“I hear those little kids screaming through my brain. All night long I can hear them. I can close my eyes, but I’m still going to hear them over and over and over.”

It’s a quote that could come from a war veteran or prisoner of war when asked to describe the horrors of their experience. An example of post traumatic stress syndrome, perhaps. War, however, has nothing to do with his particular quote. That quote is from a Florida inmate and he’s referring to the kids in Robert Zemeckis’ The Polar Express. Insert laugh track here.

James Poulin, an inmate at the Brevard County Detention Center in Florida, has filed a lawsuit complaining that he’s being tortured by the people running the jail because he’s forced to watch the same movies over and over again. The jail doesn’t have cable so they play a limited selection of DVDs, which include Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down and The Polar Express, repeatedly. Poulin is trying to get the jail, which had to drop regular TV when the digital switchover happened, to introduce more programming. It’s an interesting case. Do convicted criminals deserve to watch television? And can it actually be torture hearing the same movies all the time? Read More »

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How To Train Your Dragon

DreamWorks Animation’s How To Train Your Dragon opened to a lackluster $43 million in its opening weekend, leading many to call the movie a financial failure. Great reviews (like the ones on /Film) and incredible word of mouth led to a larger and longer than expected run at the box office.

The movie has now been in theaters for 95 days (or 14 weeks) and has grossed a total of $215.5 million domestically, surpassing Kung Fu Panda to become DreamWorks Animation’s highest grossing non-Shrek franchise movie of all time. And while DWA is technically independent of the live action DreamWorks SKG, it is interesting to note that Dragon is expected to surpass Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan to become the highest grossing domestic non-Shrek franchise film in the history of both companies.

Thanks to /Film reader ishneak for the tip.

saving-private-ryan-blu-ray

Were you excited last week to finally get Saving Private Ryan on Blu-ray? Were you less excited to see that the disc seemed to be exhibiting an audio sync problem, causing the sound of shells and explosions to be heard before they actually hit? Well, the problem wasn’t your player. It’s the disc, and Paramount is now recalling the entire first-run batch. Read More »

goldberg1

When it comes to a working actor who humorously perfects the modern guy as a hip scepter for perpetual thought and frazzled irritation, Adam Goldberg holds the key to today’s conflicted kingdom. Like his characters dating back to a break out role in Dazed and Confused and on to an ace performance in 2007′s 2 Days in Paris (a rare romantic comedy that is meaningful and tolerable), part of Goldberg’s charm seems channeled via friendly reluctance. He continues to mine such neurotic territory playing the lead in (Untitled), a surprisingly accessible quasi-satire of the contemporary New York art world.

Portraying a struggling artist named Adrian Jacobs who composes abstract atonal music—and weighs suicide at age 30 for the sake of integrity—Goldberg captures, often in silence, the nagging doubts and petty contradictions of a personality burdened by the mythical qualifiers for “real art” and the “true artist.” Standing in face of this absorbed ethos is Adrian’s brother, who rakes in tons of dough and a thick coat of normalcy with abysmal paintings sold to tasteless lobbies all over the world. (Untitled) features a romantic subplot that’s distracting and predictable, but watching Goldberg maintain composure alongside absurd (and absurdly rich) artists, especially a hustler played by the Vinnie Jones, will ring true throughout any metropolitan art scene. Goldberg talked with /Film about his opinions on the character, his fabled performance as The Hebrew Hammer, and what he’s been up to at home, and totally content, in Los Angeles.

Hunter Stephenson: Hi Adam. What surprised me most about (Untitled) is that it doesn’t pander directly to New York audiences. It’s more accessible, almost like a mainstream movie that skewers an elitist niche.  Would you agree with that? And are you surprised by how few comedies have examined the art world?

Adam Goldberg: Yeah, a few people have compared it to Art School Confidential, but I guess there aren’t many films about the art world. And obviously, it’s set in New York for practical reasons because that’s the most symbolic place, but it didn’t really even need to take place contemporarily. It’s really has an anywhere-anytime sort of vibe, because it’s about these loftier ideas, like “What is art?” and “What is music?” And, you know, what is the value of something and how things are valued. So, it’s definitely not indigenous to New York culture. A lot of the music my character makes in the film is actually based on what people were doing in the late ’60s and early ’70s, which is funny because my character fancies himself being on the cutting edge and new school. But it’s hardly revolutionary.

Read More »

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