The Bachelorette Finale: "Why'd You Make Love With Me?"


The Bachelorette finale is in the books. The journey is over. Andi found true love and happiness, and Nick’s hand-drawn storybook found the nearest dumpster in the Dominican Republic. But before we move on, I need to take care of two things. 1) I’m having a hard time writing this post Read more

The Binge-Worthy Shows of the Summer Season


The dog days are here. It’s hot. No need to be outside when it feels like absolute death. So what better to do than park it in front of the TV and catch up on some quality television programming before the Fall TV Season begins. Here are three picks to Read more

The Bachelorette: Men Tell All Recap & Final Rose Preview


Well, my experiment failed. I thought maybe if I stopped writing about this season that it would just go away. I got tired of Andi and her boy(z II men). I was tired of watching these men swaddled in scarves perusing some of this world’s greatest cities. But, I Read more

24: Live Another Day Finale


With the conclusion of another season of 24 (perhaps the last we'll ever see of Jack Bauer?), we bring in some longtime fans to discuss the finale, where the series may go from here, and how well this season lived up to the 24 we have come to know Read more

The Importance of Henderson, Tennessee (and all Hometowns)


   "Everybody has to have a hometown, Binghamton's mine. In the strangely brittle, terribly sensitive make-up of a human being, there is a need for a place to hang a hat or a kind of geographical womb to crawl back into, or maybe just a place that's familiar because that's Read more

Perspective on the New Ninja Turtles from an Emo Millennial


Today we are pumped to have a new guest contributor in Jonathan Schneck. Jonathan is the Director of New Media Innovations for the ACLJ/BeHeardProject.  He is the non-touring, semi retired, guitarist for the Grammy Nominated band Relient K. He has a Marketing Degree from Liberty University and lives in Read more

Movies

SAG Nominations put “12 Years” out front, give boost to “Dallas Buyers Club” & “Butler”

Posted on by Alex Beene in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

butler SAG Nominations put “12 Years” out front, give boost to “Dallas Buyers Club” & “Butler”

Each year, a heavy amount of anticipation is given to the Screen Actors Guild nominations. They are in many ways the first “inside view” we get as to what the Academy is liking during the awards season. After all, the actors branch is the largest one in the Academy’s membership, and presumably most – if not all – of those actors are also in SAG.

Of course, it would be and is often a fault to take these nominations too seriously when assessing the Oscar race. Yes, they are a very good indicator for the actors and actresses who get nominated, but keep this in mind: (a) these nominations are made very early in the season, meaning most voters didn’t see every film in contention yet and (b) these are acting-based nominations, and “Best Ensemble” does not equate to “Best Picture.”

Still, they’re the first clues we get, so let’s put them under the magnifying glass.

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“American Hustle” and “Her” Kick Off 2014 Awards Season with Surprises

Posted on by Alex Beene in Awards Addict, Entertainment, Featured, Movie Previews, Movie Reviews, Movies | Leave a comment

americanhustle American Hustle and Her Kick Off 2014 Awards Season with Surprises

Welcome to another film awards season. I originally ran a site called “Awards Addict” which featured content on the road leading up to the Oscars. This year, I’m happy to say that content will be available at The Wise Guise for your reading pleasure. I know. You’re welcome.

As for those of you wondering about my credentials for covering the Oscar race, I’ve been doing so since 2005. I’ve got a pretty consistent record of knowing what the Academy likes and doesn’t like despite some of the more ludicrous choices we’ve seen grace the stage at the actual event. I’ve also personally been to Academy screenings and have an idea of who the typical Academy member is and what they like.

Now that you have an idea of my background, let’s get into this year’s race. For those of you unfamiliar with how the game is played (and the Oscar race is nothing more than a Hollywood game), the whole season begins with a slew of critic groups announcing their picks to garner buzz for contenders.

For the longest time, the general thought was “Gravity” and “12 Years a Slave” would be the critical darlings attracting the most top honors. But the first two Best Film awards of the season popped that consensus bubble quite rapidly. With the New York Film Critics’ choice of “American Hustle” and the National Board of Review’s stunning support of “Her,” this awards season has already gotten compelling in its infancy.

So what do these two choices ultimately mean?

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Movie Review – The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Posted on by Alex Beene in Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | 2 Comments

hungergames Movie Review   The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

When the first “Hunger Games” film launched in March 2012, it was a massive success on all levels.  Crowds loved it, critics adored it and the box office was unreal, with the film bringing in over $400 million in the U.S. alone.

