Piranha 3D

Piranha 3D

Four years ago Piranha 3D made an appearance at Comic Con. At the time, people weren’t expecting much from the movie. Director Alexandre Aja was just coming off the disastrously bad Mirrors and his remake of the Joe Dante film didn’t exactly look promising. In the end, Piranha 3D turned out to be a delightful surprise. It was funny, self-aware, and everything Piranha 3D should be. The sequel, however, was not. Two years after the first movie Piranha 3DD scored a 13% on Rotten Tomatoes and only grossed $8m worldwide. Now compare those numbers to the first movie’s 73% on Rotten Tomatoes and $83m global box-office take. The drop in quality is rather apparent. Maybe that wouldn’t have been the case if Aja got to make the sequel he envisioned.

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Finally, a day that I’ve been waiting quite a while for has come. There’s word on what director Alexandre Aja’s next horror project is going to be. If you don’t know Aja, he’s the guy responsible for the incredibly gross The Hills Have Eyes remake that came out a couple of years ago as well as the ridiculously fun Piranha remake that hit last year. He’s pretty much the only director currently working in the horror genre that keeps turning my non-horror guy head, so I’m super excited to hear that he’s got something else in the works. What’s on the docket this time? A movie called Horns that is an adapted screenplay Scott Bunin wrote from a novel by Joe Hill. Though he probably gets annoyed that people keep bringing this up, it’s pretty much unavoidable, so I’ll say it anyway: Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son, so the horror is strong in this one.

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Boiling Point

No matter what I say below, know this: I will see Shark Night 3D. There are no press screenings, no DVDs mailed to my home. I will head out to a theater to watch it because I love sharks and I love watching people get eaten by them. So to be extra clear: I haven’t seen the film yet. No one has. But still, I’m going to bitch about it, because that’s how I roll. Why? Well, because it’s easy to get mad at this film. It’s rated PG-13. I mean, if there ever was a title for a hard R-rating, it’s Shark Night 3D. After all, Piranha 3D, which was probably instrumental in green lighting this late entry to Shark Week, was well received because of its gore. Its nudity. Its generally over the top nature. Without Jerry O’Connell getting his dick bit off and two hot, naked women swimming for six minutes, that film is a pile of crap. The blood makes it – and the PG-13 rating for Shark Night might break it.

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This Week in Blu-ray

In this edition of This Week in Blu-ray, we’re going travelin’. We will take a trip to Mars, where a resourceful astronaut has been stranded and must breath with the aid of yellow rocks. We will head out west, where the story for Avatar was birthed by Kevin Costner. We will head back in time, when things were simple and Facebook didn’t rule our lives. And we will travel to a miscellaneous Spring Break destination, where a bunch of agitated pre-historic Characiformes are waiting to take a bite out of our favorite porn stars’ silicon implants. And Jerry O’Connell’s junk. Of course this will all make sense, as long as you hit ‘read more’ below and check out this week’s Blu-ray slate.

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There are two reasons why looking at the best movie posters is fascinating. The first is the inherent interest that all advertising brings. It’s art that’s meant to sell something that can’t admit it’s trying to sell anything in order to succeed. The second is that rating the best of the best in the poster world has the most potential to showcase films that never end up on lists this time of year. This is a celebration of the beauty and effect that movie posters can have. It’s for the films released in 2010, and it’s the posters from the studios (or else Tyler Stout and Olly Moss would completely dominate). The awards are broken up into five categories in order to recognize the wide array of styles and concepts, and because there were a lot of great posters this year (among the absolutely terrible photoshop jobs that still haunt us). See if your favorite made the cut.

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Being a heavy horror fan is a tough gig. Most producers look at horror as a quick buck genre, a franchise to be used, abused, ridden hard and put up wet to make a profit. They don’t really care too much about putting out quality product, instead they just opt for product. Or at least that’s how it seems. 2010, to me at least, felt like one of the weakest years on record for horror. I thought last year was bad, but then the past 350 some odd days happened. I’m pretty confident I could say that this is the worst year for horror since the birth of Film School Rejects. It felt that bad. Regardless of my own disappointment in the movies this year, and in myself for missing a few releases, I scrapped the bottom of the barrel barren and plucked out ten (plus one!) [that means 11] horror movies that aren’t complete wastes of your time. Then again, you might just be better off buying all the Roger Corman Cult Classics for sale from Shout! Factory.

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Culture Warrior

For better or worse, this summer of movies is over, and now we’re in the early-Fall transition into the inevitable season of so-called “serious” awards-friendly films, films that supposedly say a lot about human nature and our time and place as a culture. However, I’ve always contended that it is often the films that seemingly exist only for “entertainment’s sake” that have the most to say about culture, mainly because they operate in such a way that allows us to turn our minds off, passively consume them, and therefore go along unquestionably with the socio-political presumptions explicitly or implicitly embedded within their narratives. Such films that purport to exist solely for entertainment value often end up telling us a lot about how and what we think about the present, and it just so happens that these types of films are most often relegated to the summer months. Summer movies in 2010 ranged from highbrow to lowbrow, blockbuster to indie to sleeper, with head-scratchers and brain-cell-killers alike, but many of these films, intentionally or not, had something to say or assume about the present cultural moment.

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Coroner

A couple of times each year I like to take a moment to just look at how horror is coming along in the year. Take a look back and what we’ve seen this year so far and gaze into the future of what’s still to come. Thus far, 2010 has been fairly underwhelming overall, and the horror scene has been no different on the big screen. We got, as usual, a bunch of remakes – at least four theatrical so far come to mind – and very few standouts. Perhaps the biggest news of the year in terms of horror was the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street being critically panned by everyone except me, but performing well enough to merit sequel considerations. On DVD, Roger Corman has been thrust back into the spotlight with Shout! Factory’s re-releasing of his massive library.

