This weekend we’d like to wish all our Jewish friends and readers a happy Hanukkah. The eight-day Festival of Lights began last Saturday evening and ends tomorrow night, so if any observers out there were too busy with the holiday to keep up with FSR this week, chances are they won’t be able to catch up this morning either. But the Recap will still be here after the sun goes down on Sunday. Take your time.
But eventually do check out our reviews of the new theatrical releases, including The Hobbit: An Unexpected Story, Save the Date and The Loving Story. We had no interviews this week, but we did post the very last ever Reject Radio podcast, which does feature a talk with screenwriter Geoff LaTulippe plus some movie blog friends. Listen to that. And while we say goodbye to one thing, we say hello to another. Definitely take a look the first installment of Film Jockeys, our new weekly comic strip by Derek Bacon. Oh, and on our Tumblr, we also said goodbye to the pen name of “Cole Abaius,” while welcoming the real name of FSR Managing Editor Scott Beggs. It’s important to point out, as his name is all over the recap this week.
Now, check out our eight craziest, biggest and best stories and original content from the past week after the break.
The Kids Don’t Know Who Quentin Tarantino Is
Guest writer and PhD candidate Joshua Croonrod filled in for Landon at the Culture Warrior column to give us a taste of how little media studies majors know about movies: “My semester began with a student introducing himself in (just about) the following way: “My favorite filmmaker is this director Quentin Tarantino. He made this film Inglourious Basterds. Everyone should really check it out.” People nodded. The student looked proud of himself. I stared blankly, wondering if we’ve really gotten to a point where Tarantino and a film that made $120m and got nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars needed to be introduced to media students as utterly alien concepts. Was it something of a freak moment that spoke to a student being unaware of the cultural context in which the film existed, or was it just a logical assumption of an unaware collegiate audience? In other words, have we passed the point where one in every three dorm rooms boasts a Reservoir Dogs poster?”
More on Tarantino:
No ‘Bond’ For Boyle or Tarantino and No ‘Kill Bill 3?
Will Pacific Rim Be the Ultimate Summer Movie?
The first trailer for Guillermo Del Toro‘s Pacific Rim arrived online this week, and Jack had a very positive response: “Considering all the massive action on display here, this could be what makes del Toro an actual household name. Who can’t get behind human-controlled gigantic robots defending Earth from monstrous aliens? […] There is nothing better than seeing a talent like del Toro smashing together the world’s most expensive action figures, and, after seeing this trailer, nobody would turn down seeing del Toro do that for a few more films, especially if we get to see more Idris Elba speeches.”
More on Pacific Rim:
Guillermo del Toro: ‘Pacific Rim’ is “A Film Made By Fans, But Not a Fan Film” [Video]
Kaiju Emergency Alert: ‘Pacific Rim’ Sequel Already Being Scripted
Movie News After Dark: Pacific Rim Invasion…
What Are People Saying About the Star Trek Into Darkness Prologue?
The rest of the world is getting their taste of Star Trek Into Darkness now that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is in theaters, but earlier in the week the 9-minute prologue to another of next summer’s big movies was shown to critics. Scott rounded up the reactions and summed it all up: “Granted, these come with a shovel-full of salt (just like insane trailer/poster speculation), but the overall message from pundits and fans? All is well. Calm down. Into Darkness is set up for greatness. […] The message here seems to be that the first act of Into Darkness is a winner. Hopefully the second and third act will follow suit.”
Speaking of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, now that it’s in theaters we can all have a discussion about the 48fps “High Frame Rate” presentation that Peter Jackson intends the movie to be seen in. Earlier in the week, critics took to Twitter to begin the conversation by debating whether or not reviews should take the format — positively or negatively — into consideration when judging the movie itself. Rob Fure took to his Boiling Point column to share his thoughts: “Can this film be reviewed independently of the cinematography and projection? Of course. The story is the same. The action is the same. The acting and costumes are the same. A review can talk about the film without talking about the presentation – but that would be a glaring mistake in the case of The Hobbit.”
More on Peter Jackson and The Hobbit:
Review: ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’ Feels Twice as Long as Half a Movie Should
Mondo Celebrates ‘The Hobbit’ In Best Way Possible: By Releasing New Posters for ‘Lord of the Rings’
6 Filmmaking Tips From Peter Jackson
Who Wants Even More Arrested Development?
Hey, look, we sometimes cover television too. Especially when the news as awesome as Arrested Development receiving even more episodes than we thought. Scott reported and responded in the only way appropriate: “I’m guessing you just blue yourself, because I did.”
Who Wants More Films by Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata?
Apparently almost as many people want this as those wanting more Arrested Development. Studio Ghibli announced there will be new films from both Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata next year. And Nathan reported: “This is kind of a throwback to when Miyazaki released My Neighbor Totoro and Takahata released Fireflies on the same day 25 years ago. Which was kind of a big day for animation.”
While we’re talking about animation, Brave director Mark Andrews recently stated that he thinks Pixar needs work faster and deliver more movies. Scott wrote on this story: “It will be interesting to see if Pixar is receptive to increasing their speed and especially intriguing to see if he can ultimately sell them on moving into PG-13 territory. At any rate, if they’re able to maintain a high level of quality (if not outright perfection) wouldn’t it be a gift to fans to see more of their work?”
In his latest Oscar column, Daniel made his case for why Anna Karenina ought to be receiving more recognition this awards season: “Anna Karenina is the best awards-ready movie of the year that isn’t getting an ounce of awards attention. Frankly, I find it somewhat surprising. Joe Wright’s three literary adaptations are the sort of thing that we all assume will dominate – every list of stereotypical “Oscar bait” includes the phrase “prestige adaptation.” Yet it’s almost as if we’ve now reached a point where even the Academy has classic literature fatigue.”