Screen Junkies » Search Results » mall http://www.screenjunkies.com Movie Reviews & TV Show Reviews Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:46:38 +0000 en hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.3.1 Do Movies With Intentionally Misspelled Titles Always Suck? An Investigation http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/do-movies-with-intentional-misspellings-always-suck-an-investigation/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/do-movies-with-intentional-misspellings-always-suck-an-investigation/#comments Thu, 07 Aug 2014 17:18:03 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263828 You can tell a lot about the intentional misspelling of a word in a film — mainly, that it is poison and should be avoided at all costs.

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By Jared Jones

Just yesterday, we all learned that the title of the new, completely necessary Terminator film will be Terminator: Genisys. You see, it’s clever because the non-Terminator word in that title is normally spelled “genesis.” Apparently, the film’s assertion is that illiteracy, not technology, will be the cause of man’s ultimate undoing at the hands of our future robot overlords. It’s an interesting premise, I’ll give it that much.

As luck would have it, you can actually tell a lot about the intentional misspelling of a word in a movie title, band name, MMA fighter nickname or whathaveyou — mainly, that any person or product that opts for one is terrible and should be avoided at all costs. An intentionally misspelled movie title is like the shake of a rattlesnake’s tail, warning you that it would be stupid bordering on deadly to proceed any further with the thing you are looking at. A few prime examples…

Se7en

Well, my theory is off to a rough start, because David Fincher’s Se7en is an undeniably awesome film. Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, and a box with Gwyneth Paltrow‘s head in it is, like, exactly how I’d describe my dream vacation, you guys. That said, whoever chose to replace the “v” with the number 7 should have their head placed right beside Gwyneth’s in that box.

How am I even supposed to pronounce that? Se-seven-en? Sev-even? Sussudio?

It’s probably Sussudio. It’s always Sussudio.

Simon Sez

It took me a good half hour to realize that Simon Sez was not Double Team, that *other* late 90′s action movie starring Dennis Rodman. I probably should have realized that one of them co-starred Jean-Claude Van Damme while the other co-starred…Dane Cook?! That can’t be right. The timelines of fame don’t line up, and plus, there is no union on the Venn Diagram between Rodman and Cook fans.

This is ridiculous. We should all probably give this one a look…

Well, that’s definitely Dane Cook all right. In 30 seconds, I counted a Chewbacca impression, a dinosaur impression, and a dog impression. The man is truly the Michael Winslow of non police-themed comedy. And if you somehow make it past all that, you will find John Pinette (R.I.P), a Grey Poupon joke, and a villain who uses the phrase “Tea time!” to commence nuclear destruction. I am so goddamn depressed right now. Like, with humanity.

Antz

It’s bad enough that this movie was a cheap, transparent ripoff of A Bug’s Life which owed its creation to a grudge between movie studios, but if you were to ask me (which you are doing by virtue of reading this article), the most shameful atrocity Antz committed was that upon the English language.

Replacing an “s” with a “z” is neither, hip, chill, cool, or clever, and our country has arguably never recovered from the S to Z movement spurred by this film. I don’t care how important your main character is, he is not allowed to have an impact on the nomenclature of his species. What, are we all suppose to start calling ourselves Homobama Sapiens because Barry O’s in the White House? And do the people who created this bastard Bug’s Life abomination honestly expect to us pronounce the “z” as an actual “z”, making it sound as if we are buzzing in on a game show while discussing movies with our friends? And if they wanted that, why not make the movie about bees and call it Buzz?

There. In three seconds, I have come up with a better film than you, Dreamworks. Enjoy your studio that was built on a throne of lies.

eXistenZ

WHAT DID I JUST SAY, EXISTENCE?!!

This movie was actually OK though.

Click the “next page” link for more movie titles that were too hip for their own good…

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Get Those Sweaters Out Of Mothballs: Bill Cosby Is Returning To NBC http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/get-those-sweaters-out-of-mothballs-bill-cosby-is-returning-to-nbc/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/get-those-sweaters-out-of-mothballs-bill-cosby-is-returning-to-nbc/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 16:04:03 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263798 JUST MAKE IT LIKE 'THE COSBY SHOW', OK?

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You missed Bill Cosby. You didn’t even know you did, but you did. With his crescendos into that high-pitched voice, the dancing while the eyes roll upward, and the sweaters. Oh those, glorious sweaters. Come January you won’t have to subsist on late night TV Land reruns any more. Sony, NBC and The Coz have gotten together to bring NBC a multigenerational sitcom, starring the comedian.

The project will star Cosby as Jonathan Franklin, a grandfather who lives with his extended family, yada, yada, patriarch, etc.

It’s going to be the Cosby show with more people. That’s what this sounds like. The show will be written and produced by TV veteran Mike O’Malley and will likely stick to the multicamera format, so it sounds like they’re not going for anything terribly groundbreaking here. Take Cosby, put him in front of a camera, let him do stuff.

That’s how you make a hit show.

And here’s this in celebration:

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The Leftovers Recap, Episode 5: “Gladys” http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/the-leftovers-recap-episode-5-gladys/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/the-leftovers-recap-episode-5-gladys/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 21:49:15 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263487 The tl:dr version: Gloom, doom, and a good old fashioned stoning highlighted television's consistently most depressing show.

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By Jared Jones

It’s a testament to The Leftovers – or perhaps the skills of Mimi Leder, who directed last night’s episode, “Gladys” — that the show can still make me feel bad for a person who refused to help a fallen stranger when she is brutally stoned to death mere moments after doing so. Karmatic comeuppance* is my jam, yo, and toss in the somewhat Biblical twofer that Gladys a.k.a Cathy Geiss from 30 Rock met her demise via a good old fashioned stoning, and you’d typically have my bell ringing louder than a morbidly obese opsophagos at a Long John Silvers (Author’s note: Dennis Miller has been crashing at my place all week and sometimes hijacks my computer. I am sorry.).

Rather than fill me with the sardonic joy of Daria on a two-day pleasure cruise through Transylvania (God damn you, Dennis!), however, last night’s opening sequence somehow made me, an emotionless drone of a human that the Guilty Remnant would probably aspire to be, feel something. I don’t know if it was guilt or sorrow or plain anger, but it was something and I honestly resent The Leftovers for making me feel it.

Gladys’ untimely death, horrific as it may have been, was arguably the high point of the season in terms of levity for HBO’s The Leftovers, a show so goddamn dark and depressing that I often find myself wandering through a Hot Topic in search for a pick-me-up in the days after watching it. At the center of all this gloom and doom lies Sheriff Kevin Garvey, who in addition to dealing with an awol wife and a rebellious daughter ripped straight out of a sitcom starring Charlie Sheen, now has to deal with uproarious/murderous townsfolk, secretive “Feds” attempting to eliminate the GR entirely, and either incompetent or plain deceitful dry cleaners.

Even his name sounds depressing. Garvey. As in “Garvey, go fish that dead baby out of the river, will you?”

Beyond our initial reaction/revulsion, the mystery over who killed Gladys Geiss should serve as a compelling turn of events, I suppose. Except that, as Liv Tyler‘s character stated after discovering her body, it was only “a matter of time” before one of the cultists wound up dead. The Guilty Remnant has given us less than zero reasons to care about whether its members live or die, and even less insight into what exactly the cult’s endgame is. Other than “to feel nothing”, which I assume is a classic Lindelofian nod to the masochists like myself who actually watch this show. In either case, watching Gladys’ body engulfed by flames at the episode’s end did not register nearly as much as it probably should have. Bitch be dead. Nothing to see here, folks.

Actually, given the GR’s “feel nothing” agenda, it would be no stretch of the imagination to declare that Gladys was just as likely killed by some of her fellow GR members than by the angered townsfolk whose family photos the GR stole in last week’s episode. Pattis interaction with Gladys in the opening scene of the episode, in addition to her well-documented pattern of underhandedness, only reinforce this theory.

But back to Sheriff Garvey: Retriever of Waterlogged Dead Children. You see, ol’ Garvey is hoping that the people of Mapleton don’t declare an open season on the members of the GR, with his wife/soon to be ex-wife being one of them and all, so he tries to impose a curfew, to which the townspeople declare a unanimous “But, ‘Merica!” and overrule him. This upsets Kevin, who has himself fallen into such a deep depression that he completely forgets what to do when a pretty lady (Carrie Coon/”Nora Durst”) is obviously flirting with him at the dry cleaners. Or when his daughter’s pretty friend (Emily Meade/”Aimee”) entices him with the promises of pancakes in her smallest nighty.

Kevin’s game is undeniably weak, ye, which might be why his wife left him in the first place. Too soon? That was probably too soon.

