Blockbusters

Space Jam Website

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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The LEGO Movie

Studios should learn a powerful lesson from the one-two punch of The LEGO Movie and RoboCop. Specifically, that they’re getting in the way of their own success. How do you make a hit? By making a great movie. How do you make a great movie? Hire great filmmakers and then empower them to create. Unfortunately, there are some huge roadblocks on the path toward that Utopia. We’ll discuss them while envisioning a bright new future. Plus, FSR Associate Editor Kate Erbland joins us for an Interrogation Reviewification of the aforementioned cyborg policeman movie, and we’ll all offer some ’80s movies we’d love/hate to see remade. You should follow Kate (@katerbland), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #49 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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X-Men: Days of Future Past

As we all know, 2015 is going to be the biggest year for big years in the history of big years. It’s going to be so gigantic for tentpoles, superhero movies, sequels and reboots that we’re finally all asking whether or not it’s possible to experience geek overload, and while the thought of that forthcoming summer sends chills through tingle-prone parts, we have to survive this year first. There’s a lot to look forward to, and now Kofi Outlaw over at ScreenRant has laid bare the simple questions facing geek property fans as we edge ever closer to the brink. He’s presented 5 big questions facing the calendar change, and I’ve decided to answer them all.

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Short Term 12

The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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The Do-Deca-Pentathalon

The Duplass Brothers got into making movies by making movies. Some called it Mumblecore, but it should really be called The Nike Method. Their latest, The Do-Deca-Pentathalon features two brothers locked in an epic (yet secretive) sporting event that they take exactly as seriously as it needs to be taken. But as Mark and Jay Duplass explain in this interview, no matter the type of movie they make, they’ll always focus on the small moments and emotions that arise from them. One example? Battleship. If given the blockbuster, here’s how the pair would have delivered the littoral explosion-fest

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Mitt Romney currently leads the Republican Presidential nominee field in two distinct ways. The first is in spending, where he’s made it rain $100m so far in order to not clinch the nomination. The second is in delegates, which is it where it counts. Still, he’s facing the possibility of not getting enough delegates before the National Convention in late August which means there’s a chance (albeit a slim one) he won’t be the eventual nominee. He’s also facing difficult internal numbers and that general feeling of, you know, meh-ness from potential supporters. So, he’s John Carter. The correlations are clear: both are inevitable successes by a traditional standpoint, both are flawed in ways that injure their ability to connect with an audience, they’re both in danger of failing, and they both spent a ton of money to get to where they are. There’s a lesson in all of this and hopefully the major studios are paying close attention.

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Although the real question keeping Hollywood awake in 2012 is “Does Winston Wolf clean up dead hookers on Yom Kippur?”, the fine folks over at HitFix have put forth a handful of queries of varying importance which filmmakers, studios and fans might have on their minds this year. It’s their 15 Questions Keeping Hollywood Awake in 2012. With concerns from Lindsay Lohan’s possible last chance to Joss Whedon’s first real shot with The Avengers, it’s an intriguing list that might prove 2012 to be both an endlessly fascinating and completely irrelevant year in the stories behind the movies. Will Smith, Found Footage, Hunger Games, Dark Knight Rises and more. HitFix has questions, and here are the answers:

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On January 11, 1991, the then-head of Disney studios, Jeffrey Katzenberg, circulated an incredibly important memo about the state of the movie industry and the products they were making. It was called, “The World is Changing: Some Thoughts on Our Business,” and it had a simple purpose: to locate the root of a growing problem and to take steps to avoid falling victim to it. Katzenberg began the memo by stating: “As we begin the new year, I strongly believe we are entering a period of great danger and even greater uncertainty. Events are unfolding within and without the movie industry that are extremely threatening to our studio.” As we begin a new year two decades after this memo was written, it’s critical to look back at the points Katzenberg made to see that his period of great danger is now our period of great danger, to note that the same events unfolding within and without the industry still threaten the entire studio system in 2012, and to predict our future based on the past.

