Rob Dean, The AV Club

Rob Dean

The AV Club

Austin, TX, United States

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Past articles by Rob:

Live in the dissonance of David Lynch’s works in this video essay

Fresh off his Mulholland Drive being named the best film of the 21st century (so far), a new video essay delves into the works of David Lynch and explores the chief narrative constructs that fuel his vision. Channel Criswell (a.k.a. Lewis Bond) delves into film theory and the Freudian school of thou → Read More

Urkel, The Fonz, ALF, and other TV characters “Can’t Stop The Feeling”

Nothing injects a bit of funk into a television series like a few characters breaking it down on the dance floor. Whether it’s a serious drama, a wacky sitcom, or some dramedy that melds the two—TV writers and producers find excuses to let their characters cut a little rug on the boob tube. All of t → Read More

Things escalate quickly in excellent short film Movies In Space

Thanks to the proliferation of film festivals, video websites, and cheap equipment, short films are entering a type of renaissance. Lots of great ideas are being committed to film (or digital, as the case may be) and don’t overstay their welcome. For some, it’s a jumping off point for feature adapta → Read More

Ryan Reynolds personally paid for his Deadpool writers to be on set

Ryan Reynolds’ passion for getting Deadpool made—and made correctly—was so great, Yahoo Movies reports, he personally paid for its writers to be on set during filming. The revelation was made during the newest episode of AMC’s Geeking Out, where screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick said that, → Read More

A tribute to Gene Wilder, master of the comedic… pause

As 2016 rolls on, it’s time to bid farewell to yet another iconic figure in pop culture. With the death of Gene Wilder, many fans were heartbroken over the loss of such a pillar of pop culture and comedy. Already tributes have poured in from figures like Mel Brooks and Matthew Broderick, and fans ha → Read More

Weirdness abounds in this bizarro remixed trailer for Justice League

Though still filtered through a lot of shadows and gray lighting, Zack Snyder’s Justice League teaser has excited many people due to its (apparently) more lighthearted approach. For example, there’s actual jokes in it! And nary a “MARTHA!!!!” to be seen or heard. Now, through the magic of After Effe → Read More

Video highlights 10 films that are masterclasses in structure

Structure can be a difficult thing for some films to nail down—many are just concerned with specific moments or characterization, without paying attention to the overall format. More often than not, filmmakers (including screenwriters) tend toward the three-act structure, but there are myriad differ → Read More

Are these the best sci-fi films of the 21st century?

Hot on the heels of discussion about the best films of the 21st century (so far), comes a new video about a more specific segment of the film landscape. The compilation, by Plot Point Productions, presents clips from 18 different science-fiction films made since 2000, lobbying them as the best the y → Read More

Spike Jonze’s new perfume ad might lead to spontaneous dancing

Before crossing over to making bizarre but incredibly human films, Spike Jonze made his name directing skating videos, music videos, and commercials. He’s returned to that last format with an ad for Kenzo perfume that is a great short film (and, bonus, doesn’t really feel like it’s hocking perfume) → Read More

Video essay illustrates the power of Alfonso Cuarón’s long take

Long takes in films can be a great tool for filmmakers to engage their audiences, or it can simply be a way for hotshot auteurs to show off their ingenuity and grit. In the wrong hands, it’s a showy move that never does much beyond displaying the technical cleverness of an artist. But in the right h → Read More

Relive the best films of the 21st century with this video

Last week there was a great disturbance in the cinephile force. The BBC tasked 177 critics from 36 countries to put together the top 100 films of the 21st century (so far). The list has caused quite a bit of conversation and some controversy over what was included and excluded and the overall rankin → Read More

Horror fiends get a tease of the ultimate episode of The Love Boat

The Love Boat ran for 10 years, from 1977 to 1987, and yet in all of that time it never once hosted a xenomorph or rotted corpse as a guest star. Well, thanks to YouTube user RIJIR, that has been retroactively remedied with this opening credits sequence that includes some favorites from horror films → Read More

Behold the simple majesty of every Jason Statham kick ever

It’s a simple fact born out of dozens of films: Jason Statham loves kicking stuff. Whether it’s people, doors, bikes, dogs, walls, anything—the man just gets a real delight out of kicking various things in his films. Oh sure, he’s really into punching things and people too. But his heart? His heart → Read More

Do jump scares in films suck? This video examines a better way to use them

Jump scares are an effective way to startle the audience, but are they useful in establishing a more terrifying atmosphere? The technique of suddenly scaring viewers with a quick glance or a sharp sting of music can be a great way of goosing that audience to expect the unexpected, but usually it’s j → Read More

Chaos reigns in video for DJ Shadow’s “Nobody Speak” featuring Run The Jewels

Nothing says chaos like old men in suits fighting to the death. From DJ Shadow’s latest album, The Moutain Will Fall, comes an unofficial new music video for the song “Nobody Speak.” Featuring Run The Jewels rapping over DJ Shadow’s track, it’s a great, raucous hit with a smooth background that beli → Read More

Chariots race against pods in this Ben-Hur vs. Star Wars video

While the recent Ben-Hur remake isn’t doing so well, the 1959 version of the tale remains a classic that has inspired filmmakers, satirists, and storytellers for generations. That film, directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston in the titular role, has one of the most iconic film sequen → Read More

Read This: Are these the best films of the 21st century?

If there’s one thing that pop culture obsessives love doing, it’s making lists. If there’s another thing they love doing, it’s dissecting and arguing about a list made by another pop culture obsessive. What was included? What was overlooked? What ranked way too high and what should’ve ranked higher? → Read More

The Democratic National Convention gets filtered through Bad Lip Reading

When not wildly misinterpreting High School Musical or The Walking Dead, YouTube user Bad Lip Reading spends a lot of time on politics as well. Whether it’s the terrible promos the candidates cut or the many debates they undergo, all are fair game under BLR’s terrible ability to figure out what peop → Read More

It’s the 30th anniversary of Night Of The Creeps? Thrill me

“Well, girls, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is your dates are here.”“What’s the bad news?”“They’re dead.”Now that’s dialogue that will echo throughout eternity. Thirty years ago today a film was unleashed on a populace that merely shrugged at its existence. Too weird to thrive at th → Read More

Wrestle with the devil on Barton Fink’s 25th anniversary

Twenty-five years later, and the Coen brothers’ Barton Fink meaning is still being debated. Is the Hotel Earle actually hell? Is this just a case of two filmmakers writing about their experiences in Hollywood? Does the threat of Red Scare loom over its every scene? Viewers may never know for certain → Read More