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New "What's In My Bag?" Episode with Director Edgar Wright

Posted by Amoebite, June 26, 2014 05:24pm | Post a Comment

Edgar Wright

Patron saint of quirky, culty contemporary cinema, director/screenwriter Edgar Wright has put a distinctly English spin on the fanboy worlds of zombies, aliens, and comic book heroes. In the mid-'90s Wright got his start working on BBC TV comedies, but it wasn't till his feature film Shaun of the Dead hit theatres in 2004 that he began really making a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic. The hits came in steady succession, with 2007's Hot Fuzz and 2013's The World's End making up the jokingly named Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, a nod to both influential Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's Three Colors trilogy and the British ice cream treat brand Cornetto.The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy

Wright swung by Amoeba Hollywood to share some of his favorite flicks with the What's In My Bag? team. The honor of being Wright's first and only musical pick goes to David Bowie, whose latest album The Next Day, gets a nod. Next up is Guillermo Del Toro's big budget spectacular Pacific Rim, an epic monster movie with amazing special effects--plus brains, beauty, and heart. Later on, he highlights Noah Baumbach's Frances Ha, a gem of a film starring the effervescent Greta Gerwig in a black-and-white film about being young, broke, and eternally hopeful in New York City. Next up, Spring Breakers, Harmony Korine's candy-hued fever dream (or is it more of a nightmare?) gets highly recommended. British horror anthology film The Monster Club shows up at the end, leaving viewers with the weird and wonderful proposition of watching Vincent Price try to fit in at a nightclub populated by monsters in extremely cheap-looking Halloween masks. Check it out in the full episode below.

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edgar wright vs. the world...

Posted by Brad Schelden, November 12, 2010 02:05pm | Post a Comment
dawn of the dead
I have had a long love affair with zombies. Since I can remember I have always been obsessed with them. There is just something about the undead! I have been a long time horror fan and zombie movies have always been my favorite within that genre. They are a bit scary but I always thought they were a bit hilarious as well. The original Dawn of the Dead by George Romero was released in 1978. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. It combines my two favorite things...shopping malls and zombies! It remains my favorite of all time. There were many great zombie movies throughout the 70s and 80s but I had pretty much given up on the zombie movie in recent years... That is, until Edgar Wright came around and edgar wright shaun of the deadreleased the brilliant Shaun of the Dead in 2004! This was my first introduction to Edgar Wright but he had already created the amazing British TV series Spaced. I highly recommend that you check out this DVD -- it is really some amazing stuff -- but Shaun of the Dead is really Edgar's masterpiece. I still don't think I have met anyone who doesn't love this movie. I just don't know how you can't. Comedy zombie films don't always work but Edgar Wright just got it perfect. I really can't ever get enough of this movie and I usually laugh throughout the whole thing! The movie stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. This was also my first introduction to them as well. Edgar's take on the buddy cop film came out a couple of years later in 2007. Hot Fuzz was highly anticipated for me. I couldn't wait to see what Edgar would come up with next. It was amazing, just as I had hoped. You can read my review of the Hot Fuzz DVD from a couple of years ago right here.
shaun of the dead
Both Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead are also now available on Blu-ray. I am huge fan of the director's and actors' commentaries. It was one of my favorite things about DVDs when they first started adding them to the releases, although some are, of course, better than others. Shaun of the Dead has an amazing commentary from Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg together. I could really listen to this without even watching the movie! You will learn a lot about this movie but mostly you'll just hot fuzzlaugh along with them as they laugh at each other. The Hot Fuzz ultimate edition Blu-ray actually comes with 5 commentaries! Both these movies are two of my favorites of the decade. I just can't express my love of Edgar Wright enough! I love horror movies and the buddy cop action movies of the 80s and Edgar Wright somehow managed to reinvent both of these genres and make them his own. He ended up creating two of the most hilarious dark sort of comedies of the decade. I really was not sure what Edgar could have done next to impress me. I was waiting in anticipation for his next move for what seemed like forever...
scott pilgrim comic
Until, of course, Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World. This movie is Edgar Wright's take on the super hero / comic book / video game / fantasy film. It is a movie about a nerdy guy who must destroy his new girlfriend's seven evil exes. The movie is cast perfectly. It stars Michael Cera and Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the happy couple. The evil exes are played by Chris Evans, Jason Schwartzmen, Mae Whitman, Brandon Routh, Satya Bhabha, and Keita & Shota Saito. Kieran Culkin plays Scott's cool gay roommate Wallace. Anna Kendrick is Scott's sister. Johnny Simmons plays his band mate, Young Neil, and Mark Webber plays his other bandmate, Stephen Stills. Finally, the brilliant Aubrey Plaza plays Julie scott pilgrim vs. the worldPowers, Stephen Stills' ex-girlfriend. I fell in love with this movie right away. There had been attempts at video game type movies before but nothing like this. The movie is full of pop culture and video game references. It also has one of the best portrayals of a gay character that I have ever seen. Kieran's version of Wallace is probably one of the most normal characters in the movie. The gay character doesn't always have to be the silly or tragic character in the film! They can also be the sort of normal, down to earth character as well.

