Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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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

THE ROAD
The apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic subgenre has been worn out. Between recent outings such as The Book of Eli, 2012, Daybreakers, Doomsday, and The Happening, it’s becoming apparent that there’s really not a whole lot else that can be done with it, and at this point they’re just recycling clichés (e.g. villainous hillbillies, wandering through destroyed landscapes, people turning on each other). The Road though, while not at all exempt from these clichés, is different in one very significant way: It’s not meant to be “fun”. Most movies of this ilk are designed specifically to find the entertainment value in a world reduced to chaos, but very rarely do films ever attempt to find real meaning in that premise. And while The Road may not be as balls-out exciting as some were hoping (you can thank the deliberately deceptive trailer for that), it does put its desolate backdrop to good use, thoughtfully and believably exploring the ways in which our sense of humanity can become lost in times of fear. Those that have read the book will be sure to note how lacking the film is without the artistry and flow of Cormac McCarthy’s prose, but given the limitations of the medium, this is a fine adaptation.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Commentary by director John Hillcoat, deleted and extended scenes, and a Making of The Road featurette.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $19.99 $15.97
Amazon – $18.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $22.99 $19.97
Amazon – $22.99

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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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The Road Trailer #2

theroad1a

Dimension and the Weinstein brothers will finally open John Hillcoat‘s filmed version of Cormac McCarthy‘s novel The Road on November 25. We’ve seen one trailer already, but that one was out back in May. Now there’s a new trailer just one month before the film opens. Check it out after the break. Read More »

dimension_logo

It looks suspiciously like somebody has slipped Bob Weinstein a shot of truth serum because he’s just spilled enough Dimension dirt to keep me blogging for a week. Buckle up, however, because I’m going to blast through it all in one big burst. After the break: Scream 4 casting and director news, Spy Kids 4 details, promises of a string of remakes and sequels set to be shot in 3D and even a little reveal about the release strategy for The Road.

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The Road Pushed Back To Thanksgiving

The Road

Just recieved word from my local San Francisco reps that Dimension Films will be pushing back the release date of The Road, yet again, this time for a Thanksgiving release – November 25th 2009. This really doesn’t make any sense at all, as the Thanksgiving slot is not only overcrowded as is, but also features another Weinstein Co release, the musical Nine. Could this mean that the Weinstein’s are considering moving Nine back to a Christmas date?

Other films set to hit theaters on November 25th include Fantastic Mr. Fox (wide expansion), Ninja Assassin,  Old Dogs, and the NY/LA limited engagement of Disney’s  The Princess and the Frog. Plus, I’ve also heard rumblings that Paramount was considering moving Jason Reitman’s Up in the Air for a late November platform release.
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The Road

It has been a lot busier here at Telluride this year than I’ve expected, which has prevented me from finding enough time to write about some of the film’s I’ve screened. I’ve been trying to keep the video blog reactions coming, as they are much easier to record in the 20-30 minute gap between films. I’d prefer to call them reactions over reviews because they basically capture our unedited thoughts immediately after seeing a film, before we’ve really had a chance to really think about it. Below you will find the newest video blog, a reaction to the behind the scenes Disney documentary Waking Sleeping Beauty (you can red my written review here) rand the big screen adaptation of The Road. Regular guest star Alex from FirstShowing joins in once again. Watch the video embedded after the jump.

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See Twelve Minutes of Clips From The Road

theroad1a

John Hillcoat‘s adaptation of Cormac McCarthy‘s novel The Road, starring Viggo Mortensen and Codi Smit-McPhee, is finally starting to be seen. The picture screened for some press in New York City earlier this week, and is now getting decidedly mixed critical notes out of the Venice Film Festival. Now five clips from the film are online, comprising about twelve minutes of footage. See them all after the break (if you just can’t wait for the film). Read More »

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