The Best Stories of the Week, August 24


This will go down in non-history as the week fanboys told Hollywood to argo fu… Actually, the fanboys are apparently doing more than just complaining and burning the Hollywood sign in effigy this time. There’s a petition on Change.org with more than 30,000 signatures. Just imagine if in this increasingly (faux) democratic entertainment industry that the public managed to pull enough sway to actually cancel a major studio casting choice. I presume Warner Bros. would pass on the bill in the form of a mandated crowdfunding campaign in which every signer of that petition has to pledge at least a buck towards buying Ben Affleck out of the presumably already filed contract they’ve made for him to do not only Man of Steel 2 but a number of other Justice League franchise films. Ten bucks if they want a souvenir t-shirt.

Well, that portrayal, if nobody stops it, is two years down the line. Let’s focus on all the great, positively reviewed new films opening this weekend, like The World’s End, Short Term 12, You’re Next, Drinking Buddies and The Trials of Muhammad Ali (not yet reviewed), plus some expanding favorites all making this the best new movie weekend of the year. And in between showtimes as we spend the next two days in the cinema, let’s review all the other non-Bat-news and features FSR has covered since the last Reject Recap. Below you’ll find goodies on The Avengers, the Marx Brothers, Smokey and the Bandit and other awesome things that are better than crying over the kid from Voyage of the Mimi becoming the Caped Crusader.

Start your weekend right after the jump.


Ben Affleck is Batman

Ben Affleck“Affleck as Batman in Man of Steel 2 is actually some pretty exciting casting news, and no one should be all that surprised either. Admittedly I was expecting a lesser known name in the role, but Affleck makes perfect sense. Warner Bros. loves the guy, and after more than a year of rumors and speculation that he would be directing their Justice League ensemble and/or possibly playing the Caped Crusader in it this seems to be an equally interesting announcement. Better actually as that Justice League movie continues to look like trouble for all involved. I’d love for him take the reigns from Snyder and direct Man of Steel 2 as well, but it will be enough seeing him go head to head with Henry Cavill’s Superman.” – Rob Hunter


Bradley Cooper is Rocket Raccoon

Bradley-Cooper-Best-Actor“At first glance this seems like a strange choice, as Cooper is an actor who’s much better known for his looks than he is for having any sort of distinctive voice. Is he really the right guy to be providing the voice of a computer generated raccoon?…After they’ve taken this much care to get every other role in this weird ensemble cast correctly, [James] Gunn and his people wouldn’t just give up and settle on someone like Cooper because audiences in Middle America know his name, would they? Heck no. Cooper surprised a lot of people with his performance in Silver Linings Playbook, so there’s no reason to think he won’t be able to do the same again. Here’s to looking forward to seeing something great.” – Nathan Adams

More on Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers franchise:
Kevin Feige Spills the Beans on ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’: Story, Villains and Vin Diesel’s One Line
Joss Whedon Wisely Plans to Take the Magic Out of Ultron for ‘Avengers 2?
Paul Bettany to Write/Direct ‘Shelter,’ in What May or May Not (Probably Not) Be a Marvel Conspiracy


Marion Cotillard is Lady Macbeth

cotillard“This new casting can probably be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on which way you want to look at it. On one hand, Cotillard is an actress who’s always much more natural and affecting when she’s working in her native French, so giving her the task of delivering mouthfuls of Shakespearian dialogue might not be the best fit for her particular set of skills. On the other hand, she’s also a screen presence who naturally exudes far more power and danger than Natalie Portman often does, so she’s likely to bring much more gravity to the role than Portman would have had she stuck with it. Perhaps the deciding factor concerning whether this proves to be an affective casting or not will be [Justin] Kurzel, who showed with Snowtown that he clearly has a talent for drawing good performances out of his actors.” – Nathan Adams


