ericvespe FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

from Austin, TX

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    • Ready Player One Gets A Sweet Painterly Poster!

      1 month ago


      I'm still flabbergasted that this movie is actually real and is coming out soon. Ready Player One directed by Steven Spielberg is so batshit crazy as a concept that it's either going to be a massive train wreck or something amazing. There doesn't seem to be much middle ground on this one.

      Today they debuted a new poster that is very much in the Spielberg/Struzan style although I don't think the legendary Drew Struzan actually did this one. It's good enough to be one of his, but I don't see his distinct signature anywhere.

      UPDATE: This is the work of the great Paul Shipper whose work you might know from those awesome Scream and Shout Factory Special Edition Blu-Rays. For years he's been the heir apparent to Drew Struzan and I guess he's finally arrived if I even questioned whether or not this piece was a Struzan! Check out more of his work here!

      Check it out:


      That's a way better poster than the previous one, which features star Tye Sheridan with a Go-Go Gadget extra long leg that you can't unsee once you see it.


      I still have no idea if this is going to be great or awful, but if there's one thing I've learned in all my years being a movie geek it's that you never, ever bet against Steven Spielberg.

    • Michael Fassbender is going to star in a Kung Fury movie? Say what now?

      1 month ago


      Words I didn't expect to see today were "Michael Fassbender and David Hasselhoff are going to co-star in..." But that's exactly what I saw.

      Looks like Michael Fassbender will take center stage for a feature length Kung Fury film. Yeah, that Kung Fury. 


      Tracking-Board got the scoop and I'm still not sure if someone somewhere is playing an elaborate pre-April Fool's Day Joke or not, but it seems legit. 

      The people who produced IT are behind this feature and this is either going to be the worst thing ever made or a stroke of a genius. I can't tell, which is pretty exciting in and of itself, but I'll believe this is real when I actually see it.

    • Happy Birthday Joe Don Baker, Christina Ricci and Abraham Lincoln! You Should Watch...

      1 month ago


      Welcome friends and neighbors to a new edition of Happy Birthday... You Should Watch! Lots of birthdays today, February 12th, but I'm narrowing it down to three so this doesn't turn into a novella.

      The two going to ignore are Josh Brolin and Michael Ironside. Sorry fellas! But naturally for Brolin I have to go with Inherent Vice (not my favorite movie, but it's probably my favorite Brolin performance... just the chocolate covered banana scene by itself is the best thing he's ever done) and for Michael Ironside... this is tougher. He's been great in so many things... Scanners, Total Recall... But my gut is saying Starship Troopers because he gets to be his usual tough-ass self, but not a villain.


      Addams Family Values (1993) – I was going back and forth between two Christina Ricci performances in my mind. The one I was more inclined to focus on was a film called Black Snake Moan. It's great, she's amazing in it and it's not something everybody has seen. But it's also a movie where she spends 2/3rds of it chained to a radiator while wearing nothing but a cut-off shirt and panties, so any image from the movie I wanted to use looked like I was objectifying her. The movie's more than that, so seek it out if you can, but I went with a little bit of a safer pick.

      Both early '90s Addams Family movies are great, but I think I may like the sequel better and a big part of that is because of what they do with Wednesday Addams. Addams Family Values splits up the family in more ways than one. Uncle Fester is preyed upon by a money-hungry husband killer (a great turn by Joan Cusack) who gets in-between him and the rest of the family. At the same time the kids are sent to a summer camp.

      I was Ricci's age when this movie came out and I'm pretty sure I fell in love while I was in that movie theater. Wednesday's outsider status combined with her gleeful darkness would pretty much define my ideal girlfriend throughout my teenage years. It's no surprise to me that my first longterm girlfriend bore more than a passing resemblance to Ms. Ricci.

      The jokes in the movie come at you lightning fast and there's so much charm on display. The chemistry between Raul Julia and Angelica Huston was so note perfect it really does make me sad Julia passed so young and kept us from getting another half-dozen more of these films.


