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Here's the 15 Terrific Docs that Made The Academy's 2014 Shortlist

The Academy's 2014 Documentary Shortlist

These are the documentaries everyone needs to see; you must see them, they are worth your time. These are not the only documentaries that matter, but of course, nor are they the only good documentaries this year, but if you're looking for a list of some documentaries to start watching - well, start here, with any of these. This week, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced (list via Deadline/Variety) the "shortlist" of documentaries that made the cut from 134 eligible submissions down to just 15. From Roger Ebert to Alejandro Jodorowsky, from Edward Snowden to Sebastião Salgado, the selection this year is fantastic, and I'm glad that all of my favorites made the cut. Many of these are already out on VOD + DVD.

 Posted December 3 in Docs, Feat, Movie News | Comments

Explore Inside Endurance from 'Interstellar' on New Interactive Site

Interstellar Endurance

3… 2… 1… And launch! We're excited to announce a brand new promotional website for Christopher Nolan's sci-fi spectacular Interstellar, which has been playing in theaters for one month. The site allows fans to explore the entirety of the spacecraft Endurance, including the Ranger shuttles which they use for landing. Built on WebGL, using the same 3D model from the Oculus Rift experience, you can explore an interactive interior of the Endurance. The ship was used by the exploration team, lead by Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, to travel to Saturn and ender the wormhole to visit another galaxy. While we've all seen inside the ship in the movie, this is the first place (aside from the game) to go this in-depth with Endurance.

 Posted December 2 in Feat, Movie News, SciFi, Viral | Comments

Our 2014 Thanksgiving Week Movie Guide - 'Rosewater' to 'Penguins'

Thanksgiving Week Movie Guide 2014

Continuing our annual tradition of posting Thanksgiving and Christmas Movie Guides every holiday season, our San Francisco contributor, Marco Cerritos, has once again put together a holiday movie guide for Thanksgiving 2014, giving a recap and rundown of what's playing and what's worth seeing (or skipping). Marco has seen everything playing, and while you may not always agree with his opinion, he provides the best reviews he can to make it a bit easier for everyone to choose. There are quite a few wonderful films now playing in theaters, so if you're still a bit unsure of what to watch or need extra tips, then look no further!

 Posted November 26 in Editorial, Feat, Review | Comments

When Will It Stop? Enough With the Two-Part Finale Quadrilogy Fad

Mockingjay Part 1 & 2

Hollywood loves repeating itself. This week alone we're getting new trailers for brand new Star Wars and Jurassic Park movies, like it's the 90s all over again. But there is a new trend that is becoming increasingly frustrating - the two-part split finale of film-to-book series like Twilight, Harry Potter and now Hunger Games. With the first half of Mockingjay, the finale of The Hunger Games, now playing in theaters (my full review) the unsettling feeling of "why?!" has grown in me. This film once again proves that the quality of the work diminishes in exchange for a desire to make more money on a franchise that's temporarily popular. When will this fad end? Because it needs to stop. Don't Hollywood executives already own enough yachts?

 Posted November 26 in Discuss, Editorial, Feat | Comments

Can You Solve This Puzzle Hidden in the New 'Imitation Game' Trailer?

The Imitation Game

"Are you paying attention?" Time to put your mind to use. One of my favorite films of the year is hitting theaters later this week – The Imitation Game starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing who helps break the Enigma code during WWII. The Weinstein Company recently released yet another one-minute trailer/spot for the film (seen below), and hidden in it is an IP URL which links to a viral cryptography/code breaking website. It's actually a Google-made cryptography website with, likely, something cool at the end if you can get all the way in. Anyone want to give this a try? "You are in control of what is about to happen."

 Posted November 24 in Feat, To Watch, Viral | Comments

Another Outstanding Fan-Made 'Interstellar' Timeline Infographic

Interstellar Timeline Infographic

"Our new home." Now that Christopher Nolan's sci-fi spectacular Interstellar (Sound Off here) has been in theaters for over two weeks (which means we hope you've all seen it by now!), some great artwork and explanations are hitting the web. Last week we featured an excellent infographic timeline that nicely laid out the timeline as it intertwined with the plot of the film, following the crew of the Endurance as the embark on a mission to explore another galaxy. This new one, made by digital artist Sivakumar found on deviantArt, includes charming little sketches of the characters and the events that take place, really giving this a fresh, fun feel why making some sense of the plot. I really like this one, take a look. Oh and of course - spoilers!

 Posted November 22 in Artwork, Discuss, Feat, SciFi | Comments

Watch: Martin Sofiedal's 'Uncharted: Ambushed' Live-Action Fan Film

Uncharted: Ambushed Fan Film

"Here we go again." We have yet to feature this fan film, so if you haven't seen it yet - here's you chance. Norwegian filmmaker Martin Sofiedal made a live-action short film based on Uncharted: Drake's Fortune the video game, which is already being adapted into a movie as we speak. His version is a live-action take on a cutscene in the game, and features some impressive work for something made on his own time. The 7-min film is called Uncharted: Ambushed starring David Owe as Drake, Caroline Glomnes Johansen as Elena, with a really stunning score by Roy Westad. Sofiedal recently visited Naughty Dog Games, creators of Uncharted, and got a write up in THR. The film is worth a watch, even if you have seen it before. Enjoy!

 Posted November 16 in Feat, Short Film, To Watch | Comments

Monthly Must See: Sion Sono's Wacky 'Why Don't You Play in Hell?'

Why Don't You Play in Hell?

