Kick-Ass 2

discs toad road

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Toad Road James (James Davidson) is a slacker, but that shouldn’t be mistaken for meaning he sits around all day doing nothing. Instead, he sits around all day smoking, popping, and snorting anything he and his friends can get their hands on, but that starts to change when he meets the new girl, Sara (Sara Anne Jones). She’s new to the drug scene, he introduces her, and she gets hooked just as he wants out. He agrees to one last trip with her. Shrooms in hand, the two head out to the legendary Toad Road to investigate rumors of the seven gates of hell. It goes according to plan until he wakes up to discover she’s disappeared. Writer/director Jason Banker’s debut feature is low budget, raw, messy, unsure of itself, and yet oddly mesmerizing. The “horror” element introduced via the title feels almost like an afterthought added to make the film more marketable, but the core of the film works as a frequently intense and often painful look at the obvious and not so obvious struggles that come with drug addiction. The doomed love story adds to the film’s tragic allure, but the real life fate of Miss Jones sadly cements it. [DVD extras: Commentary with writer/director Jason Banker and friends, deleted scenes, featurettes, booklet]

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kick-ass

When Kick-Ass hit theaters in 2010, it tainted comic book movies for me. Bringing a sense of gore and grit to escapism, it would come to color other caped members of the genre. The most recent example is Man of Steel which features a hefty, highly debated death toll, but doesn’t feature much time for reflection because, of course, they needed to have a female soldier comment on how hot Superman is at the end. In a different view on the same neighborhood, Joss Whedon actually showed people being saved amid the destructive aftermath to his battle in The Avengers. Captain America earns the thanks of a grateful group, but is it realistic that an entire alien army stormed through downtown New York City with several flying football fields, but everyone was evacuated in a few minutes? It’s difficult to shake the potential for a death toll when you fictionally destroy that many city blocks, but Kick-Ass made the loss of a single life seem grisly and as powerful as a steaming locomotive.

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rejectrecap081713

This week saw the return of our favorite anti-hero, and I’m not talking about any characters from Kick-Ass 2. Yes, Breaking Bad was the talk of the week, and while that superhero movie sequel was discussed a bunch, it was unfortunately for mostly negative reasons. Maybe that’s why we couldn’t stop thinking about bigger superhero movies, namely of the Avengers franchise. Last Sunday, we got the hint from Vin Diesel that he’s voicing Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. A few days later, Simon Pegg messed with fans and movie bloggers by fake hinting that he’s playing the lead in Ant-Man. The former isn’t confirmed and the latter I don’t think is totally ruled out yet, but this trend of teasing us isn’t going too well. In the past seven days, FSR has brought you a look back at the hits and flops of the summer, a glimpse at the program for this year’s Fantastic Fest and new considerations of the work of Sam Peckinpah, David Gordon Green, John Frankenheimer and Katherine Heigl (one of these things is not like the other). We learned some interesting news about upcoming Pixar films and a fascinating fact about a classic Kubrick movie. And we gave most of the new releases grades in the C-range (at least we like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). As always, the Reject Recap is here to get you caught up on all these goodies and more. Start your weekend right after the jump.

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Film Title: Kick-Ass 2

“So, tell me, Jeff, what’s it like to work with Jim Carrey?” I might as well just have started off with that question when interviewing Kick-Ass 2 ‘s writer and director, Jeff Wadlow. After seeing the film, how do you not ask about Carrey’s performance? He’s made fans with his more kid-driven pictures, which is fine, but in the past nine years, his only genuinely great performance to speak of is I Love You Phillip Morris. Now with Kick-Ass 2, Carrey has another new performance that can stand amongst his finest work. So discussing Wadlow’s collaboration with Carrey as Colonel Stars and Stripes is a given. He’s not the Big Daddy of the sequel; it’s a whole different burst of energy. The whole film feels that way. Wadlow kept in touch with the first film’s sensibility, but he takes certain elements to new extremes. Keep reading to see what else Wadlow had to say about the Kick-Ass 2:

