Thursday, January 31, 2013

In Theaters This Weekend: February 1, 2013

I have good news! For those of you who loved Twilight, you're getting a new rendition this weekend called "Warm Bodies". But, more thoughts on that below. Another film hitting theaters is "Bullet to the Head", a new Sylvester Stallone movie where he gets to beat up a lot of bad guys - and I don't mean that in any kind of sarcastic way! And finally, we have "Stand Up Guys", which is getting a smaller release but a release nonetheless. Let's go get a closer look down below.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Duncan Jones To Helm “Warcraft”

Director Duncan Jones has signed on to direct Legendary Pictures' live-action adaption of the massively popular line of Blizzard video games, World of Warcraft. The film, titled “Warcraft”, will be Jones' first shot at a big budget sci-fi film. The director who already has two critically successful sci-fi films (“Moon”, “Source Code”) under his belt, is replacing Sam Raimi who stepped down as director last year.

Charles Leavitt (“Blood Diamond”) is writing the script for the Legendary/Blizzard and Atlas is producing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, which first broke the story today, the producers of the film are eyeing a production start for later this year, and a 2015 release date.

Hit the jump for more details on the upcoming film's production.

Top 5 Movie Guide: Sylvester Stallone

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we head back to the 80's action well and take a peak and some of our favorite films from one of its most notable stars, Sylvester Stallone. Making his solo return to the acting stage for the first time since 2008's "Rambo", Stallone looks to kick the adrenalin up even more with "Bullet to the Head". And while Sly is one of the most recognized movie stars across the globe today, it took him a while to really get going. He started his career in a variety of bit film and television roles, most to poor reviews. His first real break, most would say, was as Machine Gun Joe in "Death Race 2000" (1975). But Stallone had bigger aspirations; he also was determined to make a name for himself as a screenwriter. And the following year, with a film inspired by a Muhammad Ali-Chuck Wepner fight in Cleveland, he did just that.

In 1976, "Rocky" hit theaters, and was an instant success. It was inundated with praise and awards, picking up ten Academy Award nominations and winning three, including that of Best Picture. After "Rocky", Stallone had made it. He spent the next few years working on some smaller films, but mostly focusing on two Rocky sequels. Both performed well at the box office and were generally accepted as successes. But in the early 1980's, Stallone decided to take a break from the iconic series to gear up for his next, the first film of which was titled "First Blood". The film and follow-up, "Rambo: First Blood Part
II", both did well with audiences but were criticized strongly for their still-fresh messages on the Vietnam War. But as the 80's wore on, and the Cold War was more prominent in everyone's mind, Stallone returned to the ring for "Rocky IV" to face-off against Soviet Ivan Drago.

Stallone followed the film up with a variety of other notable action films, some successful and some not so much, even eventually returning to both of his storied franchises many years later. On the opposite end, some of the notable lead roles in which Stallone has turned down over the years include those in films like "Superman" (1978), "Beverly Hills Cop" (1984), "Die Hard" (1988), "Pulp Fiction" (1994), and "Face/Off" (1997).

Love him or loathe him, Sylvester Stallone has built an enviable and highly respected career in Hollywood, and has considerably influenced modern popular culture through several of his iconic film characters. Hit the jump to see which films registered as some of our favorites!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Slackers Selection CinemaCast: Episode 46

Thanks for checking out this week's edition of the Slackers Selection CinemaCast!

The slower weeks continue along here as the quality of films hitting theaters remains low. Some of us finally got to last week's "Mama", while Nathan also got around to "Movie 43". Otherwise, not much else happening on the new film front this week.

As far as next week goes, it looks like there's at least a bit more hope with films like "Bullet to the Head", "Warm Bodies", and "Stand Up Guys" all hitting theaters. We go over which we might be checking out.

Outside of theaters, really only one notable film this week, as Alex finally got around to "Robot and Frank". He goes over his thoughts on that one.

Luckily, the SAG Awards were Sunday night, so that gave us something to fill the majority of our time with. There are only a small handful of awards handed out on the movie side though, but we go through each and weigh in on what effect, if any, they might have on the Oscar races.

Another efficient podcast this week, so be sure to give it a listen!

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: January 29, 2013

Those who are looking for a few light-hearted films to cozy up with this week are out luck. The majority of titles are looking dark and gritty, with the exception of Hotel Transylvania. If that's what you are looking for, there are plenty of flavors to choose from. Seven Psychopaths and Paranormal Activity 4 are probably the standout titles, and while I personally can't attest for PA4, Psychopaths is a must see.  

In addition to the "new" releases, there are some cult classics getting the hi-def treatment, so hit the jump to get the full rundown of my picks this week.

Monday, January 28, 2013

The Trailer Park: G.I. Joe:Retaliation, Inside Llewyn Davis, Mood Indigo, Olympus Has Fallen, Upside Down

Welcome to The Trailer Park! - A weekly column rounding up new and newish trailers lurking around the internet.

As always, put on your John Nada sunglasses before the jump or...submit to the advertising.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Slackers' Top 15 Films of 2012

What a great week of lists it was, as, spread out over the course of five days, each writer presented their own unique Top 15 Films of 2012 list. So many great titles were represented, and some of us had very differing opinions on a a variety of titles. But in true fashion of this site, figuring out and displaying which films were our personal favorites was only half of the answer. One of the greatest aspects of having five full-time writers at this site is that is that along with five unique perspectives on every list we roll out, we can also then take those numbers, that data, and plug them into a composite chart, providing a master ranking of the films we favor. It's really a great combination of information, which hopefully provides you, the reader, a better understanding and perspective of some of the films that most resonate with us, both individually and collectively.

So, now that all five lists are in and the data has been collected, it's time to unveil our site's Top 15 Films of 2012!

