Stephen King’s Top 10 Films of 2009

Stephen King

Author Stephen King has published his annual listing of the top 10 films of the year. This year King agreed with the mainstream critics in naming The Hurt Locker as the best film of the year, but the rest of his list is the opposite of conventional. His list for 2009 is bound to spawn as much debate and outrage as previous years (last year’s list included Death Race, Lakeview Terrace and The Ruins). For example, #2 is The Last House on the Left, which he claims is “on par with The Silence of the Lambs” and that it’s “easily the most brilliant remake of the decade.” Other films include District 9, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and 2012. Check out the full list after the jump.

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This Week in DVD: The Reader, The Spirit, and More

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 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.

Rent It

THE READER
For some, The Reader is a gripping tale of morality anchored by its excellent performances. For others, it’s nothing more than that one Oscar-bait Holocaust movie that somehow earned itself a Best Picture nomination despite its middling reviews and lackluster response. As for me, I know it simply as the movie that fulfilled the Kate Winslet Oscar prophecy. Those who watch Extras will know what I’m referring to, but for those who don’t

Andy: I’d just like to say you doing this is so commendable. You know, using your profile to keep the message alive about the Holocaust.
Kate Winslet: My God I’m not doing it for that. I mean, I don’t think we need another film about the Holocaust, do we? It’s like, how many have there been? No, we get it, it was grim, move on. No, I’m doing this because I’ve noticed that if you do a film about the Holocaust, guaranteed an Oscar. I’ve been nominated four times. Never won. The whole world is going, ‘Why hasn’t Winslet won one?’ …’Schindler’s List.’ ‘The Piano.’ Oscars coming out their arse.

Well said, Kate. Well said.
Blu-ray? Will be available next Tuesday (April 28).
Notable Extras: Deleted scenes, and 5 featurettes (“Adapting A Timeless Masterpiece: Making The Reader”, “A Conversation with David Kross And Stephen Daldry”, “Kate Winslet On The Art Of Aging Hanna Schmitz”, “A New Voice: A Look At Composer Nico Muhly”, “Coming To Grips With The Past: Production Designer Brigitte Broch”).

BEST PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$16.99 $19.99 N/A
Amazon – $16.99

EXCLUSIVE DEAL:
What? Get Miss Potter for $5 when you buy The Reader.
Where? Best Buy.

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amcpictureshowcase

Are you way behind on your movie watching? The Oscars are approaching faster than you think. In case you hadn’t realized, they’re on this Sunday. Still haven’t seen Milk, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, or Slumdog Millionaire? Not doing anything this Saturday? Well then, you’re in luck. If you have $30 bucks to spare, you can catch every single one of these films in a row, starting with Milk at 10:30am, all the way up to Frost/Nixon at 9:45pm. It boils down to almost 11 complete hours of film time, and AMC is tossing in a large popcorn with free refills all day to boot. Plus you’ll be able to come and go as you please… like during the last hour or so of Benjamin Button.

Over 97 different AMC theaters across the U.S. are participating in this showcase, and you can check on their website to see if this is happening near you. While it might not be all three Lord of the Rings movies in a row (which is almost as long with those extended editions), it’s still a pretty serious way to geek out on some quality movies. Just make sure you eat your weight in popcorn to really squeeze some extra value out of your thirty bucks. That’s what I’m planning on doing (I’ll be at the one in Anaheim), and now I just have to figure out how to smuggle in a tank full of soda.

There is a phenomenon known as “the Oscar bounce.” When a movie receives Academy Award nominations, especially one of the five coveted Best Picture slots, ticket-buyers generally follow. The Oscar seal of approval used to mean something to the rank-and-file moviegoer, but that seems to have changed.

Only one of this year’s Best Picture nominees has inspired any real passion from the broad public. The almost-certain Best Picture winner is Slumdog Millionaire (Fox Searchlight), and its devotees, including critics and members of the Academy (not to mention yours truly), have made it a word-of-mouth smash hit. The Danny Boyle-directed feel-good Bollywood fusion movie made for a meager $14M added another $2.05M or so on Friday and is charting a 3-day course for about $7.25M. That will give the Slumdog a $77.2M take, and it could reach $90M-$95M before it’s through in American theatres.
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In this episode of the /Filmcast, Dave, Devindra and Adam discuss their apprehensiveness about a Crow remake, ponder the cheesiness of the X-Men Origins: Wolverine trailer, and debate the choice of Chris Weitz to take over New Moon. Special guests Neha Tiwari and Laremy Legel (from the Film.com podcast) join us. Devin Faraci from CHUD also joins us to report from Butt-Numb-A-Thon and explains the use of the term “Watchmen” in the new film.

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The Reader Movie Trailer

The Weintein Co has released the first trailer for Stephen Daldry‘s adaptation of The Reader. The romantic drama is set in a post-World War II Germany, and tells the story of “a man whose life has been shaped by an illicit affair with a passionate, elusive older woman during his youth.” The film stars Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes.

Bernhard Schlink’s The Reader has been translated into 39 languages, has garnered numerous awards, and is the first German novel to reach number one on The New York Times Bestseller List. The post production quibbles have been well documented, and Harvey Weinstein hopes to have the film in theaters on December 10th. Watch the trailer in High Definition on Apple.com, or embedded below.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/thereader.flv 470 264]

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Producer Scott Rudin Leaves The Reader

Scott Rudin has walked away from The Reader, and will no longer be involved in The Weinstein Co’s December release. Here is the situation, as I understand it. A couple weeks ago, Nikki Finke made claims that Harvey Weinstein had harassed both Sydney Pollack while on his deathbed and the widow of the late Anthony Minghella in an attempt to get the film into movie theaters for Oscar consideration. Finke was able to provide an email from Rudin to back up these claims. And then The Weinstein Co released a statement claiming that everything had been worked out, and that everyone involved were on the same page:

“We are issuing this statement together to emphasize the fact that we are in complete agreement on the date we have chosen to release The Reader. Working together, we developed a plan to extend the post-production schedule in order to give Stephen Daldry the additional time he needs to successfully complete the film in time to release it on December 12, 2008.”

But apparently something went wrong since then. LA Times reports that Rudin walked away and removed his producer’s credit because he was concerned that Weinstein’s dealings might cause “his long-standing talent relationships [to] be harmed.” Director Stephen Daldry is still contractually obligated to complete the film in time for the announced December 12th release date, a release date that Daldry at one point claimed “strips me of my ability to make my work good.” The whole thing is one gigantic Hollywood clusterfuck.

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