The Hunchback of Notre Dame

You’d think my walk home from Rango, a movie that consistently kept me laughing like a madman for two hours, would be one of elation and knee-slapping fun memories. Not so. As my laughter subsided, I realized — man, I just saw an animated movie that centered on a sociopathic lizard who takes a contemplative, hallucinatory look inward to discover his true calling in the world. Whoa – suddenly that fart joke had a lot more resonance. There are universal questions everyone asks themselves at some point in their lives. Ideas, complications, internal debates that spring out of existence and challenge us as individuals. Some turn to spirituality. Others take back packing trips through difficult-to-pronounce regions of the world. But after watching Rango and looking back through a lengthy history of Hollywood’s animated films, I wondered: why not turn to cartoons?

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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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Every  Sunday, Old Ass Movies presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. You probably noticed it’s not Sunday, but we’re taking the opportunity to shine the light on five vintage films that played at this year’s Butt-Numb-a-Thon. I’ve only slept for 8 of the past 48 hours, but the enthusiasm I feel for these films is difficult to numb even in the face of drastic sleep deprivation. I know the talking cartoon elephant sitting next to me would agree. Butt-Numb-A-Thon, the 24-hour movie festival celebrating the birthday of Aint It Cool founder Harry Knowles has been heralded as a Geek Christmas because of how incredible the experience is. My first was 7 years ago when Old Boy, Return of the King and early John Wayne spooky Western Haunted Gold graced the screen. That year is regarded as one of the best years on record, but the vintage choices this year – including a Gene Kelly musical, a classic noir that shaped most modern hitman movies, and an impossible to see Orson Welles flick – were devastating in their complete domination of year’s past.

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The 193rd adaptation of Victor Hugo’s famous novel promises to be the least like the novel yet. According to Variety, Paramount plans on teaming with newcomers Willie Block and Jake Emanuel to create a film that takes the “framework” of the book and gives it the action/adventure treatment. Veteran producer Lorenzo Di Bonaventura (who you’ll remember as the producer and voice of Onlooker #3 in Transformers) is handling the production. Oddly enough, I’ve already seen this film because I naturally picture Nic Cage’s character from National Treasure with a massive spinal deformity. It’s not bad. But seriously, let’s hope they do something innovative like placing Quasimodo in a modern setting or giving him a time machine or magic sword or something.

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The film, one of Chaney’s best outings, is a transformative film that might just make you a fan of silent movies.

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