Just watch this film! If you love cinema, if you love filmmaking, if you love wacky Japanese cinema, if you love Tarantino, if you love supporting foreign films, if you love wacky, fun coming-of-age stories, if you love Japanese culture - don't walk, run to see this film (even if that means just running to your living room). Our latest Monthly Must See feature is one titled Why Don't You Play in Hell?, one of the recent films from Japanese auteur Sion Sono (he also recently made Tokyo Tribe which we flipped over at Fantastic Fest). The concept for this movie is basically: a young, renegade film crew becomes embroiled with a yakuza clan feud. Or: a bunch of wannabe filmmakers end up filming an actual yakuza war. It's crazy, but so much fun.

 Posted November 14 in Editorial, Feat, Foreign Film, Indies | Comments

Watch: Jon Stewart's All 'Rosewater' Recap Episode of 'The Daily Show'

Rosewater The Daily Show Recap

Jon Stewart's directorial debut, the feature film Rosewater, is now playing in theaters as of today. To celebrate the film's release, last night's "The Daily Show" hosted by Jon Stewart was an episode dedicated entirely to Rosewater everything. They started by recapping the segment recorded in Iran that first lead to journalist Maziar Bahari's imprisonment in 2009, featuring Jason Jones who made the segment. Then they bring out Maziar Bahari for a discussion, ending with actor Gael García Bernal, who plays Bahari in the film. Stewart, still awkward about hosting a show to promote a movie he made, let John Oliver host while he hid in the background. It's a refreshing, fun recap of the story behind this film and the people who made it.

 Posted November 14 in Feat, Indies, To Watch | Comments

Review: Christopher Nolan's 'Interstellar' is Ambitious, Affecting Sci-Fi

Interstellar Review

There used to be a time when we would look up at the stars and dream. We would wonder what it was like out there, what we might find out amongst the endless black of space. But then things changed, we became obsessed with ourselves again, with battling each other for money and power, and we forgot how to dream. Along comes Interstellar, an exhilarating science fiction creation that once again reminds us that we can dream, that we get to breathe this fresh air on this beautiful planet, that we get to smile, cry and laugh. And it's those feelings that matter the most. It reminds us that the desire to connect is one of the most important aspects of humanity and that nothing–whether it be time or space or others–can break those bonds of love.

 Posted November 7 in Feat, Review, SciFi | Comments

Watch This Projectionist Prepare a 70mm IMAX Print of 'Interstellar'

70mm IMAX Print of Interstellar

What does it look like to build the 70mm IMAX print of Interstellar? Find out in this fun video from the AutoNation IMAX Theater in Fort Lauderdale, FL. It's finally time, the week it all goes down, or goes up and away, shall we say – Christopher Nolan's Interstellar arrives in theaters everywhere this week. To kick things off, the sci-fi movie hits 70mm IMAX and 35mm cinemas only starting this Tuesday night. Filmed in the projection booth, this video shows what it's like to build 48 reels into one big print and run it through a state-of-the-art IMAX projection system. There was a similar IMAX projectionist video made for The Dark Knight Rises, another Nolan film of course, but it's always cool to get a look at this side of the movie world.

 Posted November 3 in Feat, Hype, SciFi, To Watch | Comments

Interview: On Ski Movies with 'Force Majeure' Director Ruben Östlund

Ruben Östlund

"I wanted to make the ski trip to hell!" That's exactly what he has made. I really, really love Ruben Östlund's Force Majeure, it's one of my favorite films this year and if you're looking for something fun and original to watch give this one a look. I've been pushing this film and highlighting it as much as possible because it's not easy to get Marvel audiences interested in Swedish films about a family on a "ski trip to hell". But this is one of those great films that stands out in a crowd, and you will probably want to visit the Alps after. While traveling to promote the release, I met up with Swedish writer and director Ruben Östlund (of the films Play, Involuntary and Gitarrmongot previously) to talk about Force Majeure. Watch the full video below.

 Posted October 28 in Feat, Foreign Film, Interview, To Watch | Comments

Check Out These Stunning Artistic Blu-Ray Covers for Sony Movies

Sony Blu-Ray Covers

Who would've thought it would be Best Buy bringing us awesome DVD covers? It is our general policy to skip most DVD/Blu-ray news, however this time I'm making an exception because this artwork is fantastic and I need to pay some compliments to whoever came up with this. A new promo called Project Pop Art has been announced involving Sony re-releasing 16 cult movie hits on Blu-ray this November. Each Steelbook Blu-ray is wrapped in gorgeous pop art from designers all over the world curated by Gallery 1988. They've chosen a handful of bestseller hits including The Fifth Element, Superbad, District 9, Snatch, Taxi Driver, Das Boot, Stripes, even The Who movie Tommy. All of them turned out great - see below.

 Posted October 28 in Artwork, Cool Stuff, Feat | Comments

Interview: Director Jason Reitman on His Passion for Honest Stories

Jason Reitman

It has been a while. So, how are things? Over the many years I've been running this website I've had a few amazing chats with Jason Reitman. I first met Jason way back in 2007, interviewing him for his second film Juno at the Toronto Film Festival. That was followed up with the legendary gondola interview from the Telluride Film Festival, where Peter Sciretta from SlashFilm and I talked with Jason about making Up in the Air as we slowly rode a gondola up the mountain and back down. It has been five years since I've sat down for a formal interview with Jason, despite meeting up at film festivals for Labor Day last year and Men, Women & Children this year, but as always it's so much fun to talk with him. Here's our latest chat.

 Posted October 27 in Feat, Interview | Comments

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Alex's Top 10 of 2014
1. Mommy
2. Whiplash
3. Force Majeure
4. Selma
5. The Overnighters
6. Blind
7. John Wick
8. Snowpiercer
9. The Imitation Game
10. Birdman
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Ethan's Top 10 of 2014
1. Wild
2. Boyhood
3. Whiplash
4. Guardians / Galaxy
5. The LEGO Movie
6. Gone Girl
7. Life Itself
8. Birdman
9. The Raid 2
10. They Came Tgthr
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