10 Great Films of 2014 You May Have Missed and You Should Absolutely Watch

by     Posted 3 days ago

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Critics and the general populace live very different lives.  Critics live in the bubble—a wonderful place where you see movies early and for free.  Other moviegoers must carve out time in a busy schedule, track down films, and then pay high ticket prices.  We’re incredibly sympathetic to these moviegoers, and so we don’t expect you to see every movie.  It’s easy to miss a lot of them, especially when you want to get a lot of bang for your buck.

However, there were plenty of movies this year that deserved your attention, and we urge you to track down these ten films you might have missed due to their limited theatrical release.  Hit the jump for Matt and Adam’s list.

Collider’s Gift Guide 2014: Movies, Books, Toys, and More Worth Checking out This Holiday Season

by     Posted 8 days ago

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There are only fifteen shopping days left until Christmas, but that’s still plenty of time to get yourself or the significant geeks in your life something cool.  The amount of stuff out there can be overwhelming, so Matt, Adam, Perri, and Evan have each chosen three items that you should consider picking up this holiday season.  Each writer has chosen a low-priced item ($10 – $50), a medium-priced item ($50 – $200), and something high-priced if you’re feeling like a big spender ($200+).

Hit the jump to check out some neat gifts you may want to get this holiday season.  Also, in case you missed it, here are some charity organizations we recommend as well.

Who Is The SUICIDE SQUAD? Meet the Characters That Will Populate Warner Bros.’ Star-Studded DC Comics Adaptation

by     Posted 13 days ago

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This has certainly been quite the week for comic book movie casting announcements!  At the top of the list is Warner Bros.’ confirming the lineup for its upcoming DC Comics supervillain team-up film, Suicide Squad.  With each actor now settled into his or her role, we can examine who each of these characters are and what their histories entail within the expendable team of the DC Universe.  The Suicide Squad, as you may have seen from the recent Assault on Arkham animated film and the second season of Arrow, are a team of villains assembled by the US Government.

Together, they have to perform high-risk missions with little hope of survival in exchange for the lengths of their jail sentences being reduced.  As an added incentive, the government had bombs surgically implanted in their heads.  Much like any comic book team, there have been many incarnations of the group over the years, but today’s article will walk you through the individual members that will populate WB’s recently announced film, as written and directed by Fury helmer David Ayer.

Oscar Beat: The Best Supporting Actor Race at a Glance

by     Posted 14 days ago

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By the time the Academy Awards nominations are announced every year, there’s already been so much prognosticating and discussion about the race itself that in actuality, there aren’t a great deal of surprises.  Sure, every now and then you’ll have something like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close getting into the Best Picture race or Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow being left off the Best Director shortlist (that one still baffles me), but by and large, things mostly seem to fall into place as expected.  Where you can find many of the true surprises, though, is in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories.  This is where beloved character actors can finally get their due, or burgeoning newcomers can find themselves nominated alongside acting veterans; and these kinds of nominees actually have good shots at winning.  This year, the bench for the Best Supporting Actor category is yet again deep with talent, offering plenty of opportunities for some pleasant surprises.

After the jump, I run down the current state of the Best Supporting Actor race in this week’s edition of Oscar Beat.

Oscar Beat: The Best Director Race at a Glance

by     Posted 22 days ago

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As we head out of the Thanksgiving holiday, studios have been scrambling to get screeners out to critics and voters before early December deadlines, and some of the year’s later releases are finally starting to be seen, which means the Oscar race is becoming much clearer.  We already have one potentially huge game-changer in the form of Selma, which has enjoyed enthusiastically positive response from its initial screenings, but that film also throws a curious prospect into the mix: for the first time in history, could we actually have two female directors nominated for the Best Director Oscar?

After the jump, I consider this question as I take a look at the current state of the rather crowded Best Director race in this edition of Oscar Beat.

Breaking Down the STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS Trailer: Why Is John Boyega in a Storm Trooper Outfit? And Other Burning Questions

by     Posted 22 days ago

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You’ve no doubt watched the Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer a couple of times now.  The teaser is a fantastic introduction to the J.J. Abrams-led new era of the saga, and as with all good teasers, this one has left us with a lot of very exciting questions.  The film’s release is still over a year away so it will likely be a while before much of the story is illuminated (and thankfully so—the less we know going in, the better), but there are still some reasonable assumptions that can be made from the very brief footage gleaned in this debut trailer.

