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12:00 PM on 11.21.2014

Flixgiving: Five Movies Sean Is Thankful For

Who doesn't love Turkey Day? A day of food, family, and gratitude for all you have. It's great. Unless, of course, your family is going away and you don't have any personal days from work to go with them! That being said, I'm...

Sean Walsh


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Flixgiving: Matt is thankful for The Babadook photo
Flixgiving: Matt is thankful for The Babadook
by Matthew Razak

I can count the number of truly scary horror films I've seen this year on one finger. That's not to say there haven't been other good horror movies, but for a horror buff like myself it takes something special to actually make me scared. Like worried to walk upstairs in a dark house scared. Most people wouldn't be thankful to have nightmares, but the last time a horror movie gave me one was when I was a kid. That is until I watched The Babadook (review coming).

But there are great horror movies coming out every year and while I'm thankful for them I'm not writing entire blogs dedicated to my thanks for them. There's an extra layer of thanks for The Badadook that I'd have towards it even if I hadn't seen it and that's because it's a horror film directed by a woman (Jennifer Kent), which, in case you hadn't noticed, isn't something that comes along very often.

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Flixgiving: Five Movies Alec Is Thankful For photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Alec Is Thankful For
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Seeing so many movies means that sometimes it's hard to really appreciate any individual film. Just because I loved Movie X doesn't mean I'll be thinking about it three months later when I've seen Movies Y, Z, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta, all of which I also loved. There are some that stick with me long after the credits roll, films I still think about years later despite everything that's come between, but they aren't even necessarily the films I want to remember. There are also the films I'm glad I remember, because they made me think or feel in some new or interesting way. Or maybe they were just ludicrously entertaining.

But there's another category: Films I'm actually thankful for having seen. It's not just that I liked or loved them (most of these wouldn't show up on a list of my favorite films), but they stick out as life milestones or, in several cases, movies that have helped me in some measurable way.

All but one of these were seen as part of my duties at Flixist. And in that sense, I have my position here to thank.  So: Thank you Flixist, for everything you've done for me.

And thanks to these five movies, listed in order of when I saw them.

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films that our writers are thankful for. What are you thankful for?]

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Flixgiving: Five Movies Nick is Thankful For photo
Flixgiving: Five Movies Nick is Thankful For
by Nick Valdez

This time of year always has me thinking about how great life is. Sure it's not the best, but to breathe, eat, love, and squat every day is truly an invisible blessing. I also start thinking about how great movies are, and I'm thankful for just having them around. Even if a film comes out worse than you'd hope, it's still a marvel that it came to fruition. 

To celebrate the coming holiday, we here at Flixist decided to let you in on what we're thankful for. Each of the films we'll discuss over the next week have touched us in some way and we're glad they exist. 

Now in my case these aren't the best films (and will definitely call my overall taste into question), but they're some of my favorites. These are films I've watched over, and over again because I couldn't imagine a life without them. 

[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We'll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films that our writers are thankful for.]

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Some Like It Hot: Anne Hathaway photo
Some Like It Hot: Anne Hathaway
by Sean Walsh

[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. Note: This is a repost of an article originally posted on July 18th, 2012.]

The Dark Knight Rises is out this week. You may have heard of it. It's got Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy...talk about your beefcake bonanza, right? Well, there are a few ladies present to break up the sausage party, least of which being Anne Hathaway.

She'll be playing Selina Kyle (jury's out on whether or not she'll be referred to as Catwoman), the sexy, sultry cat-thief that worms her way into Bruce Wayne's heart. But we're not here to talk about Catwoman. We're here to talk about Ms. Hathaway and how fine she is. Because if we can all agree on one thing, it's that she is fine.

Please, do join me as I bring you up to speed on what makes Anne Hathaway the hottest actress to done the black leather suit to date.  

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Snaxist: Krispy Kreme's Ghostbusters Donuts photo
Snaxist: Krispy Kreme's Ghostbusters Donuts
by Nick Valdez

To celebrate Ghostbusters' 30th Anniversary, Krispy Kreme teamed up with the film and produced two specialty donuts: The Ghostbusters Donut and Stay Puft Marshmallow. Reading the press release for the two made them sound like they were made out of marshmallows and dreams. Instead, they were made out of something closer to whatever Slimer is.  

I should probably explain a few things first. As a man who love donuts (not "doughnuts" you monsters) so much he wants to get a chain of them tattooed around his arm, I do not like Krispy Kreme's brand of battered sugar. It's almost as if they forget donuts are supposed to be made out of something other than glazed air. But as with all Snaixists, I went into this with an open mind and open stomach. Read on for my impressions of these "fine delicacies." 

