Bad Boys

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This is another edition of Short Starts, where we present a weekly short film(s) from the start of a filmmaker or actor’s career. In a few days, The Kings of Summer opens in theaters. One of our favorites out of Sundance this year (where it was titled Toy’s House), the coming-of-age dramedy is filled with big laughs, a huge amount of heart and great performances from a handful of young actors who are all sure to go places. Also on the rise now is director Jordan Vogt-Roberts, a veteran of web and TV work who now enters the big time with this feature directorial debut. In an interview with AFI this year, he declared that this is only the beginning for him with feature filmmaking: “That’s why i’m here. I grew up falling in love with movies and the worlds they created. That’s my priority and that’s where I want to be.” Fortunately for us short subject lovers, he’s not against continuing non-feature stuff on the side. He admits to enjoying all mediums, including commercials, and wants to do a second season of his Comedy Central show with T.J. Miller, Mash Up. Hopefully he also makes more legitimate short films, because he’s shown a terrific grasp for not just concise storytelling but also an awareness for what sort of running time suits a particular story. Thanks to Vogt-Roberts having a well-stocked Vimeo page, we’re able to see a lot of his prior short and sketch work, and this week I’d […]

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Michael Bay

When a Transformers film or Bad Boys II washes over its audience with gigantic, thunderous popcorn-scented waves, they know the man behind those tsunamis. No, it isn’t Poseidon, but someone even more mythic and powerful: director Michael Bay. He is one of the most successful auteurs working today, and mass audiences love visiting the worlds he presents to them through the colorful, bombastic prism of Awesome. They connect to his movies, but maybe not for the obvious reasons. A Michael Bay picture is many, many things. The global showman has made his career off shiny money shots, a broad sense of humor, solid on-screen pairings, well-orchestrated chaos, and much more. We all know a Bay creation when we see it, and much of that comes from the mind’s more subconscious, inner workings. Bay doesn’t necessarily repeat himself, but there are reoccurring details which appear in most his movies, all of which further his status as an auteur. Since an auteur is generally labeled as a filmmaker with a “strong personal style,” even Bay’s harshest critics should admit he has personality and a well-established brand, whether they like his particular brand or not. The director’s newest movie, the abrasively entertaining Pain & Gain, carries on those trademark signatures in many ways. It’s not the explosions which make him an auteur, it’s the little things that make his human stories more meaningful than what we see from most blockbuster directors. Michael Bay a true visionary auteur, and here’s why:

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the rock shower massacre

Given all the positive buzz we’re hearing for Pain & Gain, Michael Bay could very well have his first critical hit since 1996 when the movie opens this Friday. And it might just be an even fresher tomato than the lonely red orb affixed to The Rock seen here. Interestingly enough, this new release stars someone named The Rock, further proving that Dwayne Johnson isn’t just franchise viagra but also a kind of Hollywood miracle in general these days. Not that Bay has been struggling as far as the industry is concerned. At all. It’s not important for us to defend the quality of Bay’s movies. They are what they are. Some are more entertaining than others. Most fulfill a certain demand by audiences for action, broad humor and flag-waving. And occasionally they do surprise us, especially in times when our expectations are at their lowest — or simply on that horizon to which we anticipate his work, neither high nor low, just there. We do enjoy some of it. Maybe not even whole films but individual bits. So, this week’s Scenes We Love highlights six favorite moments. And as usual we invite you to share your own picks.

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Bad Boys

We didn’t get enough of Michael Bay‘s ego blowing the world up a few weeks ago. We’re interested in more. That’s why in this week’s Commentary Commentary, we’re covering Bay’s first movie, the calling card, if you will, that would eventually launch this man to such great heights, he could make hundreds of millions of dollars playing with toy robots. We’re talking about Bad Boys. No, I’m not gonna sing the song. Thought about it. Decided to pass. Bad Boys started a lot of things. It began Will Smith‘s rise to divine power. It started something with Martin Lawrence that would eventually sputter out some time around Bad Boys II. Poor guy. Black Knight just wasn’t a good idea. Mr. Bay is sure to spew all kinds of love for both of these guys, as well as the massive number of explosions we’ll be seeing throughout the film. His Armageddon commentary was so much fun and surprisingly insightful, so there’s no telling what we’ll be in store for with Bad Boys. Whatcha gonna do? I couldn’t help it.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s interstellar, acrobatic, monochromatic, hyperbolic, hypothetical and at some point during the evening, yours to take and ravage before you drift off into a wistful dreamland. It is also an excellent source of movie news, entertaining links, witty banter and Vitamin B. All others be wary, this column be scary, and it will not rest until it convinces you to watch Breaking Bad. But that’s not all…. Walt Disney Pictures has released some new concept art from their 2012 summer tentpole, John Carter. You can see one particular piece in tonight’s lead image above. The art comes in conjunction with a bunch of set visit reports from a number of sites who were invited out to spend time with director Andrew Stanton and crew. The guys at Screen Rant have an awesome recap of all the most interesting bits, saving you the pain of having to read through 35 boring set visit reports (most of which say the same thing) just to find the 3-5 money quotes.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, your alternate box office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features Liam Neeson kicking ass and forgetting his name, a teenage alien, the plight of lions around the world, and Martin Lawrence in a fat suit trying desperately to get your attention.

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These Walls are Furry

You wouldn’t know it if you aren’t a top-ranking member of the FSR staff, but it’s been a busy week around here.

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Movies We Love: Bad Boys

This week’s Movies We Love entry comes with a sigh of relief from yours truly. Finally, I’m taking the time to sit down and write about one of my favorite films of all-time.

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This Week in Blu-ray, we celebrate one of my favorite movies of all-time. No, it’s not Alice in Wonderland or Wild Things: Foursome. Close, but no.

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To see Will Smith and Martin Lawrence back in the banter, making action with Michael Bay and producer Jerry Bruckheimer again would be downright dreamy. And according to Lawrence, it’s about to get real.

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Things you should know about this site’s editor: He loves Bad Boys and Bad Boys 2. He also doesn’t care what you say, as Bad Boys 3 is a great idea.

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