Maggie Smith

Your parents probably don’t want to go to The Avengers this weekend (and that’s okay!) but audiences can do far worse for themselves than to take a quick cinematic trip to John Madden‘s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. While a film about a pack of retired Brits heading off to live in a swank retirement resort in India that, surprise!, turns out to be a rundown old hotel might sound like the most boring and narrowly appealing film of the year, Madden’s film is actually consistently delightful and charming, with enough characters and plot points to engage just about any viewer. Running just over two hours, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is able to tackle issues big (homophobia, arranged marriage) and small (there are too many flies in my rundown retirement hotel room!), and despite a few moments that feel far too obvious, Madden and his cast have crafted a lovely film with unexpected mass appeal.

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Editor’s Note: This article will be updated in real time as the winners come in during the Primetime Emmys broadcast. Winners will be highlighted in bold and you can check out the winners that were already announced at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The very first Emmy Award was given to a ventriloquist named Shirley Dinsdale who worked with a puppet called Judy Splinters. Is that significant? Of course it is. That fact coupled with the design of the award itself – a woman holding an atom – represent the true heart of television’s most significant celebration: artistic inspiration, scientific technology, and wooden humanoids that only talk with a hand shoved up their back. Ponder that while you bask in the glory of the victorious. Here are the winners of the 2011 Primetime Emmy Awards.

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If you’re looking to take the geriatrics in your life out on a hot movie date, have we got a film for you! John Madden’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel! It’s about old British people who move to India because it’s cheap! Fun, right? You know how the title’s syntax is just a smidge off? That’s probably how the cultural minglings (manglings?) of the film will pan out, too – just a little off and just a tad incorrect. The film stars a murderer’s row of prime British talent, including Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, and Tom Wilkinson. Playing a pack of retirees looking for a cheap place to kick it (you know, until they die), the group sets off for distant India (exotic! and best! now with more marigolds!) to a rehabbed hotel that’s been marketed as a swank retirement home that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. Of course, said hotel isn’t quite up to snuff. Adventures will be had, lessons will be learned, something about saris and curry, and so on and so forth. Grab some prunes and check out the first trailer for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel after the break.

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Here’s a fun fact: Prior to 2001′s releases of Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone, fantasy movies were frequently silly, low-budget shlockfests that actors only wanted to make so they could eat something other than whatever they scraped from under their fridge for another month. (For the record, I am told that this lifestyle — I like to call it Underfridging — is good for bolstering your immune system. On the other hand, high potential for scurvy. Your call.) And since the Harry Potter series has spanned eight films and employed every single actor in Britain at least once (twice in the case of Warwick Davis), you know there’s a treasure trove of painfully cheesy fantasy movies lurking in their collective resumes. Let’s take a look at some of them!

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr spent the night in jail after trying to sneak in and see Justin Bieber: Never Say Never 3D. The cops didn’t believe him that he was trying to watch the latest remake of Thunderball. Sadly, they just saw a pervy looking fat guy squealing and crying with a group of thirteen year old girls. Fortunately, he had a chance to catch the other movies of the week, including Gnomeo and Juliet, Just Go With It and The Eagle. He also gives a little bit of love (what’s left of it anyway after spending the night in lock-up) to the Oscar-Nominated Shorts.

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr dives into Spring Break at Lake Victoria, or at least that’s how it felt in 3D. He examined how similar Piranha 3D is to Eat Pray Love because piranhas eat their prey and all the bare boobies can inspire such self love. Then Kevin is chided by an ugly Emma Thompson for misbehaving, and suddenly she becomes a hottie. Finally, Kevin tries to determine whether vampires suck or if it’s just Vampires Suck that sucks.

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HalfBloodPrinceReview

We’ve seen the evolution of this series from children’s films to beautiful pieces of cinematic art. Half-Blood Prince is the next step in the elevation and evolution of that art. Yates, the cast and the crew have done something fantastic.

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