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Review: Why Him?

Dec 25 // Rick Lash
[embed]221153:43291:0[/embed] Why Him?Director: John HamburgRelease Date: December 23, 2016Rating: R Why Him? is the story of a wholesome Midwest family from Michigan comprised of a well-regarded father Ned Fleming (Brian Cranston) who runs a printing business, his loving wife Barb Fleming (Megan Mullally), and their clean-cut son Scotty Fleming (Griffin Gluck) who clearly idolizes his father. It turns out there’s also a sister, Stephanie Fleming (Zoey Deutch), but she’s in college in California, and apparently the family hasn’t used phones, the internet, Snapchat, Skype, Facetime, Messenger, or beam-me-over technology to keep in touch during the span she’s been away. It’s true that the Rocky Mountains are still a cool, inhospitable, Donner-party producing, block to human travel and communication. It turns out that things aren’t so hot for this all-American family: the family printing business is in the red, and Dad doesn’t know what to do facing the challenges of a changing world and evolving print needs for his traditional client-base. Enter an, apparently, rare video phone call from said cutoff daughter and the testy revelation that she has a boyfriend (James Franco). Oh, and by the way Mom, Pops, and Junior: could you all forego any existing Christmas plans and fly to California to meet my boyfriend? Obviously, they can, or else we wouldn’t have much of a movie. California. A foreign land to a family from Michigan. Filled with strange peoples with stranger cultural habits. Or that seems to be the message of the film. Writer-Director John Hamburg, perhaps best known for I Love You Man (a solid comedy pairing with Jason Segal and Paul Rudd from 2009) teamed with Johan Hill to pen this one: and it shows. The movie is filled with a veritable thesaurus for the f-bomb, as well as references to obscure (and not so obscure) sexual practices--hallmarks of the Shat Pack (Hill, Seth Rogen, Franco, Michael Cera, Segal, Jay Baruchel, and the rest of the amorphous gang that comprises this group of miscreants that would make Cranston’s Ned Fleming cringe, especially if any of them were to date his daughter. It doesn’t matter if they’re rich, incredibly rich, live in a mansion nestled into private acreage, or run their own business: if they have tattoos and swear (“cuss”) frequently, they’re not good enough for you or your daughter. And thus begins the purported conflict of the movie. It doesn’t matter that Deucht’s Stephanie is bright, levelheaded, and apparently not prone to poor judgement; daddy knows best—and every fiber of his mid-west being is saying no to this California tech hippy. But to me, the premise seems as outdated as the beliefs espoused by Ned. Lots of people have tattoos these days, dare I say even in Michigan, and swearing is is the new Oxford English. The fact that this father is so opposed to this man he’s just met, primarily to either evidence A (poor judgement in the face of genuine excitement—if you’ve seen the trailers, you know Franco has a tattoo of the Fleming Christmas card done on his back) or evidence B (he’s sleeping with his daughter and therefore cannot be any good) does not ring true. That’s the true problem with the film: it’s hollow, as its premises are loosely constructed anachronisms that might have been more applicable a decade ago. Who in the printing business, in this day and age, could be caught unaware of the shifting landscape and needs of their clientele? The Office was dealing with this same fact for much of the prescribed decade earlier. Given these issues of authenticity and realism, there are laughs to be found. But these are the forced, awkward laughs that come from watching a son suddenly subjected to viewing an explicit love scene with his mother. It’s the forced awkward laughter that’s more cringe inducement by baby head cresting a vagina vis-à-vis Knocked Up. This awkward humor is reinforced by a score that is largely absent; large swaths of film are destroyed in conversational silence. When music does happen, it is conspicuous and perhaps feels forced (the one notable exception being a party designed to further emphasize the generational gap at work here. Humor that does work is found in unexpected twists like cameos and extended cameos from Adam Devine and Keegan-Michael Key. Or in the Siri-wannabe Kaley Cuoco voice that lives in the airspace of Franco’s mansion. This could have been done to better success, and I’d expect word of mouth box office results to confirm as much, especially given the level of talent featured in the film.
Why Him? Review photo
Why me?
Sometimes questions shouldn't be begged in the titles of pieces lacking the substance to back up or even fully answer the suggested question. Why Him? Falls victim to this trope. Why him? Why me? Why see this movie?  

If only yours were this good ...
The grand holiday tradition happens on a yearly basis. You gather your friends and loved ones. You pop open a bottle of wine. You silence your phone, sit back, and hope that this year’s Christmas comedy is as good as th...

MST3K Turkey Day 2016 photo
MST3K Turkey Day 2016

MST3K Turkey Day is back for Thanksgiving 2016 with Joel Hodgson and Jonah Ray

Their top six episodes as voted by fans
Nov 23
// Hubert Vigilla
Thanksgiving is tomorrow. You're probably busy traveling or pretending to work or fretting over the time you have to spend with your relatives right now. If you're stressed out or feeling down, buck up: MST3K's Turkey Day is ...
Bad Santa 2 photo
Bad Santa 2

This Red Band trailer for Bad Santa 2 is pretty bad

Aug 09
// Nick Valdez
I wasn't a fan of Bad Santa all those years ago, and to this day I still don't understand the appeal. It grew such a cult following that a sequel has been in the works for years, but despite efforts to stop it, Bad Santa...

