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There's no denying it. Peter Jackson knows his way around an adaptation. "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy was stellar, as we all know. And "King Kong," for all of it's issues, carried with it the spirit of the original. Now he's on to "The Lovely Bones," Alice Sebold's beautiful-yet-disturbing story of a young girl's trip through the afterlife following her murder at the hands of a sadistic serial killer. He had his work cut out for him there. Making that story something an audience can stomach without succumbing to overblown emotion is nigh on impossible.

I suppose that’s why it’s so strange that Jackson came to direct an adaptation of the massively successful novel in the first place. “The Lovely Bones” is a quiet book, a narrative crushed underneath the weight of trauma and loss, it’s only release in the eventual comeuppance visited upon its villains and the emotional catharsis offered to its leads. Jackson, for all of his talent in breathing new life into old ideas, makes big movies. They are loud, long, brash beasts of creation. Everything “The Lovely Bones” isn’t, really. Read More...

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"Invictus" star Morgan Freeman is a familiar and comforting presence in his film appearances, almost distractingly so at this point in his career (particularly when he's playing more of a villain role, as in "Wanted"). Close to 20 years of his grandfatherly demeanor onscreen has made his performances somewhat difficult to take seriously. When you’re sitting in the theater watching “Invictus” this Friday, at no point are you going to be thinking, “Hey, there’s Nelson Mandela up there.” You’re going to be like, “Aw snap, listen to Morgan Freeman’s South African accent. That’s adorable.”

I say it’s high time we start intentionally putting Freeman in even more recognizable leading roles. This is an actor who audiences have already accepted as the creator of the universe. Twice. He can play anything and anyone on screen and the audience will accept it. As the film industry plots out its next series of historical biopics, blockbusters and Oscar-baiters over the next decade, here are the roles they should consider Freeman for. Read More...

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OH SNAP! Joanna's Ultra Halloween Bloodmoon Vampire Extravaganza Party is tomorrow night and you still haven't gotten your righteous costume together! You decided weeks ago that you were going to be a shining beacon of individualism at the party by dressing up as a non-'Twilight Saga' vampire, but you got so caught up in seasonal activities like apple picking and witch burning that you totally forgot to think of one! Now you're so stressed out about it that the only costumes you can think of are "ghost" and "Patrick Swayze from 'Ghost,'" but one of those is too easy to mess up and you don't own a maroon button down to make the other one work! CURSE YOUR FORGETFULNESS!

It's okay, calm down. Everything's cool. The MTV Movies Blog has got your back. Film history is littered with literal hundreds of bloodsucking, sun-fearing fiends. We're going to help you show your Halloween partying what's up by using our exhaustively nerdy knowledge of cinematic history. Turn that frown upside down yo. Try these five non-'Twilight Saga' vampire costume ideas on for size. Read More...

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The definition of just what makes a cult hit has changed in the ten years since Troy Duffy made "The Boondock Saints". The ubiquity of the Internet and the coming-of-age of a generation weaned on the copious amount of very specific information it offers has given almost every piece of media, film or other, its very own cult following.

By information, I mean easier access and smaller audiences. When you say a movie earned itself a cult following by "word of mouth" in 2009, you're typically saying that it fostered early hype thanks to a small but vocal online community, further cultivated through viral marketing. "The Boondock Saints" was the real deal, one of the very last cult movies to find its audience through literal word of mouth. Read More...

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Rube Goldberg machines are awesome. There's nothing quite like watching an absurd, elaborate series of actions and reactions. It's tricky stuff, making sure disparate mechanical parts that weren't designed specifically to work together operate in concert. Can you imagine what it's like setting up one that could hurt you? Hell, what about one that's intentionally designed to kill somebody, like the ones deranged killer Jigsaw sets up in the "Saw" movies?

Imagine the hours upon hours it takes to set up those elaborate deathtraps. How many tetanus shots he must need after sticking himself with rusty power tools. How many vaccinations he must require from handling all those used syringes. Hell, how many times the poor bastard has stubbed his toe after dropping that damn puppet. He's bound to have set up some traps that plain don't work, schemes that looked great on paper but just didn't prove up to the challenge of potentially killing an FBI agent. So let's take a moment to reflect on what are undoubtedly Jigsaw's greatest failures, those wily death traps that just didn't cut the mustard. Read More...

