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19 articles

‘Getaway Driver’ Hearkens Back to Hollywood’s Classic Car Chases

2 hours ago

Short of the DayA high-octane short.

It just takes a momentary twist to make a good film great. Think about The Sixth Sense: until it’s final revelation that [Spoiler (?)] Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time, the most intriguing bit of that film was wondering how a mook like Willis got a doctorate in psychology. But then they drop that twist and oh shit, you got yourself a movie.

Getaway Driver, a short film directed by Abner Pastoll, is another example of this. What starts out as a cool, slick, high-octane short about a lady and her pug trying to escape a bad guy via a sweet ride becomes something else entirely in its final seconds, something I’m obviously not going to spoil here. As for that escape, Pastoll and director of photography Richard Bell have choreographed a thrilling, breakneck, nail-biter of a chase set in a parking garage that’s highly reminiscent — in »

- H. Perry Horton

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When Words Fail: The Implications of Intentional Silence in Cinema

5 hours ago

Less is sometimes so much more.

Before the advent of sound in the movies, silence was an obstacle to storytelling, it was a thing to be covered, interrupted, and worked around. Once sound came along, though, it changed the nature of the relationship between silence and storytelling, taking a once-ubiquitous element and transforming it into something far more meaningful. Silence now was not a necessity, it was a decision, a choice to relay information a certain way, unspoken, or at least unheard by those of us in the audience. In modern cinema, the most blatant example of silence as a storytelling booster can be found at the very end of Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, when Bill Murray’s character whispers some mysterious goodbye to Scarlett Johansson’s after their platonic but emotional courtship.

Silence can convey things, thoughts, and emotions words never could, and as such a properly utilized bit of cinematic silence can lead »

- H. Perry Horton

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‘Catfight’ Finds Both Brutality and Humanity In Its Bloody Brawls

6 hours ago

This Week in Home VideoPlus 20 more new releases to watch at home this week on Blu-ray/DVD.

Welcome to this week in home video! Click the title to buy a Blu-ray/DVD from Amazon and help support Fsr in the process!

Pick of the WeekCatfight

What is it? Two old college friends cross paths as adults and beat the ever-loving crap out of each other.

Why see it? Onur Tukel’s latest is also his best thanks in part to the lead performances by Sandra Oh and Anne Heche. They do a good job of manipulating our sympathies and concerns ensuring that our loyalties shift from act to act. Themes of female friendships, class distinctions, and redemption run through alongside a satirical look at modern life, and there’s a terrifically wicked streak throughout. Funny, smart, and brutal are all apt descriptors for this cynical look at our violent selves.

[Blu-ray/DVD extras: Commentaries, featurette, deleted scenes]

Catfight »

- Rob Hunter

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The Seven Deadly Sins On Screen

8 hours ago

A new video looks beyond Fincher at the Evil Men Do

Sin, as defined by most major religions and moral institutions, is as old as man. It is inherent to our nature, because ultimately sin is self-serving, and at the end of the day we are all self-serving creatures. Wrath, pride, sloth, lust, envy, gluttony, greed — as opposed to the Ten Commandments of Christianity which include distinct acts like adultery and murder, the seven deadly sins are things of which most all of us are guilty of multiple times over. We’ve all committed them, even on a minor scale. Ever think someone has a nicer car than you? Envy. Ever gotten a touch of road rage? Wrath. Ever hit the snooze button more than once? Sloth.

These are petty examples to be sure, but they illustrate how commonplace the seven deadly sins are in our daily lives, and thus they prove why the seven deadly sins »

- H. Perry Horton

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The Most Disappointing Year in Movies

9 hours ago

In 1997, a film cynic was born.

Seeing Star Wars ruined should have been a sign that 1997 would be the worst year ever for blockbusters. George Lucas’s Special Editions, intended to “improve” the original trilogy but mostly doing the opposite, started arriving in January. By the time of the release of the new version of Return of the Jedi in March, my anticipation for anything ought to have been demolished. But I couldn’t have imagined that was only the beginning.

Actually, the first steps towards the end of an era were made in the early ’90s. That just wasn’t a great time for big movies compared to the prior decade. Some of my biggest letdowns of all time included Hudson Hawk in 1991 and Death Becomes Her in 1992. Jurassic Park wasn’t good enough for me, having read the book. Independence Day put me to sleep in the theater. Beloved »

- Christopher Campbell

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Netflix Original Films: Coming Soon to a Theater Near You?