Here’s my problem with The Leftovers, a show I have until now attempted to recap with 100% earnesty and seriousness: I don’t see how all the pieces are coming together, or more importantly, why they are. As with Lost, a show that will forever be used as a barometer for Lindelof’s works to come after it, I don’t know whether to place any emotional or intellectual investment in things like the ambiguity of the GR’s cause, or the absence of Kevin’s shirts, or the significance of Kevin’s repeated “Stop Short” moments in his car**, or just write them off as another Lindelofian thing that will be hinted at repeatedly but never actually resolved. My masochism has its limits, and Lindelof has pushed me beyond them before only to punish me for my loyalty. I should probably be praising his sadism, now that I think about it.

And just like with Lost, The Leftovers is too busy creating new mysteries to even attempt and resolve the old ones that have been compelling the narrative thus far. Old ones like: What is driving Liv Tyler’s character? Why are the GR members allowed to take “a day off?” Who is Dean the Dog Killer, and what is his place within Mapleton? How can Laurie be so empathetic one moment and unfeeling the next? How many times must we see Kevin violently jarred from his sleep to understand that he is not sleeping well? I call this American Horror Story Syndrome, and after a certain point, no amount of “Oh Shit!” moments can possibly do the buildup justice.

If this is all sounding incredibly cynical, it’s only because that’s precisely the mood that The Leftovers seems to want to extract from its audience (“We *are* the 99% Guilty Remnant!”). But as with every episode of the show thus far, “Gladys” was not without its fair share of well-captured moments. From Reverend Matt’s story about wanting to “bring the GR back to life” to the heartbreaking moment between Kevin and his daughter, there’s no denying The Leftovers ability to captivate when it needs to. If everything else about the show wasn’t wrapped in such obvious allegory and simultaneously confounding plotting, it’d be much a less tasking viewing experience.

By episode’s end, Laurie, Kevin, and the audience have been put through the emotional ringer. The former resisted the temptation to give into useless “emotion” and likely propelled herself into Gladys’ no. 2 position with the Guilt Remnant for doing so (no idea if she was actually involved in Gladys’ death, though). The latter has finally accepted that his wife is never coming back, and likely stole a bunch of people’s shirts because he is an occasionally (often) drunk asshole.

And yet, I am still intrigued. And yet, out of some diluted sense of loyalty, I still want to know what will happen to this group of mostly unsympathetic a-holes. Once again, I must give daps to The Leftovers for making me care whose particular a-hole it is and why it’s farting (to loosely borrow a phrase from a much smarter man than myself), despite their blatant insistence that I shouldn’t. It breeds the kind of masochistic viewing tendencies that I thought only reality television could.

*New band name, called it. 

**For those keeping track, those have happened as Kevin was saying “God Damn it!” and “funeral” so far. 

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Woman Hit By Car At Comic-Con ZombieWalk, Gets A Little Closer To Being Actual Zombie http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/woman-hit-by-car-at-comic-con-zombiewalk-gets-a-little-closer-to-being-actual-zombie/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/woman-hit-by-car-at-comic-con-zombiewalk-gets-a-little-closer-to-being-actual-zombie/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 16:03:33 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263467 This goes from upsetting to very upsetting when learning kids were scared by the fake zombies.

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It wouldn’t be Comic-Con unless someone got run over by a car. Normally, it’s just Twilight fans, or some guy dressed in a goofy costume, but it stings a little more when you learn it’s a 64 year-0ld woman. Fortunately, her injuries are not being reported as life-threatening, and the common thought is that she may have a broken arm.

And yes, she was participating in the ZombieWalk, in which people dress up like zombies and…walk.

She was hit by a 48 year-old deaf man driving with his deaf family, who were apparently very scared by the sudden presence of hundreds of zombies (JESUS), and his children’s reaction may have led to the crash. Ugh. It gets worse.

According to reports, the kids were freaking out by the presence of zombies, so despite the fact that the driver had to stay put to allow the throng of zombies to pass, he started to inch forward to get his kids out of there. The mob turned against him, punching windows and jumping on his hood (DOUBLE JESUS). No charges have been filed against the poor dad. Poor kids. Poor lady. Poor everyone.

 

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Yup, Quentin Tarantino Revealed At Comic-Con He Is Making ‘The Hateful Eight’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/yup-quentin-tarantino-revealed-at-comic-con-he-is-making-the-hateful-eight/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/yup-quentin-tarantino-revealed-at-comic-con-he-is-making-the-hateful-eight/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 15:49:50 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263463 Then it's settled.

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After lots of speculation and discussion on our end (see here, here, and here) Quentin Tarantino finally owned up to what we all assumed and admitted he’ll be making The Hateful Eight after all, leaked scripts be damned. The film will be an out-and-out western, as we knew all along.

So, we can stop the contrived speculation, and just start reporting developments. That’s good for those who don’t like writing and reading small pieces of conjecture or having to read into weird little developments in the world of QT.

Tarantino made the announcement during a panel for the upcoming Zorro-Django crossover comic, which Tarantino did so that he could control the mythology of Django without having to keep making movies. I think we can all get on board with that.

One of the most uproarious moments on the panel came when Tarantino was asked if he would ever make a film that wasn’t rated R.

“Fuck no,” he replied.

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How Many Of These 300 8-Bit Pop Culture Figures Do You Recognize? http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/how-many-of-these-300-8-bit-pop-culture-figures-do-you-recognize/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/how-many-of-these-300-8-bit-pop-culture-figures-do-you-recognize/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:26:42 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263405 16-bit would have been overkill.

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God bless Paul Robertson. On a day that’s normally brimming with niche Comic-Con news that is only newsworthy because it happened at Comic-Con, we’re given something a little more permanent. A little more fun. We’re given, courtesy of Mr. Robertson, an animator by day, 300 pop culture figures imagined as 8-bit NES-type characters.

Go through the following three pics and see how many you can get, then determine which one is the most obscure. BOOM. Carl Winslow. Top left of page 2.

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You Won’t Be Binge-Watching ‘Community’ On Yahoo http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/you-wont-be-binge-watching-community-on-yahoo/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/you-wont-be-binge-watching-community-on-yahoo/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:16:07 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=263401 Ok, maybe you will, but you're going to have to wait for one episode per week to be released.

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For a show that basically lived on the verge of being cancelled, Community sure does take up a disproportionately high percentage of entertainment news. For instance, in addition to the “Will it get cancelled/Will it be brought back?” stories, we’ve also got things like this:

Community will not be released all at once, as is normally the M.O. with original series on streaming services. Rather, Yahoo Screen will offer up the show once a week, for 13 weeks. To let us know who’s boss.

If that wasn’t already brutal enough to your instant gratification desires, the show also won’t be popping up until around Christmas-time, so take a few months to go outside, take a walk, maybe interact with some people face to face.

Or just stick around your computer and watch Community get cancelled and brought back like 15 times between now and then.

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Jake Gyllenhaal Is Looking For Work http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jake-gyllenhaal-is-looking-for-work/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/jake-gyllenhaal-is-looking-for-work/#comments Tue, 22 Jul 2014 18:14:27 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=263250 Help a brother out?

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If you’ve been cruising Craigslist and happened to come across a poor soul who looks like a gaunt Jake Gyllenhaal pretty much begging for work, don’t get your hopes up. That actually is Jake Gyllenhaal making fun of the less fortunate. The post is a viral ad for the actor’s next film, Nightcrawler, and reads, “My name is Louis Bloom. I’m looking for full-time employment. No job too big or too small. I have my own car and phone. Persistent, punctual, polite and hardworking. Will work nights.”

The actor dropped a good amount of weight to play an unemployed man whose quest to eat food that contains calories leads him into Los Angeles’s world of freelance crime journalism. You’d think that Peter Sarsgaard, flush with Flightplan royalties, would throw him a bone.

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The Screen Junkies Top Six: Damn Dirty Ape Movies http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-screen-junkies-top-six-damn-dirty-ape-movies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-screen-junkies-top-six-damn-dirty-ape-movies/#comments Thu, 10 Jul 2014 14:09:15 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262886 By Jared Jones The conjunction-heavy Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters this weekend and is all but guaranteed to dominate the box office. Why? Three words: Oldman, bazooka, monkeys....

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By Jared Jones

The conjunction-heavy Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theaters this weekend and is all but guaranteed to dominate the box office. Why? Three words: Oldman, bazooka, monkeys. But most importantly, monkeys. Dancing with toothbrushes, sniffing-their-own-butt-before-falling-out-of-a-tree monkeys.

Our cultural obsession with primates runs deep, ye, and goes far beyond the secret desire to fling feces at one another which WE ALL HAVE. To most of us, the monkey represents not just our primitive precursor on the evolutionary scale, but the carefree, childlike state of being we once possessed before life crushed it out of us. And while, scientifically speaking, there has never actually been a bad movie about and/or featuring apes, there are a few films in particular that rise above rest.

