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The Mystery of Kinka Usher

1 hour ago

The answer to the eternal question: What ever happened to the director of ‘Mystery Men’?

The first thing to notice about Kinka Usher’s Twitter account — which we’ll assume is the real deal, even in the absence of a blue check mark — is its profile description: “I directed the movie that actually made All Star by Smash Mouth popular.” As far as legacies go, we can agree this would be an ignoble one, assuming that’s all there was to it. The description does not clarify the movie in question however.

So then, the second thing to notice, after a bit of scrolling, is the title of said movie: Mystery Men. The film, based on marginal superhero characters from an obscure comic book (where my Flaming Carrot fans at?) and released in 1999, stars Ben Stiller, William H. Macy, Janeane Garofalo, and an almost literally unbelievable list of others. Smash Mouth is indeed heard on the soundtrack »

- Daniel Reynolds

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‘The Handmaid’s Table’ and ‘Genius’ Debut Plus More TV You Must See This Week

1 hour ago

Elisabeth Moss in ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Two exciting new limited series are making rather unconventional debuts this week, with The Handmaid’s Tale premiering on Hulu, which hasn’t had such a big event program like this before, and Genius giving National Geographic its first scripted show. We’re also saying goodbye to Bates Motel, welcome back to Silicon Valley, and hello in a new form to Dear White People. Plus there are a couple new places to have a laugh at the president.

To help you keep track of the most important programs over the next seven days, here’s our guide to everything worth watching, whether it’s on broadcast, cable, or streaming for April 23–29:

SUNDAYSilicon Valley (HBO, 10pm)

The boys of Pied Piper return, but they’re no longer a united force. The fourth season promises internal strife, as Richard (Thomas Middleditch) appears to quit his own company, as »

- Christopher Campbell

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Ben Wheatley, Quentin Tarantino, And The Reverse Whodunit

2 hours ago

On ‘Free Fire’ and ‘The Hateful Eight.’

The murder mystery is a well-worn genre, as comforting as slipping into a warm bath with a toaster that’s conveniently placed for a staging. There’s Clue, Murder on the Orient Express, Gosford Park — the list goes on. Notably, the first two of those examples have remakes upcoming, and the last is maybe the ultimate homage to the genre; despite the fact that each has cemented enough of a place in the pop cultural eye for all of us to know who committed the murder where and with what, a fascination with the whodunit persists. And why wouldn’t it? Caging a group of people in one place is the easiest way to ramp up tension; throwing in a murder to solve is the cherry on top of the cake. There is, however, an easy way to further up the ante.

Quentin Tarantino and Ben Wheatley’s most recent »

- Karen Han

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Hammer’s Time: Can Armie Hammer Finally Turn a Corner with ‘Free Fire’?

3 hours ago

How do you make a charming movie star out of a Winklevoss?

Midway through Ben Wheatley’s new one-long-gunfight movie Free Fire, Armie Hammer’s character picks up a machine gun. This escalation will perhaps elicit an exhale and a “finally” from the audience. Hammer plays a deal broker called Ord in a gun-buy gone south, and to this point every shooter in the ensemble cast has ironically been limited to revolvers. But Hammer’s increased firepower at this moment is as fitting as his tailored wool blazer. In a movie where each crook is initially unleashed with quick and clever characterization, Hammer’s shtick — the fashion-conscious criminal liaison surrounded by goons — has legs and teeth. He’s firing on more cylinders than anyone in this action-comedy, which stars dramatic heavy hitters Brie Larson and Cillian Murphy and UK genre-flick staples Michael Smiley and Noah Taylor. For as long as any of them are allowed to stay »

- Chance Solem-Pfeifer

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New ‘Game of Thrones’ Pictures Remind Us of All The Reasons Why We Miss Westeros

4 hours ago

HBO invites you to remember the gaping hole in your life.

That classic saying “a picture’s worth a thousand words” often seems hyperbolic. However, a thousand words (or, you know, two thousand) for fifteen pictures, especially when those fifteen pictures happen to be our first real, official look at the new series of Game of Thrones, seems a lot more reasonable. There was that trailer released a little while back, but it felt like more of a “look at this promotional thing we filmed” stunt rather than bonafide glimpse at future episodes. As such, it really did nothing for me. However, the fifteen images released by HBO last Thursday have set my fannish heart all aflutter. In these fifteen images, HBO has laid out pretty much 90% of the reasons why we love Game of Thrones, which is actually pretty damn impressive (note the absence of any Dorne-affiliated places or persons). Though on the whole the images »

- Ciara Wardlow

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Robert Pattinson: From Bedhead to Bushy Beard

5 hours ago

He’s taken one of the most fascinating and unconventional routes with his stardom.