Remembering Elmore Leonard By Streaming Adaptations Of His Work

Elmore Leonard“Elmore Leonard has died at the age of 87, leaving us with millions of already well-worn copies of novels and short story collections. He was a raw talent with a knack for delivering stark, bloody drama that worked strongly both on the page and on the screen. If you don’t already have the physical copies on your shelf, there are more than a few options (some of them free) for streaming Leonard’s adaptations online.” – Scott Beggs


The World’s End is a Keen Commentary on Sequels, Remakes and Reboots

t“King is desperate to reassemble a group of familiar people in order to both reproduce and reboot a previous experience while acting as a walking continuation of the images and elements (gothy clothes, beat up car, Sisters of Mercy tattoo) of that past. He’s told ‘there comes a time you move forward not backward,’ but he’s unwilling to do so. There’s no reward or value in it for him. In the forward lies only risk at the hands of the new and uncertain…He is, in other words, the perfect embodiment of Hollywood’s current attitudes. Consider something like Fast & Furious, or Grown Ups 2, or whatever sequel you like. What are they but a reassembling of a group of familiar people in order to recreate and re-do a past experience, while simultaneously recreating all the images and elements of that past? Alternatively, what is a reboot or adaptation of an old show, movie or toy but an act of leveraging nostalgia into the present with the intent to make it look like every other glossy contemporary blockbuster?” – Alexander Huls

More on The World’s End, Edgar Wright and Hollywood’s recycling program:
‘The World’s End’ Review: Edgar Wright Beautifully Destroys His Own Universe
Interview: Edgar Wright Explains How to Drunkenly End the World
6 Filmmaking Tips From Edgar Wright
29 Things We Learned From the ‘Hot Fuzz’ Commentary
Everything’s Adapted: Turning the Book Into a Movie Into a TV Show Into a Movie – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/everythings-adapted-turning-the-book-into-a-movie-into-tv-show-into-a-movie.php#sthash.U0Ud4b6Z.dpuf


Brie Larson Is a New Breed of Reluctant Hollywood It Girl

Larson3“Larson’s career is poised to break out in a big, big way, in true it girl territory – thanks both to her outstanding (and already award-winning) leading role in Destin Daniel Cretton’s Short Term 12 and her work in two other indie darlings from the festival circuit, The Spectacular Now and Don Jon. Cretton’s Short Term 12 offers Larson her juiciest (and most demanding) role yet, and it’s the part that fans of her work will likely always look back on as the role that changed everything. Short Term 12 sees Larson starring as Grace, a foster care facility work who is equal parts empathy, strength, and secrets. Larson appears in nearly every scene, most of them charged with emotion and realism – Short Term 12 is unquestionably her movie and it’s one hell of a coming out party. So why this film? Why now?” – Kate Erbland

More on Short Term 12:
‘Short Term 12? Review: Powerful, Thought-Provoking, and Without a Single Bad Performance
Personal Lyrics Give Characters a Voice on the ‘Short Term 12’ Soundtrack


What New Movie Started As Fanfic?

Mortal Instruments“While it may not be obvious from the get-go that author Cassandra Clare’s soon-to-be-six-books “The Mortal Instruments” series originally found life as Harry Potter fan fiction, by the time audiences reach “The Institute” in Harald Zwart’s movie adaptation, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, it’s pretty damn clear that something Potter-esque is up. Something about those neatly arranged infirmary beds, something about that random bird, something about all those British accents… Lo and behold, yes, Clare did get her start by penning popular online fan fiction about Potter and company, but not the kind you’d necessarily expect (and, personally speaking, not the kind that I’d want). Do Jace Wayland’s white-blond hair and snappy retorts feel familiar? That’s because “The Mortal Instruments” was originally Draco Malfoy-centric fan fiction and what are you even saying, I think my brain just exploded. Step back, it will only get worse. “The Mortal Instruments” was originally Draco Malfoy-centric fan fiction that imagined that Draco turned good and got it on with Hermione. Sorry, Ron. Sorry, goodness. Sorry, happiness.” – Kate Erbland

