Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Watchability


The group (sans Nathan) hanging out at the radio station.
A long time ago, 6 or 7 years ago now, our interesting little group came together over a series of random coincidences. In the summer of 2006 various paths and life decisions lead us all together and to the first media-based gig we could get our hands on: a local radio show. We had no idea what we were doing, so mostly we just played music and listened to ourselves talk on the air. But we were also all really into movies, so what we always inevitably went back to was some sort of movie discussion. And one of the best things we found to fill the time was top 5 lists. We'd come up with categories for this and that, and casually made our lists over the air. It wasn't ever a big deal except for one thing: in our discussions, we created a basis for our movie rankings. This would be fine-tuned over the years, but one of our proudest moments was coining a certain word and knowing that this one word defined everything we loved about movies. It would become the backbone to which all other movies were judged. It reminded us that entertainment trumped all, and even though some critics out there want to tell you otherwise, this was why we were watching movies.

Movie Trailer: "Jack the Giant Killer"


I have always loved this story and this so far looks like it could be the most promising version I have ever seen brought to film, certainly on the biggest scale. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

Throw-Back Movie Reviews: "In the Mouth of Madness" by Ben Foutch

In the Mouth of Madness
Director: John Carpenter
Cast: Sam Neill, Julie Carmen
Release: 1994
Run Time: 95 min

What is reality? If you could define it, would your reality conflict with someone else’s? Those are some questions that In the Mouth of Madness asks its viewers to ponder while watching a man’s descent into the abyss of his own mind. Many critics and viewers didn’t respond well to the execution of this film upon its release in 1994, which is understandable considering the confusing nature of the narrative. However, this film has always struck a chord with me, and still holds up after all these years.

"Ferris Bueller's Day Off 2"?! No, Just a Great Ad by Honda

The other day a quick 10-second video hit the internet with Matthew Broderick pulling the drapes and giving one very Bueller-inspired line. Immediately following, the well-known Ferris Bueller music kicks in for just long enough to bring back those nostalgic emotions and get you wanting more.

The purpose behind the brief ad was unknown until late last night. Was it really a teaser for another Ferris Bueller movie? Unfortunately for us fans, it was not. It was just the teaser for Honda's new CRV. The ad recreates many of the same scenes originally seen in the 1986 movie, just with a modern, adult twist on them.

I enjoyed the ad. We've been hearing about a Bueller sequel for a few years now, and I've been one that would be all for it. I enjoyed the characters and I'd love to see Broderick back on the bigscreen playing this character again. So for that, the ad was a fun, nostalgic watch. But it also confirmed that the entire purpose of the ad was for a car, with no intentions of a sequel to the movie. So for that, I was a little bummed. But who knows, even though it's just an ad, maybe it will create enough outward hype that real ground can be made on an actual sequel.

Unfortunately, the full ad has been taken off most websites by now. Apparently it was intended for a Super Bowl release next weekend, so understandably, Honda is wanting to get the exposure down as much as possible. It's been completely removed from YouTube, but it is still available if you want to watch it. For now, here's a link to a site that has a pretty good quality version of it up right now. Check it out and leave your thoughts on the video at the bottom.

"Superman Returns" Video Essay

Back in 2006 Andy, Alex, and I went to our local multiplex to checkout the new superhero movie Superman Returns with little expectations for its quality. None of us really cared for Superman the hero. In fact, I had disliked Superman since 1995 when I watched the movie Angus and the Grandpa in the movie says this about Superman to his Grandson, Angus:
He's smart, handsome, even decent. But he's not brave. No, listen to me. Superman is indestructible, and you can't be brave if you're indestructible.
I have to say I agreed with that statement...until 11 years later when I watched Superman Returns and had my entire world rocked. It was that day Superman Returns became an instant classic to myself, Andy, and Alex. From then on we've been in love with Superman.

The movie takes a look at a superhero from a different point of view than conventional superhero films. Bryan Singer, the director of the film, eliminates much of the action we are used to in the genre and treats the film as an ethereal character study. If Singer would have taken this any further he may have reached something more reminiscent of a Terrance Malick film.

