High Fidelity

High Fidelity Movie

Some movies, no matter how old they are, never age a day. Their situations and themes remain as relevant now as when they were first released. Watching them today, they reflect and comment on our present in ways they couldn’t possibly have anticipated. Every month we’re going to pick a movie from the past that does just that, and explore what it has to say about the here and now. There are creaky moments in High Fidelity. Any time you hear Rob (John Cusack) talk about making a mix tape, the movie groans with its pre-iPod era technology. And yet many of High Fidelity’s cultural sensibilities have become anything but antiquated. From a vinyl resurgence to pop culture snobbery, much of the movie has only ripened with relevance since it was released 14 years ago.

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Guardians of the Galaxy Obscene Gesture

In Guardians of the Galaxy, Chris Pratt’s Peter Quill slowly unwinds his middle finger like a jack-in-the-box as men gaze at him from the other side of smart glass warning of his imminent “obscene gesture.” Flipping the bird has now become interstellar, the latest in a long history of imaginative fingering. The gesture has evolved beyond a simple way to say “fuck you.” It’s the obvious and subtle threat between the fingers, no longer happy to simply pop up, now it dances in many forms. Some fling it in anger, some let it tease, and some see theirs blown off. It can be bloody, robotic, disembodied, Tank Girled and adamantiumed. If Hollywood put half as much effort into storytelling as they put into creative uses of the middle finger, many of the industry’s problems would be solved. For now, we have the following 10 birds, some of which are part of the “Movie Middle Finger”video montage featured way down. Is your favorite missing?

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Autobahn in The Big Lebowski

You wouldn’t be able to see them in concert. You couldn’t necessarily find an old favorite of theirs on vinyl or hear their new single on the radio, or download their latest EP as a new discovery. But for the fictional bands of cinema, their music still matters in a deep, powerful way. With the announcement that one of the most famous fictional bands of all time, Jem and the Holograms, is getting the movie adaptation treatment, it’s about time to look at the other fake bands that stepped onto the silver screen before them. Their existence may not be true, but their music is.

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High Fidelity Movie

Through music and misery, we ask the big questions this week. Specifically, Neil Miller and Geoff get philosophical over High Fidelity and debate whether we’re truly defined by what we like (as opposed to what we’re like) when it comes to relationships. Plus, Geoff describes a few ways to get into the TV show-writing business (and a few ways not to). And on our main stage, the stellar Stephen Frears joins us to talk about Philomena and capriciousness, and to offer perhaps the single most important piece of filmmaking advice the show has ever heard. You should follow Neil (@rejects), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. Please review us on iTunes Download Episode #55 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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High Fidelity

“The subject of abortion shall be discouraged, shall never be more than suggested, and when referred to shall be condemned. It must never be treated lightly, or made the subject of comedy. Abortion shall never be shown explicitly or by inference, and a story must not indicate that an abortion has been performed, the word “abortion” shall not be used.” No, that’s not an excerpt from Texas State Senate Bill 1. That’s a December 1956 amendment to the Motion Picture Production Code (MPPC), the Hollywood studio system’s internal playbook for strictly regulating content until 1966. The amendment was a clarification of, and addition to, a prior amendment from March 1951 which was a bit more direct and concise in its stance about representing abortion in the movies: “Abortion, sex hygiene and venereal diseases are not proper subjects for theatrical motion pictures.” I find this older quote more interesting, for it not only tells us about what moral gatekeepers thought of the subject of abortion, but also betrays the MPPC’s perspective of the limited utility of movies as a whole: as both a means for light escapism and affirmative moral pedagogy, but not a forum for discussing serious (or, rather actual) issues and situations. The history of abortion in American movies is, not surprisingly, largely a history of absence. But what is perhaps a bit surprising is how little American movies have referenced abortion since the quoted amendments descended into obsolescence. This despite the fact that the ratings system, New Hollywood, and […]

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Future Alamo Drafthouse

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s about to be your deviant nightly gut punch of pure awesome. Pure. Awesome. Our evening begins with a look at the new Alamo Drafthouse in Austin, TX. Some of you may be wondering, “why lead with something so local in a column that’s read in over 50 countries?” Because it’s relevant to our upcoming barrage of coverage from Fantastic Fest. You see, the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar is where Fantastic Fest lives. This year, it’s been repainted to look like it’s part of the movie Frankenweenie. Next year, it will look like the futuristic CineMecca you see above. The booking of flights for Fantastic Fest 2013 begins now, friends.

