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Geoff Henao

CIFF Review: Burn it Up Djassa

Oct 12 // Geoff Henao
[embed]216649:40779:0[/embed] Burn It Up DjassaDirector: Lonesome SoloCountry: France/Ivory CoastRelease Date: October 12, 2013 (CIFF)  
Burn It Up Djassa Review photo
A valiant, low-budget/DIY film.
Burn It Up Djassa tells the story of an Abidjan ghetto and one young man whose embrace of the ghetto ultimately led to his demise. Tony is a young cigarette seller who finds luck gambling in the ghetto. Despite his polic...

CIFF Review: Contracted

Oct 12 // Geoff Henao
[embed]216646:40778:0[/embed] ContractedDirector: Eric EnglandRating: N/ARelease Date: October 11, 2013 (CIFF)  
Contracted Review photo
Contracted a lot of boredom.
Contracted is an American horror film that... isn't all that horrific. The film follows Sam (Najarra Townsend), a young lesbian desperately in denial over the dissolution of her relationship. At her best friend's party, ...

Review: Zero Charisma

Oct 11 // Geoff Henao
[embed]215045:39792:0[/embed] Zero CharismaDirectors: Katie Graham and Andrew MatthewsRating: N/ARelease Date: October 11, 2013 (VOD/iTunes, New York) Scott (Sam Eidson) is a late 20-something living with his grandmother while hosting a weekly tabletop RPG with his friends as the sometimes overbearing Game Master. When an opening comes up in the three-year-long game and with no interest from any of Scott's other "friends," he desperately recruits Miles (Garrett Graham). However, when his friends begin to gravitate towards the much cooler, hipper Miles, a psuedo-rivalry is started between the two. Zero Charisma hones in on these two drastically different types of nerds, as Flixist Editor-in-Chief and I defined as the nerds and "the nerds."There's Scott, who is sometimes narcissistic, constantly demeaning towards his friends, and a generally unlikable guy. Then there's Miles, who's cool, calm, and collected, yet prone to moments of being "holier than thou" with his undercover nerdiness.  The funny thing about Zero Charisma is that these characters are people I've both known and seen in my life. Their portrayals are extremely accurate, right down to the wardrobe choices of Scott and Miles. They contrast between Scott's metal-inspired vests and shirts and Miles' cardigans and band shirts. But beyond their physical appearances, their performances were remarkable. You can't help but laugh when Scott goes into a hissy fit, yet immediately feel terrible about it right after. It's this sincerity that helped make Zero Charisma so good. Scott is unlikeable character from beginning to end, but you can empathize with him. Again, this might be due in part because I'm accustomed to people like him, but you understand that his personality isn't rooted in bad thoughts but in a troubled past where he found an escape in tabletop gaming. Once that is taken away from him, you feel for him. He's still rotten and acts outrageously, but at least you can understand why. Zero Charisma is a funny film that has just as much heart as it does laughs. Honestly, I wasn't really expecting a heartfelt, feel-good film going in, but I'm glad that it ultimately was an entertaining film. Considering the process the filmmakers went through to create the film, it's great that Zero Charisma was an ultimately good film. Alec Kubas-Meyer: I wrote about Zero Charisma before it was finished, back when it was running a second IndieGoGo campaign hoping to raise finishing funds to get it to South by Southwest. I asked the filmmakers some questions and did something both because I found it interesting and because I hoped it would help out. But somewhere in the back of my mind was a nagging fear that the final product wouldn't have been worth my time or my readers' money. When the first reviews came out of SXSW, I breathed a sigh of relief, because I didn't want . I was excited for the film to come to NewYork, so I could see for myself what I had recommended to people.  Fortunately, the film had its New York premiere at Comic-Con. I honestly can't think of a more perfect place to play it. The press was corralled together in two rows while the regular moviegoers were scattered throughout the audience. I only mention this because it was interesting to see what different groups laughed at. Sometimes the critics would laugh hysterically while the rest of the room was relatively quiet. But there was constant laughter, not because it was bad (like the subject of the Best Worst Movie, Troll 2, which was the directors' previous project), but because it was genuinely funny. I know nothing about Dungeons and Dragons; table top RPGs have never particularly appealed to me even as several of my friends have joined a weekly game and told me of their exploits on the high seas. It's one of those areas where most of the people in that room probably grasped some of the subtleties a lot more than I did, but it didn't make a difference in the end. This isn't really a story about the game, even if that is the apparent focal point. It's a story about the people who play the game, and what it can make them do, and what it means to play games. It's a strange film, in part because its main character never really grows up. He's an aging man, but he acts like a teenage brat, and that's true for almost the entire movie. The ending gives him the slightest bit of redemption, but for the most part it's an unending downward spiral. Scott does something stupid, then something stupider, then something stupider, and Zero Charisma follows him down that rabbit hole. But that's how people are sometimes, and the interplay between him and the others was consistently fascinating, even if it hurt me to watch some of the more awkward scenes. But even then, I laughed and laughed and laughed. The film is a celebration of nerd culture that will appeal to people who aren't nerds. That's one hell of an accomplishment. 81 - Great
Zero Charisma Review photo
+9 Hilarity
There are nerds, and then there are nerds. Nerds may like to flash a retro gaming shirt or spout Star Wars trivia, whereas nerds tend to obsess over their interests and fascinations. It's cool to be proud and comfortable...


Coldwater trailer, poster feature Flixist quote

I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl right now!
Oct 08
// Geoff Henao
One of my most surprising films of this year's SXSW was Coldwater. Directed by Bellflower's Vincent Grashaw, the film's depiction of an abusive, questionably run reform/boot camp resonated with me strongly, attaini...

Review: Drinking Buddies

Aug 22 // Geoff Henao
[embed]215041:40597:0[/embed] Drinking BuddiesDirector: Joe SwanbergRating: RRelease Date: August 23, 2013 Kate (Olivia Wilde) and Luke (Jake Johnson) are really close co-workers working at a craft brewery in Chicago (Revolution Brewing, specifically). Besides making and selling the beer, their days and nights are spent drinking. Their tight-knit friendship, however, begins to inch towards uncharted territories when they inadvertently find themselves spending a lot of time together during a weekend outing with their significant others, Chris (Ron Livingston) and Jill (Anna Kendrick). Suddenly, the line begins to blur as their attraction to one another begins to blossom into something more. Further complicating matters are Kate's and Chris' problems, as well as Jill's pushiness for Luke to seriously consider marriage. With every beer downed, the tension rises between the two until a breaking point hits. Drinking Buddies focuses on those close, platonic friendships everybody has that always flirts with the notion of developing into something more. Swanberg hones in on the cautious flirtation and uncomfortable awkwardness that tends to result from such scenarios for the film's humor. Its appeal is broad, yet the jokes aren't ever fully thrown into the audience's face. Don't get me wrong: you'll be laughing out loud by some of the banter between Wilde and Johnson, but there are subtle cues that'll have you nudging the "close friend" sitting next to you. Kendrick shines in these scenes where the humor is low key as her facial expressions help sell the awkwardness between Jill and Livingstone's Chris. There's one scene in particular where a simple pause in her tracks sets the joke. The film is full of these little nuances accentuated by the actors' performances. The chemistry between Wilde and Johnson is spot-on and truly reflect the types of friendships I've had and seen in my life. Johnson just has this everyman appeal to him that perfectly fits his laid-back character, while Wilde is able to blend her sex appeal with a "one of the guys" disposition. Like I wrote in the review's subtitle, Drinking Buddies really is as refreshing as a cold beer on a hot summer day, whether it's a PBR or a local craft IPA.
Drinking Buddies Review photo
As refreshing as a cold beer on a hot summer day
Everybody always has that one platonic friendship where the line is constantly tiptoed upon that could lead to something more. As always, that move can never be made due to outside circumstances, such as a boyfriend or girlfr...

