Anna Kendrick in 'Happy Christmas'

We’ve made it to December, which hopefully means you have plenty of vacation days coming up with which to curl up next to a fire, throw on some Netflix, and indulge in various boozy nogs. Honestly, you’d be a fool not to spend your month this way, because, baby, it’s cold outside, and a whole bunch of great movies have been made available to stream in the last few weeks. Here’s a list to keep you going. As always, click on the movies’ titles in order to be taken to their Netflix pages. Pick of the Month: Happy Christmas (2014) Looking for a new movie about the holidays to watch this year that isn’t all snowflakes, togetherness, and gooey sentiment? Then Joe Swanberg’s latest release, Happy Christmas, could be just the gift you’ve been dreaming of. Swanberg’s movies always have good stuff in them, and it seems like he’s been threatening to make something that I’d completely love for a while now, and finally Happy Christmas is it. This is a film that’s so dark and introspective and full of awkward social tension that Lena Dunham shows up playing the grounded, easygoing character. Think about that. Anna Kendrick stars, playing a lost soul in her late 20s who’s kind of a brat, and definitely a fuck up, and most of the movie is us watching her behave badly after moving into the basement of her older brother (Swanberg), his wife (Melanie Lynskey), and their new son (Swanberg’s real life, mental […]


Claire Danes Cry Face

There’s a way to do sadness in film, and there’s a way to make sadness all about you. Many of our favorite films feature a heartbreaking scene or two that tug at the emotions ever so gently, but there are some that take that premise and run with it all the way to the cry bank by using the supreme talents of their actors and their abilities to tear-up like there’s no tomorrow. Can you scrunch up your face and look like death’s just arrived? Excellent, Claire Danes, we’ll see you tomorrow. From Danes to Brando, here are some truly impressive cry faces.



Imagine a nonfiction television series focused on greed, gluttony, sloth, lust, pride, envy and wrath. Well, doesn’t that just describe the whole gamut of reality TV? Yes, but not in a condemnable way that acknowledges these things as the cardinal sins they are. We need someone to take these vices back and put them in their place, and Oscar-nominated documentarian Morgan Spurlock seems to be that person, like a premium cable version of John Doe in Se7en, only without the killing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, he’s got a new show headed to Showtime called Seven Deadly Sins, which he describes as being like Alfred Hitchcock Presents but with true stories. I’d say this joins the new trend this year for major documentary filmmakers hitting the small screen with nonfiction miniseries, but Spurlock has been producing and hosting stuff for TV for years and already currently has the continuing Inside Man on CNN, which kicks off its second season in a few weeks. Seven Deadly Sins will premiere on June 19th and the channel has it scheduled for 11pm, which might indicate this won’t be the most PG-rated program. In a statement, Spurlock said of the show, “You won’t believe it until you see it … and even then, you may not believe it.” Does he mean it’ll be dirty? Gross? Violent? Something too dark for primetime, apparently.


David Fincher

Perfectionist. Demanding. Hard to work with. David Fincher is a man who hates his own brand but is secure in his own reputation. Of course, it’s a little bit easy when that reputation includes stunning movies and a mind that can operate at an auteur speed in the high-occupancy Hollywood studio lane. He’s a (mostly) accessibly genius, which is rare and which means that we as fans and filmmakers can learn a lot from him. Fortunately, he’s as free with his advice as he is with his nightmarish visions. Here’s a bit of free film school from a living legend.



Remember a time before 1995 when movies were loaded with rainbows and puppies? Strawberry ice cream poured out of every frame. Then Se7en came along. Then things got really interesting. David Fincher‘s second effort at feature filmmaking caught a storm, and it was one filled with melancholic grime and depressing endings. Also there was something about a box and what was in it. The state of thrillers changed forever, and, while many copycats tried to pick up the scraps Se7en left in its wake, none would recapture that initial sense of dread when John Doe screamed at Detective David Mills, the killers hands covered in blood. Paints a pretty picture, doesn’t it? Well, with this week’s Commentary Commentary, we’re hoping the track we’ve selected paints a couple of dozen more. David Fincher, Brad Pitt, and Morgan Freeman lend their voices and insight into this commentary track for Se7en. If for no other reason, this track should already be looked into for including Freeman, who has one of the greatest voices this side of a certain Sith. So, without any further ado, here are all 25 items we learned from listening to the Se7en commentary. Now to find out what’s in that box.