      Walking Tall (1973) – Joe Don Baker is one of my favorite character actors. He's probably best known for being Bond's charming American connection in the Pierce Brosnan era (funny since he played a completely different character, a villainous military leader, in The Living Daylights) or the redneck dad in Mars Attacks! Or, for you, MST3K fans, the star of Mitchell, one of the most popular episodes of that point and laugh at bad movies show.

      I kinda like Mitchell... it's silly, but typical of the drive-in action fare of the day. But that's not the one I'm going to recommend on Mr. Baker's 82nd birthday. Nope, the one I recommend is called Walking Tall. The Rock remade it with Johnny Knoxville a few years back in one of the most bizarre adaptations in cinema history. They turned it into a PG-13 action film which is absolutely a disservice to the original story.

      Walking Tall is a true story based on a real life Southern Sheriff named Buford Pusser. He was a bit of a crime-fighting folk hero known for protecting the people of his small Tennessee town with a hunk of wood. He fought low level crime and corruption in his local government. Mr. Pusser was alive when this film was made and was even supposed to star as himself in the sequel, but died in a car crash. The sequels ended up starring Bo Svenson and did cover his death, framing the car accident as the result of him taking on the corruption in this small town.

      Baker is front and center here and force to be reckoned with. He's angry, he's brutal and he's just kind of a regular guy. That was the beauty of the era... character actors could be leads and Joe Don Baker was a great lead here.

      Walking Tall was a massive success on the drive-in circuit and for reasons I don't know Baker was one-and-done with it, instead moving on to two truly great '70s films: The Outfit (starring Robert Duvall) and Charlie Varrick (starring Walter Matthau).

      You can rent Walking Tall on most of the steaming outlets (YouTube, Amazon, GooglePlay and iTunes). Just make sure you're getting the good one. Remember, it's Walking Tall not Rocking Tall.


      Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) – This one was an easy call. Before his death, the 16th US President Abraham Lincoln was brought to the '80s thanks to a time traveling phone booth to appear in a documentary called Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

      Mr. Lincoln did a lot of good in his life. He delivered inspiring speeches that are still remembered today, he fought to end slavery, and put in motion a reconstruction effort that would hastily mend a deeply divided nation. It doesn't surprise me he'd help out a couple time traveling kids with their history project. He was just a good dude, you know?

      There have been plenty of talented people who have played Lincoln, like Henry Fonda and Daniel Day Lewis, but this marks the only movie where Lincoln was able to play himself and he pulls it off without any camera shyness or awkward line delivery. Obviously all those years giving political speeches prepped him for this, perhaps his greatest moment.

      That's it for today. Here are the trailers for all three films we talked about:

      Happy birthday Joe Don Baker, Christina Ricci and Abe Lincoln! Party on, dudes!

      -Eric Vespe

      @ericvespe on Twitter

    • Harry Potter's Chris Columbus To Write and Direct a FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY'S Movie!

      1 month ago



      Five Nights At Freddy's is fucked up. And I love it. Even more than the game itself, I love how it has become a staple for young gamers. My nephews (10 and 7) act as my informants in what the kids of today are interested in. Lots of YouTube personalities, Minecraft, Pokemon and this thing, a creepy game about a kid's pizza place that certainly bears no resemblance to Chuck E. Cheese's where the messed up animatronics come to life every night to torment the overnight security guard.

      Blumhouse picked up the property a while ago when Monster House's Gil Kenan was attached. Mr. Kenan isn't on board anymore, but he's been replaced by an interesting director: Chris Columbus (per Deadline).

      Columbus made his name in the Amblin circles in the '80s. He wrote Gremlins and Goonies for Spielberg, went on to direct Home Alone and Mrs. Doubtfire in the '90s and then hit the jackpot when he was the first to bring Harry Potter to the big screen. You can argue the quality of those first two Potter movies all you want, especially compared to the later, more mature, films, but there's no question Columbus did a masterful job casting the characters and setting up a visual language that would define the series.

      He's been in a bit of a slump post-Potter. I'm not a fan of his Percy Jackson film and his last directorial outing was Pixels, so... yeah. 

      There's a question to tone, but since the Five Nights At Freddy's adaptation is at Blumhouse I imagine they're not going to shy away from the horror side of this story. To ignore that would be to completely miss the point of the game's success. The imagery can be soft, it doesn't have to be an R-rated movie or anything, but the reason the game became a phenomenon was the tension it built as you looked from camera to camera as you tried to keep an eye on the horror show slowly creeping toward you. 

