Justin Bieber: Never Say Never

We-Live-in-Public

Last week, National Geographic debuted a three-part documentary special called The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? Although it didn’t spend a lot of time on the rise of the web, the history of that period obviously noted some of the more significant moments in the early days of the Internet’s widespread popularity. There was the dot-com bubble, the breaking of the Clinton/Lewinski scandal on the Drudge Report, the first browser war, the screech of dialup and the reason Apple started naming products starting with a lower-case i. It was a great piece of nostalgia, reminding me that this month marks my own 20th anniversary of using the Internet — an occasion I know of because it coincided with a pre-college program I attended in the summer of 1994. Also last week, the New York Times posted a new Op-Doc by Brian Knappenberger called A Threat to Internet Freedom. The short film tackles the net neutrality issue in a brief yet concise five minutes, and there’s not a better director out there for this particular topic. Knappenberger continues to be the best documentary filmmaker when it comes to presenting histories, biographies and current events and debates of and related to the Internet. In fact, his two most recent features are both among the top 10 documentaries about the Internet. Those and the eight others are all from the past 13 years, none of them produced in the ’90s, and few of them even focus on subject matter pertaining to the net during the 20th century. The further we get from the dawn […]

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dujour

I understand that not a lot of FSR readers are even marginal One Direction fans, let alone “directioners,” so bear with me this week as I offer this list to any who find their way here. Also, if you’re not into 1D and don’t plan to see their new documentary One Direction: This Is Us — even if you normally like Morgan Spurlock‘s films or are a Martin Scorsese completist (he has a cameo) or think it could be a good place to pick up chicks (and not just tweens, as my screening had a number of adult women fans in attendance) — you may discover something of actual value among the selection of films below. The easiest and even most logical way to go with this week’s hottest new movie is to just offer a basic list of the best concert films and tour docs of the past. But really there’s not much there to connect Gimme Shelter (nobody dies at any of the 1D shows) or Woodstock, even though the latter involved Scorsese. There are mostly music movies picked for this list, but they’re specifically relevant and they’re joined by other kinds of films.

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PH-JOURNEY

On separate occasions in the documentary Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey, newly hired Journey frontman Arnel Pineda describes his life as a “fairy tale” and a “Cinderella story.” It’s better described as a globalization of the American Dream, a kind of “Mr. Deeds Goes on Tour” narrative where Deeds is now a Filipino discovered somewhat randomly through the world-shrinking magic of the Internet, specifically YouTube. In one of the most distinct moments of the film, a concertgoer admits her preference that the band’s new singer “was from here,” as if outsourcing has ever been viewed as an issue in pop music. What that young woman clearly really meant, in spite of her insistence that she’s not racist, is that she wishes he was not Asian. And it’s this racial aspect of Pineda’s story that is one of the more intriguing parts of the film. Not only is the choice of a Filipino singer, regardless of his vocal talent, met with bigoted criticism around the web (“the Internet giveth and taketh away,” director Ramona S. Diaz told me in a recent interview), but there’s also a kind of reverse racially charged phenomenon at play in the fact that suddenly Journey is a huge hit with Filipino Americans, who are now a large percentage of the band’s live audience just because of Pineda’s nationality.

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The Best Movie Posters of 2011

Movie posters can rise to level of works of art, can be tame or daring. They are of course advertising. A good poster makes you want to know more about the movie and the more you want to know the more you’ll want to spend your money to see the film. With that in mind, we’ve assembled our favorites of 2011, broken down into fancy categories for your reading and viewing pleasure.

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The Reject Report

Nic Cage SMAAAAASH!!! With his car, of course. I’m sure he’d be more than happy to step into the Incredible Hulk role. Until that glorious day, though, we’ll have to be satisfied with watching him bust out of Hell and taking on William Fichtner as the Devil’s accountant. Plus it’s all in 3-D. Hall Pass isn’t, but who really wants Jason Sudekis in 3-D? Those are the two big movies this weekend, and where they stack up on this week’s box office charts might surprise you.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, champion foosball player Kevin Smith joins us for the most sobering, introspective interview the man has given all week. Jokes aside, no topic is out of bounds, so we ask the tough questions about Sundance theatrics, taking Red State out on his own, his animosity toward critics, and retiring from filmmaking (but not from storytelling). If you’re a Smith fan, you’re probably already clicking Play. If you’re one of the people that lost some respect for the man during the past year, his appearance here will do a lot to earn it back. No, we don’t find time to review Justin Bieber: Never Say Never, but we do dig in for 105 minutes on the state of distribution, the future of his own films, and how it ties in to his past. Listen Here: Download This Episode

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The Reject Report

In the end, the Beliebers came out en masse, but the Valentine’s Day weekend was won by Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Well, maybe more Sandler than Aniston. It’s probably at about 65%/35% if you get right down to it. Regardless, the gap between Just Go With It and Never Say Never was less than $1 million, not much of a gap at all when considering opening box office numbers.

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We realize that you’re probably sitting at home right now, chewing your own nails off and wondering what movies are coming out this month. Maybe you’re even wondering why no one on the entire internet has said anything about them. Strange, we know. Fortunately, Rob Hunter and Cole Abaius spent the entire month of January combing through Wikileaks, calling Cleo, and building balsa wood trailers to make sure that you, dear reader, are in the know about what’s coming out in February. You watch movies, so this guide’s for you.

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