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Blu-ray Spotlight

As many a dedicated FSR reader will note, there has long been a column on this site called This Week in Blu-ray. The operative statement that illuminates the lack of effectiveness in its run is “week,” as it’s never been the most consistent feature we’ve run on this site. So as we do from time to time, we’re going to allow it to evolve into something new. Blu-ray Spotlight, it’s replacement, is a different concept for my coverage of the world of high definition home entertainment. This week, it will look similar to old entries. Reviews of the Blu-ray releases of the day. In coming weeks and months, we’ll expand it a bit to look at Blu-ray technology, news and other topics within the realm of home entertainment. Bigger releases (like the upcoming release of Jaws) will get the more in-depth treatment they deserve and we may even mix in a few giveaways. In the end, it will ultimately still serve the mission of highlighting the best of the world of Blu-ray. So lets get started, shall we? Pick of the Week Full Metal Jacket The Pitch: Stanley Kubrick’s classic Vietnam exploration explodes on its 25th Birthday. As you’ll see below, it was incredibly difficult for me to not place High Fidelity as my Pick of the Week. I love that movie fully and unabashedly. But the release quality of Warner Bros.’ 25th Anniversary Edition of Full Metal Jacket is far too strong. A brand new HD remaster of the film provides beauty, a […]

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Welcome back to This Week In DVD… now with more Blu-ray! The times they are a changing, and occasionally that means FSR’s DVD department is sent Blu-rays to cover instead. It happens. This week it happened to a handful of older Touchstone films, a couple Chuck Norris classics, two TV series, a beloved children’s classic and two direct to disc horror films. As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Strike Back: Cinemax Season One (Blu-ray/DVD) Michael Stonebridge is an elite member of Britain’s anti-terrorist squad, and his latest mission finds him taking on the world’s most dangerous madman while he simultaneously takes on a new partner in a disgraced Delta Force soldier named Damien Scott. Together they kill, screw and blow(up) their way around the world trying to stop an impending terrorist attack. This is technically the British series’ second season, but it’s the first with the extra financial backing from Cinemax. And anyone who knows Cinemax knows they bring lots of sex wherever they go. Seriously. The show crosses the line into implausibility more than once, but that never diminishes the fun. Fantastic action sequences, strong pacing, high production values, solid chemistry between the leads and a bevy of buck-naked ladies make this one worth watching (and possibly owning). [Extras: Commentaries]

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Welcome to Print to Projector, where we feign literacy in order to suggest what we’d like to see slapped onto the big screen. This week, we look at a high school mystery of epic proportions.

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Just over 3,000 films were released in the past ten years. Instead of sleeping, Neil and Cole (with the help of a supercomputer) whittle that list down to the best 1%.

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ArtertonTamaraDrewe

It looks like Stephen Frears may be drawn again into the politely dry British style story that he’s been into lately with the adaptation of a comic book that’s a modern retelling of “Far From the Madding Crowd.” Or will Gemma Arterton spice things up?

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movieswelove-highfidelity

It’s Wednesday, which means we’re falling in love all over again with a film that shows us what happens when John Cusack gets dumped and runs a record store. Brother what a night it really was! Mother what a night it really was!

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Breaking up is hard to do. Make it a little easier on yourself with these five flicks or, for you sadists, enhance your heart break with our sad selection. After all, the more you hurt, the more it shows you really care, right?

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Rainn Wilson in The Rocker

The Rocker starring Rainn Wilson opened in theaters Wednesday. We decided this warranted a list, but instead of just hashing out a list about 10 movies about rockers that rocked, we wanted to give you ten rockers who rocked in movies that may or may not have even been about rocking.

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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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