Sunday, May 24, 2015

Nostalgia Theater: Giving the Hook to Hook

Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) squares off with Peter Pan (Robin Williams)
Steven Spielberg's Peter Pan project Hook is one of those movies that I've always defended from the brickbats of all those snooty media types who've looked down their nose at the 1991 film, claiming derisively that it occupies one of the bottom rungs of the Jaws and Indiana Jones director's expansive catalog of crowd pleasers. Pish-posh, said I. Elitist snobs! These folks were obviously just unable (or unwilling) to find their happy place. What're they, made of stone or something? I mean, come on, check out the release trailer!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Zaki's Review: Tomorrowland

It's hard to fault the optimistic underpinnings of director Brad Bird's new Disney opus Tomorrowland. Taking inspiration from the same brand of utopian philosophy that Uncle Walt himself espoused during his lifetime (and which he imbued the theme park ride of the same name with), the film is predicated on the simple notion that all it takes to combat the host of self-inflicted calamities currently threatening to capsize this Earthly experiment are a few of the right people with a few really good ideas. With that kind of idealism in play, it sort of feels like I'm kicking an adorable little puppy by giving Tomorrowland any less than a rave. And yet, here we are.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tributes to Dave

Before Letterman's final show last night, his colleagues in the very exclusive fraternity of late night hosts chimed in on their various nightly skeins to pay homage to the man who, for many of them, had been their inspiration and guiding light. Click past the jump to watch their various tributes:

Late Night Leader

After announcing his retirement just over a year ago, last night David Letterman put the period on an unprecedented thirty-three year run of sitting behind a desk, cracking wise, and making America smile. Spanning two shows and two networks (Late Night on NBC from 1982 to 1993, and Late Show on CBS from 1993 to now), not to mention five presidents, countless monologue minutes and innumerable "Top Ten" lists, Letterman's legacy is substantial not only for the unique brand of off-kilter, self-referential comedy he ushered in, but for how he normalized that kind of humor in the mainstream.

On a personal level, I never did get to see Dave during his NBC era. Late Night was on too late for me to be allowed to watch it during that pre-Hulu, pre-DVR wilderness, so my first exposure to his show was when Late Show debuted on CBS in fall of '93. By then the dust was settling from the first late night wars, with the feeling among many that Letterman was wrongly passed over in favor of Jay Leno after Johnny Carson abdicated The Tonight Show in 1992. At least initially, you have to think NBC wondered if they'd made the right decision. Initial tune-in for Letterman's CBS skein was substantial, and it remained dominant for several months.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The MovieFilm Podcast: Episode 70

The MovieFilm gang hits the road! Fury Road, that is. You already know how I felt about it, but for our big 70th show, Brian and I are joined by Paul Shirey, editor-in-chief movie news site Joblo.com for an in-depth conversation about director George Miller's latest, thirty-years-in-the-making Mad Max epic. But that's not all, in addition to unpacking the trailers for this summer's Vacation reboot and Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs, we also talk up the news that veteran actor Harry Shearer is leaving the cast of The Simpsons after twenty-six years, some of the latest rumblings about what to expect in next year's Batman v. Superman, and word of how long the next Star Wars film is shaping up to be. In addition to that, there's all the fun, frivolity, and witty banter you've come to expect. Listen via the embed below! Also, be sure to go to iTunes and Stitcher to write us a review, and drop us a line at our Facebook page to tell us how we're doing!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Nostalgia Theater: AfterMASH Loses the War

The cast of AfterMASH: (L-R) William Christopher, Harry Morgan, Jamie Farr
In February of 1983, CBS aired the finale of their long-running hit M*A*S*H. Thanks to its mix of comedy, pathos, and its charismatic star Alan Alda, the show, about the hilarious hijinks of a medical team during the Korean war had enjoyed an amazing eleven year run -- almost four times longer than the war itself! The much-ballyhooed final episode, "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen" was watched by a staggering 121 million people, and still holds the record for the highest rated TV episode of all time. Here's the tearjerking final scene, with Alda's "Hawkeye" Pierce bidding farewell to Mike Farrell's BJ Hunnicutt:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Diffused Congruence: Entrepreneur Shahed Amanullah

For this month's show we're joined by self-proclaimed "serial entrepreneur" Shahed Amanullah, founder of AltMuslim.com, Zabihah.com, Halalfire.com, and many others, for an in-depth chat on the role of Muslims in engaging with new media. With extensive experience in both the activist and policy spaces, having worked for the State Department under Secretaries Clinton and Kerry and also serving as one of the architects of the recent Haqqathon conference in Abu Dhabi, Shahed is uniquely equipped to answer some of the big questions pertaining to American Muslims taking a larger role in shaping their own narrative, and we're excited to be able to pick his brain on the subject. You can listen to the show via the embed below, or download at the link. As always, make sure to hit us up at our Facebook page to let us know how we're doing!

