death-race-trailer

Paul WS Anderson never seems to stop working. It’s a lot easier, sure, when working with unabashedly commercial projects, but if some of the filmmakers that I like a lot more could manage to work half as often as he does, this would be a very different cinema landscape. Now, according to Shock Till You Drop, Anderson is working on a prequel to his 2008 film Death Race. Which, wait a second, means he’s writing a prequel to a prequel? Read More »

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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.

Buy It

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.
Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: 3 featurettes (‘Finding the Burn: The Making of Burn After Reading’, ‘DC Insiders Run Amuck’, ‘Welcome Back George’).

BEST PRICE
TargetBest BuyCircuit CityFry’s
$16.99$19.99
Amazon – $16.99

Rent It

HAMLET 2
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.
Blu-ray? Yes.
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.

BEST PRICE
TargetBest BuyCircuit CityFry’s
$19.99
Amazon – $19.99

DEATH RACE
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.
Blu-ray? Yes.
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’).

BEST PRICE
TargetBest BuyCircuit CityFry’s
$20.99$16.99$14.99$19.99
Amazon – $20.99

AMERICAN TEEN
(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?
Blu-ray? No.
Notable Extras: Cast interviews, deleted scenes, and Hannah Blogs.

BEST PRICE
TargetBest BuyCircuit CityFry’s
$16.99N/AN/AN/A
Amazon – N/A

Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Savage GraceWWE Edge – A Decade of Decadence

The Specials
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…

/Filmcast Ep 14: Death Race (GUEST: Paul Scheer)

/FilmCast

In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra, Hunter, and Adam discuss the pernicious consequences of remakes, despair over the fate of their favorite actors from The Wire, and dissect as many plotholes from Death Race as they possibly can. Special guest Paul Scheer joins us from Human Giant!

Have any questions, comments, concerns, feedback, or praise? E-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com. You can also call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993.

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Weekend Box Office: Anna Faris Has Hops

While Peter is on the record questioning Anna Faris‘s cute-ranking, I have continuously defended her on the site as one of the funniest chicks working in Hollywood. My first ever item for Slashfilm was shot down, even. It was to be an essay on Faris’s stoned character in Smiley Face, with a paragraph dedicated to her lime green Sex Wax t-shirt and brilliant application of zit cream. This weekend, Faris finally became a star, and the bandwagon is zooming all over the Internet.

The House Bunny, a rather quiet $25 million Happy Madison comedy, surprised at the box office, grossing $15 million this weekend for the runner-up spot behind Tropic Thunder. Sure it’s not a massive opening, but taken with her role in the Scary Movie franchise, the industry can’t ignore it. The number is being attributed to Faris’s popularity and talent, with reviews and journalists demanding she headline a worthier film. On deck this year for the actress is the comedy, Young Americans, from Fubar (!) director Michael Dowse and co-starring Michael Biehn. Not sure about that one, but next year’s Observe and Report from Jody Hill and Seth Rogen looks like a sure thing. And hopefully her passion project, the heady Linda Lovelace biopic Inferno, gets the boost it needs.

Elsewhere, the remake of Death Race floundered with $12 million. Jason Statham remains a likeable actor with high star potential that, unlike so many bit torrents, Hollywood hasn’t connected with. More on this tonight on the /Filmcast. Thankfully, Crank‘s fanbase continutes to grow. Ice Cube‘s The Longshots bombed with $4 million. Director Fred Durst, yadda yadda. TDK is still approaching $500 mill, banking $10 mill. Pineapple Express won’t hit $100 mill. Any theories in the comments? Meanwhile, the #1 Tropic Thunder grossed $16 mill, for $65 million total in its second week. Definitely not the monster we thought it would be back in May, but for the sake of appearances, it’ll do.

Source: Box Office Mojo

Death Race Movie Poster

Shock has a first look at the new Death Race movie poster which is now in theaters. Something about it just screams “shitty movie”. I’m surprised they didn’t try to play up the imagery of the custom killer cars instead of the generic floating heads.

