Ghostbusters

Hollywood is good at recycling things. After all, you build a giant house or an elaborate prop and you wouldn’t just use it once and toss it, right? This is why they have backlots at studios; they can hoard all their favorite stuff for later use (like the iconic building in the image above) or, failing that, at least use it for the studio tours. Same kind of goes for on-location sets – some places are just too dynamic to use only once, especially when the owner is more than willing to pimp out their place for cash. This circle of life is great when you are working with a generic looking high school or cookie-cutter set but there are the occasional moments when they use a location just a little too iconic for its own good – and like a type-cast actor, you can’t help but to see the location as anything besides what made it famous in the first place.

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Culture Warrior

Last week, we explored the concept of shoving products into movies, but there’s an equal and opposite marketing method where movies are shoved into product commercials – especially if the character is an iconic one. There’s a distinction to be made here about the difference between celebrities endorsing colognes and fictional characters doing it, although the line can definitely be blurred. Movie star endorsements are as old as the medium, whether it’s Buster Keaton slugging out the chalk for Simon Pure Beer, Charles Bronson going overboard with his self-sprinkling of Mandom, Arnold Schwarzenegger scream-laughing for a Japanese energy drink, or Abraham Lincoln selling us churros. And that doesn’t include all the normal, run-of-the-mill advertising where an actress loves a brand of make-up or a wrestler loves beef jerky. A human being selling out is one thing, but there’s something especially heinous about a character being used to market a product because it’s an element of art forced into a square hole of commercialism. Oftentimes its done without the creator’s consent (or consent is contractually taken away from the starting block). In most cases, the original actor doesn’t even have to be involved (for better or worse), especially if there’s a costume involved. In its rawest form, it’s the uglification of something we love. This list is light-years away from being complete, but it hopefully shows a well-rounded view of different types of movie characters in commercials throughout a few different time periods.

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Editor’s Note: We’ve spent a while searching for a fitting replacement for Ashe (who we still miss), but we’re elated to welcome David Christopher Bell to our team. He’ll be writing insightful lists for us every Thursday from now until we stop blackmailing him for that thing he did in Florida in 1986. Please give him a warm welcome! It’s funny. After Anthony Perkins first appeared as Norman Bates there was absolutely no going back from it. No matter what role he was put in after Norman, when audiences looked at him all they could see was the shower-interrupting taxidermologist that they feared so deeply. This proved to be a major hindrance in his career, causing him never to land any major role in the industry afterward. Now if only he had worn a mask. After all, if horror films have taught us anything it’s that no matter how effective a performance is, if you have a bunch of rubber on your face, mainstream audiences aren’t going to end up learning your name or recognizing your face. So in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, the following are some of those very names and faces that are responsible for some of the greatest movie nightmares of modern horror. People who you could walk right by on the streets and never know that they are to thank for all those times your childhood-spawned neuroses forced you to double-check under your bed.

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What is Movie News After Dark? As per usual, it’s a nightly movie news column that finds a way to get a little silly on Monday nights. It’s mostly weekend hangover related, but also a product of its own environment. On weekend, it plays a clown in a traveling circus. It lives a diverse life like that. We begin tonight with an image of the Monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. As you know, Halloween is coming up and we’re all looking for good costume ideas. Over at io9, the nerds from the future have it listed as one of their 20 zero-effort, high-concept Halloween costumes guaranteed to alienate your friends. For those of us who dislike both effort and friends.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has no problem closing out another fine week of coverage. Why? Because it’s got a hot and heavy weekend planned with its new girlfriend, Siri. It even used her to book a quality hotel, make restaurant reservations and order adult party props. You know, just in case she’s into that sort of thing. We open this fine, crisp Friday evening with a shot of Ecto-1, the vehicle driven by everyone’s favorite guys to call if you is, in fact, afraid of some ghosts. It was captured by our friends at Primer Magazine at the Arclight in Los Angeles in celebration of Ghostbusters returning to theaters. It’s one of four original production cars used in the films, fully restored to its former glory. And glorious, it is.

