Thursday, February 28, 2013

In Theaters This Weekend: March 1st, 2013

We get a decent medley of genres tomorrow as we have four movies hitting with absolutely nothing in common! I'm not sure the quality levels are very high, but there should at least be a good variety for movie-goers. "21 and Over", "Phantom", "Jack the Giant Slayer", and "The Last Exorcism Part II" all hit in wide variety, although I am unsure as to why and how The Last Exorcism got a sequel.. Didn't we get a pretty definite ending the first time around? Oh well, ON TO THE STATS!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Ewan McGregor

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we take a look at some of our favorite films featuring Ewan McGregor, star of this weekend's "Jack the Giant Slayer". Born in Scotland, McGregor started acting at 16, when he dropped out of school to join the Perth Repertory Theatre. Oddly enough, this move was actually at the encouragement of his mother, who suggested that he leave school to pursue his acting dreams. The move paid off, as he quickly worked his way up theatre ranks. After studying for three years at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama (alongside Daniel Craig), he landed his first notable film role in "Shallow Grave" (1994), which was directed by Danny Boyle. McGregor would team-up with Boyle on his next two projects, "Trainspotting" (1996) and "A Life Less Ordinary" (1997), the first of which truly introduced him to a worldwide audience.

After the success of "Trainspotting" and other notable films in the mid-90's, McGregor landed the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in the first three Episodes of the latest Star Wars trilogy. McGregor, who is still known to this day for his independent/low-budget film preferences, has stated that Star Wars is the only big market franchise he would break his interests for. He even took his name out of the running for the role of James Bond in "Casino Royale" (2006), a film which he was at one time considered to be the front-runner for.

Though most high-profile roles have not eluded McGregor (as he has not pursued them), he has lost out on two notable roles to Leonardo DiCaprio, both "Romeo + Juliet" (1996) and "The Beach" (2000). The latter would have reunited him with three-time collaborator, director Danny Boyle, but after a scrutinized and controversial casting decision, McGregor separated himself from Boyle, and has not talked to the filmmaker since.

While McGregor has never been nominated for an Oscar, he continues to be one of the most respected actors working in Hollywood today.

Hit the jump to see which films we picked as some of our favorites!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Trailer Park: 6 Souls, The Call, Kiss Of The Damned, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Simon Killer, Spring Breakers

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.

Slackers Selection CinemaCast: Episode 48

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

The Oscars were just two nights ago, and we had plenty of thoughts and reactions to detail. Only two of us, Alex and Derek, were available post-Oscars to get our thoughts in, but we still cover much of the ceremony, from the overall show and telecast, to the winners, losers, upsets, and our least favorite wins on the night.

"Argo" took home Best Picture, which was generally expected, but the Best Director category and a few of the Acting categories provided a bit more surprise. We also saw the sixth tie for an award in the event's 85 year history, and the first ever in one of the tech categories. That was a neat thing to see.

Overall, it felt like the crop of winners was strong this year, and for the most part, we were both pleased with the outcomes. As for the presentation and the show's direction, we had our fair share of complaints.

Give a listen to this week's podcast below to hear all of our in-depth thoughts!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: February 26, 2013

This week we've got varying levels of quality from prestigious all the way down to trash cinema. If you have sort of an eclectic taste, surely something here will stand out. The biggest title making its debut is The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, whom you might remember as the man behind There Will Be Blood, Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia, and Boogie Nights. The film has received mostly positive reviews thus far, but like much of his work, is not exactly a casual watch.

2013 Oscar Winners; "Argo" Takes Top Prize

As most of you surely know by this point, the Oscars were held last night, where the biggest and most prestigious awards were given out to top filmmakers. While the event and telecast itself had a variety of issues this year, I was pretty pleased with most of the outcomes. It seemed like everyone got a little bit of attention - outside of "Beasts of the Southern Wild", which unfortunately was the lone Best Picture nominee to end the night empty-handed. Overall, "Life of Pi" won the most awards, with four, even with its director, Ang Lee, besting Steven Spielberg in the Best Director category. "Argo" and "Les Miserables" both won three awards, though it was "Argo" that took home the top prize of Best Picture. "Lincoln", a film with 12 overall nominations, won just two, those for Actor in a Leading Role (Daniel Day-Lewis) and Production Design. "Django Unchained" featured two unexpected (but in this writer's eyes, very much deserving) wins for Actor in a Supporting Role (Christoph Waltz) and Original Screenplay (Quentin Tarantino).

