Jan 15 2012

Three Day Weekend, Baby!

Just a quick reminder that there won’t be a post tomorrow due to the holiday.  Well, that and we’ll most likely still be recovering from the premiere of the Napoleon Dynamite animated series tonight.  See you Wednesday!

Jan 11 2012

Shorts to Movies


Last night I saw The Perfect Host, a 2010 dark comedy starring David Hyde Pierce. I liked parts of it quite a bit. Some very interesting twists and turns, and a really awesome performance by Pierce. Still, I was left unsatisfied. The ending didn’t make a ton of sense, and big chunks of the story just didn’t agree with each other. A little online legwork reveals a possible explanation: the movie was adapted from a short.

This happens more often than you’d think, but I’ve noticed it’s often a recipe for a disjointed film. District 9 is another recent example. I loved a lot of that movie too, but again, the end was a letdown. And looking back, a lot of the beginning feels like filler padding out a much shorter story.

I’m not saying it’s impossible to make a successful short-to-feature transition, but I do think it’s a little counter-intuitive to the creative process. If you can tell your story perfectly in 20 minutes, it seems artificial to throw in more scenes just to beef up the runtime.

Jan 9 2012

Letters from the Critical End! Slush Pile

As Critical End! enters its fourth year, one thing that never ceases to amaze us is the sheer amount of mail that we receive every day.  While the majority of these letters are read by our secretaries and receive a quick response, it’s worth noting that there are several others that we simply ignore.  Why?  Well, to put it mildly, we have discovered that some of our readers are fucking nut jobs.  The letters from these fans get tossed into what we call the Critical End! “Slush Pile”.  Ryan and I have talked, and we both agree that the time as come to open up that file for the fans to read, and perhaps even to respond to as us.  Here are just a few samples of what we have dealt with for the past few years.  Enjoy.

Loved episode 100 of your podcast.  However, why didn’t you review my suggestion of every known atom in the universe?  Please advise.
Matthew Dodds

Thank you for your kind words about my latest film Father Issues, Static Shots, and Bill Murray.  I especally enjoyed your praise of Owen Wilson’s new haircut.  Hope you’re already looking forward to my next film, Animated Father Issues, Static Shots, and Bill Murray.
Wes Anderson

What was with all the talk a few months back about Logan rocking the jukebox?  Listen, I know Logan, and while we might not be best friends or anything, I have seen him around plenty of jukeboxes.  I can assure you that there was a complete lack of rocking.  Now Ryan on the other hand!  There’s a guy who knows how to rock a jukebox or two!
Sandy Miller 

I’m getting really sick of all those internet blog rumors about me being gay.  Grow up, bloggers!  Unrelated: If John Woo ever offers to blow you in return for the rights to a Mission: Impossible sequel, just say no.  Besides, J.J. Abrams gives much better head anyway.
Tom Cruise

I’m listening to some of your old podcasts and just realized that you guys paid money to see He’s Just Not That Into You in theaters.  Fags.
David Shipler

Why is it that everybody wants to know about Ghostbusters 3 but nobody ever asks me about Nothing but Trouble 2?  For the curious, the script is ready and now it’s just a matter of getting Chevy Chase, Demi Moore, and the ghosts of John Candy and Tupac Shakur to sign on.
Dan Aykroyd

I must say that I’d like your website a lot more if you got rid of Ryan and replaced him with a pretty, free spirited, blonde coed with big boobs.
Logan Lee

Since the only thing I’ve ever done that anybody liked was apologizing for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, I’d like to take this opportunity to also apologize for the following: Everything I’ve ever done except season 2 of Even Stevens.  Friends again?
Shia LaBeouf

Reading your post from Monday, Janurary 9th.  This slush pile shit is cracking me up!  Just thought I’d drop you a quick letter to let you know how much I love the new feature.  Keep the yuks coming!  Fags. 
David Shipler

Jan 4 2012

Coming Soon: 2011 Year End Podcast


Expect it late January early February! That is all.

Jan 4 2012

The last word (for now) on the theater experience


I saw Mission Impossible in IMAX last week and I’ve been mulling two things over ever since. The first is that I’m going to try not italicizing movie titles in blog posts anymore. Because it’s annoying to do and you know when I’m talking about a movie right? Can we agree to let that slide for the time being? Good. Thing two, though, is an issue that keeps coming up on this blog/podcast: the “theater experience.” Mainly, how it differs from the experience of just watching a movie at home, and whether it’s actually all that necessary anymore now that we’ve all got reasonably nice televisions, easy access to new movies, and addictions to texting during the slow bits.