[Snaxist is all about the movie endorsed food. We'll stuff our faces, destroy our bodies, point out why or why not eating endorsed foods is a good idea, and write about it all for your entertainment!] 

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FlixList: The Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition) photo
FlixList: The Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Instant (2014 Edition)
by Nick Valdez

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 worth your precious couch time? Thankfully I, Flixist's resident expert on Besteverology, Nick Valdez, have used my lack of Halloween plans to gather a list of the ten best horror films on the service. 

Couple of rules: There's no real order to these films as they're all pretty scary in their own way, only one film per franchise, and they had to be available on Netflix Instant as of the time of writing. So sadly no American Psycho as it's leaving the service pretty soon. 

With all of that said, cuddle up with your candy corn cocktail, Jack O' Lantern filled with gummy bears, and sexy Charlie Brown costume and read this list of the Ten Best Horror Films on Netflix Right Now. 

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Flixist's Fall/Winter movie preview that's better than all of everything photo
Flixist's Fall/Winter movie preview that's better than all of everything
by Flixist Staff

Oh, Fall. How quickly you come, and with you you bring movies that we need to start caring about again. As we close out October we finally start to see the Oscar hopefuls begin to trickle in (not to mention horror classics) and we know that we are once again leaving the movie doldrums. 

But with so much coming how will you know what you really need to see? Trust the editors at Flixist to give you a going guide at what we're really excited for. This isn't the most complete (no Hobbits!) list of films coming out, but damn if we don't want to see these so badly we actually sat down and wrote words about them. OK, we do that all the time about movies, but trust us, these films below are going to be awesome. 

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Review Companion: An analysis of theatre and cinema in Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman photo
Review Companion: An analysis of theatre and cinema in Alejandro Iñárritu's Birdman
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

I love Birdman. A lot. If you don’t believe me, go look at my ludicrously positive review. Even if you do believe me, you should do so anyway, because this is a companion (and not a replacement) to that piece.

But unlike my last review companion, this is nearly spoiler-free. I’m going to talk about the (not-secret) magic trick that the film pulls, but if you know what that trick is, then you can read this and still go into it feeling untainted. But if you have the chance to see it before reading, why would you be doing anything else with your time? It’s an incredible film, and easily one of the best to come out this year (or, really, any year).

But I made a conscious decision to avoid talking about Birdman’s cinematography in the review, which meant that I had to hold back at least two-thirds of what I had to say about the film (and what its cinematography means in the bigger picture of both theatre and film). Here are the other two-thirds:

[This film was seen as part of our coverage of the 52nd New York Film Festival.]

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Interview: Adam Saunders, producer and CEO of Footprint Features photo
Interview: Adam Saunders, producer and CEO of Footprint Features
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

The role of a producer has always been kind of opaque to me. I just fundamentally get what directors do, cinematographers do, writers, etc., but "Producer" is such a broad term and encompasses so many things. For that reasons, I've tended to shie away from talking to them, because I just didn't really get it. But I got the chance to talk to producer Adam Saunders, CEO of Footprint Features, and I got a bit more of a glimpse into the day-to-day work of what is really a crucial role on set.

So that was pretty cool. And talking to him was cool in general. He's a fast-talker and ridiculously enthusiastic, both of which are pretty good traits for a producer to have.

It's worth noting that this interview was actually conducted a little while ago, during the media blitz for the release of Footprint's most recent film, About Alex. The content of the interview itself is not particularly time sensitive, though, so what he said then certainly still applies now.

Let's get to it!

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Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 2) photo
Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 2)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Welcome to part two of our two-part discussion of David Fincher's Gone Girl. If you missed part one, I highly recommend checking it out. This is a direct continuation of the dialogue that special guest Hubert Vigilla and I have already begun, so we're jumping right on in.

For those who are just joining us, though, welcome to the Flixist Discusses analysis of Gone Girl. We are spoiling the heck out of the film, so if you haven't seen it, you should stop right here. And it's not just about ruining the big twists; you won't even have a point of reference for what we're talking if you haven't seen the film.

But let's just get to it, shall we?

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 52nd New York Film Festival. More information can be found here, and all of our coverage can be found here.]

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Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 1) photo
Flixist Discusses: An analysis of David Fincher's Gone Girl (Part 1)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

David Fincher's adaptation of Gillian Flynn's Gone Girl is The Big Thing right now, and rightly so. It's a great film, and it's one that deserves to be considered in depth. Given how significant the narrative curveballs the film throws are to its overall impact, my review was forcibly cut back in order to remain spoiler free. But I had plenty left to say, and this discussion comes with a massive spoiler warning. You really shouldn't read this unless you've seen the movie. 