Overall, there are a million things that I want to comment on and discuss, but I think I'll leave most of my opinions for our CinemaCast that will post tomorrow. There we'll all discuss our thoughts not only on the winners, losers, and surprises, but also on the show itself, where it nailed it and where it missed. For now, check out a full list of the winners below!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Box Office Report: Bad Movies Top Box Office on Oscar Weekend

Not that it's anything too unexpected, but the abysmal crop of titles at the top really stands out to me this weekend because we're now just hours away from celebrating the very best films that 2012 had to offer. The Oscars will be held tonight, and films like "Argo", "Lincoln", "Life of Pi", "Silver Linings Playbook" and more will all vie for some of the most coveted awards in the film industry. But today, looking at the box office numbers - while each of those four films did make the top 15 this week - far less significant films vied for top honors. The two new releases this week were "Snitch" and "Dark Skies". "Snitch" actually holds a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes right now, which is far better than I would have expected. But, outside of that score - which, let's be honest, still isn't anything to write home about - the film with the best review score in the top five? "Escape from Planet Earth" at 27%... There are bad films out right now, and that's part of the reason why the overall box office numbers were again significantly down this weekend.

The good news? Not only can watch the Oscars tonight and remember what quality films look like, but the month of February (at least in terms of new releases) is now officially over. That's one more bad month behind us and only a couple more now until summer gets here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Alien Encounter Movies

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we look to this weekend's "Dark Skies" and compile some of our favorite Alien Encounter Movies! From the same producer as films like "Paranormal Activity", "Insidious", and "Sinister", "Dark Skies" is a supernatural thriller that follows a young family living in the suburbs. But their safe and peaceful home quickly unravels as they begin witnessing a series of disturbing events. When it becomes clear that the family is being targeted by an unimaginably terrifying and deadly force, they take matters in their own hands to solve the mystery of what is after their family.

Is it aliens? Is it a paranormal entity? You'll just have to watch the film and find out for yourself! For us, discussions of the film led to this list. We haven't done a true alien genre list to this point, and as there are so many great ones out there worth discussing, that we thought it a fine time to do so. For the category, we tried to center it around themes from "Dark Skies" as much as possible, but as is generally the case, we ultimately left the category fairly open and let the individual writers define their parameters. We knew the films had to be about aliens visiting planet earth though. There aren't a lot of alien movies out there that don't involve earth, but nonetheless, it was something we tried to stick to. Outside of that, it was open for interpretation.

Hit the jump to see just how each writer defined their own Top 5 list, and which films made the cut!

Friday, February 22, 2013

BonusCast: Oscar Predictions

As this year's Oscars are now just days away, we decided to get one last word in detailing some of our favorites, predictions, and upsets. The awards gang is back, with Alex, Derek, and Nathan, all three giving their picks to win awards in each category.

A few quick stats of note before we really dig in. Of the 24 total awards being presented, we are in complete agreement on 10 of them, all thinking the same film/filmmaker will win the award. On the flip-side, in only one category do all three of us differ - and what's interesting is that it's in one of the biggest categories!

Breaking down films that received picks from at least two of us, the numbers come out to "Les Miserables" taking home the most awards, with four. "Argo" and "Life of Pi" each received picks from at least two of us to receive three different awards, and "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Anna Karenina" got the majority for two different awards. Interestingly, "Lincoln", the film with the most overall nominations (12), was only selected by at least two of us to win one award.

Tons of great content to listen to below, and a great recap to get you all caught up before hitting that Oscar party Sunday night!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

In Theaters This Weekend: February 22, 2013

Cornering out our last week of February we have two wide release movies hitting the big screen, "Dark Skies" and "Snitch". I want to get something straight here real quick before I delve into the "treasure" you are about to read: I may talk bad about a lot of the movies I have been writing about, but it's just as a precautionary warning to all of you readers out there. I want to make sure that you get the best experience you are able to get while hitting up your local theater. When I say that many movies are garbage-esque I merely mean for you to not expect a gem to hit you in the face. I watch garbage movies all the time, and I even enjoy most of them. I can't specifically recall the last movie I went to and was upset that I saw it. So with that in mind lets take a dive in the murky pool of the duo happening this weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Susan Sarandon

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we take a look at some of our favorite films featuring Susan Sarandon, one of the stars of this weekend's "Snitch". While Sarandon did attend Catholic University in Washington D.C. for Drama, she was not always set on an acting career. It was only by chance that she landed her first film role. In college she married her former husband, Chris Sarandon, who was trying to be an actor. He took her with for an audition he had, and while he did not get the role, the director noticed her and gave her a small part. It wasn't anything extravagant, but it did get her onto the scene. After a few television and bit movie roles, in 1975 she landed the role of Janet in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"; a film that has remained a cult sensation now nearly 40 years later.