Obviously, Hollywood’s been chewing on this topic too, as evidenced by the gimmicks they’ve been pulling out to get people into the theaters. 3D’s been the big one, and as Logan and I have said before, it’s not doing it for me. I like gimmicky 3D like in Piranha or My Bloody Valentine. There it’s fun. But in most other cases it feels tacked on and unnecessary. Theater chains have also tried offering big cushy seats for premium prices. But you know what? I’ve got a whole couch at home, and it doesn’t cost me 10 bucks extra to sit on it.

Which brings us to IMAX. “Okay,” Hollywood implores us, “you may think movies are just as good at home, but does your home have a 70 FOOT SCREEN?!?!” “No,” I reply, speaking for all of us, “no it does not, that would be ridiculous.” But I do have a reasonably large TV. And I’ve got friends with even bigger TVs. TVs that take up entire walls of their homes. And I’ve noticed that the universal truth about the size of a screen is this: after about 10 minutes you stop noticing it.

Yes, Mission Impossible looked great in IMAX. And there were times when I felt more immersed and part of the action. Brad Bird used that space wisely. But because I’m crazy, I also went to see Mission Impossible in a regular theater. And let me remind you folks, a regular movie screen is still pretty damn big. The difference made by IMAX isn’t worth the higher ticket price. And I argue that seeing the movie at home would have been equally enjoyable.

So 3D, fancy seats, IMAX, none of these are motivating me to leave the house. But a couple days ago I had another experience. An old theater was showing Vertigo and I got to see a Hitchcock film in theaters for the first time. I loved it. Not because I love the movie Vertigo. It’s pretty good, but it’s not a goto of mine. In fact the print was kind of muddy and the sound wasn’t great. What I loved was just being in a theater filled with people who wanted to watch Vertigo. It’s that community kind of feel that I so rarely get with new movies. I love laughing along with an audience at a great comedy, or hearing screams in a horror movie. That’s the heart of the theater experience for me. Sharing a movie with other people.

Maybe as movie theaters become marginalized and your TV becomes the default spot for new movies, then the only people who bother to go to the theaters will be people who feel like I do. And if that’s the case, as Logan has theorized before, theaters will be forced to cater to those people like the Alamo Drafthouse does: by taking a hard stance against talking and texting and bringing the love of enjoying a movie with others back to the movie theater.

Or they could just make everything holograms. I’d go to that.

Jan 2 2012

2012: The Year We Make Contact

What’s that you say?  2010 was the year we made contact?  No no.  I was talking about that other movie, Contact.  You know, the one with Matthew McConaughey.  Not that movie 2010: The Year We Make Contact.  I was just saying that 2012 is the year that Hollywood plans to…uh…remake Contact.  Yeah, that’s exactly what I was saying.  Shut up.  I should know what I’m talking about. I happen to run a movie blog. 

Speaking of which, we’re back!  That’s right, and all of your favorite CE! contributors are here!  There’s me.  You remember me, right?  I mostly post about Chevy Chase and complain about how remakes are dumb and so are today’s teens.  What with their Facebooks, Rock ‘n’ Roll High Schools, and Crispin Glover fan clubs.  I plan to complain about all of this and more every Monday. 

And then there’s Ryan as well.  I’d venture to say that he’s more in touch with what’s “hip” and “happening” and even go as far as to say that he’s got his “finger on the pulse of America’s youth”, which he’s still facing some jail time for in several states.  You’ll hear from him every Wednesday.

Finally, we have the original CE! Podcast, which you’ll be able to catch every so often on Fridays.  Can you believe that li’l stinker is 100 episodes old?  Talk about something that should have died around episode 15!  Am I right or am I right?

So there’s your sneak peak at what you have to look forward to this year at Critical End!  Pretty neat stuff, right?  Now, without further ado, let’s get the old ball rolling with today’s news!  That’s right, it’s the first news we’re reporting of 2012 and it’s coming up right now!  Look out!  Here it comes!  Take it away, Logan!


There is no news today.

