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'Pumping Iron' Giveaway

PartnersHub is looking to giveaway a copy of the classic documentary tracing the Mr. Olympia competition between five-time champion Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno. To win, tweet using the hashtag #PumpingIron and mention @nevermindpop on twitter. Winners addresses must be submitted by December 28th, 2014.
Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Pumping Iron Digital Download via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Movli

The web is never short on social media upstarts, but occasionally one comes through that proves a good use of time. Movli.com is a movie recommendation engine, social network and movie database, all wrapped in one site. Movli is able to give accurate movie recommendations based on the ratings of users. These ratings allow for cinephiles with unique movie tastes to find movies they’ll love. Even better, Movli has free movies for legal viewing online!

Give Movli a try today.

Review: White Bird in a Blizzard

Seventeen is a sentence that most prisons couldn't beat in a Pepsi challenge. Hostility bubbles just under the surface with every interaction with parents. Relationships are developed on the fly with an acute awareness of the limited shelf-life. Kat Connors (Shailene Woodley) is similarly killing time until she graduates and can leave her home life behind.

Review: Birdman

Riggan Thompson (Michael Keaton) is in need of a hit. He turned down Birdman 4 years ago and now he is largely considered washed-up. Desperate for some sense of relevance in the decades since Birdman, and against the better judgment of his agent, Riggan mounts an adaptation of Raymond Carver's What We Talk About When We Talk About Love. There is no sooner way back to prestige than by adapting, directing and starring in an acclaimed play.

'Interstellar' And The Ever-Evolving Mind Of Christopher Nolan

Interstellar opens today, and already moviegoers are noticing a shift from the acclaimed auteur that brought a gritty Batman back to the screen. Trailers for the upcoming film starring Matthew McConaughey have been less brooding, and more inspiring. Akin to something Steven Spielberg might have made in the '80s. A marked change from the films that Nolan started out making.

Read the rest at Badass Digest!

Review: Interstellar

The McConaissance is over. I am of course referring to the career redemption that started with The Lincoln Lawyer and hit a fever pitch in 2013 with True Detective/Wolf of Wall Street and his Best Actor win for Dallas Buyers Club. Now we just live in a previously unfamiliar era, one where McConaughey reigns the silver screen. It only makes sense that for his next trick McConaughey would tackle a sci-fi epic for the current master of blockbusters, Christopher Nolan.

Wait Until Dark: 9 Unconventional Scary Movies

At Movie Mezzanine the staff has put together some movies don't need masked killers to be scary.

"Watching horror movies is a standard and exciting Halloween tradition for many. But sometimes rewatching the same old films can get a little boring. You can certainly try to shake things up by watching something new or foreign, like Hausu or an early Cronenberg flick. But even those taps can run dry. Genre, by definition, is supposed to be repetitive, and though this predictability is part of its charm, sometimes we need a little something new."

Read the full post at Movie Mezzanine!

Review: Nightcrawler

Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a self-made man, just don't ask him how many people he stepped on during his way there. He has a speech prepared for why you should make him your newest employee, the problem is Louis forgets how calculating every little word is that falls out of his mouth. Desperate for any kind of inroads to a career, Louis discovers one by chance on the side of the road.

Review: Horns

Daniel Radcliffe could not be doing more to dispel his Harry Potter image that so many movie fans still hold onto. From ages 12 to 22 Radcliffe personified the beloved children’s book character, but he’s moving on. He’s played beat icon Allen Ginsberg, he’s played a cynical romanticist, and he’s played a terrorized attorney. Based on the novel by Joe Hill, Horns, is truly the cherry on top of the typecast-busting sundae because no one will be thinking about Potter when they see this.

Radcliffe plays Ig Perrish, a local DJ who has been with the love of his life Merrin (Juno Temple) since they met in elementary school. The couple has a screaming match after she dumps him publicly. When she appears, raped and dismembered under the tree that both she and Ig loved it is no surprise that the number one suspect for this unthinkably violent crime is Ig. Even his own parents suspect he probably did it. He is hounded by the press and protesters outraged he has “gotten away” with murder, but I…

Lionsgate Horror Contest

(UPDATE: CONTEST EXTENDED UNTIL 11/5)
To celebrate Halloween Lionsgate is promoting five of their most celebrated horror films. The giveaway for this promotion is a UV download for The Blair Witch Project. To win: tweet using #LionsgateHorror and mention @nevermindpop on twitter. To increase your chances of winning, leave your favorite #LionsgateHorror film in the comments section for extra contest entries, following @nevermindpop never hurts either. All entries must be in before Oct. 31st.
Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Digital Download code for The Blair Witch Project via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

