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4:00 PM on 08.29.2014

I'm Kickstarting a short film, and you're coming with me

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 re...

Alec Kubas-Meyer




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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Review: The November Man photo
Review: The November Man
by Matthew Razak

The fact that Pierce Brosnan was returning to spy movies pretty much made me one of the most excited people around. The November Man would be a harder, R-rated James Bond with some good action and maybe a little throwback feel to the spy films of the 90s. I'd be quite happy with even the most mediocre of old-school thrillers with that set up.

It says a lot that I am not happy with this movie at all, not even with Pierce Brosnan.

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The Simpsons Movie is not very good  photo
The Simpsons Movie is not very good
by Nick Valdez

I don't think I'll ever be able to properly explain how big of an influence The Simpsons has had on my life. Rather than learn any useful skills, go out on dates with cute girls, or have a social life in general, I watched episodes of The Simpsons. When I was through with a season, I'd buy more on DVD and watch them again. Basically, I've invested at least 60-65% of my 25 year run into this show. 

That's why The Simpsons Movie was a huge disappointment. Not because I'm a fan who wanted more (I saw this in theaters five times when it originally released), but because I've gotten a fancy education and look at films in a different light. Sure The Simpsons Movie has some good gags and gets a lot of credit for being better than the recent glut of seasons when it released, but it's just not a good movie. 

Watching it again, I can't defend it like I used to. 

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Review: Sin City - A Dame to Kill For photo
Review: Sin City - A Dame to Kill For
by Sean Walsh

Sin City has always had a special place in my heart. Way back in 2005, when the first film came out, I was in my senior yearo f high school, taking Film as Art. One of our assignments was to write a paper on a film we see in theaters, complete with ticket stub stapled to the front page as proof. As Sin City was in theaters, and I was a red-blooded eighteen-year-old, I thought "Heck, a movie based on a comic I've never read full of dudes that eat bullets for breakfast and hot, young thing Jessica Alba playing a stripper by the guy who made such films as Spy Kids? Sign me up!" Unfortunately, everybody was too busy or too disinterested to take me. With no reasonable options left, I asked my grandmother. She said yes, and ended up loving it ("That Marv, he was like a real superhero!). That sparked a tradition of going to see movies together with my grandmother. Some were racy (I can say I'm probably one of the only people in the world that's seen Jason Segel's penis with my grandmother, on the big screen at least), some were not, but we haven't seen a movie yet that she hasn't enjoyed.

Sadly, this year she came up to visit several weeks before Sin City: A Dame to Kill For came out, and sadder yet, I was on vacation while she was in town. So, with a heavy heart, I went to see the film I've been waiting nine years for with my best pal Patrick instead. Could it possibly match up to the sentimental and nostalgic factors I associated with the first film? Read on and find out!

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Review: When the Game Stands Tall photo
Review: When the Game Stands Tall
by Matthew Razak

I'm a sucker for sports movies. You give me a gang of lovable underdogs, a few training montages and a triumphant final game and I'm in your pocket. It's just so easy to get caught up in a sport film even when their bad. They hit all the right points that we love and when done even remotely right you at least feel a little bit of joy when those underdogs win the big game. What I'm saying is that it is really hard to make a sports film that you just stop caring about. 

When the Games Stands Tall does this. Not only does it go on for way longer than it should, but it doesn't grab you in the first place. It's as if the filmmakers had never seen a sports film before. No, check that. It's as if they had never seen any movie before.

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FlixList: Ten Cartoons that Deserve Big Movies photo
FlixList: Ten Cartoons that Deserve Big Movies
by Nick Valdez

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, and YouTube, it took a special kind of commitment to be a cartoon fan. But these days, cartoons are everywhere. 

They have their own stations, conventions, and movies. With Transformers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Popeye, Scooby-Doo, even Underdog having a movie all their own, cartoons are far more worthy of the attention. But what about all of the forgotten shows? There are shows still primed for the big time, and it's only a matter of time before we'll see these of the big screen. 

At least we should anyway. 

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Review: The Giver photo
Review: The Giver
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

It's been more than 20 years since Lois Lowry's The Giver first hit shelves, and more than a decade since I first read it. It's one of those transformative books, and before the recent YA trend towards totalitarianism, the first exposure most people had to dystopias. It's not really 1984 for children (because it's not really for children, despite everyone I know having reading before middle school), but what it says about the world and about imagination is formative for a lot of people. It definitely was for me.

When I heard it was being adapted, I wasn't excited about it, but I also wasn't totally put off. It's a story about imagery, and actually seeing some of the images that are discussed in the book (and the way they affect the view of a colorless, lifeless world) struck me as potentially compelling.