Box Office Report: 'Hansel & Gretel' Trick Moviegoers To Earn Top Spot

Running through these titles and the dollars they made, I'm quickly reminded of just how terrible January is for movies. I'm thankful we have the various awards shows scattered about these early months to help keep me interested, otherwise, it would be hard to go on.

This weekend was no exception, as the slate of films releasing was "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters", "Parker", and "Movie 43". You wouldn't expect any of these films to perform well, but with most of the Oscar nominated films already receiving their biggest bumps over the last two weeks, and very little outside of "Mama" doing anything of note last weekend, something had to give. One or two of these titles would surely resonate with audiences at least slightly; kind of a best of the worst type thing. And well, much to Paramount Pictures' delight, that movie was Witch Hunters. The film somehow managed a respectable total this weekend, despite awful reviews. "Parker" and "Movie 43" - amongst similarly bad reviews - both flopped, barely resonating with audiences at all.

Overall, this weekend could be the low point for the year at the box office. February and September traditionally holds some weak times as well, but with the total numbers being down this weekend by more than $50MM to last weekend's already muted numbers, it just wasn't a good weekend at the theater.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

[Exclusive] Interview With Justin Evans, Jason Moore and Mike Peebler, Filmmakers On "A Lonely Place For Dying"

This past week, I had the pleasure to chat with some of the filmmakers from "A Lonely Place For Dying", which is gearing up for its VOD/iTunes release on February 12th. I also had a chance to take an early look at the home version of the film, which, while still very much independent in nature, was a refreshing and well-crafted entry for the medium. While the film didn't have fancy equipment or a grandiose budget, it at times managed to provide a good sense of atmosphere and tension, and displayed a variety of solid performances. First time director Justin Evans showcased a clear vision, and the bones of the film should translate well to his future productions.

The critically acclaimed film, a spy/thriller set during the Cold War, has been touring the awards circuit since 2009, and in that time has racked up more than 50 award nomination, winning more than half of them. The latest buzz surrounding the film, however, is that it's been banned in Russia. No official word has been released as to exactly why, but it seems clear that the film's controversial KGB storyline didn't set well with the Russian government.

"A Lonely Place For Dying" is directed by Justin Evans, and stars Academy Award nominated actor James Cromwell ("The Artist", "L.A. Confidential"), Michael Wincott ("Hitchcock"), Ross Marquand ("Broken Roads"), Mike Peebler ("Valkyrie"), Jason Moore ("The Sorcerer's Apprentice"), Brad Culver ("Breathing Room"), and Luis Robledo ("The X-Files").

Much to my delight, I was able to talk with three of the members of the film's production, director Justin Evans, and actors Jason Moore and Mike Peebler. Each had plenty of great stories to tell, intriguing to any movie fan - I even managed to wrangle up a few Top 5 lists on their favorite Spy/CIA movies!

After the jump, check out a transcript detailing a few snippets from our discussions, as well as a full plot synopsis for the film and its official trailer. As previously stated, the film will be available on iTunes February 12, 2013. You can pre-order it here.

Top 5 Movie Guide: Live-Action Fairy Tales

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we take a page from this weekend's "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (just one single page - we're not trying to be any more associated with this film than we need to be) and compile our lists on some other notable films centered around Fairy Tales. Witch Hunters is the latest spin on the classic German tale which features our two lead characters all grown up and out for blood. This is one of the many adaptations of the story, which was first published by the Brothers Grimm in 1812.

For this week's list, we didn't constrain ourselves only to films based on pre-recorded fairy tales, but instead decided to include everything the genre encompassed. Our only rule: the films had to be live-action, similar to this week's film. As you can expect, many of the films featured below do lend their inspirations from previously-recorded tales, as many of which are some of the most classic tales in cinema. But otherwise, here is what Wikipedia defines as a Fairy Tale:

"A type of story that typically features folkloric fantasy characters, such as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, dwarves, giants,mermaids, or gnomes, and usually magic or enchantments."

That opens the door to a variety of subjects and themes, but nonetheless, we tried to narrow our lists down to include films that felt most fitting to the title of a Fairy Tale.

It's a great selection of films this week, so hit the jump for each of our lists!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Andy's Top 15 Movies of 2012

What does one say when closing out the team and week's Top 15 of the Year posts? Do you remark about everyone else's list, or pretend like they didn't happen when you were writing yours? Should I just say the same stuff and hope that my slightly above-average wit and eighth grade style writing can outshine and outclass that of my peers? Or perhaps I'll just play the sentimental role and reflect on what we accomplished this year in cinema; remembering all the amazing times we spent together in those theater seats, everyone uncomfortably crowded in. I think I'll stick with that last one, because it was in those theaters throughout the world where we became something more than just "a bunch of people watching a movie together". For those few hours, each of you were my friends and companions; the rich and the poor, the young and the old. That is where I am at home. I laughed with you and I cried with you, and together we experienced every emotion the human spectrum had to offer. The theater, no matter how big or small, is our home.

We have braved another year and bonded ever closer, enjoying film after film. And what a wonderful and amazing year it was in cinema. So without further adieu, here is the last Top 15 list of 2012!

Happy Birthday To Us!

Well, if you needed even one more example of how we're Slackers over here, this seems a pretty good one. Yesterday marked one of the more special days for this site, as internally it was an early goal of all of ours to still be around and kicking at this time. We had nothing major planned for the day, but were still proud to showcase our mini milestone. That was the plan at least. But unfortunately, that day was yesterday.

Yep, we forgot our own damn birthday! The big oh-one.

While in one year's time we might not have gotten much better with our proverbial slacking, we're still very excited to be generating content and new readers at this point. As stated above, this is simply a mini milestone for us, as we have hopes to stick around for at least a bit longer.