31 Days of Horror: The Sacrament

Just when I thought there weren’t any great filmmakers working in horror anymore, Ti West just scared the shit out of me. West bust out on the scene with the moody throwback The House of the Devil showing that he could replicate period aesthetic with ease. His first several films were shot standardly, but for The Sacrament, West dips his toes in the waters of the found footage genre.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

31 Days of Horror: Paranormal Activity 3

Sequels in horror franchises are rarely ever connected to their predecessors with the exception of the same villain/outline that proves profitable. What makes the additions to the Paranormal Activity franchise different is that each follow-up expands the universe, further exploring the demon that plagued Katie and Micah in 2009. With Katie and Kristi both having their adult horrors played out onscreen with Paranormal Activity and Paranormal Activity 2, let’s do the time warp again.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

Every Movie Rule Ever.

Over at SoundonSight.org, I have accumulated over 150 movie rules for your viewing pleasure. Here is a taste of a few of them:

1) Brad Pitt eats… a lot.
2) Jeremy Irons is mostly evil.
3) Yes, Matthew McConaughey is usually shirtless
4) Johnny Depp must always have the most interesting hat.
5) If Brendan Gleeson is in a film, nine times out of ten, he dies.
6) Mel Gibson hates English people.
7) Half the time, Robert DeNiro is a cop. The other half the time, he’s a gangster.
8) Keanu Reeves kills himself. A lot.
9) Ray Liotta is a very dirty cop.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

The Devil's Hand Giveaway

To promote the VOD debut of The Devil's Hand, PartnersHub is giving away a $15 iTunes Gift Card to award one lucky reader. To win, tweet using the #TheDevilsHand and #ProphecyParty hashtags and mention, or follow @nevermindpop on twitter. For more fun download the "Party Prophecy Player's Guide" and play along as you watch the film at home.

The Devil's Hand stars Jennifer Carpenter (Dexter), Rufus Sewell (Dark City), and Adelaide Kane (The CW’s Reign).

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) $15 iTunes Giftcard via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

31 Days of Horror: Paranormal Activity

A young couple moves into their new home in a well-to-do neighborhood in San Diego. This would be the happy ending to most films, but unfortunately for Katie (Katie Featherston) and Micah (Micah Sloan) it is just the beginning of their troubles. Shortly after moving in bumps, whispers and general disturbances at night keep the couple awake at night. Rather than shrugging these odd occurrences off, Micah decides an investigation is in order. If this presence is active in the middle of the night as they sleep, then that is when Micah will record.

Read the rest at Sound on Sight!

Final 'Exodus' Trailer

Less than three months before Ridley Scott's telling of the tale of Moses hits theatres. The film has caught some flak for white-washing the cast of the swords and sandals epic, but if there is something Scott can do, it's epics.

Review: Gone Girl

Nick and Amy Dunne have a perfect marriage. Well, if you ask other people anyway. Nick and Amy aren't like other couples. They may live in the suburbs of the Midwest, but the Dunnes are still with it. Amy always made Nick promise her that they wouldn't end up like those husbands and wives that watch CBS on Friday night and have a booth at the local diner. It's just not in her DNA.

Review: The Equalizer

While Denzel Washington shares the same name as Edward Woodward’s character from The Equalizer television show, that’s exactly where the similarities end. The word equalizer isn’t even mentioned except for the credits. Further establishing differences between the two McCalls are the digs they occupy. Rather than roll around in a flashy Jaguar, Washington’s McCall takes public transportation and spends his days in anonymity working for Home Depot. He comes home to a fairly bare apartment in a lower-class corner of Boston. Nights when Robert can’t sleep he reads Cervantes in diners. This life is simple and it’s what he promised someone he loved.

Review: Calvary

Director John Michael McDonagh wastes no time in establishing the stakes of Calvary. In a darkened confessional, Father James Lavelle (Brendan Gleeson) is told that he is going to die in a week. The man planning to kill the priest explains it is exactly because Father Lavelle has done nothing wrong that he is going to die. Of the two McDonagh brothers, John Michael is known for his irreverent comedy The Guard, but with this latest release he joins the ranks of the most fatalistic of Irish artists.

