February 1, 2014


With an Oscar nod for Best Documentary under its belt and Matt having named it his favorite film of 2013, the last thing Joshua Oppenheimer‘s The Act of Killing needs is an endorsement from me. And yet, here it is. I watched the film on Netflix several weeks ago and, to be honest, I’m still having trouble coming to grips with it. It’s the most the surreal and disturbing look at human atrocity I’ve seen and the more I think about its subjects and overall approach, the more I’m in awe of the fact that it exists. I drown in hyperbole when thinking of words to describe it because it’s so profound that calling it a “good film” seems not like an understatement but a complete inaccuracy. The Act of Killing is not a “good film”, it’s a stunning work of humanity that makes awards, critical reception, the sentence I’m typing at this very moment, etc., seem absolutely trivial.

Speaking of trivial, in what may go down as one of the worst segues in Collider history, I’ll now attempt to jump into this week’s Top 5. Highlighted today is Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons joining Zack Snyder‘s Batman vs. Superman, Steve’s Neighbors set visit coverage, the first trailer for The Fault in Our Stars, Christopher Nolan‘s Interstellar being exempt from Paramount’s digital mandate, and the first trailer for Seth MacFarlane‘s A Million Ways to Die in the West. Keep reading for a brief recap and link to each of the above.

1. Jesse Eisenberg and Jeremy Irons Join BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN


Yesterday was a big one in the Batman vs. Superman universe as Warner Bros. announced that Jesse Eisenberg will play Lex Luthor while Jeremy Irons will take on the role of Alfred in the Man of Steel sequel. I’ll make my home in the “wait and see” camp for now, but I’ll admit that I didn’t see the Eisenberg portion of that casting news coming at all which I find kind of exciting. Also, it gives me hope that the movie will feature the line “I’m CEO of LexCorp, bitch.” Sorry, I had to…

2. NEIGHBORS Set Visit Coverage


I’m looking forward to Neighbors not just because director Nicholas Stoller’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a favorite of mine, but mostly because I want to root for Seth Rogen as he goes up against Zac Efron. I can’t be sure, but I think this need to pull for Rogen has something to do with the fact that the image from the film featuring Efron without a shirt fills me with a jealousy that I can’t put into words. Therefore, I’m hoping to see the guy with a body fat percentage similar to my own prevail. And with that sound reasoning in mind, I present to you Steve’s Neighbors set visit recap and on-set interviews with Nicholas Stoller and Seth Rogen & Zac Efron.

3. First Trailer for THE FAULT IN OUR STARS Starring Shailene Woodley


The first trailer for the drama The Fault in Our Stars debuted this week and that violent sound you heard shortly thereafter was my sappy heart being ripped out. Do I know any teenagers who speak as romantically and with as much perspective as Ansel Elgort’s character does in the trailer? Nope. Will I be paying for a ticket to the movie on release day and likely tearing up multiple times throughout? Yep.

4. Paramount’s Digital Mandate Won’t Apply to Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR


Some rules, even the ones announced just a week or so ago, were made to be broken. Exhibit A: Paramount recently said that, starting with The Wolf of Wall Street, each of its films would be released to theaters in digital format only. You hear that, everybody? No more film projection. It’s the 21st Century, time to move on. Oh wait, what’s that Mr. Nolan? Hell no? All right, Interstellar can go ahead and be exempt from this rule that we literally just created.

5. First Trailer for Seth MacFarlane’s A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST


I’ve always kind of been put off by Seth MacFarlane’s sense of humor and the way it tends to value crudeness over cleverness. That said, this first red-band trailer for his Ted follow-up A Million Ways to Die in the West focuses sharply on an idea that I support wholeheartedly: that the “Old West” is less a time of glorious simplicity and more a time of death, violence, and sickness at every damn turn.