Dude is Good: The David Gordon Green Story

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Critics have made a lot of David Gordon Green’s alleged descent from Malick-esque indie poet to studio comedy hack, and his subsequent “return to form” with this summer’s ‘Prince Avalanche.’ It’s a narrative addressed in nearly every review of that new release; how Green seemed to have squandered the talent he showed with subtle dramas ‘George Washington’ and ‘All the Real Girls’ by joining school friend (and ‘All the Real Girls’ actor) Danny McBride in the Apatowian world of crass Hollywood comedy. Continue reading

Make Your Weekend Great: Crawl to The World’s End

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In Edgar Wright’s ‘The World’s End,’ five friends who reunite in an attempt to top their epic pub crawl from 20 years earlier unwittingly become humankind’s only hope for survival.

THE WORLD’S END is a great movie. Hilarious, heartfelt, brilliant, action packed.  It’s everything we go to the movies for.

It’s a great audience movie. It’s also a great drinking movie. Therefor, it’s a great movie to see with an audience after sharing some cold (or warm) ones with some friends. I imagine, once it hits home video, that it will become the centerpiece of many grand drinking games.

But the amazing thing about The World’s End is that it’s playing in thousands of theaters around the world, most likely one near you, right now. You can take advantage of that awesome fact this weekend and MAKE YOUR LIFE BETTER at the same time.

Follow these steps:

1. Locate a neighborhood in your town or city with a heavy concentration of bars and pubs.

2. Find this neighborhood’s local movie theater, which, more likely than not, is showing THE WORLD’S END this weekend.

3. Pick one of the pubs in said neighborhood, preferably located 10-20 minutes by foot from the movie theater, ideally with 3-11 pubs in between.

4. Do not drive, but find a way to go, with all your friends, to above pub. Have a drink. And walk to the next pub.

5. Repeat step 4 until, like the characters in the film, you reach THE WORLD’S END.

6. Watch THE WORLD’S END and have a fucking blast.

7. Repeat 1-6 next weekend.

This process is guaranteed, without fail, to lead to the most fun night you’ve had in a long time. A fortunate side effect or your actions will be your support of terrific movie making and terrific local establishments.

Building a Better Elysium

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That Neill Blomkamp’s ‘District 9‘ made a killing despite zero name recognition of its cast, crew, or “brand” seems amazing in 2013 (it was pretty amazing in 2009, too). But while we’ve spent years bemoaning the plight of brandless films at the box-office, another element of District 9’s success has become even more anomalous among blockbusters in the years since: its tight, cohesive, singular, functioning script. Even “prestige” effects pictures from incredible filmmakers that could once be counted upon to deliver the broad, actiony goods have become entirely unreliable. If it’s something in the water or the cocaine has just gotten really great, I don’t know, but the scripts just aren’t working, even on like, an ‘Independence Day‘ level.

Just as the monsoon of incompetent tent-pole screenwriting reached a crisis point with the 1-2 gut punch of ‘Star Trek Into Darkness‘ and ‘Man of Steel,’ the marketing ramped up for Blomkamp’s sophomore feature, ‘Elysium.’ In a landscape where the feel-good movie of the summer centers around a middle-aged couple bickering to a breaking point, the return of the South African writer/director to cinemas promised, like the time traveler in that movie’s finale, to save the summer. Like before, Blomkamp came armed with a vision, a voice, and “something to say,” augmented this time by a couple of Oscar winning box-office champs, a massive budget, and a “from the director of” tag in the trailer. If any movie seemed like a safe bet to show the hack-jobs how its done, it was ‘Elysium.’ Continue reading