Screen Junkies » Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Fri, 28 Nov 2014 16:30:46 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Getting to Know Michelle MacLaren, The Newly-Named Director of ‘Wonder Woman’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/getting-to-know-michelle-maclaren-the-newly-named-director-of-wonder-woman/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/getting-to-know-michelle-maclaren-the-newly-named-director-of-wonder-woman/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 20:47:03 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267635 Put your fanboy hearts at ease; this lady got skillz. And you've probably already seen her work on Breaking Bad, Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones.

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By Jared Jones

Yesterday, Warner Bros. announced that they had finally locked down a director for their upcoming Wonder Woman movie, and for some crazy reason, it’s not Brett Ratner. Instead, The Hollywood Reporter has recently confirmed that veteran television director Michelle MacLaren will not only take the helm for the upcoming blockbuster, but will be working alongside a crew of unnamed writers to draft up the script as well.

If you happen to be a Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, or Game of Thrones fan (of which 99.9% of television viewers are), chances are that you’re already familiar with some of MacLaren’s work. Since making her directorial debut in a 2002 episode of The X-Files, MacLaren has directed one-off episodes of everything from Law & Order: SVU to Hell on Wheels to The River, ABC’s found footage experiment that was sadly axed after just a season back in 2012.

Hiring a female to direct a superhero movie even one focused on a woman — is practically unheard of in the modern era, sad as it is to say. So to put all your little fanboy hearts at ease, we’ve gathered up eight clips from MacLaren’s body of work to familiarize you with one of the small screen’s hardest working directors.

The X-Files – “John Doe”

MacLaren began her career as a production manager and producer on a handful of short-lived shows and TV movies (most notable among them, Diagnosis Murder) before taking the directorial plunge in a 2002 episode of The X-Files. In the seventh episode of the ninth season, “John Doe”, MacLaren was paired with future Breaking Bad creator and collaborator Vince Gilligan, who handled writing duties, and the result, unsurprisingly, was an episode that received far better reviews than the majority of the lackluster 9th season and scored a 5.0 Nielsen rating.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — “Infected”

The twelfth episode of SVU‘s seventh season told the story of a young boy (Malcolm David Kelley) who takes the law (and possibly the order) into his own hands by killing the man who murdered his mother. A high profile case revolving around the gun violence debate soon follows, and my guess is that at some point, Ice-T pauses to recap the episode via a series of rhetorical questions.

Breaking Bad — “4 Days Out”

MacLaren’s work on “John Doe” clearly left an impression on Gilligan, who would bring her into the Breaking Bad fold some eight years later to direct the ninth episode of season two. “Four Days Out” was one of those Breaking Bad episodes — like “Fly” or “…And the Bag’s in the River” — that took place largely in one location and focused on the relationship between Walt and Jesse over any overarching plot. It’s a beautifully shot entry in the Breaking Bad canon (see above), and one that likely led to MacLaren being brought on as an executive producer at the start of the third season.

Breaking Bad — “One Minute”

Featuring two of Aaron Paul‘s greatest monologues (“What happens now?” and “Ever since I met you“) and quite possibly the most intense endings in Breaking Bad history, ”One Minute” has rightfully earned its place as a fan favorite episode. Opening with the brutal beating of Jesse Pinkman at the hands of ASAC Schrader and bringing a brutal end to the Cousins’ subplot in the episode’s final moments, MacLaren flat out crushed it here.

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Stephen King’s ‘The Stand’ Adaptation Just Got Alright, Alright, Alright… http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/stephen-kings-the-stand-adaptation-just-got-alright-alright-alright-2/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/stephen-kings-the-stand-adaptation-just-got-alright-alright-alright-2/#comments Mon, 24 Nov 2014 22:32:44 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267631 That Matthew McConaughey, so hot right now...

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By Jared Jones

Last week, Stephen King fans around the world uttered a collective cheer when it was announced that The Stand would finally receive the feature-length treatment it deserved, then doubled over in agony when they learned that said adaptation would actually be broken up into 4 feature-length films. With the success of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay and The Hobbit trilogy carving a new way for movie studios to soullessly milk us for every penny we’re worth, needlessly broken up film adaptations are hotter than Hansel right now, artistic integrity be damned, and The Stand will be no different.

But as they say, every cloud has a silver lining, and it looks like The Stand’s silver lining will come in the form of smooth-talking Texan who drove Lincoln SUV’s before he was ever paid to. The Guardian is reporting that Matthew McConaughey has been pegged for the role of Randall Flagg, the story’s lead antagonist, in the four-film version of The Stand which will be directed by The Fault in Our Stars’s Josh Boone.

The role of Flagg would really serve as a tip in the cap of McConaughey, who as you well know is having the best 2014 of any human being on this planet or any other (#InterstellarPuns). In addition to winning an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ron Woodruff in Dallas Buyers Club, McConaughey has received heaps of praise for his standout roles in Mud, True Detective, and most recently, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar.

On Kevin Smith’s “Babble On” podcast, The Stand writer/director Boone went into further detail about his original plans for the film, which he describes as “the Godfather of post-apocalyptic thrillers”, and how it came to be the multi-part epic that Warner Bros. is backing.

I really wanted to do an A-list actor, really grounded, credible version of the movie. I sold them on that and they hired me…I sold them on a single, three hour movie. I went and got [Stephen] King sold on it, everybody’s really excited…I told the story non-linear and that was the way I was able to compress that book and get everything into that script. You open with Mother Abigail dying and sending the guys off, and then you jump back in time… So what happened is the script gets finished, I write it in like five months, everybody loves it, King loves it, $87 million is what it was budgeted at, really expensive for a horror drama that doesn’t have set pieces.

They came back and said “would you do it as multiple films?” and I said “fuck yes!” I loved my script, and I was willing to drop it in an instant because you’re able to do an even truer version that way. So I think we are going to do like four movies. I can’t tell you anything about how we’re going to do them, or what’s going to be in which movie. I’ll just say we are going to do four movies, and we’re going to do THE STAND at the highest level you can do it at, with a cast that’s going to blow people’s minds. We’ve already been talking to lots of people, and have people on board in certain roles that people don’t know about.

According to Boone, production for the first installment of The Stand will begin next year, “hopefully in the spring.”

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Angelina Jolie Retires From Acting, Claims She Was “Never Comfortable As an Actor” http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/angelina-jolie-retires-from-acting-claims-she-was-never-comfortable-as-an-actor/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/angelina-jolie-retires-from-acting-claims-she-was-never-comfortable-as-an-actor/#comments Fri, 21 Nov 2014 23:06:04 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267600 At least I'll always have that VHS copy of 'Taking Lives' to console me. Yeah, "console" me.

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By Jared Jones

Like most of you, I was a big fan of Angelina Jolie’s sex scene in Taking Lives as a teen, and have grown to appreciate the rest of her career as well. Since making her big screen debut in 1982′s Lookin’ to Get Out, Jolie has amassed a nearly 50 acting credits and has been named Hollywood’s highest paid actress by Forbes three times since 2009, which says a lot when you realize that she’s only physically appeared in 3 movies over that span of time.

Whether she was playing a sexy, silent assassin in Mr. & Mrs. Smith or a silent, sexy, sleeper cell assassin in Salt, Jolie has established herself as the physical embodiment of the term “Fearection” and become one of Hollywood’s all-time leading ladies in the process. But with 6 children and a budding directorial career already on her plate, it appears that Jolie has simply grown too old for this acting sh*t. As such, Jolie recently confirmed her retirement from the game while promoting her most recent directorial outing, Unbroken, which hits theaters on December 25.

“I’ve never been comfortable as an actor – I’ve never loved being in front of the camera.

“I didn’t ever think I could direct, but I hope I’m able to have a career at it because I’m much happier.”

Jolie currently has two projects in post-production — the period piece By the Sea (which co-stars husband Brad Pitt) and Kung Fu Panda 3 — and has stated numerous times that her upcoming turn as Cleopatra will likely be her last role. I can think of no more fitting a role for one of Hollywood’s most badass women to go out on.

Check out the trailer for Unbroken below, then give Jolie the proper daps in the comments section.

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‘The Graduate’ Director Mike Nichols Passes Away at 83 http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/the-graduate-director-mike-nichols-passes-away-at-83/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/the-graduate-director-mike-nichols-passes-away-at-83/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 16:35:46 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267524 "He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime."

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By Jared Jones

Academy Award-winning director and nine time Tony winner Mike Nichols has passed away from a sudden cardiac arrest at the age of 83, ABC News reports.

Perhaps best known as the man behind such films as The Graduate and The Birdcage, Nichols actually broke into the mainstream as a comic when he and partner Elaine May scored the “Best Comedy Album” Grammy in 1961. It would be the first of many awards for Nichols, who aside from receiving the “Best Director” Oscar for The Graduate, earned a Golden Globe Award (also for The Graduate), an AFI Lifetime Achievement Award, and a tribute at the 2003 Kennedy Center Honors. At the age of 81, Nichols was also awarded the Tony for “Best Direction of a Play” for his revival of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, which starred the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. That’s right, Nichols was an EGOTer.

Nichols began his directorial career with the 1966 adaptation of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, which scored 5 Academy Awards and grossed 14.5 million dollars. It would be the first of many successes for Nichols, whose body of work would also include such massive hits as Wormwood, Working Girl, and Charlie Wilson’s War, his final picture.

