jason butler harner changeling

The Academy Awards for 2008 have been handed out, and the “popular kids” have Oscars on their mantles, but the dirty little secret about winning awards is that you’ve gotta campaign for them. Thousands of dollars were spent by the distributors and filmmakers behind Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), Milk (Focus Features), The Reader (Weinstein) and other assorted winners and nominees, but not all performances received that sort of big money backing.

I am an unabashed lover of the acting craft. I see virtually every movie, large and small, that passes through the US marketplace, and, taking nothing away from Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Penelope Cruz and Heath Ledger, not all of 2008’s best performances have been recognized. I’m not going to be obvious here. Clint Eastwood was snubbed for Gran Torino, but he received lots of acclaim for the role including being named Best Actor by the National Board of Review. My goal is to highlight 10 performances from last year that have received virtually no acclaim in the US. Many of these roles can be found in hardly-seen, under-appreciated movies that came and went without much notice. Each and every one of these movies deserve a spot in your Netflix (or Blockbuster) cue.

My list is by no means definitive. If you have a favorite performance from 2008 that sticks with you, this is a great place to tell the world. There were 20 actors nominated on Oscar night, but there is a lot of great work that hasn’t been recognized with a walk down the red carpet.

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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.

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CHANGELING
While the reviews weren’t necessarily negative, the Clint Eastwood-directed Changeling opened to a surprisingly middling response, apparently falling prey to silliness and convention far too often. It was enough, however, to earn Angelina Jolie a nomination for Best Actress, despite claims by many critics that her performance detracted from the film more than enhanced it. To that I simply say, “…I WANT MY SON BACK!!”
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: 2 featurettes (Partners in Crime: Clint Eastwood and Angelina Jolie, The Common Thread: Angelina Jolie Becomes Christine Collins).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99
Amazon – $16.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Save $5 when you buy Changeling and Flash of Genius.
Where? Best Buy.

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In this epic-long episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, and Adam are joined by Dan Trachtenberg from the Totally Rad Show and together they question if Ben Stiller is ready to take on a courtroom drama, debate the effectiveness of the MPAA’s ratings board, and delve into a review of Tomas Alfredson’s Let the Right One In. Alex Billington from Firstshowing.net also joins in to discuss Trick ‘r Treat, an upcoming horror film.

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next next week as we review Kevin Smith’s Zack and Miri Make a Porno.

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A lot of new posters have hit the web in the last 24 hours. Cinematical has the final US poster for Charlie Kaufman’s directorial debut Synecdoche, New York, which shows the life size replica of New York City that the main character builds in a warehouse. I think its cool but I actually prefer the international poster which featured Philip Seymour Hoffman in front of the tables of index cards. Ropes of Silicon has the poster for Bryan Singer’s WWII movie Valkyrie. It seems oddly stylistic, maybe because they are trying to appeal to younger audiences. The MPAA recently announced that the film is rated PG-13. A PG-13 Nazi movie?

ComingSoon has the final poster for Quantum of Solace, which seems kinda stock compared to the other two theatrical posters for the film which featured Daniel Craig walking down the street with his huge gun. And lastly there is the poster for Clint Eastwood’s Changeling. The one-sheet is even worse than the film’s title, who woulda thought?

Clint Eastwood’s Changeling Movie Trailer

In 1928, Christine Collins of Los Angeles reported her nine-year old son, Walter, as missing. In the midst of charges of corruption and negative publicity, the Los Angeles police department was desperate for a positive P.R. boost from solving the case. After much searching, they finally found a boy in DeKalb, IL claiming to be Walter, and returned him to his mother. But it wasn’t really him. This immutable fact galvanized Collins on a quest to find the truth and a battle against authorities that threatened to tear her life apart.

Decades later, Ms. Collins’ story was discovered and turned into a screenplay by screenwriter J. Michael Straczynski. The trailer for Changeling, directed by Clint Eastwood, is now here and it shows a great deal of promise. Despite recent films like Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Tomb Raider, and Wanted, I’ve always believed that Jolie has enormous amounts of legitimate acting talent that just needs an appropriate film outlet to be adequately displayed. Her recent lauded performance in A Mighty Heart was apparently demonstrative of this, and Changeling looks to continue the trend. Changeling is scheduled for limited release in the U.S. on October 24, 2008. What do you guys think of the trailer?

The Exchange

Clint Eastwood unveiled his latest movie at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week. The Exchange (which is being released under it’s former title Changeling in the U.S.) stars Angelina Jolie as a mother whose young son suddenly vanishes. Set in 1928 Los Angeles and based on one of the most notorious crimes in LA history, Jolie’s character is suddenly confronted, months after the disappearance with a nine-year old boy claiming to be her missing son. The LAPD turns the “successful return” into a publicity stunt, while Jolie is convinced that the boy is not her son and is thrown in an insane asylum for disagreeing with the LAPD.

The Exchange

Our friends at Ioncinema called the film “another formulaic endeavor from Eastwood – nice looking, expensive film that fails to stick”. We have new photos and you can watch the first video clip by clicking the link below.

The Exchange

The Exchange

The Exchange 3

The Exchange

Clint Eastwood’s Changeling will hit theaters on November 7th 2008.

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Even though far more people believe in Sasquatch and Reptilians than in the chance that a Dirty Harry 6 starring Clint Eastwood would see the light of day, the man himself finally killed the fledgling rumors for good. Cinematical reports that when Eastwood was asked at Cannes, where he’s promoting his well-received and reviewed Changeling, about the possibility of a long goodbye for Harry Callahan, it went down a little something like this…

“That is not correct,” said Eastwood. Angelina Jolie then quipped, “I am!” and Eastwood fired back with a laugh, “Yeah, Dirty Harriet, starring Tomb Raider.”

Next up for the Hollywood legend is Gran Torino, which we have described as “a ‘coming of age buddy comedy’ between an old fart (Eastwood, no offense) who cherishes his titular muscle car and a young, troubled Asian kid who tries to steal said car to impress a gang.” Eastwood will direct and possibly star. Give me an old geezer mowing down punks with a .44 Magnum any day, FTW.

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All of us wily fans of highly unlikely action premises can let out a logical sigh, as MovieHole has received the official casting breakdown for Clint Eastwood‘s Gran Torino: a dirty, septuagenarian Harry Callahan is no where to be found. Dirty Harry 6 is back to being a daydream, but I’m sure Eastwood had a good laugh and perhaps gave a hmmmm into his lemonade. So, what is Gran Torino?

As previously rumored, it’s a “coming of age buddy comedy” between an old fart (Eastwood, no offense) who cherishes his titular muscle car and a young, troubled Asian kid who tries to steal said car to impress a gang. MovieHole draws careful comparisons to the tone and age juxtaposition of Eastwood’s soporific, underrated A Perfect World. It being my favorite film directed by Eastwood, that’s cool to hear, but I’m also getting Dannon Activia vibes off this. We’ve pasted the lengthy character rundown/synopsis after the jump because it contains spoilers. This November brings Eastwood’s latest directorial effort, Changeling, with Angelina Jolie and it’s riding particularly nice buzz.

Discuss: Would you rather see DH6 or Gran Torino based on the info here? And speaking of minors committing grand theft auto did you see this?

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