Carrie

We Need to Talk About Kevin

With adults, you have to put in a lot of effort to make them creepy – layering on makeup and blood and involving them in increasingly horrific acts to impact increasingly apathetic audiences. With children, however, you often need little more than a cherubic face juxtaposed with an evil act to make an impact. Mixing evil into childhood innocence is often the perfect horror concoction for movies, whether it’s a horror movie teasing at the fear of the unknown or a drama exploring the world of a truly terrible child. Of course, sometimes it’s nothing more than the result of really bad parenting. In the premiere of The Affair, Dominic West’s son fakes a suicide to get a rise out of his dad. But when West’s Noah quickly gets over his anger and shrugs off the stunt, it’s perfectly obvious why his kid is acting out – dad is an ineffectual parent. But sometimes it’s about much more than slightly atypical adolescent rebellion. Nothing compares to the chills that a child can evoke, whether they’re the perpetrators of evil or the seemingly innocent guardians of it with their redrum warnings. Many of our most chilling cinematic moments come at the hands of children, whether it’s little Gage bringing Mommy knives in Pet Semetary, twins wanting to play in The Shining, or some of the most truly terrifying images, like Linda Blair’s young Regan in The Exorcist – a film whose frights transcend the tarnish of age. Here are some of […]

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Sarah Polley in

A big new chunk of movies gets added to Netflix every month—which is awesome—but with the constant glut of new content, how are you supposed to know which movies are worth your time and which are just going to force you to hit stop after twenty minutes? This column will give you a place to start. I had to hit stop on a lot of bad movies in order to get this list together, so you owe me. Without further ado, here are 18 good movies to stream that were recently added to Netflix’s Watch-It-Right-This-Second service and should keep you entertained from start to finish. As always, click on the films’ titles in order to be taken to their Netflix page, where you can add them to your My List. Pick of the Month: Stories We Tell (2012) Stories We Tell is a documentary from director Sarah Polley that’s largely about Sarah Polley. Or, it’s about her origins, at least. Okay, a lot of it is about her mom, and how it came to be that Polley’s parentage became a point of contention among her older siblings. Is her dad really her dad, or might it have been this other guy? What kind of a life did her mother lead for this to even be a question? How does Polley herself feel about the ambiguity, and how would her relationship with her father change if she found out they weren’t biologically linked? This movie attacks the situation from a lot of angles, […]

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discs header short term 12

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Short Term 12 Grace (Brie Larson) works at a home for troubled teens, but while she’s fantastic at her job, her empathy for the kids sees her bringing home their pains far too often. Her boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.) works there too and hopes the two of them can grow as a couple, but he knows her past has led to too much of her heart being cordoned off for the kids. Their situation grows even more untenable when a new girl arrives at the facility. Writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s film is a small wonder. It’s essentially a character piece, a glimpse into the life and love of one woman and the people around her, but it’s crafted and performed so effortlessly that it feels like emotionally rich time spent laughing and crying with friends. There’s a slight misstep in the third act where the film loses sight of its characters in deference to a more conventional narrative, but it’s a minor trespass. Check out Allison’s full review here. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, behind the scenes, featurettes, original short film]

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2013.trailermashups

Trailer mashups are a beautiful diversion. On the surface they’re frivolous, but they also manage to re-contextualize the familiar and shine a blinding bulb on thematic similarities. You might get fired for watching them all day (come on, Mr. Danforth!), but there’s a deep power in connecting two seemingly incongruous films or accentuating the copycat nature of tentpoles. There’s a wacky romance to be found in Gravity, a steampunk spectacle in an animated world, adorable Pixar revenge and much more to be discovered. If you watch all of this year’s best, you’ll be overwhelmed with the patterns — not just in the plotting, but also in trailer construction. There’s a bit less Brrrrrwwaaaaaaam this time around, but the hero’s journey is still thriving alongside the explosions. You’ll also notice that pretty much no one makes trailers for Stories We Tell or 12 Years a Slave. Blockbusters are the key targets, and mixing them up with animation and nostalgia seems to be more popular than ever. Oh, and Wall-E. Trailer mashup artists love that damned thing. We like to have fun with trailers here at FSR. Even if we over-think them, hopefully you’ll find something to ponder with our favorites of 2013. Or maybe you’ll just laugh a lot before Mr. Danforth fires you. The guy is ruthless. I think his marriage is on the rocks or something. At any rate, and without further ado: Brrrrrwwaaaaaaam.