We've never had problems saying so, but this seems like a great time to reiterate just how thankful we are to our fans and readers who have supported us over this past year. We're well aware that none of this happens without you.

So please, join us in belatedly celebrating the site's one year anniversary! We've had a blast providing the content we have, and we hope you've had enjoyable times as well. Here's to the next year!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

J.J. Abrams To Direct "Star Wars: Episode VII"

Earlier today, news broke that Disney had finally found their director for their upcoming Star Wars film, Episode VII. We'd heard rumors galore over the last couple months, with everyone from Matthew Vaughn to Ben Affleck positioned to take the gig, but none seemed to stick. One name floating around near the top of everyone's wish list, though, was J.J. Abrams. Abrams, in the midst of his mega success with his Star Trek reboots, seemed an obvious heir to the Star Wars throne. But with "Star Trek Into Darkness" not releasing until later this summer, and a follow-up film surely on the radar, many expected Abrams' time to be incredibly limited. Still, it didn't stop anyone who could from approaching the director about the potential project. But just as quickly as we dreamed it, Abrams shot it down, publicly declaring that he would pass on directing the next Star Wars film, proclaiming instead that he'd "rather be in the audience not knowing what was coming, rather than being involved in the minutiae of making the film". This was a bit of a letdown, but understandable. So we kept our eyes and ears to the grindstone (wrong sensory organs), hoping that good news would eventually come of this building suspense.

Suddenly, out of the blue and in true J.J. Abrams misdirection and secrecy, surprise word came from The Wrap that the director, who previously discarded all notions of any future involvement with the series, would in fact be accepting the gig to helm the project tentatively set for a 2015 theater release.

Nathan’s Top 15 Movies Of 2012

 Of all the lists we make at this site, or just any lists we make in general, the end of the year list is always my favorite. I like to look at it as a year long journey where you get to go to wonderful new places, meet extraordinary people, and experience things that you've been anticipating for months, or sometimes years. Like every long trip, there are inevitably going to be some rough moments (“Les Mis”, “Amour”, I’m looking at you!). Still keeping with this trip analogy, when I look back on 2012 I can say it was a great ride. There were almost no movies that I absolutely hated.

This year gave us the culmination of Marvel’s superhero juggernaut “The Avengers”, and while you won’t find the film in my Top 15, please don’t take that as I didn't enjoy the film (I know I’m cheating with this, but it was #16). We witnessed the epic ending to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy. We also witnessed the end of the not-so-epic Twilight trilogy (if I were to make a trip analogy out of this one, I would compare it to a long car ride with terrible weather the whole way that ended with us arriving at the world’s crappiest hotel). But like all years, there was also a handful of films that came out of nowhere and blew me away.

But enough with the overview, hit the jump to get my favorite films of 2012!

In Theaters This Weekend: January 25, 2013

This week, it looks again like nothing more than a handful of "filler titles". That is, unless I was mistaken and the entire planet is eagerly awaiting "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"... The other two movies being released are "Movie 43" and "Parker".

Due to my entire lack of enthusiasm towards each of these titles, this week's post will probably be even shorter than my other installments, but still hit the jump for some quick thoughts on what to expect this weekend.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Derek's Top 15 Movies of 2012

I'd have to say 2012 was a well-rounded year for movies. It never really felt like we were being bogged down with one certain genre or type of filmmaking. While I believe 2012 offered many quality films, it also stamped out a few major disappointments. Ultimately, successes and disappointments happen every year, but this year the disappointments stood out to me more so than the actual successes. I think that may be why it's difficult for me to consider 2012 a great year for movies. I do consider 2012, however, a great year for variety, which is a trend I hope we continue to see.

To find the flicks that didn't disappoint (too much), hit the jump!

Top 5 Movie Guide: Nick Nolte

For the latest Top 5 Movie Guide, we take a look at some titles from the filmography of Nick Nolte, co-star of this weekend's "Parker". Nolte got his start at the Pasadena Playhouse, a historic performing arts venue in California. Along with his performances there, he also appeared in various regional theatre productions. His break though came in 1976 when he appeared in the TV mini-series, "Rich Man, Poor Man". The role earned him much critical praise, and he was soon a sought-after name for many of Hollywood's biggest films.

While the three time Academy Award nominee had had more than his fair share of successes over the years, the lineup of roles he's been considered for or even rejected reads more like a Best-Of list than anything. Though there are many more films that fall into this category, Nolte was originally considered for the roles of Indiana Jones in "Raiders of the Lost Ark", Han Solo in "Star Wars", John Rambo in "First Blood", Clark Kent/Superman in "Superman" (1978), and Kurt Russell's eventual role in both "The Thing" and "Escape from New York". While all of these roles never worked out for a variety of reasons, only the roles of Indiana Jones and Snake Plissken were ultimately offered to Nolte; he of course turned both of them down. Who knows where Nolte's career might have gone had some of these roles worked out, but even still, he's managed to make a pretty good name for himself.

We'll refrain from digging into his substance abuse past (he's admittedly been clean and sober now since 2002's infamous mugshot), but I do find it interesting to note that one of his best friends is Gary Busey. Say what you will about either of these men, but I can only imagine the trouble this pair got into back in the day. To be a fly on the wall in that room...

Let's keep the focus on films for now though - hit the jump to see which of Nolte's films resonated as some of our favorites!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ben's Top 15 Movies of 2012

I think most of us can agree that 2012 was a great year for film productions of all sizes and genres. While it is my duty as a film blogger to check out as many films as possible, I can honestly say that no one had to twist an arm to get my butt to the theater for most of the films on this list - that is a testament to the quality of the releases this year coming from someone who hates to leave the ol' man cave to watch movies that will probably get interrupted by obnoxious talkers and texters (we'll save that rant for another day). For better or worse, the 15 ranked films inside represent the cinematic works that stood out above the rest, leaving a lasting impression that invites multiple viewings for years to come.

