Posted on Wednesday, March 4th, 2009 by David Chen
In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley geek out about the new Terminator Salvation trailer, ponder the fate of the Green Hornet project under Gondry’s direction, and get pessimistic about a Total Recall remake. Dave also chats with Watchmen illustrator Dave Gibbons about his inspirations behind the original graphic novel. Special guest Russ Fischer joins us from CHUD.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Monday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST on Slashfilm’s live page as we review Watchmen.
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This Week in DVD is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy, Circuit City, and Fry’s.
Please don’t take the commentary on the movies and TV shows too seriously, as they’re meant not to be reviews but rather previews that include the general thoughts and ramblings of a twice-committed DVD addict. The categories represent solely the author’s intentions towards the DVDs at hand, and are in no way meant to be a reflection on what he thinks other people should rent or buy. So if he ends up putting a movie you like in the “Skip it” section without having seen it, please keep in mind that the time you could spend leaving a spiteful but ultimately futile comment could instead be used for more pleasant things in life. Like buying DVDs.
BURN AFTER READING
Coming hot off the heels of last year’s celebrated masterpiece No Country for Old Men, the Coen brothers decided to play it smart by kicking things down a notch with something a little more fun. Burn After Reading is vintage Coen, throwing a mess of memorable characters into an outlandish plot (that’s once again trigged by a desire for money) and is filled to the brim with hilarious dialogue and gags. It’s also really dark, with some truly twisted sequences creating a jarring but welcome contrast against the more wacky comedic ones.
Notable Extras: 3 featurettes (‘Finding the Burn: The Making of Burn After Reading’, ‘DC Insiders Run Amuck’, ‘Welcome Back George’).
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
|Amazon – $16.99|
How much you like Hamlet 2 will depend a great deal on how much you like its lead actor, Steve Coogan. His performance is what carries the film, making all the mugging he has to do actually bearable. The movie itself is pretty funny as well, due in large part to its hilarious premise. It wasn’t necessarily the surprise comedy of the year I was hoping for, but it provided enough laughs to make for a decent viewing or two.
Notable Extras: Commentary with director Andrew Fleming and co-writer Pam Brady, deleted scenes, Making Number 2 features (Duty Calls, Part Deux), and an Oscar Winner vs. High School Drama Class feature.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
|Amazon – $19.99|
Exactly as stupid as you would expect a Paul W.S. Anderson production to be, Death Race doesn’t waste time any more time on stuff like plot and character development than it has to, making room for what it really cares about: racing, mayhem and explosions. And in that regard, it completely delivers. As long as you know that going in, there’s no reason you should be disappointed.
Notable Extras: Commentary with director Paul W.S. Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt and 2 featurettes (‘Start Your Engines: Making a Death Race’, ‘Behind the Wheel: Dissecting the Stunts’).
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
|Amazon – $20.99|
(Available only at Target)
American Teen was one of the most talked about documentaries on 2008, praised for its charmingly-presented look into the lives of a bunch of regular teenagers over the course of high school. So why is it that the only place you can buy it is Target? What the hell is that all about?
Notable Extras: Cast interviews, deleted scenes, and Hannah Blogs.
|Target||Best Buy||Circuit City||Fry’s|
|Amazon – N/A|
Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Savage Grace – WWE Edge – A Decade of Decadence
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.