Which is why for our inaugural installment of The Screen Junkies Top Six — a new recurring column which previews an upcoming release by highlighting the greatest movies of its kind to come before it — we pay tribute to the greatest monkey movies of them all.

I swear to God, if even one of you dares point out that there is a difference between monkeys and apes before I’m done, I will turn this car around.

#6: The King Kong Franchise

Look, we all know that the King Kong movies are great (except Mighty Joe Young. F*ck Mighty Joe Young.) but I’ll be damned if I’m going to use this brief opportunity to talk about a bunch of movies you’d have to be an amoeba to not have seen by now. My personal favorite is the 1976 version starring Jeff Bridges and a prime Jessica Lange’s barely-clothed body. That waterfall scene where a puffy-faced Kong literally blowdries Dawn…I wouldn’t know what it felt like to be so turned on and simultaneously disgusted again until I saw Halle Berry bang Billy Bob Thornton in Monster’s Ball.

#5: Congo 

Nonsensical, overly long, and surprisingly dull for a movie that features silverback gorillas and lasers, Congo has nonetheless garnered a huge cult following for being classic “so bad it’s good” filmmaking. It’s the kind of movie that was destined to be discussed on the very excellent How Did This Get Made? podcast, and thankfully, it was. It’s also a movie that tries to pass off  ”communication diamonds” as something other than an idea plucked from the head of a small child who had been rendered comatose by his father’s baseball bat.

Was that too dark? It sure felt that way. The point is, Congo is an absolute trainwreck of a movie that has somehow earned a memorable place in the annals of film history despite its inherent ridiculousness.

#4: Link

In this movie’s grand finale, a super-intelligent orangutan dressed in people clothes triggers a gas leak explosion by lighting a cigar. The entire scene is set to carousel music. You can check out the entire film on Youtube right now. You are welcome.

#3: Every Which Way But Loose

If the idea of watching a young Clint Eastwood and an orangutan named Clyde bare-knuckle box their way across the country doesn’t sound appealing to you, we cannot be friends. Before I even knew that this movie existed, that last sentence was literally the context of about 95% of my dreams. Every Which Way But Loose takes your classic buddy comedy and swaps a in a monkey for the Nick Frost/Chris Farley role, which marks the only time in the history of words that David Spade has ever been tangentially compared to Clint Eastwood. For which I am deeply, deeply sorry.

Anyways, Eastwood beats people up, Clyde flips them off (see above), and the result is cinematic gold. Two years later, Turner and Hooch would rip off this idea and become another late-’80s hit for Tom Hanks, despite the fact that dogs can neither tear apart cars piece-by-piece nor flip some proper birdage.

#2: The Jungle Book 

Did you know that those greedy corporate fat cats over in Hollywood are planning a live-action remake of Dumbo? Or that it will be penned by the guy who wrote Transformers 2-4? This can only mean, of course, that a live-action Jungle Book is on the way to sweep up whatever shattered memories of our childhood remain after that atrocity finishes destroying them…

What’s that? You say they already made a live-action Jungle Book movie? And that it starred Jason Scott Lee? Welp…

#1: Dunston Checks In

Finally, a true classic of American cinema.

The IMDB page of Dunston Checks In describes the plot of the film as such:

Young boy befriends larcenous orangutan in luxury hotel.

Classic undersell, IMDB. Sure, DCI is about a boy and a monkey and the hotel-based hijinks they commit on a surface level, but whoever wrote that poorly-worded synopsis was clearly missing the film’s subtext. Dunston Checks In is more than just interspecies bubble baths and cake fights (although both those things do happen), playing with the themes of isolation, animal rights, and the importance of family over all else.

Anchored by an absolutely masterful Jason Alexander performance as a workaholic father trapped beneath an unrelenting bitch of a boss, Dunston Checks In is to the hotel business what Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle was to the meatpacking industry, and I am being dead serious about that. So if you haven’t seen Dunston Checks In by now, close your damn computer, hit up the nearest Blockbuster that still carries VHS, and start doing something with your life.

Honorable mentions: Monkey Shines, Tarzan, your mom’s sex tape 

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The 10 Most Badass Survival Films Ever http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-10-most-badass-survival-films-ever/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-10-most-badass-survival-films-ever/#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 12:45:42 +0000 bgoldstein http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262582 By the ScreenJunkies Staff Survival movies are inherently badass. When you’re faced with zombies, angry mobs, and the cruel forces of nature, you can either lie down and accept your...

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By the ScreenJunkies Staff

Survival movies are inherently badass. When you’re faced with zombies, angry mobs, and the cruel forces of nature, you can either lie down and accept your fate, or look Death in the eyes and say “Not today, buddy.” And so, in honor of The Purge: Anarchy (which hits theaters on July 18th) here are our ten all-time favorite survival flicks, in which ordinary men and women go to heroic lengths to save the most important life of all: their own.


Road Warrior — Mel Gibson reprises his role in this sequel to Mad Max, as the lone former cop tries to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, where gasoline is worth killing and dying over. There was a time when Gibson was one of the coolest movie stars out there and this movie — and it’s legendary climactic chase scene — is one of the reasons why.


Black Hawk Down — Ridley Scott directed an unflinching account of a real-life U.S. Army helicopter mission that turned into a disaster and a fight for survival in war-torn Somalia. Our advice: Don’t get too attached to the characters.


Deliverance It’s too bad the “squeal like a pig” scene is all most people remember about this movie (that and the “Dueling Banjos” scene), because it really is a tense and gripping movie about survival. Burt Reynolds was fantastic in this movie, and so were Jon Voight, Ned Beatty and Ronny Cox, as city boys who take a canoe trip in the Georgia wilderness, and aren’t exactly welcomed by the locals.


127 Hours — Danny Boyle’s 2010 classic is the true story of Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), who becomes trapped in a canyon while adventuring in Utah. When help doesn’t arrive, an increasingly delirious Ralston is forced to cut his own arm off — with a damn pocketknife — to save his own life. A grim but exhilarating tribute to the power of the human spirit.


Dawn of the DeadSurvivors of a zombie apocalypse are holed up in a shopping mall, using whatever they can find to survive. On one hand, it’s a subtle and surprisingly funny critique of unchecked consumerism. On the other hand, that helicopter blade scene is friggin’ sweet.


Warriors This cult-classic from the Seventies follows the efforts of the Warriors crew — wrongly framed for a gang leader’s murder — to get back to Staten Island by daybreak, while fending off attacks from other rival gangs, who all have their own unique visual aesthetics. It’s a guilty pleasure, for sure.


Cast Away Robert Zemeckis directed Tom Hanks in this story of a FedEx executive who lives by the clock and winds up spending years alone on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean. It’s funny, tense, and will bring you to tears over a lost volleyball.


The Edge As if surviving a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness weren’t bad enough, Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) and Bob Green (Alec Baldwin) are forced to fight a big damn Kodiak bear — and eventually each other. Gruesome maulings ensue. Filled with breathless expanses of the Alaskan wild and two incredible performances by Hopkins and Baldwin, the film is one of the most unforgettable wilderness survival movies ever.


AliveA rugby team crashes in the Andes and does the unthinkable to survive. Like 127 Hours, it’s an incredible true story of human beings who went to almost super-human lengths to stay, well, alive. As John Malkovich puts it in the opening scene, “Many people come up to me and say that had they been there they surely would have died. But it makes no sense, because until you’re in a situation like that, you have no idea how you’ll behave.”


Predator An elite team of commandos, composed of Hollywood hulks like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jessie Ventura, and Carl Weathers, is stalked in the jungles of Guatemala by a demented alien with the ability to turn invisible and who, apparently, has a jones for skinning people alive and hanging them upside down. As with almost every action movie starring the muscle-bound Schwarzenegger, the Governator is the only one left standing.

Did we leave out any of your favorite survival movies? Let us know on twitter @ScreenJunkies.

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Sherlock Fans, You Will Be Getting A Fourth Season AND A Special http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/sherlock-fans-you-will-be-getting-a-fourth-season-and-a-special/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/sherlock-fans-you-will-be-getting-a-fourth-season-and-a-special/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:23:39 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262639 The special comes first.

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American fans of British television are used to being jerked around a little bit. Entire series will run for a combined ten episodes, broken into two comically short seasons, with about two years in between. It makes Mad Men seem like it’s on a rush order.

Well, you can set your cynicism aside for Sherlock, which will be returning for a fourth season (of probably only three long episodes) and a special before that airs, or even shoots.

The special will adhere to the storyline and resolve some season 3 questions, so think of it more as an early first episode of season 4 than something standalone. You know, like you would normally think of a special.