The thinkpiece-industrial complex is running at full speed this spring to update the cinephile community’s consensus of major stars. In case you’re behind, adjust your opinions to reflect the following changes: Reese Witherspoon is still good, Kristen Stewart is now really good, Anne Hathaway is great because her haters were sexist, and Nicole Kidman is underappreciated despite receiving an Oscar nomination this very year.

One star whose evaluation has yet to appear from the hot take factory is Robert Pattinson, who features in two theatrical releases this April, Werner Herzog’s Queen of the Desert (quickly dumped in theaters and VOD over two years after its 2015 Berlin premiere) and James Gray’s The Lost City of Z. Five years ago, the cultural ubiquity of “R-Pattz” was so enormous that the future President of the United States tweeted about him six times »

- Marshall Shaffer

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Interview: ‘The Endless’ and Brotherly Love and the Power of Fear

22 April 2017 9:39 AM, PDT

We chat with Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson about love and rehearsals and life and more rehearsals at Tribeca.Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead in ‘The Endless’. Oh, brother, there art thou!

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 chat with Ted Geoghegan (Director of ‘We Are Still Here’). Special thanks, as always, to In The Mouth of Dorkness, Lisa Gullickson, and Darren Smith.

Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson’s The Endless premiered Friday night at Tribeca. I’m here to tell y’all, they’ve upped their filmmaking game. While still writing, directing, shooting, and producing, they’re also starring in the film. Because why not? I don’t know how they do it. I’m tired just putting words on a page. They »

- William Dass

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‘Grounded’ is an VFX Spectacle and an Emotional Triumph

21 April 2017 5:01 PM, PDT

Short of the Day

“One astronaut’s journey through space and life ends on a hostile exosolar planet. Grounded is a metaphorical account of the experience, inviting unique interpretation and reflection by the viewer. Themes of aging, inheritance, paternal approval, cyclic trajectories, and behaviors passed on through generations are explored against an ethereal backdrop.”

This is the description writer-director-vfx-producer Kevin Margo gives to his short film Grounded, and while it certainly provides an erudite encapsulation of the film’s themes, what it doesn’t relay, what you have to watch to receive, is the heart-wrenching emotionality of the film. For all its virtues — and there are many including VFX, cinematography, score, direction — I believe Grounded’s biggest strength is the way it takes such epic themes and makes them intimate. It’s also seriously impressive how Margo’s script manages to convey such complex themes with pretty much zero dialogue. According »

- H. Perry Horton

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My Heart Belongs On A Trash Cinema Menu

21 April 2017 2:51 PM, PDT

Let me see your heart!

Let me break something down real quick. I justifiably catch a reputation as being someone who likes to like things. And that’s true. Whenever I have time to share movie talk with folks, I want to talk about the things I love. Because, for me, it’s just too darn easy to fall down a rabbit hole of negativity. When I stumble across something that thrills me, I want to share it. Even still, sometimes I’m a bit abashed when it comes to how enthusiastic I tend to be about things. This is especially true when I find a great new-to-me trash-cinema film. Over Easter Weekend, I got stuck on a “Blood” film kick. Don’t judge me. I like topical themes. Any road, that’s when I ran into Blood Diner. I had no idea this movie existed until I saw the poster flipping through movies on Shudder. When »

- William Dass

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Lovers on the Run

21 April 2017 2:01 PM, PDT

An exclusive video traces from Bonnie and Clyde to Mickey and Mallory and all stops between.

One of the most tried and true tropes in all of movie history is that of lovers on the run. They can be petty thieves, master criminals, wrongfully-accused innocents, chance acquaintances, fleeing victims, or escaping wards, but whatever the impetus they are two lovers, usually young, who take to the open road to get away from whatever unforgiving lives they come from. Films about lovers on the run differ from other duos in similar situations because no matter how wicked said lovers are, the fact that they are in love always generates empathy from an audience, even if we can’t connect to the impulses or decision-making skills of the characters, we can understand their motivation to avoid capture and stay together no matter what: they’re in love. And yes, sometimes that love is an anchor and sometimes it’s »

- H. Perry Horton

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5 Perfect Shots With Ben Wheatley

21 April 2017 1:42 PM, PDT

With ‘Free Fire’ hitting theaters this weekend, we enlist director Ben Wheatley in the selection of a few of his favorite Shots.

