Terrorism

World Trade Center

On this week’s 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we’re dropping the usual format for an extended roundtable conversation about terrorism and September 11th’s effect on film and television. How has our consumption changed? What movie best captures the national spirit in the years following? How soon is too soon to directly confront a tragedy in fiction? We’re joined by Indiewire’s TV Editor and Filmspotting: SVU Podcast co-host Alison Willmore, Movie Mezzanine founder and editor-in-chief Sam Fragoso, and FSR’s own associate editor Rob Hunter. You should follow Rob (@fakerobhunter), Alison (@alisonwillmore), Sam (@samfragoso), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more on a daily basis. And, as always, if you like the show (or hate it with seething fervor), please help us out with a review. Download Episode #33 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Loki Glass Prison

The glass prison designers of the fictional world are making bank this year. It seems that almost every action-packed superhero or quasi-superhero film features the same prominent set piece and it hasn’tt gone unnoticed: a recent meme circulated remarking on the inefficacy of the glass  prison, showing the evolution of the structure on film. The image, created by Raven Montoya, stacked a number of villains captured in glass prisons on top of each other: Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs, Magneto from X2 (technically a plastic prison), Loki from Avengers,  Raoul Silva from Skyfall, and lastly, the animated Stitch from Lilo and Stitch. The caption  quipped, “Yes! Of course it’s a good idea to put the homicidal maniac in a glass prison. I’m sure he won’t get out.” That the villain always escapes comes hand in hand with another trope of the glass prison—to  quote the Joker in The Dark Knight, “It’s all part of the plan.” The villain intends to be caught in order to set his diabolical plan in motion. Charlie Jane Anders of io9 cites the Rube Goldbergian  nature of the scheme as one reason for the evil mastermind to create this situation—to enhance  his devious nature. She also notes a more important use of such a tactic: “You get to put the hero and the villain in the room together, without having them fight.” All this would seem to be blockbuster screenwriting 101. You set up a mid-movie failure to create tension before the final […]

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Die Hard Holiday Survival Guide

Note: Despite what the byline says, this article was written by the conglomeration of Luke and Brian; two guys who watch Die Hard and Die Hard 2 every Christmas…and then over and over with unsettling frequency throughout the rest of the year. The holidays can be a tough time for all of us. In-laws and extended family members coming into town, travel on snowy roads, and holiday weight gain are just a few of the landmines we have to navigate during December. While this iteration of FSR’s Cinematic Holiday Survival Guide won’t help you avoid your drunk Uncle Vernon or keep that turkey and mashed potatoes from expanding your waist line, hopefully it will come in handy should your holiday plans be thwarted by terrorists. Some guys just can’t seem to catch break, even during the holidays. John McClane is one of those poor, unfortunate souls. Time and time again, this oneupsman of terrible Christmases runs afoul of the worst sort of scum and villainy; even without vacationing at Mos Eisley. Should you ever find yourself in a similar situation, well, let’s face it you’ll probably kill yourself. But should you decide to be a McClanian style badass, just call to mind the following tips and tricks and you might just end up a hero…or dead…or, a HERO!

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The teenage years are a time in everyone’s life when their minds are fertile for the seeds of change. A new experience can completely change a teenager’s personality, reading a new book or watching a new movie can radically alter the way that they self-identify. Peter Weir’s 1989 boarding school drama Dead Poets Society is one of those new movie experiences that I’ve often seen held up as a life changing experience. Multiple times in my high school career the movie was shown to my class by teachers trying to inspire a love of learning in the students. I’ve met more than one person bold enough to show me their “Carpe Diem” tattoo, which is the movie’s big rallying cry. In general it just seems that there is something about this film that resonates strongly and sticks with a large portion of the people who see it. Daniel Petrie Jr.’s Toy Soldiers isn’t a movie that’s changed many lives. That’s okay though, I don’t think it was trying to. It’s mostly just an action movie. This one tells the story of a prestigious prep school being overtaken by a group of well-trained, well-armed terrorists, who then hold the student body hostage until the government meets their demands. It’s strange how little this movie is ever mentioned by anyone. It had a cast of young actors including Sean Astin, Wil Wheaton, and Keith Coogan, that were all up-and-coming names back in 1991. It was an explosion packed story about terrorists and […]

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This week, on a very special episode of Reject Radio, we take on the cinematic emotional roller coaster by speaking with comedian Bill Bailey about getting him hired for the next Star Trek movie and by dissecting Taxi Driver‘s Travis Bickle with psychologist, Dr. Jeff Greenberg. Plus, Landon Palmer joins me for a long-form discussion about the terrorist attacks of 9/11, their effects on movie culture, and on audiences. Download This Episode

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Every so often, it becomes artistically necessary for someone to come along and combine a serious political issue with The Three Stooges. In lesser hands, it can be an offensive disaster, but fortunately it was director Christopher Morris that answered the call from fate this time. With Four Lions he attempts to bring a sense of levity to terrorism – specifically the brand of terrorism that the news cycle has brought to the forefront of our psyche within the past decade: Islamic extremism. Jihadism. The Mujahideen. This might be the most dangerous territory to go mining for comedy, but Morris does it the right way – by finding the comedy first, cleaning off the political mess, and delivering it dead pan to the audience. Omar (Riz Ahmed) and his moronic mate Waj (Kayvan Novak) head to Pakistan to train with Al Qaeda so that they can take their small band of terrorists in Britain to the next level and achieve the grand goal of blowing themselves up constructively.

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How is Osama Bin Laden like Prince? If you’ve been wondering the answer to this burning question, Chris Morris might just have the answer for you. The writer/director just had his first film, Four Lions, picked up for distribution by Tim League’s new Alamo Drafthouse releasing arm. The comedy focuses on four wanna be terrorists who can’t do anything correctly. The humor takes something completely inhuman in our society and reminds us that there’s a comedic folly to some of the people out there trying to blow us up. It’s a smart film that treats the threat of violence with the severity it deserves while still delivering an absurd amount of Three Stooges-like, bumbling comedic moments that come with being human. You can check out my review of the film here, but be sure to watch the interview to find out what Joaquin Phoenix has to do with Al Qaeda, what happens when a woman wearing a niqab laughs, and how to stop terrorism once and for all with movies and twitter. Check after the jump for the cities where Four Lions will see the darkness of the theater on November 5th:

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Terrorists are a pesky bunch, and even though they come from different backgrounds, countries, and religions mothers, we can all agree they share at least one common trait. They’re assholes. Shooting people or blowing them up because you disagree with their beliefs or ideologies? That’s a dick move. People don’t need to die for the message to be heard. Why can’t terrorists express themselves with acts that leave innocent bystanders still bystanding? Terrorize the populace with politicized origami. Or editorial cartoons. Or, if you’re a Swedish citizen unhappy with the fascist pigs running your country, maybe you could commit acts of musical terrorism. Welcome to the War On Terror 2.0, welcome to The Sound Of Noise.

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A cultural icon is about to bring his terrorist asskicking to a theater near you.

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It may not be the most entertaining film to come out of Sundance this year, but it certainly packs a punch.

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published: 04.16.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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published: 04.14.2014
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