Trailer: Escape From Tomorrow

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Escape from Tomorrow is a film that seems too strange to be real. Shot guerilla-style while inside of Disney World, writer-director Randy Moore pulls some of the joy and magic out of the park and turns it a hallucinogenic nightmare.

The plot: On vacation with his family, Jim White learns that he has been fired. As to not ruin the vacation, Jim bottles up the stress, which leads to a surreal nervous breakdown at the happiest place on Earth.

The movie is currently getting the crap sewed out of it, as you could expect. Assuming it is released to the public, I’ll be first in line Maniacal Tinker Bell’s, children with black eyes, some dude wearing the Epicot Globe as a helmet—It looks horrifying and perfect.

Check out the trailer below:

 

Brilliantly Canceled: The 1/2 Hour News Hour

Here’s a friendly reminder to check out my latest piece over at Splitsider. In the article, I take a look at the Fox News “Daily Show” The 1/2 Hour News Hour.

Check out  a taste below:

The 1/2 Hour News Hour premiered on February 18, 2007 on Fox News. A response to the overwhelming success and ever-growing influence of fake news shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, Fox News’s parody of the media’s liberal bias opened to 1.4 million people tired of left-leaning outlets and curious bystanders looking to see if conservative comedy actually had legs — a question finally answered in David Zucker’s atomic bomb, An American Carol.

Sketches usually avoid the headlines and instead put bastardized versions of liberal stances on display. One sketch entitled “Gun Free Zone” shows a world where signs that read “Gun Free Zone” stop a bad guy with a gun. Another where an anti-gun activist sets himself up as a victim of gun violence, only to reveal that he’s a career criminal tired of getting shot. The jokes celebrated the conservative view, but offered little commentary or insight as to why they think that way. While The Daily Show screamed for sanity in an insane world, The 1/2 Hour News Hour satiated audiences by assuring them that what they believe is right.

See the rest at Splitsider.

 

Recap: Boardwalk Empire, “Acres of Diamonds”

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Boardwalk Empire is a show that likes to take its time. So as the show ventures away from Jersey, it slowly constructs world’s elsewhere. Richard visits his sister in the midwest, where his mythology grows. Nucky heads south to Tampa and considers a new deal. Van Alden spends time in Chicago. Margaret is in Brooklyn—get out of Brooklyn already, Margaret! All of this world building, however, has not paid off in any significant seasonal arc just yet, and it hurts “Acres of Diamonds,” a slow, talky, and unengaging episode. Continue reading

Movie Review: The World’s End

ImageFinishing up their loose trilogy of films, Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost freshen up their winning formula in The World’s End, a buddy movie with apocalyptic alien invaders. With Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead, the cornetto boys created a language all their own and made the genre movies they always wanted to see, ones that reflected their own nostalgic nerdy selves.  The World’s End moves some of the furniture and puts a fine cap on what have been some of the funniest movies of the last decade.

20 years after high school, Jerry King (Pegg) aka “The King,” because his last name is King, doesn’t have a whole lot going on. Sure, he’s been in and out of rehab, has a place under at his mom’s and sick Sister’s of Mercy tattoo, but not much has improved since the last day of high school. To rekindle some of life’s fire, he invites his old high school buddies to complete “the golden mile,” a 12-pub crawl through their hometown and the one thing he regrets never finishing as a teenager. Continue reading

200 Words or Less: The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934)

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The Man Who Knew Too Much is Hitchcock’s first crack at this story; he would later remake with Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day in 1956. There’s still a lot to like in this one—though, most of that has to do with one creepy performance from Peter Lorre. Having recently escaped the Nazi Germany, Lorre couldn’t even speak English when Hitchcock cast him as this skunk haired deviant. Nevertheless, he turned in a supremely weird performance that both harkens to his child-hunter in M and the future-weirdo Joel Cairo.

The Man Who Knew Too Much follows a family of clay pigeon shooters and wealthy cynics who have their daughter kidnapped after stumbling on a clue in a dead secret agent’s hotel room. To get her back, the girl’s parents must keep their mouth shut long enough for a pack of gang of political activists to, well, I wouldn’t want to spoil it.

This is Hitchcock before he really got rolling. With an early use of his “Accidental Secret Agent” plot, Hitch does what he does best, though, in more primitive form. Still, the twists, laughs, and suspense are all there. And at 75 minutes, it’s definitely worth your time.

Recap: Brooklyn Nine-Nine, “Pilot”

brooklyn-nine-nine-foxWell, it’s officially the fall, as far as TV’s concerned, and with that new TV pilots wither from the dying branches of studios all throughout California and blanket the ground in rich, new foliage. And, hey, some of them aren’t just child cooking contests! 

One such show is Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the latest offering from SNL-alum and Lonely Islander Andy Samberg, Office writer Michael Schur, and Daniel Goor. Riffing on detective procedurals, though without the droll whispers of Law & Order or CSIBrooklyn Nine-Nine uses the cliches, but doesn’t simply parody them. There’s a lot less self awareness on display here, and in that’s definitely a good thing. Continue reading

James Wan Resurrects Horror

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In the past three years, James Wan has resurrected horror movies from the grave. 2011’s Insidious, an updated version of Poltergeist, re-established the fundamentals of movie trickery, not twist endings or gory bloodletting, as the engine behind the horror. Two years later, Wan’s unassuming followup, The Conjuring and the Insidious sequel cemented Wan’s ideas: the right actors, setting, and a little ingenuity can make a house feel haunted again.

More than anything else, Insidious takes the ideas of the haunted house movie and brings them into the 20th century. With influences ranging from Vincent Price to Poltergeist to Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride, Insidious dusts off some old scares and shows that they still work. A family moves into a new house for a fresh start, and immediately, books fly off the shelves, ghostly figures appear outside their window, and Tiny Tim records play seemingly on their own. Wan employs some of the oldest tricks in the book, but finds new roles for them. Instead of a ghost being behind someone’s back, it’ll be in the corner of the screen. The audience still gets that helpless omnipotence in a way that’s more subtle and infinitely more creepy. Continue reading