Zaki's Review: Mad Max: Fury Road

I was first exposed to director George Miller's Mad Max series in 1987 when, at age seven, I watched the trilogy capper Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome during its premium cable run. I didn't understand much of it at the time, but I loved it all the same. It wasn't until several years later that I watched the preceding entries in the series, and they left even more of a mark. Especially the second one, The Road Warrior (a.k.a. Mad Max 2). Today, Miller's post-apocalyptic playground remains as vivid and well-realized as when it debuted, and the franchise remains a favorite.

Thus, as the latest Max entry, Fury Road, moved through development hell, going from potentiality to actuality, with Miller himself at the helm to shepherd his creation once again, I tried very hard to keep my excitement level in check. After all, the last time a director named George brought back a beloved brand after an extended interregnum...well, things didn't go so well. "Please," I thought to myself, sending a silent prayer to the movie gods, "after The Phantom Menace, after the Planet of the Apes remake, after Superman Returns, after Indiana Jones, just give me this one."

And by George, he's done it. I waited twenty-eight years for Mad Max: Fury Road, and I'm so glad it's not terrible.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Zaki's Retro Review: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

After Mad Max 2’s ecstatic reception by both critics and paying audiences, a third entry in the series took on the air of inevitability. It was a question of when, not if. Mind you, that inevitability came more from the studio than the filmmakers. After living in Max’s world—not the most pleasant of places—for the past several years, George Miller was more than happy to wait and let inspiration strike him before moving back to the wasteland.

However, Warner Brothers had taken a pretty big gamble when they agreed to release the second Max even after the 1979 original fizzled out at the domestic till, and they were eager to get back on the road again to capitalize on their success. Thus, the Mad Max braintrust of Miller, producer Byron Kennedy, and screenwriter Terry Hayes, once again set about envisioning a story to wrap around their reluctant hero. And then tragedy struck.

Continue reading at Sequart...

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Zaki's Retro Review: Mad Max 2 (1981)

“I remember a time of chaos. Ruined dreams. This wasted land.” 

So begins the opening narration setting the status quo of Mad Max 2 (known to many folks stateside as The Road Warrior). Nearly thirty-five years on from its initial release, the first Mad Max sequel is that rarest of cinematic beasts: The Perfect Movie. At just over ninety minutes, there’s not an ounce of fat on the thing, and it whizzes along like the souped-up V8 Interceptor that the title character tools around in. If the first film represented director George Miller’s tentative initial forays into the world of high stakes, high impact filmmaking, the second is the auteur fully embracing the freedom of imagination that can only come from making the then-most profitable film of all time.

Continue reading at Sequart...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Zaki's Retro Review: Mad Max (1979)

By the time Mad Max arrived on the scene in 1979, the cupboard of post-apocalyptic cinema was already pretty well stocked. From The Time Machine to the Planet of the Apes cycle to A Boy And His Dog, for as long as the threat of nuclear annihilation has hung heavy in the air, there’s been a steady stream of movies to helpfully illustrate the multitude of ways mankind can/will end himself. Nonetheless, there’s something about Mad Max, both the film and the franchise, that’s allowed it to stand the test of time, not only as a work of art in and of itself, but also as a name and brand that commands cultural currency thirty years since the character’s last appearance.

Continue reading at Sequart...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

"Picture Perfect"

From last night's SNL. I laughed.

Nostalgia Theater: Free Spirit Edition

Free Spirit is a show that aired briefly from late 1989 to slightly-later 1989. As yet another entry in the catalogue of sci-fi/fantasy sitcoms pumped out during the '80s, it didn't quite manage the inexplicable longevity of either Out of This World or *shudder* Small Wonder. Instead, it aired for a brief fourteen episodes on ABC before disappearing down the memory hole and being replaced by the then-new America's Funniest Home Videos, which enjoyed much greater success for the network. In others words, audiences preferred to watch people being repeatedly hit in the groin with baseball bats than Free Spirit. Here's the title sequence, which I swear to God I'd think was a postmodern Too Many Cooks-style parody if I hadn't actually witnessed several episodes of the thing with my very own eyes:

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Recommended Reading

Last Sunday noted Islamophobe Pamela Geller organized a "Draw Muhammad Day" in Garland, Texas that was dressed up as a free speech event but was really just another vehicle to propel her anti-Muslim invective. Making matters even worse, when two nutbar gunmen showed up in its aftermath, Geller had the chance to cement her "us vs. them" narrative further. However, as my friend Wajahat Ali says in a new piece for Salon, "These ideological extremists are two faces of the same coin; they have a symbiotic relationship strengthened and sustained by the other’s toxic absolutism." Pretty much sums it up. Read the rest here.

