Why FX is the Best Channel on Television

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As a diehard cinephile, I used to shun most television shows when I was younger, claiming they were hopelessly inferior alternatives to cinema. While there were plenty of excellent shows I occasionally watched in the 90s (The X-Files, Homicide: Life on the Street, and NYPD Blue among others), I didn’t really start paying attention to television in a serious way until The Sopranos premiered on HBO. That show is rightfully credited with ushering in the current television renaissance, what with its impeccable writing, gorgeous cinematography, and nuanced performances. The Sopranos wasn’t just a TV show; it was a cultural event with the power to change people’s perceptions about what television could be. Continue reading “Why FX is the Best Channel on Television” »

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Why Chaplin Would’ve Loved BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD

By Michael Neelsen

Charles Chaplin. The name alone evokes cinema at its highest level. His films (“The Gold Rush”, “Modern Times”, “City Lights”) are viewed as brilliant commentaries on the human condition and are screened countless times a year by regional film societies across the world. If Charles Chaplin films were to be outlawed tomorrow, people everywhere would see it as a grave injustice.

Beavis and Butt-head. The name alone evokes television at its lowest level. Their shorts (“Dude, a Reward”, “Bang the Drum Slowly, Dumbass”, “The Mystery of Morning Wood”) are viewed as juvenile pieces of brain poison and are watched on Hulu and Netflix by thousands of half-awake twenty-something guys at 2:30 in the morning. If ‘Beavis and Butt-head’ were to be outlawed tomorrow, uh, I guess some people would be pissed for a few days.

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Why the EVIL DEAD Remake Should Keep Its NC-17 Rating

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If there’s one thing most movie buffs can agree on, it’s that the MPAA sucks. It’s a woefully outdated, embarrassing organization that holds entirely too much sway in this day and age, and given the proliferation of “unrated” cuts released on home video, its existence is eminently pointless. Every year, filmmakers have to contend with whatever the MPAA arbitrarily decides to condemn; it’s happened so often it starts to feel like the same story over and over again. But nothing frustrates me more than when an adult film with adult subject matter intended for adults must be compromised to appease what is essentially a secret censorship society. Not even a universally revered genius like Stanley Kubrick was safe from their bullshit.

The latest film to be slapped with an NC-17 was the upcoming remake of The Evil Dead, which isn’t too surprising given the amazingly grisly red-band trailer that was recently released. On Twitter, director Fede Alvarez gleefully admitted he was proud of the rating, although he was quick to note that his film needed to be cut and resubmitted for the contractually obligated R rating. This is even less surprising, as Evil Dead is a potential blockbuster in the making and an NC-17 rating would restrict horror’s most reliable patrons – teenagers – from attending. In a way, it doesn’t matter, since the full cut will inevitably see the light of day (just not in theaters). Everybody wins, right?

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#130 : Oscar Bitchin’ 2012, Part 2

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The guys wrap up their 2012 Oscar preview and predictions. Jared expresses his frustrations over the omission of Kathryn Bigelow from the Best Director category and Joe verbally punches Quvenzhané Wallis in her six year-old face.

#130 – Oscar Bitchin’ 2012, Part 2

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#129 : Oscar Bitchin’ 2012, Part 1

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The guys preview the 2012 Academy Awards and give their predictions for the winners. Jared goes on a spectacular rant about the fallacy of the Best Foreign Film category and Michael explains his problems with comparing ZERO DARK THIRTY and DJANGO UNCHAINED for Best Original Screenplay. If you’ve got money riding on an Oscar pool this year, listen to these guys and “bet the house!”

#129 – Oscar Bitchin’ 2012, Part 1

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A Fistful of Michael Haneke’s Best Tweets

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We’ll be discussing the brilliant new film Amour in a few weeks, but you still can get a Haneke fix by following him on Twitter. Of course it isn’t the real Michael Haneke – but rather an immature, deliriously funny take on the provocative auteur as if he were a dickish teenager lording his Palme D’ors over everyone’s head. Favorite subjects include his cat’s farts, the shortcomings of Terrence Malick movies, Skittles, the movie Species, and of course, puns about strokes. You may need to be a cinephile and/or have an extremely dark sense of humor to love it as much as me, but here are a few of my favorites to get you started.

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Jared’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2013

Last year, I specifically called out Moonrise Kingdom and Skyfall as two movies that didn’t excite me, and they both made my top ten of the year. I suppose this means I shouldn’t be so judgmental. Thus, I will refrain from doing something similar this year. Just know that the following films are those that are of personal interest to me, roughly in order of anticipation. If you want a list of the biggest movies due for release this year, go elsewhere.

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GRAVITY
[October]
Dir: Alfonso Cuarón | Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney
Originally due for a 2012 release, Gravity is now the film I’m most excited about this year. Cuarón is one of modern cinema’s great visionaries, and this follow-up to the masterful Children of Men should rock my autumn. Continue reading “Jared’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2013” »

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BONUS : More Best/Worst Films of 2012

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The guys discuss more of their favorite and least favorite films of the year.

#128.5 – BONUS More Best:Worst Films of 2012

[audio http://www.reelfanatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/128-5-bonus-more-bestworst-films-of-2012.mp3]

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#128 : Top 10 Films of 2012

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The guys count down their top ten films of 2012 and reflect on an uneven but above-average year in cinema.

#128 – Top 10 Films of 2012

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#127 : ZERO DARK THIRTY

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GUEST: Zach Gonzalez-Landis, screenwriter. The guys answer listener mail, discuss their favorite movie death scenes, least-favorite cinema tropes and debate Kathryn Bigelow’s new military procedural story, ZERO DARK THIRTY.

#127 – ZERO DARK THIRTY

[audio http://www.reelfanatics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/127-zero-dark-thirty.mp3]

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