Interview: Drinking Buddies (Cast and Director)

Aug 21 // Geoff Henao
I had a video interview maybe half an hour ago. It was the first time I had makeup on. It’s weird. Anna Kendrick: Do you feel like you’re wearing a mask? No, not really. It’s very subtle, so I think she just touched up my natural beauty. I’m just kidding. AK: You’re glowing. Am I? Yeah. It’s beautiful. Jake Johnson: It’s probably a pregnancy. To be honest, I didn’t even know it was going to be set in Chicago. That’s my hometown, born and raised. How important was that to you [Joe Swanberg] to have it set in Chicago? And Revolution [Brewing], too, of all breweries. That’s actually a really amazing brewery. Joe Swanberg: It was really important, and [was] actually one of the things that Jake and I talked about at the very beginning. The possibility came up of maybe shooting it somewhere else. It was almost like if we don’t do it in Chicago, we might as well not make the movie. JJ: The financiers wanted us to go do it in Boston, and everything got very real. Joe and I had this talk where, “Okay, it works in Boston, and here’s how.” It just doesn’t. It’s a Chicago movie. JS: When I thought about the idea… It’s the first film I made where I was location-specific in that way, and I had ideas in mind. In the beginning, I wanted them drinking at the Empty Bottle; I wanted them playing pool in that specific pool room. How I pictured shooting it, and once I went in that direction, then it was fun to go all the way there and really make it a Chicago movie. But also, hopefully not in that kind of celebratory inside baseball way that I’ve seen in some films sometimes, where it’s like, “Alright, we get it! It’s Chicago!” But if you live in Chicago, it feels right to you. It’s the kinds of places these characters live. JJ: It doesn’t feel like it’s on a sound stage at CBS where they’re like, “We love Chicago!” JS: Let’s stick up [Chicago] Cubs stickers everywhere. That’s how I felt. It felt really natural to me, but still has that appeal to people who don’t live in the city, or aren’t aware of the city. They’ll understand, “Oh, a big brewery! A really nice bar/venue place, pool table, very distinct.” What was the… poop, I’m brain farting right now. AK: Did you just say poop instead of shit? Yeah. AK: Awesome. Sorry. What was the influence for the film? What inspired you to direct it? JS: A couple of things. Definitely craft beer. Just being, for about five years now, I’ve sort of been immersing myself in that world, and just really discovering it, just figuring out that there were such a thing as a craft brewery, and feeling like those companies were pushing the envelope. Also, there’s kind of a David and Goliath thing going on in craft beer right now anyway because the macro breweries control something like 92% of the market, and every craft brewery combined is the other 8%. It’s tough for them to get shelf space, it’s tough for them to convince people, especially in a bad economy, to spend extra money on a product that they could get for really cheap. All that stuff was interesting to me to think about, characters working in that world. I have friends that I went to high school with and friends that I’ve met since that work at breweries around Chicago, so I kind of starting to learn a little about that. I also wanted to make a movie… I just wanted the films to kind of grow up with me and sort of always reflect where I was at certain points in my life. As I look around at people that are going from their late-20s into their early-30s now, I’m seeing a lot of friends of mine really getting serious about the marriage question, and the idea of settling down. People have different responses to it: some people are really excited to make that commitment and do that, and other people really freak out and buck against it. I just wanted to throw a bunch of characters into that point in a relationship. The ending itself is kind of muted. That last scene is very silent, and it’s not the way more films like that would conclude. Did you have any other ideas? Did you shoot any other endings? JS: We thought about taking it a little… The additional ending wouldn’t have changed anything, but it was one of those instances where in the editing room, it became abundantly clear to me that that other scene wasn’t going to add anything to the movie. I’m really trying to think about that lately, making each scene important and valuable. And also, a lot of the influence from other movies I’m taking and thinking about lately have to do with having a somewhat satisfying ending, which is nice to finish a movie and walk out with a smile on your face. I think some part of me used to think that was really lame, and these days, I’m actually really excited about that. Ron Livingston: Well Joseph, you’re getting older. You got a son now. You got to think of the future. JS: I think you can get away with more. If you let the audience walk out with a smile on their face, they’ll forget that you rubbed their face in shit, maybe, for 90 minutes. I think it buys you a little bit with those people. That scene at the table, which was initially the second to last scene, as soon as I put it into the cut, I was like, “Okay, we’re done telling that story.” How do you guys feel about your characters? Jake, your character, I think, was probably the most innocent in that he never really crossed over that boundary, but was still tiptoeing that line a lot. How do you feel about your character’s guilt? JJ: I think that’s interesting. Olivia [Wilde] and I were talking about that, but I think that, and Anna and I had a discussion on this, but I think that Luke is pretty guilty. I think the lines are blurred. I don’t think there are necessarily good guys or bad guys in this movie, and it’s what I like about it. I think it’s a realistic look of people… I don’t think Luke is ready to get married. I think he’s very scared of that, but I don’t think he’s ready to lose Jill, so he’s in that tough spot that I think a lot of people get into. It’s like, “I’ve been in this long-term relationship. I don’t want to lose it, but I’m not ready to grow up and get married and take that last step.” This is his last kind of tango with this fantasy girl where everything falls into a perfect line of his fiancée, or soon-to-be fiancée is gone, here’s this other girl coming on hard, and then in the movie, he gets beaten up, cut up, and then he realizes he wants to go home. I feel that he’s guilty, and what he did, he shouldn’t be proud of, but in this movie, everybody’s got blood on their hands. Even Ron’s character, when I was re-watching, I’ve seen the movie three times… That’s a good segue, by the way. JJ: He’s a snake, too! They were on that hike, and I didn’t realize it in the first sitting, but he was planting these seeds of, “Oh, he’s making moves on her from the beginning!” There were a lot of laughs in the audience when you pulled out the wine. JS: I was so happy. When you say, “Had I met someone like her, you…” Obviously, when we were shooting it, [the reaction] was exactly what I was looking for. It’s so difficult to know whether that’s going to play. And it played so well. It hit well. It hit really well. JS: And everybody was instantly, “Ooooh!” JJ: Well, I missed it watching it. JS: Yeah, that’s what I mean. JJ: And when I saw it up there [at its premiere], I thought he was just like… I really like that thing of I missed it before. AK: I think I was worried, in that moment, it would feel just [controversial], and I could feel the audience going, “What’s her face doing?! What’s happening, what’s happening?! What is this moment?!” JS: I’m sorry to detour a little bit, but that’s why movies always still need to be shown in movie theaters. It’s great that people can order it and download it and watch it on their laptops, but