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12 films based on Nintendo games we need (right now)

Aug 25 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
What: Metroid Who: Duncan Jones  Why: In 2004, Nintendo teamed up with John Woo for a Metroid film, and I'm glad that fell through. As much as I enjoy Woo's films, the bombast and slow-motion doves don't really fit with what makes Metroid such an interesting franchise. It's about isolation. It's about being in an alien world and surviving. Duncan Jones made Moon, which is all the evidence you need that he could pull this film off. Plus, he was behind the underappreciated Source Code, which Jones himself likened to a video game. As far as I'm concerned, that's street cred enough to make this film happen. I think Darren Aranofsky would also be a solid choice, but he'll be a bit too busy working on: What: The Legend of Zelda  Who: Darren Aranofsky Why: The Legend of Zelda is a lot of things at once. It's about adventure and intrigue. It's about solving puzzles and fighting giant monsters. It's not really about the intensely introspective things you often see in Aranofsky's films... but so what? That doesn't mean it couldn't be. This is not the only Zelda film I'll list, but let's try something a little different. Link is the eternal blank slate, even in the entries where he has some amount of backstory. It would be like Noah. Hell, that film already had the rock people. Noah was a really interesting film, and it was proof that Aranofsky could do something on a larger scale. I don't think Zelda would never to be any bigger than that. I don't even know that it would have to be as big as that. Regardless, I think an Aranofsky Zelda film could be really special. What: Captain Rainbow Who: Sion Sono Why: I bet you forgot about this game, right? That would make sense, since it never came out in America and is among the stranger things Nintendo has put out. But, whenever I think, "Weird Japanese shit," I think immediately of Sion Sono. I think he could take the franchise and do something completely bonkers with it. It wouldn't even necessarily be good, but it would absolutely be unique and a little (or lot) bit crazy. With a franchise like Captain Rainbow, I think that's really the most important thing. What: Fire Emblem  Who: Peter Jackson  Why: We know that Peter Jackson can do fantasy epics, and perhaps giving him something of the sort outside of the Tolkein universe would do everyone some good. It would have to be more Lord of the Rings than The Hobbit, but if he can tap into his former self, then I don't know that there's anyone better to give an adaptation an appropriate focus on both the quiet intimate moments and also the intense, battle-driven ones. It could probably be argued that he would also be a good fit for Zelda (especially with regards to fights with giant boss-like creatures), but we've got more than enough Zelda entries on this list already. What: The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time  Who: Steven Spielberg Why: Here's where the adventure comes in. Few people can do adventure like Spielberg can, and I think it would be all kinds of awesome to see him take on something like this. Think about all of those crazy dungeon puzzles. This is the man who made Indiana Jones. It would be a film that really focuses on those sequences and on the struggle to save Zelda. And Spielberg has already shown an interest in videogames (and Nintendo platforms in particular) with his role in creation of the extremely enjoyable Boom Blox. (I mean, nothing he could do with the series could be more ridiculous than the nuked fridge sequence in Indiana Jones 4.)  What: Super Smash Bros  Who: Gareth Evans Why: I mean, duh. Nobody does close quarters combat quite like Gareth Evans. And the only version of a Super Smash Bros. movie that could possibly work is one that takes full advantage of the physical capabilities of its characters. Realistically, the cute and cuddly Nintendo characters would need to have humanoid films and the variety of art styles would have to be toned down, which would be all kinds of weird... but if the action was good enough, I think we'd all forgive them. And if there's one thing you can guarantee with Gareth Evans, it's that the action will be great. What: Animal Crossing   Who: Richard Linklater Why: An Animal Crossing film would have to be a slice-of-life sort of film, one that makes seemingly mundane tasks interesting. Few directors can do that as well as Linklater. And sure, much of that comes from the brilliance of his characters, but an Animal Crossing film could be a spectacular ensemble. There is already a cast of cooky characters, and there's definitely more that could be done with that. It could take place over a year, with the film checking in on holidays much in the same way that the game does. What's the Halloween party? How's Christmas? Let's do some fishing or insect catching. Let's get more bells to pay back our debts. Done properly, this could be a really compelling, low-key film. If anyone could pull it off, it would be Richard Linklater. What: Mario Kart  Who: George Miller Why: This one's kind of obligatory. Cars, power ups, explosions, yada yada yada. It would be awesome. Maybe take some elements from F-Zero like Mario Kart 8 did and you'd have something pretty cool. But... we have Mad Max already, and it's not like that's done. What would we get from a hypothetical Mario Kart that we wouldn't get from Mad Max? I'm not sure. But if anyone was going to do it, I'd want it to be him.  What: The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess Who: George Miller Why: But, I mean... imagine this. Imagine a film that does for horse combat what Fury Road did for car combat. Imagine crazy stunts and epic action. This would be a radically different Zelda than Aranofsky's or Spielberg's, going full-on, balls-to-the-wall crazy. But it would be fitting. Much like Mad Max, each Zelda could be its own self-contained narrative. A chance for filmmakers to play with style and build a fascinating world. Imagine a badass (female!) Link that crashes her way through dungeons and crushes giant beasts on the way to become a hero. The setpieces would be epic, the stunts practical, and the end result a masterpiece (probably). What: Super Mario Bros.  Who: Brad Bird Why: Of all of these, coming up with this name was the hardest. We've seen how terribly a Mario film can go, and though I think many Nintendo franchises could work better as animated films, I think it would be a necessity for Mario. You can't turn bowser into a human. It doesn't work, and it doesn't make sense. But you know who can make some damn fine animated films? Brad Bird. Somewhere between The Incredibles and Ratatouille lies the perfect Mario film. It's probably a fair bit closer to the former than the latter, but regardless, the man has shown off plenty of versatility and could make up for the 1993 disaster. What: Pikmin Who: Guillermo del Toro Why: This might seem like an odd choice for what would almost certainly be a children's film. He's better known for horror and action, but del Toro is great at science fiction, which is what Pikmin is. The man knows how to tell a tale of adventure on a grand scale -- even if that grand scale is garden sized -- and in all honesty pikmin are kind of creepy. There's a certain level of horror to a swarm of living plants and the giant creatures that attack them that del Toro could deal with quite nicely. Pikmin would also have to be an odd mix of introspective character development following Captain Olimar's isolation on a strange planet and epic set pieces following the Pikmin's adventures trying to help him, and del Toro can handle both these things as Pan's Labyrinth and Pacific Rim showed us respectively.  What: The Legend of Zelda: Windwaker Who: Hayao Miyazaki Why: OK, maybe we're going a little over board on the Zelda adaptations, but that's what makes the franchise so wonderful: it's so malleable and adaptable to varying styles thanks to the fact that it, at its heart, is simply a reoccurring legend espousing themes of adventure, wonder, growth and exploration. Who better captures those themes on screen than the legendary Hayao Myazaki and Studio Ghibli? That sense of childish awe that Windwaker created as a new island crept up on horizon is what Miyazaki has been doing his entire career. We'd wager his work inspired the cel-shaded Zelda adventures. Maybe Nintendo can coax him out of retirement.
Top 12 Nintendo Films photo
And the filmmakers we need to make them
Video game movies are, nine times out of ten, not awesome. There have been exceptions, but generally speaking a movie is just a shade of the franchise it's supposed to represent. Why watch it when you can play it? But with Ni...

5 dinosaur movies you should watch instead of Jurassic World

Jun 12 // Nick Valdez
We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story Ah, We're Back. Truth be told, I had no idea this films existed for a long time. My only run in with it was seeing the awesome looking poster art on the cover of its VHS. It was a little bit after that where I finally watched it and I wasn't disappointed. So I'm guessing the same will happen for you. Instead of watching terrifying super monsters chase a bunch of dumb people around a park for the fourth time in a row, watch some dinos hang out in the Natural History museum.  Besides it was produced under Steven Spielberg's Amblimation line and stars John Goodman, so you know that's a good sign. Clearly it's better than Jurassic World.  The Land Before Time Ugh, this movie is so saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad. Why would I recommend thiiiiiis? At the very least, I can argue that a young group of dinos that want to find their families will make you cry because it's well written and not because it's badly animated like Jurassic World. In fact, just cry this weekend and cut out the middle man.  Theodore Rex Remember this? Whoopi Goldberg wishes you didn't. Why not rub this terrible decision in her face while you pretend she's actually stuck in that one manga, Gantz. Or you can just keep crying since you're so alone and would rather write about a movie than go see one yourself. it's not like you have friends to go with you anyway.  Dinosaurs I remember when I had a family once. I used to watch movies with them all the time. I actually saw the first Jurassic Park with my dad. He didn't like it much, so it pretty much changed how I felt about it too. But you know what I had a good time with? ABC's Dinosaurs. If I remember correctly, it was part of the early TGIF block and had a lot of good puppet work. But they always get to be a happy family by episode's end. That's more than I ever got. God, I'm so lonely. My family. Where have you gone? I miss you so much.  Jurassic Park But the best choice is to deny the future and head back into the past. I was much happier back then. With my family, with my loving home, with my friends. Maybe if I watch Jurassic Park instead of Jurassic World, the future will never happen? I can trap time within this little capsule and repeat it for as long as I want! Everything new is old and everything old is new again!  Birth, life, death, rebirth, relife, redeath, rerebirth, rerelife, reredeath, rererebirth, rererelife, rereredeath, rerererebirth, rerererelife, rerereredeath, rererererebirth, rererererelife, rererereredeath Those are my suggestions for five things you can watch that aren't Jurassic World! Are you going to see it? 
Dinosaurs  photo
More than the world
While Jurassic World takes the *ahem* world by storm, I never really connected with the idea. I don't have as big of a connection with Jurassic Park as a lot of folks do, but at the same time, I love me some dinosaurs. Good t...

Seven movies that need a black and white re-release

Jun 03 // Flixist Staff
Grand Budapest Hotel is arguably the most compelling film in a particularly compelling filmography. One of the things that makes it so fascinating is its use of aspect ratios, using visual cues to define different periods within the timeline of the narrative. It's also gorgeous and full of vibrant colors, as are all Wes Anderson films. But I would love to see The Grand Budapest Hotel in black and white for exactly the same reason that Stephen Soderbergh released a version of Raiders of the Lost Ark in black and white: Because without the color, you're forced to focus on everything else. Everyone knows how fantastic the compositions are in Wes Anderson films, but without color, you can get a whole different appreciation for the man's artistry. This is more academic, perhaps, because you would unquestionably lose something in the translation, but I think you could learn a whole heck of a lot from seeing those colors completetly desaturated. But on another level: rather than having an ultra-vibrant past, going black and white would have a very different feel to it. It would fit with the 4:3 aesthetic, which is most commonly associated with (at least in film) black and white movies. By using it as a specific choice for certain sequences rather than across the entire film, Wes Anderson would subvert audience expectations in a massive way. Color is such a fundamental part of his craft. But that's not all he has to offer. A black and white release of The Grand Budapest Hotel would prove it beyond a shadow of a doubt. - Alec Kubas-Meyer The Coen brothers have a knack for visual style that emphasizes contrast and sharp distinctions between light and dark. (They even did the black and white The Man Who Wasn't There in 2001.) So many of their films are candidates for black and white viewing, from noir/noirish fare like Blood Simple (1984), Miller's Crossing (1990), and Fargo (1996) to the screwball homage The Hudscuker Proxy (1994). My vote, though, is 1991's Barton Fink, which is somewhere in my Coen brothers top three. While there'd be something lost when the color is absent, the costuming, textures, and performances might help get that color across. Fink himself, played by John Turturro, cuts such a striking silhouette whenever he's on screen, like some pretentious ancestor of Henry from David Lynch's black and white masterpiece Eraserhead. - Hubert Vigilla Would anyone even notice? - Alec Kubas-Meyer The Wachowskis' first film, and arguably the one that's aged the best, Bound (1996) is a stylish noir thriller and lesbian romance shot on a shoestring budget. The financial limitations made the Wachowskis focus on the craft of their camera and their visual storytelling. After a string of ambitious, big-budget boondoggles (most recently Jupiter Ascending), going back to Bound-territory might be the best idea for the Wachowskis' next film. There's such stark contrast in so many shots of Bound, and a loving attention to the way that hard shadows and defined lines can enhance a scene and its mood. The leads Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon have this multi-era femme fatale look about them, as if they could exist alongside classic female leads like Barbara Stanwyck on the one hand and 90s-it-girls like Sharon Stone on the other. On top of its style, Bound is also noteworthy for being a sex-positive lesbian movie at a time when this was mostly unheard and taboo. - Hubert Vigilla Alex Proyas' Dark City (1998) was one of the least appreciated movies of the 90s and one of my favorite movies in high school. (I am so old.) A mix of hard-boiled noir, science fiction, and fantasy, the movie was made with light and shadow in mind. So much of the imagery goes back to masters of German expressionism like Fritz Lang, with plenty of nods to Metropolis (1927) and Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). The casting and the costumes help keep the world of the film in this noir-like state that would be perfect for black and white viewing. Dark City would look gorgeous in black and white, like some peculiar noir film from another dimension. The Strangers, the pale-faced subterranean villains of the film, would be particularly chilling in stark contrast, and the occasional bright spots in the nocturnal film would seem like sunlight on a big screen. Later tonight, I may give the film a watch in black and white just to see what it's like. - Hubert Vigilla What makes black and white look good is contrast. The difference between the light and the shadows is everything in making a compelling black and white image. Honestly, that's true in any image, but particularly when there's no color to distract you. The film noir "look" is black and white not just because it was cheaper to shoot black and white and they wanted to save a few bucks; it's because the high contrast, colorless look fits the atmosphere they created. Cigarette smoke (smoke in general, really) also looks particularly compelling in black and white. They create an intense, dramatic mood. Blade Runner is a noir. I'm certainly not the first person to say that (I'm not even the first person on this website to say that), but that doesn't make it any less true. You look at those images, and they have exactly that kind of gorgeous high contrast look that you get from an old classic. But it's in color. And while it's a spectacular use of color, a black and white version of the film would heighten that noir style. It certainly couldn't replace the particular (and particularly gorgeous) color palette of the original, but as a companion piece? It'd be fascinating and beautiful. And hell, it's been eight years since the Final Cut was released. I think Blade Runner is due for some new alterations. - Alec Kubas-Meyer I love the films of Kelly Reichardt. She has a unique ability to force the best performances out of her actors, but the reason her movies should get a black and white treatment is her distinct way to tell a story through the environment the characters inhabit, be it how it is captured through the lens or how the actors and props interact with it.  The is especially true in Meek's Cutoff, which follows Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Paul Dano and others on a track through the dangerous Oregon desert. Meek's Cutoff, like The Grand Budapest Hotel, is shot in an untraditional aspect ratio (1. 33: 1) and these portrait movies lend themselves especially well to the simple beauty of black and white photography (see last years Ida for proof). I would love to see every Reichardt movie in black and white, but Meek's Cutoff is a no-brainer in my eyes. It needs to happen. - Per Morten Mjolkeraaen  The Godfather Part III is easily the weakest of Coppola's masterpieces. That's not to say it isn't great, but it has it's issues. One of the main ones is Gordon Willis' cinematography, which goes way overboard on the shadows and lighting. It's clear to see why, as this is the most somber and dark of the the three films, but maybe an all or nothing attitude wasn't the best call in this case. Just check out the image above and they heavy shadow crossing over Al Pacino's face. But wait, it actually looks pretty good. That's because it's in black and white. Ditching the color for the film would allow it's darkness to shift from overbearing to dramatic. The negative space created in black and white is perfect for a film where shadows creep out of every corner of every shot. It also fits the tone of the film fantastically, which is nihilistic and focuses heavily on Michael Corleone's gilt. Finally, it would be a great nod to the classic gangster films that inspired Coppola. As the film comes full circle with Michael holding an orange and dying so too would the black and white of this, the third film in the franchise, bring the genre back to its beginnings. - Matthew Razak
B&W For Everyone! photo
It ain't just for arthouse
When director George Miller mentioned that his preferred version of Mad Max: Fury Road (aka The Best) is in black and white, there was a resounding, "Um, what?" followed by a unanimous "OH HELL YES!" When he announced th...

Five movies you love that aren't as good as Mad Max: Fury Road

May 22 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
Why it's beloved: Gravity is a technical marvel. It's the kind of film you have to see in theaters, because the scope of it is literally infinite. It's about swirling alone in the blackness of space, where the slightest mistake can kill you at any moment. We gave it a 100. I wouldn't have given it a 100, but I understand why Matt did. It's a technical marvel, and you spend much of the film wondering how the heck they did it. (Short answer: Computers. Long answer: Extremely complicated technical rigs and setups and choreography. Also, computers.) Seen on the biggest possible screen in 3D, there's nothing quite like it.  Why Mad Max is better: But the issues arise as soon as you decide to think less about the impeccable technique on display and more about what it is they're displaying. Mad Max may not have the same quality of CG or 3D that Gravity has, but it's the same sort of spectacle. For every moment Gravity had that made me gasp, Mad Max had ten. But it's not just about the look of it. Gravity's fundamental failing is its inability to let viewers figure things out for themselves. Everyone just keeps talking, even when it literally threatens their lives. They should be conserving breath. But instead, the audience needs to be told everything, or else... I mean, how could we possibly figure it out? Gravity assumes we're dumb.  Mad Max doesn't.  Mad Max knows that we can figure things out. Only a handful of things are ever explicitly stated, and it never feels like dialogue for the sake of dialogue. They don't sound like they're speaking to the audience. They sound like they're speaking to each other. Like people. We're shown things rather than told them. You learn everything you need to know from damn good filmmaking, not an overlong screenplay. Why It's Beloved: In my review of The Raid 2, I hailed it as the best action film ever made. I had a lot of reasons for that. You're welcome to read about them. But now, just over a year later, I'm at a crossroads. I say that The Raid 2 is the best action movie of all time, but... Why Mad Max Is Better: This has been eating at me since about halfway through my first viewing of the film. If The Raid 2 is the best action movie, but Mad Max is a better movie, and Mad Max is an action movie... does that make it the best action movie of all time? I still don't know the answer, but I do know this: Mad Max is, on the whole, a superior viewing experience. The action in The Raid is beyond incredible, and the "fights" are undoubtedly better than the ones in Mad Max, but after the first viewing, those long sequences of political blather start to grate. By the third time I saw The Raid 2, I was rolling my eyes. (Worth noting: The original The Raid doesn't have this problem. It is also not as good as Mad Max, but it is fundamentally closer to Mad Max than its sequel is.) It's fine, but it's definitely not as good as what Mad Max has to offer. The few moments of downtime in Mad Max are all excellent. They drive forward the characters and/or the narrative in interesting ways. There isn't a single wasted frame in the entire goddamn movie. You could cut half the political bullshit in The Raid 2 and the film would be better for it. But every last second of Mad Max is essential. Given a choice, I would probably rewatch individual action sequences from The Raid 2 over those from Mad Max. But if I had to choose one film to watch all the way through over and over and over again? No contest. Mad Max is is. Why It's Beloved: Joss Whedon took a group of superheroes and made an ultimately fascinating and extremely enjoyable team film. With the added charm that is so uniquely Whedon, I mean, what's not to love? It's big, it's funny, and it's got people wearing silly costumes. Why It's Not As Good As Mad Max: The second time I saw Mad Max, I went with my friend Brian. He doesn't really like Joss Whedon. After Guardians of the Galaxy (also not as good as Mad Max: Fury Road) came out, he said, "That's the movie that proves Joss Whedon is a hack." After we got out of Mad Max, he said it again. "This movie clinches it." He called the movie "life-changing." He would definitely give it a 95 or higher on the Flixist review scale. He would not be wrong to do so. I didn't name The Avengers 2 here intentionally. Not just because the critical response has been much more muted, but because the film's treatment of women has come more under fire than the original The Avengers (not that it was the best there either). Point is: Joss Whedon is known for writing strong female characters. That's his claim to fame. But none are as strong and as badass as the team in Fury Road. Let's be clear: A 78 year old woman does her own stunts. But here's the thing: A 78 year old woman has stunts to do. You know what that is? The. Best. Suck it, Whedon. Why It's Beloved: Last year's Academy Award Winner should not have won the Academy Award, but that didn't stop it from being an incredible film. But what really makes it so freaking amazing is the way it uses its technical prowess to create something uniquely cinematic. When most films are so same-y, it takes something like Birdman to kick you awake and remind you that movies can be and are magical things. Film is a magical medium. It takes reality and can bend it almost to the breaking point without you even noticing it's happened. You think you're looking at a straight path but it's curving you around. And suddenly you realize that you had no idea what was happening and now you're on a different path entirely. Birdman's one-take conceit does all of that and more. Why It's Not As Good As Mad Max: But it doesn't do it as well as Mad Max. Mad Max isn't a two hour take; it's a two hour car chase. But here's the thing: That car chase feels so much more real than anything in Birdman. Even ignoring the way Birdman breaks the rules in order to bring you into Riggan Thompson's head, it shatters illusions in order to wear its point on its sleeve. Birdman hits you over the head with its message because the characters monologue about it constantly. It's all very nihilistic, and though it's (extremely) compelling, it's less compelling than watching people develop during a car chase. The characters in Mad Max develop subtly but poignantly. No one in Birdman really develops at all. And while that may work with the narrative that's being told, watching Michael Keaton be sad after monologuing about things is far less momentous than watching Tom Hardy give a tiny thumbs up to a woman who he had been pointing a gun at minutes before. Why It's Beloved: Drive was the best movie of 2011. It was the first film that I saw at a press screening that I would later pay to see. And... I'm not actually sure there has ever been another example of that. I love the film. The nearly silent but completely deadly driving protagonist was pretty darn compelling. And though it has ultra-violent action in it, it's the journey of a Real Human Being that made everyone love it. (I mean, that soundtrack, though.) Why It's Not As Good As Mad Max: You may have guessed that I intentionally reduced the character of Driver to "nearly silent but completely deadly driving protagonist" in order to make the comparison between him and Max even easier, but the reality is that they both fit into the same mold. But the difference is that Driver spends the film trying to keep a woman safe because she can't fend for herself. What Max is doing is far more interesting. He's helping Furiosa and the others, not saving them. He doesn't have to be the one to get revenge, because at any given moment, he's not the biggest badass in the truck. The focus on cooperation between two equals without any need for a romance makes Mad Max an ultimately more meaningful film. 
Mad Max Is Better photo
#6: Literally everything else
I've seen Mad Max: Fury Road twice in the past week. Crucially, I paid New York City movie ticket prices to see Mad Max twice in the past week. Next week, I will all-but-definitely pay to see it a third time. I don'...


10 MCU films we won't see photo
10 MCU films we won't see

10 Marvel Cinematic Universe Movies I'd Love to See That Will Probably Never Happen


Disclaimer: Forbush Man does not make this list
May 04
// Sean Walsh
If you told me that, after Iron Man came out, Rocket Racoon would steal the hearts of people all around the world in a Guardians of the Galaxy film, I would call you a gosh darn liar. If you told me that we would see Howard t...

FlixList: The Top 10 Movie Robots

Mar 06 // Nick Valdez
10. Wall-E (from Wall-E) I didn't like Wall-E, but even I'll admit how important of a robot Wall-E is. Although its nostalgic design and lack of speech was a shameless pull at cuteness, Wall-E is still a robot that lives in a future that reminds of of Mike Judge's Idiocracy. And anything that reminds me of Idiocracy automatically deserves a place on any list.  9. T-1000 (from Terminator 2: Judgment Day)  Although the T-1000 spent most of its time resembling the dance sequence from TLC's "Waterfalls" music video, it is the best machine in the Terminator franchise. Even more so than Schwarzenegger's T-800 and especially greater than whatever the hell the T-X (I assume the X stood for boobs) was. The only reason the T-1000 lost because it was the villain and was cheated. I imagine if there was a rematch now between the T-1000 and the current Schwarzenegger, things would end a lot differently.  8. Astro Boy (from Astro Boy)  Astro Boy is one of Osamu Tezuka's best works, and should be heralded as one of the best robot fictions overall, but since I can only count movies (and not the awesome manga or anime) it's only at number eight. The 2009 film adaptation of the series looked good, but just lacked the spark of the originals. Also, the kid has friggin' rocket boots man. Every kid wants rocket boots.  7. Robot (from Robot & Frank) Robot & Frank is a deliciously charming film. It's about a retired burglar named Frank who's slowly receding into dementia as his son buys him a robot companion, named Robot, who helps him steal an antique copy of Don Quixote (in one of the hilariously inspired moments of the film). As the film goes on, Robot somehow develops a personality (as one is projected onto him) and becomes just as endearing as Frank. And when the ending hits, I challenge you to keep your eyes dry.  6. 80s Robot (from The Muppets) 80s Robot seemed like a throwaway gag, but quickly became one of the funnier (and self-referential) inclusions in 2011's The Muppets. Its simple R.O.B. like design, its Dial-Up modem, and its offerings of Tab and New Coke make a perfect additions to this list. Sure Robocop may be cool at stomping down crime, but has he offered anyone a cool beverage? NO.  5. MechaGodzilla (from Godzilla vs. MechaGodzilla) Since Pacific Rim is essentially a reboot of Godzilla Vs MechaGodzilla, it only feels right to add MechaGodzilla to the list. How is it not the fifth best robot ever? It's everything Godzilla wishes it could be but with robot parts, it was built by a planet of apes who lived in a black hole or something, and Godzilla can only defeat it by ripping its head off! I mean, come on!  4. SICO (from Rocky IV) "Happy Birthday, Paulie"  3. SAINT Number 5/Johnny 5 (from Short Circuit) When a robot develops feelings, normally that's when you dismantle the thing. Yet Short Circuit's Johnny 5 gets away with it for being so damn adorable. What other robot immediately makes you think of Lou Bega? What other robot could smooth talk a woman and win her over with "More Than a Woman"? Does Robocop care whether or not a woman is more than a woman? Do the evil cowboy robots from Westworld have enough of a heart and will to get into a woman's underclothes? Does A.I.'s Gigolo Joe- wait, yeah he'd probably care. Whatever, Johnny 5 is super cool and is the reason Wall-E was so well received.  2. Good/Bad Robot Bill and Ted (from Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey) Bad Robot Bill and Ted were rude, crude, and totally removed. They killed Bill and Ted, were rude to the Princesses, and even try to take over Battle of the Bands. Then Station (an alien recommended by God who can split himself into two) builds the Good Robot Bill and Ted and the then they all fight and holy maloney this was all this the same movie. It was one of the greatest climaxes in movie history. Can't wait to see what Bill and Ted 3 brings, so I hope Good/Bad Robot Bill and Ted could make a comeback.  1. Iron Giant (from The Iron Giant) Vin Diesel stars as a giant robot that teaches an entire town the true meaning of #FAMILY and not-Communism. Which means The Iron Giant is secretly Fast and Furious Part 10 (Fasten Your Seatbelts), a sequel in which Dominic Toretto has passed on and now lives as an alien artificial intelligence. As he grows closer to a child (which brings flashbacks of his time as a Pacifier), he remembers that life is really all about fast cars and then throws himself at meteor as redemption for forgetting that life lesson.  Did I forget your favorite movie robot? Did I just forget Robocop on purpose? What are robots anyway? Feel free to talk it out below! 
Top 10 Movie Robots photo
Domo arigato, Mister Roboto.
[This feature originally ran with the release of Pacific Rim two years ago, but with the new robot movie Chappie now hitting theaters, I figured it'd be a fun revisit!]  In honor of Pacific Rim releasing July 12, I,...