'Life of Crime' Contest

To celebrate the release of Life Of Crime! Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions will give a $15 Fandango gift card to one lucky reader! To be entered, watch the Life of Crime trailer and comment with your favorite scene as a giveaway entry. Tweet using the #LifeOfCrime hashtag and mention @nevermindpop on twitter.
Each household is only eligible to win $15 Fandango Gift Card via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

All entries must be submitted by September 1th, 2014.

At Movie Mezzanine: Unanimous Praise Ignores the Larger Issues

Perfect ratings on media aggregators like Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic are a unique occurrence that come along infrequently. Toy Story 3 was close, but then a review from Armond White came along and scattered any hopes of 100% Fresh rating for the capper to the Toy Story franchise. That incident infuriated fans who adored the film, but the fervor didn’t last very long past the initial review that spoiled the “perfect rating.” Afterwards discussion regarding that particular movie became more reasonable again with the promise of 100% gone.

Read more at Movie Mezzanine!

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

In 2008, when Marvel started building a universe with Nick Fury popping up in the credits to tell Tony Stark about the Avengers initiative, I don't think anyone anticipated this. Perhaps the most obscure source material in Marvel's inventory, Guardians of the Galaxy could prove to be the first real test of the popularity of the comic book scene. Guardians doesn't immediately strike audiences as typical of the genre; there's no clear-cut lead and the two biggest names of the cast, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, are playing a sentient tree and a talking raccoon with a penchant for violence.

'Age of Ultron' Banner Poster Revealed

Another year, another Comic-Con, which means another cool banner poster for Joss Whedon's upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron. All of the regulars from the first Avengers are onboard, along with additions Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen), Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), and if you look into the top left corner, you can see The Vision.

Avengers: Age of Ultron hits theatres May 1st, 2015.

Review: A Most Wanted Man

Throughout the beginning of Anton Corbijn's A Most Wanted Man it is hard to ignore that there are only a handful of performances left from Philip Seymour Hoffman in this world. The actor's untimely death earlier this year left a hole in the world of cinema. One that will not be filled anytime soon. Hoffman was a character actor who managed to become A-list, without ever losing his chameleon-like ability to channel whatever or whomever he wanted.

Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

For a majority of the first act of Dawn, humans are larger forgotten about. Little remains of man after the virus that struck ten years ago. There were survivors of the virus, but those who lived only went on to kill each other in the chaos that came after the fall. On the opposite side of the Golden Gate Bridge the apes have carved out a peaceful existence for themselves in the Muir Woods of Northern California. Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his genetically advanced kin built not just a home, but a society. They have shelter, they hunt with tools and they have rules, the most important one being: Ape shall not kill Ape.

Putting Women in Their Place: Actresses Back in the Spotlight

When the average moviegoer is asked to name some of the greatest female characters, the first names that spring to mind are Ripley and Sarah Connor. Actresses were asked to do exciting things after the 1940s and 50s and films were littered with great female performances throughout the years that followed. Women like Ripley and Sarah were defined by their own motivations, anger, competitive edge, or beliefs. It was no longer a requirement for an actress to be in a romantic comedy for her to get a majority of the screen time.

Abruptly the clock struck midnight and those women returned to the waifish, arm-decorations that stood as the new standard for women in films. Women weren’t leading as many action films and dramas, instead they were relegated to the romantic comedies that they had tried so hard to escape from fifty years ago. Gone were the women who occupied films for reasons other than marrying a man. Gone were the women who kicked ass and took names. Gone were women who could le…

"Lego Movie" Blu-ray Contest

Create a post that includes the Everything is Awesome Blog App and ask your readers to create a mini 6 second LEGO GIF Video! Feel free to get creative! Videos instantly get posted to YouTube for everybody to enjoy! One copy of The Lego Movie on Blu-ray will be awarded to one lucky reader! Entries must be submitted by July 3rd, 2014. And don't forget to reply to @nevermindpop with #nmpflegomoviegiveaway

Each household is only eligible to win The Lego Movie Blu-Ray via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Giveaway is open to residents of the U.S.

Review: 22 Jump Street

Movies are products intended to make money. As much as critics would like to believe that all forms of cinematic narrative are art, studios beg to differ. Successful projects spawn sequels regardless of whether said story needs to be told. 21 Jump Street found a great deal of success with its reboot in 2012, but when a second installment was announced, bloggers were understandably left wondering if that was such a great idea. Phil Lord and Chris Miller already turned in one project this year that was far more entertaining than anyone thought it had the right to be, so lucking out twice in 2014 may be too much to ask.

