You’re Next

Macon Blair in

From the very start, the thesis of this monthly column has been that there’s plenty of great stuff always being added to Netflix, if you just dig for it a little. While we still stand by that statement, it’s also true that the last few weeks worth of new additions have felt a little light—not quite up to the standards of recent months. N ot to worry though, as we’ve still been able to sort through the rubble and find 16 good movies to stream that all range from being worth your time to downright exceptional, so we should all be able to survive until the next big title dump. As always, click on the movie’s title to be taken to its Netflix page. Pick of the Month: Blue Ruin (2013) Most revenge movies are escapist stories that deal in a black and white, eye for an eye morality and feature over-the-top protagonists who go to extreme lengths in order to avenge wrongs that have been done to them. They’re pretty simple, but they’re pretty satisfying. Blue Ruin isn’t like those movies. While it is, essentially, a revenge movie, it manages to raises itself a step or two above the rest of the rabble by being smarter and more interesting than the films that stick to the usual formula. First off, the protagonist here isn’t a killing machine. He’s an in-over-his-head everyman who’s reacting to his situation more like a wounded animal than a terminator. And the revenge he takes isn’t treated like […]

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discs header short term 12

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! If you see something you like, click on the title to buy it from Amazon. Short Term 12 Grace (Brie Larson) works at a home for troubled teens, but while she’s fantastic at her job, her empathy for the kids sees her bringing home their pains far too often. Her boyfriend (John Gallagher Jr.) works there too and hopes the two of them can grow as a couple, but he knows her past has led to too much of her heart being cordoned off for the kids. Their situation grows even more untenable when a new girl arrives at the facility. Writer/director Destin Daniel Cretton‘s film is a small wonder. It’s essentially a character piece, a glimpse into the life and love of one woman and the people around her, but it’s crafted and performed so effortlessly that it feels like emotionally rich time spent laughing and crying with friends. There’s a slight misstep in the third act where the film loses sight of its characters in deference to a more conventional narrative, but it’s a minor trespass. Check out Allison’s full review here. [Blu-ray/DVD extras: Deleted scenes, behind the scenes, featurettes, original short film]

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2013review_horror

Boo. Now turn off the lights, pull your feet in under the covers, and keep reading for a look at our choices for the Best Horror Movies of 2013.

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2013review_missed (1)

The 13 movies below range from the very good to the great (while the 6.5 that follow are just mostly bad), but the one thing they all share is that they each failed to find an audience during their theatrical run for one reason or another. At least one of those reasons is you of course, but instead of berating you for failing to support the films while they were in theaters and needed your help, we’re hoping to point you in their direction now to atone for your sins. But first, a few qualifications. I’ve excluded movies that played in fewer than 75 theaters since that’s the distributor’s fault, I’m not featuring films that made over $30m, and I’m not including subtitled foreign releases which the masses avoid in general. These are only films that could have had a real chance of making a lot more money than they did, so while I wish more people saw the Jared Leto-led Mr. Nobody, I’m not surprised that it only made $3,600. Finally, I’m also sharing the wealth a bit by skipping movies that will be making our Best Films of the Year list next week. So here are 13 great movies that failed to catch on at the box office but should be sought out immediately on Blu-ray/DVD, streaming, whatever… and 6.5 relatively terrible flicks that you were right to avoid.

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IMG_6285.dng

I love all kinds of movies. Especially the really good ones. But when given the choice between watching a movie in a theater packed with strangers or in my living room where there’s a maximum occupancy of five, I will almost certainly choose the latter now. Obviously the overwhelming majority of new releases don’t offer that option so I find myself in the theater a couple times per week both for work and for pleasure, and to be clear, I’m very much a fan of watching movies come to life on the big screen. My problem is specifically with the audience. Between the talking, all the 911 calls and the loud smacking noises apparently required when masticating lobby chum, the theater experience has dipped in quality quite a bit in recent years. No big revelation there. Every week seems to bring a new debate about whether or not theaters should allow tweeting, juggling, or breast feeding during movies, but while I’ve gotten used to the distractions during most types of films there’s a sub-genre wholly dependent on atmosphere that’s suffering thanks to this new breed of sphincter-like filmgoer. Watching scary horror movies in theaters just isn’t scary anymore.