But as I sat in the theater, I realized that I was wrong: The Giver isn't about imagery at all.

It's about imagination.

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Review: The Expendables 3 photo
Review: The Expendables 3
by Nick Valdez

The Expendables could've been a good series had it been advertised differently. First touted as a return to form for aging 80s action stars as they wax nostalgic about their glory days, The Expendables turned out to be a greyish blob that somehow muddied up the colorful personalities which inhabited it.

Then the same thing happened in the sequel. The actors got a bit more room to play, but as the cast ballooned, the little joy to be had was smothered by more generic shooty bang bang. With the advertising for The Expendables 3 copying Fast & Furious 6's font, Stallone making a big deal about dropping Bruce Willis from the cast, and adding a bunch of relative nobodies to the roster, the third film looked to follow in the same pattern. 

This better be the last one. 

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Review: Let's Be Cops photo
Review: Let's Be Cops
by Sean Walsh

I love the Buddy Cop genre. Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop, 21 Jump Street (and its sequel), even Hollywood Homicide. I also love The New Girl. Imagine my surprise and delight when two of the leads from The New Girl were going to appear in a buddy cop movie! Just like 21 Jump Street before it, I loved the trailer for Let's Be Cops every time I saw it (and considering how many times I watched it on YouTube, that's saying something).

Did Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr. deliver the goods or did they show the best stuff in the trailer? Read on to find out!

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Robin Williams' best performances photo
Robin Williams' best performances
by Flixist Staff

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 been times where we've actively avoided writing anything more than an initial (depressed) announcement, but here is an exception. Robin Williams's wife, Susan Schneider, gave a statement that read:

I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.

It is with that in mind that we decided to write this.

Let the celebration begin.

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Robin Williams found dead at age 63 photo
Robin Williams found dead at age 63
by Matthew Razak

We bring you some truly sad news tonight. Robin Williams was found dead in his home after an apparent suicide by asphyxiation. Reports from the family spokesperson say that the actor was suffering from depression and recently entered a 12-step rehab stint for drug abuse. 

I'm not sure there's a single actor who has brought more people more joy in the past 40 years than Robin Williams. From the start with Mork and Mindy to classics like Good Morning, Vietnam to more dramatic turns like Good Will Hunting to darker stints like 1 Hour Photo, you knew that if Robin Williams was in it you'd be getting something at the very least intriguing and at the very best life changing. His brand of humor and style was unique and will be sorely missed. I think that might be why this in particular hurts so much; we're missing a man who helped bring a bit of happiness into our lives over and over. 

God damn I played the fuck out of that Hook VHS. You will be missed, Mr. Williams.

[via Variety]

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Review: Into the Storm photo
Review: Into the Storm
by Matthew Razak

Into the Storm is one of those movies that you wonder where it came from. Natural disaster films are so early 2000s and this one feels particularly ancient. Clearly the thinking was that with all the super storms hitting us the time was ripe to pick the genre again, but it really isn't and Into the Storm isn't the film to do it in.

While you don't have to do much to be a competent natural disaster movie there are a few rules. The biggest one is not to actively insult people who have actually been affected by cataclysmic disasters. Into the Storm fails at this, and while it may succeed at a few other things because of that it fails completely. 

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Flixist Community Discusses: Guardians of the Galaxy photo
Flixist Community Discusses: Guardians of the Galaxy
by Nick Valdez

Guardians of the Galaxy has caused quite a stir in the Flixist Community. It's blown up on Twitter, Facebook, and I've even heard some of my non-fan friends discussing it for some reason. It's got the kind of pull I haven't seen since Marvel debuted the first Iron Man movie. 

Even if I don't completely like it myself, it's still an invigoration of the tired Marvel Studios plan, so folks have been heaping praise. But I wanted to know what folks liked (or did not like) about it specifically. Thanks to Flixist Community Discusses, we'll discover why Guardians of the Galaxy may or may not be successful in what it set out to do

Gathered from the comments and Twitter, here's what the Flixist Community thinks of Guardians of the Galaxy. Spoilers ahead! 

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Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles photo
Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
by Matthew Razak

OK, we've all seen the new look of the Ninja Turtles, and if you haven't there it is up there in the header. It's hideous. They look really weird and totally ugly. That doesn't change in this movie. We're just all going to have to live with it (unless the movie flops and we don't get a direct sequel). Thanks to that I won't be discussing their look anymore. It just is.

