Looking Back: ‘Spider-Man 2’ is Still One of the Best Comic Book Movies

Spider-Man 2

When it comes to sequels, there an expectation to raise the bar. If you think of some of the best sequels of all time, whether that’s The Empire Strikes Back, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan or Aliens (to name a few), each film improved upon the foundation of the first in major ways. In the second part of our weekly Spider-Man retrospective series leading up to the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming on July 7th this summer, we take a look at how Sam Raimi raised the bar for not only Spider-Man movies, but the entire superhero genre itself with Spider-Man 2. The superhero sequel hit theaters on June 30th, 2004 (that’s 13 years ago!), just a week before 4th of July, and it once again went on to set records at the box office and beyond. ›››

Continue reading Looking Back: ‘Spider-Man 2’ is Still One of the Best Comic Book Movies


Spec Script Deal: “The Best of Adam Sharp”

Vocab Films acquires drama spec script “The Best of Adam Sharp” adapted by Graeme Simsion from his own novel. From Deadline:

The Best of Adam Sharp (published via St. Martin’s Press) is about a man (Adam) on the cusp of fifty who is restless as his marriage has gone stale. He can’t quite forget a romance he had twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed woman named Angelina Brown who taught him what it meant to find — and then lose — love. He wonders how different would his life be if he hadn’t let her go. Out of the blue, he gets a one word email from Angelina. He responds and his life takes a significant turn.

This is an option deal.

By my count, this is the 31st spec script deal in 2017.

There were 26 spec script deals year-to-date in 2016.

This represents a 16% increase in deals this year compared to last.

Spec Script Deal: “The Best of Adam Sharp” was originally published in Go Into The Story on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Go Into The Story — Medium

How to Edit a Film Score to Best Serve Your Story

Sound design is extremely challenging, but these tips should help put you on the right track.

In most cases, indie filmmakers don’t have the budget to hire someone to score their films. This means that you miss out on the benefit of having a score specifically designed to match what’s going on up on screen, so you will have to figure out a way to do it with a piece of music that already exists. Though this is challenging, Kris Truini gives you a few helpful tips on how to pull it off, even if you don’t have much experience working with music, scores, and soundtracks.

Truini shares a bunch of great tips in the video, but perhaps the most important one is this: the score/soundtrack should serve your story, not the other way around. In other words, the pacing of the edits in a scene should be more important than that of the music.

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No Film School

Check out the best movie tours in Atlanta

As you have probably already noticed in our Daily Filming posts, Atlanta, Georgia, is a recurring location for TV shows and movies. To be more precise, there are currently 43 productions being filmed in Atlanta. The number has been increasing since 2008, when Georgia started a policy of 20% tax credits to productions with at least a $ 500,000 production budget; this percentage can go as high as 30 if producers show the Georgia logo at the end of the credits. So it is safe to say that anyone walking around Atlanta might stumble upon either a current or former location. If, however, you prefer to actively go to one of these locations, here are some good news: there are tours dedicated exclusively to that! Atlanta Movie Tours offers a wide range of different tours: from “Zombie Walking”, for fans of The Walking Dead, to “Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind Tour”, there are options for any film aficionado. For those who prefer a more comprehensive tour, there is the “Best of Atlanta” option, which takes visitors to more recent locations during the three-hour ride. For more information on each tour and to purchase tickets, visit http://atlantamovietours.com. Sources: Georgia.org, Atlanta Movie..

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On Location Vacations

Star Wars Celebration Bits: The Best of SWCO, Hayden Christensen’s Thoughts on Sand, Vader’s Spa, and More

Star Wars Celebration 2017

In this Celebration-centric edition of Star Wars Bits:

  • An official video recapping the best moments of Celebration 2017.
  • Hayden Christensen’s true feelings about sand.
  • An announcement about the return of the Vintage Collection of toys.
  • Darth Vader nearly had his own spa on Mustafar in Rogue One.
  • And more!

Star Wars Celebration Orlando was a huge success, and while you can read our news recap of everything you need to know, this slickly-produced official video from the Star Wars YouTube channel is a heartwarming reminder of the joyful fandom that loves these movies so dearly.

Star Wars Celebration crowd 2017

Speaking of Celebration, JediNews reports that this year’s event has set a new record as the most highly-attended Star Wars Celebration ever with more than 70,000 attendees. That’s more than the average attendance of an NFL football game. Nice going, fellow nerds!

