Movie News

Where the Sidewalk Ends

If you were ever a grade schooler in desperate need of clever rhymes and you had finally graduated to the point where you were just a hair too mature for the wacky words of a one Dr. Seuss, your grubby little hands likely reached for a heavy Shel Silverstein tome like “Where the Sidewalk Ends” or “A Light in the Attic.” His sprawling books of colorful poetry and beautiful accompanying illustrations (all his own) chronicled all the issues that mattered the most to children. For instance, flipping open a Silverstein book could point you to the plight of a modern day King Midas, who turns everything he touches to raspberry jello. A perfect hell! Or maybe you’d settle on the story of Melinda Mae, the girl who tried to eat an entire whale, an actually does so in the span of 80 years. That’s just silly. Now, the man who brought so much joy to our childhoods is getting the chance to have his own story told. “A Boy Named Shel: The Life and Times of Shel Silverstein,” a biography by Lisa Rogak, is getting adapted into a biopic from writing partners Chris Shafer and Paul Vicknair (1:30 Train), under production with McG‘s Wonderland Sound and Vision.

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Marvel Ant-Man Test Sneak 3

When Edgar Wright left Ant-Man, a lot of excitement for the film went out the door with him. His involvement is what made the project so appealing in the first place. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World showed the director isn’t interested in making a run-of-the-mill comic book movie, but doing something fresh, new, and its own thing. Of course, that’s not the kind of comic book movie we see often enough. Since Wright left Ant-Man over creative differences, was it a matter of Marvel balking over taking some risks? That’s what a lot of fans understandably suspect. After seeing James Gunn‘s Guardians of the Galaxy, it’s difficult to fathom Marvel getting cold feet over taking another risk. Guardians of the Galaxy is a superhero movie with a talking raccoon, some good old-fashioned dick jokes, and, basically, more of what you’d expect from James Gunn (Slither). Guardians doesn’t feel like a project Gunn had to make compromises on, but instead got to make a movie he can call his own that happened to cost $150m. Perhaps taking chances wasn’t the problem with Ant-Man. Maybe it really was just two different visions that couldn’t see eye-to-eye.

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Fifty Shades of Grey

Well, perhaps she’s drunk on something else besides love. Money? Bestselling but terrible novels? Drunk on money? Drunk on fan fiction? Singing superstar and national treasure Beyonce recently took to her Instagram to share a teaser of the first trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey  — and, no, we don’t think it was Bey herself who brokered this deal or even uploaded the damn thing, no matter how much the chanteuse loves her social media (which is a lot) — but it still seems like a weird little bit of cross-promotion and marketing. Why does Beyonce (the brand, or the person, or whatever) want you to care about Fifty Shades of Grey? And is this even a good fit? The teaser is, quite notably, finely tuned for Beyonce’s very own tunage, because it sure sounds like it’s set to a slowed down, kind of creepy version of her “Crazy in Love.” Crazy something. Gird your loins and take a look:

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Star-Wars-7-X-Wing

Yet again, J.J. Abrams is wagging the dog by sharing something official in the wake of a great rumor being spread. Although I doubt that this reveal of an X-Wing fighter built for Star Wars: Episode VII is truly in response to ridiculous-sounding plot details leaked over the weekend, it’s otherwise a nice diversion. The video below isn’t just a first look at a vehicle for advance marketing sake; it’s the latest and final piece of promotion for the Force for Change charity drive for UNICEF run via Omaze. Recall in the past we shared the video introducing a new non-CG character. Now Abrams is back to show us something a lot more familiar just days before the effort ends. Force for Change is kind of like a Kickstarter campaign but since Disney doesn’t need money to make a Star Wars movie, your pledges go to a better cause than a film production. Yet there are still similar incentives (and raffle prizes) here, such as exclusive apparel, a Chewbacca bust and private advance screenings of Episode VII, plus the best of all: a chance to win a trip to the set and actually get to appear in the movie. Watch Abrams tell you about Force for Change while you gaze upon the beautiful but beat-up X-Wing below.