The film had a minuscule budget, and was initially met with disinterest from both critics and audiences alike, but eventually developed a strong cult following that made Sarandon a popular name. The film allowed her to focus on stronger film roles, most in the starring variety. In 1980 she was nominated for her first Academy Award ("Atlantic City"), but outside of 1988's "Bull Durham" (a film in which she met her partner of the next 20 years, Tim Robbins), she had little other success. The next decade was a different story though, where between 1991 and 1995 she was nominated for four Academy Awards - all for Lead Actress. She won in 1995, the last nomination she's received, for "Dead Man Walking".

Her career has not since matched the dominance it saw in the 1990's, but she's remained a household name in the decades since. While her roles are more in the supporting variety these days, she still acts in many films (she's appeared in more than 85 films to date), most of which are well received.

Hit the jump for some our favorites from her illustrious filmography!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Trailer Park: The Company You Keep, Detour, The Host, The Internship, It's A Disaster, Lore, The Numbers Station, Oblivion, Sanitarium, Trance, Two Mothers, Writers

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, February 18, 2013

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: February 19, 2013

It's sort of slim pickings this week in terms of new releases, but don't let that dampen your spirits - there are some classic gems in the mix. The hands down, standout title goes to Argo, which placed among our Top 15 Films of 2012. It also has been receiving a lot of praise this awards season. So, if you want to see what all the hype is about, now is the prime time. Sinister also makes its home video debut, but is not recommended for the squeamish. Head inside for the rundown these and the other titles I handpicked this week.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Box Office Report: "A Good Day to Die Hard" On Top; "Identity Thief" Steals Second Place

The good news? As We round into the second half of February, we're slowly seeing the box office start to pick up again. This week the top films were up $40MM from last weekend. The total of $139.2MM was still weaker than any of the first three weekends in January, but far and away better than the three previous February weekends. The bad news? There were better films in early February than some of the garbage releasing now. Folks, you have it backwards.

But March brings a new crop of films, and new hope. And with only one weekend left of February, we'll soon be able to put all of these films behind us and focus on what's traditionally a much more well-rounded grouping. That being said, March actually isn't looking a whole lot better right now, at least on paper... But we'll deal with that when we get there.

As for this weekend's films, "A Good Day to Die Hard" took the top spot, just edging out last week's "Identity Thief" and another new release, "Safe Haven". "Escape From Planet Earth" found itself in the top five this weekend, while the fourth and final new release, "Beautiful Creatures", left much to be expected.

Hit the jump for a complete listing on this weekend's numbers.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Russian-Themed Films

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, we turn our attentions to this weekend's "A Good Day to Die Hard", and try to put together some of our favorite Russian-Themed Films! "A Good Day to Die Hard", the fifth installment in the Die Hard franchise, sees iconic New York cop, John McClane, traveling to Moscow, this time to help his wayward son, Jack. Jack, a CIA operative, is trying to stop a nuclear weapons heist, one that could propel the next World War. And even though they may get under each other's skin, they realize that together, combining their two contrasting styles, they're an unstoppable team.

As the film, the first in the franchise to be focused outside of America, takes place in Russia itself, that opened the discussions for this category. Off the top of our heads, we knew that there were a handful of notable films out there that called Russia their title location - a few James Bond and Cold War movies quickly came to mind - we just weren't sure if there would be enough to focus a whole category around the subject.

Those questions lingered, but we honestly never explored them further. We never agreed to what the specific parameters would be, and if the films had to stay within the country of Russia themselves, at least visit the country, or if they simply had to involve a Russian presence. Because of this, the title of the category simply became Russian-Themed Films. Some stuck with the very specific confinements that most closely resembled what "A Good Day to Die Hard" provided for inspiration, while others opened things up a bit.

Either way, there's a Russian presence in each of the selections below, so whether you're talking about the country specifically, or just a film with a few Russian bad guys, the films below should provide you some insight into that world.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Theaters This Weekend: February 15, 2013

We have an exciting Valentine's Day weekend ahead with four wide releases hitting theaters! Three of these are actually opening today to rack up some of those date sales, while the fourth will be opening on Friday as per usual. Personally, I'm not overly excited for anything in the bunch, but there is definitely a wide splay of genres hitting so almost anyone can walk into the theater a happy camper! The four movies hitting our theaters are: "A Good Day to Die Hard", "Beautiful Creatures", "Safe Haven", and "Escape From Planet Earth".

