Steve Jobs parody Michael Dell

This weekend brings the premiere of Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender as the iconic co-founder of Apple. But not all tech company CEOs are quite so revered. In last night’s episode, Conan unveiled its own tech biopic, Michael Dell, about a boring, indifferent founder who offers inspiring slogans like, “Don’t think different. Think same.” Watch the Steve Jobs parody Michael Dell after the jump. Read More »


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The Hero's Journey

American scholar Joseph Campbell is responsible for identifying the narrative pattern known as The Hero’s Journey. He chronicled the monomyth in The Hero with a Thousand Faces in 1949 and described this story template like this:

A hero ventures forth from the world of common day into a region of supernatural wonder: fabulous forces are there encountered and a decisive victory is won: the hero comes back from this mysterious adventure with the power to bestow boons on his fellow man.

There are actually 16 stages in The Hero’s Journey, and motion designer Iskander Krayenbosch from the Netherlands has created an animated short that runs through 12 of them as they apply to some of the most iconic heroes of motion pictures. Read More »

opening and closing shots

While there are hundreds and thousands of frames that compose dozens of shots in motion pictures, two of the most important images in every single film are the opening shot and the closing shot. The opening shot introduces you the world, characters and story you’re about to see, and it should captivate you from the beginning; the final shot is the last you’ll see of the story that just unfolded, and if it’s good, it should stay with you after the movie is over.

Editor Jacob T. Swinney has taken these important pieces of film and juxtaposed them in a couple videos showing the opening and closing shots of no less than 125 movies, from The Searchers to Birdman and a bunch more in between. But it’s up to you to determine what they mean to the movie. Though since there are closing shots, beware of potential spoilers and a bit of NSFW imagery. Read More »

American Horror Story Hotel opening credits

We’ve known that American Horror Story: Hotel would involve dudes sewn into beds, an old-timey serial killer, creepy pale children, and a deliciously devilish Lady Gaga. But the just-released title sequence reveals another theme we weren’t necessarily expecting: religion. Watch the American Horror Story Hotel opening credits after the jump. Read More »

Non-traditional aspect ratios - Lucifer

The aspect ratio of any given movie literally frames our experience of the entire work. Whereas real-life exists in 360 degrees in all directions, filmmakers must make very conscious decisions about what to put inside that box, what to exclude from it, and how to present it all to the audience.

For the most part, movies stick to a few standard widescreen aspect ratios, or, if the filmmaker is feeling a bit daring, the less common 4:3 aspect ratio. (For example, Fish Tank and Ida.) But one video essay argues there’s been a rise in experimentation with non-traditional aspect ratios, including films that change proportions mid-scene (i.e., Tom at the Farm or Life of Pi) or reject the idea of a rectangular frame altogether (Gust Van den Berghe’s Lucifer). Watch and learn after the jump.  Read More »

Presidents Watching Movies

While the President of the United States of America is one of the most powerful leaders of the free world, it’s important to remember that each and every person who has and will hold that office is a person just like the rest of us. And most people love movies. Therefore, it should come as no surprise to hear of presidents watching movies at the White House to unwind a bit, many times with other world leaders.

And now you can get a little insight into what a couple of America’s leaders were watching during their time in office as the lists of films screened by presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter during their tenure have recently been publicized online. Each of them actually watched more movies than you might otherwise have thought. Read More »

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Avengers Age of Ultron Honest Trailer

You didn’t think a blockbuster as big and buzzy as Avengers: Age of Ultron would escape the Honest Trailers treatment, did you? In the latest installment of their ongoing series, the Screen Junkies team give the Marvel blockbuster the skewering it deserves, calling it “the movie equivalent of emptying out your entire toy box and smashing all your action figures into each other.” Yeah, that sounds about right.

Watch the Avengers Age of Ultron Honest Trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Avengers Age of Ultron gag reel

Earth’s mightiest heroes know how to get down, as we saw in the Avengers: Age of Ultron party scene earlier this summer. But the actors who play them are no slouches either. Marvel has released another Avengers Age of Ultron gag reel, this time with more dancing, more pratfalls, and enough shameless flirting to power your next ten works of fanfiction. Watch it after the jump.  Read More »

Spider-Gwen trailer

The DC Extended Universe isn’t putting out a female superhero movie until Wonder Woman in 2017, and Marvel Studios is lagging even further behind with Captain Marvel in 2018. Which is enough of a bummer as it is, but it gets even sadder when a video like this fan-made Spider-Gwen trailer comes along to show us what could be.

The video pulls clips from Easy A, Birdman, and of course, the Amazing Spider-Man movies to put Emma Stone at the center of the action. Like the comics on which it’s based, the (sadly nonexistent) Spider-Gwen movie reveals what would’ve happened Gwen Stacy, rather than Peter Parker, had been the one to get bitten by that superpower-granting arachnid. Watch the Spider-Gwen trailer after the jump. Read More »