Jason Statham leads the cast of an action-thriller set in the post-industrial wasteland of tomorrow, with the world’s most brutal sporting event as its backdrop. A penitentiary full of felons has inspired the jailers to create a grisly pastime ripe for lucrative kickbacks. Now, adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for televised violence and a spectacular arena come together to form the Death Race.

Three-time speedway champion Jensen Ames (Statham) is an expert at survival in the harsh landscape that has become our country. Just as he thinks he has turned his life around, the ex-con is framed for a gruesome murder he didn’t commit. Forced to don the mask of the mythical driver Frankenstein—a crowd favorite who seems impossible to kill—Ames is given an easy choice by Terminal Island’s warden (Joan Allen): suit up or rot away in a cell.

His face hidden by a metallic mask, one convict will be put through an insane three-day challenge. Ames must survive a gauntlet of the most vicious criminals in the country’s toughest prison to claim the prize of freedom. Driving a monster car outfitted with machine guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers, one desperate man will destroy anything in his path to win the most twisted spectator sport on Earth.

Death Race is scheduled to hit theaters on August 22nd, 2008.

/FilmCast

In this jam packed edition of the /Filmcast, Dave, Adam, and Devindra ponder what could have been after reading Darabont’s alleged Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull script, debate whether this Hulk is an improvement on the last one, question whether Shyamalan has still got it, and mourn the loss of a tremendous talent. Special guests Andy Sorcini and Muhammad Saleem join us from The Drill Down podcast. Have any questions/comments/suggestions? Feel free to e-mail us at slashfilmcast@gmail.com.

Download or Play Now:

[Audio:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/filmcast/Slashfilmcastep4.mp3]

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Death Race Movie Trailer

Universal has released the first movie trailer for Paul W.S. Anderson’s Death Race remake starring Jason Statham. The prisoners who participate in death race have access to explosives and big guns which they incorporate into their cars in this anything goes race for freedom, but they don’t try to use them to escape? Seems to defy logic. But then again, when did we ever expect a Paul W.S. Anderson movie to conform to laws of logic. Check out the new trailer below and tell me what you think in the comments.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/deathracet.flv 470 200]

You can also watch the trailer in High Definition on Yahoo. Death Race will hit theaters on August 22nd 2008.

Plot Synopsis: Jason Statham leads the cast of an action-thriller set in the post-industrial wasteland of tomorrow, with the world’s most brutal sporting event as its backdrop. A penitentiary full of felons has inspired the jailers to create a grisly pastime ripe for lucrative kickbacks. Now, adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for televised violence and a spectacular arena come together to form the “Death Race.”

Three-time speedway champion Jensen Ames (Statham) is an expert at survival in the harsh landscape that has become our country. Just as he thinks he has turned his life around, the ex-con is framed for a gruesome murder he didn’t commit. Forced to don the mask of the mythical driver Frankenstein — a crowd favorite who seems impossible to kill — Ames is given an easy choice by Terminal Island’s warden (Joan Allen): suit up or rot away in a cell.

His face hidden by a metallic mask, one convict will be put through an insane three-day challenge. Ames must survive a gauntlet of the most vicious criminals in the country’s toughest prison to claim the prize of freedom. Driving a monster car outfitted with machine guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers, one desperate man will destroy anything in his path to win the most twisted spectator sport on Earth.

Death Race

Universal has released a batch of new photos for Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Death Race. Check them out after the jump. As always, click to enlarge.

Read More »

Death Race Battle

The new issue of Empire Magazine offers our first look at one of the explosive vehicular battle sequences from Paul W.S. Anderson‘s Death Race. Click on the photo above to enlarge. Before this photo hit, the Vegas odds of Death Race being any good were lower than Stephen Sommers’ G.I. Joe, and that’s saying a lot (and before anyone asks, there aren’t any actual Vegas odds…). W.S. Anderson, not to be confused with Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, There Will Be Blood), is the guy responsible for Mortal Kombat, Soldier, Resident Evil, and Alien vs Predator. His track record is worse than Ratner’s. But for some reason this new photo has caught my interest. Is there any chance this thing might actually be good? Here are a few mini reviews from an April test screening:

“Liked it quite a bit. The racing scenes felt like Mario Kart on steroids, as they had little markers when the racers drive over them, they get certain things like offensive or defensive weapons activated on their car. The violence in this movie is pretty brutal, people getting hit by cars, and some impalements. Definitely R-Rated material. The plot was kinda predictable, but it was a silly action movie, not Shakespeare.”

