Harry Knowles

The Hobbit Martin Freeman

It’s not unfair to say that Butt-Numb-a-Thon 5 turned me into a cinephile. Something about the combination of seeing Oldboy and Buster Keaton’s death-defying The General with a live accompaniment shook something loose in my brain. I was fortunate enough to have parents that shared their favorites with me through the magic of AMC and TCM, but sitting in the Colorado Street Alamo Drafthouse, surrounded by strangers and beautiful cinema was graduation time. For those who don’t know, the easiest explanation for BNAT is as a 24-hour film festival put on with the bottomless knowledge of Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool and the showman’s flair of Tim League. Sometimes that involves eating scrambled eggs after watching the live birth in Teenage Mother or getting a Fleshlight just before seeing Hobo With a Shotgun. At any rate, Harry has just posted the application (complete with explanation for why you need to fill one out) that could become your ticket to attending. If you’re curious about what’s played before, here’s a great place to look, but the line-up is always a giant surprise. That element makes the event even more special, but given the timing and the festival’s history, it’s probably a good bet that a certain Peter Jackson movie will be on tap (and Jackson himself might make another appearance). Beyond that, it’s a mystery, and hearing what Harry has up his sleeve is a thing of joy. So if the thought of learning that you’re about to see a rare print of Orson […]

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Were you a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer long before Marvel Studios even thought about a summer tentpole release of The Avengers? Do you find yourself swearing in Mandarin when you get angry? Have you made a Facebook post with that image comparing the one-season cancellation of Firefly to the multi-season accomplishments of The Jersey Shore? If you’ve answered yes to these questions, you still might find Morgan Spurlock’s charming documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope entertaining, but you’ll also have ulterior motives for buying it when it hits DVD on July 10. Spurlock’s documentary will be released in a special Collector’s Edition with action figures of both Spurlock himself and geek-hero-turned-billion-dollar-director Joss Whedon. That’s right, you can be the proud owner of the first ever Joss Whedon action figure, and all you have to do is buy Spurlock’s latest film.

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Take a deep breath and prepare to learn everything you need to know about Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope straight director Morgan Spurlock‘s fast-talking mouth. Will it change the world? Probably. Plus, Junkfood Cinema enthusiast Brian Salisbury accepts the dangerous mission to play Movie News Roulette. Download Episode #128

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Editor’s Note: This review first ran as part of our Fantastic Fest coverage, but Comic-Con Episode Four hits limited theaters this week. Delivering a massive event with his trademarked smile behind the camera, Morgan Spurlock‘s Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope is the kind of joyous celebration that might also serve as a gateway drug for those not initiated into geek culture. It’s a documentary that easily straddles the line between service to those already fascinated by the subject and to those that haven’t ever heard of a comic book. It could have been annoyingly fluffy, but Spurlock has crafted a film that doesn’t just act as advertisement for the largest comic book/multimedia convention in the country. In fact, the question of whether the convention is still faithful to its comic book roots is at the center of the multi-faced exploration that gives the movie much more dimension than it initially lets on. The doc is composed of several stories – a pair of artists looking to break into the business, a costume designer and her crew looking to make a mark, a young couple who fell in love at the event, and a comic book dealer who is trying to justify coming back financially. All are woven together with expert timing (and a fun, comic book style art element that turns them into characters of a different sort).

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Boiling Point

In doing a quick bit of research for this article, I came across an article from none other than our own publisher, Neil Miller. Now, I didn’t bother to read the entire article, because I got what I needed and wouldn’t want to be swayed by facts or reason or anything, but his opening felt perfect for this topic, so I’m going to use it here: “Expectations are a funny thing. For a critic, they are the worst thing to have. Going into a film with any kind of expectations, good or bad, can color one’s ultimate perception of a film and sway a review one way or another.” I hope that now Neil feels good knowing that I think he has a really good point there, because in a minute, I’m going to use him as an example of what the fuck is wrong with this world. His point is relevant though, because expectations definitely influence how we view movies. If you go into a movie with super high expectations, you may feel let down. If you go in with low expectations, you can be pleasantly surprised. The best thing to do would be to go in with no expectations and just feel the movie slip inside you, deep and raw. But the modern world doesn’t allow this. Everyone is vying for the top spot when it comes to the final word on a film. To be noticed, we shout out the following words: amazing, funniest, greatest, best, of […]

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The Hall H floor at Comic-Con was an easy audience for it, and Morgan Spurlock took full use of the home field advantage when he introduced a trailer for his new documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. He’s partnered with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool to make a film about the event that offers fans the freedom to dust off their Ryuk costume and wear it without shame. The trailer was sleek and featured memories and observations from Whedon, Eli Roth (who brought up the first time he “took a piss next to a stormtrooper and a Klingon), Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Seth Green and Guillermo del Toro. All Con favorites, they were joined by a few fans as well as what appeared to be an aspiring artist getting his work reviewed from working comic book producers. The trailer itself was otherwise vague, but it looks like it will have the same humor and heart that Spurlock’s work is marked by, and with full access, there are a ton of great stories that might be told.

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Morgan Spurlock is teaming with Stan Lee, Thomas Tull, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles to deliver a documentary…and they want you.

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It’s not about whether Harry liked the film or not, it’s a matter of how much Harry liked the film…

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published: 04.19.2014
A-
published: 04.19.2014
B+
published: 04.18.2014
C-
published: 04.18.2014
C

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