Home for the Holidays

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Whether you’re home for the holidays or sitting shiva after the loss of a loved one, family get-togethers can be rough. Never mind if yours is a “dysfunctional” clan or not. Aren’t they all, anyway? It may be relative, but we all have our family dramas and difficult times when reunited with our most direct relatives. If not, you’re a lucky one, except when it comes to trying to relate to a lot of movies. The rest of us like to see stuff like This Is Where I Leave You for both the identification and the exaggeration, the former allowing us to laugh at ourselves, the latter hopefully leading to an understanding that everything could be worse. Movies about family get-togethers can also be a source of learning. We already relate to the basic experiences, but how much do we connect with the specifics of how the characters survive those events? A bunch of these movies feature complete parallels as far archetypes and plot and jokes, so it would seem they’d be universal. And a lot of the times everyone turns out just fine in the end. So, for your next get-together, perhaps this fall for Thanksgiving or next summer for a road trip or full-on reunion, consider the following steps, each one applicable in the movies and, of course, therefore in real life. 

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The master of blending comedy, drama and real people, we can think of no one we’d rather spend an awkward holiday dinner with than John Hughes. So this week on the show we’ll heap praise on the filmmaker who delivered our teenage years and families back to us on the screen. To help us out, “You Couldn’t Ignore Me If You Tried” author Susannah Gora joins us to share some fantastic insights into that old Hughesian magic. We’ll also explore why there are so few Thanksgiving movies (you still have leftovers, right?) and rattle off a list of them (which will naturally lead us right back to John Hughes!). Sweet, sweet symmetry. You should follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #42 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Hell on Wheels

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s preparing for it’s Thanksgiving day off. Lots of movies in its future. So it’s going to make this quick. But don’t worry baby, it isn’t about how long it lasts. It’s about the motion of the ocean. We begin tonight with something very near and dear to my heart: shows that I like. Sure, it’s about television and not movies, but this column, while accused of being many things, has never been accursed of being consistent. Anyway, Vulture is reporting that Hell on Wheels has seen a ratings dip. We need to curb this, people. It’s a damn good show. So watch it and ensure that it doesn’t get cancelled. Seriously. Common is on that show.

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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 a bunch of lingerie-clad girls killing dragons and giant samurai, the sequel to a wimpy kid’s story, an orphan girl stuck in the middle of the Arab-Israeli conflict (without any lingerie or dragons), and a family’s most intimate secrets made public.

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‘Tis the season to be thankful for what you have. And above all else, we here at Film School Rejects are thankful for you, our beloved readers. We may not always agree — in fact, we may never agree — and we may continue to struggle live up to your lofty expectations of what a great movie publication truly is, but we’re glad you stick around anyway. Personally, I’m thankful for all of the writers here at FSR — it’s been a year filled with ups, downs and plenty of side-to-sides, and they’ve hung in there and continued to deliver some of the best, most underrated content around. They are the best there is, if you ask me (and my mom, who thinks Cole Abaius is adorable). And they continue to learn and grow with each passing day. So in the spirit of Thanksgiving (and with my mom in mind), please enjoy the video treat just after the jump.

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We all know that the most heartfelt holiday of the year will inevitably end with most of you splayed out in a pool of blood and gravy, nursing severe wounds and a hangover that weighs more than the turkey did before it was burnt. But rest assured tonight, because it could be worse.

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Not everyone likes their family — in fact, many of us believe to have the world’s most dysfunctional family. Thankfully Hollywood is always there to show us that we aren’t even scratching the dysfunctional surface…

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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