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Review: Cheap Thrills photo
Review: Cheap Thrills
by Sean Walsh

Any movie synopsis that includes "black comedy" and "David Koechner" is an instant sell for me. Toss in Empire Records' Ethan Embry and the two leads from Ti West's The Innkeepers and my expectations will be through the roof.

Cheap Thrills is in turns comedic, uncomfortable, and downright disturbing. Most of the times you'll find yourself laughing, you'll also be cringing. Ultimately, it begs the question "What would you do in this circumstance?"

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8:00 PM on 12.30.2013

New Wolf of Wall Street featurettes look awesome

Martin Scorsese and Leonardo Dicaprio's latest collaboration, Wolf of Wall Street, is the fast paced, R-rated Christmas release we've all been waiting for. Scorsese's latest dark comedy follows the drug-fueled exploits...

Isabelle Magliari



Review: The Wolf of Wall Street photo
Review: The Wolf of Wall Street
by Nick Valdez

Sitting down to write this review, I had trouble figuring out the sub header you see above. I normally like to put a joke or pop culture reference there, but I simply can't seem to. The more and more I think about The Wolf of Wall Street, the more a word like "F**k" becomes an appropriate descriptor for Martin Scorsese's latest. It's just beyond polite conversation. 

The film has managed to stick with me days after I had seen it for myself. In what seems to be both Scorsese and DiCaprio's finest, WOWS is a great way to end your 2013. It's got a few issues sure, but most of those can be brushed under the rug.  The Wolf of Wall Street is gripping, gratuitous, overloaded with expletives, overzealous, sexually charged, hilarious, enticing, kookoo bananas, and even a little disgusting. 

But most importantly, The Wolf of Wall Street is f**king magnificent. 

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Review: Don Jon photo
Review: Don Jon
by Allistair Pinsof

Our rabid consumption of media informs our lives and habits as much as our upbringing. For Jon, that media obsession is porn. When he isn't debating what number to rate a girl at the club, he is masturbating three times a day. Or five. Or eleven, a brand new record.

Sex is boring to Jon, who craves the fantasy and control of porn. It`s an inherently controversial, funny, and poignant concept for a film, and Don Jon succeeds at all three. Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes the rare crossover from actor to actor-writer-director that many try but few succeed at.

[This review was originally posted as part of our Sundance 2013 coverage. Since its initial publication, the film was renamed Don Jon and screened at SXSW 2013. Edits have been made to reflect the title change, as well as Geoff's blurb for the film.]

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2:00 PM on 09.06.2013

All Is Bright brings the (dark) Christmas spirit

Christmas movies with cheery people and overwrought emotions are a dime a dozen. Christmas movies that are dark comedies? Not so much. That's what All Is Bright looks like it's shaping up to be. Well, that and another f...

Matthew Razak



Review: Kick-Ass 2 photo
Review: Kick-Ass 2
by Matthew Razak

Kick-Ass was one of the bigger surprises for me when I first saw it. Having not read the comic the film's dark overtones, commentary on violence in media and perturbing escalation of said violence left me coming out of the theater thinking. That's a pretty big rarity for a film featuring people dressing up in costumes. 

Now we've got a sequel, but for a film that made such a strong statement is a sequel really necessary? Furthermore, will Jeff Wadlow (writer/director) be able to capture the originality and not-so-subtle nuances that made the first film stand out? Read on to find out.

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11:00 AM on 06.05.2013

Trailer: The Family

In Luc Besson's The Family, Robert DeNiro returns to one of his best forms - a mobster trying to stay out of trouble, and failing. The movie centers around DeNiro's character and his tough-as-nails family; his wife played by...

Liz Rugg

6:00 PM on 06.03.2013

Check out the Birdman costume and disheveled Keaton

A little while ago, we reported that Michael Keaton was confirmed to be starring in director Alejando González Iñárritu’s (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel) Birdman. It is a dark comedy that follows K...