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If there’s one great truth in the world that is absolutely indisputable, it’s that everyone loves Ghostbusters. It makes sense then that Sony would want to make as much money off of that love as possible. To that end, there’s good news both for fans of the film (everyone) and Sony’s pocketbooks, because the studio has announced via press release that they will be doing a theatrical re-release of the Ivan Reitman-directed classic on three dates this October. On Thursday, October 13th, and for the next two Thursdays after that, Ghostbusters will be playing once a day in a theater (hopefully) near you. That’s three chances you have this October to see Venkman get slimed up on the big screen, three chances to hear Egon say he collects spores, molds, and fungus on a booming sound system. There isn’t yet any word on which theaters the film will be playing in, but Sony says that it will be hitting 500 theaters in the U.S., and also various theaters in Canada and around the globe as well. You are to check your local listings for showings.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a movie news column set to the spectacle of a John Williams score. We begin tonight with the latest in scientific discovery. NASA and SETI have discovered a planet that has two stars. Their first thought? Name it “Tatooine.” We approve, but we can’t help but think this is a giant marketing campaign for the new Star Wars Blu-ray release. We’ll know when nude pics of the planet show up online.

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I’m a great big fan of Christmas, and I’m already compiling a long-list of festive goodies that will make my Christmas Merch Hunter Bumper Annual Special 2011 the column-based event of the year. And since the holiday season is now creeping upon us, with branded chocolate boxes and cookies already in my local store (cue near-mental breakdown of all parents in vicinity), it is high-time I suggested some merch products that channel the spirit of the season, without the explicit baubles and sparkle and whatnot. What follows then is a trio of goodies that are as camp as Christmas (to borrow a popular phrase from round these parts) and don’t care a jot about class or what anyone else thinks of them. This week’s column was brought to you by the letter T. For tacky.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a collection of news that fell through the cracks, will make you crack up, or that’s addicted to crack. How can movie news be addicted to a controlled substance? It’s unclear, but it’s a harsh world out there when the sun goes down. We begin tonight with the vague news that Ghostbusters (the original) will be hitting theaters again in October. No, not a version of Ghostbusters III that’s been secretly filming for the past year amidst empty press releases. The original flick will play. But when? Where? The movie’s Facebook page is short on answers, and when I checked with Columbia/Sony, so were they.

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What is Movie News After Dark? Sometimes it likes to think that it is a carefully constructed Rube Goldberg machine constructed by a popular rock band that quickly became on online sensation. It also sometimes thinks that it’s a world famous traveling circus of puppets. Sadly, it’s just a nightly column of movie news and interesting links. Sorry. Have any of you seen a recent picture of actor Jonah Hill? He looks odd, to say the least, having lost a great deal of weight. Is it me, or does he look like a nerdy white version of President Obama? Slightly unrelated is his being cast in Neighborhood Watch alongside Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller.

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Welcome back to Commentary Commentary, the weekly analysis of our favorite films and what the filmmakers have to say about them. This week we’re calling someone. Not sure who. It’s almost like there should be a classic line to fit in here, but right now it’s escaping me. In addition to being a modern classic, Ghostbusters is also arguably the best comedy of the last 30 years. Plus, it features Reginal Veljohnson and William Atherton, two co-stars of Die Hard, so that’s something to note, right? The two also co-starred in Die Hard 2. We’ll have to cover Renny Harlin’s commentary on that classic some day. While you’re holding your breath for that, though, we’re in the mood to laugh, get slimed, and laugh heartily some more. So take a ghostly gander – yeah, I said it – at what we learned from the Ghostbusters commentary right here.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly round-up of movie news and informational links that will marry whomever it damn well pleases, male, female, alien or otherwise. Except /Film’s Page 2, that bitch never called it back. She thinks she’s so cool because she’s on a “legitimate” film site that “people actually read.” Bitches be trippin’. Our most photogenic story tonight, a first official look at John Cusack in The Raven (working title) as the tormented Edgar Allen Poe. Lets face it, if that hair (facial and cranial) is real, we should be impressed. Also impressive is the expansive amount of Cusack-related news included in tonight’s edition of Movie News After Dark, so stick around.