Birdman Poster is Promising

Michael Keaton plays an actor famous for playing a superhero (hm... pretty meta), who is at his wit's end. He's launching a desperate Broadway play version based on his popular source material. That Gnarls Barkley's Crazy is playing during the trailer ought to give you some idea of where this zany dark comedy will go.

Well, my ticket is purchased for Birdman. October cannot get here soon enough.

Review: Edge of Tomorrow

Major William Cage has never seen a day of combat of his life, but he sells war to millions on television everyday. A crisp officer's uniform and a broad, beaming grin are all he needs to send enlistment numbers skyrocketing. Earth is facing an all-fronts assault by an alien race and humans are losing. Badly. The "Mimics" have proven a daunting challenge, taking most of continental Europe in five years. General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson), of the United Defense Force, has one last trick up his sleeve: A suprise attack against the Mimics in France.

Snickers Voter Giveaway

Snickers would like your vote to decide the name of a new bar. To entice you, one lucky reader will be awarded a Snickers Voting Prize Pack that includes a SNICKERS bar, A SNICKERS BITES pack, a SNICKERS Almond bar, a SNICKERS Peanut Butter Squared bar, a SNICKERS Rockin’ Nut Road Bar, and a pair of movie tickets.

To enter, vote in the app above and then log-on to Twitter reply to @nevermindpop with what name you voted with the hashtag #SnickersVote. All giveaways entries should be sent in by June 12th. Winners will be announced the following day.

At Movie Mezzanine: Movies and Mass Shooting

Taxi Driver is considered one of the classics of Martin Scorsese’s filmography, but when that title is mentioned most don’t think of the film, they recall John Hinckley Jr. and his attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. That association has undoubtedly been permanently seared into the reputation of Taxi Driver, but it will never tarnish that picture. Such claims that cinema could be at fault for the actions of a person with mental illness are odd, but they pop up just as often as the shootings themselves.

Read more at Movie Mezzanine

Review: Chef

One for the studio and one for you. That's the mantra for actors/writers/directors who want to achieve some modicum of success while maintaining artistic credibility. The idea is intriguing yet the execution rarely works as described. Should the "one for Hollywood" succeed, sequels are greenlit, franchises are spawned and then one turns to three or four. Jon Favreau made his one for Hollywood, it was titled Iron Man. Two years later the sequel was met with much less fanfare.

Review: X-Men Days of Future Past

Bryan Singer's homecoming to the franchise he built is a welcome on. The X-Men series was stagnant after his departure to take over Superman Returns and it wasn't until he and Matthew Vaughn made X-Men: First Class that Marvel's famous mutants got their swagger back. James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender and Jennifer Lawrence added a spark to the origins of Professor Xavier, Magneto and Raven/Mystique, so it made perfect sense to use that bright spot now to combine casts for one of the best graphic novels that featured Xavier and his team.

Review: Only Lovers Left Alive

Vampires get a bad rap as far as their depiction in pop culture goes. They are portrayed as predators endlessly stalking humans to quench their thirst. In reality, they would much rather finish that song they have spent decades working on. Feeding on humans is a Fifteenth Century problem, with sources in medicine to sell them blood, vampires focus on other pursuits such as music and literature now.

Gordon Willis (1931-2014)

Cinema lost a true great when it was announced that legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis passed away. Gordon Willis was responsible for some of the greatest looking pictures of all-time over the course of his 31 year career. His trademark shadow-play is instantly recognizable, even if movie watchers aren’t aware of his the man behind the camera, they know the works of Gordon Willis.

In what must be considered one of the greatest runs ever in the history of cinema, from 1971 to 1977 Willis worked on Klute, The Godfather, The Parallax View, The Godfather Part II, All the President’s Men and Annie Hall. Those films accumulated 39 Oscar nominations between them, with three of them winning Best Picture—The Godfather (1972), The Godfather Part II (1974) and Annie Hall (1977)—yet Willis himself was not nominated for any of his work on those films.

Shockingly, he never won an Academy Award for his cinematography, but in 2009 Willis received an honorary Academy Award along with fell…

Review: Godzilla

Toho's greatest creation came to the U.S. in 1998 and promptly crashed and burned with the assistance of Roland Emmerich. The film did poorly for the reason most of Roland Emmerich's recent films haven't done well; Emmerich has an eye for the explosions, but not of the stakes. Making matters worse was Godzilla really wasn't Godzilla, just an over-sized dinosaur scurrying about New York City.

