Reject Recap: ‘Lincoln’ Relevance, ‘Life of Pi’ for Best Picture and ‘Star Wars’ Brings Back Kasdan

Reject Recap: The Best of Film School Rejects

This was a major holiday week in America, so FSR content was a bit lighter than usual. And yet you may have been too busy traveling to follow the site over the past few days anyway. If so, the most important thing you missed is our post highlighting all the things we’re thankful for this year. Among them is you, whether you’re one of the longtime loyal or one of the many who’ve just started reading us this year. Now, even though the holiday is a couple days past, we want to thank you for once again catching up with us here at the Reject Recap as we give you another rundown of our best reads from the past seven days.

As always, first we remind you to check out our reviews of this week’s new releases: Life of Pi; Red Dawn; Hitchcock; Rust and Bone; and The Central Park Five. We also re-posted our Silver Linings Playbook review since the film went wider this week. Among the films, it looks like we recommend Rust and Bone and Central Park Five the most. We haven’t published a review of Rise of the Guardians yet, but we invite you to read our interview with the animated film’s director, Peter Ramsay, the introduction for which offers some critical praise. This week we also watched and commented on new trailers for Now You See Me, Parental Guidance, Admission, Chasing Ice and Jack the Giant Slayer. Watch those and all our latest Short Film of the Day picks as you lay about in your turkey leftovers coma today.

Now, check out our biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.

Does Lincoln Say More About the Present and the Future Than the Past?

Daniel Day-Lewis as LincolnWith Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln now in wide release, the discussions in response to it should flourish. Fortunately, Landon gave us two separate posts on the film. The first (an installment of his Culture Warrior column) looked at how the historical story may point to current civil rights matters (such as gay marriage) and point us in the right direction for the future. “Lincoln doesn’t congratulate us for how far we’ve come,” he wrote. “Instead, the film illuminates how far we still have to go.”

In the second (an installment of Criterion Files), he compared the new film to John Ford’s Young Mr. Lincoln, including the earlier film’s own significance to its year of release: “a surprisingly odd film when examined from the purview of 2012 […] Ford’s film, which depicts a largely falsified account of a green lawyer Lincoln defending alleged murderers in Illinois, is a historical curiosity both because of its depiction of history and its place within American culture at the time it was made […] during the Jim Crow era and at a time in which black faces were rarely if ever seen on movie screens, Young Mr. Lincoln is, in short, not at all about understanding African-Americans as Americans.”


Does Life of Pi Have a Good Shot at Best Picture?

Life of Pi MovieIn his latest Oscar column, Daniel put Best Picture contenders into two categories, those that are like Thanksgiving and those that are like Black Friday. The latter consists of the less-meaty films that tend to win the top Academy Award. But while pitting it against likely fellow nominees Lincoln, Silver Lining Playbook, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Anna Karenina, Argo and The Master, he predicted that the meaty Life of Pi might actually have a good shot as having the qualities of an Avatar and a Hurt Locker. “To call it this year’s Avatar is a fair compliment to Lee’s visual success, but sells the film’s thematic accomplishments short,” he wrote. “[Life of Pi] can claim to be Avatar but with a real, serious and well-written script.”


The Writer of The Empire Strikes Back Returns for Star Wars Episode VIII and Episode IX

Last weekend we thought we had a pretty good guess of who’ll be directing Star Wars Episode VII, but the filmmaker himself shot it down. So, maybe it’s just time to sit back and wait for real news about the long-coming sequel. And maybe it’s just time to start speculating and spreading rumors about the second and third installments in the next trilogy. Word is that screenwriters Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back; Return of the Jedi) and Simon Kinberg are working on the scripts for Episode VIII and Episode IX. Kate commented on their worthiness: “Kasdan’s resume is certainly…varied, but this man knows his Star Wars […] Kinberg is a more recent screenwriting star – he’s penned films like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, X-Men: The Last Stand, Jumper, Sherlock Holmes, This Means War, and the upcoming X-Men: Days of Future Past. We will forgive him a couple of those titles.”


The Cast of Insidious Insidiously Returns for Insidious 2

InsidiousOfficial announcement was made this week that Insidious 2 will bring back the stars of the original, Rose Byrne, Patrick Wilson, Lin Shaye and young Ty Simpkins. This was met with a lot of surprise and dumbfounded responses around the Internet, and our own Nathan wondered if the filmmakers will be compromising their integrity and any sort of logic to revisit these characters. He asked, “Is it likely that Wan and Whannell have come up with a great story that will bring these characters back for more hauntings and manage to make sense in the process, or can we take the returns of the original cast as an indication that any concerns over story were just empty words and this sequel will be a cash grab as cynical as any other? Obviously it’s still too early to tell, but this new announcement makes the movie look suspect.”


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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