Friday, May 08, 2015

"Negrotown"

Comedy Central's Key & Peele is due back in a few weeks to start its fifth season, and here's a small taste of what to expect:

Thursday, May 07, 2015

2016: The Movie

Last night Conan O'Brien set about casting the inevitable movie about the coming presidential election, and found some eerie matches. Good luck getting these out of your head when you're watching the debates and whatnot:

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

The MovieFilm Podcast: Episode 69


Avengers: Age of Ultron is the number one film in the world, and the MovieFilm gang is here to offer their thoughts on the long-awaited, much-anticipated superhero sequel from Marvel Studios (read my review here). We talk our likes, our dislikes, and where we'd like to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe go next as it heads towards next year's Captain America: Civil War. In addition to that, we also discuss the first images from DC Comics' adaptation Suicide Squad, news that DC/Warner Bros. is having some trouble getting its own superhero universe up and running, the plan to make a feature film about the great "New Coke" disaster of the 1980s, and the latest Star Wars news, including word that director Josh Trank has dropped out of directing a spin-off film centering on fan fave bounty hunter Boba Fett. There's plenty more though, and you can listen to it all through the embed below, or at iTunes and Stitcher. Make sure to write us a review and/or leave a comment at our Facebook page to let us know how we're doing!

Sunday, May 03, 2015

Nostalgia Theater: The Avengers' Crappy First Cartoon

Marvel's Avengers are currently cleaning up at the box office via their second big screen blockbuster, but in all the anticipation and hype for Age of Ultron, it's easy to forget that there was a time not too long ago when the only way the Marvelous super-team could make its way into the mainstream was via an instantly forgettable animated offering that aired on Fox Kids for about a minute-and-a-half during the late 1990s.

Arriving a few short years after Fox found considerable success with first Marvel's X-Men and later Spider-Man (in turn launching a veritable cavalcade of comic-based cartoons on Saturday mornings throughout the decade), there was no reason to think they couldn't make lightning strike thrice. Alas, such was not to be. Instead, when The Avengers (sometimes saddled with the unwieldy subhead "United They Stand") premiered in October '99, it looked like this:

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Zaki's Review: Avengers: Age of Ultron


Marvel Studios has a villain problem.

That's not a new observation, mind you. There have been rumblings and grumblings about it for awhile now (including here), that while the various colorful heroes who are front-and-center for these comic book spectacles are spot-on both in terms of how they're depicted and how they're played, they're rarely given antagonists that can match them in commanding the screen. Sure, Tom Hiddleston's wayward god Loki is a very notable exception to this rule, as is Vincent D'Onofrio as gargantuan crime boss Wilson "Kingpin" Fisk on Netflix's superlative Daredevil series. 

And yet, even with brilliant actors like Jeff Bridges, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Eccleston, and more having filled out Marvel's bad guy ranks at one time or another, Loki and Fisk are the outliers rather than the norm. And now here comes Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel's much-anticipated follow-up to their 2012 blockbuster The Avengers, to serve as exhibit A in this argument. The film takes a performance by the impossibly charismatic James Spader, and purposes it in service of an impossibly dull CGI automaton. It's a bit perplexing that Ultron manages to get so much right except for the very villain whose name is in the title.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Marvelous

I'm just a few short hours away from seeing Avengers: Age of Ultron, and while I didn't think it was possible to get more jazzed than I already am, this JoBlo.com supercut by Nick Bosworth & Joel Walden definitely manages to up the excitement level for me. Watch!