TWIX Bites Giveaway

To promote the addition of TWIX Bites, TWIX would like to know who you would share your TWIX Bites with and they'll give you a TWIX Bites Movie Prize Pack. Prize pack includes a $15 Fandango gift card, 2 sharable bags and a large resealable bag of TWIX Bites, to award one lucky reader!

To enter, log-on to Twitter reply to @nevermindpop with whom you would “share your bites with” and add the hastag #twixbites.

All giveaways entries should be sent in by May 30th. Winners will be announced the following day.

Batsuit Revealed from 'Man of Steel' Sequel

Hoping to avoid being scooped by the paparazzi with the tentatively titled Batman vs. Superman due to start filming soon, director Zack Snyder released a snap of the new batmobile. Snyder hinted this was coming yesterday when he tweeted a partially obscured image of the batmobile, but not many were expecting a first look at the new bat-suit.

Thoughts?

At Movie Mezzanine: Seven Deadly Sins

Kevin Spacey’s immortal turn as the sin-obsessed John Doe took Seven and launched it into the stratosphere of crime classic. The way he dispatched with sinners so heartlessly and with conviction lead me to ponder what others movie characters would have drawn his ire and scorn. Movies are, for better or worse, a medium that revels in sin of all sorts. It’s why teenagers line the block to see the latest scare-fest, or why 50 Shades of Grey is being made. Audiences love watching characters being bad and there is no shortage of actors and actresses willing to delve into those deep, dark recesses of humanity.

Read more at Movie Mezzanine

Hannibal Renewed for Third Season

NBC announced this afternoon that Hannibal would be renewed for a third season! For those of you not watching, please start. In less happy news, Community will not be brought back for a sixth season. NBC giveth and NBC taketh away.

New Look at Matthew McConaughey in 'Interstellar'

Entertainment Weekly provides us all with the very first look at Christopher Nolan’s winter release, Interstellar. A one-sheet for the film was released yesterday, but this is the first capture from the film which features Matthew McConaughey holding a Lunar Lander and lost in the space of his own mind. The new material does not reveal a lot into the film beyond worm holes and space travel, but none of that is a surprise given the notoriously secretive Nolan is at the helm.

Fortunately, EW also had a brief interview with producer Emma Thomas to further speculate what the tagline for yesterday’s poster means. “The trailer highlights a line of dialogue from the film; ‘Mankind was born on Earth; it was never meant to die here.’” She added, “It emphasizes…mankind’s destiny in the universe.”

Source: Movie Mezzanine

Second 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes' Trailer Rocks

"The newest chapter in the Apes vs Man saga takes place after a human created virus made the apes more intelligent, but also decimated man-kind. Although the apes have begun adjusting to their new lives, the remaining humans are not ready to co-exist with the primates."

The first trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was enough for me to book July 11th, but this new trailer suggests that the sequel could surpass even the high expectations fans of the last film have. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes hits theatres July 11th.

'Interstellar' Poster Hits the Web

A one-sheet for Christopher Nolan's Interstellar has finally been released and upon a close inspection it looks a little like the artwork for Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Steven Spielberg was attached to direct the film for some time, so this may be a nod to the maestro from Nolan himself. Should this not whet your appetite, keep in mind a new trailer will be attached to Godzilla next week.

Interstellar hits theatres and IMAX November 7th.

Review: Under the Skin

Arthouse curios are truly one of the great gifts that cinema continually offers to fans of indie filmmaking. There isn't a lot of room for experimentation in blockbusters or mid-budget dramas, but with a film like Under the Skin, anything goes. Jonathan Glazer has turned in two off-beat pictures in Sexy Beast and Birth, but this, this is an even rarer find. With the exception of casting star Scarlett Johansson, everything about Under the Skin is a barebones production, from the use of non-actors to utilizing hidden cameras to capture scenes.

Review: Transcendence

With the rise of new technology has come an obsession with said technology. Twenty years ago hardly anyone had personal computers, but now it's not uncommon for people to be "plugged in" for upwards of twelve hours a day. Technological thrillers that warned of the dangers of blindly submitting to these new inventions disappeared from the landscape as consumer electronics and computers gained popularity, but now Transcendence aims to serve as Frankenstein for a new era.