Hit the jump for my top 15 or 2012!

Slackers Selection CinemaCast: Episode 45

Thanks for checking out this week's edition of the Slackers Selection CinemaCast!

Another slower-than-usual week, but that will probably be the case at least for the next month or so, as January and February are traditionally very slow times in the movie world (outside of some film festivals and awards shows that we'll probably focus on more with BonusCasts).

New releases this weekend included "Mama", "The Last Stand" and 'Broken City". Unfortunately, only one of us was able to get to "The Last Stand"; hopefully we'll have a bit more discussion on some new releases next weekend - though, again, most of these aren't incredibly inspiring movies that we're dying to get to the theaters and see. It shouldn't be a shock if we pass some of these up.

Next week looks to get even worse, as "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters", "Movie 43", and "Parker" all hit theaters. We go over which we might be seeing, if any.

Otherwise, only a couple of notable films were seen outside of theaters this week. Nathan got in a viewing of "End of Watch", while Alex checked out "Seven Psychopaths". Also, we do take a few minutes breaking down the upcoming Die Hard movie, and give some suggestions as to how the film could have been anything but the disaster we expect.

This is one of our shorter podcasts, so you shouldn't have much trouble with it. Be sure to give it a listen!

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: January 22, 2013

Not a whole lot going on in terms of mainstream titles this week, with the exception of two that made this list, but that is okay, because it's nice to focus on indie and B-level fare sometimes. Those of you who missed out on End of Watch or didn't ever get a chance with The Paperboy, will now have the opportunity of checking those out in the comfort of home. As is usual, there will be a cult classic or two getting the hi-def treatment, but you'll have to head inside to see what made it in this week's post.

Monday, January 21, 2013

The Trailer Park: At Any Price, The East, Kink, Mud, The Playroom, Red 2, S-VHS, Spring Breakers, Wrong Cops

Welcome to The Trailer Park! - A weekly column rounding up new and newish trailers lurking around the internet.

As always, put on your John Nada sunglasses before the jump or...submit to the advertising.

Alex's Top 15 Movies of 2012

It's that time of year again; time to unveil which films from the previous year we found as some of our favorites! We're changing things up a little bit this year, but hopefully all in ways that will be beneficial to you, the reader. Instead of one giant post (similar to our Top 5 Movie Guides) where we each list of our favorites, we instead decided this year that each writer would get their own post to play with. Not only will it make things more personal to each writer, but it should provide more space for each of us to elaborate on a few of our picks.

The plan is to start with this post and release another each day through the end of the week. As is apparent with this post, I'll reveal my picks today, then Ben will get his up tomorrow, Derek on Wednesday, Nathan on Thursday, and your week is book-ended by the other Schopp brother, Andy, on Friday. As something else that has changed from last year to this, we all decided to go with our Top 15 films this year, instead of doing the traditional 10. No real reason behind this other than that we love lists, and we love showing off films deserving of recognition. Otherwise, it's just five more titles that should help display a bit more of our personalities and the types of films that resonated with each of us last year.

All of that being said, it's time for me to debut my Top 15 of 2012!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Box Office Report: Jessica Chastain's "Mama" & "Zero Dark Thirty" On Top

It was a good weekend for actress Jessica Chastain, who saw both of her starring movies take the top two spots at the box office. Her newest release, the horror/thriller "Mama", took the top overall spot, while her war drama "Zero Dark Thirty" finished significantly behind, but still good enough for second place.

A couple of longtime box office icons didn't fare nearly as well as many hoped or expected. Russell Crowe and Mark Wahlberg's "Broken City" managed the top five this weekend, but failed to hit the $10MM mark. And Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his first starring role since his return to acting, managed even less traction with "The Last Stand", barely squeaking into the top ten. Overall, it was clear that a mix bad reviews and a hotter (I meant in terms of current acting projects, but we know we can apply this the other way, too) Jessica Chastain was more intriguing to most moviegoers.

David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook" also had a nice showing this weekend as it continues to boost its theater count on the heals of a Best Picture nomination.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Jim Carrey in First Official "Kick-Ass 2" Pic!

We can thank Entertainment weekly for debuting the first official image from the hotly anticipated Kick-Ass 2, the R-rated sequel to Matthew Vaughn's Kick-Ass. The picture shows Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey) and Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) having a conversation and maybe even a hot dog...Not exactly the most exciting image ever, but it gives us a good look at Carrey in full gear! I think we can all agree that Carrey's performance is a huge draw for the film, especially considering his lackluster fare as of late - time to win back our affection!

Vaughn took a pass at directing this time, handing down the reigns to Jeff Wadlow. I don't know how to feel about this considering the bang-up job Vaughn did with the first one, and the equally impressive work he did on X-men: First Class. His presence will surely be missed. Wadlow's only well known directing credits are for Cry Wolf and Never Back Down. They don't inspire me, but the casting does, so maybe this film will put him on the map. Either way, Kick-Ass 2 is happening and it looks to match, if not surpass the original.

Hit the jump for the official synopsis and a full version of the picture!

Top 5 Movie Guide: Worst/Most Hated Comic Relief Sidekicks

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we turn our attentions to this weekend's "The Last Stand" for inspiration. The film, which sees Arnold Schwarzenegger back in a starring action role, also sees Johnny Knoxville as the comic relief sidekick of the film, an actor who many of us proclaimed on our last CinemaCast as a major reason why we had little interest in this film. Unfortunately, the silly antics we see from Knoxville in the trailer appear to have little to do with the development of the plot in the film, as he's simply thrown in to get a few cheap laughs. None of us have a problem with a few laughs in a film, for characters like this - characters that you can just look at or hear their voice and know how annoying they're going to be - they're just pointless and a waste of everyone's time.