10 hours ago

The future of the streaming giant might not be streaming.

When streaming companies like Netlfix and Amazon got into the business of making original feature films, the industry was poised for a major change. Because these weren’t B-movies the companies were making, they weren’t the kind of low-brow fodder that gets released directly for home viewing every week, they were full-on, talent-backed, major motion pictures. Netflix had an amazing critical run (and some would say an Oscar snub or two) with Cary Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation, and Amazon last year produced a slew of significant films from significant directors, including Spike Lee’s Chi-Raq, Nicolas Winding Refn’s The Neon Demon, and most notably, Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by the Sea, which did manage to snag a handful of Oscar noms and even walked away with a pair of wins, one for Lonergan for Best Original Screenplay, and »

- H. Perry Horton

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A Gentlemen’s Disagreement About ‘Free Fire’

11 hours ago

The One Perfect Pod crew reviews Ben Wheatley’s shoot-em-up.

For this week’s review, Matthew welcomes back Fsr chief film critic Rob Hunter to explore the films of director Ben Wheatley before diving into his latest, the gun deal gone wrong actioner Free Fire.


Show Notes:

00:00:00 — Before the Credits

00:15:25 — After the Credits (includes spoilers)

Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@OnePerfectPod) and Facebook (facebook.com/oneperfectshot). Subscribe in iTunes, Stitcher, on TuneIn, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow host Matthew Monagle (@Labsplice) and guest Rob Hunter (@fakerobhunter).

We’d very much appreciate your feedback, as well. Leave us a review on iTunes or email us: pod@filmschoolrejects.com.

Thanks for listening!

A Gentlemen’s Disagreement About ‘Free Fire’ was originally published in Film School Rejects on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting »

- Film School Rejects

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These ‘Avengers 4’ Subtitles Would Actually Be Spoilers

11 hours ago

Let’s teach Marvel about spoilers.

Does Marvel know what spoilers are? We’re skeptical. On the subject of the title of the follow-up movie of Avengers: Infinity War, a yet untitled sequel, they appear to be confused. Yesterday, Cinema Blend published an interview with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige, who answered the direct question of “I’m curious if the reason [they’re not going to announce the title] is because it’s a spoiler” with “Yeah, for sure.”

This led to all sorts of speculation as to what kind of spoiler would be so hot that Marvel wouldn’t want to release the title of the Infinity War sequel until after we’ve seen the first movie. For a time, it was fun. Then later in the day, a BBC News reporter talked to Zoe Saldana on the red carpet for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, who said that after Infinity War, they had to go back for Gauntlet. This »

- Film School Rejects

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Review — ‘Thumper’ is an Unmissable and Taut Crime Thriller

12 hours ago

Thumper’ is an Unmissable and Taut Crime ThrillerBambi is nowhere to be found in this story riddled with poverty, meth and violence.

Thumper opens with a bit of misdirection. We’re drawn into the chaotic and clustered home life of Wyatt (Pablo Schreiber), a charismatic, larger than life figure whom we soon learn looms large in the poverty-stricken, unnamed California neighborhood. With a child on one hip, Wyatt scrambles through empty kitchen cabinets, trying to salvage together breakfast for his two children. The house is messy, littered with toys and mismatched furniture, but Wyatt is the perfect picture of a doting father, showering both children with genuine affection that belies his tattooed shaved head.

But once his children have shuffled off with their mother, we see a different side of Wyatt. When Troy (Grant Harvey) comes into the house, unexpectedly bringing along Beaver (Daniel Webber), Wyatt is outraged and starts menacing the two teenagers. Eventually »

- Jamie Righetti

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Interview: ‘Sweet Virginia’ and the Effect of Violence and Moral Ambiguity in Rural Towns

13 hours ago

Sweet Virginia’ and the Effect of Violence and Moral Ambiguity in Rural TownsWe chat with Jamie M. Dagg about his latest film ‘Sweet Virginia’…and Ewoks? It gets awesomely weird!Christopher Abbott and Jon Bernthal, the spider and the fly.

The Shallow Pocket Project is going to Tribeca (in spirit)! We’ll be chatting with several independent filmmakers making the trek to New York for this year’s film festival. Stay tuned! Check out our last Tribeca chat with Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson (‘The Endless’). Special thanks, as always, to In The Mouth of Dorkness, Brad Gullickson, and Darren Smith.

