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Cassius and Clay photo
Cassius and Clay

Archer creator's new post-apocalyptic show Cassius and Clay sounds amazing

Aug 11
// Nick Valdez
FXX has just picked up what might be the best animated series of 2016. To premiere alongside Archer (which is moving to FXX as a lead in), Cassius and Clay is a post-apocalyptic action comedy in the American South writte...
B&W Mad Max photo
B&W Mad Max

Black and white version of Mad Max: Fury Road to appear on Blu-ray

Silent run as well
May 27
// Matthew Razak
George Miller is officially confirming his godhood today by dropping the news that he demanded for the Blu-ray release of Mad Max: Fury Road to feature a black and white version of the film that you can run with only the...

Tribeca Review: Jackrabbit

Apr 28 // Hubert Vigilla
JackrabbitDirector: Carleton RanneyRelease Date: n/aRating: n/a In Jackrabbit, an event has left the world in a kind of 80s techno stasis. Cities are sealed away pockets of civilization that people are not allowed to leave. Hacking is alive and well despite pervasive government surveillance, with a lo-fi look to the tech that recalls Darren Aronofsky's Pi. The two leads are Max (Ian Christopher Noel), a paranoid anti-establishment type whose name might be a reference to Pi, and Simon (Josh Caras), a sellout who takes a job with an Apple/Microsoft analog. A mutual hackeer friend killed himself but left behind a mysterious hard drive. And then stuff happens, but the events are so thin and so glacially paced that I lost interest pretty early. Jackrabbit s a thriller without thrills. Even Max and Simon don't seem too engrossed in the mystery, leisurely plodding from place to place and scene to scene. They meet a friend of their dead friend (I think?) named Grace (Joslyn Jensen), and they hang out with her. They listen to a record and drink some whiskey, and Jackrabbit continues its odd stasis, generating a mood rather than using its mood to help propel a story. In my notes I wrote, "At least they look like they're having fun." What's interesting about the VHS impression movies like Jackrabbit and Beyond the Black Rainbow is precisely that disconnect between mood per se and mood in service to or an outgrowth of a story or characters. Jackrabbit is successful at recreating the look and feel of a VHS film, but it exists only as an impression. I remember some images more than I remember the film itself, which might be a testament to the visual sense of the production design and how well shot it is despite its budget limitations. Yet I don't think the film is as successful as Beyond the Black Rainbow (which I didn't even like), which had greater ambition and virtuosity in its images than Jackrabbit. Maybe virtuosity that goes beyond mere impression allows people to mine larger ideas from the succession of images. Jackrabbit feels like a mere impression, though, both in terms of how vaguely I can recall it and in terms of how it recreates the work of the VHS era. It may have been more memorable if its mood were in service to something other than mood itself. Maybe I want more from a movie than the accurate recreation of the kind of movie I'll mostly forget about.
Jackrabbit review photo
An impression of the 80s but not memorable
The vibe of Jackrabbit, a no-budget dystopian cyberpunk thriller, was inspired by trips to the video store. Its whole mood is defined by vaguely remembered VHS box art, and the types of films that fill a person's childhoo...

New Mad Max trailer photo
New Mad Max trailer

International trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road

I'm going MAD waiting for this movie to come out...
Mar 20
// Sean Walsh
This Japanese trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road has more of everything I want from this film: more madness. More Max. More, more MORE. The giant Japanese characters strewn throughout make it even more enjoyable. The May 15th release feels so far away. I can't imagine living in Japan and having to wait until 6/20. [via YouTube]


Trailer for Crumbs by Miguel Llansó

A post-apocalyptic love story set in Ethiopia
Feb 17
// Matt Liparota
There's no shortage of post-apocalyptic stories in the pop-culture landscape these days, but if this enigmatic trailer for Miguel Llansó's Crumbs is any indication, there are still ways to put a new spin on the old ta...
Turbo Kid Trailer photo
Turbo Kid Trailer

First teaser for Turbo Kid, set in a post apocalyptic 1997

Jan 27
// Nick Valdez
This may be the very definition of a teaser, coming in at less than 40 seconds, but boy do I need Turbo Kid in my life. Premiering at Sundance this year, Turbo Kid is an apocalypse set in a futuristic 1997. This is teaser is...
The Hunger Games photo
Hotter than a fantasy, lonely like a highwaaay
Looks like a girl, but she's a flame. As Flixist's resident Young Adult book advisor, I love me some Hunger Games (and will always exploit Alicia Keys' once hit single) and I'm glad the newest trailer finally shows off how d...