Tribeca Review: Holidays

Apr 23 // Nick Valdez
[embed]220526:42927:0[/embed] HolidaysDirectors: Anthony Scott Burns, Kevin Kolsch, Sarah Adina Smith, Kevin Smith, Nicholas McCarthy, Adam Egypt Mortimer, Gary Shore, Scott Stewart, Dennis WidmyerRating: RRelease Date: April 15, 2016 (limited) As its title suggests, Holidays is an anthology all based around holiday horrors. Each short is around 12-15 minutes long, with the director and holiday revealed after. There are eight shorts in total, all set in chronological horror: Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day. Easter, Father's Day, Mother's Day, Halloween, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Each short pretty much ends in the way you'd expect a short horror story to, so it's all in the journey rather than the destination. Despite what I'm about to say in the next few paragraphs, I can't ever say Holidays is bland. The film overall is a slick production with each short looking completely different from what came before or after. Each director has their own style, and while some may have better camerawork than others (St. Patrick's Day is the standout in this case), there's a care into getting the horror tone just right.  Out of the eight films, I especially enjoyed Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, and Father's Day. Valentine's Day is the most straightforward story, but revels in 80s synth storytelling (likening it to other big recent throwbacks like The Guest) coupled with dream-like lighting and a kickass electropop soundtrack. Father's Day is strong and silent with very little dialogue from its main character (ably played by Jocelin Donahue) and is the creepiest film in the entire package. It's also the one I'd argue is closest to actually being "horror" rather than the twisted joke the rest of the shorts play with. On a smaller note, Mother's Day is much stronger given it's paired with this testosterone laced (and somber) short. But the best overall is most definitely St. Patrick's Day. It's got the best camera work, quick edits do a lot with the little time it has, Ruth Bradley steals the show, and its twist ending is the most effective given how absurd and cartoonish it gets. It's just a shame Holidays never quite reaches this peak again.  Since it's all in chronological order, there's no narrative cohesiveness. Other than lucking out with Father's/Mother's Day, the shorts never feel like they're in the same package. With very little narrative buffer in between each short (explaining why we're seeing these eight shorts for example), it's disjointed. Some shorts have a humorous ending, some end on a jump scare, but regardless it's all less effective since nothing really lingers. Since there's no narrative flow between each short, they become all about the formula. Nothing but build-up until a pop at the end of the short. And when you've come to expect the same kind of ending halfway in, the last four segments lose all their pizazz. This is not at all helped by the final four's weaknesses, either.  For example, Kevin Smith's Halloween segment is the most, uh, "divisive." It's the most obscene of the shorts and its tone is unlike any other. But it's entirely reliant on your personal tastes to succeed. It's a revenge short that has to instantly reach for the most extreme circumstances due to its length, and since it's not entirely earned, your enjoyment of it varies on whether or not you like seeing the guy from Epic Meal Time have a sex toy forced up his rear. And because of the film's chronological order, Holidays just comes to an unsatisfying end. It can't end with its best film (and furthered hindered by having the best shorts come first), and it gives New Year's Day too much responsibility. It isn't as bad of a short as Easter or Halloween, but it's clearly not a short designed to bring a fulfilling resolution.  Like other horror anthologies before, Holidays stumbles more often than not. That's just the nature of setups like these, and while the overall film is visually captivating it just doesn't keep the same level of tension or entertainment throughout. Maybe if it were organized into a more cohesive package, the less successful films wouldn't have seemed as bad.  But as it stands, you don't have to go home for the holidays. 
Holidays Tribeca Review photo
"Like a squeaky violin"
Horror anthologies are all the rage now. Get a couple of creatives together, pick a theme, and they're allowed to explore one of the smaller ideas they have in their heads. At best, you're in for a good time overall, at worst...

Review: The Night Before

Nov 26 // Nick Valdez
[embed]220167:42716:0[/embed] The Night BeforeDirector: Johnathan LevineRated: RRelease Date: November 20th, 2015 When Ethan's (Joseph Godon-Levitt) parents pass away, his friends Isaac (Seth Rogen) and Chris Roberts (Anthony Mackie) decide to start a new holiday tradition where they combine all of their usual traditions and party. 14 years later, that tradition is coming to an end as Isaac's becoming a father and Chris is now too famous an athlete to hang out. As their lives drift apart and Ethan's seems to be going nowhere, he clings to the last hope for their tradition: The Nutcracker Ball, a secret super party which the three have been trying to go to for years. As they look for the party, drug laced Christmas shenanigans ensue.  Night Before is incredibly nostalgic. From the outset you'll notice plenty of shout outs to films of Christmas past (like Home Alone and It's a Wonderful Life), but your enjoyment of these references and gags only really work if you remember them well enough. These gags don't have much at face value, but utilize that nostalgic work around to get a pleasant chuckle every now and then. Thankfully the film doesn't do this too much, but the gags that don't work because of this stick out even more so when the original jokes land much better. These little references feel too much like an afterthought, so I'm just left trying to figure why'd they'd even include these in the first place. It brings the film down a notch since this noticeable roughness often comes paired with bouts of awkward silence rather than laughs.  We could debate taste in humor all day, but the main core of the film is decidedly within its three main characters. Each one having their own little adventure, with only two getting true resolution, Ethan, Isaac, and Chris are crafted well. Thanks to the writing, and how comfortable the trio of actors is with one another, these guys feel lived in. Each character has a strong emotional, and most importantly human, center that helps anchor the film when it goes off the rails. Unfortunately, there are points when they get a bit cartoonish (especially during most of Isaac's drug binge or Chris' encounter with a strange thief) and the story goes through these weird non-sequitors which only serve to diminish the film's actual plot. It just seems weird to, at one point, focus on cocaine shenanigans and then try and remind us there's a Christmas story being told. Rogen and Goldberg's films do this all the time, but I guess there's just a more noticeable juxtaposition when the main story is all about holiday niceties.  Johnathan Levine, who's directed Rogen and Gordon-Levitt before in 50/50, captures the spirit of the holiday film quite well. The little details sprinkled throughout the film like the trio's holiday sweaters, the entrance to the Nutcracker Ball feeling appropriately magical, or even not including any holiday music to keep it all inclusive, help to make it timeless, but there are some odd cameos that really date the film and will set it back. And I know the trio have to separate to serve the story, but I wish we were able to enjoy Rogen, Gordon-Levitt, and Mackie in the same room more. Each of their scenes together is an absolute highlight as they bounce jokes off one another and generally charm up the place. Even some of the film's occasional wonky dialogue comes across natural for them. It's pretty neat to see in action. I hope they find themselves all together in another project someday. Also, if they could somehow get another appearance from the actor that plays Mr. Green, I'd be there day one.  In the end, there's not really much else to say about The Night Before. I had a good time watching, even if there were a couple of times I found myself scratching my head over their comedic choices. If you've seen Rogen and Goldberg's films in the past, you already know what to expect and have decided whether or not to see this already. The addition of Anthony Mackie and Joseph Gordon-Levitt to the mix helps take the film to a more emotional place than usual, but you're constantly reminded that this is another film in a long line of others like it. It's like that one Christmas where you got a cool Nintendo 64, and you're older cousin keeps telling you he got one first. You're going to have a good time, but it's a little less fun than it should be. 
Night Before Review photo
A partridge in a burning tree
When Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg produce a film, you pretty much know what you're going to get. As the duo have made their way through the romantic comedy, high school buddy film, stoner comedy, old Hollywood existential, su...

