Elizabeth Shue

If you thought that the last scene in Kathryn Bigelow’s legendary bank-robbing-surfers movie Point Break was the coolest presentation of big wave riding that was ever going to be put on film…well, you were probably right. But just because it was the best word doesn’t mean it has to be the last word. So now we’ve got Chasing Mavericks, a Gerard Butler- and Jonny Weston-starring film that tells the true story of how surfing legend Jay Moriarty learned to ride a board on top of ridiculously big walls of water. Like most true stories about an underdog chasing an impossible dream, Chasing Mavericks looks pretty cheesy. All of the standard tropes are there: the tenuous relationship with an initially gruff mentor, the training montage sequences, the budding romance with an energetic blonde. But, before you dismiss this movie outright and go watch The Karate Kid for the thousandth time, note that there are a couple reasons why you might want to give it a chance.

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Back to the Future

The Mayans, the wise race of ancients who created hot cocoa, set December 21st, 2012 as the end date of their Calendar, which the intelligent and logical amongst us know signifies the day the world will end, presumably at 12:21:12am, Mountain Time. From now until zero date, we will explore the 50 films you need to watch before the entire world perishes. We don’t have much time, so be content, be prepared, be entertained. The Film: Back to the Future (1985) The Plot: 1980s styled Michael J. Fox (see: feathered hair, acid washed jeans, high tops) stars as every-kid Marty McFly who accidentally gets sent back to the 1950s via a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his eccentric cohort, Dr. Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd, in one of his best scene chewing roles to date.) While going back in time may seem like a cool idea, Marty quickly realizes that altering the past can have serious effects on the future. Finding himself suddenly 30 years in the past, Marty discovers he must keep his now teenage parents’ relationship on track or else he will risk erasing his own future. As Doc would say: “Great Scott!”

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The first trailer for Mark Tonderai’s upcoming horror film House at the End of the Street gave us a glimpse of the haunted house horrors that its star Jennifer Lawrence would be encountering over the course of its runtime, but mostly it just existed to assure us that we would all be getting a nice long look at Lawrence’s boobs if we chose to go to the theater and buy a ticket. As effective as that marketing strategy probably is, going to the cleavage well twice in a row would have looked tacky, so the second trailer for House at the End of the Street jettisons the boobs almost completely and instead gives us a better feel for who these characters are and where the dangers they’re facing come from. It seems that Lawrence is playing the new girl who just moved to town. One of the first people she meets in her new burg is a cute but haunted boy who’s got a lot of murder in his past (Max Thieriot). Townies say that his sister killed his parents died quite viciously and later drowned, but also there’s rumors that she may still be around…doing creepy things…over there in that spooky looking house. This is bad news for Lawrence’s well-being as well as for her budding romance with the boy.

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America’s kick-ass sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence is hot coming off of The Hunger Games which is probably why now is a great time for Relativity to toss out a trailer for House at the End of the Street which features a typical ghost story and an unnerving amount of wife-beater buoyancy from a costume designer and cinematographer who were clearly impressed with Lawrence’s acting assets. Seriously. They seem more concerned with her chest than the team behind The Unborn was with Odette Yustman’s ass in white underwear. Welcome to average horror film marketing. The story focuses on a mother and daughter (Elizabeth Shue and Lawrence) who move into an old house right next to one where a brutal homicide took place. The twist? It was a young girl who killed her parents, and her brother is still alive. Someone forgot to leave Samara at the bottom of the well. The title definitely evokes Wes Craven’s first flick The Last House on the Left, but hopefully it will have something up its sleeve, because this trailer doesn’t benefit so much from its story as it does the incredible luck of casting a young star who just shot into the stratosphere (and an interesting reverse-motion gimmick). Check it out for yourself:

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earlyedition-header

It is time to get this whole thing started — and we do that with the Early Edition, our ironically named homage to the CBS TV show of the mid-90s in which we take the day’s biggest headlines and modify them slightly, making them interesting…

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Steve Coogan, rockin

I can’t think of a movie in recent history that has the same feel and attitude, or even remotely the same story. It’s creative and it’s unique. You don’t find that sort of thing at the movies nowadays.

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Steve Coogan and Elizabeth Shue in Hamlet 2

Every theater teacher I have ever met has been, to say the least, just a little off. So when you think about it, the premise behind the film Hamlet 2 is not only relatable, it is also possibly brilliant.

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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