Sunday, March 31, 2013

Coolest Shit On The Floor : Wondercon 2013 Edition

 At Wondercon this weekend? Check out the awesome items we found during our dealer's room sojourn yesterday!

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Admission Giveaway!! WIN BOSSYPANTS?! OKAY!

It's been way too long since we've had a giveaway, right? Probably? I love giving shit away. Especially when said shit includes Tina Fey's book because even if you own it already, it's pretty much the best gift ever for anyone awesome....who doesn't own it already.

Anyway, in celebration of the release of a movie with Tina Fey AND Paul Rudd in it, we are giving away TWO prize packages featuring:

·         Folder, Notepad, Pen, Drawstring Bag, Toothbrush
·         Admission (movie tie-in book)
·         Bossypants by Tina Fey

To enter, just fill out the rafflecopter!

Link Up!
Visit the official website
Like Admission on Facebook                   
Watch the trailer on YouTube                   
Tweet using #Admission

Tina Fey (Date Night, 30 Rock) and Paul Rudd (I Love You Man, Knocked Up) star in Admission, the new film directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Weitz (About a Boy), about the surprising detours we encounter on the road to happiness. Straight-laced Princeton University admissions officer Portia Nathan (Fey) is caught off-guard when she makes a recruiting visit to an alternative high school overseen by her former college classmate, the free-wheeling John Pressman (Rudd). Pressman has surmised that Jeremiah (Nat Wolff), his gifted yet very unconventional student, might well be the son that Portia secretly gave up for adoption many years ago. Soon, Portia finds herself bending the rules for Jeremiah, putting at risk the life she thought she always wanted -- but in the process finding her way to a surprising and exhilarating life and romance she never dreamed of having.

Release Date: March 22
Genre: Comedy
Starring: Tina Fey, Paul Rudd, Michael Sheen, Wallace Shawn, Gloria Reuben, Nat Wolff,Traveris Spears, Lily Tomlin
Directed By: Paul Weitz (“About a Boy,” “Being Flynn,” “In Good Company”)
Written By: Karen Croner (“One True Thing”); Based on the novel by Jean Hanff Korelitz

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

SXSW: Even Moar Best of the Fest!

Over on, Will Goss and I made up our own SXSW awards and in the process got to honor everything that we thought was awesome about the films at the fest. But I actually had a few more random superlatives that I thought I'd post here!

Best Use Of James Franco
Pre-"Spring Breakers" Alamo Drafthouse Don't Talk PSA 

Although Franco had memorable performances in both "Maladies" and "Spring Breakers", perhaps his most fun contribution to SXSW was his recorded intro to Spring Breakers for the Alamo Ritz that had the audience in stitches. Not only did he quote Spring Breakers repeatedly ("Look at my shit!") but he quoted himself from Spiderman, prompting a warning to pop up on the screen saying everytime we talked or texted during the movie, Spiderman would kill James Franco's dad. And we don't want that. Well done, sir.

Best Appearance By One Of Our Own
Although Aint it Cool News' Eric Vespe's cameo in "Grow Up Tony Phillips" alongside his brother, lead Tony Vespe, is pretty damn adorbz, we can't help but award this honor to Hit Fix's Drew McWeeny, who makes us all look good with his intelligent, head above the rest commentary on the history and impact of the VHS in Josh Johnson's documentary "Rewind This"

Best Movie Swag

"Zero Charisma" & "Short Term 12"

One of these is obvious, one of these doesn't make sense without seeing the movie, both of these were given to me personally by the films directors and I will cherish them forever

Check out all the rest of the awards that DID make the cut at!
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Diary of a Noob: SXSW Edition

