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John Mulhern

by:
July 29th, 2011

After talking about it endlessly, and praying to the gods of Asgard for the CAPTAIN AMERICA movie to come out, it has finally hit the big screen. This may not be Marvel's first attempt at bringing THE FIRST AVENGER to the big screen, but this is easily the quintessential version. We've all seen it, and we were very happy to dig right in.

We also dig into the AMAZING SPIDER-MAN trailer, and Captain Planet even showed up for a bit.

You can check out the episode after the break! (more...)

Damon Swindall

by:
July 27th, 2011

After starting in Washington D.C. nine years ago, Horror Movie Night has expanded to include chapters in Austin, Dallas, and Chicago. GATW’s own Brian Kelley is the originator and programmer of this illustrious weekly Wednesday night tradition which features a “classic” horror film. Each week I will be reviewing/commenting on the past week’s selection so do your best to find the film, most of which have not made it past VHS, and follow along. Better yet, start your own chapter!

VHS cover for VIDEO VIOLENCE 2

Another week was all set to go and I got the word from Horror Movie Night’s daddy, Brian Kelley, saying that the Austin clan would not be meeting. What to do? I had options. We could just skip a week or I could say “fuck it,” and watch DEADLINE as planned. Instead I chose option C. Since I my last BYE week pick was so much fun I had been salivating over the thought of getting to its sequel, so that’s what we did. Could VIDEO VIOLENCE 2 live up to the hype and low-budget pressures of its predecessor? Would there be some great shot-on-video gore? How many hats would Eli wear? All questions would be answered in a very quick 75 minutes. (more...)

Joshua Brunsting

by:
July 26th, 2011

When it comes to directors that one would assume would be well represented in the Criterion Collection, Todd Solondz is one of those filmmakers. However, despite Solondz being a highly influential auteur within the indie film world, it’s taken over 570 releases for the director to finally hit the collection. And it’s a sequel no less (well, kind of a sequel, at least).

A neo-sequel to his beloved masterpiece HAPPINESS, LIFE DURING WARTIME is Solondz’s first entry in the Criterion Collection, and finds a new cast taking on characters introduced over a decade prior. Starring Shirley Henderson, Allison Janney, Ally Sheedy, and Ciaran Hinds, the film follows a collection of stories of people with major existential issues. A recently released pedophile, a woman dealing with the return of a true blue ghost out of her past, a mother trying to deal with her son, and a burgeoning relationship are just some of the characters one meets during the film. (more...)

Damon Swindall

by:
July 26th, 2011

Amazing cover art on Arrow's release of THE FUNHOUSE

It’s no surprise that director Tobe Hooper is most well known for a small indie horror flick from 1974 called THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE. This film shocked audiences the world over and became one of the most influential and frightening films of the genre. But before he would strike box office gold with Steven Spielberg on POLTERGEIST in 1982 he made a few more films with varying degrees of success and cult status. One such film is a creepy carnival centric picture from 1981 called THE FUNHOUSE and now Arrow Video has decided to honor this overshadowed film with a fantastic Blu-ray release.

The film sees a group of four teens on a double date making way to a traveling carnival for the evening. Once there, they see all of the great sideshow attractions, spend time playing games on the midway and riding an assortment of rides with questionable safety regulations. After a while, Amy Harper (Elizabeth Berridge) calls home to say she’ll be spending the night with a girlfriend – in actuality the quartet is going to stay behind after hours in the carnival’s funhouse for the purposes of dirty, dirty teen sexual interaction. As you would imagine, things go very wrong with their plan as they witness a murder, see a severely deformed boy, and have to fight to make it out alive. (more...)

Joshua Brunsting

by:
July 26th, 2011

LEON MORIN, PRIEST is not the first film that pops into one’s mind when discussing the life and career of iconic auteur Jean-Pierre Melville. Best known for films like LE CERCLE ROUGE, ARMY OF SHADOWS, and LE SAMOURAI, Melville is one of cinema’s most beloved directors, and also one of its most influential. Thirteen features to his name (as well as one short), Melville was quite prolific over his career which spanned from the 1946 release of his short, VINGT-QUATRE HEURES DE LA VIE D’UN CLOWN until 1972 with the release of UN FLIC. LEON MORIN, PRIEST is one film that has seemed to have been forgotten when having discussions of Melville’s career. However, thanks to The Criterion Collection, we now have a crisp and beautiful Blu-ray of this absolute masterpiece.

