Movie News After Dark: ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Swag, TMNT Strawberries, Dr. Abaius in Berlin, the Future of Film Preservation, and More!

What is Movie News After Dark? God only knows, but I’m pretty sure we’re going to need a bigger boat…

We begin by shining our big ass MNAD spotlight on short filmmaking. Director BenDavid Grabinski‘s short film Cost of Living premiered at this year’s Fantastic Fest, where I unfortunately missed it. Luckily for me and anyone else who hasn’t seen it yet, the short is premiering online tonight around 9PM PST. Cost of Living stars Bret Harrison and Brandon Routh as a couple of security guards who work for a strange corporation. The enchanting Mary Elizabeth Winstead lends her voice to the proceedings as well. Check it out for yourself at anytime after 9PM PST.

Looks like Sony is following in many other studios footsteps by sending out some sweet swag for it’s upcoming tentpole to top film bloggers. Peter Sciretta over at /Film was one of the lucky ones to receive a replica of Peter Parker’s bookbag from this summer’s franchise reboot The Amazing Spider-Man. Head on over to /Film to read the full story and see plenty of pics!

Our good friend John Gholson is one of the more knowledgeable comic guys I know. He’s been collecting for years and still frequently picks up stacks of comics at local Austin comic shops. John also happens to be an incredibly insightful writer and that, coupled with his passion for comics, has combined to form one of the best articles I’ve read in a long time. Spurred on by the recent case of Marvel vs. Gary Friedrich, creator of Ghost Rider, Gholson explains and postulates on the current state of comic creators, their rights and the way the game has changed over the years. It’s a fascinating piece that deserves your attention.

With so much cynicism and negativity in the blogosphere sometimes it’s nice to get a reminder about why it is we love the things we love. Have you heard of FilmCritHulk? Probably. He’s an anonymous movie fan turned writer who communicates in all caps and speaks like the Incredible Hulk. Regardless of your opinion on his schtick, the man (or potentially woman) has some interesting things to say about film and certainly falls on the let’s all love each other and love movies side of things. It’s refreshing to see that kind of positivity about movies out there. His most recent post over at Badass Digest is entitled WHY YOU LOVE MOVIES, though a more apt title would be WHY HULK LOVE MOVIES. It starts with a few opening thoughts but is essentially just a list of moments, most from films, some from personal film-related memories, all trying to paint a picture of what draws us in about cinema, a medium that I think I love because it makes me feel like I’m a part of something bigger than myself. His article has inspired Quint at Ain’t It Cool News to do his own list, with full permission and encouragement from the Hulk himself. It looks like this may well spread to other writers and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Reject or two post their own list here on FSR.

Local Austin treasure and crafty movie-geek extraordinaire Kayla Kromer has a fantastic feature over at Lounge Geeks entitled GeekTechniques, DIY instructions on how to create cool stuff. The latest Valentine’s themed entry instructs you on the finer art of chocolate-covered strawberries, only these come out looking like your favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Click through to Lounge Geeks for the full how-to video!

No matter what you may think of Roger Ebert, past or present, we may never see another film critic with that kind of clout and instant name recognition. He posted a link on his Twitter feed to a fascinating article by David Bordwell on the death of 35mm, the rise of digital acquisition and projection and ultimately what it means or may mean for the future of film preservation. It’s a surprisingly unbiased and fair look at the problem from all sides, unbelievably free of the bullshit that so often creeps into this argument. Bordwell is clearly very knowledgeable on the subject and is careful to present points and examine them before drawing conclusions. It’s a lengthy but well-written piece that’s worth your time.

If you’ve been paying attention to the site this week, you’ll notice that our fearless captain, Dr. Cole Abaius has been taking advantage of his new German digs by serving up some stellar coverage of Berlinale, the Berlin Film Festival. Be sure to check out his reviews for Farewell, My Queen and My Way, but sadly he reports that Iron Sky, a film we’ve literally been excited about for years, is a huge bust. We’ll have to see for ourselves at SXSW.

While we’re tooting our own horn, Mr. Rob Hunter is filing reviews from San Francisco’s IndieFest, you can find his thoughts on Still Life and Finisterrae here and here respectively. Healthy Choice America’s most wanted, Mr. Brian Salisbury, is serving up a special kind of cinematic junk all February long as he celebrates Blaxploitation History Month. Be sure to check out his hilarious entries for Scream, Blacula, Scream and Dolemite sequel The Human Tornado and be on the lookout for the next entry coming up at the end of this week! Rookie Reject Don Simpson is keeping us all abreast of the local happenings with his new feature Austin Cinematic Limits. Be sure to check out today’s post on Valentine’s Day happenings for Austin movie geeks. Head Honcho Neil Miller is running a series called Better Know a Reject to help you, our beautiful readership, get better acquainted with us, your friendly cinephile squad. This week’s target is our resident sexpert Gwen Reyes, click here to find out how she fares in the hot seat.

Well, the first trailer for Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is out and it looks…interesting. It definitely has a big budget action movie feel with plenty of slo-mo, which apparently is now a staple of all action films. Thankfully this doesn’t look nearly as masturbatory as the slo-mo in Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes films and  the voice over narration gives a nice edge to footage. Who knows, maybe this will turn out to be badass:

If you’re not reading Drew McWeeny’s Film Nerd 2.0 series, then you must not like good things. No, let me back up. If you’re not reading Drew McWeeny’s film writing in general then you’re not doing it right. Perhaps you are just unaware, in which case, let me turn you on to some of the finest writing on the web. Mr. McWeeny has been writing about film for decades now, perhaps must famously as Moriarity on AICN. He now resides at under his own name and seems to have almost stumbled upon the greatest column idea ever, documenting the lives of two budding cinephiles, his sons, Toshi and Allen. Toshi is the eldest at almost 7 and Allen is closer to 3 or 4. While there are several entries, the ones that most resonated with me personally are the ones about Toshi and Allen discovering the Star Wars films for the first time and the aftermath of those viewings. While the most recent piece went up on Friday, I encourage you to start here with the first piece in the Star Wars series. There are handy links to the rest of the Film Nerd 2.0 canon at the end of each piece so you can continue on to Empire, the prequels, and Jedi, then jump to the four most recent entries. You’ll understand why once you get there. If you get through the Jedi post without shedding a few tears, then I’m fairly certain you have no soul.

And we’ll close tonight with a trailer for The Aggression Scale, which will be playing as part of the fantastic midnight slate at this year’s SXSW. Produced by Travis Stevens (A Horrible Way to Die) and directed by Steven C. Miller (Scream of the Banshee, Automaton Transfusion), The Aggression Scale features two things every film should have…Ray Wise and Derek Mears. Seriously, you should know by now how much of a badass Ray Wise is (you have seen Robocop, right?) and I could not be a bigger Derek Mears fan. Those two names alone are enough to get me in a theater. Did you ever see Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton’s film The Collector? You know how it kinda felt like a horror movie version of Home Alone? Well, the trailer for The Aggression Scale kinda plays like an action film version of Home Alone where Kevin McCallister is like MacGyver and Rambo combined, a complete badass despite still being a kid. I also LOVE the neon pink titles, which were created by end credit guru and Horror Movie a Day CEO Brian W. Collins. Grab a scotch and check out the trailer below:

Luke Mullen has a beard.

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