In the especially great 'Games' episode of the fantastic public radio series Radiolab, Stephen Dubner says that sports fandom is "a proxy for all our emotions, desires, and hopes."  Who hasn't experienced the elation seeing their team pull out a miraculous win at the last minute?  Sports movies take the inherent drama of spectator sports and increase their universality, including even non-sports fans on the stakes of a game, a season, an entire sport.

This Friday, the new drama Touchback uses football to tell an inspiring and family-friendly story of regret, redemption, and inspiration.  The film, which also stars Kurt Russell and Melanie Lynsky, follows Brian Presley as a hugely promising high school athlete whose dreams of professional glory are derailed by a knee injury.  Fifteen years later, he has the unique opportunity to change his own history.

Touchback's imminent release has everybody here at IAR thinking about the cinematic gridiron, and those characters who have provided inspiration to us in a variety of different ways.  So, with Touchback in mind, we've put together the latest Rogue 10, a listing, in no particular order, of especially inspiration football players.  Whether through grit, talent, determination, or sincerity, these ten characters are football players who bring audiences to their feet.

Rogue 10: Ten Diminutive Movie Monsters

Tuesday, 27 March 2012 13:28

In Camel Spiders, the unapologetic B-movie throwback presented by Roger Corman, a band of soldiers and townspeople in Arizona must fight off a seemingly unstoppable species of creature unknowingly brought to the U.S. from Iraq by returning servicemen.  The SyFy movie, directed by Jim Wynorski and starring C. Thomas Howell and Brian Krause, is available for purchase and rental on Blu-ray and DVD as of today.

Of course, the camel spiders featured in the film bare little resemblance the real-life critters, which have been the subject of endless rumors since the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.  Really, Camel spiders aren't the size of bowling balls, can't run thirty miles per hour, aren't poisonous, and technically aren't even spiders (they're solifugae, which are, however, in the Arachnida class).

Still, the sensationalized, scary movie version of camel spiders inspired us at IAR to think about a certain type of scary movie monster.  Basically, the little guys.  Of course hulking killers like Jason are scary, but what about the characters and beasts who can do just as damage even though they're about two feet tall or even smaller?  With Camel Spiders in mind, we're presenting ten examples of diminutive but nonetheless horrifying cinematic creations.

Rogue 10: Ten Cinematic Blonde Bombshells

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 12:46

The Blu-ray and DVD release of My Week With Marilyn has us ruminating a bit.  When you think of a "blonde bombshell," with all connotations of physical idealization and centerfold lasciviousness, you immediately picture Marilyn Monroe.  In her Oscar-nominated performance Michelle Williams portrays Monroe a person of complexity, not separating her from her timeless sex-symbol status, but instead contextualing her sexuality as place as just one element both her public and private personas. 

It's a performance and a representation that calls for a different notion of the blonde bombshell, one not quite so exclusively dependent on physical perfection.

We might have simply trotted out a list of every gorgeous, captivating blonde from Brigitte Bardot to Adrianne Palicki.  Indeed we could've, but for this Rogue 10, we have instead focused on fictional characters who aren't bombshells because they're blonde, but are noteworthy bombshells who happen to be blonde.  These are blonde bombshells who do more than simply stun you with stupendous glamor and gorgeousness, they stop you dead with something special.

Rogue 10: Ten Creepy Cinematic Houses

Wednesday, 07 March 2012 13:48

A home provides literal and figurative shelter, protecting us from the elements and the dangers of the outside world, while also being a sanctuary, a place where we can always feel safe, as if four walls truly separate us from the nightmarish scenarios that can be offered up at any time.  Effective thrillers and horror stories can use this against us, turning a house into an inescapable trap inhabited by or even – as is the case in haunted houses – comprised of, malicious forces.

The new thriller Silent House, arriving in theaters this Friday, March 9th, stars Elizabeth Olsen – fresh off her unanimously acclaimed turn in last year's Martha Marcy May Marlene – as a young woman trapped in her family's derelict lakeside retreat.  Open Water directorial duo Chris Kentis and Laura provide a stylistic novelty, playing out all of the film's 88-minute runtime in what purports to be a single unbroken shot.  That's a hell of a technical hook, but Silent House is more fundamentally built on the fears of entrapment in a truly scary setting.

With Silent House in mind, IAR has decided to compile, in no particular order, a list of cinematic houses that are the last places you'd ever want to be, those movie homes you'd never want to spend a night in, for fear of your life.  Here they are:

IAR's Oscar Winner Predictions

Thursday, 23 February 2012 15:42

With Oscar ballots due earlier this week, and only a few days to go until the Oscars on Sunday, February 26th, here is how things stand in the race for the gold... 