Flixgiving: Five Movies Megan is Thankful for

Nov 26 // Megan Porch
[embed]218647:42007:0[/embed] The Dark Crystal When I was a kid, we would go to Network Video or Blockbuster to rent movies. Every time we went, I wanted to rent The Dark Crystal, but for some reason I always thought my parents would say no, so I never asked. There was something about the cover that made me really want to see it, though. It was probably the puppets, since I loved Muppets. Finally, at a sleepover one night, my friend suggested we watch it. I was already in love with fantasy and science fiction, so pretty much right from the first minute of this movie, I was enraptured. To this day, I still love it. It's not a pretty movie, and its subject matter is kind of dark, but I think that's what makes it so interesting. It's always in the kids' section on Netflix, but it's not really a happy film. I've always been a strong believer in the idea that kids can handle heavier stuff, so ever since I saw this movie, I've wanted to create stories like it.   [embed]218647:42008:0[/embed] Tekkonkinkreet This movie was another one I originally saw at a friend's house. I had never heard of Tekkonkinkreet, but I was already a fan of anime so I figured I'd give it a shot. It didn't take long to become one of my favorite films, and it's easily my favorite animated movie now. Tekkonkinkreet is based off of a manga by Taiyo Matsumoto. It tells the story of two street kids who are trying to find their place in the world, all while fighting off a foreign gangster who wants to turn their town into an amusement park. It has totally gorgeous animation, with environments that are totally mind blowing and character designs that are both simple and full of emotion. It's a really beautiful film, so if you like animation and you haven't seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out. [embed]218647:42009:0[/embed] Alien I've always liked movies about aliens and things that are scary, so naturally, Alien is one of my favorite films. It's truly one of those pioneering movies that paved the way for pretty much every science fiction film that followed it. It's rare to find something nowadays that even comes close, though. I remember being so excited for Prometheus, only to be let down because it wasn't suspenseful like Alien was. It was just gross and most of the characters were total idiots. But that's a story for another time. Alien is a masterpiece. I don't even think I can say anything about how great it is that hasn't already been said... except that Ripley totally reminds me of my mom, who is also a super badass lady. [embed]218647:42010:0[/embed] Captain America: The Winter Soldier Anybody who knows me, knows that I'm a huge nerd for comics, specifically of the superhero variety. Ever since I was little, I've always liked the sidekick characters. As much as people make fun of Robin for being lame, I always thought he was cooler than Batman. The same goes for Bucky Barnes, so when he showed back up in the Captain America comics as a cyborg assassin called the Winter Soldier, I was ecstatic. When the title for the sequel to Captain America was announced at San Diego Comic Con in 2012, I couldn't believe it. The Winter Soldier arc of Cap's story was being made into a movie! The following year at Comic Con, my best bud and I camped out over night with thousands of other people to get into Hall H to see the Marvel panel, hoping for some footage from Winter Soldier. It's easily one of my favorite memories now. In April of this year, the movie came out, and it was everything I could have hoped for. It's still surreal to me that it actually exists. [embed]218647:42011:0[/embed] Star Wars It's impossible for me to pick between the three original Star Wars films, so I'll just lump them all together. Maybe that's cheating, but all three of those movies are incredibly important to me. One of my earliest memories is watching them, even though my dad showed them to my sister and I backward; we saw Return of the Jedi first. It didn't matter, though. From the moment I first saw it, I was obsessed. There's so much about Star Wars that's responsible for the way I am today. It's the reason why I decided I wanted to work in comics, after reading Dark Empire. It's given me countless friends who love the series as much as I do. I can't imagine my life without these movies. So, there's my list. I'll probably be watching one or all of them this week while I celebrate Thanksgiving with my turkey sandwich. What movies are you thankful for?    
Megan's Flixgiving photo
Or five movies that explain why I'm a huge nerd
Ah yes, Thanksgiving. Normally, during this holiday I'm at my parents' house and I get to eat all sorts of delicious things my mom makes (although I hated all of it when I was little and kept insisting when I was grown up I'd...

Flixgiving: Five Movies Liz Is Thankful For

Nov 24 // Liz Rugg
Persepolis Persepolis is a movie I'm truly thankful for. Not only is Marjane Satrapi's masterpiece a gorgeously animated film, but more importantly I'm thankful for the story it tells. Persepolis is a film adaptation of Satrapi's autobiographical graphic novels of the same name, and it tells her story of growing up as a young girl in a turbulent, change-filled time in Iran. Persepolis brings an incredible amount of humor, sensitivity and humanity to events and settings often misunderstood or misrepresented in Western media. I'm also incredibly thankful that Persepolis garnered the attention that it did when it debuted in 2007, it was even nominated for an Oscar! (It lost to Ratatouille, but that's a whole 'nother rant altogether.) That an animated film about and by an Iranian woman that tells such an important story was placed in the epicenter of American and Hollywood culture is wonderful, and to me, worth being thankful for. Princess Mononoke Princess Mononoke is one of those films I've grown up with. I remember watching it when I was a little kid after my parents rented it from Blockbuster thinking it was appropriate for children because it was an animated movie. Makes sense, right? Well, let's just say the first 5 minutes of this movie still scares the sh#t out of me to this day. I grew up loving and wanting to be San, the wolf girl, the Monster Princess - with her fierce attitude, toughness, oneness with the natural world and her good heart. Princess Mononoke was the first Studio Ghibli movie I remember caring about, and I'm thankful that it exists in this world. Not only because of the personal affection I have for it, but for its impactful story about conservation and peaceful coexistence. Its allegories are even still relevant today as our industrial societies begin to take things like climate change seriously. 101 Dalmatians Speaking of nostalgic musing, my favorite movie when I was a little girl was 101 Dalmatians. Yes, more so than any princess movie,  adventure movie, anything - my favorite was the one with the dogs. In retrospect I'm really thankful 101 Dalmatians came out when I was little because it allowed me to identify with and care about animals, dogs specifically, instead of other things. It gave me an option that wasn't gender-based, and had nothing to do with the pitfalls of being a princess. Whether this had a direct impact on my subsequent traditional gender-norm aversive adolescence is maybe a bit of a stretch, but it almost certainly informed it to some extent, if only subconsciously. I watched both the animated and live-action 101 Dalmatians I don't know how many times growing up, and now as an adult (Who even gets to work with animals full-time, everyday! Little me would be so proud!) I'm thankful that I did. La Jetée  I'm not just thankful that La Jetée exists, I'm also thankful that I watched it when I did. I watched it in a film class in my first year at art school, and I instantly fell in love with it. La Jetée was the first avant-garde film that I truly cared about, and I think it was also the first to really challenge and expand my idea of what "cinema" was and could be. La Jetée is a film, but it is presented almost entirely through a series of still images with narration, voice acting, music and sounds played over. It exists as an experience through time, like any other film, yet it is actually a parade of meticulously constructed moments. This leaves space for your mind to connect those moments; to move the actress' hand, the actor's feet. Every time I watch the scene in the natural history museum I think the implied taxidermy animals are moving too. La Jetée was one of the first films I remember feeling connected to and desiring to explore and understand on a deep level, and for that I'll always be thankful. Riki-Oh The Story of Ricky And now for a total tonal record scratch! Riki-Oh The Story of Ricky is possibly my favorite movie. Set in the year 2001, the titular character (our hero) Ricky gets incarcerated for manslaughter in a privatized and corrupt prison. The movie just spirals out of control from there. I've written before about Riki-Oh and its well-deserved cult status, and it's just a movie I'm so so so thankful for. It's always incredibly fun for me to watch -- with its mind-blowingly bad effects, god-awful English dub, nonsensical and constantly surprising storyline -- everything about it is just spectacularly bad. Riki-Oh The Story of Ricky is a hot pile of garbage. And I absolutely adore it. I'm incredibly thankful for all the uninhibited joy it's given me over the years. So that's it! Five movies I'm thankful for, for wildly different reasons. I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving and watch some movies together.
Liz's Flixgiving photo

It's Flixgiving! The Flixist staff has gathered together around the cool glow of the TV to share movies that we're thankful for; ones that have impacted our lives, ones that we feel are important, and ones that we just love. ...

