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4:00 PM on 03.11.2015

Flixist Discusses: Neill Blomkamp

This past weekend saw the release of Chappie, third feature film from Neil Blomkamp, and it's safe to say reactions have been mixed. Per wrote a great review if you're on the fence about checking it out, but for those of...

Jackson Tyler

FlixList: The Top 10 Movie Robots  photo
FlixList: The Top 10 Movie Robots
by Nick Valdez

[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, Nick Valdez (Flixist's expert in Besteverology), have, through exhaustive labor and sleepless nights, compiled this list of the top ten movie robots. The rules of the list are simple: one robot per movie franchise, that robot has to be featured in a movie at some point (you'll see what I mean later), and the list is set in stone (which means no going back and changing my mind).

If you disagree with me in any fashion, feel free to discuss your wrongness in the comments below.  

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FlixList: Ten NEW Cartoons that Deserve Movies photo
FlixList: Ten NEW Cartoons that Deserve Movies
by John-Charles Holmes

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 honestly have enough of those already—that takes a cartoon straight from the television to the big screen. It’s amazing to see how the creators take 11 to 22 minutes and up the ante for an hour and a half with a bigger story, smoother animation, and extravagant visuals.

Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of classic cartoons get the big screen treatment including The Simpsons, The Powerpuff Girls, and even as recently as Spongebob Squarepantstwice. It’ll certainly be exciting to see how Adventure Time pulls it off, and it got me thinking about what other new cartoons were most deserving of getting a film adaption.

So with that, I give you my list of Ten New Cartoons that Deserve Movies. And when I say “new,” I mean cartoons that have generally had some major presence in the past ten years or so. Though, if you’re looking for something with a bit more old-school flavor, Nick’s already got that covered for you with his own awesome list.

And with that, let’s get started!

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6 things we want from Neill Blomkamp's Alien project photo
6 things we want from Neill Blomkamp's Alien project
by Per Morten Mjolkeraaen

We've all wanted to make a movie at some point. We've all thought it through in our minds, from story to characters to the final act that would shock audiences around the world. Our own personal dream movie. A movie we would love to see, but never will. 

As it turns out, well-known science-fiction directors are humans as well, because Neill Blomkamp (District 9, Elysium, and the upcoming Chappie) took to Instagram a few weeks back to upload a set of conceptual drawings of a Alien movie he wanted to make. The only difference between Blomkamp and you (and me) is the fact that Fox took notice and now he's getting to direct it. 

So, as Blomkamp Instagrams his way into the director's chair of a new Alien movie, we sit back in our worn-out sofa to type a few words about the things we want from this project. 

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Movies That Changed Us: Super photo
Movies That Changed Us: Super
by Jackson Tyler

This post contains open discussion of depression, and spoilers for Super. 

“The rules were set a long time ago. They don’t change.”
~Frank D’Arbo

When I was ten, a new student transferred into my school, and I made my first friend. In the second term, he beat me with a plastic tennis racket until I couldn’t breathe. I don’t know quite how long I laid in the shade of the portable classroom, the sound of the other children playing had long since blended into a peaceful, endless drone. When the bell rang, I dragged myself inside so I’d be present on the register, and told my teacher what happened.

“Don’t lie about your classmates,” she said. “If Jake had actually beat you with one of those, you wouldn’t be able to stand.”

A decade later, I sat in a small, grey office (are there any other kinds?), as a woman looked at me with an expression equal parts disappointed and confused. She’d just told me that I’d been diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, and wanted to know why I didn’t seem to have any kind of reaction.

“Nothing’s wrong with me,” I said. And she smiled.

I thought this would make me feel better in some way. When you grow up lonely, the only thought ever on your mind is “Why?” Why don’t people want to talk to me? Why do I feel so disconnected from those around me? Why did the one person I trusted beat me til I felt the taste blood in my throat, and why did that make him more popular? Now I had an answer in front of me, and it wasn’t enough. The question remained.

Super is a movie about asking why.

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My 10 favorite movies of the year  as told by pictures of puppies photo
My 10 favorite movies of the year as told by pictures of puppies
by Chad Concelmo

I love making lists. Love it. At the end of every year, I genuinely look forward to putting together lists of the best movies I saw, best video games I played, best roller coasters I rode and best potato balls I devoured (#1 IS ALWAYS PORTO'S POTATO BALLS!).

But I also love puppies. LOVE 'em.