For the full article, head to

It began with getting lost six times in 10 minutes and ended with my wallet getting stolen on Rainey Street (I blame this, and everything else that goes wrong in the world, on the Music festival) but in between I experienced the most fun film festival I’ve ever attended, a week in the magical land of destination BBQ, breakfast tacos, legendary milkshakes, great movies and even better people. As this was my first time not only to SXSW and Austin, but also to an out of state festival, I was three times a noob, and t to document the first 90 of my 168 hours in attendance, if only so others might learn from my mistakes. Drunk bonding with filmmakers, strange “only at SXSW” sightings and the 18 movies I caught, it’s all here.
5:00 P.M. After settling into the Hyatt Regency, where I will be rooming with Erin McCarthy of Mental Floss and Eugene Novikov of Film Blather, I decide to begin my journey into downtown. The Regency is over the bridge, which is about a 15-minute walk to the convention center, or if you can get a cab, a three-minute drive. I am armed with multiple electronics and a detailed binder. I feel prepared for whatever comes my way!
5:31 P.M. It quickly becomes apparent that I am not at all prepared for whatever comes my way. Or even the things that are vaguely near my way. Outside of the labyrinthine Convention Center I make not one, not two, not three, not even four or five, but six wrong turns before figuring out where I’m supposed to go. Neither my phone nor iPad seems to understand the geography of Austin (seriously, you’d need one of those tracker orbs from “Prometheus” to find your way around the Convention Center) and this binder is way too heavy. I think I’m doing it wrong.
6:04 P.M. I stumble into the Target Lounge to catch my breath, where I find Glenn Tilbrook from Squeeze about to perform. This would probably be more exciting if it weren’t the first time that I’m learning of either Glenn Tilbrook or Squeeze..
6:05 P.M. Just as I leave the Target party, Tilbrook starts singing “Tempted” and I realize I totally know who Squeeze is! Victory! Also, I’m drunk. Was I even drinking!? Austin is very sneaky …
6:15 P.M. In line for my first movie, the documentary about Improv Everywhere, “We Cause Scenes”, at the Vimeo Theater, which is located on the first floor of the Austin Convention Center. I’m about 10th in line.
6:17 P.M. The line behind me is suddenly enormous. Noted.
8:50 P.M. I am thrilled with my first choice of movie. “We Cause Scenes” is a joyous detailing of Improv Everywhere’s history that touches on the impact of technology, the nature of art and the definition of success.  During the Q&A, the director invites the entire audience to come drink with him. I have a feeling I’m going to like this festival.
9:10 P.M. I notice that the throne from “Game of Thrones” is stationed beside the Vimeo Theater, and unlike at Comic-Con or Wondercon, no one seems to care. I make a mental note to make sure I come back and pose in it before the week is up. Like all of my mental notes, it will soon be completely obliterated by alcohol.
9:15 P.M. I run off to meet up with one of my SXSW partners in crime, Coco Quinn, and run into the entirety of the “Much Ado About Nothing” crew fresh off their Arty Bus. Joss Whedon and his cast are perfectly happy to chat with me like we go way back, because they are the nicest.
9:35 P.M. A random guy on the street offers me pot brownies. I reluctantly decline.
9:50 P.M. We arrive to the premiere party of “A Teacher”, held at an actual public school in East Austin. There’s a ton of food, free drinks, and ruler giveaways that say “Hot For Teacher” on them.
10:50 P.M. Head out of the party, figuring I can easily catch a cab and make it over to the Topfer theater for “V/H/S/2″ by 11pm. I am sorely mistaken.
11:23 P.M. A nice girl agrees to pedicab me over there for a discount. I’m not sure if she realizes how far away the Topfer theater is. I start to worry this pedicab ride will kill her.
11:48 P.M. Pedicab girl lives! (for now). She drops me at the theater, a performance space rocking a temporary screen for the duration of the fest. I grab a queue card, and eventually Erin and I are settled in for “V/H/S/2.”
1:25 A.M. The audience bursts into applause after Gareth Evan’s “V/H/S/2″ sequence. Holy crap.
1:50 A.M. During the Q&A, the filmmakers and Scott Weinberg start having a fun back and forth. I decide to introduce myself to Twitter friend Weinberg after the Q&A but then chicken out for no discernible reason. This will prove to be a SXSW trend. Next year, Weinberg. Next year.
2:15 A.M. Due to lack of a car and a 90-minute wait for a cab, Erin and I decide to walk back to Hyatt. On the long walk, which involves  going under a terrifying bridge, I comment to Erin that it’s like we’re starring in our own “V/H/S” right now! Erin does not like this.
2:26 A.M. A pedicab driver appears out of nowhere and insists that I high five him. I oblige. He murders neither Erin nor myself. This is good.
2:45 A.M. We make it back safe and sound, our faces eaten by zero drugged up mutants, and meet our roommate Eugene. At 2:45 in the morning. What up, SXSW!
Saturday after the jump!
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Thursday, March 14, 2013

MPAA Meets SXSW: All (okay fine, some) Of Your Questions Finally Answered!

Photo Credit: Indiewire

For the complete article, head to

In light of the burgeoning controversy over how the reportedly ultra-violent “Evil Dead” remake, which screened for the first time on Friday night, managed to get away with an R rating, I decided to take a brief respite from the traditional SXSW day-drinking and hit up the convention center for an event called “This Panel Is Not Yet Rated”. During the hour-long discussion, lots of myths about the Motion Picture Association of America’s iron-fisted ratings system were debunked and / or explained by the MPAA’s Classifications and Ratings head  Joan Graves, while opinions on how these ratings affect film were offered by Twitch Film’s Scott Weinberg, director Vincenzo Natali and Cheap Thrills CEO Travis Stevens. Unfortunately, while “Evil Dead” was minimally discussed (Weinberg noted that he generally doesn’t care what rating a horror film has, especially a new film, but if you’re remaking “Evil Dead”, you better make damn sure it has an R rating), Graves hasn’t seen it so she couldn’t speak to how the film managed to get away with avoiding an NC-17 (which in and of itself offers clues as to the internal workings of the MPAA). But fear not, plenty of interesting discussions were still had. Here are the 10 most fascinating things we learned.
1. Religious Organizations Do Not Participate in the Ratings Process
Graves clarified that when the MPAA was first created, religious organizations were up in arms, seeing it as the “fox guarding the hen house,” but their outrage increased tenfold when an appeals board made up of exhibitors and distributors was formed. To placate them, the MPAA agreed to let two members of two organizations have observer seats on the board, so that they may witness the discussion and see for themselves that no one has any personal interest or nefarious intentions, but they may not participate in any way — including so much as offering their opinions — and certainly cannot vote.