Anger Translated

Says Ezra Klein in reference to last weekend's White House Correspondents' Dinner, "The joke of President Obama's performance on Saturday was that he wasn't joking. Everyone just had to pretend he was." Indeed, and that became clearer the further along we got in the "anger translator" routine. Read here for more.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Soda Jerks

A few weeks ago I made reference to "New Coke" in one of my classes, and was greeted with a sea of blank stares. It was then that I realized that the substitute soda came and went so long ago now that there's whole generations that have no awareness of the national nightmare that ensued when Coca-Cola Comparny decided to slightly sweeten its formula. As it happens, a few days ago marked thirty years since the auspicious occasion of New Coke's introduction, and Vox has the blow-by-blow of what led up to (and out of) it.

Luther

As you know, Comedy Central's Key & Peele is, for my money, the strongest and most incisive sketch comedy show currently airing. Thus, you can imagine my joy at seeing one of the show's signature characters, President Obama's anger translator Luther, show up alongside the man himself at last night's White House Correspondents' Dinner for a masterful comedy set. Observe:

Nostalgia Theater: Morning Funnies Cereal -- Putting the "Mourn" in "Morning"

Here's another entry to add to the already-voluminous catalog of "The Crap We Ate." Morning Funnies is a short-lived cereal produced by Ralston, noted maker of short-lived cereals, that had a run of less than a year between 1988 and 1989. In a novel twist on the traditional approach to marketing breakfast food, the folks at Ralston dispensed with things like "taste" and "nutritional value" for Morning Funnies. Instead, its appeal was entirely predicated on what it came in. Here, watch this:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The MovieFilm Podcast: Episode 68

The Fandom Awakens! For this week's show, we're joined by a special guest, award-winning documentary filmmaker Ray Nowosielski, and we go through the big batch of trailers that dropped in the last few days, including Terminator GenisysJurassic WorldBatman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and, of course, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But that's not all! We also talk up new releases such as horror thriller It Follows and the Netflix original series Daredevil, plus news that Netflix has a Full House sequel series on the way as well. You can listen in via the embed below, or stream at iTunes or Stitcher. And make sure you let us know how we're doing at our Facebook page!

Monday, April 20, 2015

I Wish I Hadn't Seen the New Jurassic World Trailer

Well, technically I didn't.

I got about forty-five seconds in, and it really started to feel like they were giving away the whole store before the sale even started. Thus, given my preexisting excitement level for this one (which is probably disproportionately high -- but seriously, dig that poster to the right! It's Chris Pratt! On a motorcycle! And there's Raptors!), I decided that I'd close it out and wait. At this stage I'm content to know that it involves Chris Pratt, Bryce Howard, and presumably dinosaurs of some sort running amok. I'm good with that. That said, my choices shouldn't affect yours, so I've put the embed just after the jump should you choose to partake, and by all means, let me know what you think. Me, I'll just wait to watch Jurassic World when it hits theaters this June.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Fantastic Four Doesn't Look Bad

Man, the past few days have seen quite the rush of high profile trailers, and the hits keep coming! We've got a new one for Jurassic World hitting tomorrow, and Twentieth Century Fox just dropped our second look at August's Fantastic Four reboot. As per my new policy on these thing, I'm going dark from here on in with FF trailers, but everything I see here just affirms my feelings from the previous clip in January: Seems intriguing, don't recognize the characters. We also get our first looks at the Thing (above, pretty good) and Dr. Doom (awful). That said, the production design and cast are all top notch, so I'm definitely not going to write this off. It doesn't look bad. It really doesn't. I just wish they'd first tried to succeed with a version of the team that resembled their classic iterations before going all off-model.

"The country will survive.”

So says Jon Stewart in a lengthy interview with The Guardian reflecting on his decision to hand in his Daily Show walking papers in a few short months. While he's handling himself with the usual dry self-deprecation that's his forte, there's no doubt that, for me and I'm sure many, many others, the notion of Stewart not being there to lampoon a presidential election is probably the hardest part of this whole thing to swallow. But as he explains, one of the reasons he's leaving before 2016 is to give his successor Trevor Noah (who has himself dealt with some controversy of late) as much of a leg-up as possible. But that's not all he talks about in this lengthy and expansive chat. Read it all here.