you do not catch moments like that as well on your laptop. You just don’t. JJ: Well, I missed it until last night, because that whole thing you [Livingston] were saying about the whole, “15 years ago, if I would have…” I just thought Chris is just kind of thinking, and talking out loud, and getting into character. I didn’t realize he was making a play right then until the audience laughed, and I went like, “..what? Oh my god, this fucking snake’s at it!” When Anna did the move of, “I’m feeling nervous right now,” when I saw that, she’s taking the reins, so this is on Jill, but really from the beginning, when [Chris said], “Oh, you’re a teacher? That’s really impressive,” I was sitting there like, “Oh, he was making plays from the start!” Yeah, she was feeding off of his lines. And what you [Swanberg] were saying, too, about the crowd participation, you definitely miss that if you’re at home, in your dark room, on your laptop. AK: Also on your cell phone. JS: And checking your email occasionally. AK: Like just opening a window. I won’t miss anything important. JS: I can still hear it. Going off of what Jake said with your reactions. Your character is very awkward sometimes, and I really like that, because… I don’t know, you play that well. AK: Awkward? Thanks... yeah. I didn’t mean anything negative about that, sorry. Your character was very nervous, but she was innocent, too, except for that one moment. JJ: I get the feeling you were late with that part. AK: I mean, yeah. When we were making it, and then even, which surprised me, when I was watching it, I kept thinking like, “I should just say something. Just say something.” And I wasn’t sure what Joe was going to end up using, and I knew if he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t use it. But even so, I was like, “Oh Anna, you are fucking it up. Say something!” But I think that’s who she is. She’s comfortable with silence. I don’t think it’s as much that she’s nervous. I mean, there are certainly plenty of moments where she’s nervous, because she’s in uncharted territory a little bit sometimes, but I think for the most part, she knows who she is, and that’s based on a person I know whom I’m very impressed with. I just wanted her to be comfortable just listening because she’s cool and she knows who she is and she doesn’t have to constantly chatter, which I have a tendency to do. What I meant with the awkwardness thing, your facial expressions, that’s what I meant. You play them off, like especially in that scene where Ron’s character starts spitting game at you, laying down that line. AK: Yeah, I think she is a little unsure of what to do with that… RL: Spitting game? JJ: The subtitle of this is going to be, “Ron Livingston is spitting game.” Sorry, that’s my hometown vernacular coming out. JJ: It’s perfect. He was. I’m a professional, guys. I’m wearing a tie! JJ: I didn’t realize he was spitting fucking game. AK: This is a girl who has been in a relationship since she was 21 and has just been comfortable with that and hasn’t really noticed other guys that much. And then it’s like, “Something… what is happening?” I think she’s a little in uncharted territory, and then she does decide to go for it, it’s not like she’s a victim. But I think that’s exciting that she’s like, “Oh, is something… is something happening?” JS: I think she’s so brave, too, to tell him… It’s something that I’m taking from Kris [Williams Swanberg], my wife. She’s so good at just talking to me and telling me things, whereas for me, any kind of indiscretion or thing I’m embarrassed about or anything, I’m just like, “That’ll get bottled up and never see the light of day.” That stuff starts to eat at you a little bit. Over the course of your entire life, all of the things you should have told somebody, but didn’t… those aren’t necessarily good to just live inside of you. I think that’s such a hard, brave thing to do to look at somebody you love and acknowledge to them that you hurt them or did something wrong to them. But then that’s how people heal and get over things. If everybody in a relationship was just, “Well, I did that thing, but I’m big enough to live with it. I don’t need to bother them with it. I don’t want to hurt them.” You’re just collecting scars over time. I really wanted that character… I think it’s just so admirable. It’s really important to me that that confession happen. And that he [Johnson’s character, Luke] doesn’t confess. He’s just like, “Oh, it’s fine. You’re forgiven.” What he’s really saying is, “I did it, too, but I’m not big enough to acknowledge it to you. I can’t reciprocate right now.” RL: I think that character is the one who, of all of them, is the most able to… She lives and dies by naming the elephant in the room, whether it’s, “We have to talk. The marriage thing is the big elephant in the room.” This kiss thing is the elephant in the room. I feel like, in a way, she kind of teaches everybody else, like you guys, you [Johnson] and Olivia, spend the whole movie getting to that scene in the end where it just hits you in the stomach where Olivia is like, “I’m single,” and it’s like [Luke goes], “Don’t go there, don’t go there, don’t go there.” But you finally need to go there and name what is this thing. And I actually like the fact that, I think Chris kind of gets from interacting with Anna, he actually becomes able to name the thing in the room saying like, “I’m too old for you. This doesn’t make any sense. I don’t know what we’re doing.” I don’t think he’s going to do any better. I think he’s probably either go do the same shit until he’s just old and dead, or find somebody his own age, but I don’t think he’ll ever be able to manage that. But that elephant in the room thing is big in this movie. I agree. Just like a little sidebar back to what you [Kendrick] were saying, you kind of implied that there was some ad-libbing and improvising. Did you stay as close to the script as possible? Everyone: There was no script. Oh really? Oh wow. AK: There was no script. There was no paper. JJ: There was an outline, so we knew what was happening. We knew what the story was, we knew what the scene was, and everything was blocked out, but all of the dialogue was improvised. The story was in place, but the dialogue was improvised. So the chemistry amongst you guys was real then. AK: Things got really weird. RL: It’s funny, because that goes a long way. We get to that first apartment, and you look around and it’s like, “Well, I guess I’m playing a guy who lives here. I guess he’s persnickety because this place is persnickety.” And then he says, “You need to put a drink on a coaster,” and it’s like, “Who puts Olivia Wilde’s drink on a coaster?” And it’s like, “Well, he’s that guy.” It’s like more constricting than having a bunch of lines. That’s true. That’s also how Chicago is. Every neighborhood is segregated, it’s a different a lifestyle, there’s different people. The area fits. Okay, final question: Beers. Do you guys have favorite beers? Especially considering [the film]. JS: I could talk five hours about it. Yeah, right now, if I had to take one beer to an island, it would be Three Floyds Zombie Dust. It’s an IPA. But that changes all the time. That’s just my “right now” beer. What about you guys? Any particulars? AK: I just tried a beer from my hometown called Allagash Curieux. It’s really nice. Jake? JJ: I’ll take a Stoli on ice. Ron? RL: Yeah, I’m going to demure on this one. Alright, thanks guys. That was awesome. 
Drinking Buddies Inter. photo
Anna Kendrick, Ron Livingston, Joe Swanberg, and Jake Johnson walk into a bar...
On an early afternoon in Austin, TX, I had a chance to sit down with the cast and director of Drinking Buddies, which consisted of Anna Kendrick (End of Watch), Jake Johnson (Safety Not Guaranteed), Ron Livingston (Office Spa...