Wikipedia defines comic relief as "a releasing of emotional or other tension resulting from a comic episode interposed in the midst of serious or tragic elements in a drama. Comic relief often takes the form of a bumbling, wisecracking sidekick of the hero or villain in a work of fiction. A sidekick used for comic relief will usually comment on the absurdity of the hero's situation and make comments that would be inappropriate for a character who is to be taken seriously." Sometimes this is a great thing, where you have an otherwise dry movie lifted up by a witty sidekick who really brings a lot of fun to the film. Other times, as with our friend Ruby Rhod above, it comes off more as just annoying and pointless, ruining an otherwise decent film. And those latter characters, those are the ones we'll be focusing our lists on today; just the worst ones we've ever had to deal with in the past.

I was really trying to work in Guy Fleegman's (Sam Rockwell) self-aware "plucky comic relief" exchange from "Galaxy Quest" into this post, but I just couldn't seamlessly make it work. Unfortunately, he serves as one of the best examples these characters has offered in the past, and has little meaning on this list. Still, it's a fun snippet for a post completely revolving around such characters. Oh well...

Hit the jump to see which characters from which films made our lists for some of the worst of all-time!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Blooper Reel for Judd Apatow's "This is 40"

When a film stars the likes of Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Leslie Mann, Chris O'Dowd, and others, you know there are going to be plenty of laughs to be had. Add on top of that the comedic stylings of producer and director Judd Apatow, and there's no limit to where it can end. Unfortunately, while Apatow's latest feature, "This Is 40", may have been his most well-rounded feature to date, it wasn't exactly his funniest. There were plenty of stories about the film's production though, and one can only imagine some of the content that didn't make the film. Now, thanks to Funny or Die, we get a small taste of just what that content was. The website recently posted a blooper reel featuring various clip and scenes, a few of which eventually made the film, but most did not.

Personally, I'd rather watch a two-hour clip of these comics and their outtakes than just about any comedy movie out there. These people are all hilarious, and you can just see how good of a time they were having on set.

The clip, featured after the break, comes in at just under four minutes, though it feels like less than one.

J.J. Abrams and Bad Robot Pick Up Rights to Lance Armstrong Biopic

Today, Deadline is reporting that Bad Robot, teaming with Paramount Pictures, has purchased the screen rights to Juliet Macur's proposed book, Cycle of Lies: The Fall of Lance Armstrong. Macur, a sports reporter for the New York Times, has covered Armstrong's career for more than a decade and knows all there is to know about the athlete.

We've heard a lot of chatter over the past few years about a possible Lance Armstrong movie, with everyone from Matt Damon to Jake Gyllenhaal getting involved. But now, due to Armstrong's recent confessions to doping charges, the tone and direction of this film is sure to take a turn; the title of Macur's book should be a good indication that this will be no hero story.

No word yet as to the capacity that Bad Robot and Paramount Pictures will be involved, but for a story garnering such interest from most of the country, we can expect things to materialize soon.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

New 'Terminator' Script In The Works

With "The Last Stand" hitting theaters tomorrow, what a better time to reveal some new information on the Terminator 5 project. So far, little has been revealed for the fifth installment; all we know is that it's definitely going to happen. But when or who all will be involved is still up in the air. Justin Lin ("Fast Five") was originally lined-up to direct the film, but had to drop out due to conflicts with Fast & Furious 6. We know that Megan Ellison and her Annapurna Films is producing the picture ("The Master", "Zero Dark Thirty"), and that brother, David Ellison/Skydance Pictures ("True Grit", "Star Trek Into Darkness"), will co-produce. Outside of that, and knowing that Arnold Schwarzenegger is still (hopefully) attached to appear in minor form, is all that's currently on the table.

But today, a bit more news finally trickled in.

In Theaters This Weekend: January 18, 2013

The weekend is right on schedule this week, positioning itself right at the end. It's probably best that it's done that way, since we have some movies that need watching, and this work schedule really interferes with my ability to make it out to the theater.

We see the full return of Arnold Schwarzenegger in "The Last Stand"; personally, I am excited to see him back in full swing! "Mama" is the new Guillermo Del Toro horror flick, in which my interest is above average. "Broken City" rounds out the trio as a new crime thriller with some good names attached. All in all, I'm excited for this week's releases.

Take the jump and I'll get a little more in depth on each.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

'E.T.' and "Jaws" Custom Posters On Sale Tomorrow

Who out there loves custom movie artwork? If you're like most of us, then you do. And leading the way in this department these days is the company Mondo. Notoriously known for last-minute, limited-edition prints, the company is leading the way in movie and television inspired posters and prints. And what a better way to start off the new year than with these just-announced prints for both "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and "Jaws". Both will be available in limited quantity at some point tomorrow.

Artists Laurent Durieux and Mike Mitchell offered up their talents for these posters. The E.T. print is far and away my favorite, because not only does it feature one of the most iconic scenes in movie history, it also is a film that resonated much more with my childhood than "Jaws" did.

After the break you'll find all of the specifics, including full images of each poster, quantities available, pricing info, and, of course, where and how you can pick them up!