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SPACED: THE COMPLETE SERIES DVD A HIT WITH US AUDIENCES

Posted by Billyjam, August 5, 2008 03:01pm | Post a Comment

American fans of Simon Pegg and his movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz are obviously quite happy now that Spaced, the wonderful British television show that predated and influenced both these big-screen action/comedies, is finally available on DVD as the nicely packaged Spaced: The Complete Series (BBC Video). 

The British TV situation comedy ran for two seasons back in 1999 and 2001 and has more recently been shown in the US on BBC America. The new DVD set is available at each Amoeba Music location, including the Hollywood store where, according to Rigo in the DVD department, "it has been selling briskly since it was released two weeks ago."

Featuring many of the same players in Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz, Spaced was also directed by Edgar Wright, and was written by and stars Simon Pegg and Jessica Hynes (formerly known as Jessica Stevenson). Spaced also stars Pegg's movie sidekick Nick Frost, as well as Julia Deacon, Mark Heap, and Katy Carmichael. The witty, fast-paced, sci-fi based comedy TV show that ran for just two seasons -- seven episodes each -- nine and seven years ago, is packed with references from pop culture and movies (including Resident Evil and Star Wars) and is given to veering off into surreal scenes in which its main characters become action movie or video game or comic book style heroes. 

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hot fuzz is the new point break

Posted by Brad Schelden, August 2, 2007 10:18pm | Post a Comment
If you missed Hot Fuzz in the theater, I feel really bad for you. It was hilarious to see up on the big screen where it was meant to be seen. But don't worry too much, it still holds up on DVD. The movie is nothing short of brilliant. Just plain brilliant. The DVD just came out this week and I think you should just go out and buy it, even if you have not seen it yet. It was written and directed by Edgar Wright, the genius who created "Shaun of the Dead." The star of both films, Simon Pegg, also co-wrote both films. Simon Pegg's sidekick, Nick Frost, also stars in both films. These British lads work brilliantly together in both films. They are like the Reeves & Busey, Gibson & Glover, or Murphy & Reinhold of England.

                                                                            
"Hot Fuzz" is sort of a spoof of the action buddy films of America like "Lethal Weapon," "Point Break," and "Bad Boys." Simon Pegg plays a London cop who is basically making the other cops look bad because he actually does a good job. He is sent to a small tranquil British town. Nick Frost plays the local cop who he is paired up with. Of course, the small town ends up having some crazy big city type crimes. Luckily both cops have seen enough of those American action movies to know how to handle the situation. It becomes a hilarious and ridiculous over the top action film. While "Shaun of the Dead" was spoofing the zombie horror movie, it actually ended up becoming an excellent zombie movie. The same thing happens here. It is much more than a Saturday Night Live type spoof made into a movie. It actually works.

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