Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The Sting

The best part about faking your death has to be getting to decide how it will all go down. Instead of a bathroom heart attack, you can have fun with it and get mauled by a bear or spontaneously combust. The following characters know exactly what I’m talking about, as when it came time for someone to “die” they all had a bit of fun with it. Without a doubt, spoilers ensue, but even mentioning what movies they’re for would spoil them for you, so if you’re concerned at all, just don’t read.

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Boiling Point

The 84th Academy Awards have come and gone: let the bitching begin! As someone who is more of a genre fan than anything, I’ve never really cared too much about the Oscars, but that sure as hell doesn’t prevent me from complaining about them. Granted, over the years, some great films have won. I’m a big fan of Unforgiven and I dug Shakespeare In Love. I just think far too many good films are ignored in favor of “Oscar movies.” I can’t say that I was particularly impressed with any of the films nominated this year, but there were a few categories were I feel like the little golden man statue when to the wrong film. Luckily, the internet exists and I can complain about it!

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Boiling Point

Way back in January of 2010 I crafted a list of ten things I figured I’d hate in the following year. I tried to predict my own hatred, which can be difficult. Hate is the most wily and evasive of emotions, prone to erupting without warning. I made a few safe choices on the list, a couple of generalizations, but there were some surprises. Hell, one of the things I thought I’d hate I loved, while a few never even made it to the surface. Anyway, let’s take a look back at my look forward and see how things panned out.

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The Best Films of 2011: The Staff Picks

As you may have noticed, this final week of 2011 has been almost completely taken over by our third annual Year in Review. It was born in 2009 out of our love for lists and your thirst for reading, discussing and ultimately hating them. And each year the entire project gets a little bigger, a little bolder and slightly more absurd. With that in mind, I’m once again proud to present you with The Best Films of 2011: The Staff Picks. Each of our 14 regular staff writers, contributors and columnists, almost all of whom have been with us the entire year, were asked to present their top 5 films, in no particular order (although many of them placed their top film at the top, as logical people tend to do), each with an explanation. Some even included curse words as a bonus to you, the reader. Read: The Best Films of 2010: The Staff Picks | The Best Films of 2009: The Staff Picks Once again, the Staff Picks are a testament to the diversity we have here at Film School Rejects, with picks ranging from the likely suspects (Take Shelter, Hugo, Shame) to the slightly more nerdy (Attack the Block, Super 8, The Muppets) to several movies that may not yet be on your radar (see Landon Palmer’s list for those). And once again, it’s with a deep sense of pride that I publish such a list, the best of 2011 as seen through the eyes of the movie […]

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The Year in Review: Box Office

Here’s how the Christmas weekend broke down: Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol – $29.5m (+130.7%) $61.9m total Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows – $20.2m (-48.9%) $79m total The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – $12.7m NEW $21.1m since Tuesday release Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – $12.5m (-45.9%) $49.5m total The Adventures of Tintin – $9.7m NEW $17.7m since Wednesday release We Bought a Zoo – $9.3m NEW War Horse – $7.5m NEW released Christmas Day New Year’s Eve – $3.3m (-54.7%) $32.6m total The Darkest Hour – $3m NEW released Christmas Day The Muppets – $2.1m (-39.1%) $75.7m total Yes, we usually save this chart for the end of the recapping Reject Report, but this week is about the year, not the weekend.

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This started out as a list of overrated movies, but we (“we” being Rob Hunter and Kevin Carr, rabblerousers) decided fairly quickly that “overrated” is an overused and abused term. Who are we, or anyone, to tell you that you like a movie too much? It’s a rude thing to say regardless of whether or not we’re right. But thanks to the internet sometimes one person’s exuberance can find a virtual megaphone in all the tubes and anonymous users online, and that misguided praise can become deafening. And yes, we’re just as guilty as the rest of you…especially in regard to our first pick below. To be clear, most of these are not bad movies. The majority of them are actually good. But none of them deserved the near-constant accolades that seemed to echo from one corner of the web to another ad nauseum. So without further ado, pomp, or circumstance, here are 11 12 movies (in alphabetical order) you people wouldn’t shut up about in 2011. (**Note, there may be a few minor spoilers below.**)

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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.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s nothing more than a nightly film news column that keeps fighting the good fight. The one that celebrates movies, good, bad and otherwise interesting, and is generally optimistic. It doesn’t attack other websites that smear its name. Though if /Film’s Page 2 keeps mean-mugging it, that bitch is gonna get smacked. That’s how we settle things in the streets. As you are about to see, this week’s final News After Dark edition comes on a very slow news night. So it’s all posters, future Blu-rays and articles I found interesting. Including this AV Club Q&A about first R-rated movies. Like AV’s Josh Modell, I’m fairly certain — almost completely certain — that my first R-rated film was The Blues Brothers, a film that has remained part of my beating, movie-loving heart ever since. What was your first R-rated movie? Feel free to let me know in the comment area below and we’ll have some fun discussing. Or not, whatever. I see how it is.