After Wilson’s War, Nichols’ returned to Broadway — where it was announced that he was to direct Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz in a Broadway revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal — and eventually, to television. Having won Emmys for his direction of both Wit and Angels in America in 2001 and 2004, respectively, he was set to reunite with Silkwood star Meryl Streep for an upcoming HBO miniseries called Master Class.

Anyone who’s ever taken a film studies class has likely written a few words about The Graduate, whose satirical takedown of American society (and iconic soundtrack from Simon & Garfunkel) made it an instant hit among critics and fans alike and helped kickstart the “Hollywood Revival” between the mid-60′s and 70′s. The film also holds the honor of containing the 42nd most iconic movie quote in film history, “Plastics,” according to AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes countdown.

“He was a true visionary, winning the highest honors in the arts for his work as a director, writer, producer and comic and was one of a tiny few to win the EGOT — an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony in his lifetime,” ABC News President James Goldston said in the statement. “No one was more passionate about his craft than Mike.”

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M. Night Shyamalan Shot a “Secret” Movie and WHY ARE WE SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS?!! http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/m-night-shyamalan-shot-a-secret-movie-and-why-are-we-so-excited-about-this/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/m-night-shyamalan-shot-a-secret-movie-and-why-are-we-so-excited-about-this/#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 17:48:31 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267388 Could a Shyamalanaissance be on the horizon?

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By Jared Jones

There is perhaps no director in recent memory who was ruined by success more than M. Night Shayamalamalan. The stylistic shift he underwent over a decade — from the restrained, cerebral nature of his early works to the overblown CGI-fests of his most recent — while not being uncommon for directors who hit it “big”, was one of the more overt (not to mention unfortunate).

But one doesn’t simply lose their talent, right? Despite everything that the career of your favorite band has taught you, it’s not as if creativity is just this mental well that inevitably dries up and leaves those formerly blessed with it as empty husks of hack and schtick, right? I mean, Adam Sandler has been asleep at the wheel for almost a decade and even his new movie doesn’t look like a *total* piece of crap. What I’m getting at is, Shyamalan still has a comeback in him, and given how poorly After Earth was received both critically and commercially, he pretty much has no option at this point other than going back to what made him a success in the first place.

Thankfully, that’s exactly what he appears to be doing with The Visit, a low-budget thriller he recently shot on the hush-hush which has already been picked up by Universal Pictures. Deadline reports:

He wanted to get back to his roots and make a film outside the studio system, and he self-financed and shot this in and around his home in Pennsylvania. He then partnered with Blumhouse, which has a first-look deal at Universal and specializes in low-budget genre fare like Ouija, its latest effort that topped the weekend box office two straight weeks.

For the love of God, Deadline, you need not remind me of the fact that a movie about a haunted cardboard game made nearly ten times its budget back.

As for the story, The Visit “focuses on a brother and sister who are sent to their grandparents’ remote Pennsylvania farm for a weeklong trip. Once the children discover that the elderly couple is involved in something deeply disturbing, they see their chances of getting back home are growing smaller every day.”

The Visit won’t hit theaters until September of 2015. Call me crazy, but I’m hopeful about this thing. It’s a kind of hope I haven’t felt regarding the movie industry in years, really — like little cracks are finally starting to be exposed in the almighty studio system. The success of lower budget, original efforts like Nightcrawler  and hopefully, Birdman (which opens wide today, go see it), seem to hint that maybe, just maybe, we all might be growing stale of sequels, comic book movies, and sequels to comic book movies after all…


via The A.V Club

Nah, we’re still f*cked.

But what do you guys think? Could a Shyamalanaissance (no tougher to spell than the current McConaissance) be on the horizon?

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17 Channing Tatum Reaction GIFs for All Occasions http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/17-channing-tatum-reaction-gifs-for-all-occasions/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/17-channing-tatum-reaction-gifs-for-all-occasions/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 22:59:20 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267336 We expect this post to receive no less than 4 billion hits.

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By Jared Jones

There are perhaps no two things held in higher regard on the Internet than Reaction Gifs and Channing Tatum. No, not even porn.

Like a good reaction gif, Channing Tatum can say more with a look, pelvic thrust, or tongue waggle than words can or ever will be able to express. So to celebrate his dramatic turn in Foxcatcher, which receives a limited theatrical release on Friday, we’ve combined the Internet’s two favorite things into the Internet’s third favorite thing: A list! I expect this post to receive no less than 4 billion hits.

When you’re attempting to woo a member of the opposite sex:

When you realize that someone ate your last Oreo:

When you’re in need of a confidence boost:

When you be stalking that girl you met on Tinder:

When your friend just said something really, really, really funny:

When you’re listening to Taylor Swift’s latest breakup song:

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Keira Knightley Posed Topless to Protest…Something…We Can’t Remember What [NSFW] http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-photos/keira-knightley-posed-topless-to-protest-something-we-cant-remember-what-nsfw/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-photos/keira-knightley-posed-topless-to-protest-something-we-cant-remember-what-nsfw/#comments Fri, 07 Nov 2014 19:55:56 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=267089 The results were real and they were spectacular.

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By Jared Jones

If you happen to be a red-blooded male with two working eyes, you might notice a slight…discrepancy between the actual photo of Keira Knightley (seen on the left) and the one used to promote King Arthur when it was released back in 2004 (seen on the not-left).

Not only has a swarm of arrows, a giant red cape, and a pair of clashing armies been digitally placed in the background, but Ms. Knightley’s chest appears to have dramatically increased in size — as if the ad agency behind King Arthur was able to find some magical correlation between female sexuality in advertising and increased sales. I’m not sure what it could be yet, but I do know that looking at those two photos makes me feel like I’m flipping through a “Spot the Difference” puzzle book at the dentist’s office. So yeah.

It’s crazy to think that someone as attractive as Knightley would require a run through the Photoshop machine to entice us into watching her movies, but the Internet has created nothing if not an army of like-minded virgins who will relentlessly ridicule any imperfection a woman may have. Clearly fed up with this system of manipulation, Knightley recently posed topless for Interview magazine and “insisted that her breasts not be photoshopped or retouched.”

The results were real and they were spectacular.

In an interview with The Times, Knightley explained her decision, which has already been dubbed “a feminist movement I can get finally behind” by men’s rights organizations worldwide:

I’ve had my body manipulated so many different times for so many different reasons, whether it’s paparazzi photographers or for film posters,” Knightley said. “That [shoot] was one of the ones where I said: ‘OK, I’m fine doing the topless shot so long as you don’t make them any bigger or retouch.’ Because it does feel important to say it really doesn’t matter what shape you are.”

She also added, “I think women’s bodies are a battleground and photography is partly to blame. Our society is so photographic now, it becomes more difficult to see all of those different varieties of shape.

Power to you, Ms. Knightley. May your bravery on this day forever be remem-hnnnnnnggg. (*dies*)

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Ilya Naishuller’s ‘Hardcore’ and Five Examples of POV Filmmaking Done Right http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/ilya-naishullers-hardcore-and-five-examples-of-pov-filmmaking-done-right/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/ilya-naishullers-hardcore-and-five-examples-of-pov-filmmaking-done-right/#comments Tue, 04 Nov 2014 23:12:20 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266956 Voyeurism at its finest, ladies and gentlemen.

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By Jared Jones

The line between video games and movies continues to blur in Hardcore, an upcoming film from Russian director Ilya Naishuller that claims to be the “first POV action film ever made.” Starring Sharlto Copley and Haley Bennet, Hardcore combines a relatively familiar story (“A newly resurrected cyborg who must save his wife/creator from the clutches of a psychotic tyrant with telekinetic powers and his army of mercenaries”) with a filmmaking style that has yet to truly be attempted in a full-length feature film: The subjective (or POV) shot.

It’s a bold idea for a film, I’ll give it that much, and a gimmick that Hardcore will surely live or die by – that is, should it obtain the funding it is currently seeking to complete the film (CGI, sound, color correction) on IndieGoGo. While most of us would grimace at the idea of essentially watching someone else play a video game for 90 minutes, there are actually several instances of POV filmmaking that demonstrate how effective it can be when done right.

At its best, the POV shot can be used as a means of shattering the veneer that typically exists between the audience and a film. By literally dropping us inside the mind of a character, we become an active participant in the experience rather than a simple observer. We are no longer a step ahead of the action taking place; we are simply reacting to it as it plays out. The POV shot can be downright chilling when used properly, and here are six films that did just that.

“A Ride in the Park” — V/H/S 2

While you can practically trace the entire “found footage” subgenre back to the POV-style narrative made infamous in The Blair Witch Project, the horror anthology series V/H/S has been able to improve and expand upon this concept better than most in recent years. Over the course of two films (and an upcoming sequel), V/H/S has utilized the subjective camera across a wide variety of mediums to tell its stories, which range from a man with a haunted ocular implant to an alien abduction from the perspective of the family dog.

Arguably the most successful entry in the V/H/S series is a segment from the second installment, “A Ride in the Park.” The brilliance of the story not only lies in the simplicity of the plot (“mountain biker stumbles upon zombie apocalypse), but the method in which it is told. Save a few handheld camera shots in the segment’s climax, the entirety of “A Ride in the Park” is told through a GoPro camera the protagonist has mounted to his helmet. To say anymore would spoil the fun of watching a man transform into a zombie before attacking a child’s birthday party-DAMMIT!

