Watch the First Seven Minutes of Jason Trost's "Wet and Reckless" (& Then the Rest of the Movie Too)

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Jason Trost is one of my favorite indie filmmakers out there. There's no reason not to like the guy. His movies are ridiculous, mostly badass meditations on male masculinity (and superheroes). When I interviewed the guy, he was honest, open. and just plain cool.

Well, his latest flick, Wet and Reckless, is now available online via Vimeo. To see what the latest film from the director of The FP and All Superheroes Must Die has to offer, check out the trailer, and the first seven minutes of the flick.

Aug
15
2013
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In August, Criterion Brings Rock Hudson, Jack Benny, Madhabi Mukherjee, and More to Blu-ray

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Few distributors do as much for classic and contemporary cinema as The Criterion Collection does in their efforts to preserve important films and bring them into a new generation of media. Each month The Criterion Collection release four to six films on DVD and Blu-ray complete with a healthy dose of specially created extras highlighting the filmmakers, the historical context of the film, or its restoration. In August, The Criterion Collection releases John Frankenheimer's thriller Seconds starring Rock Hudson, Ernst Lubitsch's Jack Benny and Carole Lombard comedy To Be or Not to Be, Satyajit Ray's Charulata and The Big City, and Max Ophuls's romance The Earrings of Madame de.... For more information on all the releases, read on.

Jul
24
2013
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Exclusive Interview: Directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash Talk "The Way Way Back", Growing Up, & More

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The Way Way Back is this summer’s charming coming-of-age tale starring Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell. The directorial debut of Nat Faxon and Jim Rash, who won an Oscar for writing The Descendants and also wrote and act here, has received a positive response from critics who see it as a refreshing departure from the heavy-hitting action flicks and larger-than-life epics that have dominated the silver screen this summer.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Faxon and Rash just before the film’s release to pick their brains about their experiences with The Way Way Back. I came in a little bit nervous (knowing they had spoken to some reporters from the media heavy-hitters just before me), but they were incredibly down-to-earth and welcoming, so the conversation flowed naturally.

Jul
19
2013
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Exclusive Interview: Michael Cera and Director Sebastian Silva Talk "Crystal Fairy" and How Even Good Things Come From Bad Empanadas

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Crystal Fairy & The Magical Cactus and 2012 follows a group of Millennials traveling through Chile. Jamie (Michael Cera), an American, is obsessed with indulging in the tenaciously illusive mescaline juice, of the San Pedro cactus, while his three Chilean hosts seem more interested in a beach holiday. Last minute invite Crystal Fairy (Gaby Hoffman) is the catfish that stirs and disrupts Jamie’s idealized intentions. In a privileged moment with director Sebastian Silva and lead actor Michael Cera, I learn how their friendship bloomed into a road movie, with honed improvisational storytelling.

For the full interview, read on.

Jul
12
2013
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Hear "Chronicle" Writer Max Landis's Thoughts on Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel"

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One of the better, most genre-defying "superhero" movies of the last few years was Max Landis's found-footage style thriller Chronicle, in which three boys gain superpowers from a meteorite only to have one of them go a bit bonkers with rage issues. His use of superhero tropes in Chronicle wasn't just a gimmick, as it stems from his longstanding love of comic books and more specifically Superman. You might then jump to the logical conclusion that he, like many other people, came away from Man of Steel feeling rather conflicted over Zack Snyder and David Goyer's rather controversial take on the blue boy scout. Your conclusion would be correct, and since Mr. Landis is prone to making a movie-related rants into web videos, it's not all that surprising that he had some interesting words about the final showdown between Henry Cavill's Supes and Michael Shannon's Zod.

For the full, 9-minute rant keep reading. Oh, and if you haven't seen Man of Steel, stay aware as there are quite a few spoilers here.

Jun
25
2013
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HBO and Best Buy Let Fans Choose the Box Art for "Game of Thrones" Season Three

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Eager to relive all the drama, dragony-goodness and horror (mostly horror) of the third season of HBO's Game of Thrones? Or, if you don't have HBO, waiting to catch up and understand why your friends were so traumatized a couple weeks ago? Then rejoice (or despair, if you're impatient) because HBO has announced the release date for the third season on DVD and Blu-ray to be February 18, 2014. To get you psyched for that far off day, today marks the launch of a poll on the Game of Thrones and Best Buy Facebook pages (though Best Buy isn't doing it yet) where you can vote on what you think the box art for the Best Buy-exclusive edition of the third season should be. Whether you favor the scarred visage of Peter Dinklage's Tyrion or the house logos of Lannister or Stark, the choices are pretty beautiful. Meanwhile, they've already released a preview of the box art for the general edition that will be available everywhere else.

Check it out below along with the candidates for the Best Buy exclusive artwork.

Jun
24
2013
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Severely Indie Spotlight: James Christopher's "3 References"

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James Christopher's latest is a romantic comedy full of funny moments, solid one-liners and genuine heart. In an attempt to win the object of his affection over, Nick must go through his lineup of previous women and get a grasp on the concept of relationships and love.

