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What to Watch: No Escape and We Are Your Friends

Still of Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins and Claire Geare in No Escape (2015)

Still of Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins and Claire Geare in No Escape (2015)

The luster of the summer movie season is now completely gone. A few late season holdouts look to get us through Labor Day but expectations are not very high. Still, that doesn’t mean that quality should lack, as the two featured releases for this week look to make a strong impression with movie goers. No Escape and We Are Your Friends are not your typical genre films for the season. As the weather cools off, we see thrillers and dark dramas make their way out of the high-octane summer months.  Continue reading

New Parents’ Night Out at the Movies

Photo via iVillage.ca courtesy of Lionsgate

Photo via iVillage.ca courtesy of Lionsgate

If you have children, or know people who have had children, you know that the first few months of a child’s life are critical for the child’s long-term survival but generally excruciating for the parents. Unless a parent is particularly lucky, the baby will wake up every couple of hours ensuring restful sleep is out of reach for the parent. The baby is as delicate as a paper bag full of flour and parents are left holding the bag, quite literally. While many parents rely in those first few months on Netflix to get through late night feeding sessions, there definitely comes a time when staying at home becomes somewhat unbearable.  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: True Grit (1969)

Still of John Wayne and Glen Campbell in True Grit (1969)

Still of John Wayne and Glen Campbell in True Grit (1969)

It is fair to say that the interest level in Westerns has all but died out with American audiences. However, there was a time when a Western was the quickest way to make a buck without putting much effort into a production. This led to tons of low-level efforts that dragged the genre into a state of fluctuating quality. Still, a good Western could always pull in an audience who longed for a simpler time. One of the last great installments of this genre was the 1969 classic True GritContinue reading

Did You Know: John Wayne

© 1962 - Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

© 1962 – Paramount Pictures. All rights reserved.

There is no denying that Westerns are a long forgotten genre in the minds of moviegoers in 2015. However, there was a time when it was as popular as superhero films are today. And during that time there was no bigger star than the Duke, John Wayne. His roles in classics like The Searchers and Stagecoach introduced audiences to the kind of swagger we see from leading men today and a bravado that men and women alike found interesting.

This week we look at a few tidbits that you may not know about one of Hollywood’s most successful leading men.  Continue reading

Video and Advertising

Still from New York Times Recipe Lab video by Natalia V. Osipova and Abe Sater

Still from New York Times Recipe Lab video by Natalia V. Osipova and Abe Sater

Ten years ago, video online was a huge infrastructural challenge to deliver. As connections got faster and technology has accelerated (thanks, Netflix!), video is now a huge part of how users consume content online. There is a statistic that 34% of North American internet traffic is streaming video on Netflix. And now that streaming video is ubiquitous, marketers are in on the game with more ads before your videos and even content that doesn’t look like an ad but is secretly trying to sell you something in the form of native video ads.  Continue reading

What to Watch: American Ultra and Sinister 2

At this point we are at the end of the summer movie season, leaving us with films that did not have the same level of hype as ones a few months ago but could still pack the same punch at the box office. This week, American Ultra and Sinister 2 look to battle for a place next to last week’s smash hit Straight Outta ComptonContinue reading

Movies al Fresco: Outdoor Summer Film Screenings

Still of Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy © 2014 - Marvel Studio

Still of Chris Pratt and Zoe Saldana in Guardians of the Galaxy © 2014 – Marvel Studio

I’m going to share a secret that I know none of us care to admit. It’s definitely starting to get darker a bit earlier these days. We are in the dog days of summer which means the fall is just around the corner. Row of back to school supplies in stores are in full effect.

But just because we know summer is slowly winding down doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy the balmy temperatures. And what better way to enjoy the season than to sit outside and bask in the warm summer breezes while taking in a good movie?  Continue reading

Throwback Thursday: Three Kings (1999)

By 1999, the topic of the Persian Gulf War had very limited appearances in the world of cinema. In may ways, David O. Russell’s stylish viewpoint on one of America’s more interesting military encounters opened the door for later films like Jarhead. It was an honest and modern take on war where economics and class played an obvious role in the motivations of everyone involved.  Continue reading

Did You Know: Ice Cube

Photo by Michael Buckner - © 2015 Getty Images

Photo by Michael Buckner – © 2015 Getty Images

With the movie Straight Outta Compton set to give us an inside look at one of hip-hop’s most infamous and successful groups, it seems fitting for this week’s Did You Know piece to focus on the one member who has diversified himself in entertainment more than any other. Ice Cube has gone from a member of the N.W.A., to a successful solo artist and transitioned all of that into a prominent role on the big screen. With all that, here are some little known facts about Ice Cube.  Continue reading

The Art of the Pilot

Some may say that today we are in a “Golden Age” for television. With so many streaming outlets available outside of premium cable (Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime to name a few) plus cable networks looking to further their success in the original content space (like FX and AMC), the opportunity for someone with a great pilot is definitely there. However, as you are likely aware as a viewer, the first episode — or pilot — of a show is a make or break moment. It either reels you in and you need to watch every subsequent episode or you might pass and watch something else. That’s the flip side of the “Golden Age”; no one has time to watch anything that’s just short of amazing.  Continue reading