FlixList: Ten NEW Cartoons that Deserve Movies

Mar 05 // John-Charles Holmes
  10. Over the Garden Wall Cartoon Network’s first foray into the world of mini-series was with the hauntingly beautiful Over the Garden Wall, a tale of two brothers, Wirt and Greg, lost in a harsh and mysterious forest. As they press onward, they encounter a number of oddities that bring up imagery of classic tales like Peter Rabbit and Alice in Wonderland. If this one were a movie, imagine this one playing out like a really dark Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. But why is this modern classic so low on the list? Easy—it exists already as a miniseries about an hour and a half in length. You could go ahead and watch this one in a single sitting and you’d be getting the movie experience already. I just wouldn’t mind actually seeing this one fleshed out a little bit more story and adapted to the big screen.   9. The Legend of Korra The Legend of Korra started off by offering quite the grand promise—It’s Avatar: The Last Airbender but with adults and robots and kissing! What could possibly go wrong? Well, turns out a lot actually.  The quality of the show seemed to fluctuate back and forth during its stilted run, but I’m willing to chalk a lot of that up to having to fill four whole seasons with stories to tell. I think a little bit of restraint could do a lot of good for Korra, and perhaps boiling it down to an essential two hours might just be the way to get the story audiences want to see from a new Avatar without any of the extra fluff.   8. Superf*ckers James Kochalka’s rude ‘n’ crude teenage superhero comic melodrama was recently adapted into a series of shorts by Frederator that was criminally underrated. Essentially imagine Watchmen if all the superheroes were teenagers, but instead of being filled with drama and angst, it’s all the dumb shit that teenagers really do—like constantly thinking with their genitalia and getting high all day. The setup is already perfect for the typical R-rated comedy, but there was actually a lot of material from the original comics that could additionally be adapted into a full length story. It’d definitely make for one gut-bustingly gross-out look back on the internet generation and the recent explosion of superhero obsession fueled by it.   7. Lakewood Plaza Turbo Video games are starting to make a huge comeback in movies lately. Wreck-It Ralph and Adam Sandler’s upcoming Pixels have made good on bringing some of those nerd fantasies to life, but why not try and make something that feels like a video game without using Pac-Man or Donkey Kong? Lakewood Plaza Turbo could be just that thing. Only existing right now as a pilot for an upcoming Cartoon Network series, the premise of a mall where video game characters work and socialize could make for an awesome animated “hang-out” movie in the vein of Kevin Smith films, but with the added angle of actually feeling like a video game and not like an advertisement.   6. Bee and Puppycat Bee and Puppycat is the magical girl fantasy for a new generation, except with all the action-packed superhero parts downplayed to a minimum. What you're left with is a post-post-modern slice of life with a fantasy twist that would probably feel at home with the French New Wave. What would a movie adaption of a superhero temp and her weird cat/dog/thing look like? Well, if it’s anything like the animated series thus far, it’d be a lot of gorgeous imagery and then loafing around on the coach eating snacks and watching reality television. So basically a good version of Garfield: The Movie without the hideous GCI cat. Puppycat could still be voiced by Bill Murray, though. 5. Regular Show Fan favorite Regular Show owes a lot its charm and success to its appreciation and constant homages to pop-culture and films of the 80’s and 90’s. It’s not too unusual for an episode to just flat out be an 11-minute version of some of the kitschiest of these nostalgic films like Over the Top and Big Trouble in Little China, so why not go all out and make the ultimate feature length homage to everything generation-X with a Regular Show movie? Mordecai and Rigby are already the classic slackers incarnate, so imagining this one up on the silver screen isn’t too hard to do already, regardless of if they go the pure parody route or with something more original. 4. Homestar Runner Starting off as highly shared internet vignettes, characters Homestar, Strong Bad and others became immortalized amongst millennials in the past decade. Even today, the two brothers who created Homestar Runner are doing very well as hotshot television writers. So now, with Homestar Runner slowly making a comeback on YouTube, the time is ripe for movie studios to get the Brothers Chaps in for some studio meetings. What kind of movie could you even get out of Homestar Runner as source material? Why, the only option that short-form gag-heavy comedies have to rely on when adapted for film—the road trip movie. Sure, generic as hell, but you just know that in the hands of the Chapmans, it would be the funniest damn road trip movie you’d ever seen. Even if it’s just about Strong Bad driving a bus from end of Town to the other. 3. The Venture Bros. With every passing season of the quintessential Adult Swim show, fans have had to wait longer and longer for increasingly grandiose episodes of this twisted Johnny Quest parody. The show’s epic and convoluted structure already lends itself to a 3-hour seat warmer and would actually serve as the perfect way to conclude the show, once that ending is reached.  It’s clear that Venture Bros. has been getting more cinematic over the years all while pushing the envelope for animated (yet tasteful!) sex and violence. By trading the TV-MA rating for an R, the show could finally tell the ultimate blood-drenched tale of the manic depressive Venture family the way it was always meant to be told. 2. Gravity Falls The recent Disney Channel sleeper hit about a brother and sister discovering the mysteries of their uncle’s hometown has gained the reputation of being the Twin Peaks for a new generation, and that title is well earned. A full length mystery adventure would definitely deliver on the same offbeat adventures as the show and would be a great opportunity to up the stakes for a sleepy Oregon town on the edge of the supernatural with Disney level production. So much so that even the show’s creator, Alex Hirsch, has even gone on record saying that he could imagine the show running for three seasons and ending with a movie. And if we learned anything from Community, the second you give your fans this kind of promise to latch on to, they’ll never let go of it. Speaking of Dan Harmon… 1. Rick and Morty Rick and Morty is one of the most unexpected surprises to come out of recent cartoons with its simple premise-- the adventures of a drunk Doc Brown and his oblivious grandson. What starts as a great setup for some crass humor eventually yields way to some truly great sci-fi tales and nihilistic musings on the chaos and uncertainty of the universe at large. It comes as no surprise that this is partly due to the legendary Dan Harmon acting as co-creator and writer to the show. Much like the other mature entries on this list, a Rick and Morty feature would allow the darkly hilarious duo to pull absolutely no punches, but would also give us a true full fledged Back to the Future adventure. Rick and Morty is just as refreshingly hilarious as it is ingenious, and for that reason, it gets my vote for the new cartoon that needs a movie more than any other. It would be sure to make you laugh, make you cry, and even make you vomit in your mouth. Just a little. And honestly, isn’t that what good animated movies are all about in the end?
Top 10 New Toons photo
These ain't your grandad's cartoons
Did you hear the recent news? They’re going to make an Adventure Time movie, and honestly, that’s pretty darn rad. I love a good cartoon to movie adaption—and not just a live action adaption or remake, we ho...

FlixList: Six abandoned movies that Kickstarter could have saved

Feb 20 // Flixist Staff
Stanley Kubrick's Napoleon Stanley Kubrick's meticulousness was (is?) legendary. He was one of few truly genius directors, and he threw himself into his projects. If you see it in a Kubrick film, it almost definitely means something. (Though what things may mean is undoubtedly up for debate.) But the project that consumed him most was one that never saw the light of day. Though he had numerous failed projects, the one that stung the most was a failed biopic of Napoleon Bonaparte. Kubrick essentially became a Napoleon scholar in the process of setting this film up, learning everything he could about the man in order to make what would probably have been the best epic biopic ever made. It may have been his magnum opus... but alas. Not everyone was an enamored of the idea as Kubrick, and he was unable to convince financiers to give him what he needed to pull off his (ludicrously) grand vision. (Looking for a cast of tens of thousands in order to pull off an accurate and realistic portrayal of battles will do that.) And of course, the same things that kept it from happening back then would keep Kickstarter from being able to fund it. No, the film would never be able to make enough to actually front the costs of a production like this, but few to no Kickstarter film projects are funded solely by backers. But the world has changed since Kubrick died, and it's possible that a Kickstarter campaign could have built a groundswell of support to convince some big spender(s) to pick up some of the slack. -- Alec Kubas-Meyer Alejandro Jodorowsky's The Sons of El Topo/Abel Cain and King Shot Alejandro Jodorowsky has undergone a semi-resurgence in the last few years now that his seminal works--El Topo, The Holy Mountain, and Santa Sangre--are easy to get in the United States. But Jodorowsky had a 20-year drought as a filmmaker beginning in 1990, unable to get any projects off the ground. Two notable Jodorowsky films that never got made are a sequel to El Topo and a gangster film called King Shot. The El Topo sequel (variously titled The Sons of El Topo and Abel Cain) would have starred Marylin Manson and Johnny Depp as brothers in search of the island on which their father, El Topo, is buried. King Shot, a metaphysical gangster picture, was going to be produced by David Lynch and star Nick Nolte, Manson, Asia Argento, and Udo Kier. It's unclear if actual scripts existed for either of the two projects, though there is some concept art and vague notions of a plot that can be found online. Jodorowsky's no stranger to projects that got away (see the documentary Jodorowsky's Dune, which, come to think of it, I would pay money to see produced). Yet given his klout as the father of midnight movies, it seems like these two Jodorowsky projects would have come about if crowdfunding were a thing in the 1990's and early-to-mid 2000's. Instead, it's crowdfunding that gives us The Dance of Reality and the forthcoming Endless Poetry. -- Hubert Vigilla David Lynch's Ronnie Rocket It's easy to think David Lynch has done it all. From his brilliant surrealist directorial debut, Eraserhead, to his return to Twin Peaks in 2016 - 25 years post its original run. However, there is one movie he's always wanted to make, but never could; Ronnie Rocket.  Ronnie Rocket was to star Michael J. Anderson as a three-foot tall man who could control electricity, as long as he was plugged into an electrical supply from time to time to charge his batteries. Oh, also, there was to be a detective who sought to enter a second dimension, which was made possible by his ability to stand on one leg (no wonder it didn't get the funds it needed, I mean, I can't even imagine the special effects costs to make this happen...)  It's sound incredibly bizarre, and therefore, incredibly Lynchian. Sadly, he will most likely never make this today, as the industrialism that's synonymous with everything he creates is ruined. Untouched and sacred industrialism has been killed by the damned youths and their spray-cans, or just simple architectural modernisation. -- Per Morten Mjolkeraaen  Shane Carruth's A Topiary Shane Carruth's second film, Upstream Color, was a daring and idiosyncratic work of art and a fitting follow-up to his mind-bending debut Primer. Upstream Color is easily one of my favorite movies of this decade. The movie obsessed me so much, I wrote an 8,000-word analysis. But before Carruth made his misfit love story about mind-control worms and personal narratives, he spent years developing a movie that fell apart. That movie was A Topiary, the plot of which sounds just as slippery as Upstream Color and Primer, if not more so. Split in two parts, A Topiary would follow an informal gathering of strangers who are convinced there's a recurring and meaningful starburst pattern that can be found wherever they go, and a group of pre-teen boys who find a machine that creates strange robotic animal creatures (featured briefly in the beginning of Upstream Color). Somehow the two are linked. Both David Fincher and Steven Soderbergh were excited by the project and wanted to executive produce the film. Carruth spent years learning to do CG so he could create the creatures and do the visual effects for A Topiary on his own. Unfortunately the proposed price tag was $14-$20 million, and with only Primer under his belt at the time (budget $7,000), the project fizzled. Carruth wouldn't be able to get seven or eight figures through crowdfunding, but if the campaign showed genuine enthusiasm from an audience, it might have prodded some money-people to fork over the dough. (Maybe Carruth should consider crowdfunding for his next movie, The Modern Ocean.) -- Hubert Vigilla Guillermo del Toro's At the Mountains of Madness Guillermo del Toro and screenwriter Matthew Robbins wrote a screenplay adaptation of HP Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness back in 2006, and have been fighting to get it made ever since. A combination of the high budget required (the story was long considered unfilmable) and studio discomfort with the bleakness of the material have thus far prevented it from happening. Del Toro has occasionally come close to getting it made, most recently with Universal Studios in 2011. However the studio, uncomfortable with del Toro's refusal to pare down the R rated material to a more family-friendly PG-13, opted instead to pull of the project before filming began. Lovecraft's work has been adapted to film a number of times, most notably (and often) by Stuart Gordon. Those films are fun, but I would argue they convey little of the cosmic existential horror that makes Lovecraft's work what it is. On the other hand del Toro's films, even the more mainstream English language ones, contain traces of that darkness, though usually to a more positive end. We've never seen him go for the hopelessnes he would need for At the Mountains of Madness, but for his fans, and old-school horror fans in general, the prospect is mouth-watering. Del Toro hasn't given up on getting it made through the studio system, and raising the kind of budget necessary through something like Kickstarter would be a tall order. That said, if every true-blue Lovecraft fan still waiting to see his work done justice on the big screen were to give just a dollar, I reckon it could happen. -- Ciaran McGarry Neil Blomkamp's Alien OK, this one may be newer and Kickstarter is around, but there's no way it's ever going to happen. Blomkamp revealed some amazing concept art for a made up Alien film he was randomly thinking about, but with Prometheus hogging up the franchise they'll never, ever, ever green light this. Fox has no idea what it's doing and there is no way in hell they'd jump on such a cool idea from such a stand out director in the world of science fiction. This is basically impossible to occur and even if a Kickstarter was started for it Fox would have to give permission and they wouldn't in a million years. I don't say things are impossible much, but this is impossible. I will eat a shoe if it ever happens. The level of this not happening is so great that God is coming down and confusing our language in punishment. This will not... Wait? It is? Oh... better find a shoe. -- Matthew Razak
Kickstarter, Our Savior photo
Well... maybe.
We all know that Kickstarter is pretty cool. (Heck, one of our writers used it to fund his last short film.) And film projects tend to be pretty safe bets; while video game Kickstarters routinely fail in a spectacular fashion...

4 Spider-Man villains we PROBABLY won't see in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Feb 13 // Sean Walsh
White Rabbit: Having more in common with Batman villains than Spider-Man villains, White Rabbit has no actual super powers, and mostly relies in gimmicks like a carrot-shooting umbrella and robot rabbits. When your aesthetic is Lewis Carol and one of your nemeses is Frog-Man, you have made a disastrous go as a villain.    Swarm: Swarm is a mass of Nazi bees. Seriously. From Wikipedia:  Fritz von Meyer was born in Leipzig, Germany and became one of Hitler's top scientists. Escaping capture after World War II, he became a beekeeper or apiarist in South America, and discovered a colony of mutated bees. Intrigued by their intelligence and passive nature, von Meyer attempted to enslave the queen bee, but failed and the bees devoured him, leaving only his skeleton. The unique qualities of the bees caused his consciousness to be absorbed into them, allowing von Meyer to manipulate the hive to do his will, although some of his skeletal remains are inside the swarm itself. His consciousness merged with the swarm to the extent that they become one being. Nazi bees, ladies and gentleman. Rocket Racer: A hard-luck case with big brains, Robert Farrell used his intelligence to turn to crime to support his family, engineering a rocket-powered skateboard.He went legit eventually, but for a while this dude was racing around on a rocket skateboard committing crime. Yikes. Big Wheel: Naturally, with a last name like Weele, there's not much choice but to build a gigantic death-wheel and begin a life of crime. The Tinkerer, a slightly less obscure villain who is far more likely to appear in the MCU, built Jackson Weele his weapon of circular destruction after a deal Weele made with our pal Rocket Racer went south, a deal that resulted in Weele's apparent death. Twenty years went by before he reappeared, dabbling in heroics, but Big Wheel remains one of the biggest losers in the Spider-Verse. Bonus: Spider-Ham!  Peter Porker, Spider-Ham isn't a bad guy. He's just an alternate version of Spider-Man, but remains incredibly unlikely to appear in the cinematic universe because he is an anthropomorphic pig version of Spider-Man. A boy can dream though...
4 lame Spider-villains photo
Never say never, but we'll probably never see Big Wheel on the Big Screen
Sony and Marvel deciding to share Spider-Man is beyond awesome. It's something I've always dreamed of, ever since Marvel Studios started making movies. Now, one can presume that most if not all of Spidey's supporting cast and...

5 Reasons Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a bad idea

Feb 12 // Nick Valdez
Marvel's Films are Kind of Bland  As much as folks disliked The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I really enjoyed how many risks it took. It was messy and chocked full of half baked ideas, but it was all full of the humor and cheese that I've been wanting out of the Spider-Man movies for years (To be fair, the Raimi movies were full of this awesomeness too). Marvel's films don't really have that same charm. Having the films relate to one another is a blessing and a curse. It's great to have the connectivity, but it's at the expense of each film's uniqueness. Even their weirdest film, Guardians of the Galaxy, still has to reign in its eccentricity with a by-the-numbers plot and generic framework in order to align itself with the other films. It's like there's a sense of restraint on everything, and the loss of creativity is leading to the "Marvel fatigue" a lot of moviegoers are succumbing too.  When Spider-Man joins up, there's a good chance we won't get the crazy Spider-Man that shoots a mini web hand to save his girlfriend, speaks through a megaphone for some reason, and is full of the quips and quirks that Tony Stark already does for the Marvel films.  It's Hard Imagining a Better Peter Parker than Andrew Garfield Casting Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was the best decision Sony will ever make. Their natural chemistry (and great direction from Marc Webb) helped anchor the two films. And while I agree that he may have been "too cool" of a Peter Parker, Garfield nailed everything else. His awkward, stuttering delivery as Parker was great especially when he shed it under the mask. He may not have written those Spidey quips himself, but a lot of them wouldn't have worked without his great delivery. A sarcastic tone couple with a Spider-Mouth only a mother could love, he was kind of perfect. Shame he's getting the boot.  We're Getting Another Origin Story As much as I want a different kind of origin story, it's still another origin story. Since reboots usually have to start from the beginning, I would've been fine had we at least been given a different character (which is why I'm pushing for Miles Morales so much), but looking at Sony's current prospects (who are both young and white), we're getting another Peter Parker who's in high school. As we can tell from The Amazing Spider-Man's overall box office performance, audiences are getting tired of being told the same story over and over. They're getting smarter, too. Another Spider-Man? Then again, none of this could matter since there's a possibility he's getting shoved into the worst story ever.  The Civil War Storyline is Pretty Dumb Multiple sources have confirmed (or at least what the Internet considers as confirmed) that Spider-Man's first Marvel movie appearance will be in Captain America: Civil War. But that story itself is kind of the worst. I think folks are more in love with the core concept (Captain America and Iron Man fight each other) than the actual story. Sure Spider-Man is a major part of the event, but his involvement in the story is also what sent Marvel fans into a huge, years long huff and eventually led to Marvel's version of the devil taking away his long time marriage to Mary Jane. You see Spider-Man reveals his identity as a way of showing support for Superhero Registration, but it's also at the expense of his own intelligence. The law only pushed for regulation and not full blown identity reveals. Also in the Civil War comic, a robot Thor kills a giant Black man.  What I mean to say is, Civil War just better be in name only. We don't need a huge film where characters just make decisions based on what the companies want rather than have them feel organic. Just because the films are acting like comic books, doesn't mean they should succumb to the same pitfalls. These movies are hard to follow enough as it is, so they shouldn't lump Spider-Man in that mess. His franchise has its own problems.  Sony is Still Pulling the Strings At the end of the day, it's still Sony making the final decision. Rather than a full on partnership, it's like Sony is lending out its characters in exchange for some of Marvel's stuff and a unified plan. Sony still has plans to release its Sinister Six and all female Spider team film, but is nixing Amazing Spider-Man 3. But do you realize how weird that is? If they're going to start with a fresh new take on the universe, why not just axe all of those things completely? And that's one of the many weird predicaments Sony has already put itself in just days after the deal was announced. Marvel may get to use the character sometimes (although we won't know in what capacity until much, much later), but the Spider-Man films are still in the same hands. Let's hope they're capable ones.  But hey this is, once again, a guy just yelling in the dark. It's far too early to see the true effects/ramifications of this business deal. And Marvel and Sony will always make decisions based on what's good for business instead of what some Spider-Nerd like me says. I will admit this, however. This news has me more interested in Marvel's 20 year plan than anything they've ever announced. I was growing tired of superhero films and now look what's happened! I'm writing about comic books on the internet! Look ma! Look at your boy and be proud!  What do you think Flixist Community? Spider-Man or Spider-Meh?
5 Bad Reasons photo
Wherever there's a hang up, you'll find the Spider-Man
Yesterday I wrote up a list of five reasons why Spider-Man joining the MCU was a good idea, and while I stand by my points, I couldn't shake the feeling in the back of my head. Cold and cynical as I am, it felt weird just acc...

5 Reasons Spider-Man joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe is a good idea

Feb 11 // Nick Valdez
[embed]218932:42204:0[/embed] Marvel Probably Knows What to do With Spider-Man I may be one of the few Spider-Fans who actually enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but even I'll admit it was a bit messy. Clouded with all sorts of open threads and ideas, it really reeked of Sony's desperation to turn a singular property into a massive set of films like Marvel has. And even after the film, Sony's plans were completely up in the air. Rumors of an Aunt May origin story, an all female Spider character team up (which is something I hope still happens regardless) with the best title (Glass Ceiling), and all sorts of complete shots in the dark. But compare that to Marvel's extensive "Phase" plans, Marvel obviously knows what it *wants* to do.  Given that they've bumped their own schedule to work his adventures into the universe, there's a good chance that there's a plan in place. But Marvel's not exactly the end all, be all either. There's no guarantee that their plan to work Spider-Man into a few films will work either, but at least it's more concrete than say an all villain team up movie featuring Paul Giamatti. But it's still up to Sony in the end.  Miles Morales, Miles Morales, Miles Morales If you're scrounging through the internet for more on this deal, then there's a good chance you've heard of Miles Morales. Morales is the Spider-Man in the Ultimate Spider-Man line of comics, an alternate comic universe featuring more streamlined origins for newer readers which Marvel is planning to integrate into the mainline series' later this year with their Secret Wars event. Why is he great? Taking over for Peter Parker after his death, Miles is a half Black/Latino youth who gains powers in basically the same way Peter does. But he's a lot more conflicted about it, and his guilt/anxiety makes for some great reads.  If they absolutely need a new Spider-Man, this could be the hugest step forward for everyone. First of all, Spider-Man would be in an Avengers film (which is what most kids and half of Google's photoshops have dreamed up anyway) and secondly, it'd be nice for more kids to have someone onscreen to relate to. We already have Samuel L. Jackson, Don Cheadle, Anthony Mackie, and  Chadwick Boseman (who's going to be the film's Black Panther), but what harm could come from even more diversity?  We Won't Get The Same Origin Story If we absolutely need to get another origin story (let's face it, it's gonna happen), if it's a brand new character then we won't get the same one. Besides there are quite a few interesting ways Sony/Marvel can go about this. They could either establish a new origin in a solo movie, set Spider-Man up as an already existing thing in whatever cameo role he gets in the Marvel films (so Sony has time to break down what they want to keep from The Amazing Spider-Man films rather than get rid of it all), or just hilariously keep Amazing Spider-Man stuff anyway.  At least we'll be introduced to a new Spider-Man in a new way. But I hope they go The Hulk route and just put the entire origin in the opening credits. Everyone already knows how Peter Parker (or whoever) became Spider-Man, but we need to know why we should care about Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man. New origin, new focus, same Uncle Ben death probably (but hopefully not). Or keep his identity a secret until the solo film or something.  People Will Stop Asking For It I've never been fond of the comment "Give Spidey to Marvel" when talking about The Amazing Spider-Man, so I'm glad it'll be a thing of the past. But in all seriousness, it'll mean far less confusion for the general audience. Which most likely isn't helped by the Marvel credit tag on Sony's films, most people probably wonder why Spider-Man hasn't shown up in say, Iron Man 3 or something. At least now, it'll be easier to explain to folks. I'll admit this isn't best reason to root for Spidey in the Marvel Universe, but hey I'll take any little step forward I can get at this point.   Marvel and Sony's Characters Mixing Will Make the Universe Better Overall With as big and convoluted Marvel's films are going to become, and with as many superhero films we're getting, the less confusion the better. With a bigger universe where anyone could show up in anything (Maybe Venom fights The Hulk or something), the smaller heroes will shine. I'm super excited for Spider-Man characters like The Kingpin, who could potentially make trouble in the Netflix series (like Daredevil) and then seamlessly pop up in the main Spider-Man films.  Sony also won't have to strain themselves to create a Spider-Man universe from one character. With license to use Marvel's smaller characters (I'm not sure if the bigwigs will come to play every time), there's room to breathe and it'll be easier to digest. But I'm hoping that's part of the plan. Don't forget the Netflix series' are a viable option, Sony!   At the end of the day, I'm just a guy yelling into the air. I'm glad Sony and Marvel both like money, and they'll be getting more from me pretty soon. As someone who's interest in Marvel's films has waned, this is the most excited I've been in a long time. What about you all, Flixist community? Yay or nay? 
5 Good Reasons photo
To him, life is a great big bang up
I don't know about you all, but I'm still shocked at the news that Sony and Marvel are finally getting along and Spider-Man will officially join the Marvel movies. The finer details of the deal are still shrouded in mystery w...