Flash-forward to a year-and-a-half later, and the second entry in the series, “Catching Fire,” has arrived. In that time, a new directior, Francis Lawrence, came on the scene, and the girl (Jennifer Lawrence) who played the girl on fire (Katniss Everdeen) has become a mega-star with an Oscar now in her possession.

Do either one of these factors make the new installment feel different? Actually no, not at all. “Catching Fire” shines in its consistency with the first film, with the same visual style and intensity in performance carrying over. Perhaps the fear for survival feels a tad diluted compared to the first go-around, but its replacement is the intrigue of a power struggle between rich and poor.

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Anxiety, the Arts, and Spontaneous Combustion

Posted on by Joseph Williams in Featured, Movie Previews, Movies | Leave a comment

tryingnottoexplode Anxiety, the Arts, and Spontaneous Combustion

The Wise Guise is approaching its 500th post. We never dreamed what this site would become when we first launched it in early 2012 and we have no idea what it will be like when we publish the 1,000th post. But we’re thankful for all of our friends and family who have supported and shared our work. We’re also thankful for our brilliant friends who take time from doing big things and write for our site. One of our closest friends, Robert Funke, has written a brilliant script and producing a short film. He’s in the final week of the Kickstarter campaign to fund that movie, Trying Not to Explode.

UPDATE: If you want to read the entire script (SPOILER ALERT), then click here to check it out!

If you love wit and hilarity, then you’ll love my interview with Robert Funke below about the movie, the Kickstarter process, and so much more. After reading his answers to my questions, it inspired me to increase my pledge to the film. It’s going to be something special! Enjoy!

So, what’s the elevator pitch for your film?

Depends on who’s in the elevator.

If it’s perfectly demographically stratified like the bus in SPEED or the waiting room in JOHN Q, I’d say “So there’s this older couple riding the train home one night, and all of a sudden they both spontaneously combust. Nobody knows why. Nobody saw it. But they had a kid, a guy in his 20′s, and he’s not handling it very well.”

If it’s a teenager, I’d be like, “Hey dude, want to see some people blow up?”

But what if I’m in the elevator with a bookish, librarian short? I’d say, “Hi. Love the glasses. Have you read Kevin Wilson? Of course you have, you’re quite bookish. Yes, “The Family Fang” is one of my favorites, too. Anyway, if you’ve read “Blowing Up On The Spot,” you know it’s like nothing else you’ve ever read–funny, tragic, moving, surreal. I’ve always thought it would make a great film. So we’re making a great film out of it.”

If the person in the elevator seems particularly wealthy, my pitch would probably be something like “Please, sir, can I have some of your money?” and if he declined, I would contemplate my abilities as a pickpocket, and then decide ultimately that I just wasn’t going to get much out of that elevator ride and make peace with it.

But really, I think if people read the passage that hooked me, they’ll understand:

“Three years ago, my parents blew up. I don’t know how else to say it. One evening, riding the subway home from an evening out, my parents sat in an empty subway car and spontaneously combusted. A subway guard found them later that night, the upper half of their bodies charred beyond recognition. It was the first recorded double Spontaneous Human Combustion in history, which we unfortunately heard several times over the following weeks…”

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Calm Down, Internet: Reports of It’s a Wonderful Life Sequel Likely a Hoax

Posted on by Sutter Vaught in Featured, Movie Previews, Movies | Leave a comment

zuzu and george bailey Calm Down, Internet: Reports of Its a Wonderful Life Sequel Likely a Hoax

[Yesterday, Variety published an article announcing a sequel to "It's a Wonderful Life." TIME, USA Today, the LA Times, Huffington Post, and others announced the news. Much of the internet scoffed and scorned the idea. The Wise Guise and friends nearly went into absolute shock. But, ironically, our very own Sutter Vaught (who has argued against It's a Wonderful Life in the past) did some research that shows all of this news is most likely a big ol' hoax!]

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the blog during the holiday season that The Wise Guise and friends were sent into a fit bordering on frothy rage at yesterday’s announcement of an up-and-coming sequel to It’s A Wonderful Life.

From the Variety article:

Star Partners and Hummingbird Prods. are collaborating on production of a sequel to Frank Capra’s iconic 1946 movie “It’s a Wonderful Life,” which starred Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed.

