goon

Slap Shot

Ever since I became a full-fledged movie geek (which happened sometime between Kevin Smith filming a bunch of unknowns playing hockey on the roof of a convenience store and Doug Liman filming Vince Vaughn making Wayne Gretzky’s head bleed), it’s seemed to me that there’s been some strange connection between being a film buff and being a hockey fan. Maybe that has something to do with the fact that hockey is always our least popular major sport and most people only pay attention to it when their home team is doing well in the playoffs, much in the same way that they only pay attention to art films when it’s Oscar time. There’s something scruffy and outside the norm about movie geeks, and there’s something scruffy and outside the norm about hockey, so the two see a lot of overlap. That general scruffiness explains why the go-to hockey movie for people who really like hockey and really like movies has always been Slap Shot, the 1977 comedy from director George Roy Hill that stars Paul Newman as the aging player/coach of a down on their luck minor league hockey team. It’s not about the players with the most potential or the biggest hearts, it’s about the scruffy rejects who earn their notoriety by becoming the detestable goons and enforcers of the league. These guys don’t beat your team by out-skating your best players, they beat your team by pounding your best players so hard that they can’t play. Fans of […]

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2012-overlookedmovies

The movies listed here aren’t necessarily the year’s best, but they’re still great movies that never found an audience during their theatrical run for one reason or another. At least one of those reasons is you, but instead of berating you for failing to support the films while they were in theaters and needed your help, we’re hoping to point you in their direction now. (Which reminds me… go see Jack Reacher!) But first, a few qualifications. I’ve excluded movies that played in fewer than 100 theaters since that’s the distributor’s fault. I’m not featuring films that made over $30m, and I’m not including subtitled foreign releases which the masses avoid by default. These are only films that had a real chance of making a lot more money, so while I wish more people saw the LCD Soundsystem concert doc Shut Up and Play the Hits, I’m not surprised that it only made $510k. So here are 12 great movies that failed at the box office but deserved much better (and should be sought out immediately on Blu-ray/DVD, streaming, whatever)… and 6 terrible flicks that you were right to avoid.

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Goon Seann William Scott

Goon, which you can still see on Netflix Instant, was a gongshow with just enough heart in its helmet. An excellent sports movie from filmmakers that clearly loved the game and built strong characters to strap skates to. According to Cinema Blend, co-writer Jay Baruchel has confirmed that he and Jesse Chabot are working on a sequel script while Michael Dowse is returning to direct and Evan Goldberg will return as a producer. So there will be more blood on the ice. This is the kind of sequel that makes sense. The first film was a complete story, but clearly the creators have more to say and more to explore, and they’ll be able to do so with control over the movie and support from a healthy fan base. What’s more, it could signal a highly visible brand of success for an indie distributed through a reputable company (Magnet Releasing) being able to build a franchise from original material. How cool is that?

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Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan Cast in The F Word

It’s no secret that recent hockey comedy Goon is an FSR favorite, so it’s been with great anticipation that we’ve been waiting for word about director, Michael Dowse’s next project. Fortunately for everyone, that wait is over. Variety is reporting that the director is currently at work putting together a romantic comedy called The F Word, that comes from a 2008 Black List script by Elan Mastai. The story, which is based off of a play by T.J. Dawe and Michael Rinaldi called “Toothpaste and Cigars,” sounds simple enough. It’s about a duo of twentysomethings who meet at a party and hit it off instantly, but are faced with the task of being “just friends” because the girl is already tied up with a beau. Again, simple enough, but the intrigue comes from the casting that’s already been done. In order to fill the roles of the two lovestruck young people, Dowse has called upon the talents of Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan. Radcliffe, of course, is best known for headlining the Harry Potter franchise. His first foray outside of that mystical world was his starring role in The Woman in Black, where he somewhat ridiculously played a widowed lawyer with muttonchops. Perhaps this role as a young lover will be a better fit for the actor, and the easy transition he needs to get the public to stop thinking of him as a boy wizard.