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) has devoted his life, along with his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) to researching the singularity. Will and Evelyn Caster are truly made for one another. They bounce off each other remarkably well in the laboratory and when the Casters go home they share wine and music and laughs. In many ways, Transcendence is much more focused on the relationship between Evelyn and her husband than a mad scientist versus humanity, but as with any film with a budget over $100 million, the battl…

'Gone Girl' Poster Doesn't Look Like a Poster

This is a pretty ballsy move on the part of David Fincher's marketing of the upcoming Gone Girl. No title, no listed actors (not even the future Batman), only a release date along with the ticker-tape mention of a local disappearance. It's very striking artwork, but it's not hard to see why the director of Fight Club and The Social Network is still considered a rebel after working in the business for 20+ years.

The film stars Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry, Neil Patrick Harris, Missi Pyle, Patrick Fugit, Casey Wilson and Emily Ratajkowski.

Gone Girl hits theaters on October 3rd.

At Movie Mezzanine: A Defense of Nicolas Cage

When Nicolas Cage appears in a trailer, audiences cringe before he opens his mouth to utter even a single word. They don’t remember the solid actor from Moonstruck, Raising Arizona and Leaving Las Vegas, or even the blockbuster mode Cage from the National Treasure series or Con-Air, all they see is the man screaming “Not the bees!”

Yes, Nicolas Cage appears in bad films, but is there an actor/actress who hasn’t? For all of the award nominations and critical acclaim that Meryl Streep has, she was also in She-Devil starring Roseanne Barr. No one is above a bad movie. What Cage does that other actors don’t is he firmly plants himself into the material, going haywire for maximum entertainment value. He certainly could have been more muted in The Wicker Man remake, but would that have made the film any better? Hardly. Yet, by going fully insane for the conclusion of that film, Cage elevates the material from forgettable thriller into camp masterpiece.

Read more at Movie Mezzanin…

Review: Captain America - The Winter Soldier

Captain America has always been described as a man out of time, but nowhere is that made clearer than in a post-9/11 U.S. The world after that attack is one that is constantly under surveillance. Agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. rely on pre-emptive measures to counter whatever enemies may throw at them. Since the events of The Avengers, acquiring funding for this 24/7 surveillance is not an issue.

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is making peace with that world a little at a time. He’s catching up with the modern day pop culture (yes, he’s seen War Games, no he hasn’t listened to Nirvana), but adjusting to the new landscape is much more difficult. His mission has always been to do what’s right, but it is becoming harder to tell what is right anymore.

Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Grand Budapest Hotel begins with the titular establishment on the last legs of its former glory. Residents there are solitary and only nod at each other in passing. A particularly lonely man (F. Murray Abraham) in the lobby piques the interest of a writer (Jude Law), who upon conversing is treated to the entrancing story of the hotel in all of its past glories.

Review: Bad Words

Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) admits he doesn’t always think things through before acting on them. That is a little obvious to the audience as he preps himself to take the stage opposite dozens of children to compete in a spelling bee. The reaction to a 40 year-old man taking place in a children’s competition is naturally a harsh one and, after Guy wins the trophy, he must run to escape with his head.

This is the third such bee that Guy has won on his course to the Golden Quills Spelling Bee finals in Los Angeles. The beat reporter (Kathryn Hahn) following Guy around on his trail of hurt feelings has a great number of questions about why Guy is doing all of this, but he isn’t saying. One thing is for sure, the man is a veritable terminator when it comes to picking out someone’s biggest insecurity and then pouncing on it.

Review: Noah

Black Swan bought a lot of critical and commercial goodwill for Aronofsky in 2010, yet no one would have anticipated he would invest that goodwill into a Biblical epic, especially one nearing three hours long. Whether the new elements added to Noah will enthrall or enrage audiences is yet to be seen, but win, lose or draw, a project of this epic of scale is worthy of your attention.

Noah (Russell Crowe) is a heavily taxed man. Plagued with nightmares of damnation and death, he is reached out to by the Lord to undertake the building of an ark before the apocalypse lays waste to all the eye can see, a cleansing fire before a great flood to wipe evil from Earth. Noah's task is to build an ark, load it up with all of the animals and start anew. As Elwood Blues would put it "he's on a mission from God."

