Hesher

Hundreds of movies are released each year in theaters or straight to DVD, and a large percentage of them suck. A much smaller group though are fantastic slices of cinema that thrill, excite, invigorate and entertain, and while some of them are recognized at the box office many more are left to die a quick and undeserved death. And it’s essentially your fault. Of course I don’t mean you specifically, but instead I’m referring to the average American movie-goer who chose not to see these movies in the theater. They ignored the critical acclaim, reviews and recommendations from sites like ours and instead bought multiple tickets for the latest Twilight or Transformers movie. So while it’s too late to affect their box office returns (most of them anyway), Jack Giroux and Rob Hunter have put together a list of eleven movies that deserved far better treatment in 2011.

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The Best Films of 2011: The Staff Picks

As you may have noticed, this final week of 2011 has been almost completely taken over by our third annual Year in Review. It was born in 2009 out of our love for lists and your thirst for reading, discussing and ultimately hating them. And each year the entire project gets a little bigger, a little bolder and slightly more absurd. With that in mind, I’m once again proud to present you with The Best Films of 2011: The Staff Picks. Each of our 14 regular staff writers, contributors and columnists, almost all of whom have been with us the entire year, were asked to present their top 5 films, in no particular order (although many of them placed their top film at the top, as logical people tend to do), each with an explanation. Some even included curse words as a bonus to you, the reader. Read: The Best Films of 2010: The Staff Picks | The Best Films of 2009: The Staff Picks Once again, the Staff Picks are a testament to the diversity we have here at Film School Rejects, with picks ranging from the likely suspects (Take Shelter, Hugo, Shame) to the slightly more nerdy (Attack the Block, Super 8, The Muppets) to several movies that may not yet be on your radar (see Landon Palmer’s list for those). And once again, it’s with a deep sense of pride that I publish such a list, the best of 2011 as seen through the eyes of the movie […]

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movies, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features comedy wearing hot pink taffeta dresses, a vampire action film set in the Old West of the future, and the long-haired metal attitude of a bad ass who sets fire to everything.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as DogEatsHeart and 5Obstructions5 in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, the pair apply some sun screen and some green screen in order to forecast how the movies of Summer 2011 might shape up. Is there a secret weapon to its inevitable success? Is its success inevitable? Anything would be better than last year, right?

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The Reject Report

Hello, May weddings. Hello, May wedding movies. Those maids of the bride sure are going to rake in a boat load of cash this weekend, but a certain God of thunder might have a thing or two to say about them taking his throne. There’s also a 3-D movie coming out from the guy who directed Legion. You remember that movie, right? The worst of 2010 until Jonah Hex came out. Sorry, Jonah. We won’t be invoking your name for too much longer. It’s all part of the Reject Report this week. Now where’s that bag of rice?

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Hesher (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a character that represents almost all different sides of life, and mainly, childhood. He’s reckless, narcissistic, always looking for fun, and you never know whether or not he’s your friend or your greatest enemy. Hesher is a cypher, someone that you can never truly understand or grasp. Many will love him and many will hate him. A character such as Hesher can’t be easy to write. If he becomes too extremist, he can lose any hints at humanity and could become a total cartoon. But director Spencer Susser and co-writer David Michôd (the director behind last year’s tremendous Animal Kingdom) managed to find an authentic grounding in this coming-of-age film that chronicles the extreme emotions of childhood. Hesher isn’t the star of the film, but he represents everything about childhood and what the lead, T.J., is going through. Here’s what Susser had to say about writing a jarring tone, the max levels Hesher goes to, and writing spontaneity:

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Last summer was a good (not great) movie season. Granted, there were some notorious duds with Robin Hood, Jonah Hex, Avatar: The Last Whatever-It’s-Called, the one where Jake Gyllenhaal talked real funny and had his shirt off a lot, and many, many others. And, of course, there were some rather disappointing missed opportunities (*COUGH* Iron Man 2 *COUGH*). But overall, it was a solid time for both big event films and the smaller ones. There were two excellent high profile films (Toy Story 3, Inception) and a handful of great little-seen ones (Animal Kingdom, Cyrus, Solitary Man, etc.). And who could forget about Scott Pilgrim vs. the World? This summer will most likely be no different. There are a few films not to get too excited about, but there are plenty of other films to get tingly about. There are two Marvel films, a new frickin’ Terrence Malick epic, a great looking new X-Men…the list goes on and on. In fact, the list goes on right now with the 15 Must See Movies of Summer 2011:

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Single tear at the dinner table. Flaming front flip into the pool. Donuts in the parking lot. Walking away from an explosion without looking back. A lot of people have already had the chance to see Hesher, but I haven’t, and just from the trailer, it looks like a version of Garden State that grew a pair, set fire to The Shins’ “Chutes too Narrow,” and learned to blast Metallica while stripping down to its tightie-whities. More words would only sully it. Check out the trailer for yourself:

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a focused, coordinated strike upon the oppressive barrage of movie blogs who think you should really be reading 700 words on the latest third-tier casting rumors for the next Adam Shankman movie. We take all the interesting news and otherwise notable articles of the day and bring them together, in one place, where you can kick ass and gain knowledge quickly. It also includes some funny videos. Because everyone loves funny videos. With Jason Eisener’s Hobo with a Shotgun finally getting to theaters (and iTunes — go watch it!), Canuxploitation is on its way. To celebrate, Quiet Earth asked Canadian grindhouse cinema expert Paul Corupe to write of Canuxploitation’s weidest, wildest Canadian exploitation movies. Yes.

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Sometimes all it takes is for a director of a film to step in and shield us from all the bad news that comes out these days.

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You’ve been on the edge of your seat wondering what movies out of Sundance you’d actually get to see. Well, now you know.

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I can hear the conversation in the pitch meeting now. “This is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s film. But he isn’t going to be the charming, clean-cut, charismatic Joe that the world has seen. He’s going to be fucking crazy, man.”

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Last year, I was mildly successful in writing a list of 13 Films You Should Be Excited to See at Sundance 2009. This year I’m getting bold and adding two more films to the list. Take that!

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