Evil Dead

Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead has been long-considered a masterpiece of low-budget filmmaking (among other things), and it’s largely due to Raimi’s inventiveness behind the camera. Take for example, the nerve-racking sense of pace he was able to create in scenes like the one above using just a camera bolted to a 2×4, an 18 fps film rate, and a couple quick-footed cameramen. The shaky cam has been done to death by modern directors (looking at you, Bourne series), sure, but Raimi practically invented the effect for Evil Dead back in 1981.

Metamorphosis: Immersive Kafka 

Say what you want about how entertaining or successful this 2010 take on Franz Kafka’s famous novella, there’s no denying that Sándor Kardos is owed a tip of the cap for having the guts to direct such an ambitious effort. From the film’s IMDB page:

The film tells the entire story using a subjective camera, experiencing what happens from Gregor’s perspective, as Kafka himself wanted it to be according to his own diary. It was shot with a 360 degree spherical remote controlled robotic camera that was directed and programmed to interact with the actors and to create an extremely low- angle view of the set as envisioned from the insect’s 1st person perspective.

While I’ll admit that Kardos’ adaptation seems to be more focused on gimmick than anything else, it’s hard not to be unnerved by the constant sense of claustrophobia and disorientation as achieved by the POV style.

Jaws 
 

If you’ve ever caught one of the Syfy channel’s original movies, chances are you’ve seen at least one moment that owes its existence to Jaws. I’m referring, of course, to the “monstervision” shot. Like Sam Raimi’s shaky cam, there was actually a time when placing the audience in the mind of a sasquatch, giant spider, or mutated Paul Bunyan was not only considered an original idea, but a horrifying one to boot, and no film utilized this technique to greater effect than Jaws. Because what’s scarier than the prospect of being eaten by a shark? Oh, I dunno, maybe BEING FORCED TO LOOK THROUGH THAT SHARK’S EYES AS IT PREPARES TO EAT A CHILD.

The Terminator 

It’s a real shame that James Cameron spent $6.4 million back in 1984 (or roughly $3.4 billion today) in order to place the audience inside Ahhnold’s head when he could’ve just hired Will Sasso to do it for free.

Any movies you think we missed? Give us a shout in the comments section. 

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Review: ‘Nightcrawler’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-nightcrawler/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-nightcrawler/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:31:37 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266706 If Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo, then Gyllenhaal is the goddamn Kuz'kina Mat in Nightcrawler

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By Jared Jones

I have to hand it to the ad agency behind Nightcrawler’s marketing; they knew exactly what their product was and exactly how to push it accordingly. If you’ve caught any of the TV spots for the film — which, by virtue of you being here I’m going to assume is the case — you surely realized that the movie is being sold as “Jake Gyllenhaal…(*dramatic pause*)…ACTIIIIING!” That’s Nightcrawler‘s hook, its premise, its endgame, and fortunately for those of us who appreciate honesty in filmmaking, it delivers on what it promises.

To put it in layman’s terms, Gyllenhaal acts the sh*t out of this thing. If Ben Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms, yo, then Gyllenhaal is the goddamn Kuz’kina Mat in Nightcrawler. He takes the role of “Lou Bloom: Self-Help Sociopath” out to a candlelit dinner at a fancy restaurant, holds every door, and respectfully blackmails it into entering a sexual relationship with him after three dates like a gentleman.

When we first meet Lou Bloom, he is quite literally scratching to survive, stealing chain link fences and manhole covers around town and selling them to the local scrap yard for prices that “are far below market value,” as he’s quick to point out. He asks for a job at the scrap yard, listing off his strengths and positive attributes with the kind of go-getter enthusiasm that would give a recruiter a wet dream, but gets turned down because he is a thief, and scrap yards “don’t hire thieves” (which, yes, they do. That’s literally all they hire.).

On his drive home, Lou comes across a particularly vicious car wreck and decides to pull over — not to help, mind you, but just to lurk. Have I mentioned that Lou Bloom is something of a creep? Because I feel like the promos for Nightcrawler nailed that message home as well. Anyway, it isn’t long before cameraman Joe Loder (Bill Paxton) pulls up beside Lou to do a little lurking of his own; the difference being that Loder is actually getting paid to capture the gruesome scene for the morning news, or at least, whichever news station is willing to pay him the most.

The promise of easy money is enough for Lou, and from that day forward begins his relentless pursuit of a career in video journalism that he quite literally stumbled upon, and one that draws him further away from anything resembling a moral compass with each assignment. Along the way he picks up a hapless but well-intentioned burnout of an assistant, Rick (Riz Ahmed), and develops what he probably considers a “relationship” with Nina Romina (Rene Russo), a news director arguably as bereft of empathy as Lou himself.

And that’s pretty much it. Like a character out of a SIMS game, Lou simply decides upon a course of action and follows whatever carefully thought out plan he feels is necessary to achieve it. He is a cold, calculating, one-dimensional lifeform comprised of motivational tapes and online classes who has neither an understanding of basic human interaction nor a care to warm up to it. While Lou will inevitably draw some strong comparisons to Patrick Bateman, that would almost be giving Bloom’s sense of humanity too much credit. Whereas Bateman would occasionally shows some cracks in his shell, be it by a psychotic break or otherwise, Lou is unquestioning and unflinching in the face of his own depravity.

No, Nightcrawler is something closer to Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, if you ask me. It’s a story almost entirely removed of plot, a character study removed of ark. There is no twist, no moment of emotional compromise or clarity, or even a resolution really. Writer/Director Dan Gilroy simply offers a 90-minute window into the life of a man who just is, and honestly, it’s f*cking fascinating. Gyllenhaal has been absolutely crushing it as of late; churning out diverse, dynamic roles in End of Watch, Zodiac, Prisoners, and Source Code among others, but his performance in Nightcrawler might just be the one that earns him the mainstream respect he deserves. Go see this movie as soon as possible, if only so you can smugly say you were a fan of Gyllenhaal before “everyone started liking him.”

Grade: B+

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Ranking the Many, Many Deaths of Michael Myers By Improbability http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/ranking-the-many-many-deaths-of-michael-myers-according-to-improbability/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/ranking-the-many-many-deaths-of-michael-myers-according-to-improbability/#comments Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:57:50 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266797 It's as if the screenwriters of these movies didn't even take the time to do the proper research before putting pen to paper.

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By Jared Jones

You know, while getting blackout drunk on Evan Williams Apple Orchard Liquor and watching Halloween 4 last night, I noticed something: That Michael Myers feller is hard ta kill! Whether he was being shot, stabbed, run over, shot, stabbed, or shot, Myers never stayed down for long, and boy oh boy was he mad when he got to waking up, I tell you what!

But it was shortly after Halloween 4 ended and Halloween 5 began that the true revelation came: All of the Halloween moves — from the 1978 classic to that one with Busta Rhymes — are riddled with inaccuracies. Contradictions. Plot holes you could drag a corpse through. Whether the creators of franchise are or simply ignorant I do not know, but I do know that the films consistently take absolutely insane liberties when it comes to things like anatomy, Newton’s laws of motion, and the physical limitations of the human body.

How any film franchise as successful as Halloween could be rooted in fraudulent science simply boggles the mind, as does the fact that the film’s rather frequent missteps in logic have gone completely unnoticed by both moviegoing audiences and the so-called “critics” whose job it is to pick movies apart to the most minor detail. But more often than not, the factual inaccuracies of the Halloween series can be traced back to one man: Michael Myers.

Over the course of some seven movies*, Myers meets his maker no less than a couple dozen times, only to inexplicably rise again and seek the blood of some dumb skank who just tripped over a pinecone. It’s utterly confounding, and for the good of horror filmmakers everywhere, nay, humanity, join us as we give the many deaths of Michael Myers the logic beatdown they deserve.

*Remember, neither of Rob Zombie‘s Halloween incarnations ever actually happened and therefore cannot be included.

#10: Multiple Tranq Darts and 2×4 Bludgeoning — Halloween 5

If the independent research I’ve conducted on stray cats and dogs around my neighborhood is anything to go off, a lethal dosage of Telazol (the chemical compound found in most tranquilizer darts) is around 14 mg/kg. While the average human’s tolerance is somewhat higher than that, any animal being that is worth one’s salt can survive up to twice the safe dosage found in the average dart. The Halloween 5 filmmakers obviously researched this as much as I did, and were correct in their belief that having Loomis double-down on his darts would not in fact kill Michael Myers. The same can be said for the bludgeoning that followed, because let’s be honest, Loomis definitely seemed to be holding back on those 2×4 swings.

#9: Injected With Green Goo, Bludgeoned With a Pipe — Halloween 6

I may not know much about chemical compounds (other than those found in tranq darts), but I do know that if it’s a green liquid and it was found in a laboratory, it can probably kill you. The same goes for being repeatedly smashed in the face with a pipe. But not knowing the exact specifications of what green goo was injected into Myers, I can not in good conscience condemn Halloween 6 for failing to abide by good science.

Bonus points go to Rudd’s little angry drop of the pipe at the end there. That some good actorin’.