Flixgiving: Five Movies Sean Is Thankful For

Nov 21 // Sean Walsh
They Live (1988) I've gone on at great length about my love for this movie. John Carpenter's tale of magic glasses that let you see that we're all being brainwashed by aliens (or Shepherds Ferry, it's hard to tell anymore) is just great. The drifter-comes-to-town-and-stumbles-upon-a-global-conspiracy plot is so simple and perfect, and the execution is surgical. Rowdy Roddy Piper plays the aforementioned drifter who gets the magic glasses, and he proceeds to do whatever he can to save the day. Along with future Vice-President, Keith Davidson, he manages to expose the alien conspiracy and save the day...maybe? What happens after the aliens are exposed? Do they just go home with their tails between their legs? I've only just now thought about this. The dreadful unknowns aside, They Live is an excellent piece of 80's B-movie that no depression-fueled holiday marathon should be without.  Back to the Future 2 (1989) As perfect of a movie as the first Back to the Future is, I don't think I've ever passed Back to the Future II on TV and not watched it through until the end. Unlike the first installment of this trilogy, Back to the Future II actually, y'know, goes to the future. There's multiple timelines, two Marty McFly's at the same time, flying cards, and Thomas F. Wilson in old man make-up. One of the many gems on the crown of Michael J. Fox, Back to the Future II stands the test of time as one of the great sci-fi comedies, forever cementing it in the Sean Walsh library of 'things to do when everyone I love is eating turkey elsewhere.'  Event Horizon (1997) One of my all-time favorite sci-fi horror movies, Event Horizon is just terrific. A group of unsuspecting people answer a missing ship's distress call and horrible, terrifying things happen to them. I first watched this film (in my adult life, anyway) the day Dead Space came out, and I could not believe I waited so long. Googling for images from the film to use for this article reminded me of those horrific visions of what happened to the other ship's crew, and it got under my skin like a charm. I'm especially excited to rewatch this film and examine those quick glimpses we get into the madness that befell those poor souls. Event Horizon is gleefully dark, especially with a performance for the ages by Sam Neil, and the perfect film to pair with a bag of powdered mashed potatoes. Shaun of the Dead (2004) Ah, yes, my favorite film of all time. Shaun of the Dead is one of those delightful films that you discover something new in every time you watch it. Even now, after watching it at least a dozen times, I discovered a nice easter egg while looking for images to splice together for the header image: when Shaun is brainstorming plans to save his girlfriend and mother, it shows him with a mug as he winks to the viewer. The mug says "I am a genius." Genius. Any time I feel down, I can pop this movie on and come out the other side much happier. Hopefully, Thanksgiving will be no different, as I take it in whilst eating gelled cranberry sauce right out of the can. (Also, I've been told by one very attractive young lady that I resemble Nick Frost, in a good way, which goes a long way) Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) Finally, the best film of the year (in my humble opinion at least) to close out a marathon for the ages. I have no issues whatsoever with Guardians of the Galaxy. It was an absolute laugh riot, had a bevy great characters played by amazing actors, expanded the mega-arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and was so much more than just a comic book movie. With a few scant exceptions, everyone I know that has seen this movie has fallen in love with it. I can't wait to relive every second of its 122 minute running time as I drink from my nearly empty gravy dish and eat the last of the store-bought apple pie with my hands. Well, there you have it: five films I'm thankful for! Who needs family, a home-cooked meal, and human interaction when you have your favorite films? Not me, that's for sure. No sir. No sir. I'm so alone.
Sean's Flixgiving photo
Nothing like a good marathon to drown out the holiday blues
Who doesn't love Turkey Day? A day of food, family, and gratitude for all you have. It's great. Unless, of course, your family is going away and you don't have any personal days from work to go with them! That being said, I'm...

Flixgiving: Five Movies Alec Is Thankful For

Nov 19 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
Thirst I saw Thirst under less than ideal conditions. I was in the back of a car on a 19 hour drive up into the middle of nowhere. I was on an air mattress with a friend, which we rotated out between sleeping and driving. It was the worst part of what would end up being a fantastic trip, but it was made better by the films we watched on the way. First on the agenda was Park Chan-Wook's Thirst, marking the first time I had ever seen a Korean film. I don't even think I need to continue. It's pretty obvious why I'm thankful there. Although other films really pushed me down the path of the righteous, Thirst kicked things off. And for that, I am eternally grateful to it. Bellflower Bellflower was the first film I ever saw at a press screening. I had been with Flixist for just over a month, and the initial buzz surrounding the film intrigued me. It took place at the Magno screening room in Times Square, and though I've been there many times since, you never forget your first. It doesn't hurt that Bellflower is one of the most intense films I have ever seen, and it is one of the very few films that have left me literally speechless. The behind the scenes stories also invigorated me as a filmmaker, and the physical danger that director Evan Glodell and co. put themselves in to get the shot blows me away. When it all comes down to it, the audience won't think about all of the blood, sweat, and tears that went into making that shot perfect, but knowing what went down behind the scenes inspires me to this day. Sunny Whenever a Korean native asks me what my favorite Korean film is, I tell them that it's Sunny. Ask your average American and they'll probably say Oldboy, because it's probably the only one they've seen. But even those who've ventured beyond that probably haven't seen Sunny. But every single Korean person I've mentioned it to has seen the film, and the reaction is always different and always interesting. For example: I've been told that I can't actually understand its broader message because I'm not Korean, and while I don't know that I agree entirely I do see why that could be true. But it's a conversation starter in the way a more typical answer never is. Admittedly, there's a little bit of "LOOK HOW KNOWLEDGABLE I AM ABOUT KOREAN CINEMA!" in there, but the reality is that Sunny is just a truly incredible film that makes me feel all kind of feelings. And the Director's Cut is even more powerful, containing the most emotionally charged sequence in the entire film. My review of the film was all sappy and one of the most personal I've ever written, and I stand by every word. Detention Just over two years ago, I was a part of the first ever New York Film Festival Critics Academy, a pretty cool thing run through Indiewire. Part of the reason I was selected was because of my review of Joseph Kahn's Detention. It's also one of the first reviews I was really proud of. And it's something I have built friendships over. I have shown Detention to at least five different groups of people, and doing so in each and every case has taught me something about those people and their worldviews. I'm still flabbergasted by the negative reception that the film received, and I'm pretty sure that every single person who disliked the film is an actively bad person. True story: It's actually my favorite movie of all time. That's not hyperbole. City of God? Psh. Rear Window? Ha! Citizen Kane? As if. Detention is where it's at. There aren't a whole lot of people who can say that, and I'm pretty sure that next to none of them are film critics, but that doesn't change just how brilliant the film is. It's also a film I vastly underrated when I wrote about it. With each subsequent viewing, it just gets better and better. (And now that it's available on Netflix, you can see for yourself). An 89 is an extremely high score, but it should have been five points higher.  Thermae Romae After my friend broke up with his girlfriend of five years, he came to visit me to take his mind off things. He was still beaten up about it (it wasn't mutual), so I knew I had to come up with something awesome to show him. Something that could actually take his mind off things. How better to do that than with the "Citizen Kane of time travel Roman bath house movies"? And you know what? It worked. For the duration of the film (and in the immediate afterwards), he wasn't thinking about his life; he was thinking about the amazing things he was watching onscreen. In the past, I've done the same thing with Buster Keaton's The General, but while that film may be the Citizen Kane of Slapstick Civil War Period Pieces, it doesn't have a bidet bringing a grown man to tears. So Thermae Romae wins.
Alec's Flixgiving photo
Surprisingly, not all of them are Asian
Seeing so many movies means that sometimes it's hard to really appreciate any individual film. Just because I loved Movie X doesn't mean I'll be thinking about it three months later when I've seen Movies Y, Z, Alpha, Beta, Ga...

