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Trailering: “Tabloid”

Trailering: “Tabloid” (photo)

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We send you off for the weekend with a first look at the new documentary from Errol Morris, the director of “The Thin Blue Line” and “The Fog of War.” “Tabloid” tells the story of Joyce McKinney, a former beauty queen who became a tabloid sensation after she was accused of kidnapping a man and trying to “deprogram” him from Mormonism using sex. What, like you’ve never tried to sexually deprogram someone? Whatever, prudes. Here’s the trailer.

Looks great and it gets more interesting when you hear about McKinney’s reaction to the film. Since “Tabloid” premiered at the Telluride Film Festival last fall, McKinney has begun popping up at screenings to tell her side of the story. At an event at New York’s DOC NYC fest, McKinney joined Morris onstage for a Q&A session to clarify the mistakes and omissions she found in the film, and to correct the audience for occasionally laughing at her story (“They don’t know the heartache and the fear and the trauma that I went through,” she said). You can find our report on that event here; “Tabloid” opens in theaters July 15.

What’s your favorite Errol Morris movie? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

Danzig-Portlandia-604-web

Face Melting Cameos

The 10 Most Metal Pop Culture Cameos

Glenn Danzig drops by Portlandia tonight at 10P on IFC.

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Glenn Danzig rocks harder than granite. In his 60 years, he’s mastered punk with The Misfits, slayed metal with the eponymous Danzig, and generally melted faces with the force of his voice. And thanks to Fred and Carrie, he’s now stopping by tonight’s brand new Portlandia so we can finally get to see what “Evil Elvis” is like when he hits the beach. To celebrate his appearance, we put together our favorite metal moments from pop culture, from the sublime to the absurd.

10. Cannibal Corpse meets Ace Ventura

Back in the ’90s,  Cannibal Corpse was just a small time band from Upstate New York, plying their death metal wares wherever they could find a crowd, when a call from Jim Carry transformed their lives. Turns out the actor was a fan, and wanted them for a cameo in his new movie, Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. The band had a European tour coming up, and were wary of being made fun of, so they turned it down. Thankfully, the rubber-faced In Living Color vet wouldn’t take no for an answer, proving that you don’t need to have a lot of fans, just the right ones.


9. AC/DC in Private Parts

Howard Stern’s autobiographical film, based on his book of the same name, followed his rise in the world of radio and pop culture. For a man surrounded by naked ladies and adoring fans, it’s hard to track the exact moment he made it. But rocking out with AC/DC in the middle of Central Park, as throngs of fans clamor to get a piece of you, seems like it comes pretty close. You can actually see Stern go from hit host to radio god in this clip, as “You Shook Me All Night Long” blasts in the background.


8. Judas Priest meets The Simpsons

When you want to blast a bunch of peace-loving hippies out on their asses, you’re going to need some death metal. At least, that’s what the folks at The Simpsons thought when they set up this cameo from the metal gods. Unfortunately, thanks to a hearty online backlash, the writers of the classic series were soon informed that Judas Priest, while many things, are not in fact “death metal.” This led to the most Simpson-esque apology ever. Rock on, Bartman. Rock on.


7. Anthrax on Married…With Children

What do you get when Married…with Children spoofs My Dinner With Andre, substituting the erudite playwrights for a band so metal they piss rust? Well, for starters, a lot of headbanging, property destruction and blown eardrums. And much like everything else in life, Al seems to have missed the fun.


6. Motorhead rocks out on The Young Ones

The Young Ones didn’t just premiere on BBC2 in 1982 — it kicked the doors down to a new way of doing comedy. A full-on assault on the staid state of sitcoms, the show brought a punk rock vibe to the tired format, and in the process helped jumpstart a comedy revolution. For instance, where an old sitcom would just cut from one scene to the next, The Young Ones choose to have Lemmy and his crew deliver a raw version of “Ace of Spades.” The general attitude seemed to be, you don’t like this? Well, then F— you!


5. Red and Kitty Meet Kiss on That ’70s Show

Carsey-Werner Productions

Carsey-Werner Productions

Long before they were banished to playing arena football games, Kiss was the hottest ticket in rock. The gang from That ’70s Show got to live out every ’70s teen’s dream when they were set loose backstage at a Kiss concert, taking full advantage of groupies, ganja and hard rock.


4. Ronnie James Dio in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (NSFW, people!)

What does a young boy do when he was born to rock, and the world won’t let him? What tight compadre does he pray to for guidance and some sweet licks? If you’re a young Jables, half of “the world’s most awesome band,” you bow your head to Ronnie James Dio, aka the guy who freaking taught the world how to do the “Metal Horns.” Never before has a rock god been so literal than in this clip that turns it up to eleven.


3. Ozzy Osbourne in Trick or Treat

It’s hard to tell if Ozzy was trying his hardest here, or just didn’t give a flying f–k. What is clear is that, either way, it doesn’t really matter. Ozzy’s approach to acting seems to lean more heavily on Jack Daniels than sense memory, and yet seeing the slurry English rocker play a sex-obsessed televangelist is so ridiculous, he gets a free pass. Taking part in the cult horror Trick or Treat, Ozzy proves that he makes things better just by showing up. Because that’s exactly what he did here. Showed up. And it rocks.