As blog contributor Ben Foutch points out Superman Returns "should be hated on principle since Singer destroyed the X-Men Trilogy by leaving for Supes". While that statement is true, I ultimately forgive him because he made me realize how great Superman really is and he returned to the X-Men franchise by producing X-Men: First Class.

The video essay attached after the break only strengthens my thoughts on the Bryan Singer directed Superman Returns and helps explain why it's one of the best superhero movies out there (VIDEO SINCE REMOVED).


The Trailer Park: Darling Companion, The Hunter, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Lockout, Playback, Project X, Red Lights


Welcome to The Trailer Park!

This is first of what will hopefully become a weekly column rounding up new and newish trailers lurking around the internet.

Put on your John Nada sunglasses before the jump or...submit to the advertising.





Box Office Report: "The Grey" Leads the Pack

I figured we should probably start regularly throwing up a quick post detailing the weekend box office takes on here. And with the help of Box Office Mojo, it makes for very easy work.

So after the break, I have the numbers for the top 15 movies in America this weekend.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

18th Annual Screen Actors Guild Award Nominations

Last month, the nominees for this year's Screen Actors Guild Awards were announced. Obviously, our site was not up and running back then, but since the awards will simulcast live tomorrow on TBS and TNT at 7:00PM CST, it seems only fitting to get up a quick post outlining all of the nominees and maybe even taking a stab at predicting a few of these.


The SAG Awards are voted on solely by actors' peers whom are members of the Screen Actors Guild. Final votes had to be sent in by December 31st of last year, and nearly 100,000 actors qualified to vote for the categories.


Check out the nominees after the jump and feel free to leave your predictions in the comments section.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Throw-Back Movie Reviews: "Escape from L.A." by Alex Schopp

"Escape from L.A." is one of my all-time favorite John Carpenter movies, and the follow-up to the low-budget "Escape from New York" made in 1981. In my opinion, it's the perfect action movie; everything you want in a genre piece like this.

This 1996 release takes place in the distant dystopian future of 2013, where the United States is run by a president looking to create his new "Moral America". Just three years prior, Los Angeles had been split from the rest of the country via a massive earthquake. Using this as one of his tools, the newly-elected president declares L.A. the "city of sin" and banishes anyone to the island that refuses to conform to to his new standards. On the inside of this prison a revolutionary has managed to steal a doomsday device and is now threatening to send the entire planet back to the Dark Ages with the push of a button.

Enter Snake Plissken, again played by Kurt Russell. Plissken is a former Special Forces officer but these days has more problems with the law and authority than anything else. He has been caught for committing a crime and is sentenced to the island as punishment. But just before he's sent away, a secret meeting is held with the President and an agreement is made: retrieve the doomsday device and all crimes will be forgiven; Plissken will be a free man. Plissken accepts and he's dropped onto the island to retrieve the device. From there we're taken on a series of action-packed scenes ultimately resulting in Plissken capturing the device and making off the island and back to the President in just the nick of time.

But that's just the beginning. With Plissken, you know nothing is ever that easy. And he's not the kind of guy that's just going to turn over a nation-destroying weapon to the government. There are plenty of little twists and turns throughout, tons of over-the-top action, and even a hologram scene (yes, by next year we'll have fully interactive life-sized holograms) at the end that you won't want to miss!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Movie Review: "The Innkeepers" (VOD) by Ben Foutch

The Innkeepers (VOD)
Director: Ti West
Actors: Sarah Paxton, Pat Healey
Release: 2011
Run Time: 100 min

There is no escaping the fact that we are living during a time where graphic torture and paranormal found footage films are dominating the attention for the current horror market. In order to be massively successful in horror, shock is absolutely necessary. This is why quirky, atmospherically aesthetic films, like “The Innkeepers”, deserve some recognition. This little gem directed by Ti West is not bound by the excessive nature of modern standards, but plays like an homage to the classic ghost story that builds to an intense climax.

Official Plot Synopsis for "The Amazing Spider-Man" Revealed


We all know that Sony's reboot of Spider-Man is set to launch this summer, and outside of the cast and general direction of the film, no official synopsis had been released as of yet. Well, that was until today when Ain't It Cool News released an officially-sanctioned synopsis.