      A Gremlins tone is actually pitch perfect for this thing. Take the horror seriously, but keep it fun and not too emotionally scarring. But how much of that perfect Gremlins tone was Joe Dante and how much was the script? Can Columbus do it?

      I guess we'll find out! 

    • Kathleen Kennedy and Ron Howard Talk About Transitioning Solo Away From Lord & Miller!

      1 month ago


      One of the biggest movie shake ups in recent memory was last summer when Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired from their Young Han Solo movie mere weeks before filming was to wrap up. 

      Entertainment Weekly has a bunch of Star Wars related stuff hitting right now and one of their pieces is quotes from Kathleen Kennedy and Ron Howard about that time, what went down and where their mindset was when these crucial decisions were made.

      Ron Howard had this to say: “I know Chris and Phil. They’re incredibly talented guys, and all anyone at Imagine Entertainment wants to do is find a way to work with Chris and Phil, and that’s every bit as much the case today as ever, but when I learned that this change was happening, it just came in a moment where I was working on lots of new projects for Imagine, and I had not planned to direct anything last year. So then this came my way, and I was talking to Kathy, and the now tragically late Alli Shearmur, an old friend. I was reluctant, but I also began to feel that I could help.”


      He also said that Lord & Miller's fingerprints are still all over the movie, but he hopes fans won't be spending time in the theater trying to pick apart what's theirs and what's his and just let the movie play for them.

      Kathy Kennedy won't say a bad thing about Lord & Miller either, but did double down on the talk that they just weren't prepared to work in the way these films demand. 

      “I think these guys are hilarious, but they come from a background of animation and sketch comedy and when you are making these movies you can do that and there’s plenty of room for improvisation, we do that all the time, but it has to be inside of a highly structured process or you can’t get the work done and you can’t move the armies of people to anticipate and have things ready. So, it literally came down to process. Just getting it done.”

      Of course, all this is true... from their point of view. Lord & Miller have been jovial about the situation in the few public appearances they've made since all the turmoil, but they've mostly kept their heads down and focused on their participation in producing the upcoming animated Spider-Man film at Sony that will be seeing MIles Morales behind the mask and writing their followup to The Lego Movie. Right now we just have Lucasfilm and Howard's side of things. 

      I'm sure in time we'll get more of the fuller picture, but it's interesting to see a more detailed point of view of this massive event.

      Of course mid-stream changes isn't new and often isn't bad news. Michael J. Fox famously replaced Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly in Back to the Future after Robert Zemeckis shot half the movie (which Kathleen Kennedy produced, by the way). 

      We won't know if the final film survived until May, but I'm an optimist and I never walk in to any movie hoping to dislike it. Especially a Star Wars movie.

    • Joaquin Phoenix In The Running To Be Yet Another Joker For The DCEU?

      1 month ago


      Because we can't have enough cinematic Jokers Warner Bros is going after yet another new head to cover with pasty makeup and green hair. 

      They're planning a standalone, one-off Joker movie that Todd Phillips is producing and directing that for some reason will not feature their chosen cinematic Joker, Jared Leto. I mean, for all the good reasons it's not starring Jared Leto, but the studio is keeping him on anyway for further DCEU movies. 

      This doesn't make a damn bit of sense to me. Either commit to what you've done and give us a little consistency or recast. But what do I know? I'm just a nerd at a computer, not an exec making seven figures a year.

      Phillips has made his perfect Joker choice clear: He wants Joaquin Phoenix and Variety says Phoenix has weighed it and tentatively agreed. Contract negotiations haven't begun yet, so this is very, very early days, but it's what's in front of us right now.


      The Wrap's Umberto Gonzalez added on that Leonardo DiCaprio has also met with Phillips about the role multiple times. Now that would have been interesting considering just how much DiCaprio idolizes Jack Nicholson (and is slowly starting to morph into him as he ages), who very memorably played The Joker in Tim Burton's Batman.

      Phoenix's intensity is a very interesting component to bring to the character. I can see him actually making the Joker scary, which is about as far away from Leto's interpretation as you can get. 