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Space Invaders Gameplay

Cross another item off the list of “things I am marginally aware of that have yet to be made into a movie.” Space Invaders, the classic arcade game you’ve probably picked up at some point in your life, is getting the filmic treatment from Warner Bros. The Wrap reports Akiva Goldsman, of Fringe, I Am Legend and, most recently, A Winter’s Tale, is producing the great pixelated epic, along with Joby Harold and Tory Tunnell. This isn’t the first time Warners has tried to get a Space Invaders movie off the ground. In 2010, the studio sent another band of producers to Taito, the Japanese company behind the game, to bend a knee and beg for the rights. It didn’t work out. This time, though, all the parties are aligned. Now, you may be saying to yourself, “What? No. Space Invaders has almost nothing of substance that could translate into a movie. It’s just a basic game layout with a mildly iconic ship design. There isn’t a movie here.” And you’d be right. But you’d also be forgetting Battleship, which took a few similar-sized scraps of source material and managed to glue them together in a way that resembled a feature film. But Battleship was a Michael Bay-inspired mess of moving parts and incoherency, which begs the question: can Space Invaders do any better?

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Overlook Hotel in The Shining

With conspiracy theorists and devotees to the history and mysteries within room 237 making virtually nothing about The Shining a secret anymore, you would think that the existence of a prequel detailing the origins of the world’s worst winter getaway would be deemed unnecessary. And yet, Overlook Hotel, the companion film to Stanley Kubrick’s 1971 classic, is moving forward with Mark Romanek (Never Let Me Go; One Hour Photo) at the helm, according to Variety. Know any terrifying little twin sisters in need of their very first SAG cards? The premise for the prequel does seem intriguing. The film, scripted by former The Walking Dead showrunner Glen Mazzara, will be based on the original prologue to Stephen King’s 1977 novel, which was cut before the book went to production. But how did Mazzara get the unpublished prologue? Was it sent to him by hotel ghosts? Oh, Stephen King probably published it later? No ghosts? Right. Many years before Jack Torrance drags Wendy and Danny and his finger through a hellscape of writer’s block and cabin fever, the Overlook Hotel was, at the turn of the 20th century, the prize jewel of robber baron Bob T. Watson. If we retained nothing but this from US History class in high school, it is that robber barons all look like Mr. Monopoly, so keep that in mind whenever you think about this film and its premise. Watson scaled the Rocky Mountains of Colorado looking for only the finest location to build the most spectacular resort in all of the United States of […]

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Avengers: Age of Ultron

The release of Avengers: Age of Ultron may be nearly a year away, but that doesn’t mean that excitement for the Joss Whedon-directed Marvel sequel isn’t already at something resembling a fever pitch. Wait, no, that’s just the sound of Marvel fans presumably already lining up for the studio’s Comic-Con presentation. Hope you brought your best air mattress, guys. In anticipation of both the film itself and the sure-to-be-massive Marvel presentation, Entertainment Weekly has spent the past few days teasing fans with details from its newest issue, one that’s covered (literally) with Age of Ultron and that contains a bevy of Comic-Con information for fans to enjoy. The new issue is crammed with a ton of information about the film — including some compelling insights into characters both new and old, some tantalizing little tidbits about its plot, and plenty of new pictures — but we’ve distilled down the basics, in case you’re just really busy or something? If you haven’t checked your mail yet, or the idea of getting over to a bookstore or newsstand seems too complicated to comprehend right now (it’s Friday, you’re tired), we’ve gathered every bit of Avengers goodness to hit the web this week, thanks to Entertainment Weekly’s massive Comic-Con issue (a double!). Feel like picking this one up now? Yeah, you probably should.

