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Films Movies

DiCaprio’s Drought

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Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the greatest actors alive. Some may place him a small notch below Daniel Day-Lewis and Meryl Streep, but he’s undoubtedly in the upper echelon, above even strong performers like Jamie Foxx and Matthew McConaughey.

However, he has been forced to watch Foxx and McConaughey give acceptance speeches on the stage of the Academy Awards while his trophy case remains bare. Until, if you believe the predictions, this year.

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Films Lists Movies

Posters of All 8 of Quentin Tarantino’s Films

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Quentin Tarantino has come a long way from his 1987 amateur film, My Best Friend’s Birthday. He’s a genius and an auteur and when he stops making movies, it will be a loss for us all.

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Films Movies

Ben Affleck’s Student Film

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I am a Ben Affleck defender, so much so that my latest book was partially inspired by the fact that I wanted to defend him so I dedicated a chapter to him (the racial undertones in the hatred for his relationship to Jennifer Lopez are all too real). I think he’s underrated as an actor and he’s going to make a great Batman.

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Comedy Films Movies

Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse

Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg have written some great films together, including Superbad and Pineapple Express. My favorite aside from Superbad is probably 2013’s This Is the End, a hilarious film about Rogen and his actor friends – James Franco, Craig Robinson, Danny McBride, Jonah Hill, and Jay Baruchel (playing hyper versions of themselves) – as they are barricaded in Franco’s house during the apocalypse.

I only recently discovered that the concept was originally utilized as a short nine minute film written solely by Goldberg titled Jay and Seth Versus The Apocalypse. It employs the same idea, but on a smaller scale – Rogen and Baruchel arguing while locked in their apartment during the rapture. For a short, the production values are pretty damn good. The basic idea is the same, but the feature film is quite different, which, according to Wikipedia, “frustrated many fans, who expected to see a feature closer to the 2007 release of the trailer online.”

I’m sure the rest of the Internet has known about it since it was made in 2007 (and was included on the Blu-Ray of This Is the End), but I just found out about it so it’s new to me, dammit. Carve out nine minutes and watch it now:


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Comedy Films Movies

Quentin Tarantino’s Amateur Film

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Quentin Tarantino is a genius. We can argue the details, but as a filmmaker, he is almost unmatched. Pulp Fiction alone changed cinema forever. He can work in any style and deliver a fantastic film. Nearly every film is not only good or even great, but spectacular. Even his weakest effort (and the fact that no one can agree on what one that is) is better than nearly every filmmaker’s best work.

All of which makes My Best Friend’s Birthday a fascinating viewing experience. Co-written by Tarantino and Craig Hamann and directed by (and starring) Tarantino, the film was made from 1984 – 1987 on 16mm for an estimated $5,000 while Tarantino worked at a video store. (The Clerks parallels are pretty astounding.)

It was originally a 70-minute film, but due to a fire only 36 minutes of the film remains, and this cut has been screened at several film festivals. If you’re interested, the screenplay can be found online. Tarantino never attended film school, but he considers My Best Friend’s Birthday to be his coursework:

Tarantino has referred to this film as his ‘film school.’ Although the film was by his own admission very poorly directed, the experience gained from the film helped him in directing future films. Some of the dialogue would go on to be used in Quentin’s script True Romance.

It’s a bit of a mess and not just because only half of the film survives. The music is often louder than the dialogue and the editing is far from smooth. Unlike Clerks, it is not a great film on its own, but there are certain scenes and camera angles that show a window into a budding auteur  that would soon go on to change the game and the dialogue is unmistakably Tarantino:


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Books Greatness Movies

Stanley Kubrick’s Annotated Copy of Stephen King’s “The Shining”

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Following up on yesterday’s post on Room 237, here are some photos from Stanley Kubrick’s copy of Stephen King’s novel, complete with his notes and ideas.

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Films Greatness Movies

Quentin Tarantino’s Original Wish List for the Cast of “Pulp Fiction”

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Pulp Fiction is one of those films where it’s hard to imagine anyone portraying the characters other than the actors that were ultimately in the film. However, this list of Tarantino’s dream actors for the cast is great.

For me, the most interesting case is Lance, the drug dealer in a robe, who was ultimately played by Eric Stoltz (the original Marty McFly). Stoltz was great, but seeing John Cusack in that role would’ve been incredible! Also, I think Michael Keaton would’ve brought an interesting take to the role.

As far as Vincent, Tarantino wrote it for Michael Madsen, who portrayed Vic Vega in Reservoir Dogs. If Madsen had been Vince, how does that affect the Tarantino universe? Are Vic and Vincent (who are now said to have been brothers) the same person? Are they twins?

Movie What Ifs fascinate me and it’s pretty amazing to see what Pulp Fiction could have been.

[via Reddit]


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Films Greatness Movies

“Batman Begins” Teaser Trailer [2004]

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It’s hard to remember now, but back in 2004, superhero films were bright, colorful, and a bit silly.

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Films Movies

Eric Stoltz: The Original Marty McFly

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Eric Stoltz is a really good actor. Depending on your age or tastes, you may known him from Mask or Pulp Fiction or Killing Zoe or, sadly, Glee. However, he originally would’ve been known to all of us as Marty McFly. Alas, the part was given to Michael J. Fox and his career went through the stratosphere.

From the 25th anniversary trilogy blu-ray:

Here is a follow-up video that shows Stoltz is still (kinda) in the final cut:


Christopher Pierznik is the author of eight books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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Movies

Kevin Smith’s “The Flying Car” [2002]

This should’ve been Clerks II

 


Christopher Pierznik is the author of nine books, all of which can be purchased in paperback and Kindle. His work has appeared on XXL, Cuepoint, Business Insider, The Cauldron, and many more. He has been quoted on Buzzfeed and Deadspin. Subscribe to his monthly reading review newsletter or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.