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Labor Day marks the end of summer, and like every other year the online bitching and moaning about how bad of a summer it was at the movies has already begun. Twenty-one rejects got together for our bi-weekly bake sale/FSR office cleaning day, and we got to thinking. That’s just bullshit. Because there were actually some surprisingly solid and entertaining movies that hit theaters over the past four months. From comic book heroes that soared above the competition, to legendary directors who returned with their best work in decades, to R-rated comedies that made us wet ourselves, to prequels that proved going backwards can sometimes be a genius move, this summer offered up plenty of bang for the buck. So we each jotted down our five favorite films of the summer, assigned a point value to each rank (5 pts for 1st, 4 pts for 2nd, etc), and fed the raw data into our Commodore Vic-20 office computer. It finished processing eighteen hours later, and we ended up with the results below. So screw the haters… let’s embrace the movies that made us laugh, gasp, applaud, and sit up and take notice this past summer. Here are FSR’s Favorite Movies of Summer 2011!

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In the least shocking move of possibly the entire summer season, Paramount has announced that they are re-releasing Michael Bay’s opus, Transformers: Dark of the Moon (or as I call it, Trannies: Pink Floyd Kinda), back into IMAX theaters for an extended two-week run. No less than 246 IMAX theaters that previously thought themselves free from the metallic clang-clangs of robots and the screams of innocents piercing through their giant speakers and splashed on their giant screens will be subjected to the bloodshed (oilshed?) all over again, for yet another two weeks. The re-release kicks off this Friday, August 26, and will run until Thursday, September 8. The film has already grossed over one billion dollars in the worldwide box office, with just $59.6m of that coming thanks to IMAX. With the re-release of the film to IMAX 3D, that number will be jacked up exponentially, guaranteeing that audiences who previously missed (avoided?) the spectacle have no excuse to not see robots and humans going at it on a screen taller than most people’s homes. Optimus!! Buuuumblebeeee! There are currently three films playing in IMAX: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Cowboys & Aliens, and Final Destination 5: More Final-er. With the next new IMAX film opening not set until September 9 (that would be Contagion), Potter nearing the end of its run, and Cowboys underperforming, it’s no surprise that IMAX would push out a proven winner to end the summer strong. Now, who do I talk […]

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The Reject Report

Can you even imagine? A world overrun by Reject Reports? It’s like there’d be no movies, but we’d still report the weekend box office. While I stew over the quandary that’s just created, the world outside is still running smoothly. Blockbuster movies are still hitting. Small indie flicks are dividing audiences around certain parts of the country. Transformers are raking in a billion dollars. But this week, like it or not, belongs to the apes. Not Nim. I looked into it, and he’s safe, but the other ones are about to rise up and start fight back. Let’s see just how well those apes can handle themselves against the collective force of Smurfs, Captain America, and Jason Bateman.

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Boiling Point

Now, before I even get close to making a point about where the love is in the film critic world, I know how absurd it may seem to talk about love in a column about hate. But as the saying goes, it’s a fine line between love and hate and all of my rage comes from a place of love. I love movies and film and art and entertainment. I get enraged when things I love are threatened. Whether it’s Evil Dead or the actual theater-going experience, I try to only get mad for reasonable things. I mean, I get unreasonably mad, that’s true, but generally with good intent in my heart. But it seems these days it’s hip to be an asshole. It’s cool to shit on things before we know anything about them. It’s one thing to get mad early once in awhile – like against the new Evil Dead – but it’s another to get mad about everything early. It seems like every day my Twitter feed is full of two things. First, news. Second, people hating it. Where is the love?

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The Reject Report

Some aliens are stupid. Other aliens are crazy. Some aliens are just in love, but we usually don’t see these aliens between May and August. No one wants to see alien love in their Summer blockbusters. They want explosions and people shooting those aliens with well-placed bullets. Which brings us to this weekend, where two films about aliens getting blasted by pesky humans find release. Of course, one is having a much larger opening than the other, and neither of them feature Smurfs. That’s right. I said Smurfs. We’ll talk about them here, too. Enjoy this week’s Reject Report, and if you want loving aliens, come back in November.

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What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly movie news column that brings together all the most interesting stories and articles from around the web. It’s also fully immersed in Comic-Con week. Thus, another night of leading with an image of cosplay brilliance and advice from Comic-Con veterans. In our continued effort to get you ready to attack Comic-Con this week right alongside our own hit squad, here is another guide full of useful tips. Movies.com has put together a list of 10 Things Everyone Should Do at Least Once During Comic-Con, including one of my personal favorite things, “buy something new in Artist Alley.” Just remember that Twilight isn’t the only thing happening at SDCC, support those artists.

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The Reject Report

So now Harry Potter’s patronus is in the shape of a giant dump truck loaded with million dollar bills. Is there such a thing as a million dollar bill? There probably should be. And while you’re at it, go ahead and put Alan Rickman’s face on it. In J.K. Rowling we trust. Okay, I’m done with all that. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2, the last film of the 10-year series, has demolished all kinds of box office records. After breaking advance day records with $32m in tickets sales, it went on to make $43.5m in midnight showings. It wasn’t a shock to anyone when the Friday numbers came in and Deathly Hallows 2 had beaten The Twilight Saga: New Moon‘s $72.7m opening day with its own $92.1m. But the young wizard wasn’t done there. No, satisfaction was not met at the defeat of New Moon, though we’re all pretty thankful for it. Deathly Hallows 2, and probably Warners had something to do with it, too, had its eyes set on that opening weekend. Another Warners film, The Dark Knight, was holding the #1 weekend slot for three years with its $158.4m three-day take. Now that Sunday’s numbers have come out, Deathly Hallows 2 has pretty much swept the floor with that record, too.

