Twin Peaks

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The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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Worlds End End

People love a good twist ending. When it’s good, it’s The Sixth Sense. When it’s bad, it’s most of the Shyamalan films that followed. But now twists aren’t just shocking flips of plot that viewers don’t see coming. They’re also those moments where a feature defies one of Hollywood’s many conventions. These days, the courage of conviction rings sweeter than the slickly planned twist. It’s exhilarating to watch filmmakers follow their plan to the end (for good or bad), and it’s promising that they were allowed to do so and not curtailed by a system that wants things just so. (Consider the original plan for Heathers, which would’ve seen everyone die and get a happy ending in Prom Heaven.) Sometimes it’s as simple as fighting the rampant desire for a happy ending and letting characters be miserable or die, and other times it’s daring to not kill anyone at all. Every time I see the trailer for Sex Tape, I find myself hungry for the unexpected. I fear actually seeing the film because in my head, Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel spend half the movie trying to stop people from seeing their sex tape, and then they realize they’re actually closet exhibitionists and don’t care. Even if completely random and absurd, that would beat barreling toward a conclusion that’s obvious from the first trailer. In the meantime, I’ll have these films (and one television show) to sate my unexpected hunger. Beware, the ends of films will be discussed and therefore spoiled.

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Matt Dillon and Terrence Howard in Wayward Pines

A government agent who appears without warning in a small, sleepy woodsy town in the middle of nowhere that’s hiding much more than it seems? A town that’s full of weirdos — both the harmless and the probably insane? And all of the action seems to take place around him hanging out in the local diner getting his next batch of information? It sounds familiar because it’s Twin Peaks. But Wayward Pines, a new show from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan, is certainly trying its damndest to convince us that it’s something completely different. Adapted from “Pines,” the novel by Blake Crouch, the series will arrive on Fox in 2015 to hopefully cleanse the taste of After Earth. And The Last Airbender. And The Happening. And Lady in the Water. And from our mouths as Shyamalan’s assurance that he can still produce something legitimately creepy and bizarre. Is this a comeback? Maybe, and rest assured that he knows that the premise of the series, which follows a Secret Service agent (Matt Dillon) waking up on the outskirts of a town in Idaho with no recollection of getting there  – just a head injury taking care of deleting those memories — and finding himself dealing with a host of strange characters like a wacky nurse played by Queen of the crazies Melissa Leo, a spaced-out diner waitress (Juliette Lewis), a cop that doesn’t really care (Terrence Howard) and a missing woman (Carla Gugino), mirrors David Lynch’s beloved series greatly. “It struck me as having a Twin Peaks-y vibe,” Shyamalan said, according to Indiewire. […]

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Twin Peaks

April 8th marked the 24th anniversary of Twin Peaks’ premiere. But as any good fan knows, this means it’s also been 25 years since Agent Dale Cooper (Kyle MacLachlan) first visited the Black Lodge on March 26, 1989, when Sheryl Lee’s Laura Palmer whispered in his ear: “I’ll see you again in 25 years.” For fans, it’s been a whirlwind of cherry pies and snapping fingers, but the anniversary is also a reminder of just how far David Lynch and Mark Frost’s influential show stretched. This wasn’t a little cult affair seen and quoted by few. Glimpses of the show can be seen far and wide in homages, parodies, and vague references from stage to screen, from adult comedy to children’s programming. By this point, just about everyone has seen at least a little Twin Peaks through one of media’s many references, and here are some of the best.

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Holiday Gifts for Movie Lovers

We may be midway through December, but it’s not too late to be thinking about what to get for those movie lovers close to your heart. Speaking from personal experience, it’s oftentimes hard to surprise your movie lover with something, as they likely have every DVD you can think to get them, and what interests are more interesting than movies, anyway? Fear not – I’ve got a few week’s worth of good ideas that will delight even the biggest movie nerd with a variety of gifts that reach beyond the $5 DVD section at Target. Today, in a special edition, the idea is gifts inspired by your friends’ favorite movie characters. Either they’ll delight in the fact that these gifts remind them of their favorite films, or perhaps they resemble these characters in certain ways that would make these gifts a naturally good fit. Of course, self-gifting is never discouraged….

