Zombieland

Zombieland TV

Amazon recently launched 14 TV-style pilots (including Zombieland), and they’re asking users to provide feedback that will theoretically help them decide which shows to keep and what to do with them. Is it a smart move to democratize the development process or will shows end up cowering in fear below a ravenous mob of faceless. aggregated opinions? Veteran actor Donal Logue weighs in on bringing pilots to the people, shares some Copper-style 19th century Irish American history and drops a piece of advice that should make you change your mindset about finding success. Plus, Geoff wants to warn aspiring writers about the wrong way to present your work. Then, screenwriter Justin Marks and The Bitter Script Reader join us to dig way too deep into what Amazon is trying to do. For more from us on a daily basis, follow Logue (@donallogue), Justin Marks (@justin_marks_), The Bitter Script Reader (@BittrScrptReadr), the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #16 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Sometimes you just have to punch a wall, or perhaps a car door, or a ceramic cat – really, it’s whatever is closest. Whether it is rage, retribution, or legitimate hatred, sometimes an inanimate object just has to go down. In the moving pictures this is especially fun to watch. Much like a movie death is often more dramatic than reality, a little inanimate destruction goes a long way.

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Culture Warrior

A few weeks ago, as the indie group Here We Go Magic traveled through Ohio, they encountered a tall, skinny hitchhiker who they quickly recognized to be the inimitable filmmaker/public personality/pencil-thin mustache enthusiast John Waters. The band members took pictures of themselves with Waters and sent them out to the twittersphere. John Waters’s presence in their van did not transform into a difficult-to-believe apocryphal story between friends over drinks, nor did it grow into the stuff of urban legend, but instead became a certified true web event simultaneous to the band’s immediate experience of it. For any fan of the ever-captivating and unique Waters, this unlikely scenario which was still somehow consistent with Waters’s personality was truly bizarre, interesting, funny, and perhaps even enviable. But Mr. Waters’s is simply the most recent in a string of out-of-the-ordinary celebrity encounters. Celebrity has changed greatly over the past few decades. Whereas stars of film, television, and popular music formerly dominated the imaginations of their public through their creative output and carefully orchestrated public personae (through interviews, red carpet appearances, etc.), today’s celebrities are characterized more by their public personae than any output to warrant it. The Kardashians, the Hiltons, and the VH1 reality stars of the world are simply famous for being famous (or, more accurately, for being born into incredible wealth). There is no longer a sense that one earns fame through creating something or contributing to culture.

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If Jesus or Tupac ever finally return like we’ve all been saying they will, they should probably do it in a Judd Apatow film or something like that. We love cameos, don’t we? It’s especially delightful when it’s extremely unexpected, and of course extra points if they are playing themselves – or better yet some kind of silly version of themselves. It’s all about recognizing the kind of person you are perceived to be, and then playing off that in a way that makes the audience realize that you are in on the joke. If a celebrity is able to do that, it’s instant coolness.

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Movie Rollercoasters

Despite being the least efficient mode of transportation available today, people can’t get enough to these damned amusement park rides. I myself enjoy being flung around by steel monsters quite a bit, but truth be told I much prefer rides as they are depicted in films. The reason for this is simple: since they aren’t going to build a whole amusement park ride just for the film they go find one that already exists, then they proceed to make it look 10 times more awesome than it really is by adding cool elements or characters to it. The result is a ride that is just too fun to exist. The following are those rides that set the bar up high, as well as their less-awesome real world equivalents.

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Get it! Because it’s about zombies! There’s no challenging that Zombieland dominated in every way possible. Word of a sequel was quick to surface, but that’s all it’s ever been. Movement hasn’t been swift, but now the concept that was first meant for television and then became a movie might become a television show once more. According to The Hollywood Reporter, writers Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick and producer Gavin Polone are developing a half hour comedy version of the movie for weekly consumption on Fox. This would add another notch to the trend of the undead hobbling around television. The Walking Dead was a door buster, and MTV has their own series that might head to a second season. What’s genius here is that it’s set up for comedy and for 22 minutes of story. With as tight as Reese and Wernick’s writing can be, there’s no doubt that they can jam a lot of bloody laughs into that amount of time. Now if they can only manage to get a solid make-up effects budget. Some might raise an eyebrow at the concept (and Fox’s involvement), but it’s incredibly cool to see anyone taking a chance on horror comedy on network TV. But if you were hoping for a movie instead, don’t worry! All television shows get promised a film version after they finish their run, and it always, always gets made.

