Portlandia

Scream Factory

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. The Legend of Hell House The Belasco House had seen its fair share of tragedy and carnality even before the man who had it built disappeared, but the years since have seen a continuation of death and terror. It’s known as Hell House, the Mt. Everest of haunted houses, and now a team consisting of a scientist, his wife and two mediums is going in to prove once and for all whether or not ghosts and the afterlife exist. Two of them are going to find out first hand before the week is out. Richard Matheson’s novel (Hell House) was adapted to the screen way back in ’73, but it remains one of the best haunted house flicks out there. There are legitimate chills throughout, some PG-rated sexiness and a wonderfully intense performance from Roddy McDowall too. Even better, at least for someone like myself who favors grounded explanations, the script gives nods to both the supernatural and the scientific. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: interviews, trailer]

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discs robot chicken dc

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Robot Chicken: DC Comics Special Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken crew set their sites on the world of DC Comics with this special episode, and the results are predictably quite funny. The usual voice talent culprits are along for the fun including show co-creator Seth Green and Breckin Meyer, and they’re joined by the likes of Neil Patrick Harris, Megan Fox, Nathan Fillion and others. Aquaman is an easy and obvious target, but the episode finds some fresh angles on his well justified inferiority complex. If there’s a downside it’s that the show is done in conjunction with DC Comics meaning that they can’t be as mean as they may want to be, but there are still plenty of inappropriate actions and dialogue exchanges within. The episode itself is only 22 minutes long, but the Blu-ray is filled with special features to keep the funny coming for a couple extra hours. [Blu-ray extras: Outtakes, Q&A, commentary, featurette, making of, deleted animatics]

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Welcome back to This Week In Discs! I’m at Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Damsels In Distress A newcomer at Seven Oaks College is guided through her year by a trio of erudite girls determined show her the light of socializing, reason and dating beneath her station. It’s to defend your love Greta Gerwig when she seems to end up in fairly shitty movies more often than not, but the odds favored her starring in a true winner eventually. That time has come thanks to Whit Stillman’s smart, funny and somewhat satirical look at modern day college life. Gerwig plays the trio’s leader and the one who most believes their own brand of bull, and it’s a joy to watch her play with such loose and casually humorous dialogue. Adam Brody has a small role, but it’s enough to remind us all that he should be headlining more comedies. Also available on DVD. Check out Kate Erbland’s full review. [Extras: Commentary, featurettes, deleted scenes, outtakes]

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Channel Guide - Large

During a panel about the state of the Battlestar Galactica franchise at this year’s WonderCon, Michael Taylor, the co-creator of Blood and Chrome—a Battlestar prequel that you may remember was green-lighted by SyFy back in 2010—screened a trailer for the two-hour pilot. This latest extension of the Battlestar universe revolves around 20-something William Adama, a recent Academy graduate. The images Taylor culled together and presented to the WonderCon audience were exciting—set in space and filled with Viper pilots, the look of it is much more in line with the original (reimagined) series than Caprica—if a bit depressing, since the show’s future is still uncertain. Last anyone heard, SyFy’s enthusiasm for the project was waning and as a result, they were thinking of maybe, possibly, one day breaking the pilot up into pieces and delivering it to us as an online series instead of airing it in its entirety on TV. As much as I’d like to eventually see Blood & Chrome in one form or another, I understand SyFy’s ambivalence. Caprica really did kill the franchise’s momentum.

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Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

What is Movie News After Dark? If you have to ask, then maybe it’s not for you. We begin this evening with a shot of Noomi Rapace in Prometheus. The former Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is going interstellar for director Ridley Scott, whose return to big sci-fi has made my own 5 most anticipated of 2012 short list when I delivered such picks on this week’s Reject Radio. It seems a fitting start to the final News After Dark of the week.

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Jemaine in Men in Black 3

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column born exactly one year ago today. And it’s very happy to still be around and well on its way to taking over the planet. It is convinced that it will have a very productive 2012 in that area, especially once humanity’s reign of terror ends later this year. In the mean time, it would like to thank you all for reading. Now enough of that mushy stuff, lets do the news. We begin this evening with an image of biker Jemaine Clement in Men in Black III. He’s playing an alien biker who turns out to be the villain in this time-traveling storyline…. And we wonder why that movie has had so many production problems? Either way, I’ll watch Jemaine Clement eat soap if I have to, as that guy is quite funny.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column currently perpetrating a home invasion on yo’ behind. It’s going to tie you up and make you watch while it plays video games in your living room. Also, it will tell you the news… We begin with my favorite thing of the night, the Halloween special episode of Community, “Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps,” yet another brilliant display of the playful and unfathomably intelligent writing behind this show. Something broken down quite nicely in Todd VanDerWerff’s review at The AV Club. And for those of us with simpler tastes, there’s a Community BINGO drinking game now. Coming soon to Reject HQ…

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Culture Warrior

Hipster is a term that is difficult to define, mainly because its definition has changed so much over time. The term (arguably) first entered mass culture with the publication of Norman Mailer’s 1957 essay, “The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster,” which recounts the rise of the jazz-age hipster from the 1920s-40s and its later manifestation in Beat culture. In this controversial piece, Mailer states, “You can’t interview a hipster because his main goal is to get out of a society which, he thinks, is trying to make everyone over in its own image.” Thus from the very outset early in the twentieth century, the hipster remains elusive in terms of providing a self-definition. The hipster thus became defined instead by those observing from the outside. To self-identify as a hipster in early-mid twentieth century subcultures was to, in effect, not be a hipster at all. Thus, the very definition of a hipster, if we can even call it that, becomes a self-contradicting Catch-22. In the age of jazz and the Beats, hipsterism was a means of deliberately constructed self-identification within an authentic counterculture (though such identification remained purposefully vague to those outside that culture). 20th century subcultures and countercultures have continually defined themselves through association with a certain brand of decidedly non-mainstream music. While the term “hipster” has moved in and out of use, the notion behind it has remained through each decade with each major shift in countercultural expression, from psychadelia to punk to goth to grunge […]

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