Flixist's most anticipated movies of 2015

Feb 04 // Flixist Staff
[embed]218882:42180:0[/embed] Jupiter AscendingDirector: Andy and Lana WachowskiRelease date: February 6th, 2015 There's not a whole lot of information about the plot of this movie beyond Mila Kunis being the reincarnation of a space queen and Channing Tatum is some kind of dog man... but I'm still super excited about it. I like the Wachowskis' other movies (excluding the last two of The Matrix trilogy), so I'm hoping this will be on par with their previous work. Even if it's not, it'll at least look cool as hell. --Megan Porch [embed]218822:42142:0[/embed] ChappieDirector: Neil BlomkampRelease date: March 6th 2015 Every criticism for this movie seems to be, essentially, "It looks like Short Circuit meets Robocop!" Yeah, so? That's flipping awesome. AND Die Antwoord is in it...playing themselves. This is going to be a weird, wonderful movie and I am vibrating with anticipation over it. -- Sean Walsh [embed]218882:42169:0[/embed] Furious 7Director: James WanRelease date: April 3rd 2015 With Furious 6 seemingly peaking the series' awesomeness, James Wan taking over for Justin Lin, and the tragic passing of Paul Walker, there are plenty of things that could go wrong with Furious 7. But with such a strong attachment as I have for these films (#FAMILY), I really want this to succeed. To be both a new end and beginning would be a wonderful thing. It won't be the same without Walker, but hopefully that isn't a bad thing. -- Nick Valdez [embed]218824:42140:0[/embed] Avengers: Age of UltronDirector: Joss WhedonRelease date: May 1st, 2015 The second phase of Marvel's cinematic universe comes to a close by introducing one of their greatest villains, Ultron (voiced by James freaking Spader), as well as three(!) new members in Scarlet Witch, Quicksilver, and the Vision. On top of that, there's a very strong possibility we'll get a look at Wakanda, home of Black Panther. The first movie blew the roof off. Age of Ultron is going to bring the whole damn place down. ii Sean Walsh [embed]218882:42170:0[/embed] Mad Max: Fury RoadDirector: George MillerRelease date: May 15th, 2015 After that explosive Comic-Con trailer burst through the gate, Fury Road has caught all of my attention. It's a reboot and a sequel that I can't see going wrong. Directed by George Miller, the guy who heralded the originals, and with Tom Hardy looking gruff, Charlize Theron looking siiiiiiiiick, I just want this in my eyeballs already. Please be good, or at least good to watch. -- Nick Valdez [embed]218882:42171:0[/embed] Pitch Perfect 2Director: Elizabeth BanksRelease date: May 15th, 2015 Apparently, all of my anticipated films are sequels. That's totally weird considering my staunch stance on them, but 2014 helped changed my perspective. With sequels now redefining their purpose and becoming entertaining in their own right (and not weakening the original in any way), I'm hoping Pitch Perfect 2 can capitalize on all the aca-awesome potential of the first film. While it was great (and something I saw at least seven times), it reminded me too much of Bring It On: a lightning in a bottle film whose ridiculousness revealed itself in sequels. But hey, I'm keeping my mind open. It's Elizabeth Banks' directorial debut, and she's one of the best women in the game right now. And if it isn't any good, at least the music will be entertaining. But I'm excited for the full package deal that could come out of this. -- Nick Valdez [embed]218882:42190:0[/embed] Inside OutDirector: Pete DocterRelease Date: June 19th, 2015 It's no secret that I love anything that comes from the House of Mouse, and that includes things from its extended family. Inside Out is Pixar's latest, and it focuses on the emotions that are inside the mind of a girl. The cast is phenomenal — Diane Lane, Amy Poehler, Mindy Kaling, Bill Hader, and Lewis Black are all kind enough to lend their voices for the film. However, I'm just a tiny bit hesitant. This is the first Pixar film that I can remember that has so many protagonists. There's five or six senses, then the girl herself. The closest I can think of that comes to it is The Incredibles, which featured Mr. and Mrs. Incredible, Violet, Dash, and Syndrome. My fears were slightly assuaged after the teaser was released, but Pete Docter's writing credits include Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Monsters, Inc., Wall-E, and Up. I'm sure he'll make it work. I look forward to eating my words in June. -- Jonathan Wray [embed]218882:42172:0[/embed] Terminator: GenisysDirector: Alan TaylorRelease date: July 1st, 2015 Every time I try and get out, Terminator keeps PULLING ME BACK IN. Seriously, the rest of the staff here can tell you I've been really annoying in the emails. I go from "Ugh, Genisys sounds like the worst" to "That doesn't look too bad" to "DID YOU SEE ARNOLD?" to "Ugh why is spelled that way?" I've never been more vocal for a sequel than with Genisys. Ever since Schwarzenegger made his way back into movies, I've been waiting for the film that can capture the old "Blockbustah Ahnuld" I used to love. The more I see of Genisys, the more I think this is close. Also, big fan of openly rebooting a series. Please be good. -- Nick Valdez [embed]218908:42191:0[/embed] Magic Mike XXL Director: Gregory JacobsRelease date: July 3rd, 2015 The boys are back! A prime example of a movie that didn't need a sequel, I'm still excited about watching Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, and all the rest shake their shit for another two hours. I loved the first movie, so why not? Former editor Jenika Katz said it best in her two word review of the first movie, and it bears repeating: "DAT ASS." -- Sean Walsh [embed]218882:42181:0[/embed] Ant-ManDirector: Peyton ReedRelease Date: July 17th, 2015 This movie has been in production for what feels like eternity. Ant-Man is far from my favorite Marvel character, but I'm curious to see how he'll translate onto the big screen. The tone of the teaser trailer was pretty weird to me, but I like Paul Rudd so I'm looking forward to this, even if I can't separate him from Bobby Newport. -- Megan Porch Hitman: Agent 47Director: Alexander BachRelease Date: August 28th, 2015 Yes, really. Look, here's the deal. I love the Hitman franchise. I've been playing since the first game came out, back when the computer I played on couldn't handle Hitman 2's Pentium 3 450 MHz requirement. It's a gaming franchise that's very near and dear to my heart, and I don't care, I can't wait. I even managed to enjoy the first film. I'll be watching with sadness in my heart, however, knowing that Paul Walker was originally cast for this role. He seemed to be looking to make a name for himself in the action world outside of the Fast and Furious movies, and this would've been a fantastic start. The film's currently in post-production, and it was actually scheduled to be released this month, but I guess it needed some reshoots or something. I'm not expecting Hollywood gold here, but as long as I can see Tobias Reaper sneaking around and completing contracts (the final of which, I'm sure, involves a ton of money, a girl, a car, the nation's security, or a combination of all of the above), I'll enjoy it. -- Jonathan Wray SpectreDirector: Sam MendesRelease Date: November 6th, 2015  Remember when Sam Mendes directed Skyfall and it was awesome and old school and just fantastic Bond? Well now he's doing it again except this time he gets to use classic Bond villain Blofeld and Christoph Waltz is playing him and that's better than anything ever. There's been some dust up over a crappy ending that leaked out during the Sony hack, but this is Bond and Bond always gets me excited no matter what. We don't know too much about Spectre, but as I said it's Bond and that instantly makes it my most anticipated film of the year. - Matthew Razak The MartianDirector: Ridely ScottRelease Date: November 26th, 2015 I have not yet read the book of the same name that The Martian  is based on, but I will. What I hear is that it is an incredibly touching, humorous, dramatic and scientifically accurate bit of science fiction. What does that mean? That means Ridely Scott getting back to his roots of simpler science fiction that relies on atmosphere and not set pieces to amaze. Scott has been to over blown these past few years and it'll be good to see him narrow his focus with a film that should be far simpler and character driven than what he's done recently. Here's also hoping for an incredible solitary performance from Matt Damon as the titular "Martian." - Matthew Razak [embed]218882:42182:0[/embed] Star Wars: The Force AwakensDirector: JJ AbramsRelease Date: December 18th, 2015 What can I even say about this? It's freakin' Star Wars. And it looks like it'll actually be GOOD. I started out cautiously optimistic about this, but after seeing the teaser I was all over it like a fat kid on cake. There is nothing I love more than this franchise (though the prequels still make me cringe), and this looks like it'll finally be the Star Wars movie we all deserve. -- Megan Porch Everything from South Korea (Especially Agassi)Director: A multitude (e.g. Park Chan-Wook)Release Date: Frequently (ASAP) So here's a cop-out answer if I've ever seen one, but you know what? South Korean movies continue to excite me, and instead of choosing a couple of options, I just went with everything. I'm excited about South Korean cinema in general. There's gonna be plenty of terrible movies, but I look at this list, and I'm like, "Let's do this!" Even the sequel to My Sassy Girl. Also, I somehow missed this, but Park Chan-Wook is back in South Korea making a movie called Agassi, which means "Young Lady" and is an adaptation of Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith. I need that thing in my life immediately. Also, if my life plans work out the way I want them to (they probably won't), I'll be in South Korea at some point before 2015 ends, and then I can watch the movies there without subtitles and be super confused about it. I'll still review them, though. -- Alec Kubas-Meyer
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Did you know that the beginning of February is the perfect time to look ahead at the new year? Why is that, you ask. Because now we've gotten rid of all the crap and Oscar leftovers that January is full of and we can actually...

Matt's Top 15 Movies of 2014

Jan 22 // Matthew Razak
Selma I'm not going to talk about the Academy's snubbing here because it's been done to death. Just know that this is probably the best film of the year. While I'd give my vote for an award to Boyhood simply because of the achievement there for sheer emotional power, direction and acting it is definitely Selma. As I said in my review, it isn't just that the movie is fantastic it's that it came out at just the right time. It's message is so spot on and so powerful during year where racial issues have come to the forefront that it's hard to imagine another movie coming out with better timing. If you see one film from last year it should be Selma.  Read our Selma review here.  Guardians of the Galaxy I was shocked and appalled that both Nick and Alec left Guardians of the Galaxy off their best of list. James Gunn made a science-fiction masterpiece that not only grabbed an audience, propelled an actor to stardom and re-invigorated Marvel's look on film, but also was just too much damn fun to walk away from. It also proved that Marvel's got some serious balls. Taking an completely untested, back burner comic book and blowing it up onto the big screen is a massive risk and it worked. Not just because it had Marvel before it, but because it was damn good. For big movie spectacle you couldn't do any better than Guardians this year and big movie spectacle isn't actually that easy to pull off. This was a great film in a year where many blockbusters failed to meet their potential at all. Transformers, I'm looking at you.  Read our Guardians of the Galaxy review here. Boyhood What's left to be said of Boyhood? Should we ramble on about how it's stunningly and perfect captures growing up over the past two decades? Maybe we should just sit in awe of Richard Linklater's audacity to actually film and put this movie together. I'm not sure there's an American male on earth who wouldn't be pulled into this film. If you still think Boyhood's main concept is just a gimmick you need to sit down and watch this film. It is magic on (digital) celluloid.  Read our Boyhood review here.  The Babadook I've already gushed about why The Babadook is one of the more important films this year in terms of the film industry, but here's why it deserves to be on every top list there is: it's the best horror film to land this year. Actually scary, edge of your seat, care about the characters horror. That's not just rare in a given year, it's rare in the genre itself. It must also be said that Essie Davis' portrayal of a mother cracking under stress would be instantly nominated if this had been in any other genre. It is a flawless performance only ignored because the film it took place in wasn't the right "caliber" of movie to be considered for awards. It is beyond annoying that horror still sits in the corner when so many masterpieces exist in the genre.  Read our The Babadook review here.  Whiplash Whiplash would be on this list even if the film was just two hours of J.K. Simmons staring at the camera, yelling and throwing things. A masterful performance of scary, yet motivating rage is going to net him an Oscar easily. It isn't just that, however. As Nick pointed out the film is a musical triumph, but what really stand out is just how well it delves into its themes of motivation, influence, inspiration and passion. The film is often said to be very dark, but it's underlying themes deal with what makes us great. I had not expectations for the movie going it and walked out realizing I had seen one of the best films of the year.  Read our Whiplash review here.   Birdman I am still upset that his is not a Harvey Birdman: Attorney at Law movie, but putting my disappointment aside it is very clear that Birdman is a great film despite that. Let's move past the stellar performances and the single shot direction. I'm just going to say one thing: the score. Jazz drumming had quite a year with Whiplash and this score. Antonio Sanchez's score is all drums, and it is possibly one of the most original and perfectly done scores in years. The Academy disqualified it from contention because they're idiots, but you can literally close your eyes and enjoy this film for that drum score alone.  Read our review of Birdman here. Inherent Vice You will either love Inherent Vice, hate Inherent Vice or turn Inherent Vice off halfway through. If you're me then you loved it. I'm a sucker for film noirs and Paul Thomas Anderson getting his hands on the genre and then turning it on his head is basically the best thing that has happened since The Big Lebowski. The film itself is a convoluted, over-plotted, hilarious cluster-fuck, but that just makes it all the more brilliant. Of all the movies released this year I will probably rewatch this one more than any other. It is so dense and there is so much to pick up that you just have to.  The Raid 2 Dat final fight scene. If there is a better action director out there than Gareth Evans then the world is near an end because it literally can't get more exciting without everything blowing up. The Raid 2 proves that Edwards can handle anything. Taking the kung fu action of the original and extending it out into an action packed drama that concludes in the greatest fight I've ever seen. This isn't just a must see for fight movie fans it's a must see for everyone ever. In the future we'll look back and ask ourselves why no one could top this film.  Read our The Raid 2 review here. Edge of Tomorrow If Edge of Tomorrow is a surprise to you on this list it really shouldn't be. Despite not being the biggest summer blockbuster it is easily the most creative and has basically appeared on everyone's top lists under the "Why the hell didn't you see this?" category. Seriously, why the hell didn't you see this? If it's because you're tired of Tom Cruise it shouldn't be. This is Cruise back on his A game. If it's because it keeps changing its name? OK, valid argument, but I'm telling you no matter what it's called it is still some of the best sci-fi you'll see in a while. A rose by any other name, right? Read our Edge of Tomorrow review here. The Grand Budapest Hotel I actually try to dislike Wes Anderson films. The hipster aesthetics and adherence to his unique visual style just screams to be hated. I can't though and Grand Budapest may be his best film yet. Hearkening back to The Royal Tenenbaums, Grand Budapest is both visually compelling and emotionally stunning. It's definitely Anderson's most adult film. While I could talk endlessly about his framing and direction (he's one of the few auteurs in mainstream cinema) what really stands out about the film is its darker undertones. There's an actual punch to this one and he handles it... well, exactly like you'd expect Wes Anderson too.   The LEGO Movie I'm not even sure if The LEGO Movie was my favorite animated film of the year (both How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Big Hero 6 were on par), but the complete and total ignoring of it by the academy has my indignation at an all time high. Much like most of the population who hadn't played any of the LEGO videogames, and thus didn't know the writing was sharp and clever, the Academy clearly assumed that because it was a branded film it sucked. If they weren't so busy being racists this would be the clear and final nail that everyone was yelling about. I loved this movie, but my righteous indignation is the reason it makes this list over the two others mentioned.  Dawn of the Planet of the Apes How the hell are we not talking about this movie more during awards season? When it came out it was all the buzz, but that was near the beginning of the year and Hollywood has such a short memory. What they should be remembering is that Dawn of the Planet of the Apes wasn't just a technically fantastic movie it was a emotionally powerful one too. Hitting on complex subjects such as inequality, racism, power  and fear the movie does what all great sci-fi does and made us look inward. Unlike the first film of this rebooted timeline, which was all that bad, Dawn is an emotional and directorial masterpiece. It turns talking monkeys into social metaphors, and Andy Serkis once again shows us that CGI performance can often be more powerful than anything else we see on screen.  22 Jump Street With a year pretty devoid of truly legendary comedies I find it hard to believe everyone forgot about 22 Jump Street. Maybe if The Interview hadn't become an international political issue we'd still be talking about it. Not only was 22 Jump Street hilarious it was a needless sequel that actually worked. Bringing back Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, who have some of the most surprising comedic chemistry together ever, the movie was basically the funniest thing all year. I challenge you to find a moment you laughed harder then when Tatum finds out Hill slept with Ice T's daughter. The movie basically took what made the original so great and turned it up to 22.  Read our review for 22 Jump Street here.  Captain America: The Winter Soldier When talking about Guardians of the Galaxy above I may have mentioned that Marvel's style was getting stale so it's a testament that even stale Marvel is in my top 15 for the year. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was everything that is so great and so generic about Marvel all at once. A massive film with repercussions that shook the MCU (unlike Iron Man's latest outing) it was action packed, and full of charm. While it lacked a truly special feeling like the action films on this list I still can't deny it was easily some of the most fun I had in the theater all year. Sure it felt kind of the same, but when it comes to Marvel then they can keep on copy pasting all they want.  Read our Captain America: The Winter Solider review here.  Veronica Mars Oh look, one of my favorite films is one I Kickstarted. So what? It's my damn list. Fine, Veronica Mars wasn't the best film of the year, but it was definitely one of my favorites. Almost perfectly bringing back the same feel and tone of the TV is actually quite a feat for a movie and this one nailed it. Not to mention it BROUGHT BACK VERONICA MARS! If anything this should be on more top lists simply because of the revolutionary way it came about. I understand why it was forgotten by plenty when discussing the year in film, but its release was actually pretty damn important.  Read our review of Veronica Mars here. 
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I see too many movies. Here the best so you don't have to.
As a person who gets to attend press screenings for almost every major and minor release out there I get to see way too many movies. You're thinking that sounds awesome, but it can be a horrible burden. Do you know how many b...

Nick's Top 15 Movies of 2014

Jan 16 // Nick Valdez
30-16: The Lego Movie, The Babadook, 22 Jump Street, The Purge: Anarchy, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Maleficent, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, Snowpiercer, Frank, Top Five, Gone Girl, Pride, The Drop, Nymphomaniac Vol 1, A Most Violent Year 15. Locke  I nearly missed out on Locke. With the smallest of small releases, I didn't see this until it was recommended by a friend a few weeks ago. I'm super glad I finally took the plunge. It's got the weirdest barrier of entry (it's better if you see it at night, you have to be in the right mindset), but it's totally worth the trouble. In a year full of bloated blockbusters, Locke is the concise breath of fresh air that reminds you what cinema is capable of. In the length of a Sunday night drive, Tom Hardy goes through so many complicated emotions. Enclosed, intimate, and fantastic.  14. Nightcrawler Nightcrawler (and Enemy, in fact) proved Jake Gyllenhaal still has some sides of his acting talent hidden away. With a strikingly dark, yet practical performance, he sells the film's dissection of sensationalist journalism. Literally crawling through the muck, Nightcrawler portrays the opposite end of ambition. When ambition morphs into an unhealthy aggression, one of the best films of 2014 was born.  Read our review of Nightcrawler here. 13. John Wick John Wick was an utter surprise and delight. Literally coming out of nowhere with a generic trailer that made the film seem like nothing more than a direct to home video action film mistakenly released to theaters, John Wick has a fantastic setting (I want another movie of just interactions within the assassin hotel hideout), wonderfully choreographed action (Keanu Reeves is really Neo at this point, which made the fantastical nature of the fights even more believable), and a story with so many cheesy twists and turns I fell in love instantly. Oh and the dog, Daisy! Oh. My. God. 12. Boyhood Filmed over the course of twelve years, it sort of makes sense to put Boyhood here. Both as a little dig, and because while I love what it did for cinema (and how much I enjoyed it directly afterward), I'm not as fond of it as I thought I was. While some of Mason's life speaks to me (I too had a drunk and abusive parent, was also directionless for the majority of life), a lot of it glazed over what my life was really like. Yeah, I know Boyhood won't be a depiction of my life, but it kind of stung to see someone live a happier life than mine. I don't hold it against the film critically (that's why it's here), but I'll never truly connect with it the way I think I'm supposed to.  Read our review of Boyhood here. 11. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes APEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is what we get for not hailing to the chimp. A summer blockbuster that was not only intelligent, well paced, and full of stunning visuals, but made me expect more out of my popcorn flicks. Bad action and explosions just aren't going to cut it anymore. Dawn says we can have both AND be a successful prequel/sequel at the same time. It doesn't get any better. This is what blockbusters should strive to.  Read our review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes here. 10. The Guest The Guest is a film that will forever be welcome in my home. Before my screening, I knew nothing of it other than it was a follow up from the You're Next (which is also a film you need to see someday) duo of Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett. Figuring they were kind of a one trick pony (sorry, guys), I expected a run of the mill thriller with a genre twist at the end. But that's nowhere near the case with Guest. Completely confident in its lead Dan Stevens (with good reason), the film is full throttle from beginning to end. Its tone is never once tiring. With its homages to older horror films, a groovy synth inspired soundtrack, stylistic filming (there's a great use of light throughout) and fantastically staged finale, The Guest was one of my favorite movie going experiences last year. Read our review of The Guest here. 9. Joe Wow, so where has THIS Nicolas Cage been? We make fun of the guy for signing up for everything and anything, but he's some kind of wicked genius. It's when we forget how talented of an actor he can be that he decides to come out with a legitimately gripping performance. That's the heart of Joe. Three great performances (from Cage, Tye Sheridan, and the now passed Gary Poulter) root this tale in the South with the most human characters I saw last year. Remember Your Highness? This is from the same director. I just can't believe that.  Read our review of Joe here. 8. Edge of Tomorrow Just like with Nic Cage, Tom Cruise always has a surprise up his sleeve for when we forget how talented he is. It appears that both actors can truly surprise given the right material. Edge of Tomorrow (or whatever the hell it's named now) is a science fiction story about how some nerdy, cowardly man transforms into action star Tom Cruise after dying a thousand times. In the most unique premise of any science fiction film in recent memory (which is saying quite a bit as you can allude to sources like videogames), a man's life gets a reset button every time he's killed in a battle leading to some of the best and hilarious editing of 2014. And you know what else? Emily Blunt is a killer viking goddess badass and I wouldn't have it any other way.  Read our review of Edge of Tomorrow/All You Need is Kill/Live.Die.Repeat here. 7. Birdman Speaking of actors we've forgotten about, out comes Michael Keaton reminding us how much of a juggernaut he is. Sure he's had some subversive turns in films like The Other Guys, Toy Story 3 and RoboCop recently, but I haven't seen him challenged like this in a long time. Birdman breaks down Keaton and builds him back up again. A heartbreaking, absurd, hilarious, soul crushing, wonderfully shot film, Birdman is truly the peak of artistic creativity. Too bad Keaton overshadowed everyone else. But is that such a bad problem to have?  Read our review of Birdman here. 6. The Grand Budapest Hotel Budapest was my very first Wes Anderson film experience, and I'm so glad I finally took the plunge. Budapest is a film full of so much love, hard work, and time that it could only be put together after as long career. With one of the most outstanding casts (each utilized to the fullest, even in the smaller roles), a vignette style story, and an amazing performance from Ralph Fiennes, Budapest had my attention from beginning to end. The reason it's not higher on this list is because there were a few that had my attention a little bit more. And that's definitely tough in this case.  Read our review of The Grand Budapest Hotel here. 5. The Interview Say what you will about whether or not The Interview "deserved" all of the problems it caused, or whether or not it's some stupid exercise of free speech, underneath all of the drama, The Interview was the funnest experience I had last year. It's not some grand satire of North Korea's politics, nor is it your patriotic duty to witness it unfold, but you'd do yourself a disservice by missing out. Well tuned humor, great performances (with some of the best James Franco faces) led by Randall Park, and an explosive finale you're sure to remember. The Interview is a firework. Boom, boom, boom.  Read our review of The Interview here. 4. Whiplash On the opposite end of the spectrum is Whiplash. A film I had no idea existed full of darkness. Yet, that darkness is truly compelling. J.K. Simmons is a fantastic lead (if you tell me Miles Teller is the lead, I will politely ask you to leave) with a performance that's striking, violent, and full of the best kind of black humor. Imagine if his turn as J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man was even more aggressive, and you've got Whiplash. Backing up Simmons is a truly great film that's more about a bloody need to prove you're the best. Intense, rich, and has an a different kind of explosive finale.  Read our review of Whiplash here. 3. Obvious Child  Within a year so full of men that even the cartoons resemble our landscape, Obvious Child stood out from the outset. I've always loved comedienne Jenny Slate as she's great at creating tragically trashy characters,  but I was just waiting for her to break out. And the wait's been worth it. Based off a short film of the same name, Obvious Child tackles not often spoken topics like womanhood, abortion, and late twenties uncertainty with not only tact, but a sophisticated and illuminating point of view with often hilarious results. Jenny Slate is a dynamo as Donna Stern, and the film ending's blend of awkwardness and hope still gives me chills.  2. Palo Alto As James Franco continues to branch out, some of his projects don't go over so well but are nonetheless interesting. His collection of short stories, Palo Alto, and its adaptation got some attention a few months back because Franco himself inadvertently hit on an underage girl on Instagram. That's the only reason I knew about the project, and now I realize how wrong I was. Palo Alto is f**king fantastic for all involved. A well realized weave of stories helped established a broken, and compelling world. I was so invested, I couldn't help but want more. Yet, we're given just the right amount of story thanks to Gia Coppola's outstanding direction.  Featuring an eclectic cast with Franco as a creepy teacher, Emma Roberts as a misguided teen, Jack (and to a lesser extent, Val) Kilmer as a lost kid, and Nat Wolff with the most emotionally charged performance of the year. Seriously, I could not believe that the kid from The Naked Brothers Band had some talent. The final scene of the film where he charges into the night has stuck with me to this day.  1. Fury With how much Obvious Child and Palo Alto stuck with me, only one film did much more. As a fan of David Ayer's career, I was on top of Fury from day one. Though my anticipation sort of wavered in the middle thanks to some bad trailer editing, and I didn't think Logan Lerman was going to be an effective lead, once I sat down with the film all of that faded away. Fury is magnificent. Five terrific performances anchor the film's small story within this admittedly overwrought setting. Fury isn't a typical WWII film, and it delivers with a not so typical emotionally charged finale.  And Shia LaBeouf? Thank you for giving up all of that Transformers trash. This is what you're meant to do.  Read our review of Fury here.  What are your favorite movies from 2014? Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! While you're at it, why not check out my Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014, Top 5 Sequels, Top 10 Movie Music Moments, and 2014's Best Dog in Film lists too!
Nick's Top 15 of 2014 photo
I have seen 107 films released in 2014. Here are 15 of the best ones
It was the best of films, it was the blurst of films. Hey everyone I'm Nick Valdez, News Editor here for Flixist and you've probably seen my name on a good chunk of the stuff written here. If not, then I'll tell you a bit abo...