So I thought: Why not combine the two this year? It's a logical pairing and one that I am very excited to share with you all. With the Oscars airing tonight, what better time to present to you my 10 favorite movies from last year … represented by pictures of puppies.


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FlixList: Six abandoned movies that Kickstarter could have saved photo
FlixList: Six abandoned movies that Kickstarter could have saved
by Flixist Staff

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, film projects are usually seen to completion. Probably because filmmakers are more dedicated and better at their jobs. (Suck it, game developers. (Just kidding, you're pretty cool. (Sometimes.))

It's hard to believe that Kickstarter is still a new thing and that crowdfunding is finding it's niche, but what if Kickstarter had been around back in the day? What kind of films would have been made during the golden age of Hollywood by indies? What could have gotten on their radar and become the Next Big Thing?

Here, we're looking at a few film projects abandoned, either recently or back in the day, by directors who poured their heart and souls into them. Money issues stopped them all, but what if they could have been crowdfunded? Here are six projects we wish would have turned to Kickstarter to drum up interest. And if you can think of any we missed, let us know in the comments.

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

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 villains come along with this deal. He has some great villains, but for every Green Goblin (and there's like five), there's a Cardiac. There's plenty of Z-list bad guys in Spider-Man's rogues' galley, but in a world where Blizzard of all people appears not once but twice on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., maybe some of these goons will get their time in the sun.

That being said, let's take a look at four characters that are probably too ridiculous to make the cut.

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Some Like It Hot: Mila Kunis photo
Some Like It Hot: Mila Kunis
by Sean Walsh

Jupiter Ascending hit theaters this week, and what better excuse is there than that to write about the beautiful, talented Mila Kunis, amirite? From the 70's to the post-apocalypse to outer space, Mila Kunis has been all over, and damn if she doesn't look great in any time period.

Join me, won't you, as I take a closer look into what exactly makes Ms. Kunis Some Like It Hot material! Alternatively, just circumvent the whole "reading" thing (how gauche) and hop along right into the gallery full of sexy pictures and figure it out for yourself.

[Some Like It Hot shines a light on the men and women of film who have captured our hearts, and oftentimes, our libidos. It celebrates the cinematic sirens and strongmen of the silver screen that give us the vapors, tug on our heartstrings, and leave us hungry for more. Also, they're really effing hot.]

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Flixist's most anticipated movies of 2015 photo
Flixist's most anticipated movies of 2015
by Flixist Staff

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 talk about the films of 2015. 

We're doing something a bit different this year. Instead of hammering out a list of big releases and such we're delivering our curated favorites. Two or three films that we're all desperately dying to see. It may not include everything, but it's what we're most excited about. Dive in and let us know what you're looking forward to in the comments.

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Matt's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Matt's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Matthew Razak

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 bad movies come out in a year? Do you know how bad mediocre movies get when you have to watch so many of them? It's not always fun.

Thankfully for you I've made this list. It's much like MeganNick and Alec's lists, all of which have many great films on them, but mine is more right because my opinion is the most rightest of them all. While 2015 may not go down in history as the best year film ever had there was definitely greatness. 

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Megan's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Megan's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Megan Porch

2014 was a pretty great year for movies, so coming up with a year end list was pretty tough for me. Originally I thought I'd just do top 5, and then top 10... but no. It had to be top 15 because I saw so many awesome films last year, and it just wouldn't be fair to ignore the movies in the 11 through 15 slots. 

So let's get the ball rolling...


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Alec's Top 15 Movies of 2014 photo
Alec's Top 15 Movies of 2014
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

While I was binge-watching films at the end of last year and the beginning of this one to figure out where everything would stand on my official TOP MOVIES OF 2014 list, I noticed something odd: So many of the films I saw in 2014 reminded me of films I saw in 2013. Sometimes that was because they were by the same directors or shot by the same cinematographers. Sometimes it was just because they affected me in similar ways or dealt with similar themes. But when it came time to sit down and do this, I thought, "Hey... why not look at the best films of 2014 as it compares to 2013?" And so I did that, with each film on this list corresponding to a film on last year's list.

As such, the numbering of this list doesn't quite reflect my feelings (my favorite film of the year is only number 2 on this list), and several of my favorites were knocked off my slightly less deserving films, but I did it to make a point. And it's not like these lists really matter anyway.

So without further ado, we proudly present the "Best Films of 2013: 2014 Edition."

