Who watches the Super Bowl for football?

111.5 million people don't tune in for football.  The biggest secular holiday isn't about actual sports, it's about commercials.  Between thirty-to-sixty-second salesgasms shoving beer, insurance, fast food, cars, and apps down America's eager gullet, movie junkies get to score sweet, sweet hype smack thanks to a whole mess of epically epic trailers for the next year's biggest movies.

Super Bowl XLIX is no exception, showcasing damn near two-dozen would-be blockbusters from this month's Kingsman: The Secret Service and Fifty Shades of Grey to already-anticipated, highly secretive summer mega-movies Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, Pitch Perfect 2, Minions, and Ted 2.

There's a lot of bombast on display; even Insurgent gets into wild, over the top spectacle with a thoroughly ludicrous TV spot.  For all the ridiculousness on display in all of these wildly different spots, though, there's only one that really gives the massive TV viewership what they're watching for, only one that really delivers the kind of entertainment that we expect – nay, demand – on Super Bowl Sunday.

Forget the game, the big winner here is Furious 7.

ROGUE 10: Ten Potential Gems of 2015

Wednesday, 31 December 2014 12:11

Happy New Year, dear ROGUES.

With 2014 coming to a close, our latest ROGUE 10 is all about the future.  2015, specifically, and a bunch of movies that we're particularly looking forward to over the next year.

It's our second time whipping up such a list, and looking back as last year's list of potential gems, everybody at IAR HQ is pretty happy with how that worked out.  Our picks went on to make plenty of hay, from a family-friendly indie darling (Chef) to Wes Anderson's finest work (The Grand Budapest Hotel) to the year's most beloved blockbuster (Guardians of the Galaxy) to a for-real historical footnote (The Interview).

So the ROGUE 10 of potential gems is back.  Once again, the idea isn't simply to run through the most anticipated movies of 2015; we're as psyched as anybody for guaranteed blockbusters like Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Avengers: Age of Ultron, but this list is all about movies that aren't freighted with the same kind of expectation.

These are movies that have could be surprising, that could end up on the inevitable favorite movie lists a year from now but aren't necessarily the most anticipated movies on the docket right now.

Of course, by this time next year, we're hoping to have been astonished by pictures haven't even heard of yet from filmmakers whose work will make us ask, "Who the hell made this?"  That's so much of the fun of going to the movies: getting knocked on your ass when you walked in with absolutely no idea what to expect.

Nonetheless, we've hand-picked ten potentially great films from all corners of the release schedule.  With no further ado:


Sunday, 28 December 2014 23:20

Greetings “ROGUE warriors.” As the end of the year is fast approaching, it’s time to announce IAR’s Top Ten Films of 2014

The following is a look back at my ten favorite movies of 2014. In order to qualify for this list, the film either had to be released in theaters or digitally before December 31st. It’s important to note that at the time of this publication, I have seen almost every movie released in 2014 with the exception of American Sniper, Still Alice, Cake, Begin Again, Get On Up, and The Fault in Our Stars

That being said, the list compiled below is based on the movies that I did see this year, and which of those were my favorites. Criteria considered for nomination includes: overall enjoyment, rewatchability, and artistic merit. Honorable mention goes to Gone Girl, Dom Hemingway, Snowpeircer, The Lego Movie, A Most Violent YearFoxcatcherWild, Boyhood, Bad Words and Obvious Child, all of which came very close to making the final cut. 

ROGUE 10: Top Ten IAR Interviews of 2014

Tuesday, 23 December 2014 11:41

It's almost 2015, but don't pop that cork just yet, ladies and gentlemen.

Santa hasn't dropped down any chimneys yet and that big ball is more than a week away from descending in Times Square, but the end of another year is still very much nigh.  As our humble little home planet completes yet another orbit of the sun, you may have noticed a deluge of lists running down the best, worst, and most notable moments of 2014.

Well, iamROGUE is getting in on that end-of-year listing action.

Now, like any devastatingly handsome individual, IAR is look in the mirror and saying, "Damn, I looked good this year."  Not quite, actually, but we are showcasing the cream of our interview crop over the last year.

IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick is an interviewing whirlwind, a dynamo of an interviewer who coaxes unique and wonderful things out of your favorite stars, from Robert Downey Jr. and the rest of Marvel's superheroes to straight-up cinema legends like Mel Brooks, Martin Scorsese, Oprah Winfrey, and Robert Redford.

For our latest ROGUE 10, we've compiled some of Jami's most memorable interviews of 2014.  It's all highlights, and it's the perfect way to close out this strange, wonderful year.

Did you know that Jennifer Lawrence has her own record in the Guinness Book?

She's the highest-grossing action heroine in the history of movies.

It's true.  And it's all thanks to her role as Katniss Everdeen, the Tribute who incites an oppressed nation to rise up in The Hunger Games series, which has hauled in $1.6 billion between just the first two movies.

The penultimate installment, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I is adding to that total, grossing $17 million from Thursday night shows before properly opening nationwide today.

Lawrence's can't be credited enough for the phenomenal popularity of this franchise.  It's a hell of a performance and a hell of a character, one in whom we can emotionally invest, placing us right in the middle of a vast, complicated science fiction world that's a frightening funhouse mirror of our own.  Katniss is a serious action hero, one whose chops as a kicker of asses is never in doubt.  She's not a damsel in distress and she's certainly not just a love interest for a man.

She's part of a proud tradition in recent scifi cinema, a tradition of female characters who have their own agency, who take shit from nobody, and who don't rely on guys to save the day.

There's no way around it: With the tragic and shocking death of Robin Williams, the world in general and cinema specifically have lost something irreplaceable.

Williams was something truly rare, something truly special.  He was a performer in the very best sense of the word, a joyous and exuberant comedian with an unstoppable drive to entertain, as well as an actor whose fearlessness could make a moviegoer's soul grow with his earnest vulnerability and hard-won wisdom.

He wasn't just a star.  Robin Williams was a force, a charismatic whirlwind and a singular embodiment of exuberant childishness.  He was capable not only of making us laugh uproariously, but of tapping into deep wellsprings of humanity within himself, sharing it with us, and reminding us that it's in us too.

Like so many of you out there, we here at IAR grew up on Williams.  He was a fixture.  He was simply always there, livening up otherwise dour movies and elevating good ones to greatness.  Now he's gone.  And he went in a fashion that will impact the feeling and meaning of every nuance of every performance he ever gave on film.

One of the wonderful things about movies, though, is that their power isn't diminished by the passage of time or the tumult of the now.  We lost Robin Williams, but his films remain.  We can still access and learn from his greatness and vitality.  We can still appreciate Williams through the legacy of his work.

So, for our latest ROGUE 10, we put together a list of ten movies that we feel stand as testaments to his unique power as a performer, movies we'll revisit for years.

Now that July is here, it means that the year is officially halfway over. 

So that being said, I thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at the first half of the year and rank the top ten films of 2014 … so far. 

Usually I wait until the end of the year to make this list, but a lot of good movies get overlooked in December because of the onslaught of Oscar contenders that are released in the second half of the year. While I don’t expect many of these films to make the list again in six months, I wanted a chance to highlight some of the fine films that might be forgotten by year’s end. 

The following is a look back at my ten favorite films of 2014 … so far. In order to qualify for this list, the film either had to be released nationally or premiere at a film festival before July 1st. It’s important to note that at the time of this publication, I have seen almost every movie released in 2014 with the exception of Blended, The Other Woman, The Fault in Our Stars, Chef, Palo Alto, and Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. That being said, the list compiled below is based on the movies that I did see (so far) this year, and which of those were my favorites overall. I’m not necessarily saying that these are the ten best films of the year up to this point, but in my honest opinion, they are the ten that I enjoyed the most.

However, honorable mention goes to The Signal, The Raid 2: Berandal, Boyhood, Fading Gigolo, Life Itself, The Lego Movie, and Muppets Most Wanted, all of which came very close to making the final cut. 

John Wayne.

What else is there to say, really?  There are movie stars, there are icons, and then there are legends.  John Wayne was all three and even more. 

The Duke transcended mere stardom, personifying not just a heroic presence on screen, but a bygone ideal of American masculinity.  John Wayne presented the America – its ideals, its physicality, its history, its peculiar spirit – as America saw itself and, in turn, how the world saw the country in the middle of the 20th century.