I'll attach the quotes after the jump, but as AICN points out, not a lot of official spoiling happening here since we've all been led to infer a number of these things already about the film. But just in case you are trying to avoid it, you can read it all after the break.

Trailer: Will Daniel Radcliffe's Post-Potter Career Start With a Bang, or Will "The Woman in Black" be the First Step Down a Path so Many Other Child Stars Have Traveled Before?


First, since Radcliffe's defining child role already took him into adulthood, we have already seen that he can act, and act well. So that part of it doesn't seem to be a problem. Now it just comes down to picking good films, something easier said then done. Frankly though, I like what I see here. It looks like they are doing more than just trying to fill a movie with cheap scares, and actually putting a decent story in there. But trailers can be misleading as we all know, I'm looking at you "Legion". I guess we will find out February 3rd.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Andy Schopp's Top 10 Movies of All-Time


Now as Alex said before, there is an understanding that adding Star Wars to your list of movies actually only gives you about four empty slots to work with on your list. I would like to make it publicly known first before I write my list that Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is my favorite movie of all time. It has every element I'm looking for in a film: a lovable rogue, intense scenes of sci-fi violence, adventure on the grandest scale, and the introduction of one of the most influential puppets to ever happen upon the big screen! But since we're "unofficially" excluding the Star Wars titles from our lists, I'll move on.

So with that out of the way, I will give you my list as I see it now in my life. I can't promise you that my list will always be the same, but I can promise that the love and devotion that I put into making it will never change. We'll see if these same titles are as prominent a few years down the road, but as of now, these are the titles I best see fit for these top ten slots.

In Theaters This Weekend: January 27, 2011


A couple of decent films (or what look to be anyway) are coming out this weekend. Other than movies running into the new year that qualified with late Oscar runs in the previous year, January through March is generally a pretty weak time for movies. You'll get your action movies that studios shy away from having compete with the big boys of the summer, but otherwise, not a lot of must-sees. These few months are usually where movie releases go to die.

But, one of the releases tomorrow, Joe Carnahan's "The Grey" already has some people wondering if it will make a surprising Oscar push come this time next year. Liam Neeson stars as a man trying to make it back home after surviving a disastrous plane crash in Alaska. The movie looks sure to provide plenty of action and tension as Neeson and his co-stars fight to survive amongst the deadly terrain.

Neeson has proven to be one of the better aging action stars in the last few years, and his characters always seem to provide plenty of depth. Not sure if it'll end up translating to any awards recognition a year from now, but we'll see. I'm looking forward to checking it out this weekend and giving a full review.

After the break, check out a trailer for this one, as well as our synopsis on the other decent-looking film being released this weekend, "Man on a Ledge".

Movie Review: "Melancholia" by Andy Schopp


This is a 2011 release by Lars Von Trier starring Kirsten Dunst, Alexander SkarsgÄrd, Keifer Sutherland and Charlotte Gainsbourg.

Movie Review: "The Descendants" by Alex Schopp

Over the next few days (and all coming weeks to follow) we're going to start a regular post detailing a specific movie review of our liking (or disliking). There will only be one writer assigned to a specific movie, so there won't be any overlap. Right now, before the Oscar winners are announced, we'll probably put more focus on some of the more notable Oscar contenders from 2011. After that's all said and done though we'll just keep up with films as they're released.

So, one of the first ones I wanted to write about then - since I just watched this the other night - is Alexander Payne's "The Descendants". I hope you'll bear with me as I try to get into my groove here. This is my first official movie review (publicly at least) so we're going to feel it out together. Hopefully by the time all is said and done I'll have reached some level of cohesion and this won't all be a bumbling mess. But we'll see..


Nathan Hinds' Top 10(ish) Films of All-Time

For my first ever post, I figure I'll keep the whole Top 10 thing going - I think a list like this really is a good way to get an idea about a person. Before I dive into my list though, let me give you the basics on myself. It goes without saying that I love movies (even though I just said it). I'm 23 years old, and after living in Illinois for the first 22 years of my life, I recently moved to Texas in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area and am loving it. This is the first blog I have ever been a part of, and hopefully my friends and I can be your one-stop-shop, so to speak, for all of your movie-related info.

