BANTER BLENDER #96: Inside Comic-Con 2014 and an Early Look at ‘Guardians of the Galaxy;’ Guest Host Kyle Buchanan

This week on “The Banter Blender,” Kyle Buchanan (senior editor, “Vulture”) returns to talk movies. First, Kyle takes us inside last week’s annual San Diego Comic-Con to describe what the experience is actually like. Kyle then shares some of the best things he saw, including an extended preview of the new “Avengers” sequel.

Then it’s on to summer movies. First up: “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Kyle has warm words to say about this upcoming Marvel release. Then we tackle “Lucy,” “Snowpiercer,” “Neighbors,” and various other films.

Bone up on your summer cinema and come listen!

BANTER BLENDER #93: Tinder, World Cup, Personal Trainers, Summer Movies; Special Guest Marcos Luevanos

Writer Marcos Luevanos joins Ben Mandelker ( to banter about all things pop culture. Going into the Banter Blender this week: Tinder behavior, the World Cup, personal training quandaries, summer movies, and just a dash of Big Brother. It’s lots of fun — come listen!

And if you’re looking to start a website or simply just want to lock down a URL, be sure to use the promo code banter295 on checkout with and get a new .com or transfer for just $2.95! Limitations apply, obvs. It’s a great deal, and I don’t just say that because GoDaddy is an advertiser.

10 Rejected Sequel Ideas for ‘We Bought A Zoo’


This Christmas, Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, and Thomas Haden Church all star in the movie We Bought A Zoo. It’s sort of a strange concept (if you need a plot description, look no further than the title), but if the film finds an audience — who knows? Maybe we might see a sequel or two.

After the jump, ten sequel ideas that we’re pretty sure will never happen (although, I’d see almost all of them).

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50 Documentaries To See Before You Die, According To Current TV. Do You Agree?


Over the past ten years or so, documentary films have seen something of a boon in interest. Thanks in part to the rise of reality TV, the influx of celebrity filmmakers (think Michael Moore), and the taste-making influence of social media, the genre has crept out of the arthouse and into the local cinema. Now Current TV has released a list of fifty docs “to See Before You Die.” A cursory look reveals an impressive list definitely worthy of viewing, but as the New York Times notes, not a single title hails from before 1988. That means the iconic documentaries Harlan County USA, Gimme Shelter, Don’t Look Back, and the Up series are nowhere to be found. Also missing are influential pioneers of the genre: Nanook of the North, Man with a Camera, and the ever controversial Triumph of the Will (admittedly, these are not the most entertaining docs to watch. Okay, they’re kind of totally boring).

After the jump, check out the full list of documentaries. Do you agree? What’s been left out?

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AND WHATNOT: How To Crash Fashion Week; Also, Chunky Shia LaBeouf, Bieber-Related Injury, and Mars!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Best Week Ever: How To Sneak Into New York Fashion Week – def worth checking out
Socialite Life: Shia LaBeouf Sports A New Hairdo & A New Lady
Vulture: The Five Best Parts of the Oscars’ Class Picture
Zap2It: Bravo’s Tabatha Coffey: The botched plastic surgery that nearly killed her
Eyewitness News 10: Woman Allegedly Hit Man With Frozen Steak
Jam Technique: Scariest Football Picture Ever?
MSNBC: Simulation crew takes first steps on mock Mars (thanks jash)
92.3 NOW: Bieber’s Dancer Falls At the 2011 GRAMMYs (thanks LBucha!)

AND WHATNOT: Michael Vick Wants A Dog; Also, J-WOWW Gets a Makeover and Penn Badgley Looks Dumb

LA Now: 250 cats, 2 dogs rescued from squalid living conditions
Socialite Life: Penn Badgley Looks Bombed
Lisanti Quarterly: The Ten Best Films Of 2010, In No Particular Order
Gawker: The Transformation of a Jersey Girl
LAist: Chick-Fil-A’s Construction Cows Get Moo-ving in Hollywood
The Grio: Michael Vick: A new dog could help my rehabilitation

‘Black Swan’ Rocked My World

Last weekend I went to a screening of Black Swan with my dear friend Sly, and I gotta admit that I kind of loved the film. The whole movie was an amazing mess: borderline campy, intensely freaky, frequently disgusting, and 100% overwhelming. Its symbolism was obvious, and its scares sometimes manipulative, but by the end, I just sort of surrendered to the beast and cried Uncle. I couldn’t help it. I had been tugged back and forth so viscerally that I found myself feeling both extreme dread and utter exhilaration by the time the credits rolled. I was a mess.

Luckily, I wasn’t in as bad shape as Sly, who spent a good chunk of the movie — perhaps eighty percent — with her hands over her eyes. And when that wasn’t good enough, she grabbed her coat and buried her face in that too. There was also the awful woman behind me, who at one point screamed so loudly, you would have thought someone had stabbed her in the face (wouldn’t have been a bad idea). The point is this: the movie is highly disturbing and features many nasty, bloody scenes. You might never look at a nail file the same way.

Black Swan opens on December 3rd, and if you do wind up seeing it, be sure to check out the flick in a movie theater, ideally one with a strong sound system. The massively intense score — a combination of original work and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake — is most effective when it’s played loudly, the better to pummel you into submission. I mean that in the best possible way, naturally.

AND WHATNOT: Buzzing About ‘The Amazing Race’; Also, Erin Kaplan Dishes, and An Acting Reel Like None Other

Found via D-Listed

Yahoo! Movies: Infamous Comic Book Movie Recastings
Zap2It: ‘The City’: Erin Kaplan gets the job done with or without Olivia Palermo
Reality TV World: Exclusive: Dan Pious and Jordan Pious talk ‘The Amazing Race’ win
L.A. Now: L.A. prosecutors: Ralphs overcharged customers (SHOCKER!!!)
Vulture: Sarah Silverman Program Canceled by Comedy Central
Reality Blurred: How The Amazing Race should fix itself
LAist: Eddie Lin on Top Chef Masters: It’s Peanut Butter Jellyfish Time
Gawker: What To Do If You Become an Internet Meme