Dec 24 2011

Twas the Night Before Xmas



The winter wind is blowing, the air is filled with carols, and I’ve lost feeling in most of my tongue thanks to a nasty burn inflicted by my third peppermint patty. It must be Christmas Eve. And as I type this blog post from the drafty vacated offices of Critical End! (the cleaning staff, new media team, and senior management having all taken holiday leave), I can’t help but think back to the successes we’ve had this year, and the plans we have for 2012.

For me, the standout moment was this year’s Oscar live blog. You guys came out in droves and served up some seriously funny comments. My heart grew three sizes that night. A close second would be finally birthing our 100th episode of the podcast. I still can’t believe Logan and I have managed to finish 100 of anything, and again, we couldn’t have done it without you. It’s been a pretty great year.

And 2012’s gonna keep that tradition going. However, Logan and I are also going to be spending some time on some new non-CE! projects this year. Don’t worry, you’ll hear about those when they’re ready. To accommodate this, we’re slimming down the weekly schedule around here. Starting January, new blog posts will go up Mondays and Wednesdays. That’s fewer posts, but we’re hoping it’ll give us time to do the more in-depth article style stuff we’ve been wanting to focus on.

We’ll still be podcasting, but less regularly and maybe not always about new movies. We’ve considered opening up the format a little and this seemed like a good excuse. Plus we’ve done 100 of these things, so we can do whatever we want now right? There’s no set schedule, but when we’ve got a new episode you’ll see it go up on a Friday. We’ll be back in your ears early next year with our 2011 wrap-up show.

So Merry Xmas Eve! Or whatever you’re into! And we’ll see you in the new year with more fun. Until then, I leave you with the best trailer for anything ever. Stick with it til the end…

Nov 21 2011

Know What I’m Thankful for? Critical End! (and boobs, of course)

Happy Thanksgiving week!  We hope you’re still digesting all two hours of our hundredth episode while simultaneously preparing your stomach for Aunt Margret’s gravy-like substance.  Critical End! will continue to enjoy some time off, but be sure to keep an eye this space for some announcements on what we have in store for the upcoming new year!

Until then, why not go ahead and crack open that case of Stroh’s you’re saving for that post-Thanksgiving football game and check out CritEnd horror/comedy fav ThanksKilling.  Now newly available on DVD!

Happy Thanksgiving, gang!

Nov 18 2011

Oh man, I know I shouldn’t be excited…


…but holy hell…

Chalk it up to 80’s nostalgia and my unexplainable happiness that Arnold’s making movies again, but…man that looks cool.

[/Film via JoBlo]

Nov 14 2011

Critical End! (The Podcast) #100: The One Hundredth Episode


Description. REVIEWED: All of your requests! PLUS: It’s long.

Download it.


Subscribe in Logan Lee & Ryan DiGiorgi - Critical End! (The Podcast) - Critical End! (The Podcast) or via RSS.

Oct 18 2011

Where the hell is the 100th episode?


This has nothing to do with anything, except that I found it while searching for "late".

It’s coming, folks! Just running a little late. But rest assured, we are not dead. Except Logan. He died.

Oct 10 2011

The Muppets try to improve the theater experience


[via /Film]

Aug 30 2011

This is my new favorite person on the web

Hi! I'm Christina Ricci and this picture may or may not have something to do with this post. You'll have to read it to find out, you hunk of man cheese, you!

Sorry folks, it’s not the very talented Ms. Ricci.  Nor is it that guy with the website that photoshops Ryan’s head on to Christina Ricci’s body…although I tend to find myself returning to his site on many a lonely night.

I’m actually talking about Gabriel Ruzin over at Shadowlocked who has written an excellent article comparing recent Chevy Chase comments on Vacation and Fletch reboots to Bill Murray’s assholeness.  Obviously, I couldn’t agree more.

Check it out.   


Aug 26 2011

This isn’t a new Back to the Future teaser


But it’s something. A commercial probably?

Aug 25 2011

Sean Connery: The Bronze Age

Can you believe that Sir Sean Connery is 81 today?!  I’m going to celebrate by watching Dr. No (which itself turns 50 next year) and by taking my annual to pilgrimage to Tallinn, Estonia to pay my respects to their Sean Connery bronze statue.  Seriously.  In fact, here’s a photo of me on last years pilgrimage:


It was so cold!

Happy birthday, Sean!