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The Love Parade

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

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Carrie 1976

In contrast to Stephen King’s famous tomes The Stand, The Shining, and It, the author’s breakthrough novel – 1974’s “Carrie” – is relatively fit for adaptation as a feature-length film due to its various publications rarely running over two hundred pages. That said, beyond the usual acts of restructuring typical of Hollywood treatments, the movie versions of Carrie White’s story have stopped short of recreating the third section of King’s novel, “Aftermath.” Thus, they forego the subsequent history of a town that must physically and psychologically rebuild itself after an unfathomable tragedy. This section of King’s novel surveys the systemic long-term reactions to the Carrie incident: the development of scientific research and social programs for telekinetics, the slow rebuilding of a small town, and, naturally, a nation’s serious look in the mirror on the subject of high school bullying. While such a vast third act rarely takes shape in Carrie films, it’s the act that we’re collectively most familiar with when it comes to national news stories about young people, violence, and the ever-persistent phantom of bullying (still a term that resists a stable definition in school administrations), whether these real-life tragedies take the form of suicides or mass shootings.

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Wonder Woman

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

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review carrie 2013

2013’s Carrie opens with the title character’s birth. It’s an effective scene, conspicuously absent umbilical cord aside, that immediately makes two things clear. First, Carrie’s mother, Margaret White (Julianne Moore), is a dangerous fundamentalist highly displeased with the “cancer” that just spilled from between her legs. And second, director Kimberly Pierce‘s reboot/remake/re-imagining of Stephen King‘s novel is aiming to be more than just a rehash of Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation. Unfortunately it’s only the wacky religious nut that lands intact, as other than a new opening and ending, some updated dialogue, and an ill-fitting actress in the lead role, this is quite clearly the same old Carrie.

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Kimberly Peirce Carrie

In a span of 14 years writer-director Kimberly Peirce has only made 3 films. She hit the scene in a big way with 1999’s Boy’s Don’t Cry, and she didn’t follow that picture up until 2008’s Stop-Loss. In that nine year gap Peirce struggled getting projects off the ground. Being a writer/director who focuses on personal stories is never going to make life easy. She’s now returned with her first adaptation, Carrie. Her remake of the 1976 film is notably different. Structurally it’s reminiscent, but Peirce’s interpretation has a warmth that wasn’t a part of Brian De Palma‘s project. There’s a more humanistic approach to Carrie’s relationship with her mother, which was a key ingredient to Peirce’s motivation to taking on the project. Here’s what Kimberly Peirce had to say about the film, telling personal stories in a commercial system and more.

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Kimberly Peirce

It’s a shame that Kimberly Peirce has only made three feature films in 14 years. Boys Don’t Cry was a stunner of a debut, announcing a bold new talent to keep tabs on. Stop-Loss wasn’t quite as strong but it was still absolutely powerful enough to make her a sophomore with a bright future. For whatever reason, that future dimmed, but with Carrie coming out this weekend, it hopefully puts Peirce back on track to be artistically in our lives far more often. After all, it was her name that provided a much-needed legitimacy to a remake no one was asking for (of a De Palma film no less) and the optimism that the story could tackle difficult interpersonal drama underneath all the blood-drenched screaming. It’s fantastic to have her back, so here’s a bit of free film school (for fans and filmmakers alike) from a director who has been away too long.

