proving that he's never seen Bojack Horseman

But half-jokes aside, this sounds legitimately interesting, and Adi Shankar has definitely demonstrated a love of "mature" adaptations of properties intended for both old and young audiences. Whatever this ends up being, I have no doubt it will be worth watching.

[Via Collider]

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Insert light saber noise here

Any Star Wars news is good news and so here is a brief clip that the Star Wars Instagram account shared. Why is it worth sharing here? Because it's the first look at Finn and his light saber, and it looks like he's about to take on Kylo Ren in that snowy forest we first saw him light up his hilted light saber in.

Interesting that Finn looks pretty down and angry there and his light saber looks a little worse for wear. It's all very un-jedi like, or at least not the calm collected jedi we've come to know from the prequels. Just another reason to be overly excited about this one. 


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See The Transporter Refueld early and free

Aug 27 // Matthew Razak
Screening Details: Wednesday, September 27:00 pmRegal Gallery Place701 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Screenings photo
Washington DC screening

I can't say I'm overly excited from what we've seen so far from The Transporter Refueld, but I do enjoy a good car chase and the franchise has delivered quite a few of those. Jason Statham is out sadly, but maybe this new guy can pick up the mantle. He's a little too clean cut for me, but you can find out what you think of him at a free screening for the film.

As always you just have to use your fingers to click the link below and grab admit-two passes. Get there early since there will be a line and make sure to come back and tell us all about it. 

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Assassin's Creed photo
Looks like... Assassin's Creed

Well, if anyone had any worries that the film adaptation of Assassin's Creed wasn't going to be faithful to the game this image should assuage them, at least in the looks department. This is our first official look at Michael Fassbender playing the titular assassin with a creed, Callum Lynch.

Hood is there. Retractable knives in tact. Long robe/coat that waves dramatically when he runs is all good. Weirdly thick belt thing is also there. I think we've pretty much got the design down pat with just a few adjustments for the time period of this particular assassin.

Wait... who the hell is Callum Lynch and why aren't there pirates? Pirates made Assassin's Creed awesome again. Turns out the film does not follow any of the game's plots, but instead introduces an new assassin, much like the games do (mostly) with each iteration. The film will take place in the game's universe, but isn't connected to any of them. The plot should sound somewhat familiar still:

Lynch discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society through unlocked genetic memories that allow him to relive the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. After gaining incredible knowledge and skills he’s poised to take on the oppressive Knights Templar in the present day.

We probably won't be seeing too much more of the film for a while as shooting is just starting Monday and it doesn't release until December 21, 2016, but for now we can all rest assured that Fassbender looks as damn sexy dressed as an assassin as he does completely naked

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See A Walk in the Woods early and free

Aug 27 // Matthew Razak
Screening Details: Monday, August 317:30 PMRegal Gallery Place701 7th St NWWashington, DC 20001
Screenings photo
Washington DC screening

Do you want to see Robert Redford and Nick Nolte walk around in the woods and argue? Of course you do. That's basically what two old men are best at and now they're doing it in a movie. Honestly, A Walk in the Woods, based on the book of the same name looks delightful and you can delight in it for free. Passes, we have them.

You'll need to use all your finger clicking power to get them by clicking on the link below. Once done you'll have them. Don't cramp your finger and remember to arrive early at the theater so you can get in. 

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Regal Cinemas' bag search policy provides only the illusion of safety

Aug 26 // Hubert Vigilla
Sure, there's mental health services to consider to prevent many of these murders, but the real problem is guns. According to this crowd-sourced mass shooting tracker, there have been at least 225 mass shootings this year alone. The United States has a gun problem, it has for many years. And calm down. I'm not saying they should take everyone's guns away because I'm fine with responsible people owning guns for personal protection, hunting, collecting, and recreation. But Christ, would it really hurt that much to have some better wait periods, background checks, and licensing in place if it meant fewer tragedies every month? (Also, if you believe that more guns are the solution--that armed civilians without any kind of crisis-situation training will suddenly become John McClane during a shootout, yippy-ki-yaying motherfuckers left and right without potentially harming others--you are an incredible imbecile.) The worst part about this gun problem is that nothing changes. Following every tragedy, the pattern of behavior from political leaders is the same: rhetoric, platitudes, and grandstanding (aka political optics), but no legislation given the fear and the influence of the gun lobby. And then another shooting. Repeat. Have a flag pin. I may just be cynical or feeling a bit defeated these days, but I'm starting to think that no one will do anything substantive about America's gun problem and this is just one of the sad realities about this country we have to accept. Well, actually, if you're at a Regal theater, they will at least search your purse or backpack before you watch Inside Out. I bet you feel safer already.
Regal's Safety Illusion photo
The empty optics after shootings

Last week, Regal Cinemas announced that they would start inspecting moviegoers' bags, purses, and backpacks as a safety measure for staff and customers. This move comes as a response to the July movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana, the Aurora movie theater shooting in 2012, and a number of other incidents that have involved gun violence inside cinemas.