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Marquee

As if the summer box office wasn’t already glutted with more than enough blockbusters to last us right into fall, Paramount Pictures has now announced that they’re bringing back two of their most plagued productions for a special studio-specific double feature to end the summer with a bang (or, potentially, a whimper). Paramount is bringing both Star Trek Into Darkness and World War Z back to select theaters for a one-week engagement (August 30th through September 5th) that will, thoughtfully enough, cost moviegoers just the price of one ticket. Both films were troublesome for Paramount in different ways – STID had to live through director J.J. Abrams’ persistent insistence that his film was not a new spin on the classic Khan storyline, only for fans to discover that, well, it was. The Brad Pitt-starring World War Z had its own cross to bear – months and months of reshoots and rewrites that typically spell doom for any film. Neither film has been a true box office bust – STID pulled in nearly $460m worldwide (more than its predecessor), with WWZ making just over $526m worldwide – but is that enough for Paramount? Apparently not. But with Paramount putting together its own double feature to grab the last dollars available from an exhausted (and exhausting) summer, we couldn’t help but wonder what other studios could put together their own second-run double features and, if they did, what we’d actually like to see from them.

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home-alone-map

The morning’s best writing from around the movie website-o-sphere. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya?

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The Movies of August 23

We aren’t the only ones beating this particular drum. It very well could be the best weekend for movie releases all year. From indie darlings to the final event movies of the summer, in every genre, this weekend features some of the most interesting, engaging, thrilling and downright entertaining releases we’ve seen in all of 2013. To further explore this point, allow us to run you down the list of releases (in varying degrees of wide and limited engagements) with some comments to help fuel the fire.

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sxsw youre next

We’ve waited a long time to see You’re Next, an even longer time to see All The Boys Love Mandy Lane, and we’ll never get to see The Day the Clown Cried. While we tear-up about it, producer Keith Calder joins us to describe what it’s like to see something you made collect dust on a shelf even as people clamor for its release. He’ll explain one direction your luck can go in when your movie is being treated like a used mattress. Plus, Geoff and I daydream about movies that could have been amazing if they hadn’t burned in development hell and explore how to email a professional screenwriter looking for advice. You should follow Keith Calder (@keithcalder), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on Twitter for more fun stuff on a daily basis. And, as always, please send us your feedback. Download Episode #30 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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You

Home invasion horror flick You’re Next has been getting rave reviews for whole years now (including a few from our very site – here and here), but the film still won’t (finally) hit wide release for another week. To drum up a little bit of anticipation, it looks like Lionsgate (or perhaps the film’s animal-masked killers) have been distributing a few exclusive posters across the net. Shock Till You Drop received the above image, along with this threatening message: “You’ve been chosen. The Animals are on the Hunt. And Ryan… #YoureNext.” But STYD and their own Ryan Turek aren’t the only ones in trouble, because Bloody Disgusting got their own poster and message, which you can see after the break.

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Iron Man 3

Harmony Korine and friends already gave us a taste of sand, sun and heavy weaponry, but it doesn’t quite feel like summer yet. Maybe that’s because global warming is making everything so cool or because President Obama keeps delaying all of our vacation planes, but the hugeness of the season still hasn’t fully descended. That’ll change this weekend when Iron Man 3 drops an arc reactor into theaters. Then, the parade of unbelievably massive summer movies commences with buddy cops, mischievous teens, people probably named Khan, bald Matt Damons, super men, and the end of the world itself in tow. It’s a tight race this year. Optimism runs high, and the next few months are packed full with studios and indie outfits hoping to entertain and score big, so the task of naming the 13 most-anticipated summer movies was a tough one. So instead of hurting our brains over it, we let math do the work by putting the question to the whole staff and tallying up the results. It’s a slightly eclectic mix, displaying the powerful potential of cinematic storytelling to bring us into the cool, dark room with a single light source. As luck would have it, we found a fittingly seasonal place to start:

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trailer youre next

Up until this point Lionsgate’s handling of Adam Wingard‘s You’re Next has been a lesson in how not to market a movie. Its 2011 festival premieres (at TIFF and Fantastic Fest) led to near unanimous raves to which Lionsgate responded with… two years of inexplicable silence. While the studio was being quiet though the relative handful of festival fans were busy pumping up the film at every opportunity. No film could live up to this degree of hype, and having seen the movie a couple weeks ago I can confirm that this is no exception. But You’re Next is still a damn good movie that deserves to find an audience. Happily, Lionsgate isn’t resting on that early buzz in the build up to the film’s August 23rd release. They’ve just released their first trailer, and it is pretty goddamn sweet. It doesn’t try to convey how truly funny the movie is (and seriously, the movie is hilarious), but it’s slickly cut and perfectly suited to get asses in seats on opening weekend. Check out the spectacular trailer for You’re Next below.

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SXSW

SXSW 2013 ended ten days ago, but the memories live on thanks to the great friends we met, delicious food we ate and fantastic movies we had the pleasure of seeing. (Our intrepid interviewer, Jack, also has a strange rash to remind him of the dangers of 6th Street after dark.) You can catch up on our coverage of the films and the talents, but as a final goodbye to this year’s fest we want to highlight some of the movies we enjoyed the most. Rather than simply list the best of the fest though we’ve chosen to look at our favorites as lessons learned, things we discovered and/or talking points that other filmmakers could probably learn from as well. It’s worth noting that my personal favorite of the fest was Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color, but since it was already my #1 film at this year’s Sundance I decided to highlight two other excellent movies instead. Keep reading to see what Jack Giroux, Kevin Kelly, Neil Miller, Luke Mullen and I learned about the movies of SXSW 2013.