During an interview, erstwhile Anakin Skywalker actor Hayden Christensen was asked about his true feelings about sand, since his character famously whined about how “irritating” it is in Attack of the Clones. But Christensen was game to answer, and seemed like he had a good sense of humor about it.

If you like original Star Wars radio dramas (and honestly, who doesn’t?), GeekTyrant points us to the full performance of Smuggler’s Revenge, which filmmaker Kyle Newman (Fanboys) directed a live reading of on stage at Celebration. Cast members included David Collins, Catherine Taber, Tom Kane, Vanessa Marshall, Steve Blum, Mathew Wood, Sam Witwer, and Warwick Davis himself in a story about Han Solo set between the events of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back.

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/Answers: The Best Television Episodes of All Time

breaking bad ozymandias

Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition asks “What is your favorite television episode of all time?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team, along with a special guest. This week, we are joined by The Leftovers and Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof.

If you’d like to share your favorite TV episode, please send your thoughts to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our favorite episodes below!

Damon Lindelof: “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen,” M*A*S*H

I feel like there’s so many [shows] that have incredible sticking power, but the first thing that popped into my head when you asked the question was M*A*S*H finale. That made a massive impression on me when I saw it for the first time. I felt like I was watching something incredibly adult, and I was still a kid. I was also watching something at the same time that 60 million other human beings were watching it. I had a very profound experience watching that episode, and every time I’ve revisited it over the years, it takes me back to exactly what I was wearing and what I was eating, and where I was sitting in my childhood living room when it was on.

Is that the best episode of television ever? Who knows. But all I can do is answer the question you asked, in terms of what my mind immediately leapt to. There’s a bunch. In the modern era, I think the greatest single episode of television produced is probably the “Ozymandias” episode of Breaking Bad. I sat there watching it, and when it was over I couldn’t move for, like, five minutes. It was just staggering.

Hoai-Tran Bui: “Zuko Alone,” Avatar: The Last Airbender

Antiheroes are a dime a dozen in today’s pop culture landscape, as are their obligatory redemption arcs. But try as many shows might, they will rarely best the character development of Prince Zuko in Avatar: The Last Airbender. That’s right, a Nickelodeon animated series does character work better than your favorite cable prestige drama. And that pristine character work is fully realized in the breakout season 2 standalone episode, “Zuko Alone.”

In an episode that forgoes the main protagonists in favor of the show’s resident villain-turned-antihero, “Zuko Alone” is a miraculous homage to iconic “ronin” films like Yojimbo and A Fistful of Dollars, condensed into a 25-minute episode. The episode follows Zuko after he has parted ways with his wise, tea-drinking uncle, in an attempt to make it on his own as the disgraced outcast prince of the Fire Nation. He runs into a poor boy being terrorized by Earth Kingdom military thugs and — in an uncharacteristic moment of chivalry — decides to help him and the village under the sway of the brutal soldiers. What follows is your classic antihero grappling with identity, the horrors of war and poverty, intercut with flashbacks to Zuko’s unhappy upbringing alongside his psychotic sister. But brief moments of nobility and compassion thanks to the kindness of his mother in his past are reflected in Zuko’s own journey of self-discovery, as he clumsily tries to do good by the villagers.

It’s the bitter ending of the episode that sets this episode apart from other “lone noble warrior” stories, however. Backed into a corner, Zuko ends up revealing and reveling in his identity as the crown prince of the Fire Nation, the object of both the villagers’ and the soldiers’ hatred. He’s cast out again, despite his small, baby steps toward doing a good deed, and hurt, he retreats back into his proud, antihero shell. The episode is a fantastic piece of storytelling and character work, and while “Zuko Alone” does nothing new, it does it with such aplomb that it deserves to be ranked up there with the movies it pays homage to.

Ben Pearson: “Ozymandias,” Breaking Bad

I think Breaking Bad is the greatest television show of all time, so naturally my pick for this category is the best episode of that show: “Ozymandias,” the third-to-last episode of the show’s five season run. As great as the pilot is, I think “Ozymandias” is the best hour of television I’ve ever seen. Directed by Rian Johnson and written by Moira Walley-Beckett, it contains the heart-wrenching murder of a major character, the gorgeous cinematography the series was known for, and an absolute masterclass in tension with a knife fight sequence that still gets my heart racing just by thinking about it.

Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston deliver titanic performances here (they both won Emmys for their work in this episode), and the scene in which Cranston’s Walter White drives away with his daughter Holly as Gunn’s Skyler screams in despair is one of the most guttural, powerful things I’ve seen on any screen, big or small. It’s the culmination of years’ worth of secrets and lies, all coming to a head as the show speeds into its finale. It’s riveting, breathtaking television, and in a show full of fantastic episodes, this is the pinnacle of its achievements.