Top 5 Movie Guide: Arnold Schwarzenegger

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we turn our attentions to the star of this weekend's "The Last Stand", Arnold Schwarzenegger. Austrian-born, Schwarzenegger is an actor, politician and businessman, who got his start as a bodybuilder. He was very successful, winning five Mr. Universe competitions and seven Mr. Olympia titles. As he eased his way into acting, he started out with a few misses but finally got his break in 1982's "Conan the Barbarian". Two year's later, it was James Cameron's "The Terminator" which propelled him into super-stardom. After that, Schwarzenegger was the go-to action star of that 80's and 90's. He continued his hot streak with films like "Predator", "Total Recall", T2, "True Lies", and even tried his hand at comedy with films like "Twins", "Kindergarten Cop", and "Junior". He continued to see his stock rise, even after turning down lead roles in films such as "RoboCop", "Judge Dredd", and that of John McClane in "Die Hard".

Let's briefly jump back to "The Terminator", as there are a couple of great bits from its production worthy of mention. First, Cameron originally wanted Schwarzenegger for the role of Kyle Reese, but after reading the script, Schwarzenegger suggested playing The Machine instead. Cameron insisted that Reese was the star of the film and that was the role he should take. But Schwarzenegger stood firm on his preference. The other is that his now iconic catchphrase "I'll Be Back" almost didn't make the film. Schwarzenegger did not like the line and thought it should have been, in a less focused effort, "I'll come back". This time, it was Cameron who insisted that the line was good. Both instances seem to have worked out for the best.

As the 2000's came, Schwarzenegger was in decline. The action roles weren't there anymore, and his film choices floundered. So, in 2003, he ran for Governor of the State of California and won. He held office for eight years until 2011. Much to the disappointment of movie fans around the world, his acting was put on hiatus while in office.

Thankfully, those days are over, as Schwarzenegger is again lining up film projects left and right. It might already be easy to remember that we'd not seen him on screen for nearly a decade, as he's so seamlessly transitioned back into the craft. But without a doubt, each of us here are strongly in favor of his renewed career. He was an icon for our generation, and hopefully he's able to regain some of that magic in his latter years. For now, hit the jump to see which of his titles made our lists!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Slackers Selection CinemaCast: Episode 44

Thanks for checking out this week's edition of the Slackers Selection CinemaCast!

What the difference a week makes. Last week saw an epic 'Cast, where we struggled to keep things under the two-hour mark. This week, quick and clean, as we come in right around 45 minutes. We held off on most awards talk, as we'll have another BonusCast in the coming days to really dig into everything. Still, we touched a bit on Sunday's Golden Globe Awards and the implications, if any, of their outcome.

As for the weekend's new releases, "Gangster Squad" and "A Haunted House", a few of us saw the first and share some opinions on that, which are mostly positive.

Next week isn't the most inspiring of weeks, but there seems to be aspects we can appreciate in all three releases, which include "The Last Stand", "Mama", and "Broken City". We run through which we'll be checking out this weekend.

We finish up the talk on a variety of short topics including Nathan's thoughts on the Academy Award nominated "Amour", Ben and Andy's reaction to last weekend's Portage International Film Festival, and back to Nathan for a recap on his best movie theater experience ever.

As mentioned above, it's a pretty efficient episode this week, so definitely be sure to give it a listen!

Don Coscarelli Talks "John Dies at the End" and the Future of "Bubba Nosferatu"

In a recent video interview with IGN, legendary director, Don Coscarelli discuses his newest film, John Dies at the End. The meat and potato portion of the discussion details the appeal of the source novel, and working with an indie budget on high concept sci fi material.

"There was so much original, inventive, clever, funny and scary concepts in the book that for somebody like me, it was right up my alley"

Other interesting tidbits of the conversation include the rundown of what happened to the anticipated sequel to Bubba Ho-Tep, Bubba Nosferatu: Curse of the She-Vampires.

"It's funny how it came up because, the concept was originally just a bit of a joke...At one time we had funding set and it just didn't work out. Bruce Campbell decided he didn't really want to do it and he had some other things going on and so it sort of stopped there. But the one thing I do know is that Elvis is eternal... "

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: Jan 15, 2013

Look's like we're into the third week of the new year, and with that comes a few new titles ready be inserted into the ole Blu-ray player. The most exciting releases are the Liam Neeson actioner, Taken 2, and Ghost House Picture's new fright fest, The Possession. If you regularly view the blog, you might have noticed that I've previously written a review on The Possession, which you can find a link to inside. If those two titles don't strike your fancy, don't fret, those aren't the only ones I've handpicked.

80's Kids: 'Ninja Turtles' And 'Conan' Move Forward With Production!

My initial plan was simply to post about the production updates for "Ninja Turtles", but as I came across this update for "The Legend of Conan", I thought my 80's brethren might appreciate hearing some updates on this franchise as well. The former doesn't provide many updates outside of a rough timetable for initial shooting, though any Turtles fan will surely be happy enough to know that, at this point, filming is at least progressing. Conan, on the other hand, has some great new details to provide on what type of story will be told. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who starred in the original "Conan the Barbarian" and will again appear in "The Legend of Conan", recently weighed in on some specifics of the story, all of which got me rather excited for what's ahead!

After the break I'll touch on the details of each, including when both might be expected in theaters.

The Trailer Park: The Call, Ghost Team One, Girls Against Boys, A Glimpse Inside The Mind Of Charles Swan III, The Last Exorcism Part II, Mobius, Officially Limited, The Power Of Few, Trance

Welcome to The Trailer Park! - A weekly column rounding up new and newish trailers lurking around the internet.

As always, put on your John Nada sunglasses before the jump or...submit to the advertising.

Monday, January 14, 2013

In Review: The Portage International Film Festival

By Andy Schopp and Ben Foutch 

Driving through unfamiliar territory, especially in a big city such as Chicago, can be an unnerving experience. The towering architecture and unrelenting traffic creates an atmosphere of excitement and unrest that has an effect not unlike a swift jolt of caffeine. However, this feeling of unease is short-lived, because the Portage marquee is within eye-site.  