Hit the jump for further details on each!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Jeremy Irons

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, in connection with this weekend's "Beautiful Creatures", we take a look at some other films featuring actor Jeremy Irons. Irons is an English actor who got his start studying at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. After two years of attendance, we went on to star in a variety of musicals and stage plays. He worked primarily out of London until 1984 when he made his way to Broadway. He first starred opposite Glenn Close in "The Real Thing", earning him strong critical praises.

After his work in the production, he transitioned to more mainstream film roles, including breakout work in "Dead Ringers" (1988) and "Reversal of Fortune" (1990), the second of which earned him his only Academy Award to date. And while he's won a bevy of different awards over the years, he's one of only 14 different performers to win the "Triple Crown" of acting: an Academy Award ("Reversal of Fortune" 1990), a Tony ("The Real Thing" 1984), and an Emmy ("The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century" 1996).

An accomplished horseman and avid garner and outdoorsman, Irons has stated in interviews that one of his biggest guilty pleasures entails sifting through dumpsters in search of discarded "treasures". I know that last bit has little to do with his acting career, but who doesn't like to imagine a 65-year-old, Academy Award winning man rummaging through the trash as a hobby?

Anyway, after the break, check out which films from Irons' filmography we detailed as some of our favorites!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Slackers Selection CinemaCast: Episode 47

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

Only three of us partook in this week's discussion, but as we're still in a slow time of the year, there's not a lot of exciting material yet to discuss. Still, we spend some time on some newer releases, including "Side Effects", "Warm Bodies", and "Bullet to the Head".

Next week's films opening in wide release are "A Good Day to Die Hard", "Beautiful Creatures", and "Save Haven". While none of them seem particularly intriguing, it shouldn't be too difficult to figure out which title of the three we'd each opt for.

Not much happened outside of theaters this week, but Derek did make his way over to a local art theater to check out all of the live-action and animated shorts nominated for Oscars this year. He goes through some of his favorites and some of the let-downs.

Another great week of interesting discussion, so be sure to give it a listen!

The Trailer Park: Big-Ass Spider!, Fast And Furious 6, Hours, Jack The Giant Slayer, Monsters University, Phil Spector, Room 237

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, February 11, 2013

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: February 12, 2013

If you're a regular reader of our blog, you might recall a recent post detailing our Top 15 films of 2012. Two movies from that list, Skyfall and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, are releasing this week, so if you haven't had the chance to check out either of those, you can rest assured that they have the Slackers' seal of approval. Aside from those, there are some other interesting titles that look well worth at least a one time rental. As a whole, this appears to be a solid week for releases, so there should be something for everybody.

Hit the jump for the rundown on the above titles and more!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Box Office Report: "Identity Thief" Cons Movie-Goers, Takes Top Spot

Who knew it would take the poorly reviewed comedy "Identity Thief" to boost the weekend numbers 30% from last weekend, and score the best opening in theaters so far this year? In spite of Hurricane Nemo ravaging most of the Northeast, the film still managed to exceed expectations. Meanwhile, Steven Soderbergh's "Side Effects" - the only other wide release - fell just short of where I hoped it would. It still performed respectably, but last weekend's "Warm Bodies" was able to best it.

Seven of the nine Best Picture nominees were in the top fifteen, with only "Amour" and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" left behind.

Check out the full weekend charts after the break!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Earth-Based Air Travel

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, in honor of this weekend's 3D re-release of "Top Gun", we decided to take a look at some of our favorite Airplane Movies! Most all should be familiar with the title, but for those who aren't, this 1986 film, directed by Tony Scott, stars Tom Cruise, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, and Kelly McGillis. The film centers around a hotshot ace pilot (Cruise) sent to the Top Gun Naval Flying School, where the best and brightest pilots in the Navy are trained. Attitudes and histories collide as each of the pilots try to prove themselves the best.

As you'll notice, the title above is slightly different than just "airplane movies", and that is because we wanted to open the category up as much as possible to include a good variety of films (though I think there's really only one title below that earned its spot due to us opening the list up to films outside of just airplanes). Either way, technically, we decided that any flying contraption - airplanes, airships, zeppelins, hot air balloons, wings, etc. - would qualify. The only restriction: the film and/or device had to be based here on earth; so no spaceships or rockets unless their focal was on earth and not in outer-space. Similarly to our restriction on space travel, we avoided science fiction in this list as well - looking at futuristic sci-fi movies you'll quickly find a great deal that contain flying vehicles for transport around the planet. We did not want to include these because it strayed far too much from our original source.