After the jump, we break down some of the major points of the Force Awakens trailer and try to addresses burning questions like why is John Boyega in a storm trooper outfit?  What’s Oscar Isaac doing in a fighter ship?  Isn’t that new lightsaber incredibly dangerous?  Speculate along with us below.

Book to Screen: THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 Is Better than the Book

by     Posted 25 days ago

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If you’ve read the third book of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, you’re well aware that Mockingjay has problems and is undoubtedly the most difficult book of the series to bring to screen.  Whereas The Hunger Games and Catching Fire had the benefit of following the clear-cut chain of events involved in the Hunger Games, Mockingjay is more of a free-for-all.  Katniss is holed up in District 13, the Hunger Games are a thing of the past and now it’s just about the rebels trying to figure out how to get an edge on President Snow and the Capitol.  There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that narrative, but for folks who’ve enjoyed the spectacle and structure of the Hunger Games, Mockingjay could be a serious adjustment.

The same is true of the first half of Francis Lawrence’s big screen rendition, but it’s an adjustment worth making.  Minus the familiar faces and settings, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 bears little resemblance to its predecessors, but Lawrence and co. made a number of changes that make the film version far more accessible than the book.  [Please Note: This article contains spoilers for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, but there is no discussion of what’s to come in Part 2.]

Everything You Need to Know About BLACK PANTHER: An Introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s New Addition

by     Posted 28 days ago

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Of the new characters set to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the next five years, one of the biggest fan-favorites has to be T’Challa, aka the Black Panther.  The Black Panther is different from most heroes due to the fact that he runs his own country.  Yes, T’Challa is the leader of the fictional African country known as Wakanda, a technologically advanced powerhouse that is light years ahead of the rest of the world in almost every respect.  The Black Panther is set to star in his own movie in November of 2017, will have a prominent role in Captain America: Civil War in 2016, and the role has already been cast with Chadwick Boseman of Get On Up and 42 fame bringing him to life.  With such a high-profile character finally getting the big screen treatment, now seems like a good time for an introduction to one of Marvel Studios’ newest heroes.  Check out everything you need to know about the Black Panther after the jump.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY – PART 1 – What Did You Think?

by     Posted 29 days ago

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The time has come.  What’s bound to be the highest earner of 2014 is now in theaters.  As someone who’s very familiar with Suzanne Collins’ source material and has read Mockingjay quite a few times, I’ve been well aware that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was going to be the biggest challenge of the film franchise.  Yes, the book has problems, but even if the scribes behind the Mockingjay movies fix them – and I think they did fix quite a few – the fact that Mockingjay – Part 1 is such a departure from the original two films could still be a problem for many.

You can catch Matt’s full review of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 right here, but we’d also like to know what you think about the movie, too.  Did you like the change of tone and pace?  Did it leave you eager to see Mockingjay – Part 2?  Sound off in the comments after the jump.

INTERSTELLAR – What Did You Think?

by     Posted 43 days ago

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Alright folks, one of the most anticipated movies of the year is now in theaters.  Given all the secrecy surrounding Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic Interstellar and the fact that it’s a wholly original story set in deep space, expectations were almost impossibly high for this one.  I caught the movie myself last night at a digital IMAX showing, and I’m still mulling it over.  In some ways it was exactly the film I expected, and in other ways it was somewhat surprising.  The visuals and set pieces are spectacular, and I do think that Hans Zimmer composed one of his best scores to date—“majestic” is the word I’d use to describe the sound he found here—but Interstellar is a lot of movie (probably too much), and I think Nolan’s reach exceeds his grasp in terms of trying to constantly surprise the audience.  The performances from Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway are incredibly strong, and Nolan’s attempt to ground the film in emotion is admirable, but I came away from the film somewhat disappointed.

Matt composed his thoughts more eloquently in his review, which you can read right here, but now we’d like to hear from you, readers.  What did you think of Interstellar?  Did it exceed your expectations?  Where does this fall in Nolan’s filmography?  Sound off in the comments after the jump.