Flixgiving: Five Movies Nick is Thankful For

Nov 18 // Nick Valdez
[embed]218584:41977:0[/embed] Forrest Gump Favorite Line: "I'm sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther party." Forrest Gump would be the textbook example of a "guilty pleasure," but I've never once felt shame for loving this movie. It's one of the rare tentpole films that hits all of the right beats: insanely quotable, well acted, uncomplicated narrative and appealing to a wide range of demographics. I will forever feel indebted to Forrest Gump for giving my friends and I endless quotes.  I even met a girl through Forrest Gump once. Back in college, all the seats in the library were taken up during finals. I was about to curl up on the floor when she opened a space on the couch for me saying "You can sit here if ya want." I responded, "My name's Forrest, Forrest Gump" and instantly fell in love. Dated her for three weeks.  [embed]218584:41978:0[/embed] Idiocracy Favorite Line: "Welcome to Costco, I love you./She's a pilot now." Idiocracy is definitely a pyramid scheme of a movie (You'll tell two friends, and they'll tell two friends, and they'll tell two friends...), and I'm so thankful that scheme made its way to me. I've never heard of Idiocracy until one of my best friends, Travis, introduced me to it a few years back. He was a cool guy. Told me how he had discovered the film in the military (through another friend, of course) and they subsequently watched it five times in a row.  While under certain influences, he and I proceeded to watch it three times and it was better each time. It's like you fall more in love with this film the better you know it. Concise, hilarious, and damn horrifying, Idiocracy is the Ow, My Balls of film.  [embed]218584:41979:0[/embed] The Little Mermaid Favorite Line: "Sha la la la la la my oh my!"  The Little Mermaid is the best Disney animated movie, and I'll fight you all to the death to defend it. It may not have the best messages, or the best main character, but damn it it's gorgeous. The songs are the best, Ursula is based off of Divine (the best Drag performer), and did I mention the songs? Find me another Disney song about mutilating crabs, and I'll concede. That's right.  Just writing this makes me think of the music again. I don't when, I don't know how, but I know something's starting right n- AH I DID IT AGAIN. [embed]218584:41980:0[/embed] Romy and Michele's High School Reunion Favorite Line: "You know, even though I had to wear that stupid back brace and you were kind of fat, we were still totally cutting edge." Starring the criminally underrated Mira Sorvino and the always lovely Lisa Kudrow, Romy and Michele's High School Reunion prepped me for high school way before I got there. I first saw this on VHS, and I was hooked instantly. The two women at the center are great, it's full of biting dialogue delivered with finesse, and the final dance scene is full of that goofy fantasticness that pretty much defined my adolescence.  I've always wanted to perform the dance myself, but could never find someone to do it with. Will you be my dance partner?  [embed]218584:41981:0[/embed] Set it Off Favorite Line: "We ain't robbing stagecoaches, man. We need something to set it off with!" This film is a remnant of my hood days. You folks don't know this about me since I seem to be so damn nerdy (with my Top 40 Pop and cartoons), but I rolled with a crew in my youth. Haha, not really. I merely had protection because I helped out a guy's grandma once, but that's a story for another day. I clicked more with Set it Off than I have with any crime film. Whether its the blacksploitative tone, the awesome Lori Perry song "Up Against the Wind," or all the grrl power, this movie just struck a chord with me.  It's something I'll watch every now and then to remind me just how good I have it. It's like the perfect Flixgiving film.  Those are the films I'm thankful for! What are yours? 
Nick's Flixgiving photo
Like eating five slices of pie at once
This time of year always has me thinking about how great life is. Sure it's not the best, but to breathe, eat, love, and squat every day is truly an invisible blessing. I also start thinking about how great movies are, and I'...