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Kick-Ass 2

Last time it was spring, not the end of summer. It’s hard to forget the time surrounding the release of Kick-Ass. Especially for anyone who spent that time writing at the intersection of film and nerds. To its credit, Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass was very successful in one area: it engaged a small but passionate base of fans. To outsiders, it was crazy and probably more than a little dumb. But to those who saw it for what it was, Kick-Ass was a hyper-violent, intensely vulgar commentary on the entire comic book culture. It was a blast. So much so that we found ourselves defending it as its box office debut looked more like a stab to the gut than a triumphant victory. It was a hard fought battle for movie geeks. Our scuba-suited champion was gunned down in his prime. Three years later, we should probably be glad just to have a sequel in Kick-Ass 2. But after seeing it, maybe we should’ve let it go.

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Standing Up

Awkward as a nerdy kid at summer camp, we’ve built an episode focused on young people who are much, much stronger than they appear (and only some of them wear spandex). First up, an Interrogation Reviewification treatment of Kick-Ass 2 with Neil Miller. He’s seen it and lived to the wipe bodily fluids off his shirt in the theater parking lot. Then we’ve got a candid interview with D.J. Caruso, whose family-friendly film Standing Up sees two young kids finding friendship in the midst of intensely cruel, mosquito-covered bullying. From Hit-Girl crushing skulls to coming-of-age on the lam, it’s bound to be an adolescent-minded show. You should follow Neil (@rejects), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, please send us your feedback. Download Episode #29 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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If there’s any lingering doubt that The Bechdel Test is hopelessly out of date and no longer the standard by which films with even the slightest feminist lean (or, at the very least, films with a basic respect for the complexities of female characters) should be judged, Jeff Wadlow’s Kick-Ass 2 handily puts the final nail in that critical coffin. This week’s follow-up to Matthew Vaughn’s 2010 adaptation of the Mark Millar and John Romita, Jr. comic book series is violent, vile, and ugly on its own, but the application of the so-called Bechdel test has the reverse effect that it should – the film passes, and it’s instantly even more violent, vile, and ugly. If you’re unfamiliar with the test, it’s simple enough to break down. First attributed to American cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985 via a character in her strip “Dykes to Watch Out For,” the Bechdel test originally had just three rules to determine whether or not a film (at the time, the test was only applied to the cinematic arts, though that’s changed over time) portrayed women in a diverse enough manner and didn’t possess a gender bias (which has often been interpreted as a test to see if a film has a feminist lean to it, though that was never its intent). Those rules are as such:  It has to have at least two women in it,  who talk to each other,  about something besides a man. The test now also regularly includes a fourth […]

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Kick-Ass 2

There have only been three adaptations of Mark Millar’s comic books thus far, but it’s impressive how faithful they’ve all been. Wanted drifts from the page a bit, but it still captures Millar’s often mean-spirited characters and worlds with reverence. Kick-Ass and Kick-Ass 2, while having their share of deviations as well, also hew closely to Millar’s intentions of showing a geeky teenager thrust into a violent world while wearing a goofy set of pajamas. There are violent consequences to Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) taking a crack at the life of a crime fighter, something few caped men face in modern superhero films even as whole city blocks are leveled. Both of the Kick-Ass films confront certain superhero tropes, but for Millar, it’s not done as satire. It springs from a far more genuine place. It’s also a bloody place, so when we spoke with the comic book creator, we got to talk about expanding expectations for a second outing and the danger of glorifying all the hits.

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Kick_Ass_2_13631944408678

Hit-Girl proves that she’d rather be dead than red in this new featurette from the creators of Kick-Ass 2, which goes behind the scenes of the teen superhero’s final battle with the imposing Mother Russia, Red Mist’s bodyguard. The (very NSFW) featurette chronicles the anatomy of a fight scene, which is particularly interesting when one opponent is a tiny sixteen-year-old girl, and the other is a 6’2” Russian bodybuilder. Hit-Girl (the charming Chloe Moretz) is under the common teenage delusion that she is unstoppable, even when faced with a daunting enemy like Mother Russia (newcomer and real-life bodybuilder Olga Kurkulina). Moretz speaks about this with a wisdom beyond her 16 years – her character doesn’t understand why the enemy won’t “ughh just die already.” All in all, it looks like it’s going to be a fun battle to witness on the big screen; Hit-Girl throws knives that Mother Russia simply pulls out of her arm like splinters. That’s pretty hardcore. But this seems like a climactic part of the movie, no? Maybe we could have kept this particular battle a secret for the time being. Check out the featurette after the break.

