The Iron Giant

Rian Johnson’s new film, Looper, is a pretty awesome time travel flick, one with as many elements that are clever and original as there are purposefully derivative and influenced. It’s the kind of smart and stylish sci-fi cinema we expect every once in a while on the festival circuit, like Sound of My Voice (which hits DVD and Blu-ray this Tuesday), rather than from a major Hollywood studio. Looper does fit the indie model, though, since Sony/Tristar picked it up for distribution only after it was done shooting, yet as Brian’s review of the film attests, we can still consider it a good sign for mainstream movies of this genre, and we can hope that Hollywood will see Johnson as the sort of directorial talent they need. But is it the best science fiction film since The Matrix? That’s a question posed in a headline from Time magazine yesterday, though its respective post doesn’t address such a discussion let alone attempt to answer the inquiry. Well, if we exclude superhero movies, animated features (Pixar, Miyazaki and The Iron Giant among them) and the Star Trek reboot, Looper is currently one of only two original studio films of its order to be battling for the status of best reviewed since the Wachowskis’ groundbreaking modern classic. The other is Alfonso Cuaron’s Children of Men.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It doesn’t have time to explain it to you, yo. We just gotta get out of here, Mr. White! We begin this evening with the first image from the upcoming fifth and final season of Breaking Bad, courtesy of AMC. And guess what? It’s a shot of Walt (Bryan Cranston) and Jesse (Aaron Paul) standing in a field looking less than pleased with their surroundings. Even though it’s a shot we’ve seen a million times in four seasons, it never ceases to be interesting. 

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Merch Hunter - Large

In a variation on the usual format, this week the Merch Hunter will be getting on his soap-box, because there is something fundamentally broken with the way that studios and marketeers produce and release film posters these days, which has criminally devalued them as a really viable collectible compared to the Golden Age posters of yesteryear. The problem is, posters are now seen as little more than a disposable marketing tool, rather than a celebration of the subject film: they are deemed an obligatory step in the pre-release campaign and in 90% of cases are given less consideration or dutiful care than the ridiculous promotional material that is sent out in bulk to bloggers (like Drive tooth-picks and Horrible Bosses beach-balls). Film posters are supposed to be works of art: they should not be limited to cheap thrill character reveals or plot hints, because the trailer already exists for those reasons. Yet time and time again, modern studios feel the need to advance this risible idea of the poster as a “teaser”, which not only makes it completely disposable after the event in most cases, but also fundamentally redefines what a poster is. Instead of something to be held in esteem, and given pride of place on cherished wall-space, what is left is a glorified jpeg, expressly aimed at the blogosphere and its hunger for new material no matter what the cost.

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Sly Stallone is still ripped

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is about to turn 1-year old. As a digital entity, it always knew this day would come. It’s a matter of deduction, really. As a sentient being, it knows that each day is a blessing. Each night, however, is a curse — a curse full of delicious movie-related links. We begin this evening with a shot of Sylvester Stallone in Bullet to the Head, a new actioner from famed action director guy Walter Hill. What’s impressive about this image — beyond the fact that it features a man who, at this point, is old enough to receive Social Security — is that Stallone continues to look younger and leaner than ever. There’s something fishy about it. And whatever drugs he’s on, I want some, too.

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The Iron Giant Commentary

“Supermaaaaaan…” Be honest. It got a little dusty in your room reading that and thinking of The Iron Giant. You teared up a bit. It’s okay. It happens to all of us. I’m sure it even happens to writer/director Brad Bird when he goes back and watches this animated classic from 1999. Well, that’s one of the things we’re about to find out here with the commentary track for this very film. And, with Bird’s years at Pixar and his first, live-action feature, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, what better time do go back and see precisely what he, along with some of his top-notch animation team, has to say about The Iron Giant? So strap your boosters on, don’t be a gun, and enjoy what all we learned from the commentary track for The Iron Giant. “You stay. I go. No following.” Tears.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that melts in your mouth, not in your hand. It also delivers a taste that doesn’t linger. Because we know you need to sleep soon, and we don’t want to disrupt such an important ritual. Lets be honest with ourselves for a moment. Even though we know that it will be a kindred spirit of Zack Snyder’s 300, we still can’t escape from the fact that Tarsem Singh’s The Immortals looks pretty badass. The evidence of this is all over the place, most notably in a new gallery of Immortals images over at Screen Rant. Tonight’s lead image features Theseus, the hero, vs. a Minotaur. I’ll watch that.

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Good news for a once bankrupt and destitute MGM, their first new production since hitting skid row is on the way. And, perhaps poetically, their new production teams them up with a man who is also on his way back up in the business. The Machine has signed Vin Diesel to star and produce. At the beginning of the 2000s many people saw Diesel as the next king of the action movie genre, but his career never really worked out that way, and Diesel saw his star power fade a bit over the past ten years. With the release and huge success of this year’s Fast Five, Diesel has another chance to make it to the top of the mountain. Could this be the smash hit that will finally anoint him as Hollywood royalty? The Machine sounds like kind of a cross between The Terminator and The Iron Giant. Those are two things that I love, so if they can find a balance in tone, I would say that this project has some real potential. Diesel will play a government weapon that was built to look like a human being, and who has been deactivated for many years. As this film opens, the killer robot is found, reactivated, and befriended by a small child. Presumably a lot of bonding happens after that, then followed up by a big action sequence where the government comes to try and reacquire the machine. Kind of like E.T., only Diesel’s character will love steroids […]

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It’s okay to admit you cry once in a while guys. As long as you beat a gorilla to death immediately afterward, you can still be considered manly. Luckily, there’s a few flicks out there that let us cry at will – here’s ten of ‘em.

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