Standing proudly as a beacon of independent cinema in the Chicago area, the Portage Theater provides a safe haven for local cinephiles, and in this case, two travel-weary slackers. Curious as to how the Portage holds to its solid reputation, and ready to absorb whatever films that time will allow, we enter the local landmark. Immediately, the familiar smell of fresh, buttery popcorn coming from the concession area welcomes us with open arms like an old friend. Even though we are miles from our local movie houses, the Portage feels like home.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Night of (Mostly) Fun: The Golden Globe Award Winners and Losers

Earlier tonight, The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) held their annual award show, the Golden Globes. The event, which honors excellence in both film and television, aired on NBC and was hosted by both Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Known more for its partying and casual style, the Globes are still an integral cog of the yearly awards circuit.

In terms of the overall telecast, it seemed a success to me. There were a few hiccups along the way, but for the most part, Fey and Poehler did a great job of keeping things light and fun. Most of the other presenters seemed to have enough alcohol in them to provide witty shots against their fellow thespians. Speeches were generally entertaining and inspired, though in the two times Anne Hathaway took the stage, I was over her act real quick (this is a fun event, and she treated it like it was the more important moment of her life. It's nice to be humble and appreciative, but calm down. You looked silly up there next to everyone else who was just cracking jokes the whole time). But overall, I had my share of laughs, and for the most part, thought the three-hour time went by quicker than you'd expect.

We didn't see a lot of surprises, as these guys are notorious for going with the grain, though a few films and filmmakers definitely helped their respective chances come next month's Academy Awards.

Box Office Report: "Zero Dark Thirty" On Top Of "A Haunted House" And "Gangster Squad" With Nationwide Expansion

Though Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty" has been making its way around select theaters for weeks now, this was the first that saw the film receive an nationwide expansion. Great timing for the film, as just last week it was nominated for a total of five Academy Awards, including that of Best Picture. The film has sparked a myriad of controversies its release, with most of them circling around the torture depictions in the film. I will not feed into the arguments one way or the other in this post, but I will say that I think the studio knew exactly what they were doing here; whichever side of the fence you fell on, most people wanted to get a look for themselves just to see what all the fuss was about.

The film out-grossed new releases this week "A Haunted House" and "Gangster Squad". This wasn't a complete surprise given we're in the first weeks of the new year, where studios generally like to dump their flops. Both seem to have their audiences, but neither reviewed well at all, surely leading to a few less bucks at the ticket booth.

"Texas Chainsaw 3D" saw the biggest drop of any film in the top fifteen this week, though that doesn't surprise me one bit. "Lincoln", on the other hand, in its tenth week, finished inside the top ten and actually saw its numbers increase from last weekend. Is that film ever going to stop?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Spoof Movies

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we turn our attentions to this weekend's "A Haunted House" for some inspiration. The film is written by and stars Marlon Wayans, the same man that brought us "Scary Movie" and "Scary Movie 2" a decade ago (and really, the only two films from that series that are even tolerable). This latest film appears to be something very similar in tone and style to his earlier Scary Movie work, hopefully rekindling some of the inspiration that was noticeable in those films. As for the film's relevance this week, we decided to borrow its genre for a bit, the Spoof Comedy genre, and take a look at some of our favorites that have entertained us over the years.

Spoof or Parody films are those which satirize other movie genres. Just about every genre of film has been spoofed over the years, though, interestingly, you can see common trends from decade to decade. The 2000's has focused a majority of its efforts on the horror genre, while the 1980's, for example, saw big play for the action genre. While the 1970's can probably be credited for the genre's rise to fame (once Mel Brooks got his hands in the honeypot), the first spoof movies are credited the Abbott and Costello back in the 1940's, when the genre was first spoofing Hollywood horror films.

If you're older than the age of 20, then you've probably seen the drastic decline that the genre has suffered over the past decade or so. Studios have realized they can churn these things out for pennies on the dollar, putting very little effort into the writing outside of cramming as many pop culture references into a film that they can, that almost all creative inspiration has disappeared. While the genre has never been anything of a truly acclaimed art, the 70's, 80's and even 90's saw real interest being put into it. I'm reminded of a segment in Paul Thomas Anderson's "Boogie Nights" where Jack goes to his editor as they're first making the films with Marky Mark and the editor says to him that 'this is a real film' (even though it was pornography); when VHS is introduced and they realize they can make films for very cheap and mass produce, he again checks on their latest film, and the editor says, very passively, 'it is what it is'. If that doesn't sum up what's become of this genre over the past decade or so, then I don't know what does.

Anyway, apologies for the mini detour. Hopefully we'll see the genre again return to its glory days, but until then, hit the jump to see which films made each of our lists!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Steven Spielberg Set to Produce Fourth "Jurassic Park" for a 2014 Release!

Apparently, Steven Spielberg freed up some time by delaying production on Robopocalypse, as it has been officially announced that the newest installment of Jurassic Park will be produced by the legendary filmmaker for a release on June 13, 2014.

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, the first Jurassic Park has grossed a solid $914 million worldwide, spawned two sequels and enough merchandise to bury Rhode Island.

Let's just hope the rumors aren't true about militarized dinosaurs. Having said that, I'd pay some money to see a T-Rex with a rocket launcher...

Some Random Videos For Your Friday Evening

It's been a rather slow Friday evening for me over here, and since we don't have a regularly scheduled post set to release today, I figured I'd catch up on a few little items hitting the internet over the past couple of days. I confined the content of this post mostly to short video clips I saw floating around, but there are a few extra little items mixed in there as well.