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Tomboy Movie

The beginning of each month is an exciting time wherein Netflix dumps a large number of new titles onto their streaming service. Comb through those titles as well as others added in the past couple of weeks, and a few great titles bubble to the surface. Let’s take a look at a documentary about urban design, a drama about adolescent sexual identity, an existential Western from the vaults, and a few more movies worth streaming this week.

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Drinking Games

Hockey films may be seen as a fringe genre, but there are definitely fans out there that are devoted to them. The latest brutal hockey movie to hit DVD and Blu-ray is Goon, starring Seann William Scott as a nice guy hockey player who has a real talent for fighting. With much of the film taking place in the cold months in Canada, there’s plenty of snow and ice. There’s also plenty of beer and drinking. So join in with the cast and characters as they knock a couple back before knocking out some teeth. Grab your favorite Canadian beer and enjoy this drinking game.

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This Week in DVD

Welcome back to This Week In DVD! Lots of new releases today with the common theme being that they’re all worth a watch at the very least. So head on down to your local Hollywood Video and check out Coriolanus, A Necessary Death, Goon and yes, even We Need To Talk About Kevin. Seriously, check out that last one as I need someone, anyone, to validate my opinion that the film is more ridiculous than impressive. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Henning Mankell’s Wallander: Swedish Series Two Chief Inspector Wallander has a knack for solving crimes even as he grows tired of man’s inhumanity towards man in this second Swedish TV series (season) to be based on Henning Mankell’s most famous character. Krister Henriksson stars as the talented but beleaguered detective through thirteen episodes of murder, deceit and drama, and he brings real pathos to the character while still keeping him an engaging but likeable grump. The mysteries are well-constructed and excitingly shot, and they serve as a reminder that our own TV series could benefit from a shorter schedule that allows for more quality over quantity. Now to track down Henriksson’s season one…

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In an attempt to shake things up a bit and pay a bit of homage to the amazing fight sequences we saw at ActionFest, Brian and I will go back and forth on these reviews in a kind of point for point debate style as opposed to traditional review format. We hope you enjoy it. Brian Salisbury is only part man, the rest is composed of dense, angry layers of English muffin pizzas and Sno-Caps. Forged in the fire of Mt. Dubious Taste, Salisbury (alias Steak Plissken) now wages an unceasing war against the forces of good and pretentious. Entering the squared circle of ActionFest, he is determined to eye-gorge himself on action flicks and wreck as much havoc upon his Viking-bearded cohort Luke “Danger” Mullen as he routinely does upon his own digestive system. Will these two titans of genre consumption merely destroy each other in Asheville, or will their collective might leave the city a smoldering crater with only Zaxby’s cups and Cheerwine bottles to denote its former existence?  Goon is a low-budget hockey film written by comedy heavy-hitters Jay Baruchel and Evan Goldberg and directed by Fubar helmer Michael Dowse. It stars Seann William Scott as Doug Glatt, a simple guy with one specific talent: pummeling people into oblivion. This talent has landed him a job as a bouncer at a bar in Orangetown, Massachusetts. But when he attends a local minor league hockey game with his best friend Ryan (Jay Baruchel) his whole life changes. He […]

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If you’re just catching up with us, Junkfood Cinema head honcho Brian Salisbury and I have made the dubiously sane decision to trek 20+hours across the country to attend ActionFest, an upstart film festival focusing exclusively on badass action films. It’s a long drive from Austin to beautiful Asheville, NC, but we’ve made it relatively unscathed and have two full days and 9 fest films under our collective belt. You can read about those first two days here and here. It is with little sleep and much caffeine that we make our way back to the Carolina theater for the third and final day of ActionFest 2012! We started day 3 with the first of 2 secret screenings on the ActionFest schedules. Rumors were flying, even as we were in line, but none turned out to be correct. The film was Sleepless Night which had previously played Toronto and our own beloved Fantastic Fest. Brian had already seen it so he went up the lounge to “work” (I’m fairly certain he drank beer and ate chicken). Despite trying to see it twice at Fantastic Fest, circumstances conspired to keep me from seeing the last 30-40 minutes or so. OK fine, the first time I just fell asleep. In any event, my dad and I stuck around for the French flick to which Warner Bros. has already purchased the remake rights. We rushed out as the credits rolled and managed to only miss the first minute or two of Goon. Yeah, […]