$44.99 – Planet Earth
$24.99 – John Adams
$19.99 – Bourne Trilogy, Rocky: The Complete Saga
$17.99 – Firefly (Complete Series)
Save 50% on all HBO series, in store and online…
$89.99 – The Wire (Complete Series)
$124.99 – Six Feet Under (Complete Series)
$174.99 – The Sopranos (Complete Series)
$16.99 – Entourage (Seasons 1 – 5)
$32.99 – Band of Brothers
$27.49 – Generation Kill, John Adams
$13.49 – Flight of the Conchords (Season 1)
$74.99 – Deadwood (Complete Series)
$29.99 – Rome (Seasons 1 – 2)
$17.49 – Curb Your Enthusiasm (Seasons 1 – 6)
$99.99 – Sex and the City (Complete Series)
$12.99 – Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles (Season 1)
$16.99 – Angel (Seasons 1 – 5), Martin (Seasons 1 – 4), King of the Hill (Seasons 1 – 6), Friends (Seasons 1 – 10)
$19.99 – My Name is Earl (Seasons 1 – 2), Futurama (Seasons 1 – 4), The Boondocks (Seasons 1 – 2), Seinfeld (Seasons 1 – 9), The West Wing (Seasons 1 – 7), Supernatural (Seasons 1 – 2), Babylon 5 (Seasons 1 – 5)
$4.99 – Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Spider-Man 2, The Fugitive, The Shawshank Redemption, Crash, The Color of Money, Fun with Dick and Jane, Proof of Life, Tin Cup, Swordfish, and more…
$3.99 – True Lies, Point Break, Aliens, Dude Where’s My Car, Speed, The Ringer, Sideways, Men of Honor, Antwone Fisher, The Sandlot, The Family Stone, and more…
Back in May I had the opportunity to sit down with Nanette Burstein, the Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker behind On The Ropes and The Kid Stays in the Picture. Her latest film American Teen follows five high school students through their senior year. I hate to oversell the movie, but it’s literally one of my favorite films of the year.
Peter Sciretta: I’m not sure if you read my site but I…
Nanette Burstein: Yeah, I have I’ve been following your site. Thank you, I read, you know, these kind of movies really need that push, and I really appreciate you doing it.
Peter Sciretta: I really think it could be the first documentary with mainstream appeal. I don’t mean this as like
Nanette Burstein: Yeah, no, I know what you mean.
Peter Sciretta: But it’s really accessible…
Nanette Burstein: Right.
Peter Sciretta: It’s really really accessible where documentaries normally deal with these hardcore issues, political, psychological or socialogical…
Nanette Burstein: Right, and the challenge is, and I knew this would be a challenge from the beginning is how do you get teenagers to go to a documentary in a movie theater and then are 20 and 30 something year olds just going to (e)quate this as like the normal run-of-the-mill stuff that you see in reality television. So you have to get over both of those hurdles to get people in, and it’s really through word of mouth people like yourself or other people who see the film and fall in love and say no! you have to believe me this is different, because people have such a prejudice against it: a) because it’s a documentary and then b) it’s a documentary about teenagers which, you know, teenagers on the one-hand make it very accessible but on the other hand you have certain prejudices because of the existing reality television.
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Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.
Nanette Burstein is the Academy Award nominated documentary filmmaker behind On The Ropes and The Kid Stays in the Picture. Her latest film American Teen follows five high school students through their senior year. I hate to oversell the movie, but it’s literally one of my favorite films of the year.
Nanette Burstein: There are certain directors whose films, I could just watch them endlessly. Alexander Paine, I’m a huge fan of.
Peter Sciretta: You know, I saw a lot of like Election in American Teen…
Nanette Burstein: Yes, Election definitely influenced this film… Like the shots of the kids when you hear their voiceovers and they’re on the bed, I totally took that from Election. There was the night before election where there’s all these dolly shots into all the main characters and their thoughts and like they’re all crane…
Peter Sciretta: It was like those crane shots.
Nanette Burstein: Yeah, those shots are amazing, and that’s what inspired me to do that.
Nanette Burstein: There’s definitely different homages in this film, like Garden State which I love there’s this scene when Hannah goes to the party and she’s alienated and the way I cut that scene was completely influenced by that scene in Garden State where he’s alienated at the party.
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Before WALL-E and The Dark Knight, American Teen was my favorite film of this year so far. Now it sits comfortably in the #3 spot. As I’ve said before, it’s the first documentary with mainstream appeal. It doesn’t even feel like a documentary. Basically the film follows a bunch of high school students through their senior year. Anyone who has gone through high school will enjoy this flick.
