The Wizard

Benedict Cumberbatch in Star Trek 2

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly gathering of links that was almost known as Oscar News After Dark, but then its creators remembered that they only really care about he Oscars for about one week per year, so it would have been a waste. With that in mind, welcome to the final edition of News After Dark in that one week of the year when we care about the Oscars. We begin tonight with an image tweeted by writer Roberto Orci, who may or may not being issuing a controlled leak situation for Paramount from the set of Star Trek 2. Said producer Damon Lindelof of the pic, which depicts a yet unknown character played by Benedict Cumberbatch being subdued by Zach Quinto’s Spock, “The weird thing about that Trek photo is we weren’t even shooting. Quinto just really hates Cumberbatch.”

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Culture Warrior

Buried deep within this sentence (Doritos are delicious) is an advertisement. Did you catch it? You probably didn’t because it was so subtly subliminal, but that’s exactly how product placement has worked for a century to varying degrees of success. After all, there’s a thin line between using real-life products in a film to create a sense of verisimilitude and using them to promote the product in question. Where that line is drawn is up to each person. One person might see a kid reading “National Geographic” in It’s a Wonderful Life and think it’s quaintly appropriate while another person might find it craven and conspicuous. To the same extent, different film productions have delivered brands with means ranging from the slyness of near-imperceptibility to almost Doritos-Scorchin’-Habanero-Flavor levels of obviousness. It’s far from new, and even though sold items have sneaked their way into movies for almost one hundred years, there’s been an explosion in recent decades, seeing a new revenue stream for studios and a new annoyance for film fans.

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Whether you’re trying to avoid the releases this week or augment them with even more movie, Your Alternate Box Office offers some options for movies that would play perfectly alongside of (or instead of) the stuff studios are shoving into the megaplex this weekend. This week features a foul-mouthed alien, proof that taking pills making you better, Matthew McConaughey refusing to leave his vehicle to practice law, and a schlubby wrestling coach.

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Junkfood Cinema

Welcome back to Junkfood Cinema; continue? This is the weekly internet column that fails where all others succeed. Every Friday I serve up a film selection that fell way short of auteur shortly after it was greenlit, and pick apart exactly what relegates to the back shelves of your local, flatlining videostore. But then, in acknowledgment of my celebrated lack of taste, I will dopily sing the film’s praises in what can only be described as the verbal representation of an 8year-old’s sugar rush. As if that weren’t enough reason to stop reading right now and switch over to Chat Roulette, I will then pair the bad movie with an even more unhealthy snack food item to ensure that no fiber of your being goes unassaulted by my efforts. This week’s snack: The Wizard.

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Hollywood hasn’t quite been able to grasp the video game adaptation, which is a shame. Because, much like the power glove, most video game films are so bad.

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published: 12.23.2014
B+
published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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