Who Is The Vision and What Does He Do? An Introduction to One of AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON’s New Additions

by     Posted 48 days ago

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If you can say anything about Avengers: Age of Ultron, it’s that it’s certainly not lacking for new characters.  While the film introduces the menacing Ultron to the world of the Avengers and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, we’re also getting three new additions to the MCU in the forms of Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, and today’s topic, the Vision.  The Vision, much like Ultron, is a robot, but unlike the big bad of the sequel, he ends up on the side of angels, working alongside the Avengers to put a stop to Ultron’s nefarious schemes of wiping out humanity.  Who is this ghostly hero, what are his abilities, and how will he be changed for the movies from his comic book origin?  Hit the jump for a breakdown of one of the newest additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

My Favorite Halloween Movie: TRICK ‘R TREAT

by     Posted 51 days ago

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[Since Halloween is this week, Adam, Matt, and I decided to write a bit about the films we watch annually to celebrate the holiday.  Click here for Adam's pick, and click here for Matt's pick.]

I watch a lot of horror movies, whether it’s Halloween or not.  It’s my genre of choice so I’m extremely guilty of watching and re-watching favorites like Scream, The Mist, Poltergeist, The Descent, A Nightmare on Elm Street and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, just to name a select few.  Any movie with bumps in the night, creatures and/or serial killers can be branded a Halloween-appropriate film, but because my days are filled with blood and guts year-round, on the holiday, I like to go with one of the best Halloween-themed films out there, Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat.  Find out more after the jump.

My Favorite Halloween Movie: SHAUN OF THE DEAD

by     Posted 53 days ago

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Movies are a funny thing.  They exist both in the moment and also forever.  Some films you forget the minute you walk out the theater, and others stay with you, spawning repeat viewings for years to come.  Not unlike music, I’d argue that films are very closely tied to memory.  Sure there are some you rewatch simply because you enjoy them or because they’re just that good, but others act as a sort of sensory time travel machine, summoning up the feelings you had when you were, say, on a very memorable first date or hanging out with friends the night before everyone went away to college.  For me, this carries over into a sort of seasonal emotional connection.  There are some movies I enjoy watching at a specific time of year because they “feel” like fall or they “feel” like Christmas, regardless of how season-specific the content of the film may be.

As Halloween approaches, we here at Collider thought it would be fun to share with you our favorite Halloween movies.  My personal favorite Halloween film doesn’t really have anything to do with the holiday at all, but at the same time it’s a movie that I find myself making a point to watch every October.  It also happens to be a modern day classic.  Find out why Shaun of the Dead is my favorite Halloween movie after the jump.

Now That We’ve Seen the AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer, Who Is This Ultron Fella?

by     Posted 56 days ago

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How about that Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, eh?  What an entrance!  We’ve come a long road and seen a lot of Marvel films to get to this point, and it seems certainly well earned.  You may be wondering, though, who is this Ultron fella that seems to be creeping out our heroes by shambling into Tony Stark’s pad?  What’s his deal and where does he come from?  In the comics, Ultron is, arguably, the major Avengers villain as he is first and foremost an antagonist to the group itself, rather than say Loki who’s really more of a Thor villain. While the origin of Ultron may be different in the movie, we thought we’d walk you through the birth and “life” of this sinister automaton who has been a thorn in the Avengers side for so long.  Get better acquainted with the comics history of Ultron after the jump.

What Is Marvel’s Civil War? An Introduction to the Comics Storyline That Pits Iron Man vs. Captain America

by     Posted 63 days ago

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Quite the bit of news has been revealed the past week.  Not only is Robert Downey Jr. in talks to co-star in the third installment of the Captain America franchise, but this may very well usher in one of the biggest storylines in Marvel history, Civil War.  Don’t know what Civil War is and why it’s causing such a fuss?  Collider has your back as we thought it would be a great opportunity to walk you through the origins of the event, its players, its ending, and how it could possibly be orchestrated in the current Marvel movie landscape.  Hit the jump for our in-depth look at the Marvel storyline, Civil War.

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