Anonymous

Boiling Point

The 84th Academy Awards have come and gone: let the bitching begin! As someone who is more of a genre fan than anything, I’ve never really cared too much about the Oscars, but that sure as hell doesn’t prevent me from complaining about them. Granted, over the years, some great films have won. I’m a big fan of Unforgiven and I dug Shakespeare In Love. I just think far too many good films are ignored in favor of “Oscar movies.” I can’t say that I was particularly impressed with any of the films nominated this year, but there were a few categories were I feel like the little golden man statue when to the wrong film. Luckily, the internet exists and I can complain about it!

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The MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America)’s website is live now, but it went down for a brief time alongside the websites for the US Department of Justice, Universal Music Group, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), the US Copyright Office, BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), and the French copyright enforcer HADOPI. The attack is thanks to Anonymous, who is taking credit and citing the shut down of Megaupload.com and the arrest of its founder, Kim Dotcom, and several other executives as the catalyst for its work here. [Time] This comes in the wake of the SOPA Blackout and may prove that the fight for internet neutrality is just getting warmed up. The hack is, of course, hilarious (and it’s fun to imagine that they did it from phone booths while navigating through a visualization of a mainframe until they found a garbage file), but its effect was short-lived. A hassle for the MPAA and other agencies, but perhaps it’s just a shot across the bow, proving what the group is capable of. It’s just a prank, though, like signing the MPAA up on a sex-seeking site or convincing it that there’s a pool on the roof. It’s a nice, chaotic gesture, but it’s time to organize such that it forces the MPAA to restructure in a way that’s far more transparent, meaningful, and productive. There’s a way to deliver content information to concerned parents without overstepping the boundaries of economic censorship, and it’s imperative that the public pressure the government […]

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on some 3D glasses to look at some puss… in boots, that is. He proceeds to rewrite fairy tale fiction to include more bodily function humor, an egg-shaped Zach Galifianakis and a hairy but still sexy Salma Hayek. Then, he heads to the reference department of his local library to discover who really wrote the complete works of William Shakespeare. When all signs point to Neil Miller as the real author, Kevin gives up, realizing he’s out of time. So he brings sexy back and heads out to kidnap Amanda Seyfried so he can occupy Hollywood and start a revolution together… or get arrested.

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The L.A. Times is reporting that Roland Emmerich’s latest film, Anonymous, set to open in theaters on October 28th, isn’t going to be playing on as many screens as originally planned. The film was at first slated to get a full-on wide release on thousands of screens, but after some pre-release polling showed that nobody really wants to go see this thing, Sony Pictures has decided to scale back the number of screens it will be showing on to 250. The public seems to really love Roland Emmerich, so I can only imagine the lack of interest in the film comes from the fact that it’s about Shakespeare and not New York City blowing up. Sony hasn’t lost all hope for the project’s success, though, as their distribution president Rory Bruer said of the move, “We love the picture and think it’s going to get great word of mouth. We’re committed to expanding it until it plays wide.” The plan is to open the movie in the biggest markets, trick people into forgetting how much they hated reading Shakespeare in high school with movie magic, and then open in the ‘burbs sometime in November after everybody has heard about how much this movie rules and how badly they need to go see it for a couple weeks. That’s a pretty ambitious plan. This better be a damn good movie.

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For whatever reason, Roland Emmerich has decided to jettison his traditional style of destroying the world on film by way of pre-destined end-times or global warming or goo-covered aliens and has taken his cinematic endeavors in an entirely new direction. This time around, Emmerich doesn’t want to blow up the world – he wants to blow up literary history (and, by doing so, also blow up the minds, hearts, and souls of English lit majors everywhere). In Anonymous, Emmerich riffs on the theory that William Shakespeare didn’t actually write all of his works, and that the entire literary world has been at the mercy of the widespread lie that he did. At its heart, Anonymous is a conspiracy flick. About Shakespeare. It’s a Shakespeare-icy flick (you’re welcome). Somehow, Emmerich’s bizarre left-hand turn into historical whodunit gathered a solid cast that includes Edward Hogg, David Thewlis, Vanessa Redgrave, Rhys Ifans, Joely Richardson, and Rafe Spall. I don’t know if they’re in on the joke or not, but Anonymous still looks like the cheap punchline of a terrible joke that doesn’t quite make sense. Even the jokes about this film seem too strange to be real:

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This fall Roland Emmerich will release his latest film, Anonymous, a period piece drama about the true origins of William Shakespeare’s work. Yes, that Roland Emmerich. But fear not, fans of movie that blow up the entire Earth but still don’t manage to get beyond boring, the master of that genre will soon be back at his craft, where he belongs. THR is reporting that the director of such fine disaster fare as 2012, and The Day After Tomorrow is readying to shoot a new script that he wrote himself, probably over at Columbia.

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Roland Emmerich loves destruction. If you can’t glean that little tidbit from his filmography — Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, 2012 — then you’re doing it wrong. The man loves to take something great, like Earth or humanity, and force us to watch it die in the most theatrical (not to mention implausible) ways. So it makes perfect sense that he will next tackle the work of William Shakespeare with Anonymous.

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published: 10.30.2014
B-
published: 10.29.2014
D+
published: 10.27.2014
C-
published: 10.24.2014
C-


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