Redbox

Identity Thief Movie

Here’s a conundrum: A friend or relative complains about how terrible movies have gotten, but they will only go see bad movies. I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happened with Redbox‘s most popular rentals of 2013, but the annual list fascinates for two reasons. First, it highlights evidence that there might truly be a giant gap between the general audience and critics by displaying cinema at its most fast food basic. Second, it’s weird. This is a place where Django hangs out with a dominating Melissa McCarthy (to soon dethrone Adam Sandler?). Where a broken Denzel Washington is hip to hip with Brad Pitt fighting zombies. Where 2012′s longevity is genuinely proven.

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Hollywood

All this week, Film School Rejects presents a daily dose of our favorite articles from the archive. Originally published in September 2011, Ashe Cantrell pulls back the curtain on the Hollywood conspiracy machine… You may already be a film industry cynic. Maybe you think Hollywood is a barren wasteland, devoid of creativity and originality. Maybe you’re sick of seeing talented people get ignored and vapid hacks get splashed all over the trades. Maybe you’re tired of 3D everything and having to re-buy your movies every five to ten years. I’m not here to dissuade you of any of that. Hell no, I’m here to make it worse. Get ready, because this is some of the rottenest shit of which the film industry is capable. These are the things so terrible that Hollywood has to cover them up, lest God see their sin and smite them accordingly (and keep various government entities and lawyers off their backs, of course). If you still had any kind thoughts toward Hollywood, I suggest you prepare yourself for crushing disappointment. But first, I’d like to give a very huge shout out and thank you to writers C. Coville and Maxwell Yezpitelok for their help on this article. You guys are great! And now back to the shit storm, already in progress:

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Just Go With It

Redbox is celebrating its tenth anniversary as the most convenient way to rent a movie on the way home from buying cough drops, and as part of that joyous recognition, they’ve released the names of the Top Ten Redbox Rentals of the past ten years. A few things jump out immediately from the infographic (which you can check out below). Namely, Adam Sandler. The star dominates Redboxing. Not only is Just Go With It the #1 movie on the list, there are three other movies which feature Sandler’s handiwork (Grown Ups, Jack and Jill and Zookeeper ) hanging around in prominent positions. To put it another way, Sandler owns 40% of the real estate here. What’s even more striking is the relative newness of all the movies at the top. The oldest is from 2009, meaning Redbox has been renting for ten years, but has exploded in growth over the past three. So what else made the cut?

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On the eve of the Berlinale, Swedish director Daniel Espinosa joins us to talk about waterboarding Denzel Washington and the mind games of Safe House. Plus, we look forward to a few films to catch in Berlin, and it’s Matt Singer versus Alison Willmore in a Filmspotting: SVU showdown of Movie News Quizzing. Download This Episode

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Redbox kiosks have their good points and their bad points. On the one hand, you can’t beat renting newish home video releases for just a buck a night. That price beats any of the brick and mortar video stores and any of the VOD services that are baked into people’s home electronics. But, on the other hand, I kind of see them as the multiplex of the home video industry. By putting brick and mortar video stores out of business while offering a much more limited selection, they’re just reinforcing the idea in the moviegoing public’s mind that there are only two or three huge movies out that are worth paying attention to at any given time, indie and art films be damned. Still, you can’t beat that price, so Redbox’s parent company Coinstar has seen profits grow and their stock prices soar over the past couple of years. And now that things have gone so well, Coinstar is looking to capitalize on that success by making moves to take over the entire home video landscape. Dueling reports on Redbox activity have hit the financial world today, and both could have big impacts on the future of how we watch movies at home.

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Boiling Point

I’ve got a bit of an obsessive compulsive issue when it comes to DVDs and Blu-rays. I’m one of those suckers who will get caught every so often in a double-dip if I’m not paying attention. If I am being observant, I’m the guy who waits four extra months to get a disc with some special features attached. I really dug Transformers 3 and wanted to watch it again, but I’ll be damned if I was going to buy a disc with no extras on it! The issue that has my panties all aflame this week is all about special features and the lack thereof. Oh, most discs today come with some special features on them, but the “featurette” has become the bane of my existence. It used to just be what they called small extras on the disc, but now they’ve really emphasized the -ette, meaning mini, small, or useless.