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After their university’s dean forces them out of their cushy jobs in the world of academia, parapsychologists Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), go into business for themselves. They eradicate specters aka bust ghosts throughout New York City. Along the way, they’re hired by Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver), a woman whose apartment is haunted by a demonic, ancient Sumerian demigod—an entity that is far more powerful and destructive than anything the ragtag Ghostbusters have ever faced.

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Don’t you dare talk about Fight Club or something really, really, really bad is going to happen.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that will soon be shot almost exclusively in IMAX. What this means for you is that you’ll need to get a bigger monitor, as this column will only appear to those whose monitors are at least 70 feet tall. We feel that’s the only way to read it. We promise to make it worth your while. According to a handy press release from Warner Bros., we can now confirm that production has begun on Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. For those who have not heard of this project, it’s the third in Nolan’s somewhat popular series of Batman movies. But wait, there’s more: “Christopher Nolan is utilizing IMAX® cameras even more extensively than he did on The Dark Knight, which had marked the first time ever that a major feature film was partially shot with IMAX® cameras.” Oh yes!

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We here at FSR pride ourselves on speaking with authority. It doesn’t always happen (especially when I’m writing about Inception after drinking three boxes of wine), but it’s the goal we strive for. We’re bursting on the brink of boastfulness to provide a service most other film sites don’t offer – the ingenuity and odd creativity of our team of writers. Our readership is up 46% this year and that’s thanks in a major way to our fans, to the fourth box of wine, and to these features and editorials. If you missed them the first time, enjoy adding your two cents. If you’re catching them for the second time around, feel free to flame on for old time’s sake. (Click on any of the titles below to read the full articles.)

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Memory works in odd and wonderful ways as the things we see, hear, and smell can trigger thoughts and feelings that bring us back to an earlier time in our lives. Cool Whip and Tabasco-flavored Cheez-Its for example remind me of an ex-girlfriend and two very entertaining evenings. Movies have that power too, and when personal memories come into play a film can shake loose from its obvious context and come to represent something entirely different than was intended. Christmas, more than any other holiday aside from Arbor Day of course, has an entire library of films associated with it, and everyone has a favorite. Some folks love the traditional classics like Miracle On 34th Street and White Christmas while others have a place in their heart for modern day titles like Christmas Vacation, Love Actually, and A Christmas Story. There are even those wise enough to recognize that the best Christmas film of all time is Die Hard. I have my favorites too, but the movie that fills me with the most holiday cheer isn’t found on anyone’s list of the best Christmas films. Even so, year after year it’s the one that reminds me most of being a kid at Christmastime in a home filled with love, family, and respect not only for each other but also for the holiday itself. Those three things didn’t last forever for my family, but thanks to the unlikely pairing of a Commodore 64 computer and Home Box Office this flick never […]

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The Week That Was

With this week, Summer 2010 has officially gone. We are into September and here in Austin at Reject HQ, the temperature is back down into the 90s and we’re looking forward to seeing all of our genre-loving friends at the end of the month for Fantastic Fest. As you’ll begin to notice, we will soon become very preoccupied with what’s happening in the war room over at the Alamo Drafthouse, where the final slate for Fantastic Fest 2010 seems to be coming together quickly. But for now, there are still films in theaters and news from around the globe that have caught our interest. That interest was quickly turned into articles filled with biting commentary. Those articles are assembled here, in a weekly column we like to call The Week That Was…

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You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at editors@filmschoolrejects.com. This week’s question comes from Managing Editor, Cole Abaius: I recently re-watched Ghostbusters for probably the 10th time in my life, and for the 10th time I loved it. There’s no question that it’s a fantastic, funny comedy, but there was always one scene that never worked for me. It kills an otherwise great moment. I’m talking, of course, about the scene where a ghost unzips Ray’s pants, and he giggles like a schoolgirl. Is it a dream? Does a ghost really fellate Ray? It’s unclear. But it’s clearly awful. It can’t be all bad, though, because it led me to this question: what’s a scene you hate from a movie you love?

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twilight-fanart-header

I you loved Patriot Games, you might have loved Twilight.

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