Review: The Book of Life

Oct 20 // Nick Valdez
[embed]218468:41901:0[/embed] The Book of LifeDirector: Jorge GutierrezRelease Date: October 17, 2014 Rating: PG The Book of Life is the story of three childhood friends in the small town of San Angel. Two of which, Manolo (Diego Luna) and Joaquin (Channing Tatum), are in love with the third child, Maria (Zoe Saldana). Seeing the two boys compete for Maria's love, two gods La Muerte (Kate del Castillo), ruler of the Land of the Remembered, and Xibalba (Ron Perlman), ruler of the Land of the Forgotten, place a bet on which of the two boys will end up marrying Maria in the end. After Maria is sent to live in a convent to become a proper Mexican woman (yes, really), the three grow up in far different fashions. Manolo is trained to become a bullfighter like the rest of his Sanchez relatives (but really wants to be a musician), and Joaquin becomes a decorated war hero thanks to help from Xibalba's magic. All while the super bandit Chakal is threatening the town from a distance.  Book of Life's story is incredibly simplistic. While this makes the film easy to digest, and also gives the film a nice fairy tale/fable vibe (and thus is more appealing to children), it means it has to cram quite a bit into a short amount of time. For example one of the film's best locales, the Land of the Remembered, is filled with vibrant colors and the most fanciful visuals of the entire film, but it's swept away through a brief two minute scene. I'm sure it's a weird criticism to make, but I liked the look of Book of Life's environments so much, I wanted to spend more time in them. There just isn't enough development in most areas. It's like eating a sugar skull. Looks good, but entirely hollow when you bite into it. But even still, the film is just great to look at.  Book of Life is a gorgeous film. It's got a distinct, eye catching character design that works wonders within the nature of its story (it's framed as a tale told to children). Using both influences from both Dia de Muertos decorations (mostly the puppetry and wooden carvings) and Gutierrez's own line of work, each character is built with a blocky, flat outline that blends well with the CG world. It's like you're seeing a puppeteer move the characters along (a quirky little touch gives most of the characters visible metal joints that hold their wooden parts together). Their toy like appearance also makes the fantastical nature of their world far more acceptable as the whole "story within a story" comes together. But unfortunately, this fantastical world also has some troubling real life implications.  While the film makes sure to highlight Mexican culture's better attributes (family togetherness, bravery, music and such), it also critiques some of the darker aspects of the culture. Whether it's a result of the self deprecating humor (the film makes sure to note that Mexico is "the center of the universe" and has plenty of jokes about mustaches) or a consequence of the story, it's pretty nasty toward women. While La Muerte and Manolo's mom have autonomy, Maria doesn't. She's the main woman in the story, yet her ending has to be wrapped around Manolo or Joaquin. Maria is developed as a strong woman who's well versed in all sorts of things (as she openly says she doesn't belong to anyone) yet is still enveloped in the ideals of the "perfect" Mexican woman: kind, listens to her father, and most importantly, virginal.  Despite the film fighting this, the three main characters are still wrapped in their parents' wishes. It's a tragic layer that emphasizes how much control parents have in Mexican families. Book of Life does try to point out that they're finally breaking the cycle, but the ending of the film completely denies all movement forward. It's an odd mash of tones that probably would've worked out well, but Book of Life never gives enough time to develop this idea or find a balance between a congratulatory pat on the back and a stern wag of the finger.  But what if you aren't as engrossed with Mexican culture as I am? Book of Life is still a hearty experience. The cast is well placed (with Channing Tatum and Diego Luna anchoring with great performances), some of the jokes are far too on the nose but work well with kids, the soundtrack is lovely as it's full of anachronistic song choices (American pop music infused with Spanish flair) that help widen its appeal, and is a feast for the eyes.  So, I'm conflicted. I do like The Book of Life quite a bit, but am troubled by what it implies as it never follows through with its criticisms. Like it's whispering weird things in the corner but goes silent when confronted directly. Oh well, vive la vida. 
Book of Life Review photo
Que lindo
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 pe...


The Guns of Christmas being directed by Mortal Kombat: Legacy director

Because A Christmas Carol always suffered from a lack of gun fights
Jul 15
// Matthew Razak
You won't believe it, but The Guns of Christmas Past is exactly what it sounds like: an action adaptation of the classic A Christmas Carol. A very loose adaptation. The film has just landed a director in Kevin Tancharoen...
Book of Life Trailer photo
Book of Life Trailer

First official trailer for the Del Toro produced animated film, The Book of Life

May 30
// Nick Valdez
The Book of Life is definitely on my list of films to keep an eye out for. Produced by Guillermo Del Toro and directed by Jorge R. Gutierrez (who created one of my favorite past Nickelodeon cartoons, El Tigre, which Book of ...

Rogen and Gordon-Levitt coming back together for Xmas

Hopefully less cancer this time around
Feb 11
// Matthew Razak
The heavily under appreciated 50/50 was probably one of Seth Rogen's best performances and really landed Joseph Gordon-Levitt as an entirely awesome human being in every way for me. It's exciting to hear that they'll be ...
NF: Scrooged photo
NF: Scrooged

Nick's Flixmas: Scrooged

Dec 08
// Nick Valdez
Day eight of Nick's Flixmas takes us through our second A Christmas Carol flick, Scrooged, an adaptation of the story starring Bill Murray. Unlike the previous installments of this little event, I've never actually seen Scroo...

First trailer for Labor Day lacks romance and comedy

Oct 31
// Matthew Razak
Was anyone else disappointed when they found out that Labor Day was not yet another holiday-based, ensemble cast romantic comedy, but instead a tense thriller that takes place over Labor Day weekend? No? The great cast ...
Tyler Perry, y'all photo
Tyler Perry, y'all

First trailer for Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas

Tyler Perry Presents Tyler Perry's A Madea Christmas: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
Oct 31
// Nick Valdez
I have a small confession to make. I've seen a few Madea flicks. While I don't particularly like Tyler Perry's side projects (like Tyler Perry Presents: Tyler Perry's Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Tyler Perry) the pl...

Free Birds trailer shows us how to ruin Thanksgiving

Sep 26
// Matthew Razak
Here's a tip: do not bring your children to a movie about anthropomorphic turkeys attempting to rescue other turkeys from being eaten before Thanksgiving. What you'er going to get is a kid who won't eat their turkey or a ree...

Monsters University wishes you a Happy Mother's Day

May 09
// Liz Rugg
Mother's Day is fast approaching (this is your official Flixist reminder by the way) in the U.S. it's this Sunday, May 12th. Did you forget? Because Pixar certainly hasn't. To continue their tradition from last year when the...
Disney and them Mexicans photo
Disney and them Mexicans

Disney nearly trademarked a Mexican holiday

Before deciding offending an entire race and culture was a bad idea.
May 08
// Nick Valdez
For the two of you who aren't aware, I'm a 6'3 Spanish-Mexican-American Indian. I've been waiting forever for a Disney film to explore any part of that culture. I would've preferred a Spanish Disney Princess that isn't Sophia...

SXSW Review: When Angels Sing

Mar 12 // Matthew Razak
When Angels SingDirector: Tim McCanliesRated: TBDRelease Date: TBD  One of the worst travesties is film is when a Hallmark Channel holiday special attempts to pass itself off as a legitimate movie. It's just debasing to the quality of film that one should expect to see on the big screen. When Angels Sing (that title should have given it away) is without a doubt a Hallmark special, and in that I suppose it succeeds in its own schlocky way, but succeeding at that still makes it a bad movie. The film is a Christmas special. Michael Walker (Harry Connick Jr.) is a good dad and husband, but he hates Christmas because his brother died in a skating accident on that day. His wife, Susan Walker (Connie Britton) and he are looking for a new place to live and magically one day a man named Nick (Willie Nelson) appears and offers him a gorgeous house for an insanely low price. It turns out the house in located on a street in Austin that is known for its incredibly Christmas decorations. Obviously Michael doesn't want any part of it until a tragic accident forces him to look at the holiday in a different light. I wanted to write that last sentence just like that so you fully understand how prolific melodramatic this film is. Nick, by the way, is some sort of angel/Santa Claus. Now, I don't want to seem like some Grinch, simply hating on the movie because its saccharin to the point of bitterness, but there's a serious lack of subtlety with almost every aspect of it. The emotional cues are more like emotional bludgeons and the directing is so horribly simplistic that it's forced to rely on some pretty horrible site gags to look even remotely interesting.  
When Hallmark hits the big screen
[From March 9th - 17th, Flixist will be providing coverage from South by Southwest 2013 in Austin, TX. Prepare yourselves for reviews, interviews, features, photos, videos, and all types of shenanigans!] I hopped into When An...