We’ve been out there stanning for Ben Wheatley’s new movie Free Fire from the moment we laid eyes on the first trailer. In fact, we’d heard rumors and rumblings about it well before that — a cavalcade of reliable voices telling us that this was going to be our kind of movie. When our Victor Stiff reviewed the film at Tiff in 2016, he wasn’t shy with his praise.

This weekend it arrives in a number of theaters around the country and we’re happy that everyone can see it and discuss it. It’s a lot of fun. But in true form, we also like the idea of going deeper with a filmmaker like Ben Wheatley — and in true One Perfect Shot form, that means digging into some of the filmmaker’s »

- One Perfect Shot

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The Tao of Nicolas Cage: ‘Raising Arizona’

21 April 2017 12:51 PM, PDT

30 years ago Cage teamed up with the Coen Brothers to create comedy gold. Why haven’t they reunited since?“That sumbitch. You tell him, I think he’s a damn fool, Ed. You tell him I said so — H.I. McDonnough. If he wants to discuss it, he knows where to find me: in the Maricopa County Maximum Security Correctional Facility For Men State Farm, Road Number 31, Tempe, Arizona! I’LL Be Waitin’! I’ll be waitin’.”

Earlier this week the Coen Brothers’ screwball comedy Raising Arizona turned 30, which is pretty absurd, but whatever. Since the film did celebrate this recent anniversary I figure it’s as good a time as any to talk about what is my favorite Nicolas Cage movie.

Raising Arizona is one of those movies where the stars just come together and align perfectly; at least as far my personal tastes are concerned. Favorite actor? Check. Favorite »

- Chris Coffel

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Review — ‘Hounds of Love’ Is a Harrowing and Grimly Satisfying Experience

21 April 2017 12:01 PM, PDT

Hounds of Love’ Is a Harrowing and Grimly Satisfying ExperienceA deranged couple with a desire to kill, a teenage girl with a will to live.

A twisted relationship between a man and his wife sits at the center of writer/director Ben Young’s feature debut, but it’s the more innocent one between a teenager and her mother that viewers will hope prevails as the harrowing and unsettling Hounds of Love heads towards its conclusion.

It’s the late ’80s and Christmastime in Perth, Western Australia, and Vicki (Ashleigh Cummings) is enduring a common right of passage for teenagers the world over. Her parents have split, but while her dad tries to retain her affection with the gift of a new puppy, her mom (Susie Porter) is trying to establish ground rules. Vicki scoffs at her restrictions though and instead sneaks out into the night for a party, but along the way she has the misfortune »

- Rob Hunter

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Everything That Excites Us About Ben Wheatley’s ‘Freakshift’

21 April 2017 11:55 AM, PDT

First thing: it sounds awesome.

This weekend, Ben Wheatley will unleash his blood-spattered gunfight film Free Fire into movie theaters around the world. And while I may not be the movie’s biggest fan — I’ll discuss it in-depth on Monday’s episode of After the Credits, but suffice to say it’s five pounds of movie in a ten pound bag — I find myself aggressively rooting for it to succeed based entirely on the premise of Wheatley’s next movie. You see, Wheatley is about to make a movie about soldiers fighting mutant crabs in sewers, and that’s a movie the world desperately needs to see. #MakeAmericaFightGiantCrabsAgain, if you prefer. I know the kids are all about a catchy hashtag.

And in celebration of Free Fire’s release, I thought today might be a good time to run down everything we’ve heard about Wheatley’s upcoming movie. Let »

- Matthew Monagle

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12 Movies to Watch After You See ‘Free Fire’

21 April 2017 11:26 AM, PDT

We recommend titles that influenced Ben Wheatley and more.

With his sixth feature, Ben Wheatley finally has a wide release in America. Free Fire might be his most accessible movie yet, consisting a single location and pretty much just one long action sequence. It’s basically a 90-minute third act without the first two acts getting in the way. Also it features Oscar winner Brie Larson, and who doesn’t like watching her act?

If you like what you see, then you’ll want to discover Wheatley’s other work, starting with the small crime film Down Terrace, which kicked off his career. I also recommend the following dozen movies, some of which are direct influences on Wheatley, others being similar kinds of films, and then just whatever else I had determined worthy.

