Kids Meet Michael Myers

The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.

In this edition, the crew at Tested models an outstanding Judge Dredd helmet using 3D printing. Plus, a video essay explores the effect of film grain on the recent indie thriller hit Mandy starring Nicolas Cage, and some kids have the unfortunate opportunity of meeting Halloween slasher Michael Myers. Read More »

Mandy 2 idea

Panos Cosmatos‘s Mandy is what happens when an uncompromising filmmaker shoots a revenge thriller as a psychotic, neon nightmare. It’s a jaw-dropping movie that operates on its own rhythm, unconcerned with convention or tradition and slowly unleashing more and more chaos on its protagonist, a revenge-seeking madman played by Nicolas Cage.

Mandy is such a singular piece of work that it’s hard to imagine what a sequel could be like, but in a new interview, Cosmatos reveals that he already has an idea for one – even if it’s unlikely to ever happen.
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New Blu-ray Releases Unfriended

(Welcome to Not Dead Yet, a feature dedicated to new Blu-ray releases and what special features you should be excited about. Because yes, some of us still like to own physical copies of our movies.)

Yeah, streaming is cool, but have you ever heard of Blu-ray? It’s a magical disc that you insert in a box, and it plays movies! More than that, it also plays special features about those movies! Pretty neat, if you ask me. Here, let me tell you about the latest Blu-ray releases, including a sequel to Unfriended, a sequel to Sicario, a psychedelic nightmare, and a fun horror anthology.

Here are the new Blu-ray releases and their special features you should check out this week and beyond.

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mandy box office

People can’t get enough of Nicolas Cage and the Cheddar Goblin. Mandy, an acid-trip of a movie that burns itself into your brain, is drawing audiences to the theater at an unexpected rate, even though the film is also available on VOD. The Mandy box office success has been so great that RLJ Entertainment have decided to rethink their release strategy, and keep the film in select theaters until November.

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mandy macaroni and cheese scene

About an hour into director Panos Cosmatos‘ Mandy, something horrible happens. Something so horrible that it breaks Red Miller’s mind. A few scenes later, he is retrieving his long-stashed crossbow from the trailer of a friend, smelting his own homemade battle axe, and driving into a hazy, drug-laced fantasia where the laws of reality have ceased to apply on a mission of vengeance.

But first, he watches a macaroni and cheese commercial. And it may be the most important moment in the movie. It may be the best movie scene of 2018.

Major spoilers for Mandy follow.

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Panos Cosmatos interview

The unnervingly beautiful and grotesque worlds born in Panos Cosmatos‘ imagination are remarkable. The writer-director showed with his directorial debut Beyond the Black Rainbow that he knows how to keep an audience’s eyes glued to the screen, but he can do far more than compose piercing images and an all consuming atmosphere. The visuals in Cosmatos’ new film, Mandy, which feature Nicolas Cage wielding an axe and going after a pack of demonic bikers, are bolstered by a real sense of pain and loss.

Cosmatos and Cage have said before that Mandy is a movie dealing with loss – a loss that fuels Red Miller’s (Cage) journey. There’s some genuinely heart wrenching moments in Cosmatos’ sophomore effort that make it a revenge movie with a real punch. Yes, seeing Cage going toe-to-toe with evil makes for some epic iconography, but Mandy‘s moments of pain and intimacy are just as enthralling to watch. Cosmatos recently told us about making his second film, crafting a large sense of scope with limited resources, working with Nicolas Cage, and more.

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nicolas cage interview

If ever there was a match made in heaven, it’s filmmaker Panos Cosmatos and actor Nicolas Cage. The artful duo’s boundary-pushing sensibilities coalesce beautifully in Cosmatos’ thrillingly imaginative horror movie, Mandy, which stars Cage as lumberjack Red Miller, who goes on a tripe blood-soaked journey for revenge. The Academy Award-winner has made remarkable and almost otherworldly transformations throughout his career, and his epic animal-like presence in Mandy‘s Heavy Metal-esque environments is no exception.

While Cosmatos’ revenge tale is sometimes like an acid trip gone wrong in Hell with its nightmarish and lush imagery, the hypnotic aesthetic is made all the more transfixing by the visceral emotions from Cage and co-star Andrea RiseboroughMandy has its share of great fight scenes, including a next-level battle involving chainsaws and a demon, but a crucial reason why the movie is so impactful is the palpable sense of loss. There’s one scene in particular where Cage lets out pure rage and pain that hits like a ton of bricks, which the actor recently told us about filming.

Below, read what Cage had to say about that particularly dramatic scene, studying Bruce Lee and silent films, his punk rock performances, and the most important question of all, “What would Prince do?”

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There are very few filmmakers who can match the energy Nicolas Cage brings to the screen. Werner Herzog is one; his Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans, a bad-cop-gone-worse story, pits Cage against his drug-fueled demons and has them breakdance to taunt him. Adaptation, one could argue, traps Cage within creative claustrophobia and makes him force his way out. Perhaps this year’s Mom and Dad comes close, allowing Cage to take a sledgehammer to a pool table while singing the Hokey Pokey. But Panos CosmatosMandy, in which Cage does more screaming than speaking, may well be the Holy Grail.

The Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit montage on YouTube is creeping up on a million views, and while it’s all too easy to make fun of it, the video also doubles as the show-reel of an actor willing to dive in headfirst unlike most others. Cage creates people that feel like they can’t be contained by a screen, and Mandy is the rare film (the only film, perhaps) that approximates what it must be like to live inside the head of one of his characters. It’s filled to the brim with melancholy energy, in constant motion even during its quietest moments, stripping away layers of meaning and imagery until it furiously smashes them back together. “Finally,” I thought, as Mandy reached its fiery climax, “a film about Nic Cage’s specific brand of sadness.”

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mandy clip

Everything we’ve seen of Nicolas Cage‘s blood-soaked revenge thriller Mandy so far is gore, axes, chainsaws, and a maniacal Cage at his most unhinged yet. But a new Mandy clip slows things down a bit to show us the calm before the storm. There’s no blood or violence, just Cage and Andrea Riseborough as the titular Mandy, murmuring sweet nothings to each other as they enjoy a moment of peace and quiet.

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Mandy advance screenings

If you’re bored with the traditional movies found in your local theater, fear not: Mandy is coming.

That’s not to say that all of the films that are out right now are traditional – far from it – but Mandy, the trippy and twisted revenge thriller from director Panos Cosmatos (Beyond the Black Rainbow), is operating on an entirely different level from anything that’s been in theaters for a long time. This movie is next-level nuts, and now you can to have the chance to see it a bit early.

Regal Cinemas and Alamo Drafthouse have teamed up with RLJE Films to offer Mandy advance screenings in over 200 theaters across the United States – and in addition to seeing the film early, attendees will also be able to see an exclusive taped conversation between Cosmatos and star Nicolas Cage afterward. Trust me – Cage fans won’t want to miss this. Read More »