Dreamworks to lose $50M for Rise of the Guardians failure

Dec 05
// Nick Valdez
Regardless of having to only compete with Wreck It-Ralph for children's attention, Rise of the Guardians had a weak opening weekend, losing out to Twilight 5. This paltry performance apparently didn't get any better since, ac...

Review: Rise of the Guardians

Nov 21 // Matthew Razak
[embed]213761:39160[/embed] Rise of the GuardiansDirector: Peter RamseyRating: PGRelease Date: November 21, 2012  The nifty idea behind Rise of the Guardians is that all the most famous childhood mythical creatures are actually part of what is basically a superhero team that was put together by the Man in the Moon to defend children's happiness. There's Santa Claus (Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sand Man (mute). The four have been Guardians since the creation of myths, but when the Boogey Man (Jude Law) returns the Man in the Moon brings a new Guardian into the fold: Jack Frost (Chris Pine). The teenage (I think) frost has spent his life not knowing who he is or what his purpose is and when the Guardians ask him to join their team in order to stop the Boogey Man he at first declines until he realizes that there may be something in it for him. You can easily see where the film is going from the get go and it doesn't diverge from its predicable course for a single second. The characters are all all too familiar with the Easter Bunny being the hot head and Santa being a wise leader while the Tooth Fairy is... well, the girl. While the interaction between the "team" can be fun at times it never really jives as a whole since the characters feel very cookie cutter once you peel away the mythical creatures bit. Even less original is the obligatory minions that every children's movie needs now thanks to Despicable Me. This time around their Santa's elves for the most part, but not content with that the filmmakers decided to cram in more "minion" types in the form of Yetis, smaller tooth fairies and easter eggs to the point where their side gags start getting tedious and redundant. It's hard to say who this movie is really made for. It's definitely action packed and actually has lots of fighting (Santa has swords, the Easter Bunny throws smoke grenade eggs), plus it gets pretty dark at times making it both a bit too violent and scary for younger kids. On the flip side of that adults who might enjoy the action and superhero angles of the film are treated to a story that starts losing itself somewhere in the middle and never really finds itself again. It could have been really interesting, though. The idea of Jack Frost, who no one actually believes in so no one can see him, having to have faith in himself in order for children to have faith in him is compelling and if it had been executed with any subtlety or panache could have been great. Plus, the idea of a superhero team comprising of mythical childhood creatures is nothing short of awesome, and throwing in a Russian Santa with naughty and nice tattooed on his forearms sounds like the icing on a very delicious cake. The problem is the cake turns out to be all icing and no actual cake. It is really pretty icing, one must admit. The 3D in the film looks stunning -- though we're at the point where that's par for the course for big budget, animated films. More importantly the animation is gorgeious throughout. Heading to the different worlds where the team members live is really quite a treat and the action sequences look fantastic even if they don't feel that way. The most stunning though is the Sand Man's sand powers, which flow across the screen and are perfectly complimented by the film's 3D. Jack Frost's frosty actions look amazing in the film as well, and the Boogey Man's evil lair is particularly creepy. It's all very, very pretty. And very, very empty. At the end of the movie you aren't left feeling like the characters were actually worth the while. Instead you leave feeling like they took the images of these characters of childhood wonder and emptied them out of all their wonder. Yes, it looks like Santa Claus, but it's too cliche and often trite to ever feel like Santa Claus. Despite having the looks, Rise of the Guardians lacks the spirit. 
Hardly rises to the ocassion
It's nearly Christmas and that means the obligatory Christmas animated film from one studio or another. Sometimes you get a new Christmas classic (like last year's surprisingly good Arthur Christmas) and sometimes you get a f...


These new Rise of the Guardians posters are not that bad

Nov 07
// Nick Valdez
Dreamworks Animation has just dropped a couple of "new" character poster images for the upcoming Rise of the Guardians releasing in a few weeks. These posters are essentially the same as the posters release some time ago ...

