Movie News After Dark: Big Special Effects and How ‘Looper’ Should Have Ended

The Avengers

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that was on hiatus, but has now been back for a solid week. And it feels good to be back. As Ernie Hudson might remark, it loves this town.

Short on List, Big on Effects – The big Oscar shortlist for Best Visual Effects has come out. And while it includes some of the ones you’d expect — The Avengers, Cloud Atlas, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Dark Knight Rises — there are also a few interesting surprises, including Prometheus, Life of Pi, John Carter and yes, even The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The question is this: will The Hobbit run away with this one due to a late-year release, or will people remember that ridiculous following shot through the war-torn streets of New York in The Avengers?

The Sequels of 2015 – It takes some serious foresight to look ahead to next year and see what will be interesting in theaters. It takes some additional smarts to do the same for 2-years from now. In the case of Mental Floss, it takes wreckless abandon to go further, to the summer of 2015, where films like How to Train Your Dragon 3 and Avatar 2 may very well live. They’ve got a preview of all the movies currently promised for two summers from now.

Innocence Ends – Among the numerous posters released this week is this new look at Park Chan-Wook’s English language debut, Stoker. This one features Mia Wasikowska looking quite serious, some hand-drawn goodness at the bottom and of course, the listing of the film’s ridiculously great cast.

Stoker Poster

More than just Hobbit feet – Dust off that make-up effects Oscar, Peter Jackson and the folks at WETA are coming for them.  The Herald in New Zealand profiles some of the transformations Jackson’s team made with their actors, turning them into hobbits, elves, dwarves and other equally impressive denizens of Middle Earth.

Where No DVDs Roam – io9 presents a list of films and shows that are infuriatingly not yet on DVD or Blu-ray. Or for that matter, digital release. Sure, there’s the obvious choice of Star Wars: The Non-Special Editions. But there are also some gems, like the 1960s Batman TV show and fucking Gargoyles. If it hadn’t been released in 2007 and since ignored/put mostly out of print, I’d include Clone High on this list.

Among the Weirdest Movies Ever – If you’re a fan of reading things that are fun to read, you should read more of the work of Evan Saathoff. In his latest at, he delivers 8 reasons why Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning is among the weirdest movies ever. That’s a big claim, but it’s completely true.

How Looper Should Have Ended – The folks at How It Should Have Ended continue their streak of making videos worth watching with a look at “How Looper Should Have Ended.” Because sometimes movies can be fun.

Neil Miller is the Founder and Publisher of Film School Rejects. For almost a decade, he has been talking movies on television, the radio, and the Internet. As of yet, no one has stopped him.

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