The Week That Was: From Ayn Rand to Wes Craven, And Back Again

The Week That WasWhat is The Week That Was? Nothing much, just a recap of all that was great and wonderful here on Film School Rejects over the course of the last week. And in a week such as this, when we reviewed controversial and conversation-worthy films from the minds of Ayn Rand, Wes Craven and Robert Redford, it’s important to take a look back at the best of what was written. That, and we interviewed Takashi Miike, so we’ve got that going for us. Also, I have access to the traffic stats. I know that all of you did not read every one of our best articles. What’s the deal with that, beloved readers? Lets right those wrongs on a pantsless Sunday afternoon. Start with the articles listed in this compilation and work your way back. Do it now.

The Reviews

We go see them all so you don’t have to…

Atlas Shrugged Part I is Profoundly Bad Filmmaking
Atlas Shrugged Part I is a movie brimming with so much frustration that you almost expect the screen it’s playing on to have an aneurysm. It’s an honest attempt at adapting difficult (frankly, non-cinematic) material, and it fails spectacularly on almost every level.” In this week’s most read, most commented upon and most controversial review, Cole Abaius takes on the adaptation of the famous text by Ayn Rand. And in reviewing the movie, he has also incited a comment section discussion the likes of which we may not have seen for a long time. Somehow it took a sharp right turn into thoughtful-ville. Sometimes you make us proud, dear commenters. Check out the discussion, but also the review.

Surprise! Scream 4 is Bloody Good Fun
“Let’s get this out of the way first. While Kevin Williamson‘s script throws in some new rules, it’s the old rules that continue to thrive here, and as always some of them are the most frustrating aspect of the series. So if you can’t deal with idiots who constantly find reasons to go off on their own, fools who fail to fight back or pull off the killer’s mask or even just refuse to answer the goddamn phone, parents who let their kids go to parties while a killer stalks the town, and characters whose level of self-awareness makes Skynet look like a Casio calculator, then don’t bother.” Assigning Rob Hunter to review Scream 4 was the equivalent of us saying to the film, “Okay, Scream 4, make our day.” And it did. Somehow, against all odds, it made our day. That’s saying something.

Rio uses the Vibrant Colors of Brazil to tell a Familiar But Lively Tale
Yours truly got back into the reviewing business for the first time since South by Southwest by taking on the one movie that no one else wanted to review. Or more to the point, the movie that no one else had time to review. Luckily for me, it turned out to be an enjoyable time, as I indicate in the opening of my review:  “Stop me if you’ve heard this all before. In the world of big screen animation, there’s Pixar and there’s everybody else. There’s something special about those Toy tale telling animators from Emeryville, something that indicates up front that each of their films has the potential to be a deeply emotional experience for an audience of any age. This review is not about one of those kinds of movies, nor is it about Pixar. It’s about Blue Sky Studios and their new film Rio.”

The Conspirator isn’t the Worst Experience You Could Have in a Theater
“Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard that President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated. I was in third grade, under the creepy Catholic tutelage of Sister Hermina (she refused to die!), and the lesson on Lincoln’s presidency had come to dramatic and shocking conclusion. Granted, those aren’t the words I would have used to describe it at the time, but I do recall feeling frustrated, confused, and angered at the tall, bearded man’s death.” Oh that Rob Hunter, always here to entertain.

Luke Mullen Goes to Action Fest
Our friendly bearded action loving contributor Luke Mullen just happened to be in North Carolina this past week where Action Fest, one of the more exciting young film festivals in America, was taking place. So in true Reject fashion, he stopped by to get a glimpse of some ass-whooping. In the process he brought back a few reviews, including tales of Ironclad and A Lonely Place to Die. And I’m told there’s more, so stay tuned.

Mortal Kombat: Legacy makes its online debut
A special somewhat unrelated, but mostly movie-related note: after much fanfare following the release of the Mortal Kombat short film, the web series finally came online this week. We sent Nathan Adams down to his local movie theater to check it out, only to find that it could be watched from home. Amazing! You are hereby invited and encouraged to read his excellent write-up of the series that will eventually become a movie.

The Features

It’s all about the original content, baby.