I am joined by former Flixist News Editor Hubert Vigilla, now a contributor over at Unseen Films. The two of us attended the same screening at the new York Film Festival, and though we talked about it pretty extensively at dinner afterwards, as well as in our respective reviews (his can be found here), we decided to keep it going here afterwards.

And we just kind of kept going, to the point where we are breaking this conversation up into two parts solely for the sake of readability. The discussion hits a whole lot of topics, but though we reference other shows, films, etc. there are no spoilers other than those for Gone Girl

Enjoy.

[For the next few weeks, Flixist will be covering the 52nd New York Film Festival. More information can be found here, and all of our coverage can be found here.]

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How I did Kickstarter: Deciding on the rewards photo
How I did Kickstarter: Deciding on the rewards
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Each of these posts have made reference to how important any given aspect of the Kickstarter project is. The pitch text is the most important, but so is the video! And also the goal. And while all of that is true, none of it matters if you don't have good rewards. The rewards are the things that will really define just how much money you get. Some people don't care about rewards, and they will give you a certain amount of money whether they get something out of it or not, but many will define their contributions based on what they're getting out of it. 

I couldn't count on two hands the numbers of times I've considered backing a Kickstarter but never did so because I wasn't interested in the rewards. Kickstarter may not be a store, but it is a marketplace. And everyone in that marketplace needs to have something worth selling at a price worth paying.

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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How I did Kickstarter: Making the pitch video photo
How I did Kickstarter: Making the pitch video
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

While I would say that the written pitch is probably the most important part of a Kickstarter project, the video is definitely the face of it. And it’s also vital. While you aren’t required to have a pitch video, campaigns that do use them raise 40% more than those that don’t. Even if you don’t know much about video editing, it’s highly recommended that you have some kind of something.

With any kind of video project, it’s all but mandatory. I couldn’t imagine funding a film that wasn’t accompanies by some kind of basic proof of competence. So for Reel, we knew we had to do something. And what we ended up with wasn’t particularly fancy or high tech, but it was what we were looking for.

Here’s what we did, how we did it, and why we did it that way.

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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Views Askew: Growing Up on Kevin Smith photo
Views Askew: Growing Up on Kevin Smith
by Sean Walsh

[Back in June 2012, we had Kevin Smith Week to celebrate his new Hulu show, Spoilers. What with his new movie Tusk hitting theaters this week, it felt apropos to repost the article, with a new entry for the new film.]

Y'know, I don't exactly remember when or where the first time I saw a Kevin Smith movie was. If I had to warrant a guess, it would've been Mallrats in the living room of my old house, the house where I spent my formative years absorbing as much pop culture as possible (not much has changed). What I do know for sure is that while growing up, the View Askewniverse was as much a part of me as pineapple calzones, Hawaiian shirts, and an inflated ego.

Of course, as one grows up, things change. They mature, develop, become an adult. I haven't had a pineapple calzonne since I don't know when, I haven't purchased a Hawaiian shirt since before I graduated high school in 2005, my ego has deflated (a little bit, at least), and Kevin Smith is no longer a vital part of my DNA. But for a good long while, he was my film god. Join me, if you would, on this personal journey into the past to examine the impact the man and his movies had on my life throughout high school and up through the present. We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll reflect on the zen of "snoochie boochies*."

*That last bit probably isn't true.

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How I did Kickstarter: Writing the pitch photo
How I did Kickstarter: Writing the pitch
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

When you go to a Kickstarter page, what's the first thing you do? I always read (or at least skim) the text of their pitch. If it looks interesting, I'll read through it properly. If not, I'm not going to back it. If I see the project's video embedded on a different site, maybe I'll watch that first, but the text is always more important to me. 

So when I sat down to write the pitch for Reel, I had to make something that would appeal to me. But this campaign wasn't really written for me; it's for you. That means what I really had to make was something that appealed to everyone else.

I’ve gotten great feedback on the whole, so I guess I succeeded. Head below for a deeper look at that process.

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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How I did Kickstarter: Avoiding content-specific stretch goals photo
How I did Kickstarter: Avoiding content-specific stretch goals
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Another few days, another few backers. Seriously, this is one of the most stressful things I've ever done in my life, and I can't even imagine what it would be like on a larger scale. In the grand scheme of things, $3,500 is really not that much money. It's not like we're asking for $35,000 or $350,000 like some projects do.

This post is only sort of about my Kickstarter. It's a bit more focused on a broader trend in crowdfunded projects in general that makes me sad. It applies more heavily to video games than movies, but it definitely applies to movies as well. The issue at hand? Content-focused stretch goals.