Young Ones Trailer photo
Young Ones Trailer

First trailer for Young Ones starring Michael Shannon

Aug 22
// Nick Valdez
To be honest, I wouldn't normally pay attention to a film like Young Ones if it weren't for the cast. Young Ones stars Michael Shannon and Nicholas Hoult in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where water has become scarce, and sec...
Maze Runner Trailer photo
Maze Runner Trailer

Trailer for The Maze Runner features mazes and people running through them

Aug 01
// Nick Valdez
The Maze Runner has an idea I can get behind. Reminiscent of films like The Running Man, Runner drops these kids without memories into a secluded area and forces them to run through a giant maze filled with monsters. While i...

First official trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road

Jul 28 // Nick Valdez
Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows. 
Mad Max Trailer photo
Furiously cool
Thanks to the Mad Max: Fury Road panel at San Diego Comic-Con this past weekend, we've finally gotten our first trailer for the long awaited, long delayed, long in trouble sequel to George Miller's original trilogy. It's str...

The Giver photo
The Giver

Character posters for The Giver feature my boo, Taylor Swift

It's so weird Meryl Streep is in this.
May 26
// Nick Valdez
Although Taylor Swift said we'd never ever ever get back together, I'm still clinging on to hope because she's just the best person. As an example of this, she's in the upcoming film based on The Giver. Although the first tra...

First trailer for 'The Maze Runner' is intense

Gotta go faster, faster, faster-faster-faster
Mar 18
// Isabelle Magliari
The first trailer for the film adaptation of James Dashner's The Maze Runner has succeeded in making me curious about an upcoming film/ book trilogy that I didn't know existed until a few hours ago. This intense tr...
Trailer of the Apes photo
Help me Dr. Zaius!
Rise of the Planet of the Apes is boring, plain and simple. It has a cumbersome title, odd looking CGI mashed against live actors, and it's ultimately rendered utterly pointless by film's end. If we know humankind ...

The Monkees photo
The Monkees

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes gets posters, release date

Dawn of the Rise of the Fall of the Revenge of the Planet of the Apes
Dec 12
// Nick Valdez
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to the reboot Rise of the Planet of the Apes, hopes to capitalize on the potential Rise left behind. Showing off one last battle between the humans who survived the virus in the last...

Bong Joon-Ho's Snowpiercer may not be cut for Weinstein

Apparently it's all under negotiation still
Sep 10
// Hubert Vigilla
Not too long ago we reported that Bong Joon-Ho's Snowpiercer would be getting cut by 20 minutes for US release because The Weinstein Company thinks flyover country is full of slackjawed dummies with short attention spans. It ...
This is the End photo
This is the End

This is the End getting re-released in theaters soon

The end is back, alright! (Sooner than you think!)
Sep 02
// Nick Valdez
This is the End was the best film of the Summer hands down (Fast & Furious 6 notwithstanding). It brought the biggest surprises, biggest laughs, and most memorable moments (that finale had to be the greatest thing I've se...

Trailer & animated prequel for Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer

The film opens in South Korea next week
Jul 25
// Hubert Vigilla
Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer will be out next week in South Korea, and here's the final trailer for the film (at least until it goes international). Everything's looking wonderfully intense and apocalyptic. Given, it's shorter...
This is the End photo
This is the End

Flix for Short: The Real World: This is the End Edition

"I should've been more polite and stopped being so f**king real."
Jun 13
// Nick Valdez
This is the End is one of the funniest films of the year so far if you're a fan of Seth Rogen and his gang. Even if you're not, you're still going to find yourselves laughing. A good gauge of how funny This is the End is goi...