Attention /Film readers in San Francisco, the cast members from the film: Hannah Bailey, Colin Clemens, Jake Tusing, Megan Krizmanich, and Mitch Reinholt will be appearing at Apple Store at One Stockton Street at 7:00pm tonight (Monday, July 14). Paramount Vantage will be screening some footage from the film followed by a discussion with the stars. If you’re around, I highly recommend you check it out.
Here is a round up of stories that just didn’t make the /Film front page, or what we like to call…. Page 2!
Orlando United has photos of the exterior and queue area of Disney’s new Toy Story Mania. I love the mini-replica of Pixar Studios.
David Chase, creator of “The Sopranos,” has signed on to write, direct and produce his first feature film for Paramount Pictures. [Variety]
Warner Bros has released a new poster (seen right) and trailer for Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D. [Apple]
Natalie Portman has walked out of new film ‘Wuthering Heights‘. [monstersandcritics]
There are only 13 directors in film history who’s films have grossed more than $1 billion at the box office (domestically). Michael Bay did it in seven. So did James Cameron. [shootfortheedit]
Before we take a trip back in time, JJ Abrams’ Star Trek actually begins sometime after 2002’s Star Trek: Nemesis, as Ambassador Spock (Leonard Nimoy) returns from Romulan space. [TrekMovie]
The Dark Knight: HBO First Look’ will premiere on Thursday, July 10 at 10:45 p.m. Like all of HBO’s recent behind-the-scenes special, The Dark Knight first look will run 13 minutes. [comics2film]
CC2K takes a look at an unproduced script for a prequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit and finds that it’s not all bad.
Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster will topline Christian Alvart’s sci-fi thriller Pandorum. [variety]
Take a first look at the new Batmobile which will debut in Batman #676. Yeah, I like the the tumbler better. [io9]
The November 1980 issue of Warren Presents: Empire Encounters Comix offers the promise of spoilers for “Star Wars 2!” Boba Fett leading stormtroopers? A Rebel assault on “Vader’s stronghold?” Han Solo and Chewbacca captured by the Empire? [John Booth]
Lionsgate has picked up the rights to the comic book “Deal With the Devil” and has set writer Kyle Ward to adapt. [THR]
Our friends at LatinoReview have seen an unfinished cut of Hellboy II: The Golden Army and says it “was a joy to watch even without the eye candy.”
The Sandcrawler Times has a look at a bunch of new WALL-E products from Thinkway Toys.
NYTimes reports that the negative Indiana Jones review which leaked last week was actually from “a theater executive who saw the film at an exhibitors’ screening this week.” And that “Theater executives may have an incentive to play down a movie’s prospects after such a screening, to get better terms.”
Check out the trailer from the WALL-E video game. [fanboy]
Watch the movie trailer for Noise starring Tim Robbins on FirstShowing.
Johnny Knoxville and Parker Posey are attached to star in John Waters‘ Christmas film Fruitcake. [THR]
Senator Entertainment has greenlit Samuel L. Jackson thriller Unthinkable with Gregor Jordan (The Informers) attached to direct with production starting Sept. 2 in Michigan. [variety]
The new Knight Rider series won’t be based on that terrible terrible pilot. Thank God! Oh wait, that still doesn’t mean it’s going to be good. [screenrant]
How could anyone hate E.T.? Annalee Newitz lists Nine Reasons Why She Hates the Spielberg film. [io9]
I love this Taiwan version of the Juno poster. [impa]
FSR has posted the Ten Movies You Need to See Before Going to Vegas.
