The Thing

Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie and entertainment news column that, now that it’s a year old and feeling mature, is looking to bring you only the best links of the day. Think of it as your one-stop-shop for the best of the entertainment web. If you didn’t see it here, it probably wasn’t that good. If we missed it, just email it to neil@filmschoolrejects.com and we’ll consider it for tomorrow. We do this every night. We begin tonight with a new shot of Emma Stone in The Amazing Spider-Man as a funeral-going Gwen Stacy. She’s looking quite sad. I wonder who died. Oh right, they are telling the origin story of Spider-Man again. I know who’s going to die.

read more...

Hundreds of movies are released each year in theaters or straight to DVD, and a large percentage of them suck. A much smaller group though are fantastic slices of cinema that thrill, excite, invigorate and entertain, and while some of them are recognized at the box office many more are left to die a quick and undeserved death. And it’s essentially your fault. Of course I don’t mean you specifically, but instead I’m referring to the average American movie-goer who chose not to see these movies in the theater. They ignored the critical acclaim, reviews and recommendations from sites like ours and instead bought multiple tickets for the latest Twilight or Transformers movie. So while it’s too late to affect their box office returns (most of them anyway), Jack Giroux and Rob Hunter have put together a list of eleven movies that deserved far better treatment in 2011.

read more...

It seems like every year I find myself disappointed in the horror offerings of the preceding twelve months. Especially if you think of widely released theatrical flicks, few of which ever make the lists. If it weren’t for DVDs and VODs, I don’t even know if I could in good conscience pretend that 10 (or 11) horror films were good. That said, I did manage to find some enjoyment in theaters and at home this year, but it wasn’t the easiest task in the world. In a good year, it’ll be hard to eliminate films from the list, but when it comes to horror most years, its scraping the bottom of the barrel to come up with a full list. Quickly, in terms of eligibility, I write my lists a little differently than many others – for me, a film has to be widely available in this year, either in theaters or DVD or VOD. So films that only show at festivals generally aren’t eligible for my lists until they’re released on DVD. For example, Ti West’s The Innkeepers has made several lists, but it’s not widely available until 12/30 so most people won’t see it until 2012, so that’s that.

read more...

Boiling Point

Well here we are in the last week of December, coming up on another 365 days of anger at the entertainment industry. In 52 installments, I’ve been upset about a wide range of topics, criticized directors, defended 3D, argued with my peers and said the f-word a whole lot, much to the disappointment of my mother. As a way of saying so long to 2011 and hello to the End of the World as We Know It (aka 2012), I wanted to take a brief look back at the previous year and pull the heaviest themes from Boiling Point and take a look at the recipients of my rage. So take off your shoes, grab a warm cup of cocoa and let’s take this journey together, provided you’re nowhere near me. If by some strange miracle you are near me, put your shoes on, put down my coffee cup and get the fuck out of my house.

read more...

Boiling Point

Hollywood is a business. A big business. A ten billion dollar box office per year kind of business. While that is an impressive number, you also have to remember that I said “box office,” which is ignoring the home video market. If you include direct sales only, that’s another $5 billion. I swore that I would never do math again after college, so I’m not going to bother with rentals and licenses and all that shit. Suffice it to say, Hollywood is a big business. And they want to be bigger, like all businesses. Enter the shady world of rehashing. The repeated raping of your wallet. There was a time when it was as simple as releasing a Special Edition or Collector’s Edition of a movie. Now, films have two theatrical releases, get remastered in 3D and sent to theaters, and are then released on three to four separate DVD releases. As a super-fan, I’m excited to get Collector’s Editions – I’ll even double dip now and then, but the process has gone too far and offers too little.

read more...

The Reject Report

Just when you thought it was safe to station video cameras in an attempt to capture the nightly doings of some nefarious supernatural entity. Oh, those pesky ghosty things and their habits of turning innocent tea parties into screaming nightmares. That’s not based on first-hand experience, by the way. My tea party days are over. Luckily for Paramount, audiences were in the mood for chills this weekend, as Paranormal Activity 3 had a dump truck of cash backed up to its haunted house doors and unloaded. The third entry in the now-never-ending series not only trounced the competition and stunned box office analysts, its broke the records for both October opening weekend and Fall opening weekend. Both of those records were previously held by last year’s Jackass 3D, which debuted to $50.3m.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that is just trying to get through its humpday malaise, therefore it’s a nightly movie news column that will be keeping things short, sweet and surprisingly interesting this evening. We begin tonight with Michael Bay and Jason Statham, both of whom are denying all those rumors about Transformers 4 and 5. It was just as safe to assume yesterday that nothing was actually in the works as it is to assume today that something really is in the works. Logically, the bean counters at Paramount and Hasbro want another one. And until the price becomes right, all parties involved will deny, deny, deny. In the mean time, rumors will resurface. Because as Statham told MTV News this week, “the internet is a dangerous place.” And that’s coming from a pretty dangerous guy.

read more...