“I saw it. I thought it was a solid 7/10. Pretty entertaining, if you don’t think about certain aspects of the story. I’m normally not that big into racing movies, but this one was pretty good. Apart from Event Horizon, it’s probably the only movie I’ve liked that Anderson’s directed. The thing I hated most though was the ending, since it felt too abrupt. I also thought it was kind of annoying when they played the same group of songs twice, but since it’s a work-in-progress I guess that can change. And yeah, it’s definitely going to be rated R. If I had to guess the MPAA rating, it would be something like “rated R for strong graphic violence, language, and brief nudity” (people get blown up, beaten, shot to hell, set on fire, run over; the f-word is said a lot especially motherf__er; Statham’s butt is briefly seen when he gets hosed down in prison). Not the greatest movie, but pretty damn entertaining (and the audience seemed to like it as well).”

“I thought it was rad for what it was, a silly action update of an old cult classic. Statham was solid as he always is, the Frankenstein mask was bad ass. Ian McShane ruled every scene he was in like he typically does, and Tyrese was kept to a minimum, even though he ended up being the only other real main character. Odd. About the ending, I was semi-shocked by the abruptness, and it almost felt like they left a lot on the cutting room floor for this workprint, like there were possibly scenes about Case that weren’t in what we saw. I’m sure everyone there wanted to know what happened with her. If you’re looking for a gory action movie involving cars, this is a sure bet, I’m sure it’ll make some money when it comes out. I agree with what’s been said about it being Paul W.S. Anderson’s best movie, and I’m not a big fan of Event Horizon so I guess that’s saying something. It could also have been that it was free, if I paid for it, I might not like it so much. Just being honest there. Solid action flick, the kind that rarely seems to get made anymore.”

“I liked it. Statham kicks ass (again). Joan Allen plays a baddie badder than Cruella Deville. The cars are souped up with machine guns, shields and crazy stuff. Competitors race for their lives. What’s not to love? There was this amazing scene where this tattooed driver gets creamed by another driver just as he is escaping from his wreck of a car – whoa, one of the most amazing, shocking, BLOOD-splattering moments ever! No way its not gonna an R rating. Don’t miss. It doesn’t suck. Not for miles.”

A trailer is expected to be attached to Wanted, which hits theaters in June.

Death Race

Official Plot Synopsis: Jason Statham leads the cast of an action-thriller set in the post-industrial wasteland of tomorrow, with the world’s most brutal sporting event as its backdrop. A penitentiary full of felons has inspired the jailers to create a grisly pastime ripe for lucrative kickbacks. Now, adrenalized inmates, a global audience hungry for televised violence and a spectacular arena come together to form the “Death Race.”

Three-time speedway champion Jensen Ames (Statham) is an expert at survival in the harsh landscape that has become our country. Just as he thinks he has turned his life around, the ex-con is framed for a gruesome murder he didn’t commit. Forced to don the mask of the mythical driver Frankenstein — a crowd favorite who seems impossible to kill — Ames is given an easy choice by Terminal Island’s warden (Joan Allen): suit up or rot away in a cell.

His face hidden by a metallic mask, one convict will be put through an insane three-day challenge. Ames must survive a gauntlet of the most vicious criminals in the country’s toughest prison to claim the prize of freedom. Driving a monster car outfitted with machine guns, flamethrowers and grenade launchers, one desperate man will destroy anything in his path to win the most twisted spectator sport on Earth.

Death Race
is scheduled to hit theaters on August 22nd 2008.

Photo found via FirstShowing