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We spout opinion, comment on the current zeitgeist and overanalyze pop culture and mainstream movies. Whether in the form of lists, survey questions or straight editorials, we hope to make thinking deeply about film a fun and stimulating activity for all.

Spout

10 More Roddy McDowall Movies That Need a Remake

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 17, 2011 6:06 AM
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  • 3 Comments
This week, "Fright Night" marks the second good remake of a Roddy McDowall movie this month alone. The new version of Tom Holland's 1985 vampire flick and the recently released "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" are both exceptional arguments for why recycling in Hollywood isn't a terrible thing, as each film improves upon the original and does something fresh with its premise while not entirely expelling the predecessor's own stature and relevance within film history. Gone are the days when rehashing titles on McDowall's resume meant dreck like Tim Burton's "Planet of the Apes," Wolfgang Petersen's "Poseidon," Michael Mayer's "Flicka" and the Christina Ricci-starred "That Darn Cat."
More: Remakes

The Originals: "Fright Night" Is Just Right for a Remake

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 16, 2011 4:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The originals is a regular column where we look at material being remade, adapted or otherwise recycled, particularly if the source was unfamiliar to us before announcement of the new version. This week we caught up with the original 1985 "Fright Night" in anticipation of Craig Gillespie's redo, out this Friday.

Learn How to Sign the "Why Cookie Rocket" Catchphrase from "Rise of the Planet of the Apes"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 10, 2011 9:24 AM
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  • 6 Comments
Now that Damon Lindelof has Tweeted about "Why Cookie Rocket," it's officially a thing. I know, because that's the moment my wife, who hasn't seen "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" asked me what it means. Not that she's a movie ignoramus, but if she knows about something I'd otherwise only hear about from fellow movie bloggers, it's a big deal. Additionally, there are now proposed t-shirt designs, a Facebook group devoted to a "Why Cookie Rocket" Photoshop meme and a Tumblr for the same. How embarrassing for Vulture, by the way, to not just pick the wrong line to designate as a catchphrase, but also be schooled on the whole concept of catchphrases by New York magazine film critic David Edelstein, in their comments section. He doesn't comment on the true catchphrase (which Devin Faraci defends in depth for us at Badass Digest), but I think his definition would fit. "Why Cookie Rocket," which is hereby the best primate-signed movie line since "Project Nim"'s "Stone Smoke Now," certainly contains "splendid absurdity."
More: Remakes

10 Most Clever Bank Robberies in Movies

  • By Spout
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  • August 10, 2011 5:03 AM
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  • 51 Comments
by Christopher Campbell This list was originally published on July 1, 2009. It is being reposted ahead of the opening of the bank robbery comedy "30 Minutes or Less."

Andy Serkis Deserves a Special Achievement Academy Award, and So Does Peter Elliott

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 8, 2011 9:20 AM
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  • 0 Comments
The last time a person received a Special Achievement Academy Award was in 1996, when John Lasseter was issued an Oscar statuette for "Toy Story." That honor recognized the accomplishment of 'the first feature-length computer-animated film,' which kind of recalled Walt Disney's special recognition 57 years earlier for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs," the first feature-length animated film. Has there been anything of tremendous game-changing achievement since then? Some believe Andy Serkis displays award-worthy work in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," enough for an Oscar campaign for Best Supporting Actor, and those who recognize his performance-captured talent has no shot at being nominated by other actors say he should instead be given the first Special Achievement award in 16 years. Not just for his work in "ROTPOTA," but for his decade-honoring status as the go-to guy for this sort of role, which has included Gollum in the "Lord of the Rings" movies and the title beast of Peter Jackson's "King Kong" remake. Kristopher Tapley at In Contention writes:
More: Remakes

"The Change-Up" Needs to Be Remade by Katie Aselton Immediately

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 5, 2011 5:56 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Who knew that combining the tropes of the body swap movie and the conventions of the raunchy brom-com were what we needed as the final word in male-based comedy this year? I'm not so sure David Dobkin's "The Change-Up" fulfills that conclusion, but it at least displays the potential for its mashed up concept. And, thankfully, it's one of the least offensive. But even if it did display as much outright homophobic (as opposed to homoerotic) and misogynistic (as opposed to customarily sexist) ideas as plenty other films do this year, I might excuse it for an appropriateness of ventriloquism. Screenwriters Jon Lucas and Scott Moore (both of "The Hangover") could seem to have free will in saying terrible things through their characters' mouths, as if they were magically transferred into their bodies and speaking through disguise.
More: Remakes

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is the Best Remake of "Project X" Since "Project Nim"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • August 4, 2011 10:13 AM
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  • 0 Comments
When I made the joke months ago that people should see "Project Nim" because it's basically like a prequel to "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," I didn't realize just how similar the two movies would really be. It's more like "ROTPOTA" is a dramatic remake of the recent documentary, which also relates it very closely to "Project X." Back when "Nim" arrived in theaters I revisited "X" to see how it compared in retrospect. And while I'm only partially familiar with the "Planet of the Apes" sequels most closely used as reference material for this rebooted installment (the plot is somewhere within the spirits of "Escape" and "Conquest"), I've concluded that it is more akin to the 1987 Matthew Broderick vehicle than anything sourced from Pierre Boulle's original novel.

10 Cliches of the Body Swap Movie

  • By Spout
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  • August 1, 2011 8:36 AM
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  • 5 Comments
This list was originally posted to Spout Blog on April 15, 2009. It has been republished in anticipation of the latest body swap comedy, "The Change-Up," opening this Friday
More: Remakes

"Captain America: The First Avenger" Captivates But Has Little Care for Character

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 22, 2011 9:58 AM
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  • 1 Comment
Ten years ago, Joe Johnston directed "Jurassic Park III," a much-maligned sequel to the Steven Spielberg original(s) that can be enjoyed if you forgive the more cartoonish, Joe Dante-esque turn of the series (speaking of which, Dante should helm part IV). And it's not really too much worse than Spielberg's own sequel ("The Lost World"). Now Johnston gives us the latest "Avengers" franchise title, "Captain America: The First Avenger," and at many times it begs to be thought of as an entry in Spielberg's "Indiana Jones" series. Again, it's a cartoonish distortion of the original(s), but it's also not any worse than the last Spielberg-directed installment ("The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"). It's good enough and, yes, maybe the best superhero origin movie since "Iron Man," as well as a lot more entertaining than "Thor," but neither comparison is much to celebrate. We might as well just say it's better than the 1990 "Captain America" movie. Which it certainly is.

The Originals: Could the 1990 "Captain America" Have Been Any Worse?

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • July 19, 2011 8:04 AM
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  • 3 Comments
This week I'll be seeing "Captain America: The First Avenger," an adaptation of a comic book I always avoided in my youth because the idea of a patriotically costumed superhero seemed so silly to me. At the time he was as hokey as Captain Planet or Ray Cycle, a character starring in a one-off comic published by the State of Connecticut at the start of the late '80s recycling revolution. Suffice to say I haven't been that excited about the new movie even if it is a part of the current Marvel repute (though "Thor" put a damper on that already for me). So to give myself some perspective, I watched the infamously bad 1990 film of "Captain America," assuming it would make the 2011 version seem like "Citizen Kane" no matter how terrible it is.

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