There’s at least one big piece of movie news you heard about this week. That’s right, Kevin Kline has finally been cast in the role he was born to play: Dakota Fanning‘s love interest. Oh, and you might have heard that J.J. Abrams is going to direct Star Wars Episode VII: Ewoks Suck, Dude. But with the holiday and the inauguration and the football championships and following the everlasting story of the fake girlfriend of Manti Te’o, you might not have been able to read every necessary film-related article or blog post on FSR or the rest of the Internet. Fortunately, as always, the Reject Recap is here to help.
Playing a video of Beyonce’s performance from Monday on mute and pretending she’s reading the following words while you do the actual recitation out loud is recommended but not required.
First up, let’s look at the new theatrical releases opening this weekend. None of us have seen Movie 43 yet (or will ever?) nor Supporting Characters (we do have an exclusive clip), but we’ve got some negative reviews of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Parker. There’s also John Dies at the End, which we covered at Sundance and SXSW last year and liked just fine. Of course, if you’re more interested in write-ups on great films, you could always sift through our Sundance Film Festival coverage. So far our people on the ground have loved Upstream Color, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, Before Midnight, Mud and Sound City, the last of which you can see for yourself in less than a week’s time in your own home. And there’s also the Slamdance Film Festival, from which we’ve shared one review and a few special video spotlights.
Now, check out the biggest and best stories and original content from the past week. Just because they’re pre-recorded and played back for your lips to recite now doesn’t make them any less significant.
It’s now been confirmed by Disney. Earlier, Neil commented on the then-unofficial news: “It would be unprecedented to see Abrams take over Star Wars just after rebooting Star Trek, but it also might not be such a bad thing. As Star Trek fans can attest, Abrams does have the goods.”
More recommended reading on the Abrams Star Wars union:
Are You For or Against J.J. Abrams Directing ‘Star Wars Episode VII’? (Movies.com)
Can J.J. Abrams do for Star Wars what he did for Star Trek? And should he? (io9)
Is J.J. Abrams The Right Guy For Star Wars: Episode VII? (Cinema Blend)
J.J. Abrams Can’t Save ‘Star Wars’: A Fangirl’s Reaction (Film.com)
10 Things J.J. Abrams Needs To Do With ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ To Make It Great (The Playlist)
One of the biggest and most popular stories of the week out of Sundance came from our friend Dor Dotson, who wrote an open letter to the festival on her personal blog, Movies With Dor, requesting that something be done about the horrible problem of cell phone usage during film screenings. She also offered some solutions. Here’s one of her complaints: “This is a fact: nothing bad happens to someone who uses a cell phone during a movie. Rarely do those nearby even ask the offender to shut it off, and never do you see staff catching and correcting this behavior. Eccles volunteers can smell from 30 feet away the cookie you smuggled in so your growling stomach won’t overpower the dialogue. They will eagerly crawl through 20 people to remind you that you can’t have food there, but there seems almost to be a silent agreement amongst staff and volunteers that there’s no intervention necessary for patrons who can’t go an hour and a half without seeing if they’ve got any new Twitter followers.”
More on the negative side of Sundance:
Experience Sundance 2013: Love Movies? This May Not Be the Film Festival for You
One of the drawbacks of reading reviews out of Sundance is knowing it’ll be a long time before you can see the films for yourself, whether theatrically or through some other means. But there are some documentary shorts that became available to stream on the web quickly after debuting in Park City (and you don’t have to worry about annoying Sundancers’ cell phones!). Scott shared the news: “[Focus Forward Films is] hosting Morgan Spurlock’s You Don’t Know Jack, Albert Maysles’ The Secret of Trees – which are both in the fest’s short film competition — as well as The Cleanest Pig, Techistan, and The Contenders – which are all getting a special premiere screening at the Holiday Village Cinema today.”
More Sundance 2013 shorts you can watch now:
2013 Sundance Film Festival Shorts
One might argue that action movies will never go away, or that action movies will always be one of the biggest draws for theater audiences. But is a certain kind of action movie an endangered species due to some recent box office failures? In his latest Boiling Point column, Robert F. urged us to go and support the action genre: “If you’re an action fan, you’ve got to go see these movies on the big screen, with the huge picture and the bombastic explosions. You’ve got to support Dredd, Jack Reacher, and The Last Stand so that Hollywood knows we want movies like this. We want guns and knives and blood and fire and chaos. [...] None of these were bad movies – in fact, they’re all pretty good. They’re worth seeing and worth seeing in theaters – especially if you want to see these guys make more action films in the future.”
Daniel looked at the Best Picture race in this week’s Oscar column. After analytically eliminating the other seven contenders, he argued that it’s really only between two films: “The Best Picture race is almost never this competitive. In a year like this, anything can make a difference. Mood counts. Obama just got re-elected and there is a sense of great political relief in the hippie, liberal parts of the country (read: California). However, there is also more distrust of government than there has been in over a century and a lot of it is coming from older, white men (read: the Academy). This is not to say that their influence won’t be felt - Lincoln and Beasts got plenty of nominations after all, the support is clearly there. Yet in the end, we can only have one winner. I think these two impulses could cancel each other out, dampening the support for Best Picture contenders across the board. The beneficiary? The cynic in me wants to say Harvey Weinstein and Silver Linings Playbook. Yet if I’ve learned anything from Ang Lee this year, it’s to have a little faith.