Nick's Top 10 Movie Music Moments of 2014

Jan 14 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: Birdman - Flight scene, Snowpiercer - "What happens if the engine stops?," The Skeleton Twins - "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now," 22 Jump Street - "Ass-n-Titties," Into the Woods - "Agony" [embed]218773:42129:0[/embed] 10. The Hunger Games Mockingjay - Part 1 - "The Hanging Tree" as performed by Jennifer Lawrence Every year there seems to be a song that's meant to break into mainstream pop. Usually by happenstance, or some kind of weird popularity spike, and "The Hanging Tree" is 2014's single. Written by the Lumineers (with influence from the original text), and given an odd dance backing so it can be played on the radio, this moment may have been forced but it did show off the first actual rebellion against the Capitol. Like other parts of Mockingjay - Part 1, the scene finally opens up the world beyond Katniss and her compatriots.  [embed]218773:42130:0[/embed] 9. The Lego Movie - "Everything is Awesome/(Untitled) Self Portrait"  "Everything is awesome, everything is cool when your part of a team" was 2014's "Let It Go." There's a dollar theater in my town next to the local grocery, and when I first heard a little girl singing that song, I knew we had a winner. The scene it's used in doesn't hit perfect status until the "12 Hours Later" bit but it's still very good. Even better? Batman's demo tape, "DARKNESS! NO PARENTS!" [embed]218773:42132:0[/embed] 8. Guardians of the Galaxy - "Come And Get Your Love"  As critics like myself (although I'd like to think I'm as far from that definition as possible) continue to worry over the staleness of Marvel's films, the intro to Guardians of the Galaxy, featuring a nonchalantly groovin Chris Pratt dancing to a once forgotten Redbone tune, helps alleviate some of that worry. Starting off on the right foot, this scene helped set the tone for Marvel's future. It's going to be a lot more fun.  [embed]218773:42134:0[/embed] 7. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - "Elevator Beatbox"  You won't see the TMNT movie on many Best of 2014 lists, but I've got to credit where it's due. It may have be clouded by a bunch of odd decisions, but the Turtles themselves were great. Although they looked like giant steroid hulks, the few times they got to act like their "Teenage" namesake truly stood out. This came to a head in the elevator ride before the final battle with Shredder. It's the most fun scene in this film, and it's completely unnecessary when you think about it. But it's full of so much personality it's hard to care. I want the sequel to basically be this scene x 100.  [embed]218773:42133:0[/embed] 6. The Guest - "Anthonio" The Guest has one of the best soundtracks of 2014. Fusing synth pop and trance together with little known European Pop remixes, and coupling them with a nostalgic run through the horror genre lead to one of the best musically inclined films of the year. The Guest owes most of its successes to its soundtrack and it's never better than the final scene. A stare down, a remix of Annie's "Anthonio," and a sinister Dan Stevens are a match made in heaven.  [embed]218773:42135:0[/embed] 5. The Book of Life - "Just A Friend/The Apology Song/I Will Wait" as performed by Diego Luna, Cheech Marin, and Gabriel Iglesias I think The Book of Life'll be the only time I hear Tejano-inspired music in film and that's a bit sad. Like me, it takes influences from classic pop tunes and unapologetically puts a little Mexican flair into each one. There's too many awesome songs to name (but the one touted as the "big" one, where Diego Luna performs a cover of "Creep," is kind of lame) with the too brief "Just a Friend," and the great "Apology Song" sung to a flaming skeletal bull in the Land of the Forgotten, but my favorite is definitely the montage set to "I Will Wait." It's hilarious, critiques Mexican culture, and it just sounds so pleasant.  [embed]218773:42137:0[/embed] 4. The Interview - "Firework" as performed by Jenny Lane Although the clip above doesn't refer to the scene on this list (as it's much better to experience it without being spoiled), trust me when I say that it's truly a great movie music moment. The scene that launched a thousand emails, and was most likely toned down in retrospect, but it's a damn fun scene. Much like the rest of The Interview, it makes sense in the most absurd way. Hope you get to see it for yourself.  [embed]218773:42138:0[/embed] 3. X-Men: Days of Future Past - "Time in a Bottle" With as many comic book films I see now, they all start to blend in together after awhile. What woke me up from my haze, however, was Days of Future Past. While the rest of the film followed the same beats, and Quicksilver himself wasn't the most interesting addition, I've never seen a better demonstration of super speed. Sure we've seen this type of slowdown in films like The Matrix, but I can't recall seeing it used so humorously. It's the little touches that made everything work.  [embed]218773:42136:0[/embed] 2. Frank - "Secure the Galactic Perimeter/I Love You All" as performed by Michael Fassbender Frank is a film about twelve people saw, and that's a damn shame. It's got some of the best music from 2014. The songs were notably assembled by the cast (and not even available in full on the soundtrack) and they're just so weird. Good weird. While the final song "I Love You All" gets the full bump on this list, it doesn't really mesh as well as it should until you've seen the film. Once you've seen the film, learned of all of Frank's quibbles, then it truly comes together.  [embed]218773:42139:0[/embed] 1. Whiplash - "Caravan" as performed by Miles Teller God, Whiplash has the best f**king music. That finale? So gooooooooooooooood. What are your favorite music moments of 2014? Agree or disagree? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned through the rest of the week for more "Best Of" lists! 
Nick's Top 10 Music photo
Music to my eyes
Music plays an integral role in film. Easily ignored, easily forgotten, a film's soundtrack is the little celebrated framework of cinema. But when sound and sight marry into a great scene, you get some of the best moments. Li...

Nick's Top 5 Sequels of 2014

Jan 13 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Raid 2: Berandal, Captain America: The Winter Soldier [embed]218787:42123:0[/embed] 5.  X-Men: Days of Future Past The X-Men series was in quite the pickle. As the seventh film in the ailing series, it had quite a bit to prove. Doing something I've never seen before, DoFP went and actively rebooted (as in, made "rebooting" a key plot to the newest film) the series in order to fix all of the issues fans have had with it. Not only pleasing comic book fans, but even casual moviegoers as it brought back all of the headliners and never once felt like the confusing mess it could have been. An interesting, and most importantly, successful experiment that showed off what comic book movies could truly be capable of.  Read our review of X-Men: Days of Future Past here. [embed]218787:42124:0[/embed] 4. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 The Hunger Games films have been steadily getting better at handling their themes, and it came to fruition with Part 1. Finally capitalizing on the promise of the series, Part 1 introduced many teenage movie fans to conflicting political ideologies, smaller facets of yellow journalism, and all while having the confidence to talk about things a bit. There hasn't been any room in the series for conversation thus far, and that's weird considering the books are nothing but Katniss talking to herself. This was a sequel that was willing to breathe for a bit and wallow in the messed up situation they're in. It's definitely the first film in which the Capitol seemed like an actual threat.  Read our review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 here. [embed]218787:42125:0[/embed] 3. 22 Jump Street Comedy sequels are a dime or dozen. For every 22 Jump Street we got in 2014, we also got Dumb and Dumber To, Horrible Bosses 2, and A Haunted House 2. While those lesser films tried to recreate the film that got them there, 22 Jump Street did that and made fun of themselves while doing it. Not once did they lie to their audience and say that the sequel was made for something other than money, or that it should exist at all. It was like saying "Hey we're doing this, so let's all just have some fun!" and that's all I could ever want from a sequel, really.  And those title cards during the credits? Perfection.  Read our review of 22 Jump Street here. [embed]218787:42126:0[/embed] 2. The Purge: Anarchy You know what makes a good sequel? Take a film that I wasn't interested in before and completely reinvent the wheel to make it far more entertaining. By changing the direction of the series, from house invader horror to cheesy action thriller, adding Frank Grillo, and throwing a fine layer of hamfisted sociopolitical messages, you've got the best Grillo'd Cheese sandwich. For the first time in a long time, I find myself a lot more interested in annual sequels. Give me one every year this interesting, and I'll never speak ill will toward #CrimeDay again.  Read our review of The Purge: Anarchy here. [embed]218787:42127:0[/embed] 1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes "Apes. Together. Awesome" was the subtitle I used for my Dawn of the Planet of the Apes review, and it's still one of my favorite things I've ever written. Dawn also happens to be my favorite movie of the Summer. It was thrilling, had several nice action bits, and looked amazing. Fixed most of the issues I had with Rise, and brought more Ape on Ape action. I ended up shouting "APEEEEEEEES" for several days after. I do not hate every ape I see, from chimpan-a to chimpanzee.  Hope the next film has Dr. Zaius. Read our review of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes here.  What are your favorite sequels of 2014? Agree or disagree? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned through the rest of the week for more "Best Of" lists! 
Nick's Top 5 Sequels photo
Sequelitis schmequelitis
We've seen more sequels released the last few years than we have in a long time. While 2015 seems to continue that trend, last year showed that we shouldn't automatically write off a film just because it's a sequel. I've seen...

Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014

Jan 12 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: The Boxtrolls, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Penguins of Madagascar [embed]218732:42108:0[/embed] 5. Big Hero 6 When Disney bought out Marvel a few years ago, one of the more interesting projects to come out of that was Big Hero 6. A Disney animated take on a Marvel comic only two or three people have heard of? I was sold from day one. Streamlining some of the original comic's funkier aspects, rightfully making Baymax adorable, and providing some great animation, Disney Animated Studios proved once again that they could provide another hit after Wreck-It Ralph and Frozen. I can't wait to see what they churn out next.  Read our review of Big Hero 6 here. [embed]218732:42109:0[/embed] 4. The Lego Movie Although Lego Movie was on the top of my list throughout most of the year, the more I thought about it, the more I didn't like it as much. Everything was indeed awesome with its great cast, stunning mix of stop motion and CG, and pretty funny jokes. But the ending ended up rubbing me the wrong way. It's one of those endings in which the ramifications of its message didn't hit home until a few weeks ago. It's got kind of a mean message, but it still deserves a place on my list. I still enjoyed the rest of it quite a bit. I hope the sequel can fix those problems.  Read our review of The Lego Movie here. [embed]218732:42110:0[/embed] 3. The Book of Life The Book of Life was truly a light in the dark. A different, Spanish language voice that stood out from other homogeneous offerings. Bringing both negative and positive aspects of Mexican culture to the public forefront (although never truly doing anything with them, sadly), Book of Life is a savvy, entertaining, wonderfully musical good time. In fact, its tejano inspired arrangements of well known pop songs are some of my favorites from last year. I hope this is just the beginning of Latino voices breaking into the mainstream.  Read our review of The Book of Life here. [embed]218732:42112:0[/embed] 2. How to Train Your Dragon 2 How to Train Your Dragon 2 is a sequel done right. Expanding on the themes of the original without pandering to anyone, Dragon 2 was entirely confident in itself. It was amazing to see it unfold onscreen. Providing some of the best looking scenes in film last year, and with a great musical score to boot, Dragon 2 was one of the few films that made 3D viewing necessary. Its darker tone may have turned kids away, but those kids that stuck around realized there was a film here that captured all of the oddness that comes with becoming an adult and staking a claim in life. And this is a sequel! Based off a book! See, they're not all terrible!  Read our review of How to Train Your Dragon 2 here. [embed]218732:42111:0[/embed] 1. Mr. Peabody & Sherman Speaking of terrible sounding ideas, Mr. Peabody seemed doomed to fail. When Dreamworks bought the rights to Classic Media (which included classic cartoon properties like Rocky & Bullwinkle, Waldo, and Casper the Friendly Ghost) as part of an initiative to reboot all of these properties and make money, I was worried for the already in progress Peabody. Reboots already have the worst reputation, and Peabody is really special to me so the last thing I wanted was for the poor dog to be dragged through the mud. But thankfully that didn't happen.  Smarter than most films without belittling children's intelligence, Mr. Peabody & Sherman is a surprisingly emotional tale of father and son who've both felt the sting of loneliness. In a year of boy's club films, it was so great to see one that wasn't all about men doing men things. Mr. Peabody & Sherman is an ode to love, family, and trust. Also, it's full of genuinely good edutainment.  Read our review of Mr. Peabody & Sherman here. What are your favorite animated films of 2014? Agree or disagree? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned through the rest of the week for more "Best Of" lists! 
Nick's Top 5 Animated photo
No girls allowed I guess
2014 was a pretty good year for animated films. But unlike the year before, which featured a huge Disney film with headlining women and lots of family friendly features, 2014 was a complete boy's club. While there were a few ...

FlixList: The Ten Best Trailers of 2014

Dec 30 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: Interstellar, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Foxcatcher, Knight of Cups, Godzilla, Tomorrowland, Big Hero 6, Godzilla [embed]218742:42095:0[/embed] 10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens This may have gotten on the list just for being a trailer for a new Star Wars movie, but it barely squeaked by. Being the definition of "tease," this is the trailer that sent a million fans flocking to their keyboards. Haha, we weren't any different.  [embed]218742:42096:0[/embed] 9. The Interview Before all that hullaballoo, The Interview was a small movie about killing a dictator with a really good trailer. Using a semi-popular viral video of young korean boys playing guitar, I had to see this trailer a few times. Good music, it's cut particularly well, and the final joke is pretty good.  [embed]218742:42097:0[/embed] 8. American Sniper Now THIS is how you advertise a military film. The final film may not fulfill all the promise of the first trailer, but there's still much to chew on. Excellently shot military action, emotional turmoil, and humans instead of soldiers. It's all delivered in a succinct, gripping fashion and there hasn't been a quieter trailer this year.  [embed]218742:42098:0[/embed] 7. Furious 7 While new fans will flock to theater for Paul Walker's last outing, this first trailer for Furious 7 shows the rest of the world what we've known for awhile. Fast & Furious is f**king awesome. #FAMILY [embed]218742:42099:0[/embed] 6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Mockingjay - Part 1 had such great advertising. Before revealing the conventional trailers, we got a steady stream of propaganda like teaser videos and images. Knowing that it's a big property folks would've seen regardless, it was good to see all the effort when it really wasn't necessary. Good thing the film itself also capitalized on all of the fervor.  [embed]218742:42100:0[/embed] 5. Guardians of the Galaxy To this day I still hear "Hooked on a Feeling" jokes. [embed]218742:42103:0[/embed] 4. Fifty Shades of Grey Fifty Shades of Grey went from being that really bad sounding movie based off of an even worse sounding book to kind of interesting with its first teaser. All it took was a cut that made it seem like a sexually charged horror film and Queen Bey covering own of her own songs in an awesome way. Then the second trailer completely went and undermined all of that goodwill. So much for that, I guess.  [embed]218742:42102:0[/embed] 3. Nightcrawler Want to get folks interested in your film? This is how you do it. First releasing as a viral teaser, Nightcrawler went on to be one of my favorite films of 2014 as it utilized all the creepiness found in this short video. A slim Gyllenhaal with sinister eyes and a well written speech does a good trailer make.  [embed]218742:42101:0[/embed] 2. Mad Max: Fury Road Coming out of practically nowhere with a boom, Fury Road instantly became my most anticipated film of 2015 with its trailer released over San Diego Comic Con. Gritty, cartoonish, explosive, and stylish as f**k. And this was all done with practical effects! You don't even need to see any of the other trailers for this film from here on out.  [embed]218742:42104:0[/embed] 1. Birdman Maybe I'm crazy? Maybe you're crazy? Maybe we're crazy?  Probably What are your favorite trailers from 2014? Do you have a "best" trailer that I didn't feature here? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! 
Best Trailers of 2014 photo
The trailers of 2014 got me lookin' so crazy right now
Around this time last year, I wrote a list of the Best and Worst Trailers of 2013. While there won't be a "worst" list this year, that just means the trailers of 2014 have been all around much better than before. As studios f...

The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)

Dec 22 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: The Preacher's Wife, Santa Paws, Santa Paws 2, Codename Kids Next Door (S5, E5) - Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.,  [embed]218693:42057:0[/embed] Planes, Trains, and Automobiles This movie's such a great comedy in its own right, you could watch it outside of the holiday and not feel weird. A film that set the stage for the "Road Trip" comedy, Planes, Trains and Automobiles features a memorable performance from John Candy (which means it's an automatic winner already), and lots of awesome anti-Christmas spirit.  [embed]218693:42070:0[/embed] The Muppet Christmas Carol There are tons of different versions of A Christmas Carol out there, but The Muppet Christmas Carol is one of my favorites. Maybe it's because the Muppets themselves are great, or maybe it's the musical numbers, or maybe it's the fact it's one of the few stories that features a timeline in which Kermit and Miss Piggy actually get married and conceive children. It's just got lots of cute moments that are really hard to pass up. The two Marley ghosts are still my favorite bit.  [embed]218693:42071:0[/embed] Love, Actually I actually have no idea why Love, Actually works as well as it does. What should be shmaltzy holiday fodder clicks due to its well selected cast, hidden darkness (Rick Grimes straight up stalks a girl), and snappy dialogue.  [embed]218693:42072:0[/embed] Bad Santa I don't have fond memories of Bad Santa mostly because I saw the second cut, Badder Santa first. Turns out the slightly cleaner cut was much better. It's not a holiday classic for most, but it should be. If you can get passed all of the jackassery and gross kids, it's got a lot of heart. Takes the poop out of the Christmas myth.  [embed]218693:42073:0[/embed] Scrooged This may be yet another version of A Christmas Carol, but it's far darker than most things on this list. With a skewed vision of pop culture and advertisement of the time (and thus dissecting the commercialism of the holiday season), Scrooged is a mix of cartoonish and bleak. It's like a holiday film your cranky old dad would enjoy. Both of you can watch and go "dern TV today." [embed]218693:42074:0[/embed] The Nightmare Before Christmas What's this? What's this? It's a movie everyone's seen.  [embed]218693:42075:0[/embed] Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas This pick is a little more personal. The first non-Rankin/Bass Christmas film I got was Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas. It's pretty special as it introduced me to stories like Gift of the Magi and Groundhog Day. It's a perfectly harmless, imperfect Disney direct to home video film. You should at least check out the first segment where Huey, Dewey, and Louie wish it were Christmas everyday. It's fun, depressing, and full of laughs.  [embed]218693:42076:0[/embed] The Prince of Egypt The Prince of Egypt might be more of an Easter film, but it's the only pure religious film I'll ever acknowledge. When Dreamworks Animation was focused on challenging Disney, they churned out their best work during a golden era: The Prince of Egypt, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, The Road to El Dorado, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. It was hit after hit after hit as they put so much money into turning out the best products. The Prince of Egypt is one of the best retellings of Exodus I've ever seen. Concise but full of information, stupendous musical numbers, stellar voice cast, and gorgeous animation. If you're thinking about the "Christ" part of Christmas, check this one out. It's religious without being super in your face about it.  [embed]218693:42077:0[/embed] American Dad S5, E9: Rapture's Delight So this one's a bit of a cheat, but I've made it a tradition to watch every American Dad Christmas special each year. The later ones (featuring Krampus and Damien) aren't that great, but the first four or so are true gems. The highlight of all these for sure is "Rapture's Delight." A Christmas special that suddenly turns into a send up of every great 80s action film with Mad Max-style visuals, Andy Samberg with his most annoyingly great voiceover work, and "Later world, smell my ass!" can't be beat.  [embed]218693:42078:0[/embed] Fireplace for Your Home ...sexy.  What do you think Flixist community? What are your favorite holiday films on Netflix Instant? 
Netflixmas photo
Merry Flixmas!
In December of 2013, I wrote about a Christmas movie a day for twenty five days. It was both the best and worst project I had ever attempted. I tested the limit of how many words I could actually come up with for each one. I ...

FlixList: The Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)

Oct 29 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: Let the Right One In, The Ninth Gate, Maniac, Surf Nazis Must Die, American Mary, Event Horizon, V/H/S, House on Haunted Hill, The Stuff, The Fly, The House of the Devil, Children of the Corn  [embed]218490:41925:0[/embed] Tucker and Dale vs. Evil Although Tucker and Dale is more of a parody of the horror genre (as teens find themselves in precarious violent situations while the two try to save them), that doesn't mean it isn't full of the same suspense or gore you'd expect. If gruesome deaths are your horror bag, then this film's for you. If not, there are quite a lot of laughs mined from those gross moments.  [embed]218490:41935:0[/embed] My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Who is this for?  [embed]218490:41928:0[/embed] All Cheerleaders Die With a name like All Cheerleaders Die, you'd be forgiven for writting off this neat little flick. It's not as overtly sexual as the name implies, and is fact a nice twist on that pulpy horror "sexy beast" gimmick. It's not until the finale kicks in that you really see what kind of horror film it is, but it's worth it.  [embed]218490:41926:0[/embed] The Cabin in the Woods Cabin in the Woods is a must see for any horror fan. A true send up of the genre that goes batsh*t insane in the second half. It's one of those movies where if I explain why it's really good I'd ruin it, so please just take my word for it.  [embed]218490:41927:0[/embed] The Craft Maybe this is because I originally saw this as a prepubescent and it's filled with some of the most attractive women of the time (oh my god, Neve Campbell marry me), but The Craft is scary in that "teenagers are just the worst" way. It's basically a film version of that My Chemical Romance song "Teenagers," but like ten million times better. Seriously though, you can't get a better teenage angst film. [embed]218490:41929:0[/embed] The Frighteners Before Peter Jackson made six Lord of the Rings movies, he directed a film that deserves five more entries. Starring Michael J Fox and a host of legitimately frightening ghosts (that worm tunnel to hell still weird me out after all of this time), The Frighteners is always my go to for a good time.  [embed]218490:41930:0[/embed] Scream Out of all the slasher films on Netflix Instant, I'd have to pick Scream as my favorite. Maybe it's because this one stars Neve Campbell too, but it's the first film I remember utilizing the meta narrative that's exploited so much today. It was a hipster horror film before hipster horror was even a thing. A film you can ironically and un-ironically enjoy. Also let me just mention Neve Campbell one more time. So good. [embed]218490:41933:0[/embed] Battle Royale In Battle Royale, a group of Japanese schoolmates are randomly chosen each year to kill each other in order to appease the adults. Although I'm no longer at the age where this premise has a direct effect on me, it's still chilling. I guess if you're not into foreign films, just watch The Hunger Games for a lighter take on this idea. As long as the horrific themes sink in, you're golden.  [embed]218490:41931:0[/embed] Rosemary's Baby This film continues to give me nightmares to this day. Whether it's a fear of children, of women, of punishment for sexual desires, a paranoia of those around me, or the Devil itself, Baby taps into all of them and cripples me each time I see it. In fact, I'm getting goosebumps right now just thinking about it. And it's not just the horror aspects, Baby is just a damn good film. With an outstanding performance from Mia Farrow, excellent set design, and pulsing score, it's a film I'd recommend to everyone above all else.  [embed]218490:41934:0[/embed] Anaconda But sometimes...My anaconda do.  What do you think Flixist community? Are you mad I forgot about Evil Dead 2 until right now? What are your favorite horror films on Netflix Instant? 
Horror Films on Netflix photo
Do you like scary movies?
The tradition of watching scary movies during the Halloween season is now easier to keep up with than ever thanks to Netflix Instant. But with all the content available on the service, how do you know which ones are truly wor...

FlixList: Ten Cartoons that Deserve Big Movies

Aug 19 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: Dog City, King Arthur & the Knights of Justice, 2 Stupid Dogs, Biker Mice From Mars, Cadillacs & Dinosaurs, Mighty Max, SWAT Kats, Where on Earth is Carmen Sandiego?, Arthur, Dexter's Laboratory, Captain Simian & the Space Monkeys, Pepper Ann, Darkwing Duck, Swamp Thing, M.A.S.K., Reboot, Most Disney cartoons, Teen Titans [embed]218176:41751:0[/embed] 10. Street Sharks Sure Street Sharks is essentially the same show as TMNT if the turtles were trash talking punks, but man it was JAWSOME. With all of the current shark hype, now's the best time for a Street Sharks reboot. Let Michael Bay produce this one, give it the worst best screenwriter, and then watch the cash roll in.  [embed]218176:41753:0[/embed] 9. The Mysterious Cities of Gold I know this one's been given a face lift thanks to a recent mobile game, but I really want this on the big screen. This is one of the rare occasions where I'd prefer live action for the property. Full of gorgeous backdrops, education, mystery, and non-White protagonists (with Spanish, Incan, and Egyptian influences), and childlike wonder. It's a show that didn't get the following it deserved. Come back, Esteban.  [embed]218176:41754:0[/embed] 8. Ed, Edd & Eddy A cool cartoon about three con men working over marks during Summer vacation. I really don't need to explain why this should be a movie, do I?  [embed]218176:41752:0[/embed] 7. Mummies Alive HE HAS THE MUMMIES! PROTECTING 25 B.C.  HE HAS THE MUMMIES! SOMETHING SOMETHING RAMSES [embed]218176:41756:0[/embed] 6. Gargoyles I remember having a tough time following Gargoyles. Being one of the first "dark" cartoons with a through plot line, I couldn't miss an episode because I'd come back super lost. And since I had missed so many, I think I singlehandedly canceled this show. I just really want to see a film version of this out of cold, hard guilt. Also for the possibility of seeing Keith David don giant grey wings and a mullet. [embed]218176:41755:0[/embed] 5. Bravestarr Bravestarr should really be more popular. A Native American sheriff fighting space aliens and robots in a version of Texas on the moon (or something)? And you're saying he has an ass kicking, wisecracking horse that transforms into a man horse? Why hasn't this been adapted for film yet? Do studios not want my life savings?  [embed]218176:41758:0[/embed] 4. Thundercats Remember when Thundercats nearly got a motion picture? Something happened during production that saved us from what was most likely a disaster. Then we got that neat, but short lived reboot on Cartoon Network a few years ago. We're overdue for a full fledged Thundercats film. I'd probably see it twice. Hell, just give actors cat noses and save money if that's the issue.  Sight beyond sight, badass beyond badass. [embed]218176:41759:0[/embed] 3. Captain Planet and the Planeteers Although it'll never be as good as the Funny or Die shorts with Don Cheadle, I really do think a Captain Planet film could work. Take out some of the 80-90s fluff like mullets, Indian children with monkeys, and "love" and you'd have a current Hollywood blockbuster. I mean if LeVar Burton can bring back Reading Rainbow, we can at least get a 90 minute film. Or a fan film. Anything. The power is yours, Internet. Make it happen.   [embed]218176:41760:0[/embed] 2. Kim Possible Call me, beep me, if you want to reach me when Kim Possible finally gets her big screen debut. I know the show has gotten some movie length TV specials on Disney Channel, but if there's any Disney cartoon worth adapting, it's this one. Featuring a teenage cheerleader (who also happened to be a really great super spy), and her goofy best friend as they take on all sorts of colorful bad guys. Literally colorful with a blue guy, a green lady, and I believe there was a red one at one point. Slick action, great comedy, and featuring one of Christina Milian's few hit singles.  [embed]218176:41761:0[/embed] 1. Samurai Jack  This one hurts more than any other cancellation. Getting cut short after just one awesome season, we never got the final battle between Jack (a samurai wielding a mystical sword) and Aku (a demon who sent Jack years forward into the future). Although talks for a movie began shortly after the series ended, it was never meant to be. Although this list is about shows I want to see on the big screen, it's really just a thinly veiled list of shows I'd like to see again. Jack never made it back home.  AKUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU What did you think Flixist community? Am I wrong about these decisions? Are you made I forgot about Young Justice until right now? Leave a comment below or write a c-blog telling me why! 
FlixList: Cartoons! photo
Grab that bowl of cereal
Cartoons are great. Growing up, I loved to get up early weekend mornings (Fox Kids on Saturday, WB Kids on Sunday) and rush home from school during the week to catch all the best cartoons. Before the advent of DVR, piracy, an...

