The Best Stories of the Week, August 17

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This week saw the return of our favorite anti-hero, and I’m not talking about any characters from Kick-Ass 2. Yes, Breaking Bad was the talk of the week, and while that superhero movie sequel was discussed a bunch, it was unfortunately for mostly negative reasons. Maybe that’s why we couldn’t stop thinking about bigger superhero movies, namely of the Avengers franchise. Last Sunday, we got the hint from Vin Diesel that he’s voicing Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. A few days later, Simon Pegg messed with fans and movie bloggers by fake hinting that he’s playing the lead in Ant-Man. The former isn’t confirmed and the latter I don’t think is totally ruled out yet, but this trend of teasing us isn’t going too well.

In the past seven days, FSR has brought you a look back at the hits and flops of the summer, a glimpse at the program for this year’s Fantastic Fest and new considerations of the work of Sam Peckinpah, David Gordon Green, John Frankenheimer and Katherine Heigl (one of these things is not like the other). We learned some interesting news about upcoming Pixar films and a fascinating fact about a classic Kubrick movie. And we gave most of the new releases grades in the C-range (at least we like Ain’t Them Bodies Saints). As always, the Reject Recap is here to get you caught up on all these goodies and more.

Start your weekend right after the jump.

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Breaking Bad Returns For Final Episodes

12tv_breakingbad“Having gone nearly a year without Walt, Jesse, and the rest of the blue-hued crew (by ‘crew’ we mean meth, baby, and lots of it), anticipation for the final episodes in Vince Gilligan’s opus reached a fever pitch, well, probably long before the latest episode actually aired. And was it worth it? Man, was it worth it. With only eight episodes in the show’s final half-season, acceleration is the name of the game…Years from now, binge-watchers everywhere will be able to watch the entire series without pause, and while they too will feel the tension and the trauma of Breaking Bad, they will never be able to feel the unique joy of waiting for something and being gloriously, gruesomely rewarded for it.” – Kate Erbland

More on Breaking Bad:
Breaking Bad Recap: “There Is Nothing for Us to Do But Try to Live Ordinary, Decent Lives”
Breaking Bad Writer Steps Out of His Comfort Zone to Pen Crime Thriller
Breaking Trek

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The Box Office Winners and Losers of Summer 2013

The Conjuring“This summer saw two monster hits that didn’t crack the top but are still among the biggest successes of the season. Using the 1.5x budget formula mentioned above, both The Purge and The Conjuring earned higher profit percentages than any other summer wide releases. The former earned $82m on a $3m budget, and James Wan’s ghost story cost $20m but took in $169m. The fact that one of the two is actually pretty great makes this even better. Horror being the most profitable genre isn’t news, but the recent trend of producing inexpensive but well-crafted tales of terror (Insidious, Sinister, Paranormal Activity) has resulted in a new appreciation for letting artists create quality chills without a studio peering over their shoulder.” – Rob Hunter

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Kick-Ass 2 Is Bad For Women

Kick-Ass 2“While you could make the argument that filling a film with women who are all tough-talking hardasses has its own merits – maybe these women really are strong and independent as Brooke says they are – the manner in which the women of Kick-Ass 2 speak to each other is so vile and so hateful that even when they are engaging in the briefest of chats about men (Brooke introduces young Mindy to a One Direction rip-off band called Union J, unleashing a burst of sexual interest in the young superhero), it’s the only time the ladies speak to each other in a manner verging on interesting, engaged, and respectful.” – Kate Erbland

More on Kick-Ass 2:
Kick-Ass 2 Review: They Should’ve Called It Ass-Kick
Hit-Girl Does Battle With Mother Russia in Red Band Kick-Ass 2 Featurette
Mark Millar Explains Why Kick-Ass 2 Goes Big But Doesn’t Glorify Violence
Broken Projector: Kids Who Kick Ass

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Fantastic Fest Announces Second Wave of Programming

fantastic_fest_13a“Around these parts (Austin, TX) we are beginning to get excited about Fantastic Fest. Elsewhere in the film world, bags are being packed and schedules are being color-coded for fall festivals in distant locales such as Toronto or Venice, perhaps even Sitges, Spain. But here in America, the approach of September means one thing to serious film fans: Fantastic Fest is nigh. Seemingly on cue, the folks at the Alamo Drafthouse have announced their second round of programming for America’s largest genre film festival, complete with films from a number of favorites. These favorites include perennials Ben Wheatley (Kill List, Down Terrace) and Alex de la Iglesia, the latter of whom stunned audiences with his masterwork The Last Circus at the 2010 edition of the festival. Each are back with their latest projects alongside a delightful list of familiar names and newcomers alike.” – Neil Miller

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Paranoia Inspires New Dictionary

ParanoiaParanoia, noun: 1. a state of acute awareness of one’s surroundings, only heightened by the removal of one’s shirt, 2. a tendency on the part of an individual or group toward highly rational suspicions of the motivations of nearly bald captains of industry” – Kate Erbland

Source: Fijm School Rejects

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