You never really know what’s going on in small town life. There’s a general perception that these sparsely populated towns are quiet places filled with people who know each other as well as I know my own family. We suppose that feuds can last generations, but we allow that it happens in the open »

- William Dass

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‘Staycation’ is a Captivating, Unsettling Slice of Experimental Storytelling

24 April 2017 5:01 PM, PDT

Short of the DayFrom writer-director Zach Fleming

Okay, so I’m not entirely sure just what’s going on in Zach Fleming’s Staycation, but I am 150% sure that I love it. Fleming has taken elements of comedy, romance, and drama and woven them into a narratively experimental short film that isn’t quite horror but comes damn close in the most intriguing, intelligent, and subversive ways.

An unnamed man (Rob Malone) visits New York City. His girlfriend was supposed to come with him but she’s not there. But she’s kinda there. Or at least some woman (Joanna Arnow) is, but the man can’t see her. She can see him, though. And her throat is open.

The story of Staycation occurs entirely within the Air bnb the man has taken for his stay, which gives the film a sense of forbiddenness, this space that’s his but not really his, and »

- H. Perry Horton

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Turnabout: Pop Culture Homages to Quentin Tarantino

24 April 2017 2:01 PM, PDT

The reference-r becomes the referenced.

You can’t talk about Quentin Tarantino without talking about his penchant for pop culture references. The worlds of film, television, literature, music, art, animation, and more are all fodder for Qt’s frenetic screen language. Because of this, in part, pop culture has embraced Tarantino in a way it does few other filmmakers, it made him a figurehead overnight, a touchstone source for all things kooky and cult-y, and in fact on several occasions pop culture has returned the favor by referencing the director and his work.

Movies like Swingers, Neighbors, and Space Jam, and television shows like The Simpsons, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, and The Office, and even the music of pop princess Lady Gaga are just a few of the various media that have paid homage to Tarantino, and now thanks to editor extraordinaire Jacob T. Swinney, you can see them all in one place.

These »

- H. Perry Horton

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The X-Men Franchise is Doing ‘Dark Phoenix’ in November 2018

24 April 2017 12:56 PM, PDT

Sophie Turner is what was, what is, what will be in the ‘X-Men: Apocalypse’ sequel.X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

Over the weekend 20th Century Fox announced a slew of 2018 release dates: New Mutants on April 13, Deadpool 2 on June 1, and Dark Phoenix on November 2. Saturday cartoons and movie news. Wasn’t the weekend grand? Let’s fight the urge to speculate wildly about Deadpool 2 and instead speculate wildly about the X-Men: Apocalypse sequel, Dark Phoenix.

Sophie Turner (Game of Thrones) will reprise her role as Jean Grey which makes sense given that X-Men: Apocalypse showed off her Phoenix-y powers to defeat the big baddie. The interesting, potentially bad thing about this is that the current X-Men: Apocalypse continuity envisions The Phoenix Force as being an already existing part of Jean. There is a bittersweet quality to this because it is both interesting and worrisome.

The interesting aspect is that Turner has a great acting opportunity. We »

- Francesca Fau

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Clint Eastwood to Direct Patriotic Real Life Heroism Tale, Again

24 April 2017 12:51 PM, PDT

We’ve had ‘American Sniper,’ ‘Sully,’ and now ‘The 15:17 to Paris.’

Hot off American Sniper’s (2014) adaptation of Us navy Seal Chris Kyle’s memoir and the depiction of Chesley Sullenberg’s water landing in the more controlled Sully (2016), Clint Eastwood’s true-life American tales will go from a duo to a trio with his next film. As per Deadline Hollywood, it has been confirmed that Eastwood’s next film will be a drama based on Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Jeffrey E. Stern’s book The 15:17 To Paris: The True Story Of A Terrorist, A Train, And Three American Heroes. The deal to the book also includes the rights to the three friends’ life stories.

The script has been written by Dorothy Blyskal, and tells the tale of not one hero as per Eastwood’s previous films, but three. When an Isis terrorist boarded the #9364 train from Brussels to Paris with »

- Sinéad McCausland

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This is How Smalltime Filmmakers Go Big

24 April 2017 11:03 AM, PDT

Box OfficeNot everyone needs to jump into a blockbuster.