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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How I did Kickstarter: Choosing a goal (and considering stretches) photo
How I did Kickstarter: Choosing a goal (and considering stretches)
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

We're now a week into our Kickstarter, and it's been pretty crazy. As of this writing, we've made more than one-third of our goal, which is fantastic. If we can keep up this momentum during the lull that always befalls projects in the middle of their campaign, then we'll breeze past no problem. More likely we hit that lull and then make a mad dash at the end.

But let's talk about that goal. It's the most fundamental part of any Kickstarter campaign, and it is the metric by which a Kickstarter's success is defined. We have asked for $3,500 to help us create Reel. Here is how we came up with that number and why we went with it.

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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How I did Kickstarter: Five things I wish I knew before starting photo
How I did Kickstarter: Five things I wish I knew before starting
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

My friend and I launched our Kickstarter four days ago. A lot has happened since then, some behind the scenes and some exceedingly public. Through all of that, a few lovely people (primarily friends and family) have already helped us achieve a not-insignificant portion of our goal.

It's exciting. Really exciting. But it's also been extremely stressful for a whole host of reasons. The biggest is that trying to crowdfund is simply a unique experience, and one that it's difficult to really prepare for. But there are a few things I really wish I'd known from the outset. I figured all of this out on the way, some of it more recently than I would have liked, but all of it would have changed my initial approach had I understood it from the get-go. So I wanted to share that all with you.

None of this has to do with our movie specifically or even movies in general. If you want to Kickstart a video game, a CD, or even a delicious new snack, all of this will probably apply to you.

So without further ado, here are five things I really wish I had known before doing a Kickstarter:

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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I'm Kickstarting a short film, and you're coming with me photo
I'm Kickstarting a short film, and you're coming with me
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Sometimes a particularly scathing review is met with some version of "Oh yeah? Let's see you do better." While I don't think it's a valid non-argument, it's an interesting thought. But if you have ever felt that way after reading any of my reviews, I'm giving you the chance to call my bluff. 

You see, I'm making a short film called Reel. It's a martial arts film that I'm co-writing/directing with actor/writer/friend Gerard Chamberlain, and we're both exceedingly excited about the project. We think it's going to be pretty much the best thing since sliced bread, which is why we've set up a Kickstarter.

Kickstarter is a great platform. It's one we've written about dozens (possibly hundreds) of times. I've backed a bunch of things, and I actually spent a semester studying the platform in school. I have a pretty good conceptual understanding of it, but I'm about to see how that can be put into practice. (And yes, I'm totally aware of the direct comparison to conceptual criticism versus practical application of filmmaking you may or may not be making right now.)

Regardless, I want to share this experience with all of you who have been on Flixist with me for the past three-plus years.

Backer updates are all well and good, but there's more to it than that. For the next month, I'll be discussing the process of actually getting a project onto Kickstarter at all. I'll be talking about everything from writing the pitch to figuring out the goal. A lot of work goes into setting up a Kickstarter, and the next month is probably going to take a few years off my life. But I hope you can learn something from that. Whether we raise our funds or not, our successes and failures could be a template for you if you decide to crowdfund in the future.

So let's freaking do this everybody. If there's anything else about the process that you want to hear about, let me know in the comments. 

[Alec is doing a Kickstarter. You can (and should) back it here. Through the project's duration, he will be writing a series of articles about the process. More about that here. Check out the other entries here.]

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Pierce Brosnan's best and worst since Bond photo
Pierce Brosnan's best and worst since Bond
by Matthew Razak

We all know that that the apex of any actor's career is playing James Bond. Well, that's what us Bond fans like to think anyway, but after leaving the role did you know that Bond actors continue to act -- even ones not named Sean Connery. Yes, it's true as shocking as it may be.

With Pierce Brosnan returning to the spy game this weekend in November Man we thought it would be a good time to take a look at what he's done since Bond. There's actually quite a lot of good stuff. There's also some bad stuff, and in the name of fairness and in order to more easily make jokes about bad movies we're going to talk about both. 

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Some Like It Hot: Eva Green photo
Some Like It Hot: Eva Green
by Nick Valdez

Eva Green has definitely made herself known these past few years, and with good reason. Regardless of the overall quality of the project she's attached to, she's not one to slack. She gives her all in every performance as I've seen her singlehandedly make terrible films worthwhile. With the vibe of Classic Hollywood staples like Joan Crawford, she oozes charisma, sensuality, and pure badassness. 

With Sin City: A Dame to Kill For in theaters, I figured it was time to revive our Some Like It Hot feature to explore the wonderousness of Eva Green's assets. 

[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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