Hereafter

This Week in DVD

This is a rough week for the ye old DVD column because fate and coincidence have conspired to keep me from seeing most of the releases. I missed the few that hit theaters, and SXSW has left me with precious little time for DVD watching. So consider this week’s installment a “grain of salt” edition if you will. I’ll return next week with more solid opinions, but for now let’s look at the releases I’m forced to give blind ‘Rent’ recommendations to. There are only two high profile titles hitting shelves, The Fighter and Hereafter, and they’re joined by a handful of slightly recognizable smaller films and some obscure releases that have most likely avoided your radar all together. Like Sugar Boxx… The Switch This Jason Bateman/Jennifer Aniston romantic comedy earns the ‘Pick of the Week’ by default as it’s one of the very few releases I’ve actually seen, but luckily it’s actually a pretty good movie. The two play best friends whose lives get turned upside down when he replaces the semen meant for her vagina with his own baby batter. The film is sweet and funny enough, and both actors prove themselves capable and worthy of the genre.

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At the end of the 90s, famous Oscar show writer and Celebrity Fit Club contestant Bruce Vilanch claimed that, “Generally with the Oscars…there isn’t much you can do until the nominations are announced. Then you know what kind of year you’re dealing with – what’s been overlooked, what the issues are.” He was talking about preparing to write the show, but it applies to everyone from the directors, producers and stars on down to the fans. It’s fun to guess around the water cooler (your office still has a water cooler?), but until now, it’s all been speculation. Thankfully, almost all that speculation has been spot on, so we can all continue our conversations about whether Black Swan will beat The Social Network for Best Picture. Whether Natalie Portman has any true competition for Best Actress. Whether, most importantly of all, Colleen Atwood will beat Mary Zophres for Best Costume Design. Here they are. The 2011 Academy Award nominees:

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As the movies of 2010 comes to a close, it’s time to look back and revisit the finer points of cinema. But here at Film School Rejects, we like to turn the spotlight not just on the best, but also on the worst. This year has been a particularly rough year for movies as more films fizzled than we expected. With the year quickly coming to a close, it’s time to look back and realize which films didn’t just disappoint, but caused us the most pain. So with the help of the entire staff here at FSR, our own curator of the wretched Kevin Carr has compiled the list of the year’s most unwatchable, unbearable and unfortunately unforgettable films — may there be mercy on the souls of anyone who endured all of these gems…

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The Reject Report

Just as expected, DreamWorks Animation proved once again they are a force to be reckoned with in the world of animated feature films. Their latest outing, Megamind, led the charge this weekend, the largest opening weekend to the Fall movie season in box office history. When compared to other films in the DreamWorks Animation camp, Megamind topped the openings of such massive successes as the first Shrek, Madagascar, and How to Train Your Dragon. When also comparing these opening numbers, it seems a fairly safe bet that Megamind will both end up topping out around $200 million domestic and garner a sequel in the coming years.

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The Reject Report

As Admiral Ackbar so phlegmingly exclaimed, “It’s a trap!” You sit down in your seat at the movie theater to see the latest (last?) Saw film, you put on your 3D glasses, this triggers a wire to pull which drops a marble down a shoot which knocks over a pin which falls onto a switch which turns some gears which opens a doorway which allows a bowling ball to roll out which bumps into and starts a lawn mower which blows up and pops a balloon which causes a chicken to lay an egg which turns some more gears which opens Mikey’s front gate which turns some levers which opens a trap door which drops millions upon millions of dollars into Lionsgate’s pockets. That’s how that works. At least, I think it’s how it works. Maybe I shouldn’t be covering box office reports.

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The Reject Report

Two weekends in a row. Two cultural phenomena (as well as entries into a highly successful franchise) exploding into theaters. After Jackass 3-D broke October records last weekend, you might have thought movie goers would take a break, kick back as the weather gets cooler, and maybe carve out a jack-o-lantern. Nonsense, says the pool cleaner-hating demon! Get those people into theaters and let them feel the terror all for themselves. That’s precisely what millions upon millions of people did this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 2 opened to the fifth highest October opening in history. It now also holds the highest October opening for a horror film, beating out the $39.1 million The Grudge opened to in 2004. With a budget of only $3 million, you can be certain Paramount will be green lighting Paranormal Activity 3 in a matter of minutes.

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The Week That Was

Like its many kindred frames throughout the rest of the year, this week was filled with distractions for yours truly. First there was the launching of a new “lifestyle” site called Badass Digest, the new home of Devin Faraci (of CHUD.com fame). For weeks, many of us have been patiently waiting to see where he would end up. Now we see that he’s teamed up with Tim League and the Drafthouse Empire, where he will now begin embracing life as a blogger. The site has been a time sucking venture around Reject HQ, as we can’t keep our eyes off of it. Good on ya, Mr. Faraci. Your competitive strategies are working like a charm.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr puts on his ghostbusting gear to take on the two big spiritual flicks in the theaters. He suffers through a tsunami in Hereafter and struggles even more to get through Clint Eastwood’s latest Oscar-bait flick. Then he sets up a stationary video camera to capture any strange goings-on while he sleeps. He plans to sell the film to Paramount as Paranormal Activity 3: More Shots of Nothing Happening.

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The sort of movie for which the critical cliché “tone poem” was invented, Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter evokes an eerie serenity in the face of death. With three interlocking storylines centered on our awareness, perceptions and ultimate acceptance of the afterlife, on what the notion that you start dying the moment you’re born really means, the picture ought to cast a particular, carefully controlled spell. Yet Eastwood, an adept handler of “meat-and-potatoes” narratives and more naked emotions, fails to transform the precise, melancholic sensibility at the heart of Peter Morgan’s screenplay into an affecting cinematic experience. Long-winded, ponderous and without much in the way of compelling drama, Hereafter sputters across three countries, filled with haunting imagery but never offering the visceral, subtle transcendence of a film by a more adept chronicler of spiritual sensations.

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The Reject Report

The found footage demons have returned to the big screen, but they’re gonna have some poo jokes and 3-D beehive tether balls to contend with at the box office this weekend. The sequel to 2009’s surprise hit, Paranormal Activity, hits this weekend, but it’s placement at the top of the charts is not a forgone conclusion. A little film called Jackass 3-D is still riding strong in the wake of its record breaking weekend. Which of these “documentary” titles will end up on top? We’re not 100% sure, but, if we were the demon, we’d be watching out for flying feces.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them by now. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of September searching EBSCO Host, making phone calls to important producers and making fan trailers out of peanut butter and marshmallows to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in October. Wondering why it’s a few days late? Because we don’t run it until it’s perfect. Or something. Anyway, just check out the movies to see what you wanna see.

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bryce-dallas-howard-header

Bryce Dallas Howard has joined Clint Eastwood’s next movie, the supernatural drama Hereafter…

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defrance-eastwood

Clint Eastwood is less than a month from releasing his next film, Invictus, and it already appears as if the old goat is working on his next masterwork…

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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