Milk

review no

Editor’s Note: This review originally ran during the 2012 NYFF, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. The revolution will not only be televised, it will have commercials. At least that’s how it happens in No, Pablo Larraín’s new chronicle of the last days of Augusto Pinochet’s rule in Chile. It is the story of a military dictatorship that fell to an ad campaign, a cheerful one at that. This causes contradictions. On the one hand, the film emphasizes the joy of mass political action. Liberation is exciting, and people get excited about it when they are shown a brighter future. However, advertising is also the great commercial and consumerist art form, here being used as a tool by socialist and other left-wing opponents of the regime. On paper this seems extremely counter-intuitive, and No doesn’t lose sight of these tensions. To turn this whirlwind of politics and confusion into a human story, Larraín builds his film around a single young man caught at the very center of the drama. René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) is an up-and-comer in the world of advertising, making a name for himself in a particularly important firm. Yet he suddenly finds himself faced with a life-changing decision. It is 1988, and due to international pressure on the Pinochet regime Chile is going to have a national plebiscite regarding the dictatorship. It would be the first free election in almost two decades. It was a simple proposition: “Yes” to keep […]

read more...

IntroBioPic

Biopics are always praised for their lead actor or actress’ realistic or unique portrayal of the subject, but what of the supporting cast? Sure, we do recognize their efforts, they might even receive an Academy Award, but rarely are they honored with something as prestigious as an online comedy list. It’s time to rectify that. Here are some of the more talented, memorable, or uncanny portrayals of people who were important enough to be featured in a movie, but not important enough for that movie to be about them.

read more...

Promised Land

Promised Land has been met with a few Frank Capra comparisons, clearly establishing it as one of director Gus Van Sant‘s more easily digestible and accessible pictures. The filmmaker has never been afraid to test an audience’s patience or make them feel truly uncomfortable, but the new Matt Damon- and John Krasinski-penned movie isn’t one of those pictures. If anything, Promised Land, the story of a man trying to convince a small town to turn towards big business fracking, fits in quite neatly with Van Sant’s other, softer pictures: Milk, Good Will Hunting, and Finding Forrester. Those are his audience-friendly movies, the kind you’d pick watching with your grandma over, say, To Die For or Elephant. Speaking with the highly acclaimed Van Sant, we discussed his relationship with his audience, the process of test screening, and the investigations his characters tend to go on:

read more...

Matt Damon in Elysium

While discussing his new film Promised Land and how boring he is, Matt Damon told Playboy (don’t click if you dislike looking at a lot of butts) about the experience of filming in a massive trash dump for Elysium and got humble about the roles he missed out on. “Having to say no to Avatar was tough because I particularly wanted to work with James Cameron, and still do, because he’s fantastic,” Damon said. “He knew he was the star of that movie and that everyone was going to go see it anyway. When he said, ‘Look, I’m offering it to you, but if you say no, the movie doesn’t need you,’ I remember thinking, Oh God, not only do I have to say no because of scheduling, but he’s going to make a star out of some guy who’s going to start taking jobs from me later.” Damon also talked about missing out on Milk and Brokeback Mountain, but ultimately concluding that Josh Brolin and Heath Ledger were the right actors for the parts because of how stellar they portrayed their respective characters.

read more...

Culture Warrior

Warning: This post contains spoilers about J. Edgar. For the past few years, I haven’t been much of a fan of Clint Eastwood’s work. While he no doubt possesses storytelling skills as a director and certainly maintains an incredible presence as a movie star, I’ve found that critics who constantly praise his work often overlook its general lack of finesse, tired and sometimes visionless formal approach, and habitual ham-fistedness. When watching Eastwood’s work, I get the impression, supported by stories of his uniquely economic method of filmmaking, that he thinks of himself as something of a Woody Allen for the prestige studio drama, able to get difficult stories right in one take. The end product, for me, says otherwise. While I was a fan of the strong but still imperfect Mystic River (2003) and Letters From Iwo Jima (2006), the moment that I stopped trusting Eastwood came around the time the song “Colorblind” appeared in Invictus two years ago, throwing any prospect of nuance and panache out the window. Eastwood, despite having helmed several notable cinematic successes, has recently been coasting on a reputation that doesn’t match the work. He is, in short, proof of the auteur problem: that we as critics forgive from him transgressions that would never be deemed acceptable with a “lesser” director. As you can likely tell, my expectations were to the ground in seeking out the critically-divided J. Edgar. I was prepared, in entering the theater to watch Eastwood’s newest, to write an article about […]

read more...

