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The odds 'Awaken' for Star Wars

Posted November 24, 2015, 4:11 PM

We are officially less than a month away from the opening of The Force Awakens, so it only seems fitting that we get serious about the latest Star Wars film. Yeah, because countless stories in the last year about the film hasn't quite done the trick yet.

Tim and I made our case last week for how big (or not) we think that The Force Awakens will be, but the total box office is only one piece of the action on this highly anticipated installment. Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon. It is a multi-generational touching stone and as such there is an amazing level of awareness for next month's release.

For those of us that like to place a wager from time to time, this means that a cottage industry of proposition bets (prop bets) is thriving on the seedier side...

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'Zootopia' pokes fun at sloths in first trailer

Posted November 24, 2015, 10:11 AM

Disney Animation has been on a pretty nice roll lately what with Big Hero 6 and the phenomenon that is Frozen, so there's reason to have high expectations for their next offering. That offering is Zootopia, an animated film filled with anthropomorphic animals and no humans.

Sure, it's a setup that we've seen a million times, but this is Disney Animation, so it will be great, right? Well, the first looks are out and so far, it does look promising. The first trailer is basically one scene that is a long sloth joke, which is funny because it involves a sloth telling a joke.

OK, so I'm not really doing it much justice, which is why you can watch it for yourself below. The real selling point for me is the talented voice cast that looks to be on point for this...

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Monday Mixer: 'The Force' is indeed awakening

Posted November 23, 2015, 4:11 PM

I would like to take this moment to thank you, my dear readers. It is fitting that this is the week of giving thanks because I couldn't be more thankful than I am this morning for you.

Oh, I know. I bet you're sitting there thinking this is going to the usual annual refrain about how we are grateful for what we do and that we couldn't do it without you. We are and we couldn't, but that's not the reason that I'm grateful today.

No, today I'm thankful that you have finally spoken with your almighty dollar.

We are living in a world where Hollywood has unnecessarily watered down its franchise in the elusive chase for another buck. The reality we live in is that a three book series is no long enough to satiate the greed of the studios. No, every...

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Review: 'Stanford Prison Experiment' is an uncomfortable film - and that's good

Posted November 19, 2015, 2:11 PM

As someone who holds a degree in psychology, there are fewer psychology experiments as famous as The Stanford Prison Experiment. There's a reason that it's taught in every Introduction to Psychology class across the country.

In fact, the experiment is so memorable that I would wager that it, along with the Milgram experiment, would be on a shortlist of experiments that non-majors would be able to recall from memory. So, it's fitting that the experiment has been turned into a major motion picture.

The film debuted at Sundance earlier this year and won two awards, including Best Screenplay. The buzz on it coming out of Sundance was pretty good, so it's surprising that it earned less than a million dollars at the box office. Sometimes the best films aren't necessarily the most lucrative ones.

As someone who spent so much time studying psychology...

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'Zoolander' strikes gold with first trailer

Posted November 18, 2015, 2:11 PM

There's gold in this here trailer. Comic gold that is.

Zoolander as a film is akin to a fine wine, it gets better with age. Yes, that's an absurd statement, but it doesn't mean that it's not true.

When I first watched the film in 2002, I was pleasantly surprised, but not gushing with effusive praise. Like many cult hits, the film gained more appreciation over repeat viewings. So, when Paramount announced that they were finally making a sequel after 14 years, I wasn't surprised, but I was a bit skeptical.

The reason that the original film works is that it is so absurd and over the top, but it it a hard formula to replicate. You only have to look as far as all of the carcasses of the silly, failed sequels that Hollywood has greenlit over the year to realize that...

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Happy Life Day: How big will 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' be?

Posted November 17, 2015, 11:11 AM

On this day in 1978, CBS aired The Star Wars Holiday Special for the first and only time. Since then Nov. 17 has unofficially marked Life Day, the Wookiee holiday celebrated in the TV show. It's merely a way for fans to celebrate Star Wars while simultaneously poking fun at the worst episode in the Star Wars universe.

This year marks a very special Life Day. We are just one month from the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Technically the film opens on Dec. 18 but U.S. screenings start on the 17th. (Heck, in parts of Europe you can see the movie as early as the 16th.)

As Life Day is analog for Christmas, I'll borrow another to mark this period. It's like "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Star Wars merchandise lines shelves of most every retailer -- much like...

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Monday Mixer: Did Shia LaBeouf actually do something fun?

Posted November 16, 2015, 5:11 PM

It's really hard to put things into perspective when something like the events in Paris on Friday happens. Well, it's not hard to put things into perspective as it's obvious that everything else pales in comparison.

Or at least it should.

At the end of the day, what we do here is important, sure, and yes many people rely on information for their jobs, but at the end of the day, we are simply talking about movies. It's not life and death and it doesn't even compare to the senseless violence that was wrought on Friday. And yet, they always say that the best coping mechanism is to carry on with your normal activities and "not let the terrorists win."

But it's impossible for us not to acknowledge the hateful acts and send our condolences and thoughts with the people of Paris. At...

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Undiscovered Picks

Upcoming movies worth watching that you may not have heard of.

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