Tag Archives: 2015

The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Best Night Ever (2013) and Superfast! (2015)

This is the sixth and final installment in “The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: How Two Men Single Handedly Destroyed the Parody Genre.”

In pursuing this project, I did not set out to unilaterally pan the Friedberg and Seltzer oeuvre (as much as the hack, clickbait adjacent title might suggest). Sure, I find almost all of their work indefensible. But I endeavored to get closer to the heart of who these two writers are and what they wanted to get out of their filmmaking. Unfortunately, this is difficult knowledge to gain, considering they are on the record as being almost entirely off the record. The duo almost never give interviews, and, aside from a great Matt Patches piece at Grantland, I could not find a source where they were seriously interviewed.

All the same, I wanted to move beyond the easy insults that have been hurled their way. I wanted to move beyond the perception of them as Continue reading The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Best Night Ever (2013) and Superfast! (2015)

The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Vampires Suck (2010), The Starving Games (2013)

This is the fifth installment in “The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: How Two Men Single-Handedly Destroyed the Parody Genre.”

In this penultimate installment, we will examine two of the late career parodies of Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer: Vampires Suck and The Starving Games. As I see it, Friedberg and Seltzer’s career can be separated into two distinct phases. There are two reasons why I think about it this way.

For one, there is an easy delineation one could make between the writers’ 2000s output and their 2010s output. As I outlined in previous articles, the 2000s saw a healthy resurgence of the spoof movie, but by the end of the decade it was starting to become clear that the poor quality of these films were catching up with them. Through the 2010s, parody films grew increasingly less popular at the box office.

As such, Vampires Suck serves as a crucial turning point in Friedberg and Seltzer’s career. It was the last of their films to Continue reading The Friedberg-Seltzer Massacre: Vampires Suck (2010), The Starving Games (2013)

Martyrs (2008) & Martyrs (2016) Movie Review

This review of Pascal Laugier’s Martyrs and its 2016 remake is part of the New French Extremity Retrospective series.

Note: This review goes into spoilers for both films. You’ve been warned.

Pascal Laugier’s 2008 film Martyrs is perhaps the crowning achievement of the New French Extremity, as it ties together the disparate themes and generic components of the movement in the most cohesive and intriguing way.

The American remake of the film, directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz and distributed in part by Blumhouse, is not in conversation with the films and filmmakers of the New French Extremity. It is entirely removed. As such, it is merely an exploitation film.


Now, Laugier’s Martyrs is no walk in the park when it comes to excessively violent subject matter. But for most of its running time it doesn’t feel like an exploitation film. It is a film about Continue reading Martyrs (2008) & Martyrs (2016) Movie Review

Furious 7 (2015) Movie Review

Let me start by explaining what I wanted to do with this review, and then I will explain what is actually happening. I have seen Furious 7 twice without seeing any of the other Fast & Furious films. What I planned to do for this retrospective, which is in preparation for the new movie The Fate of the Furious, was to go back and watch every Fast & Furious film and review them.

Instead, I watched the first two and then decided to watch this again. Drunk on micro-brew beer and Mexican food. Because that is clearly the most reasonable state to watch a Fast & Furious film in. The only thing closer to right would be for me to be drinking strictly Corona.

As a result, I am reviewing Furious 7 without a whole lot of knowledge of the franchise. And I am also watching it drunk, so, you know, f*** it.


Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham) is the brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans). And he is out for revenge. Why? Because cars…and stuff. He’s Jason Statham; you really don’t need to be asking many questions. Get off my back. He’s the villain, that’s all you need to know.

Brian (Paul Walker) is now a family man, married to Jordana Brewster’s Mia with a kid. Relegated to a mini van, he feels Continue reading Furious 7 (2015) Movie Review

Krampus (2015) Movie Review

It’s Christmas in October at CineFiles, as we watch last year’s Krampus, a film about the eponymous antithesis of Santa Claus, a half-goat, half-demon who punishes naughty children during the holiday season.


In Krampus, we meet a strained nuclear family: the workaholic father who Continue reading Krampus (2015) Movie Review

Deathgasm (2015) Movie Review

Brodie (Milo Cawthorne) moves in with his extended family after his mother is arrested. He is a metal-head burnout in the eyes of those around him, and his devil may care attitude lands him in with another local anarchistic youth Zakk (James Blake). They form a literal blood-pact, make some napalm, and start a band. Oh, and they also summon a demon. Because, you know, movies.


Deathgasm strives to have the same devil may care tone as Brodie and company. It’s quick to Continue reading Deathgasm (2015) Movie Review

Box Office Most Wanted Ep. 4 – We Are Your Friends

Box Office Most Wanted is a series dedicated to discussing some of the lowest grossing films of all time. The list of films can be found, and are ranked according to, the Box Office Mojo list of the “Worst Openings – Very Wide,” which is to say the lowest grossing opening weekends from films released in 2,000+ theaters domestically (U.S. and Canada).


We Are Your Friends

  • Release Date – August 28, 2015
  • Production Budget – $2 million (estimated)
  • Size of Release – 2,333 theaters
  • Opening Weekend Box Office –  $1,767,308
  • Total Box Office –  $3,591,417
  • 6th lowest box office opening in a wide release ever



Cole (Zac Efron) is a young, up-and-coming DJ in the San Fernando Valley.  He and his best friends are…douchebags.

The first five minutes of this film shows us that it doesn’t know what it wants to be. It begins as a Continue reading Box Office Most Wanted Ep. 4 – We Are Your Friends

Land and Shade (La Tierra y la Sombra) (2015) Movie Review

Alfonso (Haimer Leal) travels to his old home, where he meets the family he abandoned: his wife (Hilda Ruiz), his ailing son (Edison Raigosa), the son’s wife (Marleyda Soto), and his grandson (Jose Felipe Cardenas).


The first few shots of the film are Continue reading Land and Shade (La Tierra y la Sombra) (2015) Movie Review

Entertainment (2015) Movie Review

The opening shots of Entertainment are largely static. The Comedian (Gregg Turkington, essentially playing in this film a fictionalized version of himself and his comedic alter-ego Neil Hamburger), stands in an airplane fuselage, looking down. He watches as a clown, Eddie the Opener (Tye Sheridan), prepares for a set at a prison.  He looks on dour-faced as the clown “wows” the crowd of prisoners by simply bouncing a ball and clapping his hands.


The first spoken dialogue in the film comes from a tour operator who encourages The Comedian and others to “by all means, go ahead and wander.” Yet the film does the opposite. Continue reading Entertainment (2015) Movie Review

Heir (2015) Short Film Review

A father (Robert Nolan) takes his son to spend a day with an old college friend (Bill Oberst Jr.), but the activities they engage in are far more insidious than simply “gone fishing.” The father, on top of the strange goings-on in his friend’s home, experiences a stigmata-like wound that oozes a sticky pus.


The short quickly deviates from reality, surreal imagery and special effects work becoming Continue reading Heir (2015) Short Film Review