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12:00 PM on 01.22.2015

Steven Spielberg's version of American Sniper sounds a bit better

When it comes to American Sniper, I've found over the last few days that it's better to tread water when criticizing. It's a shame, but I've been hit by quite a few slurs from folks that are taking the film to heart. But desp...

Nick Valdez


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Nick's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Nick Valdez

It was the best of films, it was the blurst of films. Hey everyone I'm Nick Valdez, News Editor here for Flixist and you've probably seen my name on a good chunk of the stuff written here. If not, then I'll tell you a bit about myself. I like movies, songs about butts, and pink frosted donuts. I'm going to get a tattoo of a mix of all three of those things someday. 

Oh but you're here for this list. I've reviewed 51 films this year, and that's way more than I've ever done for the site before. That also means I've been way more involved in 2014 films than in past years so this list has been particularly tough. So, I guess let's get to it then. 

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Nick's Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014
by Nick Valdez

Music plays an integral role in film. Easily ignored, easily forgotten, a film's soundtrack is the little celebrated framework of cinema. But when sound and sight marry into a great scene, you get some of the best moments. Like in 2013, 2014 had a wide array of music. From 70s rock, to dance pop, to Euro trance, jazz, quirky originals, and even a few oddballs. 

To earn a spot on this list a film's got to have a scene that uses its soundtrack so well, I remember it weeks or even months after I've seen it. So let's get to it then, yeah. 

Here are my picks for The Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014.

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Nick's Top 5 Sequels of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 5 Sequels of 2014
by Nick Valdez

We've seen more sequels released the last few years than we have in a long time. While 2015 seems to continue that trend, last year showed that we shouldn't automatically write off a film just because it's a sequel. I've seen so many good sequels last year that it was finally time to designate an entire list to them. Sure I could write about 2014's best actors or scenes, but I think it's important to celebrate a sequel that gets it right. 

Since we're going to get so many more from here on out, let's hope that future sequels will be as good as the five presented here. 

Without further ado, here are my picks for The Top 5 Sequels of 2014. 

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Review: Predestination photo
Review: Predestination
by Nick Valdez

Predestination is one of those festival films that you have no idea exists but, when you finally see it, you wonder where it's been your entire life. I'm not the biggest time travel movie fan, nor do I really enjoy science fiction in general, but Predestination uses its premise to rise above the usual trappings of the genre and creates a film which is a lot smarter than I initially gave it credit for. 

I mean, it was pitched to me as "Minority Report with Ethan Hawke" and it's much, much better than that. 

[This review was originally posted as part of our coverage of South by Southwest 2014. It is being reposted to coincide with the film's wide release.]

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12:00 PM on 12.15.2014

First full trailer for The Divergent Series: Insurgent

I liked the first Divergent film enough. Although it's basically a thinly veiled message of "Everyone sucks but me because I'm different," everything was just super cheesy and bad looking enough to work. It's better than the...

Nick Valdez



Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings photo
Review: Exodus: Gods and Kings
by Nick Valdez

Folks don't know this about me, but I have a soft spot for biblical stories. Having been raised half Roman Catholic, half who gives a hooey, I have an abundant knowledge of Christian bible quotes and intricacies. Regardless of your beliefs, you have to admit the Bible is full of fantastical, involving stories ripe for big budget adaptations like these. 

It's really the simplicity of it all that makes it entertaining. Bad guys are bad, good guys are unequivocally good, and some invisible force is guiding everyone's decisions. But when that guiding force doesn't know when to reign it in, you get Exodus: Gods and Kings. 

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5:00 PM on 12.11.2014

Stephen Colbert is just the best person

I mean, who else would dress up as Hobbit characters to promote The Battle of the Five Armies or defend funky lightsabers? Truly a king among us.  [via EW]

Nick Valdez

4:00 PM on 11.26.2014

Here's that great Hanging Tree song from Mockingjay- Part 1

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 was pretty good. It's the best in a rough series and stands out due to some great decisions. But one of the clunkier ones was "The Hanging Tree." A song featured in the book, it was...

Nick Valdez



Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 photo
Review: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
by Nick Valdez

The Hunger Games has come a long way. From humble meh-ish beginnings, to a sequel that, well, caught fire in theaters, the films have gotten increasingly better the more comfortable everyone gets with the material. Going into the latest, Mockingjay- Part 1 (which is based off half of the final text in the book trilogy), that upward trend certainly continues. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay- Part 1 is the pinnacle of the Hunger Games series. A payoff of two years of buildup that finally cements this series as the main example of how to do these Young Adult book adaptations. It may have taken a while to get to the peak, but the view is totally worth it.  