So after the break, check out Seth MacFarlane's Oscar promos for ABC, ILM's featurette for their recently-nominated Visual Effects in "Marvel's The Avengers", Will Ferrell and Ryan Gosling selling some knifes, Paul F. Tompkins singing Adele's "Skyfall" theme, The Credits' fascinating article 'Your Brain on Movies', and some neat looking Marvel & DC superhero iPhone cases!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Seth MacFarlane and Emma Stone Announce Oscar Nominations

The Oscar Nominations have been announced. Host of this years Academy Awards Seth McFarlane along with Emma Stone, listed off the nominees earlier this morning. You can guarantee our thoughts on the nominations after we let them simmer in our minds and hearts for a bit. Be sure to look for another upcoming special edition CinemaCast where we'll discuss our thoughts on what happened today.

Take a look at the nominees and watch the announcement after the jump.

In Theaters This Weekend: January 11, 2013

As a wise man once said, "Soylent Green is People!" - Det. Robert Thorn, aka Charlton Heston. How that applies to this post is beyond me but I felt it needed to be said either way. In all reality though, welcome back ladies and lads, we have a nice little one-two punch lined up for your reading pleasure today.

Two movies will be hitting theaters in wide release this coming weekend in "Gangster Squad" and "A Haunted House". If you make a spoof of a spoof does it become a serious movie? I can't imagine so but I can tell you that I am not all that enthused for a comedy version of "Paranormal Activity". I'm not saying it won't be funny or entertaining, because I'm sure it will be on some levels, I am simply saying that I won't be rushing to the theater to check it out. "Gangster Squad", on the other hand, I have a bit more intrigue about. If you want my full views on both then hit the jump and let's keep the trail a'blazin!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bonus Cast: The Oscar Nomination Preview Edition

While the AMPAS are set to announce this year's Academy Award nominees tomorrow morning, a few of us here at the Slackers Selection Movie Blog decided to weigh in on some last minute thoughts, predictions, and possible winners. The awards themselves are still more than a month away - and we'll surely be bringing you a more focused round-up of the nominees and our predictions closer to the event itself - we thought it might be fun to get on record some of our thoughts before anything is officially released. Come tomorrow morning we'll see just how accurate our predictions look, but for the most part, as the three of us who participated in this podcast are big awards followers - myself, Derek Clem and Nathan Hinds - most of the nominations we discuss should hold pretty strong. Picking the winners, of course, is the tricky part.

To keep this chat as concise as possible (we still managed to go over an hour...), we limited our discussion to only these categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, and Best Original & Adapted Screenplay.

If you want to get up to speed on some of the favorites for the nominations and victories (even just to sound educated at the water cooler tomorrow, when this will surely be a major topic of discussion), give a listen below. Who knows how accurate we'll be with any of it, but it was fun to discuss, and we think you'll have a fun time listening!

Top 5 Movie Guide: Sean Penn

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we turn our attentions to one of the stars of this weekend's "Gangster Squad"Sean Penn. Penn, who is one of the most dynamic actors of our time, may also be known equally as much for is eccentric personal life and outward political views. His short temper is well documented by the community service hours he's racked up over the years, but he also happens to be one of the most decorated actors working today. Penn started out in the early-1980's, appearing in a hodgepodge of different films. Many were praised - such as his breakout role as Jeff Spicoli in "Fast Time at Ridgemont High - while others were panned.

The 1990's, however, saw Penn as a much more mature and a accomplished actor. He seemingly couldn't miss in the decade, which brought him his first two Academy Award nominations for performances in "Dead Man Walking" (1995) and "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999) - to date, Penn is the only person outside of Woody Allen himself to win an acting Oscar for a Woody Allen-directed film. In the new millennium, Penn has continued his high-profile career, racking up three more Academy Award nominations. He did not win 2001 for "I Am Sam", but has since brought home the last two in which he's been nominated for, "Mystic River" (2003) & "Milk" (2008) - he is currently one of only eight other actors to have won two Best Actor Oscars.

Penn continues to act in films, but as he's aged, he's noted his disinterest in the craft, and said that he'd prefer to only direct from here on out. It doesn't look like we're quite there yet, but at this point, any one of these films could be his last. For now though, hit the jump to see which titles made our lists!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Movie Justice? 'Twilight' "Earns" Razzie Nomination In Every Category

I voiced my opinions last year on this organization and what I'd love to see come of them, but as is noticeable from this year's nominees, they seem to have ignored my exhortations. So it's another year of the same old song and dance. As the title points out, many movie enthusiasts across the globe will praise the movie gods for this small bit of cinematic karma, but ultimately - without having yet seen this latest Twilight installment - I have to be honest and say that the clear obsession they've displayed towards this series makes me continually less excited about its plethora of nominations. Had it been nominated for only a few notable categories, I feel that its presence would have meant more. Don't get me wrong, I don't think anyone's lining up to say that any of the Twilight movies are among the best ever crafted, but when you're just trying to squeeze the title into as many nominations as you can, the true Razzie personality comes out and all meaning or enjoyment in what could be is lost.

As for some of the other nominees, mostly I was surprised not to see "John Carter" show up anywhere; it must just be cooler to hate "Battleship" right now. That film nabbed six nominations, including that for Worst Picture. I thought the film was entertaining enough for what it was, though I'll admit that it's an uphill battle defending its exclusion here. "That's My Boy" finished with the second most nominations of any film, picking up eight. This seems reasonable to me, even if I mirror some of my earlier Twilight sentiments here as well. Also, as pointed out last year, a male again picked up a nomination for Worst Actress, this year Tyler Perry in his latest, "Madea's Witness Protection". I'm not saying recognition isn't worthy for Perry's cringe-worthy performance, but let's confine his nomination to that of Worst Actor; surely there are plenty of incapable actresses out there who deserve their time in the sun.

You can check out the full list of nominees after the break, as well as the awful video announcement released to introduce the event. I realize it was supposed to be bad, but that was just painful.