Flix for (Not So) Short: Clapping for the Wrong Reasons

Will this have you clapping for the wrong reasons, too?
Aug 19
// Geoff Henao
Last month, Donald Glover (Community) released a mysterious trailer without context for a project called Clapping for the Wrong Reasons. Last week, it was revealed that the project was a short film written by Glover and dire...

Review: Coffee Town

Jul 09 // Geoff Henao
[embed]216039:40401:0[/embed] Coffee TownDirector: Brad CopelandRating: N/ARelease Date: July 9, 2013 (VOD) Affected by the economic downturn that took his comfortable office job, Will (Glenn Howerton) found himself employed as a website manager. However, with the freedom that the job brings comes a lack of human interaction, so Will takes residence at a local coffee shop, the titular Coffee Town. While stationing his workplace at the shop comes with its benefits, including free wi-fi, his friends Chad's (Steve Little) and Gino's (Ben Schwartz) ability to visit him daily, and getting a glimpse of his crush, Becca (Adrianne Palicki). However, all good things come with the bad, such as Will's arch-nemesis/barista Sam (Josh Groban). When a plan is proposed to turn Coffee Town into a bistro, threatening Will's comfortable working conditions, he decides to take drastic measures to prevent change from happening. Coffee Town is presented as a modern, Office Space-esque comedy that illustrates how our economy has affected business. It doesn't get preachy by any means, but it definitely touches on the human element of being displaced following the recession. Copeland and the cast buoy this with an outlandish, selfish scheme that helps characterize Will and his friends. However, I would have appreciated more of this emotional slant from Will. There are scenes where he opens up to Becca about why he feels so connected to Coffee Town, and that level of depth could have helped shape the film better. The problem I had with Coffee Town is that it doesn't really take risks. As I alluded to a bit when we posted the first trailer, I hoped the best jokes weren't already shown. Well, as it turns out, they were. CollegeHumor have a tendency to push the envelope, and that's something I wish was utilized more in Coffee Town. Sure, there are a few risque moments, like the hilarious "gay/straight" scene seen in the trailer and a ridiculous fight scene that missed its mark, but I would have liked to seen something more edgy. Maybe it's because of how talented and funny the cast is. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is one of my favorite shows and Ben Schwartz' Jean-Ralphio is a scene stealer whenever he's on Parks and Recreation, so pairing them together came with a lot of expectations that weren't met. It's understandable that CollegeHumor would want to play it safe for their debut film, but I was just expecting something more grandiose, both in scope and hilarity.
Coffee Town Review photo
This coffee's a little decaf.
CollegeHumor has been one of the premiere comedy websites since practically the internet got super popular. Before YouTube, before Twitter, before Facebook, before MySpace, there was CollegeHumor providing some of the best co...


LEGO is officially going Back to the Future

Jun 27
// Geoff Henao
Back during Christmastime 2012, Thor brought us news about a LEGO Back to the Future project that was featured on LEGO CUUSO. Receiving enough votes to be reviewed by LEGO (and really, who ever doubted it wouldn't i...

Dumb and Dumber To backed by Universal and Red Granite

Jun 19
// Geoff Henao
Almost 20 years since the original film was released (I'm completely ignoring the terrible excuse of a prequel that was Dumb and Dumberer), the follow-up to 1994's Dumb and Dumber is finally going forward. Dumb and Dumbe...

Box Office Numbers: Supermeng

Jun 17
// Geoff Henao
Man of Steel topped this weekend's box office to nobody's surprise, raking in a resounding $113m (with an additional $12m from its early release). The super comedy This is the End came in second with a respectable $...

Box Office Numbers: Crime Day!

Jun 10
// Geoff Henao
In a surprising turn of events, The Purge AKA CRIME DAY topped this weekend's box office with a resounding $36m made in its opening weekend. The other major debut this weekend, The Internship, made half the amount The Pu...

FlixList: Top 5 Actors to Play Iron Man

Jun 07 // Geoff Henao
Ben Affleck is no stranger to Marvel films, portraying the blind superhero Daredevil in the 2003 film. While the film (and his performance) received a lot of flack, I think Affleck could fit well as the playboy billionaire. However, would Affleck want to return to such a genre film as an ensemble superhero film? Probably not, but at least he would be on the same level as his co-stars. Perhaps brother Casey Affleck would be willing to step into the Iron Man armor? He might not carry the same level of awe as Ben does, but Casey has shown the ability to pave his own path in Hollywood, attaining an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor in the process. While he's mostly done dramatic roles, an action turn could be the next step in his career. Johnny Depp, as we all know, is no stranger to outlandish characters, as his career is made up of outrageous characters. The one thing his illustrious career is missing is a superhero role. While he might not possess a physical presence that most superheroes have, he can definitely turn in a good Tony Stark portrayal. All he would need to do is lay on the wit and charm, and bam: Johnny Stark/Tony Depp. Plus, his name alone would attract millions in teenage girl sales. Superhero film audiences are no stranger to Tom Hardy. His Bane in last year's The Dark Knight Rises proved to be the physical and psychological superior to the Caped Crusader. Hardy, himself, is quite versatile when it comes to his acting. While it would be weird to see someone who's associated with one of the most successful superhero film trilogies jumping ship for a rival studio, Hardy would make a fine Tony Stark. The challenge would be whether or not he could play debonair, but if his Stark portrayal is close to his Eames character in Inception, he should do fine. Of course, nobody can truly fill in Tony Stark's shoes better than Tony Stark himself, Robert Downey, Jr. Let's face it: Despite Marvel's refusal to negotiate new salaries (as evidenced by Terrence Howard's dismissal following the original Iron Man film), Marvel Studios would not be the money factory it is now without Downey. To even flirt with the notion of replacing Downey, Jr. would be the hugest mistake Marvel and Disney could ever make.
Future Iron Men? photo
...if RDJ were to leave Marvel.
A bit of a hullabaloo was spread across the internet when word came out that Robert Downey, Jr. hinted at being done with portraying Iron Man. While salary negotiations haven't begun yet for The Avengers 2, in which Downey, J...


Box Office Numbers: Tanks on Tanks on Tanks

Jun 03
// Geoff Henao
Can somebody look into a potential increase in tank top sales following theatrical releases of Fast and Furious movies? They're guaranteed to make anybody look good, they're the perfect apparel to wear during hot weather...