Review: This is the End

Jun 12 // Nick Valdez
[embed]215805:40193:0[/embed] This is the EndDirectors: Evan Goldberg and Seth RogenRating: RRelease Date: June 12, 2013 Adapted from the short film, Jay and Seth vs. The Apocalypse, This is the End is all about Jay Baruchel (Jay Baruchel) and Seth Rogen's (Seth Rogen) friendship. Jay is visiting L.A. and staying over at Seth's house. Although Seth wants to go a to a big party at James Franco's (James Franco) house, Jay is timid and has generally grown tired of Seth's new friends and lifestyle. While partying with the likes of Craig Robinson (Craig Robinson), Jonah Hill (Jonah Hill) and Danny McBride (Danny McBride), the entire world goes to hell as the apocalypse begins. Then Jay and Seth (as well as some famous friends) have to fight to stay alive.  Now let me say this before continuing the review. This is the End is most definitely a self-depreciative comedy with an emphasis on "self." If you have never seen a Seth Rogen comedy at this point but have some semblance as to who these comedians are, you may still find yourself confused. Much of the film's humor (and especially one loving, yet alienating tribute to one of Rogen and Franco's more notable films) comes from prior knowledge of Rogen's career and the image these comedians have concocted for themselves in Hollywood. While it's entertaining, it can create a bubble around the film which prevents most of the general audience from completely investing in it. They'll still laugh at the jokes and well used cameos, but they'll completely miss the deeper thematic resonance.  Much of This is the End is set up like a standard "bottle episode" of any given sitcom. You have a group of people trapped in one place for numerous reasons, and the dramatic beats of the narrative stem from how these few folks learn to adapt to their new situation while dealing with their friends/enemies/frenemies in close quarters. In that respect, This is the End is a surprisingly compact film given its premise. Much of the action takes place in one area, and for most of the film, the outside is painted in a foggy, yellow color. It works well enough to give the setting a sense of dread while not really having to do much. In fact, when you think of the framing of the film as a sort of postmodern stage play (where characters came leave and exit the stage) it's borderline genius.  But is it funny? Yes, yes it is. As stated above, if you're familiar with these comedians and their films, you'll never stop laughing at This is the End. But unfortunately, it's going to take a bit to get there. This is the End is truly strong as soon as the apocalypse kicks in. The scenes of Franco's party are clunky, full of cameos that tend to misfire, and when folks begin to kick the bucket, it's some of the worst shot scenes of the film. Thankfully, once the cast is boiled down, the humor and suspense kicks in at full force. Much of the exchanged dialogue comes off as wonderfully natural as each comedian is allowed to play an exaggerated version of their Hollywood persona (although I'd like to believe Craig Robinson is really that suave in real life). And because of the nicely put together script (with much of it I'll assume is adlibbed due to the quickfire nature of the jokes), each actor in this case is at the top of their game, with Danny McBride being the standout.  With a film so focused on comedy, I couldn't blame you for expecting every other aspect of the film to fall apart. Luckily, that doesn't happen here. There is a plot to the film, rather than just a thin premise in which to tie endless jokes to one another, and that plot is handled well. Since it focuses on a small setting (and even smaller core theme of Jay and Seth's friendship) it never feels like it's trying too hard to be funny or heartwarming. It just works out. The smaller dialogue exchanges escalate naturally and bring out the best in the cast. There are a few moments during the film also that perfectly marry heart and action while somehow getting a laugh or two. I know I'm speaking in generalities, but if I give an example of any of the moments, it'll completely wreck the foundation of the film. But that's odd too. At least the action is filmed well beyond the initial "giant hole opens up and swallows all the famous people" scene.  I'd be remiss if I didn't mention how much I loved the final 15-20 minutes of the film. By that point, I had been won over by the characters, and gotten used to the brashness (and crudeness) of the jokes despite looking at a giant phallic image, as the most deliciously goofy sequence takes place. It's certainly a dramatic moment, but it's mixed with humor (and some of the greatest song choices) in such a way that tells the audience to stop being so serious. As soon as it was over, I had a huge smile on my face.  Of course not everyone will react to This is the End in the same way. It's a niche film (for fans of raunchy Rogen comedies who understand the meta-narrative) that does sometimes drag as it gets to the next scene, and at other times the humor does feel forced from one of the individuals. And while I hope it has the tenacity to withstand multiple viewings, the film's jokes may very well verge on "one and done" in most cases. Whatever the case turns out to be, the dialogue exchanges between these guys is well worth the price of admission (especially if you're a fan of Pineapple Express).  This is the End is the Rogen comedy to end all Rogen comedies. 
This is the End Review photo
It's the end of the world as we know it...and I feel fine.
I've been harsh toward This is the End from the very beginning. First batch of trailers painted the film as a "Hey look at [enter famous name here] acting wacky!" sort of comedy, but as the trailers rolled on and hinted at th...