#8: Wire Hanger in the Eye, Knife in the Chest — Halloween

The average dum-dum’s reaction to this scene is probably something like, “Oh, that’s not so bad I guess. Plenty of people have been stabbed and lived before HURRR DURRR.” And dum-dum is right, people *have* lived through stabbings before. But I can guarantee you that in 99.9% of those cases, the stabbed person did not lie down, take a power nap, and then continue attacking the person who stabbed them. Myers not only loses an eye in this closet confrontation but takes a kitchen knife right in the sternum, and anyone who’s ever played racquetball before knows that breathing, let alone movement of any kind, is nearly impossible after taking a shot to the sternum.

Basically, if the science of this scene was represented by a woman’s photo on Instagram, I would declare it “Pointy elbows 2/10 WOULD NOT BANG.”

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Jump Scare Of the Day: ‘Sinister’ — The Lawnmower Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-sinister-the-lawnmower-scene/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-sinister-the-lawnmower-scene/#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:17:44 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266752 A truly terrifying moment from one of 2012's best horror movies.

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By Jared Jones

The difference between your average run-of-the-mill jump scare and a truly great one is usually a question of what vs. when. Most jump scares (especially those found in mainstream, American horror movies of the modern era) too often rely on what or where the thing is that will reveal itself within a scene to frighten the characters, and by extension, the audience. Will it be a ghost’s reflection in the bathroom mirror, or the face of a killer outside the window? Will the demon child reveal himself from the attic or the basement?

The problem is, these kind of jump scares focus so much on creating that one frightening moment that they all but overlook those leading up to it — throw a scared teen in a dark room, have them yell “Hello?” a few times like no one in a similar situation would ever do, and yadda yadda it was just a startled cat!

A truly great jump scare, on the other hand, usually forgoes the what and where in favor of the when. It informs it’s audience exactly what is going to happen, then toys with our expectation of when the scare is coming to drive us insane. It’s like what Alfred Hitchcock always used to say about a bomb under the table; focusing on the when builds suspense because it allows the audience to participate in the scene.

“The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen,” said Hitchock, “You shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There’s a bomb beneath you and it’s about to explode!”

The focus on when over where (or what) is exactly what makes the “lawnmower” scene from 2012′s Sinister so effective. By this point in the film, we are already aware of “Mr. Boogie” and the method in which his killings typically play out. From the moment the audience lays their eyes on that lawnmower, we know exactly what he’s going to use it for, but not when we will see the gruesome act carried out. That uncertainty, or inability to count the beats of the scene is what fuels our anxiety, and that the scene is shot on 8mm film and from the POV of the lawnmower only adds to the tension of what is already a positively nerve-racking scene. The same goes for the simple, pulsing score that plays beneath it.

If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Trailer for Iranian Vampire Flick “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” Is Pure Atmosphere http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/trailer-for-iranian-vampire-flick-a-girl-walks-home-alone-at-night-is-pure-atmosphere/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/trailer-for-iranian-vampire-flick-a-girl-walks-home-alone-at-night-is-pure-atmosphere/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 15:06:13 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266702 If you happen to live in New York or Los Angeles, make sure to catch this flick during its limited theatrical debut on November 21

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By Jared Jones

Written and directed by first-timer Ana Lily Amirpour and produced by Elijah Wood,  ’A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ tells the story of a small Iranian town whose residence begin to fall victim to a vampire. While the plot sounds like your typical run-of-the-mill horror faire, the first trailer for the film proves that Amirpour’s debut will be anything but.

No, “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ is already receiving all kinds of acclaim on the film festival circuit, being described as “a touching, genrebending allegory” whose black-and-white palette brings to mind such classics as Metropolis and Nosferatu. That’s high praise for a young director’s first film, so check out the trailer above, and if you happen to live in New York or Los Angeles, make sure to catch it during its limited theatrical debut on November 21.

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Jump Scare of the Day: Jaws — “You’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat” http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-jaws-youre-going-to-need-a-bigger-boat/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-jaws-youre-going-to-need-a-bigger-boat/#comments Tue, 28 Oct 2014 21:02:50 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266691 As far as jump scares go, this might be the greatest of them all.

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By Jared Jones

As far as jump scares go, the big reveal scene in Jaws might be the greatest of them all — it’s certainly the most memorable. You see, not only does Steven Spielberg get to be king of the “summer blockbuster” (a term that all but owes its creation to the success of Jaws), but he also gets to have his face featured on the horror genre’s Mt. Rushmore (alongside Hitchcock, Romero, and Craven) for crafting what is essentially the giant monster movie to end all giant monster movies.

And it’s pretty easy to see how Spielberg rose to near deity-status among film nerds when watching Jaws, isn’t it? The pacing of this scene, coupled with John Williams‘ crescendoing score and Roy Scheider’s amazing reaction/line delivery, combine to form a simply masterful scare that stands among the most iconic moments in cinema history. That it is only outdone by the film’s opening scene says a lot for Steven Spielberg the horror director.

If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Review: ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-birdman-or-the-unexpected-virtue-of-ignorance/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-birdman-or-the-unexpected-virtue-of-ignorance/#comments Fri, 24 Oct 2014 21:39:59 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266539 Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the best movie we've seen this year, last year, three years before that, and maybe ever.

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By Jared Jones

I’m just going to come out and say it: Alejandro Iñárritu’s Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) is the best movie I’ve seen this year, last year, three years before that, and maybe ever. It is a film that manages to only outdo its inventive story and Oscar porn performances with its technical wizardry, and if you don’t go see it this weekend I am going to come to your house, remove the part of your brain that allows you to think independently, and just kind of Weekend at Bernies you into the nearest theater that’s showing it.

Was that a fanboyish enough breakdown for you? Good, because for film nerds, watching Birdman is like taking LSD for the first time; it redefines your understanding of boundaries, or at least, where the line can be drawn when it comes to the capabilities of cinematic storytelling. At the risk of sounding cliche, Birdman is an experience. I would normally refer to my notes to cite specific examples, but it was a good 25 minutes into the movie before I even realized that I was watching it as a reviewer and not a simple film fanatic. I was too caught up in the technical brilliance of it all to honestly take away much critical insight.

What’s Birdman about? Well, according to IMDB, it’s about “a washed-up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he mounts a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim his past glory.” And to be fair, that is the basic jist of it. Michael Keaton plays the aforementioned washed-up actor, Riggan Thomson, who is attempting to mount a comeback by adapting, directing, and starring in a staged production of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. Also on Riggan’s plate is an impending financial and mental meltdown, a fresh-out-of-rehab-daughter, Sam (Emma Stone, whose Tarsier-esque eyes are on near-luminescent display here), an insanely method co-star, Mike (Ed Norton), and oh yeah, potential telekinesis, but that’s not the point of it.

Not that I know what the “point” of Birdman is either. Between the film’s musings on social media, a man’s midlife crisis, the meaninglessness of fame and respect, and the impossible pursuit of perfection that drives creative-minded people to their breaking point and beyond – Birdman isn’t exactly an easy movie to go metaphor-hunting in. But who knows? Maybe there is no point to it at all to the movie. Maybe Birdman is meant to be taken as a simple exploration of all these things and their ultimately futility in the grand scheme of things.

I guess we should talk about Birdman’s ”gimmick” for a moment, which is not a gimmick at all, really. The film — or at least, 99.5% of the film — is shot in one continuous take. One impossible, practical, claustrophobic, vast, serene, nerve-racking take. And while movies like PVC-1 or La Casa Muda have attempted to pull off this Hitchcockian feat to varying degrees of success, Birdman does it flawlessly (if disingenuously), and with purpose. Not only is this technique employed to blur the line between Thomson’s reality and his ever-permeating delusions, but it perfectly captures the claustrophobia and dread building up inside Thomson in the days leading up to his play’s premiere. By never once pulling back to establish the world it is taking place in, Birdman never allows Thomson (and by extension, the audience) to take a breath. It doesn’t have time to beat you over the head with expository dialogue or clue you in on what you’re actually watching. This is Broadway, there’s no time to explain anything, dammit!  (*pirouettes offstage*)

Simply put, I cannot recommend this film enough. It’s visually arresting, witty, hilarious, depressing, uplifting, meta…all those things. Birdman is *all* the adjectives. Go see this movie as soon as possible or else I’ll be paying you a visit.

Grade: A+++++++ 

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Jump Scare of the Day: Insidious — “Face of Fire” Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-insidious-face-of-fire-scene/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-insidious-face-of-fire-scene/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:00:50 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266410 Perhaps the scariest scene from a movie which has been dubbed, ""a goddamn Disneyland theme ride of machine-gun paced jump-scares."

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By Jared Jones

James Wan‘s Insidious is, to quote Pajiba’s review of the film, “a goddamn Disneyland theme ride of machine-gun paced jump-scares.” Chief among them might the scene above, in which Josh’s (Patrick Wilson) mother, Lorraine, recounts a dream she had the night before involving a demonic figure and Josh’s son, Dalton. Then this happens, and then you wonder why the room suddenly smells like someone took a fresh dook. Then you realize that you are the only person in the room.

