United Artists

Ashe never got to see a ton of modern classics from his youth, so we’re making him watch them all as a nostalgia-less adult. Check out the inaugural article for more info. To be fair, I have seen a Rocky movie, just not the original. I, like many human adults, have seen Rocky IV, because I’m pretty sure it was part of the school curriculum back during the Cold War. In it, Rocky’s already a beloved hero, he and Apollo are friends, Adrian is his devoted wife, and Paulie is… Paulie. Rocky trains hard and beats Russia and wins their filthy communist love. It’s not exactly high cinema, but it was a staple of 80’s film.


Macon Blair in 'Blue Ruin'

From the very start, the thesis of this monthly column has been that there’s plenty of great stuff always being added to Netflix, if you just dig for it a little. While we still stand by that statement, it’s also true that the last few weeks worth of new additions have felt a little light—not quite up to the standards of recent months. N ot to worry though, as we’ve still been able to sort through the rubble and find 16 good movies to stream that all range from being worth your time to downright exceptional, so we should all be able to survive until the next big title dump. As always, click on the movie’s title to be taken to its Netflix page. Pick of the Month: Blue Ruin (2013) Most revenge movies are escapist stories that deal in a black and white, eye for an eye morality and feature over-the-top protagonists who go to extreme lengths in order to avenge wrongs that have been done to them. They’re pretty simple, but they’re pretty satisfying. Blue Ruin isn’t like those movies. While it is, essentially, a revenge movie, it manages to raises itself a step or two above the rest of the rabble by being smarter and more interesting than the films that stick to the usual formula. First off, the protagonist here isn’t a killing machine. He’s an in-over-his-head everyman who’s reacting to his situation more like a wounded animal than a terminator. And the revenge he takes isn’t treated like […]



Another month, another batch of recommendations for everyone out there who’s currently adrift in the sea that is the Netflix Watch Instantly menu without a good flick to float on. Click on the films’ titles in order to be taken to their Netflix page and to add them to your queue. Or—sorry—to your “My List.” Pick of the Month:  Short Term 12 (2013) Critics have been talking about Short Term 12 pretty incessantly ever since it started making the festival rounds last year. To the point where some of you who read about movies a lot may be getting sick of hearing about it. There’s a reason why the film keeps getting brought up, though, and that’s because it’s really that good. It’s also the kind of micro-budget movie that absolutely depends on word of mouth in order to get seen. This is the sort of small release that couldn’t even afford to launch an Oscar campaign that would have brought it to the attention of Academy voters, so it wasn’t able to earn buzz through the winning of little golden men, which it arguably deserved a handful of.  The movie, which is from a relatively new filmmaker named Destin Cretton, is set in the world of a residential treatment facility for troubled youth, which means that it’s full of characters whose lives can be mined for quite a bit of drama—and mine them Cretton does. This is one of the rare films that manages to dig way deep into themes […]


Kevin Costner in TIN CUP

Here’s the thing. I don’t care about your sports team. It’s nothing personal, but I just don’t care about sports teams or sports in general. That lack of interest on my part extends far too frequently to sports movies as well though, and while I’ve found myself unexpectedly captivated on more than one occasion the ones that truly stick with me over time are the ones that actually aren’t about sports at all. Of course that assessment could be applied to just about every sports movie to some degree. Hoosiers for example is about underdogs, teamwork and faith in yourself and others, but basketball still courses through its veins. Rudy is another underdog story, something I’m a sucker for in general (as you’ll see below), but while it contains commentary on honor and racism it’s unavoidably a college football film through and through. It’s the seriousness and reverential attitude towards the institutions that put me off I think, and while I enjoy the human stories in films like these I feel they’re too often overshadowed by the iconic worlds of baseball, basketball, football, etc. and the blind devotion that follows. Or maybe I’m just bitter because while I do love watching and playing tennis the only movie I get is the Paul Bettany/Kirsten Dunst rom-com Wimbledon. Anyway, here are the ten best sports movies that choose people over the sport. The ones that entertain and emotionally affect without needing to honor the institution. The ones that those of us who […]


fruitvale 2

To the surprise of many (and the joy of a select few), the Rocky franchise will continue on into its seventh film. Deadline reports that this new Rocky picture, to be titled Creed, will avoid the insanity of putting a 67-year-old Sylvester Stallone back in the ring, and revolve around the grandson of Apollo Creed, Carl Weathers’ character from the original film. But never fear- Stallone will still return, although now solely as a mentor to the younger Creed.


Junkfood Cinema - Large

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; Mr. McDonald, tear up this restraining order. You’ve marched into the most patriotic bad movie column since the dramatic toppling of Lee Greenwood’s Stars and Schlock Forever. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that not all movies are created equal. Some are endowed by their creators with certain inexplicable faults. We here at JFC are dedicated to the proposition that perhaps despite these faults, these films have elements that come together to form a more enjoyable union…than most would have the patience to endure. Then, in the last course of human descent, it will be become necessary for you to ingest a sugary themed food item week keep in the cupboard by the pebbles, Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa Pebbles. Communism, after consulting a dictionary recently and rectifying a longstanding misunderstanding, is not in fact that cracker-and-juice portion of church. It is a set of political and social ideologies with but one goal: destroy America. It was founded by John Lennon, the red walrus, and fear of this growing movement would later be spread in America by Senator Paul McCartney; a scare tactic known as McCartneyism. The Beatles were quite divided as it turns out. But how is it that we finally defeated this great threat? If there is one thing the movies have taught me, it’s that they are easily the best possible source for historical truth and all films essentially exist within the same universe…even if that universe is my fry-grease-and-Nintendo-addled brain. So […]