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The Reject Report

The Reject Report who lived now comes to die. Wait, that’s not right. This isn’t the last Reject Report. It’s just the last one wherein we’ll be talking about a new Harry Potter movie. I know. Sadness entered my soul just typing that, too. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 in 3D and IMAX All Across the United States of America and in Certain Parts of the Great Land of Canada – I think that’s the full title now – hits theaters this Friday. Millions upon millions of eyeballs will be gushing tears as the credits roll, but Warner Brother will be hap-hap-happy about each and every one of them. Not because of the disinfecting costs on all the 3D glasses but because it’s sure to be another glowing mark in their box office books. What’s causing all this Harry Potter success? Magic. That’s what. And don’t you question it. Let’s take a look at just how badly HPATDHP2I3DAIAATUSOAAICPOTGLOC is going to trounce the competition.

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The fireworks continued a week after the 4th of July, and Chicago was once again decimated in thousands of screens across America. Poor Chicago. I hope the IMAX screen on Navy Pier stayed intact. Oh, lord. And Giordano’s Pizza, too? I’m suddenly beginning to understand all the hatred towards the Decepticons. But moving past that Windy City digression, Transformers: Dark of the Moon came out in the top slot for the second weekend, not a surprise considering the next big blockbuster of Summer 2011 doesn’t hit until next weekend. The bosses that are horrible and the keeper of the zoo were no match for the second wave of battling robots, massive Michael Bay explosions, and Ken Jeong. That’s right, we’re still counting him as a factor in all this. Dark of the Moon still sits at the bottom of the Transformers franchise totem pole. It has to best $319.2m in order to overtake 2007’s Transformers, $402.1m to beat out Revenge of the Fallen. The first of these seems likely. The second, not so much.

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The Reject Report

The Reportkeeper. It’s kind of like a Trapper Keeper 2.0. There’s an image of a ninja lion flying an F-15 jet fighter over an ocean of robot scorpions on the front of every one. That’s what makes it horrible. Plus the fact that it doesn’t hold papers or pens worth a damn. Also the Velcro to keep it closed is loops on both sides, so that doesn’t work. Basically this thing is a POS. I’m telling you NOT to buy the Reportkeeper when they go on sale over in the FSR store* later next month. Also, this is my way of telling you the new movies this weekend aren’t all that interesting as far as box office goes. It’s going to be Transformers: Dark of the Moon for the second weekend in a row. Press play on your Pink Floyd album of choice right…now. *Note: There is no FSR store. You can stop looking now.

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While enduring the mild pain caused by Transformers: Dark of the Moon, I thought to myself, “Man, this Sam character is a real prick. What type of people actually like this person? This is the best savior we could get?” I then realized that I often find myself thinking this nowadays. We rarely get great, likable heroes or genuine badasses on film anymore. Most are either mopey, passive, or do morally questionable acts. I’m not referring to anti-heroes — although, I do include one on the list — but, rather, the unintentionally lame mainstream characters that aren’t the most compelling or charming. A few of these not-so-heroic characters aren’t due to bad acting. As you’ll notice, Leonardo DiCaprio made the list for Inception, where he gave a solid performance. While I wouldn’t say that most of the actors featured here impressed anyone, DiCaprio and a few others certainly did. Here are ten mainstream characters that exhibit very little heroics:

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Culture Warrior

I’ll be the first to admit that the title of this post is a tad hyperbolic. The box office should not necessarily be forgotten, and it does, to an extent, matter. Predicting openings, percentage drops, and analyzing receipts present an interesting way to interact with movies as well as provide one of many ways to attempt an understanding of audiences in terms of evolving trends and patterns, as our own Jeremy Kirk does so astutely twice a week. Waiting until the early afternoon every Sunday to see the weekend’s estimations has been part of my weekly Internet routine for as long as I’ve been a movie nerd. Box office is, simply put, a part of the conversation. But we aren’t movie executives. Our investment is the box office is tied only to our social, emotional, and intellectual engagement with the films that sell tickets. The amount of tickets sold to see the product should never be confused with the product itself, and box office has severe limitations and problems in terms of understanding audiences’ relationship to a film. My concern with the ways we interact with and form conversations around box-office is not in regard to whether we should have such conversations at all, but the problematic meanings we routinely extrapolate from these numbers. To be frank, unless you work for a movie studio, a movie’s worth is never measurable in numbers. I concede that this is an obvious point, but unfortunately the box office continues to disproportionately dominate so […]

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published: 12.17.2014
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published: 12.15.2014
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published: 12.12.2014
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published: 12.05.2014
C+


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