      I don't object to him in the role, I just think it's stupid to be muddying the DCEU waters even further with multiple versions of the same character. If they have a smart script solution to that I'm all ears for it, but right now it sounds like a not great idea.

      Little known fact: If Phoenix does take on the role it won't be his first foray into the DC comics world. Way back in the early days of his career, his Leaf Phoenix days, he was in a show called Little Hercules and this happened... 

      So now he has to play The Joker just so this video becomes the most watched thing in the history of the internet. 

      What do you folks think?

    • Rooster Teeth and The Know Is Giving You An Exclusive Preview Tour of Mondo's Newest Art Gallery!

      1 month ago


      Hey, guys. Exciting news! Tomorrow we'll be giving the whole RT community an early glimpse of Mondo's newest art show. Before doors open for their new event I'll be hosting a Facebook Live tour of all the coolest pieces on display. Artist Jason Edmiston will be joining us and showing us his 100 pieces of original pop art that he's created for this show.

      The show is a sequel to his popular Eyes Without A Face series. He's painted hundreds of pop culture eyeballs and tomorrow you'll be able to see everything he's got in store before anyone else! People have been in line since Wednesday to get in!

      To celebrate the good folks at Mondo have given us the debut of one of his pieces... which should be of particular interest to the RT community. Check it out:


      Here are some of his other famous eyeballs that'll be at the show:





      There's even rumors that he's unveiling a 22 foot long painting. He did King Kong's eyes in his original 2015 show. Can you think of any other giant pop culture character who would demand a 1:1 eyeball painting? I got some theories...

      Anyway, make sure to stay tuned to Rooster Teeth or The Know's Facebook pages tomorrow around 5:30pm CST for a live tour of the gallery and brag to all your friends that you were the first people ever to see what's in store!

      -Eric Vespe

      @ericvespe on Twitter

    • Hoooooly Shit! Game of Thrones' David Benioff and DB Weiss Are Going To Make Star Wars Movies!

      1 month ago


      Gotta love these surprise Star Wars announcements! The Lucasfilm train is charging full steam ahead on these Star Wars movies. Not only are we getting the Skywalker Saga films (i.e. episodes 1-9). Not only are we getting Rian Johnson's completely separate new trilogy. We're also getting a new series of films to be written and produced by the minds behind Game of Thrones.


      That's right, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write and produce a new series of Star Wars films that will not be tied to either Johnson's standalone trilogy or the Saga films. The only other detail in the press release is that work would be begin on these new Star Wars films once Benioff and Weiss wrap up the final season of Game of Thrones. 

      Star Wars has already been lifting GoT cast members (long live Phasma!) and we know that this team is really good at developing complex and most of the time really fucked up characters and can play nicely in a brilliant author's sandbox. 


      It might just be me, but I'm sensing a move away from the standalone film formula they've been trying with both Rogue One and Solo. It seems what's appealing to the creative minds at Lucasfilm is to explore completely unknown areas of the Star Wars Universe. 

      There have been rumors of the Obi-Wan spin-off movie, but nothing has been announced by Disney. The only things announced have been new series with no connections to anything that came before. 

      That, in my humble opinion, is great news. Transitioning the Game of Thrones team immediately into the Star Wars universe is also, in my humble opinion, great news. Maybe this means we'll finally be getting Michelle MacLaren directing a Star Wars movie!

      The sky's the limit on what these guys can do and that is exactly what is going to keep Star Wars fresh. Can't wait to see how this develops! 


    • More awesome Deadpool 2 marketing! The new poster will make you want to dance!

      1 month ago


      It's a little sad how excited I get for any piece of marketing for Deadpool 2. That team killed it so hard on the first movie and now it feels like they're taking it up a notch for the sequel. They've had some great reveals so far and now they've got a kickass new poster which takes inspiration from, what else, an early '80s dance drama. 


      That is indeed the Merc with a Mouth striking a Flashdance pose for Deadpool 2's teaser poster. Instead of being drenched in water good ol' Wade Wilson is being pelted by spent shells. Appropriate.