They took the stage. They did their dance. But in the end one side decided to throw mechanized punches while the other side fought a tyrannical small town with the power of fancy footwork. That is to say Real Steel took the top spot from Footloose this weekend but only by a narrow margin. When the actual numbers hit Monday evening, it could be another story altogether, but, as of right now, the robot have it for the second weekend in a row.

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that has no problem closing out another fine week of coverage. Why? Because it’s got a hot and heavy weekend planned with its new girlfriend, Siri. It even used her to book a quality hotel, make restaurant reservations and order adult party props. You know, just in case she’s into that sort of thing. We open this fine, crisp Friday evening with a shot of Ecto-1, the vehicle driven by everyone’s favorite guys to call if you is, in fact, afraid of some ghosts. It was captured by our friends at Primer Magazine at the Arclight in Los Angeles in celebration of Ghostbusters returning to theaters. It’s one of four original production cars used in the films, fully restored to its former glory. And glorious, it is.

read more...

This week, Fat Guy Kevin Carr gets ready to celebrate Halloween in style with some horror releases… and he’s not just thinking of Footloose. Unhappy with his life, he follows the bucket list path of Steve Martin, Owen Wilson and Jack Black, traveling to the bottom of the world where he finds himself in a small Antarctic town that has outlawed dancing. So Kevin takes it upon himself to help the people get their groove on only to discover they’ve been taken over an alien species that duplicate human form. Later, he takes a trip back to the heartland where he finds a feral woman chained in a cellar… pretty standard for some of the towns he’s been to. Finally, not being able to find a theater that is still playing Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), he checks it out On Demand and promptly throws up.

read more...

The Reject Report

Some days you just have to take a step back, look around you, and – if no one is watching, in my case – cut loose. At least that’s what Paramount is hoping audiences will want to do this weekend, as their Footloose remake hits theaters far and wide. It’s going to have an uphill dance, though, as another revisit to an ’80s classic, this one a prequel, hits and those fighting robots are still out their lurking in the trash yards. Those robots won’t stomp the yard, though. That’ll be left to the teens from Bomont, Georgia. And maybe the creature in The Thing. You think it dances? You think anyone cares if it can dance while it’s taking over their body? Probably not. On with the Reject Report.

read more...

Anyone who has seen a horror film knows the cue for when a scare is right around the corner – the music begins to draw out the tension before a percussive boom reveals whatever monster or villain (or in this case, shape shifting alien) has made a sudden appearance on screen. Because it is not just the image that is terrifying, it is the sound leading up to its reveal that contains the real fear. Ever watch a scary movie on mute? The scares on screen become almost comical without the music or sound. Even just listening to the music from a horror film (without the accompanying visuals) instinctively puts you on edge. (And yes – I listened to these scores with the lights ON, thank you) John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982) took us to a remote research station in Antarctica where the sudden appearance of a seemingly stray snow dog and a low flying helicopter bring us into a world of extreme weather, extreme isolation and a lot of questions. This year, director Matthijs van Heijinigen Jr. is bringing The Thing back to theaters as a prequel to Carpenter’s film. Heijinigen’s film works to explain how things came to be at the start of Carpenter’s tale and the scares and score have been amplified along with it. Famed composer Ennio Morricone created the haunting, but minimal score for Carpenter’s film while composer Marco Beltrami has created a more “traditional” horror score for Heijinigen’s prequel.

read more...

The Thing is a prequel, not a remake. The trailers indicated Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.‘s film was going to be nothing but a series of retreads, but it’s far from it. The commercial director managed to make a film he can actually call his own. Slightly old school and slightly modern, The Thing is a surprisingly fun horror film. Although, to start with some bad news, it does take time to warm up to this prequel. One of its main problems is reminiscent of Predators – you’re watching characters wandering around spouting “What’s going on?”, when you already know exactly what’s going on. The build-up to the goods doesn’t take a great deal of time, but most of the set-up elicits that unexciting feeling of being 20 minutes ahead of your characters, especially for those who’ve seen Carpenter’s remake. Once the chaos commences in the second act, that’s when the film begins to firmly take hold. There’s an all-hell-breaks-loose moment, where more than a couple of characters are killed off, and it’s the scene where the film begins to work. This bloody and standout scene comes after the expected “let’s see which one of us is still human!” experiment, another bit the filmmakers managed to put their own unique spin on. After that “oh, crap” moment, it’s all running and screaming from thereon out.

read more...

Director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. had a lot going against him when he took on The Thing. Fanboy outrage notwithstanding, the filmmaker had to take the same concept — characters discovering an alien running amuck, guessing who’s not human, that sense of paranoia — and still make his own film, and not simply a series of retreads. The obvious reliance on CGI over practical effects isn’t the greatest difference from John Carpenter‘s film; it’s all the spins and deviations Heijningen crafted — the unique alien designs that differ vastly from the original’s transformations, the lack of any bad-ass heroes, the twist on the blood test scene, and plenty more — which make this prequel stand apart. Here’s what director Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. had to say about revamping concepts, why you’ll be seeing more CG versions of the alien over practical versions, and why we shouldn’t expect an unrated cut:

read more...