2. Adult Themes Don’t Cause R Ratings
When “Splice” was screened for the MPAA, Natali was concerned that he would receive an NC-17 because of what the film was about and the fact that, although it was filmed tastefully, there is an interspecies sex scene. Graves explained that theme/subject matter only plays a role up until PG-13, and from there it is only how that theme is articulated that may push it over the edge into R or NC-17. So as horrible as a a sex scene that manages to contain within it both incest and bestiality sounds, the fact that it exists only warrants a PG-13. Because of the context surrounding it and the tastefulness with which it was handled, the sex scene itself never entered into an NC-17 area.
3. Ratings Are Only For Parents – Unless Making Money Is An Issue
For indie filmmakers, they really couldn’t care less about a rating. The film is only going to be in theaters in a limited release anyway, and will eventually find more success on home video. On the other hand, for huge movies intended to be on 3000 screens and make a lot of money, the difference between PG-13 and R is enormously pivotal, and often will play a role in the creative process. Graves reiterated many times that the board has 12 parents (6 moms and 6 dads), from all over the country, and the only goal is to give parents a guideline for what might be appropriate for their children. The system is “voluntary” — if indie filmmakers aren’t concerned about money or the parents/kids market, they can bypass the MPAA altogether and still get released and distributed by certain companies ( i.e. what Killer Joe did). Graves even pointed out that when they talked to NATO and polled theater chains about whether or not they would show NC-17 films, only one chain in the entire country said they would not.
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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

10 Things I Learned at SXSW About Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing

 For the full recap, head to

One of the most anticipated events of all of SXSW was undoubtedly the US premiere of Joss Whedon’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, the screening of which was immediately followed by an hour-long Q&A with the entire cast save for Sean Maher, Riki Lindhome, and Reed Diamond. The line for the screening was the festival’s longest (at least until “Spring Breakers” blew the roof off of the Paramount Theatre last night), and chairs had to be brought in to line the sides of the auditorium, accommodating as many audience members as possible. And it was all worth it: The movie is fantastic, perhaps the most accessible Shakespeare I’ve ever seen – and this ain’t my first Shakesprodeo (see what I did there?). The panel that followed was lively and filled with little nuggets of wit and wisdom. Below, we’ve shared our 10 favorite things that we learned from Whedon and his friends.
1. You Don’t Say No To Joss Whedon
Both Alexis Denisof and Nathan Fillion were nervous about tackling Shakespeare, but they both subscribe to the belief that if Joss Whedon asks you do something, you do it. Fillion even came close to dropping out completely until Whedon’s wise words kept him attached. When Whedon reached out to Nick Kocher and Brian McElhaney to inquire as to whether they would fly themselves out to work on his movie for very little pay, they didn’t even hesitate. As Kocher put it, “Of course we came out – what do you think we do all day?!”
2. Wanna Work With Joss Whedon? It Could Happen
Over and over, situations came up where Joss discovered someone and incorporated them into the Whedonverse. Danny Kaminsky was hired as Joss’ assistant for “The Avengers”, and they worked so well together that Danny ended up becoming the editor and co-producer of “Much Ado”, thus “winning the best lottery of all time” (Kaminsky’s words, though I share the sentiment). Similarly, Jillian Morgese, who makes her feature debut in the film, was discovered by Joss after working on “The Avengers” in a minor PA/Extra role. He was taken by her as she “ran around looking scared”, and found her particular brand of ingenue to be exactly right for Hero, so he asked her to audition. Kocher and McElhaney were cast because Whedon is a huge fan of their sketch comedy group BriTanicK. Now, with their foot in the door, all of these people are here to stay. Moregese even went so far as to say that they had all become like family, something none of them would have thought possible just a couple years ago. The cherry on top? Rather than have any old extras, Whedon specifically brought in film students to fill out the main party scene.
3. Skype Auditions Are Really A Thing!
Whedon’s hunch about Morgese was proved correct when she auditioned for him over Skype and immediately got the role, no in-person callback required.
Way way way more on! You should go there! 
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