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The morning’s best writing from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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predator2

Film critics of a certain age, i.e. the age that I am aged, tend to overly-romanticize the 1980s. This often manifests in gushy, hyperbole-laden love letters masquerading as objective discourse. To be fair, that is probably because the 80s rule and the human race has never created anything better and never will, oh my God. The firing of spastic, rose-colored synapses aside, for those of us cursed with this affinity, the coming of the 90s carried a certain apocalyptic vibe. Or at least, that’s how it seems when tempered by the great equalizer that is hindsight. In other words, revisiting films on the fringe of that most glorious decade becomes a rather somber affair. Oddly enough, there are some films that seem to be cognizant of this great changeover. When viewing certain titles from 1990, there appears a bizarre nod to the dramatic end of an era. This is more than mere temporal proximity, it’s as if the overall decline, with a few exceptions, of genre film in the 90s was foretold to these films — not the filmmakers necessarily but the films as sentient entities. Here are the movies from 1990 that represent the last gasp of 80s filmmaking.

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mnad_burgundy

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s the thing that tucks you in at night, ensures that not a creature is stirring and keeps an eye out for that chubby guy with the red suit. It’s on duty all year ’round though, so late nights get a little boring. Luckily there’s movie news to talk about. Anchor Date – Great news this week from the Channel 4 News Team. Ron Burgundy and his friends have set a date for their return. The long anticipated Anchorman 2 will hit theaters on December 20, 2013. Luckily, the world did not end today as planned. Suck it, Mayans. Now we get more of Ron, Brick, Champ, Brian Fantana and all the wonderful supporting characters that populate the Sex Panther-scented world of San Diego.

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It’s one thing when a series is based around several generations who are actively seeking adventure – treasure hunting and Nazi-punching and all that. That’s not what we’re here to discuss. Don’t expect to see any Corleones on this list, either. This is about those hapless, generally well-functioning families in films who for one reason or another keep falling into bad times. These are the families that trouble follows. These are the truly unlucky ones.

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Culture Warrior

Tomorrow, the Sacha Baron Cohen-starring, Larry Charles-directed The Dictator opens. Unlike the previous two docu-prank collaborations between Charles and Cohen, the humor of the fully staged Dictator doesn’t so much rely on the reactions of ‘real people’ to an idiosyncratic foreigner as it uses its fish-out-of-water arc to chronicle the pseudo-enlightened changes that its eponymous character experiences (this is all based on the film’s advertising – I have yet to see it). With its riches-to-rags narrative, The Dictator seems to be the newest iteration of a long tradition in Hollywood comedy: the story of the redeemable asshole. It’s rather appropriate that the teaser trailer for Anchorman 2 will be premiering in front of The Dictator.  Will Ferrell has made the redeemable asshole into something of an art form in his collaborations with Adam McKay. Ferrell’s often narcissistic, privileged, ignorant, and empathy-challenged creations should, by any measure of any other genre (audiences are far less tolerant of asshole protags in, say, dramedys) be reviled by audiences. But we ultimately find something redeemable, even lovable, in Ferrell’s jerks, even if this surface-level redemption overshadows the fact that they never quite achieve the level of self-awareness that would actually redeem one from assholedom. These are characters we would likely avoid in nearly any real-life circumstance, but yet we go see movies about them learning life lessons which add up to little more than common knowledge for the rest of us. The redeemable asshole is often a white male who is conniving, manipulative, entitled, […]

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Hunger is the reason mankind first decided to kill – one imagines. Surely, the first time someone domed a boar with a stick they didn’t do it just to be a dick about it. This is why when a movie does food right the result is extremely powerful; you can close your eyes and try to forget a sad or scary scene in a film, but if a scene makes you hungry there’s no going back from that. Here are some scenes that you’ll no doubt wish you didn’t watch – scenes that make you hungry, no matter your preference, because sometimes food just looks good.

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The holidays are a time for families, gift-giving, and general peace on Earth. Unfortunately, it’s also a time of high crime rates, robberies, and evil-doers who take advantage of the innocent. With all the money being spent at the malls, and how often people leave their own homes during the holidays, these safe havens are often a target for prowlers. Just ask the Wet Bandits, who ran a mostly-successful crime spree in Chicago in the early 1990s, before they were thwarted by eight-year-old Kevin McCallister. However, times are tough, and the economy still isn’t what it should be. Not everyone can afford a new-fangled security system…or even an old-fangled security system that the McCallisters should have had on their home in 1990. There are still plenty of ways to protect your home from prowlers this year, using found items, and a dose of cleverness.

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Welcome to the second entry in FSR’s Official Cinematic Holiday Survival Guide – the best series of nostalgic holiday articles on the Internet today that were conceived of by a film writer too sleep-deprived to properly articulate just why that squirrel jumping out of the tree in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is the finest moment in Christmas filmology. Which FSR writer? I’ll never tell. But it wasn’t me. That said, today I will reach back into the far, far annals of movie history to provide you dear readers with some of the finest holiday decorating tips you will ever see committed to celluloid (and, well, the Internet). I will not provide specific crafting tips (because, let’s be real here, I could really injure myself with a hot glue gun), but more general tips that will allow you to tap into your personal style to gussy up your home to truly epic proportions. Or, you could just slide down to your neighborhood tree lot and pick up a flocked tree and just be done with it. But, before you get your flock on, let’s take a peek at some cinematic dos and don’ts when it comes to decking your halls.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; try our new pecan marshmallow yule log, patent and FDA approval pending. Happy December, everyone; it’s the most wonderful time of the month! Despite your busy schedule of shopping, decorating, and pretending to tolerate those relatives you can’t stand, you somehow managed to find time to topple down the chimney of another JFC. We are sort of like fruitcake; nobody ever asks for us, no one knows how we came to be a tradition, and no matter how clearly you state your distaste for us we keep turning up. Every week in the month of this month I will be Nationally Lampooning a festively terrible holiday film. But then, like a Christmas miracle, I will flip the flop and confess as to why the film is precisely my particular brand of egg nog. To put the star atop the proceedings, I will then offer a greasy, but delectable snack food item paired to the film in the hopes of making your waistlines a little less merry. This week’s sugar plum: Home Alone.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It is (d) all of the above. “La Luna is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances.” That’s the opening of the synopsis to Pixar’s La Luna, the short that will play the Annecy International Animation Festival next month in France. It’s our adorable headlining image. (Courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

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It’s that time of year again. A time to leer out your window suspiciously, a time to hear things that go bump in the night, a time to tremble with fear at the constant, piercing violin strings that follow you everywhere you go. It’s Christmas!

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dvd-drinking-game

Well it’s that time of the year again. The time when we take a moment from our busy lives and focus on peace, giving, and copious amounts of booze.

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cultwarrior-thanksgiving

This week’s Culture Warrior asks why there aren’t more movies about Thanksgiving. Christmas always seems to hog all the good ones.

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JohnHughesDead

The man who brought us everything from The Breakfast Club to Ferris Bueller to Home Alone died today at the age of 59. What’s your favorite Hughes film?

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There are a slew of Christmas movies out there, which seems rather unfair because it’s the only holiday where movies are made specifically for it.

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