Responses to this move have been mixed. Over at Collider, Dave Trumbore felt that this move was more about preventing moviegoers from bringing in outside food and beverages. It's not hard to read profit as the motive rather than safety, but even if Regal does have sincere intentions, the bag search policy doesn't seem to be about safety but rather the illusion of safety. People working at Regal aren't trained as security personnel, and crazed gunmen will probably do what they're going to do regardless of a bag search.

The Regal bag search policy is an empty gesture meant to make people feel superficially reassured. It's a meaningless bit of theater: a bandage that lacks even gauze, a "sanitized for your protection" sash on a toilet seat, a flag pin.

But America tolerates the theater of problem-solving because the optics of a solution are easier than addressing the actual problem.

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Another meta slasher flick

It's no secret that classic horror movies abide by a certain set of rules and tropes. Calling out those tropes has become something of a subgenre in and of itself, with movies like Scream, The Cabin in the Woods and Tucker and Dale vs. Evil centrally focused on acknowledging and subverting those tropes.

The trailer for The Final Girls, which opens in October, looks to follow in the footsteps of those movies, albeit in a more directly comedic angle. The movie focuses on a group of in-the-know moviegoers checking out the latest slasher flick (based on the grisly, horrific death of one person's mother) before a freak accident seems to put them in the movie. Knowing all the tropes, the group tries to stay alive and save the other characters in the process. Check out the trailer below:


Directed by Todd Strauss-Schulson, The Final Girls stars Taissa Farmiga, Malin Akerman, Alia Shawkat, Adam DeVine and Thomas Middleditch.

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Willis v. Allen photo
Maybe he realized Allen is weird

So here's some movie making strangeness. Bruce Willis was set to help headline Woody Allens next film (no name yet). He was one of the first announced and showed up on set yesterday to start filming with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart. He was in costume, did some filming and then, a few hours later, announced that scheduling conflicts with his stage play Misery meant he couldn't be involved in the film.

That seems kind of odd. Wouldn't you know about scheduling conflicts a bit before the first day of shooting? Why would you actually start shooting some scenes for one day and then suddenly go, "Oh shit, I just remembered this play I'm doing." Clearly that's not actually what happened.

What actually did happen is anyone's guess... so I'm going to take some. He and Allen didn't get along is the first one. Willis is pretty curmudgeonly in his old age, and maybe paired with Allen's neurosis the two just clashed. The other possibility is that Allen, who has recast plenty of movies (like Michael Keaton in The Purple Rose of Cairo) after shooting has already started just felt that Willis wasn't working out. We'll probably never get the truth, but what we will get is another actor in Willis's role as Allen is recasting now. 

[via Collider]

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See Learning to Drive early and free

Aug 25 // Matthew Razak
Screening Details:   Wednesday, August 267:30 PMRegal Gallery Place701 7th St NWWashington, DC 20004  
Washington DC screening

Do you know how to drive? Good then you can make it to a free screening of Learning to Drive. 

I'm sorry, that was really terrible. Sometimes it's hard to open these things up, but you should still grab passes for the film. It sounds like the kind of sappy romance that folks enjoy and it has Ben Kingsly playing an Indian, which he's good at. 

You can grab the passes below and rock the screening. Just remember to arrive early. 

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12 films based on Nintendo games we need (right now)