The sequel, titled “It’s a Wonderful Life: The Rest of the Story,” is being financed by Allen J. Schwalb of Star Partners who will also produce along with Bob Farnsworth of Hummingbird. The duo are aiming to get the movie into theaters for the 2015 holiday season.

Karolyn Grimes, who played George Bailey’s daughter “Zuzu” in the original, will return for the “Wonderful Life” sequel as an angel who shows Bailey’s unlikeable grandson (also named George Bailey) how much better off the world would have been had he never been born.

Grimes, of course, bellowed the iconic line “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!” in the original movie, about a troubled family man (Stewart) whose near-suicide on Christmas Eve brings on the intervention of his guardian angel.

Farnsworth and Martha Bolton have written the screenplay.

However, as the Internet, ourselves included, worked itself into a hyperbolic rage over this sacrilege, our very own in-house skeptic, Sutter “Die Hard was better” Vaught put on his old-timey reporter hat and hit the mean streets of Google to ask the tough questions.  What he found may shock you.*

Or not, if you’ve ever heard Dan Aykroyd talk about Ghostbusters 3 and/or have used the Internet more than twice.  Point being, this movie we’re all panicking about?  It ain’t happening.

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Roundtable: It’s a Wonderful Life SEQUEL?!?!?!?!

Posted on by The Wise Guise in Featured, Movie Previews, Movies | Leave a comment

Its A Wonderful Life Roundtable: Its a Wonderful Life SEQUEL?!?!?!?!

It’s the latest sign that the End of the World may be upon us… Paramount announced yesterday that they are green-lighting a sequel to perennial Christmas film, AFI-voted most inspirational film of all time, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” The Wise Guise and friends have some thoughts. Some very strong thoughts and feelings.

Alex: I just posted this online, but Paramount’s doing a sequel to “It’s a Wonderful Life” in 2015. [cries]

Joseph: I saw that. I hoped it was a lie and thought it was a joke. They’re casting the actress who played ZuZu as an angel, who visits George Bailey’s unlikeable grandson to show him how much better off the world would be HAD HE NEVER BEEN BORN! How wonderful is THAT life? Why? They claim that they always wanted to do a sequel, but rejected every script until they got this one. WHAT? They rejected every script because this idea is terrible.

zuzu and george bailey Roundtable: Its a Wonderful Life SEQUEL?!?!?!?!

Clayton: Oh boy.

Joseph: This is gross. This is horrible. So much anger. Never has there been more evidence our current society is much more Pottersville than Bedford Falls…

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Movie Reviews: 12 Years a Slave

Posted on by The Wise Guise in Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies | 1 Comment

One of the most-talked about films of the year and frontrunners for Best Picture is Steve McQueen’s “12 Years a Slave”. Starring a myriad of actors in small roles and based upon a true story of a free black man enslaved for 12 years in the 1840s and 1850s, it is a film unlike any other you’ve ever seen. Alex and Joseph each present their thoughts.

Alex Beene – Examining an Instant Classic: What makes “12 Years a Slave” Great

I suppose I should start with some elaborate explanation as to why you’re just now reading a Wise Guise recap of “12 Years a Slave.” Steve McQueen’s sprawling historical drama has been in theaters for weeks, garnering universal acclaim from critics, strong awards buzz and – not surprisingly – some walk-outs from audience members not anticipating such intensity in its filmmaking.

In reality, we’re just a group of busy Southerners who have a hard time being able to keep ourselves grounded at a computer long enough to reflect on such an experience. And yet, perhaps that additional time given to ponder on this masterpiece of a film helps in attempting to detail why this historical recap on one of slavery’s darkest stories is an essential lesson for Americans eager to get a brutally realistic take on a once-divided nation.

12years1 Movie Reviews: 12 Years a Slave

For “12 Years a Slave’s” true accomplishment is not in providing a by-the-books overview of Civil War-era America, but rather in giving viewers a very intimate story of one man’s stunning story of survival. Once-free Northerner Solomon Northup, brilliantly portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor, is drugged and thrown into the ownership of Southern landowners. The setting is perfect for a bombastic melodrama over the battle for rights and acceptance.

Yet, McQueen ignores the common plight of other films in the genre. More than anything, this is about survival. Northup spends little time screaming about his freedom and instead utilizes most of his life as a slave simply trying to live until the next day.

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