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July 22nd, 2011

Editor's note: this review was originally published on March 16, 2010 as a SXSW Film Festival review.

Writer: David Robert Mitchell
Director:
David Robert Mitchell
Cast: Amanda Bauer, Brett Jacobsen, Claire Sloma, Nikita Ramsey, Jade Ramsey

David Robert Mitchell's feature debut, THE MYTH OF THE AMERICAN SLEEPOVER, has one of those teen Americana slice-of-life plotlines that should guarantee it at least captures sentiment from those young and wishing to be young. An assorted group of high schoolers have one last summer night free of the trappings of school to live it up. But instead of scripting the action around one of those "epic parties" that gathers all sorts of people who would never interact under any other circumstances, mashes them together like so much of a high school frappe, and waits out the results, MYTH goes for something much more realistic. A sleepover. Well, three of them, to be precise. (more...)

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July 22nd, 2011

Editor's note: this review was originally published on January 25, 2011 as a Sundance Film Festival review.

Writers: Mike Cahill, Brit Marling
Director: Mike Cahill
Cast: William Mapother, Brit Marling, Jordan Baker

In times of great pain, what a comfort to imagine another world out there, a parallel universe where our biggest tragedies have just never happened, other versions of ourselves living happily unaware. But what if that other world was real? How then to ease our pains, how then to repent, how to make things right when they are right, just somewhere else? In Mike Cahill’s ANOTHER EARTH, two very broken individuals attempt to answer these questions, as a second Earth reveals itself and hangs peacefully in the sky, promising redemption that has no place on this Earth?

Rhoda Williams (Brit Marling, who also co-wrote the film’s script with Cahill) was a promising young high school student, just accepted to MIT, when a night of drinking and driving led to her crashing into the Burroughs family, killing wife and son. Left behind was husband and father John Burroughs (William Mapother), also at a pinnacle in his life as a composer and professor. Both Rhoda and John are destroyed by the events of the night of the crash, incidentally (cough, or not, cough) the same night Earth 2 revealed itself in the sky. Four years later, and both are living vacant existences that are void of peace or salvation – until a misunderstanding places them in each other’s lives in a very different, very new way. (more...)

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July 22nd, 2011

Writers: Keith Merryman, David A. Newman
Director: Will Gluck
Cast: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Patricia Clarkson, Jenna Elfman, Richard Jenkins, Woody Harrelson
Studio: Screen Gems

If Hollywood is to be believed, sex and love go together like brownies and nuts - they are delicious on their own but when combined they make something magical. You can overdose on nutty brownies, for sure, but unless you’re allergic or completely tasteless, the combination is irresistible. Even the most jaded can get absorbed in a well-crafted romantic comedy or swept away by an emotional melodrama. As formulaic as Hollywood films may be, they still have an audience and the best ones can sway non-believers to their side.

Last year, the release of GOING THE DISTANCE and EASY A breathed new life into Katherine Heigl’s tainted rom-com kingdom. While neither film received noteworthy numbers at the box office, both offered something we hadn’t seen prominently in mainstream comedies - couples talking frankly about sex and love within Hollywood’s constructs. Director Will Gluck’s follow-up to EASY A pushes those talks a bit farther, as his newest feature, FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS, focuses on a best friends interested in sex and nothing more. This arrangement is nothing new in the real world, but it is a scenario often shied away from in films. (more...)

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July 22nd, 2011

Writers: Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely
Director: Joe Johnston
Cast: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving, Hayley Atwell, Tommy Lee Jones, Stanley Tucci, Sebastian Stan, Samuel L. Jackson
Studio: Marvel Studios/Paramount

This summer is unlike any other from the past. Namely, due to all the comic book and superhero movies we’re getting from major movie studios. Are general audiences getting sick of this trend in Hollywood? The minor success of two other comic book movies that already came out this summer may suggest so. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS and GREEN LANTERN, despite their fandoms, has opened to lukewarm box office receipts. Although their opening take was high, the expectations from studios and pundits were not met. So is CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER worth seeing? Yes, absolutely! This is the first comic book movie of the summer that actually embraces its comic book origins and aesthetic. (more...)

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July 22nd, 2011

Traditionally, studio panels break up their movies so they strictly focus on one movie at a time. This is FilmDistrict’s first Comic-Con panel and they wanted to change it up a bit. Capitalizing on the mash-up style made popular since the dawn of the Internet, they decided to bring out everyone at once and go back and forth between DRIVE and DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK.

The panel included Nicolas Winding Refn (director of DRIVE), Guillermo Del Toro (producer of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK), Ron Perlman (HELLBOY, DRIVE), Carey Mulligan (AN EDUCATION, DRIVE), Troy Nixey (director of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK) and Guy Pearce (MEMENTO, DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK). It was a very interesting format. All panel members had seen both movies so they were able to ask each other questions, along with the moderator and audience questions. Del Toro has been to the con a number of times and wanted to do something different than the same “promo crap” that all the other studios do. (more...)

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July 22nd, 2011

Twentieth Century Fox’s panel set up was sparse with just two lonely chairs on the stage, but they proved that first impressions can be very wrong. Damon Lindelof and Charlize Theron took the stage to talk about PROMETHEUS, how it fits in to the ALIEN universe, and show some footage.

Read all about it, after the break. (more...)

by:
July 22nd, 2011

This contest is now over!

Gordon and the Whale and Sony Pictures invite our Dallas readers to attend a free advance screening of their new film 50/50, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anna Kendrick.

The screening will take place on Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 at 7:30PM in Dallas, Texas. To redeem passes, follow the link below. But you better act fast...the link is only good for so many passes so once they're gone, they're gone. Good luck, movie lovers! (more...)

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July 22nd, 2011

It has finally come to a close. One of the biggest franchises in film history, the HARRY POTTER franchise, has come to completion with its eighth and final film. We have watched the stars grow up and evolve into real actors, and seen the franchise turn from something popular, to something special.

On this week's episode, we review HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 2, and what we think the future holds for the series. You can check the episode out after the break!

And for listeners, e-mail Gandthewpodcast@gmail.com with your favorite film based off of a book for a chance to win one of two prize packs courtesy of Redbox.  Packs include one copy of BARNEY'S VERSION on DVD, as well as the bestselling novel from which it is based.  And remember, if you don't win, BARNEY'S VERSION is available to rent from Redbox for only $1 a night! E-mail your name and address by Wednesday, July 27th to win!

(more...)

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July 21st, 2011

What would it be like to be the son of Saddam Hussein? Even more troubling, what would it be like to be that son’s look-a-like? THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE takes this idea to extreme levels with Dominic Cooper taking on the challenge of playing both Hussein’s actual son, Uday Hussein, and his doppelganger, Latif Yahia. Composer Christian Henson (SANCTIFIED) takes up the task of creating the score for a world in which the stakes are always high and there are no rules. Henson unquestionably rises to the challenge, composing a score that is interesting, upsetting, and immersive. (more...)

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July 21st, 2011

Say what you will about the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise, it sure is popular.

And now, thanks to the team of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, a third PA film is quickly on its way to theaters.  PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3 sees the viewer being privy to the story leading up to the original two films, involving a pair of sisters and their lives leading up to the events of PA 1 and 2.

Paramount has released a teaser for the film (hat tip to reader Diego Acevedo for the heads up), and I must say, while it looks like more of the same, that’s not wholly a bad thing. (more...)

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