Jacob Hall: “Once More With Feeling,” Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Once More With Feeling” isn’t the best episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it employs a cute gimmick where the entire story is presented as a musical. It’s the best episode of the series because creator, showrunner, writer, and director Joss Whedon uses that gimmick to actually push the season’s larger plot in incredible directions, taking advantage of the song-and-dance format to let characters bare their souls and have the kinds of conversations they’d normally avoid. It’s a spectacularly entertaining break from format that refuses to be a monster-of-the-week episode – everything that occurs here hurts and lingers and matters.

In true Buffy fashion, there’s a malevolent reason for everyone suddenly breaking into song. A demon named Sweet has arrived in Sunnydale and his mere presence causes the population to break into song and dance, singing their darkest truths, sharing lovely romantic ballads with their partners, and getting all Busy Berkeley over mustard stains. Some people literally burst into flames after singing and dancing too much, so naturally, it’s up to Buffy and her crew to deal with the problem. While some members of the cast are much better at singing and dancing than the others, that’s part of the charm. Even the less talented singers throw themselves into each scene with gusto, as if they were, you know, compelled to do so by a supernatural force.

And while those songs are great and the series’ trademark wit and winking camp are on full display, it’s the final scenes that seal the deal here. Whedon uses this very silly, potentially gimmicky episode to finally deal with the ramifications of the fifth season finale and the season six premiere. Only through song can Buffy be honest with her friends about what they’ve done to her and what she has gone through. It’s heartbreaking and catchy and bold and yeah, this is the best hour of TV ever made.

Continue Reading The Best TV Episodes of All Time >>

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The Best & Worst Sketches from Jimmy Fallon’s ‘Saturday Night Live’

Jimmy Fallon Hosted Saturday Night Live

Last night, Saturday Night Live went live coast-to-coast for the first time in the show’s 42-year history with host Jimmy Fallon. The late night sketch series seems anxious to capitalize on all the buzz their political satire has been getting lately with all the Donald Trump presidency fueling the writers room for a couple sketches each week, and they want everyone to experience the show at the same time rather than having half the country on a tape delay.

Though last night’s episode did offer some amusing moments lampooning the headlines that came from the White House this week, SNL was strongest with their non-political sketches, and that’s despite the fact that both Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy returned as Donald Trump and Sean Spicer respectively. In fact, the best sketch mocked another headline-making even that had nothing to do with politics at all.

Check out the best and worst sketches from the Jimmy Fallon hosted Saturday Night Live last night.

The Best

Take Me Back – Normally I’d offer my commentary as to why this sketch was the best, but I can’t do that without spoiling the double punchline twist that comes with this sketch. If you start watching and you end up wondering where the hell this is going (like I did when I watched), just wait, and let it unfold. It’s worth it for the two huge laughs that come at the end, one of which features a surprising callback to another recent sketch from last week.

Before the Show – Anyone who has willingly participated in any middle school stage production knows how the expectations of students are nowhere near the final product of the performance that ends up on the stage. The dichotomy between the excitement these tween girls feel about their production of Legally Blonde: The Musical and the disaster that is the real show is both adorable and hilarious. Seeing how confident and happy they all are even after it fails spectacularly is also as funny as it is cute.

Basketball Scene – There have been plenty of instances where background extras are used to create humor by ruining a scene being shot for a movie, TV show or commercial. It’s an easy gag. But sometimes, there’s just no substitute for great physical comedy. In this case, seeing Jimmy Fallon and Mikey Day as trained actors who are trying to pretend to play basketball is just plain funny. I also love that line about studying “sports movement” at Julliard.

Continue Reading Jimmy Fallon’s SNL Review >>

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Remote watch parties are the best thing to ever happen to introverts


Streaming videos in your room just got a whole lot less lonely. 

Binging for hours on Netflix has long been an inherently isolating experience: You’re solo, it’s late, and you definitely should have gone to bed by now. It’s the ideal setup for introverts and people just generally afraid of the world, but it’s also possibly the fastest route to spending an unhealthy amount of time alone — Doritos dust piling on your chest like a neon monument to social anxiety. 

It doesn’t have to be that way. Thankfully, the same tech that feeds our desire to stay in for the night (and the next night, and the next) can also be used to turn tumbling down a YouTube rabbit hole into a shared group adventure.  Read more…

More about Introverts, Youtube, Netflix, Selfie, and Streaming Services

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