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the-worlds-end-new-movie-release-october-2013-1

This August has made for a tricky must-see guide to compile. If this were any other year, the honorable mentions alone would’ve made the final cut. There’s a lot of quality competition. As such, I’m both pleased and disappointed I couldn’t include Brie Larson’s performance in Short Term 12; a blood-drenched fun home-invasion movie, You’re Next; a new film from the director of Boy A; and more. Then again, having too many good movies on the horizon is a bit strange to complain about. Last month I called July the most promising month of this summer season, and I was wrong. I must’ve forgotten this loaded August, the fantastic lineup of major and specialty releases this month make it. If you were underwhelmed by this summer’s offerings, there’s more than a few here to make you feel more satisfied about this (extended) season.

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Mark Millar

A few years ago comic book writer Mark Millar was gearing up to helm his directorial debut, Miracle Park. The project saw plenty of coverage back in 2009, but since then, there has been little heard about it. The film was described as a dark superhero story about a pack of animal rights activists who break into a laboratory set in modern day Scotland. Most likely, those hippies ended up getting into some sort of a freak accident, turning them into superheroes.

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Kick-Ass 2

Didn’t make it into Hall H this afternoon to see the Universal Pictures presentation? Don’t worry about it. Not even in San Diego? Not even a problem. Universal has released this 4-minute extended NSFW Kick-Ass 2 trailer online, fresh off its Comic-Con debut. It features a much better look at the tone, the action and the personalities of the Jeff Wadlow-directed affair. It does a much better job off offering a tone closer to that of the Matthew Vaughan-directed predecessor and spouts off some choice language. One can’t help but think that it’s going to be a foul-mouthed affair, mostly considering the name of the film’s villain.

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jim_carrey_kick_ass_2_trailer

Opinions change. Yours, mine, Jim Carrey‘s… we’re all allowed to reassess our views when new information presents itself, but very few of us will see that new opinion cause anything resembling an uproar. Carrey’s stance on gun-control has been pretty clear for months now thanks in part to his musical Charlton Heston dig on Funny or Die and multiple tweets on the subject via his official Twitter. Some people have badgered him to denounce the supposed hypocrisy of his upcoming Kick-Ass 2 seeing as it features gratuitous violence both gun-related and otherwise, but while he refused to do so then it appears he may have had a change of heart. He took to Twitter earlier today with the following two thoughts.

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magicmike02

I don’t know the last time I watched the MTV Movie Awards. I think Howard Stern was there promoting his never-made Fartman movie. No, that was the 1992 MTV Music Awards. What about when the kids from Rushmore reenacted scenes from Armageddon, Out of Sight and The Truman Show? Actually, I might have only seen the parodies and not the actual show. Whenever it was, it’s been a long time. Because what self-respecting film lover watches such self-important, self-promoting, ratings-grabbing b.s.? Wait, that doesn’t sound all that different than the Oscars, and we pay lots of attention to those. The only difference is that the MTV Movie Awards don’t have a history or consistency or the sort of class that we like to think the Academy Awards do. They’re an easy punching bag because they seem to pander by catering to more mainstream, high-grossing, youth-driven entertainment. Also, they’re on MTV, which we always love to shoot down (can’t we just give up and acknowledge how ahead of their time they were by ceasing to be “music” television and having an acronym-based brand that no longer stands for anything… like every single channel now?). But I decided to glance at the nominees for tonight’s awards and I realized something: the MTV Movie Awards celebrate movies far better than the Oscars do.