If you notice the title says "Top 10(ish)". The reason for that being: with many of my favorite films, they come in a series and it has become impossible for me to pick just one film out of said series. For example, my all time favorite film is The Lord of the Rings. That means all three films are my favorite, not just one installment. And I justify this because they're one continuous story. I don't know of anyone who goes to watch The Lord of the Rings and says oh I'm only gonna watch 'Return of the King'. So that's why several of my favorite films will actually be multiple films. With that in mind, here are still a few pre-cursors I'd like to put on the table:

-I would like to note that this is a very difficult list for me to make, since the order can change every now and then. So really this is my Top 10(ish) list at this moment. As the previous writers have stated, don't hold me to this for the rest of my life. There's a chance things will fluctuate here are there, and a few titles might work their way off or get bumped off of this list. But this is how I see things today.

-Also, Star Wars is not included in my Top 10 because it's not actually in my Top 10. If you read Alex's list first, you might have thought it was the number-one film for all of the writers. But while I love Star Wars, for me it's not in my Top 10.

What is in my Top 10 then, you ask? Here is your answer:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Off the Grid


2011 Academy Award Nominees


The 84th Academy Award nominations were announced yesterday morning, and this is always an exciting time for all of us. I plan on getting together a podcast here pretty soon for us to really delve into more of our feelings on these and go over some of our thoughts and predictions. But until then, here's a full list of all the nominees.

  Best Picture

  • "The Artist""The Descendants"
  • "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close"
  • "Hugo"
  • "Midnight in Paris"
  • "The Help"
  • "Moneyball"
  • "War Horse"
  • "The Tree of Life"


  Best Directing
  • Michel Hazanavicius, "The Artist"
  • Alexander Payne, "The Descendants"
  • Martin Scorsese, "Hugo"
  • Woody Allen, "Midnight in Paris"
  • Terrence Malick, "The Tree of Life"

Continue reading after the break. All other nominations displayed and noted. Please feel free to comment and leave your thoughts at the bottom. I want to hear what surprised you the most. What do you feel got snubbed?

Alex Schopp's Top 10 Films of All-Time


Well, I guess it's finally time to get this up and running. Since we're still waiting on an official setup for this site and how we want to compose everything, I'm just going to start with some basic background on myself - and hopefully the other writers will follow suit and each start things off with a similar post. Movies have always been one of my biggest passions. Even when I was very young, my younger brother (Andy, who will also help out with this site) and I would stay up late on the weekends watching MonsterVision with Joe Bob Briggs, USA's Up All Night, and TBS's Dinner and a Movie. We watched so many movies that we technically shouldn't have been watching, and, for better or worse, those movie nights went a long way in shaping the person I am today. I've been hooked on cinema ever since, and I'm thankful to finally have a place to talk about something I love talking about.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to really know who a person is: a Top 10 List of their all-time favorite films. So that's what we're going to do today. But before we jump in, a quick preface to my system and construction. Number One: Star Wars was intentionally left off this list. I love the Star Wars movies and always have - and yes, even the newer ones; as a composite, all six work for me. Among our group, we've always left them off our lists out of pure respect and fanboydom (it's a word. Don't worry about it). And while we do still love those movies very much, over the years the line between our obsession over them and our laziness in ever changing our ways has become quite gray. Do I still truly believe the original Star Wars movies outshine all else on my Top 10 right now? Who can be certain, but in all honesty, probably not. I just know I definitely don't want to mess with it at this point. If out of nothing more than nostalgia, I think I'll always keep the routine.



Number Two: You must always remember that there's a very unique and specific criteria we use to rank and appreciate movies (see: Rating System). Remember, we want you to enjoy movies. Your favorites should be the movies that you pop in time and time again without hesitation. The below list isn't comprised of the films I necessarily consider the "best" of all-time, simply my favorites. Regardless, I can assure you that much thought and analysis was put into these choices.