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The One I Love trailer

The One I Love premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and it did so to quite a bit of acclaim. Critics saw it as an intelligent and neatly wound little romance — one that happened to be built around a swirling black hole of weirdness. You see, The One I Love has a twist (over at Film.com, our own Kate Erbland wrote that “the film is brisk, funny, smart, and artful, a strong pairing of high concept and relatable storylines”). And the film’s trailer, which dropped today, is more than happy to tell you all about it. “Oh, such a twist it is,” the trailer croons, twirling whatever the movie trailer equivalent is of an elaborate mustache. “You’ve never seen anything like it. It’s revolutionary, I dare say.” Meanwhile, the characters all refer to it in nearly every string of dialogue, while the blurbs praise its Charlie Kaufman-esque ingenuity. The trailer is seriously set on this twist. It just won’t tell us what it is.

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Annabelle trailer

For those who saw The Conjuring, last year’s exercise in seeing exactly how much demonic activity has to occur in one house before a dad can perhaps wonder if something might be wrong, the Annabelle doll owned by paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren made an eerie and unappetizing prologue to the main haunted house story. The possessed doll that traumatized a group of girls before coming to live in the Warrens’ trophy room of conquered demonic goods, Annabelle was one of the creepiest parts of the film — and now she’s getting her own origin story so that, I don’t know, maybe people like that dad will finally understand to call a priest ASAP? The trailer for the aptly titled Annabelle (directed by John R. Leonetti) doesn’t give us so much of a comprehensive look at the plot of the spinoff, as it does cut right to the chase and just show us, in gruesome detail, what exactly happened when Annabelle transformed from ornate, yet grotesque porcelain doll, to the tiny murder machine that haunts nightmares. A young married couple is living in a creaky Victorian house (is there any other kind?) and preparing for the arrival of their new baby, when the husband presents the wife with Annabelle — a thoughtful (terrible?) gift for their new bundle of joy. But their happiness is short-lived; getting murdered by your friendly possessed next door neighbor will really suck the joy out of everything.

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Game of Thrones: 409

HBO’s mega-hit Game of Thrones isn’t even currently on the air (we miss you so), but that doesn’t mean that there’s not plenty of information and buzz and chatter about George R.R. Martin‘s heartbreaking baby to share until the show returns for its fifth season sometime next year. Today, however, has brought us a pair of perfectly timed news items that center on the very same (hotly contested and debated) subject: just who Jon Snow’s parents really are. Wait, are you already shocked because you didn’t even think that was a thing? Oh, you’re not ready. So, what do you think you know about Jon Snow’s parentage? Hey, you might know something, but you’ll definitely know more than nothing after the break. [Possible spoilers ahead.]

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Ouija

In my long-ish and varied history of attending childhood sleepovers (from birthday parties to random Saturday nights, hotly attended events to just hanging with my best friend), I somehow managed to avoid playing most of the creepy games that make up the “scary sleepover game” oeuvre. Most of them. I had to play once. It was horrible. It was Bloody Mary. I was ten. And it definitely instilled in me a vague but still life-long aversion to looking in mirrors in dark bathrooms. At the time, I definitely thought, this is a bad idea, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t participate. Guess what! It was a bad idea. Horror films that tap into that kind of stuff — that sort of personal connection — are usually the ones that scare us the very most, which is why I’m pretty excited that I never dabbled in Ouija board-playing, because Stiles White‘s upcoming Ouija (about a possibly murderous “spirit board”) could then have the power to send me screaming out into the night. As is, it just looks kind of scary to me (but if you played with a board as a kid, the film could effect you quite differently). But there sure are plenty of other scary sleepover games that could translate well enough to the big screen, leaving terrified teens in their wake. How many of these games have you played?