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If you don’t know what type of film Piranha 3D is simply based on the title, there’s no helping you. It’s solely interested in over-the-top fun. The kills Alexandre Aja puts on-screen makes its R-rating mind boggling. Aja doesn’t pull his punches (similar to his previous films), but here the difference is Aja going more for pure fun rather than bleak horror. Aja knows exactly what type of film he made. He was interested from the beginning in telling a comedic horror satire in the vein of the films he grew up on as a teen. Aja labels it as a “guilty pleasure” film, which many will agree with, but it’s something I question him on since one shouldn’t feel at all guilty for enjoying the epic bloodbath Aja has released. Here’s what Alexandre Aja had to say. Beware a few spoilers.

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Because audiences demand more boobs, blood, and biting of nether regions on screen, Dimension is answering the call and riding the wave of self-proclaimed success by announcing Piranha 3D 2. Producer Mark Canton excitedly proclaimed in the press release that he couldn’t “wait to get to work on the sequel.” It’s unclear right now whether Alexandre Aja will return as director, but whoever gets the job will hopefully be a newcomer that will, according to the film’s history, become the next James Cameron.

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, Brian Salisbury returns to the program alongside Scott Weinberg for an all-out, guns-blazing exploration of B Movies that you should have in your rental queue. Plus, Weinberg does his best Rocky impression, does his best Australian accent, and Salisbury does the entire show wearing a Spider-Man costume. Double plus, we find the time to review Piranha 3D. In 3D!

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Boiling Point

How sweet of a movie title is that? Like, that’s up there with Mom and Dad Save the World. And it would be at least 1.25 times as good and feature 27% less Jon Lovitz. But this is not about vaporizing hand grenades or facial hair (well, maybe a little bit on mustaches if I’m feeling it). This is about 3D and its current state in the industry. There is much hate in the heart of critics for 3D. Many decree it to be a fad, and a terrible one at that, a gimmick that will only spiral out of control until the format is killed again. I don’t count myself amongst their ranks though. No, I think 3D is a legitimate tool in the arsenal of the filmmakers of today and tomorrow. Like many things, though, Hollywood seems all too willing to ride this horse into the ground, smiling and waving while 3D stumbles to its death.

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The Week That Was

Around here, we don’t ask much of you, dear reader. However, we do ask that you are honest with yourself. And if you’re honest with yourself this week, you’ll probably note that you’ve (sadly) missed a lot of wonderful articles that our crack staff of writers have put together. I know I have. So it’s time to catch up, to get tuned in, and get your fill of all the wonderful editorials, reviews and (when we feel like it) movie news that you missed. It’s also time for the return of my own weekly endeavor, The Week That Was. The column that talks about the week… that was. Get it? I look back over the last seven days and select for you the highlights. Just in case you were busy waging a maritime war against bloodthirsty prehistoric fish, or something of the like.

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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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Swarming into theaters this weekend, Piranha 3D looks poised to chomp through the competition and make a mouthful of money. In a summer that has been lacking in the fun department, this flashy remake looks to turn the ridiculous level to eleven, the boobie-meter to overdrive, and the kill count to 87. In many ways, Piranha 3D achieved exactly what it set out to do: make an R-Rated horror movie full of blood and boobs. While many, including our own Neil Miller, have found something to love in the movie, I found myself strangely disappointed. When a film gives you everything it promised, what can you hold against it? Well, a weak story and a complete lack of resolution.

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The Reject Report

Thank God for Piranha 3-D. The closest we had come to the realization of this collective love had been sitting around Rejects HQ throwing Captain D’s clam strips at each other’s faces, and that Cole Abaius has a wicked throwing arm when it comes to hush puppies (Editor’s note: that never happened). Getting back to the movies, though, five new releases hit wide this weekend, and any one of them has the potential to be #1. Not that they are all surefire winners. The lot of them are actually the sort of offerings you would find in these dog days of Summer, that ditch between the highway of the Summer season and the corn fields of Fall and Winter. Even The Expendables has the potential to come out on top for a second weekend in a row, but, to do so, it has to contend with a whole slew of competitors.

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After the stuffier critics bash Piranha 3D for its attempts, it’s inevitable that at least one internet commenter (who also happens to be “the funniest guy in his group of friends”) will use the time-honored phrase that all connoisseurs of fine film use to defend fun movies: It’s not like it’s trying to win an Oscar or anything. Unfortunately for this particular movie, that argument will be incorrect. The stars of the film have taken to an early campaign for the film and make some incredibly strong points. I haven’t seen the movie, but I have to assume that any film where Ving Rhames rips a motor off a boat and wields it as a weapon should at least get some of Your Consideration. Also, bringing up Ghost‘s nomination is inspired. Check out the Oscar pitch in this Funny or Die video:

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In a three-way, melee attack of awesome that will leave you wondering how we removed your heart from your chest without breaking the skin, FSR is gearing up to head to sunny San Diego in order to stay indoors all weekend. Interviewer extraordinaire Jack Giroux, Robert “Fists of” Fure and I will be sharing the experience with you from Wednesday night through a hungover Sunday morning. Pack your bags, dear reader, because you’ll be coming along for the ride. Just don’t believe Fure when he tells you he’s a commercial airline pilot.

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Summer Movies 2010

It’s that time again. Every year, Film School Rejects is looked to by readers the world over to be the guiding light for summer movie-going. What can we say? We just have a knack for it. And this summer, we’re excited…

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This might be the coolest thing we write about all day. I’m willing to make that prediction, despite the fact that it’s still early. The first teaser for Piranha 3D has hit the web, and it promises to take you somewhere that 3D has never gone before.

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