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mnad_yourenext

In tonight’s round-up of the best news and notes that didn’t grow up to be bigger stories, we’ve got all genres. Star Wars and Jurassic Park representing the genre known as geek bait, Iron Man 3 in the corner of superhero flicks, Spring Breakers in for whatever the hell genre its in, and You’re Next in for some horror. As you can see above, it’s some serious horror.

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Youre Next Masks

You’re Next caused up quite a stir at last year’s Fantastic Fest. The movie was swiftly picked up for distribution by Lionsgate after receiving stellar reviews, one of which came from our own Scott Beggs, who described the movie as, “pure horror bliss, delivering an engaging group of characters, a badass chick, some iconic masks to add to the collection, and a new twist on slashers.” Rob wasn’t quite as taken with the film, but one thing is for sure, You’re Next is packed with horror images and a song that’ll stick with audiences. While at SXSW, we spoke with the director of You’re Next, Adam Wingard, about those memorable masks, finding its theme song and getting to direct fellow horror directors:

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mnad_waltercat

Tonight on your favorite nightly round-up article, there’s a cat dressed up like Breaking Bad‘s Walter White and plenty of interesting Hows and Whys from the world of entertainment journalism. Like, “How to Write a Why Article: Part SEO-Bomb.” Hashtag inside baseball joke.

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sxsw youre next

The main lineup at this year’s SXSW Film Festival was announced last week, and while it features a ton of great-looking content it wasn’t complete. The list was missing the dozens of shorts that will be playing next month, but more importantly it was absent any hint of the Midnighters that some of us look forward to all year long. That changes today. SXSW have revealed the films from both categories, and the nine Midnighters look to be a fun and exciting mix of established names and interesting newcomers. One of the stand-outs is the highly praised and long-delayed You’re Next from Adam Wingard and Simon Barrett, which I’m hoping lives up to the hype and the wait. We’re also getting two Sundance holdovers with The Rambler and S-VHS (curiously called V/H/S 2 here). Rob Zombie’s The Lords of Salem will be making an appearance too, but more exciting are the presence of new films from Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Splice) and Dennis Iliadis (The Last House on the Left remake). SXSW 2013 runs March 8th-16th, and the complete list of shorts and Midnighters can be found below.

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postmodem-borscht

Halfway through the 2012 Borscht Film Festival, a documentary screened titled Rising Tide: A Story of Miami Artists. In the film, which offers a basic guide to the growing art scene in the city, local paper sculptor Jen Stark acknowledges the way the digital world allows contemporary artists to flourish outside of major art centers. “Ever since the Internet came out,” she says, “ I never thought I had to be in New York or wherever.” It was a resonating quote to hear in the middle of an event so devoted to both regional communities and how they can come together as a broader, networked collective of filmmaking scenes. The central occasion for Borscht, which was held last weekend, is a screening of shorts either made by local filmmakers or commissioned by the Borscht Corporation and at least shot in Florida. Many of the films involve an overlapping of talent, and by the end you’ve seen 20 works that have given you a good sense of what’s happening with the underground “Miami New Wave.”

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Dredd Concept Art

What is Movie News After Dark? It’s a nightly news column that doesn’t always have something to say. But when it does, the geeks of the world listen. We begin this evening with some great DREDD concept art found by the folks at Comic Book Movie, picked up via Germain Lussier’s ever-excellent Superhero Bits column. The excitement I have for this, one of Fantastic Fest’s big name films, has gone through the roof as more reactions come in, including that of our own Nathan Adams at TIFF.

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What do you do when your first several efforts in the horror genre are quiet successes and your most critically acclaimed feature is delayed more than a year? If you’re director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett you sign with a major studio to adapt a bestselling spy thriller to the big screen. The duo behind A Horrible Way to Die, segments in V/H/S and The ABCs of Death, and next year’s You’re Next have done just that. Per Deadline by way of /film, their next project will be an adaptation of Jon Stock‘s Dead Spy Running for WB. The book is the first in a trilogy about a disgraced MI6 agent named Danny Marchant thought to be a traitor by his own people and the CIA who is forced on the run to prove both his own innocence and his dead father’s. The rights were snapped up on publication back in 2009, and since then various names have been attached to direct including McG, Stephen Gaghan and Jonathan Levine. Wingard and Barrett have come on board with an existing script from Gaghan (and Jamie Moss) that tweaked the novel’s lead character just a little bit. Marchant will no longer be a spy on the run… He’ll be a DJ.

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