Robin Williams' best performances

Aug 13 // Flixist Staff
Matthew Razak I rewatched Hook last night for the first time in a long time. When I was a kid we had Hook on VHS and we must have worn that thing down to nothing by the time we were done with it. The tape may still be sitting under my parent's television just because it was that cherished. I realized last night that, aside from seeing it in the theater, it is quite possible I hadn't seen the film in HD and without the sides cut off. I just hadn't watched it in that long.  What a mistake. The movie is incredible, mostly because of how much childlike wonder it has. It's just fun to watch. A kind of fun that you don't get at the cinema that much -- an innocent fun. Much of that is thanks to Robin Williams who so easily becomes a giant kid without any sense of shame or sarcasm. He just exudes happiness onto the screen and it takes over the entire film, especially when he's playing off the wonderful Dustin Hoffman. There's also something charming about the non-computer generated world it takes place in. Everything is real (a set of course) and it lends an authenticity of imagination to the proceedings that Williams happily flies through with grace and charm. It's a movie about the wonders of childhood and how not to lose those throughout our lives, and it's a lesson that Williams taught us constantly. By the way, I lost it when Pockets pulled Peter's face back and said, "Oh, there you are." Sean Walsh Have you ever seen a bad Robin Williams movie? I certainly haven't. From Jumanji to What Dreams May Come, from Toys to One Hour Photo, from Aladdin to World's Greatest Dad, Williams proved that he had incredible range, overflowing talent, and unstoppable charisma. Truly a legend in every sense, he will live on in these movies and many, many more. Like many of you, I grew up with him, and like many of you, I plan to watch have myself a marathon in the imminent future. Robin Williams proved time and time again, he could fly, he could fight, and he could crow. Rest in peace. Alec Kubas-Meyer For a long time, I knew Good Will Hunting only as The Reason That Guy from Gigli Had an Oscar (how things have changed...), something that blew my mind but not enough to make me actually see it. But then I heard that Robin Williams was in it, and he wasn't funny. That was something I wanted to see. Many comedic actors attempt serious roles and fall flat on their faces. But Robin Williams thrived in it, and it made an alternate universe where Robin Williams was a beloved dramatic actor seem oddly plausible. I know it wasn't his only dramatic role, but it was the one that proved his talent was unclassifiable. The dialogue Williams spoke in that film wasn't written by him, but it truly seemed to come from him. He was a brilliant performer, and many of the lessons he taught are as applicable now as ever: "You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to." Nick Valdez The Birdcage is an astounding film. Sharp writing, sharp physicality, and light years ahead of its time. It was Nathan Lane at his finest bouncing off Williams in true form. It's one of those films that you need to see at least once. And Aladdin? Robin Williams gave that film more character than it could ever deserve. Challenging Disney's animators to capture his enigmatic performance and bring his outlandishness to print, Williams was indeed great without even stepping in front of the camera. We'll never have a friend like him again.  But there's soooooo much more! Insomnia, Death to Smoochy, Good Morning Vietnam, Mrs. Doubtfire, f**king Dead Poets Society, his guest spot in Louie, Jumanji, Flubber, and hell, even Bicentennial Man. Williams was a man with an impeccable track record, so it's hard to pin down one of my favorites. It's going to be tough knowing we're not going to see him anymore, but that doesn't mean his legacy will fade. Now that he's gone, it's our turn to stand on the desks and shout "Oh captain, my captain!" at the top of our lungs. I'm just going to end this with a few of my favorite quotes because I'm starting to break down:  "Work it, own it, sell it!" "Phenomenal cosmic powers, itty bitty living space."  "I'm going on safari, motherf**ker! SAFARI!" "But if there’s love, dear… those are the ties that bind, and you’ll have a family in your heart, forever. All my love to you, poppet, you’re going to be all right."
Best of Robin Willams photo
Celebrating a truly brilliant career
Every time there is a major death in any industry the internet is bombarded in the following days with news posts and features and all sorts of other content that blur the line between legitimacy and exploitation. There have ...

FlixList: Ten Crimes I'd Commit During a Real Purge

Jul 24 // Nick Valdez
(Dis)Honorable Mentions: Wear white after Labor Day, eat cereal without milk, shoot Mr. Burns (again) 10. Start the day without a well balanced breakfast Pssh, can't commit the worst of crimes on an empty stomach. I'm just going to fill it with junk food like pizza bagels, cheese sticks, and gummi bears. Ooh, maybe gummi bear cereal. Is there a gummi bear cereal? I'll invent one and charge a ludicrous amount for it.  9. Rip the tag off my mattress This thing's been bothering me forever. It'll be the first to go.  8. Bring back free Napster and download all of Metallica's albums  I've always wanted to pirate music, but I'm afraid someone'll crack down on me. I'll use the time to get all sorts of music, listen to it once, and promptly never listen to it again until it shows up during shuffles.  7. Jaywalk through a busy intersection naked Floppin' around the 'ole fishin' hole 6. Steal several "I Love New York" shirts and knit them into a quilt Sometimes it's cold at night.  5. Wear parachute pants filled with yogurt Sometimes it's hot at night.  4. Break into the zoo and eat six koalas Why six? Because six sounds like a good number to eat. Why koalas? Because they look damn delicious. I'd say something like "bald eagles," but they're probably going to be very hard to find and I've only got 12 hours to do all of this. Oh, I'd bite a hippo. Not because it's a crime or because it looks tasty or anything, I just want to do this.  3. Wear Crocs with socks the entire time Fashion crimes are the worst crimes. 2. Refuse to shower I'd make sure to take the time out for social crimes like not courteously maintaining good hygiene. I'll probably wallow in something too. What are they going to do, huh? Arrest me?  1. Tattoo "You're Two Thousand and Late" on my chest Because I'm so three thousand and eight and got that boom boom boom.  Got any crimes you'd like to commit? Comment here or on our contest post with your crimes. Note: Flixist does not endorse committing crime, no matter how cool/awesome/unique they make you look! Also, I may disappear for awhile for completely unrelated reasons.
#CrimeDay photo
On Crime Day, the holiest of holidays
With The Purge: Anarchy in theaters and another #CrimeDay in the history books, I've been thinking about crime for a bit now. In the series, everyone and their mothers are so focused on committing violent crimes they don't se...

Six filmmakers who should direct Star Wars spin-offs

May 27 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
When I first read that Gareth Edwards was making the first spin-off, I misread it. I thought, “Seriously? The guy who did The Raid 2? Heck freaking yeah!” And then I was disappointed to find out that, no, it was some other guy who didn’t make the best action movie ever. But what if it was? The Star Wars of the 21st century has tended towards the big and bombastic, and doing so made the action a whole lot less intense. Say what you want about his films, Evans knows how to make small-scale action intense. Imagine a bounty hunter spinoff (back-in-the day Boba Fett?), something like a martial arts Blade Runner. Given his not-excellent track record as a writer, he’d definitely need at least one other person to help out with the story, but if he got that, the Star Wars universe could be home to the coolest sci-fi action film ever. Han Solo is a slick fella. Suave and sarcastic almost to a fault, it’s hard to imagine a Han Solo prequel film without the steady hand of one Edgar Wright; especially now that Wright is off Ant-Man. Wright's trademark snappy direction would gel perfectly with Solo’s whip-smart brand of humor. Can you imagine the car chase scenes from Hot Fuzz...but with the Millennium Falcon? An Edgar Wright movie mixes wit and a surprising amount of heart, usually to great effect. And you know who else is hiding a heart of gold behind a wall of snark? Han Solo. Plus, it would be a major PR boon for Disney, especially after the whole Ant-Man debacle. Nerds love Edgar Wright, but they love Han Solo even more. -- Mike Cosimano Disclaimer: I’ve never seen the Clone Wars series, so I don’t know if that delves into the lives of the same-faced soldiers who are at the bidding of the real Star Wars baddies, but I think it would be absolutely fascinating to have a film that focuses on the military itself and the people within. Honestly, I think it’s such a potential goldmine of interesting stories that it could be its own subseries, with a film about each military faction. Kathryn Bigelow has proven that she is extremely adept at evoking the feeling (if not necessarily the reality) of a small-scale warzone (think Hurt Locker, not Saving Private Ryan), and could make for a really compelling drama. Snowpiercer isn’t out in the states yet, so you’re going to have to trust me on this one: Bong Joon-Ho is a brilliant world builder. Whatever its failings, his latest film serves to create a fascinating world that just feels right. More importantly, its multilingual cast shows that he has a unique grasp on the melding of different cultures. I’d trust him to pull off a Star Wars drama with a cast of aliens and humans alike more than any other filmmaker on the planet. He’s also got a good grasp of action. If we have to attach it to existing characters, I’d say that he would be perfectly suited to create the Han Solo origin, though I’d rather he do something completely different. Speaking of completely different: The man who made Primer and Upstream Color has one of the most distinctive, singular visions in all of movie-making. While his movies may not look the same in the way a Wes Anderson might (let’s pause to consider and immediately reject a Wes Anderson-directed spinoff), his complete control over nearly every aspect of production means he’s as close to a true film auteur as a person could get. His intensely cerebral, low-budget sensibilities likely wouldn’t translate to the type of narrative people associate with Star Wars, but his sci-fi background means that he could make something absolutely compelling within that universe. It would be small, intimate, and like nothing else out there. For these spinoffs to really make an impact, they need to do something weird. Shane Carruth would help them do that. No, seriously. George Lucas may have completely destroyed his credibility as a filmmaker with the Star Wars prequels, but it would be fascinating to give him an unrelated side-story to (probably) mess up as well. Without any expectations or preconceived notions, the man (especially if he had a team to reign him in) could possibly make some reasonably interesting, if not necessarily good. I don’t have the faintest idea what that thing might be, but if we’re part of this new Expanded Universe, why not? I mean, it really couldn’t be any worse than Episode I.
Star Wars Wish List photo
It's time for a different kind of EU
When Disney killed the Star Wars Expanded Universe last month, they negated decades of side stories that fleshed out the galaxy far, far away. But they left open the door for a new Expanded Universe, one filled with cano...

The 15 greatest yelled lines in the history of cinema

Apr 23 // Matthew Razak
"EVERYONE!" [embed]217512:41389:0[/embed] Gary Oldman in Léon: The Professional Seriously. Never make Gary Oldman repeat himself. It's hard to know why this line works so well, but it's probably because Gary Oldman is an awesome actor and because it comes out of nowhere. Most of these yells are built up to, but Oldman's just jumps right into your face along with the spittle flying from his mouth.  "HEY, STEEEELLA!" [embed]217512:41388:0[/embed] Marlon Brando in A Street Car Named Desire Method acting, bitches. "ATTICA! ATTICA! ATTICA!" [embed]217512:41458:0[/embed] Al Pacino in Dog Day Afternoon Want to know how good Al Pacino is? This entire shout was improvised after assistant director Burt Harris gave him the idea. Possibly the most politically charged shout on the list Attica was a semi-recent prison right fresh in the minds of the public as an example of police brutality and overwhelming authority. This yell would have not only riled up the crowd in Sydney Lumet's masterpiece, but the audience watching in the theater as well. Even without the historical context it is nothing short of riveting.  "FREEEEEEEEDOOOOOOOMMMmmmmm" [embed]217512:41365:0[/embed] Mel Gibson in Braveheart Re-watching this clip to put this list together we realized that this scene when taken out of context is insanely cheesy. If you didn't know any better you'd probably assume this was from some horribly written low budget British TV show. But that's the beauty of this yell: it's built on the rest of the movie. Gibson's shout here isn't just a stand alone yell, it's all of Scottland shouting for freedom! "I'M AS MAD AS HELL AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" [embed]217512:41364:0[/embed] Peter Finch in Network Possibly the line that really solidified yelling as an acceptable form of dialog in legitimate films, "I'M AS MAD AS HELL" isn't just fantastic because Peter Finch delivers it like a true madman. It's also fantastic because of how scarily prophetic it is. Flash forward nearly 40 years and we've got cable channels propping up pundits shouting everything and anything to get your attention. If you haven't watched Network and only know this shout we suggest fixing that ASAP. "NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES! AHHHH! THEY'RE IN MY EYES! MY EYES! [embed]217512:41383:0[/embed] Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man Selecting the best yelled line by an actor who has so perfected yelling like a madman was damn near impossible, but Nic Cage's performance during the last ten minutes of the remake ofThe Wicker Man had to take the cake. He yells every line during this entire scene until the conclusion of the movie and it's glorious. The best of those lines? It's obviously the bees.  "AND YOU WILL KNOW MY NAME IS THE LORD WHEN I LAY MY VENGEANCE UPON THEE!" [embed]217512:41456:0[/embed] Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction Picking this line over another certain one involving snakes and planes was tough, but Samuel L. Jackson's performance in Pulp Fiction and the screenplay he's reading from elevates this above all the rest of his myriad of quality yelled lines. Basically this entire scene is yelling (ENGLISH, MOTHER FUCKER. DO YOU SPEAK IT?), but by the time he hits this line, his voice subtly rising after being a bad ass mother fucker for the past five minutes, it's definitely the most poetic part of a fantastically delivered and crafted yelling spree.  "SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE!" [embed]217512:41455:0[/embed] Charlton Heston in Soylent Green Most of these lines are big payoffs that leave the audience pumped up and relieved, but "SOYLENT GREEN" is a desperate shout into oblivion as Charlton Heston is carried away and the movie concludes. Not only one of the greatest plot twists to hit the silver screen, it's one of the few that's yelled loudly and then brought to a dystopian ending where you're pretty sure the fact that Heston is shouting his lungs outs is almost entirely moot. Note: Heston's other classic yelled line "GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL" from Planet of the Apes could easily be swapped with almost the exact same description. "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH!" [embed]217512:41385:0[/embed] Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men In all honesty a lot of these yells aren't what you'd call "well acted." They deliver on the yell part, and are awesome, but the emotion behind them isn't really there. Jack Nicholson's delivery here, however, is god damn full of it. Perfectly led up to by Cruise's interrogation the explosion of anger that the audience has been waiting for all movie leads into one of the best court room monologues to do date. It also gives regular people a line they can yell whenever the hell someone is demanding the truth about the most banal things in the world.  "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" [embed]217512:41390:0[/embed] Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith It's hard to know what Lucas was thinking with this one. Oh wait, it's the prequels, he was thinking about money and fell asleep on the "O" key. Whatever his melodramatic inspirations were this prolific shout has now cemented itself into the anals of movie yelling and Internet meme-dom. In a franchise full of fantastic yelled lines ("THAT'S IMPOSSIBLE!", "YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE THE CHOSEN ONE!), you have to give this guy credit for out dramatizing them all. "HEY, YOU GUYS!" [embed]217512:41457:0[/embed] John Matuszak in The Goonies Parents, if you're wondering how to get your children interested in the highly educational and beneficial world of yelled lines pop in The Goonies. OK, pop in the The Goonies no matter what because it's awesome, but it'll also help with the yelled lines thing. Probably one of the more heavily used lines in pop culture these days -- How many times have you shouted it to your friends upon seeing them across the street? -- "HEY, YOU GUYS!" is actually pretty immaterial line in the film, but John Matuszak, as Sloth, delivers it so earnestly that it's no wonder it stuck.  "THIS! IS! SPARTA!" [embed]217512:41363:0[/embed] Gerard Butler in 300 What really sells Butler's shout here is the fact that he turns three words into three sentences simply through the power of a good yell. Could this have gone all subtle and menacing? Sure, but that wouldn't have been very Spartan. Instead each word is shouted with enough force that he probably didn't even need to kick the Persian to knock him into that bottomless hole. "ADRIAAAANNNNNNNN!" [embed]217512:41387:0[/embed] Sylvester Stallone in Rocky Another tough one to choose from, but Stallone's first is still his best. These days overly dramatic sports movie conclusion are a dime a dozen (thanks heavily impart to this very franchise), but when Rocky landed people hadn't really seen something like it before. Rocky yelling "ADRIAAANNN" at the end of the bout as chaos reigned and audiences basically jumped out of their seats in excitement was momentous. It helps that Stallone was all out Stalloning when yelling the line so that it could stick so perfectly in people's memories. "GET TO THE CHOPPA!" [embed]217512:41362:0[/embed] Arnold Schwarzenegger in Predator Arnold could pretty much fill up a list of his own with fantastic yelled lines, but in the popular zeitgeist of the moment nothing stands out more than "GET TO THE CHOPPA!" We'd argue that this line pretty much defines Arnold's entire career. The inability to pronounce the word chopper while still having the all out commitment to the yell makes it the iconic Arnold shout. "KHAAANNN!" [embed]217512:41384:0[/embed] William Shatner in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan The only yell so loud that it echoed across an entire planet's landscape, "KHAN!" is more than just a yell it's the defining moment of William Shatner's career. The clenching of the face, the perfectly timed dramatic pause, the powerful delivery. If you were going to define Shatner as an actor you would simply type Khan next to his face in the dictionary. Delivered by anyone else this would seem really bad, but with Shatner you're right there with his anger.   And that wraps it up. We're almost sure we left off your favorite since we left off about half of ours, but once the dust settled these were the 15 we thought most important. There's tons of great yelling going on in movies all the time so let us know what your favorites are or better yet yell at us about them. In a rare instance we will not be upset by people typing in all caps. 
LOUD NOISES! photo
Get ready for a ton of typing in caps
Yelling has been an integral part of cinema since the first talkies came to be. I bet you didn't know that the original screenplay for The Jazz Singer was typed in all caps and was supposed to be yelled the entire time....

Flixist's 2014 Movie Preview-palooza

Jan 31 // Flixist Staff
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher MillerRelease Date: February 7th, 2014Trailer The LEGO Movie is the most tantalizing thing I've seen in a long time. It looks gorgeous (with what may or may not be stop motion animation), it's few trailers have been full of sparkling personality (complete with the best depiction of Batman committed to film), The Simpsons LEGO house is releasing shortly after the movie's release, and I can't believe it's a thing that's really going to happen. It's our first real Justice League movie, folks. I still can't believe it. I hope it's as good as I want it to be. If not, feel free to come back in a week after I've reviewed it to laugh in my face. -- Nick Valdez Director: José PadilhaRelease Date: February 12th, 2014Trailer Why am I excited for the Robocop remake? Mostly because I'm a sucker. I mean we all like robot movies and we all like cop movies so you put those together it has to be great, right? There are a few other reasons I'm actually excited about it. The first is because José Padilha is an awesome action director as his Elite Squad films have shown. The second is because inside me there's a little boy who just can't believe that they could screw up Robocop bad enough for me to not like it -- even if it is rated PG-13. -- Matthew Razak Director: Wes AndersonRelease Date: March 7th, 2014Trailer I mean, any Wes Anderson fan is looking forward to this movie, right? The Grand Budapest Hotel recounts the fairy tale-like adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a ritzy hotel full of personalities. The trailers and images have been making the movie seem like the kind of quixotic, lush and painterly film we've come to expect from Anderson, with a generous confirmed cast to boot. Wes Anderson may have a very specific flavor of movie, but at least he's very good at delivering that. -- Liz Rugg Director: Rob ThomasRelease Date: March 14th, 2014Trailer If you haven't watched Veronica Mars (the TV show) yet you're the reason kittens sometimes die and why North Korea exists. Almost everything bad in the world is your fault because you're basically missing out on the best neo-noir television series ever put to air and cancelled too soon. Thankfully Kickstarter came along and gave us all a chance to finally see a worthy conclusion to the TV series. As a backer of the film I'm not only excited to see the movie because "OMG V MARS!," but also because I actually invested money in it so I want to know it didn't go to waste. This is what big time movie producers must feel like all the time. -- Matthew Razak Director: James BobinRelease Date: March 21, 2014Trailer Give me slapstick, Tina Fey, and a Kermit-centric plot-line and I am a happy camper. Throw in a cameo of Hobo Joe (the indisputable best character from 2011's The Muppets) and my wallet will violently expel money at you until Muppets Most Wanted dances before my eyes. Yes, I am just a little bit excited about this movie. I'm not even completely convinced that Muppets Most Wanted will be a good movie, per say, but the trailer looks warm and the story seems lighthearted and fun, and that's all I could ever ask for in a Muppet movie. Plus, my childhood crush on Kermit may be rearing its ugly head again. Don't judge me. -- Isabelle Magliari  Director: Gareth EvansRelease Date: March 28, 2014 The Raid 2: Berandal is going to be the most kickass movie of the year. It’s still (technically) January, but I’m calling that right now and I don’t think anybody will object. Buzz out of Sundance is spectacular (as if we didn’t already know it was going to be the best thing since sliced bread), which is making this wait a whole lot harder. I’m pretty darn excited. -- Alec Kubas-Meyer Directors: Anthony and Joe RussoRelease Date: April 4, 2014 The next chapter of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is here! The sequel to one of my favorite Marvel movies explores our favorite super-patriot's adjustments to the present, some major changes in S.H.I.E.L.D., and the mysterious titular Winter Soldier, and introduces not only the high-flying Falcon but also one of my favorite D-list mercenaries, Batroc the Leaper. There is plenty to get excited about here, and I'm already frothing. - Sean Walsh  Director: Robert StrombergRelease Date: May 16, 2014Trailer EEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHH That's pretty much all I want to say about it. It's a new Godzilla movie, and for the first time, I'm not awfully cynical about its potential outcome. Godzilla is my homie, so I just wish for the best. I mean, even if it turns out to be terrible, it's a f**king new Godzilla movie. -- Nick Valdez Director: Robert StrombergRelease Date: May 30, 2014Trailer As Flixist's resident Disney fanatic, I'd like to take this opportunity to openly state Maleficent is going to be one of the best films of 2014. Is that setting the bar too high for what admittedly looks like a cheesy, but particularly fun time as Angelina Jolie hams it up (ham and cheese, mmmm)? Probably. But after Frozen managed to defy all my expectations, I don't see why every other Disney movie couldn't do the same. I'm a changed man, folks. Instead of viewing each Disney product with a slight unease, I'm unequivocally in support of whatever they try to do. Taking one of Disney's most iconic villains and giving her a movie just might work. -- Nick Valdez Director: Bryan SingerRelease Date: May 23, 2014 For the past several years I have been in extreme conflict with the X-Men Movies. Bryan Singer to me, ruined much of X-Men with his "vision." The first two movies where OK, but made me groan out load many a time, and they set the stage for the abomination of utter dribbling, fumbling, misguided, unintelligible, ball of goat spunk that was X-Men: The Last Stand. Brett Ratner should be ashamed. Also while I am venting, Gavin Hood, really, X-Men Origins: Wolverine? Who did you go down on to be a part of that project? And how could you quite essentially destroy one of the coolest story lines in all comic books as well as destroy one of the coolest characters in all of comic books (Deadpool)? Anyway, X-Men: Days of Future Past will let us know if Bryan Singer has learned anything from Matthew Vaughn, a man who knows how to make a super hero movie and did an amazing job with X-Men: First Class. This will also be the third X-Men movie in a row which will have actually been good in my book, which is an exciting prospect for future Fox super hero movies, and that make me feel excited for them again. -- Michael Jordan Directors: Chris Miller, Phil LordRelease Date: June 13, 2014 21 Jump Street in college. My body is ready. My body is so ready. - Sean Walsh Director: James GunnRelease Date: August 1, 2014  I love literally everything about this movie. The source material, the director, and the cast all have me counting the days 'til August. The most important thing, however, is that Guardians will introduce the third (of six) "Infinity Gems Stones," the ultra-powerful Macguffins that will likely prove to be the backbone of the maxi-arc of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's first act, culminating in Avengers 3. Plus, gun-toting raccoon. - Sean Walsh Director: Eli RothRelease Date: September 5, 2014 I have a weird relationship with Cannibal Holocaust, and that weird relationship is 50% of why I want to see The Green Inferno. The other 50% is because Eli Roth forever affected a South American culture by bringing electricity, cameras, and an outside world into their little village so he could make a crazy cannibal movie. That’s amazing and horrifying in equal measure. Hopefully, the ends will justify those ethically ambiguous means. -- Alec Kubas-Meyer Director: Bong Joon-HoRelease Date: Not Soon Enough  This was on my list for most anticipated of 2013, and then it didn’t come out in America. So now it’s here. This movie is gonna be amazing. It just needs a goddamn release. -- Alec Kubas-Meyer
2014 Preview-ocalypse photo
What's coming and looking awesome in 2014?
Last week some of our ranks recorded ourselves talking briefly about our most anticipated films of 2014, and now we’re looking at some of those films more in depth as well as mentioning others that we missed. 2013 ...

