VHStival

Many years ago, human beings inserted black rectangles into giant whirring boxes, all for the sake of entertainment. Those were the days of VHS, a format that’s essentially extinct now thanks to the advent of DVD and Blu-ray. While the quality of those later mediums is far superior, a certain nostalgia still swirls around VHS. That’s where Alamo Drafthouse’s new VHStival comes in. The event “celebrates the glory of the enduring and iconic video format with screenings, special appearances, and analog-driven events.”

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alamo drafthouse video store

Word of an Alamo Drafthouse video store arrived at the end of last year. Now here’s an update: the VHS rentals will be free. Video Vortex, coming to Alamo Drafthouse Raleigh in North Carolina, will offer free rentals, VCR loans and 40+ local draft beers. (Sorry; the beers aren’t free.)

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Best Movies Streaming February 2018

(Welcome to Now Stream This, a column dedicated to the best movies streaming on Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and every other streaming service out there.) 

Welcome to another edition of Now Stream This. I’ve scoured the wild world of streaming services to bring you the best of the best of the best. It seems every day another new streaming service is popping up, making it nearly impossible to navigate this dangerous terrain. Don’t worry, I’m here to help. You’re welcome.

This edition of Now Stream This brings you a highly underrated and very recent Todd Haynes movie, a new Netflix horror flick, a gloriously over-the-top action movie, a cynical noir loaded with snappy dialogue, the first Hannibal Lecter film, a romantic horror movie, a Steven Spielberg adventure, a cringe-inducing social media comedy, and some good old fashioned body horror. It’s time to look at the best movies streaming right now. Let’s get streaming.

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Alamo Drafthouse video store

What’s old is new again: Alamo Drafthouse is planning on opening a video rental store in 2018. The store, named Video Vortex, will open at Alamo’s upcoming 11-screen location in Raleigh, N.C., giving film lovers the opportunity to browse row after row of film titles before finally deciding to just rent Titanic again.

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women-only wonder woman screenings

Update: The Alamo Drafthouse has issued the following statement: “Obviously, Alamo Drafthouse recognizes ‘Wonder Woman’ is a film for all audiences, but our special women-only screenings may have created confusion – we want everybody to see this film.” The original article follows.

There are many institutions that have been men-only: treehouses, men’s clubs, the White House. But when the ladies get a special women-only event, it raises a huge outcry from — who else? — the men.

This week, an Alamo Drafthouse movie theater in Austin, Texas announced that they would hold a special women-only screening of Wonder Woman — a movie about an iconic female superhero who may hold some importance to women of all ages. But that doesn’t matter to the men of the Internet, because they raised a ruckus about being excluded from something for once. And their cries of “discrimination!” were only met with a sold out first screening, an announced second screening, and an expansion to other Alamo Drafthouse theaters across the country. You sure showed them, men.

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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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klown forever clip

I’ve previously written about how much I enjoyed Klown Forever, the very good and very funny follow-up to 2010’s Klown (which just so happens to be one of the funniest and most offensive movies ever made).  Now, we’re pleased to premiere this new clip from director Mikkel Nørgaard‘s sequel, which is set to arrive in limited theatrical release and on VOD next month from Drafthouse Films.

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klown forever trailer

There are certain film screenings that brand themselves upon the brain, never to be forgotten. I still remember every detail of seeing Klown, director Mikkel Nørgaard‘s big screen adaptation of the Danish sitcom of the same name, and even if I wanted to scrub it from my brain, I could not. It’s there. It’s there forever. Every mortifying, vile, evil, brilliant, hilarious, unapologetic second of it. Klown belongs on the short list of the funniest movies I’ve seen in the past decade, right up there with In the Loop as a movie I giggle about often despite feeling very guilty over what I’m giggling about.

But with the sequel arriving soon, this is the part where I say “Go see Klown – it’s offensive and humiliating and brilliant.” In the meantime, here’s the trailer for Klown Forever.

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raiders interview

Raiders!: The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made is one of the most purely entertaining documentaries you will see this year, a tribute to the joys of cinema and the agonies of childhood. Directors Jeremy Coon and Tim Skousen tell the story of Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala, two childhood friends who set out to remake Steven Spielberg‘s Raiders of the Lost Ark. When they were eleven years old. In 1982. Their efforts resulted in Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation, which has found a cult following over the years. Raiders! pulls double duty, exploring the making of the original fan film and the modern attempt by Strompolos and Zala to actually finish what they began as children and complete the one scene they never managed to film: the famous brawl on the German Flying Wing.

With the film currently touring around the country for the rest of the summer (you can check out the schedule and purchase tickets here), I sat down with Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala to talk about their experiences in making “the greatest fan film ever made,” their future filmmaking endeavors, and whether or not they’re sick and tired of Raiders of the Lost Ark at this point.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Raiders of the Lost Ark Trailer Remake

This year marks the 35th anniversary of Raiders of the Lost Ark, and there’s already a way to celebrate with a new print by Laurent Durieux available for purchase at Bottleneck Galley. But if that’s not enough, this summer also marks the release of Raiders! The Story of the Greatest Fan Film Ever Made, a documentary about a group of kids who set out to make a shot-for-shot remake of the Steven Spielberg classic. Their endeavor spans decades, and we get to learn all about their process as they set out to finally finish it.

In honor of the release of Raiders! and the 35th anniversary of the film that inspired its subjects, Alamo Drafthouse has released a shot-for-shot recreation of the original movie’s trailer using footage from Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation. It shows you just how dedicated these kids were to their project and how impressive their low budget work and passion still is.

Watch the Raiders of the Lost Ark trailer remake below. Read More »