10 films that should be remade as horror movies

Oct 31 // Matthew Razak
Problem Child Pitch: Ben Healy always wanted to be a dad. His wife Flo, as sweet as could be, was barren. Desperate, the two turn to Igor Peabody (played once again by Gilbert Gottfried), a shady man who knows people who know people. A month later, the couple finds themselves the proud parents of a red-headed seven-year-old named Junior. He seems just sweet as can be, and it seems like Ben finally has everything he's always wanted. Until neighborhood pets start disappearing. And Lucy, a neighborhood girl who didn't invite Junior to her party, suffered a serious fall. And Flo has fallen ill. Before long, suspicion falls on Junior, and Ben finds himself torn between the damning evidence that keeps piling up and the son he always wanted. Tagline: Somethings wrong with Junior. Nearness original is to horror remake: Pretty damn close when you think about it. Turn Junior's antics up a notch or two and shit starts getting pretty damn scary. Creepy, homicidal children are done all the time in horror movies. This could work. Backup plan: Ben Healy slowly descends into insanity as his son terrorizes him. Think The Shining. Angels in the Outfield Pitch: You know how some individuals do despicable things like murder and try and say that ghosts told them to do it? Imagine a kid saying he won a baseball game because of angels. Imagine that kid growing up believing he could accomplish anything (like win a football game) with the help of those angels. What if the child becomes a failure of an adult because he believes those angels have abandoned him? What if he decides to take it out on other people? Imagine a cross between that weird ghost baseball field in Field of Dreams and Saw. Angels in the Outfield is now a story about a failed individual who's trying to bait out his "angels" by sacrificing souls on the pitcher's mound. It's sequel, Angels in the Endzone is probably about some kid who does steroids because movies. Tagline: When horror plays balls. Nearness original is to horror remake: Angels aren't exactly the subject of terror, but psychopaths sacrificing people to them are. Less of a remake and more of a distant sequel this one could still have the same characters just in the future. Backup plan: The angles are the weeping angels from Dr. Who. That's scary. Air Bud Pitch: Think less man's best friend and more Cujo (or maybe the 1993 movie Man's Best Friend). Air Bud would be some kind of genetically engineered canine killing machine, perfect for modern warfare. The dog escapes the research facility and is attacked by a werewolf, a vampire, and a man with rabies (in that order). After all of that, Air Bud winds up at game seven of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals with a thirst for blood. It's an entire arena full of basketball fans vs. the deadliest thing on four legs. The sequel would be called Air Bud II: Air Bud the CHUD, which would be about minor league hockey. (Because why not?) Part three -- Air Bud 3D: Death in Show -- would start with Air Bud attacking every dog at the Westminster Kennel Club dog show and letting loose the hounds of war on New York City. Tagline: Part dog. Part killer. All terror. Nearness original is to horror remake: Both movies are about dogs doing incredible things and involve basketball. It's just that in the horror version the incredible things are killing lots of people. Backup plan: Air Bud is a dog forced to perform the same trick over and over again until he snaps one day leaving the actors in his newest film (preferably attractive teenagers) stranded on set with a dog gone mad. Titanic Pitch: Titanic becomes part of the Final Destination series. Reworking history a little, only a small group of people (preferably attractive teenagers) survives the tragic ship accident, but death still wants them. As the period horror film progresses they're picked off one by one by increasingly elaborate death sequences that all involve ice. The only one not to involve ice is one of the people who loves music. His death comes at the hands of a band whose music gets amplified loud enough to explode his head. Despite his impending death the band plays on. Tagline: Death never lets go. Nearness original is to horror remake: Spinning off into another series kind of diverts things here and historical accuracy goes out the window. Well, that latter part might make it more similar. Backup plan: Jack is back. After Rose lets him drown by not sharing the door Jack returns in ghost form to terrorize her and her family. Batman Pitch: Remember that scene in >The Dark Knight where the Joker shakicam-murders a guy? Of course you do. Instead of making that the darkest, most disturbing part of a film, use it as the blueprint for everything else. There's a graphic novel called Joker that came out a few years back, where the Joker was released from Arkham. That story could be the jumping off point for this slasher-esque horror film. Batman will obviously be a part of the story, but he takes the backseat. Instead, we have a film about Joker, either told from his perspective or that of a side character (as in Joker), where he goes on a murderous rampage against all the people who have wronged him. Bring Scarecrow back and add some hallucinogenic toxins to the mix and viola. Tagline: The true mask of terror. Nearness original is to horror remake: Batman was always supposed to be scary. That's the whole point. We're just amping up the darkness here. Backup plan: Letting Joel Schumacher direct another. Robin Hood Pitch: Robin Hood has been adapted so many times that the film has to go in a new direction. That direction is turning Robin Hood and his merry men into cannibals. A small group of peasants (preferably attractive teenagers) find out that while Robin Hood is taking money from the wealthy he's only doing it so he and his band of human terrors can continue to literally cannibalize the English countryside. The peasants go off into the woods to find Robin Hood, but soon the hunters become the hunted. Tagline: Steal from the rich and eat the poor Nearness original is to horror remake: Once the kids are in the woods not too close, but you've still got the basic character stuff there. Backup plan: King George is a secret evil monster that kills humans for food and Robin Hood is the only one who can stop him. You've Got Mail Pitch: After joining an online dating service a city detective falls in love with the man she meets on the other end. Little does she know he's actually the serial killer she's been hunting down for the past five years. As his murders start to ramp up so does their relationship, but she can't shake the feeling that something is wrong with her new found love.Of course none of this is revealed to the audience either, delivering an epic twist ending with the words "You've Got Mail" becoming the scariest three words in the English language. Tagline: You've got mail. Death attached. Nearness original is to horror remake: Online dating is scary. The original could have gone down this road too. Backup plan: Standard stalker story, but you set it in the 90s so people can laugh at the old-timey technology and the size of laptops. Short Circuit Pitch: When a brilliant scientist believes he has given life to his robot Johnny 5 he thinks he's got it made, but the robot escapes and starts terrorizing New York City. Turns out the metal that was used to build Johnny 5 was taken from the tomb of a cursed demon lord and now that demon has taken control of the most advanced robotic technology the 1980s have to offer. What new robotic ways will he use to kill his next victim? Tagline: Johnny Five is alive... and evil. Nearness original is to horror remake: One short circuit in a different direction and we're dealing with a homicidal maniac robot in the original. Backup plan: Johnny Five is the AI robot brought along on the first human expedition to mars. Unfortunately no one will be returning. March of the Penguins Pitch: 100 years in the future and mankind has almost completely destroyed the emperor penguin's native habitat through global warming and over fishing. Penguins, as clearly illustrated in the original film, are survivors and have been evolving this entire time... into homicidal maniacs hell bent on avenging the polar ice caps. Think The Birds, but without flight and with sharp weapons. Tagline: This time they're marching south. Nearness original is to horror remake: Who knows. In 100 years this could actually turn out to be a documentary just like the original. Backup plan: Some people (preferably attractive teenagers) bring home what they believe is an emperor penguin after catching it on vacation. Turns out its a long lost breed of killer penguin and it doesn't like its new home. Nell Pitch: A girl is locked in a cabin with only her mother as human contact. She's finally brought into society in a small town, but can't handle it and snaps going on a killing spree as she stalks down the people who found her (preferably attractive teenagers) and kills them all for ruining her perfect little world. The teens make the mistake of attempting to reason with her at every turn, but she is no more human than she is monster. The final shot is her scaling a large building to reveal the New York skyline, thus setting up the sequel, Nell 2: Nell Takes Manhattan. Tagline: Death Nell Nearness original is to horror remake: A girl has no social contact with the outside world and then is thrust into it. This is actually what would happen. Backup plan: It turns out Nell isn't the killer, society is. Mind. Blown.
Because every movie should be scary
You may have noticed by now thanks to the myriad of children running around in costumes or the fact that your coworker came into the office dressed as Psy or a binder full of women, but today is Halloween! It's the time of ye...


Trailer: Life of Pi

So colorful, it's like someone bashed a leprechaun's head in!
Sep 24
// Thor Latham
Looks like we have a new trailer for Ang Lee's Life of Pi, and before you become too perplexed at the random symbols at the bottom of the screen, it does have Vietnamese subtitles. There's some new footage to be found here, ...

Global James Bond day announced

Aug 30
// Matthew Razak
In house everyday is James Bond day, but I understand that not everyone keeps Bond in their heart year round. For them there is Global James Bond day on Oct. 5. The completely made up holiday celebrates the 50th anniversary o...

Eli Roth says Thanksgiving is still happening

Aug 23
// Nick Valdez
The Grindhouse double feature produced two of my favorite films, Planet Terror and Death Proof. The neatest thing about the entire experience, however, were the extremely creative fake trailers before the films. So now that H...

Happy Independence Day! Here's Bill Pullman

Jul 04
// Matthew Razak
Damn those alien invaders. We're busy fighting them off all day so you can enjoy blowing stuff up and eating red meat. Not so much news and writings, lots of overblown Michael Bay explosions. AMERICA!

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