Nick Schager Biography

The 50-Year-Old Virgin: How ‘Foxcatcher’ Warps Steve Carell’s Funny Persona Into Something Terrifying

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by Nick Schager November 13, 2014 03:28 PM
Steve Carell’s ‘Foxcatcher’ role builds upon his solid dramatic work in 2007’s 'Dan in Real Life' and 2013’s 'The Way Way Back.' But more importantly, it’s a part that’s tailor-made for the comedian, given that it functions as something like the dark flip-side to his trademark funnyman persona.

Making Sense of 'Saw'’s Jumbled Jigsaw Mythology

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by Nick Schager October 29, 2014 12:40 PM
Lionsgate
'Saw' turns ten this year, and while the franchise’s “torture porn” legacy is clear, its serialized story – spanning seven squirm-inducing films – remains anything but. Few cinematic series have ever told a continuous tale with less grace, intelligibility and basic common sense than 'Saw' (as a quick, headache-inducing peek at its Wikipedia page confirms). Nonetheless, there is some sort of method to the maddening mythology surrounding puzzle-loving fiend Jigsaw (Tobin Bell), as we discovered upon revisiting James Wan and Leigh Whannell’s genre efforts. Concerned with cancer, revenge, and all sorts of righteous moralizing, the killer’s various machinations are a righteous mess that, on the original’s tenth anniversary, we finally try to clean up, via this rundown of what Jigsaw’s really up to – and why, and how – throughout his insanely elaborate deadly-trap saga.

'Gone Girl' and the War Against Ambiguity

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by Nick Schager September 29, 2014 01:45 PM
Fox
Don’t believe the pre-release speculation – when 'Gone Girl' arrives in theaters this Friday, its original ending is (in spirit, if not exact detail) intact. That’s sure to rankle some of the countless readers who originally objected to Gillian Flynn’s 2012 best-seller on the basis of its conclusion.

'The Simpsons' Marathon and Our Ongoing Pan-and-Scan Nightmare

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by Nick Schager August 26, 2014 01:25 PM
Fox
'The Simpsons' marathon continues for its sixth straight day on FXX today amidst a growing chorus of complaints about the network’s decision to alter the format of every episode from the show’s first nineteen seasons. As detailed in Max O’Connell’s recent article on Indiewire, FXX has cropped and stretched pre-HD 'Simpsons' installments from their original 4:3 aspect ratio (the height and width of our old standard-definition TVs) to 16:9 (the dimensions of our new HD sets), apparently in order to make sure that no one suffers through old television episodes with black bars on the sides of the image.

'The Expendables 3': Embarrassment Rankings

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by Nick Schager August 13, 2014 09:42 AM
Lionsgate
While Stallone may be perfectly comfortable selling himself out, his accomplices on this latest jokey saga seem to have tackled their ludicrous material with varying degrees of seriousness – and as this ranked rundown details, also with varying degrees of embarrassment. Ahead, of the established stars, we rank from least to most who we feel the most embarrassed for that he (all hes!) is in 'The Expendables 3.'

The 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Reboot is Really Just a 'Transformers' Remake

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by Nick Schager August 06, 2014 01:45 PM
Paramount
If something seems strangely familiar about the new 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' reboot opening Friday, that’s not too surprising, since Jonathan Liebesman’s film is little more than a thinly veiled remake of the 'Transformers' movies. Sure, the nominal source material for this latest ninja-turtles adventure is Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird’s 1980s comic books, as well as the cartoon series and three live-action films from the early ‘90s, all of which led to a merchandising bonanza built around the characters’ good-natured valor, love of pizza, and fondness for exclamations like “gnarly!”, “radical!” and “cowabunga!” Yet a closer inspection of Liebesman’s adaptation reveals that, far more than those predecessors, the real inspiration for this wannabe-blockbuster is its producer Michael Bay’s four robot-centric extravaganzas. As proof, here’s a rundown of the many clues that 'TMNT' is nothing but 'Transformers' in a half shell.