Today, Warner Bros. Entertainment releases John Wayne: The Epic Collection, the perfect way to celebrate the star and his legacy.

This 38-disc DVD collection spans a whopping 40 movies from John Wayne's incredible catalog of more than 140 starring roles, bringing the cream of the crop to your DVD shelf. 

Included in the set are (in chronological order): Big Stampede, Ride Him Cowboy, Haunted Gold, Telegraph Trail, Somewhere in Sonora, Man from Monterey, Allegheny Uprising, Reunion in France, Tall in the Saddle, Back to Bataan, They Were Expendable, Without Reservations, Tycoon, Fort Apache, The Three Godfathers, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Flying Leathernecks, Operation Pacific, Big Jim McLain, Trouble Along the Way, Blood Alley, The Sea Chase, The Searchers, The Wings of Eagles, Rio Bravo, Hatari, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, How The West Was Won, Donovan's Reef, In Harm's Way, The Sons of Katie Elder, El Dorado, The Green Berets, True Grit, Chisum, The Cowboys, Cahill: U.S. Marshall, The Train Robbers, McQ, and The Shootist.

The collectors edition set also boasts hours upon hours of special features from audio commentary to behind the scenes documentaries to classic short films and animated clips.  John Wayne: The Epic Collection also boasts a full coffee table book, lobby cards, photographs, memorabilia, and replica personal correspondence by the Duke himself.

To mark today's release of John Wayne: The Epic Collection, we here at IAR thought that instead of offering a ROGUE 10 of classic John Wayne moments, we would instead examine his pop-culture wake.  Specifically, we set out to compile a list of John Wayne impressions that have, over the years, captured our imaginations and made us appreciate Wayne even more.

Summer, a season when movies get bigger yet mean so much less, has arrived. 

In this season of frenzied digital spectacle, there's already an oddity in limited release: an earnest little comedy-drama from a writer-director who has delivered his share of blockbuster super-action.

This little gem fits, for a stretch of its zippy story, into a specific subgenre that we're very fond of here at IAR, the father-family road trip movie.  Damn near everyone has spent seemingly endless hours in transit with a parent, the tediousness of the highway and the proximity of a car making the conversation both boring and intense.

With the first entry on the list as our inspiration, we decided to devote the latest ROGUE 10 to some films that follow fathers and their progeny on huge journeys.  It's a surprisingly varied subgenre, and we've tried to reflect that, so please enjoy these ten examples of the form:

To an Arnold Schwarzenegger character, the entire world is an armory.

Over the course of his nearly forty-year movie career, the action star has unleashed all manner of weaponized fury using seemingly every type of gun known to man.  The former Mr. Universe himself has quippily commented on his association with firearms, saying, "I have a love interest in every one of my films: a gun."

In this Friday's Sabotage, then, Schwarzenegger has a whole lot of love interests.  He plays John "Breacher" Wharton, the alpha dog and father figure in an elite, balls-to-the-wall DEA task force.  After Breacher's crew pulls off an audacious raid on a cartel safe house, $10 million in ill-gotten gains go missing.  All ten members of the task force are suspects.  Before long, they're being picked off one by one, and Breacher must get to the bottom of the case before it's too late for him and everyone he cares about.

Breacher, like so many Schwarzeneggerian heroes, knows his way around a gun.  But here's the thing about Arnold: He's no mere gunslinger.  This iconic, unstoppable slab of meat doesn't need to pull a trigger to demolish an enemy.  He'll utilize any aspect of his environment to mop the floor with a henchman foolish enough to cross him, and he'll deliver a killer zinger, too.

To Arnold Schwarzenegger, almost any item – no matter how innocuous, ordinary, or even intangible – is a potentially devastating means of wiping out bad guys.  

With Sabotage hitting theaters, we've decided to dedicate our latest Rogue 10 to Schwarzenegger and his most outlandish, most iconic, most enjoyable weaponized mayhem.  From simple swords to million-dollar aircraft to the ultimate subtle weapon, here are our ten weapons that only Arnold Schwarzenegger could have wielded so well:

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