For the most part, look at these as simply Airplane Movies, but know that other forms of earth-bound air travel were also up for consideration.

So that being said, hit the jump to see which films made each of our lists!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

In Theaters This Weekend: February 8, 2013

Just when you were starting to get comfortable with my brother's contributions to this post, I'm back to throw a wrench into things and keep you on your toes - but don't worry, hopefully he'll be back to this action next week.

As for new films hitting theaters this week, we're looking at a trio that might all have a little something to offer. Headlining the class is Steven Soderbergh's latest (and last?), "Side Effects", starring Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara, Jude Law, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. This was our most anticipated film for the month of February, which shows just how weak this month is. The film likely to take the top spot at the box office, however, is the Jason Bateman-Melissa McCarthy comedy, "Identity Thief". And r
ounding out the group is "A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III", opening in just a few theaters this weekend, and the re-release of the late Tony Scott's "Top Gun" in 3D.

Hit the jump for a full rundown on each title!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Jude Law

For the latest edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, thanks to this weekend's "Side Effects", we decided to take a look at some of our favorite Jude Law films. Born and raised in London, Law got his start in acting at age 15. He attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama, but eventually dropped out to pursue a full-time acting gig, working for the National Youth Music Theatre. He worked for the company until 1995, when a musical on Broadway, "Indiscretions", stole his attention and even earned him a Tony nomination for his work. From there he dabbled in a variety of small television roles until landing a couple of big breaks in the late 90's.

After appearing in successful films "Gattaca" (1997) and "The Talented Mr. Ripley" (1999), he had arrived as a Hollywood actor. He followed up both performances with equally strong roles in "Enemy at the Gates" (2001) and "Road to Perdition" (2002), making him one of the more intriguing young actors coming out of the U.K. at the time.

Law, who has been nominated for two Academy Awards for his work in the films "The Talented Mr. Ripley" and "Could Mountain", has maintained impressive success in his continued acting career. And with his work recently as Dr. Watson in the Sherlock Holmes films alongside Robert Downey, Jr., for the first time in his career, he's a major blockbuster success (both films have out-grossed any of his previous films by roughly $100MM in the theaters).

Finally, before we dig in, we wanted to take this time to introduce our newest contributor to this post, Tracy Allison. I know things have been a bit sporadic recently with this post's membership, but there is hope here that we have finally found a fifth member that can provide consistent, insightful contributions. Besides the fact that she provides a slightly different perspective on film than the rest of us, she is a welcomed female addition to the crew that fills a much needed voice for the site. And for those of you concerned about this direction, do not worry. To answer the only pressing question that we know you all have, yes, she does love Star Wars.

If all goes well, we'll stick with this group of five moving forward. Hopefully you'll enjoy her opinions as much as we do.

Hit the jump for her first list, along with some thoughts from the rest of us!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Trailer Park: Computer Chess, From Up On Poppy Hill, Somebody Up There Likes Me, Spring Breakers (RED BAND), Zero Charisma, The Lords of Salem

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, February 4, 2013

Blu-Ray/DVD Releases: February 5, 2013

If last week was too dark for your tastes than things should be looking up, as the gritty standard previously set is replaced by a more neutral tone as a whole. Without a doubt, Flight, which marks the return of live-action directing by Robert Zemeckis and stars Denzel Washington, is the cream of the crop. But, one man's trash is another's treasure, as Alex Cross and Here Comes the Boom are also making their home video debut. While both of those titles probably aren't going to be on anyone's favorite lists, they might be an average way to kill an hour or so, and sometimes that is more than okay.

Hit the jump for a rundown of the above titles and more!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

2013 Super Bowl TV Spots

The Super Bowl, this year between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers, marks a notable day for studios to release new content for their upcoming big-budget films. And they have to be the biggest budgeted films the studios have to offer, because the average price of a 30-second block of ad time during the Super Bowl costs just over $3MM. And with some of these mini-trailers extending for more than a minute of time, you can quickly be looking at $7MM+.

Many would argue whether or not it's worth that - and there's probably a very good argument in there - but statistically speaking, more than 100 million people will watch the game this year, creating for the most extensive, one-time opportunity to get your content out to the public.

Hit the jump for all of this year's spots, including content for "Fast and Furious 6", "Iron Man 3", "Star Trek Into Darkness", "The Lone Ranger", "Oz the Great and Powerful", "World War Z", "Snitch", and "21 and Over".