If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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[VIDEO] Hannibal Buress Calls Bill Cosby a “Smug-Faced Rapist” With a “Public Teflon Image” http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/video-hannibal-buress-calls-bill-cosby-a-smug-faced-rapist-with-a-public-teflon-image/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/video-hannibal-buress-calls-bill-cosby-a-smug-faced-rapist-with-a-public-teflon-image/#comments Tue, 21 Oct 2014 19:08:13 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266408 "When you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny. That sh*t has more results than ‘Hannibal Buress."

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By Jared Jones

Quick, let’s do a little word association. Without giving it too much thought, give me the three first words that come to mind when I mention the name…Bill Cosby.

What did you come up with? Pudding? Jell-O? Ruuuuddyyy?!!!

How about RAPE?

Because in the case of at least a dozen women (allegedly), that last word would be the *first* thing they associate with he of the pudding pops and sweaters. You see, for how clean-cut of an image Cosby maintained on television each week between 1984-92, he was (allegedly) something of a horrific sexual predator once the cameras were turned off. Vulture has put together a handy little timeline of the allegations aimed at Cosby over the years, which range from vulgar to downright disgusting and the antithesis of what you’d expect from the family-friendly comic.

I say this not to shatter your image of the man behind one of the most groundbreaking and influential shows of all time, but rather, to give you a little insight into comedian Hannibal Buress’ scathing bit about Cosby — which was captured during a recent performance and has been making the rounds on the web over the past couple of days — in which he straight up calls Cosby a rapist with a “public Teflon image.”

We’ve thrown a video of his bit above, along with a transcription below.

Bill Cosby has the f—ing smuggest old black man public persona that I hate. He gets on TV, ‘Pull your pants up black people, I was on TV in the 80s. I can talk down to you because I had a successful sitcom.’ Yeah, but you rape women, Bill Cosby, so turn the crazy down a couple notches. ‘I don’t curse onstage.’ Well, yeah, you’re rapist, so I’ll take you saying lots of motherf—ers on Bill Cosby: Himself, if you weren’t a rapist. I don’t know what I’m doing by telling you. I guess I want to just at least make it weird for you to watch Cosby Show reruns. Dude’s image, for the most part, it’s f–king public Teflon image. I’ve done this bit on stage and people think I’m making it up….That sh*t is upsetting. If you didn’t know about it trust me. When you leave here, Google ‘Bill Cosby rape.’ It’s not funny. That sh*t has more results than ‘Hannibal Buress.’

People have been quick to defend Cosby while lampooning the Broad City star as “a hack” who “needs to bring others down to feel better about himself” and so forth, which is to be expected, as many of those same people are probably the ones who insist that Woody Allen is only an *alleged* pedophile despite the fact that, no, dude’s just a pedophile no matter which way you slice it. Funny how we will come to the aide of complete strangers if they can play make believe characters we enjoy, isn’t it?

We can’t imagine the drudging up of these claims will do anything to help Cosby’s upcoming sitcom, but then again, the man has achieved such a legendary status that he’s pretty much untouchable these days. (The women who happen to work with him, on the other hand, are anything but. Allegedly.)

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Tremors 5 is Happening! Tremors 5 Is Happening!! TREMORS 5 IS HAPPENING!!! http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/tremors-5-is-happening-tremors-5-is-happening-tremors-5-is-happening/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/tremors-5-is-happening-tremors-5-is-happening-tremors-5-is-happening/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 21:37:25 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266302 "Hey Melvin... wanna make a buck?"

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By Jared Jones

You guys might not know this, but I am quite literally the biggest fan of the 1990 Kevin-Bacon-fighting-giant-underground-worms vehicle, Tremors, that exists on this planet or any other for that matter. Go ahead, ask me literally anything about any of the movies (or even the short-lived TV show) that I don’t already know. You can’t do it, can you? Like I said…

So because I am such a big fan of the Tremors series (the biggest!), I actually follow the franchise on Facebook, despite the fact that the last incarnation, The Legend Begins, came out some 10 years ago and was also a soggy floor turd of a movie that should be flushed down Satan’s fiery toilet of Hell. In any case, my intense, fanboyish dedication to the franchise that spawned the greatest direct-to-video sequel of all time, the term Ass Blasters, and the acting career of Reba Mcentire has finally paid off, as it has given me the opportunity to deliver the greatest news of this century to you Screen Junkies readers: TREMORS 5 IS HEADING OUR WAY, Y’ALL.

F*CK YES, a new Tremors movie to wash the rancid taste of The Legend Begins out of our mouths! There’s no way this can go, wait…did they say Jamie Kennedy?! As in Malibu’s Most Wanted and that godawful breakdancing movie I can’t remember the name of Jamie Kennedy?

And seriously, how old is Michael Gross nowadays to still be fighting these underground God damn monsters? Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way disappointed that the man behind my favorite wise-cracking paranoid survivalist is coming back for another incarnation, but do they honestly expect me to believe that Burt Gummer hasn’t figured out every trick that the Graboids, Shriekers, and Ass Blasters have to offer by now? STEEL WALLS. The answer to how to stop a Graboid is steel walls.

God damn it, voices in my head, quit being so pessimistic! Tremors 5 is going to blast our asses in the most consensual, non-sexual manner possible. But until it does, let’s just kick back and remember why we all love this series so…

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Jump Scare of the Day: ‘Cujo’ — Cujo Attacks http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-cujo-cujo-attacks/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-cujo-cujo-attacks/#comments Fri, 17 Oct 2014 18:48:01 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266328 Stephen King has been quoted as saying that this is the single scariest moment from *any* of the films adapted from one of his stories. Therefore, relevant.

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By Jared Jones

Stephen King has been quoted as saying that this is the single scariest moment from *any* of the films adapted from one of his stories. Therefore, relevant.

If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Jump Scare of the Day: ‘The Sentinel’ Old Man Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-the-sentinel-old-man-scene/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-the-sentinel-old-man-scene/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 17:00:12 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=266245 Alison is awakened in the middle of the night by a series of strange sounds and decides to go exploring. Because good things usually happen when you investigate a disturbance in a horror movie.

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By Jared Jones

Michael Winner’s The Sentinel is easily one of the most overlooked/underrated horror films to come out in the past 50 years — a cerebral, terrifying depiction of neurosis and atonement with a rather brilliant supernatural twist.

Telling the story of a beautiful model, Alison Parker, who moves into a Brooklyn apartment that actually serves as a gateway to Hell, this 1977 classic features a heap of former and future stars appearing in minor roles — from Christopher Walken to Ava Gardner to Jeff Goldblum — and has slowly been building a cult following over time. Arguably the most frightening moment in The Sentinel comes relatively early in the picture, when Alison is awakened in the middle of the night by a series of strange sounds and decides to go exploring. Because good things usually happen when you investigate a disturbance in a horror movie.

Anyways, the scene above rightfully earned a place on Bravo‘s 100 Scariest Movie Moments of all time, so give it a watch and let us know if you have any suggestions for future Jump Scare of the Day entries over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Rob McElhenney (aka Mac From “Always Sunny”) to Make Directorial Debut With Epic Kids Adventure ‘Figment’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/rob-mcelhenney-aka-mac-from-always-sunny-to-make-directorial-debut-with-epic-kids-adventure-figment/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/rob-mcelhenney-aka-mac-from-always-sunny-to-make-directorial-debut-with-epic-kids-adventure-figment/#comments Thu, 16 Oct 2014 16:10:05 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=266247 Early reports indicate that the film will be sorely lacking the body mass x-factor of Predator.

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By Jared Jones

While The Fifth Sense starring Dolph Lundgren as a mesh tanktop wearing scientist who can smell crime will sadly never become a reality, it appears that Rob McElhenney (aka Mac from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) has been greenlit to write, direct, and produce his very first feature-length film.

With just a 4-minute test reel and a 20-minute pitch, McElhenney was able to secure funding through Legendary Pictures for a family-oriented action/adventure film, Figment, Deadline reports. Early reports also indicate that the film will be sorely lacking the body mass x-factor of Predator.

Legendary has made what I’ve heard is a potential seven-figure commitment to preemptively acquire his family action pitch Figment, with McElhenney tied to write the script and direct the film, and produce it. It’s a family action adventure about an imaginative boy and his family who are thrown for a loop when their greatest fears come to life. It is a template for the kind of large scale film that fits the Legendary template, and there is a ticking clock incentive that puts it on a fast track. Legendary will produce with 3 Arts’ Nicholas Frenkel and McElhenney.

Securing that kind of funding for a film with just a pitch is a pretty impressive accomplishment to say the least, especially in an era of Hollywood that seems all but completely unwilling to take risks with *any* original ideas. But then, it’s what one would expect from McElhenney, who was able to sell a raunchy show like Always Sunny to FX with just a couple demo reels and a pitch back in 2004. The man’s nothing if not a hell of a salesman.

So whether you’re an Always Sunny fan or just someone who’s grown tired of seeing the same goddamn comic book movie for the hundredth time this month, cross your fingers and pray that this movie kicks all the asses. Or is at least up to snuff with Lethal Weapon 5. 

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Screen Junkies Show: Does The Walking Dead Suck? http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/screen-junkies-show-does-the-walking-dead-suck/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/screen-junkies-show-does-the-walking-dead-suck/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:58:46 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=265989 In honor of The Walking Dead lumbering back into your television sets this weekend, we sit down with Brock Baker and Rhett & Link to dish on whether or not TWD sucks.