Culture Warrior

With the release of Pixar’s Up, last year saw a great deal of conversation surrounding the ghettoization of animated movies at major awards shows. This debate resulted in something of a minor, qualified victory for animated cinema of 2009, as Up was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture since Beauty and the Beast, but then again it sat amongst a crowded bevy of nine fellow nominations, and animated films remain unthreatening to their live action competitors because of the separate-but-unequal Best Animated Feature Category. I’d like to take this space to advocate for the big-category acceptance of yet another marginalized and underappreciated category around awards time: non-fiction films.

read more...

cultwarrior_decadeinreview

This week’s Culture Warrior gives an exhaustive review of the decade that you won’t find anywhere else on the Interwebs.

read more...

culturewarrior-amelia

The successful biopic is something that takes a truly masterful hand to accomplish, but not many movies do it well. This week’s Culture Warrior asks why.

read more...

ChristophWaltz

After impressing audiences around the world in Inglourious Basterds, it looks like Waltz will be exhausting his English for The Green Hornet.

read more...

Not pictured: Heath Ledger

Arriving with the loud crash of silence, the MTV Movie Awards seem to have been taken over by the Disney Corporation this year. Most of the awards seem fair, but Best High School Musical Movie seems to be a loaded category. Complete winners inside!

read more...

bdreport-rolemodels

Another week, another fine selection here at the now-teetering-on-monthly Blu-ray Report. This week we get hit with some Role Models, some old school Batman, a gay rights activist and Cartman, all in HD.

read more...

DVDs I Bought This Week!

Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

read more...

culturewarrior-seanpenn

First of all I need to preface this post by saying that I don’t believe the Oscars matter in the least. Sure, they’re fun to vote on, discuss, and are (apparently) a great excuse to party on a boat, but, ultimately, whoever takes home the gold at the end of the night only matters to those who actually attended the ceremony.

read more...

milk-2

The lovely folks over at Focus Features are really excited about their film Milk being nominated for 8 Academy Awards. Who wouldn’t be, right? And to celebrate all of their nominations, including Sean Penn’s Best Actor nod and one for Best Picture, they have put together two brand new featurettes.

read more...

Brolin Responds to Nomination

We’ve heard your reactions to the Oscar nominations, now here what some of the nominees have to say.

read more...

pga_header

Fans of The Dark Knight were pleased to find out that The Producers Guild of America (PGA) nominated it as one of the five best films of the year, right alongside Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Milk.

read more...

No one likes a sell out. But selling out goes both ways. This time of year, directors sell out in a different way. I’m talking about all the major mainstream Hollywood directors who “sell out” to do the award film released at the end of the year.

read more...

awdsmustsee-header

Are you an awards season junkie? Do you love to be able to sit there and look smart in front of your friends and family, most of whom only make it out to the movies once a year to see the latest Jim Carrey comedy, by being able to talk endlessly about all of the “important” movies of the year? If so, consider this your awards season to-do list.Fr

read more...

The big news of the hour is that The Day the Earth Stood Still made $31 million at the box office over the weekend. That’s a first-place finish all right, but well below what a lot of people thought it would make.

read more...

LAFCA Logo

Yesterday the Los Angeles Film Critics Association announced their 2008 awards, recognizing Pixar’s WALL-E as best picture.

read more...
NEXT PAGE  
Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
SXSW 2014
Game of Thrones reviews
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3