How does one reboot a franchise that's already been rebooted repeatedly in multiple formats. There's one key factor that makes the Ninja Turtles work. It isn't the ninja factor or the mutant turtle factor or the teenage factor. What makes it work is that the turtles are actually interesting characters with a family dynamic that always pays off. Rewatch the original live action film. It's fun, but it's also a fantastic movie because they treat the turtles as real characters and when that's done it's easy to see why the franchise is eternal.

Of course a film produced by Michael Bay doesn't exactly hint at strong character development, does it?

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Fantasia Review: WolfCop photo
Fantasia Review: WolfCop
by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Puns are a lot more interesting than most people give them credit for. While they're exceedingly easy to come up with and throw into literally every conversation ever, they're much harder to actually pull off.

The title for the WolfCop trailer on YouTube (embedded below) is "Here comes the Fuzz." You get it? Because they call cops "The Fuzz." It's like Hot Fuzz, except that name isn't a pun. "Here comes the Fuzz" is an example of an acceptable pun. It's fine, you might chuckle, but then you get on with your day. It doesn't resonate. "Dirty Harry... Only Hairier," the poster's tagline (seen above), is a step in the right direction.

But the Fantasia description for WolfCop starts with the most brilliant phrase ever written by a human: "No one is above the claw." And that is something else entirely. That is freaking hilarious, and 50% of why I watched WolfCop, a decision that was 100% the best thing I could have done with those 79 minutes.

[The Fantasia International Film Festival is currently taking place in Montreal through August 7th. As it begins to wind down, we'll be reviewing some of the interesting things we saw there. For more information, head here. For all of our coverage, go here.]

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Hey everyone, let's talk about Guardians of the Galaxy! photo
Hey everyone, let's talk about Guardians of the Galaxy!
by Nick Valdez

A few weeks back, I started this segment where I gathered the community's opinions on big movies. It's been gone for awhile due to a lack of interesting films, but now's a good time to bring it back as any. So what did you all think of Guardians of the Galaxy? I liked it, but didn't love it enough to put it in our "Great" category. 

I'm interested as to what you all think, so I'll gather all of your responses (labeled with who wrote them, of course), and pepper in some responses from the Flixist staff, into one post as "Flixist Community Discusses."

Leave a comment below, hit me up on Twitter (@Valdezology), or even send me an email at nick@flixist.com (if you have anything particularly spoilery). The community post will go live Friday, August 8th at 12PM CST, so I'll be taking responses until then!

Where does Guardians of the Galaxy stand, Flixist community? Would you let this movie guard your galaxy? Get your opinions in folks!

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Review: Guardians of the Galaxy photo
Review: Guardians of the Galaxy
by Nick Valdez

I should admit this outright. Whether it's the nature of my job, or the seemingly endless deluge of Marvel Studios news that we write on everyday, I've succumbed to Marvel fatigue. That's why I was instantly drawn to Guardians of the Galaxy. From the first trailer on it promised something entirely unique within the Marvel formula, and although it too is a stepping stone within Marvel Studios' grander scheme, it stood out for good reasons. 

With a quirky director whose only done smaller projects, a star studded cast painted green and voicing things like animated raccoons and trees, its 70s rock inspired soundtrack, and its complete foray into comic book oddities, Guardians of the Galaxy could've easily been Marvel's biggest failure.

Good thing it's not. 

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First trailer for Into the Woods photo
First trailer for Into the Woods
by Matthew Razak

Isn't it always the case. You put images up and then a trailer drops almost completely destroying the use of those images. Such is the case with Into the Woods, which has its first trailer here. It looks great, but why does it almost completely ignore the fact that it's a musical? The trailers for Annie did this too. Are studios afraid that people won't show up for musicals?

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Comic-Con trailer for Interstellar  photo
Comic-Con trailer for Interstellar
by Nick Valdez

With Matthew McConaughey's recent upswing, I've been more inclined to pay attention to his projects. One such project is Christopher Nolan's Interstellar. A science fiction film about wormholes and future corn, who knows what Interstellar is really about. Remember how we all thought we knew what Inception was going to be then it turned into a confusing mess? I'm hoping Interstellar skips that last part and is just a film about future corn. 

By the looks of this trailer showed off during Comic-Con, this isn't just about corn. Damn it. Interstellar releases into theaters November 7th. 

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First official trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies photo
First official trailer for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
by Nick Valdez

I love how they're claiming The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is "The Defining Chapter" in the story since the book itself is only a fraction of all of this. In what is most likely the most bloated title of the series, the third film takes place after the events of The Desolation of Smaug as Bilbo finds himself in the middle of a fight between Smaug, Orcs, Sauron, and many other things. 

Sorry, I'm just not into these films so I'm not the proper fellow to tell you why any of this is notable. Help me out, community! The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits theaters December 17th. 

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