American Teen is being given a new soundtrack. Lets hope they don’t suck things up. Please, whatever you do – keep Phantom Planet’s Do The Panic! [theenvolope]
The X-Files: I Want to Believe movie trailer will be released Monday night. [collider]
David O. Russell‘s risque political comedy Nailed has been put on hold while shooting in South Carolina because of a “cash crunch” that’s causing problems with SAG, IATSE and the Teamsters. Co-stars Jessica Biel and Jake Gyllenhaal (the pic also stars James Marsden, Catherine Keener, and Tracy Morgan) “are waiting to see if the movie will continue. [Nikki Finke]
LatinoReview is reporting that John Singleton is looking at Bruce Willis for the role of Col. John “Hannibal” Smith for the upcoming big screen version of The A-Team.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says California must increase tax incentives to movie and television studios as a way to keep them from moving their productions out of state. [THR]
Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation will have an Los Angeles premiere at the Mann’s Chinese on Wednesday, May 14th at 7:30 pm. If you ever have the chance to see this film, DO IT! [PRNewswire]
Richard Burgi (Hostel: Part II, pictured inside) plays a sheriff in Platinum Dunes’ Friday the 13th remake. [bloody-disgusting]
I can’t say this enough, American Teen is my favorite film of 2008 so far (you can read my review from Sundance). Nanette Burstein, the Academy Award-nominated filmmaker of On The Ropes spent one year following a group of teenagers during their senior year of high school. The movie won the directing award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, and has been playing the festival circuit to rave reviews ever since. I can’t stress to you how great this film is. I know, at first glance it might look like MTV’s The Hills to some people (evident in the comments for the theatrical trailer), but trust me, there really is no comparison (probably because this is 95% real). I’m sure film festival audiences wouldn’t sit through The Hills – The Movie, never-mind give it a standing ovation.
The heart of the movie for me, and most people, is Hannah, the “rebel” art-student who dreams of leaving her midwest town to go to California to become a filmmaker. Paramount Vantage has put together a series of Character Teaser Trailers. Some of them do a disservice to the film, but I’ve included the trailers below for the two most interesting characters (at least from my perspective, which might say something about me), Hannah and Jake (“the geek”). American Teen hits theaters on July 25th 2008.
Discuss: What do you think of the new character trailers for American Teen?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… American Teen is my favorite film of 2008 so far. Jason Reitman was raving about it at Sundance, and two sold out screenings later, I finally got to see it. I’ve seen the movie twice now, and even skipped out on a movie I really wanted to see at South by Southwest just to see this again. It’s just such a wonderful film.
It’s Fast Times at Ridgemont High meets The Breakfast Club, but non fiction. It’s the first documentary that has true mainstream appeal. It’s a film that anyone who has gone to High School will have no trouble relating to. Remember when a break up was the end of the world? When getting a date to the senior prom meant everthing? This is American Teen. Paramount Vantage has finally released a movie trailer for the film, which can be seen below, and I think it perfectly captures the spirit of the film. Tell me what you think in the comments below.
[flv:http://media2.slashfilm.com/slashfilm/trailers/americanteentrailer.flv 470 260]
You can also watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo.com. Here are some quotes from the critics:
“If you seek out American Teen looking for an engaging, stylish and surprisingly smart piece of non-fiction entertainment, you’re going to be completely won over.” James Rocchi, Cinematical
“it was often hilarious, even at parts I’m sure I wasn’t support to laugh; it brought out intense emotions, including frustration and sadness; and got me thinking about our society implications more than any other movie in the last few years. This is a brilliant documentary that explores the American high school system in an unforgettable way.” Alex Billington, FirstShowing.net
“American Teen is a documentary that is easy to watch and even easier to fall in love with. The students are real people with whom we can connect, the director’s vision is spot on and her end product caries with it both immense insight and a genuine midwestern charm. To be short: this is one of the best films of the Sundance Film Festival, hands down.” Neil Miller, Film School Rejects
“It would be embarrassing to admit being so emotionally involved with these stories if they were part of a trashy teen-based reality show like “The Hills” or “Laguna Beach.” But “American Teen,” while superficially similar to those shows, is far more respectable. As a documentary, it’s extraordinarily well produced, directed, and edited. It’s also fantastically entertaining, dramatic, and even uplifting, a perfect encapsulation of what it is to be an American teen. Its optimistic final moments will leave you smiling, not just at having seen a great movie, but at having warmly revisited the wonderful world of high school.” Eric D Snider
“For years filmmakers have tried to capture the essence of being in high school and no film has been as successful as the documentary American Teen.” Zack Haddad, Film Threat
American Teen hits theaters on July 25th 2008.