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In honor of The Walking Dead lumbering back into your television sets this weekend, we sit down with Brock Baker and Rhett & Link to dish on whether or not TWD sucks.

Become a Screen Junkie! ►► http://bit.ly/sjsubscr

Watch more Screen Junkies Show ►►http://bit.ly/SJSPlaylist

Big thanks to Brock Baker and Rhett & Link.

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Jump Scare of the Day: Signs — The “Brazilian Birthday Party” Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-signs-the-brazilian-birthday-party-scene/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-signs-the-brazilian-birthday-party-scene/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 14:49:31 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=265991 The only thing scarier than this scene is Mel Gibson.

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By Jared Jones

True story: I saw this movie in theaters when I was 15, and when this scene happened, I hid by my hands and cried. I cried like a TEN YEAR OLD GIRL!! (*throws baseball out window*)

If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Jump Scare of the Day: ‘The Descent’ Night Vision Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-the-descent-night-vision-scene/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-the-descent-night-vision-scene/#comments Wed, 08 Oct 2014 17:59:44 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=265910 For today's Jump Scare of the Day, we revisit Neil Marshall's claustrophobic 2005 hit, 'The Descent'

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By Jared Jones

It is a scientific fact that 1 in every 1 person suffers from severe, heart-gripping claustrophobia, making things like public transportation, elevators, or entering into relationships with clingy women even more nightmarish than they already are. Our intense fear of confined areas is the only reason why spelunking will never catch on as a mainstream sport, the reason Jessica McClure remains a household name to this day, and a weakness of man that will surely be exploited when the cats take over.

By the infallible logic presented above, Neil Marshall‘s claustrophobic horror film, The Descent, should have been a critical and financial disaster when it was released in 2005. There are few things more terrifying in this world than being trapped in an underground tunnel, and when slimey, underground humanoids dressed in footed tights are added into the equation, you’d think that mankind as a whole would have responded with a collective:

But somehow, The Descent was a hit, grossing over 56 million dollars worldwide and earning a 84% “Certified Fresh” approval rating on RottenTomatoes. You can chalk up The Decent’s success to it’s solid character work (for a horror film) or empowering feminist message all you’d like, but we all know that it was one scene and one scene alone that made this movie. We’re talking, of course, about the “night vision” scene in which the voracious underground dwellers are revealed. It’s arguably the greatest moment in the entire film (other than the original ending, which was sadly edited in the US cut), and a kind of jump scare that has been mimicked in no less than 2500 found footage horror movies since.

Check it out above, and if you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Jump Scare of the Day: ‘Audition’ — The Bag Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-audition-the-bag-scene/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-audition-the-bag-scene/#comments Mon, 06 Oct 2014 22:05:14 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=265800 If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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By Jared Jones

Today’s Jump Scare of the Day takes us back to 1999 and one of the most psychologically damaging movies of all time, Audition.

Telling the classic tale of boy meets girl, girl turns out to be psychopath, girl cuts boy’s foot off with piano wire, Audition has become perhaps the most infamous work of legendary Japanese director Takashi Miike, and it’s thanks in a large part to the infamous “bag scene” depicted above.

A little backstory, for those of you who don’t engage in masochistic filmgoing experiences like Audition on the regular: Some seven years after his wife passes, Shigeharu Aoyama is trying to get back into the dating world. The only way he knows how to do this is to have his friend stage fake “auditions” for the part of his wife (Japan, amiright?). He becomes infatuated with cute as a button Asami Yamazaki during one such audition and decides to give her a call some four days later.

Unfortunately for Aoyama, it turns out that Asami is what some would call “crazypants bananas”, as evident by the fact that she spent the entirety of those four days sitting next to a phone with a mysterious bag next to her. A bag that, well, I won’t spoil it.

If you have any suggestions for what a future entry should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Review: ‘Gone Girl’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-gone-girl/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-gone-girl/#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 17:55:16 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=265779 See it if you've read the book. See it for Affleck's dong. We don't really care why, but just go see Gone Girl.

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By Jared Jones

My mind was a mess heading into David Fincher’s Gone Girl, constantly fluctuating between extremes of fanboyish optimism and sickening trepidation. Not having read Gillian Flynn’s novel upon which the movie is based, I made a conscious effort to learn as little about the story as possible, all the while battling with my preconceived notions that the film could only play out in one of two ways: in the brooding, meticulous nature of Fincher’s 2007 procedural thriller Zodiac, or in the dull, lifeless manner of 2011′s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo remake.

And to it’s credit, Gone Girl is very much a movie that relies on building a certain level of expectation before punishing you for being so goddamn judgemental. It was the perfect project for a master of neo noir like Fincher to adapt, one that attempts to raise the murder mystery (or rather, how a murder mystery story is often told) to a higher artistic level while dialing up all the pulpy elements that make us appreciate the genre so, and actually manages to maintain its own unique identity when being held against Fincher’s more recent aforementioned works.

On the morning of his fifth anniversary, college professor and failed writer Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) finds himself at the bar (his bar, actually), tipping back glasses of bourbon with his sister (Carrie Coon) and wondering when or where his marriage to the lovely Amy (Rosamund Pike) went wrong. Through a series of flashbacks, we learn that Amy is a writer herself and something of a local legend, having been the inspiration behind a series of heralded childrens books. Nick, on the other hand, is a corn fed Missourian (by his own admission) who enjoys a good reality TV marathon with a hand down his pants, Bundy style. She and Nick met at a cocktail mixer and shared an instant, seemingly unbreakable attraction to one another, which more or less equated to a lot of f*cking. “I really like you,” Amy says while Nick is going down on her. “You have a grade-A vagina” says Nick moments before proposing to her.

Between all the anniversary scavenger hunts and kinky, exhibitionist sex, it seems like Nick and Amy have it all, and it is the exploration of their early relationship (often told through a series of Amy’s journal entries) in the first half of the film that truly elevates Gone Girl above the level of most genre faire. We aren’t given a few select moments to define Nick and Amy as characters, but rather a slow, tense examination of a marriage torn apart when, to borrow a common cliche, life gets in the way. The admiration Nick and Amy once had for one another is replaced by bitter jealousy, their passion replaced by apathy, infidelity, and fear. Or so we’re led to believe.

It all comes to a head on that morning of their anniversary, when Nick returns home to find his wife missing amidst a conveniently-staged crime scene. His alienating demeanor and seemingly carefree treatment of Amy’s disappearance instantly makes him the prime target in her disappearance, with everyone from the feds to Missi Pyles’ Ellen Abbott — a sensationalist, dim-witted reporter that could not be a more obvious rip at Nancy Grace — labeling him as an incestuous sociopath who, like, totes murdered his sweet, innocent wife. Amy’s journal entries only aide in painting Nick as the cold, slowly-unraveling murderer that the evidence already has done a bang-up job of doing, and when we learn that Nick is putting it to his 20 year student on the side when he’s *not* hiding evidence from police, it’s almost impossible not to jump to the conclusion Fincher is all but cornering us into.

But then, about halfway in, Gone Girl throws away any semblance of realism it built up and dives headfirst into the public pool of Flavortown WhattheFucksville. While a less deft hand could have played up the film’s twist like a cartoonish episode of Law & Order, Fincher is somehow able to flip the switch without it feeling like a cheap cop out. In a scene straight out of Hitchcock’s Vertigo, believability is replaced by a madness that confounds you as much as it makes you want to stand up at a Yankees game and start rooting for the Sawx. Through its clever use of several genre tropes (the red herring and the unreliable narrator chief among them), Gone Girl presents its story as it wants us to understand it, and then, like an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, it strips back the veneer to reveal the world in all of its drunken, hamfisted glory. And it is glorious.

To discuss Gone Girl any further would be entering into spoiler territory, but I will say that, at two and a half hours, it never overstays its welcome. Gone Girl is easily Fincher’s warmest film to date, in both its palette and oddly enough, it’s reliance on dark humor. Seriously, the screener I went to had the audience in stitches, to the point that I wasn’t sure whether they were laughing to break the film’s suffocating tension or because the lighter moments were actually that funny. In any case, Gone Girl is a gorgeously-cinematographed, ridiculously entertaining experience that makes for one of Fincher’s finest efforts to date.

Grade: A

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Jump Scare of the Day: ‘The Exorcist III’ Nurse Scene http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-the-exorcist-iii/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jump-scare-of-the-day-the-exorcist-iii/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 21:50:34 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=265734 Introducing the Jump Scare of the Day™, a new recurring feature here at Screen Junkies designed to push you closer and closer to the brink of a nightmare-fueled insanity and/or incontinence.

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By Jared Jones

Introducing the Jump Scare of the Day™, a new recurring feature here at Screen Junkies that is most certainly *not* a blatant attempt to cash in on the horror-centric frightfest that October has become. So just throw that notion right out of your head.

For the next 30 days, we will be providing you Screen Junkards with a routine dose of heart-stopping terror from some of our favorite horror films both old and new, with the hope that each successive offering will push you closer and closer to the brink of a nightmare-fueled insanity and/or incontinence. First up, we give you the “nurse scene” from The Exorcist III (1990). Not to spoil it, but let’s just say that things does not end well for the titular nurse.

If you have any suggestions for what tomorrow’s scene should be, give us a shout over at @screenjunkies with the hashtag #jumpscare.