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Kick Ass 2

After years of chatter and back and forth, Kick-Ass 2 is finally hitting screens later this summer, and Universal has unveiled a foul-mouthed (in the best way), bloody, and biting (no, truly biting, stick around for that one) red band trailer to show off their new sequel. What are we in for with this outing? Well, it’s clearly Hit-Girl’s (Chloe Grace Moretz) world, and we’re all just living in it (including Aaron Taylor-Johnson‘s eponymous Kick-Ass), even as Christopher Mintz-Plasse reveals his new persona as “The Motherfucker” and Jim Carrey stomps and chomps his way across the screen as Colonel Stars and Stripes. Put on your favorite superhero mask (don’t forget to align those eyeholes) and watch the new red band trailer for Kick-Ass 2 after the break.

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The Hobbit

Oh, look, it’s time for another Friday edition of Release Date Round-Up, packed to the metaphorical gills with release date changes, switcheroos, change-ups, and push-arounds for all sorts of big-time studio films. Like what, you may ask, what films, why now, why should I care? Well, do you care about the final installment in the never-ending saga that is The Hobbit? Are you anxious to know when you can see Wally Pfister‘s directorial debut? Dying to know which upcoming comic book adaptation is now going the (not totally unexpected) 3D route? Sure ya do. After the break, find out just how much your movie-going schedule is going to change in the coming months. Get ready to change those iCals, folks.

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Andy Nyman

Red Mist won’t be the only problem that our hero will have in Kick-Ass 2: Balls to the Wall. A character named “The Tumour” will be in the fray, a part of Red Mist’s gang of supervillains called — we kid you not — The Toxic Mega-Cunts. British actor Andy Nyman has joined the production for the role, getting himself linked up with Mark Millar’s most ridiculously named baddie boy band.

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The Dark Knight Rises Billboard

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly commitment. We want you to have a rundown of the best articles of the day. Newsworthy, opinionated or otherwise, we count down today’s best because we owe it to you, our beloved reader. We begin this evening with the coolest piece of Dark Knight Rises marketing that you’re likely to see, courtesy of the folks at /Film. Spotted at the intersection of Sunset and La Brea avenues in Hollywood, this billboard is not a graphic, but an actual billboard that appears to have exploded into the shape of the bat symbol. And here, we thought Christopher Nolan wasn’t down with 3D.

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Kick-Ass Hit Girl

No one can be blamed for not trusting comic writer Mark Millar when he announced Kick-Ass 2 happening, ad nauseum, from the day after Kick-Ass hit theaters. He was the boy who cried sequel, but lo and behold, it might actually happen. According to Deadline Glentondale, Chloe Moretz, Aaron Johnson and Christopher Mintz-Plasse are all in talks to join the project. This comes on the heels of director Matthew Vaughn potentially directing Max Barry’s “Lexicon.” The sequel will be directed by its writer, Jeff Wadlow (Cry_Wolf, Never Back Down). It’s doubtful that the movie will be filming by this summer, as Millar recently claimed, but it’s more than possible that it will move forward under the purview of Universal and give fans another chance to see Moretz beat the life out of a bunch of bad guys. Of course, if the insider giving Deadline the info is Mark Millar, another grain of salt might be necessary.

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There’s no director set. No cast. And Lionsgate wasn’t just thrilled about getting another Kick Ass out into the streets. Apparently none of that matters because comic creator Mark Millar is boasting a summer shooting schedule for a movie that has appeared dead since early last year. Of course, this comes after the last time Millar claimed Kick Ass 2: Balls to the Wall would be moving forward, and the time before that. In his latest interview with the Daily Record, Millar upped the ante by stating that the sequel to the Matthew Vaughn-directed ode to violence would start shooting this summer in addition to a film version of his comic “American Jesus.” A movie he first announced three years ago. He also claimed that he was responsible for Marvel’s success and the hype surrounding The Avengers, that he turns down tons of huge projects, and that he refuses to move to LA because he has major Hollywood players coming to him anyway. Seriously. The interview feature is a must-read simply for how bodacious it is. His newest sci-fi book will be the biggest franchise since Star Wars? This guy has brass bollocks. It’s a shame not even half the stuff he says publicly comes to pass.  

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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.20.2014
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published: 04.19.2014
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published: 04.19.2014
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