Last summer’s surprise hit was a film called Fireproof starring Kirk Cameron. Championed by church groups for the story’s Christian values/message, the film was produced for next to nothing and featured a supporting cast made up of volunteers from Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia, most of whom had no prior acting experience. As you may expect, the resulting film has a lot of unintentionally funny moments, and Video Home System has compiled the funniest scenes into one 5-minute video. Watch it after the jump.
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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.
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA
It’s hard to know what to make of Woody Allen’s career. With a writing/directing filmography consisting of over 40 movies, he’s ranged from undeniably brilliant to frustratingly repetitive to just plain bad. While some filmmakers take ten years to make their next movie, Allen is dropping out a new project every year. Love him or hate him, that’s damn impressive. And while his latest offerings may have provided more than a few clunkers, his recent attempt to move away from his dearly-loved New York scene with Match Point was definitely a step in the right direction. Vicky Cristina Barcelona shows that Allen is continuing this trend, and the reviews have clearly shown the benefits of doing so.
Notable Extras: None.
|Amazon – $17.99|
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Edition)
Continuing off what I was saying about directors taking a step in the right direction, Guy Ritchie’s RocknRolla marks another example, but one with admittedly more mixed results. To say it’s an improvement on Swept Away and Revolver is stating the obvious. The real question is, just how much of an improvement is it? Does it come close to reaching the heights of Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels? Hell no. But it’s an entertaining ride nonetheless. The biggest problem is the story, which is extremely convoluted without ever justifying having such a needlessly complex narrative, or for that matter, even bothering to engage the audiences enough to care about it. What keeps it afloat is the characters and the actors playing them, all of whom are clearly having fun exchanging witty quips and playing around in Ritchie’s slickly rendered world.
Notable Extras: The two-disc includes a commentary by Guy Richie and Mark Strong, a deleted scene, a Guy’s Town featurette, and a digital copy of the film.
|Amazon – $19.49|
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $22.99 at Best Buy and Fry’s, and $24.99 at Target and Amazon.
Lakeview Terrace is not an amazing movie by any means, but it blows my mind how people can so easily dismiss it while simultaneously praising Clint Eastwood’s Gran Torino to no end. Don’t let the trailers fool you; this film isn’t some laughably absurd thriller about neighbors trying to kill each other over untrimmed hedges. It’s actually a fairly insightful and engaging dissection of race relations and how two men’s unflinching refusal to accept the things they cannot change lead them down an escalating path of destruction (one obviously more deserving of it than the other). The ending spirals out of control somewhat, but aside from that, it’s a film well worth seeing.
Notable Extras: A commentary with Director Neil LaBute and Kerry Washington, deleted scenes with optional commentary, and 3 featurettes (An Open House, Meet Your Neighbors, Home Sweet Home).
|Amazon – $19.99|
I’m not gonna lie; this is a bad movie. The storytelling is by-the-numbers, the characters are poorly developed, and the direction is bland. The one thing that saves it, though, is Rainn Wilson. His energy and enthusiasm for the role single-handedly keeps the movie engaging, and even helps you to overlook every time a poorly written joke falls flat.
Notable Extras: A commentary with director Peter Cattaneo and actor Rainn Wilson, a second commentary with actors Josh Gad, Teddy Geiger, Emma Stone and Jason Sudeikis, 10 deleted scenes, a gag reel, 6 featurettes (Rainn Wilson: Office Rocker, Pete Best Interview, Behind The Band: Vesuvius, Rock Beat With Fish Fishman, The Music of The Rocker, Rock Tales), an MTV Film Festival Panel, an “I’m Not Bitter” music video, 4 exclusive podcasts, Fox Movie Channel Presents…In Character With The Rocker, Vesuvius Public Service Announcements, and a digital copy of the film.
|Amazon – $21.99|
PRIDE AND GLORY
(Available as single-disc and 2-Disc Special Edition)
Holy hell does this movie look dull. I don’t think I’ve ever found myself this disinterested in a project that had so much talent on display, except for maybe We Own the Night, which was a similarly formulaic-looking police procedural. I can’t even tell the difference between these films anymore. They all look like nothing more than weak attempts to recreate the success of The Departed.
Notable Extras: The two-disc includes a Source of Glory: The Making of Pride and Glory making of documentary and a digital copy of the film.
|Amazon – $16.99|
*Does not include 2-Disc Edition, which costs $ at each of the listed stores (and $23.99 at Amazon).
A movie that clearly cares more about upholding wholesome Christian values than providing an original narrative or strong production values, Fireproof managed to make over 60 times its budget with its limited theatrical release (it grossed $33 million, and only cost half a million). This is great for those who like watching films that reaffirm their faith, but for those looking for some genuine entertainment (other than the unintentionally comedic kind), look elsewhere.