Alec's Top 15 Movies of 2013

Jan 17 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
Movie that makes me sad about the state of film criticism (because people loved it so much despite it being the worst thing ever): Leviathan Movies I missed that would probably be on this list: Frozen, The Hunt, The Spectacular Now, Spring Breakers, The Place Beyond the Pines, Juvenile Offender, Nebraska, Inside Llewyn Davis Honorable Mentions (in no particular order): Tim's Vermeer, Beyond the Hills, No, American Hustle, The Great Gatsby, The World's End, The Act of Killing, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Now You See Me, Stoker, V/H/S/2, Zero Charisma, the first two hours of Man of Steel I'm not usually a fan of stoner comedies, but This is the End is freaking hilarious. That's all there really is to it. The decision to have each actor play themselves was an inspired one that could have crashed and burned but instead turned into something great. I'd be interested to know if any of the tensions between Seth Rogen and co. are actually based in reality, but even if the whole thing is fictionalized it tells a pretty compelling human story amidst all of the chaos. Also, it has the best ending to a movie ever. Bar none. Seriously. Read our review here. The Wolf of Wall Street is too long. You could argue that that's kind of the point, that the excess of it is thematically linked to the narrative, but that doesn't change the fact that a half hour could have been cut from it without much thought. But even at three hours, it's still a wild ride that rarely drags (I checked my watch at the two hour mark and then not again until the credits rolled). Everything is as over the top as it could be while still feeling uncomfortably realistic. (Perhaps because it's based, at least in part, on reality.) This is what people believe Wall Street is like and Wall Streeters are like, and your feelings about the New York elite going into the film are going to radically influence the way you feel coming out. Read our review here. What makes You're Next interesting is the fact that it's not really a home invasion film (though detailing why would involve a pretty serious spoiler). I wouldn't even call it a horror film. Instead, it's basically an ultra-violent dark-comedy/thriller, and a great one at that. It is also extremely quotable and has one of the most badass protagonists (male or female) of any film in the past several years. Read our review here. My Chemical Romance said it best: So give them blood, blood, gallons of the stuff!Give them all that they can drink and it will never be enough.So give them blood, blood, blood.Grab a glass because there's going to be a flood! Read our review here. The sole documentary on this list, The Square is easily one of the most important films of last year. It details the 2011 demonstrations in Tahrir Square, which is significant enough, but it also documents the follow up demonstrations that took place last year. Those latter demonstrations, by the way, took place after the film had premiered at Sundance and won the Audience Award. Instead of letting the film stay as it was, the team went back to Egypt to make sure that the new story was being told. (And they did this all at great personal risk.) This is documentary filmmaking at its finest. Read our review here. If any film's placement on this list is abritary, it's this one. I am exceedingly glad that I didn't have to review Upstream Color, because I truly couldn't score it. The blurb that I wrote is basically non-commital trash and ends with no score attached. It's a film that defies description, and any number I could have given it would have been completely meaningless. Is it good? Probably. But what if it's terrible? It may very well be. I couldn't even give a 20 point range of where that score could be. But the fact that Upstream Color exists says something wonderful about movies, about what they can do and the growth of a new, truly independent voice in filmmaking. I don't understand Upstream Color, but I love that it's real. And whatever number it may be, it deserves to be on this list. Read our review here. Read Hubert's in-depth analysis here, here, and here. The trailers looked cool and everything, but I didn't expect a whole lot from Captain Phillips. It wasn't until the morning of the world premiere that I thought it might be worth seeing. I missed the press premiere, but those who went told me it was awesome. "Really?" I thought. "Guess I've gotta see it." I was told to see it big, and I have to agree that the big screen definitely adds to the experience (although unlike #7 on this list, it's not required). But even if you missed it in theaters, you definitely have to check it out. It. Is. Intense. Plus, the (mostly improvised) final five minutes features some of the best acting of Tom Hanks's entire career. (He deservedly beat out Chiwetel Ejiofor and Joaquin Phoenix in our NYFF awards.) The fact that he wasn't even nominated for an Oscar is quite literally the worst thing to ever happen in the history of America.  Read our review here. Dallas Buyers Club is not really a great movie. It's just a really good one, and would not by itself earn a spot on this list. But within that movie are two best-in-career performances from actors with some pretty-damn-good performances in their careers. Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto disappear into their characters, and it's freaking incredible. Seriously, two of the best performances of the past few years are on display here (suck it, Daniel Day Lewis), and they take something really good and just turn it into something else entirely. The physical transformation that McConaughey underwent is especially amazing (Leto did something physically similar for Requiem for a Dream, so it is less shocking, though no less impressive). This one hits hard. Gravity is back in theaters this weekend. Go see it now or not at all. The movie is an audiovisual masterpiece but is good at best in any other category. Dialogue? Fine, but way too much of it. Performances? Fine, but too much talking got in the way. Overall narrative? Kinda dumb. But the spectacle of the whole thing is completely unmatched. When I say that it is the most technically accomplished film I've ever seen, I'm not kidding. There's nothing like it in existence. And it single handedly justifies the existence of 3D filmmaking. It remains to be seen whether or not it will have any sort of lasting impact, but I can unequivocally say that it is a film that needs to be seen big. Without the size or the visual depth, its narrative seams go from mildly annoying to downright irritating.  But oh my god does it look good. Read our review here. No film invigorated me like The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Walter Mitty made me want to go and do things. It made me want to travel and see the world. Hell, it made a friend of mine who had never had interest in traveling want to go travel. Where Gravity revels in digital spectacle, Walter Mitty celebrates the physical. Obviously, not everything that happens is real, but the Icelandic and Greenlandic vistas are beautiful in a way few other things are. It doesn't hurt that the movie is just really gosh darn funny, but that's not why it's here. It's here for its optimism, something sorely lacking in films these days. I loved it for that, for the belief that things can and will be okay, that people can be and do great things. Many films on this list are about humanity's failings. Walter Mitty is about humanity's successes. Read our review here. The film with the highest review score I've ever given is only number five on this list. Every film going forward is a film I will never forget. Every film from here on down is one of the best films I've ever seen. (It was a seriously good year.) At Flixist, a 95 changes the way you look at film. Wrong changed the way I look at film. After Quentin Dupieux's Rubber, I didn't really think that absurdism could be done in film form. I thought that perhaps it required the physical presence of the actors. I was wrong. (Ha!) Absurdism can be done. Wrong is essentially a perfect film, doing exactly what it set out to do, and I have exactly zero bad things to say about it. From beginning to end, it shocked and amazed me, and when the credits rolled something had changed.  The next four films affected me in different ways, but all of them were extensions of what I knew cinema was capable of. Wrong was the only film I saw this year that truly broadened my horizons. And for that, it should be commended. Read our review here. My one rule of these lists is to stick to films that could potentially be nominated for an Oscar (my number four of last year was actually Amour). I do this in part because it keeps me from just putting together a list made exclusively of Korean films, but also because I like to believe that a country will put forth its best film to represent itself at the Oscars. Obviously, that doesn't happen, and you need look no further than France's snubbing of Blue is the Warmest Color to see that. (It's not actually that simple, and their hands were tied by the Academy's bullshit rules, but whatever.) I'm not going to let that stop me from singing Blue's praises. I was thinking about Blue is the Warmest Color the other day, and I don't mean just in passing. I mean really thinking about it. It's been months since I saw it, but the emotions that that thing brought out in me are still there. I don't do that very often. Blue hit me harder than any movie has in a long time, and I get chills thinking about the fight between Adèle and Emma. It's such a powerful scene that I would remember it even if I developed amnesia. I wouldn't be able to tell you who I was, where I was from, or why I would know this, but I'd be able to tell you that Blue is the Warmest Color is an incredible film. Read our review here. I almost missed Her. I am extremely glad I didn't. A couple of weeks before the New York opening of the film, I was sitting in a classroom and the conversation for whatever reason turned to the film. Without even thinking about it (I wasn't even really paying attention), I shouted, "Oh my god that movie is so good!" Fortunately, it wasn't actually interrupting anything, but I then felt kind of weird telling everyone that no, it wasn't out yet, and I saw it because I was at the world premiere at the New York Film Festival. (I did not mention that it was at the press screening that happened before the actual premiere.) But that is the sort of reaction the film got from me. It's such a brilliant story that is about as relevant to our time as any modern love story could be. Its utopian near-future is beautifully portrayed, and everything feels real and possible. The relationship between Theodore and Samantha is perfectly rendered, and even though Samantha has no physical form, I believed in the two of them and what they had. Absolutely wonderful. Read our review here. I saw this one back in March and I was convinced right through September that it would be the best film I saw all year. I was wrong (obviously), but that does nothing to diminish what Linklater and co. have made here. The Before trilogy is undoubtedly the best trilogy cinema has ever produced. Before Sunrise is a thing of beauty and Before Sunset even more so. Each of these films took the idea of a feature-length conversation and made it into something incredible. So expectations were high for Before Midnight, and the team delivered on all counts. The scale of the film is so much grander, as the couple is married and seams in their relationship have begun to show. But the comfort that Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have together is just kind of mind blowing. They are Jesse and Celeste. I saw the films essentially in sequence, and there isn't a hiccup in any performance, despite the 18 year gap. It's truly mesmerizing, and a basically perfect effort on all fronts. Read our review here. It kinda had to be. I knew from the second that it was announced that 12 Years a Slave would be amazing. Steve McQueen is easily one of the best directors working today, and Shame was my number 2 film of 2011. As the cast list grew and grew, there was no way that the film wasn't going to blow everybody out of the water. And just when people thought that maybe the hype was too much... it came out. And... wow. Seriously, wow. From start to finish, 12 Years a Slave is a film that hurts. It is the anti-Walter Mitty. It is a stunning portrayal of humanity's evils and even though Solomon Northrup was eventually freed, the reality that his story was not so unique is almost unbearable. Everybody knows slavery was bad, but it's hard to comprehend just what it was like. 12 Years a Slave may still be a sanitization of that era, but it comes as close to a vicious, horrific portrayal as anything cinema has ever produced. It's a film that everybody should see, and it was best film of 2013.  Read our review here.
Alec's Top 15 of 2013 photo
It was a damn good year for film
As our unofficial two weeks of arbitrary best of 2013 lists comes to a close, it seemed fitting to cap the whole thing off with a couple of actual Best Of lists. Nick posted his picks earlier in the day, and now I'm doing min...

Nick's Top 15 Movies of 2013

Jan 17 // Nick Valdez
30-16: Man of Tai Chi, American Hustle, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, Enough Said, The Great Gatsby, Evil Dead, Don Jon, Monsters University, Wolf Children, The History of Future Folk, Zero Charisma, Mud, Stoker,  The World's End, Drinking Buddies 15. About Time Richard Curtis doesn't exactly have the best track record with notable hits and misses (Hit: Love, Actually. Miss: Bridget Jones' Diarrhea), but when he gets it, he gets it. In a year filled with a good amount of romantic films (there's about five listed here that you should read), About Time is something special. In skews the genre in favor of a light sci-fi twist and uses that twist to instead focus on the relationship between father and son. Instead of becoming a film that makes you ponder the mysteries of love, you're instead left with thoughts of what you'd change in your life if you had the power to go back in time. It earns a spot on this list for that introspection alone.  Read our review of About Time here. 14. Pain & Gain Michael Bay made an art film last year. If you would've told me a few months ago that a Michael Bay film would end up on my Top List, I would've laughed in your face. Sure Pain & Gain is arthouse only in theory (it's like someone described to Bay what an arthouse film was, and he sort of winged it), but it's just so damn fun. Everything wraps up into a neat, but grungy package. It's based on a true story, it criticizes the darker aspects of the American dream, and it finds humor in the most unexpected places. Dwayne Johnson has never been more entertaining as a conflicted post-prison Christian convert who's now suddenly hit with a perverted vision of the world. Not everything worked, but I have to give Bay credit where it's due. It was a fantastic first try.  Read our review of Pain & Gain here. 13. Spring Breakers Spring Breakers set the tone of 2013. After Spring Breakers, whether or not the trend was coincidental, most films began deconstructing whatever genre they're a part of. SB had the party movie and it was fabulous. From James Franco's Riff Raff rip off, to the zealous use of neon and bright color juxtaposed with the gritty action, to how fantastically many scenes were shot. The reason the film is on this list is mainly for the reaction it brought out in me. A mix of disdain, shock, and general enjoyment. Sprang Breeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaak. Sprang Break fo evaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.  Read our review of Spring Breakers here. 12. Dallas Buyers Club Matthew McConuaghey has been on a steady rise since 2012 and it comes to its apex in Dallas Buyers Club. In what amounts to far more than a shock transformation type casting, McConaughey truly brings a physical and emotional pain to Ron Woodroof. And Jared Leto? I'm glad he's come back to acting. Rayon might not be the central focus in DBC, but her arc is the most splendid. Her final scene is something which still emotionally shakes me every time I reflect on it. It's a good film, not perfect, but damn good.  11. The Spectacular Now The Spectacular Now is a gem, plain and simple. From its well cast protagonist (Miles Teller, who's milking his typecasting as the drunk goof with wonderful results), to the remarkably subdued Shailene Woodley, to its broken relationships. It's more than your standard teenage wasteland film. Rarely do the characters in Now do anything without purpose. Every decision made, every conversation, is there to grow and change the budding relationship between Aimee and Sutter. It redefines "puppy love," and is now the new standard for teenage romance films going forward. Loving, hopeful, and excruciatingly sad at the same time.  10. You're Next Rare I'll love a horror film this much. I'm not a huge fan of the genre (as I'm a big ole' pansy and scare stupidly easy. Remember that Goosebumps TV show? I don't. Too scary), so I don't usually go out of my way to see them. I had completely missed out on You're Next's initial theatrical release, and was fine until the hype started building. Matt really enjoyed it, my Twitter friend @Xzyliac championed it, so I was a little more inclined to buy it on VOD. I'm so glad I did. It's inventive, gruesome (but not overtly as to gross you out), and just pure fun. Once You're Next really gets going, you'll actually find yourself laughing and be happily confused as to why. It's just that much fun. Try seeing it with friends.  Read our review of You're Next here. 9. The Act of Killing  The Act of Killing is also something I didn't get to see in theaters because it had a limited release (you can find it on Netflix Instant as of this writing), and instead hunted down a VOD copy. The Act of Killing was something I was instantly attracted to since I had seen its first trailer. It's a documentary that peers behind the emotional curtain of one of the scariest men in Indonesia, Anwar Congo, and never lets you go. It's oddly humorous at times, the content of the documentary (as Congo acts out murders) is captivating, and I felt emotionally drained right after watching it. So perfect movie, right?  Read our review of The Act of Killing here. 8. Inside Llewyn Davis  Inside Llewyn Davis is definitely a film you should at least see once. Although my appreciation of it will most likely grow with each viewing, Davis is an interesting perception of the struggling artist. Rather than glorify the implied freedom that comes with the career, Davis instead focuses on the angst brought on by constant failure. I don't know whether or not I like Llewyn as a protagonist, and that's sort of the point. You see a guy tear through what life has thrown at him and he's only met with negativity. But that angst also begs the question of whether or not to move forward. Even if Davis follows the hero's journey model, it's successfully hidden from plain sight. Oh and the music? OH MAN SO GOOD YEAH.  Read our review of Inside Llewyn Davis here.  7. 12 Years A Slave 12 Years A Slave is the only film this year that made me cry actual tears from my manly, muscley eyes. Solomon Northrup (finely portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, who I hope gets to be in more things from now on) is dragged through hell and back again only to witness dark and repulsive things. Rather than rest on white guilt, 12 Years A Slave is a powerful disfigurement of the antebellum south. It's also one of the best character films I saw last year. To see Solomon's will decay, then reinvigorate, just to decay all over again sucked me into the experience. There are these extended shots in the film (most of them close ups on Solomon's face) which toy with emotional tension in such nuanced ways. I'm starting to tear up right now just thinking about them.  Read our review of 12 Years A Slave here. 6. Short Term 12 I actually didn't see Short Term 12 until it released on home video a few days ago, and I'm glad I squeezed it into the week. I'm sad no one had told me about it before because Short Term 12 is nothing short of an intimate masterpiece. It runs through a dazzling bevy of emotions with swift, tight script work. Every huge moment is subdued, and is grounded because of that restraint. I've never seen Brie Larson better. It's almost as if she bided her time until she got a role which allowed her to show her full range. And it's such a quiet range. Larson says more with her eyes than most can say in entire speeches. Fantastic work.  5. Frozen I had completely expected to only like Frozen because I had to. With Tangled, Brave, or The Princess and the Frog, I was mildly entertained while forgiving a serviceable plot for the winning Disney charm. I fully expected to walk out of my screening with "eh, at least one song was good." To this day I thank my lucky stars I was so very wrong. Frozen packs a hearty wallop and deserves all the recognition and praise it's getting. Rather than ride on Disney's coattails, Frozen is the bravest and most cutting film in their line up.  It looks at the Princess movies of the past, and says "I can do better" in a non-cynical or derogatory way. It destroys Disney's tropes for women, sets a new standard for their CG animation, and also has one of the best Disney songs in recent memory (Idina Menzel has the voice of a goddess). Don't let the Disney moniker fool you, Frozen is the most Disney yet anti-Disney film you'll see in years.  Read our review of Frozen here. 4. Fast & Furious 6 While the latter half of 2013 will try to convince you otherwise, 2013 started off as a year of big, stupidly fun movies. And nothing said "Big and Stupid Fun" better than Furious 6. Cashing in on Fast Five's promise of high octane, obscene superhero action, Furious 6 was its very own Avengers movie as it assembled past stars and pit them against an evil mirror group. With its practical car stunts (A plane driving out of a car shouldn't seem feasible, but F6 delightfully proves it can happen and look damn good while doing it), deluge of beautiful yet strong women (I mean it features Tanktop Jesus and the next Wonder Woman, after all), and overall positive message of family togetherness (Birthing the fabulous #FAMILY). Paul Walker's untimely demise might be overshadowing the future of the franchise, but I want more of this. Rare a film celebrates its own existence in such a loving and fitting fashion.  Read our review of Fast & Furious 6 here. 2 (TIE). Her I want to start this off by saying Her made me want to love again. Laugh all you want, Her is genuinely romantic. Joaquin Phoenix's Theodore Twombley is me, damn it. Although I'm not as attractively awkward, and hate his pants because they make him look like an old man with cameltoe, I completely related to Theodore's troubles. I can't say I've been in a divorce or dated anyone like Rooney Mara, but I'm an emotional wreck who just wants someone to love me back. I'm cuddly, right?  Anyway, Her is surprisingly grounded despite its fantastical futuristic setting and that's because the emotion comes from a real place. It never once phoned it in and, thanks to Phoenix's phenomenal performance (and ability to hold it together in all of those close ups), you sink right into the romantic roller coaster. Her is a brilliant ride.  Read our review of Her here. 2 (TIE). This is the End WHOA. Who saw this coming? I sure didn't. Back when the first few trailers for This is the End began cropping up, I was notably uninterested. I'm a fan of Rogen's comedies, but I never loved them as much as I love this movie. Call it what you want (shallow, disgusting, immature) but it's more than meets the eye. This is The End is, at its core, a story about a friendship surviving the worst odds. It's about facing change and accepting it in order to become a better, happier person. It's not exactly a novel concept to have famous people playing themselves, but TiTE uses this to its advantage. Rather than date itself and fall into stoner comedy pitfalls, TiTE uses a tight script and nuanced adlib performances (watch the "Line-O-Rama" special feature on the home video release to see how much work is really put into the dialogue and you'll be floored) to deliver the best comedy of the year. This is the End completely delivers on what its title promises and gives you the best finale of 2013. You won't find a happier, believable celebration of the end.  Read our review of This is the End here. 1. The Wolf of Wall Street Her and This is The End may have brought their "A" Game, but The Wolf of Wall Street is so good, it created a new game altogether. With Scorsese and DiCaprio aging as pretenders challenge the throne (*cough* American Hustle *cough*), we had no idea they were waiting to release this juggernaut of a movie on the world. The longest film of 2013 ironically feels the shortest as every scene is as entertaining as possible.  Watching The Wolf of Wall Street is like going to a restaurant and ordering an entire cake. At first you think it'd be crazy to digest it all, but then it tastes sweeter and sweeter with every bite. You then consume more, and more, and then more until you realize you've eaten the whole thing.  And you don't even feel guilty about it.  Read our review of The Wolf of Wall Street here.   What are your favorite movies of 2013? Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! While you're at it, why not check out my Top 5 Animated Movies of 2013 and 10 Best Movie Music Moments lists too!
Nick's Top 15 of 2013 photo
I have seen 80 films released in 2013. Here are 15 of the best ones
You're probably thinking, "Who's this Nick guy and why should I care about what movies he liked the most?" Let me introduce myself. I'm Nick Valdez, News Editor of Flixist. I'm the guy who wrote about 25 Christmas flicks last...

The Top 6 Korean Films Released on Netflix in 2013

Jan 17 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
A Company Man [embed]217085:41127:0[/embed] When I joke about how violent Korean films are, I usually conjure up an image of something that resembles A Company Man, a film that features a man walk into his old office with an M-16. Then there's a firefight (because everyone else is packing), and a whole lot of people die. Like, a ridiculous number of people. The message of A Company Man is that there is more to life than your work, and I know that because soon after this massacre, the protagonist sits down with a young man and fucking says it. I mean, how heavy handed can you get? That's even more bash-your-head-in-blatant than The Shining's "All work and no play" scene. It's completely ridiculous, and it sounds more like a bizarre figment of my imagination than a real thing. But it is a real thing, and it's on Netflix, and you should go watch it. Assuming you can handle bloodshed. If you can't, though, why are you interested in Korean movies? Watch it here. My Girlfriend is an Agent [embed]217085:41126:0[/embed] Whereas most of the films on this list are dark, violent, and depressing, My Girlfriend is an Agent is bright, violent, and delightful. It simultaneously revives the spy-themed romantic comedy and then brutally murders it, because it's just so good there's no way to follow it up (so people may as well not try). It's a silly movie that's constantly doing new and surprising things, and the less you know about it the better. But it'll put a big, dumb grin on your face and have you in hysterics at least once or twice.  Read our review here. Watch it here. Rough Cut [embed]217085:41125:0[/embed] The movie that's being made within Rough Cut is a movie that I would want to make: get some people who know how to fight to fight. No stunt men, no pulled punches. They just beat each other until someone says "Cut." It's also how I envision the higher-quality action scenes in so many Korean films are made. So while I understand that this film is not actually representative of the average film set, I have chosen to view it as something of a docudrama. But real or imagined, Rough Cut tells a compelling story and has some great action scenes to cap it all off. They may not the best fights I've seen (somewhat unfortunate given the basic premise of the film), but each punch really means something and matters to the story. That sort of narrative weight to these physical blows is something missing from so many action movies these days, and that helps Rough Cut stand out from the pack. Read our review here. Watch it here. New World [embed]217085:41123:0[/embed] Did you know that Choi Min-sik doesn't really like violence? Could've fooled me. New World is yet another super-violent entrant in his filmography (although his part is relatively tame). When I spoke with him in 2012, he likened it to The Departed (I'm still slightly offended he didn't compare it to Infernal Affairs, but whatever), and I don't know that that's a particularly helpful comparison. Like that film, there is an undercover agent... and that's basically where the similarities end. But it's a good thing, because we've already got The Departed (and Infernal Affairs). It's good to have a different sort of undercover story, and there are some pretty great twists along the way. Also, the opening shot of the movie is of a dude covered in his own blood. Seriously, Korea? You need some counseling. Watch it here. The Thieves [embed]217085:41124:0[/embed] I really don't watch enough heist movies. I honestly couldn't tell you why I don't, but I could count probably count the number of heist films I've seen on two hands. But I have seen The Thieves, and it's pretty awesome. It's not an amazing movie, really, but it's a lot of fun, and there's nothing wrong with a little fun once in a while. The film's epic scale and international rivalry adds a really fascinating tension, especially for someone without a whole lot of context for racial divides in other areas of the world. I really enjoy seeing the racism in other cultures, and while I've probably got a relatively skewed vision from Korean blockbusters, it's interesting to see what does and does not get said about vast swaths of people.  But what really matters is that The Thieves shows off a great heist. I do wish I had more to compare it to, though, because heists are awesome. Maybe that should be my resolution for 2014: see more freaking heist movies. Watch it here. Pieta [embed]217085:41122:0[/embed] Until Amour came along and screwed everything up, Pieta was my favorite foreign film of 2012. Kim Ki-Duk is a very... unique director, and his films are compelling and sickening in equal part. I think the easiest moment to point to is the one when the protagonist forces this new woman in his life to prove she is his mother. Immediately following the film I had a 45 minute discussion with people who had not watched it attempting to justify the actions in that scene to them, and they were having none of it. They couldn't get beyond the face value of it, and I will be the first to admit that it's pretty disturbed stuff, but there's logic here, deranged as it may be. Watching this man go through what could have been the best time of his life is absolutely heartbreaking. It's a cruel film, and it's tough to watch, but it's brilliant nonetheless. Watch it here.  
Best Korean Netflix Films photo
Korean movies are still pretty freaking great
Nearly every time I tell people that I'm a fan of Korean films, I point them to the Korean subgenre on Netflix. It's easy, and even though many people won't ever check them out, I'm happy that the option is there. I understan...

Liz's 5 Hottest Movie Hunks of 2013

Jan 16 // Liz Rugg
I mean, if you know me at all you probably already assumed Ryan Gosling would be on this list. Just LOOK AT HIM. Gosling was in Only God Forgives and The Place Beyond The Pines in 2013, the latter of which he co-stared with his real life girlfriend, Eva Mendez. I think one reason so many people have crushes on Gosling is that he tends to play these super badass, tough, bad-boy characters, but in real life he's a huge sweetheart. Bonus picture: Ryan Gosling and a baby. C'mon!!!!!! Ughhh. Casey Affleck. If you've listened to old episodes of Flixist's podcast, Flixistentialism, (RIP) you'll already know that everyone on the cast has a boner for Casey Affleck. Especially Geoff. And can you blame us? He's so pretty! Plus in Ain't Them Bodies Saints he plays a fugitive who will stop at nothing to get home to his beloved wife (played by Rooney Mara) and daughter. Not only is Affleck attractive, but his character's unyielding love for his wife is practically superhuman. Ugh. Charlie Hunnam is probably best known for his recurring role as Jax in the television series Sons of Anarchy. In 2013 however, the English actor made it to the big-time action screen in Pacific Rim. While the flashy blockbuster may be ultimately forgettable, Hunnam sure looks good in a Jaeger Pilot suit.... Oh, Armie Hammer. I may not have liked The Lone Ranger at all, but one of it's bright spots, I must admit, is the lovably naive and goodhearted character Hammer plays. Hammer strikes a place with his Lone Ranger that is both undeniably virtuous and goofy. It's actually a shame in my opinion that Hammer stared in this flop. Hopefully it will lead to more opportunities for him (and more opportunities for us to see his cute face) in the future. Joaquin Phoenix's character in Her is so wholly different from most characters he's played in the past few years. In Her he is sensitive, nuanced, quiet, and entirely relatable. What's more, since his main love interest in the film is (spoiler?) an operating system -- represented as simply a voice in a computer -- he does almost all of the acting by himself, and completely pulls it off. Plus, those pants he wears. Mmm. Honorable Mention 1: Joaquin Phoenix's mustache.Just look at it. Honorable Mention 2: The entire cast of Magic Mike.Because how could we not. Seriously. This list is meant to reflect my own personal views, but if there's any hot movie dudes you guys think I missed from 2013, come at me!!
Hunks of 2013 photo
If you can't stand the heat, get out of the theater.
2013 had its fair share of hot ladies in the movies, but let us not, let us never, forget to celebrate the hot dudes the movies of 2013 blessed us with as well. From motorcycle misfits to vigilante justice cowboys to sentimen...