The special begins filming early next year, and the season starts filming late next year. In the meantime, get reacquainted with the first 9 episodes. That should take you a day or so.

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Soundtrack Studies: ‘The O.C.’ (,Bitch) http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/soundtrack-studies-the-o-c-bitch/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/soundtrack-studies-the-o-c-bitch/#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 16:42:15 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262634 The most conservative backdrop for a TV show gets some indie rock.

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Historically, cinema was the medium that was meant to endure the march of time, whereas serial television had existed to capture the moment, chew it up, spit it out, and move on. And while HBO, and a dozen or so cable shows have shifted that paradigm, it still remains largely true.

More specifically in the realm of music, licensing current hits or even up-and-coming artists for inclusion in the first-run episodes is expensive. Doing so in reruns and for DVD sales has proven prohibitive time and time again for shows like MTV’s The State and The Wonder Years, to which the music was integral.

As TV became more endearing with shows like The Wire, Sex and the City, The Sopranos and a few other HBO offerings, the networks were slow to catch on. For every Lost, there were seven bad Lost rip-offs. And while ABC, NBC, and CBS generally stuck to their core demos of children, families, and the immeasurably old, Fox went after teens and the slightly more offbeat demo.

The O.C. was an offering that first came into the public consciousness during the famed 2004 MLB playoffs that had everyone watching as the Red Sox stole the pennant from the Yankees. The show looked pretty ridiculous, so in that regard, the previews and ads were an accurate representation of what we were in for.

While the efforts the producers made towards including and featuring music in the show were borderline herculean, the show itself wasn’t anything terribly special. It was a teen soap opera the likes of which we’d seen many times before, and haven’t seen so much of since (except maybe on MTV, where music has become incidental, ironically). A guy moves to Orange County. There are a lot of storylines. Everyone’s good-looking. The end.

I don’t want to sound dismissive, but if you want to read more about the plot of the The O.C., click here. Better yet, click here and do something better with your time. But we should talk about the music.

The O.C. creator and showrunner Josh Schwartz isn’t a stupid guy and was certainly aware that he wasn’t treading new ground with this show. So in an effort to have a hook, he claims he “always intended that music be a character on the show.”

That’s just about the most description you can give, but it’s also fairly true. The attention that the music commanded on the show far exceeded that which any character warranted. The demographic was suggestible (I mean, they were watching The O.C. after all), and the introduction and presentation of countless acts and artists, both live and non-diegetic, gave the show something to hang its hat on then and now.

The focus of the show was indie rock. And while it would be fun and dismissive to say that the show’s take on indie rock was the dull, focus-group tested type of music that you would expect a committee to approve, the truth is that it was an impressive undertaking from a mainstream show. To give an idea of the depth and breadth of the show, check out the exhaustive inventory here. That’s no small effort.

It’s easy to take a list this large and mold it to your own thoughts or expectations, but the truth is that this demonstrates that the show was very dedicated to giving new artists (and old ones) a platform, and to expand the tastes of primtetime teenagers. Pretty noble goals. And if it served as a point of distinction among the muddled teen-friendly TV landscape, all the better.

Here’s a very large, very helpful playlist that shows the scope of the curation:

Sure, there’s stuff to ridicule there, but that’s the cost of doing this type of business. You want to put nine Guster songs on your show? Fine. Whatever. Go for it. But they also put in MULTIPLE songs by lthe likes of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Eagles of Death Metal, Royskopp, and The Walkmen. There’s lots of good music here. There’s lots of bad music here. There’s lots of MUSIC here. And that’s pretty virtuous in and of itself.

The issue I take isn’t with the music being good or bad. Catering to a primetime audience over several seasons, you’ll have to cast a wide net in that regard. The problem I have is that the characters in this show would never listen to this type of music. I bitched about a lack of authenticity torpedoing a previous film and soundtrack in Juno, and it happens again here. These people would not listen to this music. They don’t go to clubs to see up-and-coming indie acts. That’s not what people in Orange County do. That’s usually not what teenagers ANYWHERE do. They listen to obnoxious hip-hop and sappy songs that lends themselves to blowjobs in cars.

Which makes sense. Because hip-hop and sexual half-measures are things that teenagers like. Even the rich white ones in this show. So overlaying very progressive indie rock (at least by mainstream standards) against such a trite context doesn’t do the show, or ultimately the soundtrack, any favors. Though it doesn’t nullify the effort. I mean, could you imagine how bad the show would have been if it had been about music-savvy, painfully hip teenagers? It would have been like a hipster Dawson’s Creek. My eyes are bleeding just thinking about that.

So we’re all grateful that the producers and creators practiced some restraint there. I suppose we should just be happy that the powers that be gave us a familiar drama with good/great/lots of music rather than a familiar drama with nothing interesting of note. But it’s also not unreasonable to have wanted to more to elevate our enjoyment of both.

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Frank Darabont Will Probably Be Directing ‘Snow White And The Huntsman 2′…But With No Zombies http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/frank-darabont-will-probably-be-directing-snow-white-and-the-huntsman-2-but-with-no-zombies/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/frank-darabont-will-probably-be-directing-snow-white-and-the-huntsman-2-but-with-no-zombies/#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 15:51:48 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262619 This one will be like 'Hunstman: The Move (featuring Snow White)'.

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I don’t think anyone would have normally expected a Snow White re-telling to include mindless, brain-hungry zombies…until Frank Darabont‘s name starts getting tossed around in relation to it. Darabont, who REALLY made a name for himself by directing The Shawshank Redemption and other thoughtful fare, is better known these days as the creator of The Walking Dead who got fired acrimoniously.

Well, after Mob City didn’t work out so well for him. he’s looking to go a more time-tested and secure route: Do stuff that Disney has made popular. More specifically, getting behind the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, a retelling that paired Kristen Stewart with Thor‘s Chris Hemsworth.

This time around, it’s believed that the film will focus more on the Huntsman, because who really wants to spend 90 minutes with Kristen Stewart, all twitchy and tired looking…

The film will be out sometime in 2016, assuming there isn’t a zombie apocalypse by then.

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Catch The Trailer For The Next Brad Pitt WWII Film, ‘Fury’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/catch-the-trailer-for-the-next-brad-pitt-wwii-film-fury/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/catch-the-trailer-for-the-next-brad-pitt-wwii-film-fury/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 19:00:20 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=262607 Finally, someone is making a movie about WWII!

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Brad Pitt, like so many other men approaching 50, seems to be really getting into World War II. A few years back, he starred in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds, and now he’s taking the lead in the less-ensembly Fury.

Fury is written and directed by David Ayer, who has experience with similar heavy fare like Training Day, End of Watch, and Harsh Times so this should fall in his wheelhouse, save for the fact that there are no cops.

Nonetheless, Brad Pitt normally has a good eye for projects, and this has all the trappings of a pretty strong film. Take a look at how the greatest generation lived.

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Zombie Aubrey Plaza Behaves More Erratically Than The Real Aubrey Plaza http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/zombie-aubrey-plaza-behaves-more-erratically-than-the-real-aubrey-plaza/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/video/zombie-aubrey-plaza-behaves-more-erratically-than-the-real-aubrey-plaza/#comments Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:17:48 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?post_type=video&p=262581 Dead chicks, man.

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Storming an awards show stage and sheepishly tugging a trophy out of Will Ferrell’s hands is small potatoes compared to Aubrey Plaza’s behavior after she returns from the dead in Life After Beth. In this generation’s Idle Hands, Plaza and Dane DeHaan play a young couple trying to keep it all together when her resurrection turns her into an easily-angered man-eater. It’s bad enough to have a girlfriend who makes scenes in public but then to also have her eating people and zombie hunters trying to shoot her in the head is just over the line.  That could potentially get you banned from Waffle House. Dane DeHaan‘s character needs to reevaluate where his relationship with a dead person is heading.

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The 7 Greatest Films That Took Place Entirely on Trains http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-7-greatest-films-that-took-place-entirely-on-trains/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/the-7-greatest-films-that-took-place-entirely-on-trains/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 17:04:17 +0000 Jared Jones http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262526 By Jared Jones After a year-long creative dispute with Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein — the man Gary Oldman would likely refer to as Hollywood’s H.J.I.C (Head Jew in Charge) —...

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By Jared Jones

After a year-long creative dispute with Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein — the man Gary Oldman would likely refer to as Hollywood’s H.J.I.C (Head Jew in Charge) Bong Joon-Ho’s Snowpiercer is finally set to receive a limited theatrical release here in the States this weekend. This should come as thrilling news to fans of Ho’s previous films, 2006’s epic monster flick The Host and 2009’s similarly excellent Mother, as well as the rapidly increasing number of Americans with train fetishes. As someone who lies firmly in both camps (emphasis on firmly), I quite literally could not be more aroused excited.