Set during WWII, LEON MORIN follows a young widow, Barny, who must deal with her new ound love for her gorgeous boss, Sabine. Just one of a handful of conflicts the atheist Barny must deal with, she begins to spark a relationship with an attractive young priest, Leon Morin, and begins to converse with both faith (she feels as though baptizing her daughter will save her) as well as God almighty himself.

Led by Jean-Paul Belmondo in a role seemingly birthed for him, the film may not be as strong or as iconic as Melville’s crime pictures, but it’s no less affecting, and no less intriguing. (more...)

James Wallace

by:
July 25th, 2011

While Gordon and the Whale has sadly reached the end of its journey, a new one begins. Many of you who looked to this site as your source for giveaways and advance screenings in Dallas and Austin are probably wondering where you can now look to in order to fill your cinematic needs. Well, look no further...

I Heart Cinema.net, founded by Gordon and the Whale Senior Editor James Wallace (that's me!), will offer the same wonderful opportunities that Gordon and the Whale did, including advance screenings in both Dallas and Austin, online giveaways, filmmaker-attended screenings featuring Q&As, exclusive screenings, sponsored film series, awards show watching parties, movie-themed bar nights and satellite events, etc. etc. etc. But that's not all folks, I Heart Cinema.net aims to connect the reel with the real people in your own community! If it's cinematic in nature and it's a live event in the DFW or ATX area, you can count on I Heart Cinema.net to be your ticket to the movies!

I Heart Cinema.net is coming soon to a theater near you. Check out the site now and sign up to be notified as soon as it goes live in September. For your immediate contest needs, follow I Heart Cinema.net"> on Twitter @IHeartCinemaNet and Like us on Facebook where advance screenings will be posted starting today until full site launch.

James Wallace

by:
July 25th, 2011

UPDATE: We've been notified by the studio that this is just signed by Weisz.

Gordon and the Whale has teamed up with Samuel Goldwyn Film to give our readers the chance to win a poster from their new film THE WHISTLEBLOWER, signed by star Rachel Weisz, director Larysa Kondracki, and the film's real life inspiration Kathy Bolkovac.

For your chance to win, all you have to do is fill out the form after the break. Deadline ends at 11:59 PM on Friday, August 5th. On Saturday, August 6th we will select a winner via random drawing and notify them by email. Good luck, movie lovers!

ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. CONTESTANTS MUST LIVE INSIDE THE U.S. ITEMS CANNOT BE SHIPPED TO P.O. BOX. (more...)

James Wallace

by:
July 25th, 2011

Gordon and the Whale has teamed up with Sony Pictures Classics to give our readers the chance to win a poster from their new film THE GUARD, signed by stars Don Cheadle and Brendan Gleeson.

For your chance to win, all you have to do is fill out the form after the break. Deadline ends at 11:59 PM on Monday, August 1st. On Tuesday, August 2nd we will select a winner via random drawing and notify them by email. Good luck, movie lovers!

ONE ENTRY PER HOUSEHOLD. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. CONTESTANTS MUST LIVE INSIDE THE U.S. ITEMS CANNOT BE SHIPPED TO P.O. BOX. (more...)

Kristal Bailey

by:
July 24th, 2011

The Live Action Role Playing movie is ideal for a Comic-Con debut. Where else will you find so many real LARPers in one place? The cast and crew for the new film, KNIGHTS OF BADASSDOM, came out to Hall H to debut the trailer and talk about the film. This was one of the films no one really knew anything about before the 'con, so the panel was a happy surprise in terms of just how funny this film looks to be.

The panel was packed with some huge names in the genre world, including Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Jimmi Simpson (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia), Danny Pudi (Community), Michael Gladis (Mad Men), Margarita Lavieva (ADVENTURELAND) and the biggest names: Summer Glau (Firefly, Serenity) and Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones). Also leading the show was Joe Lynch, the first-time director of the film.

Keep reading after the break for a full panel recap and the Comic-Con debuted trailer. (more...)

Damon Swindall

by:
July 24th, 2011

Asian Film Festival of Dallas 2011

This year’s Asian Film Festival of Dallas (AFFD) has a wonderful line-up of films representing all manner of countries in the East. Unfortunately there’s just not time enough to see them all. I am the lone GATWer covering this festival so instead of doing full reviews of all the films, which would take forever, I’ll be giving shorter critiques in a couple of recapping posts to give you a wide look at everything this ten-year-old fest has to offer. (more...)

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