"Peter Pan with a hard-on," is an applicable term for Nick, who's a terminal ladies' man. One-night stands, short relationships and general douchebaggery is how Nick makes his way through life, but like all good things, it's gotta' come to a close at some point, right? Nick's essentially the perfect asshole. He's Glen Gulia from The Wedding Singer meets Sack Lodge from Wedding Crashers. He's the reason nice guys can't find the nice girls, because they're too busy being used and abused by dudes like Nick.

Jun
23
2013
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Exclusive Q&A: Director Jason Trost Talks Superheroes, Hatchet 3 and Eyepatches!

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I was lucky enough to get in touch with Jason Trost, who you can see in This Is The End, playing a cannibalistic survivor of the apocalypse. The second he popped up on-screen, I may or may not have said “I just interviewed that dude!” to my group of unimpressed friends who are never impressed by anyone I’ve interviewed. Not even Tommy Wiseau.

Anyways, if you haven’t seen this dude’s work, you’re missing out. The FP is nothing short of brilliant and All Superheroes Must Die has become one of my favorite superhero films ever made. It’s a testament to the dude’s ability both in front of and behind the camera that the work he’s generated has been thoroughly enjoyable.

Jun
20
2013
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How Much Would You Pay for a "World War Z" Mega Ticket?

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Are you eagerly anticipating Marc Forster's zombie apocalypse blockbuster World War Z? Is it the film you've been most excited about all summer? Are you a die hard fan of Max Brooks's original novel and you're just so pumped to see it on-screen that you don't even mind if the movie bears any real resemblance to the book? If you said yes to all three of these questions, then you're probably the target audience for Paramount's gambit that there's an audience out there willing to shell out $48.75 for an IMAX 3D screening of the Brad Pitt horror thriller along with a free popcorn, a movie poster, some custom 3D glasses, and a digital copy of the film. The only problem is, if you break down the package piece by piece, you realize just how desperately Paramount is trying to milk the consumer for every cent they've got.

For a breakdown of this nonsense, just keep reading.

Jun
13
2013
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Make 'Em Laugh: Gabriel Iglesias's "Aloha Fluffy"

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The aspect of Gabriel Iglesias's personality that makes him such an endearing comedian, even if the occasional joke doesn't land, has to be how down to earth he comes across in his routines and how genuinely thankful he seems to be for the career he has. He's just so happy to be up on stage and his enthusiasm is contagious. His latest stand-up special Aloha Fluffy brings that quality to bear on his audience in Hawaii and with it comes a barrage of amusing anecdotes about his time on the road with the highlights easily being his emotional recounting of his trip to the Middle East and the ridiculously (and intentionally) racist prank he pulled on a fellow comedian.

Jun
09
2013
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In June, Criterion Collection Ponders the Things to Come, Gathers Wild Strawberries, & Goes to Shoah

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Rather than let older films fade from memory or into a state of disrepair, Criterion Collection gathers up works by classic and modern filmmakers that they deem to be culturally or artistically significant and then they remaster them on modern mediums (currently, that's DVDs and Blu-rays). Each month sees a new assortment of 5 or 6 films and this June that includes: Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries, H.G. Wells's Things to Come, Harold Lloyd's Safety Last!František Vlácil’s Marketa Lazarová, and an expansive 4-disc edition of Claude Lanzmann's look back at the Holocaust in Shoah. For a full rundown on all the extras offered in these release, just keep reading.

Jun
08
2013
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Exclusive Interview: Cheech & Chong Talk Animation, Ghostbusters, Marijuana and more

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Cheech and Chong are comedy legends. Long before Harold and Kumar decided to go to White Castle, Cheech and Chong were busy smokin’ blunts and having adventures while a good majority of us were either in diapers or not even alive yet. Of course, most movie nerds are probably more familiar with Cheech Marin’s various appearances in Robert Rodriguez movies while the rest of the moviegoing public has rediscovered Tommy Chong thanks to That 70’s Show.

Cheech and Chong’s Animated Movie takes a lot of the duo’s classic bits and turns them into an animated flick (review coming soon). I was lucky enough to chat with Cheech and Chong for a little bit about their careers, the transition to animation and something I was always curious about re: Ghostbusters 2.

May
24
2013
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See and Win Earth Like You've Never Seen or Won It Before

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Yuri Gagarin, Sally Ride, John Glenn, and other spacefaring humans have seen Earth in a way many of us likely never will. Sure, we'll see hi-res photos of our shiny blue marble taken from satellite's and space-roaming telescopes, but something always gets lost in translation when viewing a grainy still photograph. NOVA's recent special "Earth from Space" rectifies that shortcoming slightly with stunning HD footage of our planet spinning in the deep, dark oblivion while studying the larger systems of the planet and how they interact and shape life. At the very least it's a compelling substitute for that fireplace or aquarium screensaver disc you put in when company comes over, and at most it's just utterly beautiful.

If you want to win a copy of NOVA's "Earth from Space" on Blu-ray, just keep reading.

