Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! It’s a fairly calm release week, but there are a few recognizable titles hitting shelves including Steven Spielberg’s cheesy War Horse and the universally acclaimed film about a man famous for sticking his hand inside a felt anus, Being Elmo. Lesser known releases include a couple Cartoon Network shows, Bob Newhart’s unfortunate TV swan song, two European imports worth your time and more. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Tyrannosaur Joseph (Peter Mullan) leads a sad, lonely life punctuated with bouts of alcohol-fueled violence, but when he meets a charitable woman named Hannah (Olivia Colman) he discovers his humanity may yet be salvageable. “An animal can only take so much punishment and humiliation before it snaps, fights back,” he says at one point. “It’s just nature.” Paddy Considine wrote and directed this, his feature debut, and it’s clearly a personal tale inspired by the people and places he’s known. It’s a bleak, tough watch at times, but Considine surprises with a wise and unexpected ending.

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The Best Films of 2011

It has come time once again to move from celebrating the worst, most annoying and most discussed films of the year — something we do at the front of our Year in Review for a reason — and start celebrating those films that have earned places in our hearts, celebrating all the best of 2011, a year that, on the whole, wasn’t such a bad year at the movies. And once again I’m honored to present my top picks of the year, as the Publisher of Film School Rejects. It’s not a vanity thing, but more of a tradition. Since the site’s inception, I’ve always presented my best of the year as The Editor’s Picks. And while I’m honored by this opportunity and enjoy it immensely, if you’re anything like me, you’re probably waiting with bated breath for what will come later in the week when we release The Staff Picks. Because they are the ones who are really interesting. But until then, you get me and my odd gathering of best films from the year that was.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s all about movies, and television, and comics, and literature, and photos of hot women. Such as Miss Piggy, yo. We begin tonight with perhaps the most interesting twist of the fall movie season. In recent interviews, the likes of Frank Oz and other original puppeteers and writers from the Jim Henson school are speaking out about how The Muppets might not respect the characters they helped create. “I wasn’t happy with the script,” Oz told Metro. “I don’t think they respected the characters. But I don’t want to go on about it like a sourpuss and hurt the movie.”

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There’s nothing more likeable than a Muppet. I’m pretty sure that’s a proven fact. Whether you were a Sesame Street kind of kid, a lover of The Muppet Show or a fan of Fraggle Rock, chances are any show involving Muppets had the ability to bring a smile to your face – and hopefully it still does.

Constance Marks’ delightful documentary takes you beyond the foam heads and wacky personalities of the Muppets to get to know the people who bring them to life, specifically Kevin Clash, the man behind the most loving 3 ½ year old of all time, Elmo.

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This being my third Cannes Film Festival in a row, I feel I’m now in the privileged position to demand something of the festival in return for standing thanklessly in queues in the baking sun, and allowing my English Rose skin to wilt/burst into flames under the unforgiving French Riviera sun. So, with that in mind, below is a run-down of what I’d ideally like to see when I get to Cannes in May – along with a few reasonable predictions, based on what’s coming up.

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There are 130 films this year at Austin’s SXSW, and 60 of them being world premieres. When you scroll down the list of the films showing there, 99% of them you’ve never heard of before. Only a handful stick out that you actually know about or have eagerly (or mildly…) been anticipating. The films at the fest that currently are the most exciting for us are also the most high profile. That’s not to say there won’t be far superior little known flicks playing there – there most definitely will be – but the big ones showing are always the early attention grabbers. We’ll be running a bigger and more comprehensive list of SXSW must-sees closers to the fest, which is basically when we’ll have more info on the films there that aren’t being released by Universal or Summit. But as of right now, here are a few features that already got our excitement on high. As for those of you interested right now in knowing more about those 130 films, check out the full list here.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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