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

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

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

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2014's Best Dog in Film photo
2014's Best Dog in Film
by Nick Valdez

As good as the films of 2014 were, you know what was even better? The animals. There were lots of standout roles for animals this year, both real and imaginary. In almost every film I watched, there was some cute dog or cat hanging around just because. 

So I figured why not honor the best one? It was pretty tough, but I decided to choose an animal based on what it means for the film as a whole. So even with all of the dogs and cats of varying importance, only one puppy stood out and actively set the plot of its film in motion. 

Honorable Mentions: That running dog in Godzilla, Digby and the "crazy cute" dog from The Interview, that one cat from The Hunger Games - Mockingjay Part 1, the turtle from Laggies, that one cat from Gone Girl, that one cat from The Grand Budapest Hotel, the horse in the Red Sea from Exodus: Gods and Kings, Rocket Raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, Koba/Caesar from Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014 photo
Nick's Top 5 Animated Movies of 2014
by Nick Valdez

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 small steps here and there (women in these films were characterized a bit better and given more autonomy), it's nothing revolutionary. But despite the testosterone, animated films were pretty great last year (but I do hope for more varied voices in 2015). 

2014 treated animation with the respect it deserves. Cartoons aren't just for throwaway comedies (although some did try to squeeze through), and the five films here were the best examples of studios allowing animated films to explore different kinds of narrative opportunities. While the list won't feature some of the smaller releases (because they haven't released near me) like Song of the Sea and When Marnie Was There, I'm pretty confident that this list is set in my mind. 

Here are my choices for the Top Five Animated Films of 2014. 

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FlixList: The Ten Best Trailers of 2014 photo
FlixList: The Ten Best Trailers of 2014
by Nick Valdez

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 fight over your hard earned movie money, they've been far more creative and unique with their campaigns. From viral videos, to teasers with confidence in the material, having my job of sifting through tons and tons of trailers every day has never been better. 

That also means I've cherry picked the best and brightest for you all. Some trailers are films releasing next year, some have already come and gone, and one is stuck in limbo. These are the ten trailers that'll make you want to show up early to your screening to see them on the big screen. 

Here are the ten best trailers of 2014. 

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Why what The Interview says about North Korea actually matters (an analysis) photo
Why what The Interview says about North Korea actually matters (an analysis)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

I saw The Interview because I was curious. Amidst the complete ridiculousness of the past few weeks, thoughts and feelings have been flying around about the film. Outside of the few who had attended pre-chaos press screenings, no one was really qualified to speak to the film's quality. I frequently disagree with the press at large, but I still wasn't expecting particularly good things. That was the impetus behind my thinkpiece from last week, because let's be honest: A Seth Rogen comedy shouldn't be the film to set off a public debate. It should be some deeply serious documentary set in North Korea's concentration camps that make people incapable of looking away from it. I mean... right?

Well... not necessarily. Having now seen (and enjoyed) The Interview, I realized that this is about as close as we're going to get to a public discussion about the horrors of North Korean life. So let's take advantage of that and see what it's got to say. 

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The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition) photo
The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)
by Nick Valdez

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 barely scraped by in the end, but it was tons of fun. I would've never made it had it not been for Netflix Instant's library. 

As Flixist's resident expert in Besteverology, I think a list celebrating Netflix Instant's offerings for the holiday season is in order. Couple of rules: The films have to be available on Netflix Instant as of the time of writing (otherwise this list would've been Jingle All the Way ten times), and they have to involve Christmas in some way. 

With all of that said, wear your warmest onesie, brew your finest hot chocolate, listen to Jingle Bell Rock again, and read this list of The Ten Best Christmas Movies on Netflix Instant. 

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Why did it have to be The Interview? photo
Why did it have to be The Interview?
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

The Interview is the most important film of 2014. 

Does that sentence depress anyone else? It really should, because it's undoubtedly true. The film that will have the greatest impact on the world at large is not Boyhood or Selma or even The Raid 2; it's the newest comedy from Seth Rogen and James Franco.

To be clear, I loved This Is The End, and though I'm not a huge fan of Seth Rogen's laugh I think he's a talented writer/actor. And I like James Franco too. I have no problem with either of them. But I wouldn't follow either of them to the ends of the earth. I don't like their work so much that I would be willing to put myself in any sort of danger to support their work.

So why did it have to be The Interview that was asking me to do exactly that?

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