Box Office Report: "Warm Bodies" Is Alive; Another Action Movie Flops

It wasn't much of a surprise that "Warm Bodies" took the top spot at the box office this weekend, as it was about the only film releasing that felt like it had a solid built-in demographic. There was hope that "Bullet to the Head" wouldn't fall to the same fate as previous action films "The Last Stand" and "Parker", and lucky us, it didn't! It actually managed to do worse... Yes, it looks like this wave of 80's action icons getting back on the screen in solo roles might have finally run its course. Help us, Bruce Willis, you're our only hope.

Overall, the numbers took another huge hit, dipping another $20MM or so from last week's already pitiful totals. The $68MM that the top films made this weekend was "beat" (less) only once in 2012, and that was in September, when "The Words" and "The Cold Light of Day" were the big openers. Yikes.

As a great example of the pace we're on this year, this same weekend last year saw the opening of "Chronicle" and "The Woman In Black"; and it was week two for "The Grey". Say what you will about any of those titles, but I don't see a single one of those three in the films that have released over the last couple of weeks.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Top 5 Movie Guide: Zombies

For this edition of the Top 5 Movie Guide, drawing inspiration from this week's "Warm Bodies", we take a gander at some of our favorite Zombie Movies. "Warm Bodies" tells the story of a world already overrun by zombies. But one seems a bit different than the rest. He forms a connection with a human which sets in motion a series of events that could help transform the entire lifeless world.

We're not sure how we feel about zombies and humans falling in love, or zombies coming back to life, but it seems an interesting concept for the genre, and one worth exploring. For our lists below, there wasn't much that needed defining. We all know that zombies are creatures that can be portrayed in two fashions: as either reanimated corpses or mindless human beings; regardless, they're almost always cannibalistic. And while zombie films generally fall into the horror genre, some cross over into other genres, such as comedy, science fiction, thriller, or romance. There are great installments from each of those categories, and many are featured below.

As a quick bit of history, Victor Halperin's "White Zombie" (1932) is often cited to be the first zombie film. However, arguments have been made that the somnambulism in the German expressionist film "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" (1919) was an earlier example, involving a character in a state similar to that exhibited by zombies. But, if you want to get technical, the very earliest Frankenstein and Mummy movies also featured reanimated corpses. Ultimately, it was George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead" (1968) that redefined what we today think of a "zombie" (actually, when the film came out, the term "zombie" still wasn't yet around); instead of focusing on enslaved voodoo zombies, Romero was the first to turn them into reanimated, flesh-eating ghouls, which is commonplace for the genre today. This was also the film that really helped kick-start an American fascination with the creatures.

Also, before we can dive into the post, we have a quick announcement to make. The fifth contributing member of this post, Andy Schopp, will be taking an undetermined leave of absence from the site. We hope his sabbatical is short-lived and that he remains a part of the site for years to come. The post will be trimmed to four contributors for the foreseeable future, with hopes of adding a new fifth sometime soon. We'll keep you posted on any happenings, but for now, hopefully you enjoy the lists that the other four of us will have to offer!

Happy Groundhog Day!

As most of you know, Groundhog Day is celebrated on February 2nd every year. According to folklore, if it is cloudy when a groundhog emerges from its burrow on this day, then spring will come early; if it is sunny, the groundhog will supposedly see its shadow and retreat back into its burrow, and the winter weather will continue for six more weeks.

And in case you were wondering, Pennsylvania’s most famous groundhog didn't see his shadow this year, meaning that spring is upon us!

So enjoy the early spring by checking out arguably the most famous movie ever centered around the holiday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Slackers' Top 5 Films to Look Forward to in February

If you're a regular reader of this site, then you know just how much we love lists. They're by no means a definitive perspective on anything, but they're a fun way to look at what an entire group of individuals comes to agreement on. At this point we've compiled a few special edition group lists, including our Greatest Movies of All-Time and Favorite Horror Films of All-Time, both of which turned out really well.

As you've already seen with previous installments of this post, these aren't anything overly technical - and in many cases, we're not able to base our opinions on much more than some trailers - but it's a fun way to preview the titles ahead and give you a brief look into what some of us over here, collectively, think is the best ahead.

There's no way in knowing what these films might hold, and we're not trying to say this grouping of films will necessarily be the best of the month, but these are the titles we're most looking forward to as a group.

Hit the jump for the ranking and a few details on the five films that this site sees as the most anticipated for the month of February!