You could say that Free Fire is a box office flop, but I wouldn’t. The first Ben Wheatley movie to hit American suburbs in its opening weekend is an achievement of exposure in spite of what it actually grossed. Sure, its estimated $1m debut is only a third of what Variety claimed it was on track to make, and for a movie reportedly budgeted somewhere between $7m and $10m, that’s a low start. Its per-screen average is not even in the four digits. But, hey, it’s Wheatley’s biggest opening yet, and that’s the right track.

At a time when many decent smalltime filmmakers are being snatched up for ginormous projects immediately after receiving some indie-sized acclaim, it’s great to see guys like Wheatley and Nacho Vigalondo take gradual steps upward. Vigalondo’s latest, the $15m-budgeted monster movie Colossal has also grossed just »

- Christopher Campbell

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‘Star Wars’ and the Power of Editing

24 April 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

Subtle and impactful techniques from a galaxy far, far away.

We’ve talked before in these virtual pages about how important editing is to powerful filmic storytelling, how it is just as vital as cinematography at conveying unspoken emotions and progressions of plot. Good editing can make a film as surely as poor editing can break it, and if you don’t believe me, check this out:


Notice how clunky and confusing the scene is, each cut blink-and-you-miss-it and seemingly coming unattached to anything before or after it. The result is a blur of action with no real coherence to it, the scene is just a melee of grunts and clanging metal. If only the filmmakers of Doomsday had seen the following handy and brief video from Studio Binder that reveals three simple editing tricks as used in The Empire Strikes Back: character »

- H. Perry Horton

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Margot Robbie’s Eyes are Up Here, Thanks

24 April 2017 10:21 AM, PDT

How the actress’s upcoming projects look to expand her image.

There’s no denying that Margot Robbie’s sex appeal has played a role in the trajectory of her acting career. However, while she’s often listed among Hollywood’s rising stars, her sex symbol status has not come without a price, as perhaps best exemplified by Vanity Fair’s obnoxiously terrible profile of the actress, which should not perhaps be counted as journalism so much as patronizing sexist ooze. The article mentions that Robbie is a talented actress, but mostly focuses on trying to describe her physical appearance as extensively and creepily as possible, with seemingly a secondary goal of irritating the entire country of Australia, or as Rich Cohen calls it, “America 50 years ago.”

From her “eagle spread” seduction scene in The Wolf of Wall Street to her bubble bath cameo in The Big Short to Harley Quinn’s absolutely everything in Suicide Squad, Robbie »

- Ciara Wardlow

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They Simply Don’t Make Movies Like ‘The Lost City of Z’ Anymore

24 April 2017 9:21 AM, PDT

A slice of damn fine classic filmmaking.

Director James Gray has quietly been building himself a towering resume. His biggest success came with 2007’s We Own the Night, but the most important thing for Gray is making the films he wants to make. The Lost City of Z is a testament to his abilities and proof that his convictions are worthwhile. Lost City of Z is the kind of film you wish more studios would be making in 2017; there should be more artists being able to craft in this way, but so many are pigeonholed into giant tentpole adaptations.

The film is based on the 2009 novel of the same name by David Grann and tells the story of British explorer Percy Fawcett. Fawcett made it his life’s journey to find the mystery of a secret, highly advanced civilization in the Amazon. It would become what he would call the Lost City of Z (pronounced Zed in »

- Max Covill

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Podcast Preview

24 April 2017 8:58 AM, PDT

Vertigo,’ ‘Free Fire,’ and Much, Much More

This week on the One Perfect Podcast Channel we have a score of great shows coming up.

First off, Matthew Monagle is joined by critic Tomris Laffly to discuss — what else? — Ben Wheatley’s Free Fire starring Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Cillian Murphy. If you don’t know the format, Monagle and his guest discuss the film both before and after seeing it, weighing expectations against reality. The result is a review show unlike every other, and one you have to check it out.

Then on Shot by Shot, the cinematography podcast hosted by myself and One Perfect Shot creator Geoff Todd, we’re talking about a film many consider to be the greatest ever made, Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, which was shot by the Master of Suspense’s favorite Dp, the great Robert Burks.

Then there’s Neil Miller’s The Big Idea, the »

- H. Perry Horton

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19 articles

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