Sean's Hottest Babes of 2013

Jan 15 // Sean Walsh
[embed]217137:41141:0[/embed] 10. Jennifer Aniston (We're the Millers) During my formative years, I had a big ol' crush on my friend's mom. Many of my other friends, who didn't know her, didn't understand. "Dude, she's like forty-five," they told me. I was non-plussed. I knew she was a beautiful woman and over a decade later, she's still smokin' hot. Jennifer Aniston is about the age this hot mom was when I first met her, and just like this hot mom, Jen is still hotter than the sun. If you need any proof, just watch the above video again. And again. And again.  9. Shailene Woodley (The Spectacular Now) I've had a big ol' crush on Shailene Woodley since her days on The Secret Life of the American Teenager. She possesses that girl-next-door quality and a good-naturedness that really just makes you wish she lived next to you down on the Creek. It was those two qualities that made her perfect for the role of Aimee Finecky in the film adaptation of Tim Tharp's excellent book, The Spectacular Now. She was just so sweet and unsure and genuine in that movie, you couldn't help but fall in love with her. Despite being cut from Amazing Spider-Man 2, Woodley has her plate full for 2014, with lead roles in French thriller White Bird in a Blizzard, Twilight-void-filler Divergent, and most importantly, the sure-to-break-your-heart adaptation of John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. I, for one, cannot wait. 8. Rosario Dawson (Trance) My love of Rosario Dawson is well-documented here (pardon all the broken images, this article is years old now). In addition to all that, she goes full-frontal in Trance. It's also a pretty great thriller. It also has naked Rosario Dawson. I recommend it. 7. Amy Adams (American Hustle) Hey! Another Some Like It Hot alum! Adams was absolutely stunning in American Hustle, playing a fierce woman who just wanted to have it all, and I'm fairly certain she did the whole thing without wearing a bra. It was pretty awesome all around. 6. Rachel McAdams (About Time) Rachel McAdams has that kind of wholesome beauty that could make a guy travel through time over and over just so he could get it right with her. Like Shailene Woodley, she has that girl-next-door quality that makes me feel warm and fuzzy, and is drop-dead gorgeous, which makes me feel other things, too. 5. Gal Gadot (Fast & Furious 6) I just discovered Gal Gadot is only a year and a half older than me. That's crazy. Also, she is a smokin' hottie, a former Miss Israeli, and served in the Israeli Defense Force. If there is any doubt that she isn't badass enough to play Wonder Woman, you can get the hell out. As far as that whole thing goes, check out what she had to say in her own defense. A beautiful badass that is also well-spoken? That's a recipe for true love. 4. Margot Robbie (About Time, Wolf of Wall Street) I was threatened with violence if Margot Robbie didn't crack the top three, but I do so like to live dangerously. The summer fantasy every growing boy dreams of in About Time and the blond bombshell wife in Wolf of Wall Street, Robbie oozes sexuality with her every move, and Wolf of Wall Street had a lot of oozing. 3. Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, American Hustle) Everybody's favorite human Jennifer Lawrence, yet another SLIH alum, cracks the top three, because of course she does. She's Jennifer Goddamn Lawrence. Her outfits in Catching Fire were fabulous and all, but her entire performance in American Hustle, wardrobe included, is what put her over the top. She's really just the best. I don't think I need to elaborate further. 2. Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Color) I have, unfortunately, not seen Blue is the Warmest Color yet. I almost did with my new girlfriend, but decided that a film with explicit lesbian sex scenes maybe wasn't the best movie to see for our first big date night. Despite my having not seen it, there is no denying that Adèle is one of the most beautiful beings I've ever seen. That being said, I have every intention upon its DVD release, topour myself some bubbly, dim the lights, and have myself a private viewing. 1. TIE: The cast of Spring Breakers (Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine) I loved Spring Breakers. I loved it so much I saw it twice. Beyond the bikini bodies, requisite Spring Break excess, and repeated dialogue, there was a very raw story about four girls from a small town that just wanted to get out and experience life, and the consequences that follow the choices they make. I understand why so many people (all of my friends included, besides Isabelle) didn't like this film, but I loved it. Pitch black humor, a Riff Raff-impersonating James Franco, and a stunning rendition of Britney Spears' 'Every Time' all come together under the direction of Harmony Korine to make one of my favorite movies of 2013. That being said, the four lead actresses had absolutely phenomenal bodies that they have on display for 95% of the movie, and there was really no way for me to choose between them. Who says you can't have your cake and do a bunch of cocaine, rob a Chicken Shack, and make James Franco fellate a gun too? Honorable Mentions: Alexa Vega (Machete Kills), Cameron Diaz (The Counselor), Elsa's kick-ass dress (Frozen), Emma Roberts (We're the Millers), Julianne Moore (Don Jon), Lady Gaga (Machete Kills), Lindsay Lohan (The Canyons), Michele Rodriguez (Machete Kills, Fast Six), Scarlet Johansson (Don Jon), Scarlet Johansson's voice (Her), Sofia Vergara (Machete Kills) So there you have it, the ten (or thirteen) hottest babes of 2013. Did I leave anyone out? Do you disagree with the ordering? Let me know in the comments!
Hottest Babes of 2013 photo
Every women is beautiful. It's just my job to assign numerical values to that beauty.
I love women. We all know this about me. I've been, for better or for worse, the resident 'Babe Expert' since the time before Flixist took its first steps onto dry land. I love women of all shapes, sizes, colors, creeds, heig...

Nick's 10 Best Movie Music Moments of 2013

Jan 14 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: Turbo - "That Snail is Fast!,"  American Hustle - "Live and Let Die," Despicable Me 2 - "Happy," We're the Millers - "Waterfalls," Only God Forgives - "Leum mai long," Stoker - Piano Duet, The History of Future Folk - "Moons of Hondo" [embed]217090:41102:0[/embed] 10. "I Swear," as performed by The Minions - Despicable Me 2 Despicable Me 2 had one particularly interesting thing going for it: its Pharell produced score. And while "Happy" nearly made this list because it's damn excellent, nothing beats how the Minions are at peak adorable capacity when they sing All-4-One's "I Swear" (roughly translated as "Underwear"). It's not the fact they're singing it, it's the commitment to the bit that hits home. The white suits, their music video movement, and that final talk to a flower. It's exquisitely cute in a film filled with that same cuteness.  [embed]217090:41103:0[/embed] 9. "Izzo (H.O.V.A.)" - The Great Gatsby  While F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby is a great text, one of its major problems is how it treats the non-White races. Baz Luhrmann's adaptation solves most of the those issues in one scene, and in fact, the greatest scene in the movie. African Americans are only showed twice in the film, once as workers, and once as an elite group of party goers ordering around a White gentleman. It's nice considering they never show up again (and it's using the one song that wasn't originally composed for the film). Gatsby has a very good soundtrack, but nothing tops the marriage of music and visuals in this one moment.  Read our review of The Great Gatsby here. [embed]217090:41104:0[/embed] 8. "Doby," as performed by Will Ferrell - Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues Anchorman 2 may not have been anywhere near as funny as the first film, but it has got some classic moments of its own. One of them involves the baby shark, Doby. It's not really the song itself that places it on the list, but the montage that accompanies it. It's been done before, sure, but seeing that crying kid also made it one of the funniest things I saw last year. Swim Doby, you majestic bastard.  Read our review of Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues here.   [embed]217090:41135:0[/embed] 7. "The Moon Song," as performed by Scarlett Johansson -  Her Her is the best romantic film that only features one person talking to the screen. At one point, it gets terribly cliche (Theo and Sam go to a cabin), yet it's not cliche and it's wonderfully gorgeous. Mostly because of Scarlett Johansson and Joaquin Phoenix's duet on "The Moon Song." It's light, heartbreakingly beautiful, and Johansson's cracking voice gives it an especially lovely charm. It's truly a romantic theme that'll last for a long, long time.  Read our review of Her here. [embed]217090:41109:0[/embed] 6. Hum Chant, as performed by Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street This may not count entirely as a music moment per say, but it's got a beat and it's damn catchy. More so than most of this list. At the end of the first trailer, you catch a glimpse of this chant when Matthew McConaughey sings it for a bit. But there's so much more to the scene. There's also a bit toward the end where it's repeated and it's the most guttural, animalistic sound I had heard last year. Every time I want to inspire myself, I'm going to use the exact same chant. It just hits home and makes you believe "F**k yeah! I can do this!" For a song I can use in every day life, there are few better.  Read our review of The Wolf of Wall Street here. [embed]217090:41110:0[/embed] 5. "I'm Free" - The World's End  But why just use a song when you can adapt to your very mantra? That's where "I'm Free" comes into The World's End. In a film that seems to ultimately be about resisting forced change, sometimes you just want to be free to do what you want at any old time. It's not higher on this list because it's more of a thematic overtone rather than a single moment (although I'd love to point out how well it's used in The World's End pub finale), but it's still a wonderfully chosen song. It's a weird nostalgic trip about living out your dreams in the 90s that's being transformed into a theme for any day, any year. Just do what you want.  Read our review of The World's End here. [embed]217090:41111:0[/embed] 4. "Let It Go," as performed by Idina Menzel - Frozen Now if you're talking about a song that says you should do what you want, look no further than Frozen's "Let It Go." Becoming an instantly gratifying addition to Disney's musical repertoire, Idina Menzel finally delivers on her sadly songless performance in Enchanted. This one scene becomes not only the best part of Frozen, but the best animated moment of the year. Elsa singing about finally releasing her worry, creating the ice castle, and changing into that oddly sultry dress is something I ended up replaying multiple times. Although every song in Frozen's catalog is wonderful (the "First Time in Forever" Reprise being a close second), "Let It Go" is going to end up on every fan's "Top Ten Disney Songs" list alongside "Kiss the Girl," "Beauty and the Beast," and "Circle of Life" for many, many years to come.  Read our review of Frozen here. [embed]217090:41112:0[/embed] 3. "Run N*gger Run/Roll Jordan Roll," as performed by Paul Dano/Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years A Slave Now I couldn't decide between two of 12 Years A Slave's standouts because they're both used so well. Both songs are used to capture moments of extreme dread and help drive home what kind of hopeless situation Solomon's in. Paul Dano mockingly singing "Run N*gger Run" is Dano at his career slimiest, but nothing is more heartbreaking that "Roll Jordan Roll." The extended close up, the realization of Ejiofor's face, until Solomon finally gives in and joins the hymn. It's that moment where your heart tears in two. He's stuck and finally releasing some emotion and it's incredibly unsettling.  Read our review of 12 Years A Slave here. [embed]217090:41113:0[/embed] 2. "Everytime,"  as performed by James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine - Spring Breakers Want to talk about incredibly unsettling? Spring Breakers set the stage early on in 2013. After this movie, I knew we were in for a fantastic year of crazy movies. Who knew that it set the trend that each film would defy expectations of its genre moving forward? If the intro or gun fellatio scenes didn't scare you away, you eventually got to the best scene in the film. As Alien (James Franco really turns it out) serenades his lovely trio of bandits with Britney Spears, one of the best montages of the year helps establish hammer the film's exuberant tone if you hadn't figured it out by then. It's just so, so visually captivating. And hilarious. Captilarious.  Read our review of Spring Breakers here. [embed]217090:41114:0[/embed] 1.  "Take Yo Panties Off/When the Shit Goes Down/Paper Planes/Gangnam Style/I Will Always Love You/Backstreet's Back" - This is the End Now This is the End won't be every person's favorite movie (some unfortunately think it's shallow, and they're wrong), but it uses music incredibly well. TiTE has a ton of montages in it, and it's never once terrible. Each song choice is poignant, and most importantly, hilarious. It's also completely ignorable too. When Danny McBride first enters to Cypress Hill's "When the Shit Goes Down" it really doesn't hit home until later why that song was chosen. "Take Yo Panties Off" is Craig Robinson's best song, "Gangnam Style" might be the most dated choice but it only lasts a few seconds, and the final two songs lead to the most sincerely happy and riotous finale of last year. If anything makes me as delighted as TiTE's finale did in 2014, I can die and go to heaven myself.  Read our review of This is the End here.   What are your favorite movie music moments of 2013? Did I miss any of your favorites? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! While you're at it, why not check out my Top 5 Animated Movies of 2013 list too!
10 Best Musical Moments photo
Music to my ears
I'm a sucker for a good soundtrack. Your film could be the worst thing since sliced bread and I'd still love it if the songs were nice. But the best movies take their song choices (or original works) and use them in spectacul...

Matt's 10 best 2013 movies you can watch on Netflix

Jan 13 // Matthew Razak
Drinking Buddies Drinking Buddies is a legitimately great comedy that you probably haven't seen since it was in and out of theaters faster than it should have been. It's got a stellar cast including Anna Kendricks, Olivia Wilde and Jake M. Johnson. Seriously, this is one of the actually good 2013 films on Netflix and should get all the plays possible.  Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Somehow this movie wasn't entirely awful and was strangely popular with audiences. While the film isn't smart or incredibly interesting it's got solid action and is good enough to enjoy while shutting your brain off. It's actually perfect Netflix fodder as it's a quick, easy, thoughtless action romp that you can flip on and watch while making ginger bread houses. Blackfish One of the great things about Netflix is that you'll watch documentaries now. When they're right in front of your face and easy to play you turn them on and realize documentaries are actually interesting. Blackfish is relentlessly interesting as it tells the tale of the "killer whale" Tilikum, the infamous whale who, unlike his wild partners, has killed human beings. It's an amazing deconstruction of our human perception and actual fact all based around the horrors of these majestic creature's treatment in captivity. The Act of Killing The Act of Killing might be one of the best ideas for a documentary ever and the fact that it exists is a stunning triumph. Asking mass murderers to reenact their killings as if they were movies, the film delves into why we kill and how people excuse their actions. Meanwhile the fact that the film is asking killers to make films confronts our own ideas of representation in film and how valid the stories we're told are. If you need conversation topics this film is crammed full of them. (ed: looks like it was taken off recently. Hopefully it comes back.) The Last Stand Arnold returned to action in a big way in 2013. None of the movies really reached the greatness of his former glory but the one that got the closest was The Last Stand. A mash of a classic western and modern uber-action the film plays out idiotically, but as idiotically as its supposed to. Plus, it's a modern western with Arnold in it. You're probably not going to get too many of those. Upstream Color I didn't really get Upstream Color, but Hubert Vigilla did. Three times over. So watch it. Scratch your head and then come here for enlightenment. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Prince Avalanche Prince Avalanche is the rare comedy that works emotionally too. The tale of two guys who go off to work in the woods opens up into a story about life, loss and friendship. Set in an area of Texas ravaged by forest fires it is both humorous and heartfelt in ways that most humorous and heartfelt movies only want to be. There's a texture to Prince Avalanche missing from the modern "meaningful" comedy and that texture is a bit of truth.  Movie 43 Do not just sit down and watch Movie 43. Prepare for it. Get some friends maybe. Have a few drinks. Smoke some weed. This isn't a movie you can watch alone just to see how bad it is. It's too bad to do that and you'll die of awfulness. However, with a few friends and plenty of planning you'll be ready to take on this movie without shooting yourself. You should watch this, but please be ready.  Lovelace Lovelace is a flawed movie, but it has two factors that make it worth watching. One is that Amanada Seyfried is naked in it as she portrays legendary porn actress and then feminist Linda Lovelace. The other is that James Franco has an amazingly miscast cameo as Hugh Hefner, and we all know that fantastically bad James Franco cameos make sitting through a mediocre movie well worth it.  Sharknado Everyone else has seen it so you probably should too, right? It actually isn't that enjoyable once the gag wears out, but a good lesson that a punchline should sometimes just remain a punchline. 
2013 Best Netflix photo
They may not be the best of 2013, but you can watch them now
Netflix is awesome. Streaming movies is great and they've got tons of classics and a decent amount of more recent blockbusters. However, Netflix isn't actually known for being super up to date with the movies on it. While it ...

FlixList: Top 10 Worst Grossing Movies of 2013

Jan 10 // Sean Walsh
[embed]216330:40587:0[/embed] 10. Getaway Total Gross: $10,501,938 Theaters: 2,135 Release date: August 30, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: A whopping 2% I love Ethan Hawke. I have nothing against Selena Gomez. Why didn't their car-centric thriller work? Let's take a look at the plot synopsis (spoilers, obviously) on Wikipedi...oh. Yeah, that sounds pretty stupid. My threshold for stupid raised significantly after leaving my crappy movie theater job, since I typically have to pay for my movies now. At least Ethan Hawke has that sweet, sweet #CrimeDay money to count. [embed]212490:38725:0[/embed] 9. Bullet to the Head Total Gross: $9,489,829 Theaters: 2,404 Release date: February 1, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 46% Sylvester Stallone is old as hell at this point. That hasn't stopped him from starring in not one, not two, but three movies last year and penning the Jason Statham rural crime thriller Homefront while working on the third installment of the ever-ludicrous Expendables franchise. His film Bullet to the Head, a sort of buddy cop revenge action thriller, was more or less entertaining, had the perfect amount of cheese, and an axe fight for a climax. Not, like, hatchets, but fire axes. FIRE. AXES. It was awesome. It's even in the trailer. If a 67-year-old man having an axe fight with Khal Drogo from Game of Thrones can't put butts in seats, I don't know what will. At least Escape Plan and (ugh) Grudge Match cracked the top 100. [embed]217102:41096:0[/embed] 8. Tyler Perry Presents Peeples Total Gross: $9,177,065 Theaters: 2,041 Release date: May 10, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 34% Why, Craig Robinson? This was a mildly musing take on Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Tyler Perry's name slapped on top with David Allen Greer as the uptight jerk patriarch of the family Craig Robinson's character is trying to impress so he can get their blessing to propose to his girlfriend. We've seen it all before, but this time there's lesbians. Meh.  [embed]217102:41097:0[/embed] 7. Battle of the Year Total Gross: $8,888,355 Theaters: 2,008 Release date: September 20, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 4% I can't even feel bad for this movie. If your dance movie doesn't have Channing Tatum but it does have Chris Brown? You have done one of the following: A.) Goofed B.) Goofed C.) Goofed D.) All of the above And this is from someone who absolutely adores Sawyer from Lost. [embed]217108:41098:0[/embed] 6. Movie 43 Total Gross: $8,840,453 Theaters: 2,023 Release date: January 25, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 4% I would rather watch all the rest of the movies on this list while accurately roleplaying Theon Greyjoy's season 3 arc on Game of Thrones than see this movie again. Just because you have the most stars ever doesn't mean you can put something this intellectually offensive out into the world. I was so excited when I saw the credits begin to roll, and then they pulled the rug out from under me with a whole 'nother bit that climaxed (literally?) with poor Josh Duhamel getting sexually assaulted in the mouth by a cartoon cat. COMEDY, AMIRITE? Seriously, this movie can go to hell. [embed]215763:40165:0[/embed] 5. Machete Kills Total Gross: $8,008,161 Theaters: 2,538 Release date: October 11, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 31% Seeing as how Robert Rodriguez is my spirit animal, my not seeing this movie in theaters counts among my top five biggest regrets of 2013. I'd ask if the "exploitation noveaux" genre is winding down, but it's not like there was really ever all that much money to be made there. The worst part is we will likely never see a full version of Machete Kills Again...in Space now. Hopefully Sin City 2 brings the heat this year. My heart can't take this kind of disappointment two years in a row. [embed]217102:41095:0[/embed] 4. Paranoia Total Gross: $7,385,015 Theaters: 2,459 Release date: August 16, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 4% How do you mess up a corporate intrigue film starring Thor's brother (no, not Loki, Liam), Han Solo, Commissioner Gordon, and the super-sexy Amber Heard? I didn't see this movie, so I cannot tell you. In fact, I don't know anybody who did... I wonder if there's some correlation there. No, I take that back. My friend Lizz from Lizz at the Movies saw it. And she wrote about it, even! [embed]217102:41092:0[/embed] 3. Black Nativity Total Gross: $7,008,586 Theaters: 1,525 Release date: November 27, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 48% I'm really not much for Christmas movies. The only modern Christmas movies I can think of that I thoroughly enjoyed have been Four Christmases and A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas. I'm also not big on religious themes in films. Between that and the trailer for this movie, I decided to save the $11.50 I'd set aside for a holiday movie for Wolf of Wall Street. Something tells me I'm not the only one. [embed]217102:41093:0[/embed] 2. The Fifth Estate Total Gross: $3,255,008 Theaters: 1,769 Release date: October 18, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 38% I liked The Fifth Estate. It was like The Social Network and Jobs in that it was based on a true story, featured a socially retarded, often self-important jerk with a well-meaning friend, and covered some important history. Maybe people just don't care about the whole WikiLeaks thing anymore? I don't know. But it starred Tumblr Sweetheart Benedict Cumberbatch! Maybe people got their Cumberfix from Star Trek Into Darkness. Maybe a score by Trent Reznor could have helped. [embed]217102:41094:0[/embed] 1. Phantom Total Gross: $1,034,589 Theaters: 1,118 Release date: March 1, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 25% This movie was, for a film that was just there one day, fantastic. A taut thriller set on a Russian sub during the Cold War staring Ed Harris, David Duchovny, William Fichtner, and Lance Henriksen, Phantom came out of nowhere. I saw zero advertising, not even a single trailer, yet there it was. I watched it and was floored. Even with the lack of advertising, I am stunned it just barely broke the million dollar mark. I'll let this sink in: Movie 43 made almost eight million more dollars than Phantom. There is no justice in this world. Watch this movie on Netflix and tell me that this film deserves to be the worst-grossing wide release of 2013. [embed]217108:41107:0[/embed] Honorable Mention: Justin Bieber's Believe Total Gross: $5,963,482.00 Theaters: 1,037 Release date: December 25th, 2013 Score on Rotten Tomatoes: 50% I guess people just don't Belieb like they used to. In conclusion, I'm not surprised most of these movies are in the bottom ten. Some (Machete Kills and Phantoms) break my heart. Others, like Movie 43, I'm upset that they're as high on the list as they are. Ultimately, Josh Duhamel said it best with this face: That's actually a pretty good Michael Shannon impression. What are your thoughts on the worst-grossing movies of the year?
10 Worst Grossing Movies photo
Depressing: Baggage Claim grossed more than twice of any of these movies
Since the dawn of time, there have been winners and there have been losers. There's no question about that. Sometimes, the winners deserve to win, like those damnable Colonial upstarts fighting for their freedom during the Re...

Michael's 10 Most Unnecessary Nude Scenes of 2013

Jan 09 // Michael Jordan
10. Blue is the Warmest Color -  Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos  Coming in at an astounding 12 mins long of combined sexual escapades, Blue is the Warmest Color took its lesbian porn scenes with Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos to a whole new level of unnecessary when these two actresses hit each other's trenches as if it was World War II. Out of context you really feel like you just entered in to a high quality soft core porn (this might be the first one ever made!) and not an amazing movie about the growth of a young adolescent and her path to adulthood.  9. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa - Rubber penis in vending machine. You are already rolling your eye at the sight of "Jackass," I can feel it. We already know its going to be over-the-top, but penis in the vending machine over-the-top? I think not. In an effort to reach out to their demographic, teen boys that own rubber penises, Bad Grandpa takes some time out of its heart warming story of a Grandpa traveling the country with his 8-year-old grandson, to give us a tasteful dick joke or two.  8. Sweetwater - January Jones Its safe to say that January Jones is quite the bad ass right now. Whether she is playing Emma Frost in X-Men: First Class or Betty Draper in Mad Men, she has been mixing her sex appeal and personal strength to make some memorable characters. Sweetwater took some of that mysterious eroticism out of the sails, in one of the most ass kicking ways possible, when her character, Sarah Ramírez, busts out her hand cannon on two scoundrels on horse back who interrupt her river bathing. 7. Spring Breakers - Ashley Benson, Vanessa Hudgens & James Franco Now this comes in kinda low on the list because you don't actually see any areola or dong, just some bodies grinding a butt, but put it into context of Ashley Benson and Vanessa Hugens sexing up James Franco doing his best impersonation of Riff Raff, and you have the recipe for shattered dreams that will leave you sad inside. I could have just as easily said the Rachel Korine drunken gang bang montage that actually shows some nipple, which is just as horrifying, especially when you think about the fact that Rachel Korine is the wife of director, Harmony Korine. That must have been an awkward talk, "Hey honey, I want you to be in a scene where you get topless and have an extremely depressing drunken gang bang montage that leaves you with physical and mental scars." I am sure those where his exact words.   6. Behind the Candelabra - Matt Damon & Michael Douglas  While this year has been kinda light on on the male side of nudity, it makes up for it in creepy. The autobiographical story of Liberace and his lover, Scott Thorson, takes you deep (bit the pillow) into there behind (wink wink) the scenes romance (butt sex). The "look who's up" scene is equal parts weird guy on the corner offering candy to kids, and "Holy crap, did I just see Michael Douglas in bed with Matt Damon. I need to stop drinking." 5. This Is The End - Giant Devil  Copying a page out of the video game adaptation of Dante's Inferno, This is the End sports a huge floppy Devil dong. With a litany of dick jokes, you could say this one was the largest in the movie. This has been a big year for digital penis physics. 4. Wolf of Wall Street - Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie I know what you might be thinking: the scenes are not over the top and are used to set the tone of their lives. Sure, but when it comes to having sex on top of a pile of money, then you have gone to far. Margot Robbie was even quoted as saying: I got a million paper cuts on my back from all that money! It’s not as glamorous as it sounds. If anyone is ever planning on having sex on top of a pile of cash: don’t. Also did anyone stop to think, wait are they now going to spend that cum covered money and where? The thought of handing it to some poor sob at McD's drive through is gut retching.  3. Trance - Rosario Dawson Now Trance was a pretty good heist movie starring James McAvoy as an art auctioneer that gets mixed up with a group of not so savory partners and a hypnotherapist. But though the smash and grab of a multi-million dollar painting heist left many confused and stumbling, Rosario Dawson sporting full frontal nudity and a Brazilian wax was just as jaw dropping. Dawson has come a long way since Clerks 2, that's for sure. 2. The Hangover III - End Credits While not known for its taste and refinement, The Hangover III sports raunchy jokes and an over the top story of drunken buffoonary, but the credits shot of full frontal male nudity just seems like a throw away, as if they did not have the balls to show it in the movie itself. Don't marginalize the penis Hollywood, you have wood right in your name! In a movie based on drunken dick and fart jokes, you would think they wouldn't have the testis to go all out. God knows they gave enough opportunity to do so in the movie.  1. The Canyons - Lindsay Lohan Oh Lindsay Lohan, the candle that burns twice as bright and twice as fast. What can I say she has made a career out of a train wreck. Not her career obviously, but a career for every paparazzi that chooses to follow her around, documenting her decent into crazy town (making me remember a very bad 90's band). Unlike most of the movies on this list, I would say the entire movie was unnecessary. The only reason anyone watched this movie was to see how many times Director Paul Schrader could get Lindsay Lohan to get naked. I am sure the words he used to convince her were more along the lines found on a mirror cut up with a razor and snorted via $100 bill than "This will win your respect back in the film making community." Honorable mention: Orange is the New Black - Laura Prepon and Taylor Schilling While not being a movie but still making the dreams of my teenage self come true, Laura Prepon, better know for her roll as Donna form That 70's Show, gives us a happily unnecessary (at least for me) lesbian topless make out scene in the first episode of this Netflix hit series. Unlike her past co-star on That 70's Show, Mila Kunis, who uses body doubles and CGI for her nude scenes (what are you hiding Kunis!), Prepon is not afraid to get a little chesty in a scene ripped straight out of a Cinemax late night skin flix. Honorable mention: Lady Gaga Not exactly having to deal with film but definitely making a scene in an effort to show just how little a crap she actually gives, and possibly to see how many STDs she can give to her fans in one show, Lady GaGa showed up to Lollapalooza festival in Chicago in this little number. Thank you Lady GaGa for all your hard work.
10 Least Necessary Nudes photo
Who bares it all?
Some times the film world likes to take things to the extremes, sometimes they just want to see if they can get a way with it, and sometimes they just don't give a flying poo about what they put in their movies as long as peo...