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Monster Squad Monsters

Remember when Dracula, Frankenstein’s Monster, The Mummy, Wolf Man and the rest of the classic Universal Monsters were horror characters? Then 80 years worth of cheesy sequels and mash-ups and merchandising watered them all down to the point where they couldn’t even scare a baby. Hollywood has tried different ways to make them relevant for modern audiences, including attempts at grittier takes on the literary sources, blockbuster versions with lots of action and special effects and animated features starring the voices of Adam Sandler and friends. These have each only kept the creatures as corny as ever. They’re never going to be the stuff of nightmares again, so the question is whether they’ll ever be as cool as they once were. Or even cooler? What if the classic movie monsters were suddenly as hip as the Fast and Furious movies became after the franchise was refueled with high-octane entertainment value following the fourth installment? Unfortunately, a dash of Dwayne Johnson isn’t going to cut it here. He already sort of contributed to the quick ruin of the last Mummy reboot. Never mind that that was before he reenergized his own movie career. The alternative might be the reported hire of screenwriter Chris Morgan for the job of penning the studio’s previously announced super-franchise for its Halloween costume favorites. He’s the guy who wrote all the Fast and Furious sequels from Tokyo Drift onward. It took him a couple installments to really reveal the awesome potential, but he found new life in what had initially seemed […]

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Laggies

Quarter-life crises hit everyone differently, whether it’s paying for a bodega sandwich in change for the third day in a row and coming up short that does it, or resolving to stay in your room indefinitely because you’ve received another wedding announcement from a childhood friend the morning after an OkCupid date with a guy who wanted to sniff your hair, or just realizing that woah, high school was awhile ago and you still don’t have your shit together. It’s even happening to Keira Knightley, one of the so-called Laggies who doesn’t quite have things figured out yet, and is taking the most adult and rational approach to handling her problems: running away and ignoring them. The trailer for the Lynn Shelton film introduces us to Megan (Knightley), a 28-year-old on the verge of something not-so great when she attends her high school reunion. A proposal from her boyfriend (Mark Webber), whom she’s been dating since high school, leads to her fleeing into the night and away from that whole nightmare (ugh, can you imagine getting engaged at your high school reunion in front of a bunch of people you probably hate?) and more or less into the arms of Chloe Moretz (who, for the first trailer in a long time, is not wearing some sort of neon wig). Like an respectable gaggle of 16-year-olds, Moretz’s Annika and her buddies hit Megan up for help buying a six pack “because they left their IDs at home,” and seeing some of her old, fun self […]

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SNL Logo

Well, so much for my theory that the Saturday Night Live blood-letting (read: staff-letting) was over after Monday’s news that newbie featured player Brooks Wheelan had been fired after just one season on the sketch comedy series. Deadline reports that fellow featured players Noël Wells and John Milhiser will also not be returning for the show’s fortieth season come this fall, bringing the current axing total up to three. As Deadline reminds us, “the first year on SNL is considered a boot camp, in which new cast members have a season to make a mark. This past year was particularly tough.” The thirty-ninth season saw the addition of seven new featured players, bloating the cast and kind of making it seem like a real sink or swim situation for the new kids. Apparently, about half of them sank. The outlet also confirms news we’ve known for weeks, that star Nasim Pedrad will not be back on the show after five strong seasons, as the comedienne is dedicating her full talents to former SNL writer John Mulaney‘s new Fox show, Mulaney, which will debut this fall. (Fun fact: did you know that Mulaney’s little sister, Claire Mulaney, joined SNL‘s writing staff last year?) So we’re down four now. Will it ever end? 

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Ronia the Robbers Daughter Studio Ghibli

Because this is not a Japanese film site, Japanese film news tends to slip under the radar. So while Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter was announced in February as something new and sparkly and unique – a Studio Ghibli TV series, headed up by Goro Miyazaki (son of Hayao), to be done entirely in CGI – it was mostly forgotten about in the post-February world. Only now, several months later, has Ronia has peeked its head above the Tokyo skyline, and it’s here to show us what traditional Ghibli animation looks like when hauled screaming into the third dimension. The results? They’re OK, I guess.