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Behold, The Most Poorly Photoshopped Movie Poster of All Time: “Hit By Lightning” http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/behold-the-most-poorly-photoshopped-movie-poster-of-all-time-hit-by-lightning/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/behold-the-most-poorly-photoshopped-movie-poster-of-all-time-hit-by-lightning/#comments Thu, 02 Oct 2014 14:43:49 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=265687 Does Jon Cryer really have the torso of a 13 year-old boy and the head of a brontosaurus?

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By Jared Jones

When reflecting on the lost art of movie posters, I always refer back to the opening moments of The Mist. After hot shot poster artist David Drayton (Thomas Jane) loses his latest masterpiece in the storm that causes the titular mist, Drayton laments to his wife, Stephanie, that he’ll have to call the studio and request an extension on his deadline. When she asks what other choice the studio would have in the matter, Drayton responds:

“You kiddin’? They could whip up some bad Photoshop poster in an afternoon. They do it all the time, two big heads.”

And indeed, when Hollywood ad agencies aren’t blatantly ripping off poster artists without compensating them, they’re whipping together photoshopped atrocities that combine Stevie Wonder’s understanding of perspective with an intentional misunderstanding of how human anatomy works.

Until now, Good Luck Chuck and Bangkok Dangerous were considered the far and away worst offenders of photoshop failures in movie posters. Until now.

Ladies and gentleman, may we present to you the poster for Hit By Lightning. 

 

We have no idea what the plot of Hit By Lightning is, but based on the poster, we’re going to assume that it tells the tale of a child-bodied alien in an ill-fitting mansuit and the Earth woman whom he switches bodies with at the moment of orgasm. And then murders people, maybe. Or it’s about a pair of siamese twin brothers joined at the bathrobe and their quest to lose their virginity. Or Will Sasso plays a serial killer who dutch ovens newlywed couples to death. We’re thinking it’s the latter, because if Sasso’s face is reading anything, it’s “farty.”

Why is Will Sasso clothed in this poster? Like, fully clothed? And why was that particular photo of him used when he was *clearly* standing when it was taken? Does Jon Cryer really have the torso of a 13 year-old boy and the head of a brontosaurus? And is his skin tone really that smooth? (Because if so, damn bruh.) Where is Stephanie Szostak looking, exactly? Why, oh why, couldn’t they line the f*cking names up under the right f*cking actors?

This poster comes to us courtesy of Bravo Design, Inc. a company which we’re going to presume have since been laughed right out of the industry. And the craziest part? That’s not even the worst poster for Hit By Lightning. *This* is the worst one:

My God. I’m guessing the unifying theme of this movie is supposed to be upward facing hands? Because that seems like a thinner premise than Tusk if that’s the case.

But there you have it: The absolute bottom of the barrel of a dying art form in a cold, heartless industry. We should all be ashamed.

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Review: “Tusk” http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-tusk/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/review-tusk/#comments Thu, 18 Sep 2014 14:17:15 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=265127 Tusk stretches its wafer-thin premise far beyond its breaking point, and the result is an all too long inside joke that looks like a poor man's Wes Anderson directed a homeless man's Human Centipede.

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By Jared Jones

A little less than a year ago, Kevin Smith claimed that he would retire from filmmaking upon completion of Clerks III. It was only a few months before he amended that statement, claiming that “From now until I drop dead, I’m only ever gonna make a flick that only I would/could ever make,” citing several of his past works (Cop Out, Zack & Miri) as films that “anyone” could make.

That being the case, I’d sure as hell like to know what Smith finds so unique about his latest effort, Tusk, which contains neither the sardonic wit that punctuated his more cherished works nor adds anything even remotely innovative to the torture porn genre it is supposedly parodying. Tusk isn’t nearly as hilarious or fresh as it thinks it is, resulting in a final product that looks like a poor man’s Wes Anderson directed a homeless man’s Human CentipedeThanks Kevin, but I’d have much preferred something closer to “The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders.”

The wafer-thin premise of Tusk can be explained in less than a logline (“Lonely old man converts young douchebag into walrus”), likely because it was spawned during the recording of a podcast which itself was relaying an online classified Smith had randomly stumbled upon. That is not meant as a criticism, necessarily, as great ideas can and do often come from everyday inspiration. 2012′s Safety Not Guaranteed was similarly borne from a bizarre Gumtree ad and was one of the most memorable movies of the year because of (or perhaps, despite) it, but it is Smith’s inability to add anything to Tusk aside from its hook that truly drags it out of the “good-bad” territory it promises and into the “just bad” territory where it ends up.

But then again, perhaps I spoke too soon. I suppose Tusk *is* unique in its ability to overplay yet simultaneously undersell the few hands it tries to deal its audience over the course of its slow slog to the finish line. There isn’t a single “joke,” flashback, or cutaway in Tusk that doesn’t proceed to kill whatever momentum it builds up by overstaying its welcome, and each scene plays out with the kind of meandering carelessness that all but forces you to assume that Smith was making the whole thing up as he was going along. “Quirky” and “funny” are not interchangeable concepts, though Tusk seems to posit that they are, and the result is a 90-minute exercise in self-satisfaction that is too busy patting itself on the back for having the “balls” to commit to one inside joke that it never even bothers to attempt any others. The only thing missing from Tusk is an empty wine glass to fart in.

If Tusk fails as a comedy, it fails twice as badly as a horror movie. Justin Long, possibly in some sort of meta-commentary on his negative public perception, stars as Wallace Bryton, the most grating, unredeemable, and plain cliche horror movie protagonist ever written  Smodcasted. He insults locals and bashes their town, he says things like “Shut the front door” while speaking 20 decibels louder than those he is talking to, and he smugly brags about the money his podcast (HIS PODCAST!) generates in yearly ad revenue. He even cheats on his supermodel girlfriend with podcast groupies (PODCAST GROUPIES!!) because fuck it, why make him likeable in any way, shape, or form? Take every Friday the 13th, punk-ass teenager you’ve ever seen, add in a dose of hipster pretentiousness right down to the “throwback” pedostache, finish it off with a touch of Billy Zabka, and you’ve got Wallace Bryton.

Of course, it’s not like his girlfriend Ally (Genesis Rodriguez) is any more likeable. The scene in which she’s introduced, for instance, involves her giving Wallace what I can only assume would be a fantastic blowjob, then cutting him off halfway through it to talk about how he’s “changed.” He then belittles her for liking the old, nerdy Wallace, to which she nearly cries, shrugs, and then just goes right back to blowing him. WOMEN AND EMOTIONS AND STUFF, AMIRIGHT FELLAS? Oh, and have I mentioned that this movie wants you to believe that not only can a hot-shot podcaster with a pedostache score Genesis Rodriguez, but that Rodriguez would then cheat on him with present day Haley Joel Osment? A walrus suit made of human skin is one thing, but that is one liberty too many, Mr. Smith.

And I get it: Long’s character is supposed to be an asshole, and his ensuing torture is meant to serve as some sort of penance/punishment for the “monster” he’s become. What a profound and thrilling take on the horror genre, Mr. Smith! The only problem being that it replaces what empathy you should have for Wallace with apathy, especially when it comes to the relationship with his aforementioned smokeshow girlfriend, who is herself morally questionable at best, and the horrific torture he is put through.

Torture is usually a means through which absolution is achieved, otherwise it is just a means to the end that is sadism. While many a horror film have committed to the idea that we will identify and empathize with a character simply because they are in duress, Tusk reduces the idea of ”torture porn” to its most banal, which is really saying something. The story is actually constructed like a pornographic film, for one; there’s a scene of torture, then a scene of “plot,” then a scene of torture, and etcetera etcetera until the whole thing just kind of ends. And like a porno, the film grows increasingly tiresome after blowing its wad on the reveal of Long’s walrus suit, which happens approximately 45 minutes in. Add in some full penetration, and Tusk would have been the best movie that Dennis Reynolds never made. Even Haley Joel Osment is there to reprise his role as new Mac.

But more than everything else that’s wrong with this movie, Tusk commits the most painful offense of all in being a goddamn BORE to sit through. I could watch Michael Parks give salty-eyed recounts of his oceanic adventures with Ernest Hemingway all day, but between Tusk‘s lack of actual jokes and its constant slog between half committed attempts at establishing a tone, it makes an hour and a half feel like an eternity. Even when Tusk is flashing back to earlier moments from the film during its second and third acts, if you can call them that, whole lines of dialogue are added to those flashbacks to make up for the film’s inability to tell the most basic of stories. As such, the B-plot wherein Osment and Rodriguez attempt to track down Long unfolds like a Law and Order episode as written by a kid on the autism spectrum.

Like Smith’s previous effort, Red State, Tusk is simply too noncommittal and scatterbrained to ever reel us into what could be a compelling (albeit ridiculous) premise. After boring us to tears with an excruciatingly dull, every-horror-movie-you’ve-ever-seen setup, it simply throws a guy in a walrus suit at us and expects us to ooh and ahh because its all so wacky!! Is that Johnny Depp in a fake nose playing a private investigator with a French accent? Ooh la-la, this will never get old!

Lazy and incompetent storytelling does not equate to an original filmmaking style, and even if it did, Robert Rodriguez would have clearly claimed his place as the frontrunner of that movement. If Tusk is a movie that only Kevin Smith could make, then he might be better off selling his soul to write 20 million dollar buddy cop movies.

