Sam Raimi

10 Great Movies That Appear In 10 Other Great Movies

There are all sorts of reasons to see Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats The Soul (debuting this week on Blu-ray, via The Criterion Collection), but here’s the one that finally clinched it for me: when they go see it in Middle of Nowhere. By inserting the earlier film into a later one, Nowhere’s director, Ava DuVernay, isn’t just telling us something about the kind of people who inhabit her story; she’s also savvily commenting on the kind of story she’s telling. And she’s not the only filmmaker to employ this very clever trick. … Read More

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Wickedly Inventive Happy Meal Tie-Ins for Cult Movies

The movie tie-in McDonald’s Happy Meal is one of our most venerable cultural barometers, a big “get” for family movies hoping to market directly to their most vocal consumers. Starting with Star Trek: The Motion Picture back in 1979 (the same year the Happy Meal rolled out), Disney hits, superhero smashes, and other family favorites have used the cardboard panels of the Happy Meal and the toy inside to hawk their cinematic wares. But what if Happy Meals were used to market slightly more adult fare? This is the question asked by Pinterest artist Newt Clements, who’s made an extensive collection of imaginary Happy Meals that we really, really wish existed. … Read More

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It’s Time to Kill the Spider-Man Franchise

I can’t speak for anyone else, but after spending a total of 665 minutes with him, in five movies over the course of a decade, I think it’s safe to say that I know all I need to know about Spider-Man. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is out in theaters Friday, and it will certainly make a bazillion dollars, but after you sit through it — all 142 fucking minutes of it — it’s very hard to work up a compelling reason that it needed to exist, aside from the aforementioned bazillion dollars. It’s not just that it’s clumsily executed, aggressively stupid, and excruciatingly overlong (did I mention the 142 minutes?). It’s that, five films in, they’re still giving us — I’m not making this up — an origin story. Attention, Hollywood: We get it. Shy kid, fights crime, flies around, shoots the webs. We don’t need a Russian novel’s worth of backstory on this character; at this point, I know more about Peter Parker’s youth than the childhoods of people I share a bloodline with. … Read More

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Why the Slasher Movie Was the Quintessential ’80s Horror Subgenre

Horror films channel the fears and fervor of modernity, acting as reflectors turned against their viewers. They’re the most epochal form of escapism of the last century. Take, for example, James Whale’s Bride of Frankenstein, which uses monsters and madmen to depict the internal torment of repressed sexual orientation at a time when homophobia was the norm, or Psycho and Peeping Tom, which explore the identity suppression and psycho-sexual struggle of the McCarthy era (to which The Wicker Man would provide a gleefully perverse epilogue in 1973). John Carpenter’s Halloween presents suburban banality and parental tyranny — no pot, no premarital sex, be home by nine — personified as a living urban legend in Michael Meyers. David Cronenberg’s skin-tighteningly creepy Shivers, and later his remake of The Fly, capture the fear of disease and bodily disintegration. The fear of communism permeates Invasion of the Body Snatchers (both of them), while Carpenter, always happy to usurp the conservative norm, portrays the fear and paranoia of communism, rather than communism itself, sinisterly in The Thing. … Read More

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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments. … Read More

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The 50 Best Directorial Debuts in Movie History

The Toronto Film Festival, which came to a close recently, wasn’t just the starter pistol for We’re-Not-Saying-It-Yet Season; the long-term value of the festival may well be its place as a launching pad for first-time filmmakers. Twenty-eight films screened in its “Discovery” section, and while we won’t know for some time how many soon-to-be-immortal filmmakers were among its ranks, it’s a good excuse to peruse the history of film and pluck out the debut feature efforts of great directors who knocked us out from their first… Read More

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Hollywood’s Cleverest Bait-and-Switch Casting Stunts

If you visit the IMDb page for Pedro Almodovar’s new movie I’m So Excited (out this Friday), you might think a reunion is in the works: the top-billed actors there are Almodovar favorites Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz. So it’s a bit of a surprise to see the film itself, wherein the perversely prankish filmmaker brings in two of the world’s biggest movie stars to appear only in the first scene, running maybe three minutes, before disappearing. Because he knows how we presume these two actors will dominate the film, Almodovar is effectively toying with our expectations; he’s not the first filmmaker to do so. … Read More

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10 Trailers That Were Better Than the Movie

Plenty of people grumble about trailers not delivering the movie they promise, but only one man — New Zealander J. Congdon — got Paramount Pictures to refund the cost of his Jack Reacher ticket, because the movie didn’t include the badass cliff explosion that got him to spend money on a Tom Cruise movie in the first place. In fairness to Paramount, this kind of thing happens all the time; trailers are often cut months before the picture itself is finalized, leading to all sorts of shots, jokes, and scenes that don’t show up in the finished product. It’s all part of the tricky world of film advertising, where the goal is to lure you into the theater, and not necessarily to reflect the tone, story, or (certainly) quality of the film in question. Trailer cutting is kind of an art form unto itself, which is why we so often see trailers that get us all in a tizzy, only to wander out of the movie they’re selling in a befuddled and disappointed stupor. After the jump, we look back at ten movies that were far better in two-minute form. … Read More

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Flavorwire’s Guide to Movies You Need to Stream This Week

Welcome to Flavorwire’s streaming movie guide, in which we help you sift through the scores of movies streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other services to find the best of the recently available, freshly relevant, or soon to expire. This week, there’s a ton of new and catalog titles streaming on Netflix — great flicks from Harrison Ford, Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, Kirsten Dunst, Lizzy Caplan, Ewan McGregor, Adam Scott, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Campbell, Sam Raimi, Martin Scorsese, Danny Boyle, and Leos Carax, plus two of last year’s best documentaries. Check them all out after the jump, and follow the title links to watch them right now. … Read More

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Awesome Storyboards from 15 of Your Favorite Films

With storyboards on our mind lately thanks to their use in both the opening sequence and the climax of Argo, we decided to put together a gallery of our favorites from iconic… Read More

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