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
Since it’s premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, movie critics have been comparing this year’s best film (so far) American Teen to John Hughes’ 80’s teen classic The Breakfast Club. Paramount Vantage has decided to run with this idea, and curb the marketing for the film (or at least the poster) around the idea of a modern day real life Breakfast Club. I’ve been more apt to compare it to Fast Times at Ridgemont High, but the Breakfast Club comparison works just as well because of the social class system of the characters followed.
My good friend Neil at Film School Rejects was able to get his hands on the poster art for the July 25th release. Click on the image below to enlarge.
It has been a few days since the last time I found a few minutes to blog about my SXSW adventures. And it’s not for a lack of stories or interesting tales. If Sundance was the internet, than SXSW would be Web 2.0. At Sundance everyone is working (well, actually, that isn’t true because the celebs and Hollywood folk party, but most of the journalists are working). At SXSW, the social atmosphere extends throughout the city of Austin, and probably even beyond the city limits. So instead of listing item by item of what has happened since the last update, I have decided instead to talk about the interesting things.
On Saturday, we caught the Harry Potter fandom documentary We Are Wizards, which was somewhat of an enjoyable mess. The documentary consisted of two parts, one which focused on the emerging music genre of Wizard Rock, and another on the legal battle between the fans and Warner Bros. I’ve had a bunch of experience dealing with movie studio legal departments, yet found that whole portion of the documentary to be rather boring. If they were to recut the feature to focus on the Wizard Rock bands, then the film would be much better for it.
We then went to the Alamo Lamar to see American Teen again. I had first caught the film at Sundance after it had been recommended to me by Jason Reitman. Teen was not only my favorite movie of Sundance, but also my favorite movie of the year so far. Finally a documentary with real mainstream appeal. American Teen played even better than I remembered it, and the audience actually cheered in parts. Earlier in the day I found out from my Paramount Vantage rep that Hannah was not available for an interview I had requested earlier in the week. Neil at Film School Rejects also was denied. I wonder what happened, as she was clearly in town. Alex from FirstShowing and myself met up with Hannah outside the screening after it had let out. We learned that she is now going to Film School in New York City. I asked if she was working on a screenplay, and she told me that she just started screenwriting classes, and she’ll eventually get to that. I wish her good luck.
We then headed to Alamo Ritz for Explicit Ills, which was god awful. First time director Mark Webber tried to use every gimmicky film school trick over the course of the agonizing effort. I don’t know how many people from the badge line got in, but it seemed to me to be less than 50 people total. The cast and crew packed the theater with their respective entourage, leaving little room for no one else. Today (Tuesday) I learned that the film won the audience award, which is just so mind blowing, because I have yet to meet someone who loved the film. In fact, I didn’t even get a ballot while walking into the theater, although I noticed that most of the entourage did. Actually, Rosario Dawson actually came out onto the stairs and told those waiting in line inside the theater how to vote for the film. She explained that you rip the 5 on the ballot cards, and demonstrated with her card.
We then headed over to the Explicit Ills party, which was really lame. We saw Morgan Spurlock upstairs for a second, and decided to leave and find something better. We met up with one of our favorite publicists and the guys who made Blip Festival: Reformat The Planet, and hung out at the Iron Cactus until 1:59am magically turned into 3:00am. The guys who made the film are really cool, and I hope their film gets bought.
On Sunday we woke up late and picked up the incomparable Mel Valentin from the airport, grabbed a pita sandwich, and stood at the end of a very very long line at The Paramount with Doug from The Movie Blog.
