Seth Green

Airborne 2

If you search IMDb’s incredibly handy “plot keywords” for the phrase “rollerblading,” only twenty-eight titles pop up, and most of them aren’t even truly concerned with rollerblading as an actual plot element. The number one rated entry is “Skitchin,’” which is actually a video game from 1994. The number two rated entry? The UK’s uproariously funny series “Absolutely Fabulous,” which has absolutely nothing to do with rollerblading. You’ll have to scroll all the way down to the exact middle of the list – entry number 14 – to find Rob Bowman’s Airborne (above 2002’s Rollerball, below an Erik von Detten-starring Disney movie called Brink! about a pack of teens who call themselves “Soul-Skaters” because “Hammy Sad People Skating Together Because You Don’t Get Me, Mom” wasn’t punchy enough), which is an immense cinematic tragedy, simply because Airborne is the best film about rollerblading ever made. It also turns twenty today.

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While it might not be the definitive high school comedy (that’s a discussion for another time), 1998′s Can’t Hardly Wait is a damn good one, and a strangely enduring new classic. Sure, the nineties-set production is dipped in era-appropriate fashion, slang, and cultural nods (X-Files, anyone?) and its cast is positively peppered by awesomely nineties talents (Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ethan Embry, Seth Green, Melissa Joan Hart, the list goes on and on), but Can’t Hardly Wait still feels applicable to teens today. Or, at the very least, it still feels like a very good approximation of the high school experience that we remember. The film turns a staggering fifteen years old this week (it was released on June 12, 1998), and in appreciation of the film that gave us a stoned Jason Segel as “Watermelon Guy,” reaffirmed the cultural relevance of Barry Manilow, and saw the wonderful Lauren Ambrose get hit in the face with a pot brownie, we give you five scenes we love from Can’t Hardly Wait.

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Editor’s Note: This review first ran as part of our Fantastic Fest coverage, but Comic-Con Episode Four hits limited theaters this week. Delivering a massive event with his trademarked smile behind the camera, Morgan Spurlock‘s Comic-Con Episode Four: A Fan’s Hope is the kind of joyous celebration that might also serve as a gateway drug for those not initiated into geek culture. It’s a documentary that easily straddles the line between service to those already fascinated by the subject and to those that haven’t ever heard of a comic book. It could have been annoyingly fluffy, but Spurlock has crafted a film that doesn’t just act as advertisement for the largest comic book/multimedia convention in the country. In fact, the question of whether the convention is still faithful to its comic book roots is at the center of the multi-faced exploration that gives the movie much more dimension than it initially lets on. The doc is composed of several stories – a pair of artists looking to break into the business, a costume designer and her crew looking to make a mark, a young couple who fell in love at the event, and a comic book dealer who is trying to justify coming back financially. All are woven together with expert timing (and a fun, comic book style art element that turns them into characters of a different sort).

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is very sad this evening. Yesterday it was very exciting about the possibilities of asking out Siri, but today sadness has overwhelmed. What’s a near-sentient nightly news column to do? Well, lets do the news, as they said in the old days. As you likely know by now, Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. and the innovator of a generation, has passed away at age 56. It’s always tough to quantify how one person has impacted society, but in this particular case, it’s hard to imagine what things would have been like without Steve. Film School Rejects, like many a website, was originally designed on a Mac. He laid groundwork for much of the technology we use today. He truly changed lives. For more, I’d encourage you to read Cole’s excellent piece on Steve Jobs’ Movie Legacy: Pixar and the Technology that Freed Indie Filmmakers. Rest in Peace, Mr. Jobs. You’ve done well. Here’s to the craziest one of all… And now, on with our regularly scheduled news programming…

