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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the thing that tucks you in at night, ensures that not a creature is stirring and keeps an eye out for that chubby guy with the red suit. It’s on duty all year ’round though, so late nights get a little boring. Luckily there’s movie news to talk about.

Anchor Date – Great news this week from the Channel 4 News Team. Ron Burgundy and his friends have set a date for their return. The long anticipated Anchorman 2 will hit theaters on December 20, 2013. Luckily, the world did not end today as planned. Suck it, Mayans. Now we get more of Ron, Brick, Champ, Brian Fantana and all the wonderful supporting characters that populate the Sex Panther-scented world of San Diego.

Austin Dark Thirty - The Austin Film Critics Association, a group of which I am a part, announced their picks for various categories of Best of the Year. Awards, I believe they’re called. Best Film went to Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, while Paul Thomas Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix won Best Director and Best Actor respectively for The Master. Another award of note was the Special Honorary Award given to Matthew McConaughey for his 2012 body of work. The man was on fire this year. So much so that I’ve begun lobbying the FSR staff to honor him with our Performer of the Year award. We’ll see next week if I am successful.

Django and the old west – Grantland contributor and excellent wordsman Zach Baron writes about Quentin Tarantino’s latest, Django Unchained, placing it in context with Tarantino’s previous work. At the very least, it’s much better than Death Proof. At the most, it’s great. See my own review below.

Lindel-off Prometheus 2 – Do you see what I did there? In comments this week, Lost producer Damon Lindelof talked about how he preemptively told Ridley Scott that he wouldn’t be able to work on a Prometheus sequel. From the sound of it, he didn’t seem too pleased with the reaction to the film, nor does he seem to have time with all of the Star Trekin’ and Brad Bird filmmakin’ that he has going on. In the end, it’s for the best. Hopefully he moves on to other, more original work.

Facebook Movies – As part of their “Facebook Stories” feature for the end of 2012, that huge social network everyone loves to hate has used all the data from your personal pages to compile their list of the most talked about movies of the year. At the top: The Hunger Games, The Avengers and Magic Mike…. ladies. See the chart below for more.

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Checks and Balances – Germain Lussier over at /Film might be one of the most stand-up guys in the movie blogging world. Always honest and looking for a hook-up for Mondo posters. And in a recent feature, he’s shown a little transparency by going back through his Most Anticipated Movies of 2012 list and talking about whether or not he was right to be excited or not. In this world gone mad with blind hyperbole and unrestrained excitement  it’s good to see a little reflection. In this instance, it’s hard to fault the guy for having Prometheus and The Dark Knight Rises so high on his list at the beginning of the year. No one could have predicted those two train-wrecks.

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djangoDjango Unchained

From moment one, Django feels every bit a Quentin Tarantino movie. The intimacy of the photography, the flare for marquee imagery, the brazen wit. The wildly playful nature in which he conducts a symphony of abhorrent violence — in this case, complete with gratuitous blood splatter. The nuanced sense of homage that is, in so many ways, QT’s cinematic version of playing with his action figures, if said action figures were Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. It’s Tarantino in full-blown spaghetti Western mode, complete with all the Southern sensibility of cruel slave owners and killing men for money. At the center is the new Butch and Sundance, a German dentist/bounty hunter played by Christoph Waltz and a recently freed slave with revenge on his mind, played by Jamie Foxx. Both are as good, if not better than we’ve seen them before. And they have to be to match wits with the film’s mustache-twirling plantation master villain Calvin Candie, played exquisitely by Leonardo DiCaprio. When placed together on screen, these three (mostly two, Waltz and DiCaprio) perform a waltz of wits that is the upper-echelon of anything Tarantino has written today. It’s wicked fun. And when the talking stops, the fun rolls along as the action devours the screen in spray after spray of earned bloodshed. It creates quite a mess. And like many a recent Tarantino joint, sometimes it wanders around the countryside a bit, the only factor that leaves it short of the complete work that is Inglorious Basterds. Despite that minor shortcoming, it’s clear that in the driver’s seat of Django, Tarantino is having the most fun he’s ever had. It’s the kind of fun that is passed along to his audience in spades. - A

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Home Alone with a Vengeance – Someone finally did it: combine two of the great non-Christmas Christmas movies in one brilliant parody mash-up. It’s Kevin MCallister meets John McClane in a combining of Home Alone and Die Hard. Because, obviously. And well, sort of. Alright, not really. But this short is fun.


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