Cowboys and Aliens

The Best Movie Posters of 2011

Movie posters can rise to level of works of art, can be tame or daring. They are of course advertising. A good poster makes you want to know more about the movie and the more you want to know the more you’ll want to spend your money to see the film. With that in mind, we’ve assembled our favorites of 2011, broken down into fancy categories for your reading and viewing pleasure.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It is a nightly movie news column that is definitely holding a picture of Harvey Dent. Not because it has anything to do with The Dark Knight Rises, but because it still believes in Gotham’s white knight. As any seasoned FSR reader could tell you, we don’t really like running an abundance of set photos. Because, as any filmmaker or film purist might tell you, set photos are never delivered with the right context or polish, thus you’re not really getting a look at the finished project. That said, I’m sure I’d be run out of town if we didn’t at least mention the new Dark Knight Rises set photos floating around the web, as they reveal Batman and a fully costumed Bane (Tom Hardy) duking it out in the snowy streets of Pittsburgh. The lead image tonight is perhaps the best of them, but more can be found over at ComicBookMovie.com.

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And what a sight it was. Especially when you consider the only two females of the bunch are Olivia Wilde and Smurfette. I’m not sure if that makes it weirder or more appealing. Anyway, what was believed to be a no-brainer for Cowboys & Aliens to take the box office proved to be more difficult thanks to a whole bunch of little CG creatures and Hank Azaria. NPH probably had a hand in it, too. When final numbers come out Monday, one or the other will surely pull ahead. They can’t be dead even down to the penny, can they? But as of now, The Smurfs and Cowboys & Aliens are tied for the weekend, one performing slightly better than expected and the other slightly worse.

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It’s the kind of day in Montana that makes postcards jealous. The weather is pristine, the mountains hold everyone in their arms, and I’m sitting across from one of my heroes. When I first met Harrison Ford, it was on another envious postcard day in New Mexico where Cowboys & Aliens had set up shop by renting out God’s soundstage. He was energetic as he told the movie writers there about giving helicopter rides to members of the cast and crew, and just as spirited as he said his goodbyes by powdering sand into the air in a gator speeding toward an alien spacecraft. Today, he’s more subdued. Thoughtful. He takes his seat at the roundtable like an elder statesman, and I half expect him to start telling us about what it was like back in his day, but he smiles in a mix of politeness and standoffishness instead. He’s ready to talk, but even the most professional among us seems to have a lump in his or her throat. The kid having fun on set is gone, and I’m now seeing a man who has seen everything.

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The Reject Report

Some aliens are stupid. Other aliens are crazy. Some aliens are just in love, but we usually don’t see these aliens between May and August. No one wants to see alien love in their Summer blockbusters. They want explosions and people shooting those aliens with well-placed bullets. Which brings us to this weekend, where two films about aliens getting blasted by pesky humans find release. Of course, one is having a much larger opening than the other, and neither of them feature Smurfs. That’s right. I said Smurfs. We’ll talk about them here, too. Enjoy this week’s Reject Report, and if you want loving aliens, come back in November.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, it’s our great honor to have Harrison Ford join Jon Favreau, Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde to talk about Cowboys & Aliens in a special feature. Plus, The Smurfs director Raja Gosnell learns a lesson from the little blue creatures, and Eric D. Snider goes up against newly-minted Reject Kate Erbland for the Movie News Pop Quiz. Put on your chaps, saddle up and ride. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that just got back from a little vacation. No, it didn’t go to Comic-Con in San Diego. It feels it necessary to leave stuff like that to the professionals, namely Misters Abaius, Fure and Giroux. They did a wonderful job, did they not? And rumor is that they’re not done yet. That said, it shouldn’t come to you as a surprise if tonight’s entry is a little Con-tilted, or nerd-obsessed. It is part of the Comic-Con hangover treatment, after all. The above image, tweeted out by Community creator Dan Harmon, shows a sign erected at the studio where the show has begun shooting its third season celebrating the show’s zero Emmy nominations. “I want to win an Emmy for this show,” said Harmon as he and cast led a rousing panel during Comic-Con. They’ll get one. If not, we’ll make one and send it to them.