This is the End Trailer photo
This is the End Trailer

Trailer: This is the End

"Take it easy, Dumbledore."
May 31
// Nick Valdez
Opening in just a little under two weeks, we have one more trailer for This is the End. This is the international version of the trailer so there's mostly repeat footage, but the new material? The new material is just fantas...
This is the End photo
This is the End

New This is the End posters take yo panties off

"Take em off take em off take em off take em ooooofff!"
May 30
// Nick Valdez
I'm still holding firm in my belief that This is The End, the post-apocalyptic Rapture comedy starring famous funny guys like Seth Rogen and Jay Baruchel as themselves, is going to go either one of two ways. It's either going...
Rapture-palooza Trailer photo
Rapture-palooza Trailer

Trailer: Rapture-palooza (Red Band)

Still looks as bad as it did last time.
May 15
// Nick Valdez
Rapture-palooza (with a newly minted hyphen) should be taken as is and nothing more. It's a straight to VOD (with a limited theater run) comedy about the Rapture that happens to star lots of recognizable faces releasing arou...
Michael Cera dies in this photo
Michael Cera dies in this

Trailer: This is the End (Red Band)

Emma Watson has an axe. You want to see this now, don't you?
Apr 03
// Nick Valdez
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...

Trailer: Pineapple Express 2

Uh, ha, well, uh, no not really
Apr 01
// Flixist Staff
Well, uhhh, the fools they are in April. Those fine fellow actors of mine have, uh, created a humorous trailer for their upcoming film This is the End. The joke is that it is a trailer for a movie that, well, uh, doesn't exi...

This is the End is somewhat more nigh

Mar 29
// Matthew Razak
This is the End might be one of the more anticipated comedies of the year. We'll all be anticipating two days less now as the film has been bumped up to a June 12 release instead of a June 14 release. Those two days shou...

New Oblivion TV spots have the moon getting blowed up

Mar 26
// Hubert Vigilla
There's something about mayhem perpetrated against the moon that I find kind of absurdly funny, whether it's threats to blow it up or Chairface Chippendale trying to write his name on it. In this new TV spot for Oblivion, a ...

Trailer: Rapturepalooza (Red Band)

Mar 06
// Nick Valdez
Rapturepalooza is a comedic take on the Rapture, that biblical story that Jesus Christ will leave behind all sinners on Earth as the Antichrist tries to take over the world (For better reference, watch that "Rapture's Deligh...

Trailer: Oblivion

The plot thickens, still about Tom Cruise
Feb 13
// Matthew Razak
Oblivion has gone from quite the mystery in its first trailer to quite the intriguing film in this one (HD here). We learn a lot more about the film's plot and the "enemy" that Tom Cruise will be fighting in this d...

Mad Max: Fury Road production vid shows off vehicles

Jan 22
// Nick Valdez
If we lived in the Mad Max world, my name would be Bruiser Shovelpit, a man who carries around the shovel he used to bury his former pet Goldfish, Jamal (and I would hope I looked as good as Tom Hardy does). A...