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Carrie 2013

The characters of this week’s releases are at the end of their ropes. That might even be literal for Robert Redford’s character in All Is Lost unless sailors have a different word for “rope.” And they probably do. Some of the film figures of the week are covered in blood, some have been kidnapped into slavery, some have been falsely imprisoned, some are fighting the system, and some are losing the battle against it. Desperation seems like a common theme. Of course, it’s October, so “ghosts” are another big one. And who’s more desperate than they are? There’s also a lot more going on in a week with a massive amount of movies. Here’s your trailer-ized guide to what’s coming out:

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Carrie 2013

The marketing team behind Carrie went all Improv Everywhere at a New York City coffee shop recently with a fake wall, a pulley system and a very irritated young woman with remote control-assisted special powers. To be fair, the whole thing looks a bit fake, and the set up belies that possibility (what with one customer target amidst a sea of actors (and that construction worker!)) but if it’s genuine, there are some reactionary gems. My favorite is the guy who drops his plate before he nopes the fuck out, although the woman who keeps trying to capture it with her cell phone is a close second. At any rate, it’s a fun video, and it’s nice to see they went with this instead of simply throwing tampons at everyone before screaming the release date.

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Julianne Moore‘s not normally known for taking villainous roles (unless you count her turn as Sarah Palin in Game Change), but she certainly seems devoted to being as creepy as possible in this first clip from the upcoming Carrie remake. Moore’s got all the goods: crazy eyes, hair that’s just a little too long and a little too stringy, a sensible navy blue top, and a collection of self-inflicted claw marks. Anybody who’s read Stephen King‘s original novel or seen any one of the many adaptations that followed will know all the basics presented in this clip. Carrie’s (Chloe Moretz) mom is a deranged fundamentalist, and Carrie tends to express her teenage rebellion through telekinetic force blasts. The  attack on the door may come off a little too computer-y, but it still provides a reasonably compelling jump scare. Pour some fake blood over a Jesus statue and you’re good to go. It’s not clear what (if anything, really) this new Carrie will bring to the table that others didn’t, but at the bare minimum it’s got Moore and it’s got stuff that will put a mild shock into your system. And those who disagree can always spend a little time in the closet thinking things through. Go ahead and watch the clip below:

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Gravity

It’s October, which means awards season has officially commenced. Last month gave us a taste with Ron Howard’s Rush, Hugh Jackman yelling in Prisoners, and, last but not least, Luc Besson’s The Family. Maybe not that last one so much, but the other two weren’t a shabby way to kick things off. This month has two movies in particular that should blow socks off while also causing a few tears to flow in the process. They’re the obvious suspects, but they both pack awfully heavy punches. There’s also a little talked about science-fiction-ish movie you may want to check out this weekend as well… But there’s more than three movies to see this month. So, without further ado, here are the ten must-see movies of October 2013:

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trailer carrie2

Well, if you had never seen the 1976 original, read the Stephen King novel or heard someone describe Carrie offhandedly, then you’re going to be absolutely shocked by this trailer for Kimberly Peirce‘s 2013 remake, which basically spells out the entire movie. Just in case though, here’s the drill: Carrie White (Chloe Moretz) is different. Saddled with an uber-religious, insane mother (Julianne Moore) who believes that women are all dirty, she dresses frumpy, doesn’t have friends, and is the butt of ridicule from the mean girls at school. Carrie soon discovers she has telekinetic powers, which really come in handy when those mean girls trick her into attending prom and humiliating her in front of the whole school. Jokes on them, right? Check out the new trailer below.