Snowpiercer is essentially the story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott reimagined in the ice-age dystopia of 2031, only swap the Cleveland Avenue bus for a train carrying the Earth’s only remaining inhabitants and Rosa Parks for the Flame On guy. If that didn’t sell you on this movie, I don’t know what you’re even doing here. In any case, Snowpiercer got me thinking long and hard (also, firm) about other train-based movies, which can only mean that I am about to rank the ones I can remember in descending order for you because Internet.

#7 – Unstoppable

Denzel Washington stars as a know-it-all, smooth-as-jazz train engineer paired with, get this, a fresh-faced white dude on the first day of his new job. Ropes are shown, wise is cracked. Not before long, ol’ Denzel and his newbee partner are forced to partake in a suicide mission to catch a runaway train carrying more deadly chemicals than George W. Bush could dream up as an excuse to invade a Middle Eastern country (topical). Hijinks and ‘splosions ensue.

#6 – Night Train

Leelee Sobieski might be the worst actress in the history of the world, but she has really nice boobs and this movie was actually kind of decent. Lovecraft-ian, even. Three strangers find a dead body on a train that happens to be in possession of a butt load of diamonds, or maybe they’re emeralds, it’s not really important. Anyway, they all agree to do the logical thing and chop said dead guy into pieces while killing off anyone who dares question them. Co-starring Steve Zahn and the incomparable Danny Glover.

#5  The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

Fun fact: The guy who directed this movie went on to direct Jaws 4: The Revenge, which is quite possibly the stupidest film ever made.  

#4 – The Lady Vanishes

Yesterday I witnessed a shirtless teenager sporting no less than five teardrop tattoos walk into a convenience store and attempt to steal a bag of Cheetos by smuggling them in his ass. I know this because, for whatever reason, the kid’s pants were belted around his lower thighs in what I can only assume was an act of defiance against both the societal norms of dress code and the concept of gravity. Anyways, the kid tried to make a run for it when he saw that the owner had also taken exception to him, and literally tripped over his own pants before being tackled by the owner.

What I’m saying is that I wish we could go back to the days when everyone dressed as classy as the people in Alfred Hitchcock movies. Even homeless dudes had an evening suit back then. It was a simpler, better time, and somewhere out there, there is a 15-year-old picking cheese crumbles out of his ass hair that agrees with me.

#3 – Snakes on a Train

Full disclosure: I have not seen this movie. I have, however, read the film’s plot synopsis on its Wikipedia page, which I will now repeat to you verbatim:

“Although taking the same basic idea from Snakes on a Plane (lots of deadly snakes loose on a claustrophobic, high speed means of transport), the background story of how the snakes end up on the train is completely different.

In the movie, writer Eric Forsberg created a woman who has been put under a Mayan curse which causes snake eggs to hatch inside her belly and eat their way out. In order to recover the “lost pieces” of herself (the snakes), she must travel to Los Angeles where a powerful Mayan shaman can lift the curse. She takes the snakes along with her in small jars. While on the train, bandits attack her, allowing the snakes to escape and endanger the rest of the passengers.

Eventually, and inexplicably, she herself transforms into a gigantic snake and swallows the moving train whole.

Six passengers managed to escape unharmed and one of them performs magic to make her vanish. However one girl is shown to have been unknowingly bitten, suggesting the curse will remain.”

To recap: Mayan shamans, magic, and snakes eating trains. WHERE YOU AT NOW, HITCHCOCK?!

#2 – Under Siege 2: Dark Territory

By far the easiest selection of this list, Under Siege 2: Dark Territory sees Steven Seagal return as Navy cook-turned killing machine Casey Ryback and take on a group of international terrorists who hijack the train he happens to be traveling on with his niece. You know, kind of like how a group of terrorists hijacked the submarine he happened to be serving on in the first film. In any case, Dark Territory is the sort of gritty, powerful action flick that actually dares ask the tough questions, like “Why would a group of highly-skilled terrorists not check the manifesto of the train they were about to hijack to ensure that a counter-terrorism specialist was not on board?” But that’s just for the film scholars to decide when dissecting this masterpiece in 2025.

I love how they refer to Segal’s character as “the cook from Under Siege” in this trailer, as if to say, “This character was so unmemorable in the first incarnation that using his name to hype the second would accomplish nothing.” You gotta appreciate that kind of honesty.

But seriously, this movie is awesome. The only reason I didn’t rank it #1 was due to the fact that it features Kurtwood Smith yet a distinct lack of foots in asses.

#1 – Source Code

Believe it or not, there aren’t that many great films which take place entirely on a train. I blame texting (also, airplanes). Hidden beneath the smoke of such dumpster fires as Atomic Train, Death Train, and the band Train, however, is Source Code, a solid little sci-fi thriller directed by Moon’s Duncan Jones and starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

The plot of Source Code is incredibly similar to this year’s Edge of Tomorrow, in that Gyllenhaal plays an army soldier (pilot) forced to relive the same scenario over and over until he stops some terrorists from blowing up a train with their Tesseract or what the f*ck ever. While some critics have claimed that the film veers toward the overly sentimental with its conclusion, most agree that Source Code is ultimately a great popcorn flick that manages to be entertaining *and* thought-provoking. Movie-going audiences obviously agreed, as the film grossed nearly $150 million worldwide on a $32 million budget. HEAR THAT, MICHAEL BAY?! WE CAN HANDLE THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS, YOU WALKING CAN OF AXE BODY SPRAY.

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Nathan Fillion To Wink At The Camera In ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/nathan-fillion-to-wink-at-the-camera-in-guardians-of-the-galaxy/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/nathan-fillion-to-wink-at-the-camera-in-guardians-of-the-galaxy/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 19:51:37 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262454 Making nerd dreams come true.

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Marvel has finally heard your cries to put Nathan Fillion in one of their things. Although, not in the role you’d want him and in an extremely small dose. After the actor, who would make a great Ant-Man, hinted that he might appear in Guardians of the Galaxy, director James Gunn confirmed that, yes, Fillion shows up and does stuff in the movie. Gunn tweeted that Fillion “has a very small fun cameo he did as a favor to me.”

There you have it, nerds. You persisted and kinda got what you wanted. Now, let’s get to work on Neil Patrick Harris as Doctor Strange.

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Fox To Pile Onto The Superhero Heap With ‘Malignant Man’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/fox-to-pile-onto-the-superhero-heap-with-malignant-man/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/fox-to-pile-onto-the-superhero-heap-with-malignant-man/#comments Mon, 23 Jun 2014 15:43:24 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262437 They might wanna work on the name.

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Fox hasn’t gotten QUITE as busy as some of the other studios with its superhero roster of films, but what it lacks in quantity, it might be going for in quality. Since Fox doesn’t have a Marvel or DC at its disposal, it’s going with the smaller, dare I say “grittier” adaptations of graphic novels.

Most recently, Fox has announced that it will be telling the story of Malignant Man, a dude who’s diagnosed with terminal cancer, only to find that the tumor is actually a parasite that gives him super powers. Fun for the whole family, no?

The film version will likely be directed by James Wan, who is currently hard at work on Fast & Furious 7.

If you’re excited about this project, you may want to take a breath, though. It’s currently not slated until 2017.

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The Film Cult Presents: Bedknobs and Broomsticks http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/262393/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/262393/#comments Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:28:57 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262393 The Film Cult Presents: Bedknobs and Broomsticks! The best way to fight the Nazis? How about a magic bed knob, a con artist, and an army of dead knights!

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Confession time: when I was a child I wanted to be British. Well, what can one expect? With famous film adaptations of children’s literature such as Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, and Winnie the Pooh, how could any Disney doused young person not desire to be English? I grew up in the Southern California suburbs. I wanted double-decker buses, monarchy, and magic. When I finally got to England and wardrobes didn’t lead to Narnia and nannies didn’t fly, I was heartbroken. I had to fall in love with new things about England: the wit, the countryside, the history. But before that transition, one of the movies that greatly fostered my childhood Anglophilia was Bedknobs and Broomsticks. Not among the most famous of childhood fantasy movies, it’s garnered a cult following in the forty-plus years since its release. Let’s take a look at it, shall we?

International icon Angela Lansbury is Eglantine Price, your average spinster living in wartime England. She has a cat named Cosmic Creepers, picks up broomstick-sized packages in the village, and is undergoing a step-by-step course in witchcraft. To hopefully aid the war effort, she’s been studying under the remote tutelage of a man by the name of Emelius Browne, the headmaster of the Correspondence College of Witchcraft. And as so many did during World War II, Ms. Price has reluctantly allowed three displaced children into her home. There is the oldest son Charlie, middle-sister Carrie, and youngest boy Paul.