Grade: C-

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‘I Saw the Devil’ and Four Other Korean Movies That Hollywood Should Stay Away From http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/i-saw-the-devil-and-four-other-korean-movies-that-hollywood-should-stay-away-from/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/i-saw-the-devil-and-four-other-korean-movies-that-hollywood-should-stay-away-from/#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:26:06 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=265074 You're doomed for the start with these endeavors, Hollywood, but if you are so insistent on Americanizing some of the near-perfect efforts that Korean cinema has to offer, just make sure you keep your filthy paws off these classics.

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By Jared Jones

Spike Lee’s spectacularly misguided remake of the South Korean revenge classic Oldboy was a disaster in every sense of the term — the film earned back just $4 million of its $35 million budget, was rightfully lambasted by critics as being “disappointingly safe and shallow,” and even found itself dead center in the middle of a poster plagiarism scandal. As Sweet Dick Willie might say, Lee’s Oldboy was “thirty cents away from having a quarter.”

And the truth is, anyone with even the most cursory understanding of Oldboy could probably figure that it wouldn’t translate well with American moviegoing audiences. We may put on our rubber underwear and try to make it through a Saw movie without vomiting into our popcorn every Halloween, sure, but for whatever reason, the morbid sense of humor and absolute lack of boundaries that Korean thrillers have become infamous for don’t seem to sit well with us here in the US of A. And that’s fine, because in the case of absolute masterpieces like Oldboy, there’s really no need to remake them at all.

So with all that information in mind, you’d think it would be a while before Hollywood opted to put their spin on a highly-touted, incredibly-disturbing Korean flick, right?

HAVE YOU LEARNED NOTHING, SCREENJUNKARDS. Just weeks after Oldboy bombed, it was announced that stateside audiences would be receiving a completely unnecessary remake of Kim Jee-woon’s 2011 thriller, I Saw the Devil. The reason why? Well, allow producer Adi Shankar to explain:

Kim Jee Woon’s I Saw The Devil is perfect in so many ways. The intention is not to remake the film per se but rather to ‘port’ it console-style for international audiences.

You simply have to love a statement about a proposed remake that begins by admitting that the film being remade should not be remade. And as far as Shakar’s “port” comment goes, I can only counter by stating that I Saw the Devil has been readily available on Netflix since it was released and is therefore already “port”-able. Unless by “port,” Shakar means “translated into English,” because the need to remake foreign films that came out less than five years ago is forever justified by our cultural inability to handle subtitles. U-S-A! U-S-A!!

There I go, sounding all pessimistic again. To be fair, it appears that Hollywood has actually locked down a directing/writing duo that *could* do IStD justice — Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett (You’re Next, The Guest) — so maybe the remake won’t be a complete pile of excrement. But boy oh boy does it have some big shoes to fill.

At the end of the day, that’s really the trouble when it comes to remaking a film on the level of Oldboy or, to a lesser degree, I Saw the Devil — the original product sets the bar so high that not even James Cameron could rescue it. You’re doomed for the start with these endeavors, Hollywood, but if you are so insistent on Americanizing some of the near-perfect efforts that Korean cinema has to offer, just make sure you keep your filthy paws off these classics.

The Good, The Bad, and The Weird 

Given the film’s obvious nods to the spaghetti westerns of Sergio Leone and the Indiana Jones series, it would be hard to picture a remake of Kim Jee-woon’s The Good, The Bad, and The Weird coming off as anything but an inflated Clint Eastwood flick here in America. Still, if Woon’s I Saw the Devil turns out to be successful, it’s only a matter of time before his other efforts are at least considered for the same treatment. Everything about The Good, The Bad, and The Weird screams “summer blockbuster,” but it is the film’s inherent silliness that American directors would have the hardest time capturing, if you ask us.

The Host

Currently the second-highest grossing film in South Korean history, Bong Joon-ho’s The Host is prime for an American remake. A satirical send-up of B-level monster movies that is as brilliantly directed as it is acted, The Host combines the sardonic wit of Jaws with the eco-friendly message of Godzilla while paying tribute to everything in between. It’s the kind of popcorn flick that manages to be equally entertaining and thought-provoking, which is saying a lot about a movie centered around a “retard frog squirrel” as Herbert Garrison might put it.

But still, just watch how the scene above wherein said retard frog squirrel is revealed and ask yourself which American director could so brilliantly, effortlessly walk the line between slapstick silliness and sheer terror. That tracking shot alone is reason enough not to remake this movie.

Mother

Speaking of Bong Joon-ho, his 2009 follow-up to The Host is just as likely to receive the Americanized treatment as anything he’s ever done. Telling the story of an unnamed widow (Kim Hye-ja) who embarks on a quest to prove the innocence of her mentally undeveloped son after he is convicted of murder, Mother contains the kind of heartbreaking narrative that could easily make it an Oscar-contender here in the States. Much like Oldboy, Mother plays with the idea that knowledge can actually be the cause behind one’s suffering in their tireless pursuit of it, and is anchored by an incredible performance from Hye-ja. In fact, the film’s concluding moments are very much inspired by that of Oldboy, even if Joon-ho opts for what is pretty much the complete opposite resolution.

The Chaser 

One of the greatest cat-and-mouse thrillers ever made, The Chaser was released in 2008 to almost unanimous acclaim from critics and has already been green-lit for a remake. Warner Bros. purchased the remake rights to The Chaser for $1 million just months after the film hit theaters in South Korea, and everyone from Leonardo Dicaprio to screenwriter William Monahan (both of whom worked on The Departed, which was itself a remake of the Hong Kong gang thriller Infernal Affairs) have been briefly attached to the project. Thankfully, though, the remake seems to have hit a snag in development somewhere along the line.

While the prospect of seeing Leonardo Dicaprio star in something as truly violent and depraved as The Chaser is undoubtedly awesome, you’d be hard pressed to find a reason why this film should be remade. That its setting (the streets of Seoul) and restrained, realistic chase/fight scenes play an intricate part in the plot would render a remake all the more pointless for a moviegoing audience that repeatedly shells out their own money for a 150-minute Michael Bay ‘splosionfest. What? YOU DUG YOUR OWN GRAVES WITH THIS ONE, AMERICA.

The post ‘I Saw the Devil’ and Four Other Korean Movies That Hollywood Should Stay Away From appeared first on Screen Junkies.

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Oh God Yes: Chris Pratt, Sarah Silverman and BILL MURRAY to Kick Off SNL Season 40 [UPDATED] http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/oh-god-yes-chris-pratt-sarah-silverman-and-not-bill-murray-to-kick-off-snl-season-40-updated/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/oh-god-yes-chris-pratt-sarah-silverman-and-not-bill-murray-to-kick-off-snl-season-40-updated/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 18:55:17 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=264860 Nice try, Lorne, but this still doesn't make up for the firing of Brooks Wheelan.

The post Oh God Yes: Chris Pratt, Sarah Silverman and BILL MURRAY to Kick Off SNL Season 40 [UPDATED] appeared first on Screen Junkies.

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By Jared Jones

[UPDATE]

God damn it. I didn’t even get the story out before my hopes were dashed. Just like the Flight of the Conchords returning to HBO stuff, I knew news of Murray’s SNL return was too good to be true. TVline has now confirmed that, while Pratt and Silverman will in fact be hosting the first and second episodes of the 4oth season, respectively, it is unknown whether Murray will return to host this season.

But because I’m not about to waste a perfect good copy/paste job, here’s the original story with the proper addendums made.

*    *     *    *    * 

If you’re like me, you’re probably still reeling from the news that Brooks Wheelan was fired from Saturday Night Live after only one season last July and have vowed to boycott the program until he is reinstated. But on the off chance that you were too dense to appreciate his nostalgic tattoo-based musings and are therefore still watching SNL, you should probably know that the 40th season, which kicks of September 27th, has already prepared a killer lineup for its first three episodes.

Splitsider is reporting that Chris Pratt [and] Sarah Silverman, and (ahem) BILL FREAKING MURRAY have all signed on to host next season, with Murray potentially hosting the season premiere. 

While Pratt and Silverman are both brilliant choices in their own right — one starred in the highest-grossing movie of the summer, the other just won a freakin’ Emmy —  let’s not act like Bill Murray returning to SNL [Brooks Wheelan's firing] isn’t the prime story here. Bill Murray [Brooks Wheelan] is a goddamn comedy legend, whose 75 [5] IMDB acting credits dating back to 1973 [2011] include such infamous roles as Carl Spackler from Caddyshack and Dr. Peter Venkman from Ghostbusters  [Fighter #2 from Lose Yourself, Save Yourself and Barry from Stereotypically You]. It has been over 15 years 3 months since Murray [Wheelan] graced the SNL stage with his presence, and it’s about time.

With Murray’s return seemingly a lock, the only question now is, which of his iconic SNL characters would you like to see him bring back? Nick the Lounge Singer [Guy With Bad Tattoos]? Honker the Homeless Man [character not available]? Dick Lanky [character not available]?

The post Oh God Yes: Chris Pratt, Sarah Silverman and BILL MURRAY to Kick Off SNL Season 40 [UPDATED] appeared first on Screen Junkies.

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