May
04
2013
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Kung Fu, Zombies, Counterfeiters, & Spies in One Giveaway

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It's not often you get a solid genre crossover movie. While Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, and Edgar Wright have made a (wildly entertaining) hobby out of it, it's otherwise an uncommon occurrence. Therefore it's something of a pleasure for us to introduce to you Gordon Chan's The Four, which crosses espionage with superheroes, a counterfeiting scandal, kung fu, and zombies. If it seems a bit eclectic, that's because it is, but wonderfully so. The Four stars Deng Chao, Liu Yi Fei, Collin Chou, Ronald Cheng, and Anthony Wong, and it's all kinds of crazy. If you enjoy flicks like Woochi: The Demon Slayer or Kung Fu Hustle, The Four will be right up your alley.

And if you want a copy, you're in luck as we're giving three away on Blu-ray. To find out how you can win, just keep reading.

May
04
2013
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Summer Viewing: Catch Up With AMC's "The Walking Dead"

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While cable TV offers an ever increasing number of series that air new episodes throughout the summer (like HBO's The Newsroom or FX's Burn Notice), for the most part it's an excellent time to get caught up on seasons of TV or entire series you've never had the time for. In the ongoing column "Summer Viewing" we'll be looking over some of the more recent series worth taking the time to dive into, and to kick it off we'll take a quick look at AMC's The Walking Dead, which capitalized on the zombie craze at just the right time and has since recovered from a few stumbles to make for exciting escapist television.

May
04
2013
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Emancipate a Blu-ray Copy of "Lincoln" From Us

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Five months and two weeks ago, Steven Spielberg brought forth into our cinemas Lincoln, a biopic of our 16th president as played by Daniel Day-Lewis. And when I say played by Daniel Day-Lewis, what I really mean is that Day-Lewis borrowed a time machine and went back in time to steal Lincoln's identity, body, mind, and mannerisms to give us one of the most disturbingly realistic portrayals of Abraham Lincoln ever. For all of that time traveling effort, Day-Lewis won himself a Best Actor Oscar (though it's entirely possible he kept going back in time and altering the past until he achieved that outcome, but that's another conversation altogether). The film is packed with some great performances by the likes of Sally Field, Tommy Lee Jones, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and if you haven't seen it yet, or you have and you liked it, this is your chance to own it.

We're giving away two Blu-ray and DVD combo packs of Lincoln, and if you want to win one, just keep reading.

May
02
2013
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In May, Criterion has Men in Hats, Snacks, and Protests

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If you're a cinephile then you don't mark the coming and going of months by birthdays, holidays, or any of that nonsense, you go by the monthly slate of new releases from the Criterion Collection as they push on in their mission to preserve classic and modern films deemed artistically and culturally deserving of preservation for future generations. For May 2013, Criterion unleashes upon Blu-ray two westerns by Delmer Daves (3:10 to Yuma, Jubal), Haskell Wexler's Medium Cool, Mike Leigh's Life is Sweet, and Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders. For the full details on each of these Blu-ray releases, just keep reading.

May
02
2013
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Make 'Em Laugh: Craig Shoemaker's Good & Bad "Daditude"

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Sometimes there's merit in going for a very specific niche in your comedy, and for Craig Shoemaker his target of choice seems to be audiences above the ages of 40 - although if you're just a pop culture glutton who's watched shows that came on before you were born, his comedy won't go over your head. Shoemaker's comedic arsenal relies heavily on familiar comic tropes like parenting woes, the romantic waning of an aging marriage, and general references to older films and TV. There's nothing very groundbreaking or new to be found in Craig Shoemaker's Daditude stand-up special, and sometimes the bits feel stale or like rehashes of jokes comedians have been telling for ages, but he engages his audience well while still coming up with a few new nuggets to keep things moving.

May
01
2013
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Tribeca Film Festival 2013: A Single Shot

large_a_single_shot_1While out hunting a deer, notorious poacher John Moon (a heavily-bearded Sam Rockwell) accidentally shoots and kills a young woman. As he searches for a place to dump the body, he stumbles upon her encampment and a box full of cash. Haunted by the dead woman’s image, John attempts to redeem himself by using the money to salvage what’s left of his tenuous marriage to Jess (Kelly Reilly), with whom he shares a son. But as the men who want that money begin to terrorize him, John is caught in a deadly (and dull) game of cat and mouse.

Apr
29
2013
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Tribeca Film Festival 2013: The English Teacher

large_english_teacher_1Linda Sinclair (Julianne Moore) is perfectly comfortable with her quiet life as a high school English teacher—living alone and filling her spare time with reading novels and screaming at telemarketers on the phone. (Or so the trite and too on-the-nose narrator would have us believe.) But, when former student Jason Sherwood (Michael Angarano) returns to town after failing to make it as a Broadway playwright, Linda starts to become more active in her own life. She reads Jason’s play The Chrysalis and loves it (weird moth characters and all). She loves it so much that she becomes determined to mount a high school production of it (despite its decidedly adult and Ibsen-like tone). Yet Linda gets carried away with her passion for the project and her need to rekindle Jason’s aims as a writer.

Apr
29
2013
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