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As the summer of 2011 creeps to a close, there are now just a handful of stand-outs waiting to earn your almighty dollars. And as the old saying goes, sometimes the best things are saved for last. Such is the possible case with Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens. It’s a concept that has been on our radar for a long time, complete with a cast assembled perfectly for maximum awesome. Our hopes are high and our hats are 12-gallon, and we’d like to bring you along for the ride. If you live in Austin, Texas, that is. We’re co-hosting an advance screening on the evening of July 26th, and we’ve got your chance to win yourself a pair of tickets. Just click on through, pardners…

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What is Movie News After Dark? It doesn’t even know anymore… Megan Fox and John C. Reilly are tonight’s lead story. The choice of lead image was bound to be a sexy one. And as you can see, I believe I’ve made the right choice. He’s almost too sexy. Anyway, he’ll be starring alongside the outcast Transformers actress in Sacha Baron Cohen’s The Dictator. No word on what role either will play in the story of a Middle Eastern dictator who ends up in the U.S., where no one cares who he is.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that sometimes diverges off the path of cinema and into other forms of entertainment, such as Broadway musicals, art, politics, television or even Werner Herzog doing a reading of a filthy children’s book. Yes, that’s happening. Stay tuned. Who should step in and direct The Expendables 2 if Sly Stallone isn’t up for the job? How about Con Air director Simon West? Ruminate on that a bit, dear friends.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Well, it ain’t afraid of no ghosts. That’s for sure. Tonight’s top story is that Paramount Pictures (via Yahoo) has released a gallery of new images from Transformers: Dark of the Moon. The above image shows Optimus Prime kneeling before his mentor, Sentinel Prime (to be voiced by Leonard Nimoy). The entire gallery can be found at /Film. Just know that most of the other images focus on the humans, and that’s boring.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s usually a rather tame and family friendly nightly column that rounds up all the best and most interesting news and views from the world of film. It’s worth noting, as it doesn’t always lead with headlines about Anne Hathaway’s rear end. It’s usually something Doctor Who or Michael Bay related. Pick your poison, I suppose. This will likely go down as the dumbest lead story I’ve ever run in MNAD, but the Sunday edition works on the conceit that movie news happens over the weekend. Spoiler: movie news doesn’t usually happen over the weekend, so we’re doing our best. Also, do you really have a problem talking about Anne Hathaway’s ass? Apparently the tightness of her costume and aggressiveness of her stunt work on the set of The Dark Knight Rises has given other cast and crew a unique view of her hind-quarters. There’s something news-worthy in that, I’m sure of it.

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After this summer, expect all your nerdy friends to endlessly say, “Believe, Bruv!” Enjoy that quote while it lasts, because I’m sure many are going to run it into the ground soon.. so, obviously by the title of this news piece, I already have a hand in not doing that awesome line justice. Couldn’t be more proud. Anyway, the hoods vs. the aliens adventure film has been screening across all over the country since SXSW, and for good reason. Attack the Block is a film that’s going to live or die by word-of-mouth. If the buzz stays as positive as it currently is Screen Gems may end up with a little success on their hands. They’ve set a July 29th release date which is an already a jam packed weekend. With the already sure to be hits Cowboys and Aliens, The Smurfs, and (the supposedly excellent) Crazy, Stupid, Love, Attack the Block will have a lot of competition. Hopefully Joe Cornish‘s truly awesome film debut finds a broad enough audience to appreciate his genre meshing exercise in comedic badassery. Source: Box Office Mojo

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The Week That Was

What is The Week That Was? Nothing much, just a recap of all that was great and wonderful here on Film School Rejects over the course of the last week. And in a week such as this, when we reviewed controversial and conversation-worthy films from the minds of Ayn Rand, Wes Craven and Robert Redford, it’s important to take a look back at the best of what was written. That, and we interviewed Takashi Miike, so we’ve got that going for us. Also, I have access to the traffic stats. I know that all of you did not read every one of our best articles. What’s the deal with that, beloved readers? Lets right those wrongs on a pantsless Sunday afternoon. Start with the articles listed in this compilation and work your way back. Do it now.