Both children and guardian are skeptical of each other at first, especially after the children see her crash land the aforementioned broomstick in the middle of the night. After a few more parlor tricks, Ms. Price offers the children (to shut them up more than anything else) an enchanted bed knob. A few twists and an incantation will transport the bed, and whomever is on it, to wherever they desire. Bad luck befalls Ms. Price when her correspondence with Mr. Browne is swiftly brought to a halt. Determined to find out the rest of the lessons, and to give him a piece of her mind, Ms. Price instructs Paul, with whom she’s entrusted the bed knob, to fire up the bed to take them all to Mr. Browne. In the movie’s most poignant scene, as the children and Ms. Price ready the bed for travel, skeptic Charlie doesn’t believe the bed will go anywhere. Ms. Price sings him the eternally relevant “The Age of Not Believing.” As an adult, I can’t say I didn’t get a little misty-eyed at rehearing it after so many years.

After discovering Mr. Browne is a con artist who tramps around Portobello Road, it’s pretty clear the only thing left for them to do is find the rest of the book from which he was getting his lessons.  They succeed, and it’s glorious. Not only is the Portobello Road sequence one of the most underrated musical numbers in film history, the most famous of the film’s songs, The Beautiful Briny Sea, has actually become a classic. Angela Lansbury even sung it at Emma Thompson’s house the children and parents all in tears.

The make-shift family travels to a magical, animated island to search for the spell of substitutiary locomotion, the ability to make inanimate objects move. The spell is on the star that hangs around a king lion’s neck. Unable to bring it into this world, Paul, who is magical in his own right, saves the day when the words are written in his comic book. In a glorious climax, Ms. Price brings to life an entire army of knights’ armor and quashes the invasion of the Nazis. However, in so doing, she loses her power.

 

This movie is wonderful for so many reasons. First, as hinted at before, this isn’t a movie about the nuclear family. It’s about the family you end up with. A spinster, a con artist, and three evacuated siblings end up forming a bond that is as close as blood family. Second, the theme of the film’s movie is that the smallest of efforts can help the larger cause. Ms. Price wants to help England in her own way, and if that’s through actual witchcraft, then so be it. Everyone does there part. And third, this movie is steeped in pagan ritual. Not once is Christ or Christianity mentioned in the film. The spell given for substitutiary locomotion is engraved around a pentagram. Ms. Price is a witch, full stop. She rides a broom, has a black cat, and flies against the moon. None of the characters in this movie are hung up on Christian values.

Too often compared to Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks has never gotten the true attention it deserves. In fact, The Beautiful Briny Sea was a Mary Poppins throw away song. The Sherman brothers did the rest of the music as well. There is no grand plan to get the children and their father back together, no snappy magical nanny who can step in and out of chalk drawings. Maybe not the most famous of Disney’s movies, the message of Bedknobs and Broomsticks is still as simple as taking a white rabbit out of a hat: “You must face the age of not believing, doubting everything you ever knew, until at last you start believing there’s something wonderful in you.”

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Anna Kendrick Loaning Her Oscar Cred To ‘Trolls’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/anna-kendrick-loaning-her-oscar-cred-to-trolls/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/anna-kendrick-loaning-her-oscar-cred-to-trolls/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 17:06:03 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262320 It's like a ninety-minute version of the slowest part of 'Frozen'.

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Sadly this is not another entry in the Troll film saga. Having found massive success animating creepy, small, cloying things in the Despicable Me films, Dreamworks will double-down and next turn their attention to Trolls, a film based on the Olsen twin-like troll dolls that have reemerged as a toy fad every other decade since the ’60s like the herpes of the toy world. The Wrap reports that Anna Kendrick will lead the voice cast. She will play “Poppy, the relentlessly upbeat princess at the center of Trolls, a fun-filled adventure that will reveal the story behind the beloved, colorful nature of the Trolls‘ trademark, gravity-defying hair.”

If that origin is just hairspray that will be a bit of a disappointment.

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Lovable Rascal Bill Murray Now Photobombing Engagement Photos http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/lovable-rascal-bill-murray-now-photobombing-engagement-photos/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/lovable-rascal-bill-murray-now-photobombing-engagement-photos/#comments Thu, 12 Jun 2014 16:59:52 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262229 He just shows up places. Like a friendly Jason Voorhees.

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Normally when a boozy old coot invades your personal space it’s a bad thing, but there’s something about knowing Bill Murray could walk into your home at any moment makes the world a more magical place. Because Bill Murray can do whatever he wants. He can crash your party, your wedding, or your karaoke room. He’s probably allowed to cook in restaurants too. That is the charm of Bill Murray. Now he’s crashing engagement photos as a photographer at Fia Forever Wedding Photography explains.

It all started with an innocent little engagement shoot in downtown Charleston with our lovely couple Ashley Donald & Erik Rogers. We were roaming the streets of downtown Charleston (the most romantic city in the country, btw) doing their engagement pictures… and most of the time when I have an attractive couple, you get to hear all sorts of noises around you – from whistles, to “you look hottttt” to “congratulations!” – I set the couple down on that little staircase to get ready for a shot and I hear people talking in the back and as I’m looking through the lens, the couple seems stunned and distracted… I think to myself – oh great, someone is bothering them – I turn around and I see Mr. Murray standing there with his shirt pulled up and belly proudly on display which he is patting pretty loudly in an attempt to make the couple laugh – Needless to say I was stunned and I invited Mr. Murray to join the couple for a quick shot – He obliged and congratulated them and went on his way… leaving behind an extremely happy couple and this photo that will be forever remembered by this couple (and us!!!).

Jokes on them. The three of them are now legally engaged. They’re going to make some cute kids.

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George R. R. Martin Wants More ‘Game Of Thrones’ Just Like You http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/george-r-r-martin-wants-more-game-of-thrones-just-like-you/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/george-r-r-martin-wants-more-game-of-thrones-just-like-you/#comments Wed, 11 Jun 2014 19:51:32 +0000 Wookie Johnson http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=262198 He feels you.

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My feeling is that Game of Thrones should not be allowed to take breaks between seasons. It’s a show that we all want so badly that it should just be on all year-round because any hiatus is too painful. While he doesn’t completely agree with my extreme plan, George R. R. Martin knows where I’m coming from.

Martin took another writing break to sit down with the NY Times and discuss the phenomenon born from beneath his sea captain hat. He also spoke about how a larger episode order would improve the HBO series. “With 13 episodes, we could include smaller scenes that we had to cut, scenes that make the story deeper and richer.” Hopefully those scenes wouldn’t be two people walking around Belfast. We have plenty of those scenes already.

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George R.R. Martin Might Be Piling An Eighth ‘Song Of Ice And Fire’ Book http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/george-r-r-martin-might-be-piling-an-eighth-song-of-ice-and-fire-book/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/george-r-r-martin-might-be-piling-an-eighth-song-of-ice-and-fire-book/#comments Wed, 04 Jun 2014 14:57:25 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261994 Maybe make the last novel about a party that the characters throw, so it's less essential to the story arc?

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It’s good to know that even the author of Game of Thrones and it’s ancillary books gets confused sometime. George R.R. Martin, who has been doing God knows what instead of writing those damn books, had originally planned to do one book for each of the seven kingdoms. But then, for reasons that we can’t really ascertain, having not read all of the antecedent books, there’s an eighth kingdom.

So that means, under Martin’s current bizarre sense of obligation to every kingdom, an eighth book. Which means the series goes on.

Normally, this would be welcome news, but the fact that Martin is 65 years old and not a picture of health means that it just increases the likelihood the guy could die before finishing the story, as HBO is burning through the books at about a rate of one per season.

Maybe, turn the last few into a graphic novel, George?

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Soundtrack Studies: ‘Clueless’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/soundtrack-studies-clueless/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-lists/soundtrack-studies-clueless/#comments Tue, 03 Jun 2014 19:31:56 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261972 This film has an appearance by an ageless Paul Rudd and a soundtrack with Radiohead. It's very blessed.

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Amy Heckerling demonstrated in her direction of Fast Times at RidgemontHigh (a film that, bafflingly, isn’t known at all for its soundtrack) that she is able to take a snapshot of youth at a very specific time period, and nail the intricacies of that moment in time, all while conveying a story that endures far beyond the plaid skirts, tight jeans, malls, and Jeeps.

Revisiting the Clueless soundtrack, which was a favorite of mine at the time of its release, which coincided with my foray into high school, I remembered why I liked it almost instantly. Despite being somewhat “edgy,” it never strays from its pleasantness. The same can be said for the film, but not so much for Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which dives into darker subject matter.

