Category: Features

Missed Flicks Live Blog: My First Watch of Star Wars: A New Hope

It’s a tough thing to fake but a tougher thing to admit.  At this point in film history, you could probably watch a great movie every day for the rest of your life and still not catch them all.  Even still, there are some that you need to see, movies so pronounced in their cultural place that if you claim to be a movie fan, the assumption is that you have seen them.  And sometimes it’s easier not to correct that assumption.  So I’ve avoided this confession for years, sometimes outright lying and faking it through all of the...

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Days Long Remembered: A Timeline of the Star Wars Ups and Downs

The Star Wars universe has been littered with rumors over the years, and the speculation and guessing are rewarded by the few and far between official announcements released to fans.  In celebration of Star Wars Day, I’ve gathered some of the major announcements that have been made over the years along with what they meant for the Star Wars universe and fan base alike. When: May 14, 1980 What:  At a press conference, the name of Episode VI was announced as “Revenge of the Jedi”, following a conversation with the movie’s producer that “Return of the Jedi” was a weak title....

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Spider-Man vs. Spider-Man: Who Does Whatever a Spider Can?

I’ve read a lot of comics, but I’ll be the first to admit that Spider-Man is not my area of expertise. That’s not due to a lack of interest; it’s just that a lot of Spider-Man comics are just plain terrible (clones, anyone?). The one thing that’s consistently not terrible, though, is the character himself. Peter Parker is one of the purest, most likeable characters in comics, and now that Andrew Garfield has had more than one crack at it, I think it’s time to compare his performance with Tobey Maguire’s to determine who makes the better Spidey. For...

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100 Most Hated Movie Villains (#55-41)

Introduction How many of you are already angry because your favorite villain was introduced too early in the list?  How many of you are starting to feel pretty confident that your favorite villain may be excluded?  Anyone frustrated that they can’t just skip to number one?  Well buck up. We’re into that part of the list where the men and women prey on distraction and weakness. So, pay attention.  Because once we finish this segment, we’ll be over halfway through, and that’s too far in to think about turning around. 55. Sergeant Barnes, Platoon Aaaaand we start this segment...

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16 Greatest F-Bombs in Film

Introduction The preeminent film in all things excess, The Wolf of Wall Street, fittingly sets the world record for the highest f-bomb count in any major motion picture. The ambivalently crafted Scorsese picture showcased an irreverent portrayal of notorious, real life Wall Street trader Jordan Belfor, stirring up controversy—in small part—due to the profanity. A staggering 569 f-bombs engulfed the 180 minute run time, putting the cursing count at 2.81 uses per minute. Just imagine the fucks per minute if Scorsese would have edited the flick. “Fuck” truly may be the single greatest word in the English language. But when the four letter offender gets diluted in a pool of excess expletives, it reduces the value of each. Scorsese is no stranger to profanity-ridden films; Casino ropes in 422 f-bombs, while Goodfellas is close behind with 400. Neither made my final cut. If you want a word to have impact, use it sparingly—or well. In honor of this record breaking swear-fest, I’m counting down the list of my top 16 greatest f-bombs in film. 16. Snakes on a Plane (2006) “I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!” –Neville Flynn This Saturday Night Live caliber sketch turned feature length film has always bewildered me. It’s neither scary nor funny; Snakes on a Plane is ridiculous, stupid, and—somehow—a cult classic. I would bet that this was the only...

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The Ten Worst Athletic Performances by Good Actors

Introduction Before I was a small-time movie writer, I was a high school athlete, believe it or not.  I love sports and I love movies.  And I can say with some degree of certainty that these two worlds should not ever intersect.  There have been some delightfully atrocious performances by big name actors in movies about sports.  Hey, don’t get me wrong, you don’t want to see my point guard teammate perform a soliloquy, either.  Hand my halfback a movie camera and all you’ll get in return is some high grade shirtless mirror selfies.  These two worlds just don’t...

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100 Most Hated Movie Villains (#70-56)

Introduction Now we’re turning the corner, closer to the worst of the worst.  This is like the institutional floor above the floor where Clarice Starling had the semen thrown in her face right before she met Hannibal Lecter.  While for some of you hardened bastards, the first thirty picks might have offered opportunities of debate, from here on out, defending the character of the entries might be a telling sign of sociopathy. 70. Smith, The Matrix Pick your reasoning here: his mechanical orneriness, his sneer, the way he says Neo’s name like a doctor getting ready to reveal the...