So without further ado, My Top 10 Movies of All-Time...

The Team!

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2012 Slackers Selection Movie Blog Writers:


All will be contributing equally and the hope is the the broad views and opinions of each will combine to help form a beautiful product.

Site's active. Team's in place. Topics are aplenty. We might try to get one fun little post in tonight just to get the ball rolling, but otherwise, regular posting starts tomorrow. Enjoy!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Moving Forward

So now that the Slackers Selection Movie Blog is finally live, I guess it's time to outline a few of the plans we have for the site. Launching today sets the pace for a lot of exciting things to follow. First of all, as many of you may know, the nominations for the 84th Academy Awards were announced today. The Oscars are the Super Bowl of the film industry, and it always gives pundits and general fans alike a chance to make their predictions and see who comes out on top. There will be plenty of awards talk to follow from here, outlining everything from our overall predictions in all categories as well as some possible upsets we see on the horizon. So check back for plenty of posts on that topic for the next month or so. Along with all of this, there is a plan in place to get a weekly or bi-weekly podcast started up as well - just with some general discussion on everything that may be happening in the film world that week. New releases, trailer releases, casting/directing news, awards info, etc., etc. We have some writers coming together from all across the country (official announcements to follow soon) so it'll be nice to get everyone together on a regular basis and go over the latest news.

Otherwise, we're still finalizing a lot of the plans, so other than some of our awards talk and predictions over the next week or so, the biggest thing we have planned is the reveal of our Top 10 Lists of 2011. This will be a lot of fun to unveil, as each of us will have our own unique take on what our favorites were this past year. It will also give our readers a chance to see what types of films we're into and see what we view as the bests. Our hope is that our lists will do one of the better jobs of combining pure blockbuster fun with critically acclaimed works. We try not focus on what was the "best" in a given time - anyone can find the most technically sound works and compile a list - and more on what our favorites were. We feel as those have much more merit and meaning then just throwing a Best-Of list together. We're always looking for movies that we enjoy watching, and those are the films we want to share with you and help you appreciate. Simple as that. So we'll throw those up in the next couple of weeks, and hopefully that will elicit plenty of discussion amongst us all!

World, Welcome to Slackers Selection Productions!

Well this is exciting! The first post for the new site! I've been wanting to get something like this going for years now, so I'm glad we're finally getting something up and running. We're still in the very preliminary stages of everything, so I'm not 100% sure of who all will be contributing to this. Once I run it by all of the guys, we'll get some posts up from all of the different writers, introducing you to the team. My hope is that we get four of five of us on board and over the coming months and years, personalities will show through, and you, the reader, will find a different writers that you connect connect with and relate to, taste-wise. I hope that with our stable of writers, we'll provide excellent movie coverage and eventually become your go-to site for anything movie related, whether it be awards info or just your general movie review or discussion.

I know there are a million different movie blogs out there, and I know you probably already have your favorites. And I believe that most of them do a wonderful job of covering what they want to cover. Some sites focus on the awards circuits, and some solely on big blockbuster, superhero-type movies. And obviously there are a million in between, focusing on some other specific niche. But that's truly what the backbone of this site will be. Our guys here are all very well versed in a variety of different areas of the film industry, and I think as a whole, when we're all contributing the the sum, it creates for a powerhouse of information on an immense variety of subjects. Collectively, I believe that our site will be the true home for all different kinds of movie fans. If you have an interest in film, we can be your outlet. No more switching around based on the season. We'll have everything covered in one spot, year 'round!

I know that this sounds like a massive undertaking, and it is. But trust me when I say we're passionate about this and we will come through with all that's been promised above. It may be a slow start; we don't yet have all the wonderful resources and connections that most of the bigger sites can offer right now, but we will get there. I'm looking forward to the journey. Please comment and contribute frequently, your support will be welcomed and appreciated. We have many different ideas in mind for the site, but not all of them will be winners. We understand that. This will be a work in progress, so any feedback you ever have will always be taken openly. Any and all correspondence will always be read and discussed.

I hold all of the above writings as this site's credo and commitment to our readers.