So when we accompany Alicia Silverstone, Breckin Meyer, Brittany Murphy, Jeremy Sisto, and Paul Rudd (PAUL RUDD!) on this ambling little tale, we’re bombarded with cuteness that helps sell the humor, rather than undermine it. For instance, Cher’s “date” with her gay classmate could have been painful, but instead of focusing on the issue at hand, we’re myopically focused on Cher trying to overachieve on her date, failing every step of the way, then walking away from it baffled.

The cuteness (Cher’s over-the-top effort) combined with the mild, mild edge (a gay teenager in 1995) lifts Clueless into a relatable teenage experience, but much more fun. And in Beverly Hills.

So what we get to accompany that logline musically is a soundtrack that contains at least one song to satisfy everyone at the party. However, as I mentioned in the Judgment Night write-up, trying to make everyone happy with one album is normally a great way to piss everyone off. However, just as with the film, the edge is sanded down so that the shape remains the same, just with no sharp corners.

Here’s the track listing for this cuddly little soundtrack:

The whole thing really makes you want to dance. Even the acoustic version of Fake Plastic Trees by Radiohead. Though that makes me dance because I’m elated by the fact that Radiohead was once a band trying to make it, and appearing on soundtracks to Alicia Silverstone movies. But mostly, the bubble gumminess of it all is the charm. The Mighty Mighty Bosstones are playing a warehouse party in the film with the imminently sing-along-able “Where Did You Go?” The Muffs take on the breezy “Kids in America.” The Counting Crows doing whatever the hell it was that they did in the 90’s. Supergrass continuing to confuse me with a band name too similar to Superdrag. Etc.

And a Coolio song as a minor plot point in the film. Even bands that don’t make an appearance on the OST manage to make an appearance, as with Elton’s adorably dated “I left my Cranberries CD in the quad.”

Whatever, Elton. GOD!

"Rollin' with the homies"

There isn’t some grand thesis underlying this soundtrack. I remember it fondly and wanted to revisit it. So I did, and was relieved to find it still held up as well as I hoped it would.

Even though Radiohead was still a hungry band at this point, before they started giving away their albums for “whatever people felt like paying,” they had still demonstrated taste and talent with Pablo Honey and The Bends. So unless you think you’re better than fuckin’ Radiohead, you should give the Clueless soundtrack a re-listen.

If you’re still considering whether or not you’re better than Radiohead, let me accelerate the process. You’re not. You’re far, far worse than Radiohead, and you always will be.

Thanks for your time.

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Lupita Nyong’o And Brienne From ‘Game Of Thrones’ Join The ‘Star Wars’ Cast http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/lupita-nyongo-and-brienne-from-game-of-thrones-join-the-star-wars-cast/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/lupita-nyongo-and-brienne-from-game-of-thrones-join-the-star-wars-cast/#comments Mon, 02 Jun 2014 16:55:17 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261931 Unfortunately, John Travolta wasn't there to completely butcher her name at the announcement.

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Even though they’ve been filming for a couple weeks, the producers of Star Wars aren’t ready to let the casting rumors and hype die down just yet. Today, news came out that Lupita Nyong’o will be joining the cast. Because it’s a J.J. Abrams project, and those projects are super-secret, we don’t know the plot of the film or the role Nyong’o will play in it.

We’ll also be getting Gwendoline Christie, who plays the giant warrior Brienne in Game of Thrones. My guess is that she’ll be painted black and portray the Death Star, but my guesses are normally terrible.

The movie will premiere in December of 2015, which will probably be about the time come to terms with the fact that Brienne, along with every other Game of Thrones character, has been fed to bears by Littlefinger.

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Hulu Is ‘In Conversations’ About Picking Up ‘Community’ For 13 Episodes http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/hulu-is-in-conversations-about-picking-up-community-for-13-episodes/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/hulu-is-in-conversations-about-picking-up-community-for-13-episodes/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 16:46:57 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261866 "In conversations" is a formal way of saying, "Don't hold your breath."

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Even though it had been circling the drain for most of its five seasons, the reality that Community is really, finally cancelled was beginning to sink in for most of its slavishly devoted fans. But that’s all over now, as Hulu has announced they’re speaking with Sony Pictures Television to bring back the show for 13 more episodes.

In essence, the show, its fans, and its critical acclaim would all serve legitimize Hulu from “the streaming site” to a real, actual network, much as Netflix has been doing with its content.

Being “in conversations” isn’t a very advanced stage of development, so this should provide just enough hope to Community fans that they get their hearts broken. It’s sort of like spitballing the idea around while playing Nerf basketball in a boardroom. Not exactly a legally binding arrangement.

However, it’s remarkable, in the wake of this announcement, how close the little show that could is to its lofty goal of six seasons and a movie. If Hulu moves, they could just be one movie away.

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Adam Sandler Said He Will Probably Never Host ‘SNL’ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/adam-sandler-said-he-will-probably-never-host-snl/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-news/adam-sandler-said-he-will-probably-never-host-snl/#comments Thu, 29 May 2014 16:34:22 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261862 So there are some things he says "no" to, apparently.

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During an appearance on Norm MacDonald‘s podcast, Adam Sandler said he didn’t think he would ever host Saturday Night Live, saying that he was “slow” now, and he didn’t “know how good it would be.” Well, those are both very valid concerns to a normal person, but they sound like contrived excuses from the man who brought us Jack and Jill.

So if there were some of you out there, staring at the TV in anticipation, with a little pennant that said “Adam Sandler!” you’ll just have to get your fix from one of his terrible films, because you’re not going to see him return to his roots.

While it wasn’t discussed on the podcast, it warrants mentioning that Adam Sandler was fired from Saturday Night Live in 1995, so there could still be some bad blood there, even though he’s gone on to make billions of dollars kissing Paul Blart.

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E!’s ‘Chelsea Lately’ To End In August, Leaving Chelsea Handler A Free Agent http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/es-chelsea-lately-to-end-in-august-leaving-chelsea-handler-a-free-agent/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/tv/tv-news/es-chelsea-lately-to-end-in-august-leaving-chelsea-handler-a-free-agent/#comments Wed, 28 May 2014 22:43:55 +0000 Penn Collins http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261855 Chelsea currently has no plans beyond then.

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After seven years of being an unlikeable talk-show host, Chelsea Handler will be exiting E! n August, a few months before her contract ends. Why the sudden hurry? Well, Chelsea Lately has been falling off pretty rapidly in the ratings department, having fallen off about 33% from where she was in 2010, way back when people hadn’t gotten sick of her.

Alas, here we are. Chelsea Handler is a somewhat bankable property, but probably not as a late-night flagship for a large cable network, and almost certainly not for a broadcast network. She rubs people, including, for the sake of full disclosure, this writer, the wrong way, and talked tons of shit about her current network, E!, to the point that it likely serves as a giant red flag for any prospective networks.

Also, she was involved in a romantic relationship with 50 Cent. That warrants mentioning for some reason.

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The Film Cult Presents: Hanna http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/the-film-cult-presents-hanna/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/movies/movie-review/the-film-cult-presents-hanna/#comments Fri, 16 May 2014 17:54:11 +0000 Philip Harris http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261696 Warning! Spoilers Ahead! I don’t normally review movies this recent, but having just seen it appear on another website’s list of ten movies one may have overlooked in the last...

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Warning! Spoilers Ahead!


I don’t normally review movies this recent, but having just seen it appear on another website’s list of ten movies one may have overlooked in the last several years, I thought I’d give Hanna some due diligence, as I believe/pray/hope it will become a cult classic in years to come. It certainly deserves cult film status. While not a blockbuster, it’s still considered a financial success, having brought in a worldwide total of $63,782,078. While the movie’s numbers are solid, the fact remains many still have never even heard of or seen this film, which is disheartening because I think it’s one of the best films made in the last five years.

The premise is your classic sixteen-year-old girl who lives in the woods with her dad and has been trained as a total bad-ass ninja then is told she must meet her dad in Berlin after he alerts the CIA to their whereabouts. Hanna is also told that a woman named Marissa will try to kill her, so she better have been paying attention during all those karate and hunting lessons. Well, everything goes to plan, and maybe this is the only flaw in the movie: the big “reveal” is seen from a million miles away and everything expected to happen generally does. But, what happens is so much fun and exquisitely shot that I give the movie a pass for running out of steam three-quarters in.

In no small part is Hanna’s awesomeness due to its cast, which includes the queen of everything Beyoncé isn’t, Cate Blanchett, who celebrated a birthday earlier this week. As Marissa, her steely eyes and perfect southern accent give her such a sinisterly fun quality, one can’t help but be seduced by her intensity and earnestness, knowing full well that she wants to kill Hanna and you, if she had the chance. It’s one of Cate’s more understated roles (no Oscar nods or monarchs here) but it’s one of her most underrated. Incidentally, for another underrated Cate Blanchett vehicle, you should rent Bandits. She’s hilarious.