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Ryan Hartwig and a shotgun in The Aggression Scale

Remember the first time you watched Home Alone? You probably enjoyed it quite a bit, but still, somewhere deep in the back of your head, you knew it was missing something. That something was most likely extreme violence, bloody murder and a hot older sister. Lucky for you director Steven Miller and writer Ben Powell thought the very same thing. Their new film, The Aggression Scale, is about a group of thugs who invade a family’s home in search of money and kicks but find an emotionally disturbed boy instead. Owen is prone to violence, knowledgeable in the art of weapon-making and booby traps and very, very angry. He would eat Kevin McCallister for breakfast. The always wonderful Ray Wise stars as the mobster behind it all, and Dana Ashbrook joins him as his right-hand man and lead enforcer. That’s right…it’s a mini Twin Peaks reunion! Also along for the ride is Derek Mears who should be recognizable to all as the star of Kickpuncher. Anchor Bay is releasing the movie on May 29th, and they’re giving away two copies of the Blu-ray to help spread the home invasion fun. Keep reading to see how you can win.

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Francis Ford Coppola started his panel with a ton of electronics on the stage and a second ton of film history ready to impart. Twixt may be an antique story featuring Gothic Romance elements, but it’s set firmly in the modern and made by the future. What Coppola intends to do with the film is to take it on tour and (using high-powered new tech (and an iPad)) edit the film in real-time alongside live music scoring provided by Dan Deacon. He likened the concept to the way composers would take their music on tour, which means he’ll be responding in part to what the audience loves or hates. He will, on the spot, “change the experience to suit the audience.” It’s an ancient idea that will be re-painted as a revolution for the way a film is digested. This is film as opera, as live performance, as organic material that is re-shaped every single night that it plays.

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There aren’t very many good prequels out there. For the most part, what George Lucas hath wrought is a wide range of direct-to-DVD prequels of films we never liked in the first place. See The Scorpion King: Rise of a Warrior starring Randy “I’m a UFC Hall of Famer and I Have Cauliflower Ear” Couture if you don’t believe me. In fact, heading over to IMBD and looking up their list of prequels sends a Paul WS Anderson chill down your spine. There aren’t very many good entries, and some of the the ones that are passable – I’m looking at you, Temple of Doom – are barely prequels at all. So in honor of X-Men: First Class, a rare good prequel, I felt it necessary to run down a list. It’s a kind of guideline for future prequel-makers to follow – born from those who came before and succeeded. How can you craft a worthwhile prequel that doesn’t feel like it came right off the Hollywood assembly line? How can you make a story that creates interesting origin stories for characters that have already been established? Basically, how can you come up with a prequel idea that isn’t going to end up in Russell Mulcahy’s filmography? We love you, Russ. There can be only one. Those are some good questions. Here are some possible answers.

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Culture Warrior

Yesterday the Twittersphere (a place where topics are only discussed in rational proportions) was abuzz with the news that Terrence Malick’s long-awaited magnum opus Tree of Life was booed at its Cannes premiere. While the reaction to Malick’s latest will no doubt continue to be at least as divisive and polarized as his previous work has been, for many Malick fans the news of the boos only perpetuated more interest in the film, and for many Malick non-fans the boos signaled an affirmation of what they’ve long-seen as lacking in his work. (Just to clarify, there was also reported applause, counter-applause, and counter-booing at the screening.) Booing at Cannes has a long history, and can even be considered a tradition. It seems that every year some title is booed, and such a event often only creates more buzz around the film. There’s no formula for what happens to a booed film at Cannes: sometimes history proves that the booed film was ahead of its time, sometimes booing either precedes negative critical reactions that follow or reflect the film’s divisiveness during its commercial release. Booed films often win awards. If there is one aspect connecting almost all booed films at Cannes, it’s that the films are challenging. I mean challenging as a descriptor that gives no indication of quality (much like I consider the term “slow”), but films that receive boos at the festival challenge their audiences or the parameters of the medium in one way or another, for better or […]

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Haven

Audrey Parker is an FBI Agent not at odds with the oddities of the world, so when things go off kilter during an assignment in Haven, Connecticut, she doesn’t lose her cool dealing with the local weirdos.  Heck, she even decides to hang around a little longer. Review: SyFy has a couple of quality shows in the line-up already with the great Eureka and the good Warehouse 13, but they’re looking to add one more in Haven, a show that aims to be a little Twin Peaks and a little bit Eureka, with a sprinkle of Stephen King inspiration.

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In the last ten years, practices of storytelling and spectatorship in television have changed drastically, and, most likely, for good.

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Well it’s about damn time! The First Season of Twin Peaks was released to the delight of fans way back in 2001, though infuriatingly sans the superlative pilot, which was for years only available in grainy VHS or international-region DVD versions.

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Since the advent of DVD, FSR Editor Brian Gibson has been compiling debt… Lots of Debt. Every week he scours the Earth for the best DVD releases. Each week he’ll take you with him and let you know what to buy, what not to buy and why.

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