The Truce Hurts (1948)

Ben Wheatley loves Tom and Jerry cartoons and has cited them as an influence on his latest movie. I »

- Christopher Campbell

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The Ultimate Video Essay Guide to David Lynch

21 April 2017 11:01 AM, PDT

14 looks at cinema’s most provocative auteur.

Is there any contemporary filmmaker more provocative or polarizing than David Lynch? People who love him consider him a genius, and people who don’t consider him a weirdo. His films stubbornly eschew understanding for emotion, rely more heavily upon visual storytelling than that of the more traditional, narrative variety, and actively seek to make the audience uncomfortable as often as possible. Regardless where you stand on his work, you can’t deny Lynch is a capital-a Artist, a jack of all creative trades, and a cultural figure the likes of which we haven’t known since the heyday of Salvador Dali.

As such, that makes Lynch ripe for frequent exploration by video essayists seeking to unearth a little clarity from among his body of work. In my time at One Perfect Shot and Film School Rejects I’ve viewed essays attempting to define his themes and aesthetic, essays »

- H. Perry Horton

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‘Over the Top’ Under the Microscope

21 April 2017 10:26 AM, PDT

What is it about this big, dumb movie that gets me every time?

You can go ahead and sheathe your Tweets, we are well aware that 1987’s Over the Top is a flawed piece of cinema. It’s called Over the Top for crying out loud; if ever the writing was on the wall. However, there is something about this spectacular failed attempt to take the sport of armwrestling mainstream that continues to delight and inspire this writer and the other hosts of the Junkfood Cinema podcast. If you currently sneer at “that movie where Sylvester Stallone armwrestles for custody of his son,” allow me to offer an argument in favor of Over the Top. Look, just read it, ok? Meet me halfway.

While the popular logline for Over the Top is not entirely accurate, it’s unquestionable that it is a silly movie. Truckers getting their faces smacked before armwrestling each other in sweaty diner back »

- Brian Salisbury

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Beauty and the Box Office

21 April 2017 9:58 AM, PDT

This week’s Big Idea on One Perfect Pod explores the success of Disney’s live-action remakes, including its latest billion dollar winner.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast crossed $1 billion at the box office this week. That’s not bad for being a remake, something Everyone Online™ hates with the passion of a thousand suns. As it turns out, fans will follow Disney just about everywhere — to a certain extent. To unravel this tale for this week’s Big Idea, Neil talks to his friend Jenn, a die hard Beauty and the Beast fan, and Film School Rejects’ box office expert Christopher Campbell about why some remakes work where others fail miserably.


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 »

- Film School Rejects

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‘Phoenix Forgotten’ Blurs the Line Between Fact and Fiction

21 April 2017 9:21 AM, PDT

Director Justin Barber tells his own ‘X-Files’ Story inspired by real-life events.

On Thursday, March 13, 1997 a strange event occurred in the nighttime skies of Phoenix, Arizona. According to thousands of eyewitnesses, a triangular formation of lights were seen in the sky. Some reported seeing stationary lights hovering over Phoenix, which was later identified by the Air Force as flares being dropped from an air craft performing exercises at the nearby Barry Goldwater base. But there were other reports of the triangular formation passing over Arizona towards Nevada and these have never been explained. At the time of the event, Arizona governor Fife Symington famously mocked the event, holding a press conference where he had a staff member dress up like an alien. But years later, he admitted to also seeing the event and admitted there was no explanation for it.

These true-life events serve as the backbone for Phoenix Forgotten, a »

- Jamie Righetti

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Fan Theory Friday: Is Dr. Sam Loomis from ‘Halloween’ Sam Loomis from ‘Psycho?’

21 April 2017 9:01 AM, PDT

What if the name is more than an homage?

Homage is rampant in the film industry. Writers and directors are always giving little nods to the films or filmmakers they admire in the form of plot points, lines of dialogue, or especially character names. Take John Carpenter’s masterpiece Halloween, in which the character played by Donald Pleasance, that of Michael Myers’ psychiatrist, is named “Dr. Sam Loomis.” This would seem to be an obvious and in fact blatant reference to the character of “Sam Loomis” from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, especially since the star of Halloween is Jamie Leigh Curtis who, of course, is the real-life daughter of Janet Leigh, imperiled heroine of Psycho.

But what if, just what if, Carpenter wasn’t being coy when he named his character Loomis? What if it was intentional, because Carpenter meant his Loomis to be the same as Hitch’s? Hear me out.

Okay »

- H. Perry Horton

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