Grudge Match

In the grand tradition of Freddy vs. Jason and Aliens vs. Predator comes Grudge Match, which pits boxing legends Rocky Balboa and Jake La Motta against each other in an epic battle to the death. Or, probably not. But Grudge Match is an upcoming boxing comedy coming from Tommy Boy and Anger Management director Peter Segal. It tells the story of two retired boxers who step into the ring one last time in order to finally settle an old score. It’s kind of like that episode of The Cosby Show where Combustible Huxtable races Tailwind Turner one final time, but with punching instead of running. The real exciting news about this project isn’t that it’s a boxing comedy about old dudes, though, it’s the names that are being looked at to play the two leads. The Wrap is reporting that Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro are currently in negotiations. These two are, of course, the two stars of probably the greatest boxing movies ever made, Rocky and Raging Bull, so there’s a whole meta component to their casting that adds to the fact that watching Stallone and De Niro clown around together already sounds kind of fun in a dumb way.


The Anatomy of a Stunt Driver

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that, at least for tonight, will divert your attention away from it being a slow news day by using a rousing round-up of visual stimuli. That’s right, we’re busting out infographics! We begin tonight with one of a few hot-off-the-press photos from Ridley Scott’s Prometheus, featuring the cast. Among them was this shot of dreamy Michael Fassbender and Noomi Rapace, also dreamy. There’s also some pretty kick-ass science fictiony stuff promised alongside this oozing sexuality.



It’s hard to get excited about something as technical as that thing that makes cameras not fall down on film sets, especially these days, when you can make a successful film without even going through the effort of picking up a camera at all. Even if you are shooting a live action film, thanks to the realism of CGI, computers are now able to put a lens wherever you need it to be – this is why I think we need to take a second to celebrate some of the hard working pieces of lightweight metal that were behind a few of the more bitchin’ shots out there. These rigs got the shot done, computers be damned!



What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly thing about movie stuff. Tonight’s edition features mini-ninjas, talk about naked pictures of Blake Lively, Sly Stallone set to music, an explanation of who Jane Lynch is, a joke about Michael Bay, an even less funny joke about Blake Lively and a profile of Richard Ayoade. That and more, we assure you. Above you will see something I never thought we’d lead with in a Movie News After Dark entry: someone’s grave stone. But there it is, the resting place of actor Leslie Nielsen. Modest, simple and complete with one last fart joke for the road. Nielsen may not have lasted forever, but his penchant for the fart joke will forever stay in our hearts.


Directors Who Inherit a Franchise

Every so often, a film emerges from the fray to prove its popularity and warrant a sequel. More and more, franchises are planned out in advance, but when one film turns into a franchise, a cash register sound goes off in the ears of the studio. Even though the kid stays in the picture, sometimes the director does not. Maybe the director is done working with the material. Maybe the producers want a more seasoned hand. Maybe a simple schedule conflict keeps him or her out of the chair for the next round up. But the show must go on, so the producers find another director to fill the slot – a director who ostensibly inherits all the strengths and weaknesses of a franchise birthed by someone else. Cinematic sloppy seconds that could have easily turned into sloppy sequels if it weren’t for a steady, talented director guiding the ship. Here’s a list of the ten best.



In addition to providing health tips, Fitness and Film will occasionally shine a spotlight on the actors and actresses who embody fitness on the big (and small) screen. With the imminent release of The Expendables, we have reason to cover any number of action heroes, past and present, but our first spot in the Fit Hall of Fame is going to the man who’s making it all happen: Sylvester Stallone. From his first truly notable appearance on-screen as Rocky Balboa (a film that saw him nominated for two Oscars), Stallone carved a name for himself through chiseled abs and athletic performances. How many people in the word can claim to have been in such shape that a statue was carved of them and prominently displayed for decades?



Sylvester Stallone’s epic boxing series closed the curtains with this final installment and is not only (arguably) the best since the first, but also contains a sincerity that trickled out of the franchise since Rocky defeated Apollo Creed. Oops, spoiler.



Even though he’s currently performing on Broadway, actor and all-around tough guy Liev Schreiber is looking back toward the world of the silver screen. After roles in Ang Lee’s Taking Woodstock, Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the upcoming thrillers Salt and Repo Men, Schreiber is setting his sights on the real life story behind the Rocky movies.



Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; the column that has elevated me to public enemy number one with the State Department of Health! Every week I make an absolute pig of myself scarfing down heaping helpings of bad films that I can’t help but love. I will also provide the perfect, decadent snack to complement the viewing experience. Because if there is one thing that goes great with junkfood, it’s sitting on our asses for extended periods of time right? Ok, Health Department, I understand now why you hate me. So grab a seat, grab and fork, and let’s dig into this week’s entry: Rocky IV. If you aren’t familiar with this film franchise then let me be the first to welcome you back to Earth after what was clearly a 35 year exploration of the outer regions of space. Rocky, the original, is the ultimate underdog story about a boxer with a lot of talent and a lot of heart who cannot catch a break. When he is finally given the chance to prove himself, he does so to a degree that shocks the world. The sequel, Rocky II, is the story of that same underdog chasing redemption. Rocky III is about professional wrestlers and Mr. T. By the time we get to Rocky IV, we have already taken a healthy detour from the spirit of the original film and end up in a land of Commie giants, robot servants, and montages. The premise is that an unequivocally enormous boxer arrives […]


I remember joking with my friends in grade school, saying that we’d see ‘Rocky 12′ and Sylvester Stallone would be using a walker in the ring. Well it seems that my friends and I might not be too far off.

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published: 01.30.2015
published: 01.29.2015
published: 01.28.2015
published: 01.28.2015

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