Jump Scare

If you’re anything like me you probably would take a good psychological scarring over some dick in a mask jumping out at you any day of the week – at least when it comes to horror films. Nowadays it seems like the best is behind us when it comes to the genre, and what’s left is less a collection of disturbing concepts and more so the movie equivalent of a carnival spook house. That being said – I do like carnival spook houses – a fleeting scare is good when it’s done right. Sure, in the end these scares don’t hold a candle to say, the end of Rosemary’s Baby, but we can’t deny them either. So that’s what this list is: me sucking it up and admitting that the dick in the mask totally got me. I should tell you that I don’t wish to demerit these films for having jump scares in them; most of them have plenty of psychological scarring as well… take number ten, for example.


Vertigo Title Card

A good beginning credit sequence is really all it takes for me to like a movie. That seems like a really stupid thing to say – but when you think about it, while not all good movies have creative credits, almost all creative credits belong to good movies. It shows that the filmmakers actually cared enough to do something meaningful with their title sequence as opposed to just throwing out some stock effect… After all, the beginning credits are the opening number to a film – the handshake – and if it doesn’t make you excited about what you’re about to watch then there really isn’t a point is there? Here are a collection that got be friggin’ pumped right from the start.


20000 leagues under the sea

One of Disney’s biggest historical successes came back in 1954 when they released a live action version of the Jules Verne story 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. They pumped a huge amount of money into that movie and all of its giant squid spectacle, and then saw their risky investment pay off when it became a hit. That was pretty much the beginning of Disney in the live action movie game. 1954 was a long time ago though, and there’s now probably a couple generations of people who have never seen that film, which is so important to Disney history. To fix that, the studio has been working on a remake for a while. So far the Leagues remake has been slow to get off the ground. At one point McG was set to be in charge of the whole thing, and a whole slew of different screenwriters were helping the process along, but that all fell apart. More recently David Fincher has been said to be involved in getting this one going, but it’s still not clear where exactly it fits into his schedule. The rumblings of Fincher making this movie soon seem to be getting a bit more credibility though, as Deadline Nantes is reporting that Se7en scribe Andrew Kevin Walker has been brought on board to help Fincher shape the re-told tales of Captain Nemo. There are probably about a million jokes to be made right now about all of the vile things that were in Se7en, […]


Circle of Jerks

You’ve stumbled upon Circle of Jerks, our sporadically published, weekly feature in which we ask the questions that really matter to our writers and readers. It’s a time to take a break from our busy lives and revel in the one thing that we all share: a deep, passionate love of movies. If you have a question you’d like answered by the FSR readers and staff, send us an email at Hey jerks my question is what movie do you recommend the most to friends and strangers. I’ve been asking people I know the same thing lately and I have been really really surprised by some of the answers. Thanks. – Carlos P.



Surprise, surprise. It’s time for the return of that weekly column you didn’t realize was gone for several weeks. It’s also time for me to write my first article on this fair site since… August, I believe. It has been a long month of moving, shaking and bribing local officials, I have come back to life and returned to that which I am passionate about most: ripping the latest Blu-ray releases a new disc-hole with my not-so-eloquent prose. This Week in Blu-ray, we take a look at several classics, all from different eras, presented with great care and consideration by their respective studios, several new releases that don’t fail to attain mediocre status, and a big list of titles that I wasn’t able to review — perhaps because many home video publicists were under the impression that I had died recently. Damn that Cole Abaius, he’s always starting nasty rumors.



For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today.
Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t let your creativity cross paths with your sadistic sensibilities and disdain for sinners, because we are truly sorry and not just because you have a gun to our head.
Part 36 of the 36-part series takes a look at “The Enigma” with Se7en.



So Lars Von Trier isn’t forcing Martin Scorsese to remake Taxi Driver. Who cares? Here are ten directors that the madman should punish for being geniuses.



Since Ninja Assassin comes out on Wednesday to slice your turkey for you, I thought you might want to re-read my interview with its director. Sadly for you, it’s on video.



Wealthy-beyond-belief Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is gifted entrance into a strange game by his prodigal brother Conrad (Sean Penn). He goes in for extensive testing, and when he’s told he doesn’t qualify, the game begins in earnest, testing his wits, physical strength and the emotional scarring caused by witnessing his father’s suicide as a child.



This week we celebrate the darker side with one of the best cop movies out there. What’s in the box? What’s in the box?!



If it’s hot where you live, but you still feel like you haven’t gotten all you can out of summer and it’s relentless, unforgiving, soul-crushing heat, here are ten movies you can watch that’ll help change your mind and keep you indoors.

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published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015
published: 01.27.2015

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