Moving on, Eric Bana, who I’d love to be my daddy stuck in the woods with any day of the week, plays Hanna’s father with an iron jaw and focused precision that wreaks of strength and confidence. Little good it does him. Saoirse Ronan, whom everyone should go see in The Grand Budapest Hotel, as Hanna has an ethereal beauty to her, so much so that one can almost believe that, while she’s a cold-blooded killer, her innocence is completely intact. Speaking of cast, keep an eye out for Michelle Dockery, Lady Mary herself, in an almost missable moment.

Cinematography is the other main reason this movie is so engrossing. The opening shots of a snow-covered Finland give justice to the stark beauty inherent to a desolate landscape. The same can be said for the shots taken of the dessert when Hanna escapes the CIA. To start in a landscape that feels very “north of the wall” then to take the viewer to the desert, where you can almost feel your own arms begin to sunburn, only to end up in an abandoned amusement park in the German forest leads me to believe that the filmmakers knew the whole film couldn’t run, as no story can, on premise alone. Run out of story? Only have chases left? Perfect, use stylistic choices any serious Tumblr addict would go mad for.

In reviewing this film, I’d also be remiss to mention several fun sequences. The first is when an English family help Hanna escape the desert. Hanna finds her equivalent in this family, a girl named Sophie, who is the comic core of the whole film. She delivers her quips in such perfectly obnoxious way you can’t help but be sad when Hanna must leave them behind. Really, Sophie’s hilarious. Also not to be missed is a super-quick fight sequence with Eric Bana. Again, it’s really the style here that’s most important. I don’t think this scene is an ode to The Wiz, but I could be wrong, because it looks like the same set, to me anyway. And finally, the other great scene is the chase in the shipyard, where all those crates provide enough wacky opportunities to give the whole thing a Bond feel that is rad as fuck.

With that, Hanna is an awesome film about a teenager ninja with a face made for Instagram. She’s got a hot dad, a secret she doesn’t even know, and one of the greatest actresses of our time is trying to kill her. What more could the public want beside a plot and premise that saw its way through to the end of the movie? Everyone’s so picky these days. This is a fun movie with gorgeous shots, hot actors, and yes even some great one-liners.

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The 7 Greatest Moments of Product Placement In House of Cards http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/the-7-greatest-moments-of-product-placement-in-house-of-cards/ http://www.screenjunkies.com/general/the-7-greatest-moments-of-product-placement-in-house-of-cards/#comments Tue, 13 May 2014 21:51:53 +0000 wcarter http://www.screenjunkies.com/?p=261647 Netflix bid on and won the rights to House of Cards in 2011, buying the show before producers shot it, and committed to two seasons. With David Fincher and Kevin...

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francis underwood

Netflix bid on and won the rights to House of Cards in 2011, buying the show before producers shot it, and committed to two seasons. With David Fincher and Kevin Spacey on its roster, it was destined to have HBO-esque success from audiences hungry to marathon a full season of well-scripted drama.

Although a final figure for how much Netflix invested in the show was never released, there’s no ignoring the popularity of House of Cards — even in China. Netflix has even claimed that it’s revolutionized Internet TV. And in some ways this holds very true, particularly considering that HoC was the first non-network show to be nominated for an Emmy.

With that said, though, commercial content runs rampant throughout the show like corruption (apparently) does the nation’s capital. Products aren’t just placed occasionally; they sometimes deflect focus away from the scene in an abrupt and obtrusive way. Other times, these product placements are integrated fairly naturally into the fabric of the show, even taking on an arguably symbolic significance.

What follows is a list that includes seven of the greatest moments of product placement in House of Cards. Have you noticed any of them? Of course you did.

iPhone for Arsty Women; Blackberry for Powerful Men

iphones in house of cards

They’re smart, sexy women who can break a major news story with the touch of a button. Virtually all the women on the House of Cards have an iPhone on them at all times, and they aren’t afraid at all to flaunt it. Zoe Barnes, a reporter on the show, has a hand in getting her powerful male boss axed with a tweet from her oh-so-noticeable Apple product. Claire, meanwhile, arranges forbidden meetings and sexy liaisons with lovers and lobbyists using her iPhone. If they have their iPhones handy, it’s probably best to steer clear of these women, assuming you want to stay out of trouble.

Men on the show, however, are noticeable for having their Blackberry devices handy (or, in a particular instance, mistakenly leaving them around in a moment of sexual seduction). That was the case in season one’s close, when Frank’s Blackberry got the money shot when he closed in on his wife Claire in a lustful moment of love. Peter Russo, meanwhile, casually threw his Blackberry out of his car window and died shortly thereafter. The message concerning Blackberry is pretty clear in the show’s subtext: protect these devices like a suckling little child or die a very miserable death.

No Sex Without Mobile Devices Invading Your Space

We’ve already discussed one sex scene where the Blackberry made an appearance (i.e. the one involving Frank and his wife Claire). Well, we’re not done yet. Zoe Barnes, who’s played by Kata Mara, has six on-screen encounters involving or implying sex. A mobile device was present  in four out of those six sex scenes — and by “in them,” we mean the device was intimately involved in some way.

Of course, the character clearly had a fun and fulfilling time in these scenes. The other two scenes where a mobile device wasn’t present? Yes, you guessed it, she isn’t portrayed as feeling too thrilled in the slightest. Of course, this brings viewers to yet another valuable lesson — namely, that nothing can be sexy unless a mobile device is present and accounted for.

The Couple That Lights Up Together, Stays Together

claire and francis smoking at the window

While the iPhone/Blackberry play peek-a-boo in sexual scenes through the series, nothing says “stable relationship” like lighting up with your partner in matrimony after a long day’s work. Sure, all relationships have their proverbial ups and downs, but it’s nothing that a mutual cigarette can’t fix.

No matter if he’s out sleeping with journalists or sabotaging his colleagues’ careers to gain in his own, Frank always comes home to Claire to share a nightly cigarette. Oh, and to include a note of important advice from Frank on a related subject: “Never slap a man while he’s chewing tobacco!”

Pork: The Preferred Meat of Political Power Players

If you’re thinking about becoming Vice President of the United States of America, you should start thinking about “breaking bacon” with his billionaire bestie. Need to raise thousands of dollars fast for an amorphous nonprofit? You’ll need to arm yourself with the right foodstuff; at least, assuming you’re trying to get Frank’s ear.

Hopefully, you have a full rack of pork ribs ready to toss on the grill. Freddy, who’s Frank’s favorite BBQ chef, appears in seven of the 13 episodes in the first season of the show. Does he do anything to further Frank’s efforts as a politician? Not at all (at least not until the second season). But he does make delicious pork ribs.

Parallel Parking is Easier if You’re Driving Drunk in a Cadillac

According to the State Justice Department’s statistics, only 32 people in the District of Columbia were arrested for a DUI in 2013. Compare that to the state with the highest — California — with 214,828 DUI arrests. Perhaps the reason for this is how easy it apparently is to maneuver a Cadillac. Peter Russo’s drunk parallel parking jobs in the show are quite the marvel, considering he’s boozed up. Fast forward to episode 11 of season one at 24:30. Instead of knocking over the fire hydrant, he parks a perfect six inches away from the curb. Maybe California can stand to increase its sales of Cadillacs. To say the least, a smaller foreign sports car would definitely have been a better car to parallel park, but then again drunk parallel parking isn’t advisable regardless of what country your car comes from…..well maybe Russian cars are used to it.

Pizza Hut Makes a Man Lose Focus

Yes, David Rasmussen, the House majority leader, is lazy and incompetent. But guess what? It’s not his fault! The congressional cafeteria offers such delicious pizza that the man can’t focus, leaving him prone to unprotected strikes from pork-eating sharks like the man himself, Frank Underwood. In addition to cocaine and prostitutes, Pizza Hut uncovers itself to be one of guilty pleasures that politicians find themselves indulged in.

Wealthy People Love Their Sony Products

This television series also showcases just how much people — rich ones, that is — love their Sony products. Even with this impossible to manage workload, Frank finds the time to play video games on his Playstation Vita. Although Claire owns an iPhone, she uses a Sony onboard navigation system if she’s in a hurry and needs to get somewhere fast. This latter point is particularly interesting, considering the iPhone comes with a GPS system that can do the same job.

Although these eight make the list, there are plenty of other products featured throughout the show. What do you think of this sneaky method of emphasizing the material, consumerist society in which the House Of Cards cast lives? Where else in the show have you spotted products that are being blatantly advertised? Leave a comment below, and let us know what your eyes catches!

 

 

The post The 7 Greatest Moments of Product Placement In House of Cards appeared first on Screen Junkies.

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