Movies We Love

Movies We LoveIt stands to reason that Film School Rejects wouldn’t exist were it not for a love of movies. We love movies, there’s no two ways about it. In fact, scientific studies have shown that at any given moment of any given day, a member of the FSR team is probably definitely watching a movie. Movies We Love is where we go to write about some of our favorites. New or old, critical darlings and guilty pleasures alike. These are the movies we adore. And chances are that you’ll probably like them, too.

Updates Every: Wednesday

Movies We Love: Pee-wee

Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens) is a happy-go-lucky (and slightly effete) man-child who’s got the world on a string. He lives contentedly with his dog, Speck, and his cherished custom Schwinn bicycle. When his bike is stolen, Pee-wee must take to the road on a heroic journey across America to get it back.

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Jaws art by Justin Reed

One of my favorite films of all time turns 35 this week. An early effort from a then unknown director named Steve Spielberg. It was essentially a low budget monster movie set in a beautiful town near Martha’s Vineyard. It featured a few recognizable faces including an older character actor named Robert Shaw. When it was released, it scared the living daylights out of audiences with its “realistic” portrayal of shark attacks. The film was called Jaws, and its legend and popularity have aged like the finest of wines across these three-and-a-half decades.

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Meek, introverted accountant William Blake (Johnny Depp) journeys West from Cleveland to the mysterious town of Machine where he’s been promised a job, only to find that the job is taken and that the company owner, John Dickinson (Robert Mitchum), is a gun-toting sociopath who listens to nobody.

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That Thing You Do

It’s 1964 in a Pennsylvania town. The Beatles and the rest of the British invasion have taken over the pop radio waves and encouraged a lot of small rock bands to dream big. One such band is the Oneders (pronounced Wonders, but commonly as O’Needers). When drummer Guy “Skitch” Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) joins the band with Jimmy (Jonathon Schaech), Lenny (Steve Zahn), the Bass Player (Ethan Embry) and Jimmy’s doting girlfriend Faye (Liv Tyler) they inadvertently turn one of Jimmy’s slow ballads into a fast-paced pop song, and before they know it are touring the country with a hit song.

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Movies We Love: Bad Boys

This week’s Movies We Love entry comes with a sigh of relief from yours truly. Finally, I’m taking the time to sit down and write about one of my favorite films of all-time.

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Movies We Love: The Long Goodbye

Snarky, unlit-cigarette-gritting Private Detective Philip Marlowe is visited late one night by an old buddy, Terry Lennox, who asks Marlowe, without explanation, to drive him to Tijiuana.

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Movies We Love: Stand By Me

There was a time when Rob Reiner’s name being mentioned meant that there was a project we should watch out for; in a good way. Stand By Me is one of the big reasons that was so and is one of the best films of its kind, no matter what kind of film you categorize it as.

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“…when I walked down the street people would’ve looked and they would’ve said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game.”

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Washed-up stock car driver Larry (Peter Fonda) and his equally washed-up mechanic Deke (Adam Roarke) slickly execute a grocery store heist. Their efforts to make a clean getaway are complicated when Mary (Susan George), Larry’s one-night-stand from the night before, decides to tag along.

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Not before, not since, and, I imagine, never again, will a film come into my life the way Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles did. It arrived at exactly the perfect time in my life, and, as such, deserves a place among the Movies We Love.

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A Very Long Engagement

In 1919 Mathilde is still awaiting the return of her fiancé, Manech who left for the front two years earlier. She has been told he was killed on the battlefield at the Somme but refuses to believe he’s dead. Mathilde launches her own investigation into his fate to prove the official story wrong.

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Sylvester Stallone’s epic boxing series closed the curtains with this final installment and is not only (arguably) the best since the first, but also contains a sincerity that trickled out of the franchise since Rocky defeated Apollo Creed. Oops, spoiler.

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Rumble Fish

Supposedly, Francis Ford Coppola made his final masterwork with Apocalypse Now. Then how do you explain this little slice of thug heaven?

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Grave of the Fireflies

In this segment of Movies We Love we visit the 1988 animated masterpiece from Isao Takahata, the co-founder of Studio Ghibli along with close friend and fellow master animator Hayao Miyazaki. Tread cautiously as there are no Totoros to be found in this tale of a brother and sister trying to survive the famine of Japan during World War II.

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Fox ordered Ridley Scott to extract about 40 minutes of footage from his original cut of the film, making the theatrical cut borderline incomprehensible, puny, meaningless, and a box-office bomb. With the additional footage added back in for The Director’s Cut the film transforms into something grand, gorgeous, and significant.

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Today is the 70th anniversary of a great day in our history, as you should very well know by now. If you don’t, I believe one of Chuck Norris’ beard hairs is going to impregnate your mother as penance for forgetting his birthday. On this day in 1940, Chuck Norris was born in Ryan, Oklahoma. And in honor of this great man’s date of birth, I’m using Movies We Love to celebrate one of my favorite tour de Chucks — Sidekicks.

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A petty criminal (Robert Downey Jr.) in NYC stumbles into a film audition while on the run from some cops and earns himself a trip out to LA and a chance to star in a Hollywood production. Once there the studio hooks him up with a gay P.I. (Val Kilmer) for detective lessons, and soon this unlikely pair are knee-deep in a twisted tale of murder, mystery, and mistaken identity.

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As you may have discovered last week with my write-up of Miracle, I’ve got a thing for great Olympic stories. In my mind, there are few greater stories in sport than those that surround the Olypmics. And while there aren’t as many great stories associated with the winter games as there are the summer games, there are at least two. Miracle tells one, Cool Runnings tells the other.

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Based on the real life backstory of the 1980 U.S. Men’s Hockey team, a team that defied all odds and rallied a nation by defeating the Soviet Union during a time of great sociopolitical tension, Miracle is also the very human story behind one of the greatest moments in sports history.

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With Neil at Sundance, I decide to take my own personal trip by remembering a Sundance film from a few years back that deserves more recognition.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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