Nostalgia Theater: The Powers of Matthew Star

The Powers of Matthew Star is generally considered one of the worst TV shows of all time, so naturally I've gotten a disproportionate number of requests to cover it here in Nostalgia Theater. Emerging during that 1970s-'80s limbo when both the quantity and quality of sci-fi on TV was practically nil, the skein was created by Steven E. de Souza, who found fame later in the decade with his script for Die Hard (and infamy the following decade thanks to his script and direction of this). I've seen less than a handful of the episodes produced during Matthew Star's brief 1982-'83 run on NBC, so I'm hardly an authority, but it's not hard to understand why it has such an execrable rep. Here, watch the intro:

Friday, April 17, 2015

Yawn of Justice: The First Batman v. Superman Trailer

Warner Bros. began this week with a lot of big plans for 2016's big superhero jam Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. They dropped a twenty second teaser-for-the-teaser on Wednesday, and then announced an IMAX exclusive screening of the trailer itself for next Monday. Unfortunately, WB got waylaid by two unfortunate instances yesterday. First, the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer dropped early in the day to near unanimous fan approval. Second, just as geeks the world over were joining hands and singing "Kumbayah," a crappy bootleg of the Batman v. Superman trailer hit the web.

As such, to try and minimize the PR damage from the leak, they've now dropped a hi-def version of the assemblage online, which you can watch below. As you can see, the storyline picks up right after the destructive finale of Man of Steel, with the world still trying to figure out what to make of the alien √úbermensch in its midst. Watching the clip, I can't help but find the general moroseness of the thing off-putting. If DC is looking at the success Marvel has had building its superhero universe, I'm wondering how exactly their takeaway is to go darker and grimmer.

Regardless, here's our first look at Ben Affleck as Bruce Wayne, and here's our first listen to his heavily-modulated Bat-voice (which is still an improvement over whatever the heck Christian Bale was doing in his last two flicks). I'm not ready to write this movie off just yet, especially given that, yes, I really dug Man of Steel, but nothing I see here really blows me away either, which is itself a disappointment. Watch after the jump:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Star Wars Trailer: "We're Home."

When I posted the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens last November, I mentioned that while it looked pretty spiffy, it wouldn't really feel "real" to me until we got to see some of the beloved characters from old school Star Wars making their return engagements. Well, the second teaser just dropped today at the big Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim, and as you can see from the shot above, things just got real. Really real. Click through the jump to watch, enjoy, and then batten down for the long, long wait until December.

The Legacy of Mad Max!

We're just under a month away from the release of Mad Max: Fury Road, and I'm trying very hard to keep my excitement in check. Although it's been thirty (!!) years since ex-cop Max Rockatansky wandered the post-nuclear wasteland, what we've seen of Fury Road shows that director George Miller hasn't missed a beat in the "gonzo action sequences" department, and new star Tom Hardy looks to be a seamless transition from Mel Gibson's Max.

My new policy with these big movies is to tune out all trailers, clips, TV spots, etc. the closer we get to release, but I made an exception for the "legacy" spot Warner Bros. dropped yesterday, and I'm glad I did. Giving us a glimpse of where the series has been before showing us where it's going, I found it especially, gratifying as a fan of the Max films, to know that the entirety of the history is being honored. Look for Fury Road in theaters on May 15!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Recommended Reading

I'm ambivalent about Hillary Clinton as a candidate, but there's no doubting that the political winds (and the general clown car feeling on the other side of the aisle) sure seem to favor her ascension to the White House come January of 2017. Jonathan Chait has more.

Monday, April 13, 2015

From The Onion...

Hillary Clinton To Nation: ‘Do Not F*** This Up For Me’ 

New Ant-Man Trailer Goes Small

Another big trailer dropping this morning is the second assemblage for Marvel's Ant-Man. We got our first look at the tiny hero this past January, and while I was fine with it, it didn't really blow people away with its somewhat played-out "scoundrel with a heart of gold seeks redemption" storyline straight out of the superhero origin playbook. This new, longer look at the Peyton Reed-directed film takes us deeper into the mechanics of how "super" a hero can be when his power is to become tiny.

I like what we're seeing of Paul Rudd as petty thief Scott Lang, our titular hero, as well as his interactions with Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas (as Hope Van Dyne and Hank Pym, respectively). What I find less engaging is the too-obvious CGI, special effects stuff as he battles baddie Corey Stoll (though the Thomas gag at the end is terrific). Ant-Man will be our second visit to the Marvel Cinematic Universe this summer, following Avengers 2 in a few weeks. Let's see if it can keep that momentum going. Watch the clip below:

I Wish I Hadn't Seen the New Terminator Trailer

If you listened to the MovieFilm gang's Terminator 2 commentary track a few weeks ago, you know that Brian Hall and I are massive fans of the franchise's past, even as we're cautious about its future. And while I'm not ready to write off the fifth installment, this summer's Terminator Genisys, just yet, I didn't see anything in the first trailer last December that made it must-see (as opposed to "gonna see it anyway, so whatever").

