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‘The Letter’ Feels Your Health Care Burdens — With a Vengeance

4 hours ago

Short of the DayVent your frustrations right here.

Sometimes you just stumble across a short film that seems like kismet, if you’re me at least, and The Letter by writers-directors-editors the Moser Brothers is one such of these films. It involves a hitman (Christopher Mur) who gets sick, but when he goes for a little healing, he discovers that his insurance company has denied his claim. For you and me this would be a nightmare of red tape, legal-ese, and bureaucratic headaches. But our hero isn’t you or me, he’s a highly-trained, super-efficient killer for hire, so he reacts, well, a little differently to the news.

This was a test film of sorts for the Mosers and their Canon 7d camera — which makes the film look great, btw, so crisp while emphasizing darker chromatic tones— and though it was made seven years ago, long before our current health care kerfuffle, it »

- H. Perry Horton

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Beyond The Meme: Revisiting ‘Scanners’

6 hours ago

Scanning one of David Cronenberg’s most popular, most flawed films.

Memory is a funny thing. Not funny, “haha,” so much, but funny in that hilariously terrifying way that makes you realize your own brain is out to destroy you. The fitting inspiration for this epiphany of corporeal opposition was a recent revisit of David Cronenberg’s Scanners.

You know Scanners. You may not have seen the movie, but at the very least you know it as a meme. If you’ve ever been scrolling through social media on that day when your geeky cousin (the one you forgot to wish a happy birthday because you could not spare the finger energy) has had just about enough, you’ve probably seen a colorful gif (that’s “G-if,” not “J-if” you heathens) of a man’s head exploding in gory detail.

Despite occurring a mere fifteen minutes into the film, that head explosion scene is certainly Scanners’ centerpiece »

- Brian Salisbury

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The Lost Souls of Paul Thomas Anderson and the Pursuit of Purpose

7 hours ago

One of the best video essays to-date on the director’s thematic body of work.

Paul Thomas Anderson, despite the seeming variety of his filmography, only really makes movies about a few things: lost souls, the search for meaning or purpose in life, and the struggle for/against family.

In Boogie Nights the lost soul is Eddie Adams and he is searching for his value, his place in the world, all while struggling against who his parents, particularly his mother, think he is and thus should be, and who he actually wants to be; it’s a search and struggle that lead him into the embrace of an unconventional but accepting new family, that of Jack Horner’s porn enclave.

In Magnolia pretty much the entire cast is made up of lost souls searching for connection, redemption, and/or acceptance from families of blood, circumstance, and their own forging.

In Punch-Drunk Love Barry is perpetually lost in »

- H. Perry Horton

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What If? ‘The Graduate’ as a Horror Film

10 hours ago

A fan trailer reimagines Mike Nichols’ classic coming-of-age story.

It’s always fun to reorient a film’s narrative based on elements of other genres. For example, I once wrote at length about why What About Bob? isn’t just a slapstick comedy but also an intense psychological thriller, and I’ve seen fan-made trailers turn films like There’s Something About Mary and Dumb and Dumber into psycho-killer flicks.

In that tradition, Alejandro Villareal has reimagined Mike Nichols’ classic coming-of-age film The Graduate into a horror film via this trailer he’s calling Hello Darkness.

From Villareal’s intro:

What ifThe Graduate” were a horror movie? The 50th anniversary of “The Graduate” is here. And in honor of this occasion, I created a fake trailer with a slight adjustment in perspective. Imagine “The Graduate” meets “Basic Instinct” meets “Cape Fear” with acne and pimples all over. Mike Nichols’s film is its generation’s grand »

- H. Perry Horton

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Test Run Failure for Summer Movie Doppelgangers

10 hours ago

Box OfficeWhat this weekend’s flops say about a couple of May releases.

There was plenty of good news over the weekend as box office reports show Beauty and the Beast crossing the $300m mark after only 10 days, Get Out veering very close to the $150m milestone, and newcomer Power Rangers doing decent business ($41m) for something that didn’t seem suited for a large enough audience.

But there was some bad news, as well, with both Life and CHiPs falling short of their expectations for an estimated $13m and $8m, respectively. Considering they both resemble bigger movies coming out in two months, I can’t help considering how those genuine summer blockbusters — Alien: Covenant and Baywatch — might compare.

Huge releases and huge hits are happening year round these days, with seven movies already this year passing $100m domestically (only four of 2016’s releases hit that mark before the first quarter was over). Beauty and the Beast and »

- Christopher Campbell

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Podcast Preview: This Week’s New Episodes

12 hours ago

Plus: A news and article roundup and five perfect shots

If it’s Monday, then it’s time for a new week of episodes from our One Perfect Podcast channel.

Up first and dropping today, the latest installment of After the Credits, our new kind of review show with Columnist Matthew Monagle. This week Matthew is once again joined by Fsr Chief Film Critic Rob Hunter, and the film up for discussion is the Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds sci-fi freak-out Life.

Then, coming up on Wednesday it’s the newest episode of Shot by Shot in which myself, Fsr Video Content Editor H. Perry Horton, and One Perfect Shot founder Geoff Todd will be discussing the cinematography of the most adrenaline-fueled action film of all-time, Mad Max: Fury Road.

And finally, Fsr head honcho Neil Miller is back on Friday with another episode of The Big Idea, his weekly take on the biggest media and entertainment news »

- H. Perry Horton

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The Surprise Movie Ending of 2017 (So Far)

13 hours ago

The latest episode of After the Credits takes on the new Ryan Reynolds-led sci-fi thriller ‘Life.’

For this week’s One Perfect Pod review, Film School Rejects chief film critic Rob Hunter returns to chat with host Matthew Monagle about Life. Not the concept, the Ryan Reynolds/Jake Gyllenhaal movie that some people thought might be a Venom prequel (it’s not). Hear them talk about expectations ahead of the film and review it with full spoilers in the second segment.


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).

After the Credits theme song written by James Young.

We’d very much appreciate your feedback, as »

- Film School Rejects

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The ‘Dreamworks Face’ Must Be Stopped

13 hours ago

Animated arched eyebrows are a plague on creativity.

“Do you feel the taunting power of my eyebrow?” Megamind asks, turning the Dreamworks aesthetic hallmark/crutch into an in-house referential joke. As you may have seen in your daily rounds of the internet, there’ve been various image mashups of animated Dreamworks characters making the same face. Sometimes contrasted against a narrator expounding upon the nuanced characters and profound stories typically found in competitor Pixar’s animated films, the smarmy smirk with one uplifted eyebrow has been dubbed the “Dreamworks Face.”

Even the Madagascar furry has the eyebrows permanently off-kilter.

The plucky underdog — here to slyly joke their way out of tricky situations — is a kid’s movie mainstay, cartoon or live-action. Kids don’t have any power so obviously they will relate to the cheeky anti-establishment type. This face is the easiest, laziest way to convey that character archetype. It’s a way to tell kids that »

- Jacob Oller

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Jungle Gyms in Movie Theaters Are Dumb

14 hours ago

A little perspective from a parent.Look! It’s just what every multiplex needs: a playground for the boring moments in any movie.

A couple weeks ago, Film Twitter was lit aflame anew, but not by the latest potentially overhyped festival release or the fallout from last month’s Oscars. No, what raised folks’ ire this time was an announcement of a new kind of innovation offered by a Mexico-based movie theater chain, Cinepolis. There are already a slew of options intended to lure audiences away from their living room into the theater, from dine-in possibilities at chains like Alamo Drafthouse to reserved seating and extended legroom at the Arclight. Cinepolis went the opposite route of chains like Drafthouse, which try to emphasize the moviegoing experience as opposed to distractions. They now have Cinepolis Junior, which offers a “colorful play area near the screen in front of the seats, a jungle gym, and »

- Josh Spiegel

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What You Ought to Know About ‘Ghost in the Shell’

15 hours ago

Get ready to hack the ghost.

The groundbreaking anime that lead to countless imitators both live-action and in the realm of animation, Ghost in the Shell has long been thought of as a masterpiece. With the new live-action feature lifting sequences right from the pages of Masamune Shirow’s manga, its the perfect time to ask why has Ghost in the Shell influenced so many? And despite the hotly debated casting choices, how will this new adaptation possibly live up to the legacy of its fore-bearer?

The cyberpunk series first got its start from the mind of Masamune Shirow. Shirow had been writing Manga throughout the 1980’s including one of his biggest hits, Appleseed. Appleseed had all the trademarks of Shirow Manga; philosophical, hard science-fiction stories with adequately sexualized female characters. That played well toward a Western market that was just beginning to have access to Japanese Manga and Anime in the early 90’s. When »

- Max Covill

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