Review: Missed Connections

May 30 // Geoff Henao
[embed]215755:40158:0[/embed] Missed ConnectionsDirector: Martin SnyderRating: N/ARelease Date: May 7, 2013 on VOD (More information here) Lucy (Mickey Sumner) is getting ready to leave the law firm she works for for a new start in London. In her own words, love isn't luck, it's strategy, and she's attempting to find a man that meets her criteria across the pond. That doesn't bode well for IT man Josh (Jon Abrahams), who's had a crush on Lucy for years. On her final day, Lucy runs into a mysterious Englishman (Jamie Belman) that seemingly fits her type, yet doesn't exchange contact info with him. Her friend turns to the internet to grant her wishes, which Josh and his IT friends intercept. The trio then think up a plan to write various missed connections to lure Lucy out for Josh to romance. If this sounds as creepy and ill-fated as it seems, that's because it is. But hey, we all do crazy things in the name of love, don't we? The general premise is a bit quirky, albeit extremely creepy; then again, aren't most comedies centered around outrageous scenarios? Missed Connections follows a safe rom-com formula of developing a relationship between the boy and girl, but does derive from it by letting the boy and girl "fall in love" before the film ends. However, it uses that to set up a new source of conflict to set up the third act. It's not super innovative, but a good touch. The problem with Missed Connections is that it's not very funny. There are really awkward scenes between Abrahams and Sumner where the film tries to force a laugh out, but it just doesn't work. Could it be a chemistry problem? Maybe. I liked Abrahams energy and would like to see him in more. Sumner was recently in Frances Ha and will be playing Patti Smith in the upcoming CBGB. Missed Connections missed the most important thing in a film: a connection with its audience. Despite some tender moments between Josh and his IT compatriots, Missed Connections felt empty and dead. This is one missed connection you won't mind letting pass.
Missed Connections Review photo
Missed more than just connections.
Missed connections serve as the chosen medium for lovelorn, hopeless romantics who believe in fleeting chance encounters in public. I can say this with confidence, because I used to regularly check missed connections on a dai...

If you smell what The Rock is cooking.
In a weird twist (or ankle lock or double-arm suplex), WWE will help produce a new straight-to-DVD Flintstones special that will feature voice cameos by WWE superstars John Cena and CM Punk, with WWE CEO Vince McMah...


Box Office Numbers: Arrested Development

I blue myself.
May 28
// Geoff Henao
What a holiday weekend, huh? As if Fast & Furious 6 wasn't a big enough draw to theaters this weekend, the (hopefully) final installment in The Hangover trilogy also debuted. Of course, one of these films did ri...

Review: The Arrested Development Documentary Project

May 24 // Geoff Henao
[embed]215699:40138:0[/embed] The Arrested Development Documentary ProjectDirectors: Jeff Smith and Neil LiebermanRating: N/ARelease Date: May 3, 2013 (Buy the film here) The Arrested Development Documentary Project was made by the fans for the fans. With that said, there's a bit of a direction that Jeff Smith and Neil Lieberman follow. The documentary is kind of framed in a way to help bring exposure and awareness to the series, which I believe to be the primary purpose of the project. The doc opens with the two asking people if they've heard about the show to which they, surprisingly, answer in the negative. It then proceeds to follow a loose timeline of the series interjected with interviews and commentary from fans and cast/crew from the show. While the majority of the cast is involved, a few are noticeably missing (namely Michael Cera and Jessica Walter). The framework closes with those same people previously interviewed if they'd give the show a chance, in which they give resoundingly affirmative answers. However, The Arrested Development Documentary Project doesn't really bring any new information for any die-hard Arrested Development fans. Anybody who's thrown marathon screenings and know their difference between Iraq and balls won't be blown away by this documentary. Like I mentioned earlier, this doc is mostly to bring awareness to those who aren't familiar with the series. Unfortunately, the majority of the people who would hear about the doc are the groups of people who have digested everything Arrested Development. Still, the independent project illustrates just how invested and proud the cast and crew are of the show, illustrated not only in their interviews, but just their willingness to be a part of the project at all. The Arrested Development Documentary Project is definitely filled with passion, but doesn't share much new information for those just as equally passionate and invested into the series. If you're a fan of Arrested Development, The Arrested Development Documentary Project is a good refresher on the series and helps illustrate what we all love about the series. However, if you're green on everything Bluth, the doc is made exactly for people like you. It'll blue you away... Maeby.
It'll blue you away... Maeby.
Like a large number of people, I didn't take Arrested Development's cancellation well. To be fair, I preferred to catch the show on DVD rather than watch it during Fox broadcasts because of my personal preference of TV digest...


Trailer: The Lone Ranger

May 21
// Geoff Henao
The latest trailer for The Lone Ranger is here, apparently disproving the last trailer's status as the final trailer. There's even more Armie Hammer, more Johnny Depp, more trains, more horses, and more face paint. Like...

Box Office Numbers: More like Fart Trek Into Darkness

Get it? I changed "Star" into "Fart." 1,000,000 hits!
May 20
// Geoff Henao
Summer's in full swing, yet I've been held back with a ridiculous cold. I bought some Zzzquil Friday night, but it turns out that it doesn't even have medicine in it. Thanks a lot, Vicks. Armed with the magical elixir that is...

Trailer: LICKS

May 17
// Geoff Henao
Directed by newcomer Jonathan Singer-Vine, LICKS debuted at this year's SXSW. While Hubert, Matt, and I didn't get a chance to catch it, the film received some good acclaim. LICKS is about a young Oakland resi...

Latest Nymphomanic production photo is sexy

"Ayy guuuuhr!"
May 17
// Geoff Henao
Nymphomaniac is shaping up to be one sexy ride (hurr hurr hurr). Following the first still from the film showcasing Charlotte Gainbourg about to ride the trike with her two friends and the film's first promotional p...

Box Office Numbers: The Great Catsby

May 13
// Geoff Henao
The Great Gatsby had a moderately decent opening weekend, pulling $51m+ in ticket sales. However, that wasn't enough to take down the superhero-filled Iron Man 3. Maybe if Baz Luhrmann tapped into his feline alter-ego, Baz Purrman, and created The Great Catsby. No yarn or mice would ever be safe again! The rest of the weekend's box office numbers are below. [via Rentrak]

The Great Gatsby soundtrack is available to stream

...with a catch.
May 07
// Geoff Henao
The Great Gatsby is shaping up to be one of the more polarizing films of the year. With Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) at the helm, it's no surprise that his take on the great American novel of the same name has been met w...

Concept art for Darren Aronofsky's Batman: Year One

Nananananana BATMENG
May 07
// Geoff Henao
Concept art from the scrapped Darren Aronofsky-led Batman: Year One adaptation were recently unearthed by the Comic Book Movie guys. The images (which are in the gallery below) show a much more realistic, down-to-ea...

Box Office Numbers: Iron Man Excercises

May 06
// Geoff Henao
Somehow, the third installment of a series of exercises known as "Iron Man" topped this weekend's box office. I didn't even know exercise videos were screened in theaters, let alone suitable places for people to even exercise...

Flix for Short: Hybrids

May 01
// Geoff Henao
Hybrids, written and directed by Patrick Kalyn, is a science-fiction/action short about an ex-soldier, Dakota (Daniella Evangelista), seeking vengeance for the death of her young daughter. In this short teaser for a longer f...

Box Office Numbers: NOT Iron Man 3 Week

Apr 29
// Geoff Henao
I'll keep the festivities short for this week. C2E2 was this past weekend, and my body still hasn't recovered from the sensation overload of art, comics, cosplayers, geeks, and nerds. My other self definitely had a busy weeke...

Live-action Kiki's Delivery Service film confirmed

Adaptation to be directed by The Grudge director Shimizu Takashi
Apr 24
// Geoff Henao
A few weeks ago, we brought news of a potential live-action adaptation of Kiki's Delivery Service to be directed by The Grudge series creator Takashi Shimizu. Today, Twitch has confirmed the film's production, as well as...

Netflix Now: Belated Birthday Edition

Netflix Instant is the gift that keeps on giving
Apr 24
// Geoff Henao
Last week, I had a birthday that brings me uncomfortably closer to 30. Since I'm a dainty lad, I won't say the number, but let's just say my life is going downhill from this point on. Luckily, Netflix Instant delivered some a...

Flix for Short: Dead Space: Chase to Death

Who doesn't like live-action video game fan films?
Apr 22
// Geoff Henao
Last month, my cousin and I played through Dead Space expecting a cerebral, ridiculously scary game. Instead, we just shot through hundreds of Necromorphs and combat rolled everywhere. What a shame, too, since we both h...

Box Office Numbers: Tom Cruise sends sales to Oblivion

Apr 22
// Geoff Henao
It just occurred to me that last week's special Nick Valdez-flavored Box Office Numbers lacked any actual box office numbers. Thanks, Nick; I still love you. This weekend, Tom Cruise did Tom Cruise things to help Oblivion&nbs...
twohundredfiftysixcolors photo

Thoughts on twohundredfiftysixcolors

But not 256 thoughts
Apr 18
// Geoff Henao
twohundredfiftysixcolors is hard to discuss without any outside exposition. It's not a "film" so much as it is a collection of thousands of GIFs played back to back in a somewhat loose progression with no sound, no ...

Chicagoans: Check out twohundredfiftysixcolors this week

4/18 at 6pm, 4/21 at 1pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center
Apr 17
// Geoff Henao
twohundredfiftysixcolors is an ambitious film comprised of thousands of GIFs to invoke a conversation about the art form and how GIFs can relate to the early processes of cinema. Considering just how popular animated GIF...

First official poster for Spike Lee's Oldboy is sketchy

"Sketchy." Get it?
Apr 16
// Geoff Henao
As we get closer to Oldboy's October release date, more and more information will begin to trickle across our monitors, like official production images, trailers, posters, and what Spike Lee was thinking when he thought it'd ...

Box Office Numbers: Evil Bread

Apr 08
// Geoff Henao
Somehow, a film about satanic, possessed slices of bread topped the box office this weekend. Seriously guys, how are you falling for these kinds of things? Oh, wait... Evil Dead. That makes more sense. The reboot/remake/rebir...

Review: Evil Dead

Apr 05 // Geoff Henao
[embed]214272:39427:0[/embed] Evil DeadDirector: Fede AlvarezRating: RRelease Date:  April 5, 2013 When Mia (Jane Levy) decides to go cold turkey from drug abuse, she asks for support from her friends to support her by staying a weekend at an old family cabin. Childhood friends Eric (Lou Taylor Pucci) and Olivia (Jessica Lucas) are joined by old friend and Mia's brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez) and his girlfriend, Natalie (Elizabeth Blackmore). Tension remains between David and the rest of the group due to his inability to show up when he's needed. However, the seemingly abandoned cabin appears to have been used for some sort of cult activity. When Eric finds a book full of evil chants and horrific imagery, known to most as the Naturon de Monto, Mia's struggle against sobriety becomes an afterthought as each person struggles to stay alive. Let me just go right out and say it: The hype is real. Evil Dead stands as proof that horror remakes can be done properly. Moving beyond the legendary status that the original film holds, this new Evil Dead film can stand alone as a truly great horror film. Terms like "reboot" or "remake" do fit this film, but they don't do this film justice. Rather, Evil Dead stands as a rebirth, both for the franchise, but for horror films in general. However, that's not to say that there aren't nods and allusions to the original film. While the film closely follows the events of The Evil Dead, it takes these homages and cleverly spins them so that they feel fresh and interesting while still serving as bits of fanservice to the franchise fanatics. Alvarez and his writing partner, Rodo Sayagues, are fans themselves, and set out to make a film that would appeal to old and newcomers to the series. They definitely hold The Evil Dead's influence on their sleeves, but are able to go to extreme levels that the original never could have, whether because of budgetary limits or technological deficiencies that existed 30 years ago. Alvarez was basically given full reign with the film, and his vision of a proper, modern day Evil Dead delivers. More interestingly is his decision to shy away from CGI, thus creating a more realistic tone for the film that other contemporary horror films lack. The film is bloody, brutal, gory, and everything you'd want from a film that carries the Evil Dead moniker. The cast shine in their established roles/archetypes, which are the typical roles you'd find in every other horror film. However, the film's third act flips not only the established script, but what's essentially expected of an Evil Dead film. It's gutsy moves like this that truly showcase why Alvarez was hand-selected to bring the franchise to new audiences, despite his inexperience with Hollywood. Bruce Campbell, Rob Tapert, and Sam Raimi all gave Alvarez and Sayagues their blessings, and their trust in them didn't go unfounded. Any fears you may have had about the film tainting the Evil Dead name can, and will, be alleviated.
Evil Dead Review photo
A horror remake done right.
[This review was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Evil Dead was going to be the shining gem of this year's SXSW jus...

Interview: Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues (Evil Dead)

