Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer Arrives


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“I am Groot.”

James Gunn finally unleashes the first full teaser trailer for his upcoming space opera superhero film out on May 2017. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 remains one of the 2017’s highly-anticipated films and looking back at how the first film there’s a great chance this band of galactic misfits’ next adventure could join the billion-dollar club. Not bad for a film that earned its popularity on the shoulders of a talking, psychotic raccoon and a talking tree (if I remember correctly, that tree made Lisa Marie cry).

This teaser trailer definitely focuses on the smallest member of the team in Baby Groot and from the reaction on the internet since the teaser trailer’s release it might have just broken the internet in some fashion. The humor from the first film looks to return as well with the cast staying the same and more in tuned with one another.

As all teaser trailer should do, this one doesn’t reveal much of the film’s plot. Just enough action and great visuals to whet the appetites of those already eagerly awaiting the film to arrive.

Consider appetites to be whetted.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is set for release on May 5, 2017 in 3D and IMAX everywhere in the galaxy.

Cleaning Out The DVR Yet Again #24: Duel (dir by Steven Spielberg)


(Lisa recently discovered that she only has about 8 hours of space left on her DVR!  It turns out that she’s been recording movies from July and she just hasn’t gotten around to watching and reviewing them yet.  So, once again, Lisa is cleaning out her DVR!  She is going to try to watch and review 52 movies by the end of Tuesday, December 6th!  Will she make it?  Keep checking the site to find out!)

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On November 5th, I recorded the 1971 film Duel off of MeTV!

Duel tells the story of David Mann (played by Dennis Weaver).  The name is probably not a coincidence.  David is an “everyman,” if your idea of an everyman is a workaholic who is incapable of expressing his emotions.  David is driving through the California desert.  When he calls his wife (apparently, he left home in the morning without ever bothering to wake her), he tells her that he’s on a strict schedule and that he might lose an important sale if he’s delayed in any way.  You get the feeling, however, that David’s trip is less about business and more about a desire to get away from his life.  His conversation with his wife is strained and, when we watch him interact with a gas station attendant, we’re struck by how awkward David is.

Indeed, the only time that David seems to be really comfortable and relaxed is when he’s safely inside of his car.  When we first see him, he’s listening to a radio talk show and occasionally commenting on what he’s hearing.  David Mann has a better rapport with an unseen talk show host than he does with his own family.

Later, in the film, David is flagged down by a school bus that has stalled on the side of the road.  The bus driver asks David to give him a push.  For his part, David reacts with visible panic at the sight of several hyperactive children rushing towards his car. When they hop on his hood, David starts to frantically order them off.  It makes sense really.  The car is what he loves.

Of course, it’s not just bratty children that David has to deal with.  There’s also a gigantic truck traveling up and down the highway.  When David gets stuck behind the truck, he honks his horn.  He yells at the unseen driver.  He passes the truck at one point, just to have the truck promptly pass him so that it can continue to block him.  When the driver finally does motion for David to pass him, David changes lanes just to discover another car coming straight at him.

The truck’s driver, it turns out, wants to kill David.  Why does he want to kill David?  We’re never quite sure.  For that matter, we’re never quite sure what the truck is transporting, beyond the fact that it’s apparently flammable.  But the brilliance of Duel is that it doesn’t matter why the truck’s driver is trying to kill David. All that matters is that he’s determined to do so.

And David — the man who can’t even figure out how to have a conversation with his wife — must now try to figure out how to defeat a seemingly unstoppable predator…

Today, Duel is probably best known for being Steven Spielberg’s first film.  (It was a made-for-television production that got a theatrical release in Europe.)  Watching Duel (and Jaws, for that matter) it’s easy to imagine an alternative universe where, instead of becoming America’s best known creator of mainstream entertainment, Spielberg instead became one of America’s best horror director.  Duel is a suspense-filled thrill ride, one that’s scary because it remains rooted in reality.  Seriously, who hasn’t gotten nervous when they’ve found themselves sharing the road with a gigantic truck?