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Director Ruben Fleischer seems to have cashed in all his chips from Zombieland and made a small, dark, action comedy. Underneath its obvious commercial appeal, chances are taken with the humor of 30 Minutes or Less. Whether it be with Michael Pena‘s performance or being unafraid to have actual stakes, the film doesn’t always play it safe. One would think Fleischer would jump right away into the world of tent-pole filmmaking, but he decided to wisely follow-up his hit film with a project that’ll allow his sensibilities to show. Fleischer won’t be staying in the comedy world forever, though. With his next film, The Gangster Squad, the director will be tackling an epic L.A.-set gangster picture through a digital camera lens. The director was kind enough to make the time to talk while prepping The Untouchables-esque epic, where we discussed the darkness of 30 Minutes or Less, grounding comedies, and his love for digital filmmaking:

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Don’t you dare talk about Fight Club or something really, really, really bad is going to happen.

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Every week, Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius log on to their favorite chat client of 1996 as BlurryProjector and TheGeneralRulz in order to discuss some topical topic of interest. This week, they ponder the wildly wide-spread Mark Harris article, “The Day the Movies Died,” alongside the new infographic proving movies have gotten worse. We really need a scapegoat, huh? Is marketing really to blame? Are movies really getting worse? If so, how do we, the fans, fix them?

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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Zombieland screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick are set to make their feature directorial debut with Doc And Howie: a buddy comedy about two goofballs (presumably named Doc and Howie) who inadvertently kill a grandmother in a failed attempt to aide her in carrying groceries up a flight of stairs.

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Sunday Shorts

Unspoken love is a tough thing to deal with, but throwing in a zombie apocalypse while secretly pining for a lovely lady has got to be double complicated. Should I do the yawn-arm-over-shoulder bit, or keep that hand free to grab a machete? Should I tell her how I feel, or concentrate on the itchy bite on my ankle? Decisions…

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With recent events involving fresh piracy lawsuits, and people vehemently defending their right to steal, it’s important to check out what filmmakers think about piracy. In the case of Kiowa Winans and Rhett Reese, it’s not as black and white as you’d think.

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This week on the Blu-ray market, I come back from the Sundance Film Festival to an enormous stack of Blu-ray movies ready to be reviewed.

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Rob Hunter loves movies. He also loves kicking ass and taking names in Thai restaurants. These two joys come together in the form of cash money payments that he receives every week and immediately uses to buy more DVDs. Not a lot of titles hitting shelves this week, but we do get epic action from exotic lands, love stories in the Big Apple, and zombies across America.

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Want even more zombie perfection from Zombieland? Have we got a deal for you!

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Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese. Two writers whose names you’ve probably heard around here a few times. Well, here they are again with yet another project.

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End of the year lists usually come in tens or some sort of multiple of ten but here, as you will see, there are only seven slots. No, I’m not purposely trying to be subversive, nor was this result of laziness, and I assure you that it wasn’t an attempt to gyp you out of those bottom three slots. There just weren’t ten great, unequivocally funny comedies released this year.

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We take a look back at the year 2009 in horror and, finding little to celebrate, never the less pull together a list of 10 films that, at the least, didn’t suck total balls.

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Perhaps one of the greatest honors, yet most difficult tasks of my year is the creation of my annual top ten list. As this site’s editor in chief (or whatever title suits me this week), I get to kick-off our Year in Review every year with my picks for best of the year.

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Sometimes a great shot can be attained through the wonders of visual effects — the fine folks at ILM can do just about anything with a computer these days. But there is a certain brutality, a certain aesthetic beauty that can only be achieved in the practical realm.

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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
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