Logan Otremba



Review: Sightseers photo
Review: Sightseers
by Xander Markham

In a year where Great Britain has been celebrated by its Queen's jubilee, a successful Olympics and the fiftieth anniversary of its greatest cinematic icon, there's something gleefully appropriate about the year's final show of national identity tearing the pomposity and circumstance down into the mud. Brits often cite self-deprecation as a shared characteristic, and Sightseers is a movie which delights in pettiness rather than pagentry, a nation of grumblers as frustrated by manners, history and the countryside as they are in love with them.

In America, social rebellion has been given a glamourous veneer by such movies as Natural Born Killers or Bonnie And Clyde, perpetuating a myth of the heroic outlaw originating in the tales of the Old West. Britain has its romantic ideals too, but places as much value in subverting as championing them: in a year where Judi Dench's recital of Alfred Lord Tennyson's 'Ulysses' provided a moment of unashamedly thrilling patriotism, Ben Wheatley's use of Blake's 'Jersualem' over a man beating a fellow rambler to death following an argument about dog excrement becomes all the more perfect.

[This review was originally published last year for the UK release of Sightseers. It has been reposted to coincide with the US release of the film.]

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Tribeca Review: Fresh Meat photo
Tribeca Review: Fresh Meat
by Hubert Vigilla

Before interviewing director Danny Mulheron and actress Kate Elliott about Fresh Meat, I was talking to another film blogger/journalist about the movie. She  brought up the idea of brew and views with her friends: double features involving fun, goofy, kitschy, and/or cheesy movies. Fresh Meat definitely qualifies for that.

In a couple ways, Fresh Meat is just the sort of movie I would have rented in high school and subjected my friends to on weekends. It has gore, violence, nudity, lesbianism, tasteless humor, Asian jokes, and cannibalism, and those are its finer qualities.

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival, which runs April 17-28 in New York City. Check with us daily for reviews, interviews, features, and news from the festival. For all of our coverage, go here.]

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Review: All American Zombie Drugs photo
Review: All American Zombie Drugs
by Nick Valdez

What should you expect with a film titled All American Zombie Drugs? It can go one of two ways. Either the film is going for B-movie style horror or the title is a reference to the pulpy nature of its art house take on drugs. So which direction does All American Zombie Drugs take? Well, both and neither. 

All American Zombie Drugs is certainly an interesting experiment that attempts to bond together two types of films but unfortunately falls short causing it to meander a bit in mediocrity. 

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2:00 PM on 04.18.2013

Flix for Short: Everything I Can See From Here

Everything I Can See From Here is a beautiful little film by artists Sam Taylor and Bjorn Aschim. The dark comedy features two guys and their dog minding their own business, playing some football in a dystopian, industrial la...

Liz Rugg



Tribeca Review: V/H/S/2 photo
Tribeca Review: V/H/S/2
by Allistair Pinsof

In the original V/H/S, numerous tapes littered the apartment of the film's depraved gang of psychos, leaving the viewer to wonder what else those cassettes contained and whether the viewer can stomach to watch any more.

S-VHS is a frivolous sequel that focuses on gross-out gags, outlandish monsters, and a bloody disgusting take on dark comedy. Yes, you can stomach watching more of these tapes because they aren't as shocking as last year's batch.

[This review was posted as part of our 2013 Sundance Film Festival coverage when the film was originally titled S-VHS. It has been reposted with second opinions from other staff members to coincide with its screenings at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.]

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Review: It's a Disaster photo
Review: It's a Disaster
by Hubert Vigilla

There seems to be more and more movies about the end of the world these days. Maybe it's a reflection of how vulnerable people feel given the notable events of the 21st century: terrorist attacks, natural disasters, man-made ecological tragedies, extreme weather, financial collapses, political instability. Institutions crumble, old systems topple, the planet can crush us like bugs, but at least there's some hope in the people close to you.

I think that idea of personal relationships weathering large-scale hardships is key. It might even explain why there have been a lot of "hanging out at the end of the world" movies alongside blockbuster apocalypse films.

In the dark comedy It's a Disaster, a charming couples brunch with friends starts out on the wrong foot, but not because of bad manners or the sudden disclosure of true feelings. No, instead it all has to do with a massive terrorist attack on major cities all over the United States.