2. Glenn Danzig on Portlandia

Danzig seems to be coming out of a self imposed exile these days. He just signed with a record company, and his appearance on Portlandia is reminding everyone how kick ass he truly is. Who else but “The Other Man in Black” could help Portland’s resident goths figure out what to wear to the beach? Carrie Brownstein called Danzig “amazing,” and he called Fred “a genius,” so this was a rare love fest for the progenitor of horror punk.


1. Alice Cooper in Wayne’s World

It’s surprising, sure, but for a scene that contains no music whatsoever, it’s probably the most famous metal moment in the history of film. When Alice Cooper informed Wayne and Garth that Milwaukee is actually pronounced “Milly-way-kay” back in 1992, he created one of the most famous scenes in comedy history. What’s more metal than that? Much like Wayne and Garth, we truly are not worthy.

“Super 8,” Reviewed

“Super 8,” Reviewed (photo)

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J.J. Abrams’ “Super 8″ really is like a child’s Super 8 film, with all the good and bad that that comparison suggests. It’s ambitious and unfocused, imaginative and contrived. It’s flawed, but it’s also really close to being a truly wonderful film. There were parts that I absolutely adored. And there were parts I borderline hated.

The film itself is almost as bifurcated as my reaction. Maybe that’s part of the problem. It begins, with incredible promise, as the story of a group of young teenagers let loose on their small Ohio town for summer vacation in 1979. They’re making a Super 8 movie about a cop investigating a series of zombie murders: Charles (Riley Griffiths) is the director. Martin (Gabriel Basso) is the lead actor. Cary (Ryan Lee) is the pyromaniac and pyrotechnics expert. And Joe (Joel Courtney), whose father Jack (Kyle Chandler) is a deputy sheriff in town, does the sound, makeup, and models. Joe’s mother died a few months earlier in a mill accident, leaving Jack an emotional wreck and leaving Joe with his friends, their movie, and not much else.

Charles, perhaps voicing the fears of Abrams himself, worries his movie might be too heavy on special effects and too light on characters you really care about, so he writes a part for the cop’s wife and casts Alice (Elle Fanning). Alice is pretty and a natural, untrained actor. Her entrance into this group previously populated only by boys shakes things up in the best way possible. The scenes between the kids as they work on their movie in cluttered bedrooms and noisy diners are full of charm and authenticity. This is one half of the film.

The other half begins when the group is out filming at the train station one night as a train comes hurtling down the tracks. “Production values!” Charles yells, and they all scramble into position. As they’re shooting, a truck drives into the path of the train and derails it in a massive special effects sequence. Suddenly the pressures and complications of adulthood — or maybe just the demands of large-scale mainstream filmmaking — have invaded the kids’ previously humdrum lives. Now they can’t just focus on their little film; they’ve got to also contend with a massive government conspiracy and an escaped passenger from the train whose size and strength suggests he’s not from Ohio. The metaphor’s right there for anyone who wants to see it: the director trying to make a movie about life as it’s lived who has to throw in some aliens too just to make it commercial.

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Jason Statham’s “Killer Elite”: The First Release From New Theater Chain-Backed Distributor

Jason Statham’s “Killer Elite”: The First Release From New Theater Chain-Backed Distributor (photo)

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Deadline reported earlier today that “Killer Elite,” a new action film starring Jason Statham, Robert De Niro and Clive Owen, will be the first film released by new distributor Open Road Films on September 23, 2011. This is interesting news for a few reasons: 1) It stars Jason Statham. 2) It stars Jason Statham and Clive Owen. And 3) Open Road is a a new (sorta) independent distributor, founded by multiplex chains AMC and Regal Entertainment.

It’s an interesting time for the movie theater business. As they get into the distribution business for themselves, it gets even more interesting. Just last month I interviewed filmmaker Sean Kirkpatrick whose first film, “Cost of a Soul,” was being released by AMC and Relativity Media after it won a nationwide contest. It was a one time deal (and certainly a smart public relations move) but it was also, I thought, an interesting test case. Now AMC and Regal, the two biggest exhibitors in the United States (as well as the two biggest competitors) have teamed to form their own shared distribution company. Open Road was first announced a few months ago but is just now kicking into high gear with “Killer Elite” which, according to Thompson on Hollywood, is based on a true story and a novel called “The Feather Men” and not the Sam Peckinpah movie of the same name. Statham plays “a special ops agent lured out of retirement to rescue his mentor (Robert De Niro). That requires killing three canny assassins led by Clive Owen.” Juicy.

The Open Road press release from March included this quote from AMC president Gerry Lopez:

“As major studio releases have declined in recent years, Open Road Films will fill an important gap that exists in the market today for consumers, movie producers and theatrical exhibitors… Open Road Films will provide a broader availability of movies to consumers.”

Of course movie theaters owning the movies they screen is nothing new; that — or maybe the flip of that — is the very foundation of the Hollywood studio system. At least it was the foundation until the famous “Paramount Decision of 1948,” which found the studios guilty of monopolistic trade practices and forced them to divest themselves of their exhibitor arms. We haven’t quite returned to those heady days of the trusts quite yet — Open Road is acquiring its films, not producing them itself, and Regal and AMC aren’t going to exclusively show Open Road programming — but we’re getting a wee bit closer. That’s interesting too. Maybe not quite as interesting as a new Jason Statham action movie, but pretty interesting all the same.

Psyched for “Killer Elite?” Tell us about it in the comments below or on Twitter and Facebook!

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