(If anything, I’d argue that Duel is scarier than Jaws.  I mean, I live in Dallas so it’s not like I have to worry about getting attacked by a shark.  On the other hand, I drive my car nearly every day.)

Dennis Weaver plays the archetype of what would become the typical Steven Spielberg protagonist and he does an excellent job in the role.  Weaver is on screen throughout the entire movie.  We see the entire story unfold through his eyes and Weaver gives a harrowing performance as a man who is slowly but steadily pushed to the verge of a breakdown by an enemy that he cannot even begin to comprehend.

If you haven’t seen Duel, you need to.

Here’s The Short List for the Best Visual Effects Oscar!


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Okay, Oscar watchers, here’s another piece of the puzzle!

Earlier today, the 20 semi-finalists for the Best Visual Effects Oscar were announced!  All of the films that you would expect are listed.  And then there’s one that’s taking some people by surprise — Kubo and the Two Strings!

(It’s rare that animated films are ever nominated for Best Visual Effects.  The last time it happened was back in 1993 when The Nightmare Before Christmas was nominated.)

Here they are!

  1. “Alice Through The Looking Glass”
  2. “Arrival”
  3. “The BFG”
  4. “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice”
  5. “Captain America: Civil War”
  6. Deadpool”
  7. “Deepwater Horizon”
  8. “Doctor Strange”
  9. “Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them”
  10. “Independence Day: Resurgence”
  11. “The Jungle Book”
  12. “Kubo and the Two Strings”
  13. “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”
  14. “Passengers”
  15. “Rogue One”
  16. “Star Trek Beyond”
  17. “Suicide Squad”
  18. “Sully”
  19. “Warcraft”
  20. “X-Men: Apocalypse”

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Creature Double Feature 2: IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA and 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH (Columbia, 1955 & 1957)


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Let’s return to those thrilling days of yore before CGI and enter the wonder-filled world of Special Effects legend Ray Harryhausen! I’ve covered some of Harryhausen’s fantastic work before (ONE MILLION YEARS BC EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS THE VALLEY OF GWANGI ), and most of you regular readers know of my affection for his stop-motion wizardry. So without further ado, let’s dive right into IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA.

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An atomic submarine picks up a mysterious large object on its sonar. The sub’s hit hard, and radiation is detected in the surrounding area. The damaged sub is taken to Pearl Harbor for repairs, and a substance found on it is determined to be from a “living creature” by eminent scientist Dr. John Carter (Donald Curtis) and beautiful marine biologist Prof. Leslie Joyce (Faith Domergue ). Sub Commander Pete Matthews (Kenneth Tobey ) and Leslie immediately butt heads…

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iPhone Cinema : “Bad Ben”


Trash Film Guru

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Who knows? Maybe one day in the future, when aspiring directors are shooting medium- and even big-budget productions on these things, we’ll look back at 2016 as being a watershed year in the history of iPhone filmmaking. And if that turns out to be the case, then it’s safe to assume that one Nigel Bach, of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, will be considered a trailblazer. A pioneer. Perhaps even a prophet. But for now, in all honesty, he looks like a guy with way too much free time on his hands.

It’s not that his recently-completed effort, Bad Ben, is necessarily a bad film, per se —  please don’t think that’s the case by any stretch — it’s just that, after having seen it, I can’t possibly fathom what possessed him to even make it in the first place, beyond the most obvious explanation : simply because he…

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iPhone Cinema : “The Break-In”


Trash Film Guru

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The iPhone is an amazing device. You can use it to take high-quality photos and send them to all of your friends instantly, to listen to music of your choosing for hours on end, to watch entire seasons of your favorite TV shows while you’re running errands around town, to call in sick from work, and other noble pursuits. Yesiree, this one little gadget can do it all, and once you’ve got one, it becomes almost impossible to imagine life without it.

Or so I’m told. Believe it or not, for a guy who contributes to any number of websites (okay, five or six) and maintains his own blog, I’m actually a bit of a technophobe and neither own nor particularly want one of Apple’s little pocket-sized miracles. But when I learned that one of my favorite films of 2015, Sean Baker’s beyond-magnificent Tangerine, was shot entirely by means…

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