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this shit late at night, what do you expect?

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Hope springs eternal. As we round the bases of another year, it’s important to let the average and outright crappy slough off and realize that we’re all standing on the precipice of another year of movies. The future stretches out before us full of possibilities. That cheesy trailer you saw last week could end up producing your favorite film of the year. That epic blockbuster you’ve been waiting for could be bigger than you ever imagined. There’s hope for everything, but there’s also expectation, which is why Rob Hunter, Neil Miller and Cole Abaius painstakingly put together our list of the 30 Most Anticipated Films of 2011. It’s the stuff we’re most looking forward to this year, put together when our hope and optimism is at its peak.

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The Week That Was

Another rousing week of film industry news, reviews and discussion have come and gone here at Film School Rejects. And as some of us look to relax for the weekend, you may be on the hunt for some of the best reads the web has to offer. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place. Because we’ve got most of them… So here we go again with another round of my favorite Saturday afternoon Sunday morning column, The Week That Was, a tribute to all of the best FSR content that you probably missed this week. And while we’d normally be angry that you missed so much of the good stuff, we’re willing to let it slide. But just this once. At least until next week…

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We’ve taken you behind the scenes, into director Jon Favreau’s mind, shared the movies that inspired the sci-fi western, and now we continue our set visit of Cowboys & Aliens with a look at its stars. Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Daniel Craig, and Paul Dano all took time out of a busy shoot to talk about the film and get our hands dirty. All professionalism goes out the window when talking to Harrison Ford. He was standing 20 yards away the entire afternoon of the set visit, posted up like a western specter on the top of an outcropping in his cowboy hat against the blazing sun. Now he’s standing toe-to-toe with me, and I’m not embarrassed to admit now that I lose my cool. I find myself shaking hands with a living legend and looking around to make sure that the other journalists lose their composure, too. There’s a one-sided giddiness that suddenly finds its way permeating the steel cool of those used to meeting the famous, and the latent buzz is pretty heavy in the air with Ford standing there. I imagine this is what God must feel like when he’s shaking Harrison Ford’s hand. The man of so many iconic roles doesn’t say much, but he smiles a wry smile when he does speak, leading me to believe that even he can tell that the group is seriously considering losing critical credibility in order to give him a great big hug and ask Indiana Jones to autograph […]

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We’ve taken you behind the scenes of Cowboys & Aliens and into the mind of director Jon Favreau, and today we dig deeper into the films that the filmmakers talked most about during the set visit. Cowboys & Aliens may be the only Steven Spielberg film that Steven Spielberg isn’t directing. From the conversations I shared with Jon Favreau and co-screenwriter Bob Orci on the set of the film, a select group of movies kept returning to the fold as titles that had a lot to do with the shaping of tone and storytelling. A theme quickly emerged. While Executive Producer Steven Spielberg was busy inviting the filmmakers to private screenings of new prints of The Searchers, the filmmakers were drawing on their childhood love of Amblin and the films of Spielberg himself. Still, even though it lacks diversity in the directorial column, this is one seriously formidable list of inspirational films.

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Yesterday we took you out into the middle of New Mexico and behind the scenes of Cowboys & Aliens. Today, we continue our week-long set visit report by talking with director Jon Favreau. I’m standing in the middle of the desert, and Jon Favreau is holding an alien arm up toward my face. There’s this look in his eyes that reads as a mix of sheer excitement and a hopefulness that the group surrounding him approves of his alien arm. From the amount of questions buzzing him like airplanes taking a pass at a giant ape on the top of a tall building, it seems like they do. Favreau has navigated a jungle-like career (which started in earnest when he met Vince Vaughn on the set of Rudy) in order to stand in front of some sun-stroked journalists with a piece of painted plastic in his hand. That career has taken him from the college of PCU to the fighting style of Friends and through indie acclaim, Comic Con domination, and into the metal suit of Iron Man which, of course, led him to New Mexico in more ways than one.

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