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ActionFest

If you haven’t heard of ActionFest, let this piece stand as your introduction. ActionFest is a young film festival held annually in April in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina celebrating, predictably, the best in badass action cinema. The fest is currently in its third year and is presided over by the likes of Magnolia founder and CEO Bill Banowsky, former Magnolia and current Weinstein Company acquisitions guru Tom Quinn, and Aaron Norris brother of Chuck. Colin Geddes, who programs the prestigious Midnight Madness slate at the Toronto International Film Festival, is in charge of programming and serves as Festival Director. These guys know action films and they’ve put together a scrappy if relatively small fest that’s a ton of of fun to attend. I happened to be in North Carolina in April of last year and decided to come up to Asheville for two days jam-packed with ActionFest films. Upon my return to Austin, I could feel Junkfood Cinema kingpin Brian Salisbury’s seething jealousy. I could literally feel it since we happen to be roommates and he spent time breathing down my neck about going to the next iteration of the fest. This is how I found myself pulling out of our driveway on Wednesday around 11:30pm, Salisbury at my side, a bag full of chips and Red Bull in the backseat and a 20 hour drive across the country ahead of us.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the calm, both before and after the storm. It’s the thing that keeps you warm just before you slip into a night’s slumber. It’s the movie news, editorial links, audio-visual stimuli that you yearn for all day long. It’s the alpha and the omega of what’s happening in the world of entertainment news. It’s also quite playful. We begin tonight with a new shot of Bruce Willis in G.I. Joe: Retaliation, in which he plays Joe Colton, the original G.I. Joe. It’s hard to argue with the facts: that man knows how to look cool holding a gun, even if the gun in the hands of Adrianne Palicki (seen behind him) is far more badass.

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I make no effort to hide my love and appreciation for Seann William Scott. I’ve always thought he was hilarious and on top of that, he broke my journalism cherry. My first ever interview/junket experience was for Role Models where I was seated, along with two other journalists, and Seann William Scott. To put the sweet love icing on the cake, Scott complimented me while I sat there quietly, in a bit of audio I’ve kept ever since. Why am I telling you this? Just so you know, because I’m about to gush all over Goon. You can make your own judgement call whether or not my view is too tainted, but when you weigh this review against other reviews, you’ll find that in all likelihood, this is just a good movie. Goon currently has a 76% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Now that the unpleasant awkwardness of my manlove is out of the way, Goon is the story of very talented ass-kicker and mediocre hockey player Doug Glatt as he makes a bloody splash on the ice. Early in the story, Glatt moves from fan to fan who kicks a hockey player’s ass to low level hockey star to semi-pro star enforcer.

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Getting the other side of the piracy debate, I speak directly to an online pirate about why he does it and how he sees it. Plus, Goon co-writer Evan Goldberg talks hockey and the violence of comedy while Detachment director Tony Kaye proves he’s still slightly crazy. Download Episode #124

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Barnabas Collins by Tim Burton

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly collection of movie news, stories, articles, happenings and thingamajigs that is not interested in your excuses, just your unwavering loyalty. We begin tonight with a new look at Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins in Dark Shadows, courtesy of Hollywood Elsewhere’s ability to scan a page of the upcoming issue of Vanity Fair. It’s quite retro, somewhat chic, a lot emo and… oh, those bangs. Depp truly does have a bit of a Nosferatu thing going on, which is refreshing. At least he doesn’t sparkle.