Aug 25 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
What: Metroid Who: Duncan Jones  Why: In 2004, Nintendo teamed up with John Woo for a Metroid film, and I'm glad that fell through. As much as I enjoy Woo's films, the bombast and slow-motion doves don't really fit with what makes Metroid such an interesting franchise. It's about isolation. It's about being in an alien world and surviving. Duncan Jones made Moon, which is all the evidence you need that he could pull this film off. Plus, he was behind the underappreciated Source Code, which Jones himself likened to a video game. As far as I'm concerned, that's street cred enough to make this film happen. I think Darren Aranofsky would also be a solid choice, but he'll be a bit too busy working on: What: The Legend of Zelda  Who: Darren Aranofsky Why: The Legend of Zelda is a lot of things at once. It's about adventure and intrigue. It's about solving puzzles and fighting giant monsters. It's not really about the intensely introspective things you often see in Aranofsky's films... but so what? That doesn't mean it couldn't be. This is not the only Zelda film I'll list, but let's try something a little different. Link is the eternal blank slate, even in the entries where he has some amount of backstory. It would be like Noah. Hell, that film already had the rock people. Noah was a really interesting film, and it was proof that Aranofsky could do something on a larger scale. I don't think Zelda would never to be any bigger than that. I don't even know that it would have to be as big as that. Regardless, I think an Aranofsky Zelda film could be really special. What: Captain Rainbow Who: Sion Sono Why: I bet you forgot about this game, right? That would make sense, since it never came out in America and is among the stranger things Nintendo has put out. But, whenever I think, "Weird Japanese shit," I think immediately of Sion Sono. I think he could take the franchise and do something completely bonkers with it. It wouldn't even necessarily be good, but it would absolutely be unique and a little (or lot) bit crazy. With a franchise like Captain Rainbow, I think that's really the most important thing. What: Fire Emblem  Who: Peter Jackson  Why: We know that Peter Jackson can do fantasy epics, and perhaps giving him something of the sort outside of the Tolkein universe would do everyone some good. It would have to be more Lord of the Rings than The Hobbit, but if he can tap into his former self, then I don't know that there's anyone better to give an adaptation an appropriate focus on both the quiet intimate moments and also the intense, battle-driven ones. It could probably be argued that he would also be a good fit for Zelda (especially with regards to fights with giant boss-like creatures), but we've got more than enough Zelda entries on this list already. What: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time  Who: Steven Spielberg Why: Here's where the adventure comes in. Few people can do adventure like Spielberg can, and I think it would be all kinds of awesome to see him take on something like this. Think about all of those crazy dungeon puzzles. This is the man who made Indiana Jones. It would be a film that really focuses on those sequences and on the struggle to save Zelda. And Spielberg has already shown an interest in videogames (and Nintendo platforms in particular) with his role in creation of the extremely enjoyable Boom Blox. (I mean, nothing he could do with the series could be more ridiculous than the nuked fridge sequence in Indiana Jones 4.)  What: Super Smash Bros  Who: Gareth Evans Why: I mean, duh. Nobody does close quarters combat quite like Gareth Evans. And the only version of a Super Smash Bros. movie that could possibly work is one that takes full advantage of the physical capabilities of its characters. Realistically, the cute and cuddly Nintendo characters would need to have humanoid films and the variety of art styles would have to be toned down, which would be all kinds of weird... but if the action was good enough, I think we'd all forgive them. And if there's one thing you can guarantee with Gareth Evans, it's that the action will be great. What: Animal Crossing   Who: Richard Linklater Why: An Animal Crossing film would have to be a slice-of-life sort of film, one that makes seemingly mundane tasks interesting. Few directors can do that as well as Linklater. And sure, much of that comes from the brilliance of his characters, but an Animal Crossing film could be a spectacular ensemble. There is already a cast of cooky characters, and there's definitely more that could be done with that. It could take place over a year, with the film checking in on holidays much in the same way that the game does. What's the Halloween party? How's Christmas? Let's do some fishing or insect catching. Let's get more bells to pay back our debts. Done properly, this could be a really compelling, low-key film. If anyone could pull it off, it would be Richard Linklater. What: Mario Kart  Who: George Miller Why: This one's kind of obligatory. Cars, power ups, explosions, yada yada yada. It would be awesome. Maybe take some elements from F-Zero like Mario Kart 8 did and you'd have something pretty cool. But... we have Mad Max already, and it's not like that's done. What would we get from a hypothetical Mario Kart that we wouldn't get from Mad Max? I'm not sure. But if anyone was going to do it, I'd want it to be him.  What: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Who: George Miller Why: But, I mean... imagine this. Imagine a film that does for horse combat what Fury Road did for car combat. Imagine crazy stunts and epic action. This would be a radically different Zelda than Aranofsky's or Spielberg's, going full-on, balls-to-the-wall crazy. But it would be fitting. Much like Mad Max, each Zelda could be its own self-contained narrative. A chance for filmmakers to play with style and build a fascinating world. Imagine a badass (female!) Link that crashes her way through dungeons and crushes giant beasts on the way to become a hero. The setpieces would be epic, the stunts practical, and the end result a masterpiece (probably). What: Super Mario Bros.  Who: Brad Bird Why: Of all of these, coming up with this name was the hardest. We've seen how terribly a Mario film can go, and though I think many Nintendo franchises could work better as animated films, I think it would be a necessity for Mario. You can't turn bowser into a human. It doesn't work, and it doesn't make sense. But you know who can make some damn fine animated films? Brad Bird. Somewhere between The Incredibles and Ratatouille lies the perfect Mario film. It's probably a fair bit closer to the former than the latter, but regardless, the man has shown off plenty of versatility and could make up for the 1993 disaster. What: Pikmin Who: Guillermo del Toro Why: This might seem like an odd choice for what would almost certainly be a children's film. He's better known for horror and action, but del Toro is great at science fiction, which is what Pikmin is. The man knows how to tell a tale of adventure on a grand scale -- even if that grand scale is garden sized -- and in all honesty pikmin are kind of creepy. There's a certain level of horror to a swarm of living plants and the giant creatures that attack them that del Toro could deal with quite nicely. Pikmin would also have to be an odd mix of introspective character development following Captain Olimar's isolation on a strange planet and epic set pieces following the Pikmin's adventures trying to help him, and del Toro can handle both these things as Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim showed us respectively.  What: The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker Who: Hayao Miyazaki Why: OK, maybe we're going a little over board on the Zelda adaptations, but that's what makes the franchise so wonderful: it's so malleable and adaptable to varying styles thanks to the fact that it, at its heart, is simply a reoccurring legend espousing themes of adventure, wonder, growth and exploration. Who better captures those themes on screen than the legendary Hayao Myazaki and Studio Ghibli? That sense of childish awe that Windwaker created as a new island crept up on horizon is what Miyazaki has been doing his entire career. We'd wager his work inspired the cel-shaded Zelda adventures. Maybe Nintendo can coax him out of retirement.
Top 12 Nintendo Films photo
And the filmmakers we need to make them