I must admit, I only saw The Promotion because of John C Reilly. I love that guy in nearly everything he does. That aside, I was expecting very little, but was blown away. What a great little comedy this is. I hope that The Weinsteins actually put this in a bunch of theaters, although I’m worried that they have no idea how to promote it. The fact that the film is being distributed under their Dimension Films brand is also very odd and concerning. The Paramount Theater is like San Francisco’s Castro Theater but smaller. Even the seats feel like miniature versions. Brian from Rejects and Ken from FirstShowing went over the Seann William Scott, who was taking a few photos with some hot women after the screening. They mentioned they were from some movie websites and would like to get a few photos. Seann said that he doesn’t like photos of himself and that he wasn’t photogenic enough. Yup, total blowoff.
A combination of Alex and Google Maps got us lost on the way to the Gawker Party. Apparently you need to pay close attention to the East and West street signs. We finally made it to the bar hosting the shindig, but found the place to be too small and loud for our tastes. To be fair, I later learned that there was a huge patio in the back, which was the place to be.
We then went to the Alamo Ritz where I posted the new Indiana Jones poster while waiting in line for a special midnight screening of Dance of the Dead. They were giving away free beer, which made for a rowdy and fun crowd. The Alamo does all sorts of cool promotions like this. Later this month they are showing The Leprechaun, and you get a bowl of Lucky Charms and Green Beer with the price of admission. Very cool. The Alamo makes me wish I lived in Austin. Dance of the Dead was incredibly fun. It felt like a self aware early 80’s zombie film. Lots of good gore as well. During the big climax, a big explosion went off on screen, and the Alamo set off a confetti bomb which covered the entire audience. How cool is this theater?
On Monday we grabbed some sandwiches from some deli place on 6th street, and then headed over the the Forgetting Sarah Marshall premiere party, where they had free food and drinks. Director Nicholas Stoller, and stars Jason Seagal, Kristen Bell, Russell Brand were in attendance. I got to chat with Stoller for a good ten minutes about Undeclared and Judd Apatow. He seemed genuinely excited to be there, and to have a film that was coming out.
Brian from Rejects and myself approached Kristen Bell for photos. I usually avoid the photo thing, but I’m a huge fan of Bell’s former television show Veronica Mars, plus she’s just hot. She gave us the blow off, explaining that she was hungry and was trying to get to the food for the last ten minutes. She was very nice, but I discounted it as a blow off. Five minutes later guess who taps my shoulder. Kristen fucking Bell, asking us if we still wanted to get photos. We talked about Fanboys (as expected, she still has no idea what’s going on) and a couple other things. Bell was wearing three inch heels and was still short. You have no idea how small this girl is until you see her in person close up.
Jason Seagal was also pretty cool, and down to earth. While leaving the party we ran into Russell Brand downstairs in the lobby and I approached him and told him how hilarious I thought he was at WonderCon. He stopped whatever he was doing and gave me a genuine “thank you”. We got photos with Brand, and walked over with him to The Paramount theater, inadvertently walking the press line behind him. You might see me and Neil from Rejects in the paparazzi photos from the event.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall was also much better than expected. I was actually expecting a flop, but the film had a lot of laughs, and had a very heartfelt underlying core. It’s not the best Apatow film, but it’s a lot of fun, much much much better than Harold and Kumar 2.
We then spent an hour trying to find something good to eat, but resorted to eating from the late night menu at Champions Sports Bar. We then met up with Muhammad Saleem, a friend of ours from the social web, of whom we had never met in person. We went to the IHeartCavemen Gieco party, which was in a cool bar with three levels. We sat outside under the heat lamps, which provided warmth in the cool night air – a weird mixture I’m not use to. We left the party with a big red gift boxes which includes candles, a candle holder, and some other junk.
I’ll be back tomorrow or Thursday with another update. We send mini updates to Twitter throughout the day, so please follow us and tell your friends. Thanks for reading!