Reject Radio #85: Scream for Jidaigeki
There’s no hiding my love for the new format of Reject Radio. It’s storytelling the likes of which you aren’t going to find in other movie podcasts. This week is no exception, as Cole welcomes a host of amazing guests. Sebastian Gutierrez stops by to talk about how making movies for YouTube ain’t so easy, filmmaker Aaron Morgan and AICN’s lovable cuddlebear Eric Vespe chat about why the world is yet to find the next Roger Corman, and we get 15 minutes of motherf*&%ing Takashi Miike. Yes, that Takashi Miike. Respect.

Celebrating 15,000 Articles With a Look at Our First
This week FSR celebrated the passing of the 15,000 article mark. In celebration, I put together a compilation of the first words ever written (on this site, not in life) by some of our most prominent contributors.

The Age of Decadence is Over
So, being a raging drunk in movies isn’t cool anymore. Since when? As Cole explains, since Hollywood began instituting what appears to be an unwritten, unofficial new version of The Hays Code. It sounds like a stretch up front, but the reasoning is sound. Fear for your booze-loving ways, fictional characters!

9 Breakthroughs in Cinematic Technology That Came and Went
Anyone remember Smell-o-Vision?  It was here, and then it wasn’t. And even though some of us would like to see it make a big comeback, it may be gone forever. Matt Patches explores with his weekly list some of cinema’s great experience experiments. Take that, James Cameron.

Danny McBride talks Your Highness, Molesting Puppets and CGI Hand Jobs
There’s nothing I can tell you about this article that isn’t fairly explicit in that title. If that’s not enough to make you want to read Jack Giroux’s talk with funnyman Danny McBride, I don’t know what is.

Short Film of the Day: Tune for Two
The funniest damned thing that I’ve seen in a long time. Two minutes and forty one seconds of bliss.

Junkfood Cinema: Scream 3
Luke Mullen, whose bearded brilliance keeps popping up in this week’s recap (there must be something to that), sits in for Brian Salisbury and recalls a tale of the now red-headed stepchild of the Scream family, the 11-year old third sequel. Was it as deliciously bad as he remembers? He does make a compelling argument.

Rupert Wyatt Talks About Planet of the Apes and the End of Cinema
Jack Giroux sits down with the director of Rise of the Planet of the Apes, fresh off the release of the film’s first theatrical trailer, to have an intimate discussion about simian effects, working right up to the wire with WETA and how Paramount and Justin Bieber may have already sounded the trumpets on the end of cinema itself. It’s this week’s must-read interview.

Joe Wright talks about the Fairytale Dreamscapes of Hanna
Director Joe Wright sits down with our Robert Levin to talk about action sequences, killer children and telling one hella-gruesome fairy tale story with Hanna.

Culture Warrior explore the 3 Rules of Child Assassin Movies
“But child assassins are quite different from the overall category of child killers. And while two recent films in two subsequent spring movie seasons that feature child assassins, Kick-Ass and Hanna, hardly constitute a trope as far-reaching as child killers in horror films, they do seem to be rising with their own rules of representation that constitute a possible emerging trend of their own.” Any time Landon Palmer decides to wax intellectual on films like Kick-Ass and Hanna, it’s worth a read.

The Headlines

And now for your viewing pleasure, the 5 most popular news items of the week.

Abduction trailer proves John Singleton made another movie
It also proved beyond a reasonable doubt that people will follow Taylor Lautner, even if he’s doing his squinty routine outside the Twilight franchise.

Emily Browning becomes a sexual plaything in the Sleeping Beauty trailer
After Sucker Punch, you’d think she’d go back to being wholesome. Nope. Down the rabbit hole we go with this Cannes-bound psycho-sexual thriller.

First Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer rises on the Planet of the Humans
Those monkeys are taking over, man…

Dustin Lance Black becomes a big screen American Idiot
The popular Broadway show designed from the music of Green Day will soon be an actual movie.

Tractor Beams and Bar Fights: The Second Cowboys and Aliens trailer hits hard
Four of the top five news items this week were trailers? I’m okay with that.

For more of this week’s news items, might I suggest looking into Movie News After Dark? I’m told there’s some things to read in there.

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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