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When I first saw the Hollywood Reporter piece on Melissa Rosenberg surpassing Linda Woolverton (The Lion King, Alice in Wonderland) as the highest-grossing female screenwriter, it took me a while to wrap my mind around it. After all, it’s the kind of statistic that only a baseball fan could love. It doesn’t take into account the thousands of other people and factors that go into making a film a world-wide financial smash, giving credit solely to the writer (and only if that writer has official credit on the movie). On the other hand, it’s the kind of fact that feels significant. That tells us a bit about the world we live in. Maybe in a way that upsets us. At its barest, it reveals that the female movie writer responsible for banking the most money did it mostly through the Twilight series – Step Up is the only non-Twilight property she’s credited for outside of her lengthy television resume. It also means she did it mostly through means of a book adaptation. After Breaking Dawn Part 1 topped $647m, her total landed at just over $2.56b.

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It may be considered old news since it happened a whole week ago, but Disney passing on The Lone Ranger is a remarkably good sign. It’s noteworthy for more than the average news of the day because it hints at a crack in the current foundation of studio thinking. It’s barely ever publicized, since a studio refusing to make a film is hardly newsworthy, but a project this high-profile, featuring talent like Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski, that’s been reported on so thoroughly used to be a done deal. Now, that’s not the case. It’s not like this is the end of the story crisis or anything, but it’s the Hollywood equivalent of a crack addict putting down the pipe, and it should be celebrated.

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With a little less than a week to go until I land at Nice Airport and get the hugely unglamorous Hack Bus into Cannes along with my boys from ObsessedWithFilm.com to begin FSR’s official Cannes film festival 2011 coverage, now is surely a prudent time to offer my thoughts on the biggest and brightest films showing on the Croisette this year. You already know what films are showing, so I won’t exhaustively trawl back through the list, but I wanted to take the opportunity to announce what I am particularly excited about. This also gives me the opportunity post-festival to look back at happier, simpler times when my optimism at seeing four films a day wasn’t yet destroyed by watching three incredibly boring flicks in a row, followed by a blockbuster during which I fell asleep (as happened in 2009). Anyway, lesson learned, and this year I’ll be packing as many natural amphetamines as possible. If you’re heading out there look for me, I’ll be the guy with the grinding jaw, the sallow eyes and the notepad full of doodles/plans to change the future of cinema. So anyway, here’s what I’m looking forward to most.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as MonkeyTailBeard38 and LifeFindzaWay394 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the duo attempt to figure out word of mouth, movie advertising, critical response, and which one is to blame when a movie fails. Or, you know, it could just be the movie’s quality, but we hate simple answers around here. What separates the blockbusters from the flops? What makes people go see movies?

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Jaws didn’t mean to do it, but Summer has become the biggest business in movie-making. This summer, we’re getting a new batch of movies that the studios are hoping to be gigantic, but thankfully for us, they fit into 6 handy categories. Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius have worked tirelessly (except for five or ten naps) in order to break these movies down and present them to you. What will you be watching this summer? What excites you the most? What do you have the highest hopes for? These films all have the potential to bust blocks, but will it be your block they’re busting? Here they are, the six types of films coming out in the following months.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as WaitingForGodard and FincherFan1984 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the alleged story crisis in Hollywood. James Cameron thinks it exists, and the presence of a half dozen board game-based movies supports his theory, but are the studios really at a loss for words when it comes to infusing their spectacles with good stories?

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; you should be ashamed.  That’s right, this is the internet column that makes us all look bad.  And by us, I don’t mean film critics, but rather any responsible film-watcher/eater of food.  Each week I shake and bake my favorite bad movies for your reading displeasure.  These movies are very un-bueno but have a certain indefinable quality that makes them impossible not to love.  Actually, if that quality still comes across as undefinable after you read the piece, I really haven’t done my job have I?  To add extra awesome sauce to your Friday, each week I pair the film with an appropriate snack food that promises to ruin your beach season.  This week we take flight with none other than Con Air.

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This summer, a movie came out that made the divide between the critical voices in film and the ticket-buying masses more apparent than ever. Dr. Cole Abaius explores.

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Akira2011

For a while we’ve thought that Akira was dead, but now his friends are resurrecting him and taking him in blob form into production starting in 2010.

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gi-joe-rise-of-cobra

If you planned on seeing it before, are you less likely to now? If you didn’t plan on seeing it before, could positive critical reaction have changed your mind?

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With big action/fantasy releases like I Am Legend and The Golden Compass hitting the box office, we can hear audiences voicing two very loud opinions on the use of Computer Generated Imagery.

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