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The Hall H floor at Comic-Con was an easy audience for it, and Morgan Spurlock took full use of the home field advantage when he introduced a trailer for his new documentary Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan’s Hope. He’s partnered with Stan Lee, Joss Whedon and Harry Knowles from Aint It Cool to make a film about the event that offers fans the freedom to dust off their Ryuk costume and wear it without shame. The trailer was sleek and featured memories and observations from Whedon, Eli Roth (who brought up the first time he “took a piss next to a stormtrooper and a Klingon), Seth Rogen, Kevin Smith, Seth Green and Guillermo del Toro. All Con favorites, they were joined by a few fans as well as what appeared to be an aspiring artist getting his work reviewed from working comic book producers. The trailer itself was otherwise vague, but it looks like it will have the same humor and heart that Spurlock’s work is marked by, and with full access, there are a ton of great stories that might be told.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly column about movie news and things that interest you. Hopefully it finds more of the latter, but it tries to do its best. It’s no super soldier of news aggregating, but it certainly has taken its share of experimental drugs at the behest of Tommy Lee Jones. The characters of Captain America: The First Avenger now have their own posters. Released today via Cinemarcado, the one-sheets feature Chris Evans as Steve Rogers, Hugo Weaving as Red Skull (above) and Hayley Atwell as Peggy Carter, Cap’s lady of interest. The most interesting is Red Skull, who looks pretty wicked. Is it me or does he look like Hell-spawn that spent too much time with Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon?

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This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr finds himself behind enemy lines in Los Angeles. At first, he thought he was the victim of an alien invasion, but then he realized he was just in South Central wearing the wrong colors. Fortunately, Aaron Eckhart came to his rescue. This gave him a chance to put on a red cloak and skip through the woods, searching for Amanda Seyfried. He then capped off the week sneaking on a NASA flight to Mars wearing only boxer shorts, a T-shirt and a space helmet. He plans to return soon because that kind of makeshift space suit worked for the folks in Mars Needs Moms. Don’t wait up, though.

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Mars Needs Moms is an awesome display of computer animation molded to a standard Disney story template. The soppy moralizing about families and the sanctity of the mother-son bond would be far more difficult to take were it not in the service of some awe-inspiring 3-D work that offers a richly textured, luxuriously detailed vision of life on Mars. I’m no great fan of the artificial incorporation of the third dimension, but Disney’s animators have used here it to produce a veritable theme park ride rendition of a Mars featuring enormous ships, complex technological apparatuses and cavernous loading docks given a sleek, space-age sheen. Director Simon Wells’ stylistic vision might best be described as steam-punk mixed with Kubrick, far more complex and immersive than anything this side of Pixar.

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For authenticity, arrange for someone to rudely call you at dinner time to read this entry and play the trailer for you over the phone. Apparently, the planet Mars needs your mother, and for only the price of a cup of coffee a day, you could be winning back karma points for that hobo you killed in that hit and run last year. The premise of Mars Needs Moms (along with its title) is pretty ridiculous. Martians are coming to Earth in secret to grab women who have taken advantage of their fecundity in order to raise the unruly children of Mars. One young kid (voiced by Seth Green) who doesn’t appreciate his mother, goes on a galactic quest to get her back. I imagine he’ll learn a few lessons along the way about broccoli. Despite the corny (and broccoli-y) nature of it all, the trailer showcases some astounding CGI visuals (the shots of Dan Fogler’s character alone are uncanny). Plus, it looks genuinely funny. It’s got all the standard elements including the adorable robotic dog sidekick that vomits up metal scrap, but a lot of the humor seems to work, and it seems covered in heartwarming goo. So, how much are you willing to donate?[Apple]

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Kevin Carr heads out to the movies this week, giving his take on Old Dogs and Ninja Assassin

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Entourage

Vince gets humiliated on the set of Smokejumpers with a shrinking number of lines and a passive-aggressive director. Eric gets humiliated by Seth Green while trying to close a deal for another client.

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Sex Drive

Sex Drive is raunchier than you’d expect, and it works. It definitely puts the “sex” back in the teen sex comedy.

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Sex Drive

The folks at Summit Entertainment sent over this brand new poster for the film Sex Drive, which is being billed in the “spirit” of American Pie, The Sure Thing and Superbad.

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