News on the development of a sequel to Gareth Edwards‘ lo-fi indie sci-fi romance Monsters was quiet for a while, but the movie recently raised its head once again. UK director Tom Green (Misfits) is now at the helm, working from a script by Jay Basu, with Edwards acting as producer.

We know the film is set to be titled Monsters: Dark Continent, and now we’ve got a long plot description that gives a really good idea of where the film is going. Hint: the monsters are now everywhere. Oh, and there just might be an echo of Heart of Darkness — or Apocalypse Now — in there. Read More »

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When Gareth Edwards released his low-budget sci-fi/romance picture Monsters in 2010, it made a lot of waves and gained the young director many fans in very short order. Star Scoot McNairy rode the film to roles in some great-looking projects (Argo, Killing Them Softly) and Edwards became the director of Legendary Pictures’ new take on Godzilla.

Talk of a sequel to Monsters also cropped up as the film was rolling into theaters, but we haven’t heard much about that development in a while. Now there’s a report that the project has a new director, and a new title: Monsters: The Dark Continent. Read More »

For years I’ve been arguing for the adoption of theatrical 3D, partly as a secret ulterior motive. I believed that the greed over 3D ticket prices would force a change in exhibition which could transform the industry — digital cinema. Without the cost of film prints, independent films could find larger distribution, and one off screenings. We have already seen a surge of special one night only event presentations. And while I’m lucky to live in a city (Los Angeles) where they screen a ton of old classics on the big screen, many people have no choice to see these movies on a small screen. Not that seeing movies on your 60 ince is a bad thing, but some movies deserved to be experienced on the big screen with an audience.

You might be against 3D cinema, but you have to admit that the results will eventually outweigh the negatives. Classic movies will get rereleased, sometimes for one night only, a week, a weekend, or a 3D post conversion rerelease like The Lion King. The success Disney experienced with that film has shown Hollywood there is a market for catelog films.

Years ago Disney presented 3D footage from a 3D converted version of Beauty and the Beast at the movie theater convention ShoWest. I, and most of the audience in attendance, were wowed at how the 3D gave new life to the animated classic. Originally set for a theatrical release, the 3D toon was delayed, and delayed again. The final decision was to release the 3D version on Blu-ray 3D with a one week run at Disney’s El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. They spent years on the conversion, and only a handfull of people were going to see it projected on a big screen. I was lucky enough to attend one of the screenings… and, thankfully, now so will you.

Disney has announced that they will be rereleasing Beauty and the Beast, Finding Nemo, Monsters, Inc. and The Little Mermaid in 3D in movie theatres nationwide. I think we can all agree that 3D truly shines in the medium of animation. I can’t wait to experience the beautiful underwater setting of Nemo in 3D. Read the full press release after the jump.

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VOTD: ‘[the films of] Pixar Animation Studios’

For the past seven months, Kees van Dijkhuizen‘s been releasing tribute videos for his yearlong “[the films of]” project, each showcasing the work of a different director via a montage, and we at /Film have been with him since the beginning. For his newest installment, however, van Dijkhuizen chose to go a slightly different route: Rather than select one auteur to focus on, he’s chosen an entire company. Watch “[the films of] Pixar Animation Studios” after the jump.

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In the wake of Gareth Edwards‘ film Monsters becoming a tidy little art-house sleeper last year, a sequel isn’t exactly what we figured would happen, but I don’t think anyone would say the development of one is surprising. UK distributor Vertigo Films is now developing Monsters 2 (thought that could well not be the finale title) with pre-sales and financing going on at Cannes. There is little more than some theoretical ideas and a handful of good intentions to report, but we do know that Gareth Edwards is giving up the director’s chair to a duo: Brent Bonacorso and Jesse Atlas. Read More »

For an awards show that purports to honor outstanding achievements in film, the Academy Awards seem oddly drawn to the familiar. The movies with the most nominations at this year’s Oscar race, for example, are The King’s Speech and True Grit — two films with a great deal of critical acclaim backing them, but ones that are decidely lacking in any grand ambition beyond presenting a traditional, accessible story. The Oscars, it would appear, favor the classically good to the unconventionally good, leaving the latter out to be forgotten in a sea of mediocrity and predictability. This isn’t a shocking revelation; the Academy Awards have always favored films that adhere to a certain standard of genre filmmaking. A heart-rending, war-based drama about one man’s uplifting struggle against adversity will always win out over the truly innovative, progressive, subversive films of our times. Read More »

Monsters, the much-buzzed ultra low budget indie set in an alien-infested Mexico, was recently released on DVD and Blu-ray. It’s too early to tell if the film will generate a cult following to reach the heights of its critical admiration, but evidently not too early to decide if a follow-up should be pursued, as Vertigo Films already has one lined up. Seemingly undeterred by an insignificant domestic response when the film was tested in limited release, the studio might be looking to appease Monsters converts overseas, where the film performed much better.

One person who won’t be involved in the proceedings, however, is director Gareth Edwards, the man responsible for making Monsters a reality. Read what he had to say after the break. Read More »

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Rent It

LET ME IN
How you respond to Let Me In will depend almost entirely on whether or not you’ve seen the original. On a purely technical level, its craft is unquestionable. Director Matt Reeves has thoughtfully and skillfully reconstructed Let the Right One In for American audiences, maintaining the solemn mood and tender intimacy of the boy-girl relationship that made the original so heartbreakingly compelling. But that’s also the problem: the film is strictly an imitation. Save for some narrative streamlining and one astounding new set piece, this movie lacks any identity of its own. It is nearly a shot-for-shot remake, and it makes very little attempt to differentiate itself. Because of this, anyone who has seen and loved the original (as I did) will find it nearly impossible to divorce themselves from the material. Which is a shame, really, because it many ways the film is an improvement over its predecessor. Reeves managed to not only identify what worked so well in the original and recreate it with better actors, but he also found what was lacking and axed it completely. In spite of this, my loyalty to the original—or rather, originality in general—prevents me from recommending the film to the same extent that I did that film. And even if you haven’t seen Let the Right One In, I would still suggest viewing that film prior to this one. For me, it was the original’s relaxed, indie sensibilities that allowed for the film’s now-iconic moments to resonate so vividly, bringing an unexpectedness to the brief yet startlingly effective action beats. Moreover, the shots themselves were decidedly more quiet and restrained, which in turn made them all the more haunting. Had I seen Let Me In first, I am doubtful that the film would’ve struck a chord with me in the same way Let the Right One In did.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – An audio commentary with director Matt Reeves, featurettes (“From The Inside: A Look at the Making of Let Me In”, “The Art of Special Effects”), unrated deleted scenes, and a Car Crash Sequence Step-by-Step. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as a Dissecting Let Me In feature, and a digital copy of the film.

BEST DVD PRICE
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