The Cabin in the Woods
Considering how they seem to have made it their mission to mount exhibitions based on our favorite pop culture things, it’s a little surprising that Los Angeles’ beloved Gallery 1988 has taken this long to put together a show dedicated to all things Whedon. But that day has arrived, with their Joss Whedon x Gallery 1988 show opening last weekend and running through September 27. And they were kind enough to share some of the best Buffy, Firefly, and Cabin in the Woods-inspired pieces with us, and you.
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The familiar 20th Century Fox logo and fanfare begins the film — but in black and white, segueing into a dramatic orchestral theme and a title that hits with a bolt of lightning and a crack of thunder, in front of the moody image of an ornate castle on a distant hilltop. With those familiar images, audiences were welcomed to Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks’ affectionate parody of the Universal horror masterpieces. The movie, which is out on Blu-ray today in a new anniversary special edition, hit theaters 40 years ago — in the same calendar year as his equally successful Blazing Saddles, a one-two punch that’s all but unprecedented among comedy filmmakers. Yet for all of Saddles’ influence, Frankenstein may be even more beloved, for its place within both the filmography of Brooks and the surprisingly venerable cross-genre of horror comedy.
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You’ve gotta give director Eduardo Sánchez this much: it takes real stones to go make a cabin-in-the-woods movie after… Read More
Let’s get this out in the open: being a movie critic is a pretty easy job. It’s not all fun and games and popcorn — you have to deal with publicists, for one thing, and coming up with new and intelligent things to say about cookie-cutter studio movies is a challenge, and you often have to sit through movies you’re not all that excited to see. But, to be clear, we’re not breaking rocks here. You get to see movies for free before they’re released, often in the comfort of private screening rooms, and you get to pontificate about them for (hopefully) lots of readers. It’s a pretty cushy gig. And that’s why it’s so maddening that the New York Observer’s Rex Reed continues to fuck it up — and why it’s time to take the job away from him.
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Whedon-ites, plan your Florida pilgrimages now. The Universal Orlando theme park is working with Cabin in the Woods co-writer/director… Read More
For all of its virtues, Netflix isn’t always so hot at classifying movies and television shows; it tends to either go comically super-specific (“Based on your interest in Girl Walk // All Day: All-dance New York movies with strong female leads and hip-hop mash-up soundtracks”) or utterly inaccurate. For example: As a member of the fan site Whedonesque has pointed out, the streaming service’s first annual “Flixie Awards” (“honoring the ways you really watch Netflix”) has nominated Buffy the Vampire Slayer for “Best Guilty Pleasure,” alongside such fare as Gossip Girl, Toddlers & Tiaras, the revamped 90210, and the sequels to Transformers and Bad Boys. To be clear, we’re talking about the (long-running, critically acclaimed, widely celebrated) television show, not the (important because it led to the show, but for no other reason and not terribly good in and of itself) movie. Buffy is a “guilty pleasure”? Say what now?
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Geek god Joss Whedon’s day has come. He’s trading TV slayage and vampires, for filmic mayhem with his horror writing endeavor The Cabin in the Woods, which hits theaters this Friday — the 13th, for added spooky cred. It’s a spoof of sorts on the horror genre, but not in the vein of goofy films like Scary Movie. Think Whedon’s clever brand of humor set in a remote cabin where friends gather for a getaway. The movie also has its share of scares — and hey, Ebert liked it, so that’s something. (Beware of spoilers.)
Whedon’s witticisms have always wooed us, and thanks to an early career as a television writer (Roseanne and Parenthood being his inaugural projects), the filmmaker was able to smoothly segue into a movie career — first with Buffy the Vampire Slayer in 1992 and Toy Story in 1995 — both writing credits. From there, Whedon would flip back and forth from TV and film directing/writing/producing, bringing us gems like Firefly and Serenity, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along, the beloved Buffy television series, and most recently the highly anticipated Avengers movie — which hits theaters on May 4.
What other filmmakers have danced between TV and cinema, and vice versa? We look at a few multitasking creatives past the break. With increases in technology and more elaborate production values on display, TV no longer feels like a nasty two-letter word filmmakers see as beneath them. More and more accomplished moviemakers are spending time on the small screen, and many got their start there like Whedon. Check out our list below, and share any TV/film geniuses we missed in the comments.
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1. While new episodes of Downtown Abbey are still months away, we already have some scoop on Season 3 courtesy of executive producer Rebecca Eaton. “Somebody will be born, and somebody will die, somebody pretty key in the cast, unfortunately not going to make it,” she says. “It’s the 1920s now.” Also: “Matthew and Mary… Read More
AUSTIN, TX: Exactly fifteen years ago today, the upstart WB network aired the first episode of a program that few, if any, viewers or critics were feverishly anticipating. It was the first show created by an all-but-unknown writer; he’d adapted it from his screenplay for a film that had been, charitably speaking, unloved when it hit theaters five years previously. But when “Welcome to Hellmouth,” the inaugural episode of Joss Whedon’s Buffy the Vampire Slayer, aired on March 10, 1997, a Geek God was born.
This morning, Whedon took the stage in front of a standing-room-only house at the South by Southwest Music, Film, and Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas for ‘A Conversation with Joss Whedon,’ moderated by Adam B. Vary of Entertainment Weekly. They discussed his TV successes and failures, his new film Cabin in the Woods (which had a smash premiere here at SXSW last night), his upcoming big-budget blockbuster The Avengers, and some future projects. A few highlights from that talk after the jump.
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