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‘Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark’ Super Bowl Spot: Terrifying Kids Stories You Want To Experience With The Lights On
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Alvin Schwartz‘s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark may have been presented as a collection of children’s horror stories that is rooted in folklore and urban legend, but it is the basis of why those same kids who read all three volumes are fans of the horror genre now. I remember reading at least one book when I was a kid, but I’d never thought they would be able to turn all of that into a film.

Now, CBS Films will be releasing an adaptation of the same name. In it, a group of young people attempt to solve a mystery that involves a series of spectacularly horrific deaths in their small hometown. Check out the first look at Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark here below.

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Blu-ray Review: The Counselor Unrated Extended Cut
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The Counselor: Unrated Extended Cut
Blu-ray l DVD
Directed by Ridley Scott
Screenplay by Cormac McCarthy
Starring Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: February 11, 2014

Of all the highly anticipated films released last year I don’t think any of them received the critical blanket party that greeted the opening of The Counselor, the pulpy drug world thriller that united influential filmmaker Ridley Scott (Blade Runner) and Pulitzer Prize-adorned author Cormac McCarthy (No Country for Old Men, Blood Meridian), the latter having penned his first original feature screenplay. To say that expectations were high for this film is an understatement on the level of the scene in Easy Rider where Peter Fonda tells Dennis Hopper, “We blew it.”

People hated this movie, man. Hated it. Obviously The Counselor had its share of defenders amongst the filmgoing public and the shadowy agents of the blogosphere, but they were mostly silenced or shouted down as the star-studded noir plummeted to a 34% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a massively disappointing fourth opening at the box office. Scott has had his considerable share of theatrical flops that were later vindicated on home video in the form of extended and rejiggered director’s cuts. Not surprisingly, his latest film has received the same treatment and The Counselor may yet find the audience that either berated or ignored it on the big screen as twenty minutes have been added to this exclusive “unrated extended cut.”

Do these previously deleted scenes elevate Scott and McCarthy’s lurid, languid potboiler to the status of an underrated masterpiece? Is it possible that maybe, just maybe, the haters were hopelessly misguided? Well, let’s see…

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.16: Felina (Series Finale)
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Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 16 – “Felina”
Directed and written by Vince Gilligan
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 29, 2013

SPOILERS FOR THE BREAKING BAD SERIES FINALE. You’ve been warned.

“I did it for me…. I was alive.”

So much of Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) Mr. Chips to Scarface journey has been caged with idea that Walter was doing everything for his family. It’s much like the idea that I highlighted a few weeks ago about his Batman-esque “no killing family rule” – the origin of Heisenberg in so many ways came from a place of gray morality for Walter, a justification that was the weakest of crutches as the show progressed.

As a viewer, it’s been clear to me for a while that Walter made every choice because he wanted to do so. And last night finally provided closure to all that.

It’s always been personal for Walt. It’s the thrill, the excitement, and because he was good at being bad.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.15: Granite State
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Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 15 – “Granite State”
Directed and written by Peter Gould
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 22, 2013

After all the predicting and guessing I’ve made, turns out the most simple reason of all is the reason behind Walter White’s (Bryan Cranston) return to ABQ. Massive spoilers follow.

It’s not Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) or Skyler (Anna Gunn) or Walter Jr (RJ Mitte) that brings Walter White’s newly minted Mr. Lambert back to ABQ. In fact, it’s so much simpler than that. It’s the reason that Breaking Bad has explored for so long.

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TV Review: Breaking Bad 5.14: Ozymandias
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Breaking Bad
Season 5, Episode 14 – “Ozymandias”
Directed by Rian Johnson
Written by Moira Walley-Beckett
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Anna Gunn, Aaron Paul, Dean Norris, Betsy Brandt, RJ Mitte, Bob Odenkirk, Laura Fraser, and Jesse Plemons
AMC
Air date: September 15, 2013

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: `Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
“My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!”
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

I got assigned Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Ozymandias to read in high school and it very quickly became one of my favorite poems. As with most art, there are several interpretations one can take from its content, but the most frequent — and applicable one, to Breaking Bad at least — marks the loss of power, the decline of leaders, and how their “works” often fade.

Earlier this year, I felt that the AMC promo featuring Bryan Cranston reading Shelley’s poem was a little on the nose, but it did further cement the fact that everything is going to fall apart in the final eight episodes. But we already knew that things were going to end poorly — I keep coming back to the scene in “Hazard Pay” where Walt and Walt Jr (RJ Mitte) are watching Scarface – “Everyone dies in this, don’t they?” Yes, Walt. Yes they do.

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