Lars Von Trier Retrospective on Movie Mezzanine

During a town meeting Tom decides to put a theory to the test: if human beings are basically good they will allow someone to stay in their midst without distrust. The test comes in the form of a stranger seeking asylum in their town after a swarm of black automobiles ask about her. The local residents are hesitant to grant her request, but Tom's plan to have her do chores for the town to justify her staying sways them. Their civility doesn't last long after a wanted poster is put up and authorities come around asking for Grace. Now with the town reassessing the cost of harboring Grace, she may find that Dogville's teeth are going to be bared.
By filming Dogville on a sound stage, Lars Von Trier really enhances the claustrophobia and fear that plagues Grace during her stay in Dogville. Von Trier has made more inflammatory works in Antichrist, but Dogville's horrors are much more nuanced. The fear here comes from the decent, earnest, small-town folk who are only…

'Only Lovers Left Alive' Poster

Jim Jarmusch's latest film seems like a curio of sorts, featuring vampires in modern day Detroit, but given the acting talents of Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, it could be one of the best features of 2014.

The Veronica Mars Movie Giveaway

Miss Veronica Mars? PartnersHub and Warner Bros. are teaming up to award a super-fan a copy of the upcoming film and Neptune, CA trucker hat. To enter, take the 3 levels of “Purity Test Marshmallow Super-Fan Trivia” and post your results in the comments section as a giveaway entry. Mentioning the giveaway on your Twitter with hashtag #VeronicaMarsMovie couldn't hurt either.


Review: 300 - Rise of an Empire

Like an all-you-can-eat buffet, the eyes always ask for more than the stomach can handle. Consumer demand may have warranted a sequel to the very popular 2006 film, upon viewing however, that decision may have been short-sighted. In the case of this latest swords and sandals blockbuster, the stomach can't handle it.

'Rise of an Empire' features the B story explaining the goings-on of Athenian politics that sent Leonidas and his 300 to battle for independence. Greek general Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton) made his name in the Battle of Marathon by killing King Darius in front of his son, Xerxes (Rodrigo Santoro), and repel the Persian army from the shores of Greece. In retrospect, Themistokles fears he may have killed the wrong man.

The Academy Awards in One Picture

Awesome, just awesome photo-bombing skills. That made my evening alone. For the full list of winners of tonight's show, read more.

Review: Non-Stop

There couldn't have been a better weekend to put out Non-Stop than three days before the Academy Awards. With heavy films on the minds of most cinephiles and movie fans, pure, dumb fun picked the perfect time to pop up in cinemas.

The premise of Liam Neeson's lastest vehicle puts the volatile marshal on a plane full of snappy, pissed-off New Yorkers on a trans-Atlantic flight to London. Unfortunately for said travelers U.S. Air Marshall William Marks is pretty much the last person you want with a gun on an airplane. He's an alcoholic, he has a bad temper and he is *this* close to losing his job.

Snickers Giveaway

Love Snickers? Love movies? Well if you watch the new “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” commercial with Godzilla and post your favorite part in the comments section, you could win $15 worth of Fandango cash and five Snickers bars to munch on at the movies.

Each household is only eligible to win One (1) Snickers Movie Prize Pack containing 5 Snickers Bars and 1 $15 Fandango Gift Card via blog reviews and giveaways. Only one entrant per mailing address per giveaway. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you will not be eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.

Contest ends March 7th, winner will be notified via email.

This post is sponsored by Snickers.

At Movie Mezzanine: Male Gaze and Criticism

It’s easy to forget sometimes that film/television critics are a homogeneous group (white men predominantly). A group of males that spend a majority of their time discussing their favorite shows and movies, and sometimes debating when consensus isn’t had. These conversations are sometimes polite, sometimes not, but most avoid the realms of abusive behavior. However, when gender dynamics come into play, all bets are off.

A major source of contention among critics at the moment: HBO’s new series True Detective.

While many are hailing the latest detective serial as a dark masterpiece and further proof that television is in a golden age, others aren’t so quick to lay on the praise. In particular, The New Yorker’s Emily Nussbaum is in the camp that True Detective fails to push past its slick surface to deliver something meaningful. The big reason for that? Flat female characters.

Read more at Movie Mezzanine

New Theatrical 'Godzilla' Trailer

I’m sold. Bryan Cranston’s voice-over and the beast’s slow rise from the water just bought my IMAX ticket come May. Only an IMAX screen could present the massive-scale of what this new Godzilla is aiming for.