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Noomi Rapace in Prometheus

What is Movie News After Dark? It is all about movie news, it happens nightly, and you should never, ever go to bed without it. Should you happen to do so, we’re most likely going to send someone out to teach you a lesson. And you don’t want to learn any hard lessons now, do you? We didn’t think so. We begin tonight with an image that is sweeping the internet. With a little lightening, this new image of Noomi Rapace in Prometheus reveals a pair of Space Jockeys in the background. It’s hard to tell from this angle, but they look rather large and intimidating. It goes along with a quote writer/producer Damon Lindelof gave to Hero Complex: “The movie is definitely epic in its scope. One of the filmmakers that we ended up talking about to a fair degree of redundancy was David Lean, who directed ‘Lawrence of Arabia.’ We wanted to make the movie feel big by having the characters be small in big spaces. That connected to the larger themes we were talking about — that we’re all just these little gnats crawling around on our little planet.”

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If you’re the type of old school movie fan that simply must browse a shelf before deciding what you’re going to curl up and watch for the evening, then life just got a whole lot more affordable; as long as there’s still a Blockbuster open in your area. In an effort to lure customers away from the cheaper options of Netflix and Redbox, Blockbuster is set to begin offering thousands of their titles for only 99 cents a day, and is lowering prices on new release films as well. And under a new promotion, if you rent one movie priced at $2.99 a day, you will also be able to take home a film of a lesser price for free until July 4. Putting older films at 99 cents a piece will put many of Blockbuster’s prices right in line with heated rival Redbox. Renting new releases for $2.99 still makes Blockbuster the more expensive option on the most sought after films, though. Blockbuster is still relying on exclusive deals that get them new video releases several weeks before the kiosk and mailing services to hold onto a chunk of that audience, but I just don’t know how many people aren’t willing to wait another couple weeks to get the movie cheaper. Especially in today’s entertainment climate where there are a million other things they can just go watch instead. Blockbuster president Michael Kelly said this about their new initiative, “Our customers are seeking a better value, we’ve answered with […]

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Less than a week ago we reported that video kiosk king Redbox would be getting into the streaming video game in order to present a challenge to the ruler of that realm Netflix. However, it was shrugged off as not much of a threat due to their plan of charging for individual movies not being as enticing as Netflix’s unlimited streaming, once a month subscription fee. Well a new challenger has entered the battlefield, and this one looks like it could be more formidable. Today Amazon announced on their homepage that they would begin unlimited streaming of their online collection of movies to Amazon Prime members. What is an Amazon Prime member? It is a $79 dollar a year club that, to this point, got you unlimited free 2 day shipping on Amazon orders. Add to that perk unlimited streaming of movies and you might have something people want to sign up for. $79 dollars a year divided by 12 months in a year comes out to about $6.59 a month. That’s well over a dollar a month cheaper than Netflix’s current unlimited streaming plan of $7.99 a month. Will the savings be enough to get people to switch? The answer to who will reign supreme in the streaming video war will probably come down to who can maintain the largest catalogue of available content. Amazon is off to a good start with 5,000 movies and TV shows available. Their list of titles can be perused: here Which way will […]

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Perhaps the final step in the humiliation of the once monolithic Blockbuster Inc. has been taken. First it was plummeting revenue, then it was filing for bankruptcy, and now the entire company is up for auction. The company’s top four creditors have joined forces to create a limited liability company that has set the initial bid at $290 million. Either another interested party will swoop in and bid more, or if no other bids are placed ownership of the company will go into the hands of its creditors. I think somebody rich should scoop up this and MySpace and start a pop culture museum. Blockbuster was once an unstoppable giant whose franchises swept across the country putting mom and pop video stores out of business left and right by offering a larger selection of new releases, pricing them at a lower point due to the volume they worked in, and streamlining the once arduous rental process with computerized records keeping. Gone were the fragmented, independently owned shops that were often unorganized treasure troves of VHS discoveries. In their place were walls of new releases: hundreds of copies of a small handful of films. Everyone watching the same thing, everyone developing the same limited set of expectations. In my eyes Blockbuster did quite a bit to homogenize the film industry. They put focus entirely on what was new rather than on discovering film history, they supplied far more pan and scan films in lieu of stocking movies with their original aspect […]

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What is Movie News After Dark? This is a question that I am almost never asked, but I will answer it for you anyway. Movie News After Dark is FSR’s newest late-night secretion, a column dedicated to all of the news stories that slip past our daytime editorial staff and make it into my curiously chubby RSS ‘flagged’ box. It will (but is not guaranteed to) include relevant movie news, links to insightful commentary and other film-related shenanigans. I may also throw in a link to something TV-related here or there. It will also serve as my place of record for being both charming and sharp-witted, but most likely I will be neither of the two. I write this stuff late at night, what do you expect?

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