Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

It’s too bad everyone (but me) hates Catfish so much, because otherwise the Manti Te’o fake girlfriend story would make for a great movie, documentary or drama. It’ll still probably wind up being told in some form or another anyway. Or perhaps it’ll just inspire a Law & Order SVU episode (the death of a pro athlete’s girlfriend is investigated… but then it turns out she never existed in the first place!). For now, it’s our lead-in to another Reject Recap, where the best film-related stories on FSR and around the web are listed for you to easily get caught up with. We understand, you were too busy following the Manti drama and the Lance Armstrong confession and mourning Mr. Drummond this week.

As we head into the weekend, you should first feast your eyes on our reviews of new releases, including the Arnold Schwarzenegger comeback (The Last Stand), the scary movie with the feral children and a raven-haired Jessica Chastain (Mama), the fake Sidney Lumet film (Broken City) and the Common drama from the previous Sundance (LUV). I don’t think we liked any of them, really. But, hey, Quartet is expanding a bit, and Will Ferrell sure made that sound enticing at the Golden Globes when he pronounced it “Cordet.” Speaking of which, you’re only a few days behind, but if you missed those awards, you can read through our live-blog transcript and feel as though you actually watched.

Now, check out the biggest and best stories and original content from the past week, as would be favored by Lennay Kekau were she still — or ever — alive:

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15 Must-See Films of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

13030-1Sundance began on Thursday, but even before then our preview coverage of the fest continued with a look at more of the movies we’re looking forward to. Kate predicts Escape From Tomorrow will be this year’s Beasts of the Southern Wild: “Weeks before last year’s festival, the whispers began – Beasts of the Southern Wild was going to be the film of the festival. Those whispers hit a fever pitch within minutes of the film’s first screening at the festival, and suddenly I was one of the huddled masses begging for a ticket for Sundance’s hottest film. Since that little lesson in paying attention to educated buzz, I promised myself to stay attentive to similar chatter for this year’s festival, and only one film is even in the same league – Randy Moore‘s Escape From Tomorrow. Just a story of “an average American family man”? All signs point to nope on that.”

More Sundance coverage:
Movie Houses of Worship: Park City’s Eccles Theatre
12 Filmmaking Tips From Sundance Directors
First ‘S-VHS’ Trailer Demands That You Watch It
‘Mud’ Trailer: Matthew McConaughey Continues to Impress
First Full ‘Upstream Color’ Trailer Looks Absolutely Gorgeous
Gear Up for Sundance 2013 with These Five Shorts from First-Time Feature Directors

 

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Django Unchained‘s Oscar Nominations Prove the Academy is Terrified of Slavery

DjangoIn the form of a list, J.F. illustrated the history of the Oscars and the subject of slavery, commenting on nominations given to Gone With the Wind, Amistad, Glory, Beloved and now Django Unchained. Focusing on the recognition of Christoph Waltz, he writes “the Academy can’t be blind to the trend they’re continuing here, and the message they’re sending with these nominations. Django Unchained is brutally, unapologetically, brilliantly focused on the experience of slavery from the eyes of a slave. Waltz is a great actor, but his character in this film is just ‘Hans Landa, But a Good Guy This Time.’ The Academy nominated him because he’s an heroic white guy who doesn’t push any white-guilt buttons. The fact that they chose to acknowledge him over every black actor — especially Samuel L. Jackson, who is a permanent fixture in American culture and turns in the performance of a goddamn lifetime — doesn’t even seem like a mistake anymore. It just seems downright cocky.”

More on the Oscars:
Where Can You Watch the 2013 Oscar-Nominated Films?
The Oscar Case for ‘Amour’ Winning Best Picture
Fall in Love with Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola’s Interactive ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Script

 

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On the Torture in Zero Dark Thirty

Zero Dark ThirtyLandon tackled the big discussion of Zero Dark Thirty‘s depiction of torture now that the movie is in wide release. In his Culture Warrior column, he also asks if the criticisms of this depiction are really what it means to be anti-torture in a post-Cheney America. He writes: “If the filmmakers of Zero Dark Thirty seriously misrepresented the facts about the CIA mission that lead to May 2, 2011 (that is, fabrications beyond the dramatizing, exaggerating, and condensing generally expected of a Hollywood depiction of real events), then they should, by all means, be taken to task by political and cultural critics. No matter the dedication toward accuracy, relationships between events and their representation are never direct or unchanged by intervention; transparency about this process is only a good thing […] we are blindly reliant upon expertise and the dramatized dissemination of info from privileged sources located somewhere behind the curtains – specifically, the collaboration between a major studio and the CIA.”

More on the Zero Dark Thirty conversation:
Does truth really matter to Oscar? (Salon)

 

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How Can They Remake Gremlins?

Gremlins GizmoResponding to a rumor that Warner Bros. is trying hard once again to remake Gremlins, Scott told us the only way it’s permissible: “Warners, if you really want to know how to get fans on board with this to create big buzz and ensure a healthy opening weekend, get Spielberg on board, but also plan to lower your budget by ditching CGI for practical and to hire Dante.”

More responses to this remake:
Open Letter to Steven Spielberg
What Three Films Would You Stop from Ever Being Remade? (Movies.com)


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