The Best Stories of the Week, August 3


Another month is upon us, and while August normally seems to be a time when the excitement of summer movies is over, this year that’s apparently not the case. As always, we kicked off the new lunar-based calendar segment with a preview of the films to look forward to. Jack’s guides are often the top story in the Reject Recap, but it’s especially the best thing this week since it tells us about so much great stuff to look forward to, such as The World’s End, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints and the honorable mention You’re Next.

Other notable news and features in the past seven days include updates on Star Wars and Avatar and looks at some of the summer’s monster movies of both the big screen and the small. We saw giant robots of next summer while attacking the giant robot movie of this summer. We celebrated the anniversary of a classic family vacation movie as we saw a new trailer for the latest (faux) family vacation movie. And we offered up some great interviews with filmmakers such as Brian De Palma, Paul Schrader and Joe Swanberg.

This wasn’t one of the most monumental weeks as far as entertainment goes, but it still provided another solid week of movie-related content, and it’s now time for you to catch up with the following FSR week in review.

Start your weekend right after the jump.


August is the Best Movie Month of This Summer

the-worlds-end-new-movie-release-october-2013-1“This August has made for a tricky must-see guide to compile…Last month I called July the most promising month of this summer season, and I was wrong. I must’ve forgotten this loaded August, the fantastic lineup of major and specialty releases this month make it. If you were underwhelmed by this summer’s offerings, there’s more than a few here to make you feel more satisfied about this (extended) season.” – Jack Giroux

More on stuff to watch in August:
Skip the Theater This Weekend, You’ll Fare Better With These VOD Options
Spend August With the Greatest Documentary Character of All Time: Charleen Swansea


Star Wars Episode VII to Feature More Practical Effects

starwars“According to Kennedy, ‘The conversation we’re having all the time now about Episode VII is how much CGI. We’re looking at what the early Star Wars films did; they used real locations with special effects. So [for Episode VII] we’re going to find some very cool locations, were going to end up using every single tool in the toolbox…we want to do that in combination with CG effects.’ That should come as a huge relief to those of us who preferred the quirkiness and tactile nature of the puppets and models in A New Hope to that scene in Revenge of the Sith where computer animated oil was splashed around on a computer animated environment and then lit on computer animated fire. Yuck.” – Nathan Adams


James Cameron to Make Three Avatar Sequels Simultaneously

avatar16“While this makes Cameron seem a little like a crazy person, remember that the Lord of the Rings series was filmed the same way, and Cameron was already planning to do two Avatars back-to-back in the first place. But at the same time, this Avatar-stravaganza is likely to be one of the riskiest moves Hollywood has ever taken. The first Avatar was one of the most expensive films ever made. Presumably shooting three at a time will demolish that record like a bulldozer composed entirely of other people’s money. There’s no doubt that the sequels will pull in lots of cash, but if the public was to suddenly lose their Avatar fever with future Avatars not yet released, this could be disastrous.” – Adam Bellotto

More on sequels:
Eddie Murphy Taking Off the Fat Suit for New Beverly Hills Cop Movie


The Biggest Challenges of Making a Wonder Woman Movie

Wonder Woman Lynda Carter“It’s frustrating that after all these years, the TV show is still pop culture’s main point of reference when it comes to comics’ most prominent superheroine…Lynda Carter casts a long shadow, and that’s compounded by the problem that – unlike Superman and Batman – there’s not been a universally consistent take on Wonder Woman throughout her existence…With Wonder Woman, every writer who comes onto the book feels the need to throw out what’s come before and start over. (Take a look at some of the weird stuff she was put through in the 60s and 70s, then note how her supporting cast and setting got purged with every writer subsequent to George Perez.)” – The Bitter Script Reader

More on comic book movie difficulties:
How to Ruin Your Serious Comic Book Superhero Movie


Pacific Rim Got Kaiju All Wrong

Pacific Rim“With Pacific Rim, we’re not talking about an American re-appropriating an American character. Since the kaiju are a criticism of America, it’s hard not to see this change as disrespectful. Take the opening sequence where Gipsy rescues a fishing vessel from the kaiju Knifehead: the “fishing ship in danger” is only a trope in kaiju films because of the victims of of Lucky Dragon 5, a bunch of real people who suffered and died because of American technological negligence.” – J.F. Sargent

More on Pacific Rim:
8 Strange Reasons Why Actors Were Cast In Movies


Sentinels Stand Tall in X-Men: Days of Future Past Viral Marketing

sentinel“This new site the film’s marketing team has put together is full of all kinds of goodies, including lessons on the history of mutation, the history of Trask’s inventions, specs on his various Sentinel designs, propaganda posters, stills of historical moments involving Sentinels, and even this fun video, which gives you a glimpse of Days of Future Past’s robots in motion. If you’re a fan of the X-Men in any way, probably you don’t have to be sold much on heading over and checking this stuff out.” – Nathan Adams

More on the Sentinels:
Bryan Singer Tweets Best X-Men: Days of Future Past Pic Yet: A Full-Size Sentinel Prop


Could You Really Dispose of a Body with a Woodchipper Like Fargo?

fargotruth-2“Ultimately, the answer to the question is yes, a woodchipper can get rid of a body to a degree. However, it spreads the evidence all over the place. It also doesn’t get rid of the body at the cellular level, often leaving hair and nails intact, as well as providing the authorities with a nice sampling of blood, tooth fragments, and bone shards to be easily packaged into little evidence bags.” – Kevin Carr


How Sharknado Changed the World of Cult Movies

XXX SHARKNADO-SHARK-TANK-2378-.JPG LIF ENT TEL“What resulted in the case of Sharknado was something seemingly unprecedented: a mass simultaneous performance of initiation and ritual. On social media, everyone from Mia Farrow to Philip Roth to TPM’s Josh Marshall (and, of course, all of us) were watching Sharknado, documenting and commenting upon it along the way. The space for being initiated into a cult film ritual privately – the home television – was now the common ground for public engagement. The crowd mentality of theater that was reduced by TV now expanded again because of Twitter…Sure, Sharknado and, to a lesser extent, Miami Connection may not be cult films in the strict sense of the term – neither developed a cult, but instead decidedly called upon a particular audience – but they do look and sound like cult films, and can be enjoyed as such.” – Landon Palmer


Smartphone Apps Every Filmmaker Should Have

machete iphone“If you’re a filmmaker, chances are you cling to your smartphone like a life raft. Instant access to email on set, a decent camera for BTS pictures, and the Internet at your fingertips are just a few of the reasons why this would be the case. And let’s not forget tweeting both your triumphs and frustrations. But that $600 piece of metal and plastic in your hot little hand can do more than all that. It can actually help you make your films as well and, no, I’m not talking about using it as your primary camera (though there’s no shame in using that as a starting point)” – Luke Mullen


National Lampoon’s Vacation Turns 30

National Lampoon's Vacation“’You’ll Be Whistling “Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah” Out of Your Assholes!’ One of the many reminders that this is an R-rated comedy comes in the form of the familiar dad-goes-nuts part of any family road trip. Most patriarchs just swear a lot, though. Clark goes so far as to call his wife and kids ‘fucked in the head.’ And he has some really colorful ways of swearing, including the line above, which is particularly amusing if you always keep the Disneyland-bound origins of the plot in mind. I still laugh at this scene so hard I almost need that plastic surgeon to remove my smile, too. Do any other now-grown Vacation fans of this movie call your own family trips ‘quests for fun’? If not, you’re not a real fan.” – Christopher Campbell

More anniversaries:
Celebrating Sixteen Years of Jennifer Aniston’s Best Romantic Comedy Role

Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

Read More from Christopher Campbell
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