Hilarity ensues.

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8:00 AM on 04.03.2013

Trailer: This is the End (Red Band)

This new Red Band trailer for This is the End has enough new content and hints of plot (it seems to be a biblical apocalypse) to help you figure out what kind of movie it's going to be. It's filled to the brim with comedians...

Nick Valdez



RFC Review: The Suicide Shop photo
RFC Review: The Suicide Shop
by Hubert Vigilla

[Over the next few days we'll be looking at some of the films from Rendez Vous with French Cinema 2013, an annual showcase of contemporary and classic French films running from February 28th to March 10th. The screenings will take place at The Film Society of Lincoln Center, the IFC Center, and BAMcinématek. For tickets and more information, go here or visit rendezvouswithfrenchcinema.com.]

There have been a few reviews for The Suicide Shop that have wondered who the audience for the film is. I think this question has less to do with the content and more to do with the stigma surrounding animation: it's a cartoon so it must be kid's stuff. On top of that, it's also a musical and adapted from a French comic book, so that just piles onto the stigma that's already there.

But The Suicide Shop is not something for little children. People kill themselves left and right because living is too difficult and too painful. There's subtle nudity in a scene that's both a little heartwarming and a little creepy. There's also, like any feel-good movie, some attempted infanticide. The existential malaise, the veiled sensuality, and the pitch-black comedy are all very French, and most kids won't get it.

So to answer who The Suicide Shop is for, I'd say it's for people who are into The Nightmare Before Christmas and who get the humor of Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies. It's animation that skews older because understanding the comedy of death is something you develop when you're older.

Death to the stigma.

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Review: 21 and Over photo
Review: 21 and Over
by Nick Valdez

In case you didn't know what you were in for with a film like 21 and Over, let me ask you one thing. How comfortable are you with man butt? If you're uncomfortable, 21 and Over is going to challenge you with its hefty amount of man butt. How much man  butt you ask? The film is about and hour and a half long, and at least 15-20 minutes of that is spent on male nudity of some kind. So about 25-30% of the film has you looking at some man's buttocks (and a dingleberry in one case). 

21 and Over is a party film, plain and simple. If you don't expect too much nuance, are fine with superfluous amounts of profanity instead of dialogue, and aren't put off by dude butt then this flick might be of interest to you. Now if any of that has your interest piqued/scared you away, please read on for a full review of this butt-tiful flick. 

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4:00 PM on 02.28.2013

Trailer: The Brass Teapot

The Brass Teapot stars Juno Temple and Michael Angarano as a young husband a wife, in love and broke. One day Alice (Temple) finds a brass teapot at an antique shop, but the star-crossed lovers quickly realize that this is n...

Liz Rugg

11:00 AM on 02.20.2013

ABCs of Death directors answer YOUR questions on Reddit

Did you see The ABCs of Death? Do you have burning questions that you'd like answers? Do you go on Reddit? Well, then do I have news for you! Starting today at 11:00 PST - 2:00 PST, fifteen of the twenty-six directors and two of the producers of The ABCs of Death will be doing an AMA on Reddit! Check out the list of directors and producers below!

Sean Walsh

6:00 PM on 02.07.2013

John Leguizamo is Fugly in new autobiographical comedy

I'm a huge fan of John Leguizamo's comedy. Unfortunately, not everyone seems to think the same way. He's always typecast as the "zany Mexican guy who makes faces" and has to keep the same accent in each film. Thankfully, he's...

Nick Valdez



Sundance Review: Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes photo
Sundance Review: Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
by Allistair Pinsof

Throughout the entirety of Sundance, Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes was the only movie I didn't take any notes on. I guess this is what is implied by "noteworthy," and Emanuel is not. For the life of me, I couldn't pick up my pencil and write anything of note, because something of note would have to exist in the first place.

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8:00 AM on 01.22.2013

New TV spot for Michael Bay's Pain & Gain

The more I see of Pain & Gain, the more I think that Michael Bay have been grossly misleading his career up until this point. I've never really been a fan of Bay's films or his style, but I seriously believe that this ma...

Thor Latham