A mashup of zombie horror and romantic comedy, a video-game-style depiction of millennial culture before it was called millennial culture, a post-apocalyptic dystopian thriller seen through the eyes of some Gen-X’ers, and more. These concepts all sprung from the mind of filmmaker Edgar Wright, whose features over the last 15 years have managed to all feel daring and strikingly original even as he wears his references on his metaphorical sleeves.
Wright’s first major feature film, Shaun of the Dead, wasn’t released in the United States until the fall of 2004, but its wide release in the United Kingdom was 15 years ago today. So with that milestone in mind (and with the caveat that Wright’s debut film, A Fistful of Fingers, isn’t available on Blu-ray yet, so this writer hasn’t seen it), let’s rank Wright’s films.
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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, Free Solo documentary subject Alex Honnold breaks down some of the most famous rock climbing scenes in movies like Mission: Impossible 2 and Point Break. Plus, a video essay explores the best movies within movies, and the crew at Tested takes a close look at a showcase of rare, vintage Star Wars collectibles from decades ago. Read More »
Today is Thanksgiving, when families all round the country gather to stuff their faces with delicious food and argue about politics. Then we follow that up with Black Friday, when we forget about all the things were were thankful for so we can run through the aisles of various retails outlets for discounted electronics, appliances and more. But if you’re not the kind of person to brave the massive crowds out in the real world, there’s plenty of good stuff for you to snag online as well.
The awesome folks at Mondo have a handful of great Black Friday deals which include new prints for Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Thor: Ragnarok, Ex Machina and the films of LAIKA, not to mention a deluxe edition of The Art of Mondo book. Check out all of the Mondo Black Friday deals below. Read More »
August is a precarious month for the film industry; nestled between the blockbuster summer schedule and the advantageous awards season of fall, it’s a quiet time for big budget fare. Though not quite the dumping ground of, say, February, it’s mostly a breather month – a calm before the prestige storm, and where studios can test their less-trusted properties.
It may evade easy categorization, but August can be a stellar month for film. It’s the season of R-rated comedies, violent road movies, and experiments. Some of the best mainstream films of the last 25 years came out in Leo season. We chose 15 of our favorite August releases, films that exceeded expectations – some economically, some critically, and some that linger on for less discernible reasons.
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Scott Pilgrim vs The World is the best video game movie ever made. It’s completely soaked full of love for the culture of video games and just absolutely stuffed with iconic sound effects and names and little asides that make gamers nod.
In honor of Baby Driver’s release this week, we took a look back at Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, something you should do fairly regularly, and tried to note every single video game reference in the film. There are a lot, but as typical for Edgar Wright, they don’t overpower the story. Every sound is there for a reason, and while it adds more substance if you’re familiar with the references, the film works just as well if you’ve never played a game in your life.
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Every director claims to be a movie geek. But there’s movie geeks, and then there’s Edgar Wright. The director, who casually drops lists of his 1000 favorite films when he’s not working, seems to view movie references as a bit of a sport. If you’re not spotting at least a dozen influences or outright homages in his movies, you probably need to rewind – and if you’re watching his earlier films like Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, just give up trying to count.
While Wright has increasingly been moving away from overt name-checks in his movies, he still manages to bury familiar score snippets, costume choices, and plot threads in all of his work. Here are just a few.
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Over a twenty-three year career spanning TV and film, Edgar Wright has honed his craft to become one of the most inventive, exciting filmmakers working today. With his genre-bending screwball comedies, Wright has developed an instantly recognizable style, culled from filmmakers before him, like Sam Raimi, Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers and more, and given his own unique twist. With rapid-fire montages and close-up cutaways, Wright fully embraces the visual aspect of the visual medium of film (something a shocking number of modern filmmakers seem to overlook). With Wright’s latest film Baby Driver speeding into theaters this week, it’s time to look a selection of the best scenes from his film career.
Spoilers for Wright’s films follow.
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In 2005, I watched a new horror comedy titled Shaun of the Dead. I had not heard of Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, or anyone involved with this quirky little piece of entertainment. And something struck me big time about this movie: the incredible editing and music choices. And since Shaun‘s release, Wright has proven that he is a master at mixing cinema with the energy of a music video, all the while not losing his grip on the story.
In Wright’s latest movie, Baby Driver, music plays a key role within both the story and structure of the movie. And if you know Wright’s filmography, you know that he has been honing his music video talents for years to create a film like this. So in celebration of Baby Driver‘s release, let’s take a look at the greatest music-driven sequences in Wright’s movies.
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Edgar Wright‘s latest feature film hits theaters this week, and by all accounts Baby Driver is another winner blending action, laughs, and Wright’s own unique sensibilities. (Don’t take my assumption for it though, check out Jacob Hall’s review out of SXSW.) Wright has yet to deliver anything less than a very good time at the movies, and while a lot of factors go into an acclaimed film, one of his many strengths as a filmmaker is in the variety of fun and fun-loving characters he packs into his work.
The scripts are obviously key to the films’ highly quotable nature, but pairing the words on the page with particular performers is what ultimately results in such memorable characters. That combination has resulted in a bounty of fun, funny, and fascinating characters in Wright’s films, and while some are leads, others only manage a few minutes of screen time. It’s an issue of quality trumping quantity, and it’s why someone with two scenes in a movie can be far more memorable than someone who’s in nearly the entire thing. What I’m saying is Shaun of the Dead‘s Ed is an obnoxious twat whose “funny” behavior upsets the film’s delicate tonal balance and ultimately keeps it removed from absolute greatness. Look, I don’t like saying it anymore than you like hearing it, but there it is.
It’s also why the list below is heavy on the male members and light on the ladies. Wright’s films feature plenty of women, but you have to look all the way back to his UK television series, Spaced, to find an example of one with meat on her character’s bones. But that’s a think-piece for a different time. For now let’s keep things moving with a look at the best characters in Edgar Wright’s feature films.
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(Welcome to /Response, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)
Earlier this week, the /Film team wrote about our favorite female badasses in the movies. We then opened the floor to our readers: who is your favorite kick-ass lady to appear in a film? And you let us know!
We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question, in honor of It Comes At Night: what is your favorite cinematic end of the world? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to firstname.lastname@example.org!
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