Roland Emmerich’s 1998 take on Godzilla left many fans of the original angry, but after the release of the teaser trailer that stoked Comic-Con and a cast headlined by Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, I think it’s safe to say that Gareth Edwards (the director of Monsters) will make Emmerich’s stab at the radioactive monster nothing more than a distant memory.

The film also stars David Strathairn, Juliette Binoche, Sally Hawkins and Ken Watanabe.

Godzilla hits theatres and IMAX May 16th.

Review: The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises, if you believe director and animation legend Hayao Miyazaki, is to be the last film of his career. If that is the case, he will be leaving us with the most divisive work of his filmography.
Based loosely on the life of Jiro Horikoshi, The Wind Rises follows Jiro from his dreams of flying machines as a small boy to the man who created the Zero fighter. The film begins in a dream of Jiro's, the boy flying a plane in the sky with nary a care. Jiro's pleasant flight is ended quickly as German zeppelins infiltrate his dreams dropping bombs over the idyllic Japanese countryside.

McConaughey Stokes 'Interstellar' Expectations

When Variety sat down with Matthew McConaughey to chat briefly about the state of his career renaissance ranging from Mud to a brief-but-spectacular turn in The Wolf of Wall Street and his heart-felt performance as Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. Not to be left out of the conversation regarding television, McConaughey has also lit up the small-screen in HBO’s True Detective. Yet nothing has fans as excited as McConaughey’s next project: leading a sci-fi epic with director Christopher Nolan.

Win MoviePass for A Year!

Catching up with Academy Award nominees is a difficult proposition for movie fans, tickets cost nearly $10 a pop and stretching your dollar to watch nine Best Picture contenders is more than a little difficult. To help movie fans out at this special time of year, the folks at MoviePass are looking to giveaway a free year’s subscription to one lucky Never Mind Pop Film reader.

For those unfamiliar with MoviePass, think of it as “Netflix-like experience” for the moviegoer as it allows you to see a brand new movie in theaters every single day for a flat monthly rate. And it’s super easy to use! Just login to the MoviePass app, select your movie and showtime, swipe your MoviePass card at the kiosk and enjoy the show! And the best part is that it works at 95% of theaters nationwide. Click here to find theaters near you.

How Does MoviePass work? MoviePass is a simple to use service that allows you to cut the lines at the movie theaters. When you join MoviePass you will receive you…

At Movie Mezzanine: Can Critics Have Fun?

Eager to piece together any reason for the lack of a clear frontrunner for this year’s Oscar race, Variety’s Peter Bart has put out a thesis: it’s because movie critics like bummer movies that Academy voters don’t.

“I would argue that filmgoers by and large go to the movies to be entertained. The same applies to Academy voters. The big entertainment offerings today, however, tend to be franchise films aimed at young foreign audiences — movies that don’t get nominated, and probably never will. Indeed, “Gravity” is the only widely nominated film that is earning the kind of money that franchise hits generally do.”

Read the rest at Movie Mezzanine!

Valentine's Day Giveaway

This Valentine's Day Warner Bros. and PartnersHub are teaming up to award one lucky reader a copy of one of the following titles (Chosen at random) to go home with them!

To win, all you need to do is post a comment below with your quiz result and you could go home with one of these DVDs below: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Deluxe Edition
A Charlie Brown Valentine
Bugs Bunny’s Cupid Capers
Happiness is... Peanuts: Friends Forever
Elmo Loves You
Looney Tunes Pepe Le Pew Collection
Scooby-Doo! 13 Spooky Tales: For The Love Of Snack The giveaway ends February 16th

Second 'Transcendence' Trailer

Johnny Depp has been hamming it up as of late in one eccentric role or another for Tim Burton or Gore Verbinski, but Mr. Depp has dropped the funny hats and white-face for something a little more serious this time out. Starring in longtime Christopher Nolan collaborator Wally Pfister's directorial debut, Depp will be trying his hand at sci-fi.

Walking Out of Movies

This week’s critic survey written by Samuel Adams struck a chord when he asked “Is it okay for movie critics to walk out of a film (or turn off a screener), and if so, can they write about it?”

Now the answer to the first portion of Adam’s query is obvious enough, there are moments when life really is too short and a critic feels the need to walk out on a movie and that is fine. Certainly during film festivals or weeks heavy on press screenings, a critic has to know when to say when, but writing about the film afterward? That particular addendum garnered more divisive responses.

Read the rest at Movie Mezzanine!