I’m Still Here

26-siberia

Last night, NBC debuted yet another new series with a documentary style structure. The network is no stranger to the format, but this show is apparently more confusing for viewers than, say, The Office and Parks and Recreation. The difference is that this show, Siberia, is not a comedy. It’s a fictional show that plays like a reality game show. Any blurbs calling it “Survivor meets Lost” are unnecessary praise because that is literally what is intended. The premise is a more anarchic take on a Survivor-type show, dropping contestants in the middle of the notorious Russian region, while the pilot is nearly a play-by-play of a crash-less version of the Lost pilot, complete with a male version of Shannon (he even sunbathes while everyone else works together as a team) and an unidentified creature in the woods, a la “The Smoke Monster.” By the time Siberia starts to get deadly, the audience should be fully aware that this is not a real reality show. That is if they aren’t already keen enough to see the impossible camerawork (common to other doc-style fiction series) or haven’t bothered looking up the program on IMDb or NBC’s website. But why would they go looking if they believed it to be just another nonfiction show? There’s not much that indicates otherwise in the opening credits (no writers are listed and the cast is listed by first name only) and while the network isn’t necessarily trying to dupe viewers, its marketing of the show […]

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It’s that time of the year again: that brief span of time in between Christmas and New Year’s when journalists, critics, and cultural commentators scramble to define an arbitrary block of time even before that block is over with. To speculate on what 2010 will be remembered for is purely that: speculation. But the lists, summaries, and editorials reflecting on the events, accomplishments, failures, and occurrences of 2010 no doubt shape future debate over what January 1-December 31, 2010 will be remembered for personally, nostalgically, and historically. How we refer to the present frames how it is represented in the future, even when contradictions arise over what events should be valued from a given year. In an effort to begin that framing process, what I offer here is not a critical list of great films, but one that points out dominant cultural conversations, shared trends, and intersecting topics (both implicit and explicit) that have occurred either between the films themselves or between films and other notable aspects of American social life in 2010. As this column attempts to establish week in and week out, movies never exist in a vacuum, but instead operate in active conversation with one another. Thus, a movie’s cultural context should never be ignored. So, without further adieu, here is my overview of the Top 10 topics, trends, and events of the year that have nothing to do with the 3D debate.

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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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Join us each week as Rob Hunter takes a look at new DVD releases and gives his highly unqualified opinion as to which titles are worth BUYing, which are better off as RENTals, and which should be AVOIDed at all costs. And remember, these listings and category placements are meant as informational conversation starters only. But you can still tell Hunter how wrong he is in the comment section below. This week sees the arrival of a damn entertaining British series called Luther and the long-awaited DVD debut of The Six Million Dollar Man as well as The Expendables, Eat Pray Love, I’m Still Here, and more.

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There’s been talk for quite sometime now of Andrew Dominik’s planned “warts and all” Marilyn Monroe pic starring Naomi Watts titled, Blonde. The film initially had a January start date, but now that seems unlikely. In a recent piece in The New York Times it was revealed that Casey Affleck may be re-teaming with Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford director, and now according to Affleck, it’s true. While out promoting I’m Still Here, Affleck revealed in an interview with The Kevin and Josh Movie Show on 106.7 HD2 (CBS RADIO – Washington D.C.) that he’s about to reunite with Dominik on a novel adaption, which he says starts in January. But how will this affect Blonde?

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, editor and writer for Cinematical Erik Davis and movie monkey for UGO Matt Patches drop by to discuss the finer things in life. We revel in the beauty of Uwe Boll’s warm glow, watch the Auschwitz trailer on a first date, erase the slate of Summer 2010 films with the best summer movies of all time, and figure out how to put MacGruber into Forrest Gump. Plus, we find time to review Resident Evil: Afterlife, I’m Still Here, and The Romantics. Also plus, Cole name drops Toys Are Not For Children which he seems to think makes him hip even though it doesn’t.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr announces that he is quitting his career as a film critic and plans to start a new career crooning to the tunes of Zamphir and his pan flute. Frank Stallone, the less-famous brother of an A-list actor, will be shooting a documentary of the entire thing. However, as one last hurrah, Kevin cracks some knuckles with his ruler and grades the new films this week, Resident Evil: Afterlife 3D and I’m Still Here. (Yes, he is aware that it’s Bella Swan’s birthday this weekend, but haven’t we had enough Twilight for a while?)

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Technically speaking, it’s impossible to return to a place you’ve never left, and with a movie coming out this weekend and more projects possibly on the way, it wouldn’t appear as if Joaquin Phoenix ever really went anywhere. The least he could have done was signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox and played farm league for a while. The point is, now that I’m Still Here is coming out and press for it (read: acting strange) will be over soon, expect to hear about which projects Phoenix is signing on for. He’s turned down more than a few lately – Poe biopic The Raven, the role of author Thomas Wolfe in Genius, a comedic villain opposite Jonah Hill in The Sitter, and an indie documentary about beard styles that I swear we called him about a hundred times – but he’s still attached to play a foot fetishist (so it’s either a Tarantino biopic or a film about Hitchcock) for Secretary director Steven Shainberg. Ladies and Gentlemen, Joaquin Phoenix has not left the building. [THR]

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The Reject Report

It’s an uncommon thing when a film opening in less than 20 markets is getting more notoriety than the one opening on 2,800 screens. Such is the case this weekend. Resident Evil: Afterlife is the clear winner in terms of size. It has a rather good chance of even coming out #1. However, the most talked about film of the weekend features Joaquin Phoenix, a beard, and a year in the life of secluded madness. You be the judge who the true winner is. We’re just here to talk about box office.

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Whether it’s fake or not, it seems hilarious. That’s all the great people of this planet care about. I’m Still Here has gotten far more press than it would have gotten otherwise, but the possibly fake documentary about Joaquin Phoenix trading in his acting career for a life in the rap community continues to deliver on the insane behavior front. Take, for example, this new clip where Joaquin Phoenix tells P. Diddy that he has a garage set up with Pro Tools. Apparently, that’s not enough to make a hit record.

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If one of the things on your bucket list is to see Joaquin Phoenix playing Zach Galifianakis playing Joaquin Phoenix, then this teaser trailer should have you running to grab your scratching-out pen. Many, many, many words have been written about the (probably fake) documentary I’m Still Here which chronicles the end of Joaquin Phoenix’s acting career and his struggle to turn it into a rapping career. However, none of those words are adequate enough to paint the word poem that is this self-righteous pile of teaser trailer.

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published: 11.19.2014
C+
published: 11.19.2014
B-, C
published: 11.18.2014
B+
published: 11.14.2014
B+


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