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Power Rangers 90s Movie

From one superhero franchise to another. Ashley Miller and Zack Stentz, the writers behind X-Men: First Class, have signed on to mighty morph the Power Rangers film into something a little more sophisticated than the Saturday morning kid’s hour. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Robert Orci, one of the screenwriters behind the Transformers and Star Trek franchises, has also hopped on board to serve as the film’s executive producer. He will team up with Miller and Stentz to formulate a new story around the team of teenaged superheroes, but he’s leaving the actual screenwriting duties to the twosome, whose writing credits as a team also include 2011′s Thor and the highly important Frankie Muniz teen spy flick Agent Cody Banks. But the three shouldn’t have much of a problem finding inspiration in the source material — or even reason to change it much, actually.

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Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live is slimming down. With the show’s fortieth season set to kick off in September, NBC’s venerable sketch comedy show has apparently set about culling its cast, and single-season featured player Brooks Wheelan appears to be the first to go. Wheelan tweeted the news (which he seems to have a pretty good attitude about) last night: Had a blast and loved every second of it. I’m totally honored to be able to make this next joke… FIRED FROM NEW YORK IT’S SATURDAY NIGHT! — Brooks Wheelan (@brookswheelan) July 14, 2014 Perhaps Wheelan can get a pep talk from another one-season SNL star like Jenny Slate, who didn’t let her short-lived run on the series sink her career in the slightest. Sure, getting fired always sounds (and feels) bad, but it’s by no means a death sentence (also, Wheelan is just twenty-seven-years-old, he’s got lots of merrymaking to get to.)

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BIG HERO 6

He’s fluffy, slow, and he’s about to get an upgrade [cue the Beyonce song]. He’s Baymax, and he is the perfect best friend as long as he doesn’t run out of batteries. The Big Hero 6 trailer makes the movie feel like a family friendly Iron Man blended with The Iron Giant and whatever else has “iron” in the title. It’s also a nice reminder that there’s another Marvel movie coming out that seeks to fill the Pixarian void. Check out the trailer, and see if you can guess who’s voicing Baymax, the fluffy robot who earns afterburners.

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Horns-Daniel-Radcliffe

The new teaser for Horns is ever so brief, but it captures the plight of its hero in a tiny snapshot. Ig Parrish (Daniel Radcliffe) is dealing with the fallout of his girlfriend (Juno Temple) being brutally murdered, and everyone suspects him as the coldblooded killer. They don’t have much basis for their accusations — he didn’t do it — save for the fact that after her death he started sprouting alarmingly devil-like horns from his head without any explanation. Yeah, you would probably start the angry mob, too, after finding out on Nancy Grace that that guy was her boyfriend. The film, directed by Alexandre Aja (The Hills Have Eyes) adapted by Keith Bunin from the novel by Joe Hill, contains another major detail not mentioned in the teaser trailer: once Ig sprouts these strange horns, he can now also get everyone he encounters to be completely and utterly honest, even when he doesn’t want them to be that forthcoming. The horns are also a mind-control device, letting him easily manipulate the people who hate him so much into doing things out of their will. Ig didn’t kill Merrin, but the townspeople still have their pitchforks raised, wondering aloud if he has the “face of the devil.” Post-horns sprouting, are they correct?

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Jurassic World

If you were concerned that Jurassic World (the fictional place, not Jurassic World, the real movie) wouldn’t be kitted out with the very best amenities that the theme park world has to offer, rest your pretty little heads. This place is going to be sweet, even if it’s packed with murderous dinosaurs and apparently bored teens. A leaked brochure that purports to be a fun prop from Colin Trevorrow‘s currently in-production addition to the Jurassic Park mythos has just hit the web, and it boasts all kinds of special attractions for Jurassic World visitors, from an official soda (Jurassic World is a Coca-Cola joint, okay? there are no Pepsi products to be found here) to various “park highlights” that allow guests to enjoy the dino-goodies that have been (quite literally) cooked up for them. The brochure — which we certainly hope is real — popped up on Reddit (via MTV and Cinema Blend), and while it appears to be missing one major aspect (that would be a map), it sure looks like the real deal. Otherwise, it’s just a very strange piece of marketing for FedEx. Or American Airlines. Or Samsung, Coke and Starbucks. Take a look at the brochure below:

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