The Cult Club: Six-String Samurai (1998)

Jan 11 // Hubert Vigilla
There is a very short distance between high art and trash, and trash that contains the element of craziness is by this very quality nearer to art. -- Douglas Sirk Douglas Sirk was referring to melodrama when he said that, but I think the same holds true for cult movies, and even a lot of postmodern art and writing. Whether it's the childlike anarchy of Nobuhiko Obayashi's House (Hausu) or the surreal Mexico City of the mind in Alejandro Jodorowsky's Santa Sangre, the crazy elements are essential to the art of the cult movie -- sometimes the cult movie is an argument for the art of craziness. So many cult films are set apart by their willingness to do what many other films are unable or unwilling to do, and in this excess and exploitation is a kind of ecstasy. In Six-String Samurai, it's all about bringing things together into sort of Mulligan stew version of alternative history. (A Mulligan stew is something hobos used to make, basically throwing whatever they could into the pot for flavor: beans, chicken, vegetables, boots. It's a crazy concoction, like the childhood potions I used to make out of whatever was in the refrigerator.) Alternate history stories ask an essential question, and I think there are two in Six-String Samurai. The first: what if the Soviet Union used nukes on the United States in the late 1950s? The second: what if Buddy Holly didn't die with The Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens and then became a supreme stoic badass in the style of Ogami Itto and Mad Max? Though it's never explicitly stated this is Buddy Holly we're watching in the wastelands of America, the glasses and the clothes heavily imply it. For a long time I wondered where his Stratocaster went since he's carrying a semi-hollow in the wasteland. Now I just assume he traded in his Strat for a katana after the bomb fell because it would be more useful; the hollow body he must have taken from the bucko who broke his glasses. In the world of Six-String Samurai, the last bit of proper civilization is Las Vegas, renamed Lost Vegas after the nuke. Elvis, that former King of Rock and Roll, has died and left the throne empty. Buddy (Jeffrey Falcon) is en route to Vegas to claim his destiny, but he winds up having to care for a recently orphaned boy simply known as The Kid (Justin McGuire). The Kid is mostly inarticulate, which I assume is partly out of PTSD from seeing his parents killed and partly out of affectation since it's a kooky conceit. On Buddy's trail is Death himself, less like Bengt Ekerot's Grim Reaper from The Seventh Seal and more like Slash from GNR. I wonder if Death's already taken out Valens and The Bopper; I hope Jerry Lee Lewis gave that son of a bitch hell; I dream that Roy Orbison fought like Zatoichi until the bitter end. Written and directed by Lance Mungia, Six-String Samurai is a hodgepodge of Americana merged with post-apocalyptic ideas. You have a bit of narration provided by Wolfman Jack (or at least someone who sounds a lot like him), there are weirdos in astronaut suits, a cannibalistic nuclear family, the coonskin cap is a holdover from the Davy Crockett craze, there are bowling team buddies who no one messes with. But on top of these quintessentially American things are little touches of internationalism that were en vogue for cineastes who came of age in the 80s and 90s, the era of home video, cable movie shows, rising interest in cult entertainment, niche film clubs, etc. There's obviously a lot owed to Lone Wolf and Cub and the Mad Max movies, but the added flair comes from the surf rock soundtrack by The Red Elvises -- think Dick Dale hanging ten on the Volga -- and the martial arts choreography by Falcon himself. Falcon had played bit parts in Hong Kong movies (most notably some films with Cynthia Rothrock), and Buddy's fights are done with the style of a Hong Kong flick of that decade. This blend of everything is an example of that time capsule and time machine aspect to Six String-Samurai. This is the epitome of the 1950s frozen in a state of peachy keen fashion and Cleaver family values following the explosion of a bomb, but it's also tying in heavy metal, a music genre that wouldn't have reached its fetal state without the 1960s. There's a meta level to all this as well since the movie is so much an object of its decade while reflecting a warped version of decades past: Six-String Samurai has all the flash of 90s indie filmmaking (think Robert Rodriguez) as well as the referentialism (think Quentin Tarantino, who would make his own Mulligan stew with Kill Bill). In a sense, post-apocalyptic films are all a little bit fantastical in a strange way even if they technically have science fiction roots. Each story opens with an implicit, "Once upon a time after the world ended..." It sounds like a post-apocalypic Spaghetti western waiting to be made. We're asked