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The Richness of Film Poverty: An Appeal Regarding “Poorsploitation”

Making the Connection Recently, when I found out a friend of mine had grown up in a socio-geographic context similar to my own, I joked that people who don’t know that you’re supposed to cut an X into your bologna when you’re frying it have no idea what it’s like to be “West Virginia poor.” I was raised in an isolated area of Appalachia that resembles the rolling, shadowed Ozark landscape found in Winter’s Bone.  Like Ree’s sprawling and broken backwoods community, the area in which I grew up was one of distinct poverty.  The entire region was mapped by...

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The Long-Term Franchise Potential of Spider-Man

*Spoilers for Spider-Man movies/comics, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and many more pop-culture products your little heart desires. If Any Character Deserves A Giant Franchise (With a Two-Part Finale), It’s Spider-Man: Spider-Man is the perfect superhero in terms of relatability. Think about it. Most superheroes start their career as older, more weathered veterans of a cruel world. Peter Parker isn’t molded into a sociopath like Bruce Wayne. He wasn’t given a super-soldier serum like Steve Rogers. And he’s not the last of his species, granted the powers of a god like Superman. Peter Parker doesn’t experience true tragedy before he...

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Girl, I Didn’t Know You Could Get Down Like That

5 Excellent Adaptations of 19th and 20th Century British Literature Featuring Strong Female Leads To establish my status as our resident expert of late 19th and early 20th century British and Russian literature featuring strong female leads, I feel compelled to provide  a list of my favorite literary adaptations of late 19th /a early 20th century feminist(ish) novels. Some might not consider these novels to be feminist, of course, but if considered  against the context in which the novels were written (the source materials were are all written by women, by the by) and the strength and intelligence of...

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Do Girls Really Just Wanna Have Fun?: A Breakdown of the Modern Female Comedy

In recent years, Hollywood has graciously provided us with a noticeable influx in mainstream movies broadly defined as “female comedy.”  While the category is still narrowly represented– certainly more “subgenre” than “genre”– more people are slowly coming around to the idea that women can be hilarious.  Why are there so few of these genuinely funny films that feature females providing the comedic content?  Because it’s an art that until recently, hadn’t been skillfully presented.  Some of the same rules apply to both men and women when it comes to eliciting laughs, but some don’t.  Before the noted rise over...

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100 Most Hated Movie Villains (#85-71)

Introduction Hopefully, our first installment helped to establish what we’re hunting for here, because it’s only going to get more vile with every iteration. And I want you to be ready.  The first segment of our countdown covered multiple genres, animated and live action, gangsters, serial killers and evil spirits.   So I think, if nothing else, we’ve proven that we’re  non-discriminatory in our hate for villains.  Women, men, and… wait a minute…  Did we cover children? 85.  Kevin, We Need to Talk About Kevin Aw, you haven’t seen the movie?  Cute, isn’t he?  Well, marked by the moment...

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Beth’s Guide to ‘Super’ Dating

Fans of the comic book/superhero genre are bound to be delighted with the spring/summer movie lineup for 2014.  With the likes of Captain America, Spider-man, and Wolverine all headlining the most anticipated movies of the next few months, all of the women out there also have some serious eye candy to look forward to.  Ladies, even if you aren’t digging the superhero genre, please heed my advice and make the trip to the theater just to see these men in tights, literally.  In celebration of this wondrous occasion, I thought it fitting to share with you my own personal...

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100 Most Hated Movie Villains (#100-86)

Introduction Well, after a month of being a live website, I think we’re ready to do what websites do:  assume an entitled sense of self-importance and present a pretentiously definitive list.  Consider it a cathartic exercise, an airing of our historical movie grievances.  Let that hate flow out so we can get back to the parts of the film we love. Rules and criteria for the list will be defined as the entries are listed, but generally, we’re working down through villains who are increasingly disgusting, vile, evil, sadistic, hate worthy.  Get your bile ducts warmed up.  Here we...

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5 Failed Tough-Guy Lines

I consider myself an expert on badass movie one-liners for one reason:  I’m a pacifist.  Every day in my normal existence, I encounter instances in which I wish I could come up with an on-the-spot quip of strength, brevity, and intimidation.   In my imagination, I roll through the office like Snake Plissken, leaving a cloud of awesome in my wake.  Say some meeting is taking way too much time.  My impulse tells me I should hit em with “I’ll be back” and bail to the strip club.   Or half the office is mad at me because I...

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