More on The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones:
‘The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones’ Review: A Rune Without a Clue


The Weinstein Co. Signs Exclusive Pay Television Deal With Netflix

deal“What’s clear is that Amazon Prime, HBO Go, that new Redbox streaming service, and whoever else is trying to get a piece of the streaming pie are going to have to find big ways to counter once all of TWC and Disney’s content starts being available only on Netflix in 2016. If one company manages to get the lion’s share of exclusive deals with all of the big studios, then the competitors are going to be dead in the water. And yet, on the other hand, split exclusive content rights between too many different services, and suddenly all of them might lose the content firepower necessary to be worth the money for subscribers. Would that be the streaming video equivalent of mutually assured destruction? What do you think the future of subscription services is going to look like now that these exclusive agreements are starting to be made?” – Nathan Adams


The Movie Glass Prison’s Post 9/11 Popularity

Star Trek Into Darkness“If there was any question as to the purpose of the glass prisoner, J.J. Abrams answers it with Star Trek Into Darkness, which is such a clear allegory of 9/11 and the war on terror that the true meaning is even obscure enough to require the term allegory. Right up to ordering the invasion of land that harbors the terrorist John Harrison as a pretense for starting a war with the Klingons, the film works at a step-by-step reenactment of 9/11 and the subsequent U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan.” – Margaret Rossman

More on J.J. Abrams:
J.J. Abrams Is Up to Something, Teaser Trailer Reveals Nothing – See more at: http://www.filmschoolrejects.com/news/jj-abrams-stranger.php#sthash.Pj49pqzP.dpuf
J.J. Abrams’ Latest Mystery Box Is Probably Book-Shaped


Could You Make the Smokey and the Bandit Beer Run in 28 Hours or Less?

bandittruth-2“The Answer: That’s a big 10-4!…Even if the Bandit and his pal Snowman (Jerry Reed) took the inexplicably long route of 900 miles, they would only need to maintain an average speed of just under 65 miles per hour to meet the deadline. Hell, even my mother could make that drive. (Incidentally, if they took the short Mapquest route, they’d need an average speed of less than 45 miles per hour, which would make for some extremely boring chase sequences.) Of course, the Bandit had to factor in some time to buy a brand new Trans Am, drag Snowman out of bed, load all the beer onto Snowman’s truck, fill up the gas tank, grab a couple bites to eat at a choke-and-puke, and have a nice roll in the hay with Carrie (Sally Field) about half-way back from Atlanta. Still, even if all that took him four hours, the Bandit and Snowman would only have to drive 75 miles an hour on average to make it back to the Southern Classic to deliver the Coors. (Or drive a quite reasonable and comfortable 52 miles an hour going the shorter, real-world route.)” – Kevin Carr


Historic Films We’ll Never See

HumorRiskHumor Risk (1921) – A Marx Brothers film that doesn’t involve their signature roles is pretty neat to begin with – in fact, Groucho played the villain of this story. It was also written by the guy who did It’s A Wonderful Life and Gone With The Wind, so the historic significance is just piling up. Oh also, it was the first ever Marx Brothers film – so that’s kind of a big deal. So what the hell happened? The story varies – as some say the film was simply left in the projector and thrown out accidentally, others say Groucho burned the only print because the audience didn’t like it. Others blame ghosts. Or at least they should.” – David Christopher Bell


You Can’t Take It With You Turns 75

cant“It’s fair that some people don’t think YCTIWY deserved the top Oscar, especially since it was up against such great movies as Grand Illusion and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Also, if you know Capra was at the time president of the Academy and was supposed to host the ceremony again that year and he threatened both a resignation and a massive boycott of the event out of support for the near-to-strike Screen Directors Guild and is said to have been honored for his leadership in resolving the whole matter, well all that seems to make the wins for Best Picture and Best Director (out of seven nominations) a little fishy.” – Christopher Campbell


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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