Well, the new full trailer dropped this morning, and while the must-see factor hasn't really risen, they do drop a pretty massive spoiler about the plot that I desperately wish I could un-see. I've been feeling generally frustrated with trailers giving away the farm lately, and seriously, this feels like Exhibit A. I won't reveal it here, but if you feel like crossing the rubicon, watch the second Genisys trailer below. Or, if you're smart, just wait 'till the thing hits theaters in a few months.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Nostalgia Theater 200! Daredevil's First Try at TV

There's a lot of buzz online this weekend after Netflix dropped the first season of Marvel's Daredevil online last Friday. With its moody, violent look at the seedy underside of superhero-ing, the thirteen-episode skein (first in a multi-part pact with Marvel Studios) has definitely upped the ante for what to expect from superhero TV. Of course, it wasn't always thus for Marvel's Man Without Fear. Yes, there was the execrable '03 feature film that everyone (especially Ben Affleck) pretends never happened, but Daredevil actually made his live action debut a few years earlier in a project few people even realize happened.

The year was 1989, and Marvel was owned by New World Pictures, a dime-store multimedia company that had designs on competing with the big kids. Their 1986 acquisition of the comic publisher was one of many steps toward that promised land (which they never actually reached). At the time, the most well-known Marvel hero was the Hulk, thanks to his 1977-1982 CBS TV series. The show had been off the air for awhile, but it retained enough cache for New World to sell NBC on a pack of TV movies reuniting stars Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno, and serving as backdoor pilots for whichever other characters they could squeeze in. Think of it as the Marvel Cinematic Universe before the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Friday, April 10, 2015

INTERVIEW: Director Alex Garland on Ex Machina

Alex Garland's haunting and thought-provoking science-fiction film Ex Machina hits theaters today, and it excels at the kind of "small scale, big ideas" cinema that we get far too little of these days. Starring Oscar Isaac as an eccentric billionaire genius who invents a human-like artificial intelligence called Ava (Alicia Vikander), and Domhnall Gleeson as the worker who's recruited to test the limits of this creation, the film is clearly a passion project for Garland.

Making his directing debut after crafting some of the most memorable screenplays of the last few years, including 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and one of my favorite underrated flicks, 2012's Dredd, I had the opportunity to chat with the soft-spoken and introspective Garland during his recent swing through the Bay Area. In addition to the philosophical underpinnings of Ex Machina and why we shouldn't fear AI, we also discussed his love of science-fiction, where 28 Days Later came from, and why Dredd will likely never have a sequel. Read on for highlights from our chat:

Thursday, April 09, 2015

From The Onion...

A question for the ages: "Can Anyone Truly Be Said To ‘Own’ The Complete James Bond Collection?"

Step-by-Step

By now I'm sure you're aware of the video that emerged a few days ago showing South Carolina police officer Michael Slager unloading several bullets into an unarmed man running away from him. While Slager is currently in jail on a murder rap, it's safe to say that if not for the video he'd be in the clear, and his victim, fifty-five year old Walter Scott, would be pegged as the instigator. Beyond the horrifying nature of this whole thing, what's so disconcerting is the clinical precision with which the whole thing appeared to go down, from shooting to attempted cover-up. To that end, Aurin Squire over at Talking Points Memo goes down the various steps in what appears to be a practiced process for dirty cops to obscure their bad behavior.

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

The MovieFilm Podcast: Episode 67

For this week's show we unpack the number one movie in the country, Furious 7! In addition listen to Zaki's interview with writer-director Alex Garland about his cerebral sci-fi thriller Ex Machina. But that's not all, we also talk the trailers for this year's big spy thrillers, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation and the James Bond epic Spectre. Plus: Word that Hugh Jackman is ready to hand in his Wolverine walking papers and news that the Star Wars saga is coming soon to digital platforms everywhere. Listen through the embed below, or via iTunes and Stitcher (remember to write us a review!). Also, hit us up at our Facebook page to tell us how we're doing!

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Nostalgia Theater: John Candy's Camp Candy!

This weekend marked my very first attempt at camping out with the boy, and while the relative success or failure of that endeavor is fodder for a separate conversation, it did get my mind flashing back to Camp Candy, a cartoon show that brought the comic stylings of the late, great John Candy to Saturday morning animation. Premiering in September of 1989 at the peak of his big screen stardom, Camp Candy was produced by our favorite crap factory DiC and aired as part of the same NBC lineup that included the short-lived Karate Kid cartoon. Here's the intro: