Sly Stallone is still ripped

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is about to turn 1-year old. As a digital entity, it always knew this day would come. It’s a matter of deduction, really. As a sentient being, it knows that each day is a blessing. Each night, however, is a curse — a curse full of delicious movie-related links.

We begin this evening with a shot of Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the Head, a new actioner from famed action director guy Walter Hill. What’s impressive about this image — beyond the fact that it features a man who, at this point, is old enough to receive Social Security — is that Stallone continues to look younger and leaner than ever. There’s something fishy about it. And whatever drugs he’s on, I want some, too.

According to those who count the money and hand it out when it comes time to roll cameras at Sony, The Girl Who Played with Fire is happening. That’s the sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, for those keeping score. This news comes despite a lackluster box office take for the David Fincher directed film. Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are signed on. All that remains is a Fincher decision and a script from Steven Zaillian.

What were the most rented movies on Redbox in 2011? Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston in Just Go With It and Ashton Kutcher in No Strings Attached. That’s what Joe American and his brood watched most last year. And they say there isn’t any evidence that the Mayan prophecy is right…

The Online Film Critics Society has handed out its 2011 awards, handing Best Picture to Tree of Life. I stopped reading their list after that. Reading further would only lend support to my already held belief that the OFCS is hell-bent on driving itself into irrelevance.

Justin Ishmael, curator of Mondo, has published his 10 favorite Mondo posters of 2011. My personal favorite is this colorful Kevin Tong Iron Giant poster. It’s spectacular.

Kevin Tong's Iron Giant Poster

Spoiler Alert! The LA Times’ 24 Frames blog takes on the ambiguous endings of 2011 Oscar contenders. Because “some films let you make your own ending.” Others simply don’t have anything to say. Most of these, however, are the former.

Focus Features will distribute Juan of the Dead, the Cuban horror film that played to audience delight at both Toronto and Fantastic Fest last fall. The only catch is that Focus’ deal will only distribute the film digitally via iTunes, X-Box, cable and satellite, YouTube and VOD. Which is fine. It’s not going to blow up with a theatrical run. It should be made available, though, as it’s a hell of a lot of fun.

In his annual list of the best and worst of 2011, Eric D. Snider delivers not just the best and worst, but plenty of interesting facts about 2011 in film. Did you know that last year included two movies in which married men sneak off to Korean massage parlors? As always, I have nothing but deep appreciation for the abundance of time Mr. Snider seems to have on his hands.

Few cover Hollywood with the veracity of LAT’s Steven Zeitchik. So when he delivers a list of seven film stories we never saw coming, he gets it right. Included in his list: that one time Lars von Trier outed himself as a man who understood what Hitler was going for. Oh, that rascal.

With a level of depth that rivals our own work here on FSR, IndieWire uses their deep knowledge of the independent film landscape to present the 40 New Faces of Indie Film in 2011, including the likes of Brit Marling, Richard Ayoade, Felicity Jones and many others. It’s a good “who to watch” list, especially for those hipsters out there who need names to be “over” come mid-2012.

Yes, we’re closing tonight with yet another “Year in Review” mash-up video. This one comes from the lovely and talented Melissa Molina and it’s called Our Cinematic Year: 2011. Watch it and try not to look fondly back upon the year that was. Just try it.


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