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news and editorial column that likes you. So much that it would get your named tattoo’d on its back, should you promise to read it every weeknight until the end of time. So lets make this happen, people. It’s got at least 200k names worth of back space. We begin tonight with a shot of Rooney Mara as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, as published by a French photography portfolio. It’s one of a group of images that show a black and white David Fincher, a snowy Daniel Craig and plenty of the tattoo’d girl herself. Are we still looking forward to this one? Oh yes, we are.

read more...

Drinking Games

We’re in the middle of October, the month of Halloween, and the scariest new DVD release this week is The Zookeeper. But no one’s seriously planning on renting that film, are they? That leaves possible drinking games for Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (and honestly, what third grader is going to try that?) or The Tree of Life, and a drinking game for that would get me into more trouble than my review did. So considering it’s the month for scares, and the remake/prequel/reboot/reimagining of The Thing comes out at the end of this week, plenty of folks are revisiting John Carpenter’s 1982 classic. So pour your Jim Beam into your Chess Wizard computer and crack open a Coors. It’s time to go drunk retro with this film, available on DVD, Blu-ray and Netflix Instant.

read more...

Boiling Point

It’s October and that means one thing in Hollywood: not releasing horror movies. It’s become sort of a yearly tradition for me to bitch about the lack of horror movies released in the month of Halloween and so far, Hollywood hasn’t yet disappointed in disappointing me. People love Halloween, they love scary movies, and they love combining the two. During the month of October, more people than ever are interested in seeing scary flicks and having fun in a theater. You can look at positively mediocre movies, like most of the Saw franchise, Rob Zombie’s Halloween movies, and Paranormal Activity, that are released in October and make oodles of money — money they wouldn’t make at any other time. It’s sort of like when poker started appearing on television, everyone started buying poker sets. Poker movies started coming out. SyFy Channel and The Asylum make a living off of making rip-off movies that play around the release of huge movies, when people are most interested in that subject. If only there were a way to know when people would be interested in what…

read more...

It’s unclear why this is a red-band trailer. Maybe because it’s adequately startling? Or a bit gruesome without splattering blood everywhere? Or maybe because no one curses or gets naked? Either way, even though The Thing is a remake prequel with the same name as its originator featuring roughly the same plot, the strength of this piece of marketing is the fabulous creature design done as a group effort by Amalgamated Dynamics, The Aaron Sims Company and several others. From the design to the execution, it looks appropriately slimy and scary. Check it out for yourself, and watch out for that co-worker with the eye twitch.

read more...

Boiling Point

John Carpenter’s The Thing may be among the greatest remakes of all time. It shares little with its predecessor, and actually calling it a remake may be unnecessary, as they’re both born from the novella Who Goes There? Anyway, let’s call it a remake – let’s not mince words, because if I did that now, the rest of my argument wouldn’t make much sense, because I’m calling out 2011’s The Thing for not copping to what it is. The thing is, it’s exactly what it seems like, unlike the alien in the movie, but the filmmakers just won’t admit their film is a remake. I mean, they sort of aren’t against calling it a re-something. Kind of. See, to them it’s a prequel. It tells the stories of the Norwegians, so it’s part of the canon. It can’t be a remake if it actually takes place in the storyline. It just becomes an installment of the franchise. Normally, that’s fine. Who cares? A prequel isn’t as good as a sequel, generally, but we regard it as a step up from a remake. But here’s the problem: watch the trailer for The Thing. This movie is a God damned remake and there ain’t no two ways about it.

read more...

Let’s face it. If you need to threaten an enemy from a middle range distance, clear a ton of jungle in a hurry or carmelize the top of a crème brûlée, there’s nothing better for the job than a flamethrower. It’s a gun that throws fire. As your head wraps around that awesome concept (just as it does on a daily basis when you daydream about owning one), consider this beautiful instrument of destruction’s place in film. Sure, Bellflower comes out this week (and should energize you to convert daydreaming into action), but there’s a storied history here to uncover, and a future that’s assured to be bright enough to demand protective gear. Here are just a handful of movies that put the flamethrower on the burnt pedestal it deserves to sit upon.

read more...
  PREVIOUS PAGE
NEXT PAGE  
Twitter button
Facebook button
Google+ button
RSS feed

published: 12.22.2014
C-
published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-


Some movie websites serve the consumer. Some serve the industry. At Film School Rejects, we serve at the pleasure of the connoisseur. We provide the best reviews, interviews and features to millions of dedicated movie fans who know what they love and love what they know. Because we, like you, simply love the art of the moving picture.
Fantastic Fest 2014
6 Filmmaking Tips: James Gunn
Got a Tip? Send it here:
editors@filmschoolrejects.com
Publisher:
Neil Miller
Managing Editor:
Scott Beggs
Associate Editors:
Rob Hunter
Kate Erbland
Christopher Campbell
All Rights Reserved © 2006-2014 Reject Media, LLC | Privacy Policy | Design & Development by Face3