to fix a time given the surviving artifacts and bits of culture that we're shown, but we're also asked that the storytellers be given some wiggle room since they're using whatever pieces of culture they want to present a world that comes after the one we know. Maybe in addition to being time machines and time capsules, post-apocalyptic movies are like assemblage works of art: you take a bunch of junk and refuse and put them together in an interesting way, like Robert Rauscheberg or a Joseph Cornell. (Mulligan stew at MoMA.) In this case, the Cornell box contains Buddy Holly, samurais, and loads of visual style to keep things moving. Or, given the crazed, childlike quality of the storytelling, maybe it's like destroying the world and peopling it with your favorite action figures. Everything about Six-String Samurai feels like a hyperactive kid's weekend spent in the sandbox. (I still think if they ever made a sequel or spiritual sequel to Six-String Samurai, it would have to star the noisy Japanese punk band Guitar Wolf; it would also have to be a post-apocalyptic western as part of some American/Japanese cult movie exchange program. Maybe they can call it Once Upon a Time After the World Ended.) But in addition to the action and the bizarre assemblage of 1950s stuff and 1990s stuff -- the movie seems like it'd be king of the Island of Misfit Toys if it was an action figure -- what makes Six-String Samurai so enjoyable is the handful of quotable lines, which have needled their way into my brain since I first watched the movie on VHS. Knowing the context or not, there's just something hilarious about the line, "Only one man can kill this many Russians"; ditto the flatout goofiness of, "Nice tuxedo. Nice tuxedo to die in!" My own personal favorite: Mesh-Head: If I were you, I would run. Buddy: If you were me, you'd be good-lookin'. That's as smooth as the action on Buddy's semi-hollow. Ever since seeing Six-String Samurai, I've been waiting for a moment to say that line. It hasn't happened yet. Six String-Samurai seemed forgotten for so long even though there's so much craziness that makes it memorable. It was a festival darling of the 1990s, a peculiar indie oddity in a decade full of them, but for a while it felt like I was the only person I knew who saw it, dug it, and pushed it on friends. (When I was in college, I once heard a film studies professor champion the movie after class. In that warped way that litmus test movies work, this incident made her seem 20 times hotter even though she was really attractive to begin with.)  I was happy to hear about the nod to the film in Fallout: New Vegas, that's damn snappy, but I wasn't all too pleased with the less-than-happy fate of Mungia's and Falcon's film careers. Six-String Samurai had a budget of $2 million, and despite the buzz it got from lots of online reviews, the movie was a total bomb at the box office. Mungia has only one other feature to his name: the 2005 direct-to-video sequel The Crow: Wicked Prayer. I haven't watched it, but I was contemplating seeing it prior to writing this piece. I just ran out of time, unfortunately. Maybe it's for the best given its reception. The Crow: Wicked Prayer currently holds a 2.8 on IMDb, and I doubt it's done with the same goofy glee as Six-String Samurai. For Falcon, Six-String Samurai was his final film credit. Accounts online say he started living in China after the film, though his last known whereabouts as of 2005 was working at an airport in Los Angeles. It's a little sad what happens after the end of the world, at least in actual history. In an alternate history of our world, I'd like to imagine Mungia got to do a few more crazed bits of assemblage, and Falcon got to be a decent cult star. But in actual history, I think they can both be legitimately happy, even with the box office drubbing. Six-String Samurai still has its devotees; it survived the box office apocalypse. Like Hunter Thompson said of Dr. Gonzo in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (another bomb): There he goes. One of God's own prototypes. A high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die. That's my Buddy. Hail! Hail! Rock and roll! [embed]214031:39440[/embed] Next Month... You boys like Mexico?! That's where Nick Valdez is taking you for El Mariachi (1992). PREVIOUSLY SHOWING AT THE CULT CLUB December: The Warriors (1979) November: Funky Forest: First Contact (2005) October: Casino Royale (1967) September: The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) August: Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat (2002)
The Cult Club photo
If you were me, you'd be good lookin'
[The Cult Club is where Flixist's writers expound the virtues of their favourite underground classics, spanning all nations and genres. It is a monthly series of articles looking at what made those films stand out from the pa...

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