Notable Extras: A commentary with co-writer/director Alex Kendrick and co-writer/producer Stephen Kendrick, deleted scenes, featurettes, bloopers, resource film clips, Fireproof Resources, and Fireproof in 60 with Director’s Introduction.
|Amazon – $16.99|
For a movie with the title College, this movie sure does an impressive job presenting a reality so far removed from actual college life that it’s almost funny. (Almost being the keyword here.)
Notable Extras: A gag reel.
|Amazon – $19.99|
Other noteworthy DVDs available this week…
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired – The Lucky Ones – Open Season 2 – Hulk Vs. (Two-Disc Special Edition) – Mary Poppins (45th Anniversary Special Edition) – Cheers (The Final Season) – Blossom (Seasons 1 & 2)
NOTE: Some deals may be in-store only.
Exclusive: Bonus Disc with Open Season 2 ($16.99).
Exclusive: Free backpack with purchase of Open Season 2 ($19.99).
Exclusive: Free trading cards with purchase of Hulk Vs. (2-Disc Special Edition) ($17.99).
The /Filmcast: After Dark is a recording of what happens right after The /Filmcast is over, when the kids have gone to bed and the guys feel free to speak whatever is on their minds. In other words, it’s the leftover and disorganized ramblings, mindfarts, and brain diarrhea from The /Filmcast, all in one convenient audio file. In this episode, Dave, Peter, and Adam think about how kickass Moby Dick would be in the hands of Timur Bekmambetov, discuss faith-based films, and reflect on the greatness of Fargo. Special guest Josh Green joins us from the Screen Geeks podcast.
Join us next TUESDAY night at 10 PM EST / 7 PM PST as your favorite movie podcast reviews Bill Maher’s Religulous with the amazing Amelie Gillette from the Onion AV Club.
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The big surprise this weekend at the box office was a small budget ($500,000) limited release called Fireproof, which made over $6.5 million on only 839 screens. The film beat Spike Lee’s latest – Miracle at St. Anna! So how evangelical actor Kirk Cameron‘s firefighter faith-based film become the year’s second highest grossing opening weekend released on lass than 1,000 screens (Hannah Montana’s 3D concert film is #1).
Provident Films’ grassroots marketing and outreach targeted churches, and organizations like American Family Association and Focus on the Family. Nikki Finke reports that “Faith-based “Action Squads” bought up blocks of tickets.” The film sold out a lot of screenings over the weekend, making a reported $7,764 per theatre (Steve Mason). Fireproof is the latest film from Sherwood Pictures, a nonprofit ministry of Sherwood Baptist Church in Georgia, that previously released 2006’s Facing the Giants ($10.17 million at the box office). Now that Sherwood Pictures has proved the Christian-themed film to be a profitable endeavor, I would expect Hollywood to jump on the bandwagon.
MGM co-founder Louis B. Mayer was once quoted as saying “If you want to send a message, send a telegram.” If you ask me, the worst kind of movies are message films. You can’t get more cliche or formulaic than an after school special. And even if Fireproof attempted to focus more on story than your typical after school special, it is still a message film at its core.
If you want to see real entertainment, watch this video of “An Atheists Worst Nightmare” with Kirk Cameron trying to prove the existence of God using a banana.
UPDATE: Someone was using my name in the comments below last night and starting, yes, drama. We’ve deleted the comments in question. This has occurred more than once on Slashfilm recently. We’re looking into it. For the record, yes, Slashfilm thinks this movie is a total pile. And I don’t hate all of our readers, c’mon.
UPDATE 2: FirstShowing’s Alex Billington has given Fireproof‘s trailer a heart-felt endorsement. We are speechless (as in, I’m never talking to Alex again).
Kirk Cameron (Growing Pains, VH1) stars in the Oscar-buzzing romantic drama, Fireproof. This stirring film is being poignantly described as, “Back Draft sucks face with the Left Behind franchise,” by Slashfilm.com. Opening in Earth’s theaters this September, Cameron stars as a “heroic” firefighter whose marriage is ebbing divorce. When his father gifts him a self-help book for romance entitled The Love Dare, Cameron willingly accepts, only to discover that the book’s 40-day plan is instilled with his father’s reborn faith. Choice line: “Marriages aren’t fireproof Michael, sometimes you get burned!” Choice scene: 1:55. Choice movie website/viral marketing/music selection: FireproofMyMarriage.com.
Click here to watch the Fireproof movie trailer. Feel the heat.
via Paul Scheer
Discuss: Is it just me, or does Kirk Cameron sound and look like Corey Haim in this trailer? Did a certain film ever save your marriage, or totes destroy it? Do tell below.