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Six years! Six movies! Can you believe it? It seems like it was just yesterday we were all hearing about this twisted short film by some whippersnappers named James Wan and Leigh Whannell, but today their baby "Saw" is the flagship franchise for the entire horror film industry. Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), the series' constant villain, has joined the pantheon of scary movie greats like Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. It's even recognized as the series that brought the horror subgenre of "torture porn" to the masses. Yes, it's a different world we live in.

Indeed it's hard to imagine a world without "Saw". And why should we expect there to ever be such a thing? The "Saw VI" writing team of Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton are already signed on to work through "Saw VIII." Seeing as how people are still turning out in droves to see Jigsaw's latest deathtraps every autumn, we can safely assume that "Saw" will be around to celebrate its tin anniversary on the big screen in 2014. Read More...

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Entertainment, like life, can be pretty confusing. Marketing, whether it be televised commercials, print ads and posters, or viral campaigns, is so pervasive that a movie's basic premise and characters can be overwhelmingly familiar long before you even see the movie in question. Hell, one time I watched thirty minutes of "The Fisher King" thinking it was "Mrs. Doubtfire" before I realized that Robin Williams was playing a crazy drifter, not a cross-dressing divorcee. You can see how that would be an easy mistake to make, right?

This week, we're all excited. "Where the Wild Things Are", the Spike Jonze-directed live-action riff on the beloved children's book by Maurice Sendak, is finally hitting theaters. Finally! Let's not lose our heads though. Let's not let our excitement for "Where the Wild Things Are" lead us into watching other movies that we might easily confuse it with. For example, we must be especially wary of the late '90s mystery/thriller "Wild Things." Here's an easy guide to prevent media-induced dementia from directing you to the wrong movie. Read More...

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Do you have a zombie plan? Do you have a multi-phase strategy in place for when the zombie apocalypse inevitably takes place? Are you adequately prepared for the day when humanity is left to fend for its very soul in the face of a world overrun by the ravenous undead?

Of course I have a zombie plan. Living in Harlem and mere blocks from the Metro North train tracks, I plan to forage for ammunition and food for some weeks after the initial infection, and then follow the train lines north along the Hudson River. I will eventually make my way to Nova Scotia, an island with quality farmland where zombie infection can easily be contained. My zombie dispatching weapons of choice will be a modified aluminum baseball bat and a sawed-off shotgun. I am, if nothing else, a traditionalist.

Zombieland” got me going back over my strategy, checking it for flaws. The plan’s sound, but it never hurts to brush up on the basics. Practice makes perfect, after all. If you too feel the need a refresher course on surviving zombie hoards before this Friday, here are some lessons to keep in mind. Read More...


By rights, Ethan and Joel Coen should not be the massively successful filmmakers they are. I’m not impugning their talent, skill or artistry with that statement; it's more that their movies are very, very strange. Weird by any standard, which makes it occasionally shocking to sit back and look at their success in popular culture.

Their movies, especially those made in the past ten years, are sold as mainstream motion pictures when they their tone and content should really sentence them to a boutique indie theater existence. When people gravitate towards entertainment that is easy to understand and comfortable to watch, how is it that guys who make something as densely surreal as “Barton Fink” or as willfully grim and ambiguous as “No Country For Old Men” are two of America’s favorite moviemakers? Read More...

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Parents, it is popularly thought, do not understand. This sentiment has been a constant running throughout human history, but it seems like parents have understood even less in the past century. It’s been 60 years since the word teenager was first coined, and parental understanding has just gotten murkier since. What the hell is their problem anyway, trying to instill you with their personal system of values? It’s BS and we all know it is. This is why it’s necessary to rebel!

Doing something dangerous is usually a successful strategy for rebelling against parental authority. Bliss Cavendar, as played by Ellen Page in this week’s “Whip It!,” knows a good thing in the sport of roller derby when she sees it. Your mom trying to get you into the beauty pageant scene? Then try a sport that involves knocking people in roller skates down while moving at high speed; it's a great way to say "no thank you" to your legal guardian’s quest to keep you down. It helps that roller derby is awesome and closely associated with punk rock, so your rebellion is doubled!

But hey, roller derby may not be your thing. There are alternatives though! For example, you could… Read More...

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