9 Less-Hyped Films to Look for From Fantastic Fest 2014

Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Fantastic Fest, which kicks off today for a week in Austin, Texas, is arguably the most nerd-centric film festival in the U.S., and certainly the most blogged about, in large part thanks to a free arcade of new indie games, the coolest karaoke rooms in the world (including a Twin Peaks-themed red room), an aggressive outreach by uber-film geeks Harry Knowles and Drafthouse's Tim League, and even debates that end in boxing matches...usually by dorks with no idea how to actually fight, which is part of the appeal.

The movies themselves range from upcoming sci-fi flicks you want to see, to weird-ass shit you never knew you needed, most of it falling under sci-fi, fantasy, action/martial-arts, horror or crime drama (the crime drama thing is weird, and generally my least favorite part, but there it is). Tusk will be playing there. The ABCs of Death 2 will playing there. Keanu Reeves' new action movie is there. I'm here to focus on stuff you don't know as much about yet; stuff you can bet will make up most of Magnet releasing and Drafthouse's slate for next year.

Here are 9 picks besides the obvious...

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EXCLUSIVE: A Chaotic Conversation With Terry Gilliam

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at 10:00 am

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Terry Gilliam is a man often surrounded by chaos, from the zaniness of the other Monty Pythons he made a name for himself with, to the battle for control of Brazil and the string of bad luck that derailed his The Man Who Killed Don Quixote. So it shouldn't have come as a surprise when my interview with him ended up containing some odd mishaps, as my phone call crossed with another call and his publicist lost track of which interviewer was on the line.

In a normal interview, I'd tend to edit such glitches out of the final transcript, but this was no normal interview - Gilliam embraced the chaos of the moment, acknowledging the confusion and riffing on it to a point where our conversation would probably read very strangely without it. Ostensibly, we're talking about his latest film The Zero Theorem, with Christoph Waltz playing an ex-office drone working out of his home trying to make the universe's ultimate equation even out. Speaking as one who also works at home and rarely steps outside except for errands, I can report that in a metaphorical sense, the director absolutely nails the weirdness of fully interacting with the world while staying shut away from it at the same time.

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More Kenner-Style Alien Figures, Including Chestburster Kane

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 5:58 pm

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Some of these were already chase figures in the mystery egg packaging, but now you can own them carded and Kenner style. This series includes two figures I don't think Kenner would ever have made - Kane with the acid-bleeding facehugger raping his throat, and Kane with the baby chestburster emerging and making a bloody mess. Then you also get a metallic xenomorph, and Ripley in a white spacesuit (no Ripley in undies? I mean, if you're gonna go non-PG with the blood, why not?

Like most figures in this style, they're $9.99. Unlike most of the rest, they're based on actual Kenner sculpts...all except these versions of Kane, which are newly done.

You can even pretend one is a Spaceballs figure, if you like.

Forget Godzilla...King Kong's Fighting Loki Next Movie

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 1:43 pm

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A different kind of beauty will face the beast, MTV is reporting, as Tom Hiddleston has just been cast opposite King Kong in Skull Island, to be directed by Kings of Summer's Jordan Vogt-Roberts.

Though the movie is presumed to be a prequel, what with the Comic-Con teaser showing an ape resembling Peter Jackson's version, and that Kong having died at the end and all, nothing official has actually yet stated that it is. Kong has died many times and been revived - this could just as easily be a reboot, especially if there are even the vaguest of plans to have him meet Godzilla later, which would admittedly be legally tricky ('Zilla is under Legendary's old partnership with WB, while Kong is mostly owned by new partners Universal, with some aspects in the public domain).

If Kong makes it past this battle, that is. For Hiddleston has quite a bit of experience dealing with oversized brutes who sound like thunder approaching.

Belly Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good! Krispy Kreme Ghostbusters Donuts Are Happening!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 12:35 pm

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Fittingly, they are filled with marshmallow cream, because how could something like that every hurt you? Arguably a Twinkie would be more appropriate, but since Twinkies actually had their "dead rising from the grave" moment for realz, we can give them credit for time served.

Looks like my gut is gonna stay-puffed for a while.

Newly Discovered Dinosaur Species Named After Avatar's Banshees

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 11:30 am

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Okay, here's how you know scientists are super-nerdy. It's not because they discover a new type of pterosaur fossil and decide to name it after the flying dragons in Avatar.

No. That's a good start, but this is what seals it...

It's because they insist on using the Na'vi name of the dragons - they may be commonly referred to as Banshees, but Neytiri calls them Ikran. So the new dinosaur is now officially dubbed "Ikrandraco avatar," which means, yes, "Ikran dragon from Avatar."

In related news, I have decided to unofficially name certain types of Furries, who favor blue breasts, "Bareass bestialis avatar." I don't know if that'll stick.

New Interstellar Poster Lands McConaughey on Alien Ice, Ice, Baby

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 10:00 am

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This is a pretty brilliant poster.

Not because of what it says about the movie, which isn't much beyond "Matthew McConaughey lands on a planet where it snows." No, it's brilliant because in California now it's been a hundred degrees plus every day for like a week now, and that poster makes me want to dive into an air-conditioned theater to see winter in space. I don't even care what it's about; I just want to feel cold.

Come to think of it, Christopher Nolan does love him some ice, doesn't he? Too bad he never did get to try his hand at Mr. Freeze.


(via Empire, which has a larger version)


8 Things We Learned at L.A.'s Anime-Centric EigaFest

Tuesday, September 16, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Lupin III

Now in its fourth year, EigaFest spreads the word on Japanese film to Hollywood with a weekend's worth of screenings. It's a cross-genre event, where documentaries, animated dramas and action flicks all have a home. This year's festival (eiga, by the way, means film in Japanese) was anchored by two live-action versions of popular anime series - Lupin III and Rurouni Kenshi, respectively - which essentially dictated my own schedule there.

On Friday and Sunday, I hung around Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre to catch some big, sold-out screenings and a few smaller ones. In the process, I learned a bit more about Lupin III and a handful of other anime.


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First Full Hunger Games: Mockingjay Trailer Is All 'Splosiony

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 3:51 pm

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Well okay. They're not stuck in a damn arena again with hybrid baboon-dogs or whatever. I know pretty much everyone says this is the worst book, but at least onscreen the action will be large scale...unless this trailer is lying to me, like the first Catching Fire one that made me think it was all going to be about a victory tour.

Sadly, when Donald Sutherland gets all creepy about how "the things we love most end up destroying us," the first thing that comes to mind is heroin. RIP PSH.

And was that Elizabeth Banks with no makeup?

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Weekend Hangover: From Sharknado 3 to Running Jetpacks, 17 Stories You May Have Missed

Monday, September 15, 2014 at 6:00 am

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Yes, Yondu is now in Disney Infinity, and even though they've stylized the design and probably don't have to pay for Michael Rooker's likeness, it's clearly the MIchael Rooker version. Which means that Henry Lee Lucas can run wild in your personal Disney World.

Compiled with the help of Kyle LeClair, here are 16 more reader-submitted items from over the weekend that you may have missed. Tipsters include skrag2112, SlyDante777, Gallen_Dugall, Rx79immigrant84, NOT.DrAbraxas, Anyone00

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