Apr 04 // Geoff Henao
Coming up with a good villain for this film… Fede Alvarez: She’s a good hero and villain, which is what I think made her [Mia] so unique. Even though she’s bad ass and people are scared of her so much, I think at the end of the day, she’s everybody’s favorite character because everybody’s with her since the beginning moment the movie opens. I feel the people kept with her because she’s doing something brave. Since day one, the moment the movie opens, you see a character that is ready to do something that is very ballsy. We all have our vices and our bad habits and we all wish [we could say], “You know what? I’m going to stop doing this.” I think it was great the way we created that character. I think since the first minute of the movie, people admire her because she’s ready to do something like that. And of course, everybody’s patronizing to her, and everybody hates that, and she’s the one that’s right. She’s a great character, and then suddenly, she’s the worst thing that can happen to you. She’s so scary. That’s what I like about her: She’s the hero, but she’s the villain at the same time. The pressure of remaking Evil Dead, since it’s such a beloved movie for horror fans around the world: Is there this pressure like, “I’ve got to make this the right way, but also want to do it my way. I don’t want to necessarily compromise what I see for this film, but also acknowledge that there’s definitely this expectation.” FA: At the end of the day, Sam [Raimi] told us at the beginning, “You have to go and write and make the movie that you want to see in theaters – not [the film] that the fans want to see in the theaters, not that Sam Raimi in the theaters, but what you guys [Alvarez and Sayagues] want to see in theaters.” Rodo Sayagues: We were fans, too. FA: He knew we were fans and followers of his movies as kids. It was like giving two guys in the audience [like saying], “You know what? This movie’s yours. You do it.” Because we’re completely outside of Hollywood, we’re from Uruguay, we’re fans of his movies, and he gave us the chance to write and direct this movie. It’s amazing. I think that comes out of the genius of Sam Raimi to take such a risky choice. Since you were outside of the Hollywood system, how did you get hired for this job? FA: That short Panic Attack [Ataque de Panico] was just another short [and] a lot of things I was doing, but it ended up an overnight hit on YouTube. It was in the right moment at the right time, I guess, because Facebook was exploding and YouTube was putting up the HD format that didn’t exist before that. Suddenly, it was an HD short, and everybody had Facebook at that moment, and it was when everybody was opening their accounts, so everybody was sharing it on Facebook. Today, nobody cares what somebody posts on Facebook, because you post so much stuff. Back then, it was quite new, so it was suddenly like boom, everybody was passing that on, so it became a viral, overnight thing. It had half a million views in one day, in night together. Through that short, just suddenly, I got a lot of attention in Hollywood, like I woke up and had 150 emails from the industry. I thought it was a joke at the beginning, but it was real. Then I went to LA, met a lot of people, and some of the people I met was Sam Raimi and his team, and we’re big fans and followers of his career, and soon I was the guy he wanted to work with. And also, he gave us… he closed the deal with us to make a movie, it was a blind deal. He said, “I want you to make the movie you want.” And out of that deal and that relationship, we ended up making Evil Dead. I asked some of the others earlier, but there are homages and allusions to the first film. Did you feel like you had to include that to kind of keep it in the Evil Dead realm? FA: As a fan, I want to see that. They didn’t want me to have the car in the film. They mentioned that, yeah. FA: Sam was like, “I wanted you to do your movie.” And I was like, “Yeah, but last time we saw the cabin, everybody died, and Bruce turned around and everybody was gone, but the car was left there. I want the car to be there.” When I walked on set the first day, I could see the car, and I felt like it was holy ground and needed to be respected, all of those elements. And I did that in kind of a religious way in so many levels that I bet you didn’t even notice in the movie. You know, in the original movie when the first girl was going to turn, she’s like reading those poker cards out loud and saying the sequence of cards that she started repeating, and she turns around and she’s possessed… [There’s] a deck of poker cards on the table in the living room and every one of those cards are assembled in the same order that she named them in the original movie, so there’s details like that that you’ll spot them if you pause it. But like that, the house is flooded like that. I think it was a way to bless every part with things from the original, and then we did the same thing with the audio. You’ll hear the voice from the original cast in the movie. When Mia shoots David and starts screaming, she’s screaming, but in the air, you can hear the original omen, the “One by one, we will take you!” You can hear that in the air, somebody screaming that. That’s from the original movie, so there’s a lot of little details like that. Some of them, you will know it as one-liners out of context, stuff like that, but just because we like it, not because somebody asked us. I don’t think they even know that they’re there. One of the controversial scenes from the first one, you also decided to keep, was the tree rape sequence. How did you decide to do it? Was there ever a decision to take it out? FA: It wasn’t a decision to take it out. Actually, we didn’t write it in the original draft. RS: It wasn’t there until the third draft. FA: It wasn’t until production, like… Rob Tapert, who created the original movie, it was Rob’s idea when they made the original movie, came up with the idea of the tree rape. In production, I don’t know why, but suddenly, [we said] “We need that tree rape in the movie.” The reason why we didn’t write it was because we felt we were never going to get away with it with MPAA these days. That was sex and violence altogether, my god, there’s no way. RS: We had to find a way to make it happen not as explicit as it was in the first film, the original one. FA: I think it’s quite explicit. I think the only way it’s not is that it doesn’t seem like she’s enjoying it. In the original movie, she’s going, “Oh yeah, baby.” And that’s like… that’s wrong. In this one, we wanted to show how painful that is, something like that would not be enjoyable at all. I think Jane [Levy] did a great job portraying that pain. It also serves its story. It’s like whatever was inside that demon in the forest is now inside of her. She takes that with her in the house. That’s why she said, “There’s something with us, and I think it’s inside the room right now.” She means herself. Your short, Panic Attack, was kind of in CGI with the robots, but the decision to use practical effects here was more like, not an homage, but more of a desire to kind of connect with the horror from the original. FA: It’s not that I’m not a fan of CGI, it’s just I’m filmmaking. It depends on what you have to tell, and the story I wanted to tell back then was an alien invasion movie. Unfortunately, I couldn’t build those robots for real, it would have been tricky, but I thought I would do it at some point with scale models. But it worked for what it was, and you have to use the techniques you have available to tell the stories you want to tell. That’s what it’s all about. With this one, we didn’t need it. We could have used it, but we didn’t need it. Most importantly, we wanted the movie to [last] as long as possible. We have a responsibility with the original classics. We want it to stand as long as those, and in order for a movie to last long, you don’t want CGI because CGI looks great today, but looks like shit in five years. We could have gotten away with some weird creature at the end that could have been awesome, but then you watch the movie in ten years and [say], “Wow, what were we thinking back then?” That’s the bad thing about CGI, I think. One of the great movies these days have CGI end up getting old very fast. They were saying you want it to be as timeless as possible [with] no cell phones, no modern technology. It could be anytime, anywhere. FA: It could be in the 80s. I think the only thing that dated it a little bit was the car. I regret that a little bit. I should have used an older car, but then the rest was… it was risky. We were worried that the audience were going to wonder why they don’t take a cell phone and call the police. They don’t, and people go with it. They didn’t really care about it, which was awesome. Are you excited to come out here and talk to the fans? FA: Oh my god, yes. I could stay here until I’m 50, believe me. I’m going to enjoy the festival, I know that. I want to watch movies, I want to be around people.
Evil Dead Interview photo
Fede Alvarez and Rodo Sayagues walk into a bar...
[This interview was originally posted as part of our South by Southwest 2013 coverage. It has been reposted to coincide with the theatrical release of Evil Dead.] Finally, the last of my SXSW Evil Dead roundtable interviews s...

R.I.P. Roger Ebert photo
One of the greatest film critics has just passed away.
Hushed silences and whispers would fill the theater. Every person in the audience would ask the person next to them, "Hey... is that Roger Ebert?" Time and time again, especially since I began writing for Flixist in 2010, I w...