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Hockey Tough Guys

Since the days of yore, or at the very least, my childhood, the sport of hockey has made my blood pump faster through my veins. Born across a lake from Canada into a family with a few notable hockey lovers, I couldn’t help but become enamored with the game of sticks, ice and grit. There’s nothing like a good old fashioned hockey game. Old time hockey, as someone once called it. And in every great hockey movie, like every great hockey game, you need a few things. You need a hero, you need a sage coach with relentless demand for perfection and you need some supporting players. The funny guy, the smart guy and the eccentric goalie. But chief among these sidekicks of stick is the enforcer — the toughest motherf**ker of the group. Whether he’s challenging the hero or watching his back, the enforcer, the thug, the goon is the guy who makes it all so much fun. Because everyone loves a good fight. Inspired by a recent viewing of the awesome Sean William Scott led hockey tale Goon, about a bouncer who finds a true calling on the ice, in the line of knuckle-fire that permeates the world of minor league hockey, I would like to proudly present a list of cinema’s great on-ice tough guys. None of these man are the center of their particular stories. None of them get the girl. But they’ve all got the guts and the grit that it takes to challenge the hero, […]

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Last month we got a really fun and nicely old-fashioned horror movie, a found footage superhero movie becoming a surprise hit, a terrific hitman/horror/love story, and a B-movie featuring Denzel Washington kicking ass. It was better than an average February. As expected like every year, we’re dealing with a packed March. There are two possible franchise starters and one of the funniest comedies we’ve seen in quite sometime, so we’ve got a pleasant month ahead of us. Honorable Mentions: Friends with Kids (a fine dramedy) and The Deep Blue Sea (a semi-festival favorite), and Silent House (another film with Elizabeth Olsen being terrorized? I’m in.) Check out the ten must-see movies of March below.

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There’s a solid chance that you haven’t heard of most of these movies. Yet they exist – out there somewhere as a thorn in the side of movie fans trying to see as much as possible. Nuggets of potential waiting to be picked up from the movie orphanage by a distributor and given a warm home with cup holders in every seat. The European Film Market is fascinating for that reason and for the way people attend it. Tickets this year were around $600, but that’s a reasonable price for companies sending representatives trying to find the next moneymaker for their company or the hot movie to bring to their festival. That means screenings come complete with people on cell phones and unimpressed buyers walking out after ten minutes to hustle next door to see if the other movie playing has any promise to it. It’s a bizarre way to watch movies, but it makes a kind of sense given the massive size of the movie list compared to the tiny amount of time to see everything. There were upwards of 675 movies in the EFM this year, all of them with their own selling points. Here are the 87 most interesting-sounding with descriptions found in the official catalog. For the most part, I haven’t seen these movies (and didn’t even know about many of them until the Berlin Film Festival), but they all have something going for them that should earn them a spot on your radar.

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The fine folks over at JoBlo have the world’s first full trailer for Goon – the fighting movie that has some hockey in it. It stars Seann William Scott as a major fanatic who busts the face of a visiting fan during a game and is invited to try out for a local team. Of course, they don’t want him to play. They want him to bleed. Co-written by Jay Baruchel (who plays a cable access hockey show host) and Evan Goldberg, the film is directed by Michael Dowse (who also did Take Me Home Tonight and the wonderfully ridiculous Fubar movies). The trailer shows off Scott’s character being very quick to throw a punch but very slow with the comebacks. Prepare to watch idiocy slam your face into the glass:

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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? It’s the movie website equivalent of stuffing a turkey with three chickens and an eel. News of all shapes and sizes finds itself among some strange bedfellows here even if you can’t sleep. We get things started with a metric ton of images and information about The Muppets. If you’re willing to brave the spoilers, /film has everything from character descriptions to photos to trivia. Or, you can let the burning questions wash over you. Why is Kermit behind bars? Does it have anything to do with inter-species sex laws? Why wouldn’t it?

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published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B
published: 12.12.2014
D+


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