      I have no reason to doubt the awesomeness that awaits us in the high profile sequel and even if it turns out to be a huge flaming turd we'll always have this fantastic marketing campaign! Can't wait for more!


    • Happy Birthday Rip Torn and Kathy Najimy! You Should Watch...

      1 month ago


      It's been a few days, so I figured it's time to come out with another Happy Birthday... You Should Watch! We got a few interesting February 6th birthdays, but only two I'm going to focus on/recommend a movie for. Those two birthdays are Rip Torn and Kathy Najimy. I'd also like to tip the hat to fellow birthday celebrators Ronald Reagan and Francois Truffaut.

      I must admit one of my cinephile shames is I'm pretty undereducated on the French New Wave so I wouldn't feel confident recommending a Truffaut film against his entire filmography. I mean, I can say The 400 Blows is pretty great, but that'd just be me recommending the big one of his I've seen, so let's avoid that.

      And as far as Ronald Reagan is concerned, he's been in some good movies (like The Killers and Dark Victory), but the only movie of his you can really bring up is Bedtime for Bonzo since it'll never stop being funny that the guy that starred alongside a chimp in a silly kids movie was a two-term President of the United States.

      So, happy birthday to everybody, but let's look at two movies starring these two special people!

      Rip Torn


      Defending Your Life (1991) – I love this movie. It's one of those silly, high concept romantic comedies that just works for me. It's about a lovable fuck up (Albert Brooks) who dies and then moves on to purgatory where a trial is held to determine whether or not he deserves to move on to heaven or is sent back to be reincarnated and have another go at being an overall good person.

      It's not a sure thing. He was a flawed man. Not bad, not evil, but a little bit of an asshole. The problem is while he's in purgatory he falls in love with Meryl Streep and she's pretty much guaranteed to get into heaven, so if he isn't deemed worthy then he'll never see the love of his (after)life again.

      Rip Torn plays Brooks' lawyer and he pretty much steals the show. It was a big moment for him as an actor because it opened up a whole new world for him. You see he was always known as the very serious, gruff, mean type and this movie showed the world just how great he was at comedy. Turns out that tough exterior was a perfect for delivering dry comedy.

      He followed this film up with his perhaps career-defining work on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, again tapping into that hard-ass who also happens to be hilarious persona and that was the trend setter for the rest of his career, which saw him mostly in comedic parts. Men in Black, Dodgeball, Freddy Got Fingered, Down Periscope, etc.

      It all started with this role in this very, very good movie, which is available to rent on all major streaming services.

      Kathy Najimy


      Hocus Pocus (1993) – Hocus Pocus has had a bit of a nostalgia-driven resurgence in recent years. I was 12 when it came out and remember it fondly myself, but it's interesting to see just how much people seem to love it because when it was released I don't remember it having much of a social impact. I don't remember kids talking about it at school or super hyped up on it.

      I was drawn to it for a couple reasons. First at that age I watched literally every movie that came out. I was old enough to ride my bike to the mall (miles away) by myself, through traffic... it was a different time! So I'd just go every weekend and see whatever was playing at the four screen mall theater. If it was the same movies as last week I'd watch my favorite a second time.

      Naturally I was always drawn to anything genre, too, so you better believe I saw this one a couple times. It's also of note that one of the stars of this film was the kid who starred in one of my favorite shows at the time: Eerie, Indiana.

      Anyway, I saw this a lot as a kid and haven't revisited it since, but it's come back in a big way thanks in large part to Disney embracing it at their theme parks every Halloween. They have big special event nights where they bring out people dressed as the Sanderson Sisters and they do a big musical review, which in turn inspires a whole new generation to seek out this movie.

      Kathy Najimy gets to be more at the forefront here than she was in the Sister Act films (another childhood favorite of mine) and plays goofy very well. I like how she bounces off Bette Midler and Sarah Jessica Parker. That chemistry alongside the film's bizarre tone is one of the reasons this flick is enjoying a second life. Available for rent on all major streaming platforms.

      Anyway, that's it for this edition of HBYSW. Let me know what you think of these films, especially if you haven't seen them before and decide to give either a watch. See ya' on the next one!

      -Eric Vespe

      @ericvespe on Twitter

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