Interview: Bruce Campbell and Rob Tapert (Evil Dead)

Apr 03 // Geoff Henao
That’s a nice little pocket square. Bruce Campbell: My wife is always tweaking it. That’s awesome. BC: I iron my own clothes. I press my own clothes. My first wife taught me how to iron. Oh really? BC: Yup. You start with the collar, iron it flat, and then you flip it over and iron that. Then you do the back, then you end with the sides and the sleeves. I’ve watched so many YouTube videos. I can’t figure it out. BC: Oh, ironing is key. Ironing is important… depending on what you’re going for. That’s true, and if you mess up, you could cover it up with a jacket anyways. BC: Well, here we are… How often were you guys on set? BC: Rob was there. Rob Tapert: I was there... They made it seem like you were on the set a lot. BC: No, I was working on my day job, on Burn Notice, the TV show. Rob was the man in the trenches there. But you know, as Rob explained it, if you’re doing your job right as a producer, you don’t have to be there looking over the guy’s shoulder. Nobody wants that. RT: I had an office there, and there would be days where I would go there, spend all day in the office, kind of doing stuff related to another thing I was doing, Spartacus, in the Evil Dead office in case anything came up. Saw Fede [Alvarez] and the guys at lunch, talked about [stuff], then go afterwards and talk to the actors, go back to my office, and that’s [all]. I wouldn’t actually hang around on set because I think [being] on set’s really boring. If I’m there, something’s wrong. BC: It’s true, it’s true. It’s a good way of looking at it. RT: Or I will have watched dailies, then I would go out and say, “Oh that was really great,” or “You know, we should keep our eyes on this.” But otherwise, it ran pretty smoothly. Now Bruce, I know you were the most resistant, reluctant to do the remake. BC: Well, not necessarily. I wouldn’t characterize it like that. Well, the things you were letting go… It’s kind of like letting go of Ash… BC: I didn’t really have an issue. Look, to us, it was if Sam was on board, we’re on board. We were surprised at how on board he was. Rob and I came up afterwards, after the fact. RT: We didn’t want to do a bad version. I had seen a lot of remakes that were a bad version, so until there was a proper filmmaker… and it all worked out right. We needed somebody who was going to write the script and direct it, and kind of take ownership of… take the hand off the franchise into their own hands, and that’s what happened. There were many missteps we could have made. BC: And we were happy to relinquish Ash. We didn’t want to put that on some actor, “Blah blah blah, you’re going to play the part. You’re going to imitate me.” Because that would have been a direct remake as opposed to its own thing. BC: Yeah, yeah. This gives it a lot more space, and this way the series can operate independently in different universes. We can still make Evil Dead 4. There’s nothing to do with this movie. This [Evil Dead] gives it a lot of space, and the series can operate independently in different universes. We can still make Evil Dead 4. [It] has nothing to do with this movie, whatsoever. Nothing, just a creepy book, that's the only thing they have in common. If you guys do go forward with an Evil Dead 4, would you still be considering continuing in this more modern universe? BC: Sam's been talking about it. Rob and I are like, 'Show us a script.' [...] If we did another, Army of Darkness 2, which is really what it would be, it wouldn't be Evil Dead 4 because Army of Darkness changed its name a bit. So really, it would be Army of Darkness 2. RT: Nowhere was it called Evil Dead 3. It was Army of Darkness everywhere. Fans knew it as that, and in foreign countries, they called it whatever… La Casa 3 or something. What were things that Fede did that you saw in dailies [where] you were like, “No, we don’t want this.” Anything you kind of objected to? RT: No. There were things… Bruce, Sam, and I watched the movie when it was about 80% shot, and we went, “Oh, this is really good. This is great. He’s done a great job,” and we said, “These are areas where we want you to think about. We think you should beef up something. BC: Just to punch it up a little. RT: Punch it, make it bigger. BC: Go a little crazier. RT: He took that opportunity in a couple of extra days, and we made some of the things bigger. We were happy with that. Was the raining blood, was that your guys’ thing? RT: No, that was Fede. He fought for that forever. He had to have it. BC: It’s pretty unique, though! Not many movies have a blood rain sequence. How does it feel to come out to [the premiere] and to have fans out there cheering? BC: It feels great! It’s kind of like we’re being provided for now 30 years later. We’re sort of getting paid now for what we did a long time ago. None of us really made legitimate money off of [them], especially the first one. It was just the fact that we wanted to get into the film business, that’s what it represented. This is sort of odd that it’s nationally released, it looks good, real photography, good visual effects, the music is over the top, and it’s just great to see this movie all spit polished and looking nice where people can’t tell how you did the effects. That’s all you want, we just didn’t have money to hide our effects. Was there any question it was going to be practical effects vs. CGI? RT: There was a little discussion over what we were going to do and how. There were shortcuts you could make in production that save you a day, a couple of days of shooting at the end of a schedule if you opted to say, “Oh, we’re just going to split that tongue in CGI.” Fede fought against that, and he was right to fight against it, and [we] ultimately said, “Okay, you know what? We’re going to go down that [path]…” BC: As a result, the film also has a retro look, a pre-CGI look because there’s no ghostly image going around. Even though it’s a very different film, it’s going back to that 80s genre of horror films where now, it’s kind of more like that hostile, very violent [film] where there’s no point, but this is more gore because it’s scary as opposed to gore for the sake of gore. RT: And found footage. Do you have a favorite sequence in the new film? RT: I like the nail gun sequence, the nail gun and crowbar sequence [where] Natalie ends up armless [and] crawling across the floor [saying], “My face hurts!” BC: I like Jane Levy’s never-ending scream where she just stands there and she just screams and shit is blowing around the room. You’re like, “What? What?!” And she just keeps screaming and keeps screaming. That was really cool. They said [at the post-screening Q&A] that your scream was mixed. BC: Yeah, it’s in there a couple of times. RT: But Jane’s a real screamer. You get actresses who can scream and some who can’t, and Jane was a real screamer. BC: Yeah, she could scream. There are a few homages and allusions to the first film. Was that all on Fede, or was that you guys kind of encouraging it? BC: We didn’t discourage it. I mean, look: It should be Michigan state, so it’s [in] Flint, Michigan we’re talking about, you see the car, you’ve got the book. There were things to give people the basics. Fede had a lot of wiggle room to go around that. RT: And I hassled him about the car all the time, not that I was against having it in, but I wanted him to explain why it was there. At the end of Evil Dead, it gets sucked down a hole. BC: Sucked into a vortex. It’s in 1300 right now. RT: Yeah, so what is that car… No, it traveled with you into the future… depending on the ending. BC: We don’t know where the car is. RT: “Why’s the car there?” [Mimicking Fede] “Oh, the fans are going to love it.” That’s not good enough. You’ve got to tell me why that car’s there. To his credit, he just kept saying, “The fans are going to love it. We have to have it.” BC: He used that line on me, too. We were mixing the sound, and there’s one part where we just wanted to keep pushing the music while the possessed chick is kissing… the blood kiss underneath the stairs, and she’s just barfing in her mouth. Fede just wanted the music louder and louder. I said, “Fede, you’re crazy. The music’s too loud,” and he goes, “No, the fans would insist on it.” I was like, “Okay… fine,” so we left it. In his soul of souls, he was like, “They need it.” Going forward, you guys [talking about a sequel], if you make Evil Dead 4, [would it be] separate, so this Evil Dead [sequel] would be its own thread, its own world? BC: Yeah, connected to the first movie, not to any of the original movies. So if you made Evil Dead 4, it would be its own separate [film]? BC: It would matter not. RT: Evil Dead 4’s the one with the guys in the walkers.
Evil Dead Producers photo
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