Mike's Top 5 Action Sequences of 2013

Jan 08 // Mike Cosimano
5. Attack on Asgard - Thor: The Dark World Going into Thor: The Dark World, I heard a lot of people comparing it to Star Wars. And once the Dark Elves started attacking Asgard, I totally got it. You have the science fantasy aspect, you’ve got lasers, the Dark Elves feel like Stormtroopers, their ships feel like TIE Fighters, and that big ship is basically the Death Star. But, most importantly, the tone of the action feels like something right out of the original Star Wars trilogy. Essentially, Thor: The Dark World is the best Star Wars prequel. It also helps that The Dark World’s action is well-paced, often epic in scope, and just plain fun. But the absolute peak of the film comes around the second act, when the Dark Elves storm Asgard. I felt like a kid again when Heimdall jumped on that ship and blew it up. Every small moment like that one felt like its own little scene, making the whole affair feel like a real battle. It’s the kind of sweeping action setpiece you don’t really see too much of anymore, whether for budgetary reasons or lack of vision. Director Alan Taylor has vision to spare, especially here. With this scene, he’s laid the groundwork for what the Thor movie franchise should ape going forwards.  Read our review of Thor: The Dark World here. 4. Hong Kong - Pacific Rim Of all the lessons future blockbuster filmmakers will take from Pacific Rim, I hope they pick restraint. Yes, there is restraint in a film where giant robots punch Godzilla clones in the face. You can count the number of big action sequences on one hand (there are three), there are only a few robots, a small amount of named monsters, and a very large portion of the film is character building. Pacific Rim could’ve been this Michael Bay-esque slurry of violence, but it’s smarter than that. And no moment highlights the film’s mindset quite like the Hong Kong battle: specifically, Gipsy Danger VS Leatherback / Otachi.  When people get excited about Pacific Rim, they always get to “that part where the robot uses a cargo ship as a baseball bat.” And why wouldn’t they? It’s a clever use of the environment. But the whole sequence is a lot of fun. Leatherback’s head crushed between shipping containers, Gipsy Danger’s fist going through that office building and tapping the perpetual motion machine, Raleigh yelling out attack names like he’s in an episode of Power Rangers, and some rad guitar riffs. This fight contains dozens of small things, each with enough imagination to power a short film. It’s also the most inventive and colorful fight in a generally inventive and colorful movie. Read our review of Pacific Rim here. [embed]217095:41091:0[/embed] 3. "They got a tank." - Fast & Furious 6 I still don’t get why people hate the Fast and Furious series, especially after the delightful highway chase in Fast and Furious 6. It’s everything good about this franchise: quick cuts of gear shifts and pedals being manipulated in ways that probably would break an ordinary car, fun banter, ridiculous car stunts, and ridiculous people stunts. But what sets it apart from the pack, especially this year, is the way everything works together. Much like -- if you’ll forgive this incredibly on-the-nose analogy -- a well-oiled engine. Each individual part would be enough to carry a scene, but put them together and you have some of the most genuine fun I’ve had at the movies in years. I speak with no hyperbole when I call this chase jaw-dropping. Plus, it’s got practical effects! Read our review of Fast & Furious 6 here. 2. A Glove and a Boot - Iron Man 3 The Mark 42 is the best thing that’s ever happened to the Iron Man franchise since Robert Downey Jr. The adaptability of the suit had real potential, and giving Tony Stark a broken prototype for most of the film was a stroke of genius. Even now, I’m still thinking about the Mark 42, and how I would love to direct an action sequence with one of those. This scene is the reason for my incessant ruminations. As you might expect from a Shane Black-helmed Iron Man flick, it’s a generally quick movie, but even by those standards, this scene is fast. It’s not quite an unbroken shot, but the way everything flows certainly gives it that feeling. The most interesting parts of the film are when the Mark 42 is broken. When that happens, Stark’s vulnerability makes him a more interesting character, and results in some pretty inventive scenes.  It’s a small fight, but it’s super creative, with an excellent use of verticality and humor. Thematically, Iron Man 3 is about the overlap between the man and the suit. In this scene, the suit and Stark are practically a single entity. Thematic action is a rarity in superhero movies. When it appears, we should be grateful. And be honest, wasn’t the guy who dropped his gun one of your favorite moments in that movie? Read our review of Iron Man 3 here. [embed]217095:41090:0[/embed] 1. "I fucking hate this town!" - The World's End Throughout the entirety of Edgar Wright’s superb The World’s End, Nick Frost deftly played against type. He was a straight-laced businessman, with little to no patience for the antics of others. Both Gary and the Blanks pushed him, and pushed him, until he finally snapped.  Perhaps the best part of this sequence -- possibly the whole film, but that’s for another time -- is Nick Frost. He got some pretty rad moments in Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, but here, Frost has finally become an action star. When grabs those barstools and goes to town on a Blank, you see the face of a man who’s just done holding back. He’s ready to unload on someone, and the Blanks just happened to be in his way. The rest of the fight is just as great. The way the action flows would not be out of place in a dance film, like a ballet with punching. And, in some ways, it’s an encapsulation of the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy. It’s a very snappy fight, which brings to mind Wright’s quick-cut scene transitions. The characters develop just enough to keep the audience’s interest. I’ve watched the scene multiple times, and there’s always a new, cool little aspect I notice. It’s a great moment in an overall fantastic movie. Read our review of The World's End here. Those are my picks for the Top 5 Action Sequences of 2013! Did I miss anything that you really enjoyed? Let me know in the comments, or write your own on the cBlogs! Stay tuned for the next two weeks for other "Best of" lists here on Flixist!
Top 5 Action photo
#6: The Finale of You're Next
Maybe I’m just young, but a good movie fight is the quickest way to my heart. A well-choreographed or inventive action scene appeals to a certain part of my brain in ways I don’t quite understand yet. For an action junkie, 2013 was disappointing and delightful in equal measure. There were few standouts, but the ones that stood out? Man, did they stand out.

Isabelle's Top 5 Movie Romances of 2013

Jan 07 // Isabelle Magliari
[embed]217100:41081:0[/embed] 5. Gatsby and Daisy - The Great Gatsby Few couples fit the doomed romance trope better than The Great Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan and Jay Gatsby. From F. Scott Fitzgerald’s pages to Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film, Daisy and Gatsby’s star-crossed love remains potent and all encompassing. One of The Great Gatsby’s greatest achievements is taking a romance penned in 1925 and successfully breathing new (and, eventually, horrifically depressing) life into it. Leonardo Dicaprio and Carey Mulligan have electric chemistry as Daisy and Gatsby. While watching, I found myself believing that their love might actually survive past the ending credits, despite my knowledge of the source material. Although Luhrmann’s Gatsby arguably becomes distracted at times by its own over-the-top directorial style, Daisy and Gatsby’s love remains pure and sad. If you’re a jonesing for heartache, definitely check this one out. Read our review of The Great Gatsby here. [embed]217100:41080:0[/embed] 4. Luke and Romina - A Place Beyond the Pines Luke and Romina’s love in A Place Beyond the Pines is short, passionate, and devastating (are you seeing a pattern?). Ryan Gosling’s performance as the bank-robbing, motorcycle stuntman Luke Glanton is thrilling and tense, much like his ill-fated romance with ex-girlfriend Romina (Eva Mendes). Although Romina and Luke's relationship is mostly fizzled out by the time the movie begins, the aftershock of it vibrates through the film and helps build its foundation. You can feel their passion whenever they share a scene, whether they're fighting, talking, or simply gazing sadly at one another. Their's is a love that was doomed to fail, and it's captivating to watch.   [embed]217100:41082:0[/embed] 3. Katniss and Peeta - The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Catching Fire, the second installment in The Hunger Games film series, continues to build upon Katniss and Peeta's uncomfortable love affair. Peeta's wide-eyed boyishness plays off of Katniss' reservedness and stoicism well, making for some satisfying will-they-won't-they tension. Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson have great on-screen chemistry, making both characters sympathetic as they navigate their strained relationship. Peeta, just wanting Katniss to let him in, and Katniss, too traumatized to love, is a powerful dynamic. Catching Fire might not be the most cerebral movie on this list, but the romance is there, and it is intense.  Read our review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire here.  [embed]217100:41083:0[/embed] 2. Alien and The Girls - Spring Breakers I'm just going to come out and say it: Spring Breakers was the best theater experience I had in 2013. That isn't to say that it's the best film I saw last year, but sitting in a packed NYC theater, screaming, gasping, laughing, and staring in bewilderment at the saturated color show that was Spring Breakers is something that I won't soon forget. Most of my enchantment, if not all of it, came from the debauched romance shared by gangster rapper "Alien" (James Franco) and spring breakers Faith (Selena Gomez), Candy (Vanessa Hudgens), Brit (Ashley Benson), and Cotty (Rachel Korine). Without giving too much away, the four girls commit some armed robbery, as teenagers are apt to do, and use the money to travel to St. Petersburg, Florida for Spring Break. There, they meet Alien, a gun slinging rapper with white-boy dreads and a grill. The four girls soon become Alien's "soul mates," as the five commit crimes together, sleep together, and even experience the majesty Britney Spears together. If that's not love then I don't know what is.  Read our review of Spring Breakers here.  [embed]217100:41084:0[/embed] 1. Theodore and Samantha - Her Spike Jonze's Her is, without a doubt, one of 2013 crowning romanic achievements. Theodore's romance with computer operating-system "Samantha" is complex, heartwarming, sad, and, most importantly, honest. Joaquin Phoenix stars as unlucky-in-love Theodore, a melancholy writer navigating the final stages of his divorce. When he downloads Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), a bodiless computer operating system, the two begin an exciting and strange love affair. Her tests the boundaries of what makes love exist; how it is defined versus how it is experienced. Samantha is a computer program, but she has consciousness. Both she and Theodore grow and learn from one another, causing them to change while remaining deeply in love. There are many relationships in Her, but Theodore and Samantha's is captivating because it feels so normal. Even Samantha's frustration over not having a physical body seems like a normal, human problem because of the film's gentle and honest narrative. Her doesn't give into cliches; Samantha never glitches out and Theodore never accidentally breaks her. Instead, it delivers a love story that is original and real. For me, Samantha and Theodore's is easily the best movie romance of 2013. Read our review of Her here.  There you have it, folks! My picks for the Top 5 Movie Romances of 2013! Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments below! And stay tuned for the next two weeks for other "Best of" lists here on Flixist!
Top 5 Movie Romances photo
Can you feel the love tonight?
Romantic comedies are all well and good, but who doesn't love a movie that tears their heart out through their chest? Heartache is an integral part of romance, and 2013 provided movie-goers with a plethora of strang...

Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2013

Jan 06 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: Turbo, Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods, Epic, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2, The Dark Knight Returns: Part Two, Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day [embed]217089:41073:0[/embed] 5. Despicable Me 2 I had expected to completely dislike Despicable Me 2. Although I loved Despicable Me's uniqueness (and found the Minions adorable), the way the Minions had been catapulted into full focus led me to believe Despicable Me 2 would be nothing but cheap gags and cuteness ploys. Thankfully, it only does that a little bit. This time it's more focused on Gru's well being and adulthood. Now that he's a father, the sequel wonderfully finds someone for him to love outside of his maturing kids and increasingly mental Minions. And it works. It takes his caricature and humanizes him a little as it shows more aspects of his brokenness. And even if you miss all of that, the Minions sing an adorable version of All-4-One's "I Swear."  [embed]217089:41075:0[/embed] 4. The Croods The Croods came completely out of nowhere. Once again, I walked in audibly going "UGHHHH WHYYYY" but I walked out feeling much better. The Croods was my animated highlight for a better amount of the year until the next three lists items came along, and for good reason. Nicolas Cage is an awesome caveman, and he even puts on this beatnik persona for a few seconds. It's optimistic about the changing world, it's heartfelt and charming, and damn is it one of the more gorgeous films out there. That prehistoric rainbow cat? Wonderful.  Read our review of The Croods here. [embed]217089:41076:0[/embed] 3. Monsters University Pixar arguably isn't the studio it used to be. We can't hold it up to the high regard we used to anymore as it's shown it can also be a studio that too is capable of shoddy sequels, well meaning misfires, and prequels. But at least it's still very entertaining, and that's more you can say about most animated studios. As a prequel, Monsters University fudges up some areas, but as an homage to college films? It's perfect. From its snare drum filled soundtrack, to how adorable young Mike Wazowski is, to the message that hard work is just as important as an education. Mix all of it together, and you've got a great film [embed]217089:41077:0[/embed] 2. Wolf Children I'm sad I almost completely missed out on the fantastic Wolf Children. Mamoru Hosoda (The Digimon Movie, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time)'s follow up to the beautifully animated Summer Wars, Wolf Children was a straight to home video release that I had written off as "one of those anime things" initially. Boy was I wrong. After some rumblings on Twitter, I decided to give it a look for myself. I'm glad I did. Wolf Children takes the magical realism inherent in all anime, and blends it with a truly loving and grounded story. And its elegant 2D animation has to be seen for sure. There's one scene where they all play in the snow that's absolutely breathtaking, and it's something I'll remember for a while. It's not the best animated film because of a few drawbacks with its pace management, but it's better than a lot of mainline releases last year. [embed]217089:41078:0[/embed] 1. Frozen Come on, did you think I was going to put something else (then again, it was either this or Dragonball Z: Battle of Gods)? Me, the guy who's been ranting and raving about how spectacular Frozen is for the past few weeks? It's in no way hyperbolic when you hear people say it's the best Disney animated film since The Lion King, Aladdin, or Beauty and the Beast. It truly is. Frozen is the culmination of several years of feminist progression too. While Princess and the Frog, Tangled, and Brave presented strong willed female protagonists, Frozen takes it one step further by not making them strong for strong's sake. They're human. Everyone in Frozen is broken in some way, and naturally come to accept themselves before they begin loving others. The central relationship between Anna and her sister Elsa is gracefully handled, the goofy sidekick Olaf is more than advertisements give him credit for, the animation is so gratifying it makes a 2D-less future for Disney Animation seem okay, and that music? It's the best Disney's done in ages.  And really, that's what it comes down to. Disney Animation simultaneously delivered their best film in ages and the best animated film of 2013. No question.  Read our review of Frozen here.   What are your favorite animated films of 2013? Do you agree or disagree with me? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned for the next two weeks for other "Best of" lists here on Flixist!
Top 5 Animated Films photo
There's animated gold in them there walls!
2013 was a great year for film. Due to the lack of straight up blockbusters, other genres had to step up their game to present something interesting. That of course means even animated films, a genre that's been heading more ...

FlixList: The Ten Worst Trailers of 2013

Jan 01 // Nick Valdez
Dishonorable Mentions: About Last Night, Baggage Claim, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Ride Along, Beautiful Creatures, Carrie (Trailer #1) [embed]217067:41059:0[/embed] 10. The Purge (Trailer #1) The Purge itself may have gone on to inspire the amazing #CrimeDay hashtag on Twitter, but its admittedly unique and awesome premise burns out mid trailer. In a case of a trailer going on for far too long, this trailer last about a minute longer than it should as it spoils that one random killer group instead of, I don't know, highlighting the premise by showing off other crimes a little more. Like...say...breaking into a zoo and eating a tiger. Show that for pete's sake!  [embed]217067:41060:0[/embed] 9. Jobs (Official American Legend Trailer) RETURN OF THE MAC RETURN OF THE MAC RETURN OF THE MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MAC MA- [embed]217067:41061:0[/embed] 8. The World's End (Trailer #2)  One of the greater charms of the Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg's Three Flavours Trilogy is the mid movie genre change. Part of what makes the experience of this trilogy great is being totally surprised at what kind of film genre they decide to take on. When I realized The World's End was going to take on science fiction for the finale, I couldn't wait and probably should've stopped there. But when I went and saw The Conjuring, a trailer for World's End played and completely spoiled the mid-flick surprise for me. Trailer jerks.  [embed]217067:41062:0[/embed] 7. Best Night Ever (Red-Band Trailer) This trailer is so bad (and progressively gets more disgustingly terrible as it goes on), it's the only one I've had to create a new Flixist tag for. #UGH [embed]217067:41063:0[/embed]  6. 12 Years A Slave ("Fight Back" TV Spot) Remember how good Django Unchained was when it released two years ago? It was a hyperviolent action comedy and was more concerned about becoming an awesomely told revenge western than it was being historically accurate. 12 Years A Slave is the complete opposite of that. If a poor Joe Shmoe saw this trailer and went to the film expecting kickass action, and only receives debilitating sadness instead, they'd be a very angry customer. I hope no one fell for the con this spot was pulling.  [embed]217067:41064:0[/embed] 5.  The Book Thief  This whole trailer is such a ploy for Oscar nominations it's a fully realized version of this scene from Wayne's World. [embed]217067:41066:0[/embed]  4. Jay and Silent Bob's Super Groovy Cartoon Movie Say what you want to defend this trailer. You can say that it's really Jason Mewes's project (since he's producing it, you can say it's a small home video project, you can say Jay and Silent Bob have always been stupid, but you still would be off the mark. This is written by Kevin Smith and completely endorsed by him. And if the rest of the film overstays its welcome like the trailer, well, we're looking at a lump here.  [embed]217067:41065:0[/embed] 3. Wings (От винта 3D/Jets: Helden Der Luft)  F**king Wings.  [embed]217067:41067:0[/embed]   2. How To Train Your Dragon 2 (Trailer #1) You won't find a better example of marketing mis-communicating with the creative team this year. This trailer for the highly anticipated How To Train Your Dragon sequel is cut so poorly, it spoils every single aspect of the film. There's a mysterious person (whose identity is spoiled), a new villain (spoiled), and an amazing looking final battle (which has also been spoiled). Rather than choose a few tantalizing moments, this trailer decides to take us through the entire movie. If you're even a little bit interested in the film itself, don't watch its only trailer.  [embed]217067:41068:0[/embed] 1. Frozen (Teaser #1, Trailer #1 & 2)  I don't like being lied to. I commend Disney for brilliantly underselling how amazing Frozen actually is in order to get kids in those seats, but I would've loved just one trailer highlighting the best aspects of the film as a companion piece. I had a good time, yeah, but I feel so icky when I walk out knowing I've been tricked. But then again, surprises are great. Wait? What am I even complaining about? Frozen was great and will continue to be great regardless of what its trailers are like! Wait, could a movie be independently bad or good ? So none of what I just did matters and you're going to like or dislike a film based on the actual film's content, and not how it was advertised to you? ...Sh*t.    What are your least favorite trailers from 2013? Do you have a "worst" trailer that I didn't feature here? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! While you're at it, why not read The Ten Best Trailers of 2013 list too? 
10 Worst Trailers of 2013 photo
You've seen the best, so here are the rest
Bad movies are bad, no ifs or buts about it. But a good trailer could make even the worst movies at least look interesting. The ten trailers featured today are not those trailers. You see, a trailer is the most important thin...

FlixList: The Ten Best Trailers of 2013

Dec 31 // Nick Valdez
Honorable Mentions: An Oversimplification of Her Beauty, Coldwater (Flixist was quoted!), The Great Gatsby (Beyonce spot), Only God Forgives (Red Band Trailer #1), You're Next, Despicable Me 2 (Eminem spot), The Bling Ring (Teaser #1), Library Wars, The Counselor (Trailer #1), The Wolf of Wall Street (Kanye trailer), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Teaser #1), The LEGO Movie (Trailer #1) [embed]217065:41040:0[/embed] 10. Pacific Rim (Trailer #1) The way the first teaser is cut may be nothing new (oh please, another inspiring speech voice over?), but the film's imagery inspired a lot of cool things. There was a video of the Power Rangers theme music spliced with it, someone did a "Japanese" version, Del Toro himself did a commentary for this teaser, and the trailers following never really reached this amount of greatness again. Come to think of it, the film didn't live up to this either. [embed]217065:41044:0[/embed] 9. Man of Steel (Trailer #3) Once again, here's a trailer for a film that ended up painting a much better picture of the final product than we received. Man of Steel caused a lot of nerd debate. Is it a bad movie? Is it a good one? Is IHOP any good? That's all still up in the air, but for a brief moment after this third trailer, I had no doubts with Man of Steel.  [embed]217065:41045:0[/embed] 8. The Raid 2: Berandal (Teaser #1)  The Raid: Redemption was an amazing surprise last year, so I was really looking forward to the first footage of the sequel. Luckily, I was not disappointed. The best teasers are cut in a way that spark an interest in the film (or create a hype), without giving information. If you watch the trailer closely, you get brief looks at people killing things, but you really have no idea who anyone is or why they matter. Rama punches a wall with such ferocity it sounds like a drumroll the faster and faster he does it, then there's a bloody lady and then --- oh no I'm watching it again.  [embed]217065:41046:0[/embed] 7. The Wind Rises (US Trailer) The Wind Rises released in Japan to good success and Hubert and Alec thought the film was worth a watch, but I still wasn't convinced. I like Studio Ghibli and all (Totoro is my dawg, dawg), but their films aren't ones I need to go rush out to theaters to see...until now. Before Disney confirmed their voice cast for the English dub, they revealed the above trailer to promote its domestic release. There's no dialogue, and it's absolutely gorgeous. It marries sound and visuals so well that TWR automatically jumped to my "must see" list. Still, it's no Totoro.  [embed]217065:41049:0[/embed] 6. Fast & Furious 6 (Super Bowl Spot)  "We're talking vehicular warfare." I was more excited after seeing this thirty second spot for Fast Six then I was watching the entirety of the Super Bowl waiting for it. There were other teasers released that day, but does anyone remember them? NO. How can anyone expect to remember anything when you clearly see a friggin' car drive straight through a friggin' plane! Good thing the actual film lived up to this. If it didn't, we'd be in a completely different world right now.  [embed]217065:41056:0[/embed] 5. This is the End (The Real World: This is the End Edition) I normally can't stand awful MTV ties ins with popular movies. They're always forced, everyone looks tired, and it's never. ever funny to anyone over the age of 15. But when MTV decided to promote This is the End, the resulting short ended up being a better advertisement for This is The End's humor than any of its trailers could ever hope. It's such a good standalone product too. You could see this short, get a laugh, and never need to see TiTE itself. Although, I hope you do because it's magical.  [embed]217065:41043:0[/embed] 4. Gravity (Teaser #1) Before this first teaser for Gravity, I had no idea what it was. I didn't know Alfonso Cuaron was making another movie, I didn't know my boo Sandra Bullock was to star, and I sure didn't know a movie was going to look this good. I may not have seen Gravity yet myself (which according to Matt's review, sounds like a big no no), but ever since this first teaser made my heart drop when I first saw that final image of Bullock ceaselessly floating into the bleakness of space, it's been running through my mind. Just thinking of that image gives me chills.  [embed]217065:41057:0[/embed] 3. Carrie (Telekinesis Coffee Shop Surprise) The biggest "surprise" of this "viral video" is that it's actually a trailer for Carrie. You wouldn't know it until the end, but it managed to fool a lot of people. Although it didn't do enough for people to go out and see the movie, this "prank" video managed to top the YouTube charts without creating a big blowback for the film itself.  [embed]217065:41041:0[/embed] 2. Bears LOOK AT ALL THESE MAHFUGGIN BEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS AGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHGHGHG [embed]217065:41048:0[/embed] 1. The Act of Killing  Let me just say this outright. I'm not a documentary guy. Never have been, never will be. I've seen so few, I can count them on my fingers. I don't know what it is about the documentary format that doesn't appeal to me (maybe I just don't like no fancy book learnin'), but something never clicks. That's until I saw the above trailer for The Act of Killing. And WOW does it grab you and never let go. In its few minutes, it details an extremely interesting film with an extremely interesting premise. And that's what the best of the best trailers do. They take a film you probably didn't want to see and make you want to see them. As this is the only trailer that made me do a complete 180 on a genre I had no interest in before, I'd say it deserves the top spot here.   What are your favorite trailers from 2013? Do you have a "best" trailer that I didn't feature here? Leave a comment below or hit me up on Twitter! Stay tuned tomorrow for the other side of the pillow, the Ten Worst Trailers of 2013. 
Ten Best Trailers of 2013 photo
You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have...the trailers of 2013
A lot of very good movies released this year, and boy have they been advertised. In fact, so many films had trailers this year I once tried to round them up every week until I abruptly gave up because the mountain was way too...


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