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Carrie

The inherent problem in making a good remake of a classic film lies in presenting something new to the audience, some fresh angle, something they haven’t seen before, even if they have watched the original a million times. Depsite previous claims to adhere more to Stephen King‘s novel than Brian De Palma’s previous feature, director Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie looks exactly like a copy of the first film – at least if this trailer is to believed. Instead of playing with our Carrie knowledge base, this first look just rips it right off. Yup, Carrie (Chloe Moretz) is a weirdo outcast at school. Yup, her uber-religious mother (Julianne Moore) isn’t helping matters. Yup, something bad is going to go down in the girls’ showers at school (though the apparent injection of smart phones is an interesting new addition). Yup, Carrie is going to stumble into her telekinetic powers. Yup, there’s even going to be a pig-blood-bathed prom. So what’s left for this new entry? Let’s hope something beyond just a random iPhone. Go back to high school (wretched, wretched) high school with Carrie, after the break.

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Carrie

Carrie was the very first piece of Stephen King‘s writing to see a film adaptation way back in 1976, and Brian De Palma’s film remains one of the high points in King’s cinematic canon. The story follows a teenage girl whose blossoming into womanhood opens up a powerful psychic power within her, and while her rigidly religious mother sees it as the work of the devil her cruel classmates don’t see it at all. Well, not until prom night anyway. King’s fiction has been adapted for the screen over a hundred times including feature films, shorts, direct to DVD efforts and sequels, and starting with 1997’s mini-series of The Shining his previously adapted works also started getting the remake treatment. Interestingly, all of them ended up as TV films/mini-series (including a 2002 redo of Carrie that aired on NBC). That distinction is set to change early next year though when Screen Gems/MGM will release a new feature version of King’s first novel. Director Kimberly Peirce returns to the big screen for only the second time since she burst onto the scene with 1995’s Boys Don’t Cry, and she’s joined by Chloë Grace Moretz and Julianne Moore to tell a story about bullying, teen angst and the untimely arrival of Aunt Flo. Check out the brand new teaser below.

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Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the only thing we haunt is casino breakfast buffets. You’ve arrived at the most unsettling of bad movie columns on the perfidious den of wickedness known as the interwebs. Every week we present for your viewing displeasure a particularly ghastly piece of cinematic schlock unearthed from the vaults of unspeakable horror (alias the Rubbermaid trash can full of VHS in the garage). As we force your unsuspecting eyes to behold the nightmarish horrors of the movie’s shortcomings, we cackle with sinister delight. We go so far as to then reveal our morbid appreciation for said filmic abomination. To top off the torture, we will force a fiendishly tasty snack food, themed to the film, down your cowering gullets. This boys and ghouls, is Junkfood Horror. October is the month that everyone watches horror movies. From the hardcore weirdos to the sissiest of sissy babies, for at least a few weeks, we all enjoy a good scare. As we sit on the front porch of Junkfood Labs, devouring bag after bag of “fun”-sized Snickers because the trick-or-treaters apparently won’t be showing up for several hours, and several days, it occurred to us that there is really no getting away from the horror genre. When November 1st arrives, you can lock away all your copies of The Exoricist and Amityville and Maid in Manhattan, but the irrepressible evil there contained will not relent. “Oh wait,” you say interrupting my column with your smelly internal monologue, “I can […]

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Carrie Movie

Entertainment Weekly has the first images from Kimberly Peirce‘s Carrie remake (as you can see below), and they’re exactly what you expect. Chloe Moretz is covered in blood, Julianne Moore is holding a knife in a matronly white night gown. Granted, they’re just pictures, and they’re picture specifically chosen for the general populace that is the EW readership, but there’s something chilling about placing the 1976 images next to the 2012 images and seeing virtually the same thing. Carbon copies are nothing to get excited about.

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Who doesn’t love watching teenagers fight? These days it’s just nice to see them doing something that gets them outside and moving around – not to mention the wonders it does for team building skills and self esteem issues. Compared to them sitting in a moist den somewhere playing Skyrim and housing six servings of Zesty Salsa Combos, youth violence isn’t the worst fate for our nation’s children. Anyhoo – Here are some of the better films that celebrate the time-honored tradition of kids punching each other to pass the time.

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