Video game movies are, nine times out of ten, not awesome. There have been exceptions, but generally speaking a movie is just a shade of the franchise it's supposed to represent. Why watch it when you can play it? But with Nintendo announcing that it's open to putting out new films based on their franchises again, it's time to think about projects that could change that. Yeah, you'd still want to play the games, but with these twelve  films, you would get something unique. It wouldn't be a replacement for the games. It would be a companion piece, something different in the right ways but just familiar enough to not alienate anyone but the most hardcore fans (who will never be happy no matter what).

Some of these choices you may expect; others will probably seem out of left field, but all of these would have the potential to be something amazing. If we're going to see more video game films in the future, it's time to take some risks. Give these films a shot, and give these filmmakers the chance to make players old and new excited by a video game adaptation for once. We've certainly missed a few franchises and plenty of amazing filmmakers (this list is depressingly masculine), so let us know in the comments what Nintendo properties you'd like to see adapted, who you want behind the camera, and why!

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Studio Ghibli photo
What's old is new again

You kids have it so easy with your anime these days-- if there's any show or movie you want to see, it's already up online in a few days with fully fleshed out fan-subs. Back in the day, we only got what the big licensing companies told us we would get... and not get. Such was the case with one of Studio Ghibli's older films, Only Yesterday.

Now, thanks to GKIDS, this long lost (to American audiences) film is finally seeing a release stateside with an all new English dubbing coming to theaters early next year. Only Yesterday is one of the fan favorites from Ghibli mainstay, Isao Takahata, the same man who directed Grave of the Fireflies and The Tale of Princess Kaguya.

The new English dub of this quiet Japanese drama features the modern voice talents of Daisy Ridley, Dev Patel, Ashley Eckstein, and Alison Fernandez. You can see this 1991 classic in 2016 when it's set to make its western debut just in time for its 25th anniversary.

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Masaaki Yuasa photo
For the love of god, watch Mind Game

The Japanese animation company STUDIO4℃ recently announced that they're going to be bringing an entire slew of animated movies and anime series to Netflix starting next week. The highlight of the update includes director and animator Masaaki Yuasa's arguable masterpiece, Mind Game.

This animated tour de force that follows the life of a loser criminal when he's given a second chance at life to be cool. If you're really into animation, this is certainly one to check out as the film is CONSTANTLY shifting in animation style and tone with incredible fluidity. I'm happy to see Mind Game and other STUDIO4℃ productions going up on Netflix so more people can watch without resorting to... less legal venues to check them out.

The full list of shows and movies STUDIO4℃ is going to have available on Netflix in regions such as the US, Canada, and Japan is as follows:

September 2

  • Mind Game
  • Princess Arete
  • Genius Party
  • Genius Party Beyond

September 15

  • Teeny Witches

To get you prepped (or initiated) in time for Mind Game's Netflix debut, check out a trailer for this insane movie.


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