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Escape from L.A

In 1981, John Carpenter’s Escape from New York—a small-budget, post-apocalyptic bruiser—raked it in at the box office and set up Kurt Russell as an 80s action star. Fifteen years later, Russell reprised his role as now-iconic anti-hero Snake Plissken for Escape from L.A. But despite all the hallmarks of promise—star actor, known property, and the return of a legendary director—the $50 million sequel didn’t even earn half its money back in theaters.

Creatively, there are numerous reasons that help explain why this film flopped—many of which are hilariously pointed out in the latest episode of How Did This Get Made? But in addition to all that, there’s another variable at play: timing. Had Escape from L.A. been made ten years earlier—alongside 1986 hits like Cobra and Crocodile Dundee—or even ten years later—alongside 2006 reboots like Casino Royale and Rocky Balboa—it seems more likely that the film would have succeeded. Which begs the question: if Escape from L.A. had been made in the late 80s, what would that have looked like?

So who better to answer that question than Coleman Luck who, in 1987, was hired by John Carpenter to write the first draft of Escape from L.A. Curious to learn more—and also learn why Luck’s bio lists that him as “also a mentalist and a member of the Academy of Magical Arts”—I managed to track down the now-retired writer.  Below is a copy of our conversation…

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split review

(This review originally ran after Split‘s first screening at Fantastic Fest 2016. It arrives in theaters today.)

Every filmmaker finds themselves in a rough patch every now and again, but few directors have had quite as public a rough patch as M. Night Shyamalan. It wasn’t enough that the immensely talented director of The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs was stumbling with duds like The Lady in the Water and The Last Airbender – his name had become synonymous with disappointment for many moviegoers. He had become a punchline.

But now, it’s looking like Shyamalan has started to get his groove back. The Visit was one of last year’s more pleasant surprises and now Split, which held its world premiere as part of a secret screening at Fantastic Fest, has seemingly revealed his future going forward: he’s going to keep on making low-budget horror movies until someone tells him to stop. If his latest film is any indication, few people are going to tell him to stop anytime soon.

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An Inconvenient Sequel Review

If An Inconvenient Truth was an eye-opening disaster movie, then An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power is the heartbreaking post-apocalyptic follow-up.

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The Belko Experiment trailer

Greg McLean‘s (Wolf Creek) new thriller, The Belko Experiment, turns co-workers into animals. Written by James Gunn — who is busy with post-production on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 — the story is a dark, bloody, and violent office comedy. One day, the heads of a non-profit company decide they need 30 employees instead of 80, so they trap their workers, provide them with a deadly ultimatum, and turn them loose on each other.

Below, watch The Belko Experiment trailer.

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Ghostbusters Escape Room

Most likely, you didn’t get a chance to check out the Ghostbusters VR experience that was available at Madam Tussauds in Times Square last summer. But if you happen to be in Washington DC sometime soon (maybe because you’re protesting the inauguration of a certain someone), then you’ll get another opportunity to check out an immersive Ghostbusters experience.

Escape Rooms are all the rage right now. If you haven’t heard of this fun phenomenon, it’s basically a puzzle that you’re a part of, almost like a game of Clue. You’re stuck in a room, and you have to solve puzzles with the various items that are in the room in order to escape. One company in Washington DC has made their experience even more unique by tying their Escape Rooms into movies, and one of them is a Ghostbusters Escape Room. Get a sneak preview after the jump. Read More »

Resident Evil Recap

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is hitting theaters next week. It’s likely that no one who hasn’t seen the previous movies will be taking a chance on seeing this one out of the blue. But maybe franchise fans will be bringing someone with them who has never suffered through any of the other installments. In order to avoid any confusion, a new official video can help out.

Milla Jovovich took the time to catch everyone up on the complicated events of the Resident Evil franchise in a video that gives you all the important pointers from each of the films, starting with the first Resident Evil from 15 years ago.

Watch the Resident Evil recap from Milla Jovovich below. Read More »

This Is Us season two

Before season one of This Is Us ends this March, NBC has already ordered two more seasons of the hit drama, which will soon feature Katie Couric and Brian Tyree Henry (Atlanta) as guest stars. After receiving great reviews and being greeted by a passionate audience, season one was extended to 18 episodes. Season two and three are 18 episodes a piece as well.

Below, learn more about This Is Us season two and what’s next for the show.

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Suicide Squad La La Land Mash-Up Poster

Will we ever see Johnny Blaze appear on Agents of SHIELD? Do Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 LEGO sets key us into some action sequences in the movie? When will we get to see Harley Quinn on Gotham? Want to see a life-size version of The LEGO Batman Movie Batmobile? Who should play the John Stewart version of Green Lantern in the DCEU? All that and more in this edition of Superhero Bits. Read More »

‘Sneaky Pete’ Renewed For Season 2 On Amazon

sneaky pete

Less than a week after Sneaky Pete premiered on Prime Video, Amazon has announced they will be renewing the dramatic crime series for a second season. Find out about Sneaky Pete season 2 after the jump.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

the field guide to evil

I’m a big fan of horror anthologies, so watching the two ABCs of Death movies was like stuffing myself at a buffet until my stomach ruptured. Those high-concept films, where 26 different filmmakers were assigned a letter and made a brief short somehow related to death, are a mixed bag. For every great short, you got a pretty good short, and for every pretty good short, you got two pretty lousy shorts. As movies, they don’t quite work, but as bold genre experiments, I love the hell out of them.

So the good news is that ABCs of Death producers Tim League and Ant Timpson are working on a new horror anthology called The Field Guide to Evil. The better news is that it will consist of only eight directors, which should make for easier quality control. The best news is that it will see the filmmakers, each of them from a different nation, tackling folklore and mythology unique to their country. That’s an insanely good concept.

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