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2:00 PM on 11.14.2014

Newest trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey will see you now

So I had to find out about this teaser from my mom. Premiering during last night's Scandal on ABC, my mother felt the need to contact me to ask if I had any more info on it. While I don't want to see my mother that way (as I...

Nick Valdez





10:00 AM on 11.13.2014

First official teaser trailer for The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Despite some hangups, I liked Divergent. It's got an interesting world and the cast was well put together, but the whole thing was just stuck in cement. Pace was mishandled, the world was skipped over in favor of two ho...

Nick Valdez

12:00 PM on 11.04.2014

Jamie Dornan won't go the full monty for Fifty Shades of Grey

Although I may not be one of the many folks eagerly anticipating Fifty Shades of Grey, the first trailer for the adaptation drew quite a bit of attention. Whether or not I agree with its use of Sado Masochism, I kind of have ...

Nick Valdez

5:00 PM on 10.31.2014

Here's our first look at Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Did you know there was an adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies in the works? It's been in development hell for quite some time with a script that's been written and rewritten many times ov...

Nick Valdez



Final trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 photo
Final trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
by Nick Valdez

With the final trailer for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, the awesome marketing this film has had comes to a close. From great propaganda style teasers and posters, to how few trailers for the film we actually got (usually we're told of like twenty of these videos a day, I'm going to miss Mockingjay. I'm sure the film'll be great too. 

As the final book in The Hunger Games series, Mockingjay finally explored themes outside of its original (but not very unique) premise. The first half is definitely the best part, so I can't wait to see the results. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 has got that fire, fire, fire and it's gonna let it burn November 21st. 

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12:00 PM on 10.20.2014

First trailer for Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea

Based on Nathaniel Phillbrick's book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex (the Essex's story in turn inspired Herman Melville's Moby Dick), Heart is directed by Ron Howard and stars Chris Hemswort...

Nick Valdez

2:00 PM on 10.16.2014

Here are several posters for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

"The Defining Chapter" lol  The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has five armies and possibly a battle December 17th.  [via Twitter]

Nick Valdez

10:00 AM on 10.16.2014

Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 teaser shows off new footage

This newest teaser for The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 1 is short (clocking in at barely over a minute), but boy does it work. Showing off Lorde's new single "Yellow Flicker Beat," the teaser reveals what happens when Katniss makes her way back to District 12. Let's just say things are going to get pretty good.  The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 releases November 21st. 

Nick Valdez

2:00 PM on 10.06.2014

More Twilight films in the works...sort of

With all of the Young Adult properties out there now trying to fill the void Twilight left behind, you figure we'd never hear about the series again. Well, someone out there really wants to explore those films again. Luckily,...

Nick Valdez

10:00 AM on 10.02.2014

Newest Exodus: Gods and Kings trailer lets the people go

I can't watch help but watch these trailers for Ridley Scott's Exodus: Gods and Kings without thinking about all of the other times I've seen this story played out on film. The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt, that one...

Nick Valdez



Review: The Boxtrolls photo
Review: The Boxtrolls
by Nick Valdez

Laika is that rare production company where you absolutely have to pay attention to whatever they put out next. As one of the last few studios that specializes in stop motion animation, their films have garnered a lot of well deserved praise. With such a demanding production, their output is limited to one film every few years, the pressure is on to make every film count. 

The company's last film, ParaNorman, went on to become my favorite animated film of 2012 so I jumped into The Boxtrolls hoping to see some amazing work once again. Thankfully, The Boxtrolls is another hit for Laika...but unfortunately isn't a hit out of the park. 

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First trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice photo
First trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice
by Nick Valdez

Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's novel Inherent Vice might just be the craziest, and best thing to come out this year. Just by looking at this trailer with its unique style, stupidly talented cast (Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Benecio Del Toro, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterson, and Martin Short!), and it's great feeling vibe overall. 

There might be something sinister underneath, but this is a great first look. Starring Phoenix as a muttonchopped private eye who gets roped into stopping a kidnapping by his ex, I can't wait to see what else lurks. Inherent Vice releases December 12th. 

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