Rogue 10: Ten Poorly Covered-Up Corpses

Wednesday, 15 February 2012 16:37

On the Ice, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last year and opens in wide release this Friday, is an often startling look at life in Barrow, Alaska.  The setting – with its desolate, seemingly endless frozen plains – looks alien to those of us in the Lower 48, but the film creates a vivid portrait of a cultural issues familiar to both rural and urban American citizen, complete with popular music,alcoholism, rebellious teens, drug use, and poverty. 

Despite the well-observed ethnographic qualities of writer-director Andrew Okpeaha MacLean's film, the story centers on two young men, Qalli (Josiah Patkotak) and Aivaaq (Frank Qutuq Irelan).  While on seal-hunting trip with their friend James (John Miller), tensions escalate between the three, resulting in a violent confrontation and Frank's death.  Rather than come clean, the two teenagers hide his body and claim he was lost in a snowmobiling accident.

It's an old trope: the accidental death or even murder that must then be kept secret, no matter the moral or personal costs.  In a situation like the one depicted in On the Ice, in which a character deliberately chooses to conceal the horrific truth, it pays to at least be thorough in crafting a believable lie and disposing of any incriminating evidence.  Sometimes, though, characters just do a terrible job of one or both. 

In conjunction with the release of On the Ice, IAR is happy to present, in no particular order, ten films in which a death is covered up with undue sloppiness.

IAR's Oscar Picks

Thursday, 12 January 2012 11:13

With just days to go before the Oscar nominations are announced on January 24th, it is now time to narrow down the predictions to 5 in each category. Rather than list each name alphabetically, the contenders have been listed in the order of their likelihood of receiving the nomination. In each category, the 5th slot could possibly go to a “dark horse” instead…

IAR's Best of 2011

Wednesday, 04 January 2012 15:18

Everyone is stocking up on champagne and ticker tape for 2012.  Earth has completed yet another orbit of the sun, and as we continue to cruise through an oblivious and indifferent solar system at about 67,000 miles per hour, it's time to look back on the year that was.  Like every other year, the conclusion of 2011 means a veritable avalanche of year-end lists, from chronicles of favorites to bests to worsts to pretty much everything in between.  Here at IAR, we've looked back with Jami Philbrick's picks for the Top Ten Movies of the Year, and we've looked forward with Brett Gursky's Oscar Predictions for the 84th Annual Academy Awards.

Now, like any devastatingly handsome individual, IAR is going to look in the mirror and say, "Damn, I looked good this year."  Okay, not quite.  But what we are going to do is showcase some of the content produced this year that showed what the organization is all about and what it does best.  This end-of-the-year compilation is broken down into ten categories: News, Press Conference Coverage, Screenings, Documentary Coverage, On Camera Interviews, Convention Coverage, Oscar Contender Interviews, Comic Book Movie Coverage, Legends, and finally, Scoops and Exclusives.  You'll find all those categories right here, complete with links to all manner of articles.

IAR's Top Ten Films of 2011

Tuesday, 27 December 2011 21:05

Another year has come and gone, and what a year 2011 was for movies! We’ve had sensational sequels (Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol), impressive comic book adapted projects (X-Men: First Class), fascinating documentaries (Page One: Inside the New York Times), amazing animation (The Adventures of Tintin), groundbreaking 3D (Hugo), high-octane action (Drive), homerun hitting sports films (Moneyball), terrific dramas (The Descendants), hilarious comedies (Bridesmaids), blockbuster alien robots (Transformers: Dark of the Moon), movies that celebrate the art of cinema itself (The Artist), and the return of some true Hollywood legends (The Muppets).

The following is a look back at some of my favorite films of 2011. While my job as Managing Editor of IAR allows me to see almost every movie that is released, I was not able to see all of them (sorry Young Adult, and J. Edgar). The list I’ve compiled is based on the films that I did see this year and which of those are my favorites overall. I’m not necessarily saying that these are the ten best films released this year, but they are the ten I enjoyed the most.

IAR's Oscar Predictions

Thursday, 08 December 2011 15:16

With the 84th Academy Awards only three months away, it’s time to go on record with some Oscar predictions. The race is officially on, with front-runners beginning to take the lead and dark horses waiting in the wings to shake things up. Several movies have still not yet been released, but every film that hopes to qualify for the Oscars will be in theaters by the last day of December. Let's take a look at how the six major categories are taking shape, with the top ten contenders fighting for five coveted slots…

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